Back to School and Fall

Wow what a busy summer! I am so ready for some quiet, cool Fall days to nest at home and recharge my body, mind and spirit! Health is mostly impacted by 3 catagories: 1. Food/Diet, 2. Lifestyle/Stress levels, 3. Chemicals/Environmental Toxins.

I have been on a nerd fest lately, and attending several medical webinars and seminars, and they all are talking about the 3 factors above being scientifically linked to illness, disease and death!

I have a confession to make, I eat really clean and healthy most of the time. I am 100% gluten-free, dairy-free, white sugar-free expect for the quarterly Mexican Coke which I have vowed to give up since it’s just not satisfying! I also eat all organic and am not eating out as much anymore and look for restaurants that use local, organic produce and meats.

My house has an Austin air filter, well-water with extra whole house filters, no chemicals of any kind in cleaning for house, pet or humans, we remove our shoes(not to drag in chemicals and toxins and gross dirt we’ve walk in) and organic furniture and so on. We have a timer on our wi-fi and tested our home and it has very low Wifi registers on the Geiger meter! We live in the woods with fresh air, nature and peaceful quiet.

This all must seem like I am an extreme whacko, but I want to control what we can and do what we can because we are exposed to so many chemicals we cannot control. So, just do what you can and make progress as you are ready. This all happened for us over time.

So my confession is that my missing or broken piece of the puzzle of health is STRESS! I do everything else pretty well most of the time, but I screw up too b/c I am human too. The one lesson I have not mastered to to surrender and know that all is well and everything always resolves itself. I know it in my head, but my body hasn’t gotten the message yet! I am a certified yoga and meditation teacher, but don’t practice it enough myself! So, this is my focus this Fall to really calm my mind. I give all my worry over to God and Angels and I let go and hope to heal my own health.

I recently was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and probable Fibromyalgia! I have suspected it for a long time, but have been in denial b/c I did not want to have those health issues! Well, I do. ;( And, I am having to slow down and adjust my lifestyle.

I have never thought of myself as an over-acheiver, but a therapist pointed out the definition and I sunk down in my chair and said, ok I am guilty. I have pushed myself very hard for as long as I can remember. I am always chronically overdoing it. I strive to be better, smarter, more loving, healthier, etc…I mistook ambition for stupidity. I thought if I just kept trying harder and harder I would somehow achieve Nirvana in all areas of my life!!! Instead, I am just exhausted with serious health issues.

The good news is that I have a lot of compassion and understanding for others who are ill and suffering. I also know the signs and symptoms to look for and the solutions. It is very challenging for me to just rest and relax when I feel I constantly have a never ending To-Do list. I need to be okay with not getting the list done and see the progress of what I have accomplished, and to be okay with just relaxing or having fun! What is that I ask? So, I will report back to  you periodically on this.

I did start playing violin this year which has become very meditate and joyful! It is never too late to learn something new or do what you’ve always longed for or dreamed of doing. Do it! I am having a ball! Again I over practiced…one hour a day for 6 months and now I have “Tennis Elbow”. So the lesson of slowing down and pacing myself keeps showing up! Now I have to play in short spurts a few times a day and I’ve taken a month off and nurtured my elbow. So, back to food…my favorite subject and thing to do is cook and eat!

I know the holidays are around the corner so I am going sugar-free until the holidays, then I will choose my sweeteners carefully to keep my health and immune system strong! I am boosting my immune system now so I stay strong and healthy this fall and winter. I have been making homemade bone broth for free, from veggie scraps and leftover bones; and soup with lots of veggies-so delicious and satisfying. And, I am really amazed at how much more satisfied I feel after a delicious piece of organic fruit than a sugary dessert.

Sugar is the root of inflammation, illness, lowered immune system and disease! See the video, The Bittersweet Truth about Sugar,  on my video page by Dr. Robert Lustig. You will be astounded! A few excellent documentaries are, What the Health and Whats with Wheat! Check them out and have a movie night at your house with friends and family. They are very insightful and motivating!

I am choosing to enjoy organic berries and organic apples that are low in sugar and high in anti-oxidants and hundreds of nutrients and health benefits. Try an organic apple with 2 Tablespoons of  organic/unsweetened nut or seed butter. I love cashew butter from Trader Joe’s, or homemade. Valencia Peanut butter is the only peanut that does not contain mold so go for Valencia…at Trader Joe’s. Beans and Lentils, nuts and seeds are a great source of fiber and protein without the animal protein.

Berries and apples that are not organic/conventional have over 40 pesticides!!!! These pesticides will adversely effect health of the endocrine system, neurological and brain function and are linked cancer. If your child, or you, have ADD/ADHD or just some difficulty focusing…try removing all processed sugars and artificial dyes/colors are very harmful too.

Go pick your own if you live near organic farms…its a great outing for the family and the kids love it. If you cannot get to a farm, a farmers market is the next best thing. Also, Costco has organic berries and apples for a great price if you are on a tight budget! Remember baked apples and homemade applesauce too.

Soda is another place that is loaded with sugar! A can of soda has 1/4 cup of sugar and a Big Gulp has a 1/2 cup of sugar!!!! I have introduced many kids and teens for the 7 summers, to Stevia sweetened soda..either Zevia store bought or they can make their own! Go to for lots of flavors of stevia and just add 6 drops to 12 ounces of sparkling water from a glass bottle. Kevita Coconut Water Keifer is even better b/c it is a bubbly sweet drink with no added sugar, and has fermented probiotics and lots of electrolytes too. Please toss the Gatorade which is loaded with sugar and artificial colors, and trade it for a natural/delicious version called Recharge. Teach your kid’s now and change your own habits and you will all feel so much better with these small changes.

Remember to buy everything in glass when you can b/c the plastics may be free of BPA, but hey are loaded with other harmful chemicals. Get stainless steel bottles to take on the go…at Bed Bath and Beyond for $10! I also put my smoothies To Go in 12 ounce glass Mason Jars.

September and October can be a time loaded with parties and holidays and sugar! So I have posted cake/cupcake & frosting recipes made with homemade alternative milk or store bought on my FREE RECIPES Page. Please send them with your bundles of love to parties and school. They are so delicious and will not give them the sugar spike, crash and overwork their pancreas and cause diabetes!

