Monday, October 1, 2012

TV Thai Food

I had a great time during my latest appearance on NBC's My Carolina Today!  I am always amazed at the outpouring of interest in raw veganism that comes from these segments.



Spicy Thai Kale Chips

3 bunches of Kale

Splash of olive oil

1 cup almonds
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 -2 teaspoons hot chili pepper sauce (again, if you don't like spice, skip this!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Braggs soy sauce
½ cup water
pinch sea salt
pinch pepper

Clean and rinse kale and tear into large chunks. Douse with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Massage into kale.  In a food processor, blend the almond into a mill. Add the minced ginger, garlic, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, honey, nama shoyu, water, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth. Pour over Kale and massage in. Lay Kale leaves on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115 until crisp.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, put your oven on the lowest setting and bake until crisp.


BENEFITS OF KALE: The “queen of greens”!  Kale is high in vitamins A, C, & K, iron, and is filled with powerful antioxidants.  Kale also possesses wonderful anti-inflammatory properties.


Asian Collard Wrap

2 large collard leaves


Stuffing Veggies:


1 red or yellow pepper

½ small head of cabbage, shredded

1 carrot, peeled and cut into match stick pieces

1 bunch asparagus

1 bunch Bean sprouts

¼ c chopped cashews

For the Marinade:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 ½ tablespoons honey
1 ½ soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender and set aside.

In large bowl, place all stuffing veggies and cover with marinade.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes

Wash a de-stem collard leaves. Rub each leaf with 1/2t lemon juice, 1/2t EEVO, and a dash of salt.  Place shiny side down. Load leaf with assortment of veggies and nuts. Fold short end over the filling and begin rolling tightly until you reach the end.  Place on a plate with the stem side down.


BENEFITS OF GINGER:  Ginger has long been used as a medicinal root to help with inflammation, pain, stomach discomfort and more.


Kelp Noodles Asian Style

1 yellow zucchini, peeled and spiral sliced

1 red or yellow pepper, cut into thin strips

1 pkg kelp noodles, soaked in water

2 chopped green onions

5 basil leaves, chiffonade

1/2C cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Press all water out of zucchini and kelp noodles.  Toss with other ingredients in large bowl.


1/2C cashews, soaked for 2-4 hours

1C coconut water

1/4C basil leaves

1/4C agave

1T garlic

1T apple cider vinegar

1T sesame seeds

1t Nama Shoyu

1/2t grated fresh ginger

Pinch of dried red pepper flakes

Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Season to taste. If mixture is too thick, add water to obtain desired consistency. Toss with noodles. Plate and serve.


***Kelp noodles may be purchased at health food stores or online


BENEFITS OF KELP:  Kelp is rich in more than 70 different minerals and more than 21 amino acids. Kelp also is rich in vitamins, enzymes, and trace elements.  Because of its high iodine content kelp is wonderful for glandular health, specifically thyroid functioning.



1C flaked coconut

1C large coconut pieces

3/4C raw almond flour

¼ t sea salt

½ C agave

2T coconut butter, melted in sun or slowly over a double boiler

1/2t vanilla

1t almond extract


In a food processor, pulse together coconut, almond flour, and salt. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined.  Pinch a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball, flatten.  Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 hours. Store in fridge

You can dress up macaroon by sprinkling with cinnamon/coconut flakes or dipping in raw chocolate.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

10 Reasons to do a Cleanse

I cruised into the yoga studio where I practice a few days ago to grab a quick class. As I entered I was blinded by the radiant glow of the studio owner. Instantly, I knew what she had been up to - a juice cleanse.  I have a love-hate relationship with cleansing.  I recognize the need to do one a few times a year but hate suffering through the first couple of days.  The last long term cleanse I did was the Master Cleanse with my husband and a friend for 10 days.  I was preparing to be on TV so I was definitely motivated to push through.  The first 3 days were brutal.  I found my self crawling on the floor begging my husband to give into cravings with me.  The second 4 days were easy. Once we got through the detox symptoms our energy skyrocketed.  I found the last few days tolerable but boring.  I decided that all of my future cleanses would be 5 days or less.  

