Category Archives: Vegetarian

“Almond Russian” Cocktail with Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

"Almond Russian" Cocktail with Cold Brew Coffee Recipe | real food. home made.

Almond Milk White Russian -or- “Almond Russian”


  • 1 ice cube
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1 shot of kahlua
  • 1 shot of organic half & half
  • almond milk to taste

Try it!!  This creamy cocktail is sooooo good in the winter.

Cold Brew Coffee


  • 1 pitcher
  • 1 mesh strainer
  • 1 cup coffee grounds
  • cold water


  1. Add the coffee grounds to the pitcher.
  2. Fill the rest of the pitcher with water.
  3. Let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  4. In the morning, strain out the coffee grounds with a mesh strainer 2 or 3 times and return the coffee to the cleaned pitcher.
  5. (optional) Add more water until the pitcher is again full.  I do this because my coffee comes out very strong.  I suppose it will depend on your pitcher size and your desired coffee strength.  Again, experiment with this; it is not an exact science.

Since these recipes are super simple and made with ingredients you already have around the house,  I fully expect you to try them.


Leave a comment

Filed under Alcoholic, Breakfast, Brunch, Vegan, Vegetarian

Homemade Granola -and- Why Boxed Cereal is the Worst Breakfast

How is it that in the United States a bowl of Froot Loops™ is a widely acceptable way to start your day? Or any cereal for that matter. A bowl of sugar?  When they say that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” they are certainly not talking about cereal.  I have learned to completely avoid the cereal aisle; there is only garbage down there. Cereal is a convenience food; what’s easier than cereal?  If you do not have time to prepare eggs in the morning, wake up earlier!  😉

When you eat cereal for breakfast, or doughnuts,  bagels, anything that is made of refined sugars and starches, “particularly alone, without fats or protein, they enter the blood stream in a rush, causing a sudden increase in blood sugar” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 24).  And don’t you notice, on days you eat cereal, you are hungry again well before lunch time?

The problem with cereal is not only its sugar content and added chemicals, but the extrusion process is equally harmful.  Many popular cereals are now boasting that they are “Whole Grain”, however “whole grains that have been processed by high heat and pressure to produce puffed wheat, oats, and rice are actually quite toxic and have caused rapid death in test animals” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 25).

If you need a crunchy bowl of something doused in milk, please stay away from the cereal aisle!  Even brands like Kashi®, Nature’s Path®, Cascadian Farm®, while they are better than Kelloggs® and General Mills®, are not the best.  The best is always home made!!!!

Always read the ingredient labels on your cereal/granola products (like everything else).  If the list includes items that you yourself would use to create a homemade version, then by all means, you deserve a little convenience every once in a while!  The best granolas usually come in plastic pouches and were crafted in small batches by people who care.  These can be quite expensive though! I suggest adding granola-making to your Sunday evening routine, and you will have cereal for the week, home-made.


  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (make sure gluten free if allergic)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup local raw honey
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews, almonds, walnuts or pecans (or mixture of whatever you have), chopped
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates


  1. Combine all ingredients except raisins.
  2. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil, and spread mixture out evenly.
  3. Place into a cool oven, turn the heat to 300°, and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Take it out and give your granola a good shuffle, then bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. Let it cool completely, add raisins, and then transfer to an airtight container – store for 1 week.

Look at that list of ingredients!  Coconut oil/flakes, local raw honey, beautiful nuts and dried fruit, cinnamon, unprocessed oats.  Those are ingredients I can get behind starting my day with. “When sugars and starches are eaten in their natural, unrefined form, as part of a meal containing fats and protein, they are digested slowly and enter the bloodstream at a moderate rate over a period of several hours” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 24).

One of my favourite breakfasts includes greek yogurt, topped with fresh fruit and homemade granola.  This is a very nutritionally balanced braekfast (and did I mention it is delicious???)

