Weekend Easter Spread

Rise & Shine

Balanced Breakfast Muffins

Makes 8

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chia mixed with 6 tbsp purified water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (melt if in solid form)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1 banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Add Ins:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates or raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another, mixing each separately.
  3. Combine wet & dry ingredients together and stir until combined.
  4. Mix in the pumpkin seeds & dates/raisins.
  5. Scoop batter into 8 lined muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly touched. 
  6. Allow to cool prior to serving & enjoy!


Coconut Oatmeal & Raw Strawberry Chia Jam

  • 1 cup regular or vanilla almond milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½  tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tbsp. pure maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • Optional toppings: buckwheat groats, pepitas, almond butter
  1. Add the almond milk, cinnamon, and cardamom to a medium sauce pan and whisk together.
  2. Bring the almond milk mixture to a boil and then add in the rolled oats and reduce heat to low, simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in ½ tbsp. chia seeds, coconut oil, and maple syrup.
  4. While oats are cooking, make the raw strawberry-chia jam by adding the strawberries to a blender and blending on high for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Transfer the jam mixture to a bowl and stir in 1 ½ tbsp. chia seeds, letting the mixture set for 10 minutes to thicken.
  6. Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and spread the jam on top, adding additional toppings of choice.

If you prefer overnight oats, simply add the coconut milk, cinnamon, cardamom, oats, ½ tbsp chia seeds, maple syrup, and coconut oil to a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Then, top with the strawberry-chia jam and additional toppings of choice the next morning. Delicious!


Orange Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12 

Cinnamon Rolls

  • 3-4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, soften (recommended: Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy creamer for glazing


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp orange zest (optional, for a stronger taste)
  1. In the large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
  2. Heat 1 cup almond milk over medium heat until milk is just warm. With the other 1/4 cup milk, combine with chickpea flour, stirring together until thick and gooey. (Tip: place flour and milk into a little mason jar, cap it, and vigorously shake until well mixed)
  3. Once milk is warm and chickpea flour mixture is thick, add to the dry ingredients along with 1/3 cup butter and mix. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at at time and beat to combine. Once the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl and is soft to the touch, the dough is done.
  4. Transfer to a floured surface and kneed the dough for about five minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Roll the dough around to coat in oil, cover in plastic wrap, and place in a warm area of your house for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  5. When dough is ready (you will know if when you stick your finger in it, the dent remains), roll out onto a floured covered surface into a large rectangle about 1/4 ” thick.  Trim edges. (Tip: You can bake those edges right off for a little snack. Spread on a little bit of vegan butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.)

  6. Drop small gobs of vegan butter around the entire dough and use a spatula to spread it so that it covers the dough, leaving the top 1/4” of the rectangle clean.

  7. Combine cinnamon and sugar and spread evenly atop the butter.

  8. Finish with chopped a layer of pistachios.

  9. Lightly oil a 9×13 pan and set aside.

  10. Brush the top 1/4” with non-dairy creamer. Then starting at the bottom of the rectangle, roll dough evenly into a tight roll. With your fingers press together the seam, then seam side down, cut dough using a serrated knife into 12 equal pieces, about 1” thick.

  11. Place cinnamon rolls evenly in pan and cover loosely in plastic wrap, allowing dough to rise for a second time (about 40 minutes or until doubled in size). 

  12. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  13. Once cinnamon rolls are ready, remove plastic wrap and brush tops and sides with remaining creamer.

  14. Bake  for 20 – 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling wrack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

  15. Combine ingredients for the glaze and pour on top cinnamon rolls and serve warm!

Light & Bright

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa seeds
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup kale
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  1. Combine quinoa, kale, and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl
  2. In a blender, combine remaining ingredients and blend until smooth
  3. Pour blended ingredients over quinoa mixture and toss until well combined
  4. Serve as a side, or create lettuce wraps for an easy and light appetizer


Heirloom Tomato & Chickpea Salad

  • 1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 16 oz baby heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from one medium sized lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium size bowl, mix together chick peas, tomatoes and parsley.
  2. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice over the salad.
  3. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready or serve immediately!

Beet Pesto Toasts


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup raw or pre-roasted almonds
  • 1 1/4 cup roasted pureed beets
  • 6 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Whole grain baguette or other bread of choice, sliced and toasted
  • Shaved parmesan cheese (sans if you avoid dairy)
  • Baby arugula
  1. In a food processor, blend the garlic cloves until finely minced.
  2. Add in almonds and process into crumbs.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Add the remaining pesto ingredients to the food processor and puree until your desired texture is reached.
  5. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. 
  6. Spread pesto on toast. Top with [parmesan and] arugula. Serve and enjoy!


Carrot Fries

Serves 4

  • 2 lbs. carrots {about 6-8 medium carrots}, scrubbed and peeled if desired
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Set aside.
  2. Slice carrots into even-sized slices. Toss with olive oil and spices. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully stir the carrots and return to oven. Bake another 10-15 minutes until carrots of roasted.

As for dipping sauces, I would recommend something along the lines of a kicked up version of homemade ketchup or a lemon basil aioli for those palates who don't fancy spicy things.


Roasted Asparagus with Shallots and Chives

Serves 4

  • 1 lb asparagus, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh chives
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste
  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 500° F.
  2. Arrange the spears in a single layer on a heavy duty baking sheet.  Drizzle with the oil, salt, and pepper and toss lightly to coat.  
  3. Roast, shaking the pan every 2 minutes, until the spears are tender but still slightly firm, about 6-8 minutes. 
  4. Sprinkle with the shallots and roast for another 1-2 minutes.  
  5. Remove the spears to a serving platter and garnish with the chives and lemon wedges.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

The Finishing Touch

No Easter spread is complete without something to satisfy your sweet tooth. It goes without saying that carrot cake is the optimal choice, not to mention it's a personal favorite that never seems to fail. This particular one is certainly easy on the eyes and sure the be a crowd pleaser. You almost don't want to cut into the cake because it looks too beautiful.

Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting with Pistachios & Walnuts



Cashew frosting:

  • 2 cups cashews, preferably soaked for a couple hours
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp liquid coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • Water, as needed 


  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour or buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup dried pineapple (or more dates)
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 


  1. To make the frosting, blend all ingredients in your high speed blender until smooth, adding as little water as possible. Put in a bowl and set aside. 
  2. To make the cake, cut the carrots into small chunks then throw all the ingredients (including the carrots) in your food processor and pulse until it's all in really small pieces and sticks together. 
  3. Press half the cake mix into the bottom of an adjustable 6 inch spring-form pan. Then spread on about one third of the frosting.
  4. Put it in the freezer until the layer of frosting is hard. Then press on the rest of the cake mix. (Let it set in the fridge overnight, and then frost the whole thing, however you can do it right away as well.)
  5. Take the cake out of the pan and use the remaining frosting and cover with pistachios and walnuts, or whatever garnishes you like!
Allison WaltonComment