Sunday, December 7, 2014

Almond Milk + Almond Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Every other morning I make a fresh batch of almond milk to use in my smoothies, baking, etc.  I don't like the idea of drinking the store bought one regularly.  I do use it in baking from time to time but only as a back up. Many varieties of packaged almond milk contain sugar, "natural flavor" (God only knows what that might be), carrageenan, and possibly some preservatives not even listed on the label.  Not to mention, every second week when I carry my blue bin out to the end of laneway I see how many tetra packs, cartons and packages I could have possibly avoided  - almond milk being one of them.  It 's really quite simple to make and it's absolutely delicious!


1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
2 cups filtered water
1-2 medjool date

Soak almonds over night.  Drain the water and place in a food processor or high powered blender with 2 cups fresh filtered water and one or two pitted medjool dates (depending on how sweet you'd like it).  Blend for 30-60 seconds.  Strain through a nut milk bag (I bought mine at Simply Raw Express) or cheese cloth.  Store in a glass or stainless steel container in the fridge.  Use within 4-5 days.

When you're finished making your almond milk you'll be left with a healthy bunch of almond meal.  It seems such a shame to throw it away so I invented a cookie recipe, of course, to use up the leftover almond meal.
1 1/4 cups almond meal
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk together egg, coconut oil and vanilla.  Pour egg mixture into the mixing bowl with the almond meal and mix together.  Refrigerate batter for 3-4 hours or overnight.  Grease cookie sheet and use your hands or a spoon to form into balls and place on the cookie sheet.  Press them down slightly to flatten. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Vegan High Protein Quinoa Lentil Bowl

Wow!  I just invented this dish tonight and it's so amazing!!!  The secret ingredient is peanut butter (or any nut butter).  I mean, what doesn't taste good with peanut butter!?!??!  If you are what you eat, then I am 85% peanut butter because, as a child, I ate peanut butter sandwiches three meals a day, everyday, from about age six to age seventeen.....and can you believe it?  I'm still alive - and well!

I recently visited Hawaii and found the most amazing peanut butter I've ever had in my life.  It's called North Shore Goodies Coconut Peanut Butter.  I literally purchased over $100 worth of peanut butter while I was there.  I bought so much that my bag was overweight when I went to check in for my flight.  There was no way I was leaving that peanut butter behind so I paid the extra $35 and brought it back with me. 


1/2 cup raw sesame oil
1/2 cup soaked almonds or cashews
3 tbsp. gluten free tamari
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter (or almond butter)

1 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth (or water)

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups spinach or chard
Salt to taste

In a blender or food processor mix first five ingredients (sesame oil, nuts, tamari, maple syrup, and nut butter).  Blend until smooth and set aside.

In a medium saucepan bring lentils and broth to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

In a separate saucepan bring quinoa and water to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile heat olive oil in a pan.  Saute onions, garlic and peppers until tender.  Add spinach or chard and cook until wilted.

In a ceramic dish or large bowl combine all ingredients and mix together well.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Raw Strawberry Chocolate Trifle

Since I am about to make this for an audience tonight I thought I better record the recipe ;).  This is the best summer pot luck, barbeque dish ever.  It's definitely my favorite dessert and everywhere I take this dish people can't stop raving about it!



Crunchy layer:
1 cup walnuts
1 tbsp. coconut palm sugar
4 pitted medjool dates

Place all ingredients in food processor and set aside.

Chocolate Ganache layer:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder

Wisk ingredients together over very low heat (still considered raw if not heated over body temperature)

Vanilla Mousse
1 1/2 cups soaked cashews
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth and creamy.  Refrigerate for about an hour.

Chocolate Mousse
1 1/2 cup soaked cashews
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw cocoa powder

Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth and creamy.  Refrigerate for about an hour.

Strawberry Layer
1 pint of strawberries washed and cut up

To assemble, use a large trifle dish and layer as follows: Crunch, ganache, chocolate mousse, strawberries, vanilla mousse, strawberries, vanilla mousse, chocolate mousse, ganache and crunch.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Carrot Ginger Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
4 cups chopped carrots
1 can coconut milk (398 ml)
2 tsp "Thai Kitchen" red curry paste
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic. Pour in stock and add carrots and ginger. Simmer over low/medium heat until carrots are soft. Remove from heat and purée mixture in high powered blender or food processor. Return to pot. Over low heat stir in coconut milk, curry paste, lemon juice and cilantro.

Adapted from:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vegan Zucchini Muffins

With garden season is full effect it's time to come up with creative ways of dealing with the sometimes excessive harvest that results.  One of my students from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition dropped off about 20 pounds of vegetables last Friday so I decided to start cooking.  I made carrot soup, carrot cake, banana bread, banana muffins, chocolate cookies (no veggies in those but what's life without chocolate cookies?), and zucchini muffins - all vegan, of course.

I have also come to the realization that I am a "procrastibaker": someone who makes cupcakes instead of doing something else they should be doing.  I love it!  It's so true.  It's not unusual to find me baking up a storm at 7:00 a.m. in the morning or 11:00 p.m. at night.  I can always find something to bake and I can always find someone to eat it.  From the list above, my best friend said the zucchini muffins were the best so I'm sharing that recipe now.  Keep in mind he has not tried the carrot cake yet because I am 99% that one is going to take the cake :P

Vegan Zucchini Muffins
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup ground flax meal
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup agave nectar (or other liquid natural sweetener)
3/4 cup almond or rice milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper or reusable liners.  In medium bowl, whisk together flour, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.  Add oil, agave, almond milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.  Gently fold in zucchini.  Pour into muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes.  Yields a few more than a dozen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Avocado Mint Cream Bars

These are amazing!  If you feed them to someone who doesn't typically like avocado they won't even know it!  These are so decadent yet so healthy.  This recipe is not my own, it's adapted from

1 cup of pitted medjool dates
1 cup raw almonds
1 tbsp. raw cocoa powder
2 tbsp. nut butter (almond or cashew is best)

1 avocado pitted and pealed
3 tbsp. coconut oil
3 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract

6 tbsp. coconut oil
6 tbsp. raw cocoa powder
4 tbsp. maple syrup


Place the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts to clump or stick together. With your fingers or a spatula press evenly into the bottom of an oiled 8x8 baking pan.

Blend the filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth and spread evenly over the crust. Place in the freezer while you prepare the topping.

In a small pot melt the topping ingredients over low heat and pour over the middle layer making sure to spread it evenly.

Freeze bars until firm. To serve let the bars thaw at room temperature for about 20 minutes then cut and serve.  Store in freezer.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Curried Sweet Potato and Chick Peas

I didn't even try one bite of this warming dish but my three beautiful friends who ate it all concurred that it was amazing.


2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 cup filtered water
2 cloves garlic minced
2 large sweet potatoes cut into bite size cubes
14-16 oz can of chick peas drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 heaping teaspoons curry powder
1-2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp fresh ginger minced
2 handfuls of baby spinach rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Heat oil in large skillet.  Add garlic and sauté.  Add the sweet potato cubes and water.  Simmer until potatoes become tender.  Stir in chick peas, tomato sauce, spices, and ginger.  Simmer over low heat for a few minutes.  Add spinach and stir until it's wilted.  Add cilantro last.  Season with salt to taste and serve over rice, cous cous, quinoa or all on it's own.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sweet Potato Black Bean Stew - Vegan

Love this hearty vegetarian dish! 

2 cups sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into cubes
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 bell pepper chopped
1 (15 oz.) can black beans rinsed
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 cup tomato sauce (see recipe below)

Tomato Sauce:
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup vegetable broth
salt to taste

Simmer all ingredients in a pot until all ingredients are combined.  Use leftovers as pizza sauce, pasta sauce, etc.

Stew Instructions:
Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water.  Bring to a boil then simmer until potatoes are soft.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Add the bell pepper, spinach and beans.  Add spices and salt.  Once the spinach has wilted add cooked sweet potatoes and tomato sauce.  Add lime juice and serve.

Adapted from:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rice Crispy Treats - Take I and Take II

Rice Crispy Squares are a classic treat.  The only problem is the traditional recipe is full of sugar and lacks any sign of nutrients.  And don't get me started on marshmallows....those white puffy things somehow classed as "food" are most often made with gelatin which, by the way all of you vegans/vegetarians, typically comes from pork skins, pork and cattle bones or split cattle hides.  Not to mention corn syrup, artificial flavour and artificial colour.

The two versions below are sugar free, marshmallow free, gluten free, vegan and taste amazing!

Rice Crispy Treats - Take I


1 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
3/4 cup almond butter
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla
6 cups crispy brown rice cereal


Place crispy brown rice cereal in a bowl and set aside.  In a small pot stir all other ingredients over low heat until smooth and blended.  Pour the mixture into the bowl of rice cereal and mix with a silicone spatula until all the cereal is coated and starts to stick.  Press mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and refrigerate for an hour before cutting into squares.  Can be stored in our out of the fridge.

Adapted from


Rice Crispy Treats - Take II


4 cups crispy rice cereal
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chocolate chips (or carob chips)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup almond butter
1 cup brown rice syrup
2 tsp. vanilla

Lightly oil 9x13 pan.  In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients.  In a small saucepan over low heat combine almond butter, brown rice syrup and vanilla.  Heat until smooth and bubbly.  Remove from heat and pour over dry cereal mixture. Mix with a silicone spatula until all of the dry ingredients are coated.  Press mixture into pan and refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting into squares.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - Vegan, Gluten Free

These muffins are a favorite among the kids in my neighbourhood as an after school snack. They are also great as a quick breakfast on the run. 


Wet Ingredients
2 medium ripe bananas
235 ml almond milk (vanilla or unsweetened)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil

Dry Ingredients
2 cups quinoa flour (if you tolerate gluten, spelt flour works great too but you'll need to reduce the amount of almond milk by about 2 Tbsp)
6 Tbps coconut sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Mix all wet ingredients in blender until smooth.  Mix all dry ingredients in bowl.  Pour wet mixture into dry and mix well. Fill greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes.