Plant Protein Powered Breakfast Cookies!

Plant Protein Powered Breakfast Cookies

These cookies make a great breakfast or snack on the go.  Pair a couple of these with some fresh fruit and you have a delicious and nutritious start to the day!  Need a compact quick energy source while out on a hike or bike ride?  These will definitely do the trick.  Chock full of goodies like wheat germ, flax, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds, these babies pack a protein punch!  Not to mention the vitamin E, zinc, omega 3’s, and iron they bring to the party too!  You won’t miss the oil, eggs, or dairy here.  If you tend to be pressed for time, double the batch and freeze some of the baked cookies for when you need something quick on the go.


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2  cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

5 Medjool (or 10 deglet noor), chopped

1 handful dried cranberries


1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 3 Tablespoons water)

1/2 large ripe banana, mashed

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3-1/2 cup sucanat (or organic brown sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons almond milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.  Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Next, add the wet mixture to the dry one in the large bowl.  Mix well with a wooden spoon to combine.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto 1 or 2 parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans after 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Once they cool, if you want to put some  in the freezer for future use, now’s the time.  Otherwise, if you leave them out they’ll be all gobbled up before you know it!  Enjoy!!


Fresh Berry Tart

This berry tart is fantastic!  A tasty, crumbly nut crust, cashew date cream and fresh berries.  That’s it!  Its quick, easy and makes a great dinner party or potluck dessert with plenty of “WOW!” factor.  Want to take it to the next level?  A vegan lemon curd beneath the berries would be out of this world!

Vegan Berry TartNutty Tart Crust

3/4 cup roasted, unsalted nuts (you can use pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, whatever you like)

3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/4 cup light, neutral oil (grape seed oil is like canola, without the GMO risk) see note after directions


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Process the dry ingredients (nuts, oats, flour and cinnamon) in a food processor until it becomes a coarse meal.  Transfer to a bowl and mix in the oil and syrup.
  3. Press the crust mixture firmly into a 9″-10″ tart pan or pie plate.
  4. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack

Note: Melted coconut oil could be used in place of the oil mentioned in the tart crust, but I would advise against it, only because it will harden at room temp and become solid as a rock once refrigerated!  This may make eating (let alone slicing) the crust a bit of a challenge.

Date Sweetened Cashew Cream

1/2 cup raw cashews (if you have time, soak them in water for 1-2 hours prior, then rinse well).

2-3 Tablespoons dates (double check for pits!)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place cashews in a blender pitcher.  Add enough fresh water to just cover the nuts.  Add dates and vanilla, blend until it becomes a smooth cream.  Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.  Can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

Once the tart shell is cooled, we can assemble this baby!  

Spread and even layer of your sweetened cashew cream over the bottom of the completely cooled tart shell.  Rinse and pat dry the berries, then arrange on top of the cashew cream any way you fancy.  I started from the center and made concentric circles with some berries I had left over from the night before.  You could use different fruits like kiwi, or mango for more color and variety.  Have fun and get creative!

When you are ready to serve, get ready to hear the “Oooh”s and “Ahhh”s!  Slice, serve and enjoy!







Yummy Nutty “Truffle” Bites


Well, the big V day will be here before we know it. (Valentine’s Day that is, Feb.14th)  Why not show your sweetheart how much you care by giving him/her a sweet treat that is actually GOOD for their heart.  These do pack a bit of a calorie punch (with all of those nuts), but they also pack in fiber, calcium, vitamin E and other nutrients that you can’t get with candy.

The ones pictured here were actually made by my (almost) 9 year old son this morning. He wanted to bring something to school for snack that was going to fill him up, give him energy and not take forever to eat.  There is playing that needs to be done at recess too, you know!  These worked out great; way better than a granola bar and easy enough for a child to make.  Can’t get much better than that!

They also provide a great opportunity to get creative.  Not a fan of almonds? Fine, try pistachios.  Love dried blueberries?  Go ahead, throw them in the mix! Have fun with it! The original recipe that gave us the foundation for these was found in Chef AJ’s book Unprocessed.  But we have since made  some of our own changes.  Enjoy!



about 2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup raw walnuts

1/4 cup almond butter

1/3 cup pitted dates

1/4 cup dried cherries or dried apricots (or a little bit of both!)

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place the coconut in a small dish  and set aside Place all ingredients (except the coconut) in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse for a while, until everything is chopped pretty finely and sticks together well.  Take a tablespoon at a time of the mixture and roll into a tight ball (If they are not compact, they’ll fall apart easily.).  Roll the balls in the coconut and place in an airtight container.  That’s it!  Store in the refrigerator or just dole them out right then and there.  Enjoy!

Mel’s Muffuletta-ish Sandwich


This sandwich is a really yummy way to use up some of the veggies in your fridge, or just squeeze more veggies into your day.  Not in the mood for a moderately messy sandwich? Try a cozy warm bowl filled with some of the steamy veggie filling and the cooked whole grain of your choice (brown rice, quinoa, spelt, barley, or couscous to name a few).  Talk about comfort food!


Vegetable Filling

  • 1 onion, cut in half crosswise and sliced into half moons
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2″-1″ chunks
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced (just the bulb, not the stalks or feathery fronds)
  • 2-3 carrots, sliced, or 2 handfuls of shredded carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1-2 zucchini, cut in half, lengthwise and sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper sliced into strips (or you can use bottled roasted peppers – YUM! )
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • One 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Fresh parsley, chopped

Sammie fixin’s

  • 4 whole grain rolls, sliced in half, horizontally
  • hummus
  • olive tapenade (optional)
  • Fresh spinach or Romaine lettuce


  1. Heat about 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth in a large skillet
  2. Add onions, eggplant and fennel.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes.  Next add carrots, celery, zucchini, and bell peppers (if using bottled, we’ll add them later).  Cook for another 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic and spices.  Cook for a minute or two before adding the tomatoes (and roasted red peppers, if you’re using them).  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, on low for 15-20 minutes.  Uncover and cook for a little longer to cook off any excess liquid. Stir in parsley.
  3. While the filling is simmering, toast the rolls, then smear one side with hummus and top with spinach or lettuce.  Top other half of the roll with olive tapenade.
  4. Spoon a good heap of the cooked veggies on top of the leaves and place the other half of the roll on top.  Tuck in!

Oatmeal Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies

This a.m. I was in the mood to bake and had a cup of left over pumpkin puree in the fridge that needed to be used.  My first thought was pumpkin oatmeal cookies, bejeweled with cranberries.  Fortunately I came across this wonderful recipe on the Vegan Yack Attack website.  Click here for the original post and recipe.  These babies are so full of flavor without any oil, eggs, dairy, nuts or refined sugar.  Of course I can’t leave anything alone, so I switched out the whole wheat flour with spelt flour, used date paste (pureed dates and water) as the sweetener, and added an extra pinch of ground clove. Cloves add such a great earthiness and depth.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-down Cobbler

Our kids and I had a great time strawberry picking with friends yesterday.  Before we left the farm stand, I spotted a box of beautiful, ruby-red rhubarb.  My mind went immediately to “rhubarb…strawberries…COBBLER!”  Not to mention the fact that rhubarb is so nutrient rich (and becomes more so, once it’s cooked)!  Low on the glycemic index, 14% protein, and high in fiber, vitamin C,  vitamin K, calcium and potassium, rhubarb is super-star.  Not to mention the fact that 1 cup is only 25 Calories!

The kids and I out in the field, picking our strawberries.

Strawberries are no nutritional slouch either.  These sweet red beauties are high in folate (nature’s form of folic acid), fiber, vitamin C and manganese.  And when the sweetness of strawberries collides with the tartness of rhubarb, you have a winning result!

In this cobbler, I used no eggs, oil, butter or margarine, so there are no added calories from fat.  We love our oats around here, so there are a lot of them in the cobbler.

Technically this is more of an “upside down” cobbler because of the fact that the fruit is poured over the cobbler, versus plopping mounds of the topping over the fruit, which makes for a “cobblestone” appearance – thus the name.

The perfect addition for this was a little dollop of cashew cream that has been sweetened with dates.  I had my taste testers (ages 2 and 5) try out a spoonful, and they kept coming back for more.  That’s always a good sign.

Enjoy the fleeting days of spring and pick up some fresh (or frozen would work too) strawberries and rhubarb and see what you come up with!

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-down Cobbler


  • 4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 4 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice (more or less, depending on how sweet your berries are)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons potato starch (could substitute cornstarch)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 6 Tablespoons maple syrup or agave


  1. Combine berries, rhubarb, evaporated cane juice and starch in a large bowl.  Toss to combine and set aside (at room temp) for about 30 min, or while you preheat the oven and prep your cobbler.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Time to prep your cobbler!  In a large mixing bowl, dump in your dry ingredients (flour, oats, cinnamon and baking soda).  Stir to combine, then add remaining ingredients to the party. (milk substitute, sweetener and vanilla).  Mix until everything is well incorporated.
  3. Pour cobbler mixture into a 9×13 pan that is either non-stick or lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Use the back of a wooden spoon  to make sure the batter covers the bottom of the pan evenly.  Add  the berries and rhubarb and spread out evenly.  Don’t be afraid to smoosh the fruit down a little into the batter.  
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly (center shouldn’t look too wet).
Sweet Cashew Cream
This stuff is a great little treat, and makes a dessert just a little more special.  It even dresses up plain ol’ fruit to make it more of a special treat.  The unsweetened version of this is a great substitute for dairy cream in anything from scones, to creamy soups or even ice cream, just leave out the vanilla and dates.
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • water
  • 8-10 deglet noor dates (the smaller ones)
  • capful of vanilla extract
  1. If you have time, cover the cashews with water and let them soak a while (1 hour up to overnight).  Then drain and rinse before making the cream.  If you don’t have time for this step, don’t worry about it.  
  2. Place cashews and enough fresh water to almost cover the nuts in a blender pitcher, then add the dates and vanilla.  Blend until completely smooth.  High powered blenders like a VitaMix are GREAT at this, but any regular blender should be able to handle the job.
  3. Place a dollop on top of your serving  of cobbler and voila!  Dig in!