Featured

Tahini Citrus Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Thank you, Unilever and Sir Kensington’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

This recipe is full of zingy flavor, contrasting textures and plenty of nutrients. If you are looking for a unique dish to bring to your MDW party, look no further than this tahini citrus cauliflower sweet potato salad! You’ll wow your friends with a creamy yet incredibly simple dressing that coats the vegetables, making them super addicting.

cauliflower sweet potato salad

I have a confession to make – I don’t like potato salad. I know it’s such an American classic, but I’ve never been a fan of this summertime barbecue food. The mushy texture and excess mayonnaise just don’t do it for me!

Something I DO love is sweet potatoes. And cauliflower. And tahini plus anything citrus. Mix them all together, and you have a magical combination. So many of my meals involve these ingredients, so it’s about time that one recipe highlights them all!

cauliflower sweet potato salad

You’ll roast some cauliflower and sweet potatoes with vibrant yellow turmeric. They’re then tossed with parsley, sesame seeds, and dried cherries, which all add such great texture and contrasting flavor. Then, pour the creamiest semi-homemade dressing over everything, featuring NEW Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette! On its own, this vinaigrette is the perfect light and refreshing dressing or marinade, plus it’s made with 100% pure sunflower oil and a touch of ethically sourced, True Source Certified honey. When mixed with tahini and a few simple ingredients, it makes the BEST sauce ever.

cauliflower sweet potato salad

I love all the Sir Kensington’s products I’ve tried, and this vinaigrette is no exception. I love this brand because every ingredient they source is Non-GMO certified. Their products with eggs only use Certified Humane Free-Range eggs, and they have a commitment to better quality ingredients in all the products they make. They’ve brought such a sense of integrity to the world of condiments!

If you too dislike traditional potato salad, I encourage you to try this cauliflower sweet potato salad! I guarantee you won’t be the only one heading back for seconds at the barbecue.

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Chop cauliflower and sweet potatoes into similar sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • This recipe can be prepared in advance and served chilled.
  • This salad is also great for meal prep, as it will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days and tastes great cold!
cauliflower sweet potato salad

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Tahini Citrus Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

This recipe is full of zingy flavor, contrasting textures and plenty of nutrients. If you are looking for a unique dish to bring to your MDW party, look no further than this tahini citrus cauliflower sweet potato salad!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes and cauliflower florets in 1 tbsp turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheets and roast for 35-40 minutes until fork tender, stirring halfway through.
  3. Prepare dressing while vegetables roast. Whisk together tahini, Sir Kensington’s Vinaigrette, and lemon juice until smooth.
  4. Toss roasted vegetables with dressing and top with golden raisins, sesame seeds and parsley.

  • Category: side dish

Keywords: sweet potato salad, tahini dressing, vegan, gluten free, turmeric, potato salad

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sweet potato salad
Featured

Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This cookie dough fudge is super rich, creamy, and made from plant based ingredients. You just need a few simple ingredients to make a batch for yourself!

cookie dough fudge

Those who know me best know that I have a crazy sweet tooth. I definitely inherit it from my mom, who is one of the best bakers I know. I like to have something sweet pretty much every day, sometimes more than once!

Lately, I’ve really enjoyed making simple dessert recipes in batches that can easily be stored in my freezer, including No Bake Samoas and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles. I love desserts that keep well in the freezer! They are instantly available when I have a sweet craving, and don’t require any prep once I’ve made a batch, and I don’t feel the pressure to consume them all at once before they go bad.

stack of cookie dough fudge

One of Ben’s all time favorite treats is frozen cookie dough. While cookie dough is SO delicious, it’s definitely not the safest thing to eat in terms of food safety! This idea inspired me to create this creamy cookie dough fudge. you’ll get all the taste of cookie dough, but none of the food-borne illness risks!

cookie dough fudge

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

This cookie dough fudge recipe only requires 7 simple ingredients, some of which you probably already have in your pantry!

  • Cashew Butter: Cashews are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, so they can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol when replacing saturated fats in the diet. They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium. Research shows that eating 2 servings of nuts per day may lower your risk for certain diseases like heart disease and diabetes, as well as help with weight management.
  • Coconut Oil: While coconut oil is high in saturated fat, many of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are metabolized differently than the other fats in our diets. They are broken down and absorbed more quickly and go right to our livers to be used for energy. MCTs are wonderful for people with fat malabsorption issues for this reason. There is some research that links MCTs with weight management, because they are used for energy and less likely to be stored as fat, but we still need to learn a lot more about it! Coconut oil can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when used in moderation.
  • Maple Syrup
  • Almond Flour
cookie dough fudge

If you love this recipe, you may also like

cookie dough fudge

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 816 servings 1x

Description

This cookie dough fudge requires simple ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make! Store it in the freezer for instant access to a yummy treat.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine cashew butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a saucepan on low heat. Melt everything together, stirring occasionally, until smooth and creamy.
  3. Let cool for 5-10 minutes to room temperature. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth it out using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with sea salt and additional chocolate chips, if desired.
  5. Place in the freezer and freeze until solid, 20-30 minutes. Slice into 8-16 pieces. Enjoy immediately, or return to the freezer to store.

Notes

This cookie dough fudge will begin to melt a bit and soften significantly when left at room temperature, due to the nature of coconut oil. Store in the freezer and enjoy immediately for best results.

I’ve not tried other nut butters, but I imagine different creamy versions would work well! The texture will be similar, but the flavor may be altered. 

  • Category: Dessert

Keywords: cookie dough fudge, vegan, vegan desserts, gluten free

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cookie dough fudge pinterest graphic
peanut butter granola Featured

Peanut Butter Granola (Gluten Free)

This peanut butter granola is crispy, crunchy, and full of giant clusters. It’s addicting as a topping for yogurt bowls or straight out of the container! Can easily be made vegan by substituting maple syrup for the honey.

peanut butter granola, fruit, and yogurt bowl

Homemade granola never lasts long in my house. In addition to eating it for breakfast, Ben and I frequently munch on pieces straight from the container, and he brings a bag to work to snack on. Granola is becoming one of my favorite recipes to make at home – I always forget how simple and delicious it is!

I love to experiment with the ingredients I add to granola. I always use old fashioned rolled oats as the base. I also use nuts or seeds to add some protein and healthy fats, as well as warming spices. For this batch of peanut butter granola, I experimented with using brown rice crisps as well, which give this recipe a lighter and super crispy texture!

How to Make Granola with Giant Clusters

Like most people, I believe the giants clusters in granola are the best part! Here are some tips to optimize the size of your clusters when you make homemade granola:

  • Bake at a low temperature. I bake my granola at 325 degrees F to avoid burning and ensure an even browning of all your ingredients.
  • Do not stir granola once it is in the oven. This is key! Many recipes instruct you to stir your granola during baking to avoid burning. This is why you’ll bake it at a low temperature, so you don’t have to break up your granola in the middle of baking.
  • Let granola cool before breaking into clusters. Your granola will harden up as it cools, forming one giant sheet. Then you can use your hands to gently break it apart into clusters!
  • Store in a wide rectangular container. Instead of tossing your granola into a bag, store it in a wide rectangular container. Place your clusters gently in layers on top of on another to keep their shape. This all prevents the clusters from crumbling during storage.
peanut butter granola, berries and yogurt bowl

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Oats: One of my all time favorite foods, oats are packed with nutrition. They are a good source of soluble fiber, which can reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream. Some other foods high in soluble fiber include sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and black beans.
  • Peanuts and Peanut Butter: Peanuts are a very affordable source of plant-based protein. They are also a good source of biotin, a vitamin important in metabolizing fats, carbohydrates and protein.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a powerful spice with antioxidants, including polyphenols, which help reduce free radical damage to our cells and fight inflammation. It may also help lower blood sugar levels by increasing our sensitivity to insulin.
  • Honey
  • Brown Rice Crisps

If you love this recipe, you may also like

peanut butter granola, berries and yogurt bowl

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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peanut butter granola

Peanut Butter Granola (Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Yield: 11 cups 1x

Description

This peanut butter granola is crispy, crunchy, and full of giant clusters. It’s addicting as a topping for yogurt bowls or straight out of the container!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten free for gluten free)
  • 1 cup brown rice crisp cereal
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup honey (sub maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine oats, brown rice crisps, peanuts, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Heat honey, peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until everything is melted and combined.
  4. Pour melted wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to combine. Make sure the dry ingredients are all thoroughly coated.
  5. Pour granola onto prepared baking tray. Use the spatula and your hands to press ingredients down, forming one large “sheet”.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until granola is a nice golden brown (edges may brown a little more than the middle).
  7. Let granola cool completely to harden, then use your hands to break into large clusters.

