Strawberry-Almond Oatmeal Bake

I truly appreciate that I live in a part of the country that enjoys all four seasons. I look forward to putting on a cozy sweater when the days get cool and love nothing more than a mug of hot chocolate by the fire when it snows. And right now, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring! I can hardly wait for my local farmer’s market to reopen and just love seeing the colors of a new season arriving in the grocery store. The fresh strawberries looked especially good recently and I was pleasantly surprised by this delicious AG safe breakfast bake that can be made dairy-free with just one minor change. I LOVED the strawberry-almond-cardamom flavor combination and think you could easily add or substitute some raspberries here as well. This was quick and easy and I thoroughly enjoyed it all week. I followed the recipe exactly for the first go round, but would reduce the sugar and butter next time. Hope this adds some color and flavor to your mornings! 


1  1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2  cup sliced almonds

1  pound strawberries, hulled and halved

1/3  to  1/2  cup light brown sugar

1  teaspoon ground cardamom

1  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon salt

1  egg

1  1/2 cups almond milk

3  tablespoons (or a little less) butter or butter substitute


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I used an 11×7 glass dish, but you could use an 8-inch square glass dish or any medium sized baking dish. Spray with cooking spray.

Melt the butter and set aside. Layer the oats, almonds, then the strawberries in baking dish.

Whisk together brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt. Add the egg and whisk to combine. Add the almond milk and melted butter and whisk until blended. Pour evenly over the oat mixture.

Bake until the oats are tender and liquid thickens, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Dairy-free Option: Substitute Earth Balance or other dairy free option for butter.


Original recipe:

Parmesan-Spinach Spread

March has certainly come in like a lion this year, good grief! Thankfully, regardless of the weather, there is much to celebrate this month: St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, March Madness for basketball fans, and Easter weekend at the end of the month. All great reasons to gather with family and friends! My sister called earlier this week and asked for my favorite appetizer recipe for her St. Patty’s Day soirée this weekend. This is definitely my “go-to” recipe and I wanted to share it since some were looking for appetizer ideas during the holidays as well. This savory and delicious dip/spread is easy and quick, can be made ahead of time, doubled, and be dairy-free using vegan ingredients. It’s even green for St. Patrick’s Day! I serve it with a sliced baguette or simple crackers and there’s never ever been a drop left in my dish. This would be a welcome addition to any of your gatherings this month, enjoy!

1  10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

3  ounces cream cheese, SOFTENED

3/4  cup mayonnaise

1  1/4  cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4  cup minced onion

1  teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1  teaspoon hot sauce

1/2  teaspoon garlic powder

1/4  teaspoon pepper

1/2  teaspoon paprika


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain spinach; press between paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Combine softened cream cheese and mayonnaise in a bowl, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth. Add spinach, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, onion, and next 4 ingredients. Stir well; pour into greased 1-quart casserole dish. If serving the next day, cover and refrigerate. Make sure to take it out and leave at room temperature about 10-15 minutes before baking.

Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese with paprika and sprinkle over spinach. Bake 10 more minutes and serve warm with a sliced baguette or assorted crackers.

Dairy-free Option: Use dairy-free or vegan alternatives for the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese.


From The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999


Veggie Burritos

If you follow my blog, you know that I love to make one AG safe meal that can meet different needs and tastes with topping bars and “choose your own ingredients” options. These YUMMY Chipotle-like burritos fit that bill perfectly! I combined two different recipes to make this version and the end result was so good I just had to share it. The original recipe called for making your own cilantro-lime rice and I tried that the first time. I used my Vitamix, and it turned out fine; however, it took more than one wash to get the cilantro smell out of my Vitamix (ugh!). Needless to say, when I found a box of cilantro-lime rice on the grocery store shelf, I picked up 2 and found it to be just as delicious and way less clean-up (SCORE!). Additionally, the original recipe called for black bean soup. I didn’t have any “soup” on hand and thought it might make the burritos soggy. So I used the bean recipe from this Easy Beans and Rice with Cilantro and just added the spinach. Admittedly, the bean mixture does not LOOK appetizing, but don’t be fooled y’all! This combination of beans, rice, and corn salsa packs a big punch of flavor and can be dairy free or accommodate even your pickiest eaters. I would love to know how you adapt this for your family!


Cilantro Lime Rice (I used Zatarain’s), cooked as directed

4  burrito size tortillas

Shredded pepper jack cheese (or dairy free cheese of choice)

Chopped cilantro

For the bean mixture:

1  15-ounce can of black beans

3  tablespoons lime juice

1  teaspoon chili powder

1/2  teaspoon ground cumin

1  10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Drain beans, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Combine beans, reserved liquid, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until heated through; stir in the spinach, mix well, and keep warm.

For the corn salsa:

2  cups frozen corn (fire-roasted, if desired), thawed

1  large tomato, diced

Juice of 1 lime (or 2 tablespoons lime juice if you don’t have fresh)

3  tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/2  teaspoon salt

Chili powder to taste (I used just a dash)

Toss all above ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

To assemble:

Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave. Place desired amount of rice, bean mixture, and cheese on warmed tortillas and top with corn salsa. Fold up the bottoms of the tortillas, then the sides, and roll up. Serve with remaining corn salsa and cilantro as desired. Serves 4.