Basil Mint Pesto Recipe

Pesto is one of the easiest things to make and it is such a versatile condiment. I use it for sandwiches, over eggs, as a source for grilled veggies or fish or as a dip. I like to change up the classic version by using different herbs and nuts, sometimes I make it vegan by using nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese. This formula will work using the classic basil/pine nut combo or you can experiment a bit!

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Zucchini Alfredo “Pasta”

This recipe is a revelation…a way to indulge and feel great about it! True alfredo sauce is one of these foods that is pretty much on the “do not eat” list. But this recipe takes it to another level, fun, delicious, unique…oh and vegan, gluten free to boot! Do not fear however…it will KNOCK your socks (or tastebuds) off!

Alfredo Zucchini

Zucchini Alfredo Pasta


4-5 large zucchini, ends trimmed- (about 2-1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 4+ hours
Core of 1 grated zucchini
3 large cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast*
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon reserved liquid from zucchini
1+ Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon mellow white miso paste
Salt to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
Makes 4 servings
Trim the ends of the zucchini and then julienne lengthwise on a mandolin or with a julienne peeler as far as you can go. Save the core of 1 zucchini for the sauce, and the rest for another use such as a stir fry.

Place the shredded zucchini into a bowl with the salt and toss well. Set it aside for 20+ minutes to allow the salt to draw out the liquid out of the zucchini. When you can see liquid released at the bottom of the bowl: use a clean lint-free kitchen towel or cheesecloth to squeeze the zucchini and remove excess liquid. Squeeze into a small bowl and reserve.

Drain the cashews and place in the blender. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and blend well. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.

Place the zucchini ribbons in a large sauté pan and heat gently over medium heat, heating it through but not cooking. Add the sauce, lightly salt and toss well. Pile onto a large platter or plate individually and top with a little drizzle of olive oil and some chopped basil or parsley if desired.


Tips & Notes~

Watch our Mandolin 101 video for a full demo on how to use one of my favorite kitchen tools!

This sauce also works well over whole wheat or quinoa pasta and veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower.

If you do not have the yeast you can use parmesan cheese but it will not be vegan and you will need to use less salt to season.

*Nutritional Yeast is the byproduct of the molasses brewing process. It is high in all sorts of B vitamins and has a “cheesy”flavor. You can find in heath food stores usually in the bulk section or near the spices. This is complexity different than regular yeast and is not interchangeable. You can however use brewers yeast if you cannot find but it is not gluten free.

**Miso paste is available in many grocery stores in the refrigerated section. There is white, yellow, brown and red miso. “Mellow white” or “sweet white” will be the most mild. You can however use any kind for this recipe but you may need to decrease the amount a bit if you are using a stronger one.

Green Goddess Gazpacho

I did an event this last Sunday at Teena’s Pride Farm with Chef Julie Frans. She was the guest chef and I gave her a helping hand and took home some incredible fresh and local produce to boot. This recipe for Green Goddess Gazpacho was a hit and I wanted to share it.

Keep your eyes out for my version that will most certainly make an appearance in a cooking class soon. It is refreshing, cleansing and all around dee-lish. Oh, and did I mention easy? A great recipe for the new year! Come visit Teena’s Pride on the first Sunday of every month, I will be the guest chef on February 2, 2014!

Green Goddess Gazpacho

Green Goddess Gazpacho

Recipe courtesy of Chef Julie Frans, Essencia Restaurant + Lounge


1 cup vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 medium fennel bulb
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and rough chopped
4 scallions, ends removed and rough chopped
1 medium cucumber, rough chopped
1 medium green apple
1 jalapeño- seeded, optional
1/2 cup pistachios
2 good handfuls of spinach or other greens
A good handful Italian parsley
A good handful cilantro
1/2 cup mint leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
2 teaspoons toasted cumin
1/3 cup full fat Greek yogurt, optional


Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

Everybody loves pancakes (well, except my husband…what???). They are not the typically the most healthy way to start the day however. These pancakes on the other hand are loaded with healthy fiber, vitamin C from the pumpkin and gluten free and vegan if you choose. They also store really well and you can refrigerate or freeze and then just pop ’em in the toaster. The oats are hearty and will give you long lasting sustained energy!


Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Compote


2 cup organic old fashioned oats (gluten free if desired)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered ginger (optional)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon honey or Stevia to taste (see note)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¾ cups organic pumpkin puree (or 1 can)
2 large pasture raised eggs or 2 flax eggs*
1/2 cup organic nut milk or dairy milk of your choice
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Makes 4 servings


Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Well and avocado as well :). A simple blend of nutrient dense ingredients- this recipe is SO easy and a much healthier alternative to quench your chocolate cravings, entirely plant based and nut-free. Bring on the SUPER foods!


Chocolate Avocado Mousse

2 medium-large ripe avocados (not too soft), seeded and peeled
1/4 cup unsweetened raw cocoa powder
1/4 cup maple syrup or stevia to taste (or sub 3-4 pitted medjool dates)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
A pinch of Himalayan salt

Serves 4
Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree for a few minutes until smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the processor and blend again. Taste and adjust sweetness as desired.
Tips & Notes~

This recipe is good if it is chilled. If you are eating right away put the avocados in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

You can add a banana for some natural sweetness and to mask the slight avocado flavor or you can substitute one of the avocados for a whole large banana to cut the richness but you might want to decrease the sweetener.

Top with some chopped up nuts, toasted coconut or some berries!