S’mores Pie

Baking is typically a little more challenging for me.  I love the preciseness required, and how it’s one big science experiment, but somehow it usually takes me a few tries before I make something that tastes like it was intended.  This S’mores Pie however, is one of the few things I’ve made that was good on the first try. The hardest part was figuring out a gluten-free and soy-free alternative for the graham cracker crust – by the way, Honey Nut Cheerios ftw!


S’mores Pie

adapted from Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking


1 1/4 cup Honey Nut Cheerios, finely ground in a food processor

2 tbsp semisweet vegan chocolate chips

1 tbsp vegan stick butter

3 tbsp canned, full fat coconut milk*

2 mejdool dates, pitted and chopped

1/4 tsp salt


2 cups semisweet vegan chocolate chips

2 tbsp vegan stick butter

1 1/4 canned, full fat coconut milk (about 2 cans)

1 1/2 tbsp instant freeze-dried coffee (optional)**

1/4 tsp sat

1 tbsp agar agar flakes***

15-20 vegan marshmallows, halved


Place the honey nut Cheerios in a food processor until very finely ground.  You need 1 1/4 cup of the Cheerios ground up, so you may need more to yield this amount.

Put the 2 tbsp chocolate chips and 1 tbsp butter in a small microwave safe bowl and zap for 30 seconds on high.  Remove from microwave, and whisk together until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add to the food processor along with the remaining crust ingredients until the dates are incorporated and very well combined.

Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable base coated with a nonstick cooking spray/lightly greased (or springform pan will also work).  Press with your fingers to form the crust until it evenly coats the base and sides of the pan.  Place in fridge.

Place all of the filling ingredients into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low just until the chocolate chips are melted.  Take crust out of the fridge and pour into the crust and place back into the fridge on an even surface.

While the pie chills, slice the marshmallows in half, then arrange on top of the pie. (Don’t worry, the marshmallows won’t sink).  Place the top rack in the oven at its highest setting and place the pie on the rack.  Broil (not bake!) until the marshmallows are golden brown to ensure they don’t burn.  (We have a separate broiler drawer, and this process took less than 1 minute).  Alternatively, you can use a torch if you’re super fancy.

Remove from the oven and place in the fridge.  The pie won’t be warm at all, although the marshmallow is toasted.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to chill for at least 3 hours prior to serving.  Keep refrigerated.


*Place canned coconut milk in the fridge the night before so the cream can separate from the liquid.  To yield 1 1/4 cup, you’ll need the cream, carefully removed, from about 2-3 cans. I’ve researched that Thai Kitchen and Trader Joe’s have the best canned coconut milk to yield the best results. Canned coconut cream is also an option and has more cream:liquid ratio. 

**Since this is a no-bake pie, I omitted the coffee to make it kid-friendly. 

***This is the first time I’ve used this ingredient. It’s what makes the pie set, to have an almost fudge like texture. It looks like a cornstarch slurry would also work to thicken this too, but I haven’t tried it yet. 




Lasagna Roll Casserole

We’ve been on a role lately with make-ahead meals. These lasagna rolls are so good and I’m still having a hard time believing they’re gluten-free, vegan, make-ahead AND taste great. A quad-fecta?  Scott and I also noticed that the cashew cheese recipe for this dish tastes like “pizza” more so than in the Pumpkin Lentil Lasagna we also like. Don’t eat vegan and gluten-free?   Just swap out the cashew cheese for Ricotta and the brown rice lasagna noodles, for traditional ones.  Enjoy!

Lasagna Roll Casserole 

Adapted from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook

Serves 8


1 tbsp olive oil

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 cup Cashew Cheese (recipe follows)

12* lasagna noodles (we used brown rice lasagna noodles)

1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

8 oz. fresh baby spinach (though you’ll probably use less)


In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Cook the lasagna noodles al dente, according to the package directions.  Set aside.

To assemble the rolls, spread 3/4 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of  a 8×8 casserole dish.

Lay one noodle lengthwise on the counter in front of you.  Spread about 2 tbsp of the cashew cheese down the center.  Add about 6 mushroom slices, zig zag style, down the center of the cashew cheese.  Next, snap any hard stems of the spinach leaves over the mushrooms, overlapping each other by a little bit.

Roll the lasagna noodle upward, evenly and tightly.  Set the roll, seam side down, in the prepared casserole dish.  Repeat the steps so there are 8 rolls total.*

Spread the rest of the cashew cheese sauce and marinara over the top of the rolled noodles.  Mix the cheese sauce and sauce and smooth out with the back of a spoon.  At this point, you may refrigerate or freeze the lasagna rolls; otherwise, preheat oven to 350.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

 *Some of my lasagna noodles broke after they were cooked.  I could salvage some, but I definitely suggest making more than you need, just in case.

Cashew Cheese


1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours to overnight

3 cloves garlic

1/2 tbsp (fresh) lemon juice

1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable broth

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Drain the soaked cashews.

Place the garlic in a food processor.  Process until finely chopped.  Place everything in the food processor and process until smooth.  You will need to scrape down the sides of a bowl with a spatula every once in a while.  Add water, 1 tbsp at a time if you want the texture smoother, though note this will thin it out, so I wouldn’t add more than 4 tbsp.

Dill’ish Slaw

When I think coleslaw, I think of either Kentucky Fried Chicken’s version or my Grandpa’s – both delicious. (Does anyone else ever wonder how KFC packs so much coleslaw in such a tiny container?!) And while coleslaw is associated with many childhood memories for me, it’s a side dish I rarely eat as an adult. I mention that as a disclaimer because this recipe from The Yiddish Kitchen is quite good, but I have no idea if it tastes like coleslaw because it’s just been so long since I’ve had the real thing. All of you coleslaw conneusiers will have to let me know how it stacks up!

Dill-ish Slaw

Adapted from The Yiddish Kitchen


1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup low-fat vegan mayo (I like Hampton Creek)

2 tbsp honey

1-2 tsp dried dill (or 1/4 cup fresh)

1/4 tsp celery seed (I omitted)

1 medium head cabbage, shredded (I used 2 bags of pre-shredded red and green cabbage)

2 large carrots shredded (I used about 3/4 bag pre-shredded)

1/4 onion thinly sliced


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except cabbage, carrots, and onion.

Once dressing is well combine and smooth, toss in cabbage, carrots, and onion. With clean hands, you can also combined with your hands to really help the flavors and juices marry.

Enjoy right away or, for the best flavor, let sit overnight covered in the fridge.

NOTE – This is not a mayo heavy slaw, so don’t be afraid to use the mayo here. If you’re worried about that though, you can add more cabbage or carrots to have the slaw be less saucy

“Magical” Applesauce Vinaigrette + Other Good Salad Dressings

My grandma used to say for a good meal, she just needed a good salad and good bread.  When I think about dinner with my grandparents, it always included a salad, and it always included a Mrs. Bernstein’s salad dressing.  But aside from that salad dressing, my favorite dressings were always ones my mom made.  That’s probably why I also love making my own salad dressings. Though, I still have a few favorite store-bought dressings I love, because let’s honest, who has time to always make their own dressings?!

This salad dressing really is “magical.”  I would never think to add cumin to a salad dressing, let alone applesauce or maple syrup, but this is really good.  I omitted the miso because I don’t eat soy.  I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like with the miso, but the final product how I made it below is great! The only downside to the recipe is it makes just 4 servings, so you’ll need to double the recipe, if you want enough to enjoy throughout the week.  Bon apetit!


“Magical” Applesauce Vinaigrette

adapted from Plant Powered Families

serves 4 (1 serving = 2 tbsp)


1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce

1/4 rounded tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp stoneground mustard (or dijon)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 -1.5 tbsp maple syrup

freshly ground pepper, to taste


Place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend together until smooth. Adjust for seasonings.  Add a little more maple syrup for a sweeter dressing OR add a couple teaspoons of water for a thinner dressing.

NOTE – you may need to double batch to make it easier to blend in the blender or food processor.



