December 30, 2013

Gingerbread Oreo Cheesecake Bars

Gingerbread Oreo Cheesecake Bars

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays!

I've been having a very restful and quiet holiday break so far, except for the fact that I came down with the flu a couple of days before Christmas, and though the fever and aches are now gone, I've been left with a nagging cough that won't seem to go away.  The good news is that it has forced me to take it easy so I've been doing a lot of relaxing!  Being sick put a little bit of a damper on Christmas but I still had a fantastic day with my family, who spoiled me as usual, and I got out of any cooking duties so I just got to enjoy all the fabulous food made by everyone else!

Gingerbread Oreo Cheesecake Bars

Another good thing about being sick is that I haven't overindulged on food and drink like I usually do this time of year, mostly sticking to a ton of water and tea in the evenings.  The one thing I probably enjoyed more than my fair share of though was these delicious cheesecake bars that I luckily made a few days before I got sick.

These were inspired by the limited edition gingerbread flavoured Oreos that I couldn't resist picking up this year.  I immediately decided to use them in cheesecake bars similar to the candy cane ones I made last year, but with molasses and gingerbread spices instead of candy canes and peppermint extract for flavouring.

Gingerbread Oreo Cheesecake Bars

I wasn't originally going to share these because I ran out of time before Christmas to post them, but I got so many compliments and enjoyed them so much that I thought I should share them now anyways.  I'm sure most of you are already past the gingerbread stage and perhaps not wanting to go anywhere near dessert right now, so if that's the case just be sure to save this recipe for next year!  Or maybe you can find some gingerbread Oreos on clearance right now, in which case you should make a double batch of these!

Gingerbread Oreo Cheesecake Bars

Gingerbread Oreo Cheesecake Bars

Makes one 8x8 pan, about 16-20 bars


For the Crust:
23 Gingerbread Oreos
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
16 oz (2 bricks) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
12 Gingerbread Oreos, roughly chopped

*Note: You will need to buy two boxes of gingerbread Oreos to make this recipe, though you won't use the entire two boxes


Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang around the edges to easily lift the bars out of the pan later.   Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

To make the crust, finely crush the Oreos in a food processor.  Add the cinnamon and melted butter and pulse until cookie crumbs are moistened.  Pour mixture into the prepared pan and press crumbs into an even layer over the bottom of the pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then set aside.  Leave the oven on.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the sugar until well combined. Add egg and egg yolk one at a time, mixing just until each is combined. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and molasses until just combined.  Mix in the spices until just combined.  Stir in the chopped Oreos.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the baked crust, smoothing the top with a spatula.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cheesecake is set around the edges but slightly jiggles in the middle.  Sprinkle gingerbread quins on top for decoration, if desired.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool at room temperature for about one to two hours, then refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours (I chilled mine overnight).

To cut the bars, pull the entire cheesecake out of the pan by lifting the foil edges, then peel away foil and slice into bars.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

December 24, 2013

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'll have to make this post short as I'm not feeling well but still have to do all my Christmas wrapping and last minute preparations before the big day tomorrow (which hopefully I'll be feeling better for)!  I just wanted to squeeze in one last Christmas recipe though as these cookies were probably my favourite thing I've made this season!

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are inspired by a recipe I saw on Baked By Rachel, which I then went and changed almost everything about so I'm sure they're nothing like the original, but I absolutely loved my own version!  They're puffy but chewy, with a nice strong gingerbread flavour and just the right amount of sweetness from the chocolate chips.  I think these will be a new holiday favourite of mine!

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'd also like to take this time to wish everyone the very best of the holiday season, with lots of rest and relaxation, cheer and good times spent with family and friends, and of course, delicious food!

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Inspired by Baked By Rachel

Makes about 2 dozen cookies


1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or electric mixer to cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg and mix until combined.  Add molasses and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3-4 additions, mixing on low speed until each addition is just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Cover dough and refrigerate for several hours until chilled through – this is important if you want the cookies to stay thick and puffy.  I chilled mine for about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Scoop dough by about 1.5 tablespoons full and drop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  Because the dough will still be quite firm, I pressed the cookies slightly at the top to flatten them slightly.  Bake for 11-12 minutes.  Allow to rest on cookie sheet for 1-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Store covered in a container.

December 17, 2013

Eggnog Pancakes with Eggnog Glaze

Eggnog Pancakes with Eggnog Glaze

I can't believe Christmas is basically a week away and I haven't posted a single festive recipe on here yet.  I've been more focused on trying to get all my Christmas shopping done lately as I've had an extra hard time coming up with gift ideas this year and as it's looking now, I likely won't finish shopping until Christmas Eve.  Every year I tell myself I'm going to be more organized with everything Christmas-related but every year I end up with a TON of stuff to do last minute.  It's kind of part of the holiday rush and excitement though, and at least I usually get good deals by leaving my shopping so late!

Eggnog Pancakes with Eggnog Glaze

I do regret not being more organized with holiday recipes though.  I had a lot of ideas floating around my head in November but so far I've mainly just been consuming treats that involve eggnog and Kahlua or Baileys, which you don't really need a recipe for!  Other than those soft molasses cookies I told you about earlier, these pancakes are the only other festive thing I've made this year.  And while I'm disappointed I haven't been doing more cooking/baking, I'm pretty happy that the one thing I made turned out so well!

Eggnog Pancakes with Eggnog Glaze

These pancakes are light and fluffy with eggnog in the batter and a pinch of spices to give them a subtle eggnog flavour, but the glaze is what really kicks up the eggnog flavour so you're certain you're eating a festive (and slightly decadent, but not over-the-top) breakfast and not just regular pancakes.  So don't skip it!  

I already can't wait to make these again for breakfast this weekend, and to hopefully squeeze in some holiday baking before then!

Eggnog Pancakes with Eggnog Glaze

Eggnog Pancakes with Eggnog Glaze

Recipe drew inspiration from several similar recipes, including Forkful of Comfort, Savory Simple, and SkinnyTaste

Serves about 4-6 (makes 16-18 pancakes)


For the Pancakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups eggnog (I used low-fat eggnog)
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or substitute half rum extract if desired)

For the Glaze:*
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons eggnog
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon rum extract


First, prepare the pancake batter.  Whisk all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon) in a large bowl.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, eggnog, oil, and vanilla extract).  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until just combined (batter will be lumpy).

Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle to medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray if necessary.  Pour pancake batter by 1/4 cup-fulls onto the pan.  Let cook until bubbles begin to form and pancake is browned on one side, a couple of minutes, then flip and cook until both sides are evenly browned.

While cooking pancakes, prepare the glaze by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Serve pancakes warm with a small amount of eggnog glaze on top.
*Note: The amount of glaze should be just enough for a small amount for each serving.  The glaze is quite sweet so you shouldn’t want too much, but feel free to double the amounts for the glaze if you like.

December 10, 2013

French Onion Stuffed Baked Potatoes

French Onion Stuffed Baked Potatoes |

It seems to have become significantly colder around here over the last week as I’m finding myself needing to wear double layers of pants (tights under pants makes such a difference!), double mittens, and double scarves, along with my big winter boots. Sometimes I feel like a walking snowman, but it’s worth it! I’m sure people up farther north in Canada would laugh at me; today’s afternoon temperature here in southern Ontario is -10°C but -19°C (-2°F) with the windchill, but out in places like Thompson, Manitoba, the afternoon temperature with windchill is a freezing -39°C (-47°F)! I’m pretty sure I would never leave my house if I lived there!

Needless to say, I’m sure we’re all craving warm comfort food as the evenings get chillier, and these potatoes fit the bill!

French Onion Stuffed Baked Potatoes |

I love potatoes in all forms – French fries, mashed potatoes, roasted baby potatoes, skillet hashbrowns, and baked potatoes are all favourites of mine.  I usually don’t experiment with stuffing potatoes often as I love potatoes on their own so much, but a while back Food Network Magazine included a little booklet with 50 Stuffed Potatoes that I’ve been meaning to take a second look through for a while now.  I finally got around to it the other week and the first version I tried was these French onion soup inspired ones, and I’ve since made them twice already!

French Onion Stuffed Baked Potatoes |

These take a little while to be ready, as all baked potatoes do, but they’re really easy to make. You just bake a potato, and meanwhile caramelize an onion or two on the stovetop. When the potatoes are cooked through, scoop out the flesh and mash it with the onions, some beef broth (though I’m sure you could use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version), cheese, and a little seasoning, then spoon it back in and broil the potatoes until the cheese melts. All the flavours of French onion soup, but in potato form! These end up being huge, so half a potato was fine for us a side dish with some chicken, or you can enjoy a whole one for a light lunch like I also did.

Hope you’re all staying warm and cozy out there!

French Onion Stuffed Baked Potatoes |

French Onion Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Makes 2 stuffed potatoes; serves 4 as a side dish (half a potato each)


2 russet potatoes
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1 large sweet onion or two medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons shredded gruyere or swiss cheese (I used swiss because it was cheaper but either should work)


Preheat oven to 400°F.  Scrub potatoes and prick all over with the tines of a fork.  Rub lightly with a teaspoon of olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until tender.

Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and stir to coat with oil.  After about 5 minutes, season with a bit of salt.  Spread onions out evenly across the pan and let cook, stirring about every 3-4 minutes, until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes total.  Save a small amount of onions to top the potatoes later, if desired.  Transfer the rest to a large bowl.

Once potatoes are ready, remove from oven and let cool slightly. Move oven rack to top third of oven and preheat oven to broil. Slice potatoes crosswise, peel back skin on top of the potato, and scoop out the insides, leaving a thin layer of potato attached to the skin so it remains intact.  Add the scooped out potato to the bowl with the onions, season generously with salt and pepper, and add the thyme, beef broth, and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.  Mash together, then spoon back into the potatoes to stuff them.  Top each potato with about a tablespoon of remaining cheese.  Return to oven to broil until cheese is melted and potato is heated through, about 3-5 minutes.  Serve hot, seasoned with additional salt and pepper if desired.

December 04, 2013

Monthly Recap - November 2013

November has been the start of snowfalls, cozy meals, warm drinks, and the festive season! Here's what I did and ate this month:

tahini quinoa & chickpeas with beets

One of my favourite meals I tried this month was a quinoa and chickpea bowl with roasted beets, kale, and a tahini dressing. It was pretty filling because of the tahini sauce but also healthy and tasty, even though it certainly wasn't the prettiest dish I've ever made! The recipe is from Dishing up the Dirt if you want to give it a try (which I recommend)!

quinoa, sweet potato, black bean chili

I also loved this comforting and healthful sweet potato, black bean, and quinoa chili with smoked chipotle from Ambitious Kitchen. This is just a horrible phone picture of my leftovers, so please visit this page to see beautiful photos of the dish and get the recipe! And if you love chili, Monique has another great looking recipe on her site for a lentil & quinoa chili that I might try next!

brusels sprout naan pizza

I've been eating a lot of quick and easy meals this month, which as usual includes a lot of naan pizza! This one was made up of whole wheat naan topped with mozzarella and some brussels sprouts that had been chopped and tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. So good!

cinnamon buns

One of my favourite special treats to make, even though it's a ton of work, is cinnamon buns. I've made my version of cinnabon-style buns quite a few times and always love them, and I had planned on blogging them this month when I made them for a special occasion. Unfortunately, something went differently this time (perhaps it was my attempt to use less butter and sugar) and they turned out too bready for my liking. Hopefully I'll get it right next time and will share the recipe I use, but it might be a while as these are definitely a rare treat!

red velvet cupcakes

I also made cupcakes this month for a going away celebration. I used Annie's Eats recipe for red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, which I've made before and quite liked. I've also discovered that it's so easy to add letters to cupcakes to spell out a message (in this case, "best wishes"). Just melt your desired colour of chocolate melting wafers (I buy mine at a bulk store but they sell them in bags at Michaels and other places), transfer the melted chocolate to a Ziplock bag and snip a tiny amount off the corner, then line a baking sheet with wax paper and pipe your desired letters or shapes onto the paper. You then transfer the baking sheet to the fridge (or freezer if you're in a hurry like me) until the chocolate hardens, and they're then ready to top cupcakes!

soft molasses cookies

For a departmental cookie swap at school this month, I made these soft molasses coconut oil crinkle cookies from Averie Cooks. They were definitely soft and very heavy on the molasses (almost a touch too sweet for my taste, though I have a sensitive sweet tooth), but I still loved them!

cookie swap

This was part of the haul I brought home from the cookie swap. Everyone in my department is so talented and I loved everything they made, though my favourite was probably the homemade version of a skor bar with chocolate and toffee (top of the container), which I'll have to get the recipe for!

Other things I've enjoyed this month include:

waffle day

A random "waffle appreciation day" with my lab, which included homemade fresh waffles and tons of toppings. So fun!


The first snowfall and Starbucks gingerbread lattes.

timothys latte

Timothy's winter wonder macaroon latte (with chocolate, coconut, and caramel flavours) - so good!

Christmas in Bayfield

A day trip to Bayfield, Ontario for their Christmas festivities.

 photo 11-lunch_zpsc613accb.jpg

Including a delicious lunch at the ArtSee cafe, where I enjoyed this "gourmet grilled cheese" with apples and a ginger mango chutney.

Ottawa in November

And a brief trip to our wonderful nation's capital, Ottawa! Where we saw the parliament buildings (pictured above),

snow in Ottawa

got lots of snow,

Byward Market

strolled through the lovely touristy area of Byward Market for some shopping,

beaver tails

couldn't resist getting the famous "beaver tails", which is basically fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar,


and enjoyed a few good meals (which I took terrible dark photos of). Pictured above is a bento box from Wasabi, some bbq pulled chicken and mac and cheese from the Smoque Shack, which has some really great food at great prices (definitely recommend going here if you like bbq food), and a pesto, apple, onion, and arugula pizza from a food court, which was surprisingly good!

christmas tree

And finally, I've enjoyed getting into the Christmas spirit over the past couple of weeks and am looking forward to all the holiday festivities now that December is here! Hope you all had a great month!

November 26, 2013

Balsamic Caramelized Onion Hummus

Balsamic Caramelized Onion Hummus

Sorry I haven't posted very much lately!  I had wanted to share a few Thanksgiving-y recipes before American Thanksgiving this week (even though we already had our Thanksgiving over a month ago, I always love an excuse to make comfort food!) but I just didn't have time.   I did, however, make this amazing balsamic caramelized onion hummus last weekend so I'm selling it as a last-minute Thanksgiving appetizer idea for my American friends, but you can and should make it any other time you want!

Balsamic Caramelized Onion Hummus

If you've read my blog for some time you know I love hummus, and especially trying new flavours of hummus.  I try to make it myself when I can because it's usually cheaper and healthier (plus you get a much bigger batch than the tiny containers from the store!), but I often buy it too, especially when a new flavour catches my eye at the grocery store.  The latest one to do so was Summer Fresh's caramelized onion hummus, which I completely devoured and then vowed to make my own version.

Balsamic Caramelized Onion Hummus

So I drew inspiration from the ingredient list on the container as well as a few recipes I easily found online to make my own recipe, and at the last minute decided to drizzle in a balsamic reduction to make it extra special!

Balsamic Caramelized Onion Hummus

I know I say this after every hummus I make, but I think this is my new favourite hummus!  Caramelized onions are already one of my favourite things to add to any dish, but they work especially well blended into a creamy dip and complemented with the sweetness of the balsamic reduction.  I left some caramelized onions whole too which gave the dip a nice added texture.

Balsamic Caramelized Onion Hummus

I ate mine with caramelized onion triscuits which obviously went perfectly well with the hummus.  They made great dippers, but if you want to make this a bit of a fancier appetizer, you can spread some hummus on the crackers and top them with a little caramelized onions and balsamic drizzle.
 A little more work but also a little prettier!

If you're celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I hope you have a wonderful time with family, friends, and food! 

Balsamic Caramelized Onion Hummus

Balsamic Caramelized Onion Hummus

Recipe inspired by Summer Fresh Caramelized Onion Hummus with additional inspiration from several sources including The Real Housewife, An Edible Mosaic, The Sweets Life


2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium yellow or sweet onions, thinly sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, divided
1 (540mL) can chickpeas
3 tablespoons reserved liquid from can of chickpeas
3 tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and stir to coat with oil.  After about 5 minutes, season with a bit of salt.  Spread onions out evenly across the pan and let cook, stirring about every 3-4 minutes, until softened, about 20-30 minutes total.  In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and stir to coat.  Once they are caramelized to your liking, remove from pan.  Save a small amount of onions to top the hummus later, if desired.  Add the rest to the large bowl of a food processor. 

Meanwhile, reserve about 3 tablespoons of liquid from the chickpea can and drain and rinse the rest of the chickpeas.  Add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and let simmer until reduced to a thick, syrupy liquid, about 1-2 tablespoons worth.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Add to the food processor the chickpeas, liquid from the chickpea can, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Process until smooth.  Adjust any ingredient amounts to your liking, if necessary.

Serve hummus topped with reserved caramelized onions and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

November 15, 2013

Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Last weekend was Ryan's last shift at the workplace he's been with for a very long time, so I wanted to make the day special by bringing in lots of treats for him to share with his coworkers (who have always been so appreciative of the baked goods I've dumped on them over the years - I'm going to miss not having them to bake for anymore!)

I couldn't decide between making cinnamon buns, red velvet cupcakes, or these brownies, so I went a little overboard and made all three.  It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it!  Of the three treats though, the one I definitely got the most comments on from everyone there was these chocolate peanut butter rice krispie brownies - people loved them!

I don't usually post recipes on here that I haven't either made up myself or adapted from the original source, and though I didn't change much with this recipe, I still felt that it deserved its own special post because of how popular they were!   Not only did I want to make sure I could share them with you guys, but I need to make sure I remember them myself for the next time I need a crowd pleasing dessert!
Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

The recipe is one that I saw on Love & Olive Oil, though it's originally from the cookbook Peanut Butter Comfort by the author of the blog Averie Cooks (so be sure to check both blogs out - I love them!).

These decadent brownies are made up of a layer of rich chocolately brownies as the base, which are baked and cooled before being topped with chopped peanut butter cups and a few more chocolate chips, followed by a mixture of rice krispies coated in melted chocolate and peanut butter, which then firms up in the fridge.  The result is a brownie that's both fudgy and crunchy with a lot of peanut butter and chocolate flavour!

And the best part is that the recipe makes a 9x13-inch pan's worth of brownies, and because they're pretty rich, you can cut them into really tiny squares to serve a big crowd - I got about 45 squares out of mine and they still disappeared pretty quickly!

Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

I realized after making these that they're pretty similar to the "better-than-crack brownies" that have been all over the web (see here for an example).  I think the main differences are that there are no peanuts sprinkled over the brownie layer in this version, and this uses all semisweet chocolate instead of the milk chocolate I've seen in most better-than-crack brownies, which is a good choice because I think milk chocolate would make these way too sweet.  I might try adding the chopped peanuts next time though because I think they'd add a nice crunch.

So I'm sorry if you've already seen a million versions of these already, but they're popular for a reason, so if you haven't tried them yet, let this be your reminder to make them for your next event!

Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Brownies

To get the recipe (originally from Peanut Butter Comfort) please visit: Love & Olive Oil

The only small changes I made to the recipe were to increase the number of chopped peanut butter cups from 8 to 12 because I'd bought a package of 12 (for $2 from Walmart!) and this gave more coverage with the peanut butter cups.  I then reduced the number of chocolate chips that are sprinkled along with the peanut butter cups by about half.
I also increased the amount of rice krispies by about half a cup.

November 12, 2013

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion BBQ Cheddar Pizza

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion BBQ Cheddar Pizza

If you’ve been on Facebook or Instagram this morning, you’ve likely seen lots of pictures of snow – it seems like quite a few cities in both the US and Canada have experienced their first snowfall this week!  I usually split my time between two cities in Southern Ontario, and fortunately the one I’m in right now got less snow than the other one – just enough to coat all the leaves on the ground but not enough to stay on the sidewalks.  Even with only a light layer of snow though, it’s still been freezing cold outside this week so it seems that winter has officially arrived!

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion BBQ Cheddar Pizza

With the colder weather, I’ve been craving warm and comforting food a lot more lately, and this pizza fit the bill perfectly!  It’s full of hearty, savoury flavours including roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, and a bold barbeque sauce in place of tomato sauce.  It might sound like a kind of strange combination, especially with the cheddar cheese, but trust me that it all works so well together! 

When I brought up the idea for dinner a while ago to Ryan, he rejected it then because the idea of sweet potatoes on pizza was a little too out there for him, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head so I went ahead and made it the other day and even he admitted “it was really good”.  I would add one extra "really" on to that myself!

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion BBQ Cheddar Pizza

I know I’ve been making a lot of naan pizzas lately, and I swear I had intended to make this one a real pizza instead, but the store I went grocery shopping at didn’t have any pizza dough (except for those pre-made circles of cardboard) and I didn’t have time to make my own dough, so I grabbed some whole wheat naan.  But naan is cheaper than pizza dough (at least at my grocery stores) and allows you to make the perfect individual sized pizzas whenever you want, so I really love them!  

If you're cooking for more than a couple people though (or don't like naan bread for some crazy reason), feel free to use regular pizza dough with the same toppings - the recipe I provide is more of a guide anyway so you can adapt it to whatever type of base you like!

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion BBQ Cheddar Pizza

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion BBQ Cheddar Pizza

This is just a rough guide for a large pizza or 4 naan pizzas – all ingredients are estimates and can be adjusted as you see fit.


1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into about ½-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
2 large sweet onions, peeled and sliced into half moons
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 ball of pizza dough or 4 pieces of whole wheat naan bread
Your favourite BBQ sauce (I used a bold bbq sauce – try to use a thicker one with flavour)
Shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 375°F.  Toss sweet potatoes with a couple teaspoons of olive oil or enough to coat them, and season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, stir to coat with oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Spread onions out evenly across the pan and let cook, stirring only occasionally, until softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Add sugar (this is to help them caramelize; I don’t always do this step), stir to coat, and let cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring only occasionally.  Once they are caramelized to your liking, remove from pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to desired temperature for cooking your pizza – this depends on what type of dough you’re using: a recipe for pizza dough will give cooking instructions, a storebought ball of pizza dough also will, and if you’re making naan pizzas, I cook mine at 425°F for about 10-12 minutes.  Prepare pizzas by spreading a thin layer of bbq sauce as the base of the pizza, top with a thin layer of cheddar cheese (or desired amount of cheese), followed by the cooked sweet potatoes and onions.  Season lightly with salt and pepper if desired, and bake.  Serve warm.

November 08, 2013

Healthy Pumpkin Mousse

Healthy Pumpkin Tofu Mousse

It seems like everyone has already moved on from pumpkin flavoured everything to gingerbread everything, myself included – I love Starbucks gingerbread lattes even more than pumpkin spice lattes and now that they have a molasses drizzle on them I can’t resist getting one whenever I go near a Starbucks! 

And now that there’s starting to be a little snow in the air and on the ground, it’s hard to resist getting in the holiday spirit already. I thought it was a little early still but the Santa Claus parade in my hometown is tomorrow, so I guess not!

Healthy Pumpkin Tofu Mousse

I was just reading on Averie Cooks yesterday (in her post for these amazing looking gingerbread molasses chocolate chip bars) how bloggers so predictably go from pumpkin to gingerbread to peppermint every year, which is so true.  But part of what makes people go crazy for these flavours is how briefly we get to use them each year, so we have to make the most of them while we can!

Hopefully not everyone is ready to completely abandon pumpkin yet though, as I still have one more pumpkin recipe to share!

Healthy Pumpkin Tofu Mousse

Pumpkin tofu mousse is probably not anything new to a lot of you, but this was the first time I’d tried it and it was so much better than I’d expected that I’ve already made it a few times this year! It’s basically like pumpkin pie in mousse/pudding form with the added benefit of being pretty healthy!  It's actually not as fluffy as regular mousse, but it's lighter than pudding so I wasn't sure what to call it - feel free to call it whatever you like!

This mousse or pudding or whatever you want to call it is super easy to make – just blend together some pumpkin puree, silken tofu (you won’t taste it at all but it adds protein and makes everything light and fluffy!), a bit of pure maple syrup for sweetness, and some vanilla and pumpkin pie spices. I also added a little Greek yogurt to mine for a little extra flavour and thickness, but if you prefer to keep this vegan you could leave it out.

Hope you have room for a little more pumpkin in you, but if not, I will probably be moving on to holiday flavours pretty soon!

Healthy Pumpkin Tofu Mousse

Pumpkin Tofu "Mousse"

Adapted from several sources, including The Smart Kitchen and Baked In

Makes around 4 small servings (but serving size for something like this can vary)


8oz silken tofu (usually about half a package), drained of all excess water (do your best to get as much water out as you can)
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) – or one 15oz can
1/4 cup plain or vanilla low fat Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt


Add tofu and pumpkin to the large bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.  Add all remaining ingredients (leave the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup out for now), and process until well combined.  Taste and add as much of the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup as desired to reach desired level of sweetness.  If desired, you could replace some of the maple syrup with brown sugar.  Adjust any other spices as needed and according to preference.

Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours before serving.  Keep refrigerated.  Water from the tofu may separate after a couple of days, just drain it or stir it back in before serving.

Ingredient Index

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