3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheerio Bars

Hello! It me. I bring to you another dessert recipe from Wisconsin since my flight to NYC was canceled this morning due to the wind! Blah. I suppose this means even more time to experiment with dessert recipes since I will no longer have the opportunity to stuff myself with Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream this weekend (my absolute fav).easy-vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

Now I will preface this recipe by acknowledging that I’m aware I did not break any culinary boundaries in creating these. And that’s fine. But these bars are beauties because they’re super duper easy and super duper delicious. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, if you’re into that kinda thing.

They’re also highly addictive. My mom ate like 3/4th of the tray in one sitting. We are definitely related. Chocolate is a food group, according to us. vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

So a lil history on these bars: they came about because as a constantly-on-a-budget TJs fanatic, I am always looking up ways to create cheap after-dinner sweet snacks. In grad school I starting buying bags of chocolate chips for $1.99 (yup, TJ’s chocolate chips are vegan) and boxes of TJ’s Joe’s O’s (which are the Trader Joe’s equivalent of Cheerios) also for $1.99. I would mix chocolate chips and Joe’s Os in a wee little bowl and nibble on the mixture while studying.

The mix is a bit sweet, a bit carby, chocolatey, and crunchy. It’s highly satisfying, easy-to-prepare, and cheap as can be! It really stretches out a bag of chocolate chips, and has the added bonus that Joe’s O’s are decently not-too-shabby-for-you, making it a snack that’s easy to eat every night without feeling icky.

Then one day last month, I  was making puppy chow for my sister when she was in town, and I ventured to the grocery store to get a box of Chex. And then I got home and saw my Cheerios and I was like…I wonder if….!

And so this month, I tried it. I basically used the puppy chow idea (melted chocolate + pb) with Cheerios in place of Chex, but pressed them into a pan instead of coating them with powdered sugar.vegan-gluten-free-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

The result is a crunchy, easy peasy snack that satisfies any crunchy chocolate peanut butter craving. They’re just damn good and damn delicious.

Anyways, without further audieu, I present to you…

3-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars [Vegan & Gluten-Free]vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars-gf

Prep Time:  10 mins
Cook Time:0 mins, but require at least 20 minutes refrigeration
Total Time: ~30 minutes
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups plain Cherrios or Joe’s O’s
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Grease a 12″x12″ inch pan.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until almost melted (roughly 90 seconds – 3minutes). When chips are almost melted, add peanut butter and microwave an additional 30-60 seconds, until chips are fully melted and peanut butter is melty.
  3. Stir chocolate peanut butter mixture. Add cereal. Toss to coat cereal in chocolate mixture.
  4. Press into prepared pan.
  5. Place bars into the refrigerator or freezer until set, at least 20-30 minutes.
  6. Slice and enjoy.

Single Serve Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello again friends.baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan-1

I know, I know. I disappeared again. And I’m not going to make any excuses. I was busy doing what you do in your 20s: making mistakes, enduring set-backs, moving multiple times, and coming out stronger and more certain of who I am and who I want to be.

I also spent time writing a bunch more for Spoon University (check it out here), but after some soul searching and debating and squandering self-doubt, have decided to make my way back to blogging.

baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan_dip_vertical

And after decided to come back to blogging, I spent a considerable amount of time debating starting a new blog or re-starting kbaked for like the 4th time. I ultimately decided on the later, but am planning to give it a serious lift in style, layout, and quality.

All while eating cookies, of course.

I love chocolate chip (oatmeal) cookies. I mean, do you know someone who doesn’t? If you do please let me know; I’d legitimately be interested in interviewing them. Send me their contact info ASAP.

baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan_air

Back to cookies: one of my favorite things to make because 1) They don’t take very long, and 2) Holy moly, delicious!

But when you live alone, sometimes you just want one or two. Because if you have a dozen, you most likely eat a dozen. And then you feel icky and out of balance. At least, if you’re me.baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan_air_2

That’s why single serve cookie recipes are important to keep in your arsenal. The oatmeal is  hypothetically optional, but highly preferable, in my opinion.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and my promise to blog more frequently in the coming months. It’s my goal to improve my content, layout, and start blogging about more than just recipes, but also nutrition, health, and life.

I hope you enjoy!

