Garlic Lemon Bok Choy Detox Soup


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So who goes and buys up all of the baby Bok Choy at Produce Junction? This girl! Yes I’ll take 7 bags of baby Bok Choy please, that’s 21 heads total!!

As far as cabbages go, baby bok choy are pretty darn irresistible.

Cuteness aside, baby bok choy are more tender and incomparably milder than big bok choy. They’ve also got it all over their adult counterparts when it comes to relative ease of cooking.

True to its name, these diminutive bunches are immature bok choy or a bok choy dwarf variety. They are typically available year-round at Asian markets and some supermarkets.

I wanted to make a delicious and very cleansing soup in honor of our detox month and this recipe is chock full of nourishing and cleansing ingredients, with the star being baby Bok Choy of course!!

Bok Choy: This cruciferous vegetable is one heck of a cancer fighter. Bok Choy is abundant with beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant that has been present in research to be effective in lessening an individual’s chance of cancer. It is also a superb method of obtaining potassium as well as calcium, each of which assists to reduce hypertension. A cupful of cooked bok choy offers about 16 % of the everyday requirement of calcium as well as 64 % for vitamin K.

Garlic: This strong antioxidant has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and can be used to prevent colds, reduce blood pressure, and reduce the risk of developing certain cancers.

Organic Vegetable Stock or Water: Helps you stay hydrated as you flush toxins out of your system.

Turmeric: Curcumin, the component in turmeric that gives it its bright yellow color, stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which the liver uses to eliminate toxins from the body.

Fresh Lemon Juice: Cleanses the kidneys and digestive system, and helps purify the blood. As an alkaline-forming food in the body, it also may help to prevent serious illnesses.

Serves 12
– 7-8 heads of baby Bok Choy,
– 4 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
– 10 cups vegetable broth
– 3 tsp turmeric
– 13 cloves garlic, minced
– 12 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Rinse the bok choy and trim off the stem ends. Slice the white parts into 1/4-inch strips and transfer them to a bowl. Chop the green parts into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer them to a separate bowl.


2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the white parts of the bok choy and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the green parts of the bok choy and the garlic and cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.


3. Add the stock or water and turmeric; bring to a simmer and then turn off the heat.


4. Add the lemon juice and sea salt to taste; serve.




Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells



One of the first recipes I ever made when I first started living on my own was stuffed shells. Pasta shells stuffed with ricotta cheese and smothered in tomato sauce, divine!! It took me a while to find a vegan ricotta cheese, and then in walks tofu, proving yet again how it is the most versatile food in the vegan spectrum!

– 1 box gluten-free large pasta shells
– 1 jar pasta sauce

Tofu Ricotta:
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 medium sweet onion, diced
– 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, minced
– 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, minced
– 1 cup spinach, chopped
– 1 (14oz) package extra-firm or firm tofu, pressed
– 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
– 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Drain tofu and press with several paper towels to remove excess moisture. Process in food processor or blender until the texture of ricotta cheese.

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Heat olive oil in large skillet and cook garlic and onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Add basil, parsley and spinach, cooking until wilted.

4. Add tofu and nutritional yeast and cook until any excess water is gone.

5. Cool pasta shells according to instructions, be careful not to over cook. Drain and set aside to cool.

6. Spread one cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of large casserole dish. Add about 2Tbsp of ricotta mixture to each stuffed shell and place shells on top of tomato sauce.

7. Cover shells with remaining pasta sauce and sprinkle with shredded vegan cheese (optional). Bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Serve with a salad and enjoy!


Detox Smoothies


Today I made some bright and beautiful smoothies for a client of mine, packed full of detoxifying fruits and veggies.

As I continue to fight off this cold I am very focused on loading up on healthy plants to help my body heal. These smoothies will also help to keep your immune system strong and ward off all those nasty bugs going around!

With so much color that exists naturally in plants, you wonder why we ever turned to the world of artificial food dyes!

