Soft and nutritious vegan oat cookies packed with pumpkin, raisins, cacao nibs, and walnuts. Sweetened only with dates, no added sugar! A dash of turmeric adds an anti-inflammatory kick to an already healthy cookie.

pumpkin pie cookies

It’s basically a blogger’s job to post pumpkin-based recipes, so I’m just doing my job here. You’re welcome.

pumpkin pie cookies

I was on a mission to find the perfect pumpkin cookie recipe that didn’t involve any added sugar, and my search came up short. So what’s a girl to do? Create her own of course! These cookies are my idea of perfection – they’re dense, filling, sweetened only with dates, and absolutely delicious.

pumpkin pie cookies

But turmeric is the secret ingredient here, and it’s exactly what gives these cookies a luxurious bronze/red tint. Its anti-inflammatory properties and health benefits are essentially the cherry on top of a superfood cookie. Turmeric is truly my secret weapon as a long-distance runner thanks to the antioxidants and muscle-soothing properties it offers.

pumpkin pie cookies

In other words, these cookies have it all…a true nutrient powerhouse! That means I can eat as many as I want, right?!?

pumpkin pie cookies

Pumpkin Pie Cookies
(vegan, gluten-free, date-sweetened)
Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients:
– 2 cups gluten-free oat flour
– 2 Tbs. ground flax seed
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– ½ tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. ground turmeric
– 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
– 6 large Medjool dates, pitted *
– 1 cup pumpkin puree
– ¼ cup almond milk
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2 Tbs. extra virgin coconut oil, melted
– 2 Tbs. cacao nibs **
– 2 Tbs. raisins
– 3 Tbs. walnuts, chopped

* If needed, soak the dates in hot water for 1-2 minutes to soften. Drain water before blending
** Alternative: use chocolate chips for added sweetness

Directions:
1.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F
2.) Combine oat flour, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, salt, turmeric, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl
3.) Combine Medjool dates, pumpkin, almond milk, vanilla extract, and coconut oil in a blender and blend until smooth
4.) Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and combine well – the batter will be sticky and wet but don’t worry, this will create soft and moist cookies
5.) Fold in cacao nibs, raisins, and walnuts
6.) Wet your hands and form batter into small balls, flatten on cookie sheet to form 12 cookies
7.) Bake for 15-20 minutes until bottoms are golden brown, and allow cookies to cool before enjoying

pumpkin pie cookies

Enjoy! Preferably with tea or coffee.

♥ Irina

I’m hesitant to call this a recipe because all you’re really doing is mixing a bunch of powerful tiny seeds together to create a potent versatile topping. This recipe was born last weekend when I accidentally misread “teaspoons” as “tablespoons” while baking bread, and wound up with a ton of leftover seeds.

Superseed Shaker

It’s ingenious though, and super easy, so I must share it with you all! I can’t believe it took me this long to simplify my life like this. I always waste precious minutes taking all the different containers of seeds out of my refrigerator and cabinets, combining them, putting everything away, etc. This is a time saver, even if it conserves only five minutes a day.

Superseed Shaker

Superseed Shaker
a powerful combo of superseeds, all in one quick and easy-to-grab location

Ingredients:
– 2 Tbs. each of seeds: sunflower, sesame (black or white), hemp, chia, flax *

* I suggest using raw & organic seeds to maintain maximum health benefits!

Directions:
1.) Combine all seeds in a small container (such as an old spice shaker), store in refrigerator, done!

Superseed Shaker2

That’s it! I told you…it’s hardly a recipe but more of a life hack that will encourage you to add some nutritional seeds into your daily eats. If you’re anything like me (i.e. lazy), the minimal effort required to grab & sprinkle is reason enough to whip up this “recipe.” Maybe convenience is the key to healthy eating?

Each sprinkle contains a powerhouse of nutrients and health benefits including:
* omega 3’s for optimal heart health
* vitamin E for beautiful skin, hair, and nails
* fiber and magnesium for great digestion
plenty of protein
* antioxidants galore!

Superseed Shaker

I sprinkle this shizz on everything! Salads, yogurt, nut butter + jam sandwiches, smoothies. Get creative, go wild! You can even toast the seeds for 1-2 minutes in a skillet if you’re seeking a bolder taste.

Enjoy!

♥ Irina

Do you have a tendency obsess over certain meals? I sure do, and this skillet is one of them. I’m hesitant to call it a breakfast skillet because the truth is that I rarely actually eat it first thing in the morning. This filling recipe has been my go-to lunch and dinner for a few months already and I’ve wasted no time in sharing countless photos of it with you. How selfish and unfair of me.

sweet potato skillet

So it’s about time I share the actual recipe! I must insist though that you use an actual cast iron skillet when prepping this meal. I swear the end result tastes at least 75% better when served directly from stovetop to tabletop. Trust me on this, I did the math myself.

sweet potato skillet

Sweet Potato Skillet {for one}
serves 1

Ingredients:
– 1 small / medium sweet potato *
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– ¼ cup sliced onion
– 1 Tbs. olive oil
– 1 Tbs. tomato paste or salsa
– 2 cups fresh spinach
– 1 egg
– sliver of an avocado, sliced (approximately ¼ of large avocado)
– shredded cheese
– salt & pepper to taste

There are two ways to prepare the sweet potato: baking and microwaving. I prefer the microwave method to save time (i.e. I’m lazy), and the end result tastes almost identical to it’s oven-baked counterpart.

Directions:
1.) Chop the sweet potato into small cubes each approximately the size of your thumb nail, they should be very small to cut down on cooking time! Then prepare the sweet potato using one of two methods described below.

Option 1 = oven-roasted:
– Preheat oven to 400°F
– Toss the sweet potato cubes in olive oil, salt, and pepper
– Transfer onto a cookie sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, occasionally turning the cubes, until they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside

Option 2 = microwave:
– Toss the sweet potato cubes in olive oil, salt, and pepper
– Transfer into a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 5.5 minutes (more or less time might be needed depending on your microwave settings) until the sweet potato is soft but not completely dried out

2.) Preheat a small / medium cast iron skillet (I used a 9″) on the stovetop over medium heat. Add in the olive oil, tomato paste, onions, and garlic and allow to cook for about 5-10 minutes until the onions are translucent.

3.) Add in the cooked sweet potato cubes and carefully mix contents of the skillet until the potatoes are incorporated into the mixture.

4.) Slowly add in small handfuls of the spinach, allowing it to fully wilt before adding in the next handful. Do this until all spinach is added into the skillet.

5.) Add in salt & pepper to taste.

6.) Make a small opening in the center of the skillet and carefully crack the egg into it, nestling it in.

7.) Sprinkle cheese over the skillet, cover with a large lid, and allow to cook for ~5 minutes until the egg is cooked to your preference. This requires careful attention because you don’t want to overcook the egg. For a sunny-side up egg with runny yolks, I suggest cooking the egg until the top of is is no longer translucent and then immediately removing it from heat. Keep in mind that the egg will continue cooking even after the skillet is removed from heat, that’s the beauty of cast iron cookware!

8.) Once the egg is cooked to your liking, carefully transfer the skillet onto a heat-safe surface, top with avocado slices (and hot sauce if you’re into that sort of amazingness), and dig into all the healthy goodness!

sweet potato skillet

This skillet has everything I need to keep me full for quite a while. It’s rare that any meal satisfies me for longer than four hours, but this magical dish skillet does the trick! Because I eat it so often, I have a special method of making my way through – after cracking the yolk, I circle around the egg and dip each forkful into it . The challenge is to get the perfect ratio of potato/egg/cheese/spinach/avocado in each bite. It’s the little things in life…

sweet potato skillet

The best part is that the recipe is extraordinarily versatile. I often add in chicken or beef if I’m craving a more robust, filling meal. I even added in a can of tuna once with very low expectations and loved the final result. Feel free to also get creative with the spices you use – curry powder and smoked paprika are two of my favorite additions. My advice: sprinkle liberally.

sweet potato skillet

I know I always bring running into the picture but to all my runners out there, this skillet has all the right ingredients for optimal health and post-run recovery. As a runner myself, I found that it featured all the wholesome foods I needed – carbs, protein, fats, garlic + onion (so good for runners!), and an entire salad-full of greens. That’s right, this skillet is like a sexier version of a boring old cold salad. Yes, I just called this skillet sexy…look at it, is it not?

sweet potato skillet

Don’t fret if you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can use a regular skillet just fine! But the only downside is that you’ll miss out on the crispy edges and rustic flavor. In other words, go buy a cast iron skillet immediately! And then de-virginize it with this recipe.

♥ Irina

I grew up with my mom’s incredible cooking but didn’t appreciate it until I moved away to college. Ain’t that always the unfortunate truth? I distinctly remember the day my most intense pelmeni craving hit – I was studying in my tiny dorm room the fall of my freshman year and thoughts of those little dumplings pushed away all ability to do my Calculus homework. I formulated a plan – my friend, who lived conveniently close to me back in the Chi burbs, was driving home that weekend and he willingly picked up a bag of pelmeni from my house. Crisis averted and craving satisfied!

Fast forward to this past November during the Thanksgiving holidays. Now it was my sister’s turn to satisfy her sudden craving for pelmeni. But she was more high-maintenance, she wanted to make them from scratch! My mom and I jumped at the challenge.

traditional Russian pelmeni

This is borrowed courtesy of this recipe (can be translated to English via Google). The site also offers a great how-to video, which is in Russian but you can still follow along.

Ingredients:
Dough
– 3 cups flour (extra might be needed for rolling)
– 100 milliliters milk (~½ cup)
– 100 milliliters water (~½ cup)
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp. salt

Filling
– ½ lb. ground beef *
– ½ lb. ground pork *
– 2 onions, ground finely
– salt & pepper to preference

* use organic, grass-fed, hormone-free meat if possible

Directions:
1.) Mix all ingredients for the dough in a large bowl and gently combine well. Set aside. Use a grater to finely shred the onions into a separate large bowl. Add in the salt, pepper, and ground meat and use your hands to mix everything together.

traditional Russian pelmeni

2.) Clear out a large workspace (such as a dining room table) and prepare other necessities – a glass with a circular rim, extra flour for dusting, a rolling pin, and a large plate on which to place finished pelmeni.

traditional Russian pelmeni

3.) Gently knead the dough and add in extra flour as needed if it’s too sticky to handle. The dough should be pliable and slightly sticky but not unmanageable. Once ready, form the dough into a large ball.

traditional Russian pelmeni

4.) Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough ball. Dust with flour if the rolling pin starts sticking to the dough. Avoid making the dough too thin to avoid tears. Use the circular glass to cut circles out of the flattened dough. When you run out of dough, combine the scraps into a bowl, roll out the dough once more, and again use the glass to make circular cutouts. Continue this process until no dough remains.

traditional Russian pelmeni

5.) Scoop about a tablespoon of meat into the center of each circular cutout and fold into a semi-circle. Pinch together the edges well to avoid leaving holes for the meat to escape out of. Take the two ends of the semi-circle and fold to bring them together, creating the classic pelmeni shape (see photo below).

traditional Russian pelmeni

traditional Russian pelmeni

traditional Russian pelmeni

6.) Once all pelmeni are complete, you have two options: freeze the pelmeni or cook them!

To freeze: place the pelmeni on a large surface such as a cutting board or cookie sheet, avoid having any pelmeni touching to prevent sticking, place the pelmeni into the freezer directly on the large surface, allow to freeze for ~1.5 hours until completely solid, place pelmeni into a large freezer-safe bag and store for up to 6 months

To cook: bring water to a boil in a large pot, reduce heat to medium, carefully drop desired amount of pelmeni into the pot, allow to cook for ~10 minutes, pelmeni are ready when they become slightly translucent and float to the top

traditional Russian pelmeni

traditional Russian pelmeni

traditional Russian pelmeni

traditional Russian pelmeni

Pelmeni are best when served immediately after cooking. The classic way to eat them is with a large dollop of sour cream, but I love dipping mine into ketchup or even greek yogurt!

traditional Russian pelmeni

Take a bite and enjoy the delicious flavors, you’ve earned it after all that hard work.

traditional Russian pelmeni

I can’t wait to re-create these at home here in NYC. What better way to cure occasional homesickness than with some homemade Russian comfort food?

♥ Irina