Autumn Dinner Loaf (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)

Hey kids! First, thanks for all the enthusiasm about the Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake last week. I guess I’m not at all alone loving healthier dessert.¬†And chocolate. ūüėÄ

Today is a super-quick post because I’ve been “up to my eyeballs” in mommy matters and work. I have two new projects I’m working on. Yes, two! I hope to share details soon.

For now, I want to share this recipe in time for Thanksgiving – and the holidays. It’s another from Plant-Powered Families. It’s just so seasonal and easy (really easy, guys!) that I had to get it out to you this week. If you’re a fan of the No-Fu Loaf, I think you’ll enjoy this one. So, without a lot of chitty-chat, here it is… Autumn Dinner Loaf!

Enjoy, and Happy ThanksLIVING my friends! x Dreena

Autumn Dinner Loaf from "Plant-Powered Families" #vegan #glutenfree

Autumn Dinner Loaf link to print/share

This comforting dinner loaf is perfect for the holidays, but may become a year-round favorite! Serve with Home-Style Gravy, along with baked potatoes and green beans. Serves 5‚Äď6

2 cups carrot, sliced
2/3 cup whole raw almonds
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1‚Äď1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground dried sage
1 medium-large clove garlic
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 lightly packed cups cooked and cooled brown rice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats

Topping Options (see note)

BBQ Topping:
21/2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1‚Äď2 tablespoons rolled oats

Dry Topping:
2 tablespoons almond meal
1 tablespoon rolled oats
Pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375¬įF. Lightly wipe a glass loaf pan with a smidgen of oil. Line the bottom of the pan with a strip of parchment paper (place it in so it hangs over the short ends of the pan; this helps for easier removal of the veggie loaf from the pan).¬†In a food processor, add the carrots, almonds, green onions, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, sea salt, rosemary, sage, garlic, and lemon juice. Process until the mixture smooths out and starts to become sticky, scraping down the bowl as needed.¬†Add the rice and puree. At this point the mixture should be sticky enough to hold slightly when pressed. Add the oats and process through.¬†Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and evenly distribute.¬†If using the BBQ topping, spread the sauce over the top of the loaf, and then sprinkle on the oats.¬†If using the dry topping, combine the almond meal, oats, and salt in a small bowl, and then sprinkle over the loaf.¬†Cover the dish with foil and bake for 33‚Äď35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5‚Äď7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

Toppings Note: If you don‚Äôt care for barbecue sauce, you may prefer the dry topping. Either way, pair with the “Homestyle Gravy” from Plant-Powered Families, or my Thick ‘n Rich Gravy.

Serving Suggestions: Refer to this post for other Thanksgiving menu ideas!

Autum Dinner Loaf from "Plant-Powered Families" #vegan #glutenfree #oilfree #Thanksgiving #meatloaf #vegetarian #holiday #food

photos by Nicole Axworthy

Vegan Pecan Pie

In my last post I announced I’ll be judging the pies category for the¬†Earth Balance Holiday Bake-Off. So, it’s only appropriate that I share a pie recipe with you all, yes?

Before I do, I want to clarify my role with this bake-off. I am not being compensated by Earth Balance to judge or promote this bake-off. I did receive some sample products (peanut butters, snacks), but I’m not receiving any financial compensation. I didn’t disclose this in my last post, and want you all to know that I’m supporting this bake-off to (1) help encourage people to move into vegan baking, and¬†(2)¬†also to encourage you all to enter the contest. Please do!

Dreena's Pecan Pie (from "Let Them Eat Vegan") #vegan #dairyfree #holidays #pies #plantbased #glutenfree

With that, I’ll share my recipe for Dreena’s Pecan Pie. This is a recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan. I loved pecan pie¬†in my pre-vegan days. Did you?

Dreena's Pecan Pie (from "Let Them Eat Vegan") #vegan #dairyfree #holidays #pies #plantbased #glutenfree

With this version, I keep the pecan topping more distinct from the custardy filling. I like having that contrast with the creamy filling and the pecans maintaining crunch (rather than plumping through baking). This is delicious on its own, but oh-my-heavens, pair it with a vegan vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for dessert bliss!

Dreena's Pecan Pie (from "Let Them Eat Vegan") #vegan #dairyfree #holidays #pies #plantbased #glutenfree

Dreena’s Pecan Pie

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1¬Ĺ tbsp arrowroot powder
¬Ĺ + 1/8 tsp agar powder
1 can (400ml) full-fat coconut milk (not light), using only thick cream and discarding watery portion (this is about 1 cup + 2 ‚Äď 4 tbsp of cream)
¬ľ cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or soy preferred)
¬Ĺ cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup agave nectar (can substitute maple syrup but filling will be darker in color)
1 ¬Ĺ tbsp flax meal
¬ľ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¬ľ tsp (rounded) sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 ¬ľ – 1 3/4 cups pecans (whole or pieces, see note)
1 ¬Ĺ – 2 tbsp unrefined sugar (for topping)
2 tsp coconut butter (warmed through to melt; can sub 1-2 tsp coconut oil)
couple pinches sea salt

1 prepared pastry pie crust (I use Wholly Wholesome brand), or can use ‚ÄúRustic Pie Crust‚Ä̬†or ‚ÄúGluten-Free Pie Crust‚ÄĚ, both in Let Them Eat Vegan.

