shredded apple and granola oatmeal

It’s finally fall -REALLY fall -and that means it’s oatmeal season!

Don’t get me wrong. I love oatmeal any time of year. But it’s so much easier to have a bowl of steamy oatmeal on a crisp fall, winter, or spring morning than when it’s stifling in the summer.

Sad to say that the pretty leaves are almost gone here, but oatmeal is back and here to stay.

shredded apple granola oatmeal

Lucky for me, I work with Stonyfield and all throughout the year, we’re given awesome opportunities to try cool new products that pair well with all kinds of Stonyfield yogurt. On the menu this time? Natures Path’s new Pumpkin Flax Granola and Qi’a Superfood Cereal, a mixture of dried cranberry, sliced almonds, chia, buckwheat and hemp seed.

shredded apple granola oatmeal

Since pumpkin and cranberry are two of my favorite fall flavors, I figured it was only right to combine them with another perfect fall flavor – apple – and make the ultimate bowl of oatmeal.

Do you see all the goodness in this Qi’a cereal?! It packs such a punch in a small amount, making it perfect to sprinkle on oatmeal or stir into yogurt or have on its own. I love buckwheat groats so any chance to have them more often is a great thing. If you haven’t tried them before, you’re missing out!

Pumpkin Flax Granola

  •         A delicious and crunchy blend of oats, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon and molasses.
  •         Excellent source of ALA Omega-3, 31g of Whole Grains, 6g of protein, 5g of fiber
  •         Like all Nature’s Path products, it is USDA certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified

Qi’a Superfood Cereal (pronounced “key–ah”)

  • Qi’a  is a gluten free Superfood Cereal that combines Chia seeds, Hemp and Buckwheat and is full of Plant-based Protein, Fiber & ALA Omegas.
  • Qi’a, like all Nature’s Path products is certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified
  • You can boost your nutrition with only 2 tbsp. and feel long lasting energy from this powerful, functional, and nutritious superfood
  • Qi’a Superfood Chia Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal Cranberry Vanilla is a blend of vanilla-dusted cranberries and almonds

shredded apple granola oatmeal

This oatmeal has everything: tart apple, creamy oats, crunchy granola and cereal topping, and a bit more creaminess from a little Stonyfield yogurt and milk to top everything off.

shredded apple granola oatmeal

Pretty sure I’m having this again tomorrow morning. No shame on repeats in this house.

Shredded apple and granola oatmeal

This bowl signifies almost everything I love about fall (minus the changing leaves and return of football season). Crunchy from the granola and cereal topping, creamy from the oats and yogurt, and a little tartness from the apple make it a perfect way to start your day.


  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 small apple, cored and shredded
  • 1/4 cup Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax Granola
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp Nature's Path Qi'a Superfood Cereal
  • 1-2 Tbsp Stonyfield milk (optional)


  1. In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Stir in the oats. Return to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the majority of the liquid has cooked into the oats.
  3. Stir in the shredded apple, granola, and salt. Let the mixture cook for another minute to heat everything through.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the yogurt and cinnamon.
  5. Divide the oats between two bowls and top with the Qi'a Superfood Cereal and a splash of milk before serving.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Stonyfield. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support us!

Cooking with Coffee and Big Island giveaway!

It’s here, it’s here!!

cooking with coffee cookbook

I can’t believe it’s finally here – in print – and being delivered to my friends and family and all of you!

To help celebrate the cookbook, I’m partnering up with Barn2Door, to host a giveaway for a copy of the cookbook and a 3 month coffee subscription to Big Island Coffee Roasters. You don’t want to miss this!

big island coffee roasters

Have you heard of Barn2Door? It is the coolest thing. Barn2Door is a marketplace where you can buy sustainably grown meat, fish, fruits, vegetables & items like raw honey and real maple syrup directly from producers and growers. Farmers, fishers, ranchers and gardeners have their own store – like Etsy for farms –  where they showcase the food they have for sale, and manage direct communications, sales and fulfillment (local delivery, national shipping or both!). It’s a virtual farmer’s market, and I love it!

And one of the shops is Big Island Coffee Roasters, aka one of our new favorite things. Founded in 2010, Big Island Coffee Roaster was voted “Hawaii’s Favorite Artisan Beverage” in 2015 and won the 2013 Hawai’i Coffee Association’s statewide cupping competition. They are incredibly passionate about the craft of coffee, and make sure to focus on each step of the process.

They roast each shipment to order and send directly from their farm to your doorstep. Roasted coffee to order is like having your own coffee butler. And you can tell in the quality and flavor that they take great coffee seriously.

big island roasters

I think my favorite (so far) is this Maui Mokka – a medium roast with a toasty, caramelly flavor. It’s the perfect brew for fall and winter! And you can’t really go wrong with “layered chocolate, brown sugar, graham cracker” as the tasting notes on the bag.

pour over

Like most of our coffee, we’ve made these either in the french press or pour over, and after weeks of trying them, I think the pour over won! It made the perfect cup. I can’t wait for tomorrow morning to have another.

Want a chance to win your own 3 month coffee subscription and a copy of the cookbook? Enter here!

AND, just for you guys — Barn2Door created a special promo code just for you! Use BRANAPPETIT15 when checking out for $15 off a $50 purchase – good from now through November 7.

And make sure to sign up for the Barn2Door newsletter so you don’t miss out on news, updates, promotions, new farmers, and seasonal food.

For more info, follow Barn2Door and Big Island Coffee Roasters:


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October is Healthy Pasta Month – did you know this?

It’s my favorite month and a reason to celebrate healthy pasta dishes? Count me in. I am so ready for sweaters and boots and changing leaves and hearty, healthy meals on brisk nights.

So I’ve got a great pasta dish to share!

za'atar and chutney grilled chicken with zucchini and lemon pasta salad

I’m so happy to be a part of Healthy Pasta Month for Dreamfields Pasta, along with a bunch of great bloggers.

I’ve been working with Dreamfields for several years now, and since our first box, they’ve been our favorite. A great nutritional choice and such a good texture – it’s a no brainer.

And even though fall is coming in fast, you can still find zucchini here at the farmers market, so I thought this would be the perfect dish to ease our way out of summer and into the best season of the year.

za'atar and chutney grilled chicken with zucchini and lemon pasta salad

This grilled chicken and zucchini is spiced up with peach chutney and za’atar seasoning – a perfect mix of sweet and spicy. The za’atar is so well balanced and it pairs so perfectly with the chutney. This might be my new favorite combo! It would be delicious on pork, too.

After grilling the chicken and zucchini, serve it up on some Dreamfields rotini tossed with chickpeas and some fresh lemon zest, and you’re set!

za'atar and chutney grilled chicken with zucchini and lemon pasta salad

Za'atar and Chutney Grilled Chicken and Zucchini with Lemon Pasta Salad

30 minute meals make for even happier weeknights. There's no need to slave over the stove for hours each night for a good meal. Pasta is the answer! And making healthy pasta dishes is easier than you think. This mix uses spices and a great marinade to pack a punch in minimal time.


  • 6 ounces Dreamfields Rotini
  • 2 tablespoons peach chutney
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Place pasta in large bowl; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine chutney, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, za'atar, garlic, salt and pepper. Add half of lemon zest; stir to mix well. Place chicken and zucchini on separate plates. Drizzle with za’atar mixture coating well.
  3. Heat skillet over medium heat or grill on low-medium heat. Cook zucchini 3 to 5 minutes, turning once. Cook chicken 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, or until the juices run clear and chicken is completely cooked.
  4. Add remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil, remaining lemon zest, lemon juice and chickpeas to pasta; toss to combine well.
  5. Cut zucchini and chicken into bite-size pieces; toss with pasta mixture.

Nutrition information (1/4 of recipe): 400 calories; 35 g protein; 51 g carbohydrates; 9 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 810 mg sodium; 9 g total dietary fiber.

To spread the #HealthyPastaMonth love even more, I’ve got a sweet prize pack up for grabs! Courtesy of Dreamfields, one winner will get a family pack of their incredible pasta plus a $25 gift card to spend as you choose!

All you need to do to win is share a link to my post on Facebook or Twitter, and include the hashtag #HealthyPastaMonth. Then, return here and leave me a comment letting me know you did…and voila, you’re entered!

Want more healthy pasta recipes? It’s your lucky day! All month long, Dreamfields is featuring a different blogger every day and sharing their pasta recipes.  To make sure you don’t miss out, follow their tweets, posts, pins, pictures and videos for delicious recipes and helpful information.

I am part of the Dreamfields DreamTeam; this post was made possible by the Dreamfields team. As always, all opinions and recipes are my own – thank you for supporting brands that support us! Giveaway courtesy of and provided by Dreamfields. One Random Winner will be notified by email provided. US addresses only, ages 18 and up. Contest ends October 21, 2015.

stovetop tex-mex pasta

Are your weeks as crazy as ours? I feel like I can’t quite catch my breath some days.

Like tonight, for example. We don’t get home from work until between 6:15-6:30 most days, thanks to student traffic in town. Baby boy eats as soon as we get home, and we feed the dog and cats. Then we start working on our dinner and toss in a load of diapers or our laundry. Fill water bottles and pack lunches. Put baby boy in pjs and get him into bed (even though I just want to snuggle him all night long). Pay bills, write blog posts, or anything else on the computer.

Eat….at some point?

Our schedule has definitely changed – and it was for the BEST reason ever – but I’m still getting used to this new shift in our days, especially with work thrown back in the mix after being home for a while with the little guy.

stovetop tex-mex pasta

So a stovetop pasta made in 30 minutes? That’s something I need in my life.

And I don’t know about you, but pasta tends to get thrown into the same recipes, over and over again. I wanted to come up with a new mix for this fall – something perfect for football season – and I think we have a winner!

stovetop tex-mex pasta

I know I’ve said this before, but Dreamfields is now the only pasta we keep in the house. The texture is perfect, every time, and it’s got more fiber and protein than your typical pasta, giving each dish you make a little boost! And for busy weeks, it’s always nice to know that even quick meals can be healthy.

This is kind of like chili meets pasta. Or like your favorite taco filling tossed together with perfectly cooked pasta, and topped with your favorite toppings. And who doesn’t like tex-mex flavors?

On second thought, don’t tell me if you don’t. I don’t know if I could handle it. We live for scallions and cilantro in this house – you can never have enough!

stovetop tex-mex pasta

Stovetop Tex-Mex Pasta

Quick and easy stovetop pastas are one of my favorite things to make. The possibilities are endless! This version has great flavor from the mix of spices cooked into the meat and sauce, and then it's pumped up with some beans, Dreamfields rotini, and all your favorite tex-mex toppings.


  • 3 cups Dreamfields Rotini
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 to 15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (see note)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions, divided
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally and breaking beef into crumbles.

3. Add salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper and tomato paste to skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until spices are fragrant, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in tomatoes, water, beans and 1/4 cup of the green onions. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

5. Add pasta to beef mixture; toss to combine well. Divide mixture among serving dishes. Top each with remaining green onions, avocado, Cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Note: Black, pinto or kidney beans can be substituted.

Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 430 calories; 28 g protein; 49 g carbohydrates; 16 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 60 mg cholesterol; 760 mg sodium; 12 g total dietary fiber.

I am part of the Dreamfields DreamTeam; this post was made possible by the Dreamfields team. As always, all opinions and recipes are my own – thank you for supporting brands that support us!