Saturday, January 16, 2010

Garlicky Nutty Spinach Salad

Spinach contains magnesium, a mineral with calming effects, and folic acid, which can help prevent depression. So eat your spinach and get happy!


  • 6 oz (or one bag) organic spinach, washed and de-stemmed

  • 1 head garlic (yep, a whole head - that's about 10 cloves)

  • 1 cup pine nuts

  • vegetarian/imitation bacon bits to taste (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 TBS coconut oil (for roasting garlic)

  • for dressing, mix together:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of one lemon)


  • Roast garlic. Place whole, unpeeled head of garlic in ceramic dish and drizzle with cooking oil. Place in 250 degree oven for 15-20 mins. - or until your entire house smells like garlic. I know your grandma roasted garlic by wrapping it in aluminum foil, but don't you do it. Garlic comes in its own wrapper - perfect for roasting - as is. No need to wrap it in anything.

  • Reserve 1 or 2 cloves of RAW garlic - Do not roast.

  • Toast pine nuts (either on the stove, in a non-stick pan, or by placing them in with the garlic) until golden-brown.

  • Place washed spinach into serving bowl.

  • When garlic is soft, remove from oven and let it cool a bit. Then, squeeze softened cloves out of their skins, onto spinach. (I've burned my fingers many times doing this - so observe the "let it cool" part.)

  • Sprinkle still-warm pine nuts onto spinach (if they wilt the spinach a bit, all the better.)

  • Add imitation bacon bits (or okay, the real thing, if you MUST.)

  • Add olive oil-lemon dressing, the reserved raw garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

  • Serve immediately, and eat it ALL. (It doesn't save well.)

Garlic Facts:

  • Studies show that people who eat garlic regularly have a lower rate of stomach and colon cancer.

  • Garlic has been proven to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.

  • Eleanor Roosevelt attributed her excellent memory to eating three cloves of garlic per day. (Nobody said it'd make you beautiful - just smart.)

  • Garlic is a nervine (calming agent.)

  • Garlic kills yeast, fungus, and bacteria.

  • Eating lemon eliminates garlic breath.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Curry in a Hurry


  • 2TBS coconut oil
  • 2 TBS curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 red onion (chopped into 1/2" pieces)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 16 oz. firm tofu (chopped into 1" pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cup apple juice
  • veggies of your choice, all diced:
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 zuchinni
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 red pepper


  • Saute onion and garlic in large stock pot until onion is translucent.
  • Meanwhile, pan-sear tofu separately (for a minute or two - just to add firmness.)
  • Add curry powder and cinnamon to onion garlic mixture and continue to saute 1 min more.
  • Add apple juice.
  • Add veggies, tofu and raisins.
  • Cover pot and simmer for 25 mins, or until veggies are tender.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Turmeric/Ginger Mix: The Cold Killer

I love this little concoction. It's easy (well except for the ginger-peeling part), tasty and makes you feel like you're doing something soooo good for your body.

There are tons of claims about the benefits of both turmeric and ginger. Some people say turmeric kills bacteria and fungus, eliminates boils, reduces inflmation - and even kills cancer cells. Ginger is supposed to help with digestion and respiration and reduce cold symptoms.

Pineapple contains bromelain which is a digestive enzyme that some say reduces inflamation and clears the sinuses.

Put them together, and this snack is one powerful little cold-killer!

  • 1/2 cup pineapple (preferably fresh, but if you can't find it, use organic canned)

  • 1-2 inch section of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine, in food processor

  • 1-2 TBS turmeric


  • Mix together and feel the burn! (You might want to add the ginger incrementally, until you develop a tolerance for the ginger burn. I love it, but then I'm kind of a nut.)

Friday, January 8, 2010


Based on a recipe from one of the first cookbooks I ever owned, "The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American" (from back in the '80s) here is an easy, tasty way to eat your greens. It's also a great excuse to visit your local farmer's market. There are a bunch in LA; two of my favorites are Gigi's Market at The Americana (in Glendale) and the Montrose Harvest Market.

