Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Salad Slaw


I wanted to share this festive salad that we ate on Christmas day last year. It as healthy as it is beautiful. 

Of course it will serve your gluten free, diary free, and vegan guests.

It contains bunches of rich dark green kale mixed with chopped red radicchio, strands of grated snow white cabbage, candied dried cranberries, and a variety of seeds and nuts.  This colorful combination is then tossed in a sweet creamy citrus dressing.

 Vegan, Gluten Free, and exotic,   this special salad is welcome at any celebration, but the rich red and green presentation makes it perfect for Christmas.

We had a vegetarian brunch on Christmas day and my cousin Elaine brought this salad slaw. Elaine is a fabulous cook and  always makes wonderful salad and vegetable recipes, so of course I asked for the recipe.

1 large bunch of curly kale, washed,  ribs removed,  and chopped. 
1/2 cup chopped escarole
1 cup of grated white cabbage
1 cup red raddichio, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup of walnuts


1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon of mayo ( just  a drop) can use vegan mayo
poppy seeds , salt and pepper to taste
mix well toss on salad...


May be shared on some of My blog carnival list Plus 


including  . Souper Sunday .  Free Homemaker 

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Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.

Author: Judee Algazi

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ignite Your Metabolism

One Saturday, I attended a " Girls Day Out" annual extravaganza run by a business networking organization. There were over 60 vendors for women's services. These vendors facilitated specialty workshops throughout the day. I had my pulse read by an acupuncturist, my hairstyle analyzed , received all kinds of promotional freebies, and learned a lot.

I attended a workshop called " Ignite Your Metabolism" which was geared to help woman  understand how to eat healthier and keep their metabolism ignited to better help lose weight!

5 Interesting Points I learned From The Workshop:

1. Flour and sugar fall into a chemical category called "Isolates" . The processing of all flour and sugar products make their parts "isolated" and broken down into a powder- like substance that our bodies become hypersensitive to because they are addictive. That may explain why we keep craving more.Know what else is an isolate? - powdery and white Cocaine...

2.  Artificial Sweeteners are known as excitotoxins and can be very stimulating to our nervous systems. They make us crave, yes crave carbohydrates. So, they can actually make you hungrier and gain weight. In addition, they affect your brain cells in a negative way. Are you still drinking diet soda? How is your weight?

3. Coconut oil is a healthy oil that helps rid your body of toxins and provides healthy fat that is needed by our thyroid, hormones, and our brain. Coconut oil can actually help fuel your body to lose weight!

4.  Margarine is the closest thing to plastic in it's chemical make up.It is really not good for you even in small amounts. It affects our brains negatively! ( Please don't give it to kids) 
It's better to eat real butter which actually has health benefits and is a real food.

5. Preservatives and other chemicals in processed foods can make you gain weight.
Why? Our bodies perceive preservatives and chemicals as foreign substances. The body does not recognize them as food. Therefore, our body doesn't know what to do with them. To protect our organs from the invaders, our bodies store preservatives and chemicals in our fat. So, the more processed, toxic food you eat, the more the body wants to store it.
Why? because the body wants to protect the other organs from the intruders.  Who wants more stored fat??

I was inspired by the workshop and choose one baby step to further " Ignite My Metabolism".

I'm adding coconut oil to my diet...
                Do you use coconut oil? Does it help your metabolism?

 Here is an article by Dr. Oz that promotes the benefits of coconut oil 

May be shared on the following blog carnivals: blog carnivals

Quote of the day

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Secret to Great Salad Dressing

large  salad with many vegetables

There is a secret to making great salad dressing. ! I will share with you how to make one.

My homemade salad dressings were always good, but now because I learned a little secret,  my dressings are great! ..

How I used to make my good but not great dressing:  I would squeeze fresh lime juice over my salad, add some cold pressed olive oil, a little salt pepper, pressed garlic and toss the salad. As I said,  it was good; I'm not complaining.

However, the other day ,I ate a salad at a gathering that was made with the same exact ingredients that I just mentioned , but this time the dressing knocked my socks off; it tasted so much better than my  dressing. It was strange because the ingredients were the same. Baffled, I asked the host why her dressing tasted so fabulous!
great salad dressing with a salad

The host, who was a caterer, explained that a salad dressing must be whisked and allowed to sit at room temperature for a while to allow the flavors to mingle and transform. Who knew.. ??

