Protein Cookie Bars

Ally Ramser Protein Cookie Bars

I made these for one of my favorite clients yesterday and she loved them! These cookie bars were inspired by my super popular Chocolate Chip Cookie Ball recipe, I just tweaked the ingredients a little so they turn out more like brownies. They’re easier to make and more gooey than the original version! These are MUCH healthier than traditional desserts: no flour, cane sugar, eggs, or butter. As a bonus: each bar has over 6 grams of protein!

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans):
– Recent studies show a positive relationship between garbanzo beans and weight management. People report feeling less hunger and more satisfied (a higher “food satiety”) when adding chickpeas to their diet. They also eat fewer processed foods and fewer calories overall!
– Garbanzo beans have also been shown to help with blood sugar control and insulin regulation.

– 1 cup cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans (if using canned, make sure to rinse first)
– 1/2 cup organic unsweetened creamy peanut butter
– 2/3 cup light agave nectar
– 1 tsp organic vanilla extract (make sure it is gluten free)
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 cup dark chocolate baking chunks + extra for on top (vegan and gluten free – I used Whole Foods 365 brand 67% cacao organic dark chocolate baking chunks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper.

Mix the chickpeas, peanut butter, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and baking powder in a food processor or Vitamix blender on a low setting until well combined.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in chocolate chunks. Pour the batter into the lined 8×8 square pan. Top with extra chocolate chunks (as much as you want)!

Bake approximately 55-60 minutes on the highest rack. I put a cookie sheet on the lowest rack so the bars did not burn on the bottom (but this may just be an issue with my oven). Remove when you can insert a fork or toothpick and it comes out clean. Cool in the pan at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 gooey cookie bars. Enjoy!

Savory Lettuce Wraps

Savory Lettuce Wraps

This savory dish with a kick is a delicious, satisfying addition to anyone’s recipe collection!  They can be used as an appetizer or main dish, depending on the size of lettuce leaves you decide to use for the wrap.


The vibrant red color of the filling is a telltale sign that it is loaded with powerful, healthy antioxidants! Tomatoes and red peppers help to reduce the risk of cancer by protecting the body from harmful free radicals. Red veggies have also been proven to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol in the body.


Vegan Worcestershire Sauce:

This sauce adds a ton of flavor to this dish, and is a healthy alternative option to original Worcestershire sauce. You will only need about four tablespoons for this recipe, make sure you refrigerate the remaining sauce to add flavor to other dishes! This recipe was inspired and modified by a similar version on Martha Stewart!

2 cups raw apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar)
½ cup reduced sodium gluten-free tamari
¼ cup organic raw honey (or ¼ cup agave nectar for vegan version)
½ Tbsp fresh chopped ginger
1 tsp organic ground mustard seed
1 tsp onion powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground black pepper

Bring all ingredients to a boil in saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until liquid is reduced by half, or approximately 30 minutes.

Lentil Filling/Wrap Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 organic red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 organic shallot
2 large organic tomatoes
1 ½ cups water
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 ½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
3 -4 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (recipe above)
Pre-rinsed organic Bibb lettuce leaves (or lettuce of your choice)

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped bell pepper, garlic, shallot, and tomatoes. Sautee for 5-10 minutes, or until soft. Add water, lentils, spices, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Reduce to low heat and cover. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils have soaked up all of the water and are soft.

Add 1-2 spoonfuls of filling to each lettuce leaf. You can add more of the Worcestershire sauce on top or to the side for added flavor!

Serves 2-4, depending on if you are making appetizers or a main dish. Enjoy!

Apple Pie Smoothie

Apple Pie Smoothie

This Apple Pie Smoothie is one of my go-to recipes when I’m craving something sweet!  It is healthy enough to be a snack, breakfast, or dessert so you can eat it anytime without guilt. 😉


Cinnamon definitely gets a gold star for its never ending list of health benefits!  Studies have shown that cinnamon:
– Helps with alertness, memory, and congative development.
– Increases blood circulation and boosts metabolism, so it may contribute to weight loss.
– Helps you keep your beautiful smile!  The phenomenal anti-bacterial properties prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
– Also helps with blood sugar control, arthritis, osteoporosis, IBS, lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, fighting E-coli, can delay effects of Alzheimer’s disease, and is a mood enhancer.  Cinnamon has so many benefits, I love to sneak it into my diet whenever I can!

2 organic gala apples, peeled and cored
3 pitted dates
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon (if you don’t love cinnamon, use 1/2 tsp)
a few large ice cubes (optional)
coconut whipped cream (optional)

Pour the cold water into a Vitamix or other blender of your choice.  Core and peel the apples and add them immediately to the blender so the apples do not oxidize and turn brown.  Add the pitted dates, cinnamon, and ice cubes.  Blend on high speed approximately 10 seconds, or until you have a smoothie!

Top with coconut whipped cream and extra cinnamon if desired.

Serves 1-2 people.  Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Peanut Noodles

Gluten-Free Peanut Noodles

This recipe makes a great “base” for an entrée where you can add in any type of vegetable or protein. These noodles are excellent with my Sautéed Lemon Tofu and Roasted Bok Choy! Just follow the recipes and mix everything together.


Green onions contain the flavonoid quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-histamine.  Green onions might actually help with your seasonal allergies!  Scallions are also a fast way to add a lot of flavor and extra nutrients to almost any savory dish, I always keep them on hand!

1 box Annie Chun Pad Thai Brown Rice Noodles
3 tablespoons peanut butter (100% peanuts, no added sugar)
3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
3 tablespoons chopped green onion (scallions)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-2 garlic clove minced
Juice of 1 organic lime
Sesame seeds (optional)

Boil water and cook brown rice noodles according to instructions. Make sure not to overcook!

While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the sesame seeds in a small bowl.  You could also mix these ingredients in a Vitamix if you prefer, stirring in the green onion last.

In a large bowl mix the cooked (and strained) noodles with the sauce making sure it is well combined. Mix in any vegetables or tofu if you’d like.  Top with sesame seeds and chopped green onion.

Serves 4.  Enjoy!


Three Minute Guacamole

Two Minute Guacamole

Avocados are an important part of my diet—I seriously eat one every single day!  I love authenic guacamole with tons of flavors and spices, but I use this simple and basic recipe as a fast alternative 99% of the time.  Most people pair guacamole with Mexican food, but it also goes nicely with salads, wraps, or veggies.

Have you ever seen someone make a face mask out of an avocado?  You can experience the remarkable skin benefits by eating avocados as well!  The fruit has been known to prevent and eliminate wrinkles, increase soluble collagen, and provide countless other benefits to the skin. Avocados also keep you full, and their consuption has been associated with lower body weight and BMI.


1 organic avocado
1 small organic lemon (or ½ a large one)
1/8 tsp pink Himalayan salt
Torn cilantro (optional, or as much as you like!)
½ organic tomato (chopped, also optional)

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, remove the pit, and scoop out the green pulp into a bowl. Keep one of the avocado skins for presentation.

Squeeze in the juice of the lemon, sea salt, and cilantro to the avocado and mash with a fork. Stir in the chopped tomatoes.

Scoop the guacamole into one of the avocado skins.  If you’re cooking for several people, multiply this recipe and have many avocado “boats” out on a pretty plate!

Enjoy with baked corn chips, veggies, or as a topping for part of your entrée. Serves 1-2. Enjoy!

Sauteed Lemon Ginger Tofu

Sauteed Lemon Ginger Tofu

I’ve tried for years to make delicious crispy tofu the way I’ve seen it in restaurants, and it never seemed to turn out right for me. Then I learned the secret—use a very good non-stick pan. I use the Stainless Steel Earth Pan by Ozeri, nothing sticks to it and as a bonus—it is eco friendly!

You can toss this tofu in rice or noodle dishes, serve with sautéed veggies, add to a salad to bump up the protein, or dip it in a sauce as an appetizer!

Soy is not for everyone and should be avoided by people with allergies or sensitivities, but for those that have no issues—organic, non-GMO tofu can make a great addition to your diet! Some general benefits include:
– Per gram, tofu provides almost 3x the amount of calcium than milk does!
– When sautéed, tofu has a chewy, “meatier” consistency so it is great for people who are transitioning to plant-based diets or want a filling, “heavy” feeling meal.
– Although soy in general is associated with a decrease risk of some cancers, soy in the form of tofu has been shown to be better at reducing risk of stomach cancer.

One 14 oz block of organic non-GMO extra firm tofu
1-2 Tbsp Ziggy Marley’s Coco’Mon Lemon Ginger Cold Pressed Coconut Oil (divided)
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Chopped green onion (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)

Remove the tofu from the container and pat try with paper towels. Cut into 1 inch cubes.

Place cubes in a DRY non-stick cooking pan and cook over medium heat. Flip tofu squares every 3-4 minutes to a different side. This dries out the tofu so it is able to become “crispy” and absorb the flavors of any sauce you put on it. Repeat this process so all sides of the tofu spend some time touching the pan (approximately 20 minutes total).

Add one teaspoon coconut oil to the pan and coat the tofu in the oil. Continue cooking on each side for a minute or so until browned. Add another teaspoon coconut oil, coating the tofu and continuing to cook. If the tofu is crispy to your liking you can stop now and serve. If you prefer it to be more crispy, continue adding the coconut oil one teaspoon at a time until the tofu is as brown as you would like. This process might also depend on the type of non-stick pan you are using.

When finished, remove from heat and garnish with sea salt, green onion, or sesame seeds as desired. Serve with veggies and noodles or rice!

Serves approximately five. Enjoy!

