Mixed Berries with Honey

Today’s Try This Tuesday recipe is so incredibly simple, and yummy, that I wondered why I had not tried this before. I’ve declared this week Berry Week, for the blog posts, as I participate in a Berry Challenge on Instagram during the month of July. Created by Anthony William, the Medical Medium, the purpose of the Berry Challenge is to encourage and inspire people to eat berries every day.

It’s achieving its purpose!

Mixed Berries with Honey

I’ll post about the health benefits of these little superfoods on Friday. Today I’m sharing this easy recipe from Anthony, who has been posting lots of ideas for incorporating more berries into our lives

Mixed Berries with Honey

1/2 cup of strawberries, quartered

1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries, thawed

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blackberries

1 – 2 tablespoons raw organic honey

Gently combine berries with honey. Makes 2 servings.

Mixed Berries with Honey

So simple! I didn’t have raspberries so I increased strawberries to one cup. Any combination of berries can be used. All are beneficial, so pick your favorites and mix them up. Use locally produced raw organic honey, to receive health benefits that are specifically geared toward you.

I typically eat berries, and I do eat them everyday, without any sweetener at all, so I wondered if adding honey would make them taste too sweet. It didn’t! The honey added a rich warm taste that was just right. This would be a great alternative for those who are accustomed to adding refined sugar to their berries.

Honey coated berries can be eaten as is, added to a smoothie bowl, or…my favorite…used to top a bowl of frozen banana nice cream. Oh my…what a wonderful, and healthy, summer treat!

Mixed Berries with Honey

Cucumber Tomato and Dill Salad

Summer heat and long sunny days create in me the desire for simple meals that don’t require cooking. It’s too warm and muggy to heat up the kitchen. I’ve been enjoying meals of watermelon or cantaloupe, leafy greens or salsas made from fresh chopped veggies. This easy cucumber and tomato salad has become one of my favorites!

Cucumber Tomato and Dill Salad

I didn’t use a recipe for this summer salad. Instead, I let intuition guide me, adding the ingredients my body craved.

Cucumber Tomato and Dill Salad

1 medium cucumber, diced

1 tomato, diced

1/4 – 1/2 red or yellow onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh or dried dill

2 tablespoons rice vinegar OR fresh lime juice

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Flavors blend and improve as salad chills.

Cucumber Tomato and Dill Salad

Cucumber Tomato and Dill Salad

My garden provides fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and dill. I’ve only needed to purchase onions from the farmer’s market or grocery store. I especially love snipping dill from my herb garden and inhaling its amazing aroma as I add it to the chopped veggies.

This salad reminds me of one my grandmother made when I was a child. The thinly sliced cucumbers and onions marinated in vinegar overnight before we enjoyed it. I limit my use of vinegar, and use rice vinegar as a healthier option, when I do use it. This salad is equally tasty made with lime juice.

Cucumber, tomato and dill salad makes a great meal on its own and also serves as an excellent side dish with other veggies, legumes or brown rice. I’m relishing this wholesome taste of summer!

Cucumber Tomato and Dill Salad

Healthy Blueberry Scone

I enjoy the tradition of afternoon tea, a habit I’ve cultivated after my first trip to Scotland in 2014. After switching to a plant based lifestyle, my tea time foods changed dramatically. Gone are the finger sandwiches, the sweet treats and the shortbread cookies. Instead I typically have fresh fruit with my tea or a simple snack such as hummus and veggies. Occasionally though, I long for a popular afternoon tea food…the scone.

In Scotland and England scones more resemble tall, light, fluffy American-style biscuits. They are sweeter than our biscuits, and so delicious served with strawberry preserves and clotted cream. I can’t have such scones now. I know I wouldn’t feel well if I ate one. So for months I’ve been adapting different recipes, in search of an acceptable blueberry scone recipe. After many failures, I at last have a winner.

Healthy Blueberry Scone

This recipe is adapted from one I found on Pinterest, by Alisa Fleming, who was going for a Panera scone copycat.

With adaptations, here is the recipe.

Healthy Blueberry Scones

2 cups gluten free flour

1/2 cup organic coconut sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries (or 1/4 cup dried wild blueberries)

1 cup full-fat coconut milk, from a can

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and sea salt in a large bowl. Add frozen blueberries and stir to coat berries in flour mixture. Add full-fat coconut milk and vanilla. Stir until ingredients are well mixed and sticky dough forms.

Drop mixture by the spoonful onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 10 scones.

Healthy Blueberry Scone

Healthy Blueberry Scone

For the flour, I use a cup of oat flour and a cup of garbanzo flour. Another good gluten free choice is almond flour. The coconut sugar resembles coarse brown sugar. It is much less sweet and drier. And it is very important to use canned full-fat coconut milk. I shake the can well before opening, to mix the coconut water with the fat that has collected at the top of the can. I save the left over coconut milk and use it to make another batch of scones.

These blueberry scones are so easy to make, and they are gluten, dairy, refined sugar, egg and oil free. And the taste? They are wonderful and satisfy my desire for a tea time treat. As healthy as they are, I only indulge in these scones once a month or so. Most of the time, my afternoon break unfolds quite well with an herbal tea and a juicy piece of fruit. I save the blueberry scones for a special treat!

Healthy Blueberry Scone

Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing

Living the plant based lifestyle, I’ve come to appreciate the value of healthy flavorful sauces and dressings to drizzle over salads and veggie bowls. A few ingredients and a blender is all that is required to create sauces that range from sweet and mild to tangy and spicy.

Having just posted about garlic as a featured food on Friday, I followed up today with this easy Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing.

Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing

Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing by Anthony William

1/4 cup raw tahini

1 tablespoon olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves

2 medium dates, pitted

1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with favorite salad greens or a veggie bowl or use as a dip with veggies. Makes 2 servings.

Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing

Tahini is a sesame paste. It’s available at health food stores or health conscious grocery stores such as Natural Grocers. The tahini and olive oil combine to create a rich Mediterranean flavor, and pairs well with the garlic and subtle sweetness of the dates. I used 3 garlic cloves when I created the dressing today, and I added a pinch of ground red pepper for a touch of heat. Salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

I placed the dressing in the refrigerator while I made a salad.

Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing

I wanted greens today. I’ve learned to pay close attention to my cravings. Since I’ve eliminated unhealthy cravings, I can now trust them and receive them as signals from my body, telling me what it needs. I started with a bowl containing fresh organic spinach and arugula, and added kale from my garden and dandelion greens from my backyard.

For the rest of my salad, I decided to select ingredients intuitively, trusting my instincts to guide me to what I needed.

I included cucumbers, red and orange peppers, tomatoes, chick peas and half an avocado, diced. I had pulled other veggies out of the fridge but this assortment seemed right for lunch today.

Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing

Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing

I drizzled on the garlic tahini dressing, which had thickened up slightly as it chilled, creating the perfect consistency. The dressing was so good! The whole salad was delicious and satisfied my craving for greens while nourishing my body.

The garlic tahini dressing will keep for up to a week in the fridge. I don’t think mine is going to be in there that long!

Garlic Tahini Salad Dressing

This recipe, and 49 others, are in Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. Order your copy below.

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Black Bean Hummus

Anthony William posted this easy to make hummus recipe yesterday, just in time for me to recreate it for Try This Tuesday. Hummus, which is traditionally made out of chick peas but can be made from other beans as well, makes a great plant based snack or meal. I enjoy hummus several times a week, so I was excited to have a new recipe that features black beans.

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus by Anthony William

1/2 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight OR 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed (reserve 4 tablespoons of bean water from the can.)

1/2 cup avocado, diced (1 small avocado)

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish

1/2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

4 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed (1 lime)

1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

Salt & pepper to taste

If using dried black beans, drain and add to a medium sized pan. Cover with water and cook 45-75 minutes, until very soft. Reserve 4 tablespoons of liquid. Drain rest of liquid and let beans cool.

Combine beans, avocado, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, garlic, cumin and coriander in a food processor or blender, and blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve with an assortment of cut up veggies.

Black Bean Hummus

I cut up red, yellow and orange peppers, celery, tomatoes, cucumber and included baby carrots. I had left over chopped cilantro for a garnish.

This delicious recipe makes a fulfilling, wholesome meal. And the different components have health benefits.

Black beans are full of anti-aging antioxidants and anthocyanins, and a great source of calcium, magnesium and zinc. They strengthen the immune system and help to repair collagen fibers in the skin.

Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, which boosts the immune system, strengthens the heart, slows the aging process and rebuilds the nervous system. The monounsaturated fats in avocados reverse insulin resistance and stabilize blood sugars.

Cilantro pulls heavy metals and toxins from the body, detoxifies the liver, supports the adrenals and balances blood glucose levels. Cilantro is also anti-viral, fighting against Epstein Barr, shingles, HHV-6, cytomegalovirus, all herpetic viruses and HIV.

Cumin helps the body absorb and assimilate nutrients more easily. It has anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.

And fresh organic vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and disease fighting nutrients.

I enjoyed a colorful, tasty lunch of black bean hummus and fresh veggies. I feel good knowing that everything I ate contributed to my health and wellbeing. Food truly is my medicine!

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

Nothing signals the arrival of the warm summer months, for me, like the abundance of watermelons available for purchase. I love watermelon and a bowlful of the sweet succulent fruit makes a satisfying meal for me.

For Try This Tuesday, I was delighted to sample a simple recipe for a watermelon salad, created by Anthony William, and shared in his book, Life Changing Foods.

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

Here’s the easy, three ingredient recipe:

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

8 cups of diced watermelon

Lime juice from 2 limes

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

Place watermelon in a serving bowl. Squeeze lime juice generously over the top. Sprinkle with finely chopped mint leaves and serve. Makes 2 servings.

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

This time of year I keep watermelon cut up and chilling in the fridge. I have one watermelon vine growing in the backyard, another volunteer plant that makes me think my gardener grandfather, Pop, who passed away years ago, is tucking magical seeds in the ground. I harvested several melons from last year’s surprise vine, so I’m hopeful! I can always purchase watermelons from the farmer’s market or grocery store as well.

I grow mint in my herb garden and enjoyed snipping a few sprigs for this salad. And I’ve learned the value of keeping lemons and limes on hand. I make pitchers of lemon/lime water to sip on during the day, and use the juice from both frequently as I cook. Having everything readily available, this salad came together in a snap.

It was delicious too! I loved the unique combination of sweet melon with the tang of lime juice and the pop of freshly picked mint, leaves warm from the sunshine.

Watermelon with lime and mint will become a favorite meal this summer! For more information on the powerful healing benefits of melons, watch for Friday’s post.

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

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Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

I was excited to try out this recipe that I found in the latest issue of Thrive Magazine. I’m enjoying my subscription to this plant based publication, and find much inspiration within the glossy pages.

Dinner tonight, for Try This Tuesday, was Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas and Kale Bowls.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

This recipe comes from Sapana Chandra. Sapana is a holistic health coach, wellness blogger, food stylist and photographer, and a plant based professional chef. Visit her website HERE.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas & Kale Bowl

Assemble ingredients in this order:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl combine cubed sweet potatoes, olive oil and salt & pepper. Toss until sweet potatoes are well coated. Arrange in a single layer on parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway.

Spicy Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Sea salt & black pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan pan, warm oil on medium heat. Add chickpeas, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss until chickpeas are well coated. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm.

Additional ingredients

4 cups kale, spinach or other greens, washed and chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

1/4 pomegranate seeds -when in season

Massage kale with olive oil. Or if using other greens, chop. Chop tomatoes.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or organic honey

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

Assemble the bowls. Divide the roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas, greens and tomatoes between the two bowls. Drizzle with lemon tahini dressing.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Creating this recipe is a simple step by step process. As the sweet potatoes roasted in the oven, I prepared the chickpeas and allowed them to simmer. I whisked together the dressing ingredients next and popped the bowl into the fridge to chill and thicken slightly.

Before I chopped the greens…I used a mix of spinach and baby kale…and the tomatoes, I turned off the oven and removed the chickpeas from heat and kept covered.

I assembled two bowls and Greg and I sampled this new recipe. It was so savory. The mix of roasted sweet potatoes and spicy chickpeas was a delectable combo. And the lemon tahini dressing lent a complementary tartness.

I am enjoying this health journey. Greg pointed out this evening that when I first switched to plant based, I mostly prepared simple salads or baked potatoes. As I’ve become healthier I’ve turned my focus to preparing wholesome, delicious meals that often combine a variety of veggies, fruits, textures and flavors. And sauces. I’ve discovered that healthy sauces add a nice kick of extra flavor.

I also reminded Greg that this is Tuesday. And what do I do on Tuesdays? I try new things. Sampling or creating new recipes has become a weekly Try This Tuesday tradition. I love it.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

One of the foods on my “no” list that I no longer eat is eggs. Long considered the perfect food, eggs were once necessary for survival in areas where there were few other food options at certain times of the year. That changed at the beginning of the 20th century, when auto-immune, viral, bacterial and cancer epidemics began.

Eggs are no longer good for us, even if they are pasture-raised or free-range eggs. They feed the viruses that contribute to auto-immune disorders. Eggs are a primary food source for cancer and cysts, fibroids, tumors and nodules. If you are fighting an illness, or any type of cancer, eggs make it difficult to heal.

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

Eliminating eggs from my diet has boosted the healing in my body. My philosophy is to starve the Epstein Barr, shingles and strep viruses in my body, by taking away their food sources, and support my immune system by feeding my body healthy plants. It’s working.

Occasionally I adapt a recipe by swapping out unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones. I use oat or chickpea flour for wheat flour, raw honey or coconut sugar for refined white sugar, almond milk for dairy. What about eggs though?

No problem!

Here are four easy substitutes for eggs, in baking:

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

1. 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce = 1 egg.

Unsweetened, unflavored organic applesauce serves as a binder and adds moisture.

2. 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water = 1 egg.

Mix 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let set for 5 minutes. The mixture has the consistency of an egg and makes a great, nutritious substitute. Some vegan recipes list a “chia egg” in the ingredients. Now you know how to make one.

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

3. 1/4 cup mashed banana = 1 egg.

Other puréed fruit, such as pumpkin, may be used. Fruits add moisture and a touch of sweetness.

4. 1 teaspoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon white vinegar + 1 tablespoon water = 1 egg.

This mixture is best used to create fluffiness in baked treats.

My favorite substitutes are applesauce and chia eggs. I keep the 4 ounce organic unsweetened applesauce cups on hand, and I always have a bag of chia seeds. Both work extremely well.

Don’t use commercial egg substitutes. They often contain egg whites. Early in my plant based journey, I tried an omelette made of egg substitute. My body immediately rejected it and I threw up. I received that as a strong message to avoid eggs and products containing eggs.

I don’t often need to replace an egg in a recipe, as I primarily eat whole foods. It’s nice to have a alternative though for an occasional healthy treat.

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stew

This healthy and delicious recipe comes from one of my vegan pressure cooking cookbooks. I am using my pressure pot more and more, to prepare quick, nutritious meals. I recently tried steaming veggies in it and I’m hooked on how easy the process is. In minutes I have perfectly steamed potatoes, asparagus or a variety of veggies prepared together for a simple bowl meal.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

This colorful and tasty soup was ready in under 30 minutes and while this recipe makes use of a pressure pot, the soup can be prepared traditionally on the stove top.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

I used organic produce and in place of two fresh tomatoes, I substituted one can of organic diced tomatoes.

If cooking in a soup pot on the stove, follow directions, substituting one can of organic black beans for dried, or cook beans separately and add the last few minutes of cooking time. Simmer the rest of the ingredients until sweet potatoes are tender.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

This was a sweet and savory soup. The black beans are rich in protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium. The sweet potatoes supply beta-carotene, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that promote digestive health and provide anti-cancer phytochemicals. They also provide a critical form of glucose that aids in the ability to sleep soundly.

I’ll be making this soup often!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

I have seen fresh cauliflower used as a rice substitute before, but until recently I had never tried it. This delicious recipe from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William was just the inspiration I needed to make my first batch of cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

A food processor is needed for this recipe.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice

This was a fun recipe to make, and easy to do. I diced the veggies using a small processor and when those were prepared, popped the cauliflower into the large food processor and pulsed. The cauliflower immediately breaks down into small pieces the size of grains of rice. Next time I make this recipe, and I will definitely make it again, I will process half of the cauliflower at a time, for more uniform “rice”.

Cauliflower Fried RiceCauliflower rice.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

I had everything thing prepped before heating the oil, including mixing the sauce ingredients. I combined the diced onion with the other veggies and that worked out fine. I added the peas when I added the cauliflower rice, since they cook so quickly.

In a few minutes, I had a hot, freshly prepared meal with lots of nutritious vegetables. This time I omitted the jalapeños, almonds and sesame seeds. That’s the beauty of this recipe…any veggies can be added to the stir fry and other healthy toppings can be used, according to preference. I had a lone organic zucchini in the fridge that I needed to use, so I diced it up and included it in the stir fry.

This dish can easily be prepared and eaten raw. Simply mix all the ingredients together, without cooking, and allow the rice and veggies to marinate in the sauce for half an hour or so. I tried a spoonful of the cauliflower rice before cooking it and it was tender and just as tasty.

This recipe goes into my “keep” file!

Cauliflower Fried Rice