Notes

Store in a wide, shallow, rectangular container to maintain the structure of the clusters.

  • Category: Breakfast

Keywords: granola, peanut butter granola, peanut butter, gluten free granola

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

creamy asparagus soup Featured

Creamy Asparagus Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This spring soup is light, full of in-season produce, and incredibly smooth and creamy. There is an unexpected, healthy ingredient that gives this soup its silky texture, making it completely dairy free.

creamy asparagus soup

Soup is not just for wintertime! It’s one of my favorite one pot meals to prepare at the beginning of the week for lunch or dinner. This creamy asparagus soup is light, nutritious and full of fresh spring flavor. I’m more than happy to extend soup season for this vibrant bowl!

There are no fancy ingredients in this soup, and you might already have some in your pantry! An unexpected ingredient makes this soup unique and incredibly creamy, without adding any cream…avocado!

I’ve added avocado to smoothies before, and love the silky texture it adds. Adding it to a pureed soup has a similar effect. It’s a neutral flavored ingredient that makes the soup incredibly smooth and creamy. Avocado also adds plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats and potassium to this soup!

creamy asparagus soup in blender

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

You need just one pot and a blender to make this delicious creamy asparagus soup. It will take you less than half an hour from start to finish! Put these ingredients on your next shopping list:

  • Asparagus: Asparagus is high in folate, which is important for healthy pregnancies and cell growth. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, which we need for blood clotting, and antioxidants.
  • Garlic: Garlic contains sulfur compounds, which may have cancer preventative effects when ingested. It also may help boost our immune response when we are sick.
  • Avocado: Our generation’s favorite healthy fat! Avocado is rich in healthy monounstaturated fats, which help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. They also contain more potassium than a banana!
  • Leeks
  • White onion
  • White beans
  • Vegetable broth
  • Lemon
creamy asparagus soup

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Fresh or frozen asparagus both work wonderfully in this recipe. I actually used frozen for this batch, because the store was out of fresh!
  • If you use low sodium vegetable broth, you may need to adjust the amount of salt added to the soup.
  • This recipe will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
creamy asparagus soup

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creamy asparagus soup

Creamy Asparagus Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This creamy asparagus soup is made super silky without any cream or dairy, thanks to avocado! All you need is one pot, a blender, and 30 minutes to whip up a batch.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 large bunch asparagus, cut in half
  • 1 carton vegetable broth
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup white beans
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh parsley for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add onion, leeks, salt, and pepper and cook until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add garlic and cayenne, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add asparagus and vegetable broth, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking until asparagus is fork tender.
  5. Add avocado, white beans, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  6. Remove from heat, and ladle soup into blender. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender container.
  7. Blend on high speed for 30-45 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
  8. Pour soup directly into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, other fresh herbs, or extra fresh lemon if desired.

  • Category: Soup

Keywords: creamy asparagus soup, dairy free, vegan, gluten free, healthy soup

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Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle Featured

The Best Fudgy Tahini Brownies (Gluten Free, Oil Free)

These tahini brownies are incredibly chocolatey and fudgy. They’re free from gluten, oil and refined sugar, but you’d never know it. Tahini is the hero of this recipe, which eliminates the need for oil or butter while still keeping the brownies super moist and giving them a rich flavor. These brownies take just 30 minutes to make, so what are you waiting for?

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

This is the second brownie recipe I’ve posted in the last three weeks, but I’m not making any apologies. Dessert is regarded quite highly in my house, so frequent brownie baking sessions are welcome. If anyone wants to stop by, I’d be happy to share!

