Thursday, July 28, 2016

Easy Quinoa Salad In a Hurry

Leftovers can be recreated into something special! I was in a hurry and used three leftovers to create a quick and tasty quinoa salad. I found out that tossed salad, leftover cooked quinoa , and homemade lemon dressing taste great together. Sometimes you discover something by accident that turns out to really work well ! 

 That's what happened to me today. I had leftover salad from last night's dinner, leftover bold lemon salad dressing, and leftover red quinoa. I was looking for a quick, yet healthy lunch and decided to combine all three of them together in one bowl. I mixed, ate, and really enjoyed! 

My creation tasted great, involved no prep, and was satisfying!  

What more could I ask for?

Although this salad is a simple idea, it's gluten free, vegan, and nutritious! There's not much more to say! All you need is 1/4 cup of leftover red quinoa per serving, a cup or two of any salad per serving, and a tablespoon of any homemade salad dressing! ( scroll down for 8 homemade salad dressing recipes) 

If you don't have leftovers, here are some tips for making quinoa, making a quick homemade dressings, and some of my tried and truly loved salad dressing recipes. Bon appetit ! 

Tips on making quinoa 

  • I like to use red quinoa or a tri color quinoa that I get from Trader Joe. For me, the tiny darker seeds seem to cook up firmer and less sticky than cooking the white quinoa which for some reason becomes thick and pasty for me.
  •  I always soak and rinse my quinoa well because the seeds are naturally coated with saponin which wont hurt but can make your final product taste bitter. 
  • Just follow the cooking directions on the package. It's basic like rice
  • If you are not familiar with quinoa and want to know more, click over to read all about quinoa ( pronounced keen-wah). 
I like this blend of quinoa; it has a hearty taste and
 it's reasonably priced and organic


Our salad dressing recipes are made from all fresh ingredients and add a delicious zing to any salad.
I'm linking this post to Kahakai Kitchen's Souper Sunday   and my regular blog carnival list ! 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lemon Salad Dressing that Will Make You Pucker!

Homemade lemon salad dressing

There is something very special about this bold lemon salad dressing. It is made using the entire lemon including the entire lemon peel. The peel really gives it a kick!! It is a refreshingly flavorful dressing that adds a powerful citrusy zing to any salad, vegetable, or rice dish. In our house, we like this tangy dressing on everything.

Blended with olive oil, fresh mint, basil, parsley, red onion and the whole lemon, this sensational dressing has a classic Mediterranean flavor. Interestingly, I recently discovered that the peel of the lemon is extremely rich in nutrients and antioxidants, even more so than the just the juice of the lemon. What a shame that we normally discard the peel when it has so much to offer! But not in this recipe. We use the entire peel ( I use an organic lemon) and it is absolutely delicious, gluten free, and vegan.

How I found out about the nutritional and medicinal value of the lemon peel

Lemon Essential Oil: When I became a Young Living Essential oil distributor, I began learning about each of the essential oils. I was fascinated that the lemon essential oil was made using the peel and it offered so much more benefits than just lemon juice. That is why so many people I know add drops of Young Living Lemon Vitality Essential oil to their water instead of just plain lemon juice when they want to really boost their immune system. Since Young Living Lemon Essential oil is safe to consume( I'm not sure about all other brands), I use it in lemonade, salad dressing, etc. ( to order Young Living Lemon Oil: Visit the Young Living Website)

I did a search on the Internet and confirmed that the peel has 5-10 more times the nutrients than the juice alone. It certainly seems worthwhile to use the peel if you can find organic lemons. I get organic lemons at Trader Joe's by the bag or by the lemon in most supermarkets in their organic department.

Benefits of Lemons
  • Lemons are alkalizing to the body to help maintain a proper ph 
  • Lemons help dissolve toxins in the liver 
  • Lemons are rich in Vitamin C which is needed to produce collagen for anti-aging
  • Lemons are antibacterial  - may help with colds and flu
  • Lemons helps neutralize free radicals to deter disease and aging
I've started to include a half an organic lemon and its peel in my morning smoothies and now I've incorporated the same 1/2 lemon with peel into my salad dressing.