Single Serve Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookiesbaker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan-1

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon non-dairy butter or coconut oil or nut butter or neutral oil like canola
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
  • 1/3 cup all purpose whole wheat oat flour or any combination thereof
  • 2 tablespoon rolled oats optional or substitute addition flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk add more if dough appears too dry
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Roll dough into two medium or one large cookie dough ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden brown and cookie becomes fragrant.

Recipe also shared on Spoon University

Check out some more noms on a link share on runningwithspoons.com!

Vegan Gluten-Free No-Bake Cookie Dough S’mores Bars

I should be writing my thesis. Really, that’s what I should be doing. Not baking, not rearranging my apartment to put my table by the window to take pictures of my baked goods, and definitely not blogging about them either. But here we are.
Vegan S'mores Bars Cookie Dough

Finishing this thesis has been like so meh. I’ve never been so good at procrastinating anything in my life. So many other things just seem important right now. Like frantically finding a job. And signing up for a free barre class and arriving wearing sticky stocks to realize that you and your friend missed the memo that it’s actually a free HIIT/cardio kickboxing class. And then doing that class wearing sticky socks. And then trying really hard not to roll your eyes while biting your tongue listening to their partner “holistic nutritionist” talk about “good molecules” for your body after. Phew. Stay calm, Kathy.

Vegan S'mores Cookie Dough Bars  Gluten-Free

Anyways, part of me procrastinating editing my thesis involved S’mores bars. I know right? Vegan, GF S’mores bars. Now what if I told you that these are also better-for-you. Like the cookie dough layer is actually pretty healthy.

Vegan Cookie Dough Healthy

Shut the front door, right? Right. But this magic is REAL.

Vegan Marshmallows

So recently Trader Joe’s debuted their vegan and gluten-free marshmallows for $2.99. G’bless you TJs for real. Normally, vegan marshmallows are like $6 for no apparent reason. And thus I’ve refrained from buying them and haven’t had a damn marshmallow in like 3 years. Until these puppies hit the shelves and like a dream come true.

Vegan Marshmallows Trader Joe's

Speaking of dreams, you could take a nap of one of these marshamllow-topped bars. Marshmallows are fluffy, just like pillows. Except then you’d have crumbs and chocolate in your hair. But if you surround yourself with the right types of people they may actually dig that sort of thing.

Vegan Gluten-Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

Back to the bars: what do I dig about these? Well, they have all the things I look for in a dessert: they are carby and sweet but not too sweet, and they have chocolate, and they have a graham cracker crust, and when you eat them they don’t make you feel like you just ate a garbage truck.

Vegan and Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

In fact, marshmallows aside, these puppies ain’t bad for you. The middle layer is full of whole grains, protein, and plant-powered goodness. And dark chocolate is rad, too.

Vegan Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

The graham crackers and the marshmallows? Well, those are for fun. Which is allowed when you’re eating. Because eating should be fun and not boring. In fact it should be s’mor-ing. <—I’m the worst. Kudos to you if you’re still reading this post and putting up with me being a cluster.

Vegan &amp; Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

Now let’s do this.

Vegan S'mores Cookie Dough Bars Gluten-Free

Ingredients – Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about a sleeve and a half)
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Ingredients – Cookie Layer:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour or other flour (you can make oat flour by pulsing oats in a food processor or blender until a flour forms)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar (can sub coconut sugar, etc)
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Ingredients – Topping:

  • 12 ounce bag vegan gluten-free marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

  1. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and coconut oil. Press into baking sheet to form a bottom layer. Store in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to set.
  3. In a food processor or blender, puree chickpeas until a smooth paste forms. Add vanilla extract and pulse again. Transfer to a bowl and add oat flour, rolled oats, sugars, and mix well. Then add chocolate chips and pecans and mix again.
  4. Transfer cookie dough into pan and press on top of graham layer.
  5. Top with chopped marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans. Torch with a fancy kitchen torch, or broil in your oven for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the marshmallows.
  6. Cut into squares and enjoy. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Salted Caramel Date Truffles (from my ebook!)

Hi everyone! If anyone is out there still.

I must apologize for my disappearance! I had a major cross country move, and then I started grad school for human nutrition at Columbia! I’m also working some and interning a bit with Spoon University. I’ve never been so busy in my whole life! But that said, I’ve really been missing blogging and am going to try my best to get back to it! Winter break will CERTAINLY be full of blogposts!

But I thought I’d share this Salted Caramel Date Truffle Recipe that’s from my ebook, (which you can buy here), and also featured on Spoon University, here.

These are honestly amazeballs. Like, way better than they have the right to be. With the salty crunch on the somehow seemingly sinful date filling, combined with the creamy nut butter, they blow the senses a bit, and create a cravable, not-actually-unhealthy treat.

You can use any nut butter you want, but for these, sunbutter is ma fav 😀

Enjoy! Ps I used Iron Salt on these babies (that’s the pretty pink stuff on top).
PPS – WordPress is being a pooper and I’m having mega-trouble uploading photos, so for now, I only have these two on here. Will add more laters!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 8-oz. dried, pitted dates or date pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sunfloweer seed butter (can substitute almond butter or peanut butter)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Soak dates in warm water until softened, at least 15 minutes.
  2. Drain dates. In a food processor or blender, process dates and vanilla until a smooth paste forms. Add sunflower seed butter and ¼ teaspoon sea salt and continue to blend until well combined.
  3. Roll mixture into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place into the freezer until set, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted (about 60-90 seconds total). Stir in coconut oil.
  5. Remove truffles from the freezer. Dip each truffle in melted chocolate and return to baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining sea salt and return to the freezer until set, another 15-20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy! Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Salted Avocado Toast with Radishes and Sliced Lemon

I’m going to keep this quick because my life is an exploding hot mess of busy these days. More on this in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.

Avocado Iron Salt Toast

Now moving on to HAPPY THINGS. Like the fact that my dog is still cute. And the fact that salt exists. I love salt. Salt is arguably the greatest flavor enhancer of all times. It’s like the auto-tune of food.

iron salt avocado toast with lemons and radishes

Let’s also talk about iron, shall we? As a vegan, people always give me that annoying “BUT HOW DO YOU GET ANY PROTEIN?” stuff and I roll my eyes back into my head so far I can see my brain. Besides whole grains, nuts, vegetables (kale has 3 grams protein per cup!), tofu, etc etc, it’s truly not a concern. More concerning for vegans? B Vitamins and iron. At least according to my nutrition professors and to my opinion.

iron salt avocado toast with lemons & radishes

I actually do make an effort to get enough iron and B vitamins from foods. And so when my friend John approached me with this cool Iron Salt he’d created, I thought it was awesome. Each 1/4 teaspoon has 10% DV of salt. And as a bonus it’s pretty and pink and tastes great. COOL. I love it. And no I’m not just saying that. I’m a woman of honesty. And it’s also made in Brooklyn, which instantly makes it trendy and hip. #cool

iron salt avocado toast with lemons and radishes

Anyways, I made some recipes with the stuff and genuinely do love the product! You can order it here.Look out for some of my recipes that will be popping up on the Iron Salt Blog, which I’ll also share here. The first of which is this Salted Avocado Toast with Radishes and Sliced Lemon. It’s satisfying, tangy, creamy smooth, and totally rad (not just rad-ish ;-)). The radishes add a nice sharp flavor, and the lemon makes them sparkle. The Iron Salt brings it all together by highlighting each flavor, tying them all together, adding a nice crunch, and obviously, making it look really pretty.  It’s a nice way to mix up your avocado toast game. Enjoy! HAPPY SALT!

Avocado Iron Salt Toast 3

Salted Avocado Toast with Radishes and Lemon

This toast is refreshing, different, and filling, yet light. The Iron Salt highlights the earthy flavors of avocado, while the radishes and lemon provide an intriguing and fresh flavor contrast. An delightful dish for breakfast or as part of a light lunch, this toast is truly a nutritional powerhouse. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil if desired. If you don’t have radishes or lemon on hand, sub fresh tomatoes and basil, or cilantro with red peppers and lime juice.