  • 2-4 TBS cooking oil of your choice (make sure you choose an oil that tolerates high heat)

  • 2-3 fresh chopped tomatoes (or canned, if out of season)

  • several cloves of crushed garlic (to taste - I won't even tell you how many I use)

  • combination of greens (cleaned, de-stemmed and chopped), e.g. mustard greens, spinach, kale


  • Saute garlic in oil in large covered pot until slightly browned.

  • Reduce heat and add greens and tomatoes.

  • Cover pot and simmer (briefly) until greens are wilted.

  • Season with sea salt.

  • Optional: add one clove of crushed RAW garlic.

  • Optional: red pepper flakes or tabasco if you like things hot.

Rice Pasta Primavera

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 zucchini

  • 1 cup green beans

  • 1 handful flatleaf parsley

  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes (peeled and chopped)

  • 2 TBS coconut oil

  • 1 cup frozen organic peas

  • 3 cups rice penne

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • shaved parmesan to taste


  • Boil rice pasta.

  • Turn on the TV. I'm not kidding. There's some prep to do, and it's easier to do in front of the TV. So put on AC 360, put your cutting board and veggies on your lap and think of the veggie chopping as meditation. Think about how much Anderson Cooper would enjoy your rice pasta primavera.

  • Chop all veggies into bite-sized pieces.

  • De-stem parsley and chop it in food processor.

  • Heat coconut oil in nonstick pan, add carrots, zucchini, green beans, and peas.

  • Cover and simmer for 20 mins.

  • Get back to watching Anderson.

  • Drain pasta when tender.

  • When veggies are cooked, add tomatoes and parsley to pan and heat through.

  • Add pasta to cooked veggies, add raw garlic (cause it kills the bad stuff!) and parmesan to taste.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sugar is Heroin

Okay not REALLY, but...

Have you ever seen Oprah when she's doing one of her "favorite things" shows, and talking about her favorite cookie or cupcake? She's enraptured. You can almost see her pulse quicken. Now I LOVE Oprah, but her reaction to the very thought of sugar entering her body reminds me of Kate Moss on the cover of Vanity Fair.

I would like to challenge you you (and Oprah) to give up ALL FORMS OF sugar for 3 days. That's long enough to break the addiction. And then, notice how you feel (or DON'T feel) when you look at a cookie.

Trouble is, most people don't ever try to ELIMINATE sugar - they try to REDUCE it. That has never worked for me. ANY sugar sets up a craving for MORE sugar. But eliminate it totally and you're free, free, free! Hemp protein helps, and so do greens powders and peppermint tea.

Now, if someone would only tell Oprah...


I try not to starve myself or think of myself as "on a diet." Deprivation leads to binging, then guilt, then starving, and back to binging... Better to stay off the wheel in the first place.

One way to avoid the deprivation/pig out cycle is to simply NOT BUY anything that you don't want to put into your body. (You can TRY to tell yourself that you're "only buying it for your husband and kids" - but yourself will probably be onto you.)

Another way to keep from feeling deprived is to snack. I try to always have some healthy choices in my fridge or cupboard that I can grab fast, to stave off hunger.

Snacks I like to have around include:

  • raw veggies (chopped into bit-sized pieces)
  • yummy but not sugary stuff to dip veggies in (plain yogurt with fresh dill, hummus, etc.)
  • celery with unsweetened almond butter spread
  • individually-wrapped slices of veggie cheese
  • nuts
  • canned pitted olives stuffed with whatever you like - e.g. raw garlic or macadamia nuts
  • gluten-free crackers with salsa
  • apples slices drizzled with lemon and a few slices of cheddar

Hemp Protein: The Cravings Killer

Nope, it doesn't get you high.

Hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana, but it's not a hallucinogenic. So go ahead and pack it in your carry-on luggage without worrying about airport security; the drug-sniffing dogs will ignore you.

I try to start every day with hemp protein, (although sometimes I just don't feel like it - progress, not perfection.)

There a several brands of hemp protein powder on the market; I get whatever's on sale at Whole Foods. I mix 2-4 TBS of the powder into a glass of unsweetened almond milk, then add 1-2 TBS of greens powder and stir, stir, stir.

It's not the best-tasting thing in the world, but it really works to stop cravings throughout the day, which helps you make better food choices. And, when I drink it regularly, I just feel better.

When I skip a few days, I can feel the difference. The texture of my skin feels rougher, and I'm hungrier.

There are ways to make it taste really good, but they take longer, so I don't bother anymore. BUT if you wanna take baby steps, you can start out with a hemp shake. Put in a blender:

  • 1 banana (preferably frozen - I keep a bag of peeled bananas in my freezer for smoothies)

  • 5-6 frozen organic strawberries

  • 8 oz cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or chocolate)

  • 2-4 TBS hemp protein

  • 1-2 TBS greens powder (chocolate flavored makes it all much easier!)

  • handful of walnuts or sunflower seeds, if you want

It's yummy, but a pain in the butt to make, and I hate washing out the blender every day. But, if it makes you a hemp-believer like me, it might be worth the effort. And after a while, you might lose the banana, strawberries and blender. I really think you'll feel the difference in a day.

Apple's Favorite Cabbage Soup

I named this one after Lyn Ribisi's dog, Apple, who licked both our bowls the other day when we finished our yummy soup.


  • 1 apple (and one dog NAMED Apple)
  • 1 head cabbage (green or white)
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • handful of fresh flatleaf parsley - chopped fine (in food processor)
  • 6 cups veggie broth/stock
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • coconut oil
  • 1 lemon


  • Saute the onion and carrot (chopped) in 2 TBS coconut oil until onion is soft.
  • Throw in the head of cabbage, turnip, and apple (chopped in bite sized pieces.)

  • Add veggie broth and parsley.

  • Simmer (cover with lid, low heat) until veggies are cooked.

  • Add juice of 1 lemon.
  • Garnish with a dollop of yogurt before serving.

I didn't include a photo of this one cause frankly, it ain't pretty. Hey, you can't have everything. So, you get a pic of moi, instead.

Quick Easy Stir Fry

  • Coconut oil

  • Tons (yep, that's an exact measurement) of chopped garlic and chopped fresh ginger (or to taste)

  • Fresh organic veggies (whichever you like, or have handy - I used green beans and snow peas)

  • Asian veggies (canned): water chestnuts, baby corn, bamboo shoots

  • Soy sauce

  • Bragg's amino acids

  • Sesame seeds

  • Brown rice

  • Cook brown rice in separate (covered) saucepan. (1 cup brown rice to 3 cups water)

  • While rice is cooking, chop fresh veggies and rinse/strain canned Asian veggies.

  • Add 1/2 cup water to a non-stick pan, add fresh veggies (green beans and snow peas), cover and steam until crisp/tender.

  • Add 2TBS coconut oil to same pan (make sure, if you use another type of oil, that it's non-toxic at high heat.)

  • Add chopped garlic and ginger to taste. Cook for one minute.

  • Add canned Asian veggies and stir fry.

  • Add soy sauce (1 TBS or to taste) during stir-fry.

  • When all veggies are crisp/tender, add sesame seeds and Bragg's amino acid (to taste) and serve over brown rice.

What's With The "Critters and Cravings" Thing?

Okay, let's start with cravings. We all know what THEY are. And, as much fun as it is to indulge them, I'd rather kill them, and that's what these recipes are designed to do. So how do you kill sugar (and carb) cravings? You guessed it: by avoiding sugar - which is why most of the recipes in this blog are sugar and gluten-free.

But what about "critters"? Well, those are the little buggers nobody wants to talk about - especially at dinner time. When I say critters, I'm referring to all kinds of things your body would do well to eliminate: not just literal critters (parasites) but yeast overgrowth (candida), and toxins. When the critters get out of control, your body does things you don't want it to - like gain weight, lose energy and develop skin problems, etc.

So okay; 'nuf said about critters. These recipes were designed to help your body get rid of - well, whatever it needs to get rid of - while keeping the good stuff , like your stunning beauty and vitality.