Sunday, September 29, 2013

Caramel Sauce Featuring Coconut Flavours

This may sound weird, but it is a really good combination. A family member even suggested just serving the sauce as dessert at Thanksgiving. (I won't be doing that).

My sauce is based off of one from Oh My Veggies. Initially, I didn't use their sauce because I didn't want to open up a can of coconut milk and have some leftover.

Instead, I got creative. However, most people probably don't have coconut cream liqueur on hand so I would understand if you used the sauce found here

The flavours are very similar but when warmed, mine is a tad thicker. If you like lots of sauce, you may want to double the recipe.


  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tbs of water
  • 2 tbs of coconut cream liqueur
  • 1 tbs of coconut oil
  • 2 tbs of almond milk



  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium-high and do not stir.
  2. Allow the mixture to boil and watch it turn a golden colour to light brown. It will start to smell like caramel. This should take about six minutes, but the colour is more important than the time it takes.
  3. Slowly add the remaining ingredients, stirring constantly. Your mixture may react 'angrily' as you add the new stuff. Get angry back with constant stirring.
  4. Continue at this temperature until the sauce becomes thicker. This could take 4-6 minutes. Be aware that it will be thicker when it is cooled and that the sauce can be used warm or cool.
  5. Resist the urge to eat it directly from the pot and instead add it to something delicious, like Baked Apple Won Tons.

Baked Apple Won Tons

Originally I was going to make Baked Banana Won Tons, but then our trip to St. Lucia happened. During this trip, my husband realized that he doesn't like banana type desserts. So, instead I decided to mash up a couple of recipes. The other one I referred to was Baked Apple Pie Egg Rolls.

My creation got pretty good reviews but it's not something I would make regularly because it's a bit more finicky than pour stuff in a bowl, mix, and bake. There are steps, even if they are easy.

My filling was enough for 13 but this could vary.

Also, baking times may be off because I used a toaster oven since our oven is being a jerkface. They turned out well enough that my husband commented that we don't need to get the oven fixed. I resisted the urge to beat him over the head with the dirty baking tray.



  • 2 apples chopped into itty bitty pieces
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • sprinkle of cinnamon, to taste
  • 26 won ton wrappers
  • a bit of melted Earth Balance or other butter substitute (or the real deal if that's your thing)
  • a bit more cinnamon and brown sugar
  • a sauce of your choosing (or Caramel Sauce from Carrot Fight, or Caramel Sauce from Oh My Veggies)



  1. Preheat  your oven (or toaster oven) to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop up your apples, being aware that they will be the filling in pretty narrow rolls, so you don't want huge chunks.
  3. Place chopped apples in a bowl with lemon juice, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
  4. Set aside for a few minutes. Do lunges or something.
  5. Get out your won ton wrappers. Take one won ton wrapper and wet an edge with water. Overlap another won ton wrapper on top of this edge and press the edges together so you have a large rectangle. Wet all edges.
  6. Lightly fill the center of your joined wrappers with the apple filling. Fold up the bottom and top and then roll the left and right sides inwards. Press the edges together and place on a slightly greased baking sheet.
  7. Do this however many more times until you run out of filling or wrappers.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges brown. A few minutes before they are done, drizzle melted butter on top and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon to finish them off.
  9. Add sauce, serve, and enjoy!

Update:  Now that I've had fried cookie dough won tons, I would try frying this instead. Definitely less 'healthy' but likely worth it. And yes, I will be blogging about the cookie dough won tons. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tomato Soup

With cooler weather arriving, I was inclined to try out another soup. This week I was inspired by Tomato Herb Soup from Budget Bytes.

The finished product is nice and thick and doesn't get the nasty skim
on top that can happen with Campbell's Tomato Soup.

The other difference is that this homemade. And it tastes way more authentic with a strong tomato flavour. For most people, this is good (which is why I'm sharing the recipe) but it was a reminder that I don't love tomato.

I know, I know....why try something that isn't true to my taste buds? Well, I don't have an answer for that.

