Pcakes Strawberry Cupcakes

When I was pregnant with ‘Cupcakes’, I wanted all things strawberry; trifles, smoothies, cupcakes, frosting…..yum! For her first birthday it only made sense to create a strawberry cupcake, and I wanted it refined sugar free, 100% natural and delicious. I created these for her little party and have sense made them whenever the strawberry craving hits!

Pcakes Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Coconut Cream Frosting
  • ⅓ cup dates
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ⅔ cup banana
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 3 certified humane eggs
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 2½ cups flour (cake or pastry flour works better; lower protein= more tender crumb)
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
Fold in
  • ½ cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 can refrigerated fat full coconut milk (natural value organic brand worked for me- other brands have not) or refrigerated coconut cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbl maple syrup
  • few strawberries (frozen or fresh, chopped or pureed)
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Place bowl for frosting in fridge.
  2. Blend or food process wet ingredients.
  3. Pour into bowl and add dry ingredients. Mix/fold until combined.
  4. Add strawberries and fold gently until disbursed.
  5. Spoon into sprayed or lined muffin tins.
  6. Bake about 15-20 minutes you want no jiggle, firm tops, slightly browned.Use fool proof toothpick test insert toothpick into center; if it comes out clean its done. 🙂
  7. Let cool 5-10 min then remove from pan.
  1. Let cupcakes cool completely. Best made within an hour of serving, but can be refrigerated. (it wont stay as light and whipped).
  2. Flip over thoroughly refrigerated can of coconut milk. Do not shake.
  3. Open and pour out coconut water, save for smoothie later.
  4. Scrape out coconut cream solid, put in a cold bowl.
  5. Use hand mixer to begin whipping.
  6. Add maple syrup and vanilla. Whip.
  7. Add strawberries, whip, taste, adjust with more maple syrup.
  8. Spread/dollop on cupcakes....serve!


Apple Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

I added to my mom’s oatmeal cookie recipe to create a yummy,  portable and healthy cookie for anytime of the day. Pcakes, pup-pup (raisin free) and adult approved.

Apple Carrot Oatmeal Cookies
These are perfect for a toddler and mommy snack on the go! Pcakes isn't a huge fan of muffins, but these seem to be just the right size and texture for her to eat anytime of the day.
  • 1 apple
  • handful of carrots
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbl molasses
  • 2 tbl chia seeds
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Shred apple and carrots in food processor or blender. (about 2 cups total)
  3. Add all ingredients to bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Place about 2 dozen scoops on baking sheets.
  5. Bake until firm and browned, about 15 minutes.


Quick Fix: Black Bean Brownies

I don’t want to take credit for this idea, as there are tons of black bean brownie/cookie recipes floating around online. I just tweaked it to my liking and took some to a gluten-free friend as a ‘Thank You’, another batch to a girls spa party with a bunch of my work-out buddies, a meeting with an unsuspecting average eating ‘Joe’ and the hubby and my parents who all exclaimed “Wow! These are good!”. They aren’t too sweet (you can adjust to your liking), and work as either brownies or cookies. I’ve baked them in a muffin tins, mini cake pans and a brownie dish. They also are a breeze to whip together in the blender or food processor, no other bowls, mixers or spoons needed.

P.S. The batter is deeeelish and some of my batches may or may not have made it to the oven….


Black Bean Brownies
The first batch I made with our old squirrely oven got baked at 500 degrees in muffin tins...but my husband liked how crunchy the outside were. The other batches were more brownie like at lower temp and in pans. You can also tweak this recipe easily by tasting and adding more cocoa, sweetener etc before you add the optional chips and or nuts.
  • 1¾ cup drained black beans (I used dried beans and prepared them or about 1 can)
  • ¾ cup oats (make sure certified GF for your friends 🙂 )
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½-3/4 cup sweetener- start on low-end, you can add more later(I used a mix of honey or maple syrup and coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Few tbl chia seeds
  • chocolate chips, pecans or walnuts
  • coconut or almond milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add everything except chips/nuts/milk to blender and blend until smooth like brownie batter. (thick and scoop-able, on the verge of pour-able) If too thick, add few tsp of milk at a time.
  3. TASTE. Try not to eat half.
  4. Adjust by adding more sweetener etc.
  5. Add chocolate chips and or nuts.
  6. Taste.
  7. Bake in sprayed muffin tin, 8 inch brownie pan or 6 inch cake pan about 15-20 min. Use a toothpick to see when centers are done.


Apple Cinnamon Recovery Muffins & Do it yourself Recovery Drank

I made these quick muffins and recovery drink to have on hand after my intense MommiesRfit Bootcamp workouts and after my training runs. (As Tony says, “The recovery drinks, that’s why I do the workouts.”) The muffins are about 50% carbs and 20% protein, the drink 100% carbs, (49 g carbs, plus sodium,potassium, and vitamins). A serving of the drink and one muffin total just about 300 calories.

Apple Cinnamon Recovery Muffins & Do it yourself Recovery Drank
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1tsp soda
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup oats
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 individual container unsweetened apple sauce
  • Heavy sprinkle Cinnamon
  • 1 large apple diced
  • 3 tbl carob chips (optional)
  • ¼ cup walnuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup PB2 (optional)
Recovery Drink
  • 1 cup organic juice (pear, apple, watermelon etc)
  • ½ - 1 cup coconut water
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mash bananas, add all other ingredients, stir with a wooden spoon, add splash of coconut water or non dairy milk if too dry. (Should be able to spoon mixture into muffin tin).
  3. Bake about 20 minutes, or until browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  1. Mix it up mama



Chili Rellenos Casserole

A scrumptious eggy (or tofu) chili relleno casserole topped with a sweet corn masa tamale crust.

I had some beautiful Anaheim and Poblano peppers and thought about chili rellenos…after brainstorming on Chowhound and some recipe sites,  I decided to go the casserole route (like a cheesy egg breakfast casserole on Pioneer Woman) , but make it more of a tamale/rellenos casserole, including a layer of sweet corn masa, and dairy free of course.We eat (certified cruelty free or local free range) eggs but this could be made vegan by substituting the eggs for a block of firm tofu, just give it a whiz with the milk in a food processor or blender.

Chili Rellenos Casserole
A scrumptious eggy (or tofu) chili rellenos casserole topped with a sweet corn masa tamale crust. Masa is a fine cornmeal treated with lime used for tamale filling. It's found in the Hispanic/Ethnic food section near Goya products. You can sub cornmeal if needed. You can also sub a block of tofu for the eggs.
  • 6-10 peppers (Anaheim are mild, Poblano are smokey and have a slight heat)
  • 5 eggs (or 1 block tofu)
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Cayenne/Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • ½ Bag of Daiya non-dairy cheese (pepperjack)
Sweet Corn Masa Layer
  • 1 cup masa (you can sub cornmeal)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups liquid (water/non dairy milk)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tbl honey/sugar
  • 2 cups frozen sweet corn
  • ½ bag Daiya (mozzarella or more pepperjack)
  • Hot Sauce (Texas Pete)
  1. Cut off tops, remove seeds, wash.
  2. Slice in half, lay skin side up on broiler pan.
  3. Broil until skin is blackened, about 15-20 min.
  4. Remove, place in paper or plastic bag for about 10-15 min. (This will steam them and make removing the blackened skin super simple).
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Layer roasted pepper slices in bottom of a large baking dish.
  3. Whisk eggs, milk, S&P and spices. Pour mixture over peppers, sprinkle cheese evenly.
  4. Bake about 15-20 min or until egg mixture is beginning to set.
Sweet Corn Masa Layer
  1. Mix masa, flour, baking powder, sugar/honey and liquid. You may have to add more liquid, you want it to look like wet cornbread batter- thick but able to pour. Add frozen corn.
  2. Pull out casserole, pour masa mixture over egg layer and bake about 45-60 minutes.
  3. About 15-20 minutes left, sprinkle other half bag of Daiya cheese over top.
  4. Check doneness by inserting a cake tester or toothpick into the center of the masa dough, should be clean when pulled out.
  5. Drizzle hot sauce.
  6. Cut into wedges or bars and serve with spinach salad with avocado and salsa.


Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Quinoa

One thing I love about my best friend is our constant texts throughout the day…dogs, horses, sometimes our men, (Mars/Venus!) and of course, food. “Whatcha makin tonight?” is a common one. In the winter we can both eat our weight in roasted Brussels Sprouts so when I answered the standard question with “I’m not sure yet…something with Brussels?” She said add the Quinoa and with the idea sparked, this super simple, delicious winter recipe was made.  I’m thankful for the ideas we bounce off of each other and especially being able to stay in touch across the country through something we both love, food.

Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Quinoa
Main, Side
Nothing says comfort to me like a big bowl of roasted winter vegetables. Thrown together with some nutrient and protein rich Quinoa, and you've got a simple and healthful dish ready in under an hour.
  • 1 bag of brussels sprouts (2 lbs), cleaned and halved (cut off stem end, rinse, cut in half)
  • 2 cups cut carrots (make similar size to Brussels)
  • 1 package tofu, drained
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Braggs or Soy Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • 1½-2 cups dry Quinoa
  • 1 cube veggie bouillon
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Spread prepared Carrots and Brussels on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil
  3. Sprinkle generously with garlic salt & pepper, shake pan or use spatula to mix
  4. Bake about 30-35 minutes,shaking the pan halfway through.
  5. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, put in a baking dish, pour about ¼ cup Soy sauce, ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of maple syrup in the dish. Stir to combine and spoon over tofu.
  6. Stick in oven with veggies for same time.
  7. You want the veggies fork tender and a nice caramel brown. The tofu will be browned as well.
  8. At the halfway point, start your Quinoa (it will take about 12-15 minutes).
  9. Rinse Quinoa well, then add water and bouillon cube (1 cup Quinoa to 2 cups water)
  10. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover until water is absorbed and white spirals have emerged in grain.
  11. Throw Quinoa and roasted veggies in a bowl,cut tofu into bite size pieces and add. Drizzle with olive oil.
  12. Taste and adjust seasonings (more garlic salt & pepper, olive oil).


Old Bay Zucchini Bean Cakes

You'll have to bare with me since there's no picture yet to accompany this delicious 'burger'/cake but just trust us and make it, its crazy good!
Old Bay Zucchini Bean Cakes
Our Eastern shore heritage had us craving crab cakes this summer. So we created these zucchini & chickpea cakes to satisfy our Old Bay tooth. If you pan fry them at the end they get the yummy crust and keep a moist interior just like the real deal.
  • 2 large zucchinis (about 4 cups) shredded
  • 2 cups cooked garbazno beans, mashed
  • 2 scallions/green onions
  • 11/2-2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1½ tbl dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 tbl vegan mayo (vegenaise etc)
  • juice of 1 lemon
'Tartar-Cocktail Sauce'
  • Vegan mayo
  • Chopped Pickles
  • Ketchup
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Fold together your shredded zucchini, mashed beans, chopped scallions, 1/1/2 cup bread crumbs, mustard, worcestershire, Old Bay, mayo and juice of a lemon.
  3. If too wet to form patties, add a little more bread crumbs.
  4. Pour more breadcrumbs in a dish.
  5. Form mixture into patties (8-10), and coat sides in panko breadcrumbs from dish.
  6. Place on lightly sprayed cookie sheet, bake about 15 minutes to remove some of the moisture.
  7. Pan fry in a little oil until golden brown.
  8. Drain on paper towel, serve with pickles, toasted bun or on a salad and "tartar-cocktail sauce"


Strawberry Crumble Blondie Bars

I created these for a picnic at one of our favorite local parks. We loaded up the picnic basket with Quinoa salad, veggie straws, spicy hummus and sweet peppers for dipping. And loaded up the car with friends and dogs and a few of these delicious summery bars in the basket to enjoy by the lake. The leftover bars were reminiscent of a strawberry crumble when we added a scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream on top.



Strawberry Blondie Bars
  • 2 cups Oats
  • 1½ cup Flour
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3-4 tbl Strawberry Jam
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest or extract
  • 1-2 cups sliced Strawberries
  • chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk together oats, flour, sugars, baking powder, soda and salt.
  3. Mix/Cut in EB butter, coconut oil and banana until resembles a crumbly sand mixture.
  4. Reserve 1 cup of this crumbly mixture.
  5. Press the rest of it in a brownie pan, bake until set (firming up and slightly browned) about 12 minutes.
  6. Crumble cup of reserved mixture over top.
  7. Bake until browned about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Let cool before slicing.





Lime & Avocado Quinoa Salad

I would love to take the credit for this one, but I found the base for this recipe in the magazine “Extraordinary Health”. So so yummy. I have a hard time not eating this one right out of the serving bowl…

Lime & Avocado Quinoa Salad
This is a delicious and light summer dish, perfect for a picnic or a bbq by the pool. Leftovers are awesome wrapped in a nori sheet or a scoop on top of your veggie burger.
  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 tomatoes (or 5-6 small Campari), diced large
  • 1-2 avocados, diced large
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • sprinkle cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves or heavy sprinkle garlic powder
  • 3-4 tbl. lime juice
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • salt & pepper
  1. Add Quinoa to the bottom of a saucepan over medium heat, stir until toasted.
  2. Add 2 cups boiling water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Let Quinoa cool.
  3. Put dressing ingredients in serving dish, add cooled Quinoa, toss until coated.
  4. Carefully toss tomato and avocado to incorporate.
  5. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, taste, adjust seasonings (add more cayenne/salt etc.)


Piña Colada Protein Shake

To celebrate what feels like the start of Summer in VA, I whipped this up in the blender after a balmy 85 degree morning in the sun. Yummy and refreshing, it gets a whipped froth on top from the canned coconut milk.

Piña Colada Protein Shake
  • ½-1 cup Frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup Coconut milk (canned makes it creamier)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Water
  • ice
  1. Add pineapple, coconut milk, banana and protein powder to blender.
  2. Blend, adjust with water or ice to get preferred consistency.