Simple Coconut & Pecan Macaroons

One of the difficulties of planning this trip for next year is trying to imagine living out of a backpack. It's really true that people- including me- have too much stuff these days. I wouldn't quite consider myself a pack-rat, but I definitely like to hold on to things for memory's sake or because "oh, I might want this someday." It's time to simplify. I feel like we tend to measure our lives by our stuff and what we own. If that is the case, my life is about to become a lot smaller and more compact. 

In reality, however, I'm pretty sure my life is about to get even bigger and more exciting. You would think. 

I want to measure my time in experiences, not in material things. Seems like an obvious goal, but it's easier said than done.

Speaking of simplifying, these cookies are possibly some of the simplest little treats I have ever made. One bowl, one baking sheet, one batch of melted chocolate and you are good to go. Simply delicious.

Coconut & Pecan Macaroons

makes one dozen cookies

3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tbsp coconut milk

1. Preheat your oven to 350º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, syrup, flax seeds, coconut milk and salt until smooth. Mix in the coconut, pecans and flour. Roll the dough into 1" wide balls and flatten them onto the cookie sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes.
3. While the cookies bake, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or over a low flame on the stove, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping. Add in the coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Let the macaroons cool for about 10 minutes, then one by one dip the cookies in chocolate, just coating half of the top. 
4. Place each cookie back on the sheet and refrigerate for at least 2 hours so that the chocolate can set. If you can't wait that long, go ahead and eat a cookie or two and ignore the gooey chocolate mess. It's totally worth it.


Caramel Peach Sticky Buns

Sometimes I like to tell you about my life. 

But other times, the food is just so much better than anything I could possibly ramble about. So let's just get right to it, shall we? No foreplay. All buns. 

Caramel Peach Sticky Buns

makes 8 buns
2 cups chopped fresh peaches
1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup rum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp cornstarch
dough (adapted from here):
1 cup non-dairy milk, warmed
1 0. 25 oz. package active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup applesauce

First, grab some beautiful, ripe peaches and chop 'em up. I thought about skinning them too, but that's just so much work and the skin really just ends up cooking into the sauce.

Once your peaches are nice and diced, grab a saucepan and toss in the peaches, cinnamon and brown sugar. Salute Captain Jack and add that splash of rum. Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly until the peaches are nice and mushy. Combine the water and cornstarch in a separate bowl and add into the peach sauce. Stir until thick and remove from heat.

Now onto the hard part: yeasted dough. If I can do it you can.

Sprinkle the yeast over the warmed soy milk and let sit for about 10 minutes or until frothy. Meanwhile, stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Once the yeast mixture is ready, add the applesauce and whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together.

Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 2-3 minutes or until smooth (add some flour if it's too sticky). Let it rest for 5 minutes, then roll it out into a 9x12" rectangle.

Spread the peach filling all over the dough, leaving a 1" border. Begin to roll the whole thing up, jelly-roll style, taking care that the filling doesn't squeeze out the edges.

Slice the log into 8 equal pieces and place in a 9" round pan. Cover with a dish towel and the buns let rise in a warm place for about an hour. 

Turn on some music and dance around while you clean up a bit :)

Preheat your oven to 350º. After the buns have worked their magic and doubled in size, stick them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until they turn a lovely shade of golden brown. Let them cool for about 15 minutes. But wait, you can't eat them yet.

While the buns bake or cool, whip up a batch of caramel sauce. I used this recipe, but used almond milk instead of coconut milk. Just make sure you are paying attention the whole time, otherwise it will boil too much and turn back into granulated sugar!

See these buns? I know they look good...

But let's kick it up a notch.

Ooooh baby, pour that caramel sauce.

Now we're talkin'.

Pull apart and enjoy the best summer breakfast ever. 

Happy Friday!


Blueberry Molasses Cake with Lemon Icing

When life slows down a bit, it is nice to be able to indulge in simpler pleasures. It's been a while since I made a link-love list for you guys, so I figured it's time to share the things I have been enjoying these days...

-Roasted berries, especially in this incredible looking frozen yogurt from Oh, Ladycakes
-Simple, gorgeous life photography
-Snail mail: sometimes it's fun doing things the old fashioned way
-This song. Her voice is incredible.
-I've been dreaming about chocolate lately. This should cure the craving. Holy jesus.
-I want to learn how to salsa dance. I could totally do that in those heels. No problem.
-This video cracks me up because it is the truth.
-Take me to this bizarre and beautiful lake.

Aaand I've been loving this cake. 

Always cake.

Blueberry Molasses Cake with Lemon Icing

makes 8-12 servings


2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 1/2 cup blueberries


1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 350º and grease and flour a 9" round cake pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and spices. Set aside and whisk together the remaining ingredients (minus the blueberries) in a smaller bowl. Add the wet to the dry and stir until just combined.

3. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and sprinkle the blueberries on top. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
4. While the cake bakes, prepare the frosting. Cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the soy milk, lemon juice and lemon zest and finally the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy.
5. Let the cake cool completely before flipping onto a plate and pouring the icing over the top. Slice and enjoy!

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week! What little things have you been loving lately? 


Rhubarb Crisp

I'm not sure if you've picked up on this yet, but summer always makes me extremely nostalgic. It's probably something about coming home after being away for a whole school year and having almost everything feel the same as it did when I was younger.

In my opinion, nothing tastes as deliciously nostalgic as my favorite summer dessert: my mom's homemade rhubarb crisp. She used to make it every June or early July from the fresh rhubarb we grew in our garden. This year I volunteered to veganize the recipe and make it slightly healthier, while still maintaining that perfect balance of bitter and sweet. The result? Heavenly.

To get this recipe, you can head on over to my post on One Green Planet, where I am so excited to be debuting as a regular columnist!


Mango Lime Muffins

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I suddenly got incredibly busy this summer. I've been working almost every night at a Thai restaurant, running errands, making appointments, trying to see old friends, and planning for my huge scary exciting Europe trip

Yeah, that's the big one.

I officially bought my plane ticket the other day, so suddenly this whole thing has become a lot more real. 
September 5th. 9pm. London here I come. Then on to Paris, Spain, Italy and Greece, with a little wiggle room in between so that I can do some spontaneous traveling. I can barely even contain my excitement!

Anyway, needless to say, this trip has been taking up a lot of my brain space. I have had a lot of people ask me if I will keep blogging while I'm away and the answer is yes! That's So Vegan will temporarily become a travel blog, still centered around food, but with many more life experiences thrown in the mix.

For now, however, the brutal heat in Minneapolis has cooled down and I can finally get back to baking. I tried a couple of no-bake recipes during the 100º weather, but those really don't do it for me as much as watching something magically transform in the oven.

These muffins are lovely for summer mornings. They are light, sweet, and citrus-y and will start your day off right alongside a tall glass of iced tea. 

Mango Lime Muffins

makes 1 dozen muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1/3-1/2 cup sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 lime
juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup diced mango, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp flaked coconut 
1 tbsp sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 375º and line a muffin tin. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lime zest. Whisk together the lime juice, oil and almond milk in a smaller bowl, then add the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until just combined and fold in the mango pieces. 
3. Pour the batter into the muffin liners, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Mix the coconut with the tablespoon of sugar and sprinkle a bit on the top of each muffin. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the coconut begins to toast and a toothpick comes out clean.


Red, White & Blueberries

The greatest thing about living in the same house for your whole life is the consistency and comfort of neighborhood traditions. Ever since I can remember, my community gets together every 4th of July for a parade around the block complete with instruments, goofy hats, flags and kids on decorated bicycles. I've grown up with this parade...

from being wheeled around in a star-spangled wagon,

 to having lemonade with friends,

trying to rollerskate and getting mad when I fall too many times

and eating ice cream with my old baby-sitter who will always be Peter Pan in my mind.

Now it feels so bizarre to be practically one of the adults in the parade. The past three years I'v walked around with the newest generation of Bryn Mawr kids, helping them with their rollerskates and bikes. 

I'm starting to feel old.

But you are never too old for fireworks.

Or holiday-themed popsicles. Obviously.

Red, White & Blueberry Lemon Coconut Pops

makes 4-5 popsicles

1 can light coconut milk
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup diced strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, pour into popsicle molds and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Simple, lovely and delicious.

Happy 4th of July!