PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Muffins & Breads Chapter (Decadent Muffins)

Decadent might be a bit misleading of a label. I didn’t know what else to call this group of muffins and decadent was the only word that came to mind. In the context of a cookbook that is focused on low-calorie plant-based recipes, I use decadent to describe chocolate or peanut butter. Like I said in my last review of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean muffins, for all of the recipes reviewed today I used the gluten-free mix that is in the cookbook. Any gluten-free all purpose flour will work though as long as it has xanthan gum or guar gum in it. If your mix does not have either of these just add 1 tsp for every cup of flour you use.

Chocolate Chip Muffins, page 44

Chocolate Chip Muffin


This was my least favourite muffin recipe. I made them to be a part of our Christmas morning breakfast and unfortunately there were plenty leftover after the breakfast. I think the name of these muffins is a bit misleading because they definitely taste like banana chocolate chip muffins. This is important for me to mention because I know some individuals who have a strong aversion to banana anything so these muffins definitely come with a warning that they taste strongly like banana. I love banana, but appreciate that not everyone does. I also found these muffins to be very dry and dense. I’m not sure if this is a result of making the muffins with gluten-free flour instead of the white whole wheat flour the recipe calls for. These also stuck significantly  to the paper liners I used, so that wasn’t overly fun. My fiance did try one and said it was dry. I tried to make him eat the last two that I didn’t want but he didn’t want them either. Basically , finishing off these muffins felt like a chore and I may or may not have thrown out the last one or two because I just couldn’t do it. I’d love to hear others feedback about this recipe because I can’t help but wonder if I messed up the recipe somehow and that’s why they were so dry and dense. If you’ve made these, let me know your thoughts!

“Cheater” Peanut Butter Muffins, page 43

Cheater Peanut Butter Muffins

These muffins were okay. I found the texture to be a bit gummy and I think this may have been because the recipe called for 1 apple. With the apple you chop it and set aside 1 cup chopped and put the rest in the food processor with the other wet ingredients. I must have used an apple that was larger than it was supposed to be and the extra wet ingredient caused the gummy texture. Needless to say, I prefer recipes that give measurements instead of “1 apple”, specifically for baking because baking can be very finicky. If I were to make these again I would just use the 1 cup of chopped apple. To be honest I don’t even remember much about the flavour of these because the gummy texture threw me off so much but they all got eaten so they must have had a flavour good enough to compensate for the texture. My fiance said that these muffins were okay and agreed that the texture was off but he still ate a bunch of them.

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones, page 52


Now, this was a good recipe! These scones were absolutely scrumptious. I wasn’t expecting to like them all that much as scones aren’t really my thing, but these ones surprised me. They were not like a traditional scone in the way that their exterior was harder like a scone, but their center was soft like a muffin. Basically if a chocolate chip scone and a banana muffin had a baby, this is what you’d get. This recipe also came with a recipe for a sugar glaze to put on top if you’d like. I did not use the glaze but the next time I got to a breakfast potluck I would strongly consider making these and I’d add the glaze to give them that extra something. My fiance gobbled these up and said that he liked them better than traditional scones, which he does like. If you have Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, I would strongly recommend giving these beauties a try this weekend. 

That’s all for now, but I’ve got one more post from the Muffins & Breads chapter and it will be focused on the fruity muffins 🙂

xoxo Erin 

Previous Project Light & Lean Review: 

       Veggie Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin



PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Muffins & Breads Chapter (Veggie Muffins)

My review of muffins and breads from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean has finally arrived. I meant to post this a week or so ago but life intervened, as it always does. Since things have been so busy for me lately I’ve rediscovered weekend relaxation. And by rediscovered, I mean discovered, because to be honest, relaxation was never something I was very good at. I really only began appreciating relaxation after we got our puppy, Wayne. I enjoy being busy and always thought I was at my happiest when I had a million things going on. Turns out I’m at my happiest when I have a million things going on during the week and nothing going on during the weekend. Oh relaxation, how I hope to never let you go!

All this reminiscing about relaxation is distracting me! Back to muffin and bread talk. Overall I’d say I had success with the muffin and bread recipes from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. I definitely liked some recipes more than others and there was only one recipe that I struggled to eat all of the muffins…but I’ll review that recipe in another post. The recipes I’m covering today are the recipes that had vegetables in them! I love when muffins have vegetables in them because, well because I love vegetables.

I should also note that for all of these recipes I used the gluten-free mix that is in the cookbook. Any gluten-free all purpose flour will work as long as it has xanthan gum or guar gum in it. If your mix does not have either of these just add 1 tsp for every cup of flour you use.

Pineapple Carrot Muffins, page 47

Pineapple Carrot Muffins

I liked these muffins. They had a nice texture and I did not use the optional applesauce. I think they would have been too moist if I had used it. These muffins were also easy to make. The hardest part was grating carrots. And grating carrots isn’t hard, so that’s pretty awesome. These muffins were also not overly sweet, which is something I like in a muffin. My partner liked these muffins but described them as “healthy”, which is his code word for “I’ll eat it but if you don’t make them again I won’t notice”. Also, the recipe says it makes 12 muffins but I only got 9 out of the batter. I used the scoop that I always use when I make muffins so I’m not sure what was up with my minimal batch.

Cornbread, page 55


Mmmmm this cornbread was super yummy. I did not use the optional sugar and I still found the bread to be sweet. I actually enjoyed this bread as a dessert with some strawberry chia seed jam my best friend made for me and also as a side to soup. Basically this bread did not last long in my house! My partner also really liked the bread and ate it both as a sweet treat and as an accompaniment to soup. It is very likely I will make these bread again!

Pumpkin Muffin, page 50

Pumpkin Muffin

This recipe was a single serving recipe, which I think is brilliant. Sometimes I’m not interested in committing to making 12 muffins and eating them all week long (yes I could freeze them, but I never do). Anyway, I loved this recipe because it was a single serving and also because the flavour and texture were perfect! They were moist and fluffy and full of pumpkin flavour. I haven’t made this muffin for my partner yet but I think he’ll like it…especially if I throw some chocolate chips in there.

Lemon-Zucchini Muffins, page 45

Lemon Zucchini Muffins

I really love lemon so naturally I really liked the flavour of these muffins. Their texture was also very light and fluffy, which matched very well with their bright and clean lemon flavour. I gave a couple of these muffins to our realtor because we were seeing her the day I baked them and she also loved them. In fact, she now frequently reminds me that she’s open to receiving any of my baked goods 🙂 My partner also said he liked these muffins, however, he also said they would make a good dinner roll. So that’s kind of confusing. He had a bad cold at the time so I think it’s likely he couldn’t taste the lemon flavour at all and was just basing his review off of their texture. Oh, and I had to bake these beauties for 10 minutes past the upper limit of the recommended baking time. I don’t know if this is because of the gluten-free flour or if my oven is just different.

Breakfast Corn Muffins, page 51

Breakfast Corn Muffins

Meh. That was my reaction to these muffins. They were okay, not bad but not overly exciting either. They were very dense, which is not my favourite when it comes to muffins. The recipe also called for 2 carrots minced and I think it would be better if a volume measurement for carrots was given instead (e.g. 1 cup shredded carrot) because carrots definitely vary in size. I used what I thought were two average sized carrots but the batter looked very carrot dense. My partner thought these muffins were okay and only ate them with some butter spread across them.

Stay tuned for more muffin reviews!

xoxo Erin

Other Project Light & Lean Reviews:


Pancakes & Granola

Savory Breakfasts

PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Breakfast Chapter (Savory Breakfasts)

Last week when I started posting Project Light & Lean reviews I had a posting schedule and I was sure that I would follow that schedule. Two days in…and I was already off the schedule. I was initially frustrated with myself that my plan didn’t work. How could I have fallen off of my posting schedule so soon? Should I even have committed to this project if I couldn’t even stick to the schedule I created for myself? What does this say about me?

Project Light & Lean

And then a moment of clarity emerged through my mental chaos. That moment of clarity said “who cares!” and with that my mind cleared. My frustration, doubts and criticism floated away. I was finally able to look at the situation and reflect on what was going on. And what was going on was I created expectations of myself that were not realistic and it resulted in me feeling negative. Isn’t it fascinating the impact expectations can have on our experiences? Me falling behind on my posting schedule doesn’t actually have any impact on whether or not I finish the project. Sure, it will likely alter the time frame but who cares! At the end of the day it’s the process of completing the project that is important, not the final outcome of the project being finished.

With all of that said, I think it’s time for more breakfast talk. Today I’m talking about the savory breakfasts from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. Overall, I am not generally a fan of savory breakfasts. Why would I eat something savory when I could eat something sweet? Obviously that is just my taste preference. I’d eat breakfast and dessert for every meal of the day if I could without feeling completely “blah” after a day or so. I should note that I actually ate all of the savory breakfasts for either lunch or dinner. Yes, I’m cooking my way through the cookbook, but I’ve make no commitment to eating the recipes for the meal they were intended for 🙂

Breakfast Tacos, page 25

Breakfast Tacos

I did not completely follow this recipe as I was suppose to. Since I was making it for lunch I doubled the amount of steamed greens. I also used taco shells instead of corn tortilla’s because the only gluten-free corn tortilla’s that I’ve been able to find are frozen and fall apart very easily. Because of the changes that I made to the recipe I had a difficult time fitting all the fillings into the shell. Basically it was hard not to make a mess while eating but since they tasted pretty good I wasn’t bothered by the mess I made. These tacos were sweeter than I was expecting and in hindsight I could definitely enjoy these babies for breakfast. They were super quick to throw together so they would make a good weekday breakfast. My partner did not try this recipe because I made them when he was not home and to be honest they are not something I would expect him to like so I didn’t go out of my way to make them for him.

Tempeh Bacon, page 36

Tempeh Bacon

This recipe was interesting. I liked the tempeh bacon when I made a sandwich with it but I wouldn’t eat it by itself. I don’t really know how to explain it, but there was an after taste that I noticed when I ate a piece by itself that I didn’t notice when I ate it in a sandwich. My partner only had a bite of this recipe but I was surprised when he said that it wasn’t bad and that he would eat it if it were in a sandwich. I should note that I never made him a sandwich with the tempeh bacon so I have no concrete evidence that he would have eaten it. I don’t think this is a recipe I’ll be making again because it took some forethought to have the tempeh marinate for 4 hours before cooking and I wasn’t overly impressed with the recipe in general. To be fair, I have yet to find a recipe for tempeh bacon that I really like. This probably means that tempeh bacon and I are just not meant to be.

Drop Biscuits, page 33 and Olive Gravy, page 34

Drop Biscuits & Olive Gravy

Okay, I need to start this review by saying that I do not like biscuits and gravy. It was not something that I grew up eating and not something that ever looked appealing to me. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I did not like these biscuits. I did, however, like the gravy and I would say the meal overall was okay. Like I said, a dry biscuit is not appealing and had the gravy not been so flavourful, I probably would not have been able to finish my serving. If I liked biscuits and gravy though I think this recipe would have been fantastic. The gravy had a gentle salty flavour that paired well with the garlic that was also in the gravy. I didn’t make this recipe for my partner because I was not expecting to like it myself and figured if I didn’t like it than there was no way he would like it. Both the biscuits and gravy are not gluten-free, however, they were easily made gluten-free by substituting an all-purpose gluten-free flour for the white whole wheat flour the recipe called for. Just remember to make sure that your all-purpose blend has either xanthan gum or guar gum!

Tofu Scramble, page 35


I usually like tofu scrambles and I definitely liked this one. It was very quick to make and it had a really bright flavour. The texture was different than your typical scrambled eggs because it doesn’t have that fatty taste, but this dish is so much more filling than eggs that I think even an egg lover would appreciate it. I made this tofu scramble for my partner but put it in a wrap for him to eat on the go and he really liked it. I’m learning that he’s more likely to eat something if I just hand it to him and don’t let him know what’s in it. I feel fairly confident that had I told him his wrap was filled with tofu scramble he would have turned his head. Since I told him it was a breakfast wrap though he bit into it without thinking and liked it. I’m slowly cracking his code, MUAhaha!