In a saucepan, first whisk together the arrowroot and agar with a small amount of the coconut milk or non-dairy milk (about ¬ľ cup). Once incorporated, whisk in the remainder of the milks, as well as the brown rice syrup, agave nectar, flax meal, nutmeg, and salt. Bring mixture to a low boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Once at a boil, remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool in refrigerator to a cooler temperature (can still be fairly warm), stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mix together the topping ingredients. Set aside and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once filling is cooled somewhat, pour mixture into the pie shell (scraping out all you can!) Bake (without pecan topping) for 15 minutes. After that time, reduce heat to 350, sprinkle on pecan mixture, ever so gently patting into surface of filling. Bake for another 15 minutes, then carefully remove and let cool on a cooling rack. Once pie is fully cooled, it will set (refrigerate if desired). Slice and serve. Serves 6-8.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with ‚ÄúLemon-Scented Whipped Cream‚ÄĚ from LTEV, or a scoop on vanilla non-dairy ice cream.

Pecan Note: If using whole pecans, it‚Äôs helpful to roughly chop them before using in the recipe. It‚Äôs easier to cut the pie with the pecan pieces broken up rather than kept whole. I prefer this pie with just 1¬ľ cups of pecans, but if you really love plenty of pecans in your pecan pie, use the full 1 3/4 cups. If using the greater amount of pecans, then also use the greater amount of sugar and oil to toss through the pecans.

Dreena's Pecan Pie (from "Let Them Eat Vegan") #vegan #dairyfree #holidays #pies #plantbased #glutenfree

All photos done by Marika Collins,

So guys, what do you think? Is this a recipe you might make for the holidays? Or, have you already made it? Share your thoughts! I love hearing from you. :)

Enjoy… x Dreena

Apple Nachos Supreme! + Earth Balance Bake-Off 2015

Happy November, and Happy World Vegan Month! <3

The holiday season will soon be here. Holy hannah the baking begins, aprons on!


This year, I’m honored to be one of the judges for Earth Balance’s 5th Annual Holiday Bake-Off!¬†¬†I have the privilege of judging the competition this year alongside Chloe Coscarelli and Emily von Euw.

If you’re unfamiliar with the bake-off, it gives vegan bakers everywhere the opportunity to compete virtually for a chance to win incredible¬†prizes. This year there are 4 categories: pies, savory baked goods, cakes/cupcakes, and cookies and bars.

I’ll be judging the pies category, and I’m also participating in an an Instagram “takoever”¬†this week! So, if you’re on IG, follow me for more!


Some of you may be wondering… “Dreena, your recipes don’t use Earth Balance butter or coconut spread… what gives?” True. My current recipes utilize whole foods ingredients.¬†However, I have¬†used some of these products in my earlier cooking days. Plus, Earth Balance has a line¬†of peanut butter products that I do use. Plus-plus… have you tried their popcorn? ūüėČ

Seriously, my philosophy about eating vegan is that as a family we eat about 90% whole foods. I talk about this in Plant-Powered Families and Let Them Eat Vegan. So, while I cook and¬†bake with whole foods ingredients, we also enjoy some convenience foods as a family. For instance, we use some store-bought¬†vegan cheeses for school lunches and parties (as nut cheeses aren’t possible with nut allergies), and our girls love¬†taking the Earth Balance popcorn to movies with friends!¬†As a mom, I love that they can have these treats with their friends rather than feel they miss out¬†at parties and events. In short,¬†I’m delighted to be a part of this event. I always encourage a vegan choice, as diet is a journey.

Speaking of the popcorn, I’ll now share a timely (and fun!) recipe from Plant-Powered Families. These APPLE NACHOSE SUPREME will be a hit at holiday parties!


x Dreena

Apple Nachos Supreme! #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #wfpb #plantbased #oilfree #dairyfree #healthy #snacks


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Your kids will LOVE this treat. It feels so festive and special, yet is pretty easy to pull
together and is quite healthy! You can customize with toppings you like best.¬†(Don’t be intimated by the length of the recipe, it’s just to give details, and I offer short-cuts!)

Spiced Caramel (see note for quick-fix option):
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
1/3 cup plus 2‚Äď3¬†teaspoons water

Apple Base:
3 apples, cored and sliced into thin rounds
2 teaspoons lemon juice

3‚Äď4 tablespoons nut¬†butter of choice or¬†peanut butter (see note)
1 1/2‚Äď2 cups popped¬†popcorn (can pop yourself or use storebought)
3‚Äď4 tablespoons¬†nondairy chocolate chips
2‚Äď3 tablespoons¬†chopped nuts (optional)
2 tablespoons cranberries or raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1 recipe prepared Spiced Caramel (or brown rice syrup, as in note)

To make the spiced caramel:¬†Puree the dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, allspice, vanilla¬†bean powder, and 1/3 cup of the water in a blender or small food¬†processor (I use the Blendtec twister jar, which is the perfect size¬†for this small batch‚ÄĒyou can also use a mini food processor¬†but it may not get as smooth). If it‚Äôs difficult to get the mixture¬†moving, add another teaspoon of water, and more if needed. (Try¬†not to add too much at once, or the mixture could become too¬†thin.) Puree until completely smooth. Once smooth, transfer to a¬†small zip-top bag (to later pipe onto the nachos).¬†To make the apple base:¬†Toss the apples in the lemon juice. Arrange on a large plate.¬†To assemble with toppings:¬†Add the nut butter to a small zip-top bag. Seal the bag, and push/twist all the nut butter to one end. Snip the smallest piece off¬†a corner and you can then pipe the nut butter over the apples.¬†Alternatively, you can gently warm the nut butter and drizzle¬†with a spoon. Distribute the popcorn, chocolate chips, nuts,¬†cranberries, and shredded coconut on top of the apples, as¬†desired. Finally, take the prepared caramel in the zip-top bag,¬†seal the bag, and twist/snip off a small corner. Drizzle over the¬†apple nachos. Serves 3-4.

Caramel Note: For a quick fix, substitute brown rice syrup for¬†the caramel. Use 1/4‚Äď1/3 cup, and you can choose to stir in some of¬†the spices, or leave as is.

Serving Suggestion: I like to drizzle one layer of nut butter on¬†top of the apples, to help the toppings stick, and then a drizzle of¬†the caramel last‚ÄĒit looks so lovely! You can switch it up, using¬†the caramel first and then the nut butter last if you like. Also,
another option is to make a nut caramel, blending the nut butter straight into the date caramel. You may need to add a touch more water to get it moving in the blender (depending on your blender).

Kitchen Tip: These are best served soon after making. The lemon juice will help preserve the color of the apples, but not for long. You can prepare the date caramel in advance, and get the ingredients prepped in advance, then simply assemble before serving.

Apple Nachos Supreme! #vegan #dairyfree #healthy #snacks #dessert #wfpb #glutenfree #oilfree

So… do you have an original recipe that you think is a contender for the bake-off? I encourage you to submit it!¬†

Don’t miss any goodies! Subscribe to my emails¬†for recipes, giveaways, and more.

Pumpkin Spice Bars with Maple Frosting Drizzle (vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free)

Well, as much as I tried to resist it – fall is here. Every year I feel I drag myself into fall, holding on to summer produce and the carefree summer clothes.¬†This year, I noticed as I was clinging¬†to the¬†raw foods of summer,¬†I wasn’t feeling great. Not sick, but my digestion wasn’t feeling the same. So, I started eating more cooked foods and warming soups. I noticed a difference within a day or two. Now, I’m finally enjoying wearing some cozy layers and digging into fall foods!

I’ve been playing with lots of new apple recipes, and also winter squash. These PUMPKIN SPICE BARS are a little deceiving. They taste every bit like other pumpkin treats, yet they are made with pumpkin seeds, not pumpkin flesh! They dried apricots help enhance the pumpkin flavor, along with the spices.

I’ve had this recipe in my pocket for quite a while now. It was actually one I had planned to include in PPF, but as I’ve mentioned a couple of¬†times, I had to cut down the recipe content. Dang it! I hate that! But, I do love sharing the recipe with¬†you now. Pumpkin-Spice Bars with Maple Drizzle Frosting #vegan #nutfree #wfpb #dairyfree #glutenfree

The frosting is… well… a must. Just don’t skip it, okay? The bars will be okay without it. But why bother making them without it? ¬†If you’re going to take the time to make these (and they are ridiculously¬†easy), then take the extra 5-10 minutes to whip up the simple frosting! Don’t let me hear any of you making these without the frosting, k? That’s all I have to say about that. :)

Since these bars are nut-free, they can be packed in lunch. I’d classify them as more of a sweet snack than a full-fledged dessert. But, up to you!

Enjoy, guys. Do let me know how you like them! You are very quiet out there. I hear from many of you on social media, but not here on the blog. Please share your thoughts and feedback.

