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Seasonal Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Seasonal Spiced Pumpkin Soup

If you love this harvest season, then you probably love everything pumpkin, and soup is a great. I saw a great soup in the Simple Vegan recipe book one day, but first off it had carrot juice in it… and and that is sooo sweet and what a way to just shoot up that insulin response… so then I had to figure out how to modify it to my dietary lifestyle. One of the great items I have purchased over the last couple years is my Blendtec and so I don’t need to juice a carrot if I want to use one, I can just throw it in the blender and go to town. So here’s my take on their recipe:

Seasonal Spiced Pumpkin Soup

24 oz Vegetable broth
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups (368 g) canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon coconut oil {if needing that rich flavor}
1/2 cup (58 g) sliced onions, sautéed in coconut oil
1 1/2 garlic cloves, roasted {if you want to cook this on the stove, then chop and toss in}
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 medium sized organic carrots
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 drops of Black Pepper Essential oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds – roasted {optional}

Directions for High Powered Blender: 

  1. Place all ingredients into the container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Soup or Variable 1.
  3. If needed, turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 6-7 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from vented lid.
  5. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy

Directions for Stove Top: 

  1. In a large saucepan add coconut oil, melt on medium heat.
  2. Add pureed carrots from food processor, and onions. Cook down until soft.
  3. Add garlic, cinnamon, cayenne and cook for another minute.
  4. Add pumpkin and vegetable broth and boil of high heat to boil. Reduce heat, add in coconut milk, and  black pepper essential oil and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors.
  5. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

Paleo Dinner Party for Vegetarians – and how to geek out your menu

Hosting a Paleo Dinner party for Vegetarians

You know that there is nothing more fun than dinner party with friends, but it can be complicated if you are following a Paleo diet. My friend, Lauren, over at Uplifting Accountability, hosted Christmas dinner at her house all Paleo based. But, when you are Paleo Vegetarian, it gets even harder, and so I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes with you to accomplish this.

First you want appetizers. I love Jalapeno Poppers!! LOVE! Peppers are a fave of mine. In fact we stuff and roast anaheim peppers in the summer on the grill and they are to die for. So this is my Jalapeno Popper recipes:

15 large or 20 medium Jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise, cored and seeded
3 medium shallots
4 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
2 tsp. dairy-free soy-free butter
1 cup of Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
6 sprigs of fresh Italian (flat) parsley, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
Black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees or heat grill on high.
2. Finely chop shallots and garlic. Melt butter in small pan and sauté shallots and garlic until soft and slightly browned. Cut lemon in two and squeeze the juice into the pan, and cook a little longer.
3. Remove pan from stove and put shallot mixture in a small mixing bowl, using some of the liquid but not too much. Let that cool and then add the Daiya Shreds, chopped parsley and some pepper to taste. Mix together.
4. Arrange the prepared jalapeno boats on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and fill each boat with the mixture, pressing into pepper and mounding to create a rounded popper, mounding them slightly.
5. Bake for 10 – 18 minutes, depending on the size of peppers, and they’ll get more browned if you leave them for the full 18 minutes. You can grill them on a grilling pan, but be careful with the fillings oozing all over.

Serve this with a nice alcohol-free sangria: (if you want an alcoholic sangria head over to Collage Candy for a yummy version your friends will enjoy but use some agave or stevia instead of the sugar)


3 cups 100% Whole Fruit Organic Concord grape juice
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 orange, ends trimmed, sliced into half rounds
1 apple, cored and cut into thin wedges

In a 2-quart pitcher, stir together the grape, orange, lemon, and lime juices. Stir in the orange and apple wedges and refrigerate, covered, for 4 to 48 hours. Serve the sangria in tall glasses and spoon in some of the fruit.

You could also prepare some gluten-free flax chips, and some cut veggies with some white bean dip or a roasted red pepper hummus. Oh yum! Another favorite of mine is the Caprese Skewers and I highly recommend them.

Now what about dinner

Dinner is the best, but you need something to ground everyone out after that sangria. Right? So how’s this for a menu:

Blackened Wild Caught Salmon or Portobello Mushrooms
Avocado Tomato Salad or Spanish Prawn Salad
Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

And for dessert… Spa Bettie’s Saffron Doughnuts with Rosewater Dressing… but I would use coconut oil (get a 14 oz jar) instead of the canola oil. Coconut oil should be on medium high heat, and the hot oil should be 1/2″ – 3/4″ deep. Test a the temp by tossing in a doughnut hole, it should bubble rapidly if it’s ready.

