Vegan Maple Pumpkin Corn Bread

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This Vegan Maple Pumpkin Corn Bread is a super moist and fluffy. It’s a crowd pleasing delicious seasonal twist on regular corn bread and it only made with 9 simple ingredients! (Vegan, gluten free & oil free)

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My first ever cornbread I had was a maple pumpkin cornbread at a small vegan restaurant in my first year of university, which truly inspired today’s recipe share. It was absolutely delicious. Moist, fluffy, cakey and a little sweet- the perfect combination. I ate it slathered in vegan butter and maple syrup but it was the perfect thing to dip my savoury meals into too! Once the restaurant closed, I was so determined to re-create their recipe. It took a couple trials for me to get the right consistency and taste, but I finally got the right ratios of ingredients and super happy with how they came out!

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It’s only 9 simple ingredients and you can totally adjust the amount of sweetness depending on what you’re going for! I personally prefer it on it’s own with some vegan butter and a drizzle of maple syrup but it’s the perfect side for any savoury stews or soups too!

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Why I know you’ll LOVE this Vegan Maple Pumpkin Corn Bread! It:

  • is slightly sweet from the maple and savoury from the pumpkin

  • is moist and fluffy on the inside

  • has a crispy exterior

  • is super easy to make

  • can be paired with sweet or savoury dishes

  • is vegan friendly

  • is gluten free

  • is oil free

  • & makes the most holiday flavour packed corn bread ever!!

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Tips and Tricks to making Vegan Maple Pumpkin Corn Bread

  • before transferring in the buttermilk, be sure it’s thickened up, or else it will change the texture of the corn bread

  • sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin spice so no clumps form and for an even batter

  • for a sweeter corn bread, increase maple syrup by 2 tablespoons

  • enjoy with vegan butter and more maple syrup or chili (it’s best eaten warm)!

  • if heating it up, place a damp paper towel over the corn bread and microwave for a few seconds to hold it's moisture

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If you recreate this Vegan Maple Pumpkin Corn Bread 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

  •  1 c soy milk (200ml)

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 

  • 1 c corn meal (165g)

  • 1 c gluten free flour blend (120g)

  • 3/4 c pumpkin puree

  • 2-4 tbsp maple  (40g)

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice

  • 1/2 tsp salt

     


Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350c

  2. Whisk together the soy milk and ACV to create dairy-free butter milk

  3. In the meantime, into a large bowl mix together the pumpkin puree with the maple syrup, and then add in the cornmeal, gluten free flour blend, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix

  4. Stir in the buttermilk and mix until batter forms

  5. Line a 8x8 inch baking tin and scrape the batter inside and spread evenly across the tin

  6. Place into the oven for 30 minutes, and once it’s done take it out and enjoy!

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 9 pieces (8x8 inch pan)

  • PREP TIME: 10 minutes

  • COOK TIME: 30 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 9

  • DIFFICULTY: EASY

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Vegan Bun Chay (Vietnamese Noodle Salad)

Vegan Bun Chay

This Vegan Bun Chay has a base of tender rice noodles, with lemongrass tofu, pickled carrots and radishes, fresh vegetables, roasted peanuts, fresh herbs and dressed with a salty-sour-tangy dressing, A fresh and comforting meal in just 20 minutes.

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Happy November! It’s been raining all week and I am so over the cold dark weather already. When it’s dark out my heart either craves a steamy hot bowl of soup or something colourful and fresh. Total polar opposites, I know but my theory is that when its dark outside, my eyes just want to see some bright colourful things. But, I also don’t want to be eating a cold light salad. So this is where my huge cravings for Bun Chay come in. Bun Chay is a warm, but fresh noodle salad from Vietnamese cuisine.

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Whats inside Bun Chay? First, we start with some tender rice noodles as the base. Then choose your favourite protein and marinade (my favourite is my lemongrass marinade) and pan fry it to it becomes crispy and caramelized. Add in some pickled carrots and radishes along with your favourite fresh vegetables. Make a dressing that is tangy and salt and let the rice noodles soak it up! Lastly, to take it to up a notch, throw in some crushed roasted peanuts and fresh herbs like cilantro, mint or thai basil. If you like spicy, you can add in some thai red chilis too but be warned… they’re SPICY.

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I only know one place that offers vegan bun chay because it typically includes chicken broth and fish sauce, so when I tried to make it at home and it came out this good, it become a weekly craving. I love to load my bowl with vegetables. Everything about this bowl is absolute deliciousness because of all the different flavours and textures. This dish tastes so complex, in the best way possible yet to easy to make.

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Are you convinced to try Vegan Bun Chay Yet? 😉I hope so, because this Vegan Bun Chay is:

  • comforting, with tons of lively intense flavours

  • loaded with fresh vegetables and is customizable

  • a healthy and satisfying meal

  • meal prep friendly

  • and SO DELICIOUS!

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Tips and Tricks to making Vegan Bunchay

  • Press the tofu before marinating, this will allow more flavours to soak up.

  • When cooking the tofu, allow each side to caramelize on a lower heat so they become crispy.

  • DON’T OVER COOK YOUR NOODLES! Once their tender enough to bite into, quickly rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process.

  • Pour over the dressing and let the noodles soak up the dressing (SO GOOD!)

  • For a DIY quick fish sauce: Soak 2 dried shiitake mushrooms in 1/4 c of hot water for 20 minutes. Then combine: 2 c water, 2 cloves grated garlic cloves, 1.5 tbsp peppercorns, ¼ c soy sauce, 1 tsp kombu dashi powder and the shiitake mushroom liquid.

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If you recreate this Vegan Bun Chay 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. Take the tofu out of the package and press out excess liquid. In a shallow container dish, combine the tofu and marinade. Let it soak for 1 hour-overnight.

  2. For the pickled carrots and radish, slice the carrots and radish into match sized sticks. Nuke the carrots and radish for 1 minute in the microwave. Combine the water, rice vinegar, sugar and salt into a glass bowl and heat until sugar is dissolved. Add in the carrots and daikon and let it pickle in the fridge.

  3. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients and mix.

  4. Once the tofu is ready to be cooked, pat the tofu dry with a paper towel. Pan fry with a little sesame oil on medium heat until slightly crispy and brown on each side, around 5 minutes per side.

  5. To make the Bun Chay bowls, add a layer of rice noodles as the base. Add on the tofu, pickled veg, and the rest of the vegetables. Serve with the dressing and herbs of choice.

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 2

  • PREP TIME: 10 minutes + marinating time

  • COOK TIME: 10 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS: 16

  • DIFFICULTY: EASY

Ingredients

TOFU: 

  • ½ lb extra firm tofu

  • 1 recipe of lemon grass marinade

PICKLED CARROTS AND RADISH

  • 2 carrots (150g)

  • 1/2 daikon (150g)

  • 1/4 c water

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1/3 c rice vinegar

DRESSING:

  • 4 tbsp lime juice

  • 4 tbsp fish sauce (See tips or replace with soy sauce)

  • 1/4 c water

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 

  • thai chili 

NOODLE BOWL:

  • 2 servings of rice noodles (around 6 oz)

  • ½ cucumber moons

  • 1 c bean sprouts

  • ½ bell pepper bell pepper

  • 2 c shredded lettuce

  • 2 spring onions, sliced

  • lime wedges

  • handful of the herbs: thai basil, mint, cilantro, chili


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.


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

     


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

 

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)
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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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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

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

Matcha Cookies (Vegan)

These Matcha Cookies are crisp on the edges and crumble apart perfectly in your mouth. They're vegan, gluten free, oil free & a delicious treat! 

Continuing my Matcha love, I am so excited to share these Matcha cookies! If you're new to Matcha, check out my Matcha Granola post to get to know this sophisticated superfood a little more and how to pick the best quality powder. 

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If you love cookies and love matcha (or is your first time trying matcha), here's why I think you'd love these cookies... they're:

  • vegan, gluten free & oil-free dairy-free
  • easy and fast to make
  • the perfect amount of matcha to taste its beautiful flavour but without the bitterness 
  • crispy on the edges and soft and crumbly toward the centre (we're talking melt-in-your-mouth)
  • perfect for an afternoon tea, snack or even dessert!

 

If you make this bomb matcha 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!

Ingredients

  • 1 c oat flour (125g) 
  • 2 tsp matcha powder (I get mine from Encha)
  • 1/3 c tahini
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp aluminium free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Optional: 4 tbsp mini chocolate chips 

Notes

  • Total time: <30 minutes
  • Makes 10-12 cookies 
  • Longer bake time yields crunchier cookies while short bake time yields softer and crumbly cookies
  • the smaller you make them, the less baking time you will need & will also yield a more crunchy cookie 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients into another. 
  3. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. 
  4. Scoop around 1.5 tbsp of dough per cookie in lined baking tray 
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes 
Vegan Matcha Cookies Pinterest
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Twice Baked Sweet Potato Boats with Spiced Almond Crumble

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These twice baked sweet potato boats are so creamy and a fun spin on the classic sweet potato casserole. Topped with the perfect spiced almond crumble that is vegan and gluten free. 

 

 

Orange sweet potatoes are one of those foods I always forget how much I like because of it's sister, Japanese Sweet Potatoes that I absolutely LOVE. But then I remember how versatile orange sweet potatoes are in terms of cooking and baking with it, and the delicious sugary-juice that oozes out after baking them. I remember making this delicious creamy sweet potato smoothie bowl a while ago, and added the same ingredients in without the banana. It was delicious. Creamy, buttery and perfectly sweet. But it was missing something, something to give it texture so I browsed through my cupboards and found the left overs of some almond meal and pecans and started assembling a crumble with the essentials: spices, brown sugar & maple syrup... and this perfect nutty, crumbly topping was born. 

Let me give you a run down of these Twice Baked Sweet Potato Boats, they are:

  • vegan, dairy free & gluten free
  • made with simple ingredients
  • SO creamy, delicious and scrumptious
  • a healthier version of the traditional sweet potato casserole
  • you can eat the crumble on its own cause its THAT addicting
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If you make these delicious lil' boats, 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 small oven roasted sweet potatoes 
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • scrape of vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1.5 tbsp almond milk
  • 3 tbsp almond meal
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 heaping tbsp raw pecans
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • optional: vegan marshmellows 

Method 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350C
  2. Scrape out the flesh of the sweet potatoes and mix in the sugar, vanilla bean, pumpkin pie spice and almond milk
  3. divide the mixture back into the potato skins
  4. In another bowl, combine the almond meal, brown sugar, maple syrup, pecans and pumpkin pie spice and then crumble over top (optionally add some marshmellows)
  5. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, until the crumble becomes golden brown and the marshmellows are lightly melted
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4-Ingredient Nutty Chocolate Balls

Nutty Chocolate Bites, these little morsels are soft, fudge-y and have the perfect balance of sweet and nutty. Made in one-bowl with just 4-ingredients, have yourself a batch of these delicious healthy treats for any occasion. Oh and yes, they are vegan, paleo and gluten-free. 

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Happy Friday! As a student, I think Friday's are the "yes, finally the weekend. party party & sleep in" type of deal... until exams start rolling in. It's that time of year again, when us students are quite literally, living in their study spots. One thing I never forget to pack with me when I travel to my study spot are snacks. I love to pack squareorganics bars, go macro barsand the good bean chickpea snacks. But I LOVE to make my own little snacks... like these delicious nutty chocolate bites for example. 

So a little ABOUT ME of these Nutty Bites

  • made with only 4 ingredients
  • made in one bowl
  • vegan, paleo, refined sugar free & gluten free
  • soft, tender, fudgey and smooth
  • bursting with nutty flavours with a settle sweetness
  • covered in rich melt-y chocolate
  • perfect study snack (or any time of day snack) 

I promise (well I really hope), these are the perfect snack to bring to your study spot. And if you don't have exams to study for, I promise (I mean, I really really hope that you think too that) it's the perfect snack to have at any time of day or occasion. :)

If you make this delicious treat, 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. In a bowl, mix the almond butter and maple syrup until well combined.
  2. Add the peanut butter flour and optional maca powder 
  3. At this time, you will want the consistency where you are able to roll them into balls with your hands (not too try or too wet). Depending on the type of almond butter used, if its at the top (tends to be more liquidy) vs the bottom of the jar (dryer), you can add more/less maple syrup. If you find it becomes too runny, add more peanut butter flour.
  4. Place them into the freezer 
  5. Meanwhile, melt down some chocolate chips
  6. Once fully melted, take out the truffles and coat with the chocolate and place back into the freezer for at least 15 minutes or until the chocolate it solid again
  7. Alternatively, you can add the chocolate chips into the truffles, roll them in some cacao powder or eat as is!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c Almond Butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Butter Flour
  • 1 tsp maca (optional)
  • 3/4c chocolate chips OR Cacao powder to roll in 

