Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Website

I have moved all my healthy recipes to a new website:  I continue to post new recipes on and will no longer be updating my recipes here on

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chilled Sesame Soba Noodles with Avocado

This light and refreshing gluten-free dish will fill you up without making you uncomfortable.  The star of the dish is the soba noodle, which comes from buckwheat, a perfect alternative for those avoiding gluten.  Even if you are not avoiding gluten, this delicious noodle is perfect for providing protein.

Recipe found on my new website.

Check out for all my latest recipes.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chicken “Parmesan”

Living with food allergies means sometimes there are dishes you just have to give up.  One of my favorites is chicken parmesan.   Being allergic to dairy and gluten makes this dish impossible to recreate unless you are armed with the right products in your pantry.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned about a new product of allergy-friendly chips flavored with garlic and parmesan: Plentils.  This light and flavorful lentil chip takes care of the parmesan flavor and the breadcrumb crunch all in one shot! No extra seasoning needed!

Chicken Parmesan fresh out of the oven
This simple recipe uses Plentils as a healthy and allergy-friendly “breadcrumb” coating on white meat chicken. Find out how I turned this chip into everyone’s favorite comfort food.  My husband, who loves cheese, was shocked that there was no real cheese in this dish.  Amazing – one dish both cheese lovers and dairy-free diners can all enjoy.

Health Benefits
What I love about Plentils is that the main ingredient is the lentil, a nutrient rich legume that provides fiber, protein, iron and important vitamins and minerals all while being low in calories and fat.

Serves: 2

  • ½ bag of Garlic & Parmesan Plentils
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2, 6-8 oz. chicken breasts, pounded until thin
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • ½ cup fresh basil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in wide pan and put on medium-high heat
  3. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on bottom of glass baking pan (about ½ cup); set aside
  4. Place ½ bag of Garlic & Parmesan Plentils into food processor and pulse for 30 seconds (should make about ¾ cups of “breadcrumbs”)
  5. Place the ground “breadcrumbs” onto a flat surface and set aside
  6. Pour almond milk in shallow, wide dish and set aside
  7. Dip the chicken into the almond milk so it is fully covered on both sides
  8. Dredge the chicken on both sides into the ”breadcrumb” mixture so both sides are fully coated
  9. Place chicken in wide pan with hot oil and brown on each side for 5 minutes
  10. Place chicken in glass baking pan on top of the marinara sauce
  11. Cover the top of the chicken with additional marinara sauce (about ½ cup)
  12. Sprinkle additional “breadcrumbs” on top of dish
  13. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes
  14. Add fresh basil on top
Video shows steps 7-9 (coating the chicken in the "breadcrumbs" and placing in pan with oil to brown):

Pair the chicken with cooked spinach.  You can even sauté extra Plentils “breadcrumbs” into the spinach while cooking it in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  This adds texture and wonderful flavor. Serve the chicken over the bed of spinach.

More About Plentils
Plentils are my new favorite wonder product by Enjoy Life Foods.  For those of you who don’t know, Enjoy Life Foods is a company devoted to making delicious allergy friendly products that are free of gluten and the 8 most common food allergens that account for 90% of food allergic reactions in the United States. 

Plus, they never use artificial ingredients.  I have always been able to find their products at Whole Foods.  For more information (and for some coupons) visit their website at

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chocolate-Berry Sorbet

Sorbet shown in gluten-free cone

This heavenly dessert is for everyone out there without an ice cream maker (and with a dairy allergy)!  I wanted an easy to make, quick dessert that was dairy free… I have been experimenting with the ingredients and proportions and so far this is the best combo for a rich and creamy texture with the right amount of chocolate decadence.  

You can feel good about indulging in this chocolaty dessert without all the calories and fat that comes with standard chocolate ice cream.  The wonderful thing about using cocoa powder is you get the entire flavor that is divine about chocolate without all the added sugar. 

The almond butter is a key component of this recipe as it adds some great creaminess.

I paired it with a gluten-free ice cream cone my husband found for me at Whole Foods the other day (pictured). 

Serves 1

Delicious gluten-free ice cream cones

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (frozen cherries work well too)
  • 2 tbsp raw almond butter (Trader Joe’s almond butter is my favorite)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (Trader Joe’s makes a great one and so does Ghirardelli)
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1-2 packets of Stevia or your favorite sweetener

  1. Place all ingredients in blender or mini food processor and mix on the lowest setting for 1 minute (if ingredients are not blending then wait 3-5 minutes for berries to soften a bit)
  2. Optional: Feel free to experiment with adding vanilla extract or cinnamon for different flavors
  3. Place mixture in bowl and cover with plastic wrap
  4. Let sit in freezer for at least 10 minutes
  5. Serve in bowl or ice cream cone

Shown in a bowl with Enjoy Life mini dark chocolate chips.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mayo-Free Coleslaw

This healthy side dish is a great alternative to salad.  Cabbage is an inexpensive veggie and full of fiber, vitamin C & K and other important antioxidants.

Rather than the typical mayo-based dressing, this recipe uses a light dressing loaded with herbs.  Adding the nectar, granny smith apple, pistachios and avocado takes coleslaw from basic to extraordinary (and mildly sweet).

Serves 6

Slaw Ingredients
  • 4 cups cabbage, shredded into slaw
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  • ½ English cucumber, skinned & diced
  • ¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • ½ granny smith apple, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 spring onions, diced
  • 1 nectar, diced
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp canola
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp agave nectar light
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro

  1. Combine all slaw ingredients in large mixing bowl
  2. Put all dressing ingredients in mini food processor and pulse until incorporated
  3. Pour dressing on slaw and mix
  4. Chill well before serving 
Pair with a flavorful entree or enjoy by itself.

Health Benefits
Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C (1 serving which is ½ cup has 30% DV of vitamin C).  The American Dietetic Association (ADA), reminds us that cabbage is touted for its potential cancer-fighting properties, along with other vegetables in the cruciferous family.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should avoid slicing or shredding cabbage in advance. This will cause it to lose some of its vitamin C content.  The ADA recommends that once cut, cover the cabbage with plastic wrap to slow the loss of vitamins.

Bobby Flay’s Spanish Spice Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Parsley-Mint Sauce

I recently met the world famous Bobby Flay in Baltimore City!  He was in town checking up on his new restaurant, Bobby’s Burgers Palace, in Arundel Mills’ Maryland Casino Live.  I spotted him at the Four Seasons Hotel in Harbor East at a new hot Japanese Restaurant, Pabu.

As a huge Food Network fan I introduced myself and was impressed at how friendly and kind the food legend was to me as I babbled about how much I enjoyed his Sixteen Spiced Chicken dish at MESA grill while on vacation almost 3 years ago (I still remember it as the best chicken I have ever had).
This amazing celebrity run-in reminded me of how truly delicious chicken can be if prepared with the right spices and flavors.  So, in honor of my recent Bobby Flay run-in, I cooked another fantastically flavorful chicken dish that was recently aired on the Food Network (All-Star Grillfest: South Beach [originally filmed in 2007]).  In this segment, Bobby Flay shares his "Spanish Spice Rubbed Chicken Breast with Parsley-Mint Sauce" (full recipe).

The chicken rub is so much fun and every bite is full of smoky, spicy, earthy flavor.  He brilliantly pairs the chicken with a spicy and “herbaceous” pesto-like sauce.  It takes chicken from bland to BAM! 

Couple of tips from Bobby:
  1. Add salt and pepper to the chicken before the oil and the spice rub
  2. Always oil the chicken and not the grill
  3. Don’t overpower the chicken: put the spice rub on one-side only
  4. Brush oil on chicken after you flip (the non-rub side)
  5. Drizzle the parsley-mint sauce rustically on top of the chicken
I serve with my light and sweet mayo-free coleslaw salad.  This cold and refreshing salad offsets the heat and spice from Bobby’s chicken.

Cold Mint Pea Soup

This recipe is inspired by a past colleague of mine who keeps a health blog with fitness tips and nutritious recipes.  Her version of the recipe can be found here.  Thanks, Monica!

This cold soup is super easy and quick to make (definitely under 5 minutes).

I slightly modified it by adding spinach to the blender and pistachios as garnish for a bit of crunch.  The classic mint/pea combo is beyond refreshing on a hot summer day.  It makes for a quick and healthy snack or even can be served as a side during lunch. 

Serves 2

  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • Small handful of fresh mint
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • pinch of sea salt
  • fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup lightly salted pistachios, roughly chopped

  1. Add all ingredients (except the pistachios) to blender and puree
  2. Serve immediately and garnish with pistachios and fresh mint leaves

Health Benefits
This recipe gets bonus healthy points for mixing peas (an excellent source of vitamins A and C) with raw spinach.  As I mentioned in my last post, when you combine vitamin C with raw spinach your body is able to absorb its iron and calcium.

Plus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, peas are a good low calorie source of protein.  1 serving of this recipe contains more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter.  And, unlike eggs, 1 serving of peas has less than one gram of fat and no cholesterol.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tropical Green Smoothie

I have been hearing buzz lately about green smoothies so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and give one a try.  Raw green smoothies are great for absorbing key ingredients from plant foods such as iron and calcium which are not highly absorbed by the body when the greens are cooked.  For example, spinach contains a chemical called oxalic acid, which binds with iron and calcium and reduces the absorption of these important minerals.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spinach should be eaten with vitamin C-rich foods to improve iron absorption.  This recipe pairs raw spinach with fruits high in vitamin C (kiwi and mango) to help with the absorption process.

Color: I wanted to create something that looked good since we eat with our eyes first.  Most green smoothies end up brownish so I selected mostly green ingredients for a bright green, vibrant smoothie.

Flavor: The frozen mango overpowers the flavor of the spinach so you won’t taste any gritty spinach.  Plus, the tartness of the granny smith apple and kiwi and sweetness of the honeydew make it extra delicious. 

Taste Test: I tried this one out on my husband and he was so surprised at how much he loved it.  He wanted more after he downed his first glass… A great way to sneak raw spinach into your diet!  Great in the morning for breakfast or as a post-workout/mid-day snack.

Health Benefits: Spinach has a high nutritional value and luckily fresh spinach is available all year. Not only is spinach low in calories, it is also a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamin A (which keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections) as well as vitamin C (which helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy).

Ingredients in blender before pureed
Serves: 2

  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 cup fresh honeydew melon
  • ½ granny smith apple
  • 2-3 cups of organic spinach
  • ½ cup almond milk

  1. Add ingredients to blender in the order listed above
  2. Puree in blender until fully incorporated (add ice if desired).
  3. To make it thicker, add more frozen mango (or to thin it out add more almond milk or even water) 
  4. Enjoy immediately
Health Benefits of Spinach – More Details
One serving of raw spinach (1/2 cup) has only 5 calories and contains calcium and iron plus 60% of your daily vitamin A and 15% of your daily vitamin C.  This recipe has 4-6 times the amount of raw spinach in one serving (depending on how much spinach you use and how many servings you consume).

Spinach Storage Tip
Fresh spinach should be dried and packed loosely in a cellophane or plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator crisper. If stored properly, it should last 3 or 4 days.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Watermelon-Lime Berry Fusion

After a Memorial Day BBQ party you are typically left with watermelon and possibly a hangover.  The inspiration for this smoothie came from that very situation.  I wanted to create an incredibly thirst-quenching “cooler” to enjoy on a hot and humid day.  Watermelon is 92% water and 8% sugar, plus it has electrolytes to help with your hangover. 

This incredibly refreshing beverage will perk you right up with invigorating lime, hydrating melon and sweet strawberries and raspberries.

  • 2 cups fresh seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup crushed ice

  1. Place watermelon, strawberries and raspberries in blender
  2. Zest lime and set aside for garnish
  3. Squeeze lime juice into blender
  4. Add ice and blend until fully incorporated
  5. Serve immediately and garnish with lime zest and extra raspberries

Health Benefits
The star of this recipe is clearly the watermelon which is technically a vegetable and part of the cucumber and squash family.  Who knew!?  This vegetable in disguise also contains high concentrations of lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that may reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases.  Enjoy the taste, immediate uplifting perks and the long-term health benefits of this easy to make watermelon recipe.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Southwest Jicama Slaw

Just coming back from the Southwest has inspired me to experiment with new flavors and ingredients.  This fresh and healthy jicama salad is perfect as a fun side for a BBQ.

  • 1 large jicama, peeled and sliced thinly into short strips
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup red poblano pepper
  • ½ purple onion, diced
  • 1 champagne mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 green poblano chili
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • onion powder and black pepper to taste
  • other ingredient options: shredded carrots, granny smith apples, scallions

  1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and toss
  2. Let chill in fridge for 1-2 hours and serve
Jicama is a vegetable and is like a cross between a potato and an apple or pear in terms of texture and taste.  It has almost no flavor and is crunchy.  I found jicama at Whole Foods (had to ask twice - not easy to find) but is available year-round.  It looks similar to a turnip with tan skin.  It is very low in calories and high in Vitamin C.

Storage: You can store jicama for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in your fridge.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Almond Butter and Berry Smoothie

This morning I woke up craving a refreshing and filling smoothie.  But, oh no!  Out of protein powder… What is a healthy foodie to do?!

My protein powder is what gives my smoothies their thick texture so I had to think quick for a substitution… So, I’m thinking thick and then it comes to me: almond butter and oats!

The result was something entirely natural and much more delicious!  I may be obsessed with this new creation (even though I will warn you that it sounds… different).  Here we go…
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp almond butter, unsalted
  • ¼ cup old fashion oats (helps with thickness) 
Puree ingredients in blender and serve immediately.
Made with only raspberries

Health Benefits
This all-natural recipe features fruit, whole grains and almonds.  We know almonds are “nuterrific” because they are high in fiber, the antioxidant Vitamin E and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that won’t raise your cholesterol.

This breakfast is incredibly filling and full of natural energy – Now all you have to do is "bring it"!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Salmon Stuffed Mushrooms

This elegant and light appetizer is perfect for a quick snack or for entertaining.  Most stuffed mushroom recipes contain cheese and/or mayo – this recipe keeps it creamy with hummus and flavorful with dill and garlic.

The health factor of this tiny bite is huge… salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and contains important vitamins (A, C, D, E) and minerals such as zinc, calcium, selenium and iron; hummus is a healthy form of lean protein; and low-calorie mushrooms are full of B vitamins, selenium, potassium and vitamin D. 

  • 10 large organic white button mushrooms, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
  • 1 can wild Alaskan salmon in water
  • 1/3 C garlic hummus (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dill (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Optional garnish ingredients: fresh dill, fresh basil, avocado, roasted shallot ring 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Open canned salmon and drain thoroughly
  3. In a mixing bowl, add mustard, dill and pepper to the salmon and set aside
  4. Lightly spray a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil
  5. Remove the entire stem of each mushroom, leaving a small pocket in the underbelly of each mushroom
  6. Fill the empty space with hummus and top with the salmon mixture
  7. Place in oven for 10 minutes
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes and garnish with dill, basil, a single roasted shallot ring or even avocado!
Did you know?
  • Mushrooms are technically a fungus, not a vegetable (no roots, leaves or seeds) and contain 90% water!
  • It is best to store extra mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge and they can be stored for up to one week.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yummy Batter Cookies

I named these after the fact that I couldn’t stop eating the batter.  But don’t let the name fool you, the actual cookie post-baking is incredible.  These are by far my favorite gluten-free, vegan cookies yet!  And for those who know me, I make cookies almost every other night and love to experiment with different flours, measurements and different ingredients to keep things interesting.

My husband (who has become my default taste tester) agrees the texture is like a “real” cookie and it has the perfect balance of sweetness (thanks to my new obsession, agave nectar, instead of my go-to stevia which can sometimes be a little too sweet or have a slightly bitter aftertaste).

This recipe makes 12 cookies (unless you eat the batter which is irresistibly yummy).

Dry Ingredients
  • ½ cup quick cooking oats (gluten free)
  • ¼ cup teff flour
  • ¼ cup raw walnut baking pieces
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate mini chips
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg or cinnamon

Wet Ingredients
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar (light)

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir
  2. Add wet ingredients and mix
  3. Stop to taste the amazing batter (and you can because it is egg-free)
  4. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees
  5. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before enjoying
  6. Serve with extra cold almond milk for a perfect late night snack!

All About Agave
This recipe uses agave nectar, a vegan natural sweetener that is similar to honey (but better).  Agave nectar comes from the agave plant which is also the starting material for the production of tequila.

Agave syrup has a low glycemic index.  So, it offers a balanced sweetness without the typical "sugar rush" and unhealthy blood sugar spike caused by refined sugars.  You should still use it moderately.  One tablespoon contains 60 calories and 16 grams of sugar.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mango Sorbet

Shown with berry garnish
This refreshing and extremely healthy homemade sorbet dessert is perfect to end any meal and just so happens to have a difficulty factor of … zero.

Servings: 2

  • 2 cup frozen mango, unsweetened
  • ½ cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk 
  1. Allow frozen mango to thaw out for 5-10 minutes
  2. Place mango and milk in mini food processor and pulse for 30 seconds
  3. Scoop mixture into individual bowls
  4. Place in freezer for 10 minutes
  5. Top it off with berries and enjoy!
Health Benefits
Mango sorbet shown without the berry garnish
I love sorbet but the store bought kind often contains added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.  This two-ingredient version contains only the good stuff ;)

Fruit is an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth while packing in nutrients (mangos contain vitamin A and C). 

Make it your own…
You could use these measurement guidelines and preparation steps to make your favorite flavor of sorbet – just substitute the frozen mango for another frozen fruit.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Complete Breakfast Solution

Shown without wild blueberries
Part of finding your way to a healthier you starts with breakfast.

Why is breakfast important?  It kick-starts your metabolism for the day and helps give your body the energy it needs to think faster and more clearly while preventing overeating later in the day by keeping you satisfied.  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a healthy breakfast.  It sets the tone for your entire day.

Here is a complete breakfast solution to get you started.  I call it "Loaded Oatmeal" - this 4 ingredient breakfast fix boasts a complete meal (protein, whole grains and fruit).  It is not only a nutrition powerhouse, but tastes so good you might mistake it for dessert!  At 7:30am - it is my favorite way to start the day.

Loaded Oatmeal 

  1. 1 cup milk or milk alternative (such as unsweetened almond milk)
  2. ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  3. 1 tbsp natural unsalted peanut butter (or any nut butter – almond, cashew)
  4. ½ cup frozen wild blueberries 
  5. Fresh berries for garnish
Add Stevia sweetener and cinnamon to taste.
Serving suggestion: garnish with fresh berries
Bonus points is you sprinkle on some ground flax seed and/or chopped walnuts for some added Omega-3 benefits!  Flax seed also provides you with lignans - a cancer-fighter.


  1. Bring milk to boil
  2. Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat.  Cook gently for 3-5 minutes, until mixture becomes uniform and thick
  3. Ladle into bowl and sprinkle with berries (and bonus ingredients if desired).  Serve immediately.  
Shown with wild blueberries
Health Benefits
  • Adding berries to your breakfast is a great way to make things more exciting.  Plus, berries are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.  Antioxidants are powerful disease fighters that protect cells from free radicals that may cause diseases like cancer.
  • Fiber: This dish is loaded with fiber which is great for healthy digestion, a healthy heart and of course helps keep you fuller, longer.  Fiber is great for weight management.
  • This dish really has it all: fiber, healthy protein, whole grain oats and delicious fruit - all in one bowl!
This deliciously healthy dish certainly gives me something to get out of bed for in the morning.  And, it is hearty enough to hold me over until my mid-morning snack.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nutty Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

Who doesn’t love a good breakfast muffin?  It is a great on-the go option because it is so portable.  And, depending on the recipe, it can offer some excellent nutrition benefits all in one tiny package. 

This recipe packs loads of nutritional goods including a variety of whole grains, fiber, protein, heart healthy fat and a good amount of fruit.  It is egg-free, dairy-free and naturally sweetened without the use of added sugar.  So what exactly is it made of?

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups of dry ingredients 
                ½ cup whole-wheat flour
                ½ cup whole oats
                ½ cup oat bran
                ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 tbsp flax seed
  • Sprinkle of Stevia extract
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
Wet Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix dry ingredients in medium sized bowl
  3. Stir in wet ingredients
  4. Add spoonfuls of the mixture to sprayed muffin pan
  5. Bake 20-22 minutes

Makes about 18 small muffins
Serving suggestions: Serve warm and spread your favorite nut butter on top.

Health Benefits
  • By substituting apple sauce for oil and butter you lower the saturated fat content while keeping the muffins moist and naturally sweet.
  • Using whole-wheat flour adds fiber to the muffins, which will help to fill you up more.  This muffin can go the distance and help you make it to your lunch break.

Beyond Eggs
Did you know you can substitute other ingredients for eggs?  Eggs contain cholesterol, are a common food allergen and create a problem for vegans.  If you are trying to stay away from eggs use this handy substitution:

1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flax seed, simmered in 3 tbsp water

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Avocado Basil Brown Rice

This creamy and flavorful side dish can be easily transformed into a main dish by adding your favorite protein.

Shown with Black Beans
1.5 cups of brown rice (I use Trader Joe’s Frozen Brown Rice – Microwaves in 3 minutes)

Blend this in a mini food processor:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 cloves or garlic (or garlic powder)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice (optional)

Once the rice is cooked and the sauce is blended combine them and mix immediately with whatever protein you want on top.  Garnish with basil.

Pairing Suggestions
Shown with Shrimp
and Chicken Sausage
What is great about this is you can mix in anything with this dish - tofu, beans, chicken, shrimp, fish... whatever.  It really does pair well with anything.  

Health Benefits of Avocados
As if you need more reasons to consume this delicious fruit…
Avocados are an excellent source of heart healthy, monounsaturated fat.  They are high in dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and folate. Avocados even contain 60% more potassium per ounce than bananas!

Why Brown Rice?
Brown rice is considered a whole grain, which means it contains the entire grain kernel (the bran, germ, and endosperm).  Whole grains are loaded with nutrients and reduce your risk of heart disease.  Brown rice has 4 times more fiber than white rice and because of this can help with weight management by providing a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tex Mex Quinoa

I’m always looking for new ways to prepare quinoa.  This southwest twist takes quinoa from basic to flavorfully fun and colorful.  The addition of the black beans is great for added protein and fiber.  Top with an avocado and extra lime juice just before serving for an extra wow factor.

  • ½ cups dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed, drained and dried
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 1 champagne mango, not too ripe, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves gently torn (discard stems)
  • Optional: Add chunks of avocado right before serving and squeeze extra lime juice on top. Sprinkle with more cilantro in center for a picture perfect dish.

  1. Cook quinoa in water until fully absorbed (approx. 20 minutes)
  2. Add ingredients in the order they appear above and stir to combine
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature

This recipe is adapted from my good friend Amy Kardon.  Original recipe can be found here:
Thanks, Amy!

Warm Honeycrisp Apple Dessert

This cozy dessert is as delicious as warm apple pie.  America could benefit from this naturally-sweetened and vegan twist on their classic dish. 

Americans love their apples… we eat about 120 apples apiece each year.  Like all fruits, they contain natural antioxidants to give your body a strong defense against disease. This recipe sneaks in some whole grains for fiber to boost the nutrition even further. 

Serves: 3

  • 2 large honeycrisp apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup crushed walnuts, raw
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp unsulphered molasses (a natural sweetener high in iron, calcium and potassium)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp agave syrup (a natural sweetener)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Stevia to taste (optional)
  • Sprinkle of ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and let sit for about 5 minutes
  3. Spray glass baking dish with canola oil and add ingredients
  4. Bake for 25 minutes
  5. Serve immediately
  6. Recommended: serve with vanilla ice cream or dairy-free substitute
Video: Slicing the apples...

Thanks to my amazing mom for inventing and cooking this dish with me :)