May
03

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pie

Around Easter (yeah, I know it was a while ago – whatever), I as overwhelmed with recipes using carrots. That must be a “thing” around Easter. Bunnies eat carrots which prompts the humans to eat carrots in honor of the bunny? I actually collected several carrot recipes, they all looked so good. Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal, Salt Roasted Carrots, Raw Carrot Cake, Spicy Raw Vegan Soup, Carrot, Apple Quinoa Hash, and this Vegan Carrot Cake Cookie recipe. I told you, I found a LOT (and even made a few). These cookies, I made immediately… and more than once. I made them without ginger and orange zest and I made them without (because I didn’t have the ingredients). I definitely recommend you use the ginger and orange zest – WAY tastier with! I ate these with frosting and without frosting. While they are good without, the frosted cookies won. 

But really, do I eat cake and cookies because I like cake and cookies or do I eat them because I like the frosting? There is a bakery in Chicago that sells little pots of frosting, ask me how I know.

So anyway, every time I ate one of these cookies, I told myself they are healthy. Carrots, orange zest, ginger, “fruits and veggies” – they’re PERFECT for breakfast (for obvious reasons).

Please do not wait until next Easter to make these cookies, do what the cool kids aren’t doing – eat carrots on the “off season”.

In this post you’ll find the recipe for the cookies and a link to the Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.

ACarrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • zest of ½ orange
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil, (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • a batch of Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (find a link to the recipe below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, salt, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
  3. Add the fresh ginger, orange zest, and grated carrots, and mix until evenly combined.
  4. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract, and stir just until combined.
  5. Using a spoon or a fork, drop the dough on prepared baking sheets in about 2 tablespoon sized amounts, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Gently push on the dough, encouraging it to flatten out slightly.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before adding the frosting.
  8. Once the cookies have cooled, use the Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting to make the cookie sandwiches.

In a prior blog post, you can find the recipe for Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pie

This cookie recipe was adapted from Always Order Dessert (what a fabulous blog!)

Love

Crista


May
02

Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting 

When my friend Amanda posted a recipe for Coconut Butter Stuffed Dates on her blog, I was floored – 2 ingredients of pure awesomeness. You see, I’d had a jar of coconut butter hanging around for a while, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. This simple recipe changed my world – opened my mind up to new opportunities.

My boyfriend is always thinking outside the box when it comes to food & recipes. For instance, he thought we should add chocolate chips to that stuffed-date recipe, he thinks chocolate chips should be added to EVERYTHING (including butter toffee cookies). He’s the one who recommend I use pear with lovage, and this morning he told me to dip my banana in my orange juice. Sometimes he hits the nail on the head, and sometimes he just makes me laugh.

Him and I started brainstorming different ways to use coconut butter (new obsession!) and we came up with this awesome recipe that perfectly complimented some carrot cake oatmeal cookies that I made (recipe coming soon!)

Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

I made a larger batch of this frosting than necessary (don’t judge me) because it’s good for SO MANY THINGS! 

Cinnamon rolls
homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
atop Cookies
atop Cupcakes
Atop a Carrot Cake
or, as a finger lick
(you know, dip your finger in, lick the frosting off)

Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting {a vegan recipe}
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. vegan cream cheese (I like Trader Joe's brand)
  • 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coconut butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. With a hand mixer, blend the cream cheese, coconut butter, and vanilla extract together.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about ⅓ cup at a time.
  3. Whip together until the frosting has reached the desired consistency.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

 Coconut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Love

Crista


Feb
12

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I haven’t even eaten any chocolate yet this week! Psh. I went out and purchased some (chocolate) candies and I plan to make something chocolatey this evening…. I’m just not sure what yet. 

I searched through the blogs archives and I found some pretty good stuff (pats self on back – just kidding) – chocolate + cherry, chocolate + peanut butter, chocolate + cinnamon whipped cream… I mean, seriously, YUM.

If you’re in the same boat as me (NEED chocolate, using Valentine’s Day as the justification), check out the vegan recipes below. 

