On taking a pause, and being honest with ourselves


I have a huge amount of respect for people who know their limits. For those who recognize that sometimes taking a break is the most sensible way to go, no matter how much responsibility they feel towards their family, work, or friends. We all carry heavy loads at times, and I honestly believe that the world would be a better place if everyone felt that they have a right to say stop, please stop for a second.

This is, of course, a luxury. Not everyone has the support network or simply the choice to take a break when they need it (big or small). Frankly, there is little or no room in our society for stopping when we need to catch a breath. This is especially true at the workplace, where any sign of fatigue is simply interpreted as weakness.

And this is why I’d love to bring to your attention a blog post written by Dreena Burton, vegan cook author and super mama to three girls.

In “Pressing Pause,” Dreena says that she needs to slow down because she feels overwhelmed by her career and her motherlode. As has always been the case with her, her words were so candid and genuine that I really sympathized with her. Her call for a break seems very brave to me, and I think she’s teaching her children an invaluable lesson in self-respect. So, here’s to Dreena, for teaching us a little more than just cooking amazing food.

If you’d like to learn more about Dreena Burton, check out to her website, Plant-Powered Kitchen. And please get one of her cookbooks if you don’t have them yet. I own all of them! (The photo above is my variation on Dreena’s Super-charge-me cookies from her book Eat, Drink and be Vegan).


Recipe: avocado cocoa pudding


I’m not the most spontaneous of cooks. But last night was one of those nights when you really, really want a piece of chocolate after a nice curry dinner, and then you realize that you’re all out of Green and Blacks. Panic ensues, and you must come up with something, quick.

So I did! and I have to share this with you because I inadvertently created a ridiculously easy and delicious chocolate pudding. It’s not like I was taking notes while trying a new recipe so the amounts below are approximate. In any case, this pudding is totally forgiving so please go ahead and create your own version.

By the way, did you know that people in Brazil eat avocados sprinkled with brown sugar for dessert? I know. It’s delicious.

Quick avocado cocoa pudding (Yields two small cups)

Half an avocado
2 Tbs agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice, to taste)
About 1 to 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
About 3 Tbs almond milk (or other milk of your choice)

In a small bowl, mush the avocado with a fork until pretty soft. Add agave and cocoa powder and whisk. Slowly add the milk until you think it’s soft enough but careful not to water down the mix too much. Whisk vigorously until all the ingredients are integrated and the mix looks like a soft pudding. Taste and adjust sugar and milk amounts if necessary. Pour on two small cups. Done!


Recipe: vegan peach muffins


If you went a little overboard with buying the last batch of fresh summer peaches, this recipe should solve your abundance problem. These muffins are totally versatile, so if you’re out of peaches, you can use apples instead. Feel free to adjust the sugar amount to your liking. Also keep this in mind if you want these to be baby friendly. (I made mine low in sugar because that’s how I like them–and Sophie loved them, too!)

If you’re not familiar with apple cider vinegar, I highly recommend that you try it. It’s a common ingredient in vegan baking and it has no flavour once it is cooked.

I made these on the weekend for breakfast and it took no more than 40 minutes total. Having a toddler means you’re up early (don’t you know it!). The positive side is that on a weekend you can take your time to make a special breakfast for your lil’ family 🙂

Vegan peach muffins. Adapted from the original from Post Punk Kitchen.

2 1/2 cups organic spelt flour*
1/4 cup pure maple sugar (can substitute for brown sugar, coconut sugar, demerara sugar… your call)
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 ts. salt
1 ts. cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup almond milk (or soy milk)
1 ts apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive or canola oil
1 ts vanilla
1 1/2 cup chopped peaches (with or without peel. I left mine on)

*I didn’t have enough spelt flour left so had to use 1 cup regular flour. Feel free to use any flour you have. It’s no big deal to make some adjustments!

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a muffin tin. Sift flour into large mixing bowl. Add sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir gently until just combined. Mix all the wet ingredients in separate bowl. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. If the mix is a bit too dry, ad one Tbs. more oil. Add the peaches and stir again until just combined.

Scoop batter into muffin tins, making sure it doesn’t go over the edge. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top of each muffin. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack or simply place gently on a wooden board. I like covering the muffins with a slightly damp towel to keep their moisture while they cool.

Store your remaining muffins in an air-tight container. Don’t put them in the fridge. They will keep at room temperature for two or three days.