Asparagus Soup

Friday I shared the many health benefits of asparagus. I picked up two bunches of fresh organic asparagus that day, so I could make soup over the weekend. That didn’t happen. However, I had the opportunity to try out the asparagus soup recipe today for lunch, which was perfect for Try This Tuesday! You can read about the health benefits of this vegetable HERE. Read on for the soup recipe.

Asparagus Soup

I’ve always liked asparagus. Prior to going plant based, I used spears from a can and covered them in cheese sauce. Only during the last 21 months have I bought asparagus in the produce section at the grocery store and discovered how good it is fresh. I initially added raw asparagus to salads or simply ate a couple of stalks for a healthy snack.

I was excited to see an asparagus soup recipe in Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. I’ve never eaten asparagus soup, much less attempted to make it. This recipe made it easy.

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

The complete start to finish process for this recipe was under 20 minutes, making asparagus soup a quick, healthy and delicious meal for lunch or dinner. Anthony suggests looking for thicker, fatter asparagus spears, as they tend to be the most nutritious. If skinny asparagus is all you can find, go with those. They still have nutritional value. I picked up organic asparagus at Natural Grocers.

I simmered the asparagus, onion and garlic for exactly seven minutes. I was surprised how tender the fresh asparagus was. I also used one small yellow onion instead of half of one.

Asparagus Soup

I carefully drained the water off of the cooked veggies and transferred them into my blender. After adding the remaining ingredients, I left the spout cover open on my Ninja Blender lid to let steam escape. On a regular blender lid, one edge could be left slightly raised. I wouldn’t recommend leaving the lid off entirely unless you want to clean up soup splatters! I purchased organic poultry seasoning, which is a nice blend of herbs and spices, at Natural Grocers.

The soup smelled wonderful as it was blending. I could have blended it longer, for an even creamier soup. I used a couple of raw asparagus tips for a garnish and added black pepper. I ended up with two generous servings.

This soup was amazing…thick, creamy and full of robust flavor. I’ll be making asparagus soup often. I love soups, even during warm weather. My intention is to always have a bunch of asparagus on hand in the fridge. Next up…asparagus juice!

Asparagus Soup

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Apple Porridge

I’ve been wanting to try this breakfast recipe since purchasing Thyroid Healing by Anthony William. Most mornings my day begins with fresh celery juice followed by a fruit smoothie. I don’t eat again until lunch. However, occasionally I’ll swap out the smoothie for a healthy alternative. On this beautiful and warm spring day, I opted to try Apple Porridge for the first time.

Apple Porridge

This recipe requires a food processor or a powerful blender.

Apple Porridge

I doubled the recipe. And since the organic apples I had were small, I used eight of them.

Apple Porridge

Apple Porridge

I had all the ingredients on hand, except for raisins. I topped my porridge with walnuts and the unsweetened shredded coconut. Any topping could be used. I have dried wild blueberries and considered using those. Other dried or fresh fruits would make fun toppings. Get creative.

Apple Porridge Apple Porridge without the toppings.

This was such a simple recipe that only took minutes to prepare. It is full of the healthy goodness of apples, dates and raw honey. And it tasted SO good. This recipe not only makes a wonderfully healthy breakfast, apple porridge would be excellent as an accompaniment to afternoon tea time, as a light dinner, or a tasty dessert. A bowlful was very filling.

I carried my breakfast out into the garden. I am trusting that these warmer days ahead will coax my flowers and plants into making an appearance. The sunshine felt good on my skin and I got yo wear short sleeves today, at last.

My shirt from Solgave Clothing has printed across the front, NO REGRETS. That’s my heart today, and my life. I certainly have no regrets about adopting a plant based lifestyle and embarking on a healing journey. How can I, when I am spooning up such a delightful breakfast! I know I am nourishing my body and supporting it as it heals. No regrets, indeed.

Apple Porridge

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Garlic Brussels Sprouts

For Try This Tuesday, another delicious recipe by Lauren Hallman, from the plant based magazine Thrive. Not everyone likes Brussels sprouts, in fact, most people are sure they don’t like this vegetable that resembles miniature cabbages. I love them, and any recipe that features them is sure to be a hit with me.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts

The recipe is easy to prepare, using fresh organic Brussels sprouts and pantry items at home.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts

I opted to use coconut oil and a plant based “butter” that can be purchased in the dairy section at most grocery stores. The brand I use is dairy free, made from olive oil. I found that I could probably use far less oil in the recipe. One could water sauté as well, and eliminate the oil completely.

I was preparing oven roasted potatoes, both sweet and regular, so I timed both recipes to finish at about the same time. I sautéed the garlic, Brussels sprouts, and onions for 20 minutes, then added a small amount of water, reduced the heat to low, and covered the pan. During the last five minutes of cooking time I uncovered the sauté pan, raised the heat slightly and finished cooking.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts

These Brussels sprouts were amazing! The garlic wasn’t too much, in fact, it was perfect. Greg is not a fan of this vegetable at all. When I asked him to try a bite at least, he countered that he already knew what they tasted like and declined. However, seeing the finished recipe he changed his mind and spooned a small helping onto his plate.

His verdict? He liked them! He was surprised how tasty these Brussels sprouts were and said he would eat them again if they were prepared in this way. That’s a huge win.

If you like Brussels sprouts, you will love this simple recipe. And if you are borderline about this veggie or think you don’t like them, perhaps giving this recipe a try will change your views about Brussels sprouts. I will definitely be making this recipe again.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts

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

Deviled Potatoes

I’m always looking for plant based recipes to try. When I tell people about my eating habits, they often assume I eat a lot of salads. I do enjoy salads. However, there are so many healthy and interesting ways to prepare and enjoy fruits and vegetables. The possibilities are endless.

I found this intriguing potato recipe this morning, created by Lexi and Jimmy, who go by the name HomeGrownHealers on Instagram. I got to prepare it tonight!

Deviled Potatoes

Deviled Potatoes

Scrub 4 medium sized potatoes and cut in half. Use a fork to prick the side with the peeling on, and place cut side down on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.

Deviled Potatoes

Bake for 30 minutes, in 400 degree oven, or until potatoes are tender. Flip potato halves over and allow to cool for a few minutes, until they can be handled.

Deviled Potatoes

Carefully scoop out insides of potatoes, placing into a bowl. I found it easier to cut around the edge of the potato half first and then scoop out the insides.

Deviled Potatoes

Add 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of a dairy, egg and soy free mayonnaise. I use Vegenaise. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Mash with a potato masher or spoon, combining well.

Spoon mixture into potato shells. Sprinkle with paprika.

Deviled Potatoes

The recipe can be doubled. I fixed four potatoes, for two people, and it was the perfect amount.

This recipe made a tasty and satisfying meal! I loved the little kick of mustard. And no silverware was needed. These deviled potatoes can be picked up and eaten, just like a deviled egg.

Potatoes are a staple in my diet. They are not only nourishing and comforting, they are full of health essentials. Read about the benefits of potatoes HERE.

I appreciate Lexi and Jimmy for their creative approach to plant based cooking and their determination to heal. Follow them on Instagram for more ideas. And find me too, under the username Journey With Health Me.

Deviled Potatoes

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

Nachos Style Potatoes

I tried this easy to prepare recipe last week and enjoyed it for lunch. I have been grateful to learn that potatoes are in fact good for us. They are foundational to my plant based diet. It’s always great to find another recipe that showcases this health boosting food.

Nachos Style Potatoes

This recipe is from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William.

Nachos Style Potatoes

These were so good! The potatoes were perfectly cooked, tender on the inside with a crispier exterior. Sliced a bit thinner and I could create my own healthy potato chips. Instead of half a jalapeño, I used 1 small can of chopped green chilies in the salsa, for less heat.

And the garlic cashew aioli was wonderful. The recipe makes enough for leftovers. I can make another batch of nachos style potatoes. Or, it works great as a topping on other veggies. I added a dollop to raw beet noodles that I made with the spiralizer. Store the aioli in the fridge.

I look forward to serving up these “nachos” again soon!

Nachos Style Potatoes

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Lemon Balm, Fennel & Thyme Tea

This healing tea has become my afternoon hot drink of choice as I undertake a 90 Day Thyroid Rehab. Easy to prepare and full of health benefits from three powerful herbs, I enjoy taking a midday break and sipping on this flavorful tea.

This recipe comes from Thyroid Healing, by Anthony William. Not only is the tea healing to the thyroid and body, it calms and soothes the spirit as well.

Fresh or dried lemon balm and thyme may be used. If you can’t find loose leaf herbs, tea bags may be used for lemon balm, fennel seed and thyme. Just use one tea bag of each.

I grow lemon balm and thyme in my garden. The lemon balm dies back in the fall and returns each spring. I used dried lemon balm and fennel seeds, purchased at Natural Grocers. Thyme survives the winter months. I sloshed out to the garden through pouring rain to snip a fresh sprig of aromatic thyme for my tea.

Lemon Balm soothes the nerves, especially those involved with digestion. Sensitives nerves in the digestive tract can create much discomfort and irritation. They can also trigger nausea and lack of appetite. Lemon balm helps to desensitize the nerve endings and ease inflammation. It is also high in trace minerals, helps to conserve B12 in the body, and has antiviral properties that fight against Epstein-Barr, shingles and herpetic viruses.

Fennel Seed is high in vitamin C and other antiviral compounds that fight off EBV. Fennel seeds contain an aspirin like compound that acts as an anti inflammatory to a thyroid flared up by Epstein-Barr. Calming the thyroid helps to improve its hormone production.

Thyme is a powerful antiviral that cleans up thyroid disease. Its compounds get into the gland and kill EBV, allowing the thyroid to regain control of itself. Thyme knocks down viral loads throughout the body, relieving a multitude of symptoms. This herb is also able to cross the blood-brain barrier, making it an incredible weapon against viruses that are attacking the brain or spinal cord.

In the past, I have enjoyed creating hot teas from each of these herbs. It is amazing, the health benefits, when the three are combined. This refreshing tea is mild yet full of flavor. I prefer it plain, without adding honey.

I look forward to the summer months when I can pick fresh thyme and lemon balm and create this soothing, healing tea.

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