Easy Gluten Free Granola

I have a granola obsession. I eat it about five times a week. No joking here. This Easy Gluten Free Granola recipe is my new go-to granola favorite. It starts with gluten free rolled oats (my favorite one is from Trader Joes). I add raw pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds and cinnamon for my base. My liquid mixture is comprised of a mixture of honey, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Bake it in the oven, and it is that simple.

I am so picky about granola. Honestly, I have tried every single granola brand out there. I cannot find one store brand that has wowed me over. When my daughter and I put this version together, I have been making it ever since.

How I use granola:

•Top off smoothie bowls or smoothies

•Add to Greek Yogurt with fresh fruit

•Eat as a grab-and-go snack.

•Add to warm oatmeal

•Serve with milk

•Give as a gift

If you want to add or subtract nuts to my recipe, go ahead. Also, if you want to add dried fruit to the mixture, add after baking.

If I do ever purchase granola, my favorite is the grainless granola is from Alabama Biscuit in Birmingham.

Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto

This Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto recipe is so easy to make and takes only 5 minutes to prepare. Toss together fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and a touch of a fresh lemon juice in a blender or food processor. It is that simple.

I am thrilled about our fresh herbs growing right now. We planted them in hanging baskets a few weeks ago, so they’re plentiful at the perfect time. They have been a lifesaver (one less thing to purchase at the store). Honestly, I have been making this Homemade Pesto recipe lately on a weekly basis. Friends often ask me. What do you use basil for besides on pasta or on a tomato, basil, mozzarella salad? Here are a few suggestions:

•Add to pasta with grilled chicken or shrimp

•Serve on top of grilled or roasted flounder, snapper or salmon

•Add on top of avocado toast

•Blend or puree in soups

•Use as a base for homemade pizza

•Spice up a fresh salad

Basil is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Basil is also an anti-inflammatory food so it can also help individuals with inflammatory health problems such as  arthritis. Some studies also say that eating basil can help with acne and help protect the skin from some effects of aging.

Kale Guacamole

Kale Guacamole

I had a great time last weekend at Lake Austin Spa Resort where I was teaching smoothie bowl classes promoting my latest cookbook 200 Best Smoothie Bowls. I also had the amazing opportunity to workout, take a mediation for clarity class, try hydrobikes and experience amazing spa treatments and of course, food. The food at this Texas spa is out of this world with so many clever, creative and healthy combinations. The first night they had “Kale Guacamole” on their menu for an appetizer. They didn’t have the recipe, but I came home and recreated it tonight. My husband said, “It tastes just it.” This recipe is classic guacamole recipe with kale added. Why did I not think of that?

Alison Lewis

Layered Berry Smoothie

layered berry smoothie

Layered smoothies take extra time, but they are so worth it! My family has been working out a ton this weekend (tennis tournament, hiking, swimming, running and golf) so we decided to make these Layered Berry Smoothie just in time for the Memorial Day holiday. The best way to make these, so the flavors don’t run into each other is to prepare each flavor at a time, and put each flavor in the freezer until ready to layer.

layered berry smoothie 2

These layered smoothies are so healthy with fresh strawberries, blueberries and bananas. They are also easy to prepare, taste fresh, are filling and are good for you. Feel free to use your favorite milk, and if you can’t have dairy, feel free to substitute coconut water.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower is the latest trendy vegetable right now, and did you know it makes a great substitute for rice in fried rice? Believe me, it does! This Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe is so amazing, and it makes yummy leftovers too. When you pulse the cauliflower, it resembles the texture (and color of rice). Sautéing it creates a winning main dish for those who are following a gluten-free diet or those who can’t eat rice. Cauliflower also makes a good substitute for mashed potatoes.

And did you know that cauliflower is really good for you? Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C, B Vitamins, fiber and vitamin K. The antioxidants in cauliflower can helps with our immune systems and aid in reducing the cancer and stroke. Eating cauliflower works well for those on an anti-inflammatory diet, and it can also help maintain bone and brain health. Enjoy this thirty minute recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice on any weeknight since it’s quick and easy! Serve it with a salad, and dinner is done is ready.

Paleo Ratatouille

Paleo Ratatouille

I found a new cookbook, Sheet Pan Paleo, which is packed with 200 recipes and super easy steps. I love the idea of using a sheet pan for the majority of  your cooking. Since my family loves eggplant, I made the Paleo Ratatouille, which was a huge hit! The flavors are wonderful, and it’s great served as a side or main dish. With all of these recipes, just toss ingredients onto a pan; then roast, bake or broil! And clean-up? It’s a breeze! I don’t personally follow the Paleo diet, but many people seem to have a lot of luck with the diet, but all of these recipes for any healthy eating! This recipe turned out great!

Vanilla Chai Power Bars

Vanilla Chai Power Bars

I just got my hands on a FABULOUS vegetarian cookbook: Vegan Everyday by Douglas McNish, a vegan executive chef who has a strong commitment to health and organics. Published by Robert Rose Books, this cookbook is filled with 500 recipes that are bold, innovative, fresh and wonderful for vegans and non-vegans. You’ll find recipes for every occasion and every meal of the day. I love the Peach Cobbler, Mini Quinoa Croquettes, Singapore Summer Rolls, and these Vanilla Chai Power Bars. These energy bars are a great item to keep on hand for snacking on the go, or enjoy them as a quick breakfast with a cold glass of milk. Filled with millet, chia seeds and spices, these bars are too good! My kids went wild over these, and they are awesome for travel too. If you’re looking for puffed quinoa and millet, you can find them in most well stocked supermarkets and natural food stores. Enjoy and be sure to check out this amazing cookbook!

Vegan Everyday

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Ratatouille is a French side dish located with Mediterranean vegetables. I decided to turn this healthy side into a salad with grilled vegetables and quinoa with this Grilled Ratatouille Salad recipe. This gluten-free and vegan recipe is perfect for a weeknight summer dinner or weekend lunch. I am actually serving this alongside grilled steaks this Memorial Day weekend. It’s three of my favorite things: healthy, flavorful and beautiful!

In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This weekend I have been in search of a great Pumpkin Pie recipe to make for Thanksgiving. You see, I’m getting off easy this year (yea!). I’ve hosted Thanksgiving at my house the past several years, but my sister and I swapped holidays this year (her request). I still have to make several things to bring to our family event of over 20 people. Since she assigned me the Pumpkin Pie, I have been searching for something new and different. The recipe (above) is a Pecan Streusel Topping from my friend Marge at A Sweet and Savory Sweet Life. It looks so fabulous, and it was one of the first ones I came across. Here are some others, including a “lightened up recipe from Cooking Light as well as vegan version. Enjoy!

Cheesecake Pumpkin Pecan Pie by Parsley Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

Pumpkin Pie Pops from Munchkin Munchies

 Pumpkin Pie Bites from Bakerella

 Vegan Pumpkin Pie from Vegetarian Times

Spiced Pumpkin Chiffon Pie from Cooking Light

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