Paleo Vegeo Mediterranean Mushrooms and Quinoa

Paleo Vegeo Mediterranean Mushrooms and Quinoa

I saw a recipe on Live Well Network that I had to modify…. the Mediterranean Chicken with Quinoa and I changed it up to a Paleo Vegeo Mediterranean Mushrooms and Quinoa. The original really looked amazing, as you can see, but we don’t use chicken or regular cheese in this household. Now if you have a raw cheese, I’ll let you use it, but it has to be raw organic cheese to use instead of using the Daiya cheese.


1 container of sliced bella mushrooms
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cans organic diced tomatoes
approx. 1 cup green olives (sliced into thirds)
approx. 1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric (according to your taste preference)
dash black pepper
2 cups Quinoa and 4 cups water

1. Cook the quinoa according to the package.
In large skillet with olive oil, saute garlic, onion and mushrooms. As the mushrooms begin to cook, they will express liquid; continue to cook until the liquid is gone and the mushrooms are tender and golden. Sprinkle with black pepper.
2. Add white wine and stir in tomatoes, olives, oregano and turmeric. Cover and simmer on low heat (with the lid vented slightly) for approx. 15 minutes.
3. When quinoa is ready, spoon into serving bowls and top with chicken mixture and serve immediately.
4. If desired sprinkle a little daiya cheese on top.

They say it’s great accompanied with a green salad or a side of steamed broccoli (or both). And like all quinoa dishes, it just gets better the next day. Yummy!! I think Joey Fatone has found a new fan with his new show, “A Family Recipe Rocks“.

Oh Paleo Kale ..my favorite of green vegetables!

Oh Paleo Kale ..my favorite of green vegetables!

I originally found this great recipe over at Food 52 and modified for another one of my blogs, and to fit my dietary lifestyle and dietary allergies. Kale is one of my favorite foods on the planet, and with many reason. A lot of people are afraid of kale, or had some bitter kale and have been unable to get beyond that. But Kale is something even your kids will love if you do it right. Who hasn’t had kale sauteed with apples? OMG!! Or what about spicy kale chips? That’s what I call heaven!! Kale has been grown and eaten for over  2,000 years, and up until in the middle ages when another favorite {the cabbage}took over, it was the favorite of vegetables!

One pot Kale and Quinoa pilaf… my modified version:

2 cups salted water
1 cup sprouted quinoa
1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and chopped into 1″ lengths
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon of  Wildtree Zesty lemon grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/4 cup Daiya mozz shreds or Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine the lemon oil, scallions, hemp seeds and cheese (you can use nutritional yeast if you prefer… Treat the yeast flakes as grated cheese, and add the same amount you would if using real cheese.)
3. Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and add some additional couple drops of lemon essential oil if you want, which will smell lovely. Toss to combine with seasoning.

The Magic of 12.12.12

The Magic of 12.12.12 and how you  can build on that

Today is 12.12.12 and it feels a little magical doesn’t it?

Maybe it’s the holidays. Maybe it’s the chill in the winter air. Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon at every turn.

All I know is that when it feels like this, I don’t ask why, I just hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

Speaking of ride…

The next big event we have for you to check out is the upcoming BE Green 21-Day Smoothie Detox!

The program launches on New Year’s Day 2013 — starting just in time to help everyone kick start those resolutions.

You can check out the program here: http://bit.ly/VBau3w

Admit it! This time of year the temptation for shortbread and chocolate covered almonds is at an all time high. The gingerbread cookies and candy canes are everywhere and hard to resist! If you make it through this holiday season packing on a few extra pounds, you’ll be just like the rest of us, setting New Year’s
Resolutions to eat less and get in shape in 2013. Weeeeeell, this year, I’ve got the perfect thing to help you make your new year’s resolutions STICK!

My friend, Tera Warner and her special guest fitness wizard, Teresa Tapp are teaming up to help you
make your new year’s resolutions STICK in January 2013! The combination of green smoothies and T-Tapp fitness will make for the most potent green smoothie detox EVERhttp://bit.ly/VBau3w

Meet the Lean & Green Detox Experts:

Robyn Openshaw

Robyn Openshaw, also known as Green Smoothie Girl, is passionate about green smoothies, teaching others about the health benefits and raising a healthy family. She was raised as the oldest of eight in a one-income family. Dinner growing up was simple: a bowl of black-eyed peas with a little vinegar added, and some cantaloupe. Or a bowl of meatless chili (beans) and a green salad. Or a baked or boiled potato, corn on the cob, and a salad.

Victoria Boutenko

Beloved pioneer in the Raw Food Movement, Victoria is the courageous mother who overnight turned her family ‘raw’ when they were all faced with serious health challenges. She has inspired thousands and thousands of people with her simple, effective communication and fascinating research. Her books Raw Family: A True Story of Awakening12-Steps to Raw Foods-How to End Your Addiction To Cooked Food, and Green for Life are best-sellers.

Angela Stokes-Monarch

Angela Stokes experienced recovery from morbid obesity through a raw food lifestyle. She has been eating raw for nearly 5 years now and has lost around 160lbs (approx. 12 stone) during that time. Her life has been completely transformed on every level and she now devotes her life to spreading this message of hope for natural and healthy weight loss for others living with overweight, obesity and overeating issues.

Teresa Tapp

Teresa Tapp is an exercise physiologist/ rehabilitative trainer whose specialty is real fitness from the inside out. Teresa’s program isn’t about weighing yourself and counting calories or working out 7 days a week for 3-4 hours a day. The T-Tapp program is about RESULTS! Let’s face it – it really does come down to inch loss. Who really cares what the scale says if you look great when you look in the mirror?

You don’t want to miss this one. It’s a great way to clean out before you get started on your new Paleo Vegeo journey. The program starts on January 1st, but registrations are happening now! Sign up and don’t miss this chance to get on board and make 2013 your healthiest year yet!

With the 21-Day Green Smoothie Detox and 15 minutes a day of T-Tapp flab-busting practices, you’ll be
starting off the year lookin’ and feeling better than ever!

Love and leafy greens,



You and I both know that usually by January 5th the commitment to stick to our resolutions is already
waning. This year you can have your own cheerleading squad and personal resolution coach to help you stick to your guns, go green and get fit!!

21 Day Green Smoothie Detox starting January 1st, 2013

Nori Rolls as an appetizer or meal – Paleo Vegeo Nori Roll

Nori Rolls as an appetizer or a meal

Nori rolls can be super easy to make, and can be used either as a party appetizer, a fun starter at a dinner party, or a yummy side for your next meal. I found however that a lot of what I like about my nori rolls is the kick I get from the jalepeno hummus, and in fact just writing this blog post has me craving it for lunch. I’m not kidding. You can add just about any sliced veggies to a nori roll if this is your cup of tea, and you could use any other hummus you choose to make your own combination up. You find that most of those following a paleo diet are overlooking the edible seaweeds. But these boast an unparalleled nutritional profile including many essential nutrients, and they are loaded with iodine which is an essential trace element to life. Iodine is especially important for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. I know that I often do not get enough, and I’m betting you do not either.

Paleo Vegeo Nori Roll

Paleo Vegeo Nori Roll I Barbara Christenesn I Ocean Avenue I The Ultimate Reset

Nori sheet
Lily’s Jalapeno Hummus
Sprouted Brown Rice or Quinoa {cooked}
Beets, sliced into sticks
Carrots, shredded
Purple Cabbage, shredded

1. Lay out the nori sheet.
2. Spread hummus across the middle of the sheet all the way across for about 1/3 of the middle of the sheet.
3. Add brown rice or quinoa across the hummus
4. Add slices of beets, cabbage and carrots
5. Like a burrito fold the bottom of the nori sheet over the contents and then roll it backwards, then continue to roll it up into a long tube.
6. Roll the tube back and forth {you may have to use a dab of water across the end to keep it in place}

Paleo Vegeo Nori Roll I Barbara Christenesn I Ocean Avenue I The Wellness Reset

7. Slice up and add to any meal or use as an appetizer at your next party.

Supporting and healing adrenal fatigue naturally

Supporting and healing adrenal fatigue naturally with essential oils, vitamins, and nutrients

Adrenal Fatigue Support with Barbara Christensen Coach Ocean Avenue Founding Ambassador doTERRA

I had a severe adrenal fatigue issue a few years ago, and then I started drinking coffee. MAJOR fail! So I dropped the coffee, and cleaned up my act, and thought that maybe it was just a passing phase.

So then this last month I really up’d my workouts, after a long Beast 90 days, and the extra HIIT and Plyo workouts made me feel AMAZING at the end of them, but then I would totally crash!

So …. you may think, ‘that sounds like me’.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Do you feel tired for no reason, or get that post-workout High then crash? Do you find that where you used to get up easily, you are having trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Is the first thing you reach for a cup of coffee, soda, energy drink, sweets or salty treats to get you moving? (or to keep you moving mid-afternoon) Do you feel more stressed than usual and totally run down?

If you answered “yes” to these questions then you are probably experiencing this really unpleasant thing called adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal gland function becomes less than optimal. And your diet, the way you workout, the stress at work or surrounding relationships can have an effect on all of that.

To support your adrenals you can add these essential oils to 1/4 teaspoon of the FCO (coconut oil) and apply as a warm compress over the adrenal glands (located on top of the kidneys).
. 3 drops clove
. 3 drops nutmeg
. 7 drops rosemary

That’s a great start.

Also besides that, I have to say “Welcome to my Life Trim60! Invigorate and WheySmart has been the best support to my adrenal glands, and in reducing stress. Didn’t I hear that somewhere before? {Thanks, Franco for the info!} I have learned that you have to support your adrenals specifically with nutrition, especially when you up the game.

While the adrenal glands need numerous nutrients to function normally, perhaps the most important of them all is vitamin C, and a lot of people with really stressed out adrenals can’t tolerate the vitamin C supplements, but they can tolerate acerola berries in a highly concentrated formula like in WheySmart. Sufferers of adrenal fatigue are hit particularly hard by vitamin C deficiency. The production of cortisol and other adrenal hormones, characteristically low in this disorder, is dependent on an ongoing supply of vitamin C. If this supply dwindles, so too does the secretion of adrenal hormones. This feeble response from the adrenal glands places the body under further stress, further increasing demand for the vitamin C. The importance of intervention with the appropriate amounts of this nutrient should not be overlooked. And the ingredients in Invigorate also work to reduce that cortisol and daily stress level. I love it.

One of the most relevant features of this immune imbalance is the susceptibility to yeast infections. So if you have stressed out adrenals then you need to stay away from added sugar. The products I recommend have no added sugar. The way I eat – which is Paleo Vegeo – has no added sugar.

Adrenal Support Soup

Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Soup by Taz using Support from Paleo Vegeo

The following vegetable soup recipe has proved helpful in adrenal support. It is rich in minerals and alkalinizing to help balance the acidity that usually occurs in people experiencing adrenal fatigue and stress. I talk a lot about alkalinizing with using the Paleo Vegeo basic lifestyle changes in your diet starting today. This soup has a calming, settling effect. They call it “Taz,” comes from Dolores S. Downey’s “Balancing Body Chemistry with Nutrition” seminars.

16 oz. green beans
1 cup chopped celery
1 zucchini, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup spring water
2 tbsp. raw local honey
1 tsp. paprika
1 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth}

Combine ingredients and simmer for one hour until vegetables are tender. Pepper to taste.

How easy!! I hope that you’ll move forward with more health!

Thanksgiving Day Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Thanksgiving Day Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

It can be hard to wait for dinner, but it’s far easier if you have a really great soup to nosh on while you are cooking. Right? This roasted butternut soup has become a staple in our house over the last few years, and once you make it you’ll see why. The combination of the pear and the squash is quite amazing, and you’ll find yourself wanting seconds. But remember, even though it doesn’t use sugar, maple syrup is a sugar so keep the cup fulls to a minimum.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 

2 medium butternut squash
1⁄4 cup (50 mL) grade B maple syrup, divided
3 tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 ripe Bartlett pear, peeled and sliced
31⁄2 – 4 cups (875 mL – 1 L) vegetable broth
1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) sage
pinch cinnamon
pinch salt
1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk half and half cream or whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and place cut-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet or in
a 9″x13″ pan. Drizzle with half the maple syrup and roast for about an hour, until tender and
golden on top. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
3. In a large soup pot, heat the 2 tbsps coconut oil and sauté the onion for about 5
minutes, until translucent. Add the pear and cook for another minute or two, until the
fruit softens.
4. Meanwhile, peel the squash and coarsely chop it. Add to the onions and pear along with the broth,
sage, cinnamon and salt. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer
20-25 minutes, until the squash is very tender.
5. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of coocnut oil and the coconu tcream and puree in the pot using a hand-held immersion blender. Alternately, you can transfer it in batches to a blender to puree, then return to
the pot.
6. Enjoy 🙂

Look into my upcoming Post Thanksgiving Sugar-Free Training/Nutrition Plan

Post Thanksgiving Sugar-Free Training/Nutrition Plan

Going into December I’m doing a Post Thanksgiving Sugar-Free nutritional plan, with a very focused hybrid training program. Here’s a look at what my weekly training plan may look like:

Weekly Weight Training Split –

Day 1: Les Mills Pump 55
Day 2: P90X Kenpo
Day 3: Body Beast Build Legs
Day 4: Body Beast Tempo
Day 5: Les Mills Pump 45 & Les Mills Pump Core
Day 6: Les Mills Pump Combat & Les Mills Pump Flow
Day 7: REST

If you can’t do a full six days, make sure you are getting at least 4 days of weights and add in some cardio to the end. This is very similar to what you would do for a vegetarian bikini fitness prep routine for the initial start plan.

Now going sugar-free

That’s the part that is going to be the hardest, because I’m going to be taking out almost all grains for the entire month. I’ll be using my favorite products, to help support my cranky system. I’m not afraid of the sugar-free, it’s that darn quinoa bread I’ll be missing.

Sample Diet:
Meal 1: Oatmeal with Organic Action Whey powder & RawBurst berry powder with ground flaxseed {Plus Super Antioxidant Boost supplement and Emerald Sea supplement}
Meal 2: Action Whey Berry smoothie
Meal 3: Large salad with veggies, ¾ cup sprouted black beans with a salsa dressing and a sweet potato
Meal 4: ¼ cup hummus and 2 cups raw veggies {Super Antioxidant Boost supplement}
Meal 5: Matcha Enzyme Tea {Rishi Matcha tea mixed with Organic Greens Complex}
Meal 6: Spaghetti squash with marina sauce and mushrooms and shrimp or StirFry Vegetables in coconut oil with wild caught salmon {Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Boost}

Speaking of Sugar-free and Thanksgiving, here’s a treat for you: Crustless Pumpkin Pie that I modified from a wonderful friend who is a WBFF Pro

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup oat flour (All types of flour will work, EXCEPT coconut flour)
1/3 cup xylitol
3 stevia pack
1 (15-oz) box organic pumpkin puree
1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 400 F, and grease a 10-inch round pan.
2) In a large mixing bowl, combine first 7 ingredients, and stir very well.
3) In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients with the flax, and whisk.
4) Pour wet into dry, stir to combine, then pour into the pan and bake 35 minutes. (It’ll still be gooey after baking, but that’s ok.)
5) Allow to cool completely before transferring uncovered to the fridge to “set” for at least 6 hours before trying to slice.

Banana WheySmart Vanilla Protein Pancakes

Banana WheySmart Vanilla Protein Pancakes

Ocean Avenue WheySmart Protein PancakesA lot of my friends crave pancakes, and so this is a great recipe I had gotten off the bodybuilding website back in September that I shared with them.

Banana Vanilla Protein Pancakes:

1 small Banana
1 small (120g) cooked Sweet Potato
1/2 cup of Pastured Egg Whites
1/2 cup of Ocean Avenue WheySmart
1 tsp coconut oil


  1. Blend all ingredients for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Place coconut oil in pan and heat on medium heat.
  3. Pour batter onto pan in small circles.
  4. When bubbles form, flip over.

You could also try my modified Blogilates Protein Pancake recipe:

– 1 tbs flax meal
– 1 scoop of either Ocean Avenue WheySmart or WheyBeyond Protein
– 1 whole pastured egg
– 1/4-1/3 cup water (or almond or flax milk)

(She also has one that uses 1/2 cup of water and 3 chopped strawberries)

1. Mix all in a bowl
2. Add coconut oil to pan and warm, make sure it’s on medium heat.
3. Pour a single pancake (or more if you have a big pan) on to pan or grill
3. Flip when no longer runny (wait about 30-40 sec) and Enjoy!