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Baked Eggplant Chickpea Skillet

I was craving veggies, but also comfort food… so I made this baked eggplant chickpea skillet for dinner. It’s like a cross between eggplant parm and a Moroccan chickpea stew and it hits all the right spots!
baked eggplant chickpea skillet

I’m not sure why, but every time I see a food described as a “skillet” I think it must be awesome. I’m a sucker for any type of breakfast skillet on any menu anywhere. So, when I have the chance to actually describe one of my dishes as a skillet, you can be sure I’m going to go for it. So, here’s my baked eggplant chickpea skillet.

People always ask me: “What are you?” in terms of my diet. I’m not sure what to answer anymore except that “I’m whatever is good for me at the time.” Last week I was on a meat kick and I made a huge meatloaf and a chicken curry dish and the biggest piece of salmon you’ve ever seen. The best part was that this big protein-fest made for the best leftovers ever. But now, I still have some left in the fridge, and I really can’t even look at it anymore. I mean, there’s only so many times I can eat the same thing no matter how many creative ways I re-invent it. And some of the ingredients I used aren’t dog friendly… ugh. Note to self: scale down on the number of servings!

Last night was my niece’s engagement party. It was soooo nice. A few of us wanted to eat a light dinner beforehand so we wouldn’t pig out on all of the enticing appetizers. I opened the fridge, looked in, saw all of the same food, and I just couldn’t do it. I so wished I had already made this baked eggplant chickpea skillet so that we could sit there with a bunch of forks and dig into that skillet! (By the way, the Poke bowls we ended up ordering in were so good!)

This week I’m feelin’ the veggies and I want to cook some vegan dishes, and even though I wished this food had been ready to eat last night, I’m happy it’s here today! This dish is healthy, clean, and comforting all at the same time. The first time I made this dish it was because I had seen a recipe for an eggplant and chickpea casserole from The New York Times and I just had to make a version of it.

Did you know that in Chinese medicine we use chickpeas to elevate the mood? Haha, I know that’s a pretty random thought here, but I just think it’s so awesome… And, this dish did make me happy…

It’s not quite prime farmers market season yet here in New York, so when I shopped for this dish I went to Whole Foods. They had more different types of eggplant than I’ve ever seen in one place. And they were so pretty. It took me awhile to choose which ones I wanted but I ended up choosing some long thin, light purple Japanese eggplants because there are no bitter seeds and the skin is really thin and not too noticeable. If you have a picky eggplant eater, I highly recommend this variety.

But… ooh, the white and neon purple striped eggplants… oh my! They are just so pretty. I’ll have to try those next time…

If you are a skillet freak like I am, you should also try my recipe for Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan.

baked eggplant chickpea skilletbaked eggplant chickpea skillet

Here are some of the awesome things this baked eggplant chickpea skillet can do for you:

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

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.

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

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!

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.

baked eggplant chickpea skilletbaked eggplant chickpea skillet

Baked Eggplant Chickpea Skillet
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, skillet, vegan, Moroccan, paleo
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The New York Times
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This dish is warming, comforting, healing, and it's vegan. The sauce is slightly Moroccan in flavor and it compliments the eggplant so well. And it comes in a skillet!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium, thin, Japanese eggplant, sliced in half vertically, then sliced horizontally into ¼- to ½- inch thick half moons
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing the eggplant
  • For sauce:
  • 1 medium onion, cut in ½, then sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste (I love this one -- it comes in a jar!)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (here's an organic one)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (here's a good brand)
  • additional basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Brush the foil with some oil.
  4. Lay the eggplant out on the oiled foil. Brush the eggplant with more oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 mins.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven, fold up the foil around the eggplant, crimping all sides so that the eggplant is completely enclosed, and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  8. Meanwhile, make the sauce:
  9. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. (If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, use a regular one and then before you put it in the oven, transfer everything to a baking dish.)
  10. Add the onion to the skillet, and saute until it begins to soften, about 3 mins.
  11. Add the crushed garlic, and saute, stirring, 30 seconds.
  12. Add the tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  13. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients, except the chickpeas, stir to combine, and simmer, uncovered, 15 mins.
  15. Stir in the chickpeas and the eggplant.
  16. Place the skillet in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 50 mins.
  17. Remove the wilted basil leaves, if you want (I actually like to eat them) and replace them with fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional).

baked eggplant chickpea skillet

Blood Orange Salmon With Turnip Noodles

Change up your usual salmon dinner and try this blood orange salmon with turnip noodles…

blood orange salmon with parsnip noodles

I think I’m pretty intuitive. So, the other day when I “felt” that people were craving a more substantial dinner than I’ve been providing lately, I just went with it. Haha… the looks I was getting from my non-vegan crew because I’m in a vegan phase, really could have been read my anyone — no special intuition necessary! I felt the love when I served this blood orange salmon with turnip noodles.

