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.

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! 🙂

Sweet Potato Hummus Vegan Grilled “Cheese” Panini

Do you ever just want a big crusty sandwich with good toasty crunchy edges? I do.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet Potato Vegan

Do you ever want something that’s warm and filling that gives you energy instead of making you feel icky? Then we have something in common.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese  Sweet Potato Vegan

And have you ever had hummus warmed up and realized it’s the best thing ever? I have. And if you have not, it would be my great honor to share with you this simple pleasure.

Sweet  Potato Hummus Vegan   Grilled Cheese

If a sandwich isn’t for you today, you could also try warm hummus in this Hummus Barley Bowl with Sweet Potatoes & Kale. Yes I did just try to subtly self-promote another post of mine within this post. Why not, right? It’s my blog and I #dowhatiwant. Like make sandwiches out of plants and call it grilled cheese. Can I get a kale yeah?

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet   Potato Vegan

*crickets* Anyways terrible puns aside, this sandwich is dank monies. It’s creamy, warm, filling, crusty, crunchy, and oh so luscious. Kind of like Aaron Paul. Except better because it’s a sandwich.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet Potato Vegan

I grilled mine in a panini press. I really enjoyed this life choice. I forgot about my panini press. But hot damn I’m happy I rediscovered it. Time to rekindle my love for pressed sammies. All dem crispy edges <3.

Vegan Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese Panini

If you don’t have a panini press, feel free to use your stovetop and a shallow skillet or frying pan.

Sweet  Potato Hummus Vegan   Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread of choice (I used Multigrain Sourdough from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked or microwaved (about 1/2 cup mashed)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon almond (or other non-dairy) milk
  • 1/4 cup hummus (I used Trader Joe’s Horseradish Hummus; this Miso Hummus works great, as well)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional (recommended) add-ins:
    • sun dried tomatoes
    • fresh tomatoes
    • roasted red peppers
    • roasted onions

Directions:

1. Cook sweet potato until tender, either in the oven at 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or in the microwave for 6-10 minutes.

2. Scrape the insides of the sweet potato into a bowl. Add nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper into a small bowl and mash together. Add almond milk to thin, if desired, and mix well again.

Sweet  Potato Hummus   Vegan Grilled Cheese

3. Spread a layer of sweet potato mash over one slice of bread, and a layer of hummus over the other. Add additional toppings, if desired. I recommend sun dried tomatoes.

4. If using a panini press, bring to medium-high heat and toast until insides have melted and warmed and bread is toasted, about 4-5 minutes. If you are toasting in a skillet on the stove-top, warm and melt about a teaspoon of non-dairy spread or coconut oil over medium heat. Gently place sandwich and allow to toast until browned, about 2-3 minutes, then flip to the other side and repeat on other side of sandwich until both slices of bread are browned, crispy, and delicious. Enjoy. 🙂

More Hummus:

Miso Hummus

Dude I love hummus. It’s been a lifelong infatuation that started at a young age. I have distinct memories of being a kindergardener and bringing hummus to school on a bagel with tomato slices on it and having two kids at my lunch table be all like “Ewwww what is that?” while peering over their basic ham & cheese sandwiches and ho-hos. And I’d be like, “Back off bitches, it’s hummus.” Vegan Miso Hummus Well, not really. But I did stand up for hummus since I was a wee one. And now everyone likes hummus. Hummus is cool. Always has been, always will be. Those lil homies just hadn’t experienced its magical wonders yet.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Another thing I’m into lately is Miso paste. I bought it at work one day (PSA: an 8oz container of White Miso Paste is $1.69 at Trader Joe’s) with no idea what to do with it but I was intrigued.

Miso Hummus

I’ve found things to do with it since! Like make this Ginger Miso Baked Tofu. Man that was good. I’ve also been adding it to rice, vegetable, and noodle dishes for a lil festive umami flair.

Homemade Miso Hummus Dip

Homemade Miso Hummus !

Before I knew it, I was hooked. I’d crave miso. I was eating it straight out of the container with carrots, as if it were actually hummus. And then, it hit me: Miso Hummus. And ever since that epiphany hit, I knew I had to make it. I believe during this epiphany I was texting with my friend/food styling idol, Becky (hi, BH!) and mentioned it to her and she sounded as excited as I felt. And since then I’ve been on a Miso Hummus mission.

Miso Hummus - Vegan

Well, after a little experimenting, I must say, mission accomplished. This miso hummus is boss. It’s all the legume-y umami creamy dreamy luscious yummus hummus foodstuff I dream about. Yes, I dream in hummus. Be jealous.

Vegan Miso Hummus. Easy & Delicious !

I ate this hummus in the morning. Did you know that’s actually traditional in parts of the world? With pickles. Seriously. Pickles + hummus = best breakfast (or snack) combo ever. Anyways, you can make it and eat it however and whenever you’d like. Or not. You do you.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Happy hummus, friends 🙂 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Level: easy makes about 1.5 cups hummus Ingredients:

  • 1 15 or 16 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed with water from chickpea can reserved and set aside
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 clove garlic depending on how garlick-y you like hummus (totally optional, can be omitted)
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid reserved from chickpea can
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Drain liquid out of chickpea can and set liquid aside. Do not throw it away. This liquid is a very helpful component in achieving good hummus texture. Trust me.I learned it in food science. They taught us important stuff at NYU.

2. Rinse chickpeas and place in a food processor or blender. Juice 1/2 a lemon and add to food processor. Mince garlic and add. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons liquid from chickpeas.

3. Grind chickpea mixture in food processor until desired consistency is achieved. You may have to mix it a few times with a spatula or spoon. Personally I like my hummus a little chunky, but if you like it super smooth, blend away!

4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with vegetables, pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or add to sandwiches.

More Hummus-y Goodness:

Hummus Barley Bowl with Sweet Potatoes & Kale

You ever have those days were you just want to eat the earth in bowl? Where you just want something earthy, hearty, warming, full of umami and spice and nourishment that will fill you up without making you feel weighed down? Well I do. And today was one of those days.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl  10

For reasons beyond my explanation I was really craving barley this morning. I’ve been very into plain grains lately. Kamut, corn, wild rice, black rice, oats…just something comforting about a bowl of simple grains to feed the body and mind.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl 6

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of eating carbs. They literally and figuratively fuel the brain and make you all sorts of happies, inside and out. The key is doing ’em right. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits are nature’s way of being like “hey everyone I love you.”

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl 1

Back to barley. Couldn’t get it out of my head. And I was really craving a warm bowl of something hearty and filling. Barley fit the bill, as did the earthy creaminess of hummus. I decided to stir hummus (I used Horseradish hummus from Trader Joe’s…omg.) into barley while the barley was still slightly warm, almost to create a light hummus-sauce of sorts. The result was creamy flavorful grains in my face. In love. Adapting this idea and using it widely in the future.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl  pile

I decided to add some more delicious goodness to the bowl with an all-time favorite vegetable: the humble yet glorious sweet potato. Cubed and roasted plain and simple (okay I added a little cumin for extra flair). But this would be a miraculous way to use up any root vegetable or squash in your house. The pre-cut frozen butternut squash cubes would also work wonders.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl natural

Kale made it’s way into the dish because I had about a fourth of a bag to use up. I’m normally not into cooked greens (I like ’em raw) but a gentle sauté  seemed appropriate for the earth bowl. Cumin, curry powder, paprika and chili powder all lend earthy spiciness to the dish, as well. I threw some more chickpeas on top for extra filling power, adding some more texture, fiber, and protein to keep me satisfied.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl 6

I am so in love with this dish I can’t even express the words. It’s a perfect lunch or light dinner and tastes great eaten as leftovers out of the fridge later on.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl 2

I used barley, but truly any hearty whole grain would work. Quinoa or brown rice would also do the trick. Use whatever you have on hand, but by all means, give this a go. Your tummy will thank me. Happy hummus bowl-ing 🙂

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Level: easy
serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked barley (or wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, oats, etc)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup hummus of choice (I used Trader Joe’s Horseradish hummus and it was excellent!)
  • 1 large sweet potato (or about 1 cup cubed butternut squash – pre-cut frozen would work great!)
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 shallot
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper [ —> quick note on spices: if you really don’t have any of these or some of these on hand, a hearty dose of curry powder or cumin or any combination will get the job done and still be tasty]
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Cube sweet potato and place on a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat sweet potato cubes. Toss gently with a spoon and add salt and pepper to taste. Place into the oven and roast until browned and tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare spice mix by mixing curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together with a fork and set aside.

3. Prepare barley or rice according to package. For barley, I added the 2 cups of water to 1 cup of barley, brought to a boil, and simmered over medium heat until barley had plumped and thickened, about 12 minutes.

4. While barley is cooking, drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into a small skillet or pan. Chop onion finely and add to oil. Add 1/3 of spice mix and simmer onions and spices lightly on low heat until onions are translucent. Lightly chop kale and add to pan. Toss kale gently to soften and cook down slightly.

5. Transfer barley to a medium bowl. While still warm, add hummus and remaining 2/3rds of spice mix. Stir to evenly coat barley with hummus and spices.

6. Add cooked kale and onions from pan directed to bowl and mix again. Top with cubed sweet potatoes and chickepeas. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy :-).