Chocolate Fig Energy Bites

These fudgey bites are perfect to take hiking, walking or just to give you that extra kick of energy during the work day. You can throw everything but the kitchen sink into these: leftover nuts, seeds, protein powders or even some cinnamon to spice it up. This recipe is completely versatile so make it your own!

We had some leftover dried figs hanging around so here’s what I did:

Chocolate Fig Energy Bites

Yield: 12-15 balls


¼ cup figs, stems removed (sub: dates, dried apricots or raisins)

2 Tablespoons maple syrup (sub: honey, agave)

½ cup almond butter (peanut, cashew or sunflower butter work too)

½ cup almond flour

½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon hemp seeds

1 Tablespoon flax seeds

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder (sub: regular cocoa powder, unsweetened)

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

2 scoops collagen (Further Food)



  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the figs, maple syrup and nut butter until smooth.
  2. In a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Add in the fig mixture and stir until dough begins to form (this might be somewhat sticky, if so add more almond flour- if too dry, add more maple syrup).
  3. Using a teaspoon, measure the mixture into your hand and roll into balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 10-15 minutes. Roll some in extra almond flour, cocoa powder, chia seeds or leave as is.
  4. Once the balls have set up, place them in an air tight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!


Sausage Skillet with Kale, White Beans and Peas

With our CSA in full force, it seems like a race each week to eat as many veggies as possible before they spoil. This can be seen as a good thing though for both for my health and my creativity. After picking (and eating) pounds of peas, this is my favorite way to eat them in disguise.

This recipe is perfect for those on the go: one pot, minimal ingredients & a delicious meal to enjoy for dinner and lunch the next day! If you’re not a sausage person you can substitute ground beef, turkey or chicken or add some swiss chard, spinach or collard greens if you’re not into kale.

Toss this mixture with pasta or leave it as is- both are equally delicious, but who doesn’t love an extra excuse to eat carbs!


Serves 3-4 (or 2 if you’re really hungry)



2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 teaspoon garlic, fresh and chopped

½ pound Italian sausage (sweet or spicy, whichever you like)

1 (8 oz) can of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 ½ cups peas, fresh or frozen

3 cups kale, fresh (chopped or torn into small pieces)

½ cup chicken stock (or water if you don’t have this on hand)

Salt & pepper to taste



  1. In a large skillet (I used cast iron), heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for one minute or until fragrant. Remove the sausage from its casing and crumble into the pan with the garlic. Sauté this mixture for 8-10 minutes or until the sausage is browned and fully cooked.
  3. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add the beans and peas and sauté for 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
  4. Once the beans and peas are somewhat soft, add the kale and stock (or water) and cook until the kale is fully wilted, about 5 minutes.
  5. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper before adding the sausage back to the pan. Mix everything together and sauté on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

This mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Honey Almond Butter Cups

I know everyone has their theories on how to reduce sugar cravings, but when I want something sweet it’s not going away until I’m satisfied. These dark chocolate babies are filled with healthy fats, natural sugars and are the perfect way to ease those late night cravings while staying on track (because seriously who can live without dessert, like really though).

For this recipe I’ve added collagen peptides- I’ll get into these more in a later post- and they are completely optional, please don’t go out and buy them just for this recipe. This amino acid powder from Further Food (my favorite brand, but there are many out there) is unflavored, unsweetened and dissolve in hot or cold mixtures.

For those interested- Collagen Benefits: great for gut health, keeping bones & joints strong, reducing inflammation and bloating, great source of protein.


Honey Almond Butter Cups

Yield: 6 cups

1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate pieces (I use an 85% dark chocolate bar from Aldi)

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/3 cup almond butter (sub: peanut, sunflower, cashew, macadamia)

1 sprinkle of cinnamon

1 Tablespoon honey (sub: maple syrup, agave)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 scoops collagen peptides (optional- these add an extra protein boost)

Sea salt for garnishing (optional)



  1. In a microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate and coconut oil. In 30-second increments, melt the mixture, stirring between each time. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the almond butter, cinnamon, honey, vanilla and collagen. Stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Line a mini cupcake pan with 6 paper liners. Take ½ teaspoon of the chocolate mixture and place it in the bottom of the liner. Carefully spread the chocolate on the sides of the liner, coating it halfway up the paper to create the shell. Repeat for the other 5 liners.
  4. Place the whole pan in the freezer for about 5 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
  5. Once the chocolate has hardened, place 1 heaping teaspoon of the almond butter mixture into each cup and spread evenly.
  6. Next, place another ½ teaspoon of the chocolate mixture on top of each cup, covering the almond butter completely.
  7. Sprinkle each cup with sea salt (optional) and then place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the chocolate is firm.


Keep these cups in the refrigerator or freezer so they don’t melt! These can be kept for 3-4 weeks.

Carrot Top Pesto Dressing

From June to late October, my family receives a CSA (community-supported agriculture) pick-up of veggies each Monday. Supporting our local farm (Old Path Farm of Sauquoit, NY) helps us eat seasonally while also keeping local farms afloat.

This week’s bounty brought cabbage, kale, Bibb lettuce, cucumbers, squash, zucchini and of course beautiful baby carrots with tops! Utilizing all parts of our produce ensures that food waste is kept to a minimum.

Mix this simple dressing into a salad, roasted vegetables, or pasta to add another layer of flavor. You can also dress up shrimp skewers, marinate chicken or use it as a dipping sauce for your favorite raw veggies.

Don’t throw away those beautiful carrot tops!!  Here’s what I did instead:

Carrot Top Pesto Dressing

Yield: 2 cups

1 cup carrot tops (or parsley)

½ cup fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Juice of one lemon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¾ cup olive oil (sub: grapeseed oil, avocado oil)

2 cloves fresh garlic

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup water



  1. Combine all ingredients besides the oil in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds or until ingredients begin to combine.
  2. Keeping the blender on low, slowly stream in the oil and blend for 1-2 minutes or until the dressing becomes emulsified and creamy.

Keep in a jar or Tupperware in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks!

Quinoa Flour Pizza Dough

Yield: 2 pizzas (about 12 in long, 6 in wide) or can be made into 4 individual pizzas


1 tablespoon Active Dry Yeast

2 tablespoons honey

1 ½ cups warm water (between 105-115 degrees F)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups quinoa flour

1 cup all purpose flour (sub: whole wheat, or gluten-free mix)


Toppings of choice:

I used leftover roasted asparagus, caramelized red onions, fresh grated Parmesan and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar before serving.

Some other ideas: (average 1 ½- 2 cups of vegetables for topping and ½-1 cup cheese for sprinkling)

  1. Sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, fresh rosemary
  2. Ricotta, roasted carrots, pesto
  3. Fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic
  4. Goat cheese, honey, pistachios



  1. Mix yeast and warm water in a glass bowl, set aside for at least 5 minutes or until mixture is foamy and doubled in size.
  2. After 5-10 minutes (or when yeast is activated), add the honey, olive oil, salt and flours. Mix in a stand mixer fixed with a dough hook for at least 10 minutes or until the dough separates from the bowl and a ball starts to form.
  3. Place a dishtowel over the bowl and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Punch down the dough and place onto a floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes by hand and then place on a sprayed baking pan for cooking.
  5. Once toppings are added, bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees or until the crust is lightly browned and cheese is melted.
  6. Serve warm & enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

These bars are perfect for the on-the-go, 9-5 ers or even that little something to curb late-night cravings. This recipe is a base line for any granola bar: add other dried fruits, nuts, or a sprinkle of flakey sea salt to make them your own!

Here’s what I did for mine:

Oat flour- this can easily be made in a Magic Bullet, Nutribullet, blender or food processor. Place 1/2 cup of oats in your chosen machine, pulse for 1-2 minutes or until a sand-like consistency has formed/ oat pieces are ground and voila!


2 Tablespoons ground flax seed

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

7 Tablespoons warm water

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup (honey, agave or brown rice syrup also work)

1/2 cup nut butter (I like sunflower, almond, cashew or peanut best)

2 scoops collagen peptides (my favorite brand is Further Food)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup oat flour

1 1/2 cups oats

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt (who really measures this, it’s one large pinch)

1/2 cup dried cranberries (sub: raisins, or dried and chopped apricots/figs)

1/4-1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I use a 75-85% dark cocoa bar cut into small pieces)


  1. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ground flaxseed, chia seeds and warm water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the water has been absorbed into the seeds (this will resemble an egg-like consistency).
  3. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, nut butter, collagen & vanilla, stirring until combined.
  4. After that is mixed, add in the oat flour, oats, coconut, cinnamon, cranberries and dark chocolate chunks (here’s where you can get creative: add in your favorites like raisins, cashews, pumpkin seeds or pistachios).
  5. Mix this together until the dry ingredients are coated thouroughly. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking pan and freeze for 45 minutes-1 hour before cutting into rectangles.
  6. Once cut, individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or place into plastic bags.

These bars are best enjoyed cold, keep them in your freezer or refrigerator until you are ready to eat.

Store for up to 1 month (in freezer), 2-3 weeks (in fridge).

Welcome to my Kitchen!

Hi all! I’m Hayley, a recent Culinary Nutrition alumni from Johnson & Wales University, recipe developer, aspiring Registered Dietitian and lover of all things food.

My hope is to provide people with the recipes and ideas they need in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Helping people discover a new interest in nutritious alternatives that utilize fresh, local and organic ingredients is my goal for this blog. As you explore my page, I hope that you feel inspired to try something new with dishes designed to nourish and nurture your body.

I’ve had a lifelong passion and love for food- stemming all the way back to the countless mornings I spent watching Rachel Ray and Ina Garten. Through my teenage years, my peers were head first in the newest IPhone as I was learning the ins-and-outs of my KitchenAid mixer. From then on my sentiment for cooking began to blossom and soon became the basis of my career.

Graduating in 2017 with my Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition, I learned the tips and tricks of healthy cooking from the most esteemed chefs and mentors at JWU. Pulling ideas from lectures, projects and critiques, they have influenced each of my recipes.

It’s well-known that healthy food doesn’t always get the best rep; it’s expensive, confusing and hard to find. That’s something I want to change. Here, you’ll find bright, seasonal dishes that taste as fresh as they look. My lifestyle mantra is based around the idea of healthy (ish) cooking and eating: the 80/20 rule (I’ll explain this further down the line). Answering to your body’s needs and personalizing your diet to fit you can make the biggest difference in your health.

Along with recipes, healthbyhayl will highlight other ways to keep life exciting: travel, fitness & all of the messiness life has to offer.

I hope that you’ll enjoy all of my new creations along the way, welcome to my kitchen!