 

Fire Roasted Red Lentil Tomato Soup

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Fire Roasted Red Lentil Tomato Soup - this soup is hearty, flavourful, creamy and full of plant based protein (using a secret ingredients). Only 7 ingredients, almost instant to make and perfect for chilly evenings. Pair it with some toasted bread or top with some crunchy croutons or BBQ roasted fava beans!

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There is nothing that makes me happier during the cold than bundling up with a bowl of soup in my hands. There is just something so comforting about soup. If you live in Canada, or anywhere where winter seems to last forever… you’ll know the feeling of just wanting something warm to come home to all the time. I’m all about basic, simple ingredients and recipes that are quick and easy to make- and this recipe is just that. There is nothing more basic than taking some fire roasted tomatoes, a few other basic ingredients, some seasoning and throwing it all into a blender.

 

For me, the thing about soup is that it has to be satisfying. To do this, I love to add grains and beans to broth based soups. But for this soup, to achieve the creaminess I was looking for, I added tofu and red lentils. Tofu gives it the amazingly creamy texture while the red lentils give it the thickness and bite. I promise, this soup will keep you satisfied and if you need a little more it pairs deliciously with some cooked pasta, quinoa or rice! It’s also fantastic with some grilled cheese, ya feel me?

If you make this 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!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion sautéed
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 2 cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 block of tofu (175g)
  • 1.5 c cooked red lentils (100g dry cooked)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4-1/2 c vegetable stock 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Top with toasted BBQ Fava Beans (my favourite is from the brand Enlightened)

Method

  1. Sautee onions and garlic until caramelized 
  2. Add everything into the blender and blend on high for 1 minute
  3. Heat over the pot if desired
  4. Serve with roasted fava/chick peas and parsley 

Smokey Maple Baked Beans (Vegan!

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These Vegan Smokey Maple Baked Beans are naturally sweetened with pure Canadian maple syrup with a perfect balance of smokiness from the paprika. This dish is so easy to make and can be eaten for any meal alongside with crunchy toasty bread and on a bed of freshly streamed white rice. Packed with plant based protein, the versatility of this dish makes it perfect for weekly meal prep!

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Ever since becoming vegan, beans have hands down become my absolute favourite source of protein- I mean they can be made into anything and everything! Tofu and tempeh are both made out of beans AND you can make all sorts of snacks and desserts with beans like my crunchy maple dijon chickpeas or my high protein healthier cookie dough. Experimenting with beans is so much fun because they come in all different shapes, sizes, textures and flavours. Personally, I can eat beans just like that, maybe with a little drizzle of sriracha… mmm.

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I felt a little adventurous with my beans one day and started thinking about flavour combinations that I love: smokey, sweet and a little spicy. I recently purchased some smoked paprika and saw a little bottle of maple syrup on the counter top beside me. Perfect. That’s how I usually brain storm most of my recipes. I see a couple ingredients, use that as my base and ten go from there. In total, it took me 3 tries to really nail this sauce so I promise- if you make this recipe you won’t be disappointed!

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Why I LOVE this recipe:

  1. It’s perfect for meal prep. For me, this recipe makes 4 servings and keep well in the fridge or freezer. When reheated, it tastes just as good (if not better).
  2.  It’s versatile. I love to eat this over a bed of rice, some toast, mixed veggies, baked potatoes, pasta- really any grain of your choice.
  3.  You can use any beans of your choice! I used white kidney beans but pinto beans, red kidney beans, black eyed beans and cannellini beans beans work great as well.
  4. It’s packed with plant based protein, low in fat, satiating and really easy to make.
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If you make this 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!