Homemade Granola -and- Why Boxed Cereal is the Worst Breakfast | reak food. home made.

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast, Gluten Free, Nutrition, Snacks, Vegetarian

Sauerkraut, Mushroom & Onion Pierogies

Sauerkraut, Mushroom & Onion Pierogies | real food. home made.

This recipe has two steps.  First you have to make your sauerkraut.  This will be great to have on hand at all times.  It will store in the fridge practically indefinitely, so you can choose to make your pierogies at any time.  You can also feel free to buy pre-made sauerkraut.  Western Market in Ferndale has some incredible sauerkraut varieties, I noticed when I was there today.  I highly suggest making your own sometime, though.  There is something so magical about eating something that has fermented in your basement for a fortnight.  😉

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Raw Sauerkraut (from Practical Paleo)


  • 1 large head of green cabbage, sliced into thin strips (set large outer leaves aside)
  • 1-2 T sea salt
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced (2 if large, 4 if smaller)
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, roasted then sliced
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Place 1/3 of your sliced cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle 1 T of salt over it.  Using your hands, squeeze the cabbage until water begins to come out of it.
  2. Repeat this process, adding the remaining cabbage and salt 1/3 at a time to the bowl.  This will take time and will be a great workout.
  3. Add the shredded carrots, garlic, jalapenos and black pepper to the mixture and combine with your hands.
  4. Fill two 32 oz mason jars evenly, pressing the mixture down so that water releases and raises above the line of the vegetables with 2 inches of air space remaining at the top.
  5. Wedge the large outer cabbage leaves into the top of the jars so that the mixture is pressed below and the water level raises above the leaf.  A shot glass serves nicely as additional weight to keep the mixture held securely down.
  6. Store the jars in a secure, cool, dark place where they will not be disturbed.
  7. Check on your sauerkraut every few days to make sure that all the vegetables remain under water.  If needed, add some fresh water on top, but you should be okay, especially if you use a shot glass weight.
  8. After two weeks, your sauerkraut will be ready to eat!
  9. Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to make your pierogies.

Sauerkraut, Mushroom & Onion Pierogies


For the dough:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 large pastured egg
  • 2 tablespoons organic sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 14-ounces home made sauerkraut
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, coarsley chopped
  • Several grinds of black pepper

For cooking and serving:

  • more butter
  • the other half of the onion, sautéed
  • more sour cream
  • salt to taste


  1. Knead the dough ingredients together, and store it under a towel until required.
  2. Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and mushrooms, and cook until sufficiently wilted.  Add the sauerkraut, and cook for a few minutes.  Add the pepper, and taste for seasoning.  Add some salt if it needs it.
  3. Transfer the filling mixture to a bowl and let cool.
  4. Start a pot of water boiling.
  5. Flour your workstation.  Take out your dough, and roll it out until it is pretty thin.  I run the dough through my pasta maker, which makes it a bit easier, but I’ve made many a pierogi without one.  If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a pint glass or a 40.
  6. Use a glass or small bowl as a cookie cutter, to create multiple little dough circles.
  7. Taking one dough circle at a time, roll it out slightly bigger, add filling, moisten the edges, and crimp shut around the edges with a fork.
  8. Drop 6 pierogi at a time into the boiling water, letting them swim for about a minute.  Remove them from the water, and place immediately into an adjacent frying pan lined with butter set at medium-high heat.  Fry the pierogi on both sides until desired level of brown-ness has been achieved.  At the polish banquet hall I used to work at, they liked us to brown them ever-so-slightly.  I myself prefer them a darker golden brown.
  9. Serve with sautéed onions and sour cream.

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Dinner Ideas, Vegetarian

No Bake Carrot Cake Balls

No Bake Carrot Cake Balls | real food. home made.


  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (make sure gluten free if allergic)
  • 1/3 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (packed) grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup raisins


  1. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Form into comfortably sized balls, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.  If there are leftovers, pop them in the freezer to enjoy any time at a moment’s notice!