Finally, remember sugar is not only the white stuff. It is all forms of sweeteners which the pancreas has to produce insulin to process. When you eat fruit that contains fiber it will slow the absorption of sugar and blood sugar levels will be more even and steady.  High carb grains like rice, potato, tapioca convert into sugar too. Our bodies need a certain amount of sugar for fuel, but most people are eating more than they realize.

Everyone is unique and has different needs, so listen to your body and watch how your children behave and feel after eating certain foods. Keeping a food journal on an APP like Cara or on a calendar along with health symptoms can reveal so much. Kid’s need some carbs and a good amount of protein and tons of veggies for nutrition and to help them grow. Adults need less carbs typically. The exception is if you have Adrenal Fatigue and you may need a few red potatoes or sweet potatoes or root veggies at lunch and especially dinner.

I challenge you to try a new veggie each week! You will find some new favorites!

My specialty is to help people create a super tasty customized diet that meets their personal needs and that of the family to reach your best health. I want you to Thrive not just survive! I have gone from barely surviving(2 hours of energy a day) to much more energy(12 hours of energy) through diet and lifestyle. I have had a temporary set back, but I am making the necessary changes to find my balance and you can too.

I understand how it feels on both ends of this spectrum of health and illness. I am now doing phone consults, so call me to get a fresh start as we go into the Fall and Winter. See Contact for details. I am here to help and support you because I care and want the best for you.

Be Well & Thrive and Many Hugs and Blessings to you. Have a fabulous day and week! Go to the Free Recipes page now. Remember to check out the video for a good parents movie night!


Hidden Sources of Gluten!

10+ Sources of Hidden Gluten!

1. Body and beauty products & Haircare/hair color/bleach!

Lipstick, toothpaste, body lotion, shampoo, hair color soap, conditioner, baby powder and sunscreen can all contain gluten. Because of this, I stick with beauty brands that are committed to offering both gluten-free and toxin-free products! You can look them up on

Be sure to read labels and know the various names of wheat like the botanical name, Triticum Vulgare(wheat germ oil)! England and EU label wheat as Triticum! If you don’t know what something is on a label, look it up.

My favorites include:

You can find these at health food stores, Pharmaca and

Acure(body soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, facial products)

Mineral Fusion for hair and make-up

My Chelle or Acure for facial products

Babo Baby or Goddess Garden or Badger Sunscreen

Top Chic Permanent hair color (not semi or demi or any other) by Goldwell


2. Medications, supplements and herbal formulas

Many of these have fillers like dextrin, which can come from corn or wheat.  There are several websites, such as that list gluten-free medications. If you are taking thyroid, be sure it is Westhroid and Levothyroxine if needed which are the least allergenic of all of them. Synthroid contains gluten and doesn’t convert as well as Westhroid(natural) in most people!


3. Play-Doh and paints

Play-Doh is made from wheat flour, salt and water, and many paints also have wheat-derived ingredients. I make my own play dough with gluten-free oat flour. I use only No VOC paints in our house.


4. Sauces and condiments

Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, tomato sauce, gravy and salad dressings can all contain gluten. Distilled vinegar begins with grain! They cannot distill 100% of the gluten out, so look for ones that use apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar instead of distilled vinegar or white vinegar! Or, make your own!


5. Scrambled eggs

Some restaurants add pancake batter to make eggs, or buy packaged egg products that already contain batter in order to make the eggs fluffier. The chef & foodservice staff, may be unaware they’re using a product that contains wheat or gluten, so make sure to ask questions!


6. Stamps and envelopes

The adhesive that makes stamps and envelopes stick can come from gluten. I always use a wet paper towel to dampen the envelope seal or better yet, use self adhesive kind. Many glues are also made from gluten!


7. Luncheon meats, imitation crab and vegan meat substitutes, soy sauce

Wheat can be used as a filler in luncheon meats, and of course most meat jerky contains soy sauce. The “crab meat” used in many sushi rolls, like California rolls, is imitation crabmeat and contains wheat as a stabilizer. Many vegan “meats” and veggie burgers are either made from wheat or contain one of the these ingredients listed below.

Other hidden sources of gluten:

  1.  Artificial color
  2. Baking powder
  3. Caramel color/flavoring
  4. Citric acid (can be fermented from wheat, corn, molasses or beets)
  5. Coloring
  6. Dextrin
  7. Diglycerides
  8. Emulsifiers
  9. Enzymes
  10. Fat replacers
  11. Flavorings
  12. Food starch
  13. Glucose syrup
  14. Glycerides
  15. Maltodextrin
  16. Modified food starch
  17. Natural juices
  18. Stabilizers
  19. Starch
  20. Wheat starch


8. Alcohol

Beer contains gluten, of course, but distilled liquors such as vodka can also be made from wheat or rye or barley. Depending on your sensitivity, you may need to steer clear of these. I recommend eliminating alcohol entirely during the first 30 days on any of my programs or until your symptoms have resolved. However, if you have eliminated your symptoms and want to enjoy alcohol occasionally, I usually stick with tequila, potato vodka, GF Rum or Organic/No Sulfites added wine and gluten-free beer made from Sorghum. Do not drink gluten-free beers that the gluten has been “removed”, b/c it’s still there and only a molecule can trigger antibody production which take 6 weeks to clear the system/blood stream! Check out a full list of gluten-free alcohol and foods on


9. Mashed potatoes & Soups

Flour is sometimes added to thicken mashed potatoes. Often flour is added to thicken soups!

10. Sprouted Bread

All bread, sprouted or not, that contains gluten(wheat in all forms both modern and ancient, Rye, Barley, Spelt, Kamut, and any oats that are not certified gluten-free can be contaminated with gluten.

11. Candy

You must read the ingredients! Licorice and many other solid candies are made from wheat flour. Wheat and gluten have many names they can be labeled as such as the botanical name Triticum or Triticum Vulgare(wheat germ oil)!

Read your labels and be aware. When in doubt call the company and ask, and if they don’t know or won’t tell you, don’t use it! Stay safe!

Happy Easter & Passover!

Wishing you a very happy Easter. May you have a lovely time with friends and family. I am posting recipes for you here

I love American Lamb that is pasture-raised, grass-fed and organic because it is mild in flavor, healthier and more loving and kind way of raising animals than factory farms! If you like a strong gamey flavor then you may prefer Australian Lamb. If you think you don’t like Lamb, try American and see if you change your mind. My favorite is Neiman Ranch.

