Sweet & Savory Curry

I love curry. Fortunately, there are many plant based curry recipes available. I’ve enjoyed madras curried lentils and aloo matar. For Try This Tuesday, I tried another recipe from the most recent issue of Thrive Magazine. This yummy curry was created by vegan Lauren Hallman.

Sweet & Savory Curry

Here is Lauren’s easy to follow recipe:

Sweet & Savory Curry

Sweet & Savory Curry

These are all ingredients I keep on hand, in my cupboards and my wooden vegetable box. That makes this recipe a cinch to put together, and dinner was ready in under 30 minutes. I started a double batch of brown rice cooking in the pressure pot, before beginning the curry, so both would be ready about the same time.

To ease the process, I chopped and diced veggies, opened the can of chick peas and drained and rinsed them, and opened the coconut milk and tomato paste as well before beginning the cooking. Using a small glass bowl, I measured out the spices and combined them in the bowl, so I could dump them all in at once.

Sweet & Savory Curry

This curry lived up to its name. The sweet potatoes provided the “sweet” part, while the spices contributed the savory, without adding too much heat. Children would enjoy this curry dish.

I know I certainly enjoyed it! The recipe makes plenty of curry, enough to savor for a couple of meals at least. I topped my first bowl of curry with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. For lunch today I added sliced avocado to my bowl.

This delicious and nutritious recipe goes into my Keep File!

Sweet & Savory Curry

Coconut Curry Sauce

I had fun today trying out my first recipe from the gorgeous Thrive Magazine that I purchased recently. I made notes as I thumbed through the publication, about all the recipes I wanted to create. First on my list was a coconut curry sauce.

Coconut Curry Sauce

This simple to make sauce, loaded with goodness and flavor, can be eaten over spiralized veggies, such as zucchini, or used with gluten pasta. It would be wonderful too added to stir fried veggies and brown rice or used as a dipping sauce for roasted potato wedges. This recipe was created by Julie Van Den Kerchove, a plant based chef in Belgium.

Coconut Curry Sauce

I purchased organic produce from Natural Grocers, as well as organic coconut milk. Full fat coconut milk is best, for the most flavor. Organic minced garlic and ginger in jars can be substituted for freshly minced.

After blending the sauce, I poured it into a mason jar and popped it into the fridge while I spiralized a zucchini and a yellow squash. I am in love with spiralized vegetables! They are easy to prepare, with an inexpensive spiralizer, and so good for me. I ended up with two bowls of veggie noodles.

Coconut Curry Sauce

I sliced a dozen cherry tomatoes in half, dividing them between the two bowls, and added hemp seeds. These provide protein and have a light, nutty flavor. After spooning coconut curry sauce over the raw noodles, I topped my meal with chopped cilantro.

This was so fresh and so delicious! I love curry in any form. This sauce is not too spicy. For more of a kick, increase the cheyenne pepper to taste. I have plenty of left over sauce to try in a variety of ways. I think oven roasted potatoes might be on the menu for tomorrow night, with a side of coconut curry dipping sauce!

Coconut Curry Sauce

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

I have been craving Waldorf salad, full of crisp apples, crunchy celery and walnuts, and sweet, juicy red grapes. The only problem with this yummy salad is that it typically has mayonnaise in it. I don’t use this product any more. However, was there a plant based option? I headed to Natural Grocers to find out.

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

I selected organic Braeburn apples, celery and seedless red grapes. I picked up organic walnut halves as well. And thanks to the produce manager at the Natural Grocers, I found a selection of healthier mayonnaises, in the refrigerated section. I am not only plant based, I also avoid soy and canola oil. I passed on a couple of brands that contained eggs or canola oil. And I found the right product with Vegenaise!

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

This wonderful spread is gluten, egg, soy, refined sugar and dairy free. It is a non GMO product as well. This isn’t something I will use often, but it’s nice to have an alternative to classic mayo.

Here is the simple recipe for Waldorf Salad:

• 3 red apples, unpeeled & cut into chunks

• 1 cup of celery, thinly sliced

• 1 cup of seedless red grapes, halved

• 1/2 cup of walnut halves

• 1/2 cup of Vegenaise

• 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a large bowl, combine apples, celery, red grapes and walnuts. In a small bowl whisk together Vegenaise, lemon juice and sea salt. Fold dressing into apple mixture. Chill for at least half an hour. Makes 4-6 servings.

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

Oh, this was a good salad! I’ve always loved this particular combo of fruits, celery and nuts. The Vegenaise is very light and does not overpower the salad at all. I enjoyed this Waldorf salad as a meal, rather than a side dish.

And this salad was perfect for me. I got in servings of fruits that are considered power foods and celery, which has so many amazing health benefits. Good food, that was good for me. It was a win/win meal!