Roasted Baby Bok Choy

Last weekend I purchased some delicious looking bok choy from the farmer’s market.  Since it is a cruciferous veggie (like brussel sprouts or broccoli), I thought it might try it roasted!  The results were great!  The thicker bottom end of the stalks was tender and chewy, but the top leaves were crispy like kale chips.  I mixed this into a noodle dish, but I think it would make an awesome side as well.


Bok choy is a great addition to your diet if you’re watching your weight!  It is full of fiber, has tons of vitamins (A, B, C, and K to name a few), and has very few calories.  It can help you feel full, all while fueling your body with nutrients!  Although this recipe roasts bok choy, you can enjoy it in everything from soups to smoothies or stir frys!


4 bunches baby bok choy
Extra virgin olive oil or olive oil spray
Celtic sea salt
Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil.  Cut the baby bok choy in half lengthwise, and place face up in a line on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with some more olive oil or olive oil spray.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Bake for 10 minutes, and then flip each bok choy halve over.  Bake another 15 minutes, or until the bottoms of the stalks are crispy and browned.  Remove from oven and season with more sea salt and pepper if desired.

Serves 2-4 as a side dish, or you can mix into stir frys or noodle dishes to become part of an entree.  Enjoy!

Coconut Mango Smoothie

Chic Delish Mango Coconut Smoothie Picture Ally Ramser

This colorful smoothie was inspired by one of my favorite desserts–mango sticky rice!  No rice in this recipe, but it is definitely tropical and delicious!


Did you know mangos are known as the “king of fruits?”  Mangos are great for your skin, they clear pores and prevent breakouts!  Some people even use mangos on their face as a mask.  Mangos are also known to lower cholesterol (specifically LDL), protect against cancer, and normalize insulin levels so they are a great fruit option for people with diabetes.


2 cups frozen organic cubed mango
1/2 cup organic coconut milk (or light coconut milk)
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup organic raw shredded coconut

Mix all the ingredients together in a Vitamix and serve!  You can add more or less water to make it a thicker/thinner smoothie (2/3 cup makes it pretty thick).  I topped mine with frozen mango chunks and some extra shredded coconut.

Serves 2.  Enjoy!

Ally’s Famous Brownies

Ally's Famous Brownies

This is one of my all-time favorite desserts and is one of the most popular among my friends and family.  People ask me for this recipe all the time!  These brownies are delicious and no baking required.  Double the ingredients if you prefer thicker brownies.


Cacao powder is a definite superfood, so feel free to indulge in chocolate (the healthy kind!).  It can be beneficial for your heart by lowering your blood pressure, improving circulation, and reducing plaque buildup in your arteries.  There are various components in raw cacao that help with mental wellbeing, so chocolate CAN in fact make you happy!

1 cup pecans
1 cup dates (pits removed)
5 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
4 tablespoons unsweetened raw shredded coconut
2 tablespoons raw honey (sub agave for vegan version)
1/4 tsp + several shakes of Celtic sea salt for topping

Pulse pecans in a food processor until well chopped.  Remove and pulse dates in the food processor. Once dates are chopped, and pecans back into the food processor with the dates and pulse until well combined with no large chunks.  Place mixture in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to mix well together. Once everything is well combined, push into the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan and top with several shakes Celtic sea salt. You can slice and eat immediately or refrigerate, I prefer them cold!

Makes 8 brownies.  Enjoy!

Raw Carrot Cake Bites

Chic Delish Raw Carrot Cake Bites

These bites make a great little “treat” that has tons of health benefits with zero guilt!  Enjoy them as a dessert, snack, after or before a workout, or with tea.  They keep well in the fridge so you can eat them over a few days (if they last that long!).  This recipe was inspired by the carrot cake bites on The Fitchen with some modifications.

Most desserts are sweetened with sugar, but these are sweetened with dried apricots!  Not only do the apricots have tons of health benefits, they won’t spike your blood sugar so this recipe is a good choice for diabetics.  Apricots are high in an important electrolyte for your body: potassium! A half cup of dried apricots has more than double the amount of potassium than one banana!


6 organic carrots (or enough to make 1 cup grated carrots)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots (without sulfites, especially if you are sensitive to sulfites)
1/8 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup raw organic shredded coconut + some for topping

Cut the carrot into large chunks and chop in a food processor or Vitamix.  Remove from processor and make sure it measures out to 1 cup (remove some or process some more carrots as needed) and place in a large bowl.

Chop the walnuts and cashews in a food processor, add to the carrot mixture.

Chop the dried apricots in the food processor, and add to the carrot/nut mixture.  If you have a large food processor you might be able to chop everything at once, I have a “mini” one so I did this in batches.

Add the allspice, cinnamon, and coconut to the mixture.  Mix with your hands making sure everything is well combined.

Using your hands, roll some of the batter into a ball approximately 1 inch in diameter.  Then roll the ball in the extra shredded coconut.  Repeat until all the batter is gone.

Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Can be eaten immediately or refridgerated.

Makes approximately 24 carrot cake balls.  Enjoy!