Vanilla Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 4


1 can full fat coconut milk (Native Forest brand uses BPA free cans)

3 Tablespoons maple syrup 
(I always use Grade B, but Grade A is fine)

1 Tablespoon alcohol free (glycerine) vanilla extract
 (I use Frontier Organics)

1/3 cup chia seeds – high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids

1/2 cup berries for garnish

 Open can of coconut milk, and scrape all contents into bowl.  Add maple syrup and vanilla extract, and whisk together until very smooth.  Stir in chia seeds.  Divide mixture evenly between 4 or more glasses depending on size of glass.

Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Garnish with berries, and serve.

If making pudding ahead of time, cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator.  Set pudding out for 15 minutes before serving.  Best if eaten within 24 hours.




Honey-Balsamic Bean Salad

8 oz  (about 1 1/2 cups) EACH cooked chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans (BPA-free canned beans such as Eden Organics are fine)

2 cups green beans, blanched, and halved

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional, but delicious)

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons runny honey

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

10 sprigs fresh thyme

Boil salted water and blanch beans for 2 minutes.  Pour blanched beans into an ice bath to stop cooking.  Combine the beans and green beans in a large salad bowl, and set aside. Make the dressing by whisking the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt in a small container.

Run your fingers up each thyme sprig, removing the leaves. Add to the salad bowl along with a good amount of the dressing. Toss well, and add more dressing if you like. Finish by sprinkling with the toasted almonds.

Serves 4- 6.

Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 10 min

Adapted from



Simple Tapioca Vanilla Custard

Serves 4.

½ cup raw cashews

1 ½ cups water

½ cup maple syrup (amount can be reduced to taste)

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla extract

1 ½ Tablespoons instant (minute) tapioca (I use Let’s Do Organic brand Granulated Tapioca)

Place the cashews in a blender or food processor and process until powdered.  Add water and process again until mixture becomes a smooth, milk like consistency.  Add the maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla.  Process until well blended.

Pour cashew mixture into a medium saucepan, add tapioca, and whisk to blend.  Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, constantly stirring with a whisk.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer until thickened and the tapioca balls look transparent.

Pour into ramekins and refrigerate until cool.  Garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves.



Zesty Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well through strainer

1 ¾ cup water

pinch of sea salt


2-3 carrots, peeled and diced

½-1 whole red pepper, diced

2-3 large leaves of curly kale, stems removed, chopped small

10 small green olives, with anchovy (or plain green olives)

6-10 artichokes hearts in water, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

½ pound shitake or button mushrooms, sautéed briefly in 1 Tbs. olive oil



1 Tablespoon lemon zest

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon


1.     Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under warm running water.  Place rinsed quinoa into a medium saucepan with water and a pinch of sea salt.  Cover and bring to a boil, then turn to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.  Check to make sure water is absorbed.  Once bottom of pan is dry and all water is absorbed, turn off heat, place a paper towel under the lid and let stand for 5-10 minutes before removing from pan.

2.     Place cooked quinoa in a bowl to cool.

3.     Once cool, add the salad ingredients.

4.     Whisk dressing ingredients together to combine, and pour over salad.

5.     Toss well.
You can use anything you have on hand that sounds good to you:  celery, toasted pine nuts, black or white beans, raisins, apple juice sweetened cranberries.  You can substitute the kale for parsley, spinach, baby kale or any other dark leafy green.  Be creative.  The variations are endless!

Recipe created by Barbara Villano, a fabulous cook and friend.  I’ll eat anything she makes.  It’s always delicious.



Thai Asparagus Soup

Serves 6-8

 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

pounds asparagus

 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 
cups coconut milk or 1 can full fat coconut milk (Native Forest brand)

 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 2-inch piece of lemongrass or 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

tablespoons finely chopped ginger

teaspoon fresh lemon juice


1.            Trim ends of asparagus, and cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

2.            Cook onion in 2 tablespoons oil in a 6-8 quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring until softened, about 10 minutes.

3.            Add lemongrass (or lemon peel) and ginger and continue cooking until vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes.

4.            Add asparagus pieces, salt and pepper, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.

5.            Add coconut milk and 5 cups of broth. Simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender, about 15 minutes.

6.            If using, remove lemongrass and discard before pureeing.

7.             Puree soup in batches in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.  If using a blender, transfer soup to bowl between batches.  Use caution when blending hot liquids.  After all soup is blended, return to pot.

8.            Add lemon juice, and serve with a garnish of chives, Thai basil, or a swirl of coconut cream. Soup may be prepared a day in advance. If making ahead, add the lemon juice after reheating.

Inspired by


Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Segersten and Malterre

I love this recipe, and have made it many, many times.  I always make it for my classes, and the students rave about it.  You absolutely won’t be disappointed, and I guarantee it will become a staple in your life, too!

Serves 6 to 8


2 cups quinoa

3 ½ cups water

¼ teaspoon sea salt


2 BPA free cans cannellini beans

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 jar artichoke hearts in water, cut into quarters

½ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes (olive oil packed, sulfur dioxide free)

4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds



1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tb. red wine vinegar

4 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon lemon zest

½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under warm running water (don’t skip this step :)!). Place rinsed quinoa into a medium saucepan with the water and sea salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn to a low simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Pan will be dry at the bottom. Place quinoa in large bowl, fluff with fork, and allow to cool completely.
  2. Add the cooked white beans, chopped carrots, cut artichoke hearts, olives, chopped sundried tomatoes, baby spinach, chopped basil, and roasted pumpkin seeds.
  3. To make the dressing, place all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and mix thoroughly with a large spoon.
  4. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate.

Note: Can be made 12 hours in advance. If making in advance, reserve pumpkin seeds and add just before serving.



Hearty Breakfast Smoothie

1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk

1/2 banana, frozen or fresh

1 heaping cup of frozen berries (or any frozen fruit you love)

2 large handfuls of baby kale, baby spinach, baby chard or a mix

1 pitted medjool date (optional)

1 heaping Tablespoon of almond butter or 2 Tablespoons of hemp seeds

Add liquids to blender first.  Then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.


Simple Spring Green Smoothie

2 cups water

½ lemon, juiced

1 banana, frozen or fresh

1 honeycrisp, fuji, or granny smith apple, cored

1 inch chunk of ginger, peeled

3 large handfuls of spinach or baby kale

ice (optional)*

Add liquids to blender first.  Then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

*I like my smoothies cold.  If I’m not using frozen berries or other frozen fruit, I’ll add 3-4 cubes of ice to blender.  You can adjust this to your taste.



Banana Soft Serve

2  bananas (or more), ripe, peeled, and frozen (always peel before freezing), cut into 2 inch chunks

1/2 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract or almond extract (optional)

¼ cup unsweetened almond, hemp, coconut, or cashew milk (optional)

Add pieces of banana to food processor or high powered blender.  Process until a very smooth, rich consistency is reached.  You may have to pulse the food processor, stop and stir the banana pieces, and/or add some unsweetened non-dairy milk.  Once the food processor is running smoothly, process until the bananas form an ice cream like texture.

Add (optional) vanilla extract and process to combine.  I think it tastes great without the vanilla extract, but experiment!

Serve plain or garnished with chopped nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, sliced strawberries, whole blueberries or raspberries.  Enjoy!


Sautéed Kale

1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1-2 Tablespoons water if necessary

Sea salt


Heat pan on stove over medium heat.  Add olive oil and allow to coat pan.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add minced garlic.  Sauté until garlic is soft, but not brown (about 1 minute).  Add chopped kale and stir to coat with oil and garlic.  Add water if garlic or kale sticks to bottom of pan.  Add sea salt to taste.