Category Archives: Food preparation

10 Ways I Tweak Recipes by Rebecca Snow

1) Add more garlic than the recipe calls for. 

If the recipe says 1 clove, I usually add 2-3. Luckily everyone in my house likes garlic and no one is sensitive to FODMAPs.  There are so many benefits of garlic but to name a couple, it has medicinal properties and is highly nutritious with very few calories, active compounds that can reduce blood pressure [1], contains antioxidants, and may help detox heavy metals from the body [2]

2) Swap some mayo with low fat Greek yogurt in bean salad, tuna salad or chicken salad.  

This swap lowers the fat and calories, it’s full of probiotics, has higher protein content, healthier fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, and a creamier texture.

3) Replace some sweetener with applesauce or mashed banana.   

Substitute an equal amount of applesauce for sugar, but dial back other wet ingredients — for example, use a little less water or milk, if the recipe calls for it. (extra hint: You can also use applesauce instead of oil to reduce fat — use the same 1:1 ratio).  For baking, use very ripe mashed bananas as a sugar substitute, halving the amount. Taste-test to adjust for sweetness based on ripeness and your preference.

4) Use less oil or butter if desired.  

We don’t want to eliminate the fat as it can help absorb beta carotene and lycopene and other antioxidants in the meal but a little can go a long way!

5) Add a pinch of sea salt if the flavor falls flat.  

Don’t forget to taste your food before serving.  Rebecca Katz uses the acronym FASS (Fat, acid, sweet, salt), assessing these factors if the flavor falls flat. You can add apple cider vinegar or lemon juice if it needs acid. 

6) Swap ground meats in burgers, meatloaf, lasagna and other recipes calling for ground beef.  

We use ground venison, turkey, chicken, bison too. Why Venison? It is high in protein, lower in calories and fat, it has an excellent omega-3 to omega-6 ratio [3], is a wonderful source of B Vitamins, and contains high amounts of Zinc.

7) Use olive oil instead of sunflower, canola or grape seed for baked recipes or low heat recipes.  

Olive oil is rich in healthy monosaturated fats [4], contain large amounts of antioxidants, strong anti-inflammatory properties, may help prevent strokes [5], protect against heart disease [6], and have antibacterial properties [7] to name a few.

8) Substitute 1-2 cups of regular chicken or veggie broth in a soup or stew recipe with my homemade bone or immune broth.

9) Throw in 1-2 optional add-ins for pancakes, muffins, granola or other baked goods

–1-2 tsp Dr. Cowan’s triple blend veggie powder (extra veggies)

–1-2 Tblsp of collagen peptides (additional protein)

–1/2 tsp beet root powder (nitric oxide boost!)

–1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder (fab antioxidant)

–1 Tblsp oat bran or ground flax powder (for bonus fiber)

10) Increase the vegetable to starch ratio in recipes like paella, lentil or bean soup, risotto.  

For instance, when I make paella I usually double the veggies and 1.5 x the meat.

[1] Ried K. Garlic lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, improves arterial stiffness and gut microbiota: A review and meta-analysis. Exp Ther Med. 2020;19(2):1472-1478. doi:10.3892/etm.2019.8374

[2] Kianoush S, Balali-Mood M, Mousavi SR, et al. Comparison of therapeutic effects of garlic and d-Penicillamine in patients with chronic occupational lead poisoning. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012;110(5):476-481. doi:10.1111/j.1742-7843.2011.00841.x

[3] Ponnampalam EN, Mann NJ, Sinclair AJ. Effect of feeding systems on omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid and trans fatty acids in Australian beef cuts: potential impact on human health. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15(1):21-29.

[4] Menendez JA, Lupu R. Mediterranean dietary traditions for the molecular treatment of human cancer: anti-oncogenic actions of the main olive oil’s monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid (18:1n-9). Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006;7(6):495-502. doi:10.2174/138920106779116900

[5] Schwingshackl L, Hoffmann G. Monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil and health status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Lipids Health Dis. 2014;13:154. Published 2014 Oct 1. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-154

[6] Covas MI. Olive oil and the cardiovascular system. Pharmacol Res. 2007;55(3):175-186. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2007.01.010

[7] Servili M, Esposto S, Fabiani R, et al. Phenolic compounds in olive oil: antioxidant, health and organoleptic activities according to their chemical structure. Inflammopharmacology. 2009;17(2):76-84. doi:10.1007/s10787-008-8014-y

Top 10 Daily Superfoods

Top 10 Daily Superfoods by Kate Costello

These are 10 superfoods that I use in my daily food intake. This list is not exhaustive but inspiration for using superfoods you may already have at home to enhance your daily meals. Superfoods are foods or herbs that contain high amounts of nutrients like polysaccharides, antioxidants, minerals, probiotics, and anti-inflammatory fatty acids. I love Superfood Evolution’s website for information. Have some fun adding these to your breakfast, lunches, snacks or dinners!

Algae: Spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae

Benefits: algae’s have it all – antioxidants like chlorophyll, carotenoids, b vitamins, omega fatty acids, polysaccharides, complete proteins, trace minerals and tons of other phytonutrients, algae’s gently detox the liver, blood, and lymph

How to use: Afternoon Chlorella + Lemon Elixir

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. Chlorella Powder
  • 16oz Filtered Water

Add lemon juice, chlorella powder and water to a glass container. Use a whisk, fork, or spoon to mix the chlorella into the water. Enjoy over ice or at room temp. *Consider adding algae powders to smoothies

Cacao / Cocoa

Benefits: well-known source of antioxidants and magnesium, cacao powder comes from beans that have not been roasted and therefore retain more antioxidants called flavanols, flavanols have shown improvements in endothelial and platelet function as well as blood pressure great alternative to highly processed dutch cocoa powder

How to use: Avocado Pudding

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/4 cup nut milk
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 pitted dates OR 3 tbsp maple syrup

Blend in a food processor and enjoy.

Chia / Hemp / Flax

Benefits: this trio is full of fiber, protein and rich sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3’s and omega-6’s

How to use: Grain-free Porridge

  • 2 tbsp each of any combination of the following:

chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seeds, coconut
flakes, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts,
cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts

  • 1 tsp of any of the following spices (choose your favorites!):

cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger,

  • Option to add 1 tsp of other superfood powders: cacao powder, maca powder, reishi mushroom
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup favorite nut milk
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite fresh fruit (berries or grapefruit are my favorite) OR 1 tbsp dried fruit

Add all dry ingredients to a blender and pulse until desired consistency. I prefer mine to have the look of almond meal (small chunks). Store this mix in your refrigerator. When ready to enjoy, add 1/2 cup of mix, 1 cup nut milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to the stove top. Heat until warm. Can use more or less nut milk for your desired consistency, should look like a porridge. Enjoy with fresh or dried fruit (like goji berries). Option to add a dash of maple syrup or honey for simple sweetness.

Goji Berries

Benefits: full of carotenoids like beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein and lycopene, vitamin C, iron, protein, and b vitamins, important to note goji berries are part of the nightshade family

How to use: Goji berry + Ginger Tea

  • 2 tsp. of dried goji berries
  • Small thumb size piece of fresh ginger
  • Boiling water

Smash fresh ginger with flat side of your knife. Add ginger and goji berries to a mug. Fill mug with boiling water and enjoy at your desired temp.

*Consider adding goji berries to your Immune Balls or Grain-Free Porridge


Benefits: anti-inflammatory, soothing to digestive tract, wonderful herb to warm you up, helpful for nausea and constipation

How to use: Carrot + Ginger Dressing

  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar or ACV
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 thumb size knob of ginger, peeled
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Salt to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth. Enjoy on salads or sautéed greens.

*Consider fresh ginger, lemon, honey, warm water for a simple tea to soothe digestion

Maca Powder

Benefits: adaptogenic root vegetable known to increase libido, increase stamina and vitality, balance hormones, and regulate immune system (if you are experience hormonal imbalances, contact your endocrinologist before using maca as therapeutic supplement), if you have thyroid issues, best to use “geletanized” maca root powder

How to use: Golden Maca Milk

  • tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk (or other nut milk)

Blend ingredients together and warm over stovetop.

*Consider adding 1 tsp maca powder to anything you bake like pancakes, muffins, cookies, cakes OR smoothies, avocado pudding, chia seed pudding or grain-free prridge

Reishi Mushrooms

Benefits: adaptogen called “the great protector”, helps support and balance physical, immunological and mental stress, active ingredients are polysaccharides that modulate the immune system, has been used for over 2000 years!

How to use:

Add 1/2 tsp to morning coffee or hot tea

Add 1/2-1 tsp to your daily smoothie, avocado pudding, chia seed pudding

Add to anything you bake – pancakes, muffins, cookies, cakes


Benefits: contain high amounts of minerals, like iodine, and polysaccharides like immune supportive beta-glucans, improve digestibility of grains and beans, many varieties including agar agar, kelp, nori, dulse, Irish moss, and bladderwrack

How to use:

Add kelp flakes to eggs, salad dressings, avocado toast, popcorn
Cook grains and beans with small square of kombu to improve their digestibility

Feel like a mermaid and add seaweed to your bath water for gentle detoxification


Benefits: active compounds are potent anti-inflammatory molecules called curcuminoids, turmeric also has antioxidants, and antibacterial/viral/fungal properties, wonderful for aches and pains, digestive discomfort, absorption of curcuminoids is enhanced by fat and black pepper, has been used for over 4000 years!

How to use:

You can slip turmeric (ground or fresh) into just about any recipe … sprinkle on roasted veggies and eggs, stir fry’s, add to salad dressings, add to the skillet when you are making ground meats or vegetable hashes.

Fermented Foods

Benefits: fermented foods contain naturally occurring probiotics, these foods/beverages nourish the microbiome, encourage healthy diversity of bacteria, and feed resident bacteria in the GI tract, balance of healthy bacteria strengthens the immune system

How to use:

Add sauerkraut or kimchi to any dish! Just a dollop will do!

Try kombucha over ice, topped off with seltzer for a refreshing afternoon beverage.

Written by: Kate Costello


All photos are my own or from

Goji Berries, A Tonic Herb and Superfruit Variety. Superfood Evolution.

Heiss, Christian MD*; Schroeter, Hagen PhD†; Balzer, Jan MD‡; Kleinbongard, Petra PhD‡; Matern, Simone BS‡; Sies, Helmut MD, PhD§; Kelm, Malte MD‡ (2006). Endothelial Function, Nitric Oxide, and Cocoa Flavanols, Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: June 2006 – Volume 47 – Issue – p S128-S135

Ma, Z. F., Zhang, H., Teh, S. S., Wang, C. W., Zhang, Y., Hayford, F., Wang, L., Ma, T., Dong, Z., Zhang, Y., & Zhu, Y. (2019). Goji Berries as a Potential Natural Antioxidant Medicine: An Insight into Their Molecular Mechanisms of Action. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2019, 2437397.

Reishi Mushroom Benefits, A Shen Tonic and Immune Modulator. Superfood Evolution.

Seaweed Nutrition, The Oceans Superfood. Superfood Evolution.

Top 4 Benefits of Ginger Root, The Universal Super Spice. Superfood Evolution.

What is Maca Root and Why is it a Superfood? Superfood Evolution.

Immune Balls Recipe

Check out our new infographic for my immune balls.  Make your own immune balls using this formula. One daily provides a good dose of medicinal mushrooms approx ⅓  tsp of medicinal mushroom powder.

Download my other immune recipes below!

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.