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Raw Zucchini Noodles With Pesto And Tomatoes

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

raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love to customize recipes for specific health concerns. So, when my clients ask me to put on my health coach and chef’s hat, I often customize faux pasta recipes for their specific needs.  Let me customize a grain-free pasta recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation… I’d love to create a vegetable noodle recipe that addresses your specific needs!

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

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

raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes

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

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

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

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

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

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

raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes

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

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

raw zucchini noodles with pesto and tomatoes

30 Quick Meals To Heal You This Month

Make one of these meals each day this month, and you will be a new person… food really is medicine! Scroll down for 30 quick meals to heal you this month. Let’s get cooking and you’ll see how much more energy you will have, how your digestion will improve, how you will sleep better, how your mood will be lifted, and how your health conditions will start to melt away…

Each one of these meals will heal different conditions in your body and each one can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. If you commit to making one meal each day for 30 days, you will be on the road to looking and feeling healthy and youthful.

Do you remember when you used to have the energy to want to do so many things? Remember when your skin was glowing and healthy? Remember what life was like before you had those chronic aches and pains? Let’s bring those days back. Just one meal a day will put you on that track… after that you will want to add in more meals… the possibilities are endless!

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. I’ve got a quick healthy meal with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

creamy mint avocado pasta

1. Creamy Mint Avocado Pasta

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…?

Mint boosts your immune system and avocado is great for your digestion and your skin.

 

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

2.  Pan Seared Salmon With Bruschetta Sauce

The salmon is seared quickly in a pan.

The simple sauce is made by pulsing the ingredients in a blender very briefly. It’s a cold sauce. And it is the most delicious and refreshing sauce you will ever have.

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

Salmon is great for your blood, for anemia, and for energy. Tomatoes are great for your digestion.

 

instant pot spring vegetable soup

3. Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup

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

This soup is especially satisfying because it contains buckwheat groats that mimic pasta. Buckwheat helps lower blood pressure and is good for some intestinal issues.

 

paleo beefaroni

4. Paleo Beefaroni

If you liked beefaroni when you were a kid, you will love this healthy grownup Paleo Beefaroni.

Beef is good for swelling or edema in your body and it can be good for bloating too. Tomatoes are good for your digestion.

 

white bean and kale soup

5. White Bean And Kale Soup

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

White beans give you energy and calm your mind. Kale is filled with vitamins and minerals, including calcium.

paleo pasta carbonara

6. Paleo Pasta Carbonara

This pasta is made from chickpeas. Chickpeas calm the spirit and soothe anxiety and irritability. Green peas are good for your digestion.

 

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vegetable noodle lo mein

7. Vegetable Noodle Lo Mein

The noodles here are made from butternut squash. This squash is good for your heart and your digestion. Shiitake mushrooms help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

This vegetable noodle lo mein is the perfect recipe to try out your favorite type of veggie noodle. You can even mix it up and use a few different kinds here. This tastes better than Chinese takeout and you won’t feel bloated or tired after you eat!

baked lemon cod

8. Baked Lemon Cod

This Baked Lemon Cod is delicious. And, it’s simple. There’s no sautéing involved. There’s no flipping of delicate fish. There’s no complicated sauce. But it is truly delicious.

Fish is a great thing to eat when you feel like you need more energy. Cod, in particular, is good for your heart. Lemon peels are great to detoxify your body and to smooth your digestion.

 

peanut butter banana oatmeal

9. Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Oats are good for your digestion. Walnuts are considered a Chinese herb that treats constipation. Honey gives you energy and quiets coughs.

This recipe is warming, comforting, and can be customized with whatever ingredients you like.

 

shaved brussels sprouts & apple salad

10. Shaved Brussels Sprouts And Apple Salad

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 ick-factor 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.

Brussels sprouts are an anti-cancerous vegetable and they are also great for weight loss. Apples are good for your heart and your digestion.

 

zoodles with creamy avocado pesto

11. Zoodles With Creamy Avocado Pesto

The avocado makes the pesto so creamy and it’s so easy to make. It’s a really pretty green…  And the noodles are made from zucchini… deliciously creamy and healthy.

Zucchini  calms your mind. Avocados are good for hot flashes and for your heart. Basil calms your mind and boosts your immune system.

 

 

12. Sweet Potato Apple & Swiss Chard Stew

This is a warming and comforting vegan dish… and nobody will miss the meat.

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.

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.

 

tomato pomegranate salad

13. Tomato Pomegranate Salad

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

Tomatoes are good for your digestive system. 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.

 

sheet pan chicken fajitas

14. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

I used grain-free almond tortillas to wrap up these sheet pan chicken fajitas. And I added turmeric to the spice mix. And lots of scallions. Yup, this is not only delicious, but it’s healing too!

Chicken is a healthy protein to eat when you are feeling weak. Bell peppers can help relieve that bloated feeling in your stomach.

 

buckwheat ramen soup

15. Buckwheat Ramen Soup

Ramen soup is  so delicious, but if you eat grain-free, you can’t have traditional ramen. I used buckwheat ramen noodles in this soup; buckwheat is a seed, not a grain.

Buckwheat helps lower blood pressure and it’s good to stop diarrhea. Ginger is great for your immune system and for your digestion.

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chickpea penne with arugula pesto

16. Chickpea Penne With Arugula Pesto

This recipe is great on 2 different fronts. First, there’s the pesto. OMG — this is sooooooooo good! And, it takes only 5 minutes to make. Next, there’s the beauty and deliciousness of the grain-free pasta made from chickpeas. Well, this is nothing short of genius!

Arugula boosts your libido and cools your body down. Chickpeas calm the spirit.

 

salmon with parsley sauce

17. Salmon With Parsley Sauce

Slow-roasting this fish at a really low temperature keeps it so tender, juicy, and fresh tasting.

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!

Salmon is great to nourish your blood and can help with asthma.

 

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

18. Simple Poached Salmon With Yogurt Sauce

Wild salmon is a great thing to add into your diet to help increase your athletic performance — this fish can help reduce aches and pains in your muscles and joints, and it’s a good source of iron.

Lemons help detoxify your body and they are great for your immune system.

As an added extra benefit, this salmon makes for awesome leftovers.

 

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

19. 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.

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.

 

sprouted grain chicken cutlets

20. Sprouted Grain Chicken Cutlets

This chicken is crispy. The outside layer actually crunches in your mouth, but the chicken itself stays so moist. And, the coating mixture… it’s so easy to make and it contains superfoods to heal your body. Ummmmm…. what are you waiting for? You’ve got to try this one!

This is one of my most popular recipes — make it and see why!  And, make sure you make extra because this chicken is great sliced up on salads or sandwiches too.

 

buckwheat sweet potato arugula salad

21. Buckwheat Sweet Potato Arugula Salad

Let me tell you, rather immodestly at that, that this salad is incredible. It hit all it’s marks. The buckwheat is chewy. The sweet potatoes are warm and sweet. The tempeh tastes like unexpected little pieces of smoky bacon. The spinach and arugula are refreshing.  The cherries are tart. The dressing is tangy. The pecans are crunchy. Okay, enough praises. But you’ve got to make this!

Buckwheat is a seed, not a grain. It is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E, and has antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease.

Arugula boosts the libido and helps cool the body down.

 

roasted turmeric cod

22. Roasted Turmeric Cod

Fish is great to eat if you feel like you need more energy. It’s also helps with diarrhea and hemorrhoids. I used cod for this recipe, but any firm fleshed sturdy white fish would work great. Cod, like many fish varieties, is good for the cardiovascular system; it helps protect against heart attacks and strokes and helps regulate blood pressure.

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.

 

simple fresh vegetable soup

23. Simple Fresh Vegetable Soup

One of the things that I tell my clients is that if you make a big pot of healthy soup at the beginning of the week, you will have no reason to grab unhealthy snacks when you come home famished.

This vegan soup contains lots of fresh vegetables to heal you.

 

paleo chicken pot pie soup

24. Paleo Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I bet you didn’t know that potatoes can relieve some inflammation in your joints are they are good for constipation…

This soup is creamy (but there’s no dairy) and rich and garlicky and healing. It’s just so comforting.

Chicken is a healthy protein to eat if you are feeling weak. It also can lessen the pain of some types of arthritis.

 

szechuan zoodles

25. Szechuan Zoodles

This dish is especially great because the zucchini noodles are mixed with buckwheat noodles, so in the end, this slurpy and spicy pasta dish tastes like real pasta.

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.

Buckwheat is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E. It also contains antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease.

 

Vietnamese meatball bowls

26. Vietnamese Meatball Bowls

Almost all meatballs are awesome. But these meatballs are extra awesome. They are made with pork and infused with some traditional Vietnamese flavors. They are bit-sized, juicy, mouth watering, amazingly flavorful meatballs.

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

I like to put these meatballs on top of cauliflower rice. Cauliflower contains a healthy amount of vitamin B, vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. It also helps the body with detoxification.

 

paleo fettuccine alfredo

27. Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo

This is a grain-free pasta dish made with a dairy-free cream sauce… and it is the most delicious and creamy pasta you can have.

The sauce is made with cauliflower, which helps fight cancer and is good for your digestion.

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.

 

roasted lemon shrimp

28. Roasted lemon Shrimp

There’s nothing easier than a sheet pan dinner. And this one is awesome!

Shrimp are high in protein and low in calories, so really, they are a pretty good thing. In Chinese medicine, shrimp are actually recommended as a food to promote longevity because they nourish the kidneys, and in Chinese medicine, the kidneys are the key to life. Shrimp are great to boost libido, lessen some lower back pain and weakness, and they can help new moms with lactation.

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.

 

vegan macaroni and cheese

29. Vegan Macaroni And Cheese

This is comfort food to the max!

I used a grain-free pasta and the creamy cheese sauce is made with potatoes and carrots… yum!

This one will make you smile as you eat it. There’s just something about this that feels so decadent… but the sauce is made from healing veggies.

 

lemon pesto fish fillets

30. Lemon Pesto Fish Filets

This recipe is so easy, and you can use any thin white fish that you like.

Fish is great to eat if you feel like you need more energy. It’s also helps with diarrhea and hemorrhoids. I used cod for this recipe, but almost any fish would be delicious with this preparation and creamy mustard sauce. Cod, like many fish varieties, is good for the cardiovascular system; it helps protect against heart attacks and strokes and can help regulate blood pressure. It’s also very low in calories… so have a nice big piece!

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.

 

If you make this any of these 30 quick meals to heal you this month, 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.

It’s my hope that you will enjoy these meals and the way they make you feel so much that you will move onto eating this way more and more often. I’d love to help you out, so CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, be sure to click on the individual recipes for more health information about each ingredient used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Seasonally In Late Summer

Do you know what foods you should be eating now that summer is well underway? Read ahead to learn all about eating seasonally in late summer to get the most nutrients and the biggest bang for your buck…

eating seasonally in late summer

Eating Seasonally In Late Summer Is A Must

By eating what’s in season, you are getting the highest level of nutrients from your food at the most affordable prices. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are reasonably priced, provide the most nutrition, and are less-likely to be tampered with in terms of additives and preservatives. 

Summer is the perfect time to stay out of indoor grocery stores and spend more time at outdoor markets. The farmers markets are bursting with colors and freshness and gorgeousness. If you don’t usually go to an outdoor market this time of year, you really have to try it… it will make your day! Do you know that saying “you eat first with your eyes”? Well, it’s true. The more beautiful food appears to you, the better it will taste.  And, in the summer you can add your sense of smell to that goodness equation because the scents and aromas as you peruse the markets are absolutely infatuating.

I don’t know about you, but when I smell fresh corn or fresh tomatoes that are being kissed by the sun… oh my… I just end up buying everything in sight because I must have it all. Some of my best recipes have been created because I have so much extra summer produce sitting on my counter and in the fridge.

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I have picked my 6 favorite, nutritious, and healing late summer produce items and detailed them for you below. Be sure to add these 6 items to your basket when you are at the market. Eating seasonally in late summer is so delicious!

If you eat the right foods and herbs for your unique body and circumstances, you can heal yourself. All you need is the correct information. And I’m here to give it to you. So, read on and learn more ways you can easily start to heal yourself with my top favorite 6 fruits and vegetables that are in season during late summer. And, if you want to learn more about healing whatever your specific concerns are, I’d love to help you create a healthy lifestyle plan specifically for your unique needs, so sign up for a free phone consultation and we can chat about it.

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for some awesome late summer produce recipes. If you are like me, and you end up with enough food for an army instead of a single family, I’ve got you covered.

 

Summer Is Well Underway — What Should You Eat?

1. Tomatoes

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to smooth your digestion and to help detoxify your 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 goes for all varieties of tomatoes. So, go grab some yellow, red, orange, purple, green, and brown tomatoes. Mix up the varieties too — heirloom, roma, cherry, grape… they are all so good this time of year.

At this time of year, tomatoes are at their most flavorful. They ripen in the sun and the taste just explodes in your mouth. This is the season when you can eat a tomato in your hand as if it were a peach. I love to thickly slice some tomatoes, put them on a plate, drizzle them with a good quality extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle them with sea salt. Simple and perfect.

2. Peppers

Like tomatoes, peppers come in so many beautifully different shapes, sizes, and tastes.

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and, research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

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 some types of 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.

One of my favorite things to do with peppers is to slice them up and dip them in hummus — this keeps me from eating the chips and I’m the big winner here because summertime peppers are better than chips any day of the week! I like to mince or slice some bright colored hot peppers and add them to eggs, soups, and my collard-wrapped sandwiches. Yum!

3. Corn

Corn is one of the foods that if I can’t find organic, I just won’t eat.  Many corn crops are so heavily sprayed and are full of GMOs, so if I can’t find it organic, it stays at the market. But,once  late summer arrives, organic corn is easier to find — so I’m a happy camper.  As more people are expressing concern about GMOs, it seems to be getting easier to find good corn at the markets even a bit off season.

Corn 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 to reduce the symptoms of some painful urinary conditions. If you can’t find organic fresh corn, buy a bag of organic frozen corn!

When corn is seasonally at peak  in late summer, I love to eat it raw. The kernels are so sweet and crunchy. When you scroll down to the bottom of this post, be sure to check out my recipe for Raw Corn And Vegetable Salad.  I love to add raw foods into my diet whenever possible and I urge you to do the same. Cooking food destroys some of its nutrients and natural enzymes; getting  fresh raw food’s full compliment of enzymes helps with digestion.

4. Figs

Figs have the highest amount of calcium of any fruit and are a good source of fiber. They are good for anemia, constipation, indigestion, and fever, and they are also good at fighting fatigue and boosting memory retention. Basically, figs are brain food, a digestive aid, and an energy-booster!

If you are craving sweets and you happen to have some fresh figs on hand, grab one, sit in a comfy chair, sniff the sweetness, and slowly eat your fig. The sensory pleasure is so much more than what you’d get from candy or cake! Also, it’s great to dice up some figs and use them on hot cereals, yogurt, or as a topping for  your favorite nice cream. Another tip: instead of sweetening your smoothie with another type of sweetener, add a fig to the mix in your blender!

5. Melons

Melons are great at this time of year. They are sweet, ripe, and prevalent. Eat all of the varieties to get the full benefits of the wealth of nutrition this amazing fruit offers.

All types of melons are good antioxidants, and help cleanse the body.  In Chinese medicine, we use them to lessen the discomfort of some types of arthritis, digestive issues, fever, and some kidney and bladder conditions.

Watermelon is actually considered a Chinese herb (Xi Gua).  It’s great if you are overheated during these hot days; it cools you off from the inside-out and it quenches thirst. The rind of the watermelon is also a Chinese herb (Xi Gua Pi). This is even more powerful at relieving summer heat and generating fluids in the body. So, the next time you are cutting up a beautiful fresh melon, don’t cut off all of the white/light green rind and eat a little bit of it along with the sweet red flesh — it will do your body good!

And, we shouldn’t leave out the seeds… watermelon seeds can be boiled in water and you can drink this as a tea that is good for your kidneys.

Cantaloupe and honeydew also have many of the same benefits mentioned above. Cantaloupe also has a good amount of vitamin C and minerals. Honeydew is a good source of vitamin B and minerals.

Bottom line: go out and buy some melons while they are in season!

6. Grapes

All colors and varieties of grapes are in season during late summer. My favorite variety is the dark purple or red grapes. The darker the color of your grapes, the better. Dark purple grapes contain compounds that inhibit the growth of cancer and detoxify the body.  If you can, buy the darkest grapes you can find, with the seeds in them, and eat them seeds and all because grape seeds are also good for protecting against cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.

And, as an added benefit, red and purple grapes will boost your mood… hmm… taste great, make you happy, and fight illness… gotta get some!

For an awesome snack, wash some grapes, put them in the freezer, and grab these frozen treats whenever you want a sweet snack — simple, but sooooo good!

Here’s A Few Ways To Use These Late Summer Fruits And Vegetables

If you make any of these late summer recipes, 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.

1.  Raw Corn And Vegetable Salad

raw corn and vegetable salad

This salad is raw, can be customized however you like, and is the perfect accompaniment for all of your grilled and roasted dishes.

2.  Berry Fig Yogurt Parfait

berry fig yogurt parfait

Parfaits are just plain fun! And this one takes advantage of late summer’s figs and blackberries.

3.  Kale With Tomatoes And White Beans

kale with tomatoes and white beans

This side dish is perfect for when you want a fresh-tasting warming plate of awesome veggies.

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Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Ziti Soup

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

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

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

We are all creatures of habit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

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

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

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

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

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

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

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

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

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

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

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

If you make this slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

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

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

Pan Seared Salmon With Bruschetta Sauce

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

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

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

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce recipe:

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

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc…. The garlic in this recipe is raw, so it adds quite a kick so if your not a total garlic love use it sparingly, or, if you are like me… amp it up and add a few more cloves.

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

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

If you make this pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

 

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

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup

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

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

Paleo Beefaroni

If you liked beefaroni when you were a kid, you will love this healthy grownup Paleo Beefaroni!

paleo beefaroni

Sometimes people who don’t know me really well tell me they are intimidated to cook for me. The prevailing thought is that I only eat gourmet, chef-y kind of foods. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m going to admit something to you now: my all-time favorite go-to comfort food is a bowl of pasta with ketchup. I know… gross, right? Granted, I use chickpea or almond pasta and sometimes I use homemade ketchup, but still… pasta with ketchup. I love it… don’t judge me…

When I was a kid, I ate lots of food from cans. My siblings and I loved it. Our cupboards were filled with canned raviolis, beefaroni, spaghetti-O’s, and more. I remember coming home from school, opening up a can, and eating straight from the can with a fork without even heating it up. I wouldn’t touch that food today, but I do love to take these simple comfort foods and healthy them up.

A lot of people think I’m a vegan or a vegetarian. Nope.  It’s just another common misconception. I’m not a vegan. Not even a vegetarian.  I do go through veg phases, but I feel best with a little meat in my diet. But, I feel strongly about making sure that meat is organic and grass-fed. Non-organic beef has too many hormones in it that increase estrogen in your body… and this is not good for anyone. Combining great quality beef with a paleo pasta (I used a chickpea pasta here), turns old fashioned beefaroni into a nutrient-packed healthy meal. Hmmm…. maybe next time I’ll add a little kale or spinach…

When I made this paleo beefaroni recipe, I made a huge pot of it because instinctively I knew that it would be a bit hit with everyone I came in contact with.

If you know me at all, you know that there is always a pot of something on the stove — oftentimes, something experimental. And, if you open my fridge — which I encourage all of my guests to do freely and often — you will always find a few leftovers. So, I made a huge pot of paleo beefaroni, and I put the big pot in the fridge. Over the next few days, it was gone. It’s really good and it reheats really well.

So, make a big pot of this. I mean, if you have guests or a big family, or some pasta-loving friends, make sure you at least double this recipe. You won’t be sorry.

For another great pasta fix, try my recipe for Paleo Pasta Carbonara.

paleo beefaronipaleo beefaroni

Here are some of the healing powers in this paleo beefaroni recipe:

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 a chickpea penne for this recipe and it was awesome!

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 recommend using grass-fed organic ground beef for this recipe.

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!

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. You can add as many fresh tomatoes as you like to this recipe.

paleo beefaroni

Paleo Beefaroni
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta
Cuisine: paleo, comfort food, beef, meat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is 100% more delicious than old-fashioned canned beefaroni. This paleo version is delicious, simple, and so healthy!
Ingredients
  • 8 oz pasta (I used this paleo chickpea pasta), but you can use an almond pasta to keep this totally Paleo
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 24 oz jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce (I like this one)
  • 1 lb grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) (I used a vegan Parmesan)
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta al dente. Note: when cooking paleo pastas, I recommend checking them at least 2 or 3 minutes sooner than the package recommends; if you overcook it even a little, it turns into glue! When it's done, drain it.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and beef and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring, and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are softened.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Add the drained pasta to the meat sauce. Stir gently to combine.
  7. Ladle into bowls.
  8. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

paleo beefaroni

Healthy Homemade Ketchup

I’m a condiment freak — I like to dip everything. So, this healthy homemade ketchup is a must in my house!

It’s true. We are a condiments-all-the-time household. We can find a reason to dip everything in something. A few years ago it started to bother me that so much of our fridge was filled with jars and bottles that had ingredients that I would normally never use when I cooked . So, I started making my own. OMG — we are so much better off. This ketchup is especially delicious, and it doesn’t have all of the sugar that commercial ketchup has. And yes, I too used to be a Heinz lover… but now we really do all love this healthy homemade ketchup. Try it… you’ll love it too.

One day, when Steve was slathering his food with ketchup, as was his usual M.O., I had that light-bulb-over-head moment and I began creating homemade healthy condiments. Now, let me tell you, he used to really piss me off. I mean, how do you not even taste your food before you drown it in ketchup? I once heard a story about a hiring partner in a huge corporate firm who would take his interview candidates out to lunch and observe them. If they salted their food before tasting it, they wouldn’t be hired because he thought there was not enough thought and consideration in this gesture. Same goes for ketchup.

The creation of this recipe required a lot of trial and error. We ate a lot of ketchup that wasn’t… ummmm… wasn’t… worthy of the name ketchup. I tried all kinds of ingredients to get the right balance of sweet and tangy. For us, this recipe is the perfect balance. It’s the right consistency, and it tastes awesome.

You’ll notice that this recipe contains prunes. I know that sounds weird, but they really give this ketchup just the right taste. So, you’ll need to use a high-speed blender if you want your ketchup to be really smooth.

Another thing I used to buy but now I like to make homemade is Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese.

healthy homemade ketchuphealthy homemade ketchup

Hear are some of the great healing ingredients in this healthy homemade ketchup recipe:

In Chinese medicine, we use prunes to reduce stomach acidity and to help smooth the digestion. The claim to fame of the prune is that it helps fight against constipation. This is true, and when you clear your intestines, you are also taking a great step toward preventing colon cancer. These dried plums also are great for your vision and they have enough potassium to make them an official heart-healthy food.

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

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body.

healthy homemade ketchup

Healthy Homemade Ketchup
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
Look at all of the jars in bottles in your fridge. They contain so much sugar! If you are a ketchup lover, you've got to make this recipe for healthy homemade ketchup and store it in your fridge.
Ingredients
  • 6 pitted prunes
  • 7 oz tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • water, as needed
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients, and 5 Tbs water into a high-speed blender.
  2. Whiz it up. Add more water if necessary to get this ketchup to the desired consistency.
  3. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy on everything!

healthy homemade ketchup

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