Tag Archives: vegan

Maple Almond Butter Overnight Oats

Lately, I’ve been making a ton of overnight because it’s been too cold to make smoothies. I find the warmth comforting on cold mornings and they are very tasty and easy! I’ve been playing with various ingredients, but this one is definitely a winner! They are filling, and I love the nutty banana maple flavor with a touch of cinnamon.

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Maple Almond Butter Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 4 oz
  • Difficulty: easy
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These Maple Almond Butter Overnight Oats have a nutty banana maple flavor with a touch of cinnamon. They are naturally gluten-free, vegan and gluten-free.

Credit: My Real Dish



  1. Mash one banana.
  2. Add gluten-free quick oats to a 4 oz jar.
  3. Add almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, almond butter, and maple syrup in the jar.
  4. Stir well, add mashed banana, and stir again.
  5. Put the lid on and put the jar in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Heat them for 50 seconds in the microwave in the morning or serve them cold. I prefer them warm.
  7. Serve with a fruit, nuts, or muesli on top.

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Maple-Glazed Carrot Salad

Sometimes some of my favorite recipes come from trying to find ways to use jumbo bags of carrots from Costco! This salad is one of those recipes. It’s Sunday so I’m not working; I made a stew and had some carrots leftover. My son likes maple-glazed carrots, so I made him some for lunch and then I looked at my salad bowl. Why not add them to my salad?! It was a good experiment.

I’ve talked before about my husband’s limited vegetable preferences. He, of course, is not a carrot lover, but if they are coated in a little maple syrup – that is a different story! However, since he’s not a vegetarian, he added 4 gluten-free chicken nuggets to it, and he ate a huge bowl. I am just happy that he ate his carrots!



  • Servings: ~2 large salads
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Credit: My Real Dish

Tip: (1) I didn’t have any fresh lemon when I was making this dressing. So I used Young Living Lemon Vitality Essential Oil. You can use this for so many things, not use cooking. I talk about using essential oils in cooking here. You can purchase the lemon essential oil here. Or, feel free to substitute 1 tablespoon of lemon juice instead. (2) This salad only requires 2- 3 tablespoons of dressing, so you will obviously have remaining dressing. But I stored it in the fridge and have been using it on so many different salads. (3) It serves two large salads as a full meal, or you will have 4 – 5 side salads.



  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped (~10 cups lettuce)
  • 3 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • pepper to taste

Maple-Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 5 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil  (or you can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice)
  • 1/16 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt


  1. First, prepare the carrots. Chop 3 cups of carrots.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegan butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add carrots, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and sauté continuously (~8 minutes until they are slightly tender).
  4. While carrots are cooking, chop lettuce and prepare the salad dressing.
  5. Chop the lettuce and serve with warmed cooked carrots, along with all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Serve with the Maple-Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing!




Chocolate Wafers (GF, V, Paleo)

Let’s talk about Christmas Traditions. Every year we make an Ice Box Cake with Chocolate Wafers; you can read about it here in a previous post. This is my second year making them vegan and gluten-free. This year, we are home for the holidays. I decided to make a healthier version of my gluten-free vegan cookies and you would never miss the sugar!


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Chocolate Wafers (GF, V, Paleo)

  • Servings: 50 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tips: If you’d like to make an icebox cake with the wafers, see my instructions here. I whipped 2 cans of chilled coconut cream (firm part only) with 2 tablespoons agave, 10 drops of stevia and 2 teaspoon vanilla until peaks form.

Credit: My Real Dish



  1. Combine the gluten-free flour, cacao, coconut sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, scoop 1 tablespoon of vegan butter at a time into the bowl, continually combining with the pastry cutter as you incorporate each tablespoon. (If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you could put them in a Vitamix or a food processor).
  3. Combine the coconut cream and gluten-free vanilla extract in a small cup.
  4. Add the liquid mixture and continue to combine with the pastry cutter until it is fully combined.
  5. Knead a few times to make sure that it is evenly blended with your hands.
  6. Transfer the dough onto a cutting board lined with wax paper or foil.
  7. Form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter.
  8. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or until needed.
  9. Place your oven racks on the top and bottom slots.
  10. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Using a scraper and chopper (I used the OXO Good Grips Multi-purpose Stainless Steel Scraper & Chopper), slice the cookies as thinly as possible.
  12. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper approximately 1 inch apart.
  13. Cook for 6 minutes on the top rack of the oven. After 6 minutes, transfer them to the lower rack and cook for another 6 – 9 minutes.
  14. Makes ~50 – 60 cookies depending on how thin you slice them. What’s good about these cookies is that they are flat at the bottom and are perfect for making an icebox cake!

What are some of your favorite holiday food traditions or recipes?


