Whole Foods Copycat Avocado Greens Wrap

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Whole Foods – I love it, I just wish it wasn’t so expensive!  One of my favorite meals from our nearby Whole Foods is the Avocado Greens Wrap.  Full of some of my favorite veggies and drizzled with red wine vinegar, this vegan wrap is satisfying and delicious.  Unfortunately, Whole Foods charges a whopping $8 for this wrap for some unknown reason – maybe they just like to take all my money.  So I decided to get all the ingredients and replicate it at home without the guilt of spending so much money on eating healthy.

Now, I haven’t priced it out yet, but I am 99.9% sure that making this wrap at home will not cost you $8 every time.  In fact, I’ve made 5 or 6 of these wraps for lunch since I bought the ingredients for the first time and I still have some to spare to make more.  The only thing that may cost some money is the avocado, based on where you live.  In California, though, we have about as many avocados as people, so that’s not really an issue here. IMG_3163

The other great thing about this recipe?  Completely customizable.  Hate onion?  No worries, leave it out.  Want to use spicy hummus?  Go for it.  Need some more protein in your lunch? Throw in some turkey.  It won’t be vegan anymore, but it’ll still be awesome.

Ingredients:

  • Pack of spinach wraps
  • Hummus (Regular, Garlic, Spicy, Tomato Basil, Roasted Red Pepper – all good!)
  • Bag of spinach
  • 1/6th of an onion (roughly), cut into small slivers (whatever type you prefer – red onion or sweet onion are both good)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 1/2 avocado, cut in half and cubed or sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced (I bought a box of Trader Joe’s Tomatoes on the Vine)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (Trader Joe’s also has this!)

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Directions:

  • Lay out spinach wrap
  • Spread hummus and avocado on wrap.  You can either smash the avocado into the wrap or leave in pieces.
  • Throw as much spinach in the wrap as you want.  Really, just go for it.
  • Take one or two slices of cucumber and put in middle of wrap.  This acts as the spine of the wrap.
  • Top the cucumber with slices of tomato and some slivers of onion.
  • Drizzle roughly 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar over ingredients.
  • Attempt to wrap up all of this goodness into one wrap.  It may be a bit difficult depending on how many veggies you tried to squeeze in it.  Usually I have to put it in plastic wrap and hope it doesn’t all fall out the bottom.
  • Finally, eat and know that you’ve gotten the majority – if not all – of your vegetable servings for the day in one meal!

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Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

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If you haven’t heard, chia seeds are all the rage right now.  Packed with all kinds of nutrients, chia seeds are primarily known for being high in fiber and healthy omega-3 fats.   The fun trick about chia seeds – besides them growing green “hair” on random animals and characters – is that they take on a gelatinous quality when mixed with water.  So for awhile now, I’ve been throwing these little seeds into my smoothies for an easy nutrient boost.  Thanks to their newfound popularity, you can find them at pretty much any grocery store and even Costco!

This week, I decided to try making chia seed pudding.  I’ve had it before at a local juice place and there’s even some pre-packaged containers available at Vons called “Chia Pods.”   The recipe I followed, found on Domesticate Me, suggests using greek yogurt to make the pudding thicker.  I already enjoy eating greek yogurt, so adding chia seeds to make the pudding was an easy decision.  You can, however, make it without yogurt if you are lactose-intolerant or don’t like yogurt at all.  Be warned, though, that if you only use almond milk your pudding will be thinner than what’s shown here.  Still, my sister made chia seed pudding with almond milk and enjoyed it, so I don’t think it’s a total deal-breaker.  When these seeds sit in the liquid mixture overnight, they expand into tiny balls and create a thick pudding-like mixture.

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Ingredients:

  • Roughly 1/2 cup raw chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (or other yogurt of your choice) (**Substitute in 1 cup milk if you don’t want yogurt**)
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Optional: Toppings!

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(Pretty Easy) Directions:

  • Place chia seeds in a bowl
  • Pour in milk, yogurt, syrup and salt
  • Whisk together ingredients
  • Cover bowl in plastic wrap and put in fridge
  • Let the pudding chill for at least 4 hours, stirring every so often.  The general consensus on chia seed pudding is that you should let it sit overnight for the best result.
  • Add whatever garnish your heart desires and eat away!  I topped mine with bananas and cinnamon one day and strawberries with mini chocolate chips the next.  So good!

Make sure to store remaining pudding in the fridge.  Mine lasted for about 4 breakfast meals.

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Baked Coconut Chicken Strips

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After buying a large bag of coconut flakes to make energy bites, I thought I’d find another recipe that uses coconut.  I found this coconut chicken recipe at Seeded at the Table and adapted it slightly.  Mainly, I used chicken breast tenderloins so that the pieces would be more like chicken tenders.  As a child, I was obsessed with chicken tenders and chicken nuggets.  This recipe reminded me of restaurant chicken tenders without the unhealthy ingredients.  Well, I did use butter, but other than that it was pretty healthy!

What’s even better about this recipe is it doesn’t take very long to make.  You just dip thawed chicken into egg, roll it in a coconut mixture and put it in the oven!  Out come these delicious strips that have a honey flavor baked into them.  Personally, I didn’t even think they needed a dipping sauce.  We’ll definitely be making these again.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter (optional)

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Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.
  • Lightly beat egg in a bowl.
  • Mix coconut, almond flour, garlic powder, salt & pepper in a small bowl.
  • Dip each tenderloin individually in butter, then in the coconut mixture until coated entirely.
  • Place tenderloins on the baking sheet.
  • Optional: Melt unsalted butter and drizzle over top of tenderloins (I found that this step didn’t change the flavor much, but it did cause less of the coconut to brown)
  • Bake 30 minutes, making sure to flip tenderloins at the 15 minute mark.
  • Enjoy! We paired it with rice and salad.

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No-Bake Energy Bites

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These no-bake energy bites are probably the best beach bites around!  Easy to make and full of delicious ingredients, these bites only take a few minutes to make and taste like peanut butter cups.  They’re perfect for a mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or mid-beach volleyball snack.  In addition, this recipe allows for a lot of substitutions based on what you have in your pantry.   For this batch, I used Earth Balance Creamy Coconut & Peanut Spread, which made them taste like an Almond Joy!   I also substituted in almond meal and sweetened coconut flakes.  You can find the original recipe and some more great variation ideas at Gimme Some Oven!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oatmeal (I used Trader Joe’s rolled oats)
  • 2/3rd cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or other variation of nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (or wheat germ or flaxseed meal)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

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Directions:

  • Stir all dry ingredients together in a bowl
  • Add in peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract
  • Roll into balls – should make about 25 balls
  • Chill in refrigerator before eating (if you can wait that long!)

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