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WEEK 2 RECIPES © Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015

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WEEK 2 RECIPES © Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 2

HONEYDEW MINT SMOOTHIE Serves 2. Honeydew tends to be overlooked in the smoothie world, but it actually makes a delicious blended beverage. Plus, it turns out honeydew’s pretty good for you. It’s rich in vitamin C, B-6 and potassium — in fact, a 1-cup portion has as much potassium as a banana. Enjoy this smoothie when you’re getting burned out on your greens-and-banana standby.


• 1 cup of coconut milk • 1 cup filtered water • 4 tablespoons hemp seed or a scoop of your favorite protein

powder • 2 cups of ripe honeydew melon, chopped • 2 handfuls of baby spinach • 2 cups of ice cubes • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves INSTRUCTIONS

Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender, adding the ice last. Blend until creamy and smooth. Serve immediately or store some in fridge for later. Salud!


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BETA (CAROTENE) BLAST SMOOTHIE Serves 2. Beta-carotene is an orange-hued antioxidant found in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, red bell peppers and apricots. Beta-carotene gets converted to Vitamin A in the body. This compound supports healthy skin — fostering youthful, glowing skin while counteracting free radical damage in the skin cells. It is also important for eye health. Research also indicates that a diet high in beta-carotene can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, and can protect against heart disease.


• 1 cup coconut or nut milk, unsweetened • 1 cup of coconut water or filtered water • 4 tablespoons hemp seed • 1 tablespoon flax seed • ½ cup of carrots, chopped • ½ cup of red bell pepper, seeded and chopped • 1 orange, seeded and chopped • 1 cup strawberries • 1 banana, frozen and in chunks • 1 cup ice (if using fresh berries)


Place ingredients into blender (this works better in a high speed blender because of the carrots), adding frozen fruit and ice last. Process until creamy and smooth. Add water a quarter-cup at a time if you want a thinner consistency. Serve immediately or store some in fridge for later. Salud!



© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 4

PEACH ALMOND SMOOTHIE Serves 2. Peaches are one of my all-time favorite farmers market finds — when they’re in season and perfectly ripe, you’d be hard pressed to find a more delicious fruit. The combination of peaches and toasted almond in this smoothie is so, so good — it’s definitely on the sweeter side. If you’re wondering where the veggies are in this smoothie — well, I love it so much I really didn’t want to mess with it. If you have it for breakfast, just be sure to enjoy a large salad, with a wide array of vegetables, throughout the rest of your day.


• 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened • 1 cup coconut water or filtered water • 2 cups frozen peaches • 1-2 medjool dates (optional); sometimes it helps to soften the

dates in warm water before blending • 1/3 cup sliced almonds INSTRUCTIONS

Before making the smoothie, prepare the almonds. Place in a small pan over low heat. Stir occasionally and watch for burning. Remove the nuts from heat once they start to turn a golden brown.

Now, place the nuts and the rest of the ingredients into the blender, adding frozen fruit and ice last. Process until creamy and smooth. Add water a quarter-cup at a time if you want a thinner consistency. Serve immediately or store some in fridge for later. Salud!


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 5

CHIA BREAKFAST BOWL WITH CHERRIES, CACAO + COCONUT Makes 2-3 servings. Chia puddings are great for people who don’t enjoy smoothies — or when you’re looking for something to eat instead of drink. The base for this one is very simple — the toppings really make the dish. This recipe is inspired by Gena Hamshaw’s in Choosing Raw.


• 1 cup nut milk of choice • 1/2 cup coconut milk • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1 small pinch of salt, sea salt or pink Himalayan • 1/3 cup chia seeds • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes • 3 tablespoons cacao nibs, unsweetened (1 per serving) • 1 ½ cup fresh cherries, remove stem and pit • Additional drizzle of honey or maple syrup (optional)


Place the coconut flakes in a small pan over low heat. Stir frequently so the flakes don’t burn. Remove from heat once the flakes turn a golden color.

