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Real Food Recipes. Sustainable Living. Shining Health.

Side Dishes

Zucchini Noodle Greek Pasta

Zucchini Noodle Greek Pasta

Zucchini Noodle Greek Pasta Makes 4 servings. 4 cups spiralized zucchini noodles ½ cup radishes, sliced 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped 14-16 shrimp, peeled, frozen or raw 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided ½ teaspoon salt 2-3 teaspoons seasoning mix (recipe below) ½ teaspoon fish sauce ¼ cup parsley SEASONING MIX 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon basil ¼ teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon dill ½ teaspo[...]
Steam Sautéed Kale Stems

Steam Sautéed Kale Stems

Steam Sautéed Kale Stems 2 cups kale stems, chopped into 1/4" pieces 2 teaspoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup vegetable broth Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized pot. Add in the chopped kale stems and salt. Sauté for 3 minutes. Pour in the vegetable both and bring to a simmer. Cover, leaving the lid ajar to release stream while cooking. Cook for 10-15 minutes until stems are tender. Add more salt to taste. Enjoy!  Check out the easiest w[...]
Whole Roasted Curry-Ginger Bok Choy

Whole Roasted Curry-Ginger Bok Choy

Whole Roasted Curry-Ginger Bok Choy Makes 4 servings. 6 baby bok choy - sliced in half 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 tablespoon fresh ginger - minced 1 tablespoon garlic - minced 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari ¼ teaspoon salt 12-16 fresh curry leaves Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease a large roasting pan with olive oil.  Stir together the olive oil, ginger, garlic, tamari and salt in a bowl. Arrange the bok choy on a roasting pan. Drizzle the ginger-garlic [...]
Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

Why bother massaging kale? Raw kale is super fibrous and tough to digest. Massaging it breaks down the tough leaves, transforming them into a smooth, delicate texture. Each leaf will hold more flavor from the salad dressing too. BEFORE: AFTER:   MASSAGED KALE SALAD Makes 4 servings.  1 bunch kale, any kind 1 teaspoon salt ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar DRESSING 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons honey ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon[...]
Corn Pudding (Dairy free & Gluten free!)

Corn Pudding (Dairy free & Gluten free!)

Corn Pudding (Dairy free & Gluten free) Makes 6 servings. 3 cups fresh corn kernels (canned or frozen works too) 2 cups canned full-fat coconut milk 6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal ½ cup cassava flour 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 3 large eggs ¼ cup honey 1 teaspoon fresh thyme - finely chopped Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9”x9” glass baking dish. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Beat in the eggs and add the [...]
Apple-Beet Chutney

Apple-Beet Chutney

Throughout the fall/winter I’m partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th! Apple-Beet Chutney Make 4 servings. 1 cup beets - roasted, peeled and chopped 1 ½ cups apple - chopped 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice - about 2 oranges  1 tablespoon orang[...]
Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus

Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus

Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus Makes 4 servings. 2 cups pumpkin puree 1 16oz can of chickpeas, water drained 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon roasted garlic 3 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon lemon juice ¾ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon paprika plus more for dusting Combine all ingredients in a 12 cup food processor or high speed blender. Blend for 3 to 5 minutes until chickpeas are fully pureed. If you want an even smoother hummus, peel the skins off each chickpea before adding it to the processor.[...]
Carrot Ginger & Apple Soup

Carrot Ginger & Apple Soup

Throughout the fall/winter I’m partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th! PLUS they are doing a super cool Thanksgiving CSA pop-up! Get in your orders by November 6th.  Carrot Ginger & Apple Soup 8 cups carrots - chop each carrot into third[...]
Roasted Butternut Squash Wild Rice with Crispy Chard

Roasted Butternut Squash Wild Rice with Crispy Chard

Throughout the fall/winter I’m partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th! PLUS they are doing a super cool Thanksgiving CSA pop-up! Get in your orders by November 6th.    Roasted Butternut Squash Wild Rice with Crispy Chard ¼ cup wild ric[...]
Radishes with Garlic Avocado Spread

Radishes with Garlic Avocado Spread

Throughout the fall/winter I’m partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th!  12 fresh radishes 1 ripe avocado 1 ⅓  tbsp whole roasted garlic ½ tsp salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper To roast the garlic, use a whole bulb and slice off the ver[...]
Winter Squash Salad with Mixed Greens & Cranberry Vinaigrette

Winter Squash Salad with Mixed Greens & Cranberry Vinaigrette

Throughout the fall/winter I’m partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th!  1 medium-sized delicata squash 2 tsp coconut oil ½ tsp salt 1 cup lacinato kale - stems removed 1 cup arugula 1 cup radicchio - leaves separated ¼ cup dried cranberries Cran[...]
Savory Pear & Onion Galette with Lemon Verbena (Gluten Free and Dairy Free!)

Savory Pear & Onion Galette with Lemon Verbena (Gluten Free and Dairy Free!)

Throughout the fall/winter I'm partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th!  1 pie dough recipe - I used cassava flour and palm shortening with a dash of salt. (Trisha Hughes has a great recipe.) ⅓ cup sweet onion - thinly sliced ½ tsp coconut oil 3 bosc [...]
Cucumber Orange Salad

Cucumber Orange Salad

4 cups cucumber - seeded and chopped into 1” pieces 2 oranges - peeled, segmented and chopped 1 ½ cups jicama - julienned 1 cup red onion - chopped ¼ cup fennel - shaved 3 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp orange zest ½ tsp salt Prepare all the vegetables and oranges. Combine everything into a large mixing bowl and toss together until fully incorporated. Refrigerate for one to two hours, allowing the flavors to blend into each other. Serve with grilled salmon or steak. Enjoy! [...]
Corn Fritter Salad Stack with Tomato & Zucchini

Corn Fritter Salad Stack with Tomato & Zucchini

Ever get your CSA share, take a look inside and have no idea how you're going to make the ingredients into a meal? Well that was my challenge this week. Local Roots NYC gifted me a lovely array of fresh vegetables for their Local Roots Cooking Challenge. I joined several food bloggers and photographers in an attempt to turn the ingredients below into a tasty dish. Ingredient included: 2 ears of corn 2 zucchini 2 tomatoes 1 bunch of savory herb 1 bunch of green leaf kale My recipe crea[...]
Saucy Garlic Okra

Saucy Garlic Okra

1 tbsp lard or coconut oil 3 cups okra 3 tbsp garlic - minced 1 cup onion - minced 1 tbsp ginger - grated ½ tsp all spice       1 tsp paprika      ½ tsp nutmeg       ¼ tsp cayenne powder    ¾ cup vegetable broth 1 tbsp tomato paste ⅓ cup coconut milk  ¼ tsp salt   Melt lard over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions, ginger, garlic and salt, and sauté for two minutes.   Stir in the spices, veget[...]
Spicy Green Goddess Salad

Spicy Green Goddess Salad

Makes 4 servings. 6 cups mixed salad greens 1 red onion - thinly sliced DRESSING Makes 1 cup. ½ cup fresh arugula ½ cup fresh spinach 1 tsp anchovy paste ½ cup plain coconut yogurt ¼ avocado 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp garlic - minced ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp black pepper Add all dressing ingredients to a food processor. Pulse for three minutes until thoroughly combined. Toss the dressing with the greens and onion. Serve immediately. Enjoy! [...]
Sweet Corn and Peach Salad

Sweet Corn and Peach Salad

Makes 4 servings. 2 ears of fresh sweet corn - cooked and kernels cut from cob 2 peaches - sliced 2 cups fresh basil - chopped ½ tbso olive oil 1 tsp apple cider vinegar ½ tsp salt ¼ chili powder In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, salt and chili powder. Add in the peaches, corn and basil. Toss together gently. Serve immediately. Enjoy!  [...]
Summer Fruit Spring Rolls

Summer Fruit Spring Rolls

SPRING ROLLS 1 papaya - sliced 1 pineapple - sliced 1 jicama - sliced 1 bunch fresh cilantro 1 bunch fresh mint rice paper GINGER DIPPING SAUCE 1 two-inch piece fresh ginger - peeled and finely chopped 2 tbsp honey 1 tsp Sriracha sauce 1 tbsp water To make the sauce, place all ingredients except the honey in a food processor. Pulse for one to two minutes. The honey will incorporate into the sauce better when it’s slightly warm. Place it in a small bowl and heat in the microwave f[...]
Asparagus Pesto Salad

Asparagus Pesto Salad

Makes 4 Servings 1 bunch asparagus 1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved 1 cup zucchini - chopped AVOCADO BASIL PESTO 1 large bunch of fresh basil 1 avocado 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp garlic - chopped ½ tsp salt 1 tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper To make the pesto, add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse for two minutes until all is well incorporated. Toss the pesto with the asparagus, tomatoes and zucchini. Serve immediately. Enjoy! [...]
Jerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice Pilaf

Jerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice Pilaf

It should have been my celebration meal. Smoked bison loin, watercress salad, corn succotash and sunchoke soup. I was in DC for the Marine Corps Marathon. But I wasn’t running the race. Three months earlier I sprained my ankle, making it impossible to train for 26.2 miles. The trip to DC became memorable for other things, particularly a trip to the Native American Museum. Spectacular exhibits, even more spectacular food. The Mitsitam Cafe serves all foods indigenous to North America. It wa[...]
Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)

Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)

Ambrosia belongs in the Cool Whip concoctions category. Along with lime green jello salad, cherry fluff and watergate salad. You know the type. A combination of fruit, cool whip and mini marshmallows, served as a side dish. To me these all scream old-school Southern cuisine. The ooey-gooey salad was a fixture at my Memphis family gatherings and I anticipated the moment I could steal the first marshmallow from the bowl. Although I’ve come to find that creamy fruit salads are actually popular al[...]
White Turkey Chili

White Turkey Chili

Confession time. Sports just don’t do it for me. I never know what team belongs to which city or any of the names of the top athletes. The only thing game day has going for it is the camaraderie and the food. Of course sports food is notorious for deep fried, high-carb and super processed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider making a chili bar with a variety of toppings like: avocado red onion jalapeños sautéed onions roasted corn scallions fresh radishes fresh tomatoes ci[...]
Roasted Parsnip Soup with Oyster Mushrooms

Roasted Parsnip Soup with Oyster Mushrooms

The warmest year on record. What does this mean for our food? Five days ago we had over two feet of snow in Brooklyn. And now it is almost completely melted. The temperature keeps rising and I’m wondering how this is impacting our growing seasons. Our seasonal foods are going to change. An orange grove is going to pop up in the Northeast, tomatoes will be available year-round and we’ll have to begin planting in January. The plus side is that we’ll have a larger variety of foods available. [...]
Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

Grocery shopping is a communal experience at my local food coop. The place is notorious for lines that wrap around the store, mad rushes to get the last heirloom tomato and also new friendships. Recently as I’m perusing the apple selection, an elderly women asks for my assistance. "Would you help this old shorty and reach that bag for me?" Of course. I grab what she needs and then she says, “Enjoy your youth. I used to look like Vivian Lee but now I'm just gone with the wind." Ha! What a char[...]
Creamy Caramelized Onion Soup

Creamy Caramelized Onion Soup

Once I made a soup entirely out of garlic. You could smell me coming from a mile away for weeks. That soup was made with ten bulbs of garlic, bacon drippings, heavy cream and topped with crumbled bacon. Then I served it with homemade bacon-cheddar bread. Whoa, that was one pungent meal. This Creamy Caramelized Onion Soup was inspired by that meal. I wanted to recreate a dairy-free version of the soup but without the intensely, overwhelming garlic. Onions were the answer. The main thing to get [...]
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pancetta

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pancetta

I love recipes that look like the holiday they celebrate. Brussels sprouts and cranberries bring the green and red for a festive Christmas dish. For this recipe I chose pancetta rather than bacon. Like bacon, pancetta is made from pork belly and cured but it is not smoked. There are lots of flavors happening in this dish and I didn’t want bacon overpowering it. The fresh cranberries are quite tart so go ahead and add a bit more maple syrup if it’s too much for your palate. Dried cranberries [...]
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

The November recipe for the Local Eats Project is here! I really thought there would be less variety to work with this month but I sure was wrong. The Northeast is still showing gorgeous colors at the farmers market. The unseasonably warm weather is helping things out too. If you’re new to the Local Eats Project you can find all the rules to play along here.  But basically, once per month I’m making one meal made entirely from local foods. With this project I always want to challenge my[...]
2 Ingredient Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

2 Ingredient Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

I’ve wanted to make my own yogurt for years. In my dairy-eating days I would eat it every day for the probiotics. The super thick Greek-style yogurt was my staple. And I miss that tangy goodness. If you’ve tried any of the non-dairy yogurt options you know they are pathetic. Most often jello-y globs that plop out of the container. Eww. There are only two brands of coconut milk yogurt that I enjoy, Anita’s and CO YO. Both are fabulous, yet crazy expensive and hard to find in stores. Option B:[...]
Steamed Mussels with Leeks, Garlic and White Wine

Steamed Mussels with Leeks, Garlic and White Wine

This salad recipe is part of Selva Beat's Farm to Table Challenge. The rules: "Make at least one dish, utilizing only items bought at the farmer's market. Spices and oils excluded, of course."  And that's exactly what I did. You can read more here about how I sourced the freshest produce at the farmers market and check out all the other fabulous recipes here.  [...]
Fresh Peach & Heirloom Tomato Salad

Fresh Peach & Heirloom Tomato Salad

This salad recipe is part of Selva Beat's Farm to Table Challenge. The rules: "Make at least one dish, utilizing only items bought at the farmer's market. Spices and oils excluded, of course."  And that's exactly what I did. You can read more here about how I sourced the freshest produce at the farmers market and check out all the other fabulous recipes here.  [...]
Meals Straight from the Farmers Market

Meals Straight from the Farmers Market

With early morning dew still on the ground, I grab my reusable grocery bags and I’m out the door. My neighbors are quiet, indulging in a few extra hours of sleep on Saturday morning. The farmers market is waiting and I want the best selection. The market crowds and things can sell out quickly. But I’ve learned this is not the norm in the rest of the country. Only one percent of all food sales come from farmers markets. Most food is bought from grocery stores or the massive super stores. And I [...]
BEST Southern Potato Salad

BEST Southern Potato Salad

We perfectly positioned ourselves near a large park. 585 acres of nature are within five blocks of our city apartment. And it is an absolute necessity. That haven of green soothes my anxiety and I take full advantage of it. I’m there almost daily, walking the trails, putting my toes in the grass or laying in the green lawn. The park is also al fresco dining perfection. Last Saturday we spent five hours picnicking with friends in that park. I brought an abundance of food, per usual, and I too[...]
Summer Salad Skewers

Summer Salad Skewers

Get out the grill. Invite your friends and serve up some delicious food! Take advantage of outdoor dining before summer slips away. Even if you don’t have a grill, you can still make a grill-inspired meal. My apartment is 100% city living. We have absolutely no outdoor space to put a grill so we cook all our meals inside. Thankfully our community garden is just a few blocks away and we can get the full backyard BBQ experience. Funny story. My community garden does have a grill for all the me[...]
Roasted Tomatoes with Balsamic Reduction

Roasted Tomatoes with Balsamic Reduction

Always take advantage of tomato season. Summer rule number one. In Tennessee we call them home-grown tomatoes. Although I never understood that term. We didn’t grow tomatoes. They were purchased from road-side stands or the grocery store. But even the advertising signs said home-grown so I accepted it as a type of tomato. Home-grown has come to mean seasonal and locally grown. The nutrient-rich soil transfers all it’s goodness to the tomatoes, producing a complexity of flavors. I found golde[...]
Mango Avocado Salad with Fresh Ginger Dressing

Mango Avocado Salad with Fresh Ginger Dressing

Mango and avocado are like peanut butter and jelly, meant to be together. Their flavors compliment each other so well. I also view mango as the goddess of all fruit. Every other fruit is in awe of it’s seductive power. Little food carts around the city offer mango slices and mango on a stick. You’d think they were selling donuts by the way crowds line up for it. It is irresistibly, refreshingly satisfying. Give me mango over ice cream any day. Keep in mind though, mango is high in sugar conten[...]
How to Pickle for Probiotics

How to Pickle for Probiotics

Crunch into a tart, juicy pickle. Pickling vegetables throughout the summer is one of the best ways to capture the season’s produce. But perhaps that approach is all wrong. Vinegar is most commonly used to achieve a sour flavor and act as a preservative. This method misses out on the entire reason the world began pickling foods. The goal is to produce fermented vegetables that turn them into healthy probiotic food.  When a brine of salt and water is used rather than vinegar, the salt reac[...]
Red Curry Green Beans

Red Curry Green Beans

Thai restaurants line the blocks of New York. I have the old take-out containers to prove it. In our lazy cooking days, my husband and I would eat Thai at least once a week. It was always filled with colorful vegetables and we considered it a healthy meal. But you can never be too sure of those sauces. Soy sauce with traces of gluten, unhealthy cooking oils and sugar are hidden in between the garlic and ginger. Thankfully restaurant quality curry is super easy to make at home. All you need is [...]
Stuffed Mushrooms (Paleo + Dairy Free + Gluten Free)

Stuffed Mushrooms (Paleo + Dairy Free + Gluten Free)

Stuffed mushrooms are a popular restaurant appetizer that arrive to the table with cheese oozing from all sides. And many also use breadcrumbs in their stuffing. Well that just won’t do for those with dairy and gluten intolerances. For this recipe I used a mix of nutritional yeast, coconut milk and lemon to give that cheesy flavor. Try substituting ground lamb for the beef in these. You’ll have a wonderful Greek flavor profile! Fun mushroom fact: Cremini mushrooms are closely related to the [...]
Spring Peas and Asparagus Salad

Spring Peas and Asparagus Salad

This week I’m reading Vicki Robin's Blessing the Hands That Feed Us: Lessons from a 10-Mile Diet. Vicki challenged herself to one month of hyper-local eating. I pondered whether I’d be able to sustain this for two days much less one month. Seeing that spring has finally sprung and the bounty of produce is on it’s way, a ten mile diet may actually be feasible in Brooklyn. With the abundance of rooftop farms and community gardens, it’s becoming easier to live off the city land. The only thing mi[...]
Apple Fennel Salad

Apple Fennel Salad

Potlucks are one of the great community builders. Never underestimate the power of food in drawing people together. This past Sunday the owners of my yoga studio hosted a potluck for all the volunteers. We sat around a long wood table in candlelight sharing stories, yoga experiences and food. Some of us had never met, yet by the end of the evening we were all good friends. There was a certain welcoming energy in the space that made everyone feel at ease. The act of full participation, of the g[...]
Baked Sweet Potato Chip Nachos

Baked Sweet Potato Chip Nachos

Last weekend, I made a huge batch of my sweet potato dark chocolate mousse to feed a hungry crowd. All the skins had to be removed to achieve the right consistency and since I’m someone who can’t stand the thought of throwing away nutritious food, I saved all of them. The potato skins filled my already too-full refrigerator. I had to think of a creative recipe quick. And then it occurred to me. I could turn all those lovely peelings into chips! I honestly do not remember the last time I had na[...]
Chocolate Mole over Crispy Chicken Thighs

Chocolate Mole over Crispy Chicken Thighs

They say sauce is the test of a great chef. Master a complex sauce and you can cook anything. Moles are intricate layers of chilies, fruits, garlic, onions, nuts and fragrant spices. Traditionally they are cooked over several hours, allowing the flavors to simmer and infuse together. Well I wanted to make a great sauce but who has time for that? My mole musings resulted in an abbreviated version of No Gluten, No Problem’s 90 Minute Mole recipe. I shortened it a bit and altered the ing[...]
Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

A little late for Mardi Gras but I’m always in the mood for cajun spices. My foodie palate was set by my parents, who where heavily influenced by the flavors of New Orleans. We would take weekend trips to the festive city, solely for the purpose of eating. The weekend was spent feasting on the city’s finest. Oysters, jambalaya, blackened fish and world famous gumbo. Those cajun flavors will never leave me. This recipe is made with canned salmon to keep things simple. It’s one of those item[...]
Down to Basics Pâté Recipe

Down to Basics Pâté Recipe

When you want all the nutrients, you go for the holy grail, offal, or organ meats. I try to include them in my diet about once per week and my favorite way to prepare it is as pâté. Pair it with any raw vegetables and some apple slices and it’s a most satisfying meal. I make mine with lots of bacon and caramelized onions, which are always a winning combination. I've pointed out the numerous health benefits that come with eating non-musculature parts of the animal in this post.  As I know [...]
Eat More Food with Nutrient Boot Camp

Eat More Food with Nutrient Boot Camp

We all want to eat more food. Well at least I know I do. I relied on restricting diets to determine my health for far too long and I never achieved the results I desired. That’t the top reason I shifted my food choices to prioritizing nutrient density. How many different fruits and vegetables do you eat in a day? How many do you eat in one week? If you’re like most people you stick with what’s familiar and stay inside your food comfort zone. The average American only fits in from five to ten di[...]
Rice Free Sushi

Rice Free Sushi

When I eat sushi, I want all the sushi. Ideally I’d love for the chef to bring out a beautiful boat prepared with colorful fish, vegetables carved into intricate figures and abundant sushi rolls. The artistry required for it’s creation leaves me in awe every time, but then I get over it and dig in. Sushi is true food art. My attempt at these rolls is less than amateur. If you’ve seen the documentary, Jiro Deams of Sushi, then you know the 85 year old sushi chef, Jiro, still strives for perfect[...]
How to Make Cauliflower Rice

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a great invention for nutrient density. Rice does not offer much in terms of nutrition. It’s purpose it to fill us up and leave us satisfied. If a vegetable can do that too then that’s my preferred option. Rice takes on the flavor of any spices and sauces it’s paired with. Cauliflower rice acts in a similar way but I think it actually absorbs twice as much flavor as plain rice. I’ve served it with pot roast and all the lovely juices soak right into the cauliflower with none [...]
Top Paleo Travel Foods

Top Paleo Travel Foods

March is right around the corner and you know what that means?! Adult Spring Break! I think we all deserve a break after February to serve as a marker for transition into the new season. Especially after this snow-filled, icy cold winter. This year I have some exciting trips planned that include very long flights. To prepare, I made a list of all the travel foods I’ll need for the journey. Airport food has progressed a great deal in the last five years and you can actually find some healthy op[...]
How to Make Gluten Free Pasta

How to Make Gluten Free Pasta

Gluten free noodles have become abundant and widely available. There is no shortage of options when you want an alternative to white flour fettuccine. But from a nutrient density perspective, the boxed gluten-free noodles you find on the shelf are not the best option. Rice noodles are most common and offer nominal nutrition. If you think outside the box though, the solution can be found in vegetables. This video shows you a one ingredient option for gluten free and grain-free pasta. I'd l[...]
28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

Coconut is a dairy-free girl’s best friend. It’s that huge sigh of relief when you realize creamy ice cream can still be a part of your life. I did a little dance the first time I tasted coconut whipped cream. I wanted to shout, “Yay! My tastebuds are no longer deprived!” Coconut makes a delicious alternative that’s rich in key nutrients. High in magnesium, 1 cup of coconut milk contains 88.8mg and this combined with it’s content of calcium keeps muscles and nerves functioning properly. It is [...]
Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Current temperature: 17°F. Wind chill: 2°F. My current state: huddled under a cozy blanket with the heat on full blast with no plans of leaving the house. At this point in the winter season I say enough and accept the fact that I’ve chosen to live in the Northeast. Let the hibernation continue. At least I can try to recreate summer in the kitchen. Lemon blueberry muffins add some sun to my snow-filled days. The best way to preserve a little summer to last through the winter is by freezing your[...]
Maple Candied Bacon

Maple Candied Bacon

“Do we eat too much bacon? Are you sure this is healthy?” asks my husband as I put the second tray of candied bacon in the oven. Bacon feels indulgent and almost too good to be true. How can something so delicious be nourishing? It all depends on the quality of the meat. Bacon is predominately fat and when you’re eating animal fat it’s most important to source humanely-raised, healthy pigs. The fat contains the highest concentrations of an animal’s diet. If a pig was raised predominately on cor[...]
9 Paleo Oatmeal Alternatives

9 Paleo Oatmeal Alternatives

Letting go of oatmeal was a painful break-up. I had a special closeness to my morning oatmeal. That bowl of comfort I’d lean onto for support to begin my day. As I transitioned to a mostly grain-free diet I developed recipes that tricked my brain into thinking it was enjoying oatmeal. Sweets define breakfast in our modern diet. Cereal, muffins, croissants, bagels, granola, protein bars and oatmeal are all just excuses to eat sugar for breakfast. Breakfast should be a complete meal just like lun[...]
Paleo Potato Pasta: Two Ways

Paleo Potato Pasta: Two Ways

A grain-free life can be painful when all you want is a big bowl of comforting carbs. Pasta is satisfying in a way that no spiralized vegetable can replicate. I created two ways of making pasta from potatoes and a combination of tapioca and coconut flour. Spaetzle is both dumplings and noodles at once. I was introduced to this traditional dish while in Germany five years ago. Ever since I look for it at German restaurants and rarely see it offered. I found it once at a little German bar in th[...]
Pesto Change-o! Nut Free & Dairy Free Basil Pesto

Pesto Change-o! Nut Free & Dairy Free Basil Pesto

This pesto is nut free, seed free and dairy free. When you remove these elements, does it still taste like pesto? Yes, very much so. Garlic and basil always star in this recipe so leaving out the cheese and pine nuts does not change much. I must warn you. The garlic is potent. Best to enjoy in the company of fellow garlic lovers!   [...]
10 Minute Paleo Pad Thai

10 Minute Paleo Pad Thai

Pad Thai was a special request from my husband. I’m more of a curry over rice kind of girl but he misses the noodles. Noodles have become common in the food allergy world with the invention of the spiralizer. Although there is an alternative I prefer for Asian dishes: kelp noodles. kelp noodles are made from kelp seaweed, salt and water. They come pre-packaged and ready to eat out of the bag after a quick rinse under warm water. Containing high amounts of iodine, they’re an excellent low-carb,[...]
Book Review: Danielle Walker's Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple

Book Review: Danielle Walker's Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple

Danielle Walker is touring the country to spread the message about her latest and greatest cookbook, Meals Made Simple. I was thrilled when I found out she would be doing a book signing in NYC. The best part about my health journey is meeting the people who inspired me to begin it in the first place. Danielle suffered for many years until she discovered her disease could be treated through diet. She took her health into her own hands and by sharing her story and recipes, she is changing thousand[...]
Farmed vs Wild Salmon & Salmon Cakes

Farmed vs Wild Salmon & Salmon Cakes

Escape to Alaska just once and taste the most delicious salmon of your life. Our family celebrated my grandmother’s 80th birthday with an Alaskan cruise. The scenery was spectacular, boating through the pristine Glacier Bay National Park, watching the wildlife, learning about new ecosystems and enjoying fresh salmon every day. Alaska harvests the majority of the wild salmon we eat in the US. Salmon is the most commonly eaten oily fish with a hearty content of omega 3. Sardines, Anchovies, Macke[...]
Spicy Spanish Tomato Sauce

Spicy Spanish Tomato Sauce

Back in my college days, I’d buy those gallon sized pasta sauce jars and packages of tortellini for quick meals. It was all about convenience and it never occurred to me that I could actually make a tomato sauce. The concept was unapproachable. Today there are very few jarred sauces that fall into my good foods list so I have to make my own. A homemade tomato sauce is about the easiest thing to create. Throw all the vegetables into a pan and let it simmer for a bit and you’re done. This sauce w[...]
Prosciutto Wrapped Persimmons

Prosciutto Wrapped Persimmons

A working lunch in the health conscious world seems to be a big faux pas. It’s important to practice mindful eating, taking time to enjoy your food so that your body properly absorbs all the nourishment. Work and food can play well together though when you’re in the right company. I spent the afternoon with my supremely talented friend learning how to achieve brand cohesion through photography. We didn't have time for a complex meal so I kept our lunch simple. Prosciutto, persimmons and o[...]
Nourishing Benefits of Fish Broth

Nourishing Benefits of Fish Broth

Fish broth has been on my to-do list for months. The medicinal and nutritional properties blow all the other broths out of the water. Not only does it help build strong bones like the others, it also contains iodine, thyroid-strengthening substances and fat-soluble vitamins. For fish broth you use the whole head and carcass of any non-oily fish. Most white fish are non-oily, like red snapper, sole, rock fish or halibut. The oil from fish like salmon or tuna are susceptible to rancidity. Omega[...]
Greens Greens Greens

Greens Greens Greens

Greens, black eyed peas and pork are always eaten on New Year’s Day. In folklore, the Southern tradition goes back to the Civil War. Union troops pillaged the land leaving behind only black-eyed peas and greens. Southerners had to survive on these humble foods. Beans represent coins or closed circles signifying the end of one year and good luck in the next. Greens represent wealth and prosperity. And since pigs root forward as they eat, pork is eaten to symbolize a positive direction in the up[...]
Christmas Chocolate Fruit Cake

Christmas Chocolate Fruit Cake

Three more days until Christmas! Joy is officially in the air. I can even smell it. It’s a combination of pine, bonfire, cold air, cloves and fresh baked sugar cookies. Christmas has a distinctive scent that can’t be bottled into a candle. I did try to replicate it in this cake though. Fruit cake is the butt of every holiday joke. Typically weighing almost ten pounds, filled with every fruit and nut imaginable and said to last forever, they are loathed by most. This cake is my attempt to chan[...]
Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

This week I brought home the spaghetti squash to feed a village. The thing was at least 12 pounds! Check out the photo is you don’t believe me. It would be a big, blue ribbon winner in any county fair. Needless to say, I needed some recipes to use up all that squash. First I made Brittany Angell’s Bacon Carbonara sauce with chicken. So delicious! The coconut milk is the perfect substitute for cream and I didn’t even miss the cheese. Now that’s a huge game changer. I thought creamy pasta sauce[...]
Real Texas Beef Chili

Real Texas Beef Chili

I didn’t have my first real bowl of chili until I was 28. And it’s a damn shame too. Years of filling my recipes with tomatoes, beans, lentils, corn and ground turkey. I apologize to my stomach for this wrong doing. Texas does it right, focusing on the chilies and the meat to get the most flavor out of one bowl. The recipe calls for making your own chili paste and I recommend giving it a shot. It’s a few extra steps but I was so proud when I scooped out that beautiful red blend. Since this r[...]
Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

My mom always had canned cranberry sauce in our pantry. You know the one I’m talking about. A cylindrical, molded block that slid perfectly out of the can and plopped onto the plate with no intention of ever losing it’s structure. We had it year round because it was one of my favorite after school snacks. Every 10 year old eats that right? I had a strange food palate. I’d eat it in slices while watching early 90s reruns of 90210. SO addictive. The show and the sauce. That canned stuff is t[...]
Thanksgiving Grain-free "Cornbread" Dressing

Thanksgiving Grain-free "Cornbread" Dressing

When I think of Thanksgiving, I go right to the dressing. Turkey is a side dish. All I want is a huge plate of my Granny’s dressing drenched in giblet gravy with some turkey sprinkled on top. And yes, it’s called dressing. Not stuffing. Who actually stuffs their turkey anyway? It’s called dressing when you cook it in a pan. If you bake a stuffed turkey, you run the risk of bacteria developing since it takes longer for the stuffing to reach an appropriate temperature than the bird. Then you h[...]
Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprout Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprout Salad

I love creating meals that resemble the current season. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I'm in the mood for autumnal colors in every dish. Butternut squash, brussels sprouts and apples are fall on a plate. Brussels sprouts have pushed kale to the side and stepped into the spotlight. They’re the latest trendy vegetable to hit the table. I grew up eating them every week and have always loved them. It’s wonderful the rest of the world has finally caught on and fallen in love with thi[...]
Dark Chocolate Mousse (Dairy-Free!)

Dark Chocolate Mousse (Dairy-Free!)

My chocolate cravings are insatiable. I have a hard time keeping them at bay so I must have healthy chocolate options available at all times. At home I keep raw cacao powder and honey on hand to whip up a quick chocolate sauce and I try to have a dark chocolate bar stashed in my purse for emergencies. You never know when you’ll get stuck on an airport runway for two hours. Chocolate helps during these frustrating times. Sweet potatoes have become one of my staple breakfast items. Back when I[...]
Fat: the Good, the Moderate, the Ugly

Fat: the Good, the Moderate, the Ugly

Friends often ask me, "what's the most important thing to change about my diet?" I tell them to eat the right kinds of fat. This has been the biggest shift in my cooking. I've learned that fat is not the enemy. In fact, every cell in your body needs good fat to survive and thrive. So why then did I avoid it like the plague for years? The health community touted the low-fat diet as the be-all, end-all for years and I absorbed every piece of nutrition advice from the media. I think the general co[...]
Crispy Potato Crust Breakfast Casserole

Crispy Potato Crust Breakfast Casserole

Sunday night is meal prep time for the week. I get anxiety when I have to buy meals from a cafe or restaurant. I like knowing what's in my food. That's the control freak in me. I don't agree with the majority of common ingredients out there and I feel uncomfortable when I have to play twenty questions with a server. Since I'm on this body healing journey, compromising my health with a lunch cooked in canola oil really sets me back. To prevent that from happening I put  aside designat[...]
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread

Nope, still not burned out on pumpkin. All this pumpkin spice obsession is okay by me. Starbucks created a trend worth buying into and I'm glad it's branched out to inspire other creations. Like my Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread! I baked this up and brought it to a brunch party. When I revealed it was gluten-free, I watched as everyone turned to me in surprise.  They loved it and could not believe something so delicious was healthy. I walked around beaming with pride the rest of the day. [...]
Meaty Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Meaty Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Now that fall is here, my weekends are getting shorter and I have less time to cook. Maybe it's the shorter days or it could be my ambitious nature with a tendency to over commit myself. It's definitely the later. I just want to squeeze all the energy out of a day and be as productive as possible. Every weekend I have an incredibly long, detailed list of projects to complete and events to attend. Last weekend I saw friends every night, went hiking and apple/pumpkin picking on Sunday, finishe[...]
Fall Spice Pumpkin Chili

Fall Spice Pumpkin Chili

  On Sunday, I made my annual trip to the pumpkin patch and we came home with bushels of produce! There are still so many pumpkin recipes in the works and it was perfect inspiration. The best part is that the farm we visited uses organic standards for everything they grow. Hooray for no pesticides in our food! I created this pumpkin chili recipe in anticipation of chilly fall evenings around the corner. The ingredients are simple and I like to load it up with veggies to up the [...]
Dairy Free & Nut Free Cheese

Dairy Free & Nut Free Cheese

Cheese and I had a special bond for many years. It was my go-to quick afternoon snack that kept me going until dinner. At some point I'd even read an article that influenced me to eat a piece of cheese before dining out at a restaurant. That one piece was supposed to prevent me from over-eating. I stuck to this rule for years and I think all it did was make me constipated. I gave up most dairy in 2007 and felt incredible. Until that year, my body had been inundated with lactose, which I d[...]
Fegato alla Veneziana (Liver & Onions)

Fegato alla Veneziana (Liver & Onions)

It happened the first time while watching cartoons with my cousin. My grandmother brought us a huge plate of liver and onions. I was seven. Most kids my age would have turned up their noses. I was a strange kid though. I loved everything I was supposed to hate and vise versa. A few of my favorite foods included turtle soup and oysters. Pizza, french fries and ketchup were never on my plate. They just weren't in my palate. I wanted the "adult' food. So my grandmother made me liver and onions[...]
How to Bake a Sugar Pumpkin

How to Bake a Sugar Pumpkin

Baking a pumpkin can be intimidating and awkward. They're oversized, heavy, cumbersome and can make a huge mess. But fresh pumpkin can make all the difference in a recipe. It's actually easy to prep and bake. Just follow this step-by-step tutorial below. Makes 4 cups. 1 sugar pumpkin 2 tsp real salt 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil  ►Preheat oven to 350 degrees ►Rinse the outside of the pumpkin and cut off the top as you would when making a jack-o-lantern ►Slice the pumpkin in [...]
Roasted Peaches with Honey Meringue

Roasted Peaches with Honey Meringue

It's September. So I'll be eating large quantities of summer fruit until the very last day of harvest. Peaches are still available in my local market and I wanted to create a dessert that brought out their full flavor. The best way to do this is by slow roasting until the juices burst through the skin.In my dairy-days I would have reached for plain vanilla ice cream to top off this dessert. Alas, those days are done. Dairy is my primary food intolerance. I tried convincing myself for years that [...]
Coconut Berry Parfait with Granola

Coconut Berry Parfait with Granola

I've been making homemade granola for years. Most of the pre-packed granolas out there are loaded with sugar and contain three or more types of sweeteners. With just a few ingredients, it's so simple to make that I see no point in buying it. Last March my husband and I stole away to DC for the weekend. We love experiencing a place from the locals perspective and rented a quaint garden apartment in Capital Hill for our stay. The hosts wowed us with welcome gifts and even made us homemade grano[...]
Bacon Guacamole Burgers

Bacon Guacamole Burgers

I can't believe this is the first time I'm posting a recipe with bacon. Bacon is a love affair to last a life time. Even when I was vegan, bacon was the exception. Because come on, its BACON! These burgers were out of this world good. Bacon. Guacamole. Grass fed beef. It took some extreme willpower to snap photos of this before devouring every last bite. The meal was inspired by Ben Hulet's #sundaynightguacburgers. If you want to see some drool worthy meals, hop on over and check it out. Make[...]
Coconut Crusted Cod with Asparagus Quinoa

Coconut Crusted Cod with Asparagus Quinoa

From the time my husband and I moved in together, we've eaten a very similar diet. It just makes sense from an economics standpoint as well as making our lives easier when deciding on dinner. I think most families function this way. Growing up I ate whatever my parents put on the table and never considered that I may need different foods from my brothers. Well now I'm learning this is false. Men and women require different diets. I shared this with a friend the other day and she was surpr[...]
Tuna Steak with Ginger Garlic Green Beans & Kohlrabi

Tuna Steak with Ginger Garlic Green Beans & Kohlrabi

We eat far more fish and seafood than meat. Since we're still weaning ourselves off a mostly vegetarian diet, we only eat meat a couple times per week. Tuna is extra meaty so for now it's the closest thing to steak cooking in our kitchen. Once I'm more confident in my meat cooking abilities I'll post some recipes here. We did try a new vegetable though! I have this game where I like to go to the store, buy something interesting and then find out how to cook it later. This time it was kohl[...]
Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Pick up a tomato and bite right into it. If the juices drip down to your elbows then you know you have a good one. I once passed a road side farm stand in Arkansas that read, "elbow licking good!" I pulled over and bought two bags. Now that I'm in Brooklyn, I'm tasting the bounty of the Northeast. And I must say the tomatoes up here are just as flavor-packed as the Southern ones. The colorful heirloom variety are my favorite and I tend to get overzealous when I see beautiful produce. That[...]
Sweet Potato Muffins

Sweet Potato Muffins

I woke up with a burning desire to bake. On Sunday morning I literally leaped out of bed. My adrenaline was pumping in anticipation of my kitchen creation. I began throwing things out of the pantry faster than my brain could process. Since I have a tendency to create before I think, I took a step back and surveyed everything on the counter. The recipe I was dreaming up used several farm fresh eggs and it would have been tragic to waste them. A few years ago I was having a business breakfast w[...]
Summer Vegetable Curry

Summer Vegetable Curry

I'm a new member of the Park Slope Food Coop. The first member-owned grocery store of its kind in the US, focusing on sustainably produced and locally sourced foods. Under one roof you can find vegetables just pulled from the ground by a farm less than 100 miles away, cartons of eggs with handwritten labels, locally produced nut cheeses, spices lovingly scooped into individual packages by your neighbors, and pickled garlic scapes made in a shop down the block. It's my latest obsession. I [...]
Egg Custard with Fresh Plum Sauce

Egg Custard with Fresh Plum Sauce

When I was 11 I made creme brûlée for the first time. It was my absolute favorite dessert and I wanted to prepare it exactly as they did in restaurants. Caramelized sugar and all. As the custard baked, the entire house filled with its sweet aroma.  I proudly served the beautiful creme brûlée to each family member. Then they took their first bite. Silence fell over the room. Yuck! My heart sank. I had switched the salt and sugar proportions. Oops! My family will never let me live this down[...]
Broccoli Avocado Soup

Broccoli Avocado Soup

Texas really did a number on me. Beef barbecue, beef burger and hearty tex-mex meals left me feeling heavy. Don't get me wrong now, it was AH-mazing and I enjoyed every bite of that southern goodness. I can verify that every meal is definitely bigger in Texas. And some of that bigness came back with me. So this week, I'm cooking up extra vegetables and laying off the beef. It's time for the reemergence of my favorite summer soup. I adapted this recipe after a soup in Gwyneth Paltrow's&nb[...]
Lemon Pepper Pan-Roasted Swordfish

Lemon Pepper Pan-Roasted Swordfish

My grandparents had a swordfish mounted above the sofa in their living room. It was a trophy. And a reminder of all the family deep-sea fishing adventures. I went once. Caught an impressive Mahi Mahi and proudly served it to my parents for dinner that night.  Then my fishing days were over. I was much more interested in the cooking and eating than the hunt. Swordfish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that helps the body heal inflammation. It also contains the important micronu[...]
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Nutella is too good to be true. Fact. Perfect straight out of the jar. Fact. Entire jar does not equal one serving. Fact. (Unfortunately.) Highly addictive. Fact. It is for all these reasons that I had to create a healthy version of this delectable treat. Makes one small jar. 1 cup roasted hazelnuts - thin casing removed. 1/4 cup raw cacao powder 1/8 tsp Pink Himalayan sea salt 2 tbsp raw honey Dash of ground cloves (optional) 4 tbsp boiling water 1/2 tsp coconut oil [...]
Strawberry Coconut Butter

Strawberry Coconut Butter

It's strawberry season! Summer came a bit late to the northeast this year so we are just now enjoying the first crop of sweet strawberries. It is impossible to pass by this fruit without snatching up at least two cartons so I end up with more than my stomach can handle. I raided my kitchen last night to what I could possibly create. And since it was 10pm, I wanted to make something quick. I grabbed the food processor, some coconut flakes, strawberries and sea salt. Five minutes later I had t[...]
Flounder Filet Foil Packs

Flounder Filet Foil Packs

I am fortunate to live on the coast with access to super fresh seafood. My local Saturday farmers market has a diverse assortment and I like to mix it up each week. The booth is notorious for selling out by late morning. You have to be quick in Brooklyn! Especially when it comes to good food. The week I chose fresh flounder and also treated myself to a piece of smoked swordfish. Deliciousness! Foil packs perfectly cook fish for an even flakiness. It's so easy to just throw the fish and ve[...]
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Mini-Cheesecakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Mini-Cheesecakes

  Makes 24 mini-cheesecakes Crust: ¾ cup raw peanuts ⅛ teaspoon himalayan pink sea salt 3 soft dates, pitted and chopped   Filling: 1 ½ cups raw cashews (soaked in water overnight, drained) 1 cup raw  peanuts (soaked in water overnight, drained) ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp coconut milk 2 tbsp lemon juice ⅓ cup raw honey ½ cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid) ½ teaspoon himalayan pink sea salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 small ripe orga[...]

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