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Raw Zucchini Noodles With Pesto And Tomatoes

This recipe for raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes is one of the simplest ways to turn your food into medicine. The whole recipe takes only a few minutes and it’s so healing and fresh tasting — it’s a keeper!

raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes

I have always wanted to love zucchini noodles/zoodles/zucchini spaghetti — whatever you want to call it. I really really really want to like this ever-so-healthy veggie noodle as much as I like every type of pasta on the planet.

Well, I’ve finally figured out how I like zucchini noodles! And I even like them raw now!

Here’s my secret: lots of high-quality olive oil. I marinate my zoodles in a great tasting olive oil (my favorite right now is Kasandrinos Extra-Virgin olive oil), Himalayan salt, and freshly ground black pepper. The noodles, even though not cooked at all, end up having the best texture and taste. And, after they have marinated a bit, then I top it with whatever I’m feeling at the moment.

Olive oil is one of the world’s healthiest fats! Read my article on The Healing Power Of Olive Oil to learn more about this — believe me, you’ll be using this healing oil on everything!

The pesto in this recipe is vegan and it’s made with arugula, basil, and garlic, and of course olive oil!

This marinating step was an epiphany for me — I really do like zoodles! I know I’m a bit late to the party, but better late than never…

Here in New York City, where we are lucky enough to be able to walk a few blocks and find every type of pre-cut vegetable noodle, it was just sad that I wasn’t out there grabbing these beauties every time I saw them. And, as a wellness consultant in Manhattan, my clients were buying up the stock of these grain-free pastas and asking me how to prepare them. Everyone seemed to love them but me… well, it’s nice to be one of the crowd now!

I love to customize recipes for specific health concerns. So, when my clients ask me to put on my health coach and chef’s hat, I often customize faux pasta recipes for their specific needs.  Let me customize a grain-free pasta 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. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation… I’d love to create a vegetable noodle recipe that addresses your specific needs!

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Yes, you can stay healthy when everyone else is sick, so download my free Boost Your Immune System ebook.

I urge you to try the many types of vegetable noodles available. If you live in a city like I do, you can walk into Whole Foods or go to the local farmers market and grab a container of them. If not, you can purchase a spiralizer and make them pretty easily yourself.

Another trick I love, is to mix vegetable noodles with buckwheat noodles. This creates a dish that really has the bite of a traditional pasta. You can try this technique in my recipe for Szechuan Zoodles. And, for another great take on a simpler noodle, try these Zoodles With Raw Tomato Basil Sauce.

raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this Raw Zucchini Noodles With Pesto And Tomatoes recipe:

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….

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.

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.

raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes

If you make this Raw Zucchini Noodles With Pesto And Tomatoes 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.

Raw Zucchini Noodles With Pesto And Tomatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, whole30, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, raw
Cuisine: vegetable noodles, faux pasta
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This recipe for raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes is so simple and it's one of the nicest things you can do for your body! Got 10 minutes? You've got dinner!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups zucchini noodles (store bought, or made with a spiralizer)
  • ½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • large handful fresh basil leaves (anywhere from about ¼ cup to 1 cup, depending on your taste)
  • ¼ cup vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
  • dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the zoodles in a shallow pie plate or a dish with sides.
  2. Pour ¼ cup olive oil on top.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss gently and set aside.
  5. Make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the arugula, basil, ¼ cup olive oil,and optional Parmesan cheese.
  6. Process until combined well, but not totally smooth.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Transfer the marinated zoodles to a platter.
  9. Scoop the pesto on top of the zoodles.
  10. Arrange tomatoes all around.
  11. Enjoy!

raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes

Dairy Free Creamy Cauliflower Bone Broth Soup

This Dairy Free Creamy Cauliflower Bone Broth Soup is creamy, delicious, and healing! It’s topped with crispy spicy chickpeas and fried herbs… oh my!
cauliflower bone broth soup

I’m so happy that fall is in full swing here in New York City. The leaves are changing and they are just gorgeous. Every time I go outside, I’m engulfed by amazing vibrant reds and yellows and oranges. It makes me happy. And, it makes me crave soup.

The other day, I came inside and my head was still filled with all of these bright autumnal colors. I threw open the windows, let the crisp air inside, and I set about making a healing pot of soup.

I find it amusing that with all of these hues in my head, the soup I ended up creating is so deliciously devoid of bright colors. I just love the creamy whiteness of this dairy free creamy cauliflower bone broth soup. There’s something about it that’s just so calming. It’s as smooth as velvet, with such a pleasant mild flavor, that I just can’t seem to get enough of it.

One of the favorite combinations is a smooth creamy soup base that’s topped with some really flavorful and textured toppings. So, I topped this delicate soup with some bold spicy crispy chickpeas and some fried herbs. OMG… this is truly mouth watering.

One of the simplest ways you can make your soups as healing and as flavorful as possible, is to use a good quality bone broth in place of traditional broth or stock or water. Of course you can make your own homemade bone broth, but these days there are so many awesome pre-made bone broths on the market, your healing pot of comforting soup can be ready in no time at all. (See the recipe below for the bone broth I used in this soup recipe.)

As a wellness/health coach here in Manhattan, I teach many of my clients to 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. And, as in this soup, it makes an awesome substitute for cream!

I love to customize recipes for specific health concerns. Let me customize a skillet 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. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation… I’d love to create a soup recipe that addresses your specific needs!

This soup will help keep you youthful inside and out. Read this article to learn more foods you can add into your diet to help keep you young and healthy — there are lots of great recipes in this article too!

cauliflower bone broth soup

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this recipe for Dairy Free Creamy Cauliflower Bone Broth Soup:

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.

Cauliflower helps digestion and is great to eat if you are experiencing constipation. It can help with age-related memory loss and it contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can also help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification and with reducing inflammation.

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

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

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

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.

Sage is great for your digestion, especially if you have loose stools. It’s also good for memory loss and for Alzheimer’s.

cauliflower bone broth soup

If you make this Dairy Free Creamy Cauliflower Bone Broth Soup, 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.

Dairy Free Creamy Cauliflower Bone Broth Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: gluten free, dairy free
Cuisine: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This Paleo Cauliflower Bone Broth Soup is so creamy and so healing! It's simple to make, and it's one of the most comforting soups you will ever have.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Pink Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • 16 oz. bone broth of your choice (I used this awesome bone broth)
  • handful of fresh parsley leaves
  • handful of fresh thyme leaves
  • white truffle oil, for drizzling on top of each bowl of soup
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper and spread the chickpeas out on it.
  3. Drizzle about 2 tsp oil onto the chickpeas. Sprinkle on the smoked paprika, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and turmeric. Toss until evenly coated.
  4. Place the tray in the oven and set your timer for 10 minutes. Check the chickpeas. If they are not crispy yet, stir them up and put them back in the oven, checking them every 5 minutes so that they do not burn. They are done as soon as they are a bit crispy.
  5. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
  6. In a large stockpot, heat 1 Tbs oil.
  7. Add the onion. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Saute over medium heat until beginning to soften.
  9. Add the cauliflower.
  10. Season again with salt and pepper.
  11. Add the bone broth.
  12. Stir.
  13. Cover and cook over low heat, until the cauliflower is softened, and a fork can easily be stuck through the center of one of the larger pieces. Mine took about 25 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbs oil in a small skillet. Add the sage leaves, and let fry about 30 seconds or until crisp. Remove to a paper towel with a slotted spoon.
  15. Next, add the parsley leaves and let fry until crisp. Transfer to the paper towel.
  16. Transfer half of the cauliflower onion mixture to your blender. Cover the blender with a clean dish towel and hold it tightly over the top. Blend until completely smooth. Transfer the blended mixture to a bowl and then blend the rest of the soup. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  17. Ladle the creamy soup into individual bowls.
  18. Top with chickpeas, sage leaves, and parsley.
  19. Drizzle generously with truffle oil.
  20. Enjoy!

paleo cauliflower bone broth soup

Chicken And Corn Skillet

You just have to love a meal that’s cooked and served in the same pan… This Chicken And Corn Skillet is comforting, healing, delicious and simple to make and to clean up!
chicken and corn skillet

I love a one-pan meal. I also love eating anything that is served in a skillet. There’s just something about it that is so comforting and delicious. When you cook and serve in the same skillet, you get to eat all of those deliciously crispy bits that stick to the bottom of the pan… yum!

I came home from vacation yesterday, and while I was doing the mountain of laundry that I came home with, I was perusing all of my favorite food blogs. I was kind of unplugged on vaca — which was awesome, by the way — but I’ve been looking forward to reading all of my foodie mail and seeing all of my favorite food blogger’s creations that I missed.

So, when I came across Tieghan’s recipe for garlic butter creamed corn chicken on Half Baked Harvest, I just knew I had to make a version of it. And, I was not disappointed.

It’s so important to eat what’s in season at the moment. And corn is in season!

Food that’s in season is more delicious, fresher, and healthier. And right now corn is everywhere. I even wrote an article about Late Summer Seasonal Eating, so take a look.

I went to the market to buy some corn. But… best laid plans…

Corn is one of the foods that I won’t buy unless it’s organic. The crops are just too heavily sprayed and generally, non-organic corn is a GMO crop… and I won’t do that.

I got to the market, and no organic corn! And now, of course, I can’t get this recipe out of my head, so I bought frozen organic corn. So much for seasonal produce…

But anyway, let’s get back to this awesome recipe. It’s just so good. And simple. And it’s made all in one pan. The chicken is moist and the corn is creamy, but it’s made without any cream or milk.

Oh, and did I mention the bacon? Bacon and corn are a match made in heaven.

If you like this recipe, you need to try my recipe for Chicken With Artichokes And Sun Dried Tomatoes — it’s a skillet meal too.

chicken and corn skillet

I love to customize recipes for specific health concerns. Let me customize a skillet 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. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

chicken and corn skillet

The ingredients in this chicken and corn skillet recipe are truly healing. Keep reading and you’ll learn the health benefits of each ingredient you’ll be eating…

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Here are some of the amazing healing ingredients in this chicken and corn skillet:

Corn is one of the foods that if I can’t find organic, I just won’t eat because the crops are so heavily sprayed and are full of GMOs. As more people are expressing concern about GMOs, it seems to be getting easier to find good corn at the market. Corn actually benefits the gallbladder, is good for hepatitis, heart disease, and hypertension. Cornsilk is a Chinese herb (Yu Mi Xu). It’s often used to reduce edema, help with hepatitis and reduce the symptoms of some painful urinary conditions. If you can’t find organic fresh corn, buy a bag of organic frozen corn!

Chicken is also something I always buy organic. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery, childbirth, or illness. Chicken is good for nourishing the blood and it’s a healthy source of protein and vitamin B6.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes with tapioca flour — it’s a great coating for this chicken because it helps brown the chicken and it also helps to thicken the sauce.

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!

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….

chicken and corn skillet

If you make this Chicken And Corn Skillet, 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.

