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How To Fight Seasonal Allergies With Food and Herbs

You can fight seasonal allergies with food and herbs… and you can win this fight! You often hear me say that food is medicine… but food is also the best allergy medicine! Read more

Healthy Homemade Ketchup

I’m a condiment freak — I like to dip everything. So, this healthy homemade ketchup is a must in my house!

It’s true. We are a condiments-all-the-time household. We can find a reason to dip everything in something. A few years ago it started to bother me that so much of our fridge was filled with jars and bottles that had ingredients that I would normally never use when I cooked . So, I started making my own. OMG — we are so much better off. This ketchup is especially delicious, and it doesn’t have all of the sugar that commercial ketchup has. And yes, I too used to be a Heinz lover… but now we really do all love this healthy homemade ketchup. Try it… you’ll love it too.

One day, when Steve was slathering his food with ketchup, as was his usual M.O., I had that light-bulb-over-head moment and I began creating homemade healthy condiments. Now, let me tell you, he used to really piss me off. I mean, how do you not even taste your food before you drown it in ketchup? I once heard a story about a hiring partner in a huge corporate firm who would take his interview candidates out to lunch and observe them. If they salted their food before tasting it, they wouldn’t be hired because he thought there was not enough thought and consideration in this gesture. Same goes for ketchup.

The creation of this recipe required a lot of trial and error. We ate a lot of ketchup that wasn’t… ummmm… wasn’t… worthy of the name ketchup. I tried all kinds of ingredients to get the right balance of sweet and tangy. For us, this recipe is the perfect balance. It’s the right consistency, and it tastes awesome.

You’ll notice that this recipe contains prunes. I know that sounds weird, but they really give this ketchup just the right taste. So, you’ll need to use a high-speed blender if you want your ketchup to be really smooth.

Another thing I used to buy but now I like to make homemade is Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese.

healthy homemade ketchuphealthy homemade ketchup

Hear are some of the great healing ingredients in this healthy homemade ketchup recipe:

In Chinese medicine, we use prunes to reduce stomach acidity and to help smooth the digestion. The claim to fame of the prune is that it helps fight against constipation. This is true, and when you clear your intestines, you are also taking a great step toward preventing colon cancer. These dried plums also are great for your vision and they have enough potassium to make them an official heart-healthy food.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body.

healthy homemade ketchup

Healthy Homemade Ketchup
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
Look at all of the jars in bottles in your fridge. They contain so much sugar! If you are a ketchup lover, you've got to make this recipe for healthy homemade ketchup and store it in your fridge.
Ingredients
  • 6 pitted prunes
  • 7 oz tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • water, as needed
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients, and 5 Tbs water into a high-speed blender.
  2. Whiz it up. Add more water if necessary to get this ketchup to the desired consistency.
  3. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy on everything!

healthy homemade ketchup

Vegetable Noodle Lo Mein

vegetable noodle lo mein

I think vegetable noodles — of all kinds — are the new kale. Remember last year when kale was everywhere and in everything in every form? This year it’s veggie noodles. There are sweet potato noodles, zucchini noodles, squash noodles, beet noodles, carrot noodles and every other type of vegetable noodles you can imagine. To me, this is a great development. I can’t even look at a pasta recipe without mentally replacing the pasta with some type of veggie noodle or faux pasta. And I LOVE pasta… so my grain-free self is very happy. And, this vegetable noodle lo mein is the perfect recipe to try out your favorite type of veggie noodle. You can even mix it up and use a few different kinds here.

Confession time. My all-time favorite thing to do when I’m home alone for dinner is to order way too much Chinese food, sit on the floor, and eat it in front of the TV. I don’t mean I order a few too many containers. I mean I surround myself with a ton of white containers. I dig in with chopsticks — plates are forbidden — and I chow down.

And then I feel disgusting.

And bloated.

And a little sick.

But, wow, do the noodles and egg foo young taste so good going down…

But only on those rare occasions when I forget how sick I get from it, do I allow myself take-out Chinese food.

But — and this is a big but — I can cook myself Chinese food whenever I want, and feel just fine. And, let me just say, that this vegetable noodle lo mein tastes better than take-out. And there’s no bloating or nausea or self-loathing afterwards. Okay… so now I’m just being dramatic… I don’t think I’ve ever hated myself because I ate something I shouldn’t have… haha.

Anyway, I have to thank Michele at Paleo Running Momma for posting her awesome recipe for this type of lo mein, because her’s looked and sounded so amazing, that I just had to make it too!

When I am in full recipe creation mode, I peruse lots and lots of sources — yes this is how I get my jollies… Anyway, here’s a more traditional lo mein recipe from Jen Reviews.  I find that some of my clients  like to look at a traditional recipe, and then healthy-it-up a bit for their specific needs. If this is you, go for it, and don’t be shy about asking me any questions in the comments below.

And, if you want to try another great vegetable noodle recipe, try my Zoodles With Creamy Avocado Pesto.

vegetable noodle lo meinvegetable noodle lo mein

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this vegetable noodle lo mein:

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone. I used some butternut squash noodles in this lo mein.

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. I used shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitake mushrooms are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Ginger is also a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Ginger is also great for some digestive issues. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

In Chinese medicine, lamb is known to be the most warming meat. We recommend it for a lot of ailments caused by cold conditions. It’s great for some arthritic conditions, weakness, and back pain. Lamb also helps with insufficient lactation and impotence. I happened to have some leftover cooked lamb (from a doggie-bag in my fridge), so I cut it up and added it here. Feel free to add whatever you have in your fridge!

Coconut Aminos is used as a substitute for soy sauce. This simple ingredient is vegan, gluten-free, and it’s good for your heart, aids in weight loss, and helps strengthen your immune system.

vegetable noodle lo mein

Vegetable Noodle Lo Mein
Author: 
Recipe type: Asian, Chinese, paleo, whole30, vegetable noodles
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Paleo Running Momma
Serves: 6
 
The next time you are in the mood for Chinese take-out, try this recipe. It tastes better than any take-out, it's grain-free, healing, and you will love it!
Ingredients
  • For Pork:
  • 2 boneless pork chops, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar (I buy this one)
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos
  • 6 oz butternut squash noodles
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ½ lb cooked lamb steak, sliced thin (optional -- you can use whatever leftovers are floating around in your fridge)
  • 3.5 oz shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • a big fistful of spiralized carrots (or any other vegetable noodle you like)
  • 4 oz pea pods
  • ½ lb fettuccine (I used a grain-free almond fettuccine), cooked al dente
  • For Sauce:
  • ⅔ cup coconut aminos (you can buy this one)
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil (here's one)
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour (I like this kind)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine the sesame oil, vinegar, and aminos in a small dish. Add the pork and set aside to marinate.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the squash noodles out on it.
  4. Drizzle these noodles with 1-Tbs olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are just a bit softened, but not mushy.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1-Tbs olive oil.
  7. Remove the pork from the marinade and it it to the pan and stir until browned on all sides -- this will be fast.
  8. With a slotted spoon, remove the pork to a plate.
  9. Make the sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  10. To the pan, add the mushrooms, bell pepper, bok choy, garlic, ginger, carrots, scallions, and pea pods. Stir continuously until the veggies are softened a bit, but not overcooked. Stir in the sauce and continue stirring until it's hot and a bit thickened.
  11. Stir in the butternut squash noodles, lamb (or any other cooked leftover meat you are using), and the cooked and drained fettuccine into the veggies. Stir over low heat just until everything is warm.
  12. Enjoy!

vegetable noodle lo mein

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Did you know that buckwheat is a seed and not a grain? There’s a debate as to whether or not it’s 100% paleo, but I think it is! And it can be a great fix for spontaneous sweating and high blood pressure… if you are looking for something that tastes and feels like a grain, you’ve got to try this!

paleo pumpkin pancakes

It’s pumpkin season! And it’s pancake season! Okay, so maybe there’s not really a pancake season, but there should be…

These Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes are so perfect, you shouldn’t need a reason to make them, but they taste so decadent, that you might feel like you are cheating on your healthy eating lifestyle. But you are not. Really. These are so good for you!

Breakfast is my favorite meal.  Always has been.  I’m like a breakfast freak. Steve gets on my case all of the time because the second I wake up I start planning my day around breakfast.  During the week this is easy because I usually have some type of shake. But on the weekends, it’s a different story.  I love to go out to breakfast. But, sometimes, like when I want pancakes, I’ll make them myself, because even here in Manhattan, it’s not so easy to find paleo pancakes when I want them.

So, when I woke up last Sunday, I popped out of bed (I’m an annoying morning person), and immediately started talking about breakfast. Steve looked at me, shook his head, and just kind of slid out of the room and put the dogs’ leashes on.  I knew there was no way he was entertaining my hugs restaurant brunch ideas… so as we walked the dogs, I formulated my homemade breakfast in my head.  And these Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes happened.  I can’t take the credit for the original recipe, because I got most of it from Erin at her awesome blog: Well Plated.

I’ve made lots of paleo pancakes before. But never with buckwheat. I don’t know why, except that I guess I never really thought or believed that buckwheat is paleo friendly. So I did some research. Buckwheat is a seed; it’s not a grain. And when it’s ground into a flour, it makes the most awesome pancakes. I’ve actually been experimenting with making risotto out of whole buckwheat groats lately and so far I’m loving the results (I’ll post a recipe soon).

These Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes are crisp on the outside and hot and smooth on the inside. Add some pure maple syrup and you feel like you are cheating on your diet. I mean, pumpkin and maple… this is a delicious flavor combo…

paleo pumpkin pancakespaleo pumpkin pancakes

Here are some of the reasons these pancakes are so healing:

Buckwheat is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E. It also contains antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease.

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for these pancakes.

I am a big proponent of eating the whole egg. So many of the nutrients and the taste are in the yolk; I’ll never understand separating nature’s perfect food. Eggs help with many types of dryness in the body. If you have a dry cough or a frog-in-your-throat, try eating some eggs. They have also been shown to help women with various conditions during and after pregnancy. Some people consider eggs to be a superfood. They contain a large amount of vitamins A and B and are a great source of protein. Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol, but it’s been shown that in 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol, so don’t assume they are bad for you. Buy organic eggs and you are really doing the right thing.

paleo pumpkin pancakes

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, pancakes, pumpkin, buckwheat
Cuisine: paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These buckwheat pumpkin pancakes are paleo friendly; did you know that buckwheat is a seed and not a grain? These are so good and they are made in the blender!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (you can buy it here)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (I buy them buy the case here)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs walnut oil (substitute whatever oil you like) (you can buy walnut oil here)
  • 2 Tbs pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp raw apple cider vinegar (buy this one)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp coconut oil for greasing the pan (plus more if needed)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients, except coconut oil in a blender. (I used my Vitamix, so it was quick)
  2. Blend until completely smooth.
  3. Heat oil in non-stick pan until hot.
  4. Pour in batter to form small pancakes (the small ones cooked better than the bigger ones).
  5. Cook on first side until completely done (wait until the edges start to brown and lots of bubbles appear on the top), then flip them.
  6. Cook shortly on the second side, until slightly crisp.
  7. Remove to plates and serve with maple syrup.
  8. Enjoy!

paleo pumpkin pancakes

Chopped Broccoli Salad

This chopped broccoli salad is delicious, can be customized with your favorite ingredients, and can be made in advance!

chopped broccoli salad

Almost every time I buy broccoli I end up roasting it in the oven until it is nice and charred — burnt broccoli is awesome! Now that I’ve said that, this chopped broccoli salad has nothing in common with burnt broccoli… but it’s my new favorite side dish.

So, while I was making this recipe, I kept thinking to myself that if there’s no burned edges and blackened stalks, how good could it be? Well, let me tell you, it’s excellent. What this chopped broccoli salad does have is lots of fruit, nuts, and seeds. And a delicious creamy dressing. This is so good, you have to try it instead of cole slaw or potato salad the next time you need a quick side dish.

I even chopped up some Chinese herbs and tossed that into the mix. So, if you are a newbie with the herbs, this is a great recipe to start with…

I served a big bowl of it alongside some roasted salmon the other night for dinner. The next day we ate it with some chicken. I still have a bit left in my fridge and I’m going to dive in with a spoon and finish it off as soon as I’m done writing this post!

For another delicious idea for broccoli, check out my recipe for Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole.

chopped broccoli salad

This recipe has a bunch of healing ingredients:

Broccoli has a lot of potassium and is great for brain function; it also has magnesium and calcium to help regulate blood pressure. It’s also good to clear your body of excess heat and it actually can help your vision too. I love foods that make you feel better mentally as well as physically, and broccoli is one of those foods — it can lessen feelings of irritability.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Cherries are one of the best foods to combat many types of arthritis and joint pain. Also, because cherries help improve circulation, they can be helpful for post-stroke patients. In Chinese medicine, we also believe that cherries help to maintain the body’s “essence” or life-force. I always keep a bottle of organic black cherry juice in the fridge and I often drink a few ounces before bedtime or put a little in my smoothies. I also keep bags of frozen cherries in the freezer. And when fresh cherries are in season, you can always find a big bowl in my kitchen. This recipe uses tart dried cherries — I love them and use them as a substitute for raisins in many recipes.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit) is a Chinese herb that can be found in many Asian markets. They are small, like berries and have a delicious and slightly smoky and sweet flavor. This wonderful herb is great for insomnia, heart palpitations, and memory.

Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body.

chopped broccoli salad

Chopped Broccoli Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, vegetables,
Cuisine: raw, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is the perfect side-dish. The broccoli is chopped and combined with delicious and healthy fruit, nuts, and seeds. It's so easy and it's so much better than traditional cole slaw or potato salad!
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli, florets placed in food processor and chopped (stems saved for another use)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened dried tart cherries
  • ¼ cup raw almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit), chopped (this is an optional Chinese herb)
  • 2 Tbs raw sunflower seeds (here are some organic ones)
  • 3 Tbs of a healthy mayonnaise (I love this one)
  • 2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar (this is the one I buy)
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar (here's a good one)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped broccoli, scallions, cherries, almonds, Long Yan Rou (if using), and the sunflower seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and coconut sugar.
  3. Add the dressing to the broccoli mixture, stirring well, until combined.
  4. Enjoy!

chopped broccoli salad

Saucy Peach Chicken

This saucy peach chicken is made with peach preserves so you can make it even when fresh peaches are not available!

saucy peach chicken

Are you like me in that even though you are an adult, you still go through “phases”? I remember when my kids were young, I would hope that so many behaviors were “just a phase”. Well, now I’m a lot older and I hope a lot wiser, but I still go through phases.

Thankfully a lot of my phases are centered around my cooking and my eating, so nothing too bad can happen. Unless of course it’s a really fattening phase…

The phase I seem to be in now is a cooking with fruit phase. I don’t know what it is, and I didn’t even recognize that I was doing it until recently, but every recipe I’m cooking lately has fruit in it. I’ve been using all versions — fresh, frozen, jarred… I’m Stacey and I’m addicted to fruit.

Also a few months ago, everything I was making was vegan. Now, I’m in a chicken mood. I stopped trying to figure out why these food moods come and go, and I just assume that my body craves what it needs so I just go with it!

The last recipe I posted was a recipe for orange chicken that used the whole entire orange — rind and all — it’s so good: Orange Peel Chicken.

Today’s recipe uses fruit in a whole different way. There’s no fresh fruit in this recipe, but there’s a whole jar of amazing peach preserves in it. I got the idea for this saucy peach chicken recipe when I was reading one of my favorite food blogs: Half Baked Harvest. The sauce for this chicken is a fruity combination of the preserves mixed with the healthy equivalent of a Russian dressing. This is awesome and simple and so amazing, you have to try it!

saucy peach chicken

I just love when a recipe tastes decadent but really is good for you:

Peaches moisten the body; they can alleviate a dry cough, help with dry mouth, and can be good if you are experiencing constipation. In Chinese medicine, we have an herb that is made from the peach kernel (Tao Ren). This herb is great for constipation and some menstrual problems. Isn’t it great when something so delicious is also so healthy?

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Chili powder is rich in vitamins A and C and also in essential minerals. Spicy pepper is one of the most nutritious spices available. Consuming small amounts gives you a great source of potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Spicy peppers have also been shown to ease the pain of some types of arthritis and muscle soreness.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body. In this recipe I only used a teaspoon of it, but I really think it would be could with a lot more. The next time I make this, I will keep adding the apple cider vinegar by the 1/2-tsp to see how much I can add and still have it taste so amazing!

saucy peach chicken

 

Saucy Peach Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, poultry, main course, simple
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
The sauce for this chicken is so delicious, you will want to make it time and time again... and it's healthy!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting or 425°F regular bake setting.
  2. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with coconut oil.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer in the baking dish.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour them over the chicken.
  5. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and starting to get a few brown patches on the top. (Mine took 35 minutes on the convection setting.)
  6. Enjoy!

saucy peach chicken

Orange Peel Chicken

Chicken and oranges pair so well together and orange peels are great for your digestion… enter: orange peel chicken!

orange peel chicken

This past weekend I was at my son’s college graduation. I’m such a proud mom and I just love that kid so much that of course now in the days past the graduation all I’m doing is thinking about him. He likes to cook, so I love to come up with recipes that I think he would like and that are easy to prepare. This one fits the bill — but when he makes it I’m sure a lot of hot peppers will go into the sauce.

I love chicken dishes with fruit. A great friend of mine once made me his version of Caribbean chicken with lots or oranges and lemons and cherries. This was many years ago, and I still think about that dish today.  So, these things had me thinking…

I know, I really should get a life. All I do is think about food…

My favorite lemonade is made with whole lemons (here’s that recipe) — peel and everything. And I absolutely love grating lime zest on everything! So, when I was making orange chicken the other day, I figured why not use the whole orange. Yup, this orange peel chicken uses the entire orange — peel and everything.

All I did was put all of my orange sauce ingredients into my Vitamix, whiz it up and cook the chicken in it. Not only is this recipe delicious, but I underestimated the amount of sauce my ingredients would make and I had enough sauce to freeze half of it for another time… which is definitely a really good thing! There’s nothing better than a freezer stocked with awesome sauces…

orange peel chickenorange peel chicken

Nutritionally speaking, this chicken is awesome:

Oranges will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the orange rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi” as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

orange peel chicken

Orange Peel Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, poultry, main dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Toss some whole oranges into your blender (peel and all), add a few more ingredients, cook the chicken in this delicious mixture, and you will have a delicious and healthy dinner.
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 lb)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large oranges (organic if possible), washed, unpeeled, cut into quarters
  • 1 Tbs sliced fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup plum sauce or hoisin sauce or korean bbq sauce (use whatever healthy version is available)
  • 1 -1/2 tsp sriracha
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp five spice powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Heat oil in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Brown the chicken on both sides in the oil, about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Place all of the remaining ingredients into a blender and whiz it up until it's really smooth. (I used my Vitamix so this didn't take too long.)
  6. When the chicken is browned, pour enough of your blended orange sauce into the pan so that the chicken is mostly covered. Stir to coat the chicken.
  7. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer the chicken, shaking off excess sauce, to a baking sheet.
  9. (I saved my extra sauce and put it in the freezer for another time!)
  10. Place the sheet under the broiler until the sauced chicken starts to char a bit (about 3 minutes).
  11. Enjoy!

orange peel chicken

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese (Grain-Free Bagel & A Schmear…)

If you haven’t found a dairy-free spread you like yet, make this vegan cashew cream cheese!

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese

A bagel and a schmear… really, is there a more delicious breakfast? (Do I sound too New York-ish or what…)

It’s been many years since bagels have had a place in my breakfast rotation. I feel so much better without grains in my diet, that bagels went by the wayside. But I’m trying to fix this. Really I had no choice but to fix it because I really love this recipe.

I made this cream cheese out of cashews and it was so good that I was craving a bagel. And lox. So, what I’m telling you is twofold: One — make this vegan cashew cream cheese. Two make or buy some grain-free bagels and stock up on some lox. You may be eating this several times a week. Maybe even several times a day.

And when I ran out of lox, I ate it with just the tomato and cream cheese…

bagel with tomato (better edit)-1452

When I have time I bake these Grain-Free Bagels, and now, some supermarket even sell grain-free bagels, so I’m set. The ones I make are kind of cake-like but taste good. The ones I buy are crunchier but they have a little bit of cheese in the dough, so I’m torn…

Let’s get back to this cream cheese. It’s really really good. Even Steve, who’s does eat dairy sometimes, thinks it’s great and loves it on the bagels. And, when you add lox and tomato… OMG, we are happy campers.

I ate the sandwich you see in these pictures for lunch when I was by myself. Then there were days that I had some version of the bagel and a schmear for breakfast AND lunch. It started to get a bit out of control. So, now, I try to pace myself. Sunday brunch is enough. OK, maybe once during the week too if no one is looking…

Vegan Cashew Cream CheeseVegan Cashew Cream Cheese

Here’s some reasons to make this cream cheese:

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this cream cheese I used raw cashews. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy them whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, so it’s perfect here.

Lemons are good for your digestion, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH, and they act as an antibacterial. They also can soothe a sore throat, lessen a cough, and hydrate the body.

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb(Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever. And, they make this cream cheese taste more like traditional cream cheese.

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese (Grain-Free Bagel & A Schmear...)
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, spread
Cuisine: recipe adapted from:connoisseurusveg
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about ¾ cup
 
This cream cheese is dairy-free and vegan. It tastes great spread on a bagel with lox and tomato!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except scallions, in blender or food processor. (You will have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides several times, but be patient and it will come together!)
  2. When the cream cheese is smooth, scrape it into a bowl and stir in the scallions.
  3. Spread it on a grain-free toasted bagel with lox and tomatoes!
  4. Enjoy!

 

bagel, lox, and cream cheese collage

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken

Get the amazing healing benefits of apple cider vinegar in this delicious creamy apple cider vinegar chicken dish!

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken

I’ve been making a lot of creamy recipes lately. Maybe it’s because it’s cold. Maybe it’s because I’ve been craving comfort food and creamy somehow means comfort to me. Or, maybe it’s for some other reason that I haven’t yet figured out. But, one thing’s for sure: these creamy recipes are delicious. And they are dairy-free. And they are simple to make. So, really, who cares why I want them…

Today is Friday and in New York we are bracing for the blizzard said to be coming our way tonight. There’s no fireplace here In the apartment we just moved to, so there’ll be no sitting around the fire with a blanket. More likely, we’ll be sitting around the TV binge-watching something while eating this Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken recipe.

Did you know that raw apple cider vinegar is one of the 10 Foods To Keep You Young Inside And Out?

I buy boneless organic chicken thighs in bulk. Costco sells them in packages and I keep tons of them in my freezer for occasions just like this one.

I used to much prefer the taste of chicken on the bone. But I have to say, boneless thighs are amazing. They are juicy and flavorful. And, they are so much easier to eat with a plate on your lap in front of the TV (I think House Of Cards will be our pick this weekend!)

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a chicken recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, here’s my new FREE ebook:

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Raw apple cider vinegar is something we use a lot of. It’s really kind of a miracle cure for so many issues in our bodies. Steve and I actually drink a big gulp of it every day (and he doesn’t even make as much of a pinched up face anymore when it goes down). Look below at the ingredients for a full explanation of this amazing liquid. So, if I can make a recipe using it, I’m a happy camper. I also love this Romaine Wedge Salad With Minced Vegetable Apple Cider Dressing.

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken

Binge watching TV may not be so healthy, but here’s why this Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken is:

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body. In this recipe the taste is amazing, and, I’m here to tell you that even when taking it straight from the spoon, it’s not so bad…

Chicken is something I always buy organic. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery, childbirth, or illness. Chicken is good for nourishing the blood and it’s a healthy source of protein and vitamin B6.

The creaminess of this dish comes from a can of coconut milk. In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Since it’s cold and flu season now, let me tell you again how amazing onions are. Several times lately I have recommended that patients with bronchitis or severe colds put sliced raw onions in their socks before bedtime. The onion actually draws the toxins out of the body and in the morning many people feel much better. Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Raw Chinese herbs are an amazing tool in the kitchen. If you have access to them, you can add them to tons of things simmering on your stove and let them infuse their magic into your sauces. Here, I used Dang Shen. To the novice, this herb looks like ordinary thick twigs. To me, they are like gold. I added these herbs for energy; to raise my qi. If you are feeling fatigued, I highly recommend looking into this herb.

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken

If you make this Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish, Chicken
Cuisine: recipe inspired by:healingfamilyeats.com
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This one-pot chicken recipe is amazing. The creamy sauce is made with coconut milk and the apple cider vinegar gives it a delicious flavor and will help keep you healthy during cold and flu season.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/3 lb boneless chicken thighs (about 7 thighs)
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • ⅔ cup raw apple cider vinegar (I use this one)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (use the thick cream on the top and save the liquid for another use) (I buy these cans by the case)
  • 2 sticks of Dang Shen (an optional raw Chinese herb)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken and brown on both sides.
  4. Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and add the onions and garlic to the pan. Stir for 1-minute.
  5. Pour in the vinegar and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Pour in the broth.
  7. Put the chicken back into the pan and add the thyme sprigs and raw Chinese herbs if using them.
  8. Cover and simmer 20-minutes, or until it's cooked through (flipping the chicken over halfway through).
  9. Remove the chicken from the pan and pour the coconut cream into the pan. Whisk until combined well and let simmer about 5 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken a bit.
  10. Discard the thyme sprigs and serve.
  11. Enjoy!

 

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken