Wednesday, July 31, 2013

20 Minute Curried Lentils, Millet and Spinach

Oh how I LOVE savory breakfasts!  Even though I'm not sticking to my $3.33 a day budget anymore, I still use most of the methods I used to in order to create healthy and delicious meals in 30 minutes. Click HERE to read more about my method and a sample weekly menu.

The above dish came together in 20 minutes because I had cooked lentils and millet on hand as well as my spice mixtures.  

20 Minute Curried Lentils, Millet and Spinach

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked millet
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 cups fresh spinach
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Salt/pepper to taste


  • In a heavy bottom soup pan heat the oil and spices over medium heat until the mustard seeds pop
  • Add the onion, garlic, tomato and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes
  • Ad the lentils, millet and water, cover and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Take off heat and stir in the fresh spinach, lime juice, cilantro and salt/pepper to taste. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Don't throw out the mustard! Easy Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette

So, one of my pet peeves is trying to get all of the mustard out of the jar.  Fortunately, the amount of mustard left is usually the perfect amount to use in salad dressing.

This Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette is so tasty, you will never know it contains around 25 calories per tablespoon!

Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette

  • Mustard leftover in container
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/8 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 stevia packet or 1 tsp sugar, honey, maple syrup or agave
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2  cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Mix everything together in the mustard bottle.

You can replace the fresh garlic with 1 tsp garlic powder if desired.
Lemon Pepper would be an awesome replacement for black pepper.

I enjoyed a tablespoon drizzled over 1/2 of an avocado with fresh parsley for breakfast. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kale Salad with Edamame, Almonds,Sauerkraut and Cranberries

A couple weeks ago, my mom was visiting and we went to Trader Joes on the way to my brothers house.  I was thrilled to see this Raw Kale Salad! 

I loved how fresh everything was; the kale wasn't dressed and there was probably at least 3-4 cups of kale in the salad, along with dried cranberries, edamame, scallions, tomatoes and almond.  My only gripe was the dressing.  First of all, I wish it had been vegan.  In my opinion, if you are making a raw kale salad, it just makes sense to serve it with a vegan salad dressing. Second, the dressing didn't taste good.  They billed it as a creamy lemon herb dressing, but to me it tasted like mayo mixed with a little vinegar.

I loved the edamame, cranberry and almonds though and knew I'd be making this salad at home with my yummy Low-fat Goddess Dressing!

I washed around 8 cups of kale, added 1 oz of almond, 2 tbsp dried cranberries, 1/2 cup edamame, tomatoes, onion, 1/4 of an avocado and 1 cup of our Live Sauerkraut and I ate the entire thing for a late breakfast/early lunch.  I massaged the kale with the sauerkraut "cook" it a bit for easier eating.  I LOVE eating huge salads!

Thanks Trader Joes for the inspiration. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Healthier Kicked Up Vegan 1000 Island Dressing

I love salad, but traditional salad dressings are so high in calories and the lower calorie dressings are usually really high in sugar.  This morning, I was craving big ole salad with Thousand Island Dressing. I had both my Sugar Free Ketchup and my Low Fat Vegenaise Alternative on hand, so I threw together this awesome dressing.

Kicked up 1000 Island
1/2 cup Sugar Free Ketchup
1/2 cup Melody's Vegenaise Alternative
2 tbsp relish
2 tbsp minced red onion
2 tbsp Sriracha (use less if you don't like heat)
Mix everything together and enjoy!

My salad consisted of Baby Arugula, Avocado, Live Sauerkraut, Tofu, Green Olives and Tomatoes and it totally hit the spot!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Corn on the cob with chipotle lime infused coconut butter

Fresh Farmer's Market Corn on the Cob is pretty much perfect on it's own, but creating your own Chipotle Lime Coconut Butter will elevate to new levels!
I steam my corn on the cob by bringing several inches of water to a boil on a large pot, using a basket steamer.

Place the corn in, cover and steam for 5 minutes.

While the corn is cooking, whip up the spread:

Chipotle Lime Coconut Butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1-2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric (for color if desired)

Mix everything together in a bowl. 