And with that, this post concludes the breakfast chapter in Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. In case you didn’t notice, every recipe was either naturally gluten or easily made gluten-free, awesome! Next is the Muffin & Bread’s chapter…

xoxo Erin

SUSHI RICE SALAD- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free

As much as I’m enjoying creating Project Light & Lean posts, I felt it was time for a good old recipe. I made this salad before the holidays for a potluck at work. I wasn’t planning on making a sushi salad, but I forgot to go to the grocery store after work and once I was in the house the last thing I wanted to do was go out again. I had to make something for the potluck with whatever I had in my fridge. I was pleasantly surprised when this is what I came up with. You can make the flavour in this dish as bold as you’d like. Since I was making it for others I kept the ginger down to 1/4 cup and the wasabi down to 1/2 tsp. When I make it for myself and my partner I use closer to 1/2 cup ginger and 1- 1 1/2 tsp wasabi.

Sushi Rice Salad

Sushi Rice Salad

All of the bright flavours of sushi without all of the complication of making a sushi roll!

Serves 6-8


  • 1 1/2 cup sushi rice
  • 2 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups julienned cucumber
  • 2 cups julienned carrot
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/4 cup pickled ginger
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2- 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Bring 2 1/3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the sushi rice and bring the water back to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer, covering and cooking until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft. This should take approximately 20 minutes.
  2. While the rice is cooking dissolve the coconut sugar into the rice vinegar.
  3. Once the rice is finished cooking, remove it from heat and stir in the rice vinegar mixture. Stir and let it cool uncovered while you prep the veggies.
  4. Julienne the carrots and cucumber and drain the thawed spinach very well. Set aside.
  5. Mix together gluten-free soy sauce, 2 tbsp water, sesame oil and wasabi paste until well combined. Set aside.
  6. Once the rice has cooled to room temperature and the rice vinegar mixture has been absorbed by the rice, stir in the carrots, cucumber, thawed and drained spinach, pickled ginger and diced avocado.
  7. Add the dressing and mix until combined. Top with sesame seeds. Serve right away or let chill in the fridge before serving.

Sushi Rice Salad

xoxo Erin

You May Also Like:

Ginger-Soy Rice Bowl

Ginger-Soy Rice Bowl

UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Wellness WeekendAllergy-Free Wednesdays and Gluten-Free Fridays.

PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Breakfast Chapter (Pancakes & Granola)

Monday was my first post of Project Light & Lean and it was all about oatmeal. Today is all about pancakes…and a little about granola. The pancake recipes in Happy Herbivore Light & Lean call for white whole wheat flour, but any all-purpose gluten-free flour could be used instead. This cookbook actually has a recipe in the Do It Yourself chapter for a gluten-free all-purpose mix. I will be making an actual review about it when I get to that chapter, but in the mean time I’ll let you know that I’ve used it and it works, but I prefer to use a combination that has a higher whole grain to starch ratio. Actually, now that I think of it I haven’t posted about my homemade all-purpose flour…I’ve make a mental note to do that in the near future 🙂

Project Light & Lean

Overall, I was impressed with the pancake recipes in Happy Herbivore Light and Lean. They worked well with the gluten-free flour and were not crumbly at all, which is one of the main complaints I hear about anything gluten-free. It should be noted that the baking mix in this cookbook has xanthan gum added into it and this is very important for avoiding a crumbly mess. Guar gum also works in the same way so just double check that the mix you’re using has at least 1/2 tsp of xanthan or guar gum per cup of flour.

Pumpkin Pancakes, page 20

Pumpkin Pancakes

These pancakes had a great texture. They were fluffy and light yet had a certain denseness to them that made them satisfying and filling to eat. I topped mine with almond butter because I was eating them as a late night snack and didn’t want to give myself a sugar buzz from adding maple syrup. I actually made these pancakes over the holiday break when I was visiting my parents so although my partner didn’t get to try them, my mom did. It was interesting to have my mom and I both taste something because my first reaction was “wow, they taste more like pumpkin than I thought they would” and my moms first reaction was “all I taste is cinnamon”. I actually trust my moms experience of the flavour over mine because I eat a lot, and I mean a LOT of cinnamon, and I think my cinnamon detection is a bit skewed because of that. Basically if you don’t like cinnamon all that much I would recommend cutting the amount down by half in this recipe to ensure your taste buds grab onto the pumpkin flavour. Would I make them again? Absolutely! They were quick, easy, delicious and you don’t need very many ingredients to whip up a batch.