Anyway, the recipe was 'inspired' by the original in that I made changes to make full use of ingredients that I have on hand and to match the size of cans that I bought. It should make 5-6 servings. Here you go:


  • 540 mL can of diced tomatoes (feel free to play with flavour. I used a garlic & herb kind)
  • 1/8 cup of onion (or more or less to your taste)
  • oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • spices of your preference (I used chili powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper)
  • a can of tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth



  1. If you want a super smooth soup, feel free to blend your diced tomatoes and onion and set aside.
  2. Sauté your garlic and spices in oil for a couple of minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the tomato paste and brown sugar and stir on medium-low setting for a few minutes.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, onion, and vegetable broth and stir until smooth.
  5. Heat all ingredients for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Edited:  If you serve it with a tiny bit of cheese or daiya, fresh chopped onion, and flavoured crackers or croutons, the tomato flavour is diminished and it becomes fantastic.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wrapping Up

It seems like I've been super busy these days, but it has been a healthy busy. Except for quitting the challenge of 20 grams of sugar or less. It was messing with my head and I was having 'off' days. I am going to try to keep my sugar low and avoid processed snacks like granola bars. And the Oreos are not invited back into my house.

(Some) Stuff I Ate

Eggplant Parm with Salad
Stir fry

Stuff I want to Eat

My plan may change since our oven is not working and my husband doesn't seem concerned by it. Even after I reminded him that I won't be able to make apple turnover thingies. He may get on it when I point out that this will change the plans to have lasagna and shepherd's pie.
  • Did you guess I want to make lasagna and shepherd's pie? And apple turnover thingies. Well, you should have guessed that. If not, you aren't actually reading.
  • Stir fry leftovers
  • Stuffed peppers
  • Mexican casserole
  • Something on the BBQ


In the Rest of My Life

  • I finished reading The Best of Me and My Secret Sister. Meh on both accounts. I found The Best of Me predictable. It was a let down. I'm not sure why I bothered since there are few books by Nicholas Sparks that I love. My Secret Sister was ok but it really dragged on at the end and became way too sunshine-y for my liking.
  • I'm now reading Lullabies for Little Criminals and We Bought a Zoo.
  • The vet did not bankrupt me but I had to go back and that is another $150 out of pocket. But maybe an extension on bunny-Zayne's meds will fix up her eyes. And that might mean that I won't find her sitting facing the wall so much.
  • I bought a Fitbit One. And now I can't stop moving. Well, I can and I have had lazy days. But it is pretty motivating to try getting 10 000 steps daily. Some people say this is easy. I say that they must be buff totally fit exercise fanatics.
  • On my radar: Skinny Pumpkin Spiced Snickerdoodlescinnamon buns, Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, Vegan Caramel Peanut Popcorn, Chewy Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies, Pumpkin Muffins, and Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf,.
  • The above lists tell me that it is officially fall, that I spend too much time pinning things on pinterest, and that my focus on limiting my sugar made me obsessed with baking ideas.
  • Coming up: apple turnover thingies, Tomato Herb Soup, and a review of the Fitbit One.

Walk gawking
(aka appreciating scenery)
More walk gawking
You get the idea

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fudge & Fire: Testing (delicious) Coconut Fudge

I finally got around to testing out a coconut fudge recipe. It is amazing. It has perfect consistency with a light taste of coconut. Most testers raved about the finished product.

The one exception was my husband who said that it was "pretty good". It is important to note that "pretty" is paired with most of his reviews. He uses "not bad" when he wants to change things up.

For example:

Me: how does this shirt look?
Him: pretty good.

Me: Did you like the movie?
Him: Ya, it wasn't too bad.

Me: Your arm is on fire. How does that feel?
Him: Well, it's pretty hot. Pass the popcorn.

Ok, so I haven't tested the last one out but I think it is accurate to his typical reviews and his reaction to uncontrolled fires involving BBQs or ovens. But that's a story for another day. 

Anyway, all of that to say that everyone who I'm counting said the recipe rocks.

Edited to add: I learned from this experience that I cannot cut a pan of fudge into 36 even pieces.