Enjoy like you would butter! You could chill it a bit, and roll it into a log and freeze it like you're making a compound butter! 


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Carrot Love & Spiced Carrot Salad

I don't think carrots get the love they deserve. I made this awesome salad the other day, based on a side dish The Boyfriend had while we were staying in Delaware for his business trip. We had a meal at Home Grown Cafe in Newark, DE, which we both enjoyed. For the life of me, I couldn't remember the seasonings or how his carrots tasted, but we both loved them and it inspired me to create this simple salad.  I blanched the carrots, so they would keep their beautiful color.

To blanch carrots, bring salted water to a boil, add the carrots. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then drain and place the carrots in ice water to stop the cooking process.

Spiced Carrot Salad

  • 1 lb carrots, cut into circles and blanched. This will be around 4 cups
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn 
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


Blend the dressing ingredients in a blender, then pour over carrot/onion/herb mixture
Let the salad sit for at least an hour before serving.

This salad literally gets better the longer is sits. Several days later, I used the last cup of it in this awesome veggie/tofu stir fry.

Here are links to some more awesome carrot recipes:

What are your favorite ways to enjoy carrots?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ethiopian Tofu, Okra, Cabbage and Tomatoes.

My spice mixtures were put to good use creating this amazing, flavorful dish! I DRY FRIED the tofu while I was prepping the vegetables and this dish came together in less than 30 minutes.  Just a note on the link I provided...  I can't just ignore the very sad update on Giovanni....  he died in 2012 at the age of 5.  His family lost their second son...  I can't even imagine the PURE HELL they are living.  It is amazing how many people they have saved through their Bone Marrow Education...  if YOU are not registered to donate, PLEASE consider it.... you can literally save and change lives..... with a simple gift...

..... I digress... back to food, even though it's hard to go back..

This Ethiopian tofu and Veggies is so awesome!.. You will love it. This recipe makes 1 LARGE serving.If you want this to serve 2, then serve it over brown rice, quinoa or millet.

How to Dry Fry Tofu:

Ethiopian Tofu, Okra, Cabbage and Tomato

  • 4 oz tofu,dry fried
  • Cooking Spray (I like coconut oil cooking spray from Trader Joes)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ethiopian2 Spice Mixture
  • 1 tsp SouthIndian Spice Mixture
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup okra
  • 2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp ghee or coconut oil

  1. Dry Fry Tofu
  2. In a large skillet, over medium heat, spray cooking spray and add the onions, tomato, ginger, spices and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the cooked tofu, okra, cabbage, crushed tomatoes, and water.
  3. Cover and bring to a strong simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in soy sauce, if using, cilantro, basil, thyme and ghee or oil.

353 calories
17 grams fat
36 grams carbs
25 grams protein

15 grams fiber

Monday, July 08, 2013

Chickpea Flatbread Revisted: 3 Ingredient Chickpea Flabreads

I'm a HUGE fan of Chickpea Flatbread!  The recipe I created years ago, is one of my most popular recipes ever!  I've been a huge fan of Besan (way before it was "trendy") or Chickpea flour for years and I'm so glad that this ingredient is becoming more mainstream.

I wanted to make this recipe super simple, and while I relied on my All Purpose Spice Mix, I'm sure that any "All Purpose Seasoning" will work well.

3 Ingredient Chickpea Flatbread

  • 2 cups chickpea (besan) flour 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1 tbsp Melomeals All Purpose Spice Mix
Video Tutorial :


  1. Whisk together the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Heat a 12 inch, non-stick skillet to medium heat; spray with cooking spray
  3. For a small flatbread, ladle 1 tbsp at a time, for a medium flatbread, ladle 1/4 cup; for a large flatbread, use 1/2 cup.  
  4. When bubbles appear, flip and cook for 45 second more. 

Two More Spice Mixes: Ethiopian and South Indian

The Boyfriend and I went to Blue Nile for dinner last night.  It is the second time I've eaten there and I really enjoy it! Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics of the food, but I was inspired by their spice mixture to come up with yet, another one of my own! I'm a fan of creating my own mixes, and today I'm thrilled to share two more with you!

