Celebrating Mother’s Day with a beautiful breakfast in bed set up with easy-to make, gluten- free and maple sweetened buckwheat pancakes.
This post has been sponsored by American Greetings. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Gluten-free and maple sweetened buckwheat pancakes. Delicious breakfast pancakes made healthier.

This will be the 6th year being without my mother on Mother’s Day. I still miss her terribly, but the pain of loss is not as bad. I guess time did its thing and helped me get used to the idea of her passing. I do not know how, but I know that she is in a better place, no longer sick and hurting. The idea of her being pain-free is what helps me get through the sad moments. I continue to talk to her every day and hope with all my heart that she is listening to me. Who knows if she is, but the idea of her watching over me somehow makes me feel better. Plus, this year for Mother’s Day I will not be alone. My father and his sister, Nazan, will be here. They both live in Turkey and I have not seen them (in person) for over 4 years. Needless to say, I cannot wait for their arrival.

My mother and aunt’s friendship go way back. They grew up together in the same apartment complex and went to school together back when they were in middle school. Nazan was the one who introduced my mom to my dad. After my parents got married, their friendship continued and strengthened throughout the years. Since my mother’s sudden passing, I feel as though she has taken the role of being my mother. As a breast cancer survivor herself, she has been through so much in life and we have been through it together. She is the person I call when I am in need and her love and support mean the world to me.

Therefore, her being here on Mother’s Day is a big deal and I want to make her feel happy and appreciated. To celebrate this special day, I am planning to spoil her with this breakfast in bed set up alongside the most delicious maple-sweetened buckwheat pancakes. (more…)

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  • Emily | Gather & Dine - What a charming and sweet breakfast in bed scene, Aysegul!  I cannot tell at all that the lighting was difficult that day!  I love the earthy touch that buckwheat flour adds to morning goods like these. Such a perfectly fluffy stack here. 🙂   I’ve got a crepes recipe using buckwheat flour coming up that I adore.  Agree that time heals, but Mother’s Day and Father’s Day while dealing with the loss of a parent will always remind me of the hole in my heart.  How special that your father and aunt will come visit soon.  No doubt they will love your delicious food!  xoReplyCancel

This vegan Warm White Bean Arugula Salad is made by mixing warm white beans with arugula-almond pesto. It can be served warm or cold. 
Warm White Bean Arugula Salad: A Salad recipe made with mixing warm cannelini beans with arugula pesto.

Vermont weather finally got to us. Both Dwight and I have been sick for over 3 days now. I do not even remember the last time I got a cold like this. The weather started warming up outside, but nights are still very cold. Even though I layer like a crazy person, it seems like I am unable to keep myself warm enough. In addition to all the layers, I have been wearing a hat all day long (even while I am inside), because someone told me that the best way to keep the heat in your body is to keep your head warm. I know the major temperature change will take some getting used to, but I hope it will happen sooner than later as I am not a big fan of being sick like this.

Okay, enough about me, onto this warm white bean arugula salad. To me, this salad is the kind of food that you make when you do not want to cook and eat a whole meal, but you still need to feed yourself. However, it also makes a great side dish. (more…)

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  • Gena - We’ve both got white beans on our minds this week, friend! What a lovely salad 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes - I hope you’re feeling better Aysegul. I’m sure all this rain hasn’t helped either. Oy! This warm bean salad is calling my name. Pinning! ReplyCancel

  • Zerrin - What a fabulous bean salad! Perfect recipe for spring parties! I’m so intrigued by the arugula almond pesto!ReplyCancel

A super easy-to-make recipe for the most flavorful and creamy deviled eggs made without mayonnaise. This year, why not change things up a little and give this avocado deviled eggs recipe to impress your guests.

Avocado Deviled Eggs: Hard boiled egg yolks mixed in with avocado, capers, cilantro, and jalapeños to make these delicious deviled eggs.

Hi friends! The weather here in Vermont is warming up and we are taking the weekend off to visit some of the small towns around Manchester. However, before I leave I wanted to leave you with a recipe that you can make this weekend.

I took these avocado deviled eggs to a potluck party last year around this time. Frankly, since they were stupid easy to make, I didn’t think that the recipe was worth sharing on the blog. But when a few friends reached out and asked for the recipe, I changed my mind. So here it is. (more…)

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  • Zerrin - I don’t love mayonnaise in deviled eggs either. Using avocado instead is a brilliant idea! This recipe is just calling my name! BTW thank you my friend for the tips on cooking eggs perfectly!ReplyCancel

  • Emily | Gather & Dine - I’ve never made deviled eggs before, always just admired how cute everyone’s are.  I love you avo spin on them and looks so pretty with those radish garnishes as well. Such helpful tips on cooking eggs too! Hope your weekend exploring was wonderful!  ReplyCancel

Macaroni and Cheese lovers, this recipe is for you!
Recipe for a foolproof gluten-free and vegan mac and cheese made with cauliflower, cashews, and nutritional yeast. A healthier way to enjoy mac and cheese without compromising on the flavor.

The sauce for this Vegan Mac and Cheese is the best part. It is made with nutritional yeast, cauliflower, and cashews. Easy-to-make and a great healthier option.

One of last year’s highlights was my visit to the America’s Test Kitchen in Boston. I meant to share more of that trip with you, but sadly I did not have enough photos to create a whole blog post. Truth be told, the whole time I was there I was in awe of being in the test kitchen of my favorite cooking magazine (Cooks Illustrated) I forgot to take enough photos. I have been a follower for such a long time and learned so much from them over the years that it was truly a surreal experience. Nowadays every time I watch the show, I can’t help but feel giddy about the fact that I have been there.
Cheezy, right? I know. (more…)

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  • Aimee - I make something very similar to this and it’s DELICIOUS! As always, your styling and photos are diviiiiine. Hope you’re well, my dear! ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - oh yeah?! It is my favorite thing to eat lately. It is hard to believe that it is vegan. Those folks over at ATK are geniuses. 🙂
      Hope you are well my dear friend. <3ReplyCancel

  • Benny - I’m not at all vegan but I would 100% give this a try because it looks freaking fantastic.ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - That is so nice to hear Benny. Thank you.
      Make sure to enter the giveaway. This book is awesome!ReplyCancel

      • Benny - Honestly, I’ve never once tried to cook vegan intentionally in my life. I’m going to give this one a go. My wife would be VERY happy if I ate a little more healthy. Alright, alright. I’ll sign up for the weekly e-mail 😉ReplyCancel

        • Aysegul Sanford - Ha ha.. I feel the same way about my husband’s eating habits. I guess all wifes are similar 🙂
          I hope you and your wife will like this recipe as much as we did in our house.
          All the best of luck and thank you so much for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Daniele K - Not much vegan cooking around here, as you can imagine, but you know I’m always game to try new menus. Like you, I love America’s Test Kitchen. Hope you guys are settling in nicely in your new home.ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Hey Daniele,
      Vegan cooking is new to me too, but it is so much fun. This book has so much useful information for beginners and it has been really interesting to different ways of cooking with everyday ingredients.
      I hope you guys are doing well.
      Much love and hugs to you and Mark from Vermont.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Oh my goodness, this look insanely delicious! In my early 20’s I went vegan for 3 years due to, well I’ll spare you the details. I made a vegan mac n cheese sort of similar but I haven’t made it since and you have me very intrigued by this recipe. Like you I love my cheese but it’s always a good idea to incorporate non-cheese dishes to our diets. xOReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - WOW! 3 years??? Good for you. I do not if I could do it. After eating this mac and cheese, my husband asked that I cook more vegan food. It was a shock and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I am cooking different recipe from the book every week and so far he is happy. Though I am not sure if I could do it forever..
      Thank you for stopping by my friend. <3ReplyCancel

  • Svetlana - I have tried cooking vegan dishes and it always leaves me feeling so light but at the same time I feel full. I also always return to vegan cooking whenever I feel like I don’t get enough vitamins and start to feel under the weather. All the veggies always get me back on my feet! 🙂 I found your blog recently and I am already all over it! I have broccoli feta soup in my fridge now – love it so much! Thank you Aysegul!ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Thank you Svetlana! It is so nice to hear that you liked my website.
      I too cook more vegan dishes when I feel under the weather. Eating more veggies and fruits always make me feel better.
      All the best of luck!ReplyCancel

  • Abby - I love trying vegan recipes even though I could never do it full time. One of my favorites is a butternut squash and lentil curry. ReplyCancel

  • Jill - I tried my hand at vegan for a few years and i found that i learned so much amount cooking during that time.  We now eat vegetarian/pescatarian which seems to work well for us.  I would soak those cashews though for better digestion. ReplyCancel

    • Jill - update: i just made this dish and realized that the cashews are cooked, so maybe pre soaking isn’t necessary? The texture of the sauce was spot on, super thick and creamy right out of the (vitamix) blender. I’m not a fan of the coconut oil though, it’s really pronounced and almost makes the dish “sweet” so next time i make this i will use a neutral tasting oil.  am i alone on this? ReplyCancel

      • Aysegul Sanford - Hi Jill,
        You are right, you do not need to soak the cashews because you cook them. I also know what you mean with coconut oil. I didn’t feel too much of a sweet flavor but made sure to update the recipe with your comment.
        Thank you so much for letting us know. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin McNamara Freeman - It is my weekly project to do at least three main meals vegan as I learn how to keep my blood sugar tests in a good range with the change of food choices. Slowly I am obtaining recipes that work with how my body operates and I am successful in adding new dishes throughout each day that are vegan. This recipe contains a few items I have not included and tested, but it reads to be delicious and I will definitely try it.ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - WOW! 3 recipes a week. So impressive. I have to challenge myself to do so.
      Thank you for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - I cook and bake vegan most of the time. I find the baking to be most challenging, and I do actually love eggs, so I’ve reintroduced eggs into my baking and have been very pleased with the results. (My blog is hbcooks.com, should you want to check it out! I call it a food blog for academics). 

    All best,

    • Aysegul Sanford - Hey Hannah!
      How fun. I do love eggs as well, but found that flax eggs make a good substitute for baking.Though I have to say, it failed me a couple of times.
      I will check out your blog.
      Thank you for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • JOANNE weissman - I’ve tried vegan recipes with successReplyCancel

  • Penni - I cook (lacto-ovo) vegetarian a lot of the time but don’t often go completely vegan.  Gonna make a point to try this recipe, for sure, though!  It looks and sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Christa - Vegan for 6 years, vegetarian before. I love taking recipes and converting them. Definitely going to try this mac and cheese. ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - I am learning more and more about vegan cooking and starting to feel the health benefits.  Thank you for your blog.  I enjoy it so much and look forward to reading it for your great recipes and wonderful ideas.  All my best to you!ReplyCancel

  • Steph - Yes I love vegan eggplant dishes ReplyCancel

  • Traci | Vanilla And Bean - Cashews and cauliflower…. the dynamic duo constantly impressing me with their stealth health!  This looks fabulous Aysegul and I know SO over the top tasty… just look at that ingredient list!  I’m with you on vegan eating… and while I consider myself vegetarian, I eat a lot of vegan food. I’ve had nut ‘cheese’ and while it’s fabulous, I still eat the real deal at least several times a week. ATK made this into a fabulous recipe and you’ve highlighted it’s delicious beautifully! ReplyCancel

  • Bina - Love America’s Test Kitchen and the book looks exciting!! Being from India, a lot of the tradtional dishes are vegan so I end up cooking vegan dishes a major part of the time 🙂ReplyCancel

This easy-to-put-together Spring Abundance Bowl is a vegetarian and gluten-free recipe made up of quinoa, French du Puy lentils, Chioggia beets, avocado, goat cheese and homemade Meyer lemon and shallot dressing.

Spring Abundance Bowl: A healthy bowl of vegetarian spring produce flavored with goat cheese.

Last Saturday, after ignoring the scale for over a month, I finally found the courage to weigh myself. The number on the scale was not a surprise and explained why my pants have been feeling a little tighter than usual. I knew I gained some weight but didn’t realize that it was that much. Admittedly, between the moving and staying (and eating) in a hotel, we haven’t been eating the healthiest food. Although I was grateful, I knew something needed to be done. Since my husband was on the same boat, he and I decided to cut down the sweets and eat homemade healthy meals at home until we get back down to our ideal weight. So this easy-to-make Spring Abundance Bowl is what we have been eating for the last few days. (more…)

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  • Gena - Abundant indeed! This is such a lovely bowl, Aysegul.ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Thank you SO much Gena. It is simple but filling 🙂
      Hope all is well with you. Thank you for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Asha Shivakumar - Girl, this is just so so pretty and I love simple clean bowls with lentils and cheese in it.  Absolutely stunning photography as usual.  

This Baked Ziti with Roasted Eggplant and Basil is a vegetarian pasta dish made by layering pasta with homemade tomato-basil sauce, roasted eggplant, ricotta (mixed in with fresh basil leaves), and mozzarella cheese.

Baked Ziti with Roasted Eggplant and Basil: A vegetarian baked pasta recipe layered with roasted eggplant, homemade tomato basil sauce and ricotta cheese.
Vermont weather is full of surprises. Winter is still in full force and it doesn’t seem like spring has any intentions of coming to our neck of the woods. It is snowing outside as I am typing this and there is already 10 inches of snow on the ground. Looking at the weather, it is hard to believe that today is the first day of April. I do not know you, but for me when the weather is like this I find myself craving for comfort food.

In my opinion, today’s recipe, baked ziti with roasted eggplant and basil, is the definition comfort food: Pasta layered with homemade tomato basil sauce, ricotta cheese, roasted eggplant and fresh mozzarella baked in the oven for an easy and satisfying weeknight dinner. (more…)

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  • Tessa | Salted Plains - This really is what I would consider comfort food too! Roasted eggplant is just so good – I can’t wait to make this one. Stay warm, friend! xoReplyCancel

  • Traci | Vanilla And Bean - Even though it’s not snowing here, I’m all in on comfort food, Aysegul, and will be well into June. I love eggplant with pasta. It’s smokiness paired with your homemade pasta sauce sounds so fabulous. That cheesy goodness is fabulous and SO crave-worthy. I love how beautifully you’ve captured this delicious recipe! xo ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Oh hi my friend! Today is much better. It is cold but sunny outside. For me, this dish is good all year round.
      Thank you so much for stopping by. Can’t wait for April 6th 😉ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Farley - Remind me where you are again in Vermont? Jeff and I are thinking about a weekend in Burlington at some point this summer. I love this type of baked pasta dish; so cozy!ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - We are in Manchester. It is 2 and a half hours south of Burlington.
      It is just as pretty though 😉ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - I know this is a foodie blog, but I have to ask: Is that sweater handknit? It’s gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Ha ha.. That is quite funny Dawn.
      I bought it many years ago from a store called Arden B. in Atlanta, GA. Since I am a big fan of simple and fitted clothing and this sweater was exactly that, I bought one in black and one in gray. I have been wearing them for so many years and have a few similar pieces in my wardrobe.
      I recommend checking Gap and Banana Republic to find similar sweaters.
      I hope this was helpful Dawn.
      Thank you so much for stopping by.ReplyCancel

  • Liberty @ Homespun Capers - Oh yum, this looks so good! Eggplant is in season down here in Melbourne, so I’ll have to give this a go! Thank you 🙂ReplyCancel