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: Cherry-Chocolate Mousse

Looking for something cool to serve in small, elegant glasses on a warm evening? This lovely mix of fruits, almond and chocolate will make your heart sing and your eyes flutter. Promise.

1 small banana
12 ounces frozen cherries
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 oz. dark chocolate (70%), finely chopped

Combine the banana, cherries and almond butter in a food processor or high-speed blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Stir in the chocolate, and spoon into bowls.

If you would like to try making a firm ice cream, freeze 2-3 hours, and then serve with a proper ice-cream scoop.

Serves 4.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Breakfast Blueberry Scones

You may not have realized, but scones don’t need to be made with wheat flour. These gorgeous scones, made from nut flour, are flavorful and sweet, gentle and crumbly on your tongue, and full of nourishing ingredients. Whether you’re wheat-sensitive or simply curious, these scones are the perfect treat if you’re looking for a sweet, nutritious something to enjoy with your morning tea or coffee.

1 1/3 cups cashew or almond flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. fresh lemon peel, chopped fine
3 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350F.
C
ombine cashew flour, arrowroot flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
In a second bowl, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon peel, vanilla, and egg.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir with a spatula to form a well-combined dough.
Gently f
old in blueberries.
Pour batter into a round 9-inch pan. 
Bake 30 minutes, until crust turns golden brown.
Allow to cool 10-15 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut into 6 beautiful wedges.

Thank you to greatist.com for this lovely, lovely recipe.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Citrus Chicken

Something about winter cries Vitamin C(!), and I’m pretty sure that C stands for citrus. Oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, kumquats, pomelos, tangelos, clementines, mandarins, and navels all start to call my name ’round about now, and here’s a great way to get some more! This simple recipe is a great choice, whether for company or a Sunday dinner at the end of a busy weekend, and it serves four easily. You’ll be happy to have this recipe up your sleeve when you need it.  Continue reading


Sugar: Fructose and More

I recently read an article about high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the inexpensive sweetener that is used extensively in highly processed products, like ketchup, barbecue sauce, breakfast “cereals,” soft drinks and sports drinks, muffins, cookies, cakes, and tons of other products that you might not even think of as sweet, like bread and baked beans. This week, a few random musings about sugar, mainly fructose. Continue reading


Building Blocks

Nutrients are like building blocks.

Fat molecules are composed of fatty acids, three per molecule, and usually different. So even olive oil, which is a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, is not composed ONLY of monounsaturated fatty acids. There are some saturated ones, and some polyunsaturated ones. But they’re mostly monounsaturated. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Rainbow Beet Salad

Beets are one of my favorite foods. Whether purple, yellow, orange, or pink-and-white, these babies are phytonutrient heaven. Some people are partial to the smaller-sized beets, considering these the sweetest but, no matter what size you like, you’ll want to make sure to get ones with firm, dark green leaves on top. Beet greens are absolutely the best! When I buy beets, I cut the green tops off right away so I can slice them into short lengths, rinse them well, and saute them quickly in olive oil. They usually get eaten fast.  Continue reading



Eat the Orange, Skip the Juice

Juice is not a great choice unless you need to raise your sugars rapidly. Do you want to spike your blood sugars? Probably not. Not if you want to conserve your insulin and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. When I was a kid, my doctor used to keep orange juice in the office to treat patients with low blood sugar.  Continue reading


2016 Memorial Day Menu

Company’s coming! and I thought it might be nice to share the menu. 🙂

My friends and family inspire me so much every day, and I am grateful beyond words. Chief-cook-and-bottle-washer is making a trip to the grocery store today to gather the necessary provisions. Judith, a fine cook if ever there was one, is bringing her extremely fine baked beans. Lori has a tomato-watermelon salad (feta optional). And there is more, much more. We will raise a toast to the magnificent new garden envisioned and then built by the team of T&J. The new bride and groom will be here. And my parents will celebrate their 60th, yes, sixtieth(!), wedding anniversary. They were actually married (in the middle of the week) on May 30th, 1956, in the years before Memorial Day was moved to Mondays! Continue reading