Pumpkin-Spice Bars with Maple Frosting #vegan #nutfree #glutenfree #dairyfree

Pumpkin Spice Bars with Maple Frosting Drizzle nut-free, oil-free, gluten-free

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These bars are darn easy to make, but with the ‚Äėicing‚Äô, they appear much more¬†elaborate! When I gave one to our daughter for the first time to try she said ‚Äúyum, mom, you have to make these on Christmas Eve‚ÄĚ… good plan, kiddo!

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp (rounded) cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup dried apricots (unsulphured)
1 cup pitted dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice crispy cereal (I like Erewhon brand, can also substitute organic, unsweetened corn flakes)

1/3 cup coconut butter (not oil)
1 1/2 tbsp nondairy milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
couple pinches sea salt

In a food processor, first process the oats with the pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and salt and spices. Puree until crumbly and fine. Then, add the apricots, dates, and vanilla and process until the mixture becomes uniform and sticky. Depending on how moist your dates (and especially apricots) are, this may take a few minutes. Just as it is getting very sticky, add the brown rice crisp cereal process through. The mixture should still be sticky, and forming some balls or clumps in the processor bowl. Transfer mixture to an 8‚ÄĚ x 8‚ÄĚ pan lined with parchment paper (not much larger, but could use a smaller, deeper dish). Press mixture into pan evenly. In a small saucepan over very low heat, combine the ingredients for the drizzle, whisking through through until it melts down and becomes a liquid enough to pour. Avoid heating the mixture over too high a heat as it can scorch. Once thinned out, pour over the bars in a drizzle pattern. Refrigerate until completely cool, then cut into squares. Makes about 16-20 bars.

Chocolate option: Add 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder with the oats and seeds, etc. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of chocolate chips at the end when adding the crisp rice cereal.

x Dreena

photo credit: Nicole Axworthy,

Loving PPF? Please share your good review on amazon!

Mango-Hemp Dressing (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)

I’m loving big lunch salads now. It’s been especially hot through June and July in BC, excepting the last couple of days. Far more heat and sun than usual this time of year.¬†So, I’m digging lots of fresh salads, along with more fresh fruit (in and out of salads)!

I’m guessing many of you are in the same dietary mode, as I get a lot of feedback on my salad dressings. Especially my oil-free sauces and dressings. I’ve learned a few tricks over the last few years for making tasty, healthy salad dressings – and with many¬†flavor variations.

I still plan to bring you that salad dressings ebook. For sure! Things have been busy with book promotion that I’m not quite organized enough to pull together the ebook – just yet. So, I wanted to share a recipe that some of you already have. It was one of the 15 recipes that was a gift for preorders of PPF. I do plan to honor that “gift” and not blog all of the recipes – but this one is particularly special and seasonal. Hopefully those of you that did preorder won’t be upset that I share some salad luv right now.

Couple of notes: Do not overdo the shallots or green onions. Just a hint of flavor is best. Also, I use frozen mango, which can be tricky to measure. Don’t sweat an *exact* measure. You can always adjust to taste after. Finally… enjoy!

x Dreena

Mango-Hemp Dressing by Dreena Burton #vegan #wholefoods #plantbased #glutenfree #oilfree #dairyfree

Mango-Hemp Dressing

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I keep frozen mango on hand for morning smoothies. One day I wanted a fruity, fresh dressing so pulled out the frozen mango. This dressing came to life and will bring new life to your daily salads! Makes about 1 cup.

3/4 cup mango chunks (ok to measure roughly, I use frozen)
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water (+ 2‚Äď3 tsp or more if desired to thin out)
1/2 tbsp chopped shallots or 1 tbsp of the whitish portion of green onions
1‚Äď2 tbsp pure maple syrup or agave nectar (or more to taste, as needed)
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a blender, puree all ingredients (starting with 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp maple syrup) until very smooth. Taste, and add additional water to thin as desired, and extra maple syrup to sweeten if needed.

Note: I like the flavor of this dressing just as it is. But, if you‚Äôd like to pair this with some spicy foods or add a punch of flavor, try adding in 1‚Äď2 tbsp chopped cilantro or basil while pureeing.

Kid note: Our girls enjoy this dressing. You can opt to omit the green onions/shallots, but it’s such a small amount that kiddos usually are okay with it.

photo credit: Nicole Axworthy

Bananascotch Pudding


It feels like I haven’t posted in weeks! I thought things would settle down after my signing, but it continues to be very busy. End-of-year is always busy at school (right mamas?) and I’m still pretty active with the book release.

"Bananascotch" Pudding by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree #wholefoods #plantbased

Plus, last¬†weekend I¬†was away for Ottawa VegFest! It was incredible, I’ll share some pics and details in my next post.¬†For now,¬†I want to share a new vegan recipe with you.

This one is very easy. It was another recipe I had intended for PPF, but the puddings section was amply filled. My testers loved this plant-based¬†pudding.¬†The ingredients are ones we usually have¬†right on hand, and with a quick blender blitz:¬†a pudding that is a cross between… banana pudding and butterscotch pudding!