Chocolate Cherry Sundae
Chocolate Cherry Sundae
Really, this is a smoothie, but it’s delectable enough to be called a sundae.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake
Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Chocolate + peanut butter will please anyone. And if someone tells you they don’t like chocolate and peanut butter together, know that they are crazy.

Drk Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
These truffles are easy to make and happy to be one of my all-time favorite treats. They are rich, creamy, chocolatey, and secretly made with avocado!

vegan Chocolate Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Chocolate Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
This recipe was inspired by an ice cream combination that was served to me at a farmers market, it was my favorite ice cream combination ever.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie
Again, the undeniable perfect combination of chocolate + peanut butter, with the addition of bananas and an oreo crust. DO it, because it’s goooood… (and has avocado hidden in the recipe as well)

Happy Valentines Day, my friends!!
xox

Love

Crista


Jul
08

vegan & gluten-free Banana Pancakes with a Peach Compote Sauce

I got a request from a special friend to make Banana Pancakes topped with Peaches. Banana + Peach is not a combination that I would have put together (in pancake form) before the request but it turns out that they are a perfect pair (when it comes to pancakes, anyway).

I rarely make pancakes because they intimidate me. I have this fear of not being able to cook them properly – maybe I’d burn them? OR just create some ugly-looking cakes? …that I wouldn’t want anyone to see…
But I took the risk, with confidence, AND I was pleasantly surprised (with myself) during the pancake-making process. To give credit where credit is due, I’ll say that these pancakes were simple to make. whew. I mastered it. Anyone could. Now I can move on with my life, fearless.

I adapted this recipe from a vegan, gluten-free pancake recipe that uses a mashed, ripe banana as a binder – that banana also acts as the sweetener in the pancakes – perfect. These pancakes are not super sweet on their own, which works out well because they are topped with the sweetness that is Peach Compote. If you have the desire to create another layer of sweetness, you can top your pancakes with maple syrup and/or coconut whipped cream in addition to the peach compote.
(Don’t think I didn’t…)

vegan & gluten-free Banana Pancakes with a Peach Compote Sauce

Banana Pancakes {vegan & gluten-free}
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup almond milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • a few teaspoons coconut oil, for the pan
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or a blender, puree the banana with the almond milk and vanilla, then set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together.
  3. Pour the banana/milk mixture in to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop (or a ¼ cup measuring cup) to scoop pancake batter in to the heated skillet. You will only be able to make a few pancakes at a time.
  6. When you start to see bubbles in the batter, flip the pancake. Let the second side cook for about 30-60 seconds and then remove from heat. Check the pancakes to make sure they are done in the middle. If not, reduce the heat and cook longer.
  7. Add more oil to the pan before adding more pancake batter.
  8. Serve with Peach Compote (recipe below) or Maple Syrup.
Notes
If you choose to use an all-purpose flour vs. a gluten-free flour, use 1 cup of flour. Gluten-free flour tends to be more dense, which is why I use less than I would all-purpose flour in this recipe.
Peach Compote Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices
  • 3 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat then stir the sugar and cinnamon in.
  2. Add the peaches to the mixture and stir to coat with the butter mixture.
  3. Simmer the peaches over low-to-medium heat until they soften and the juice starts to thicken, about 20 minutes.
  4. Pour half of the mixture in to a food processor or a blender and puree.
  5. Blend the pureed mixture with the original mixture.
  6. Serve warm or chilled atop pancakes, waffles, french toast, or even ice cream.

You may want to consider making a double batch of these pancakes (which is what I do), and freeze the leftovers. They warm up really well, and make for a quick breakfast on a day that you don’t have as much time to be in the kitchen. The Peach Compote can be made in excess as well and stored in the refrigerate for use on a later date. 

vegan & gluten-free Banana Pancakes with a Peach Compote Sauce

*This Pancake Recipe was adapted from Love & Lemons.

