Peanut Butter Cup Granola

I have just one thing to say.  Peanut butter cups for breakfast.

I was a huge fan of the Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Let’s be honest though.  They are filled with chemicals and additives and probably not much real peanut butter or chocolate.  So I tried to create a dish that resembles that naughty taste, without the guilt.  What better time than breakfast to eat chocolate and peanut butter?

Peanut Butter Cup Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup peanut butter (for a peanut free option, click here.)
1/4 cup applesauce
3 T coco powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 T non dairy milk

Preheat oven to 330.  Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix the wet into a small bowl.  You may have to microwave the peanut butter to soften it enough to stir.  Add the wet to dry.  Spread mixture onto a lined baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.  Pull the pan out and move the granola around a bit.  Place back in the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes.  Serve with milk or sprinkle over plain yogurt.  If you are feeling extra feisty, you can sprinkle a few chocolate chips in. 🙂

What are some of your other guilty candy pleasures?

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Boca Burgers Exposed

When I first went vegetarian, I was a busy college student.  I didn’t have time for cooking so bought these on a regular basis.

These look familiar?  They are vegan so they must be healthy right?  That was my thinking before I knew better.  Let’s look at the ingredients.

There are a couple of scary ingredients here.  The first is “natural” favor.  Who knows what that is?  Why do they have to use that blanket statement?  When I eat food, I want to know what every ingredient is.  It’s not like there is a bottle of “natural flavoring” you can buy at the store.  This is also a slippery slope for vegans, because natural flavors can come from animal or plant sources.  Here it is labeled non meat, but other labels may not specify.  Moving down to another very scary ingredient,  caramel coloring.  Caramel coloring is a known carcinogen.  Yuck!  These burgers are looking not so healthy.  If you would like a veggie burger, you are better off making your own.  You can make a big batch and freeze the extras so they will be just as easy to reheat as these processed ones. This is just another reason to always read your labels.

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Healthy Vegan Green Bean Casserole!

Thanksgiving is that time of year when you stuff yourself silly with all the guilty pleasures.  I am going to try to make healthier versions of all the naughty dishes.  The first one that came to mind was the green bean casserole.  Who doesn’t love it in all it’s decadent glory?  The original version is loaded with fat, salt and calories.  My version is much healthier
and just as delicious…

So you can save all the calories for dessert. 🙂

Healthy Vegan Green Bean Casserole!

2 cups green beans sliced
3 cups + 1/4 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup + 3-4 sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion
1/3 package silken tofu
1/2 cup + 2T whole wheat panco bread crumbs
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large sauce pan, sautee 3/4 cup mushrooms, onions and olive oil.  In another pot, boil the green beans in the 3 cups veggie broth for 10 minutes.  In a food processor, combine the tofu, 1/4 cup vegetable broth and 3-4 sliced mushrooms until mixture is fully pureed.  Once the beans are boiled, drain and add them to the mushroom/onion mixture.  Add the pureed tofu to the mushroom mixture.  Now add the seasoning and breadcrumbs. Stir well. Place in the oven and bake for  20 minutes.  Pull it out and sprinkle last 2T breadcrumbs over the top and cook for another 5 minutes.


What are some other Thanksgiving guilty pleasures?

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Honey Nut Breakfast Cookies

I love making breakfast cookies.  They are quick, travel well and they can be frozen.  Who wouldn’t want to start their morning with cookies?

This is one of the easiest ways to get my daughter to eat healthy food.  Most kids can’t resist trying a bite of a new cookie.  Shhh… you don’t have to tell them it’s healthy. 🙂  I thought up this recipe because I wanted to mimic the flavors of Honey Nut Cheerios, which are full of processed sugar, GMO’s and other additives.  These came out pretty good.

Honey Nut Breakfast Cookies

1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 peanut butter (For a peanut free option click here)
1/3 cup almonds chopped
1/3 cup honey
3 T non dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (I used a flax egg)
1/3 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix all wet in a medium bowl.  You may need to microwave the peanut butter to soften it a bit.  Drop cookies onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes.  Wait 10 minutes to cool before removing.  Enjoy!

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Another Reason to Read Your Labels!

I was just at Whole Foods with the girls and my daughter Meadow asked me to get her some turkey.  She is mostly a vegetarian (by choice).  So I went to look at my choices.  I wanted a grass fed, organic brand.  So I found this.

Looks great so far.  By the way, I love the way it has to say gluten free.  Maybe I am wrong,  but isn’t all meat gluten free?  I decided to check the ingredients just in case.  This is what I saw.

This meat contains carrageenan!  Carrageenan is a carcinogen linked to cancer.  If you want to read more on that click here.  This goes to show not everything in Whole Foods that says organic is going to be good for you.  Please read your labels and become aware of what is in your food!

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Apple Cinnamon Granola

For me, cold cereal just doesn’t cut it.  Who has ever had a bowl of cereal that kept them full until lunchtime?  Um, no one!  I am usually starving an hour later!  That is why I love granola.  It keeps me full until lunchtime.  So here is another delicious and satisfying recipe.

Apple Cinnamon Granola

3 1/2 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl.  Mix wet into another.  Combine wet to dry until well mixed and then place onto a lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 22 minutes.  Pull the trays out, stir everything around and place back in the oven for another 15-17 minutes or until the granola looks crispy.

