Friday, May 5, 2017

Cherry Lemon Bars (New Laraball Recipe!)

OMGosh! These Cherry Lemon Bars are the bomb! So good I could eat a whole batch at once! In fact the first time I made them, I did! I never even had a chance to give my kids a taste! I have been envisioning this recipe for years, as the idea sat on one of my many lists. Lemon and berries are fabulous! Also, I added a few ingredients to bump up the Dr Greger Daily Dozen check marks! 

Check marks: 1) nuts, 2) fruit, 3), flaxseed, and 4) spices
Here you go!

Cherry Lemon Bar Laraballs
3/4 c unsalted cashews
1/3 c pitted dates
1/4 c dried cherries (try for unsweetened...I found sweetened with juice from Whole Foods this week)
zest of half a fresh lemon (actually I just trim off the lemon peel with a knife like this)
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp arrowroot
1 tsp vanilla

Blend ingredients in a food processor, until dough begins to fall away from edges, to desired consistency, and form into balls (the photo shows bars, but they are actually much more time consuming than balls), and enjoy!

Put all ingredients in a resealable bag and form dough into balls, so you don't get "food hands". Sorry to Laraball fans to be redundant, but I want everyone to know our easy tricks!

What the Health
This movie was AMAZING! I highly recommend you watch ASAP! Not surprisingly, the website looks like a fabulous resource as well. For example, the FACTS page :)You can stream and download any time for just $9.99!

I was lucky enough to attend a Q and A with the funny, sweet, and knowledgeable Caldwell, Ann, and Jane Esselstyn :) They are an amazing family!

Special thanks to Plant Based CLE (on FB) and Jane Esselsyn's Health Care is Self Care, the awesome organizations responsible for the fabulous event!

Coming soon: some of my favorite lessons from Dr Esselstyn, as well as some great nuggets from What the Health!

If you like what you find here, please "like" the fresh-you FB page, and share with your friends and families. Thank you!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Oil-Free Pesto Bruschetta, Spread, Pasta, Pizza :)

I wanted to add check marks to my basic pesto (Practical Pesto), and the new version reminds me of a tasty bruschetta appetizer when I eat it this way, on a whole wheat cracker slice of toast top with tomato!

This version contains 5 Dr Greger Daily Dozen Check Marks when you include the grain on which it is served.

Oil-Free Pesto Bruschetta
2 cups packed kale, stems removed
1/4 c walnuts
1 T Italian seasoning (homemade Italian spice is tasty!)
1 T basil
2 T flaxseed, ground
2/3 c water
Whole wheat crackers or bread

Blend first 5 ingredients and half of the water in a food processor, then add a bit more water until you reach your desired consistency. Then add to crackers or toast, and top with tomato slices. Enjoy!


My son prefers the crackers with just the spread, no tomatoes. My younger daughter prefers a full slice of tomato (rather than halves as shown above). How do you and your family like it best?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Tempeh "BLT"!

Tempeh "BLT" Sandwiches are awesome!

Tempeh is an excellent choice among the protein/bean category. Here is Dr Greger's quick answer on which is healthier - edamame (actual plain soybeans) or tempeh (fermented soybeans). Spoiler - it's tempeh! While edamame is healthier than the more processed tofu, tempeh has more anti-mutagenic properties than plain old soybeans (edamame).

"BLT" Sandwich
Tempeh "bacon"
Tomato, sliced
Vegan mayo*

Follow "bacon" cooking directions, and assemble your sandwiches!

"BLT" Salad
Tempeh, original flavor
Kale (or any green), stems removed, torn in bite-sized pieces
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
Liquid smoke (I used Colgin Mesquite)
Vegan mayo*
Flaxseed, ground
Hemp seed
Black pepper

Boil whole tempeh block for 5 min. Rinse to remove bitterness. Cut in four or more pieces, longways; thin pieces resemble bacon. Splash tempeh with liquid smoke, and let sit few hours (I'll try to skip this "let sit" step next time, and update), and then broil for 5-6 min. Finally, spread a bit of vegan mayo on each piece, and cut tempeh into pieces.

Fill bowl with kale, diced tomatoes, tempeh pieces, hemp seed, flaxseed, and pepper. Enjoy!

Dr Greger Daily Dozen Check Marks: AROUND SIX!

The commercial tempeh "bacon" has some ingredients, a few kinds of sugar among them. Still...remember that tempeh is a very healthy food, so this is a much better option than say, a Boca burger with it's many ingredients/chemicals.

