Candied Walnut Popcorn

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Hope you’re all having an amazing day so far! I know this Christmas looks a little different than past years, but hopefully you guys can find some way to hang out with family, whether it be virtually or with a small, socially distant group in person.

For a fun and festive Christmas recipe, I thought I’d share a delicious popcorn mix! It’s a quick and easy recipe that you can whip up while celebrating the holiday. The walnuts are beautifully candied in some maple syrup on the stove, making them tender and sweet, balancing perfectly with the salted popcorn! I also threw some cinnamon in there for some extra Christmas flavour.

Also, we’re making our popcorn from scratch! Of course, you can use pre-made popcorn if you want to speed things up even more, but making your own is surprisingly easy and healthier. You’ve just got to heat up the oil, toss in the kernels, and listen to them pop! Plus you can season to your own taste with salt.

I’m going to keep this post short today so you can get straight to the recipe and go back to making holiday memories! I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a great rest of your day:)

Candied Walnut Popcorn

Serves: 4

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon + more to taste
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.
  2. Add in the popcorn kernels to the pot, and put on the lid, leaving it slightly ajar so that the steam can escape. Listen to the kernels pop! When the popping slows, remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Season the popcorn to taste with salt.
  4. In a small pot, combine the walnuts and maple syrup. Put the pot on the stove over medium-low heat, and wait for the maple syrup to come to a slight simmer. Keep stirring the walnuts and maple until the maple syrup begins to caramelize and turns into a sticky coating on the walnuts, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Take the pot off of the heat and let the candied walnuts cool for about 2 minutes before adding them to the popcorn. Mix everything up and season to taste with some more salt and cinnamon.
  6. Enjoy!!

Merry Christmas and I’ll see you soon with my 2021 Bullet Journal Set-Up! I’m so excited:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Hey guys! I’m so excited because it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow!! And so to celebrate Christmas Eve Eve, we’ve got to have some more cookies! If you thought I could let a holiday season go by without making any sort of peanut butter recipe, then you would be mistaken. Peanut butter is still one of my favourite things on the planet, and so I had to make a delicious cookie using it!

I was inspired by the Kraft peanut butter cookie recipe, which I make a lot for my family. It’s super simple, using only peanut butter, sugar, and an egg, but I wanted to make it a bit healthier, and also add a super fun and delicious surprise inside! So I started by mixing together some oat flour, natural peanut butter, an egg, and some maple syrup. Natural peanut butter is one of my best discoveries over the past few years- you get all of the pure, peanut flavour without any added hydrogenated oils, sugar, or maltodextrin! If you haven’t already, make the switch because it’s definitely worth it:) Oat flour is another thing that’s great to have on hand; it’s just ground up oats. I keep a little bit in a small bag so it’s ready to use in speedy recipes like this!

Mixed up together, the ingredients make a nice dough that is easily rolled up into balls. This is where the surprise comes in! I stuck a frozen blueberry in each dough ball and then covered it with dough, flattening the whole thing a bit with my hand. The blueberry gets nice and melty and gooey in the oven, making for a super tasty centre and sort of a peanut butter and jam combo. The cookie itself is delicious as well! And they only bake for about 15 minutes, so they’re the perfect last-minute Christmas treat, either for Christmas day, or maybe after all the business is over and you want to relax with a peanut-buttery snack.

Enjoy these simple and tasty cookies!!:)

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Serves: Makes 9 Cookies

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup creamy, unsalted natural peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup oat flour
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 9 frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together the peanut butter, oat flour, maple syrup and egg in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Take a tablespoon sized amount of dough and roll it into a ball. Place a frozen blueberry in the centre, then roll again so that the blueberry is completely covered by dough. Put the ball of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, and flatten slightly using your fingers. Repeat until you have 9 cookies on the sheet.
  4. Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom.
  5. Cool completely and enjoy!

Have an amazing Christmas everybody! I’ll have a recipe coming oat on Christmas Day so make sure you check it out if you want a fun snack to make with your family. I hope you all spend time with loved ones and have a great holiday:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

‘Sup guys! I’ve done a lot of sweet Christmas recipes so far, but today I have some Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks that are a GREAT vegetarian main or side dish for your Christmas dinner. I also threw some mushrooms on the pan to toast with the steaks because mushrooms are so tasty and remind me of the holidays!

The concept of a cauliflower steak is a thick slab of cauliflower seared or roasted so that it is reminiscent of a steak. I actually love steaks- I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but I love veggies too, and these “steaks” are just so good and perfect for switching it up once and a while.

In this recipe, I amped up the meatiness of the cauliflower by using liquid smoke in the marinade!! My family and I made some homemade beef jerky the other week (it was so good I highly recommend), and an ingredient in the marinade was liquid smoke. It gave it such a good flavour! So I thought, why not add it to my cauliflower? And it worked its magic there too. Liquid smoke is used in a variety of vegan and vegetarian recipes because it does give that savoury, meaty flavour, so it’s worth picking some up. Also in the marinade, we have balsamic, garlic, and a bunch of spices that all work together to create a ziploc bag full of deliciousness😂

I marinaded the steaks for 4 hours- flipping the bag halfway through to make sure that everything got coated evenly. This made the cauliflower so flavourful! I then placed the steaks on a sheet pan in the oven, but not before tossing some sliced mushrooms in the leftover marinade and throwing them on the pan as well.

Everything roasts up SO nicely in the oven, getting crispy and tender and steak-like! These steaks, along with the mushrooms, would be great alongside some mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes), more roasted veggies, and maybe some vegetable gravy! They’re super tasty and have a wonderful texture.

Hope you enjoy this vegan holiday dish!

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Serves: 3

Total Time: 5 hours

Ingredients:

For the Steaks and Mushrooms:

  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, washed and cut lengthwise into about 3/4 inch slabs
  • 5-6 white mushrooms, sliced
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano and dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Red chilli flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large resealable bag. Add in the cauliflower steaks and place in the fridge for 4 hours, flipping over the bag halfway through to make sure that the marinade gets to every part of the veggies.
  2. Once the 4 hours are up, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the steaks from the marinade and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Toss the sliced mushrooms in the remaining marinade, and then place them on the baking sheet as well. Sprinkle some dried rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper over everything, throw the pan in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and serves the mushrooms and cauliflower warm.
  5. Enjoy!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas-week so far! I’ll see you on Wednesday with another holiday recipe🥰

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Chocolate Tahini Snowballs

Hey guys! There’s only a week until Christmas time and I’m so ready! I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to wrap my gifts and make them all pretty and it just brings me joy. And you know what else brings me joy? These Chocolate Tahini Snowballs!! They’re super cute and are a great addition to your spread of holiday baking.

I think that bite-sized desserts are honestly the best, because how else are you going to sample all those delicious holiday treats? These Snowballs are the perfect size and are absolutely stunning. They’re rolled in coconut just before baking to give that snowball effect, but the coconut adds so much to the flavour and texture as well. So yum! When you pick up these snowballs, they feel pretty hefty, and so it seems like they’re going to be dense and dry. But when you bite into them you get a warm, fudgy inside that is to die for! The tahini gives such a nice rich and nutty flavour, contrasting the chocolate perfectly. And these little bundles of joy deliver all this while being vegan, oil free, and refined sugar free!

I love how simple these are to make too:)) I started by mixing all of the ingredients together in a big bowl, and then rolling out little balls, covering them with coconut, and baking them for just fifteen minutes!! The recipe can easily be doubled if you want double the chocolate-y deliciousness, and why wouldn’t you? So yeah, these are amazing if you need a festive recipe in a pinch, or are just looking for a quick and healthy dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. They would be great next to some of my Ginger Oat Cookies– just sayin.

I hop you enjoy these bite-sized holiday treats! They’re so fun to make and to eat:))

Chocolate Tahini Snowballs

Serves: Makes about 10 Snowballs

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oat flour (blended oats)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used organic)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients, except for the coconut, together in a large bowl.
  3. Scoop out tablespoon fulls of the mixture and roll into balls using your hands.
  4. Dump the coconut onto a small plate, and roll the balls around in it until they are completely covered.
  5. Place the snowballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, let cool and enjoy!!

Make sure you come back for more delicious holiday recipes next week!!!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))))

Brussels Sprout, Fig and Walnut Salad

Who else thinks Brussels sprouts are the most underrated vegetable?!??! Because they are. It’s a fact. If I unwrapped a Tupperware full of roasted Brussels sprouts on Christmas morning, I don’t think that I would be mad about it. These little green bundles of joy are one of my favourite winter side dishes. Today we’re getting even more festive and mixing some roasted sprouts with figs and walnuts to make an AMAZING quinoa salad that is a perfect take on a classic accompaniment to your holiday dinner.

Like many other great recipes, we’re starting this one off by roasting a vegetable! Brussels sprouts are chopped in half, then given a nice massage with some salt, pepper, and olive oil. They go in the oven cut-side down (so they get nice and crispy) on a parchment lined baking sheet. But guess what? You get quadruple the roasty deliciousness because at various stages during the cooking time, the figs, walnuts, and some garlic get added onto the pan. The result is some crispy Brussels sprouts, caramelized figs, golden brown walnuts, and amazingly aromatic garlic.

Since we’re on the topic of garlic, let’s talk about the dressing, shall we? It starts with some tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup, which would all make an awesome dressing on their own, but when they get combined with the roasted garlic, everything gets kicked up a notch. Actually, like, quite a few notches. This dressing is creamy, full of flavour, and is the best thing that you could possibly drizzle all over those roasted sprouts, nuts, and figs on a bed of quinoa. Because yes, there’s quinoa in here too. Talk about hearty and delicious!

This salad is a great side dish for dinner with your family, or just lunch on a weekday. Add a protein like some cooked chicken or chickpeas, and you’ve got a filling and super tasty meal! The best is when you get a bite of Brussels sprout, fig, and walnut all together…. MMMMMM!

Hope you enjoy!

Brussels Sprout, Fig, and Walnut Salad

Serves: 4-6

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1 cup shelled Walnuts
  • 3 figs, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 cloves of garlic, skins on, wrapped in tinfoil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss them with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Place them in the oven to roast.
  3. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and add on the packet of garlic. Place back in the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.
  4. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and sprinkle on the chopped figs and the walnuts. Place back in the oven and continue to roast for a final 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, and carefully unwrap the garlic packet. Remove the cloves from their skins and use a garlic mincer to mince the roasted garlic into a small bowl. Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Spread the cooked quinoa on the bottom of a large serving dish. Scoop all of the roasted Brussels sprouts, figs and walnuts on top. Finally, pour the dressing over everything and toss the salad so that it is evenly mixed together. Serve warm and enjoy!

I’ll see you guys Friday with another festive recipe!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))