Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies / vegan & gluten free

For awhile, I went through a frittata phase, then there was the chia bowl phase, followed by a bit of a smoothie kick… which brings us to my current morning trend: cookies for breakfast!

But before you think I’ve completely given up on myself, hear me out – these cookies are made with lots of good things – carrots, oats, flax, walnuts, pepitas, cranberries and QUINOA. Yes, carrots and quinoa – it almost sounds like a salad but I promise you these “healthier” cookies are so delicious and energizing in the morning. They’re also vegan, gluten free, and sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined sugars. They’re about halfway in between a muffin and a cookie – big, hearty and filling, but also sweet and nutty.

Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies / vegan & gluten free Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies / vegan & gluten free

Let’s talk for a second about quinoa in cookies – I recommend that you use leftover quinoa here. I like to make a big batch of quinoa early in the week for easy toss-together lunches and dinners. Store your cooked quinoa in the fridge and that way when you’re ready to bake these cookies, it’s ready for you.

If you haven’t baked with oat flour before – it’s so easy. No need to go shopping for fancy flours, just blend your oats in a food processor for about a minute and you have oat flour. It’s gluten free but be sure to seek out certified gluten free oats if gluten is a problem for you.

Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies / vegan & gluten free

Over here, my family is obsessed with these. They’re best straight out of the oven but they also freeze incredibly well (hence, my 1 cookie per day breakfast obsession).

Carrot Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies / vegan & gluten free

Oh, and real quick, today is the last day to vote for us in the Better Homes & Gardens blog awards. I’d be so grateful for your vote!!

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Easy Vegetarian Pho

Easy Vegetarian Pho with Mushrooms & Bok Choy

There are certain foods that I eat for dinner all the time that never make it here. My favorite thai coconut soup is a 5 minute walk from our house and a hot slurpy bowl of mushroom pho is a short distance in the opposite direction. Both have been on my “to make some day” list for a long time. Well, friends, some day has arrived and this recipe was way easier to pull off than I had anticipated.

First things first – this is not an authentic pho recipe because (aside from eating a lot of it) I’m not exactly the most experienced in Vietnamese cooking. Also, I’ve simplified things here by skipping a few steps that were in the recipes that I consulted. I would have titled this “faux pho” if Jack had not rolled his eyes and insisted that the name would make for terrible SEO.

Authenticity aside, this a deliciously spiced hot bowl of noodles with hearty shiitake mushrooms and tender baby bok choy. A new favorite around here.

Easy Vegetarian Pho with Mushrooms & Bok Choy

This recipe makes enough to fill two very large (and very cute) bowls. Double this to serve at least four.

For leftovers, double the broth and store it in the fridge. I would suggest adding the bok choy only as you’re ready to reheat and serve in order for it to retain it’s vibrant color.

Easy Vegetarian Pho with Mushrooms & Bok Choy

Pictured: Soup Bowls

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

So… it’s almost Valentines Day and (big news!), we finally took our Christmas tree down. Yes, that’s right, we are “those people.” Christmas in July would have totally been our reality if my mom hadn’t come to visit this past weekend, because when mom’s here, things around the house get done.

But back to the Valentines’ Day thing – it’s my favorite holiday. It doesn’t involve putting up (or taking down) decorations, which works well for us. We don’t do anything over the top, but we enjoy spending time making dinner together.

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

I love this recipe as a vegetarian main course option. It’s not a side salad trying to be a meal, there’s no fake meat and who knew a slab of cauliflower can be so filling?

Underneath the cauliflower is a tangy romesco-like sauce. I changed around my go-to romesco recipe to be just a tad healthier – it uses a little less oil and I uses chickpeas to thicken the sauce instead of bread. If you don’t have a lot of time to put this together, the sauce can be made at least a day in advance.

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Back by popular demand – spaghetti squash! If you’ve been following for long you’ll know that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of it. But here’s what I’ve learned: it’s best to get the “spaghetti” thought out of your mind. As pasta, it’s kind of mushy. As a roasted vegetable that happens to form into little strands, it’s so delicious. Especially with a squeeze of lemon and a few dollops of pesto.

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

For texture and crunch, I tossed it all with roasted cauliflower, spinach and pine nuts. This is a simple, healthy weeknight meal or vegetable side dish. Serve it like it’s pictured or mix everything together with the pesto. (It’s not as pretty at that point, but still tasty).

And if you’re still feeling like pasta, check back Friday :)

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Hemp Seed & Kale Pesto

Kale & Hemp Seed Pesto

I freaking love pesto. I make it all the time – usually with any herbs, greens, nuts, or seeds I have around. I like to swirl it into my soups, top it onto my eggs, or dollop it onto big salad-ey grain bowls. While there are one or two (or twelve) pesto recipes on this site already, I really love this version, so I think there’s room for one more.

Before I started the blog, I would have never imagined just how many people are allergic to nuts. So in the spirit of the healthy new year, this tasty pesto is dairy free, gluten free (obviously), and nut free with omega-rich hemp seeds in place of the nuts. It’s also basil-free because, well, it’s winter and basil is hard to find.

Kale & Hemp Seed Pesto

Make this and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days – put it on anything & everything (or use it in one of these recipes!)