Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad is loaded with pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, miniature marshmallows, and pecans. It’s perfect for a Spring get-together or mid-week dessert. Growing up, salads that weren’t really salads were a staple at my Nana’s house. From Ambrosia Salad to Strawberry Pretzel Salad – these were the salads that I looked forward to at family …

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Watergate Salad is loaded with pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, miniature marshmallows, and pecans. It’s perfect for a Spring get-together or mid-week dessert.

Three small serving dishes filled with watergate salad set on a white platter

Growing up, salads that weren’t really salads were a staple at my Nana’s house. From Ambrosia Salad to Strawberry Pretzel Salad – these were the salads that I looked forward to at family gatherings, and Watergate Salad was no exception.

Nana and her friends always had their go-to recipes that they were famous for and could whip them up in no time flat for a church function, ailing friend, or family get-together. 

Nana was known for her cheesecake – usually cherry cheesecake, but switched up with other pie fillings depending on the season. Strawberries during spring, and lemon during the summer months.

Nana’s friend, Anita, always made an amazingly fluffy pistachio “salad” known as Watergate Salad. We come from a family that loves anything with pistachio pudding, from pudding pie to Pistachio Pudding Parfaits, so naturally, I was obsessed with the stuff as a kid. 

(more…)

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Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. One swap and these vegan sweet potato brownies are also gluten-free. They’re fudgy, chewy, chocolaty, and one of the favorite things to come out of our kitchen to date. Try these Sweet Potato Brownies! Why hide vegetables in desserts when you can proudly proclaim them? These brownies could not be more thrilled by their sweet potato interior. It makes the best chewy texture and loads them with nutrients. In fact, these are super plant-powered vegan sweet potato brownies! But most importantly: they’re irresistibly delicious, with a rich nuance in flavor that makes them taste loads better than a standard brownie. Come, see how it’s done! Tricks to the best sweet potato brownies These sweet potato brownies are next level. Everyone who’s tried them comes back with one word: “Wow!” Over here we’re partial to a chewy brownie, and the sweet potato adds just the right moist, chewy texture. It also brings a richness that somehow tastes more real than using loads of butter and sugar. We like these better than a standard brownie: hands down. Here are some of the major ingredients that […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. One swap and these vegan sweet potato brownies are also gluten-free.

Sweet potato brownies

They’re fudgy, chewy, chocolaty, and one of the favorite things to come out of our kitchen to date. Try these Sweet Potato Brownies! Why hide vegetables in desserts when you can proudly proclaim them? These brownies could not be more thrilled by their sweet potato interior. It makes the best chewy texture and loads them with nutrients. In fact, these are super plant-powered vegan sweet potato brownies! But most importantly: they’re irresistibly delicious, with a rich nuance in flavor that makes them taste loads better than a standard brownie. Come, see how it’s done!

Tricks to the best sweet potato brownies

These sweet potato brownies are next level. Everyone who’s tried them comes back with one word: “Wow!” Over here we’re partial to a chewy brownie, and the sweet potato adds just the right moist, chewy texture. It also brings a richness that somehow tastes more real than using loads of butter and sugar. We like these better than a standard brownie: hands down. Here are some of the major ingredients that make this recipe work:

  • Mashed sweet potato brings richness and texture, and stands in for some butter and flour
  • Almond butter adds fat while adding protein
  • Sugar sweetens it just right: you can use granulated, coconut or your favorite solid sugar here
  • Flour is much less than a standard recipe, and you can substitute to make them gluten free
  • Cocoa powder brings rich chocolaty flavor
  • Olive oil is a healthy oil and you’ll only need a touch
  • Dark chocolate chips are required for the final touch of chocolate!
Sweet potato brownies

Roasting the potatoes (and a shortcut or two)

The only difference from these sweet potato brownies and a traditional dump-and-stir recipe? Roasting the sweet potatoes. Here are a few notes on this process, and a shortcut or two:

  • Roasting the potatoes caramelizes them and brings out the sugars. It’s absolutely worth the 30 minutes of roasting time.
  • Cut them in half before roasting! This cuts down on the time needed to roast, versus roasting them whole.
  • You can microwave the potatoes as a shortcut. Prick them all over with a fork, place them on a plate and microwave on high for about 10 to 12 minutes or more until tender, rotating halfway through. But keep in mind: the timing can vary based on size and the microwave can be uneven in cooking. Also, roasting brings out the natural sugars, whereas the microwave does not. So only use this in a pinch!
Sweet potato brownies

Make them gluten free!

Want to make these vegan sweet potato brownies gluten free? It’s an easy swap for the flour! Using the sweet potato lets you use much less flour than a traditional brownie. There’s only 1/2 cup flour in the entire pan! Here are a few swaps for the flour:

  • Try oat flour (or make your own). Oat flour is our favorite gluten-free flour: it makes for beautifully delicious gluten free goods like healthy pumpkin bread or oatmeal pancakes. It’s easy to make, too: just whiz oats in a blender or food processor until they become powdery. It’s an easy swap here.
  • Or use your favorite gluten free flour. Most 1-for-1 gluten free flour blends will work here!

Let us know what you try in the comments!

Vegan sweet potato brownies

Are these vegan sweet potato brownies…healthy?

You’ll never miss the traditional butter and eggs in these vegan sweet potato brownies. Almond butter and olive oil stand in for the butter, and the sweet potato gives them just the right texture. But can they be considered healthy? Here’s what to know:

  • These are a treat: they’ve got lots of sugar! Don’t be fooled: these are a treat food for sure.
  • Sweet potato adds fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Brownies don’t normally have fiber and vitamins, so that’s a plus! One pound of sweet potatoes has 357% of the daily recommendation for Vitamin A and 13 grams of fiber.
  • Almond butter adds protein and heart-healthy fats. Instead of butter, almond butter adds plant-based protein and makes these a filling treat.

Bottom line: These vegan sweet potato brownies are not a health food, but they’re a healthier treat when compared to a standard brownie.

Vegan sweet potato brownies

This sweet potato brownies recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use oat flour.

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Sweet potato brownies

Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies (Family Favorite!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. Vegan with gluten-free swap.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato (about 1 pound or 2 medium potatoes) 
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar (granulated or coconut)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free if desired)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the sweet potatoes and slice them in half. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and rub them with olive oil, just enough to coat. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Place cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until tender and lightly browned on the edges, about 30 to 35 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes (smaller potatoes may take 25 minutes; prick with a fork to assess doneness).
  2. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper (allowing it to extend out the sides to lift it out later, or just a square if you plan to cut them in the pan). Then grease the entire pan and parchment paper. 
  3. Pull the skin off of the sweet potatoes and mash them, measuring out 1 1/2 cups. Add the almond butter, cocoa powder, sugar, flour, oil, baking powder, vanilla, and kosher salt until a thick dough forms. Fold in 1/4 cup of the dark chocolate chips. Place the batter in the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. 
  4. Bake 30 minutes, until set but soft in the center. Cool 1 hour. degrees Fahrenheit. Store at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for 1 week, or in the freezer for 3 months. 
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Brownies

Keywords: Sweet potato brownies, vegan sweet potato brownies

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Quesadillas in the Oven!

