Archive for the ‘Soy-Free’ Category

 I created this recipe especially for all you sinlges and couples out there.  I lived alone for the majority of college and now that I’m married, it’s just D and me.  8 out of 10 recipes yeild enough to serve a family of 6.  You end up feeling like you’re wasting money on more ingredients than you need and feeling bad for throwing out perfectly good leftovers that have been in your refridgerator for a week.

This recipe is quick and easy.  It has a preperation time of 5 minutes or less and comes out of the oven ready to eat.  No cooling, setting, flipping, or further constructing required.  It serves a single person easily but could also be shared between two people.

What You’ll Need:

1 golden delicious apple

1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

3 T agave nectar (or maple syrup)

1/4 cup raw hazlenuts, chopped

1 tsp rolled oats, optional



How You’ll Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice your apple into thin wedges or slices.

Lay them mostly flat, in one layer,  in a single serving baking dish.

Sprinkle the chopped hazlenuts, rolled oats and cinnamon on top of the apples as evenly as possible.  Then drizzle the agave nectar on top.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Make sure you can easily poke a fork or toothpick in an apple without any resistnace.  If your apples are not soft enough, bake for 5 more minutes and recheck.  Continue at 5 minute intervals if needed.

Why You’ll Love It:

  Multiple studies have shown that cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar and has been very beneficial for people suffering from Type II Diabetes.  Cinnamon is a natural food preservative because it prevents food spoilage and bacterial growth.  Cinnamon also helps prevent blood clots.  The smell of cinnamon has been shown to boost cognitive function and memory.

  One medium apple, with peel, has aver 10% of your daily value of fiber.  The combination of fiber and fructose, a simple sugar, in apples causes a slow and steady breadown which helps keep blood sugar regulated. 

For another delicious, healthful,  apple and cinnamon combination check out Fancy Apple Whole Wheat Crepes!



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Hearty breakfasts are wonderful. There is a part of me that wishes I could eat a big ‘ole breakfast every day of the week.  Since my nutrition studies began I haven’t given up hearty breakfast at all, but I am much more picky about what kind of hearty breakfast I eat.  No more biscuits and sausage gravy for me, though I was born and bred loving the stuff.  And no more fried eggs and ham for my cholesterol-loathing self.  Instead, I feast on a little something like this… and I’m a happier and healthier woman for it.

What You’ll Need:

2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1/2 red bell pepper, diced or chopped

1/2 white onion, diced 

2 cups fresh spinach

1 T extra virgin olive oil

3 or 4 potatoes, chopped evenly 

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper            

1 small bunch fresh chives         



How You’ll Do It:

  Heat a large pan to medium high and drizzle in the oil plus a few tables spoons of water.  Once heated, add in peppers, onion, and garlic and saute until onions begin to get translucent.  Then add potatoes and continue to saute or lightly fry for about 10 minutes (depending on how big your chunked potatoes are).  *In order to speed my process and not have to fry them as much, I covered my pan with a lid and let the steam play a larger role in the cooking.  I recommend this for you low-fattys who don’t like to fry*  

Continue cooking until potatoes get tender enough to easily poke a fork through.  At that point, toss in your spinach and a few tablespoons of water.  Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until spinach has reduced and is partially wiled.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Right before serving, snip fresh chives all over the top of your delicious hashed browns.


Why You’ll Love It:

  “I’m Popeye, the sailor man. I live in a garbage can.  I’m strong to the finish cause I eats my spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man”   

 Alright, does that sound familiar to anyone?  Was Popeye the first cartoon ever admired for his healthy eating habits?  I think he may have been!  Good ole Popeye was so strong and it was because he ate spinach!  Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse.  There is actually so many nutritional benefits of eating spinach that I am going to refer you HERE if you truly would like to get a glimpse of what spinach can do for you.

   In a nutshell, it has over 1000% of your Vitamin K for the day.  It is also freakishly high in vitamin A, E, C, folate, magnesium, and manganese.   Eating spinach can help protect your body from many different diseases.  

Red Pepper & Spinach Hashed Browns is a great breakfast option, but also makes a great side item for any meal of the day.  If you aren’t one who likes to get up early and get in the kitchen, simply have this for dinner!



 If you love your spinach as much as Popeye himself, try this recipe too. po_image1

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It is so refreshing to wake up in the morning and douse yourself with a tangy and sweet fruit smoothie.  I am a fan of a hearty breakfast, but I’m also a fan of getting in a healthful serving of fruit for the day.  When I’m at work all day long and handling the tasks of every day life I easily find myself snacking on nuts, seeds, and raw veggies.  What I don’t always find myself reaching for when in need of a pick-me-up is a piece of fresh fruit.  It’s for this reason that I am a big fan of fruit smoothies in the morning.  They’re refreshing, energizing, and a great way to get in my fruit for the day which is very important to me.




What You’ll Need

6 frozen strawberries

1 fresh banana 

1 cup frozen blueberries

2 T ground flax seeds

1.5-2 all natural pomegranate juice (adjust for desired consistency)

How You’ll Do It:

  If you’re not in a rush, put your frozen fruit in your Magic Bullet Blender or other blender 5 minutes before you’re ready to make your smoothie.  A few minutes of thawing facilitates the blending process. Once you’re ready, blend all fruit together with the pomegranate juice.  Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the sides and stir the mix as needed to help the blending process.  Add more or less pomegranate juice as desired, based on how thick you want your smoothie.  Once fruit and fruit juice is thoroughly mixed and smooth, add flax seed and stir to combine.  Pour in desired glass, preferably one that’s fun to drink out of, and enjoy.


Why You’ll Love It:

   Pomegranates and blueberries are both natural superfoods!  They are both leaders in antioxidants.  Ellagic acid is a powerful nutrient in blueberries and strawberries.  It has been shown to improve digestive issues and to help prevent cancers.  In a study with over 1,000 elderly people, those who ate berries high in ellagic acid were three times less likely to develop cancer.  Blueberries can assist with both diarrhea and constipation due to the soluble and insoluble fiber in them.  The tannins in blueberries act as a digestion astringent which helps to reduce inflammation.  (*for further reading on blueberries, and other healthful foods, click here for one of my resources, WHFoods).

  According to the Fruit Expert, “It is no secret that eating fruit is good for you and has plenty of health benefits – but what are they? Generally, people who eat more fruit as part of a healthy diet are less likely to develop diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer, and they provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to fight other infections and repair cells, too.”

If you are a smoothie lover, be sure to check out the Pineapple Passionfruit Boost too!

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Eating a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you constantly have to meal plan a month in advance, rack your brain, and make a mess in your kitchen in order to produce a flavorful, enjoyable, hot meal.  In fact, there are tons of delicious no-brainer meals that can be put together for a single, a family, or student with little preparation and planning.  This recipe is a great example.

A panini is a grilled sandwich typically made from a special type of bread, such as ciabatta, and pressed in a two sided grill.  Well, my panini is slightly different than what this definition implies: I use regular whole wheat loaf slices and I don’t press it to make it grilled.  I grill the insides and toast the outside, which helps cut the fat and calorie content.

By toasting your bread you are not pressured into oiling or buttering it.  After you toast it you can add a dab of non dairy non-hydrogenated butter to your bread, if you like.  Or you can enjoy the Zucchini Panini like me, with your toast plain.  It’s perfectly delicious, lower in fat and calories, and it hold up well with the savory grilled veggies inside!

What You’ll Need: (yields 2 sandwiches)

4 sliced whole wheat bread

1 cup spring lettuce

1 medium zuke, halved and sliced lengthwise into flat planks (6-8 slices should be produced) 

1 medium tomato, sliced medium thickness (in 4 or 5 slices)

1 large slice of white onion, rings separated

1/4 cup diced bell pepper mix (I used red, yellow, green)

cracked black pepper (and optional salt) to taste

2 T extra virgin olive oil (or water to make recipe even lower in fat)

1 T Dijon mustard

How You’ll Do It:

  Heat your grill pan on the stove top on medium.  Once heated, drizzle olive oil across it or pour water in.  Place zucchini, bell peppers, tomato, and onion rings all on grill pan.  Sprinkle the exposed side of the veggies withblack pepper (and optional salt). Grill vegetables for 3-4 minutes on first side, then flip and grill for 3 more minutes.  Continue flipping as needed until veggies are thoroughly cooked but be careful not to burn them.  

  While veggies are grilling put the bread in the toaster.  Once it’s toasted, spread dijon on the bread and put a small bed of lettuce down on two of the four pieces.  When your veggies are tender and fragrant, remove them from the grill with a fork and place them on the bed of lettuce.  Stack your sandwich as you desire and cut it in half.  


Why You’ll Love It:

   This sandwich is packed with nutrients.  Vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, B1, B2, B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, folate, just to name a few!  All of these nutrients are healthful and healing.  Getting your essential nutrients from foods as opposed to getting them from supplements makes a HUGE difference.  When you eat whole foods you are eating the perfect nutrient combinations in each food, causing a perfect synergy which facilitates healing and disease prevention (or reversal).  It is very important to get your nutrients from foods, the way nature was created.  Nature did not create a bunch of scientifically isolated nutrients isolated and then combined all with each other in form of a nasty vitamin!

  By eating all of these fresh veggies on whole wheat bread, you’re getting even more protein than you would from the veggies alone and you’re washing the meal down with a helping of fiber!  Fiber is ESSENTIAL to a strong immune system and a healthy person.  Fiber speeds up the time it takes for your food to pass through your body and decreased the likely hood of toxins and carcinogens being absorbed into your system.  Fiber is KEY to WEIGHT LOSS.  It is recommended that adults take in 25-35 grams daily.  Switching to a plant-based diet, or even incorporating mostly plant-based meals into your diet will definitely increase the amount of fiber in your diet.  

  So, how do you get more fiber?  Fiber is fruits, nuts, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.  Where is fiber not found?  Animal products such as all meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.  So if you’re main course is an animal product (meat), or if it’s covered in animal products (think pizza, macaroni and cheese), or if you’re eating animal products here and there throughout your day (think yogurt, cheese on sandwich, fish at dinner, and dessert) then you’re getting a hearty helping of foods without fiber.  This means you’re likely embracing a diet low in fiber and therefore promoting disease.  If you aren’t sure, just keep an eye out on what sort of things you consume and ask yourself  “Is this full of fiber or not?”

  If you’re loving this Zucchini Panini because like me, zuke is one of your favorite green veggies, then you’ll love this recipe too!

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Marinara Squash

One of my all time favorite winter vegetables is squash.  There are so many different types, shapes, and flavors.  Including butternut, sweet dumpling, acorn, and spaghetti.  Yes, spaghetti is a type of squash.  It is named for the stringy noodly-like bulk of the inside of the vegetable.  This delicious vegetable is commonly served actually ‘Spaghetti’ style with a tomato sauce and everything!  If you’re imagining your basic yellow summer squash served with spaghetti sauce then you’ve got your head in the wrong place.  Spaghetti squash has a totally different texture and flavor.  It is savory, buttery, and just melts in your mouth!

 D had never had spaghetti squash before.  We both really enjoyed eating it from inside the squash because the more you dig in, the more and more spaghetti-like ‘noodles’ come from the squash.  We’re going to have this meal again before the stores are completely out of spaghetti squash.  We both really enjoyed have a light, vegetable based main course with lots of flavor!


What You’ll Need:

1 Spaghetti Squash

1/2 of THIS Marinara recipe (or whatever you fav. it)

1/2 T extra virgin olive oil

1/4 t pepper 

1/4 t salt 

Fresh Chives

How You’ll Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise.  Place on a baking sheet with the outer part of the squash facing upward, so both halves are laying flat and balanced.  Lightly spray or rub olive oil on the outside of each squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pierce the outside of the squash with a fork and bake for 30 minutes.  While squash is in the over, prepare and side dish and heat your marinara sauce.  

When the squash is finished, flip it over and use a spoon to lightly scoop out the inner seeds (similar in size as pumpkin seeds).  Once seeds are removed, use a fork to softly ‘rake’ out the fine noodle-like squash and place it into a bowl.  After you’ve removed about 80% of the inner squash from both halves, toss the ‘noodles’ into the marinara sauce.  Once completely mixed (be sure to be somewhat delicate while mixing) put the spaghetti back into the squash shell.  Garnish with fresh snipped chives.

p1030756Why You’ll Love It:

  Consuming foods rich in beta-cryprtoxanthin, may significantly lower ones chance of getting lung cancer.   Regardless of if you’re a smoker yourself of if you’re around secondhand smoke, a study done in China, published in Cancer Epidemiology , showed cancer likelihood being lowered 27%-37% by diets high in cryprtoxanthin-rich foods.  Additionally, winter squash being high in folate means it’s great for pregnant ladies or those trying to conceive.

If you’re looking to add more winter squash in your diet, try Hello Veggie Stew with Butternut Squash!

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Does anyone else out there shop at Whole Foods Market?  Well, the place is a sanctuary for me.  I would like to share a recipe for my favorite tasty marinara.  Typically, I make marinara from scratch, using my own spices and peppers et cetera.  But if I need something really simple and really tasty that only requires getting one dish dirty to make- this is it!

What You’ll Need:

1 large can 365 Organics brand Diced Tomatoes with oregano basil

1 small can 365 Organics tomato paste

1 small can filled with purified water

How You’ll Do It:

All you must do is mix these delicious items together with a fork or whisk and then they’re ready to go.  This makes a perfect vegan gourmet pizza sauce!  It’s scrumptious and effortless!  I have yet to try a Whole Foods Market 365 Organics Brand item that I was not fully satisfied with.  I go to Whole Foods Market 2-4 times a week and only have been disappointed when I walk by the meat section… 

Why You’ll Love It:

  This recipe is super quick, super versatile, and tomatoes are a super food!  When I say super food, I mean food with super powers! And that’s no exaggeration.  Due to the lycopene level in organic tomatoes, they are food that really fight hard to prevent disease.  Lycopene is very anti-cancer (over a wide variety of common cancers), plays a significant role in prostate health, and fighting cardiovascular disease.  On top of all of this, tomatoes are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, making them great strengtheners of your immune system.

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Side dishes don’t have to be fancy and they don’t have to include more than a few ingredients, including spices.  What’s important is getting your vegetables in every day. What’s not important is if the recipe or name sounds like it came from an up scale restaurant.  Fancy?   No.  Delicious, easy, healthful?  Yes. 

What You’ll Need:

1 clove garlic, minced

1 shallot, diced

2 cups brussels sprouts, halved

1 yellow squash, sliced and halved

salt and pepper to taste


How You’ll Do It:

Saute garlic and shallot in a few tablespoons in water.  Once shallots become mostly transparent, add brussels and squash.  Saute uncovered for two minutes, then cover for three to four minutes until done.  Serve hot and enjoy!

Why You’ll Love It:

  You’ll love Brussels Sprouts if you love being free of cancer.  Brussels Sprouts are a member of the cruciferous family which means they are very high in effective phytonutrients.   The phytonutrients in the cruciferous family work even harder than the average vegetable phytonutrient to fight cancer cells, prevent free radical damage, and to actually repair damaged DNA in the body (which can cause cancer development).  On top of the disease preventing super powers, brussels sprouts have over 100% of your daily vitamin C and K in one cup serving.

Brussels Sprouts are such an amazing, healthful, and disease fighting food that you should really take interest in learning more.  And if you’re looking for other great veggie side dishes why not try some Classic Carrots?

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