Blend the coconut milk, nut milk, maple syrup and salt in a blender. Pour into a bowl.

Add the chia seeds and whisk. Let the mixture stand for about five minutes, then whisk again, breaking up any clumps that have formed. Let the mixture stand once again for about 5-10 minutes, then whisk again. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). As the pudding sets up in the refrigerator, the chia will absorb the liquid, transforming the mixture into a light, airy pudding.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 6

To serve, spoon chia pudding into a bowl or parfait glass. Top with cherries, cacao nibs and coconut. Drizzle with a teaspoon of honey if desired.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 7

SUPA-GREEN JUICE Serves 2-4, depending on what your produce looks like (i.e. how big the cucumbers are, etc.). The trick is to either omit the fruit entirely or use just enough to make the juice taste good for you. Using too much fruit will cause the juice to be high-glycemic — it can cause a blood sugar spike, like soda, since the juice doesn’t contain fiber or pulp. If you’re new to green juices, the addition of lemon can temper that super “green” flavor. Over time, I’ve come to enjoy it, but at first, it can be a little assertive. For juicing, you want to use the freshest, highest quality produce you can find. Using local (or backyard) produce is ideal; the reduced transit time results in higher nutrition content — nutrients degrade the longer the produce sits on the shelf or while in transit from long distances. I use green juices as a supplement or a snack, not as a meal replacement.


• 1 bunch of organic celery, root and ends trimmed • 2 organic cucumbers (peel if using conventional) • 1 bunch of kale (Lacinato, curly, etc.) • 1 large stalk of broccoli, cut into pieces to fit juicer • 1 lemon, cut into quarters to fit the juicer • ½ bunch of fresh parsley • 1 bulb of fennel, sliced to fit juicer • a 1-inch knob of ginger, scrubbed (I like to use a LOT, but a

small piece is a good place to start) • 1 organic granny smith apple


Run all of the ingredients through your juicer. You may need to work in batches, and transfer the juice to a pitcher. When finished, whisk the juice to blend the different batches. Pour through a sieve if you want a juice that’s completely pulp-free. Enjoy immediately. Or pour into mason jars with tight lids, and store in the refrigerator. Ideally, enjoy your juice the day you make it.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 8

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP Serves 4-6. I adore creamy tomato soup, especially when it’s dairy free! This recipe is a makeover of the Pioneer Woman’s Sherried Tomato Soup recipe, which involves a lot of butter and cream. This may be the guilt-free version, but it’s just as tasty and satisfying.


• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 1 medium onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced • red chili flakes, to preference • 45 ounces (3 cans) roasted, diced or crushed tomatoes (low

sodium preferable) • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (and additional broth if

you prefer a thinner consistency) • ½ - 1 cup cashew cream (see recipe in this packet); you can

also use ½ cup full fat coconut milk • ½ cup good quality sherry • 10 large fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish • 1/4 teaspoon salt • Sea salt and pepper to taste • Chopped Italian parsley for garnish


Set a soup pot on medium heat and warm the oil. Add the onions; sauté and stir occasionally until they start to brown — about 15 minutes.

Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and stir for about a minute.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 9

Add the tomatoes and broth, and give the soup a stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool for a few minutes.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender. Remove the hole that's in the center of the blender lid so steam can escape during the blending process.

Cover the lid with a towel (hot liquid tends to erupt), and blend on high.

Return the soup to the pot. Add the sherry and cashew cream (or coconut milk) and warm gently until hot (don’t boil).