The first smoothie is the brightest and most joyous shade of fuchsia you’ll ever see, it is so pretty to look at! The reason I chose this smoothie for detox month is because it is packed with nutrients that help to cleanse and revitalize the body:

Beet – cleanses the liver, purifies the blood, anti-inflammatory, source of iron

Avocado – helps lower blood pressure, lubricates joints, anti-inflammatory, loads of healthy fats, high in fibre

Strawberries – high in antioxidants, rich source of vitamin C, benefits digestion

Celery – acts as mild diuretic, promotes feeling of fullness, rich in B vitamins and fibre

Lemon – antibacterial properties, aids digestion, high in Vitamin C, detoxifies and alkalizes, mild diuretic

Virgin Coconut oil – fights viruses, fungi, and bacteria, metabolism booster, healthy MCT fats, increases good HDL cholesterol

Apple (optional) – helps balance blood sugar levels, helps lower cholesterol, aids digestion

Pink Power Detox Smoothie:
– 1 cup water or coconut water
– 1/2 medium avocado, pitted
– 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
– 1 cup strawberries (frozen preferred), hulled if necessary
– 1 small/medium beet, ends trimmed and roughly chopped*
– 1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons or so)
– 1 tablespoon coconut oil
– 4 large ice cubes
– 1 apple (I used a pink lady)

Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth.

Read more:

Next up is the Green Monster Detox Smoothie. This smoothie is packed with two types of nutrient rich dark leafy greens, as well as some stellar fruits:

Kale — It’s actually one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet! Kale provides excellent sources of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K. Putting it in a smoothie is a great way to a serving or two of veggies in.

Spinach– Spinach has an extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.

Strawberries — This sweet berry packs a vitamin C punch to help keep up your immunity.

Cucumbers — Cucumbers help re-hydrate the body. They are loaded with vitamin A and K, and also provide a decent amount of potassium.

Banana – A great source of potassium, good carbs, and fiber are packed into this delicious fruit that makes smoothies creamy and slightly sweet.

Green Monster Detox Smoothie:
– 3/4 cup frozen strawberries
– 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and sliced
– 1 large frozen banana, broken into pieces
– 1 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (or alternate milk)
– 1 1/2 cups kale, loosely packed, stems removed
– Large handful of spinach

Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth.



No-Chicken Soup for the Soul


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When I was growing up there was something about having chicken noodle soup when you got sick that made you instantly feel better. It’s like that yellow broth had some kind of magical powers.

I’ve been battling a pretty nasty cold for about three days now and so I’ve been craving a delicious and soothing yellow broth soup (vegan of course, my chicken-noodle days are long gone!) chock full of healing veggies.

Enter what I call the “No-Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

About a year ago I discovered a vegetarian no-chicken broth at the grocery store and I was shocked. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good vegetable broth as much as the next person but there’s something about a yellow broth that really hits the spot when you aren’t feeling well. This broth by Imagine is out of this world and would fool any carnivore into thinking it’s chicken based!

– 2 medium carrots, chopped
– 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
– 3 cups broccoli, chopped
– 1/2 cup rice, I used basmati
– 8 cups no-chicken broth
– 2 tsp dried thyme
– 1 tsp dried rosemary
– salt, to taste



1. Add broth to a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
2. Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat to low, simmering covered for 30-40 minutes.




Chard and Pearl Barley Stew


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I’ve officially declared the month of February “detox” month! All month long I will feature recipes with natural antioxidant powerhouses to help rejuvenate and energize your system to fight off those winter colds!

This week’s star: Swiss Chard!

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is in the same family as the common beet. However, while the root of the beet is usually eaten, it is the leaves of Swiss chard that are most often consumed.

Even though it is called “Swiss” chard, it originated in Sicily and today remains an important part of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. It also happens to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Here are 8 health benefits you may not have known about Swiss chard:

The reason Swiss chard is so colorful is because it is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet (antioxidants are responsible for the vivid colors in fruits and vegetables). It contains beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, kaempferol, and many other disease fighting antioxidants.

Blood Sugar Regulation
Swiss chard contains syringic acid and fiber and syringic acid, both of which help to regulate blood sugar levels. If you are at risk for diabetes or you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should eat more leafy green vegetables such as Swiss chard.

Bone Health
Swiss chard, like other leafy green vegetables, is an excellent source of calcium which helps to strengthen the bones and teeth. One cup of Swiss chard provides about 101 mg of calcium. It also contains vitamin K and magnesium, both of which are important for strong bones.

Cancer Prevention
Swiss chard is one of the super foods that is known for its cancer preventative properties thanks to the fiber, chlorophyll, phytochemicals, and other plant pigments it contains. Studies have found that leafy green vegetables are particularly beneficial against colon cancer.

Brain Health
In addition to strengthening the bones, the vitamin K in Swiss chard is crucial for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system because it is essential in the formation of the myelin sheath, the protective layer around nerves.

Healthy Blood
Swiss chard is high in iron, which is essential for maintaining the health of the circulatory system and the prevention of anemia. The vitamin K it contains promotes healthy blood clotting and prevents excessive bruising and bleeding.

Hair Health
Swiss chard is rich in biotin, an important hair vitamin that promotes hair growth and strength. Research has found that 30 mcg per day of biotin is beneficial for the hair and one cup of Swiss chard contains about 10.5 mcg. Swiss chard also has high amounts of vitamins C and A, both of which assist the hair follicles in the production of sebum.

Eye Health
One cup of Swiss chard contains a whopping 9,276 mcg of lutein, an antioxidant that is essential for eye health. Researchers suggest that consuming between 6,000 and 10,000 mcg of lutein per day can maintain the health of the eyes and possible prevent or delay the onset of age-related eye diseases.

This week’s stew is packed with Swiss chard which adds an amazing texture to the soup in addition to its stellar nutrients. Let’s get cooking!

– 2 Tbs olive oil
– 1 1/4 lb Swiss chard, leaves and stems chopped separately
– 2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced half inch thick (2 cups)
– 3 medium carrots, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
– 2 medium stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
– 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
– 4 cups vegetable broth
– 1/2 cup medium pearl barley
– 1 cup frozen baby lima beans





1. Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Stir in chard stems, leeks, carrots, celery, and nutmeg. Cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until vegetables release juices but are still brightly colored, stirring often.

2. Add broth, barley, and one and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add lima beans and chard leaves. Simmer 10 minutes more, or until lima beans are tender.





Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Soup


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Today I had a few red peppers left over from last week’s Produce Junction haul, and decided to roast them and make a soup.

It was bitter cold out today, so it was nice to have an excuse to stay inside and cook over the warm stove 🙂

– 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 yellow onion, diced
– 1 large carrot, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
– 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 4 canned roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
– 1 tablespoon water
– 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste – 4 cups vegetable broth
– 1 cup lentils
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or to taste

1. Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heating element in your oven and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Arrange red bell pepper halves onto prepared baking sheet with cut sides down. Roast peppers under the preheated broiler until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Place the blackened peppers into a bowl and tightly seal with plastic wrap. Steam as they cool until the skin has loosened completely, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard skins. Cut peppers into small dice.


3. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook and stir onion and carrot in hot oil until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, tarragon, thyme, and paprika; continue to cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.



4. Stir roasted peppers, tomatoes, water, and hot sauce into the peppers mixture, place a cover on the pot, and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.

5. Pour vegetable broth into the pot; add lentils, bay leaves and parsley; bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.


6. This step is optional (I stopped here): Pour soup into a blender or food processor no more than half full. Cover and hold lid down; pulse several time to get the soup to be only slightly chunky. Repeat processing until all soup has been blended.



Tofu and Edamame Hummus Wraps


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Crispy tofu wrapped with edamame hummus and fresh spinach make for a delicious lunch or dinner, and is perfect for on-the-go!

If you’ve never made hummus from soybeans then I highly recommend you try this, because I may never go back to chickpeas again!

For the Tofu:
– 1 tsp olive oil
– 14-ounce extra-firm tofu, cubed
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Edamame Hummus:
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 1/2 cups shelled frozen edamame, thawed completely
– 1/3 cup water
– 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
– 1/4 cup tahini
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

For serving:
– 6 large gluten-free tortillas
– 2 cups spinach

1. You’ll need a cast-iron pan, or something nonstick that can take very high heat. Preheat the pan over high heat. Once the pan is good and hot, add the olive oil. Add the cubed tofu and sprinkle with salt. The tofu should immediately sizzle when it hits the hot oil; otherwise, turn up the heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, tossing often, until it’s nicely browned. While the tofu is browning, start the hummus.


2. Pulse the garlic in a blender or food processor to chop it up a bit. Add the remaining hummus ingredients and purée until smooth, adding a little extra water as needed to thin. Taste for seasonings. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed container is not using immediately.

3. Spread a very thick layer of hummus in the center of each wrap. Add a handful of tofu cubes and a few pieces of spinach. Wrap them up, slice in half, and enjoy!





Parsley Passion Smoothie


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Kale and spinach are the typical greens of choice in green smoothies these days, but one powerful green you may not have considering drinking is parsley!

This pretty little herb is most recognized as a garnish, but secretly packs a multitude of health benefits you may not know about:

– Parsley is rich in many vital vitamins, including Vitamin C, B 12, K and A. This means parsley keeps your immune system strong, tones your bones and heals the nervous system, too.

– It helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. However, the herb contains oxalates, which can cause problems for those with existing kidney and gall bladder problems.

– Regular use of parsley can help control your blood pressure. The folic acid in this herb is like a tonic for your heart.

– Parsley essential oil, when massaged into the scalp, may reduce hair loss.
Use parsley daily, and you’ll feel relief from joint pain. That’s because the herb has anti-inflammatory properties.

– Parsley tea relaxes stiff muscles and encourages digestion.
Studies indicate that parsley—especially its essential oil—may have a role in inhibiting cancerous tumors. In fact, scientists have billed it a ‘chemoprotective’ food.

But parsley tastes funny, you may be thinking. Rest assured my friends, when combined with the tropical sweetness of pineapple, banana and an apple too, you will be amazed by the flavor profile!


Makes about 3 servings
– 1 cup cold water
– 1 frozen banana
– 1 small sweet apple, I prefer gala
– 1/4 of a large pineapple
– 1/4 bunch parsley (curly or flat)

Add water, fruit and parsley to a high speed blender like a Vitamix. Blend on high until emulsified, about 1 minute.


Scrambled Chickpeas with Cheese


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It snowed last night here in Pennsylvania and I love spending days like this in the kitchen cooking up something warm and comforting.

If you are a savory breakfast person like I am, you will absolutely love this recipe. The combination of sundried tomatoes, dill, garlic and cheese is absolutely divine! Try not to eat the entire skillet in one sitting!

– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt, plus a pinch
– 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (3 cups)
– 3 Tbsp sundried tomatoes, chopped
– 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
– several pinches black pepper
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
– 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice



1. Preheat a large pan over medium high heat and add 2 teaspoons of the oil. Add the chickpeas and toss them to warm them up a bit. Use a potato masher or sturdy fork to partially mash the chickpeas, just so that a few whole pieces are left.


2. Add 1Tbsp of the oil and and sundried tomatoes to the chickpeas and cook for about 7 more minutes, tossing only occasionally, so that they get a little charred. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, Tumeric, and black pepper, along with a splash of water (a tablespoon or two) to keep everything from getting to dry. Mix well.

3. Push the chickpeas over to the side and, in a clear spot in the pan, sauté the garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon oil for only about 15 seconds. Then toss everything together and add the dill and lemon juice.

4. Serve on a gluten free English muffin with a slice of tomato and cheddar cheese (Daiya). Stick a fork in it, and enjoy!!


Miso Adzuki Stew


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Small, dark red Adzuki beans have a sweet, nutty flavor and are often used in Asian desserts. Here they are flavored with savory red miso and wild mushrooms for a stew that is hearty, comforting and perfect for a snowy night in!

– 1 can Adzuki beans
– 2 bunches green onions, white and green parts chopped separately, divided
– 1/2 cup dried wild mushrooms, stems removed and crumbled
– 12 oz red potatoes, chopped
– 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp yellow or red miso (Japanese soybean paste)





1. Coat a large pot with cooking spray and heat over medium low heat. Add white parts of green onions, sprinkle with salt, and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Add mushrooms and beans.

2. Add 4 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 45 minutes, adding a little water if necessary.

3. Stir in potatoes, cover, and cook 15 minutes more, or until potatoes are tender and beans are soft but not mushy.

4. Ladle 1 cup broth from bean mixture into measuring cup. Stir in miso with fork until dissolved. Stir miso mixture into bean mixture, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes more, or until heated through. Sprinkle with green parts of a green onions before serving.