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Green Bean Fries

All fries are good… and these green bean fries are awesome!

green bean fries

If you could see the talk-bubble above my head whenever anyone asks me what my favorite food is, you’d see a picture of a huge plate of french fries. Next to that would be a puddle of ketchup and a bowl of gravy. My all-time favorite food has always been french fries with gravy… preferably from a greasy diner. That’s what I’m thinking when I get asked that question. But, it’s been many, many years since I felt good eating that way.  Nowadays, I make my “fries” baked, not fried, and they are not always made with potatoes.

That doesn’t mean that I am depriving myself at all. Mainly, because I truly don’t believe in depravation.  Baked fries, if you make them correctly, taste just as good as the fried version (okay… maybe not the greasy diner version…).   But, because I like all fries, I have learned to make them out of lots of different veggies. This way I can have them all the time.  Literally, with every meal if I feel like it.

First, let me just say that these taste nothing like traditional french fries. Nothing compares to a fried potato. So, when you serve these, don’t call them fries. People get all drool-y and excited (at least I know I do…) when they think you are serving french fries. When I served them at my house, I just called them green beans. OMG, they got rave reviews! Really, who doesn’t like a crispy food that you can pick up with your fingers and dunk in a creamy spicy dip?

I live in the middle of Manhattan. So, it’s kind of crazy and loud all of the time. I kind of thrive on the craziness and the hustle and bustle. And, now that I’m in my urban happy place, I can find something I like about every season. Even though I’m not really a lover of the cold, I love to watch the snow fall on the city streets below my windows. That’s winter. Now that winter is over and it’s full-on spring here in New York, it means we get to sit at my dining room table near the window, look outside, and actually watch the sun set at dinner time… yay! No more darkness at 4:30 pm…

Picture it… a big plate of green bean fries. A spicy creamy dip. Finger food near an open window while the sun sets. And for me, the beauty of the city noises outside while I eat with a smile on my lips. I feel so blessed to have found my happy place… and when I fill it with happy food… oh my, it’s a great thing!

I have made fries out of just about every vegetable you can think of. Some are good, some are excellent, and some… well… they really were… ummm… pretty gross.

The secret to these green bean fries is the coating. You’ve got to dredge them in something to get them crispy. I’m sure breadcrumbs and flour would crisp them up nicely, but we don’t want to have to use those inflammation-producing ingredients, so I tried out lots of things on the way to finding out the best answer to the crispy green bean dilemma.

And, here’s the answer: chickpea crumbs! In the supermarkets now they actually sell bags of chickpea crumbs. Now, you can use any crumbs you like to coat these green bean fries, but if you can find chickpea crumbs, give them a shot. You can add whatever you like to these crumbs.  Once I added hemp seeds. Once I added sesame seeds.  Do whatever floats your boat.

If you want to try another great green bean recipe, try my simple recipe for Salt And Pepper Roasted Green Beans.

green bean friesgreen bean fries

Here are some of the healing ingredients in these green bean fries:

Green beans have a lot of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, and iron. Eating green beans can help rid the body of toxins and can help regulate metabolism. They also can help relieve that feeling of excessive fullness in your stomach and excessive belching. In Chinese medicine, green beans are eaten to clear up chronic diarrhea and even for some lower back pain.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular… I used chickpea crumbs to coat these green bean fries.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people. These green bean fries have chili powder, and chipotle chili powder in the coating and the dip is made with sriracha.

green bean fries

 

Green Bean Fries
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetable, side dish
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These "fries" are meant to be eaten with your fingers. Dunk them in the spicy creamy sauce and you will smile from ear to ear!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup chickpea crumbs (you can buy them here) (or substitute a Paleo-friendly crumb)
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds (optional) (I like these)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • For the dip:
  • ⅓ cup healthy mayonnaise (here's a paleo/avocado oil one)
  • ¼ cup cashew yogurt (or other yogurt of your choice)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a pie plate, combine the chickpea crumbs, hemp seeds, garlic powder, minced onion flakes, paprika, salt and pepper, and chili powders.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a second pie plate or bowl.
  5. Dunk the beans in the eggs and then dredge them in the crumb mixture. Make sure they are well-coated.
  6. Place them on the baking sheet in a single layer so they are not touching each other.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are crispy.
  8. Meanwhile, make the dip: combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  9. Remove the beans from the oven when they are done, and serve on a platter with the dip.
  10. Enjoy!

green bean fries

White Bean And Kale Soup

This healing White Bean And Kale Soup is light and comforting at the same time… it’s so delicious!

white bean and kale soup

It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s about time for me to make a big pot of soup. On Sundays and Mondays, oftentimes I feel like creating more complex dishes. You know the kind… the ones that have separate sauces and lots of different components. The one’s that make your kitchen look like a bomb dropped on it. But, come mid-week, I’m all about the one-pot meal. And today, it’s a soup kind of day.

I find all soup comforting. Maybe it’s because it’s served in a bowl. Or maybe it’s because I love the great aroma of all of the things cooking together in one big pot. Or, maybe it’s because I love hot food. I guess it really doesn’t matter why… but it’s a good thing.

And, I’m a firm believer that soup is not just for winter.

I live in the city now, and if you would have told me before I moved here that I would be eating soup year round, I’d have thought you were crazy. I mean, the city in the summer can be really HOT. But, at our house in the burbs where we often kept our windows and doors open to feel the summer breeze, eating soup was a great thing to do as the night cooled down.  Moving into the city though has caused me to pump up the AC way more than I’m used to, so soup season extends here too — sometimes it’s freakin’ cold in here even in the summer!.

But, adapt we must… so the AC cranks up as soon as it gets warm. And, soup season seems continue on much more naturally because sometimes it’s really freakin cold in here… even in the summer.  Haha… how times change.

So, about this particular soup. It really is comforting. And it’s healing. And it’s one of those soups that lets you actually feel the energy seeping into your body as you eat it. Really, you can.

The white beans get a great creamy texture as they cook down. And then to make the soup even creamier, I blended up a little of it and stirred it back into the rest. The fresh rosemary gives it a really awesome herby taste and well, you are just going to love it.

I love to put raw Chinese herbs into my soups while they are cooking. And, depending on what my body needs at the time, I choose my herbs accordingly. This is a totally optional step, and doesn’t effect the recipe at all, but I’d love to help you learn to do this too — because infusing your soup with herbs is just awesome. I put some energy/qi-building herbs in this pot of white bean and kale soup and oh my… it’s like magic.

I have made this soup many times. I’ve seen so many different versions of this soup on so many different blogs that it makes me switch up the recipe a little bit each time I make it but I’ve never been disappointed. This time, as I was about to fire up the stove, I saw yet another recipe for it on one of my favorite blogs: The First Mess. It looked so good, that I had to change up my recipe yet again and implement some new components. I have to give a big thank you to Laura because this is the best version of white bean and kale soup yet!

Another great soup recipe you will love is my Cauliflower Chickpea Soup.

white bean and kale soupwhite bean and kale soup

Here’s some of the great healing ingredients in this white bean and kale soup:

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. Make sure you clean the kale leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems). This dark leafy green 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.

White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.

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!

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Rosemary is great for your digestion, your heart, and your libido. It also can help boost your energy.

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….

Also, whenever I cook anything with some liquid, I like to add some Chinese herbs for whatever conditions I feel need help at the time. One of my favorites is Huang Qi (Astragalus). It is great for an over-all strengthening of the body and it’s energy. So, when I set this pot to simmer, I added some raw Huang Qi and let it infuse into the soup.

white bean and kale soup

White Bean And Kale Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The First Mess
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This soup is like energy in a bowl. In a delicious and creamy form. Yum!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely minced
  • 2 15-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch Lacinto (black) kale, thick center ribs removed and discarded, leaves chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • dried red pepper flakes, to taste
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 stick Huang Qi/Astragalus (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring until the veggies soften a bit, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, rosemary, beans, and broth.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Ladle ⅔ of the contents of the pot into a blender and blend until smooth, then stir this smooth mixture back into the pot with the rest.
  7. Stir in the kale.
  8. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Enjoy!

white bean and kale soup

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Spinach artichoke dip is one of those weird things that almost everybody seems to love. I say weird, because even people who don’t love veggies or think they hate artichokes or spinach, seem to dive into a bowl of spinach artichoke dip whenever it’s around. This vegan spinach artichoke dip is no exception. I had people diving into this dip the second it was plopped down on my coffee table.

My kids used to order this dip (the cheesy original version) every time we went to a restaurant that had it. It always came out steaming hot and creamy and it smelled so good! It’s one of those things that I could never eat because of all the dairy. Well, this vegan version finally gives me my turn!

This dip is warm and creamy. It may be vegan, but it tastes so similar to the cheese-laden original, that nobody will know.

I loved this dip with sliced radishes and cucumbers and peppers, but the not-so-health conscious eaters in my crowd scooped up mounds of this dip with chips and pita.

It’s that time of year when we are post-Thanksgiving but pre-Xmas and Hannukah and New Years. So, we all try to eat as healthy as we can for the next few weeks. Right? I mean if we can do okay now, then we can really let loose that last week of the year. So, if this is your plan, slip this vegan spinach artichoke dip into your apps rotation during football games, basketball games, happy hours, whatever… because it sure helps when you are eating something that tastes sinful, but really isn’t.

Okay, enuf selling of this dip. Haha, you’d think I was getting a commission on it or something… but I’m not… I just want you to be happy from healthy food. Wow, that sounds pretty corny, huh?

Anyway, happy everything!

I want to thank Sina at Vegan Heaven for the original recipe for this dish.

Oh, and if you are looking for another healthy dip to try, take a look at my recipe for Beet Hummus.

This is Steve, with that look on his face saying this bowl is all for him and nobody better come near him… haha.. vegan spinach artichoke dipvegan spinach artichoke dip

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this delicious vegan spinach artichoke dip:

White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.

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.

Artichokes are a good source of vitamins C and K and they also contain a healthy amount of magnesium. The are low in fat and calories but they do have some fiber, so they are a healthy choice. In Chinese medicine, we recommend adding artichokes to the diet to combat sadness, headaches, indigestion, and diarrhea. In olden times, steamed artichokes were sometimes prescribed to combat a yeast infection.

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.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!

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. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! 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!

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Vegan Heaven
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is one of those dips that people just keep eating and eating and nobody knows it's vegan. It's really creamy and delicious... and easy to make! Great for a crowd!
Ingredients
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the lemon juice,cashews, beans and nutritional yeast, and water in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add the onion.
  4. Saute until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  6. Add the spinach, and stir until completely wilted, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the artichokes.
  8. Stir in the cashew mixture.
  9. Season with salt.
  10. Spoon into a bowl and serve warm with crackers, chips, or fresh veggies.
  11. Enjoy!

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Kale With Tomatoes And White Beans

kale with tomatoes and white beans

A few nights ago I was rummaging through my fridge trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Nothing caught my eye. I opened all of my cabinets, hoping that something would jump out at me there. That’s when I realized that I have so many cans of different kinds of beans, it’s a little embarrassing. My embarrassment was the start of this kale with tomatoes and white beans side dish.

Usually, when I cook with beans, I end up with something very warming and better suited to a cold winter night than one than a warm summer night. My daughter was flying in for a visit and I knew she’d be hot and starving and there was no way I would be able to sell a hot chili or Mexican-y dish… ugh… I was just drawing a blank.

So, I started looking through recipes on some of my favorite food blogs. A big thank you goes to Miryam at Eat Good 4 Life — she posted an awesome recipe and it was just perfect. My lack of inspiration fed on her great recipe…

If you want to learn more about the benefits of kale, and why you should make this hearty green one of your go-to greens in salads and other dishes, read this article from HealthyLine. This article lists 26 benefits you can get from kale… 26!

I served this kale with tomatoes and white beans as a side to a nice bowl of soup, and a new favorite meal was born. The next time I make salmon, this definitely will be my go-to side — it will look great next to the orange fish and… yum!

If you want another great side dish that’s perfect for summer, try my Zoodles With Raw Tomato Sauce recipe.

kale with tomatoes and white beanskale with tomatoes and white beans

Here are some of the reasons this kale with tomatoes and white beans dish is so good for you:

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. Make sure you clean the kale leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems). This dark leafy green 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.

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 uses both fresh and sun-dried tomatoes.

White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.

kale with tomatoes and white beans

Kale With Tomatoes And White Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish, kale, simple
Cuisine: recipe adapted from Eat Good 4 Life
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is a great, simple side-dish for everyone. Even people who think they don't like kale will love this!
Ingredients
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 bunches of Lacinto (black) kale, thick center ribs removed and discarded, and leaves cut into 2 inch slices.
  • 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 15-oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese shreds
Instructions
  1. Heat 1-Tbs of the oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are blistered and start to blacken a bit, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar and the kale.
  4. Stir just until the kale wilts.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the beans.
  6. Taste, and add salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in the Parmesan.
  8. Enjoy!

kale with tomatoes and white beans

Slow Cooker Dairy-Free Grain-Free Vegan Enchiladas

These slow cooker dairy-free grain-free vegan enchiladas are so simple and delicious…

slow cooker paleo vegan enchiladas

I love anything in a wrap of any kind. I don’t know what it is, but things just taste better when they are rolled up. But when I started eating paleo, I sadly left my wraps behind. And I’ve so missed my burritos, tuna wraps, enchiladas, quesadillas… all of that great awesome “wrap-y” food. Enter… almond flour wraps. Yup, it’s these babies that allowed me to make this amazing recipe for slow cooker paleo vegan enchiladas…

If you are like me and find that your body just looks and feels better without any grains in your diet, you can make this recipe and do the happy dance. Yay! Wraps that can be cooked and that are grain free — this is the greatest invention since sliced bread…

I made these on Monday, so I did a really big happy dance, because… and I’m going to tell you this even though I am a little embarrassed to admit this… I love to watch The Bachelor. I ate my enchiladas before The Bachelor came on, so I was doubly happy. I felt full yet healthy and I was ready for my favorite mindless 2 hours of TV. It was an awesome night.

I’ve been using almond flour wraps for awhile now, but I never tried to put them in the slow cooker. Until now. And, OMG, it worked out so much better than I could ever have hoped! I adapted this recipe from Real Simple — they get the credit for the original recipe idea, and it’s just awesome!

These slow cooker paleo vegan enchiladas are stuffed with black beans and spinach and corns and deliciously creamy vegan cheese and turmeric and other great flavors. And, the slow cooker does all of the heavy lifting. All you do is mix the filling in a bowl, roll ‘m up, and off you go.

If you are looking for another great vegan slow cooker recipe, try my Vegan Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers.

slow cooker paleo vegan enchiladasslow cooker paleo vegan enchiladas

Here are some of the great things these slow cooker paleo vegan enchiladas can do for you:

In Chinese medicine, black foods are known as the best foods to strengthen the body and nourish the blood. We recommend them for many people who suffer from chronic lower back pain, knee pain and infertility. Black beans have the highest amount of antioxidants of any bean, they are high in fiber and are good for the heart.

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.

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.

Corn is one of the foods that if I can’t find organic, I just won’t eat because the crops are so heavily sprayed and are full of GMOs. As more people are expressing concern about GMOs, it seems to be getting easier to find good corn at the market. Corn actually benefits the gallbladder, is good for hepatitis, heart disease, and hypertension. Cornsilk is a Chinese herb (Yu Mi Xu). It’s often used to reduce edema, help with hepatitis and reduce the symptoms of some painful urinary conditions. If you can’t find organic fresh corn, buy a bag of organic frozen corn!

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. This recipe uses almond flour tortilla instead of traditional ones.

slow cooker paleo vegan enchiladas

Slow Cooker Dairy Free Grain-Free Vegan Enchiladas
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, vegan, slow cooker, crockpot, Mexican, comfort food
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Real Simple
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
This recipe is simple. And grain-free. And vegan. And comforting. What else could you ask for?
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 9 oz fresh spinach, steamed, squeezed dry in a clean dish towel
  • 1-1/4 cups frozen organic corn
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 7-oz sliced vegan American cheese (I used Straight From The Heart brand), divided
  • 2 16-oz jars mild salsa
  • 6 almond flour tortillas
  • sliced radishes, sliced scallions, lime wedges for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the beans, spinach, corn, cumin, salt, pepper, turmeric, chili powder, garlic powder, and ½ the cheese.
  2. Pour one jar of salsa into the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Lay the tortillas out on a flat surface and divide the bean mixture among them. Roll them up, and arrange them, seam-side-down, in a single layer on top of the salsa.
  4. If you have any filling left in the bowl, pour it on top of the enchiladas.
  5. Pour the second jar of salsa on top.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the salsa.
  7. Cook on low or medium heat for 2-1/2 hours, or until the cheese is melted and everything is hot.
  8. Serve with radishes, lime wedges and scallions, if desired. Enjoy!

slow cooker paleo vegan enchiladas

Salt And Pepper Roasted Green Beans

These salt and pepper roasted green beans are a deliciously simple way to improve your digestion…

salt and pepper roasted green beans

Sea salt is awesome. I don’t think it’s on the official superfoods list, but it should be. Did you know that if you don’t have enough salt, your body gets dehydrated? And if you are getting the right amount of salt, then your energy levels will improve. So, try these salt and pepper roasted green beans… they are a quick, delicious fix!

I’ve learned to put a big pinch of sea salt into my water in the morning. I’ve been doing this for years and now I’m seeing that this salted water is becoming an “in” thing. Maybe that’s because sea salt contains some really great minerals (think magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and iodine).

Now, don’t start telling people that I said salt is awesome. I said SEA salt is awesome. Don’t go buying what passes for salt in the supermarket. “Table” salt is not sea salt. Buy real sea salt!

My favorite type of sea salt is pink Himalayan salt. I know, as I’m typing this, I’m thinking to myself that all this talk of salt is probably boring you to tears. But, it’s so important, so I’m just going to continue on… Himalayan sea salt is good for your bones, sleep, libido, muscles, and heart. Really. Ok, my rant is done.

Now, on to this recipe for salt and pepper roasted green beans. It’s so simple. It’s the perfect side dish. In my house we eat these beans with everything. For awhile I was making my recipe for Sesame Green Beans. A lot.  But sometimes Asian tastes don’t go well with what I’m serving, so enter these simple roasted green beans that are just so good and have so much flavor — and it’s all from salt and pepper.

Try these beans and you’ll be hooked like I am!

salt and pepper roasted green beans

These salt and pepper roasted green beans have so few ingredients but they are so good for you:

Green beans have a lot of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, and iron. Eating green beans can help rid the body of toxins and can help regulate metabolism. They also can help relieve that feeling of excessive fullness in your stomach and excessive belching. In Chinese medicine, green beans are eaten to clear up chronic diarrhea and even for some lower back pain.

Sea salt, as discussed above, contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and iodine — all minerals that are necessary for a healthy body. Himalayan sea salt is good for your bones, sleep, libido, muscles, and heart.

Black pepper is a Chinese herb (Hu Jiao). It’s used to control vomiting and diarrhea and is good for some stomach pains. This common herb also can help the body more easily absorb nutrients, and it is sometimes prescribed to lessen the symptoms of respiratory ailments.

salt and pepper roasted green beans

Salt And Pepper Roasted Green Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables, roasting, beans, green beans
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the easiest, most delicious, and healthiest side dish ever! Just try it and you'll be hooked!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb.fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher-style sea salt and black pepper to taste (use a generous amount)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425° regular bake setting.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the beans onto the sheet. Don't pile them up; spread them out.
  4. Drizzle the oil on top of the beans.
  5. Sprinkle a generous amount of sea salt and fresh ground pepper onto the beans. Mix them up with your hands or tongs.
  6. Roast in the oven 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and the beans are crisp-tender.
  7. Enjoy!

salt and pepper roasted green beans

Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili

This Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili has big chunks of beets in it. Beets are great for nourishing your blood (that’s not a vampire reference…) — I find that they are awesome for fighting off some of those annoying conditions associated with menopause!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

It’s chili season! Nothing says happy autumn like the fragrant aroma from a big pot of chili cooking on the stove. In our house that chili must be eaten while watching whatever football game is on TV. And the table has to be filled with bowls of guacamole, cheeses (vegan ones too), coconut yogurt, fresh cilantro, and some healthy-ish chips to pile on top of the individual bowls of chili. And even though this is a healthier chili, it still goes great with an ice cold beer…

Oftentimes I make my chili with meat — beef, pork, turkey, bison, lamb… whatever I’m feeling at the moment. But, I’ve been eating vegan more and more these days, so I decided to make this vegan chili. It’s especially awesome because it’s hearty and has big chunks of veggies. You know, it’s not like one of those vegan chilies that seems to be mostly beans. This one’s got moxie. It’s got heart. It’s got substance. It’s really awesome. And it tastes like a traditional meaty chili… for realz.

Every time I make a pot of chili or soup, I add some raw Chinese herbs to the pot so that while the food cooks, the amazing healing properties of the herbs get infused in my food. This time I added Huang Qi and Shan Yao to boost my energy. If you have access to good quality Chinese herbs, I highly recommend this, and of course, if you have any questions, just ask me!

As I sit here and type this post, I keep sneaking a peak at my closed refrigerator door because I know there’s still a bit of this awesome vegan beet & butternut squash chili sitting in the pot leftover in the fridge. Just sitting there. It’s kind of calling my name… OK, as soon as I’m done here, I’m answering the call of the chili…

If you want to eat more beets, you have to try my awesome recipe for Pomegranate Glazed Beets!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Here are some of the awesome healing capabilities of the ingredients in this vegan beet & butternut squash chili:

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.

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.

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.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and
tonsillitis.

In Chinese medicine, red kidney beans are used to aid digestion; they help you if you have diarrhea and they also have a diuretic quality. White navy beans actually improve your memory and they also have a calming effect, so feel free to use a mix of colored beans if you like.

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido.

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: chili, comfort food, vegetables
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This is a vegan chili that's as hearty as a traditional meaty one. It's got beets, butternut squash, carrots, peppers, beans, and so much more!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (use whatever color pepper you have)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1-1/2 lb large-diced butternut squash
  • ½ lb red beets, peeled and diced (I used pre-cooked ones)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1-1/2 Tbs chili powder
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Huang Qi, Shan Yao
  • For garnish: vegan cheese, coconut yogurt, fresh cilantro, chips
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Saute, stirring, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the squash, beets, garlic powder, chipotle powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and more salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring, about 15 minutes, over medium-low heat.
  5. Add the tomatoes, broth, beans, and cacao.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer 30 minutes.
  7. Give the pot a good stir, uncover it, and cook an additional 20 minutes.
  8. Ladle into individual bowls.
  9. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, some cilantro, more cheese, and crushed chips.
  10. Enjoy!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Sesame Green Beans

Sesame green beans are a staple in my house… they are so simple, so healing, and they can be served at room temperature!

sesame green beans

Every now and then I feel the need to post a really simple but delicious recipe. Sometimes I get a little too chef-y and I forget that simple is often better. Well, you can’t get more simple than this recipe for sesame green beans. And, you can’t get any better either!

What’s better than a fresh veggie, cooked perfectly so that it’s crisp-tender? These green beans are slightly steamed, then tossed with a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and sea salt.  That’s it.  Nothing chef-y about the prep, only in the taste! Everyone will love this…

This side dish has been my go-to all summer long. It goes great with grilled meats, with my favorite paleo pasta dishes, and honestly, there’re nothing better than grabbing a leftover handful straight out of the fridge. I think these beans taste best cold or at room temperature, so that makes it even easier. You can make these awesome green beans way before you plan to serve them and, I can’t stress this enough: they are so easy to make!

For another simple vegetable dish, make my Simple Baby Bok Choy recipe.

sesame green beans

There are only a few ingredients in this recipe, but they are great healing ones:

Green beans have a lot of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, and iron. Eating green beans can help rid the body of toxins and can help regulate metabolism. They also can help relieve that feeling of excessive fullness in your stomach and excessive belching. In Chinese medicine, green beans are eaten to clear up chronic diarrhea and even for some lower back pain.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use black or white seeds, or a combination of both.

sesame green beans

Sesame Green Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: American, side dish, simple
Cuisine: vegetables, beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Fresh green beans are gently steamed and then tossed with toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds... this is the perfect side dish for everything... and it's so easy!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Steam the beans just until they are slightly tender. Don't overcook them!
  2. Drain and toss with remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
  4. Enjoy!

sesame green beans

Vegan Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

These vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers are so easy!

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

I have finally learned to love my slow cooker! Yup, it’s a red letter day. I always loved how easy it is to use it, but honestly, my food was really inconsistent when I used it. I would have to make a recipe many, many times before I finally got it right. I mean, dried out meat is pretty gross…

I feel like a lightbulb finally went off over my head: When I cook vegan food in my cooker, it’s almost always awesome. It’s funny how things work out; I’ve been trying to eat more and more vegan meals, and now my handy-dandy slow cooker has become my partner in crime.  And these vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers are so delicious, so simple, so satisfying, so filling, and so healing — OK, I know, too many adjectives… but, they really are awesome.

I was inspired to make this version of vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers when I saw Lindsay at Pinch of Yum, post her genius recipe.

Let me tell you, even if you think you don’t like vegan food, this recipe will change your mind. Nobody missed the meat at all when I served these peppers. They have a slight Mexican taste and are filled with beans and buckwheat and an amazing enchilada sauce. I sometimes get asked to suggest vegan foods to serve to non-vegans… this recipe now tops that list!

If you’re looking for another great slow cooker vegan recipe, try my Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone.

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Here are some ways this recipe for slow cooker vegan stuffed peppers will heal you:

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. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

Buckwheat lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and it’s high in fiber. And, because buckwheat is also high in magnesium, it is the perfect food to combat heart disease. I’ve been substituting buckwheat groats in recipes that call for pasta or rice, or even quinoa… it makes a great risotto, so try it!

In Chinese medicine, black foods are known as the best foods to strengthen the body and nourish the blood. We recommend them for many people who suffer from chronic lower back pain, knee pain and infertility. Black beans have the highest amount of antioxidants of any bean, they are high in fiber and are good for the heart.

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.

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.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Vegan Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Slow Cooker, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Pinch Of Yum
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
No one will miss the meat in these stuffed peppers. They are filled with Mexican-spiced beans and buckwheat, and they are awesome!
Ingredients
  • 4 large bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds cleaned out
  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats (you can buy these)
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can refried beans (I used refried black beans, but choose what you like)
  • 1-1/2 cups mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup vegan pepper jack cheese (I tried a new soy-free one: "Follow Your Heart" brand, and it was awesome), shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the raw buckwheat groats, all of the beans, the enchilada sauce, chili powder, turmeric, garlic powder, and half of the cheese.
  2. Pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  3. Fill the peppers with the stuffing mixture.
  4. Stand the stuffed pepper up in the slow cooker.
  5. Let the peppers cook on high heat for 3 hours.
  6. Open the cooker and sprinkle the remaining cheese onto the tops of the peppers. Cover and leave on the warm setting so the cheese melts. I left mine like this for about an hour.
  7. Remove the peppers to plates and top with avocado, cilantro, and lime slices.
  8. Enjoy!

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Spicy Chickpea Turkey And Tomato Stew

This spicy chickpea turkey and tomato stew is so warming and healing!

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach-9643

Why is it that a big pot of spicy stew makes me smile so much?

Do any of you feel the same way?

Whether it’s chili or hot and sour soup or a spicy meat and veggie concoction, just the smell of it makes me happy. Maybe that’s why a huge pot of chili is often on my stove. Or, maybe it’s because I love football and all of the traditional foods associated with the game.  I’m sure it’s partly because a big pot of simmering goodness is the perfect foil for my Chinese herbs.

But it’s mostly because it’s just so yummy! And warming! And filling!

Whatever the reason, this stew came together because I had a hankering for chili, but it wasn’t football Sunday. So, what’s a cook to do? Lots of times, I just make the chili anyway, but this day I felt like something a little different… more like stew I thought… or maybe a touch Moroccan… I just felt like taking regular chili to another level… a little more gourmet if you will (does that sound too snooty???). Since I was only cooking for a few people instead of a regular big football crowd, I figured I’d experiment. And a successful experiment it was!

I love cooking down the aromatic ingredients and then shoving (literally shoving) as many leafy greens as I can into the pot and watching them melt into the gooey goodness in the pot…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (spinach)-9583

“Pots of stuff” or “stews” are great because you can add in whatever you like and whatever your body needs at that point in time. Here’s some of what I put in this gorgeous pot:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic, pasture-raised turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium.

In my acupuncture practice, some of my favorite conditions to treat are stress, anxiety, and depression. I’m also always looking for foods that will add to the effectiveness of these treatments. Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Most people think of Popeye (am I dating myself??) and iron when they think of spinach. 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.

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 has canned chopped tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes — double whammy!

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; the onion can actually draw the toxins out of the body!

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 been shown to ease the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness.

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.

I love to add my Chinese herbs to anything that simmers on the stove for awhile. This time I added some Bai Shao. Bai Shao is white peony root and it’s great for yin deficiency (think menopausal symptoms…). If you want more info on this herb, just ask…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (pot)-9633

 

Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, chili, one-pot meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ground turkey, chickpeas, and spinach cook in an amazing, spicy tomato sauce... so warming!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric (just found this one-- I'm buying it for next time!)
  • ½ tsp (or more if you like more spice) chipotle chili powder (here's one I use a lot)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika (this one sounds good - let's try it!)
  • 20 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 oz baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 2-minutes.
  2. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and stir for about 3 minutes, or until it is starting to get some color.
  3. Add chili powders, turmeric, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink.
  4. Pour in canned tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
  5. Add chickpeas and bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add the spinach. Let the spinach wilt and stir until it is all well combined.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until it's hot and smelling amazing.
  7. Ladle into bowls. Enjoy!