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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

Green Bean Fries

All fries are good… and these green bean fries are awesome!

green bean fries

If you could see the talk-bubble above my head whenever anyone asks me what my favorite food is, you’d see a picture of a huge plate of french fries. Next to that would be a puddle of ketchup and a bowl of gravy. My all-time favorite food has always been french fries with gravy… preferably from a greasy diner. That’s what I’m thinking when I get asked that question. But, it’s been many, many years since I felt good eating that way.  Nowadays, I make my “fries” baked, not fried, and they are not always made with potatoes.

That doesn’t mean that I am depriving myself at all. Mainly, because I truly don’t believe in depravation.  Baked fries, if you make them correctly, taste just as good as the fried version (okay… maybe not the greasy diner version…).   But, because I like all fries, I have learned to make them out of lots of different veggies. This way I can have them all the time.  Literally, with every meal if I feel like it.

First, let me just say that these taste nothing like traditional french fries. Nothing compares to a fried potato. So, when you serve these, don’t call them fries. People get all drool-y and excited (at least I know I do…) when they think you are serving french fries. When I served them at my house, I just called them green beans. OMG, they got rave reviews! Really, who doesn’t like a crispy food that you can pick up with your fingers and dunk in a creamy spicy dip?

I live in the middle of Manhattan. So, it’s kind of crazy and loud all of the time. I kind of thrive on the craziness and the hustle and bustle. And, now that I’m in my urban happy place, I can find something I like about every season. Even though I’m not really a lover of the cold, I love to watch the snow fall on the city streets below my windows. That’s winter. Now that winter is over and it’s full-on spring here in New York, it means we get to sit at my dining room table near the window, look outside, and actually watch the sun set at dinner time… yay! No more darkness at 4:30 pm…

Picture it… a big plate of green bean fries. A spicy creamy dip. Finger food near an open window while the sun sets. And for me, the beauty of the city noises outside while I eat with a smile on my lips. I feel so blessed to have found my happy place… and when I fill it with happy food… oh my, it’s a great thing!

I have made fries out of just about every vegetable you can think of. Some are good, some are excellent, and some… well… they really were… ummm… pretty gross.

The secret to these green bean fries is the coating. You’ve got to dredge them in something to get them crispy. I’m sure breadcrumbs and flour would crisp them up nicely, but we don’t want to have to use those inflammation-producing ingredients, so I tried out lots of things on the way to finding out the best answer to the crispy green bean dilemma.

And, here’s the answer: chickpea crumbs! In the supermarkets now they actually sell bags of chickpea crumbs. Now, you can use any crumbs you like to coat these green bean fries, but if you can find chickpea crumbs, give them a shot. You can add whatever you like to these crumbs.  Once I added hemp seeds. Once I added sesame seeds.  Do whatever floats your boat.

If you want to try another great green bean recipe, try my simple recipe for Salt And Pepper Roasted Green Beans.

green bean friesgreen bean fries

Here are some of the healing ingredients in these green bean fries:

Green beans have a lot of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, and iron. Eating green beans can help rid the body of toxins and can help regulate metabolism. They also can help relieve that feeling of excessive fullness in your stomach and excessive belching. In Chinese medicine, green beans are eaten to clear up chronic diarrhea and even for some lower back pain.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular… I used chickpea crumbs to coat these green bean fries.

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.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people. These green bean fries have chili powder, and chipotle chili powder in the coating and the dip is made with sriracha.

green bean fries

 

Green Bean Fries
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetable, side dish
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These "fries" are meant to be eaten with your fingers. Dunk them in the spicy creamy sauce and you will smile from ear to ear!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup chickpea crumbs (you can buy them here) (or substitute a Paleo-friendly crumb)
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds (optional) (I like these)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • For the dip:
  • ⅓ cup healthy mayonnaise (here's a paleo/avocado oil one)
  • ¼ cup cashew yogurt (or other yogurt of your choice)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a pie plate, combine the chickpea crumbs, hemp seeds, garlic powder, minced onion flakes, paprika, salt and pepper, and chili powders.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a second pie plate or bowl.
  5. Dunk the beans in the eggs and then dredge them in the crumb mixture. Make sure they are well-coated.
  6. Place them on the baking sheet in a single layer so they are not touching each other.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are crispy.
  8. Meanwhile, make the dip: combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  9. Remove the beans from the oven when they are done, and serve on a platter with the dip.
  10. Enjoy!

green bean fries

Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad

shaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

Shaved Brussels sprouts are awesome. I’ve been using them for everything. My true favorite thing to make with them is Caesar salad. Yes, it sounds weird, but don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. I like to mix these shaved sprouts with kale or Romaine lettuce, slather them in my fav Caesar dressing and I’m a happy camper. This recipe for shaved Brussels sprouts & apple salad is a kicked-up version of my traditional Caesar recipe. I say kicked up because it also has apples and bacon in it. Really, what could be bad?

Obviously this recipe is not vegan, because…. well… umm… I’ve used bacon in it. But, I can honestly tell you that I’ve eaten this so many times, in so many ways, and there is so bad version. You can leave out the bacon or use a vegan bacon or a smoky mushroom to easily veganize this salad.

Oh, and I use my favorite Caesar dressing recipe — which just happens to be vegan — so really you can go full out vegan pretty easily if that’s your thing. My thing changes so often and obviously I’m a mess of contradictions because this version of shaved Brussels sprouts & apple salad with the bacon with my vegan cashew Caesar dressing is my favorite way to eat it so far!

I’m kind of a freak about leftover salad. I love almost anything straight out of the fridge as a leftover. Except salad. I just hate it when it goes all wet and limp. Enter this salad… it’s even better leftover the next day. The Brussels sprouts stand up so well to the creamy dressing that there is no grossness involved. This makes it perfect to make for a crowd because you can make it way in advance. This is just awesomely easy and convenient.

I served this salad as a main course with sliced chicken on the top and it was fabulous. I also ate it as-is alongside a roasted sweet potato for an awesome dinner. Versatility. Ya gotta love it!

And, if you’re looking for another great salad recipe that makes for good leftovers, try my Chopped Broccoli Salad.

shaved brussels sprouts & apple saladshaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

Here are some of the great healing benefits of this Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad:

Brussels sprouts are from the same cruciferous vegetable family as cabbage, broccoli and kale. They are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are touted for their aid in weight loss because they have so much fiber and so few calories. Research has shown that these sprouts contain colon-cancer fighting substances and vitamins to protect against Alzheimer’s. Traditionally, they are known as more of a winter vegetable, but many markets now carry them year-round, which makes me happy because I like to eat them year-round!

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

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body.

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

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.

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….

shaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, side dish, vegetables
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is a creamy Caesar salad that's made with hearty shaved Brussels sprouts and apples... oh there's optional bacon in it too! This is one salad that is even better the next day!
Ingredients
  • 12 oz shaved Brussels sprouts (you can buy these store-bought at many markets, or shave your own by slicing them really thin)
  • ⅓ cup chopped, cooked bacon
  • ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, sliced (discard the core)
  • One batch of my Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Add as much dressing as you like, and toss well.
  3. Enjoy!

shaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

Zoodles With Creamy Avocado Pesto

zoodles with creamy avocado pesto

Pasta is my favorite food in the world. Give me a big bowl of spaghetti, and just leave me alone. But, I feel so much better when I don’t eat grains. Ugh.  Now there are some awesome grain-free faux pastas available today I am sooooooo happy. BUT, when people tell me that zucchini noodles/zoodles or spaghetti squash noodles or any vegetable that’s been turned into noodles will satisfy my pasta craving, I think they are crazy. That being said, these zoodles with creamy avocado pesto are really awesome…

I know, now I’ve kind of talked you out of making them. I really stink at marketing sometimes. But, I am honest — sometimes to a fault. Really, what I should have done is compared these to other vegetable recipes, not to my beloved pastas. Because — and this is so true — this is one of the best vegetable recipes around. And, for all of you out there who do feel that zoodles can take the place of traditional spaghetti, you are going to flip over this recipe.

These zucchini noodles are delicious! Really, I’m not just trying to redeem myself after my ranting above. It’s my opinion that when you make a dish that’s zucchini in spaghetti form, it needs a really creamy, flavorful sauce. You are not going to catch me serving zoodles with a light garlic and oil sauce (even though I know tons of people who love that). Nope, I want the most decadent sauce I can find. And this creamy avocado pesto sauce is just that.

The avocado here makes the pesto so creamy. And it’s so easy to make. And it’s a really pretty green. And it’s really healthy… Ok, have I talked you into it yet?

I made this last week when I was in the mood for creamy pasta but I didn’t want to deal with the guilt that would go along with that when I didn’t feel well afterwards. And, truly, I was happy. I like to leave the zucchini a little crunchy and I used my favorite store-bought pesto… so quick and so easy!

If you are a zucchini noodles fan, you should also try my recipe for Szechuan Zoodles.

zoodles with creamy avocado pesto

There are only a few ingredients in these awesome zoodles with creamy avocado pesto, but they are healing ones:

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better when you are feeling hot. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

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. I used a store-bought basil pesto for this recipe, but feel free to experiment with your favorite pesto!

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.

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.

zoodles with creamy avocado pesto

Zoodles With Creamy Avocado Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: zucchini noodles, faux pasta, simple
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Zucchini spaghetti is smothered in a flavorful pesto sauce made creamy by adding avocado! This is so easy and so healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1 large clamshell package of zucchini noodles/zoodles (or spiralize about 3 medium/large zucchini)
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ of an avocado
  • 6 oz. basil pesto (or substitute your favorite pesto)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan.
  2. Add the zucchini and stir until it's how you like it -- I like mine a bit crunchy, so it only takes a few minutes.
  3. In a blender, combine the spinach, avocado, and pesto.
  4. Whiz it up until really creamy.
  5. Put the zoodles in a large bowl.
  6. Add as much of the sauce as you like. Toss well.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Slurp it up and enjoy!

zoodles with creamy avocado pesto

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

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

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

Zoodles With Raw Tomato Basil Sauce

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

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

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

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

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

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

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

noodles with raw tomato basil saucenoodles with raw tomato basil sauce

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

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

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

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

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

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

Oregano is a powerful antioxidant and it is great at fighting bacteria. It’s also known as an herb that brings joy and happiness to people. I even just bought a bottle of oregano essential oil and I put a drop in our smoothies or water when anyone has a cold… it works great!

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

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

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

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce