Category Archives: Vegan

Vegan Carrot and Apple Muffins

I’m pleased to say that the 2015 cookbook challenge is still going strong!  This week’s recipe is thanks to Thug Kitchen once again, and it’s the perfect breakfast/snack/anytime treat: Vegan Carrot and Apple Muffins.

vegan carrot apple muffins close upThe inspiration for this week’s recipe came from my fridge.  After realizing we had an abundance of green apples and carrots it only made sense that they would go into a baked good.  And lucky for me, Thug Kitchen had the perfect recipe to use up some of the extra produce.

I followed the recipe exactly except swapping shredded coconut for the chopped nuts (because I didn’t have any) and was quite pleased the way they turned out.  They have a hearty bran flavor and are loaded with carrots and apples so obviously they are a health food.  Almost.

vegan carrot and apple muffins flowersI’d like to try a version of these using some buckwheat flour, and if I’m feeling really ambitious, a paleo version as well.  But one step at a time.

Vegan Carrot and Apple Muffins (from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook)

*makes 12 muffins


2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 cups almond milk

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups shredded carrot

1/3 cup shredded apple

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 375F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners or cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix all of your dry ingredients.  Slowly add the almond milk, olive oil, vanilla, carrot and apple and continue to mix until well blended.

vegan carrot apple muffins tinSpoon your batter into the muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes.  Cool, eat, enjoy.

Favorite muffin recipe?  And go!

Green Protein Smoothie

Once upon a time I visited a magical land called Portland and had a magical green smoothie from Kure Juice Bar.  It had coconut, avocado and kale and was seriously fantastic.  A year and a half has passed since that trip, and after many attempts I have finally been able to create a green protein smoothie that is almost as great as the original one from Kure.

I don’t always love posting smoothie recipes since really all you do is throw a bunch of ingredients in a blender and pour into a glass, but since I spent months trying to re-create the Kure one, I figured this green protein smoothie gets a pass.

green protein smoothie ingredients

The main difference between this smoothie and the Kure Juice bar one is that I added protein powder, but you can still remove the protein powder and it will be quite tasty.  Trust me.

The avocado gives the smoothie a nice creamy texture and the kale is a nice little nutrient punch.  However you look at it, this is a delicious drink that can be enjoyed pretty much anytime.

green protein smoothie pin

Green Protein Smoothie (inspired from Kure Juice Bar’s Envy Blend)


1 cup almond or coconut milk (coconut water would work too)

1/2 avocado

1/4-1/2 cup chopped kale

2 tbsp coconut butter (use coconut oil if you don’t have the butter)

1 scoop protein powder of your choice

1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut



Throw all of your ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.

green protein smoothie straw

Pour into a glass and drink with a fun straw.  Repeat.

Secret Superfoods with Andrew Weil

If you have been reading Sweet Potato Bites for a while, you probably know of my love for True Food Kitchen.  I have the cookbook, I’m frequently dining there, and I love their use of seasonal ingredients.  Recently I was invited to attend a Secret Superfoods with Andrew Weil cooking demo, and jumped at the chance to go.

superfoods with dr andrew weil demo

I have been a big fan of Dr. Andrew Weil for quite some time now and try to follow his anti-inflammatory diet.  For this particular event, he was going to be creating some new superfood-inspired dishes that will hopefully appear on the True Food Kitchen menu this weekend.

I recruited my fellow fabulous fitbooker Tianna to come with me, and when we arrived at True Food Kitchen we were immediately presented with the Natural (which happens to be my favorite beverage there), which has fresh ginger, agave, and club soda.

superfoods with dr andrew weil the natural

Unfortunately, I forgot my cookbook, so I wasn’t able to get that signed, but Tianna and I were lucky enough to meet Dr. Weil and snap a pic.

superfoods with dr andrew weil picThen it was time for the cooking demo.  The first dish that was created was a curried cauliflower soup made with cashew cream.

superfoods with dr andrew weil soupI’m not really a curry fan AT ALL, so I wasn’t sure how I would like this, but the soup was excellent.  The recipes were provided to us during the demo so we could follow along but this soup contained cauliflower, vegetable, cashew cream and sautéed apples.  The apple sounds totally weird but it worked.  There was also a hint of turmeric and curry powder which has anti-inflammatory properties.

The main course was a toasted buckwheat salad (with buckwheat groats, not flour) with autumn vegetables.  Unfortunately, this dish contained walnuts so I could not taste it, so I just took pictures of Tianna’s plate (and have plans to recreate this at home).

superfoods with dr andrew weil buckwheat saladThe staff at True Food was kind enough to bring me my own dish, so I got the harvest chopped salad which included mixed greens, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate, apple, and goat cheese.  A beautifully grilled piece of salmon was placed on top as the finishing touch.

superfoods with dr andrew weil harvest choppedI remember having the harvest chopped last year and I forgot how amazing it was.  All the flavors in this salad just work.  If you visit a True Food Kitchen this fall, be sure to order this salad.

Dessert was sea buckthorn bars.  They created a vegan and non-vegan version, and we were served the vegan one which was made with gluten-free flour.

superfoods with dr andrew weil sea buckthorn

The bars had a lot more citrus flavor than I was expecting!  We had tasted the sea buckthorn juice by itself earlier and it was quite sour, so it was nice to have a dessert with a little added sweetness to balance the sea buckthorn flavor out.  I’ll admit this dessert wasn’t my favorite, but I do like the idea of using different ingredients.

After the meal Dr. Weil hosted a Q&A and explained his perspective on living a healthy, balanced, diet.  Some of the takeaways included:

  • Grapeseed oil is a great alternative to olive oil in cooking.
  • Use natural sugars as opposed to artificial sweeteners in cooking.  Honey, maple syrup and palm sugar are some of the best.
  • Dr. Weil firmly believes in a diet that consists of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and healthy starches.  Sweet potatoes are one of his favorites (heck yes!)
  • Do not fear the fat!  Healthy fats are a great addition to your diet.
  • Beware of overuse of antibiotics.  Dr. Weil believes this is a contributing factor to why people have more and more food intolerances these days.  He also mentioned how less and less people are breastfeeding, which can contribute to food intolerances in babies which I found interesting.
  • And of course, nothing should be off limits, but everything in moderation (which we already knew).

Thanks True Food Kitchen and Dr. Weil for an informative evening!  I can’t wait to see the new recipes appear on the menu!

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

On the 4th of July, the Englishman and I were doing some shopping at Sprouts when we spotted a sign that said Maui Gold pineapples 2 for $5.  If you recall from my Maui pineapple post, Maui Golds are a rare commodity on the mainland and when you find them, you buy them.  We practically trampled over some of our fellow shoppers to get our hands on the delicious fruit, and immediately decided to make a grilled pineapple dessert to go with our 4th of July feast.

I’ve been meaning to grill pineapple for a while now, so it was definitely fate that these wonderful Maui Golds fell into our hands.  While most grilled pineapple dessert recipes recommend you soak your pineapple in rum before grilling, I decided to try something different and used some of Veev’s new Coconut Colada instead.

Grilled Pineapple Dessert Veev Coconut CooladaRemember Veev?  I partnered with them last fall when I created a flourless chocolate cake to pair with their PEARsecco, and the team was kind enough to send me a bottle of their Coconut Colada to try, which has the lovely flavors of a pina colada without the extra sugar and calories (each serving is 125 calories and sweetened with agave nectar).

While it is perfectly acceptable to drink Veev on its own over ice, I decided to use is as a base for my grilled pineapple dessert and it was delicious.  I just added some cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of sugar to the Veev Coconut Colada mixture and then covered some pineapple slices in it.

grilled pineapple dessert veev shotIf you have never grilled pineapple before, you are missing out!  The grill really brings out the sweetness in the pineapple and it is the perfect dessert to serve over some ice cream.  Of course it is preferred if you use Maui Gold pineapples, but I won’t hold that against you if you don’t use them.

Grilled Pineapple Dessert pinGrilled Pineapple Dessert


1/2 pineapple, cored and sliced into spears or rings

1 oz Veev Coconut Colada

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of sugar


In a small bowl mix your Veev, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar.  Gently place each pineapple spear or ring in the bowl and cover with the mixture.

grilled pineapple dessert bowlPlace your pineapple spears on a grill and let them cook.  You will want to monitor the pineapple and flip as needed so the pineapple does not burn.

grilled pineapple dessert grillOnce your pineapple is warm and begins to get dark grill marks, remove from the grill and set aside.

grilled pineapple dessert spearsYour pineapple will be perfect as is to enjoy as a dessert, but if you want to take it to the next level, spoon some ice cream of your choice into bowls (I used vanilla coconut milk ice cream) and cut your pineapple into small pieces and place on top of the ice cream.  I also had some of Larabar’s renola that I used for a grain-free nutty topping.

grilled pineapple dessert bowlServe and enjoy!  The Veev adds a wonderful flavor to the pineapple but this recipe can be made with rum, or without any alcohol.  The grilled pineapple is where it’s at.

What’s the next fruit I should grill next?  I really want to try grilled peaches.