REAL FOOD. HEALTHY LIVING
MODERN WELLNESS

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Recipes

add this vegetarian option to your holiday table – sage white beans with crispy brussels sprouts

Entertaining Is complicated enough on its own; when you start trying to accommodate everyone’s special dietary needs and preferences, it can really start to feel like rocket science. Sure, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s rare that a group of more than 6 people can get together without a slew of food allergies, special diets, and/or eating philosophies.

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Recipes

the perfect make-ahead summer dish – chickpeas with roasted eggplant, peppers + basil

Stock up on eggplant, peppers, and fresh basil and make this staple salad all summer long. It will become a go-to for bringing to a picnic or BBQ – or simply keeping on hand in your fridge when hunger strikes. I love make ahead recipes that get better and better the longer they sit – and this chickpea dish fits the bill.

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Recipes

moringa is the new matcha – try it in this mint lemonade recipe

I first heard about it probably a year and a half ago or so when watching a documentary that claimed moringa was a ‘miracle’ food that has incredible high, bioavailable nutrient, minerals, and amino acids. On top of that, it is an excellent supplement to our diets, as the nutrient content in our food supply becomes increasingly diminished.

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Recipes

eating your superfoods is easy – with this vibrant kale + golden beet salad

People tend to either love or loathe kale salads — me? I’m firmly in the ‘love’ camp – so long as it’s prepared properly. The trick to making a killer kale salad is to marinate it. As kale can be a tough, fibrous green it requires acid + salt to properly tenderize.

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Other

why you should be cooking with avocado oil

One of the most common questions I get asked at cooking classes is about oils. Participants are interested in which oils are best for which cooking techniques, which have the most health benefits, and also which to avoid.

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Recipes

spread cheer — with dark chocolate + peppermint truffles

If pumpkin spice is the flavor of the fall, chocolate peppermint is at the top of the list for winter. This decadent truffle recipe will satisfy your holiday treat cravings, while still being dairy-free and (mostly) refined sugar free.

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Recipes

add this simple dish to your holiday table — maple mustard brussels sprout hash

Whether hosting or guesting this holiday season, this dish will be the perfect compliment to your spread. The best part? It takes less than 20 minutes, and would be fine served warm or at room temperature if you’re short on room in the oven.

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Recipes

(pumpkin) spice up your breakfast — with this chia + hemp bowl

We’re already well into October, so if you haven’t started to incorporate pumpkin into all of your meals (and beverages and desserts), you have no excuses! If you you’ve simply been lacking inspiration — I’m here to help.

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Lifestyle

what’s the deal with adaptogens? here’s why (and how) you should incorporate these super herbs into your wellness routine

We tend to think stress is mainly a result of trauma or high-pressure situations. But our bodies are constantly reacting to physical, chemical, and environmental stressors – we just may not realize it: We deal with it all day long, and it has a damaging effect on our health. Stress results from exercising too much, sleeping too little, getting stuck in traffic, over-consuming sugar or caffeine, being on a crowded subway car, poor air quality… the list goes on and on.

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Recipes

meet your new favorite dessert — hello, berry clafoutis

I saw the apricot rhubarb clafoutis when I first flipped through the My New Roots Cookbook earlier this spring, and couldn’t wait to try this simple, yet ‘fancy’ sounding dessert.

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Recipes

make watermelon your summer staple — with this refreshing salad

Watermelons are an essential part of summer – and about this time of the year, I try to eat my fair share. While delicious by it’s sweet self, I love incorporating it into savory dishes like this salad. The watermelon compliments the peppery arugula and tangy pickled red onions. Topped with fresh mint and crunchy pine nuts, this salad is a perfect blend of colors, textures, and flavors.

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Recipes

blend up something new for lunch – like this refreshing green gazpacho

Maybe its been the hot weather, or maybe its just being stuck in a summer daze… either way, I’ve been gravitating towards recipes that are simple, fast, and do not require heat. This green gazpacho most definitely fits the bill.

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Recipes

beat the heat – with this no-cook chickpea salad

I don’t know about you, but when summer rolls around, I prefer spending more time outside, and less time in the kitchen. And when I’m in the kitchen, I gravitate towards fast preparations that don’t require adding any extra heat to my kitchen. This chickpea salad is a perfect, no-cook preparation that is not only light and refreshing, but a complete meal, with a balance of protein + fiber + healthy fat.

