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!

Yummy Veggie Pad Thai!

I looked around for a good vegan Pad Thai recipe for what seemed like forever.  I finally took what I liked from a few different recipes and added some extras that I liked and here is the result.  It is honestly one of my favorite meals…easy, full of flavor, and tons of veggies!

NOTE: If you can find them, try to use flat brown rice noodles.  I use the Annie Chun’s brand found in the asian food section at Whole Foods Market.  Unlike regular flat rice noodles, these ones don’t tend to get as sticky and gummy as the regular ones, and they are whole grain!


3 tablespoons water or vegetable stock

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced (Take a piece about the size of your thumb and try peeling it with a spoon.  It’s a lot easier and safer than using a knife.  You end up saving a lot more of the ginger too!)

1 package of baked tofu (recipe to follow)

3 green onions, sliced

2 cups broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 to 1 cup each of the following

  • shredded carrots
  • sliced celery
  • snow peas
  • bean sprouts

1 package of  flat brown rice noodles, soaked in warm water for about 10-20 min (or as directed on the package), then drained.

1/2 teaspoon chili powder (less if you like it mild, or are serving to kids)

1/2 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (optional)

1/4 cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 teaspoons sweetener (agave, honey, evaporated cane juice, etc. will do)

12-15 sprigs of cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped (unsalted) peanuts


BAKED TOFU – If you are going to bake your own tofu, you can do it well ahead of time.  Just keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.  If using packaged baked tofu, then just cut it into bite-sized cubes and it’s ready to add!

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drain tofu and wrap with 2-3 paper towels and place on a large plate. Place another plate on top and top the plate with something relatively heavy, like a can of beans.  Press the tofu for anywhere from 10 min. to 1 hour, depending upon how much time you have.
  3. Cut tofu into bite-sized pieces and place on a parchment or silicon mat lined baking sheet.  Brush or spray the tofu with tamari or soy sauce and sprinkle with  n0-salt seasoning, like Mrs. Dash (Costco has a great salt-free seasoning under their Kirkland brand too).
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, turning tofu pieces over half-way through.  Set aside.  If not using right away, wait until they are completely cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for later use.
  1. Heat a dry non-stick skillet over medium low heat.  Place chopped peanuts in skillet and stir regularly.  Keep an eye on them and cook until fragrant and toasted.  Then remove from heat.
  2. Place water or stock in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble.  Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Add tofu, veggies and noodles one at a time, stirring for about 1 minute before adding each additional ingredient.  This keeps the skillet from cooling down too much as the ingredients are added.
  4. Whisk the chili powder/sauce, tamari, lime juice and sweetener together in a small bowl and add to the party in the wok or skillet.  You can even just add them straight into the veggies without whisking together first.  You’ll end up with one less bowl to clean up.  
  5. Stir everything together until well combined and remove from the heat.  If your Pad Thai looks a little dry, try adding a little more water or vegetable stock.
  6. Place in bowls and garnish with plenty of toasted peanuts and cilantro.
  7. DIG IN!!!!

Confetti Salad


They say we need to “eat the rainbow” everyday.  Getting the full spectrum of colorful fruits and veggies into your diet daily will help increase and insure your intake of a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients our bodies need to perform optimally. Well, this salad will definitely send you on your way over the rainbow.  Add some red (purple) cabbage and carrots and I think you’ll have the whole spectrum!   I used swiss chard here, but you can use any of a wide variety of greens.  Spinach, kale, and beet greens are all good substitutions too.  Beans and brown rice are not only good sources of plant protein, but they are very high in fiber too.  This salad is great served cold, room temp or warm, and is great for parties.  Sometimes its nice to have a healthy, colorful alternative to the traditional holiday party fare.  Have leftovers?  Wrap it up in a blanched collard leaf or toasted whole wheat pita, and you’ve got a great lunch on the run!



3 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups (or 1 14.5 oz. can) black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

1 small zucchini, diced

2-3 scallions (green onions) green parts only, thinly sliced

1-2 cups frozen corn (or one can, drained)

1 bunch Swiss Chard, tough stems removed, and chopped into small pieces

½ avocado, diced

2-3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar OR balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. 

TIP:  If you want, you can put all of the veggies in first, leaving the greens for the top layer.  Then warm up the rice and beans and place them on top of the greens. Then toss to combine.  This will help wilt the greens a little and warm up the salad a bit too.  Can be served warm or cold.