Healthy Happy Life

Spinach with Raisins


Today's recipe is a classic side dish for spinach, so simple it barely needs a recipe. But sometimes, those are the BEST recipes to have in your mind. And ever since returning from traveling, I am pretty obsessed with this Spinach with Raisins dish, so here it goes..

Inspiration.
While traveling the past two weeks, I was excited to across some excellent and inspiring spinach dishes. I think spinach has taken a backseat to its leafy green sibling, kale, in recent years, but in Europe I have found that it is quite plentiful and celebrated!

Some of the dishes I came across.. While in Barcelona, I found a bakery called Turris that made vegan spinach-stuffed pockets, with some pine nuts and raisins in there too. The pockets are made without eggs or dairy and baked up light and fluffy and rich in olive oil. Then while in Rome, I had the most amazing side of spinach at a pizzeria. It was basically a giant pile of wilted spinach with olive oil and salt, simple as can be, but it was so good and satisfying! Then on another day in Rome, we stumbled upon a vegan-friendly cafe called Crispy, and they had a round tart item, almost like a quiche of sorts, but with a flaky pastry crust. It turned out to be basically focaccia bread stuffed with yet again, the best wilted spinach, pine nuts and raisins. So of course, I came home craving spinach. And spinach paired with raisins is a classic perfect pairing that I now have a renewed craving for....

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HHL Gift Guide 2017: 19 Things

HHL Gift Guide 2017: 19 Things! Happy holiday season everyone! I try to keep the shopping part of the holidays to a minimum, but I still love the tradition of gift giving. It spreads cheer and is a fun family tradition.

The Scene. Everyone spread out in their PJs, sipping cocoa or coffee or matcha, holiday movies or music playing in the background, the smell of cinnamon rolls, pancakes or waffles in the air -- and opening gifts wrapped in sparkly holiday paper and fluffy bows. I always loved getting a silly gift from my dad, like a 12-pack of white tube socks, or a ridiculous holiday sweater - floral crocheted and all. Sometimes I couldn't tell if he was joking or serious, which made those silly random gifts even better. So maybe if you pick out a few of the awesome gifts on my list ahead, wrap up a pack of tube socks too ... just to throw things off a bit. ;)

I don't need to tell you guys that the holiday season can get crazy and chaotic if you let it. Shopping, events and more can actually bring you more stress than JOY - which is entirely NOT the point of the holidays. So I wish you peace, joy, love and happiness this holiday season. Grab a few gifts, wrap them up and be done with it. Get the gift part out of the way so you can focus on all the other awesome things about this time of year.

So with that, here are a few of my current fave things that I think would make great holiday gifts for the healthy, eco-conscious, cozy-loving or vegan-y person in your life. Or really, anyone. I mean who doesn't love amazing chocolate, the comfiest tees, cute cruelty-free vegan 'leather' shoes, cookbooks, cute mugs and some fun matcha tea?

The only problem with these healthy, happy, life gift round-ups every year.... I find like a ba-zillion things I want to buy myself! Hope you find a few inspiring goodies!..

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Virtual Holiday Movie + Baking Party: 60+ Vegan Recipes!


I am excited to share (another) holiday round-up for you guys, featuring two things you need during December: holiday movies and holiday baking recipes!

Bloggers, and a few readers too, share their fave movies and vegan holiday dessert recipes. I absolutely loved hearing everyone's movie faves, a few memories and traditions and recipes too. What a cool way to connect and share a piece of ourselves. Thank you to everyone who shared and participated! (And I hope you continue the party, by leaving your faves in the comments!)

So snuggle up on the couch and turn on those twinkle light, movie + cookie baking season is in full swing!

My Virtual Holiday Movie + Baking Party: 60+ Recipes to Explore!..

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Cloud Cocoa


Back to basics, with this easy hot cocoa recipe (and video)...

Mood: Twinkle Lights + Snowflakes + Cozy Everything + Cloud Cocoa. This is how I serve hot cocoa, and I wanted to share it with you guys! I am not reinventing the wheel too much here, but little tweaks in prep and toppings make this cocoa extra fluffy and magical. Perfect for the holiday season!

Cloud Cocoa. Whipped cream, fluffy, white, thickly swirled like a sparkling snowbank, bouncing on a sea of steamy hot chocolate. A dusting of cinnamon and chocolate and winter holiday magic is served. My Cloud Hot Cocoa is our after-dinner dessert beverage of choice during these cool fall and winter months. Easy to make and totally dairy-free.

A background haze of twinkly white lights and humming holiday music will make things extra cozy..

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Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Guide!


Here it is, my Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Guide! This post is jam-packed with my favorite festive recipes that are perfect for your holiday table.

Check out my vegan Thanksgiving recipes as well as my "Choose Five!" approach to holiday cooking when I am feeling overwhelmed, plus see my five must-have recipes for Thanksgiving.

I hope one (or a few!) of my recipes can help you celebrate the holidays with ease, joy, comfort, wellness and deliciousness!..

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Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad, Walnuts, Avocado, Citrus. Fast + Easy!


*This post is sponsored by Ocean Mist Farms

This gently wilted, Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad has buttery avocado, sweet citrus, hemp seeds and crunchy walnuts - all with a lovely sweet maple dressing. This salad is a perfect healthy-delicious side dish for your holiday table. The best part about this salad? You can easily whip it up in under ten minutes thanks to the prep technique. Really!

Plus, enter to win an awesome steam-themed cooking prize pack from Ocean Mist Farms!..

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Catch-up with Kathy: 5 Interviews!


*photo by Sabrina Hill

Interview Catch-Up. Over the past year I have had the pleasure of doing some awesome interviews with some warm, lovely and talented bloggers, brands and podcasters. I love sharing lessons that I have learned in life and business, as well as things that inspire me, help me get up and dance in the kitchen week-to-week, and struggles I have overcome. Light stuff. Heavy stuff. Real stuff.

I hope you enjoy these featured interviews and they speak to you in some emotional or inspiring way! I hope they teach you something new about wellness, cooking, veganism or life in general.

Check out these five recent interviews..

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Vegan Stuffing for the Holidays!


Stuffing was one of those recipes that I always loved as a kid at my family's Thanksgiving table. However, like most budding vegetarians, I wasn't too fond of how the stuffing was prepared. Eventually, my mom started making a side portion of stuffing for me, via just the stovetop. And yes, the best part about stuffing is that you can absolutely make it using just plants, and "stuff it" using a basic casserole dish. No turkey's harmed in the making of a vegan stuffing!

A vegan stuffing recipe is especially important if you are embarking on your very first vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving. You probably do not want to leave this holiday fave off your menu, but you might be like, well, "Where do I stuff this stuff now??"

Easy! I mean, this method is kinda like taking that old school Stovetop Stuffing boxed mix and taking it to a whole new, homemade level, right?

Basic Vegan Stuffing. It is basically, amazing. This is my go-to vegan stuffing recipe, with all the basics. Celery, parsley, authentic holiday stuffing spices, bread, onion and a few more goodies. Check it out, and with the proper prep, you can have delicious, cruelty-free stuffing on your table in under an hour!...

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(My Famous) Sweet 'n Sassy Sweet Potato Pockets for Thanksgiving!


This recipe for Sweet 'n Sassy Sweet Potato Pockets was my very first signature Thanksgiving recipe. I came up with it in college when I needed to bring my own "vegan Thanksgiving" side/entree to a non-vegan family feast. And since I LOVE Thanksgiving, I didn't want to miss out on any of my favorite dishes. So instead of bringing multiple dishes and crowding the already crowded dinner table, I made these little gems.

I wanted my entire vegan Thanksgiving meal stuffed inside a puffy pita pocket. And that is what I got!

Everyone at the table raved about them - with shocked looks in their eyes - and by the end of the night I was scribbling down the recipe on a piece of scrap paper for one of the guests. And emailing it to others.

I make this recipe every year no matter what. I crave it. I love it. And it always reminds me that ANYONE can be inspired to try a vegan lifestyle.

Or at least a vegan dish at Thanksgiving...

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


Snatch up one (or two) of these Chocolate Chip Trail Cookies before you hit the road! This is one of my favorite "cluster of many good things" cookie recipes. It is a nutty, rustic, whole-grain infused cookie that has a tempting balance of naughty and nice with oats, nuts and chocolate.

Rich vegan chocolate chips snuggle beside whole grain oats and healthy nuts with cozy cinnamon, citrus and vanilla.

11/2017 Updated! This post is now updated to include TWO oat-chocolate chip cookie recipes. The original recipe, plus an updated version with my "soaked oatmeal" hack. I have also included a how-to video..

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