These baked quesadillas in oven are easy to make on a sheet pan and have the best crispy exterior! Game changer, right here. Want to make quesadillas for a crowd, but don’t want to hover over the stove while making them to order? Enter: quesadillas in the oven! This recipe makes the humble solo meal into a delicious dinner, resulting in a big batch all at once on a sheet pan. All the quesadillas are done at the same time, and they come out with a beautifully crispy exterior. In fact, it feels like a whole new version of this classic: like Quesadillas 2.0. Here’s how to whip up a pan of baked sheet pan quesadillas that are so good, everyone will be begging for more. (Everyone around our table was: true story!) How to make quesadillas in the oven You can use this method to make any type of quesadilla in the oven: fillings are up to you! (Though we’ve shared our favorite filling below with smoked mozzarella…so good!) Here are the basic steps for how to make baked quesadillas instead of using a skillet: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Place […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These baked quesadillas in oven are easy to make on a sheet pan and have the best crispy exterior! Game changer, right here.

Quesadilla in oven

Want to make quesadillas for a crowd, but don’t want to hover over the stove while making them to order? Enter: quesadillas in the oven! This recipe makes the humble solo meal into a delicious dinner, resulting in a big batch all at once on a sheet pan. All the quesadillas are done at the same time, and they come out with a beautifully crispy exterior. In fact, it feels like a whole new version of this classic: like Quesadillas 2.0. Here’s how to whip up a pan of baked sheet pan quesadillas that are so good, everyone will be begging for more. (Everyone around our table was: true story!)

How to make quesadillas in the oven

You can use this method to make any type of quesadilla in the oven: fillings are up to you! (Though we’ve shared our favorite filling below with smoked mozzarella…so good!) Here are the basic steps for how to make baked quesadillas instead of using a skillet:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Place tortillas on the sheet (rub them in a bit so they get coated with oil).
  • Add toppings, taking care not to overfill!
  • Fold over the quesadilla into a half-circle. (This makes it easier to flip.)
  • Bake 8 minutes, then flip and bake 6 to 7 minutes more until golden brown. Cut into pieces and serve immediately.
Baked quesadilla

Fillings for baked quesadillas

The key to baked quesadillas: don’t overfill them! The quantities in our recipe below seem small, but trust us: they’re more than enough. You don’t want to deal with fillings falling out all over the sheet pan. Here’s what we used for these quesadillas in the oven, which we think was pretty perfect:

  • Smoked mozzarella cheese: the flavor key! It makes this vegetarian quesadilla taste incredible
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Black beans with spices like cumin, onion powder, garlic powder
  • Green onion
  • Pico de gallo

This filling was just the right combination of flavors and tasted like a restaurant-style quesadilla (if we do say so ourselves.) Everyone around the table couldn’t stop eating them. Suffice it to say these disappeared very quickly!

Other filling ideas!

What other fillings to use for sheet pan quesadillas in the oven? There are too many ideas to count, so we’ve curated a few of our favorites:

Baked quesadilla

Sides to serve with sheet pan quesadillas in the oven

How to make these quesadillas in the oven into a filling healthy dinner recipe? Here are a few of our favorite ways to accessorize it:

More easy sheet pan dinners

These sheet pan quesadillas are a fun way to make a quick and easy dinner: throw everything on a sheet pan and use the bake time to clean up and make your side dishes. Here are a few more easy sheet pan dinners we love for weeknights:

This quesadilla in the oven recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use grain free tortillas.

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Quesadillas in the Oven!


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 (8 half quesadillas)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These baked quesadillas in the oven are easy to make on a sheet pan and have the best crispy exterior! Game changer, right here.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 drizzle olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and kosher salt
  • 1 large or 2 small green onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
  • 8 6” tortillas (flour or corn)
  • For topping: Guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Drain the rinse the beans, then mix them with the olive oil and seasonings. Thinly slice the green onion
  3. Brush a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Place the tortillas on the sheet and rub them to coat them in olive oil. 
  4. On each tortilla, place 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon seasoned beans, 1 tablespoon green onion, 2 tablespoons smoked mozzarella, 1 tablespoon pico de gallo, and 1 pinch kosher salt. If desired, add a drizzle of hot sauce. Fold over the tortilla into a half circle (this makes it easy to flip, instead of making full quesadillas with 2 tortillas). Complete for each tortilla, then brush the tops with oil. 
  5. Bake 8 minutes. Then flip and bake 6 to 7 minutes more until browned and crisp on the outside. Cut into 3 wedges each with a pizza cutter. Serve topped with cilantro and sour cream, and with guacamole and extra pico de gallo for dipping.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Quesadilla in oven, Baked quesadillas, how to make quesadillas in oven, sheet pan quesadillas

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Creamy Coconut Margarita

This coconut margarita recipe is the cocktail you didn’t know you were missing! It’s zingy and creamy, pairing lime and tequila with coconut. Here’s a drink that’s creamy, cool, refreshing and an absolute must for any margarita lover: this Coconut Margarita recipe! After trying 30+ margarita variations, this one rose to the top because it’s not like any other margarita variation you’ve tried! Tropical coconut pairs perfectly with the zing of lime and bite of tequila. The best part? The toasted coconut drink rim gives you a crunchy, tropical infusion to each sip. We love all our margarita recipes, but this one…this one is special. Ingredients in a coconut margarita The margarita was invented in Mexico in the 1930’s, and today remains one of the most popular classic cocktails of all time. The Classic Margarita has just 3 ingredients: tequila, triple sec and lime juice. For the coconut spin, add cremHere are the ingredients you’ll need for a raspberry margarita: Tequila Triple Sec (or Cointreau) Lime juice Cream of coconut (not coconut cream) Sweetened shredded coconut, for the rim Buy cream of coconut, not coconut cream The most important thing about this coconut margarita is making sure to buy the right coconut product. Buy […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This coconut margarita recipe is the cocktail you didn’t know you were missing! It’s zingy and creamy, pairing lime and tequila with coconut.

Coconut margarita

Here’s a drink that’s creamy, cool, refreshing and an absolute must for any margarita lover: this Coconut Margarita recipe! After trying 30+ margarita variations, this one rose to the top because it’s not like any other margarita variation you’ve tried! Tropical coconut pairs perfectly with the zing of lime and bite of tequila. The best part? The toasted coconut drink rim gives you a crunchy, tropical infusion to each sip. We love all our margarita recipes, but this one…this one is special.

Ingredients in a coconut margarita

The margarita was invented in Mexico in the 1930’s, and today remains one of the most popular classic cocktails of all time. The Classic Margarita has just 3 ingredients: tequila, triple sec and lime juice. For the coconut spin, add cremHere are the ingredients you’ll need for a raspberry margarita:

Buy cream of coconut, not coconut cream

The most important thing about this coconut margarita is making sure to buy the right coconut product. Buy cream of coconut, not coconut cream! A good rule of thumb? Opt for the squeeze bottle, not the can. Here’s more about what to know:

  • Cream of coconut is a sweetened syrup used for cocktails. It’s made with coconut cream and sugar. It’s sold in handy squeeze bottles to make it easy to add to drinks. Cream of coconut is easy to find online or at your local liquor store. A popular brand is Coco Real.
  • Coconut cream is unsweetened! It’s thick with a strong coconut flavor and sold in cans next to the coconut milk. Coconut cream is made from chilling coconut milk and then skimming off the layer of cream that floats to the top.

