Orange Scented Granola

Granola doesn’t last very long in our house. My husband and daughters put it on Greek yogurt, eat it like cereal with raw milk,  or just reach into the jar and scoop up a handful. Todd used to tackle the job of making granola and he’d create a Project out of it. You know, the kind of weekend project that was supposed to take an hour to do but ends up taking two weeks and is henceforth deemed “The Project“. That’s the kind of Project his granola was. It really was delicious, BUT! to make it he would start by soaking the rolled oats overnight and dehydrating the mushy mess in our dehydrator over the course of three to four days. Next, he’d soak and sprout the nuts overnight, and then proceed to dehydrate the nuts another couple of days. Finally (yay, home stretch of The Project), Todd would combine the ingredients and dehydrate the sticky mixture one last time. After years of these two-week messes in the kitchen, tolerating the smell of oatmeal dehydrating (it’s not good), I’ve decided to make it my way – and it’s gotten rave reviews from all. <insert angel choir>

This recipe can be made in an afternoon, fills the house with the sweet aroma of honey and oranges, and can be eaten all in the same day!

Makes about 8 cups


4 C rolled oats

1½C chopped mixed nuts (no peanuts)

1½C unsweetened, shredded coconut1

1C honey (I used my own delicate spring honey)

⅔C currants or ½C raisins

⅓C melted coconut oil

pinch of sea salt

Zest of 2-3 oranges


Preheat the oven to 350°.

Combine the rolled oats, mixed nuts, coconut, currants, pinch of sea salt, and orange zest in a large bowl. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and remove from the heat. Add the honey to the saucepan and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine and coat the ingredients. Scoop the granola mixture onto a large, rimmed cookie sheet. You may need two depending on the size of your cookie sheets. You want a thin layer.

Bake, stirring a couple times during the baking process, until the top is golden, about 40-45 minutes. Watch it carefully; there’s fine line between toasty granola and scorched granola. Let it cool a bit, and using a metal spatula to scrape up all the bits remove the granola from the cookie sheet and store in an airtight jar. Good luck keeping it longer than a few days, but it should last a long time if sealed.

Variation for Tropical Granola: ½C chopped candied ginger, ½C chopped dried pineapple, 1½C chopped walnuts, 2C shredded unsweetened coconut, orange zest


Quinoa Chicken Salad


My goal this school year is to spend Sundays preparing fresh, healthy lunches and snacks for the work week. I met my goal this Sunday and spent five hours making a pot of turkey chili, a large container of this quinoa salad, a large bowl of fruit salad, a pot of tomato soup, orange scented granola, a small pot of honey/coconut oil/butter for my husband’s toast, and a crustless quiche.

But back to this recipe! My lovely, new assistant teacher brought in quinoa salad for both of us during the work week before opening day. I loved it instantly! and her. This salad is light, full of protein and crunchy vegetables, and combines the sweet with the salty. I adapted this recipe from the Clean Eating recipe she shared with me.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken

Makes 4-6 servings


4C cooked and cooled quinoa

1# chicken breast

½C currants or dried cranberries

½C pumpkin seeds

1C chopped carrots

½C chopped, fresh mint

½C chopped, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

½C chopped scallions

1 red pepper, chopped


½C fresh lime juice (3 limes)


3t honey

1t ground cumin

2t sea salt


Prepare the quinoa according to package directions. It’s generally a 2:1 ratio – water:quinoa. Allow to cool. While the quinoa is cooking, grill or steam the chicken breasts. Remove from steamer and let cool, then chop into bite-sized dice and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk until combined.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, chicken, vegetables and dressing. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings.

Serve chilled.