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Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese

This vegan fettuccine bolognese is a great alternative to a meaty pasta sauce!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Whenever I make a pasta dish, it’s almost always a paleo-friendly pasta recipe because I feel better when I don’t eat grains. But, I do feel better when I eat pasta (for me, it’s the most comforting food around… and, I mean, really, who doesn’t love a good bowl of pasta…?). I’m never sure whether to call the recipe “Paleo Pasta” or just call it “Pasta”.  I know this sounds trivial, but really, I get stuck with this each and every time.

Now, this recipe (which by the way is sooooo delicious), is vegan and it’s paleo. When I first typed in the title, it was “Vegan Paleo Fettuccine Bolognese”, but that’s just too long and complicated for a recipe that’s easy to make. So, for this recipe I decided to use vegan, and omit paleo. I’m still not sure that’s the best title, but I guess this dilemma falls under the category of champagne problems…

Anyway, I used one of my favorite grain-free pastas (Cappello’s fettuccine), and I made an awesome vegan bolognese sauce by using my favorite recipe for simple marinara sauce and adding tons of finely chopped mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini.

I’ve learned that often when I make a vegan recipe, my guests love it, but sometimes I see wary expressions on the faces of the meat eaters if I call it something with a traditional meaty name (like bolognese). But this time, the meat eaters enjoyed this vegan fettuccine bolognese so much, the meaty name was just perfect. Try this out the next time you want to cook something to both vegans and non-vegans… it’s just perfect!

If this recipe is your cup of tea, you must also try my Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Along with all of this deliciousness, you also get great healing benefits from this recipe:

In Eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…

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 both baby bellas and shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitakes 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.

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

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.

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….

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, paleo, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Here's a great dish for all types of dietary habits: vegan, paleo, meat eaters, comfort-food lovers... this is really easy and satisfying!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small eggplants, finely diced
  • 3.5 oz shittake mushrooms, caps finely diced
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, caps finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lb pasta of choice (I used Cappellos, grain-free fettuccine -- see above in post for link)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the eggplant, zucchini, and shrooms out on the sheets in a single layer. Drizzle oil over and toss a bit. Season with salt and pepper. (Try to keep each veggie in a separate area, so if one is done before the others it's easier to remove it from the sheet.)
  4. Roast the veggies in the oven until they start to brown and caramelize a bit. (Every oven is different, but my eggplant took 35 mins, the shrooms took 25 mins, and my zucchini took 20 mins.)
  5. Meanwhile, start the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then cook an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes, then using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it's smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the sauce to a blender and whiz it up -- just make sure you hold a dish towel tightly over the top of the blender instead of using the canister top, so that steam can escape and you don't burn yourself.)
  7. Cook the pasta al dente, and drain it well.
  8. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce and top with mounds of the veggies. Toss it all together if you like before serving.
  9. Enjoy!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan

If you are an eggplant parmesan lover, you have to try this recipe for vegan skillet zucchini parmesan!

vegan skillet zucchini parmesan

One of our favorite local restaurants serves the most amazing zucchini parmesan. I’m so used to avoiding cheese and I really never feel deprived in this area.  Well, almost never. But this zucchini parm is amazing, so I usually just take a tiny taste and then move away. Quickly. I mean, I physically have to push the dish to the other side of the table far from my reach. (I have to do this with bread baskets too.)  I’ve been saying for years that I am going to create a vegan version of this luscious dish, so that I can enjoy it too. Finally, the time has come. Here’s the recipe. And it’s awesome!

My daughter came home from college the other day and I was figuring out what to cook for her first night back at home. She’s a lover of that same zucchini dish, so I figured I’d give it a go. I always like to make something special for her when she comes home, and while I thought this vegan skillet zucchini parmesan would fit the bill, I was also a bit concerned because she really doesn’t love most vegan cheeses. So, I used 3 different types of vegan cheese that I’ve never tried before but have been reading rave reviews about… success!

I went to Whole Foods and I bought a vegan ricotta, a vegan mozzarella, and a vegan Parmesan cheese… in various brands that I’ve been wanting to try. These cheeses were so much better than I expected them to be; even Shelby was pleasantly surprised. And that makes me really happy.

If you’re looking for another vegan comfort food dish, you also have to try my Vegan Macaroni And Cheese recipe!

vegan skillet zucchini parmesan

This dish is not only delicious, but here are some of the reasons why it’s also a healing dish:

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

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….

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.

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. 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 then 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. For this recipe I found a great store-bought vegan cheese made from cashews, but I’ve been seeing so many delicious-looking recipes to make cashew cheese at home, so I’m going to try that next time… and please, if you have a great cashew cheese recipe, let me know!

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. I used an almond-based vegan ricotta cheese in this recipe, and I loved it!

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

vegan skillet zucchini parmesan

Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, main dish, vegetarian, Italian
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: The Endless Meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Slices of zucchini replace the pasta, and various vegan cheeses replace the dairy, making this vegan dish absolutely unbelievably amazing!
Ingredients
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 med zucchinis, cut in half horizontally, then cut into thin vertical slices
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar (I like this one)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 oz vegan ricotta cheese
  • 6 Tbs vegan shredded Parmesan
  • 8 oz vegan mozzarella cheese, cut or spooned into small chunks
  • 8 oz bruschetta mix or sun-dried tomato pesto (make your own or use store-bought)
  • 8 basil leaves, julienned
Instructions
  1. In a large, ovenproof sauté pan or deep skillet, heat the oil.
  2. Add the onion, seasoned with a bit of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, coconut sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Turn off the heat, and slide the zucchini slices into the sauce so they cover the bottom of the pan under the sauce. Repeat 3 more times, stacking the slices on top of each other until you have stacks of 4 slices of zucchini covering the whole pan. Make sure you push each slice down into the sauce before adding the next, so that there is sauce in between each slice.
  6. Put dollops of the ricotta cheese all over the top of the zucchini.
  7. Then sprinkle the Parmesan all over.
  8. Next put chunks, shreds, or spoonfuls of the mozzarella all around the top.
  9. Cover the pan loosely with foil, turn the heat back on and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Preheat your broiler.
  11. Uncover the pan and place spoonfuls of the bruschetta mix or pesto all over the top.
  12. Place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is gooey and starts to brown.
  13. Sprinkle the basil over the top.
  14. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit, then serve with a big spoon and enjoy!

vegan skillet zucchini parmesan

Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine

If you are looking for a comforting bowl of pasta, this roasted red pepper fettuccine will really hit the spot!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

I would eat pasta every day if I could.  There’s just something about it that’s so comforting to me. The bite and texture of perfectly cooked home made fettuccine just takes me to an awesome place.  My favorite thing about visiting Italy is all of the amazing and simple pasta dishes… each time I go I dream about them for weeks to come. (And yes, I’m well aware that if this is what’s filling my dreams, I have a bit of a problem.)

For years, since I stopped eating most grains, I felt deprived (cue the sad-face emoji here). But now that I’ve found so many great grain-free pastas, I am doing the happy dance!

The fettuccine I used in this recipe is grain-free. It’s made from almonds (by Cappello’s) and it has the same texture and taste of homemade traditional fettuccine.

I’m a little out of control though. I’m making so many different sauces and condiments to put on my pasta dishes, that my freezer is overflowing and I’ve become a bit of a food pusher to anyone who comes near my kitchen. The sauce for this roasted red pepper fettuccine is so good that the leftover container didn’t even make it to the freezer; I ate it several days in a row. My intention was to use it as a sauce for vegetables during the week, but I ate it on pasta, again. And again.

I am not a big fan of jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe, but it’s so easy to roast your own that you really should do it this way. You can roast them in the oven, or if you have a gas stove, you can just plop the pepper right on the flame like I do.

roasted red pepper fettuccineroasted red pepper fettuccine

This pasta and sauce combination is amazing:

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia.