"Bananascotch" Pudding by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree #wholefoods #plantbased

Bananascotch Pudding 

link to print/share recipe

This pudding tastes like a cross between butterscotch and banana! It’s incredibly quick and easy to make, and kids love it for dipping fruit, slathering on waffles or pancakes, or eating straight up as pudding.

2/3 cup soaked and drained cashews (soak for 3-4 hours, drain fully)
1/2 cup overripe banana, sliced
3-4 tbsp coconut sugar (adjust to taste)
1/8 scant tsp sea salt
3/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean

Blend cashews, banana, 3 tbsp of coconut sugar, sea salt, yogurt, and vanilla in a blender. If using a high-speed blender, this will take just a minute or two. With a standard blender, you will need to scrape down the blender a few times and work the mixture. Taste, and add more coconut sugar if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 2-3

Serving Suggestions: Serve with fresh fruit, or top portions with shredded coconut or chopped nuts. Also, try layering with plain or vanilla non-dairy yogurt and granola in parfait cups!

Enjoy, guys! Before I sign off, below are some recent reviews, giveaways, and features of Plant-Powered Families. If you are loving the book, would you take a minute to add a review on amazon? Thanks!

x Dreena

Bits and Bites: 
The Blender Girl review and recipe for Creamy Fettucine
Ricki Heller review and recipe for Baconut
Kathy Patalsky of Healthy, Happy Life review, giveaway, and recipe for Cinnamon French Toast
Love Fed review, giveaway, and recipe for Savory Chickpea Omelets
Kiwi Magazine recipe for Baconut
Veg Kitchen recipe for Polenta Pizza Crust
Pure Thyme review, giveaway, and recipe for Artichoke Sunflower Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce and No-Bake Granola Bars
Taste Space review and recipe for Chickpea Nibbles
Vegan Mainstream review and Q&A
Heartwise Ministries Radio Interview

Smoky Paprika Green Bean Salad – HEALTHY HAPPY VEGAN KITCHEN cookbook by Kathy Patalsky

Today I have the honor of sharing a beautiful recipe from Kathy Patalsky’s NEW Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen cookbook!

Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen cookbook  - recipe feature and giveaway!

Many of you already know Kathy, but if you don’t, here’s a quick intro. Kathy blogs at Healthy. Happy. Life.¬†This is her second published cookbook, she released 365 Vegan Smoothies in 2013. ¬†Kathy is incredibly talented, not only as a recipe developer but also as a food photographer. You can count on Kathy to bring striking, vibrant food photos to every post. She captures the beauty that is vegan food – its vitality and abundance! Reading Kathy’s book, it’s apparent why¬†this is characteristic in her work. She writes:

Why vegan? I believe that there is no diet on earth more uplifting to one‚Äôs body, mind, and soul than a vegan one. Plant-based foods are the ultimate path toward total body and spirit enlightenment. A vegan diet consists of foods that are rich in life, rather than death. Vegan foods are energizing, healing, kindness-infused, sunshine-filled, and overflowing with vitality-enhancing nutrients, enzymes, and phytochemicals….¬†embracing a vegan diet is a worthy starting point for positive changes in your life!

Well said.

Kathy is also quite a visionary. She is the mastermind behind, which in my opinion has revolutionized vegan recipes online. Just this year, Kathy launched the Finding Vegan App.

This newest project by Kathy, Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen, is a beautiful compilation of 220 vegan recipes, with all these chapters:

Breakfast; Bakery; Sandwiches; Burgers; Veggie Sides; Cakes, Balls & Fritters; Salads; Bowls; Appetizers, Sides, Snacks, & Party Platters; Entrees; Soups; Desserts; Drinks, Sips, and Smoothies; For the Kids; Holiday Favorites; Happy Life Menus.

That’s some serious recipe content! And the recipes themselves are diverse and enticing. It was hard for me to¬†select a recipe to feature for this post. Naturally, I wanted to choose a dessert, but I thought I’d try being a little less predicable. ūüėČ Kathy’s recipe for this green bean salad really stood out to me. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures. Smoked paprika and tahini mingle in the sauce to coat the tender green beans, and then topped off with crunchy, candied walnuts. Right?!! It’s the ideal spring and summer potluck or picnic salad.

Smoky Paprika Green Bean Salad with Candied Walnuts - from "Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen" by Kathy Patalsky

Smoky Paprika Green Bean Salad with Candied Walnuts


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If you do not consider yourself a fan of green beans, keep reading! Even those who snarl at the classic ‚Äúholiday green bean casserole‚ÄĚ will love the spicy, lively, smoky-sweet flavors of this colorful green bean salad. Candied walnuts, soaked with maple flavor, mingle with crisp golden carrots, a smoky paprika-tahini-maple dressing, and perky boiled green beans. The green beans retain a slightly crisp texture from a quick cooking time. Serve as a veggie-filled lunch or at your next holiday gathering, and watch your guests actually get excited to try the green bean dish! Serves 6.

4 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into halves or thirds
2 medium carrots, cut into rounds ¬ľ cup chopped sweet onion
1 small lemon, juiced 2 heaping tablespoons tahini 2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup 1¬Ĺ teaspoon smoky Spanish-style
¬ľ teaspoon sea salt
1‚ĀĄ8 teaspoon garlic powder
A few dashes freshly ground black pepper
A few dashes cayenne (optional)
1 cup walnuts 2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup Coconut oil spray (optional)

Rinse the green beans in a large colander under cold water. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and boil for about 5 minutes; do not overcook the beans or they will become too soft. For crisper (almost raw!) beans, do a very quick boil of just 1 to 3 minutes. Drain the beans and thoroughly rinse under cold water. Let the beans drain completely. Place the green beans, carrots, and onion in a large bowl. Set aside. For the Dressing: In a cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss until all the veggies are well coated. Pour the salad into a serving bowl and set aside. For the Candied Walnuts: Heat a small saucepan over high heat. Add the walnuts and maple syrup and cook for about 1 minute, tossing the walnuts with the maple syrup. (For less sticking, add a spritz of coconut oil spray, if desired, before adding the nuts.) Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Text excerpted from HEALTHY HAPPY VEGAN KITCHEN, © 2015 by Kathy Patalsky. Photos © Kathy Patalsky.

Treat yourself to a copy of Kathy’s book, you’ll love it! I must mention that Kathy is hosting¬†one heck of a¬†book launch¬†giveaway, and stellar blog tour.¬†So, hop over for the details.

Also, Kathy has offered a giveaway of her book for YOU! This contest is open to US residents, enter below by telling us which recipe by Kathy you love the most (if you can pick just one), or which recipe from her new book you want to try first? Good luck!

Plant-Powered Kitchen Housekeeping: Reminder that if you’ve ordered PPF, you are eligible for the free ebook. I get emails daily about if the offer is open to other countries, or if the order was back in November… YES! See this post for details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble – feature recipe from Living Candida-Free

Just over a year ago,¬†I reviewed Ricki Heller’s spectacular cookbook, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. Now, Ricki is celebrating the release of yet another book –¬†Living Candida-Free.¬†Actually, Ricki began celebrating back in January, I’m just late to the party. :)

Canadian cover on left; US cover on right

Canadian cover on left; US cover on right

If you own NS&GF, this new book is different. Living Candida-Free is more of a dietary guide than a dedicated cookbook. However, it does include 100 recipes as well as some recipe photos – so it’s a cookbook within a comprehensive lifestyle program.

This book delivers a 3-phase program to eliminate candida and restore health. What is candida?  Candida is a naturally occuring yeast in our bodies that is typically harmless. However, if candida becomes unbalanced, it feeds off of extra sugar in the body and multiplies, with serious health consequences. The symptoms can be so wide-ranging that it often goes undiagnosed by doctors. In this book, Ricki Heller outlines a detailed health plan and diet regimen designed to help people combat candida.

Even if you aren’t dealing with candida overgrowth and don’t need to follow the 3-phase program, Ricki shares¬†knowledge and experiences that will interest you. If you are eating a vegan, plant-based, or gluten-free diet, and¬†seeking optimal health and lifestyle balance, you’ll learn from Ricki’s insights. For instance, Ricki discusses strategies for quashing sugar cravings – which are useful for us all, and those approaches can be applied to other food habits and cravings we’d like to reduce. Also, Ricki thoroughly covers the anti-candida diet pantry list – and¬†how to make cooking and baking substitutions for foods that aren’t permitted on the program. Beyond dietary considerations, Ricki also explains how to combat¬†environmental conditions that can affect candida overgrowth.

Then, of course, there are the recipes! Ricki is a¬†gifted recipe developer, and your tastebuds will not be disappointed with these wholesome, sugar-free recipes! I’ve already tried the cookie dough truffles and the crumble recipe (below). Both were incredible, and I’ve marked many more to try. Ricki focuses on flavour as well as wholesomeness, so you can count on her recipes tasting great.