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 10

ASPARAGUS SOUP Serves 4. Summer’s a great time to enjoy fresh, local asparagus. This recipe was adapted from The10-Day Detox Diet by Dr. Mark Hyman. Asparagus is an amazing vegetable — it’s high in Vitamin K, which is important for adequate blood clotting. Vitamin K also works with Vitamin D to help shuttle calcium into our bones. Asparagus is also a good source of inulin, a special indigestible compound that travels to the intestinal tract and “feeds” beneficial bacteria (the good guys) in our gut. INGREDIENTS

• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil • 3 cloves garlic, minced • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets • 2 ½ pounds of asparagus; trim tough root end and cut into ½

inch pieces • 2 garlic cloves, minced • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper • 6 cups gluten-free, reduced sodium vegetable broth (or

water) • 1/4 cup raw cashews • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds OR 1 tablespoon tahini • ¼ avocado, chopped • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice • chopped chives for garnish (optional) • sea salt and pepper, to taste


In a medium soup pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic; stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower, asparagus, cashews, sesame seeds (or tahini) and cayenne pepper. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.


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Pour in the broth (or water) and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cauliflower and asparagus are full cooked, about 5-8 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender. Remove the hole that's in the center of the blender lid so steam can escape during the blending process.

Cover the lid with a towel (hot liquid tends to erupt), and blend on high.

Pour the soup back into the pot, stir in the lemon juice, and bring it to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste (about ½-1 teaspoon). Garnish with chives and serve with a large salad with protein of choice.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 12

CURRIED COCONUT LENTIL SOUP Serves 2-3; can easily be doubled. This is one of my most popular recipes — delightful in the winter and you know what? I love it in summer, too. After all, they eat curry in India year-round, right? This recipe is inspired by one I found on Orangette.com.


• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (organic when possible), plus additional oil for drizzling

• 1 large yellow onion, chopped • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed • 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste (comes in a

tube like toothpaste; found in the tomato sauce section) • 1 teaspoon curry powder • ½ teaspoon ground ginger, or 1 teaspoon freshly grated • 1 teaspoon ground cumin • ½ teaspoon turmeric, or 1 teaspoon freshly grated • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste • freshly ground pepper • a pinch of Aleppo pepper (or cayenne) • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth • 1 can coconut milk • 1 ¼ cup red lentils, picked through for stones and debris • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced • Juice of ½ lemon, or more to taste • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Add the onions and garlic and cook until golden, about 4 minutes.


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Stir in the tomato paste, curry powder, turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Add the broth, coconut milk, the lentils, and the carrots. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue to cook until the lentils are soft, about 20-30 minutes.

Taste, and add more salt if necessary.

Using an immersion or regular blender, puree the soup to desired consistency. Add a bit of water if necessary.

Reheat gently, then stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve the soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with Aleppo or cayenne pepper, if desired.

Note: for a heartier soup, stir in a cup or so of leftover rice after blending. I also like to ladle it into a shallow bowl alongside steamed greens.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 14

CHILLED CUCUMBER AND AVOCADO SOUP Raw soups can take some getting used to, but I find them to be a wonderful alternative for hot summer nights when you don’t feel like cooking. A raw soup can be bland on its own, so it’s key to have a bold garnish that offers a kick of sweet or savory flavors and an interesting texture. I like to serve a raw soup alongside a green salad and/or an assortment of fruit. This recipe is from Gena Hamshaw (Choosing Raw) as posted on Food52.com.


• 2 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into rough slices • 1 large Haas avocado, halved, pitted, and flesh scooped out • 2 scallions, green and white parts included, chopped • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice INGREDIENTS FOR THE SALSA

• 1 cup fresh mango, cut into 1/2 inch cubes • ½ cup tomato, 1/2 inch dice • ½ cup shucked corn kernels (raw) • ½ cup cilantro, loosely packed and finely chopped • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 tablespoon lime juice • Sea salt and black pepper to taste INSTRUCTIONS Blend all soup ingredients together in a blender till smooth, adding enough water to achieve a perfectly creamy texture (about a scant half cup, but use your judgment). Season to taste. Toss the salsa ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer soup to four serving bowls. Top each with a half cup of the mango salsa, season with salt and pepper, and serve.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 15


START WITH SALAD GREENS (2-3 CUPS) + YOUR FAVORITE NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES + SOME PROTEIN + SOME HEALTHY FAT, NOT A LOT + A DRIZZLE OF DRESSING = DELICIOUS, SATISFYING SALAD Salad greens can include: baby greens, baby spinach, herb mix, baby kale, romaine, butter lettuce, etc. Buy pre-washed if that’s more convenient for you. Some examples of non-starchy vegetables include (basically any vegetable you like, not including starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, etc.). These can be raw, lightly steamed, roasted, sautéed or grilled. Just not battered and fried ☺

• Cucumber • Celery • Carrots • Asparagus • String beans • Snap peas • Brussels sprouts (roasted or raw/thinly sliced) • Zucchini • Tomatoes: roma, cherry, grape, heirloom, etc. • Beets: raw or roasted • Broccoli, roasted, sautéed or lightly steamed • Cauliflower, roasted, sautéed or lightly steamed • Cabbage, sliced into ribbons or chopped • Kale, sliced into ribbons • Artichoke hearts


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• Kalamata olives • Any herb you desire: basil, parsley, dill, mint, cilantro,

watercress A portion of protein should be about 3 ounces (slightly smaller than the size of your palm, not including the fingers).

Healthy protein choices include beans, lentils, tofu or tempeh.

If you eat animal products, you can add a small portion of chicken, turkey, hard boiled eggs or wild seafood.

A portion of healthy fats can include a ¼ avocado or a ¼ cup of unsalted nuts or seeds (raw is ideal). These include almonds, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and hemp seeds.

Salad dressing is so important, and making your own is key. Store-bought dressings often contain unhealthy refined fats, sugar and toxic preservatives. They also taste pretty yucky compared to homemade. So please avoid the store-bought stuff.

Plan on making salad dressing on Sundays so that you have enough for the week. Or, keep a bottle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil handy for the “Five-Second Vinaigrette” (I have an extra set-up at my office for lunchtime).


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 17

LEMON HERB VINAIGRETTE Makes about 1 cup. Can store in fridge for 4-5 days. If you’re tired of your same old dressing, this’ll definitely perk up your taste buds. The mint provides a fresh, pleasant twist on your normal vinaigrette.


• 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice • zest from one lemon • 1 tablespoon minced shallot or garlic • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard • 1 teaspoon raw honey • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (or other herb of choice) • Sea salt and pepper to taste


Put the lemon juice, zest, shallot, Dijon mustard and honey into a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.

Slowly pour the olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking. Keep it to a thin stream so the dressing emulsifies properly.

If you see the oil start to collect at the sides of the bowl, stop pouring oil and whisk until the oil is incorporated. Then, slowly start pouring the oil again, while whisking.

Whisk until all of the oil has been incorporated, then season to taste with salt and pepper.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 18

AVOCADO HERB DRESSING This is such a creamy and satisfying dressing — enjoy over a chopped salad with hearty vegetables such as red bell peppers, or over a warm rice bowl. Recipe adapted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s The End of Dieting: How to Live for Life.


• 2 ripe avocados • juice from 1 lime • 1 clove garlic or 1 tablespoon chopped shallot • ¼ cup sliced scallion • ¼ cup chopped cilantro • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy) • ¼ cup filtered water (you may need to add more for desired



Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender. Puree until smooth. Add additional water if you want a thinner consistency.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 19

BALSAMIC-SHERRY VINAIGRETTE Makes about 1 1/2 cups. The inspiration for this dressing comes from a farmers market demo I once saw featuring Le Pigeon’s Gabriel Rucker (James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year). During the course of the demo, he appeared somewhat hungover and dropped numerous F-bombs, but he was still charming and entertaining and gave me the idea of mixing both balsamic and sherry vinegars in one dressing. Thanks Gabriel — I love what you do!


• ¼ cup high-quality balsamic vinegar • ¼ cup sherry vinegar • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon • 1 ½ tablespoons whole grain mustard • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed • 1 teaspoon raw honey • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil • sea salt and ground pepper to taste


In a small mixing bowl, whisk vinegars with lemon juice, mustard, garlic and honey.

Slowly pour the olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking. Keep it to a thin stream so the dressing emulsifies properly. If you see the oil start to collect at the sides of the bowl, cut off the oil supply and continue to whisk until the oil is incorporated. Then, slowly start adding the oil back in, while whisking.

Whisk until all of the oil has been incorporated, then season to taste with salt and pepper.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 20

MASSAGED KALE SALAD Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main. A kale salad is an excellent brown-bag option — there’s no need to pack separate container for dressing, or worry about wilted greens, because the kale is marinated in the dressing ahead of time. I usually use the kale salad as my “base” for a salad bowl, and add leftover steamed, fresh, or grilled vegetables, as well as some baby greens on top. Massaging the avocado into the kale helps soften and break down the kale, which improves the flavor while assisting digestion.


• 1 head of kale: Lacinato or curly kale both work • 1 cup of finely shredded red cabbage • 1 cup shredded or grated carrot • 1 ripe avocado • juice from 1 lemon • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or raw honey • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved • 1-2 tablespoons of dulse flakes (a dried sea vegetable found

in the Asian section) — amazing source of natural iodine, plus it lends a nice savory flavor

• Optional: 1 cup diced fresh mango


To prepare the kale, strip the leaves from the stems. You can either save the kale stems for juicing later, or compost. Using your hands, tear the kale into small, bite-sized pieces.

Place the kale, cabbage and carrot in a mixing bowl and distribute evenly. Add the avocado, lemon juice, maple syrup and olive oil. Use your hands to massage the ingredients into the kale and other vegetables. The kale will “wilt” and reduce in size while taking on the flavor of the avocado “dressing. Add the tomatoes and mango (if using). Garnish with dulse flakes, and serve.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 21

SLICED RADISH + FENNEL SALAD Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter. I love this salad because the vegetables are sliced super thin — either by hand or using a mandoline. It feels elegant and fancy and detoxifying all at once — the perfect antidote when you’ve had a spell of heavy meals. This recipe is from “A Radish and Herb Salad That’s on the Cutting Edge” by the New York Times’ Melissa Clark. She says to NEVER use a mandoline without a protective glove — the mesh kind you use to shuck oysters. Sound advice. If serving as a main, add a side of protein of choice — maybe a portion of white beans warmed with a dollop of store-bought pesto.


• 1 small shallot, very thinly sliced • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon • 4 teaspoons of Meyer lemon juice, more as needed • 4 cups fresh parsley leaves • 2 celery stalks, very thinly sliced, plus ½ cup of the celery leaves

(don’t compost them!) • 6 radishes, very thinly sliced • ½ fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, plus ½ cup of fennel fronds

(again, don’t send them to the compost) • 2 teaspoons drained capers • Flaky sea salt and pepper to taste  


In a small bowl, combine shallot and the lemon zest and juice. Let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in olive oil.

In a large bowl, combine parsley, celery stalks and leaves, radishes, fennel bulb and fronds, and capers.

Toss in the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in more olive oil and lemon juice if desired.


© Monica Spoelstra Metz 2015 - page 22

GRILLED VEGETABLE SALAD Back when I used to work in sports marketing, I lived in Los Angeles. My ad agency account rep — an aging surfer type who always greeted me by swooping in for a kiss on the lips (!) — took me to the famed Ivy Restaurant for lunch once. I’m pretty sure he even ordered for me — back then, I would have never ordered a grilled vegetable salad. I remember being out of my comfort zone that day — an Oregon-raised granola girl at a fancy LA celeb hangout — but I forgot all that when the salad arrived. Flavorful and satisfying, the Ivy’s grilled vegetable salad changed my opinion of salads forever. This recipe is adapted from the Forks Over Knives website, which is an adaptation of a salad recipe from The Plantpower Way by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. INGREDIENTS • 2 ears organic corn • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered • 2 zucchini, cut into ½-inch spears • 2 yellow squash, cut into ½-inch spears • 1 red onion, cut into ½-inch slices • A batch of Dijon Dressing (recipe from Camp Kale Orientation

Guide) • Sea salt, to taste • Dash cayenne • 1 head field lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces • 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped • Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste


In a cast-iron skillet or wok using no oil, blacken the ears of corn over high heat. Set aside.

Blacken the peppers, turning them until all sides are well charred. Set aside and repeat with the zucchini and squash spears. Finally, blacken the onion slices and remove from the heat.


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Add the Dijon Dressing to a large salad bowl. Add sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

Place one ear of corn inside the bowl standing on end. Cut off the kernels using a downward motion. Rotate the cob until all the kernels are removed. Repeat with the other ear of corn.

Dice the red pepper, zucchini, and squash into small chunks. Dice the blackened onion slices into bite-size pieces.

Using your hands, fold the warm veggies into the dressing and set aside, allowing them to soak up the flavor of the dressing.

Add torn lettuces on top of the veggies. Add the chopped fresh dill.

Toss just before serving.

Add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning to taste.


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ONE-BOWL WONDER WITH RANCH STYLE TAHINI DRESSING You’ll have plenty of sauce for 4 servings and maybe some extra to use for vegetable dip. The bowl recipe follows the same format as last week: a base of grains and legumes, plus any veggies you have on hand — and then dressed with the sauce and a sprinkle of sea salt. INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE • ½ cup tahini (sesame paste) • 1 clove garlic, chopped • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil • ½ cup filtered water • juice of 1 lemon • zest from 1 lemon (zest before you juice) • ¼ teaspoon onion powder • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley • 2 scallions, chopped (white and green parts) • sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste • additional water if needed INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SAUCE

Blend everything except for the parsley and scallions until smooth. Add a little water — one tablespoon at a time — until you reach desired consistency.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper and serve. You can store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

TO BUILD THE BOWL — BASE AND TOPPINGS (PER SERVING) • 1/3 cup whole grains (cooked brown rice or quinoa) • 1/3 cup cooked white beans (i.e. cannelini) • Steamed greens: kale, spinach, chard


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Warm a pan with a bit of olive oil and add the cooked grains and beans. Cook over medium low heat until warm, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, set a steamer basket in a pot over a couple inches of water. Cover with a lid and heat until the water starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add the greens. Cover, and steam to desired doneness — I like my greens crisp-tender, so this only takes a few minutes.

To build the bowl, place the grains and beans mixture in the bowl. Add the steamed greens and other toppings, and drizzle with Tahini Ranch Sauce. Enjoy!


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CASHEW CREAM From The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen. This is your secret non-dairy weapon to use as you would heavy cream. The “thick” version can be used to drizzle on soups (or add a cup to thicken the soup and add creamy texture). The “whipped” version can be used to dollop on berries or fruit.


• 2 cups whole raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained • filtered water


Drain the cashews and place in a blender. Add just enough water to cover the cashews by 1 inch. Blend on high until very smooth. If you don’t have a high speed blender, you might want to then strain the cream with a fine-mesh sieve.

To make a thicker version, only add enough water to just cover the cashews and blend.


• 1 cup thick cashew cream • ¼ cup agave or maple syrup • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract • 2/3 cup coconut oil (place sealed jar in a bowl of hot water

to liquefy) • ¼ cup filtered water


Place the cashew cream in a blender and add the agave or maple syrup, vanilla, and ¼ cup water. Start blending. With the blender


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running, slowly drizzle the coconut oil through the hold in the blender lid and process until emulsified.

Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for 2+ hours. Stir before serving. Dollop onto berries, warmed nut milk, etc.