Sweet and Chewy Granola Bars April 5, 2010

Always on the hunt for tasty new versions of homemade and healthy bars, I love trying newly discovered, soon-to-be classics.  These oooey-gooey-chewy sweet nuthins will dazzle your tastebuds and satisfy your sweet-tooth.  They have some great ingredients, but as with all typical granola bars, are a wee bit high on the sugar factor – so no finishing the entire batch in one sittin’ ya hear?  Well, try not too at least … and if you falter (don’t feel guilty, these things are like crack) just up the laps around the park that night, or maybe shave off a glass of vino (oh for the love of Pete why did I just say that?).



3/4 cup oats (not instant)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup unsalted sunflower OR pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup spelt flour (you could substitute whole wheat)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

Pinch of nutmeg OR Allspice

1/2 cup canola OR sunflower oil OR almond oil

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup dried blueberries (or whatever your fave dried berry is)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a square baking pan with parchment paper OR simply grease pan slightly.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl combine canola oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup until  smooth then stir in egg and vanilla extract. 
  4. Combine dry mixture with wet until it just incorporated then add in dried blueberries.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly, and bake bars until set (about 25-30 min). 
  6. Remove bars from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire, then cut into desired sizes and shapes and serve!

Blueberry Buckle August 13, 2008

An old-fashioned dessert with a modern VEGAN twist. This goes amazingly with ice-cream or a dollup of home-made whip cream (obviously not vegan at that point then). Use spelt or rice flower to make nice with your gluten free friends.



3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or spelt flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

5-6 tbsp canola oil


1 cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour

1 cup regular flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried

1) Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch spring-form pan ( you can also wrap bottom with foil for easier removal).

2) Topping: Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in bowl and stir in oil 1 tbsp at a time until mixture looks crumbly (you may not need all the oil).

3) Cake: Sift flours and baking powder into bowl, and in a separate bowl whisk together syrup, oil, vanilla and salt.

4) Stir syrup mixture into flour mixture, then gently fold in berries.

5) Pour cake batter in prepared pan, then sprinkle topping over top.

6) Bake for 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

7) Cool for at least 30 minutes on wire rack, then unmold, and serve.

– dash a few blueberries around the ‘buckle’ when plating
– drizzle a few drops of maple syrup or honey over top for that really sweet tooth of yours
– can be re-heated slightly in the micorwave
– freezes well ONLY if cooled completely, then securely wrapped in plastic (but only for a few weeks tops)


Glass Noodle Salad January 24, 2008

Last year I discovered yam noodles (also known as shirataki or konnyaku) – cheap, delicious, and are virtually fat/carb/calorie free! They take on any flavour, and have a great smooth texture to them. You can find these in any Asian supermarket.

2 ounces yam noodles (dried or packed in water and drained)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
4 large button mushrooms, sliced (shitake mushrooms work well too)
3 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp each canola and sesame oil
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp soy sauce substitute (or regular soy sauce if you can want)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Fresh cilantro or basil


1) Fill a large saucepan 2/3 full with water, add salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.

2) Add dried yam noodles into boiling water, and keeping the water at a gentle boil, cook for about 10 minutes (noodles should be transparent and soft). Skip this step if using water-packed yam noodles.

3) Drain noodles in a colander, cut with a knife or scissors into 2-3 inch lengths, and toss pieces into a large mixing bowl.

4) Add remaining ingredients, except sesame seeds and cilantro, and toss well to blend the flavors.

5) Transfer salad to a serving bowl and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh herbs (to taste).

Try some additions/variations for this salad – bean sprouts, extra-firm stir-fried tofu, cashews.


Veggie Chili January 17, 2008

Satisfying and a sure-fire comfort food, this chili can be made with hot or mild chili powder, depending on your taste buds (and mood). Goes really well with home-made corn bread and some ripe old cheddar cheese for those of you who still enjoy some dairy now and then.


1-2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium orange or red bell pepper, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped (or carrot, but hey, I can’t eat them so they’re not included with me!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup hot or mild chili powder (your call)
1 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (you can use fresh diced too, but add in a little tomato paste if you do)
2 16 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 16 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or mixed bean medley works too)
1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 freshly diced green chile
1 1/2 cups water (you can substitute in 1/2 cup of broth here too)
1/2 cup cooked corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1) Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
2) Add onion, bell pepper, zuchinni and garlic.
3) Cover and cook to soften the vegetables, 5 to 7 minutes.
4) Stir in chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, beans, honey, and water.
5) Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low.
6) Cook until vegetables are tender and chili is thick, about 30-45 minutes.
7) To serve, spoon or ladle into bowls, and garnish with cheese, sour cream, or corn bread if desired.

A nice addition is a bit of salsa added in too, for extra punch. I like to serve this over rice sometimes as well. If you can eat TVP, add some in after veggies are cooked for a very ‘meaty’ alternative.


Quick-fix Cinnamon Raisin Quinoa

Filed under: Veggie Mains — s mcdowall @ 2:20 am
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Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium) grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudo-cereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a grass. Quinoa has quickly come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete food. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s needs than wheat protein. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and is super easy to digest. Besides all of that, it is relatively cheap, extremely easy to make and tastes amazing! Use it much like you would either rice or couscous. This simple recipe is very simple, incredibly delicious, healthy, filling, and vegan.


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or broth (I used ½ veggie broth, ½ water)
1 tsp organic canola or olive oil (or butter for non-vegans)
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
¼ cup raisins (or to taste)
1 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar (or to taste)

Optional toppings:
Fresh or dried cherries/strawberries/bananas
Dried cranberries/figs
Fresh or dried blueberries
Almond/coconut/hemp/rice milk (or dairy milk for non-vegans)
Brown sugar
Ground flax
Wheat Germ (for non-gluten-free folks)


1. In a saucepan or rice cooker, add quinoa, water, oil, and cinnamon.
2. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 20 min or until the water is completely absorbed (or follow the instructions for your rice cooker if you want and use that).
3. Once the quinoa is cooked, add raisins and other toppings and stir in the honey or agave nectar.
4. Serve warm or cold. Keeps well refridgerated for a few days.


Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Low Fat and gluten-free!! Just go ahead and try this healthy alternative – they are sweet, filled with chunks of yummy apples, plus they are low calorie, vegan, and freeze really well! You can even make this into a loaf if you want.


3 cups spelt flour (I replaced ½ cup with ½ cup hemp flour – for non-gluten-free you can use whole wheat flour instead)
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
¼ cup maple syrup, Grade B
1 ½ cup applesauce
1 cup organic rice or almond or dairy milk
4 apples, peeled, cored, cubed

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon) in a large bowl.
3. Add the wet ingredients (molasses, maple syrup, applesauce, and milk) and mix them until they are “just blended.” Do not over mix.
4. Peel and cut apples and add into muffin batter – again, do not mix any more than necessary.
5. Spoon muffin batter into a muffin tin (greased or lined with muffin cups), filling each cup completely.
6. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Makes about 20 muffins.


If you’d like a more “cinnamony” muffin batch, use cinnamon applesauce. You can also add other spices such as nutmeg, allspice, cloves, or even cardamom.

If you don’t have want just apples, try adding some other fruits, such as raisins or grated orange peel (reduce apples depending on the quantity added here).

I also like to add in walnuts or pecans for extra protein.


Hemp Energy Cookies January 12, 2008

These may seem odd but trust me, they are mouthwatering and amazingly nutritious. Feel free to subsitute any of the ingredients – especially the flour (depending on your preferences). These aren’t low in fat, but they mainly have the good fats your need anyway, so it’s all gravy.

Prep time: 10 min
Baking time: 30 min



1 cup oil (I mixed olive with almond)

1 cup maple syrup (I used 1/2 maple, 1/2 honey)

2 1/2 cups oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup each sunflower seeds, sesame seeds

3 scoops of Hemp Protein Powder (each scoop 15grams)

1/2 cup barley or rice flour

1 1/4 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup cranberries, raisins, dates, chocolate chips or other dried fruit


1. Preheat oven 350F.

2. Mix oil & syrup

3. Combine with dry ingredients. Mix wet into dry. Then let the mixture rest for a minute or so. If you see oil separating from the mixture, then you need to add a bit more almonds or barley flour to thicken it.

4. Using a teaspoon drop onto greased cookie sheets. It will flatten a bit since it has enough oil in the dough that it will spread on its own.

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are brown and bottoms should be at least light brown. Cookies will be crisp in texture.

These keep quite well too. Store in an air tight container for up to a week – add in a piece of bread to keep moist though.