Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Coconut Oatmeal Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Wow, thats a mouthful of a title. Basically these cookies have everything good and nothing bad. 

This recipe makes about 20 large cookies, and whatever you don't eat you can pop in the freezer for a later time. 

Enjoy! 

Ingredients:

  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups of natural peanut butter
  • 6 tbs of maple syrup
  • 6 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 5 flax eggs (6 tbs of ground flax and 1 1/2 cups of warm water - let sit for 15 mins)
  • 3 tbs vanilla extract 
  • 6 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tbs cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups of raisins 
  • 1 1/2 cups of shaved coconut
  • 1 cup of diced walnuts 

Chocolate Sauce 

  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbs maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas, add the maple syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil, flax egg and vanilla. Mix well
  3. Add the dry ingredient, baking soda, cream of tartar, and oats. 
  4. Fold in the coconut, walnuts and raisins
  5. Scoop 3 tbs worth of dough onto the baking sheets and form into a disk (they will not spread when baking). 
  6. Bake for 12-14 mins and let cool on cooling rack
  7. Make the chocolate sauce by mixing all the ingredients together
  8. Using coconut ice cream (or any dairy free ice cream), add between two cookies. Quickly dip one half of the sandwich in the chocolate and place in the freezer immediately. Let the chocolate freeze for appx 20 mins. 
  9. Take out and enjoy! 

 

 

The Non-Bakers Cinnamon Buns

You guys - I don't bake. Simply put, I don't have patience or self control (raise time? Cooling time? whatttt????) to be a successful baker. I look at this as an advantage and a way to keep my insanely prevalent sweet tooth at bay. But then this happened.... 

 

I came across a recipe called "The Worlds Easiest Cinnamon Buns" (Minimalist Baker) and as one to never turn down a challenge, I thought I would put her title to the test. And I can report back that it is in fact the easiest recipe, so with a few adaptations, I made a second batch, which is now officially my first successful recipe using "yeast" (so advanced). I waited (not to long), I kneaded (that was easier then I thought), I rolled and baked. The good news with Cinnamon Buns is there is no cool time (the hardest part).. You eat these guys the moment they come out of the oven, sufficiently soaked in icing - oh. my. gawd. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/4 tsp (quick raising) yeast
  • 1 cup oat milk (any nut milk will do but I used oat milk bc it is naturally very sweet)
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups unbleached flour 
  • 3 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Icing

  • 3 tbs oat milk (again, any nut milk will do)
  • 3 cups of icing sugar

Directions

  1. Melt the butter and mix it with the oat milk. Warm the liquid up in either the microwave or in a sauce pan. It should be luke warm. Make sure it is not too hot otherwise the yeast will not raise properly
  2. Transfer the liquid to a large bowl. Add the yeast and let it sit for 10 mins. Then add 1 tbs coconut sugar and salt, mix with a whisk.
  3. Slowly start adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. You might not need all 3 cups. Once the dough formed into a ball and still slightly sticky move it onto a floured surface and knead into a ball, for about 1 minute. 
  4. Spray the inside of a large mixing bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough ball into the bowl, cover with saran wrap and place in a warm spot for 1 hr. The dough will raise to double its size!
  5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a thin rectangle shape. Brush on the remaining melted butter all over the dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon, remaining coconut sugar, cranberries and walnuts. 
  6. Starting at one end, tightly roll the dough into a log. Using a very sharp knife of a piece of fishing string (this part was fun), cut through the dough into 2" rolls. Place the rolls into a pyrex baking dish (again, sprayed with cooking spray). 
  7. Preheat the oven to 350, allowing the cinnamon buns to sit on the oven, covered with the saran wrap a while longer to raise some more. Once the oven is ready, add the cinnamon buns and bake for 25-30 mins. 
  8. Make the icing sugar by combining the oat milk and icing sugar until desired consistency. 
  9. Serve Cinnamon Buns warm out of the oven with icing sugar. 

Enjoy! 

Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are the result of a "wing-it" recipe that turned out to be huge success. (Love it when that happens). They are totally plant based and gluten free and so simple to make. Im going to skip the fluffing words here and get right to the point. 

Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies 

  • 2 cups of raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 ts baking powder
  • 3 tbs coconut sugar
  • 1/4 maple syrup 
  • 1/2 melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 coconut butter 
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup of cranberries 
  • 1 vegan chocolate bar (I used a vegan chocolate bar from Whole Foods, chopped up)

Directions

  1. Pulse cashews in a food processor until it resembles flour (make sure not to blend too much otherwise it will turn into butter). 
  2. Add the remaining dry ingredients (coconut flour, salt, baking powder, coconut sugar). Pulse.
  3. Add wet ingredients and banana. Pulse until combined
  4. Move mixture to a large bowl and fold in cranberries and chopped chocolate 
  5. Let dough cool in the fridge for 20 mins. 
  6. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. 
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into 2 inch balls. Press down slightly to make into a disk (they will not melt down as a regular cookie will). 
  8. Bake for 10-12 mins

By the way - these freeze wonderfully, so pop in the freezer for a couple of weeks!

 

Enjoy! 

Raw Carrot Cake Squares

Inspired by Easter around the corner I thought I would try my hand at an all time favorite recipe, carrot cake, but just the vegan/raw version. I was pretty impressed with the result. These guys are not as sweet as your regular slice of cake, so be aware before you expect a sugary bite (note** adding sweetened coconut will help increase the sweetness).

And they freeze great, so you can keep them in the freezer for a few weeks at least (if you are strong enough to have them last that long). Enjoy! 

 

(Adapted from The Clean Easting Goddess)

Ingredients 

• 2 cups of pitted medjool dates
• 1 tbsp almond butter
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• pinch of pink Himalayan salt
• ½ cup sultana raisins
• ½ AND ¾ cup chopped walnuts
• juice of ½ meyer lemon
• 3 tbsp ground flax seed
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 2 large carrots, grated
• 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (you could use sweetened if you would rather)
• 1/2 cup coconut butter 

In a food processor combine everything EXCEPT the carrot, raisins, coconut and 1/2 of walnuts. Blend until smooth. Mix in the carrots, raisins and 1/2 cup walnuts. Line a 9 by 9 baking dish with saran wrap, and press mixture into the pan. Top with the shredded coconut. Place in the freezer for 30 mins to firm up before removing from the pan and cutting into squares. Enjoy! 

Store leftovers in the freezer for up to a few weeks for peak freshness

 

 

Banana Pie (Vagan)

Was bumbling around the kitchen trying to come up with a recipe to use the last of my bananas and might have just whipped up a new favorite. I always turn back to Minimalist Bakers raw cheesecake recipe as a foundation, but today I added a few ingredients to make this outstanding (and so so easy) Banana Pie. 

 

For the crust:

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp warm warm. Let sit for 5 mins)

Add the almonds and the oats to a food processor. Blend until fine, about 30 seconds. Add the dates and blend until combined. Move mixture into a bowl and fold in flax egg. Line a 9 inch pie pan with parchment paper and cooking spray. Press crust mixture into the bottom of the dish and bake in a 300 degree oven for 30 mins. 

For the filling:

  • 2 cups of cashews, soaked overnight, or quick soak * (soak in a dish with boiling water for 1 hr)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 small banana

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Add to your pie dish once it is cool. Put in the fridge for at least an hour to set. Top with sliced bananas.

 

BBQ "Chicken" Wings

Inspired by all the Super Bowl posts Ive been seeing recently, I figured it was high time I make this vegan staple. To be honest I was more spurred by the fact that this recipe included cauliflower rather than it was meant to mimic a chicken wing, as I was never a fan of chicken wings, but regardless of your motivation for making/eating these, I suggest you do, because good gracious they are good. 

 

(Recipe adapted from The Minimalist Baker)

Ingredients

BATTER

  • 3/4 cup of gluten free flour

  • pinch sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp curry powder

  • 3 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 3 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground cardamom.

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened plain almond 

  • 6-8 Tbsp (90-120 ml) water

CAULIFLOWER

  • 1 head cauliflower, large stalks removed, cut/torn into bite-size pieces

SAUCE

  • 1 cup of store bought BBQ sauce

  • 1/4 Hot sauce 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper 

  2. Make batter. Mix dry ingredients together, and then add the wet ingredients. The batter should resemble a slightly thin pancake batter. It should be thick enough to coat the cauliflower and have the excess slowly drip off. 

