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1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
1 cup dried fruit, diced (I used chopped dates and apricots)

1. Preheat oven to 250 F.
2. In a small sauce pan, whisk together oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar and salt dissolve.
3. In a large bowl, combine oats, seeds, and cashews.
4. Pour the oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat.
5. Spread evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
7. Combine granola with dried fruit and cool, stirring occasionally to break into smaller clusters.

Notes: decrease both oil and chia seeds to 1/4 cup each. Otherwise, flavor was great and texture was what I had hoped: crunchy with some larger clusters throughout. Yum. Could probably decrease sweetness (try 1/4 cup maple syrup).

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A few weeks ago, I found myself in Orlando, Florida for a wedding. No, I didn’t go to Disney, and yes, I cried through the entire ceremony, and of course I danced. Ohhhh, did I dance. But I also had some fabulous vegetarian food at Dandelion Communitea Cafe. Not only was it delicious and satisfying, it was a revelation. I had one of the best salads I’ve enjoyed in a long time, and my S.S. had a killer Flutter Nutter sandwich, made with almond butter, homemade fluff and sliced bananas.

If you ever find yourself in the Orlando area, it is worth a special trip to the cafe. If you don’t, you can try my attempt at their salad, the Abundant Harvest:

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a bias
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced in a bias
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
corn kernels from 2 ears of corn
4 oz sprig mix, or other salad green
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
Pumpkin seeds, toasted, to garnish

1. Combine the carrots, celery, broccoli, chick peas, corn kernels, spring mix, and tomatoes.
2. Fold in the quinoa.
3. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.
4. Eat. And do me a favor–make this the main course. There’s a good deal of prep, and it’s glorious. It deserves to take center stage.

vegan kitchen sink salad

But wait! The dressing! Tune in tomorrow for my take on the Green Goddess dressing served with the Abundant Harvest at Dandelion Communitea Cafe (like what I did right there?).