I don’t know why, but I think of Lemon at Easter time. So, I’ve posted my favorite Lemon Tart recipe for you. The Lemon Curd is delicious on Scones or as a cake filling. You may want to use 1-2 teaspoons of kudzu or arrowroot to thicken it more. If you use it for cake filling, be sure to refrigerate or freeze, until well set, the filled cake BEFORE you try to frost it or it will slide all over! I learned that one the hard way!


Happy eating, cooking, baking and celebrating what is important to you. Remember Love is the answer to everything!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Okay, I may look Irish, but I am not! Not all red-heads are Irish! I am just a mixed UK/French mut! I do have green eyes, so nobody is allowed to pinch me!;P

This holiday is fun and I love the food and Beer! This is not the day to cheat on gluten! Remember, gluten antibodies stay in the body for 6 weeks!!!!! There are so many good gluten-free beers now, but you need to know the facts. There are beers that are labeled “gluten-free”, but they are actually gluten-low because the producers start with a gluten grain(barley, wheat, spelt, rye) and throw a bunch of enzymes to “remove gluten”, but they cannot accurately measure how much gluten is left over! This is not safe in my opinion.

We really like sorghum beers and a few brands we love are Glutenberg, Redbridge and Greens and they all have several varieties(ale, IPA, dark & lager) which you can find in health food stores and some bars and restaurants. If you really have no other options when you are out partying, Corona light claims to be gluten-free. See my post on gluten-free alcohol for safe spirits.

Please remember to either not drink at all and drive or take UBER or LYFT or have a designated driver. The legal limit is very low on breath allizer tests…only one drink an hour can find you legally drunk with a DUI and yourself in Jail!!! No drunk person ever thinks they shouldn’t drive! It is so not worth ruining your life, or killing someone else, for that lousy beer or drink! Have fun safely is my motto! You are special and here for a reason, so please stay safe.

Now for the best part….the food! My house smells so good right now….I’ve got Irish Stew in the crockpot and Irish Soda Bread in the oven, and yes Glutenberg and Greens beer chillin sans/senza green food coloring! Click for the recipes



Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love, Love, Love…
We all want to be loved. I feel life is all about love, both giving and receiving. Many of us have no problem giving love, but receiving love is more challenging for many reasons. Whether we don’t feel worthy or lovable or “good enough” stemming from something from our upbringing or whatever it is, it can be hard.

All I know at this age is, love is the answer and we all deserve it and we all need it. Love is not just a want, but a need we all long to possess. In truth, everyone has love…its inside of us. I was made aware of a concept about love recently that hypothesizes that love comes from within and not from outside of us! Take a moment to ponder that idea.

So, why do some people feel unloved? If we are focusing on giving love instead of receiving it often we feel more love returning when we are giving it! Ironic isn’t it? I find that when I am feeling a bit ignored or haven’t heard from loved ones in a while, usually they are just busy, if I focus on giving and taking care of myself and others I feel better. When I feel down, I find that if I ask myself what I need, I always hold the answer.

If you feel you want to explore this more find a therapist or coach. We recommend Dan Ross in Willow Glenn and Palo Alto or Steve Smith in Campbell and Debra Cohen in Los Gatos and Campbell. Debra has yoga and meditation classes Friday afternoon sessions in LG! For more info:

I often will ponder what of my favorite self-care things I will do to boost my mood. Here are a few to do alone or with your beloved:
hot epsom salt bath or jacuzzi or foot soak
sauna or steam
I love Watercourse Way in Palo Alto for soaking, steam and sauna and they have spa services too or Well Within in Santa Cruz or Refugio in Carmel Valley! I am a new person after visiting any of these wonderful places and all for $25-$50!
You can do this at home too with hot shower, salt scrub, facial and massage.
walk on the beach or in the woods
meditation & prayer
tapping on or
listening to
Aromatherapy(put some drops in your shower floor and diffuser):take caution using essential oils if you have a cat. We almost lost our cat from orange oil natural pesticide! Pancreatitis!
Cooking & Baking
hanging with our animals and giving them love and attention
enjoying a hobby, music, or a happy or funny film
What makes you feel loved and joyful? Make a list and then put it on your calendar because self-care is not an option or a luxury its a necessity! Lets do it today! Sending you all love and blessings and recipes! Get my FREE Valentine Recipes on this site
P.S. Chocolate with chilies releases the same endorphins as sex! So go to see my chocolate recipes and add a pinch of your favorite chili powder(chipotle, ancho, cayenne, Piment d’Espelette etc…)

Love, Hugs and Blessings,


Super Bowl Sunday Recipes for the Big Game day!

Regardless of what team you route for, its just fun to get together and eat and have fun! So, here are some recipes that I hope will enhance your party for Superbowl Sunday! A lot of people are sensitive to gluten and dairy, but just don’t know it or don’t admit it. This is a good opportunity to introduce delicious products that are healthier alternatives to gluten and dairy. Check out my post from Christmas of my Favorite Things for ideas of store bought goodies to serve or use in your favorite recipes. To mention a few: Miyoko’s Vegan Butter & Cashew Cheeses, Parmela Cheese(made from cashew)-replace shredded cheese with this-it melts! Comes in Mozzarella and Cheddar, Kite Hill almond cheeses, refrigerated macadamia milk and cashew milk. I also love a few new box mixes for when you’re in a hurry: Simple MIlls Paleo Mixes(muffins, pizza crust, foccacia) and Paleo Baking Co muffin mixes! Bob’s Red Mill just came out with a Paleo Baking Mix…waiting for me to test it on my counter, but I’ll bet its good b/c they do things right!

Have fun and be safe and be sure your loved ones do not drink and drive…call UBER! Don’t take a chance. I’ve never seen anyone….ever….say I am too drunk to drive!

They always say, “I’m fine”! I once had to take the keys of a loved one b/c she said, “I’m fine” and I replied, “Then why are your eyes crossed?”! Ironically, I got pulled over b/c she kept changing her mind on where she wanted to go! When I told the cop look at what I am dealing with, two drunk people laughing and rolling around in the back seat….just help me out here….he promptly gave me a sobriety test, and I had not had any alcohol, so I was let go….that was a fun night, but at least I probably saved 2 people from a certain accident, injury or death!

Okay, here are your recipes…happy shopping and cooking and entertaining!


Clam Chowder

The first time I had this was as a small child in New England. This soup is rich and creamy with chunks of potatoes.

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed or Avocado oil

2 cups yellow or white onion, diced

1 cup fresh fennel, thinly sliced, optional

1 cup celery, diced

3 cups organic russet or red potatoes, diced

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 sprigs fresh thyme

½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

½ teaspoon celery seeds

freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups clams, cooked

1 bottle clam juice

1 cup water, filtered or bottled

3 Tablespoons oil

½ cup gluten-free oat flour

1 cup almond milk or cashew milk, unsweetened

2 cups vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

½ bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds or dried tarragon, optional

   In a large stock pot, over medium heat saute onions, celery, and fennel in 2 Tablespoons of oil until translucent. Pour clam juice, water and seasonings over onion mixture. Add potatoes and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. In a small sauce pan add 2 Tablespoons oil. Whisk in flour, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add stock and almond milk while whisking constantly and bring to a boil; then stir into potatoes. Stir in clams. Taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top. Serve immediately. Do not cook clams for longer than 1 minute or they will become tough.

Crab Cakes

This takes me back to the crab shacks along the Atlantic seashore, and I can almost smell the ocean and feel the warm breeze on my face when I eat them! Keeping them simple is the secret.

Yields: approximately 12 cakes

3 Tablespoons organic mayonnaise or Veganaise, no preservatives please

1 lg. organic pasture-raised egg

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Bay seasoning

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon GF Dijon mustard, no preservatives please

1 teaspoon GF Tabasco or hot sauce

zest and juice of 1 washed lemon

1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 pound lump crabmeat, cleaned

3 slices gluten-free bread, ½ inch dice or 3 cups cubed cornbread

Grapeseed or Avocado oil-for frying, about 2 cups or to fill halfway up frying pan*

2 lemons, washed and cut into 6 wedges each

In a large bowl, combine all wet ingredients, except egg and peanut oil, and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. Whisk in egg. Add parsley, crabmeat and bread, stir gently by folding with a wooden spoon from the middle to the edges. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make 12 equal sized round patties about 4 inches wide and ¾ inch thick-can use a measuring cup for this or a large ice cream scooper. Place on a baking sheet and set next to the frying pan. Pour oil into a cast iron frying pan or a deep frying pan with a thick bottom. Attach a thermometer to the side of the pan with the end just above the bottom. Heat the oil to 360 degrees over high heat. Using a spatula, gently slide four of them into the hot oil. Be careful, it will splatter. Adjust heat to keep oil at 350 degrees. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until brown, but not burned. Turn only once by using a spatula underneath and a large spoon on the top of the cake and gently turn it over. Drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Keep the baking sheet in the oven on the lowest temperature to keep them warm. *Can be baked at 375 for approximately 30 minutes instead of frying, but will not be as crispy. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon. A green salad and a glass of white wine or champagne is a very nice compliment to these delicious crab cakes! Also good over a Caesar Salad (see index). Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes or until hot.

Oven “Fried” Chicken

This is a low fat and less messy version of fried chicken! The crust is thinner, but still crispy and delicious! Brining the chicken for 2-48 hours prior to cooking makes it very moist and flavorful so, start 1-2 days ahead.

Yields: 1 chicken cut up

1 Chicken, organic and free range, cut up with bones

Brine (see index)

juice of 1 lemon

4 cups gluten-free and/or paleo flour(oat or tiger nut or coconut or almond)

4 Tablespoons poultry seasoning or Herbs d’ Provence or Italian dried seasoning or a dry rub

kosher or sea salt/black pepper, freshly ground

extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil, approximately 1/3 cup

If you buy kosher chicken you can skip the brine. Otherwise, prepare the brine and soak the chicken 2-48 hours in the refrigerator. This will make the chicken much more flavorful, tender and moist.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove chicken from brine and place on a baking sheet. Discard brine down the kitchen sink and wash everything very well with hot water and soap to kill the bacteria from the raw chicken. Wash lemon, cut in half and squeeze juice over chicken evenly. Let the lemon juice marinate the chicken for 5 minutes. Put the flour into a large plastic zip bag. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with 4 Tablespoons of seasoning, salt and pepper. Place in the flour, seal the bag tightly and shake until well coated. Place chicken onto a baking sheet without them touching each other and drizzle extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil over them until they are lightly coated and all the flour is covered, but not so much that it is sitting in a puddle of oil. Bake immediately for 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees when thermometer is inserted into the middle of the piece of chicken. Note: the smaller pieces will cook faster so, start to check them at 30 minutes and remove pieces when they are done. You may need to leave the thighs and breasts in longer than the drumsticks and wings. Serve with mashed potatoes (see index) or baked potatoes and a salad or green vegetable! If you are in a Southern mood, serve with sautéed kale (see index), candied sweet potatoes (see index) and cornbread (see index). Mmm, mmm, finger licking good!


This is wonderful served warm with honey spread! It goes very well with chili too. Makes a great stuffing for Turkey or anything you want to stuff.

Yields: 1 (8×8) pan

¾ cup GF oat flour

¼ cup millet flour

1 cup organic Non-GMO cornmeal, fine to medium grind

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt, fine

¼ cup whole millet, optional

1 cup almond milk  or cashew milk

1 lg. egg, organic

¼ cup grapeseed oil or avocado oil

¼ cup honey (clover, orange)

Spread: Whisk honey and vegan butter(I love Miyokos) together for a spread

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer or bowl, add the remaining dry ingredients and mix. Add the wet ingredients and mix just until combine. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl.

Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish with vegan Earth Balance. Pour batter into pan and let it sit for 15 minutes to let grains absorb the liquid. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, cut and serve. May be reheated in the oven for 5 minutes or microwave for 10-30 seconds depending on the size of the piece! *You can make these in muffin pan with parchment cups and add a 1 inch piece of Andouille sausage in the center of each muffin! 

BBQ Ribs

These ribs are tender and flavorful. They are finger liking good!

Yields: Serves 4 people

1 rack Baby Back Ribs, Neiman Ranch or free range organic pork 

1 organic lemon

salt and pepper

1/2 bottle Organicville or your favorite BBQ sauce(no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Put Ribs on a baking sheet with meaty side up.

