Posts

Healthy Sweet Potato Salad

                           Sweet potatoes will help get your digestion running smoothly!
healthy sweet potato salad

I love potatoes of any kind. You can prepare them any way and I will love them. That’s why it’s so important that I make my tubers healthy. I mean, if I’m going to eat the whole bowl, I’d much rather it be a healing dish than a mess of fried or mayonnaise-y potatoes. This healthy sweet potato salad is perfect. It’s delicious and it’s healing… even if you eat more than you should…

Lately, I’ve been swapping out traditional potatoes for sweet potatoes in every recipe that I can. When I was a kid, my favorite thing to order in a diner was french fries with gravy. OMG… just thinking about it makes me both smile and cringe at the same time. The other day when I was at lunch by the beach, I ordered sweet potato fries, rationalizing that this was somehow healthier than ordinary fries. Bahahaha — it’s amazing the rationalizations you can talk yourself into — this was so unhealthy and the second I was done eating, I was sorry I ate it.

So, back to this awesome recipe for healthy sweet potato salad. This is perfect.

And NO MAYONNAISE — the creamy dressing is made with parsnips!!!

And you still feel good after you eat it. It’s got sweet potatoes and dill and some crunchy radishes. Really, it’s clean tasting and creamy at the same time. It’s the perfect side dish for everything you make this summer.

I served this beautiful, colorful salad with fish one night and then on top of a crisp green salad on the second night. Both were just perfect!

Also, you should try my simple recipe for Vegan Potato Salad.

healthy sweet potato saladhealthy sweet potato salad

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this healthy sweet potato salad recipe:

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 haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Parsnips will help you knock a cold out of your system. So if you have a common cold with headaches, muscle aches, and a stuffy nose, try eating parsnips. They can also help ease arthritic pain.

Dill is considered a chemoprotective in that it can help neutralize some carcinogens. It also helps fight bacteria in the body.

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.

Radishes are good for your tissues, blood vessels, teeth and bones. They also can help regulate your blood pressure and can ease the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory ailments. In this sweet potato salad, they also add a good amount of crunch and peppery bite.

healthy sweet potato salad

Healthy Sweet Potato Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, side dish
Cuisine: paleo, healthy, sweet potatoes, vegetables, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This healthy potato salad is so colorful and so flavorful, you'll love it even more than your favorite mayonnaise-y dish!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes (I used a mixture of orange, white, and purple ones), unpeeled, cut into ½-in. pieces
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 radishes, sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the potatoes with the oil and spread them out on the baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Roast the potatoes in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes or until they are cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, put the parsnips, vegetable broth and a pinch of sea salt into a medium saucepan.
  7. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer until the parsnips are soft, about 20 minutes.
  9. Pour the parsnip mixture into a blender. Cover the blender with a clean dish towel and hold that towel tight over the top while you blend until smooth. NOTE: the towel will allow steam to escape so you can prevent the top blowing off and burning you!
  10. In a large bowl, mix together the roasted sweet potatoes, radishes and scallions. Pour in the parsnip dressing and gently stir to combine.
  11. Add the dill, and serve.
  12. Enjoy!

healthy sweet potato salad

Szechuan Zoodles

This recipe will actually make you feel cooler and calmer…

szechuan zoodles

It’s holiday season, but in my book that doesn’t mean everything we eat has to be heavy and traditional. This dish is neither, but it’s awesome. When I brought a big bowl of these Szechuan Zoodles to my family’s Hanukkah party, they certainly looked non-traditional next to the latkes but they made everyone happy. I’m all for healthy and happy, so if I were you, I’d give this dish a shot at your holiday party!

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Half Baked Harvest and the beautiful pics kind of called to me, so I knew I was going to have to make some version of them!

I’ve made zoodle dishes before and some have them have been great, while some have been only so-so. While I do love these vegetable noodles, I am a true pasta fanatic, so sometimes I end up a little disappointed. This dish is especially great because the zucchini noodles are mixed with buckwheat noodles, so in the end, this slurpy and spicy pasta dish tastes like real pasta. That’s always a really good thing…

And the dressing… OMG… it’s spicy and sweet and peanut buttery and it’s made in the blender… so it’s easy.

A real pasta dish that’s paleo, healing, spicy, slightly sweet, vibrant, and fresh… who could ask for anything more?

For another awesome paleo pasta dish try my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine.

szechuan zoodles

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in these Szechuan Zoodles:

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better when you are feeling hot. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

Buckwheat is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E. It also contains antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease.

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

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure.

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…

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.

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.

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

szechuan zoodles

Szechwan Zoodles
Author: 
Recipe type: zoodles, pasta, spaghetti, spicy, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, Asian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This dish is made with zucchini noodles and buckwheat spaghetti. The sauce is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet! It's paleo, healthy, and comforting!
Ingredients
  • 20 oz zucchini noodles (I bought mine pre-zoodled, but I would guess 2 large zucchini would do the trick if you are spiralizing them yourself)
  • 1 lb buckwheat spaghetti, cooked al dente (I used these buckwheat/sweet potato ones)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (here's an organic one)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos (you can buy it here)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  • 2 Tbs hot chili oil
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds (buy organic ones here)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 10 baby bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 hot pepper, sliced
Instructions
  1. Boil the buckwheat noodles, just until they are cooked al dente.
  2. Drain them and run cold water over them while you toss them around with your hands to make sure they don't stick together.
  3. Place the buckwheat noodles and the zucchini noodles in a large bowl.
  4. Make the dressing: Put the peanut butter, tahini, aminos, lime juice, coconut sugar, chili oil, sesame oil, coconut milk, and ¼ cup hot water into your blender. Whiz it up until very creamy.
  5. Put the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the noodles.
  6. Add in as much dressing as you like and toss with your hands (you will probably have some extra dressing).
  7. Enjoy!

szechuan zoodles

Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing

This Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing contains hemp seeds which, among other things, are great for combatting hot flashes!

thai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Many moons ago, I used to work down by Chinatown. There were so many great Chinese restaurants for lunch but my favorite place to frequent was an awesome (although kind of dirty…) Thai restaurant that was a stone’s throw away from the courthouses. All of us Legal Aid Lawyers used to go there. It was cheap and delicious and close. I remember loving the Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing. I’ve tried to re-create it a few times and have had okay results but nothing that was as good as I remember being served at that restaurant.

Until now.

I wish I could take the credit for figuring out the awesome flavors in this dressing, but the credit goes to Jessica at jessicagavin.com. I made a few tweaks to the recipe to suit my needs (like adding hemp seeds to combat my hot flashes), but the original recipe is all Jessica’s.

I used kale, cabbage, carrots, herbs, and hemp seeds in the salad. You can use whatever you like. But don’t forget the nuts. I know traditionally this salad is made with chopped peanuts in the dressing, but I used cashews in the salad too… this really is an awesome salad!

Any salad that has a spicy and creamy dressing is pretty good in my book. But this Thai salad with spicy peanut dressing really takes it to another level. Maybe it’s because peanut butter is a real treat for me because I almost never allow myself to eat it. Maybe it’s because sriracha is awesome. I guess it really doesn’t matter why it’s so good… just try it, okay?

thai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this salad:

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure.

Ginger is actually a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

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….

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.

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.

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 (me… I don’t really don’t like the if the kale is 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.

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.

Cabbage helps control a cough and lessens the symptoms of the common cold — in olden times, cabbage tea was given to people who had contracted the whooping cough. It’s also good to combat constipation and can lesses hot flashes. I like to use a mix of green and purple cabbage whenever I have both on hand, so you get the benefits of the green cabbage that I just mentioned, plus you get the benefits of purple cabbage — my favorite of which is that it’s a good stress reliever.

Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, side dish, dressing, Thai, paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: jessicagavin.com
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This dressing is amazing! I made the salad out of kale and cabbage and carrots and so much more, but feel free to use the dressing on whatever you like!
Ingredients
  • For dressing:
  • ⅔ cup peanut butter (preferably organic)
  • juice of 1 large lime
  • 6 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar
  • 3 Tbs liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs water
  • For salad:
  • about 3 cups thinly sliced kale leaves
  • red and green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup organic peanuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 3 scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and whiz until really smooth.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss or drizzle with dressing.
  3. Enjoy!

thai salad with spicy peanut dressingthai salad with spicy peanut dressing

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