Serves one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice whole-grain bread or gluten-free bread
  • ⅓ avocado
  • 2 radishes
  • ¼ of a small lemon
  • ½ teaspoon Iron Salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. In a small bowl, mash avocado and add ¼ teaspoon of Iron Salt. Spread on toast.
  3. Thinly slice radishes and lemon. Layer radishes and lemon on toast. Garnish with remaining iron salt. Drizzle with additional lemon juice and olive oil, if desired.
  4. Enjoy

3-Ingredient Tofu Tacos

Taco Tuesday is such a thing. Except that I rarely take part in Taco Tuesday because Tuesday is also half price sushi night so it’s usually sushi on Tuesdays and tacos on Wednesdays. At least in my world. And it works for me. I’m determined to get #tacowednesday trending.

Easy Veagn 3-Ingredient Tofu Tacos

But truly – tacos are good any #dayoftheweek. And although I absolutely DESPISE going out for American-ized Mexican food (the stuff covered in grease and cheese aka a fast track to spending the rest of the day on the potty), I do adore California style Mexican food, full of fresh flavors and colors. Like fresh non-Taco-Bell-esque Tacos. I actually adore these kinds of tacos. They’re the perfect meal – full of flavor, spicy and satiety, tacos are always a great option for any meal.

Tofu Tacos - Vegan

When you think about a taco, you hit almost every food group, and if done correctly, tacos make a darn healthy meal.. Think about it: protein (tofu in my case), fruits (tomato counts, right?) veggies (lettuce), healthy fat (avocado), legumes (black beans), and whole grains (corn tortilla). What a #win.

5-Minute Vegan Tofu Tacos

So I like to whip me up some tacos, not only because they are delicious, filling, and healthy, but because they are so gosh darn easy. This recipe literally takes 10 minutes, start to finish. To me, it feels like the equivalent of heating up a frozen pizza. It’s that simple and, arguably, faster.

Vegan 3-Ingredient Tofu Tacos

I love me all sorts of vegan fillings in my tacos. Black beans are always a favorite, but after having that as the only option for 5ever as a vegetarian option, I set out in search of something else.

Easy Vegan 3-Ingredient Tofu Tacos

And then I discovered tofu tacos. The texture of tofu adds a creamy yet satisfying element to a taco filling, and provides a lovely blank palate to pick up taco seasoning. Ps Trader Joe’s taco seasoning is incredible. It’s a product of South Africa and has a lovely spice to it. Probably the best on the market. TJs does it again.

Tofu Tacos

Make these tacos any day of the week for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. The best part is that it literally takes less than 10 minutes start-to-finish and only requires simple ingredients you probably have in your house. yay.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Level: easy

serves 4

Ingredients – Tofu Filling:

  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu
  • 1 package taco seasoning (I love Trader Joe’s!)
  • 1/3 cup salsa of choice

Toppings / Extras:

  • 8 tortillas
  • sliced avocados
  • diced tomatoes
  • salsa
  • cilantro
  • vegan cheese sauce

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, warm salsa. Open tofu and pour off extra liquid if tofu is set in liquid.

2. Cut tofu into 4 pieces. Using fingers, crumble tofu into saucepan. Pieces can and will be uneven. Go with it. Add taco seasoning and stir until all tofu is evenly coated with salsa and taco seasoning.

3. Simmer over medium heat until tofu is evenly warmed, any excess liquid has evaporated, and all tofu is evenly coated with seasoning.

4. Fill tortillas with a heaping scoop of tofu filling. Top with beans, salsa, avocado, cilantro, and whatever else your heart desires. 🙂 Enjoy !

Vegan Falafel Sliders

Happy July! It’s July already?!? Yeah, I don’t know how that happened either. June flew by. Last thing I knew it was Jimmy’s birthday and now suddenly Summerfest is half over and everyone is getting ready for the 4th.

Vegan Falfel Sliders!

Ahh yes, the 4th of July. Just the mention of such a holiday fills me with Katy Perry song-spirit. The 4th of July means food, and fun, and BBQ. It’s a great excuse to get outside with friends and family and come together to eat good food, enjoy the sunshine, play some weird outdoor games while half drunk, and explode things in the sky.

Falafel Sliders

Personally fireworks confuse me from a waste and ecological standpoint. I just don’t think they’re worth it. Also, they sound funny and my dog doesn’t like the loud booms. But you don’t care about my opinions anyway, do you? You care about what most people care about on the 4th of July which is tacky patriotic outfits and food. Fun food. Party food. Grilled food. Finger food. Basically, ALL DA NOMS.

