Coconut Date Cookies

I recieve a lot of requests from friends and family members on sugar-free recipes and let me tell you, that is easier said than done. I’m not a believer in artificial sweeteners (like Splenda), so trying to find a natural way to sweeten desserts is no easy task.

So I’ve recently discovered the glory that is date paste and I am in love! What a perfect natural sweetener to add to baked desserts!

These cookies are the perfect example of a simple recipe consisting of date paste. I just can’t get enough!

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Coconut Date Cookies

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
  •  pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup date paste (Here is the recipe I used)
  • half a flax egg recipe (1/2 tbsp ground flax+ 1 1/2 tbsp water)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small/medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.

In a different medium-sized bowl, mix together the butter and date paste. Next, add the flax egg and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture into the butter/date paste mixture and mix until fully combined. Then, add the coconut and mix again.

Scoop up chunks of the cookie dough and drop on a lined cookie sheet and flatten them down slightly.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

*Makes 10-12 small cookies.

Have a great weekend!

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Twice Baked Potatoes with Spinach & Onion

Everyone has guilty pleasures and one of mine happens to be potatoes.

While this may sound strange, it is true. I would eat potatoes for every meal, every day. I just find they are so versatile! Scalloped, mashed, home fries, the list goes on.

So these twice baked potatoes are just a dream come true for me (and hopefully you too)!

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Can’t get enough of these guys—they are just so tasty!

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Twice Baked Potatoes with Spinach & Onion

  • 6 small-medium sized potatoes
  • 3/4 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the potatoes and place on a cookie sheet. Using a fork, prick the potato using the tines of the fork.

Then bake the potatoes for an hour.

Once the potatoes are baked, remove from oven and slice the potatoes in half lengthwise.

*The potatoes will be pretty hot so feel free to allow them to cool slightly before cutting*

Using a spoon, scape out the insides and add to a medium sized bowl. Be sure to leave a lining of potato to ensure the potato doesn’t tear.

Once potatoes are hollow out, place on cookie sheet again and set aside.

In the bowl with the potatoes scraping, add the vegan butter and almond milk and mash until smooth using a potato masher.

Add the spinach, green onion, garlic, salt and pepper and mash again.

Scoop the potato mixture into the potato shells. Feel free to pile lots of filling in the shells.

You can also top the potatoes with a bit of shredded vegan cheese (like Daiya), just for a little extra something-something. 🙂

Once you’ve filled all the potato shells, place back in the oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Basically just to warm them up again.

Remove from oven, serve and enjoy!

Potato and Leek Soup

Ever had one of those times where you go to the grocery store, come across an interesting food item and wonder what you could make with it?

Well I did and that food item came in the form of a leek.

A potato and leek soup sounded quite appealing upon reading the recipe, so I opted to give it a shot and whip up a batch.

And it is delicious!

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Thick, warm and hearty—all the requirements for soup.

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Potato and Leek Soup

Adapted from Julia Child

  • 3 cups leeks, sliced and chopped (use only the white and light green parts) *see note
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

*Note: when you finish cutting the leeks, pour them into a strainer and run under water to ensure you have cleaned them. They tend to have a lot of dirt hidden in the layers.

In a medium-sized pot at medium-high heat, add the butter and allow it to melt.

Next, add the leeks and onion and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the leeks and onions become translucent, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes and garlic and cook for another 8-10 minutes or until the leeks and onions are soft and the potatoes are beginning to become soft. Be careful not to burn the leeks, as they taste quite bitter burnt.

Add the vegetable stock, rosemary and parsley and cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Transfer the soup to a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve and enjoy!

Easy Tofu Scramble

Ever had those times when you are looking for a really easy breakfast to put together?

Enter the tofu scramble!

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With the perfect combination of spices and vegetables, you can transform plain ol’ tofu into quite the delicious little breakfast dish.

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This scramble makes a great side dish or if you just want to eat a big plate of scramble on its own, that’s fine too. 🙂

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Easy Tofu Scramble

  • 1  1/2 cups firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil, if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, add the tofu. Then mash the tofu until crumbly using a fork.

Add the olive oil, peppers and garlic and cook on medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the sage, rosemary, yeast flakes, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve warm.

Have a great weekend!

Coconut Lime Squares

I am no novice to making lemon squares. In fact, I frequently make them for family gatherings, holidays and other events because they always go over so well.

The problem? I’ve only made the traditional lemon square recipe, so it was never vegan. And do you know how hard it is to make food that you can’t eat? It is pure torture.

So I decided to try my hand at a vegan version of this recipe and it is just delicious! I also opted to try making a lime version instead of lemon to spice things up. Vegans and non-vegans alike devoured these squares like crazy.

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I may or may not have eaten five shortly after making these. Don’t judge.

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Coconut Lime Squares

Adapted from Betty Crocker

Crust:

  •  1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar

Filling:

  •  1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lime peel
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup firm tofu
  • 4 tsp water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, butter and powdered sugar together until clumpy. Then press the mixture into an ungreased 9×9 square pan. Try to make it as level as possible.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Once ready and slightly browned, remove from oven and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the sugar, lime juice, lime peel, baking powder, sea salt, tofu and water together until combined. You can add a little bit of green food colouring if you want a more vibrant green colour for the squares, but feel free to omit as I did.

Pour mixture into a high-powered blender and blend for 2-3 minutes or until smooth, making sure there are no tofu clumps. If mixture is too clumpy or thick, add another teaspoon of water and mix again.

Once filling mixture is smooth, pour onto the hot crust and bake for 25-27 minutes.

*Note: While in the oven, the filling may bubble up a lot. This is o.k., as it will settle close to the end of the baking time.

When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Then stick in the fridge for a few hours to allow them to firm up a bit.

When nice and firm, sprinkle with some shredded coconut. If you are not a fan of coconut, you can sprinkle it with some icing sugar instead.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Pot Pie

Do you ever have one of those meals where you just can’t help but go for a second helping because it’s just so good? Well this vegetable pot pie did it for me!

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I am just in love with this pot pie gravy! It is so rich and delicious that I just couldn’t help to scrape my bowl clean. I just couldn’t get enough!

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Filled with tons of veggies…just the way I like my pot pie!

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Vegetable Pot Pie

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  •  4-5 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot,chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 3/4 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup spelt flour
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup vegan white wine (I use Barnivore to check what brands of wine are vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 pie crust (you can either make your own from scratch or use a store-bought one, making sure its vegan. This crust recipe works well.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. Then add the onion, carrot, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and potato. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle the flour on the veggies and stir until combined and the veggies are coated. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and wine and stir until mixed.

Next, add the sea salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary and stir to combine. Allow to cook for another 5-8 minutes to thicken.

Pour in the almond milk and stir until mixed and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until it begins to bubble.

If the mixture seems to thin, add a little more flour to thicken. If too thick, add a little more stock to thin out.

Once it is thick and bubbly, remove from heat.

Pour the vegetable mixture into a large baking dish (I used a 2 1/2 qt sized dish).

Take your pie crust, roll it out on a floured surface and then place it on top of the baking dish. Press the dough to the sides of the dish. Use a knife and cut a couple small lines into the dough to allow the veggies to vent.

Place the baking dish on a large baking sheet and stick in the oven.

Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is bubbly.

Once ready, remove from the oven and set aside for a few minutes to cool.

When slightly cooled, just cut, serve and enjoy!

*Recipe makes 4-5 servings*

Healthy Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Brace yourself for the most chocolatey brownies you will ever eat.

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Seriously.

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These are the richest fudge chocolate brownies I’ve ever tried.

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Bonus points: they are actually healthy!

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I dare you to try to eat just one! 😉

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Healthy Chocolate Fudge Brownies

  •  1/3 cup unsweetned applesauce
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg replacers ( I use this brand, but anything similar will work)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Icing recipe (adapted from SparkPeople)

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp almond milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, agave, vanilla extract and the egg replacers together until smooth.

In a small bowl, add the spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt until combined.

Add the contents from the flour mixture bowl into the larger bowl and mixture until perfect combined and clump-free.

Pour mixture into a greased 9×9 square pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least an hour.

To make the icing, mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Add more milk to smoother.

Slather icing on the brownies and enjoy!

Watermelon Raspberry Smoothie

I really have had it with winter.

It’s constantly freezing outside and I have slipped on ice and fallen on my face more times than I would like to admit.

In an attempt to remind me of the good days of spring and summer, I concocted this delicious smoothie!

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Fruity and healthy, this smoothie really made a gross winter day a little brighter.

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Watermelon Raspberry Smoothie

(Makes one smoothie)

  •  3/4 cup watermelon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, frozen
  • 1/4 cup raspberry or vanilla soy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 2 tbsp flax, chia or hemp seed (optional)
  • pinch of xanthan gum to thicken (optional)

Throw all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Here is to hoping that the weather improves soon!

Have a great weekend!

Super Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats

Anyone a fan of chocolate for breakfast? If so, this overnight oats is right up your alley!

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By combining chocolate pudding and chocolate overnight oats, you get a super rich and decadent breakfast!

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I just love how handy overnight oats are! I love any breakfast where I can prepare it in advance and take it to go.

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Super Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats

Adapted from my Chocolate Blackberry Banana Overnight Oats & Vegan Chocolate Pudding recipe.

Overnight Oat Recipe:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 banana, sliced

Chocolate Pudding Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

First, start by making the overnight oats. In a medium-sized container, add the oats, milk, chia seeds and cocoa powder.

Add a tablespoon or two of more milk if the mixture is too dry.

Then add the agave and bananas and stir.

Place a lid on the container and stick in the fridge for at least six hours or overnight.

Next, start making the chocolate pudding by melting the chocolate on low-medium heat.

Place the tofu in a food processor and blend until super smooth.

When chocolate is fully melted, pour into the food processor and blend. Add the agave and vanilla and blend again.

Pour into a tupperware container and set in the fridge.

When the overnight oats are ready, layer the overnight oat mixture with the chocolate pudding in a container of your preference.

Top with some banana and indulge immediately!

Raspberry Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate is delicious but Raspberry Hot Chocolate? Even more amazing!

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This drink is luxurious, rich and sweet—the best combination!

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Raspberry Hot Chocolate

*Recipe makes 2 medium-sized drinks

Adapted from my Vegan Hot Chocolate recipe & Annie Eats

Hot Chocolate Recipe:

  •  1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Raspberry Syrup recipe:

  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup raspberries, frozen

First, start by making the syrup. Add the sugar, water and raspberries in a small saucepan and heat on high heat. Stir occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved.

When sugar has fully dissolved, reduce heat to low and allow it to simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to ensure all the chunks of raspberry are left out of the syrup.

Pour syrup into a small container and set aside. This recipe should make about 1 cup of raspberry syrup and be stored in the fridge for a week or two.

Next, start on the hot chocolate by adding the almond milk, cocoa powder, sea salt, vanilla extract, agave, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan and cooking on medium-high heat, stirring every so often.

When the mixture begins to bubble a bit (about 10-12 minutes) and mixture is fully combined, remove from heat.

Add 3-4 tbsp of the raspberry syrup to each cup. Fill the rest of the cup with hot chocolate and mix.

Enjoy!