When we signed up for our weekly veggie share we made a pact to challenge our comfort zone and use every item, regardless of whether we’ve never heard of or tasted it.  Occasionally the obscure squash will throw us off a bit, but for the most part we’ve done pretty well learning to use all the items each week. In fact, we’re almost disappointed when something common, like lettuce, is thrown in the mix. This time of year our weekly veggie share is packed with items like crisp green apples, kale, cauliflower and mushrooms which are all items we regularly use so there’s not much exotic going on in our kitchen.

So when you find yourself with 8 delicious, crispy green apples, you can either throw them in a smoothie, juice them, make homemade apple sauce, or make something much more enjoyable. Like  Baked Apple Crisp.

Think apple pie, but healthier.


Vegan, gluten-free Baked Apple Crisp

Vegan, gluten-free Baked Apple Crisp


  • 3 Large(or 4 small) Apples (Peeled and Sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp Agave, Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl toss sliced apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 tbsp of agave, honey or maple syrup.
  3. Lightly oil an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.
  4. Add apple mixture and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. While apples bake, mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
  6. Break up coconut oil and mix it in as well as you can.
  7. After baking the apples for 10 minutes remove them from the oven.
  8. Sprinkle and spread the topping mixture over the apples.
  9. Place back in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Apple Crisp is done when the topping is golden brown.



Like many of us are now, I’m craving comfort foods. Perhaps its the colder weather, perhaps its the Shady Hook tragedy, but this is a time when I’m craving comfort. And for my family, comfort = a warm bowl of fresh, homemade soup.

One of my fave soups is a carrot, ginger, cashew blend that’s super easy to make and is a perfect starter soup, or as a meal on its own. We tend to have a small cup of soup before our holiday meals, and while butternut squash is another favorite, this yummy carrot, ginger soup is a great alternative.  For those of you who are following a raw diet, you can juice the carrots and add 1 whole avocado. Rather than sautéing the onions and spices, simply add them to the carrot juice and blend, though you may want to add pine nuts for an enhanced nutty flavor.  I’ll follow this up with a full raw version, but for  now, I’m sharing the cooked version as I’m craving warmth.

Remember, the cashews give this a creamy base without the need for dairy, or dairy replacers, but if you’re nut sensitive you can swap out the cashews for a cup ‘or so’ of your dairy free milk of choice ( I would suggest full-fat coconut milk).

I hope this simple recipe gives you some much needed warmth and comfort. Make an extra batch and share with friends and family. Give the gift of loving warmth with homemade soup. Enjoy!

carrrot, ginger, cashew soup













Gluten & Dairy- free Carrot, Ginger & Cashew Soup (paleo)


  • 2 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3-4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup ground cashews
  • Crushed pecans or walnuts for toppings (if desired)


  1. Place the carrots in a medium saucepan and add the water.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until the carrots are very tender (10-15 minutes)
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small pan.
  4. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent.
  5. Add ginger, garlic, salt and spices.
  6. Lower the heat and continue to saute for another 8-10 minutes, until the onions are soft.
  7. Stir in lemon juice.
  8. Combine the spice-onion mixture with the carrots and cashews.
  9. Slowly add the water used to boil the carrots.
  10. Use a handheld immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth, adding water as needed until you reach desired thickness.
  11. Sprinkle with crushed pecans or walnuts if desired.
  12. Enjoy!




Gluten-free and Vegan, this roasted acorn squash mash recipe is a delish and easy side dish!

Sundays are my favorite day of the week; a lazy brunch followed by an early dinner, catching up with stuff around the house, friends coming over to visit, and just enjoying life in general. One thing I refuse to do on Sundays is grocery shop. I have to admit that while I love food, I hate grocery shopping, so I won’t taint my favorite day of the week with a mundane and annoying process (yep, that’s how I feel about it). I wish I looked forward to it like some of my friends; they revel in browsing the fresh produce, and gain recipe ideas from just wandering the aisles. Me? Not so much. It seems I always pick the worse time to go to the store, when the aisles are jam packed and I can’t stop to think about the foods I need to get. Babies are crying, employees are blocking the aisles while they restock the shelves, and I struggle with whether I’m buying the freshest produce so it doesn’t spoil in a couple days before I get around to making it. But, I digress.

So last night we made one of our most simple and fave Pork Chop recipes, using ingredients we tend to just have around the house, and decided to spice things up a bit with some warm mashed Acorn Squash. I love this time of year, when most all farmers markets and grocery stores are lined with fresh squash varieties, and squash and pumpkin recipes are all the rage online. I’ve found some really interesting recipes online, and last night I decided to add some of the juice from the chops with the squash. The verdict? A happy family!

Here’s the recipe for the Pork Chops which inspired the mashed squash. Since the Pork Chops are made with a warm butter and apple glaze, I decided to use a bit of the sauce before it became a glaze, and added it to the squash.

If you choose to make the squash by itself, you can mimic the apple, butter sauce which I’ll list in the recipe below.  Note I used Ghee instead of butter, and avoid The Vegan butter substitutes as much as possible. If you’re using products like Earth Balance, you may want to do a bit of reading on the ingredients; while some use non-GMO oils, it’s important to note that non-organic canola and soy have a 93 percent chance of being genetically modified. There are a number of studies that show neither are ideal oils for human consumption—organic or not. Canola contains fats that experts say should not be exposed to heat, and canola has been shown to deplete vitamin E levels in mammals, while the plant itself (rapeseed) is an insect repellent and used in industrial manufacturing. Soy oil has been linked to breast cancer and its high levels of Omega-6s linked to inflammatory diseases.

I reach for Coconut Oil first, Olive second, and whenever I want that buttery flavor, I turn to Ghee. A good rule of thumb – anything butter can do, pure coconut oil can do (better). And healthy fats, like coconut oil, hemp and flax seed oil, walnut, almond and olive oil offer a wider range of benefits and unrivaled flavor than processed spreads.

So check out the recipe below for my Vegan, Gluten-free Mashed Acorn Squash and plan to pair it with any of your favorite Vegetarian, fish or meat dishes that are simply grilled or use a basic Mediterranean or Indian spice.

Roasted Acorn Squash Mash (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Roasted Acorn Squash Mash (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)


  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Cut acorn squash in half and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Roast them cut side up on a baking sheet for 50 minutes or until the flesh is just tender.
  4. Let the squash cool for 20 minutes.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter and add the onions.
  6. Stirring occasionally, cook the onions for 10 minutes, or until they begin to brown at the edges.
  7. Mix in the garlic, coriander, and nutmeg.
  8. Cook the mixture 2 minutes more; then reduce heat to low.
  9. Spoon the seeds and stringy middle out of the squash, and discard these.
  10. Spoon out the flesh, chop it and add it to the onion mixture. Discard the skins.
  11. Heat and stir the squash-onion mixture, then season it with salt and pepper. Serve the squash hot.


If you're making this with the Warm Apple Pork Chops, spoon some of the sauce from the pan right before you remove the chops and turn it to a glaze. Add sauce to the squash based on desired taste (I used 1 TBSP).

Alternate options: sauté 1/2 apple (peeled and cored) with 1 TBSP onions in coconut oil or ghee. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock or apple cider vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes. Use this sauce to add to squash to taste.



Let me know once you try this; I’d love to hear some of your favorite squash ideas too!

Live inspired, 


Continuing the series of immune booster juices, this is a straight-forward juice recipe that will help you battle any pesky little immune busters that may be lurking in your bod, and give you a feel-good, natural energy booster. Ward off colds with this vitamin bomb! The kiwis alone pack nearly twice your daily vitamin C—and the citrus delivers even more of the cold-busting vitamin.



For those of you who can tolerate nuts, this is a cashew based mock sour cream recipe that’s perfectly suited for gluten free, dairy free, vegan and Paleo diets. It has a hint of sourness and its perfect for dipping raw veggies in, as a topper to tacos, enchiladas, or anywhere that you would have used traditional sour cream. 


Cashew ‘Sour Cream’ (GF, DF, Paleo, Vegan)

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Calories per serving: 150 calories (110 from fat)

Fat per serving: 12g total fat, 2g saturated fat

Cashew ‘Sour Cream’ (GF, DF, Paleo, Vegan)


  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1-2 TBSP fresh herbs
  • Water to thin


  1. Place cashews in a cup or small bowl and cover by about 1/2 inch with boiling water.
  2. Let soak 30 - 60 minutes.
  3. Drain cashews, reserving the liquid.
  4. Place cashews in a blender with vinegar, lemon, salt and about 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid.
  5. Blend until very smooth, adding more water as required to purée the mixture.


0mg cholesterol 60mg sodium 8g carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 2g sugar) 5g protein