Persimmon Cookies and Muffins!


Have you ever used one batter to make cookies and muffins?  Before today, I didn’t think that was possible.  Well, guess what I did?  I made persimmon cookies and persimmon muffins using the same exact batter!  Sounds too good to be true?  I’m telling you…it can be done!  And, with this recipe both pastries turned out great!


If you have a persimmon tree, just inherited a huge bounty of persimmons like I did, or can find them at the market, I recommend making these cookies and/or muffins.  Your family, friends, and coworkers will love you for it.


Last weekend at my twin nephews’ birthday party, I shared these cookies with guests while discreetly conducting a taste test.  The common reaction was, “this doesn’t taste like a vegan and gluten-free cookie.  It’s delicious!  Can I have another one?”  It is these types of responses that warm my heart and make me happy doing what I do.

These are some of the best vegan and gluten-free cookies and muffins that I have had in a while. They’re not the crispy type of cookies or muffins.  Rather, they are actually quite moist from the addition of the applesauce and persimmon.


If you love the taste and smell of the holidays, you sure will be pleased with these.  While baking, your house will be filled with the most intoxicating holiday spice aroma.  You can taste all of the warm and familiar flavors of the season and the sweetness of the raisins, while getting a nice crunch from the walnuts.

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy them as much as my loved ones and I do!

Persimmon Cookies and/or  Muffins

Makes 27-28 cookies or about 12 muffins


2 cups oat flour (gluten-free) or 2 heaping cups of rolled oats (gluten-free)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup coconut sugar

1 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp applesauce, unsweetened

1 cup persimmon pulp (from ripe, soft persimmons)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract(no alcohol)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup raisins

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. If you don’t have oat flour and only rolled oats, place a heaping cup of rolled oats into a high-powered blender.  Blend on high until you have a flour-like consistency.  Remeasure the flour to ensure you have 2 cups exactly. Place in a large bowl. Add the baking powder and baking soda to the oat flour, mix well.  Set aside.

3. You will need to use the same blender (don’t need to wash it), just remove any remaining oat flour and save to use later.  Place the coconut oil, coconut sugar, chia seeds, applesauce, persimmon pulp, vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into the blender and blend until fully incorporated and chia seeds are pulverized. Stop the blender maybe 2 times to scrape the sides of the blender, ensuring all ingredients are getting blended together.

4. Using a rubber spatula, add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix well.  Fold in the raisins and walnuts.

5. On a half sheet pan lined with parchment or a silicon liner, scoop 1 ounce (or 2 tbsp)-sized cookies.  Press down on the cookies with your hand to flatten into a cookie shape, or use the side of a rubber spatula to flatten since they are a bit sticky.

**alternatively, add 2 scoops (or 4 tbsp) of batter to cupcake cake liners. Make sure to press down and flatten the muffin.

Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes.  Bake muffins for 25-28 minutes.  Repeat until all cookies and muffins are baked.  Cool cookies and muffins on a cooling rack. Enjoy!



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My Fave Gluten-free Vegan Pancakes and Waffles!



When I discovered the gluten-free vegan banana pancake, I thought I’d be fine not having the fluffy pancake I grew up with ever again.  Well, I was wrong – I was getting tired of the dense vegan, gluten-free banana-style pancake.  I not only was over the heavy gluten-free vegan pancake, I was starting to crave waffles.  After having this craving for about a year, I decided to purchase a waffle maker.


The first Saturday I had my waffle maker, I was so excited to finally prepare waffles for breakfast.  As soon as I woke up, I darted to the kitchen, drank my green smoothie, and made my ‘new and improved banana coconut pancake’ batter for the waffles. To my disappointment, the waffle didn’t taste like a waffle.  It was heavy and dense, and I tasted banana and cinnamon, not exactly what I was looking for in a waffle. Don’t get me wrong.  It was good;  it just wasn’t ideal.  I prefer my waffles crisp, light and a little sweet.  Plain and simple.  The batter I used was best used in making banana pancakes. That’s it.

All day that Saturday I was disappointed, thinking about how I wasted my money on a nice waffle maker.  That evening, I tossed and turned, thinking about how I could make a gluten-free vegan waffle taste like the ones I grew up loving.  Not able to sleep, I picked up my phone, searched for the best waffle recipes online, read reviews, then came up with my own veganized and gluten-free version. After I wrote out this new recipe, I relaxed and was able to sleep.

In the morning, I whipped up the new recipe and just as luck would have it, the recipe turned out a success!  I was so happy with the batter that I even made more to see how pancakes would turn out. The pancakes are also light and fluffy, just like the ones I grew up with!

I must say, these are now the best gluten-free vegan pancakes and waffles I have eaten!  I hope you will think the same!



My Favorite Gluten-free Vegan Pancakes and Waffles

Servings:  4

Time:  25 minutes

Diet:  V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, NF



2 cups of gluten-free oat flour (or 2 heaping cups gluten-free rolled oats, blended)

2 Tbsp chia seeds (or 3 tbsp flax seeds)

1 3/4 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup applesauce

2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (or about 8 drops liquid stevia)

4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)



1.  If using chia seeds, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until the chia seeds are pulverized.  Scrape down the sides and blend again.  Then pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. (Alternatively, if you use the flax meal and oat flour, combine all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix to combine.)  Let the batter sit for at least 15 minutes. This step is crucial, so please do not skip this part.

2.  Heat your waffle maker or griddle and follow your waffle maker’s instructions to prepare the waffle.  Since this is a thicker batter, you will need to fill your waffle maker with more batter, about 25% more than a typical thin batter.  For pancakes, heat a griddle pan at medium heat. Spray non-stick cooking spray or use a little coconut oil to coat pan. With a ladle, pour a circular pancake about 5-inches in diameter.  Flip pancakes when edges appear cooked and bubbles emerge on top.  Cook until both sides are golden.

3a.  Serve pancakes immediately.  If desired, top with maple syrup and your favorite toppings.  I like my fluffy pancakes simple, topped with chopped pecans and maple syrup, or even with no maple syrup but topped with berries and/or bananas.

3b.  Serve waffles immediately and top with your desired toppings.  I enjoy my waffles plain or with chocolate sauce and chantilly cream.

This recipe makes 4 waffles or five to six 4-inch pancakes.

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Banana Pancakes



Pancakes make an appearance on my dining table at least once a week when Peyman and I have brunch.  When I first started making vegan and gluten-free pancakes, it took me a handful of trials to develop a delicious and nutritious gluten-free and vegan pancake.  This is an improvement compared to my first “Coconut and Banana Pancakes” recipe.  Still high in fiber and protein, these are a tad bit fluffier.  They also contain banana and dates, making them super filling and satisfying.  If you like banana in your pancakes and are craving a heavier pancake breakfast, you should try these. Just keep in mind that the bananas make these pancakes a little dense and a bit moist.

I might as well call them superfood pancakes because they do pack a punch when it comes to nutrition and health benefits.  The oatmeal, garbanzo flour and chia seeds supply the fiber and protein which keep you fuller longer and also aid in digestion.  Chia seeds have omega-3 fatty acids (important for brain health) and manganese (good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin).  Bananas contain potassium (helps your heart beat) and prebiotics (improve the absorption of calcium, strengthen your immune system, and assist you in resisting infections).  These prebiotics also limit injury in the intestines and reduce the chance of colorectal diseases.  And there’s even more potassium and antioxidants from the coconut oil. If I go on and continue to list the many potential benefits you can receive from these pancakes, you will be having these for dinner!


Banana Pancakes

Servings:  1-2

Time:  27 minutes

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF



4 large medjool dates

1 cup coconut milk (or any plant-based “milk”)

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 pinch of sea salt

2 large bananas

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 cup oat flour, gluten-free (can substitute with sorghum flour)

1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour

1/4 cup almond meal

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp stevia powder


Chocolate Sauce:

1 tbsp almond butter

2 tbsp cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)

2.5 tbsp maple syrup




1. In a blender, add the medjool dates, coconut milk, vanilla, sea salt, bananas, coconut oil (melted, not solid), and chia seeds. Blend until the dates are pulverized (little bits of dates are fine).

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oat flour, garbanzo flour, almond meal, cinnamon, and stevia.

3. Create a well (a hole) in the dry mix and pour in the wet mixture from the blender. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the blender. Fold the dry and wet ingredients together with a rubber spatula until combined.

4. Important step: Set the bowl aside for 15-17 minutes. The flours and chia seeds will absorb the liquid.  In the meantime, make the chocolate sauce.

5. After the batter has rested for 15-17 minutes, heat a non-stick griddle on a little less than medium heat.  Spray with coconut oil spray, or use a little coconut oil to coat pan. With a ladle, pour a circular pancake about 4-inches in diameter.  Flip pancakes when edges appear cooked and bubbles emerge on top. Cook the other side until it turns golden brown.

6. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and mixed berries or other fruit.

Makes six 4-inch pancakes.


Chocolate Sauce:

Combine and mix all the chocolate sauce ingredients together.  If you feel the sauce is too thick, thin it out with filtered water a few drops at a time.  Mix well.



Stack the pancakes in the center of a plate, drizzle with chocolate and fresh fruit.  Enjoy!



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Raw Parsley and Kale Tabouli Salad with Hemp Seeds


I made tabouli for the first time a couple of weeks ago using Kimberly Snyder’s recipe from her book “Beauty Detox Solution”, and I really liked it!  It’s so fresh, tangy and delicious!

My husband (my best test-taster) though, didn’t love the  slightly peppery and almost anise-like taste of the parsley. Since it’s been warm out, I thought a fresh Mediterranean salad would be perfect to start tonight’s dinner. This time, though, I would only use half of the parsley I used last time and I’d add in kale to make up for the other half of parsley in the recipe. I’d also add cayenne for a little kick.

Without having told Peyman I changed up the salad, he told me, “I like the tabouli better today than the last time you made it”.  My eyes lit up and I explained to him why. Yay! Hooray! This tabouli is husband-approved. Success!

Here’s the recipe.


Raw Parsley and Kale Tabouli Salad with Hemp Seeds



1 small bunch of curly or Italian parsley

1 small-medium bunch of kale, stems removed (I like lacinato/dinosaur kale but any will do)

1/2 white onion, diced

1 organic tomato, diced

6 heaping Tbsp hemp seeds



Juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 C cold-pressed olive oil

1/2 t celtic or Himalayan sea salt

2 shakes of cayenne pepper



1. Chop parsley and kale (Will be quick if you use a food processor to chop the greens) and place in a large bowl with the onion, tomato and hemp seeds.

2. In a blender, combine lemon, garlic, olive oil and salt and blend until smooth.

3. Pour dressing over the salad and mix well.  It’s best chilled.

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Raw Goji-, Cranberry and Coconut Truffles


I was introduced to date-nut balls, raw vegan bliss balls, raw chocolate truffles, whatever-you-want-to-call-’em, by Kimberly Snyder in her “The Beauty Detox Solution” book; she calls them raw cacao balls.

As you may already know, I come from a very large family. I am the youngest of 6 daughters and the auntie to 15 kids. When I go to a family event or just visit family, I’m usually never empty-handed.  Since having a sweet tooth is a common trait in my family, I usually come over with sweet gifts to bear.  I am delighted that my mom, sisters and their kids enjoy vegan and gluten-free treats!  And I am even more delighted when my raw vegan treats are a hit.  Some of the pickiest eaters in the family usually pick up a chocolate cacao ball, they don’t love it, then they try the raw goji-, cranberry and coconut truffles and they come back for more!

Here’s the super simple recipe.  I hope you and your family enjoy them!


Raw Goji-, Cranberry and Coconut Truffles

1 1/2 Cup , plus more, about a 1/2 Cup for rolling Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1/3 Cup Dried Goji Berries

3/4 Cup Almond Flour

1/4 Cup Coconut Nectar

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted/in liquid state

2 tsp Non-alcohol Vanilla Extract or 1/4 tsp Vanilla Bean Seeds

Pinch of Sea Salt ( I use a fine Himalayan sea salt)


1.In a food processor,  add almond flour and coconut flakes and process until finely ground. For at least a minute.

2. Add the dried cranberries and goji berries and pulse a few times to combine and until you reach a texture of your liking.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut nectar, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt until sea salt is dissolved then add to the mixture in the food processor into the bowl and mix well using your hands.  After all the ingredients are incorporated, I like to refrigerate the mixture just so it’s more firm and easy to work with.  This way, they’ll be more round and not flat-bottomed.

4. In the meantime, line a 1 quarter sheet pan or tupperware with parchment paper (and wash dishes?).  After about 7-10 minutes, remove the mixture from the refrigerator and scoop the truffles, about 8-10 of them.  I use a .8 of an oz. ice cream scooper.  I have also just used a spoon to scoop them. Once you scoop a ball, round it out with your hands then roll it into coconut flakes and place onto the lined sheet tray or plate.  Refrigerate immediately until hardened.



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Pasta with Tomato-Cream (Pink) Sauce


Back in the Spring of 2000, I had my first taste of tomato cream (pink) sauce while visiting a college friend in Santa Barbara, California.  For dinner, Reena took me to an Italian restaurant called Palazzio.  There, I ordered rigatoni in pink sauce and after just one bite I fell in love with the dish.


After testing some recipes for tomato cream sauce, I came up with my own take of the delicious pink sauce that is vegan and gluten-free.

Here is the recipe.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  Buono Appetito!





Pasta in Tomato “Cream” Sauce

Servings 2 – 3




1/3 cup of cashew cream (1/2 cup cashew soaked for 2-3 hours)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, chopped

2 cups of marinara sauce (I typically use Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Marinara. Really yummy!)

1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup of basil, torn

1 tsp od sriracha

2-3 Tbsp of white wine, optional (I typically use a dry sauvignon blanc)



1/2 pound of penne, rigatoni, gluten-free


¼ cup of sliced almonds



1. Make the cashew cream by blend cashews with 1/4 cup plus 1-2 Tbsp of water for thinning until smooth.  Set aside 1/3 cup.  There will be some left over, which can be stored in the refrigerator to use later.

2. Bring salted water to a boil in a large saucepot.  Then add pasta and cook until al dente.

3. Heat a medium skillet, spray with non-stick cooking spray (I use coconut cooking spray), and saute garlic and shallots for 2 minutes.

4. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 1 minute.

5. Add cashew cream, wine (optional), and simmer for 2 minutes.

6. Add sun-dried tomatoes and stir well.

7. Add basil and simmer for 1 minute.

8. Add cooked pasta, remove from heat and stir, and serve.  Top with a small handful of sliced almonds.  Best served with salad!


Enjoy and please let me know your thoughts!


Pasta in Tomato “Cream” Sauce

Servings: 2-3

Time: 35 minutes

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF




1/3 cup of cashew cream (1/2 cup cashew soaked for 2-3 hours)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, chopped

2 cups of marinara sauce (I typically use Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Marinara. Really yummy!)

1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup of basil, torn

1 tsp od sriracha

2-3 Tbsp of white wine, optional (I typically use cabernet sauvignon)



1/2 pound of penne, rigatoni, gluten-free


¼ cup of sliced almonds



1. Make the cashew cream by blend cashews with 1/4 cup plus 1-2 Tbsp of water for thinning until smooth.  Set aside 1/3 cup.  There will be some left over, which can be stored in the refrigerator to use later.

2. Bring salted water to a boil in a large saucepot.  Then add pasta and cook until al dente.

3. Heat a medium skillet, spray with non-stick cooking spray (I use coconut cooking spray), and saute garlic and shallots for 2 minutes.

4. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 1 minute.

5. Add cashew cream, wine (optional), and simmer for 2 minutes.

6. Add sun-dried tomatoes and stir well.

7. Add basil and simmer for 1 minute.

8. Add cooked pasta, remove from heat and stir, and serve.  Top with a small handful of sliced almonds.  Best served with salad!


Enjoy and please let me know your thoughts!




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Growing up, my mom didn’t make a real lasagna; we only had the hamburger helper or Costco heat-and-serve versions.  In her defense, my mom made a mean spaghetti and the most awesome twice baked potatoes and chicken a la king with biscuits! She’s a fabulous cook.  She just never took the time to make a lasagna.

