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Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins {recipe}

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

The temperature on the East Coast is FINALLY starting to drop, although today it seems like summer is coming back. So it’s time to turn your ovens back on, heat up the house, and make it smell delicious with an array of baked goods! This is what makes Fall my favorite season, you can bake and not die from the heat and I can start wearing my yellow cardigan again. Its the only thing I own that isn’t black or grey.

I am not a straight up banana eater so I’m alway’s hoping that the banana eaters in my house forget to eat them so they get perfectly ripe for baking. When thinking about this new recipe I thought that I do like a cut up banana in my oatmeal and I like chocolate chips in my banana bread so why not combine all of that in a fabulous recipe?  It all worked out wonderfully! 


There isn’t a ton of sugar in the recipe, only 1/4 cup, the ripe banana’s make up for the rest of the sweetness. The oats inside and sprinkled on top make for a lovely texture. The semi-sweet chocolate chips add a lovely richness that isn’t overpowering. These muffins were a huge hit with my family and the parents at my sons school. I’ll be making these again and again whenever the banana eaters in my house forget to eat the bananas!

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins
This recipe will yield 12 regular size muffins and 2 1/2 dozen mini muffins. The mini muffins are perfect for a potluck or party!
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  1. 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  2. ¾ cup + ¼ cup of rolled oats (divided)
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 3 small ripe bananas or 2 large ripe bananas
  7. ¾ cup non dairy milk (see note)
  8. ¼ cup canola oil
  9. ⅓ cup sugar
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your muffin tin accordingly. For a silicone muffin pan, leave as is. For a metal muffin pan spray with cooking spray or use muffin papers.
  3. In a medium size bowl whisk together the all purpose flour, ¾ cups rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
  4. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the non dairy milk, canola oil, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently stir with a spatula until just combined. Don’t over mix! Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Fill the muffin pans just to the top of each cup. Sprinkly the remaining ¼ cups of rolled oats on top of the uncooked muffins.
  7. Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
  1. My general rule is to use an unsweetened vegan milk. However I really liked using a vanilla coconut milk for this recipe. Play around with it and use your preferred milk.
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Killer Vegan {Restaurant Review}

My husband and I were child-free for the afternoon so we had a delicious lunch at Killer Vegan in Union, NJ. I had the Killer Panini for the first time. It was so delicious and reminded me of the seitan wraps I made for road trips. My husband had the Guns Killer Vegan Panini

Killer Vegan is a diner and delicatessen in Union, NJ. I love this place. They started off small with only a few sandwiches and sides and a twice a month all you can eat brunch. Yes an ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGAN BRUNCH! They have burgers, panini’s, sausage and meatball sandwiches, new dinner specials every week, disco fries (!), cheese fries (!) homemade cakes, cookies, milkshakes and more!  I’ve been here a handful of times already and it’s been fun to see their menu and hours of operation grow.  My last visit their I had the new Killer Vegan Panini. Filled with Country Fried Seitan, avocado, arugula, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo.  It was perfectly paired with the kale slaw. The seitan was so delicious I wish I had a plate of it to myself!

1st of 2 identical plates of food at the all you can eat opening brunch at Killer Vegan in Union. I stole bites of pancakes and French toast from my kids plates.

All-You-Can-Eat Brunch

Brunch at Killer Vegan is alway’s All-You-Can-Eat and alway’s amazing. A buffet filled with homemade sausages and tempeh bacon, biscuits and a cashew sage gravy, tofu scramble, steamed greens, arroz con gandules, pancakes, french toast and home fries. On one or two occasions I’ve also spotted and dined on some deliciously sweet plantains.

One time a woman on line asked me what to put the cashew gravy on and I just said “Everything. Just put it on everything.”  

Delicious KV Burger and Kale Slaw at Killer Vegan in Union NJ today with the Montclair Vegans meetup! Not pictured: Mint Chip Milkshake, it was awesome. Thanks @diannewenz !! KV Burger

Their burger menu has grown from 1 burger to 4 different burgers including the original KV Burger (pictured), the Gunslinger Burger, which my husband enjoyed on our last kidless visit there, a Pizza Burger and The Killer, which I’m looking forward to trying the next time I visit. Its 2 burgers, cheese sauce, sauteed onions and coconut bacon. I can’t say no to Coconut Bacon! The burgers are house-made, delicious and they don’t fall apart. I’ve never been disappointed.

