Category Archives for "Snacks & Sides"

Nacho “Cheese” Dip

You will never know this creamy, spicy nacho cheese dip is healthy AND vegan. Go ahead and indulge. Great for game day, or to take to a party and share with your friends.



  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed from half
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 of red onion
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup diced Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • Water



Persimmon Apricot Chutney

It’s Persimmon season, and there is no better way to use these plump, juicy fruits than in a chutney. This recipe is my favorite, but feel free to get creative and add other dried fruits, such as raisins or dates.



  • (makes 3-1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • ½ red onion, sliced thin
  • 12 oz. frozen cranberries (1 bag)
  • ½ c. dried apricots, chopped
  • 3 ripe persimmons, skinned & diced
  • 1 granny smith apple, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • zest of orange (optional)

Heat coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add shallots and red onion. Saute until translucent and starting to caramelize. Add cranberries, apricots, persimmons, apple and fresh ginger to saucepan. Add cider, apple cider vinegar and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the cranberries start to pop, stirring occasionally. Stir in maple syrup, spices and salt. Cook 5 minutes longer or until thick. Adjust seasonings if needed, remove from heat and stir in orange zest if using.

Endive Boats with Olive Hummus

Bitter endive topped with a dollop of savory hummus makes a perfect appetizer to serve at your holiday cocktail party. The hummus is homemade, so it makes this dish even better! If you don’t like olives, leave them out or replace them with roasted bell peppers.  Finish off with pomegranate seeds for a sweet, crunchy burst.



  • 2 large heads endive, leaves pulled off and cleaned
  • 1 can chickpeans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1⁄2 c. pitted olives (I like a blend of green & kalamata)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup pomegranate seeds



Shredded Brussels Sprouts w/Maple Miso Dressing

Brussels Sprouts are usually nixed at any dinner table, but this delicious warm dish will turn you into a convert! It’s healthy and tasty, and you won’t feel any guilt after indulging. GO ahead, have seconds!



  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1 leek, green parts removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Garnish: dried cranberries and chopped pecans




  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mellow white miso
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Black Bean + Chipotle Cheese Quesadillas

These quesadillas are awesome to serve at a holiday party or potluck. They are totally dairy and gluten free and super delicious. Serve them up with a side of guac and some spicy salsa, and your guests will be delighted that they are eating healthy during the holidays without feeling deprived.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Chipotle Cashew Cheese (see recipe below)
  • 1 pkg brown rice tortillas
  • Guacamole & salsa, for garnish

In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onion until soft. Add black beans, cumin and salt. Stir to combine and heat through. Set aside.



  • 1-1/2 cups cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/2 c. water (more if needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 raw garlic clove



Peanut Butter Maca Oat Balls

Crunchy, gooey peanut butter blended with dates, almonds and high fiber oats, make these oat balls a perfect after workout snack. They are even great to take on a long bike ride or any other endurance workout you may be doing, to keep your energy up. The maca will give you a boost of energy that is sustainable.

Your kids will love them too for an awesome afternoon snack. Get your hands in the mixture, and infuse a lot of good ole’ lovin in there.



  • ¾ cup peanut butter (I like chunky)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup almonds or cashews
  • 1/4 cup maca
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 5 dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup



Kale + Cherry Salad with Caramelized Onions

High nutrient kale, paired with sweet, antioxidant rich cherries, makes this sassy salad a nutrient packed, party in your mouth. I like to use red onions for caramelizing because they are sweeter when cooked down, but feel free to use yellow, white, vidalia or even shallots if you prefer.

The dark cherry juice used for the dressing has been known to help insomnia, as well as support the cleansing of the blood. This salad is an all around healthy feast for the body!

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4 – as a side salad)

  • 1 head curly Kale, stems stripped, broken into small pieces and massaged with a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced into ¼” round
  • 2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts


  • 1/3 cup black cherry juice (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Quinoa Snap Pea Salad with Peaches + Mint

Quinoa paired with fresh, sweet snap peas and peaches gives this salad tons of texture and delectable flavor.

Feel free to use nectarine or apricots if you do not like peaches. You can also substitute the apricot nectar for peach nectar in the dressing.



  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup roughly chopped snap peas
  • 1 ripe peach, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • ½ red or orange bell pepper, de-seeded + diced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped mint

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and toss with Apricot Vinaigrette. Serve room temperature or chilled.



  • ¼ cup apricot nectar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons grade B maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Honey’d Apricot BBQ Sauce

Slather this sauce on veggie burgers, Portobello mushrooms and vegetable skewers. It’s sweet and tangy, and will have you hooked on first taste.

Buy ripe apricots as they will give this delectable sauce the sweetest flavor.  Who needs bottle bbq sauce when you can make your own with fresh fruit?



  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 5 medium ripe apricots, pitted and cubed
  • 1-28 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup raw + local honey of choice
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s
  • Sea salt to taste


In a medium sized saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes until onions are soft. Add apricots and a splash of water. Stir to combine and cook down for about 5-7 minutes, until apricots are soft and mushy. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, molasses, honey, Braggs and sea salt. Stir to combine. Turn heat to low and let simmer about 15-20 minutes. Puree using hand blender to desired consistency.

Raw Peach Lavender Compote

Summer is my favorite time of year because fresh fruit is SO abundant, especially stone fruit. Nectarines and peaches are at their peak during this season, so take advantage!

This simple dish is raw, and takes minutes to make. You can use it on ice cream, as a relish on crackers and more. Make sure to pick ripe peaches that are ready to be eaten. You can also use nectarines or apricots as a substitute.



  • 5 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into ¼” cubes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons raw local honey
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender buds

Place peaches in a medium size bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to coat peaches. Let sit for about 20 minutes to marinate. Serve over vegan or dairy free ice cream.