Pumpkin Spice Granola (Vegan & Oil Free)

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This Pumpkin Spice Granola is packed with fall spices and uses real pumpkin! It’s packed with clusters of crunchy deliciousness and uses pecan butter to enhance the rest of the ingredients. Makes for a perfect breakfast, snack or even dessert! (vegan and gluten, oil & refined sugar free)

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Making a batch of granola is a part of my weekly meal prep routine. But now that the weather has completely changed to fall, I’ve just been craving all things pumpkin. So here’s my variation of pumpkin spice granola, using my favourite variety of pumpkin: kabocha!

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It starts with just 10 ingredients, including real pumpkin and pecan butter. Of course, you can use any kind of nut butter but I figured that pecan butter reflected the taste of fall a little better and can I just say… pecan butter is absolutely delicious. I make my own by roasting a bag in the oven and blending it up in my vitamix.

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Vegan Pumpkin Spice Granola

Mix up all the liquid ingredients and spices. You’ll find it creates this silky smooth…. pumpkin infused caramel like mixture. Try not to lick the entire bowl before adding in the rest of the ingredients(!!). Then add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until covered. That does onto a baking tray. I’ve been seeing a lot of cluster methods on my instagram feed lately, so decided to try it out! The main ones I’ve been seeing are: packing it down into the tray, using “stick together” ingredients like oat flour/smaller nuts & seeds and not touching it at all when in the oven. I found that you do need to move it slightly, just so some parts of the granola don’t burn but that can depend on the type of oven you have I guess. My oven tends to be hotter at the back right so I more so flip the granola than mix it. Into the oven for 25 minutes and you’ll find your entire house smelling like pumpkin spice, basically screaming fall.

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GOSH JOLLY look at the clusters. I hope you can feel the crunchy-ness through the screen.

Eat this granola with yogurt, on top of oats, smoothie bowls, with milk or even on its own! It makes for the perfect crunchy snack.

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I hope you try out this variation of Pumpkin Spice Granola & make it as much as I do because it’s:

  • vegan friendly

  • dairy, oil & gluten free

  • way cheaper & healthier vs. store bought granola

  • made with only 9 pantry ingredients

  • clustery, crunchy and infused with tons of fall spices

  • simple & easy to make

  • & makes for the perfect fall breakfast or snack!

Okay, are you prepared for your kitchen to smell like serious fall deliciousness?

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Tips and Tricks to making Pumpkin Spice Granola

  • Mix the liquid along with the spices first to ensure the flavours evenly spread throughout when adding the rest of the dry ingredients

  • For maximal large clusters: press your granola into the pan for form a single layer, and will bake into one pan sized bar & when mixing half way through, don’t over mix. Instead, try to flip the granola for even baking without breaking up the caramelization

  • Let it cool on the baking tray once it’s out of the oven and this will yield tons of granola clusters that you can then break apart (or not) as big as you want them

  • If you find you’re having trouble creating clusters, you can blend 1/2 c of the oats into oat flour and mix it in. This will create flakes and a paste that will cover the ingredients and can help with the caramelization process

  • Need more granola recipes? Check out my chocolate espresso, matcha granola, 5 minute granola & Chili Lime Granola recipe!

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If you recreate this Pumpkin Spice Granola please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara! We can roll around in the abundance of granola together ;)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325F.

  2. Into a large bowl add in your creamy pecan butter, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, salt and pumpkin pie spice and mix until combined.

  3. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until well coated and combined. Transfer over to a lined baking tray. If you want some serious cluster action, press down your granola and allow the mixture stick together. Place into the oven for 25 minutes, rotating and flipping (gently!!) half way.

  4. Let it cool and then eat as is or transfer into airtight container to store.

Notes

  • SERVINGS: Approximately 2.5 cups

  • PREP TIME: 5 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 25 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 10

  • DIFFICULTY: EASY

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/3 c creamy pecan butter

  • 1/3 c pure maple syrup

  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3 c gluten free rolled oats

  • 3/4 c pecans

  • 1/2 c sunflower (or pumpkin) seeds

  • 1/4 c raisins

  • 4 tbsp hemp seeds

    baked at 325 for 25 mins


Beet Salad with Quinoa and Sunflower Seed Dressing

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This Beet Salad features seasonal fall ingredients such as quinoa, edamame, roasted sweet potatoes, toasted walnuts and spinach, and tossed with a creamy sunflower seed dressing! Not only is it full of delicious flavours and textures, it’s also packed with superfoods and plant based protein protein making it a bowl full of nutrition!

Beet Salad with Quinoa and Sunflower Seed Dressing

Who else loves beets? It took me a couple chances to appreciate beets, but they have become one of my favourite vegetables! I feel like beets are such an underrated vegetable because of their earthly flavour but they’re so good for you and if you prepare them right, can make for a delicious meal. One of my favourite ways is to roast them, but I found that they are absolutely delicious in salads- especially tossed in a creamy savoury dressing!

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I have been loving sunflower seeds and sunflower butter for dressings as a change from my usual tahini dressings! I think it kind of gives the salad dressing more of a ~ fall vibe ~ too (but that could just me me 😅).

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This is no ol’ boring salad. It has the perfect balance of flavours coming from the earthy beets, sweetness from the sweet potatoes, toasty-nuttiness from the walnuts and a hint of freshness from the mint. And that’s all dressed in the tangy deep flavour of the sunflower seed butter. Oh, not to mention all the textures in this salad! I’m a huge texture person and this salad has all kinds of textures going on!

Not only is it delicious, it’s also nutritious and packed with plant based protein from the quinoa and edamame! I mean, look at the colours in this salad it just screams healthy. This is called eating the rainbow ;).

I really hope you try this Beet Salad with Quinoa and Sunflower Seed Dressing & eat it as often as I do because it’s:

  • vegetarian/vegan friendly

  • literally like eating the rainbow ;)

  • only 12 plant based ingredients 

  • can be made ahead or meal prepped

  • high in protein

  • a salad that isn’t boring

  • easy to make

  • & dressed with the most delicious, tangy & creamy savoury dressing!

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Tips and Tricks to making this Beet Salad with Quinoa and Sunflower Seed Dressing

  • I throw my potatoes into the oven even if the oven is not yet preheated. Then, you don’t have to wait for it to pre-heat (aka it’s faster) and they still crisp of perfectly.

  • Remember to rinse your quinoa to get rid of any bitterness.

  • Use gloves when grating the beet, unless you can appreciate pink hands after 😂

  • Toast your walnuts! This little treatment to the walnut really brings out their flavour and seriously does elevate the flavour profile of the salad.

  • If you’re making this ahead of time as meal prep, place some of the dressing into small containers and dress when ready to eat so the spinach doesn’t get soggy. OR you can add the spinach the day of and mix it in!

  • Feel free to sub the spinach for any of your favourite greens and vegetables! Kale, asparagus, arugula and lettuce would be a tasty choice as well!

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If you make this Beet Salad with Quinoa and Sunflower Seed Dressing please do share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 C. Dice the sweet potato into cubes and place on a lined baking tray. Place them into the oven for 20 minutes or until slightly browned.

  2. Prepare your quinoa. Rinse, then add to a small pot and add 1 c of water with a pinch of salt. Place over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Then, reduce it to a simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff it up with a work when complete.

  3. In the mean time defrost your edamame and gather your other ingredients. Rinse, peel and grate the beet. Roughly chop some walnuts and the spinach. Add them all into a large bowl.

  4. Prepare the dressing by combining the sunflower butter, lemon juice, maple syrup, AVC, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper all into a bowl and whisking until smooth.

  5. When the potatoes and quinoa are ready, add them to the large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss until evenly coated. Serve with roughly chopped mint!

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 2

  • PREP TIME: 10 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 20 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 12

  • DIFFICULTY: EASY

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato (400g)

  • 1/2 c uncooked quinoa

  • 1 c frozen edamame

  • 1/3 c chopped walnut

  • 1 medium-large beet (200g)

  • 2 c packed spinach

  • 1/4 c chopped mint leaves

  • 2 tbsp sunflower butter

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp ACV

  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • salt and pepper to taste

15 Minute Vegan Red Lentil Dal (1-Pot & 7 Ingredients)

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This Vegan Red Lentil Dal is the perfect warming bowl to cozy up to! This creamy flavour packed dal can be made in 15 minutes using 1 pot and only 7 pantry staple ingredients.

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I know, I’ve been late on the whole fall vibes and recipe train but the fall season has been so strange here in Canada. The temperature has been 27 degrees one day to 10 degrees the next, but the chill has been steadily growing this past week so naturally, I’ve been making more warming meals. Even though I’ll be missing the warm weather, I do love the feeling of coming home to a warm and cozy meal after fighting through the cold. All kinds of soups, stews and noodle dishes do justice but sometime my heart yearns for something aromatic and filled with spices, like this dal recipe.

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The thing I LOVE about this dal is that it’s ready in 15 minutes, which means if I don’t already have some in the fridge, then I still don’t really have to wait too long to cozy up to this dal. Plus, it uses only 7 pantry staple items and any left over root veggies I have, which means I always have these ingredients on hand.

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I fry up the spices and then throw all the ingredients into the pot and put it on simmer. While I’m waiting, I’ll take a quick hot shower, change into some cozy clothes, pour in a cup of tea and choose what I’ll be watching that night (I’ve been super into Terrace House lately!). And by this time, my dal is usually done and I just microwave some rice that I always prep in the beginning of the week. Of course, I add a squeeze of lime and some extra fresh cilantro for more ~ flavour ~ :)

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I really hope you try out this Red Lentil Dal and love it as much as I do because it is:

  • vegan friendly

  • dairy, gluten, soy & nut free

  • only 7 pantry staple ingredients 

  • customizable

  • made in only 15 minutes

  • freezable

  • make-ahead, meal prep & on the go friendly

  • and SO comforting! Perfect for the cold weather thats been comin’ up 🍂

Alright, are you ready to make some bomb Red Lentil Dahl? Grab your lentils & get ready to cozy up ;)

Tips and Tricks to making Red Lentil Dal

  • Using red or yellow lentils yields a faster cooking time compared to other lentils, which I love when I’m in a pinch and craving dahl and curries

  • Use a good quality curry powder or make your own blend for a rich curry flavour. I’ve used cheap curry blends in the past and it just didn’t taste right! The taste curries and dal will really depend on what spices you add. I use Frontier Indian Curry Powder when craving a ‘lighter’ indian flavour, S&B Oriental Curry Powder when craving a more mild dahl and a Jamaican Goat Curry Powder for a more rich dal

  • The liquid you use will also result in different consistencies of this dal. Coconut milk will yield a more creamier and rich dal whereas broth and water will yield a lighter dahl. If you’re looking to keep it low fat, you can also sub in plant milks such as coconut milk from a carton or soy milk

  • Simmer the dal covered, making sure the heat isn’t too high so that the bottom burns

  • Add in any root veggies left over in your fridge! They will all bring additional flavours to your dal and get rid of any left over produce that needs to be used up :) my favourites to add in are carrots, kabocha, potatoes, broccoli and green beans.

  • Feelin’ some more cozy recipes? Check out of 6 Ingredient Kabocha Potage and Smokey Maple Baked Beans!

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If you recreate this super fast, easy & delicious Vegan Red Lentil Dal please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Fry up the onions, garlic and ginger until brown on high heat with the curry powder (around 4 minutes)

  2. Add lentils, diced tomatoes and liquid of choice (I like to use a combo of 1c coconut milk and 1 + 1/4c broth)

  3. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes, covered or until lentils are cooked

  4. Serve with rice, cilantro & lime :)

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 2 large or 4 smaller servings

  • PREP TIME: 5 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 15 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 7

  • DIFFICULTY: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Onion (200g)

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

  • Knob of grated ginger (30g)

  • 1 c of red or yellow split lentils (170g)

  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes (180ml)

  • 1 tbsp curry powder

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 1/4 c liquid (coconut milk, water, veg stock)*

  • optional flavour enhancers: dash of cinnamon, soy sauce, cayenne, turmeric, additional veggies etc.


Chilli Lime Granola

Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola

This Chilli Lime Granola is sweet AND savoury! A delicious change from typical granola where it’s zesty with a touch of heat. Perfect to make ahead of time and take on the go as a snack or to top off salads! Made in one bowl, using only 7 staple pantry ingredients and in less than 25 minutes.

Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola

Posting a granola recipe every week might be becoming a part of my routine… I mean I can’t help it- I LOVE GRANOLA! I say this every time, but granola is just the best thing to snack on because it comes in so many different flavours and combinations. Plus, I can eat it in so many different ways. I usually make some sort of granola using the basics: oats, nuts and/or seeds, a nut butter & maple syrup with some flavour add ins but you guys… this time I’ve come up with something much more epic: SWEET & SAVOURY CHILLI LIME GRANOLA. Yes, savoury granola.

Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola

It starts with a couple staple pantry ingredients such as: oats, coconut sugar, coconuts flakes, nuts and seeds, limes, chilli and cinnamon.

Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola
Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola

All the ingredients go with into one bowl, gets mixed together and baked in the oven for 16-17 minutes.

Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola

Truly, the hard part is letting it cool because it smells so dang good- but trust me it’s worth it. Because 1. you don’t want to burn your tongue and 2. it becomes crispy, crunchy and infused with zesty heaty deliciousness as it cools.

Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola

If I’ve successfully persuaded you to make this Chilli Lime Granola, I hope you love it as much as I do because it is:

  • vegan friendly

  • dairy, gluten & oil free

  • sweet, savoury, crunchy & bursting with flavour

  • only 7 simple plant based ingredients

  • customizable

  • healthier & cheaper than store bought granola

  • perfect as a snack to take on the go

  • make-ahead friendly

  • & (dangerously) addicting

Alright, are you ready to make some bomb zesty & heat-y delicious granola?! GRAB YOUR MIXING BOWL!

Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola

Tips and Tricks to making Chilli Lime Granola

  • Not too much to this granola, but my main tip is to be patient and let this granola cool! It becomes crispy and crunchy as it does, and the flavours become more intense

  • Remember to rotate and mix the granola half way to prevent burning! Once at the 16 minute mark, check your granola and if its golden brown it’s ready to come out. If not, let it bake for an additional 1-2 minutes and checking every minute or so.

  • Need more granola recipes? Check out my chocolate espresso, matcha granola & 5 minute granola recipe!

Sweet & Savoury Chili Lime Granola

If you recreate this Chilli Lime Granola please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325 C

  2. Mix lime juice and coconut sugar until it becomes much like syrup

  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is well combined and coated

  4. Spread on a lined baking tray and place into oven for 16-18 minutes, rotating & mixing half way- it should be nice and golden brown

  5. Let it cool and then eat immediately or place in dry cool air tight container

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 6-8 servings

  • PREP TIME: 5 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 16-18 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 7

  • DIFFICULTY: EASY

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp lime juice

  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar

  • 1.5 c gluten free oats

  • ½ c coconut flakes

  • ¼ c pumpkin seeds

  • ½ tsp chilli powder

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp lime zest

  • ½ tsp salt


5-Ingredient Vegan "Nutella" Granola Bars

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These Vegan “Nutella” Granola Bars are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. They’re made with only 5 ingredients and made in one-bowl but so rich and delicious! Plus they make for a tasty afternoon snack that you can make ahead of time & take with you on the go.

I LOVE granola bars. Mainly because it’s basically granola but way easier to eat when on the go and to bring around with me as a snack. These are by far my favourite chocolate granola bars because well, it has chocolate hazelnut spread!! Nutella used to be my tahini back when I was a kid.

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It starts off with just 5 simple ingredients: vegan nutella/chocolate hazlelnut spread, oats, dried cherries, chocolate chips and maple syrup. Feel free to sub the dried cherries with your favourite dried fruit!

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That all goes into one large bowl and is combined together. Already smellin’ so chocolate-y! 🙆🏻

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Then the mixture goes into an 8x8 lined baking pan and is placed in the oven for 25 minutes. Let it cool and cut them up into granola bars! Yup it’s seriously that easy 😛.

Look at how crispy AND chewy they look! Those are key textures I look for in good granola bars.

Yes, they keep their shape but still crumble with every bite 😉

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These Vegan Nutella Granola Bars are SO TASTY & you should make them because they’re:

  • vegan friendly

  • dairy & gluten free

  • only 5 ingredients

  • made in just one bowl

  • on the go & meal prep friendly

  • crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside

  • & incredibly tasty, chocolate-y and satisfying

Alright, have I convinced you to make these yet? LET’S GET BAKIN’!!

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Tips and Tricks to making Vegan Nutella Granola Bars

  • Use rolled oats for the right texture vs. quick oats

  • Remember to rotate the pan half way for even baking

  • Slice into granola bars before it’s completely cooled to prevent cracking and breaking of the bars

  • Increasing baking time by 2-3 minutes will yield crunchier granola bars whereas decreasing it by 2-3 minutes will yield more chewy granola bars.

  • Cranberries are delicious in place of dried cherries ;)

  • Need more on-the-go snack chocolate filled recipes? Check out my One-Bowl Tahini Chocolate Chip Muffins and my Chocolate Espresso Granola recipe!

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If you make these decadent vegan nutella granoa bars please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 C

  2. Mix the maple syrup and hazelnut spread into a large bowl until combined

  3. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until everything is coated evenly

  4. Transfer into a lined 8x8 baking tray and flatten as best as possible

  5. Place into the oven for 25 minutes, rotating half way

  6. Once out of the oven, let it cool slightly & then cut them into bars before completely cooled

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 6

  • PREP TIME: 5 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 25 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 5

  • DIFFICULTY: EASY

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2c rolled oats

  • 3/4 c rolled oats, blended into oat flour OR 1/2 c oat flour

  • 1/4 c mini chocolate chips

  • ½ c dried cherries

  • 1/3 c maple syrup

  • ½ c vegan chocolate hazelnut spread

     


Easiest 5-Ingredient Vegan Tzatziki

This Vegan Tzatziki is made with just 5 simple plant based ingredients! It’s creamy, herby and indulgent but without the dairy. Enjoy in pitas, sandwiches, over buddha bowls and as a dip!

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I know I know, summer is over but that doesn’t mean Tzatziki season is over. I will gladly enjoy this condiment over anything at any point in the year. I mean, I could seriously live off this stuff! It goes with just about anything but I mainly love it over gyro bowls and as a dip for my oven baked fries.

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I have yet to find a dairy free alternative in stores so naturally, I had to come up with an alternative myself. Dairy free yogurt and cashews aren’t the most budget friendly ingredient so I thought, why not tofu? I make my own “greek style” yogurt almost daily for breakfast, it has to work!! So I put it to the test with different ratios with the rest of the 4 ingredients typically found in Tzatziki: cucumber for freshness, lemon juice for tang, garlic for a savoury flare and dill for the herby flavour. Of course, salt and pepper as needed.

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Tzatziki is creamy and packed with flavour, but incredibly light because it’s mainly just tofu and cucumber so you can eat it without feeling weighed down! Plus, you get some cucumber & herb goodness in to you for #extrahealth 😉

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I really hope you make this Cheese Sauce & love it as much as I do because it is:

  • vegan

  • dairy, gluten & nut free

  • only 5 ingredients

  • high in protein

  • delicious as a dip, spread or topping

  • simple, easy & quick to make

  • make-ahead friendly

  • herby, fresh & creamy

  • & incredibly addicting!!

I hope I have now peaked your interest in making Tzatziku, who’s ready?!

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Tips and Tricks to making Vegan Tzatziki

  • make sure to use soft or medium-firm tofu for that thick, greek style yogurt as anything firmer tends to get clumpy

  • when grating the cucumber, use the larger side of the grater so that you can still get the settle crunch and texture from them

  • SQUEEZE as much excess liquid from the cucumbers as possible so that the dip doesn’t end up soggy

  • finely mince the garlic so you don’t get big chunks of garlic in one bite (unless you really love raw garlic)!

  • store it in a mason jar or airtight container and use within 5 days

  • use FRESH dill or mint, it really does make a huge difference in the final outcome

  • Here are some of my favourite ways of devouring Tzatziki:

    • Over gyro bowls, buddha bowls, salad bowls (makes for a awesome dressing)

    • As a dip for fresh veggies, potato fries/wedges and toasted pita

    • Spread over toast or inside sandwiches

    • and of course, in pita wraps!

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Tips and Tricks to making Vegan Tzatziki

  • make sure to use soft or medium-firm tofu for that thick, greek style yogurt as anything firmer tends to get clumpy

  • when grating the cucumber, use the larger side of the grater so that you can still get the settle crunch and texture from them

  • SQUEEZE as much excess liquid from the cucumbers as possible so that the dip doesn’t end up soggy

  • finely mince the garlic so you don’t get big chunks of garlic in one bite (unless you really love raw garlic)!

  • use FRESH dill or mint, it really does make a huge difference in the final outcome

  • if you don’t finish it the moment you make it, store it in a mason jar or airtight container and use within 5 days

  • if you CAN resist, letting it sit overnight the more flavourful the dip will become!

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If you recreate this fresh & delicious Tzatziki Dip please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Cut the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then grate the cucumber. 

  2. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the cucumber using a towel or strainer.

  3. Mince garlic super finely

  4. Blend the tofu on high until smooth (skip step if using yogurt)

  5. Mix all ingredients into a bowel and let it sit in the fridge for half an hour to allow the flavours to mend together. 

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 1.5 cups

  • PREP TIME: 10 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 0

  • INGREDIENTS: 5

  • DIFFICULTY: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 c soft tofu (250g) (or 1 c non-dairy greek yogurt)

  • 1/2 a english cucumber, grated and strained (90g)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (or 1.5 tbsp of AC vinegar)

  • 1/4 c fresh dill, chopped (mint works well too!)

  • salt and pepper to taste 


3 INGREDIENT MICROWAVE GRANOLA

This 3 Ingredient Granola is crunchy, perfectly sweet and nutty- you won’t believe it was made in the microwave and took less than 5 minutes! It makes the perfect quick breakfast or snack and you don’t ever have to worry about running out of granola ever again!

Happy Monday! Who else has routinely had granola as part of their breakfast? Granola is definitely a staple food in my diet, especially homemade granola. Not only is it cheaper but you can customize it to your liking of sweetness, add-ins and combination of flavours. I always prep granola on the weekends so that I have some on hand throughout the week, but sometimes I snack a little more than I expect and run out for the next morning… *gasp*. HAVE NO FEAR OF RUNNING OUT OF GRANOLA ANYMORE THOUGH BECAUSE today… I have for you one of the best hacks you should know!! and keep in the back of your pocket: MICROWAVED GRANOLA. Yup, microwaved granola. In one mug, no mess, no oven, no fuss & its ready in 5 minutes.

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It starts off with 3 basic ingredients with the optional pinch of salt and/or vanilla. Mix all the ingredients into a microwave safe mug and then just pop that into the microwave for a total of 2.5 minutes! Remember to keep an eye on it for the last 20 seconds so it doesn’t burn.

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And there you have it, crispy, crumbly, nutty & sweet ol’ granola for any of your breakfast needs. It’s delicious over smoothie bowls, banana icecream bowls, yogurt bowls & honestly even on its own or a bit of almond milk. Get creative with the flavours by substituting the types of nut/seed butter you use and all the additional add ins you can add!

I really hope you try making granola in the microwave and love it as much as I do because it’s:

  • vegan, dairy & oil free

  • can be made gluten & allergy free

  • customizable & versatile

  • made in one bowl

  • only 3 simple ingredients & made in less than 5 minute

  • crunchy, sweet & toasty

  • & totally a magical crowd pleaser

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Tips and Tricks to making Microwave Granola

  • Use ROLLED oats for the proper crisp-ness of granola

  • I personally love maple syrup as a sweeter, but if you decide to use any other liquid sweetener, be sure to play around with the ratios for sweetness! If you add less sweetener, add more nut butter.

  • Any nut or seed butter can be used here, just make sure its runny!

  • Keep dry & wet ingredient ratios as similar as possible. If adding extra nuts/seeds or even dried fruit be sure to bump up the amount of liquid sweetener or nut butter. I add 1/2 tsp more for every 1 tbsp of extras.

  • Play around with the timing for your own microwave, every microwave is different! Keep an eye on the granola when microwaving for the second time. If it doesn’t seem to be cooked and crispy yet, microwave in increments of 10-15 seconds.

  • Need more granola recipes? Check out my chocolate espresso & matcha granola recipe!

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If you make this 3 ingredient Microwave Granola please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients into microwave safe mug or bowl

  2. Microwave for 1.5 minutes (at 1000W) and then mix

  3. Microwave for an additional minute or until oats golden brown

  4. Let it stand for 2-3 minutes before digging in!

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 1

  • PREP TIME: 1 minute

  • COOK TIME: 2.5 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 3

  • DIFFICULTY: EASY

Ingredients

  • 2/3 c rolled oats

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 

  • 1 tbsp nut butter

  • 1 tbsp water

  • pinch of salt

ADD INS

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla for flavour

  • 1/2 tsp spices such as cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, seeds or coconut flakes


ONE-BOWL TAHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

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These Chocolate Chip Tahini Vegan Muffins come together in just 20 minutes, in ONE bowl using only 8 wholesome ingredients! They’re moist and fluffy in texture and have notes of roasted tahini infused into them. They make for a perfect on the go breakfast or snack! (vegan, & free of: refined sugar, dairy, nuts, oil, gluten)

We all need a lil’ bit (or a lot) of muffins in our life right? Right. Well, do I have a muffin recipe for you! These are the BEST DANG TAHINI MUFFINS EVER because they not only are fluffy, moist and soft just how muffins should be- but they’re studded with delicious morsels of semi sweet rich chocolate! Tahini is like the adult, more sophisticated version of peanut butter. Peanut butter chocolate? Yes. TAHINI chocolate? HECK YES. These two flavours pair so fabulously together, I’m guilty of dipping my chocolate bars into a jar of drippy tahini… anyone else?

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This easy recipe consists of only 8 ingredients that go into one bowl.

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Mix. Mix. Fold. Mix. Then scoop them into some muffin tins.

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Into the oven it goes for around 12 minutes and they’re done!

Here’s why I LOVE these Tahini Chocolate Chip Muffins so much (and why I think you should make them too 😉):

  • they’re vegan, dairy, gluten & nut free

  • made in one bowl (hey, less clean up)

  • made within 20 minutes

  • only 8 plant based simple ingredients

  • healthier than any muffin bought at the shops

  • fluffy, soft and moist

  • studded with rich semi sweet chocolate chips

  • make-ahead & freezer friendly

  • & perfect to take on the go for breakfast or as a snack

Are you convinced on making these muffins? Lets go!

Tips and Tricks to making this Tahini Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

  • Use overripe bananas! They have natural sweetness & give the muffins more moisture. The more spotty the tastier. Adjust the amount of maple syrup based on ripeness.

  • Use runny tahini as this gives the muffin more moisture along with the bananas.

  • Be gentle when mixing the batter! How much & how long you mix the mixture for will effect the overall outcome of the muffins. Over mixing might lead to tough, dense and flat muffins. Fold the mixture, just enough so that everything is incorporated.

  • Make these for meal prep & freeze them for maximal freshness! Just thaw them out the night before or when you wake up so that they’re defrosted by the time its breakfast/snack time.

  • If you have any food allergies, sub the tahini for sunflower butter or any nut/seed butter of your choice! They can be *insert name of nut/seed butter here chocolate chip muffins* and still be delicious :)

  • Toast these muffins if you have time! The chocolate chips get melty and spread around the muffin- SO GOOD.

  • Need more muffin recipes? I GOT YOU check out my protein banana muffins and pumpkin spiced muffins!

·            

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If you recreate these Tahini Chocolate Chips Muffins please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.

  2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl and stir in the tahini, maple syrup, vinegar and vanilla.

  3. Next, add in your oat flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Mix gently, in folding motions. *don’t over mix, as it will yield dense & chewy muffins!

  4. Divide into 8 muffin tins.

  5. Place them into the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Drop the temperature to 400F and bake to 12-14 minutes (keeping on eye on the last 2 minutes). Check my inserting a toothpick, it should come out clean!

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 8 muffins

  • PREP TIME: 8 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 12 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 8

  • DIFFICULTY: Easy

Ingredients

  • 3 Bananas (1 & 1/3c or 300g)

  • 1/4 c tahini

  • 1/4c  maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla  

  • 1 tsp vinegar

  • 1 c + 1/3 c gluten gluten free out flour (215g)

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/3 c chocolate chips

  • ½ tsp salt

     


Chocolate Espresso Granola (vegan)

This Chocolate Espresso Granola is vegan & oil free. With just 9 ingredients, whip up this super crunchy, cluster packed granola with robust rich flavours of coffee and subtle sweetness of chocolate. The perfect breakfast or snack to make ahead of tim and take with you on the go!

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Who else is a morning person? I absolutely love waking up early, doing my usual morning routine and getting ready for the rest of the day. My productive mornings are always accompanied with a cup of hot coffee. I take mine black or with a bit (or a lot on special days) soy milk or dairy-free creamer. After the usual duties, I move on to breakfast- which almost ALWAYS consists of granola. Store bought granola is great, but ever since I learned to make my own I rarely ever buy granola because 1. Its WAY cheaper to make it yourself  2. Its soooo easy to make and takes like no time at all really 3. The flavor combinations are endless! You can add your favorite base ingredients and change up the flavors every time.

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If you’ve never tried making your own granola, what are you waiting for?!?! There are tons of granola recipes out there, so here’s one more to add to your list of granolas to make: CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO GRANOLA. This granola is So. Dang. Good. Crunchy. Clustery. Flavourful. Rich. Sweet and Savory? YES. And by the way, it’s only 9 ingredients ;)

If it is your first time making granola, let me lay out how easy it is: Mix wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients. Spread on a tray. Bake flipping half way. Cool & store. & thats it!

I personally love clusters in granola, it just takes it to the next level. There are several ways you can make granola such as adding little dollops of a liquid sweetener to the tray, pressing your granola or (like in this recipe) adding chocolate chips after the granola has been baked, letting them melt in stirring gently a couple times and letting the chocolate harden again.

