Green Turmeric Veggie Soup

Tomatillos, turmeric, kale, and carrots come together to make a bright and earthy winter soup.

Saturday was one long allergy attack. The bulk of the day was spent napping/sneezing, cuddling with my cat or Kindle, and being generally unproductive. I did manage to squeeze in a pathetic, wheezy run. More like a shuffle. I also managed to make this awesome soup, which, along with some fatty carbs, helped me feel immensely better. I know that the whole point of turmeric (or at least the whole point of turmeric’s current appeal) is its detox/anti-inflammation  properties. And I know  pairing it with fatty carbs was totally counterintuitive, but oh well. It made me feel better and that was that.

One of my favorite things to have when I’m not feeling so well is salsa verde. It clears my sinuses without being harsh and has this wonderful comforting nature. The main ingredient in salsa verde is tomatillos, and I happened to have some on hand. Into the soup they went. They thickened the soup considerably, and brought in piquant notes that complimented the turmeric nicely.

I also had carrots and kale on hand, so I threw those in as well for a nice boost of veggies.

This soup is quite versatile. My favorite thing about it ended up being the broth, so if you’re really not feeling well and just want something to sip on, you can totally make this as broth-only. If you want it to be a little more substantial, throw in some cooked rice or canned black beans. A win either way.

Hope this keeps you toasty warm! What are your favorite comfort/feel-better foods?

Green Turmeric Veggie Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 big bowls of soup, or 4 side bowls


  • 1 1/4 lbs tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 4 cups packed kale
  • 3/4 tsp microplane grated garlic
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • handful of cilantro (optional)
  • 1 large jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • salt to taste


  1. Chop up the carrots and place in a pot over medium heat with 2 cups of water. Add the nutritional yeast and garlic.
  2. Cover and cook for 12 minutes, until carrots begin to soften.
  3. While the carrots are doing their thing, puree the tomatillos
  4. After 12 minutes, add the tomatillos, the turmeric, and the remaining two cups of water to the pot. Cover again. Allow to cook for 8 more minutes.
  5. Add the kale and the jalapeno. Remove from heat, but leave the lid on for about 2 more minutes to allow the kale to wilt.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Serve with love
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Kitchen & Craft: Spicy Broccoli Butternut Bowls & Produce Garland

vegan thai healthy thai vegan thai sauce peanut sauce tahini

paper garland how to

Hi guys! How were your weekends? Mine was freezin’ (duh), but productive.

The productivity stemmed from a running injury I sustained on New Year’s Eve. I twisted my ankle and fell. It hurt, but since I was able to finish the rest of my planned miles, I figured it couldn’t be that bad. I was wrong. I woke up on January 1st with it all swollen and purple, the styloid of the fibula completely hidden beneath puffy flesh. Since that day, I’ve had to keep my runs short because it hasn’t completely healed. It sucks, but the upside is that I have more time to do other things.

paper garland


I’m kicking off two new blog projects this week. The first one is Kitchen & Craft, where I’ll feature a simple handicraft paired with an easy recipe. To be honest, I’m not sure how regularly I’m going to do these, because I enjoy cooking far more than I enjoy crafting. Right now, I’m aiming for once a month. We’ll see.

I’ll announce the second project on Friday. 🙂

This simple paper garland, and ode to produce, was inspired by Nepalese Lokta paper garlands. I needed to hang up something bright and festive after we took down our Christmas tree, just to bring a little warmth to winter.

This project couldn’t have been simpler. I had some colored paper that my mom had given me for Lord knows what reason. All I did was draw up some shapes, cut them out, and hot glue them to embroidery floss. I detail it all below, and I’ve provided a link to the pattern I made of all the veggies. paper garland

The spicy veggie dish was also Asian inspied, Thailand this time. When we lived in Raleigh, Jason always wanted to go to this Thai place at Briar Creek. I liked it, but not as much as he did. I always felt too heavy and bloated afterwards, all those salty carbs.

I took some traditional Thai flavors and paired them with spicy broccoli, lime rice, and butternut noodles. The result is comforting but not overbearing, and you can skip the rice if you want to lighten it up even more.

spicy thai peanut sauce thai sauce vegan thai sauce no fish veggie bowl

I adapted the spicy sauce from a Brussels spout recipe I made last year, simply switching out the original peanut butter for some tahini. If you don’t have tahini on hand, peanut butter will certainly do. Like my last post, this dish is totally budget friendly.

I’m going to try to keep my future crafts pocket-friendly as well. I have  list of things I plan to make, but it’s sort of incomplete, so if there’s anything you’d like to learn how to do, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to make it happen.

easy thai sauce vegan thai sauce thai sauce no fish thai noodle bowl

Spicy Broccoli Butternut Bowls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 2 hearty servings


  • a 1-1/4 lb butternut squash
  • 2 big heads of broccoli
  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • salt to taste
  • spicy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tanini
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1.5 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Chop the broccoli up into florets and spiralize the squash on the largest noodle setting.
  3. Slice the broccoli florets into 2-3 pieces, lengthwise
  4. Spread the broccoli and the noodles out on two separate baking sheets
  5. Sprinkle the broccoli with the crushed red pepper and the nutritional yeast. Add a sprinkle of salt.
  6. Place the broccoli on one oven rack and the noodles on another. The broccoli should bake for 12 minutes, and the noodles for 8 minutes.
  7. While the veggies are cooking, fluff the lime zest into the rice.
  8. For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir till combined. It helps if the water is a little warm.
  9. To serve, veggies and rice among the plates and drizzle with sauce.Enjoy.
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For the produce garland:

You’ll need two 5’6″ strands of embroidery floss. You can use one color or two. I used white and red, only because that’s what I already had. Twirl them together.

Here is the pattern printout for the veggies. Cut five of each, and cut ten of the beet greens. Use a glue stick to affix the greens to the veggies, and a hot glue gun to affix the veggies to the embroidery floss. Due to the greens, the beets will be top heavy and will flip upside down. Hot-glue a small weight (like a penny or bottle cap) to the bottom of each beet to keep them upright.


Hang them up and enjoy!

Savory Oats with Turmeric Roasted Carrots, Kale, and Cranberry Ketchup


Savory oats are a satisfying and pocket-friendly dinner. These get an extra dose of veggies from kale and turmeric-roasted carrots.

savory oats turmeric carrots kale cranberry ketchup vegan

Jason and I spent the holidays at my mother’s home in Delaware. The cat protested during the long drive over, but once we got there, she was delighted at all the new hiding spaces and places to jump on. It was so cute. Nana’s place is always best, I guess. Jason likes it too because my mom always stashes all kinds of muffins and cookies for him.

A few days after Christmas, we drove out to Cape May on the Jersey shore. My aunt lives there and manages a farm. It had been at least a year since I’d last seen her, and I’d never gotten to see the farm.

There’s a little converted barn on the property that serves as a rotating produce shop, lunch counter, and event space. And of course everything that’s served there comes right out of the earth only a few yards away. On New Year’s, they dropped a huge sparkly egg from the rafters in place of a ball.

savory oats turmeric carrots kale cranberry ketchup vegan

Although the lunch counter was closed when we got there, the chalk-dusty remains of their latest menu were still on display. One item in particular drew my eye ….butternut squash steel cut oats and toasted walnuts.  Does that sound amazing or what? Even though I didn’t get to sample a bowl of the stuff, it became the inspiration for this post. The squash became carrots, and I added some handfuls of kale for some green lovin’. And some cranberry ketchup because I love the color. And taste, obviously.

My favorite part of this dish was the turmeric-roasted carrots. Guys, they were so good. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing they were. Toasty and spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. Warm. I could eat turmeric-roasted carrots for every meal for the rest of the season. Only, I promised myself that I was going to do other things with veggies besides roast them. So maybe every other meal then?

savory oats turmeric carrots kale cranberry ketchup vegan

I sprinkled sesame seeds over the carrots, which made them nutty and wonderful. If you don’t have sesame seeds in the house, you can totally leave them off because this dish is supposed to be a budget meal. To that end, I used quick oats because that is what I had on hand. You can totally used rolled oats or steel cut, if it pleases you.

Even though the name of this dish is super wordy, it’s quite simple. The ketchup requires very little effort, and roasted veggies are always easy. The cranberry ketchup makes a huge batch, way more than you’ll need for this dish. As is the nature of ketchup, it goes on many things. Just scoop it into jar and keep it in the fridge for whatever.

Hey, one last thing. As you can see, I gave the blogaroo little makeover. Do you like it? Hate it? Any constructive feedback or improvements? Lemme know what you think. Thanks! <3

savory oats turmeric carrots kale cranberry ketchup vegan

Savory Oats with Turmeric Roasted Carrots, Kale, and Cranberry Ketchup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2-3

The carrots and ketchup have similar cooking times and can be made simultaneously.


    cranberry ketchup
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups cranberries (one package)
  • 8 dates
  • 2 cups chopped purple onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • salt to taste
  • carrots
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 3-4 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp microplane grated garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • other
  • 4 cups packed kale
  • 1 cup of quick oats, plus water to cook them in
  • salt and pepper


    for the ketchup
  1. Combine the water, the cranberries, the dates, the onions, and the bay leaf in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Uncover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
  3. Add the mustard and cider vinegar and stir constantly for 5-7 min, until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and puree till smooth
  5. for the carrots
  6. Preheat oven to 450
  7. Cut the carrots onto 4-6 pieces lengthwise. Set aside.
  8. Combine the coconut oil tsp, garlic, pepper, turmeric, salt, and lemon juice.
  9. Toss carrots in tumeric mix, coat well.
  10. Lay carrots in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  11. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top.
  12. Roast for 18 minutes.
  13. for the rest
  14. Wilt kale in microwave for 3-4 minutes
  15. Bring 1 1/3 cup water to a boil.Add quick oats and stir till water is absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste
  16. Divide kale, carrots, and oats among serving bowls. Drizzle cranberry ketchup over top.
  17. Serve with love.
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cranberry ketchup recipe slightly adapted from taste of home

Lemony Smashed Potatoes with Okra, Tomato, and Purslane

or……what Annie found at the farmer’s market this week. Minus the lemons, duh. Those came from the grocery store.

Smashed Potatoes with summer produce

What I really wanted to make this week was this dish, minus the potatoes and add squash blossoms. But nobody at the farmer’s market had squash blossoms, and the German butterball potatoes just looked too good to pass up. I ended up loving my choice because it was hearty and easy and cheap and I didn’t have to stand over the burner sauteeing squash blossoms. I’m not ruling out those big orange flowers for future posts, though.

The folks at the market also had some nice purslane. I’ve been foraging my own wild purslane, and it’s delicious. But the farm-grown greens are even better. Sweeter and lemony and meatier. I usually eat purslane sauteed with a little garlic and onion, but the farm-grown stuff is good raw. Also, sauteed purslane looses its color in like five seconds after it hits the pan and I like my food bright. I’ll still eat the foraged kind because it’s free and plentiful, but for this recipe, I used the farmed shoots.

smashed potatoes with summer produce

I was super excited for the okra because I haven’t had any this summer. I just love how the little seeds pop in your mouth when you bite in.  This is kind of like fried okra, only not fried. I used aquafaba to get the breading to stick to the okra. Just be sure to shake off excess moisture, or the breading will get soggy even after baking. Yuck.

The guy at the potato stand had three different kinds of midsummer tubers, and I had the hardest time choosing. Finally I decided on the German butterballs because the dude said they got the best golden crust when roasting. In truth, they were a little mealier than I like, but not by much. Little viking potatoes or red bliss or whatever small potato you can find will work just fine.

Smashed Potatoes with Summer Produce

Lemony Smashed Potatoes with Okra, Tomato, and Purslane

This recipe calls for coconut oil, but you can certainly substitute olive oil if you wish. For an extra golden crisp, drizzle a little bit more oil over the lemon coating.


  • 18-20 German Butterball potatoes
  • 8 oz multicolored cherry tomatoes
  • 12 oz of fresh okra
  • 1 cup of purslane leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil, plus a little more
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp microplane-grated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Okra breading
  • 2 1/2 cups of corn Chex or generic equivalent
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • aquafaba from 1 can of chickpeas


  1. Scrub the potatoes and boil them in salted water (uncovered) over high heat until the yield to a fork -- about 15-20 min.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, the coconut oil, the lemon zest, the garlic, the salt and the pepper. Set aside.
  3. Cut the stem and the tip off the okra and slice in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  4. Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters.
  5. Place the corn cereal in a blender and pulverize. Combine with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450 and grease 2 pans with coconut oil
  7. Once the potatoes are done boiling, allow them to cool. Quarter the larger ones (so you get more "smashed" surface area) and then place them on one of the pans. Smash flat with a cup.
  8. Carefully pour the lemon mix over top of the potatoes.
  9. Bake the potatoes for 25 minutes, until nice and golden. Sprinkle with more salt the second they come out of the oven.
  10. While the potatoes are roasting, dip the prepared okra in the aquafaba, shake off excess, and roll in breading. Place them on the second pan. Put them in the oven 10 minutes after you've started the potatoes, but remove them at the same time. (okra bakes for 15 minutes)
  11. Combine the orka and potatoes in a big serving dish. Toss in the tomatoes and purslane leaves.
  12. Serve right away, with lots of love.
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lemony smashed potatoes with summer produce easy cheap vegan

Amazing Vegan Chickpea Fritters


In the summer, I often find myself happily overwhelmed by all the fresh-from-the-dirt produce. Sometimes I eat so much green, juicy stuff that I fail to consume anything else.

Which at the end of the day, leaves me peckish and making bad choices. I spiral down into the chip bag, or the chocolate chip bag, or deep into the freezer for something frozen and fatty.

Clearly there needs to be a middle ground, and that’s where these come in. These have a lot of summer flavor, but are so very hearty. They were inspired by one of Jason’s favorite sandwiches, the pan bagnat. Of course, at the end of my experimenting, it only had a few of the elements of that sandwich left. But damn, these were so freaking tasty– listen to this.  Fresh basil. SUMMER TOMATOES. purple onions, creamy avocado. Just the best kinds stuff.

You start out with smashing up some chickpeas with a fork.


Do not use a blender, okay? The coarse chickpeas give these so much texture.  Then add in some onions and avocado and bright basil.

And of course you need some summer tomatoes.


You mix them up together with the basil and onions and avocado and some lemon zest. As a binder, you use aquafaba and oats…it works just like an egg would. It holds everything together and when it hits the pan it creates a golden crispy crust on each fritter. Perfect.

These taste awesome on their own with a little lemon juice and salt, or with (gasp) ketchup, or in a taco, or over a salad, or whatever the heck strikes your fancy.



Amazing Vegan Chickpea Fritters

Yield: 18-22 fritters

i made a patty mold out of an pop can, to allow the patties to form nicer circles. I used tin snips to cut the can (a cross section of the can), but a careful hand can also manage with plain scissors.


  • 1 can of chickpeas (keep the aquafaba!)
  • 1 avocado, finely diced
  • 2 cups basil (not packed)
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes (about 20 grape tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced purple onion
  • 2/3 cup aquafaba
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats, ground to flour
  • 1 tsp micropane-grated garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • just a little lemon juice
  • about 3 tbsp coconut oil


  1. Drizzle the avocado with just a tad of lemon juice
  2. Smash up the chickpeas with a fork.
  3. Shred up the basil with scissors.
  4. Combine the chickpeas, the basil, the onion, the tomato, and the avocado. Be careful not to smash the avocado. This is important because they create wonderful creamy pockets.
  5. Combine the aquafaba, the oat flour, the garlic, the flax meal, the lemon zest, and the salt. Let it rest a bit to allow the oats to soak up the liquid some.
  6. Carefully stir the aquafaba mix into the chickpea mix. Make sure to distribute the aquabafa mix evenly, as this is what will bind the patties together.
  7. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 3/4 tbsp coconut oil. Allow oil to warm.
  8. Scoop 2 tbsp worth of mix into pan and smash lightly to form a patty. Repeat and repeat.
  9. Allow patties to cook for 4 minutes on each side, then remove to paper towel to drain.
  10. Continue until mix is gone, working in batches of about 5 -6 (5-6 patties at a time in the pan, replenishing oil as needed. I only used 3 tbsp of oil for the whole recipe)
  11. Serve hot with a little more lemon juice and salt. Also makes great tacos.
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Vegan Mexican Caldo

aka Caldo De Chickpeas


I’m sorry I’ve been so flaky with posting. Life is crazy, yes, but everyone’s lives are always crazy. I’m no different.

It’s not the lack of time, but rather the lack of good words.  I had a huge slip in the past week or so, and I felt worse that I’ve felt in a long time. Mad. Exhausted. I didn’t run, I couldn’t walk down the grocery store aisle, even.

Not for lack of physical ability.

I’d been feeling fine, and for no reason at all I didn’t feel fine anymore.  Well, there was a reason, but I think that was merely a straw and not the true bulk of …. of…. of whatever.  Still, I was angry at the straw. The straw hadn’t meant to harm, but had harmed nonetheless.

This is probably too much for a blog post about soup. I have been feeling a little better this week and am focusing on getting back into a healthy routine. Or at least a routine.


Ahem, onto the soup.

I wanted something classic and comforting, but healthy and light.  Any abuela worth her salt (con limón) knows that Caldo de Pollo is textbook Mexican comfort food. Although every home chef has their own variation, the basic elements are chicken in bone stock, rice, a bit of pepper. And a mirepoix of sorts with huge chuncks of carrots instead of finely diced ones. If it has little pea-sized carrot bits, it’s not caldo. You can, however, have an awesome Caldo without the Pollo.


I have finally joined the mass obsession with chickpeas. I get it now. I need to start soaking them instead of buying them in cans because our recycling is getting ridiculous. We don’t have curbside pickup, which means we usually get a pretty big pile before one of us draws the short straw to drive it in.

Kidding. I always make Jason do it.

This soup is incredibly simple and cheap, with ample servings of iron and protein. I generous lemon squeeze and a chopped up jalapeno give it a bright peppy edge. Despite its Mexican influences, this isn’t a bad soup to eat with chopsticks aside your spoon. They make the spinach easier to pick up.

But if you lost your chopsticks down the garbage disposal, or accidentally threw it out with the leftovers or whatever, a fork is fine too. We’re humans. We adapt, right?

Vegan Mexican Caldo

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 main servings, or 4 side servings

Vegan Mexican Caldo


  • 8 to 10 oz of carrots
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can drained chickpeas
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • salt to taste
  • a few cilantro sprigs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 jalapeno


  1. Chop up the carrots into chunks. Not little chunks.
  2. Place the carrots, the onion, the bay leaf, the garlic clove, and about 1/2 cup of the broth in a medium saucepan. Cover, cook over medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes, until carrots soften. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Slice the jalapeno and add it to the soup along with the chickpeas and the rest of the broth
  4. Allow the soup to re-heat, about 5-7 minutes
  5. Add the lemon juice, turn off the heat, and add the spinach. The spinach will wilt quickly.
  6. Garnish with cilantro, serve with love and tortillas.
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Mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Pop-Tarts

tiny DIY Pop-Tarts with only a handful of ingredients

Jason is a guy who loves breakfast junk food. Chocolate chip pancakes, gallons of syrup, full fat chocolate milk, waffles with a layer of chunky peanut butter 1-inch thick; an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It doesn’t bother me because he doesn’t eat like this on a regular basis. We’re all allowed our food vices.

Even if it did bother me, he’s the stubbornest husband in the world, so I could nag my head off and it wouldn’t make a lick of a difference.

Last week, he mentioned something about Pop-Tarts. I tucked it in the back of my mental food Filofax, but then I decided that it needed to be pushed up to the front. I didn’t want to make anything complicated, and these are simple as can be. They are actually rather low mess, which fit well with my goal of “oh-please-let-the-kitchen-be-clean-for-longer-than-30-minutes.” I didn’t have to leave the house for ingredients, as they were already tucked in various corners of my kitchen*. And lastly, it was Valentines Day and food is full-blown love gesture in my world.

