Sesame, Wasabi & Nori Mixed Nuts

Do you ever stand in that aisle in Trader Joe's that has all the mixed nuts and have serious decision making problems? I mean, they have every combination that ever could exist. And it's also an extremely slippery slope because while nuts have great nutritional benefits, they are little calorie bombs.  And who eats just ONE handful of trail mix? Nobody.

So I just stand in that aisle, drool, and move on. Self control. My weakness is the Thai spiced mixed nuts. If you haven't had them, don't. You won't be able to stop yourself.

So when faced with a surplus of asian ingredients and a freezer full of nuts, I did this:

Sesame, Wasabi  & Nori Mixed Nuts
makes 1 cup

2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp prepared wasabi paste
1/2 c. almonds
1/2 c. cashews
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp rice seasoning (which is sesame seeds, nori, salt, sugar)

In a small bowl, combine coconut oil and wasabi. 

Toast nuts over medium heat for 2-4 minutes. 

When they start to toast, add coconut oil/wasabi mixture and toss to coat. Let them toast for another 30 seconds or so.

Drizzle over the tamari and toss the nuts.

Sprinkle over the rice seasoning and toss to coat.

Transfer to a foil lined sheet pan, spread out so they do not touch, and let them sit out at room temp for about 1 hour. Then you can jar them up and snack for days!

If you giggled every time I wrote "nuts", we must be friends.


Fluffy Sour Chia Pancakes

It would be just like me to make the best pancakes ever and not take a single picture.

But these were so good, I had to snap a few post-bite pics and share the recipe.

I was craving sourdough pancakes. Though these aren't as sour as sourdough, they have the right sweetness and tang, combined with goodness of oat, whole wheat, and chia.

Fluffy Sour Chia Pancakes
makes 8

1 medium banana, ripe
1/3 c. light coconut milk (from a can)
1/3 c. chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 c. unsweetened plain almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 c. oat flour
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chia seeds

Blend together the wet ingredients.

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl.

Pour wet mixture into dry. Stir to combine. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to give chia seeds some time to gel.

Heat a pan over med-high heat and spray with coconut oil cooking spray (my new favorite for pancakes and stir fry's)

Scoop by 1/4 cups onto pan.

Flip once you start to see bubbles popping.

I served mine with cinnamon apples, but would be great with maple syrup, fresh berries, or raspberry jam. 


Artichoke Pesto Flatbread

I've recently discovered the joy of no-cheese pizzas. And I realize how crazy this sounds from someone who has previously rattled on and ON about the joys of all things cheese. I mean, cheese defines me.  Well, it DID at least. I haven't purchased cheese in 2 months. (Read: this is huge). I've had some sprinklings here and there, but nothing like I used to... and nothing like my childhood, when my parents would find string cheese wrappers like breadcrumbs in the wake of my dairy destruction...

Making pizza at home means topping it with whatever. I had a beet pizza a few weeks ago. But this one was the best, so here I am to share. Because sharing is caring!

Artichoke Flatbread Pizza
8 servings

1 can artichoke hearts packed in water
2 tbsp basil pesto
1 package whole wheat pizza dough
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced in rings
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. pitted kalamata olives, chopped

Preheat oven according to dough instructions (450F is usually on the money). Let pizza dough hang out on the counter to come to room temp and relax.

Pop open artichokes and drain. Quickly chop up with a food processor to a fine dice.

Saute over med-high heat for 5 minutes. This will help to evaporate extra water and soften up artichokes.

Remove from heat and stir in pesto. 

yeah, this pesto has parm in it. sneaky sneaky. but it was already in my fridge when i started this "no dairy" thing, so give me cred for not being wasteful, plz.
Roll out pizza dough on a floured pan using your fancy rolling pin (ikea glass).

Bake for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly brown. Sometimes it gets a giant bubble, just poke a hole in that to steam vent.

Spread artichoke pesto mixture evenly on crust.

Top with onion, mushroom, parsley, and olives.

And bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until onions are soft, crust is crispy, and mushrooms are shrivel-y.

Slice er up and serve with a big salad!

What cheese?


Totally Tubular Terrarium Tutorial

Today we are going to learn together.

About nature.

And the ecosystem.

Let's make a terrarium.

Shopping List

  • From the thrift store or dollar store:
    • Glass fish bowls, vases, bowls, glasses, etc
  • From the pet store:
    • Aquarium gravel (many style to chose from! Even awesome tacky bright pink.)
    • Activated filter carbon (also in the aquarium section)
  • From the garden store:
    • Potting soil for cacti/succulents
    • 1-2 feature succulents (~$2 ea) per terrarium
  • From your neighbors' yards
    • cuttings of succulents! I get them from my mom, but if she wasn't my mom, I would totally steal some from her yard. For a quick tip on taking succulent cuttings, see here. It takes about a 3 days for the cuttings to be planting-ready, so plan ahead.

In your glass of choice, add about 1" of gravel.

Top that gravel off with a sprinkling of carbon. Sprinkle in evenly until you only see a little peak of gravel (~1/4").

Add 2" of potting soil.

Remove succulents from garden store packaging and tickle the roots. Make a spot in the terrarium for the succulent and bury in the soil. Make your arrangement.

Add a wee bit of soil to fill in and make sure roots are covered.

Water moderately and evenly.

Place in a partially sunny spot (a window that gets light for only a few hours of the day) to give time to take root.

After 2 weeks, you may move to a bright spot in your home that is not necessarily by a window.

Some tips:
  • Try variety inside the terrarium for balance. Something tall, something leafy, something with tiny leaves, something big, something colorful for contrast (like a red or purple variety).
  • Try one large statement succulent and 1-2 complimentary mini succulents.
  • Try a micro terrarium (in a small glass or even stemware)
  • Top with sand (colored!) or gravel on top of the soil if you want to commit to the arrangement.
  • Spray paint miniatures a contrasting color (i.e. turquoise dinosaurs, pink kittens) and place inside for whimsy. 


  • Succulents like to stay dry. Sprinkle with a small bit of water once/week.
  • Do not leave in direct sunlight for long periods of time. The glass makes a microclimate and it can get too hot quickly.
  • Name them names like Sally, Spike, or Rhonda. Plants like to have names.


Biscuits and Country Gravy (Vegan)

I'm finding it very easy to veganize recipes.

Dangerously easy.

I bring you vegan biscuits and country gravy.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Whole Wheat Vegan Biscuits
16 biscuits

1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp whipped earth balance buttery spread
4 tbsp soy cream cheese spread (I use TJ's brand)
1 c. original unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy)

Preheat oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and salt.

Drop in earth balance and vegan cream cheese.

Using the tines of a fork, blend in the earth balance and cream cheeze. You could pulse in a large food processor if you have one big enough. But the fork method just takes a minute or so. Work on it until you get the following looking consistency:

Add in milk and mix just until combined.

Turn out onto a floured surface and need briefly - 2-4 times.

Roll out to about 1/2" using your finest kitchen equipment (a cup from ikea= rolling pin, right?)

Cut out even shapes (using more glassware, apparently). 

Place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet.


Bake 12-14 minutes, or until brown and puffed up:

Now, about that gravy.

Country Gravy

about  1 1/2 c. gravy

4 soy breakfast sausage links or 2 patties, or the precrumbled stuff, whatever you like
2 tbsp earth balance whipped buttery spread
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/4 c. original, unsweetened soy milk (warmed)
black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
cayenne and tabasco to taste

Crumble up sausage, set aside.

In a sauce pan over med-high heat, melt earth balance. Whisk in flour and create a vegan roux! This takes about 1 minute.  Whisk continuously, let it slightly toast.

Pour in warmed milk, whisking continuously.

Once thickened (about a minute), reduce heat to med-low and stir in sausage, salt, pepper, hot sauce, cayenne, whatevs.

To serve, split biscuits and top with a pouring of gravy.

Serve with copious amounts of tabasco and fruit because this, my friends, is health food.


Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

I don't mean to be dramatic, but really I don't think I could live without sweet potatoes.

They get a terrible reputation as a thanksgiving side dish, covered in corn syrup and butter, or even marshmallows (so happy my family doesn't do the marshmallow thing). 

A few years ago, sweet potatoes started popping up on menus as an alternative to french fries. You can even get sweet potatoes as tots at TJ's these days. That seems like a slippery slope I don't want to start down though...

But have you ever just eaten a sweet potato without sugar or deep frying? Just a baked sweet potato? Maybe a touch of earth balance, or greek yogurt, or just a sprinkle of salt. It's all they need. 

Unless you want to make chili:

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
serves 4 at least

1 tbsp EVOO
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, cubed
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added
juice of 1 lime
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can water
tabasco to taste
brown sugar to taste

Toppings: avocado, soy cheeze, green onion

In a large pot, heat EVOO. Saute onion and garlic 3 minutes, or until softened.

Toss in sweet potatoes.

And bell peppers.

Add about 1/8 c. of water (i just fill the lid) and then cover for 2-4 minutes. The steam helps cook the sweet potato.

Uncover and add in garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, pepper, and salt.  Toss everything around and let the spices get toasty.

Add in tomatoes, black beans (drained and rinsed!!), water, and lime juice.

And add heat to your liking. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to low. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Then taste and add sugar for balance and additional salt if needed. The sugar balances out the acidity from the tomatoes, lime, and tabasco. You could use agave or maple syrup if you prefer.

Top with topping of choice, I recommend avocado!

Eat more sweet potatoes!


Green Pancakes


I made another absurdly green recipe.

Today's green recipe comes from (never)homemaker. I shook it up a bit with oat flour, cause I like a hearty pancake. These taste great and are packed full of nutrition! Would be good for kids or St. Patrick's day. Or just me.

Green Pancake Mix
8-10 pancakes

1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. oat flour (oats pulsed into a flour consistency)
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp flax meal
2 c. fresh spinach
pinch salt

Pulse all ingredients in a large food processor, until it looks like green flour.

This can store in the fridge for up to 2 days. I recommend that you just make a ton of pancakes, then reheat for a few days.

To turn these into pancakes, first make the wet ingredients:

Wet Ingredients
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 c. milk of choice - unsweetened, unflavored almond or soy are my choices
1 tbsp brown sugar for sweetness!

Stir in the green mix and then toss in 1/3 c. fresh blueberries and 1/4 c. chopped walnuts or whatever you like in your pancakes.

Cook on a skillet sprayed with cooking spray like you would any ol pancake.

I promise, these don't take like spinach. Stop looking at me weird.