Food & Cooking

herbs are potent inflammation fighters

Inflammation Fighters

Taming inflammation is more than gulping cucumber juice and gobbling turmeric capsules. It’s incorporating inflammation fighters into your daily routine, and passing up the foods that flare an inflammatory response.

Eating Creates Oxidation

Your body is an engine. An engine is a device to convert fuel to energy. But the process is not perfect. As a result, waste results. For example, when a car burn gasoline, it expels exhaust. Likewise, when you burn your food, you create oxidation. That’s normal.

However, having more oxidants than antioxidants in your diet is not normal. Modern processed foods do not contain many antioxidants. So, they leave an excess of “reactive oxidative species” after you have consumed your meal. These ROS instigate inflammation. Hence, convenience foods – especially those containing sugar – are NOT inflammation fighters. If you have too much of them in your diet, your body responds like an old oil-burning truck.

Whole Foods Are Inflammation Fighters

Neutralizing ROS requires vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients (plant chemicals) such as chlorophyll, beta-carotenes, quercetin, and other antioxidants. Often, processing destroys these necessary components to our diet. But eating food in its natural state preserves the synergy from these nutrients so they can interact with each other and our physiology to produce health. Fresh is best. So, of course, fruits and vegetables are going to be an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet. But animal products that contain minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids are important, too.

Five Ways to Add Inflammation Fighters To Your Diet

Don’t limit yourself to a supplement to maintain your health. Consider all the diverse ways of eating inflammation fighters throughout your day:

  • Beverages – Berries, of course, are rich in anti-oxidants, but so cherries. Think outside the box, and enjoy some tart cherry tea in place of your morning smoothie. Or add some unusual leafy greens to the blender when you make your drink. Cilantro is one of my favorites.
  • Seafood – You need Omega 3 fatty acids to quell the inflammatory response. No food is richer in this essential fatty acid than seafood, which includes fish, shellfish, and sea vegetables.
  • Vegetables – Many vegetables are champions when it comes to fighting inflammation, but the leafy greens are perhaps the superstars. So, fill  your plate with them. In addition, hide them in burgers, sauces, hashes, dressings, or any place else where you can chop them and stir them in. I include basil in my list of greens and consider it a great addition to desserts and drinks featuring berries.
  • Herbs – These unsung heroes supply Vitamins A, C, E, and K, which are critical inflammation fighters. Herbs are a delight to liven up boring salads, to add flavor to soups, to create appeal for cooked vegetables, to steep for teas, and to season meats. Not only that, they are inexpensive. You can even grow your own on a windowsill. One powerhouse you might not consider is nettle.
  • Spices – With potent phytonutrients, spices are mighty inflammation fighters. Beyond turmeric, other heroes include cumin, fennel, and ginger. These are easy to add to dry rubs, salad dressings, sauces, soups, stir-fries, sandwiches, and salads.

Inflammation Fighting Recipes

Try the following to expand your repertoire of inflammation fighting foods.

  • Tart Cherry Tea – Steep 1″ thinly sliced ginger root in 2 c. hot water. Strain, then stir in ¼ c. tart cherry juice, 2 Tb. lemon juice & 1 Tb. honey.
  • Cilantro Smoothie – Blend together: 6 Cutie oranges, 6 oz. pineapple juice concentrate, 1 can full fat coconut milk, 1 bunch cilantro, and 1 cup ice.
  • Parsley & Cucumber Salad – Toss 1-2 bunches chopped parsley with 1/2 c. cooked quinoa, 1 bunch sliced green onions, 2 diced tomatoes, 1 diced cucumber, 2 Tb. minced mint, 1 Tb. lemon juice and 2 Tb. olive oil.
  • Nettle & Lentil Soup – To a can of ready-to-serve lentil soup, add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 1 Tb. lemon juice, and ¼ c. dried nettle leaves. Simmer until fragrant.
  • Salmon & Pineapple Skewers – Broil skewers of pineapple, red bell pepper and cubed salmon until meat is no longer translucent. Brush with a glaze of 1 Tb. soy sauce & 2 Tb. honey.
  • Mexican Crab Tostada – On a tostada, layer mashed avocado, crab meat, tomato, jalapeno (optional), and chopped cilantro. Top with salsa and garnish with lime.
  • Monster Burgers – Add ½ c. finely chopped herbs or leafy greens to 1 lb. hamburger. Season & cook as usual.
  • Berry -Basil Smoothie – Blend 1 avocado, 3/4 c. spinach, ¼ c. basil leaves, 1 1/2 c. mixed berries, ½ c. coconut milk, and 1/2 c. water.
  • Ginger Dressing – Whisk together 2/3 c. sesame oil, 1/3 c. rice vinegar, 1 Tb. soy sauce, and 1” of grated ginger. Pour over cooked fish, serve with oriental salad, or dress tropical fruit.
  • Fennel & Cumin Dry Rub – Combine tsp salt, 1 tsp. ground cumin and 1 tsp. ground fennel with ½ tsp. black pepper. Rub onto meats or mix into sausage before browning. To make a sauce for cooked vegetables, omit and salt and mix into 1 c. marinara sauce.
Whole Food Mother's Day Cookies

Mother’s Day Cookies

Show your love for Mom with these whole food cookies that will make her love YOU! These Mother’s Day cookies are deliciously free of inflammatory sugar and gluten. With only a handful of ingredients, they are simple to make, but they turn out so beautifully, that the whole family will think you slaved for hours baking them!

Almond Crisps

Almond Crisp Mother's Day Cookies
Photo Credit: Kristi Jo, (208)242-6148

2 c. almonds

2/3 c. raisins

1 egg

A splash of vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°. Process all ingredients in a high-speed blender or a food processor until smooth. Chill dough. Roll into 18 one-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten to 1/4″ thick with a glass dipped in chopped nuts. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until set and slightly browned.

Cherry Chocolate Chews

Cherry Chocolate Mother's Day Cookies

Photo Credit: Kristi Jo, (208)242-6148

2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

1 c. dried cherries

1 egg

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. salt

3 oz. chocolate bar, 70% cacao

Preheat oven to 325°. Process all ingredients except chocolate bar in a high-speed blender or a food processor until smooth. Chill dough. Roll out on a greased surface to 1/8″ thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set and slightly browned. When cool, ice with melted 70% cacao bar.

low-sugar Easter treats include gummies and chocolates

Low-Sugar Easter Treats

Looking for a healthy alternative to chocolate eggs and marshmallow bunnies? Our Fruit-Filled Chocolates and Raspberry Gummies are satisfying. Make them from stabilizing whole foods that minimize blood sugar surges.  These low-sugar Easter treats even fight inflammation with antioxidant ingredients.

Fruit-Filled Chocolates

3-4 oz. chocolate bar, at least 70% cacao

1/2 c. dried apricots

1/4 tsp. almond flavoring

1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

In a food processor or high-powered blender, process the apricots and almond flavoring with the coconut flakes until a smooth mixture forms that holds its shape when pressed together. Form marble-size balls and set aside.

Break the chocolate bar into 1-2″ pieces. Melt in a microwave-safe container at half power in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until no lumps remain. Chocolate should not be hot! To the touch, it should as warm as body temperature. If warmer than this, set aside to let cool slightly so that you get a nice thick coating on each apricot ball.

Dip each apricot ball in the chocolate, swirling to cover. Then lift out with a fork and place on parchment paper to set. (Either dip the balls in a cool room, less than 70° F., or place in the refrigerator after dipping.) Store in a cool place – if you don’t gobble them up immediately! Makes 18-24 balls.

Nutty Variation: Place a piece of an almond, hazelnut, peanut, pecan, or walnut inside of each apricot ball before dipping.

Berry Burst Variation: Omit the almond flavoring and use dried cranberries in place of the dried apricots.

Reese’s Variation: Use raisins in place of the dried apricots. Substitute 1 tsp. vanilla for the almond flavoring. Swap 1 c. nuts for the unsweetened coconut flakes.

Tootsie Roll Variation: Add 1-2 Tb. cocoa or carob powder to the Reese’s variation. Roll into mini-logs instead of balls. Wrap in waxed paper instead of dipping in chocolate.

Fruit-filled chocolates are low-sugar Easter treats

Antioxidant Raspberry Gummies

2 raspberry or raspberry-hibiscus tea bags

1/2 cup boiling water

1 Tb. honey

2 Tb. unflavored gelatin

Steep the tea bags in boiling water 10 minutes. Remove the bags and stir in the honey. Cool the tea. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cooled tea. Stir just until gelatin is moistened. Let stand 5-10 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and mixture looks grainy. Gently warm the mixture on the stove until all the gelatin is dissolved, stirring intermittently. Spoon into candy molds and refrigerate until set. Makes 18-36 candies, depending on the size of your molds.

raspberry gummies are low-sugar Easter treats

Low-sugar Easter treats will keep you from feeling deprived while others around you gorge on fake foods and end up with a sugar hangover. This year, celebrate Easter without the guilt – and without the inflammation that comes from too much sugar!

Use Roasted chicken & veggies to cook once and eat 6 times

Cook Once; Eat 6 Meals

If you’re going to eat healthy, you need to be able to make home cookin’ as convenient as take-out or fast food. Here’s how to spend just 60 minutes to cook once and eat 6 meals. I call them Mighty Meals.

Prepare the Food

  • Chop many different types of vegetables: some leafy greens, some colors, some sulphurs, and some roots. Prepare enough to feed yourself or your family for several days. A mandolin slicer may be a handy way to do this quickly.
  • Add a protein. Include variety, such as tempeh, tofu, poultry, fish, shellfish, wild game, or traditional meat.
  • Season liberally. You can choose a commercial spice blend such as Mexican, Italian, Chinese, or Cajun, or make your own.
  • Then bake, fry, grill, or slow-cook with a natural fat, such as tallow or coconut oil. To accommodate a large batch, use an Instant Pot, a wok, or a roaster pan.

Now Eat 6 Meals

Take just a portion of this Mighty Meal base entrée mix to make a different meal each day.

  • Fresh off the grill or out of the roasting pan, splash the food with balsamic vinegar and serve.
  • For a teriyaki bowl, scoop some cooked rice into a dish, add your entrée mix, and drizzle with soy sauce, pineapple juice and grated  garlic and ginger root.
  • To make some comfort food, combine the entrée mix with barbecue sauce and ladle onto a baked potato or yam.
  • Soup is easy. Cover the entrée mix with broth. Whisk in some tomato paste, or cream, depending on the type of soup you want.
  • Perhaps you prefer salad. Start with a base of dark leafy greens. Add the entrée mix, and dress with olive oil whisked together with mustard and red wine vinegar.
  • Finally, stuff the leftovers into a pita or wrap. All you need now to complete this is condiments and lettuce.

Who says eating healthy has to be hard? Or boring! With such convenience, why not cook once to eat 6 meals?

P.S. When you work with me, you get the Mighty Meal Menu Planner and the Mighty Meal Mix-&-Match Template for free!


Colored Carbs

Fruits and vegetables are beneficial carbs partly because of their colors. Their rainbow hues indicate precious phytochemicals your body needs for health. So, take a lesson from nature. Remember the colors of the stoplight to stop inflammation and blood sugar imbalances that come from eating white refined carbohydrates. Choose red, yellow, and green colored carbs to replace rice, potatoes, and pasta.

Red Lentils and Tomato – best with beef

The lycopene from the red colored carbs in this dish provides antioxidant protection.

red lentils are colored carbs

  • 1 c. red lentils, washed and drained
  • 2 c. bone broth
  • 2 Tb. coconut oil or red palm oil
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1″ ginger root, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or more to taste

In a small saucepan, combine the lentils and broth. Bring to a simmer. Then reduce heat, cover, and cook until lentils are soft and only a little liquid remains, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the oil over medium heat. Add the seeds. When they sizzle and change color (10-20 seconds), stir in the onion. Saute until onion becomes translucent, 2-3 minutes, then add in the garlic and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low and cook gently to marry the flavors while the lentils finish cooking. Combine the cooked lentils with the tomato mixture. Add salt to taste.

Yellow Plantain Wraps – beautiful with teriyaki chicken

High in fiber and low in glycemic index, these yellow colored carbs help stabilize blood sugars.

plantain tortillas are yellow colored carbs

  • 2  plantains
  • 1 yucca root
  • 2 Tb. coconut oil
  • salt to taste

Peel the plantains by slitting the skin from stem to blossom-end with a sharp knife. Insert your thumbs into the slit and pull the skin back and away from the fruit. Then cut the plantain into 1-2″ pieces. To peel the yucca root, cut the root into quarters lengthwise. Use a paring knife to cut the skin away, including the pink membrane under the woody outer covering. Likewise, cut the yucca root into 1-2″ pieces.

Now, put the plantains in a saucepan covered with water and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Drain and cool. In a high powered blender or food processor, mash the plantain and yucca root with the coconut oil and salt until it is smooth like mashed potatoes. Form 6 balls. Roll each ball between pieces of parchment paper or flatten in a tortilla press to 1/8″ thickness. Cook on a medium high griddle until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Green Lentils with Capers – complimentary to fish

Small but mighty, green lentils are colored carbs that help lower cholesterol.

French lentils are green colored carbs

Photo credit: Romulo Yanes

  • 1 c. French green lentils
  • 4 c. bone broth
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced (white part only)
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 Tb. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 4 oz. capers
  • Salt to taste

Put the lentils to simmer in a saucepan with broth over medium heat for about 40 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender. Meanwhile, saute the leeks in butter. Then add the leeks, lemon juice, tarragon, capers, and salt to the cooked lentils and cook 5 more minutes to marry flavors.



nutrient-rich yogurt bowl

5 Nutrient-Rich Breakfasts

One of the most important steps you can take to balance your blood sugars is to eat a nutrient-rich breakfast. Instead of dashing out the door with a granola bar, or slamming down a bowl of cold cereal, try these family favorites that comfort and nourish simultaneously.

For the Oatmeal Lover: Nutrient-Rich Black Rice Pudding

Nutrient-Rich Black Rice Pudding

For being nutrient-rich, the darkest rice wins the prize. In this soothing and creamy pudding, rice is cooked in coconut milk to increase its healthy fat content, then served with vitamin-packed berries.

  • 1 cup wild or black rice
  • 2 cups water (or sub bone broth for gut-healing protein)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 scoops protein powder (can be reduced if using bone broth)
  • 1/3 c. pure maple syrup
  • Berries and cream for garnish

The night before, simmer rice and water in a rice cooker or covered saucepan on medium heat until water is absorbed, 30-40 minutes. The following morning, add the remaining ingredients and cook until rice begins to break down and the mixture thickens. Garnish and serve. Makes 6 cups.


For the Pancake Lover: Nutrient-Rich Okonomiyaki

nutrient-rich Japanese pancakes

These Japanese pancakes are a delicious way to eat more nutrient-rich vegetables. Basically, you make a pancake batter, add shredded vegetables, fry them, and top them with sriracha mayonnaise, sesame seeds, and green onions.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 Tb. soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 Tb. fish sauce
  • 2 Tb. sesame oil
  • 1 c. whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tb. coconut oil

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. While it is warming, whisk together the eggs, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Next, stir in flour until a thick batter forms. Then add cabbage, carrots, and half of green onions. Lastly, stir until vegetables are evenly coated with batter. Now, pour 3/4 cup batter at a time into the skillet, smoothing with the back of a spoon into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cook until golden brown on the bottom (3-4 minutes, flip and repeat. Serve topped with remaining green onions, sesame seeds, and sriracha mayonnaise.


For The Meat Lover: Nutrient-Rich Vegetable & Sausage Skillet

nutrient-rich skillet of yams, apples and sausages

Photo Credit: Aidells Sausage

Pure comfort food – that’s what I call yams and apples with warm spices, layered with grilled sausages. No one will even think twice about the nutrient-rich greens tossed in. If you make it the night before, and pop it in the oven to heat through when you wake up, it will be ready by the time you are.

  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), baked
  • 1 package Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage
  • 3 apples
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. each ginger and coriander
  • 2 Tb. pure maple syrup
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 c. spinach or kale, cut into fine strips

First, peel and cube sweet potatoes and set aside. Second, slice sausage and cook according to package directions. Third, dice apples and saute in butter with maple syrup and spices. The last minute of cooking, toss the cut greens in with the apples. Finally, combine all ingredients in a covered casserole dish. If desired, refrigerate for use at a later time. An hour before serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake casserole for 45 minutes, or until heated through.


For The Smoothie Lover: Nutrient-Rich Tropical Smoothie

nutrient-rich green smoothie

This pineapple-coconut smoothie supports your blood sugars with protein and natural fat. Additionally, it contains nutrient-rich leafy greens, essential omega 3 fatty acids, and a bitter herb (ginger) to enhance digestion.


  • 1/3 c. frozen pineapple juice concentrate
  • 2/3 c. ice and water
  • 1 c. coconut milk, chilled
  • 2 c. spinach (I freeze mine ahead of time)
  • 1 tsp. grated or minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 2 capsules Omega 3 fish oil

Before blending, slit open the capsules of fish oil and squirt the contents into the blender. Discard the empty capsules. Then add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and frothy. Serve immediately. Serves two.


For the Yogurt Lover: Nutrient-Rich Breakfast Bowl

nutrient-rich yogurt bowl

Chock-full of protein-packed yogurt, beneficial seeds, and antioxidant berries, this powerful nutrient-rich combo will keep you fueled for hours.

Just layer and serve!

If you like these recipes, check out our cookbook!



Big Fat Treat #2: chocolate pops/pudding

Big Fat Treats

If you want to quit sugar, it’s important to “add before you subtract.” In other words, feed your soul and body to avoid deprivation. So, increase the amount of satisfying, wholesome fat you eat, while decreasing the amount of sweeteners you consume. When you increase your fat-to-sugar ratio, you prevent the blood sugar crash that sends you diving for donuts. My clients report that their cravings quit when they eat their Big Fat Treats.

Below are 3 simple Big Fat Treat recipes that you can make in just 5-10 minutes. Healthy fats such as nuts, avocado, and coconut as the basis for these snacks. A little bit goes a long way. Therefore, a few bites will leave you happier than a whole package of Oreos.

Big Fat Treat #1: Fruity Frosty

Fruity Frosty is a Big Fat Treat

photo credit: Mordi Photographie

Blend or process until smooth:

  • 1 c. frozen raspberries
  • whole avocado, peeled & pitted
  • 1 Tb. each lime juice and honey

Eat immediately, or scoop into an ice cream freezer and churn according to manufacturer’s directions.

Winning variations

  • Peach: 1 c. frozen peaches, 1/2 c. coconut milk, and 1 Tb. orange juice concentrate.
  • Cherry: 1 c. frozen cherries, 1/4 c. almond butter, 1 Tb. pomegranate juice plus water for blending.
  • Banana: 1 c. frozen banana slices, 1/4 c. cashew butter, 1 Tb. pure maple syrup, plus milk for blending.


Big Fat Treat #2: Chocolate Pudding/Pops

Big Fat Treat #2: chocolate pops/pudding

Blend or process until smooth:

  • 1 large banana
  • 1 Haas avocado
  • 3-4 oz. bittersweet chocolate bar, 70% cacao, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tb. pure maple syrup, optional

Spoon into cups and refrigerate until serving time, or spoon into molds and freeze for fudgesicles.


Big Fat Treat #3: Ginger Cookies

Ginger Cookies are Big Fat Treat #3

  • 2 c. raw walnuts or pecans*
  • 1 c. dried dates (pitted) or figs*
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 4 Tb. arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

While oven is preheating to 325 degrees, churn nuts and dates in a food processor until they form a smooth paste.* Then, add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Next, form 1″ balls. Place on a greased, sprayed, or parchment-lined baking sheet. Finally, flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Note: If you do not have a food processor, you can substitute 1 cup of nut butter and 1/3 cup honey for the nuts and dates/figs.

Chocolate Round-up Recipes for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Round-Up

Perhaps no treat is more popular at Valentine’s Day than chocolate. And for good reason! Chocolate releases a chemical in the brain called phenylethylamine. This chemical is called the “love drug” because it stimulates that same twittery pulse you feel in a romantic relationship. But because we all need to avoid sugar, here’s your Chocolate Round-up for healthier treat options this Valentine’s Day.

Peppermint Patties

Dr Axe's Homemade Peppermint Patties

They might sound difficult to make, but these homemade peppermint patties from Dr. Axe are quite simple to whip up at home.


Fudge Pops from Mommypotamus

There’s no better way to capture the joy of frosty chocolate creamies  than with this winner from Mommypotamus.

Bliss Balls

Bliss Balls from Healing Family Eats

Here’s a recipe from Healing Family Eats to prove you CAN have a treat without resorting to added sweeteners.


Flourless brownies from Paleo Grubs

Have a pan of mind-blowing flourless brownies from Paleo Grubs in just 30 minutes.

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles from Dr. Jockers

Decadent and rich, the secret ingredient in these creamy delights from Dr. Jockers is avocado.

Hazelnut Fudge

Hazelnut Fudge from Inner Connected Wellness

This is one of my very own recipes. Cocoa powder and carob powder are interchangeable in these simple fudge balls.




Eat more vegetables with cake, pizza, fruit, and pancakes.

Eat More Vegetables

Let’s face it: Vegetables are not exactly comfort food! But we all know we need to eat more of them. Try these 3 easy tips to eat more vegetables in your family.

1. Go Green

Here’s a hint for multiplying your intake: buy a big bag of spinach, arugula, mustard, chard, kale, or other dark leafy variety – even parsley or cilantro. The minute you get home from the store, toss the whole bag in your freezer (trimming stems may be necessary). After it is frozen completely, crumple the bag, breaking up the leaves into tiny bits. Return the bag to your freezer. Then, every time you’re making food, put some frozen green fragments into your dish. This works for stuffed meats and pastas, sauces, soups, smoothies, sandwiches and stir-fries.

The “freeze-your-greens” trick is how I got 3 cups of arugula into 12 ounces of pizza sauce for this segment on the KPVI Morning Show.

2. Sneak in Some Sulphur

When I say sulphur, I mean vegetables from the cruciferous, allium, and mushroom families.

  • Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, kale, spinach, radishes, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, and arugula.
  • Alliums are onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, green onions, and chives
  • Mushrooms go far beyond the button variety. Shiitake, Morel, Maitake, Portabello, and Oyster are a few popular choices.

Because cruciferous vegetables are the hardest to disguise with their sulphur-y taste, I’m going to to show you how easy it is to hide them. I have 4 sneaky ways to add them to your family meals: pancakes, pizza, fruit salad and chocolate cake!

JAPANESE PANCAKES, known as okonomiyaki, are comforting street food. They are a delicious way to eat more vegetables. Basically, you make a pancake batter, add shredded vegetables, fry them, and top them with sriracha mayonnaise, sesame seeds, and green onions. Try this recipe:

Japanese Pancakes are 1 way to eat more vegetables


2 large eggs

1/4 c. water

1 Tb. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1 1/2 Tb. fish sauce

2 Tb. sesame oil

1 c. whole wheat or gluten-free flour

1/2 head cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)

1 carrot, grated

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

2 Tb. coconut oil


Whisk together the eggs, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil. stir in flour until a thick batter forms. Add cabbage, carrots, and half of green onions. Stir until vegetables are evenly coated with batter. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Pour 3/4 cup batter at a time into the skillet, smoothing with the back of a spoon into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cook until golden brown on the bottom (3-4 minutes, flip and repeat. Serve topped with remaining green onions, sesame seeds, and sriracha mayonnaise.

Eat More Vegetables Than That

How about a CHEESE PIZZA, made with 3 whole cups of arugula? Chop your the greens finely (see freezer method above), and stir them into the pizza sauce before spreading it on the crust. Then top with mozzarella and parmesan. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

eat more vegetables with cheese pizza

In this colorful CHICKEN & APPLE SALAD, there are chunks of raw turnip. Because they are white and crisp, they blend right in with the apple. Toss the following ingredients and serve over mixed greens:

chicken apple salad helps you eat more vegetables


2 chicken breasts,  cooked and sliced into strips

4 cups of spring lettuces

1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced

1/2 c. pecans, broken into pieces

1 red apple, diced

1 raw turnip, peeled and diced

1/2 c. dried cranberries

Dressing Ingredients

2/3 c. olive oil

2 Tb. red wine vinegar

2 Tb. apple cider vinegar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tb. Dijon mustard

2 Tb. honey

And Eat More Vegetables Still

Finally, there is CHOCOLATE CAKE Chocolate Covered Katie from . Can you guess the secret ingredient? It’s cauliflower! That’s what makes the cake so moist. But you can’t taste it – even though there’s 4 cups! Here’s how I made it:

have your cake and eat more vegetables


2 c. whole wheat or gluten-free flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

4 Tb. ground flax

1 c. coconut sugar or raw turbinado sugar

2 Chocolove Strong Chocolate, Almond, & Sea Salt bars, broken into 1/4″ bits*

1 Tb. pure vanilla extract

2 14-oz. bags frozen cauliflower, thawed but not cooked

2/3 c. milk (dairy or non-dairy)

1/2 c. butter, melted

Frosting Ingredients

1/2 c. peanut or almond butter

1/3 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tb. milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease  and flour 2 round 8″ cake pans. Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Puree vanilla, cauliflower, milk, and butter in blender until very smooth. Pour into dry ingredients, and stir just until evenly moistened. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes. While cake is baking, whisk together frosting ingredients. Cool cake 15 minutes in pans, then invert onto cooling racks. Ice when completely cool. Store in refrigerator.

*Note: to break chocolate bars, freeze them first, then hit them with a meat mallet.

3. Crank Up the Color

Colors make meals visually appealing. But they taste good, too, and have tons of health benefits. So, you can eat more vegetables and really enjoy them. Choose from as many colors as you can each day! Eat them raw, or eat the grilled, roasted, steamed, or sauteed. Ditch your beige foods and eat a cup of colors every meal!

  • Green: (excluding leafy varieties above) asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, green beans, celery, cucumber, artichoke, Brussels sprouts
  • Red: sweet red peppers, tomatoes, beets, red potatoes (skin on)
  • Yellow/Orange: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yellow peppers
  • Blue/purple: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple onion, purple potato
  • White: parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, cauliflower, garlic, onion, ginger, mushrooms
nutrient-rich skillet of yams, apples and sausages

Holiday Brunch

Christmas comfort food – that’s what I call yams and apples with warm spices, layered with grilled sausages. Make it a few days before your celebration, and pop it in the oven to heat through when you wake up. It will be ready for brunch after your Christmas morning festivities.


2 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), baked

1 package Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage

3 apples

1/4 c. butter

1/2 tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg

1/4 tsp. each ginger and coriander

2 Tb. pure maple syrup

Salt to taste


Peel and cube sweet potatoes and set aside. Slice sausage and cook according to package directions. Dice apples and saute in butter with maple syrup and spices. Combine all ingredients in a covered casserole dish. If desired, refrigerate for use at a later time. An hour before serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake casserole for 45 minutes, or until heated through.