new look & a pancake round-up

Hello lovelies!

Today is pretty exciting because after over a year of back and forth my blog is finally debuting it’s new look!  I’m so incredibly happy with the way it turned out. There’s a new recipe widget which allows you scale recipes according to the number of servings you want to make as well as a gorgeous new recipe index. You can access the old standard list just by clicking “Recipes” along the top of the homepage, or you can get visual representations by choosing something like “Breakfast” from the drop down menu! Not to mention the (if I may say) adorable new logo and graphics. I really cannot say enough for Rhiannon and Valerie at LionFace Studio and all the hard work they put into this site. Thank you ladies for putting up with my constant emails and my inability to make decisions.

It’s pretty appropriate that my new look launched today because I’ve been blogging for 3 years this month. WOW. For new and old readers alike, thank you for coming back here post after post and sticking with me through dietary changes, sporadic photos and questionable photography. Just THANK YOU <3.

Now onto one of my favourite holidays of the year- Pancake Tuesday! (Or more properly known as Shrove Tuesday). Despite the fact that it’s one of my favourite days of the year (ummm an excuse to eat pancakes is never bad), I didn’t even realize it was already upon us until today! So while I don’t have a new recipe for you, I’m still giving you loads of vegan pancakes options for your eating pleasure. I hope you’ll join me in eating pancakes tomorrow, maybe even every day for the rest of the week. Pancake Tuesday is definitely turning into Pancake Week for me.

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Lemony Millet Pancakes {v, gf}

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German Chocolate Pancakes {v, wf}

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Fluffy Chickpea Flour Pancakes {v, gf}

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Grain-free Banana Pancakes {v, gf, paleo}

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Double Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes {v, gf}

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Lime Cornmeal Pancakes with Ginger-Infused Syrup {v, gf}

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Multi-Grain Apple Pancakes {v, gf}

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes for One {v, gf, single-serve}

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Lemon Raspberry Quinoa Blender Pancakes {flourless, v, gf}

Happy breakfasting all!

raspberry & goat cheese-swirled brownies {gf, grain-free}

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Making it in just under the wire with a Valentine’s Day themed treat!

If you haven’t settled on a dessert to make for that special someone (meaning yourself obviously) or just need an excuse to make a decadent treat, well look no further. Continue reading

warm roasted fennel, brussels sprout and farro salad (with optional arame) {v}

warm fennel, brussels sprout and farro salad

5 years ago, this salad never would have been found in my kitchen. I mean let’s just look at the main ingredients:

fennel

Brussels sprouts

farro

arame

rice vinegar

barley miso

20 year old me would have been all, “Ummm what is this foreign language you are speaking?”

warm fennel, brussels sprout and farro salad

Pre-vegetarian and vegan me was the most unadventurous cook in the world. I literally rotated through 3 dinners pretty much every night: chicken stir fry, spaghetti with bolognese sauce and pan fried salmon. Lunches were turkey sandwiches. Breakfast was probably a bagel or some kind oatmeal packet. Dessert- Fudgeos.

How boring does that sound? Continue reading

{review & giveaway} 100 best juices, smoothies and healthy snacks

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Today I have the wonderful opportunity of sharing with you an awesome cookbook from a very special blogger Emily von Euw from This Rawsome Vegan Life. I’m sure you all know her, but in case you don’t, Emily is a wonderful vegan, high raw blogger who posts the most stunning pictures of simple, but delicious food. Her desserts are crave worthy and if you haven’t checked out her book Rawsome Vegan Baking (which I reviewed here), you are missing out on a gorgeous book both in recipes and in photos. Now she’s come out with a new book all about juices, smoothies and healthy snacks. This book is just as good as the last! Continue reading

oatmeal raisin cookie pancakes for one {v, gf}

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This year I was very honoured and excited to participate in Angela at Canned Times “Breakfast in Bed-Fest”. In this year long event, one blogger every month of 2014 shared a healthy, economical and delicious breakfast recipe. I was March’s blogger and I shared a recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes for One. Now that 2015 is upon us, it is time for the contest portion of the event! You all get to vote on which of the 12 recipes you liked the most and I would be just thrilled if you would all vote for mine!

I thought I would share the recipe here as well today because it isn’t actually on my blog (although some of you may remember me linking to it back in March). And since it’s one of my favourite healthy pancake recipes to date, it really deserves it’s own place on this lil’ ol’ blog. Continue reading

date-sweetened brownies {v, gf}

date sweetened brownies (v, gf)

Happy Wednesday!

Firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you incredibly supportive people out there regarding my last post. I was truly touched by all the kind words. Some of the negative ones got a little personal so having so much positivity out there to counter it was amazing. To those of you still here and still reading, you are awesome. I am so looking forward to 2015- I feel lighter, more hopeful and inspired.

In that post I said I would continue to bring you all vegan recipes and today I am living up to that promise! You’ll notice that in the title of this post, I added a “v” to signify this is a vegan recipe. I will continue to do this in the future so you can all easily identify plant-based recipes I am posting. These recipes are still a priority for me and I will, to the best of my ability, ensure most of my recipes are vegan or have vegan options. I stand-by what I said, that no matter what diet ultimately works for you, eating plant-based as much as possible is the best thing we can all do for each other, animals and the planet.

So today, I bring you brownies- I hope that not too many of you are on intense New Years cleanses. Although, the nice thing about these are is that they might just fit in with your cleanse/detox/clean diet/whatever you are calling it because they are gluten-free, vegan and sweetened entirely with dates! Continue reading

here’s the thing…

It’s New Years Day tomorrow. 2015. And with that in mind I want a fresh start for next year.

I’ve written this post so many times in my head. There are so many ways I could say what I have to say, so many explanations, justifications and general word vomit that have built up (wow did I just use the phrase word vomit in a food blog?). But in the end I think I’m going to lay things out simply. No fuss, no frills. I hope you’ll read my words with compassion and understanding and know that these are decisions I have struggled with over the last year.

I’m sure you’ve all been able to tell that my dedication and passion for this blog has been dwindling. Posts are getting fewer and farther in between. I have to force myself to sit down and type. I have to force myself to cook. I’ve made excuses but they’ve been pretty lame. I know why, and now you all will too.

For many reasons, I have chosen to move away from a vegan diet to an omnivore one. A plant-centered omnivore one where I try and ensure all animal proteins are as ethical and healthful as possible. I started exploring vegetarian options like eggs and some dairy and now find myself delving into meat and fish territory. I still see plant-based foods as the base of my diet and have many entirely vegan days. My reasons are many, with health, both emotional and physical health, being at the forefront. I tried to maintain a vegan diet much to my health’s dismay. There were only so many days I could handle feeling awful. I won’t bore you with too many details aa there are many other bloggers who have written about their transition, including their reasons and their struggles. I won’t echo their words, but will say their transitions out of veganism resonated very deeply with me.

I still use the word “compassion” to guide my food choices, but have chosen to start having more compassion for myself. I will do the best I can in a way that still allows me to be healthy and happy.

I will continue posting vegan recipes here, because I do believe we should choose plant-based foods as often as possible for our own health and for the health of all people and the planet. Some recipes with eggs and dairy may find their way in, maybe even some meat down the road, I am not sure.

I have so much love and appreciation for all of you who choose to read this blog. THANK YOU ALL FOR READING, SUPPORTING, ENGAGING. If you choose to stop reading this blog because of what I have said today, I am sincerely sorry to see you go, but I have no hard feelings. I respect your decision as much as I respect my own to write this post. I hope you feel the same. For all of you who continue to read, thank you for staying, listening and heading into 2015 with me in a more healthful, balanced and honest way.

Love to you all xox.

Let’s have an awesome 2015.

flourless sesame anise cookies

Well hello friends!

Today I’m excited to be participating in the 3rd annual Christmas Cookie Swap party over at Keepin’ it Kind. It’s my third year participating and I think I might just be sharing my best cookie yet!

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I love participating in this blog even because I get guest post for one of my favourite bloggers ever AND get to bake cookies for you all wayyy ahead of Christmas. No, I did not need an excuse to start my Christmas baking in early November (I would have done it anyway), but it definitely gave me an excuse to blast some Christmas tunes earlier than is socially acceptable.

So why don’t you click play on the song below (mandatory) and head over to Kristy’s blog for my Flourless Sesame Anise Cookies!

Adapted from Edible Perspective’s Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter Cookies.

pumpkin pie squares

pumpkin pie squares

Happy belated Thanksgiving (or very early Thanksgiving for my U.S. friends or just happy Wednesday to everyone else)!

It was inevitable…the pumpkin dessert had to make an appearance at some point. I resisted for quite, avoiding all pumpkin but when Thanksgiving comes around it just has to happen! I remember when I was younger we would always go to my grandparents’ for dinner. Being French Canadian, my grandma really knew how to cook a holiday feast right down to the home-preserved pickles, homemade ketchup, tortiere and mashed potatoes. I loved those potatoes so much she always made extra for me. And of course, there were 2 kinds of pie- one of them always pumpkin.

I was always so fixated on the pumpkin, I honestly have NO IDEA what the other one was. I had a selective memory as a child.

pumpkin pie squares | the veggie nook #vegan #glutenfree

Here’s my version of pumpkin pie. I am a lazy cook and couldn’t be bothered to make a traditional pie with crust, so I went for more of a square. And I made them no-bake because I could make them and just stick them in the fridge without having to pay them much mind. Crucial for days I feel like I’m running around with my head cut off trying to get a million things done.

These pumpkin pie squares are packed full of healthy fats from the nuts and coconut and tons of fibre and Vitamin A from the pumpkin. Of course this is dessert so it has to be sweet- maple syrup does a brilliant job of playing up the warming fall flavours and pumpkin pie spice gives it that real pie feel while also delivering a punch of blood-sugar balancing cinnamon. The real secret ingredient here? Coconut flour! Just a couple tablespoons really help thicken the filling up, giving it a traditional texture while also adding a dose of sweetness and fibre. Coconut flour is a tricky ingredient to get used to but it’s magical once you do.

pumpkin pie squares | the veggie nook #vegan #glutenfree

I hope some of you give this a try whether it’s for a Thanksgiving celebration or even if it’s just because it’s fall and that means ALL THE PUMPKIN.

Adapted from these bars from The Kitchn.

To all you Canadians, how was your Thanksgiving? Favourite dish you or a friend/family member made? These squares topped my list but there was this amazing apple cider sangria that deserves a mention…

Americans- have any of you started planning your Thanksgiving meals yet? Do you have anything you always make?

Everyone! What’s your favourite way to enjoy pumpkin (or any squash)?