Tag Archives: no bake

High-protein overnight n’oats (grain-free!)

Disclaimer: I am not grain-free (as a vegan zombie, I love graiiiiiins). But just as I don’t eat gluten-free, soy-free or (entirely) sugar-free, I like to provide as many alternates as possible for a diverse readership. I also just think it’s fun to eat differently sometimes!

I have always found overnight oats a little boring (just one big giant “meh” from me) but I do love how high in protein they are without a ton of effort. I told myself I’d never do an overnight oats recipe on Urban Garlic because it just seems way too basic, but I got the idea to come up with an alternative that’s 1) higher in protein and 2) grain-free for people who need the alternative.


Fresh pineapple salsa (or guacamole!)

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If there’s one reason I wish summer would last just a little bit longer, it’s that summer is officially guacamole season. Okay, you can get guacamole any time of the year on a store (or make it yourself), but can you really honestly tell me that guacamole is best enjoyed indoors in a dimly-lit living room as you watch snow fall against a pitch-black, 6 p.m. sky?

Nah, it’s not for me.

I started making my own pico the summer I lived with my cousin, Ryan. I’d just turned 20, and was working for the federal government. By far my favourite part of living with him for the summer was his big, bright kitchen with light that shone through from the front to the back of the house. He let me have free reign over the kitchen, and so I was able to let this growing bug of creativity inside me grow. My first few attempts at salsa and guacamole were laughable (I didn’t even know what cilantro was, nor did I know how ripe an avocado was supposed to be, so I literally grated a rock-hard avocado with a cheese grater) but nevertheless, I had a great canvas to work with.

Last weekend on Instagram I posted a picture of guacamole with strawberries in it, which got a few people intrigued. I will admit, mixing fruit into guacamole was something I wasn’t sure of at first, until I put some strawberries and avocado on my toast one morning. Damn, son.

Then enter Whole Foods. Whole Foods, the giant monolith where so much of my paycheque goes every week. Damn you, Whole Foods. Damn you. I don’t actually buy that much food from Whole Foods, it’s just their lunches. Wow. The stir fries! I can say the one thing I’m not excited about re: starting my new job is leaving behind Whole Foods lunches. Actually, that’ll probably motivate me to make more lunches.

But anyway, I was at Whole Foods and I encountered a great little pineapple salsa on display for samples. I gladly helped myself (free ANYTHING?! HELLO!) and was hooked. Even though it had my much-loathed, longtime enemy: red bell peppers.

So this is my second attempt in a few weeks to make something containing red peppers that I’m totally stoked about eating. I’m happy to say that it worked! Turns out, surrounding something you dislike with something you do like is a good philosophy — in food, and in life. Heyooo!

The salsa is great on its own, but you can mix it into a guacamole with two ripe avocados if you want to take your leftovers in a different direction.

Fresh pineapple salsa (makes one large, shareable bowl)


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup red onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chipped and seeds removed (optional)
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • A small pinch of sea salt


  1. Chop all of the ingredients and mix thoroughly before squirting on the lime juice. Store covered in a fridge for up to four days.
  2. If you’re looking for something different, mix this in with 2-3 large ripe avocados for an interesting twist on guac!

Homemade salted caramel Clif Bars (no bake!)

Processed with VSCOcam I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — give a climber a Clif Bar and we’ll be your friend for life. So when I show up to the gym or crag with these bad boys, I’ll have a million friends for life. Unless I haven’t eaten them all by then. There are a million different ways you can make homemade Clif Bars (or any snack bar, really). But the salted caramel flavour of this makes it unique, something you can’t buy in the store. I’ve actually had a hard time finding a vegan caramel that’s not date-based, since dates are not exactly a fructose-friendly food. But this mix of 1/2 brown rice syrup and 1/2 peanut butter with just a small bit of virgin coconut oil makes a pretty convincing dupe.

Salted caramel Clif Bars (makes 8 large bars)


  • 1 cup crispy puffed rice cereal (I used 365 Organic)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if celiac)
  • 1 cup crushed nuts (I recommend a mix of nuts; all I had was walnuts, but almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamia, whatever, man, they all sound great!)
  • 1/2 cup seeds (I used a mix of sunflower and pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life, which are vegan, gluten-free and nut-free)
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup (or coconut nectar)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, softened
  • A dash of fine grain sea salt


  1. If not already crushed, run the nuts through a food processor quickly to get them into crumbs.
  2. Mix the oats, rice puffs, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, chocolate chips, coconut and cacao nibs in a bowl. Shake around to get it nice and even.
  3. Meanwhile, soften the coconut oil. To make this a truly “raw” recipe and avoid zapping your food, simply fill a medium-sized saucepan with hot water and sit the jar of oil in it to soften.
  4. Fill another large-sized saucepan with hot water from the kettle and sit a large pyrex measuring cup (at least 3 cups) in the hot water. Add your peanut butter, brown rice syrup, soft coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt.
  5. Mix the liquit thoroughly, as quickly as possible — that’s the only way you can get it nice and soft without having to zap it.
  6. Line a deep rimmed baking dish with parchment paper. Once your “caramel” mixture is soft enough, pour it into the dish.
  7. Add your dry mix and use a fork to move it around, incorporating everything.
  8. Put in the freezer for about an hour to really solidify, then transfer to the fridge. And try not to eat it too quickly!

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