When I was in high school, my sister Janet would take one of my sisters and I to a great spot in Little Italy, San Diego, called Mona Lisa.  During my first trip to the restaurant someone recommended the lasagna, so ordered it. It was so good that for every trip to Mona Lisa thereafter, I ordered the lasagna.  It was a thick, meaty, juicy, gooey, cheesy block of deliciousness.  So good. Soooo soooo good until I watched an episode on the Oprah Winfrey Show about irreversible fatty plaques in the heart.  It was then I had a paradigm shift about cheese, butter and my heart.  My life would never be the same again. This happened around 1996, when I was 16.  From then on, I became a little more health conscious and would have lasagna maybe once a year, or even once every 2 years.  Between 1996 and 2002, though, my healthy eating habits fluctuated and were out of whack due to my out of control thyroid condition (that was treated in 1998).

It wasn’t until I started dating Peyman and visiting his parents that I had lasagna more regularly (maybe once a month). My mother-in-law always packed delicious food for him on the weekends to enjoy during the week. One of her specialties is lasagna.  Her’s t isn’t ‘t too meaty, or too saucy or cheesy.  It even has spinach.  I thought it was good but still not the healthiest as it contains wheat pasta (I’m gluten intolerant) and I consider anything with cheese unhealthy.

Since Peyman hadn’t had lasagna in quite a long time, a couple of weeks ago I decided to surprise Peyman with a special lasagna, high in nutrition. It would be my first attempt at making lasagna! Coincidentally, that same day I watched “Forks over Knives Presents the Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue with Rip Esselstyn” and decided to try Rip’s lasagna recipe.  If Rip thought his lasagna was good enough to serve at his wedding, I thought it was good enough for my man.  I made it extra special by making my own high-protein quinoa pasta sheets.  Finally when it came time for Peyman to try it, he wasn’t too thrilled.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, he’s very picky.  First of all, he doesn’t like quinoa, rosemary and sweet potatoes; he noticed 2 of the 3 in his first bite.   Sadly, he didn’t finish his piece and I gave the leftovers to my sister, Riva, and her husband, Scott.

Funny thing, we saw Scott last weekend at their daughter’s birthday party.  Scott told Peyman and I that he really liked the lasagna!  Peyman couldn’t believe it!

Long story short, this inspired me to make a lasagna similar to Rip’s recipe but in a style I knew Peyman and I would definitely enjoy.  In addition to my adaptation being vegan and gluten-free, it is soy-free and a bit spicy with vegan rajas.  Good news, Peyman enjoyed this version very much! After taking a few bites he said with a nod, “this is much better!”. It warmed my heart.

Now, I’m going to share the recipe with you. Hope it satisfies you just the same!




Yvonne’s Lasagna

Servings 5-6

Time: 2 hours

Brief: This is my adaptation of Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Lasagna. My version is both vegan and gluten-free, as well as soy-free. My version is also a little spicy with vegan “rajas”.

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF

You’ll need an 8×8″, 9X9″, or 8X10″ baking dish.


Pasta sheets:

1 Tbsp flax meal plus 3 Tbsp filtered water

3/4 cup quinoa flour

1/4 cup oat flour

2 Tbsp filtered water

1 tsp sea salt

2 drops of stevia, optional


1 box of lasagna noodles, gluten-free



1 sweet potato, optional

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 head of garlic, mashed or minced

4 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1 large carrot or 2 small Carrots, sliced at a diagonal.

1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 poblano or pasilla chile, deseeded and chopped

1/2 cup frozen non-gmo sweet corn

8 oz. frozen chopped spinach

2 medium zucchini, cut in half, then slice lengthwise to get long, flat pieces

1 large eggplant, sliced thin rounds about 1 cm. thick

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

>1 tsp dried rosemary

1 jar of pasta sauce. I( really like using Trader Joe’s Arrabiata sauce)

1/2 tsp sea salt

crushed red pepper flakes, as needed

3 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 cup raw cashews, crushed or ½ cup cashew cream



Pasta Sheets:

1. In a small bowl, prepare the flax egg by mixing together 1 Tbsp flax meal with 3 Tbsp of filtered water. Set aside for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, prepare other ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flours and salt. Make a well in the flour, add the flax egg, and mix.  Mixture should form a stiff dough. If needed, stir in 1 to 2 Tbsp or more of filtered water.

2. Tear 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap (about 9X10″). Place one sheet on worktable, lightly dust it with flour. Take half of the dough, form it into a ball, dust the top of the ball with a little more flour.  Place the top sheet on top of the ball and roll out the dough about a centimeter or so thick, in the shape of your dish. When assembling the lasagna and when it’s time to add a sheet of pasta, flip the sheets with the pasta so that the bottom sheet now becomes the top sheet. Remove the top sheet from the rolled out pasta slowly so it doesn’t tear. While holding the pasta sheet on the parchment, transfer to the baking dish when it’s time to add the pasta sheet. If it doesn’t fit perfectly, cut the pasta accordingly and fill out the rest of the layer with scraps if there are empty spots, to make one complete layer of pasta.

3. Repeat step 2 when time comes to add another pasta sheet layer.



1. Cover sweet potato in a paper towel. Wet it, place it on a plate, add a little water on the plate and microwave for 5 – 7 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked.  Alternatively, bake sweet potato in the oven until cooked. (375 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes). Set aside.

2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add onions. Cook for a minute then add the garlic and mushrooms. No oil is necessary. Cook for another minute and add bell peppers, poblano chile, corn, carrots, sea salt, oregano, basil, rosemary and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring until the onions become translucent.  Once translucent, add spinach. Cook for one more minute. Place the mixture into a bowl. Set aside.

3. In same pan, brown the slices of zucchini until they become a little caramelized on both sides, not burned. Place caramelized slices on a small plate and set aside.



1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In an 8×8″, 9X9″, or 8X10″ baking dish, add a thin layer of pasta sauce.

3. Add a pasta sheet layer then cover with a layer of sauce.

4. Add a layer of the cooked veggie mixture (onion, garlic, mushroom, etc.)

5. Add a layer of eggplant. Overlap the eggplant with thin slices so you don’t see any veggie mixture.

6. Add a layer of sweet potato, either sliced or mashed.

7. Add another pasta sheet layer.

8. Add a thin layer of pasta sauce.

9. Add another layer of cooked veggie mixture.

10. Add another layer of eggplant, overlapping eggplant with thinner slices so you don’t see any veggie mixture.

11. Add a layer of zucchini.

12. Add last layer of pasta sauce

13. Add a layer of tomatoes

14. Sprinkle with crushed cashews or smother with some cashew cream sauce and a bit more marinara.

15. Cover with foil. Place on lined baking sheet, in case it bubbles over.

16. Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hr and 15 minutes to 1.5 hours, until pasta is cooked.

17. Remove from oven. Remove foil and let it sit out for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

18. Slice and serve!


Yes, it is a lengthy recipe, but if you do attempt to make this, please let me know how yours turns out! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

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Quinoa Pizza


When making pizza, I normally use the crust recipe from Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Foods book. Kimberly’s pizza crust recipe yields delicious medium-thick pizza dough and serves about 3 people.

Most recently, I have been wanting to make a crust with fewer ingredients. I began searching online for quinoa pizza crust recipes.  In my quest for a quick and easy recipe, I found that most of the recipes required the quinoa to be soaked for 8 hours, but I didn’t have that much time.  So, I put on my thinking cap and created this pizza crust recipe together.

I’d describe this pizza crust as thin and crispy. I love it because it’s a personal pizza and it’s not too big. This recipe is packed with protein (from the quinoa) and fiber (from the oat flour)!

If you try making this, I hope you enjoy the simplicity, nutrients, and crispiness as much as I do!



Quinoa Pizza Crust

Serving Size:  One 6-inch pizza (good for one person)

Time: 40 minutes


1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 cup oat flour (can substitute sorghum)

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

1/16 tsp 100% pure Stevia powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp sea salt

2 shakes of cayenne pepper

1+ Tbsp water

optional: sriracha, other herbs like rosemary, thyme and parsley, chopped

Pizza Toppings of your choice.  Here is a list of pizza toppings I enjoy on my pizza: pizza sauce, 1/4 onion/shallot, 1/4 cup red bell pepper, crushed red pepper, mushrooms, basil, jalapeno, crushed cashews or cashew cream (which resembles cheese).



1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Place 1/4 Cup of quinoa, a dash of sea salt and 1/2 Cup filtered water into a small saucepan.  Cover. Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer. Keep covered.  The quinoa should cook about 15 minutes or until fluffy.

3. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients then add the warm quinoa. Mix and mash together with your hands until it forms a dough. If it’s too dry, add a tsp of water at a time until the dough comes together. You don’t want it crumbly, but at the same time, you don’t want it too wet. The dough should just come together.

5. With wet hands, flatten the dough onto the lined sheet tray and into a round, 6-inch disc; about 1/8″-1/4″ thick.

6. Bake for 10 minutes, when it becomes a bit golden. Flip it. If you have trouble flipping, try using 2 spatulas so it doesn’t break, and bake for another 10 minutes (other side should also be a bit golden). This is necessary so your crust holds up to the sauce and toppings.

7. Remove the sheet pan from oven and place pizza sauce and toppings of your choice onto the crust. Place back into the oven for 10 more minutes and voila! You have pizza on a crispy quinoa oat crust!  To be extra careful, use 2 spatulas to lift the pizza onto the plate.  Usually though, my pizzas are crispy enough that one spatula works just fine.

I hope you enjoy it! Bon appetit!




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Pancake Brunch


As you may already know, my weekday mornings typically start with a warm cup of lemon water (to aid digestion), then once I get hungry, I enjoy my energizing glowing green smoothie for breakfast.

On weekends, Peyman and I like to sleep in.  We usually wake up so late that we eat a big brunch as our first meal.  Last weekend, right after we had our green smoothie, I was inspired by my Instagram friend, Lara : @llarah, to make these delicious pancakes.  I came up with an adaptation of her recipe since I don’t always like using protein powder, I like using oat flour more than buckwheat, I like using Stevia and I don’t love tahini, and I added a few more steps.  I want to warn you, these aren’t your typical IHOP pancakes since they are vegan and gluten-free; meaning, they won’t be of the fluffy sort since it’s gluten that lends it’s elasticity to achieve a fluffy crumb in a cake. These will be a bit more dense and just a tad fluffy.  I’ve tried other vegan and gluten free pancakes and so far, these are my favorite.  Come to think of it, maybe it’s the chocolate sauce that makes these pancakes so scrumptious!  I’m a former chocoholic, ya know! The recipe follows. I hope you enjoy them!



Coconut Banana Pancakes with Chocolate Sauce and Fresh Berries

**Note: I have a new and improved pancake recipe on my recipe page! They are my new favorite!

Makes 6 4-inch in diameter pancakes



1 Cup Buckwheat or Oat Flour

1/4 Cup Vanilla or Pea Protein Powder or  Garbanzo Flour (first time I made these, I used a little less than 1/4C garbanzo bean flour and completed the 1/4C measurement with coconut flour. They were perfect. Protein powder is from the original recipe. It works, too, but don’t add too much liquid or it’ll take longer to cook, or may even be a bit more wet in the center).

1/4 Cup Almond Meal

1-2 tsp Cinnamon (to taste)

2Tbsp mesquite powder, lacuma or 1 Stevia packet

pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt

3 Chia “Eggs”

2 Large Bananas, mashed

2 tsp Vanilla Extract (no alcohol)

3/4 Cup Almond, Coconut, or Rice Milk

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

4-5 Medjool Dates, seeds removed

Fresh Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries (for garnish)

Bananas or plums, sliced (for garnish, optional)


Chocolate Sauce: 

2 Tbsp Almond Butter

2 Tbsp Cacao Powder

Maple Syrup or Coconut Nectar and or Stevia drops



Chocolate Sauce:

In a bowl, mix 2Tbsp almond butter, 2 Tbsp cacao powder and drizzle in maple syrup while mixing until it becomes saucey. Adjust with more cacao or maple syrup, if needed.  For lower fructose and glycemic index, substitute with coconut nectar. For less sugar, use stevia drops and add water to adjust consistency. (I suggest going the maple syrup route on your first try! It is yummy!)


1. Prepare chia egg and set aside.

2. In a small sauce pan, on low heat. Heat coconut oil and dates. Dates should dissolve, melt. Break it down with a fork or spoon. Mash it up.

3. In a medium-large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Mix. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add remaining wet ingredients (except for berries)

4. Using a fork or whisk start whisking in the flour.  Adjust to taste. ie. if you think you need more cinnamon, add more cinnamon.

5. Important Step: Let the batter sit for about 15 minutes.

5. Heat non-stick griddle pan on  a less than medium heat. Spray with coconut oil spray, or use coconut oil to coat pan. Pour a circle that is 4-inches in diameter. Flip pancakes when edges appear cooked and batter bubbles a little on top. If after you cook it and it’s a bit wet in the center, add more almond flour to the batter or stick in the oven at 300 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes.

6. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and mixed berries.


If you make this, please let me know how yours turns out!


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2-Minute Miracle Oat/Flax Bread


If you have not yet read my 3-minute miracle bread post, you are definitely going to think this 2-minute bread recipe is crazy.  Let me tell you, it is crazy…crazy good!

Before I begin, I want to share that I happen to be married to a very picky eater.  Please do not get me wrong, Peyman is open to trying just about any type of food.  He just has a very discriminating palate.  One of the recipes that Peyman enjoys is my 3-minute miracle bread recipe.  Since it is made of primarily almond flour, I have always felt that it contained too much fat for regular consumption.  In my never-ending quest to discover and create healthier recipes, I researched and tested other bread recipes.  As my test guinea pig, Peyman did not particularly like any of the breads.

For a while, I was at a loss.  It was not until I was testing a dessert recipe, that I experienced an “aha!” moment.  While I was substituting sorghum flour with oat flour, I realized that I could probably use oat flour to create a quick-to-make bread.  I tested this idea one night while making veggie burgers for dinner, and I am proud to report that my quick-to-make oat/flax bread was a success.  Peyman loved it!

I am so grateful to have Peyman beside me on this journey.  Although Peyman does not suffer from gluten intolerance like me, he is willing to support me and sacrifice for me.  Since I eliminated gluten in my diet, I can breathe better and my skin has improved tremendously.  The little changes that we have made in our diet have been positively life-changing!

We enjoy this bread as a burger buns, slathered with dijon mustard, ketchup, crisped veggie burger patties, accompanied with sliced tomatoes, onions, and pickles. So good!

I also enjoy this bread, sliced in half and toasted on a griddle and smothered with my mixed berry chia jam. Yum!

I hope you find 2 minutes to enjoy this bread, too!


If you’re not sure if you’re gluten-intolerant, here’s a slide to help you out.  My IG friend, Natasha Gildea posted this and I thought it was something great to share!


Now, finally, here’s the recipe I’ve been talking about!


2-Minute Miracle Bread

Serving size: One bread = 2 slices

Time: 5 minutes


Dry Ingredients:

1/2 cup of gluten-free oat flour (I pulverize gluten-free oats in my blender to make oat flour )

2 tsp of coconut flour

1/4 tsp of baking soda

1 1/2 heaping tsp coconut sugar (or 2-3 drops liquid stevia)

A pinch of sea salt


Wet Ingredients:

3 Tbsp of flaxseed egg (or 1 Tbsp of flax meal mixed with 3 Tbsp of filtered water)

1 Tbsp of filtered water

1 Tbsp of coconut oil (melted) or grapeseed oil (just a smidge less than 1 Tbsp)



1. In a small bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix.  In center of the bowl, create a well and add the wet ingredients.  With a fork, incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients.  Mix well.

2. Spray coconut oil or non-stick cooking oil in a large ramekin, small bowl, or Pyrex glass bowl.  Spoon the batter into the bowl and flatten.  It may help to have slightly wet fingers when pressing down on the batter to remove holes and to even it out.

3. Microwave the batter for approximately 2 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave. If it feels too gooey, microwave for an additional 15 seconds. 2 minutes is always perfect for me.

4. Remove the bowl from the microwave and flip over onto a plate or cutting board.   It’s important to allow it cool for about 2-3 minutes before slicing.  Slice with a small serrated knife.

*Alternatively, you can bake this bread in a preheated 375F oven.


You can eat as it is, as we did, or toast in a toaster (make sure it’s completely cool first though), toaster oven, or on a pan or griddle with a little oil.


Before being heated in the microwave


After being removed from the bowl. Remember to let it cool before slicing!
Sliced oat/flax bread


I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Please let me know how yours turns out!  Bon appetit!

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