Granola is one of the best things to know how to make because it’s such a meal-prep friendly food and you can easily take it with you on the go for breakfast or a snack. Plus, granola is a perfect topper for smoothie bowls, banana ice cream, yogurt bowls, on toast, cooked oats… etc. Or you can eat it like cereal with some creamy plant based milk or even on its own… it’s such a versatile food!

I really hope you make this Chocolate Espresso Granola & love it as much as I do because it is:

  • vegan friendly

  • only 9 plant based simple ingredients 

  • customizable, and can be made nut-free

  • budget & make ahead friendly

  • crispy, chocolatey and smells like coffee!!

  • snackable ;)

  • & super tasty over smoothie bowls, yogurt bowls or even on its own!

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If you recreate this Chocolate Espresso Granola, please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.

  2. Mix maple syrup, espresso shot, vanilla extract, salt and cacao powder until well combined.

  3. Add in the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, nuts and salt and mix until everything is evenly coated.

  4. Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes (or until crisp), rotating the tray and mixing the granola half way.

  5. Take it out of the oven and toss in the chocolate chips and mix the granola. This will allow the chocolate chips to melt and make clusters. Once fully cooled, store in air tight container.

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 5-6

  • PREP TIME: 8 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 25 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 9

  • DIFFICULTY: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c maple syrup

  • 1 shot espresso

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 3 c oats

  • 1/4 c large flaked coconut

  • 1/4 c pumpkin seeds (or seeds of choice)

  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts (or nuts of choice)

  • 1/3 c chocolate chips

  • ¾ tsp salt


The BEST Vegan Cheese Sauce

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The BEST Vegan Cheese Sauce… it’s truly magical. Made with simple plant based ingredients, this vegan cheese sauce is multi-purpose and makes up for fast & easy meals. (vegan & gluten free)

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Here it is folks, the BEST Vegan Cheese Sauce that I have been raving so much about. It’s creamy, silky, thick… & tastes so cheesy- it’s truly a crowd pleasing sauce. It’s better than the ones I used to buy at the store because it doesn’t have the strange artificial flavour to it. What I love about it the most is how multi-purpose it is! It goes well with everything- and I mean everything.

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It starts off with 7 simple plant based ingredients with 5 spices.

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And then all there is to it is cooking up a sweet potato, soaking some cashews and throwing it all into a blender. Now you have a sauce that you can use for snacks and meals!

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This is a great sauce for mac and cheese or throwing some over regular tomato pasta (*it tastes fantastic cold, so it can be used in pasta salad too!). It’s also a great spread in sandwiches and wraps. Oh and the perfect condiment to dip fries, nachos, bread sticks and so much more!! I’ll be coming out with a couple recipes using this sauce so stay tuned 😉.

I really hope you make this Cheese Sauce & love it as much as I do because it is:

  • vegan friendly

  • dairy & gluten free

  • only 12 plant based simple ingredients 

  • multi-purpose

  • way healthier than store bought cheese sauce

  • super simple, easy & fast to make

  • make-ahead friendly

  • & totally a magical crowd pleaser

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If you recreate this AMAZING cheese sauce and use it in a dish please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Cook up the sweet potato either in the microwave, baked or boiled.

  2. Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.

  3. Use immediately or transfer into a mason jar or airtight container. It will last in the fridge up to one week.

Notes: 

  • SERVINGS: 1.5 cups

  • PREP TIME: <10 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 5 mins

  • INGREDIENTS: 12

  • DIFFICULTY: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c cashews (soaked)*

  • 1.5 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tsp miso paste

  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 lemon juiced

  • 2/3 c almond milk

  • 1 small sweet potato (1/2 c cooked)

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp tumeric

  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard (or 1 tsp regular mustard)

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • salt and pepper to taste

*sub sunflower seeds if nut allergy

 

BLUEBERRY BUTTERSCOTCH FLAPJACK SQUARE

These Blueberry Butterscotch Flapjacks are soft and sweet with bursts of juicy tartness. They make the perfect meal prep & on the go breakfast. With just 10 simple ingredients you can make breakfast ahead of time to save you those extra few minutes in the morning! (vegan, dairy free, oil free & refined sugar free)

During the summer I took full advantage of the cheap & juicy berries and made tons of delicious recipes. I’m finally here to share my favourite one of all: BUTTERSCOTCH BLUEBERRY FLAPJACK SQUARES!

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Have you heard of flapjacks before? My sister came back from the UK so I was curious as to the types of food they have there. They’re essential oat bars, but in North America *apperently* people use Flapjacks and Pancakes interchangeably… they are quite different though haha.

You can use your favourite berries for these, I just find the sweet butterscotch sauce pairs so well with the subtle tart blueberries and love that they’re like little bubbles of sweet juice to burst open with each bite. Fresh berries are always best, but I have tested these with frozen berries and they work great too!

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Just look at that oat base, berries gushing with juice surrounded by gooey butterscotch sauce with a crumbly crisped topping… its so good. PLUS these bars make the perfect on-the-go, make ahead breakfast or snack!

I hope you make these Blueberry Butterscotch Flapjack Squares & love them as much as I do because they are:

  • vegan friendly

  • dairy free

  • only 10 plant based ingredients 

  • way healthier than store bought flapjacks and oat bars

  • simple & easy to make

  • perfect as a on the go breakfast or snack

  • make-ahead friendly

  • easily adaptable to be made gluten & nut free

  • & SO crumbly and berry-licious

Lastly, here is a video tutorial of how I made it AND 4 other make-ahead breakfast recipes if you’re interested!

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If you make these awesome Blueberry Butterscotch Flapjack Squares please do share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

  2. Add the blueberries, corn starch, lemon juice & butter scotch sauce in one bowl and mix until corn starch is dissolved and blueberries are coated

  3. In another bowl mix in the oats, oat flour, mashed banana, nut butter, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until well combined.

  4. Reserve 1/4 of the oat mixture and set aside, and then take the rest of the mixture and transfer over into a lined load pan pressing down and spreading it evenly.

  5. Pour over the blueberry butterscotch mixture and then crumble the remaining oat mixture on top.

  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating half way and until the tops are golden brown.

  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Once completely cooled, cut them into squares or your shape/size of choice. Store in a airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

 

Ingredients

  • ½ c blueberries,

  • ½ tbsp corn starch

  • ½ juice lemon

  • 2 tbsp vegan butterscotch sauce

  • 3.5 cups rolled oats (1.5 c blended into oat flour OR 2 c oats & 1 c store bough oat flour)

  • ½ mashed banana (approx. 80 g)

  • 1/2c + 1.5 tbsp peanut butter*

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Pinch salt

Notes: 

SERVINGS: 6-8

PREP TIME: <10 minutes

COOK TIME: 20 mins

INGREDIENTS: 11

DIFFICULTY: Easy

* sub any kind of nut or seed butter if allergic to nuts!

Baked Vegan Cheesecake (nut-free!)

BAKED VEGAN NUT FREE CHEESECAKE

Baked Vegan Cheesecake! Rich & creamy with a crumbly crust. Unlike most vegan cheesecake recipes, it doesn't contain any cashews so its lower in fat and totally nut free!

BAKED VEGAN CHEESECAKE NUT FREE
BAKED VEGAN CHEESECAKE NUT FREE

YOU GUYSSS!! I am so excited to finally share this recipe with you. I have tested this recipe so many times because I LOVED cheesecake when I was younger (despite my lactose intolerance) and wanted to get the right balance of flavours and textures. After some time in the kitchen, I finally got it down (if I do say so myself ;)). 

BAKED VEGAN CHEESECAKE NUT FREE
BAKED VEGAN CHEESECAKE NUT FREE

Most vegan cheesecake recipes that I have seen use a ton of nuts, in particular cashews. Now I have nothing against cashews, I mean I love cashews but they can get expensive and a ton of nuts at once don't seem to sit well in my stomach. I was playing around with my Tofu "Yogurt" recipe and added some maple syrup and lemon... and it oddly really reminded me of the flavour of cheesecake. Then I saw a cheesecake recipe using yogurt in a food magazine I happened to be browsing when waiting for my appointment at the dentist. 

BAKED VEGAN NUT FREE CHEESECAKE

My first attempt was just baking some blended tofu, lemon juice, sweetener and flour over a graham cracker crust and it was meh. There was a ton of flavour elements still missing so I went back to the drawing board and did a little research. I ended up deciding to add in more lemon juice for tang, nutritional yeast for a cheesy note, miso paste for a hint of savoury and my favourite ingredient that I think ties this cheesecake together: sake kasu (aka sake paste).

BAKED VEGAN NUT FREE CHEESECAKE

Now, I know sake paste is not the most easiest ingredient to find but I highly recommend you to check the asian grocery store the next time you're there. You can totally skip the sake paste if you can't find it or want to keep it alcohol free but it does add a depth of flavour to the cheesecake which I personally love. 

BAKED VEGAN NUT FREE CHEESECAKE

As a final touch, decorate and enjoy this cheesecake with some coconut cream and fruit! They pair magically with this cheesecake giving it more decadency and freshness. 

BAKED VEGAN NUT FREE CHEESECAKE

I hope you make this vegan cheesecake & love them as much as I do because it's:

  • vegan & vegetarian friendly 
  • nut free
  • low in fat without compromising flavour 
  • only 8 ingredients 
  • simple & easy to make
  • & so light, creamy and satisfying 
BAKED VEGAN NUT FREE CHEESECAKE

If you make this delicious vegan cheese cake please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Ingredients

  • 3.5 tbsp (50g) vegan butter
  • 7 rectangle (100g) honey-free graham crackers  
  • 2.5 cups 600g soft tofu (pressed 400g)
  • 1 tbsp miso paste 
  • 3.5 tbsp (50g) sake paste (optional but highly recommended if you can get your hands on it) 
  • 1/3 cup (100g) maple syrup (or white sugar, which will yield a white-er cheesecake) 
  • 4 tbsp AP flour
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast 
  • 2.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla 

Notes

  • Prep time: 15 minutes 
  • Bake time: 1 hour
  • Rest time: Over night 
  • Makes 6-8 servings 

 

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 C  (350 F)
  2. meanwhile, in a food processor, process the crackers until fine then add the vegan butter until incorporated. In a lined cheesecake pan press the crust down flat evenly 
  3. blend pressed tofu, miso paste, sake paste, maple syrup, lemon juice, flour and vanilla into a high speed blender until smooth and then pour it over the crust 
  4. place into the oven and bake for 1 hour 
  5. let it cool and sit over night 
  6. serve with your choice of toppings! (whip cream goes amazingly) 

Dairy-free Balsamic Roasted Cherry Ice Cream (NO-CHURN!)

Dairy Free Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice cream (NO CHURN)

This Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice Cream is bursting with juicy roasted cherries enveloped in a creamy vanilla ice cream. With only 6 simple plant based ingredients, you can prepare a cool summer treat that will blow your taste buds away! Vegan, gluten free, dairy-free & nut free.

Dairy Free Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice cream (NO CHURN)
Dairy Free Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice cream (NO CHURN) 4

Cherry season has been poppin' this summer! I wanted to take advantage of the amazing price for a bag of these gems and make a dessert. I have been craving ice cream so much and remembered how much I loved cherry in my ice cream. 

Dairy Free Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice cream (NO CHURN)

Now I could have just pit, froze and blended them up with a couple bananas and called it a day but I didn't think it would do the plump sweet and tart cherries justice. I wanted to bring out the flavours more. Truth me told, I decided to choose balsamic as my umami flavour because I passed by an aisle where someone had accidentally dropped a bottle and I was surrounded by the smell.

Dairy Free Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice cream (NO CHURN)

I have seen fruits being roasted in balsamic and balsamic over some fruity salads so I had high hopes... and WHALA! Out of the freezer came a creamy dreamy ice cream bursting with robust flavours of cherry with a hint of umami. Yum. 

Dairy Free Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice cream (NO CHURN)

I hope you make this Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice-cream & love it as much as I do because its:

  • vegan friendly 
  • gluten, nut & dairy free
  • made with only 6 ingredients 
  • healthy & refreshing
  • packed with flavour 
  • simple & easy to make
  • amazingly smooth and creamy
  • perfect for a summer treat
Dairy Free Balsamic Cherry Roasted Ice cream (NO CHURN)

If you make this recipe please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 450 F

  2. Place whole cherries on a pan and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, remove the seeds and toss in balsamic vinegar and place back into oven for additional 8-10 minutes. Let it cool and set aside.

  3. In to a blender add in the coconut cream, frozen bananas, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.

  4. Pour in a bread loaf pan stirring in cooled roasted cherries.

  5. Place that into the freezer mixing every 20 minutes for the first hour and then letting it freeze for at least 4 hours 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole cherries
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/4 PURE coconut cream or 1/2 c canned coconut cream*
  • 3-4 frozen bananas
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Notes

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Oven time: 15-20 minutes
  • Freezing time: 5-6 hours 
  • Makes 4 servings 
  • * I like to use the brand Grace for Pure Coconut Cream and Thai Kitchen or Aroy-D full fat canned coconut milk
 
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Vegan Matcha Buns with Sweet Red Bean Filling (Matcha Anpan)

These Matcha Buns are filled with Sweet Red Bean Paste and are a popular choice in every Japanese bakery. They're the perfect treat for breakfast or even as a snack! 

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Happy Friday friends! I thought today would be the perfect day to *finally* share the Matcha Bun recipe I have been teasing some of you with on my instagram story. Matcha buns aka Anpan is a classic Japanese soft bun pastry filled with sweet red bean paste. 

If you've never tried the flavour combination of slightly bitter matcha and sweetness of red bean paste, then you gotta... they are like the asian pairing of peanut butter and chocolate!

I know when people think if making buns it seems tedious, laborious, a lot of work and time consuming but these bund come together surprisingly quick. Most of the time is allotted to letting it rise, but if you have a warm kitchen they will be done in no time. 

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I hope you make these Matcha Buns with Sweet Red Bean Paste & love them as much as I do because they're:

  • vegan & vegetarian friendly 
  • soft, airy and fluffy
  • perfect for on the go 
  • able to be made ahead of time
  • quick and easy to make 
  • & so very delicious 

If you make these tasty Red Bean Filled Matcha Buns  please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Add all ingredients (except red bean paste) into your bread maker and let it knead on bread setting (approx 1 hour)
  2. Punch down to dough, take it out and divide into 9 pieces (use a scale)
  3. Using your fingers, knead them into balls. Cover with wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes
  4. Mean while, form your red bean paste into balls (around 1oz/2 tbsp each) and top with walnut pieces
  5. Roll out the sides of the matcha buns leaving the middle slightly elevated and place a red bean paste ball in the middle. Wrap it with the dough and pinch at the top to close.
  6. Flatten the bun gently and make incisions on the side with a knife and top with walnut pieces
  7. Cover with wrap and let it sit for 20-30 minutes (depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the hotter it is the less time it will take and the colder it is the longer it will take. It should double in size) 
  8. Place them into your pre-heated oven at 350 for 15 minutes
  9. Let them cool & enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 300g bread flour
  • 20 g sugar
  • 225 soy milk
  • 10g matcha powder
  • 4g yeast
  • 30 g vegan butter
  • 250g red bean paste (adzuki/anko) 
  • optional: walnuts 

Notes

  • Prep time: 15 minutes 
  • Rising time: 30-40 minutes 
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes 
  • Makes 9 Buns
  • You can make your own red bean paste filling or find them at asian grocery stores
 
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Pineapple Coconut Panna Cotta (vegan

VEGAN PINEAPPLE COCONUT PANA COTTA

This Coconut Pineapple Panna Cotta recipe is a perfect light and refreshing dessert. It's fruity, creamy & delicious! 

