Dec 042013

 This sweet, spicy and savory Raw Thai Noodle Salad is easy to make and as an added bonus is also naturally gluten free and vegan.

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Walking through Native Sun last week I stopped and did a double take. Kelp noodles. Hmm. Interesting.
I’m embarrassed to say I have never worked with these noodles of the sea. I bought them and then visited the noodle website on line for more info.

“Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!”

Love the healthy convenience of a ready to eat raw food! One of the main reasons raw is great is because the healthy enzymes stay in tact since they are not heated above 115 to 118F.



Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Once I opened the bag and rinsed, I had to dress them up. I chose fresh carrots, sesame seeds, raw broccoli and aromatic cilantro to add to the noodle base and, in just a few minutes time, was able to whisk a spicy, sweet and salty sauce to massage into the mixture.  This mixture can be heated, but it was delicious cold! This salad has a wonderful crunch from the veggies that work so well with the thin, semi-chewy noodles that have the perfect amount of bite.

 Have you tried kelp noodles? What do you typically do with them?

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 5 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013


1 pkg kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
1 small head broccoli (and stalk), chopped **
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped (Fresh from KyV Farm)

1/4 cup raw nut butter of choice
2 Tbsp liquid aminos
1 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (or rice vinegar will be fine)
1 Tbsp raw organic agave or raw local honey (non-vegan)
2 tsp organic chili sauce (Sriracha)
1/2 Tbsp raw sesame oil (optional)


1. Whisk sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl; pour dressing over salad mixture; mix with hands to combine and coat the noodles and vegetables evenly.

Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 174.2
Total Fat 11.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 751.3 mg
Potassium 394.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 99.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 11.8 %
Vitamin C 62.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 10.9 %
Calcium 11.4 %
Copper 17.6 %
Folate 14.1 %
Iron 10.4 %
Magnesium 15.4 %
Manganese 19.9 %
Niacin 13.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 13.2 %
Riboflavin 6.0 %
Selenium 3.6 %
Thiamin 8.2 %
Zinc 8.0 %

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


Aug 282013
Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Since leaving my corporate job I have been so much busier than I thought I would be – but every minute has been filled with gratitude, peace and excitement about the future.  After 13 years in the structured day of corporate finance I expected to have anxiety with the change of moving into a self directed environment. In reality I have found that I am even more productive and get more done because I’m EXCITED to face the day.  Work doesn’t feel like work.  Being self directed though is not an excuse to let my eating habits fall by the wayside. Hence this big salad – I could eat it all week and easily incorporate variations each day.

I shared some with my mom as well – after one taste she declared that she could become vegan if I made this for her every day.
It is all in the dressing and the CRUNCH from the veggies.

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

This salad is perfect by itself or served over spinach and lettuces (as shown in these photos), topped with tofu cubes or avocado.

Why is RAW great? Because the disease fighting phytonutrients and digestion-friendly enzymes stay in tact.  Edamame packs a protein punch to keep you full and satisfied longer.

….But it is the drool-worthy dressing I get so excited about. It may seem simple, but this mixture of ingredients will make you beg for more. Fruity and flavorful olive oil, tart lemon, a hint of olive oil and dash of agave or honey to sweeten the deal. You’ll be putting this dressing on everything!

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

 6 servings – about 2 cups each
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, August 7 -Sept 6, 2013


3 tomatoes, chopped
3 bell peppers (varying colors), seeded and chopped
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 celery ribs
3 small summer squashes, chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli**
12 oz shelled edamame

1/2 olive oil
2 Tbsp coarse ground prepared mustard
1/2 Tbsp agave or local honey
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper


1. Mix veggies and edamame in large bowl; mix well.

2. Mix dressing in a medium bowl or Magic Bullet; mix well and pour over vegetables; toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 278.3
Total Fat 20.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 13.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 278.6 mg
Potassium 491.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Sugars 6.0 g
Protein 9.0 g

Vitamin A 22.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 17.4 %
Vitamin C 119.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.7 %
Calcium 9.3 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 13.1 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 7.0 %
Manganese 15.1 %
Niacin 5.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 9.0 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 2.7 %

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

May 012013

The moment one learns the joy of cooking is the moment things get interesting.

A whole world opens up. Recipes, cookbooks, classes, TV shows and food blogs.

It can be a bit overwhelming to the point that there are so many recipes you would like to create you ask, what will I create next? How do I choose?

And then someone makes a suggestion that sounds so amazing you just have to make that next.

Thank you Vivian.