Ingredients

Sautee:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper 
  • 2 15oz cans white kidney beans

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1/3 c tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning (rosemary & thyme)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 c vegetable stock 
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Drain and rinse the white kidney beans
  3. Chop your onion and bell peppers and fry them until golden brown 
  4. Meanwhile, add the sauce ingredients together into a bowl and whisk until well combined
  5. Once the onions are nicely browned, into a lined baking dish add in your sauteed vegetables, white beans and sauce in and mix until everything is well coated with the sauce
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and place into oven for 40 minutes
  7. Take off the foil and place back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes

Easy 6 Ingredient Strawberry Fudge (Vegan)

Easy Vegan Strawberry Fudge recipe, perfect for Valentines Day! They're creamy, thick and has a delicious strawberry milk flavour. Share them with your friends and family and spread the love!

Valentine's day is only a few days away and despite being single, again, for the 21'st year... I love Valentines day! It's not about being in a relationship, but showing love to everyone you care about. For me, I show the people I love and care about by making them food (usually desserts) and thats how my friends and family know I love them. 

These cute little fudgies are a perfect little treat to make your loved ones: (first can I just say again.. that they're so cute and they're pink!!) they're easy to make, take no time at all and they are so SO tasty and perfectly creamy. The feeling of my teeth sinking into this fudge is just... one of the most satisfying feelings.  

If you make these cute 'lil strawberry pink fudgies, don't forget to share it with me and everyone else on Instagram and tag me @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c cashews (130g)
  • 70ml of berries (*strawberries or strained raspberries for pink colour)
  • 2.5 tbsp coconut butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp vanilla)

Notes:

*Use strawberry puree or strained raspberries for a pink colour. Alternatively, you can use pitaya/beet root powder but you may then need to increase the amount of coconut butter. 

Method

  1. Add everything into the food processor and process until it becomes a thick paste
  2. Scoop the mixture into your choice of molds (hearts would be ideal for valentines) or into a parchment lined pan and spread evenly so there are minimal bubble gaps
  3. Place into the freezer for at least 45 minutes
  4. Once the time passes, take it out of the freezer and pop them out of the molds and enjoy!

Caramel Salted Maca Cookie Dough Bars (Vegan)

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These Salted Caramel Maca Cookie Dough Bars are no bake, vegan, grain free and gluten free! With a delicious sugary cookie dough base layered with a thick salted caramel and then finally topped with a layer of melted chocolate- these will be your new go-to treat!

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I know, I post a lot about cookie dough and my love for it. I can't help it, it's probably my most favourite dessert ever. But guys, I am so excited to share this recipe with you. 

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These bars are magical. The base is moist and when you bite down into it you get that sugary mouth feel of real cookie dough. The caramel is sweet, thick and gooey with a nice balance of sea salt. And the chocolate just pulls it all together because.. well what can't chocolate make better?

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AND... valentine's day is coming up. Valentine's day means chocolate right? Lots and lots of chocolate! If you're not in a relationship, it's all good- just make them for all the people you love and of course, yourself. I know what I'm doing on valentine's day: making a whole batch of these and watching the new episodes of Greys Anatomy ;) 

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If you make these irresistible bars, please share it with me and everyone else on Instagram and tag me @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Ingredients

Base Layer

  • 100g almond flour*
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean 
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 3 tbsp almond butter 
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt 

Caramel Layer

  • 1 c dates (160g)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla) 
  • 2 tbsp almond meal 
  • 1 tbsp maca powder 
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Chocolate Layer

  • 100g vegan chocolate chips 

Method

Base Layer

  1. Pop the coconut butter into the microwave for 10 seconds and then combine it together with the almond butter
  2. In to another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients
  3. Pour in the coconut and almond butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix it together until when you squeeze the mixture it holds together (if it's too dry, add in 1 tbsp of plant milk slowly until it starts to come together)
  4. Transfer into a parchment lined pan and press down until the base is even
  5. Pop into the freezer and move on to making your caramel layer by adding all the ingredients into a food processor and processing it until it turns into a thick paste
  6. Take out the base and spread the caramel evenly over top and then place it back into the freezer
  7. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate in the microwave or on a double boiler
  8. Once it's melted, take it out of the freezer and then layer on the chocolate over top and spread evenly and then place it back into the freezer for 30 minutes
  9. Once the time passes, pop it out of the freezer and cut them into desired slices and enjoy!