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  • FOOD Taste Test Uncategorized

    Taste Test: Gentle Grill (Temecula, CA)

    Several months ago, a new vegan restaurant opened up in Temecula called Gentle Grill. This is exciting for multiple reasons, one being that although we don’t live there, my boyfriend and I are constantly driving to Temecula. And two, the amount of vegan-friendly restaurants in Riverside is a long, long list, but the amount of vegan restaurants is a big ol’ ZERO. So obviously, as the first 100% vegan restaurant in Temecula, I was more than excited to try it out. And it did not disappoint!

    Taste Test: Gentle Grill (Temecula, CA)
    Image courtesy of Google

    The Gentle Grill menu is full of all-American classics: burgers, sandwiches, french fries, chicken nuggets, etc. Overall, their menu is pretty simple, but delicious. Over our two trips to Gentle Grill, we’ve tried:

    • Gentle Fries (their version of animal fries)
    • Beyond Burger
    • Chicken Sandwich
    • Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
    • Chicken Nuggets
    Taste Test: Gentle Grill (Temecula, CA)

    My biggest craving as a vegan is junk food. I don’t just mean chips and soda, I mean chicken nuggets, milkshakes, loaded french fries. Those drive-through junk foods that are really hard to replicate with plant-based ingredients. It’s surprisingly hard to find a vegan restaurant that can satisfy that craving, but Gentle Grill checks all the boxes.

    The chicken nuggets remind me of the chicken nuggets I would crave as a kid, and that’s a good thing. Their fries are crispy and covered in melty cheese (yes, they have vegan cheese that actually melts!). The burgers are juicy and cooked to perfection. If you’re looking for a new vegan restaurant to try out, I definitely recommend it!

    Taste Test: Gentle Grill (Temecula, CA)

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    Taste Test: Gentle Grill (Temecula, CA)
  • Breads & Muffins FOOD

    Super Healthy Juicer Pulp Bread (Vegan)

    Juicer Pulp Bread – The perfect way to use up that leftover pulp from juicing! Totally customizable and ultra healthy, this Pulp Bread makes a great breakfast or snack.

    Super Healthy Juicer Pulp Bread

    I’m a smoothie girl at heart. But man have I been loving our new juicer. It’s the perfect way to use up produce that’s about to go bad in the fridge, and a great way to add some extra nutrients into my diet. Plus it’s kind of fun. Throwing a bunch of stuff in there and then smashing it all down, it could be a way to get out some aggression.

    But just like with a sourdough starter, I absolutely hate throwing things out. Not only is it just plain wasteful, but there’s nutrients and fiber in the juicer pulp that I’m missing out on. So I set out on a mission to create a super healthy loaf made from the juicer pulp, and well, I’m pretty darn happy with this.

    Super Healthy Juicer Pulp Bread

    This loaf bread is made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with agave, so it’s actually a healthy snack. And yes I sprinkled a little sugar on top, but it adds a nice crunch and a little hint of sweetness to the loaf.

    My favorite thing about this Juicer Pulp Bread is that it’s different every single time you make it. My favorite combo is oranges, carrots, and celery, and I’m lucky because that makes one delicious loaf. You can add any type of fruit or vegetable pulp into this bread. Try it out, and let me know your favorite combo down in the comments!

    Super Healthy Juicer Pulp Bread

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    Juicer Pulp Bread

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time50 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Bread
    Author: Brit Wolfe


    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, such as Earth Balance melted
    • scant 1/2 cup agave
    • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 cup applesauce
    • 1 cup leftover juicer pulp
    • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
    • granulated sugar for sprinkling


    • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    • Mix the ground flaxseed with 3 Tbsp. of water and mix well. Set aside to let thicken slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
    • In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt).
    • In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (butter, agave, flaxseed mixture, vanilla, and applesauce). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until almost fully combined.
    • Add the juicer pulp to the bowl and mix well. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Pour into a greased 9″x5″ loaf pan and spread the mixture evenly. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the loaf.
    • Bake the loaf for 50-55 minutes until fully baked (a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean).


    Because of the high moisture content, this bread is best enjoyed within 2 days. It also freezes well and will keep in the freezer for several months.

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

    Super Healthy Juicer Pulp Bread
  • Cakes & Cupcakes FOOD

    Peanut Butter Mug Cake (Vegan)

    Peanut Butter Mug Cake – rich peanut butter cake studded with chocolate chips, ready in under a minute!

    Peanut Butter Mug Cake

    A few days ago, I ran into a problem that I haven’t had in years: there was no dessert in the house.

    I was craving something warm and gooey and chocolatey, but my emergency freezer cookie stash had run out. And to be honest, the past two weeks have worn me out with recipe testing and editing videos and trying to get ahead on everything, so the last thing I wanted to do was bake cookies.

    Peanut Butter Mug Cake

    I found a small bit of vanilla ice cream (Soy Creamy from Trader Joe’s, absolutely the best vegan ice cream in the world) in the back of the freezer and knew that I was halfway to a pizookie, or at least something vaguely pizookie-like, aka anything warm with cold ice cream on top.

    Mug cakes are not a thing I make too often, but every once in a while they show up to save the day. This was one of those times.

    Peanut Butter Mug Cake

    A warm peanut butter mug cake with melty chocolate chips, topped with vanilla ice cream? So ridiculously good. In fact, I bought more ice cream so that I could make another one.

    This mug cake has such a great consistency, I almost didn’t believe it was baked in a mug. It’s soft enough to eat on its own, but sturdy enough to hold up to ice cream and chocolate sauce. And it all comes together in under 2 minutes? It’s a literal lifesaver.

    Peanut Butter Mug Cake

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    Peanut Butter Mug Cake

    Prep Time1 min
    Cook Time1 min
    Total Time2 mins
    Course: Cake
    Servings: 1
    Author: Brit Wolfe


    • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
    • pinch of cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. agave
    • 2 Tbsp. nondairy milk, such as Silk
    • 2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
    • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
    • whipped cream for topping


    • Combine all ingredients (except the chocolate chips and the whipped cream) in a microwave-safe coffee mug or small bowl. Mix well until no lumps remain.
    • Fold in the chocolate chips and spread the top as evenly as possible. Microwave for 40-45 seconds until puffed up and cooked thoroughly.*
    • Top with additional chocolate chips and whipped cream. Enjoy!


    *Depending on your microwave, it might take a little longer. If it isn’t done at 40 seconds, microwave for an additional 15-20 seconds.
    Recipe adapted from Kitchen Treaty

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

    Peanut Butter Mug Cake
  • Cookies FOOD

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan)

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies – chewy, caramely cookies packed with rich dark chocolate chunks and finely ground espresso!

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I am the type of person who is perpetually craving another cup of coffee. No matter the time of day, 9/10 times I’m holding an iced coffee. I almost always have a backup iced coffee in the fridge. And I’ll put coffee grounds into anything that allows it.

    Occasionally I’ll add tea to anything that allows it, but tea doesn’t have quite the same effect.

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

    What I’m trying to say is that I’m undeniably addicted to coffee and anything that goes with coffee. It was only a matter of time before my coffee addiction made its way into my recipes.

    Obviously coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven, so what better recipe to throw these two ingredients together than some good ol’ chocolate chip cookies?

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

    We all know what makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie: chewy, crunchy on the edges, perfectly golden brown with those subtle caramel undertones. These cookies hit all those check boxes.

    Yes, I’m being super specific about the perfect chocolate chip cookie, because I will settle for nothing less and neither should you. It’s a motto I’m trying to apply to every part of my life, and yes, that includes cookies too 🙂

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

    How to Make Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies:

    These cookies come together quickly and easily, but the results taste like you spent hours in the kitchen. The dough comes together like a regular cookie dough, but finely ground espresso is added with the dry ingredients.

    There’s enough espresso in these to give a subtle coffee flavor and a slight caffeine boost without tasting overwhelmingly like coffee. These cookies are best when they’re slightly underbaked so they remain chewy in the middle.

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Resting time1 hr
    Total Time25 mins
    Course: Cookies
    Servings: 12
    Author: Brit Wolfe


    • 1/2 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips I used a combination of semisweet and 72% dark chocolate chunks
    • 3 Tbsp. finely-ground espresso


    • Mix together the flax and water and let sit until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add flax and vanilla and continue creaming for 2 minutes.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and ground espresso) and add to the mixing bowl. Mix until just combined, then fold in the chocolate chips.
    • Scoop the cookie dough (it’ll be very soft!) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least one hour. Once the hour is almost up, preheat oven to 350ºF.
    • Keep the cookies in the fridge until the oven is fully preheated. The cookies should be chilled before baking so that they stay tall and don’t spread too much.
    • Sprinkle the cookie dough with a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of ground espresso. Bake the cookies 15-17 minutes until golden brown.


    You can chill the dough for up to 72 hours before baking. The longer you let the dough chill, the more flavorful the cookies will be!
    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

    Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Animals & Veganism FOOD LIFE Vegan 101

    9 Vegan Chocolate Bars to Fill Your Easter Basket

    9 Vegan Chocolate Bars to Fill Your Easter Basket

    Easter is only a few days away. Which is crazy, because it feels like last week we were saying goodbye to 2018, and now we’re saying goodbye to April. But whether or not you celebrate Easter, it’s a chance to spend time with family, eat some delicious food, and most importantly, eat CHOCOLATE.

    It can be a little tricky to find vegan chocolate bars, especially when you’re in a rush. Ingredient lists can be so hard to navigate, and most brands don’t flat-out say whether or not their products are vegan. So I’ve compiled a list for you of my favorite vegan chocolate bars to stock up on for Easter. And the best part? Most of these chocolate bars can be ordered on Amazon, which means you’ll get them just in time for Easter 🙂

    Note: some of these chocolate bars are made in the same facility as milk chocolate bars, so if you have an allergy, make sure to double check the websites.

    Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

    Justin’s is one of my favorite companies of all time. Not only are their almond butters out-of-this-world delicious, but they are also the nicest company I’ve ever talked to. Their dark chocolate peanut butter cups are one of my top 5 favorite snacks, for sure.

    Endangered Species Chocolate Bars

    Endangered Species holds a special place in my heart. First and foremost, my boyfriend gets me one of their dark chocolate bars on almost every holiday. But more importantly, Endangered believes in giving back. 10% of their profits go towards different charities and organizations that help with conservation.
    If you like dark chocolate, you’ll love their chocolate bars. Try the Salted Peanuts + Dark Chocolate bar or the Raspberries + Dark Chocolate bar. The 88% Dark Chocolate bar is crazy good too!

    Trader Joe’s Chocolate Bars

    Trader Joe’s, aka My Personal Heaven on Earth, has so many options for vegan chocolate. Not only are their chocolate chips accidentally vegan, but the Pound Plus Dark Chocolate and 72% Dark Chocolate bars are too. They also have a constantly-changing variety of smaller chocolate bars, but not all of them are vegan so be sure to check the ingredients list.

    Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Bars

    Alter Eco is another chocolate company that I love. My favorites are the Quinoa Crunch bar and the Salted Almonds bar. They even have a vegan variety pack of chocolate bars that you can order through their website!

    Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Bars

    Enjoy Life makes some of the best chocolate chips out there, but did you know they also have chocolate bars? And they’re delicious.

    Lindt Dark Chocolate Bars

    Lindt has a few dark chocolate bars that are suitable for vegans. The 70% Dark Chocolate Bar and the 85% Dark Chocolate Bar are both 100% vegan and 100% delicious.

    No Whey! Choco No No’s

    No Whey has a ton of vegan options: milk chocolate bunnies, cream eggs, truffles, brownies, and bars. But my personal favorite are the Choco No No’s: a 100% vegan version of M&M’s.

    Go Max Go Vegan-ized Candy Bars

    I was never really a candy bar type of person. Of course I ate them every once in a while, but it was never my snack of choice. But something about going vegan has me craving a candy bar every once in a while! In steps Go Max Go to make all my vegan candy bar dreams come true. They offer all the classics (Twix, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, etc.) in a delicious, personal-sized vegan candy bar. The Twilight Bar (aka Milky Way) is my favorite!


    Chocolove is a company making chocolate bars in some crazy delicious flavors. Coffee crunch? Pretzels? Grapefruit? Sign me up.
    For a delicious vegan option, try the Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate Bar or the Raspberries in Dark Chocolate bar.

    Looking for some homemade chocolate recipes?