I always honor dinner requests. Well, almost always — but if I can, I do. It’s fun for me to create and cook dishes to satisfy whatever anyone is craving at that particular time. Lately, I’ve been on a vegan kick. Unfortunately for me, not everyone else who I’ve been feeding shares that same love of vegan food… So, when the request was made for fish, I was happy to oblige!

Sometimes when I get a request, I pour over saved blog posts, dog-eared cookbooks, and a mass of unorganized post-it notes that I’m embarrassed to say are stuck every where on my counter where there is any surface space left. This time, I remembered several recipes I had seen for salmon dishes that included vegetable noodles. One of those inspirational recipes comes from one of my favorite blogs, Foodie Crush.

I think this dish would be good with grapefruit, oranges, or tangerines, but really, just look at the pretty color of these blood oranges. Anytime I see these beauties at the market, I buy a few and fit them into whatever recipes I can. This is the first time I ever tried turnip noodles, and I have to say that they are awesome. You can either spiralize your own turnips or, if you are as lucky as I was to find them pre-noodled, buy at least one big package!

If you love salmon as much as I do, you should also try my recipe for Slow Roasted Salmon With Smoked Salmon Rollups.

blood orange salmon with parsnip noodles

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this recipe for blood orange salmon with turnip noodles:

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

There are a lot of reasons to eat turnips. They are great for indigestion, and can help relieve that horrible bloated feeling we all get sometimes by reducing excess gas and diarrhea. Research shows that turnips contain a substance that may reduce your risk of colon, prostate, and lung cancer. In Chinese medicine turnips (wu jing) are known to help reduce inflammation and phlegm, and they can even help lessen your cough.

Blood Oranges are oranges with extra anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are compounds found in many plant-based foods. These compounds can help prevent certain cancers and can help with brain function. Oranges, of any kind, 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.

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….

blood orange salmon with parsnip noodles

Blood Orange Salmon With Turnip Noodles
Author: 
Recipe type: fish, seafood, vegetable noodles, paleo
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Foodie Crush
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This dish is beautiful, delicious, healthy, and so impressive. It's easy enough to make on a weeknight, but it's impressive enough to serve to your guests!
Ingredients
  • For turnip noodles:
  • 1 lb turnip noodles (either spiralize your own with a few turnips, or buy a package of pre-noodled turnips). ** Feel free to use whatever type of veggie noodles you like here if turnips aren't your thing...
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 5 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • For salmon:
  • 2 Tbs plus 1-tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 blood orange, zested and sliced
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 20 grinds of black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb wild salmon fillet, skinned, and cut into 4- to 6-pieces
  • 1-1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs chopped cilantro, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the turnip noodles, scallions, garlic, and some salt and pepper.
  4. Using tongs, toss the parsnip noodles around in the hot oil for about 5 minutes, or until the noodles start to soften.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the coconut sugar, orange zest, five-spice powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
  6. Spread the noodles in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle half of the coconut sugar mixture on top of the noodles, and toss to combine.
  8. Lay the salmon portions on top of the noodles.
  9. Spread the Dijon mustard evenly on top of the salmon pieces.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture evenly over the top of the Dijon mustard.
  11. Bake the dish in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked how you like it (I like mine still juicy and pink in the center).
  12. Remove the dish from the oven, and garnish with cilantro and the orange slices.
  13. Enjoy!

blood orange salmon with parsnip noodlesblood orange salmon with turnip noodles

Paleo Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant reduces pain and inflammation… I know that my over 40 body (okay… waaaayyyy over 40) needs that… don’t you?

paleo eggplant parmesan

Eggplant parmesan is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. I have tried, and failed, to make a delicious, healthy, paleo, vegan, grain-free version for so long that I can’t even remember when this obsession started. But today, I can finally say: TA-DA! I did it. This paleo eggplant parmesan is perfect. For real. And not just by my ridiculously healthy standards. But by everyone’s standards.

And now I feel unstoppable. Because I am going to be making zucchini parmesan next. And who knows what will follow.

I think the artwork hanging in my kitchen helped me with this recipe. I mean, when you look at a colorful canvass of The Hulk smashing rocks, it kind of makes you feel all-powerful. Or, maybe it was the awesome paleo wine that I was sipping. But, what-evuh…

The eggplant in this dish is thinly sliced and crispy with a deliciously traditional texture. The sauce is a little sweet and a little spicy and it screams Southern Italy. The cheese is vegan, but I’ve found the most delicious vegan mozzarella ever, so even this part of the dish passed muster by my non-vegan, and often overly-critical, family.

Here in New York, it’s cold and it’s damp. And it’s dark out at 4:30. Wow, do I hate these short days. But let me say, that a big dish of this paleo eggplant parmesan just makes it all right. I think it even tastes better on these cold, dark, and dreary days…

For another great eggplant dish, try my recipe for Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese.

paleo eggplant parmesanpaleo eggplant parmesan

Here are some of the reasons you need to make this paleo eggplant parmesan:

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

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond flour to coat the eggplant slices. This makes for a healthy, crispy coating.

Oregano is a powerful antioxidant and it is great at fighting bacteria. It’s also known as an herb that brings joy and happiness to people. I even just bought a bottle of oregano essential oil and I put a drop in our smoothies or water when anyone has a cold… it works great!

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. The tomato sauce in this recipe is delicious, so I suggest making double the amount so you can freeze a batch.

paleo eggplant parmesan

Paleo Eggplant Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole, paleo, vegan, dairy-free, grain-free, comfort food
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This dish tastes just as good as a traditional, non-healthy, great eggplant parmesan. But this one's paleo and vegan. This is my favorite creation yet!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium thin eggplants (I used some Japanese ones), sliced thin vertically (so you end up with long, thin slices)
  • 2 Tbs flax meal whisked into 6 Tbs water (or substitute 2 eggs, beaten and mixed with 2 Tbs water)
  • 1-1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 4 oz thinly sliced vegan mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup vegan Parmesan cheese shreds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place the egg and water mixture into a shallow pie plate or dish.
  3. In a second shallow dish, combine the almond meal with the oregano and some salt and black pepper.
  4. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg mixture and flip to coat well.
  5. Then dredge each piece in the almond flour mixture, again turning to coat well.
  6. Place the dredged slices on parchment-lined baking sheets in a single layer, making sure they are not touching each other.
  7. Place the trays in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then flip the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the slices start to get crisp and golden brown. (Note: all ovens are different, so check your slices occasionally to make sure they don't cook too quickly.)
  8. Meanwhile make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, coconut sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven, and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
  10. Ladle some sauce into the bottom of a 13x11 baking dish (or a dish close to that size).
  11. Arrange eggplant slices over the sauce, putting them close to each other but not overlapping much.
  12. Spread some sauce over the eggplant. Layer some mozzarella over the sauce. Repeat with a second layer (and a third layer if you have extra eggplant).
  13. After you add your final layer of eggplant, finish with sauce, then mozzarella, and then sprinkle on the Parmesan.
  14. Bake for 20 minutes.
  15. Enjoy!

paleo eggplant parmesan

Paleo Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Brussels Sprouts have been shown to protect against Alzheimers and they are great for weight loss… what an awesome veg!
paleo brussels sprouts gratin

For years, everyone in my house would sit at the table making horrible, distorted faces whenever I tried to serve a dish with vegan cheese. But, wow have the times changed! The vegan cheese options are now so amazing that even the haters have become lovers. This paleo brussels sprouts gratin is so cheesy and gooey and rich and decadent and lots of other adjectives that I can’t think of right now…

Originally, I had planned to make this dish to serve as a Thanksgiving side. So, I started experimenting several weeks before the holiday.

We ate so much of this in the weeks before the actual day, that there was no way I could get myself to serve it at the holiday table — I was literally afraid of the reaction… I mean, hungry people can get so mean!

So, here it is a few weeks after Thanksgiving, and I can’t stop thinking about these brussels sprouts. So, now I will be making them again and I will hope that everyone else feels that enough time has passed since that week that we all ate this sooooooo many times.

If you haven’t found vegan cheeses that you love yet, send me a comment and I will share with you my favorites and where to get them. For this gratin, I love using a vegan smoked gouda.

And, if you’re like me and can’t get enough brussels sprouts, you have to try my recipe for Paleo Vegan Caesar Salad.

brussels-sprouts-gratin-vertical-cropped-side-angle-4535

Here are some of the amazing healing ingredients in this paleo brussels sprouts gratin:

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!

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 this gratin.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes (like this one) with tapioca flour — it works as a great substitute in a lot of recipes that would otherwise include flour or another thickener.

Paleo Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables, side dish, casserole
Cuisine: vegan, paleo, whole30, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
If you are not yet a fan of vegan cheese, this dish will make you one! It's easy, healing, and so decadent tasting. It's the perfect winter side dish!
Ingredients
  • 1-3/4 lb brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, and each sprout cut into halves or quarters
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 Tbs grass-fed butter
  • 1 Tbs tapioca flour (here's one)
  • ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk (I buy this kind by the case)
  • ½ cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • 2 slices vegan smoked gouda cheese, chopped (or use whatever kind you like)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F convection setting, or 450°F regular bake setting.
  2. Toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil and a generous amount of sea salt.
  3. Spread the sprouts out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven 20 minutes.
  4. In a small pot, melt the butter.
  5. Whisk in the tapioca flour and continue to whisk until it's totally smooth and starting to color (about 3 minutes).
  6. Pour in the coconut milk, ¼ cup of the parmesan, and the smoked gouda and stir until melted, about 5 mins.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Put the brussels sprouts in an oven-proof casserole dish and pour the sauce over.
  9. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over the top.
  10. Bake in the oven 20 mins.
  11. Enjoy!

paleo brussels sprouts gratinpaleo brussels sprouts gratin

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

Paleo Vegetable Kugel

This paleo vegetable kugel is light and healthy!

paleo vegetable kugel

One of the first things my mother-in-law asked me to cook was a kugel for Passover. She wanted a real kugel, as she put it, not one of my healthy recipes. So, she gave me a recipe and asked me to follow it. I think that kugel had two sticks of butter in it and a bucket of matzo meal!

This year, I won’t be home for Passover.  A few months ago I had to postpone a trip because I had the flu and the only time my sister and I could reschedule for was Passover week.  So, I had to decide between the traditional family seder or a trip to Anguilla with my sister to celebrate our big birthdays… I picked the trip… so don’t judge me… I will, however, miss this paleo vegetable kugel!

Here is my healthy answer to kugel. It’s delicious and it’s made with tons of fresh veggies and a little bit of oil and tapioca flour. Steve and I ate it for dinner last week as I was testing out the recipe. It’s a kugel (even if not as traditional as my mother-in-law would like) but it’s healthy and it’s good enough to serve any time of year.

And the leftovers are awesome for breakfast. A few sunny-side-up eggs served on top of a plate of this kugel… oh my, it’s like an awesome breakfast hash…

If you are looking for a great Paleo dessert to serve, try my Paleo Lemon Cake recipe.

paleo vegetable kugelpaleo vegetable kugel

This is the healthiest kugel in the world:

Leeks are known as “grass from the sun”. They are especially beneficial when the whether is still warm but starting to turn cold, or still cold and starting to turn warm (Spring and Fall). They are great for the liver and at helping the body relieve itself of toxins. Leeks are also good at helping constipation; they help the body rid itself of toxins in the digestive tract.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

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

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

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

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes with tapioca flour — it seems to crisp things up well and it works as a great thickener too.

paleo vegetable kugel

Paleo Vegetable Kugel
Author: 
Recipe type: Passover, paleo, vegetables, casserole, side dish
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: What Jew Wanna Eat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Here's a great healthy side dish that's traditionally served for Passover, but it's good enough for any time of the year!
Ingredients
  • 2 large leeks, slices and soaked in bowl of cold water to remove any dirt
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled, sliced very thinly, and then cut into tiny pieces
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced very thinly, and then cut into tiny pieces
  • 2 unpeeled medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour (here's a good one)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2-/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus and extra 2-tsp to grease the pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet.
  3. Add the leeks and some salt and sauté until they start to brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. Put all of the chopped vegetables into a large bowl. Add the sautéed leeks and the tapioca flour. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the eggs and stir until combined well.
  6. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with 2 tsp of oil.
  7. Spread the vegetable mixture into the dish.
  8. Bake until the top starts to brown a bit, about 45 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes.
  10. Cut into pieces.
  11. NOTE: When I cut this when it was too warm, it was hard to keep some of the pieces in neat squares, so if you can, let it cool completely (even in the fridge) before you cut it. I will say, though, that it was just as delicious when I cut it hot even if it didn't look quite as pretty!

paleo vegetable kugel

Vegan Macaroni And Cheese

Yes, you can have creamy mac and cheese and stay healthy… try this vegan macaroni and cheese… it’s so good!

vegan macaroni and cheese

I have been pretty much dairy-free for too many years to count. And, for the last several years I eat mostly grain-free too.
And, honestly, there’s not too much that I feel I’m missing. That is, except creamy pasta dishes.

When I serve something that looks like this vegan macaroni and cheese, anyone who knows me backs up and asks what it’s made of. I can’t say I blame them because I’ve tried to replicate dishes like this with some pretty strange ingredients.

I experiment with lots of creamy pasta recipes. I mean, I do this a lot. Because pasta is awesome. It’s always been my favorite food. It’s the food that I find to be the most comforting food around.

I don’t post most of my experiments because truthfully, a lot of grain-free, dairy-free pasta dishes that are supposed to taste creamy and pasta-like really aren’t that good. But when I find a good one, I get really excited. And this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe is really, really good.

The sauce is made with potatoes, carrots, nutritional yeast, and coconut milk. I know it sounds a little odd, but the texture and look are just perfect. It’s so creamy and the nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy taste. My non-vegan husband ate big bowls of this.

The pasta is made from lentils. Just lentils. This is a great find (see the recipe below for details on this awesome grain-free pasta). The texture really is like traditional pasta… it’s my new favorite pasta.

If you like the feel of this dish, take a look at this recipe for another type of vegan cheesy pasta!

vegan macaroni and cheese

Here are some of the great ingredients in this dish:

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.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

Turmeric is 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.

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.

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 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.

vegan macaroni and cheese

Vegan Macaroni And Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, casserole, comfort food
Cuisine: recipe adapted from:Vegan Yumminess
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This mac and cheese really is reminiscent of the creamy cheesy pasta I remember from my childhood. But this one is grain-free and dairy-free.
Ingredients
  • 12 oz cooked pasta (I used this brand of grain-free lentil pasta)
  • 1 med baking potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 large carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 3 Tbs nutritional yeast (I like this kind)
  • ¼ cup coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk (I buy these in bulk)
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onion.
  3. Boil until the veggies are soft; mine took 13 minutes.
  4. Dip a measuring cup into the veggie cooking water, and save ½ of a cup of it, then drain the veggies.
  5. Place the cooked veggies in a blender with all of the remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Add the reserved cooking water.
  6. Blend until smooth and creamy (I used my Vitamix for this).
  7. Pour the sauce of the pasta and stir until well-combined.
  8. Enjoy!

vegan macaroni and cheese

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This vegetarian shepherd’s pie tastes even better than the traditional version!

vegetarian shepherd's pie

I go through different food phases all the time. Sometimes I’m in a vegan phase or a vegetarian phase or a pescatarian phase… that’s why when I’m asked to label how I eat I usually say I am a flexitarian. To me, this means I eat healthy, but I like to switch it up depending on how my body feels at a particular time or in a particular season.

Right now I’m in a vegetarian phase. I’ve been eating vegetarian, but without the cheese. It’s kind of in between vegan and vegetarian. So, I’ve been saying no to meat and fish, but yet to eggs and butter. And I feel good… I don’t know if this will be a long phase or a quickie, but I like it!

This vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe is awesome. Instead of being filled with meat, it’s piled high with lentils, mushrooms, peas, and corn. And, it’s topped with real mashed potatoes. Yup, authentic, buttery, creamy, mashed potatoes (but without the cream)… so good…

I’ve seen (and made) several variation of shepherd’s pie recipes, including really meaty ones and some vegan ones. This is the first one that I’ve made that’s vegetarian. The healthy veggies are sautéed with great spices and they go so well with the buttery taters that it’s just awesome. If you are looking for a vegan version, one of my favorite blogs, Minimalist Baker has a great one that also uses lentils.

Truthfully, I think I probably stacked more mashed potatoes on top of this vegetarian shepherd’s pie than anyone in their right mind ever would, but I wouldn’t change a thing…

One of the ways I was able to rationalize using such a big layer of mashed potatoes was by boiling the potatoes in a pot with some great Chinese herbs. I added some raw Huang Qi and some Dang Shen (see below to learn more about why these herbs are so great) to my pot of boiling potatoes so the great medicinal properties of the herbs infused into my heap of potatoes — so, why not eat a lot of them…?

If you are looking for another great recipe using lentils, try my Lentil Vegetable Soup.

vegetarian shepherd's pie

There are a lot of reasons to make this recipe for vegetarian shepherd’s pie (other than as a vehicle for sky-high mashed potatoes):

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.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

Green peas are good for the digestion, especially if you are feeling constipated. In the olden days, people used to drink pea juice with their meals to avoid indigestion.

Corn is one of the things I won’t buy unless I can find it organic; it’s a crop that’s just too heavily sprayed with chemicals and so much corn is GMO that I really like to be careful. I used fresh corn for this recipe but feel free to use frozen if that’s what’s available to you. Corn helps those who have hepatitis, heart disease, and hypertension. Cornsilk is also a Chinese herb (Yu Mi Xu). It’s often used to reduce edema,  and can reduce the symptoms of some painful urinary conditions.

Turmeric is also 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.

Huang Qi is like magic; it builds qi/gives you energy… you can really feel it working while you are eating. My family makes fun of my excitement for herbs, but they also are happy to reap the rewards when they eat my herb-infused foods, so think about trying out some herbs the next time you boil a pot of something…

I also added Dang Shen to the boiling water. To the novice, this herb looks like ordinary thick twigs. To me, these sticks are like gold. I added these herbs for energy; to raise my qi. If you are feeling fatigued, I highly recommend looking into some of these herbs.

vegetarian shepherd's pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole, comfort food
Cuisine: vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Here's a comfort food, healthy casserole that's also vegetarian. Heaps of mashed potatoes top lentils, mushrooms and vegetables... it's easy and delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cup dried lentils, cooked until done, but not mushy
  • 8 medium/large yellow potatoes, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 Tbs grass-fed organic butter
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 portabella mushroom caps, cut into small dice
  • ½ cup green peas, cooked (I took the easy way out and bought them from a salad bar)
  • ½ cup organic corn, cooked (this came from the salad bar too)
  • leaves from 2 large thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (homemade, jarred, or canned)
  • 2 sticks of raw Huang Qi (an optional Chinese herb)
  • 1 stick of raw Dang Shen (an optional Chinese herb)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Boil the potatoes along with any Chinese herbs you are using in a large pot of salted water. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Drain the potatoes and discard the herbs.
  3. Mash the hot potatoes together with the butter and salt and pepper to taste. You can do this by hand or with a food processor (I used the processor).
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
  5. Saute the onions, garlic, and mushrooms for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are softened.
  6. Add the cooked lentils, peas, corn, spices, and tomato sauce. Stir, cooking, for about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spoon the lentil mixture into a 9x9-inch baking pan. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.
  8. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the inside is hot and bubbly and the top starts to brown. If your casserole dish is overflowing (like mine was), you may want to put something under the dish to catch any oozing filling.
  9. Enjoy!

vegetarian shepherd's pie

Chicken Potato Tomato Skillet

This chicken potato tomato skillet is made and served right in the skillet!

Chicken, Tomato, And Potato Skillet

There’s just something about food that’s served in a skillet that makes it look so appetizing. I’m a sucker for any menu item that is described as a “skillet”. I love a breakfast “skillet” and no matter what the ingredients, I will think about ordering it before any other menu item. Does this make me weird?

This is one of those recipes that is perfect for those nights that you just don’t know what to make. It’s versatile enough so that you can substitute whatever meat you want, whatever veggies look good, and whatever type of potatoes are lying around your kitchen.

I made this dinner even easier by using leftover tomato sauce that was in my freezer. You can make it even easier than I did by using your favorite store-bought sauce.

So, here’s a dinner skillet. This chicken, potato, and tomato skillet is awesome. It’s a one-pot meal, so clean-up is a breeze and it’s easy to make.

And, come on, who doesn’t like chicken and potatoes and tomatoes and spinach served in skillet?

As I was just re-reading what I wrote, I had a great idea! The next time I make this dish, I am going to toast some healthy garlic bread and hide some of it in the bottom of this skillet… okay, now I’m really excited. I’m never sure if it’s a good thing or not that I get excited so easily by food…

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 skillet recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

If you like this kind of thing, you should also try my recipe for Chicken Stew With Potatoes And Crispy Brussels Sprouts!

Chicken, Potato, And Tomato SkilletChicken, Tomato, And Potato Skillet

Here are some of the great health benefits of this awesome chicken potato tomato skillet:

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.

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.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

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

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

Chicken, Potato, And Tomato Skillet

If you make this Chicken Potato Tomato Skillet 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.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken, Potato, And Tomato Skillet
Author: 
Recipe type: one-pot, chicken
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: 12 Tomatoes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This one-pot skillet meal is delicious, simple, and healing. Feel free to substitute other meats and vegetables -- it's all about what makes you happy!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 lb. boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 baking potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 9 oz fresh spinach
  • 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce (either homemade or store-bought)
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium oven-proof skillet with sides, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to get a little color, about 5-minutes.
  4. Remove the potatoes to a plate and add the chicken to the pan, stirring until the chicken begins to color.
  5. Add the potatoes back to the pan.
  6. Next, add the shallot, garlic, and spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted, about 1-minute. (You may have to add the spinach a little at a time in order to fit it all in the skillet.)
  7. Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice, chicken broth, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
  9. Bake the skillet in the oven about 40 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Chicken, Potato, And Tomato Skillet

Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole

This creamy broccoli and mushroom casserole is vegan!

Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole

I am not vegan, but I have to say that I love vegan food. I stopped eating cheese a million years ago when i realized how much better I felt without it, but it wasn’t until recent years — when I learned how to make foods taste cheesy and creamy without real cheese and cream — that I became a lover of all things vegan. I’m not a huge fan of meat substitutes, but give me a vegan creamy, cheesy casserole or some non-dairy ice cream and I’m in foodie heaven.

This creamy broccoli and mushroom casserole makes me happy. It’s comforting and warming and smooth and creamy and it’s just plain delicious.

I make it whenever I’m looking for a simple healthy side dish, especially in the cold winter months.

And, in my house, I’m embarrassed to say that even though everyone loves it, but I can’t call it vegan. They scarf it down but for some reason my unenlightened crew thinks they don’t like vegan food…

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 vegan recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

I’ve also got a new FREE ebook for you:

Increase Your Athletic PerformanceDownload your free copy of my Optimized Athletic Performance Food Plan ebook now!

I love to serve this recipe with my favorite simple roast chicken or with this easy Slow Cooker Whole Chicken.

creamy broccoli and mushroom casserole

Here’s some great reasons to make this recipe:

Broccoli has a lot of potassium and is great for brain function; it also has magnesium and calcium to help regulate blood pressure. It’s also good to clear your body of excess heat and it actually can help your vision too.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. 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.

Shiitakes are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process. I also added portabella mushrooms here. They too are good for you, and they taste great!

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Several times lately I have recommended that patients with bronchitis or severe colds put sliced raw onions in their socks before bedtime. The onion actually draws the toxins out of the body and in the morning many people feel much better. Onion is a superhero in the food world!

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.

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.

creamy broccoli and mushroom casserole

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

Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables, side dish, casserole
Cuisine: vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This creamy vegan casserole is so comforting and warming you will want to serve it with everything. Broccoli and mushrooms cook together in a velvety vegan cream sauce to make it the perfect side dish.
Ingredients
  • Florets from 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1 Tbs plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • sea salt
  • 4 oz sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 10 oz sliced white button mushrooms
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk (use all of the solid cream on the top and ¼ cup of the liquid
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Convection setting or 400 degrees regular bake setting.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Add the broccoli to the water for 1 minute. Drain.
  4. Heat 1 Tbs of the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute them, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize, about 25 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the blanched broccoli, all of the mushrooms, the caramelized onion, hemp seeds, and hot red pepper flakes.
  6. Grease a large baking dish with about 2-tsp olive oil.
  7. Pour the broccoli mixture into the baking dish.
  8. Stir the coconut cream together with ¼ cup of the coconut liquid and pour this mixture evenly over the broccoli mixture.
  9. Bake about 15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

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Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole