Saturday, May 19, 2018

Spring Salad with Orange Cashew Dressing

This colorful spring salad calls for seasonal dark greens and sweet strawberries and the citrus dressing adds an interesting touch.

Fresh Greens are prevalent in the spring and fall. If you belong to a CSA ( Community Agriculture) or frequent the farmer's markets, a variety of fresh greens should be available right now. 
Otherwise, local supermarkets are usually well stocked.

I like to eat a raw salad for lunch. This one has great eye appeal, lots of crunch, and interesting flavors. It has a wide variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, it adds a nice fiber boost to your day to help you detoxify a little.

I eat this salad with a variety of dressings, but I thought the orange cashew dressing would be a nice dressing to share with this salad. It is light and  delicious and just a tablespoon or two dresses the salad perfectly!

As with any salad, you can add or eliminate ingredients to your liking or use what you have available in the refrigerator. 

Out of strawberries? Substitute grapes, blackberries, or blueberries
Don't have sunflower seeds? Try pumpkin or sesame seeds. 
Can't find dandelion greens? Use baby spinach

A good salad enhances a gluten free meal. Salads don't have to be boring

Author: Judee Algazi of Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: None
Serves : One ( double or triple depending on who you are feeding)

Ingredients: Salad for one

1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/2 cup of broccoli slaw ( I bought this in the supermarket and it was mixed with carrot and cabbage)
6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 large or 2 medium strawberries sliced
1/4 or 1/2 of an avocado, diced
1 tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of chopped dark greens ( I used dandelion greens- or substitute spinach, kale, or endive)

Ingredients for orange Cashew  Dressing

2  seedless oranges, peeled and squeezed for the juice
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least half hour or more and drained well
1/4 cup of rice vinegar

Directions for the dressing:

Combine the three ingredients in a blender until smooth. Use a Tablespoon on each salad

Linking to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Anti Aging Morning Routine with Qi Gong

My Anti Aging Morning Routine

Looking for a way to energize and feel better?

Qi Gong is a wonderful exercise to help relax, center, ground, and rejuvenate - I find it much less strenuous to do than yoga or pilates and according to many sources a daily practice of Qi Gong provides amazing anti aging benefits to the body.

According to the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance ( see their article)  Qi Gong can help loosen muscles , build bone density, reduce stress, balance emotions, improve circulation, improve posture, flexibility, balance, memory, and help with better digestion.

I found a variety of Youtube videos that I like to do for a morning routine.  I've posted three of the videos below that I found that I enjoy doing. I had posted other Qi Gong videos on a previous post.  There are a good amount of free videos available on Youtube and by many different teachers.

I read that the best way to relieve stress is to have a daily routine that you do automatically without having to think about it and make decisions.

I feel so good after doing just 10 minutes of Qi Gong- 
#2 Video is my favorite

Here are some of my favorites

This one below is a good simple wakeup routine that is good for circulation. 

#2  love this one for relaxation- I feel so peaceful and relaxed after just 15-20 minutes
She explains the reasoning behind everything and how it affects the body- Love it
She is also very easy to follow 


Here is a Qi Facial using Essential Oils -
 I love doing it and love using my essential oils 


The Happy Liver is a more advanced routine but well worth looking at- 

It seems to incorporate more yoga poses along with the Qi Gong

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not endorsing these videos or recommending these exercises and Youtube videos. I am simply sharing what I do and like. Always check with your medical doctor before trying any exercise or essential oils. 

I Found this one to improve the muscles for better eyesight

Linking to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Broccoli Raab and Potato Soup-vegan and healthy

Broccoli raab, small red or white potatoes, and carrots make an unusual yet interesting soup  The rich green vegetable can be a tad bitter, but the potato and sweet carrot balance out the flavors making this an excellent way to enjoy eating your greens.

Broccoli raab
Fast, Easy, Delicious
I love the creamy texture, the vibrant color, and the pungent flavor of this easy seasonal soup. It's soothing and satisfying.

I consider it one of my " in a hurry soups" because it takes only about 10-15 minutes to prep and about15 minutes to cook.  When the soup is finished cooking, I then blend and serve. It's highly nutritious and yet can be prepped and cooked in less than a half hour. It's that easy. 

Additionally, it's packed with fiber from the veggies.
Fiber plays a key role in helping our bodies get rid of waste, while the nutrients and antioxidants in the vegetables nourish us.

Soup is a great way to eat more vegetables because plant based soups are easy to digest.

Not a fan of broccoli raab? Substitute another green

If you are not a fan or can't find Broccoli raab, then substitute regular broccoli, broccolini or even spinach for a less pungent taste but equally delicious flavor.

This vegan soup meets dairy free, gluten free, soy free and nut free standards making it a great choice when having guests with a variety of eating needs. Since broccoli raab can be strong, try using regular broccoli for guests.

I have to meet dairy free, gluten free , and soy free when I have extended family- How about you? Does your extended family have special eating needs? 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes


1 store size bunch of fresh broccoli raab, washed and chopped ( or substitute broccoli, broccolini or a pound of spinach)
1 medium onion sliced in half moons or 1 leek sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Olive oil spray or 2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of chopped parsely
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium red potatoes or small white potatoes, diced ( leave on the peel if using organic potatoes)
4 cups of vegetable broth ( check that it is gluten free and nut free)
5 cups water
Seasoning: Himalayan salt, fresh cracked pepper to taste
optional : 2 Tablespoons of unflavored coconut milk or almond milk added to each bowl of soup upon serving.

Directions ( see alternate direction for the Instant Pot below)
Fill a medium soup pot with 5 cups of water. Add chopped potato and carrots. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer covered until vegetables are tender about 15 minutes. While your vegetables are simmering, spray a large skillet with olive oil spray. Sautee the onions, garlic and broccoli raab (or spinach) in  skillet for about 5 minutes. Add the sauteed vegetables to the soup pot and puree with an immersion blender ( or remove and blend in batches in a regular blender)
Upon serving: add 2 Tablespoons of coconut or almond milk to each bowl

Directions for the Instant Pot
Spray the Instant Pot pan with olive oil spray or olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, broccoli raab or spinach and sautee for about 3-4 minutes stirring frequently so it doesn't burn. Turn off the sautee and add red potatoes, carrots, broth and only 3 cups water. Turn on manual to cook for 10  minutes.  ( make sure seal knob is sealed for steam) and allow to cook. When done, allow to self cool for 5 minutes and then release steam according to directions on your Instant Pot.  When steam has released, remove lid and use an immersion blender or blend in blender until creamy and smooth.

Linking to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.