Gina’s Potato Salad

Gina's Potato Salad

It doesn’t get much more American than potato salad in the summer! Unfortunately, for many people, that potato salad comes in the form of a mayo-ey glop from the supermarket *cringe*. This is partially why this particular salad gets a bad rep, nutritionally. So sad, because potatoes are marvelous, and–when they are prepared well (i.e. not fried)–they can be very nutritious! They are strong contributors to your daily intake of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and iron, to name a few.

This recipe is an excellent vegan option for those who still crave that creamy version of potato salad, but with 40% fewer calories and 70% less fat than its traditional predecessor 🙂 It’s also a cinch to prepare, which leaves more time to spend these beautiful summer days where they should be spent–outside!

Gina’s Potato Salad

4 Russet potatoes, scrubbed & diced

¼ red onion, chopped

4T Veganaise

2T Dijon mustard

1T lemon juice

1c cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

½c edamame, shelled

1/3c kidney beans (or other bean)

½t dill

1/4t paprika

TT salt & pepper

Cut potatoes into 1-1 ½ inch chunks. Steam until easily pierced with fork. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine: Veganaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, dill, and paprika.

Add cooled potatoes, chopped red onion, tomatoes, edamame, and beans to the dressing mixture and combine until thoroughly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Gina's Potato Salad

Gina’s Potato Salad

© Gina Chythlook


Banana Walnut Brownies

I was craving chocolate. I never crave chocolate (weird, right?). So I decided to attempt a vegan brownie with no added oil or “butter” or any extra fats. But I did want to retain as much moisture as possible because, really, nothing’s worse than a chalky, dry brownie.

For a first attempt, I must say I’m pretty pleased ☺ Definitely not dry, but I might still try to moisten it up some more next time. Never the less—and my husband agrees—this recipe is post worthy. So . . . without further adieu, here ya go!

Banana Walnut Brownies

Banana Walnut Brownies

½ c whole-wheat flour
¾ c oat flour
¼ c sugar
½ c cocoa powder
2 T cornstarch
¼ t baking soda
½ t kosher salt

1 medium banana, puréed
2 t vanilla
2 T maple syrup
½ c sugar
1 flax egg (1 T ground flaxseed + 3 T warm water)*

¾ c walnuts, chopped
¼ c mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a small bowl, make flax egg and set aside.

In a separate large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

In another bowl, combine all wet ingredients, including the flax egg. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. The batter will be very thick and pasty. Add in the chopped walnuts (I kneaded them in with my hands).

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Press batter firmly into the pan until evenly distributed. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and gently press them into the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes. When done, lift the parchment paper containing the brownies out of the pan and onto a cooling rack. After 5-10 minutes enjoy them warm!!

*Allow flax egg to gel (~10min.) before adding to recipe.

Inspired by Wonderslim Wondercocoa’s Wonder Brownies

© Gina Chythlook

Banana Walnut Brownies

Banana Walnut Brownies

Let there be CAKE!!

Pineapple Sunflower Spice Cake
In honor of my husband coming home yesterday (he works 3 weeks on/3 weeks off), I was inspired to make a cake 🙂 After realizing I didn’t have all the ingredients for any of the recipes I had on hand–not that I can ever truuuly follow a recipe to begin with ;)–I decided to get a bit more creative and attempt my own! I had, and still have, an abundance of canned pineapple, so I decided to go with that. Walnuts sounded like a perfect, crunchy add-in, but my cupboards only had cashews, sunflower seeds, and blue corn tortilla chips to offer. Not really feelin’ the tortilla chips, I decided to give the sunflower seeds a whirl. The result = a sweet, moist, delicious dessert with just the right hint of crunch 🙂 Oh, and my non-veg, non-vegan husband liked it, too! I believe his initial response was, “Mmmmm yummy . . . is this vegan??” Success? I think so. 🙂
Pineapple Sunflower Spice Cake

Pineapple Sunflower Spice Cake

Flax Egg:
2 T ground flaxseed
6 T warm water

¾ c whole-wheat flour*
¾ c oat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
½ t ground nutmeg
1 t ground cinnamon
¼ t kosher salt

1 stick vegan butter, softened (Earth Balance is the brand I used)
¾ c brown sugar, lightly packed
2/3 c almond milk, unsweetened vanilla (Silk brand)
2 t apple cider vinegar
½ c crushed pineapple
¼ c sunflower seeds, unsalted

4 T agave nectar
5 T pineapple juice
½ c crushed pineapple

-Preheat oven to 350˚F.
-Prepare flax egg, and set aside (~10min.).
-Combine dry ingredients.
-Combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar.
-Cream together vegan butter and brown sugar in mixing bowl. Add flax egg until combined.
-Add dry ingredients alternatively with the almond milk/vinegar into the mixing bowl.
-Add pineapple, then sunflower seeds until just combined.
-In a greased 8-inch, round cake pan, add the cake batter.

Bake for 50 minutes.
When done, allow cake to sit in pan for 5 minutes. Then, remove from pan onto a wire rack to begin cooling.

Prepare the glaze: Combine the agave with the pineapple juice and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling until reduced to a syrup consistency.

Poke cake across its entire surface with a fork (about 12-15 times). Spread crushed pineapple across the top, then drizzle the glaze on top of that and voila!

*If you have whole-wheat pastry flour, go ahead and use that! Normally, I have that on hand, but didn’t today (still turned out amazing, though!).

Inspired by: “Date and Walnut Spice Cake”-The Best-Ever Vegetarian Cookbook

© Gina Chythlook

Pineapple Sunflower Spice Cake

Pineapple Sunflower Spice Cake

Holiday Fruit Berry Sweet Bread

Holiday Fruit Berry Sweet Bread

Holiday Fruit Berry Sweet Bread

Dry Ingredients
1 c whole-wheat flour
1 c oat flour
¾ c granulated sugar
1 ½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
½ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg

Wet Ingredients
1 flax egg (1 T ground flaxseed + 3 T water)
1 small banana, mashed
1 ½ c fresh cranberries, chopped
juice of half a lemon
zest of one lemon, finely chopped
¼ c water
2 T safflower oil

¼ c sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Prepare flax egg and set aside. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine banana, cranberries, lemon juice and zest, water, oil, and flax egg. Pour mixed wet ingredients into dry ingredients, add sunflower seeds, and mix until just combined (should be wet and thick).


Scoop the batter into a 9×5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 55mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10mins. Remove from pan to continue cooling for ~15mins. Enjoy warm!!


©Gina Chythlook

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Apple Cinnamon Bread
Inspired by

3 C whole-wheat pastry flour
1 package instant yeast (or “bread machine yeast”)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C water
1 flax egg (1T ground flaxseed+3T warm water—allow to gel ~10mins)
3/4 C almond milk
1/4 C Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick

6 apples, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp organic coconut spread
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9×5 bread pan with parchment paper. In skillet, cook all “filling” ingredients until mixture is thickened. Set aside to cool.

Heat almond milk (from Dough portion of recipe) in a small saucepan until it bubbles. Remove from heat. In a separate saucepan (or in the microwave) melt the “butter.” Set aside to cool.

Put flour, yeast, brown sugar, and salt into bowl of a stand mixer and mix well by hand. *No rising time required!*

Add water, flax egg, almond milk, and ”butter” to flour mixture.

With the hook attachment in place on your stand mixer, mix dough until it forms a ball. Knead in stand mixer for an additional 5 minutes.

On well-floured surface roll dough out into rectangle shape. The dough should be fairly thin after being rolled out. Evenly spread apple mixture over dough.

Cut dough into even squares. To make this easier I used a pizza slicer.

Using a spatula, carefully lean dough squares onto each other (think books on a bookshelf) and into the prepared pan.

Bake ~50 minutes or until golden brown.

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Apple Cinnamon Bread

©Gina Chythlook

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Vegan)

2 ¼ c whole-wheat flour
2 1/4 t baking powder
¼ t kosher salt
2 T ground flaxseed
6 T unsweetened almond milk
½ c agave nectar
3 mashed bananas
½ c plain unsweetened soy yogurt
¼ c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/3 c chocolate chips

Set oven to 350˚F.
Combine the ground flaxseed with the 6T unsweetened almond milk and set aside. In a bowl, mix together the whole-wheat flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, agave nectar, plain unsweetened soy yogurt, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Next, add the flaxseed mixture to the other wet ingredients. Then, combine the wet and dry ingredients together until mixed. Do not over mix. Pour the mixture into a greased/sprayed loaf pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top. Bake for 55 minutes (different ovens may vary). Once removed from the oven, allow the loaf to cool in its pan for 15 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan onto a cooling rack to continue to cool.

NOTES: Let the “flax egg” gelatinize for about 7 minutes before combining with the other wet ingredients. * I have also used 100% maple syrup in place of the agave nectar and it was also delish! Honey would probably work well too, if you like to use that. * You could easily add chopped nuts to this recipe for a little extra somethin’ 😉


Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

© Gina Chythlook