Maple-Spice Ginger Cookie Breakfast Risotto. Easy as oatmeal!

I love hot cereal for breakfast. I love risotto for dinner. I love rice. I love cookies. I love almond butter. I love bananas. I love vanilla, ginger and cinnamon flavors. And this cozy bowl of Maple-Spice Ginger Cookie Breakfast Risotto combines all those favorites in one delish dish.

Easy Bowl. Even though risotto gets a reputation for being "high maintenance" as an entree dish - you have to stir and stir and stir and stir - as a breakfast bowl, risotto (arborio) rice is very easy to make since you can prepare it a bit "wetter" than you do when it is served as a savory entree. Risotto hot cereal prep is fuss free! Just as simple as stove-top oatmeal. Plus for oat-sensitive folks, easy to digest, rice-based risotto bowls are a dream come true.

The texture is so velvet-y and silky, yet still dense, filling and thick like hot cereal should be. For this recipe, I've seasoned the rice with some dreamy Ginger Cookie flavors. Call this recipe "dessert for breakfast" .. a very healthy, vegan, gluten-free breakfast. Get my recipe..


Hummus-Apple Tartine: Easy Fall Snack. (plus it's moving day!)

Todya is moving day! Yup, amidst all the craziness that has been happening with miss Nellycat the past few months we have been planning a move just across town to Santa Monica. Hooray for being closer to Real Food Daily, amazing yoga studios, the ocean-winding bike path and the SM Organic Farmer's Market. And since moving week means I have been trying to clean out my pantry as much as possible, I had plenty of canned beans to go through. Hello homemade hummus!..

Easy Fall Snack: Garlic Hummus Apple-Sage Tartine. This sweet and savory bite is a fast, healthy, shabby-chic snack. Elegant pillow-y swoops of warmed, homemade garlic hummus provide a bed for juicy, crisp, sweet slices of rustic fall apples (honeycrisp used). An aromatic accent of fresh sage, pinched into tiny bits is sprinkled over top. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed pumpkinseed oil is the perfect decadent touch to make this snack swoon-worthy.

This speedy tartine (open-faced sandwich) is one of favorite go-to plates for fall since it combines three of my favorite things: homemade hummus, fall apples and warm crusty bread dipped in EVOO. Oh and sage! That whisper of fresh sage really brings this simple snack to an oh-so-seasonal level. Make it even more seasonal by using pumpkin-hummus! Get my recipe + moving day thoughts on how life never seems to go as planned..


Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread for Fall.

Pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins have long been an obsession of mine come fall. But finding a pumpkin loaf "around town" that is vegan and guilt-free is not an easy task. So in these desperate times, most vegans find that matters must be taken into their own hands. Into the kitchen we go!

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread. This dreamy, filling, golden pumpkin loaf is packed with real pumpkin flavor and accented with warm spices like cinnamon, plus a touch of earthy nutmeg and ginger and dreamy coconut oil, citrus zest and vanilla bean too. Get my recipe plus a Nelly update..


Farm Sanctuary's "What Did You Do" Campaign. Join My Team!

Today kicks off the countdown to World Farm Animal Day on October 2nd. (Yes, there is such a day!)

Farm Sanctuary is leading the countdown with their "What Did You Do?" campaign. I'm proud to say I've joined "Team Gobble" and hope to help inspire you guys to join my team! Those who join me will be helping to support the inspiring work that Farm Sanctuary does, creating animal survivor stories worth sharing and talking about. If you love animals like me, click ahead to find out more. Must-See Bonus: cute animal pics ahead. (Those who donate can enter my team giveaway too!)..


Hot Pumpkin Mug. Sip Some Cozy.

Why does chocolate get to have all the hot beverage fun come fall and winter?

Pure Chocolate. Hot cocoa, aka hot chocolate, is a classic, beloved warm beverage that celebrates one thing: chocolate. No espresso added. No tea or fancy main ingredient additions, just chocolate. Hot chocolate. Chocolate melting in a creamy white base. No water, no fancy syrups, just chocolate. Sometimes a few marshmallows and whip to accent.

Pure Pumpkin. So I'm letting pumpkin have a bit of this pure beverage action and taking away the tea and espresso additions that you usually find in "pumpkin lattes" for a flavor that is pure pumpkin bliss. A few warming spiced accents like cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and maple in there too.

Hot Pumpkin Mug. This sip is perfect for caffeine sensitive folks and kids too! You can totally curl up under a soft blankie around bedtime and sip this cozy mug to help you wash away a busy day. No worrying about caffeine jitters or insomnia. Cozy, creamy pumpkin will settle your nerves and calm your senses. Grab a can of pumpkin and give hot cocoa a run for its money!


Elizabeth Castoria: VGP Interview!

Next up in my 2013 Veggie Girl Power Interview Series is the super fun, cool, rad, uber-talented, creative, down-to-Earth, everyone-loves-this-chick, vegan authority lady: Elizabeth Castoria..


Orange-Spiced Pumpkin Hummus. (Pump-ummus)

I don't know what happened. Last week I was in full-out denial that fall was party-crashing my beloved glossy-yellow-sunshine-filled, blue-sky-topped, smoothies-everyday, bliss-bonanza summertime season. And this week I went through three cans of pumpkin, finished off my lingering jar of cinnamon, and started to get anxious when I realized I was running low on maple syrup. All while still cranking up the AC during the day since, for example, today's Los Angeles high was 81 degrees. Pumpkins first, sweaters, scarves and Halloween decorations second I guess.

Pumpkin Hummus.
But despite my seasonal-transition-confusion, I have nothing but swoony love for THIS recipe. It has me craving autumn strolls through golden and crimson leafy-speckled paths. Halloween decorations. Movie nights in. Golden twinkling candlelight (I use those fake-out candles on auto-timer .. ah technology!) And healthy snacking afternoons with bronzed bowls filled to the brim with this creamy-delicious Pumpkin Hummus. I've been calling it Pump-ummus. Kinda sounds like pump-a-moose, so that's kinda silly I know. Get my recipe + a bonus recipe for warm, savory-baked pumpkin cashew cheese..


Skillet-Popped Lentils. (Aka, lentils my husband will actually eat!)

Cooking challenge: getting my bean-hating husband to eat more legumes (beans + lentils). I decided to start with lentils because they are packed with so much nutrition and I knew I could make them lovable to someone who "thinks" he hates all legume-type foods.

These spicy, peppery, skillet-popped lentils are pretty darn fantastic. You can serve then sizzling warm, straight from the pan or cool them in the fridge to quickly add them to salads, soups or entree grain bowls. Gobble them up by the handful as a fast, power-fuel snack. Served cooled or warm, these lentils are packed with flavor and nutrition. Sprinkle them over everything!

I have three recipes to share with you, all using my one easy cooking method. The recipes: spicy pepper-popped, pepper-balsamic and harvest skillet. If you want to crave more lentils, and learn how to make them shine, try this method..


Fast & Easy Tofu Scramble + Tempeh-Bacon Breakfast Bowl.

This family-style breakfast bowl is just what you need to coax your crew out of bed come sunrise. These flavors, aromas and colors will have everyone popping out of bed like toaster tarts. But no tarts on the table today. Golden turmeric-infused, fluffy tofu scramble, speckled with sweet onions and chopped kale fills this plant-based, protein-rich bowl. Perfect pairing: blackened, savory-sweet, maple-tamari tempeh "bacon" slices.

With this fast and easy recipe, a hot breakfast is within reach any day of the week. Make a big batch of tofu ahead of time to serve for a few days, or whip up a fresh skillet for same day serving.

Serve this bowl with a pile of crisp toast, a colorful fruit salad, hot steamy coffee, tea (or hot pumpkin mug) or maybe some hash browns or pancakes for a weekender feast. Snag my recipe plus my fave tofu scramble flavor boosters..


Honeycrisp Banana Bread Loaf + almond butter coco-maple drizzle.

I had a craving for warm banana bread that I simply had to do something about. So this morning I baked this Honeycrisp Apple Banana Bread with oats, spices, vanilla, chia seeds, a hint of coconut oil and plenty of love.

Apples. As I went to pull ingredients, a pile of shiny red and green swirled honeycrisp apples were staring back at me in my fridge. So I decided that instead of doing banana bread, I would add a baked apple spin with banana-apple bread. Oh those honeycrisp apples are my favorite for fall. Honeycrisp, you know, that super sweet, juicy-delicious, sometimes giant in size, always awesome and crunchy fall apple variety. (Back in my early days of blogging I went so far as to pair my beloved honeycrisp apples with pasta, a la this recipe. But it actually worked!)

Over top the moist, bananas, oats, spices, vanilla and apple pie flavor infused bread, comes a thick drizzle of sweet almond butter. Almond butter accents both bananas and apples (and warm bread!) beautifully. Satisfy your banana bread craving with this cozy-inducing vegan recipe..


Salsa Verde Salad: Spicy Avocado-Tomatillo Dressing + Mushrooms.

I often say that you eat a good salsa verde with a chip. You eat an amazing salsa verde by the spoonful! In fact an extra-creamy, delicious salsa verde can easily be used as salad dressing. Which is what I did here with some tasty results..

Verde. I made this salad a few weeks ago and haven't forgotten about it. It is definitely worth trying if you are a "salsa verde" lover like me. My salsa verde-inspired dressing includes creamy avocados, roasted tomatillos and cilantro. Richness from the avocados swirls with juicy perkiness from the smoky roasted tomatillos and cilantro. I generously poured it over top a bed of chopped spicy-fresh arugula greens and some quickie marinated red cabbage slaw. On top, some sizzling strips of pepper-balsamic shiitake mushrooms.

You could take this salad one step further and add some sweet roasted corn, warm lentils, candied nuts, pinto beans, chipotle tofu or tempeh or even some cashew cream. Get spicy and "go green" for your next salad feast..


Blondie & Cacao Cookie Dough Bites or Bars. No-Bake. Vegan. GF.

Back in the kitchen. My first time in ten days. Easy no-bake recipe. I started off with, well, cookie dough. Gluten free, vegan, raw, no-bake cookie dough bites with a melty (non-raw) chocolate drizzle on top. These bite-sized or bar-shaped sweet treats are filled with spices, nuts, sweet dates and cacao or maca. They are perfect quickie snacks for boosting your energy and satisfying hunger pangs. Go-to snacking for nibblers like me. Store them in the freezer and grab one or a few as a high-energy, healthy-delicious snack. These bites are also great served as an after school treat for kids. What kid wouldn't want to come home to a plate of cookie dough?

I have two flavors to share today, Double Cacao and Classic Blondie cookie dough.

Plus my latest update on little Nelly (follows the recipe)...


Vegan Strawberry-Peach Pie + Coconut Whip. (Nelly Update too.)

One blog post at a time, as my dear friend Gena advised me. Today I am happy to share a recipe that I've had in my drafts folder for a few weeks - since I'm still not up to cooking and photoshooting new recipes. (RE: this post) Good thing I have plenty recipes all ready to go from all the kitchen time I've enjoyed this summer.

This Vegan Strawberry-Peach Pie is simply delightful and each bite is bursting with the sunny sweet flavors of a warm, long summer with ripe fruit, golden sun and blue sky days. This is the perfect end-of-summer pie celebration recipe. Add a dollop of cool, creamy homemade coconut whip on top and dive into fresh fruit, buttery pie crust, creamy coconut bliss.

Nelly. Plus ahead, I give you a nice long update on Nellycat, me and what I've learned about life, love, healing and figuring out how to tread water, and stay afloat through some very rocky waves..