Over the years I have gathered a few "cleansing tips" that I use to keep myself on track.  A few of my favorites are:

  • Make a list of what you are expecting to get from your cleanse and refer to it in those moments of wavering resolve
  • Make a list of what challenges you expect to face.  For me this normally consists of one thing - cravings.  Your list of what you are expecting to get will be much longer and therefore put the challenges in perspective
  • If you give in and cheat don't throw the whole cleanse out. Try not to cheat but if you start going down that road try to have a safe cheat item: i.e. a little watermelon or cucumber slices. These water filled items may allow you to quickly move on from your weak moment and complete your cleanse.

Why am I suddenly blogging on cleansing???  I'm coming off of a few days of vacationing and a few weeks of reckless indulgence.  With that, last night I announced to my kids that I would be embarking on a juice cleanse for a few days.  READ: Don't bug me to go out to eat!!

In the spirit of appealing to my selfish side, I have compiled a list of "what's in it for me".  So, much like on Letterman, here are the top 10 reasons everyone should occasionally cleanse your body...

  1. Get Blood Sugar Levels in check: keeping blood sugar levels under control help reduce future health problems, prevent weight gain, and reduce unhealthy cravings.
  2. Reduce Unhealthy Cravings: see #1.  When the body is nutritionally balance, cravings seize to happen.
  3. Increase Absorption of Vital Nutrients: When you cells are clean, they can more easily absorb nutrients in your food. Every body system will benefit from this.
  4. Boost Your Immune System: I do not take flu shots.  My immune system is very strong and cleansing just makes the cells of the body more equipped to fight disease.
  5. Brain Chemistry Boost: My mental clarity is always enhanced after a cleanse.  My thinking is clearer and more concise.  I've read that cleansing helps your body absorb fats and proteins more effectively. The better your body does this, the more healthy brain chemicals it produces.
  6. Increase Energy: During my last cleanse I was amazed at my increased level of activity - yes I said DURING!  After a cleanse this increase continues.  Cleansers definitely feel more inclined to exercise. Your cells are "de-junked" and full of super nutrition -- the effect is more energy and more motivation to move your body.
  7. Balance Your Hormones: Cleansing and super nutrition help your body balance its hormone levels. This leads to increased stamina, better sleep, and a feeling of well-being.
  8. Support Your Liver: The liver is your body's primary elimination organ. When it gets overwhelmed with toxins and poor nutrition, poor thyroid function and low energy are the results. Cleansing supports the liver and leads to better thyroid function.
  9. Improve Your Quality of Life: This is the ultimate reason to cleanse and replenish your body. When you are clean, you feel happier, sleep better, exercise more, make better food choices and loose excess weight.
  10. Lose Weight: All though this is the least important reason to cleanse it is an added benefit! Your body protects itself from ingested toxins by producing extra fat cells. These fat cells encapsulate the impurities and keep them from depositing into and harming your vital organs. Cleansing leeches chemicals from fat cells and helps your liver and kidneys flush them from your system.
Armed with this list and a load of fresh fruits and vegetable, I'm ready to move forward!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mango Madness - Sorbet Recipe

Mango's are my all time fav of the tropical fruit family.  When I say they are my fav I mean I am CRAZY for them.  Not only are they delicious, they are a powerhouse of Vitamins A and C.

Here are some of the Mango's Health Benefits

Protect cells from free radical damage.
Lower certain cancer risk.
Improve iron absorption.
Great for the eye.
Helps fight off viral infections.
Relieves constipation.

If you've never tackled a mango before you are in for a treat.  In some countries the mango is referred to as "bathtub fruit" because they are so juicy that children are often placed in the bathtub to eat them!

Pick fruit that is soft to the touch. Mangos have a large, kind of flat, oval pit in the middle so the best way to work around that is to slice off either side of the fruit, score it, then remove it from the skin.

Mangos are great on their own, in salads, or in smoothies.  A real treat is to make sorbet.

Here's an easy recipes:


2 C frozen Mango
1 C water
1/3 C Agave
1t vanilla (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is Watermelon the New Viagra???

I thought that title would get your attention!!!

Summertime means juicy, delicious watermelon.  From refreshing watermelon/ginger juice to watermelon salads, I can never get enough of this summer treat.

When juicing your melon, don't cut your nutrition short by discarding the rind.  Take a peeler and discard the green layer then put the rind through the juicer to get every last bit of B6 and Vitamin C.  A lessor known factoid about watermelon rind is that it contains citrulline. The March 2011 edition of the "Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture" suggests that the citrulline in watermelon rinds provides an antioxidant effects which protect helps to protect from free-radical damage. Additionally, citrulline converts to arginine, an amino acid vital to the heart, circulatory system and immune system. Researchers from Texas A&M's Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center theorize that watermelon rind might relax blood vessels and have a role in treating erectile dysfunction - BOW CHICA BOW WOW!!
And on that's a great recipe for a fantastic Watermelon Cucumber Salad.  The sweetness of the melon and tangy bite of balsalmic are fantastic together!

Several bunches of fresh greens
1C cubed watermelon
1/2 cucumber, cubed
2T shaved red onion
2T chopped pecans

Toss salad and top with dressing below

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
Click to see savings

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Whisk together in a small bowl.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cuckoo for Coconuts!

Every since my favorite yoga instruction, Mira (One Heart Yoga), mentioned that she was making Live Strawberry Parfaits, I have had a steady flow of fresh fruit and live coconut cream in my fridge.  With strawberries coming into season in North Carolina, it's been my breakfast staple.  My basic recipe for coconut cream is below - yum!

But first a few coconut fun facts.......
Young Thai Coconuts have a host of health benefits.  Not to be confused with brown mature coconuts, to the right you will see a young thai coconut.  Inside this vessel you will find a delicious, slightly sweet water and a gel like flesh.  Coconut water is a superfood filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, and growth factors. It is low in fat and has only a fifth of the sugar found in most fresh fruit juices.

To make your own coconut milk simply blend the water and flesh together and enjoy.

For a real treat and a great topping for fruit you can make a decadent coconut cream.  Below is the basic recipe. You can jazz it up by adding different extracts, sweeteners, and spices.


Blend together the flesh and 1/2 the water from a young, thai coconut.  Add a squirt of agave or honey.  Add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract.  Sprinkle in any other yummy delights such as cinnamon or cloves.

Slice fresh fruit and layer in a parfait glass with cream.  Add a sprinkling of sunflower or hemp seeds. Enjoy!


Tips for opening a coconut:  There are a ton of videos on You Tube that demonstrate how to opening a thai coconut if you'd like a visual demonstration.  Here is how I normally handle the task.

1.  With my dedicated coconut-only butcher knife, I put the coconut on its side and carefully whack off the tip.

2.  After the tip is off, I push through the soft top and empty the water into a bowl.

3.  Put the coconut back on it's side and give strong chops around the diameter and pull open.

4. Scrap our the flesh with a spoon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Amazing Avocados!

I never need a reason to chow down on avocados. I find them to absolutely delicious. However, if you are not friends with this fabulous fruit and need a little motivation below are some great reasons to give this green treat a try. I personally like to cut them open and eat them with a spoon but if you need other ways to enjoy an avocado you can use the creamy meat as a sandwich spread, in guacamole, diced in a salad, as a base in smoothies/raw soups, or even in chocolate pudding. YES, I SAID CHOCOLATE PUDDING (the recipe is below).  Here are some great to the reasons to INDULGE!
1. Cancer Prevention:  Avocados have been studied for their benefits in preventing breast, prostate and oral cancers.

2. Peeper Protection: Because avocados contain a high amount of lutein that can help protect your eyes from cataract formation and macular degeneration.

3.  Keeps Your Ticker in Tip Top Shape: One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.

4. Lowers Cholesterol: Studies show that people who increased their intake of avocado started to show a lowering of cholesterol in as little as one week.

5. Vitamin E: Avocados are a rich source of vitamin E for overall good health.

Now, avocado and chocolate??????  YES!  The recipe below make the creamiest, most decadent, chocolate pudding you will ever eat.  Give it a try:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

  • 2 medium avocados
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • sea salt

  • In a food processor or heavy duty blender – puree avocados, cocoa powder, honey, coconut milk, vanilla extract and orange zest until smooth.  ENJOY!!

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Raw Holiday Dishes - NBC's My Carolina Today

    I had the wonderful opportunity to share some holiday dishes with the ladies of My Carolina Today last week.  This show often shines a bright light on ways to live a healthy, toxin free life!!!  I always feel amazingly blessed and lucky that allow me to participate on their show :)



    For many of us, it wouldn’t be the holidays without indulging in “food centered” celebrations.  You can still enjoy rich, decadent holiday dishes that are delicious and nutritious without meat or dairy products. Because these dishes are all prepared without heat or at temperatures below 117 degrees, the maximum nutritional value of each ingredient has been maintained.

    Just as a quick reminders below are a few facts about how and why including more raw and living foods into your diet can enhance your wellbeing:

    Why Raw?
      Food in its natural state is the complete package – a wonderful balance of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and micronutrients.
      Some nutrition is destroyed when any foods are cooked
      Some believe up to 99% of nutrition is destroyed when cooking vegetables.
      Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water which is lost when they are cooked.
      Natural enzymes are destroyed when foods are cooked.

    And now, on to the recipes...............................

    1/2 C Almonds
    1 Young Coconut (flesh from)
    3 Dates
    3 T Agave
    1 1/2 t Cinnamon
    1/2 t Nutmeg
    1/2 t Cloves
    1 t Rum Extract (not raw but completes the eggnog flavor)
    3 C Water

    Place all ingredients in blender and blend until very smooth. Strain through nut milk bag. Top with a sprinkle of extra nutmeg. You can serve this warm or cold.

    Health Benefits of Almonds:  Five large human epidemiological studies, including the Nurses Health Study, the Iowa Health Study, the Adventist Health Study and the Physicians Health Study, all found that nut consumption is linked to a lower risk for heart disease. Researchers who studied data from the Nurses Health Study estimated that substituting nuts for an equivalent amount of carbohydrate in an average diet resulted in a 30% reduction in heart disease risk. Researchers calculated even more impressive risk reduction--45%--when fat from nuts was substituted for saturated fats (found primarily found in meat and dairy products).

     Hearty Nut Stuffing

    2 cloves garlic
    2T sage
    2T rosemary
    2T thyme
    2C walnuts, soaked 12 hours
    2C almonds, soaked 12 hours
    1T white miso
    1 onion, chopped
    6 celery, chopped
    1C parsley, chopped

    Process garlic and herbs. Add nuts and miso slowly and process. Put in bowl and stir in onion and celery. Crumble mixture on teflex sheets and dehydrate at 105 for 6 hours.

    Health Beneftis of Herbs:

    Parsley is an amazing medicinal herb with a world of health benefits. The root contains calcium, B-complex vitamins, and iron, which nourish the glands that help regulate the uptake of calcium. It is a source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin K.

    Sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids and phenolic acids, including rosmarinic acid. The oils found in sage are both antiseptic and antibiotic, helping it fight infections.

    Rosemary contains caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid, both of which are potent antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory agents. Rosemary is also a good source of antioxidant vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and other important antioxidants.