Chocolate Peanut Butter “Caramel” Overnight Oats (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I have been playing around with overnight oats. I will say this, at first I wasn’t a huge fan. However, after achieving a good flavor with my Pumpkin Overnight Oats, I continued my search for good recipes. I love the easiness of just preparing something the night ahead and having it ready for the next day. I know I’ve mentioned many times that I am constantly scrambling to get out the door in the morning.

So one night I was messing with ingredients, and I had been grinding up dates with a little non-dairy milk in the Vitamix and putting them in my oats. Well, in the USA we have a sauce that’s called The Date Lady Syrup. It’s 100% ground dates. It has become my caramel sauce substitute, and we put it on apples, bananas, pancakes, and waffles.

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So I was wondering, could I just put this syrup in my oats instead of puréeing dates in the Vitamix with the non-dairy milk? The answer is YES and it’s amazing. Especially the way I have it paired with chocolate, peanut butter and banana. YOU. MUST. TRY. THIS.

Date Lady Oats

  • Servings: 4 oz
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tips: (1) If you do not have The Date Lady Syrup you can add 5 dates to the Vitamix with the non-dairy milk and purée before adding to the oats. (2) You can smash the banana before adding to the oats, or slice on top. (3) Works best in at least a 6 oz container. (4) I’ve made the oats with or without the chocolate chips. If you prefer them without chocolate then skip them.

Credit: My Real Dish


  • ½ cup gluten-free quick oats (I used Bob Red Mills
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I’ve used hemp or almond)
  • ¼ teaspoon chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon date lady syrup
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I prefer crunchy peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 banana (see tips, can be smashed or sliced on top)


  1. Add gluten-free quick oats to a 6 oz jar.
  2. Add non-dairy milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, The Date Lady Syrup, peanut butter, and chocolate chips to the jar.
  3. Stir well, put the lid on, and shake.
  4. Put them in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Heat them for 50 seconds in the microwave in the morning or serve cold. I prefer them warm.
  6. Serve with a sliced banana on top.
  7. Sprinkle them with a bit of cinnamon and / or drizzle with more of The Date Lady Syrup



Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew with Goda Masala

If you want to curl up on a cool fall day with a nice hearty lentil stew, this dish is for you. During my pregnancy with my daughter, I craved Indian Food. My friend Melanie and I always used to eat Indian Food, but since she moved to Kansas City, I haven’t had anyone to go with me. So I decided to head to a local Indian market by my home in order to find some delicious spices. I always used to order Tikka Masala at a restaurant, but I decided to switch things up and purchase a goda masala spice blend instead. It’s a spice often used in Maharashtrian cuisine, the third largest state in India located in the west. If you would like to make your own goda masala spice, you can find a recipe here. Maybe one day I will learn to make an authentic Maharashtrian dish with the goda masala spice.

While I was at the Indian market, I also picked up 24 Mantra Organic Mixed Lentils / Pancharatna Dal. They are a mix of mung bean split, black gram split, lentils hulled split, pigeon pea hulled and chickpea hulled split. Supposedly they are easy to digest and do not require soaking. However, I do have a very sensitive stomach and didn’t want to risk the upset. In case you are a newbie to making lentils, here’s what I did to successfully avoid tummy troubles. First, I boiled water. Then, I poured the legumes into a pot and covered them with a few centimeters of the boiled water, the warm water helps break down indigestible starches. I added 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons for each 1 cup legumes). You can also add another acid such as lemon juice. I soaked them for 8 to 12 hours, drained them, rinsed them again, and returned them to a clean pot. I went here online and read about what to do with lentils and followed the instructions.


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Goda Masala Lentils

  • Servings: ~8
  • Difficulty: easy
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This Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew with Goda Masala is in a creamy coconut tomato sauce; it's delicious and naturally gluten-free and vegan with cauliflower, green beans, peas and flavorful spices such as cumin, turmeric, and curry.

Credit: My Real Dish


  • 2 cups lentils (I used 24 mantra organic mixed lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons (~7 cloves) garlic 
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 1 can coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
  • 3 tablespoons Goda Masala
  • 15 grinds of pepper (or pepper to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons (or salt to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry
  • optional: fresh cilantro for serving
  • English peas (10 oz / 1.25 cups)
  • green beans (12 oz / 1.5 cups)
  • cauliflower (12 oz / 1.5 cups)


  1. See tips above about preparing the lentils. If you don’t soak the lentils, this dish is an easy dump in the crockpot meal with little prep!
  2. Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
  3. Add all of the ingredients (except the peas, cauliflower, and green beans) to the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Remove bay leaves.
  5. Heat a 3 inches water in a large pot to boil. Once the water boils, put in cauliflower, peas and green beans in a steam insert into the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Gently fold in the vegetables into the lentil dish.
  7. Optional: top with cilantro when served.



