Helping each other keep the momentum of healthy eating & living!

Healthy Mexican Meal

Wholly Guacamole (3-4 servings)

Increase the nutritional value, decrease the fat, and lower the cost, all in one delicious recipe!

1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1 (16 ounce) bag frozen green peas, thawed, blended

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped

4 green onions, sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

Pinch of sea salt


Calabacitas (3-4 servings)

Use this in stuffing your homemade tortillas (below) or top on a bed of brown rice for a delightful meal.

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 small zucchini, diced

1 cup frozen whole kernel corn

1 ½ cup black beans

3 dashes of cumin

½ tsp chili powder (optional)

Pinch sea salt, to taste


Homemade Tortillas (makes 9-12 tortillas)

These tortillas are so easy and delicious, you may never buy them again!  Just stir ingredients together and roll into a large ball.  Cover/wrap and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Roll into golf-ball-sized balls and flatten between two pieces of wax paper- or plastic wrap-covered cutting board on the bottom, and a heavy baking dish or pan on the top.  Press with full body weight until thin, and bake at 350 degrees (no oil, or a small spray!) or pan fry, 5-7 min on each side.

1 ¾  cups masa harina

1 1/8 cups boiling water


Salsa (3-4 servings)

2 cups favorite, in-season tomatoes (e.g. heirloom), chopped

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno (optional)

Taiwan inspiration

One of the weird and wonderful dishes I enjoyed in Taiwan!

One of the weird and wonderful dishes I enjoyed in Taiwan!


I was going through old pictures from last year’s trip to Taiwan with my bestie, and I thought I’d post this picture of one of the weirdest, but most delicious dishes I ate.   In class, we’ve been working with agar, aka agar-agar, aka kanten, lately – which I think was a major ingredient in this particular dish.  You could order meat, or vegetable.  I got vegetable.  They ladled out my serving from a big steamy cauldron that they kept stirring.  Within moments, the mixture gelled in my bowl and I could actually eat this “soup” with chopsticks!  Amazing!  My guess is that they used agar, vegetables, tofu, soy sauce, oil, and various seasonings to create it.  If anyone knows the name, or the recipe, please chime in! I would like to recreate it some day.  I will also do some more research and update my post if I find out more.

Apple Bok Choy Salad

From “Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Strong, and Disease Free” by Joel Fuhrman

Apple Bok Choy Salad


Serves 2


6 cups finely chopped bok choy
1 large apple, cored and shredded or chopped
1 large carrot, shredded or chopped
.5 cup unsweetened almond, hemp or soy milk
.5 cup raw cashews or .25 cup raw cashew butter
.25 cup apple cider vinegar
.25 cup raisins
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Combine bok choy, apple, carrot in a large bowl. Blend almond milk, cashews, vinegar, raisins and mustard in a food processor or high-powered blender. Serve dressing over salad.

Vikki’s modifications: added strawberries and cran-raisins to garnish.

Black Bean Brownies



From “Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Strong, and Disease Free” by Joel Fuhrman

Black Bean Brownie

Makes 16 squares


2 cups cooked black beans
10 Medjool dates or 5 date rolls
2.5 tablespoons raw almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
.5 cup natural, nonalkalized cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds

Combine the black beans, dates, almond butter and vanilla in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. Pour into a very lightly oiled 8″x8″ baking pan. Bake/dehydrate at 200F for 1.5 hours. Cool before cutting into small squares. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Vikki’s modifications: I added about .5 cup of almond milk on the first blend, as my Vitamix had a tough time blending this thick mixture. I also added a dash of cinnamon. Nutmeg could be a welcome addition.

New Study of 11,000 American Children: Drinking low-fat or skim milk is associated with obesity in children

MONDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) — Drinking low-fat or skim milk does not prevent toddlers from gaining excess weight and is actually associated with overweight and obesity in preschool children, a new study finds.

The findings challenge a recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) that all children drink low-fat or skimmed milk after age 2 to reduce their saturated fat intake and avoid excess weight gain.

In the study, researchers gathered data about the milk consumption of 11,000 American children when they were 2 and 4 years old. They were also weighed at both ages.

The number of children who were overweight/obese was 30 percent at age 2 and 32 percent at age 4. Overweight/obese children were more likely to drink skimmed/semi-skimmed milk at age 2 (14 percent) and age 4 (16 percent) than normal weight children (9 percent at age 2 and 13 percent at age 4).

When they analyzed weight gain trends over time, the researchers found no overall differences between children who drank skimmed/semi-skimmed milk and those who drank 2 percent/full-fat milk.

According to the study authors, rather than giving children low-fat milk, parents might be better off using proven weight control measures, such as increasing children’s physical activity levels and consumption of fruits and vegetables, restricting their intake of sugary drinks, and limiting the amount of time they spend in front of the television and computer, the researchers suggested in a journal news release.

SOURCES: Marlo Mittler, M.S., R.D., pediatric & adolescent medicine, Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Peter Richel, M.D., chief of pediatrics, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.; Archives of Disease in Childhood, news release, March 18, 2013

Colorful Carrot and Burdock Kinpira

Colorful Carrot and Burdock Kinpira

Burdock root is a taproot of greater burdock plant, used as a vegetable and medicinal herb. The plant is a short biennial, which believed to be native to Northern Europe and Siberia. In Japan, popular as gobo, it is cultivated as a major root herb since ancient times. However, burdock grows as a wild, easy growing hardy plant almost in any parts of the planet. Burdock roots, young shoots, peeled stalks, and dried seeds contain numerous compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties. Burdock has been used in many folk remedies as one of the best blood purifiers. It contains certain diuretic principles, which help expel toxic products from the blood through urine.

The root is low in calories and a good source of non-starch polysaccharides such as inulin, glucoside-lappin, mucilage, etc., that help act as a laxative. Additionally, inulin acts as prebiotic and helps reduce blood-sugar level, weight and cholesterol levels in the blood. Burdock root is especially containing good amounts of electrolyte potassium—an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. This herb root contains small quantities of many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin-E, and vitamin-C. Both vitamin C and E are powerful natural antioxidants help the human body stave off infections, cancer and neurologic conditions. Furthermore, it also contains some valuable minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium; and small amounts of zinc, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. The herb is employed in the treatment of skin problems such as eczema (dermatitis), psoriasis, skin dryness, etc. The plant parts have been used as an herbal remedy for liver and gall bladder complaints.



2 cups carrot, chopped into fine matchsticks (you can use the orange, purple and/or yellow carrots for this dish)

2 cups burdock, chopped into fine matchsticks

2 cups chopped onions

toasted sesame oil or toasted sesame seeds

fresh ginger


1. Heat a small amount of water over medium-high heat.

2. Add the burdock and sauté for about 4 minutes.

3. Layer the carrot matchsticks over the burdock then add water to fill about halfway up the veg and bring to a boil.

4. Cover and reduce heat to medium low.

5. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then add a few drops of shoyu. Cover and simmer about 3 minutes longer.

6. Mix well, garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh ginger or ginger juice, then serve.

Inspired by Monday’s Balance Menu

Inspired by Monday's Balance Menu

Roasted Vegetable Melange (carrot, rutabaga, parsnip, potato, yam, broccoli with a spritz of olive oil seasoned with sea salt, cracked pepper and summer savory); raw tender baby kale with Lauray’s lemon sesame dressing (doubled the lemon juice and zest); and basmati rice with black soy beans (prepared in pressure cooker with water-sauteed onion, garlic, turmeric, mustard seed, and cumin). Consensus at our house: Yum!