He ate more than half of them within 20 minutes or so. That made me incredibly freaking happy. I love feeding my guy.

DIY Gluten Free Vegan Blueberry Poptarts

Frozen blueberries are one of my favorite ingredients.  I can’t say that I’m hypercreative with them — I cycle between smoothies and jam, smoothies and jam.  There’s no shame in this apparent redundancy — there are dozens of blueberry smoothie recipes and a plethora of ways to use jam.

I’ve been making frozen fruit and date jam for awhile now, and I like it because tastes better than store jam, and is simpler then pectin jam. You just throw dates and fruit in a saucepan and when it gets jut right, blend it up and you’re done.  It’s easier when you have an immersion blender, which I currently don’t. Mine burned out several months back I have yet to replace it. I gotta get on that because it’s winter and I’m backlogged on my creamy comforting soups.

Also, another thing about this jam — it’s less messy than other jams. That sounds very weird and suspicious and y’all aren’t believing me on this, but don’t know how else to describe it. See how the jelly is peeking out a little from the side of the crust? Well, when you bite into it, it doesn’t squirt out or anything (at room temp. no promises on hot jam). Maybe Hot Jam! should be me new exclamation. Hot Jam, it’s cold out! Hot Jam, you look cute those boots! Hot Jam, Annie’s a real nerd, isn’t she? 

vegan gluten free pop-tarts diy pop-tarts

Mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Poptarts

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 11-12 mini pop tarts

Serving Size: 1 pop tart


  • 1 cup of rolled oats, ground to flour
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 pitted dates, softened in hot water
  • pinch of salt
  • Jelly
  • 2 cups frozen Maine blueberries
  • 5 pitted dates
  • sprinkles
  • coarse flake sea salt
  • zest from one lemon


  1. Before you begin, set the blueberries out to defrost for about 1/2 hour.
  2. Crust
  3. Blend together the dates, the peanut butter, and the oat flour. It should ball up in your blender or food processor. I love this part because the sticky stuff gets on the ball and not the blender cup, making for easy cleanup. Yay!
  4. Roll the crust out to 1/8 inch thick, then cut rectangles that are 1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inches. should end up with 22-24 rectangles. If they get hard or crusty to roll at the end of the batch, roll the dough in your hands for a bit to warm up the pb oils.
  5. Jelly
  6. Place the defrosted blueberries and the five dates in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Cook, covered for 6 minutes and uncovered for 5 minutes. Imitiatley remove from heat. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  7. Blend the blueberries to an even consistency.
  8. To assemble
  9. Place 1/2 to 3/4 of a tsp of jelly on a crust rectangle and cover gingerly with another rectangle. Don't pinch the ends together with a fork-- there's not enough room-- just press together gently with your fingers.
  10. Sprinkle lemon zest and a little bit of salt over top. If you want, use little cookie cutters to make the top more festive
  11. Serve with love


I used my omnigrid sewing square to make the rectangles just right. i think i use it more in the kitchen than i ever did when I sewed a lot. if you have one buried in your craft stuff, relocate it to the kitchen and store it with the cutting boards. you'll find yourself using it over and over! that said, if you don't have an omnigrid, a regular ruler will also do the job here.

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Gluten Free Vegan Poptarts

crust adapted from the first mess


Baked Honey Ricotta Pancake

Baked Honey Ricotta Pancake

I’ve loved ricotta from a very young age. Only I didn’t know it was ricotta, I just called it “that white pie that Nana makes at Easter.” She put little bits of canned cherries in there, and it was my favorite part of the Easter meal. Other than the rolls, obvs.

Other ways I love eating ricotta

  • In a bowl with fruit and nuts and honey
  • in pancakes
  • in ice cream
  • cookies

Baked Honey Ricotta Pancake

This is a bit of a combination of pancakes and pie, but it’s easier than either of them.  There’s no need to guard the griddle or flip this pancake. Flipping regular pancakes is requires care and attention, but flipping ricotta pancakes is a delicate art. An art that I have perhaps not studied enough.

