When I was eight years old, I was obsessed with the Animal Ark books- a series about the daughter of a veterinarian and all her animal friends. I yearned to be like her, surrounded by horses, kittens, goats, pigs, and puppies. Eventually I began to find it odd that I loved animals so much, yet still ate them.
My parents supported my decision to become vegetarian, and for about two months I stood my ground against bacon, burgers, and corn dogs. (I realize that doesn’t sound like I had great eating habits, but I promise my parents fed me veggies too!) Eventually, however, my resolve wore down, and little eight year old Katherine finally gave in to a turkey sausage one morning at breakfast.
In recent years, I have returned to a mostly plant-based lifestyle, and sausages are actually still one of the only meat dishes that I miss. I’ve read articles and heard stories about how much junk is actually put into sausage, but that doesn’t change the fact that eggs and turkey sausage tastes amazing.
Inspired by the warm, salty-sweet, comforting flavors of fall, I set out to create a vegan “sausage” that would satisfy all my breakfast cravings.
I wasn’t sure how the recipe would turn out, but these are so good I’ve started craving them for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Winner winner sausage dinner!
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or sub favorite breadcrumbs)
Flax egg (optional, helps with binding)*
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp maple syrup
Whisk together marinade ingredients.
Place mushrooms in tupperware container and pour marinade over them. Shake gently, then place in the fridge. Marinate for at least an hour, but the longer you let the mushrooms sit, the more flavor they will absorb.
Pour mushrooms and remaining marinade into sauté pan over high heat. Add onion and cook until onion pieces are soft and browned.
Remove from heat and place in food processor with panko crumbs.
Pulse until a smooth, sticky mixture forms. There will still be some chunks, but mixture should be moldable.
Remove from food processor, and mix in flax egg using your hands.
Mold mixture into “sausage” patties, each about 1 inch in diameter.
Is an adoration for pecan pie genetic? I am pretty sure I get my obsession with the sweet treat from my mom, a pecan pie fanatic. My dad actually proposed to her by giving her a pecan pie box from the Little Pie Company in New York with a engagement ring inside. My mom was thrilled and accepted, with the caveat that he better have the pie for her too. He, of course, knew her well enough not to deny her pie, and they have been happily married ever since.
One of my favorite holiday memories is sitting on the couch the day after Christmas watching the Harry Potter marathon and eating pecan pie in fuzzy socks and sweatpants.
Full out, decadent pecan pie is reserved for holidays in my family, but I love it so much I wanted an easier, healthier version I could eat every day of the year.
This oatmeal has all the sweet, crunchy, buttery taste of pecan pie, but with far more wholesome ingredients. The combination of dates, oats, and pecans, will keep you warm, cozy, and satisfied all winter long.
Pecan Pie Oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
Maple syrup and salt to finish
Chop dates and add to saucepan with almond milk. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Toast oats and pecans while milk simmers.
Add toasted oats and water to saucepan. Turn heat to high and cook until oatmeal reaches desired consistency, whisking continually.
Pour oatmeal into bowls, top with pecans, drizzle with maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt.
E is undoubtedly the answer here. I can imagine whipping up a batch of these Baked Apple Donuts for a holiday brunch with family or friends, relaxing and chatting as the aroma of apples and cinnamon wafting through the air. Though they are so simple and easy to make, a light dusting of powdered sugar is all that’s needed to make these donuts stand out on any table.
I think they would also be perfect as an original, delicious gift for the hosts of a holiday party. Imagine, instead of that frantic, last minute rush as you try to find a nice bottle of wine or a classy bouquet of flowers, being secure in the fact that you are about to wow your friends with a treat like no other.
Finally, I know the idea of vegan baked goods may be off-putting to some, so rest assured that no one will be able to tell these are even a little bit healthy. My (health food hating) little sister devoured two before I informed her they were vegan and naturally sweetened. She stared at me in surprise for a moment, then asked for another.
If she likes them, I’m confident these treats will be able to impress the pickiest of eaters, and I can’t wait for you all to try it out. Now, from my kitchen to yours, happy baking!
Recently, my family has been so busy we haven’t had time for much grocery shopping. Everyone has just been pulling together meals out of all the odds and ends in our fridge. Unfortunately, this business and lack of food have made it difficult for me to create new recipes. However, as necessity is the mother of invention, I’ve been trying to use the ingredients around the house to make foods I normally get at the grocery store.
Normally, my pantry is stocked full of granola bars (Larabars, Kind bars, and RX bars are some of my favorites), but recently our supply has been in the low to nonexistent range. Yesterday I got home from school with one mission in mind: fix the granola bar stash. So with oats, nuts, and a little ingenuity, I set out to make a Larabar-esque creation of my own.
This bar satisfied my cravings (and my infamous sweet tooth) perfectly, even with only 2 grams of sugar per bar! Im so obsessed, I might not even buy granola bars on my next grocery store trip (which will hopefully be soon).
Honey Walnut Granola Bars
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp honey (use agave to make vegan)
1 tbsp coconut oil
3-4 tbsp water
Combine oats, 1/2 cup walnuts, coconut flakes, honey, and coconut oil in food processor.
Pulse until a fine crumb is formed.
Scrape down sides of food processor, then pulse again, adding 1 tbsp of water at a time until the dough becomes sticky.
Once the dough is thick and sticky, place it in a 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. The dough only filled up 2/3 of my pan, but you could fill the whole pan if you want thinner bars.
Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
This bread was inspired by a very disappointing box of chai tea. I went out on a limb and picked up a new brand at the grocery store last week, but my high hopes were dashed as soon as I tasted the first cup. Unfortunately, I still had 19 bags remaining in my pantry and no idea what to do with them.
As always, I found the solution in bread. Bread truly solves the vast majority of my problems. I wanted to bake the chai into something that could mask its sharpness and sweetness while benefitting from the warm, spicy flavor.
To my surprise and delight, this bread turned out beautifully. The subtle sweet and spicy flavor is married perfectly with the soft, tender, nutty texture, and the bread is packed full of fiber and protein.
I made a sandwich with this bread after my spin class the other day and it was incredible. The whole loaf was gone in less than 48 hours. Pumpkin bread + peanut butter + warm fuzzy socks = pure joy.
1 bag chai tea
1 cup rice milk (haven’t tried with other non-dairy milks, but I’m confident they would work)
½ cup pumpkin
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 cup oat flour*
1 chia egg (½ tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp water)
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a bread pan with parchment paper
In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup rice milk to a simmer
Tear a hole in tea bag, then place bag in saucepan as stir gently. Brew until tea turns milk light brown and fragrant.
While tea brews, mix ½ tbsp chia seeds with 1 tbsp water and allow to thicken for a few minutes to create a chia egg
Remove milk mixture from heat and combine with pumpkin, syrup, chia egg, and coconut oil in a small mixing bowl.
In a larger bowl, stir together oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until a thick batter forms.
Add remaining milk to batter, stirring continually, until batter appears pourable.
Pour batter into bread pan and bake for 45 minutes.
*You can buy oat flour or easily make your own in a food processor using rolled oats. (To make gluten free, be sure to use certified gluten free rolled oats.)
I’ve been hungry 24/7 recently, and haven’t been able to figure out why. I’ve been eating the same nutrient-dense foods as always (and lots of them!) but I still find myself going from completely fine to desperately hungry in a matter of minutes.
While this isn’t a huge problem, it’s pretty annoying (especially because I get hangry AF) so the other day I checked in with my doctor to find out what I can do to stay full longer. Apparently, the problem is that I don’t have enough fat in my diet. Since fat takes longer to digest, it makes the transition from full to hungry less drastic and sudden.
This smoothie is my first attempt to incorporate more fats into my meals. Plant foods tend to have lower fat content than animal products, so getting enough fat into a plant-based diet takes a little more planning, but it is certainly doable. This fresh, sweet-tart smoothie did the trick perfectly, and I’d love more advice on how to incorporate fats into my meals!
1 small banana, frozen
1 cup almond milk
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup frozen spinach
½ tbsp. coconut oil
½ tbsp. chia seeds
Combine all ingredients in blender, then pulse until smooth.