Easy, healthy, sometimes indulgent recipes

#gluten free

Paleo Nut and Seed Granola

Paleo granola? Is that even possible? No oats? No sugar? I am not by any means strict Paleo follower, but I find more and more that I love cooking Paleo inspired recipes.  When America’s Test Kitchen was running a cookbook sale, I ordered a few cookbooks and this one came from the Paleo Perfected cookbook. Confession, it was more than a “few” cookbooks, but best not discuss that part right now.  I made some modifications, increased the cinnamon, used pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. What I love about this recipe is how easy it is to swap out different nuts. This would work great with almonds and hazelnuts. Also, other fruits would work well, like dried cherries or dried pineapple.

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Easy “power” quinoa salad with fresh summer vegetables.

quinoa salad

I must apologize for taking a long break from writing on this blog.  It is not for the lack of recipes, it is simply due to lack of time to take pictures of what I cook.  But here we are, it is the end of summer, and my all-summer-long-activity has been packing lunches on a Sunday.  I have also been pretty lucky that my garden has been abundant in peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. I planted way more than that, but other plants did not do so well. You know all those people that bring their amazing zucchini to the office, well that isn’t me. Mine did nothing.However,thanks to my other plants doing so well, I came up with this quinoa salad. This is also a great way to use up what is in season, meaning if you get it for cheap at the grocery store or farmer’s market, it is a great way to plan ahead.

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Kale Lemon Apple Green Juice

kale ginger green juice

I have been looking for ways to make more green juice and to replicate the same experience of juicing without actually buying a juicer. I think juicers are amazing, but I really want to avoid buying yet another appliance to sit on my counter.  My kitchen mantra is to keep things as basic as possible.  I try to have as many multi-functional devices as I can.  I own a nice blender,  it is not top of the line,  but it is middle of the road and it does the trick well for this recipe and many others.  What I like about making “juice” in a blender, you always have a choice on using the pulp and keeping the drink more like a smoothie or it can be strained for a clear juice.

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Vegan Oatmeal with Strawberries and Peanut Butter

vegan oatmeal with berries

Ahh, oatmeal.  Oatmeal with diced cooked apples is my sons favorite food to eat so an oatmeal type of a  breakfast is often cooking up in my kitchen. The nutty aroma of oats cooking up in the kitchen is incredibly comforting.  Now, I know everyone knows how to prepare oatmeal.  Nothing that I am about to write here is groundbreaking, but I wanted to share it because I just love preparing it.  It is a staple in our house.  On a cold day such as today, it is hard to pass up the warming flavors of this breakfast.  While we are not vegan, I love preparing vegan dishes because I am forced to tap into  plant-based foods to replace any traditional ingredients.  I always look for ways to enrich any dish with nutritious super-foods like chia seeds, hemp or cacao nibs.

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