Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake

I tried this recipe based on the photo that accompanied it! Offered on Anthony William’s website and Facebook page this healthy version of mac & cheese appealed to me. Comfort food provides just that…comfort. However, most comfort food is packed with ingredients such as dairy products, gluten and added sugar that are unhealthy for the body. What an ideal recipe for me that combines healthy ingredients to create an upgrade on an old favorite. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
Here is the simple recipe, from Anthony William:

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
This was such a warm and satisfying meal! I have used cashews often as the base for sauces and dressings and you really don’t taste the nutty flavor. I am amazed everytime, by how creamy and yummy the sauce or dressing is, using cashews. This blend was so tasty that I think it would make an excellent dressing or dip for veggies. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
Does this dish taste exactly like regular macaroni and cheese? No, it does not have a traditional cheesy flavor. Does it taste great? Yes! The dish is creamy and hearty and makes an ample amount, providing leftovers for another meal. I used brown rice pasta, which is gluten free. (Pictured below, except for this recipe I used elbow macaroni.) And I sprinkled paprika on top after the casserole baked. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
I love good food that is in turn, good for me. When I say that I follow a plant based lifestyle, people assume I only eat salads! Not true. In fact, I rarely eat a lettuce salad. I savor a wide variety of dishes and foods, that all happen to be plant based.

I firmly believe that nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. That belief enables me to pass up foods that I used to eat that contributed to my poor health and my aches and pains. How wonderful it is to discover that eating healthy doesn’t mean I sacrifice on taste and satisfaction. The broccoli and macaroni bake will become a new favorite!

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake  

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

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Every once in a while, it is good to have a small treat, and to celebrate. Today I rejoiced that the sun appeared bright again in the sky, after days of heavy rain. In honor of this happy occurrence, I tried a new recipe for a special treat, adapted from onegreenplanet.org

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting
This luscious dessert was easy to make, coming together in minutes using a blender and a food processor. 

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

I left the iced cake in the freezer for about an hour, then moved it to the refrigerator.  After having a small green salad for dinner, I was ready to sample my treat. 

This cake was so yummy! Forget about it being raw. It doesn’t taste like raw carrots. The cake has a nice texture and holds together well. The frosting is creamy and sweet without a bit of sugar. 

This recipe makes an excellent treat for those special occasions or simply because the sun is shining! I enjoyed my celebratory slice with a cup of hot thyme tea. 

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients

I am enjoying trying out the healthy, plant based recipes in Anthony William’s book, Life Changing Foods. For each of the 50 life changing foods that Anthony writes about, he includes a wealth of information plus a mouth watering recipe. Recently I sampled the Apricot Bars.

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients
This simple recipe has only four ingredients and using a food processor made preparation quick and easy.

Apricot Bars
1 cup apricots, sulfur-free
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup shredded unsweeted coconut

Combine ingredients in processor and process until well blended. Line cookie sheet eith parchment paper and press mixture into a large flat rectangle, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients
Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients

This recipe was so simple to make, and took less than 5 minutes to prepare. I used organic, sulfur-free apricots. Dampening my hands with water made shaping the mixture easier as it didn’t stick to my fingers.

After chilling, the mixture cut readily into bars. I tried one immediately. Naturally sweet and chewy, these bars are the perfect treat. I’ve grabbed Lara bars in the past, snacks made with a few wholesome ingredients and sold in grocery stores. These apricot bars are even better and I can make them myself.

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients

Apricots are high in amino acids and minerals. They help cleanse the digestive tract and lower the risk for many types of cancer. In addition, this fruit stabilizes energy, boosts the growth of red blood cells, strengthens the heart and nourishes the brain. Those are powerful benefits in a small package. And sulfer-free dried apricots tend to hold all of their beneficial qualities.

I love having a healthy option if I feel like a treat. And I like knowing I am contributing to my healing rather than than feeding disease with sugar laden desserts. I’m looking forward to sampling each of the recipes in the Life Changing Foods books. It is a form of creative and delicious play with long term benefits that go way beyond having something good to eat.

I am inspired to create lasting health.

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients
Check out Life Changing Foods for info about 50 amazing foods and delicious recipes for each one.

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Raw Wild Blueberry Pie

This is a great plant based recipe, sugar and gluten free, with no baking required. I’ve wanted to sample this delicious looking pie since seeing it in my Life Changing Foods book by Anthony William.

Raw Wild Blueberry Pie
Wild blueberries are the super food, among super foods. Anthony calls them the world’s most powerful food. They are extremely high in antioxidants, making them effective in preventing and fighting against all diseases, including cancer. Wild blueberries eliminate heavy metals from the body, restore the liver, nourish the brain and they are the most potent prebiotic in existence.

While domesticated blueberries have health benefits too, it’s the wild berries that are most powerful. Buy them frozen at the grocery store, making sure the package has wild blueberries printed on it.

Raw Wild Blueberry Pie
Raw Wild Blueberry Pie
Raw Wild Blueberry Pie

1/3 cup cashews

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

4 cups pitted dates

20 oz frozen wild blueberries, thawed

1 mango, sliced or 2 cups frozen mango chunks, thawed

For the crust: process cashews, coconut, and 3 cups of dates in food processor until thoroughly combined. Press crust into 9 inch pie dish. Cover and refrigerate while preparing filling.

For the filling: process half the wild blueberries, 1 cup of dates and mango chunks until well blended. Add remaining blueberries. Pour into crust. Allow to set in refrigerator, 40-60 minutes.

Raw Wild Blueberry Pie
Raw Wild Blueberry Pie
I garnished the pie with additional wild blueberries, covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator.

After a healthy dinner, a slice of this easy to make pie was my special treat. And what a treat it was! Light, fruity and so satisfying, I enjoyed my piece of pie even more, knowing I was receiving health benefits with each delicious bite.

I will be making this pie for special occasions and as a dessert for company. And sometimes, I’ll create one for me, as a celebration of my healthy lifestyle.

Raw Wild Blueberry Pie
Find out more about wild blueberries and 49 other life changing foods, and try out 50 wonderful recipes, by ordering here:

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Dandelion Tea

Warm temperatures today and the arrival of spring tomorrow lured me outdoors this afternoon. I enjoyed the meditative task of transferring young flowering plants to clay pots, and strolling through my awakening gardens. One of the harbingers of spring is the appearance of bright yellow dandelions. For the first time, I gathered tender green dandelion leaves, and the sunny blooms, and created a healthy tea. 

Dandelion Tea
Most people consider the dandelion to be an obnoxious weed. However every part of the plant is edible and there are many health benefits associated with this spring flower. 

According to Anthony William, in his book Life Changing Foods, the dandelion’s defining characteristic is bitterness, and it is that very property that is restorative to the body. Says Anthony, “Dandelions shake you out of hibernation, getting your blood pumping and your organs cleaning house from radiation, toxic heavy metals, DDT, and other poisons.” 

Dandelion Tea

The dandelion flower, which is mildly bitter, cleanses the hollow organs such as the stomach, intestinal tract, gallbladder, bladder, lungs, uterus and heart. The leaves, being slightly more bitter, purify the blood and cleanse the lymphatic system. 

The stem, more bitter still, cleanses dense organs such as the spleen, liver and brain. And the root, which is the most bitter part of the plant, purifies those dense organs at a deep level. 

These cleansing properties make dandelion helpful for conditions such as lymphoma, kidney stones, obesity, blood disorders, inflammation, infections, liver disorders, digestive problems and fluid retention. 

Dandelion Tea
I was excited to try a healing tea, made from the tender young plants popping up in the backyard. I plucked six yellow blossoms and four leaves to make dandelion tea. I soaked the flowers and leaves in cold water while I heated a cup of water, and then rinsed them well. 

I have found that using a mesh wire basket in a tea mug is a great way to brew fresh herbs. You can pick up your own handy set through the link below. I steeped the flowers and leaves for 20 minutes, covering the mug with its lid. 

Dandelion Tea
Dandelion Tea
Curious about the degree of bitterness, I chewed on a dandelion leaf, and then popped a whole flower into my mouth, while the tea brewed. Although the blossom was slightly sweeter, both were fairly bitter, and yet entirely edible. I didn’t mind the taste at all. 

After 20 minutes, I cautiously sipped my hot tea. What a wonderful surprise! The tea wasn’t nearly as bitter as the fresh leaves and flowers. Light and refreshing, the tea had an earthly taste that was pleasing and grounding. I didn’t add raw honey, choosing to drink it without. 

In the past, I have been diligent about removing dandelions from my yard and garden. I will still remove them. But what a bountiful harvest I will have, for soups, salads and the healthy and cleansing dandelion tea. It is the perfect spring drink. 

Dandelion Tea
Check out Life Changing Foods for more incredile heslth information. And get your own tea brewing mug. I love the ease of creating teas from freshly picked herbs and plants. 

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National Pi Day…Celebrating Without Pie

Today, 3.14, is National Pi Day! March 14 is celebrated around the world in honor of the Greek letter pi, representing the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The mathematical constant begins 3.14159 or, more commonly, 3.14, and as an irrational number, extends to an infinite number of decimal places. Congress made this date a national holiday in March of 2009, to show support for the National Science Foundation and to give teachers a reason to encourage students to have fun with pi.

National Pi Day...Celebrating Without Pie

My grandson brought the holiday to my attention years ago. And of course, one of the ways to celebrate pi day, is with pi(e)! I used to eat a slice coconut cream pie, or some other decadent pie from Big R’s. However, since I now adhere to a plant based lifestyle, pie is no longer an option!

National Pi Day...Celebrating Without Pie

Several years ago, browsing through a cookbook of Dr. Hyman’s that I had just purchased, I found a solution! Using a recipe in The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook, I created my own mini “pie”….a Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Cup. Okay, it’s not a pie! But it’s round, and that stayed with the pi theme. 

Best of all, although it looks like it’s full of all the wrong things, it is a healthy alternative. This little taste of heaven has NO sugar, flour, gluten, eggs or dairy. Using organic ingredients makes it even better. The cups were quick and easy to make and set up in the freezer. Sometimes, food that looks good and is good for you, tastes terrible! But when I sampled a peanut butter chocolate cup, they were wonderful! Creamy, not very sweet, yet very satisfying as a treat.

Here is the easy recipe:

National Pi Day...Celebrating Without Pie

National Pi Day...Celebrating Without Pie

Today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. Pi day seems like the perfect birth date for this mathematical and scientific genius. Happy Pi Day…and happy birthday Albert Einstein…and good health to all! 

National Pi Day...Celebrating Without Pie


Check out this cookbook from Dr Mark Hyman, with 175 recipes:

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Morning Smoothies

I never used to be a breakfast eater. If I did break my fast, after a night’s rest, it was with a sugar laden breakfast bar or a quick trip through a fast food drive through. I knew breakfast was considered the most important meal of the day. I just never felt very hungry in the mornings. 

Morning Smoothies
When I started a plant based lifestyle, I quickly found a morning solution. Before noon, I only drink liquids. After a mug of warm lemon water, followed by a glass of freshly pressed celery juice, it is time to drink my fruit! 

While veggies can be added to morning smoothies, I prefer to stick with fresh or frozen fruit, for several reasons. 

  • The natural fructose found in fruit is totally different from refined sugar, and fights disease, rather than feeding it. 
  • Fruit is easily digested. 
  • Fruit sugar leaves the stomach and enters the bloodstream within minutes of consumption, bypassing the intestinal tract. 

Dark leafy greens and other fresh vegetables can be added to lunch or dinner smoothies. 

Morning Smoothies
Morning smoothies are so quick and easy to prepare. All that is needed is a blender and an assortment of fresh and frozen fruits. 

Here are some of my favorite morning smoothie recipes:

Morning Smoothies
Banana, Pear, Orange Smoothie

Combine in blender: 1 banana cut into chunks, 1 orange divided into segments, 2 pears cut into chunks, 3/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, optional. Blend until smooth. 

Bananas, which are full of fiber and vitamins, are a powerful antiviral food that makes the perfect base for a smoothie. This naturally sweet tasting fruit thickens the smoothie while alleviating digestive disorders and stabalizing blood sugar. 

Smoothies are a great way to include pears to the diet. This fiber dense fruit soothes the whole digestive tract while helping to expell toxins from the body. 

Chia seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, for heart health, and deliver massive amounts of nutrients. 

Morning Smoothies
Banana, Wild Blueberry, Mango Smoothie

Combine in blender: 1 banana cut into chunks, 1 cup frozen wild blueberries, 1 cup frozen or fresh mango, 3/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth. 

Mangoes are wonderful for relieving stress and providing viral protection. They strengthen and support the skin, help to reverse diabetes, and calm the nervous system. I buy frozen mangoes, no sugar added, because I find fresh ones difficult to cut up! 

Wild blueberries are considered to be the world’s most powerful food. These little berries are extremely high in antioxidants, effective in detoxing the body and removing heavy metals, and prevent a host of diseases. Buy bags of wild blueberries in the frozen food section. Cultivated blueberries only have a fraction of the health benefits. 

Morning Smoothies
I have fallen in love with blood oranges this winter, and Cara Cara oranges. They have a dark pink or red flesh and a sweet, tangy flavor. During allergy season, or when it feels like a cold is coming on, try this vitamin C packed smoothie. 

Banana, Orange, Pineapple Smoothie

Combine in blender: 1 banana cut into chunks, 1-2 oranges divided into segments, 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks, no sugar added, 3/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, optional. Blend until smooth. 

Besides being high in vitamin C, oranges are a rich source of bioactive calcium, flavonoids and limonoids. This fruit fights off viruses and deactivates heavy metals in the body. 

Pineapple is anti-inflammatory, supports the immune system and protects the eyes, bones and digestive system. 

Hemp seeds, purchased in the baking section at the grocery store or in health food stores, are an excellent source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which are important to heart health. They are considered the perfect protein and they are full of vitamins and minerals. 

This tropical smoothie has been my favorite all winter. And on cold, gray mornings the bright yellow/orange color is like sunshine in a cup!

Morning Smoothies
There are endless ways to combine fruits for morning smoothies. I’ve shared only a few possibilities. Start with a banana, and then add any combination of fresh and frozen fruit. 

It’s fun, and tasty too, to try out new combinations, such as watermelon, banana, blackberry. Or pear, peach, banana. If using all fresh fruit, add crushed ice to the blender to chill the smoothie. 

As we approach spring and summer, when fresh fruit is abundant, it is so easy to awaken our bodies with delicious fruit smoothies, and jumpstart our day with healthy benefits. 

Good mornings begin with good health…and breakfast smoothies!

Morning Smoothies
Learn more about the many health benefits found in fruits and vegetables with this information packed book!

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Lentils & Brown Rice

I’m getting comfortable using my pressure cooker. As I contemplated what to have for lunch, I browsed through one of my pressure cooker cookbooks, Vegan Under Pressure, for inspiration. I found the perfect recipe that I adapted, according to the ingredients I had on hand.

Lentils & Brown Rice
Here is my adapted recipe:

Lentils & Brown Rice
This recipe was so simple to throw together, and so hearty. I loved the inclusion of dried rosemary and thyme. The aroma was marvelous as I carefully removed the lid.

Trying out new plant based recipes makes me feel good. This is self care at a high level, as I prepare wholesome, nutritious foods that nourish my body and fight disease. This delicious meal of lentils, potato and brown rice is so much better for me than chips and a sandwich or a trip through a fast food drive through.

I am grateful to have embraced a healthier lifestyle, grateful for wellness and vitality and grateful for yummy, satisfying meals prepared in less than 30 minutes.

And…I have leftovers for tonight!

Lentils & Brown Rice
Check out Vegan Under Pressure, for more plant based recipes, prepared in the pressure cooker.

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Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday, which is tomorrow, is practically a national holiday in the US. People gather to watch the game in a boisterous party like atmosphere, where drinks flow and the food is plentiful. Typical fare includes wings, chips and dips, sub sandwiches, chili, and an assortment of munchies and sweet treats.

There won’t be a party going on at my house. However, I will join Greg in watching the Super Bowl. It is the one time during football season that I will give the game my full attention. As a nod to the day, I normally prepare an array of snacks and a pot of chili or little smoky sausages.

It wouldn’t seem like Super Bowl Sunday without the fun food. But this year, I am preparing plant based chow. It will be just as fun, while also being healthy, and guilt free!

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday
Here are several easy and delicious recipes that can be enjoyed during Super Bowl Sunday:

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday
Served up with fresh marinara sauce:

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday
Hummus makes a great snack, served with fresh veggies or gluten free crackers.

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl SundayRecipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday

This veggie pizza on gluten free crust is amazing.
Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday
Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday
This is a new recipe for lentil chili that I will be trying!

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl SundayRecipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday
Rather than serving alcohol, which is full of sugar, I’ll prepare this spiced apple cider.

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday
I won’t be preparing any sweet treats for tomorrow. Instead, I’ll have available fresh fruit and dates. There will be plenty to eat as I watch the game and chuckle over the Super Bowl commercials.

No matter which team wins, I will enjoy the day, and the game. The food will be great and I will feel great, which is of utmost importance to me. Go Falcons! Go Patriots! Go me!

Recipes for Clean Eating for Super Bowl Sunday