Lunch from Killer Vegan today: Sausage and Peppers w. Kale Slaw. Miles's fries in the top left corner. Not pictured: Butter Pecan Milkshake #vegan

Sausage and Peppers

One of my favorite things about Killer Vegan is that they make their own sausages. I love store-bought vegan sausages and buy them all the time for convenience but when a restaurant goes out of their way to make their own it’s special and I notice and I eat them. Nothing beats a house-made sausage and pepper sandwich!

If you can’t tell by these pictures I really dig Killer Vegans Kale Slaw. When you order a sandwich it comes with chips or you can upgrade to one of their sides. I alway’s upgrade to Kale Slaw. It tastes exactly how I make my own Kale Slaw at home and I really should go for one of their other sides like Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Fries or Mashed Potatoes but I just really love Kale Slaw! 

Not pictured are the vegan Milk Shakes and desserts I’ve tried at Killer Vegan. Nine different Milkshake flavors from Mint Chocolate Chip to Butter Pecan and desserts like Red Velvet cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mini Cupcakes, Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake and a Cookies and Cream Cake. I could live happily eating at Killer Vegan forever! 

If you are in the area take a peek at their menu and plan a trip to eat here!

Sauteed Kale with Peppers and Peanuts {recipe}

Side dish: Dino kale, yellow peppers, salted peanuts, garlic salt. #vegan #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #vegansofig


I don’t often make side dishes. We are a one pot meal type of family. If I do make a side it’s just a “sauteed garlicky green”. While this might fall into that category, the additions of peppers and peanuts just made it much more then another “garlicky green” side dish. Chomping into a pepper was like a burst of sunshine! Something we definitely need in the mid-atlantic/northeast. The amount of snow we have been getting plus ice storms has me craving warm weather and sunshine. Two things I’m not totally fond of! Is this a sign of old age that I’m against the winter and snow for the first time in my life? I hope not! The salted peanuts added a nice texture and taste to the whole thing. Instead of adding chopped garlic I used garlic salt instead. I’ll admit to not wanting to chop garlic. I served this along side our weekly meal of rice and beans. It worked beautifully together. Especially the peanuts with the seasoned beans!  I’ve already purchased more peppers and kale to make this again. I’m (maybe) looking forward to the summer months (?) when I have kale and peppers growing in my garden. I’ll be able to eat this whenever I feel like it!

Kale, Pepper, and Peanut Saute
An easy and quick side dish to round out any meal.
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  1. 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  3. 1 bunch of kale, washed, stems removed and torn into pieces
  4. 1 cup salted peanuts
  5. 1-2 teaspoons garlic salt*
  1. In a large saute pan heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced yellow bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Mix in the kale and raise the heat to medium high. Stirring occasionally.
  4. When the kale is tender, 5-7 minutes add the salted peanuts and garlic salt.
  5. Stir and cook for 5 minutes longer or until the peanuts brown a bit.
  6. Serve!
  1. *Not all garlic salt is the same. My favorite brand for garlic salt is Simply Organic. It has little bits of parsley in it and its just perfect.
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Isa Live at City Winery, NYC

I'm starving. #isa #citywinery #isacitywinerynyc #vegan


When I first heard about Isa Chandra Moskowitz going on a culinary tour I knew that I had to go. I immediately posted on facebook seeing who would go and of course my vegan bestie, Dianne,  jumped on board and snatched up 4 tickets for the two of us and our husbands. My husband was a bit skeptical about the whole thing. He didn’t really understand what would actually be happening and quite frankly neither did I. I just knew I wanted to see Isa speak and eat her food. 

We arrived early and with ease. NYC on Superbowl Sunday is a ghost town. It was great! It was fun to just sit and chat and people watch. Waiting to see people we know in real life or recognize from online. 

1st Course at Isa Live in NYC #isacitywinerynyc #vegan #isalive

First Course

When it was time for the whole evening to officially start our first course was brought out. It was a Caesar Salad with Brussels Sprouts it came with grilled tofu, tahini caper dressing and pine nuts. Our plates unfortunately didn’t get any of the pine nuts. Through instagram I can tell that a lot of people did get pine nuts so it was just a mishap for us..I guess? Besides the missing pine nuts it was a delicious salad! The tofu was perfect. Just perfect. We aren’t big tofu eaters, especially my husband, and he even liked it. He also doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts but by the magic of Isa he enjoyed these. 

Second Course: Tamales #isalive #vegan #citywinerynyc

Second Course

This was the course I was looking forward to the most. The Tamale! I love tamales. Love them. I happened to also really love this tamale. Made with a lentil chorizo and served with guacamole and mole rojo. The menu said it came with a coconut sour cream but like the pine nuts…we didn’t get it. Besides the missing sour cream, like the pine nuts above, it was a great dish. The tamale had a perfect texture and the filling wasn’t overpowering. The guacamole was fresh tasting and the mole rojo had a great cinnamon flavor to it that mixed well with everything else on the plate. I wish I could have eaten another one!

Third Course: Chickpeas and Dumplings #vegan #isalive #isacitywinery

Third Course

Chickpeas and Dumpling, a creamy chickpea stew. It was a great dish for a snowy night. So comforting and warm. I’ll eat anything that has a dumpling in it. The secret to this dish, as demonstrated by Isa cooking on stage, was adding cashew cream to the stew. A favorite trick of mine to use at home. Cashews make everything better in my opinion.

Fourth Course: chocolate mousse cupcake #vegan #isalive

Fourth Course 

Of course the perfect way to end a meal is with a chocolate cake…or Isa’s Chocolate Mousse Cupcake.  A chocolate cupcake, chocolate mousse on top, coconut whipped cream and raspberry sauce. It doesn’t get any better. I will say that I found the cake to be very salty BUT I liked it. I don’t know if that was a mistake in the kitchen or intentional but I really liked it that way and would eat it that way again, happily!

Isa was of course her charming and beautiful self onstage. Telling us about each course, showing us how she made some of the components, answering questions from the crowd about cooking, her new restaurant Modern Love and beauty tips like how she gets her eyeliner so perfect. 

It was such a lovely evening with great friends, good food and no traffic while driving back to NJ in the snow storm that was just beginning as we left! I would do it all over again! Yay Isa!

(not pictured was the Wine Tasting Menu that both Dianne and I ordered. 4 wines. 1 for each dish.) 

Quinoa, White Bean, Vegetable and Tomato Soup {Recipe}

Potato, kale and tomato soup with quinoa #vegan Recipe at

Quinoa, White Bean, Vegetable and Tomato Soup

To go along with my Soup Swap post on Monday, today I’m sharing the recipe for the soup I brought to the swap. I’ll admit that I wasn’t alway’s a soup person. I just never cared for them or gave them much thought. However for the past few years I’ve become crazy for soups. I’ve become one of those people who are always cold. Like ALWAYS COLD. No matter what I do. I think one of the reason’s I’ve enjoyed exercising lately is because it’s the only time I’m warm. Anyway..soups are the perfect warm you up food. This one, pictured above, has been a favorite this winter. I’ve made it a few times for us and knew that it would be perfect for the swap since its so easy to make a huge pot of it. Its a great soup to make when you have bits and pieces of different vegetables in the fridge/freezer that need to be used up. That’s really how I came up with this recipe. 

I recommend you make it once by the recipe and then have fun changing things up. Change the veggies, change the beans, use small shaped pasta instead of the quinoa. As evidence the version pictured above has kale and chickpeas in it instead of the white beans and string beans. Just go for it!


Quinoa, White Bean, Vegetable and Tomato Soup
This recipe makes a lot of soup. At least 12 cups. If you think the soup is getting too thick you can alway's add more broth to the pot.
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  1. 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, small diced
  3. 2 large carrots, small diced
  4. 1 red pepper, small diced
  5. 4 cups, small to medium diced peeled potatoes
  6. 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 2 bay leaves
  8. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  9. 1 teaspoon thyme
  10. ½ teaspoon rosemary
  11. ½ teaspoon oregano
  12. ½ teaspoon sage
  13. 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
  14. 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  15. 4 cups vegetable broth
  16. 2 cups frozen string beans
  17. 1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  18. 1 cup quinoa
  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and red peppers and saute 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add diced potatoes and garlic and saute 5 minutes more before adding the bay leaves, red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary, oregano and sage. Cook for 2 minutes to activate the spices.
  3. Carefully pour in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the string beans and white beans. Bring to a boil and then cover with a lid, slightly off to let steam escape, and lower heat to a simmer.
  5. When the potatoes are fork tender raise the heat slightly and add the quinoa. Cover the pot fully and cook until quinoa is tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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