Category Archives: Food preparation

Salads Made Easy

I love eating salads in summer.  So many fresh ingredients!!  Here is a picture of our “salad bar” at home.  On Sunday I prepare all the ingredients, hard boil the eggs, chop the veggies, etc..  Then at night when we are making lunches for the next day we pull them all out to make our salad.  

Lettuce – go green! The darker the better

Raw veggie toppers – grated beet, carrot, sliced radish, bell peppers, scallions, cucumbers, avocado, celery

Something sweet – berries, dried fruit, avocado, brown rice, quinoa, chopped tomato, roasted beets, sweet potato

Fun crunchy or salty toppers – roasted garbanzo beans, coconut chips, croutons, nuts/seeds, olives, cocoa nibs

Protein – baked tofu, beans, hard boiled egg, light canned tuna/sardine/salmon, grilled chicken

Favorite store bought dressings – Braggs vinaigrette, Primal Kitchen all flavors

Make your own vegan ranch dressing.

Creative Ways to Eat More Vegetables

Creative Ways to Eat More Vegetables

  1. Add vegetable powders to pancakes, muffins, smoothies and frittatas.  I like Dr Cowan’s Threefold Powder Blend.  I often put 1 spoonfull in muffin recipes and no one who eats them would ever know!
  2. Add minced sauteed mushrooms and onions to your burgers.  This recipe is a favorite. I will substitute other ground meats like turkey or when feeling adventuresome, wild boar or venison.  Serve without the bun if eating less refined carbohydrates.  Or use these new sweet potaTOASTS by the maker of Caulipower pizza.
  3. Cauliflower rice is one of my favorites.  I was making it myself with a food processor but since I found a giant bag of Organic cauliflower rice at Costco I have been living off this “harvest.”  Substitute for rice in family recipes.  I like it for breakfast with 2 fried eggs.
  4. Green eggs and ham, anyone? Check out this simple way to make green scrambled eggs.  Make foods fun for kids, vegetables add natural food dye.  Beet powder can turn yogurt pink, turmeric can make a chai tea yellow, etc.

Four Kitchen Gadgets I Love!

4 Kitchen Gadgets I Love!

A Good Knife. I took my first official cooking class in 2012 with Myra Kornfeld when I was Director of the MS in Nutrition and Integrative Health Program at MUIH. One of the best thing I learned was how to use and care for a good quality knife. Up until that point I prepped foods with a paring knife or steak knife! With a good quality knife I can prep foods faster and safer. Keeping it sharp is important. I have a this Wusthof knife.

Paderno 3-Blade Spiralizer. It seemed an extravagance but it has been a favorite tool these past 2 years. It is hard to balance the preferences and needs of all members of a family. But one common goal is to eat more vegetables (maybe not PIper’s goal but certainly our goal). First I started just spiralizing zucchini for noodles but since then we have branched out to many other vegetables. I never ate turnip or rutabaga growing up but since then I have found they make a fabulous noodle! Pictured above: turnip noodles with bolognese sauce. Spiralize your favorite root vegetable. Boil or steam the noodles for 5-7 minutes until they taste “al dente” then strain. See Paderno 3-blade spiralizer here.

A Vitamixer. I bought mine used on Ebay for approximately $125 about 15 years ago. It is still going strong, although we have had to replace the blade and the lid. I use this for smoothies, pestos, pureed soups, pureeing nuts for cashew cream. It liquefies better than a food processor. The newer versions have more capability than my old stainless steel version but I am going to see how many years I can eek out of this one!

A Good Garlic Press. There is barely a savory recipe I make that does not contain garlic. Garlic is a favorite herb. Although, mincing garlic by hand is not my favorite activity and I find that pre-chopped jarred garlic does not have the same great flavor profile. This garlic press requires no peeling or chopping and allows me to get garlic easily into a recipe. For those who are sensitive to FODMAPs, a garlic-flavored olive oil is fabulous.

Salad in a Jar


Do you travel a lot?  Always on the go?  Here is a great way to pack your body full with delicious, easy and nutrient dense foods!  