(store-bought + vegan/gluten-free/soy-free)

Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinaigrette (I’ve found it at Whole Foods + Ralphs)

Maplegrove Fat-free Balsamic Dressing (I’ve found it at Gelsons, Ralphs, + Walmart)

Follow Your Heart Low Fat Balsamic Dressing (I’ve found it a some Gelsons + some Whole Foods)


Sweet Potato Kugel

Cooking is the easiest way for me to zone out. I think that’s why I like making new recipes so much – I can focus on something and completely forget everything else going on around me. And, when there’s a day that I can go spinning and cook new recipes- well, that’s the ultimate. 

I read about this Sweet Potato Kugel recipe on a holiday round up from the cooks that authored The Yiddish Kitchen. I made bagels from their cookbook a few months ago, and I completely forgot about this kugel. I didn’t grow up on kugel like most. Actually, I was so particular, I would only eat it at my friend’s mom house, because then I knew it would be good! Anyway, this recipe is super easy and simple.  I even found precut sweet potatoes at Trader Joes to make the recipe even easier to make. You could certainly use regular sugar (the color will likely be different if you do) and you could use full-fat coconut milk, which probably makes it taste even more like the holidays. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Kugel

Adapted from The Yiddish Kitchen

Serves 8,12,16, or 25 – depending on how you cut it 


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rubble or noodles with a spiral slider or vegetable peeler (or 1.5 pkgs of Sweet Potato Ribbons from Trader Joes)

3 tbsp olive oil 

Canola oil for greasing the pan

1 cup canned lite coconut milk (or full-fat, canned)

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 375. Grease an 8×8 inch casserole dish. Then, in a skillet, heat the sweet potatoes in the olive oil over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes, or until sweet potato softens. 

While the sweet potato is cooking, mix all the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring well to combine. Once the sweet potatoes are ready, remove them from the heat and incorporate into the egg mixture. 

Next, pour the mix into the prepared casserole dish and bake for about 30-50* minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Slice and serve warm. 

*the recipe says 30-40 minutes, but maybe because I used lite coconut milk instead of full fat, it took more like 50 minutes. After 35 minutes, I kept adding 5 more until it was set – the center took the longest time to do so. 

Two [Vegan] Ranch Dressing Recipes

I generally prefer vinegar-based salad dressing but there are definitely days when I crave something a little more savory.  I’ve found two great Ranch dressing recipes, that just happen to also be vegan. What I love about these recipes, is that even if you’re not vegan, you can just swap out the Vegan mayo with an egg-based one and it still tastes great.

Creamy Ranch Dressing

serves about 12 (1 tsbp = 1 serving)

adapted from here


1 cup Vegan Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Non-dairy Milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tsp Dried Parsley

1-1/4 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Dried Dill

1/4 tsp Sea Salt


  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (might be OK longer, but haven’t tried yet)

Wall Street Restaurant’s Pareve Ranch Dressing

makes about 16 servings

adapted from here


2 cups mayonnaise (can use vegan or traditional)

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp sugar (regular or coconut sugar tastes fine)

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp dried dill


  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

“Healthy” Cookie Butter

Though I’ve yet to try the Cookie Butter some friends have raved about at Trader Joes, when I saw this recipe, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make it myself and enjoy a somewhat healthier version.  You probably wouldn’t believe me that the base is made from garbanzo beans, but they are!  This tastes like cookie dough, and has the texture of hummus.  My favorite part of this recipe is that it tastes great even without the chocolate chips, and because it has Sunbutter in it, it tastes similar enough in a PB&J – a great sub for Sunbutter, with added protein!

Vegan Cookie Butter

adapted from this recipe

Makes about 16 servings (2 tbsp = 1 serving)


1 15oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter

2 tbsp. honey

1/4 cup coconut milk* (or other non-dairy, would prob also work with any milk)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. – 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips** (optional; I use less for kids, more for adults)


  1. In a small food processor, combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, and blend until smooth.
  2. If adding chocolate chips, remove mixture from food processor and put in a small bowl.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


*We like So Delicious Coconut Milk that comes in a box

**We like Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

Umami Sundried Tomato + Almond Burgers

My favorite thing about cooking is experimenting with new combinations of ingredients. When I saw this recipe, I was so intrigued by using unsoaked almonds and sun-dried tomatoes together, let alone in a veggie burger recipe. To date, these are some of my favorite veggie burgers. I’ve tried plenty of recipes that end up tasting OK, but these are so different. The sun-dried tomatoes totally make these and the almonds give it a great texture. The other thing that surprised me was how versatile they are – they tasted great with hummus in a wrap, and great with our favorite Hampton Creek Truffle Mayo. They’d probably also be great with caramelized onions. Let me know if you find another topping for them!

Umami Sundried Tomato + Almond Burgers

Adapted from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes

Makes about 20 slider size burgers 


2 cups raw almonds

1-1/2 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 small garlic cloves, cut into quarters

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari)

3/4 cup sliced green onion

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced (not packed in oil, if hard – soak in warm water for a few minutes before using)

1-1/2 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice


  1. In a food processor, add the almonds, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, garlic, balsamic vinegar and coconut aminos. Purée until nuts are very fine ground. Do so enough so that the almonds release some oils so patty mixture can be somewhat sticky.
  2. Add the green onions and sundried tomatoes and pulse until mixture becomes dense and starts to hold together.
  3. Add the quinoa (or brown rice) and pulse until well incorporated.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (We made burgers as we needed them, over the course of 3 days, refrigerating the mixture we didn’t need).
  5. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Using an ice cream scooper, make slider size patties and carefully place in pan. Cook for a few minutes in each side. (NOTE- These have great texture but can become dry and crumbly is overcooked).
  6. Enjoy in a wrap, with a burger bun, or plain.

Broccoli Waldorf Salad

This is probably the easiest recipe I’ve made in awhile. Prep requires some chopping and assembling and that’s it! The recipe says this serves 2, but we felt it’s better with about 6 servings because the dressing makes it pretty indulgent. I think it might also taste great with a vinegar-based dressing but not quite sure which one yet. Let me know if you have any ideas! Enjoy!

Broccoli Waldorf Salad

Adapted from Easy Vegan Breakfasts & Lunches

Serves about 6



2 cups broccoli florets, raw* 

1 stalk celery, chopped

2/3 apple, cored and chopped

1/4 scant cup red onion, chopped fine

1/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

1/2 cup chopped pecans


1/2 cup veganaise (we use soy-free or Hampton Creek, could also use any mayo or plain yogurt (vegan or dairy))

1 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

1-1/2 tsp agave


  1. Put all salad ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and gently stir together. Set aside. 
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. 
  3. Pour dressing over salad and stir until coated. 
  4. Serve as a side salad, in a pita, or in a wrap (we like Bfree brand quinoa and chia wraps-they sell them at Ralphs)
  5. Salad can keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. 

*I used florets that come in bags you can steam in the microwave. Frozen won’t work here. You could certainly also use fresh broccoli sold in bunches. Surprisingly, the broccoli becomes softer when mixed in with everything. I also tried to pick broccoli pieces that had short stalks, so it would be easier to eat. 

Creamy Spinach Quesadillas (Vegan + GF)

As summer is quickly becoming fall, I’m on the search for new recipes for our “fall menu” at home.  This Creamy Spinach filling recipe, is really good!  It tastes like spinach artichoke dip, but not quite as rich.  Years ago, Trader Joe’s had Spinach Tofu eggrolls (they’re now discontinued), and this tastes very similar to that.  It’s good cold and warm, and is SUPER easy to take for lunch.


Creamy Spinach Quesadillas

adapted from Easy Vegan Breakfasts and Lunches

serves 6


1/4 cup water

1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked 4-8 hours in water)

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


1 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed

gluten-free tortillas (we like Potapas)


Put all the cream sauce ingredients in a small food-processor or high speed blender.  Mix until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

To make the filling, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onion.  Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding the garlic and spinach.  Cook them for an additional 3 minutes.  Add the cashew cream sauce and cook until it thickens and has a creamy consistency (about 2-3 min).

Heat a small nonstick pan.  Place tortilla in for a few seconds, then spread some filling over half the tortilla and fold over the other half.  Flip after about 1 minute.  Enjoy!

NOTE:  You can keep leftover filling and make the next day.  I made mine in the microwave, heated for about 30 seconds.