Okra Corn Tomato Soup with Jackfruit

What is going on with this crazy weather? It’s been unseasonably hot here, but once it slightly felt like Fall last week – I had to make a soup. I’ve been rushed for time recently, with my children’s soccer, diving, and gymnastics practices; why did I let them do this to me?! So when I saw this can of Tomatoes, Okra and Corn by Margaret Holmes at Deirbergs (a local St. Louis grocery store), I was inspired to use it to make an easy crockpot soup. They had a recipe on the back of the can, but I thought that it would be nice with jackfruit!


This is the third dish in my jackfruit series; you can read my other two recipes here: BBQ Peach Jackfruit With Chipotle Avocado Slaw and Pineapple Jackfruit Tacos With Pineapple Lime Slaw. I personally like jackfruit best in the crockpot. It pulls apart like pulled pork or chicken, and its slight pineapple-ish taste goes well with the sweetness of the corn and the raisins in this soup.

My husband is not vegan, and he never lived in the South where okra is common like I did. He isn’t a connoisseur of vegetables; he sticks to the basics like broccoli, green beans, caesar salads, and peas. He was very apprehensive to try my soup. After trying it he said that he was surprised that it actually had flavor, and ate it for 3 days. I tried not to be offended by his compliment/insult, and instead, realized that he gave me his picky stamp of approval. Essentially, if you are a meat and potatoes fan like my husband, don’t be scared of the okra and jackfruit in this soup!


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Okra Corn Tomato Soup with Jackfruit

  • Servings: 12 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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This easy crockpot okra corn tomato soup is a savory dish with jackfruit, edamame, and chickpeas. It's sweetened with raisins and flavored with curry.

Credit: My Real Dish

Tips: I served this soup with a gluten-free vegan cornbread. I used this Gluten Free Yankee Cornbread Mix from Glutino Gluten Free Pantry Mix, but made it vegan by using almond milk (instead of buttermilk), 1/4 cup applesauce (instead of an egg), 6 tablespoons vegan butter (instead of dairy butter) and then added 1 can corn. I baked it for 25 minutes at 425 degrees and served it drizzled with agave syrup and a tab of warm vegan butter.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (~1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cans okra corn and tomatoes (I used the Margaret Holmes brand)
  • 1 container gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (~1 lemon, squeezed)
  • 2 teaspoons Redmond’s Real Salt 
  • 30 grinds of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-20 oz can jackfruit, drained and rinsed (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame (without the pods)
  • Gluten-free macaroni shells for serving (I used Tinkyada


  1. Chop onion, mince garlic.
  2. Juice lemon into a measuring cup in order to easily remove the seeds.
  3. Drain and rinse chickpeas and jackfruit.
  4.  Empty the 2 cans of okra corn of tomatoes into the crockpot (with juice).
  5. Add lemon, vegetable stock, curry, pepper, salt, bay leaves and jackfruit.
  6. Cook for 4 hours.
  7. Add the raisins, frozen edamame, and chickpeas and cook for 2 more hours.
  8. Prepare the gluten-free noodles by the instructions on the box.
  9. Serve soup over gluten-free macaroni shells with cornbread (if desired).



Tropical Fruit “Nice Cream” (Vegan & Paleo)

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting my husband’s family in rural upstate New York. The closest Trader Joe’s is over an hour away in Albany, and I stopped there before we got to the farm in order to pick up groceries for the week.

When my kids were begging for dessert, I made this simple “nice cream” with these three ingredients from Trader Joe’s: Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Tropical Fruit Blend, and Organic Blue Agave Sweetener. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, this frozen fruit blend has: pineapples, mangoes, strawberries, and bananas.

First, purée frozen fruit and coconut cream until smooth.

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Then, add the Organic Blue Agave Sweetener.


Put into a freezable container and freeze. I made it at 11 am and served it after dinner at 7 pm. You can try it after 30 minutes – it shouldn’t take long to firm up.


Scoop it out and serve.


I served it with Enjoy Life Vegan Chocolate Chips and the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.


Tropical Fruit Nice Cream Cover 1

  • Servings: 1.1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: My Real Dish


  • 1 can Organic Coconut Cream
  • 16 oz of Organic Tropical Fruit Blend (1 frozen fruit bag)
  • 1/4 cup Organic Blue Agave Sweetener
  • Optional: dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • Optional: Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce. find the recipe here.


  1. First, purée frozen fruit and coconut cream until smooth.
  2. Add the Organic Blue Agave Sweetener and cream until combined.
  3. Put into a freezable container and freeze for at least 30 minutes. I let it freeze for 7 hours
  4. Serve! Feel free to top with Vegan Chocolate Chips and the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.

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What is your favorite “nice cream”? Post about it in the comments! 


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