Chicken And Corn Skillet
Author: 
Recipe type: main dish, chicken, one pan meal
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This Chicken And Corn Skillet is everything you need and want in one single pan -- you cook and serve in the same pan! And it is delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2-1/4 lb boneless chicken thighs (about 8 pieces)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 lb corn kernels (fresh, or frozen thawed)
  • 1 Tbs ghee (or butter)
  • ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup dairy-free Parmesan cheese (or use traditional Parmesan, if you are not dairy-free)
  • about 10 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and toss it with the tapioca flour, until fairly evenly coated.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet and place on paper towels to drain.
  3. Add the chicken to the hot bacon fat remaining in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned on both sides, about 10 mins.
  4. Remove the browned chicken to a plate.
  5. If there's not much bacon fat left in the pan, add olive oil to the pan.
  6. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic cloves, butter, red pepper flakes, and corn to the onion.
  8. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  9. Add the chicken broth and place the chicken in the mixture.
  10. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  12. Stir in the Parmesan.
  13. Top with bacon and basil.
  14. Serve in the skillet and enjoy!

chicken and corn skillet

Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Ziti Soup

This slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup is comfort food times two in one healthy bowl: it’s a combination of 2 old favorites: baked ziti and hearty soup!
vegan baked ziti soup

I love to take old fashioned comfort foods and turn them into something that tastes just as good as I remember them tasting when I was a kid, but that actually can heal my body. In my house, these comfort food recipes are usually everyone’s favorites. This slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup is a new creation, but I’m betting it quickly makes it to “favorite status”…

Right now, I think the top rated comfort food recipe is my Cheeseburger Soup. I make this all of the time… I mean, waaaayyyyyyyy too often. But OMG it is sooooo good!  So, I figured I should create a new soup with the same healing yet comforting vibe. Enter: Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Ziti Soup.

We are all creatures of habit.

I guide people out of their comfort zones every day. Because it’s so important. Soooooooo important…

I just love when someone steps outside of their box with me. Let’s face it — it’s so much easier to stay in our comfort zone than step out of it. But, we all know that nothing good comes from stagnation. You’ve got to leap in order to fly… you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince… if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you… blah, blah, blah…

Sometimes, you just need to throw those cliches in the trash and find someone to guide you out of your comfy box.

I remember, in one of my old careers (and yes, I’ve had several…), I got to meet Walter Cronkite. And what this genius said has always stuck with me. He said he loved his job as a newsperson, but that every single night before he went on the air, he had to put his head between his knees because he felt like he was going to vomit. This was because every single night he stepped out of his comfort zone and into the unknown by interviewing people who were unpredictable and never gave expected answers… every single night was different.

What a way to live. And I mean that in a great way. What a way to live!

I’ve made a habit of stepping outside of my comfort zone as much as possible. Maybe not every single day, but yes, every single week.

If you want to step outside of your box, sign up for a free phone consultation with me and we will step together. Let’s chat and figure out how to create awesome changes in your body, your mind and your spirit… I just love this stuff! So, CLICK HERE and you’ll be taken directly to my calendar so you can sign up for a time that’s convenient for you… do it now!

Oh my, that’s quite a tangent I went off on. All because of the phrase “comfort food”.

So, back to this comfort food recipe for slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup. It really is comforting. It really does taste like baked ziti. I made it with lentil pasta, and a really creamy vegan mozzarella cheese and I drizzled some great basil pesto on top. And, of course, I hid some superfoods inside — hemp seeks and Chinese herbs… so healing!

I want to thank Alissa at Connoisseurus Veg because it was her genius recipe for Slow Cooker Vegan Lasagna Soup that was my inspiration for this recipe.

So, make this slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup. Or, try my recipe for Paleo Beefaroni — that’s a great comfort food too.

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… 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. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup:

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

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.

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.

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.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

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

I added a few sticks of raw Shan Yao. This Chinese herb is actually Chinese Yam, and it’s great for energy.

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

If you make this slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup, 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.

Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Ziti Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, vegan, comfort food, vegetarian, slow cooker
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Connoisseurus Veg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This comforting vegan soup is so healing, so delicious, and the slow cooker does all the work!
Ingredients
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¾ cup dry green lentils
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Huang Qi, Shan Yao
  • 3 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 6 oz green lentil penne (or pasta of your choice)
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • 1 cup vegan ricotta cheese
Instructions
  1. Put the vegetable broth, onion, garlic, oregano, basil, dry lentils, hemp seeds, Chinese herbs, and crushed tomatoes into the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 3-1/2 hours.
  3. Open the cooker and add the spinach and pasta.
  4. Cook on high for 8 minutes (or until the pasta is cooked al dente).
  5. Ladle into bowls.
  6. Top each bowl with a dollop of pesto and a dollop of vegan ricotta cheese.
  7. Enjoy!

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

Pan Seared Salmon With Bruschetta Sauce

Pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce will become your summer go-to recipe… it is so simple and you’ll want to eat the sauce by the bowlful!

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

I love dishes that contain both hot and cold foods in the same dish. There’s just something about the temperature and textural opposition that  works especially well in the summer. When I used to live by the beach, we would order salads from our favorite Italian restaurant and eat them while we watched the sun setting over the ocean. It was really quite perfect. The salad that was worthy of this beachy sunset was literally called “hot and cold salad”.  It was made with hot grilled vegetables and cold crispy lettuce and there was something about the heat meeting the cold in that big bowl that was magical. This pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce has that same magical quality.

For me, a light beach breeze and a comfy lounge chair is a pretty great place to be. I want my food — and cocktails — to be deserving of the surroundings.

This pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce is beach sunset worthy.

Add a nice cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc… hmmm… can’t think of much that would be better.

The salmon is seared, skin-side down until it is crispy.

The key to this crispy skin is easy: Don’t touch the fish while it is cooking. Really. Don’t touch it. Don’t try to peak underneath. Don’t move it around. Not even a little. Just let it be.

Okay, so now you’ve got crispy salmon cooked to perfection.

This simple sauce is made by pulsing the ingredients in a blender very briefly. It’s a cold sauce.

Oh, and did I mention that the sauce only has 4 ingredients? Yup, it’s like when you eat a great meal in Italy, and everything tastes so simple and fresh. This is just like that. Fresh and simple. Fresh tomatoes. Fresh garlic. Oil. Vinegar. Done.

And it’s this combination of the hot crispy fish and the deliciously refreshing cold sauce that makes this pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce taste so good.

If the hot and cold thing doesn’t resonate with you, you can heat the sauce. My inspiration for this recipe came from a genius recipe from The Kitchn.  Their recipe for Saucy Skillet Salmon won me over immediately. So, I owe a big thank-you to those awesome foodies.

The last time I made this, I made a huge batch of the bruschetta sauce and put it in a bowl in the fridge so I could use it all week. It’s great on chicken, on vegetables, and even as a gazpacho type soup (I topped mine with some roasted shrimp and avocado).

See my recipe for Salmon With Parsley Sauce for another great way to make salmon.

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… 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. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this pan seared salmon with bruschetta 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.

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 if your not a total garlic love use it sparingly, or, if you are like me… amp it up and add a few more cloves.

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.

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

If you make this pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce, 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.

 

Pan Seared Salmon With Bruschetta Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: fish, seafood, salmon, chilled sauce, simple
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: The Kitchn
Serves: 3-6
 
The hot salmon has crispy skin. The cold sauce is sweet and tangy. It's a marriage made in heaven.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb salmon with skin on, cut into 6 pieces
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup plus 2-Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Season the skin-side of the salmon with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the fish, skin-side down, to the hot oil.
  4. Press down on the fish gently with a spatula (do this several times while it's cooking)
  5. Cook until you see that the salmon is cooked about halfway up the sides of the fish -- look, don't touch the fish! Mine cooked for 5-mins.
  6. Let the fish cook without bothering it at all.
  7. Next, gently flip each piece of fish over, raise the heat to high, and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Remove the fish to a platter, skin-side up.
  9. Make the sauce: put the tomatoes, garlic, 2-Tbs oil, and 1-Tbs vinegar into a blender. Pulse a few times until the tomatoes are in pieces, but it's not smooth.
  10. Pour some sauce into the bottom of individual shallow bowls.
  11. Lay fish on top of the sauce, skin-side up.
  12. Enjoy!

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

Eating To Ward Off Cancer

Eating to ward off cancer means removing the foods from your diet that cancer cells feed on, while simultaneously adding in the food, herbs, and supplements that cancer cells hate. Read more

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup

Soup still hits the spot even when the days start to get warm.  This instant pot spring vegetable soup is perfect for those days — it will boost your immune system and make you feel good! Read more

Cold Cucumber Herb Soup

This Cold Cucumber Herb Soup is filled with healing superfoods and greens. Make a pitcher and keep it in the fridge for the hot summer days ahead! Read more

Vegan Stuffed Eggplant

This vegan stuffed eggplant is roasted in the oven so the veggies get caramelized and delicious!

vegan stuffed eggplant

Sometimes when I make a vegan dinner, I brace myself for complaints from my diners. When I say my “diners” I mean my family. And when I say complaints I mean I get grunts and groans because there’s no “real food” and “not enough protein.” This is B.S. But, I aim to please, so I’ve been working on more filling and “meatier” vegan recipes. This vegan stuffed eggplant is a crowd pleaser.

When I made this recipe last week, I knew the time was right because Steve had just come home from a guys trip and I know when he comes home from one of these trips, he feels like he needs to clean up his act and eat healthy. So, call me a chicken, but I waited for this time to test out this recipe on him. It worked like a charm. He loved it so much that he even took some of the leftovers with him for lunch the next day. In my book, that’s a big win!

I am not a big fan of meat substitutes. I just don’t appreciate faux foods, I guess. I see lots of recipes that look awesome using faux meat products, but I’d almost always rather eat my meals without them. And, I don’t like to eat a lot of soy, so I shy away from tofu.

I do, however, love eggplant. Eggplant, when cooked well, is as satisfying as meat.

This eggplant dish is filling, delicious, healing, and fills the need for “meat” that my non-vegan eaters look for. And I hid some semi-spicy peppers in the mix, so there are some delicious surprises inside.

In Chinese medicine, we use eggplant to help reduce inflammation, lessen pain, and smooth your digestion. What a delicious way to heal…

The filling here is made with lots of tomatoes and peppers and onions and it is amazing. The stuffed eggplant roasts in the oven and the tomatoes get caramelized and sweet. I melted some vegan mozzarella on some of these vegan stuffed eggplant and I left some plain. Melting the cheese really took them up a level… OMG this is so good!

For another crowd-pleasing eggplant recipe, try my Paleo Eggplant Meatballs.

vegan stuffed eggplantvegan stuffed eggplant

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this vegan stuffed eggplant 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…

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! During cold and flu season, I recommend onions to everyone, and in lots of ways and forms; they actually can rid the body of bacteria.

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.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

vegan stuffed eggplant

Vegan Stuffed Eggplant
Author: 
Recipe type: eggplant, main dish, vegetables, vegan, paleo, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: The Iron You
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is a vegan main dish that even meat eaters will love. It gets roasted in the oven, so the veggies get caramelized and sweet... it's so good!
Ingredients
  • 4 slender eggplants
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more from brushing the pan
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1-1/2 cups baby spinach, torn into pieces
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ¼ cup jarred sliced pepperonci or banana peppers
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste
  • vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Slice the eggplants lengthwise until they are almost sliced all the way through, but not all the way through.
  3. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt onto each half of eggplant, then place them in a colander and let them sit for 30 minutes (this helps remove some of the water and bitterness from the eggplant).
  4. Place the eggplants, partially opened, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbs oil.
  6. Add the onion, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, peppers, and tomato paste to the skillet and sauté, stirring until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 mins. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in the coconut sugar and red pepper flakes.
  8. Open the eggplants so they are butterflied, and place them in a baking dish.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  10. Spoon the filling evenly into the eggplant.
  11. Roast in the oven for 45 mins. (If using vegan cheese, slice some up and tuck it into the eggplants when there is about 10 mins of cooking time remaining.)

vegan stuffed eggplant

White Bean And Kale Soup

This healing White Bean And Kale Soup is light and comforting at the same time… it’s so delicious!

white bean and kale soup

It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s about time for me to make a big pot of soup. On Sundays and Mondays, oftentimes I feel like creating more complex dishes. You know the kind… the ones that have separate sauces and lots of different components. The one’s that make your kitchen look like a bomb dropped on it. But, come mid-week, I’m all about the one-pot meal. And today, it’s a soup kind of day.

I find all soup comforting. Maybe it’s because it’s served in a bowl. Or maybe it’s because I love the great aroma of all of the things cooking together in one big pot. Or, maybe it’s because I love hot food. I guess it really doesn’t matter why… but it’s a good thing.

And, I’m a firm believer that soup is not just for winter.

I live in the city now, and if you would have told me before I moved here that I would be eating soup year round, I’d have thought you were crazy. I mean, the city in the summer can be really HOT. But, at our house in the burbs where we often kept our windows and doors open to feel the summer breeze, eating soup was a great thing to do as the night cooled down.  Moving into the city though has caused me to pump up the AC way more than I’m used to, so soup season extends here too — sometimes it’s freakin’ cold in here even in the summer!.

But, adapt we must… so the AC cranks up as soon as it gets warm. And, soup season seems continue on much more naturally because sometimes it’s really freakin cold in here… even in the summer.  Haha… how times change.

So, about this particular soup. It really is comforting. And it’s healing. And it’s one of those soups that lets you actually feel the energy seeping into your body as you eat it. Really, you can.

The white beans get a great creamy texture as they cook down. And then to make the soup even creamier, I blended up a little of it and stirred it back into the rest. The fresh rosemary gives it a really awesome herby taste and well, you are just going to love it.

I love to put raw Chinese herbs into my soups while they are cooking. And, depending on what my body needs at the time, I choose my herbs accordingly. This is a totally optional step, and doesn’t effect the recipe at all, but I’d love to help you learn to do this too — because infusing your soup with herbs is just awesome. I put some energy/qi-building herbs in this pot of white bean and kale soup and oh my… it’s like magic.

I have made this soup many times. I’ve seen so many different versions of this soup on so many different blogs that it makes me switch up the recipe a little bit each time I make it but I’ve never been disappointed. This time, as I was about to fire up the stove, I saw yet another recipe for it on one of my favorite blogs: The First Mess. It looked so good, that I had to change up my recipe yet again and implement some new components. I have to give a big thank you to Laura because this is the best version of white bean and kale soup yet!

Another great soup recipe you will love is my Cauliflower Chickpea Soup.

white bean and kale soupwhite bean and kale soup

Here’s some of the great healing ingredients in this white bean and kale soup:

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. Make sure you clean the kale leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems). 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.

White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.

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!

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.

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.

Rosemary is great for your digestion, your heart, and your libido. It also can help boost your energy.

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….

Also, whenever I cook anything with some liquid, I like to add some Chinese herbs for whatever conditions I feel need help at the time. One of my favorites is Huang Qi (Astragalus). It is great for an over-all strengthening of the body and it’s energy. So, when I set this pot to simmer, I added some raw Huang Qi and let it infuse into the soup.

white bean and kale soup

White Bean And Kale Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The First Mess
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This soup is like energy in a bowl. In a delicious and creamy form. Yum!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely minced
  • 2 15-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch Lacinto (black) kale, thick center ribs removed and discarded, leaves chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • dried red pepper flakes, to taste
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 stick Huang Qi/Astragalus (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring until the veggies soften a bit, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, rosemary, beans, and broth.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Ladle ⅔ of the contents of the pot into a blender and blend until smooth, then stir this smooth mixture back into the pot with the rest.
  7. Stir in the kale.
  8. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Enjoy!

white bean and kale soup