  3. Add the cauliflower to the batter to coat. Shake off excess and place on baking sheet. Give each piece 1 inch of room to prevent sogginess.

  4. Bake for 25 minutes.

  5. Once the cauliflower has finished baking, remove from oven and dip/toss in the glaze 1-2 pieces at a time. Shake off excess, then place back on baking sheet and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until browned on the edges and the glaze has caramelized.

  6. Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce 

Enjoy! 

 

    Rustic Macarons

    I've said this many times before, "I am no baker". Baking requires patience, and this character trait is not one I was blessed with a surplus of. The whole notion of "let it cool" has never stuck with me, and I always have my greedy little paws into the dish before notated, and the results are deflated cakes, melted icing or stuck-to-the-parchment-cookies. 

     

    I would like to think that I have matured ever so slightly in the kitchen, and after two attempts, have confirmed that this recipe, with minimal patience required, was a success. And thanks to a game changer tip, these little guys are almost bullet proof in the pass/fail department. That tip is Meringue Powder. Any quick online search on Amazon or google will lead to you a site you can order from. I found it easiest to buy online, as its not a common item in your local grocery store, but if you have a specialty cooking store nearby, chances are you will be able to locate it. 

    The next tip that I came across was to serperate your egg whites days in advance. This is a tip that I have no insight on, rather diligently followed and it seemed to do the trick. Just do it. 

    Aside from these two "musts", the rest is pretty simple. You can get all fancy and buy piping bags to help dispense the batter, but I went the commoners way and used a ziplock bag (hence the rustic macarons - not perfectly round). 

    ( Recipe adapted by Dessert for Two )

    Ingredients

    • 2 aged egg whites, at room temperature*
    • 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
    • 3 drops vanilla extract

    For the Filling

    • strawberry or fig jam
    • Nutella

    Instructions 

    1. Let eggs whites come to room temperature 
    2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure the paper fits into the pan perfectly--any buckled paper around the edges will make the cookies spread unevenly and slide.
    3. Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar into a medium bowl.
    4. Begin to beat the egg whites on medium speed using a hand-mixer until foamy, about 10 seconds. Then, start slowly adding the meringue powder while constantly beating.
    5. Beat the egg whites and meringue powder until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes. This will depend on your mixer speed, but be careful not to over-mix. The peaks are soft when you lift the beaters and the egg whites flop over.
    6. Add 1/3 of the almond-sugar mixture and begin to gently fold it in using a small spatula. Take your time: proper folding technique is carefully folding around the sides and cutting through the middle occasionally. The idea is to not stir too hard and deflate the air you just whipped into the egg whites.
    7. Repeat with the remaining almond-sugar mixture two more times, until completely incorporated.
    8. Scrape the batter into a piping bag with a 1/2" tip (or use a plastic bag with the corner snipped off). The batter will be thick.
    9. Pipe the batter into 1" little mounds (about the size of a quarter), and let sit. While they sit, they should flatten out. Leave 2" between each cookie for air circulation.
    10. Let the cookies rest on the baking pan for at least 30 minutes. 
    11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 (or 290 if you have a gas oven that runs hot like mine). Bake the cookies for 11 minutes, until their little feet have risen and the tops are dry.
    12. Remove from the oven and let cool near the oven (drastic temperature changes can cause cracks).
    13. Once cool, pop the cookies off the sheet, spread with jam and sandwich together.

    ENJOY!

     

     

    Kitchen Sink Muffins

    This is officially my go-to recipe. This recipe is also fool proof. Meaning that often I don't have all the correct ingredients, so I add and go and they ALWAYS turn out well! Did I mention they are also gluten free and sugar free? The main ingredients are carrots, bananas and almond flour. Because there is no flour, they are always VERY moist. Cooking time always tends to be longer than you think, so just keep poking a toothpick in the enter to check your progress. 

     

    I am going to share the basic recipe and let you know about the add ons. 

    Kitchen Sink Muffins

    A

    2C    Almond Flour (ground almonds)

    2t    Baking Soda

    1t    Kosher Salt

    2t    Cinnamon

    B

    3    Bananas, mashed

    3    Eggs

    2T    Grapeseed Oil (or olive oil or coconut oil)

    1T    Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T     Maple Syrup 

    C

    3    Medium Carrots, Shredded (2 cups)

    ¾ C     Walnuts, Chopped

    ¼ C    Options: 

    Dried cranberries, currants, chia, diced apple, fresh berries, frozen blueberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, millet, coconut, or anything else! 

    Preheat oven to 350. Spray or butter and line a muffin tin. 

    Mix together A in small bowl, set aside. Blend together B with hand blender or whisk.  Fold Cinto B. Add A ½ at a time. Stir til just blended. Bake for about 30 mins, or til a skewer comes out clean.

    T=Tablespoon

    t=Teaspoon

    In this particular recipe I added 1 small (peeled) baked sweet potato to step B, and only 2 small bananas. I also added cranberries and coconut. If you find the mix too wet, add more almond flour, or you can add a few tablespoons of gluten free flour. If you don't find it sweet enough, add a little more maple syrup. I know this sounds very off the cuff, and it is, but this is why I love this recipe. Whatever goes! 

    Enjoy!

    Caramel Apple Spiced Gingerbread Cake

    Pumpkin Pie was never what I'd beeline too come the holiday time, however anything with apples or caramel certainly was. I got inventive in the kitchen yesterday, and made a deconstructed caramel apple and combined it with my second holiday favorite, gingerbread cake! 

    The result? A warm, apple-ly cake toped with more apples and caramel. Basically heaven in edible form. I did a gluten free version, which turned out great! I used the cutest little crab apples that I found at my local Whole Foods, but you could use any type of apple. The caramel was store bought (also from Whole foods, but feel free to step it up a notch and make homemade caramel sauce for the ultimate comfort dish!). 

    For the cake:

    2 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    2 teaspoons ground ginger

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/2 cup coconut sugar

    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

    2 tablespoons molasses

    6 tablespoons pure maple syrup

    4 tablespoons honey

    8 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)

    1 egg 

    1 cup warm water

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    1 cup diced apples (any type of apple will do)

    DIRECTIONS

    Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 inch square baking pan and set it aside. (I used small loaf pans for individual sized cakes, so if baking in a smaller pa, adjust the time by a few minutes)

    • In a large bowl, place the flour,  baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and coconut sugar. Whisk to combine well.

    • Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, honey, butter and egg, mixing to combine after each addition. Add the water and oil, and mix well.

    • add chopped apples

    • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with, at most, a few moist crumbs attached (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    •  

      Cut a small indentation out of the top of the cake. Add more diced apples, and top with caramel sauce. 

      Serve with a vanilla ice cream and an extra sprinkle of cinammon! Enjoy!

    Coconut Cranberry Cheesecake Crumble Bars

    I am so grateful to the Instagram community, who constantly provide a stream of inspiration on a daily basis! These crumble bars, posted by Erin Ireland, were so dang easy to make and simply put: were outstanding. A perfect dish for your holiday parties, festive with the cranberries and a little tart, which works nicely with the creaminess coconut cheesecake. These will be made multiple times this year, and that's a promise. 

    I have made raw cheesecake a bunch of times, but this was the first time that I used coconut cream , and it was a game changer. All raw cheesecakes must be kept frozen until right before eating, and there is always that trial and error period of how long to let them thaw before serving (BTW the taste of the cheesecake is quite different in the raw state vs the semi-raw state). However, with the coconut cream, I found that it did much better coming to and staying at room temperature. Basically it made the cake much more workable, and in my option much more "cheesecake - like". I will ever skip this ingredient again. 

    Recipe via Erin Ireland 

    INGREDIENTS

    Layer one: The Crust

    1.5 c. oats
    1.5 c. coconut flakes
    3 tbsp melted coconut oil
    3 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

    Layer two: The Cheesecake

    1.5 c. soaked cashews
    the hard coconut cream from 1 can coconut cream
    1/2 c. coconut oil
    1/4 c. honey
    1/4 c. + 2 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

    Layer three: The Cranberry Sauce

    2 x 227g bags + 1 c. of raw cranberries
    1/4 c. maple syrup
    water

    Layer four: The Crumble Topping

    1.5 c. oats
    3/4 c. almond meal
    1/2 c. melted vegan butter (or coconut oil)
    1/3 c. + 2 tbsp coconut sugar
    1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
    1.5 tsp cinnamon
    pinch freshly ground nutmeg 

    DIRECTIONS

    Layer one: The Crust

    1. In a food processor, blend oats into a flour, then add coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup and salt and mix until combined.
    2. Line a 9″x9″ baking pan with parchment paper 
    3. Press your crust ingredients into a smooth even layer in the base of the pan and place in freezer while you work on the rest.

    Layer two: The Cheesecake

    1. Blend all cheesecake filling ingredients until silky smooth in a high-powered blender then pour into your baking dish as the second layer. Return dish to freezer.

    Layer three: The Cranberry Sauce

    1. Make cranberries according to package instructions (I use maple syrup instead of sugar though — and because of the extra liquid involved, I reduce the water portion a bit). You can’t really go wrong here…if too runny, just continue to cook cranberries until the water reduces. Set aside in fridge to cool.

    Layer four: The Crumble Topping

    1. In a bowl, combine all topping ingredients.
    2. With your hands, add topping mixture to your baking dish and press down gently so the oat mixture sticks to the cranberries. Place dish back in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. 
    3. Let thaw for 30 mis before serving. 

     

     

    Summer Pancakes with Vanilla Cream Sauce

    I did it again. I am a sucker for pancakes and am constantly motivated to come up with new variations of the traditional breakfast staple. However the typical stack tends to leave you feeling weighed down, which is not the ideal way to start the day. My go-to recipe omits the flour and sugar of a regular pancake and instead uses a banana and protein powder. This swap tends to create more of a crepe rather then a fluffy pancake, so this morning I added 1/4 of whole oats to add a little more texture and 1 tablespoon of regular whole wheat pancake mix. I just needed a little more fluff this morning. 

    Ingredients

    • 1 small banana
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tbs oat milk (any milk alternative)
    • dash of cinnamon
    • 1 tbs of pancake mix
    • 1/2 rolled oats 

    Mix all ingredients in a blender and cook on a pan as per usual. 

    Now here is where I kicked up the health factor and kept that glycemic number down. Instead of the usual maple syrup (yum!), I made my own sauce by simply mixing my protein powder with a little oat milk. 

    Vanilla Cream Sauce

    • 1 scoop Vanilla protein powder (any flavor would do - yum, chocolate?!) 
    • oat milk (or any milk alternative)

    Simply mix a little liquid with your protein powder until it reaches a sauce consistency.

    Top pancakes with summer fruits and pour on sauce. 

    Enjoy!

     

     

    Apple Crumble Cake (sans the bad stuff)

    Im telling you, with all the wonderful food feeds I follow on Instagram, its proving to become an issue for my waistline. That being said, I refuse to throw in the towel to the eating healthy lifestyle, and true to form attempted to healthify (health-i-fy...I might have made that up) this recipe. 

    The Good - cake (duh!). Apples. Yogurt (protein). Did I already say cake?

    The Bad - flour (gluten). Butter (fat). Sugar (poison) 

    So, to help give this cake a little spin, I omitted some ingredients, replaced others and messed around with the measurements a little to fine tune it so it will still be delicious yet a little less unhealthy. Now don't get me wrong team, this is STILL a cake, and not a protein shake, so proceed with caution. My aim is to make indulging a little more pleasurable by decreasing the guilt factor. 

    Ingredients:

    • 10 peeled and chopped apples (any will work with the recipe)
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 2 c. almond flour
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/3 c. Greek yogurt 
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • 1/4 c. coconut oil (melted)
    • 1/4 c. butter
    • 3/4 c. coconut sugar
    • 3 tbs coconut sugar (cooked apple step)
    • 2 eggs
    • juice of 1 lemon

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper.
    2. Make crumble (see below)
    3. In a skillet, cook the apples, cinnamon, juice of 1 lemon and 3 tbs of coconut sugar for about 10 - 15 mins on low heat. The apples should be cooked through and soft. Set aside
    4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 
    5. In a separate bowl combine the Greek yogurt and vanilla and set aside.
    6. In a large bowl beat the butter and coconut sugar (3/4 cup c.) at high speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time and the coconut oil and beat until fluffy.  Slowly add the almond flour and yogurt mixtures. Mix well.
    7. Spread the cake batter in a parchment lined pan. Top with the apple mixture and followed by the crumble. 

    Bake at 350 for about 30-35 mins.

    Crumble

    • 1/4 c. coconut sugar
    • 1 c. chopped pecans (any nuts will do)
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 c. coconut oil (melted)
    • 1/2 c. oats
    • 1 c almond flour
    • 2 tsp. cinnamon
    • Combine all ingredients and spread over the apples. 
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    A Wanted Man is a MUST if you are in Chelsea

    I popped into London for a day this past weekend for some meetings and pleasantly discovered a little gem of a coffee shop.

    One of my meetings was scheduled at a cafe called A Wanted Man, and after spending a couple of hours drinking their kick-ass coffee and having one of the best scrambled eggs on toast, I was back again in a mere 18 hours later for round two. And this time, I brought my camera. 

    The space is cozy, with colorful aztec booths and leather stools, and window seats overlooking trendy Kings Rd (great for people watching!). Upstairs there is a full operational waxing salon, which is kinda cool. A coffee and a wax? To be honest I hadn't thought of these two going together, but digging the idea of it now. Walk in tired and hungry, walk out with killer eyebrows and a pastry - sounds good! 

    Vicent (also a fellow Canadian) is the mastermind behind the counter. When I saw another customers' plate, I pointed, smiled, and asked for the same thing (but without the chorizo). I just asked "make me something good with lots of veggies!". 

    Toast loaded with the fluffiest scrambled eggs, chives, goats cheese, fresh rocket and avocado hovered in front of me. Accompanied with a side of sautéed veggies (chickpeas, asparagus, potatoes, eggplant, onions...), this was a frigging bomb breakfast. Fresh, not too heavy, and so darn flavorful. Vincent served his breakfast with a glass of their homemade green juice (which coming from California is basically the equivalent of ordering a glass of water). The green juice was just sweet enough to know that it wasn't loaded with sugars yet hearty enough to know you are getting a fully packed nutritional beverage (without tasting like dirt - lol, you juice enthusiasts  know what I am talking about),  I felt nourished, energized and content. Needless to say, I will DEF be back to A Wanted Man (for a Wanted Breakfast, LOL). 

     

     

     

    Naughty Rhubarb and Strawberry Scones

    Not sure why these are called Naughty (I adapted the recipe from Food52.com and made it slightly more vegan-ish), but regardless of what you call them, they are damn tasty and ridiculously easy to make. Why haven't I made scones before!? Hummmm....

    It was also my first time cooking with rhubarb, and I was surprised and how nicely they sweeten up when baked (don't try to nibble on a raw rhubarb stalk, btw). Threw in some leftover strawberries from the farmers market, and I made myself one batch of some kick ass scones. 

    To make these a little more vegan-ish, I subbed the cream with "oat cream". I have not seen this company sold in the USA, but in the UK there is a brand called Oatly and they make great dairy alternatives. The oat cream is thick and worked perfectly in the recipe. 

    Makes apps 10 scones

    • 3 stalks rhubarb
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon course sea salt
    • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2/3--3/4 cups oat cream (heavy cream will do if you can't find oat cream).
    1. Preheat oven to 425
    2. Slice rhubarb stalks 1/4 " thick. Toss with 3 tablespoons of sugar
    3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in large bowl or bowl 
    4. Cut butter into flour mixture by hand until butter is the size of small peas
    5. Mix in 1/4 cup of the sugar
    6. Mix in sliced rhubarb
    7. Mix in cream until a soft dough forms
    8. Transfer dough to floured surface and divide in half. To make triangular scones, flatten into 6-inch disks and cut each circle into 4-6 scones. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. 
    9. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet and bake about 20 minutes or until reddish-brown on top.
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    Enjoy! 

     

    A little road-side cafe you'll be happy you pulled over for...

    I am fortunate enough that my work brought me to the English countryside for the summer and due to the foreign landscape and the unfamiliarity of all the little villages that make up the Cotswolds, I have made it my priority to explore, explore, explore! 

    Winding down a country road between towns, I came upon a little roadside cafe called JollyNice (if I had blinked I would have missed it!). Intrigued by the trendy branding and "farm-to-table" appeal, I pulled in. Let me tell you this was a great decision. 