In order to use the entire lemon, you will need to use a very powerful blender like the Vitamix! With a powerful blender, you won't even see the peel since it pulverizes it so well. But you will taste it! It's flavorful and delicious. Some people like to use the sweet Meyer lemons which would be fabulous- but I find any organic lemon works fine and tastes sweet and delicious too.
How to pick a good lemon

1. Thin skinned lemons are heavier and contain the highest mineral content. 
2. Look for lemons that are completely yellow- if they have green patches it is not fully ripened. 
3. Keep lemons at room temp out of the sun for about a week or they can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month.

4. The sticker on an organic lemon ( or any organic produce) always begins with the #9
If you are a lemon lover like we are,  this easy recipe will soon become one of your favorites. Think about the extra antioxidants and vitamins you are adding to your salad with the addition of the nutrient dense lemon peel!

 When you make your own salad dressing, you can be sure it is gluten free and free of preservatives and additives. Homemade dressing can be made in minutes and stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.  In addition, it is so much healthier than store bought which is almost always made with soybean oil. What's the problem with soybean oil?-scroll down to the bottom of the page for links with info why soybean oil in commercially processed foods may not be healthy.


1/2 organic lemon with peel, washed and cut in half
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of organic parsley
1/4 cup of fresh mint
1/4 of fresh basil
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice ( in addition)
1/8 cup of water

In a powerful blender like a Vitamix , add all ingredients. Run on high until all ingredients are blended very well. Store in the refrigerator and use as needed. Will keep for 3-4 days.

homemade lemon salad dressing in a bottle

Why avoid soybean oil
Why soybean oil is not healthy
Dangers of soy

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Summer Rainbow Salad

colorful bowl of salad

There is no better time to make flavorful salads than during the summer when the produce is ripe, juicy, and plentiful. I like to use tomatoes in the summer as the base of my salads instead of lettuce. 

Farm Fresh CSA vegetables 
I had company last night, and I made this flavorful summer salad! 
I belong to a CSA farm where I get a weekly supply of freshly picked farm vegetables. 

I used most of the veggies that I received from my CSA this week in my salad:  tomatoes, cucumbers, fennel, cabbage, celery, red onion, fresh basil, fresh mint, plus I added some sliced black olives and  slices of avocado sprinkled with cumin. The salad was pretty to look at and absolutely delicious to eat. If you want to make a meal out of it, you can add in a some chickpeas!

table and chairs on a gray deck
Too hot to even eat outdoors

I made this salad in the morning, covered it well and didn't dress it until we came to the dinner table. It was 97 very hot and humid degrees today and remained about 88 and humid well into the evening! Way too hot to heat up the house; way too hot to eat on the deck. This cold salad with my powerful tangy citrus dressing ( I'll be sharing this coming week)  is the perfect hot weather solution.

cherry tomato plant
Growing my own cherry tomato plants of my deck

Farmers Market Fresh 
Although we eat salads every night of the year, my summer salads taste really special because I am able to use locally grown vine ripe organic vegetables for them. Some of the veggies, I even pick myself at my CSA.  

summer salad in a bowl

I enjoy going out into the fields to pick my own produce. It is a grounding experience and makes me appreciate the effort it takes to grow and harvest these crops. (I certainly don't waste leftovers that I spent hours picking in the fields).

When it's hot and sunny a crop such as green beans can take time to bend down and collect. It's not the same as picking up a bag a the market. Picking your own gives you a whole new perspective and gratitude about food!

Summer Produce Offers Variety
There is no reason to limit your salads to lettuce, tomato, and cucumber salad during the summer (unless that's all you like) when there is such a vast amount of produce to choose from.

Since we get the greatest amount and variety of nutrients by eating a rainbow of colors, look for as many colors as possible for your salads. If you are following Weight Watchers or just concerned about your weight in general, salads provide fiber and nutrients with relatively low points or calories. 

Without the olives and avocado, this salad is zero points plus- in addition if you sprinkle with fresh lemon juice it brings out the flavors even more with extra taste, but no extra calories.

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes
Cook Time: none
Serves : 6

8 medium ripe summer tomatoes, chopped large
6 kirby cucumbers, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped cabbage
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped basil
3/4 cup of chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fennel
3/4 cup of sliced black olives
1 medium Haas type avocado, sliced
optional: 1 teaspoon cumin
optional: 1 cup of chickpeas

In a large serving bowl, assemble all of the ingredients except the avocado and cumin. 
Immediately before serving, add the slices of avocado to the top and sprinkle with the cumin. 
Drizzle with dressing before serving. I used my citrus dressing.
lemon mint dressing or my Bold Lemon Dressing

Easy Summer Salad Fixings and Salads

Fennel is always fun to add to perk up a salad. It has a mild licorice taste and the consistency of celery.

Red or green cabbage keeps in the refrigerator much longer than lettuce and the red adds beautiful color as well as taste. The cabbages usually impart a sweet flavor to the salads-you like coleslaw right? why not try some chopped cabbage in your salads? You could also make a red , orange, and green beautiful coleslaw salad.

Red onion is one of our favorites. I also chop it small and we love the flavor with ripe tomatoes. One of my favorite ways to add red onion to salads is to soak my red onion slices in white vinegar for a few hours and it turns to a pickle taste. It is not only a great toppings for BBQ salads, but a great topping for sandwiches. Click o see how to make pickled red onions

Basil- You can get fresh basil in most supermarkets or farmer's markets, but you can also grow your own in a pot on your windowsill in winter and on the deck or patio in summer. Tip: If you grow basil indoors, it grows best if you place the pot itself in a small bowl and put the water in the bowl. I used to buy basil plants for the house, water the soil, and they would die in 2 weeks. With the bowl watering method, I had months of blossoming basil all winter on my window sill. Grow Your Own Herbs on the window sill or deck.

Mint- You can buy fresh mint in the supermarket or start growing your own. It grows like a weed, comes back every year, and is lush and plentiful. Once you plant some mint, you will have it forever.
How to grow mint.

Jicama- a sweet crunchy low calorie vegetable that is a wonderful addition for any salad.  It's Available in most supermarkets. The first time I had jicama ( pronounce hic-a-ma) was in Mexico where they cut it into spears and chomp away. It is delicious. If you are unfamiliar with jicama read my previous post all about jicama or make my Jicama Rainbow Salad 

Raw Corn right off the cob -You can cut the corn right off the cob without cooking it and add these delicious morsels to any salad. They bring sweetness, crunch, and flavor. Kids especially love this. I sometimes make a Fresh Corn and Tomato salad which is so easy and especially delicious mid summer

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#1516 1519 1526

Friday, July 22, 2016

Can Diabetes Be Reversed?

According to Dr. Sarah Hallberg of Indiana and Dr. Jason Fung of Cananda,  who are both diabetic medical doctors, Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed. These Board Certified medical doctors ( and many other doctors)  are able to take people off of insulin and medication using a different approach to eating and self care.

Too many people that I know are either pre-diabetic or have been diagnosed with full blown diabetes. The abundance and quality of American food is literally making people overweight and sick.

Statistics indicate that diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure on the rise to astronomical numbers in the US, despite our sophisticated medical information and medical care.

One area that seems to always be in controversy is diet- the food we eat. What is the best way to eat? Does what, when, and how much we eat make a difference? 

Those of us who buy gluten free breads, pizza, cookies, cakes, crackers, cereal, etc. need to be particularly interested. Just because these products are gluten free does not mean that they are low in calories, low in carbohydrates, or necessarily healthy. 

I've linked 2 Youtube Videos that I think shed some important light on how to avoid becoming diabetic and how to reverse diabetes. Both videos are Excellent -

Not concerned about pre-diabetes or diabetesHow about obesity and weight loss?   The 2nd video also addresses why it is so difficult to lose weight and why so many people are obese. They are both worth watching.

If the information in these videos helps one person, I'll be satisfied!

Can you reverse Diabetes?
This is a must watch! It's by a doctor from Indiana- Sarah Hallberg who has reversed diabetes in hundreds of patients in her clinic and continues to do so. 18 minute video.. Also watch Dr. Fung's video below.

Dr. Jason Fung- a well known Canadian doctor who also is challenging the present way we treat diabetes an weight loss.. 

Similar Views on Reversing Diabetes

Love to hear your feedback: Please leave a comment

What do you think? Do you know anyone who follows these views? Do you know of doctors who think this way? Please leave a comment and let's get a discussion going.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. The information on this blog is for educational purposes only and I am just sharing information that I found on Youtube. Always check with your medical doctor before making any changes in your diet or lifestyle.

I'm linking this post to  :My Blog Carnival List 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup just like in Mexico

Tortilla soup is one of my favorites! 
Whenever I go to Cancun, Mexico on vacation, I am jealous of everyone eating and raving about the tortilla soup. It always looks so good, but it is made with chicken and chicken broth, and I am a vegetarian. I've searched for a vegetarian tortilla recipe, but have never really found one I liked until today.

Today, I found a good recipe on  A Year of Slow Cooking  that looks just like the soup in Mexico and guess what? It's made in the crock pot! Does it get any better than that? Yes, it's gluten free, vegan, and made from real food ingredients. I knew I was going to like this one. 

I love the ease of crock pot recipes and that everything is in one pot and there is so little mess. I also love that once the ingredients are assembled and in the slow cooker, I can walk out of the kitchen and do other things. The timer calls me when dinner is ready! 

Although this recipe uses a 6 quart slow cooker, I'm sure you could make it on the stove top. Too much soup? You can freeze some. 
This recipe makes about 8 servings. 

 I will admit that the original recipe called for hot hot hot chili peppers, chipotle chile powder, and smoked paprika. I really don't like things that spicy, so I left out the chili peppers entirely- my bad! 

But you can certainly add them back in - the original recipe called for 4 whole serrano chilis! Personally, I only added a little chipotle chile powder and my canned organic tomatoes actually had some chiles added to them- that was enough for me !

You know your own preferences, so adjust the spices as you see fit!
I know the temperatures are scorching out there and some of you may be thinking,"hot soup in the summer" ??? Why???? The answer is , I like it.. BUT for those of you who don't like hot soup in the summer, just pin it now to make in the winter.

 Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep: overnight for soaking beans + 5 minutes prep
Cook Time in Crock Pot: 4-5 hours on high
Recipe from:   Stephani Odea A Year of Slow Cooking 
Serves: 8

1 cup of dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and then drained before adding to crock pot. 
1 15 ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes with chilis 
or 3 cups of chopped Roma tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped  
4 cups flavorful vegetable broth
4 cups water 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder  
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika ( I used regular paprika- go easy) 
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 cup of fresh baby spinach
optional: 4 whole serrano chillis
optional garnishes to add to each bowl:
chopped avocado, tortilla chips, sliced black olives,  freshly squeezed lime juice

Add the pre-soaked beans, chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, spices and broth and water in that order. If you are using the chillis- add then now and let them float on top! Cook covered for 8-10 hours of low or 4 to 5 on high. Discard the chilis before serving. Add the spinach to the crock pot/slow cooker before serving and it will wilt in the hot liquid. Stir and serve. 

Also, I included a Youtube Video of how to make a quick vegan tortilla soup in the Vitamix without cooking. You use boiling water, so it is a hot soup that is made in minutes! Might be perfect for you for the summer. It looks good!

My notes: 
  1. Go easy on the smoked paprika- you can always add more at the end. 
  2. If you use chopped tomatoes instead of the canned, you may need to add a little salt.
  3. You can always season more when the soup is done-
  4. If you want to make this on the stove top in a large pot to speed up the process, use 2 cans of cooked pinto beans instead of the dry soaked beans. I would sautee the onion and then add the other ingredients.  
made in minutes without cooking IN THE VITAMIX 

James Wrobel makes a version of tortilla soup in the a Vitamix type blender without cooking! So if you are looking for something really fast and easy that you simply mix up with boiling water, check out this 7 minute video!!

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cauliflower Aloo Gobi from an American Kitchen

aloo gobi- Indian cauliflower dish

This is a tasty way to serve cauliflower. I never thought I would be making an authentic Indian cuisine recipe.  Cauliflower Aloo Gabi is a flavorful vegan side dish that is both beautiful to look at and outrageously delicious. Indian spices are rich and pungent adding quality nutritive value to this great side dish! ( Did you know that spices are high in antioxidants and nutrients?)

This was a first for me. As much as I love Indian food, I've only eaten Aloo Gobi in an Indian restaurant. Did I mention that this recipe is also gluten and grain free, making it perfect for my gluten free diet. Yes, it is real food, just the way I like it.

cauliflower and potato dish - Aloo Gobi

This Recipe is Easy Easy Easy- 

Can you steam and sauté?
 That's all you have to do. The most difficult part of this recipe was purchasing the spices. I always have turmeric and cumin in the house, and last year I invested in garam masala, (which is a combination of cumin, cardamom, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) and I keep it in the freezer since I use it so infrequently.

You could certainly make your own garam masala, but if you don't already have all of the above spices, I think it's less expensive to just buy the combination. The garam masala really gives this dish the authentic Indian cuisine taste! You can keep it in the freezer and it will last for a year or more!

It's All in the Spices

The recipe itself just requires chopping of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and ginger  and of course the cauliflower. See my notes below for an easy way to cut the cauliflower. To cut down on the work,  I buy frozen cubes of garlic, ginger and cilantro at Trader Joe's, Whole foods, and even some supermarkets. I find them in the freezer section in small little packages.

I'm not sure what inspired me to try this recipe. I saw the it on Pinterest, and I was surprised how simple it looked to make. I had a large cauliflower on hand, some of the spices, and company coming for dinner. I wanted to make something a little different with the cauliflower and decided to give this exotic recipe a try.

I followed the how to photos on Cook With Manali and in 45 minutes the recipe was finished. I tasted it and it was really good!  My company loved it over a bed of fluffy Basmati rice, Yum!
Success! Indian cuisine made right in my kitchen! What a treat.
Being vegetarian, I rounded out the meal with black beans, a delicious okra recipe,  and a summer tomato salad.

Saute garlic, ginger, tomato, and onions in a skillet 
Add turmeric, cumin, graham masala 

Add steamed cauliflower and steamed potatoes ( do not overcook cauliflower) 
cauliflower side dish

If you have an instant pot- yes- it can be made in the Instant Pot - one pot no mess!! love my Instant Pot. Follow the link for How to Make Aloo Gobi in the Instant Pot 

Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time:25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Adapted from: Cook With Manali
Serves: 4 side dishes

1 medium cauliflower, cut into chunk size flower-ettes
2 medium white potatoes, peeled and cubed small
2 Roma Type Tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped ( I used 2 frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe's)
knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped ( I used 1 frozen ginger cube)
1/2 cup of vegetable broth or olive oil spray for sauteeing
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric ( careful- it stains)
1/4 teaspoon of garam masala ( go easy on this if you are not used to it)
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro or parsley
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Steam the potatoes and cauliflower till almost soft- do not overcook cauliflower and set aside. ( start the potatoes first because they take longer than the cauliflower) 
  2. In a large skillet, sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil until slightly soft. 
  3. Add the tomatoes and ginger and continue to sautee until it becomes slightly saucy
  4. Add the steamed cauliflower and potatoes, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala
  5. Mix well, cover, and cook on a low heat ( stirring frequently) for about 10 minutes. 
  6. Place in a large bowl, toss with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve.
My Notes: 

  • If you are not accustomed to garam masala go easy- you can always add more
  • How to cut a cauliflower-  I Simply take the cauliflower ( you can even leave it in the wrapper)  and bang it core down ( yes bang it) down on the counter. The core will separate from the flowerettes and then you can just separate them more easily. Then proceed to use it in any recipe. 
  • Below is a Youtube I found on how to easily cut cauliflower if you don't want to use the Bang on Counter method. 
  • Make This recipe in the Instant Pot- see my new recipe

How to use a knife to cut cauliflower easily

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Quick Yellow Squash Recipes for summer entertaining

quinoa and vegetable salad

Got yellow summer squash? Try this easy recipe that can be made into a quick summer soup or a delicious summer salad!

Today I received 5 pounds of golden yellow summer squash from my CSA. In addition, I received 3 pounds of carrots, two different kinds of lettuces, chard, 2 pounds of string beans, a pint of raspberries, lots of cucumbers, 2 eggplants, scallions, etc.

When you belong to a CSA you need to be ready to prep, cook, and freeze on the day you bring everything home. Otherwise, you run the risk of the vegetables deteriorating! I love the simplicity of fresh vegetables right from the farm. They taste so good that they very little seasoning.

whole yellow squash and carrots
From the Farm

yellow squash, carrots, onion for soup
Add caption

I decided to cook the carrots and squash together in a large sauté with some onions.  I then divided the sauté in half and made two different recipes from that one sauté.
 Of course both recipes are gluten free and vegan.

cut up summer vegetables in skillet

Recipe 1: Yellow Squash Quinoa Salad ( eaten hot or cold as a quinoa salad)

Recipe 2: Quick Yellow Squash Soup ( eaten hot or cold with some coconut milk)

gluten free summer soup
                             Yellow Squash and Carrot Soup topped with Red Quinoa

You can eat this soup hot or cold. If you eat it cold, add some coconut milk just before serving and leave out the quinoa! I prefer hot soup even in the summer, but on these 98 degree days we've having it's even too hot for me to eat hot soup!!

Yellow squash is in season ( on the East Coast where I live) and starting to show up at the roadside stands, farmer's markets, and of course CSA's. It's a low calorie seasonal vegetable that cooks up fast and adds variety to your meals. Both of the following recipes are quick, easy, and tasty. In addition, they are naturally gluten free, vegan, and provide significant nutrients and fiber.

Health benefits of eating yellow squash
It is recommended to eat a rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables everyday.
Each color of the rainbow has it unique qualities and provides specific vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are important for a healthy immune system and healthy body.
What do the yellow colored vegetables like yellow squash and orange carrots provide?
  • Beta Carotene which is Vitamin A - great for your eyes
  • Antioxidants which builds a strong immune system
  • Phytonutrients which are good for the skin 
  • Provides fiber
  • Low in calories and carbohydrates. 
  • High in manganese which assists processing of fats, carbs, and glucose.
Ingredients for Summer Squash Medley
5- 6 cups of sliced summer yellow squash
5 organic carrots , sliced
1 medium onion , sliced in half moons
2 ribs of celery, diced
Olive oil for sautéing ( 2 teaspoons)
salt and cracked fresh pepper to taste

In a large skillet, sauté the onions and carrots in the olive oil until they begin to soften. Add the summer squash, cover, and cook for  about 15 minutes until the squash is cooked. Remove from the skillet and add to a large bowl. Allow to cool. Toss in the raw diced celery and cooked quinoa. Season with salt and pepper to taste for an interesting summer salad! Or you can use the same recipe to make into a quick summer soup with the recipe below.

My notes

  • I use red quinoa because it tends to be less sticky
  • I cook the quinoa in vegetable broth to give it more flavor. 
  • The quinoa is very flavorful, so I do not add additional spices. 
  • If you prefer more spice, add something like Trader Joe's " 21 Salute" or Mrs. Dash's salt free seasonings
  • Add some nuts if you want this salad to be heartier

Ingredients for Quick Summer Squash Soup

4 cups of summer squash medley
4 cups of vegetable broth
optional: 1 cup of coconut or almond milk for cold soup
Optional: for hot soup, top each bowl with cooked red quinoa


Add the sauteed vegetables and the vegetable broth to a Vitamix or strong blender. Whiz until well blended. Pour into a saucepan bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Add the "milk"  if desired. Heat until hot and serve. Top with some cooked quinoa. Save for the next day and have it as a cold soup.
My notes:

  • If you would like your soup thicker and heartier, add a half cup of cooked red quinoa to your blender with the squash medley and the broth. I did, and then I still topped it with a tablespoon of quinoa some chopped scallions.

beautiful sunflowers and purple flowers in a vase
I picked these gorgeous flowers at my CSA farm garden!!!
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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cleaning with Essential Oils

Does Your Home Need to Detox? 
Did you ever notice that every home has "it's unique aroma" that greets you and your guests when they enter your front door. It's the odors from the food we cook, the pets we have, the bathrooms, our cleaning products etc.-  

If you are using store bought cleaning products ( and who isn't?)  to clean your house or get rid of odors, these products are probably the most toxic items in your home. These toxic cleaning products may be affecting you and your family members and you may not even know it. 

After getting a strong whiff of a strong bathroom cleaner I was using, I realized that it couldn't be good to be inhaling it. I started to look for better alternatives.

Does it Matter? Yes!
  1. Cleaning Products are labeled"Caution, Warning, or Poison" because they contain harsh chemical and toxins that we don't want to be exposed to!
  2. Toxins may be inhaled into our lungs, our children's lungs and our pet's lungs
  3. Toxins may be absorbed into our bodies through our skin
  4. Toxins may be stored in livers, kidneys, or other organs and interfere with the organ's function
  5. Toxins may aggravate allergies, head aches, immune system, or hormones
  6. Toxins get stored in the body and may interfere with fat storage and weight loss
  7. Toxins are bad for the environment ( our soil and water) 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency
My sister in law works for the EPA ( US Environmental Protection Agency). She recently shared a handout that they had published that suggested that the public consider using more natural products to clean their homes because of the toxic and dangerous element in store bought cleaning supplies. They say in the article:
"Consider reducing your purchase of products that contain hazardous ingredients"EPA Website 

Top 10 Hazardous Household Chemicals- 
The Global Healing Center published a list of the 10 most toxic Household chemicals
which included bleach, air fresheners, furniture polish, antibacterial cleaners, oven cleaners, etc. click here to see full article on Top 10 Hazardous Household Chemicals and explanations at Global Healing Center.

What Do I use instead that is safe?

I've been using baking soda, vinegar, essential oils, castile soap, etc and find they make great DIY cleaning products and are a safe choice to keep my home chemical free, clean, germ free ,and smelling fresh, clean, and beautiful without the use of dangerous toxic chemicals ! 

7 Essential Oils That Disinfect and Clean

Lemon, Tea Tree oil, Peppermint, Cinnamon, thyme, Lime, Theives

Cleaning Formulas I make

Basic Ingredients Needed: 
Baking Soda ( store brand runs about 59 cents) 
Liquid Castile Soap ( I buy Dr. Bronners at Vitamin Shoppe for about $6 - very pure for cleaning and for personal use- it's much more expensive at Whole Foods, Rite Aid,  Amazon) \
White distilled Vinegar- any supermarket
Rubbing Alcohol -( cannot use vinegar or citrus on granite or natural stone)
Essential oils: I only buy Young Living 

Mold and mildew anti-fungal formula

1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon liquid castile soap ( or natural dish soap)
5 drops lemon or orange essential oil ( cuts grease, antibacterial, and smells great)
5 drops of tea tree oil ( anti fungal) 
Mix all ingredients together in an 8 ounce glass spray bottle. 
TIPS: I Use it on the shower curtain, inside the shower, on outside umbrellas, 

Basic Cleaning Formula 
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons vinegar
6 drops Theives essential oil ( anti bacterial) 
optional: 2 drops lemon essential oil 

Mix together and add to a glass spray bottle. Use as needed for kitchen and 
bathroom. Theives and the lemon are anti- bacterial
** do not use ( vinegar or citrus)  on granite or natural stone

Soft Scrub formula Cleaner ( click here for more ) 
I absolutely love this formula. My white coffee mugs and dishes are strain free and sparkle!
I also use it on my bathroom sinks- works great
3/4 cup of baking soda
1/4 cup Castile Soap ( or natural dish soap) 
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon vinegar
8 drops lemon essential oil 

Mix the baking soda, castile soap, and water. Add the vinegar and stir until smooth. 
Add essential oil. ( * do not use vinegar on granite or any natural stone) 

Window Cleaning Formula 
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon water
7 drops of lemon essential oil

Stain Remover Cleaner + Tips 
1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol 
10 drops of lemon essential oil 

Mix together in spray bottle. Use on washable clothing. Wet the garment, spray, allow to sit for 10 minutes, and wash. ** for bad stains apply lemon oil directly on stain, rub, and wash immediately.
Check to see that the stain is gone before putting in the dryer. If needed repeat - The dryer will set the stain if it is not fully removed.

Tips for Lemon Essential oil 

2. If you have "goo" on a bottle left from a price tag or label- lemon oil works great- apply directly, rub and it's gone!

Granite or natural stone Cleaner 

1 cup of Water
1/4 cup alcohol 
5 drops tea tree essential oi

Mix together in a 8 ounce spray bottle. Shake before using and spray on the granite surface. 
Wipe off with a damp cloth. 
** do not use citrus, lemon, or orange essential oils or Theives on Granite. 
** do not use vinegar on granite or any natural stone
I found this recipe suggested on several sites-I am a little nervous putting this or  anything on my granite- however, I will note that my sweet smelling lovely store bought granite cleaner has a ton of harmful toxins and it doesn't smell toxic!
What do you use on your granite?

DIY Microwave Cleaning Spray

My Notes: 

I purchased my Young Living Oils kit about 7 months ago and find so many helpful ways to use them. When I travel, I make sure to take Theives with me to help keep my immunity strong, I carry purification to keep cuts and scapes clean. I bring my RC for respiratory concerns, and Digeze for any digestive disturbances. Tea Tree oil for it's powerful antiseptic properties.

Thieves, Purification, Digeze, RC, and Tree Tree oil go with me on all of my trips- especially when I travel out of the country. Once you get used to relying on essential oils, you won't want to go back to using chemical products.

I buy small dark glass bottles with a glass dropper and make solutions that are ready to use like these: Eclectic Supply B37-6 Glass Bottles for Essential Oils with Glass Eye Dropper, 2 oz Capacity, Amber (Pack of 6)  to dilute my essential oils with olive, almond, or coconut oil. I get labels in the dollar store and put one on each jar.

Essential oils are potent and should be diluted with a vegetable oil like olive oil or almond oil before applying. 

Thieves: I dilute with carrier oil like organic olive oil and use to massage into the bottom of my feet which have lots of pores and it is a good way to deliver the essential oil to your body. I use this every night when I travel on public transportation, if I am in crowds, if anyone is sick around me.

Digeze: I use this direct from the bottle. I use it if I have gas, bloating, or stomach or digestive discomfort. I rub a few drops on my stomach. ( If you are very sensitive- dilute with olive oil) 

Tea Tree Oil: I use this at the start of a sore throat to gargle and spit it out. I mix it with water. 
                       I also use it as a hand sanitizer- 
                       4 ounces aloe gel 
                       1 Tablespoon witch hazel
                       12 drops tea tree oil 
                       4 drops lavender

RC- I use this if I have any kind of respiratory chest cold- I dilute it with olive oil or almond oil and rub it on my chest ( you could use coconut oil too.) 

** Disclaimer: The information in this post and throughout this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet or trying anything new.

Want to Purchase Young Living Essential Oils?
Click Here to purchase Young Living Essential Oils
Judee Algazi- Young Living Distributor- # 3329912-
If you would like to order a starter kit of Young Living Oils, contact me at 
If you would like to receive a 24% discount on all of your Young Living products, you can purchase as starter kit. I will work with you to help you understand how to use your oils and answer any questions you may have. You would be part of my team .