Granola, page 30

Granola with Almond Milk

I should start off with saying granola and I have a love-hate relationship. I love to eat it so much that I have a bad habit of eating it until I’ve eaten so much that my belly hurts. I rarely, if ever, make granola because of this reason. When I made this recipe I purposely cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t be able to eat 10 servings in one sitting. Turns out I could have made the full batch because even though this granola was good, it wasn’t addicting.

I prefer granola that bakes into chunks so that you can either grab a chunk and enjoy or you can manually crumble it over yogurt or sliced fruit. The granola from Light and Lean does not bake into chunks and therefore lacked a little on the exciting texture front for me. Yes, there are chewy raisins and crunchy oats, but that’s all. If there was more than one type of dried fruit and some nuts or seeds in the mix I think I would have liked it more. With that said, the purpose of this cookbook is low calorie foods so adding extra dried fruit and nuts would have defeated the purpose. My partner did try the granola and said that he liked it. He didn’t elaborate on what he liked about it though and hasn’t asked about it since. From what I’ve learned about him so far, this means he thought it was okay.

Pineapple Pancakes, page 22

Pineapple Pancakes

Okay, it’s confession time already: I didn’t follow this recipe exactly like I was supposed to. I didn’t have any pineapple at home so I used orange juice instead of pineapple juice and I topped the pancakes with homemade blueberry syrup instead of crushed pineapple (after I took the picture, obviously). Basically, the pancakes I made were not pineapple pancakes. They were, however, fluffy, mouthwatering pancakes that I would make again. The base recipe for these pancakes can very easily be made into plain pancakes or whatever flavoured pancakes you want and I think that is something fantastic. I do intend on making these again and actually making them pineapple flavoured. I also intend on making them again and making them apple, mango, strawberry or even blueberry flavoured. Oh the possibilities! My partner has yet to try these but I fully expect him to enjoy them as much as I did.

Oatmeal Pancakes, page 29

Oatmeal Pancakes

When I first read this recipe I thought it was strange, who has leftover oatmeal? Clearly oatmeal is not a food I make ahead, let alone have leftovers of! The good news is it only took me 5 minutes to make the batter for these pancakes even though I had to make fresh oatmeal (since I didn’t have any “leftover”). These pancakes are great for adding toppings to because they don’t have much flavour by themselves. They are definitely dense pancakes so they would probably be best if topped with berries but I topped mine before I knew the texture of them and opted for banana slices and maple syrup. Wow, was it ever filling! I should note that even though these pancakes are dense, they weren’t dry at all. My partner has yet to try them and to be honest I’m not sure I’ll make them for him. Even though I enjoyed them, I liked the other two pancake recipes more and since I don’t have pancakes all that often when I have them next I’ll go for the pineapple or pumpkin ones.

For this recipe it’s important to note that oats are easily contaminated with gluten, so it’s best to use oats that are certified gluten-free. I actually started eating regular oats about a month ago because I was curious and I was pleasantly surprised that I did not have any reactions…until recently. Whoops. Back to gluten-free oats I go!

Next I’ll be wrapping up the breakfast chapter and talking about the savory breakfast recipes. If Sweet Potato Tacos or Tempeh Bacon sound interesting to you, stay tuned!

xoxo Erin

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Blueberry Almond Pancakes

Blueberry Almond Pancakes

PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Breakfast Chapter (Oatmeals)

Today kick-starts the first project I’ve ever done on this blog. I’m pretty excited and mildly terrified. I tend to start a lot of things and not finish them so this will be a challenge for me, a good challenge. Hopefully the start of a new habit of finishing things 🙂 In case you missed my introduction to the project, you can check it out here. If you’re not familiar with the cookbook I’m cooking my way through, you can find the book here

Project Light & Lean

 As I said before, I will be reviewing recipes by chapter. With breakfast being the first chapter to review, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to those who know me, that oatmeal recipes would be the first recipes I would make and review. Happy Herbivore Light & Lean has 10 different ways to make your morning oatmeal exciting. My partner and I tried each and every flavour and although we each had our favourite recipe, there was not one oatmeal recipe that we would not make again. The thing I liked most about the oatmeals was that they were filling and full of flavour without any addition of nut butters (obviously the peanut butter oatmeal is an exception). I’m known to make a big bowl of oatmeal and top it with a glob of almond butter. Although I love doing this and do not see myself stopping doing this in the near future, it’s good to know that oatmeal can be delicious and satisfying without decadent, high calorie toppings.

