Nov 252013

 Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary. Need I say more?

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Sometimes an unexpectedly happy email pops into your inbox ~ maybe it is from an old friend, maybe it is a response to a job opportunity or maybe it is from Mommypage for an interview!

This is an AWESOME resource for moms out there!

Mommypage  is an online community of like minded women to share stories, advice, recipes, craft ideas, coupons and more. You can be caught for hours browsing around the useful information and connecting with people.


When I got the email asking if I would be open to sharing some recipes and writing up an interview I said of course!

I was so excited to be able to share a little snapshot of information about plant based diets and how it can benefit people and especially their children. Here is one of the questions I was asked….I loved this question because it enabled me to expand on the difference between vegan and plant based. Yes there are lots of reasons to go vegan, but when it comes to health for our bodies and the environment, plant based is a great way to go. It essentially is vegan but is based around as many whole foods as possible.

Are you raising your daughter to be vegan? Do you think parents should consider this food lifestyle for their kids?

No, I’m simply teaching her the principals of plant-based nutrition – why it is healing, what happens in the body, the effects of animal foods and where food comes from – especially the conditions of the animals in factory farms.  Every man, woman and child should learn about the centralized feeding operations that supply our meats and dairy and the ties between the USDA and these industries.  Many times the bottom line is not our health, it is money.  She has a dairy allergy and I don’t buy or cook with meats but she will occasionally have local honey. Also important to note is that even if someone calls themselves vegan they can still eat junk food all day!

No, I don’t think people should consider a “vegan” lifestyle for their kids, instead consider a whole foods plant-based lifestyle where they eat plants as close to the source as possible.

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

 While you are reading Mommypage I have a fabulous recipe for you to nosh – guilt free! There is something about fresh citrus in a dressing. It is so zingy, invigorating and sunny! This time I threw the whole orange in – yup the pulp and all – and I loved the texture. Feel free to juice the orange first instead, but you will miss out on all that glorious pulp!

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Serves 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Nov 7 thru Dec 6


4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 small pears**
3 small apples**
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/8 tsp sea salt & dash fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped natural almonds

1 fresh orange, peeled
1 (to 2) Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp local honey or agave
2 Tbsp water


1. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl; mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; toss dressing over salad mixture.

2. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 213.4
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 77.6 mg
Potassium 498.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 24.1 g
Protein 3.2 g

Vitamin A 31.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.3 %
Vitamin C 66.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.9 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 8.9 %
Folate 24.0 %
Iron 7.7 %
Magnesium 8.8 %
Manganese 24.8 %
Niacin 2.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 4.3 %
Riboflavin 6.6 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 2.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 052013

Warm Harvest Apple Breakfast features warm apples, pie spices and lots of healthy seeds over a bed of any grain you choose. In this case I chose my favorite grain – oats – but in their purest form. The oat groat.

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Can you feel it in the air?

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

The cooler weather, scents of sage and thyme, fall leaves and the holidays just around the corner.

Before you (and I) start hyperventilating about all the things we need to get done, let’s stop and take a breath.
Are you the kind of person that can’t wait for the holidays or one that gets so stressed out that you wish they would go away? (Not mentioning any names – my husband Chris.)

I saw this well-timed Jim Rohn quote on facebook and it reminds me to stop and focus on the important people and things in my life. Obviously there needs to be a balance of getting things accomplished and having time; instead of plopping down in front of the TV, this quote motivates me to use that time to be with people that mean something to me or do something nice for myself instead.  I remind myself that I’ll never get that hour back that I watched TV.

Jim Rhone

Instead, maybe I’ll do something like this with my daughter (ironically I also got this off facebook so it looks like I need to put the facbeook down. See, look at how aware I’m becoming. Ha!)

