Browsing the archives for the vegan tag.

Dragonfruit Ice Cream

California, Healthy

This is one of those ‘not really a recipe recipes’. I have a serious love for dragonfruit and when we first moved to California and I saw it at the farmer’s market I was determined to make something summery and fun with local dragonfruit. Just look at it, it’s so beautiful!

This is a very lame way to make ice cream. Seriously, just go buy an ice cream maker (I am holding out for this Cuisinart one). If you don’t have an ice cream maker though, this will do. Essentially you’re just freezing ice cream in ice cube trays. 😉

Dragonfruit Ice Cream

There are two types of dragon fruit, some are pink like this and taste a little sweet and some are white and taste blander. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the white or pink kind when I first bought this at the market so I was pretty stoked that it was the sweeter of the two. I will try this again with the white kind if I come across any.

Dragonfruit Ice Cream

All I did was scoop out the yummy insides and mash them up with about 1/2 (maybe closer to 3/4) of a cup of coconut milk. The more coconut milk you add, the softer it will be when you eat it. Though it will be far from soft, a better description would be ‘the more coconut milk you add, the less rock hard it will be’. Then I added a little sugar, feel free to keep it healthy by adding stevia or natural maple syrup or agave or whatever.

Dragonfruit Ice Cream  Dragonfruit Ice Cream

Pour your finished mixture into ice cube trays, and wait a few hours. Another way to do it would be to put your mixture into a stainless steel bowl and mix it every 30 minutes or so until you reach the consistency you’re after. I put them in an ice cube tray and them popped them out and into a cup when I was ready to try it. I let it sit for just a few minutes and it was ice creamy enough for me!

Dragonfruit Ice Cream

This is not a replacement for triple fudge ice cream by any stretch – but if you have a craving for ice cream that’s beyond the usual frozen banana in the food processor trick, while still keeping it healthy, this is a good option.

No Comments

Vegan Chocolate Bites


Sometimes I come across a recipe that’s very vegany and it tastes like rocks and sticks and dirt. Usually, I’ll eat it anyway because I know it’s good for me and really, vegan kitchen fails can be pretty pricey!

This one though, it’s not at all like rocks or sticks or dirt! It’s actually sweet and sort of chocolatey! It’s also not pricey if you have most of these ingredients on hand and there are plenty of subs if you don’t. They’re also really, really, really easy to make. Just mix some stuff, then toss some stuff in the food processor, the combine both mixtures and shape into balls (or whatever).

Vegan Chocolate Bites
2 ripe bananas
4 tablespoons almond butter (any kind of nut butter will work really)
4 tablespoons agave (or sugar is fine too)
2 tablespoons wheat germ (or flax if you want)
1/2 cup raw oats
1 cup dates
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup raw cocoa

Vegan Chocolate Bites
Mash the bananas and mix with the almond butter, agave, wheat germ and oats.
Vegan Chocolate Bites
In the food processor, mix the rest of the ingredients until they’re all mashed together.

Vegan Chocolate Bites

Now just shape into balls and leave in the fridge for a few hours to set up. Voila!

Vegan Chocolate Bites
No Comments

Farmer’s Market Haul (with meal ideas)!

California, Healthy, Kids

Last summer, I fell madly in love with the Torrance Farmer’s Market. I love it because it’s big so there is a lot of selection, but not so big that you can’t get to know the vendors. I looooove that it’s a year-round market (since you know, 2 weeks of rain is ‘winter’ down here) and most of all I think that the concept of local citrus, and local avocado and omg local dragonfruit (whaaaat) is so so otherworldly. It is very temping to walk through your local farmer’s market and buy healthy, delicious produce at random. If you eat a lot of raw fruits and veggies that can probably work for you, but if you’re aiming to make meals from as much of your haul as possible, it’s generally wise to show up with a list.

Yeah, I know. But I’m making lists again!

This is what I brought home with me this week…

Beets, carrots, kale, cucumbers, lemons, limes, oranges, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, ginger, shallots, garlic, onions, white peaches, white ‘donut’ peaches, apricots, grapefruit, purple grapes and avocados. Not pictured whole wheat pita bread, whole wheat pita chips, jalapeño feta (I know right??), a layered feta / sundried tomato / pesto dip, artichoke hummus and beet hummus.

Farmer's Market Haul

Of course, the very first few recipes that run through my mind when I stood back to look at my loot were from Peas and Thank You, a few Deceptively Delicious recipes came to mind too and naturally, Undressed Skeleton. Here are some things I’ve already posted about that will end up happening this week here, and I’ll follow it up with a loose plan for the week.

blackberries, limes, ginger





dip for everything





all berries

lemon, lime, ginger, kale, cucumber

Ideas for this week’s meals and snacks! I will take pictures and post about them next week!

