Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Easy Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe


This is a recipe that anyone can do. Yes you. You can make this. It's so simple and yet so delicious. Winter squash is an excellent, easily digested carbohydrate that's packed with antioxidant-rich carotenoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, beta-cyrpto-xanthin, and zeaxanthin. 

I planted winter squash starts, including four delicata squash plants, in many of my garden beds last spring. Squash can be one of the easiest vegetables to grow, as long as it gets enough water early on in the growing season. Just plant organic starts or seeds in nutrient-rich soil that gets plenty of sun, water often, and watch them grow! We're pretty much out of the delicatas we grew but we still have a box of kabocha squash, carnival squash, sugar pie pumpkins, and spaghetti squash sitting in our house…..all from our garden! Winter squash is such a sustainable form of carbohydrates. Just think of the kind of agriculture it takes to grow grains compared to something like squash! I've come to rely on this food more and more for sustained, clean-burning energy. 

Serve this simple recipe as part of your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Sprinkle it with fresh parsley and pomegranate arils after it comes out of the oven for a beautiful presentation! Roasted winter squash also essential to use during phases 2 and 3 of our Elimination Diet. You can vary the recipe and use ground cinnamon and nutmeg in place of the black pepper, and use coconut oil in place of the olive oil for a simple dessert. I also like to add a drizzle of pure maple syrup as well to this when making it for dessert. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Post-Holiday Detox Salad (vegan)


Indulge a little too much during the holidays? Feeling the need to cleanse and reset? Drinking too much alcohol, eating a lot of sugary foods, and just eating too much food in general can tax your detoxification pathways. If you are not detoxing properly, you can end up with lowered energy, increased pain in the body, poor circulation, and sluggish digestion.

By consuming this salad, which is rich in plant-based chemicals that promote detoxification, you can relieve some of the unwanted symptoms of a holiday hangover and begin to regain balance. In fact, if you include raw plant foods such as kale, cabbage, arugula, broccoli, collards, ginger, pomegranates, lemons and limes, blueberries, cranberries, black currants, and raspberries in your daily diet (try green smoothies, fresh juices, and big salads), you will find that indulging in (healthy) holiday treats once in a while will be easier for your body to handle. Hint, hint….try serving this salad at your next holiday gathering!

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)



Since it is the season for all things pumpkin, I decided to share with you my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. After all, Thanksgiving would not be complete without having a fabulous pumpkin pie! The paleo pumpkin pie filling and flakey grain-free pie crust both come from my Nourishing Meals cookbook.

Use any variety of baked winter squash in this recipe, such as sugar pie pumpkins, butternut squash, sweet meat squash, hubbard, or kabocha. Use this recipe for making Homemade Pumpkin Puree if you have a lot of squash that you would like to cook and freeze. Otherwise, just cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place the halves flesh-side down in a large glass baking dish with a little water in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, or until squash is very tender. Since you are going to blend the pie filling you can just measure out the cooked squash without first making a puree. So easy!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Apple Cider & Herb Brined Turkey for Thanksgiving



To brine or not to brine...that is the question. I have found that brining a turkey produces very flavorful, juicy, and tender meat. In this post, I'm going to show you how to brine a whole turkey. Brining is the process of soaking the bird in a salt solution. Water from the brine is absorbed into the meat thereby increasing juiciness of the final roasted bird. I like to add flavoring agents as well such as sliced onions, garlic, oranges, and fresh herbs. A flavorful brined turkey will certainly impress your Thanksgiving guests!

I prefer to purchase turkeys from one of my favorite local organic permaculture farms. They are humanely raised and slaughtered right there on the farm. In our town there are a number of farms who raise organic turkeys and sell directly to the consumer. Sometimes you can ask your local Farmer's Market or health food store for the names and numbers of these farms. Often times you need to pre-order, though sometimes they have extra turkeys that they need to sell. Buying direct from a local, organic farmer is by far the healthiest and most sustainable way to enjoy a Thanksgiving turkey!

So now onto the actual process of brining a turkey! There are a few really important things to consider before embarking on this project. First, you will need a very large pot or container to hold the bird, brine, and flavoring agents. I use a 42-quart stainless steel pot. Some people use small coolers (this would work well if you can keep the temperature below 40 degrees, such as in a cold storage room or cold garage). Others use plastic bags. I prefer not to brine in plastic for various reasons, but if you do then you need to make sure you are using food-grade plastic, not plastic garbage bags. Second, you will need a space in your refrigerator to store the pot or container during brining. We have an extra refrigerator in our garage that I use. So as long as you have the right container and the space, then go ahead and try this recipe.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Harvest Vegetable Soup


It's autumn. The harvest is in. The fires are lit. The chill in the air invites simmering soups and stews in the kitchen. This nourishing, harvest vegetable soup recipe uses some common fall vegetables and some that you might not use that often like celeriac and rutabagas. I've created a detailed photo below to help you identify some of these vegetables when shopping. I've used both beef stew meat and cooked beans in this recipe so use whatever works best for your body!

This recipe makes a large batch of soup. You will need a large pot that is at least 9-quarts in size. You can of course easily cut this recipe in half for a smaller batch. I made this recipe on Halloween and cooked it in a 10-quart cast iron dutch oven set over an outdoor fire. Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that we stopped the trick-or-treating tradition last year and instead now gather a number of families at a friend's house in the woods on Halloween evening. We each set up a station in the woods (guided by torches and jack-o-lanterns) where small groups of children walk to each station, hear a story pertinent to this season from a parent dressed up, and then receive a healthy treat. I was a Harvest Witch this year and let each child add something to the pot, stirring it 3 times, while they heard a verse. Then we all sat around the fire on Halloween night and enjoyed this stew together. Everyone loved it and I think you will too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Green Smoothie Recipe for Babies and Toddlers



If you have a baby or toddler and are ready to introduce them to the lovely world of green smoothies then keep reading. If you are an adult who's curious about green smoothies or have a child who has never tasted one before, then keep reading. This post is for you too!

By about 8 months of age, most babies are ready for green smoothies. We like to avoid plastic sippy cups and instead use small glass or ceramic cups (I just go to the thrift store for these) for introducing green smoothies and other liquids. This gives babies and toddlers the opportunity to learn how to properly drink from a real cup right from the beginning. And, as an added bonus, they lessen their exposure to very toxic substances found in plastic: BPA and BPS!


                        Tom's TED talk on cruciferous vegetables

Why introduce green smoothies to a baby? This is the perfect time! Children's taste buds develop in the first 3 years of life so it's best to take advantage of this time and offer a wide variety of healthy food choices. This helps to establish a taste bud-brain connection to different flavors and textures! Kale and other dark leafy green vegetables can have a strong flavor but are also a powerhouse of nutrients. The amazing chemicals in kale and other raw cruciferous vegetables assist in detoxification. In fact, sulforophane in these dark leafy greens ramps up phase 2 detoxification in the liver, providing over 72 hours of protection from both environmentally and internally produced toxins. Considering that cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children in the US today, I think it's very important to make sure that older babies and toddlers are receiving at least one small serving of raw cruciferous vegetables every one to two days. Green smoothies are a perfect way to get them in!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Flakey Grain-Free Pie Crust Recipe



I've got a delicious grain-free and gluten-free pie crust recipe to share with you today....just in time for holiday baking! Use it to make your favorite pumpkin pie, apple pie, berry pie, or chicken pot pie (pictured above). I've tested it with many different filling recipes and it works beautifully every time.

This recipe uses a mixture of blanched almond flour and arrowroot powder or tapioca flour. I've tested it using organic, pastured butter as well as a dairy-free version using Nutiva's Vegan Superfood Shortening. You can order blanched almond flour from Lucy's Kitchen Shop or from Nuts.com (though the latter is not as finely ground and does not work as well for pie crusts). I've also noticed that Costco sells Honeyville blanched almond flour which also works beautifully in this recipe. 

I have recipes for healthy, refined-sugar free pumpkin pie fillings in my Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and my Nourishing Meals Cookbook. Get the recipe for my favorite Pumpkin Pie here!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cucumber Noodles with a Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto Sauce (dairy-free, nut-free, grain-free)



If you are looking for more ways to use up the last of the lovely basil growing in your garden this season, then try making a pesto sauce! It can be frozen and then thawed in the wintertime for a taste of summer. We've been using this sauce tossed with raw cucumber noodles, cooked quinoa noodles, or to top baked wild salmon!

To make cucumber noodles, you will need a spiralizer. This handy kitchen tool makes noodles out of vegetables....zucchini, carrots, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, beets, cucumbers! You can watch this short video I posted to Instagram a few weeks ago of me making noodles from yellow summer squash. You can order one here. If you don't have a spiralizer, then just enjoy this sauce tossed with cooked noodles, drizzled over baked chicken or cooked winter squash...or? Leave a comment below with more ways you are using it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Egg-Free Mayonnaise Recipe (soy-free, vegan)



I love the thick and creamy richness of mayonnaise, especially tossed with steamed potatoes and chopped pickles, or thinly sliced cabbage for a summer picnic salad. Although we eat eggs, I prefer the flavor of egg-free mayo better. This recipe uses soaked cashews along with a few other ingredients. It has such an amazing consistency and flavor. I think it will remind you of traditional mayonnaise! I've been making a lot of cabbage and veggie slaws with it lately. You can also use it to make chicken salad or spread it onto gluten-free bread for a sandwich.

Cashews are a fabulous source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats! I think they might be my favorite nut. I find them easier to digest compared to other nuts. Cashews are also a good source of magnesium, a mineral that easily gets depleted when we are under stress....and who isn't experiencing some level of stress these days!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Blackberry-Apricot Cobbler (gluten-free, nut-free, vegan)



I love a good cobbler, especially in the summer when our kitchen is brimming with fresh fruit! I created this gluten-free cobbler recipe after our first blackberry harvest. For those of you not living in the pacific northwest, you should know that blackberries grow everywhere here....a great food to wild harvest and freeze! We recently picked 12 more quarts of berries, made two more cobblers, and froze the rest (and of course enjoyed as many as we could straight from the vines).

This vegan, gluten-free cobbler recipe uses sprouted brown rice flour, which I've used in other recipes, such as my Sprouted Brown Rice Bread and my Brown Rice Flour Tortillas. You can purchase sprouted flour here or here. This satisfying dessert recipe can also be used during our Elimination Diet in phases 2 and 3. Be sure to use my Homemade Corn-Free Baking Powder here to make it Elimination Diet friendly! That recipe can be found in both of my cookbooks and here on Instagram.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Zippy Kale Salad with Fennel, Sweet Onion, and Goji Berries


My garden is going nuts this year. I've never had so much kale! Everything is so lush and beautiful. I planted rows of sweet onions amongst the kale and other vegetables. Little did I know last spring, but allium vegetables are great at deterring aphids. Almost all of my kale this year is aphid-free. We've been making kale sautés, kale and egg frittatas, creamed kale, kale in soup, kale salads…..kale everything!

This raw kale salad has a zippy grapefruit dressing that counteracts the bitter of the kale. Although the amount of chopped kale called for in this recipe seems like a lot, keep in mind that after it's massaged with the dressing it looks like a small salad for about 6 people! I've been using siberian kale from my garden in my kale salads because it is so tender and mild, however any variety of kale will work. 

Kale is a vegetable powerhouse! It's high in sulforaphane, a compound that stimulates your body's own production of powerful antioxidant and detoxification proteins, which help to safely remove environmental toxins from your body and protect your cells. If you want to learn more about detoxification and how you can protect yourself from environmental toxins….as they relate to blood sugar dysregulation, diabetes, obesity, infertility, and just about every chronic disease……you can register for the FREE online Detox Summit going on now through August 11th. Each day's talks will only be available for 24 hours so be sure to register today. I listened to them yesterday on my iPhone plugged into some speakers while pitting 20 pounds of organic cherries!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cinnamon-Date Almond Butter Cookies (grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free)



In need of a healthy treat for road trips this summer? These date-sweetened, flourless almond butter cookies pack well and are adored by children...a treat you can feel good about giving!

I have not tried this recipe using other nut or seed butters yet. It's possible the recipe might work using roasted cashew butter or roasted sunflower seed butter. I've also only made these with eggs but since the recipe uses just one egg you might be able to replace it with a "chia egg" (1 tablespoon finely ground chia seeds whisked with 3 tablespoons of warm water).

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nasturtium and Kohlrabi Salad with Creamy Lemon-Dill Dressing



I love making big salads in the summertime with the abundance of fresh, organic vegetables we have growing in our garden. Each day it's a different salad. Sometimes I get on a kick and will use the same vegetables and dressing for days in a row. Lately I've been making this amazing Creamy Lemon-Dill Dressing. It's so good, I usually double the recipe below so I can have leftovers for the next day!

I've been posting photographs and the occasional recipe (or at least the ingredients) to my Instagram account. So be sure to go there to get the scoop on how I live this organic, gluten-free, whole foods lifestyle daily with five children.

If you are not familiar with nasturtium or kohlrabi….let me explain. First off, it's great for our bodies and our taste buds to experience new flavors and new plant chemicals. Remember, your genetics have less to do with your health than the environment that they are exposed to. Research has discovered over tens of thousands of miraculous plant chemicals in the last few decades, and it appears that each plant has it's own powerful array of these compounds.

The nasturtium plant is an annual that produces beautiful bright orange edible flowers and tender green leaves, both of which have a delicate peppery flavor. They are great companion plants for your garden, attracting beneficial predatory insects.  Kohlrabi is a cruciferous vegetable, sometimes known as a German turnip, that is delicious either raw or cooked. I prefer eating it raw in salads, or as an alternative to chips for homemade dips. We use the tender, mild tasting greens as wraps in place of tortillas.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Plantain Crepes (grain-free, nut-free)


I created this simple plantain crepe recipe one morning on a whim, out of a need to feed my family. The kids were starving, begging for something quick. I had a bunch of plantains on my counter and plenty of pastured eggs in my fridge so I just tossed ingredients into the Vitamix and came up with a very easy gluten-free and grain-free crepe recipe. Everyone loved them, and a few minutes later all of the crepes had disappeared! The kids were hungry for more, so I made another batch, measured everything carefully, and jotted the recipe down so we could make them again. These simple whole food crepes have now become a breakfast staple! Use this recipe to test eggs during Phase 3 of The Elimination Diet.


There are so many ways you can serve them. Here are our favorite sweet and savory ideas. Just add the fillings to one side of the crepe, then roll it up and enjoy! Please share below in the comments your favorite fillings!

Sweet:
long strips of bananas and dollops of raw almond butter
a sprinkling of cinnamon and coconut sugar
homemade berry jam and a dollop of coconut sour cream
mashed fresh strawberries and a dollop of organic Greek yogurt

Savory:
smoked wild salmon, baby arugula, chives, and organic cream cheese
cashew cream cheese, organic turkey slices, fresh dill, butter lettuce
hummus, avocado, red onion slices, and broccoli leaves
cabbage sautéed with cumin seeds, leftover cooked chicken, and sliced avocado or guacamole

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mustard Green-Lime Pesto (dairy-free, vegan)



If you've been shopping at your local Farmer's Market lately you might have noticed some beautiful purplish-green leafy vegetables for sale called mustard greens. My bet is that you've also wondered what you could do with them if you were to purchase them! Mustard greens are spicy and slightly bitter. I like to add them to soups and stir-fries. They are part of the lovely cruciferous vegetable familythe types of vegetables we highly recommend getting into your diet everyday in order to boost your body's own detoxification abilities. Read more about that in this post.

I grow mustard greens in my garden, and this summer I've had more than we can eat! I pondered for a week or so how I could preserve them, other than lacto-fermentation (as in a mustard green kim chi), and came up with this pesto recipe (which can be frozen). While I was figuring out how to preserve them, they began to bolt. This means that they send up flowers so the plant can bear seeds. When a plant bolts, the greens start to become bitter. I did not want to waste them so I used them anyway. I would suggest looking for tender young mustard greens to use in this raw pesto recipe, though it's still delicious if your greens have begun to bolt!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Simple Strawberry Vinaigrette Recipe



We've been picking strawberries lately. A lot of strawberries. Organic of course. Perfectly sweet, juicy, and ripe. So naturally, we've been eating a lot of strawberries, the way fresh strawberries ought to be eaten….not shipped halfway across the country in little plastic cartons grown in massive mono-cropped fields. These berries were grown in nutrient-rich soil from a small organic farm not too far from our house. Our children count the days till strawberry picking time each year. It's one of their favorite activities. Undoubtedly, they are picking more per minute now than I do. Yes! We have a dream team of 5 little berry pickers (okay maybe just 4 as our toddler really likes to just graze instead of fill her bucket). I tell them if they want to eat frozen fruit and make smoothies, then they need to help in the harvesting. It's fun! They love it.

At home, seeing all of these boxes filled with fresh berries, my mind begins to spin into recipe creation mode. Raw strawberry pie, strawberry-cream popsicles, strawberry salsa, strawberry salmon, strawberry vinaigrette! Since our garden is brimming with fresh organic lettuce, arugula, and mustard greens right now I decided that the strawberry vinaigrette recipe would be a good place to start. We'll see how many more recipe ideas I can get to while the berry season lasts! I think you're really going to enjoy this simple, healthy salad dressing recipe! 

In other news....have you listened to Tom's interview on The Health Bridge Show yet? He talks about protecting your microbiome! Fascinating information on childbirth, breastfeeding, digestive issues, and more! You can download it for free on iTunes and listen to it (released 6/12/14). It's also available on YouTube!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Turkey-Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf


Make this simple, nourishing quinoa recipe for dinner when you are pinched for time and need to use up the vegetables in your fridge! It's best to use leftover, or completely cooled, cooked quinoa when making pilafs or stir-frys. This way it doesn't clump up during the sautéing process. Use whatever veggies and fresh herbs you have on hand. For example, I've used carrots, asparagus, and cauliflower before. Snipped fresh chives and dill are excellent additions as well. If you don't have ground turkey, don't add it. Leftover cooked chicken or beans can work here too. 

This recipe is suitable for phase 3 of our Elimination Diet, or omit the red bell peppers (nightshades) and use it during phase 2. If you are following one of the stricter variations for severe gut disorders, then omit the quinoa and serve the turkey-veggie part over cooked spaghetti or kabocha squash. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Watermelon-Lime Slushies (sugar-free)


We've had a few hot days here lately in the pacific Northwest! My children and I created this super simple slushie recipe using fresh watermelon the other day. They wanted me to share the recipe with you so you could make it too! Once you make this version I hope you try it with other types of fresh fruit as well....it makes the perfect, refreshing summer afternoon treat.

This recipe would be suitable to enjoy during our Elimination Diet. If you haven't seen our new online program and book.....then hop on over to our website and check it out today. I created plenty of super satisfying, tasty recipes that are gluten, dairy, egg, corn, soy, nut, nightshade, yeast, and citrus-free! Many of the recipes are grain-free, legume-free, and low-FODMAP as well. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Smoked Salmon and Yam Salad with Creamy Chipotle-Lime Dressing


Today I'm going to share with you a recipe from my brand new cookbook! This creamy "potato" salad is so full of flavor and packed with protein (from the salmon) and complex carbohydrates (from the yams) to keep you fueled throughout the day. I like to serve it over salad greens for an easy lunch. For those of you who don't eat fish, I also have a vegan variation using black beans which is equally as good.

The new Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook releases on April 29th! I'm so excited for you all to get a copy of this gorgeous book! I decided to do something fun…..I'm going to be giving away a copy of our book, along with products we recommend, on Facebook everyday during the week before the release date (from the 23rd through the 29th)! Be sure to head over there and like, comment, and share the giveaway photos to enter. Facebook does not show most of my posts in your newsfeed anymore so you will have to actually go to our page and look for my giveaways.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Cashew Dill Cream (dairy-free)


Spring is in the air…well at least for us on the west coast. I've been making some variation of this very simple dairy-free asparagus soup that I think you're going to love. The raw cashew-dill cream adds such a nice touch to the soup. It's optional though, in case you are allergic to cashews.

Did you know that asparagus is an excellent source of inulin? Inulin is a starch that we cannot digest. It passes undigested to the large intestine where our beneficial bacteria, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, break it down and use it for food. When we have thriving colonies of beneficial bacteria in our intestines we absorb nutrients at a much higher rate, we are protected from pathogenic organisms, our immune system response is balanced (meaning we don't react to food and environmental allergens as easily, like pollen and dust). Beneficial bacteria also produce vitamins (like B vitamins) and amino acids!

Asparagus also contains a significant amount of vitamin K1, a nutrient used for blood clotting. K1 can also get converted into K2 in the body, where it is then used in different protein structures to shuttle calcium around. Asparagus helps to increase beneficial organisms in the intestines that are also capable of converting K1 to K2. Although the conversion rate of K1 to K2 is small in the intestines, the form (MK-7) works at small concentrations. Vitamin K2 is a necessity for strong, healthy teeth and bones! You can also find K2 in hard cheeses, natto (a fermented soy product), pastured butter, egg yolks, liver, and beef.

Have any of you heard in the news that vitamin D and calcium supplementation is dangerous and can increase your risk for heart disease? Did you know that the risk for a heart attack is not because you are taking vitamin D or calcium…it's because the calcium is not being delivered where it needs to go and instead ends up being deposited in blood vessels contributing to calcification. If you have enough vitamin K2 circulating around then it is able to form proteins that facilitate calcium being deposited in the bones and simultaneously swept out of the vessels. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Date-Glazed Banana Donuts (grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free)



I have to tell you that it's been over a decade since I've had any kind of donut but lately my kids were asking about them. I think they tried a gluten-free donut at a party years ago but that's been their only exposure. So I decided to invest in some safe non-stick donut pans and try making baked grain-free donuts. I don't by any means think grains are bad, I just love to use alternative flours. The combination of almond flour and arrowroot creates a very good texture, in fact, most people would never guess these donuts were gluten-free.

Most non-stick bakeware contains PFOA's. These toxic compounds are beginning to get phased out, but are still present in much of the bakeware used. PFOA's affect thyroid function, blood sugar regulation, body weight, and are endocrine disruptors (which means that you can increase your risk for hormone-related cancers like breast cancer). We highly recommend getting rid of all non-stick bakeware and replacing it with safe alternatives like stone or stainless steel. I use these donut pans made from recycled steel. They have a silicone coating which creates a non-stick barrier without all of the chemicals.

To make these donuts you will need at least 4 very ripe bananas. I posted some photos of my 2-year old mashing bananas to my Instagram page as well as to our Facebook page! If you already "like" our Facebook page but are not receiving our posts in your feed then be sure to stop by our page and leave a comment under some of the posts. This will help to get our posts in your feed!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

How to Make Raw Vanilla White Chocolates (dairy-free, vegan)



Today I have a special Valentine's treat for you—a healthy recipe for raw white chocolate! This recipe uses just a few ingredients and is dairy-free. Traditional white chocolate usually contains sugar and milk solids, along with cacao butter. My recipe uses raw honey and raw cashew butter, as well as raw cacao butter. If you can't handle the buzz dark chocolate gives you then try this recipe. It's caffeine-free but still has some of the feel-good compounds found in chocolate.

You should be able to find all of the ingredients at your local health food store or online. One lucky person can win all of the ingredients, plus two silicone candy molds, for this raw white chocolate recipe on Facebook! That's right, I am doing my very first Facebook giveaway for you! Just go to our Facebook page and look for the giveaway photo at the bottom of this post. Leave a comment under the photo there. Drawing will end Monday, February 10th 2014, at 9pm PST.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Super Immune-Boosting Chicken Soup


Your grandmother was right…chicken soup is one of the best medicines when you are sick. In fact, you might want to consider gathering ingredients for homemade chicken soup before reaching for that over-the-counter cold medicine. Soup made from whole chickens is rich in carnosine, which has been shown to inhibit damage from viruses in the body, including H1N1! Beyond this, does't it just feel good to sip on a warm, brothy soup when you are under the weather?

I've created a chicken soup recipe with even more immune-boosting ingredients, such as the herb astragalus. You can find it at your local herb store or in the bulk herb section of your local health food store. You can even order it online. I crave astragalus in the winter time. If I ever feel the inkling of a cold or flu I start taking the tincture a few times a day.

I've also added plenty of fresh ginger, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and some red chili flakes. Did you know that both the astragalus and shiitake mushrooms stimulate natural killer cells, whose job is to directly attack viruses and harmful bacteria? The ginger and chili flakes give the soup some heat to stimulate the sinuses to drain. Ginger is also a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and is an amazing anti-inflammatory herb. We use it to make healing root teas often at this time of year. You can read more about the benefits of ginger and shiitake mushrooms in this post.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The NEW Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook


The brand new, completely revised edition of The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook is available for preorder now! I'm so excited to share beautiful photos from the new book and answer the many questions we've been receiving about it. If you've been following me on Facebook and Instagram you've likely seen updates about the new book. Our publisher, Grand Central Life & Style, did a beautiful job with the layout and design. 

This book is the guidebook for learning how to stock and prepare whole foods…and how to be the healthiest YOU! We will guide you through the process of stocking whole foods, from the healthiest meats and seafood to the best types of fats and oils…and even the healthiest forms of chocolate! You'll learn tips for switching your diet to a healthy unprocessed one, as well as detailed information on the benefits of each whole food group {Greens, Vegetables, Fruits, Whole Grains, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds, Meats & Seafood, Dairy Foods, Sea Vegetables, and Fats}. There are over 450 pages of recipes and information!



The Table of Contents! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

How To Make Brown Rice Flour Tortillas (gluten-free, vegan)



Making your own gluten-free brown rice flour tortillas is so simple! With just a few ingredients you can make healthier tortillas at home. My recipe is egg-free and xanthan gum-free as well. I use a cast iron tortilla press to quickly press all of the tortillas, and then I cook them in a hot cast iron skillet on my stovetop. My children love to help with the entire process of making homemade tortillas too…otherwise I probably would not make them very often! Use this recipe during Phase 2 and Phase 3 of our Elimination Diet!

If you don't own a tortilla press you can roll the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper using a rolling pin. I've made so many versions of this recipe to try to figure out the best method for getting flexible tortillas. I've found that using boiling water works far better than cold or warm water. It makes a BIG difference in how pliable the tortillas are after cooking so don't skip this step! Beyond the boiling water, you can vary the amount of arrowroot powder to brown rice flour. More arrowroot equals really flexible tortillas, but they end up on the chewier side.

I'd love your feedback! So please let me know what ratio of brown rice flour to arrowroot you used and how they turned out for you in the comments section below. Thanks! :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Vanilla Coconut Cream "Cheesecake" (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)


Hello dear readers! I have a special treat for you today....literally! A dairy-free, grain-free "cheesecake" made from my Soured Coconut Cream recipe. This no-bake recipe is so simple to make and will delight your friends and family. I've tested it many different ways to get the perfect ratio of ingredients, in fact maybe too much, because now I want nothing to do with coconut milk!

The secret little ingredient in this recipe that helps hold it together and lighten it up is....agar powder! Agar is a gelatinous substance derived from red algae. When it is mixed with a liquid and heated it forms a gel. You can actually make vegan "jell-o" with it using fruit juice. I use this brand of agar powder. Make sure you don't use agar flakes, as the amount needed is different as well as the fact that they need to be soaked in a liquid before using them. You may be able to substitute grass-fed gelatin but I'm not sure on the amount. You would need more than a teaspoon for sure, maybe 1 tablespoon?

If you don't want to use the raspberry topping, try drizzling each slice with warm chocolate sauce and topping with fresh berries. You can use the Chocolate Ganache recipe here if you like.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Homemade Dairy-Free Sour Cream (nut-free, soy-free, vegan)



Do you ever crave that rich, creamy taste of sour cream but are sensitive to dairy products? I created a very simple replacement for sour cream that can be dolloped over baked potatoes or yams, spooned over beans and rice, added to tacos, used to make a layered taco salad, or used to make no-bake "cheesecakes"!! Seriously, where can't you add a spoonful of this rich dairy-free sour cream?

This recipe can actually be found in my brand new, completely revised Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. I created a whole new chapter entitled "Get Cultured!" full of healthy cultured foods like this one. Think Live Hot Pepper Relish, Pickled Basil Beets, Kombucha (with flavor variations), Coconut Milk Yogurt, and so much more! I just couldn't wait to share this recipe with you so I decided to post it today. If you are interested, the new book releases on April 29th, 2014, and is available for preorder now!