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Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing

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

thai salad with spicy peanut dressing

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

Until now.

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

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

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

thai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this salad:

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

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

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

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

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

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already shredded and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really don’t like the if the kale is raw). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

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

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

thai salad with spicy peanut dressingthai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Paleo Blueberry Cobbler

This paleo blueberry cobbler is an incredibly delicious dessert!

paleo blueberry cobbler

You know when you go to the market looking for organic berries and you have to to a double-take when you see the price? Sometimes I can’t believe what I’m seeing… it’s like I’m being punked or something. But, finally, it’s that time of the year when the price of berries drops down to a reasonable level. Last week, there were blueberries everywhere! And when I checked the price, not only were these gorgeous blueberries affordable, but they were packaged in huge containers. So, I bought 2 containers. I didn’t need to, but I did. Did I tell you these containers were HUGE…

I’m sure it’s happened to you: you get home from the market, and you’re all kinds of smug because you got some great deals, and then you look at what you bought and you have no idea how you are going to use it all up…

Sooooooo, I put some of these gorgeous blueberries in the freezer. And I ate a lot of them right out of the container. And I made coconut yogurt parfaits. And a smoothie bowl. And then, I made this paleo blueberry cobbler. It’s just awesome. I made more than we could eat, so we ate half, and I froze the other half. Yesterday, I defrosted the frozen cobbler and when I ate it today, it’s just as awesome. And surprisingly, it tastes just as good cold as it did warm.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a dessert recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

Here’s my recipe for Berry Fig Yogurt Parfait, that you can make with your extra berries.

paleo blueberry cobbler

This cobbler is so good for you:

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.”

Coconut strengthens the body, reduces swelling, and stops bleeding. It 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. There’s coconut flour, coconut oil, and coconut sugar in this recipe.

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. I used cashew milk in this cobbler, but you can substitute whatever non-dairy milk you like.

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.

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

paleo blueberry cobbler

If you make this Paleo Blueberry Cobbler 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.

Paleo Blueberry Cobbler
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, paleo
Cuisine: American, fruit
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This paleo blueberry cobbler is so refreshing. It also freezes well... and the ingredients are so healing... this one's a keeper... it's summer on a plate!
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1-1/2 cups cashew milk (substitute almond milk or another non-dairy milk if you prefer)
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on the top
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 1-1/4 cups tapioca flour
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2-1/4 cups fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Put the coconut oil in a baking pan (mine was 9x9-in.), and put the pan in the oven to melt the oil while the oven is heating.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, cashew milk, coconut sugar, baking soda, hemp seeds, tapioca flour, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Stir until combined.
  4. Spread this batter into the baking dish with the melted coconut oil.
  5. Pour the blueberries over the batter and press them into the batter.
  6. Sprinkle the top with coconut sugar.
  7. Bake until golden and a bit crisp. (Mine took 1 hour and 5 minutes.)
  8. Remove from oven and let the pan cool a bit on a rack.
  9. Enjoy!

paleo blueberry cobbler

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers make the perfect appetizer, snack, or dinner — just the right amount of spice.

crispy buffalo chicken fingers

We love to eat with our hands in my house. Sometimes it makes sense, and sometimes it’s just plain embarrassing. Sandwiches make sense; salad does not. I never established any rules for this, so we just live with the poor manners of our habits and hope no one’s watching.

If I told you that I served this chicken alongside my recent recipe for Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo, how grossed out would you be to learn that those leftovers were eaten cold the next day and with fingers, not forks…

If there’s food in the fridge that can be eaten without utensils, that’s the food that everyone goes for first. These Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers can and should be eaten with your hands… and not just by the vulgar people in my house! In the photo below, you can see Steve holding this awesome chicken in his hands — I had to take the picture quickly, because they were headed for his mouth quickly, even though it was early in the morning. (I wish you could see his shirt in this pic because he’s wearing a T-shirt we got when we went to “Meet The Breeds” at the Westminster Dog Show; I’ll have to take another pic of him in it!)

One of the awesome things about this recipe is that it’s so easily customizable for your particular needs and tastes. Sometimes I put hemp seeds in the coating. Sometimes I use flax seeds. Chia seeds are also good in it. And if you like sesame seeds, you can toss them in too. You can use any seeds you like, a mixture of all of them, or none of them at all. Decisions, decisions…

You should also try my recipe for Crispy Spicy Chicken for another take on a healthy version of decadent tasting chicken.

crispy buffalo chicken fingers

Not only are these crispy Buffalo chicken fingers delicious, but they are really healthy too:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

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 crisps things up well and it works as a great thickener too.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. Whenever I have a cold I eat lots of hot sauce. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot sauce you like. Read the ingredients on the label (as with any pre-made food) to make sure it meets your dietary requirements — there are so many hot sauces, wing sauces, and barbecue sauces out there that are gluten-free, paleo, etc. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses both almond milk and almond flour, so you get a lot of bang for your buck with almonds here.

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.

Flax seeds can relieve constipation and lower cholesterol.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

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.

crispy buffalo chicken fingers

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, entree, appetizer
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Brittany Angell
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These chicken fingers are crispy, a bit spicy, and are really healthy. Make a big batch because they will go fast!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless organic chicken thighs, cut into thirds vertically
  • Wet ingredients:
  • 6 Tbs of your favorite Buffalo wing sauce (this is one of the few recipes I buy traditional, not organic... and here's a gallon of it!)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 3 Tbs grass-fed butter
  • Dry ingredients:
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup almond flour (I like this one)
  • ¼ cup of whatever seeds you like (hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds) (optional)
  • 20 grinds of fresh black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a small pot and heat over medium-low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and the mixture is thickened a bit, about 5 mins.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. In a shallow pie plate, combine all of the dry ingredients. Feel free to use any or all of the seeds mentioned above (or none at all). Mix well.
  6. Season the chicken with sea salt.
  7. Put all of the chicken pieces into the bowl with the wet mixture. Stir until coated well.
  8. Remove each piece of chicken individually, and dredge in the dry mixture and place each piece on the baking sheet in a single layer, making sure that none of the pieces are touching each other. Make sure each piece is heavily coated!
  9. Bake the chicken until cooked through and crispy. Mine took about 40 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and serve on a platter with whatever dipping sauces you like. (We never made it to the dipping sauce stage... they were all eaten too fast!)

crispy buffalo chicken fingers

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie

It really is true what they say about an-apple-a-day, so you need to try this apple cinnamon smoothie!

apple cinnamon smoothie

I ran out of frozen fruit!!! I always have bags of frozen fruit in my freezer! Ok, clearly not always, but it’s such a rare thing for my freezer to be bare in this department, that it startled me a bit. My Vitamix was on the counter ready to go. My big glass was right next to it and my favorite glass straw was at the ready. I really wanted a fruit smoothie… so I searched the fridge. Apples! Now, I had a plan…

I make juice with apples a lot, but I couldn’t remember ever making an apple smoothie before. Sometimes, you just get lucky the first time… this is really good!

It’s tastes a bit like apple pie filling. And it’s really, really creamy. Something about this apple cinnamon smoothie is extra comforting. There’s just something about the combination of cinnamon and apples that is like a big hug. I know, that sounds really cheesy, but anything that’s reminiscent of apple pie just has to make you smile.

So, on this rainy afternoon when my tastebuds were ready for a berry smoothie, I made this apple cinnamon smoothie instead. I sat there on my couch looking out at the cold rain on the streets of Manhattan, and I savored this thick creamy hug of a smoothie. You really should try it…

If you are in the mood for a berry smoothie (and you actually have berries in your house), try this one.

apple cinnamon smoothie

There are lots of nutritional benefits in this awesome smoothie:

It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. So, the combination of apples and cinnamon together are great for this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick. Apples have a high antioxidant content, especially Granny Smiths and Red Delicious. This, combined with the fact that they have a lot of healthy fiber, is why apples are good at fighting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers. They have also been shown to help ward off diabetes, high cholesterol and gallstones.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is a Chinese herb: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming. Here’s an article about the benefits of cinnamon from Well-Being Secrets.

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. The base of this smoothie is made with coconut milk (the kind in the can), and it’s just perfect!

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything.

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. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here. Cashews help add to the creaminess of this smoothie.

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body. I buy pumpkin seed protein in powder form because it’s a great easy way to add protein to my shakes and smoothies without adding any extra sugar. (See the recipe below for where to buy it.)

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.

apple cinnamon smoothie (vertical single glass)-2139

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Cuisine: superfoods, American, breakfast, snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Apples and cinnamon are delicious in this creamy coconut-milk-based smoothie. Just blend up all of the ingredients, and as you sip you can feel the healthy ingredients working!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was pretty quick), and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses. Enjoy!

apple cinnamon smoothie

The World’s Best Nut Butter Recipe

This truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe!

world's best nut butter recipe

I don’t think I’ve ever called any of my recipes “the world’s best”. I mean, I love a lot of my recipes, but I try not to be cocky about any of them. And it’s pretty easy not to be cocky when I have so many kitchen fails… and I do. Way too often. You just don’t see them…

But this recipe calls for some kind of special treatment when I talk about it. When I started blogging as a means of sharing my recipes with my friends and family years ago, this was one of the recipes I first posted. Everyone wants this recipe. This nut butter used to go with my daughter to camp and now it goes to college with her. It gets re-made over and over again by my friends who don’t cook. It’s a staple in my fridge at home. It truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe.

Sometimes when I make it I change up the variety of nuts, and it always comes out good. The only nuts I stay away from are peanuts. But I’ve made this with some hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts… and it has always been incredible.

Did I talk you into it?

All you need is a food processor. Really, you must try it.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a great recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly  into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, if you want to try another great nut-based vegan spread, try my recipe for vegan cream cheese!

world's best nut butter recipe

Here’s why this homemade nut butter is so good for you:

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

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. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Pecans are good for energy and they can also help you get rid of a cough. They are also good to help combat constipation, lower back pain, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

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.

Flax seeds can relieve constipation and lower cholesterol.

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. Coconut oil is my go-to for so many things and it works great in this nut butter.

world's best nut butter

If you make this World’s Best Nut Butter 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.

The World's Best Nut Butter Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, spread, nut butter
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 1 pint
 
This truly is amazing nut butter. Let your food processor do most of the work, use whatever mix of nuts and seeds makes you happy, and enjoy!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the nuts and seeds in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in maple syrup.
  5. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Place the tray in the oven and roast the nuts for 12 minutes, making sure they don't burn.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Scrape the nut mixture into the food processor and process until the mixture in finely ground and starts to stick together a bit. This may take a little time. Be patient. You will probably need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a few times.
  9. Once it starts to stick together a little bit, add the coconut oil and the salt and turn the processor back on. Let it process until you get the consistence of a thick nut butter. Again, be patient -- it will happen!
  10. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy!

 

world's best nut butter recipe

Acai Bowl

You are going to like this acai bowl better than the ones you buy!

acai bowl

Yesterday, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw an article about Gwyneth Paltrow and her favorite superfoods shake. I was excited to read this because, well, I just am a sucker for anyone’s superfoods shake (especially someone who looks like Gwyneth). So, I clicked on the link and I was taken to an irate blogger talking about how all of the ingredients in this shake are made-up and fake and that no one could ever really make this “fantasy” shake. Boy, was I annoyed. I use almost all of these ingredients on a daily basis and I think everyone would benefit from their use!! And now, so many people think they don’t exist!

So, here’s my love-letter-to-Gwyneth-Paltow’s-smoothie. It’s my favorite superfoods non-fantasy smoothie bowl. And, if you have trouble locating any of the ingredients, just look at my recipe below and I will point you to some links, or just send me a message and I’m happy to help.

This winter my absolute favorite breakfast was my Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl. But since It’s finally getting spring-like here, my favorite breakfast is a cold smoothie bowl. I just love these bowls. I make so many different kinds, depending upon my mood at the time.

This acai bowl is awesome. It’s easy to make, filled with superfoods, pretty, and tastes divine!

Let this recipe test your flexibility. No, I don’t mean physically (you don’t need to do yoga or stretches while you make it…) — I mean mentally. Use my recipe as a guide, and then feel free to change it up with whatever ingredients you are feeling in the mood for this morning. Remember, it’s only food; nothing bad can happen with this bowl!

Sometimes I make these bowls out of whatever frozen fruit I have in my freezer. Other times I’m really in a chocolate or a peanut butter mood. This time, I wanted acai. Acai is really healthy (see the health benefits listed below) and it has a great tart and sweet taste. Also, now that many markets sell frozen acai packets, these smoothie bowls are a breeze to make.

acai bowl
Here are some reasons to feel great about this breakfast:

Acai is a berry that’s from the Amazon rainforest. It’s a superfood that promotes longevity. Research shows that acai can help to regenerate stem cells; this means it can help your body heal faster. Acai can also help the body absorb bad cholesterol better and it has been shown to help attack cancer cells.

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.” I used frozen blueberries but use any variety of berry that you like.

Cherries are one of the best foods to combat many types of arthritis and joint pain. Also, because cherries help improve circulation, they can be helpful for post-stroke patients. In Chinese medicine, we also believe that cherries help to maintain the body’s “essence” or life-force. I always keep a bottle of organic black cherry juice in the fridge and I often drink a few ounces before bedtime or put a little in my smoothies. I also keep bags of frozen cherries in the freezer. And when fresh cherries are in season, you can always find a big bowl in my kitchen.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these 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).

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.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Chaga mushrooms are a longevity superfood. I use a chaga mushroom extract powder that makes it easy to add this immune-system-boosting mushroom to my smoothies. There’s a lot of research being done on the power of chaga right now and it’s possible ability to help fight cancer. It’s also good for your intestinal system and it can help calm your nerves. (See the recipe below for where to buy this amazing ingredient.)

acai bowlacai bowl

Acai Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie bowl, breakfast
Cuisine: superfoods
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 large bowl
 
Here's the perfect breakfast smoothie bowl. It's so healthy, tastes delicious, is made in the blender, and it's easy to substitute whatever ingredients you have on hand.
Ingredients
  • 1 3.5 oz packet frozen acai
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ of a banana (mine was frozen, but it doesn't have to be)
  • 6 Tbs coconut water
  • 1 slice of fresh ginger, peeled (about ⅛-inch thick, the size of a quarter)
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds (I like this one)
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds (these are good)
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (you can get it here)
  • ⅛ tsp chaga mushroom extract powder (you can try this one)
  • 1 Tbs raw cashews
  • 2 Tbs black cherry juice (here's one)
  • optional toppings: frozen raspberries, bee pollen, raw buckwheat groats, raw pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients, except toppings, in a blender. I used my Vitamix, so it was quick; I assume it will take a bit longer in a regular blender.
  2. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Arrange the toppings on top.
  4. Enjoy and let the healing begin!

acai bowl

Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole

This creamy broccoli and mushroom casserole is vegan!

Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole

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

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

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

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

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a vegan recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

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

creamy broccoli and mushroom casserole

Here’s some great reasons to make this recipe:

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

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. However, I was taught to stay away from the plain white button shrooms that are so readily available. Recently, however, I learned that I was doing myself a disservice by avoiding these mushrooms. It turns out, if you make sure they are organic, there are lots of benefits in button mushrooms! They are detoxifying, can help get rid of phlegm, ease diarrhea, are good for circulation, and new research has shown that if you eat them often enough, they can reduce cancer cells in the body.

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

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

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes.

creamy broccoli and mushroom casserole

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

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

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Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale

These lamb meatballs with herbs and kale are incredibly delicious and satisfying!

lamb meatballs (finished in pan)-9346

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? I mean, you can’t be unhappy while eating a meatball, right? I’ve kind of become a little obsessed with them… I’ve been making them out of beef, chicken, pork, veggies… and they’ve all been good. But these lamb meatballs… these are great. They are grain-free and paleo, they are healthy, and they have a slight Greek feel to them. And the tomato sauce is so aromatic and amazing (don’t tell my husband that I hid olives in the sauce…)

A few weeks ago I went to The Meatball Shop. It’s a restaurant that pretty much serves meatball everything. I ordered “The Kitchen Sink”.  I got to choose they type of meat or veg I wanted my meatballs to be made from and which type of sauce I wanted. I got three big balls served on top of vegetables and salad, smothered in sauce. Can I tell you, I was in heaven.  Anyway, that kind of inspired me to create some meatball dishes that didn’t need to be on top of pasta or in a sandwich. These delicious Greek meatballs are filled with kale and scallions and hemp seeds and almond flour. I know, it sounds a little weird, but trust me and try them. You will not be disappointed.

lamb meatballs (raw on tray)-9323

So, let’s get to why these are so good for you:

In Chinese medicine, lamb is known to be the most warming meat. We recommend it for a lot of ailments caused by cold conditions. It’s great for some arthritic conditions, weakness, and back pain. Lamb also helps with insufficient lactation and impotence. By combining the lamb with all of the warming spices in this dish, you get a great winter-warming meal.

Kale is everywhere these days. I kind of got a little tired of just eating it in salads, so I now use it inside of different dishes, like here inside these meatballs. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. I bought this kale already shredded and washed. 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 mind them if the kale is cooked). 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.

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion (Cong Bai) is considered an herb. With autumn coming, I implore you to always keep scallions on hand in your refrigerator so that you can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second you feel 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. And, they give these meatballs a great flavor.

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.

I used some almond meal in these meatballs. In Asian medicine, we eat nuts because they are good for the brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

I add Chinese herbs to everything I can. This time I added Chen Pi (dried tangerine peel) to the sauce. Tangerines are good for nausea, chest tightness, excess mucus, and some stomach pains. Dried tangerine peels are a Chinese herb (Chen Pi). At any given time, if you look on my kitchen counter, you will see a bowl filled with sun-dried tangerine peels. I make tea out of them, and I grind them up for some recipes. For this recipe, I simply dropped the whole dried rind into the sauce and let it work its magic.

lamb meatballs (ball on fork closeup)-9401

I sprinkled some pomegranate seeds on top of the meatballs before I served them. Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence…. And they look like little jewels…
Pomegranate seeds on parchement closeup-

 

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15 meatballs
 
These lamb meatballs are grain-free and paleo friendly. They are filled with kale, scallions, hemp seeds and more amazing ingredients! And the tomato sauce is slightly Greek tasting... so good!
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup finely minced kale
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 12 grinds of black pepper (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbs almond meal
  • For sauce:
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 10 oil-cured, pitted black olives, chopped
  • Optional Chinese herb: Chen Pi (dried tangerine rind)
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl. Get in there with your hands and mush up just until mixed together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into balls (I made mine like big golf balls and I got 15 balls out of it)
  4. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake the balls for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over and bak an additional 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. For the sauce:
  8. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  9. Lay some of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish or ovenproof skillet. Arrange the meatballs on top of the sauce.
  10. Bake in the oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.
  12. Enjoy!