Whenever I go out for Ethiopian food, I always ask them to bring me a side of their House Spice Mix.  I love heat in my food, and Boston peeps don't, so it is rarely spicy enough for me without adding more.  The Boyfriend and I love to discern what is in the spice mix, so we can come home and make our own.  Each restaurant has a slightly different version, so it is interesting to compare them to each other.

We use Extra Hot, Indian Chili Powder in our recipes. If you don't have access to that, you can use cayenne.   Do NOT use commercial "Chili Powder".  It is not the same thing at all.  If you are sensitive to heat, please feel free to cut the amount by 1/2 - 2/3.  If you can't take heat at all, feel free to use sweet paprika.

I am calling the first mixture, Ethiopian2.
  • 3 tbsp hot chili powder
  • 2  tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp amchoor
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp salt

The second mixture is somewhat based on South Indian Curry Powder.

South Indian Inspired Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp fennel
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/8  tsp fenugreek
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamom
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
This powder is not hot at all!  I mixed the two together and created this amazing Spicy Ethiopian Tofu with Cabbage, Okra and Tomatoes for breakfast.  Recipe coming up in the next post! 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Lime-Ginger Slushy sweetened with stevia from our garden

Baby, it's hot outside!  This refreshing slushy is a great way to stay hydrated and cool.  Our stevia plant is doing great.  I love being able to go out and pick a couple leaves to use as needed.

I used 3 leaves, 2 cups water, 2 cups ice cubes, juice of 2 large limes, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 1 tbsp fresh ginger and blended until the ice was crushed in my vitamix.

So refreshing and simple.

For more stevia recipes, including a lot of baked goods, sugar free ketchup and salad dressings, click HERE! 

Super Green Detox Soup (hot or cold)

This soup is simple to prepare and oh, so good for you!  I call it DETOX SOUP, because it is full of awesome veggies, spices, and enriched with just a bit of coconut oil. It is very loosely based on a soup my mom used to make when I was younger, Bieler's Broth. This is my kicked up version!
Detox Green Soup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp ginger
  • 1 jalapeno (I used 4 because I’m addicted to heat)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/2 cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 1 bunch organic parsley including stems
  • 1 bunch organic cilantro including stems
  • 1 large organic Yukon gold potato
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 qt water plus up to 2 cups if needed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Braggs Amino Acid to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat saute the garlic, ginger, jalapenos, onions and spices for several minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients up until the lemon, cover and bring to a boil.  
  2. Cook the soup for 20 minutes, then puree and add the lemon juice, braggs and pepper to taste. 
  3. Garnish with full fat coconut milk if desired.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Healthy and Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free 'Enchiladas' made from leftovers

I love using collard greens as many of you know, and these really really hit the spot when I was craving enchiladas.

To create this dish, I blanched collard greens by bringing several inches of salted water to a boil in a 12 inch skillet.  I placed several collard leaves in at a time for around 15 seconds, then put them on a plate to cool until I was ready to use them.  You don't need to shock them, even though that goes against the traditional blanching method.  I'm all about shortcuts when I can use them and it works here!

Next, when the leaves were cool, I filled them with around 3 tbsp of Mexi Base and 1 tbsp cooked millet and 1 tbsp chipotle spiced nut cheese and rolled them up. I places a small amout of Salsa Verde on the bottom of a baking pan, placed the "enchiladas" in the pan and topped it with more of the Salsa Verde and chopped green olives and baked for 30 minutes at 350.

If you are new to using collard greens in place of tortillas, blanching them is a great way to cut the bitter flavor and improve the texture.  I hope you give this a try!

Here's a sneak peak of a salad that has inspired my dinner tonight.  I was on the road with my mom, and we stopped at Trader Joes.  It was around lunch time and I spied this Raw Kale - Edamame Salad.  It came with a lemon - herb dressing (non vegan).. I was thrilled to get 16 grams of protein and around 3 cups or raw kale, but the dressing was a HUGE disappointment... first of all, I believe that if you are offering a vegetarian option and it's possible, why not go all the way and offer a vegan option?  I have decided to re-create this salad with a tahini-lemon based dressing...  maybe even my Low Fat Goddess Dressing..  stay tuned tomorrow for my interpretation.