If you are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free – or just plain food curious – ¬†pick up a copy of Living Candida-Free. While you wait, indulge in this delicious crumble recipe that Ricki has allowed me to reprint…

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble from "Living Candida-Free" by Ricki Heller

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble

link to print/share recipe

This fresh, not-too-sweet dessert is a great way to enjoy fruit once you reintroduce it to your diet. Because the topping is grain-free, you won’t need to worry about consuming your coveted grain servings for dessert. Makes 4 or 6 servings

Coconut oil, for pan
2 small or 1 large sweet apple (I used Gala) or pear, cored and diced very small (about 1/2-inch [1.3 cm] cubes‚ÄĒfeel free to leave the skin on)
1‚Ää1/2 cups (360 ml) mixed fresh or frozen berries (not including cranberries)‚ÄĒI use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries; if cranberries are included in your mix, use 2 cups (480 ml) total
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
30 drops plain or fruit-flavored pure liquid stevia (I use 20 drops lemon and 10 drops cherry-vanilla)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) psyllium husks (optional‚ÄĒit prevents the juices from becoming too watery)
1/3 cup (55 g) raw natural almonds
1/3 cup (55 g) raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut flour
1/16 teaspoon (0.25 ml) pure stevia powder, or 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) pure liquid stevia, or to taste
1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) fine sea salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) virgin coconut oil, preferably organic*

Preheat the oven to 350¬įF (180¬įC). Grease a 4- to 6-cup (1 to 1.5 L) casserole dish with coconut oil.Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples, berries, cranberries, lemon zest, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, water, stevia, and psyllium, then drizzle over the berry mixture and toss again to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. (Note: You can just toss everything in the casserole dish instead of dirtying a bowl, but I found the mixture very hard to coat evenly when the ingredients were so cramped in the dish!)¬†Make the topping: In the bowl of a food processor, blend the almonds, seeds, coconut flour, stevia, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the coconut oil and process until it‚Äôs incorporated.¬†Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling in the casserole dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the dish about halfway through baking, until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool somewhat before serving. May be frozen.¬†From¬†Living Candida-Free¬†by Ricki Heller. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, ¬© 2015.

*Note: If you prefer not to use oil, try 1 tbsp nut butter – I did, and it worked fabulously!

Ricki’s book has gotten a lot of blogging love in recent months. Here are some¬†additional recipes and reviews¬†to check out:

Single-Serve Pancakes,¬†Chard and Chickpea Soup,¬†Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles,¬†Creamy Crimson Mousse,¬†The Toronto Sandwich,¬†Herbed Grain-Free Gnocchi. Also some¬†reviews¬†to check out about Ricki’s book.

Have you tried any recipes from Living Candida-Free? If so, please share your favourites! 

Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus

I know I’m really bending the definition of hummus. Technically, this probably should be called a bean dip. But pretty much any chickpea or bean combination pureed into dippy goodness – is hummus in my book. I¬†just¬†can’t help myself…¬†#hummusisafoodgroup :)

Even if we can’t agree on whether it should be called a dip or hummus – I¬†have a feeling we can agree that this combination tastes delicious!

Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

This was another recipe intended for my Plant-Powered Families cookbook. I got a little excited with recipe development! When needing to round out the recipes by chapter in PPF, I decided to scale back with a hummus recipe Рand share it here. Once again, I thank Nicole Axworthy for bringing her exceptional talent to these food photos.

This hummus is a little unique, combining¬†a mix of kidney beans with chickpeas, along with cooked sweet potato. Yes, sweet spuds! I love sweet potato¬†in bean dips hummus. They lighten up the bean texture, while adding a touch of creaminess and also some sweetness – which is incredibly tasty in contrast to the spices and lime juice. So, whenever I bake sweet spuds, I’ll cook a few extra to have on hand for recipes like this (see recipe note below). I talk about this type of batch-cooking and repurposing ingredients in PPF as well. Just prepping a few extra portions of staples can really come in handy for other meals during the week.

Lime most hummus, this dip is wonderful with veg and snack chips. But, also try ‘repurposing’ this dip. Use it as a spread to hold other fillings in green wraps, or for baked burritos. Or, try a lunch or dinner bowl, gently warming the hummus and topping over cooked quinoa along with some veggies and chopped avocado, with a drizzle of dressing. Think outside the hummus bowl. Do you have any suggestions for turning hummus into a meal? If so, please share!

Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus link for Recipage to print/share

Cooked sweet potato lends a little creaminess and sweetness to this hummus-like dip. The lime juice lends a fresh tang, and there’s just enough chili powder and cinnamon to give it flavor without too much kiddo-offending spice!

1 can kidney beans, rinsed (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup precooked (and peeled) orange sweet potato (see note)
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 – 1 tsp chili powder (adjust to taste; see note)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 medium or large clove garlic, sliced or quartered
4‚Äď4¬Ĺ tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1‚Äď3 tbsp water (as needed to thin)
fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

In a food processor, combine the kidney beans, chickpeas, sweet potato, tahini, sea salt, ¬Ĺ tsp of the chili powder, cinnamon, garlic, lime juice, and 1 tablespoon of water. Pur√©e until smooth, gradually adding remaining water as desired to thin dip, and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add fresh cilantro or parsley if desired, and pur√©e briefly to incorporate. Season with additional salt and spices to taste, if desired.¬†Serves 4-5.

