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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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Download your free copy of my Radiant Skin Ebook now!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Mushroom Superfood Iced Chocolate

Nobody will know there’s mushrooms or superfoods in this mushroom superfood iced chocolate… it’s that good!

mushroom superfood iced chocolate

I defy anyone who drinks this deliciously creamy iced chocolate to be able to identify anything mushroom-like in here. I say that, not because mushrooms taste bad, but because in my experience, it’s sometimes hard to get people to excitedly chow down on something they are not familiar with — especially if it’s really good for them. And I don’t know too many people who would get excited if they thought they were about to drink mushroom superfood iced chocolate.

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to stock your fridge with some great cold foods and drinks. All summer long, I love to keep a huge pitcher of fresh gazpacho on the top shelf of my fridge. I also usually have a pitcher of herb infused water in there. And, now I also will make sure I have a few jars of some kind of superfood chocolatey drink ready to go.

Just as an aside, if you were to look in my fridge right now, you’d see tons of oranges (from a recipe experiment that I really miscalculated, tons of fresh herbs, and tons of cauliflower. As I’m typing this post, I’m already trying to figure out what to make with these ingredients… and I’m seeing some type of a creamsicle kind of creamy drink to sit aside my other pitchers and jars… hopefully this will be successful and I’ll post about it soon… wish me luck.

Let me tell you up-front, that everyone I gave a glass of this mushroom superfood iced chocolate to, loved it. And came back for seconds. It’s so chocolatey and so creamy, and so perfectly sweetened and decadent tasting… it’s really amazing!

Can you tell that I’m a bit proud of this recipe?

I got the inspiration for this recipe from Solla Eiriksdottir, an amazing Icelandic vegetarian chef. I was so inspired by her use of mushrooms in a drink like this that I just had to come up with one too.

When you make this recipe, make a lot of it and store it in mason jars in your fridge. Whenever you want a great afternoon pick-me-up, just pour some over ice, sit in a comfy chair, close your eyes, and just sit in appreciation of the healing powers and deliciousness of what you have created.

For another cold chocolate treat, try my recipe for Chocolate Banana Dairy-Free Fudgesicles.

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

In Eastern medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. This recipe used both coconut cream and coconut sugar.

In Asian medicinenuts 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. Even if you are not on a dairy-free diet, almond milk is the way to go. This recipe uses almond milk.

Chaga mushrooms are a longevity superfood. I use a chaga mushroom extract powder that makes it easy to add this immune-system-boosting mushroom my drinks and recipes. There’s a lot of research being done on the power of chaga right now and it’s possible ability to help fight cancer. It’s also good for your intestinal system and it can help calm your nerves. (See the recipe below for where to buy this amazing ingredient.)

Lucuma powder is made from a South American tropical fruit. It’s sweet and contains a good amount of calcium, magnesium and potassium. It also has a great anti-inflammatory effect and can improve the condition of your skin. If you don’t have access to lucuma, you can use additional coconut sugar or add any sweetener that makes you happy.

mushroom superfood iced chocolate

Mushroom Superfood Iced Chocolate
Author: 
Recipe type: beverage, iced beverage, drink
Cuisine: superfoods, vegan, vegetarian, paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is the most incredible tasting iced chocolate drink... it will heal you, but all you taste is creamy, decadent, perfectly sweetened chocolate!
Ingredients
  • 1 packet chaga mushroom elixir
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • 2 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbs coconut cream
  • 2 tsp lucuma powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. Pour one packet of the chaga elixir powder into 12 oz of hot water and stir to dissolve.
  2. Put that hot liquid in a blender with the rest of the ingredients and whiz it up until creamy.
  3. Pour over ice.
  4. Sip and enjoy!

 mushroom superfood iced chocolate

Green Bean Fries

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

green bean fries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

green bean friesgreen bean fries

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

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

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

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

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

green bean fries

 

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

green bean fries

Beet Sweet Potato Soup

This Beet Sweet Potato Soup is so creamy and it will boost your energy and keep you healthy!

beet sweet potato soup

Last week I went to my favorite event of the year: The Longevity Conference. It was soooooo amazing! My head is still spinning from all of the awesome new things I learned and of course I came home with big bags filled with new superfoods, herbs, and ingredients to test out for you. I’m bursting at the seams with new info for you… yay!

Each year I feel so lucky to be able to meet so many awesome people at Longevity, and this year was no exception. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was being able to meet Solla Eiriksdottir, a vegetarian chef who I just love. She is so much fun, so creative, and so practical in the kitchen. Beet Sweet Potato Soup is a recipe in her Raw cookbook, so I just had to make a big pot.

First, I have to tell you that beets are one of my favorite ingredients. When I was younger, I used to hate them — I thought they tasted like dirt. Years later, when I became immersed in Chinese medicine and I learned the value of beets, I began playing around with them to make them taste good to me. It’s funny, because my daughter used to say that beets tasted like grass (I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…) and now, she’s a lover too.

And sweet potatoes… well, who doesn’t like these gems? And do you know about the 5 Health Benefits Of Yams And Sweet Potatoes?

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

Increase Your Athletic PerformanceDownload your free copy of my Optimized Athletic Performance Food Plan ebook now!

Okay, so what’s so great about beets? What am I rambling on about? Well, in Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions in the body are caused because the body is not making good quality blood. Beets help the body make high quality blood. Beets are great for energy. They increase athletic performance. They are good for your heart. They help ward of cancer. Need I say more? And, as an added benefit, they just make everything look beautiful — I mean, just look at the color of this beet sweet potato soup!

Now I use beets whenever I can. For this soup, there’s no beet preparation involved except peeling them and cutting them into chunks. Easy peasy. Sometimes I roast them. Sometimes I ferment them. Sometimes I slice them really thin. And, don’t even get me started on beet powder…

Here’s a really simple recipe for the most awesome roasted beets ever: Pomegranate Glazed Beets

beet sweet potato soupbeet sweet potato soup

Here are the healing powers of some of the ingredients in this beet sweet potato soup 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.

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…

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!

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.

When you add olive oil to foods, it actually helps deliver the nutritional benefits of your food to your body in a better way. All of the benefits of the food’s color pigments get transported where they need to go. I drizzle a good quality extra-virgin olive oil on top of everything.

beet sweet potato soup

5.0 from 1 reviews
Beet Sweet Potato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is the creamiest, most delicious soup! It's an energy booster that's great for your heart and your digestion.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on the individual bowls of soup
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 small beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy yogurt (I used cashew yogurt)
  • ¼ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Shan Yao, Huang Qi
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add beets, sweet potatoes, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the vegetable broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45-mins or until the beets are softened.
  7. Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender and blend until completely smooth and silky.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a big dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  9. Enjoy!

beet sweet potato soup

White Bean And Kale Soup

This healing White Bean And Kale Soup is light and comforting at the same time… it’s so delicious!

white bean and kale soup

It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s about time for me to make a big pot of soup. On Sundays and Mondays, oftentimes I feel like creating more complex dishes. You know the kind… the ones that have separate sauces and lots of different components. The one’s that make your kitchen look like a bomb dropped on it. But, come mid-week, I’m all about the one-pot meal. And today, it’s a soup kind of day.

I find all soup comforting. Maybe it’s because it’s served in a bowl. Or maybe it’s because I love the great aroma of all of the things cooking together in one big pot. Or, maybe it’s because I love hot food. I guess it really doesn’t matter why… but it’s a good thing.

And, I’m a firm believer that soup is not just for winter.

I live in the city now, and if you would have told me before I moved here that I would be eating soup year round, I’d have thought you were crazy. I mean, the city in the summer can be really HOT. But, at our house in the burbs where we often kept our windows and doors open to feel the summer breeze, eating soup was a great thing to do as the night cooled down.  Moving into the city though has caused me to pump up the AC way more than I’m used to, so soup season extends here too — sometimes it’s freakin’ cold in here even in the summer!.

But, adapt we must… so the AC cranks up as soon as it gets warm. And, soup season seems continue on much more naturally because sometimes it’s really freakin cold in here… even in the summer.  Haha… how times change.

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

The white beans get a great creamy texture as they cook down. And then to make the soup even creamier, I blended up a little of it and stirred it back into the rest. The fresh rosemary gives it a really awesome herby taste and well, you are just going to love it.

I love to put raw Chinese herbs into my soups while they are cooking. And, depending on what my body needs at the time, I choose my herbs accordingly. This is a totally optional step, and doesn’t effect the recipe at all, but I’d love to help you learn to do this too — because infusing your soup with herbs is just awesome. I put some energy/qi-building herbs in this pot of white bean and kale soup and oh my… it’s like magic.

I have made this soup many times. I’ve seen so many different versions of this soup on so many different blogs that it makes me switch up the recipe a little bit each time I make it but I’ve never been disappointed. This time, as I was about to fire up the stove, I saw yet another recipe for it on one of my favorite blogs: The First Mess. It looked so good, that I had to change up my recipe yet again and implement some new components. I have to give a big thank you to Laura because this is the best version of white bean and kale soup yet!

Another great soup recipe you will love is my Cauliflower Chickpea Soup.

white bean and kale soupwhite bean and kale soup

Here’s some of the great healing ingredients in this white bean and kale soup:

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. Make sure you clean the kale leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.

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

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

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Rosemary is great for your digestion, your heart, and your libido. It also can help boost your energy.

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

Also, whenever I cook anything with some liquid, I like to add some Chinese herbs for whatever conditions I feel need help at the time. One of my favorites is Huang Qi (Astragalus). It is great for an over-all strengthening of the body and it’s energy. So, when I set this pot to simmer, I added some raw Huang Qi and let it infuse into the soup.

white bean and kale soup

White Bean And Kale Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The First Mess
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This soup is like energy in a bowl. In a delicious and creamy form. Yum!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely minced
  • 2 15-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch Lacinto (black) kale, thick center ribs removed and discarded, leaves chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • dried red pepper flakes, to taste
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 stick Huang Qi/Astragalus (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring until the veggies soften a bit, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, rosemary, beans, and broth.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Ladle ⅔ of the contents of the pot into a blender and blend until smooth, then stir this smooth mixture back into the pot with the rest.
  7. Stir in the kale.
  8. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Enjoy!

white bean and kale soup

Creamy Sweet Potato Bowl

This creamy sweet potato bowl is the most comforting bowl of creaminess ever… and it’s great for your digestion!

creamy sweet potato bowl

It’s Monday and it’s the first day of spring! So, happy spring… I know, the weather report says there’s another snow storm coming this week here in New York… but outside today it actually smells a little like the warmer weather might actually be on its way. Yup, even here in the city I can smell it. I can tell. I swear. It’s going to be spring soon. Fingers crossed.

Right before this past weekend, I was trying to step over one of my dogs who was sprawled out on the floor, and I got my toe caught on a chair leg in my living room and now it’s broken. Oh my, have you ever broken a toe? It’s really painful and you really do see stars. And there’s not much you can do to make it heal quickly. You never realize how many things you do during the day until you are restricted because of an injury. What I’m finding is that because I can’t do yoga for a little while or go on long walks in the park with the dogs, I have extra time to myself, and for me that means extra time in the kitchen.

I’m a big believer in not feeling sorry for myself. Especially over something fairly minor like a broken toe.

But, I’m also a big believer in doing whatever I can to make myself feel better. So, I allowed myself a few minutes of cursing and despair, and then I thought about what this injury would give me the excuse to do that I don’t usually get a chance to do. You know, like binge watching something mindless or reading more books than usual…. or cooking even more.

And, one of the things that always makes me smile is reading all of my favorite food blogs. When I saw Caitlin’s awesome recipe for a sweet potato breakfast bowl on From My Bowl, I just knew I had to made a version of it.

Okay, so here’s where I connect the dots of my ramblings… creamy, comforting, warming bowls of food always make me feel better. That’s how this creamy sweet potato bowl came to be. This bowl actually made me so happy that I made it three days in a row. And, if I hadn’t run out of some of the ingredients, I could have continued to make it for a few more days.

One of the awesome things about this recipe is that you can customize it any way you like. And it’s really easy. All you do is roast the sweet potatoes and combine the flesh with a few ingredients. After you scoop the creamy mixture into your favorite bowl, you can top it with whatever makes you happy. I was so in love with the bowl I made the first day, I made it exactly the same way each day I ate it… and I rarely eat the same exact thing twice. So, I highly recommend this creamy sweet potato bowl recipe it appears below.

creamy sweet potato bowlcreamy sweet potato bowl

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this creamy sweet potato bowl:

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…

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.

In eastern medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond milk and can also include almond butter.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is a Chinese herb: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

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

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

creamy sweet potato bowl

Creamy Sweet Potato Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, vegetarian, main course, sweet potatoes, vegetables
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: From My Bowl
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is so creamy and comforting and it can be customized any way you like. Make one of these bowls for breakfast, lunch, or dinner... it will put a smile on your face and heal you at the same time.
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) or almond butter (Here's the sunbutter I like)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • toppings: pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds (Here's some sprouted ones), cashew yogurt (or another non-dairy yogurt)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Poke a bunch of holes in your sweet potato with a fork.
  3. Place the sweet potato on a piece of foil or a small baking sheet and roast in the oven until cooked through -- about an hour.
  4. Remove the potato from the oven and slice it in half.
  5. Scoop the flesh into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the almond milk, nut butter, cinnamon, and sea salt. Mix until completely creamy. (You can also use a hand mixer or a blender for this.)
  6. Scrape the creamy mixture into 2 bowls.
  7. Top with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and a big dollop of yogurt.
  8. Enjoy!

creamy sweet potato bowl

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

Birthday Cake Chia Pudding

birthday cake chia pudding

Do you have any descriptive food words that make your mouth water? For me, if I see the words “birthday cake” or “cake batter” I have kind of a drooling, mouth watering response. I don’t know what it is about those words, but for me, when I see them, I have to have whatever it is immediately. So, when I started seeing recipes for chia puddings that were described this way, I was all in. I have to give a big thank you to Macy at Paleo Crumbs because her awesome recipe was the one that made me run to the store to buy the ingredients and make this birthday cake chia pudding.

I don’t know what mornings are like in your house, but here in my house we are kind of laid back. It wasn’t always that way. We used to run around, grab whatever we could to eat, shower, dress, and leave as quickly as possible to begin our day. It was that way for many years. Then we moved to the city. And this part of our lives magically slowed down. Now, we are able to get up, go to the park with the dogs, have an actual real conversation, and spend time together before anyone has to leave. So, oftentimes I will cook a big breakfast for us. This birthday cake chia pudding, is so good, that it can even compete with a great avocado toast or delicious eggy type breakfast, but there’s absolutely no cooking involved. The only labor here comes when you have to shake the jar!

I’ve always been a fan of chia pudding. I like that rice pudding-like texture. I love that I can customize it with whatever flavor I’m feeling at that particular moment. I also love that it is so easy to make and that it can be made way in advance. Yes, chia pudding is an awesome invention.

Now, if I’m being totally honest, I’ll tell you that I love chia pudding, but my family is not quite as enamored with these yummy jars as I am. BUT, this birthday cake chia pudding has changed all that. As soon as I stuck a spoonful in Steve’s mouth, he was a convert. It’s really that good. And, it really is reminiscent of vanilla birthday cake. Especially if you top it with sprinkles…

If you want to try another great simple creation, try my recipe for Turmeric Chia Pudding.

birthday cake chia puddingbirthday cake chia pudding

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this recipe for birthday cake chia pudding:

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids,and fiber. And, because they are so high in antioxidants, they help keep your skin looking younger. They help optimize both your digestive system and your cardiovascular system.

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

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Baobab is a superfood that is a powder made from an African fruit. This amazing superfood has tons of vitamin C to boost your immune system and it’s great for energy. Sometimes I put some in my water bottle to keep my hydrated throughout the day. It’s easy to put a scoop in anything for a pick-me-up.

birthday cake chia pudding

Birthday Cake Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, simple, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, make ahead, chia pudding
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Paleo Crumbs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Happy birthday to you! This quick, easy, healing, make-ahead breakfast will make you smile from ear to ear!
Ingredients
  • 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4-1/2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/1/2 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp baobab powder (optional)
  • Fruit-sweetened sprinkles (for topping)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a mason jar.
  2. Cover.
  3. Shake it up really well (really... dance around with it and work up a good sweat)
  4. Put it in the fridge overnight.
  5. Scoop into individual bowls in the morning.
  6. Top with sprinkles and enjoy.

birthday cake chia pudding