Raw Nutella Truffles

Healthy treats can require lots of special and high-powered equipment to break down the whole food ingredients. Here I took a shortcut and chose only ingredients that would blend well- soft dates, ground nuts, nut butter, powdered cacao and vanilla extract. As long as the dates are fairly fresh they can be chopped up with a knife then the whole mixture can be mixed by hand, by massaging everything until it becomes a cohesive batter. Continue Reading →

Fresh Green Spring Rolls with Ginger Miso Dressing

When salad boredom strikes but you are still looking for something full of greens and nutrients, fresh spring rolls are the perfect meal. Here I added in some lime juice doused avocado and used a really salty miso dressing to keep them from being too light. For the rest of the fillers I used some springtime ingredients- pea shoots, fresh basil, spinach, slices of green onion and long strips of daikon radish. Continue Reading →

Orange Carrot Smoothie

Adding fresh juice (ideally cold-pressed for maximum nutrient retention) to a smoothie can really make the flavors pop. Both juices and smoothies are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. When consumed on an empty stomach they are very easy to digest and absorb- this means that the nutrients will be well utilized and replenish or build up our stores. Continue Reading →

Chickpea Herb Salad with Spicy Orange Yogurt Dressing

Fresh herbs are an underutilized source of nutrients. Dark leafy greens like kale and collards are well known for their health properties but we often overlook simple herbs. They can be strong tasting but a salad like this with a thick dressing, hearty legumes like chickpeas and the sweetness of carrots can balance them out well. Continue Reading →

Citrus Quinoa Salad

This salad is all about magnesium, a highly undervalued and under-consumed mineral. Not only is it nature’s anti-stress nutrient (for its ability to calm us and promote restful sleep) but any deficiencies can be the secret culprit behind fatigue and PMS. Those chocolate cravings can really just be the body’s cry for more magnesium. Since magnesium plays an important role in the body’s energy production and helps to speed up many chemical reactions, our energy levels can start to dimish when we are not consuming enough.  Continue Reading →

Blueberry Banana Pancakes

Health food is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow every year. Products with tag lines like “vegan”, “gluten-free”, “low carb”, “natural”, “smarter”, “better-for-you” and “organic” can make a company massive profits. While some of these companies are devoted to making products that live up to the claims on their boxes, there are many that will take any shortcut and cost-cutting method available. For us, the consumers, this means that we cannot assume that a processed food product is all that it lives up to be. In the quest to eat healthier it is easy to start defining our diet with labels, when I was a hardcore vegan a box of waffles pretty much always made its way into my grocery cart and I ignored the list of preservatives and additives because what it didn’t contain was more important to me. Continue Reading →

Balsamic Salmon Quinoa Lettuce Cups

When you just do not feel like a salad lettuce cups are a good way to sneak in some leafy greens. With a warm, cooked filling like this they can be very substantial and grounding. Any larger greens like romaine lettuce, kale or collard greens make great bases but I prefer iceberg lettuce, it does not have as many nutrients but the leaves are a good size, very pliable and barely have any taste so the filling shines through. Even though it has less than the darker greens, iceberg still does offer a decent amount of nutrients including fiber, vitamins A and K, folate and potassium. Continue Reading →

Simple Tomato Sauce

Growing up, I learned about cooking by watching the Food Network, it would enthrall me for hours on end and I sometimes even faked a sick day if one of my favorite chefs was making something I wanted to learn about (this was before the days of YouTube). No matter their background or what type of cuisine they were creating, the chefs emphasized building a dish in stages and layering the flavors- this is especially obvious in sauces and soups. Continue Reading →

Coconut Lime Tamari Stir Fry

Coconut oil has a mild coconut flavor and it is one of the few plant oils to contain enough saturated fat to stay stable at high heats, making it ideal for stir frys. Tamari is a Japanese soy sauce with a richer but less salty flavor than regular soy sauce and it is generally made without wheat. Freshly squeezed lime juice is a great source of vitamin C and it really brightens up the flavors of a dish when squeezed on at the end. To get the most juice out leave the limes at room temperature then roll them firmly between your palm and the counter a few times before slicing and squeezing. Add these three ingredients together and you get a light sauce with some sweetness, some saltiness, a slight acidity and a fresh tropical flavor. Continue Reading →

Coconut Lime Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are small and nearly flavorless but add them to liquid and they plump up, forming a gel, and take on the flavors of whatever other ingredients are added in. They are very filling and are one of the best plant based sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids, along with all the essential amino acids (making them a “complete” protein), fiber, antioxidants, calcium and iron. They were originally cultivated as a staple crop of the Mayans, the word “chia” means “strength” in their language. Continue Reading →