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. This recipe contains sun dried tomatoes, which have the same great capabilities and also taste amazing!

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

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. So, if you use a grain-free pasta made from almonds, like I did, you get these amazing nutritional benefits too!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, paleo, grain-free, sauce, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: Italian, vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
I used grain-free pasta and tossed it with the most amazing vegan sauce! This is easy, it's delicious, it's healthy... and it makes for awesome leftovers!
Ingredients
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted (you can do this in the oven or on top of a gas flame) and peeled
  • 10 sun dried tomatoes, not packed in oil (soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes and then drained)
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 pint multi-colored small tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • about ½ lb of your favorite pasta (try a grain-free one) (I used Cappello's fettuccine)
  • * Note: this recipe makes enough sauce for at least twice as much pasta as indicated, so if you have extra, be sure to store it in the fridge or freezer for another meal!
Instructions
  1. Put the roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, oil, and hot red pepper flakes into a blender. Whiz it up until smooth.
  2. Pour the sauce into a pot and place it over medium heat just until very warm.
  3. Cook the pasta al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta and toss it with sauce.
  5. Gently mix in fresh tomatoes and cilantro.
  6. Enjoy!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

Roasted Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner

This roasted salmon sheet pan dinner is delicious, healthy, and so easy!

roasted salmon sheet pan dinner

I think if I had to pick a cooking method that is my favorite way to cook, it would be roasting. Roasting is the most idiot-proof method of preparing food. When in doubt, roast it. You can roast meats, vegetables, fish, fruit… and if you season the food properly, it will almost always come out good.

A few days ago, my real estate agent told me she was showing my house around dinner time. What this meant to me was that the salmon in the fridge that was waiting to be cooked, would have to be cooked in the morning so as to avoid potential buyers thinking my house smelled bad. I’m not usually a big fan of cooking fish in advance, but I figured I’d try the sheet pan method, and to be honest, I was just hoping the food would be OK. I wasn’t expecting miracles, I was just hoping to avoid scrunched up noses of my visitors.

Miracles do happen. Even hours later (about 9 hours later), I took my cooked sheet-pan dinner out of the fridge where I had put it after I cooked it in the morning, and I covered it with foil, and reheated it in the oven… and OMG, it was awesome.

So, I will be bowing down to my old tarnished sheet-pans a lot more often! And not just for this roasted salmon sheet pan dinner… mark my words, there will be many others…

Sheet-pan dinners are deliciously easy time-savers. All you do is put your food on the pan, season it, and pop it in the oven. That’s it. Even non-cooks can make this recipe. And, let me tell you, when you take it out of the oven, you look all kinds of cool and funky if you serve the food right on the tray you roasted it on…  Maybe this is why I’m starting to see them pop up all over in my favorite food blogs.  This roasted salmon sheet pan dinner recipe was inspired by one of my all-time favorite food blogs:  Half Baked Harvest.

For another delicious simple fish recipe, take a look at my recipe for Lemon Pesto Fish Fillets.

roasted salmon sheet pan dinner

Other than the ease and the deliciousness (is that even a word?) of this sheet-pan dinner, here are some more reasons to make this:

Salmon is the perfect food to nourish the blood and the yin. It’s especially great for women because it raises fertility levels by promoting a healthy endometrial lining. Salmon is also great for anyone who is in need of additional iron. Be sure to buy wild salmon because the levels of mercury are lower than in farmed salmon. This beautiful fish also contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, making it a good food source to combat breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression and diabetes. Lately there’s also been a lot of evidence that salmon is great at reducing intestinal inflammation and that it’s also good for your joints and muscles.

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way — I’m still learning to like raw beets, and in part of my “training” to like them, I am starting to under-cook them sometimes now…

Spring is asparagus season. In Chinese medicine, we use asparagus to heal the body from within; it gets rid of excess heat in your body, is good for circulation, can remove plaque from the arteries, soothes constipation and is good for hypertension. Many years ago, doctors used to prescribe asparagus juice to reduce cholesterol. Women can especially benefit from this vegetable’s healing abilities: it helps with menopause and fertility. One of my favorite Chinese herbs is called Tian Men Dong and it’s a form of asparagus. It’s great if you have yin deficiency (like so many woman do…), it can help if you have a dry cough, hot flashes, constipation, or night sweats.

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.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

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.

Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels. And, if you zest a lemon on top of your foods, you will notice a distinctly brighter taste!

roasted salmon sheet pan dinner

Roasted Salmon Sheet-Pan Dinner
Author: 
Recipe type: seafood, fish, sheet-pan dinner
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Just put all of these awesome ingredients on your sheet-pan, season them up, and roast... and be amazed! And, to make things even better you can cook and serve in the same single pan!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, washed
  • 4 beets, peeled and quartered
  • 1-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1-1/4 lb wild salmon fillet
  • 3 scallions, roots cut off
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 Tbs coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp turmeric (I use this one sometimes)
  • ¼ tsp hot paprika
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • the zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 additional tsp extra-virgin olive oil (to add to the herb/spice mixture)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F convection setting or 450°F regular bake setting.
  2. Spread the beets and potatoes out on a large sheet-pan lined with parchment paper.
  3. Drizzle 1-Tbs oil over and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Place the tray in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Add 2-tsp oil to the bowl and mix.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven and place the salmon in the center (move the beets and potatoes to the sides).
  7. Cover the salmon with the herbs and spices mixture.
  8. Arrange the asparagus in the spare space on the tray and drizzle them with the remaining 2-tsp oil and sprinkle with salt.
  9. Lay the scallions over the salmon.
  10. Place the tray back in the oven and roast until the salmon is cooked and the beets are tender enough for you. (Mine took 18-minutes.)
  11. Remove the tray from the oven and place it on a trivet or towel right on your table. Serve and enjoy!

roasted salmon sheet pan dinner

Sweet Potato Strawberry Arugula Salad

This sweet potato strawberry arugula salad has everything your body needs to feel awesome!

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

We are in the process of trying to sell our house so there are strangers walking through at all times. It’s hard to keep the house perfectly clean for all of the potential buyers stopping by! Especially the kitchen! Now, when I cook I try to be mindful of the cleanup, which is a real challenge for me because I use a lot of equipment and ingredients when I create recipes.

I went to the market the other day with absolutely no idea of what i was going to prepare when I got home. So many things looked so good… this might have been because I was hungry when I got there, which is probably not the best time to food shop…

It’s much more of a challenge to put my food together into a cohesive meal if I’ve shopped before breakfast. If I shop hungry, everything looks great. I feel like I get one of those cartoon bubbles above my head with experimental recipe ideas written out. Sometimes when I unload the bags at home, I can’t imagine what I was thinking. But sometimes, it just works.

So, I bought a bag of produce filled with beautiful colors. I bought beautifully orange sweet potatoes, huge firm strawberries, perfectly ripe avocados, fresh arugula and spinach, and oranges the size of your head.

When I got home I was starving! And, I still hadn’t eaten breakfast. And, let me tell you, this NEVER happens — I always eat breakfast. But, the fridge was bare… even my smoothie ingredients were severely lacking.

I heated the oven and put the sweet potatoes in to roast. Then I layed out all of my other ingredients on the counter. The colors were beautiful, but they didn’t seem to be conducive of a cohesive meal.

Salad to the rescue! Sometimes beautiful fresh ingredients come together in the most unexpected ways, like in this colorful, sweet potato strawberry arugula salad. I don’t want to call this a breakfast salad, because I’m well aware that a lot of people don’t like salad for breakfast, but if you’re game, you should try it because this is an awesome breakfast!

If you like salads with out-of-the-ordinary ingredients, try my Tomato And Herb Salad With Roasted Lemons too.

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

This salad is delicious and so good for you:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Strawberries help get rid of excess alcohol in your body and they are good for your heart. They even help reduce plaque in your mouth and can make you feel better if you have an annoying dry cough or if you feel bloated from eating too much. So, if you’ve overindulged, strawberries are great for you.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

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 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.

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (yes, really), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

Sweet Potato Strawberry Arugula Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: American, vegetarian, vegan
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
The colors in this salad are beautiful and the taste is even better! This salad is filled with ingredients that will heal you and make you smile!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 8 basil leaves, torn into large pieces
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced, slices cut in half
  • 6 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1 large roasted sweet potato, roasted and then sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or other healthy sweetener)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Arrange all salad ingredients on a large platter.
  2. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and drizzle onto salad.
  3. Enjoy!

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

Lemon Pesto Fish Fillets

Dinner doesn’t get easier than these lemon pesto fish fillets!

lemon pesto fish fillets

Sometimes I want to make fish but I don’t want all of the fuss that sometimes comes with some of my seafood creations.  I don’t know what it is about fish that triggers something in my head that says I have to make a sauce or lots of sides, but it really doesn’t need to be that way. I created this recipe  on one of those nights that I was hungry and wanted to eat fast. It was mid-week and the cod at the market looked really good, so I bought it. When I was deciding what to do with it, I stood in front of my open fridge and peered inside. This is a bad habit of mine — I just stand there hoping for ingredients that don’t exist to appear…

But, on this particular day, I saw a container filled with a beautifully green fresh pesto that I forgot I had. Two days earlier, I was at the farmers’ market and there was a vendor selling all different kinds of the most amazingly delicious fresh pestos. I bought it thinking I was really going to use it as a dip, but when I saw it, it was like a lightbulb went on over my head and this simple recipe jumped into my brain.

The pesto I used was a vegan kale, arugula, and basil pesto, but you can use any kind of pesto you like.

The bright flavor of the pesto and the lemon juice and grated lemon peels make this dish taste like spring.

So, don’t wait until you feel like cooking to make these lemon pesto fish fillets! They can be made any night you have 15 minutes to spare!

And, for the next time you want an easy fish recipe, try my simple Perfect Baked Fish recipe.

lemon pesto fish fillets

Here are some nutrition facts for this recipe:

Fish is great to eat if you feel like you need more energy. It’s also helps with diarrhea and hemorrhoids. I used cod for this recipe, but almost any fish would be delicious with this preparation and creamy mustard sauce. Red Snapper, like many fish varieties, is good for the cardiovascular system; it helps protect against heart attacks and strokes and can help regulate blood pressure. It’s also very low in calories… so have a nice big piece! (Please, avoid farm-raised fish and those varieties with a high amount of mercury.)

Kale is everywhere these days. I kind of got a little tired of just eating it in salads, so I now use it inside of different dishes, like here in this pesto (if you make your own pesto, just toss some kale leaves in with the basil). It is extremely nutritious, and because it is so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets, and it’s in so many prepared dishes now, like pestos, salsas, and sauces. I bought my pesto for this dish already made and packed in a container; it seems to be the in-thing at farmers’ markets this season! Kale is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (yes, really), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.

lemon pesto fish fillets

Lemon Pesto Fish Fillets
Author: 
Recipe type: fish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
All you need is 15 minutes to make this easy fish recipe; it will be your go-to on a busy week-night... and it tastes so fresh and bright!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb fish fillets, cut into 4 pieces (I used cod, but use whatever looks fresh at the market)
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 lemons: 1 juiced and zested; the other sliced
  • about ¾ cup pesto (any variety you like -- I used a vegan kale, basil, arugula pesto)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet with the oil.
  3. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  4. Lay the lemon slices on the bottom of the baking sheet.
  5. Arrange the fish on top of the lemon slices.
  6. Spread the pesto over the fish fillets.
  7. Squeeze the lemon over the pesto.
  8. Roast the fish in the oven until the centers flake easily with a fork (mine took 15 minutes, but yours may be different)
  9. Remove the fish from the oven and sprinkle the lemon zest over.
  10. Enjoy!

lemon pesto fish fillets