Hummus Soup- Yeah, It’s a Thing!

hummus soup

Have you ever wondered what your hummus would taste like heated with the pita chips crumbled on top? No? Okay, well maybe you aren’t as weird as I am. But now that I have you thinking about it, I’ll bet you’re curious, aren’t you? Well, here is a recipe for hummus soup that may help you satisfy that curiosity, and any appetite! The chickpeas and sunflower seed butter give this some nice, nutritious calorie density, making it a great cool evening dinner or lunch.

Sunflower-Basil Hummus Soup

2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. virgin coconut oil or your favorite cooking oil
5 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (reserve 2 cups of the liquid)
2 cups vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, more finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped basil leaves (feel free to substitute parsley) Read More


Green Beans with Lemon, Tarragon & Chia Seeds

green beans with lemon

This green beans with lemon recipe is another one of those super simple, “too tasty and easy to be true” dishes for an easy lunch or dinner side dish. Sometimes demonstrating that you can grab one vegetable from your garden or the Farmers Market, and easily turn it into a fairly complete meal or tide-over, is the best way I can use my blog space! The chia seeds provide extra complete protein and healthy fats to this, making it a decent light meal. And you can always add more chia seeds to suit your own nutritional preference and taste. So enjoy this one and let me know in the comments all the different ways you did! I used some rattlesnake beans from my garden for this recipe.

green beans with lemon, tarragon & chia seeds

About 1 pound of green beans, trimmed
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1 tsp. Manuka honey (or other organic raw honey) Read More


Grilled Figs are Gloriously Easy

grilled figs

It’s that time of the year again! The onslaught of ripening figs is happening faster than we can keep up with. Here is a really easy way to enjoy some grilled figs, and gobble them down without making a huge production out of it. Enjoy!

grilled figs in lettuce cups with caramelized onion & chèvre

6-8 fresh figs
1 tbsp. grass fed or coconut butter
1 Vidalia onion, sliced stir-fry style
2 tbsp. fresh sage, julienned
1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 lime, divided in half Read More


Watercress Salad for Simple Summer Soirees

watercress salad

I found some flowering watercress at the Farmers market this week, so I decided to make it the star of the blog post! There isn’t much to say about watercress except how simple it is to enjoy it as a stand alone ingredient, or mixed into all kinds of stuff. I pulled some tomatoes and basil from the garden and came up with this simple salad that will add some delicious color and quality nutrition to any summer table. You can make your own cheese fairly quickly, or look for an artisan vegan cheesemaker like Blöde Kuh, or use your favorite fresh cheese that you think would go great with garden tomatoes and watercress.

tomato & watercress salad with basil cashew cheese

About 3-6 tomatoes of varying sizes
2 cups watercress
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp. basil cashew cheese or any fresh cheese that would go great with tomatoes Read More


Protein Packed Zucchini Black Bean Burgers

zucchini black bean burgers

Whenever I encourage my clients to eat more plant based foods, the most popular response is, “but what about the protein?” That’s where awesomely magical ingredients like chia seeds come in handy. Nature’s miraculous formula of essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber give chia seeds the unique ability to act like a binder similar to an egg, helping to hold these burgers together, while also provide a complete protein, in addition to the protein found in the beans and the zucchini. When a plant provides a complete protein, it means it delivers all the essential amino acids that your body can’t produce and therefore need to be consumed in meals. So, whip up a batch of these babies and take them on your next summer picnic!

chia infused zucchini black bean burgers

2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. grated onion
6 tbsp. partially ground chia seeds
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2- 1 tsp. salt (depending on your taste) Read More


Hazelnut Pesto for Lazy Afternoons

hazelnut pesto

Basil, basil, and more basil! When a basil plant decides to take hold it really pumps it out. So, I schedule a few minutes each day to go out and cut the flowering basil tops, to keep the plant going all summer long. Which winds me up with a lot of extra basil hanging around the kitchen. Here is a great sweet-meets-savory idea for a lazy afternoon salad, with vegan hazelnut pesto as the star of the show. You can also do a non vegan version of this by using parmesan or another hard aged cheese in place of the nutritional yeast. Enjoy!

vegan hazelnut pesto with mango & avocado slices

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 fresh mango, split, peeled and cut into slices
1 fresh avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into slices Read More


Chewy Squash Blossom Fritter Yuminess

squash blossom fritters

“Vegan-Paleo Squash Blossom Fritters” is about as complete a description as I could get for these very interesting, chewy-yet-crisp treats that were basically an experiment. But I guess that is how it’s supposed to work on here, right? I started thinking I was going to make a gluten-free, vegan squash blossom pancake, but the texture of these, coming from the tapioca flour, is definitely more “fritter”- like. These seem best right out of the oven, but I’ll bet they would be great cold or reheated also. The problem is, I gobbled them up so fast I didn’t have any to save for later, so now I have to wait until I get some more fresh squash blossoms on my hands.

Technically, these only fulfill the ingredient guidelines of being “Paleo.” In order to be truly paleo from a macronutrient standpoint, they wouldn’t be so heavy on carbs. But, they are gluten, grain, dairy free and totally vegan as well. So enjoy these as a healthier indulgence and as a great way to enjoy the season’s squash, zucchini and other blossoms from the garden or the Farmers Market. I’ll bet the chewy texture of these is unique from many things you have tried before.

vegan-paleo squash blossom fritters

1/2 cup hazelnut flour 
3/4  cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 cups organic, full-fat coconut milk (from can)
20-25 fresh squash blossoms Read More


Red Lentil Pasta Salad for Healthy Sunny Days

red lentil pasta

I am enjoying the new red lentil pasta varieties that have been popping up at the store. If you are going to have pasta, these are a good way to go, with just lentils, quinoa and water as ingredients, and packed with protein and other nutrients.

This recipe is a cold salad twist on linguine with tomato, basil & garlic. And it takes the nutrition density even a step further by eliminating the refined oil and instead getting it from whole foods like avocado. You can add other veggies to the asparagus or eliminate the asparagus for a more traditional version of a tomato, basil, garlic “TBG” pasta salad.

oil free red lentil pasta salad t.b.g.a.

1 box Pow red lentil linguine (8 oz.)
2 large heirloom tomatoes (about 2 cups), cut into 1/4 inch pieces, seeds and juice included
2-3 cloves garlic (depending on how much garlic you like)
1/4 cup fresh julienned basil
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 avocado, diced
3 tbsp. hulled hemp hearts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast Read More


Maca Cacao Sprouted Brown Rice Pudding

sprouted brown rice pudding

Yesterday I attended a seminar given by Australian herbalist Lee Carroll on the subject of integrative herbal and whole food nutrition. If you are thinking that I walked away with a recipe for sprouted brown rice pudding, you are oddly correct. At one point, while discussing Dysbiosis  and how to support healthy microbiota, he shared cacao’s benefits, then proceeded to rattle off a rice pudding recipe that he sometimes shares with his patients in Australia. It sounded so intriguing I jotted down the rough concept, and decided to give it or something similar a try. The key ingredients that caught my attention were brown rice, tahini, cacao, and Manuka honey.

This recipe uses a cacao-maca powder blend, but you can use all cacao powder if you want. Manuka honey is considered to have all sorts of nutritional benefits. But getting pure, unadulterated Manuka honey can be a bit pricey. Having said that, a little bit goes a long way. So if you want this pudding to be packed with more nutrition, try to keep it pure. The tahini provides the fat component that gives this pudding a creamier consistency, along with the way the rice is cooked. Altogether, this pudding packs some substantial nutrition for a sweet treat. I can see this as a dessert, evening chocolate craving fix (that is gradiently healthier than many alternatives), or even a quick breakfast.

maca cacao sprouted brown rice pudding

1 cup hot sprouted brown rice, just out of the rice cooker
2 tbsp. cacao-maca powder
1-2 tbsp. Manuka honey (or other organic raw honey)
2 tbsp. 100% sesame tahini paste Read More


Shrimp Cocktail and Nopalitos Are Good Friends

shrimp cocktail

The nopales of Los Angeles are sprouting up everywhere! This may seem completely insignificant unless you have explored the special nutritional benefits of nopal and how much it is enjoyed in Mexican cuisine. This recipe for Shrimp Cocktail with Nopalitos takes the Mexican classic shrimp cocktail and combines it with the classic Mexican Nopalito Salad. Nopal, also known as cactus pad, is very low in saturated sat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. And with an amino acid score of 71 the protein content isn’t bad either– for a vegetable! I must give credit to my partner Ricky who makes the bomb-est shrimp cocktail, and came up with this awesome combination.

shrimp cocktail with nopalitos

2 pounds of shrimp with peel
1 onion, chopped, separated in half
1 lemon, cut in half
10 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced, separated in half
2 quarts water or vegetable broth
2 tsp. each sea salt and pepper (for seasoning shrimp boil water)
8-12 nopales, depending on size (cactus leaves), peeled of thorns and cut into squares (nopalitos)
3 tomatoes, diced with seeds Read More