Love

Crista


Mar
06

curry-licious salad dressing

I’ve been on the search for a good salad dressing using yellow curry to top a salad I’ve been wanting to make.

My first attempt at making the dressing ended up a failure, I threw it away because it tasted like mayonnaise and onion. Yuck.

After more experimentation in the kitchen, I have crafted the perfect curry-licios salad dressing. It’s sweet with a little kick, not necessarily spicy…. just curry-licious. 

Curry-licious Salad Dressing
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup (grade B)
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 1½ tsp. yellow curry powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • few dashes of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until creamy.
  2. Serve atop a fresh mixed greens salad.

 I would recommend this salad dressing atop a mixed green salad that contains ingredients such as: banana, dried coconut, raisins, nuts, and/or celery.

Love

Crista


Jan
10

Apple Pie Quinoa

 When I was in Denver, during the snow storm, I wrote a post listing off a few items I would stock in the house if there were ever a chance I might get snowed in – quinoa & fresh fruit were on that list. Well I had those items on hand in the apartment during the snow storm, and I was so happy to finally find the exact perfect morning to finally make this warm & fragrant Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl – I’ve been eyeing this recipe for months.

Apple Pie Quinoa

Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked in water
  • 1 large apple, diced (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, warm the almond milk over medium heat.
  2. When the milk is almost at a boil, stir in the cooked quinoa, apple, and cinnamon.
  3. Stir occasionally until the almond milk is absorbed and the mixture has a consistency similar to oatmeal. (about 10-15 minutes dependent on desired thickness)
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the agave nectar.
  5. Top with additional cinnamon to taste.
  6. Serve warm.

Apple Pie Quinoa

Love

Crista


Dec
15

I love, love, love, love, LOVE cupcakes!!!!!!!!! 
Naturally, I get REALLY excited for National Cupcake Day.

About 4 years ago when I moved to Chicago from Minneapolis, I developed my obsession with cupcakes. There were 2-3 cupcake bakeries in Chicago that I would visit on the daily. I lived alone so no one really knew how often I ate cupcakes, it was my little secret. Even those people closest to me had no idea quite how often I was stuffing my face with yummy cupcakes…. although, I did share the obsession with a girlfriend of mine – every day we would have conversations about the latest yummy cupcakes we had most recently eaten. Quite often, we made cupcake runs together – out of desperation, you know? NEEEED Cupcakes NOW. haha. We even had a cupcake party, it went down like this: invite 5-10 people over, ask them all to bring cupcakes, FEED OUR FACES, sugar high. best.party.ever. Oh, and you know what else we did? We went on a cupcake tour. We hopped around from cupcake bakery to cupcake bakery … eating cupcakes all along the way…. No wonder I’m 10 lbs. heavier than I was in my early 20’s….

Sooooo Instead of stuffing my face with cupcakes to celebrate National Cupcake Day, I indulge in VEGAN CUPCAKE PORN!!! (and new recipes!!)

Cream-Filled Chocolate CupcakesCream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
by Chocolate Covered Katie

Avocado Cupcakes + GanacheTriple Chocolate & Avocado Cupcake
by Feed Your Awesome Machine

vanilla toffee quinoa cupcakesVanilla Toffee Quinoa Cupcakes with Toffee Frosting
by Desserts With Benefits

Choco-Cherry-CupCakeChoco-Cherry Cupcakes 
by Namely Marly

vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter CupcakesChocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
by peace.love.quinoa (me!)

ganache filled cupcakesGanache Filed Double Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes 
by Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

coffee mocha cupcakesCoffee Mocha Cupcakes
by The Baking Bird

Happppppyyyyyy Daaaaayyyy!!! 
xoxox

Love

Crista


Dec
07

vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

One of my favorite friends is celebrating a birthday today, to honor his birthday, I made his favorite cupcakes: Chocolate with Peanut Butter Frosting. It’s sad that I won’t see my buddy today, and he won’t have the opportunity to eat these cupcakes. Poor guy. Maybe this post will inspire him to bake his own batch of these homemade, vegan, yummy birthday treats.

I found this recipe on Bakeaholic, it was quite simple to follow. I like it.

Homemade {vegan} Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
 
Ingredients
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ cup flour
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted
  • ½ cup coconut or almond milk
  • ⅓ cup water + 1 tsp ground golden flax seeds (allow mixture sit for 10-15 minutes before using)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup mashed banana
Peanut Butter Frosting
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup vegan butter, chilled
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp non-dairy milk (coconut or almond)
Instructions
Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and baking powder. Stir to mix.
  3. In a separate bowl blend together mashed banana, vanilla, melted butter, flax seeds + water mixture, apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk. Blend with mixer until well incorporated.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and blend together.
  5. Line cupcake tins with wrappers – add ¼ cup batter to each.
  6. Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until tops begin to toast up.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. Blend all ingredients together with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy and smooth.
  2. Pipe on to cooled cupcakes.

vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcake

During the making of these cupcakes, my sister-in-law showed me how to use wax paper and/or a plastic ziplock bag to pipe the frosting on to these cupcakes. I would share how to do it, but I’m not that good yet. I did find a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it with wax paper HERE, if you’re curious….

Random thought: Chocolate cupcakes are so much easier to make vegan than vanilla cupcakes. What’s that all about?

Join me in wishing my buddy a Happy Happy Birthday. 
xoxo

Love

Crista


Oct
25

Chocolate Cherry Sundae

My girlfriend, Laura & I are what some people might call “work wives”. We spend more nights in hotel rooms this time of year than we do at home and we always room together. Poor girl, I hope she never gets sick of me because she can’t get rid of me! 

Laura & I both prefer to eat food we’ve picked out versus food that is provided by the hotel so we try to get out to a local grocery store and pick up some healthy foods and snacks. Last March, we purchased little single-serve blenders (for less than $20) and we’ve been making these Chocolate Cherry Sundaes in hotel rooms ever since. ((we always ask the hotel to provide us with a refrigerator if the room doesn’t already have one so we can keep frozen cherries, almond milk, orange juice, kombucha, and salads.))

Chocolate Cherry Sundae-2

You’ll notice the chocolate in this recipe comes from two different sources: the chocolate almond milk and the chocolate protein powder and/or meal replacement. We use a variety of different powders including: Amazing Grass Green Superfood, Vega, and Garden Of Life Raw Protein – all of which can be found at Whole Foods.

Chocolate Cherry Sundae: a smoothie recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 serving of chocolate protein powder or meal replacement
Instructions
  1. In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Cherry Sundae-3

When we call this Smoothie a Sundae, we mean it. It is rich and sweet and a tasty treat. 

Love

Crista


Oct
24

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt_-2

So… I have written about coming across my late grandma’s recipes and I finally had the opportunity to re-create one of the recipes, Applesauce Drop Cookies. There is another recipe that struck my interest, Orange-Pumpkin Pudding. Grandma clipped the recipe out of Better Homes & Gardens in October of 1968. The pudding consisted of beaten eggs, canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, grated orange peel, and a few spices. Sounds yummy, but not my style.

This Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Parfait recipe I found in Martha Stewart Magazine offers the same rich pumpkin-y flavor that Grandma got out of the pudding, and it’s healthier… however, just as sweet.

Martha Stewart. That chick is a genius. Obviously. She’s the only one who can think up something this simple & amazing. I did alter her recipe slightly to satisfy my own needs and taste, but still – she’s got it going on.

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt_-3

Enjoy this yogurt parfait for breakfast and/or as a sweet treat. You can use any type of vanilla yogurt that you’d like, I prefer to use Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt.

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Parfait
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup pumpkin purée
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt (I use Coconut Milk Yogurt)
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbs. pumpkin seeds
  • drizzle of honey
Instructions
  1. Stir the pumpkin purée and the pumpkin pie spice in to the yogurt.
  2. Top with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of honey.

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt_

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Blog Nation.

Love

Crista