Adding beet puree to whole wheat pancakes (made with flax and almond milk instead of eggs and cow milk) for breakfast is a hit with all of us!
Dressing up rice cakes or flatbread with non dairy ‘cream cheese’ and fruit
Dressing up rice cakes or flatbread with smashed avocado and nuts
Dressing up rice cakes or flatbread with jam and berries
I’m going to swap my berry smoothie for some fresh beet / carrot / apple juice – apparently, it’s amazing (and amazingly healthy, natch)
Whole wheat (from scratch) garlic bread.
Frozen grape skewers topped with non dairy vanilla pudding and dates or prunes or raisins (I haven’t decided yet) 😉
Chick pea and kale falafels
Red velvet cupcakes with beets and non dairy ‘cream cheese’ frosting
I will also make some candied carrots for the kids as a side for dinner and mix some beets into mashed potatoes for pink potatoes!
Oh and pies!! I promised my husband pies!
Lemon meringue pie!
Cherry pie!
Blueberry tarts!
Maybe a peach pie too, we’ll see!

1 Comment

Peanut Butter Tofu Ice Cream


This is a great recipe for people who avoid dairy on the regular and need a chemical-free alternative to ice cream. It’s also a great recipe for people who don’t avoid dairy but are dieting! I wont give an official calorie count for this recipe because it can change a lot depending on what kind of peanut butter / tofu / sweetener you use.

Even if you’re not a fan of tofu, this recipe is amazing. I started experimenting with tofu in desserts last year thanks to Peas and Thank You, and this was a winner too!

It all happens in the food processor and if you have teeny tiny little containers like these it measures out to about 100 calories per serving!

Peanut Butter Tofu Ice Cream

13.5 oz package of silken tofu
4 tablespoons organic chunky peanut butter (can be smooth if you don’t want peanut chunks)
2/3 cup agave / maple syrup / Joseph’s Original Sugar Free Maple Syrup <- that's what I used 1 medium ripe banana Blend it all together in the food processor and divide it into 10 servings. Freeze overnight and voila! It gets harder than regular ice cream, so take it out a little before you want to eat it and let it warm up and melt a bit. So good. Even if you end up having more than one, it's still a lot less calories than a bowl of ice cream.

Peanut Butter Tofu Ice Cream
Peanut Butter Tofu 'Ice Cream'
No Comments

Vegan ‘Goldfish’ Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)


Ok so, as you are all painfully aware by now, I’m the biggest fan girl there ever was for Peas and Thank You and for Mama Pea’s cookbook. I will have to tally it up but I think I have made almost all of the recipes now. However, since Mama Pea (aka Sarah Matheny), is someone I really admire and look up to, there is no way I’m posting the details to her recipes – you’ll just have to buy her book. So all year long, I have been posting pretty pictures of my attempts at her recipes and my thoughts on them and how many of our littles liked them and that sort of thing.


The recipe for these crackers is available on her blog, (in the reci’peas’ section har har). So I can post this recipe and encourage you to visit her blog and it’s win-win! We all loved these – and so did our neighbors!

Before I do that though, take a look at some of the recipes I’ve made from her book recently!

These cupcakes have enough sweetness to them to easily be called a cupcake – but they are healthier than your average muffins! 2/3 of my kids loved these and to be fair the one that didn’t isn’t big on jam. I will try these again as Peanut Butter Cupcakes and see what happens. They come together pretty quickly too!

I know, I know. ‘Mama Pea’s Balls’. Whatever. You’re the one with your head in the gutter.

These cupcakes have enough sweetness to them to easily be called a cupcake – but they are healthier than your average muffins! 2/3 of my kids loved these and to be fair the one that didn’t isn’t big on jam. I will try these again as Peanut Butter Cupcakes and see what happens. They come together pretty quickly too!

Ok, so moving along. No, these do not taste just like a goldfish cracker, because vegan cheese doesn’t taste like cheese. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing! I love these! I love them with soup or alone or dipped in whatever I’m dipping veggies in at any given moment.

Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup non dairy cheese
1/2 cup vegan margarine
5 tablespoons cold water

Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
First process both flours, the xanthan gum, salt and mustard. Then add the vegan cheese and pulse. Add the vegan cheese and pulse till it’s all mixed. Now add the vegan marg in chunks and pulse till that is all mixed as well.
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Dump this mixture into a bigger bowl and slowly add the cold water while stirring. Eventually, it’ll hold itself together.
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Once you can make a loaf out of it, wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in the first for about an hour (or more). Theeeeen, preheat your oven to 350 and roll out your chilled dough on a floured surface and cut out shapes (or if your cookie cutters happen to be, oh I don’t know, say 4200km away – that’s 2600 miles, people, you can just use a knife and cut little squares out of them). Then bake them for 10-14 minutes. The kids totally demolished them when they came out of the oven.
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
1 Comment

Menu Monday with Some Peas and Thank You Love!


Today, I’m linking up with Organizing Junkie

Sometimes I fear that if I post any more about my unending love for Mama Pea or her cookbook, she will think I am officially insane. Or like, get a restraining order or something. But I’m not crazy obsessed, I’m just smitten by a book filled with vegan recipes that not only doesn’t require me to sprout oat groats (wait, what?) but also tastes amazing and rarely takes a whole lot of effort – though when there is a recipe that does require a lot of effort (hello Crazy Good Hummas) it’s totally worth it.

This week is a bad week to be cooking a lot because the Ravellenic Games 2012 are still kicking and I reeeeeally want to finish the Modular Relay by Wednesday so I can attempt a second event. Incidentally, for those following along, last night I passed out with a puff count of 44/100. Today will be a serious knitting day. Hopefully. So anyhoo, while this week is a bad week to be playing in the kitchen, I’m going to anyway because I fell off the clean eating wagon a few weeks ago and have felt really uncomfortable and generally just gross since. I’m already starting to feel better and it’s only been a couple of days back on the wagon! Most of that is thanks to Mama Pea’s book. It really is inspiring. <3 This Week’s Menu – August 6-12

Monday – Organic Beef Burgers for the fam, Pea’s Better Than Ever Black Bean Burgers for me with Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Pea’s Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert (I’m making my own vegan chocolate chips for this)

Tuesday – Chicken Pot Pie for the fam, Pea’s Falafels with Tzatziki Sauce for me and Pea’s Almond Joy Cookie Bars

Wednesday – Breaded Chicken with rice and corn for the fam, Pea’s Chickpea Strawberry Mango Salad for me and Mama Pea’s Balls for dessert

Thursday – Scratch Chicken Nuggets and Sweet Potato Chips for the fam, Peas’ Un-Toppable Black Bean Soup for me and Pea’s PB & J Filled Cupcakes for dessert

Friday – Pea’s Tired and True Whole Wheat Pizza Crust with spiced up Pea’s Homestyle Spaghetti Sauce for individual Pizzas or Calzones and Pea’s Cutout Sugar Cookies for dessert

Saturday – Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Organic Bacon Mashed Potatoes and Beans for the fam, Pea’s Mediterranean Lentil Meatballs for me and Pea’s Banana Chocolate Chip Millet Muffins for dessert

Sunday – Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies, Stuffing and Gravy for the fam, Vegetarian Pad Thai for me and Pea’s German Chocolate Cake for dessert

Here are a few photies of Mama Pea’s Baked Oatmeal Squares. Not because they’re on the menu this week, but because I’m snacking on one as I blog this morning.

Peas and Thank You's Baked Oatmeal Squares

Peas and Thank You's Baked Oatmeal Squares
Peas and Thank You's Baked Oatmeal Squares
Peas and Thank You's Baked Oatmeal Squares
No Comments

‘Cream Cheese’ Filled Strawberries


Generally, a bowl of strawberries doesn’t need any dressing up around here. All of the kids will devour a bowl without any sugar on them, without them being dipped in chocolate (though that never hurts, especially if it’s dark chocolate). Sometimes, though, I feel like a little something and these little somethings are just the thing. No dairy, just a little hit of sugar and a tofu punch at the same time! Totally impossible to eat just one.

Let’s get educational, shall we? What’s so great about strawberries and tofu anyway? Weeeell, since you asked…

What’s so great about strawberries?
-1 cup of strawberries has 141% of your vitamin C for the day and 28% of your manganese (not to mention the fiber, folate, iodine, potassium, magnesium, vitamin k and omega 3 fats)
-cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular diseases
-improved blood sugar regulation, with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes
-prevention of certain cancer types including breast, cervical, colon, and esophageal cancer
-amazing combination of phytonutrients–including anthocyanins, ellagitannins, flavonols, terpenoids, and phenolic acids

