Vegan Spinach Florentine Rice Paper Wraps.

Here’s another recipe that may wow your Valentine’s Day date. 💕It’s so simple, easy, delicious and healthy. I love taking traditional recipes like a spring roll adding non traditional ingredients and allowing my guests to experience something in familiar in a new way. This will make appetizer, before dinner or add some wonderful cheeses, nuts,dried fruit and you got a beautifully unique anti pasti platter, pair it with your favorite wines and dinner is served. Psst… throw in some really good chocolates and this Valentine’s Day will be talked about for awhile. The truth is whatever you decide to do, just make sure you Set the Table with Love. NOTE: The pictures below show a wok fried version of this recipe, but I did give you an option to back them. Ingredients:1 tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup onions 1/2 cup red bell pepper1/2 cup sundried tomatoes 1 medium garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and pat dry to remove excess water1/2 cup chanterelle or baby portobello mushrooms,choppedFreshly ground black pepper and sea salt to tasteRice Papers To help hold them together:1/2 tbsp cornstarch 1 tbsp water Basil oil for dipping 2 cup of basil 1 cup olive oilSea salt to taste Directions: Preheat your oven to 425.In a sauté pan on medium heat add the olive oil. Add onions, peppers and garlic and sauté for about minutes or two until onions are a bit transparent. Add the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until everything is heated through. Remember you will be baking these as well. Remove from stove and set aside. Prepare your rice paper for baking: 1 Place a single wrapper on a wet kitchen towel (cover the remaining wrappers with another kitchen towel so that they don’t dry). Arrange the wrapper in a diamond shape, place a bit of ingredients at the bottom. Stop when you reach half way, fold the right and left corner in so that the roll looks like an open envelope. Brush a bit of cornstarch mixture on the final corner and finish rolling. Place under a damp kitchen towel while you roll the rest. 2 Brush the rolls with a small amount of vegetable oil and place on a baking tray lined with a piece of baking parchment. 3 Bake for about 15 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes on the other side, until the rolls are golden brown. Remove from the oven and enjoy with the basil oil or your favorite sauce.

Preparing Rice Paper wraps for deep frying. Use the same rolling process as you would for baking adding the ingredients in the rice paper and rolling according to previous instructions:To start the process of deep frying, all you need is a nice big wok or saucepan, a ladle or a pair of tongs and some oil.

  1. Heat up a cup of oil on low heat in a wok or big sauce pan. When the oil starts to lightly smoke, it is ready for frying.
  2. Using a ladle or a pair of tongs, gently immerse a spring roll into the hot oil. Be very gentle so that the oil does not splash on you.
  3. After half a minute, turn the spring roll over gently. Fry for another half a minute, then put it to the side of the wok and let it continue frying. You need to do this before putting the next spring roll into the oil as the spring rolls may stick to each other before both sides have been fried for half a minute.
  4. Fry the spring rolls until they are golden brown and crispy.
  5. Remove from oil and place ice on a paper towel, to remove and excess oil and enjoy!

For basil oil: Add all ingredients in a blender and lightly pulse, until well blended, add more oil if you like a nice thin basil oil. Continue to 5 of 6 below.

Vegan White Bean Chili

It’s another cold day in Georgia and we got some snow. Yes! I love when it snows here. Everything shuts down, because that’s how we do it in the south. 😊

I love it because it gives our family a chance to get quiet and slow down the hustle and the bustle of life and just be inside and enjoy a nice fire, watch our favorite movies and get outside and attempt to make a snowman ⛄️ .

Vegan White Bean Chili in the Snow ❄️ When it’s this cold, it’s time for some chili. Instead of the traditional chili with dark kidney beans, I am using cannellini beans and making Vegan White Bean Chili. I love the buttery flavor of cannellini beans and they don’t cook very long, since I am using precooked beans. This recipe is quick, easy and full of flavor. I spiced it up with some spicy poblano peppers and a little cayenne never hurts .

Enjoy and always remember to Set the Table with Love.?💕

Vegan White Bean ChiliIngredients: 3 cans or jars of Cannellini Beans ( I used Jovial Organic Cannellini Beans)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion large, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped poblano peppers

6 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning (no salt)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

dash black pepper

Instruction:In large sauce pot heat the oil. Add the onions and sauté until transparent about 10 or 15 minutes.

  • Add the garlic, peppers, ground cumin, dried Italian herbs, ground cloves and cayenne pepper.
  • Sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add the beans
  • Add 6 cups of the vegetable broth, stir and bring to a boil
  • Add the nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper.
  • Turn on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes ( do not overcook, or the beans will become mushy)

Vegan Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup with Spicy Chickpeas

It is sniffle season and we all are looking for ways to keep the yuckies away. I love to use food to help my family stay healthy and to get us back on our feet when the household is being raided by a stubborn cold.  My go to is a good clean, healing soup. I have a few on my blog that you can try during the allergy and cold season. They taste delicious and just might do the trick to get you and your family back on your feet. The only soup that is purely medicinal is my For Cold Season ~RED soup  . A few other tips during the cold season you may want to try:

Vegan Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup
Vegan Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup

 

  1. Drink plenty of clean fluids, like water, herbal teas and veggie broths.
  2. Get plenty of rest, when your body needs it.
  3. Get a little sunshine, Vitamin D does a body good. Light walks helps get circulation moving and helps removes mucus from the body.
  4. Do a little gentle yoga and deep breathing.
  5. Eat salads everyday.
  6. An apple will keep the doctor away and  few oranges. Fuel up with these fruits, because they are loading with vitamin C and fiber.

I have several soup recipes on the blog, so please click on the links below and try them out. Here’s to a speed recovery, so you can Set the Table with Love.

Spicy Garlic and Onion Soup ~ Thy medicine

S3 ( Smoothies, Salads and Soups) For A Happy Healthy Summer

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

Vegan Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup

VEGAN COCONUT CURRY SWEET POTATO SOUP
• 1 small white onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic minced
• 1 large sweet potato, cubed
• 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
• 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1/4 tsp cumin
• 1/4 tsp garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• Pinch of nutmeg
• 3/4 tsp sea salt + 1/2 tsp pepper
• 3 cups coconut milk (full fat) and 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth

 

DIRECTIONS:
In a large pot over medium heat put 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil in the pot.  Add the onions. Cook for a few minutes and then add garlic and stir.
Season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and stir. Add sweet potatoes, add all the spices.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. To help pull out the oils from the spices.
Add 1/4 tsp more salt and pepper and the coconut milk and 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth. Then cover.
Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes more.
At the end of 25 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then puree using a blender. Transfer back to the pot, and allow to simmer for 3 minutes to thicken on low heat. Serve in a bowl with cilantro and spicy sautéed chickpeas. Enjoy!  Will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days and the freezer for a month.

 

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S3 ( Smoothies, Salads and Soups) For A Happy Healthy Summer

Today on my Facebook Live post I talked about something I love sharing with my clients.  Most of them have super busy schedules, but want to incorporate a healthier lifestyle and perhaps lose a few pounds, but do not need all the fuss. I like to call this my S3 plan, Smoothies, Salads and Soups, we also do a +1 for those who like to incorporate fresh green juices.

The plan is pretty simple and just takes a little creativity and prep work on your part, but  I am going to get you started.  So what’s the plan? Here’s the deal on S3. It’s smoothies in the morning, that consist of fruits such as, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, peaches,oranges, papaya, melons,guava and kiwi. These fruits can be added to your smoothie. I like using unsweetened non dairy milk as my liquid. Remember S3 is a gentle cleansing plan, so dairy is not included. I do suggest if you must have dairy, use yogurt. You can also add to your smoothie, nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios. This will add more protein to your smoothies.  I also like to add a vegan protein mix, that’s low in sugar and carbohydrates. Get creativity! Try out new fruit and nut combinations, it’s easy, just throw it all in your blender and go for it.

For the salad: When we think of salads we think, lettuce, tomatoes and cold vegetables with yucky carrots stripes that are dry and just unappealing.  You can make a salad without lettuces, but if you do use greens, make sure they are  leafy greens, like kale, swiss chard, butter and bib lettuces, romaine lettuce, add different type of spinaches. But a salad can be sautéed vegetables, with some chickpeas added, some fresh herbs and dried cranberries or golden raisins. In the S3 plan, I make all kinds of vegetable salads, french lentil salads and green salads as well. The point here is to use as many vegetables you enjoy, cooked or raw and make your own vinaigrettes or buy a really good healthy one. That’s the key here, use vinaigrettes on your salads, instead of heavy creamy dressings.

SIMPLE VINAGRETTE RECIPE:

You can be so creative with vinaigrettes, add chopped strawberries, finely chopped blueberries and blackberries, if you like and there you have a fruit vinaigrettes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons organic honey
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTION:

  1. Combine shallot, garlic, honey, vinegar, and water in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a tightly sealing jar, seal, and shake vigorously until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

     

Now for the soups, here you have a world of possibilities just as with the smoothies and the salads. The catch here is to only make broth based soups, lots of broth, this will add in elimination. Today I made a french lentil and porcini mushroom soup, it was brothy and earthy and just plan delicious. All of the carrots, onions, garlic and celery helped give me a good fiber based. When you are making your soups you want to pack them out with lots of herbs, dry and fresh, seasonings, such as turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger,smoked paprika, chipotle and red chili peppers. All of these are anti inflammatory spices.

Here on S3 you can eat all the Smoothies, Salads and Soups you want. When you need to snack, make sure to have nuts, seeds, and vegetable and fruit handy. I would suggest the ones I listed above under what fruits are good for a S3 smoothie. You can do this plan for 3 days, 3 weeks or even 3 months. Your basically eating a vegetarian diet. I like to add eggs to make soup, a poached or boil egg gives me that extra protein I may need. You can also add eggs to your salad. If you need to eat something more than vegetarian, I would suggest fish, such as trout, salmon or mackerel. Here’s the deal, keep it simple and it will not be complicated.

How are we feeling about S3?  It’s super simple and easy, it can be done.

Let’s talk about what you want to avoid during S3: Whatever time period you have decided to do this plan you want to cut back or all together avoid, processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine, red meats, high fat foods, such as chips, pastries, etc. You want to consume plenty of water, that includes, green tea, coconut water, that is just pure coconut water and you can juice your

BELOW THIS RECIPE IS MORE S3 RECIPES YOU CAN TRY.

FRENCH LENTIL AND PORCINI MUSHROOM SOUP
FRENCH LENTIL AND PORCINI MUSHROOM SOUP

French Lentil and Porcini Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cups boiling water to re-hydrate them (save liquid for soup)
  • 3 tbs good cooking extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 2  small celery stalks, cleansed and chopped
  • 1 small onion,  peeled and roughly chopped onion
  • 1 cups French lentils or any lentils you prefer
  • 4 cups good low sodium vegetable stock
  • fresh thyme, about 1 tbs, minced
  • sea salt and ground cracked  pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Re-hydrate the mushrooms in boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes.
  2. In a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat and olive oil, then add our vegetables, MAKE SURE TO CUT THE VEGETABLES THE SAME SIZE and season with salt and pepper and add a sprig of thyme.
  3. Cook stirring often for 15 minutes or until vegetables start to caramelizE, YOU WANT JUST COLOR, NOT BURNT VEGETABLES, :)!
  4. Add lentils, vegetable stock, mushroom liquid, broth then bring to boil, then turn down to simmer.
  5. Cook until lentils are just tender.
  6. Serve immediately, I like to drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive over the soup.
  A FEW RECIPES YOU CAN TRY. ENJOY AND REMEMBER TO SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE

Smoothies

Smoothie with a Purpose

Salads

Mediterranean Salad

Harissa Roasted Chickpea salad with acorn squash, mint and pumpkin seeds

Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad for Breast Health

Soups

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

 

Green Beans and Potatoes and A Green Pea Soup inspired by Chef Michel Guerard

Growing up my mom made the best green beans and potatoes. Lawd they were yummy. She would clean them, cut them and put them in a pot with Idaho white potatoes, seasonings and several pieces of cooked bacon. I can smell them now. Yesterday, after yoga, I went to my local farmers market stand and got a bag of green beans and decided I wanted to pay homage to my mom’s green beans and potatoes, but with a healthy twist. Now, don’t stop reading because you hear the word healthy, as Eddie Murphy said, in the movie, Life ~ “Don’t be scared.”  LOL. 😉

These Green Beans and Red Potatoes are full of flavor and doesn’t take an hour or two to make and you still get the wonderful nutrition benefits of the vegetable. Green beans are high in antioxidants and contains, Vitamin A, B and C. The amino acid in beans and peas make them a great options for vegetarians.

This recipe is very simple and makes a wonderful side dish. Since we are on the subject of green beans. I also decided to make a recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Michel Guerard. My husband gave me a copy of his first cookbook back in 1976, Michel Guerard’s Cuisine for Home Cooks. He is a Michelin 3 star Chef of France and his recipes are fresh, simple and full of flavor. Today I made a  vegetarian version of his Cream of Pea Soup. I changed it up a little and used super greens, chard, spinach and arugula, instead of the bibb lettuce.  I also used greek yogurt, instead of creme fraiche, but I did not skip on the butter. I used my french butter for the recipe. Hey you got to indulge sometimes.

I hope you enjoy these easy Green recipes. Hey, I love to eat in color, today it was all about the greens.  Bon A Petit! Remember to always Set the Table with Love.

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Green Beans and Potatoes

 

Green Beans and Potatoes

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half

1 pound red waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut in 2-inch wedges

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4-5  small garlic cloves (to taste), minced

Sea salt and red chili pepper flakes, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Steam the green beans above 1 inch of boiling water for four to five minutes until tender. Remove from the steamer, and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Add the potatoes, and steam for 10 to 15 minutes until tender.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and red chili peppers, and cook for a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the beans and cook, stirring, for three minutes until quite tender and coated with oil (but still bright green).

3. Gently stir in the potatoes, and add salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until they begin to color lightly, about 3 -5 minutes. Serve Warm.

Inspired Michel Gerard’s  Vegetarian Version Cream Pea Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter

1  onion, chopped

1 cup Super Greens, I used chard, spinach and arugula

1 1/2 quart vegetable stock

2 cups fresh or frozen tiny green peas

2/3 cup greek yogurt

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Vegetarian Version of Michel Guerard’s Cream of Pea Soup

DIRECTIONS:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion, and sauté it until lightly browned. Add the super greens and cook it until wilted, about 4 -5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Then add the peas and simmer for 6 minutes, if frozen, 15 minutes, if fresh.

Puree the soup in a food processor and strain back into the saucepan.

NOTE: The recipe can be prepared ahead of time, before adding greek yogurt, add this whenever you warm the soup up and are ready to serve it.

Reheat the soup and bring to a boil. Whisk in the greek yogurt and bring the soup to a boil again. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.

 

 

 

Creamy Vegan Corn Soup

The weather has finally gotten cold in Georgia. I thought I was living in Santa Barbara, for a minute. The truth is, Georgia’s weather could be a little tricky. Cold one day and 78 degrees the next. But, as soon as it got cold. I was in my kitchen making this soup. Now this is a vegan version of the soup. I wanted something much cleaner, than all the heavy cream and butter I consumed over the holidays. The food was amazing and I love to eat good food and boy did I have my share. Okay, enough of my time of confession. Let’s get to the soup.

I used a roux, which is a cooked mixture of butter or other fat and flour to help thicken sauces, soups, etc.  I used olive oil and flour for this soup. Cooking the flour, gives it a nice buttery and nutty flavor, so no need for the butter, and the flour thickens it as well.

I hope my vegan version, gets you to start thinking, especially in the New Year, you can set the butter and heavy cream a side, ever now and then.

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Creamy Vegan Corn Soup

 

Ingredients:

Roux 

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/2 tablespoons of flour, coconut flour

Corn Soup

2-3 tablespoon Olive oil

1/2 large white onion, chopped (~1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 cups organic frozen corn

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon  garlic powder

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 cups low sodium vegetable broth , low sodium

Garnish

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup frozen organic corn

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

Cilantro

Sea salt and black pepper , to taste

Directions:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the olive oil for the roux. Add a pinch of flour sprinkled into the oil, when it just begin to bubble. Then, whisk in 2-1/2 tablespoons of flour to form a thick paste.  Continue whisking as the roux gently bubbles and cooks, for 2 minutes. Do not let the roux bubbles vigorously or it will burn. Stir constantly. Add the onions and garlic, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Lower the heat just a bit. Add the red pepper flakes, stir. Next, Add the corn and all the spices, salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and allow to cook for another 10 minutes on a medium heat, continue to stir as needed. Add more vegetable broth if needed. Do not allow it to dry out.

While the corn is cooking, add your oil for your garnish, in another sauce pan on medium heat, once the pan is heated, add the peppers and the corn. Allow the corn and peppers to cook, until they have caramelized on some of the pieces. Remove from the heat and set a side.

Once the corn is cooked for the soup, remove it from the heat and add the mixture in a blender, Ninja or Vitamix. A very strong blender will give you a very creamy soup. Add the mixture to the blender and process, until the soup is creamy and smooth. If the mixture is too thick , add more vegetable broth. The soup should be smooth,creamy, but not thick.  If it is too thin, add more corn and blend.

Once the corn mixture is smooth, give it a taste and adjust the seasonings, add sea salt and black pepper at this time, if needed.

Remove the soup from the blender. Add it to a mesh stainer over a clean sauce pan. Strain the soup into the saucepan, use a spoon to press out all the liquid from the soup.  Once all the soup is strained away from any remaining kernel. Place the sauce pan over medium heat. Stir and heat the soup up to your preference. Add the heated soup to a bowl. Add the garnish on top and Enjoy.

You can always skip the straining process, if you like a more rustic soup.

 

Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Coconut Cream

I will make this blog, quick and sweet. But don’t get that twisted. The flavor will still be explosive. I will let the recipe do the talking. I have this recipe in an earlier blog, but I used butternut squash and regular sweet potatoes. I  decided with this recipe to use purple sweet potatoes, instead. Boy, I could not wait for this soup to be done, for one reason only,  outside of tasting it, the color. Purple soup! Yes! Purple soup. 

Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Remember to Set the Table with Love. 

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Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large sweet purple potato, peeled and small cubes

1/2 cup onions, peeled

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 cup vegetable broth or more for consistency

1 tbsp maple syrup

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Coconut Maple Cream

1/2 cup canned coconut milk, you want the cream part of the milk. Refrigerating the coconut milk will make it more solid.

1 tsp maple syrup

Directions:

In large saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil.  Add purple sweet potatoes. Stir and cook for 10 minutes or more, until soften. Add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add fennel, thyme and spices. Stir.  Add vegetable broth. Turn up heat and allow to come to a boil. Turn off the heat and remove the pot and allow the soup to cool down, before adding to the Vitamix.

Prepare Coconut Maple Cream.

In a food processor add coconut cream, maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Process until smooth.  Do not over process the coconut cream, where it liquifies. You want it to be smooth like a whipped cream.  Place in a bowl and set in the fridge.

Once the soup has cooled down.  Add the soup to your Vitamix or blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tbsp of maple syrup and blend.  If the soup is too thick add a little more vegetable broth. Taste it for seasonings. Add more sea salt or pepper, to taste.

Add the soup back into a sauce pan to heat up. Heat the soup up on medium heat, while constantly stirring. Remove from heat. Serve immediately in your favorite soup bowl. Add the coconut maple cream in the middle of the soup and garnish with thyme leaves.

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

I love soup, but my best friend Kristina is a souper fan of it! Hee Hee. I made a funny, get it souper fan! Like I played on words. Oh okay… Back to the soup.

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

So I am on this soup kick, since it’s getting colder outside.  Yesterday, I made a purple sweet potato soup.  I will post that recipe later on today.  It was creamy, buttery, spicy and delicious and it’s vegan!  I wanted something, broth based today. I picked up my son’s cold and broth based soups are excellent for cleansing the body.

I added ginger in this recipe and it works very well. I topped the soup with a pistou. Pistou is the French version of Italian pesto, except it doesn’t have pine nuts in it. It made an excellent garnish for the carrot soup, it gave it some freshness. I also used lemon zest on top of the pistou, to break up the fat a little, from the olive oil. I hope you will enjoy this recipe, as much as I did today.

Remember to Set the Table with love.

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou
Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

Ingredients:

3 small to medium, tri color carrots ( purple, orange, white or yellow) , chopped, same size

1/2 cup onions, chopped

2 small garlic cloves, chopped

1 small thump size ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp garlic and herb seasonings, No salt

1/2 cup lentils

4 cups vegetable stock

pinch of turmeric

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Pistou

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, no stems.

Garnish with lemon zest ( optional )

Directions:

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onions. Stirring, 5 minutes, until soften. Add in carrots and garlic. Cook for 2 -3 minutes.  Add in a pinch of sea salt, black pepper and garlic seasonings. Add in lentils and stir everything together. Cook for 3 minutes. Constantly stirring.  Add in vegetable broth. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover saucepan, allow to cook for 20- 30, minutes, until lentils are tender. Once cooked, remove from heat. Serve in bowls and top with pistou and lemon zest.

Prepare the Pistou. Blend or process garlic, olive oil and basil in small processor, until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt. Transfer into a small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Serve over top the soup or spread on a baguette.

Oven Baked Brussels Sprouts with Smoky Sun dried Tomatoes and Herbs

I love brussels sprouts, but you have to know how to make them taste good. If not, you will get that terrible bitter flavor in your mouth.
I think I found the solution while out shopping yesterday at Pier 1 imports. I found these beautiful mini dutch ovens. They are perfect for meals for one and baking my brussels sprouts

The recipe I have in mind, will be great for my 10 day detox to reduce, so I can reduce some inflammation in my body.

One of the first things I learned when I was studying  Holistic Nutrition and Medicine in school, was about inflammation in the body and all the diseases, it can potentially be linked to, such as premature aging, heart disease, ADD/ADHD, stroke, migraines, thyroids, neurological disorders and even cancer. So, for the next 10 days, I am resetting my body. I am putting out the fire inside using nutrition.

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I hope you will take time out to reset your inner being and cleanse from the inside out. You can try this by, eliminating processed foods and start eating more whole foods 2-3 times a week, getting regular exercise and drinking plenty of clean water.

Ingredients:

1 mini dutch oven

1 cup brussels sprouts, cleaned and peeled

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp smoked sun dried tomatoes, dried ( not the ones that are in oil)

1 tbsp garlic herb seasoning

1 tbsp low sodium vegetable broth or water

pinch  fleur de sel or sea salt

Directions:

On parchment paper, place the prepared brussels sprouts. Add 1 tbsp of the olive on the sprouts and sprinkle with the fleur de sel or sea salt and the garlic herb seasoning. Toss gently.  Take the remaining oil and grease the dutch oven. Add the brussels sprouts and nestle the smoked sun dried tomatoes around the sprouts. Add the low sodium vegetable broth. Cover the dutch oven with the lid and place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the brussels sprouts are tender. Remove from oven with a kitchen mit and allow to cool on a cookie rack and Serve.

RAW Vegan Nut Free Basil Pesto

My mama always taught me to use everything I have without waste. She also encouraged me to use it, in as many ways as you can think of. NO WASTE. She was the queen of taking a bag of potatoes and making it breakfast, lunch dinner and a snack and no one complained. My mama’s food was that incredible. Flavor and creativity was her gifts.

I went and bought a bag of GO RAW Sprouted Watermelon Seeds and I have had a field day with these nutritious little protein packed and not to mention delicious seeds. I must say, they do make a wonderful snack, but I think I channelled my mom because my mind starting racing. What else can I use this for? What about a pesto, the seeds can substitute for pine nuts. They have that same buttery, creamy texture as pine nuts, so why not?

This is a great alternative for people who have Nut Allergies. You can now have your basil pesto, without blowing up like a blow fish, or if you are like me, look like you got too much collagen injections in your lips. LOL. 🙂

Well here’s the recipe. I also added it on my RAW Squash Noodles, threw in some tomatoes and a touch of salt and pepper and you have Squash Noodles with Pesto. Oh yes one more thing, I topped it on my Watermelon Gazpacho. Delish!! 

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Ingredients~

4 cups basil
1 cup Go RAW Sprouted Watermelon Seeds
1/2 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

Directions~
Place the garlic, basil and watermelon seeds in the food processor, and rustically chop.
Slowly add in the olive oil and blend until you achieve your desired consistency.
Then gradually add in salt. Spread on veggies, add to raw vegetable pasta, make it a base on pizza dough, or the base of a raw lettuce wrap. You will have plenty leftover, so enjoy. It keeps in the fridge 3 days.

Food can be healing art ~ Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

I love to eat. I love food. I love flavorful food. I love the smells of different spices. My best friend Tami laughs at how I cook. I take my spices and I smell them each. I can tell by the smells which spice will pair well with the next to bring out the best in the ingredients the will be adorning.

I started to soup out with wanted to make a Thai Sweet Potato soup. I love Thai food but I am very allergic to lemongrass. Yes, I could eliminated the lemongrass, but I wanted something authentic. So I went with Garam Masala. Garam Masala is broken down as this, garam means (“hot”) and masala means (a mixture of spices) is a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines. It is used as an every day season, just as we use season salt, but healthier.  The word garam refers to “heat” in the Ayurvedic, meaning “to heat the body”. These seasonings elevate body temperature. This is one reason why I love Garam Masala, it has healing properties ,because of the spices and herbs to are used to make it.  The seasoning recipe can be different just a bit according to the region. In my recipe I used Simply Organic Garam Masala, which includes cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper and coriander. You could make your own if you like, but this is a very good one that is just enough spice for me.

This soup was made for one or two servings. It’s Vegan and get’s its creaminess from the coconut milk. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have today for lunch.

Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup 

* This is a rough recipe, off the top of my head, LOL. I would suggest adding the vegetable broth and coconut milk a little at a time and blending, if you need more, use more based of your preference of thickness.  Enjoy!! 

1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped

1 1/2 cup organic vegetable, maybe more if you like it a little thin

1/2 cup creamy coconut milk ( canned ), you want the creamy part of the coconut milk, not the water

1 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil ( but melted coconut oil)

1 tbsp. organic maple syrup

1 tbsp. garam masala

1/2 – 1  tsp. cayenne pepper, based on your spicy preference. I used 1/2 tsp.

1/2 tsp. sea salt

coconut milk whipped for garnish and a sprig of mint

Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
Vegan Garam Masala Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

On a cookie sheet place two layers of parchment paper and add the chopped sweet potato. You can add oil and maybe salt, if you like during the cooking process, but I just put my potatoes on the parchment paper and baked on 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.

In a blender, Vitamix or Ninja, add all the ingredients, starting with the potatoes. except the whipped coconut and mint. Blend thoroughly, until all ingredients are smooth. If it’s too thick add more vegetable broth and a little of the coconut milk. Just a little at at time. Blend and add to a pot, warm it up on a medium heat , stir and pour into a bowl.

I added the rest of my coconut milk, some maple syrup and a little sea salt in my Ninja. Blended it all together and you have a nice whipped coconut cream. I drizzled it over my soup making these designs and added a sprig of mint.

Set the Table with Love and Eat Soup! 🙂

Vegan Gluten Free Mushroom and Sage Pizza with a Spicy White Bean spread

Enough is Enough. I had to go to the doctor and get my ears checked, bad cold. Lots of fluids, rest and some good soup and I will be back on the mend. I love my Emory doctors. They believe in helping me heal naturally. Well as I was driving through my neighborhood, I got to see all the winter wonder everyone has been talking about. The trees in our neighborhood is covered in ice. I feel like I am in the beginning of a Frozen movie. LOL. My granddaughter would appreciate that reference.  Here is a few pictures I took today in my neighborhood.

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Our Frozen in my neighborhood
My Frozen.
My Frozen.
My Frozen in my neighborhood
My Frozen in my neighborhood

It is still chilly and windy outside, so after my doctor’s appointment, I was very hungry and needed something warm and comforting. I wanted something that said wintery forest, like my neighborhood. So, I came up with this little gluten free and vegan pizza. It is so delicious. You will never miss the cheese or meat.  The Spicy White Bean spread is smooth, spicy and full of flavor. It pairs well on the earthiness from the mushrooms, fennel, sage and garlic. Please save some the bean spread and use it as a dip later with cut pepper, carrots and celery.  The mushrooms I used today were, baby bellas and porcinis. I love porcini mushrooms, they taste and smell like the woods to me.

Well here is the recipe. Enjoy! Oh yes, Please remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Mushroom and Sage Vegan Gluten Free Pizza
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Mushroom and Sage Gluten Free Pizza with a spicy white bean spread
Mushroom and Sage Vegan Gluten  Free Pizza
Mushroom and Sage Vegan Gluten Free Pizza

Mushroom and Sage Vegan Gluten Free pizza

1 gluten free small pizza crust

1 can organic white beans

1 cup mushrooms. I used a mixture of baby bellas and porcini mushrooms

7 sage leaves, one to chop and add into bean spread. The rest for garnish.

1/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped for garnish

1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tsp dried fennel

1 tsp Montreal spicy steak seasoning, or cracked black pepper, garlic flakes, cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt for bean spread and season mushrooms and garlic sauté

1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425.

Drizzle 1/2 tbsp olive oil over pizza crust and spread out to cover the crust.  Add the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan and add mushrooms and garlic cloves. Sauté on medium heat until slightly tender. Drain beans and rinse. Add the beans to a pot on medium heat. Add Montreal spicy steak seasoning, salt, garlic and one chopped sage leaf. Stir and Cook for 10 minutes. Add beans to a food processor and blend until smooth. Allow the bean spread to cool then add bean spread onto pizza crust and spread out evenly. Add sautéed mushrooms and garlic. Garnished with sage and peppers. Pop in the oven on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven. Cut into slices and Enjoy.

Vegan Spicy Tomato Basil Soup with a Vegetarian Parmesan Basil Lollipop

It’s so cold here in Georgia. I decided to make Spicy Tomato Basil Soup, but wanted it to be a vegan version. So I replaced the heavy cream with unsweetened almond milk and to thicken it I added 1/2 cup of ground flax seeds. You could soak some cashews the night before and use them as your thickening agent or even add an avocado at the end of the cooking process.  I loved the texture of the flax seed grounds. This made the soup rich, creamy and loaded with good fat and protein.

The Vegetarian Parmesan Basil Lollipops are amazing. I used Belgioioso Vegetarian Cheese. This will make a for sure party favorite hit. Get wild with this recipes add different herbs, saffron for color or even a basil glaze.

Enjoy! Remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Parmesan Basil Cheese Lollipop
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Vegan Spicy Tomato Basil Soup

Vegan Spicy Tomato Basil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 (28oz.) can Organic Diced Tomatoes

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

3 cups Organic vegetable broth ( low sodium)

1/2 cup of sweet red wine

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste , or regular works as well

2 tablespoon shredded fresh basil, plus a few for garnish

2/3 cup ground flax seed

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

sea salt to taste

my secret ingredient, freshly grated nutmeg, just a dash or two. 🙂

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened,but do not allow to brown.

2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and garlic, then add the stock, red wine and sun-dried tomato paste, with salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper. Bring to boil, then lower the heat, half-cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the tomatoes from sticking to the base.

3. Pour the soup into a Vitamix , Ninja or blender. Add the shredded basil, almond milk and flax seed grounds and continue to blend until the soup thickens. Remove from blender and place back into the pot on a low medium heat. Stir and add fresh grated nutmeg.  Check the consistency and add more stock if needed. Also adjust seasoning, if needed. Pour into bowls and garnish with whole basil leaves and olive oil.

Parmesan Basil Cheese Lollipop
Parmesan Basil Cheese Lollipop

Parmesan Basil Lollipop

3/4 cup Belgioioso Vegetarian Cheese, grated

12 wooden skewers or wooden popsicle sticks

12 basil leaves, roughly the same size, if possible

Directions:

With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place 6 sticks on the baking sheet making sure to leave enough space between each to ensure that they don’t melt together once the cheese melts.
Place 1 tablespoon of cheese at one end of each stick, shaping into a circle.  With your fingers, spread the cheese into a 3-inch circle.
Bake for about 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for  few seconds, then add basil leaves on each lollipop. You want to do this while they are still warm so the basil can adhere to the parmesan cheese.
Let cool and remove from the baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining cheese.
Serve with soup or as an appetizer.

They will keep for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container.

Spicy Corn and Poblano Soup with Honey and Sage Cornbread

This is the season for soup. Today I made a Spicy Corn and Poblano Soup. I wanted some bread to go with it.  I was in the mood for some cornbread, but with a twist.  I have had this idea in my mind for a week to make a Honey and Pistachio Cornbread. I did not have pistachios, but I did have some sage. It is a wonderful combination. Here’s the recipe and it’s gluten free. This version is a lighter version of this soup, still packed with lots of flavor.

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Spicy Corn and Poblano Pepper Soup
Spicy Corn and Poblano Pepper Soup
Spicy Corn and Poblano Pepper Soup

Spicy Corn and Poblano Soup

1 large garlic cloves, unpeeled and minced

1 1/2  tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 cup onions, roughly chopped

1/2 cup poblano peppers, roughly chopped

1/2 cup red bell peppers, roughly chopped

1 cup organic frozen corn

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin 

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt ( to taste)

1 tsp smoked paprika

4 cups vegetable broth

In a large sauce pan on a medium heat, add the oil and the cumin seeds and cook for a minute to release it’s natural oils, add the onions and sauté until transparent, then add the garlic and sauté until soften. Add your corn and spices. Stir and add 4 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil for a minute and lower the soup to a simmer for 15 minutes. Serve hot with the Honey and Sage Cornbread.

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GF Honey and Sage Cornbread

Gluten Free Honey and Sage Cornbread

Wet Ingredients

2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature

1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

1/2 cup Organic honey

1/3 cup Olive oil

Dry Ingredients

1/2 cup Bob’s Mills Tapicoa Flour

1/2 cup Bob’s Mills Sorghum Flour

1/4 cup Bob’s Mills Brown Rice Flour

1 cup Bob’s Mills GF Cornmeal

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Sea Salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease cast-iron skillet. Set a side.

2. In a large bowl, beat the wet ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended.

3. In a separated bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until thoroughly blended. Gradually, with a blender on low speed, add in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until the mixture is thick like cake batter. Spread evenly in the cast-iron pan.

4. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until top is firm and edges are lightly browned.

5. Remove from oven and drizzle with olive oil and honey before serving.

Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup and Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

I know. I know. I do a million things, but one of the things I love the most is teaching people how to look and feel great, through nutrition, exercise and a healthy mind.  Today was a busy work day. I got up and taught my yoga class, the class mantra today was, ” I release what doesn’t serve my greater good.”  Very powerful class. We hold onto to so much in our lives that doesn’t serve us, God or the ones we love. Why not just let it go with lovingkindness. When we clear up space within in ourselves the right stuff comes in naturally.

Here is where my personal chef bliss comes into play. I love my clients, because they want to know how to Set their Tables with Love by eating and feeding their loves ones with natural, organic whole foods.  Today I took one of my clients to Sprouts to shop for quick, easy whole food meals for two. We bought food for snacks, breakfast and lunch/dinner. I created meals for her that are all natural, organic and whole and they will last her family for over a week for a little over a hundred bucks.

You can do this.  You can shop local and buy what is in season and it eat homemade gourmet meals on a budget.  The reality of it is this, foods that are in season and local are cheaper and much healthier for you.  The best part you are supporting our local farmers and community.

Today we made several meals she can freeze and prep easily since she has a three month old gorgeous son.

I made and prepped her dinner for tonight and for tomorrow.

Here’s her menu for the week:

Turkey Tuscan meatballs,  Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup, Organic skinless chicken thighs ( grill these for salad or just keep them whole), Fish two ways, Lemon Pepper and Parmesan Crusted and she loves to snack we made Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars from scratch.  We used freezer bags to separate the meals.

The soup and granola bars were so good I made some for myself.

Recipe Below:

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Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup with Campanelle Pasta

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Spicy White  Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola
Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola

Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

2 cups  gluten free oats

1 cup  dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup cranberries

1/3 cup dehydrated coconut flakes

1/3 cup brown rice flour

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt ( to taste)

2 organic eggs

1/4 cup organic honey

3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Preheat oven to 350.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix together.  In another bowl add all the wet ingredients, eggs, honey, coconut oil

( make sure oil has cooled before adding eggs).  Add the dry to the wet and stir until the mixture is easily crumbly. If it is too sticky add a little more brown rice flour. If it is too dry add a little water.

Once you have the mixture well incorporated.  Pour the mixture into a 13×9 baking pan coated with cooking spray. Press the mixture into the  baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Score surface with shallow cuts to make bars.  Cool on wire rack then finish cutting into bars. If you need more sweetness drizzle them with honey after they have cooled.

Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup of red bell pepper

1 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups of chopped kale

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth ( low sodium)

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, (cannelloni beans)

1/4 cup Campanelle pasta ( or any hearty pasta you prefer)

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp of dried basil

1/2 tsp of oregano

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Preparation:
In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell pepper
Sauté, stirring, until onion is tender and transparent. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add kale and garlic; cover and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining
ingredients; cover and cook for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

This recipe and many more like it can be found in my cookbook, SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE on Amazon.com

Click on the link below

Set the Table with Love