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Chicken Tikka Masala Soup

Chicken Tikka Masala Soup is the most warming, most comforting, most delicious soup you will ever have. ‘Nuf said.

chicken tikka masala soup

I am a soup lover. As far as I’m concerned, soup is something that is good all year-round. This is one of those soups that is great in the winter (duh…), but it’s also great in the summer too. Give me a bowl of this on a summer night while sitting out on the deck (maybe with a cold beer), and there’s nothing better.

Now, about the flavors in this soup… there is just the right amount of spice and just the right amount of richness, so that everyone loves this soup. I can say this will confidence, because when I fed it to Steve he loved it. I then said: “hmmm, I wasn’t sure you would like it because you don’t like Indian food”. His response was “I don’t, but this isn’t Indian food”. So, there you have it. Even self-proclaimed Indian food haters will like this soup.

Here in New York City right now winter is trying to turn into spring. Some days are gorgeous, while others… not so much. This is the time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick. This soup is the perfect antidote to the germs floating around all over the place.  It’s filled with immune-boosting spices… so you can heat and heal yourself at the same time. Win-win.

The original genius recipe for this soup comes from The Modern Proper — these women are amazingly talented and creative.

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Serve this Chicken Tikka Masala Soup with a salad, and you have a really complete meal. I love it with Tomato And Herb Salad With Roasted Lemons… delicious!

This creamy soup is made with no cream. It can easily be made vegan by omitting the chicken. It has the perfect combination of warming spices and is so healing. Have I convinced you to try it yet? I hope so, because there is no down side here.

I love to top my creamy, flavorful soups with a swirl of vegan yogurt and a handful of fresh herbs and I urge you to do the same… yum!

chicken tikka masala soup

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this Chicken Tikka Masala Soup recipe:

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).

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!

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

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…

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 creaminess of this soup comes from full-fat coconut milk, making it taste rich while healing you!

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 tikka masala soup

I love creating customized recipes for people. And soup’s an easy one! I want you to sign up for a free phone consultation with me… 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 just for you and your needs.

chicken tikka masala soup

Chicken Tikka Masala Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, paleo, whole30, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free
Cuisine: recipe gratefully adapted from: The Modern Proper
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This Chicken Tikka Masala Soup is the most warming and comforting soup you'll ever try. Even people who don't think they like Indian food, slurp this soup up!
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tandoori spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded
  • fresh cilantro leaves, for topping the soup
  • about ½ cup yogurt (I used a cashew yogurt) for topping the soup
Instructions
  1. In a large pot set over med heat, melt the coconut oil.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute until softened, about 3 mins.
  3. Stir in the spices and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, 3 mins.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes and the broth.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk
  6. Partially cover the pot and let simmer 15 mins.
  7. Stir in the shredded chicken.
  8. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro leaves and a dollop of yogurt.
  9. Enjoy!

chicken tikka masala soup

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

Cauliflower No Potato Salad

It’s potato salad season. But… ugh… sometimes I know my body doesn’t want all the starch of potatoes. Do I suffer? Nope, I just make this cauliflower no potato salad. 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

Paleo Meatloaf

Sometimes you just need a comforting paleo meatloaf… and oh how good the leftovers are…

paleo meatloaf

I’m a pretty fickle foodie. One month I’m all gung-ho vegan and then another month I’m all about the meat. This month I’m a little bit vegan and a little bit meat-y. But, I am almost always a Paleo eater. I learned many years ago that my body feels best without grains and without dairy. But, if I eat grass-fed organic meat, I’m also good. So, believe you me, I love to take advantage of those facts.

This meatloaf came to be last week when I was craving meat. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but all week long I was making recipes out of various types of ground meat. It’s making me laugh now when I think back on Steve’s face when I put a different variety of meatballs in front of him several meals in a row. Then, I moved on to meatloaf. Which I happen to love.

Truth be told, I love meatloaf, but nobody else in my house does. So, that means there’s a boat-load of leftover meatloaf in my fridge each time I make it. Have you ever made a leftover meatloaf wrap for lunch… OMG it’s sooooo good. And this time, I even made a bolognese sauce out of a few slices. Then, I made a sweet potato hash with meatloaf chunks one day. I don’t know why, but my family will eat all of these reconstituted meatloaf recipes, but they back away from the fresh thing. Go figure.

I’ve probably made hundreds of different types of meatloaf over the years. I figured it was about time I made a traditional meatloaf that was also paleo-friendly.

Take my word for it, you are not going to miss the bread in this meatloaf. And your gut will thank you. Oh, and your tastebuds will be pretty happy too…

This meatloaf has no grains and no dairy. It’s made with homemade ketchup, but you can buy a jar of paleo ketchup if you’d prefer to use that. I hid some hemp seeds in the loaf for some extra nutrition and I ground up some zucchini for a little added moisture. I think the next time I make it, I may even try to substitute some mushrooms for the zucchini and see how that tastes.

Bottom line: even if your family says no to meatloaf — like my crazy crew — make this anyway, because you will love it, and the leftovers are amazing!

If you like this recipe for paleo meatloaf, you will also love my recipe for Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs!

paleo meatloafpaleo meatloaf

Here are some of the awesome healing powers of this paleo meatloaf:

Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I use grass-fed beef whenever possible.

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!

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.

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.

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.

In eastern 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 almond flour.

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.

paleo meatloaf

Paleo Meatloaf
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, whole30
Cuisine: meatloaf, comfort food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This meatloaf is comfort food to the max. It's got everything you need and want and it makes for the best leftovers ever!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 small zucchini, grated and squeezed as dry as possible
  • ⅓ cup almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbs ketchup
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a 9x5-in. loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and some salt and pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring, until the onions begin to soften, then add the garlic and stir for an additional 30 seconds.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, squeezed grated zucchini, almond flour, eggs, ketchup, parsley, and hemp seeds, and cooked onion mixture.
  7. Get in there with your hands, and mush it up until combined.
  8. Put the meat mixture into your lined loaf pan and spread it out evenly.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, then spread the ketchup on the top and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until its' cooked through.
  10. Remove from oven and let cook slightly.
  11. Slice and enjoy.
  12. Store the leftovers in the fridge and make lots of great stuff with it all week!

paleo meatloaf

Baked Eggplant Chickpea Skillet

I was craving veggies, but also comfort food… so I made this baked eggplant chickpea skillet for dinner. It’s like a cross between eggplant parm and a Moroccan chickpea stew and it hits all the right spots!
baked eggplant chickpea skillet

I’m not sure why, but every time I see a food described as a “skillet” I think it must be awesome. I’m a sucker for any type of breakfast skillet on any menu anywhere. So, when I have the chance to actually describe one of my dishes as a skillet, you can be sure I’m going to go for it. So, here’s my baked eggplant chickpea skillet.

People always ask me: “What are you?” in terms of my diet. I’m not sure what to answer anymore except that “I’m whatever is good for me at the time.” Last week I was on a meat kick and I made a huge meatloaf and a chicken curry dish and the biggest piece of salmon you’ve ever seen. The best part was that this big protein-fest made for the best leftovers ever. But now, I still have some left in the fridge, and I really can’t even look at it anymore. I mean, there’s only so many times I can eat the same thing no matter how many creative ways I re-invent it. And some of the ingredients I used aren’t dog friendly… ugh. Note to self: scale down on the number of servings!

Last night was my niece’s engagement party. It was soooo nice. A few of us wanted to eat a light dinner beforehand so we wouldn’t pig out on all of the enticing appetizers. I opened the fridge, looked in, saw all of the same food, and I just couldn’t do it. I so wished I had already made this baked eggplant chickpea skillet so that we could sit there with a bunch of forks and dig into that skillet! (By the way, the Poke bowls we ended up ordering in were so good!)

This week I’m feelin’ the veggies and I want to cook some vegan dishes, and even though I wished this food had been ready to eat last night, I’m happy it’s here today! This dish is healthy, clean, and comforting all at the same time. The first time I made this dish it was because I had seen a recipe for an eggplant and chickpea casserole from The New York Times and I just had to make a version of it.

Did you know that in Chinese medicine we use chickpeas to elevate the mood? Haha, I know that’s a pretty random thought here, but I just think it’s so awesome… And, this dish did make me happy…

It’s not quite prime farmers market season yet here in New York, so when I shopped for this dish I went to Whole Foods. They had more different types of eggplant than I’ve ever seen in one place. And they were so pretty. It took me awhile to choose which ones I wanted but I ended up choosing some long thin, light purple Japanese eggplants because there are no bitter seeds and the skin is really thin and not too noticeable. If you have a picky eggplant eater, I highly recommend this variety.

But… ooh, the white and neon purple striped eggplants… oh my! They are just so pretty. I’ll have to try those next time…

If you are a skillet freak like I am, you should also try my recipe for Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan.

baked eggplant chickpea skilletbaked eggplant chickpea skillet

Here are some of the awesome things this baked eggplant chickpea skillet can do for you:

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…

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.

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

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!

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.

baked eggplant chickpea skilletbaked eggplant chickpea skillet

Baked Eggplant Chickpea Skillet
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, skillet, vegan, Moroccan, paleo
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The New York Times
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This dish is warming, comforting, healing, and it's vegan. The sauce is slightly Moroccan in flavor and it compliments the eggplant so well. And it comes in a skillet!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium, thin, Japanese eggplant, sliced in half vertically, then sliced horizontally into ¼- to ½- inch thick half moons
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing the eggplant
  • For sauce:
  • 1 medium onion, cut in ½, then sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste (I love this one -- it comes in a jar!)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (here's an organic one)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (here's a good brand)
  • additional basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Brush the foil with some oil.
  4. Lay the eggplant out on the oiled foil. Brush the eggplant with more oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 mins.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven, fold up the foil around the eggplant, crimping all sides so that the eggplant is completely enclosed, and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  8. Meanwhile, make the sauce:
  9. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. (If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, use a regular one and then before you put it in the oven, transfer everything to a baking dish.)
  10. Add the onion to the skillet, and saute until it begins to soften, about 3 mins.
  11. Add the crushed garlic, and saute, stirring, 30 seconds.
  12. Add the tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  13. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients, except the chickpeas, stir to combine, and simmer, uncovered, 15 mins.
  15. Stir in the chickpeas and the eggplant.
  16. Place the skillet in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 50 mins.
  17. Remove the wilted basil leaves, if you want (I actually like to eat them) and replace them with fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional).

baked eggplant chickpea skillet

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Spinach artichoke dip is one of those weird things that almost everybody seems to love. I say weird, because even people who don’t love veggies or think they hate artichokes or spinach, seem to dive into a bowl of spinach artichoke dip whenever it’s around. This vegan spinach artichoke dip is no exception. I had people diving into this dip the second it was plopped down on my coffee table.

My kids used to order this dip (the cheesy original version) every time we went to a restaurant that had it. It always came out steaming hot and creamy and it smelled so good! It’s one of those things that I could never eat because of all the dairy. Well, this vegan version finally gives me my turn!

This dip is warm and creamy. It may be vegan, but it tastes so similar to the cheese-laden original, that nobody will know.

I loved this dip with sliced radishes and cucumbers and peppers, but the not-so-health conscious eaters in my crowd scooped up mounds of this dip with chips and pita.

It’s that time of year when we are post-Thanksgiving but pre-Xmas and Hannukah and New Years. So, we all try to eat as healthy as we can for the next few weeks. Right? I mean if we can do okay now, then we can really let loose that last week of the year. So, if this is your plan, slip this vegan spinach artichoke dip into your apps rotation during football games, basketball games, happy hours, whatever… because it sure helps when you are eating something that tastes sinful, but really isn’t.

Okay, enuf selling of this dip. Haha, you’d think I was getting a commission on it or something… but I’m not… I just want you to be happy from healthy food. Wow, that sounds pretty corny, huh?

Anyway, happy everything!

I want to thank Sina at Vegan Heaven for the original recipe for this dish.

Oh, and if you are looking for another healthy dip to try, take a look at my recipe for Beet Hummus.

This is Steve, with that look on his face saying this bowl is all for him and nobody better come near him… haha.. vegan spinach artichoke dipvegan spinach artichoke dip

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this delicious vegan spinach artichoke dip:

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.

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.

Artichokes are a good source of vitamins C and K and they also contain a healthy amount of magnesium. The are low in fat and calories but they do have some fiber, so they are a healthy choice. In Chinese medicine, we recommend adding artichokes to the diet to combat sadness, headaches, indigestion, and diarrhea. In olden times, steamed artichokes were sometimes prescribed to combat a yeast infection.

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.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!

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!

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Vegan Heaven
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is one of those dips that people just keep eating and eating and nobody knows it's vegan. It's really creamy and delicious... and easy to make! Great for a crowd!
Ingredients
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the lemon juice,cashews, beans and nutritional yeast, and water in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add the onion.
  4. Saute until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  6. Add the spinach, and stir until completely wilted, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the artichokes.
  8. Stir in the cashew mixture.
  9. Season with salt.
  10. Spoon into a bowl and serve warm with crackers, chips, or fresh veggies.
  11. Enjoy!

vegan spinach artichoke dip