Black Bean Salad with Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing (Vegan)

This refreshing salad is bursting with flavor from cilantro and lime. Cilantro is an anti-inflammatory and is a good source of iron and magnesium. Avocados contain ample amounts of fiber, folate, Vitamin K and potassium. Black beans are rich in fiber, folate, iron and protein.

The pictures don’t do this salad justice–my husband asked me to make this salad twice last week. The dressing makes everyone come back for more!


4 cups spinach or mixed greens

1 29 oz. can of Eden black beans (BPA free)

1 large avocado, mashed

1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

2 Tbsp. cilantro

1 tsp. Herbamare

Heat black beans in a small pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Stir thoroughly with a large spoon for a minute. Make sure the greens and beans are well coated with the mashed avocado and lime juice. Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

This was shared on Lunchbox LoveFit and Fabulous FridaysFreaky Friday, Fresh Bites FridayFight Back FridayWellness WeekendPennywise PlatterSimple Lives ThursdayTastetastic ThursdayGluten-Free WednesdaysFrugal Days, Sustainable WaysHealthy 2 Day WednesdaysReal Food WednesdayWhole Food WednesdayHearth and Soul HopFat Tuesday and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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Potato Leek Soup (Vegan)

The French adore leeks.  Leeks are often overlooked here, but they are very popular in France and many parts of Europe. My Mother-in-law cooks with them all the time–whether it be as a side dish with a salmon dinner, in a soup or in a fresh salad for lunch. Indeed I have eaten many leeks since meeting my husband!

Leeks are rich in sulfur like their relatives–onions, garlic and shallots. They are jam packed with Vitamins A, C and K, folate and iron. Potatoes contain fiber, potassium and Vitamin B 6. Cashews help make this soup creamy without the need for dairy products.

2 leeks

3 medium potatoes
1 cup cashews, soaked 8 hours
2 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
2 tsp. Herbamare
2 tsp. parsley
pepper to taste

Wash leeks and potatoes thoroughly. Peel potatoes and cut in half. In a medium size pot, boil potatoes with 6 cups of water over medium heat until tender. Drain potatoes and mash them with a potato masher or fork.

Cut leeks into thin slices and bring to a boil in a small pot with 2 cups of water over medium heat. Once the leeks become tender, remove pot from heat. Drain leeks and set aside.

Discard water from cashews. Place potatoes, leeks, cashews, milk, Herbamare and parsley in a Vitamix or blender. Make sure the blender is not too full (if it is, make the soup in 2 batches). Blend on high for 2 minutes. Remove lid very carefully as there will be steam. Pour into bowls. Serve hot.

Optional-Top with fresh cracked pepper.

Makes 4 servings.


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“Cheesy” Tomato Mac N Cheese (Dairy & Gluten Free)

Did you know 50% of people who have Celiac Disease are also lactose intolerant? This is a delicious alternative to the traditional mac-n-cheese many people eat at home or in a restaurant. This recipe is great for either lunch or dinner and  is made without milk, but rather with a cashew cream sauce. My cheese-loving French husband didn’t even reach for the Parmesan cheese when eating this dish for dinner this past weekend. That’s success in my book!
Cashews contain ample amounts of copper and magnesium. Spinach has sky-rocketing amounts of Vitamins A, C, K, folate and iron. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene (an excellent source of antioxidants) and potassium.
1 package GF pasta
1 cup cashews (soaked in water overnight)
2 1/2 cups spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. ghee
1 1/2 tsp. Herbamare
pepper to taste
Prepare the pasta according to directions on the package. Drain pasta and remove from heat.
Discard water from the cashews. Place cashews in a food processor and pulse until they are finally chopped. Add in the garlic and pulse until it is minced. Next slowly add in the tomato paste, strained tomatoes, Herbamare, and pepper. Run the processor for several minutes until all ingredients are well blended.
Melt ghee in a saucepan over medium low heat. Place the spinach on the saucepan and saute for several minutes. Add in the cashew mixture and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Pour the pasta on top of the sauce and stir well. Heat for another 3 minutes.
Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
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Mint and Pea Soup (Vegan)

One of my husband’s favorite soups is Mint Pea Soup. It’s a French soup that is simply incredible. I ate it  several years ago in Paris and thought I had died and gone to heaven. OK–there were A LOT of foods in Paris that I fell in love with over and over again. Let’s see…chocolate, coffee, soup, fondue and the list goes on!

I finally decided to make my husband’s beloved soup. I attempted to make it dairy-free. Attempt is the key word because trying to measure up to a Parisian chef sans dairy is no easy feat!

My attempt paid off. This soup got rave reviews from my husband who has asked that I please make this soup at least a couple of times a month from now on. Definitely was my response! Why? Because not only does this soup taste scrumptious, but clean up is a breeze! Furthermore, my children gobbled the soup up which made me a very happy Momma.

Herbs are surprisingly nutritious. Mint is a good source of Vitamins A, C, copper, iron, potassium and calcium. Peas are rich in folate, fiber and zinc. This soup should win the hearts of anyone in your family–even a picky toddler or husband! 🙂

2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1 1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. parsley
pepper to taste

Add olive oil to saute pan and place over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes and then add in peas, mint, stock, sugar, parsley and pepper. Bring ingredients to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pan from stove.

Pour ingredients from pan into Vitamix or Blender. Make sure the container is no more than half full. Blend on high for 2 minutes. Carefully remove the top of the container as ingredients will be steaming.

Pour ingredients into bowls. Serve immediately.

Optional-Top with Parmesan or Daiya Cheese and/or mint leaves.

Serves 4.

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Creamy Kale Salad

If you have read some of my previous posts, you may know I am crazy about kale. My family loves kale too. My kids enjoy kale when I put it in smoothies or make kale chips. I have to be more creative when it comes to putting kale in a salad. Jazzing up a salad is a must when two young kids will be eating it :)This salad was created several months ago alongside my daughter who insisted she give her approval for each ingredient that went into the salad. Luckily, avocado is one of her favorite foods. I now make this salad once a week and my family adores it.  I find avocados pair very well with kale, as do oranges.
Kale is an excellent source of  Vitamin A, C, E, calcium, fiber and iron. Avocados are rich in Vitamin K, folate and potassium. The fruit in this salad provides an extra dose of Vitamin C. What I like most about this salad is that there is no need for any store-bought salad dressing. I love making my own salad dressing every chance I can.

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
2 avocados, sliced thinly
1 cup mandarin oranges, sliced and quartered
1 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. raw honey
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Herbamare
Wash kale thoroughly and dry leaves off. Place kale in a large salad bowl. Add in avocados, oranges, cranberries, olive oil, honey, vinegar and Herbamare. Toss all ingredients together with a large spoon. Serve.Makes 6 servings.


P.S. Check out my guest post over at SugarFreeMom for a recipe for Honey Sweetened Valentine Cookies!
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