Want help using up the cream of coconut bottle? Try the Piña Colada, Painkiller or Bushwacker.

Coconut margarita recipe

What if you accidentally buy coconut cream?

You can save your coconut margarita if you buy the wrong one. Here’s what to do: Use 1/2 ounce coconut cream and 1/2 ounce simple syrup in place of the 1 ounces cream of coconut.

How to make a toasted coconut rim!

The best part of this coconut margarita recipe? The toasted coconut rim! Drink rims are not just fun visually: they add a textural element and pop of flavor to each sip. Here’s what to know about making this drink rim:

  • Toast the coconut. Here’s how to toast coconut — we used the stovetop instructions which takes just a few minutes. Just make sure to keep an eye on it: coconut can go from raw to burned in a flash!
  • Use the cream of coconut to adhere the coconut. Alex had a stroke of genius with this drink: he used the cream of coconut to stick the coconut to the glass. It works like a charm!
  • Dip the rim in cream of coconut, then a plate of toasted coconut. You’ll just want the outer edge of the glass to be covered. It takes a little time, but it’s worth it for the flavor!
Coconut margarita

Make a coconut margarita pitcher (8 servings)

Serving a crowd? Mix up a coconut margarita pitcher instead! A pitcher is more efficient because it makes 8 servings in just 5 minutes! Here’s what to mix:

  • 2 cups tequila
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 3 handfuls ice

Throw them in a pitcher, mix, and enjoy! Let us know what you think of this tasty drink in the comments below.

More unique margarita recipes

Coconut margarita

When to serve a coconut margarita

The coconut margarita is creamy and impressive! It works as a:

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Coconut margarita

Creamy Coconut Margarita


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This coconut margarita recipe is the cocktail you didn’t know you were missing! It’s zingy and creamy, pairing lime and tequila with coconut. 


Ingredients

  • Sweetened shredded coconut, for the rim
  • 2 ounces tequila blanco
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec (or Cointreau)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce cream of coconut (not coconut cream)
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)

Instructions

  1. Toast the coconut. Remove it from the heat and place it in a single layer on a plate. 
  2. Add a bit of extra cream of coconut to a separate plate and dip the edge of the rim of the glass into it. Then dip the rim into the plate of toasted coconut.
  3. Place the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and cream of coconut in a cocktail shaker and add one handful ice. Shake until cold. Strain the margarita into the glass with the coconut rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.
  4. For a pitcher: add 2 cups tequila, 1/2 cup triple sec, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 1 cup cream of coconut to a pitcher. Add 3 handfuls ice and stir. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Coconut margarita, coconut margarita recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Fluffy Almond Flour Pancakes

Try these almond flour pancakes: light, fluffy and so full of flavor they’ll become your go-to recipe. Everyone will ask for seconds! Here’s a recipe we made for guests that everyone couldn’t stop talking about: Almond Flour Pancakes. “They’re so light and fluffy! They taste like cake! You’d never know they’re made of almonds!” was the chorus echoed as we devoured this stack of flapjacks. We made these for a visit from my parents and they disappeared in no time. They’re fluffy and vanilla scented, so tasty that no one would guess there’s none of the standard all purpose flour. In fact, we might just switch to these as our everyday pancake! Ingredients in this almond flour pancakes recipe Almond flour pancakes sound like they might be super nutty or extra dense. Au contraire! These pancakes are light and fluffy, vanilla-scented and almost taste like crepes. You’d never know they were gluten-free. In fact, that’s our specialty: recipes where you don’t feel like you’re giving anything up (whether that’s gluten free, meatless, or even just healthy takes on comfort food). Here are the almond flour pancakes ingredients: Almond flour Sugar Baking powder Kosher salt Eggs Neutral oil Vanilla Make sure […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Try these almond flour pancakes: light, fluffy and so full of flavor they’ll become your go-to recipe. Everyone will ask for seconds!

Almond flour pancakes

Here’s a recipe we made for guests that everyone couldn’t stop talking about: Almond Flour Pancakes. “They’re so light and fluffy! They taste like cake! You’d never know they’re made of almonds!” was the chorus echoed as we devoured this stack of flapjacks. We made these for a visit from my parents and they disappeared in no time. They’re fluffy and vanilla scented, so tasty that no one would guess there’s none of the standard all purpose flour. In fact, we might just switch to these as our everyday pancake!

Ingredients in this almond flour pancakes recipe

Almond flour pancakes sound like they might be super nutty or extra dense. Au contraire! These pancakes are light and fluffy, vanilla-scented and almost taste like crepes. You’d never know they were gluten-free. In fact, that’s our specialty: recipes where you don’t feel like you’re giving anything up (whether that’s gluten free, meatless, or even just healthy takes on comfort food). Here are the almond flour pancakes ingredients:

  • Almond flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Eggs
  • Neutral oil
  • Vanilla

Make sure to buy almond flour, not almond meal

When you’re shopping for this recipe, make sure to grab a bag of almond flour, not almond meal. Though both are made of ground almonds, there’s a distinct difference between the two:

  • Almond flour is made from blanched almonds (almonds with their skins removed) and is ground very finely. 
  • Almond meal contains the skins, making it brown in color instead of off-white, and has a coarser grind than almond flour.

To get the right texture for these almond flour pancakes, almond flour is required because it makes the fluffiest texture! It’s easy to find at your local grocery store these days, just make sure to check the package. Other recipes that use almond flour? Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles or this Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie.

Almond flour

Tips for cooking: use low heat and flip gently

For this almond flour pancakes recipe, it’s important to take care during the cooking process. Almond flour pancakes are more delicate than a standard pancake, and they brown faster. This is because they don’t have gluten to hold them together. Here are a few tips for cooking them:

  • Low and slow is key! If the heat is too high, the pancakes come out burned on the outside and raw on the inside. Low and slow is the way to go: especially with almond flour pancakes.
  • Flip them when bubbles form on the surface and start to pop. It’s hard to wait for this signal, but trust us! This trick works every time and makes the perfectly cooked pancake.
  • Gently flip them: they’ll be more delicate than a standard pancake. That said, we were easily able to flip these: just keep that in mind when you go to flip.
Almond flour pancakes recipe

Skip mix-ins for almond flour pancakes and go for toppings!

Because almond flour pancakes are a bit more delicate, we don’t recommend adding mix-ins to the batter. This can break up the structure of the pancake and make it more difficult to flip. Instead, go big on toppings! Here are some of our favorite ideas to complete this healthy breakfast:

What would you serve for toppings? Let us know in the comments below!

Almond flour pancakes

This almond flour pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free. (For vegan you could try with flax eggs, but we have not tested this substitute.)

