YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Conner’s Own Spectacular Granola

Karma is when you discover that the yoga course for which you registered (how silly to think that it was solely in order to learn yoga!) brings you to Conner Speigner, a gifted chef from Cleveland, Ohio. 

Conner learned her craft at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC. She is proud to share that her world travels and adoption of a plant-based diet led her to discover her personal mission: to heal with food, and to prove that nutritious is delicious! You won’t find any arguments from me. This granola really is delicious. Try sprinkling it on coconut milk yogurt the way Conner does, or feel free to use it however you like.

1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 apples
1 orange, peeled
all the zest of that peeled orange
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Soak the walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds for 8 to 12 hours (overnight is good). Drain the nuts and seeds, blend in a food processor until you have a minced texture (do not overblend or you’ll end up with nut butter), and remove to a large bowl. Set the mixture aside.
2. Place the fruits, lemon juice, and maple syrup in the food processor and blend until smooth.
3. Add the fruit mixture to the nut mixture, and combine well.
4. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a dehydrator tray, and dehydrate 36-48 hours at 115F.

If you do not have a dehydrator, use your oven as follows: Spread a thin layer of mixture on cookie sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silpat (silicone mat). Bake at 200 F (or the lowest temperature) for at least 2 hours. Leave the oven door cracked open for approximately 6 more hours. If you do this right before bed, the granola should be perfect by morning!

Conner is currently employed as a chef at The Root Cafe, located in Lakewood on the west side of Cleveland, where she serves up organic, local, vegetarian, vegan, and raw vegan fare. If you’d like to learn more about what Conner can do for you, you can reach her at connerspeignerAToutlook.com.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Beautifully Red Cabbage Salad

Welcome to lunch for a week with spicy, crunchy, sour power! When I saw this recipe I knew right away that it had a future in my kitchen! Even still, cabbage is one of those foods that is highly underrated — especially the red kind. But go ahead and make some for you, your gang, and your co-workers! You’ll be very happy you did.

1 small head of red cabbage, cored
2 bunches flat-leaf Italian parsley, rinsed well and chopped finely
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), rinsed well and sliced thinly
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is best, but not essential)
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (separate whites & yolks if you’re inclined)
1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped coarsely
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. Cut the cabbage into small chunks, and process in small batches in a food processor (short, quick pulses) just a few times until chopped roughly. Avoid overprocessing or you will have raw cabbage soup.
2. Empty chopped cabbage into a large bowl, and mix in parsley and onions.
3. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste, and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss thoroughly.
4. Sprinkle with nuts and chopped eggs. Serves 4-6.

Thank you to the incomparable Blender Girl for a prior version of this recipe.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Asian Cabbage Slaw

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending the evening with a wonderful group of new friends. The fire was crackling, the food and wine were wonderful, the company was delicious, and I had such a nice time. This Asian Cabbage Slaw was one of the inspired dishes we enjoyed together. I could tell you all kinds of reasons that this salad is so good for you, like the Vitamin C, and the heat from the capsaicin, and the benefits of acid, but the fact of the matter is that the best reason to make this is because it’s really good. Enjoy!

3 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger, peeled
2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Asian fish sauce (skip this if you are vegan, and increase soy sauce to 3 tsp.)
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. chaat masala (use garam masala if you cannot find this)
1/4 tsp. cumin, ground
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 pound green cabbage, cored and shredded finely
6 scallions, thinly sliced (discard the dark green part)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped finely
1/ cup mint leaves, chopped finely
2 avocadoes, peeled, pitted, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced for garnish
1 1/4 cup roasted, salted cashews, chopped coarsely
microgreens for garnish

Whisk together the lime juice and honey in a large serving bowl, followed by the sriracha, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, chaat masala, cumin, salt, and pepper. [Stop here, and store dressing in the refrigerator overnight if desired.] Add cabbage, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, mint, avocadoes and 1 cup of cashews. Toss thoroughly. Garnish with avocado, cashews, and greens.

Thank you to Food & Wine for this exotic and wonderful recipe.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: “Party Salad” or Sweet & Spicy Kale Chips

If anyone in your house is not eating as many greens as you think they ought to be (whether it’s you, or the kids, or your spouse), then make this asap! Think of it as a kind of party salad. You’ll notice that this particular recipe uses two large bunches of kale, but don’t think that’s too much: once they shrink in the oven, they turn into a moderate-sized bowl of chips at best. Continue reading