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Hi, I'm Elyse. Poke around the site to see the results of my explorations in vegan cooking  often inspired by local, seasonal, organic produce.


You can search for recipes by dietary category, ingredient, meal type, etc by clicking the "Recipe Index" tab.  Or simply browse by picture by clicking the ones to my left which take you to each recipe category!


Thanks for visiting!

Yes, this is a VEGAN blog!  And this is my cat Luna (which is short for Lunatic).  Despite this picture of a cat in a stock pot, all the recipes on this site are free of any animal products.  That includes poultry, red meat, fish, cheese, dairy, eggs...and cats.


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April 15, 2014


Primal Spirit Foods - Vegan Jerky Review

Primal Spirit Foods is a wonderful company that caters to vegetarians and vegans looking for alternatives to meat products.  The brand makes excellent tasting meatless jerky strips and guarantees that their all natural products are GMO free, preservative free, vegan & kosher, zero cholesterol, and have no artificial ingredients or colors.

I loved each and every flavor I tried and was thrilled to see the high protein content for such a low calorie snack. The strips come in between 70 and 130 calories and are all very low in fat, so you don't need to worry about these snacks packing on the pounds.  I tried all six flavors available: Teriyaki, Texas BBQ, Mesquite Lime, Hot & Spicy, Hickory Smoked, and Thai Peanut.  My favorites were the Hot & Spicy, Hickory Smoked, and Thai Peanut...though it's tough to say I chose favorites!  Kendall sampled them as well and he loved the Teriyaki, Texas BBQ, and Hot & Spicy.

These snacks certainly came in handy during our recent trip to Puerto Rico.  I was expecting a pig-eaters-paradise  but for the most part, I was able to find veggie friendly foods.  There was only one incident where the ONLY option for me was a giant bowl of guacamole.  Since Kendall dines vegan at home with me but not necessarily when dining out or as a practice, he was able to chow on some non-veggie tacos.  Luckily for me, I had some trusty jerky strips to tide me over and munch as a nice complement to my huge bowl-o-guac! (Pictures below show me sippin' a mojito appetizer followed by our trip to the meat-mobile.  Who would have thought a food truck called "Chile Verde" would only offer guacamole for vegetarians?!).

These little strips are conveniently vacuum packed and easy to slip into a pocket, handbag, or backpack.  They are  also extremely kid friendly if you're looking to give your little one a HEALTHY snack after school.


I will be stowing these away for:



-in my car for emergency snacking

-in my desk at work for emergency snacking

-on picnics

-in my gym bag

-for trips to the beach

-for giving as a gift to my sister (I HAD been familiar with Primal Strips before writing this post, just not the wonderful array of flavors.  I once bought a case for my sister for Christmas!)

You can order these babies through Amazon, other online retailers, or find them at many natural food stores.


*Products were kindly donated for this review by Primal Spirit Foods.  You can follow them on facebook and twitter today!*


April 12, 2014

Amaranth Breakfast Pudding


Wow! It feels like an eternity since I last cooked something, let alone posted about it!  Kendall and I just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico and we’ve been eating out and being lazy while basking in the sun.


Although we had a great time, I’m happy to get back into the kitchen and into some sort of routine.  I ate WAYYY too much mofongo and fried crap during the trip and am in desperate need of a true reset in the food department (paired with a need for some butt-kicking cardio!).  I will be posting all of the details soon, so in the meantime, I pulled a recipe from my “archives” which somehow forgot to post a few months ago.


I made this parfait-like pudding for Kendall, my Dad, and I as food-fuel for a cross-country ski trip we went on this winter.  Although Spring is finally upon us, I think this makes a fabulous breakfast or dessert for any season!


If you’ve never tried amaranth, I guarantee you’ll love it.  It’s an itty-bitty grain that’s been cultivated for thousands of years.  This is another one of those super-food ancient grains you hear about like quinoa, which happens to have been a staple food for the Aztecs.  This teeny grain is full of protein and lots of vital vitamins and minerals.


I paired my amaranth with re-hydrated dry cherries, however, this pudding will work well with any fruit, whether fresh or dried.  Try out apricots, figs, dates, berries, or even coconut!


To add some additional protein I used soaked chia and hemp seeds.  These babies lend a pudding-like texture that is just sublime!  Finally, for sweetness, I used a nice spotty banana and some maple syrup for the amaranth.


Layer the various ingredients however you wish…or even mix them up as one big bowl.  Enjoy!


Amaranth Breakfast Pudding

by myveganp

Keywords: breakfast dessert gluten-free soy-free

Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings)

  • 3/4 cup amaranth
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries + water to hydrate
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3 T hemp seeds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 t cinnamon


1. Bring amaranth to a boil with the water and then reduce heat to allow to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes and check for tenderness. The amaranth will start to look somewhat translucent after cooking.

2. Once amaranth is done cooking, remove from heat and add the syrup. Set aside.

3. In a separate small bowl, add boiling water to cover the cherries to re-hydrate. Allow to sit at least 5 minutes and then drain. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, mix together the chia seeds, almond milk, and hemp seeds. Stir thoroughly for a minute, let sit 5 minutes, stir again, let sit five minutes.

5. In yet another bowl, mash the banana and add the cinnamon.

6. Once steps 1-5 are completed, you can begin to layer the ingredients like a parfait. Alternate layers of amaranth, cherries, banana, and soaked seeds in four small containers. Continue doing so until containers are full or all ingredients are distributed. Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust

by myveganp

Keywords: appetizer entree side soy-free sugar-free gluten-free

Ingredients (1 Pizza Crust)

  • 1/2 cup water mixed with 3 T flax seed meal
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower (measure after pulsing in food processor)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/3 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t fines herbs (mixture of chervil, parsley, tarragon, and chives)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Hydrate the flax seed meal in water in a small bowl. Let sit at least 5 minutes.

3. In food processor with S-shaped blade, pulse cauliflower. Measure out 1 1/2 cups after processing. Texture should be coarse and grainy.

4. In large mixing bowl, mix the almond meal, flour, salt, cayenne, and herbs. Add the cauliflower and hydrated flax and stir until fully mixed. You can use your hands if needed.

5. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread evenly. It will be very sticky and batter-like.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Remove from oven, add your pizza toppings and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until toppings are fully cooked.

8. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Spicy Sweet Potato Salad (w/Chili Powder Recipe)

by myveganp

Keywords: appetizer side entree gluten-free nut-free Mexican Southwest

Ingredients (6-8 Servings)

    Chili Powder
    • 1 T coriander
    • 1 T cumin
    • 6-7 dried Guajillo Chili peppers
    • 1 T onion flakes
    • 1 t black peppercorns
    • 2 dried California peppers
    • 2 dried Chipotle peppers
    • 4-5 Cascabel peppers
    • 2 t turmeric
    Potato Salad
    • 2 lb sweet potatoes
    • 1 15.5 oz can black beans
    • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
    • 2/3 cup vegan sour cream
    • 2 T chili powder (above recipe)
    • 1/4 t salt


    For the Chili Powder

    1. Toast the coriander and cumin in toaster oven (secure in aluminum foil during toasting) until golden brown.

    2. Add coriander, cumin, all peppers, turmeric, onion flakes and peppercorns into a blender and blender until completely pulverized and powdered.

    3. Put powder in a non-reactive, airtight container. Keeps for 1-2 months. Store in a cool, dry location.

    For the Spicy Sweet Potato Salad

    1. Combine sour cream, salt, and 2 T of chili powder recipe above in a small bowl. Blend until full incorporated.

    2. In separate, large bowl add boiled sweet potatoes (boiled until tender, this depends on size, so stick with a fork to check for doneness), black beans, and corn. Add sour cream mixture to sweet potato mixture and blend until fully mixed.

    3. Chill at least 4 hours to allow spices to hydrate in the sour cream. Serve chilled.

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