No Mess Spaghetti Squash Lasagne Bowls

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This was an experiment that turned out amazing! The kids loved the concept of tonight’s meal and the flavours were enjoyed by all! The best part about this dish is how simple it is to make, and even more so, that there’s virtually nothing to clean up! The family can eat right out of the squash bowls – a definite hit in my family!

As if that wasn’t enough, this dish is practically fat free! Think about it, no dairy, no eggs, no wheat, healthy fats, vegetables, and protein. You’re welcome!

So go out and buy this fun vegetable today and make this super easy, super fun, super healthy, and super tasty meal tonight!

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Spaghetti Squash Lasagne Bowls     Yields: 4 servings

1 Spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

1lb cooked ground lamb (for my Vegans and Vegetarians, you may substitute meat for chopped portabello mushrooms because they provide that meaty texture we’re after)

1/2C tomato sauce (pizza sauce recipe, or you may use a good quality store-bought spaghetti sauce)

1/2C water

1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2C Daiya cheese Mozzarella shreds

1/2C Daiya cheese Cheddar shreds

2Tbsp Nutritional yeast

Handful pumpkin seeds to garnish

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1. Preheat oven to 400°F and have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. Wash and dry the squash, then using a sharp knife (and a bit of muscle), cut the squash lengthwise in half. Remove seeds using a fork, as shown.

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3. Place face down onto the parchment paper and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until squash is nice and tender.

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While the squash is baking, prepare sauce.

4. After ground lamb is nicely browned, add tomato sauce and water, and stir to combine with the meat. Cook meat mixture down until sauce has slightly thickened. Add olive oil and stir to combine.

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Tip: If you’re opting not to use meat, then replace with suggested/outlined options above and follow the same steps.

5. Turn heat off, and add minced garlic. Stir to incorporate into sauce. Set aside until squash is ready.

7. Remove squash from oven, and being careful, flip each half as shown. Then, using a fork, pick at the squash so that the strings come out.

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8. Add 1/4 cup from each of the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses to each of the squash bowls, as shown. Then, turn the squash a few times to help melt the cheeses.

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9. Finally, divide the sauce evenly amongst both squash bowls and place on top, as shown. Top off with remainder cheese shreds, about 2 tablespoons per squash bowl. Sprinkle nutritional yeast.

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I topped my bowls with pumpkin seeds as well for that extra crunch and flavour :)

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Dinner is served!

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I’m drooling just thinking about this..

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Hope you enjoy making and eating this deliciously effortless meal.

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Bon appétit! xo

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Vegan Apple Galette

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This Apple Galette offers a sweet taste that’s balanced by the saltiness of the crust. Absolutely a must try! There is a ton of apples in this recipe and let me tell you how amazing this thing turned out! The Pink Lady apples are my favourite apples by far – crispy yet sweet and slightly tart! So if you can get your hands on those, you won’t regret it.

And the combination of the apples paired with the lemon is a match made in fruit heaven! I’ve made it easy for you to make so give it a go and let me know how it turns out for you!

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Vegan Apple Galette    Yields: 1 large pie, or 2 small pies

Crust:

1C flour

1/4C plus 2Tbsp almond meal/flour

1/2Tsp sea salt

2Tsp sugar

1/2C Earth Balance/Vegan spread, cut into small pieces

1/4C iced water

Filling:

4 apples (I used 2 Pink Lady and 2 Golden Delicious), washed, peeled, and sliced.

Zest of 1 lemon and

Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 2Tsp

2Tbsp almond meal

1/4C plus 1Tbsp packed brown sugar

1Tsp cinnamon

1Tbsp cornstarch

———————-

1. Preheat oven to 380°F and have a baking sheet with parchment paper ready. Set aside.

2. To make the crust, and using either your hands or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine flour, almond meal, sugar, and salt.

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3. Add cut vegan spread to flour mix and combine on medium speed until dough becomes crumbly in texture.

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4. Then, discard ice cubes and slowly drizzle iced water into dough, and beat on medium speed for approximately 45 seconds. Make sure you don’t over beat the dough; you want the vegan spread to not be completely mixed in – that’s what gives the pie crust its crispy airy-ness quality!

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5. place dough onto clean work surface, shape it into a circle, and wrap with Saran wrap.  Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

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6. To make the filling, wash, peel, and cut the apples in thin slices, about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick. Place in a bowl and add lemon juice over them to prevent apples from browning.

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7. Next, add lemon zest, almond meal, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch to the apples and mix very well until apples are fully coated in the mix. Resist the urge to eat the apples as I’ve shamelessly done while making this galette.. :)

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8. Once your filling is prepared, remove dough from fridge and place on a clean working surface. Try to work with the dough as swiftly as you can because the dough is at the right temperature at this point which will result in a light and crispy crust. Roll dough using a rolling pin (recommended) into a slightly thin circle – about 1/8″ thick.

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Tip: the beauty of this recipe and crust, is you don’t need to get it shaped perfectly circular. You want that rustic, homemade look to shine through..because after all it is homemade :) Have fun when you’re baking and enjoy the process!

9. Pile the filling in the centre of the dough and spread it out, leaving about an inch or so free, as shown.

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10. Gently fold dough over and tuck some of the apples inside crust. Continue doing so until entire dough is folded, as shown.

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11. Place on the prepared baking sheet and into the oven for 40 minutes, until crust is perfectly baked through and the filling is bubbling and oozing yumminess!

12. Remove galette, and using a pastry brush or a small spoon, brush or drizzle some softened coconut oil or vegan spread on the crust to give it a nice glisten and also allow the crust to become flakier as it cools down.

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Let it rest for about 5 or so minutes before diving in!

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Bon appétit! xo

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Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

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Comfort foods are amongst our feel good repertoires. When you’re enjoying them, it’s as if you’re getting a hug with every bite. It makes us feel nice and warm on the inside – all the more reason to crave them! This dish is going to blow your socks off! You will eat it knowing you’re doing your mind, soul, and most importantly your stomach and health a huge favour.

This version will have you fall in love with comfort foods all over again, because this is by far the best Mac and Cheese you will ever experience! Period. Not only is it amazing, but it’s a much healthier and a more nutritional option than traditionally consumed because of the ingredients used. And although it’s vegan, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Give this recipe a go tonight – you’ll be glad you did!

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Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese     Yields: 1 large dish – serves 6-8 comfortably

2C quinoa pasta (or pasta of choice)

2C reserved pasta water

1C Silk brand Original Almond milk or coconut milk

2 1/2C Daiya cheddar shreds

1 1/2C Daiya mozzarella shreds

1/4C nutritional yeast

1Tsp paprika

1/8Tsp cayenne pepper

1/2Tsp nutmeg

1 1/2Tsp sea salt

Topping:

1C panko bread crumbs

1/4C olive oil

1tsp sea salt

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1. Preheat oven to 375°F and have desired baking dish handy and set aside.

2. Fill a large pot with water and set on stove on high heat and bring to a boil.

3. Once boiling, add about 2 teaspoon salt and then add quinoa pasta, stirring occasionally. Cook for 8 minutes, until almost ‘al dente’ but not quite yet.

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4. Pour water out but be sure to reserve the 2 cups of pasta water to make the sauce.

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5. In a large pan, combine pasta water with 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on high heat, and whisk briskly until cheeses melt, about 3-4 minutes.

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6. Slowly add almond/coconut milk and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and add nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Stir often until concoction slightly thickens and becomes a nice creamy sauce.

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7. Add pasta to creamy sauce and stir to fully combine and allow pasta to soak up the goodness in that sauce!

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8. Pour macaroni into baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses.

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9. Place panko in a bowl. Then, in a small pan, heat olive oil on high for a few minutes. Add to panko crumbs and stir with a spoon to ensure all of the bread crumbs have soaked up the oil. Add salt and stir to combine.

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10. Layer panko crumbs on top of cheeses and place baking dish in the oven for 15 minutes, until cheeses have melted and the bread crumbs are a beautiful golden colour.

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Tip: If after said time the bread crumbs haven’t browned, change to broil setting but watch your dish like a hawk! Do not leave the oven! All you’ll need is about 30 seconds if set on Hi and you should be able to achieve that gorgeous colour.

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11. Remove from oven and enjoy!

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This will change the way you’ve always known ‘mac and cheese’ to be! You will never look at it the same way again ;)

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And feel free to indulge in this scrumptious dish because the ingredients are healthy, wholesome, and nutritious!

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Bon appétit! xo

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Crispy Cauliflower Florets

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These yummy cauliflower florets are just pure amazing! If you aren’t normally a fan of this white vegetable, you will be after making this recipe! And a forewarning, make a couple of batches because they will not last! Takes mere minutes to prepare and not too long in the oven. Before you know it, you have a healthy serving of vegetables that your whole family will enjoy.

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Crispy Cauliflower Florets

1 cauliflower head

3Tbsp Veganaise, or vegan mayo of choice

1C panko bread crumbs

1Tsp smoked paprika

1Tsp sea salt

Pinch black pepper, to taste

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1. Preheat oven to 420°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Wash, pat dry, and cut up cauliflower as shown. Turn florets into bite sized pieces.

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This piece came out in the shape of a heart!

3. In a large bowl, combine Veganaise and cauliflower. Mix until florets are all coated.

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4. In a shallow dish, combine panko, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add to cauliflower and toss to coat.

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5. Spread onto baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes, until crispy and light golden brown in colour.

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Remove and enjoy!

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Delicious and so simple to make. Enjoy alone, with my Avocado Aioli, or as a side to your main dish. I love that you feel like you’re almost cheating on your diet but you’re eating a deliciously baked vegetable! Can’t go wrong with that.

Bon appétit! xo

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Pink Celery Sticks

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How adorable are these dressed up celery sticks? When my little man saw them the first thing he said was “I’m having watermelon for snack?!” He loved them! So much so that he’d asked if I could send some with him to school! He couldn’t get over the fact that mama made hummus pink! Not only did I make it pink, but I did so naturally. :)

This is such a simple, delicious, super healthy, super pretty, guilt free snack to prepare and one your entire family will love!

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Pink Celery Sticks     Yields: ~9 sticks

1/4C hummus

~2Tsp shredded beet

3 celery stalks, cut into thirds

Some black sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

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1. Wash celery stalks well and score into thirds as shown.

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2. Remove tough fibers completely before snapping celery into the three pieces.

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3. Wash and peel skin off beet. Then, in a small ball, and using either a microplane (recommended) or the thinnest blades on your grater, grate about 1 teaspoon beet.

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4. Add hummus and stir until it turns a pretty pink! Too cute!

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5. Dress celery sticks with pink hummus and top with black sesame seeds for added benefit and effect.

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Watch your children’s eyes as they open wide in amazement at what their superhero just made for them :)

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Bon appétit! xo

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Vegan Avocado Aioli

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This is by far the healthiest and tastiest aioli you will lay your taste buds on! I mean how can you go wrong with anything avocado? It serves as an amazing base to many dishes, including sweet ones such as my Avocado Chocolate Pudding. And because avocados have a neutral profile, they thicken your desired sauces and meals perfectly without overdoing it, lending a nice, smooth, and creamy texture. The best part of this though – as if it could get any better – it literally takes minutes to prepare and serve!

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Vegan Avocado Aioli     Yields: ~ 1 1/2 cups

1 large avocado, pitted and halved

Juice of 1/2 lemon (~ 1 1/2Tbsp)

2 Tbsp Earth Island Veganaise (or vegan mayonnaise of choice)

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove

1/2 Tsp sea salt

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1. Wash and cut avocado in half, remove pit and peel skin.

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2. Add avocado and lemon juice to blender and turn on high speed until smooth.

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3. Add remaining ingredients to blender: Veganaise, oil, garlic clove, and 1/4 tsp salt. Continue blending on high speed for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute, until aioli is emulsified and is silky smooth in texture.

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4. Taste aioli and if more salt is desired, add remaining 1/4 tsp.

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You’re all done!

Serve with anything except dessert ;) . I use it when making sandwiches, as dip for my veggies, as a sauce for chicken and potatoes, and even as an occasional dressing for my salad! It tastes great, is full of healthy fats from the avocado, and amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from the garlic.

Bon appétit! xo

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Vegan Peppermint Hearts

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These cute hearts are sure to delight all the senses…and just in time for Valentine’s day! They’re very simple to make too…not mention delicious ;) Make them and impress your love for valentine’s or guests at your next gathering.

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Vegan Peppermint Hearts     Yields: 12 hearts

Chocolate:

2C Enjoy Life Mega Chunks/dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips

1Tbsp coconut oil

Filling:

1/4C coconut oil, softened

1Tbsp cornstarch

1Tbsp coconut milk

1C icing sugar, sifted

1tsp peppermint oil (should be available at your local bulk store in your area)

12 heart (or any shape) silicon moulds

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1. First start off by melting the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat.

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Tip: incase you aren’t familiar with how a double boiler works, make sure you put a small amount of water in the pot to ensure water doesn’t touch the bowl and seize the chocolate. Place a heat proof bowl over top pot and you have a double boiler :)

2. Once chocolate melts, add coconut oil and stir continuously until ingredients come together. Turn stove off and set aside.

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3. using a tablespoon measuring spoon, pour a tablespoon worth of melted chocolate into each mould, ensuring bottom is fully covered. Place on a tray and let chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. While the chocolate is setting, prepare the inner peppermint layer.

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4. Using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, cornstarch, and coconut milk on high speed until fully incorporated.

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5. Add sifted icing sugar, and beat on low to start and increase speed to medium once sugar is mixed with the other ingredients. You may need to scrape the bowl down once and re-beat the filling.

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6. Add peppermint oil and continue beating for 30 seconds more.

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7. Using a small teaspoon, drop 2 teaspoonfuls of the peppermint filling into each mould and using either the back of the spoon or your finger, gently spread the filling but keep it away from the edges – as shown.

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Tip: I opted to make thicker peppermint hearts, however if you prefer less peppermint, place 1 teaspoon into each mould.

8. Finally, top off with remaining chocolate, about a tablespoon per mould. Return to the fridge to chill and set, approximately 1 1/2 hours.

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Tip: You need a minimum of 45 minutes to 1 hour of chill time. But for optimal results, the longer you let it chill, the better.

9. Remove Peppermint Hearts from their moulds by first stretching the moulds out a bit so as to release the hearts, then using your thumb to gently pop the hearts out – as shown.

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Store hearts in an airtight container in the fridge, or place in a ziploc bag in the freezer to enjoy whenever you crave something sweet!

You’re all set! There’s minimal effort into making these delicious treats and they will surely impress your valentine ;)

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Bon appétit! xo

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Vegan Wild Blueberry and Key Lime Muffin Top Cookies

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I just made these delicious things and loved them so much I had to ignore everything around me to blog about them!

I don’t know about you, but the best part about a muffin for me has always been the top. I thought for a long time about making them – and I had the chance to do so today thanks to the unbelievable amount of snow we got last night!

Vegan Wild Blueberries and Key Lime Muffin Top Cookies are so soft on the inside like cake, but hold together beautifully because you’re only getting the best part of the muffin which is the top. Simple to make too!

If you don’t have key limes around in the fridge, replace with lime or even lemons which will lend an even fruitier note! Trust me they will not last once they come out of the oven – yes, that good!

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Vegan Wild Blueberry and Key Lime Muffin Top Cookies     Yields: 16-18 Cookies

2C flour, sifted

1Tbsp baking powder

1Tsp baking soda

1/2Tsp salt

3/4C sugar

1/4C coconut oil, softened

1Tbsp ground flax seeds

3Tbsp warm water

2Tbsp key lime zest (about 9)

Juice of 2 key limes (1 1/2Tbsp)

1Tsp vanilla extract

1C coconut milk

1 1/2C fresh or frozen blueberries

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1. Preheat oven to 350°F and have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready. Set aside.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

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3. In a cup or bowl, combine coconut milk and lime juice. Stir a couple of times and set aside. This process helps to sour the milk.

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4. In a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and softened coconut oil on high until well combined, about 3 minutes.

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5. In a small bowl, whisk together flax and water and add to sugar mix. Continue beating for a minute more. Add Lime zest. Beat.

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6. Next, add soured coconut milk and beat on medium speed for a couple of minutes, until incorporated. You may need to scrape the bowl down.

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7. Add vanilla extract. Mix.

8. Next, add wet mix to dry ingredients and fold the mixture until just incorporated. It’s ok if you still see some flour. This will help the blueberries remain in place and not sink to the bottom of the cookie.

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9. Add blueberries and fold a few times until well distributed in the dough.

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10. Drop two heaping tablespoons worth (1/8C) of dough onto the prepared baking sheet.  Be sure to space the cookies apart (about 2 inches) to avoid touching.

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11.Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until muffin top cookies are nicely baked through.

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12. Remove and enjoy warm right out of the oven or let cool.

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Simple. Healthy. Delicious.

Bon appétit! xo

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Eggplant Jam

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No typos here, this jam is out of this world and so worth the effort it takes to make it happen. The cloves lend a peppery note and gives this eggplant jam a distinct and delicious flavour! Plus you’re consuming your veggies…that has to count for something right?

The type of eggplant used for this recipe is baby (or italian) eggplant, because they have a less bitter taste to them. Serving this at your next gathering or party will surely turn a few heads, and you will be reigned queen of the kitchen ;)

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Eggplant Jam     Yields: ~4 Cups

8C baby eggplant, washed and peeled (counted around 80 pieces)

3C sugar

1Tsp ground cloves

Juice of 1 lemon

3Tbsp rose water (available at your Middle-Eastern market or you may also find it at your local superstore in the international aisle)

1 1/2C pecan (optional/omit if you have a nut allergy)

———————–

1. Remove tops and peel the eggplants.

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2. Using a small knife, score an ‘x’  either at the top or the bottom of the eggplant as shown. This prevents the eggplants from exploding! My reasoning may be slightly askew but still make that ‘x’ so your eggplants don’t burst…

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3. Add to pot with sugar and let cook on high heat at first until mixture boils.

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4. At this point, add lemon juice, cloves, rose water and let simmer on medium-low heat until the sugar melts and the eggplants soften.

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The aroma from the cloves is amazing!

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5. You’ll need to be careful not to ruin the integrity of the eggplant when you stir the jam. Therefore, stir from the outside in to ensure that the eggplant stays as intact as possible.

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5. You will need to let it simmer for approximately 3 1/2 hours, until a slightly loose jam consistency forms.

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6. Add pecans and gently stir to incorporate into the jam. Omit this step if you have an allergy to nuts.

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7. Let cool slightly before adding to mason jars or lidded container(s).

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This jam does not need to be refrigerated but you may wish to do so if you like a thicker jam consistency.

Enjoy on toast, or on top of muffins, scones, what have you. Absolutely delicious!

Bon appétit! xo

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Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

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These salted caramel chocolate mousse cupcakes are so light and tasty yet decadent and sinful at the same time. There’s an explosion of flavours that happens in your mouth with the combination of the salted caramel, the airiness of the chocolate mousse, and the fluffiness of the chocolate cupcake. Delicious and quite simple to make. Just beautiful!

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Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes     Yields: ~24 cupcakes

2C flour, sifted

1C sugar

3/4C packed brown sugar

1/2C cocoa powder, sifted

1Tsp baking soda

1Tsp baking powder

1/2Tsp salt

1C coconut milk

1/2C coconut oil, melted

2Tbsp ground flaxseed

1/4C plus 2Tbsp water

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Vegan Caramel Sauce

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1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Mix all the sifted dry ingredients in a stand mixer or hand mixer on low speed until combined.

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3. In a separate bowl, combine sugars, milk, and oil.

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4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax and water until frothy. Then add to the wet mixture and whisk until combined.

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5. Add the wet mixed ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.

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6. Pour into cupcake liners as shown. You’ll want to fill the liners to about 1/2 way for a cupcake or 3/4 way full for more of a muffin top. Your choice…I prefer the look of a cupcake personally :)

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Tip: Alternatively, you can make this into a cake. This recipe should make enough batter for 2 – 8″ or 9″ cake pans. Cook time will be longer. Tack on another 10 minutes or so until toothpick inserted comes out nice and clean.

7. Place in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely before adding the mousse.

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8. Using a pipe tip or a spoon, add a nice dollop of chocolate mousse.

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9. Next, drizzle that deliciously sinful caramel sauce over top the mousse. Crush some sea salt (or pink Himalayan sea salt if you happen to have it in your pantry) and please, go ahead and dive in!

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Tip: Feel free to enjoy these cupcakes warm. If you don’t want to add the mousse then you can just drizzle the caramel sauce with some sea salt and enjoy!

Bon appétit! xo

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