Browsing Tag


Birthday Celebration Tarts

June 3, 2013

Today is my birthday! I turn 26.

The day brought much reprieve and rest, along with ample sunshine. My fiancé and I packed a picnic lunch and spent the afternoon enjoying some lovely eats and the warm weather along the harbor. We even have some new freckles to prove it.

I don’t usually aim for anything too fancy on the big day. I like keeping things simple. I’m totally content with enjoying a nice meal with friends and sharing some dessert. There’s always some dancing involved too. Over the weekend I did just that. I set off gallivanting the streets of Cork with my dear friend Emma. You can be sure there was plenty of banter and laughter shared, the best kind of celebrating.

Upon arriving at Emma’s house on Saturday, she remarked, “You look like a tart.” This was funny for multiple reasons. First off, Irish insults are interesting terms of endearment which are abundant in the friendship between Emma and me. Secondly, as coincidence would have it, I just so happened to be experimenting with these raw tarts for my birthday. I went on to explain the intricacies of making raw tarts with nothing but nuts and dates. It turns out we both have bold minds. We collapsed in a huge fit of giggles. Who knew Veganism could be so risqué?

These tarts are pretty amazing. Let’s forget for a moment that they are vegan, gluten-free and raw, and just focus on the delectable elements that combine to create perfection. Raw desserts really are my fave (especially during the summer months.) I can enjoy an incredibly delicious, nutrient-dense dessert without post-dessert remorse. I can feel really good about what I am putting into my body, and what I am feeding the people I love. That is truly something to celebrate.


Raw Berry Tarts

Serves 6



  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup of medjool dates


  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked for 3 hours)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup


  • fresh blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or blueberries
  • mint leaves for garnish (optional)



  1. In a high powered blender or food processor, blend the almonds and allspice until it becomes a fine consistency. Then add in the dates one by one until they have all been added and you have a sticky dough.
  2. Divide the mixture into 6 muffin or tart tins.  Then press the mixture into the tin forming the crust.
  3. Place them in the fridge until you are ready to fill them.


  1. Drain the cashews after they have been soaking for at least three hours and place them in a blender or food processor along with the lemon juice, zest, water and maple syrup. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding additional water as needed.


  1. Place the filling in each tart, heaping it up in the center, using up all the filling. Top each tart with berries and a garnish of mint leaves. Enjoy!

Tarts are best eaten same day but will keep in the fridge for up to two days. 

 Now it’s time to pop some bubbly and toast to another amazing year.

Exotic Spice Cookies

February 13, 2013

Valentine’s day is silly, but I’ll look for any kind of excuse to get dressed up and take my handsome man out on the town. While we don’t go over the top with celebrating, I get into the spirit of the day the only way I know how to show true love: food. I baked again, and with a vengeance.

These are my latest creations – Exotic Spice Cookies. They are perfectly spicy, wonderfully soft and deliciously chewy. They are an ideal companion for a hot cup of tea. And the best part of all – baking a batch or two is incredibly easy. And on a day like today (rainy), baking is the perfect way to pass the time.

Happy baking!


Exotic Spice Cookies 


Makes 12 cookies


  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour or whole grain whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. fresh or powdered ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup nut butter (I used organic almond butter)
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: oats, flour, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl mix nut butter and oil until well blended. Stir in sugar, non-dairy milk and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.
  5. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.


Key Lime Mousse

July 13, 2012

I spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen tinkering with recipes, and I have to say that most of the time my tinkering turns out okay. But sometimes it’s a total failure never to be spoken of at home, on the blog, or anywhere. Then there are times when I simply need to use up produce we have in our kitchen and a new creation is made unintentionally… and wow. Amazing yumminess. That is how this recipe came to be.

Avocados give this luscious dessert its rich, creamy texture. Avocados are considered one of the healthiest foods in the planet because they contain in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium. In fact, you would need to eat two or tree bananas to obtain the potassium content of one avocado. Avocados also contain fiber, protein and beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein, which help protect against various disease and illness. Although avocado is high in fat content, it is mostly the monounsaturated fat which is a healthy fat variety.

Avocados are Mother Nature’s skin moisturizer. With their healthy fats and phytonutrients, they offer remarkable benefits to human skin — both when eaten and when used topically. The avocado oil is added in many cosmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin and make your skin glow. Make your own skin mask by mashing avocado and spread on the face. Leave it on for 25-30 minutes and it’ll instantly reveal radiant skin.

This mousse makes for a healthy dessert or snack that tastes great alone or layered with crunchy graham cracker crumbs. I hope you enjoy this delightful creation.


Key Lime Mousse

Vegan, Raw, Gluten-free, Sugar-free

Serves 2


  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. lime zest
  • 4-5 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • stevia to taste
  • coconut flakes (optional)


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, process all the mousse ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add stevia to taste and process.

Chia Pudding

April 18, 2012

For most of us, we can’t think of the word chia without thinking of Chia Pets – those enigmatic, ceramic, living dolls that were a hallmark of 1980s culture. Who would have thought that those funny Chia Pets use some of the most nutritious seeds around?

These tiny seeds are powerhouses of nutritious energy, extremely filling and relatively low in calories. Chia seeds are remarkably high in omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. They’re full of soluble fiber which is what makes them expand into a gelatinous pudding of sorts when they are soaked in liquid. With a high concentration of easily digestible protein, these little seeds fill you up and keep you energized. Some people call them the perfect food for athletes and dieters alike.

These seeds figured prominently centuries ago in Mayan, Incan and Aztec cultures, where they were valued as an endurance food, and even used as currency. (Chia is the Mayan word for strength.) Its a wonder to me why so many athletes are carrying around those weird packets of alarmingly colored, artificial-protein gel. Here’s a nice tip I’ve learned – soak chia seeds in water and use that as a fuel for your workouts. When I’m out for a long run, especially during my distance races, I bring along with me a drink of soaked chia seeds. It is a naturally perfect energy food.

Making this sweet, comforting and healthy snack (or breakfast, or dessert) couldn’t be easier. Simply pour the ingredients into a bowl, stir, walk away long enough to fold your laundry, do the dishes or maybe call your mom, then come back and it’s done. Or stir it up at night before you go to bed, put it in the refrigerator, and you’ll wake up with your energizing breakfast ready to go as you run out the door.


Chia Pudding

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 3 cups nut milk, coconut milk, or hemp milk
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Place the chia seeds, milk, agave and salt in a bowl (add vanilla and cinnamon, if desired) and stir well, so there are no clumps and all the chia seeds are coated in milk.
  2. Let this set at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate. This pudding will keep well in the fridge for days.