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.

Vegan Salted Coconut Milk Caramel

Caramel! Do you say it “CARA-uh-mel” or “CAR-uh-muhl” or “KAR-mul?” I say it “delicious,” and something I enjoy swirled into my ice cream or as a dipping sauce for a hot doughy pastry (hello, mini churros).yummy-vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

So once upon a time I found and fell a bit infatuated with these vegan caramels made from coconut milk. Me being me, I instantly starting working on how I could recreate something similar.

I typically make my vegan caramel from dates, which is delicious, but this was a fun new challenge and I can’t wait to bake with this stuff and incorporate it into other fun desserts and treats.coconut-milk

What are you up to right now? As I’m typing up this post, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules. It’s the best worst show ever.

Life is still a bit of a doosey for me lately. I’m experiencing multiple transitions and am exploring new platforms for freelance, and in the meantime I find I have a lot of create energy and am unsure where to place it. It feels like I’m going to pop creative juice all over the carpet. So when this happens I end up baking breakfast cookies and making homemade vegan caramel. I need a life. Or a friend who will eat my food that isn’t my dog.vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

In other news, I am experiencing a really adorable adult acne breakout. This acne does not help me in the she-looks-like-a-teenager-don’t-take-her-seriously-department. Which is starting to get a wee bit frustrating. But that’s okay. I recently read a tweet from a vlogger I follow about letting people who doubt you and try to take advantage of you be your motivation to succeed. So I’m going to try to go this route. Which I guess means caramel, among other things.

Enough of my talking. On to the caramel:delicious-vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

It’s easy, delicious, and has a lovely coconul undertone. It’s wonderful swirled into yogurt, on top of ice cream, AND in the recipe I am going to post next (stay tuned ~ I’m really excited about this one).

Oh, and if you’d like the mini vegan churros recipe here it is: 1) Go to Trader Joe’s. 2) Buy frozen mini churros. 3) Eat.

Prep Time:  2 mins
Cook Time: 35-40 mins
Total Time: ~40 minutes
Servings: ~1/2 cup caramel sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk and sugar.
  2. Heat mixture to a boil over medium heat. Maintain slow boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, roughly 35-40 minutes. Stir in coconut oil and vanilla and remove from heat.
  3. Transfer caramel sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 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!

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Seed Crackers

Mmmmm crackers. I love me a good cracker. Oddly, however, I rarely buy crackers. It’s one of those things I just never grab when I’m on autopilot at the grocery store. So maybe I enjoy crackers so much because they’re novel to me. Or maybe it’s just because I love carbs.

Vegan & Gluten-free Quinoa Sunflower Chia Seed Crackers

Well, I guess these crackers aren’t that carby. They got quinoa in them, but they also pack a buttload of healthy fats – polyunsaturated from the sunflower seeds, and omega fatty acids in the chia seeds. Also, hello holy fiber. These babies are packed full of them.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Sunflowers

Can we talk about sunflower seeds for a minute? I seriously think they’re underrated. They’re not only tasty, but mega-cheap, and seriously nutritious! They’re one of the foods highest in polyunsaturated fatty acids – aka the best fatty acids, and the ones that can help you lower your blood lipid profiles when used to replace other fats and/or carbs.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Quinoa

Anyways back to crackers. These were kind of made on a whim based on what was in my pantry at my mom’s house in Wisco last week. And then they turned out really great. Like, way better than I had expected. I love when that happens. It makes me happies. Much more happies than when you make something you think is gonna be great and then it’s totally meh or you leave it in the oven way too long by accident because you can’t get your dog back inside from playing with frogs in the lawn and then you totally burn the crap out of whatever your’e making. Not that I speak from experience.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Vegan & Gluten-free

These crackers are hearty, flavorful, and satisfying. They pair great with avocado. They would also be pretty great with hummus, or are perfect on their own. You can also omit the garlic and pair them with sweet toppings, like nut butter or jam. You do you.

Vegan Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers

Let’s take a second to acknowledge the avocado in the photo above is a little bruised. Let’s also acknowledge that it is still perfectly edible and since I hate wasting food and avocados are darn expensive, no, I did not run to the store to buy a new one for this photo. Sorry, guys. But this is about the crack-tastic crackers anyway.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers Vegan

Say cracker again. *cracker.*

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
makes about 6 large crackers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 clove garlic (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mince garlic clove if making savory crackers. Otherwise, skip this step.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
  4. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (I used a 9″ x 9″ pan). Spread cracker mixture over parchment paper.
  5. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from oven. Place a second piece of parchment paper over the crackers, and flip crackers. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until just set/crispy.
  6. Remove from oven. Allow to cool and enjoy.

 

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 !