Sweet Potato Note: Prebake your spuds! Keep whole and unpeeled, just give a quick wash. Then, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 425/450 for 40-60 minutes (baking time varies based on size of spuds). Bake more than you need at a time, keep extras refrigerated for 4-5 days to use in other dishes – like salads, soups, pasta sauces, and more.

Spice Note: Use a good quality chili powder that isn’t too hot. If you aren’t sure of the heat intensity, start with a lesser amount, and then add more if desired. Our kids like this with 1/2 tsp of chili powder, but you may want to add more. You can also substitute a chipotle powder or chipotle hot sauce, to taste.

Enjoy the hummus, guys!¬†And, quick reminder…¬†if you already ordered Plant-Powered Families, be sure to email us to get that bonus 15 recipe ebook. Those 15 recipes are not included in the printed book, and I know you’ll find some favorites in there! I’m already hearing back from many of you on some of the recipes. So be sure to get your copy. :) For details, see this post.¬†

NEW! Plant-Powered Families cookbook by Dreena Burton

x Dreena


Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl (feature recipe from Plant-Powered Families!)

Our girls are on spring break this week and next, so I’m busy¬†keeping them busy at home! They are spread out in ages (almost 14, 10, and almost 6), so I find they rarely want to do the same things. Sometimes the older two hang out, other times the younger two play together or do projects – today they are painting birdhouses. But, the girls are at a stage where they often don’t¬†enjoy the same activities. Anyone else have this experience with their kiddos? Have any ideas or advice to share?

One thing we did enjoy this week was a walk through Redwood Park. This park is peaceful and beautiful in its own right, with majestic trees and serene paths…


Recently, I heard about a¬†“fairy kingdom” that has developed in the woods of the park. At some point, one or more children had the idea to put a couple of little wooden doors and wooden birdhouses on trees, where the fairies come to visit! Well, the idea caught on and now we have a wee enchanted forest with doors at the base of trees and painted birdhouses with¬†charming personal touches. Here are a few examples, though the pictures don’t do justice to the entire scene:


We strolled through the kingdom, and all three girls were engaged with the fun. I was too! Of course, afterwards the younger girls were keen to paint their own contributions to the fairy forest. So, they started painting and decorating their little houses today. If you live in the South Surrey/White Rock area, go for a stroll in Redwood Park Рthe fairy fun is just beyond the treehouse.


Now, when activities fail me, there’s one thing our girls always¬†enjoy together… homemade treats! They all love this Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl. Ok, our middle daughter opts for the pudding without the berry swirl, no surprise there. :)

This is a new recipe from my Plant-Powered Families cookbook.¬†This pudding is very easy to whip together, and tastes like a PB&J sandwich – without the bread! It’s all whole-foods based, from the pudding to the swirl!

NEW! Plant-Powered Families cookbook by Dreena Burton

Oh, and for those of you possibly wondering… “uh-oh,¬†is there a lot of peanut butter in this book? I’ve already preordered!”… No, there isn’t. In fact, I believe this is the only dedicated peanut butter recipe in the book. And, you can substitute a nut butter like cashew or almond if you have peanut allergies in your household.

And, if you missed my last post and don’t know about the preorder offer of a bonus ebook and special giveaway, check out my last post for details!

Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl! from "Plant-Powered Families" cookbook by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree

Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl (link to print/share)

This idea came to me one day after school. I wanted to give the girls a treat, but something nutritious‚ÄĒand quick! This pudding came together in a flash, and their eyes sure lit up!
Peanut Butter Pudding:
3/4 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup unsalted peanut butter or other nut butter (see notes)
1 tablespoon white chia seeds
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon nondairy milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2‚Äď4 teaspoons pure maple syrup for extra sweetening (optional)

Berrylicious Swirl:
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries (see note)
2‚Äď3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave nectar
Pinch sea salt

In a blender, puree the dates, peanut butter, chia seeds, sea salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth (if using a high-speed blender, this will be quick; with a standard blender, you may need to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times). If you‚Äôd like additional sweetener, add the maple syrup, a teaspoon or two at a time, to taste. For the swirl:¬†Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the berries, maple syrup, and sea salt until semi-smooth. If using frozen berries, it will take a little longer.¬†Dollop the berry mixture on the peanut-butter pudding, or ‚Äúswirl‚ÄĚ it through!

Peanut Butter Note: Peanut butters often have salt added, even the natural varieties. Check the ingredients‚ÄĒif it does, reduce or omit salt.

Nut Butter Note: If substituting a nut butter like almond, try adding a touch of orange zest. It pairs beautifully with almond

Berries Note: If using seasonal fresh berries, they may be sweeter than frozen. Puree with just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and add extra to taste. With frozen berries, I usually use 2 tablespoons syrup.

Pudding photo credit: Nicole Axworthy

Enjoy the pudding, friends!

x Dreena