Christmas Morning Muffins

5 days! 5 days until Christmas! Eeeeeekkk!! The little kid inside me is bursting with joy and excitement during this magical time of year. I’m really hoping Chicago gets snow before or on Christmas day. If not, I’ll make do and await our snow storms in January, as always 😉

Since this semester has ended, I’ve been racking my brain on recipes I could offer and share for you to bring to holiday parties and to make for your loved ones at home. Cranberry and Orange is a classic Christmastime pairing, so I decided to make Christmas Morning Muffins with this flavor duo plus some walnuts! I used my latest favorite pancake and waffle mix brand, Kodiak Cakes, as the base. A box is less than $5, and it includes most of the dry ingredients you need. As I’m writing this I am anxiously waiting for the muffins to cool so I can taste test them and post this recipe!

The verdict= super moist, fluffy, flavor packed, Christmas-worthy muffins!!!! Yahoo! You will NOT be disappointed with this gem. So, without further ado…

Cranberry Orange Christmas Morning Muffins




  • 2 cups Kodiak Waffle and Flapjack Mix (Whole Wheat and Honey Flavor)
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • Crushed walnuts
  • 3/4 cup cranberries


  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz applesauce
  • 1/2 cup cashew milk
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 medium size orange, grated
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with muffin liners or grease with coconut oil.
  2. Add 2 cups of the Kodiak Waffle Mix to a medium size bowl. Add the spices and mix.
  3. In another small bowl, lightly whisk the two eggs. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Per the muffin mix method, pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry. Use a baking spatula to mix until just combined. Add the cranberries and some crushed walnuts should you want them in your batter. I just topped mine before baking.
  5. Pour the mixture just below the top of each muffin well.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes at 350. Let cool for 15 minutes. Your taste buds will thank you for the rollercoaster ride 😉 Happy Holidays!



Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

Christmas is nearly two weeks away, and with the holiday season in full swing, we need all the easy recipes we can get our hands on! Am I right? Today I am sharing my Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies with you. Not only are these yummy treats extremely tasty, but they are healthy too! The brownies are black bean based, the frosting contains a veggie, and the dark chocolate I used has 9x more flavanols (an antioxidant) than regular chocolate! Have your cake and eat it too!


Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

Prep time: 5 minutes

Baking time: 25-30 minutes


Brownie Batter

  • 1 15 oz. can black beans
  • 2 packets of Flavanaturals cocoa powder OR 6 Tbsp other cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • sprinkle of Himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 1/3 cup salted almond butter (I like and use Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (going to try vanilla bean next time)
  • 1 chopped dark chocolate bar (I used TJ’s The Dark Lover’s Chocolate Bar)


  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1 bar melted dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave
  • 1 packet or 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • Crushed candy canes to top


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly oil a loaf pan. I like to oil my baked goods pans with coconut oil.
  2. Blend all of the brownie batter ingredients besides the chopped chocolate bar until smooth.
  3. Add the chopped chocolate bar and mix. Transfer to the oiled loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or knife doesn’t lift batter.
  5. Let cool for 30 minutes. While you are waiting, make the frosting by adding 3/4 cup of sweet potato puree to a food processor. Melt 1 bar of dark chocolate, and add this and the remaining ingredients to the mixture. Process until light and fluffy.
  6. Once the brownies cool, ice your brownies and sprinkle with crushed candy canes!

If you’re not into the sweet potato frosting, try homemade whipped coconut cream! Another delicious and healthy alternative to regular frosting. Enjoy, and come back soon for more holiday recipes!


3 Ingredient Cranberry-Orange Relish

Hey Turkeys! Happy belated Thanksgiving! I have missed you and blogging so…and I have realized that I can no longer use being too busy as an excuse for my absence. We are all busy in our own ways. I simply NEED to make time for what I love doing- cooking, baking, blogging about nutrition and lifestyle, recipe development, and feeding you happy thoughts and ideas!

I am done with making empty promises of new recipes, mental health posts, grocery lists, etc. and not following through because of my time mismanagement. Reading “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis has instilled in me this new sense of proactiveness in creating the life I want and deserve. And I, my friends, want to be a source of inspiration and fresh, innovative ways to evoke happiness for you.

I am going to start with the simplest of recipes, one that requires ONLY 3 ingredients! Whaaaaa???? Oh, yes yes yes. Cranberry-Orange Relish is one of my absolute favorite holiday side dishes. It is fresh, serves as a palette cleanser from dish to dish, and is the easiest recipe I’ve ever made- no exaggeration. I will allow the ingredient list and directions speak for themselves, along with the wonderfully bitter, sweet, and sour combo of taste. I am incorporating this guy in my fall harvest veggie bowl tonight (of which I will be posting about tomorrow). You can eat it by itself as a snack, serve it as a side or top it on a dish or as a spread in a sandwich *drool*. Please share how you have or will enjoy this recipe when you make it! Enjoy!