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Recipes

savor summer – with a sweet watermelon agua fresca

Don’t sweat the summer heat; whip up a refreshing watermelon drink and keep your cool on even the hottest days. This refreshing, tart, and sweet recipe was a hit at my ‘Become a Smoothie Master’ class – and I’m sure it will be in your house, too.

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Recipes

add flavor to your meals — with this romesco sauce

At it’s most basic, romesco sauce is a red pepper and nut based sauce that originates from Spain. Recipes vary quite a bit – with many containing tomatoes and/or bread crumbs – but I prefer keeping it simple. This sauce has been in my rotation for years.

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Recipes

experiment with plant protein — try this chickpea skillet bread

My favorite recipes are usually quick, easy, and have minimal ingredients. With those requirements, this is at the top of my go-to list. Making it even better? It’s a great mix of protein + fiber + healthy fat which will keep you satisfied and ward off junk food and carby cravings.

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Recipes

power up your lunch — with this colorful superfood salad

Too often, salads just don’t satisfy when served as a main dish. I love salads for lunch, or even a light supper, they can leave me hungry or looking to snack shortly thereafter. When I make an effort to include a good protein source, include a mixture of raw and cooked vegetables, as well as adding something crunchy to the mix — I’m totally satiated and content. This vibrant salad is not only rich in colors and textures, but also full of protein, fiber, and healthy fat that will fill you up and keep blood sugars stable.

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Wellness

10 simple tips to start your year on the right track

After a holiday season filled with indulgence and excess, it’s nice to push the reset button and focus on health. Whether you’re the resolution/goal setting type or not — the end of one year and the beginning of the next is a nice time to try something new and create fresh habits.

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Recipes

coconut hot cocoa mix — for your diy healthy holiday giving

There’s nothing quite like coming home on a cold day and curling up with a cup of hot cocoa. It hits all the right creamy, warm, and chocolatey notes to satisfy and savor all winter long. I’ve tried making non-dairy cocoa mixes before, and stirred them into warm almond or coconut milk — but they always turned out a little powdery and underwhelming. When I saw coconut milk powder in the baking section of Whole Foods, I knew it was the secret ingredient needed to make a perfect dairy free cocoa mix.

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Recipes

a satisfying salad to transition into winter — celery root with greens + tart dried cherries

I’ve been making a version of this salad every fall for the last five years or so. I love how seasonal celery root is the star of the show; its earthy – almost nutty – flavor pairs beautifully with kale. And both ingredients are hearty and ‘toothsome’ to satisfy cool weather appetites. In other words — this is not a dainty summer salad!

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Recipes

warm up — with a bowl of creamy mushroom + quinoa soup

I love the fall. Just when I start to feel in a rut with summertime cooking, the shift in the season sparks my creativity. I’m refreshed with a new arsenal of produce – like roots, squashes, and dark leafy greens – and switch from creating light, energizing meals to those that are warming and grounding. Specifically — I start making a lot more soups.

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Recipes

get your seasonal sweet fix – pumpkin muffins with cinnamon almond glaze

Ready to get your pumpkin fix? It’s that time of the year when pumpkin is stealthily sneaking into our desserts, breads, coffee — and even hummus and potato chip

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Recipes

a farm retreat + setting intention for fall

I had the fortunate opportunity to lead a weekend wellness retreat with the wonderful staff at Angelic Organics Learning Center over the holiday. The learning center is under the umbrella of Angelic Organics Farm. Situated in Northern Illinois just shy of the Wisconsin border, the farm has a popular CSA program available around the Chicago area.

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Recipes

get fresh + festive – with this perfect summertime salad

If all goes according to plan, the summer season fills our days with warm days, blue skies, sunshine, friends, playtime, picnics and parties. Being in Chicago, I haven’t been able to enjoy much of the first items I mentioned (yet!) but hopefully you have had a chance to spend late nights and long weekends with your nearest and dearest.

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Recipes

cookies so wholesome – you can have them for breakfast

Everyone needs an emergency cookie recipe to whip up in dire situations: this is mine. I’ll admit it’s far from the most ‘amazing’ or ‘indulgent’ treat, but it’s super simple, satisfying, and full of wholesome ingredients that make it an acceptable breakfast on-the-go. Cookies for breakfast? Need I say more?

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Recipes

your winter cure-all: warming turmeric tonic

Want to start your new year on the right note? Whether it’s January or June, we’re usually always looking for simple ways to boost our health, energy, and immunity. Superfood ingredients turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, raw honey, and apple cider vinegar blend together for a tart tea that can keep colds and flus at bay, improve digestion, combat cravings, clear skin…

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Recipes

the healing power of plants + a turmeric lemonade recipe

Last weekend I attended an ‘Herbalism Intensive’ at Angelica Organics Learning Farm. It’s no secret I’ve always been interested in the healing properties of the foods we eat, so it seemed natural to extend my studies to the world of medicinal plants.

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Lifestyle

do you eat mindfully? learn how.

Modern life doesn’t lend itself well to being mindful. With television, smart phones, computers, busy schedules, and mile long to-do lists, we find ourselves constantly on the move, surrounded with noise, and trying to keep up. Usually, the inevitable sacrifice that happens from busy lives is self-care. Despite being essential for a balanced life, eating well, exercise, and stress reducers (like meditation, yoga, deep breathing) often give way to make room for deadlines and appointments.

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Lifestyle

give the gift of self-love this valentine’s day

Valentine’s day can be a rather polarizing holiday: people seem to be divided into two camps – those that live for romantic candlelight dinners, roses, chocolates, and the like – and those that want nothing to do with it. Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s a celebration of love. It’s a time to shower those we adore with tokens of our affection and let them know we care.

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Recipes

get your pasta fix – creamy pasta with broccoli

It’s been a long, cold, snowy winter in Chicago; and according to Mr. Groundhog – we’ll have to put up with 6 more weeks of it. Blah.

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Recipes

pizza, please! try this quick + healthy version

If I was forced to eat one food, everyday for the rest of my life – it would probably be pizza. It’s been my favorite food since I was a little girl, and I seem to always have a taste for it. Since switching to a ‘cleaner’ way of eating – I don’t enjoy it as often, but have found ways of satisfying my cravings in a healthier fashion.

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Recipes

millet is the new quinoa. try this millet + chickpea cake recipe

I’m sure you eat and cook with quinoa on the regular – but what about millet? Millet has an almost identical nutrition makeup at quinoa – containing all nine essential amino acids, fiber, and protein – but it does not enjoy the same level of popularity.

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Lifestyle

healthy holiday gift guide: 10 of my favorite natural + food-focused finds

Tis the season – to shower your nearest and dearest with tokens of affection. We all know it can be stressful to find the perfect gift, so I thought I’d save you time and tension by checking a few people off your list. If you have a health nut or natural food chef-in-training in your life, be sure to check out my tried and true favorite things that are sure to indulge them.

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Recipes

chocolate chip cookies – to cure your cravings

When I created this ‘chewy chocolate cookie‘ recipe – I received a lot of fan fare. I’ve heard that it’s been the winner in cookie contests (that featured traditional sweets) – and kids (of all ages) love them. One such fan requested a more basic chocolate chip cookie recipe that would satisfy cravings for the classic, all-time favorite treat. There’s nothing like warm chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven, right?

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Recipes

kale salad with roasted carrots, chickpeas + spiced tahini dressing

I’m no stranger to a kale salad (or two, or three), but I haven’t given them much love over the past few months. I spent the summer enjoying lighter, brighter greens like butter lettuces, napa cabbage, romaine and pea shoots. But as we ease into winter, dainty lettuces won’t suffice: only kale can cure my salad cravings.

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Recipes

welcome fall – with this creamy cauliflower + kale soup

To me, fall means changing colors, crisp weather, chunky sweaters – and soup season. When the weather dips, I pull out my boots, and get a pot of soup on the stove. I crave hearty, chunky, thick soups that are a comforting meal in a bowl: and this recipe fits the bill.

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Recipes

savor the last of summer – with this spiced peach smoothie parfait

It’s only a matter of time before the chilly days of fall are upon us. We’ll be saying goodbye to long sunny days – and also to the abundance of summer produce. Now is the time to indulge in farm fresh corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and peaches. Sure, we can now find them year round, but they never taste quite as amazing as during their seasonal peak – so eat ’em up!

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Recipes

craving a burger? try this veggie version made with white beans, quinoa + roasted garlic

Sure, I love to cook. But when it comes to doing so at home for myself, I like to make something that’s easy, will last awhile, and lends to simple reheating and preparation. I like to be able to grab something from the fridge and have a healthy balanced meal ready in minutes. A veggie bean-based burger fits the bill. They take about 30 minutes – from start to finish (clean up included!) – to make, and will be welcome additions to your fridge – or freezer – when hunger strikes.

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Recipes

green juice du jour – plus tips + tricks for diy juicing

It seems people can’t get enough green juice these days. I love getting a daily dose to help boost energy, increase my intake of vitamins, alkalize my body, and prevent cravings. The fact that they taste pretty great is an extra bonus.

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Recipes

supernatural salad – black lentils with roasted broccoli

If your weekend schedule isn’t already filled with summer parties, picnics, and BBQs – I’m sure it will be soon. Menus can sometimes be hamburger and hot dog heavy – and vegetarian, vegan or just generally health conscious folks worry there might be little to nothing for them to eat. My advice? Bring something to share!

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Recipes

snacking made simple – peanut butter granola bars

Who doesn’t love a great granola bar? This recipe is easy to make – and super versatile. I used the beloved chocolate and peanut butter combination for these kid-friendly treats, but you can substitute any flavors you like. Use almond butter for peanut-free bars, or sunflower seed butter to be completely nut free. And feel free to swap in any dried fruit you prefer. Chopped dates, raisins, apricots, figs… they would all work really well.

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Recipes

get fresh – with this strawberry salad

There is nothing like enjoying a strawberry when it’s in season. Sure, they may be easily available year round – but you know spring is here when the strawberries arrive at the market at their peak: crimson, sweet, and juicy. I try to eat my fare share of fresh berries when they are at their best – and use them in sweet and savory dishes. This simple strawberry salad recipe is a great way to enjoy spring’s bounty and add a fresh burst of color to your table.

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Recipes

transition into spring – with this creamy lentil soup

I’m also one of those people that loves soup – but usually only in the fall and winter. When its sunny and warm, I find it totally unappealing. Signs of spring may be on the horizon, but the past few chilly, damp Chicago days have had me reaching for a blanket to warm up with – and craving a bowl of soup.

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Lifestyle

stay healthy travel tips

While the blue skies and warm breezes have yet to make their debut (in Chicago at least), spring is here. For some of you lucky folks, that means that a spring break is in order. I recently returned from a vacation (and birthday trip!) to Turkey. I was fortunate enough to enjoy delicious, fresh food and warm, sunny days.

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Recipes

baked chickpea falafel

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to share this recipe. I’ve been making these baked falafel for a while now, and have most recently featured it at the ‘Delicious Detox’ cooking series and at a few Bump Club and Beyond ‘Cooking for the Family’ classes. And it’s definitely a fan favorite!

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Recipes

dandelion ‘latte’

There’s no doubt about it: I am coffee crazy. I love it in the morning, the afternoon, and even after dinner. For me, it is as much about the ritual and routine as it is the taste. I find myself craving the dark, bitter taste of espresso and haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement.

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Recipes

kale salad with apples + walnuts

Happy New Year! I hope 2013 shapes up to be your best year yet – filled with health and happiness.

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Lifestyle

a look into my crystal ball…

Soon it will be time to toast this year goodbye – and say hello to 2013. The time has arrived to reflect on what has passed and look forward to all that lies ahead. With the clean slate of a year ahead, my mind has been focusing on goals and resolutions – but I’ve also been thinking about the health, food, and wellness trends that will be gaining steam and making their debuts at restaurants, grocery stores, and your kitchens in the months ahead.

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Recipes

coconut sugar simple syrup

I posted a few months ago about why I stopped using agave nectar, and received a lot of comments and emails asking about health-supportive alternatives that are not as processed. I mentioned coconut sugar, but the truth is, its not as easy to dissolve in beverages like coffee, tea, and smoothies. It’s granule texture is a bit ‘toothsome’ in oatmeal or yogurt, making it a less than perfect substitution.

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Recipes

jam dot cookies

The holiday season is in full swing, and with it comes an abundance of food, drink – and cookies. Maybe you’ve already baked up a few batches of your favorites or are planning on it soon. This recipe for jam dot cookies was a favorite at the ‘Wholesome Sweets’ baking class a few weeks ago, and I’m excited to share it with you.

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Recipes

roasted delicata squash rings

Winter has only just begun, and root vegetables and squashes have been getting plenty of action in my kitchen. If you’re like me, you may already be getting burnt out of the usual suspects like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots. If you’re looking for a new favorite, be sure to pick up a few delicata squash next time you’re in the market – it’s sure to become your go-to gourd.

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Recipes

holiday cranberry sauce with maple + orange

Thanksgiving is only a few days away, but this last minute recipe is easy enough to add to the menu without adding extra stress or burden. I promise that this fresh, sweet, and tart sauce is worth venturing into the hectic grocery stores to grab a bag of cranberries.

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Recipes

butternut squash with red onion + rosemary

I love all squash: acorn, spaghetti, delicata… but butternut is a tried and true favorite. I love its bright orange flesh and its ‘just sweet enough’ taste. It’s great in soups , mashed, or even used as a pumpkin substitute in baked goods.

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Lifestyle

natural remedies: oil of oregano

Lately, it seems like everyone I talk to is, was, or feels like they’re just about to be sick. The changing of the weather always seems to test our immunity, and I’m someone that likes to be prepared. Eating well, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep can go a long way towards keeping healthy, but every now and then, despite our best prevention, a cold can catch us.

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Recipes

sweet potato chocolate chip cookies

As we all know, sweet potatoes are, well, pretty sweet. I’ve never really understood the standard Thanksgiving casserole that piles this already sweet vegetable with brown sugar and marshmallows. Shouldn’t it go on the dessert table rather than count as a vegetable?

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Recipes

curried red lentil + squash soup

Yesterday started out more like ‘salad + smoothie’ weather, but it ended as a perfect ‘soup + stew’ evening. The blustery wind and rain rolled in just in time for our cooking class. This red lentil soup was the fan favorite of the crowd – it was also one of the most basic recipes. Red lentils have a really short cooking time and don’t hold their shape very well. Their naturally ‘mushy’ texture makes them perfect for thick, hearty soups.

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Recipes

root vegetable stew with miso + kale

If you’re looking to curl up with a comforting bowl of soup, this is the recipe for you. You can use any assortment of root vegetables you like, or have on hand. Just add them to a pot, cover with water, and simmer until they become tender and begin to break apart.

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Recipes

citrus beet + walnut dip

Beets: Most people love them, or loathe them. I happen to fall into the ‘love’ camp. When I was creating recipes for my recent ‘Seasonal Spotlight: Root Vegetables + Squash’ class, I knew I wanted to feature beets, but was unsure whether the participants would love or hate these brightly colored roots.

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Recipes

pumpkin bars with maple-pecan cookie crust

You rarely hear of pumpkin cravings in the middle of summer, but now that October is here, the season is upon us. When it comes to fall foods, pumpkin is a fan favorite. It’s a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and immunity boosting vitamin C; I love adding pumpkin puree to morning oatmeal, yogurt, and chia bowls.

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Recipes

black rice with squash + ginger-sesame dressing

Yesterday we wrapped up Natural Foods Boot Camp with a Grains class. The focus was on whole, gluten-free grains like quinoa, amaranth, millet, and brown rice. The recipes ranged from granola to cornbread to risotto – and everything went over pretty well! This black rice dish was a favorite for its vibrant colors and delicate flavors.

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Lifestyle

why i stopped using agave

I’ll be the first to admit that a few years ago, I praised agave nectar and recommended it without hesitation. I would rave about this “natural” sweetener being low-glycemic and encourage everyone to use it in place of highly refined white sugar. It had a pure, sweet flavor without an after taste. I would add it to smoothies and bake with it regularly.

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Recipes

french lentils with tomato + olives

If you are shopping for lentils, you’ll find a whole bunch of options to pick from. Red, green, brown, black, white, yellow… Besides being different hues, they also all have slightly different tastes and textures. As lentils are an amazing source of plant-based protein, its great to experiment with different varieties to see which you like best.

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Recipes

berry smoothie bowl

Don’t get me wrong, I love smoothies… but every now and then I get bored of sipping and want to mix it up. Smoothie bowl to the rescue! It is basically a super thick smoothie that can be topped with granola for crunch and fresh fruit for additional texture. It has a cool, creamy consistency, and dare I say, reminds me of ice cream. It’s a perfect start to the day or afternoon pick-me-up.

