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Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

sheet pan chicken fajitas

Sheet Pan dinners are all the rage. They are like last year’s kale recipes. Remember when every recipe seemed to have kale in it? Everything has it’s time, and for one pan, oven-baked dinners, that time is now. And nobody is happier than I am! I mean, really, what’s better than putting everything on a single tray, plopping it in the oven, and ending up with a flavorful, well-seasoned, spiced-up, healthy dinner? Nothing. Well, at least that’s how I feel now… I can’t wait to see what the next “in” thing is. So, if you want to jump on the sheet pan dinner bandwagon, you have to try these sheet pan chicken fajitas.

I love Mexican food. But, I try not to go out to eat it too much. It’s dangerous! All those chips… and margaritas… ugh… I have little self-control when it comes to this kind of deliciousness…

So, I healthy things up and make my Mexican meals at home. I used grain-free almond tortillas to wrap up these sheet pan chicken fajitas. And I added turmeric to the spice mix. And lots of scallions. Yup, this is not only delicious, but it’s healing too!

It’s funny, when I was younger I think my recipes were more complicated than they are now.  I guess I got wiser as I got older. This dinner is so easy, yet it tastes as good as my fancy-schmancy Mexican recipes. As a matter of fact, I just told my daughter that she needs to try this one out when she’s cooking at her college house.  Of course, if I was the one cooking at college, I’d be adding some margaritas to the dinner…

For another great sheet pan recipe, try my Roasted Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner.

sheet pan chicken fajitassheet pan chicken fajitas

Here are some of the healing ingredients in these awesome sheet pan chicken fajitas:

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

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.

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.

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

sheet pan chicken fajitas

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, one-pan meal, baked, simple
Cuisine: Mexican, dinner, paleo, whole30, grain free, dairy free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the easiest, most delicious Mexican dinner you can make. It's awesome -- better than at your favorite restaurant! And, it's all made on one pan in the oven!
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (preferably organic), cut into bite-size pieces
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 scallions, sliced into thirds
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced (any color)
  • grain-free wraps, for serving (or any kind of wraps or tortillas that make you happy)
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for serving
  • ½ cup coconut yogurt mixed with the juice of 1 lime and a sprinkle of sea salt, for serving
  • hot sauce or salsa, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Spread chicken out on the pan.
  4. Add the oil and spices to the chicken and toss well.
  5. Add the bell peppers and scallions and toss again.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Heat the wraps/tortillas if you like. (I hold mine in a tongs over my gas burner, and char them a bit.)
  8. Remove tray from oven and set it on a trivet or dish cloth on the table. Yup, serve it right in the cooking pan.
  9. Serve the wraps/tortillas alongside and let people make their own.
  10. Serve with avocado, salsa, hot sauce, coconut crema, or whatever makes you smile.
  11. Enjoy!

sheet pan chicken fajitas

Simple Fresh Vegetable Soup

This soup has lots of garlic and scallions to keep your immune system strong!
simple fresh vegetable soup

This soup is dedicated to all of my over-40-women-friends… those of you who want all that you deserve: inner health, outer beauty, youthful insides and outsides, a healthy immune system, balanced hormones, weight loss, radiant skin… I know, it sounds like a tall order, but this soup really does have ingredients to heal you inside and out and make you feel and look younger. It’s not magic. Well, actually, it kind of is a little like magic… This simple fresh vegetable soup is the complete package for every woman over 40.

And, it’s really easy to make, so it won’t mess with your work schedule or your busy life.

And, it can be made with whatever fresh veggies you have in your fridge.

And, the base is made with packaged broth.

And, you can just put the whole pot in your fridge and eat it all week long.

One of the things that I tell my clients is that if you make a big pot of healthy soup at the beginning of the week, you will have no reason to grab unhealthy snacks when you come home famished.

OMG, I sound like a commercial for soup! Haha… I’m not selling this soup — I promise —  but I do love it!

Okay, back to this simple fresh vegetable soup. This is so good. The veggies are cooked perfectly — you know what I mean — not mushy but not too crunchy. And the garlic infuses the broth so it has just the right amount of flavor. And there are some non-traditional vegetable soup ingredients like capers and chipotles so that you really feel like a gourmet when you try it.

I topped my soup with some vegan Parmesan, but feel free to use some croutons (preferably grain-free), or some crumbled crackers.

Right about now, I’m getting really sad that there’s no more soup left in my pot…

If you are looking for another easy soup recipe, try my Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup.

simple fresh vegetable soupsimple fresh vegetable soup

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this simple fresh vegetable soup:

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around.1 However, I was taught to stay away from the plain white button shrooms that are so readily available. Recently, however, I learned that I was doing myself a disservice by avoiding these mushrooms. It turns out, if you make sure they are organic, there are lots of benefits in button mushrooms! They are detoxifying, can help get rid of phlegm, ease diarrhea, are good for circulation, and new research has shown that if you eat them often enough, they can reduce cancer cells in the body.

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Capers, although small in size, are a big source of anti-oxidants, and they actually can make you feel better emotionally because they activate the “happiness” center of your brain.

simple fresh vegetable soup

Simple Fresh Vegetable Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian, simple
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is the easiest veggie soup recipe, yet it tastes gourmet! It makes the perfect leftovers all week long!
Ingredients
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 scallions, sliced (including the root end)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 med zucchini, diced
  • 1 head broccoli, crowns cut into florets, stems sliced
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ lb sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in some hot water, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp chipotle pepper with adobo (either just use the sauce or mince the peppers)
  • 3 tsp capers, drained
  • vegan Parmesan cheese shreds, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pour the broth and tomatoes into a large pot. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the garlic, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and broccoli.
  3. Simmer 5 mins.
  4. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and cook 20 minutes, or until the veggies are cooked al dente.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan.
  6. Enjoy!

simple fresh vegetable soup

Raw Corn And Vegetable Salad

This raw corn and vegetable salad is a great way to incorporate more raw foods into your diet…

raw corn and vegetable salad

Here it is the day before Thanksgiving. Eating  light and healthy just seems like the right thing to do. Even more so than usual. It’s like going into survival mode. If I want to eat all that I want to eat tomorrow (and that’s a lot), then I better stick to a smart plan today. This raw corn and vegetable salad is a big part of my perfect plan.

This year, I am not hosting the holiday in my home, so I don’t have as much control over the food as I usually do. If I had my druthers, I’d have a couple of raw dishes on the table, but the likelihood of this happening is next to none… so I did the next best thing and I made a big bowl of this raw corn and vegetable salad today. Yup, it was sashimi for lunch and raw veg salad for dinner. I should have enough room for all of that awesomeness tomorrow…

This is a big delicious bowl of crunchy, fresh tasting, deliciousness.

It’s kind of weird for a salad of mine, but there is no dressing on this salad.

That’s right. None. Just lime juice. And it’s perfect this way… and not just because I want to pig out tomorrow…

This salad has lots of veggies, some fruit (kiwis and pineapple), and lots of fresh herbs. It’s dishes like this that make me think I might be able to be a raw foodist. But, I know that’s not going to happen because I just love hot food. But, this raw corn and vegetable salad is really that good.

raw corn and vegetable salad

Here are just some of the ingredients that are so healing in this raw corn and vegetable salad:

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!

Cucumbers are awesome, both for taste and health reasons. In Chinese medicine, they are known to have exceptional healing capabilities. They cool the body, expel toxins, purify the blood, strengthen the heart, moistens the large intestines and the lungs and kill tapeworms. They are good to eat if you have swelling in your hands or feet, or if you have a bladder infection.

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.

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

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.

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. I bought this kale already shredded and washed. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really mind them if the kale is cooked). 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.

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…

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.

Pineapple is great for your digestion and it can help stop diarrhea. It’s especially good in the summer because it fights against heatstroke.

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.

raw corn and vegetable salad

Raw Corn And Vegetable Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, vegetables, fruit, side dish
Cuisine: raw, vegan, vegetarian, whole30, paleo
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
There's nothing more delicious or cleaner tasting than this raw vegetable salad dressed with fresh lime juice. Serve it with whatever's on your menu today!
Ingredients
  • 2 small (Kirby) cucumbers, finely diced
  • 1 medium tomato, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 cups baby kale, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 cups corn kernels
  • 5 large basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup finely diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 kiwi, diced
  • ½ an avocado, diced
  • 1-inch piece of jalapeño pepper, finely minced, or to taste
  • juice of 2 limes
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Toss well.
  3. Let the healing begin.

raw corn and vegetable salad

Butternut Squash Sausage Frittata

Butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body… so if you are suffering from achy joints, here’s your excuse to eat more of this awesome fall wonder! Some of my best menopause-friendly recipes are made with butternut squash… it’s amazing!

butternut squash sausage frittata

Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite meals. Truth be told, I love dinner for breakfast too… But, this butternut squash sausage frittata is definitely breakfast food that’s awesome for dinner. Hmmm, now that I think about it, it’s also dinner food that’s great for breakfast… yikes, what the heck am I talking about?

Anyway, the other night my family requested bagels and lots of bagel-accessories for dinner. Anyone who knows me knows that the only bagels I have in my house are grain-free bagels. Let me assure you that grain-free bagels are not what my family was requesting. So, I went around the corner, bought fresh-out-of-the-oven whole-grain everything bagels. These things were as big as my head. And they smelled so good. I just knew if I ate them I’d regret it later, so I bought extra lox for myself and I came home and made this frittata. And it was so good!

I filled this casserole-y, egg-y dish with breakfast sausages, bacon, butternut squash, spinach, vegan cheese, peppers, and scallions. This was such a treat for me. Better than bagels. And nowadays it’s easy to find bacon and sausage that are organic and nitrate-free, so I’m a happy camper.

Did I mention that fall is my favorite season?  Yeah, I know that thought is really a disconnect, not really a smooth segue at all. But butternut squash is everywhere this season! So, I put a lot of it in this butternut squash sausage frittata…

For another eggs-in-the-oven type of dish, try my Baked Eggs With Sausage And Kale.

butternut squash sausage frittata

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this butternut squash sausage frittata:

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

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.

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy. I used pork bacon and sausage in this recipe, but I’ve made it before using vegan substitutes and it tastes awesome that way too… so whatever makes you happy…

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

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.

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.

butternut squash sausage frittata

Butternut Squash & Sausage Frittata
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, casserole, eggs
Cuisine: paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This frittata is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And, it can be made in advance! I've made it with lots of meat and I've made it vegan... the choice is yours!
Ingredients
  • ½ lb bacon (use pork, turkey, or vegan), sliced and cooked until done
  • 6 breakfast sausage patties (use pork, turkey, or vegan), cooked and chopped
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ½ lb butternut squash, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 4 slices cheese (I used vegan American cheese), diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 370°F.
  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the bell pepper, scallion, and squash to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring often, until the butternut squash is just tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach, and stir until it starts to wilt.
  6. Pour the contents of the pan into a large bowl.
  7. Let cool a few minutes.
  8. Stir in the eggs and cheese.
  9. Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish (I used a 9-inch round glass dish).
  10. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
  11. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces.
  12. Enjoy!

butternut squash sausage frittata

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

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

Pork Chili With Bok Choy

This pork chili with bok choy has a great traditional chili taste will some awesome added extra healing ingredients!

pork chili with bok choy

Chili is awesome. It’s warming and delicious and there are about a bazillion different ways to make it. Yes, a bazillion.

I love to open the fridge and put whatever catches my eye into my chili pot.

Right now we are in the process of moving, so sometimes it’s challenging to cook dinner, because half of my things are in the new place and half are in the old place. Sometimes when I start cooking dinner, I forget what’s where and I end up using kitchen tools that really don’t work for the job I need. But chili makes it easy… one pot… no special tools.

There are white chilis and red chilis and hot ones and mild ones. There are meaty versions and veggie versions. There are ones that are sweet and ones that are tangy. OK, now my mouth is watering and my mind is already coming up with another pot I have to make. Soon.

And, it just so happens to be football season now. There’s no better tradition than a big pot of chili for the upcoming playoffs and Superbowl…

When I created this chili I looked in my crisper drawer and saw a few heads of beautiful fresh bok choy. Yes, I know, bok choy is not a traditional chili ingredient, but I figured what the heck, let’s try it.  And the combination of bok choy with pork is just perfect. I’m telling you, this amazing veg is perfect in this meaty chili. I decided not to put any beans in this pot so the bok choy would stand out more, but feel free to add beans if you’re in that kind of mood.  If you’re in the mood to try another really unique but amazing chili, try my Sweet Potato Chili With Goji Berries next time.

pork chili with bok choy

I bet you didn’t know chili could be so healthy, but here are the stats for this one:

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

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

Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus.  You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. (See the recipe below for the awesome ready-made bone broth I used in this soup recipe.) It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.

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. And feel free to add more chili powders or spicier ones if you’re a spice-a-holic. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin 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.

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.

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….

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.

I also added some raw Chinese Herbs to the pot. My favorite thing about cooking things like soups, stews and chilis, is that it’s a great vehicle for my Chinese herbs because they get lots of time to infuse their healing capabilities into my food. I added Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) for energy.

pork chili with bok choy

Pork Chili With Bok Choy
Author: 
Recipe type: chili
Cuisine: mexican, american
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This is a great bowl of healthy chili. It's spicy and refreshing at the same time. The bok choy is an amazing addition! Touchdown!
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb ground pork
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece of a hot pepper, minced (I used an Anaheim chili)
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth (This is a good organic one)
  • 2 medium heads of bok choy, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • raw Chinese herbs (I used Shan Yao and Huang Qi) (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the pork and saute until most of the pink color is gone.
  3. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, hot pepper, salt and pepper to taste, chili powders, cumin, and turmeric. Stir until the meat is coated with the spices and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the can of tomatoes and the chicken broth. Add raw Chinese herbs if using. Bring to a boil. Add the bok choy, cover the pot, and cook 20 minutes. Then, uncover and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chili is the consistency you like.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with avocado.
  6. Enjoy!