Cranberry Orange Granola

Healthy, maple-sweetened, cranberry orange granola! cookieandkate.com

I feel like I’ve been trudging through mud all week. That’s a phrase my mom uses fairly often when she’s having a hard time getting stuff done. For some reason, I’ve always imagined that the mud is actually chocolate pudding, which offers a more delicious visual.

So I’ve been trudging through chocolate pudding all week. Obstacles here, there, everywhere! I can’t tell you how many trips to the grocery store I’ve made over the past few days. You know how it goes. The first grocery store is out of Brussels sprouts, the second doesn’t carry spring roll wrappers and the third store’s freezer section doesn’t offer any frozen spinach. Then you finally get home and realize that you forgot to put Parmesan on the list. Good grief.

granola ingredients

That’s not just me, right? I’ve decided that my version of paradise includes a grocery store that carries everything I need. No, I take that back—my version of paradise includes a self-stocking kitchen. Why doesn’t that exist yet? It’s 2015!

I found myself day-dreaming about self-stocking kitchens while this granola filled my house with the heavenly scent of fresh orange and warm maple syrup. I’ve been on a granola kick again and this kind is my new favorite. It’s extra clumpy and extra delicious.

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16 Delicious Vegan Dinner Recipes

Find 16 healthy and delicious vegan dinner recipes at cookieandkate.com!

Where did the weekend go? Serious question. I enjoyed a few too many heavy meals over the past couple of days, so I thought we could lighten up a little with my favorite vegan dinners. Don’t worry, though! You won’t find lots of tofu or meat substitutes here—just wholesome meals made with protein-rich whole grains, beans and fresh produce.

For even more vegan recipes, check out my complete vegan recipe index. Please check the recipe notes on each recipe because some require a small substitution or omission to be vegan (like use agave nectar instead of honey or omit the optional feta).

If you make any of these recipes, please snap a photo and share it with me on Instagram. Be sure to tag it #cookieandkate so I don’t miss it! I want to see! Here are some more roundups you might appreciate: 14 simple weeknight dinners, 12 soups for cold days, 12 favorite kale salads and my top 10 vegetarian Mexican recipes. Enjoy!

Curried Coconut Quinoa and Greens with Roasted Cauliflower - cookieandkate.com

No. 1: Curried Coconut Quinoa and Greens with Roasted Cauliflower
Gluten free, too

“Delicious and so full of flavor! The coconut milk in the quinoa was divine. My husband, a meat-eater probably said, ‘This is so good!’ about a bazillion times as we were eating dinner. He also mentioned how everyone should be a vegetarian for at least a week so they understand what flavors are instead of just throwing salt on meat and calling it a meal. I’ll say this was a big win.” – Tricia

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Creamy Roasted Brussels Sprout and Quinoa Gratin

Roasted brussels sprouts and quinoa collide in this cheesy, whole grain dish. (Easily gluten free.) - cookieandkate.com

Cookie and Kate have a house guest for the next few days. His name is Henry and he is Ali’s sweet Yorkie-maltese mix. The dogs have been getting along well, but their personalities really could not be more different. Observing them has been an interesting study in dog psychology.

Here’s a brief rundown of our subjects: Cookie is a quick and fearless circus dog who inhales her food the second it hits the bowl. Henry is a shy but interested little Toto who nibbles on his dinner and runs from falling Brussels sprouts.

brussels sprouts and cheese

I don’t blame Henry. I would run from giant falling cabbages as well. Cookie, on the other hand, treats falling Brussels sprouts like gold raining from the sky. “FOOD!”

I’ll have to be more careful with my sprouts while Henry is here. This Brussels sprout gratin is worth it, though. It’s bubbly, garlicky bread crumb-topped goodness filled with caramelized Brussels sprouts, hearty quinoa and creamy cheese. Lots of cheese. This is my first gratin recipe and it will certainly not be my last.

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Gluten-Free Buckwheat Waffles

These buckwheat waffles are light, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside (gluten free, too!) - cookieandkate.com

I have news! I can’t believe I haven’t told you all sooner. Seems like most big blogger announcements involve engagements (nope), babies (definitely not) and cookbook deals (not yet).

Here’s mine: I’m going down to Austin, Texas, for the whole month of February with my good friend Ali! We’re going because it’s cold and we can. It was Ali’s idea and I’m so glad we’re actually making it happen.

how to make buckwheat waffles

I can’t wait to sample Austin’s finest street tacos with Ali and clink margaritas with Jeanine. I’m eager to soak up some of the city’s youthful energy and open up to new possibilities. I’m looking forward to an exercise in minimalism, too. I’m only bringing the bare essentials for the month and it should be a good reminder of how little I really need.

Cookie and Henry are coming along, too, of course. We booked an amazing, light-filled house on Airbnb that has a fence built all the way around it, so I won’t worry so much about Cookie, and one of my friends is renting my place while I’m gone. It has all worked out pretty perfectly so far.

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Simple Beet, Arugula and Feta Salad with Hilary’s Balsamic Thyme Dressing

This healthy salad features a few marvelously complementary flavors: earthy beets, bitter arugula, salty feta, savory pepitas and tangy balsamic dressing. - cookieandkate.comWhole Foods Market logoThis post was sponsored by Whole Foods Market, America’s Healthiest Grocery Store.


I knew I liked Hilary Brown when she offered me a bowl of homemade soup shortly after arriving at her office. They have a weekly tradition of making soup in a slow cooker on Fridays for lunch. The topic of bean soup quickly turned into a conversation about digestion that made me giggle. We opened a door just past the office kitchen and donned white coats and hairnets to see how they make veggie burgers at Hilary’s Eat Well.

Hilary's Eat Well dressing

First, I saw freshly cooked millet in vessels at least thirty times bigger than the largest pot in my kitchen. As a person who’s accustomed to cooking for one, it’s always an eye-opening experience to see food prepared for many. Their facility had a homey feel to it, though, thanks to the clear winter light streaming through a giant window and fragrant spices in the air. Hilary talked about how much their production has grown over the past few years and mentioned plans for expansion.

I saw the machine where they mix millet with beans, greens and spices and watched fresh veggie patties go plop-plop-plop onto a belt. The burgers continued down the belt’s short course: flash frozen, then wrapped up two at a time in Hilary’s cute branded bags, which carry 70 percent less of a carbon footprint than four-packs of veggie burgers in cardboard boxes. Lastly, they’re packed up and transferred to the freezer for temporary safekeeping. Whole Foods Market is their biggest customer.

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Clementine Sunshine Smoothie

This delightful clementine smoothie is packed with vitamin C! cookieandkate.com

I’m just not that into smoothies. It’s nothing against fruit (really fruit, it’s me, not you). I just like to eat my food. This smoothie, however, is a different story. I’ve been fighting a head cold for over a week and I’ve been getting desperate for a solution. Every evening, I feel off-balance, like my head is underwater. I’ve had enough of this vertigo!

Since I refuse to go to the doctor for antibiotics, I’ve been spending quality time with this lovely contraption, taking probiotics and trying to consume as much immunity-boosting vitamin C as possible. Which is where this clementine smoothie comes into the picture. I drank at least four of these over the weekend and I am feeling better.

clementines

This smoothie is delicious, light and refreshing—closer to fresh-squeezed orange juice than a thick banana smoothie. It tastes similar to an orange julius or a dreamsicle or those orange Flintstone push-ups from my childhood. I couldn’t decide what to call it, but the sunshine in the photos seemed to match the bright clementine flavor in the glass, so I landed on clementine sunshine smoothie. Let’s go with it.

This four-ingredient smoothie is suuuuuper simple to make. So simple that I hesitated to post it, but then I thought about all the other people out there who are fighting winter colds, or worse. When energy is running low, we need the simplest of solutions, and this is one of them.

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