    Thyme has a long history of use for chest and respiratory problems including coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion. It is an excellent source of iron and manganese, and a good source of calcium and dietary fiber. Thyme contains a variety of important flavonoids and volatile oils, including the important volatile oil thymol.

    Marinara (to top stuffing, if desired)

    1C sundried tomatoes
    1/4C raisins
    2L tomatoes
    1t thyme
    1t sage
    1t rosemary

    Blend in Vitamix

    Mashed Taters

    2 Cups Cauliflower
    1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
    1/2 Cup Pecans
    1 Cup Macadamia nuts
    3 Tablespoons olive oil
    2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
    3/4 Tablespoons garlic
    1 teaspoon salt
    Fresh ground pepper to taste

    Process nuts in a food processor with the "S" blade until they
    become smooth and creamy. Add in remaining ingredients and
    continue to process until it is smooth. Top with cream of
    mushroom gravy.
    Health Benefits of Cauliflower:  Several dozen studies link cauliflower-containing diets to cancer prevention, particularly with respect to the following types of cancer: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. This connection between cauliflower and cancer prevention should not be surprising, since cauliflower provides special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body's detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly.

    Nutrition Facts

    Nutrition Facts
    Cauliflower Potatoes

    2lbs Potatoes, 3/4C cream, 1C butter
    8 Servings

    10 Servings

    Amount Per Serving

    Amount Per Serving


    Total Fat
    26.3 g

    Total Fat
    21.9 g

    Saturated Fat
    3.4 g

    Saturated Fat
    13.8 g

    Polyunsaturated Fat
    4.1 g

    Polyunsaturated Fat
    0.9 g

    Monounsaturated Fat
    17.5 g

    Monounsaturated Fat
    5.7 g
    0.0 mg

    61.0 mg
    52.0 mg

    145.1 mg
    193.9 mg

    788.9 mg
    Total Carbohydrate
    5.2 g

    Total Carbohydrate
    32.5 g

    Dietary Fiber
    2.8 g

    Dietary Fiber
    4.1 g

    1.1 g

    1.5 g
    3.1 g

    4.1 g

    ***Notice that each recipe has a similiar fat content but the raw version contains far more healthy fats while the traditional version is nearly all saturated fat.

    2 Cups Pecans, soaked
    2 Cups Water
    1/2 Cup dehydrated onion
    1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
    2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Salt to taste

    Blend the ingredients thoroughly to a gravy consistency.
    “Pumpkin Pie”

    2 C almonds, soaked
    1 C walnuts or pecans, soaked
    1 C unsweetened shredded coconut
    20 dates, soaked overnight
    2 C cashews, soaked overnight, and drained
    2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced.
    3 t pumpkin pie spice
    drizzle agave nectar

    Combine almonds, walnuts or pecans, and coconut in food processor or Vitamix, and process until ground fine and dough-like
     Pat the dough into two pie plates

    Drain dates; reserve soak water.
    In food processor, puree dates, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie spice
    Remove mixture from food processor and set aside in a bowl.
    Set mixture aside in a bowl.
    Process cashews, agave nectar, vanilla, and date soak water as needed, until smooth and creamy.
    Combine cashew mixture and sweet potato mix puree
    Spread filling in pie shells
    Dehydrate for 6 hours, then refrigerate.

    Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes: High in vitamins B6, C, iron, and magnesium

    Holiday Fudge
    1 c. raw coconut oil
    3/4 c. raw
    carob (or cocoa)
    2 t. vanilla flavor
    1/2-1C agave (depending on how sweet you want your fudge)
    1 c. raisins, raw nuts, coconut, or whatever you want
    Put the coconut oil in a bowl, Put this bowl in another bowl of hot water, When it's melted, stir in the carob to make it smooth, then stir in the other stuff. Spread on wax paper lined cookie sheet, put in fridge or freezer 5-10 minutes to make it hard. Break into pieces
    Try experimenting with peppermint or other flavors instead of vanilla.