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: 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: Nut & Seed Bread Not For the Birds

1 cup raw almonds*
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup whole flax seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
5 eggs
1 ½ tsp. salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. Chop all the nuts and seeds into comfortably bite-sized bits. Not like a meal (e.g., almond meal) or a butter (e.g., peanut butter), but small pieces. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl, empty into the loaf pan, and level the top.
  4. Bake at 325F for 60 minutes. The finished loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. Slice very THIN slices, and slather with your choice of nut butters, preserves, avocado, smoked salmon, sliced turkey, butter, cheddar, or whatever your heart desires.

*To customize, keep a ratio of 2 cups of nuts to 4-5 cups of seeds.

Thank you to ehow for posting this interesting recipe from Danish chef and blogger Kirstin Uhrenholdt and the staff at Kong Hans restaurant in Copenhagen!


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


A Box of Real Food

What to do next when your body still has a strong tendency to store significant amounts of belly fat? This question was put to me twice this week on behalf of two different people. Both eat a nourishing diet rich in whole foods. One runs marathons. And yet… Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Chocolate Berry Tart

It’s so good to know that there are folks out there who have figured out how to make magnificent desserts like this one, delicious and nutritious, beautiful and filling. It comes straight from Rachel at bakerita.com. Thanks, Rachel! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Brown Rice, Carrots & Raisins

Some recipes are just more than the sum of their parts. This is one of those kinds of recipes. Make it in advance if that works better for your schedule, and just plan to save the almond sprinkling ’til it’s party time! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Tabouleh Like You’ve Never Seen It!

I’m still collecting recipes for July 4th! This particular tabouleh is a Mediterranean masterpiece! If you’ve never tried sumac and za’atar, you are in for a treat — packed with phytonutrients and flavor, they make for a major mouth rush! If you don’t have any and you’re not inclined to go find some, then just substitute a teaspoon of thyme and don’t give it another second’s thought. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Brownies To Crow About

If you are trying to figure out what to bring to the Memorial Day Picnic that’s coming up, you may want to give some consideration to putting these amazing brownies on the menu. In fact, you’ll probably want to do a dry run and make a practice batch beforehand, just to make sure they come out the way you’re hoping. Yes, that’s probably what you’ll want to do! Continue reading