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Almond flour pancakes

Fluffy Almond Flour Pancakes


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pancakes
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Try these almond flour pancakes: light, fluffy and so full of flavor they’ll become your go-to recipe. Everyone will ask for seconds!


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the almond flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, neutral oil, and vanilla extract. Add the dries and stir to combine. 
  3. Lightly grease a skillet with butter and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over low heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into small circles. Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden: low and slow is the key! Then gently flip them and cook until golden on the other side: take care as they are a bit more fragile than a standard pancake. 
  4. Cook the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary (the skillet can get very hot on the second batch). Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Almond flour pancakes, almond flour pancakes recipe

More great pancakes recipes

Love a big stack of flapjacks? Here are some of our favorite pancakes recipes:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Shrimp Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice

This shrimp bowl recipe gets 5 stars! An easy lunch or dinner, it stars cilantro lime rice, black beans and chipotle ranch dressing. Here’s an irresistible recipe you’ll want to make again and again…this Shrimp Rice Bowl! It got 5 stars in our house. Of course, that’s an unofficial poll judging by how quickly it disappeared! Mix up a batch of cilantro lime rice, then top it with tender shrimp and a black bean and corn salad. This best part is a creamy, zingy chipotle ranch dressing that covers it all in deliciousness. (Yep, that’s the technical term.) This is one of our favorite bowl meals we’ve made in a while. And while it’s basic, every element is seasoned to perfection. Ingredients in this shrimp bowl recipe It has several components, but you should be able to finish this healthy dinner recipe in 30 minutes or less. Here’s the breakdown of the elements in this shrimp rice bowl: Shrimp: You can bake, broil, or sauté the shrimp for this recipe! See below to determine your favorite method. We like using tail-on shrimp for the look, but you can use peeled for easier eating. Cilantro lime rice: This bowl features our […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This shrimp bowl recipe gets 5 stars! An easy lunch or dinner, it stars cilantro lime rice, black beans and chipotle ranch dressing.

Shrimp Bowl

Here’s an irresistible recipe you’ll want to make again and again…this Shrimp Rice Bowl! It got 5 stars in our house. Of course, that’s an unofficial poll judging by how quickly it disappeared! Mix up a batch of cilantro lime rice, then top it with tender shrimp and a black bean and corn salad. This best part is a creamy, zingy chipotle ranch dressing that covers it all in deliciousness. (Yep, that’s the technical term.) This is one of our favorite bowl meals we’ve made in a while. And while it’s basic, every element is seasoned to perfection.

Ingredients in this shrimp bowl recipe

It has several components, but you should be able to finish this healthy dinner recipe in 30 minutes or less. Here’s the breakdown of the elements in this shrimp rice bowl:

  • Shrimp: You can bake, broil, or sauté the shrimp for this recipe! See below to determine your favorite method. We like using tail-on shrimp for the look, but you can use peeled for easier eating.
  • Cilantro lime rice: This bowl features our favorite cilantro lime rice: and it really does step up the recipe vs plain rice!
  • Black bean and corn salad: Here’s a fun trick: mix black beans, corn, and pico de gallo and it becomes and impromptu salad!
  • Chipotle ranch dressing: This healthy chipotle ranch is so easy to make, and you’ll want to drizzle it on everything! It’s got yogurt, mayo, and adobo sauce (see below).
Shrimp bowl recipe

Baked vs broiled vs sauteed shrimp!

There are a few different methods you can use for the shrimp here! Here are the pros and cons of each:

  • Baked shrimp: This method is easy and hands off! Pop the shrimp in the oven and cook 4 to 6 minutes. The only con? You have to preheat the oven.
  • Broiled shrimp: Even easier! It’s even quicker to broil shrimp, and you don’t have to preheat. The con? You’ll have to keep an eye on it in the last few minutes.
  • Sauteed shrimp: Super simple and quick: the fastest method for cooking shrimp! It also comes out more browned than the other methods. The con? You have to be hands-on the entire cooking time, and be good at quickly flipping the shrimp. Be careful not to overcook!

The type of shrimp to buy

There are lots of option at the store for shrimp, and it can get confusing! Here’s the type of shrimp we like to grab for this recipe:

  • Find medium or large shrimp. Medium shrimp is sometimes labeled 41 to 50 count, and Large is labeled as 31 to 40 count.
  • Use tail on or peeled. Tail on looks nice, but you do have to pull them off when eating. So use shelled if you like! Do not use shell on. If you accidentally buy shell on, remove it before cooking.
  • Fresh or frozen. Both are essentially the same freshness since most shrimp are immediately flash frozen. Just make sure to thaw the shrimp in advance.
  • Wild caught. Look for wild caught: it’s the most sustainable!
Chipotle ranch dressing
You’ll want to use this chipotle ranch dressing on everything!

The shrimp bowl sauce: a healthy spin on ranch dressing!

Who doesn’t love ranch? For the drizzle for this healthy shrimp bowls recipe, we created a healthy spin on ranch that’s seriously delicious. Here’s what to know:

  • The dressing uses both mayonnaise and yogurt: the yogurt helps to cut down on calories but keeps it deliciously creamy.
  • It has only 38 calories per tablespoon, vs 73 calories in store bought! So we’d call that healthy version. It’s also gluten-free, keto and low carb.
  • You can customize the spice level! Use more adobo sauce if you love the heat, and less if you’re cooking for kids. What’s adobo sauce, you ask?

Using chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

The key ingredient to the chipotle ranch dressing? Adobo sauce. It adds a smoky nuance and complexity that is impossible to replicate! Here’s more about this special ingredient if you haven’t worked with it before:

  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are easy to find at most grocery stores near the Mexican products. The can includes chipotle chiles: smoked and dried jalapeños that are rehydrated and canned, and adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and other spices.
  • Use only the sauce in this can! Use a spoon to work around the spicy peppers.
  • It’s not ultra spicy. Use 1 tablespoon for a mild ranch, and 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons for a medium spicy ranch.
  • What to do with the leftovers? Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, and use it for more adobo sauce recipes, like tortilla soup, taco soup, fajitas, or enchilada sauce.
Shrimp rice bowl

Meal prep and storage for this shrimp bowl recipe

Can you make this shrimp bowl recipe ahead? How long do the components last for lunches and easy healthy dinners? Here’s what to know:

  • Cooked shrimp lasts 3 days in the refrigerator. So you can cook in advance and use for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
  • You can make the rice in advance, then reheat. But rice does become dried out in the refrigerator. To reheat it, place on the stovetop or in the microwave with a few tablespoons water. It will re-absorb the water and become moist again!
  • Make the dressing up to 1 week in advance. Then refrigerate! It will likely last even longer.

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this shrimp bowl recipe in the comments below! Serve it up for healthy dinners or easy lunches throughout the week!

Cilantro lime rice
Cilantro lime rice is a tasty basic staple

This shrimp bowl recipe is…

Pescatarian and gluten-free. For dairy-free and vegan, substitute vegan mayonnaise for the yogurt or go to Chipotle Sauce.

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Shrimp Bowl

Shrimp Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This shrimp bowl recipe gets 5 stars! An easy lunch or dinner, it stars cilantro lime rice, black beans and chipotle ranch dressing.