What about tofu?
-4 oz tofu has 43.7% of your daily tryptophan (an essential amino acid which is the key ingredient in serotonin, which promotes feelings of calmness and relaxation), 39.6% of your calcium, 34.5% of your manganese and 33.7% of your iron (plus protein, omega-3 fats, selenium, copper, phosphorus and magnesium)
-the iron in tofu is important because it’s used as part of hemoglobin,which is responsible for transporting and releasing oxygen throughout the body
-…and hemoglobin synthesis also relies on copper, which is also in abundance in tofu
-soy protein can help to lower total cholesterol levels by as much as 30%, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by as much as 35-40%
-soy protein may reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease
-lower triglyceride levels, reduce the tendency of platelets to form blood clots, and possibly even raise levels of HDL (good cholesterol)
-helpful in alleviating the symptoms associated with menopause

4 ounces non dairy cream cheese, like Tofutti
1/2 cup extra firm silken tofu
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice

Just chop the tops off the strawberries and hollow them out. Pulse together all the ingredients and pipe the filling into the strawberries however you want. Pastry bag, zippy bag, spoon…whatever.
1 Comment

Peas & Thank You Beg Worthy Banana Bread (& Menu Monday)

Domestic, Healthy

As I sit here, listening to The Andrew Sisters (yes, really) and planning out the menu this week, I’m already thinking of the banana bread I’m going to make this afternoon. The rant about it is after this week’s menu plan and no, I didn’t post the recipe. I swear the book is worth the mere $10 for the eBook. This week, for whatever reason I’m not sure, I’m feeling especially like a domestic goddess. Maybe my weekend soap making adventures with my friends working out pumped me up? Maybe it was reinstating Sunday dinner that did it? I’m not sure, but I want to scrub the patio and wash the windows and cook and bake everyone’s favorite everything! This week’s menu is a little of everyone’s favorite everything.

This Week’s Menu!

Monday – Chicken Pot Pies with Cocoa Brownies for dessert

Tuesday – Chicken Alfredo and Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes for dessert

Wednesday – Beef Stew with Homemade Buns and Eclairs for dessert

Thursday – Chicken Ceaser Wraps and Chocolate-Coconut Bars for dessert

Friday – Homemade Calzones/Pizzas and Blueberry Pie for dessert

Saturday – Breaded Cod with Skinny Fries and Corn with Rocky Road Bars for dessert

Sunday – Lasagna with Homemade Rolls and Blueberry Pie for dessert

In her book, Peas and Thank You, Sarah Matheny boasts that this recipe will make you actually want to make banana bread – that it will no longer be a necessary way to deal with spotted bananas on the counter. I read that and thought, dude, it’s banana bread, we all like it but no one makes it on purpose. Well, it’s true. I now purposely put some bananas in a paper bag (speeds up ripening) the same day I bring them home from the grocery store. I love this banana bread and so does everyone I’ve served it to!

Peas & Thank You Beg Worthy Banana Bread

Peas & Thank You Beg Worth Banana Bread
Peas & Thank You Beg Worthy Banana Bread
Peas & Thank You Beg Worthy Banana Bread
Peas & Thank You Beg Worthy Banana Bread
No Comments

Searching for the Perfect Picnic Basket

California, Domestic, Healthy

Today I’m linking up with Dandelion House, Happy Go Lucky Blog, and Chubby Cheeks Thinks.

I have had a love for all things vintage and slightly chipped and worn and almost matching for as long as I can remember. I used to beg my department store-loving mother to take me downtown to Toronto’s Kensington Market so I could hunt for treasures from my favorite thrift stores. The concept of used clothing totally skeezed her out so most of the time my dad and I would go together – and more often than not, he’d find a treasure himself!

My husband however, is not so down with vintage stuff. I’m not going to get all psychological here, but he’s defo the kind of guy that likes new and shiny things. He likes sets of things that match. He likes new and matchy things even more than I like vintagey things, so a very long time ago (over a decade ago anyway) I stopped bringing random old cups and mismatched plates home and instead started hitting up Ikea and Pier 1 and if I’m totally honest there may have been some Crate & Barrel and even some Pottery Barn going on as well. Last year we bought a very pretty house in the woods of Central Ontario and we were slowly filling it with catalog wish list goodies. Then my husband was offered a situation he couldn’t refuse in Los Angeles – so off we went!

Fast forward to a few months later. We came down here with just a small trailer of absolute necessities. We packed light for two reasons – we didn’t think we’d be here very long and we knew we had to declare every single thing we were bringing aka ‘importing household items’ for CBP. After some bitching about how lacking my LA kitchen is (and truthfully the rest of our apartment is equally lacking), my friend Vanessa brought over some thrifted cups and cutlery for us to use because she’s super sweet like that, and one of those cups is now my husband’s hands down favorite cup of all time. He oddly likes that there isn’t another one of them in our little collection, which of course spawned a conversation about the possibility of creating a vintagey apartment down here and it was like 1000 Christmases rolled into one when he said he was totally down with it. All I’ve thrifted since that convo is a zebra print plate and a Little Miss Chatterbox cup, however last night? Oh last night I spent hours on Etsy looking for just the right picnic basket.

I proudly found this $60 wagon at a streetcorner ‘yard’ sale for $15 a couple of weeks ago and can now pull my two smallest wee ones to the farish park that’s perfect for picnics. Vanessa and I took the kids there for a picnic once already but picnics are always better when you’re rockin a beautiful picnic basket, right? Right?

These baskets are all amazing. I adore them and once I complete my actual shopping list of things I need for our new place I’d love to get a couple more and start a collection. I’m not including the basket that I picked in these pictures, I’m going to wait until it gets here and show it to you on a picnic!

Vintage wicker picnic basket with wood double lid
Retro Picnic Basket
This is one of the first ones I fell in love with. It’s $50 but there’s no domestic shipping on it! The fabric inside it melts my heart and I absolutely adore the double lid.
I crossed this one off my list when I decided that I had to have a double lid, otherwise this was a strong contender because it’s so roomy and I’m always packing a picnic for at least 4!
Vintage Jerywil WOOD PICNIC BASKET Wov-N-Wood Interior Pie Basket Androck Dishes Olive Green Tulips
Vintage bent wood Picnic Basket with wooden pie stand. Wooden Pie Basket
The charm of this basket is that it comes full of goodies (4 each; large plates, saucers, coffee cups, drinking glasses, forks, knives & spoons). I came thisclose to picking this basket and it’s dishes.
Are you kidding me?! A pie basket?! I love this!! I think it might be a bit too small for us though and again, as sweet as this one is the one I picked is even sweeter!

In this Etsy adventure I also found a really adorable little something for my sister – shipping on it to Canada is the same as here, so I could even have it shipped right to her so I’m not paying shipping twice! I also came across a lot of really painfully cute plastic picnic baskets from the 70s for the kids, but I’m not sure I can justify getting one for all of us and then another one! There is one more picnic basket that was in the running that I’m not going to post because it is perfect for patio picnics and I can’t wait to show it to you – on my patio!

Obviously, I’m obsessing over all things picnic (summer has officially hit LA, but of course coming from Canada even their ‘winter’ is official summer to us) and all things vintage (getting the thrifty green light from my husband has me totally over the moon with excitement). I apologize to everyone who reads this blog and loves all things shiny and new because I have a pretty good feeling that all of my Window Shopping Wednesday posts are going to focus on all things slightly worn. 😉

I will leave you today with some vegan picnic inspiration, courtesy of Mama Pea. I haven’t coughed up any recipes from this book yet because I really think it’s worth picking up – but Mama Pea gives you this recipe on her blog.

Peas & Thank You's Picnic Tortilla Pinwheels

Peas & Thank You's Picnic Tortilla Pinwheels

I’m aware that I used a piece of bread and the recipe clearly calls for a tortilla. Since I snapped this photie, I have made them properly and they amazing either way. They’re perfect picnic food too and will absolutely find a place in my new basket. <3


Peas & Thank You’s Whole Wheat Ginger Pear Waffles


I know I have been singing serious praises for this cookbook all year but it really is everything I’m hyping it up to be and no one is even asking me to do it!

Another winner from this book, this time a breakfast treat. Even one of me wee ones that isn’t really into pears was down with this. You probably have everything you need for these already and if you don’t own a waffle maker (aside from this recipe being a good excuse to buy yourself one), I’m betting you could easily make pancakes from this batter as well.

So what’s so great about pears? Well, let’s get into it. They’re high in vitamin c and copper, which are both antioxidant nutrients. Aside from that, vitamin c is mega important for general immune function, it’s the boss guy that gets your white blood cells ready to fight infections and kills off bacteria and viruses. That’s pretty serious! It also helps to regenerate vitamin e (an antioxidant for fat-soluable areas, as opposed to vitamin c being an antioxidant for water-soluable parts of the body). Pears also pack a good fiber punch, and fiber has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels. It also binds to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon, preventing them from damaging colon cells. There are also studies that suggest that fruit fiber as a whole helps prevent post-menopausal breast cancer and macular degeneration (aka, your eyes). So eat up!!

Peas & Thank You's Whole Wheat Ginger Pear Waffles

Peas & Thank You's Whole Wheat Ginger Pear Waffles
Peas & Thank You's Whole Wheat Ginger Pear Waffles
Peas & Thank You's Whole Wheat Ginger Pear Waffles
Peas & Thank You's Whole Wheat Ginger Pear Waffles
No Comments
« Older Posts