Posts

Sesame Green Beans

Sesame green beans are a staple in my house… they are so simple, so healing, and they can be served at room temperature!

sesame green beans

Every now and then I feel the need to post a really simple but delicious recipe. Sometimes I get a little too chef-y and I forget that simple is often better. Well, you can’t get more simple than this recipe for sesame green beans. And, you can’t get any better either!

What’s better than a fresh veggie, cooked perfectly so that it’s crisp-tender? These green beans are slightly steamed, then tossed with a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and sea salt.  That’s it.  Nothing chef-y about the prep, only in the taste! Everyone will love this…

This side dish has been my go-to all summer long. It goes great with grilled meats, with my favorite paleo pasta dishes, and honestly, there’re nothing better than grabbing a leftover handful straight out of the fridge. I think these beans taste best cold or at room temperature, so that makes it even easier. You can make these awesome green beans way before you plan to serve them and, I can’t stress this enough: they are so easy to make!

For another simple vegetable dish, make my Simple Baby Bok Choy recipe.

sesame green beans

There are only a few ingredients in this recipe, but they are great healing ones:

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.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use black or white seeds, or a combination of both.

sesame green beans

Sesame Green Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: American, side dish, simple
Cuisine: vegetables, beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Fresh green beans are gently steamed and then tossed with toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds... this is the perfect side dish for everything... and it's so easy!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Steam the beans just until they are slightly tender. Don't overcook them!
  2. Drain and toss with remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
  4. Enjoy!

sesame green beans

Pomegranate Glazed Beets

These pomegranate glazed beets will make a beet lover out of anyone!

pomegranate beets (vertical on paper)-3736

Every morning Steve and I take our dogs (Maggie and Sadie) to Central Park for a walk. It’s really an amazing thing to do. Before 9:00am all dogs are allowed off-leash in the park. It’s like a sci-fi movie — it’s the dogs’ world and we just live in it. Literally hundreds of dogs are running around playing and sniffing and all of them get along. It’s really quite incredible and awe-inspiring. It’s an hour of pure wonder.

Today, my plan was to go to the gym as soon as I left the park. But, it was one of those mornings… so, here I am still in my kitchen. In my gym clothes. I mean, it’s just sooooooooo hot outside and it’s so cool in here…

And, it may not be logical, but I really wanted to make beets. I know, it doesn’t have anything to do with the park or my lack of exercise, but I really wanted beets.

This recipe for pomegranate glazed beets is delicious! And it’s really, really, easy. And the color is awesome.

The next time, I want beets, I’m going to substitute them for the sweet potatoes in my recipe for Sweet Potato Spaghetti Marinara.

pomegranate beets (horizontal bowl)-3720

Here are a few great reasons to make this recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranates and their seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence. These beets are glazed with pomegranate molasses… if you are going to go sweet, go pomegranate!

pomegranate glazed beets

Pomegranate Glazed Beets
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables, root vegetables, side dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These beets are so easy. They are sweet and tart and simply delicious. This has become my favorite side dish!
Ingredients
  • 4 medium/large red beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs pomegranate molasses
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss the beets with the oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Now toss them with the molasses.
  5. Spread the glazed beets out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.
  6. Bake until tender, about 50 minutes.
  7. Enoy!

pomegranate glazed beets

Vegan Caprese Salad With Hearts Of Palm

This vegan caprese salad with hearts of palm is even better than your favorite tomato/mozzarella salad.

vegan caprese salad with hearts of palm

What’s better than fresh ripe tomatoes in the heart of tomato season? Not much that I can think of! And when you combine these luscious, ripe, juicy tomatoes with fragrant fresh basil… it’s just the perfect marriage of summer flavors. But, with this recipe, you end up with an even better version of this traditional dish because this recipe also includes some awesome vegan mozzarella cheese and sliced hearts of palm.

I know that when a lot of people see a Caprese salad on a menu, they get all kinds of happy inside. I’ve always stayed away from these salads because of my inability to eat cheese. I am so happy to have recently found some of the most awesome vegan cheeses, so I’ve been like a kid in a candy store and I’ve been ecstatic to re-create some old favorite dishes using these awesome cheeses.

It was about a billion degrees in Manhattan the other day. I was sitting in my air conditioned kitchen, hungrily browsing through some beautiful food blogs (I can literally spend hours and hours doing this…) I saw a great recipe for a tomato and hearts of palm salad from one of my favorite food bloggers at Foodie Crush. Such a simple, yet genius recipe, and her photos are so awesome, I just wanted to dive in. I was so inspired by that recipe, that I switched things up a bit and created this Vegan Caprese Salad With Hearts Of Palm. If you’ve been looking to try out some vegan cheeses, this salad is the perfect way to dive in!

If you want to try another great tomato salad, try my recipe for Tomato And Herb Salad With Roasted Lemons.

vegan caprese salad with hearts of palmvegan caprese salad with hearts of palm

Here are some of the great healing reasons to make this 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.

The hearts of palm in this salad help create a great texture, offer extra vitamin B-6, and they also contain a good dose of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.

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!

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.

vegan caprese salad with hearts of palm

4.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Caprese Salad With Hearts Of Palm
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Foodie Crush
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
What's better than a summer Caprese salad? One that's vegan and has hearts of palm!!!
Ingredients
  • For the salad:
  • 6 medium red ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (I used Campari tomatoes)
  • 1 14-oz can hearts of palm, sliced
  • ½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 oz. vegan mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
  • For the dressing:
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad (add it gradually, and toss after each addition so you can see how much dressing you need).
  3. Toss well.
  4. Enjoy!

vegan caprese salad with hearts of palm

Sweet Potato Bacon Waffles

Sweet potato bacon waffles. Enough said. Yum!

sweet potato bacon waffles

Waffles are awesome. Waffle irons are amazing. You can make waffles out of almost anything. Really. It seems to be all the rage now… everywhere I turn I see people putting such creative mixtures into their waffle irons and making these really delicious looking creations. So, I just had to jump on the bandwagon… it looked like so much fun!

So, when I first saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, I just had to try to do it justice. Jennifer at Predominantly Paleo, gets all the credit for this awesome recipe.  I absolutely love it… it’s easy, delicious, paleo, and so healthy! Go visit Jennifer at her site because I’m sure you will love it as much as I do!

My waffle iron did not disappoint… these sweet potato bacon waffles are incredible! First, let me say, however, that just because you cook something in a waffle iron, it does not mean you end up with something that tastes or feels like a waffle. This recipe is amazingly delicious and healthy, but these “waffles” are only called waffles because they are made in a waffle iron… wow, that’s a lot of waffles in one sentence…

I made these waffles and we ate them for several days in a variety of interesting ways. The first day, I served them with eggs on top: awesome. The second day, I melted vegan cheese on top: my favorite. The third day, I put one on a plate with a little shredded rotisserie chicken salad next to it: incredible.

I could easily see that cooking things in my waffle iron may become a bit of an obsession for me…

These waffles, in particular, will become a staple in my house for a few reasons: they are truly delicious and also because sweet potatoes are so good for digestion, that finding new ways to cook them sounds so smart to me.

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

And, if you are looking for another great sweet potato recipe, try my recipe for Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

sweet potato bacon wafflessweet potato bacon waffles

Here are some great healthy reasons to make these waffles:

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…

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.

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

sweet potato bacon waffles

If you make this Sweet Potato Bacon Waffles 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.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet Potato Bacon Waffles
Author: 
Recipe type: waffles
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Predominantly Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is like a great sweet potato hash in waffle form. These waffles are so versatile that you can do so many things with them... and they may evenl fix your digestive issues...
Ingredients
  • 12 oz nitrate-free bacon
  • 1 lb spiralized sweet potatoes (I bought mine pre-spiralized, but you can make your own)
  • 3 eggs
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Cook your bacon (I like to do this in the oven, but cook it however you like), bacon grease reserved.
  2. Heat your waffle iron, and brush it with the reserved bacon grease. I used my Belgian waffle iron, but use whatever kind you have.
  3. Combine the sweet potato spirals, cooked crumbled bacon, eggs, sea salt and black pepper to taste, and scallions in a large bowl.
  4. Pour this mixture into the hot waffle iron and cook until browned and slightly crispy.
  5. Note: these will not end up with the texture of ordinary waffles -- remove them gently from the iron with tongs and a spatula and lay them on the plates. Use these waffles as a vehicle for anything from eggs, to salad, to melted cheese (my personal favorite). I used a Belgian waffle maker and got 4 waffles from this recipe; if you use a waffle iron that makes thin waffles, you will get more.)

sweet potato bacon waffles

Vegetable Hummus Dip

This vegetable hummus dip make store bought hummus taste incredible!

vegetable hummus dip

I love to entertain. The whole process de-stresses me. I’m not one of those people who sits around ruminating about what to serve and how to present it and how to time everything just right. I just kind of wing it. Easy entertaining is one of the things people ask me about all of the time. Well, this dip is for all of you who want a great easy entertaining recipe to serve your guests while you are getting dinner ready.

This recipe is like a “food hack”. What I mean by that is that it easily takes a store-bought ingredient and turns it into something super awesome. I mean really, really awesome. So-good-that-everyone-will-be-asking-you-for-the-recipe awesome.

The base of this vegetable hummus dip recipe is store-bought hummus. Add then we add a bunch of stuff to it. And we make it pretty. And we spice it up.  And serve it with beautiful crunchy vegetables for dipping. And amazing sprouted grain crackers. And it’s truly incredible.

I saw a version of this dip on one of my favorite blogs (Minimalist Baker) and I took some creative license and made it suit my needs. My guests loved it and I’ve made different versions of it many times since (even when I didn’t have any guests)… it’s really that good. I really feel like I’m spoiling myself when I make this just for my family.

If you are looking for another great use for chickpeas, try my Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Stew. 

vegetable hummus dipvegetable hummus dip

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this vegetable hummus dip:

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

Turmeric is 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.

Sesame seeds have many great nutritional benefits. They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. Black sesame seeds are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This recipe uses tahini sauce, which is a paste made from sesame seeds and oil (I buy this read-made in a can or a jar).

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

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

Dill is considered a chemoprotective herb that can help neutralize some carcinogens and it’s also an antibacterial herb.

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.

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….

vegetable hummus dip

Vegetable Hummus Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, easy entertaining, Greek, Mediterranean
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from:Minimalist Baker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is the perfect easy-entertaining dip. It takes store-bought hummus to amazing new heights. And it's healing and delicious and so pretty...
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1-tsp for the veg salad topping
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 10 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 cup store-bought hummus
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice of ½ a lemon, plus a bit extra for the veg salad topping
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp minced fresh dill
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 20 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the chickpeas in a small bowl with the oil, coconut sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Roast in the oven until the chickpeas are beginning to brown and get a bit crispy (mine took about 35 minutes).
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce: stir together the tahini, lemon juice, almond milk, dill, and garlic. Set aside.
  6. Make the salad for the top: In a small bowl, combine the parsley, tomatoes, scallion, 1-tsp of olive oil and a quick squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. Spread the hummus on a serving platter.
  8. Top with the tahini sauce mixture and the vegetable salad.
  9. Garnish with a bit of hot sauce if you like.
  10. Serve with crackers and/or fresh vegetables to dip.

vegetable hummus dip

Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese

This vegan fettuccine bolognese is a great alternative to a meaty pasta sauce!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Whenever I make a pasta dish, it’s almost always a paleo-friendly pasta recipe because I feel better when I don’t eat grains. But, I do feel better when I eat pasta (for me, it’s the most comforting food around… and, I mean, really, who doesn’t love a good bowl of pasta…?). I’m never sure whether to call the recipe “Paleo Pasta” or just call it “Pasta”.  I know this sounds trivial, but really, I get stuck with this each and every time.

Now, this recipe (which by the way is sooooo delicious), is vegan and it’s paleo. When I first typed in the title, it was “Vegan Paleo Fettuccine Bolognese”, but that’s just too long and complicated for a recipe that’s easy to make. So, for this recipe I decided to use vegan, and omit paleo. I’m still not sure that’s the best title, but I guess this dilemma falls under the category of champagne problems…

Anyway, I used one of my favorite grain-free pastas (Cappello’s fettuccine), and I made an awesome vegan bolognese sauce by using my favorite recipe for simple marinara sauce and adding tons of finely chopped mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini.

I’ve learned that often when I make a vegan recipe, my guests love it, but sometimes I see wary expressions on the faces of the meat eaters if I call it something with a traditional meaty name (like bolognese). But this time, the meat eaters enjoyed this vegan fettuccine bolognese so much, the meaty name was just perfect. Try this out the next time you want to cook something to both vegans and non-vegans… it’s just perfect!

If this recipe is your cup of tea, you must also try my Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Along with all of this deliciousness, you also get great healing benefits from this 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…

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. I used both baby bellas and shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitakes are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.

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.

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.

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….

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, paleo, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Here's a great dish for all types of dietary habits: vegan, paleo, meat eaters, comfort-food lovers... this is really easy and satisfying!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small eggplants, finely diced
  • 3.5 oz shittake mushrooms, caps finely diced
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, caps finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lb pasta of choice (I used Cappellos, grain-free fettuccine -- see above in post for link)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the eggplant, zucchini, and shrooms out on the sheets in a single layer. Drizzle oil over and toss a bit. Season with salt and pepper. (Try to keep each veggie in a separate area, so if one is done before the others it's easier to remove it from the sheet.)
  4. Roast the veggies in the oven until they start to brown and caramelize a bit. (Every oven is different, but my eggplant took 35 mins, the shrooms took 25 mins, and my zucchini took 20 mins.)
  5. Meanwhile, start the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then cook an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes, then using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it's smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the sauce to a blender and whiz it up -- just make sure you hold a dish towel tightly over the top of the blender instead of using the canister top, so that steam can escape and you don't burn yourself.)
  7. Cook the pasta al dente, and drain it well.
  8. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce and top with mounds of the veggies. Toss it all together if you like before serving.
  9. Enjoy!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan

If you are an eggplant parmesan lover, you have to try this recipe for vegan skillet zucchini parmesan!

vegan skillet zucchini parmesan

One of our favorite local restaurants serves the most amazing zucchini parmesan. I’m so used to avoiding cheese and I really never feel deprived in this area.  Well, almost never. But this zucchini parm is amazing, so I usually just take a tiny taste and then move away. Quickly. I mean, I physically have to push the dish to the other side of the table far from my reach. (I have to do this with bread baskets too.)  I’ve been saying for years that I am going to create a vegan version of this luscious dish, so that I can enjoy it too. Finally, the time has come. Here’s the recipe. And it’s awesome!

My daughter came home from college the other day and I was figuring out what to cook for her first night back at home. She’s a lover of that same zucchini dish, so I figured I’d give it a go. I always like to make something special for her when she comes home, and while I thought this vegan skillet zucchini parmesan would fit the bill, I was also a bit concerned because she really doesn’t love most vegan cheeses. So, I used 3 different types of vegan cheese that I’ve never tried before but have been reading rave reviews about… success!

I went to Whole Foods and I bought a vegan ricotta, a vegan mozzarella, and a vegan Parmesan cheese… in various brands that I’ve been wanting to try. These cheeses were so much better than I expected them to be; even Shelby was pleasantly surprised. And that makes me really happy.

If you’re looking for another vegan comfort food dish, you also have to try my Vegan Macaroni And Cheese recipe!

vegan skillet zucchini parmesan

This dish is not only delicious, but here are some of the reasons why it’s also a healing dish:

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.

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

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

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.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here. For this recipe I found a great store-bought vegan cheese made from cashews, but I’ve been seeing so many delicious-looking recipes to make cashew cheese at home, so I’m going to try that next time… and please, if you have a great cashew cheese recipe, let me know!

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. I used an almond-based vegan ricotta cheese in this recipe, and I loved it!

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.

vegan skillet zucchini parmesan

Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, main dish, vegetarian, Italian
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: The Endless Meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Slices of zucchini replace the pasta, and various vegan cheeses replace the dairy, making this vegan dish absolutely unbelievably amazing!
Ingredients
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 med zucchinis, cut in half horizontally, then cut into thin vertical slices
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar (I like this one)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 oz vegan ricotta cheese
  • 6 Tbs vegan shredded Parmesan
  • 8 oz vegan mozzarella cheese, cut or spooned into small chunks
  • 8 oz bruschetta mix or sun-dried tomato pesto (make your own or use store-bought)
  • 8 basil leaves, julienned
Instructions
  1. In a large, ovenproof sauté pan or deep skillet, heat the oil.
  2. Add the onion, seasoned with a bit of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, coconut sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Turn off the heat, and slide the zucchini slices into the sauce so they cover the bottom of the pan under the sauce. Repeat 3 more times, stacking the slices on top of each other until you have stacks of 4 slices of zucchini covering the whole pan. Make sure you push each slice down into the sauce before adding the next, so that there is sauce in between each slice.
  6. Put dollops of the ricotta cheese all over the top of the zucchini.
  7. Then sprinkle the Parmesan all over.
  8. Next put chunks, shreds, or spoonfuls of the mozzarella all around the top.
  9. Cover the pan loosely with foil, turn the heat back on and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Preheat your broiler.
  11. Uncover the pan and place spoonfuls of the bruschetta mix or pesto all over the top.
  12. Place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is gooey and starts to brown.
  13. Sprinkle the basil over the top.
  14. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit, then serve with a big spoon and enjoy!

vegan skillet zucchini parmesan

Vegan Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

These vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers are so easy!

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

I have finally learned to love my slow cooker! Yup, it’s a red letter day. I always loved how easy it is to use it, but honestly, my food was really inconsistent when I used it. I would have to make a recipe many, many times before I finally got it right. I mean, dried out meat is pretty gross…

I feel like a lightbulb finally went off over my head: When I cook vegan food in my cooker, it’s almost always awesome. It’s funny how things work out; I’ve been trying to eat more and more vegan meals, and now my handy-dandy slow cooker has become my partner in crime.  And these vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers are so delicious, so simple, so satisfying, so filling, and so healing — OK, I know, too many adjectives… but, they really are awesome.

I was inspired to make this version of vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers when I saw Lindsay at Pinch of Yum, post her genius recipe.

Let me tell you, even if you think you don’t like vegan food, this recipe will change your mind. Nobody missed the meat at all when I served these peppers. They have a slight Mexican taste and are filled with beans and buckwheat and an amazing enchilada sauce. I sometimes get asked to suggest vegan foods to serve to non-vegans… this recipe now tops that list!

If you’re looking for another great slow cooker vegan recipe, try my Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone.

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Here are some ways this recipe for slow cooker vegan stuffed peppers will heal you:

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.

Buckwheat lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and it’s high in fiber. And, because buckwheat is also high in magnesium, it is the perfect food to combat heart disease. I’ve been substituting buckwheat groats in recipes that call for pasta or rice, or even quinoa… it makes a great risotto, so try it!

In Chinese medicine, black foods are known as the best foods to strengthen the body and nourish the blood. We recommend them for many people who suffer from chronic lower back pain, knee pain and infertility. Black beans have the highest amount of antioxidants of any bean, they are high in fiber and are good for the heart.

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.

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.

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

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Vegan Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Slow Cooker, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Pinch Of Yum
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
No one will miss the meat in these stuffed peppers. They are filled with Mexican-spiced beans and buckwheat, and they are awesome!
Ingredients
  • 4 large bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds cleaned out
  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats (you can buy these)
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can refried beans (I used refried black beans, but choose what you like)
  • 1-1/2 cups mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup vegan pepper jack cheese (I tried a new soy-free one: "Follow Your Heart" brand, and it was awesome), shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the raw buckwheat groats, all of the beans, the enchilada sauce, chili powder, turmeric, garlic powder, and half of the cheese.
  2. Pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  3. Fill the peppers with the stuffing mixture.
  4. Stand the stuffed pepper up in the slow cooker.
  5. Let the peppers cook on high heat for 3 hours.
  6. Open the cooker and sprinkle the remaining cheese onto the tops of the peppers. Cover and leave on the warm setting so the cheese melts. I left mine like this for about an hour.
  7. Remove the peppers to plates and top with avocado, cilantro, and lime slices.
  8. Enjoy!

vegan slow cooker stuffed peppers

Sweet Potato Spaghetti Marinara

Sweet potato spaghetti marinara is a great alternative to traditional pasta!

sweet potato spaghetti marinara

A few years ago I bought a spiralizer and I started spiralizing everything. I became one of those annoying people who forced new creations on anyone who came into my house. While some of them were excellent, some were… well… really, really bad. Just because you can make pasta ribbons and spaghetti out of lots of things, doesn’t mean you should.

So, I took a break from my spiralizer.

Now, let me tell you about this amazing marinara sauce.  Because it is truly is amazing. A few weeks ago I spent 5 glorious days on vacation in Anguilla.  I had the honor of being able to cook with a great chef from Italy and we made his favorite simple pasta sauce.  This is my version of his recipe (I used parsley instead of basil because I wanted to try it and I had some great looking parsley in my fridge) — it’s simple and it’s delicious!

I walked into Whole Foods the other day, and in the produce department, there they were — containers of pre-cut sweet potato spaghetti. They called my name. So, I’m back at it again… and I’m excited to make these sweet potato noodles so many different ways. But for now, I wanted a vehicle for this great sauce.

This sweet potato spaghetti marinara is awesome. It was a great experiment (I’m sure there will be some more losers along the way, but this recipe is great) and it was even good cold out of the refrigerator during the week.

And here’s another vegetable spaghetti that’s a winner: Raw Spaghetti Zucchini Antipasto Salad.

sweet potato spaghetti marinarasweet potato spaghetti marinara

Here are some of the reasons you should make this sweet potato spaghetti marinara 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…

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.

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.

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.

sweet potato spaghetti marinara

Sweet Potato Spaghetti Marinara
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, grain-free, paleo
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Who doesn't like spaghetti marinara? Well, here's a great one, but the spaghetti here is made from sweet potatoes... awesome!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb sweet potato spaghetti noodles (I was able to buy them pre-spiralized, but you can spiralize a few large peeled sweet potatoes yourself)
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 very large shallot, peeled and quartered (feel free to use an onion instead)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup packed parsley (leaves and stems)
  • 1 28-oz can tomatoes with basil (use whatever canned tomatoes you have on hand)
  • For topping:
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup parsley
Instructions
  1. Blanch the sweet potato spaghetti in a pot of salted hot water for 20 seconds, then drain it and set it aside.
  2. Make the sauce: In a large saucepan, heat the oil.
  3. Add the shallot, garlic, and parsley.
  4. Cook, over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Carefully pour the tomatoes into the pot, season generously with salt and pepper, and let the sauce cook for 45-minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Let the sauce cook a little bit, and then blend it in a standard blender or use an immersion blender, until it's very smooth.
  7. Pour the sauce back into the pot, add the sweet potato noodles, and cook over low heat about 5 minutes or until the noodles are cooked, but still al dente.
  8. Meanwhile, sauce the scallions and ¼ cup parsley in 2 Tbs oil for about 1-min.
  9. Top the spaghetti with the sautéed scallions and parsley,
  10. Enjoy!

sweet potato spaghetti marinara

Paleo Vegetable Kugel

This paleo vegetable kugel is light and healthy!

paleo vegetable kugel

One of the first things my mother-in-law asked me to cook was a kugel for Passover. She wanted a real kugel, as she put it, not one of my healthy recipes. So, she gave me a recipe and asked me to follow it. I think that kugel had two sticks of butter in it and a bucket of matzo meal!

This year, I won’t be home for Passover.  A few months ago I had to postpone a trip because I had the flu and the only time my sister and I could reschedule for was Passover week.  So, I had to decide between the traditional family seder or a trip to Anguilla with my sister to celebrate our big birthdays… I picked the trip… so don’t judge me… I will, however, miss this paleo vegetable kugel!

Here is my healthy answer to kugel. It’s delicious and it’s made with tons of fresh veggies and a little bit of oil and tapioca flour. Steve and I ate it for dinner last week as I was testing out the recipe. It’s a kugel (even if not as traditional as my mother-in-law would like) but it’s healthy and it’s good enough to serve any time of year.

And the leftovers are awesome for breakfast. A few sunny-side-up eggs served on top of a plate of this kugel… oh my, it’s like an awesome breakfast hash…

If you are looking for a great Paleo dessert to serve, try my Paleo Lemon Cake recipe.

paleo vegetable kugelpaleo vegetable kugel

This is the healthiest kugel in the world:

Leeks are known as “grass from the sun”. They are especially beneficial when the whether is still warm but starting to turn cold, or still cold and starting to turn warm (Spring and Fall). They are great for the liver and at helping the body relieve itself of toxins. Leeks are also good at helping constipation; they help the body rid itself of toxins in the digestive tract.

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.

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 still haven’t tried this, but if need be, I will!

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.

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!

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

paleo vegetable kugel

Paleo Vegetable Kugel
Author: 
Recipe type: Passover, paleo, vegetables, casserole, side dish
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: What Jew Wanna Eat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Here's a great healthy side dish that's traditionally served for Passover, but it's good enough for any time of the year!
Ingredients
  • 2 large leeks, slices and soaked in bowl of cold water to remove any dirt
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled, sliced very thinly, and then cut into tiny pieces
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced very thinly, and then cut into tiny pieces
  • 2 unpeeled medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour (here's a good one)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2-/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus and extra 2-tsp to grease the pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet.
  3. Add the leeks and some salt and sauté until they start to brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. Put all of the chopped vegetables into a large bowl. Add the sautéed leeks and the tapioca flour. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the eggs and stir until combined well.
  6. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with 2 tsp of oil.
  7. Spread the vegetable mixture into the dish.
  8. Bake until the top starts to brown a bit, about 45 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes.
  10. Cut into pieces.
  11. NOTE: When I cut this when it was too warm, it was hard to keep some of the pieces in neat squares, so if you can, let it cool completely (even in the fridge) before you cut it. I will say, though, that it was just as delicious when I cut it hot even if it didn't look quite as pretty!

paleo vegetable kugel