In a mason jar layer the ingredients for a lunchtime salad on the go.  As long as the jar stays upright, ingredients will stay in place.  Once ready to eat you can mix all together.

Layer 1:  Dressing on the Bottom.  This helps keep ingredients dry before you’re ready to eat. Read the label to make sure you are purchasing salad dressings that uses olive or avocado oil rather than soy and canola oil.  I like Bragg and Primal Kitchen brands or homemade.

Layer 2:  Protein.  I like to combine two proteins including grilled or smoked fish, chicken, turkey, nitrate-free bacon, shredded cheese or soft cheese, hard-boiled egg, chopped nuts or seeds, chickpeas, black beans or other legumes.  Protein helps keep you full as satisfied for at least 2 hours.

Layer 3:  Denser Vegetables and Toppings Shredded carrots, celery, croutons, quinoa, dried fruit, cucumber, green beans, corn, radishes, and peas. Tomatoes can get soggy so best to use whole cherry tomatoes.

Layer 4:  Greens.  Rotate your greens to keep your salads interesting, including mesclun mix, red leaf lettuce, spinach, baby kale, microgreens, sprouts and arugula.  With the recent issue of sourcing uncontaminated lettuces it is a great time to step out of your comfort zone.  The tougher greens like baby kale and spinach work best because they don’t wilt as easily

5 Ways to use Cashew-Coconut Cream

Going dairy free was not easy at first.  Not until I found Treeline Cashew Cheese and the very versatile Cashew Coconut Cream.  The recipe is simple.  You can freeze extra for future use.  Cashew Coconut Cream can be morphed into mayonnaise, buttermilk for pancakes, cream for soup, whipped cream and creamy salad dressing.


Cashew-Coconut CreamPortion Of Cashew Nuts

Here is the base recipe

Makes 1 quart

1 cup raw cashews, preferably soaked 6 hours

15-ounce can unsweetened light or regular coconut milk

Place the cashews and coconut milk in a food processor or vitamix and process until very creamy and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Stop once or twice to scrape down the sides. Place in a container and refrigerate until chilled and thickened, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.


5 Transformations

Buttermilk substitute – Add 1 tsp of lemon juice per 1 cup cashew coconut cream, and use instead of buttermilk in pancake recipe.  See my recipe below

Whipped cream substitute – Add 1/8 cup maple syrup per cup of cashew coconut cream; or add 10-15 drops stevia to 1 cup.  Use with fresh fruit.

Mayonnaise substitute – To 1/2 cup cashew coconut cream, add 1/2 tsp herbamare or salt; 1 tsp each garlic and onion powder, 1 T mustard, 1-2 T pickle juice, preferably Bubbies pickle juice which has ferment, and 1-2 T olive oil.

Cream substitute – Try cashew coconut cream instead of cream in soup and sauces.  I love using cashew coconut cream in this awesome Smoked Trout Chowder recipe.

Creamy salad dressing – To 1/2 cup cashew coconut cream, add 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 Tblsp olive oil, 1 Tblsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 lemon juiced, 1/2 tsp herbamare, black pepper to taste, 1 tsp dried herbs (dill, oregano, thyme, rosemary).


Rebecca’s AMAZING Low-Allergen Pancake Recipe

Makes 9-10 pancakes

1 cup coconut/cashew cream, 1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup hemp or oat milk

1 cup Bob’s red mill GF flour (or ½ cup chickpea, ¼ cup rice, ¼ cup sorghum)

2 Tbsp ground almonds or almond meal

2 Tbsp coconut/palm sugar or maple sugar

1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

1 tsp aluminum-free baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp ground flax in 3 Tblsp water (or 1 egg)

2 Tbsp melted coconut oil


Blend all dry ingredients. Blend wet ingredients except coconut oil add to the dry ingredients. Melt coconut oil and add to the mix.  Stir well.  Warm coconut oil in nonstick pan. Pour batter into 3-4 inch pancakes on hot pan. Flip and enjoy.