Tuna Salad on a Mission

Used to be that tuna salad was considered the “healthy choice.” But now who knows? Is the tuna wild? Is the mayo used to make the salad healthy? What about the bread for the sandwich? Is it gluten free? We can drive ourselves bonkers trying to keep up with all the information. And, this may  be part of the reason why tuna salad has lost popularity lately.  So, if you ever just get a taste for a tuna salad sandwich, why not just try it from a different angle? This recipe combines a dairy-egg free variation of tuna salad with Life Changing Bread, to bring you a clean(er) nutritional powerhouse of a tuna sandwich, with fiber, complete proteins from the fish and also plants, healthy fats, and other vitamins and minerals.

So, forget about “whether a tuna sandwich is okay” and dig in!

niçoise tuna salad finger sandwiches

2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
About half a scallion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, loosely chopped
Splash of unfiltered raw cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon (or more if you like strong mustard flavor)
1 packet of solid white tuna in water (5 ounce)
- wild caught if possible
About half a stock of celery, finely chopped (or more if you like celery crunch)
4 toasted “finger” slices of Life Changing Bread
Baby spinach, tomato, arugula, radish, anything to add to your sandwich and make it yummy and colorful

First make the dressing by mixing the grapefruit juice, oil, scallion, tarragon, vinegar, & dijon mustard. In a separate bowl, place the tuna (drained) with the celery, and add the dressing. Mix gently being careful not to turn it into tuna mush. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Place the tuna on top of the bread slices along with you favorite detox friendly toppings. Pictured here, I added caper berries for a decorative touch. ENJOY!

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Vegan Grilled Gouda- Melted Mastery

I couldn’t decide whether throwing together a list of somewhat obscure plant based stabilizers and coconut milk would appeal to any readers. But if you know how awesome it is to find a vegan cheese that is easy to make, and has a really wonderful MELT, you can understand why I had to finally break down and share this. Factor in the current chilly wet weather we have been having, and well, there you go!

The cheese recipe is a slight adaptation from a quick cheese recipe found on one of my favorite plant- based living blogs. The obscure ingredients can be found at a mom and pop health market, Sprouts, or Whole Foods.

vegan grilled gouda & portobello sandwich

Cheese, Wet Ingredients:
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
¼ cup water
½ tsp. liquid aminos
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast 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


Spaghetti Squash Burger Fix

We have a bunch of volunteer spaghetti squash growing out of our compost pile. It is relentlessly giving us more spaghetti squash than we would normally eat. So, I am exploring its various wonderful (and not so wonderful) uses. These patties are kind of a cross between falafel and a veggie burger, with some global spice infusion. They hold together well, so they can be enjoyed on a bun or just stand alone as a vegan entree or side dish.

spaghetti squash-quinoa falafel burgers

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can (1 3/4  cups) mashed chickpeas
2 chia eggs (or regular eggs)
1/4 cup sprouted oat flour
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. garam masala 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


Robata Eggplant Tacos

The Japanese eggplant is going nuts in my garden right now. I have enjoyed Japanese eggplant many different ways. This time, I wanted figure out a way to keep it intact, because the shape is so cool and versatile, while trying something entirely new and different from my typical eggplant concoctions. Robata is a Japanese method of cooking long pieces of food on an open flame, on big skewers. Traditionally, the skewers are placed around the fire by sticking them directly into the sand or earth that surrounds the fire.You don’t have to go to the trouble of building a fire to enjoy something similar. You can grill the eggplant, or just cook it on a stovetop griddle if you don’t have a lot of time. In fact, modern robata restaurants use a charcoal grill, not an open pit fire. The charred eggplant, combined with the slightly spicy miso slaw make for an awesome fusion taco. The sprouted corn tortilla is superior for nutrition and it has a homemade tortilla kind of texture and flavor. I loved the way this came out and will definitely make this a regular.

robata eggplant tacos with miso-sesame coleslaw

for the coleslaw:
2 cups finely shredded cabbage (I used red cabbage), about 1/8-1/4 head of cabbage
2/3 cups grated radish, about 4 or 5 radishes
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
juice of one lime
1tsp. chile garlic sauce or paste
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. miso paste Read More


romanesco squash with spring onion & fresh mint

Summer Squash Season is Here

I have struggled with my food plot for the past few years, probably due to lack of focus, failure to be organized with watering, and-or misdirected soil maintenance. Fortunately, a new edible plant nursery opened up down the street. In just a couple of months, they have helped my garden transform and heal from whatever funk it was in. Loretta Allison of Spade & Seeds brings her magnificent seedlings to Fig Earth Supply, much to the delight of our neighborhood. Loretta raises most of the seedlings herself, with just a small selection brought in from outside suppliers. I took a couple of their workshops, and tapped into her amazing garden of knowledge, and then gleefully planted her starters, one of which was a romanesco squash. As a result, I have this wonderful, simple recipe to share, comprised of just garden zucchini, spring onions, and fresh mint. You don’t have to grow food to make this, but try to get your ingredients from the Farmers Market or in as fresh a state as possible. It really makes a difference in flavor and nutrition.

summer squash with spring onions & fresh mint

2 large romanesco or other fresh garden summer squash, cut into hearty pieces
2-3 spring onions (depending on size), sliced, use the onion bulb and all the greens
2 sprigs fresh mint, julienned, with about 6 leaves left whole for garnish
1 tbsp. coconut oil (or substitute grass-fed butter)
Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan on high heat. Add the squash and onions at the same time. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, until the squash starts to brown and become tender, and the onions start to brown, but not caramelize or burn too much. You want the 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