Cranberry-Orange Relish


Prep time: 2 minutes

Time to make: 3 minutes + (allow to sit 1 hour-overnight)

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Servings: 6


  • 1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 large orange or 2-3 Tbsp orange peel, grated
  • 1 Tbsp honey (may add more to taste)


  1. Rinse cranberries. Dry and add to food processor. Lightly process.
  2. Grate 2-3 Tbsp or 1/2 of a large orange peel over the cranberries.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp of honey (or more to taste). Process for 15 seconds or until the pieces look similar to the relish pictured above. Allow to sit for at least an hour i the refrigerator. The best flavor when you allow the relish to sit overnight.
  4. Orange you glad you made this crantastic side?! Sorry, not sorry for the dad joke. Enjoy!



Almond Plum Bread

Hi friends!

It’s been a hot minute, and for that I apologize. Life gets busy, as you know, and ideally I would like to post more often than I do. My latest goal is to share one new recipe a week that incorporates a seasonal farmer’s market ingredient. I want to highlight farmer’s markets before winter arrives because I think it’s important to shop locally and support your local farmers. In return, you usually are offered fresh, organic produce at a lower cost.

So without further ado, this week’s seasonal ingredient is PLUMS! They are actually in season from late May through October, so I’m a little late to the game with these, but the lady at the farmer’s market gave me a sample and I just couldn’t resist! I asked her for some cooking and baking ideas on how to use this yummy fruit, and she said the most common way was in bread. I decided right then and there to make my very own gluten-free plum bread.


A little health overview of plums is that they are packed with dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and digestive health. Their dried form of prunes serves as an even greater relief from constipation and GI distress. Plums also contain high amounts of potassium, a mineral most Americans don’t receive enough of. Proper intake of potassium is found to help prevent high blood pressure and stroke. Since plums are low on the glycemic index, they are a good option for those with or prone to diabetes. The antioxidants in this fruit has also been known to protect against cancer cell growth, improve bone health, and improve memory.

When I read about all of the health benefits this little fruit carries, I could hardly believe it! For those of you who haven’t tried a plum before, let me tell you what to expect. They range in size from that of a cherry to the size of a small apple. They have skin similar to a nectarine, but their flesh is almost like a grape since they are so water dense. They are slightly sweet in flavor, but when you bake them, they turn slightly sour (in a good way). I think I covered most of the goodness a plum contains, so here is my original gluten-free Almond Plum Bread recipe that I nailed on the very first try! I hope you enjoy it as much as me and the hubs did 🙂

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Baking time: 40-45 minutes



  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 cup monk fruit sweetener


  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan (I used coconut oil spray).
  2. Sift both the almond and tapioca flour. Add the remaining dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until even.
  3. Add all wet ingredients to a small bowl and whisk for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry and mix on medium speed with a mixer. Unlike baked goods that contain gluten, gluten free recipes actually benefit from mixing a bit longer to create better structure. Once the flour is fully part of the dough, transfer to the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 40-45, watching for when the outer edges turn a light golden brown.

*DO NOT worry if the dough doesn’t rise high. This is a result of a gluten-free recipe. I recently learned that more condense bakes are better for gluten-free consistencies and overall binding which prevents the bread from crumbling. Expect the dough to fill half the height of the loaf pan. Despite being height challenged, the flavor is SOOOO on par and even competes with other fruit breads. The Almond Plum Bread ends up having a texture similar to that of a pound cake. I recommend enjoying it with tea, coffee, or even topping it with yogurt or vanilla ice cream.




Super Veggie Burgers


Veggie burgers are easier to find than they used to be- at the store, local restaurants, and even at pubs and burger joints. The trick is finding the veggie burger that resonates with your taste buds, aka one that is drool worthy!

Last week I was craving a sweet potato black bean burger, so I decided to brave the task of creating my own recipe. With Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi hot on the food scene, I thought to incorporate a cup of that bad boy in my recipe, along with the binder of molasses instead of your standard eggs. Both of these additives bump the nutritional value. Cauliflower adds to your dose of vitamin C and B, and molasses contains a significant amount of iron (not to mention the unique flavor it creates!).

So with sweet potato, cauliflower, green onions, and spinach (as a topping), you end up with a whopping 4 veggies in this addictive burg. I topped mine with avocado (fruit serving), and with brown rice (grain) and black beans (legume-protein) in the mix, you end up with a balanced and nutritious meal for you and your guests! I really can’t talk the addition of molasses up enough. It’s what makes this veggie burger stand out from the rest. Try it out and let me know what you think! Enjoy lovelies!

Super Veggie Burgers

Prep time: 10-45 minutes (depends if the rice and sweet potato are pre-cooked)

Bake time: 40 minutes

Yields: 5-6 burger patties



  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup cauliflower gnocchi (from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup toasted crushed walnuts OR 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used chickpea crumbs)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • whole wheat bread/bun/British muffin (what I used)

Toppings (all optional)

  • Spinach or Kale (I wanted to try the Miso Greens from the new Run Fast cookbook, but I couldn’t find miso anywhere! Ordering it on Amazon right now 😉 )
  • Avocado
  • Sauce of choice
  • Grilled onions


  • Cook rice according to package instructions if it is not already cooked. In addition to this prep, boil 1 large sweet potato for 30 minutes if you are not using canned sweet potato puree.
  • Preheat oven to 375F. While heating, prep your burger patties.
  • Drain 1 can of unsalted black beans. Measure 1 cup and place in large mixing bowl. Mash the beans with a fork until 75% of them are mashed, leaving 25% of the beans whole or somewhat intact.
  • Add 1/4 molasses to the beans, along with all of the spices. Mix.
  • When the rice is done, drain and allow to cool. When the sweet potato is ready, drain and place skinless in a blender.
  • Microwave the Cauliflower Gnocchi for 5-6 minutes, as listed on package instructions. When cooked, add 1 cup to the blender. Blend on high until mixed.
  • Add the sweet potato and cauliflower mixture to the bowl, along with the walnuts or breadcrumbs and chopped green onions. Mix until evenly distributed.
  • Form patties using 1/2 or 3/4 cup to measure. I like mine thick, so I used the 3/4 cup. This formed 5 patties.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Flip burger patties half way through. Keep in mind that they may be mushy still, so be careful when flipping. I recommend using a spatula and an oven mitt.
  • Remove from oven after 40 minutes and allow to cool and set for 10-15 minutes. Toast your bread/bun if desired, add sauce, a burger patty and toppings to dress it up! Chow down!






Pesto Egg Cups

Eggs have been an all-American breakfast staple for decades now, but the styles of scrambled and omelettes can get old. Plus, Americans are busier than ever. Some get up at 5am to get a workout in, some head to the office early, and some are scrambling (pun intended) to dress and feed the kids before shuttling them to school. Whatever the case, breakfast is easier on the go.

These Pesto Egg Cups serve as just that, a delicious and nutrient packed on-the-go breakfast that fuels your morning! I recommend meal prepping these over the weekend and freezing them in an airtight container to keep them fresh and ready to grab throughout the week.

Pesto Egg Cups


Prep: 15 minutes

Bake time: 12 minutes

Yields: 12 cups

Pesto ingredients: (You can use store bought too)

  • 3 packed cups of fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup parmesean (and/or nutritional yeast)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until a paste consistency forms. Usually I like my pesto slightly on the oily side to dip bread in, but don’t overdo it or else your egg cups will be oily too.

Egg Cup ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup spinach (chiffonade)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
  • Store bought or homemade pesto
  • Salt (Pink Himalayan is recommended)
  • Ground pepper (I love the Lemon Pepper from TJs!)


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease muffin tin or line with muffin cups.
  2. Whisk 8 eggs until a fluffy consistency is achieved.
  3. Add 1/4 cup milk of your choice and whisk to mix.
  4. Chiffonade (cutting technique where you roll and slice greens) spinach until you fill 3/4 cup. Add to the egg mixture. Quarter 8 cherry tomatoes and add, along with a pinch of salt and ground pepper. Mix evenly.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of the egg mixture to each muffin holder. Once evenly distributed, add 1 tsp – 1 Tbsp of pesto to each spot. You may mix or leave the pesto in the middle for a burst of flavor. Both ways are amazing, but I think I prefer the middle filled. 🙂
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Keep an eye on how and when the eggs set to determine this.
  7. Keep fresh by freezing for up to one month. Reheat in microwave for a delicious treat or on the go breakfy!

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Chocolate Walnut Zucchini Bread


Hello my supportive readers! It has been a hot minute, and for that, I apologize. I won’t get into the details, but I am currently juggling two part-time jobs, 8 accelerated summer credit courses, and an internship. I haven’t had much time for myself and to take care of my family, let alone maintain Feed Me Happy. My absence has made me realize how much I adore the art of recipe development, and with my first full day off in 34 days, I am here to share my latest creation- Chocolate Walnut Zucchini Bread!

As always, my goal was to make this baked good as yummy and nutritious as possible. I played around with spelt flour, an ancient grain that houses ample fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. The walnuts and olive oil provide healthy fats, and the zucchini gives you that veggie fix! Plus, zucchini is currently in season, and I’m trying to cook and bake with all the seasonal crops while they’re here. I hope you enjoy this baked bread loaf as much as I do! ❤


Chocolate Walnut Zucchini Bread

Prep time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 45-50 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (may use GF, but be aware that this could alter the texture and baking time of your loaf)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 bar dark chocolate (I used Theo 85%)
  • 3/4 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup organic applesauce
  • 2 medium size zucchini


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil loaf pan with either olive oil or coconut oil. I used coconut oil spray. When heated, toast 1/2 cup of the walnuts for 10 minutes. Let cool.
  2. While toasting, grate both zucchini with a coarse grater. Soak up the excess moisture with paper towels.
  3. Add all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a separate medium sized bowl. Add the EVOO, molasses, honey, and applesauce. Mix until even.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with the zucchini and 3/4 cup of the chopped dark chocolate. Mix until just combined, avoiding overworking the gluten and creating tunnels in your bread loaf.
  6. Pour the batter into the oiled loaf pan. Top with the remaining walnuts and dark chocolate and bake for 45-50 minutes. I baked the bread on the bottom rack for 20 minutes, then transfer to the top for the next 25 minutes to ensure an even bake.

Took me 3 rounds of recipe testing to get this right, so enjoy this treat that may be eaten day or night! 😉