For those who have the book all of the oatmeal recipes I’m talking about are on page 28 and on page 27 you’re find instructions for how to cook your oatmeal. I like to cook my oatmeal with a 1:1 ratio of oats to water but my partner prefers a thicker oatmeal, which is what the instructions on page 27 will generate. 

Apple Pie, Blueberry Muffin, Orange Scented

Apple Pie Oatmeal– This was my partners favourite oatmeal, without question. The texture of the crunchy apple chunks complemented the cinnamon scented oats well.

Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal– This oatmeal was okay. I probably would have loved it with a glob of almond butter though. For me this oatmeal was missing a certain level of denseness that makes the oatmeal feel like a hearty meal.

Orange Scented Oatmeal– This oatmeal was also okay. I liked the flavour but it was the texture of the oranges that threw me off. It would have been better if the oranges had been segmented, but who has time to segment oranges in the morning?

Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Oatmeal– Yes! Yes, yes yes! This oatmeal was creamy and decedent and oh so delicious. It wasn’t my absolute favourite, but it was pretty high up there. The sliced strawberries made this oatmeal feel like a grown-up version of the classic peanut butter and jam sandwich…if oatmeal is ever considered “grown-up”???

Chocolate Chocolate Oatmeal– Chocolate anything in the morning is usually a good idea. This oatmeal is definitely a good idea. It was my second favourite. It tasted like dessert and is perfect for those mornings when you wake up on the “wrong” side of the bed.

Banana Bread Oatmeal– I love bananas and I love this oatmeal. It was very filling and kept me full for a surprisingly long time. You really can’t go wrong with sweet bananas crunchy nuts!

Cinnamon Raisin, Raspberry Creme, Pumpkin Pie

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal– A classic flavour combination that I always enjoy, and this oatmeal was no different. I love the chewy texture that the raisins add and maple syrup made it feel like a dessert to me!

Raspberry Creme Oatmeal– This was my favourite oatmeal and that completely surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did but the non-dairy yogurt added a delightfully creamy texture that paired very well with the tart raspberries.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal– This oatmeal is perfect for the fall when you have random amounts of pumpkin left over. This is another recipe where I love the texture that the chewy raisins create. Also, adding a vegetable to a bowl of oatmeal and making it taste like a treat is never a bad thing.

Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal– Soooo, I either forgot to take a picture of this oatmeal or I lost the photo. Either way, I don’t have a photo to show you. I can tell you though that this oatmeal was good. I think the title is a little misleading because you really can’t taste any vanilla in the oatmeal but my oh my can you ever taste the cherries! And I love cherries, a lot, so I also loved this oatmeal, a lot.

There you have it, my thoughts on the oatmeal recipes in the breakfast chapter of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. Next I’ll be talking pancakes and granola. Breakfast really is the best meal of the day!

xoxo Erin

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  Pumpkin Pear Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pear Oatmeal


Happy New Year everyone!

I hope everyone rung in the new year as they pleased. I had a pretty relaxed new years eve this year. I visited my partner’s family and shared a delicious meal with them and then I snuggled under some blankets and watched movies while my partner searched his wardrobe for the warmest clothes he could find. He’s off at the Winter Classic today and I’m sure he’s biting his frozen nails off because as we speak the game is tied. Go Leafs Go 🙂 …update, the Leafs won in overtime, woohoo!!!

As with every new year, I hear a lot about setting resolutions. I like to make goals constantly and have therefore never actually made a new years resolution. The second an idea for a goal pops into my head I start working towards it immediately. Sometimes I forget about it halfway through and I never finish it, but such is life and I’m okay with that. Some goals that I’ve made recently (and will try to pawn off as new years resolutions) are:

1.) Stop using canned tomato products (thanks to Eat To Live Cookbook I’ve recently learned that the acidity of the tomatoes can leach the BPA from the can into the tomatoes, yuck!).

