Category Archives: Recipe-Grains

Recipe: Instant Pot Apple Crisp

This is one of those recipes that emerged from beginning one thing and discovering it could not be done. I set out to make wine stewed apples, only to discover that the leftover wine had been poured down the sink. I wasn’t about to open a fresh bottle, since we have been struggling to get through a bottle of wine without it going bad for months now. So instead, I took all the apples I had already had and crafted an apple crisp from a conglomeration of recipes found online and my own flavor preferences. Here’s the result; tell me what you think!

  • 5 medium sized apples, chopped into chunks (peel first, if desired)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats (NOT instant)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sucanat or date sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Place apples in the bottom of the instant pot.
    Add spices and maple syrup and stir to mix. Drizzle water over apples.
  2. In a small bowl, add oats, flour, sweetener, ginger, walnuts, salt and melted fat. Mix well, then spoon on top of apples.
  3. Set Instant Pot on manual for 5 minutes. Let pressure release naturally and sit for about five more minutes, so sauce can thicken.
  4. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

Serves 4-5

Chai Spice Porridge

The spices in this breakfast cereal are reminiscent of a spicy chai I enjoy in Seattle. Paired with oats, they provide a warming, satisfying start to the morning.

Chai Spice Porridge

Serves 4|Adapted from Oprah Magazine Sept 2010

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Seeds from 6 cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper*
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 cups water or unsweetened almond milk
  • almond slivers and sweetener of choice, if desired.

Lazyman method: Dump everything into your Zojirushi Rice cooker the night before and set to porridge. Consume the following morning. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.


  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Turn off heat and add all ingredients. Let steep overnight.
  2. The following morning, reheat over medium until boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until oats have softened.
  3. Serve with sweetener of choice and a sprinkle of almond slivers for crunch.

You can add variety by using an assortment of grains since this is an overnight soak. Try millet, buckwheat groats, or polenta to play with different textures and flavors.






*at VIBRANCE Nutrition and Fitness, we beg you not to insult your tastebuds with anything less than freshly ground peppercorns. If you do not have a peppermill you can purchase one at Trader Joe’s or most large grocery chains and refill it with bulk peppercorns once the original batch is consumed.

Recipe of the Moment: Nourishment from the Sea – Seaweed Sesame Crackers

I’m excited to try this recipe to satisfy my desire for **crunch**. Making your own gluten-free cracks is far cheaper and just as tasty as store bought! The addition of seaweed in this gem of a recipe gives really potent nourishment to an otherwise run-o-the-mill recipe.

© Anja Schwerin 2009-2012

The question is…can it replace my potent, yet expensive adoration of Skinny Crisps?!?

Sea vegetables (the Hippie, politically-correct term for what we all grew up calling ‘seaweed’) offer the broadest range of minerals of any food and are an excellent source of the B-vitamins folate,  riboflavin and pantothenic acid  as well as a great source of iron,

calcium, and magnesium. Since much of our topsoil is sitting at the bottom of the ocean from generations of erosion, sea veggies reap the extra minerals and nutrients that have been whittled away from its land-loving cousins. This cracker is an excellent way to introduce such foods to young children, without having them balk at the creepy stands of weirdness served at a Japanese restaurant. ENJOY!

Yields apx. 25 crackers

Preheat oven to 180C/375F.


  • 3/4 cup light buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup dried wakame seaweed, cut with scissors into manageable chunks for blending
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt (Himalayan is my fave!)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2-2/3 cup water


 Combine flour, almond meal salt and dried seaweed in a food processor. Pulse until seaweed is finely chopped. Transfer to bowl. Stir in sesame seeds. Add water and knead until well combined. Cover the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes or so.
Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out the dough as thin and even as possible. Remove top baking sheet. If the dough appears to tear apart, put the dough with both parchment papers in the freezer for a few minutes. Afterwards, it will be easier to tear of the top sheet.

With a knife or cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes. Poke each cracker with a fork to prevent puffing. Transfer onto baking sheet (with bottom parchment paper). Alternatively, use the fork to thoroughly pierce edges in the dough so that your crackers will break apart easily once baked.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Break crackers at pre-cut edges, if needed. Serve immediately or store for future use.
Thanks to fellow Health Coach Anja at Anja’s Food for Thought for this recipe!

Recipe: Penne with Chard and Ricotta

The cooler weather causes an increase in cravings for starchy, warm, heavy foots. This recipe is sure to satisfy!
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 bunch chard, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, rolled and sliced at an angle (chiffonade style)
1 cup ricotta cheese
20 kalamata olives, halved
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated
12 oz. brown rice penne pasta

Boil a pot of water for pasta
In a large skillet, heat oil and cook garlic over medium heat until soft and beginning to brown. Add chard and stir occasionally until greens are just wilted and bright green. Remove immediately from heat and liberally sprinkle with fresh pepper and salt.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Toss pasta with greens, basil, olives and ricotta cheese. Sprinkle grated cheese atop each serving.

Ultra Tasty Coconut Ginger Rice Pudding

This rice pudding recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, AND vegan, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who won’t enjoy it! Made from coconut milk, this warming winter treat provides ample medium-chain triglycerides which are believed to provide energy for athletes and be a fat source that is less likely to be stashed away by the body for future use. Coconut is popular in Ayurvedic medicine and cooking, and is well known for its antimicrobial properties and its ability to balance fats in the bloodstream. I created this recipe in response to having a delicious coconut-ginger tapioca pudding at my local health food store earlier this week.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • water
  • 2 cups coconut milk (or 1 can + 2 oz. water or non-dairy milk alternative)
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup date sugar (or sucanat)
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger bits

Place rice in a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick and add water until just covered. Bring rice to a boil and turn heat down to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick.

Add coconut milk, vanilla, and date sugar and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add candied ginger and simmer 15-20 minutes longer, until most of liquid is absorbed. Be sure to turn heat off when some liquid remains, as it will thicken upon cooling.

Serve warm or cold, and garnish with shredded coconut if desired.

Cinnamon Walnut Rice Pudding

This rice pudding is a perfect cozy breakfast or dessert on a cool day. You can also make this in the rice cooker and have it available to you – piping hot – for a few mornings!

2 cups water
1 cup brown rice, rinsed
1 1/4 cups rice or almond milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. ground nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, place the water, and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 35 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well to combine, and continue to cook the mixture over low heat until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and place the pudding in the refrigerator to chill. Top individual servings with a little additional cinnamon before serving, if desired.

Serves 3-4

Stressed? Looking for Greater Joy in Your Life?

I first learned about the Solution Method about 4 years ago from a colleague of mine. I was fresh into my practice and yet still struggling with how to best help others when my own relationship with food and stress was a struggle. I noticed I still had a tendency to stress eat, despite all the knowledge I had gained over the years. I look back now and think, “Of course I was! A college education does not negate the emotional response to food!” I was seeing this mirrored in clients as well, who despite my efforts in nutrition education were missing a radical piece of self-care that is key to changing one’s relationship with overeating.

I began the work in a final attempt to come to peace with food and to learn a new way of coping with life so that I did not turn to bowls of popcorn and tortilla chips, chastise myself for it, and repeat the habit the next time I was overwhelmed. What I gained from devoting myself to learning it over the following two years was profound.

  • I became more in touch with what I was feeling and more clear in expressing myself.
  • I was able to see the pattern and break it before I engaged in it. When I did engage in it, I recovered more quickly and compassionately than I ever had been capable of before.
  • My ability to work within the stresses of day-to-day life skyrocketed-now there is very little panicking, getting frustrated, or feeling trapped! 
  • I witnessed others doing the work with me also experience greater calm and joy in their lives as they became well-versed in their internal world and learned to choose different responses.

The numerous small and large ways in which it has affected me cannot be measured. My heart is lighter, I can laugh at myself more, and I have come to peace with how much of life has unfolded.  Last year I began training to become a provider for this Method myself, so that I can share these skills with others who are looking for less stress and greater joy in their lives.
With so much seemingly out of control these days, having an internal safe haven is paramount to getting through the rough patches with our hair and wits intact!

I encourage you to learn a bit more about the Method, and look for more information on telegroups and individual coaching from VIBRANCE to appear in the next few weeks. Wired for Joy, the 6 week introductory course to the Solution Method, will begin in early May.
If you are interested in registering for Wired for Joy or wish to begin individual coaching now, please contact me at or by calling 206-227-1231

For more information on Developmental Skills Training and the Solution method, please click here and here.

I also highly recommend the book The Pathway, by Laurel Mellin – developer of the Solution Method.

PCC’s Emerald City Salad

PCC is the local co-op in Seattle, Washington. This recipe is my favorite use of kale, and is a wonderful dish any time of year.  If you live in Seattle, you can usually find this in the deli. YUM!

1 cup uncooked organic wild rice

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 bunch organic kale

1/2 bunch organic chard

1/2 diced red bell pepper

1/2 diced yellow bell pepper

1/2 thinly sliced fennel bulb

1 bunch green onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped parsley

**Optional: add toasted almonds or walnuts, if desired

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Salt the water (if desired) and add rice. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 60 to 65 minutes. When the water is absorbed, remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. When the rice is cool, toss with dressing.

Remove tough stems and ribs from greens and chiffonade. Combine with peppers, fennel and green onion. Just before serving, toss veggies with dressed rice.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe from PCC Natural Markets, Seattle, Washington:

Recipe: Vanilla Rice Cream with Blueberries

Too orgasmic to keep to myself, this recipe is taken directly from “A Celebration of Wellness” By James Cederquist and Natalie Levin. A BIG ‘thank you’ to them both!

  • 1 cup organic brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vanilla coconut milk, rice milk, or almond milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • maple syrup or honey to drizzle on top

Toast the dry rice in a medium hot skillet until evenly browned, stirring constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Grind in a Vitamix or coffee grinder until fine and powdery (I left mine with a few chunks).
Bring water and dairy-free milk to a boil in a pot, whisk in rice cream, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes (I think it took about 20 with the chunky bits) or until desired consistency is reached.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and blueberries. Drizzle with sweetener of choice.

Serves 3 to 4 (It took me three tries to finish the pot)

African Millet Salad with Corn and Peppers

adapted from The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell

3 T. olive or flax oil
1 medium onion, julienned
2 T. chopped garlic
2 T. minced ginger
1 T. paprika
1 t. black pepper
1/8 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 c. millet
1 t. salt
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 T. sucanat
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernals
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
1/4 c. roasted peanuts, chopped

In a 2-qt saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 T. of oil and saute onion until golden. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one minutes, then add paprika, black pepper, allspice, and cayenne and cook for one minute more. Wash millet quickly and drain; add to pan and stir, coating grains and cooking until hot to the touch. Add water and salt and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes before checking for doneness. When all liquid is absorbed and grain is tender, cover and remove from heat, allowing to steam for 10 minutes. Scrape millet into bowl and cover, then let cool. Whisk remaining oil with lemon juice and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir corn, bell pepper, tomato and parsley in with the millet, then drizzle dressing over and stir to coat. Serve topped with peanuts.