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Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad

shaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

Shaved Brussels sprouts are awesome. I’ve been using them for everything. My true favorite thing to make with them is Caesar salad. Yes, it sounds weird, but don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. I like to mix these shaved sprouts with kale or Romaine lettuce, slather them in my fav Caesar dressing and I’m a happy camper. This recipe for shaved Brussels sprouts & apple salad is a kicked-up version of my traditional Caesar recipe. I say kicked up because it also has apples and bacon in it. Really, what could be bad?

Obviously this recipe is not vegan, because…. well… umm… I’ve used bacon in it. But, I can honestly tell you that I’ve eaten this so many times, in so many ways, and there is so bad version. You can leave out the bacon or use a vegan bacon or a smoky mushroom to easily veganize this salad.

Oh, and I use my favorite Caesar dressing recipe — which just happens to be vegan — so really you can go full out vegan pretty easily if that’s your thing. My thing changes so often and obviously I’m a mess of contradictions because this version of shaved Brussels sprouts & apple salad with the bacon with my vegan cashew Caesar dressing is my favorite way to eat it so far!

I’m kind of a freak about leftover salad. I love almost anything straight out of the fridge as a leftover. Except salad. I just hate it when it goes all wet and limp. Enter this salad… it’s even better leftover the next day. The Brussels sprouts stand up so well to the creamy dressing that there is no grossness involved. This makes it perfect to make for a crowd because you can make it way in advance. This is just awesomely easy and convenient.

I served this salad as a main course with sliced chicken on the top and it was fabulous. I also ate it as-is alongside a roasted sweet potato for an awesome dinner. Versatility. Ya gotta love it!

And, if you’re looking for another great salad recipe that makes for good leftovers, try my Chopped Broccoli Salad.

shaved brussels sprouts & apple saladshaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

Here are some of the great healing benefits of this Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad:

Brussels sprouts are from the same cruciferous vegetable family as cabbage, broccoli and kale. They are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are touted for their aid in weight loss because they have so much fiber and so few calories. Research has shown that these sprouts contain colon-cancer fighting substances and vitamins to protect against Alzheimer’s. Traditionally, they are known as more of a winter vegetable, but many markets now carry them year-round, which makes me happy because I like to eat them year-round!

It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. Apples have a high antioxidant content, especially Granny Smiths and Red Delicious. This, combined with the fact that they have a lot of healthy fiber, is why apples are good at fighting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers. They have also been shown to help ward off diabetes, high cholesterol and gallstones.

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body.

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. The cashews give this dressing a velvety, creamy texture.

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.

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….

shaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, side dish, vegetables
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is a creamy Caesar salad that's made with hearty shaved Brussels sprouts and apples... oh there's optional bacon in it too! This is one salad that is even better the next day!
Ingredients
  • 12 oz shaved Brussels sprouts (you can buy these store-bought at many markets, or shave your own by slicing them really thin)
  • ⅓ cup chopped, cooked bacon
  • ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, sliced (discard the core)
  • One batch of my Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Add as much dressing as you like, and toss well.
  3. Enjoy!

shaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

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

Chocolate Banana Dairy-Free Fudgesicles

These chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles will take you back to your childhood…

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

Summer may be almost over, but ice pop season never ends. At least not in my house. Every few weeks, I make a new batch of ice pops. I love to try out new flavor combinations and new textures, mix them up, and pour them into my retro ice pop molds. These chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles were an experiment that came out great!

Do you have any foods that when you taste them bring you right back to your early childhood? For me, food is responsible for a lot of deja vu moments. And fudgesicles are one of those foods. I’m right back on the lawn under the fireworks on the 4th of July. Or at a BBQ, running through the sprinklers and laughing.

I will admit that sometimes when I experiment, the end result is… well… ummm… let’s just say… less than pleasing…  I’m still trying to perfect my salted watermelon ice pops — OMG are they bad if you put in too much salt…

But, the texture of these dairy-free fudgesicles is just so spot-on. They look like traditional old-fashioned fudgesicles, but the addition of banana offers up a tasty surprise. Yup, it’s the good days of summer as a child all over again.

Haha — I just got a horrible mental picture of me, today, running through the sprinklers in a pink bathing suit with pompoms… not so pretty…

Anyway, these are the perfect sweet treats to have in your freezer. I mean, who couldn’t use a healthy childhood treat that’s ready anytime you want it?

For another great popsicle recipe, try my Blackberry Kombucha Ice Pops.

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicleschocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

These ingredients make these chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles delicious and healthy:

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.

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

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.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Collagen strengthens bones and muscles, keeps your joints healthy, improves flexibility and concentration, and helps heal your digestive system. It also keeps you looking youthful.

I love to add bananas to frozen desserts; they create a great natural sweetness and a nice creamy texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

Chocolate Banana Dairy-Free Fudgesicles
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, frozen, sweets, ice pops, popsicles
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These dairy-free fudgesicles will take you back to your childhood. They are so creamy and delicious and healthy. Keep a batch in your freezer and you will be smiling all week.
Ingredients
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup raw cacao (I buy this one)
  • ⅔ cup raw cashews
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maca root powder (I buy this one)
  • 1 Tbs collagen powder (This is my favorite)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 Tbs coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  • 2 bananas, sliced (I used frozen ones because they were in my freezer, but you don't have to)
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into ice-pop molds.
  4. Freeze.
  5. Enjoy!

chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles

Chickpea Penne With Arugula Pesto

Arugula can help cool your body down while giving you a good dose of calcium!
chickpea penne with arugula pesto

Is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of pasta? Nope. There’s not. At least not in my book. And this chickpea penne with arugula pesto doesn’t disappoint.

This recipe is great on 2 different fronts. First, there’s the pesto. OMG — this is sooooooooo good! And, it takes only 5 minutes to make. Next, there’s the beauty and deliciousness of the grain-free pasta made from chickpeas. Well, this is nothing short of genius!

I would serve this to a crowd of eve the pickiest eaters. But, truth be told, the last time I made this, it was all for me. Yes, it’s a really big bowl, I know, but I was home all by myself and I felt like I deserved the queen’s treatment. And this did the trick. And no, I didn’t eat the whole bowl. Well, at least not in one sitting… This was a totally decadent treat for me. A night home alone. A hot bath. A big bowl of this chickpea penne with arugula pesto. A nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Yup, certainly queen-like!

Basil pesto has always been a go-to for me. But recently, I started experimenting with pestos made from different herbs and greens and other interesting veggies. I can honestly say that this arugula pesto is amazing. I have started to like it even better than my traditional beloved basil pesto.

As soon as I admitted my love for all things pesto, I started seeing recipes all over the place. I just want to give a shout-out to Emily at A Nutritionist Eats for opening my eyes to arugula pesto.

chickpea penne with arugula pestochickpea penne with arugula pesto

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this chickpea penne with arugula pesto:

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

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

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

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….

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.

chickpea penne with arugula pesto

Chickpea Penne With Arugula Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: simple, pasta, comfort food, pesto
Cuisine: pasta, American, Italian, grain-free, dairy-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Arugula pesto is even better than basil pesto! This is awesome. And it takes only 5 minutes to make it. Use grain-free pasta like I did, or substitute your own favorite pasta!
Ingredients
  • ½ lb grain-free chickpea pasta (or use your favorite pasta), cooked al dente, and drained (SAVE ABOUT ⅓ CUP OF THE PASTA COOKING WATER FOR THE PESTO!!!)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest from one lemon
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs vegan Parmesan (or whatever Parmesan makes you smile)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • pinch of dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl. (Be sure to reserve about ⅓ cup of the pasta cooking water, and set that on the side in case you need it for the pesto.)
  2. Put all remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until finely minced. Add as much of the reserved pasta cooking water as you need to make it a creamy pesto-y consistency.
  3. Toss the pesto with the pasta.
  4. Enjoy!

chickpea penne with arugula pesto

Creamy Lentil And Kale Stew

This creamy lentil and kale stew will warm you up and keep you healthy…

creamy lentil and kale stew

I follow lots of vegan food bloggers, and let me just say that so many of these blogs are drool-worthy. As soon as I saw a recipe for lentil stew from Veggies Don’t Bite I knew I’d be making it soon. This recipe is awesome. I learned from Sophia’s awesome blog that the original recipe is from one of my all-time favorite vegan blogs, Oh She Glows… wow, these women are talented.

Anyway, I made the recipe with a few minor changes (because I’m just always have to take a little creative license…). It’s so good. I use cashews in so many recipes, but I would never have thought to use them here! This stew is so creamy (thanks to the cashews) that it tastes like heavy cream was added… but it’s vegan and so healthy!

Creamy lentil and kale stew is just that. It’s creamy. And it’s filled with lentils and kale. And lots of turmeric. And delicious veggies and spices. This is great on a cold winter day.

Right before I started typing this post, I went into my fridge and took out the leftover stew and transferred it to my freezer because I cannot even think of getting rid of it even though there’s a good chance that everyone here would throw things at me if I served it again this week. Sometimes something is just so good that I can eat it over and over again all week long. My family… not so much…

You also really should try my recipe for Lentil Vegetable Soup.

creamy lentil and kale stewcreamy lentil and kale stew

There are lots of awesome healing ingredients in this creamy lentil and kale stew:

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

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.

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. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already cut up and washed at the market. 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 (I don’t like to eat these think stems when they are raw). 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.

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. The cashews give this dressing a velvety, creamy texture.

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.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is also 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….

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.

Creamy Lentil And Kale Stew
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, comfort food, lentils, soup
Cuisine: vegan, paleo, whole30, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This vegan, paleo-friendly stew is so creamy that you won't believe it's dairy-free. This one's a keeper... I'll be eating it all winter long!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup dried french green lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups cleaned kale, torn into pieces
Instructions
  1. Blend the cashews with ½ cup water in a blender until smooth and creamy (I used my Vitamix -- I'm not sure how creamy this would get with a regular blender).
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the oil.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Saute, stirring often, until the veggies are starting to soften, about 6 minutes.
  5. Stir in the thyme, turmeric, and cumin, and stir 1 minute.
  6. Pour in the tomatoes, lentils, broth, and 1-1/2 cups water.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered 30 minutes.
  8. Stir in the kale and the cashew cream and cook an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite crusty bread (I used paleo toasted bagels) or a nice crisp green salad.
  10. Enjoy!

creamy lentil and kale stew

Paleo Vegan Caesar Salad

Even if this wasn’t a paleo vegan Caesar salad, you would still love it more than any other Caesar!

paleo vegan caesar salad

This Caesar salad is better than any Caesar salad you have ever had. Yup. I said it. It’s BETTER. And, it has no dairy. And the croutons are grain-free. And instead of Romaine lettuce, it’s got shaved brussels sprouts and kale. And, I’ll say it again… IT’S BETTER THAN ALL THE OTHER CAESAR SALADS YOU HAVE BEEN EATING! You should believe me (I mean, I almost never write in all caps…)

I wish I could take all of the credit for this awesome dressing, but the credit goes to Angela at Oh She Glows.  She’s amazing and she created the original version of this dressing. Check out her blog if you want a real treat.

When I made this Caesar for friends, I didn’t tell anyone it was paleo or vegan. And I’m not kidding, not one person knew, and a few asked for the recipe. My daughter is a huge Caesar fan — she knows what’s in this recipe (and what’s not) — and this Caesar is her favorite.

The dressing is whipped up in your blender. You can use whatever greens float your boat. You can use whatever croutons you like, but I encourage you to buy some grain-free bread (I actually used grain-free bagels), cube it up, toss it with a little oil, sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder and toast them in the oven, because, OMG, it’s just amazing (especially with bagel slices). If you are not a strict grain-free eater, go buy some everything bagels and slice those up — that would be awesome!

And, if you take my recommendation and use kale and brussels sprouts, this salad will make for great leftovers in the fridge, because these greens are hearty enough to sit in the dressing without wilting…

You should also try my Vegan Caprese Salad With Hearts of Palm!

paleo vegan caesar saladpaleo vegan caesar salad

Aside from being the best tasting Caesar salad ever, this paleo vegan Caesar salad is also a great healing salad:

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. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already shredded and washed at the market. 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 (I don’t like to eat these think stems when they are raw). 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.

Brussels sprouts are from the same cruciferous vegetable family as cabbage, broccoli and kale. They are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are touted for their aid in weight loss because they have so much fiber and so few calories. Research has shown that these sprouts contain colon-cancer fighting substances and vitamins to protect against Alzheimer’s. Traditionally, they are known as more of a winter vegetable, but many markets now carry them year-round, which makes me happy because I like to eat them year-round!

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. The cashews give this dressing a velvety, creamy texture.

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.

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….

paleo vegan caesar salad

Paleo Vegan Caesar Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: salad, side dish (Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the best Caesar salad you will ever have. Really. And there's no dairy and the croutons are grain-free. Enough said.
Ingredients
  • For dressing:
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp capers
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • few drops of hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • For salad:
  • one head of kale, sliced into ribbons
  • about 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • a big handful of vegan Parmesan cheese (or Parmesan of your choice)
  • For the croutons:
  • 1 or 2 bagels (I used grain-free ones), cut into small chunks
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Toss the crouton ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake until slightly golden and crisp (mine took about 13 minutes).
  4. Place all of the dressing ingredients into a blender and whiz it up until really smooth (I used my Vitamix, so it was pretty fast)
  5. In a large bowl, toss together kale and Brussels sprouts.
  6. Sprinkle in the Parmesan and toss.
  7. Add the dressing and toss well.
  8. Sprinkle the croutons onto the salad and gently toss again.
  9. Enjoy!

paleo vegan caesar salad

Orange Banana Smoothie

This orange banana smoothie will make you think of summer!

orange banana smoothie

Most mornings I wake up and I’m excited for my green smoothie. I know excited is an odd way to feel about a glass of green slush, but it’s really true. Over the years I’ve perfected them, so they taste great and make me feel even better. I truly love the energy I feel from all of the great ingredients in that big green glass.

But sometimes, I’m just not feeling’ the green. But I still want that energy… that’s how I felt a few days ago. It was a rainy day and I just wanted something that would make me feel like summer was coming. I created this smoothie, and it fit the bill perfectly. I mean, just look at the color of this orange banana smoothie… you can’t not smile and think of summer.

If you have been reading my posts, you probably know that I love to use whole citrus fruits — the peels and all. This smoothie is no exception. I put the entire orange into my Vitamix, and that’s really what sets this shake apart from so many others. Add when you add a few superfoods, the effect is amazing. The taste and the energy and the nutritional punch you get from the this combination of awesome ingredients really cannot be matched.

Here’s another non-green smoothie to try: Apple Cinnamon Smoothie.

orange banana smoothie

Here’s some of the great things that make up this “sunny” smoothie:

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

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

I love to add bananas to smoothies; they give it a great natural sweetness and a nice creamy texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

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.

Bee pollen is considered one of the most nutritious substances you can put in your body. It is higher in protein than anything animal-based and it contains an amazing amount of amino acids. It’s good for your energy, your skin, your breathing and your allergies. Add a spoonful to whatever you can.

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

orange banana smoothie

Orange Banana Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Cuisine: breakfast, snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
This smoothie tastes as bright and sunny as it looks. It will give you a warm feeling and a burst of energy. Just pop everything in the blender and you're good to go!
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen bananas, cut in half
  • 1 whole orange, with the peel, quartered
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/2 tsp maca root powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 3 pitted dates
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 1 Tbs bee pollen granules
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender. (I'm not sure how finely the orange peel will grind up in a regular blender, so if you try it, please let me know!)
  2. Whiz it up until it's really smooth.
  3. Garnish with extra coconut flakes or orange slices if that makes you smile.
  4. Enjoy!

orange banana smoothie

Cheeseburger Soup

This cheeseburger soup is dairy-free and it really tastes like a cheeseburger in a bowl!

cheeseburger soup

Everyone is always asking me what my favorite food is and what my favorite recipe is. I can never decide. And I am never indecisive. I am good that way — I can make a decision quickly and confidently… usually. Except when I’m asked this question. But if you ask Steve this same question, he will tell you, without any hesitation, that cheeseburger soup is his all-time favorite meal.

The cheesy flavor comes from cashews and nutritional yeast. When you blend these up with some chipotle chilies for extra flavor… it’s like an awesome cheese sauce coating all of the amazing grass-fed beef in your bowl. It’s like magic!

Words cannot do this soup justice. When I was a fairly new blogger, I posted this recipe and it’s been a favorite ever since. It’s a cheeseburger in a bowl. A cheeseburger in soup form. It’s the most satisfying thing I have eaten in a long long time. And yet, it’s dairy-free and has so many nutrients that you will be doing your body a favor by eating it. Can this all possibly be true? YES!

I can’t take credit for coming up with the idea for this recipe; that credit goes to Kelly at The Spunky Coconut — and it’s genius!

If you like this recipe, you should also try my recipe for Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone — after all, having some veggies to balance your meat is always a good thing.

cheeseburger soup

Here are some of the ingredients that make this soup so good for you:

Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I try to buy organic, grass-fed beef whenever possible — and it’s become pretty easy to find it in ground beef form in lots of markets!

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. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

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

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

Chipotle peppers are jalapenos that have been smoked. The ones that come in the can are perfect to use here. These spicy peppers are a good source of vitamin A and potassium. Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. Whenever I have a cold I eat lots of hot sauce. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of chipotles here. 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.

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.

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….

cheeseburger soup

Cheeseburger Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, dairy-free, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The Spunky Coconut
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This soup really tastes like a cheeseburger. But it's dairy-free. It's a magical recipe!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • sea salt
  • For the creamy sauce:
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or a combination of whatever broths you have on hand)
  • 1-1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 chipotle chili from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and beef. Season with salt.
  3. Cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon until the meat is no longer pink.
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the broths, cashews, 1-tsp sea salt, tomato paste, nutritional yeast and chipotle chile.
  5. Puree until silky smooth.
  6. Pour the contents of the blender into the pot with the beef. Stir until combined and hot.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with scallions. Enjoy!

cheeseburger soup

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie

It really is true what they say about an-apple-a-day, so you need to try this apple cinnamon smoothie!

apple cinnamon smoothie

I ran out of frozen fruit!!! I always have bags of frozen fruit in my freezer! Ok, clearly not always, but it’s such a rare thing for my freezer to be bare in this department, that it startled me a bit. My Vitamix was on the counter ready to go. My big glass was right next to it and my favorite glass straw was at the ready. I really wanted a fruit smoothie… so I searched the fridge. Apples! Now, I had a plan…

I make juice with apples a lot, but I couldn’t remember ever making an apple smoothie before. Sometimes, you just get lucky the first time… this is really good!

It’s tastes a bit like apple pie filling. And it’s really, really creamy. Something about this apple cinnamon smoothie is extra comforting. There’s just something about the combination of cinnamon and apples that is like a big hug. I know, that sounds really cheesy, but anything that’s reminiscent of apple pie just has to make you smile.

So, on this rainy afternoon when my tastebuds were ready for a berry smoothie, I made this apple cinnamon smoothie instead. I sat there on my couch looking out at the cold rain on the streets of Manhattan, and I savored this thick creamy hug of a smoothie. You really should try it…

If you are in the mood for a berry smoothie (and you actually have berries in your house), try this one.

apple cinnamon smoothie

There are lots of nutritional benefits in this awesome smoothie:

It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. So, the combination of apples and cinnamon together are great for this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick. Apples have a high antioxidant content, especially Granny Smiths and Red Delicious. This, combined with the fact that they have a lot of healthy fiber, is why apples are good at fighting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers. They have also been shown to help ward off diabetes, high cholesterol and gallstones.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is a Chinese herb: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming. Here’s an article about the benefits of cinnamon from Well-Being Secrets.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. The base of this smoothie is made with coconut milk (the kind in the can), and it’s just perfect!

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything.

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

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body. I buy pumpkin seed protein in powder form because it’s a great easy way to add protein to my shakes and smoothies without adding any extra sugar. (See the recipe below for where to buy it.)

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.

apple cinnamon smoothie (vertical single glass)-2139

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Cuisine: superfoods, American, breakfast, snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Apples and cinnamon are delicious in this creamy coconut-milk-based smoothie. Just blend up all of the ingredients, and as you sip you can feel the healthy ingredients working!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was pretty quick), and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses. Enjoy!

apple cinnamon smoothie

The World’s Best Nut Butter Recipe

This truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe!

world's best nut butter recipe

I don’t think I’ve ever called any of my recipes “the world’s best”. I mean, I love a lot of my recipes, but I try not to be cocky about any of them. And it’s pretty easy not to be cocky when I have so many kitchen fails… and I do. Way too often. You just don’t see them…

But this recipe calls for some kind of special treatment when I talk about it. When I started blogging as a means of sharing my recipes with my friends and family years ago, this was one of the recipes I first posted. Everyone wants this recipe. This nut butter used to go with my daughter to camp and now it goes to college with her. It gets re-made over and over again by my friends who don’t cook. It’s a staple in my fridge at home. It truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe.

Sometimes when I make it I change up the variety of nuts, and it always comes out good. The only nuts I stay away from are peanuts. But I’ve made this with some hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts… and it has always been incredible.

Did I talk you into it?

All you need is a food processor. Really, you must try it.

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

And, if you want to try another great nut-based vegan spread, try my recipe for vegan cream cheese!

world's best nut butter recipe

Here’s why this homemade nut butter is so good for you:

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.

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

Pecans are good for energy and they can also help you get rid of a cough. They are also good to help combat constipation, lower back pain, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

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.

Flax seeds can relieve constipation and lower cholesterol.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. Coconut oil is my go-to for so many things and it works great in this nut butter.

world's best nut butter

If you make this World’s Best Nut Butter recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

The World's Best Nut Butter Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, spread, nut butter
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 1 pint
 
This truly is amazing nut butter. Let your food processor do most of the work, use whatever mix of nuts and seeds makes you happy, and enjoy!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the nuts and seeds in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in maple syrup.
  5. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Place the tray in the oven and roast the nuts for 12 minutes, making sure they don't burn.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Scrape the nut mixture into the food processor and process until the mixture in finely ground and starts to stick together a bit. This may take a little time. Be patient. You will probably need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a few times.
  9. Once it starts to stick together a little bit, add the coconut oil and the salt and turn the processor back on. Let it process until you get the consistence of a thick nut butter. Again, be patient -- it will happen!
  10. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy!

 

world's best nut butter recipe