Energy-Loaded Chia-Coco-Walnut Cookies

Jannine Myers

I’m “that person” who never lets any food or ingredient go to waste. I will find a way to use pretty much everything in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, even if what needs to be used up doesn’t seem to go with anything else I have on hand. Earlier this week for example, I had about a 1/4 cup red miso paste left, so after a quick scan of my refrigerator I knew I had enough vegetables to make an easy coconut-miso curry. Yesterday, as I was taking something out of the pantry, I saw a few almost-empty packages and jars and decided to get busy baking :)

The end result: these energy-loaded Chia-Coco-Walnut cookies!!! Delicious!



Here’s how I think I made them (hard to remember since I didn’t follow a recipe, but I’m pretty sure the following ingredients and directions are accurate):


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 cup Bob Redmill’s Gluten Free 1-to-1 baking flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 cup Bob Redmill’s Gluten Free oats, plus an additional cup pulsed into flour
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup organic raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup black chia seeds

[You don’t need to use gluten free or organic products; that’s just what I had on hand]


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Heat coconut oil and agave nectar in a microwaveable bowl, then mix well and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Combine all remaining ingredients (reserving 1/4 cup oat flour) in a large bowl.
  4. Add the slightly cooled coconut oil and agave to the dry ingredients and mix well. If the mixture is too moist and sticky, add more of the oat flour until you reach a dough-like consistency that holds well.
  5. Roll mixture into balls and place on baking trays and press the balls down using the bottom of a glass.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. After the cookies have been out of the oven for about 10 minutes, place them on a wire rack to cool completely.


Baked Cashew Oatmeal Bars

Jannine Myers

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe, so here’s one that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. I got the idea actually from a friend’s Facebook page; she’s a fitness and health coach who advocates as I do, a mostly whole foods approach to diet. On her page, she showed a picture of her young son demolishing a baked oatmeal bar, and in her comments she added, “It’s the perfect low glycemic option and high in fiber…….”

Admittedly, my bars probably don’t meed the same standards as hers (she didn’t post her recipe so I have no way of comparing), but I am taking a guess since the glycemic and fiber profile of mine are not quite as favorable. However, on the plus side, they are much more nutritionally dense than commercial bars – they contain less sugar, healthy fats, and 4g of protein per slice -.and they’re perfect for rushed on-the-go breakfast snacks or mid-afternoon energy slumps. Give them a try and see what you think!



  • ½ cup cashew butter (soak raw cashews in hot water for at least an hour and then pulse into a butter)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1/8 cup raw honey and
  • 1/8 cup agave
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • ¾ cup Bob’s Redmill gluten free one-to-one flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cashew butter, coconut sugar, honey and agave, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla until fully combined.
  3. Add in the oats, flour, salt, and baking soda and mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips and fold into the batter.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan, then cut into bars and store in a sealed container (they freeze well too).

Spirulina Breakfast Bowl

Jannine Myers

Are you familiar with the health benefits of Spirulina? Spirulina is a natural algae powder that’s impressively rich in protein, antioxidants, B-vitamins, and other nutrients. It’s often recommended to vegetarians because of it’s high protein and natural iron content, and that also makes it a fantastic food source for pregnant women, or for anyone recovering from illness or surgery, and most certainly for female athletes. 

Here’s a super nutritious “Spirulina” breakfast recipe for you to try:



1 cup fresh blueberries

1 ripe nectarine, pit and skin removed

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Handful almonds

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

1 tsp organic spirulina powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

3 ice cubes (or 1/2 frozen banana if you prefer a slightly sweeter taste)



Throw everything into a blender and pulse to the consistency of a smooth puree. Pour into two serving bowls, add some home-made granola, and top with a little shredded coconut.

[Recipe adapted from PoppiesandPapayas]

Re-Creating Cafe Favorites

Jannine Myers

Something I love to do in my free time is to get in my kitchen and re-create some of my favorite cafe meals. It’s always nice going out to eat but it’s also nice to cook my own food and I can usually save a little money at the same time, since one cooking session will typically result in two or three meals.

My latest meal re-creation was taken from the menu at Green Leaf’s Yomitan Cafe; I love their Molokhia Noodle Salad (original Green Leaf version on the top and my re-created version below):

13149973_10156778911470562_1786881234_n   13336199_10156864711120562_1284422151_nThe ingredients were not exactly identical, but the taste was very similar and I’ve since made this cold noodle salad for myself several times. Here’s how I made it – so fast, simple, and delicious:


1 100g package Molokhia noodles (I bought mine from Green Leaf)


Salad greens – your choice

Carrots and Japanese Daikon, shredded

Alfalfa sprouts

Mixed seeds and dried berries

Sesame Dressing Ingredients:

2 tbsps Vegan Mayonnaise (or your choice of mayonnaise)

1/2 tbsp Tamari Sauce

1/2 tbsps Sesame Oil

1/2 tbsp Rice Vinegar

1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

Dash of organic sugar (optional)

Water (if the consistency is too thick)



Bring a medium size saucepan of water to the boil, then immerse the noodles and cook for just a few minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.

Layer your bowl with the salad leaves, noodles, raw shredded vegetables, and top with the seeds and dried berries.

Make your dressing by simply whisking all the ingredients together; add desired amount to your salad. Enjoy :)


[Green Leaf also makes a delicious soy taco rice; I didn’t try to duplicate their recipe but I used their idea to make a similar meatless taco rice. Instead of using soy textured protein to make the “ground beef,” I used pulsed and blended cauliflower, walnuts, and hemp seeds. For the full recipe visit my trail running page here]

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Green Leaf soy taco rice on left and my meatless taco rice on the right

Turning Kid-Favorite Meals into Kid-Healthy Meals

Jannine Myers

Even at the age of 12, my younger daughter is still incredibly picky, but I generally don’t let her eat foods that have no place in our home; i.e. those foods that come in packets and boxes and with ingredient lists a mile long. I do understand however, her frequent cravings for the types of comfort meals that many kids – and even adults – are drawn to. Still, we compromise with such meals and she lets me “re-create” them; in other words, I make them from scratch using the most nutrient-dense ingredients. Last night for example, I made her a healthy version of sloppy joes and received no complaints.

[Note: making these sloppy joes from scratch did cost more because I added fresh vegetables and used organic ground beef, but I’d rather contribute to my child’s health than to a slightly greater spending allowance]



  • 1 pound organic ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Shredded cheese
  • Whole-wheat kaiser rolls


Brown the meat in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard, and set the meat aside. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and red pepper to the pan (with a little olive oil) and saute for 5 minutes or more, stirring occasionally. Transfer half the vegetables to a blender, and add half the tomato sauce. Pulse into a puree and pour into a jug or small bowl. Do the same with the remaining vegetables and tomato sauce. Return the meat to the pan, along with the pureed vegetable sauce, and all remaining ingredients. Bring back to a boil over medium heat, and then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over toasted bread rolls, with a little melted cheese and a side of vegetables (I added roasted cauliflower and raw carrots).

Lots of Reasons To Try Molokhia Noodles

Jannine Myers

I had lunch yesterday at Green Leaf Cafe in Yomitan, and I ordered one of my favorite meals on their menu: the Molokhia Cold Noodle Salad. If you’ve never tried molokhia noodles before (or any recipe that contains molokhia leaves), here’s a very brief post for you:

Molokhia is a dark, green leaf with a slightly bitter taste. Mostly consumed in Egypt, the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region, Africa, and also in Japan, molokhia is used in a variety of ways; it’s used to make soups, curries, salads, spices, and as the title indicates, even noodles. With more than 30 vitamins and minerals found in molokhia, it’s health benefits are significant; check out the chart below:


If you’d like to try molokhia noodles, you can buy them in small packages at Green Leaf’s store. Or, you can just do what I do and visit the cafe instead where you can order their amazing molokhia noodle salad.

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It’s Beet Season Again

Jannine Myers

It’s beet season again and I’m making the most of it; I was busy yesterday cooking with beets and one of the recipes I made was a delicious soup that I learned the recipe for just recently at a cooking class.


Sanae-Sensei showing us how to make her delicious beet soup

Incidentally, I received a rather timely email this afternoon with the link to a post about the benefits of eating beets; the following information was included in the post:

Why Eat Beets? 6 Top Reasons

1. Lower Your Blood Pressure

Drinking beet juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points.
The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

2. Boost Your Stamina

If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.

3. Fight Inflammation

Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It’s also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.

As reported by the World’s Healthiest Foods:
“[Betaine’s]… presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems.”

4. Anti-Cancer Properties

The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.7

5. Rich in Valuable Nutrients and Fiber

Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

6. Detoxification Support
The betalin pigments in beets support your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body. Traditionally, beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.

So, with all of those great reasons to eat beets, give this soup a try; it’s fast, easy, and really delicious!



  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 beet, peeled and diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 corn husk (corn removed)
  • 1 tbsp sake (or white cooking wine)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 600ml to 800ml water


  1. Dice the beet, onion, and tomato
  2. Put oil and garlic in pan and simmer at low heat for a few minutes
  3. Add the beet, onion, and tomato to the pan, and add the salt and sake
  4. Slowly pour water into the pan, and bring to boil at medium heat
  5. Add the corn husk, and continue to cook at medium heat (uncovered), for approximately 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
  6. In a couple of batches, puree the soup in a blender
  7. Serve hot, and garnish with herbs of choice


Creamy And Tart Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake

Jannine Myers

At the request of a few WOOT members and friends, here is the recipe for my passionfruit yogurt cheesecake. This recipe is different from one that my daughter and I have made in the past for her bakery; it contains far fewer calories, sugar, and fat! But the good news is that it’s an equally delicious cheesecake, so give it a try.



  • 20 small ginger snaps
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 tbsps coconut oil
  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 1 pkg reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup sweetened passionfruit pulp
  • 1 tbsp Manuka honey (or your favorite honey)
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsps unflavored gelatine
  • 5 tbsps hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a round baking tray with a little coconut oil.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps, walnuts, and melted coconut oil. Transfer the crumb mixture to the baking tray and press evenly across the surface. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the gelatine and water and stir until gelatine is completely dissolved. Allow to cool for several minutes.
  4. To prepare the filling, put the yoghurt, cream cheese, lemon juice, passionfruit and honey into a food processor and process until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the dissolved gelatine to the food processor and blend well with the cream mixture.
  6. Carefully pour the cream cheese filling on top of the base, and smooth out evenly. Place in the freezer and leave to set for at least 2 hours.
  7. To serve, remove from the freezer and leave to thaw slightly. Top with extra passionfruit pulp, and store any remaining slices in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Info: Serving Size 1 slice – 150 calories, 8.35g Total Fat, 4.75g Saturated Fat, 13g Total Carbohydrate, 8.16g Sugars, 5.27g Protein


Chocolatey-Vegan “Hammer Protein” Brownies

Jannine Myers

Who doesn’t love brownies? I’d say most of us love brownies, and there’s nothing wrong with that unless you’re someone who has a hard time stopping at just one. If that’s you, try making a batch of these not-so-guilty brownies and see if they measure up to your taste standards. I made them for myself and my daughter, and admittedly, they were not sweet enough for my daughter – but, she’s a teenager who loves real cookies and brownies! As for me, they hit the sweet tooth right on the spot, and the texture was perfectly moist.



  • 5 Chiquita Mini Bananas (the really small ones that fit in the palm of your hand)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a square baking pan with a little oil from the peanut butter jar. Add all the ingredients to a blender, and pulse to a nice smooth doughy consistency. Transfer the dough mixture to the baking pan, and evenly press it out. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Let it cool, then cut into 16 squares.


Note: compare the nutritional information between

these brownies, and a Betty Crocker brownie:

89 calories                                  164 calories

4.19g fat                                      6.62g fat

43.27mg sodium                         105.38mg sodium

4.36g carbohydrates                   25.11g carbohydrates

2.45g additional sugar                 16.37g additional sugar

4g protein                                    1.72g protein





Vege Recipes For Vege Haters

Jannine Myers

Here’s a couple more recipes for the young ones, and these ones, though they contain vegetables, might please even the pickiest of eaters. The first recipe is a Smoked Gruyere Brown Rice Frittata with shredded vegetables.




1 1/2 cups (approx.) brown rice, uncooked

1 to 2 tbsps olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 medium carrot, grated

mushrooms, sliced (optional)

1/3 cup milk (at least 2% fat)

3 tbsps freshly chopped rosemary or a good dash of dried rosemary

1/2 block of Smoked Apple Gruyere cheese, grated (this particular cheese is rich in taste and gives the frittata a really delicious flavor)



Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a baking pan that you would use for a round cake or frittata.

Cook the rice and drain well (I cooked the rice in a mix of chicken broth and water)

Heat the oil in a frypan, then cook the onions and garlic until soft, and add the zucchini, carrots (and mushrooms, if using). Cook and stir for just a couple of minutes then set aside to cool.

Once the vegetable mixture has cooled down a little, add the cooked rice, eggs (pre-whisked with a fork), milk, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in half the shredded cheese.

Pour the mixture into baking pan and top with remaining cheese. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Serve warm with a side salad or other greens (I served it with steamed broccoli).

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The second recipe is what I’ve called “Surprise” Muffins. I made some of these for a friend, and asked her to guess what the yellow pieces of flesh were. She and her husband thought they were either mango or peach, but they were both wrong; I used yellow tomatoes.

Yellow tomatoes are “surprisingly” sweet, and nutritionally they are just as good for you as red tomatoes; the main differences are that they contain slightly less fiber, quite a bit less vitamin C, but more phosphorous, potassium, zinc, sodium, and double the iron.




1/2 cup oats

1 ¼ cups organic flour

1 cup wheat bran flakes

1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk

12 small pieces of soft, white cheese (any kind)

2 to 3 yellow tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup organic sugar

2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup vegetable oil (or half oil, half apple sauce)

3 eggs

2 tbsps golden syrup (or honey, maple syrup)

brown sugar to top muffins



Preheat oven to 365 F. Line or grease a muffin tin.

Pour the milk into a small bowl and add the bran flakes; let the bran soak for several minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, golden syrup, and add the bran/milk mixture; mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then add the diced tomatoes and mix until well combined. The mixture will seem a little wet, but that’s okay.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tray, top with brown sugar and tomato bake for 20 to 25 mins.

Best to eat warm from the oven, while the cheese is gooey and melted. Enjoy.