Vegetarian Sloppy Jens (17 of 17)

When I was a kid, my room was a fire hazard. An obstacle course. A disability claim waiting to happen.  A pig sty, so my parents said.  I was always creating something—well not something, but some things.  Not much has changed.  For better or worse, my brain seems to have been crossed with that of a hummingbird.  Oh look a flower, oh look, another flower!  Another, whee!  Clean your room, they would say.  I would try.  I really would, but then I’d pick up a long lost object that I had been missing for a long time.  Before I knew it, I was elbows deep in a masterpiece.  When mom came up to check on my progress, I’d already be creating my next mess. (3 of 17) (5 of 17) (6 of 17)

This post is dedicated to all the messies out there.  Sure, we’re fully functional adults now, but that doesn’t mean it’s always pretty.  For all you who are shocked and surprised, Oh dear, how dreadful!  We thought her house was as tidy as those pictures she always posts! , I’m sorry to disillusion you.  My house explodes every time I create something.  As I stand back to admire my creation, it takes a few moments before “Holy cow, who made such a mess?!?  enters my brain.  It takes a whole lot of messy to make pretty. (8 of 17) (9 of 17) (10 of 17)

Through the years, my messes have evolved. And so, we arrive at Sloppy Jens. They’re just as messy as the one-note ones you had as a kid, but built from clean, flavorful ingredients.  When I was making these, I was so seduced by the smell of sautéed fennel, onion and garlic that I didn’t notice the ragtag village of ingredients that had taken up residence on the counters.  The perfect kshhh sound of the deglazing vermouth and the aromatic puff of steam that rose from the pan completely distracted me from the mounting tangle of camera equipment, reflector boards and produce scraps.  When I popped open a quart of last summer’s canned garden tomatoes and slow simmered the sauce with fresh oregano from the garden, it was all over.  Mise en place was a cause lost to another recipe, on another day. (7 of 17) (11 of 17) (13 of 17)

Messy counters mean good things to come.  If you stop by my house unannounced, you probably won’t marvel at the unscathed majesty of my abode, but chances are, you’ll leave full and happy!

Vegetarian Sloppy Jens

Serves 6-8

These messy little sandwiches are an Italian, vegetarian spin on a childhood favorite, and most definitely require a fork and knife!   This would make a good hearty meatless sauce over pasta as well. 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped, greens reserved
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 12 ounces frozen veggie crumbles (I like Quorn brand)
  • 1 12-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (or about 6 cups home canned)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Microgreens, spinach, or arugula for topping
  • Buns (sprouted grain, gluten-free, or your favorite)

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saucepan.  Add the onion, fennel and celery, and sauté until soft but not browned, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add the vermouth, and scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Allow most of the liquid to evaporate, about one minute.  Add the veggie crumbles and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Add the rinsed beans, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil, salt and crushed red pepper.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar.  Season to taste with more salt if needed.

Toast the buns in the toaster, or on a baking sheet in an oven under the broiler.  They will toast in about 30 seconds in the broiler, so keep a close eye on them!  If you like both sides toasted, bake them directly on the oven rack in a 350˚ oven for a few minutes.

Generously spoon the filling onto the buns, and top with greens, if desired.


Filed under Main Dishes, Sandwiches and Burgers, Vegetarian and Vegan

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

veganmacandcheese| (9 of 13)

I have a dirty little secret.  Sometimes I just want to chow down on a bowl of mac and cheese.  You know, the kind with the powdered cheese.  Or the packet of oozy cheese like substance you just stir in.  Thank goodness lactose is my kryptonite, or God help me, I’d probably have tell tale cheese  remnants on my face, bearing the guilty look of my dog Luca, who just so happened to have licked the side of my carrot cake as I write this.

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Oh well.  If I could eat the real ooey-gooey-cheesy version, I wouldn’t have even thought to try the vegan mac and cheese at City O City, one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Denver.  It’s creamy with just a hint of coconut, and satisfies the 5 year old itch inside of me that just wants her mac and cheese now!  I just had to recreate the recipe at home!

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After much experimentation, my version completely satisfies my cravings for the real thing.  It’s coconut and cashew based, with all sorts of tricks I’ve picked up in my efforts to make what is not cheese taste so cheesy, the mouth doesn’t even worry about technicalities.  Forget about those processed vegan cheese products you buy hoping they will fill the void.  This mac is made from all whole food ingredients and good fats, and you can pour it over any type of pasta that suits your needs—I like using whole grain shells or macaroni.   

This recipe has been field tested by skeptical parties and unknowing partakers who have been tricked into noshing before knowing it’s shh—vegan!

We all have dirty little secrets.  Mine just happen to involve cheese!

veganmacandcheese| (11 of 13)

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Serves 6-8

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1  1/4 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, from about 1/2 a small lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound whole grain or gluten free pasta (shells or macaroni will do the trick)

Set a large saucepan of water to boil, generously salt the water, and follow the cooking instructions for the pasta.  Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a small nonstick pan.  Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes until soft and just barely golden.

Place the cashews and nutritional yeast in the bowl of a blender or food processor.  Blend until the cashews are a sandy texture.  Add the sautéed garlic, coconut milk, miso paste, lemon juice, dijon mustard, tomato paste and turmeric.  Blend until very smooth.  Warm the sauce over medium low heat in a small saucepan.  Stir in the butter.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the drained pasta to the large saucepan.  Pour in the warmed sauce.  Toss and stir until well coated.  Heat over medium low heat if needed.


Filed under Uncategorized

Rosemary Tortilla Española with Watercress Sauce

RosemarytortillaEspañola| (13 of 13)

I had to google myself today.  Not to see if my fame has taken over the internet.  Not to make sure the paparazzi hasn’t posted any pictures of me without makeup outside my mini mansion (ha!).  Not even because I haven’t posted in so long that I had to check on myself (glad to be back, by the way!).  I had to google myself, because I really couldn’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe yet, because it’s such a staple in our house.

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The Mister and I first had a taste (or many tastes) of this dish when traveling around Spain a few years ago.   Tapas bar?  Tortilla Española.  Sandwich place?  Tortilla Española between two slices of crusty bread, with an obscene amount of mayonnaise (which I believe is Spain’s national condiment).  Dinner?  You guessed it, Tortilla Española served atop a big hunk of bread.  I think that in Spain, farmers have trained special breeds of hens to lay their eggs, harvest potatoes, and immediately turn them into Tortilla Española.

RosemarytortillaEspañola| (1 of 1)

Why is this dish so good?  It’s so basic. Tortilla has nothing to do with the wraps we are used to.  Rather, it’s a Spanish Omelette, similar to a fritatta, made with thinly sliced potatoes and onions sauteed in what you’ll think is way too much olive oil, then nestled in a pillow of eggs.  Traditionally, it’s started on the stove, finished off in the oven, then the entire thing is flipped over so that the new top is spotted golden brown.

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Sometimes keeping the tortilla in one piece as you flip it is iffy, depending on your pan. The method that works for me is to give it a short stint under the broiler, and to serve it right out of the pan.  I also add fresh minced rosemary as a twist on the original version.  Taking a cue from the Spaniards, I usually whip up a batch of some sort of aioli, such as garlic or sundried tomato.  This time, I was craving something with a hit of freshness, so I created a tangy, herbacious sauce from nutrient-dense watercress, which complemented the richness of the tortilla.

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Tortilla Española makes a great crowd-pleasing breakfast or brunch dish, but how we most enjoy it here in the Spoon house is for dinner over a crusty slice of bread, drizzled or dolloped with whatever sauce or aioli materializes out of ingredients we already have.  It comes together in less than 30 minutes, and as a bonus, can be eaten for breakfast in the morning as well.

Muy delicioso.  Now all I have to do is work on training those hens.

RosemarytortillaEspañola| (11 of 13)


Rosemary Tortilla Española with Watercress Sauce

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Best International Recipe


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • watercress sauce for serving (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425˚f.  Heat the oil in a 10 inch oven-proof pan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the potatoes, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring, and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally (the potatoes tend to stick), until the potatoes and onions are soft.

In the meantime, whisk together the eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and the rosemary in a medium bowl until well combined and slightly frothy.  Add the eggs to the pan with the cooked potatoes and onions.  Gently and quickly stir and fold in the eggs to combine.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes on the stovetop, until the eggs begin to set.

Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the top is puffed and the eggs are set, about 9 minutes.  Switch the oven to broil, and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the top is spotted golden.

Allow to cool slightly.  Either slice and serve directly from the pan, or loosen the edges with a rubber spatula, and flip the tortilla onto a serving plate.  Serve with watercress sauce.


Watercress Sauce

Is it a vinaigrette?  Is it an aioli?  Maybe on both accounts.  It’s creamier than a vinaigrette, and looser than an aioli.   Call it what you want, but what matters is that it’s packed with nutrition, and is bright and herbaceous, a perfect contrast to the richness of the Tortilla Española!

  • 1 bunch watercress, upper stems and leaves only, about 1 cup packed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients using an immersion blender (or regular blender).


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Pumpkin Spice Steamers (vegan, gf)


Pumpkinsteamers |

I can’t believe that this Thanksgiving has almost gotten away from me without posting.  I couldn’t let this day of friends and feasting pass by without wishing you a very happy one!

Asian Quinoa Salad |

I’ve been nose to nose with some challenges this fall, and I say the following to myself as much as to you.  Let’s start this holiday season by being as nice to ourselves as we would a good friend, or a cute kid in the grocery store.  Let’s smile at ourselves.  Laugh!  Treat ourselves!

Asian Quinoa Salad |

And speaking of, treats, here’s how I kicked off this morning of Thanksgiving cooking—with a tasty pumpkin spice steamer.  I don’t regret to inform you that these steamers are light years away from those syrup-y $5 drinks from that one place we all love to go to.  They’re rich, lightly sweetened, and scented with spices and pumpkin.  Think a lighter, less sweet version of pumpkin pie.  Something to sip on during all the cozy days of cooking to come.

I hope that you have an increasing amount of things to be grateful for this year!  Happy Thanksgiving!


Pumpkin Spice Steamers

Makes about 4 8-ounce servings

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, maple syrup, stevia, or other sweetener to taste*

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and mix until well combined and frothy.  Transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until hot.  Serve immediately, garnished with a dusting of cinnamon.

*I used about 2 tablespoons maple syrup


Filed under Uncategorized

Cinnamon Toasted Coconut Snack Bites (gf, vegan)


Cinnamon Bites |

The other day, I had a major craving for a cookie.  In particular, a snickerdoodle.  It was about to be one of those I’m going to lose my mind if I don’t get that cookie moments.  I’ve seen lots of recipes for nutritious sweet snack bites on Pinterest, and wondered if I could get my sweet fix with something a little better—okay, substantially better for me—than a cookie. 

Cinnamon Bites |

So, I used my very limited amount of left brained-ness, and analyzed the snickerdoodle.  What was I after?   It wasn’t my goal to recreate the snickerdoodle.  I think sometimes when we make too many substitutions trying to make something healthier taste exactly like the original, we end up not getting what we want.  My very scientific analysis told me that I was craving something toasty, sweet, and cinnamony, with notes of vanilla. 

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Asian Quinoa Salad |

The combination of toasted almonds, toasted coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon blended in the food processor released a lovely fragrance. I used dates to bind everything together, and a pinch of sea salt, because I can’t get enough of the salty sweet taste. 

Cinnamon Bites|

The Mister and I reached the conclusion that they tasted like a cross between a cinnamon donut hole and the yummy gooey cinnamon swirls between the layers of a cinnamon bun.  Since these sweet little dessert-snack bites are full of almonds, and not just empty white flour, I only had to eat two before my sweet tooth was completely satisfied. 

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Cinnamon Bites |

Are they a dessert?  A pre work-out snack?  An energy bite?  Yes, yes, and yes.  But what’s the best part of all?  They were exactly what I was craving and also full of foods that have more substance and nutritive value than the empty cookie I was dreaming about.   

Snickerdoodle?  What snickerdoodle?

Cinnamon Bites|

Cinnamon Bites|

Cinnamon Toasted Coconut Snack  Bites

  • 1 1/2 cups toasted coconut flakes, or 1 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (see below)*
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups (packed) pitted dates
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1) Toast the almonds in a frying pan over medium high heat, stirring often until fragrant and darkened slightly, about 7-8 minutes.  Allow to cool.

2) If using shredded coconut, spread on a baking sheet and toast in a 325˚oven, for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until lightly golden.  If using toasted coconut flakes, skip to step 2.

3) Blend the toasted coconut in a food processor until it looks like coarse sand.  Reserve 1/3 cup in a small bowl.

4) Add the almonds, cinnamon and sea salt to the food processor with the coconut and blend until the texture of coarse sand.

5) Add the dates and vanilla, and blend until combined and sticking together (test a ball of the mixture by squeezing it into a ball)

6) By the rounded tablespoon, form the mixture into a ball by squeezing and pressing it together.  Repeat for the remain  Roll the cinnamon bites in the reserved coconut crumbs, using your fingers to press the coconut onto the outside of each ball.  Store in an airtight container.

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Filed under Desserts, Snacks

Asian Quinoa Salad with Almond-Soy-Ginger Dressing

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Healthy eating can be like mind-twisting voodoo.  If I’m trying to amp up my body’s natural defenses to fight disease, what should I eat?  What shouldn’t I eat?  What if the paleos judge me for not eating meat?  What if the non-paleos judge me for eating meat?     You’re a veggie?  Where do you get your protein?  What?  No dessert?!  You’re too skinny!  Dessert?! You’re too chubby! Don’t know how you do the voodoo that you do, well, it’s a spell, hell, don’t know what to eat, eat, eat! (if you spend any amount of time listening to pop music in the 90s, then you know what I mean!).   

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Should, shouldn’t.  Feed, deprive.  Avoid, indulge.  High carb, low carb, complex carb, no carb.  Trans fats, unsat fats, hydrog-ed fats, no fats…  WHAAAAAT?  Why does every choice feel so loaded?  Why do we eat?  I eat to fight cancer.  I eat to bring my body to optimal health, so that my natural defense mechanisms can thrive.  I eat to feel energetic and vibrant.  I eat to fuel my body and my brain.  I eat to give my body needs, but also what it loves (still leaving room for a genuine straight up treat every now and then!).   The enjoyment of food is one of the best parts of life!  How do you think about what you eat?  

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Asian Quinoa Salad |

I’ve got my mind on my healing, and my healing on my mind.  More and more I’m feeling drawn to share recipes for nutrient-dense foods that are still exciting to eat.  It’s easy to find very “pinteresting” recipes for quick and easy cheesy crockpot dip, and a little harder to find tasty healthy foods . Let’s remininsce about our spooning thus far.  Here on Spoon With Me, it’s always been about whole ingredients used to create beautiful food you actually want to eat.  I have occasional dabblings with completely indulgent chocolate truffle cakes, and that’s okay!  The world needs occasional truffle cakes here and there (and no judgement if you get sidetracked, click on the cake link, and decide to spend the 6 hours making it!).

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Right now, my body needs the most fuel to give it the best chance for healing.  So my mission stays the same–well, sort of.  This site isn’t about rabbit food, low fat substitutes, gimmicks, or fad diets.  It never has been.  It’s about being creative in the kitchen.  It’s about flexibility and improvisation, and eating and living well even in the face of challenges.  It’s about riding the waves of life with a sense of humor and grace.  But most of all, it’s about colorful beautiful whole foods you can get excited about cooking and eating!

Asian Quinoa Salad |

In today’s recipe, quinoa serves as the canvas for veggies of all shapes and textures, crunchy toasted almonds and crackly sesame seeds, tied together with a soy-ginger almond butter dressing. Salads are like elementary school art projects; the more colors, shapes, and textures, the better!  This salad also offers your body protein, fiber, complex carbs, healthy fats, and a truckload of veggies! 

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Asian Quinoa Salad |

This is not the one night stand cooking that will leave you feeling regretful and empty.  This is the kind of cooking that will keep giving.  Hence, my new slogan, Spoon With Me:  The foods you love, that love you back!  

Asian Quinoa Salad |

Asian Quinoa Salad with Almond-Soy-Ginger Dressing

Serves 8 as a side dish

This is not one of those recipes found in a fancy schmancy molecular gastronomy cookbooks that needs to be followed to a tee. The basic idea is to use vegetables of every color and texture, chop them well, and weave everything together with the dressing.  I have found that blanching the green beans makes them vibrant and easier to eat.  I created this recipe for a dinner party of 8, and we still had leftovers, so keep that in mind and halve the recipe if you’re cooking for a small crowd (or, it makes a great lunch to enjoy throughout the week)!

For the Salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, julienned, and roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced and roughly chopped red cabbage (about 1/2 small cabbage)
  • 3/4 cup almond slivers
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (1 small bunch)

For the Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peeled and finely grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce (check for gluten-free tamari if needed)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter

Bring the quinoa to a boil with a scant 3 cups water (quinoa will retain some water when you rinse it, so I always use less water when cooking). Immediately reduce to a simmer, and cook for 12 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft and the germ ring (white outline) is visible around each grain.  If there is excess moisture in the quinoa, set it in a fine sieve to drain.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Blanch the green beans:  Fill a medium saucepan with water and a couple teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil.  Set a large bowl of ice water to the side of the stove.  Cook the green beans for about a minute, until bright green and still crisp.  Immediately plunge them into the ice water to cool.  Once cool, slice on the bias (diagonally) into 1 inch pieces.

Toast the almonds in a medium frying pan over medium heat until lightly golden brown and fragrant.  Allow to cool. 

Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a bowl or liquid measuring cup.  Combine and toss the cooked quinoa, and all salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over top and stir until evenly coated.  Chill in the refrigerator or serve as is!


Filed under Salads, Side Dishes, vegetarian, Vegetarian and Vegan

Key Lime Pie (raw, vegan, gf)



SPOOOOOONSHAAAAAKE!  What is a spoon shake, you ask?  Well, as I told my slightly confused new friends around the table, spooning brings people together.  (I knew you would agree, readers).  It was night one of a week-long First Descents kayak camp, only this time, I was there as sous chef Flip Flop, and not kayaker / cancer ninja  badass Flip Flop (although I would still consider myself a cancer ninja badass, even while making hummus).  As many of you know, when I get started on the subject of First Descents, I get slightly manic as I try to get across just how life changing this organization is for everyone involved.  As a cancer fighter and survivor, I have attended two kayak programs (which you can read about here and here). This time, chef Curly Kale and I would be cooking nourishing meals (breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and dessert for 22 cancer survivors and volunteers.  An intimidating feat, for sure!



(Makin’ hummus and takin’ names!)

Normally, when I step off a plane for a First Descents trip, I’m carrying a little bit of nervousness, some quick-dry clothing, and a healthy serving of excited giddiness.  This time, I arrived with an extra loads, both physically and mentally.  TSA finds it amusing and unsettling when one carries a 7 1/2 pound cast iron skillet through security, but they can’t stop you.  Fortunately, there aren’t any regulations on cookware!  My mental heaviness came from just having wrapped up a difficult round of testing at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  I didn’t know how I would muster up the strength to be in a support role when I was feeling so unstable myself, but I had faith that the FD magic would kick in and that in supporting and nourishing other cancer survivors, I would be fed and nourished as well.


(TSA’s worst nightmare)

Throughout the week, I got to witness the re-building, re-strengthening, and charging up  of 15 amazing cancer survivors.  Everyday, my new spoon buddies came back with a little more of a spark in their eyes, holding themselves up a little higher than before.  I felt grateful to be a part of their experience.  Somewhere along the way, I began to see myself in them, remembering my first kayaking trip and the strengthening that happened  that week in my own life.  I started to get that old familiar feeling of You got this, Flip-Flop!  You can do this!  Cancer may take some things away, but there are certain things it can never take.


(Our view of Mt. Hood from the back patio)

One of the recipes that I made on the trip was this key lime pie.  It has been described by some as “THE BEST KEY LIME PIE.  EVER”.  Not “The best raw, vegan, gluten-free key lime pie ever”.  Yes, it is raw and yada yada yada…but it’s a legitimate stinkin good dessert! It’s made with avocado and agave, coconut and lime.  The date, granola and raw nut crust tastes even better than a good graham cracker crust, and offers nutritional benefits as well.  Although dates have natural sugars, they have a low-glycemic index, and contain fiber and B vitamins, and when you add nuts and granola, you’re getting a dose of protein, healthy fats carbs.  Let’s not kid ourselves, this is a dessert, it’s not a seaweed-kale salad.  However, it’s a treat that tastes every bit as good as the original and offers good stuff to your body as well!

KeyLimePie|Spoonwithme-com (2)

This recipe can be found in the new First Descents cookbook, which I’ve sampled many recipes from and can say that I’m VERY excited to receive my copy in the mail!  The recipes are fresh, nourishing, and colorful.  You can check out the book and purchase it here.  There’s even a video at the bottom of the page which shows the cookbook party where we made recipes from the book to be photographed (I’m the one in the red sweater!).  All proceeds from book sales benefit First Descents and help to send more young adult cancer survivors to these life-changing programs!

KeyLimePie|Spoonwithme-com (4)


In my typical fashion, I’ve adapted this recipe slightly to increase the amount of dates in the crust in order to make it more pliable and crimp-able (a.k.a pretty) in the pie pan.  This also serves to hold the pie together when serving it. I’ve also added sea salt to the crust (who doesn’t love that sweet-salty combination?!).  The filling is heavenly as written, and was just begging to be sprinkled with some fresh lime zest.

KeyLimePie|Spoonwithme-com (1)

Okay, now let’s come together everyone.  Turn your hand palm side up and curve your fingers in the manner of a spoon.  Find a friend (or as many people as will participate), and place your spoon hand in their spoon hand, or vice versa.  Now, lift up your spoons in united goofy solidarity, and cheer SPOONSHAKE!  Now doesn’t that feel good?


Key Lime Pie (raw, vegan, gf)

Adapted from Out Cooking It (The First Descents Cookbook)

Original recipe by Lisa Nielson, Holistic Fitness and Nutrition Advisor


For the crust

1 1/3 cup low sugar, gluten-free granola

1 cup raw unsalted nuts, such as pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, etc…

1 1/2 cups raw dates, about

1/8 teaspoon salt


For the filling:

1 medium ripe avocado, about 7 1/2 ounces

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup light agave nectar

6 tablespoons full fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons soy lecithin*

1/2 cup coconut oil

finely grated zest of one lime


Blend the granola and nuts in the food processor until they reach a rough sandy texture.  Add the dates and salt, blending until the mixture sticks together.  Press into a pie pan and set aside.

Halve the avocado, remove the seed, and scoop out the flesh into the pitcher of a blender.  Add the lime juice, agave, coconut milk, vanilla, and salt.  Blend until smooth.  Add the lecithin and coconut oil.  Blend until well incorporated.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Smooth out the top using a flat spatula or frosting spreader.  Sprinkle some of the lime zest over top of the filling.  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until set.  Pie can also be chilled in the freezer for 20 minutes to speed up the setting process.




*Soy lecithin is a vegan thickener that works when blending cold ingredients, ie:  doesn’t need to cooked like corn starch or tapioca starch in order to thicken and set.  Look for it in health food stores in the supplement aisle.  Sometimes stores stock Bob’s Red Mill brand lecithin as well.


Filed under Uncategorized