Ricotta pie can be simple, but it can also be complicated — recipes ranging anywhere from 4 eggs to 12 eggs, heaps of sugar, cream, liquors. I never glanced at Nana’s recipe, so I can’t tell you how fussy it was, but I can tell you that it never tasted overwrought. It tasted simple and comforting.

And then there’s always the pie crust to contend with, enemy of even the most veteran baker.

Baked Honey Ricotta Pancake

This humble cake has five simple ingredients. The fruit topping is purely optional — you can omit it and drizzle on some honey instead, or just eat it plain. I chose raspberry because I have been on a major raspberry drive lately. I just want raspberries in everything and on everything, especially when they are bright and tart.

Fresh out of the oven, the texture of this cake is soft and cake-like, egginess noteable but not overpowering.

If you leave it to mellow, the next day you will find it sweeter, with the vanilla more present, and carrying a definite custard texture.

Wonderful either way.

You can mix this cake in less than five minutes, but it takes about 40 to bake. This is a gift. Get up, make the cake, and spend the cooking time cuddling in bed. hello sunshine.

Baked Honey Ricotta Pancake

Baked Honey Ricotta Pancake

Prep Time: 4 minutes

Cook Time: 42 minutes

Yield: 1 6 1/2" cake (serves 2-4)


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup light ricotta*
  • 11/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp honey, plus 1 tbsp for drizzling on top
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • optional topping
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • nuts
  • honey


  1. preheat the oven to 375
  2. lightly grease a small casserole or pie pan (6 1/2 inch).
  3. Combine eggs, vanilla, ricotta, and honey. Beat on medium for about a minute or so, until well combined.
  4. Stir in the oats.
  5. Pour into the pan and drizzle additional honey on top
  6. Bake 38-42 minutes, until golden. It will still look a little wobbly when you take it out of the oven.
  7. Allow to cool slightly
  8. for the optional topping
  9. defrost the rasberries and mash them with a little honey. Spoon over top of the cake and sprinkle with nuts. serve with love


*light ricotta and part-skim ricotta are not the same thing.

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Easy Baked Ricotta Honey Pancake

Incredibly Easy Veggie Burger

Incredibly Easy Veggie Burger

I have enjoyed many a veggie burger, but those burgers were not fruits of my labor. I ordered them at restaurants, bought frozen in boxes, cajoled my mother to make them when she visited.

But I wouldn’t make them. They were too much work, too much chopping, too many peels in my kitchen trash bin. They sometimes cooked funny, and they were inevitably expensive because of all the ingredients.  💰 💰 💰

Not this burger. This burger is awesome. (okay, all those other burgers were awesome too, but listen to the reasons this one is awesome).

First, it’s cheap-cheap-cheap to make. I spent less than ten dollars on ingredients, and that makes about 6 burgers. There’s some frozen things in here (frozen chopped kale and frozen corn), but since you don’t use the whole package, it’s even cheaper the next time you make them. Just pull the leftover corn and kale out of your freezer and you’re good to go.

Incredibly Easy Veggie Burger

Second, it just might be the easiest veggie burger ever, because there’s so little chopping involved. A food processor/blender/what-have-you does most of the work. You only need to chop two things — a red pepper and a jalapeno. Well, I guess three if you count the onion, but you’re not chopping that. You’re making a single cut, tossing the peel (which practically falls off by itself), and then putting the cut bit in the blender. No onion tears! Extra points. You bake it in a loaf pan, and then slice it up. No flipping or oily splatters from a skillet.

Third, you can slice it up, freeze the individual slices, and then have burgers for days! Easy dinner. Just nuke it for a minute to defrost and then toss it under the broiler for some nice toasty char. I usually take my own dinner when I eat at my in-laws, because our diets are rather different and I don’t want to have them make anything special just for me. Anyways, I went over there on Sunday, exhausted after my first long-ish (slow, cold, plodding) run of the season, and it was wonderful to just heat this up without having to scrap together a salad.

I ate it with ketchup 😁

Which leads me to my fourth point….it’s versatile! You can have in tacos with salsa, plain over your favorite salad, or open faced on toast with ketchup and a pickle. Or no pickle.

And, yeah, I will conceded that this is NOT the prettiest burger that you’ve ever seen, but um, after it’s in your belly and you’re happy, are you really gonna care?

Incredibly Easy Veggie Burger


Incredibly Easy Veggie Burger

Yield: 6 burgers


  • 2 cans of chickpeas, well drained
  • 1/3 purple onion
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen chopped kale (non-brick form)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp flax (optional but highly recommended)


  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. In a blender, pulse together the chickpeas, carrots, and onion. Be very careful and quick. You are aiming for a coarse grind, not a paste.
  3. Chop up the red pepper and the jalapeno.
  4. Combine the chickpea mix, both peppers, the frozen corn, the frozen kale, the garlic powder, and the salt. Add the flax if using.
  5. Press mix into a lined loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until toasty golden on top
  6. Allow to cool slightly before slicing -- if sliced too soon, it will be a little crumbly.
  7. Turn the oven up to broil, and with quick hands, slice and shape a burger. Don't burn yourself!
  8. Broil for a minute or two on each side.
  9. Serve with love

really easy veggie burger


Spicy Root Vegetable Stew

Spicy Root Vegetable Stew

It’s started to snow, and my first winter in the Midwest feels like it’s officially begun. I used to be able to get by with thick sweaters layered under a windbreaker, but that won’t do here.  Over the holidays I acquired a warm puffy coat with lots of pockets, and was pleased to be able to snuggle into its insulated depths. Some 1/4″ sheet metal screws drilled into old running shoes used to keep me steady in the slush, but now I have a pair of jangling snow cleats that are more appropriate for this weather. So now I suppose I’m ready for the frosty months ahead.

But I hadn’t yet made soup, and it was time. I love a simple root stew, chunky, the kind that you can eat with a fork it you really wanted to. Only a few ingredients can make an incredibly filling and comforting meal.

Spicy Root Vegetable Stew

Speaking of few ingredients, I am trying to be more budget conscious when I cook (no promises though) 😇😈. We need to be saving a little money now, and I feel like many families experience the same after the holidays. This soup is wallet friendly, and both hearty and healthy.

Spicy Root Vegetable Stew

This soup is good and spicy, kind that warms in you in more ways than one, the kind that makes you sweat just a little. The key element here is a single plump chipotle pepper plucked from a can. One little guy flavors the whole pot. Chipotle peppers are one of my treasured soup ingredients, but I often only use one at a time. I freeze the rest, either wrapping them individually in plastic, or stuffing them in an ice try.

I crumpled queso fresco over top, but you totally don’t have to. Since we’re going with the budget theme here, I encourage you to use any cheese you have on hand. Some traditional Mexican soups are also served with cream stirred in, though I have never liked this.  But if it sounds like something you’d enjoy, try stirring in some Greek yogurt. The cheese topping is the only animal-derived ingredient in this dish, so skip it to make it a vegan meal. Feel free to trade it in for some cashew cream, or even a delicate drizzle of tahini.

Spicy Root Vegetable Stew

Spicy Root Vegetable Stew

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 3-4


  • 1/2 cup finely diced purple onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 5 medium carrots (about 1/3 lb worth of carrots)
  • 1 chipotle pepper from a can, plus 1 tbsp of the can juice
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups unsalted vegetable broth
  • salt to taste
  • to serve
  • crumlbed queso freso (of whatever cheese you have on hand)
  • warm corn tortillas, optional


  1. Place the onion, the garlic, and 1/2 cup of the broth in a pot over the lowest heat setting. Cover. Allow to cook while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (about 5 minutes)
  2. Scrub and dice the potatoes and peel and slice the carrots. Add to the pot with another 1/2 cup of broth. Raise heat to medium and cook for another 12 minutes.
  3. After 12 minutes, chop up the chipotle and add it to the pot with the tbsp of juice, the can of crushed tomatoes, and a full cup of broth. Cover once more.
  4. After about 23 more minutes (aka you are approaching the 40 minute mark of cooking, total), add the last cup of broth and allow to simmer for a minute or two.
  5. Remove from heat. Add a little salt to taste.
  6. Serve with love and cheese.