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Healthy Homemade Ketchup

I’m a condiment freak — I like to dip everything. So, this healthy homemade ketchup is a must in my house!

It’s true. We are a condiments-all-the-time household. We can find a reason to dip everything in something. A few years ago it started to bother me that so much of our fridge was filled with jars and bottles that had ingredients that I would normally never use when I cooked . So, I started making my own. OMG — we are so much better off. This ketchup is especially delicious, and it doesn’t have all of the sugar that commercial ketchup has. And yes, I too used to be a Heinz lover… but now we really do all love this healthy homemade ketchup. Try it… you’ll love it too.

One day, when Steve was slathering his food with ketchup, as was his usual M.O., I had that light-bulb-over-head moment and I began creating homemade healthy condiments. Now, let me tell you, he used to really piss me off. I mean, how do you not even taste your food before you drown it in ketchup? I once heard a story about a hiring partner in a huge corporate firm who would take his interview candidates out to lunch and observe them. If they salted their food before tasting it, they wouldn’t be hired because he thought there was not enough thought and consideration in this gesture. Same goes for ketchup.

The creation of this recipe required a lot of trial and error. We ate a lot of ketchup that wasn’t… ummmm… wasn’t… worthy of the name ketchup. I tried all kinds of ingredients to get the right balance of sweet and tangy. For us, this recipe is the perfect balance. It’s the right consistency, and it tastes awesome.

You’ll notice that this recipe contains prunes. I know that sounds weird, but they really give this ketchup just the right taste. So, you’ll need to use a high-speed blender if you want your ketchup to be really smooth.

Another thing I used to buy but now I like to make homemade is Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese.

healthy homemade ketchuphealthy homemade ketchup

Hear are some of the great healing ingredients in this healthy homemade ketchup recipe:

In Chinese medicine, we use prunes to reduce stomach acidity and to help smooth the digestion. The claim to fame of the prune is that it helps fight against constipation. This is true, and when you clear your intestines, you are also taking a great step toward preventing colon cancer. These dried plums also are great for your vision and they have enough potassium to make them an official heart-healthy food.

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.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body.

healthy homemade ketchup

Healthy Homemade Ketchup
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
Look at all of the jars in bottles in your fridge. They contain so much sugar! If you are a ketchup lover, you've got to make this recipe for healthy homemade ketchup and store it in your fridge.
Ingredients
  • 6 pitted prunes
  • 7 oz tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • water, as needed
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients, and 5 Tbs water into a high-speed blender.
  2. Whiz it up. Add more water if necessary to get this ketchup to the desired consistency.
  3. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy on everything!

healthy homemade ketchup

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

Chickpea Penne With Arugula Pesto

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

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

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

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

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

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

chickpea penne with arugula pestochickpea penne with arugula pesto

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

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

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

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

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

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice.

chickpea penne with arugula pesto

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

chickpea penne with arugula pesto

Salmon With Parsley Sauce

Salmon is so healing: it can actually help reduce some of your joint pain!
salmon with parsley sauce

This is hands-down the best way to cook salmon! Yup, a bold statement I know, but it’s true. If you are making a great sauce to serve with your salmon, this is the way to cook it. It’s soooooo moist and flavorful! I mean, think about it, if you are covering your beautiful fish with sauce, who needs to sit there and crisp it up… I would go for the moist, easy preparation every time! This salmon with parsley sauce is easy, delicious, healthy, and impressive too!

Years ago I learned to cook salmon this way. Slow-roasting this fish at a really low temperature keeps it so tender, juicy, and fresh tasting. Sometimes I’ll rub it with turmeric before roasting it. Um…. yum! But for this deliciously fresh parsley sauce, all you need is a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. That’s it. And, really, it’s perfect.

Salmon used to be my least favorite fish. I know, for a lot of people it’s a favorite. But for me, I always thought it was too fishy. Then I learned how to cook it correctly. Salmon tastes so much better when it’s cooked medium-rare. And slow-roasting allows that to happen easily. I know some of you are doubters… but try it!

Interesting factoid and helpful tip: when that ugly white substance starts to form on your salmon, you’ve overcooked it… it’s not dangerous, just ugly… so no worries, but really, try not to cook it too long.

This sauce is pretty versatile. You can make it with different herbs. This time I used parsley because, well, it’s really awesome with the salmon. But, you could go with cilantro or basil and have a great fresh herb sauce too.

But, did you know that parsley is considered an anti-cancerous herb? And, it freshens your breath! So, if you get a chance to use it for something other than a garnish, I say go for it!

If you want to try another great salmon recipe, try my Simple Poached Salmon With Yogurt Sauce.

salmon with parsley saucesalmon with parsley sauce

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this salmon with parsley sauce:

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.

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.

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

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc…. The garlic in this recipe is raw, so it adds quite a kick so use it sparingly…

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.

salmon with parsley sauce

Salmon With Parsley Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: seafood, fish, sauce, simple
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The New York Times
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Slow roasting your salmon makes it taste amazing -- soft, moist, and flavorful. And this simple raw herb sauce is just perfect!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/3 lb wild salmon filet
  • 1 Tbs plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tsp capers
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200°F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Rub about 1 tsp oil into the top of the salmon filet.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then check for doneness. If it's not done enough, put it back in the oven and continue to check every 5 minutes. (Mine took 22 minutes for medium rare.)
  6. Meanwhile, place the parsley, garlic, scallions and capers into a food processor and pulse it about 10 times or until the herbs are chopped up, but the sauce is not smooth.
  7. Add 2 tsp of oil to the processor and process until combined.
  8. Remove the herb sauce to a small bowl and drizzle in as much of the remaining oil as you like.
  9. Remove the salmon from the oven when done, put it on a platter, and top with the herb sauce. Feel free to drizzle the top with a touch more olive oil.
  10. Enjoy!

salmon with parsley sauce

Simple Poached Salmon With Yogurt Sauce

This simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce will keep you healthy inside and out…

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

I don’t think I’ve poached salmon since I was in cooking school. I don’t really know why I don’t do it more often though, because this salmon is awesome. It’s perfect if you are serving a crowd and it’s an easy dish to make ahead and serve cold or at room temperature. This simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce really is just that: simple.

What’s better than a dish that is made for leftovers? The salmon that’s leftover here makes the best cold salmon salad. And it makes a terrific filling for omelets. Oh, and topping a salad with some big chunks of this moist salmon and then using the yogurt sauce as a dressing… well, just… yum!

I made this a few weeks ago when I was asked to bring a main course to a family gathering. Honestly, I usually use those kinds of opportunities to experiment with new recipes (which some people are happy about and some people are just plain scared about), but on this particular day, I just didn’t feel like cooking. And I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t feel like cooking but I cook anyway, any first-time-experimental-recipe invariably comes out pretty bad. So, I figured I’d do something simple. Something mainstream. Something everyone would love, and nobody would be fearful of.

Oh, did I mention that I used my leftover simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce to make tacos the next day…?

And, the yogurt sauce is non-dairy!

I tell a lot of my clients to add wild salmon to their diet to increase their athletic performance — this fish can help reduce aches and pains in your muscles and joints, and it’s a good source of iron.

If you want to try another great salmon recipe, try my recipe for Blood Orange Salmon With Turnip Noodles.

simple poached salmon with yogurt saucesimple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce recipe:

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.

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.

Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial agent. 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.

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 used a full-fat coconut yogurt for the sauce to accompany this salmon.

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

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Simple Poached Salmon With Yogurt Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: simple, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: seafood, fish, salmon
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
This is a classic recipe. Anyone you serve it to will love it and the leftovers make awesome tacos...
Ingredients
  • 4 lb salmon fillet, cut in half
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 4 scallions, cut into 3 or 4 pieces (leave the roots on)
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, cut into thick slices
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 cup full-fat plain coconut yogurt
  • ⅓ cup healthy mayonnaise (I used Fabannaise)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Place the salmon in a large pot and cover it will water.
  2. Add the vinegar and scallions to the pot.
  3. Squeeze the lemon halves into the pot and then toss in the lemons halves themselves.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  6. Simmer about 10 minutes, or just until the salmon is cooked (if you start to see the white fat congealing on the fish, it's a bit past done... so watch carefully)
  7. Using two large spatulas, carefully remove the fish to a platter. You can throw away the lemons and scallions, but if you like carrots, serve them strewn around the salmon.
  8. Make the sauce: Stir together all ingredients.
  9. Break up the salmon a bit on the platter and serve with the sauce.

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Zoodles With Raw Tomato Basil Sauce

These zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce can actually help calm your mind…

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

Honesty time. I don’t love zucchini noodles. I really want to, but I just don’t. I know everyone, everywhere, is saying that noodles are a great substitute for spaghetti. Yeah, right. Not so much for me. BUT, they are so good for you — especially these zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce — that I made it my mission to figure out why I don’t love noodles as much as everyone else seems to.

This is what I figured out: I just don’t love them when I think of them as spaghetti. When I’m expecting a big heaping bowl of satisfying pasta, any kind of vegetable, no matter how good it is, just isn’t going to cut it. So, here’s my trick. I serve them with a cold sauce (and this one is delicious), so that it seems more like a salad-y dish than a pasta dish. This way I’m not disappointed. And, let me tell you, the flavor is so good, it’s the best salad ever!

I guess it’s a mental thing. A mind over matter thing.

But, I can honestly say, I love these zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce as a side dish for my grilled fish. Or with my collard wrap for lunch. And I used the sauce as a salsa for some grain-free chips too! Ah, a multitasking dish… you gotta love it!

If you are a zucchini lover, you should also try my recipe for Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan!

noodles with raw tomato basil saucenoodles with raw tomato basil sauce

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this recipe for zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce:

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.

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. This recipe uses both fresh and sun-dried tomatoes.

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.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

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!

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

Zoodles With Raw Tomato Basil Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian, vegetables, sauce, zucchini noodles, vegetables, zoodles
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The Fully Raw Diet cookbook
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Zucchini that eats like pasta... the perfect easy side dish. And, everyone should add a few raw dishes to their diet...
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb. zucchini noodles (pre-made or spiralized yourself)
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1-1/2 lb fresh tomatoes
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into pieces
  • juice of ½ a small lemon
  • ¾ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ an avocado, cubed
  • 3 sun-dried tomato pieces, packed in oil
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and saute, stirring, until in starts to brown.
  3. Add the zucchini and some sea salt and toss with a tongs just until the zucchini begins to soften a little bit.
  4. In a food processor, combine the fresh tomatoes, celery, lemon juice, basil, oregano, sun-dried tomato, and avocado. Pulse until the consistency of salsa (not completely smooth).
  5. Serve the noodles with sauce on top and pass the extra sauce on the side.
  6. Enjoy!

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

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

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bowl

Pasta rules! And this roasted red pepper pasta bowl is awesome!

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Yay! Another great, fantastic, awesome, deliciously healing, yet paleo AND vegan pasta dish that tastes like real, classic, homemade Italian pasta. Wow, that was a mouthful! But I honestly don’t know how to accurately describe the awesomeness of this dish without using so many adjectives…

If you know me at all, you know that I will try any and every pasta that I see if it’s paleo. Some are truly awesome. Some… not so much. This lentil pasta is one of my favorites. (See the recipe below for where you can buy it.) It really has the texture and taste of traditional whole wheat pasta. For real — no one will know.

I made this dish a few days ago and I got to do one of my favorite things — feed an unsuspecting guest… My daughter’s boyfriend was here and I was in the kitchen experimenting and I made these pasta bowls. You know young men — they are always hungry… So, he gladly accepted a pasta bowl and ate it. Now, he knows my bent toward all things healthy, so after he ate half of it, he looked up and asked: “Is it real pasta?” I just smiled. He knew the answer, but continued to eat with gusto. Success! After that my daughter ate it and also loved it. The list continued from there. So, to Sam, my willing taste-tester, you are welcome in my kitchen any time!

This pasta is made so amazing by the delicious (and oh-so-easy) creamy roasted red pepper sauce. And then, a few drizzles of pesto and a dollop of cheese (I used a great vegan creamy cheese) and some crisp fresh arugula and fragrant basil. Really, this roasted red pepper pasta bowl is the complete package! I have to send an shoutout now to one of my favorite blogs: Half Baked Harvest, because she came up with the original recipe that inspired me to create this version — ingenious!

If you are looking to try another paleo pasta recipe, try my Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese.

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Here are some of the amazing ingredients in this roasted red pepper pasta bowl:

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 bell pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

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.

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 sauce a velvety, creamy texture.

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.

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….

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

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, paleo, vegan, Italialn
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This pasta is paleo, vegan, creamy, and healing! Oh, and did I mention it is awesomely delicious and so easy to make...
Ingredients
  • 16-oz jarred roasted red peppers
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (you can buy them here)
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves (plus more for serving)
  • 12 oz pasta -- I used a paleo, lentil pasta (you can buy the lentil pasta here)
  • a few handfuls of fresh arugula
  • small jar of vegan pesto (whatever kind of pesto you like will be great)
  • 4 dollops of a creamy cheese (I used Kite Hill's vegan cream cheese with chives and it was perfect)
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta al dente.
  2. Put the red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, cashews, and ½ cup basil into a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was really quick). Whiz it up until smooth and creamy.
  3. Drain the pasta.
  4. Toss the pasta with as much sauce as you like.
  5. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls.
  6. Top with pesto, arugula, cheese, and extra basil leaves.
  7. Enjoy!

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese

This vegan fettuccine bolognese is a great alternative to a meaty pasta sauce!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Whenever I make a pasta dish, it’s almost always a paleo-friendly pasta recipe because I feel better when I don’t eat grains. But, I do feel better when I eat pasta (for me, it’s the most comforting food around… and, I mean, really, who doesn’t love a good bowl of pasta…?). I’m never sure whether to call the recipe “Paleo Pasta” or just call it “Pasta”.  I know this sounds trivial, but really, I get stuck with this each and every time.

Now, this recipe (which by the way is sooooo delicious), is vegan and it’s paleo. When I first typed in the title, it was “Vegan Paleo Fettuccine Bolognese”, but that’s just too long and complicated for a recipe that’s easy to make. So, for this recipe I decided to use vegan, and omit paleo. I’m still not sure that’s the best title, but I guess this dilemma falls under the category of champagne problems…

Anyway, I used one of my favorite grain-free pastas (Cappello’s fettuccine), and I made an awesome vegan bolognese sauce by using my favorite recipe for simple marinara sauce and adding tons of finely chopped mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini.

I’ve learned that often when I make a vegan recipe, my guests love it, but sometimes I see wary expressions on the faces of the meat eaters if I call it something with a traditional meaty name (like bolognese). But this time, the meat eaters enjoyed this vegan fettuccine bolognese so much, the meaty name was just perfect. Try this out the next time you want to cook something to both vegans and non-vegans… it’s just perfect!

If this recipe is your cup of tea, you must also try my Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Along with all of this deliciousness, you also get great healing benefits from this recipe:

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…

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. I used both baby bellas and shiitakes in this recipe. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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….

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, paleo, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Here's a great dish for all types of dietary habits: vegan, paleo, meat eaters, comfort-food lovers... this is really easy and satisfying!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small eggplants, finely diced
  • 3.5 oz shittake mushrooms, caps finely diced
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, caps finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lb pasta of choice (I used Cappellos, grain-free fettuccine -- see above in post for link)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the eggplant, zucchini, and shrooms out on the sheets in a single layer. Drizzle oil over and toss a bit. Season with salt and pepper. (Try to keep each veggie in a separate area, so if one is done before the others it's easier to remove it from the sheet.)
  4. Roast the veggies in the oven until they start to brown and caramelize a bit. (Every oven is different, but my eggplant took 35 mins, the shrooms took 25 mins, and my zucchini took 20 mins.)
  5. Meanwhile, start the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then cook an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes, then using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it's smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the sauce to a blender and whiz it up -- just make sure you hold a dish towel tightly over the top of the blender instead of using the canister top, so that steam can escape and you don't burn yourself.)
  7. Cook the pasta al dente, and drain it well.
  8. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce and top with mounds of the veggies. Toss it all together if you like before serving.
  9. Enjoy!

vegan fettuccine bolognese