2.) Read for pleasure at least three times per week before going to sleep.

3.) Go through each room in the house by April and donate items that I have not used in the last year (aka spring clean before the spring!).

4.) Stretch for 10 minutes every single day.

And last but not least…

5.) Cook my way through Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, which brings me to the real purpose of this post:

Project Light & Lean

I own a lot of cookbooks and I rarely cook from them. I want to change this partially because I want to enjoy recipes others have created and partially because I don’t want to say goodbye to my cookbooks because of goal #3. The idea to cook my way entirely through a cookbook and post about it came from Healthy Girl’s Kitchen who is currently cooking her way through the Eat To Live Cookbook. I have been LOVING her posts about the recipes and it inspired me to try something different. And dedicating a significant amount of time to cook my way entirely through a cookbook and post about my experience is definitely something I never thought I’d be doing. I’ve even decided to label it as a “project” so I’m more likely to actually finish it and not forget about it once I’m half done 🙂

Therefore, today I introduce you to Sift, Stir and Savour’s first project: PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN. Between January 2014 and April 2014 I will be cooking each and every recipe from Lindsay Nixon’s Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. In case you’re not familiar with Lindsay Nixon’s work, she cooks 100% plant-based with no added oils or refined sugars. Find out more about her by visiting her website. I will be posting my experiences and reviews according to each chapter, so during the first week, which will be next week, I will be reviewing the Breakfast chapter. The following week I will review the Muffins & Breads chapter and so on. The plan is that each week I will review a chapter so the project will take 13-14 weeks. Some weeks I may not get through a whole chapter and some weeks I might get through more than a chapter. It will depend on how many recipes there are. In case you’re curious, here are all of the chapters in the order that I will review them:

  • Breakfast
  • Muffin & Breads
  • Sandwiches, Tacos & More
  • Hearty Burgers
  • Bowls & Wraps
  • Soups, Stews & Savory Pies
  • Salads & Dressings
  • Pasta, Stir-Fries & Noodles
  • Satisfying Sides
  • Dips, Snacks & Appetizers
  • Desserts
  • Do-It-Yourself
  • Fitness Workouts

I should also mention that I will only be reviewing the recipes that are naturally gluten-free or can easily be made gluten-free. I’ll be letting you know how I converted the recipe to gluten-free (if it wasn’t already) and how it turned out. There are actually only a handful of recipes that I don’t think I’ll be able to make gluten-free (I don’t know how to substitute for vital wheat gluten) so that’s pretty exciting!

I also plan to post about my partners opinions of the recipes. Although he eats most of what I cook, he does prefer to add meat to his meal. I’m curious about what recipes he will like, what recipes he won’t like and what recipes he’ll only eat if he adds some meat. I can’t promise that I’ll have his review for each recipe because some recipes I’ve already tried and he hasn’t been interested in trying and some recipes I made when I was away visiting my family over Christmas.

So, that’s the projects. I hope you enjoy it. I will still be posting original recipes when I have the time AND 5-Ingredient Mondays will still be running…however, I’m making a slight change to it. Check back in on Sunday for those updates 🙂

xoxo Erin

Top 10 Recipes & Goodbye 2013

Apparently it’s almost 2014. I don’t know how that happened. I swear it was JUST October! I guess time does fly when you’re having fun 🙂 When I sat down to write this post I started by making a list of things that have happened in 2013. It was after making the list that I realized why time has been flying; basically all of the things I wrote down have happened during the last half of the year. Now, this may very well speak to my memory or it may speak to my early year hibernation…but let’s be honest, it’s probably a combination of both.

So what was on the list I wrote? Here we go, things that happened in 2013:

  • I started to learn how to cook and bake without oil
  • I went on a road trip to North Carolina with my best friend
  • I visited Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland AND Estonia with my partner (first time to Europe!!!)
  • My partner and I got a puppy
  • I started a new and more challenging position at work (and I’m loving it)

And last but not least…

  • On December 13, 2013 my partner of 4.5 years asked me to marry him…AND I said yes…AHHH!!!

Basically 2013 has been a wonderful year and although I do not expect 2014 to be as exciting, I feel confident that it will be filled with what is important: the 3 F’s…family, friends and food 🙂 Speaking of food, here are your favourite Sift, Stir and Savour recipes from 2013:

Instant Triple Chocolate Brownie

Bite of Instant Triple Chocolate Brownie

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownie

brownie cut copy

Banoffee (Banana Toffee) Pie

Banoffee Pie

Instant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Instant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Peanut-Free Tagalong Cookie

Tagalong Cookies

Homemade Potato Chips

Homemade Potato Chips

Grain-Free Cinnamon Raisin “Oatmeal”

Grain-Free Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Not bad choices, if you ask me! Many of those recipes are also my favourites, but a few of my favourites were missing:

Erin's 2013 Favourites

Black Forest Grain-Free Porridge

Hazelnut Pear Custard Bars

Veggie Pad Sew Noodles

Apple Pecan Smoothie

Happy New Year everyone!

xoxo Erin

APPLE CRISP- Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

I don’t know about you, but the days following a big holiday dinner by body craves lots of salad and fruit. Sometimes my fruit craving is a bit more complicated than just biting into a fresh apple though. Sometimes I want that fresh apple to be slightly cooked, covered in spices and sprinkled in granola…aka apple crisp…aka dessert…aka what I ate too much of during the holidays.

Apple Crisp

Luckily, this apple crisp is healthy enough to enjoy anytime. Fresh apples, oats, cinnamon, almond butter, maple syrup, almond milk and coconut sugar, oh my! Heck you could even enjoy this for breakfast 🙂

Apple Crisp

Healthy Apple Crisp

Soft apples, fragrant cinnamon and a cookie-like oat topping make this a dessert worthy of any occasion!

Serves 4-6


  • 4 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (any granulated sugar will work)
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and set aside a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Add apples to the baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and toss until all the apple chunks are coated.
  3. In a small bowl cream together almond butter, non-dairy milk and maple syrup. Add the oats, oat flour and coconut sugar and mix until combined.
  4. Drop the oat mixture on top of the apples and gently press it down.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the apples have released some juice and that juice is bubbling. The oat topping should also be slightly browned and crispy to the touch.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes, or serve immediately. Top with a dollop of non-dairy ice cream or yogurt and enjoy!

Apple Crisp

In other news, I was recently made aware of THIS great article that has a bunch of homemade treats for dogs. I haven’t tried any since Wayne is allergic to turkey, beef and dairy but the Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Sweet Potato Icing looks interesting. Maybe when he’s a bit older I’ll give it a try. Do you have a dog? Do you make homemade treats? Leave a comment about your pups favourite homemade treat!

xoxo Erin

You May Also Like:

Banoffee (Banana Toffee) Pie

Banoffee Pie

UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Gluten-Free Fridays.

NUTTY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES- Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free & Oil-Free

If you celebrate Christmas and if Santa is visiting your house tonight than I hope you’ve make some cookies for him! When I was a kid we always left cookies out for Santa and carrots out for the reindeer. This recipe is my new favourite cookie recipe and definitely worthy of leaving out for Santa (so long as he doesn’t have any nut allergies!).

Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Macadamia butter is the secret to the decadent texture of these cookies. It’s oilier in texture than other nut butters so it creates a more traditional texture to the cookies. The macadamia butter is mixed with some almond butter and then some chunks of pecans are thrown into the mix to create an extra special chocolate chip cookie that is perfect for those who go nuts for nuts!

Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies that are spotted with sweet pecans and made with nut butters to create a cookie with the perfect texture. 

Makes 12 cookies


  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp macadamia butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (any granulated sugar will work)
  • 3 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix together sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking soda and xanthan gum.
  3. In a second bowl cream together nut butters, non-dairy milk, extracts and coconut sugar until smooth texture is accomplished.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecan pieces.
  5. Portion the cookie dough on the lined cookie sheet, pat down to desired thickness and bake for 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
  6. Enjoy 🙂

xoxo Erin

You May Also Like:

Spiced Orange Cookies

Spiced Orange Cookies

UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Allergy-Free Wednesdays and Wellness Weekend.