I’ve always enjoyed baking, even as a little kid. I definitely get it from my mom, who is one of the best bakers I know! As an RD, I love to promote an “all foods fit” approach to eating. That means it’s OK to have sugar and dessert when your body is craving it! I absolutely eat “real” ice cream, cookies, brownies, and pie. These treats don’t come without high sugar and saturated fat content, though, so I truly enjoy creating more nutritious versions of my favorite desserts! I prefer to think of these as additions to my diet, rather than completely replacing the real versions of these desserts. This mindset allows me enjoy treats when I’m craving them or during social events without guilt!

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

These tahini brownies have some super nutritious ingredients. Cacao powder contains polyphenols and flavanols which have potent antioxidant activity. The flavanols in cacao may help lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide in the blood. Tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds, adds healthy fats and protein to this recipe. It also contains important minerals like magnesium and calcium, and it can be difficult to meet our needs with both of these minerals. Almond flour also adds healthy fats, protein and fiber.

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Subbing a different nut butter for tahini will keep this recipe moist and fudgy, but may alter the flavor slightly.
  • Try adding other mix-ins as desired, such as a handful of walnuts.
  • Do not overmix the wet ingredients, because the tahini may thicken significantly.
  • This recipe will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or frozen up to 3 months.
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Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

The Best Fudgy Tahini Brownies (Gluten Free, Oil Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x

Description

The best fudgy tahini brownies that are free from gluten, oil and refined sugars.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup smooth tahini
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp strong brewed coffee
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts for topping (optional)

Chocolate Drizzle

  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ tsp coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  2. Whisk together tahini, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coffee, and egg in a medium bowl until just combined.
  3. Whisk together cacao powder, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth it out.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing into 16 squares.
  7. Melt together remaining chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan on low heat. Use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate over brownies, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking

Keywords: tahini brownies, healthy brownies, healthy dessert

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The best fudgy tahini brownies

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous Featured

Halloumi, Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad

Salty, crunchy halloumi cheese combines with pearl couscous and roasted vegetables for a simple yet unique home cooked meal. You’ll pan fry the halloumi, giving it an irresistible crispy exterior, just like you’d order at a restaurant!

halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

Halloumi is popular cheese  in Greece and the Middle East. It’s prepared and served after it has been grilled or pan fried. Halloumi is unique because of its high melting point. It won’t melt when you cook it, so it retains its shape and texture. Halloumi is salty, crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and a little squeaky when you bite it. Everything about this cheese makes it totally addicting!

Grilled halloumi has become one of my favorite things to order when I see it on a menu at a restaurant. Tatte Bakery in Boston makes one of the best halloumi salads, and I order this a few times a month when I grab lunch there! I’ve had halloumi out so many times, and finally decided to try making it for myself at home.

How to Pan Fry Halloumi

  • Slice halloumi into ¼ inch slices
  • Use a clean tea towel to pat the extra moisture out of each slice
  • Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium heat
  • Place slices of halloumi in the pan and cook each side until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes each

Since halloumi packs so much salty flavor on its own, I paired it with more mild flavors of pearl couscous and simple roasted vegetables. A sprinkle of fresh parsley and lemon juice bring everything together!

halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Whatever vegetables you have on hand will work in place of zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
  • Patting the halloumi dry helps give it that super crispy texture when fried, don’t skip this step.
  • The couscous and vegetables can be prepared ahead, but pan fried halloumi is best served immediately as it will harden as it sits.
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halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

Halloumi, Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

This restaurant worthy halloumi salad is packed with simple ingredients and delicious flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 6 ¼ inch slices of halloumi cheese, from one block,
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss zucchini, cherry tomatoes and garlic with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until browned, flipping vegetables halfway through cooking.
  3. Prepare pearl couscous according to package instructions.
  4. Assemble salad plates before pan frying halloumi – evenly divide baby spinach, couscous and roasted vegetables amongst two plates.
  5. Pat dry each slice of halloumi with a clean tea towel.
  6. Pan fry halloumi with the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Cook each side about 2-3 minutes until browned and crispy.
  7. Top each salad plate with 3 slices of halloumi. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  8. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dishes

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halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous
Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter Featured

Banana Baked Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This banana baked oatmeal is an easy yet decadent breakfast or brunch recipe. Prepare it on a Sunday to have for breakfast throughout the week, or serve it warm from the oven for Mother’s Day brunch this weekend! This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and naturally sweetened with banana and applesauce, so it’s perfect for a crowd that has dietary restrictions.

Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter

 Oatmeal is my all-time favorite breakfast. I love it because it’s very inexpensive, easy to prepare, and there are endless flavor combinations, so it never gets boring. Oatmeal has plenty of fiber to keep us full, and is a good source of soluble fiber in the form of beta-glucan. Soluble fiber is especially important to have in our diets because it may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.

I eat oatmeal for breakfast several times per week, but can you believe this is my first time making a baked oatmeal recipe? Now that I’ve done it, I don’t know what I was waiting for. This recipe is incredibly simple, uses common ingredients you probably have in your pantry, and tastes amazing. The flavor reminds me of banana bread, but has a heartier texture thanks to the old fashioned oats.

This banana baked oatmeal recipe is great because all you need is one bowl to make it happen. After creating a flax egg in a mixing bowl, just add the other ingredients in the order listed. Stir together, pour into your baking dish, and into the oven it goes! It will definitely be added to my regular meal prep rotation, especially for busy weeks when we need breakfast on the go.

Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter

A Few Recipe Notes

  • While I haven’t tested other types of oats with this recipe, I definitely suggest using old fashioned rolled oats. Their chewy texture holds up well when baked.
  • I used a flax egg to keep this recipe vegan. You can substitute ground chia for ground flax, or one whole egg if you are not vegan!
  • For the bananas, the riper, the better! Ripe bananas are much sweeter, and this eliminates the need for added sugar in this recipe.
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Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter

Banana Baked Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This vegan and gluten free baked oatmeal is delicious and perfect for meal prep.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter (I used this brand)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened oat milk or almond milk
  • 3 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together ground flax and water in a mixing bowl until thickened.
  3. Add mashed banana, applesauce, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract to bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. Add milk and mix again until well combined.
  5. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Pour into 9×9 baking dish. Top with more chocolate chips and banana slices (optional).
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until edges begin to brown.
  8. Drizzle with more peanut butter if desired.
  9. Serve warm or store in the fridge for up to one week. This recipe is good right out of the fridge and warms up easily!

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking

Keywords: baked oatmeal, banana baked oatmeal, peanut butter, vegan baked oatmeal

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Save this recipe for later on one of your Pinterest boards

Banana baked oatmeal with chocolate chips and peanut butter

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla Featured

Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla

A modern and more nutritious take on the classic cheese quesadilla. This recipe calls for sprouted grain wraps, goat cheese and lots of vegetables for lots of nourishing ingredients in every bite.

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

 This quesadilla might be my new favorite lunch to whip up when I am home. This meal feels decadent and even a little bit fancy, but it is loaded with good-for-you ingredients! Goat cheese is one of the top three best cheeses in my opinion (right up there with brie and fresh mozzarella). I almost always have it served cold in a salad or spread on a cracker, but after making this recipe, warm goat cheese is where it’s at!

In addition to goat cheese, this quesadilla packs in lots of vegetables. The combination of sweet caramelized onion, mushrooms and spinach will give you about one full serving of veggies per quesadilla. That’s just about the easiest way to get you closer to your five a day!

I used Angelic Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain wraps instead of traditional flour tortillas for this quesadilla to make this recipe even more nutritious. These wraps are made with sprouted grains, which may be easier for many people to digest! Sprouting a grain also increases the levels of B vitamins including folate, fiber and amino acids. Sprouted grains also have a reduced glycemic index than non-sprouted grains. This means that sprouted grains cause a slower, more stable rise in blood sugar after consuming them. I absolutely love the nutty taste and texture of these wraps, and they become perfectly soft yet crispy when griddled in the skillet!

Click here now for a $2 off coupon and find Angelic Bakehouse in a Wegman’s or Hannaford near you! http://bit.ly/2SS151d

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

This recipe is easily customizable, as different cheeses and vegetables would pair well with these wraps.

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quesadillas 1x

Description

A modern and more nutritious take on the classic cheese quesadilla.  


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach
  • 4 Angelic Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain wraps
  • 1 small log of goat cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on low-medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are a light golden brown. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, cooking about 5 minutes, then stir in spinach until wilted. Remove veggies from skillet and wipe clean.
  3. Heat the same skillet on medium heat, and add a few sprays of spray oil.
  4. Arrange the quesadillas by spreading 1-2 tbsp goat cheese on onto each wrap. Top with cooked vegetables and lemon zest, and fold over to close.
  5. Cook each quesadilla 2-3 minutes per side until wrap begins is warm and begins to crisp.

  • Category: Main Dishes

Keywords: goat cheese, quesadilla, caramelized onions

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

Thank you Angelic Bakehouse for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing Featured

Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This lettuce-free salad is still full of green goodness, thanks to one of my favorite vegetables. Broccoli is the crunchy base for this delicious salad, and it’s the perfect vehicle for a creamy Thai peanut dressing!

broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – peanut sauce makes everything better. I’m always looking for new ways to add it to my meals. This salad was inspired by the Raw Broccoli salad I had at one I had at one of my favorite NYC restaurants, Emily. My sister and I dined there on one of my last nights living in the city and shared a meal. I left the restaurant equally as excited about their broccoli salad as I was their pizza!

This broccoli salad includes dried cherries and peanuts, just like at Emily. I also added edamame for an added boost of plant-based protein! Everything is coated in the creamiest blanket of peanut dressing. This dish is also a great meal prep recipe. It’s quick and easy to make, and it holds up well in the fridge for a few days.

Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli just might be my all-time favorite vegetable. One reason I love it is because it holds onto sauces and dressings so well. It also has so many health benefits! Broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in fiber, so they help keep us full. They are also excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. Cruciferous vegetables also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates. These compounds have antioxidant effects, lowering inflammation in our bodies. Glucosinolates have been associated with preventing certain types of cancer. I strive to include 1-2 cruciferous vegetables in my diet each week!

broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Blanching broccoli keeps it crunchy and crisp, while bringing out the vibrant green color we love to see.
  • Dry your blanched broccoli very well so the sauce coats everything evenly – don’t skip this step!
  • Other dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates, would work well to replace dried cherries.
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broccoli salad with thai peanut dressing

Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

A lettuce-free salad that still packs a nutritional punch, thanks to broccoli. Paired with the best peanut dressing, this salad is addicting!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Peanut Dressing

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 12 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the broccoli by boiling for 2 minutes, then immediately drain plunge it into an ice bath.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add edamame and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Whisk together all peanut dressing ingredients until smooth and well combined.
  4. Use a clean dish towel to dry broccoli as much as possible.
  5. Mix together broccoli, edamame, scallions, dried cherries and sesame seeds. Add 2/3 of the peanut dressing and toss to coat evenly (save remaining dressing for another dish).

  • Category: Side Dishes

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blonde woman walking in a field Featured

My Mental Health Journey with Anxiety/Depression

Hi guys! Today, I want to share something deeply personal in this post. I’ve written a little bit about my mental health struggle in Instagram posts over the past year, but I wanted to share a more complete look at my story. For me, one of the greatest comforts in this journey is hearing from others who have had similar experiences, because it makes me realize I am not alone. If my story helps just one person feel this way, then the purpose of me writing this will have been served a million times over. As a disclaimer, I am not a medical doctor or mental health practitioner, and this blog post is in no way meant to diagnose or formally treat any mental health issues. I’m just sharing my story, and I’ve included things that have worked for me personally.

blonde woman walking in a field

The Beginning

My mental health struggle began long before I even recognized it for what it was. In September of 2017, I was entering my last semester of coursework in graduate school in New York. I was also about to take the RD exam, and my boyfriend, Ben, had moved from New York to Boston one month before. I felt myself drifting from close friends because of busy schedules. For the three years prior, my schedule was jam packed with a rigorous full time course load, a part time job, volunteering, studying like crazy, and dietetic internship rotations, all while maintaining some semblance of a social life. As a stark contrast, I  was only taking two classes during my final semester. While this left me ample time to study and work on Instagram projects, it also meant I was spending a lot of time alone. There were definitely days when I didn’t speak a single word to another human. As an introvert, this sounds blissful on paper, but even introverts need human contact and conversation to feel whole.

During this time, I remember telling my boyfriend and mom that I was feeling lonely and down on multiple occasions. I started to be more proactive about making plans with friends, and set up some dinners, workout classes and lunch dates. Even still, I couldn’t shake that feeling of loneliness. I just brushed it off as a passing phase due to this transitional period in my life.

Towards the end of the semester, I applied for a few jobs in New York City. I took a hospital job, because I had enjoyed clinical nutrition much more than I expected during my internship. I started right after Thanksgiving of 2017, and was thrown right into working. It was overwhelming and challenging, but it felt good to be around people, and some of my friends who I worked with were super helpful. I started working on cardiac and psychiatric units, which were both rewarding, but I knew I didn’t want to be there forever.

In February, a position to be the RD on the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit opened up, and I volunteered because I had loved working with oncology patients during my internship. These patients are extremely sick with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma or other cancers. Many of them were here after multiple relapses. While a transplant can absolutely save lives, the potential, and not uncommon, complications can be deadly. The RD on the BMT unit is highly involved. I was expected to attend rounds with the doctors as much as possible, which meant visiting with each patient on the unit, hearing their story, current status and complications from the doctors, and giving my input when needed. I changed my whole schedule around – I previously went in at 9 AM after a morning workout, but now got in at 7:30 to make rounds. This was not an issue for me though, as I was truly excited to help these patients. The first few weeks were a whirlwind. I learned so much, met the team, and started to work with these very sick people. It was extremely rewarding, and I wanted so much to help them.

I knew it was going to be difficult when I had a bad dream about a patient during one of my first weeks on the unit. I woke up sobbing in the morning, woke Ben up, and couldn’t stop crying. I felt so much pain, fear and sadness in that moment, as if I were taking on the feelings I perceived this patient was having. I felt hopeful, though, because I loved connecting with these patients. I considered my empathy a strength in this environment, and I would be able to handle it with a little adjustment in time.

blonde woman in a lab coat

My Breaking Point

I was able to maintain this hopeful mindset for a few months, but it became obvious to me in March that I was struggling. I couldn’t leave work at work – I was constantly worrying about the patients. As I learned more about the severity of these types of cancers, getting diagnosed with them myself became my worst nightmare. Slowly, then quite rapidly, things took a turn for the worse. Certain words and phrases I read in the medical charts began to trigger a deep anxiety. I started incessantly feeling my body for swollen lymph nodes and abnormalities, convincing myself that I had symptoms of these cancers. I even went to a doctor, who reassured me that nothing was wrong, but after one day of relief, I was back to completely believing I was sick. My friends and boyfriend would say, “You’re so healthy! You eat so well and exercise every day”, but this didn’t matter to me. The scariest part of these cancers is they can happen to any person, at any age. I started thinking, “Why not me?” I could not think of anything else from the moment I woke up each day.

Some of the other signs that something was wrong were; crying multiple times a day, inability to concentrate, loss of appetite, and waking up in the middle of every night with a heavy sense or worry, dread and/or panic. For about 2 weeks, I don’t even know how I got myself to work. My mind was completely filled with fears for my own health. I couldn’t finish my meals, had no interest or energy to grocery shop and meal prep and ate cereal for dinner. (Those who know me will tell you this is NOT ordinary for me – I never take home leftovers and a bowl of cereal is like a snack for me). I felt scared to be alone with my thoughts, so I would spend the workday on my friend’s unit writing notes with her, even spending one night at her apartment, and called my mom and boyfriend frequently. My parents came to New York for the weekend, postponing their trip down to Martha’s Vineyard. I will forever be grateful for all of this, and for my amazing support system at this time. When I had to be alone, I would just watch Friends and mindless television for hours, trying to numb my thoughts.

Making A Plan and Exploring Treatment

Relief started to come slowly when I talked out a plan with my parents, and I decided to leave New York and my job three weeks earlier than I had planned before moving to Boston. I also began seeing a therapist once a week. This provided a little temporary relief, but the therapist I was seeing just was not the right fit. The doctor I had seen had given me a prescription for an SSRI, but I was opposed to medication at that point, and wanted to heal naturally. In my own head, I felt that taking medication somehow was something I should be ashamed about, as if there was something wrong with me. I decided not to try the SSRI and convinced myself I would be able to heal without medication. Besides, I was leaving New York in a month and would be in a better environment, so I figured it was largely situational. I finished out another month or so at the hospital, where I was luckily able to be removed from BMT unit service and provide floating coverage for the remainder of my time there.

Healing Looks Different for Everybody

Before moving to Boston, I went to Martha’s Vineyard to be with my family and take some time to rest and work on my mental health. I thought that being in my favorite place with my support system would turn things around, but I was still struggling. I had difficulty falling asleep, couldn’t sleep through the night, couldn’t sit still, and just felt an overlying sense of fear, anxiety and lack of control. During this time, I had been speaking to Ben’s aunt, a psychiatrist, on the phone once a week. She was encouraging me to try an SSRI, and I finally decided it was the right thing to do. I now knew my anxiety/depression was not purely situational, because it continued to manifest itself while I was safe in my favorite place in the world. I finally gave up the thoughts that needing medication somehow makes me weak. There was nothing wrong with me, I just needed help to feel better. I started taking a low dose of my SSRI, knowing it can take several weeks to feel an effect.

Fast forward about 3 weeks - Ben and I had moved to Boston, and I felt like a veil had been lifted. My mood and my sleep were both improving. But, I still felt an overlying sense of panic about my health and general bad things happening to me. At the recommendation of my new doctor, I began taking the full dose of my SSRI. Within the next 3-4 weeks, I was finally feeling normal again. My irrational health fears significantly decreased, I was sleeping much better, and my mood was much improved. I even began experiencing some unexpected, yet welcome, “side effects” of taking an SSRI. I had a greater desire to be more social, felt more comfortable in social situations, and felt more easygoing. As I continued on my SSRI regimen, this all improved even more.

Letting Go of Stigma

From where I am today, having been taking my SSRI for more than 6 months, I can honestly say it was one of the best choices I have ever made for myself. Being considered an “influencer” in the wellness community, I got caught up in what I thought I should be doing to manage my anxiety/depression. I thought I should be healing the natural way, though therapy, meditation, deep breathing, proper diet and exercise. I feel sad for myself looking back to these thought processes. Anxiety/depression is a serious mental health disorder that cannot be taken lightly. I cannot stress enough how important it was to get the proper help I needed, and for me, that is in the form of medication. If you are in a similar position and non-medical remedies aren’t helping, I encourage you to explore medication options with your practitioner. There is no shame in needing medication to manage your mental health, and it truly can improve your quality of life.

My mental health journey and recovery from this period are far from over. Things are definitely not perfect, but they are consistently better. Right now, I am confident that medication is necessary for me to manage my mental health, but I’m not sure if one, five or ten years from now, that will be the case. Of course, I would love to reach a point where I no longer need it, but I will never push myself to go off without the proper consideration and guidance from my practitioners. Since last spring in the hospital, I have had a few periods of health anxiety. These periods really put me out of commission, because the fears take over my thoughts to the point where I can’t focus on anything else. This is something I want to work on through therapy, perhaps with a CBT specialist. I’ve been dragging my feet on finding a therapist since moving to Boston, but I’m using May as Mental Health Awareness month to motivate myself to do so.

I’ve been blessed to have an incredibly supportive group of people who help me every day, and I appreciate them so much more after experiencing this struggle. For anyone else reading today that struggles with mental health disorders, please know that you are not alone. There is help, you can feel better than this, and things will improve. Mental health disorders are so much more common than we think, and there needs to be more open discussion regarding mental health to get rid of the stigma attached. Thank you for listening to my story. If reading this helps just one person, I will feel like this post served its purpose.

If you are struggling, here are some resources to look at now. I encourage you to contact your doctor, tell somebody you trust, and voice your struggle. Help is available and it makes all the difference.