Browsing Tag

coconut oil

Orange Crush Smoothie

August 1, 2016

Hey friends!

Hope you are all having a nice summer (or winter, if you are on the other side of the world from me)!

It’s been a bit quieter over here lately and I wanted to touch in. I started this little blog of mine a while back as a way to inspire and educate people around the importance of eating real food. Sadly, I lost my way as the pressure of keeping the blog updated grew to be too much. While things may appear sparkly on the surface, there are times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel or just work on someone else’s dream. The good news is – I’m back!

I adore you readers and the community we have created here. You have no idea how much joy I find in being part of your health journey. When you pour your heart out about your daily struggle with digestive issues, weight loss or body image – I totally feel your pain. You then have gone on to tell me your life has transformed after making a few small changes that were mentioned in the blog. It is in these moments when I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I was meant to do.

Wherever you are on your journey, I’m here for you.

I’m working determinedly behind the scenes to be here for you in a much bigger way… details to follow later this week!

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you this refreshing smoothie.

Orange Crush Smoothie

Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Raw

Serves 1


  • 2 oranges, peel and pith removed
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2-3 ice cubes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


  1. Toss oranges, almond milk, vanilla bean and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Place coconut oil in last and blend for additional 10 seconds. *Note – coconut oil may clump depending on temperature of ingredients. Don’t desire clumps? Omit ice, make sure ingredients are at room temperature and use coconut oil that is melted.
  3. Pour into large glass and enjoy.


Photo credit: My sister, Jenny Norris

Spelt Scones & Berry Chia Seed Jam

March 28, 2014

I just returned from a relaxing trip in Ireland visiting my man. Being engaged to an Irishman makes for some interesting debates on what food should or shouldn’t be (and how it should or shouldn’t be pronounced). Irish scones are more like American style biscuits. They aren’t sweet, but they’re generally eaten with dollops of cream and jam.

The Irish use the word biscuit to describe…well, everything. Cookies are biscuits. Crackers are biscuits. I’m pretty sure everything is a biscuit.  Except for cake.  Everything else is cake. Brownies are cake. Cake is cake. Pudding is cake. Although sometimes pudding is bread. Pudding is also meat. Confused? You and I both.

There is one thing I can agree on with my man though – scones are best served freshly baked, warm from the oven with some homemade preserves or honey. Scones for breakfast or teatime; they are good all the time.

If you’re not thinking of the classic Irish scones, you’re probably thinking of the scones that are crumbly triangles drenched in glaze served in coffeehouses and bakeries galore. That’s not what’s happening here. We’re using simple, natural ingredients. Although slightly more compact than a classic scone, they still have a light texture and wonderful flavor. They are especially delectable with this berry chia seed jam. If there is one thing worth debating, it is who is making tea?


Simple Spelt Scones

Lightly adapted from Babycakes NYC Cookbook

Serves 6


  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sea salt and baking powder. Stir to combine. Add to the mixture melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir until a very crumbly/dry batter forms. Add the hot water and stir until just combined.
  3. Grease a 1/3 cup measuring cup and fill it with portions of the dough. Drop the portions onto the baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, keeping an eye on these little gems. Allow scones to cool slightly before serving with jam.

Berry Chia Seed Jam 

Vegan & Gluten-free


  • 1 cup berries (I used blackberries & blueberries)​
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp chia seed


  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the berries up with maple syrup and vanilla until smooth. Put the mixture in a saucepan and place over low to medium heat for about 3-4 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add chia seeds and turn down the heat to super low/simmer. Keep mixing while chia seeds start to gel up and jam starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep. ​
  2. Pour mixture into a glass jar with a lid. When it’s cool, seal up the container and store in fridge for about 5-7 days. ​

Grilled White Asparagus with Currant Jelly

April 16, 2013

How is it only now I’ve been introduced to white asparagus? I remember seeing it in the States, but for some reason I never gave it a try until moving to Europe. In Cork, white asparagus is coming into season and it can be found in every market.

I’m really beginning to love asparagus because it’s one of the few vegetables that can stand on their own – artichokes and leeks are the others -and can be served warm or cold. But white asparagus, with its ivory color, is also elegant. It has a special delicacy and less herbaceousness than the green and is less likely to be bitter. It is nutty, succulent and satisfying, which is why just three or four thick spears makes a substantial side dish. Since it’s season is short, I grab the white while I can.

White asparagus is grown completely underground, a process called etiolation. The spears are deprived of light which prevents the plant from producing chlorophyll, thus there is no green color to the stalks. Asparagus is a great source of many nutrients, including fiber, folic acid, calcium and iron. But one thing that may surprise you is that asparagus is loaded with the lesser-known vitamin K. Some vitamin K in our bodies is actually produced by the friendly bacteria in our gut, but the majority we get from the plants that we eat.

I chose to dress this veggie with a tart, juicy currant jelly which compliments the asparagus’ delicate flavor. It may sound crazy mixing veggies with berries, but it really works. Simply delicious.



Grilled White Asparagus with Currant Jelly & Lemon Zest

Serves 2


  • 6-8 spears white asparagus
  • melted coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • handful of fresh red currants
  • spinach
  • lemon zest


Preparing the asparagus

  1. Rinse the asparagus. Using a knife, remove the bottom 1/2 inch of each spear. Remove the tough peel from each spear using a vegetable peeler.
  2. Brush each spear with coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Place the spears on a grill rack over medium-low heat, taking care not to break any of the spears. Turn frequently, every minute or so, using tongs to prevent burning. Grilling uncovered is best due to the constant attention needed during cooking. Spears are ready to serve when there are light brown grill marks on each side. Cooking time will vary according to the specific temperature of the grill being used and the level of doneness desired.

Preparing the currant jelly

  1. Place currants in a bowl and mash with a spoon.


  1. Place grilled asparagus on top of a fresh bed of spinach and top with currant jelly and lemon zest. Enjoy.

Photo Credit: my sister, Jenny Norris –

Caramelized Pear & Hazelnut Porridge

March 7, 2013

You might not have guessed it from reading this blog, but I get into a routine with recipes that I make for us at home. I will get stuck eating the same thing over and over, for breakfast especially. It is usually a green smoothie or some toast and a fruit bowl. I’ve been trying to break it up by doing something different one or two days out of the week.

Recently I decided I was going to make some porridge. You see, believe it or not I never had a bowl of porridge before moving to Europe. I was always a cold cereal kind of gal. I’ve been missing out. Porridge is super easy to make and also an easy way to switch up my routine.

I have never seen or made a fancy porridge, so I thought, why not. There is no reason simple ole porridge cannot get fancy. In this recipe, pears are caramelized lightly and infused with cinnamon and nutmeg which takes basic porridge to a heavenly level. It is then topped with warmed hazelnuts and maple syrup just before serving.

This porridge helped break up my morning recipe routine, and then some. Because it is good to break up the routine once in a while.


Caramelized Pear & Hazelnut Porridge

Vegan & Gluten-free

Serves 1


  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. hazelnuts
  • dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fine rolled oats (I used organic gluten-free)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • maple syrup or honey, if desired


  1. In a small pan over medium heat add the coconut oil and pear. Sauté the pears until they are soft and caramelized. When they start to brown, add the hazelnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  2. Place oats, water and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat and stir gently until the porridge has thickened – about 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon the prepared porridge into a bowl and pour the pears and hazelnuts on top. Serve with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if desired.