VEGAN PINEAPPLE COCONUT PANA COTTA

How are you enjoy your summer so far? The weather has been all over the place here in Toronto, but despite the shine or gloomy days I'm always in the mood for dessert after a long day. I have been loving fresh and cold desserts like ice cream, frozen yogurt, fruit sorbets and yep- pana cotta! Have you tried pana cotta before? If you answered no, then this might end up being your new go-to summer dessert.

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Pana cotta is a chilled Italian dessert traditionally made with gelatin and heavy cream but it can easily be made allergen-free and vegan by swapping out those two ingredients with agar and coconut milk. 

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The beauty of pana cotta is that it requires only a few simple ingredients and can be made ahead of time. Plus, it's pretty hard to mess up which is what I love about this dessert. Full proof for any occasion & a definite crowd pleaser! 

If you prefer a even lighter pana cotta, you can swap the full fat coconut milk for a light version or even regular plant based milk! I have tried it all three ways and it is still satisfying and tastes wonderful. 

VEGAN PINEAPPLE COCONUT PANA COTTA

I hope you make this Coconut Pineapple Pana Caotta & love them as much as I do because they're:

  • vegan & vegetarian friendly 
  • gluten, gelatin & dairy free
  • healthy & refreshing
  • the perfect dessert on a hot day 
  • simple & easy to make
  • & oh so creamy and decadent  
VEGAN PINEAPPLE COCONUT PANA COTTA

If you make this super refreshing pana cotta please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Blend the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla into the blender
  2. Pour a little over 1/2 of the mixture into the small sauce pan and whisk 1/2 tsp of agar on medium heat until a gentle simmer. Be sure to stir consistently for around 5 minutes until the agar is diluted and becomes slightly thick. 
  3. Pour into 3-4 glass jars evenly and let it cool in the fridge. 
  4. Meanwhile, blend the remaining mixture with the pineapple, and repeat step #2
  5. Pour the mixture in the glass jars once the coconut base is set & place back in the fridge until firm. 
  6. Stop with strawberry sauce & enjoy :)

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (13.5oz)
  • 120-150g pineapple, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla pod, scrapped (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2-3 slivers of lemon skin
  • 1 tsp agar 
  • optional: strawberry sauce

Notes

  • Total time: 1 hour
  • Makes 3 servings 

 

 

Frozen Banana Pops: Chocolate Maple Peanut Butter & Butterscotch Almond

vegan banana pops

These Frozen Banana Pops make a healthy and easy snack or dessert! With just one ingredient and a couple of your favourite combination of toppings, you'll have your favourite treat right at your fingertips. 

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Summer is coming in at full swing which means frozen desserts are essential. While I do love to enjoy some delicious store bought vegan ice cream, they can be overpriced and quite processed. By making my own frozen treats, I know exactly whats in them and they don't flatten my wallet 😂

vegan banana pops
vegan banana pops

So have you tried frozen bananas before? For a long time, I thought it was so odd despite my obsession with banana ice cream... until I finally gave it a try. They are a TOTALLY different texture than raw bananas and become this creamy dreamy melt in your mouth bomb of deliciousness. And then with the other flavours of melty chocolate, sweet butterscotch caramel and the texture of the crunchy almonds.... yes. 

What I also love about frozen banana pops is that the topping and flavour combination are endless and I can have something new everyday! However, my favourite has to be the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and some kind of caramel sauce (in this case, butterscotch). I think chocolate is an essential to frozen banana pops, but of course you can use some vegan yogurt to drizzle as well. What are your favourite flavour combinations with frozen bananas? 

vegan banana pops
vegan banana pops

I hope you try making some Frozen Banana Pops & love them as much as I do because they're:

  • vegan & vegetarian friendly 
  • gluten & dairy free
  • healthy & refreshing
  • the perfect afternoon pick me up on hot summer days
  • cheap
  • customizable to satisfy anyones favourite combination of flavours 
  • fast & easy to make
vegan banana pops

If you make these delicious frozen banana pops please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Slice banana's into halves and poke them with cake pop sticks or popsicle sticks. Place them onto a metal tray and freeze for at least 2 hours. 
  2. Mix peanut butter and maple syrup together
  3. Melt chocolate chips over double boil or microwave and gather all your other topings
  4. For the peanut butter chocolate version, spread the maple peanut butter spread over and drizzle with melted chocolate. Top with coconut flakes.
  5. For the butterscotch chocolate version, drizzle melted chocolate and butterscotch over frozen bananas. Top with sliced almonds. 
  6. Place them back into the freezer for at least 1 hour. 

Ingredients

  • 3 large frozen bananas 
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (+pinch of sea salt if not salted)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3/4 c semi-sweet mini chocolate chips 
  • butterscotch sauce 
  • sliced almonds
  • flaked coconut 

Notes

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Freeze Time: 2-3 hours but best over night 
  • Makes 6 servings 
 

Almond Jelly (vegan)

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Almond Jelly is a refreshing, light and healthy dessert made with just 6 ingredients- perfect for the summer! Vegan & gluten free. 

You GUYSSS!! Have you tried Almond Jello before? It's one of those foods thats reminiscent of my summers as a child. Traveling to Japan every summer to visit relatives, this was one of my go-to afternoon snacks to pick up at the convenient store because it's so dang refreshing. Unlike traditional jello made out of gelatin, this recipe uses Agar- the perfect vegan friendly substitute for gelatin! Agar is flavourless and colourless making it a super versatile ingredient. 

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The Almond Jelly that I used to buy came with syrup or fruit jam, but fresh fruit works perfectly as well! The flavour of almonds work perfectly with any sweet or tart fruit, and the contrast of textures from the lightly salted crunchy nuts make it even more delicious. 

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I hope you try this Almond Jelly & love them as much as I do because it's:

  • vegan & vegetarian friendly 
  • gluten & dairy free
  • healthy & refreshing
  • the perfect afternoon pick me up on hot summer days
  • fast & easy to make

If you make this refreshing Almond Jello please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients together except the agar powder. Once everything is well blended, add the agar powder in and blend for a few more seconds

  2. Transfer the mixture into a small sauce pan on medium heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes

  3. Pour the mixture into two cups equally and let it cool, and place in the fridge until it firms up 
  4. Once firm, take it out of the fridge and add your favourite toppings such as fresh fruit, jam, compote and nuts!

Ingredients

  • 100g tofu 
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp agar 
  • 3/4 c almond milk
  • optional: 1/2 tbsp lemon juice 

Notes

  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Makes 2 servings

Sesame Miso Noodle Salad

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An easy Vegan Noodle Salad with delicious refreshing vegetables all tossed in a creamy miso tahini dressing that comes together in just 15 minutes. 

Sesame Miso Soba Noodle Salad
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Summer is finally here! Which means my salad cravings begin to crawl back out. I know I just posted a Home Style Vegan Chick-un Salad Recipe, but all I'm hungry for in the summer is refreshing vegetables and fruits. But I know I need the energy from carbs to fuel my days, so my go to is always cold pasta or noodle salads. Especially when it's covered in a delicious creamy yet refreshing dressing... yes please!

Sesame Miso Soba Noodle Salad

The Sesame Miso Dressing goes well with any kind of vegetables so feel free to switch it up with your favourites! I decided to use Buckwheat Noodles aka Soba Noodles to match the Asian ingredient theme and because they're gluten-free (make sure to check the ingredient list for 100% buckwheat flour!). 

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Sesame Miso Noodle Salad  (8 of 8).jpg

I hope you give this Sesame Miso Noodle Salad a go & love them as much as I do because it's:

  • vegan & vegetarian friendly 
  • packed with a variety of vegetables 
  • gluten-free & nut free
  • tossed in a flavourful creamy dressing
  • refreshing for hot summer days 
  • so fast & easy to make 
  • perfect for meal prepping as well!
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If you make this dang good sesame miso noodle salad, please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Method

  1. Cook soba noodles according to directions & once finished rinse with cold water
  2. Thinly slice all the vegetables & dice the avocado
  3. Toss all the vegetables together in a bowl with the soba noodles
  4. Blend all dressing ingredients together
  5. Toss the salad with the dressing then add the avocado and gently toss the salad once more
  6. Serve with sesame seeds & scallions 

Ingredients

  • 2 servings 100% buckwheat/soba noodles 
  • 1 c edamame beans, unshelled 
  • 1/2 c bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 c julienned carrots
  • 1/2 c sugar snap peas 
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • Optional toppings: green onions, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes

DRESSING:

Notes

  • Total time: 15 minutes
  • Makes 2 servings
  • Dressing can be stored for up to a week separately from the salad
  • Salad can be mixed day before
  • Add in any of your favourite veggies! It also works really well with spinach, lettuce & steamed and cooled broccoli. 
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp miso 
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp water 

Homestyle Vegan "Chickun" Salad

Vegan Chicken Salad

This 9-ingredient Homestyle "Chick-un" Salad uses plenty of nutritious ingredients, packing it with plant based protein and fiber. Use it for sandwiches, wraps or even on its own for a satisfying and filling meal. Not to mention, it's perfect for meal prep and only takes 10 minutes to throw together!

Vegan Chicken Salad

Now that it's the summer time, I have been craving salads. I remember ordering Chicken Salad Sandwiches from Tim Hortons in the summer as a kid and had a sudden craving for one. Since I don't eat meat, I replaced the chicken with chickpeas which still gives the salad a bite. Plus, it's high in protein and fiber so it's actually satisfying! I like to fill my wraps and sandwiches up with this salad, but it's also great over a bed of lettuce and spinach.

Vegan Chicken Salad Wrap

This Chick-un salad has so many textures which I love. The chickpeas have a nice tender bite, the almonds give it a crunch, and the grapes and celery give it a refreshing burst of additional flavours of sweet and salty. And then on top of that, you have the delciious creamy dill dressing!

Vegan Chicken Salad

I hope you give this Vegan Chickun Salad a go & love them as much as I do because it's:

  • healthy & nutritious
  • refreshing
  • coated with a delicious flavourful dressing
  • high in protein
  • vegan & gluten free
  • super fast and easy to make
  • made in 1 bowl 
  • reminiscent of the real thing
  • & so yummy
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If you make this refreshing homestyle vegan chick-un salad, please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Ingredients

  • 2 c cooked chickpeas
  • 1 stock of celery 
  • handful of grapes
  • handful of almonds
  • 3-4 tbsp of mayo 
  • 2 tsp dijon 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried-to taste)
  • juice of 1/4 of lemon
  • sald and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Mash chickpeas with a fork
  2. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix until everything is coated

Notes

  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Makes 2-4 servings
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 days

3 Adaptogenic Superfood Bliss Balls

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Take your bliss ball game up a notch by adding in nourishing adaptogens and super foods! These tender delicious snack balls are packed with nutritious ingredients providing you with ample amounts of energy and other immunity boosting benefits.

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Adaptogenic Superfood Bliss Balls (5 of 17).jpg

Adaptogens & superfoods are ALL the rage right now. My feed is always flooded with drinks with adaptogens and recipes with superfoods. I must admit, it took me a bit of time to jump on the adaptogen bandwagon- because mushrooms in my drink?? But once I tried it, I never turned back and it has become a part of my morning ritual to include adaptogens and superfoods into my morning beverages! But sometimes, when I’m in a rush I forget to add these magical ingredients so I decided to experiment with some bliss balls. I was inspired by my three favourite drinks to have in the morning & evening: matcha, tumeric & cacao lattes and transformed them into bliss balls for an easy, on the go indulgence. They came out perfectly and have 2-3 everyday and I think it’s safe to say I’m slightly addicted to them.  

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the benefits of each adaptogen & superfood:

Matcha: high in antioxidants, helps relax/calm the mind and increase energy

Chaga: helps with anxiety & stress, protects immune system

Moringa: reduce inflammation in body, protects the liver, regulate blood sugar levels & helps with digestion

Turmeric: anti-inflammatory, manage pain & immune system

Lucuma: maintain healthy skin & digestion

He wo shu: detoxifies liver & kidneys

Cacao: high in magnesium & antioxidants and can help with hormonal balance

Maca: high in antioxidants, increase energy and improve & maintain healthy hormonal balance

Cordyceps: maintain healthy liver and kidneys

As for the brands I use for my adaptogens and super foods, I really like: sunpotion, encha, simply organic & navita organics!

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I hope you try these adaptogenic superfood bliss balls & love them as much as I do because they are:

  • Packed with nourishing, energizing and immune boosting ingredients
  • Fast and easy to make
  • Vegan
  • Tender
  • Satisfying
  • A perfect make-ahead snack (meal prep!)
  • & so so tasty!

If you make any of these adaptogenic bliss balls, please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

MATCHA CALMING BITES

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Ingredients

  • 1 c dates (120g) 
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds 
  • 4 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1/3 oat flour
  • 2 tbsp matcha
  • 1 tbsp chaga
  • 1/2 tbsp moringa
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional: 2 tbsp coconut flakes 

Method

  1. 'Add all ingredients except coconut flakes into a food processor & blend until smooth (add 1 tbsp of water at a time if needed until a sticky dough forms) 
  2. Roll into balls, around 1 oz each
  3. Optional: roll in coconut flakes

CACAO ENERGY BALANCING BITES

Adaptogenic Superfood Bliss Balls (10 of 17).jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 c dates (120g)
  • 1/3 c oat flour
  • 1/3 c almond butter 
  • 1/4 c almond meal 
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maca powder
  • 1 tbsp cordyceps 
  • 1/2 tsp cinammon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
Adaptogenic Superfood Bliss Balls (9 of 17).jpg

Method

  1. 'Add all ingredients except cacao nibs into a food processor & blend until smooth (add 1 tbsp of water at a time if needed until a sticky dough forms) 
  2. Pulse in cacao nibs
  3. Roll into balls, around 1 oz each

GOLDEN GLOW BITES

Adaptogenic Superfood Bliss Balls (8 of 17).jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 c dates (120g)
  • 1/4 c cashew butter 
  • 4 tbsp coconut butter 
  • 1.5 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 1 tbsp he wo shu powder
  • 1/3 c oat flour
  • 1-1.5 tbsp ground tumeric 
  • 1 tsp cinammon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper 
  • pinch of salt 
Adaptogenic Superfood Bliss Balls (7 of 17).jpg

Method

  1. 'Add all ingredients  into a food processor & blend until smooth (add 1 tbsp of water at a time if needed until a sticky dough forms) 
  2. Roll into balls, around 1 oz each
Adaptogen Superfood Blissballs.png
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