Ingredients

For the shrimp bowl

  • 1 recipe Cilantro Lime Rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined (tail on or peeled)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon each kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 15-ounce can corn
  • 1 cup pico de gallo 
  • For serving: avocado slices, cherry tomatoes (optional)

For the chipotle ranch dressing (or Chipotle Sauce for vegan)

  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (or use mayo for dairy-free)*
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 each teaspoon each dried dill, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 each teaspoon each kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis**

Instructions

  1. Start the rice: Start the Cilantro Lime Rice (open the rice recipe in a separate tab).
  2. Cook the shrimp: Thaw the shrimp, if using frozen. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or preheat the broiler (or you can sauté it: keep reading!). Pat the shrimp dry. Mix it in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and spices. Place the shrimp in an even layer on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, if you’re baking). Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until juicy and opaque, about 4 to 6 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp. Or for broiling, broil for 3 to 6 minutes, until juicy and opaque, rotating the tray as necessary for even cooking. If you prefer, you can sauté the shrimp: In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side until just opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs.
  3. Make the beans and corn: Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans. Drain the corn. In a medium bowl, mix the beans, corn, and pico de gallo with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. Make the chipotle ranch dressing: Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. 
  5. Serve: To serve, place the rice, black bean corn salad, and shrimp in a bowl. Add avocado and cherry tomatoes, if using. Drizzle with dressing and top with extra chopped cilantro (leftover from the rice). 

Notes

*Make sure the yogurt has a creamy consistency. Most yogurt brands we’ve used work, but we found one brand that was very runny which didn’t work well for salad dressing. You can also use Greek yogurt, but since it’s thicker, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the dressing comes to a creamy consistency. 

**Customize to your heat level. For a mild version, use 1 tablespoon adobo sauce. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Shrimp bowl

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

The Best Focaccia Pizza

Here’s how to make focaccia pizza! This recipe makes a deliciously thick crust for all your favorite toppings: ready in just a few hours. Oh hello, beautifully fluffy crust and melty cheese. Here’s a new style of pizza to add to your repertoire: focaccia pizza! This is the exact opposite of the Neapolitan style pizza with a thin and chewy crust. Instead this pizza is built on focaccia bread: massively thick, pillowy on the inside, and crunchy on the outside. It’s actually reminiscent of a style of Roman pizza you can get in the city today. It makes a massive sheet pan, the equivalent of three pizzas. Oh, and it will make your entire house smell like a pizzeria. (We know from experience.) Ready to get started? How to make focaccia pizza: an overview Focaccia pizza is a style of pizza where you’ll make a homemade focaccia bread, then add toppings and bake it like a pizza. It’s actually similar to Bonci-style pizza that Alex and I had in Rome, though that style has a bubblier crust. Why? Well, most focaccia pizza recipes require making the dough in advance and resting it for 24 hours or more. But for our […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make focaccia pizza! This recipe makes a deliciously thick crust for all your favorite toppings: ready in just a few hours.

Focaccia Pizza

Oh hello, beautifully fluffy crust and melty cheese. Here’s a new style of pizza to add to your repertoire: focaccia pizza! This is the exact opposite of the Neapolitan style pizza with a thin and chewy crust. Instead this pizza is built on focaccia bread: massively thick, pillowy on the inside, and crunchy on the outside. It’s actually reminiscent of a style of Roman pizza you can get in the city today. It makes a massive sheet pan, the equivalent of three pizzas. Oh, and it will make your entire house smell like a pizzeria. (We know from experience.) Ready to get started?

How to make focaccia pizza: an overview

Focaccia pizza is a style of pizza where you’ll make a homemade focaccia bread, then add toppings and bake it like a pizza. It’s actually similar to Bonci-style pizza that Alex and I had in Rome, though that style has a bubblier crust. Why? Well, most focaccia pizza recipes require making the dough in advance and resting it for 24 hours or more.

But for our spin, we wanted a focaccia pizza you can bake in the same day (mainly because we hate thinking ahead!). This is considered a fast focaccia pizza: prep is a little over 2 hours: no advanced planning required! Since it does require a few hours before you eat, this recipe is great for weekends and days off, or anytime if you’re lucky enough to work or watch kids from home. The tradeoff of this fast version is that the crust is slightly less bubbly than a traditional focaccia…but to us it’s worth it. Here’s a breakdown in the timing:

Make the dough15 minutes, active
Rest the dough (Proof 1)45 minutes, inactive
Press the dough into a sheet pan and rest15 minutes, inactive
Rest the dough again (Proof 2)1 hour, inactive
Bake the pizza20 minutes
Focaccia pizza

Making the dough: weights are most accurate

Here’s something to note about focaccia pizza dough. When you’re baking it up, measuring the ingredients by weight is most accurate! Why? The environment and the way you pack the measuring cups can both affect the exact weight. So using a food scale is the most accurate way to measure out quantities when baking something precise like dough.

  • Need a food scale? Here’s the food scale we use. It’s also what we use for our morning pourover coffee!
  • Don’t have one? Use the spoon and level method. Spoon the dry ingredient into the measuring cup, then level it off (instead of plunging the entire cup into the flour container).

Focaccia pizza crust requires two proofs!

What’s the trick to the best focaccia pizza crust? Two proofs. If you’re an experienced baker (or at least watch the Great British Baking Show), you’ll know this means resting the pizza dough. Proofing is when you let bread dough rest after you’ve added yeast so that it rises. The trick to getting a super thick, pillowy crust is resting it twice. This is the same method as in our cast iron skillet pizza.

Of course if you were making true focaccia bread, you’d rest 24 hours to get massive bubbles. But we’re going for a day-of pizza recipe! If you prefer a super bubbly crust, this is not the one.

Focaccia pizza

Otherwise, baking focaccia pizza is easy

So, you have to wait for 2 hours for your pizza dough to rise. But guess what? The rest of the process is much easier than a traditional pizza? Why? You don’t have to bother with shaping a dough, or using a pizza peel or pizza stone, which we do with our traditional method. Just throw it into the sheet pan, and throw that in the oven. Easy as pie! Pizza pie, that is.

One last note: there’s a specific method to baking this sheet pan focaccia pizza:

  • First, bake the crust without toppings for 10 minutes. This is similar to baking up the focaccia bread! It makes it nice and crispy on the edges.
  • Then bake with toppings (another 10 minutes). Pull it out of the oven and add the toppings. Take care since the pan will be hot at this point!
Focaccia pizza

This recipe is equivalent of 3 pizzas in 1!

Another great feature of this focaccia pizza: it’s the equivalent of 3 pizzas in 1! That means you don’t have to make separate pizzas for the family. Just make this one sheet pan, and it’s enough for everyone. You also may want to split up the toppings, so you get a few different topping options. Speaking of that…

Topping ideas for focaccia pizza

There are many ways to top a focaccia pizza! In the recipe below, we shared what we did. We used our amazing Easy Pizza Sauce, which we guarantee you’ll be obsessed with. Then we topped it with smoked mozzarella cheese and fresh mozzarella, which is an irresistible combination. (Try it! Let us know what you think). But if you prefer, go free form or we’ve got some other ideas:

Focaccia pizza recipe

This focaccia pizza recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, top with Vegan Pizza toppings.

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Focaccia pizza

The Best Focaccia Pizza (Fast!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 squares (about 6 servings)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make focaccia pizza! This recipe makes a deliciously thick crust for all your favorite toppings: ready in just a few hours.


Ingredients

For the focaccia

  • 562 grams (4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 355 grams (1 1/2 cups) warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

For the pizza

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, for brushing the sheet pan
  • 1 1/4 cups Easy Pizza Sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded smoked mozzarella
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling
  • Fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, yeast, kosher salt, oregano and garlic powder. Add the warm water and olive oil and stir until flour is incorporated.
  2. Knead the dough: Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
  3. Rest the dough (45 minutes): Using floured hands, gently shape the dough into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Place it in a covered bowl and allow it to rest for 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
  4. Rest the dough in a sheet pan (15 minutes): Brush 3 tablespoons olive oil on the bottom and sides of a standard 13″x 18″ sheet pan. Add the dough and press it with oiled fingers until it evenly covers the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and rest for 15 minutes to relax the dough. 
  5. Rest the dough again (1 hour): Press the dough back into the corners of the pan. Dot the entire surface with finger indentations (see the photo above; this helps the thickness to stay even). Brush top of the dough with a bit of olive oil and rest for 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 515 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Bake the pizza dough without toppings: After the 1 hour rest, place the sheet pan in the oven and bake the pizza dough for 10 minutes without the sauce and toppings.
  8. Add the toppings and bake again: Remove the dough from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the pizza sauce, smoked mozzarella, fresh mozzarella (torn into pieces), and Parmesan cheese, and top with a few pinches of kosher salt. Take care, since the pan will be hot! Bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Sprinkle with torn basil. Cut into pieces with a knife (a pizza cutter doesn’t get all the way to the pan edges) and serve immediately. 

Notes

*For vegan, top with Vegan Pizza toppings.

  • Category: Pizza
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Focaccia pizza, Sheet pan pizza

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

These no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies are a step above the rest! They’re so irresistible, everyone will ask for the recipe. Much as we love no bake cookies…sometimes they taste a little flat. You know, grainy and sugary, instead of nuanced and irresistible. So we’ve got a new take: these No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are a step above the rest! These are rich and chocolaty, full of dark chocolate peanut butter flavor and sweetened just enough with sugar and maple syrup. They’re beautifully glossy in texture, and the flavor? Let us tell you: when we served them at a party, they went fast. Here are our tricks to the best ever chocolate no bake cookies! Ingredients in the best no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies We took the basic recipe for no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies and made them even better. Here are a few of the things that make this recipe stand out: Sugar and maple syrup. Pure maple syrup adds a nuance in flavor, with caramel and brown sugar notes! You’ll still need sugar for the science of these cookies to work, but it’s got less than the standard recipe. Dutch process cocoa powder. Dark cocoa […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies are a step above the rest! They’re so irresistible, everyone will ask for the recipe.

No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

Much as we love no bake cookies…sometimes they taste a little flat. You know, grainy and sugary, instead of nuanced and irresistible. So we’ve got a new take: these No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are a step above the rest! These are rich and chocolaty, full of dark chocolate peanut butter flavor and sweetened just enough with sugar and maple syrup. They’re beautifully glossy in texture, and the flavor? Let us tell you: when we served them at a party, they went fast. Here are our tricks to the best ever chocolate no bake cookies!

Ingredients in the best no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

We took the basic recipe for no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies and made them even better. Here are a few of the things that make this recipe stand out:

  • Sugar and maple syrup. Pure maple syrup adds a nuance in flavor, with caramel and brown sugar notes! You’ll still need sugar for the science of these cookies to work, but it’s got less than the standard recipe.
  • Dutch process cocoa powder. Dark cocoa powder is another key to the rich, irresistible flavor (see below).
  • Peanut butter. Nut butter adds a satisfying chewiness to chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies.
  • Old Fashioned rolled oats. Use Old Fashioned whole oats for the best texture, not quick cooking oats.
  • Butter. It’s required here, so they don’t immediately melt at room temp. But all you need is 4 tablespoons.
  • Salt and cinnamon: Cinnamon adds one more hint of intrigue!
  • Milk and vanilla: The milk makes just the right liquid to solid ratio, which is important here.

Can you change up ingredients?

You may be tempted to monkey with the ingredients and add your own spin. Outside of changing up the nut butter, please stick to this recipe! The specific ingredients are key to getting the cookies to set with the right texture. However, you can change up the nut butter if you have an allergy, or add toppings. Scroll down!

No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

Find Dutch process (dark) cocoa powder

Make these no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies with Dutch process cocoa powder, and you’ll never go back! This special type of cocoa powder is easy to find at the grocery, and results in the best chocolaty, fudgy desserts. So skip the regular cocoa powder in favor of the good stuff. Here’s more about it:

Can you substitute regular cocoa powder? Yes! They’re not nearly as good, but we’ll allow it.

Dutch process vs regular cocoa powder
Dutch process cocoa powder vs regular cocoa powder

The key to chocolate no bake cookies: let it boil 1 minute!

So: we have another no bake cookies recipe called Bliss Bites that’s massively popular. But unfortunately, bliss bites don’t hold up at room temperature. You need to keep them chilled for storage, which makes them hard to bring parties or a potluck. These no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are just right: they hold up at room temperature and have a laminated texture. Here’s how to get this effect:

  • Add all ingredients except oats to a saucepan and boil exactly 1 minute. The timing is important here! Go too long and the cookies will be too crumbly, not enough and they won’t laminate. It sounds weird, but it works!
  • Remove from the heat immediately and stir in the oats. Be exact about this, and the sugar and butter will essentially caramelize, making a coating that holds up at room temp.
No bake cookies

Flavor variations!

We don’t recommend playing with the ingredients in these no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies, but you can definitely swap out the nut butter if you have an allergy. And, you can add fun toppings! Here’s what to know:

  • Almond butter, tahini, or sunflower butter: Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter or sunflower butter if you have an allergy! The flavor is slightly different but still delicious.
  • Sea salt: Love sweet and salty? We highly recommend topping with flaky sea salt.
  • Toasted coconut + sea salt (Samoa): Do you love Samoa Girl Scout cookies as much as we do? Top these no bake cookies with toasted coconut and sea salt, and they taste very similar. You will be OBSESSED!

Storage info

Got a big batch of no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies? Here’s how long they’ll last…assuming you can keep them around!

  • Store refrigerated. Some people say you can store no bakes at room temp, but we prefer the stability of the fridge.
  • They last up to 3 weeks! They taste best the fresher they are, but ours lasted refrigerated for 1 month. So a conservative estimate for these no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies is 3 weeks.
no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies

This no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free (with gluten-free oats).

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No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 14 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 22 to 24 cookies
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies are a step above the rest! They’re so irresistible, everyone will ask for the recipe.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate or Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except the oats in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once it starts rapidly bubbling, set a timer for 1 minute. Stirring continuously with a spatula, boil for 1 minute. Then immediately remove from the heat and stir in the oats.
  3. Make 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized scoops (using a size 40 cookie scoop, if you have it) and them place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten them with a buttered spoon, or press gently with your fingers. (Flavor variations: Top them with flaky sea salt, or toasted coconut and flaky sea salt for a Samoa flavor.)
  4. Freeze the cookies for 10 minutes. Then store refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. 
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Cookies

Keywords: No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, chocolate no bake cookies, no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies, chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Easy Salmon Patties (aka Salmon Cakes!)

Here’s how to make the BEST salmon patties recipe, aka salmon cakes! Canned salmon makes them fast and easy. Serve with tartar dipping sauce. Here’s a delicious lunch or dinner idea that’s worked its way into our regular rotation: Salmon Patties! Otherwise known as Salmon Cakes, these babies are just like crab cakes but they use canned salmon instead. Using canned makes them fast and easy to make — and cheaper than using fresh salmon (like our Salmon Burgers). Pair them with tartar sauce or remoulade sauce, and the contrast of the crisp, herb-scented patties against the creamy dipping sauce is unreal. This was a huge hit in our house, especially with our 4 year old. Who knew salmon cakes are perfect kid food? Ingredients for this salmon patties recipe, aka salmon cakes What are salmon patties? Also called salmon cakes, they’re similar to crab cakes but made with canned salmon. Ingredients typically include breadcrumbs or sometimes egg as a binder, and herbs and spices for flavor. The mixture is then formed into patties and pan fried until crisp. How is this different from salmon burgers? Salmon burgers often are made with fresh salmon: they’re larger and served on a […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make the BEST salmon patties recipe, aka salmon cakes! Canned salmon makes them fast and easy. Serve with tartar dipping sauce.

Salmon Patties

Here’s a delicious lunch or dinner idea that’s worked its way into our regular rotation: Salmon Patties! Otherwise known as Salmon Cakes, these babies are just like crab cakes but they use canned salmon instead. Using canned makes them fast and easy to make — and cheaper than using fresh salmon (like our Salmon Burgers). Pair them with tartar sauce or remoulade sauce, and the contrast of the crisp, herb-scented patties against the creamy dipping sauce is unreal. This was a huge hit in our house, especially with our 4 year old. Who knew salmon cakes are perfect kid food?

Ingredients for this salmon patties recipe, aka salmon cakes

What are salmon patties? Also called salmon cakes, they’re similar to crab cakes but made with canned salmon. Ingredients typically include breadcrumbs or sometimes egg as a binder, and herbs and spices for flavor. The mixture is then formed into patties and pan fried until crisp. How is this different from salmon burgers? Salmon burgers often are made with fresh salmon: they’re larger and served on a bun. (But you could certainly make these into 4 large burgers as well!) Here’s what you’ll need to make this salmon patties recipe:

  • Canned salmon (boneless skinless)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Capers
  • Old Bay, onion powder, and salt
  • Dijon mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Olive oil, for pan frying

Can you use leftover salmon for salmon cakes? Yes! Simply use flaked cooked leftover salmon in place of the canned salmon.

Salmon patties recipe

More about canned salmon

What’s canned salmon? This is a fairly new product to us, versus canned tuna which is a pantry staple. But canned salmon is absolutely worth stocking in your pantry too! Here are a few things to note:

  • Canned salmon is much cheaper than fresh! Buying canned is a great way to have a shelf-stable seafood protein that’s much more economical than a fresh salmon fillet.
  • Look for boneless skinless canned salmon. Unlike tuna, you can easily find canned salmon that has edible skin and bones. Try to find a brand that’s boneless skinless for best results here.
  • Substitute it for tuna to make salmon salad. Canned salmon is great for salmon salad: substitute it in this Classic Tuna Salad recipe! Or try it in this Tuna Pasta Salad.

How to make salmon patties

Salmon patties are simple to make: the only part that requires a little technique is flipping them! Here are the main steps for how to make salmon cakes (or see the recipe below for specifics):

  • Mix: Drain the salmon and shred it with a fork. Mix it with the other ingredients (parsley, capers, spices, panko, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise).
  • Form and refrigerate: Form the dough into 8 patties that are about 1/2 inch thick. Refrigerate 15 minutes to firm up the texture. At this point, you can also refrigerate for about 1 day before cooking them.
  • Pan fry: Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add the patties and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side until lightly browned on both sides. Make sure to flip them very gently.
Salmon Patties

Panko vs breadcrumbs, and how to make them gluten free

The panko or breadcrumbs are an important component to salmon patties. It gives them just the right texture so they’ll form into cakes (otherwise they easily fall apart). We like using panko since it’s easy to have on hand and very shelf stable. But here are a few more options — and some gluten free ideas:

  • Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. It’s easy to keep on hand and great in many recipes (like Pistachio Crusted Salmon or Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms).
  • Coarse breadcrumbs also work! Make sure to look for coarse since normal store-bought breadcrumbs are very fine (almost like the texture of sand). Or use homemade breadcrumbs.
  • Try gluten-free panko or homemade. For gluten-free, it’s easy to find gluten-free panko these days online or at your grocery. Or use gluten-free bread or crackers to make homemade breadcrumbs.

Old Bay seasoning and why it’s necessary!

Old Bay seasoning is the perfect seasoning for seafood like salmon patties! Here’s what to know about using it:

  • Old Bay is an American seasoning blend invented in Maryland that’s used to season shrimp, crab, clam chowder, and other seafood dishes. The main ingredients in Old Bay are paprika, celery salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Where to find Old Bay? In the US, you can find Old Bay in your grocery store in the spices aisle. Or, you can buy Old Bay online or make homemade Old Bay!

Serve salmon cakes with tartar sauce or remoulade!

The best part of salmon cakes? Dipping them! The best seafood sauces are tartar sauce and remoulade sauce. What’s the difference? Here’s what they are, and a few other options to try as well:

  • Remoulade is a cold mayonnaise-based sauce that originated in France in the 17th century and is popular in US Cajun and Creole cuisine. Try this Easy Remoulade Sauce.
  • Tartar sauce is similar to remoulade; it’s a mayo-based seafood sauce made with pickles, capers and herbs that’s popular in the US, UK, Australia, South Africa and more. Try our Easy Tartar Sauce.
  • Chipotle ranch dressing is another fun option; it packs a little heat with adobo sauce.
  • Creamy cilantro sauce is a great sauce without mayo: it’s dairy-free and made with blended cashews!
  • Yogurt dill sauce is delicious and has a Mediterranean flair
Tartar sauce

What to serve with salmon patties

How to make salmon patties into a meal? We served this as an easy lunch to Alex’s mom and our 4 year old recently, and they gobbled it up! It’s also a great healthy dinner idea, served over greens with quinoa or rice. Here are some ideas for how to serve salmon patties or salmon cakes:

This salmon patties / salmon cakes recipe is…

Pescatarian, dairy free, and gluten-free with gluten-free panko.

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Salmon patties

Easy Salmon Patties (aka Salmon Cakes!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 patties
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Here’s how to make the BEST salmon patties recipe, aka salmon cakes! Canned salmon makes them fast and easy. Serve with tartar dipping sauce.


Ingredients

  • 18 ounces canned salmon (boneless skinless)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each Old Bay seasoning and onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup plain panko or coarse breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs*)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
  • For serving: Tartar Sauce or Remoulade Sauce (required!)

Instructions

  1. Drain salmon and shred it with a fork. In a medium bowl, mix it with the parsley, capers, Old Bay, onion powder, kosher salt, panko, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise. 
  2. Form the dough into 8 patties that are about 1/2 inch thick. Refrigerate 15 minutes to firm up the texture (or up to 24 hours).
  3. Meanwhile, make the tartar sauce or remoulade sauce.
  4. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add the patties and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, then gently flip them with a spatula and cook about 3 to 5 minutes more until lightly browned on the other side. Serve with the sauce. 
  • Category: Appetizer or Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Salmon patties, salmon patties recipe, how to make salmon patties, canned salmon patties, salmon cakes, salmon cakes recipe, how to make salmon cakes, salmon cakes with canned salmon

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Classic Wedge Salad

There’s something about the wedge salad that satisfies every time! This recipe breaks down all the elements of this classic side dish. Classic is classic for a reason, and the classic wedge salad does not disappoint. Every time we serve it, people ooo and ahh. Because it really is perfection: the crunch of iceberg lettuce against the creamy, savory blue cheese dressing just makes sense. Not to mention it looks stunning! There’s a reason this salad has been impressing us all for 100 years. It’s our favorite to serve with a grilled dinner or sheet pan salmon and asparagus. How do we make it? Here are all the classic elements: and of course, we’ve put our spin on it. What’s in a wedge salad? The first recipe for an iceberg lettuce wedge salad was printed in 1916 in the book Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes by Marion Harris Neil. It was called “Lettuce Salad with Roquefort Dressing” and calls for smothering lettuce hearts with a creamy blue cheese dressing and hard boiled egg whites cut into rings. Not quite what the salad looks like today! In the 1950’s, the wedge salad took on the blue cheese crumbles and bacon […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

There’s something about the wedge salad that satisfies every time! This recipe breaks down all the elements of this classic side dish.

Wedge salad

Classic is classic for a reason, and the classic wedge salad does not disappoint. Every time we serve it, people ooo and ahh. Because it really is perfection: the crunch of iceberg lettuce against the creamy, savory blue cheese dressing just makes sense. Not to mention it looks stunning! There’s a reason this salad has been impressing us all for 100 years. It’s our favorite to serve with a grilled dinner or sheet pan salmon and asparagus. How do we make it? Here are all the classic elements: and of course, we’ve put our spin on it.

What’s in a wedge salad?

The first recipe for an iceberg lettuce wedge salad was printed in 1916 in the book Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes by Marion Harris Neil. It was called “Lettuce Salad with Roquefort Dressing” and calls for smothering lettuce hearts with a creamy blue cheese dressing and hard boiled egg whites cut into rings. Not quite what the salad looks like today!

In the 1950’s, the wedge salad took on the blue cheese crumbles and bacon bits that are traditional in today’s salad. By the 1970’s, it became popular at steakhouses where it still is today. Most restaurants and chefs these days like to put their own creative touches on wedge salads (which we’ll cover below). The basic elements of a classic wedge salad are:

  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Tomatoes
  • Chives
  • Bacon
Wedge salad recipe

Try smoky breadcrumbs in place of bacon!

For our spin on the classic wedge salad, we’ve created an innovation instead of the traditional bacon: smoky bread crumbs! You can use breadcrumbs to add the crunchy element that bacon provides, and season them to add a hint of the smokiness of bacon. It’s a fun way to get creative with your wedge salad (and makes it vegetarian). You’ll simply toast the breadcrumbs in a skillet with olive oil and spices until they’re golden, about 3 minutes. Here are the spices you’ll need:

  • Smoked paprika: Also labeled as pimentón at the grocery store, it’s a smoked version of sweet paprika and adds a hint of smoke to everything it touches. It’s worth seeking out here! (Use leftovers for all these smoked paprika recipes.)
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt

A fresh spin on blue cheese dressing

This wedge salad uses our favorite blue cheese dressing recipe: classic with a modern spin! Here are a few of the features of this dressing that makes it a go-to:

  • Uses Greek yogurt! Combining the standard mayonnaise with Greek yogurt helps to reduce the calories but still keeps the deliciously creamy texture.
  • Easy to whisk up. This one takes just a few minutes to make! You’ll mash the blue cheese crumbles with a bit of vinegar, then mix it together with the yogurt, mayo and spices.
Wedge salad

Don’t like blue cheese? A few options

Blue cheese is a strong flavor, and we know several people in our immediate circle who aren’t fans. You too? You can mix things up in the wedge salad and use a different salad dressing. Then top with feta cheese crumbles! Here are a few ideas for alternate dressings:

  • Ranch dressing: Try our best Ranch Dressing! It also uses Greek yogurt. You can even add a little smoked paprika to make Smoky Ranch.
  • Feta dressing: Simply make the blue cheese dressing below but use feta cheese instead of blue cheese.
  • Thousand island: Who doesn’t love Thousand Island? It’s not classic for a wedge salad, but still tasty!
Wedge salad

Cutting the wedges in wedge salad

Last up: there are a few things to note when you cut an iceberg head for your wedge salad! Here are a few notes and things to look for:

  • Look for a small to medium iceberg head. Some iceberg lettuce heads you can find at the store are massive! Small to medium makes the best wedge.
  • Remove the outer leaves first. The outer leaves can be dirty and sometimes are damaged. Pull them all off first!
  • Cut into 4 for a small head or 6 for large. If all you can find is a very large iceberg head, you can cut it into 6 wedges. This will make it more manageable on a plate!

Mains to pair with wedge salad…it’s totally versatile!

The classic wedge salad is one of the most versatile salads we know. It goes with nearly anything. Here are some our favorite ways to pair it with a meal…that’s not steak:

More classic salads

Love the wedge? You’ll love these super classic salads too:

This wedge salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Wedge salad

Classic Wedge Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

There’s something about that classic wedge salad recipe! Crisp iceberg and creamy blue cheese dressing is a match made in heaven.


Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 recipe Blue Cheese Dressing*
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped)
  • 2 chives, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
  • Smoky breadcrumbs, for the garnish (1 handful crushed potato chips or crumbled bacon)

For the smoky breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko (or homemade breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Make the Blue Cheese Dressing
  2. Make the smoky breadcrumbs, if using: Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the panko with the smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and kosher salt. Add them to the skillet and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl. 
  3. Remove the outer leaves of the iceberg head, then slice it into wedges (4 for a small head, 6 for a large head). Prep the chives and tomatoes.
  4. To serve. place a wedge on a plate. Top with dressing, tomatoes, chives, blue cheese crumbles, and smoky breadcrumbs. Serve immediately. 

Notes

*Not a blue cheese lover? Make our Ranch Dressing and add 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika for a smoky flair. Then top with crumbled feta cheese. 

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Wedge salad, wedge salad recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes