Pumpkin Bread drizzled with Honey

Shouldn’t they be called cutie Pie Pumpkins? ha ha

It’s been pumpkin season for about a month. And we’ve been enjoying it at the Saribudak household. Pumpkin lattes, donuts, candles…and now bread!

The other day I read a post on MNR about pairing pumpkin bread and honeycomb. How amazing does that sound? Sadly, I don’t know where to acquire honeycomb in Austin. However, I had some good raw honey, so I decided to just make the pumpkin bread! This is essentially Sarah B’s recipe. I only made a few minor substitutions/changes, so read her version or mine!

  • 1/3 cup of milk (almond, soy, etc.)
  • 6 T of coconut oil, melted (Can also use any other neutral oil like veg. or canola)
  • 6 T of pure maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree (I used a fresh pumpkin, but canned works too!)
  • 2 cups of flour (Sarah used spelt, but I just used unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t fine grain sea salt
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/8 t ground clove
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)

1) First, if you’re using a fresh pumpkin, halve it and cook it in a 400 F oven for about half an hour or until the flesh is tender. (Mine took closer to 40 minutes.)

2) While the pumpkin is baking, mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the spices.

3) Take out the pumpkin halves and let cool to room temperature, scoop out the seeds and then spoon the flesh into a high power blender. (Lower oven temp. to 350 F.)

2) Add milk, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to the pumpkin puree and blend.

4) Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine.

5) Fold in walnuts and chocolate!

6) Pour into a loaf pan (line with baking paper first). Bake at 350 F for about an hour.

7) Let cool a bit and drizzle with honey (or maple syrup/agave) and devour! 🙂


On Kale

In my early 20s, I ate a lot of kale. It was a pretty trendy vegetable at the time, but I ate it predominantly because I was vegan. Kale is a superfood that is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. Also, even though it’s a vegetable, it contains a relatively high amount of calcium!


Fast-forward to my mid-twenties, and I still love kale even though I no longer rely on it as an important source of calcium. I eat it at least a few times a week! Here are some of my favorite ways to eat it:

1) Sautéed 

I sauté thoroughly washed and dried kale with olive oil and garlic on medium to medium-high heat for several minutes. I add sea salt and red pepper flakes to taste and squeeze a lemon over it for some brightness. I got this “recipe” from eco-chef Louisa Shafia, whose book Lucid Food is pretty wonderful. (She has a great vegan pad thai recipe in there!)

2) Baked

There are kale chip recipes that call for temperatures as low as 200 F and as high as 400 F. In my experience, kale burns at 400 F, so I like to make kale chips at 300-350 F. I drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. I watch them pretty closely because they can burn so fast! I take them out of the oven when most of them are crisp, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes. I love to put nutritional yeast on these. Esin has been putting garlic powder on hers lately, and that’s pretty good too!


3) Raw 

This is my absolute favorite kale salad recipe. The dressing is delicious, but I think it’s optional because you’re already using EVOO and lemon juice while massaging the kale. Anyways, Sarah Britton of My New Roots also has another recipe for a kale salad that is wonderful; it has roasted butternut squash and fresh pomegranate in it—yum!

Saribudak-style Menemen

Menemen     I have so many fond memories of my dad making menemen for our family on weekend mornings. Menemen is a common Turkish “street food,” although I’ve actually never eaten it anywhere but home. When I would go out for breakfast in Turkey, it was always the more traditional, elaborate breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes & cucumbers with EVOO, olives, white cheeses, sausages, and fresh bread.

     Anyways, menemen is essentially scrambled eggs, but there are a few ingredients that are fairly necessary: onions, tomatoes, and peppers.

     For this menemen, we used:

  • A knob of butter & a drizzle of olive oil (Apparently the higher smoke point of regular olive oil keeps butter from burning!)
  • 4 eggs (Free range > cage free)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 large tomato (peeled if you like) 
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper (I think it’s more traditional to use these long, thin green peppers that have more heat, but we used both garlic and black pepper, so there was a decent amount of spice.)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup onions (red or white)



Here are some steps because steps are helpful:

1) Mince garlic and chop/dice onions, peppers, and tomato. 

2) Heat butter and olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick pan over medium heat. 

3) Cook the garlic, onion, and green bell peppers with a covered lid, and occasionally mix with a spatula to keep anything from burning.

4) Add tomatoes and cook for another few minutes.

5) Crack eggs, whisk vigorously, and add to the pan. Lower the heat a bit. 

6) Scramble the eggs with spatula every few minutes until the mixture looks fairly well-cooked. Season with salt and black pepper.

We would often have menemen with a dish of black olives (with EVOO, a squeeze of lemon, and minced garlic) and also slices of baguette. You could also use most of the same ingredients and use drained and crumbled tofu to make this vegan! 

Healthy Cinnamon Rolls + Coconut Vanilla Icing

Last week, I made cinnamon rolls for the first time, following a recipe from my beloved blog My New Roots. These healthy treats are made with spelt flour, unsweetened applesauce, and dates for the filling. They don’t have quite the doughy chew that conventional cinnamon rolls have, but these are still quite delectable!


For the dough:

2 cups Whole Spelt

4 t Baking Powder

2 T Coconut sugar (or any other granulated sugar)

1 t  Sea Salt

3/4 c +1 T unsweetened Apple Sauce

3 T Coconut Oil

For the filling:

1 1/2 c chopped Dates

3/4 c Water

2 tsp ground Cinnamon

pinch ground Cardamom

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

For the Icing:

1 can Coconut Milk (refrigerated for 4 hours at least, cream only)

1/8 cup Creamed Honey

1/2 t Vanilla


1. Pit and chop dates. Place in a saucepan with water, starting with a 1/2 c and increasing to 3/4 c if necessary. Over low heat, stir often to create a paste. Add cinnamon, cardamom, and salt while stirring. Remove from heat.

2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add coconut oil and work it in with your fingers. Add applesauce and work into a ball of dough.

3. Move dough to a floured surfaced and roll into a large rectangle, about 6 by 18 inches.

4. Top the dough with filling. Then, roll the dough starting from one of the shorter sides, until you have a large roll. Slice into 6 even rolls.

5. Heat oven to 375 F. Place rolls in a baking dish and bake for about 25- 30 minutes. Let cool.

6. For the icing, spoon the cream from the refrigerated coconut milk out into a bowl, and whisk together remaining ingredients.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

I drink English Breakfast tea daily, and these Blueberry Lemon Muffins are the perfect accompaniment. I think I’ll start keeping a large bag of organic blueberries in my freezer for impromptu muffin-baking! This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Big Vegan.


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour*

2/3  cup granulated sugar (I used coconut sugar, which is lower on the glycemic index)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 organic lemon, zested and juiced

1 T flax seeds

1 cup soy or almond milk

1/4 cup canola oil

1 1/4 cup  frozen blueberries

* If you don’t have it, substitute with another cup of all-purpose flour.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a muffin pan with 12 muffin papers.

In a large bowl combine the 1 cup of all-purpose flour with the 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour.  Mix in the granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, combine 1 tablespoon flax seeds with 2 tablespoons room temperature water. Add one cup soy or almond milk. Then add canola oil and  juice of one lemon.

Mix wet into dry and then fold in frozen blueberries. Portion the batter among the muffin cups.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no wet batter. Portion out what you (and your loved ones!) can eat within a day and freeze the rest.