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Breakfast Food Nutrition

M A T C H A Energy Bites

May 15, 2019

Energy bites with matcha? Yes! This happened and they are sooo good! You might think this is taking matcha too far but wait until you try these yummy little balls of peanut butter, chocolate, and matcha all rolled up into an easy nutritious bite!

These are the perfect little bite of energy and great for a healthy on-the-go snack providing a punch of healthy good-for-you ingredients. The matcha flavor is so subtle that besides the energy balls being slightly greenish, you may not even realize you’re eating matcha but you’ll reap all the health benefits! Plus, all the other ingredients are wholesome and good for you like whole grains from oats and omega-3’s from chia seeds. These bites are tad sweet from the honey and dark chocolate pieces and deliciously flavored by the peanut butter! Did I mention this recipe is gluten-free and vegan!

What are the health benefits of matcha? Read my previous post: Top Benefits of Matcha.

These little bites are incredibly addicting and two-bite size makes it perfect for popping into your mouth for a quick boost of energy. Best of all these are super simple to make and no-bake. I repeat: NO-BAKE! Plus a one-bowl clean up, double win! All the ingredients go in the food processor and rolled into bite-size balls and boom you’ve got yourself a tasty treat!


Pulse your oats and coconut flakes.

Add in peanut butter, chocolate, honey, chia seeds, and matcha powder. But feel free to change it up how you like; almond butter, maple syrup, white chocolate or flaxseeds.

Pulse everything up, until it resembles a course crumble. Now your ready for rolling your bites.

Once all your dough is rolled into little balls, pop into the freezer to harden up. I store mine in a zip lock baggie in the fridge but you could leave them in the freezer too. The dough makes about 25 little balls.

That’s it! How simple was that!? Now you have a nutritious and wholesome energy snack that is much better for you then a highly processed protein bar or energy drink. I hope you make these and if you do be sure to tag @platefulnutrition!

Want more matcha? Check out this creamy warm Matcha Latte recipe!

Not sure what matcha is? Well, I did an entire blog post on this green “super” powder, click here to read it!

Breakfast Featured


May 15, 2019

What is better than eggs & hash browns? The fancy adult version called potato egg nest!

These Egg Nests are the perfect creation for those who love eggs and hash browns but even if you don’t who can resist these adorable egg cups. Each bite has a perfect egg-to-hash ratio. Crispy potato shreds surrounding a perfectly soft cooked egg giving you serious yolk goals, see photo below.

This is one of those recipes you want to have in your back pocket when you have guest for breakfast or need to feed a crowd. This recipe is fairly easy to whip up yet looks sophisticated enough to impress your guest. Plus these fancy eggs are the best because they have easy make-a-head potential. Wouldn’t these little “egg basket” be so darn cute for Easter brunch, Mother’s Day or just about any special occasion!

You may be thinking this dish looks difficult or even time consuming but trust me it’s neither of those. You can use frozen hash browns saving you loads of time from peeling and shredding fresh potatoes.

Make-a-head bonus: By par-baking the hash browns in the muffin tin the day before, come sunrise you can plop the eggs into the egg nests and bake making it a breeze come morning but even if you don’t do that this all comes together pretty quick.

How To Make Eggs Nests

Basics: you’ll need an oiled muffin tin, eggs, frozen/fresh hash browns*, parm cheese, butter, S&P, and fresh herbs; chives, parsley, etc.

*If you are doing fresh hash browns, after grating your potatoes make sure to squeeze out any extra liquid using a cheesecloth or dish towel.

Combine shredded potatoes, parm, butter, and S&P. Put about 1-2 tbsp in each muffin tin and using your fingers press potato mixture in and up the sides of the muffin cup. Complete all 12 muffin tins. Cook in oven until slightly golden on the edges**.

**Now if you are making these ahead you can stop here. Once potato nest cooked and cooled, remove from muffin tin and store in airtight container in refrigerator. When you are ready to complete the remaining steps, put potato nest back into greased muffin tin and carry on.

Carefully drop an egg into each potato nest. Sprinkle with cheese and cook for another 15 minutes or until done to your likeness.

Once cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle with chives or parsley and top with avocado, sour cream, salsa, or sriracha



May 15, 2019

Sometimes you need a little treat during the weekday that isn’t going to make you crash from a sugar high. Meet Jam Dot. The best wholesome, slightly sweet cookie you can eat every day because it’s made with good-for-you ingredients.

Made with oats, almond meal and coconut flour so its a gluten and dairy-free cookie. Keeping it simple and slightly sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup.

JAM DOT Recipe:

All ingredients go into a large bowl, mix well. You might need a little more coconut oil if the dough isn’t sticking together.

Also, if you don’t have any coconut flour, no worries any gluten-free or regular flour subs in perfectly here.

Roll dough into 12 little patties. Using your thumb gently press an indent in the center. You may need to form the dip so the cookie doesn’t crumble.

Bake about 15 minutes. The center might puff up a little but just gently press back down using the back of a spoon or teaspoon. Fill each cookie with ~1 tsp jam. I used Trader Joe’s Organic Raspberry Jam.

Bake into the oven for another 4 minutes.

Let cookies cool completely, they crisp up as they cool. I found these cookies are best left out to maintain the crisp texture. If stored in an airtight container they will get soft.

Dinner Food Main Dish


May 15, 2019

Crispy sprouts are amazing! This dish can turn any brussel sprout hater surprisingly around. Just ask my husband, who requests this side dish weekly now.

No mushy spouts here. These little cabbages get roasted in the oven at a high temp until the leaves get dark and crispy.

Now to make these sprouts even better they get tossed in a delicious Caesar dressing for the best ever brussel sprout recipe! It’s just like Caesar salad but better because its tossed with crispy warm sprouts and the dressing is simple and healthy – not the usual Caesar dressing.

The Caesar dressing is a creamy vinaigrette made with no eggs or mayo instead Greek yogurt provides the creaminess while also giving you extra nutrition boost of protein and probiotics!

Sprouts are bursting with vitamins and minerals. Like vitamin K which supports bone health and vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps immunity, tissue repair and increases the absorption of iron. In just 1/2 cup the following nutrients meet 81% vitamin C, 8% fiber, 137% vitamin K and 12% omega-3 of your daily recommended needs.

How to Make Crispy Brussel Sprouts:

Preheat oven to 450.

On a rimmed baking sheet toss trimmed and halved sprouts with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Bake sprouts for 20 minutes until leaves are crispy. Shake baking sheet a few times during roasting process to ensure even cooking.

While sprouts bake, prepare the Caesar dressing. In a small bowl whisk together full fat plain Greek yogurt, dijon mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, anchovy paste. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.

When sprouts are all golden and crispy remove from oven and toss with Caesar dressing. Finish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Show off your cooking skills and make sure to use #Platefulnutrition so I can see your creations!

Drink Featured Nutrition


May 15, 2019

Matcha is becoming super popular. It’s no longer just limited to your lattes and teas, you can find it in protein bars, energy bites, smoothies and more making it easier to enjoy all the benefits from this green superfood. I’m big fan of matcha not only for the health benefits but I love the earthy taste of matcha. My favorite way to enjoy matcha is in the form of a latte. By using almond or coconut milk I find the bitterness fades into a subtle sweetness. Since $5 lattes at the coffee shop aren’t really in my budget I’ve come up with my own deliciously creamy version for home. I actually think it’s better than the coffee shops and best of all and I can enjoy this warm drink as I sit in my comfy pants and slippers and slowly sip with a book in hand – its the perfect cozy situation.

Not only is matcha powder a beautiful vibrant green it boasts of an impressive list of nutrients and health benefits to go along with it. Such as, antioxidants, increased mental clarity, improved cognition, liver and heart benefits to name a few. So lets take a closer look as to why matcha is so stellar.

Why Drink Matcha

Well, besides it’s beautifully green color and earthy taste, matcha is considered a superfood. This green powder is an antioxidant powerhouse!  You might be familiar with regular green tea and know that green tea is good for you because of all those antioxidants. Well similarly, matcha has antioxidants but on steroids. One serving of matcha has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular green tea! Essentially Matcha is green tea powder but harvested and processed differently. The matcha leaves are specially harvested and then the whole leaves are ground making it more concentrated then just brewed green tea leaves.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are your body’s defense agents to fight toxins from pollution, chemicals, and radiation that we are constantly exposed to day to day. In particular, a potent antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (say that 10 times fast!) abbreviated EGCG is found to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity and matcha contains this powerful antioxidant.

A lot of what we know at about matcha is because powerful antioxidants found in green tea and blueberries for example have been studied for years and matcha contains these same antioxidants but at an even higher potency.

While matcha has become a trendy drink, I think it’s important to understand some key benefits to have a better purpose for incorporating matcha into your diet. Matcha can enhance an already healthy lifestyle but don’t expect this to cure disease, although those claims may exist there are no scientific studies to prove this. Think of matcha more as a dietary supplement to compliment already healthy habits. Benefits of matcha may help restore your bodies integral well-being and bring harmonious balance. Meaning it may help decrease stress, bring calmness and focus and may enhance brain function and memory.

Matcha itself has limited research but because matcha contains similar antioxidants to green tea studies do exist showing green tea may improve heart health, liver function and mental health. But remember one single health food is not a fix-all. Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and healthy fats is key to maximize the potential of matcha.

While matcha does have a lot of health benefits it may not be for everyone. Matcha has its own distinctive flavor, slightly grassy, earthy tasting, somewhat bitter followed by a lingering sweetness. Some people find matcha too bitter however adding matcha to foods and beverages helps to minimize it’s pungent flavor. I really enjoy using matcha in the form of a latte. I find using almond milk offers a nutty sweetness that balances out the matcha perfectly. Equally delicious you can use coconut milk which has a creamy sweetness that really made the matcha latte a silky dream. So either almond or coconut milk you can’t go wrong with!

Also, matcha contains caffeine but has a slow release compared to other caffeinated drinks like coffee. Matcha has a lot less caffeine than coffee, only 30 mg/teaspoon compared to 150 mg per 8 ounce cup coffee.

Tips For The Perfect Matcha:

Purchase only the organic communal grad matcha: this ensures the highest quality process and pure matcha. Other forms may be a blend and may not contain the same benefits. I use Jade Leaf Matcha, as seen in the photo above. This is a high quality organic communal matcha that has a great taste.

Some low grade matcha brands may appear dull or dark. A good quality matcha should be bright green.

If you plan on making matcha lattes regularly, I would recommend investing in a Japanese bamboo whisk, I have Helen’s Asian Kitchen Bamboo whisk. It is delicate whisk made specifically for matcha to perfectly smooth and blend matcha. You can use a standard whisk but make sure you blend the matcha well so there are no lumps.

How To Use Matcha

Preparing matcha is simple. I usually prepare the dairy-free milk in a small saucepan while I get my matcha ready. I put 1/2-1 tsp matcha in a mug and add 2 tbsp or so of hot water and whisk in a “z” pattern with my bamboo whisk until the matcha is smooth, lump free and frothy. Then once your milk is heated add to your mug and stir.

If a matcha latte isn’t your thing, there are several other ways to incorporate it into your diet so you can unlock the benefits. Try adding a teaspoon into your smoothie or try my recipe for Matcha Energy Bites which has a subtle matcha flavor but you reap all the healthy benefits of matcha!

Let me know if you enjoyed this post below and if you make this delicious drink please tag #platefulnutrition, I’d love to see your creations!

Breakfast Featured

Cinnamon Crunch Granola

May 15, 2019

THE SECRETS OUT! My family favorite granola recipe is posted. You guys, this is a THE granola recipe you’ve got to try. I mean, only if you like cinnamon crunchy oat clusters. This is one of those recipes you will continue to make over and over again because no other store bought granola will do anymore.

I have made this granola for years so have managed to tweak this recipe to perfection. Lucky for you I am sharing this tried and true granola recipe. What I love most about this recipe is that its so versatile. You can swap in any nut butter, dried fruit, or nut/seed and the recipe always come out with clusters and a good crunch!

I keep this granola in a large jar on the counter, always filled up for easy snacking. This recipe is so simple that you can whip it up in under 30 minutes. With something this easy you can share it with everyone, like that friend of yours that just had a baby or that housewarming party this weekend (pour this granola into a cute mason jar as a housewarming gift – genius!).

Besides eating this granola by the fist-fulls I also love it over yogurt & fruit, on top of a smoothie or I pack a little baggie to take with me as a quick snack anytime.

Buckwheat Groats: highest amount of protein per gram then any other grain; corn, wheat, millet. Not as high as quinoa or beans but significantly the highest for any whole grain.

One of the secret ingredients that gives this granola its crunch is the buckwheat groats. You might be more familiar with buckwheat flour, which is just buckwheat groats ground. This nutrient-dense grain is gluten-free and considered a SUPERFOOD due to all the antioxidants. This little grain also provides an abundance of complete plant-based protein (all 12 amino acids =complete protein source), vitamins and minerals making it extra suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

Studies have even examined this mighty grain and due to its fiber and phytonutrients (antioxidants) it has cholesterol and blood pressure lowering effects helping to prevent cardiovascular disease. A recent 2018 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that those who had the buckwheat intervention versus the control had significantly lower blood pressure, blood sugar, total cholesterol and triglycerides. Furthermore, all those phytonutrients in buckwheat not only support cardiovascular health but can benefit digestion, liver and brain function and help fight cancer! Go Buckwheat Go!

Not only is this granola super yummy its a nutrient-powerhouse! Zero guilt about grabbing this granola by the fist-fulls – just trying to get in more antioxidants!

Mostly what I love are the crunchy clusters; perfectly toasted and slightly sweet. No refined sugar, the sweetness comes from maple syrup and dates. I also use a good amount of cinnamon because I like the flavor it gives and after all this is called “Cinnamon Crunch Granola.”

I’m am pretty sure after making this you will:

  1. Have no self control not to eat it all in a day
  2. Never look at store bought granola the same because homemade fresh granola is superior to anything store bought
  3. The fragrance of oaty-cinnamon while the granola bakes alone will make you want to continue making this on the regular, the smell is truly pure bliss!

How To Make Cinnamon Crunch Granola

To make this granola, toss oats, coconut, buckwheat groats, cinnamon, nutmeg, cranberries, walnuts and pumpkin seeds into a large bowl. You can get creative here and swap in different nuts or dried fruit.

The peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, oil, water and dates all go in the blender. Once blended the dates might remain a little chunky and that’s okay. Pour this over the oat mixture. Mix well.

On a cookie sheet pour mixture and spread out evenly. Try not to spread out too thin, you want some thickness to the granola. Bake until slightly golden on the edges.

That’s it! You’ve got yourself about 4 cups of fresh homemade granola!

PRO TIP: Once you cook the granola you need to let the granola cool completely before breaking it apart. Cooled granola holds together and gives you those big clustery bites, yum!

So now that you’re on board for using the buckwheat groats and I’ve sold you on the fact that store bought granola is just mediocre.  Let’s make this super addicting and healthy granola!

Remember to tag #platefulnutrition on IG if you make the recipe!

Main Dish

Loaded Lentil Kale Soup

February 2, 2019

SOUP. It’s just so uncomplicated. Simple ingredients, minimal prep, and leftovers. It really is the best, cook once eat for 2 days (sometimes 3 days) kinda recipe. Soup is also a great make-ahead meal and sometimes soup just taste better the next day after the flavors have melded together. I’m not gonna lie, I love leftovers. I am not picky at all about eating leftovers for 2-3 days in a row. Give me a comment below if you’re with me!!

A couple a things first about the soup. One, it’s loaded with nutrition. Lots of protein & fiber thanks to those those tiny nutrient-rich lentils and cannellini beans. My favorite dark leafy green Kale gets added by the handfuls. Kale is awesome for soups because it holds up its texture without getting mushy even if you plan on reheating later. Kale is a nutrient powerhouse loaded up with fiber, iron and antioxidant goodness.

With all these plant-based vitamins and minerals this warm bowl of soup will give your immune system a boost, keeping you healthy during the cold season. In fact, kale and beans, like lentils contain substantial amount of zinc which is key to fighting off any cold. Plus you’ll be more energized (thanks to all the b-vitamins) and make all those good little microbs in your gut so happy.

FACT: Your gut is the door keeper to your health, weak gut = weak immune system.

This recipe, is so simple, basic pantry staples come together quickly for a warm and cozy night in. Paired with a glass of wine I’d say a weeknight in sounds good to me.

One pot dishes are some of my favorite weeknight meals to make because it requires minimal pots/pans and quick clean up. Everything pretty much goes in one pot and you just let this simmer away for about 20-30 minutes. With a few little add ins at the end, this soup is done! How quick is that!? Now that weeknight meal is starting to look real good!

TIP: Don’t like kale, sub in fresh or frozen spinach instead.

I finished this lovely soup off with some grated Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper along side a toasty slice of some crusty bread. DONE!

I hope you enjoy this loaded lentil soup for a healthy & cozy night in.
If you make the soup let me know how you liked it in the comments below & post a picture on Instagram using #platefulnutrition