Hand Ornament

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

This breakfast is one of those ways you can slow down and share a warm meal with the people you love.  Oat groats take about 45 minutes to cook but you won’t have to babysit them. Put them on the stove with the other ingredients and know that in just under an hour a very hearty and delicious will be ready for you and your family.  Oat groats are stick-to-your-ribs filling so the serving size is 2/3 cup.

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Cheers to you, my readers and many thanks for all the times you visit me and share in my life. May your holidays be warm and blessed!

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Warm Harvest Apple Breakfast

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


2/3 cup oat groats (Gluten Free for Celiac)
3 cups water
1 banana, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup unsweet vanilla almond milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Mila chia, ground
2 Tbsp flax, ground
2 Tbsp unhulled sesame seeds, ground
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp dried cranberries


1. Heat oatmeal, water, banana, apple, milk, salt, cinnamon, chia, flax, unhulled sesame seeds, raisins and cranberries in a small saucepan over medium high heat until bubbling; cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes; remove cover, stir and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts 
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 228.4
Total Fat 8.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 171.6 mg
Potassium 238.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.6 g
Dietary Fiber 9.4 g
Sugars 9.4 g
Protein 8.0 g

Vitamin A 1.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 8.2 %
Vitamin C 5.5 %
Vitamin D 3.1 %
Vitamin E 7.2 %
Calcium 15.7 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 2.1 %
Iron 15.5 %
Magnesium 6.3 %
Manganese 9.0 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 4.4 %
Riboflavin 2.3 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 2.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Oct 102013

For anyone looking to cut gluten naturally this holiday season try this Apple & Mushroom Stuffing Hash! It has all the flavors of Thanksgiving but with all natural veggies and no bread.

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

There are so many of us that want to eat healthier but over the holidays it almost seems impossible – we love our traditional comfort foods and going without seems unimaginable.

I can tell you from personal experience that the first time you make a change from those once-a-year foods is a bit weird.  I made a walnut-tofu loaf and I remember eyeing the turkey thinking I really wasn’t sure I wanted to give it up so I took a little taste.  (Shh…don’t tell anyone.) Since I had already been eating a plant based diet for a while I was surprised that the taste of turkey was not as satisfying as I had remembered it in my head.  The only way I can explain it is that the thought that came to my head was…..muscle fibers.  I was biting into muscle and it is a firm texture that is unique and tough to duplicate in the plant world. Frankly it wasn’t as pleasant as I remembered.  Then I took a taste of my walnut loaf. It was moist and had a delicate crust on the outside with a nutty, semi-firm texture on the inside and had all the flavors of thanksgiving – sage, thyme, rosemary. When this was paired with some tart-sweet cranberry sauce and roasted veggies just like in this recipe I was in absolute heaven.  Even the leftovers made awesome sandwiches.  All it took was opening my mind that not only would a plant based food be an ok substitute, but that  I could like it even better and not have that stuffed, heavy feeling at the end of the meal!

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

This dish is the perfect cool-weather accompaniment for both every day dinners and Thanksgiving feasts.  Many stuffings traditionally have mushrooms, aromatic herbs and apples – so with this dish you will get all the flavors without any of the bread.  You can even throw some nuts in there to add an element of crunch – or, if you can’t go without any bread, make a panzanella out of this and throw a few toasted bread cubes in there so that the bulk of the recipe is veggie but you have the toasty bread you love.

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple & Mushroom “Stuffing” Hash

with Roasted Root Veggies

Serves 6 (about 1-cup each)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Oct 7-Nov 6, 2013


1 Tbsp avocado oil (or other high-heat stable oil)
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
2 apples, cored and chopped**
1 10oz pkg button mushrooms, sliced
6 fingerling potatoes, chopped**
1 Tbsp salt free poultry seasoning mix
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 beet, greens removed and chopped**


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix oil through fresh ground pepper in a large baking dish; top evenly with beets without stirring too much. (This will prevent the vegetables from turning pink.) Roast for 1 hour, gently turning half way through.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 129.0
Total Fat 2.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 217.4 mg
Potassium 514.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 9.0 g
Protein 3.3 g

Vitamin A 87.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.3 %
Vitamin B-6 9.8 %
Vitamin C 25.1 %
Vitamin D 9.0 %
Vitamin E 1.0 %
Calcium 1.9 %
Copper 11.8 %
Folate 11.2 %
Iron 4.8 %
Magnesium 4.9 %
Manganese 9.9 %
Niacin 12.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.9 %
Phosphorus 7.6 %
Riboflavin 14.7 %
Selenium 6.6 %
Thiamin 6.8 %
Zinc 3.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Oct 182012

Pear Apple Salad

You don’t eat meat or dairy?  What DO you eat? 

Even though it has now been about a year, I am still asked this question regularly. Folks still think that when animal food are cut out, that there is nothing to eat or whatever is left is cardboard!

Does this salad look like cardboard?  Heck no!

Pear Apple Salad

  This salad features crunchy apples, sweet pears, toasted sunflower seeds and a dressing that is out of this world – creamy, sweet and salty.

This dressing would also be great on a sort of ambrosia salad – it is VERY versatile and super easy to throw together!

Pear Apple Salad

Crisp Fruited Salad with Maple-Yogurt Dressing

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipes
**Items on sale at Native Sun Natural Foods Market Oct 7 through Nov 6, 2012


4 cups chopped romaine
2 fresh Bartlett pears, cored and chopped**
2 apples, cored and chopped**
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup vanilla soy yogurt
2 Tbsp maple syrup (Tree of life)**
1/4 tsp coarse ground sea salt


1. Place 1 cup chopped romaine on each plate; add 1/4 of the pears and 1/4 of the apples to each.  Top with 1 Tbsp each shredded coconut and sunflower seeds.

2. Mix yogurt, maple syrup and salt in a small bowl.  Top each salad with  2 Tbsp dressing.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 339.0
Total Fat 18.3 g
Saturated Fat 8.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 157.9 mg
Potassium 466.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 42.3 g
Dietary Fiber 8.7 g
Sugars 18.7 g
Protein 6.7 g

Vitamin A 30.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.7 %
Vitamin C 32.5 %
Vitamin E 43.8 %
Calcium 15.0 %
Copper 21.1 %
Folate 30.1 %
Iron 11.0 %
Magnesium 8.1 %
Manganese 55.0 %
Niacin 7.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 13.1 %
Phosphorus 22.2 %
Riboflavin 7.7 %
Selenium 19.6 %
Thiamin 6.4 %
Zinc 10.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Sep 192012
There is nothing like the smell of apples and cinnamon baking in the oven.  It brings me back to my childhood in Massachusetts where apple pie was the dessert of choice at all the holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas and any other time of the year. Somehow we never tired of it.

To this day-it is still my favorite pie and now I’ve found a way to enjoy every bite without refined white sugar, flour and lots of butter with this warm skillet cinnamon apples.

Warm Skillet Apples

Feel free to sub brown sugar if that is what you have on hand, but I really encourage you to try coconut palm sugar.  This  palm sugar is reminiscent of brown sugar with a lower glycemic index.

Warm Skillet Apples

Warm Cinnamon Skillet Apples

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free


10 to 12 organic Gala apples
1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
Juice 1 lemon
3 Tbsp Earth Balance


1. Heat a cast iron skillet in the oven to 375F.  Meanwhile slice apples, removing seeds and stem with a knife; place in a large bowl; sprinkle with palm sugar, cinnamon and salt; pour lemon juice over evenly, mix well.

2. Remove preheated skillet with a pot holder and place on trivet or stovetop.  Add 1 Tbsp Earth Balance, using a spoon to coat bottom of skillet evenly.  Add apples, placing them flat in a circular pattern.  Top with two additional pats of earth balance.  Cover and bake 1 hour, remove foil last 20 minutes. 

Nutrition Facts (Skillet Apples Only)
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 219.2
Total Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 484.0 mg
Potassium 382.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.6 g
Dietary Fiber 5.5 g
Sugars 29.9 g
Protein 0.4 g

Vitamin A 1.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.6 %
Vitamin C 23.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 2.7 %
Copper 4.0 %
Folate 1.6 %
Iron 4.3 %
Magnesium 2.5 %
Manganese 13.5 %
Niacin 0.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 1.4 %
Riboflavin 1.6 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 2.2 %
Zinc 0.6 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 Posted by at 1:43 am  Tagged with:
Apr 202012
My favorite Salad.

A while back when I first was cutting out meat and dairy, I created this salad that I swear is one of the simplest and most delicious salads I’ve created yet. It’s chewy, salty, sweet, nutty and has the “smack” factor of the balsamic. The second best thing? It’s only five ingredients. (with the apple, six).  There is no oil but the natural peanut butter turns the balsamic into a creamy dressing and with the raisins added in, it is reminiscent of a peanut butter and jelly but with super antioxidant powers.  It’s so great I’m posting it twice!

Sometimes I throw an apple in there.
 Tip:  If you are allergic to barley (gluten allergy), simply sub your favorite grain.  For peanut allergies try soy nut butter, sunflower seed butter or any other nut butter.

Peanut Butter, Barley and Raisin Salad with Balsamic Vinegar
(PB and J Salad)

 Serves 1
Vegan, Dairy Free
Spinach or greens to fill a bowl (say about two cups)
1/3 cup cooked barley
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter (ingredients should be peanuts or peanuts and salt only)
2-3 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Chopped Apple
1. Smush the peanut butter into the barley. Place spinach in a bowl and top with barley mixture, raisins, apple if using, and balsamic vinegar. It’s best to eat the spinach first and save all the yummy PB barley and raisins for last so you can savor.

Get Full Nutrition Info Here
Apr 162012
My very sweet friend Suzanne is back at work from maternity leave and looks amazing – leaner than before she was pregnant! Everyone was amazed.
We all asked, “How did you do it?!!”
I was so happy to hear the weight just fell off after she and her husband watched Engine 2 and Forks Over Knives while she was out on maternity leave. She already ate a natural foods diet and was my “recipe buddy” with who I would share tips and tricks for adding more whole foods to our diet. I was surprised to hear that her husband was actually the one that wanted to make the jump to a plant based diet and she said he has lost 30 pounds. Everyone has been asking her for recipes and she shared one for an apple dessert that her family loved. I decided I had to try it this morning for breakfast; a simple mixture of fruit, nuts and a bit of maple syrup. The apples were just what I expected – warm, lightly sweet, crunchy and nutty. I can’t wait to have it again tomorrow!

To go along with breakfast, I had a small cup of coffee/teeccino in my favorite cup from the Key West Butterfly Conservatory. I love that it reminds me of my trips to the Keys. Growing up in Massachusetts, the Keys sounded like a fancy vacation and now we are close enough to go several times a year. In fact, I promised my daughter when I finished working on my little teardrop trailer that we would head down to go camping. I had extensive water damage and decided to do all the repairs myself to save money. I’ve learned how to use a jigsaw, chop saw and circular saw, repair all sort of things with liquid nails, wield a caulk gun, install flooring, use a power drill and build a bunk bed – I’m so proud of how far I have come! You can check it out at If you visit the website, be sure to go back to the very beginning to see the extent of the damage. She was in rough shape. I’m now building shelves for the closet; I created a cover for the sink for extra counter space and have several other modifications I’m thinking about. HOPEFULLY, next weekend I will be getting the exterior painted. I’m so close to the end of the repairs now that I went ahead and made reservations to go camping in the Keys including visiting our favorite Key West Butterfly Conservatory.
I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as I did. It’s perfect for a light dessert or, as I had it, a nice breakfast.

Country Apples and Walnuts
Serves 2
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
2 apples, cored and chopped
2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup walnut halves, chopped
½ tsp cinnamon (and optional sprinkle of nutmeg/cloves/allspice)
Dash of sea salt

1 Tbsp ground flax
1 tsp MILA or chia seeds


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix all ingredients together; and spoon evenly over baking sheet covered with non stick spray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until apples are soft and nuts are browned.

Nutrition Facts

2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 253.0
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 79.7 mg
Potassium 286.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Sugars 26.0 g
Protein 3.9 g

Vitamin A 1.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.8 %
Vitamin C 13.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.0 %
Calcium 5.3 %
Copper 13.6 %
Folate 4.1 %
Iron 8.0 %
Magnesium 7.5 %
Manganese 62.2 %
Niacin 1.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 5.4 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 1.6 %
Thiamin 4.5 %
Zinc 8.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 032012

My secret to health and weight loss is one that isn’t mainstream yet, but it’s slowly growing in popularity.  I still am amazed to find people every day that haven’t heard of it.

The wide variety of vegetables I receive has enabled me to get more veggies into my plant based diet by keeping things interesting.  Broccoli, kohlrabi, onions, cauliflower, tomato, spinach, brussels, eggplant, beans, potatoes, cabbage, beets, Swiss chard, squash, collard greens and kale are just some of the veggies I have tried and loved.
There is no way I’d be able to eat just lettuce every day and not get bored.

For anyone that doesn’t know what this is, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

A CSA/farm share is when, before the start of a season or growing period, you pay a farmer for a “share” of the crop. Yes, there are risks to this, for instance, there could be a hot or cold snap that affects the crop, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.

Experience is the second reason I joined a CSA farm share.  It is that intangible thing that you won’t find in that random delivery farm bag where the veggies come from a variety of farms, and we surely can’t get it in the grocery store at the corner.  In our busy world today, a CSA allows us to take a break.  Get away from the electronics for a few minutes and visit the earth.  I bring my daughter to reconnect with nature and discover where real food comes from.  When I joined, I became part of a like minded community that embraces health and nature.

Which is why you should join one too!
Whether you pick your veggies up from a drop off point, or actually go to the farm and select the freshest from the bin, you are part of that family.  There are events such as workshops, pot lucks and dinners. You can meet your farmers and occasionally get a chance to dig in the earth and pull up some veggies with your very own hands.

When you visit the grocery store, those vegetables or fruits were picked by people you don’t know and likely shipped from around the world.  We don’t know the conditions these farmers and workers work in, we don’t see the facility and we don’t know the actual farmers.  In fact, the farm we think our food comes from is not typically the case.  Those idyllic pictures of a cow grazing and a red barn are just good marketing – that’s not where WalMart is getting it’s veggies, milk and meat.  You will only find that image is reality at a small local farm.  Agribusiness is big business. There is a lot of money being thrown around and the ones that benefit are the executives that pocket their fat bonus checks and their concern is only the bottom line.  Those folks may not have even stepped in the soil, yet they are making decisions about the food we put in our bodies.

Life for the small farmer is not easy and not glamorous.  It’s a up before dawn, home after dark, out in the elements, seven day a week job.  But they love every minute of it.  The small farmer is passionate.  They do it because they love it, and it shows (and tastes) in the food they produce.

I know that those times I have brought my daughter to pick up our weeks vegetables, see the animals, and pick beans or potatoes in the field, are times that she will never forget.  She will have lifelong memories and knowledge of where food comes from.

Join a CSA and support your community, your farmer and your health and lose weight while you’re at it.  In the off season, support your local, small, natural food grocer.

If you want to try a share out for a shorter period, KYV is offering a mini share for the end of the season so this is the perfect time to check it out if you aren’t already a member.  Contact them at or email me and I’ll help you get all set up.  If you don’t know what the heck to do with one of the veggies, just contact me and I’ll walk you through it and send you some recipes.

This broccoli came from the farm so here is one to try. What is best about this recipe is the broccoli is raw so the flavor really comes through.  It’s sweet, tangy deliciousness!

Broccoli Raisin Apple Salad

with Creamy Honey Lemon Dressing
Inspired by Native Sun Deli
Serves 2
Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free


1 small head broccoli, chopped
2 Tbsp raisins
1 apple
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
2 Tbsp reduced fat Vegenaise
Squeeze of lemon
2 Tbsp honey (or agave)
Sea salt and Fresh ground pepper


1. Mix the broccoli, raisins, apple and red onion in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl mix the Vegenaise, lemon, honey, salt and pepper.  Pour over broccoli mixture and toss.

(I’m trying to get the nutritional info in here but having weird
formatting problems so I will just give you the basics.)

Nutrition Info
2 Servings
Amount per Serving

Calories  135.5
Total Fat 3.1
Cholest   0.0mg
Sodium  126.0mg
Carbs     27.2g
Fiber      5.8g
Sugars    15.3g
Protein   4.8g

Vitamin A 47.5%
Vitamin C 241.40 %
Calcium    8%

Jul 142011
I don’t know about you, but I loathe unloading the dishwasher.  It was so horrible that until recently would actually hand wash the dishes in the sink rather than unload the dishwasher.  Why the avoidance?  Because I had about 300 different plastic containers shoved in the “plastic container cabinet” with mismatched lids, brands and sizes.  It took about 30 minutes to try and figure out where the heck they fit and in the end I just shoved them all in and closed the door really fast in the hopes that when the door was reopened it wasn’t my hubby that opened it.  He is a teensy bit OCD when it comes to disorganization.  The you-know-what finally hit the fan when he opened the cabinet door to clean up after dinner and the mismatched plastic containers came out in a festive avalanche of colors and sizes.  He did not look very festive.
In the spirit of organization, I got rid of all the mismatched sets (for the second time) and bought glass containers in the hopes that any stray plastic one would make it back to it’s rightful owner and I wouldn’t be tempted to lazily stuff it in with my past menagerie.
As a bonus…I save 27 minutes putting the dishes away as there are quite a few less.
And as another bonus…they are cute.  Cute storage-ware is a must.
Now for the star of this post.  The salad.
I. Love. This. Salad.

When the barley with peanut butter pressed into it mingles in with the super sweet raisins and the crisp apples, it’s like a peanut butter and jelly party in my mouth.
Besides that, I’ve decided that barley is now my favorite grain.  This was a major decision, let me tell ya.  Rice was in the running and quinoa is technically a seed so that was out. Sorry quinoa. I know you were trying to fool everyone by calling yourself an “ancient grain”.  So barley it is.  I think it’s the hearty chewiness that makes it so satisfying.  Hopefully you all agree.
What is your favorite grain? Do you use plastic or glass storage containers?  What are your thoughts on cute storage-ware?  J
My lunch today

Peanut Butter, Barley, Apple, Raisin Salad

Serves 1


1/3 cup cooked pearled barley
1 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp raisins
1 small apple, chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 tsp ground flax (or sub your 2 Tbsp Mila here!)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Dash of coarse sea salt


1. Press the peanut butter into the barley until it is mixed well; mix evenly through the spinach.  Toss the remaining ingredients together.

Nutrition Facts

1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 305.6
Total Fat 9.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 211.0 mg
Potassium 645.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 48.6 g
Dietary Fiber 8.2 g
Sugars 12.1 g
Protein 7.0 g

Vitamin A 113.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.3 %
Vitamin C 39.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.1 %
Calcium 8.4 %
Copper 11.4 %
Folate 31.9 %
Iron 18.3 %
Magnesium 17.3 %
Manganese 38.2 %
Niacin 8.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 8.0 %
Riboflavin 10.2 %
Selenium 7.3 %
Thiamin 8.8 %
Zinc 5.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 172011

My grandfather on my mom’s side (Papa) had ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease; a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. After diagnosis the life expectancy is typically 2 to 5 years and I believe he was in his 50’s when they discovered this.

When he was diagnosed, my grandmother (Nana) looked to more holistic ways to keep him healthy for as long as possible and she did a pretty great job as he lived into his 70’s. Nana and Papa followed a Macrobiotic diet; they would eat small amounts whole and natural foods such as organic veggies, beans and whole grains. (This brings to mind the Michael Pollan quotes; “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”. Additionally she would chop everything up really fine (salads were like cole slaw) to aid digestion, use all sorts of plants and honey to treat infection and sores and drink cayenne pepper. Two heaping teaspoons in a glass of water. Every day.

I checked out what the health benefits of cayenne pepper are said to be, weight loss/increased metabolism was a main one, but interestingly, the first name I came across was Dr. Christopher. I had to laugh because Nana was constantly talking about Dr. Christopher and I hadn’t thought about him in many years.

According to; “Dr. John Christopher, the famed natural herbalist, was persecuted relentlessly by the government for his practice of herbal medicine all the while assisting patients in curing heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis, infertility, rheumatism, leukemia, and every other incurable under the sun.”

“One of his greatest stories in his long career was how he could instantly stop a heart attack if he could get the patient to drink a glass of warm cayenne water. He said, “A teaspoon of cayenne should bring the patient out of the heart attack.”

“The cayenne pepper drink, when taken faithfully, will dramatically improve your heart health as well as your venous structure. Drink it with warm distilled water but if that is unavailable, purified water will substitute nicely. Start by mixing about a quarter of a teaspoon in a glass of warm water. Then, down the hatch. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.”

I guess that would be why Papa drank it every day. Even I did when I would stay with them!

What spurred all this research was beets.  Ok and also the article I came across that I posted on Monday, 11 foods for faster weight loss; hot pepper was listed as one of the foods.  As for the beets I wanted to remake the roasted beet salad with oranges and apples and add a BAM! of cayenne.

Spicy Roasted Beet Salad with Green Apples and Honey Vinaigrette
**4 WW Pts Plus
About 6 1-cup Servings (Amount will vary by size of veggies)


3 golden beets, leaves reserved and sliced
3 red beets, leaves reserved and sliced
1 large orange
2 green apples
1 small sweet onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 packet Stevia (optional for sweeter recipe)
2 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon orange zest (from above)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (start at 1/4 tsp if you don’t want to go too spicy at first)
Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Wrap each beet in foil, place directly on oven rack and bake 45- 60 minutes; remove from oven, cool, peel and slice into wedges. Add beets to a medium bowl.

2. Heat a medium stock pot filled about 2/3 the way with water to a boil. Blanch beet greens for 1 to 2 minutes, rinse greens with cold water and squeeze to remove excess water. Add to bowl with beets.

3. Slice off outer peel of orange and cut each section away from the membrane, reserving membrane to squeeze into dressing. Add orange sections to bowl with beets. Core and slice apple into wedges, add to bowl; slice onion lengthwise in half, the slice thinly lengthwise and add to bowl.

4. Squeeze juice from reserved orange membrane into small bowl, whisk in remaining vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over beet mixture.

Nutrition Facts
**4 WW Pts Plus
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 148.7
Total Fat 5.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 205.3 mg
Potassium 808.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.1 g
Dietary Fiber 6.5 g
Sugars 12.2 g
Protein 3.1 g

Vitamin A 67.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.4 %
Vitamin C 66.3 %
Vitamin E 9.0 %
Calcium 9.4 %
Copper 10.6 %
Folate 27.8 %
Iron 12.4 %
Magnesium 16.1 %
Manganese 28.4 %
Niacin 3.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.9 %
Phosphorus 7.0 %
Riboflavin 10.0 %
Selenium 2.3 %
Thiamin 8.1 %
Zinc 3.9 %