recipes

Oatmeal power-up cookies (vegan, healthy, easy!)

These oatmeal power-up cookies are vegan, healthy, and easy to make!

Lately I find myself constantly on the go. I know a healthy breakfast is a must, but it’s frequently one of those things that’s scrapped as I hit snooze and then scramble to get out the door to work, appointments, and all of the other stops on my daily agenda. Hence this healthy oatmeal power-up cookie recipe, which I crafted on a whim over the weekend so I’d have a healthy option for breakfast on the go once the chaos of the workweek hit.

This isn’t your childhood oatmeal cookie recipe. With added nutrients from kasha, wheat germ, and flaxseed, and half the sugar of traditional recipes, these oatmeal power-up cookies are a great alternative to the sugary, expensive prepackaged breakfast bars sold in grocery stores. And yes, they still taste great with a cold glass of (plant-based) milk for dessert. (more…)

Spooky OREO Spiders and Eye-Popping Fanta Punch

(This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpookySnacks #CollectiveBias)

Spook up your Halloween bash with these Spooky OREO Spiders and Eye-Popping Fanta Punch! #SpookySnacks #CollectiveBias

I’m at a weird time in my life when it comes to planning holiday parties. Some of my friends are still child-free, while others have five-to-ten-year-olds in tow. Planning a holiday get-together, then, means coming up with a balance that will keep adults and kids alike entertained, and that’s especially true with holiday recipes! I want to serve items that look and taste good, but they still need to appeal to kids who might have a picky palate.

Since Halloween is around the corner and I’ve been thinking about having a party, I decided to test-drive a couple of fun recipes that would be kid-friendly for little guests. The best part is that you have kids of your own and they want to get involved with making snacks for a Halloween bash, these recipes are simple enough that the kids can help out in the kitchen! Read on after the jump for step-by-step instructions and more photos.

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Recipe: oven-roasted potatoes and veggies

Oven-roasted potatoes, carrots and onions in an Italian dressingAutumn means cooler weather and a return to cozier things, including food: oven dinners, hearty meals and lots of comfort food! Accordingly, I wanted to share a recipe for oven-roasted potatoes and vegetables that’s become a bit of an autumn staple in our house. It’s easy to make—there’s almost no way you can goof it up, short of taking it out of the oven an hour early—and once it’s in the oven you don’t have to check, stir or uncover anything, so it can basically sit unattended all afternoon while you prep other dishes or just relax with a book and a cup of tea.

Read on for the full recipe and how I like to turn this dish into a main course for Thanksgiving!

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Restaurant-worthy meals at home: how to dress up canned soup and a basic sandwich

Like many people these days, and especially with the husband going back to school, we’re trying to stretch our budget a little further each month. One of the areas we’ve really cut back is eating out/delivery–takeaway Thai, pizzas, lunch out while running errands. Not necessarily the most fun or easy, but I’m learning that there are lots of little ways to recreate our favorite restaurant items at home, or dress up simple meals so they feel a little more “luxe” on the weekend.

One lunch meal that’s easy to recreate is a soup and sandwich combo. Condensed canned soup isn’t exactly the most appealing thing, but I’ve found you can easily dress up a basic tin instead of spending a lot of money on a fancy packaged soup. The same goes for your sandwich–a few mix-ins make all the difference between a basic lunch and one that feels like a takeaway from your favorite cafe.

Fancy up canned tomato soup with spices and almond milk, and add some unexpected fillings to your grilled cheese for a restaurant-worthy combo.

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Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe (book review)

'Vegan Holiday Cooking from the Candle Cafe' (book review)(Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated for writing this review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Vegan holiday cooking doesn’t have to be hard; it can be fun and tasty and please everyone at the table, meat-eaters and gourmands included! This book makes it simple. Crafted by the chefs at the trio of Candle eateries in New York City, this cookbook is divided up into ten menus: Super Bowl (or gametime recipes), Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Easter, Cindo de Mayo, Fourth of July barbecue, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. At first glance covering so many different holidays throughout the year might seem a little odd: many cookbooks only focus on the traditional trifecta of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

However, there’s always been a big gap between the recipes available for non-vegan vs. vegan holiday cooking. I get a variety of magazines that feature seasonally-themed recipes and entertaining guides, and they’re seldom easy to adapt to a vegan table. Easter is all about eggs; Memorial Day and Fourth of July barbecues mean burgers; game time means cheesy nachos; and so on. This cookbook gives you recipes for those events and more.

Plus, lots of the recipes feature here would be great for everyday dinners and will impress even your non-vegan friends. Black bean tacos? Sweet fried dumplings? Roasted squash soup? All would be easy enough to whip up for a weeknight dinner yet look and feel fancy enough for a special occasion.

Lots of big, bright photos will make you hungry just flipping through this book. The recipes are laid out in an easy-to-follow format and the ingredient lists are largely made up of items that can be found at any well-stocked grocery store. (A few, like seitan or arrowroot powder, will require a trip to a natural health food store.)

This cookbook is a must for anyone who loves entertaining, whether you’re totally new to the world of vegan holiday cooking or are a seasoned pro. There are even seasonally appropriate cocktail recipes, and of course some cookie recipes for the Christmas cookie exchange! Yum!

Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe (hardcover, 176 pages), by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda. Published 2014 by Ten Speed Press. Genre: cooking, vegan food, entertaining. Five out of five stars.

Vegan waffles (recipe)

Waffles with strawberries

Egg-less waffles are a bit of a challenge, and while I won’t claim that these waffles are as light and fluffy as a feather, they do a pretty good job of imitating regular ol’ waffles for those of us who don’t eat eggs or don’t want to run to the store in a pinch. I’m still tweaking my recipe, so you might see an updated version on the blog in the future, but for now this is how I make waffles that aren’t tough and won’t stick to the waffle iron like some of my older eggless versions tended to do.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1.75 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Strawberries and syrup for topping

In a mixing bowl, combine the banana, milk and oil. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well; add to the main mixing bowl and mix lightly. (Overmixing will yield tougher waffles.)

Mist a hot waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and pour in the batter, about 3/4 cup at a time. (The amount will depend on the size of the waffle iron that you’re using.) Cook until there is no longer steam escaping from the waffle iron or until the waffle is nicely browned and slightly crispy at the edges (about five minutes). Serve topped with butter, syrup and sliced strawberries. Enjoy!

Recipe Writers: May’s Fresh Flavors

How was your April? It was kind of mixed here–we had tons and tons of rain, though there was the occasional peek of sunshine. Hopefully May will be warmer, sunnier, and allover more pleasant! We did end up with some amazing recipes being linked up last month, though. Did you see (or try) Fiddlehead Hash, Pappardelle with Summer Vegetables or these Veggies with Cous Cous?

Anyway, May is here! May is full of lots of wonderful things. May 1st was Mayday, today is Cinco de Mayo, and later on we’ll have Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. This month’s theme is:

 

May’s Fresh Flavors
We are welcoming the fresh ingredients that are beginning to grow. What are you doing to celebrate the warm weather with food?  Be sure to link up after the jump!

Here is how Recipe Writers works: at the beginning of every month we will introduce a new theme and all share our recipes here. The link party will close on the last day of the month. This way you will have time to share a recipe before and after the holiday (if there is one) so others can try it, check out other recipes to try yourself  and impress your family and friends with the delicious flavors of the season. For example, January was Healthy Eating, February was Valentine’s Day sweets and March was St. Paddy’s Day Snacks and April was Spring Delights!
Co-hosts:
Amanda Rose from Sew Much 2 Say
 
Remember, this link up is open until the end of the month and we will have a new one next month starting on the 1st.  Don’t forget to check in next month to see if your recipe was featured. So, what are you waiting for? Make your favorite fresh May recipes, blog about it and share them with us!

 

 

 

Product review: KissMe Organics Green Tea Matcha Powder

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

 

Woohoo, I’m back to doing reviews! I’ve been so busy with school that I haven’t been doing much regular blogging this month. (Luckily that’s about to change.) Today I have a product review for a really cool green tea powder kindly provided to me by KissMe Organics. Matcha green tea packs ten times the nutrients of regular green tea, which means it’s doing all of the things green tea does (give you energy, burn fat and relax stressed nerves, to name a few) but in a super-charged way. This version is a finely milled powder that can be prepared as a beverage or worked into your favorite recipes. In fact, the Matcha powder comes with a digital recipe booklet containing over fifty recipes for everything from smoothies to muffins to soups.

Inside the pouch is a bright green powder. This stuff packs a huge punch–half to one teaspoon is plenty for a latte. I strongly recommend measuring this stuff in careful increments, since it has such a strong flavor. You know that bitterness you experience with green tea? If you overdo it with this powder–and it’s easy to do–your food or drinks will have a very strong aftertaste, so follow the recipes to the letter!

I tried the KissMe Matcha Green Tea Latte from the recipe booklet and was immediately hooked. It’s delicious, and healthy too!

KissMe Organics Matcha Green Tea retails at Amazon.com for $39.99, but it’s currently on sale for $25. Find it here or check out their website here.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.