Category Archives: Recipes

Charlotte’s Charming Chai

This weekend at Serenity Yoga, we served Charlotte’s Chai, and everyone loved it! Here’s her unique and delicious take on chai tea, which includes nontraditional, healthifying ingredients like turmeric and clove infused oranges. Who does that? Charlotte, that’s who! And maybe now you too!

4 Tbsp loose rooibos tea (or 5 rooibos tea bags)
1 small whole orange or clementine
15 whole cloves
10 whole cardamon pods
1 inch sliver of fresh ginger
1/2 inch sliver of fresh turmeric
1 whole cinnamon stick

Push the whole cloves into the orange skin all around the orange. Crush the cardamom pods with a mortar and pestle. Fill your crock pot 3/4 full of water, and add all ingredients. Turn the crock pot on high. Enjoy a 75 minute yoga or mindfulness practice. The tea will be ready when you complete your practice. You can strain the tea into mugs or into a separate container.


Vegan Paleo Gluten Free

When making healthy, whole food recipes you realize how so many conventional ingredients can be substituted. You don’t actually need bread to make a stuffing. It’s more about the herbs, vegetables, and texture. The parsnip does a nice job replacing the usual bread cubes, but without all that refined, high glycemic, flour.

  • 1 bag parsnips, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 10 oz porcini or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 leaves fresh sage, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Mix the chopped parsnips and carrots in a single layer in a roasting pan or two, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for about 30-45 minutes, until tender, stirring halfway through.

While the vegetables are roasting, warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic, leeks, and celery for 3 minutes. Add in the apple and mushrooms and cook for until tender, about 10 minutes.

Combine the roasted parsnips, carrots, and mushroom mixture in a large food processor. Add in the fresh thyme, chopped sage, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Pulse the vegetable mixture, enough so that it mixes together, but still has a chunky texture. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Rustic Pumpkin Cookies

Vegan Gluten Free

Most desserts contain gluten, processed sugar, and dairy, which don’t agree with many people. Not ours! White flour doesn’t cut it in our book. Instead, we use oats and buckwheat flour. Don’t be fooled by the name. Buckwheat is not wheat, and doesn’t contain gluten. It’s actually a seed that acts like a grain, known as a “pseudo grain”. The spices, coconut, and mango add natural sweetness, decreasing the need for sweeteners. We must warn you, these cookies are rustic looking! But they sure are delicious and make you feel good.

  • 3 cups rolled oats (be sure they’re labeled gluten free for strictly gluten free guests)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • ¾ cup sucanat, coconut sugar, or your favorite sweetener
  • ½ cup refined coconut oil, warmed
  • 1 mango, peeled and pureed or ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree (check ingredients that it only pumpkin)
  • 1 cup macademia nuts, roughly chopped in food processor (optional)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Pre heat oven to 375.

Blend oats in food processor to create oat flour. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buckwheat flour, and coconut, and pulse five times. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

In the food processor, combine maple syrup, sucanat, warmed coconut oil, vanilla, and pumpkin puree. Mix well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix. Fold in nuts and cherries.

Either drop tablespoons on baking sheet or roll dough into small balls and slightly flatten on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.

Note: You can mix some mini dairy free dark chocolate chips into the dough for a chocolate twist. However, most chocolate chips do contain refined sugar, so it reduces the health factor slightly.

Apple Raspberry Crisp

Vegan Gluten Free

Another gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free dessert! As you’ll see, you don’t actually need those inflammatory ingredients in desserts. This version is just as delicious as the others. The difference is, your body will love it too. We also added raspberries for a refreshing flavor combination, to add variety (which is so important in the nutrition world), and provide ellagic acid (a compound with chemopreventive powers. Enjoy in good health!

For the filling

  • 6 medium sized local apples
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot

For the topping

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1½ cups oats (be sure they’re gluten free if you have a gluten free guest)
  • ¼ cup refined coconut oil
  • ¹∕ ₃ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling

I like to keep the skin on the apples, but feel free to peel if skinless is your preference. Cut around the core or remove core with an apple corer. Dice into 1 inch pieces. Place in 13×9 inch glass baking dish. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix well. Set aside and let the natural juices release from the fruit while you put together the topping.

For the topping

Place almonds in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oats and pulse a couple of times to blend. Add coconut oil and pulse 4–5 times until oil is evenly distributed. Add remaining ingredients and pulse 4–5 more times.

Evenly distribute the topping on top of the fruit and bake 45 minutes uncovered. If the fruit is bubbling up from the bottom, it is ready. If it isn’t bubbling, cover with aluminum foil so the topping doesn’t burn, and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the fruit bubbles.

Chef’s Tip: Make double the topping and pop in the freezer for another day.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Paleo Gluten Free

This vegan pumpkin pie is delicious and actually good for you. Turns out, you don’t need gluten, eggs, butter, or refined sweeteners for a yummy dessert! It tastes even better the next day. Below this recipe is another version made with eggs.

For the crust

  • 1¼ cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice water

For the filling

  • 15 oz canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp arrow root powder
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp cardamom (optional)
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place flour, salt and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse 4 to 5 times. Add coconut oil and pulse until blended. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse until dough forms a ball. Press dough into a greased 9-inch glass pie dish.

In a food processor*, combine pumpkin puree and spices, pulse 4 to 5 times. Add coconut milk, maple syrup, and arrowroot. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Allow to cool 1 to 2 hours. For a more solidified pie, refrigerate for 1 hour.