Also, when I input the ingredients into a calorie calculator, my calculations did not match those of the original recipe. Each piece is over 100 calories more than the other calculation so if you are concerned about it, double check your numbers. But really, if you are that worried about calories you probably wouldn't be eating fudge. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tested: Vegan Mug Brownie

Very dark picture of the brownie
I recently got rid of cookies in my cupboard as a way to reduce the amount of cookies I eat. However, I do like to have a bit of a sweet treat in the evening. And making a vegan mug brownie looked like a great solution. It comes with built in portion control.

Overall, I would say that it is 'ok'. However, the calorie count on it is kind of high, so if this were to make a regular appearance into my week I would cut the recipe in half. I also didn't find the flavour and texture that fantastic.

I would make it again though since I love sweet treats.

And I really shouldn't blog about sweet yummy treats when I'm hungry. This is going to make my grapefruit breakfast seem that much more of a let down.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting creative while clock watching

I should probably be heading to bed now. Typically at this hour I tend to be engrossed in reading, whether I'm enjoying the book or not.

Obviously, I'm not reading right now though. (I'm not quite talented enough to read and type at the same time).

Instead, I'm watching the clock watching to see if my bunny-Behr gets better or if he needs another dose of tummy medicine. And I have to cross my fingers that bunny-Zayne doesn't get an upset tummy from pigging out on all of the pellets that Behr didn't eat. It's like the rabbits only get sick at my bedtime.

Anyway, because I may be up for another 1-4 hours I opted to have a second evening snack. I am trying really hard this week to stay under my daily goal of 20 grams of added sugar, + vegetarian cuisine + dairy-free + adequate protein.

With only one gram of sugar left for the day, I had to try something different (for me). So, I:

  • cut up an apple
  • added a teeny bit of peanut butter
  • added a tablespoon of rolled oats
  • added a 1/4 serving of trail mix
  • and microwaved the mixture

It was filling and mostly yummy. I would have preferred some chocolate in there too but that works against the sugar goal. Boo.

Morning update: Behr is feeling much better this morning. And I will be having an afternoon nap. Maybe.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Put down the cookie and all things yummy

I was recently challenged to consume 20 grams of added sugar or less per day over the course of a week. I haven't been entirely successful but I have learned a lot and am working to eat more natural and less processed food. I'm averaging around 20 grams every other day. (The other days may have been filled with much missed Oreos and other 'illegal' foods).

Technically, today is the last day of the challenge. However, it is something I would like to continue working at and would like to get an entire week completed successfully. We will see how that goes!

(Some) Stuff I Ate:

Naan pizza and cucumbers
Grilled veggies and chickpeas

Quinoa & couscous salad

Stuff I want to Eat

  • This week's loose plan includes chili, eggplant parmesan, and eggplant/tofu souvlaki
  • I may have peach/raspberry crisp headed my way. Someone made it as a treat for me but is threatening to revoke the privileges because I was mean or something. Pft. If that's the case, this person may not get to have my planned apple turnover thingies or coconut fudge. Ha. I win.
  • Lots of low sugar stuff. I didn't buy Oreos this week. I may not make it.

 In the Rest of my Life

  • I finished The One and Only Ivan (man did I cry!), Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons (it lost it's steam halfway through), and Man's Search for Meaning (good).
  • I'm now reading The Best of Me and My Secret Sister. Neither are drawing me in as much as I would like.
  • The vet did not bankrupt me but I did not enjoy paying $250. Did you know the difference between a consultation fee and an illness examination? Other than $30? I do not. The bunnies are doing better now but we cannot turn back time. It seems I have another elderly bunny. Boo.
  • I was not killed by watermelon or mushrooms (as predicted last week).
  • I applied to volunteer somewhere. Might as well do something useful, right?
  • On my radar: the Fitbit One....and that's it.
  • Coming up: review of the Vegan Mug Brownie, Coconut Fudge, and apple turnover thingies. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Watermelon Gazpacho

You know what happens when you have an entire watermelon to consume by yourself? You get creative. I can't count how many bowls of watermelon I've eaten in these past couple of days and when that got boring, I mixed things up. I added it to my smoothies and my salad. I gave some away. And I still had 7/8 of a watermelon left. So, I froze some and was down to 1/2 a watermelon.

I searched for recipes. I found a lot of drinks but not much else. So I sucked it up and made watermelon gazpacho. And then I froze the rest of the watermelon....until I realized that it had been breeding in my fridge and somehow I still have watermelon left.

But onto the gazpacho...I found the recipe on I doubted that I would like it but I figured if I put it into a recipe I could give more away. And it worked, I was able to pawn some off on the same family member. I was also right about not really liking it but my sampler said it was ok so maybe normal people like it? (well, as normal as someone can be if they like gazpacho to begin with).

Now I just have to freeze the remaining watermelon and I will have enough for a lifetime of smoothies.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Heads up....

I'm tweaking a few things on the blog so if it gets wonky it will be fixed.

The Leek Soup that changed everything

I'm not really a soup fan. If you were to catch me eating soup it would be because I had no choice and was offered by some well-intentioned family member, or I was actively trying to lose weight. And I definitely never ate any "cream of" concoctions. Uh, hello, broccoli isn't supposed to be eaten ever, *especially* not in soup.

And then I was in St. Lucia and cream of leek soup was served as an appetizer. I dreaded having the bowl placed in front of me because I knew I wouldn't like it. It fell into the "cream of" category and it was leek. Who eats leek??

It turns out, I am on the cream of leek bandwagon. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. So, naturally I came home and tried to recreate the dish. The recipe I found did not yield as much flavour, and it was a lot of work for what seems to be three servings, but it was still really good. So, here you go: Cream of Leek Soup from the Vegan Chronicle.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wrapping up

I have been really lazy with the pictures lately, so I don't have a lot to share. I have been working really hard (uh, since Saturday) to get back on board with being dairy-free. And I have rocked most days. I'm also working on the exercise side of things with slightly less success. But any exercise is more than I was doing, so I'm not getting too down on myself about it.

I am happy to report that I navigated a couple of days with the in-laws and offered some vegan choices that they claim they enjoyed (although I was not asked for a recipe). I served up BBQ portabella mushrooms with my BBQ sauce concoction, bean salad, veganized Big Mac Sauce (I used Tofutti and Veganaise), the no-bake bars, and the chocolate mousse (which I altered slightly to make it less dense).

(Some) Stuff I Ate

Toasted Tomato Sandwich & Bean Salad
Grilled veggies on spaghetti squash
(a new favourite)

Stuff I want to Eat

  • Likely more tomato sandwiches. Our garden tomatoes are doing very well.
  • Watermelon. I had a craving last week and couldn't find any. But then I did....except I had to buy a whole watermelon and I will need to eat it all myself because my husband doesn't like them. I may die from excess watermelon consumption.
  • Something with mushrooms. I wanted 1-2 mushrooms. I had to buy a package of 5. If I don't die from excess watermelon consumption, the mushrooms may get me.
  • I may try to recreate some really yummy Southwestern baked potatoes we had on the weekend. Although it might be too soon.

In the Rest of My Life

  • I'm still reading The One and Only Ivan, Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons, and Man's Search for Meaning. I've made a pretty good dent in all three.
  • I will likely go bankrupt following a trip to the vet today. I'm taking all of the bunnies in.
  • And I can't believe it's September....other than the fact that my feet are freezing and I'm too lazy to get my slippers. Stupid September.
  • On my radar: Coconut Fudge, Stain Solutions (not to eat!!), Vegan Mug Brownie, Double Chocolate Truffles, Simple Vegan Brownies, and a basic recipe for Coconut Ice Cream. Based on these links, you are likely thinking that I am a super messy person with a sweet tooth, or I was PMSing while browsing Pinterest. You are not wrong.
  • Coming up: I have no clue.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

World's Best No Bake Bars

A few weeks ago I saw the World's Best No Ba1ke Bars floating around on Facebook. I don't really get people posting recipes to Facebook because it would be a pain to find later (and that's what Pinterest is for). I make exceptions to people sharing recipes with others in mind but I still don't really get it.

As usual, I made alterations to the recipe.


  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (the original recipe called for honey)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup dry oats
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies*
  • 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Melt the peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil on the stove. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  4. Pour into a pan and cool in the fridge.
  5. Enjoy!

* the original recipe called for 2 cups of oats and no Rice Krispies. I like the crunch that my alteration provided.