Toasted Cherry Oatmeal & Oats Gone Wild Is In Print


To celebrate Oats Gone Wild coming out in print version, I have a delicious bulk oatmeal recipe for everyone to enjoy – full of filling oats, wheat germ and sunflower seeds.


For me, there is nothing like a bowl of warm oats for breakfast!


Toasted Cherry Oatmeal



Heat oven to 350°. Spread oats and sunflower seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice, until oats are golden and smelling toasty. Let sit on counter until cool.

Meanwhile, mix the milk powder, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl, working the brown sugar in, until finely mixed. Add in the oat mixture. Store tightly sealed. (Store cherries separately)

Makes 4 cups dry mix, 8 servings prepared.


To prepare:

Bring 2¼ cups water to boil in a medium saucepan, add in 1 cup dry mix, return to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in ¼ cup of the cherries, let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, divide between 2 bowls and serve.

FTC Disclaimer: We received product used in this recipe.

Oats Gone Wild


My first full-length at-home cookbook is out now! Oats Gone Wild has 75+ plant-based recipes, featuring a mix of stove-top and baked oatmeal. With an interactive front index, it is easy to click through to the recipe you want to try. It is in digital format, for $4.99, via Amazon (as always, Kindle books do not need a Kindle to read! You can use their many free apps for phones and tablets, or read on computers).


In Oats Gone Wild, I used Gluten Free Rolled Oats in most of the recipes. We go through a lot of oats to put it lightly! We often buy 25 pound bags from Bob’s Red Mill. Sadly, oats have gotten a lot of bad press/hate in recent years due to the misconception that they are off-limits to gluten-free diets. If one buys the right brand, they can still have them. Bob’s Red Mill is the company to buy from IMO. Dare post an e-book of recipes (Oatmeal On The Go: 11 Gluten-free, Vegan & Plant-based-diet Recipes) with “gluten-free” in the title and you will get someone leaving you a 1-star review claiming the author doesn’t know anything. You can’t make everyone happy… while the majority of the cookbook is GF friendly, I didn’t need any more hate. Oats prepared right can be tasty, healthy for you and even downright delicious!

In celebration of my book being done, I went and tried something new, Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats – from yes, Bob’s Red Mill. They are not gluten-free though, so beware of that. Our local Costco has them in stock as well. I have often shied from steel-cut oats due to the long cooking time. Just not my thing. But these cook in the same amount of time as old-fashion rolled oats. So we tried out a new recipe for baked oat cups.


Baked Steel Cut Apple & Sunflower Oatmeal Cups



Add oats to a mixing bowl, cover with water and let rest for 4 to 5 hours, covered. Drain off water.

Preheat oven to 375°, liberally spray or oil a non-stick 12 count muffin tin.

Whisk Ener-G powder and warm water together, let rest for 5 minutes.

Stir oats, cranberries, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, half the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in the bowl.

Whisk the Ener-G mix, coconut milk and Sunbutter together till smooth, pour over oats and stir well. Divide between the prepared muffin tin (it will fill the cups up).

Take the remaining cinnamon and toss with the apple, divide evenly over the top of the cups.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden and set. Let cool a bit before serving, or for breakfast in advance, pop out and stash tightly covered in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave for about a minute, serve with additional maple syrup over the top.

Makes 12 muffins, with 2 muffins for a serving.

PS: Thank you SO much for helping support me while I wrote the book. Kind words mean so much! This book is my 4th full-length cookbook and I hope to do so many more!

Betty Goes Vegan: Carrot Cupcakes



Mommy’s Little Helper just loooves his IKEA kitchen and Melissa & Doug Chef Role Play Costume Set. Which is funny as we got it more for Walker, and instead Alistaire is over playing with it often! The IKEA kitchen is just way cute! So while he played happily, I read over a copy of that I found showcased in my local library.


How did I miss their book? The Green Plaid book is a vegan/PBD answer to my childhood bible, the Red Plaid cookbook. Yes, they do use a lot of faux-meat in the main course recipes but I can overlook that. There is a lot to love. Heck, I even bought some Gardein faux-chicken so I could live it up ;-)


And as usual, I picked a sweet treat to try first. I did adapt it. Instead of olive oil, I used sunflower. For cupcakes it has a milder flavor. I also used sunflower seeds instead of walnuts. That way Alistaire could have one to enjoy. Gluten-cheats he can handle once in a while, it just makes his eczema bad. Nuts…well, let’s not go there!

The end result was a very moist cupcake. Not exactly good for you, but really good!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes (As adapted from page 360)


  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp Ener-G Foods Egg Replacer
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrots
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds


Preheat oven to 350º, line 18 muffin spots with premium liners (Wilton or Reynolds, with foil interior).

Grind sunflower seeds in a mini food chopper, set aside. When grating the carrots, use the fine side on your box grater. This way the carrots melt into the cakes.

Add sugars and oil to a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth with a hand mixer, add in dry Ener-g egg replacer and vanilla, beat in.

Add in flour through salt, beat smooth (batter will be thick). Add carrots and sunflower seeds, stir in by hand, really working it in.

Scoop out ¼ cup balls of batter, drop into liners. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center (mine took 30). Let rest for 10 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack. Once fully cool, frost as desired.

Makes 18 cupcakes.


The recipe for the cream cheese frosting was vegan. I didn’t make it vegan. Truthfully I have yet to find a faux cream cheese I like – and that Alistaire can eat. So for me I’d rather just use the real thing. So if you want vegan…by all means swap in vegan cream cheese and Earth Balance Buttery stick.

Cream Cheese Frosting (As adapted from page 393)


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


Let the cream cheese and butter come to room temperature. Add to a large mixing bowl, beat smooth with a hand mixer. Work in milk and vanilla.

Beat in on low 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time. Once worked in, beat until smooth on medium.

Makes enough to thickly frost 18 cupcakes. Refrigerate frosted cupcakes, once frosting is set, store in a container or plastic bag.

A Sweet Surprise & Coconut Bread



I found a package waiting for me at the post office, from my Aunt Vikki, my Mom’s younger sister. Inside was a small steno-style notepad, that had belonged to my Nana. She passed away in 2003, so a neat look into my past. I flipped through the recipes recognizing some of the names of ladies who had shared them, noted by the recipes. I wandered through it, looking for a recipe to adapt and make vegan. I settled on the coconut bread. I wondered if it was right, that it had no fat added. Especially with my taking out the egg fat as well. I was right in that the coconut provided enough fat for a great texture. If you wanted it really decadent, use canned full-fat coconut milk, not the coconut milk beverage.


Since we were going retro, using my favorite Fire King bowls were necessary, and of course, a Fire King bread pan. All of which came from my Mom and Nana’s estates.


Yummy coconut bread!


Also..why egg-free? I wanted Alistaire to be able to enjoy a bite as well. He was one happy toddler!

Coconut Bread



Preheat oven to 350, spray a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with oil.

Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, whisk together.

Whisk coconut milk through vanilla together, pour over dry, stir until mixed.

Spread in prepared pan, bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Let rest for 10 minutes, flip out and cool on a rack.

Store in a plastic bag, use within a day or two for best texture.

Tip from Kirk:

Toast slices the next day, they will be crispy and warm on the outside, warm and soft inside.

Book Review: Livin’ Lean with Trader Joe’s



It is hard to explain to others, when they don’t live near a Trader Joe’s store, just why the stores are so addictive. They are like crack to a foodie. So much. Food. The candy and cookie aisles require blinders on to avoid temptation. Considering that I can eat 99% of what is sold there, it is hard temptation (TJ’s doesn’t use artificial coloring in their branded products).

Now then, there is a light side, to help you eat well and still enjoy the bounty of what TJ’s sells: Livin’ Lean with Trader Joe’s. Authored by Jamie Davidson, M.S. of Healthy Trader Joe’s, she takes the store basics – the high-quality pantry staples, and incorporates them into meals that are easy to make, and tasty as well. While the book uses products from across the store, including meat and dairy, it has quite a few vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free recipes. And I found out something I didn’t know: the reduced fat mayonnaise is accidentally vegan. Normally I buy organic, short ingredient mayo…but what, egg free mayo? That Alistaire could have? Without any artificial coloring? How had I missed that in years of shopping there? So I did my monthly TJ’s visit with this in mind. An eggless egg salad filling: plant-based diet, vegan, gluten-free and my littlest could eat it!

PS: Jamie gives descriptions of the TJ ingredients so you can still make these recipes even without a Trader Joe’s nearby! Although I’d cry often if I wasn’t able to shop there! Where else would I find artificially colored free pickle relish? Dark chocolate syrup for mochas? Frozen Dim Sum? Oh, I’d be sad!


This recipe is vegan, gluten-free as a filling and is easily adaptable to what one has on hand. Add the relish and mustard to taste (I used more than called for).

Eggless Egg Salad (As adapted from page 62)


  • 1 (14 to 16 ounce) container Trader Joe’s Organic firm or extra firm tofu
  • ½ cup Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Mayonnaise (used ¾ cup)
  • 2 red (used green) bell pepper, seeded and chopped finely
  • 4 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, chopped finely
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely shredded
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp pickle relish (used 2 Tbsp)
  • 1½ tsp yellow or Dijon mustard (used 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • Ground black pepper and sea salt to taste


Open tofu, drain off any liquid. Finely crumble into a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients, pour over tofu and stir to mix. Cover and refrigerate for the flavors to meld together, taste for salt before serving.

Delicious on a hearty bread. Makes enough to fill 4 sandwiches.

FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy.

It Feels Like Winter!




Yeah, I got excited ;-) So did two little boys who couldn’t wait to get outside! The first real snow of the winter (OK…almost winter….)


Who knew a tree stump could be so much fun?


We even spotted one of the bald eagles that live on our lake – it is hard to see, but there was a prime specimen in the middle tree, calling out.


So my morning got blown out. And that was OK. Snow Day for the oldest, play day for the two youngest. Morning blogging? Nah, not important. They are! And Christmas (er, “Winter”) Break started today as well. Recipes and reviews can wait….

So tied into Christmas coming, and this being the last weekend before, I wanted to celebrate it by giving away my most recent e-book, Sweet Treats Done Naturally, for free, for the weekend! Today through Sunday, you can pick it up on Amazon for free. Just in time to get all that last-minute candy made.


This was a fun book to put together, a compilation of some of my favorite recipes:


Head over to Amazon and pick it up: Sweet Treats Done Naturally.

Have a great weekend – and I am not sure when I will post next before the end of the year. I am taking the next week or so off, but will be around on Facebook and Twitter. Just want to let my mind have a vacation!

Happy Holidays! 3 Free Week! Craving A Hot Latte?



Today’s grab on Amazon is The Natural Barista: Latte Syrups & Drinks, which if you love lattes, coffee and flavored syrups, this is the book for you!


Want a preview of why you want this ebook?


Pumpkin Spice Lattes! Creamy, spicy, and so much tastier than the $5 a latte you’ll pay at a certain chain…and you’ll have enough to make lots of them! So don’t wait to download your copy of The Natural Barista: Latte Syrups & Drinks, it is only free on Amazon till Midnight today!

Happy Holidays! 3 Free Week!


I’ve added a new book to my ebooks!

Sweet Treats Done Naturally:


Just in time for the stretchy pants season, er, the Holidays……

18 recipes for candy without artificial coloring. Fudge, brittle, bark and many more treats.

CB2  CB3

In celebration of my latest, and of the Holidays, I am hosting 3 Free Days on Amazon of the new book’s siblings!


Monday, December 9th, Naturally Fabulous Vegan Cupcakes will be free on Amazon.

Wednesday, December 11th, The Natural Barista: Latte Syrups & Drinks.

Friday, December 13th, Oatmeal On The Go: 11 Gluten-free, Vegan & Plant-based-diet Recipes.

I’ll post links on each day on Twitter & Facebook as well, so you don’t miss out!

The Fresh 20: Vegetarian Nicoise Salad



I received a copy of The Fresh 20: 20-Ingredient Meal Plans for Health and Happiness 5 Nights a Week last month, and finally had a chance to get into it. I have been using their vegetarian meal plans on and off for the past 3 months. It has been great for getting me inspired when I have no idea what to make for dinner. As the online menus are laid out, the book is as well – 5 meals, themed together for only one shopping trip and one prep period before the week gets busy, so you can get fresh meals on the table quickly. The book is broken up into seasonal section: spring, summer, fall and winter – with each set of menus focusing on 20 seasonal items.


And while this recipe might be from the summer section, it seemed perfect for a light meal after heavy holiday meals. A vegetarian version of the fish-centric niçoise salad, that just feels right, anytime of the year!


Vegetarian Niçoise Salad


  • 8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 8 ounces green beans
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart, thinly chopped
  • 6 ounce cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced (if desired, I left it out)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vinaigrette dressing or Italian dressing


Place the potatoes in a pan and add enough water to cover the potatoes by half and inch. Bring the water to a boil and boil until fork-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the green beans and steam, 1-2 minutes (covered).

Drain, then rinse with cold water. Once cool, cut the potatoes in half.

Arrange the lettuce on a big serving platter. Arrange the green beans, eggs, tomatoes and red onion on top. (Or arrange on individual plates).

Grind a little black pepper on top, drizzle dressing over as desired.

Serves 4.

FTC Disclaimer: We received a copy of the book as a promotional item.

The Natural Barista: Latte Syrups & Drinks



The Natural Barista: Latte Syrups & Drinks – Last week our second e-book debuted. One for the coffee lovers out there!


I truly savor my morning latte every day. I should enjoy every sip of it, preferably with one (or more) of my handmade syrups.


The full-color digital book comes with 9 hand-crafted syrups and 6 drink recipes – to get you inspired in the morning. I also have included tips on how to make ‘cheater’ lattes if you don’t have an espresso machine. And a bonus? Syrups make lovely holiday gifts!

The book is in our bookstore or it can be picked up at Amazon – The Natural Barista: Latte Syrups & Drinks.

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