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.

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.

Oct 072011

Happy Friday 

Just a super quick post because I miss ya.

And ‘cause I threw this together for a pot luck at work and I got lots of requests for the recipe. 

And ‘cause I’m proud of myself for throwing together a season appropriate recipe that people actually liked that had kale.

I don’t think everyone knew it was kale though.  Someone called it kelp.  

He said; “Like from Sponge Bob.”  “I didn’t think I would like it since I usually eat iceberg lettuce but it was really good.” 

I said; “Ha!  You just ate KALE.”

And please don’t hate me but I didn’t do the nutrition info on this one.  If I get a spare minute I will go back and do it and update the recipe.


  Sorry about the iphone photo. I didn’t make the salad until I was at work!
Fall Panzanella with Kale and Cranberry Walnut Bread
Serves about 10 1 cup servings.  This is totally estimated.
Dressing Inspired by Forks Over Knives 3-2-1 dressing
Printable Recipe

1 large bag pre-cut and washed kale
1/3 red onion, sliced thinly
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 apple, sliced
1 pear, sliced
½ loaf cranberry walnut bread, sliced, toasted and cut into cubes

Dressing (This will make a bit extra.)
6 Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Sea salt and pepper, to taste


1. Place kale and onions in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Pour about ¾ of the dressing into the kale and onions and massage about 30 seconds or longer until the kale wilts to desired texture; top with cranberries, walnuts, apple, pear and bread. Put the remaining dressing off to the side for anyone who may want extra.

Mar 142011
One of my favorite salads at Native Sun is a curry sweet potato pear salad with walnuts.  There is something about the sweetness of the pear and sweet potato against the spice mixture of the curry and the nutty walnuts that makes it a perfect balance.  I recreated it once for my one-year bloggiversary and it came out so well I have been dying to do it again but never got around to it.

First thing Saturday morning I poached some eggs and then started chopping my butternut squash wondering what I would do with it. There are so many amazing recipes out there recently from other bloggers I couldn’t choose one.  On a whim, I decided to create a second version of the curry pear salad and use the butternut squash as opposed to the sweet potato. The result is almost like a dessert without any sugar or artificial sweetener. If you eat it warm it’s all gooey and somewhat buttery tasting.  The walnuts are coated with the sweet agave and then lend a nutty and satisfying crunch.

That’s it. I’m adding this one to “favorites”.

Sweet Curry Roasted Butternut and Pear Salad with Walnuts
8 (1/2 cup) servings
***5 very worth-it WW Pts Plus


1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 firm Bosc pears, seeded and chopped
2 sweet onions, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp agave
2 Tbsp oil of choice, I used virgin pecan but canola would be fine
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Dash of sea salt
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 350F; prepare pan with cooking spray and add squash, pears and onions.  Bake for 1 hour, turning with spatula halfway through.  Set to broil for 5 minutes or until desired amount of browning occurs.  Remove from oven, place mixture into a large bowl and add walnuts.

2. Whisk the curry powder through sea salt in a small bowl; pour over the butternut squash mixture and toss gently.

Estimated Nutrition Facts (amounts will vary with size of vegetables)

8 (1/2 cup) Servings
**5 WW Pts Plus
Amount Per Serving

Calories 163.0
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 79.7 mg
Potassium 500.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.1 g
Dietary Fiber 5.9 g
Sugars 0.9 g
Protein 2.7 g
Vitamin A 180.2 %
Vitamin C 38.3 %

And if you eat a cup
Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 326.0
Total Fat 16.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 159.4 mg
Potassium 1,000.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 48.2 g
Dietary Fiber 11.9 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Protein 5.3 g
Vitamin A 360.4 %
Vitamin C 76.6 %
Manganese 53.9 %

Oct 132010

It was a match made in heaven; my oat recipe with PB2 and nutty wheat germ topped with sweet curry pear, sweet potatoes and walnuts and finished with a salty crunch or coarse sea salt.  It’s got that sweet salty thing going on!
Oats with Curried Pear, Sweet Potato and Walnut Topping


1/4 cup curry, pear, sweet potato and walnut salad
1 recipe pumpkin butter oats (leave the pumpkin butter out if you like)


1. Place one recipe of pumpkin butter oats in bowl.  Top with quarter cup of curry, pear, sweet potato and walnut salad.