Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies! Rawr!


We love our oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but we wanted to mix it up a bit and have something that would make for a healthier pre-workout snack. Well, oh my lord, these are incredible! Wow! They taste just like moist brownies. But, believe it or not, they have very little added sugar and require no baking, and include the health-promoting ingredient maca, which means we can better justify indulging in several cookies on a daily basis.

Makes about 18 cookies.
(Some of these ingredients may require a visit to a health food store or the “green” section of your supermarket. Or you can use the links I’ve provided and order the ingredients online. Trust me, these are so good, it’s worth it!)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup coconut flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tsp maca powder
3 tbsp agave nectar
4 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 large Medjool dates, pits removed
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Heat a small frying pan over low heat and add the coconut. Toast coconut until it has turned an amber color, about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
2. Place the toasted coconut, coconut flour, cocoa powder, maca, and agave into a food processor and start the machine.
3. Add the almond butter and vanilla extract, then one at a time, add the pitted dates and process until a crumbly dough has formed. The dough should be, well, doughy. Like a thick cookie dough. If too wet, add additional coconut flour. If too dry, add water, a little at a time, until optimal doughiness is achieved.
4. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the dark chocolate chips. Using clean hands, grab about a table spoon and squeeze and roll to form a tight ball. Flatten the ball using your palm to form a small cookie. You’re welcome!



Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries
Garlic-Herb Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Wild Mushroom Gravy
Quinoa Corn Bread
Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes
Pumpkin-Pecan Praline Cheesecake

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries
1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts
3 oz. coarsely chopped pecans
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz. coarsely chopped dried cranberries
1. Slice the Brussels as thinly as possible, with a knife or mandolin. If you use a food processor, use the thinest slicing disk possible.
2. In a saute pan, toast the pecans over medium heat for 2 minutes.
3. Add the olive oil, then the Brussels, salt, and pepper. Stir continually until the Brussels are just tender and their color brightens, approximately 6 minutes.
4. Remove from the pan. Add the cranberries. Toss and serve!
Garlic-Herb Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
2 russet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
2-4 tablespoons vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1. Place the potatoes in a 4-quart pot in enough cold water to submerge them, making sure there are about 4 inches of extra water on top for when you add the cauliflower. Bring potatoes to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.
2. Meanwhile, saute the garlic with the olive oil, along with the thyme and marjoram.
3. Drain the potatoes and cauliflower in a colander, then return them to the pot, and use a potato masher to mash them a bit.
4. Add the garlic and herbs, 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, and the salt and pepper, and mash a bit more. Use a fork to make sure all the seasonings are mixed well. if needed, add another 2 tablespoons of broth. Taste for salt. Serve warm.
(Source: Appetite for Reduction)
Wild Mushroom Gravy
6 tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, or portobello
1 cup brown rice flour (if you can’t find this in your grocery store make it by whizzing up brown rice in a blender)
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1. Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion and mushrooms until softened, about 10 minutes, and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the rice flour over low heat to make a roux. Stir 2 cups of water, the tamari, sage, rosemary, and tarragon into the roux and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer until the gravy is thickened and smooth, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the mushroom-onion mixture and cook over low heat until warmed through. If the gravy is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve the right consistency. Serve at once.
(Source: The Candle Cafe Cookbook)
Quinoa Corn Bread
See recipe here.
Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes
See recipe here.
Pumpkin-Pecan Praline Cheesecake
This recipe begins with my raw vegan cheesecake plus a pumpkin pie layer on top and then a pecan-prailine mix on top of that. Yum! Add these between steps 3 and 4.
For the pumpkin pie layer…
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp tapioca flour (or use arrowroot or cornstarch)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch allspice
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
2. Spread on top of the cheesecake with a spatula.
For the pumpkin-pecan praline…
2 tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
A couple shakes of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Heat a well seasoned, lightly oiled iron skilled over medium heat and add the vegan butter, cinnamon, sea salt, pecans, pumpkin seeds and brown sugar. Stir for a minute or two to toast the seeds and pecans. Add the maple syrup and stir till bubbling and sticky.
2. Remove from heat; spoon and spread the praline onto a greased baking sheet to cool. Break the praline into pieces for garnishing the top of the pie. Get ready for heaven!

Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars

IMG_2331-22                       IMG_2333-12

These energy bars are a staple in our house. Robert brings two to work everyday. The recipe comes from Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier, the professional ironman and triathlete. Unlike commercial energy bars which provide sugary stimulation from highly-processed ingredients, these homemade bars provide real nourishment that delivers sustainable energy. We wrap them individually and store them in the freezer. They wont freeze solid (no thawing necessary) but will maintain their chewiness so they are perfect to bring along on a hot or cold day.

1 small apple, cored
1 cup dried dates
1/2 up cooked quinoa
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup hemp protein
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. In a food processor, process all ingredients together to desired mushiness.
2. Shape into balls or bars. Wet hands with water while shaping to prevent sticking. Recipe yields about 12 bars.

Wholehearted Granola


Can granola motivate you to get out of bed in the morning? This one sure can! Yes, it is that good. Not only will you adore the taste, but it’s packed with fiber, protein, and essential fatty acids so it’ll leave you well-nourished and well-satiated for hours. I love eating it dry while Robert usually eats it with almond milk. Either way, it’s good stuff!

1 apple, diced
2 cups oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup hemp protein
1 cup unhulled sesame seeds
1 cup raw almonds, diced
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 packet ground stevia leaf (1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup molasses

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
3. Spread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour or until toasted. Let cool and store in the fridge.

Source: I adopted this recipe from Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier. The only part I changed was omitting the oil.

Raw Vegan Cheesecake


This recipe was inspired by a recipe from my friend Yifan. It’s AMAZING! When Mr. Goldhouse took the first bite be said, “Wow. This is really something special.” Unlike a typical New York Cheesecake, which is loaded with unmentionables unfit for this nice blog, the ingredients in this version are so pure and simple– a crust of ground walnuts and dates, and a filling of pureed cashews and coconut oil. Seriously, seriously good.

2 cups raw walnuts
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup dried coconut
3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup agave syrup
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the crust, process the nuts and the dates in the food processor. Sprinkle half of the dried coconut onto the bottom of a pan. Press the nut and date mix onto the coconut, lining in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining half of the coconut on top of the crust.
2. To make the filling, thoroughly process the cashews, lemon juice, agave, vanilla and water. Slowly add in the warmed coconut oil. To make it extra smooth and creamy, use a blender.
3. Pour the mixture onto the crust. Smooth with a spatula so the cake looks level.
4. Place in the freezer until firm (at least 4 hours, usually). Defrost in refrigerator and enjoy a slice of heaven!

Banana Oat Date Cookies


These cookies have no added sugar, but you’d never know it because the dates and bananas provide just the right amount of sweetness. They make for a healthy option for a snack, breakfast on the go, or dessert. I show you how to make them oil-free as well 🙂

3 large ripe bananas
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil (for an oil-free option use 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce instead)
2 cups rolled or quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (More if you like cinnamon a lot. Sometimes I do 1 tsp.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 or 7 large dates, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking pan with canola oil or line with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth.
3. Add the vanilla, canola/apple sauce, oats, coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and mix with your hands or a fork until fully combined.
4. Fold in the chopped dates.
5. Using a tablespoon spoon (is that what it’s called?) scoop out heaping dollops of the dough onto the baking pan. You could also use your hands but I thought the round shape created by the tablespoon spoon was really cute. (Note: The cookies wont spread very much so they can be placed closely together.)
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Depending on your oven, it could take up to 30 minutes.

Source: This is an oil-free version of a recipe in “Color Me Vegan” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

We’re All Cookie Monsters!

When I originally wrote this post, I hadn’t had a chocolate chip cookie in a really, really long time. Cookies generally aren’t wheat-free, so I stopped eating them for my stomach’s sake. By the time Robert and I decided to go vegan, cookies had already become such an unfamiliar and far-away memory for me that I didn’t even think to look for vegan cookie recipes.

Well, not only are there tons of recipes for vegan cookies out there, I found a recipe for vegan AND wheat-free cookies! And let me tell you, these babies were gooood. So chewy and so soft. I swear my eyes were closed the whole time while I was eating them because I was in dreamland. 

Plus, when I licked the spoon and the bowl, I didn’t have to worry about salmonella because the batter had no eggs, or any butter. If anyone you know thinks being vegan means a living a life of culinary sacrifice, bake them these cookies and their minds will be changed. Guaranteed.


1 3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup organic canola oil
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds or flax meal
1/4 cup almond milk (or soy is fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl add oat flour and baking soda and whisk. Add the flax, almond milk, sugars and stir. Add canola and vanilla and whisk vigorously for about 1-2 minute.
3. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Drop batter by the tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 1 1/2 inch between cookies. Stick ’em in the oven.
5. Remove from oven after 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove with a spatula and put them on a cooling rack.

Source: Inspired by a recipe in Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Their recipe called for more white sugar than brown sugar, but I prefer to use more brown sugar than white sugar.

Robert’s Power Breakfast! (And, Why You Don’t Need Cow’s Milk for … Anything!)

Did you know that humans are the only species on that planet that 1) drink the breast milk of another species, and 2) continue to consume milk far past weaning age?      

I certainly didn’t think about it like that until recently, but once I did, I got the heebie jeebies all over.

The practice of consuming the milk of other animals is actually a fairly recent phenomenon in human history, and our bodies aren’t built to handle it very well. After the first few years of life, we stop producing the enzyme lactase and lose our ability to digest lactose. It’s no wonder so many people have trouble digesting milk (let alone the milk of another kind of animal) past weaning age. What is often called “lactose intolerance” (the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose after weaning age) shouldn’t be thought of a disease. It’s the normal “condition” for most human adults–a whopping 75% worldwide–because adults aren’t babies, obviously, and no longer need to be able to digest milk

Like most people, I thought humans consumed cow’s milk to meet our calcium needs, but it’s believed that the amounts of calcium consumed by humans in the late Paleolithic era were more than double the intakes of today–with no cow’s milk at all. Humans evolved in a calcium-rich, salt-poor dietary environment, and our basic metabolism has changed little from that of our Stone Age ancestors.

Where did their calcium come from? Plants! That’s right, calcium-rich plant food! Calcium-rich foods that are widely available today include kale, collard greens, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, seaweed, romaine lettuce, (the list goes on!) as well as beans, nuts, and seeds. There’s even some calcium in whole grains and fruits, which are already loaded with health benefits in their own right.

There are lots of plant-based milks and yogurts out there (I eat plain soy yogurt every morning for breakfast). Robert has started drinking almond milk, which he uses in his daily breakfast smoothie. Almond milk is delicious and nutritious. It’s free of cholesterol and saturated fat but contains omega fatty acids (that’s the good stuff). It’s rich in vitamins D, E, and A. It has high levels of magnesium, potassium, selenium and 30% of daily calcium needs in each cup. Robert absolutely LOVES this smoothie. He comes home from work every night and says something about how good his breakfast was.

Ingredients (top photo, from left to right):
Almond Milk
Peanut Butter
Ground Flax Seeds
Agave Nectar