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Blueberry Muffin Bars

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I am always looking for affordable, time-saving shortcuts in the kitchen, and one of my favorite ways to save time is by making foods in bar form: pancake bars, chocolate chip cookie bars, and blueberry muffin bars. Sometimes the extra minutes I save by not rotating muffin tins in and out of the oven or […]

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Gluten Free Chocolate Éclair Cake Recipe

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There are certain foods that are still hard to come by in gluten free versions. Take doughnuts, for example. You can get the cake-like doughnuts fairly easily at the grocery store (check the freezer section) or at

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Gluten free banoffee flapjacks – the ultimate sweet treat

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Gluten free banoffee flapjacks - the ultimate sweet treat

Chewy, syrupy flapjack, rich caramel, sweet banana slices and a generous slather of milk chocolate – what is not to like about my gluten free banoffee flapjack recipe? I think my gluten free millionaire’s shortbread might be the most popular recipe I’ve ever posted on my blog, and for a…

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Happy Chicks Bakery is All Smiles for Dairy-Free Customers in Cincinnati

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Happy Chicks Bakery is a quirky vegan bakeshop with organic sweet goodies, savory pastries, and custom cakes. They also serve sandwiches and salads for lunchtime fare. The menus at Happy Chicks Bakery are expansive. They have many set items for breakfast, lunch, and the bakery case, but their flavors often change with the seasons. At […]

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From the Ground Up, Plant Matter Cafe Emerges in London Ontario

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In 2018, the Ground Up Cafe joined forces with the Plant Matter family to become Plant Matter Cafe. This hip restaurant is a health-oriented, eco-conscious spot to enjoy organic vegan eats, treats, and coffee with compassion. Their menu includes plant-based soups, salads, meals, smoothies, and espresso drinks made with ethically sourced ingredients and served in compostable […]

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Three Good Spreads

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After having spent 30 minutes listening to my (almost) eight-year-old daughter telling a joke, I can tell you with a 100% certainty that she’s got a talent for comedy. Someone apparently told her this joke in school and she tried explaining it to me repeatedly without ever reaching the pun. It was the funniest thing I’ve heard in years. And she refused to give up and just kept at it. Something about blood dripping in a dark room and an old woman peeling tomatoes (although I think it should be blood orange, but don’t tell Elsa). While I was literally ROFL with her, I had this revelation that this is it. This is the meaning of it all. As good as it gets. Total presens, laughing so my tummy hurts together with someone I love unlimitedly. Life peaks here.

So here is a suggestion. Whip up a couple of good spreads, fill a tray with veggies, shut off your phone and sit down with someone you love and tell each other jokes tonight – with or without a pun.

About these spreads. The pink one is a Beet, Bean & Sumac Spread that we like a lot (especially Luise, who adds a couple of dollops on top of scramble eggs for breakfast). It has a beautiful color and more flavor than regular hummus and bean spreads. The white one is a yogurt, spinach and feta dip inspired by a Bon Appetite recipe (but simplified) and it was our kids favorite out of these three. The red-ish is my favorite spread of all times, Muhammara. We make ours with roasted bell peppers, walnuts, almond flour, date, lemon and cayenne. It has that great balance of rich, fresh, tangy, spicy and sweet. You can roast the bell peppers yourself or buy them roasted in a jar. We have tried both versions and even if home-roasted is slightly better, it is honestly not a huge difference.

So one spread is heavy on beans, one is rich and nutty and one has that tangy and creamy yogurt sensation. Make one of them or try them all together. But most importantly, tell jokes and laugh your gut out tonight.



Three Good Spreads
The top photo is inspired by a photo from one of Anna Jones wonderful cookbooks. Check out her books if you haven’t already.

Beet, Bean & Sumac Spread
Note: You can make this with raw beets if you want to save time, it’s also good. Skip or reduce the water if you do. However, you get a rounder flavour when roasting them so that’s our preferred method.

2 beetroots (approx 250 g / 9 oz)
1 x 400 g / 14 oz can white beans, rinsed
120 ml / 1/2 cup hot water
2 tsp ground sumac (or more lemon zest)
2 tbsp tahini 
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
1 pinch sea salt

Preheat the oven at 200°C / 400°F. Peel and trim the beets and cut in quarters. Place them on a small baking tray with a drizzle of oil and bake until soft, approx. 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then place in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors to your preference.


Note: If you are cooking for kids, leave out the cayenne (and maybe the date as we use it to balance the spiciness in the cayenne). We have shared the easy version here with store bought roasted bell peppers but you can of course roast them yourself.

3 roasted bell peppers (from a jar) (approx 200 g / 1 cup) see note below how to roast them yourself
60 g / 1/2 cup walnuts
45 g / 1/2 cup almond flour
1 soft date, stone removed
2 tbsp tahini or olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 large pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
sea salt flakes

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavor and consistency, adding more almond flour to thicken and tahini/oil or lemon to smoothen.

Note: To roast your own bell peppers, simply place them in the oven at 200°C/400°F for 25-30 minutes or until charred. Leave to cool under a bowl (this will make them easier to peel), peel off skin and seeds and add the flesh to the processor with the other ingredients.


Spinach, Feta & Mint Yogurt
Adapted from this Bon Appetite recipe.

2 cups Greek or Turkish yogurt
100 g / 3 1/2 oz feta cheese
1 handful walnuts
100 g / 3 1/2 oz baby spinach
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp dried mint or a small handful leaves fresh mint, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour yogurt into a bowl, crumble the feta cheese into it and stir until combined. Dry-toast the walnuts in a skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes, pour into small bowl and leave to cool. Add a thin layer of water to the same skillet and bring to a boil. Add half of the spinach, stir and keep adding more as the spinach wilts down. Add the mint to the spinach, season with salt, stir and set aside to cool. Add 2/3 of the spinach to the feta yogurt along with half of the olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Crush the walnuts in your hand, sprinkle over the yogurt and stir. Taste and adjust the flavour. Fold the rest of the spinach, walnuts and oil into the yogurt until it looks a little messy and marbled. Top with freshly ground black pepper.


Completely unrelated but we also just posted this sauerkraut video on our youtube channel. If you haven’t tried to make your own sauerkraut yet, you should! It’s super easy, you basically only need cabbage and salt. And it’s so good – tangy, fresh, gut healthy and all that.

Field Roast Mac ‘n Chao is a Cheesy Vegan Freezer Meal

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Although I’m not someone who craves cheese, I was smitten with Field Roast Chao Slices at first nibble. This vegan cheese alternative held its own when eaten cold or melted, and had a satisfying umami quality. So I was excited to find out that Field Roast had used their Creamy Original and Tomato Cayenne flavors […]

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Sizzling Vegetable Fried Rice: A Fresh Take on an Asian Classic

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When I think of fried rice, images of browned rice with a smattering of peas and scrambled egg flash in my head. But this vegetable fried rice is produce heavy, for a healthier dish that has the appealing look of confetti rice. Feel free to mix up the vegetables with whatever you have on hand. […]

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Triple Almond Energy Balls (vegan, grain-free, naturally sweetened)

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One of my biggest challenges when photographing beige- or blah-coloured recipes is making them look as appealing as they taste…the struggle is real! Dishes like curries, brownies, oatmeal, energy balls, etc. tend to look a bit sad through the camera’s lens. If you want a giggle, check out one of the very first beige/brown recipe photos I ever took on the blog. I posted this Pumpkin Banana Bran & Oatmeal Muffin recipe way back in 2008 (holy cow, I’m a blogging DINOSAUR! lol). 

A good trick I’ve learned through countless trial and error (mostly error…and a few curse words) is that I need to add a lot of colour to photos even if the food itself isn’t colourful. It probably seems obvious, but with so many other things going on for a photo shoot (cooking, food styling, camera settings, lighting, etc.) it can be easy to forget the importance of planning for colour. If I’m shooting oatmeal or plain Jane muffins, I try to add some enticing fruit on top and more pops of colour on the table itself—a bright green Matcha tea, fresh flowers, a glass of OJ, or a colourful cloth napkin (without being too busy) can all create a gorgeous photo when the food itself looks pretty blah. This approach helped me photograph these flourless breakfast muffins (recipe to come!) and I’m pleased with how the app photo turned out!

I wasn’t quite as happy with the photo shoot of these energy balls because I had to rush (when naptime’s over, it’s OVA), but they’ll just have to do! I love how the colourful garnishes I added made the energy balls go from blah and beige to vibrant and enticing. I rolled them in fun pops of colour and a variety of textures: beet-coloured shredded coconut, ground pistachios (so pretty and chewy!), hemp hearts, and cocoa powder. I loved them all. I also tried rolling some in Matcha green tea powder, but they were soooo bitter. That one was a big NOPE! Cutting the Matcha with powdered icing sugar might’ve worked better, but I wanted to keep these bad boys naturally sweetened, so I opted to skip the Matcha altogether. To make the pink-hued shredded coconut, I added some beet juice (prepared the same way as my Vegan Sugar Cookies’ Pink Frosting) to the shredded coconut in a bowl. I put a plastic bag over my hand so it wouldn’t get stained in the process (#fancy) and then I “massaged” the beet juice into the shredded coconut until it was dispersed. It worked wonderfully and the result was so pretty! I sprinkled my leftover coconut on oatmeal.

Rest assured though, these nutty energy bites are just as good eaten as-is!  I love keeping a stash in the freezer for quick snacking, and find the texture gets even better when they’ve been frozen too.

Also a quick note that I won’t be posting this Friday’s Ask Angela as I’ve come down with the flu (luckily today’s blog post was created last week so I could still share it). It was bound to happen as I’ve been taking care of two sick little ones, while up a lot at night and nursing to boot. I hope everyone has a very happy weekend and that you’re feeling well. I know where I’ll be…curled up with a big bowl of soup (hopefully my Golden Spiced Lentil Soup!) and warm lemon water. I’ll be a bit delayed replying to your reviews, questions, and comments this week, but please know that I will reply as soon as I’m feeling better!



Triple Almond Energy Balls
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

I love energy balls because they’re infinitely customizable and so easy to take on the go. I like to grab a couple straight from the freezer and pop them into a small glass jar to throw in my purse on busy days. They’re perfect for for tiding you over until mealtime, and this Triple Almond Energy Ball recipe is toddler-approved, too—just be sure to cut them up into small pieces as ball shapes are a choking hazard. Their rich, nutty  flavour comes from using whole almonds, roasted almond butter, and almond extract. A true triple threat!! You may recognize the flavour from my Triple Almond Thumbprint Cookies in Oh She Glows Every Day. I just can’t get enough of almond extract—I find it really heightens the flavour in almond-based recipes!

11 to 12 balls

Prep time
15 Minutes

Cook time
0 Minutes

Chill time
60 Minutes (optional)

Total time
15 Minutes

1 cup (155 g) raw almonds1/2 cup (75 g) raw cashews1/2 cup (115 g) tightly packed pitted Medjool dates*2 tablespoons (30 mL) roasted almond butter or raw cashew butter1/2 teaspoon cinnamon1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste1/4 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste5 teaspoons (25 mL) water, or as needed**Shredded coconut, hemp hearts, ground shelled pistachios, or cocoa powder, for rolling

Add the almonds and cashews to a food processor and process into a coarse crumb. Be sure not to overprocess the nuts into butter. To the nut mixture, add the pitted dates. Process again until the dates are finely chopped. Next, add the roasted almond butter (or raw cashew butter, if using), cinnamon, salt, almond extract, and water (starting with a couple teaspoons) to the processor bowl and process again until the mixture comes together into a dough. You should be able to easily roll the dough into balls without them feeling dry or crumbly. If the dough is too dry, add more water one teaspoon at a time and continue processing until the mixture moistens to desired consistency. Roll the dough into 11 to 12 golf ball-sized balls. If using, roll each ball in your garnish of choice: shredded coconut, hemp hearts, ground shelled pistachios (or other nuts), or cocoa powder. Chill the balls in the freezer for about an hour to firm up, or feel free to eat them at room temperature if you can’t wait that long! Leftover balls will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for a few weeks. You can also store them in the fridge in an airtight container for several days if you prefer.


* You’ll want to make sure the dates are very well packed into the measuring cup. If your dates are very firm and dry, I also recommend soaking them in hot water for about half an hour, and then draining well before using as directed.

** The amount of water you will need will depend on how fresh and sticky your Medjool dates are.


These energy balls have a soft texture. If you prefer a crunchier consistency, you can roll the balls in ground nuts or stir some chopped nuts or chocolate into the dough itself.


To make the pink shredded coconut, I mixed unsweetened shredded coconut with a bit of beet juice.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Breakfast Bars Recipe

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In my world, breakfast often consists of coffee and nothing else. Is that the same for you? Or are you a dedicated breakfast-eater? Either way, I think we all can get on board with ready-made breakfast bars to either

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