I love these little guys.  They are perfectly satisfying when you feel like a quick, healthy snack.  Forget processed granola bars!  These are the real deal.

Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten Free, Potluck, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tempeh Portobello Potstickers

Tempeh Portobello Potstickers | real food. home made.


  • 48 wonton wrappers
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 8 oz tempeh, crumbled
  • 6 oz portobello mushrooms, chopped small
  • 2 T ginger, minced
  • 1 cup cabbage, grated
  • 1 cup carrot, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T liquid aminos
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • coconut oil for frying


  1. Prep all of your ingredients.
  2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium heat.  Add crumbled tempeh, mushrooms and ginger.
  3. Once the tempeh starts to brown and the mushrooms are wilted, add in the cabbage, carrot, and garlic, and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add in the liquid aminos and rice vinegar.  Then the green onions.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Prepare your workstation!  Fill a custard cup with water, and prepare a clean dry surface.
  7. Lay out one wonton wrapper at a time, fill with about a tablespoon of filling, dip your finger in the water to wet the edges of the wrapper, and then pinch the edges together so they stick.  Repeat 48 times.  (Or if you’re like me, do 8-10 at a time).
  8. Use this time for meditation.  Meticulous potsticker stuffing will be only as annoying or as rewarding as you make it.
  9. Heat a bit of coconut oil in a large frying pan or electric skillet over medium-high heat (let’s just go ahead and say 7, can we say 7?)  Add 8-10 potstickers to the pan.  When they reach your desired level of golden brown, add a splash of water and cover with a lid to give them a little steam.  I turn off the heat at this point.
  10. Cook the rest of your batches and then you will finally finally be done!

Hope the party guests tonight like my new concoction!

Optional Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 t ginger, minced
  • 1/2 t sesame oil
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t chopped green onion


Filed under Appetizers, Potluck, Vegetarian

Peanut Butter Sriracha Omelette

Peanut Butter Sriracha Omelette | real food. home made.

Hopefully you are not skeptical at all about this breakfast invention of mine.  If you have ever spent the night at my house, there is a good chance you’ve been served a “peanut butter omelette”, which I consider my “super protein breakfast”.  The sriracha takes it up a notch!  You’ve got to try it!

Peanut Butter Sriracha Omelette


  • 2 organic pastured eggs
  • 1 T natural peanut butter
  • drizzle of sriracha (to taste)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • small morsel of grass-fed butter


  1. Melt your butter in a small skillet.  Crack 2 eggs into the pan, smash the yolks and whites so that the two eggs become one even egg layer.  Grind salt and pepper on top to taste.  Cover the pan with a lid and cook until most of the egg is set – you will know when it is time to flip!
  2. Flip the egg over, turn off the heat, and let it finish cooking for about 30 seconds.
  3. Transfer to a plate and drizzle sriracha over one half, and spread peanut butter over the other.  Fold the two halves together to create the “omelette”.

You will enjoy this I promise!   I am not much of a cheese person, and the peanut butter here acts as the cheesy element that most people enjoy with eggs.  Yummmmmm!!  Nutritious and delicious!  Guaranteed to keep you full until lunch time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast, Paleo, Vegetarian

Spinach Quinoa Flax Balls

Spinach Quinoa Flax Balls | real food. home made.


  • 1 cup red or white quinoa (or blend of both)
  • 1 3/4 cups organic free-range chicken broth
  • 2 boxes of frozen spinach, defrosted and water thoroughly squeezed out
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter (grass-fed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (make sure oats are gluten-free if allergic)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Make your flour mixture by adding a handful of almonds and a handful of old-fashioned oats to a food processor and grind – Make a 1/2 cup of flour total.
  3. Mix quinoa, flour, and all other ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350*
  6. Grease baking sheet with coconut oil or butter.
  7. Roll mixture into balls and bake for 20-30 minutes.

