Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pecans


I have been pondering on happiness lately and realizing I know outside influences can have a big effect on our happiness, yet I feel like we can create happiness inside ourselves no matter what is going on around us.

I am fascinated by Denmark they are the 2nd happiest country in the world and yet they have winter days with 14 hours of darkness. That really intrigued me.  They have “Hygge”  Danish word, pronounced “hoo-ga”, is usually translated into English as “cosiness”. Here is more about (1).jpeg I love that word “cosiness” I love how this country creates that in their homes regardless of what is going on around them. 

It has been fun working on creating more of that in my home. I have also thought about how I can create more of that inside of me. I know often I may be guilty of thinking someone else is responsible for my happiness, and yet when I stop and think about it I realize that I am the one that is responsible for it. I know other things can add to our happiness but we can create it within us.  What are your thoughts? 

I really enjoy eating for dinner is a yummy salad. In fact often my husband and I will enjoy a salad as our main entree for our dinner. Yum! I LOVE how I can eat so many great vegetables in one serving. This salad is loaded with healthy goodness. I love the pecans in it. I used to think I didn’t like pecans and now I really do our tastes can change. 


Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pecans

1/2 cups of pecans chopped up
2 tablespoons of honey
4 cups of kale or other favorite greens washed
1 cups snow peas broken in thirds
1/2 cucumber thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup of dried craisins
1 cup of cooked quinoa
3/4 cup of feta cheese

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of mustard
1 tablespoon of honey
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil

In a small saucepan heat to medium low and pour in honey. Stir in the nuts and cook for a couple minutes until all thickened and nice golden color. Pour out to cool on parchment paper or a non stick surface to cool. Make sure the nuts are spread out so they don’t stick together in one clump.

Pour all the ingredients in the blender for the dressing and blend 1 to 2 min until all combined set aside.

Toss all the ingredients for the salad together. Pour on the dressing right before serving or leave dressing off and pour on after serving on to plates. Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Soup


Fall is here, and my garden produce is sadly coming to an end. But since we haven’t had a frost yet here in Utah, the tomatoes are still ripening! I’m not really into canning, so when I have a lot of fresh tomatoes it helps to have a recipe like this one.

If you’ve never tried Tomato Basil Soup made from garden tomatoes, you are really missing out. The flavor of fresh garden tomatoes is so much better than the ones I can pick up at the store. If you don’t grow any of your own, head down to your local farmer’s market. They are lovely in this recipe.

Harvesting Green Tomatoes

Did you know that you can harvest your green tomatoes and they will ripen indoors? Just before the 1st frost, I pick all of the tomatoes, no matter the ripeness, and bring them indoors. Place some newspaper in the bottom of shallow cardboard boxes, and then put the tomatoes on them in a cool, dark, dry place. They will ripen slowly. Remove any tomatoes that start to rot. When the tomatoes reach 50% red, and let them continue to ripen on the counter.

Britney and Cherie

Fall Harvest Tomato Basil Soup

3 lbs Roma tomatoes (Little less or little more works too)
1/4 cup of olive oil 
2 teaspoons of salt
3/4 teaspoons of pepper
1 white onion, chopped (I just chopped in the blender)
5 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon of butter or vegan butter
1/8 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz ) cans of roasted tomatoes, whole or crushed (I used fire roasted Yum!)
5 or 6 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
3 to 5 tablespoon of dried basil leaves
4 cups of water (add more if it is too thick)

Heat oven to 400. Toss tomatoes that have been sliced in 1/4 pieces, into a bowl with olive oil 1 T basil and a little salt and pepper. Spread on cookie sheet. Roast 45 min. Don’t let them burn.

In a large pot heat on medium heat onions, garlic with and oil, butter and red pepper flakes until golden brown. Add the canned tomatoes and spices, and water. Then add the oven roasted tomatoes too. Bring to boil and then simmer about 35 minutes or until thickened. The flavor gets better as it cooks. I put the large chunks of tomatoes and some liquid, into a blender and pulse for a few seconds.

You can add more spice if you prefer. It is wonderful to have extra! I love this soup and it freezes well for lunches! =)

Serves 8

Veggie Scramble


Isn’t it interesting that it’s normal in the US to have a bowl of dried cereal for breakfast? I’ve been learning that is not the norm in many other countries. And, frankly, I can see why. Cereal doesn’t leave me full for long.

My sister went to a nutrition class the other day and learned that in order to get in the amount of vegetables we need in a day, we really should start with them at breakfast.

There’s something so perfect about eggs for breakfast. The protein keeps me full for longer. And when you add in the veggies, you’ve really given yourself a powerhouse start. We’ve also added chia for a head start on all those lovely Omega-3s. You can’t go wrong.

You’re going to move mountains today.



Veggie Scramble

3 eggs
2 tablespoon of chia
1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
2-3 mini peppers, chopped ( I love using my vegetable chopper  it makes it all so uniform)

1 green pepper
1/3 cup of chopped onion
1 cup of chopped up spinach
salt and pepper to taste
salsa for garnish  (homemade is the best)

In a small bowl, beat together egg and chia. Set bowl aside.
Heat a small frying pan with olive oil on medium heat. Add peppers, onion, spinach and let cook while stirring 3-5 min. until soft.
Stir in the egg mixture with the vegetables. Cook until the eggs are all cooked.
Take off the heat. Scoop onto to dish salt and pepper and top with your favorite salsa if desired. Enjoy! Serve with whole grain toast
Serves 1

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie


Are you in the mood for pumpkin yet? I think I always am. I don’t need fall weather to get me ready for pumpkin spice waffles. But it certainly helps–especially with the plethora of pumpkin ingredients that and products that start inhabiting the store shelves.

Pumpkin Spice potato chips, Peeps, yogurt, and all sorts of cookies. Even popcorn. I guess I prefer a more natural pumpkin.

What’s better than pumpkin? Pumpkin and chocolate! Amiright? This smoothie blends the best of both to make a HEALTHY version of a pumpkin treat that will either start your day off right or even be a great dessert or snack.

And the antioxidants in dark chocolate are good for you!


Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie

1 cup of almond milk vanilla or milk of choice
2 frozen banana, cut in pieces
2 tablespoon of canned pumpkin
1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
2 tablespoons of chopped up dark chocolate chips 

In a blender, blend milk, banana, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend until creamy.

Stir in crushed chips or put the chips into the blender with the mixture and pulse once or twice. Garnish with additional chips, if desired on top.

Serves 1


Peach and Farro Salad


Have you tried farro yet? It’s a grain–really an ancient variety of wheat–that is sold dried and cooked in water, much like you would cook rice, until it is soft but still a bit crunchy. It can take the place of where you use brown rice in recipes.

I really like it mixed in with greens in a salad. It gives a hearty, chewy texture that makes the salad feel like more of a meal. Here, I’ve paired it with fresh, local peaches from my neighborhood orchard. The peach season is almost gone here, but I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly this year.

Why Farro?

Why should you eat farro? Besides that it’s delicious? We always hear that we should eat whole grains. Whole grains lower the risks of cancer, diabetes, and even asthma. But like with other foods, we need to be concerned about VARIETY. Example: Vegetables are great for you, right? But what if you only ate carrots? Would you be taking full advantage of the nutrients vegetables have available for you?

Of course not.

Whole grains are the same way. Each offers unique vitamins and minerals that can benefit your body. Farro is an ancient grain, which means it hasn’t been genetically modified as much as the common whole wheat that you find in the U.S.

How does farro stack up? It’s especially high in protein, fiber, and its a good source of the minerals niacin, magnesium, iron, thiamine, and zinc. It can even count as a complete protein when paired with plant foods like vegetables–which is great if you’re trying to cut back on meat!

I would recommend that you try it out!


Peach and Farro Salad

3 cups of chopped spinach
3 peaches pealed and cut into slices
1/3 cups of cooked Farro

1/2 cups of olive oil
1/4 cups of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons of honey
1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoons of pepper

Toss together spinach, peaches, and faro.

Add all the dressing ingredients to the blender and blend for 1 minute, until completely mixed.

Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss. Serve right away.


Strawberry Amaranth Porridge


 I (Britney) recently discovered that my body doesn’t like oats. I can’t tell you how much of a bummer this is. I mean, how do I give up oats? Granola? Granola bars? Oatmeal cookies? Yeah, I know. (Mom was sooo glad this was not her. You will still find oat recipes on this site from her. So don’t worry. You can still get your oat fix.)
Not to mention I love a good bowl of oatmeal in the mornings. What hot breakfast can you eat instead of oats? Is there anyone else out there that has an oat sensitivity and can feel my pain?
Luckily, this delicious amaranth porridge is a great substitute.
Amaranth is a grain you will love being acquainted with. It has a slightly nutty taste, is easily digestible, and has 3 times the fiber of wheat. It’s high in calcium, iron, lysine, and is totally gluten free. It has more protein than any other gluten-free grain, which makes it a great breakfast to start out your day with.


Strawberry Amaranth Porridge

1/3 cup of amaranth
1 cup of water
3/4 cup of almond milk or milk of your choice
1/2 cup of sliced up strawberries
2 teaspoons of honey or sweetener of your choice
Optional toppings: milk, cinnamon

Pour the amaranth into a sauce pan  on medium heat. Stir and let it heat up. You will start hearing it pop in a couple minutes. Stir until it is all toasted, for 2 or 3 minutes.

Pour in the water and let it come to a low boil. Then stir in the milk and honey. Turn on medium low heat and let it cook about 30 minutes until the liquid gets absorbed and it thickens.

Serve in bowl with milk and fruit on top of it.

Serves 1-2





The Mix-and-Match Lunchbox


We are excited to announce our newest cook book! This one is a winner. Do you have trouble figuring out what to feed your  kids (or yourself) for lunch?

The Mix-and-Match Lunchbox breaks down the process so you only need a whole grain + a protein + a fruit + a vegetable to make a complete lunch! When you think about it in those easy steps, making lunch becomes a simple process.

But it gets even cooler than that! The recipe pages are spiral-bound and divided into 3 pieces so you or your kids can literally mix and match the recipes to lunchbox success. It’s so interactive that even your littlest lunch-eaters can have help in the planning of their lunches.

See it in action here.

We think you’ll love it! Order it from Amazon here!

Amazing Whole Wheat Bread

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When I was in grade school, my mom had a bread machine. Do you remember those? I suppose some people still have one, but for most people I think it turned into kitchen clutter.

But my mom used hers. I loved coming home from school to the smell of freshly cooked bread. We would spread orange marmalade on it’s whole wheat goodness and eat the thick slices hot. Doesn’t that sound good? I’m craving it now just thinking about it.

Here is a recipe for you to make that good, old-fashioned, whole wheat bread. This bread turned out fantastically! It’s made with only whole wheat flour. (Although, technically, we used a little bit of spelt flour because we had run out of whole wheat. But spelt is a type of wheat, so, I think it counts. You can use either our spelt variation or totally whole wheat.)

This recipe makes a lot of bread, so if you’d like to cut it down, just cut all the ingredients in half.

AMAZING Whole Wheat Bread

5 tablespoons of yeast
7 cups of warm water
1/3 cup of honey or sugar
1/3 cup of coconut oil or oil of your choice
2 eggs
3 tablespoons of salt
16 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of spelt flour mix * (I ran out of wheat flour so I used this. You could do all wheat!)

Put yeast, warm water and honey in a bowl. Let sit until yeast starts to bubble. About 5 to 10 minutes.

Then pour oil, eggs, and salt into the bread mixer with the yeast mixture.

Add flour till it pulls away from the bowl and is a nice consistency. I kneaded the dough in the Bosch about 8 to 10 minutes.

I then let it sit in the bowl about 15 minutes to rest.

I then formed the dough into loaves. I weigh the bread to fit the pan size. Grease the pans and let rise about 15 minutes.

Bake 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until the temperature with a thermometer reaches 180 degrees internally when stuck in the middle of the bread.

This recipe made 3 1.5lb loaves and 2 2lb loaves. Plus 4 Rolls for an after school treat.

* Spelt Mix- Usually I grind up 5-6 cups of spelt, 2 cups of Kamut, 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of oats oat groats. I have also added 1 cup of barley or 1 cup of quinoa too. I do it all at once and put the letover in the freezer. This is optional, of course, but it adds a lot of great nutrients. Each grain has its own nutrient makeup and has different goodness to offer!

25 Snack Ideas

We’re back on The Place again tomorrow doing a segment about healthy snack ideas and making our delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Granola. It’s that time of year when the weather starts getting nicer and we tend to leave our house more often or spend all day out at different outings. When this happens, it is so easy to pick up a little fast food snack or just grab whatever processed food transports easiest.


But it doesn’t have to be that way! How do you change that? Planning. Plain and simple, healthy food requires planning. Get the snacks ready ahead of time and so that when you want to leave it’s ready to go!

  1. 1 piece of whole grain bread with peanut butter and jam
  2. Mix a small serving of tuna mixed with natural yogurt and 1 tablespoon of basil, and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Spread onto 3 celery sticks or whole grain bread or whole grain crackers
  3. 4 carrot sticks, 2 cherry tomatoes, and 4 green beans served with guacamole dip
  4. 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce with 1½ teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 slice of wholegrain bread, toasted
  5. 1 cup of homemade yogurt mixed with 1/3 cup of fruit
  6. 2 multi graincrackers topped with a cheese stick and a handful of grapes
  7. ½ cup of homemade salsa and 1 cup of cut up vegetables to dip into salsa
  8. 1 small apple sliced, peanut butter thinly spread on each slice, raisins sprinkled on top
  9. 1 quesadilla on a whole grain tortilla with 2 slices of cheese and homemade salsa
  10. a small serving of natural yogurt with pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, and a pinch of cinnamon
  11. 2 multigrain crackers topped with grated cucumber, natural yogurt
  12. a small bowl of frozen berries and natural yogurt, topped 1 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut
  13. 8 cashew nuts, 3 carrot sticks, and 2 thick slices of cucumber.
  14. a cup of oatmeal and a 1 tablespoon of honey
  15. Make a mini fruit salad with cut up fruit, with or without yogurt
  16. Mix 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of cream cheese together. Dip a banana or apple slices into it. Or just dip the fruit into yogurt.
  17. A small bowl of natural yogurt with 1/2 cup unsweetened granola.
  18. 3 handfuls of unbuttered/unsweetened popcorn, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of parmesean cheese
  19. 6 almonds, 4 small florets of broccoli, and 2 cherry tomatoes.
  20. a small serving of natural yogurt, with a 1 teaspoon of flaxseed and a pinch of cinnamon
  21. 4 whole grain crackers spread with mashed avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  22. 2 multi grain crispbreads or whole grain crackers topped with cream cheese and herbs
  23. 2 small kiwis sliced, and 6 almonds.
  24. 1 banana, 1 cup of milk, 5 strawberries, and 1 tablespoon of honey blend together in blender.
  25. Cut 1 pita pocket cut in half. Mix together ½ cup of cut up vegetables, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1 teaspoon of basil, 1 teaspoon of parsley, and ¼ teaspoon of garlic salt.

What are your snack suggestions?

My new favorite muffin


Sorry that we’ve been a little out of the loop lately. We were asked in December to do another cook book for our publisher on school lunches. We agreed, even though it’s been a really tight deadline. We’ve still been cooking, but so much time and effort has been going to making sure that this book is perfect that we’ve let some things slide. Life’s like that, right? But we’re back! And we have a lot of great recipes saved up that we’re excited to share with you.

I have always had a thing for bran muffins. I’ve always loved the deep, dark brown sugar flavor. I made these recently for my boys, and although they always love muffins, I wasn’t sure if these would go over with my pickiest son. I try to make him muffins once a week because he loves them and I have trouble getting healthy foods into him.

I considered what to call them. Maybe I could say BRAN stood for Best Really Awesome New Muffins. Or something like that.

When he got home from school, he started shoving the muffins into his mouth. I didn’t have to say anything. After about 6 muffins, I told him he needed to slow down or he would have digestive problems from all the fiber. He asked me, “Next time will you make them without that stuff so I can eat more?”

Haha. I shouldn’t have been worried!



Whole Grain Bran Muffins

These muffins are a new favorite of ours! Freeze some for later.

1 1/2 cups of wheat bran
1 1/4 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup of coconut oil
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of whole grain flour (we use Kamut)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, mix in wheat bran and buttermilk. Let soak for 10 minutes.

Mix in coconut oil, egg, honey, and vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix the wet mixture into the dry until just barely moistened.

Pour into greased muffin tins or paper liners. Bake for 17 minutes or until a stick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the muffin tin 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven.

Makes 12 muffins