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Hi friends,

As much as I love developing recipes, I’ve been short on time these days, and haven’t been branching out beyond my repertoire of tried, tested and true recipes.  In addition to full-time work, I started grad school this month!   I am equally excited and freaking out.   A master’s degree has been on my to-do list for a while, and this year felt like the right time to dive in.  The extra activity on my plate is why you haven’t heard much from me these past few weeks, and while I may be posting less often than previously.  (Though, I can be a terrible procrastinator when I’m under deadline, so perhaps when the school work gets intense, I’ll be blogging plentifully.  During my last round of school I took up hand-stitching baby quilts and my house was always very clean).

I can’t take credit for any of the following wonderful recipes, but I’ve linked to the original blog post or book’s website.  Here’s what I’ve been whipping up lately…..

Apple Pie Oatmeal (1)Apple Pie Oatmeal from Oh She Glows. Recipe here.  When I give my kids this oatmeal for breakfast, they think they are getting a treat.  It tastes like the sweet cinnamon filling of apple pie, but with plenty of protein thanks to the oats and nuts.  Filling and delicious!  If you want to change it up, Angela has plenty more oatmeal recipes to choose from on her blog, like the Sweet Potato Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole.

Perogies with easy breezy cheesy sauce (1)Pasta with Easy Breezy Cheesy Sauce from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and posted here on her blog The Post Punk Kitchen.   I reduce the amount of water to make it thicker and creamier.  For the fastest mac ‘n cheese ever, I keep a container of the dry mix in the pantry, then mix with hot water and a smidge of mustard, blend, and add to cooked pasta and veggies.   To keep it really simple, I reserve the pasta cooking water for the sauce.  Use it any place you’d use a creamy cheese sauce: over steamed broccoli, poured on baked potatoes or nachos (thanks, Mary, for that idea!).  In the photo above I’ve used the cheesy sauce over perogies with fresh herbs and coconut bacon.
Cinnamon Bun Granola from Tiny Treats (1)Cinnamon Bun Granola from Tiny Treats by Lisa Pitman and Nicole Axworthy.  This granola is so good we have it for breakfast, for snacks and as an ice cream topping for dessert!  I never would have thought to add buckwheat to my granola, but what a great texture it adds!  You can buy the e-cookbook through the authors’ blogs A Dash of Compassion or Vegan Culinary Crusade.  A lovely bonus is a third of the proceeds are donated to the Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary in Northern Thailand, if you need one more reason to support this awesome project!

Jambalaya from Peas and Thank  You (1)Jambalaya from Peas and Thank You by Sarah Matheny.  A hearty and filling meal that’s fast and easy, if rice is already cooked.  In the photo above, I’ve used a mix of brown rice and millet instead of just rice, to change it up.  I use Field Roast Apple Sage sausages which add just a bit of sweetness to the Jambalaya.  If you can handle spicy foods, try the Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausages — they would compliment the jambalaya perfectly but are too spicy for me!

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Almond cookies (7)Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies, another winner from Nicole of A Dash of Compassion.  Recipe here.  Just eight ingredients mean you can whip these babies up in five minutes.  These not-so-sweet cookies are flour-less, high in protein, and their texture is like a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread!  Try adding the ingredients into the pot of melted coconut oil and the heat will melt the chips into a chocolate swirl.
Vegan Brunch by EarthgivenIn other news, I’ve organized a vegan potluck in Waterloo next Saturday, February 2nd at noon.  I love potlucks and hope it will be a nice opportunity for vegans and vegan-friendly people in the Waterloo area to connect.  All are welcome: vegans, non-vegans, adults, kids.   If you’re able to join us, please see the event page on facebook here.  Join us if you can!