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Today’s Try This Tuesday is a recipe of a different sort. This healthy serum nourishes the skin, rather than the body. I’ve been making my own skin serum for years, adapting it as I learn new things. As my body grows increasingly healthy and strong, on a plant based diet, it is important that I don’t use chemical laden beauty products. This easy to make serum was my first step toward using natural products on my hair and skin.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Here is the simple recipe:

Fill a small jar with coconut oil. Carefully place jar into a bowl of very hot water, making sure the water level remains below the lip of the container. Stir with a toothpick as coconut oil liquifies. Pierce the ends of two vitamin E capsules, and squeeze contents into the coconut oil. Add up to 20 drops of essential oils. I use Young Living Lavender Essential Oil and Young Living Frankincense Essential Oil. Stir well. Add 1/4 teaspoon raw locally produced honey. Stir again, cap and pop jar into the refrigerator to cool and solidify.

To use, scrape small amount out of jar with fingertip or fingernail and apply to face. Serum doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It will remain in a solid state, except during very hot weather. It’s fine to use in its liquid form as well.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Coconut oil liquifies quickly when warmed. Benefits for the skin include being naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, and coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer, penetrating the skin better than other oils.

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties, blocking free radicals that age the skin. It reduces wrinkles and keeps the skin young looking.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Lavender Essential Oil is helpful in treating skin conditions such as eczema, wrinkles, and acne, and calms inflammation. It helps to speed up the healing process of sunburns, wounds and burns and helps to prevent scarring. Frankincense Essential Oil is a powerful astringent that protects skin cells. It lifts and tightens the skin, prevents wrinkles, heals acne and reduces the appearance of large pores.

And raw organic honey is antibacterial, helping to combat acne and breakouts, and it is full of antioxidants, providing powerful anti-aging properties. It nourishes the skin, boosting the complexion and creating a healthy glow, and honey opens and unclogs pores, clarifying the skin.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

DIY Natural Skin Serum

I love how this serum melts immediately into my skin, on contact. At night before bed, I smooth it onto the delicate skin under the eyes, onto my forehead and around my mouth, all places where fine lines and wrinkles can form. It’s safe for the lips too. Finally, I apply a small amount to my neck and chest. I reapply to clean dry skin in the mornings, before makeup. The small jar of serum lasts me approximately nine months. A little goes a long way.

I enjoy the little ritual of creating my own skin serum. I appreciate the benefits my skin receives, and I like knowing exactly what is in this serum…no chemicals, no preservatives, no toxic substances, just natural, healthy ingredients. My skin drinks it up, and glows.

DIY Natural Skin Serum

Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto

As promised last week, after I introduced my fun new veggie spiralizer, today’s Try This Tuesday post features a basil pesto recipe. I’m including a bonus second recipe as well, because options are good, right?

This easy to prepare recipe is so good! I’ve enjoyed zucchini noodles with basil pesto twice in the last week. And today I topped my noodles with marinara sauce that included sautéed vegetables.

You can read about using a spiralizer HERE.

One medium sized zucchini makes one bowl of noodles. For more servings, simply spiralize more zucchini, or any form veggie of choice.

This recipe, from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William, makes two servings:

Mildly flavored zucchini noodles pair well with sautéed veggies or marinara sauce.

Here’s my favorite home made marinara sauce. This makes a big batch that keeps well in the fridge for a week. I like to sauté green peppers, celery and carrots to add to this basic sauce. The red pepper gives it a bit of a kick. It can be omitted or increased!

I discovered today that marinara sauce with sautéed veggies over zucchini noodles is yummy as well. I added hemp hearts. Now I’m ready to try some different vegetables in the spiralizer!

Order Thyroid Healing and your own spiralizer by clicking the links below:

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Orange, Avocado & Green Olive Salad

I tried this gorgeous salad for the first recently, and loved it. Who would know that combining two super foods…oranges and avocados…with tangy green olives would be so delicious?

Oranges are high in vitamin C, and a coenzyme called glutathione, which activates because of this citrus fruit’s flavonoids and limonoids. These combine to fight off viruses, protect the body from radiation damage and deactivate heavy metals in the body. Oranges also contain an abundance of bioactive calcium, which the body absorbs quickly.

Avocados help to soothe the digestive system, especially for those with food sensitivities. This food, which is actually a fruit, has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Avocados are a healthy source of omega-6 fatty acids, which help to restore the central nervous system.

The recipe, from the Life Changing Foods book by Anthony William is simple to prepare.

Orange, Avocado & Green Olive Salad

6 oranges, any variety

1/4 cup sliced green olives

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 avocado, sliced

Black pepper (optional)

Cut the top and bottom off of each orange. Resting the orange flat on the cutting board, cut down and around the sides, removing the peel. Slice oranges horizontally into disks and arrange on plates. Top with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with pepper is desired. Serves 2-4.

Because Cara Cara oranges are plentiful this time of year, I used them and regular navel oranges. I found it easier to slice the oranges first, with their peels on, and then cut around the perimeter, removing the peel.

This colorful salad was fun to eat, light but filling. I didn’t add the red onion to my salad, but I enjoyed the blended flavors of the oranges, avocados and olives. It was the perfect lunch.

It was so perfect that I had it for lunch again today! I will take advantage of oranges being in season by preparing this meal often.

Aloo Matar

I tried this wonderfully comforting, fragrant meal recently. Aloo matar is a Punjabi dish from the Indian subcontinent, featuring potatoes and peas in a spiced tomato base. It is easy to prepare and a delight to savor.

This aloo matar recipe was created by Anthony William, author of several books including his latest, Thyroid Healing.

I found garam masala in the spice section of the grocery store. I added a bit more garam masala and curry powder…a double pinch, or approximately 1/4 of a teaspoon. The recipe was not only simple to create, and adaptable, it was fun. And the spicy scent that filled the kitchen created great anticipation.

I loved this aloo matar. It had the taste of India that I was craving, without being too spicy. The cilantro and squeeze of lime on top was the perfect finishing touch.

I used all organic ingredients, making this tasty meal a nutritious one as well. And is there anything more comforting than dining on potatoes and peas? I don’t think so. I will be fixing this wonderful recipe often!

Banana Nice Dream

This yummy alternative to ice cream has been a favorite this summer. Easy to make, using one ingredient, banana nice dream is sugar and dairy free. Other ingredients can be added to the basic recipe, creating a variety of flavors.

The main ingredient is ripe bananas. My grocery store often has bags of very ripe bananas offered at a discounted price. I buy up the fruit at that time. They are great used in smoothies as well.

Making banana nice dream is easy:

Cut up ripe bananas and freeze in gallon sized freezer bags. I cut up four bananas and freeze together in each bag.

Place frozen banana chunks in a good quality blender or food process and blend on high speed. I have done better using a processor. Stop frequently to push mixture down off of the sides, and keep blending.

Be patient. The bananas will become coarsely chopped. Keep going. Suddenly the mixture changes, becoming the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

Eat immediately, topped with fresh, cut up berries or other fruit. Or store in the freezer for a firmer consistency.

For variety, other frozen fruits can be added. Berries, cherries, mango or pineapple chunks are all good additions. Or a half a teaspoon of vanilla can be added to the frozen bananas, for more of a vanilla ice cream taste.

I recently made blueberry nice dream by adding 2 cups of frozen wild blueberries to the chunks of bananas. The process was the same. Suddenly the mixture changed and the bananas and blueberries blended together into a cold and creamy treat.

It is nice to have healthy alternatives to standard desserts and treats. I haven't missed ice cream, like I thought I would. I used to be a frequent visitor to Andy's Frozen Custard. My favorite treat there was a blueberry concrete. The fruit made it healthier, right? Wrong. The sugar and dairy products were not good for me, and I knew it.

It wasn't just about watching my calories or my weight. Sugar fed the inflammation in my body, making my joints stiff and painful, and it gave me severe indigestion. Milk is a mucus producer and kept my sinuses clogged, and it upset my digestive system as well. It amazes me, looking back from this place on my healing journey, that I continued to eat what I wanted to eat, knowing I wouldn't feel well afterward.

How do I feel after eating banana ice dream? I feel good…good emotionally that I am taking care of myself, and my body thanks me for not putting things into it that will create poor health.

Banana nice dream…it's a delicious win/win!

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

This summer, my go to meal has been a chopped veggie salad. I fill a big bowl with a variety of fresh veggies, chopped up into bite sized pieces, and store it in the refrigerator for ready to eat meals. 

The beauty of the chopped veggie salad is the simplicity of it. Any on hand veggies can be combined, and the longer it is in the fridge, the more the flavors blend. I frequently combine green, red, yellow and orange peppers, banana peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, celery, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, kale and spinach. Mushrooms, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sunflower seeds, walnuts or jicama could be added as well. For increased protein, I include cooked pinto or black beans, or garbanzo beans. The possibilities are vast! 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
What to put on these bowls of goodness? Truthfully, the combined flavors of the chopped veggies are sufficient without additional dressing. However, here are three wonderful dressings that are simple to make, full of flavor and healthy too!  

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
If you enjoy ranch dressing, try this dairy free, sugar free version. It is amazing, using cashews as the base, how flavorful this dressing is. Use on salads and also as a dip for fresh vegetables, roasted potato wedges or as a topping on veggie chili or soups. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
This light, tasty dressing begins with a cashew and zucchini base. Always soak the nuts first, to make blending easier and the dressing smoother. I grow sage and other herbs in my garden. I love picking sage leaves to include in this dressing. I am looking forward to adapting the recipe and substituting other fresh herbs for the sage, for variety. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
Three Healthy Salad Dressings

I like honey mustard dressing, so I was delighted to find this easy recipe on Pinterest. Combine the ingredients in a mason jar and shake to blend. The dressing can be stored in the same jar, in the fridge. I have a vintage cut glass cruet that I enjoyed using to store and serve the dressing in. This light and tangy accompaniment is perfect on a chopped veggie salad or used as a dip for vegetables or roasted potato wedges. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
I feel good about creating these healthy versions of favorite dressings. Taking the time to care for myself by preparing food that nourishes my body goes beyond eating in a healthy way. It becomes a soul nourishing experience as well. 

Bon appetit! Here is to our continuing good health and wellness, and our healing journeys. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings