Spiritual Musings, Creative Inspiration, and Simple Vegan Recipes


Sweet and Simple: Lemon Coconut Mug Cake

It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention. I wouldn’t call my desire for a lemon cake on this snowy Valentine’s Day a true necessity…. but there are times in life when we all just need a piece of cake!

One of my recent obsessions has been mug cakes. My first inspirations were from Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

She has a lot of great ideas for single serve desserts, but to be honest, they are too small for me. I have been making my own mug cakes that are a bit more filling, although I still wouldn’t share. Unable to venture out in the snow to get ingredients for my usual coffee cake in a mug, I discovered a bottle of lemon extract and a bit of shredded coconut leftover from making granola in my pantry. Thus, the lemon coconut mug cake was born. I tried with several different flour blends, and even once with protein powder until I nailed what I think is the perfect blend.

Did I mention that this recipe takes less than 5 minutes, is vegan, gluten free, and incredibly easy?



2 tbsp rice flour

4 tbsp almond flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar, stevia or xylitol

3 tbsp So Delicious Vanilla Coconut milk

1 tbsp. + 1 tsp oil (you can use any, I used a neutral tasting olive/ vegetable oil blend)

1/2 tsp. lemon extract

2 tsp. Shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tsp. Lemon Zest (optional)


Grease the inside of a mug or ramekin. Combine all dry ingredients directly inside the mug or ramekin. Make sure you mix very well. And wet ingredients and mix to combine. Add about half of the lemon zest and coconut to the mix. Cook for about 1 minute in the microwave. Sprinkle with remaining lemon zest and coconut if desired!

This recipe is part of the The Fast and Fresh “Dairy-Free Time Trials” Recipe Contest! 

See link to contest here: http://www.godairyfree.org/news/dairy-free-time-trials-recipe-contest

And check out more about So Delicious here:



Category: Less than 5 minutes!

Fast and Fresh Dairy Free Time Trials Recipe Contest



High Protein Pumpkin Pancakes (Vegan and Gluten Free)

When I first became vegan, I of course already had celiac disease– and for a long time assumed that pancakes were something of an off-limits food for me. Obviously, the pancakes I had known were filled with flour, sugar, usually eggs– all ingredients I tried to avoid. Plus, they always made me crash mid-morning or more likely 10 minutes later…..Pancakes the way I knew them growing up were the type of food that just made me feel hungrier after I ate them.

Recently I have run across some great pancake recipes here: http://www.rickiheller.com/ (Sugar-free! grain-free! vegan!)

Her recipes inspired me to re-create my own version of a truly breakfast-worth pancake— and these were super easy to boot. My pictures aren’t so pretty yet, but I assure you this recipe is amazing. 🙂Image

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes


  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 of a medium banana
  • 1 chia seed egg (combine 1 tbsp chia seeds with 2 tbsp warm water)
  • 1 scoop Raw Protein Powder (I use Garden of Life)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or coffee/spice mill until smooth.
  2. Heat pan (or griddle) over medium heat; coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Pour batter onto the pan/griddle.
  4. Cook each pancake for 2-3 minutes and then flip. Cook on the other side for about 1 minute.
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings. (I like coconut nectar or berries!)

Makes 2-3 pancakes

P.S. This recipe is part of Ricki Heller’s latest Wellness Weekend, Check out more here :



Zucchini Banana Blueberry Muffins: Vegan, Gluten Free, No added sugar

My husband and I get a produce box once a week in the months of April through November. We get a lot of zucchini, squash and blueberries at this time of year, and I was looking for something different to do with all that zucchini– so I re-invented a favorite blueberry muffin recipe. Mine is vegan, high fiber, gluten free, has no added sugars. And delicious.

wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 4 tbsp water
  • 1 medium zucchini grated or shredded in a food processor
  • 2 medium sized very ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

dry ingredients

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour (or just use a basic gluten free flour like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup brown rice flour 
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

In large bowl, combine together all wet ingredients and stir well.

In separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until combined. Add dry ingredients to wet until you get a thick batter.

Drop about 1/4 cup batter into 24 greased muffins tins, or use paper liners if you prefer.

Bake 25 minutes, or until tops are very lightly golden brown. Yum!Image


Black Bean Zucchini Lasagna (Gluten free, Vegan, No Noodles!)

Abundant Life Vegan 008This summer healthy and yummy casserole satisfies the craving for a comfort food casserole with no cholesterol, lots of veggies, and best of all delicious! Makes about 9-10 servings.


3 cups grated Zucchini (about 2 medium)

1 ½ cups grated carrot (1 large peeled carrot)

3/4  cup Nasoya Nayoniase (or your favorite vegan mayo!)

2 cups cooked black beans

2 cups Daiya Cheese (or your favorite vegan cheese!)

12 ounce jar of salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Tomatillo Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa)

Preheat oven to 400. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Combine grated zucchini, carrot and vegan mayo in large mixing bowl. Spread into the tray and press down with the spatula. Cook for 25 minutes (just the veggies) until they look brown on top.

Next spread black beans, salsa, and finally cheese onto the cooked veggies and bake again for 35-40 minutes until the top is bubbly.

Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Seriously good!

Adapted from: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2012/09/vegetable-lasagna-casserole.html

1 Comment >

This turned out great!  My husband loves it, has asked me to make it many times. (Once a week for about a month now!!!) This was also our family dish for Easter this past weekend, and the whole family loved it and went back for seconds.

This sauce would also be awesome for a healthy mac & cheese…

You will need:

2 Tbsp vegan butter (non-soy, I like Earth balance)

2/3 cups uncooked brown rice (I have also used the same amount of quinoa with good results)

2 cups chickpeas (I have successfully subbed black beans and black eyed peas in this recipe)

1/4 cup millet flour

1 cup vegetable stock

3/4 cup water

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 leeks, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups (or more) broccoli florets

1 Tbsp liquid aminos

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste


Cook brown rice according to package instructions. I like to use a rice cooker to save stovetop space.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

While the rice is cooking, melt the butter into a saucepan.  Add the flour and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the veggie stock, soy sauce, oregano, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer until it begins to thicken.  Stir in nutritional yeast and let simmer for a few minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice, and add a bit more water, salt, and pepper as needed.

In a skillet or wok, heat the olive oil and add the onions and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Add the broccoli and continue to cook for a few minutes just until the broccoli begins to take on a brighter shade of green.

Dump the cooked rice and chickpeas or other beans in with the broccoli mixture and stir.  Pour into a glass baking dish and cover with the sauce.  Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes.


Persimmon and Pear Fruit Crisp

IMG_1972One of my favorite winter time desserts is a basic fruit crisp. My mom made this a lot growing up—but her original recipe calls for wheat flour and wheat germ, as well as butter and honey.  The recipe below is adapted to be vegan and gluten free, using buckwheat and brown rice flours along with maple syrup. I also used a mix of persimmons and pears, but these can be replaced with apples, peaches, or any other similar fruit. Not to toot my own horn—but this new version is delicious. Buckwheat flour and maple syrup are a delightful and healthy combination.

This is a great way to use apples that have a few bad spots or pears that are getting soft without resorting to composting. Serve with vegan coconut milk whipped cream for a special treat or with almond milk for a twist on your traditional breakfast.


3 pears, any kind sliced

2-3 Fuyu persimmons, sliced

1 cup gluten free rolled oats

½ cup buckwheat flour

½ cup brown rice flour

½ cup earth balance (or similar vegan spread) softened

½ cup maple syrup

2 tsp. cinaamon


Put sliced pears and persimmons in a greased 9” x 13” pan. Sprinkle with water. Combine the rest of the ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the fruit is soft. Serve warm or cold, plain or with a topping.


Molasses Oatmeal Pumpkin Seed Powerhouses

Iron Woman Cookies OR Molasses, Oatmeal Pumpkin Seed Powerhouses

(Wheat and Gluten free, Vegan, No Sugar)

These impromptu cookies were inspired by a recent phone conversation with my sister Helen. I asked her if she would be okay with being meat free while she visited my husband and I in Durham.

She hesitated, mostly out of concern that she wasn’t getting enough iron on her diet. But many foods that are the richest sources of iron are actually plant based. Molasses, pumpkin seeds and oatmeal are some of the best sources of iron. One serving of pumpkin seeds has almost 25% of the RDV of iron, 1 tbsp, of molasses has 5%, oats vary with 5-25% of RDV for iron. In contrast, about 3 ounces of roast beef has less than 10% of your RDV for iron. Easy math!

The vegetarian working group has a nice table for comparing vegan and non-vegan iron sources in an easy to read format. See below:


On to the cookies, the more important part of this post. A quick nutritional analysis has these cookies clocking in with 15% of the RDV for iron and less than 100 calories. Two cookies would actually be a tasty snack that would provide 1/3 of your daily dose of iron!! Easy, yummy and hubby approved. There won’t be any left by the time my sister arrives for Thanksgiving, so we’ll have to make another batch for sure.



1 cup gluten free rolled oats (I like Trader Joe’s brand)

1/3 cup oat flour

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice


1 tsp finely ground ginger

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ mashed banana

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbs coconut oil

4 tbs blackstrap molasses

¼ cup pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, stir to mix evenly.
  3. Combine wet ingredients, use whisk or hand mixer to combine.
  4. Slowly add dry to wet ingredients and blend until well mixed.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 12-15 cookies.


Iron Woman Cookies

Molasses, Oatmeal and Pumpkin Seed Powerhouses