November 11, 2014

Hey guys! Holly here!  This week in my kitchen, I made granola!  I love this recipe because you can swap out the dried fruit and nuts listed below for whichever ones you prefer. I have even experimented with adding amaranth to the mix, which added a nutty flavor and some nice texture. Agave syrup can also be subbed in for maple syrup. This granola works great as a breakfast, on-the-go snack, or even a gift!


Our recipe blurb: The interns will be switching us over to WordPress soon and when that happens you guys will have printable recipes from us! But for now, you have to deal with what we’ve got. We know, it’s annoying. Sorry. 

Olive Oil Granola with Hazelnuts and Cranberries
Makes 6 cups | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup cranberries

1.)    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.)    In a large bowl, mix together oats, coconut, hazelnuts, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on your prepared cookie sheet.

3.)    Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until mixture is golden brown. Remove from oven and stir in cranberries. Once completely cool, granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.

Recipe author: Carrie Minns

Meet Holly!

October 30, 2014

Hi everyone! I have another new volunteer/intern and she has been AMAZING in the short time she has been with me! I’m super excited to have her on board and wanted y’all to meet her. You’ll be seeing some stuff from her on the blog soon!


My name is Holly Robinson and I am currently a junior studying Dietetics at Oregon State University. Eating and living well has always been a value of mine. I thus look forward to working with nutrition every day and helping others as a dietitian. I am also obtaining a minor in exercise physiology. Becoming a sports dietitian is one option that I am considering.

The Pacific Northwest is where my heart is. I enjoy running, bicycling, cooking vegetarian dishes, and homebrewing. I currently work as a cook for a restaurant in Corvallis. It’s great receiving the chance to learn kitchen skills and work with new foods weekly!


October 15, 2014

If you know me even just a little, you know that this is my heartbeat, my passion. I grew up with a huge inner critic. The freedom that comes with being able to shut that voice down is incredibly empowering and it’s what I wish for every single of my friends, family, and clients. Have watch. What can YOU do to help grow the future generations into healthy adults that are confident in WHO they are?


September 16, 2014

I met Shauna and Daniel (the cutest couple in the world) at a studio where we take classes together.  They are SERIOUS foodies and I love seeing their posts on Facebook with pictures of things they are making and eating. If you have tomatoes growing, you probably have more than you know what to do with right now so I HAD to share the post below from Shauna.


Tonight I’ve been roasting white currant, sungold, and a cool mixed tomato that seems to have created itself in our garden (a combo of the those other two). Delicious and easy. 

Wash tomatoes, remove stems and dry. Spread on cookie sheet in one layer (if you have a Silpat silicone sheet, use it). Generously coat tomatoes in olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh thyme, rosemary and marjoram (or whatever herbs you have on hand).

Cook in 300F oven until roasted to your liking (1.5+ hours) . Check every 15 minutes and give the tray a shake. If liquid accumulates, drain and reserve it.

Put the roasted tomatoes in a clean jar, cover with reserved liquid and enough extra olive oil to cover the top. Refrigerate.



  • Eat them on their own, or with a cracker/cheese for an appetizer (maybe with a nice fresh piece of basil).
  •  You could even serve on a big basil leaf or on top of a round of cucumber.
  • Add to a salad
  • Blend  into a salad dressing.
  • Fold into cooked pasta with some grated parmigiano reggiano and fresh basil.


August 19, 2014

Haven’t read part 1 and part 2? You should.

I’m sold on kombucha. It’s so dang tasty! What is this wonder of a drink? Let me tell you. It’s a fizzy fermented bevy made by adding a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) to a batch tea and sugar that you let hangout together and get their ferment on for 7-30 days, depending on your taste preference.  You can find a huge list of kombucha health benefits on the web. It’s attributed improving digestion, boosting liver function, preventing cancer… and on and on. However, it’s important to note that there just plain isn’t scientific evidence to back these claims up. “But Amy!” you say, “You’re so big on being evidenced based!” Why yes, yes I am. I’m not drinking it or promoting it because of those claims. I brew it because it’s fun. I drink it because it’s low in sugar and it’s really dang tasty and because water gets boring sometimes. And if I get some of the unproven benefits from it, great!

Aside from all the health claims, there are quite a few other myths floating around as well.  One is that after the fermentation, the tea becomes decaffeinated. NOT TRUE. If you want decaffeinated kombucha, brew decaffeinated tea.

Another is that the SCOBY digests all of the sugar in the tea and that none remains at the end of the fermentation. HALF TRUE BUT MOSTLY NOT TRUE.  Most people like their kombucha after one or two weeks of fermenting. At this point, all that has happened with the sugar is that it’s been separated into fructose and glucose and they’re floating around by their little lonesomes.  It’s not until day 15 or so that the SCOBY starts actually digesting the sugars.  Fermenting for the full 30 days greatly reduces the sugar content but then you’re basically drinking vinegar which most other people just can’t do. I know I can’t!

True or false? Kombucha has high levels of B vitamins. BIG. FAT. FALSE.  The international Journal of Food Science and Technology confirms that the amounts are so small that they almost can’t be measured. And a side note for those of you who try to take in excessive B vitamins via supplements and what not…  your body doesn’t store these. They are water soluble vitamins which means you pee out what your body doesn’t need. Save yourself some money and stop making expensive pee!

Guys, we don’t even know if the beneficial bacteria in the drink are the strains our bodies need.  Our guts can be pretty specific with what they need to make them awesome and the verdict is still out on kombucha.  And remember, just because your cousin’s neighbor cured her lupus or your friend’s aunt got rid of her joint pain from drinking kombucha, doesn’t mean you will too. I’m a fan because compared to soda and even juice, it’s got less sugar and as I said before, I brew and drink it because it’s fun and tasty! It’s a refreshing drink that MAY do you some good health wise, but right now we can’t say for sure.

Kombucha is getting seriously popular, especially here in Portland. It’s expensive though, nearly three bucks a pop. It’s ridiculously easy and inexpensive to make at home, which is what I do. You do have to be careful with home brews though. Don’t be willy-nilly  with washing your hands and equipment.  Aspergillus can live in the kombucha environment and can cause problems for those with weakened immune systems (little peeps, old peeps, pregnant peeps).  I like to rinse my equipment in bleach water and let it air dry. Also, don’t  take a SCOBY from anyone with questionable hygiene. Duh.


From left to right, photo one: My friend Becca with the SCOBY she gave me to get me started on my first ferment. Photo two: A recent kombucha brew with a few SCOBY’s. Yes, they look like something from inside a body… we all have to get over that. Photo three: A recent jug being infused with nectarine, strawberries, ginger and lime. Photo four: One of my most delicious batches. I infused this one with fresh picked strawberries, ginger and lemon.

I’ve got my recipe for kombucha for y’all here. I have high school student who is going through treehouse currently working on getting a template for printable recipes. For now… you just have to cut, paste and print.


Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or dietitian. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


March 10, 2014


My “go to” for winter veggies is often soups or roasting but this is different! I’ve made this butternut flatbread a handful of times now and really enjoy it. I have made it enough to not use the recipe but forgot the pine nuts this time so obviously I still need the recipe as a guide! It was still good but the pine nuts really add a little sompin sompin.  Wanna make it? Click here. 

WHAT STINKS? Part 2. Kraut.

October 7, 2013

The title of this has a “part two” in it. That means there is a “part one” first. So… go check that out before you read this one.

I cannot tell a lie. Initially I was quite intimidated by this whole fermentation thing. Part of my education and even the big fatty test I took to become a dietitian covered food safety. Until I finally purchased a food thermometer, I overcooked meat on the regular, just to make sure I didn’t kill or almost kill anyone. Letting something rot and then eating it just seemed a little too risky for me. I read from numerous places that there hasn’t been one reported case of food-borne illness from fermenting veggies so I repeated that to myself several times and proceeded.


My first batch had cabbage, onions, baby carrots, kale and cauliflower. You can use pretty much whatever you want. I’m not going to take you through a tutorial on this, I’m just going to show you some of my pictures and my experience. You basically chop or shred the veggies, toss some salt on them, squish and mash them down, and add a bit of water if needed. Then you add a weight and cover it. Check out this video to learn now. This guy is the KING of fermenting!!

I used a food grade plastic bucket because but  have since switched to glass, just to be safe. It’s supposed to be OK to use but I did read that it can still leach some chemicals into the ferment.  I started the first bucket in the panty so that I could keep an eye on it but it started to smell so I had to move it down to the basement. It grew the mold layer on the top and that scared me so I just sorta left it down there and kept putting off trying it. Finally one day I skimmed of the mold and pulled out my veggies. Ryan, my boss said that he would taste them first because I was too scared to (hence the avoidance of the bucket) but I summoned the courage to try some cauliflower and it was good!! I excitedly brought some up to Ryan’s office. Success! It was so exciting!! I put them in a few jars and covered them in the brine and we chipped away at it.


My second round I did mostly cabbage, onion, carrots. I added garlic and some hot peppers. This time I shredded them in my food processor.  Taste test? Gooood.I also did dill pickles and dill green beans! They are sooo good! Just the main veggie, garlic, pepper, dill and some oak leaves to help them stay crisp. A big hit here! I wish I would have known how amazing they would be when we had cucumbers coming out our ears! I have always loved dill anything but what’s awesome about THESE dills is that they are packed full of beneficial bacteria! I grew up loving my mom and grandma’s dill pickles. My mom recently informed me that they ones I ate when I was in grade school were all made using this method. They switched to canning later. It was so cool to learn that! Another thing I love about these dills is that the process of fermenting is a hundred times easier than canning. I canned pickles earlier this summer and fermenting takes a fraction of the time. You can do a small jar or a big batch, whatever you have growing or whatever you have purchased. Most canning recipes require a hefty portion of produce. Fermenting is amazing because you can just do one jar if that’s all you want to do! I’m totally sold. Totally sold.



September 30, 2013


I’ve been wanting to try fermenting for quite a while now but something seemed to always edge ahead of it on the priority list. Earlier this year I spent seven long days in the hospital with an antibiotic resistant staph infection. It got a little out of hand and progressed to something called, “cellulitis” which is a serious skin and tissue infection that can result in death if not properly treated and managed (no biggie). There was also talk of “necrotizing fasciitis,” a sciencey term for tissue death (also, no biggie).  It sucked.  We had to wait a few days to get a culture back to figure out what antibiotics would most likely kill my infection.  Once I got started on the right antibiotic my body quickly and dramatically improved. Being able to bend my leg became an exciting achievement!

It’s not new news to most that overuse of antibiotics is one of the main contributors to these superbugs that form resistance to them. MRSA, the infection I had, is MUCH more common now than it was even just five years ago. While antibiotics are overused and overprescribed, they definitely have a place and this was one of them. Being on antibiotics should be a last choice though. In addition to the mutating superbugs, antibiotics can also muck up the bacteria balance in our guts. Illness, stress, and a low fiber diet can do this too.

Most of you by now have heard of probiotics.  These are the good guys, the good bacteria. Keeping these tiny microbiota in our guts in a proper balance turns out to be very important. We have a plethora of illnesses and infections in us waiting for “good bugs” to take a hit and dwindle. In addition to keeping the bad bacteria in check, we are just starting to scratch the surface with learning all the jobs that these guys have! Probiotics have been getting credit for healthy digestion, decreased inflammation, protection against infection, decreasing allergic responses, boosting immunity, decreased fatigue, weight and mood regulation… and on and on. Some of these have more research to back them than others. What’s important to note is that just about all of these are “mays” meaning there isn’t enough evidence to say we know for sure they do all these things. If you follow my blog, you will learn that I’m a hard evidence type of girl. If you are my client, I won’t prescribe a diet that is full of probiotics to decrease your allergies or inflammation because of the evidence just isn’t there. While there is lot we still don’t know about probiotics, we do know this: they are important. The more that research on probiotics advances, the more important they become.  We know eating fermented foods won’t hurt us and has benefits beyond just the probiotics for us. For example, the purple cabbage kraut I made is packed full of fiber and is a cancer fighting antioxidant power house. I think of it as another way to get my veggies in. We have raw, steamed, roasted, sautéed, and fermented! Plus, it’s an easy way to preserve food and that’s really cool too.  Stay tuned for what’s been stinking up the basement and my kitchen!


September 28, 2013


Meet Family Carson! I work for this wonderful family and cook their breakfasts and dinners Monday through Friday. About once a month I get to cook for a dinner party. It’s super exhausting but also super fun. My “go to” has been thai food so far.

Ryan and Gill are super great people and do super cool stuff. They are a great team and have an amazing marriage.  Ryan is the founder and CEO of Treehouse.  Check it out. For real, check it out. He’s got a blog too. When he’s not working, he can be found working out,  building forts, reading, pushing the boys on the swings and hanging out with Gill.  He just got “Gillian” tattooed” over his heart. Yeah, she cried. Who wouldn’t? Ryan is a super caring individual and really wants his employees to be happy.   He doesn’t like shellfish, which makes me quite sad really, because I love them.

Gill (isn’t she gorgeous?!!) is the best mum (she’s from England) mine eyes hath ever seen!  She is super patient and always has fun stuff to do with the boys. She plans out themed weeks for them like, “volcano week” and “fire safety week.” I love watching her mother. I love her sense of humor and pretty much all of her clothes as well! She loves to garden, just recently became a master gardener, and has really great blog about gardening. It’s super fun sharing this similar interest with her and “talking shop.”  Her beautiful vegetable garden keeps me well (sometimes over) stocked with fresh produce to cook with and there are plans to put in an orchard this fall! Gill hates celery, which is pretty easy to work around and misses the good bread and sausages in the UK.

Jackson (age 6) wants to be a builder and is always inventing things. He loves learning how things work, whether it’s the new coffee maker, the steam cleaner, or the drip hoses in my garden.  As soon as he starts reading I think he’ll be able to fix anything that’s broken.  Right now he’s selling volcano kits that say, “Jackson’s Pretend Dangerous Toys” on the packaging he made with Gill. Jackson is currently obsessed with Minecraft and would play it all day if he could!  He despises eating most anything that is green and loves sweets.

Devon (age 3) is the cutest little wrecker of things you ever did see! Gill’s (all of them) terra cotta pots and Jackson’s Lego creations are just a couple of the tragedies he has left in his wake.  His little voice is disgustingly cute.  He likes to paint, play with and chase the dogs, climb on things and loves to watch Tomas the Tank Engine. Devon’s favorite thing to eat is “cheese and cwackas.”

Right now the Carsons have an exchange student from Kosovo named, Artir (age 17). He’s super fun to have around! He’s on the school soccer team and spends quite a bit of time on homework (I don’t miss those days a bit!). Artir eats like a typical teenager and food is definitely the way to his heart! He hates onions but I’m determined to get him to like them at least cooked in things before the school year is up!


September 18, 2013


I was just sitting in my window seat  when I noticed I have three jalapeños! I have eight pepper plants, two habaneros, and three jalapeños. Quite the crop! Last year, I had more peppers than I could keep up with! I did get these in a little late but definitely expected better.

I usually plant my veggie garden with a plan for everything. The Roma tomatoes, onions, and peppers were all supposed to be for salsa.  Gill has said numerous times throughout this growing season that there is always at least one thing that just fails and doesn’t do well. She’s so cool and chill about it.   In the past I would have been so disappointed in my meager crop because of the plans I had for it.”Damn you peppers!! You were planted for salsa that was going to be given away with other canned delights at Christmas!” But not this year. I’m taking on Gill’s cool attitude this summer and hopefully forever.

I see a therapist about once a month just to talk about regular life stuff. She is awesome and I think she’s turning me into wonder woman… or at least helping me to fret less over only three jalapeños and live a more mindful life. Really, its kind of the same. Anyway, she is always saying, “And what if… (insert worst case scenario here) happens then what? … and then what would you do? And then what?”  Her “taking it to the end” method and the the garden lesson from Gill have been doing wonders for me. Life isn’t always going to be basil, rainbow carrots, and black krim tomatoes that grow beautifully and bountifully. We will have zucchini plants that don’t produce much (how is that even possible?!) and only three jalapeños. And what if that happens? You buy a few peppers for your salsa and for once you are actually someone who can grab that zucchini that everyone is happily giving away. Life lessons from the garden. You’re welcome.