Alternatively, you can make your own "bacon" simply with liquid smoke...this has a few ingredients as well, but it's not too bad. Plus, you can put to rest any worries of cancer promotion from liquid smoke. Here's another video from Is Liquid-Smoke Flavoring Carcinogenic? I have some smoked paprika, which I will also try in the future, for an option with just one ingredient!

If you want to know more about liquid smoke flavoring, check out this link: Colgin Liquid Smoke. Honestly, I knew very little about it before today!

*regarding vegan mayo, Trader Joe's makes a tasty one, but really mayo is a "red light" food, unless you make your own with some tofu and vinegar; here's a simple recipe (I might use dates instead of maple syrup, and skip the salt).

Another tempeh recipe I make are Meatless Meatballs, yum!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

6 Great Recipes to get Ready for Cinco de Mayo

Mexican dishes are a flavorful way to eat lots of bright colored foods, plenty of spices, AND your fill of beans! Here are some of our favorites :)

You can tick off many Dr Greger Daily Dozen check marks!

Fiesta Bowl (~5 check marks)
This was one of the first recipes I ever shared, and when I began making it, it included chicken! Yuck!
Tamale Pie (~6 check marks)
This one is always a hit - the kids love the corn bread on top :)
Avocado Quesadillas  (~2 check marks)
So simple, so tasty!
Homemade Refried Beans (~2 check marks)
The possibilities are endless here, and it's SO easy! Learn how to make beans without soaking!
Easy Lentil Tacos (~4 check marks)
This taco "meat" could be used in many different ways, and lentils don't make much longer to cook up than pasta! Plus, Dr Greger says they are an even healthier option than beans!
Easy Guacamole (~2 check marks)
You probably love guacamole, and you might have made it before, but it requires lots of chopping. This simple trick fills your guacamole bowl in a flash!
Guacamole Pizza (~4 check marks)
One of our very favorites!
Healthy Mexican Lasagna (~8 check marks!)
Look at all those check marks! Need I say more?


I eat and educate others about PLANT BASED WHOLE FOODS and/or EVIDENCE-BASED eating, which are VEGAN. The way I eat and the way I teach involves much more than just avoiding animal foods (VEGAN). It is important to EAT lots of beautiful colors and tastes, and:

  • AVOID processed foods 
  • AVOID refined and unprocessed sugars (molasses and honey, for example, but not whole fruits)
  • AVOID refined grains (whole wheat flour is ok with me :)
  • AVOID salt and oil.
You won't hear a lot from me about all this "avoiding" because I love to focus on EATING, rather than what not to :) Ok, back to the recipes!

Fiesta Bowl (~5 check marks)
Tamale Pie (~6 check marks)
Avocado Quesadillas  (~2 check marks)
Homemade Refried Beans (~2 check marks)
Easy Lentil Tacos (~4 check marks)
Easy Guacamole (~2 check marks)
Guacamole Pizza (~4 check marks)

Healthy Mexican Lasagna (~8 check marks!)

BONUS: I came across this cute couple who has lots of great recipe videos. Enjoy!
Mr and Mrs Vegan Youtube Playlists

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Olympic Marathon Fuel and a Recovery Smoothie

Today's post is exciting for ATHLETES/RUNNERS, AND EVERYBODY ELSE because the smoothie is an awesome ANTI-INFLAMMATORY for ALL BODIES and the cornmeal is awesome fuel for ALL BRAINS and MUSCLES! Just like Super Juice!

haven't run a marathon in a few years! Now, I am excitedly preparing for the CLE Marathon! Thankfully, all is going well, and I am especially grateful for my speedy recovery times, thanks to my whole foods plant based diet!

By the way, the smoothie provides a good 6 or 7 check marks off Dr Greger's Daily Dozen checklist!
1) fruit, 2) berries, 3) spices (especially fresh turmeric), 4) seeds (though you could bump to a 1/4 c to get a full serving), 5) flax, 6) water as a beverage, and 7) greens.

Mango Recovery Smoothie
1 c frozen mango
1/2 c frozen cranberries
1 big handful kale (probably 1 packed cup)
1/2" ginger root
1/2" turmeric root
Tbsp chia seeds
Tbsp ground flaxseed
pinch pepper
2 or 3 c water*

Blend all ingredients to desired consistency and enjoy!
  • *2 c makes a thick, frosty smoothie, and 3 c makes more of a juice blend.
  • I opted for 3 because I was chilled after my run; plus it provided more hydration. As the weather warms up, I'll drink the thicker shake!
  • This drink doesn't have a big source of protein. So, I soon had some Easy Vegetarian Chili which provided me with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and warmth!

Now for UGALI! According to one study, this is simple fuel, UGALI, makes up 23% of the diets of elite Kenyan athletes (as in about a quarter of their total daily calories come from UGALI)! One person who fuels with ugali is Eliud Kipchoge. In Rio, Eliud became the Olympic Marathon Champion of 2016! He has an amazing PR of 2:03:05!!!!!! This is the 4th best marathon time EVER!

I can see lots of possibilities for preparing ugali! This was my fuel this morning for my 9-mile run! I kept it simple...adding some black and cayenne pepper. This afternoon, I had some more with hot sauce and black pepper. I think it would be great with some salsa mixed in! What will you add?

1/2 c cornmeal
3/4 c boiling water

Mix and add more water as needed. Traditionally, it should be able to maintain shape, like you could make a ball with an ice cream scoop. As I mentioned, pepper, cayenne, and salsa could be added. I saw a blueberry cornbread muffin recipe this afternoon, so perhaps you could add in some blueberries! Maybe cranberries :)

Thank you for SHARING and LIKING on FACEBOOK! Then I can help more people be happy, healthy, and fit! Cheers!

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Friday, March 17, 2017

7 Simple Breakfast Cookie Recipes with 3 or More (mostly more!) Dr Michael Greger Daily Dozen Ingredients

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I was hoping to share a lovely reuben sandwich made with tempeh and homemade rye bread today! SIGH. Tasty, so hopefully it'll be coming soon!

Instead, I have 7 Simple Breakfast Cookie Recipes with 3 or More (mostly more!) Dr Michael Greger Daily Dozen Ingredients! So they are of course free of sugar, dairy, oil, and salt!

You read that right - cookies for breakfast! These recipes are a simple way to get your day started, or snack on all day long! They each contain just a few ingredients, and are packed with nutrition! Enjoy!

As far as Dr Greger Daily Dozen check marks go, these recipes all have whole grains and fruit, most have flax, nuts, and spices, some have berries, and one even has veggies!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Chocolate Brownie Muffin Top Cookies
Raspberry Kiss Muffins (could make cookies!)
Healthy Cranberry Cookies
Apricot Crinkler Cookies
4-Ingredient Nut-Free Banana Breakfast Cookies
Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Breakfast Cookies

  • Make a batch or two and freeze some, or eat them fast!
  • Healthy ingredients mean there aren't the usual preservatives make bakery last a long time.
  • If a recipe lacks flax, add some! You'll never taste the difference, and you'll be adding powerful nutrition!
  • A few recipes contain non-dairy chocolate chips, but please note that chocolate chips are a processed food that contains sugar, so they should be added with care. They are always optional!
If you enjoy a recipe, please share and like on Facebook :) THANK YOU!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Easy Creamy Carrot or Cauliflower Soup (6 Dr Greger Check marks!)

I started with Tangy and Refreshing Carrot Soup.

Then added:
1. nutritional boost! (more Dr Greger check marks!)
There are now 6 check marks (spices, beans, veggies, flax, hemp, and oats)!
2. Instapot directions (20 min manual setting, use only 6 c water)
3. alternative base: cauliflower (cruciferous veggies rock!)

Creamy Carrot or Cauliflower Soup

2 lb cauliflower + 1.5 c garbanzo / chickpeas / chi chi beans (1 can, drained)
OR 3 lb carrots + 2/3 c beans
10 c water on stove OR 6 c water in Instapot
1/4 c ground flaxseed
1/4 c hemp seeds
1 c oats (or other grain such as quinoa...go heavier on spice range with other grain)
3 cloves garlic
1/2" fresh turmeric (1/2 tsp powder)
1/2" fresh ginger (1/2 tsp powder)
2 tsp - 2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 - 2 tsp black pepper
1/4 - 1 tsp sabji masala (or pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 - 1 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 min. After cooking on stove to in pressure cooker, blend with an immersion blender, or another blender to puree to desired consistency, and enjoy!

This is thick and creamy soup. Feel free to add water to thin soup to your desired consistency. Great with a topping of hummus, and/or some veggies!

Thank you for sharing, and liking on Facebook!


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