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Flat Beans And Potatoes

flat beans and potatoes

I love going to the farmers’ market. I’d rather do that that almost anything else. There’s just something about all of the smells and colors and people, especially during autumn that makes me happy… it feels like home. Last weekend, when I was walking through all of the beautiful stalls filled with vegetables, the vendor with the beans caught my eye. There were just so many different types and colors, so I had to buy some. It was a hard choice, but I chose the most beautiful, huge, flat beans I had ever seen. I didn’t know at the time, that they would become the root of this deliciously homey pot of flat beans and potatoes.

So, I put some in my canvass bag, skipped merrily on my way, and tried to think about what else I would need to make these beans delicious.

This was on Sunday. Earlier that morning, I had just flown in on the red-eye flight from Oregon where I was visiting my brother. Let me tell you — the farmer’s market in Portland blows all other markets out of the water… but that’s another story. But, when I saw the beans, I did text my brother to tell him how beautiful they are (maybe even as pretty as the ones at his market), and he’s the one who suggested that I the flat beans and potatoes this way. So, thanks David!

These flat beans and potatoes are so comforting, a bit creamy, and totally fresh tasting. I put mine over a bowl of buckwheat groats and it was the perfect vegetarian meal.

For another simple green bean recipe, make my simple Sesame Green Beans.

flat beans and potatoesflat beans and potatoes

This simple recipe for flat beans and potatoes has great healing ingredients:

Flat Beans have a good amount of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, and iron. They can help detoxify your body, regulate metabolism, and lessen bloating.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

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….

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.

flat beans and potatoes

Flat Beans And Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, whole30, vegetarian, vegan, side dish
Cuisine: vegetables
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is such a comforting and simple side dish. Serve it over a bowl of steaming buckwheat groats, and you've got yourself a truly satisfying vegetarian meal.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb flat beans, any hard stems trimmed
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 to 6 new potatoes, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 7 garlic cloves, smashed
  • grass-fed butter or ghee or extra virgin olive oil, for finishing the dish
  • cooked buckwheat groats, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the beans and potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Add a handful of sea salt.
  3. Stir in the parsley and garlic.
  4. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.
  5. Drain most of the water out, leaving about 1 cup in the pot with the veggies.
  6. Stir a little bit of butter, ghee, or olive oil into the finished dish.
  7. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  8. Spoon the mixture over cooked buckwheat, pasta, rice, or whatever makes you smile.
  9. Enjoy!

flat beans and potatoes

Peruvian Chicken With Green Sauce

Roast chicken is comfort food. Kick your comfort up a notch with this Peruvian chicken with green sauce…

peruvian chicken with green sauce

I am a huge proponent of eating whatever works for your particular body and circumstances at this particular point in time. Sometimes I eat vegan and at other times of the year, I feel my body does best with a little grass-fed organic meat. That’s how I roll… I feel a plant-based diet coming on, so before I go all veggie on you, I want to post one of my all-time favorite chicken recipes. This Peruvian Chicken With Green Sauce is amazing on so many levels…

There’s an awesome little Peruvian restaurant a few blocks from my apartment. It’s so good… and reasonably priced… and the chicken is cooked perfectly. But, their green sauce is way too spicy for me — and I am a spice-lover…  So, when I saw a recipe for Peruvian Chicken With Green Sauce, I knew it had my name all over it.

This chicken is better than my fav little place. Yup, I said it… better. But, I don’t serve it with what they do (french fries with cut-up hot dogs). I like to serve mine with a tri-color salad or some other fresh green vegetable.

I always like to give credit where credit is due… so a big thanks to Epicurious for this recipe!

If you want to try another flavorful chicken recipe, try my recipe for Easy Tandoori Chicken.

peruvian chicken with green sauceperuvian chicken with green sauce

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this Peruvian Chicken With Green Sauce:

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…

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….

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

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is 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.

Limes help to regenerate fluids, so they are great to combat any dehydration symptoms that sometimes can accompany alcohol consumption. They also contain a lot of vitamin C and they can actually help energize you.

peruvian chicken with green sauce

Peruvian Chicken With Green Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Epicurious
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
This is the perfect roast chicken... and don't even get me started on the sauce... it's so good!
Ingredients
  • For chicken:
  • 1 4-1/2 lb whole organic chicken, spatchcocked (backbone removed and chicken pressed flat)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • juice from 1-1/2 lemons
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • For green sauce:
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (thick stems discarded)
  • 1-inch piece of a serrano pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • the juice of 1-1/2 limes
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ⅓ cup of a healthy mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet.
  3. Gently loosen the skin from the breast and thighs by slipping two fingers in between the skin and flesh.
  4. Combine remaining chicken ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Gently spread about 2-Tbs of the spice mixture under the skin.
  6. Season the outside of the skin with salt.
  7. Place in the oven.
  8. Brush the skin with some of the remaining spice mixture, every 20 minutes, and continue roasting until done (170°F on an instant-read meat thermometer). Mine took about 1 hour.
  9. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let it rest 10 to 15 mins.
  10. Meanwhile, make the sauce by pureeing all of the sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  11. Cut up chicken and serve with the sauce on the side.
  12. Enjoy!

peruvian chicken with green sauce

Chocolate Banana Dairy-Free Fudgesicles

These chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles will take you back to your childhood…

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

Summer may be almost over, but ice pop season never ends. At least not in my house. Every few weeks, I make a new batch of ice pops. I love to try out new flavor combinations and new textures, mix them up, and pour them into my retro ice pop molds. These chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles were an experiment that came out great!

Do you have any foods that when you taste them bring you right back to your early childhood? For me, food is responsible for a lot of deja vu moments. And fudgesicles are one of those foods. I’m right back on the lawn under the fireworks on the 4th of July. Or at a BBQ, running through the sprinklers and laughing.

I will admit that sometimes when I experiment, the end result is… well… ummm… let’s just say… less than pleasing…  I’m still trying to perfect my salted watermelon ice pops — OMG are they bad if you put in too much salt…

But, the texture of these dairy-free fudgesicles is just so spot-on. They look like traditional old-fashioned fudgesicles, but the addition of banana offers up a tasty surprise. Yup, it’s the good days of summer as a child all over again.

Haha — I just got a horrible mental picture of me, today, running through the sprinklers in a pink bathing suit with pompoms… not so pretty…

Anyway, these are the perfect sweet treats to have in your freezer. I mean, who couldn’t use a healthy childhood treat that’s ready anytime you want it?

For another great popsicle recipe, try my Blackberry Kombucha Ice Pops.

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicleschocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

These ingredients make these chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles delicious and healthy:

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for these fudgesicles.

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.

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.

Collagen strengthens bones and muscles, keeps your joints healthy, improves flexibility and concentration, and helps heal your digestive system. It also keeps you looking youthful.

I love to add bananas to frozen desserts; they create a great natural sweetness and a nice creamy texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

Chocolate Banana Dairy-Free Fudgesicles
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, frozen, sweets, ice pops, popsicles
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These dairy-free fudgesicles will take you back to your childhood. They are so creamy and delicious and healthy. Keep a batch in your freezer and you will be smiling all week.
Ingredients
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup raw cacao (I buy this one)
  • ⅔ cup raw cashews
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maca root powder (I buy this one)
  • 1 Tbs collagen powder (This is my favorite)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 Tbs coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  • 2 bananas, sliced (I used frozen ones because they were in my freezer, but you don't have to)
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into ice-pop molds.
  4. Freeze.
  5. Enjoy!

chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles

Crispy Smashed Potatoes With Pesto

crispy smashed potatoes with pesto

I am always testing new recipes and playing with different preparations of foods. I love to create new dishes — this experimenting has always been what de-stresses me. There’s just something about the kitchen itself and the fresh ingredients and all of the possibilities that puts me in my happy place.

While this sounds good to many people, it makes my family crazy. Even if they love a dish, they rarely see it again the same way because I’m always tweaking and changing and experimenting.

But, this recipe for crispy smashed potatoes with pesto is different. I make it the same way every time. Because it’s awesome. And, it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

There’s no better side dish than these potatoes. They are the perfect compliment to chicken or fish or steak. But honestly, I love them best served alongside a great bowl of soup. And, last week we even ate them with some grain-free pasta. And yes, I know pasta and potatoes at the same meal doesn’t sound right. But I guess I figured since the pasta was made out of almonds and almonds are a protein…

The last time I made this dish, I stored the leftovers in a container that somehow got hidden in the way back of the fridge. So, a few days later when I found the container, I had to figure out what to do with them. One of my go-to ways to refurbish leftovers is to cook them with eggs for an awesome breakfast. These crispy smashed potatoes with pesto made the most delicious base for some over-easy eggs… yum… I couldn’t have planned it any better!

If you want to try another great side dish recipe, try my Kale With Tomatoes And White Beans.

crispy smashed potatoes with pestocrispy smashed potatoes with pesto

This recipe for crispy smashed potatoes with pesto only has a few ingredients, but they are healing ones:

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

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

Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes.

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!

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

crispy smashed potatoes with pesto

Crispy Smashed Potatoes With Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, potatoes, vegetables
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Minimalist Baker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the perfect side dish. It's easy, healthy, delicious, and it goes with everything. The pesto is garlicky and tangy and OMG it's so good!
Ingredients
  • About 20 mini fingerling potatoes, washed
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • For pesto:
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • juice of 2 small lemons
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Place the potatoes in a medium pot.
  3. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes.
  4. Add a handful of sea salt to the water.
  5. Boil the potatoes until a fork stick easily into them (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  6. Drain the potatoes.
  7. Using a potatoes masher or the bottom of a skillet, smash the potatoes until they are flattened a bit.
  8. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  10. Bake in the oven until crispy (about 20 minutes).
  11. Meanwhile, make the pesto by putting all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor and processing until almost smooth.
  12. Feel free to thin out the pesto a bit with some additional extra virgin olive oil if it seems too thick.
  13. When the potatoes are crispy, remove them from the oven, arrange on a platter and top with pesto.
  14. Enjoy!

crispy smashed potatoes with pesto

Tomato Pomegranate Salad

Salads don’t have to be boring! Try this tomato pomegranate salad for a change of pace…

tomato pomegranate salad

Last week I had a counter filled with tomatoes. You know how it is… I went to the farmers market and there were tomatoes everywhere. I mean everywhere. Red ones. Yellow ones. Purple ones. Teardrop shaped ones. Oval ones. Round ones. Big ones. Little ones… you get the picture… This tomato pomegranate salad was the perfect use for this gorgeous variety of tomatoes.

Back at the market, I just started filling my bag. It was like I was possessed. But, in my defense, they were so pretty — like jewels.

I made a lot of dishes with these beauties. And there were still more.

Sometimes the universe just provides you what you need. I opened my email inbox one morning that week, and there were my weekly recipes from The New York Times, and ta-da… one of them was for their tomato pomegranate salad.

This tomato pomegranate salad is beautiful, simple, delicious, healthy, and easily customizable with the ingredients you have on hand.

If you’ve still got some tomatoes left after making this salad, here’s another great recipe to try: Vegan Caprese Salad With Hearts Of Palm.

tomato pomegranate salad

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this tomato pomegranate salad:

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.

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.

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.

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!

tomato pomegranate salad

Tomato Pomegranate Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, vegetarian, simple, side dish
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The New York Times
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the perfect dish for all of those ripe summer tomatoes! You can customize it with whatever fresh veggies are in your fridge...
Ingredients
  • 16 oz heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp za'atar (or use spice blend of your choice)
  • 6 Tbs pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup very thinly sliced red onions
  • 3 large basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
  • cubes of vegan cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine the oil and the za'atar in a small bowl.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Toss with the oil mixture.
  4. Enjoy!

tomato pomegranate salad

Grain Free Banana Bread

grain free banana bread

The other day I was on a hunt for grain-free, unsweetened desserts. I know, sounds pretty unappetizing. That’s why I needed to hunt. When I came across this recipe for grain free banana bread, my expectations were fairly low. But, I must give kudos to Michele at Paleo Running Mamma because that’s where I found the original recipe, and it’s genius.

I’ve made grain free cakes and breads before and more often than not, they don’t rise enough or they are really dense. But not this recipe. This grain free banana bread is delicious. And it rose. And it turned golden on the outside. And it tastes unbelievable — it’s sweet with no added sweeteners.

This month, I’ve been on an elimination diet. I’ve been indulging a tad too much since I moved into Manhattan. I mean, it’s just so easy to eat and drink way too much here. I really deluded myself into thinking that because there are so many healthy places to eat here that I would be in tip top shape. Haha — turns out even though I eat really healthy, I eat way too much. And don’t even get me started on happy hours and brunches…

This grain-free banana bread is sitting in my kitchen now and it’s making me smile because I know I can grab a slice of it later and have it with a great cuppa something. Yum.

And, if you are looking for another healthy baked goods recipe, try my Grain Free Peanut Butter Cookies.

grain free banana breadgrain free banana bread

This grain free banana bread has some great healing ingredients:

Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

I am a big proponent of eating the whole egg. So many of the nutrients and the taste are in the yolk; I’ll never understand separating nature’s perfect food. Eggs help with many types of dryness in the body. If you have a dry cough or a frog-in-your-throat, try eating some eggs. They have also been shown to help women with various conditions during and after pregnancy. Some people consider eggs to be a superfood. They contain a large amount of vitamins A and B and are a great source of protein. Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol, but it’s been shown that in 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol, so don’t assume they are bad for you. Buy organic eggs and you are really doing the right thing.

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.

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.

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.

grain free banana bread

Grain Free Banana Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, snack, paleo, vegetarian, gluten free
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from: Paleo Running Mamma
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
All the taste of traditional banana bread, but no grains and no sweeteners! This is so easy and so delicious! Perfect with a cuppa....
Ingredients
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1-3/4 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ cuphemp seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas and the eggs.
  4. Stir in the vanilla and the coconut oil.
  5. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the mashed banana and egg mixture.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan.
  9. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Mine took 65 minutes, but be sure to check yours at 45 minutes... all ovens are different.)
  10. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  11. Slice.
  12. Enjoy!

grain free banana bread

Creamy Mint Avocado Pasta

Avocados are good for hot flashes!
creamy mint avocado pasta

I’m going to be honest: most of my life I was not a big mint fan. I could never understand how people liked mint chocolate chip ice cream so much — to me, the mint ruined the deliciousness of the chocolate chip. Mint tea?… ewww…. And, I would always choose any other candy over the pretty red and white candy canes of winter. Funny how things change. And boy have they ever! Mint is awesome! And it’s recipes like this creamy mint avocado pasta that make me wonder what was wrong with me all of those years ago…

When I first started studying Chinese medicine and I fell so in love with all of the herbs, Mint (Bo He) quickly became a go-to healing herb for me. It is amazing in it’s abilities to fight colds, boost the immune system, and settle your stomach. But, it wasn’t until I started experimenting by adding mint to my recipes, that a true love affair bloomed.

A few weeks ago, one of my neighbors asked me if I wanted some fresh mint from her garden. Well, duh… of course I did. So I gratefully took a whole bag-full, and made tea and chocolate mint shakes, and this awesome pasta sauce. I probably should have shared the big bowl of it that I made but we ate it all before that ever happened. I guess there’s always next time…

So, when I tell you that this creamy mint avocado pasta sauce is amazing, I really mean it. The avocado makes it creamy. The flavor of the mint can be as strong as you like, or it can just peak through. And, if you make this dish with grain-free pasta, it’s one of the healthiest comfort foods around. It’s like happiness in a bowl — ugh, did I really just say that…?

If you are looking for another great pasta sauce, try my recipe for: Chickpea Penne With Arugula Pesto.

creamy mint avocado pastacreamy mint avocado pasta

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this creamy mint avocado pasta:

Mint is a Chinese herb called Bo He. It’s one of the best things to fight a cold, sore throat, or fever. It’s also good for some abdominal issues too, like bloating, nausea, and some stomach pains. Mint also helps cool of the body in cases of heatstroke, so stock up in summer!

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

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.

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 this recipe, the garlic is left raw, so it’s effect and taste is magnified… so don’t use as much as you would if you are making a recipe with cooked garlic.

Limes help to regenerate fluids, so they are great to combat any dehydration symptoms that sometimes can accompany alcohol consumption. They also contain a lot of vitamin C and they can actually help energize you.

creamy mint avocado pasta

Creamy Mint Avocado Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, simple, sauce, vegan, vegetarian, paleo
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Always Order Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This pasta sauce is amazing! It's so healthy, and it's raw -- just put the ingredients in your food processor or blender, cook your pasta, and you're ready to go!
Ingredients
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds (you can buy these)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 lge garlic clove, chopped
  • juice of 1-1/2 limes
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 12-oz pasta of your choice (here's a grain-free one)
  • Vegan parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook your pasta according to the package directions, making sure it's al dente.
  2. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by putting all of the remaining ingredients (except Parmesan) into your food processor.
  4. Whiz it up until it's creamy.
  5. Toss the sauce with the pasta.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan if you like.
  7. Enjoy!

creamy mint avocado pasta

Healthy Sweet Potato Salad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

healthy sweet potato saladhealthy sweet potato salad

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

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

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

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

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

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

healthy sweet potato salad

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

healthy sweet potato salad

Kale With Tomatoes And White Beans

kale with tomatoes and white beans

A few nights ago I was rummaging through my fridge trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Nothing caught my eye. I opened all of my cabinets, hoping that something would jump out at me there. That’s when I realized that I have so many cans of different kinds of beans, it’s a little embarrassing. My embarrassment was the start of this kale with tomatoes and white beans side dish.

Usually, when I cook with beans, I end up with something very warming and better suited to a cold winter night than one than a warm summer night. My daughter was flying in for a visit and I knew she’d be hot and starving and there was no way I would be able to sell a hot chili or Mexican-y dish… ugh… I was just drawing a blank.

So, I started looking through recipes on some of my favorite food blogs. A big thank you goes to Miryam at Eat Good 4 Life — she posted an awesome recipe and it was just perfect. My lack of inspiration fed on her great recipe…

If you want to learn more about the benefits of kale, and why you should make this hearty green one of your go-to greens in salads and other dishes, read this article from HealthyLine. This article lists 26 benefits you can get from kale… 26!

I served this kale with tomatoes and white beans as a side to a nice bowl of soup, and a new favorite meal was born. The next time I make salmon, this definitely will be my go-to side — it will look great next to the orange fish and… yum!

If you want another great side dish that’s perfect for summer, try my Zoodles With Raw Tomato Sauce recipe.

kale with tomatoes and white beanskale with tomatoes and white beans

Here are some of the reasons this kale with tomatoes and white beans dish is so good for you:

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.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe uses both fresh and sun-dried tomatoes.

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.

kale with tomatoes and white beans

Kale With Tomatoes And White Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish, kale, simple
Cuisine: recipe adapted from Eat Good 4 Life
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is a great, simple side-dish for everyone. Even people who think they don't like kale will love this!
Ingredients
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 bunches of Lacinto (black) kale, thick center ribs removed and discarded, and leaves cut into 2 inch slices.
  • 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 15-oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese shreds
Instructions
  1. Heat 1-Tbs of the oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are blistered and start to blacken a bit, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar and the kale.
  4. Stir just until the kale wilts.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the beans.
  6. Taste, and add salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in the Parmesan.
  8. Enjoy!

kale with tomatoes and white beans

Salmon With Parsley Sauce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

salmon with parsley saucesalmon with parsley sauce

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

Salmon is the perfect food to nourish the blood and the yin. It’s especially great for women because it raises fertility levels by promoting a healthy endometrial lining. Salmon is also great for anyone who is in need of additional iron. Be sure to buy wild salmon because the levels of mercury are lower than in farmed salmon. This beautiful fish also contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, making it a good food source to combat breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression and diabetes. Lately there’s also been a lot of evidence that salmon is great at reducing intestinal inflammation and that it’s also good for your joints and muscles.

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

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

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

Capers, although small in size, are a big source of anti-oxidants, and they actually can make you feel better emotionally because they activate the “happiness” center of your brain.

salmon with parsley sauce

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

salmon with parsley sauce