This incredible roasted red pepper + macadamia spread is unbelievably delicious +über-nourishing! It is one of my favorite things to eat and is straight out of my all-time favorite cookbook author’s first book; At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin.

1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, toasted

5 med. red bell peppers, seeded and cut in large pieces

1 med. onion, diced

5 cloves, garlic, chopped

1 red chili, seeded and chopped

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place peppers on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil + toss until the peppers are coated lightly with the oil. Salt + pepper. Make sure peppers aren’t touching each other and roast for 20 minutes. Stir. Roast for another 15-20 minutes or until peppers are soft + beginning to brown. Remove from oven + set aside.

While the peppers roast, warm the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until golden. Stir in chile, garlic + remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Reduce heat and cook for another 10 minutes or until carmelized. Set aside.

Process toasted macadamia nuts in a food processor until small, evenly sized pieces, put nuts in another bowl so you can use the same food processor bowl.

Process peppers and onion mixture + balsamic and pulse until combined. Allow mixture to be a little chunky. Season with salt + pepper to taste. Serve with fresh bread, crackers or raw veggies.  Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.  xxo!

This little bowl of goodness pretty much sums up my philosophy on food + healthy eating!  First of all, I feel anything and everything we put into our bodies should have properties that bring us greater health. If not, what’s the point? Probably short-term satisfaction, which means it is usually at the expense of long-term gain. Therein lies so much information!  The next important factors I consider are taste + beauty!  When you take the time to prepare your food beautifully, it fuels self-love and floods your system with tons of positive energy + vibrations…….a plus for all of us! The reasons why this chia pudding sums up what I feel is important when it comes to health + nutrition is because every ingredient in it has power + purpose in building health within our bodies. Not only is this little bowl healthful, but it is beautiful + delicious.  I love having to research and dig for the not so common ingredients that seem like the more obscure they are, the greater their power! Then, combining them in ways that taste amazing and make a spectacular presentation! Sourcing ingredients, researching + bringing them all together in a gorgeous, tasty, practically medicinal meal is pure joy! This chia pudding encompasses all of that! I don’t come up with this all on my own, obviously! Some of my greatest inspiration comes from leaders in integrative + functional medicine, as well as, whole foods chefs.  One of my all-time favorites is Amy Chaplin at I would have never thought of the bee pollen + dried raspberry topping if it were not for her amazing cookbooks!  I was so excited about her newest cookbook that just came out a few months ago, that I accidentally ordered two! I was so surprised and a tiny bit embarrassed when the second one arrived, mostly for making a mistake in ordering the same book twice. But, I did my best to laugh it off, look at the reality of how much I had been anticipating the release of another Amy Chaplin cookbook and then savored how great it felt gifting it to a really special friend.  That took effort, but was so much better than beating myself up over it!

This stunning blue-green spirulina is disease fighting, immune strengthening + all around nature’s medicine without the harmful side-effects that are part of all man-made pharmaceuticals!  Our bodies know just how to utilize natural, whole foods to heal + strengthen for optimal health!  Some of the most exciting properties of blue-green spirulina is that it revs up the action of white blood cells and increases the action of our natural killer cells, while enhancing antibody function!  Wow + wow!  It contains ten times the beta carotene as carrots, and it’s rich in protein, iron + trace minerals!  Plus it’s a stunning shade of blue. Even without the blue-green spirulina, this chia pudding makes for a powerful snack or breakfast, or even a stand in for a super healthy dessert! My preferred brand of blue-green spirulina is this one: Here’s why….before anything, I start with making a batch of homemade cashew milk, which I have a short video of how to make cashew milk here on my website.  Cashews are a great source of magnesium, which many of us are deficient in if we are among the masses who aren’t really thinking about how what they eat affects their body.  Also, healthy fats are nourishing to our systems and help to keep our bodies in good working order!  They are hydrating, feed our skin and support healthy heart function!  And, nut milks are a way better choice over the highly inflammatory cow’s milk!  Plus, cashew milk’s creaminess makes this chia pudding seem more like a fancy dessert than health food! Did you know chia seeds have five times the calcium of cow’s milk?! Yasss! They give us energy that lasts + they are anti-inflammatory which helps prevent illnesses and disease. And, amazingly, chia seeds are a complete protein!  It is no wonder the Aztec’s + Mayan’s regarded them as sacred!  We all should too!  Click this link to purchase my fav brand of chia:

Coconut manna is one of the other main ingredients in this chia pudding, even though there is just a small amount.  What is coconut manna, you may ask……it’s simply purèed whole coconut.  When cooking with whole foods, I’ve noticed even the smallest amount of an ingredient can have a huge impact on the nutrient values. The coconut not only ups the yumminess of this pudding, but it is also anti-inflammatory, fights bacteria, yeasts, viruses and super charges the liver’s detox powers, which fuels our energy stores in how it is metabolized in the liver!  Purchase my fav brand of coconut manna here:

Every ingredient in this pudding has specific properties to fight free-radicals, inflammation and other things that cause disease but just as important, these ingredients strengthen our immunity, create health + nourish our bodies in a way only pure, whole foods as close to their natural source in nature can.  To add to the beauty and potency, my favorite topping is bee pollen + crushed dried raspberries!  Another is  toasted pecans + bananas! The possibilities are endless!   I hope you will try it! The recipe is here cashew chia pudding  You may even consider it your favorite non-dessert, dessert of all time!!  xxo!

1  lb dry black beans

1  onion, chopped fine

3   cloves garlic

4  cups filtered water

1   bay leaf

3  T New Mexico City Chile Powder

2  T cumin


Warm olive oil, ghee or refined coconut oil and add onion + jalapeño until softened.  Add garlic and stir for a minute or two.  Add spices and bay leaf, then water and beans.  Simmer for two to several hours covered.  

Test a couple of beans.  If soft,  remove lid from pot and simmer until most of the water covering the beans has boiled off.  

For black bean soup,  allow beans some time to cool and blend in batches in a Vitamix or other high speed blender.  Return to the pot and add more spices, salt + pepper to taste.  Garnish with cilantro, Cholula, toasted tortilla strips + avocado!

Breakfast cookie bliss?!  It sounds a little crazy to hear the words breakfast and cookie in the same sentence, right?  But, in fact, it is not!  It is so smart!  I’ll admit, most of us may love the idea of cookies for breakfast, but then we hear our voice of reason whisper; “you can’t have that” and the idea gets banished before the first bite!  Not any more…..these breakfast cookies, you can have and feel energized, happy and satisfied until lunchtime arrives.

Early morning before school is typically a pretty rushed time and a bit stressful all around the world.  Parents are trying to get their children to eat something that will allow them to concentrate on their schoolwork for a few hours, get dressed and make it to school on time.  The catch is finding something to feed them that they will like and will carry them all the way to lunch. There are more than enough unhealthy breakfast options available which may only get them through a couple hours of school before they are hungry and having a tough time concentrating.  Then, there are very few healthy options which are also quick, portable and tasty.  That’s where these breakfast cookies come in!  You can make the dough whenever it is convenient for you, bake the cookies the night before or that morning if you have twenty extra minutes to spare.  These breakfast cookies can be slipped into a wax paper bag or folded in a paper napkin and eaten on the front steps while waiting for the school bus or in the car on the way to school……and sometimes at the kitchen table with a cold glass of milk when things have just gone right and everyone has a little extra time.  This works for busy and rushed adults too!

 There is one caveat though.  My kiddos have a tough time with the raspberries, so I make half of the batch without rolling the dough in freeze-dried raspberries for them.  I feel like my boy’s palates have reverted back to their less mature selves…hopefully, it is just a teenager phase!  Since this recipe is the sprouted oat and chocolate chip cookie recipe found in one of my earlier posts, it is super adaptable to really picky eaters and those desiring something a bit more gourmet.  

Hop on over to my recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies here; make a batch and then roll each ball of dough in a bowl of crushed up freeze-dried raspberries.  I found Natierra organic raspberries  or Amazon or at Whole Foods Market.  Since they are freeze-dried, they are nutrient-packed, crazy yum + amazing in granola, salads, muffins and pretty much any where you would love to add raspberries.  I hope you love them! xxo!  

 Roasted Cauliflower

1     head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/2 t cumin 

1/2 t Williams-Sonoma Mexico City chile powder

4    T olive oil

Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

1    small container 5% Greek yogurt

1/2 chipotle pepper from a can, chopped fine + mashed

1    garlic clove, minced

1    t lime juice

1    t olive oil

1    t honey

salt to taste


1    avocado, sliced

1    lime, sliced

freshly washed cilantro sprigs

package of chickpea flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange the cauliflower florets, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin and chile powder. Toss until evenly coated with oil & spices. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through.

For the chipotle yogurt sauce, in a bowl, combine the yogurt, chipotle, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, honey & salt. Whisk briskly until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Taste & adjust the seasonings.

Warm the tortillas in a small, non-stick skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Fill each tortilla with a little sauce, cauliflower, avocado, cilantro + lime juice. Enjoy!

1    head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

1/8 C  coconut oil, melted

1/2  t  sweet smoked paprika

1/8   t  cayenne

1/2   pkg  bucatini

2      T  extra-virgin olive oil

2       cloves garlic, minced

1/2   t  red chile flakes

1/4   C  grated pecorino cheese

2       T  Italian parsley, chopped

salt + pepper

Roast the cauliflower 

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets with the melted coconut oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt + pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, turning the florets halfway through.

Cook the bucatini according to package directions, drain and set aside covered,in the collandar set over the cooking pot.  

Saute garlic until softened, add red pepper, bucatini, pecorino and a little pasta water.  Toss to combine.  Add pasta and cauliflower, gently swirling and combining.  In separate bowls, swirl pasta mixture in bowls and add a few extra cauliflower florets.  Garnish with a little extra pecorino and chopped Italian parsley. 


1        handful spinach

1          leaf kale + swiss chard

2        cups purified water

1/2    cucumber

1/2    avocado

1        orange, peeled

1/2    inch piece of ginger

1/2    teaspoon tumeric

1/4    teaspoon spirulina

5        tablets chlorella

2       teaspoons matcha

1       tablespoon bee pollen

1       tablespoon chia

1       tablespoon maca

3      tablets broken cell wall chlorella

Toss all of the ingredients into a blender container with at least a cup of ice, more ice if you prefer your drink really cold….I do!  If it is too thick, add more water or ice.  If you want it a bit more sweet, add another orange or a little honey.   Enjoy!  xxo!

Here are the links to purchase the ingredients!



gelatinized maca


bee pollen


This is probably my most favorite thing to make and have on hand at all times because it elevates any meal to gourmet status almost instantly with minimal effort. With an abundance of home grown tomatoes from our CSA delivery, I almost cannot resist preparing them without this pesto.  It’s like wow, all of these incredible flavors bursting in your mouth…….a treat for the mind as well as the body.  All it takes is a generous cup of basil, another cup of arugula, zest from one lemon, one clove of garlic and three tablespoons of toasted nuts, a little salt and squeeze of lemon juice.  Oh, and the best olive oil you can get your hands on.  So simple, it’s hard to believe such complexity of flavor can come from just these few ingredients.  

To make it, toast your favorite nuts in the oven or a dry skillet first until they begin to turn a shade darker and you smell their yummy, toasty aroma.  Allow the nuts to cool while you gather the other ingredients.  Toss washed basil and arugula into the bowl of a food processor, zest a lemon over it, roughly chop a clove of garlic and toss it in too.  Have a quarter of a cup of extra virgin olive oil ready to go.  Add a bit of salt and squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and follow with the cooled nuts.  Put the top on and give it a whir.  Now, pour the olive oil into the top opening of the food processor with it running.  You might need to stop it and scrape down the sides a couple of times, but keep going until everything is tiny in size and uniform.  Pack it in a beautiful little glass jar!  It will keep in the fridge for a week, but I promise it won’t last that long!  Enjoy!  xxo! 

This yummy smoothie is a slam-dunk for those kiddos afraid of green drinks….adults too!

2    C   fresh almond milk (or your fav)

2    T   chia seeds

3    T   cacao powder

2.5 T  almond butter

1 tsp  vanilla extract-optional

1        handful of spinach

1/4     avocado or 1/8 C plain yogurt

5       pitted dates

1-2 C ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender for one minute or until ice is completely broken down.  Taste.  Is it sweet enough?  Is it cold enough?  If not, add a few more dates or honey and/or ice.  Enjoy!

In an effort to help my twin sister who has to assemble four lunches for her children every school day, I came up with three of the most nutritious options for trail mixes I could think of, taking into consideration each of their preferences. Two of the girls love fruit, so I mixed nuts, fruit and the chocolate chips for them.  Her only boy likes straight forward and simple.   So, for him, I did almonds, peanuts and chocolate chips.  Girl number three wanted everything but the fruit. Easy!  I will do anything for these kiddos….I call them the fantastic four and I am the very proud founder of their official fan club!

I started this little experiment with raw nuts from the bulk section of Whole Foods.  I also picked up some dried papaya, pineapple, wild blueberries and cranberries.  Oh, and dark chocolate chips!   All of the nuts went onto two large pans and into the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.  While the nuts toasted, I sliced the papaya and pineapple into little pieces and set them aside.  Then, after the nuts were toasted and cooled I started assembly. Tons of nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants without all of the added and probably rancid oils present in most packaged trail mixes and packaged nuts!   Read more