Things I've learned and recipes tried in my journey to get my health back!!! Here you will find tips, articles and healthy recipes that taste spectacular, yet contain nothing artificial, refined or processed!

Vegan Colcannon

This week we are doing a Gluten Free and Vegan Menu, in an effort to get back on the health wagon. After I started working full time it got harder and harder to stay on track with eating healthy and I am starting to feel the consequences. I convinced hubby to go on this "diet" this week because he wants to lose some weight and I just want that good feeling back from when I was eating healthy before.

Let me tell you, it is not easy going from eating fast food and take out all the time, to planning a weekly menu that is Vegan and GF! Unless you want to eat nothing but soup and salad! My menu this week took me 5 hours to plan because I wanted to find recipes for hubby that would please his palate and hopefully keep him on board with the new "diet". Him being a picky eater, this was no easy task!

Here is one of the recipes that I found, but adjusted to be more interesting. I threw some endives in because I found them at the store and had never had them, in fact I was going through self-checkout and I had to ask the attendant what they were because I had never seen them. Hubby's response "you're buying them and you don't even know what they are???". Ha, I like to try new things. I found they don't have much taste but they lend an interesting texture.

This is not an authentic Irish dish but pretty close. Very filling and delicious! Not 100% healthy but it is vegan and gluten free MEAL. Traditionally served as a side dish.

Add this recipe to your TastyPlanner here.

Prep time: 10 Min. Cook time: 30 Min. Serves: 5

2 Tbsp EVOO

1 ,Onion chopped

1/2 head cabbage

2 Endives, sliced in 1/4 inch thick rings(optional)

6 Red Potatoes, skin on and boiled

1/4 cup earth balance

1/4 cup non-dairy milk

Celtic Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste


Start potatoes boiling in large sauce pan over medium heat.

Chop onions and slice endives.

In a separate pan heat EVOO over medium-low heat until hot.

Add onions and endives and heat until they start to caramelize, adding salt at this stage will help them to sweat and caramelize quicker.

Spread cabbage evenly on top of onion mixture and season to taste with pepper, cover with lid and continue to cook over low heat just until wilted.

Meanwhile, add earth balance and milk to a bowl, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, then add drained potatoes and mash until smooth.

Remove lid and stir cabbage and onion mixture, re-cover and continue to cook until cabbage is crisp tender and brightened.

Remove cabbage mixture from heat and spoon onto a plate, then spoon the potato mixture on top of the cabbage, serve.

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Is canola oil truly healthy?

From what I've read online the answer is a resounding NO. Canola oil is not made from a canola(there is no such thing) its stands for Canada-oil, which is a GMO product and made from Rape seed, which is a bug repellent. For more information check out these articles...

"Here are just a few facts everyone should know before buying anything containing canola. Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up word, from the words "Canada" and "oil". Canola is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada from the Rapeseed Plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants. According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are... toxic to humans and other animals". (This, by the way, is one of the websites singing the praises of the new canola industry.)
Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent. I have been using it (in very diluted form, as per instructions) to kill the aphids on my roses for the last two years. It works very well; it suffocates them. Ask for it at your nursery." Click here for the rest of the article.

And... "It has been very much in vogue in health food circles to praise Canola oil as very healthy oil-high in polyunsaturates, while condemning tropical oils such as coconut or palm oil as being saturated and unhealthy.

The high praise for Canola is propaganda put forth by the Canadian government because "can-ola," a hybridized rape plant, is one of that nation's chief export products. Rapeseed oil contains toxic erucic acid. Canola has much less erucic acid in it.

Health food store operators parrot the hype without checking any facts. Consumers search out various products with Canola oil in them because they believe this is somehow much healthier than other oils. All food grade Canola, including the varieties sold in health food stores, are deodorized from its natural terrible stink with 300 degree F. high-temperature refining. You cannot cook a vegetable oil at that temperature and leave behind anything much edible." click here for the rest of the article

My recommendation for a healthy cooking oils are, Extra Virgin Olive Oil(EVOO), Extra Virgin Coconut Oil(EVCO), or Grapeseed Oil. Having each one of these on hand, you will have an oil for just about anything you want to make. from cookies, to chicken to candy(EVCO is a great replacement for butter in ANY recipe, including homemade fudge, found here)

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Un-tortilla Soup

I came up with my own version of tortilla soup tonight because it was chilly and started to snow so I wanted something with a little bite and that was comforting. This was perfect, just enough bite to warm you up and the sweetness of the cornbread compliments it perfectly. I say un-tortilla because I didnt have tortillas to make the crisps with on hand so that’s where the cornbread comes in.

note: This makes a big pot of soup which is roughly 12 servings, you can freeze the leftovers or use it for a quick healthy lunch throughout the week.

Prep time: 5 Min. Cook time: 60 Min. Serves: 12


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium Sweet Onion

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into 1/2 inch cubes

4 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp Cumin

2 Tbsp smoky paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 large can organic diced stewed tomatoes

6 cup broth, chicken or vegetable or a mix of both

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 cup shredded fresh spinach(for added nutrition and color but optional)

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 lime cut into wedges for garnish


1. put oil in a large stock pot and heat over medium-high until hot. add onions, garlic and chicken and cook until chicken is golden brown.
2. add your spices and continue to cook until fragrant.
3. dump in your tomatoes and broth and stir, simmer over medium heat for 45 mins.
4. add your spinach and cilantro and continue to simmer for an additional 5 mins.
5. ladle soup into a bowl squeeze a lime wedge over the top and serve with a slice of cornbread or cornbread muffin.

alternatively after you brown your chicken, dump all ingredients other than cilantro and lime into a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. when ready to eat garnish with cilantro and fresh lime.

For more great all natural recipes check out this page.

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Moroccan Chicken Stew

This was divine. All of the flavors meld wonderfully. I don't think there was anything missing! This will easily be a new comfort food in our home.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves or 18 ounces chicken tenders, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon hot paprika (or 3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika plus 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
5 cups organic chicken stock
2 medium zucchini
1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
8 sprigs cilantro, chopped

Put the oil in a deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add chicken to the skillet, raise the heat to high, and stir once or twice.
When chicken has browned, add the onion, cumin, ginger, and paprika.
Stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add the stock to the skillet and stir, scraping any bits from the bottom.
Cover and bring to a boil, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim the zucchini and slice in half lengthwise, next cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide half-moons.
When the soup comes to a boil, add the zucchini and the couscous to the skillet, stir, and cover.
Add chickpeas to the skillet.
Cover and let the soup return to a boil, then lower the heat slightly so the soup simmers briskly for 4 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir cilantro into the soup, cook for 1 minute, and serve.

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Healthy Fried Chicken

One thing I didn't want to give up when I decided to get healthy was fried chicken. It has been and always will be one of my favorite comfort foods. So I took my regular recipe and replaced the ingredients with ones that are good for you. This version tastes exactly the same, but I don't have to feel guilty eating it! The reason I cut the breasts in half is because a whole breast is more than one serving, and cutting them this way fools your brain into thinking that it is a whole piece, and you will fill up on it. Plus with the price of chicken these days(unless you find it on sale) it will make it go a lot further when feeding a family!

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts, butterflied all the way through
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Take your breasts and cut them like you're going too butterfly them but cut them all the way through.

Put oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat.

Season each breast with the sea salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate and coat each piece of chicken with flour.

Place each breast in hot pan and fry until golden brown, flip and do the same on the other side. Take out of pan and drain on a paper towel for 5 mins or so. Serve with a healthy side of choice, tonight I think I'll serve it with the curried grilled zucchini found here. and some sweet potatoes!

Servings: 8
10 mins prep
20 mins cooking

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Nectarines with Honey Mustard Dressing

I know it sounds strange but it is soooo yummy. and quite refreshing on a hot day! This can also be tossed with some fresh salad greens for an even more substantial side dish.

1 Firm nectarine, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp unfiltered honey
1/8 tsp minced garlic
Sea Salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste

The nectarine needs to be fairly firm, or it'll turn to mush when you try to cut it up. Don't worry about it being to sour, the dressing makes it sweeter. Place nectarine pieces into a bowl.

In a small cup or bowl mix that last 4 ingredients until well corporated. drizzle on fruit and enjoy!

This recipe serves one person, increase ingredients as needed.

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Curried Grilled Zucchini

A side that I created tonight for dinner. I used to use bottled dressing to marinate it then grill, but it isn’t healthy so wanted a flavorful alternative. This is what I came up with and it is YUMMY! Can easily be doubled or tripled.

Prep time: 1 Min. Cook time: 10 Min. Serves: 2


1 zucchini cut into 8 wedges

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp good quality organic curry powder

sea salt to taste

1/2 tsp turbinado sugar


cut zucchini into 8 wedges.

In a small bowl mix remaining 4 ingredients until well blended. Sugar will not disolve if using turbinado sugar. place zucchini on grill over medium heat, brush on oil mixture. cook until desired doneness(about 10 mins for me) adding more oil mixture every couple of mins.

I had this with NY strip steak, and some sliced strawberries.

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Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Another base recipe tweaked to be healthy. The original called for Splenda, which for one is definitely NOT healthy, and frankly I think tastes like crap. I removed the Splenda and added healthy natural sweeteners. I removed all dairy products and replaced with healthy alternatives. The result is a nutritious sweet you can enjoy anytime!

5 Tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup coconut cream(when cool coconut cream floats to the top of the can of coconut milk)
1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup Turbinado sugar
¼ cup agave nectar
3 eggs
½ cup coconut flour
½ cup unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 F.

1) Melt oil in bowl or 1 quart measuring cup -- you can make the whole recipe in the same container that way.

2)Whisk in cream, salt, vanilla, and sweeteners.

3)Taste. This is the point where you want to get the right amount of sweetener for your taste.

4) Whisk the eggs in and beat until they are well-blended. Add coconut flour and blend well, and finish with the dried coconut. Combine well, and let sit for 5 minutes. The coconut will absorb most of the liquid.

Side note: at this point add the chocolate chips or if you want to make them pretty, save them, and later melt them, then drizzle over cookies.

5) Prepare cookie sheets, either by greasing well, covering with parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat.

6) Drop batter by rounded teaspoons (batter will be about 1½ inches across).

7) Bake for about 12 minutes, until cookies are set and just beginning to brown on bottom.

8) Let cool on pan for about 10 minutes. Remove. When fully cool, store in airtight container.

Makes three dozen cookies.

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Heatlhy Dairy Free and Vegan Smoothies. YUM.

Even my kids love these, and they are packed with healthy ingredients that are very satisfying and provide lasting energy, along with a nice helping of protein!

1/2 cup So Delicious strawberry kefir
1 very ripe banana
1 handful fresh spinach
3 TBS Nutiva hemp seeds
1 tsp agave nectar
1 1/2 cup So Delicious vanilla coconut milk

In a blender(or a large glass using a stick blender)add all ingredients, blend on high for about 1 minute. Pour into a large glass(if using regular blender) and enjoy!

I drink one of these every morning to start my day out right, and it keeps me full well into the afternoon. It's quick and easy to make which makes it very convenient for someone with a busy life. I hope you like this just as much as my kids and I do!

Add it to your tastyplanner here.

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whole wheat chocolate tomato muffins

I came up with this to utilize the TONS of tomatoes I have going bad in my garden. It sounds strange but you can’t even taste them and its a good way to get your veggies in…especially with picky eaters.

Prep time: 10 Min. Cook time: 40 Min. Serves: 24


1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup Cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/4 cup water

1 cup fresh tomato(pureed)

1.5 cups baby carrots peeled

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1 cup agave nectar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup coconut finely shredded

3/4 cup raw nut trail mix with berries(I got mine at vitamin cottage, they contain all organic...cashews, golden raisens, mulberries, pistachios, goji berries and cacao nibs)


preheat oven to 400 degrees.

in a food processor, puree your tomato with skin on and baby carrots, transfer to another bowl.

in same processor add flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. pulse to mix well.

re-add measured tomato puree, agave water, egg and vanilla mix well.

added trail mix and puree again until smooth. add coconut and pulse a few times until blended.

Measure out evenly into muffin cups and bake for 30-40 or until toothpick in center come out clean.

Number of Servings: 24

Recipe tags: baking bake bread muffins wholegrain whole-grain healthy Vegetarian
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