Vivian's Rockin Root Veggie Salad

Vivian’s Rockin’ Root Veggie Salad

My friend Vivian from KyV farm created this deliciously simple recipe to use up any radishes, root veggies, fresh herbs and any hearty greens that can stand up to hanging out in some marinade.

I officially dubbed it Vivian’s Rockin’ Raw Root Veggie Salad.

Vivian's Rockin Root Veggie Salad

Vivian’s Rockin’ Root Veggie Salad

Make this basic marinated salad up once and eat 1000 different variations all week!

Add cooked beans and grains, raw nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, roasted tofu….

Stuff tacos with it or eat it as a side!

Vivian's Rockin Root Veggie Salad

Vivian’s Rockin’ Root Veggie Salad

Once you try it I think you will agree – it’s an awesome way to eat raw root veggies!

Vivian's Rockin Raw Root Veggie Salad

Vivian’s Rockin Raw Root Veggie Salad

 Vivian’s Rockin’ Raw Root Veggie Salad

Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
Vegetables from KyV Farm


1 watermelon radish
1 golden beet (or any beet but it will color everything red)
4 large carrots (or about 3 cups)
1 small head red cabbage
1 green onion top
2 small green garlic (or 1 clove fresh garlic)
3 broccoli stems
Handful cilantro
Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp agave (or honey)


1. Chop all ingredients or place in food processor to chop.

2. Whisk dressing ingredients and pour over salad mixture.

**No nutrition info since serving size may vary widely.

Jan 092013

A reflection on the importance of treating with food instead of medicine…….

KyV Farm CSA - Brussels, Broccoli, Carrots and Tomato

CSA – Brussels, Broccoli, Carrots and Tomato

By now we have all figured out that the world didn’t end in December because we are all still here. But all that talk about the world ending got people talking. What if…..

Story in In-Style this month - Sandra Lee lived through the Super Storm

Story in In-Style this month – Sandra Lee lived through the Super Storm

There WAS an emergency - a flu pandemic, a hurricane, terrorist attack, nuclear bomb….

Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu Stir Fry

I’ll share a little known fact about me – I graduated with a sociology degree so I love the study of people and especially what would happen in an extreme disaster. I just finished a thought provoking book called One Second After by William R Forstchen. The setting is in North Carolina and the US is struck by an EMP, or electro magnetic pulse – this documented scenario can happen from a solar flare, but in this case, a nuclear device was detonated in the atmosphere high above the US – so there is no risk of radiation, but it fries all electronics and computers. In the book, the main character, John, is simply going about his day when he hears his daughter’s CD player stop playing music and the fan slowly stops turning. That is it. Next they realize the noise from the highway has stopped. All electronics with computer chips stop working. This sounds not too bad right?

Think about this. No one knows what happened because all communication is cut off.  Everyone was waiting to find out what happened and what to do.  If this happened – phones and radios don’t work so there is no communication, ATMs and banks are useless, cars stop working, pace makers stop, back-up generators and the computers at drug stores and super markets are dead and there is no way to truck the food, medicine and supplies that communities now rely on for daily deliveries. The people stranded on the highway, just driving through the area don’t know what is going on. Many of them need medications and food so they must walk into the nearest town – there are people that are so out of shape and unhealthy, they CAN’T walk for miles, some that make it to the pharmacy can’t get their meds because there is no access to the money on their check cards or their records.

For anyone on pharmaceuticals such as statins or other heart medication that could have been considerably helped through diet and exercise – in the book, they don’t make it. They can’t get access to the medications that they would normally simply buy when they needed it. People get cuts or ear infections – there are no antibiotics, so these minor injuries result in catastrophic infections. Any meds that needed to be refrigerated also degrade such as anyone with insulin dependence. How long could this loss of electronics affect us? Months or even years.

Also, consider this. In the past most humans had skills and trades. They were carpenters, farmers, seamstresses and blacksmiths….they had something they could barter with. Maybe some wool in exchange for food. Clothing in exchange for some tools.

How many of us in the US can grow our own food now? (Francisco and Vivian at my CSA, KYV Farm would have LOTS of new friends.) Sew? Cook? Do carpentry? Many people drive somewhere in our cars, sit all day on computers, drive home, go through the drive through, sit on the couch, watch TV, check facebook etc.  What if we were at work when this happened? Do you have a crisis plan for your, your family and your children if communication is cut off?

Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu Stir Fry

At home, is there anything in your pantry you could eat if you didn’t have access to the grocery store? I’m not talking a package of Doritos. I’m talking FOOD. Rice. Beans. Nut butters. Cans of veggies and fruit. Things that would keep in any disaster and would store without refrigeration. Meats and dairy will not keep (unless you count spam but that isn’t really food, ha!). How about a way to get fresh water? If the electronics stopped working, my well wouldn’t work. How would I get fresh water to drink, bathe and flush the commode?

Lots of Dry Beans

Lots of Dry Beans

I’m not trying to worry or upset you but I am trying to get you to THINK of what you would do in different situations because when I started thinking about it – I realized I’d be in big trouble.   I’m not saying I’m now a Doomsday Prepper but I do have a plan in case of disaster, a bit of extra rice and beans in the pantry, a water bottle used for hiking that filters water, and I called to get an extra bottle of my yellow Lab, Tally’s phenobarbital we use to treat her seizures.  SIMPLE!

Organized Dry Goods - Grains and Beans Etc.Stored in Recycled Glass Containers

Organized Dry Goods – Grains and Beans Etc.Stored in Recycled Glass Containers

What else can you do? Take care of any ailments you can through FOOD instead of medicine.  Start eating healthier and exercising. (I, of course, have to share info about my favorite super-food, Mila. Not only is it shelf stable, you could eat it in a disaster. This whole, raw food is what the Indians of the Copper Canyon ate on their long runs in the book born to run. Especially those of you that are nurses and doctors.  You have skills that are invaluable in daily life – in an emergency you would be even more valuable. You spend your days caring for others, please don’t forget to take care of yourselves!

I’m so thankful that we have found a way to treat my daughter’s horrendous food allergies of wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts, cod, red 40 and more through a healthy, whole foods diet.  I used to have to get $300 tubes of steroid creams more than MONTHLY.  I’m also thankful that my family doesn’t need heart, cholesterol, blood pressure or anti-depressant medication – we have taken care of what we can by eating healthy and exercising, but my mom has Multiple Sclerosis and uses an injectable drug called Beta Seron.  What would she do in an emergency? Definitely food for thought. Americans tend to take so much for granted, myself included, but I’m becoming more aware.  Water. Food. Medicine. Washing machines. Toilet paper. Dry clothing. Toothpaste. Antibiotics. Vaccines. All these things are trucked in daily – especially in inner cities.

So many disasters already do happen and the populations in those areas would be so much better off with just a LITTLE preparedness; so I implore you to ask yourself….what if?

Just think – if you have some shelf stable tofu and some gardening skills you could make this. No gardening skills? Talk to an organic farmer and see how they do it. EASY, sweet, salty and nutty – my whole family loved this.  I used sun butter because my daughter has lots of food allergies so she could enjoy it as well.  As much as I didn’t feel like cooking when I got home, this was so simple to throw together in about ten minutes!

Tell me – have any preparations been made for an emergency or disaster? What would you do if you didn’t have access to any electronics?

Sweet and Salty Tofu Stir Fry

Sweet and Salty Tofu Stir Fry

Sweet and Salty Broccoli, Carrot and Tofu Stir Fry

Serves 4
Printable Recipe
Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free


1 block tofu, pressed
1 head broccoli, chopped (from KyV Farm)
3 carrots, chopped (from KyV Farm)
2 Tbsp Sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter you choose)
2 Tbsp agave
1 Tbsp wheat free Tamari


Red pepper flakes


1. Heat 1 Tbsp water in a wok over medium high heat; cube tofu and add, browning on two sides, about three minutes, adding 1 tsp water as needed to prevent sticking; remove from heat and set aside.

2. Heat a second Tbsp water in wok add vegetables; stir constantly until tender crisp, again adding 1 tsp water as needed to prevent sticking; about 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add tofu back to wok and reduce heat.  Mix sunflower seed butter, agave and tamari in a small bowl; add to tofu mixture and toss to coat; serve with red pepper flakes if desired.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 233.2
Total Fat 11.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 365.3 mg
Potassium 801.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.0 g

Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 5.9 g
Protein 19.0 g
Vitamin A 157.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 18.1 %
Vitamin C 241.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 20.4 %
Calcium 21.1 %
Copper 21.4 %
Folate 36.8 %
Iron 21.6 %
Magnesium 37.7 %
Manganese 75.7 %
Niacin 12.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.3 %
Phosphorus 30.6 %
Riboflavin 15.4 %
Selenium 24.8 %
Thiamin 12.4 %
Zinc 15.9 %

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

Dec 182012

If you are looking for an easy, light and super flavorful casserole you have found your recipe.
This unexpected, savory sauce can be made the night before, and the casserole then thrown together in about five minutes if you are tight on time.
Garlic, tamari, agave and tahini are what make this casserole interesting and unique – an aromatic, salty and sweet medley. Who would expect some Asian flair in a dish like this?

I love this rustic fork for my Savory Broccoli Hash

Because this is not an overly saucy casserole, this works GREAT for breakfast with some fresh, organic tomatoes and if you eat eggs, it would be the perfect accompaniment to a scramble. What a perfect way to get veggies into your diet!

My 4 year old daughter LOVED this recipe. She ate every bite and said her favorite part was the hash brown potatoes. Score!

Savory Broccoli Hash

Savory Broccoli Hash Brown Casserole

Serves 4-6 (How hungry are you?)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Stores


2 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp each garlic, onion powder, dried ground mustard
1 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste or any nut butter will do)
1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp raw agave (or local honey for non-vegan)
1 Tbsp organic tamari (wheat free)
¼ tsp salt

1 head broccoli, chopped**
1 pkg Cascadian farms frozen hash browns**
1/2 block organic tofu, pressed and cubed (or any cooked protein of choice)
Organic cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Mix the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped broccoli and tofu.  Spray a 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.  Spoon broccoli/tofu mixture into baking dish; top with hash browns.  Sprinkle with additional salt and garlic powder if desired; spray with cooking spray and cover with foil.

2. Place in oven for 30 minutes; remove cover and set broiler to high; broil about 5 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 161.3
Total Fat 8.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 301.7 mg
Potassium 619.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Protein 8.7 g

Vitamin A 31.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 14.2 %
Vitamin C 173.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 11.5 %
Calcium 10.7 %
Copper 11.3 %
Folate 23.5 %
Iron 12.4 %
Magnesium 16.8 %
Manganese 36.5 %
Niacin 7.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 7.3 %
Phosphorus 18.2 %
Riboflavin 9.9 %
Selenium 11.1 %
Thiamin 10.5 %
Zinc 7.6 %

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

Dec 112012

How many times do we throw food away and not think about it?

According to the EPA “More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste (MSW). In 2010 alone, more than 34 million tons of food waste was generated, with only three percent diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting.

Why should we be concerned about this?  For many reasons; one being that as the food in the landfills rot, it creates methane which contributes to global warming.  Secondly, think of how many people on this planet are HUNGRY.  Americans portion sizes are so huge that we either eat the massive servings, sometimes enough to serve four people or more, and gain weight or send the left overs to a landfill.  “Feed People, Not Landfills - An estimated 50 million Americans do not have access to enough food. Organizations can donate safe and healthy food to a food bank or food rescue organization and both reduce food sent to landfills and feed those in need.” 

How can you help? Think about portion sizes – especially when eating out.  Can you share a dish with someone?  Don’t forget you can always order more if you are still hungry, but my bet is that you won’t be. How about taking home the left overs?  Remember that container ends up in a landfill.  This may seem a little weird to some people, but there is nothing wrong with bringing a take-along container for left overs or buying some compostable containers and using those instead of Styrofoam.  Secondly, think about what you throw away in your trash.  Is there anything you can set aside in a large “dump bucket” such as citrus rinds, apple cores, coffee filters, etc. that you can dump into a compost pile?  I don’t have one but I go back out to the woods and scatter these type scraps in the brush out back and let me tell you – that is some happy brush. Or even better – save those veggie scraps, such as the ends of onions, carrot peels and pepper ribs and seeds in a gallon size bag in the freezer.  Once it is filled pour all the veggie scraps in a large stock pot, cover with water and make broth.  See this recipe for Vivian’s Vivacious Vegetable Broth.  You can then save that gallon bag and reuse it over and over and you save money on broth.

In the spirit of reduce, reuse and recycle I created this recipe to use those broccoli stems that always stare you in the face, challenging you to do something with them.

This is one of those salads that is so good, you realize simple is better.  Add in your favorite protien to make this a complete meal or use this sauce/dressing recipe on ANYTHING – from topping some tofu, to a simple salad, or even as a dip.  And if broccoli crowns are all you have, feel free to use those!

Broccoli Stem Salad with Creamy Garlic Tarragon Sauce

Broccoli Stem Salad with Creamy Garlic Tarragon Sauce

Inspired by The Flavor Bible
Serves 2 to 3
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Dec 7 through Jan 6th


3 broccoli stalks and leaves**
1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 Tbsp Vegenaise
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste


1. Peel or cut the skin of the broccoli stalks to remove; chop into bite size pieces; place in a medium bowl.  Chop the broccoli leaves finely; add, along with green onions, to broccoli stalks.

2. Mix the Vegenaise, tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl; pour over broccoli mixture and stir until combined.

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving


Calories 115.2
Total Fat 9.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 254.2 mg
Potassium 292.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 4.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 2.7 g


Vitamin A 27.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 7.2 %
Vitamin C 136.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 7.3 %
Calcium 4.5 %
Copper 2.1 %
Folate 15.8 %
Iron 4.7 %
Magnesium 5.7 %
Manganese 10.9 %
Niacin 2.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.7 %
Phosphorus 5.9 %
Riboflavin 6.3 %
Selenium 3.8 %
Thiamin 3.8 %
Zinc 2.4 %


*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 152012

It’s a Clean Eating Cocktail Party at Cara’s Cravings!

Recently my dear friend Cara invited me to join a cocktail party over at her place,  Of course I said, absolutely!

She got a bunch of us health food bloggers together and asked us to share a recipe we would serve at a cocktail party where the ingredients are as natural as possible.  I wanted to keep with my theme of simple, delicious, gluten free and vegan so I created this a Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Rice Dip that is sure to be a new go-to for parties or pot lucks.  It is light yet filling and the flavors shine through with minimal seasoning.

Vegan Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Dip

Vegan Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Dip

To see my recipe at the Clean Eating Cocktail Party please visit Caras Cravings!

Sep 202012

I can not tell you how happy I am to be in my new space and all set up after my big web hosting fiasco with Blogger/Google.  I still have a lot of work to do but at least I can create some recipes and work on all the categories and tags later.

Now for the food!  I think you are going to love this dish.  It’s a great mix of salty and sweet with a spicy bite.  This dish is high in protein and is SUPER easy – only 7 ingredients, not counting the water) and you can just throw it all in one pot which saves time on cleanup.  I’m all about the one pot thing lately.

Ginger is a little root with big powers.  It is perfect in both savory and sweet dishes and is used in a lot of Asian cooking. It has anti-inflammatory compounds, is wonderful for digestion-both for relieving gas and soothing your belly and can relieve symptoms of nausea.

Teriyaki Quinoa with Crystallized Ginger

Serves 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup pineapple bits (or fresh chopped pineapple)
5 oz broccoli (about 2 cups), chopped
1/2 cup Teriyaki, San-J Brand
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 cup ginger chews (Crystallized ginger), chopped


1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Add to large pot with 2 cups water, onion, carrots and pineapple.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Cook 5 minutes; add broccoli, recover and cook an additional 10 minutes.

2. Remove from heat for 5 minutes; stir in Teriyaki, peanut butter and ginger chews.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 215.4
Total Fat 4.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 957.5 mg
Potassium 209.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Sugars 10.2 g
Protein 7.7 g
Vitamin A 9.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.7 %
Vitamin C 49.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.2 %
Calcium 16.8 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 16.1 %
Iron 36.6 %
Magnesium 32.2 %
Manganese 15.7 %
Niacin 13.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.0 %
Phosphorus 58.7 %
Riboflavin 66.6 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 6.3 %
Zinc 3.2 %

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

Jun 302012
Saturday Quick Post!

Tofy Satay

This was one of those dinners that came out so great that I wanted to save the list of ingredients but I hadn’t measured everything out.  If you typically follow a recipe to the letter (not mentioning any names, MOM), I encourage you to try this one out and just wing it by utilizing your sense of taste!
Mix the ingredients, taste it, and think – does it need more salt?  Add some more Braggs (or soy, or tamari). Too sweet?  Balance it out with some more vinegar.  Just experiment!
Also, my original intent was to skewer the tofu but cutting the block into tofu steaks saved time so I went with it – and it came out perfectly. Use the skewers if you are going for presentation.
Tip: This marinade can be used for any protein.  You can leave it over night, for just an hour or simply brush it on – so versatile!
Tofu Satay without the Skewer
 Tofu Satay with Steamed Broccoli
(Without the skewer!)
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
1 block extra firm tofu
Dark sesame oil (or any oil you have on hand)
Agave (or honey)
Sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter, or tahini)
Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy, or tamari)
Rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or white)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, chopped
Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy, or tamari)
Rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or white)
Agave (or honey)
1. Press water from the tofu then slice in half and then through the center into “steaks” or however you like to slice your tofu – any way will work. 
2. Preheat grill to medium high.  Mix about 1 tbsp each –  sesame oil through vinegar; stir well; mix in garlic.  Adjust to taste.  Add tofu and coat all sides; save the remaining for dipping sauce.  Grill to desired temperature.
3. Meanwhile steam the broccoli, about 10 minutes; as that cooks whisk about 1 tsp each liquid aminos through agave and add about 1 tbsp water; adjust to taste. Pour over steamed broccoli. 
4. Serve one slice tofu and 1/4 broccoli mixture on each of four plates with a side of left over marinade.
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%