    Wooden crates filled with fruits and veggies lined the middle of the open-air concept market. Surrounding the produce you have a butcher, a coffee shop, ice creamery and a kitchen. Most of the meats and produce are from the company's nearby farm, and products sold within the marketplace are sourced locally. It is very evident that JollyNice does its part by keeping its eco footprint short and sweet. 

    And to the food - the was a simple decision for me, for as a vegetarian with a meat-eaters enthusiasm, if there ever is a burger on the menu, that is what I'm ordering. Adorned with the customary tomato, lettuce and (pickled) onion, I devoured the most delicious veggie burger, to the point where I needed to go back and personally send kudos to the chef! (side note** they sell pre-made burgers in the freezer section!). 

    Long-story short, this place is kick ass! Simple. Yummy. Local and fresh. The coffee delicious, the flapjacks will guarantee a return visit. It was raining (shocking) so I did not get the to sample the ice cream. Pleased that I now have an excuse to go back (not that one is really needed anyways...)

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    Cinnamon French Toast with Peanut Butter and Jelly

    You know some nights when you can't fall asleep because you are so excited for breakfast? Well, last night was one of those nights. Its so easy to become inspired with all the endless amounts of food pictures on every social media platform, and I fell victim to a tasty looking plate of french toast late last night. 

    French toast might be the easiest breakfast dish to make, and it always draws a crowd. A few less steps then pancakes and equality as satisfying, I wonder why I don't make them more often? Oh yea, they are not the healthiest of the bunch, but heck, every once in a while it is ok to indulge! 

    Cinnamon French Toast with Peanut Butter and Jelly 

    1. 2 slices of bread (I used whole wheat) - Brioche would be sinful!
    2. 2 eggs
    3. 1/3 cup of sugar mixed with 3 tbs of cinnamon 
    4. peanut butter and jelly 
    5. maple syrup

    Directions

    1. Cut your bread into quarters lenghtwise
    2. beat your eggs in a bowl, set aside
    3. mix the cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl and set aside
    4. dunk the sliced bread into the egg mixture, coating both sides, and fry in a pan with either melted butter or spray
    5. flip once side is slightly browned, about 1 min a side
    6. coat the french toast in the cinnamon and sugar mixture on both sides 
    7. layer with peanut butter and jelly
    8. top with maple syrup!

    Enjoy!

    Roasted Parmigiano Artichokes

    I attended a dinner party over the weekend and had the most delicious artichokes that I had to share the recipe. They are so easy to make (I watched!) and a show stopper to bring to the table. Plus, artichokes are such a social food to eat, everyone digging in, dipping the leaves in either butter or mayo... a community dish that is fun to eat and simple to make. 

    I didn't put quantities on the ingredients as you basically just eye ball everything, and add as much of each of the ingredients as you would like. If some guests do not like the parsley,  you can easily omit this. 

    Ingredients 

    • artichokes 
    • lemon
    • olive oil
    • salt and pepper
    • minced garlic
    • chopped parsley
    • granted parmesan cheese 

    Directions

    • preheat oven to 425 F
    • remove the stems of the artichokes. Also trim off the top 1/4 of the artichoke, so the top is flat. 
    • squeeze the juice of half a lemon over each artichoke
    • drizzle (don't be tame here!) with olive oil
    • season with salt and pepper
    • top with minced garlic. Use as much garlic as you like (1-3 TBS). Make sure the garlic goes between the artichoke leaves. 
    • add chopped parsley 
    • top the artichoke with grated parmesan. Don't be shy here. We used about 1/2 cup of parmesan per artichoke. 
    • wrap each artichoke in tinfoil and bake in the oven for 1hr. 
    • removed and garnish with more parsley and a little more grated parmesan! 
    • dip in either a side of mayo or melted butter

    ** wait until you get to the heart - its the best part! 

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    Apple Dutch Baby Pancake

    I was back home in Vancouver, BC a couple of weeks ago for Easter, and although it was warm in Los Angeles when I left, it was a brisk Spring weekend in Fort Langley.

    With the grey skies and general dampness, I needed something warm and comforting for Easter brunch. It was just mom and I, so a one-dish meal sounded appealing. Luckily my mom shares the same sweet tooth as I do, so I had no problem convincing her that a warm Apple Dutch Baby would be the perfect Easter brunch dish. 

    Apple Dutch Baby 

    Preheat oven to 425F

    4-6 Apples (we used Granny Smith)

    1/3 cup sugar

    1 tsp cinnamon 

    2 tbs butter

    Peel and slice apples. Mix apples with the sugar and cinnamon. Add to a cast iron skillet with the butter, on medium heat, and stir until apples caramelize slightly and become soft. Turn off the heat. 

    For the pancake mix 

    1/3 cup granulated sugar

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    3 large eggs, at room temperature 

    2/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature

    2/3 cup all-purpose flour

    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/8 teaspoon salt

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter

    Beat the eggs with an electric mixer (or a very fast hand whisker!) until light and frothy (2-3 mins).  Mix in the milk, flour, cinnamon, and salt. The batter will not be very thick, but that is ok! 

    Pour the mixture over the apples. Place the skillet in the oven for 20-25 mins (** I always say check your dish at the "lower number" on the recipe guideline, and edit from there. My stove at home gets quite hot, yet at my moms, we kept it in there for the latter side of the time recommendations).

    Serve the dutch baby with a sprinkle of confections sugar, maple syrup and some vanilla ice cream if you are feeling indulgent! Serve right out of the oven.

    Enjoy !

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    Homemade Almond Milk - Matcha Milk

    First off, welcome to my blog! I figured it was about time to start collecting all of my favorite recipes, travel tips and places; a way to categorize my beautifully chaotic life and share with all of you things that I covet, places I look forward to visiting and most importantly, what I love to eat! 

    To kick off my first blog post, I thought I would share a recipe for homemade almond milk. I have been doing my best to focus more on a plant based diet, as I am a firm believer that the closer to earth we get food-wise, the better we feel. The less produced, chemically altered food we eat, the better our bodies will thrive. Its not rocket science, and I'd be surprised if you found someone who disagreed. 

    I have given up drinking milk on a daily basis (yikes, those protein shakes back in the day!) and love to use a plant based "milk" alternative for tea, shakes, granola etc and baking (still haven't found something that works with coffee yet!). 

    The best thing about this recipe is it is so versatile. You can really flavor it any way you'd like really. Strawberry milk, vanilla, chocolate....

    I have made almond milk a handful of times now, and tried using shelled almonds and unshelled almonds. Basically you soak raw almonds over night (if you are in a time crunch, soaking in very HOT water for 3+ hours will also do the trick). After you drain the almonds, if you wish to shell them, you simply squeeze an almond and the shell pops off! It is pretty incredible how easy it is. A little time consuming, but somewhat calming, lol. Anyways, if you are short on time, I really did not notice a difference in the final product. Because I drain the almonds after they are blended, I really do not think it matters.  

    The general rule of thumb is per 1 cup of soaked almonds, you would use 4 cups of water. I skim a little off the water portion, as I think the milk turns out slightly thicker and more flavorful with less water. So I typically do 3-3.5 cups of water per 1 cup of almonds. 

    Matcha Almond Milk

    2 Cups of Almonds (soaked overnight)
    Drain and rinse almonds. Add to Vita Mix (or any household blender)
    7 Cups of water
    3 Madjool Dates
    3 TBS Matcha Powder

    After blending for a few minutes (I have a vita mix as well as a bullet, and they both work great. With the bullet I have to do it in batches as it is a much smaller blender). The important factor is to make sure it is well blended. A couple of minutes should do the trick. 

    Once it is blended, have a big bowl lined with a cheese cloth (a thin linen kitchen towel would also be fine). Pour the milk into to cheese cloth, wrapping up the sides once it is all poured into the bowl. Gently squeeze the milk through the cheese cloth. This can get a little messy, but in the end you will be left with silky smooth almond milk, and in the cheese cloth, all the almond pulp. Store in the fridge for up to a week and enjoy! (I'd be surprised if it lasted that long). 

    If you want it slightly sweeter, add an additional date(s). Two sweet? omit a date or two... 

    ** I have not yet discovered an amazing recipe for the almond meal, and still in the experimental stage. Stay tuned... 

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