Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chai Spiced Honey Nut Granola

The cold is keeping us indoors today but we are cozied up in the kitchen making a batch of granola! Our three years in Vermont has totally rubbed off on us and I couldn't be more excited. Every time I think about how effortlessly our friends in Vermont live a healthier, more active life I get inspired all over again. Which brings us to granola :)

And can I just say very seriously.... right now, my kitchen smells AH-MAY-ZANG!

Would it be a bad idea to start randomly putting stuff in my oven to bake just to get my house to smell this good constantly? Probably, huh? Darn. LOL

It has its challenges (like the Ghiradelli brownies sitting right in front of me...) BUT choosing healthy consistently is starting to feel ok! I still have such a long way to go but even the longest of journeys are completed one step at a time.

Although small, it is a victory none-the-less every time I exercise my teeny weeny will-power muscle. Every time I choose to eat something better or when I choose to just eat less of the "bad stuff" that I cannot live without (enter Ghiradelli brownies once again lol), I gain a bit more confidence. Cheers to all those who choose well, healthier and better, everyday. You are wonderful examples for me!! :)


3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup of whole almonds

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of black chia seeds

1/2 pinch ground cardamom

1/2 pinch ground cloves

1/3 cup of honey (raw preferred but careful around children less than 1 out of caution against botulism)

1/3 cup of oil (coconut preferred)

1. preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. mix all dry ingredients together
3. warm wet ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat
4. add wet ingredients to dry ingredients
5. spread evenly onto a baking sheet
6. bake for 15 minutes, then mix and bake for another 5 more minutes or until browned
7. allow to cool and then break into chunks (my kids favorite part!) and store!

Chai Spiced Honey Nut Granola


how satisfying to hear crunchy granola clinking around a pretty glass mason jar!

Power Veggie Lasagna!

Two years?! Ive been away for two years??

Wow. Its been the longest and yet the shortest two years of my life. I would apologize but its been a 2 years well spent. I went back to work full time and oh yes had another baby! So you might venture to conclude Ive been preoccupied :)

My days and nights often melt into one another and most days I'm not really sure what the date, day or time it is. Sleep deprivation has that affect. (Which is why its such a great interrogation tactic! LOL)

Ive been slowly getting back to finding my rhythm in this life and it does help that the baby is now one and that his siblings are becoming more independent each day. That is not to say that they still don't need their mommy to do lots of things. Such as make them a seemingly decadent but secretly nutritious meal every now and again.

One of my favorite meals to make now-a-days is my power veggie lasagna. Yes, there is cheese - lots of it. You certainly don't have to use as much as I have. But! There are also a TON of hearty, tasty, nutritious - dare I say.... DELICIOUS! vegetables in this dish. I also include chicken meatballs on occasion and sometimes substitute layers of cooked ziti instead of lasagna noodles to keep things interesting for my sweet little taste-testers. :)


3 cups - Vegetables (I use eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms (yes, I know! but as long as they melt into the rest of the dish and I don't have to taste them, I will be a grown up and use mushrooms), fresh spinach and onions. Add whatever your favorites are!

32 to 48 oz worth of Tomato Sauce - Rao's roasted garlic tomato sauce has to be the best sauce out there. Its rich and so yummy! Feel free to use your favorite store bought or homemade.

15oz Ricotta cheese

2 cups Shredded fresh mozzarella and shaved fresh parmesan (or italian blend shredded cheese)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 whole egg

1 heavy pinch of nutmeg

salt and freshly grounded pepper

italian seasoning


A. Pasta
1. Boil pasta with a touch of olive oil until al dente
2. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside

B. Sauce
1. sauté diced onions and garlic in olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and pepper
2. add diced vegetabled and sauté until soft but not mushy
3. add tomato sauce to the vegetables and mix well, simmer on low for 15 minutes allowing all the flavors to marry

C. Cheese
1. mix together, ricotta, shredded cheese, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg

D. Assembly
1.spoon sauce and spread across the bottom of your lasagna pan/baking dish
2.alternately layer pasta, cheese, sauce until the top
3.add a generous layer of shredded cheese and sprinkle with italian seasoning

Bake (covered with foil) at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Then, uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until the top layer of cheese has bubbled and browned.

Two years to make this and it was so worth it!