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Real Food Recipes. Sustainable Living. Shining Health.

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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[...]
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[...]
32 No Sugar Added Desserts

32 No Sugar Added Desserts

Move over fat, there’s a new culprit in town. Sugar is now the ingredient to avoid. Do you know how much added sugar you consume in one day? I didn’t. My “healthy” dessert habit got out of control. I was obsessed with the one minute mug cakes, homemade magic shell, and single servings of chocolate chip cookies. After almost every meal I’d make myself a little treat. I used maple syrup or honey as the sweetener and I tricked my brain into thinking they were “nutritious” sugar. Well ALL swee[...]
Mango Chia Pudding (No Sugar Added Dessert!)

Mango Chia Pudding (No Sugar Added Dessert!)

Chia seeds are a funny little food. Just add water and they gel up into a gooey substance. What causes this gelling action? Chia seeds are hydrophilic which means they can take on a lot of liquid for their size.  This is because of it’s composition: 5% water, 19% protein, 33% oils, and 43% fibre, of which about half is soluble. The high amount of soluble fiber allows chia seeds to gel up in water. Hyped to a be a real superfood, they actually don’t measure up to their claims. Chia seeds[...]
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. [...]
7 Fruit-Free Smoothies

7 Fruit-Free Smoothies

I dream of smoothies in yoga class. The room is 105F degrees with 60% humidity and pools of sweats are making an island out of my yoga mat. I love every minute of the intensity. And after working that hard I want a reward. On the really tough days, visualizing myself sipping down a cool, refreshing smoothie is the only thing that gets me through class. I also wouldn’t hate one poured right over my head. There is an issue with smoothies though. Loads of sugar from the fruit. It is naturally [...]
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 [...]
Dairy-Free Eggnog

Dairy-Free Eggnog

Well hello there eggnog season. Get out the punch bowl and make up a batch of this yummy and somewhat nutritious beverage. I give credit to the nutrient-rich, pastured egg yolks in this recipe, full of vitamins A, D, E and K. Eggnog hails from England back in the 17th century and was quite popular among the early American colonies. Rum was the spirit of choice back then and has evolved to cognac, brandy, bourbon or whiskey. My version of eggnog is sans alcohol so go with whatever suits your t[...]
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:[...]
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Happy pumpkin spice season! You either love it or love to hate it. Last year I went pumpkin crazy, creating a whole slew of recipes. You can go check them out here.  My absolute favorite was my Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread, an incredibly moist gluten-free bread that also stayed together. Too many gluten-free goods crumble to bits before you can even get a bite in your mouth. This bread keeps it's magic goodness together.  All I did for this recipe was to add in 1 an[...]
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.  [...]
Berry-Lemon Tart with Tigernut Crust

Berry-Lemon Tart with Tigernut Crust

*It is alway my intent to be 100% transparent. Organic Gemini kindly gifted the TigerNuts to me for this recipe. This review reflects my personal opinions and experience with the product.   There’s a new nut in town! I’m excited to welcome Tigernuts to the table. And it’s soy, dairy, grain, nut and seed free. AND the facility that processes them is dedicated gluten-free, peanut-free and tree nut-free to prevent any possible cross-contamination. I am personally sensitive to many n[...]
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[...]
Top 6 Dairy-Free Ice Cream Shops in NYC

Top 6 Dairy-Free Ice Cream Shops in NYC

Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream! Summer’s favorite treat is taking on new directions. The route is leading to dairy-free and allergy-friendly options. And all the dairy-free people in the world rejoiced!  After years of torture, watching others enjoy these mouth-watering treats, the marketplace is finally catering to everyone’s needs. Last week I ventured on a grand ice cream tour with some lovely ladies around the city. Our mission was to single out the most sustainable[...]
How to Make Kombucha: Part 2

How to Make Kombucha: Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Kombucha Series. Watch the first step here and follow the step-by-step guide here.  Kombucha making can be a bit temperamental and uncooperative. If the weather is not quite right, the whole batch may fail. Let me know how I can help and leave any questions in the comments below!   [...]
How to Make Kombucha: Part 1

How to Make Kombucha: Part 1

Fermented foods are a fantastic way to get more probiotics into your diet. You can also drink your probiotics in the form of kombucha. This fizzy, fermented beverage aids digestion with acids and enzymes, detoxifies the body and promotes overall health. A Kombucha habit is a pricey one though, around $4 per bottle. Thankfully, it’s rather easy to make your own. First you need a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). It’s a jelly-fish, blob-like thing that’s actually living bacteria [...]
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[...]
Juicing vs Smoothies: Which is Better?

Juicing vs Smoothies: Which is Better?

To juice or to smoothie? Both are exceedingly popular and both have their pros and cons. Let’s first become clear on one thing, juices and smoothies are not meals. All the weeklong juice cleanses touting health benefits are a nutritional disaster. Our bodies were designed with teeth for a reason. Biological needs are met when food is chewed. Yes, it’s true there is a lot of nutrition packed into one cup, yet the human body cannot run on a liquid diet. The act of chewing food actually begins [...]
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 [...]
8 Best of Summer Non-Alcoholic Drinks

8 Best of Summer Non-Alcoholic Drinks

So many sweet summertime, summertime days to be celebrated! Warm nights call for backyard gatherings, weekly barbecues and maximizing al fresco dining. Get out your fancy glasses and cheers to longer sun-filled days. Take advantage of the season’s freshest fruits and blend up a drink to keep you nice and cool. I like to think of these festive beverages as parties in their own right. With their bright colors and fun garnishes, how can something so gorgeous not make you happy?! I wanted to hig[...]
Non-Alcoholic Peach Bellini

Non-Alcoholic Peach Bellini

Peaches will soon hit their peak and there is only one drink to make with them. Bellinis! Traditionally made with champagne and peach nectar, I recreated it with fresh peaches, sparkling water and yummy tart cherry juice. Enjoy!  [...]
Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-free & Dairy-free)

Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-free & Dairy-free)

Strawberry season is just beginning and I’m already reaping the benefits. These berries are so sweet, plump and juicy that I wonder why I even bother with them in winter months. I’m putting them in everything and finding excuses to eat a few after each meal. Because you have to embrace the fruit when it’s at it’s best. To keep the berry supply going all year I’ll freeze the fresh ones so I won’t have to resort to the grocery store frozen bags. This recipe highlights the sweetness of the stra[...]
Dairy-free Ice Cream

Dairy-free Ice Cream

On Sunday I took my first hike of the season. It was a spectacular, sunny day and and the whole time I was thinking: ice cream! So when I got home I went straight to the store to buy everything needed to make dairy-free ice cream. The summer is torture for a dairy-free girl. Ice cream trucks are sending their melodic call, new gelato places open-up, kids are passing with cones dripping down their shirts and I can’t have any of it. A few coconut ice cream brands are on the market but they’re on[...]
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[...]
Video: How to Make Homemade Mayo

Video: How to Make Homemade Mayo

1 minute. Honestly. It will take you longer to watch this video than to make this recipe. Condiments overflow my fridge. Right now, ten kinds of hot sauce, five specialty mustards and three types of salsa line the inside doors. The shelves are sparse though. The Hubs and I share food control issues. If it's there, we eat it. Keeping food in our house is hazardous to our health. So instead we indulge in condiments. Our fridge was missing out on mayo for years though. I could never fin[...]
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[...]
Selecting the Best Olive Oil

Selecting the Best Olive Oil

The land of perfect tomato sauce, prosciutto, cheese, gelato, and olive oil, Italy is a foodie’s paradise. I spent last week touring and tasting my way across the country. Northern Italy is all about the simplicity of flavors, highlighting the food in it’s purest form. And known for it’s health benefits of course. The Mediterranean Diet is touted as disease preventing and a cure for many of our modern ailments. I was most intrigued by the olive oil. Oils are quite fragile and if not processed pr[...]
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 [...]
Not Going Nutty Over Nuts

Not Going Nutty Over Nuts

Nuts generally fall under the health food category, touted for their healthy fat content and as a good source of protein. Then why do they make me feel bloated, gassy and sometimes itchy? Almonds, walnuts, pistachios and all other nuts may just be all hype. Why to not to go nutty over nuts Nuts are designed by nature to protect themselves, their function is to reproduce and keep their species alive. In certain animals nuts can even pass whole through their bodies to ensure reproduction. Becau[...]
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[...]
Video: How to Make Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Video: How to Make Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Going dairy free can be complicated when you don't know how to substitute for your favorite foods. I've spent years of trial and error to find the foods that work best. This is the first of a series of videos showing examples of easy food swaps for dairy.  I had to begin with something extra delicious, whipped cream! I'd love to know your thoughts on this video. Please share with me below! [...]
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,[...]
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[...]
Festive Fizzy Drinks: Alcohol Alternatives

Festive Fizzy Drinks: Alcohol Alternatives

When I began my Bikram yoga practice, I gave up alcohol. The yoga room is 105 degrees and requires hydration. There is no way around it. You either come to class hydrated or suffer. One time I practiced after drinking 1 glass of wine the night before. My head was spinning and I thought I was going to suffocate most of the class. I choose hydration. I also choose health over a little drink that can set me back. My fitness level has always been important to me, but for many years I wasn’t willi[...]
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[...]
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[...]
5 Reasons to Buy Organic & Local this Thanksgiving

5 Reasons to Buy Organic & Local this Thanksgiving

I choose local, organically grown foods. Mostly because I’m a control freak. I like to know exactly how my food was raised. And I also want to know the foods I’m eating are nourishing me. Conventional produce and meats are not able to offer the same standards. Before I get into the other reasons why I buy organic, I have to explain one misconception. Foods labeled organic are not the only organically produced foods. Many small farms practice sustainable farming but do not carry the USDA Organic[...]
Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

  As pumpkin season comes to a close, I’m squeezing in all those recipes I ambitiously jotted down just as the leaves began to change. The leaves have found their way to the pavement and I’m soon calling it quits on fall flavors. Christmas decorations began creeping in weeks ago so Thanksgiving is the absolute cut-off. At my Granny’s house, there is a tradition of dessert assortment that puts any extravagant cruise ship buffet to shame. Two tables covered in desserts. It’s not Thanksgivi[...]
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[...]
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. [...]
Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

It's fall y'all! I know that's super corny but I can't stop saying it. That crispy, cool nip is in the air. Pumpkins are dotting my neighbor's stoops, Halloween decorations are making an appearance and I want to add pumpkin to all my recipes. First up is a batch of cookies. Grain free baking is no easy task. I did tons of careful research before embarking on this cookie recipe. In terms of grain free options, four types of flour replacements are predominately used: almond or other nut flour[...]
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 [...]
Peachy Chia Smoothie Bowl

Peachy Chia Smoothie Bowl

The smoothie bowl was inspired by two things. 1. Juice Revolution. I had the Amazing Greens Acia Bowl on my birthday this year instead of cake (with coconut substituted for bananas). It's THAT good! 2. Clean Food Dirty City. This woman has serious gorg-factor on her site. Check it out if you want to be wowed. There is a certain satisfaction in eating a smoothie rather than drinking it. Using a spoon extends the smoothie moment. I tend to slurp it down in a matter of minutes when [...]
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 [...]
Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet potatoes quickly became a breakfast staple when I embarked on this new food journey. I cooked up four or five pounds the other day and have been on a mission to use them in new ways. The lack of bread-like foods is becoming taxing and I needed some substitutes before I ate an entire loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. So I asked myself how I could turn sweet potatoes into a bread-like consistency. There had to be a way, right?! Yes! Pancakes. Most paleo pancake recipes call for almond or co[...]
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[...]
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[...]
Chia Sweet Potato Soufflé

Chia Sweet Potato Soufflé

My body craves carbs in the morning and I'm still trying to find a substitute for my pervious oatmeal morning ritual. I would strategically add in coconut flakes, sunbutter, fresh ginger, raw honey, cinnamon, raw cacao powder and vanilla. Then I would enjoy it as I sat at my inspiration place writing my journal. My oatmeal routine turned into an obsession so I'm now searching for a more nourishing replacement. Sweet potatoes are an excellent vehicle for all the add-ins and toppings I love[...]
Almond Milk

Almond Milk

For all of us in the world who cannot tolerate traditional dairy, we must turn to some sort of alternative. I choose to be soy-free, cow-milk-free, and grain-free. The only option left then is nut milk. Once I took my first sip of chocolate almond milk, I was hooked! That stuff is dee-lish! Then I looked at the ingredient list. All that sugar! Ahh! No good for this gal. I had to make my own. Almond milk is simply almonds and water. You soak the almonds in water and then blend it together.[...]
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[...]
Cayenne Dark Chocolate Truffles

Cayenne Dark Chocolate Truffles

Sometimes we just need to get our fix, our daily dose of chocolate. I try my best to keep homemade healthy options near-by in these emergency situations. When the hormone alarm sounds, all I have to do is reach for the secret stash. It removes the internal conflict over fighting my craving or saying, screw it, I'm eating that brownie. Then feeling the guilt of consuming something I know is bad for my body. The brownie is never the solution. So I created these delicious melt-in-your-mouth tru[...]
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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