Vegan Falafel Sliders

When it comes to being a vegetarian or vegan at a BBQ, things can get awkward. I’ve gotten used to the BYOVB (bring your own veggie burger) way of life. Which works for me. I’d rather bring something and know I have a good option than show up to a sad empty bun with a side of grapes, and/or a grilled portabella “burger,” Ugh. No thanks. I have nothing against portabella mushrooms, but I cannot stand the whole portabella mushroom “burger” concept.I kind of wish I did like it, because it’s so often offered to me at BBQs. But it’s just not my taste. Pass me the veggie burgers, plz & thank you.

Falafel Sliders with Muhammara Sauce - Vegan

So I usually come with my own veggie burger (or 4) in hand, and have a happy time. But last night I was eating falafel from Trader Joe’s on pita bread with simultaneously eating these amazing dinner rolls I had. And then it hit me – I could make falafel sliders! What a cute, delicious finger food for the 4th of July or any party! Or my lunch! Excitement flooded my entire being as I stuffed myself with falafel-y goodness.

Vegan Falfel Sliders !

You can also use Trader Joe’s frozen falafels as an excellent shortcut in making these babies. You simply microwave them and they are pretty damn tasty. You can also make your own. These Waffle’d Falafel Patties I made last year would work great. As would other pre-made falafels, or whatever falafels you make from your favorite recipe.

Falafels from Trader Joe's

The concept here is pretty simple: a falfel patty on a little dinner roll with whatever fixin’s and toppings you’re feelin’. I added lettuce, tomato, and a sauce I whipped up using Trader Joe’s Muhammara spread and unsweetened plain coconut milk yogurt. This was a delicious, flavorful, slightly spicy yet cool and creamy topping for the sliders. If you haven’t had the new(ish) Trader Joe’s Muhammara spread, you must.

Muhammara - Trader Joe's

I don’t really mean to tell you that you absolutely need this in your life to survive, but the truth is you actually really need this in your life to survive. Holy yum. It’s a hummus-like spread made of walnuts, roasted red peppers and pomegranate juice. It’s basically a spreadable flavor bomb.

Falfel Sliders - Vegan

If you can’t get access to this, you can sub roasted red pepper hummus. And/or any other spread you may like on your falafels. Like tahini or tzatziki. It’s up to you. Anyway you sauce, these falafel sliders are the boss. They’re tasty, satisfying, and obviously mini and adorable. Cheers to you and happy 4th of July!

Vegan Falafel Sliders

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes (depending on falafels used)
Level: Easy!

makes 8 falafel sliders

Ingredients:

  • 8 dinner rolls
  • 8 cooked falafel patties – [ I bought the frozen ones from Trader Joe’s which are vegan and quite good for a quick shortcut; you can also make your own – I recommend this Waffle’d Falafel Balls from last year (#tbt) and/or any other recipe you may already like 🙂 ]
  • 2 small roma (or other) tomatoes, sliced
  • lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Muhammara – (so, so good; can’t stress this enough. can also sub roasted red pepper hummus, and/or any hummus of choice, and/or sub with 2 tablespoons hot sauce)
  • 1/4 cup lain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt or other unsweetened yogurt (I used this one)
    • note: if you can’t find these ingredients, and/or are not dairy free, feel free to mix equal parts roasted red pepper hummus or any hummus with any unsweetened plain yogurt of your choice, or a few tablespoons hot sauce with any neutral base like unsweetened plained yogurt or veganaze, for your own dipping sauce. you could also sub Tahini sauce or Tzatziki Sauce – it’s all up to you!) 

Directions:

1. Prepare falafel according to instructions.

2. Prepare sauce by combining Muhammara (or roasted red pepper hummus) and unsweetened coconut milk yogurt in a small bowl and mixing well.

Vegan Falafel Sliders

3. Cut dinner rolls in half. Slice tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce into small slices. Place a piece or two of lettuce, a piece of tomato, and a cucumber slice on each bun. Add one falafel to each sandwich. Top with a dollop of sauce and place top of bun on falafel.

Falafel Sliders

4. Place a toothpick in each slider and serve. Happy summer fun! 🙂