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Recipes

summer fresh basil pesto

I’ve never had much success with herb gardens. Try as I might, my attempts at growing herbs indoors have all resulted in sad-looking, wilted greens that never yield enough for more than a few recipes

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Recipes

roasted zucchini with red onion + thyme

Looking for a simple summer vegetable dish? It doesn’t get much easier than this easy roasted zucchini recipe. Besides a bit of chopping, all ingredients are simply tossed with oil, arranged on a baking sheet, and roasted until caramelized.

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Recipes

sesame kale chips

I have been working on my first E-Cookbook, “‘Natural Foods Boot Camp: Greens, Beans + Grains’ since January of this year. It was a lot of testing, tasting, shooting, writing, and editing… and it’s been great to be able to share the final copy with clients, friends and family; I am thrilled with the support and positive feedback.

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Recipes

banana crunch ‘ice cream’

If you have resolved to turn over a new, healthy leaf in 2010, one way to receive maximum benefits with minimal effort is to boost your consumption of leafy greens. Leafy green vegetables are touted as being most nutrient dense food available, but unfortunately for most, it may also be the food group that is MIA from most people’s diets! Greens (think kale, chard, dandelion greens, and spinach) are high in vitamins A and C, as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and folic acid.

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Recipes

pineapple-banana green smoothie

Summer’s here. So if you haven’t already busted out your blender, what are you waiting for? I enjoy smoothies all year long, but they are particularly refreshing on a hot day. This recipe has a tropical feel; and with just a few ingredients you can whip it up in no time – without breaking a sweat.

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Recipes

kale salad with mango, red onion + pumpkin seeds

We made this salad at last weekend’s ‘Eat Like a Yogi’ event. The Wellness Club at Whole Foods Chicago hosted the event, and Suzanne Ko kicked off the class with a great 45 minute detoxifying practice. After shavasana, when everyone was recharged and ‘zenned out’ we gathered in the kitchen for a light and fresh menu. The recipes were nutrient-dense, energy rich, plant based, and pretty delicious!

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Recipes

cashew ‘cookie’ energy bites

If you have resolved to turn over a new, healthy leaf in 2010, one way to receive maximum benefits with minimal effort is to boost your consumption of leafy greens

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Other

quinoa cakes

The shift to springtime means a change in weather – and a change in appetite. You may have already noticed cravings for lighter, fresher meals – more salads, less stews. This simple recipe is light, filling, and quick to make. You mix up the patties in the same pot you cook the quinoa, leaving you with less dishes to wash and more time to enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

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Recipes

spring carrots with coriander

Despite the summer warmth we’ve enjoyed lately, spring has just begun. Soon, asparagus and ramps will make their market debut and their green presence will officially end the long, gray winter. We started getting into the spring spirit at yesterday’s Vegetarian Feast cooking class. The hands-down favorite recipe were for these roasted carrots.

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Lifestyle

cooking with coconut oil

Olive, grape seed, and coconut are my three recommended cooking oils for a well-stocked natural foods pantry. Olive is great for salad dressings and mediterranean flavor, grape seed is perfect for high heat cooking, and coconut oil lends a buttery taste and imparts a high-dose of health benefits.

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Recipes

superfood smoothie

Sadly, our Natural Foods Boot Camp at Whole Foods Market is almost over! We have had so much fun testing and tasting a variety of Green, Bean, Grain, Drink + Treats recipes. Last week we tackled ‘Juices + Smoothies’ and I wanted to share a recipe from the class.

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Recipes

crunchy chickpeas

If you are looking to tame your potato chip addiction, these crunchy chickpeas are the perfect remedy; they provide the same salty, crunchy fix as chips – without the grease and empty calories. I love that the healthy fat, fiber and protein in the chickpeas makes them a perfect snack that will keep blood sugar levels stables and prevent hunger between meals. They are also great to toss into green or grain salads – they can take the place of croutons!

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Recipes

spiced lentils with mushrooms + chard

I was looking over recipes from last year’s Natural Foods Boot Camp at Whole Foods and was reminded of this lentil dish. I love that this recipe is so simple, uses only a handful of ingredients, and yet is so warming, satisfying, and flavorful

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Recipes

green gulp

You may have brought in the New Year with a champagne flute, but now is the time to trade the bubbly for a glass of green goodness! Green smoothies are all the rage these days; they are a welcome alternative to the usual salad, and are a great way for leafy green haters to get their daily dose.

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Recipes

holiday biscotti

I have long been a fan of homemade holiday gifts, and it doesn’t get much better than fresh baked biscotti. In seasons past, I have baked up large batches of these Italian treats to accompany a great blend of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. I set out to create a ‘healthier’ version for my naturally sweet, gluten-free, and vegan holiday sweets baking class.

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Recipes

roasted brussels sprouts with lemon + grainy mustard

Over the past few years, brussels sprouts have gone from being widely loathed to loved. The tide has definitely turned, and while they are a darling on restaurant menus a plenty, they are so easy for the home cook to master. And cook them you should! These cruciferous veggies (in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower) are great sources of fiber, potassium, calcium and vitamin C.

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Recipes

seasonal soup shooters

Yesterday, I led a private cooking class to kick off the holiday season. It was a small company’s holiday party and I was invited to demonstrate some simple, fresh, and healthful appetizers. With seasonal celebrations looming, now is the time to add some fun recipes to your arsenal that will make you the hit of the party.

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Recipes

sunday morning pancakes

Years ago, when I moved into my first apartment, I splurged on a double griddle pan from Crate & Barrel. It fit snuggly over two burners on my tiny, old, New York City stove; despite filling the kitchen with smoke and sounding the fire alarm with each use, the pan was well loved. I would use the grill side for vegetables, fish, and burgers, and the griddle for Sunday morning pancakes.

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Recipes

caramelized cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower is not only one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables, but also one of my hands down favorite foods. Something magic happens when you mix cauliflower with a little oil and salt and add it to a hot oven; an otherwise bland, boring, flavorless vegetable transforms to being crispy, caramelized, and full of flavor.

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Recipes

sweet breakfast millet

You’ve heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Choose something that will fuel you to breeze through the busiest of schedules. Make a good choice in the morning, and you will feel encouraged to stay on track for lunch and dinner, too.

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Other

super spice

I had a blast teaching a Vegan 101 cooking class at Whole Foods yesterday. In addition to sharing my favorite animal-free recipes with the group, I was also able to address a few nutritional controversies that come up when attempting to substitute meat and dairy with plant based protein alternatives. Specifically, I’m talking about soy.

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Recipes

basic miso soup

If you arelooking to do one thing to prepare for the all too fast arrival of cold and flu season, I would suggest having this recipe in your arsenal. Miso, ginger, kombu, and shitake mushrooms are rich in anti-oxidants and supercharged immunity boosters. If you keep all of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry (I recommend you do!) miso soup is easy to whip up as soon as you begin to feel under the weather.

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Recipes

carrot salad

Looking for a summertime ‘glow’? Swap sunbathing and overexpoure to UV rays for… carrots! Believe it or not, bulking up on orange hued veggies has been linked to a naturally glowing complexion. And if thats not enough, the beta-carotene in carrots aid to tighten and tone tissues to keep you looking forever young.

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Recipes

frozen green tea latte

Beat the heat – and get an energy boost with this frozen green tea. The matcha tea is naturally caffeinated and loaded with chlorophyll which helps oxygenate the blood and energize. Matcha tea packs an antioxidant punch 10-12 times that of traditional green tea as the leaves are ingested, rather than steeped in water.

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Recipes

sweet potato soup

When I was asked by Lindsay at Bump Club Chicago to teach a series of baby food cooking classes at Whole Foods I was really excited. We decided to begin at 4-8 months, then 8-12, 1-2 years, and finally – showing the moms how to create meals for themselves out of basic baby food. The last class, which we called, ‘Double Duty’ was the most fun to create recipes for.

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Lifestyle

winter sustainability

My very first blog post was about a dinner I cooked at Elewa Farm in Lake Forest. A year and a half later, I am happy to report on my most recent visit there with the students in the Center for Conservation Leadership . The program focuses on environmental responsibility and activism, and our morning cooking class addressed how to eat locally, sustainably, and healthfully – in the midst of winter.

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Recipes

comfort food cure: broccoli casserole

For me, broccoli casserole conjures images of sodium-laden canned soup, heaps of cheese, and mushy vegetables. When setting out to create a version for my Comfort Food Curecooking class, I wanted to steer clear of these associations while still staying true to the creamy, savory, and satisfying notes of the traditional dish.

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Other

sesame seed brittle

My friend Carlin discovered this recipe trolling food blogs, and has since been making it to rave reviews. As I am always looking for new inspiration, it didn’t take long for me to whip up a batch. The recipe, as handed down to me, called for almonds, but I kept it strictly seeds.

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Recipes

brown rice risotto – in under 9 minutes

Before picking up Peter Berley’s ‘The Flexitarian Table’ I was clueless about how to create a brown rice risotto. I used to take a traditional approach, and just substite brown rice for the arborio. The problem, besides being time consuming, was that no matter how long I cooked it for, the grain always had an uncooked center.

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Recipes

chia breakfast bowl

What is the best morning meal that is healthy, quick, and will keep you full until lunch? This breakfast bowl is the perfect antidote to your oatmeal rut. Rich in fiber, essential omega-3 fatty acids, and anti-oxidants, its no surprise that chia seeds are being touted as the newest super food. Hemp seeds add an extra boost of protein to start your day off right.

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Recipes

almond butter brownies

This recipe was inspired by a post I saw on Elana’s Pantry for blondies made with almond butter. Elana’s website is a fantastic resource for people with wheat allergies looking for simple, satisfying, sweet (and some savory) recipes.

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Other

spice it up

The holiday excitement has passed, and for those of us living in cold climates, it can seem that spring breezes and sunshine are an awful long ways away. Winter can be a tempting time to hibernate and fall into an eating rut. We begin to crave warm, comforting foods, and if were not careful, we can easily add an extra layer around our waistline.

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Other

comfort food cure

It’s the middle of winter, and its hard to avoid comfort food cravings! Treat yourself with lightened up and natural versions of your favorite ‘forbidden’ foods. Indulge, guilt-free!

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Other

resolution rules

In regards to New Year’s resolutions, people can be divided into three groups: those who succeed, those that fail, and those that want nothing to do them. Regardless of which camp you belong to, this year, approach the subject with an open mind, and perhaps, a new perspective.

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Lifestyle

detox! how to undo the holiday damage

Undo holiday damage and kick start your resolutions! At this wellness workshop with natural foods chef and wellness consultant Amanda Skrip, we will discuss techniques for simple and effective food-based cleanses to help reset your body’s balance. Whether or not you are interested in cleansing, the tips and techniques are applicable to any health goals and will surely help you turn over a new, healthier leaf in 2011.

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Recipes

maple-pecan cookies

With refined sugar and flour lurking around every corner during the holidays, it seems inevitable that cravings kick into high gear. Treat yourself and your loved ones to this naturally sweet, whole grain cookie that will delight even your most sugar-crazed loved ones. To make these gluten-free, use Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten-free oats and oat flou

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Other

vegan cocktail party

I was asked by a friend in New York to help cater her birthday party. Her son has severe dairy allergies, and the family are not big meat eaters, so my friend Carlin and I found ourself planning a vegan menu. As cocktail party fare is usually reliant on meat and cheese, we were forced to think creatively and play on the tastes, textures, and colors of seasonal produce.

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add this vegetarian option to your holiday table – sage white beans with crispy brussels sprouts


Entertaining Is complicated enough on its own; when you start trying to accommodate everyone’s special dietary needs and preferences, it can really start to feel like rocket science. Sure, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s rare that a group of more than 6 people can get together without a slew of food allergies, special diets, and/or eating philosophies.

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the perfect make-ahead summer dish – chickpeas with roasted eggplant, peppers + basil


Stock up on eggplant, peppers, and fresh basil and make this staple salad all summer long. It will become a go-to for bringing to a picnic or BBQ – or simply keeping on hand in your fridge when hunger strikes. I love make ahead recipes that get better and better the longer they sit – and this chickpea dish fits the bill.

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moringa is the new matcha – try it in this mint lemonade recipe


I first heard about it probably a year and a half ago or so when watching a documentary that claimed moringa was a ‘miracle’ food that has incredible high, bioavailable nutrient, minerals, and amino acids. On top of that, it is an excellent supplement to our diets, as the nutrient content in our food supply becomes increasingly diminished.

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