Healthy Homemade Vanilla Almond Granola

Ohhhhh. How I love this!! It can be used in so many ways. Use it to top fresh fruit, or on top of yogurt. You can even use it as a topper for overnight oats or chia parfaits. This healthy version is baked, not fried and uses heart healthy coconut oil. It is sweetened with raw, organic honey, cinnamon, almond extract and white raisins instead of sugar. Once you try this, you will never buy store bought again. I found a package of super seed oatmeal at my local Trader Joe’s (in pic below) that gives this super food status. I didn’t put it in the recipe because it can be made without. I like to add it when I can find it.
3 Cups old fashioned, gluten free rolled oats
1/4 Cup slivered raw almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 Cup raw honey
1/4 Cup coconut oil
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp vanilla (yes, you read that right. A whole Tbsp)
pinch salt
1/2 Cup raw, shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 Cup gold raisins
1/4 Cup pepitas (omit if you add the super seed oatmeal)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a small pot, heat oil, vanilla, almond extract and honey until oil is melted. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix oats and almonds, stirring in coconut oil mixture. Spread mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 min (don’t forget, because it will burn if you don’t). Allow to fully cool down and dry out before you package it. This will last up 1 week in an airtight container on the counter, or up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Strawberry Parfait with Overnight Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron and calcium. They are also a fabulous source of plant based protein – a 1 oz serving has 5.6 grams. Mixed with water, they can replace an egg in vegan cooking.

I love the flexibility of this recipe. You can sub out virtually any fruit for the jam portion. And you can easily sub out any other non dairy milk – cashew, coconut or rice milk. This make ahead breakfast (or dessert) makes mornings easy and nutritious. I use mason jars so you can just grab and go in the AM.

Vanilla Chia Seed Overnight Pudding

4 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Cup almond milk
1 tsp raw organic honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Put all the ingredients in a mason jar and stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Layer with Strawberry Jam. Put another layer of chia pudding if desired and put back in fridge overnight. Top with fresh fruit and granola (I have an amazing recipe for vanilla almond granola)

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam 

6 Cups fresh ripe berries
3 ozs lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
3/4 cup organic honey or 1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp chia seeds

Cut top off (green part only) and cut into quarters. Place in small sauce pot over med heat. Add lemon juice, stir. Add sweetener and seeds. Continue to stir until strawberries become soft. Remove from heat and mash. Simmer for about 5 more minutes or until the consistency of jam. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Layer the jam in between the pudding and top with granola and fresh berries.



Lemon Asparagus & Kale Risotto

This is such a fantastic, healthy recipe! It’s gluten free, vegan, dairy free goodness. It’s full of veggie powerhouses: kale, cauliflower and asparagus.

High in fiber, it helps aid in digestion and elimination…giving you that healthy glow. It’s full of iron which helps the formation of enzymes. transporting oxygen to various parts of the body. They are known for their powerful antioxidants and are high in cancer fighting Vitamins K, A and C as well as Calcium. In fact, the Calcium in these bad boys is healthier than dairy because it’s more bio-available (that is, your body is able to utilize it more easily and fully). They help fight inflammation, aids in weight loss, fight cancer and helps balance hormones.

You can buy the cauliflower rice or you can easily make it yourself y cutting it into small pieces and process it in a food processor or blender until the pieces are fine and rice like.

This recipe was adapted from Every Last Bite.


1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Handfuls organic kale
3 Cups cauliflower rice
1 lb Asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Cup fresh peas (frozen will work)
1 Cup veggie broth
3 Tbsp coconut cream (the top solid part only)
3 Tbsp lemon zest
salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place cauliflower rice and garlic onto one and coat with 1 Tbsp olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 – 20 min,

On the second sheet, put asparagus and kale, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 15 min (be careful not to overcook).

Meanwhile, in a med saucepan, saute onion. Add peas, broth and cream. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest and other veggies. Top with baked fish (pictured), chicken…or as is.









Creamy Lemon Chicken with Potatoes and Artichokes

This recipe takes a little time to cook but it’s done in the slow cooker. Start it in the morning or early afternoon and it will be done for dinner. I’ve used beets and zucchini in addition to the potatoes. This recipe is from Clean Eating Magazine.


  • 6 red skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 6 chicken breasts (I used 4 and cut them into large chunks about the size of the potatoes)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups broth (I used my favorite veggie broth bullion cubes, but any broth will do)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (I used almond milk to keep it dairy free)
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot
  • 12 oz frozen artichokes, thawed
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill


Line bottom of the slow cooker with potatoes. Lay bell pepper on top. Cook on low.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet (I used a cast iron skillet), letting it brown on each side (about 6 min on each side). Add the garlic to the chicken and cook for 3 min or so.
Arrange chicken over the top of the potatoes and bell pepper, pouring garlic and sauce over the chicken evenly. Pour broth into the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low (Mine was done around 5 hours)
Remove chicken and potatoes from the slow cooker. Ladle out about a 1/4 cup of liquid from slow cooker. Add lemon juice, yogurt (or almond milk), and arrowroot. Whisk until smooth. Stir mixture back into the slow cooker. Stir in artichoke hearts and dill. Return chicken into the pot. Turn heat on high and cook for another 30 min.

Black Bean Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

These are so healthy and so wonderful to eat!! They come together quickly but taste like you spent hours on them. Quinoa is loaded with protein, fiber, Iron, B Vitamins, Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium. The black beans make it a protein powerhouse. I actually added chunks of organic chicken breast which puts it over the top. The added garlic and pinch of cayenne make for a zesty fun meal.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder (I actually used Trader Joe’s Chili seasoning with lime for an added zest but regular will do)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • powdered garlic to taste
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (make according to directions, I use veggie broth instead
  • of plain water for added flavor)
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 or 2 pinches of cayenne
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven for 350 degrees
Prepare peppers: In a large pot, filled half way full with water, bring to a rolling boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, remove seeds and cut in half. Boil peppers for 5 min and drain.

While water is boiling, heat oil in a large pot. Saute the onions for 3- 5 min. Add garlic and mushrooms, saute for another 5 or so min or until mushrooms soften. Stir in chili powder and salt. Add tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes start to break down (about 15 min or so). Stir in tomato paste until well mixed. Add cayenne. Stirring, add quinoa. Reduce heat and cover. Let simmer for about 20 min.

Stuff each pepper with filling. Top with garnish and serve.