Saturday, July 8, 2017

Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Breakfast Cookies

These slightly updated cookies are yum! These give you 5 ticks off your Dr Greger Daily Dozen Checklist! You've got fruit, whole grain, flax, nuts/seeds, and cinnamon, so you've got spice! These are a great recipe for kids to make!

These cookies are awesome! The dough is also sweetly delicious straight from the bowl! This recipe came about when my three kiddos came storming at me wanting to bake cookies! That first time I only approved and suggested ingredients to add, and it was a pretty perfect combination! We've made these cookies countless times since. You probably can't go wrong if you include each of these ingredients, and the proportions below definitely work well!

Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Breakfast Cookies

1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
4 ripe bananas
1/2 c ground flaxseed
1/4 c chia seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c natural peanut butter (believe it or not, this is actually optional)
~You could also add lots of unsweetened cocoa, which you might not even taste, but it adds more nutrition!

Mix everything up in one bowl, making sure to mash the bananas. Spoon dough onto cookie sheets. I use a silicone sheet over a thin metal baking sheet. You want to spread and flatten dough spoonfuls to about a half inch or less thick. They won't change shape while baking. Small cookies are good, so you have a lot of browning and crispiness on the edges. I bake them in a preheated convection oven at 375 degrees, for ~15-20 min.  SO in a conventional oven, 400 degrees for closer to 20-25 min should be right :)


After you get the cookies in the oven, watch What the Health!

Watch on Netflix now!

Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Breakfast Cookies

1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
4 ripe bananas
1/2 c ground flaxseed
1/4 c chia seeds
1/3 c Grape Nuts* (they add an awesome tiny crunch!)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c natural peanut butter

*The Grape Nuts (or Trader Joe/Whole Foods Market alternative) are totally optional, as they contain a bit of sugar and salt in their ingredients, though there is only a 1/3 c in the recipe, which makes a lot of cookies. 

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!

Related Posts:

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!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Super Juice for Athletic and Health Superstars!

Today's post/drink will be helpful to:

a) ATHLETES: beets, for one thing, are amazing for athletic performance!
b) ANYONE who wants an antioxidant/anti-inflammatory punch, and this too is important for athletes!
c) ANYONE who loves BEETS or wants to try BEETS!

This drink is gorgeous! Recipe makes a lot (two 26-ounce servings). I drink one before my run, and another after!

This drink has loads of Dr Greger Daily Dozen check marks too! 1) greens - kale, 2) berries - lots, 3) other veggies - beets, 4) other fruit - orange 5) flax, 6) spices - lots, 7) nuts - chia, 8) water, 9) oats ...and go for the run for #10!

Here is the Daily Dozen that Dr Greger recommends in How Not to Die.


Magenta Magic Potion

2 beets, raw, quartered, stems removed
1 blood orange, quartered
1 c kale, packes (2 big handfuls)
1 c strawberries
1/2 c blueberries
1/4 c cranberries
1 Tbsp goji berries
1 Tbsp ground flax
1 Tbsp chia
1/4" fresh turmeric
1/2" fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 c oats
pinch of pepper
contents of a high quality green tea bag (I almost forgot!)
3 c water

TIME SAVER: I do NOT PEEL the beets, orange, turmeric, or ginger! Wash all produce well! You get a dash more fiber, and the big benefit, besides time, is that there is a lot of awesome stuff in that ORANGE PEEL, including cancer prevention, and flavor! Check out this video CITRUS PEEL and CANCER: ZEST FOR LIFE?! And there are also a lot of great COMMENTS after the video with extra benefits of citrus peel!

I use the "whole juice" button on my Blendtec blender to blend everything together, and enjoy!

This is a lot of nutritious food, so you could have some for breakfast and then then the rest for a mid-morning snack (or share with a loved one!)!

Here are a few links:
BEETS reduce the oxygen cost during exercise!
For more on GINGER: Ginger for Osteoarthritis!, Pumpkin Pie Lovers Post, and Get Your Gs
Turmeric rocks! (bountiful benefits)

Plus, cranberries, blueberries, cloves, oats, goji berries, could probably make a full blog based entirely off of these ingredients! Hmmm, thank goodness for NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG!

If you enjoy LIKE on FB, and share with your family and friends :) Thanks! PS - I love sports nutrition!

Monday, February 20, 2017

New Laraball Flavor: Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Cookie Dough!

This delightful recipe was inspired by a Laraball recipe, No-Bake Carrot Cake.

This recipe doesn't make a pretty picture, but it sure is tasty! It also has about 5 check marks on Dr Greger's Daily Dozen checklist from his awesome book, How Not to Die. He provides a list of the healthiest foods to eat every day, according to the best available nutrition evidence.

You'll get 1) nuts, 2) fruit (dates, raisins, pineapple), 3) other vegetables (carrot), 4) spices (turmeric, and more!), 5) flax.

Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Cookie Dough
1 c walnuts (2/3 + 1/3)
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c pitted dates (5 pieces)
1/2 of a large carrot, chopped in a few pieces
1/4" fresh turmeric
1 piece unsweetened dried pineapple

Simply blend all ingredients (except 1/3 c of walnuts) in a food processor until they stick together like a gooey dough. Add 1/3 c walnuts, and blend a bit more, so you have some extra crunch! Then put the whole dough ball into a resealable bag and make into balls from outside the bag without getting gooey hands. Really, you can just pull/pinch out a piece of the dough, and pop it in your mouth. We refrigerate the dough because it is moister than other Laraballs. Enjoy!

You can also try Skinny Mints which are chocolate-mint Laraballs; they are like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and PB and J Poppers!

"Like" my FB page to see on your home page when new posts show up here!

PS- if you haven't, please check out the previous post! Free Naked Food Subscription AND Vegan/Vegetarian Stuff Popping Up Everywhere! It was so fun to make! It's about how we keep hearing about vegetarian, vegan, tufu, organic, etc in shows and books and magazines. I think it's a good sign that more and more people are becoming aware of this healthier way of life! Also, you can subscribe to a new PBWF magazine for free! It's called Naked Food, and it was created in association with The China Study.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Tell me in a comment below!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Free Naked Food Magazine, and Vegan/Vegetarian Stuff Popping Up Everywhere!

Happy birthday to me :) It started with a Smooth Banana Bread birthday breakfast! A many Dr Greger check mark recipe!
He even made it to my birthday celebration; see on the cardboard: Dr Greger on a computer saying "Eat More Plants!"
You can celebrate too, by taking the opportunity we all have to get a FREE 2-year digital subscription to a new Whole Foods Plants Based magazine: NAKED FOOD MAGAZINE! This magazine is associated with Dr Campbell, The China Study, and an awesome plant based initiative called PLANTPURE NATION. You may also like to buy a paper subscription to the magazine, and The Plantpure Kitchen, which I'm sure has awesome recipes! You can also look for their meal starters which are reasonably priced, and I want to try soon! Note, THERE IS NO PURCHASE NECESSARY to subscribe digitally. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE!


Next, I want to share a fun collection I've been accumulating. They represent a sign of the times - plant base whole foods are catching on! Check out the captions if the photos are too small to see. Enjoy!
"Everything's organic, authentic, fair-trade, and locally sources! Are you vegan? You seem vegan..." in Strawberry Shortcake #2 Comic.

"Worms!" Catina yelped. "You know I'm vegetarian!" "They are not real worms," Houndsley assured his friend. They only look like worms. They are made of tofu." in Houndsley and Catina by James Howe.

This was from the 2/12/17 Simpsons episode (my hubby watches ;) ). There was TOFU BELL, KENTUCKY STEAMED CHICKPEAS, and more! in "Fatzcarraldo".
Lego Magazine: "Does it come with seaweed? I'm a vegetarian."

If you live in Cleveland, OH, here is a flyer for my next classes! Monday, FEB 20, for Let Food Be Thy Medicine, and FEB 28, for Fueling Your Young Athlete! Please email if you're interested! It's always so much fun, and everybody learns some things, and gets some new ideas and motivation to be the healthiest they can be!

My dear hubby (and kiddos :) found vegan cupcakes to celebrate at Vegan Sweet Tooth! Delicious! Absolutely a treat - we were all knocked out by the sweetness :) Chocolate raspberry, strawberry shortcake, chocolate salted caramel, vanilla, and some interesting sort of lavender flavor :) Also, some ginger turmeric tea! And other cool stuff from family and friends. I'm such a lucky girl!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tricky Traditional Lasagna, Simplified :)

I simplified this recipe, so now it is easier to make with fewer ingredients, and still DELICIOUS!

Loads of Dr Greger Daily Dozen Check Marks: 1) grain, 2) flax, 3 and 4) lentils and tofu, 5) spices, 6) tomato sauce, especially if you make it yourself.

OMGosh - this is the bomb! My 11 and 12 year-old niece and nephew LOVED this dish! These are the children of a Sicilian-born restaurant owner and chef at delicious Alessandro's. One said "I love this meat!" and the other said "This is really good! If you would have offered me tofu and lentil lasagna, I would have probably said NO".

Let's get to it!

Tricky Traditional Lasagna

The 'Meat'
1.5 c lentils
1.5 c water
1 clove garlic (tsp)
3 Tbsp Italian seasoning (make your own!)
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
Optional: you can get away with adding 1/2 inch of fresh turmeric without anyone noticing!

The 'Cheese'
2 packages firm tofu (smooth works too)
2 Tbsp onion powder
Tbsp lemon juice
Tbsp Italian seasoning (make your own!)

Whole wheat lasagna noodles

6-8 cups spaghetti sauce (2-2.5 jars)

For meat, simmer lentils in 1.5 water covered for 20 min. Add spices and flax and blend in food processor until it looks like ground beef (few min)!

For cheese, drain tofu, and combine with other 'cheese' ingredients in food processor, and process until smooth. Taste test and add spices as you like!

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottom of a 9x13" pan with sauce (~1c), then lasagna noodles, then 'meat', then 'cheese', and repeat until pan is full, ending with a layer of pasta covered in sauce. If you have extra ingredients, you can make an extra small lasagna, and share with a friend! Bake for an 45-60 min, and enjoy!

Plant-Based Traditional Lasagna
(with vegan ground meat and vegan ricotta cheese)
This recipe makes me so happy! I love making this basic, traditional meal with no meat or cheese! It's also fun that you really don't need any veggies on the side because it is made entirely of veggies! I've made the Plant-Strong Lasagna (check it out here), and it's a great veggie meal. On the other hand, Tricky Traditional Lasagna provides the familiarity of a meal you've probably eaten many times before, as you try potentially unfamiliar tofu and lentils. I hope you love it as much as we do!

COMMENTS: What vegan Italian food do you like to eat?


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