Vegan Haystack Cookies


No-bake, vegan haystack cookies! Great for hot summer days… Makes ~12 cookies.

In a medium sauce pan on low heat, melt together

  • 1/4 C oil (coconut, vegetable, canola, your choice)
  • 1/4 C pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 C natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 C cocoa (unsweetened)

Stir well, and once melted together, remove from heat. Then add

  • 1/2 C steel cut oats
  • 1/2 C cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 C shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Once combined, drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet (for easy clean-up, cover cookie sheet with parchment paper first). Place cookie sheet in freezer, and allow cookies to freeze (about 30-60 minutes). Store in freezer in an airtight container. If you used coconut oil, you may be able to store them in the fridge. They fall apart rather quickly once they warm up.



Quinoa Breakfast Bars

It’s taken me a loooong time to find a decent homemade granola bar recipe. No matter what I do, they always fall apart. My hunt has ended with Ambitious Kitchen‘s Chia, Quinoa & Banana bars! They are vegan,  gluten free, and stay in one piece.

Preheat oven to 350F, and line a square baking pan with parchment paper (or tin foil works, too).

In a large bowl, mix together

  • 1C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C quinoa, uncooked (& rinsed!)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 C chopped nuts & seeds of your choice (I find slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds a nice combo)
  • 1/3 C dried fruit (I have made it with dried, unsweetened blueberries, and with chopped dates – both have tasted great)

In a small saucepan on low heat, melt together

  • 1/4 C natural peanut or almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Pour nut butter mixture into the large bowl of the remaining ingredients, and mix well. Press into prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes. When cool, cut into 10-12 bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator.

Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf

Tastes like the real thing but better for you! Oil replaced with fat-free Greek yogurt, reduced sugar, and made with a mix of white and whole wheat flour! Adapted from here.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium sized bowl, mix

  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a small bowl, whisk together

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1/2 C Plain Greek yogurt, fat-free or low-fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla

To top

  • Roasted pumpkin seeds

After mixing dry and wet ingredients separately, pour wet ingredients into dry and stir slowly. Do not over mix and stop as soon as there are no bits of dry flour left. Turn into a greased loaf pan, sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top, and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the absolute best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made, time and time again. Enjoy! Makes ~16 cookies.

  • 1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 C brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips

Cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda. Mix until evenly blended, and then stir in chocolate chips. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Brioche Pretzels

brioche pretzels


A labour of love… the time it takes to make these is so very worth it! Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Makes 8 pretzels.


  • 1/3 C Milk
  • 1 tsp Instant yeast
  • 2 1/4 C All-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 C Butter, room temperature
  • ~1 C Dark chocolate, chopped finely


  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Water

Whisk together milk and yeast in a small bowl. In an electric mixer, use the paddle to stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add eggs and yeast mixture, and stir on low until dough comes together. Turn up speed to medium, and mix for 10 minutes. Add butter, 1/3 at a time, mixing in between. Once well mixed, switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Add chocolate and continue to knead until evenly distributed. Let dough rise in greased bowl covered with plastic wrap in a warm spot for 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350. Split dough evenly into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a long (~18 inch) rope, and twist into a pretzel. Place on cookie sheet, brush with glaze, and let rise again for 15 minutes. Brush with glaze again and bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned.

Mango Chicken Curry

Mango curry

Red mango curry – adapted from Thug Kitchen. Serve with rice!

  • 2tsp cooking oil, divided
  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless), cut into ~1inch cubes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • Handful of green beans, ends removed and cut into ~1inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 C vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime

In a medium frying pan, heat oil and stir fry chicken until cooked through. In a soup pot, heat oil and saute the onion. Add green beans, zucchini, and bell pepper and cook until veggies are soft. Add cooked chicken, garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Stir, then add soy sauce, coconut milk and broth. Bring to a simmer, then add mango. Cook until mango is soft (about 8 minutes). Add lime juice, stir and serve over rice!

*New & Improved* Tomato-free Slow Cooker Chili

SLow cooker chili

Updated October 2015! If you, like me, can’t eat tomatoes and are in need of a chili recipe to hold you over, look no further! This chili is chicken-based, is completely tomato-free, and feeds 4-5. Adapted from Spark Recipes.

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen is fine)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1-2 Carrots, diced
  • 2-4 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2-4 tsp Sriracha
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 19oz can white kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 19oz can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 small can corn
  • 3/4 C chicken broth
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Add all ingredients (except the lime juice and cilantro) to your slow cooker. Stir well and make sure the chicken is mostly covered by liquid. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-7 hours. Fifteen minutes before cooking time ends, shred the chicken breasts apart using two forks and stir. Immediately before serving stir in the lime juice and cilantro. You won’t beleive it’s tomato free!!