Healthy Gumbo

This Healthy Gumbo recipe really is amazing. It’s got all the taste of a traditional gumbo, but no gluten or other unhealthy ingredients. This one’s a crowd pleaser every time!
Healthy Gumbo

If you are anything like me, after the holidays, all you want to eat is something that doesn’t taste like traditional holiday food. After Thanksgiving, I don’t want anything that resembles turkey, cranberry sauce, etc. After New Years, all I want is something healthy. You get what I mean…

This Healthy Gumbo takes me straight back to New Orleans, which is a place that I love. I love the food, of course, but even more, I love the people. Friendly people, delicious food, fun bars, oysters in the street… what’s not to love. I love foods that bring back fond travel memories and this is a great one.

A pot of gumbo is one of the most comforting things you can make. The aroma, the taste, the Louisiana feels… it’s all so good. And, it has none of the flavors of my traditional holiday foods. And it’s kind of odd, but I find that even people who don’t usually love spicy foods, love this gumbo. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like, but I like mine fairly spicy so that’s how I make it and nobody complains.

This year, I made a big pot of this Healthy Gumbo after Thanksgiving. I cut up my leftover turkey and tossed that in. On a non-leftovers weekend, it’s also easy to roast some chicken and use that, or even easier: grab a cooked rotisserie chicken and ta-da… an easy-peasy  meal awaits.

I like to use pre-cooked sausage to make this soup even easier to prepare. You can use rice in your gumbo if you are a purist, but I like to use cauliflower rice. Honestly, absolutely nobody knew it wasn’t real rice when I served it to them.

And, what is really awesome is that this soup, even though it’s spicy and loaded with goodies, does not upset my digestion because it has no gluten and no other ingredients that upset my digestion.

If you love spice like I do, you should also try my recipe for Spicy Chickpea Turkey And Tomato Stew!

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healthy gumbo

healthy gumbo

Steve loves this Healthy Gumbo so much, he offered to be the model, so you know it’s got to be great!

Here are some of the amazing healing ingredients in this Healthy Gumbo recipe:

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

Ghee is one of the best fats to cook with. Ghee is a clarified butter that has had the milk solids removed and it is lactose free. And, it has the delicious taste of butter.  It has a high smoking point, and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I recommend buying organic ghee if possible. It contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.

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.

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

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot pepper seasonings you like.  In the recipe below, I put down Creole Seasoning as an ingredient, but oftentimes I will make my own and amp up the cayenne and smoked paprika. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

healthy gumbo

Healthy Gumbo
Recipe type: gluten free, nut free
Cuisine: soup, stew, comfort food
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This Healthy Gumbo is so simple and delicious. It has all the taste and feel of a traditional Louisiana gumbo, but it's gluten free and healing.
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12-oz fully-cooked spicy sausage links (I used chorizo), sliced
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 8 Tbs ghee (or can use unsalted butter)
  • 5 Tbs gluten-free flour (I used white flour, but I assume other flours would work well too)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, diced or shredded
  • 1 Tbs Creole seasoning
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 qt chicken bone broth
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the sausage,
  2. Saute, stirring often, until the sausage browns a bit.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage to a bowl.
  4. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, about 5 mins.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, add this mixture to the sausage in the bowl.
  6. Add 4 Tbs ghee or butter to the pot. Whisk in the flour. Continue whisking for about 6 mins, or until the flour gets to be a medium brown color.
  7. Now add the sausage and veggies back into the pot. Stir to combine. Add the Creole seasoning and the smoked paprika, and stir well.
  8. Add the cooked chicken or turkey and stir to coat.
  9. Add the bone broth and the bay leaf to the pot.
  10. Stir in the cauliflower rice.
  11. Cover and simmer 10 mins. Then uncover and simmer 10 mins.
  12. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

healthy gumbo


Vegan Burrito Bowls

These Vegan Burrito Bowls are healthy and delicious. The taste is incredible — sort of a Mexican-Asian party for your mouth. Oh, and did I mention how easy they are to make…?
vegan burrito bowls

Everything tastes better in a bowl. Everything is easier to make in a bowl. Everything is easier to eat in a bowl. Yes… I love my bowls…

My obsession with food bowls began many years ago, and now it seems it’s an actual real trend. Everywhere you go now, there are various bowls on menus — poke bowls, burrito bowls, Asian bowls, grain bowls, etc.

Have you jumped on the bowl bandwagon at home yet?

If not, this Vegan Burrito Bowl is the perfect starting point.

I’m someone who meal-preps… not for specific meals, but for everyday life. What I mean by this is that when I go to the market with my list (that I invariably don’t follow), and I buy all of the produce that strikes my fancy, when I get home, I like to prep it before I store it in the fridge and on the counter.

I do this not because I’m uber-organized, but because I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t cook, prep, and store it all immediately, by the end of the week I’ll be left with a fridge full of rotting mystery items. I always have big eyes in the market and high expectations of my cooking schedule. And, as the week goes on, I find that life gets in the way, or I end up eating out more often than I thought I would and then I’m left with a boatload of stuff that I don’t know what I’m going to do with.

Here’s a cute article on Why Bowls Are Better Than Plates.

So, what does this have to do with bowls or with this Vegan Burrito Bowl in particular?

Bowls are like artwork. They are like a creative outlet for me. I make them based on what’s in my fridge that’s ready to be eaten. So, whatever veggies I’ve roasted or steamed or sautéed can go into the bowl. Whatever veggie noodles or rices or slices I have cut up can go into the bowl. Avocados often make it into my bowls. Sometimes a fried egg graces the top. Whatever protein I have on hand, that’s going in too.

As to flavors… I love to mix it up. This Vegan Burrito Bowl mixes some Mexican flavors with some Asian flavors — and it is just perfect.

Also, having some favorite condiments in the fridge at all times, makes it really easy to dress the bowl. I’m a big fan of chipotle anything and different salsas so oftentimes my bowls do have a Mexican flare.

Wow, that’s a lot of talk about bowls, and I haven’t even gotten to my favorite thing about them: eating this way allows you to customize a bowl specifically for your specific health needs. And this is an awesome perk. Sometimes I make my bowl to heal a digestive issue and then I’ll make Steve’s bowl with some added stress-reduction foods…

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And if you are looking for a totally different type of bowl, try my amazing Vietnamese Meatball bowls.

Also, customizing meals for people is my favorite thing to do, so feel free to reach out in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help you work out your optimum bowl.

vegan burrito bowls

Vegan Burrito Bowls

Steve is making a rare appearance here, because he loved his bowl.

Here are some of the amazing ingredients in this Vegan Burrito Bowl:

I used to avoid soy, but after lots of research, I’m happy to say that organic soy products can be really good for you. In this bowl, I’ve used tofu. Tofu can be great for digestion and it also can help provide moisture to dry conditions in the body.

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

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 foods that make you feel better mentally as well as physically, and broccoli is one of those foods — it can lessen feelings of irritability.

I use cauliflower for breads, crusts, rice… everything. It can be used in so many forms… and, it’s really good for you. In Chinese medicine we use it to aid in digestion and help with constipation. One of the things I find most amazing about this cruciferous vegetable is it’s ability to help with age-related memory loss (My menopausal friends will appreciate this benefit!). It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification and with reducing inflammation. So, as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier.

vegan burrito bowls

Vegan Tofu Burrito Bowls
Recipe type: nut-free, grain-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: Asian, Mexican, Vegan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3
This Vegan Burrito Bowl will quickly become your new go-to for lunch and dinner. It is so easily customizable and so delicious.
  • 1 recipe Sheet Pan BBQ Tofu
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 heads baby bok choy, tiny bit of the bottoms cut off, and heads sliced vertically in half or thirds
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 head broccoli, separated into florets, stems sliced
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
  • big handful of pea pods
  • My condiments of choice:
  • 2 tsphot sauce (or to taste)
  • ½ cup pico de gallo
  • vegan chipotle sauce
  1. When I make these bowls, I generally have meal-prepped the ingredients beforehand, and I highly recommend doing this. Here are the instructions for when you have not meal prepped:
  2. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  3. Lay the cut up broccoli on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.
  4. Drizzle oil over and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast the broccoli until it is a little charred, about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2-Tbs oil.
  7. Sauce the pea pods until a little bit softened, about 5 mins.
  8. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the bok choy and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Saute over med-high heat until it begins to char, then add ¼ cup of water, cover, and cook until done, about 5 mins.
  10. Remove with a slotted spoon, and then add the cauliflower rice. Season with salt and pepper. Add scallions. Sauce until only slightly cooked -- be careful not to overcook it; it should be only slightly softened, not mushy.
  11. NOTE: feel free to cook your veggies simultaneously in separate pans.
  12. To assemble your bowl: lay cauliflower rice in the bottom, and then arrange the tofu, beans, bok choy, and broccoli in sections on top.
  13. Top with condiments of choice.
  14. Enjoy!

vegan burrito bowls

vegan burrito bowls

Lemon And Herb Cauliflower Rice

It’s time you jumped on the cauliflower rice bandwagon, so try this lemon and herb cauliflower rice recipe…

lemon and herb cauliflower rice

Cauliflower rice is awesome. It’s easy, it’s grain-free, it’s so healthy, it’s delicious, and best of all, you can customize it to go with any dish you are serving.

This particular recipe goes with almost anything. I serve it with spicy chicken, steamed veggies, all kinds of fish, and, my personal fav: Lemon And Herb Cauliflower Rice topped with cold seafood salad. Here’s my recipe for Seafood Salad With Garlic And Oil

Truth be told, I also really love it as a breakfast backdrop for eggs, kale, and avocado…

I don’t remember the last time I ate traditional rice. I never feel like I need it or miss it, especially when easy substitutes like this Lemon And Herb Cauliflower Rice are so easy to make. Is everyone jumping on the cauliflower rice bandwagon? It feels like everywhere I go it’s a side dish option… or maybe it’s just that since I’ve become such a fan of it I’m noticing it a lot more. It’s kind of like, which came first… the chicken or the egg?

I have had people tell me cauliflower rice is too hard to make. IT’S NOT HARD TO MAKE! It’s getting even easier to make because so many stores are selling the cauliflower already shredded into “rice” in plastic containers and in bags. But, if you need to make it out of an actual head of cauliflower, all you do is cut the head into big chunks, drop it in the food processor and pulse the machine ten to fifteen times. Done. Not so hard…

But, if you are like many of my friends who hate to spend any time in the kitchen, look around for the pre-riced version, because it really is much easier and faster to make than traditional rice. And to turn it into this Lemon And Herb Cauliflower Rice, all it takes is tossing stuff together in a bowl…

lemon and herb cauliflower rice

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

lemon and herb cauliflower rice

Here are some of the amazing healing ingredients in this lemon and herb cauliflower rice recipe:

I use cauliflower for breads, crusts, rice… everything. It can be used in so many forms… and, it’s really good for you. In Chinese medicine we use it to aid in digestion and help with constipation. One of the things I find most amazing about this cruciferous vegetable is it’s ability to help with age-related memory loss (My menopausal friends will appreciate this benefit!). It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification and with reducing inflammation. So, as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier.

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.

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.

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

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




lemon and herb cauliflower rice

If you make this Lemon Herb Cauliflower Rice 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.

Lemon And Herb Cauliflower Rice
Recipe type: side dish, cauliflower
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Here's a side dish to go with everything! You can make it as-is, or customize it with different flavors and ingredients to go with whatever you are serving... and it really is easy!
  • 1 head cauliflower (or 1 bag or pre-riced cauliflower)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  1. If using a whole head of cauliflower, cut the head into large chunks and place them in the food processor. Pulse about 10 to 15 times, or until it looks like rice.
  2. Heat the broth over medium heat, in a large skillet with sides, or a medium saucepan.
  3. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until it is slightly tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the rice to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Serve with everything.
  6. Enjoy!


lemon and herb cauliflower rice