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27 Jul

For the Love of Chocolate

You know those games where you have to name three things you need to have on a desert island? One of my three would have to be dark chocolate! I don’t think I’m alone in this – many people feel the same way. There’s just something about it. Well, science is on our side because this amazing gift from heaven that we call chocolate has been found to be heart-healthy. Yep, a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology says just that.


Turns out, dark chocolate is choc-full of antioxidants that help to boost mood, improve concentration, get blood flow going, and even reduce inflammation. The study says that a single serving of dark chocolate has more prodyanidins than Americans usually get in a day, and these help to block the uptake of bad cholesterol. More good news: The antioxidants in chocolate last longer than they do in other foods. We know green tea is healthy, but the antioxidants degrade with its shelf life. Chocolate bars remain potent for about 4 years, and cocoa beans and powder are good for 75 years.


The darker the chocolate, the better it is for you. Darker chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa solids, which is where the antioxidants are. However, if the chocolate is highly processed, some of the benefits lessen. Dark chocolate also has a lower sugar content, and fewer calories than milk or white chocolate, which are typically mixed with either powdered or condensed milk.


Of course, remember to eat any food, even chocolate, in moderation. Too much of anything is not good, especially when you factor in the calories, sugar, milk and fat added into commercial products. The study recommends a 1-ounce bite a few times per week. Remember that you can also get heart healthy flavonoids with other foods such as apples, tea, citrus fruit, onions and berries.



Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe


(serves 6-8)

  • 7 small sweet potatoes
  • ¾ cup almond milk, or other vegan milk substitute
  • 7 Tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
  • raw cocoa nibs for garnish


Bake the sweet potatoes until soft, then cool and remove the skin.

Place the rest of the ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor until smooth.

Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

Serve in individual cups with a sprinkle of cocoa nibs over the top.



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28 Nov


Gluten free

By: Fresh n’ Lean – the nation’s #1 organic meal delivery company

Easy and healthy gluten free cake, an amazing combination of those amazing, warming flavors of apples, almonds and cinnamon. Perfect to share with family and friends over a cup of tea or coffee, but healthy as it is, one could even enjoy it for breakfast without any sense of guilt.

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients: (6 servings)

  • 2 medium apples
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup almond flakes



  1. Core the apples, remove the peel and cut the flesh in cubes. Toss in a bowl with coconut sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Combine almond flour, oat flour, coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, Greek yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk well until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the bowl with dry ingredients. Combine with a spoon, don’t over mix.
  5. Transfer to a round (about 8” diameter) baking pan greased or lined with baking paper. Add apples on top and press them gently into the dough. Sprinkle almond flakes on top.
  6. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let cool on a cooling rack before slicing.
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03 Jan

Quick Nut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter (or almond butter or cashew butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
-Mix all three ingredients together.  Scoop into Tablespoon, then roll the batter into balls with your hands.
-Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
-Bake 10 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.

For variety, try mixing in chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the batter.  You might also dip the baked cookies in melted chocolate before serving!

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03 Jan


PEANUT CANDY Our two sons are in their 30s now. They were raised as vegetarians and one of their favorite dishes when they were in their pre-school days was a mixture of peanut butter, honey and dry milk. It was easy to make, didn�t require any cooking, they liked it because it tasted sweet and we thought it gave them protein, calcium, etc. Combine peanut butter and honey, about equal amounts, till it is semisolid (just experiment till you get it right). Then mix in dry powdered milk to get the right end consistency. Some cheap brands just clump up. The brand we found that worked best was Sanalac. Then knead by hand at the end and form into long cords and cut into appropriate size pieces. Dump in a bowl & serve. You can adjust the consistency by increasing or decreasing the amount of each ingredient.
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03 Jan

Christmas Punch

50ml brandy
50ml champagne
75ml passion fruit juice
juice of 1 lime
mix it all together
Serve in a long glass

Be careful – it is delicious but carries a “punch”

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03 Jan

Candied Nuts

1 1/2 cups blanched whole nuts
1/2 cup  sugar
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
In a heavy skillet, mix the nuts, sugar and butter.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 6-8 minutes or until the sugar is melted and the nuts are toasted.  Spread the nuts onto a buttered baking sheet or a piece of aluminum foil.  Separate into bite-sized clusters.  Cool.
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03 Jan

Artichoke Orzo

1 cup orzo (cooked according to package directions)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
1 small jar quartered marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup chopped black olives
3 green onions, sliced
-Mix all of the ingredients, including the artichoke marinade.
-Refrigerate until ready to serve, or pack in a plastic container for your picnic!
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03 Jan

Tuna Nicoise Salad

2 heads Boston lettuce, cleaned
1 large can (12 oz) tuna fish
2 hard-cooked eggs, cut into wedges
2 cups steamed green beans
2 cups cubed cooked new potatoes
2 cups tomato wedges
1/2 cup Italian Salad Dressing (or red wine vinegar and olive oil)
-Arrange a bed of Boston lettuce in each plate.
-Top decoratively with tuna, eggs, green beans, potatoes and tomatoes.
-Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
-Drizzle with dressing just before serving.
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03 Jan

Slow Cooker Lunch

  • 1/2 cup mung beans or lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa or basmati rice
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons churna for your dosha
  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • 3 cups of hot water
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ginger and/or garlic to taste
Place all of the contents in a slow cooker.  Cook on “high” for 2 hours or “low” for 4 hours.

As an option, you can cut the recipe in half, saute the spices and vegetables up with the rice and beans for a few minutes, and then put the mixture in a thermos with 2 cups of boiling water.  You can take the thermos to work with you and lunch will be done in about 4 hours!

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03 Jan

Macaroni and Cheese

* 6 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1/4 cup flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
* 3 cups milk
* 1 small onion, grated
* 3/4 pound shredded cheddar cheese (3 cups)
* 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
* 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
In saucepan over medium low heat melt 4 tablespoons butter; blend in flour and seasonings, stirring until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk; cook and stir until thick and smooth. Stir in grated onion and cheese.
Place cooked drained macaroni in a buttered 3-quart casserole. Pour sauce over macaroni and gently mix to blend. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the macaroni. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Macaroni and cheese recipe serves 4 to 6.
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