2. Squeeze lemon juice over ribs.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper

4. Pour BBQ sauce over top of the ribs and spread evenly with a spoon. 

5. Bake on middle rack for about 45 minutes.

6. Take Ribs out of the oven and check with a meat thermometer. It should be 170 degrees.

7. Let them rest for 5 minutes.

8. Cut in between bones.

9. Serve and enjoy. You can pour a little more BBQ sauce over the ribs or serve a little in a ramekin for people to dip the ribs. 

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

A true southern dessert to die for-wait until you’ve eaten a piece! This was inspired by one of my favorite chefs, Paul Prudhomme, who is one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met. When you cannot decide between pumpkin or sweet potato or pecan pie, this is your answer-dilemma solved!

Yields: 1 pie


½ recipe pie crust (see index)

Sweet Potato Filling:

1 cup canned sweet potato

¼ cup coconut nectar

1 lg. organic egg, beaten

1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil or orange olive oil

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon sea salt, fine

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg

Pecan Filling:

½ cup coconut nectar

¾ cup real maple syrup, dark grade B

2 lg. organic eggs, beaten

1 Tablespoon vegan Earth Balance/Miyoko’s vegan butter, melted

2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

1/16 teaspoon sea salt, fine

1/16 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ cup pecan halves or pieces (halves are prettier)


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2.Roll out ½ recipe of pie crust and press into an 8 inch glass pie pan crimping the edges with fingers or a fork and refrigerate.

3.In an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all ingredients for sweet potato filling until well combined, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

  1. In a separate bowl, combine all pecan pie filling ingredients except pecans. In an electric mixer with the whisk, mix until well combined and opaque approximately 1 minute.
  2. Gently stir in pecans by hand.
  3. Remove pie crust from refrigerator.
  4. Pour sweet potato filling into dough lined pie pan and smooth out evenly with a spoon or offset spatula.
  5. Gently pour the pecan filling over the sweet potato filling.
  6. Bake pie at 325 for 1 ¾ hours or until a knife inserted in the middle of the pie comes out clean. Pecans will rise to the top when baking, but will settle when cooled.
  7. Cool at room temperature for 2 hours and then refrigerate until set, 4-8 more hours. This is best made one day ahead of when you want to serve it.

I make this for Thanksgiving every year-even if it is only a few people. Serve a la mode with vanilla ice “cream”. Shh, if there are any leftovers, it’s great for breakfast!

New Improved Pie Crust

This delicate, flakey pie crust can be made by hand, or in a food processor which is much faster. I learned how to make this from my Aunt. Her desserts are perfection and the whole family always looks forward to enjoying them at gatherings and holidays!

Yields: 2 single crusts

4 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour or alternative flour of choice(sorghum, amaranth, millet)*

½ teaspoon sea salt, fine

1TBSP coconut palm sugar, optional

1 tsp. ground cinnamon, optional

3 sticks vegan Earth Balance or Miyoko’s Vegan Butter or 1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening, frozen and diced

1 TBSP-½ cup iced water (bottled or filtered), depending on humidity

  1. Put bowl and pastry cutter into the freezer while measuring out ingredients.
  2. You want to keep the pieces of Earth Balance or shortening cold, which will make the crust flakey rather than tough.
  3. Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl or mix in food processor.
  4. Add ½ cup shortening or Earth Balance and cut into the flour with a pastry cutter, or pulse with food processor, until it is the size and texture of cornmeal.
  5. Add remaining ½ shortening or Earth Balance and cut into the flour with cutter, or pulse with food processor, until it is the size of small green peas.
  6. Slowly drizzle 1 Tablespoon of water at a time and blend just until dough forms a ball or comes together so it doesn’t break apart.
  7. Take a tablespoon of dough, roll it out and if it cracks or falls apart, you need more water. If the dough is sticky, you added too much water-add 1-2 Tablespoons of flour if it is too sticky. The humidity in the air will determine how much water you will need.
  8. Cut dough in half and put into a freezer zip bag and freeze until ready to use. Thaw in refrigerator for 8 hours.

Rolling out dough:

  1. Cut the edges of the plastic bag open, with dough in it, so you have two pieces of plastic.
  2. Roll dough once with even pressure and turn a quarter turn and continue rolling and turning until it is ¼ inch thick. 
  3. If using plastic remove the top piece of plastic bag and lift up the bottom piece of plastic holding the dough and flip it over into a pie pan and peel off the plastic.
  4.   Roll out remaining half of dough after you have filled the pie and are ready to bake it.

Be sure to put a vent hole or slice 3 slits in top of pie crust for the steam to release while baking.

*Dough can be frozen up to 6 months if double wrapped in plastic and then put into a zip freezer bag. It will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. You can combine various flour.

Chocolate Ganache

This is the most versatile sauce. It can be used for an ice “cream” topping, dessert sauce, frosting and truffles. It is thick and fudgy when it is cold and thin and syrupy when it is warm. What’s not to like about that? Absolutely nothing! Shh, it’s great to just scoop out of the jar when it’s cold for that late night fix! Ganache is simply equal parts of chocolate and cream, but we will use coconut milk instead of cream.

Yields: 3 cups-enough to frost one 9×12 cake


12 ounces dairy-free high quality dark chocolate  or chocolate chips**

1 ½ cups regular coconut milk (not light)

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, optional but recommended!

*For sweeter frosting you can add ¼ cup real maple syrup to the coconut milk, optional


  1. Place chocolate in a metal or glass bowl and set aside.
  2. Put coconut milk in a sauce pot and bring to a boil, pour over chopped chocolate. See note for sweeter frosting above-if using chocolate chips it will be sweet enough.
  3. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes and then stir with a silicone spatula until smooth and well mixed.

For a shiny glaze over cake: pour ganache directly over cake and let it set at room temperature for a few hours-do not refrigerate. Best when the cake is in a pan. If you are doing it over a round cake on a stand, pour half over it and let it set and then pour the other half so it doesn’t all run to bottom of the cake onto the stand and not on your cake!

For a fluffy frosting: Chill the Ganache at room temperature for 2 hours, and then in the refrigerator until it is completely solid. Put into an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium-high speed until it is fluffy. For a really deep, dark chocolate flavor, add ½ cup Valrhona cocoa powder, and mix on low speed until smooth and completely incorporated. For sweeter frosting you can add ¼ cup agave nectar to the coconut milk, optional. Spread onto the cake and leave at room temperature or refrigerate.

For chocolate sauce or topping: use warm. Let the rest cool to room temperature and then store it in a glass jar or container with a lid in the refrigerator. Never put warm or hot food directly into any plastic as it releases toxins that can be absorbed into your food. Spoon out the amount you need and heat on low over stove, stirring constantly so it does not burn. Wonderful over ice “cream” or alongside cake or over fresh fruit or berries. See the ice “cream” soda recipe too. You can put this into a fondue pot and keep it warm and serve a platter of fruit and cut up cake cubes to dip in the chocolate fondue (see index).

**Be sure the chocolate chips are dairy free. I like Valrhona or Guittard chocolate and cocoa the best for deep dark flavor.


Lauren’s Favorites

Season’s Greetings on Christmas Eve!

New Fantastic Food:

I found a fabulous new line of nut cheezes that are made from cashews and coconut oil! I was so delighted to find vegan cheeses that have healthy, familiar ingredients! I have tried the shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar and Pepper Jack and they have worked very well in my recipes including: Quiche, French Onion Soup, Enchiladas, Lasagna, Pizza, Grilled Cheeze on SRSLY Sourdough and much more. They have hard and soft cheeses in a variety of  fabulous flavors.

Parmela Cashew Cheeze-Our nut milk cheeses are made using traditional cheese making techniques.  Rich nut milks made from blending cashews and almonds with filtered water form the base.  These are much thicker than the nut milks you would drink, and amazingly have more flavor potential than dairy milks.

It took over 2 years and 2,000 iterations to get the cultures to grow properly in the thick cashew milks and unlock true cheese flavors for the Creamy Treenut Cheese.  In crafting our new aged cheeses we up over 4000 iterations of cultures grown.

The nutmilk cheeses can be found in Whole Foods, New Leaf Markets and other natural food stores or ordered directly 


SRSL Bread-Gluten-free, Dairy-free San Francisco Sourdough Bread and Rolls! 


OMG, I thought I’d never be able to eat Sourdough again…until now! I did the happy dance when I found this amazing bread. I am a traditionalist so I like the classic best, but the seeded is very good and my husband loves the Kale(me too). The sandwich rolls are made out of just Sorghum flour so its great for people who have multiple grain sensitivities. She also makes a huge Pullman Loaf that you can special order!


Bread SRSLY is committed to making nourishing bread. Each loaf is leavened with wild yeast, cultivated from the air and grain. Unlike commercial yeast, wild yeast helps to break down the grains, making them easier to digest, and adding a pleasant tang that we call sourdough.


We created our bread only after months of research, applying traditional sourdough techniques to our gluten-free recipes. We learned that good bread takes its time to rise. Each Bread SRSLY loaf rises for more than 12 hours, making it SERIOUSLY good for you. In addition to being gluten-free, all Bread SRSLY products are free of dairy, egg, soy, nut, potato, tapioca, and garbanzo.

Available at Health Food Stores including New Leaf Market, Staff of Life, Bi-Rite Markets or Order at:


Want to bake your own Bread?

Manini’s Bread Mix & Fresh Pasta

These pastas and breads are so nutritious and have great texture! I’ve enjoyed Manini’s Spaghetti, Lemon-Thyme Linguine and Lasagna Noodles(not the ravioli b/c they contain diary) and bread mixes which are easy and nutritious. Even my Italian friends are now loving this pasta!

At the heart of our commitment to quality is our dedication to making all of our fresh pastas, breads & bakery products and flours from naturally Gluten Free Ancient Grains. Our Ancient Grains include Amaranth, Teff, Sorghum, and Millet, plants that are essentially unchanged from hundreds of years ago. The result is a nutritious, fiber-rich, great-textured food that is delicious and superior in taste, texture and nutrition to the vast majority of typical rice and corn based Gluten Free foods.

Want less carbs and more protein in your pasta go for: Tolerant Red Lentil or Black Bean Pasta which have great texture and tons of protein and nutrition! Available at Health food Stores and online.

Tolerant Pasta

Sonoma Pasta SauceSonoma Mushroom Pasta Sauce. I had to stop eating tomatoes due to arthritis and was so happy to find this tomato-free sauce! They have many flavors, but not all are dairy-free. I do still make my own with wild mushrooms and sherry, but nice to have a jar in the pantry in a pinch. Available at Health food Stores and online.



Cake Therapy  Paleo Cake Mix: offers gluten free and paleo baking mixes, made from quality natural ingredients, without preservatives or additives. Cake Therapy’s products are always free of gluten, dairy, soy and corn, with grain free options.

Paleo Chocolate Cake Mix Ingredients: Organic coconut flour, arrowroot, almond meal, organic coconut sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

I’ve tried all three flavors: chocolate, vanilla and spice, and love them all! They make a moist and tasty cake or cupcakes. I used my Chocolate Ganache Frosting  with Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips and Cashew Cream Frosting with them. They have recipes and adaptations on their website too! I used the Spice Cake Mix to make a Carrot Cake and it was so delicious.

Teas to go with your dessert or just enjoy anytime:

Art of Tea: Chocolate Mint Tea which is so rich and tasty it does not need anything else. Great way to avoid sweets, drink this tea instead! 

Numi Turmeric Teas are anti-inflammatory and very tasty especially when I add some local raw honey, ginger and homemade cashew milk! Available at health food stores or

Steven Smith Lord Bergamot Earl Grey Tea

A few other goodies I’ve fallen in love with this year:

Lily’s Fair Trade Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips

We love premium dark chocolate. We don’t like sugar. The addition of stevia to premium dark chocolate is a perfect fit. It makes our favorite food even better. Click to learn more about why we love stevia.




Vixen Kitchen Premium Vegan Gelato!  So creamy and delicious you will think you are in Italy!  The first time I tasted this luscious Gelato I was in San Francisco on a cold windy day, but had to have it as my teeth chattered! OMG, I was in Heaven and forgot about the cold the first lick! I love that they sweeten with real maple syrup and use cashews as the base! Again, nutritious and delicious and guilt-free! It is expensive b/c they use the highest quality ingredients and it is worth it! Available at health food stores, including Staff of Life. Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Chai, Coffee, Mint,Blueberry.

Xyloburst Chewing Gum, stays soft, sweetened with xylitol which is great for teeth and tastes good! Available at health food stores, and

My new favorite website to buy all the aforementioned goodies and many more at a 25%-75% discount/usually 25% is at


Kitchen Tools:

  • Kitchen Aid 7 Quart Mixer is the largest capacity home mixer and I love my new one in Candy Apple Red! I also bought the:
  • Spiralizer Attachment that also slices and peels fruit and vegetables!

Body Care Products: Many skincare products contain gluten and dairy which go into your bloodstream within 30 seconds! Yes, it will cause you just as much trouble as eating it!

  • Nubian Heritage Soaps and Lotions
  • Evoli Body Butter & Lip Balm, made from all organic healthy oils
  • Zoya Nail Polish, free of formaldehyde and other bad chemicals available at Whole Foods
  • DoTerra essential oils: I do not travel without the OnGuard and put it on my feet every night!
  • For the Bathroom: Poo Pourri toilet spray. This is so Brilliant! You spray your favorite essential oil based Poo Pourri into the toilet before you go and it acts as a barrier to help keep your bathroom smelling good! It really works, honest! I keep one in my purse and in our bathroom.

Healthcare/Natural Medicine:

  • Alpha CF Homeopathic liquid is lactose free and is what I use at the first sign of a cold or flu and it usually gets rid of it right away or at least shortens the duration to a few days instead of a few weeks. Available at health food stores, you may have to special order the liquid form.
  • Occiliccocinum homeopathic cold and flu, Walgreens, CVS and healthfood store. Pellets contain lactose so either dilute a dose in water and only take a teaspoon or find the Alpha CF liquid.
  • Deep Lung is great for respiratory infections.
  • Chestal Homeopathic Cough Medicine with honey, health food stores and CVS and Walgreens.
  • Yin Chao Chinese Medicine for colds that start with a sore throat is great.
  • High Dose Vitamin C Meyers Cocktail Infusion through an IV drip or push by a naturopathic doctor. or in CA. This saves me every Christmas/Winter, including this week!


  • Can’t go to Italy this year read, Dolce di Love By Lynch
  • for Humor and belly laughs read Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
  • go to for many inspirational and spiritual books, audio books and DVD’s for adults and children
  • Listen to shows on:


  • Kids and Adults: Simon, an electronic game that lights up and tests your memory. Can be played with 2-4 people
  • Adults: Rummikub, a game with tiles and numbers. Good mental challenge and fun.



  • Nomads Organic Clothing, this Canadian company uses all organic fabrics made from hemp, soy, bamboo and cotton. It feels so good on and will not disrupt your hormones or endocrine system and it’s great for the environment. A win-win-win! Just wish they did not make them in China. Sometimes you have to compromise. These clothes feel really soft and warm; and look stylish.                                   Available at
  • Synergy Organic Clothing, mostly cotton, made in Nepal. Stores in Santa Cruz and San Francisco and available online
  • Smart Wool Socks, wool that doesn’t itch and keeps your toes and feet warm in the coldest weather! They also make runners socks-breathable and cushiony! Available at The Sock Shop and online

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Healthy, Happy New Year filled with wonderful food, friends, family and goodies that improve your health and life! Love and Blessings to all! Please Comment and share with us your favorite  Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Organic food, things & products.

Be Well and Thrive into your Dreams! 

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Thanksgiving Recipes and Planning Guide

Gluten-free, Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes and Menu Planning Guide

Have family or friends or maybe yourself who are coming for Thanksgiving who are on a special diet or have health issues and concerns and you don’t know how to manage? Whether you just want to eat healthy and delicious food or have a food/health issue…you don’t have to spend the whole day cooking and cleaning in the kitchen this Thanksgiving! Below I’ll give you a week long planning guide along with recipes to make a deliciously healthful Thanksgiving that everyone can eat.

Everyone that has eaten my Thanksgiving recipes all said they are as good or better than traditional gluten recipes, and they did not miss the gluten, dairy or refined sugar! Wow, this is so wonderful and many heartfelt thanks!

Here is an easy guide to help you prepare things ahead of time you so you can enjoy your holiday and guests. Trust me after 20 years of doing this…it is so much easier than trying to be the Superhero on Thanksgiving…especially if something goes wrong-very embarrassing. Don’t be afraid to send the recipe to one of your guests/relatives and ask them to make it and bring it-delegate and gratefully accept the help. I know it is not easy, especially for people who like to be in control/charge! Remember, we allow others to grow and feel needed and be blessed by their contribution too. This is what helped me to realize micro-managing was stunting the growth of my employees! Let go, ah, it feels so good! There is still plenty for you to do.

I am listing all the goodies you can prepare ahead of time by day from my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem-order it now on this site!

Up to one week ahead: Pie Crust (see Recipe of the Week-15 minutes), dairy-free and Gluten Free, Cranberry Sauce(refined sugar free and way better than anything that is store bought-15 minutes)

Up to three days ahead: Candied Yams( adapted from Paul Prudhomme)-40 minutes, Mashed Potatoes 30 minutes, Sweet Potatoe Pie Filling 10 minutes

Up to two days ahead: Brine 5 minutes and soak/refrigerate Turkey(fresh or frozen)-will be the juiciest ever! See my directions for thawing turkey according to weight-must be done in the refrigerator. You can now buy a Brined or Kosher Turkey and skip this step. clean your house or have it cleaned, do laundry etc..!;)

The day before:  make salad dressing/vinaigrette, chill wine, cook Turkey neck in broth and chill or gravy, Pecan Pie Filling, Cornbread for stuffing, chop vegetables(onion, celery etc…), Assemble and bake pie-Sweet Potato Pecan, Pecan, Pumpkin. I highly recommend the Sweet Potato Pecan-it’s a sure winner! See my utube video for rolling pie crust and dicing an onion at under LaurenHooverAuthor and laugh out loud!;) You try being videotaped and then laugh at yourself…I did! Take a hot bath and get a good night sleep, you’ll need it. Spend quality time with those you love, play a game together, go for a walk etc… because Thanksgiving is so busy that you may not get a quality conversation in that day. It so important to remember to be thankful and tell our loved one’s how grateful we are for them-especially children…they really are not mind readers!;)

Go to the grocery store for anything you still need.

Thanksgiving day: Eat Breakfast so you are not ravenous all day and then get a stomach ache from not eating for hours-you will be so much happier and your family will be very thankful. This is a lovely time to have quality time with whomever is in your home before all the rest of the guests arrive.

Begin with a Clean Kitchen-which will keep you organized and calm. Set out ingredients, measure them out and follow the recipes. Have fun! I like relaxing or upbeat music playing while I cook.

Get the kids/husband/family/friends to set the table, build a fire,  decorate-it will keep them busy and out of your kitchen-unless they like to cook! Kids love to make the name tags for the place settings-great project to keep them entertained.

Prepare stuffing(cornbread or regular or Gluten Free) and chop herbs, Stuff Turkey and bake (see my recipe that was even good enough for a US Senator)! The secret…cooking it at a very high temperature will create  crispy skin and juicy meat- not to mention-save time and energy! Yum! Reheat Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams in a double boiler(or glass bowl above boiling water)  or the oven or microwave if absolutely necessary, cook and chop vegetables and wash/spin salad greens-toss at the table. Teenagers who like to cook will love to make salad or this is a good item to ask some else to bring. Pour wine and enjoy!

I do not put out a lot of snacks…just a few to tide people’s appetite, but not spoil it for a huge dinner. Choose 2: bowl of nuts,   hummus(put in a bowl of ice to keep cold) & raw vegetables, olives, deviled eggs all of which can be made the day ahead or store bought(of course I make them myself)!

Important tips: See Professional Secrets and Tips section of my cookbook-it will help to ensure YOUR success.

Use  oven and digital read thermometers-temperature is key. See my guide for cooking times according to the weight of the Turkey. Enlist help, people love to help.

Clean(with hot water and soap) all surfaces, sinks, counters, cutting boards, utensils and hands that touch raw Turkey to prevent spreading salmonella-food poisioning.

Keep Turkey refrigerated at 38 degrees until ready to stuff and bake.

Stuff the Turkey just before baking so bacteria will not grow.

Do NOT and I repeat, DO NOT leave food out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. It is best to put out smaller batches. Optimal Bacteria growth temperatures are between 40-140 degrees…yep, room temperature! It grows extremely rapidly by the hour after four hours throw it out. I hate waste…so I put out smaller portions or serve everything at once and put it away or send it home with guests just after eating. Only follow this advice if you want to avoid food poisoning or a big tummy ache-really you will be so much happier and healthier.

Final Tip/Preference: To baste or not to baste? I like to soak a large piece of cheesecloth in grapeseed oil, fold it in half and in half again to fit over the Turkey. Cover the Turkey with it and I do not baste if you  like a crispy skin. The high temperature will crisp the skin and seal in the juices. Resting the Turkey for 20-30 minutes is the ONLY way to have the juice stay in the meat. If you cut into the Turkey right away or before 20 minutes, watch all the juice run away and there is nothing to get it back into the meat…it will be dry, I promise. While Turkey is resting, make gravy.

Let someone else, especially the teenagers, do the dishes!

BTW, I did all of this in a cooking class last week in 3 1/2 hours – I slept very well that night!  So, You can do it too. Just follow my recipes carefully-read them first. I like to read them the night before I make them. and again just before making them. Buy my cookbook even if you only use the Thanksgiving recipes!

Take a deep breath, have a glass of  organic wine, relax and have a very Happy Thanksgiving. From my heart to yours…may you have much to be grateful for this year. I am so grateful for many things/people  including everyone who have been so supportive of my mission in helping you change your life  with delicious, healthy food. Thank you.


Be Well and Thrive with Blessings,

Happy Thanksgiving, Chef Lauren Hoover-West

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.

I love 3 day weekends, don’t you? It’s a nice time to connect with family and friends and initiate the BBQ/Grill for summer! I remember having a big family picnic at a park with lots of family and friends and having so much fun and delicious food. Why does food seem to taste so much better outside?

I’ve posted some delicious recipes that are something that everyone can eat and enjoy regardless of any food sensitivities or special diets! Even Vegans will be happy and we will surprise the meat eaters too!

Speaking of meat, you may give Bison/Buffalo a try instead of Beef. It is lower in calories than chicken breast and higher in iron than beef and no Mad Cow disease! Bison is free range and be sure it is grass fed, not just grass finished. It tastes like beef, shh don’t tell anyone and they will just think it is the best burger or NY steak they have ever had! Just don’t cook it well done, I recommend medium well or less. MMM, okay now I need to grill a Bison Burger with caramelized onions, chipotle aioli and micro-arugala on a gluten-free bun!

Hey Trader Joe’s now has new Gluten-free Buns under their own brand that taste very good. My favorite is still  Manini’s Burger Buns if you can find them. Canyon Bakehouse Focaccia is bursting with herb flavor. If you need an Egg-free/Yeast-free bun or bread you have to try SRSLY Sourdough made in San Francisco. It is so good, and does need to be toasted or grilled to finish the cooking. WOW it is so delicious I cannot keep it in our house for more than 2 days! I found it in the refrigerator at Staff of Life in Santa Cruz, Whole Foods Campbell and Bi-Rite Markets San Francisco!

So, get your tongs and spatulas out and bring along your blender for a fun cook out!

Remember to wash your utensils with soap and water after they have touched any raw meat before you use them to remove the food off the grill or pan and put it onto a clean plate or platter.

Keep all food cold by serving small portions and keeping it in a cooler. Here is my favorite tip: use a block of dry ice in your cooler b/c it will stay cool for 24 hours and hopefully help you avoid any food borne illness!

You can fill your platters and bowls with ice and cover them with plastic wrap and then put the food on top, especially grilled shrimp and mayonnaise based salads and things that are perishable. Otherwise, put the food in the cooler within 30 minutes of serving so it will stay under 40degrees. Did you know that bacteria multiplies rapidly between the temperatures of 40 degrees-140 degrees? So, keep it above or below that range to stay happy and healthy!

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you do, and do what will make you happy & healthy! I’m off to go wine tasting along with a big bottle of water!

Go to

for recipes for the weekend and all summer

  • Grilled Artichokes with homemade Mayonnaise/Aioli/Pesto Mayo etc…or use Grapeseed Veganaise and mix in what you like(garlic, pesto, chipotle etc…)
  • Grilled Portabello Mushrooms with Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Ethnic Veggie Burgers
  • Grilled Peaches
  • Homemade Soft Serve Blender Ice Cream