I usually eat mine with fresh berries and homemade almond milk.  This granola would also be good sprinkled over some vegan yogurt.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂

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Tempeh Stir Fry With Soba Noodles

So today I had a bunch of leftover veggies in my fridge.  We are getting a co op basket this weekend so I needed to make more room for it.  So I took everything I had and threw it in a stir fry.  As I said before, stir frys are an easy way to use up some leftovers in the fridge.  Plus, they take only a few minutes to make.

Tempeh Stir Fry With Soba Noodles

1/2 pkg whole wheat soba noodles.  (I used the Eden brand)

8-10 mushrooms sliced thin

1pkg tempeh (I used organic flax)

1 carrot sliced thin

1 red pepper sliced thin

2 big bunches of baby spinach

2 tsp garlic powder

For the sauce:

1T miso

3T water

3T mirin

2T organic soy sauce (I used SanJ)

Whisk all ingredients together

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions and set aside.

Heat a large pan on med with about 2 T sesame oil, garlic powder, tempeh and the mushrooms.   Cook the tempeh and mushrooms for a couple of minutes until they start to soften.

Then add the carrot and pepper.

Cook these for another minute and then add the spinach.

Once the spinach starts to wilt, add the sauce and the soba noodles.

Toss this mixture around until everything becomes well incorporated.  Plate and serve. Enjoy!

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Got A Birthday Coming Up? Think Twice Before Buying This.

I know life can get crazy.  Especially when you have kids.  Sometimes it just seems easier to pick up a box of ready made cake mix instead of making one from scratch.  You may want to think twice before buying this one.

Look familiar?  I can tell you I have bought this on more than one occasion before I went unprocessed.  Let’s look at the ingredients.

The first ingredient is enriched bleached flour (highly refined processed flour).  The next ingredients are sugar (processed sugar) and corn syrup (more processed sugar).  The next few scary ingredients are modified corn starch and corn starch (GMOs).  After that, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils (trans fats).  The next one down is propylene glycol (chemical which is also found in antifreeze and brake fluid) gross!
Further down is dicalcium phosphate.  If you click on the word, you can learn more about that.  Looking a bit further down there is natural and artificial flavors (who knows what they are).  After that there are more artificial dyes yellows 5 & 6.  You can read more about artificial dyes here.  So far the only ingredients I have seen that go in cake are flour and sugar.  The rest of the ingredients are nothing more than toxic additives.  Nasty!

Here is a recipe for a single serving cupcake that is super easy to make.  I made one of her cupcake recipes for Meadows birthday.  They did not take long at all.  If you want to save some time, maybe you could mix the dry ingredients and set them aside for when you have time to make the whole thing.  Either way, try to stay away from these store bought garbage brands.

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Guilt Free Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Donuts!

To quote my husband, “I could eat this entire plate right now.”  Yeah, these are that good!  They are guilt free because they are not loaded with a lot of fat and processed sugars. 🙂

Before we embarked on this unprocessed lifestyle, we used to get donuts from Starbucks every Saturday morning.  I think my daughter and husband have missed them the most.  So this was my way of trying to offer them a healthier option.

I think this picture says it all, doesn’t it?  She could not shovel them in her mouth fast enough.

Guilt Free Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Donuts!

For the donuts:

1 3/4 cup spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg (I used a flax egg)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/4 non dairy milk (I used unsweetened organic soy)

For the chocolate coating:

2 cups chocolate chips
3-4 T non dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy)

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 3 mini muffin trays.  In one bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.  In another bowl mix pumpkin, maple syrup, applesauce, egg, and vanilla until smooth.  Add dry to wet and mix just until combined.  Spoon mixture into the mini muffin tins and bake for about 11 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  After the mini muffins have cooled start the chocolate coating.

Roll the donuts into the chocolate sauce until it is covered.  Then place each covered donut onto a baking sheet or plate and put in the freezer for at least 10-15 min.

Remove and enjoy!  🙂

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Thinking of Takeout? Try This Pizza!

I know that life moves fast and a lot of time you don’t have the time to whip up an elaborate dinner.  Instead of ordering a pizza, try making your own flat bread one.  It’s super easy.

When I was in high school, I worked at a pizza restaurant.  They used to let us make a small pizza to take home after our shift.  We used to get creative with the toppings.  I think I made a steak and cheese pizza once.  On slow nights we used to make fried dough.  It was fun and yummy.  Probably not too healthy though. 🙂  Now, every time I smell takeout, it reminds me of that time.

Quick Flat Bread Pizza


Whole grain flat bread

10-12 cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup mushrooms

1 bunch baby spinach

1/4 cup daiya cheese

Pesto Sauce:

1 cup fresh basil

1 cup fresh parsley

1/2 cup almonds (I use almonds because pine nuts are so expensive)

3-4 garlic cloves rough chopped

2 T nutritional yeast

1/4 cup olive oil

Grind the almonds up a bit in the food processor first.  Then add the basil, parsley, nutritional yeast and garlic.  As you process those, drizzle in the oil until everything is well mixed.

For the pizza:

Preheat oven to 350.  Take the whole grain flat bread and brush it with oil and bake it for about 7 minutes.  Pull the flat bread out and spread on the pesto sauce, add the mushrooms, spinach and tomato and cheese and bake for another 10 minutes or until the flat bread looks crispy.  Cut up and enjoy!

I usually serve mine with a salad.  It makes for a healthy and filling meal. 🙂

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