Sweet Nutrition for Rosh Hashanah

Shana TovahIn the midst of all the Rosh Hashanah greetings this weekend, I decided to whip up something that touches on the Jewish New Year tradition of consuming sweet foods, like apples, honey and dates. Here is a nutrient rich, yet sweet and delicious salad that you can definitely celebrate if you are celebrating the Jewish New Year, or even throughout your year-end holidays. This is a delicious stand-alone salad, or an accompaniment for your Thanksgiving turkey or other holiday feast. And, the Omega-3 punch you get from the walnuts and walnut oil helps you keep your body in balance during the indulgent holidays. Enjoy! 

Spaghetti Squash, Beet & Apple Salad

3 cups cooked and cooled spaghetti squash strands
2 medium beets, grated
2 apples, grated
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp. minced dates, or more if you like it extra sweet
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. walnut oil
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon or parsley Read More

Pumpkinseed Pesto Yumminess

If you raise basil on a regular basis, you will encounter those times when you get busy and kind of ignore the basil for a few days, and while you are busy doing other stuff, the basil goes nuts and produces an abundance of flower stalks and leaves. This happened to me the other day and in my rush to prune it all back, I ended up with a giant pile of basil. So, since autumn is just around the corner, I decided to do a variation of pesto using raw pepitas (pumpkinseeds). There is something about the pumpkinseeds’ earthiness and association with the impending fall season that just made it all seem right.

I am still getting some glorious heirloom tomatoes, although that season is nearly over, so I put together this sort of “summer-fall” transitional salad that is vegan, yet packed with high quality, raw protein and healthy fats. This vegan pesto is very versatile and I have been using it in a variety of ways beyond this salad. This recipe is definitely a keeper and a healthier alternative to traditional pesto.

Heirloom Tomato and Pumpkinseed Pesto Salad

2 heirloom tomatoes
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup avocado oil + extra for drizzle
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. raw pipitas (hulled pumpkinseeds) + extra for sprinkling
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice Read More

Watermelon & Avocado Salad

I love it when something is so ridiculously simple it almost doesn’t make sense. I have been extremely busy developing some new flex foods to compliment a new cleanse product that I have been offering on my Whole, Clean & Green Challenge. The cleanse protocol specifies a very short list of flex foods, so I was limited to basically just citrus juice and sea salt for any kind of dressing. I was delighted to discover how flawless and wonderful just watermelon, avocado, lime, and sea salt taste when combined together. And therefore I had to share it on the blog! You can make this in about three minutes. Drizzle some avocado oil on top if you must, but it really isn’t necessary.

Lime & Sea Salted Watermelon & Avocado Salad

About 2 heaping cups of watermelon, cut into cubes
2 avocados, cut into half with pit removed
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 pinches sea salt
A couple generous sprigs of watercress
Optional avocado oil for drizzling Read More

Avocado & Pear, What a Pair!

I love it when a random “grab two things and see what happens” move in the kitchen turns out to be so yummy. Here is an extremely easy recipe that mixes pears with avocados, and finishes it off with some fresh lime and basil. Add this to your list of simple raw fruit and vegetable go-to’s. It’s perfectly refreshing for hot summer days. Enjoy!

avocado & pear salad with basil lime dressing

1 fresh pear
1 avocado
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. raw honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 tbsp. julienned fresh basil Read More

Black Bean Rotini Salad

I thought I would squeeze in a 4th of July recipe this morning! Here is a gluten free pasta salad that is packed with summertime garden goodness, contains all the comfort and zesty flavors of the holiday, but won’t leave your body starving for awesome nutrition. I named it “L.A. Summer” because it contains all the stuff that you might find growing in one of L.A.’s back yards or urban farms, like nopales, cucumber, tomatoes, and peppers, and it has some hints of Mexico and the Southwest in it’s flavor profile, two prominent cuisines in the area. Enjoy, and happy Independence Day!

L.A. summer black bean rotini salad

1/ 12-oz. bag of black bean rotini pasta
2 average sized vine ripened tomatoes, diced
1 Japanese or equivalent cucumber, scored and diced
2 cups Prepared Nopalitos
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 ears of corn, not yet shucked
1/c cup loosely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup hulled hempseed Read More

Vegan Caprese Happiness

A couple weeks ago I picked up a gorgeous pine nut cheese from Blode Kuh, one of my favorite vendors at the Farmers Market. This cheese was screaming to be made into some version of a caprese salad. Voila! Most times, the simplest stuff using ingredients made with love, make the brightest and most tasty dishes.

vegan caprese with pine nut cheese & roasted pepper dressing

2 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced into fairly thick slices
1 small wheel of pine nut or other aged nut cheese
8-10 fresh basil leaves
1 red bell pepper
1 tbsp. (or more) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
Juice of 1 small lime
Splash of balsamic vinegar Read More

Socca- Niçoise Chickpea Crepes

Socca, in my opinion, is one of the best kept little secret gems in the world of gluten free cooking and healthier options. Socca is a street food from the South of France, that is so simple to make it is almost mind blowing, consisting of just chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and seasoning. It makes a healthy crepe for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner, or it can be made a little thicker, and cooked longer for a pizza crust or flatbread effect. The trick is in not trying to flip it over, but instead, letting it cook through from one side.

socca with dijon & fresh vegetables

1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for cooking
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. herbes de provence

Suggested Toppings: Dijon mustard, baby spinach, sautéed mushroom, fresh tomato, sautéed zucchini, garlic, steamed snow peas, sprouts, artichoke hearts, roasted eggplant, caramelized onion, roasted fennel, fresh herbs, truffle oil, olive oil, nutritional yeast Read More

Riced Cauliflower Salad TBG

I’m having a “mini-series” of riced cauliflower in my kitchen! Riced cauliflower is great as a raw salad, because cauliflower florets are already slightly tender and porous to start with, so, when mixed with other salad ingredients it makes a great base! So, a while, back, I tried using it as you would pasta in a classic “TBG” (tomato, basil, garlic) salad, and the results were delicious.

riced cauliflower salad with tomato, basil & garlic

2 cups raw riced cauliflower
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 tbsp. julienned basil
2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (depending on desired oil intensity)
1/2 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. hulled hempseed
Sea salt & pepper to taste Read More

Stacking Up with Beets

I found a recipe for a quick vegan cheese that I really like. The recipe says it’s a “Pepper Jack” but it reminds me a lot more of a fresh cheese like queso fresco or buffalo mozzarella. In any case, I am finding it to be quite versatile and useful on many dishes, from tacos to this beet salad. You can venture into making the vegan cheese, which will require some uncommon ingredients if you aren’t used to vegan baking or cheese making. Or use a favorite cashew cheese; some spreadable cashew cheeses would work great in between the layers of beets. Or, if you eat dairy, just use a good, organic dairy cheese like burrata or buffalo mozzarella.

 beet & fresh cheese stacks with avocado-lemon dressing

4 small beets, roasted or boiled whole and cleaned of outer peel
4 pieces vegan jack or other soft cheese
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 lemon, juiced
1-2 cloves garlic, depending on how much garlic you like
2 small bunches of herbs like basil, mint, cilantro, or tarragon, mixed if you want
3 tsp. raw cider vinegar
1/2 cup (or more) cold water
Sea salt & pepper to taste Read More

5 Spice Eggplant with Soba Noodles

Yay! Two of my favorite things, eggplant with Chinese 5 spice and soba noodles, rolled into one dish. I have been wanting to try this for a while and finally got around to it, and I am really glad I did. You could probably also add other veggies to this like roasted peppers, chopped spinach, and-or steamed bok choy, for example, to give it more dimension, but I love it like this, just simple and straightforward. Enjoy!

5 spice eggplant with soba noodles

8 ounces dried soba noodles (look for 100% buckwheat if possible-it’s healthier)
1 large regular, or 3 Japanese eggplants
2 tbsp. tamari or liquid aminos
2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. rice vinegar (unseasoned)
4 tbsp. mild oil like grape seed
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. Chinese 5 spice
1/2 tsp. garlic chile sauce or other hot sauce Read More