These are so pretty!  If you use red quinoa, the red and green colour scheme make them perfect for bringing to Holiday parties!

Adapted from Lauren Kelly Nutrition

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Gluten Free, Potluck, Snacks, Vegetarian

Kayla’s Famous Sunbutter Wrap

Kayla's Famous Sunbutter Wrap | real food.  home made.

This weekend my friend Michelle was in town, en route from England to Portland, OR.  This afternoon I gave her a tour of my city, Ferndale (which I consider the Portland of Michigan), and we gathered ingredients to make one of my favourite lunches.  Everyone I serve it to loves it, and I hope you do too!

Kayla’s Famous Sunbutter Wrap


  • lavash / wraps  (best quality you can find, I found these gorgeous pink tomato wraps at a local Organic market)
  • sunflower seed butter (you can find Sunbutter brand at most grocery stores)
  • hummus
  • avocado, sliced
  • tomato, sliced (preferably home-grown or from a friend or farmer)
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • broccoli florets, chopped small
  • romaine lettuce leaves

Kayla's Famous Sunbutter Wrap | real food.  home made.


  1. Chop all of your vegetables.
  2. Lay out your wraps and spread sunbutter over one half, and hummus over the other half.
  3. Down the center, place 3 avocado slices, 3 tomato slices, a handful of red onion, a handful of broccoli, and a romaine lettuce leaf.
  4. Roll up your wrap, and use the sunbutter as “glue” to hold it together (I usually add a toothpick also to be safe).
  5. Enjoy!

(Feel free to switch up the veggies, or sometimes we add turkey.  The most important things are the hummus, sunbutter, avocado and red onion.)


Michelle perched in my tree.

Leave a comment

Filed under Lunch, Sandwiches, Vegan, Vegetarian

Kayla’s Chickpea Blondies

I am more of a savoury girl than a sweet one.  I would choose sushi over a cookie, or beef jerky over a brownie almost every day (chocolate wins out when I am on my period).  BUT THESE MAGICAL BLONDIES ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.  The main ingredients are chickpeas and peanut butter, blended with honey and chocolate chips.  One could argue that they are the perfect balance of savoury and sweet.

Kayla's Chickpea Blondies | real food. home made.

It is important that you make them with the highest quality of ingredients.  No JIF peanut butter, no 2.99 “honey” bears, please.  Please.   Since they are not exactly inexpensive to make, I usually reserve them for intimate potlucks or small family gatherings (or just to keep around the house for Grant and I).

Kayla’s Chickpea Blondies


  • coconut oil cooking spray
  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup of natural peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup of real honey
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 1 T genuine vanilla extract
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350* and spray a 13 x 9 x 2 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips and spread most of the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. In a separate cupcake tin, fill 3-5 cups with batter to bake separately (this way you can taste one before the party, and have more waiting for you afterwards).
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Note: To make vegan, leave out the eggs (or replace with flax eggs), replace the honey with maple syrup, and use vegan chocolate chips.

Bring these to your next potluck, and bring a few copies of the recipe to pass around 🙂

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen


Filed under Desserts, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian

Peanut Butter Stuffed Medjool Dates

Peanut Butter Stuffed Medjool Dates | real food. home made.

These look much more appetizing in space than they did on my plate.

You know that feeling when you try to go to bed and you can’t sleep because you are hungry? This is the perfect cure for that feeling! It can also be served as an appetizer, a dessert, a mid-morning or after-school snack. It is simple, requiring only 2 ingredients that you should already have in your pantry!

Peanut Butter Stuffed Medjool Dates | real food. home made.


  • medjool dates (Natural Delights are the best!)
  • natural peanut butter (home made or make sure the ingredients list contains only peanuts and salt)


  1. Cut open your dates and remove the pits (very important!!!)
  2. Stuff with peanut butter.
  3. Watch your hunger pangs disappear!

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Desserts, Gluten Free, Paleo, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian