Homemade Nut Free Cranberry Quinoa Granola bars

So here it is guys! The recipe from my Facebook Live this morning. I love love granola bars, but it’s hard to find some without nuts, especially when nuts are not an options. I love to eat all kinds of nuts, but sometimes we don’t get along, but I will not bore you with that drama. LOL. 🙂

Today it’s all about this recipe. It’s easy and very delicious and you can add your own favorite seeds or dried fruit. Food is truly one of the best places to explore endless possibilities. What I love the most about this recipe is the quinoa element. The quinoa is toasted along with the seeds and gluten free oats. The toasted quinoa, lends a wonderful nutty taste to the granola, lots of crunch and not to mention, it’s a complete protein. So why not?

Oh yes, share with your friends and family as you Set the Table with Love.

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Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if desired)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (vegan)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon clove

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup cranberries

1 -2 tablespoon orange juice

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Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Add oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet and spread around evenly. Once oven is preheated, toast the oats and quinoa for 8-10 minutes. Once done toasting, pour oats and quinoa into a medium bowl and set aside.
While quinoa and oats are toasting, add Earth Balance buttery spread, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and sea salt to medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then add to the bowl with the oats and quinoa. Stir well to incorporate. Fold in flaxseed meal and dried cranberries. Add half of the mixture into a food processor with a tablespoons of orange juice and blend until mixture incorporates together and looks like dough.
Line an 8×4 or 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper; pour mixture in and spread out evenly, then press mixture down in the pan very firmly.
Place pan in freezer for 30 minutes or until mixture has hardened. Remove bars from pan and cut into desired amount of bars. Store bars in the fridge.

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Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

Butternut Squash Pilaf

Butternut Squash Pilaf is an amazing alternative to perhaps this years stuffing. It’s gluten free and loaded with lots of vegan protein and hey it’s delicious. I was able to make this dish for William Sonoma’s guest yesterday. I did a cooking demo on Healthy Holiday Thanksgiving Side Dishes! It was a hit. I love to watch people reactions when they eat food they do not normally eat on a regular basis, especially a spice or herb. This pilaf has garam masala in it, a very popular spice in India. The awesome thing about this spice,  it has some of the same spices we use for our Thanksgiving holiday recipes, such as; cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander and black pepper. What’s different about garam masala, is the cardamom. We usually do not use that is everyday cooking, but now you can with this recipe. It is such an amazing spice. So, the moral of this story, try new spices in some of your everyday dishes.

This dish is super easy and will look beautiful on your Thanksgiving table this year. But first Remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Butternut Squash Pilaf
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Butternut Squash Pilaf

2  cups wild rice blend, gluten free

4 cups water

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed ½ inch

1 tsp oil

1 tbsp dried  NO SALT garlic herb seasoning

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp dried thyme

sea salt and white pepper, to taste. You can use black pepper if you like.

1 med. whole clove, peeled and dice

½ tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp garam masala

sea salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large sauce pan add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of wild rice blend. Cover with a tight fitted lid, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the butternut squash. Stir and add the seasonings, NO SALT garlic herb seasonings, cardamom, dried thyme, white pepper and sea salt. Stir and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add diced garlic. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the squash has soften but not mushy. The cooking process should take 6-7 minutes.

Toast the nuts and seeds

In a sauté pan on medium heat, add your nuts and seeds. Season them with a 1 tsp of garam masala, sea salt and touch of honey. Toast them for about 1 minute, nuts and seeds can burn because they have a very high oil content.

ASSEMBLE

Add the wild rice to a large bowl. Add the squash and the toasted nuts, seeds and cranberries. Stir everything in the bowl gently, incorporating all the ingredients. Taste and see if you need to add more seasonings. Serve immediately.

 

 

Quinoa two ways ~ Toasted and Roasted

Quinoa is one of the only complete protein grains in the vegan/vegetarian circle of life. Quinoa is considered a whole grain, but in actuality,  it is a seed, from a leafy plant that is related to the spinach family. I do enjoy a good bowl of sweet or savory quinoa, but I love to explore other ways I can use ingredients. So, this morning I kept going back and forth with the question, what should I eat, quinoa or oatmeal? I just wasn’t feeling the big bowl of either and wanted something different.

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Toasted Quinoa

 

Toasted Quinoa Recipe:

Preparation
Cook the quinoa in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until it is lightly dried out and toasted, about 15 minutes.

It will make slight popping sounds as it approaches being done. …
Remove the skillet from the heat.

 

How about granola? Well, I have made granola from scratch a million times, but not with quinoa. Yes! that’s the ticket. Roasted Quinoa granola. I can put this over fruit, yogurt, ice cream, whatever my heart desires. Well, if quinoa can be sweet, how about making it savory. Yes! again that’s the ticket, so I decided to roast the quinoa for my granola and to toast the quinoa for a savory corn salad, I am making for dinner tonight, boom!  Both of these recipes are easy and you could go wild with the possibilities.

I took my Roasted Quinoa and topped it over some sautéed peaches that I seasoned with cardamom, cinnamon and a little pink salt, delish and yum yum approved.

I hope you will enjoy this  complete protein healthy treat and remember to go wild with your imagination when making your granola. After it is cooked and cooled, add dark chocolate chips to it, or  us a different dried fruit, like apricots or a different nut, such as hazelnuts or pecans.  You decide, but whatever you come up with, Remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Roasted Quinoa Granola

Ingredients:
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1/2 cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill White Quinoa

1 cups raw almonds, roughly chopped

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup cranberries

1 1/2  tbsp  organic cane sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 vanilla extract

pink sea salt or reg sea salt , just pinch

2  tbsp coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Add oats, quinoa, almonds, raisins, cranberries,  sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl – stir to combine.
To a small saucepan, add coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup. Warm over medium heat for 2 minutes, whisking frequently, until the two are totally incorporated.

Immediately pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine until, everything is covered with the syrup mixture.  Arrange on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper and spread into an even layer.
Bake for  35 – 40 minutes.  Then remove from oven and stir/toss the granola. Rotate the pan to the other side, so you can cook the other end of

the granola and bake 10 -15 minutes more, until it is golden brown. * KEEP WATCH OVER IT SO IT DOESN’T BURN.  Once done, remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes, before serving.

Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad for Breast Health

Brussels sprouts can be one of those, either you love them or you hate them. The truth is if they are done right you might just fall in love with these little sprouts that remind you of mini cabbages.

Actually brussels sprouts are in the cruciferous family such as cabbages and cauliflower. They hold a big punch in nutrition as well. In fact, many studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale are rich in sulforaphane – one of the primary phytochemicals (protective compounds found in plants) that helps prevent cancer.

Recent studies from the Linus Pauling Institute, which was supported by the National Cancer Institute, suggest that sulforaphane can selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells healthy and unaffected.

Here are two more reasons why you should incorporate brussels sprouts into your diet:

• They lower cholesterol ~ brussels sprouts have bile acid binding properties, meaning they stick to cholesterol and help guide it out of the digestive system, so it’s not absorbed in the blood steam.

• They help reduce Inflammation ~ brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, which protect cells from free radical damage and help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body is a leading cause for most degenerative diseases and aging. I really believe you should enjoy your food and eat as many healing ingredients as possible. I hope you enjoy this recipe and remember to always Set the Table with Love.

Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 1 pound brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and leaves separated 2-tablespoons raw walnuts 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cubed 2 tablespoons cranberries, for garnish.

Instructions: Whisk together lemon zest and juice and mustard in a bowl. Add oil in slow nice and steady streams, whisking until emulsified. Next, season with salt and pepper. Clean the brussels sprouts and cut off the bottoms. Cut the brussels sprouts in halves and pull the leaves apart. Add the leaves, cut halves and walnuts into the dressing bowl. Toss the brussels sprout leaves and walnuts. Gently stir in avocado cubes, cranberries and season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

 

Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad

Red Fruit Salad with Cacao Chips for Breakfast

I believe food is Beautiful Healing Art. Okay, I am busted that’s the title of my new cookbook. Hee Hee. 🙂 Today I woke up and wanted to have a fruit salad for breakfast,but not any old fruit salad, something special. I am so happy it’s cherry season, because this girl love her some cherries. LOL. Beside, cherries are very healing for the body. I decided I wanted a monochromatic salad. Yes I am one of those people who likes to eat in color and today I chose red. Red fruits are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, ellagic acid ( a potent anticancer agent), Vitamin A and C and high in potassium. So why not eat red today. This salad is super simple and you go with what you love. I added, cherries, strawberries, goji berries and cranberries. But you can try raspberries, even little pieces of cut watermelon in here would be very refreshing. I also added a little coconut whipped cream, cut up some of my leftover granola I had in the freezer and a few cacao chips sprinkled over the whole salad. That is all to it. This is a vegan version, but you can add greek yogurt to this as well.

Let your mind run wild. Instead of red fruit, do purple and blue fruit. It is a easy way to incorporated more raw foods into your diet,  and a fun experience for your whole family.

This is a rough recipe, because it just putting your favorite fruit together in an artistic way and top it with coconut cream, honey and cacao chips. Enjoy!  Remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

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Dark Chocolate and Cherry Fruit Salad

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Dark  Chocolate and Cherry Fruit Salad with homemade Granola Bites topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao chips

Ingredients:

Handful of cherries and strawberries

1/4 cup cranberries and 1/4 goji berries

1/2 cup coconut cream and honey to taste

1/4 cup of cacao chips

Directions:

Cut the fruit in half and position on a plate that suits your fancy. Add coconut cream and honey. Garnish with cacao chips.

*The coconut cream is just the top of the cream a can of coconut milk with a tsp of honey, gently stir and top on your fruit salad.

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Lumaconi Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries and Green peas

I was shopping around in my favorite store, William Sonoma when I came across this large colorful pasta shells. They are called  Lumaconi pasta shells, shaped like the shell of a snail. They are hollow inside, and open at one end, closing in on itself at the other end. The colors intrigued me the most. I had to do something with them, but they could not be drowned in sauce. You must see the color. I decided to go with a vegan recipe, so this dish popped up in my head.  This dish is very beautiful and elegant. I served the pasta on top of a bed of the quinoa mixture. I drizzled olive oil all over it. Traditionally this type of pasta causes for sauce, but the olive oil and the lemon zest was just enough.

Enjoy! Remember to Always Set the Table with Love.

 

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Stuffed Lumaconi Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries and Green peas

Ingredients:

4 lumaconi pasta shells, they are very large, prepare according to package directions.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1 1/2 cup water, for quinoa

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp dried fennel

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup frozen organic green peas

1/2 cup dried cranberries, good quality cranberries

lemon zest

Generous drizzle of the best extra virgin olive

Directions:

Cook your quinoa according to package instruction. Make sure to rinse it well. It will cook for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Set aside. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking. Add the olive oil to a medium sauté pan, on medium heat. Add your onions and cook until soften. Add and stir in the garlic and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Do not burn the garlic. Add the fennel seeds. Allow the fennel seeds to get warmed up in the pan, for about a minute. Add the green peas and cranberries. Stir. Add the cooked quinoa into the pan with the aromatics ( onions, fennel and garlic) and the lemon juice. Stir. Remove from heat.

Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas
Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas

Take one pasta shell at a time and gently stuff in some of the quinoa mixture. On a plate add some of the quinoa mixture on to a dish. Place the stuffed shell on top. Drizzle a nice amount of olive oil and lemon zest on top of the entire dish. If you need sauce, you can make a nice lemon vinaigrette to drizzle over this dish as well.

Eating in Color: Today : Red Cabbage Salad with a Plum Ginger Dressing

I enjoy creating different recipes. This week I have been playing with eating the primary colors. Yes, weird, but it make cooking and creating so much more adventures. It is not as easy as you think. I was going through the produce section of the grocery store yesterday trying to look for red vegetables to make a salad, that taste good. I came up with the Red Cabbage Salad that is sweet, crunchy, peppery from the red radish and it also has a little kick from the ginger.  It is very different, almost reminds me of a coleslaw. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. I made a big bowl and ate it all. LOL.

RAW Red Cabbage Salad with a Plum Ginger Dressing
RAW Red Cabbage Salad with a Plum Ginger Dressing

Red Cabbage Salad

Ingredients:

3/4 pound red cabbage, cored and finely shredded

2 med. organic red apples, chopped

2 med.  red plums, chopped

1/2 cup red bell peppers, chopped

1/2 cup red dried cranberries, diced, small

3/4 cup radishes, sliced

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add the shredded cabbage to a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Add dressing just before serving or you can allow this dressing to marinate through the veggies to make an awesome coleslaw.

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Plum Ginger Dressing 

Ingredients:

2 large plums, pitted and chopped

2 tbsp. orange juice

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. organic honey

1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce

1 tsp. soy sauce, gluten free

1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

salt to taste, optional

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process. Drizzle over salad and serve.

Chocolate Torte with a RAW Chocolate Coconut Truffle

RAW Chocolate Torte with a RAW Chocolate Coconut Truffle

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This is probably one of my favorite Raw food desserts I have ever made. It is so beautiful and decadent. You will hear that word throughout this blog post. My best friend loves chocolate. She is a true purist, when it comes to her chocolate. No raspberry sauce, just chocolate. So when Go Raw junk free foods, sent me some amazing chocolate, I had to do something really special for her.

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aw Chocolate Torte with Go Raw Super Raw Chocolate Shavings and a Raw Chocolate Coconut Truffle

She is an OB/GYN, she is a mother of 4 beautiful kids and she is also very health conscious and a huge FOODIE.  This dessert fit the ticket. The Raw Chocolate tart is nut free, gluten free, dairy free, vegan and ALL RAW!! I am so excited to share this recipe, because the base of the pie is made from sprouted raw seeds, courtesy of GoRAW junk free foods. I have had such a fun time creating recipes from using their yummy snack foods. This is how I feel about Go Raw foods: You will fall in love with the snack and it will inspire you to make it a staple in your every day recipes. The sprouted seeds made this crust crunchy, a little salty and gave it a nice chewy textures as well. I took some of the remaining crust and rolled it in my hands and made a Raw Truffle Ball, dusted it with some organic dehydrated coconut and there you have it, my garnish for this beautiful, decadent and oh so yummy Raw Chocolate tart.  The chocolate dessert is everything it should be and it’s a Super Food dessert.  I must confess the best part and you can not skip this part, if you make this recipe, is the Go Raw Super raw chocolate. It has just two ingredients raw cacao and raw agave nectar. It made this torte silky and velvety. It literally melts in your mouth. I took a few pieces and shaved them with a grater. Magic!!

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My best friend was so happy. She is sharing this with her kids as a healthy delicious dessert. I hope you enjoy this dessert. Go Raw junk free food is not just for snacking, it is also for creating amazing delicious recipes.

Ingredients:

Crust :

1 1/2  cups Go Raw Sprouted Super Simple seeds

1/2  cup unsweetened organic cacao powder

1  cup dried cranberries, or raisin, or pitted dates ( I used cranberries)  soaked for 10 minutes in warm water and drained

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

pinch of sea salt

Filling:

3 small avocados, pitted and scooped out

1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

3/4 cup organic cacao powder, sifted

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt to taste

Topping : 2 or more pieces of the Go Raw Super Raw Chocolate ( shaved over the top of the

pie) 

Crust:

Rub some coconut oil in a tart pan and line it with a circle of parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the seed and the cacao powder until crumbly. Be careful not to over process them as you still want them to have small bits of seed chunks. Now add in the rest of the crust ingredients and pulse until just mixed.

NOTE :SET A SIDE A TBSP OF CRUST FOR YOUR RAW CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE GARNISH, MAKE SURE TO PUT THIS IN THE REFRIGERATOR, SO YOU CAN FORM THE TART. 🙂

Scoop mixture onto prepared tart pan, press down firmly and evenly with slightly wet fingers or a spatula. Put the crust in the freezer to set. Start on your filing.

Filling:

Place all filling ingredients into food processor. Process until smooth. In a small bowl. Process until smooth. If the filling is too thick you can add more raw almond milk, or any non dairy milk. If the filling is not thick enough add more cacao powder, a little at a time.

Remove crust from freezer and scoop the chocolate filling on top of crust. Smooth out as much as possible and then place in the freezer for 2 hours to firm. NOTE: IF YOU LIKE TO ADD A GARNISH:  Before adding back to the freezer, you can make your Raw Truffle; take the tbsp of raw crust you set aside and roll it in your hands until you form a ball, dust it with dehydrated coconut. Add it to the middle of your torte.

Here’s the velvety-smooth melt in your mouth bliss:

Shave two Super Raw Chocolate bars over the whole entire pie ( you can use a sharp knife or a cheese grater), but hey shave as many pieces as you would like. Place the torte back into the freezer for 2 hours to firm. 

When the torte is firm, remove from freezer and allow to sit on the counter for about 5-10 minutes before serving chilled. Place leftover torte in the freezer wrapped and placed in a seal container.

Protein Packed ~ Vegan Red Quinoa Kale Carrot Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Last night I was on a conference call talking about how you can transition over to a more plant based vegan protein diet. I am a kidney transplant survivor . I was born with damaged kidneys and I know how animal protein can be very harsh on the kidneys, not to mention on our environment and our over all well being.  First, let me put it out there my eating habits is about nutrition and well being. I eat for my health and my survival as a kidney transplant recipient. I eat out of respect for my husband risking is life and donating his kidney to me. If you have ever donated your kidney to anyone you know this is a big risk of your own well being and life, so Thank you very much for your BIG HEARTS!

My journey is to continue to incorporate healthy choices into my diet and to inspire others to do the same. I am not a label. I am a woman eating as consciously as possible. Now, with that being said, here is some information that may encourage you to eat a more plant based diet.

~ Too much protein is linked to high cholesterol, fluid imbalances in the body, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancers such as renal cancer. 

The truth is we eat too much protein. The average adult woman only needs about 46 grams of protein and the average adult man needs about 56 grams. But the great news is that you can get your intake of protein through a vegan or vegetarian diet, but just substituting your regular meals with more vegan based meals. Try it out one meal at at time. You will not regret it.

This salad I made today is loaded with vegan based protein and lots good stuff for your body. VEGAN BASED PROTEIN FOODS CAN BE DELICIOUS!

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

I going to break down the protein for you in this salad

Kale ~ 1 cup 2.9 g

Red Quinoa cooked ~ 8.1 g

Sprouted watermelon seeds by Go Raw Foods  1 oz, ~ 11 g

So a big bowl of this salad with 1 oz of Sprouted watermelon seeds = 22 g vegan protein

YOU ARE HALF WAY THERE Ladies! 🙂

Well here is the recipe:

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Ingredients :

4 cups of Kale chopped

1 cup cranberries

1 cup of cooked red quinoa ( follow the directions on the box)

1/2 cup of grated carrots

1/2 cup of lime juice

2 tbsp organic honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp garlic powder

pinch of cayenne pepper

1- 2 oz. sprouted watermelon seeds as a garnish

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to the directions and add the grated carrots in at the end of the cooking process and set a side.

Add the kale and all the other remaining ingredients in a large bowl, EXCEPT THE WATERMELON SEEDS.  Massage the kale until it covered well with the olive oil. I like to massage mines until withers just a little. Add the quinoa, carrots and toss gently until everything is mixed together. Top the salad with 1- 2 oz of the watermelon seeds or as many as you like. Serve and Enjoy your VEGAN energy for the day.

Ginger peach Coho salmon salad with warm cinnamon pears

My former yoga teacher sent me this amazing vinegar Alessi White Balsamic Pear Infused vinegar and the sweet note. So she asked me to post what I am going to do with it.

I made a ginger pear dressing for the Coho Salmon salad.  I also took the dressing and used it as a marinade for my coho salmon. It turned out really good.

Ginger Peach Coho Salmon  salad with warm cinnamon pears and spicy dehydrated peas and cranberries
Ginger Peach Coho Salmon salad with warm cinnamon pears and spicy dehydrated peas and cranberries

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