Eat Happy Book Sneak Peak Recipe: Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola Homemade Granola

My new book (available this Fall), Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Food You Love features my all-time favorite recipes, including this homemade granola.  Starting your day with a delicious and nutrient-dense meal is so do-able with this homemade granola!   It takes just 10 minutes to toss together the ingredients, 15-20 minutes to toast in the oven, then you get to enjoy it for an entire week or two – which means zero breakfast prep in the am.  I’ve started making this homemade granola again now that my oldest kiddo is back to school and the morning routine is both earlier and crazier than it was during the summer.

Making your own homemade granola is easier than you’d think, and makes a fast breakfast or a filling snack.  Not only does it taste better than store-bought varieties, it will have significantly less sugar and more of the good nuts and fruits that you like.  I still remember my mom’s homemade granola as one of my favorite breakfasts when I was younger.

If you like crunchy granola don’t add any fat to the mix (oil or nut butters).  If you like a chewier granola, try adding some nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed, etc) or coconut oil.  I’m a chewy girl all the way, and I love that the fat makes for a more filling breakfast.

Have fun experimenting with different fruit and nut combinations, and try mixing it up with spices, too.  Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and ginger are all great options.  My current favorite combo is: 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter, 1/3 cup honey, and about 1/4 cup [...]

Fresh Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Crust

Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Crust Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Crust

What better way to celebrate the weekend and the end of blueberry season than with this Fresh Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Crust?  It’s really delicious, and tastes like summer.

I took the girls blueberry picking a couple of weeks ago and it was so fun.  It was the most hands-off I’ve been able to be with them in a long time!  The two year old was completely occupied stuffing herself with blueberries, and my four year old was doing a great job filling up her little bucket!  (Which she later dumped in a mysterious location for unknown reasons, but whatever).

Sometimes when we go berry picking we just eat up all of the fresh berries and don’t get around to doing anything particularly special with them.  This time I just couldn’t resist a blueberry cobbler, and I love the corn and blueberry combination, so thought I’d do a cornmeal crust.  Of course I love blueberry pie too, but it’s so much work to do the crust, and I literally had 10 minutes to throw this together before sitting down for dinner.  Plus honestly I prefer cobbler toppings to pie crust.  Pies are prettier, though, I’ll give them that!

If there’s one thing I do differently when it comes down to dessert, it’s that I pretty dramatically cut down on sugar from the recipes I adapt.  So, if you’re a cut down on sugar kind of person, you might not want to cut down on the sugar from my recipes!  They’re already quite low.  I don’t find that people mind, and especially in [...]

By |August 15th, 2014|General, Meal Plan, Recipes|

Sauteed Sea Scallops with Strawberry and Celery Salsa

Sauteed Sea Scallops with Strawberry Salsa Sauteed Sea Scallops with Strawberry Salsa

Sea scallops are a wonderfully decadent treat, especially when crisped up in some butter and olive oil.  I love ordering scallops at restaurants on a special occasion, but there’s really no reason to limit them to a restaurant experience; you can make them at home just as well and they’ll be more affordable.

The key to making delicious seafood at home is to start with good seafood, then to not overcook it.  With good-quality seafood I find that it’s actually much easier than other proteins like chicken or steak to prepare.  They have so much flavor on their own that a simple salsa on top is enough to make a restaurant-quality dish.  If you can, buy fresh (not frozen) scallops, which will sear well.  Frozen scallops will still be very tasty, but because they hold on to some water, won’t form that golden crust.

This recipe is from Eat Happy Meal Plan.  Check out the whole week’s menu here.  Sign up and get the other recipes along with the shopping list and weekly planner that will save you time and energy here.

Scallops with Strawberry Celery Salsa
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

1 lb domestic wild sea scallops, preferably fresh (fresh will sear better than frozen, but frozen will still taste great)
3 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and cut into ½ inch dice*
2 stalks celery cut into 1/3 inch dice
2 limes, juice and 1 tsp zest reserved
1 tsp honey, raw and local [...]

Chocolate Oat Muffins

Chocolate Oat Muffins Chocolate Oat Muffins

How about a weekend treat with these Chocolate Oat Muffins for breakfast?  They’re verrry chocolatey!  But, not too sweet – chocolate cake this is not.  Rather these muffins are a little more dense, tangy, and filling.  What I love most about these muffins is that they’re a treat, but a treat that you won’t feel guilty about eating or feeding to your kids, because they’re so full of nutritious ingredients.  Unlike a lot of the muffins I make, I actually think these taste best after they’ve cooled down a bit, so you can make them anytime and enjoy them when you’re ready.

The more I bake with alternative flours, the less I miss white wheat flour – it’s so unnecessary in quick breads like muffins and pancakes!  The two most dangerous processed foods out there are white flour and sugar, and these muffins don’t have any of either.   I use a lot of oat flour so I tend to buy it when it’s on sale and keep some in the pantry or freezer.  But you can also make your own using rolled oats – just put them into a food processor and blend until they’re a flour consistency.

If you’re still transitioning to whole grain flours, you can always use a 50-50 ratio of whole grain flours to white flour, which should work well in most recipes without any other adaptations.  You can also use whole wheat flour, white whole wheat, whole spelt flour, etc.  Muffins are forgiving like that.

Chocolate Oat Muffins

1 1/2 cups oat flour (can use whole wheat flour or whatever flour [...]

By |July 10th, 2014|General, Recipes|

Chia Breakfast Pudding with Purple Rice

Chia and Purple Rice Breakfast Pudding with Berries Chia and Purple Rice Breakfast Pudding with Berries

I am very excited to share this Chia Breakfast Pudding with Purple Rice recipe, because it really helped me break my breakfast rut and is perfect for summer.  It takes so little active time to prepare at night, then no time at all in the morning to pop out of the fridge.  And it feels like eating dessert for breakfast which is always fun.

For breakfast I’m usually pretty boring: a lot of oatmeal during the winter and granola during the summer, and mix it up on weekends with pancakes, waffles and the like.  But I have been getting so tired of my go-to breakfast, and I really wanted something cool and something fast (still rushing one kiddo off to camp most of the week!).  I also really love to get something extra nutritious into my body first thing in the day to start things right, but am not quite at the point of eating leafy greens before 11am.

I have also been reading Mark Fuhrman’s excellent book, Super Immunity, which makes a very compelling case for the healing powers of natural plant-foods.  He has a recipe for Forbidden Rice Pudding, which uses a Chinese purple rice that is actually higher in antioxidants than blueberries!  Antioxidants neutralize damaging free radicals in the body.  Eating antioxidants can have a wide range of health effects, including reducing the risk for cancer, inflammation, aging, and cell damage.  It’s good to eat antioxidants.

This seemed promising; the nutritional power of berries in a rice pudding that can be  made [...]

  • Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan
    Permalink Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved ParmesanGallery

    Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers, Shaved Parmesan, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers, Shaved Parmesan, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan

You know it’s a good food week when your leftover meal is even better than the original meal the leftovers came from – such is the case with this Arugula and Steak Salad. Using leftover Lime-Marinated Steak and grilled onions and peppers from Eat Happy Meal Plan’s Lime-Marinated Steak Fajitas I created this super simple and fast salad.

This salad is really well-balanced: bold steak paired with sweet onions and peppers, peppery spiced arugula, and all tied together with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette.  I added a little crunch with some sunflower seeds, and what could be wrong with some shaved Parmesan on top?  (It pairs so nicely with the balsamic vinegar!)

No worries if you don’t enjoy steak – simply sub in whatever protein you prefer – tofu, chicken, or even even shrimp will all work with the lime marinade and ultimately result in a great salad.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Steak, Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Serves:  4

5-7 ounces arugula leaves
1-2 cups leftover grilled steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1-2 cups leftover grilled onions and peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 ounces parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon or whole-grain mustard
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Wash the arugula leaves and spin or pat dry.  Place in individual bowls or a [...]
  • Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 8, 2014
    Permalink Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 8, 2014Gallery

    This Week’s Meal Plan ~ Healthy Meal Plans ~ Mediterranean Week!

This Week’s Meal Plan ~ Healthy Meal Plans ~ Mediterranean Week!

Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 8, 2014 Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 8, 2014

I don’t know anyone who cringes at Mediterranean food – it’s so delicious! – so why not devote a week of healthy meal plans to this wonderful cuisine?

This happened quite by accident, as I started with lovely Hummus, Tomato and Avocado Sandwiches, which led to a savory Mushroom and Hummus Soup with Spinach (need to make the most of hummus leftovers!), and then a filling Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole.  Since it’s spring and the local farm eggs are amazing, I added a quick and filling Green Eggs and Ham Frittata to the mix.

Eat Happy Meal Plans are all about eating the most health-supportive ingredients in the most enjoyable ways, saving time, energy, and money.  Each of these meals is prepared in 30 minutes or less of active time, and using the “cook once, eat twice” strategy you can get a super-fast yet completely different meal out of leftovers (this week using hummus).  Homemade hummus is so easy and economical, if you’ve never made it before…let’s just say you’ll be pretty happy with yourself.

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  • Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad
    Permalink Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad Gallery

    Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad

Looking for a fresh take on your old kale salad?  This tasty dish has the best elements of Spring: sweet strawberries and creamy avocado paired with crispy red onions and savory pistachios.  If you haven’t tried a massaged kale salad, this is a good excuse to give it a whirl.  Massaging the kale with a little salt and olive oil – just for a few minutes – improves the flavor and wilts the kale slightly so that it’s tender.

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar enjoy each other immensely, so I thought I’d use a nice balsamic vinaigrette, which also has the nice benefit or mellowing out the onions so that they’re also sweet and crisp.  If you’ve been buying your salad dressing from the store you might be amazed at how simple and fast this dressing is – it literally takes about 30 seconds to whisk together!

Thanks to generous amounts of avocado and pistachios, this salad is substantial and filling enough to serve as a light main dish at lunch or dinner.  It also makes a lovely side dish to a little roasted or grilled fish.  Get more great recipes in my new cookbook here.  And definitely come on over and like us on Facebook!

Enjoy and Eat Happy!

Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Prep Time: 15 minutes

2 ripe avocados, pits removed and cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup [...]

Warm Lentil Salad with Kale and Portobello Mushrooms

Lentil Salad with Kale and Mushrooms Lentil Salad with Kale and Mushrooms

This lentil salad right here is a bowl full of health.  Lentils are off the chart on a number of awesome nutrients, including molybdenum, folate, copper, phosphorus and iron. (Sometimes I seriously wonder how something so boring looking can be so incredibly full of good stuff.)  Throwing in the kale and portobello mushrooms makes this salad a pretty epic dish of vitamins and minerals galore.  Need a pick-me-up?  Put down the 5-hour energy and make this for dinner.

Not that that’s the only reason to eat it.  The secret to this dish being super delicious is the tangy Dijon and apple cider vinegar vinaigrette.  There is something about this vinaigrette and lentils that is just harmonious.  There’s this tangy-savory dance going on.  I frequently make this dish with a little bacon, but this vegan version using mushrooms is just as good – and it’s all because of the vinaigrette.

These are regular old el cheapo green lentils, which actually look quite brown.  Other lentils are more beautiful and some, like red lentils, cook faster.  But in general I enjoy green lentils just fine, especially in a salad like this.

For the full fabulous week of meals, and a convenient shopping list and planner that’ll help you save time, sign up for the Eat Happy Meal Plan here.

Recipe:  Warm Lentil and Kale Salad with Portobello Mushrooms
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Serves:  4

1 ½ cup lentils*
1 small onion, minced
1 [...]

Legit Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal goodness in a delish cookie Oatmeal goodness in a delish cookie

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that only have a sprinkling of oats are super lame.  Not like these awesome cookies, which use 100% oats and not a shake of flour.  That makes them gluten free and 100% whole grain goodness – but don’t let that detract from their cookie status.  These are definitely cookies, delicious, possibly a little addictive, and full of goodies like chocolate chips and cranberries.  Because oats have a sweeter and more robustly nutty flavor than white flour, which is what typical cookie batter is based on, I think their flavor is actually superior.

This recipe is an adaptation of this original from Martha Stewart.  Martha’s original recipes is awesome, for sure.  But I did make some changes to suit my tastes.  Namely I added some dried ginger, which I love in chocolate chip cookies, reduced the sugar a little because most cookie recipes are way too sweet for me, and added an extra step of chilling the dough, which helped prevent my cookies from spreading out too thin.  Oh, and I used cranberries instead of raisins.  You could also swap in walnuts or pecans.

I baked half of my dough into cookies after chilling, and the other half I’ll scoop into individual cookie balls and freeze for later.  You never know when you’ll need a warm cookie!  I’ll bake up a cookie or two in my toaster oven when I feel the need.

Legit Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


4 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

By |May 16th, 2014|General, Recipes|