Baked Granola Bars

Baked Granola Bar

Making your own granola bars is such a simple way you can add a snack or quick breakfast meal to your busy schedule. Instead of turning to the alternative “store bought” version, give these a go! In under 30 minutes, you will have an amazing healthy-wholesome bar for each day of the week, leaving you an extra bar to share with a friend.

Baked Granola Bar

Yields 8 bars 


2 cups rolled cooking oats

1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds

1/4 pumpkin seeds, shelled or unshelled

1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/2  Vitacost pure maple syrup

3 Tbsp. Earths Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Pink Fine Salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries  or 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Baked Granola Bar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Line a 9” square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, add all ingredients together and mix until oats have soaked up some of the moisture from the maple syrup and butter, pour mixture into the lined pan.
  4. Press granola down so that it is evenly spread across the pan.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing bars and slicing. This way you can get nicely cut bars while they are semi-soft before they fully harden.
  6. You can place the granola bars into the refrigerator and store in an airtight container for later or you can enjoy them on top of your yogurt or alone as a snack.

Chef’s tip: Make sure that you use parchment paper so that you can pull the baked outs out of the pan.


This extremely simple guacamole will be gone as fast as it takes you to make it! Needing only a few ingredients to make, this Guacamole Recipe is a healthy dip that will leave you totally satisfied. This staple side dish makes its way onto countless tables each day and every taco Tuesday night. I recently was shown the hidden secret of adding a touch of oregano and cinnamon and I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Yields 4 servings


3 avocado

1/2 tsp. cumin 

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp. oregano

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt 

1/4 tsp. Spicely Organics Black Ground Pepper

1 tsp. lime juice, fresh squeezed

Dash of smoked paprika 


  1. To prepare your avocado, slice lengthwise around the entire pit. Remove the halves and with the “butt” of the knife (the back end) smack the pit and make a twist motion with your hand once the knife is sturdy in the seed. Remove pit and toss.
  2. Remove flesh from avocado and place into a bowl. Mash with a fork and add the spices, lime juice, onion and tomato.
  3. Top with smoked paprika and serve.

Chef’s tip: Feel free to add diced onion, tomatoes, or cilantro if you’d like.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

This is the perfect thick, creamy and rich soup that is packing a huge flavor punch. It is so simple that I created it when I was looking at a can of coconut cream and a fresh butternut squash, thinking to myself what can I do. Being able to create something from nothing is a super important quality to have. Its like the saying, “when life brings you lemons- make lemonade!” Only this time, when life gives you a handful of ingredients, create something delicious! With this simple and tasty way to use squash, it will be an a huge hit for your family or friends.

Butternut Squash Soup

Yields 4 servings


1 butternut squash 

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/4 cup onion

1/4 cup shallots

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp. Earth’s Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt 

1 tsp. Vitacost organic brown sugar

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Pinch of Spicely Organic Ground Black Pepper

1-2 Tbsp. Thai Coconut Cream, optional topping

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. On a baking sheet, place the two butternut squash halves you cut length-wise, flesh side up, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn over so the skin is now facing up. Roast for 40-45 minutes until squash is tender. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once squash has cooled (around 8-10 minutes), remove the squash flesh from the peel and discard or compost the remains. 
  4. In a skillet, turn to medium heat and add olive oil, onions, and shallots- sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. In a medium sized pot, on medium heat add the butternut squash, brown sugar, vegetable broth, onions and shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  6. Using a hand held emersion blender, purée all ingredients until smooth. Then pour in the coconut cream and stir until combined. Cook for 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to meld on medium-low heat. Be sure to stir frequently so it does not burn.
  7. Serve with parsley and coconut cream drizzled on top or freeze for up to 1 month.

Chef’s tip: To make soup more creamy, use 1-2 Tbsp. coconut cream more and blend.

Simple Nachos



These may look like any ordinary nachos you may get- but I advise you they are not. This plant-based nacho cheese will shock you once you know it is not made with any dairy or cheese. These nachos are simple enough where all you need is some drizzled sauce and sliced jalapeño peppers. You can always add your toppings of choice if you would like guacamole, salsa, corn, etc. Enjoy!


Yields 16 oz


1 bag of organic yellow corn chips

1 jalapeño pepper

1/2 cup na-cho average cheese dip


  1. Place chips on plate and pour cheese sauce on top. Place jalapeño or any other toppings you would like and serve.

Chef’s tip: To make sure that you don’t get too much spiciness, de-seed the jalapeño before putting it as your topping.

Cheese Fries

Cheese Fries

Cheese Fries

Looking to step up your french fry game? This awesome na-cho average cheese sauce is a great way to make your basic side dish into something new and tasty! Just top it off with some homemade mushroom bacon and green onions. Once you taste how cheesy these are without the dairy, you’ll be surprised and wanting more!

Cheese Fries

Yields 16 oz


1 russet potato, sliced into sticks

1 half lemon, juice

pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

pinch of Spicely Organics ground black pepper

1/3 cup na-cho average cheese dip


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, add the sliced potato and coat with lemon.
  3. Lay fries in a single layer on pan and roast for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. On a plate, place potato wedges down and top with nacho sauce, mushroom bacon, and green onion. Serve immediately.

Na-Cho Average Cheese Dip

Nacho Cheese

If you knew that this was made out of potatoes, carrots, and no cheese- you would be shocked! This finger licking good nacho sauce is a great addition to your taco night or to satisfy any cheese craving. By simply blending up a few ingredients, you have a plant-based dip to make a wide variety of meals or appetizers. Make sure to check out my nacho cheese fries or my nachos recipe for some extra ideas.

Nacho Cheese

Yield 16 oz.


1/2 cup filtered water, for boiling

2 cups russet potatoes, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup filtered water

1/3 cup avocado oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp. Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Pinch of smoked paprika


  1. In a small pot with 1/2 cup water, boil the potatoes and carrots until fork tender. Drain and place into a blender.
  2. In the blender, combine the remaining  ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Serve either hot or cold

Chef’s tip: Add a jalapeño and diced tomatoes for the best queso dip

Dehydrated Granola with Seeds

Homemade granola - The Vegan Rhino
Photo Cred: Jermaine Bullard

Granola is a great snack or topper for your dairy-free yogurt, overnight oats, or smoothies. When making your own mixture of granola, you get to personalize it:  adding seeds, dried fruit, nuts, superfood powders, and more. The two kinds that I have made are: an original flavor and a chocolate flavor (using cocoa powder).


Photo Cred: Jermaine Bullard

Yields 32 oz granola


4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats Gluten Free – Quick Cooking

1/2 cup spaghetti squash seeds

1/8 cup Spicely Organics Black Sesame Seeds Jar

1/2 cup Vitacost Certified Organic Maple Syrup Grade A – Non-GMO

1/2 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt- Fine

1 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup Hersheys Cocoa Powder


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all above ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
  2. In your dehydrator, set temperature to 115 degrees and set timer for 6-8 hours or until granola is slightly hard. Remove granola from dehydrator trays and break into bite size pieces. Store in air tight container.
    • Oven method: Place granola mixture on slightly greased baking sheet. Set oven to lowest temperature setting and allow to bake until slightly golden. Remove and break up into pieces and store in air tight container.


Chef’s tip: If you would like to add cocoa powder to the recipe, you can split the batch in half. Add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to begin and see how much more to add. Just note you may need to add more maple sugar to sweeten the chocolate powder.