Dr. Fuhrman type salad with berries and almonds

From now on all of my dressing will be whisked and allowed to sit to mingle and transform.. Now I too will be able to  make not just a good, but great salad dressing

Simple but Delicious Basic Salad Dressing
1/4 -1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 fresh garlic clove, pressed
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
a few shakes of Trader Joe's " 21 Salute" ( salt free herbal mixture) or use any dried herbs you like ( oregano, basil, etc.)

In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and whisk together until blended.  Allow to sit and mingle at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour for best flavor.. Pour onto your salad and toss..

of course, a great salad dressing deserves a great salad!!

What kind of salad dressing do you make? How do you prepare it ? Please leave a comment.

Two of My Other Salad Dressings

Fresh Cranberry Salad Dressing
cranberries on a colorful green napkin

Cucumber Dill Salad Dressing
cucumber dill salad dressing over lettuce leaves

May be shared on some of the following blog carnivals: Blog Carnivals

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe

Do you like broccoli rabe, also known as rapini? Many of my  friends have been eating this rich green vegetable since they were little, but I have to admit, I never had it until I was an adult. Truthfully,  I now love it! It is slightly bitter, but it is in the broccoli family, having tasty flowerettes of tender broccoli buds, leaves, and stems. It is very good for you and sautéed in garlic, it is delicious!

Look for this gluten free vegetable in the produce isle of your local supermarket and enjoy! Greens are full of antioxidants, iron, and chlorophyll for cleansing;  broccoli rabe is an excellent source of nutrients.

 It makes a wonderful side dish for any meal and is low in fat and calories.

It's fast and easy taking just 5 minutes prep; 5 minutes sautéing


1 bunch of broccoli Rabe, washed and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
Olive oil spray


Spray a skillet with olive oil spray. When hot, add garlic and chopped broccoli rab. Stir and cook covered until soft . Eat immediately

broccoli rabe and garlic
Eat everything except the coarse stem ends, but eat the stems

Don't you love the rich green color? yum!!

May be shared on some of the following blog carnivals: Blog Carnivals

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Green Detox Smoothie with Kale and figs

green vegetable juice

Raw greens are known to help cleanse the body and help alkalize it : Two things needed for weight loss and optimal health.

Cleansing is like taking out the garbage. Our bodies accumulate toxins. Detoxing helps rid the toxins and take a burden off the liver ( which is our body's filter; if it is clogged, it can't work efficiently.

I saw this particular green detox smoothie  in the Nov 25 2013  issue of Woman' sWorld Magazine.  It was a great article about how to do a Smoothie Diet and take off 5 pounds in 3 days.

They had a green detox smoothie, a red detox smoothie, a detox soup for dinner, and an almond milk smoothie for a snack. I did it for 3 days, lost 4 and half pounds, and wasn't hungry.

I like the green detox so much that I plan to do it the day after Thanksgiving to rebalance and energize my system after the heavy Thanksgiving overindulgence. It's a great way to get rid of the bloat and re-energize.

Ingredients for Smoothie: 
1/2 large banana, frozen ( or not)
2 fresh figs, sliced ( or other fruit like berries)
2 cups curly ( organic ) kale
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon ( contains fiber and blood sugar regulators)
16 ounces of cold water

Place all ingredients into  large container of a blender or Nutribullet ( I use the Nutribullet and love it)Blend and enjoy immediately

There are lots of ways to detox-

Detox Soup is a great way to detox in the winter. I lost 5 pounds in 4 days 

vegetable detox soup

Kale and Blueberry Salad with a orange dressing is rich in chlorophyll for cleansing and has lots of antioxidants for building immunity. It's a great salad for spring when kale and blueberries are plentiful. The salad also has some seeds and a recipe for a delicious orange dressing. Eat a salad like this for dinner 
kale and blueberry
Kale and Blueberry Salad with a orange dressings is rich in chlorophyll for cleansing and antioxidants for building immunity
To be shared on the following blog carnivals: Blog Carnivals

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Real Food Thanksgiving Roundup - Soup , Sides, Salads, Entrees -Desserts

Welcome to Blog Talk Radio Listeners from my recent show!
Looking for healthy vegan and gluten free alternatives for 
Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas? 

Go no further!  I'm  providing you with healthy recipes that won't sacrifice taste and will help you maintain your waistline, your blood pressure, cholesterol, and your well being during the holidays 

The recipes are gluten free and most are vegan 
( some desserts and latkes are vegetarian)

 9 Easy Soup Choices:  

Pumpkin : This  Paleo Pumpkin Pie Soup  is a winner in my book. Use cooked pumpkin or any cooked winter squash for a delicious fragrant soup. Bursting with flavor, this rich golden soup is a favorite on the holiday.

Butternut : A bowl of this Savory Butternut Squash Soup   is only one point plus on Weight Watchers. What a great way to start off a meal. Satisfying and delicious.

Red Lentil Hearty Red Lentil Soup  is one of my favorites on a cold winter day. Red lentils cook quickly and melt into the vegetable soup making it hearty and creamy.

Chickpea:  Vegans could eat this high protein  Spanish Chickpea soup on Christmas. Especially with its rich red color.

Carrot :  Moroccan Spiced Carrot   adds a little kick to this otherwise mild carrot soup. Perfect to spice up any meal.

Mushroom: This Hot and Sour Chinese Soup  is my version of the hot and sour soup that is served in Chinese restaurants. It's full of fresh mushrooms, making it a mushroom lover's favorite.

Simple tasty broth type soup:  Carrot Ginger Soup   is one of my soothing recipes. It's really fast to prep and make.  It's the perfect soup if you are under the weather - acting like a vegan chicken soup  

Matzo Balls - Paula's recipe:  I included How To Make Matzo Balls 
( Gluten Free)  because they taste excellent in the clear carrot ginger soup instead of noodles. This recipe is easy and has a step by step pictorial tutor. Eat in the broth from carrot ginger soup.

Spinach Vegetable: This is my friend Paula's soup. I've had this Wilted Spinach Vegetable Soup  at her house on family gathering for various holidays. We love it.

Lentil; Tangy Tomato Lentil is a wonderful lentil soup with a tomato base. Cooks up quickly and it rich in protein too.

Spinach and Garlic: This beautiful green soup is easy to make and a must for spinach and garlic lovers. Fresh Spinach and Garlic Soup ( 1 PP on WW). Low in calories

Detox Soup - use this soup to fill up , cleanse and 
nourish- make this your plant based nutrient rich 

low fat go to soup when you need to cut back and 
restore balance in eating and your energy.

Vegan Holiday Sides: 

Squash and Yam Recipes
Cider Glazed Butternut Squash  is one of my favorites. The spiced cider cooks down making a sweet sauce for the squash. Mixed with added cinnamon for a real treat. 

Roasted Winter Squash for Thanksgiving is a medley of buttenut and acorn mixed with other roasted vegetables that is colorful and tasty and really pretty with roasted beets and cranberries.

Apple Yam and Dried Apricot Casserole is yet another version of a healthy yam casserole

Roasted Onion and Butternut Squash Bake. The onions caramelize and just a little cinnamon make this winter squash dish sensational.

Sweet Potato Tzimis ( sweet potato, dried fruits, nuts, etc) This is an old Jewish favorite that is a perfect side for Thansgivuakah this year ( Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving and calls for a shared menu this year only)

Apple and Berry Stuffed Acorn Squash tastes amazing and you can use a bag of frozen berries during the fall and winter month. I use the cherry berry combination from Trader Joe's which gives this a sweet wonderful taste without any sugar. The recipe calls for peaches , but substitute apples when they are in season.

Stuffing Recipes: 
II'm not a stuffing eater, but the holiday calls for stuffing.  Hopefully these healthier versions won't make you too stuffed

Rice and bread: Wild Rice Stuffing ( Gluten Free)  This is a version that adds wild rice into the gluten free croutons.

Quinoa only : quinoa Stuffing    This recipe uses red and white quinoa, butternut squash and cranberries. ( no bread) makes a delicious, healthy, and gluten free stuffing. or side dish at any meal

Corn bread: Corn Bread Stuffing  This is a gluten free version, but use any cornbread for the recipe if you are not gluten free

Quinoa : Quinoa Chinese Style-  This is a great side dish substitute for stuffing 

Vegetable Sides: 

MushroomLemon Roasted Mushrooms with garlic and herbs  5 minute prep ( 12-14 minute cook time)  Everyone will love them.

Beet Lovers: If you are a beet lover, this easy recipe for Fresh cooked beets and orange slices  is a must at any holiday meal. The rich red color offset by the contrasting orange is just vibrant! A healthy dish for any occasion.

Sweet Potato: It doesn't get much easier , this Sweet Potato Smash is crispy and delicious. Each sweet potato is an individual serving of delight.

Sweet Potato:  Sweet Potato Fries ( baked)  Kids of all ages will opt for this old favorite. These are made with either a cajun seasoning or a mild cinnamon sprinkle.

White Potato: If you are a white potato lover and must indulge a little , these crispy potatoes add just the right touch to a holiday meal. White Potato Smash with fresh  Rosemary 

Cauliflower : Riced Cauliflower Pilaf is a low calorie alternative to grain. Easy and delicious, this recipe is must for anyone limiting carbs and calories. Tastes like a grain..

Brussel Sprouts: Roasted vegetables are sensational. Even if you think you don't like Brussel Sprouts, you will love Wendys. Wendy's Crunchy Vegetable Balls ( which is a disguised name for Roasted Brussels Sprouts )

Carrot : Moroccan Carrot Recipe is an authentic carrot dish that is found on the menu in many Moroccan restaurants. It's tangy lemon flavor makes a delicious side. 

Roasted Vegetable combinations: all vegetables taste good roasted. Roasting brings out their natural sweet flavors. Try roasting: winter squashes, potatoes, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and garlic, onions, 


My Best Ever Hanukkah Potato Latkes are baked not fried for the holidays. This version is based on a Swedish recipe that is baked. The latkes come out sensational ..

Weight Watchers: If you want something different that won't pack on the pounds, try my Weight Watchers style latkes  made with broccoli slaw instead of potatoes. It's interesting, tasty, and perfect for Hanukkah.

Old Fashioned Applesauce: What would latkes be without some good old fashined homemade applesauce?  Quick homemade applesauce 


Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Salads :

Arugula and Cashew Salad- Make this for Christmas. The rich green arugala and sprinkling of fresh cranberries makes this a colorful favorite. 

Red and Orange Holiday Coleslaw is a must for cole slaw lovers. The colors and sweet flavors win everyone over.

These bright pinPickled Red Onions make a beautiful topping on any salad. The onions turn a beautiful hue of pink..

You will love this simple side dish that is healthy and delicious.


Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie ( vegan) - absolutely delicious - but uses cashew nuts for the creaminess which adds a little more calories. 

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies- These are healthy enough to eat as a breakfast. no sugar. My grandkids LOVE them. Makes a great dessert.. Add some dried cranberries  to make into a Christmas cookie.

Pumpkin Cakes: Flourless   These little mini individual cakes are really delicious. Made with crunchy almond butter.. don't eat too many -- they are healthy but a little more caloric

This is my mother's recipe. She made it for dessert every Thanksgiving. Certainly a healthy and tasty end to a big meal... 

Black Bean Brownies: These brownies are made in the blender and are quick and easy to make. They taste amazing! Healthy, flourless, and tasty! 

All of the recipes are gluten free, most are vegan, and a few are vegetarian.

This Thursday, November 28, 2013 officially kicks off the holiday eating season with Thanksgiving launching five weeks of indulging on holiday goodies, too much sugar, too much salt, too many calories and too much fat. Statistics tell us that most Americans will gain anywhere between 3 to 10 pounds during this period.

Why Not Try some of my lighter and healthier recipes this year.

If you read my previous article, " It's not Your Fault" based on a study ....

you may remember that processed foods set up an addictive cycle. So when you eat sugar, you most likely will crave more sugar and when you eat salt and poor quality fats, the same will happen. No wonder once we start with the cookies, cakes, rich foods, etc. we want more and more. Not a good scenario.

However with a little more thought, it is easy to find healthier, lighter, less caloric substitutions! 

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mushroom Scampi

mushroom scampi Appetizer at

My lemon roasted garlic herb mushrooms that taste like scampi are very simple to make, but YET outrageously tasty. If you are looking for a low calorie and nutrient rich light side dish for the Thanksgiving meal , this is it!

Everyone will go crazy over them. The lemon and garlic kind of crust the mushroom and give it an exotic taste. AND it will please the vegan, vegetarian or gluten free guests are your table. One of my readers suggested I call it Mushroom Scampi ( see comments)

Roasting brings out the best flavor in any vegetable, and mushrooms are no exception. I used large plain white round whole organic mushrooms, but you could get creative and make a mixture of all varieties of mushrooms.

This recipes is elegant enough to make for a side for the Thanksgiving dinner or fast enough to make for any night of the week. In addition, it makes a wonderful appetizer with toothpicks.

Mushrooms are very low in calories but high in nutritional benefits. They help boost the immune system with protective antioxidants and may help increase your levels of Vitamin D, which most of us need. In addition, they contain B vitamins and protein.

If you are eating consciously, 6 mushrooms have about 22 calories before you add anything to them. On Weight Watchers a serving of this tangy mushroom dish is only 1 Point Plus!!

Author: Judee
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

1 package of fresh white whole mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half
coconut or olive oil spray ( or regular olive or coconut oil)
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
 a few shakes of Trader Joe's saltless herb mix 21 Salute ( or any salt free herb mix of rosemary, thyme, garlic, pepper, etc.  or   any herbal blend
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Lay cleaned mushrooms on cookie sheet
Generously spray mushrooms with cooking oil or put in a bag and toss in olive or coconut oil
Squeeze the lemon juice over the mushrooms
Sprinkle with 21 Salute ( from Trader Joe's ) or any other herbal blend
Top with minced garlic
Roast for about  12  minutes ( depends on size of your mushrooms)

roasted mushrooms
Before Roasting

Roasted mushrooms in spices appetizer
Appetizers Anyone?
empty plate mushroom appetizer
Delicious and not one left

roasted mushrooms

My note: Dr. Mercola suggests purchasing organic mushrooms when possible since they absorb toxins easily, especially heavy metals. My local supermarket carries organic for just 50 cents more.


Roasted Mushroom Scampi Appetizer

All of my recipes meet vegetarian, vegan or gluten free standards!

This recipe may be shared on the following blog carnivals: blog carnivals and Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking

Love your comments - please leave one!!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Healtthy Cranberry Recipes for Thanksgiving

Looking for healthy cranberry recipes for Thanksgiving? So was I....
Thanksgiving is definitely a time when everyone is thinking traditional holiday foods, like cranberries. I found 8 recipes that looked good, were made from real food, and were gluten free and vegan. 

Cranberries are easy to work with and easy to find this time of the year. Why not make your own cranberry sauce? If you buy commercially made cranberry sauce, you are eating a really heavily sugared product that has been heated to the point of destroying nutritional value. And who wants to eat from a can and risk ingesting heavy  metals, and BPA when you can get fresh ( I got fresh organic for a reasonable price at Trader Joe's)  and easily make it yourself. 
I found these at Trader Joe's and very reasonable
I've rounded up some interesting real food gluten free recipes using cranberries including my fresh cranberry salad dressing. Add a few raw cranberries to a salad. They are tart , but delicious.

Salad with fresh tart cranberries , apples and sweet honey lemon  dressing

Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Ginger   from Phoenix Helix 
( love the apple and ginger - she gives a great article about the benefits of cranberries too) 

Fermented Cranberry Sauce from Oh Lardy
( fermented foods provide tons of much needed probiotics for good health) Great recipe
Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce from Real Food Forager
Cranberry Fruit Salad from Life by Jeanie

Cranberry Cherry Applesauce from Real Food and Holistic Living

( looks amazing uses frozen cherries) 

Homemade Raw Cranberry Sauce  from 3 Boys and a Dog 

(made with dates for sweetener-  looks yummy)

Fresh Cranberry Salad Dressing for ...

Cranberry, Apple, and Almond Quinoa Salad from Oh She Glows

Cranberry Carrot Corn Muffins  ( not vegan, contains eggs)

** I found some of the links on a real food Thanksgiving roundup with a great variety of healthy recipes  at Yearning and Learning

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