* No need to clean the food processor between making the crust and pie filling.

Pumpkin Pie (with eggs)

Paleo Gluten Free

This pumpkin pie is delicious and actually good for you. No need for guilt at the dessert table!

For the crust

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 1 large egg at room temperature

For the filling

  • 15 oz canned pumpkin puree, or 1.5 cups roasted pumpkin or squash puree
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp cardamom (optional)
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place flour, salt and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse 4 to 5 times. Add coconut oil and pulse until blended. Add egg and pulse again until dough forms a ball (4 to 5 times). Press dough into a greased 9-inch class pie dish.

In a food processor*, combine pumpkin puree and spices, pulse 4 to 5 times. Add coconut milk, maple syrup, and eggs. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Allow to cool 1 to 2 hours. For a more solidified pie, refrigerate for 1 hour.

* No need to clean the food processor between making the crust and pie filling.




Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole

Vegan Paleo Gluten Free

Hold the marshmallows! This casserole contains nothing but the good stuff. It is free of refined sugar, gluten, and dairy, and is even more delicious than conventional sweet potato casseroles. We also added pomegranate seeds for a little pop of freshness as well as some serious anti-aging nutrients!

For the Maple Nut Topping:

  • ¾ cup pecans or walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 Tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 1½ Tbsp refined coconut oil

For the Sweet Potato Casserole:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp sucanat, coconut sugar, or your favorite sweetener
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (or substitute 1 tsp dried ginger)
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract (vanilla can be substituted)
  • Seeds from ½ pomegranate (or ½ cup POM pomegranate seeds)

Maple Nut Topping

While sweet potato is steaming, place nuts in food processor and pulse 3 to 4 times.

Add remaining ingredients, and pulse until well blended (about 5 -10 times). Time saving tip: You don’t need to clean the food processer between topping and potatoes.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cubed potatoes in a steamer basket, with a couple inches of water in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Steam for about 15 minutes, or until fork tender.

Drain the potatoes and add to food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients up to pomegranate seeds. Pulse until blended (about 5 – 10 times). Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds. Spoon sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish and evenly top it with the Maple Nut topping. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. (Check that nuts don’t burn. If they are browning too quickly, cover with foil.) Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Smashed Purple Potatoes

Vegan Gluten Free Paleo

The purple pigments (called anthocyanins) in these potatoes are not that common, so we love to get it in however we can! Purple potatoes contain four times the antioxidants of regular potatoes. They are also rich in chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure and may help to prevent blood clots and thrombosis.

  • 2½ lb blue potatoes
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus extra to oil the baking sheet)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives (for garnish, optional)

Preheat oven to 450. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water is boiling, carefully add the potatoes. Cook until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork (approximately 20 to 30 minutes). Drain the potatoes and return pot to burner to remove excess moisture. Place whole potatoes on an oiled, rimmed baking sheet. Use a spatula to smash the potatoes a bit. Drizzle with oil, and add salt, pepper and rosemary. Bake until crispy on the outside (approximately 15 to 20 minutes). Garnish with chives. 

Cranberry Sauce

Vegan Paleo Gluten Free

Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than that suspicious looking canned stuff. We also improve upon most other homemade sauce recipes by replacing empty calorie white sugar with unprocessed sugar that retains many of its nutrients. If you can’t find sucanat or coconut sugar, you can use another sugar of your choice.Try to get organic cranberries, as the conventional ones are heavily sprayed with pesticides.

  • 1 cup sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1, 12-oz bag organic cranberries
  • Zest of one orange
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Pinch cloves

Heat sucanat and water over medium heat until sugar has dissolved (a couple minutes). Add cranberries and stir. Cook cranberries in water mixture until cranberries pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, add orange zest and cardamom. It is wonderful warm but when chilled, the pectin from the cranberries creates a jelly texture.

Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Vegan Gluten Free (and some Paleo people will eat quinoa)

We upgraded the usual stuffed squash filling with the superfood quinoa, a whole pseudo-grain rich in protein and minerals. We also swapped the butter with metabolism-friendly coconut oil (a bonus for your vegan guests) and opted for maple syrup, a whole food sweetener, to blend the flavors. If you can’t find a Blue Hubbard squash, 2 acorn squashes will work just fine.

For the squash:

  • 1 Baby Blue Hubbard Squash (or substitute 2 acorn squashes)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

For the quinoa:

  • 1 cup tri color quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • ¼ cup fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice squash in half. Place cut side up in large baking dish with ¼ inch of water in the bottom. Add oil, syrup, spices and salt and rub into the squash. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle cranberries on top and bake 10 minutes more, uncovered.

While squash is baking, prepare quinoa. Warm oil in a skillet, and add quinoa. Toss the quinoa to coat in oil and lightly toast it.  Add spices, and toss to coat. Add water or broth and cranberries. Cook 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and add walnuts and fresh parsley.


Festivus Rice

Vegan Gluten Free

This vegetable laden wild rice is delicious and satisfying with its many complementary flavors.

  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • Sea salt
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup roasted, salted, shelled pistachios
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Prepare the wild rice according to package directions. If you don’t have directions, boil the rice with 2 cups of broth, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to steam for 10 minutes with the cover on. Then fluff with a fork. If there is any remaining water in the rice, just drain it off.

While the rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the diced onion, apple, and carrot until the onion in soft. Add the celery, thyme, garlic, and a teaspoon of salt, and sauté for a couple more minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture. Add the cranberries, pistachios, rice, and vinegar. Stir to incorporate. Heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.