Living and Eating Well!


Spicy Tuesday – Patatas Bravas or Angry Potatoes – Smoked Spanish Paprika


Happy Halloween from us – to YOU! Here’s an easy and spicy-good treat for ALL the trick-or-treaters in your family!

Don’t worry about having to buy the wide variety of spices used in this recipe  – the seasoning mix is not only wonderful on potatoes – its also great on a piece of fish or chicken. (Make a double recipe and save some for cooking later in the week.) Plus, when you add the smoked paprika to the other spices, it power-packs the blend! The high Vitamin C content can help your body absorb the iron in the fish or chicken.

Smoked Paprika is one of our favorite spices. It’s got a great smoky aroma and meaty taste and is a super substitute for meat or pork. The paprika pepper is 6 times higher in Vitamin C than tomatoes! As an antibacterial agent and stimulant, paprika can help normalize blood pressure, improve circulation, and increase the production of saliva and stomach acids to aid digestion.

Patatas Bravas – Angry Potatoes with Smoked Spanish Paprika

2 LBs Fingerling Potatoes, either very small, or cut in half

2 LBs Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into the same size as the potatoes

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Recipe *Spanish Spice Rub

2 TB Chives and 2 TB Parsley, Chopped

Toss the potatoes in the olive oil and spice rub and spread out on an aluminum foil lined sheet pan. Place the spiced rubbed potatoes in a 400F oven and roast for 35 – 45 minutes, or until browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chives and parsley to serve.

*Spanish Spice Rub

1 TB Coriander Seed

1 TB Cumin Seed

1 TB Fennel Seed

1 TB Mustard Seed

1 TB Dried Oregano

2 TB Smoked Paprika

1 TB Onion Powder

1 TB Garlic Powder

1 TB Sea Salt

½ TB Black Pepper

In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the first four ingredients until fragrant. Add to the rest of the spices and grind well in a spice grinder.

Spicy Tuesday – Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup – Fennel


For us, the start of October brings the “soup-y” time of the year. And here’s a soup that we make over and over again – because it highlights a powerfood—KALE! Not only full of nutrition – it also tastes so good that the whole family will love it on these cool fall evenings. Kale is a cancer fighting powerfood because of all the phytochemicals within it. Yup – forty five, 45! Different types of plant compounds are in the tasty green. It also has fiber, vitamins, and minerals that give your energy throughout the day. Our spice of the week is fennel because the crunchy and slightly sweet herb adds a refreshing contribution to Mediterranean dishes like this soup. The fennel bulb is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals. Fennel also has fiber, folate, and potassium.

2 TB Olive Oil

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Chopped Red Pepper

1 Cup Chopped Fennel

1 Cup Chopped Carrot

2 TB Italian Seasoning

1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 Bunch Kale, thinly sliced

2 Garlic Cloves, Grated

4 Cups Veg Broth

1 Can (15 OZ) Chopped Tomatoes, undrained

1 Can (15 OZ) Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 Tsp each Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


½ Cup Shredded Parmesan and Basil for Garnish

In a large dutch oven, sauté the onions, pepper, fennel, carrots, seasoning and red pepper flakes together, until the onion is tender and golden. Reduce the heat to medium and add the kale and garlic; cover and cook and stir for another couple of minutes. Add the remaining ingredients; cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and serve, garnished with the Parmesan and basil.

Spicy Tuesday – Brown or Red Rice Salad – Thyme


This yummy recipe appeared first in a summer 2014 post. But we’ve had lots of rice in the healthy kitchen lately, so we’re moving it over to celebrate fall!

Do the variety of different rice types and blends entice you with their beautiful colors and descriptions? They certainly do us! We have been using lots of different rice to make hot, warm and cool rice dishes – full of gorgeous color and delicious flavors. This week’s recipe celebrates rice with other easy to find ingredients that combine so well together, you’ll want to make a double batch for lunch later in the week!

Thyme is an herb that “sings” when its combined with earthy mushrooms and the umami, (the flavor of lusciousness), of soy sauce. Thyme is also a nutrition powerhouse because it is packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Its leaves are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. And its volatile oils have scientifically been found to have antiseptic and anti-fungal characteristics. You can’t go wrong with the health benefits and the flavor of this awesome salad!

Brown or Red Rice Salad

2 Cups Red or Brown Rice, Prepared*

¼ Cup Chopped Shallots

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 Oz Wild or Baby Bella Mushrooms

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Black Pepper

1 TB Light Soy Sauce or Tamari

1 TB Fresh Thyme

1 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts

1 Large Red Apple Chopped

2 TB Chopped Parsley

Season the shallots and mushrooms with the salt, pepper and soy sauce. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms in the oil until nicely browned. Stir in the fresh thyme. Toss with the walnuts and apple and garnish with the chopped parsley.

*We used Lundberg’s Burgundy Rice – which we found in the local grocery store.


Spicy Tuesday – Romaine Wrap with Crunchy Apple Salad – Garam Masala


Its that apple time of the year, and only is this easy salad seasonal – its delicious as well. We were thrilled to get a shipment of Live Gourmet‘s romaine. The romaine is special as it has no “heart”. That’s a GOOD thing because you can enjoy every leaf as a crunchy scoop.

By using the lettuce as the wrap rather than a carbohydrate rich bread, pita, or roll, you are saving calories and adding more Calcium, Iron, B Vitamins and protein to your meal. Believe it or not, romaine lettuce has 7.7 grams of protein / head of lettuce. It also has 16% of your daily water intake. So although drinking fluids is very imporant for health, you can also eat foods (like this romaine lettuce) to stay hydrated in your day.

The homemade dressing adds pop to the dish while bringing health benefits of its own. Because of the blend of spices in Garam Masala, it can help fights disease and builds immunity, and help increase the ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and proteins – the nutrients in the lettuce wrap are better absorbed because of this flavorful spice blend.

What’s not to like in this fun salad? (We bet your kids will eat it up too!) Here’s the recipe that Nancy developed to showcase fall apples and the delicious lettuce.

Romaine Wrap with Crunchy Apple Salad

½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

2 TB Orange Juice

2 TB Orange Zest

1/2 Tsp *Garam Masala

1 Cup Grated Carrot

½ Cup Chopped Celery

1 Red Apple, Cored, Chopped

2 Green Apples, Cored, Chopped

1 Cup Red Seedless Grapes, Halved

½ Cup Golden Raisins (or chopped dates)

½ Cup Chopped Roasted and Salted Cashews

1 Head Live Gourmet Living Baby Romaine

Step One Mix the yogurt, orange juice, orange zest and Garam Masala in a small bowl to blend. (You can prepare this dressing up to a day ahead of time)

Step Two Add the grated carrot, diced celery, diced apples, halved grapes, raisins or dates and cashews to a bowl. Add the dressing to salad and toss.

Step Three

Cut the roots off of the head of the Live Gourmet Living Baby Romaine and lay a leaf out flat. Place a couple of tablespoons of the salad in the leaf and repeat with the remaining leaves.

*Garam Masala is a aromatic spice blend from India. Full of flavor from spices like cardamom, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, you can find it in the spice rack of almost any grocery store.

Spicy Tuesday – Spanish Olive Vinaigrette – Cilantro


Sometimes you just need a salad dressing with ZIP! You can whip up this flavorful vinaigrette for a simple side accompanying your weeknight dinner – or splash it out with roasted baby potatoes, sliced hardboiled eggs, roasted red peppers and anchovies for a show stopping entrée on the weekend!

Cilantro adds a grassy green goodness to the salad. Not only is it flavorful and full of herb-ey goodness, it adds nutrition, too! When you cook with cilantro you are adding Vitamin K to your diet, trace mineral manganese and vitamins A and B-9, (known as folate), each at 1 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Spanish Olive Vinaigrette

1 Clove Garlic, minced or grated

1 TB Whole Grain Mustard

Juice and Zest of One Lemon

1 TB Red Wine Vinegar

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ Cup Sliced Green Olives with Pimentos

2 TB Finely Chopped Kalamata Olives

3 TB Finely Chopped Cilantro

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Place the ingredients in a jar and shake well. Serve over your favorite greens and veggies.

Spicy Tuesday – Mediterranean Red Rice – Oregano

Med Red Rice

With the summer’s end bounty of gorgeous tomatoes, this dish can make any dinner festive! We first published this recipe in 2013, but its the perfect time of year for a reminder for this easy-to-make and yummy side dish!

If you can boil rice you can make this flavorful, colorful and delicious side dish, inspired by bright cuisines of the Mediterranean. Tomatoes and peppers are an important part of warm weather foods, and this recipe includes both. The garlic and red onion are full of antioxidants, and although we usually use brown rice in our recipes, we are staying close to the original by using a short-grained rice called Valencia or Paella rice. The list of other items in this recipe helps balance the white rice and add extra nutrition.

One of the ingredients you may notice is the dried oregano. Why dried? For two reasons. One is because unlike many other spices whose fresh counterpart tastes the same, dried oregano has a unique flavor that we associate with tomato sauce. And the other reason is because when cooking food more than a half hour you should use dried when cooking, and the fresh herb to garnish. Cooking fresh herbs too long causes them to break down and lose their flavor. Using the dried version allows you to infuse your food with flavor.

And not only does oregano have the taste we think of as tomato sauce, it also is packed with thymol and an acid called rosmarinic acid which are potent antioxidants. There are preliminary studies that show oregano may benefit the cardiovascular/ nervous system and relieve inflammation. For example, in cell culture studies, oregano extracts protected cells from oxidative stress and DNA damage. Anytime we can eat foods that have potential health benefits, we try and add them into our dishes. So this recipe is two fold….. a crowd pleasing side dish, and chock full of healthy ingredients!

Mediterranean Red Rice

2 TB Olive Oil

2 Cups Valencia or Paella Rice (you can find this in your local grocery store)

1 Chopped Red Onion

1 Garlic Clove, minced or grated

4 Cups Veggie Stock

1 TB of Tomato Paste

2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Black Pepper

Step One In a large stockpot, brown the rice in olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and cook and stir until fragrant. Stir in the paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.

Step Two Add the stock to the rice and bring it to a simmer, cover and let cook about 20 – 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

Step Three Spread the rice on a platter as we have done here, and garnish with grilled tomatoes.

Spicy Tuesday – Shredded Southwestern Salad – Smoked Paprika


Fresh Green Produce? Leafy lovelies? We are in! This past month, we’ve been lucky enough to meet (virtually) and work for Hollandia Produce and their gorgeous Live Gourmet products. As a “dynamic duo”, Nancy creating the recipes, and Shayna providing the nutrition data, we’ve developed a handful of yummy ways to enjoy their fresh produce. Here’s just some of the info we shared with them:

A shredded salad is a super way to create a one-platter meal full of veggies and color. When you toss up this salad, you’ll have rave reviews at dinner, and then you can tuck any leftovers in a pita pocket for lunch tomorrow.

Southwestern Shredded Salad

2 Heads Living Romaine Heads, shredded

1 Cup Shredded Carrots

1 Cup Extra Sharp Cheese, shredded

1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes

1 Cup Chopped Avocadoes

1 Cup Chopped Cilantro

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

1 TB Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Gently toss the romaine, carrots, cheese, tomatoes, avocadoes and cilantro together in a bowl. In another small bowl or jar add the oil, juices and smoked paprika, Dijon mustard, salt and black pepper. Shake or whisk the ingredients together and pour over the salad.

  • Living Romaine heads contain 6mg of iron, which ads a significant source of iron to the diets of people following a plant based food plan.
  • Romaine lettuce is 17% protein with 7.7 grams per Living romaine head. It is also contains all 9 essential amino acids as well.
  • There is vitamin C in the lettuce, helping keep your skin, bones, and teeth strong. These beneficial effects associated with vitamin C are linked to its strong antioxidant properties as well as its role in collagen synthesis.
  • Cilantro is an important ingredient in the salad, and is most often cited as being effective for toxic metal cleansing and rightfully so, this herb is a powerful, natural cleansing agent. The chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and loosen them from the tissue.
  • Anytime you make your own dressing for salad, you are eliminating excess sodium, fat, preservatives, and dyes from your food plan. This dressing has the healthy anti-inflammatory extra virgin olive oil mixed with Vitamin C rich juices and spices.


Spicy Tuesday – Spicy (not hot!) Indian Summer Fruit – Garam Masala


In India, it’s said that every family has its own secret recipe for Garam Masala. Each kitchen holds the key to the amounts and types of spices and herbs that create the mix. A yummy combo of ground spices like Cinnamon, Cumin, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Turmeric, Bay Leaves, Cardamom, Cloves – what’s not to like? Garam Masala is one of our favorite warm and aromatic spice mixes. Once thought terribly “exotic”, as cooks across the United States have adopted this interesting Indian spice blend, you can now find it in almost every grocery store.

The combination of the ingredients in this savory mix brings nutrition to the table, too! Garam masala can help with weight loss because of the blend of spices. The literal translation of the spice’s name is “heat spice” or “hot spice.” And individually each spice brings its own health benefits which include:

Cinnamon is an anti-microbial as well as anti-inflammatory. It can also help control elevated blood sugars.

Cumin helps stimulate digestion, helps relieve nausea and indigestion.

Black Pepper increases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals and proteins. It helps break down fat cells (and brings the “heat” to the spice.

Cardamom is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic. It helps to flush out toxins from the body.

Cloves boost the metabolism, removes toxins from the blood stream, helps prevent the formation of blood clots and regulates blood sugar levels.

Bay Leaves are a powerful anti-oxidant that helps prevent cancer, arthritis, and ulcers.

What’s even more interesting is how you can use it to flavor foods from soups to stews, main courses and even dessert. In this week’s recipe, we use it as a warm baking spice that pairs perfectly with the crystallized ginger. A warm weather dessert with only three ingredients plus fresh summer fruit? Sign us up. It tastes like a delish cobbler – with out the crust.

Spicy, (not hot), Indian Summer Fruit

1 TB Garam Masala

1 TB Raw Sugar

1 TB Crystallized Ginger, chopped

4 – 6 Cups of chopped Seasonal Fruit (like peaches, nectarines, pears, apples etc.)

Stir the garam masala, sugar and ginger together in a bowl. Sprinkle over the fruit and place under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the fruit is browned on the edges. Serve over ***frozen yogurt, cake or just by itself!





Spicy Tuesday – Roasted Shrimp Salad with Summer Tomato Vinaigrette – Oregano


Roasted Shrimp Salad with Summer Tomato Vinaigrette – Oregano

Its easy to serve up a whole platter of veggies and shrimp during the dog days of summer – and then let others help themselves to the bounty of color and flavor. This recipe is a super easy fix for dinner, with super star seasonal ingredients roasting in the oven and topping fresh crunchy greens. The salad dressing is one of our favorites, using a tomato in the dressing instead of the salad itself!

The oregano brings vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium to the recipe. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help combat as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis.

1 LB Green Beans (or Asparagus)

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

1 TB Dried Oregano, divided

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 LBS Small or Salad Shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 Large Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced

½ Cup Thinly Sliced Red Onion

½ Cup Capers

6 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach

1 Recipe Summer Tomato Vinaigrette

Step One Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the green beans with 2 Tsp oil, and 1 Tsp dried oregano. Spread them out on a sheet pan and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Toss the shrimp with the remaining oil and oregano. Spread them out on 2 sheet pans and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the pans in the oven. The shrimp will take about 5 minutes to cook through. (Check to see if they are opaque and pink.) The green beans will be roasted in 10 – 12 minutes. Set aside to cool before adding to the salad.

Step Two

In a large salad bowl, add the fennel, red onion, capers and spinach. Toss together and add the roasted shrimp and green beans. Drizzle with the dressing and toss again.

Summer Tomato Vinaigrette

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Rice Vinegar

1 TB Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Large Ripe Tomato, seeded and finely chopped

Shake all the ingredients together in a jar.


Spicy Tuesday – Lemon Tarragon Dressing – Tarragon


Summer is full of a bounty of veggies that are so good roasted or grilled! Squash, peppers, onions, eggplants, tomatoes…almost everything tastes better off the grill! Simply slice your veggies in long strips or pieces, trying to make sure they are approximately the same size. Toss in a bowl with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a little extra virgin olive oil. Then either toss on the grill, a grill pan, or put on a sheet pan and slide into a 400F oven. You’ll know they are ready when they are browned on the edges and softer. (About 5 – 10 minutes on the grill, 30 – 30 minutes in the oven.)

While your veggies are grilling or roasting, you can whip up this easy dressing. Full of bright lemon flavor and the intriguing taste of tarragon, this recipe makes enough to toss with your delicious veggies, and to dress a big salad tomorrow night, too!

Tarragon is our spice of the week because it adds a nice flavor to the food and provides the dish with a good source of iron. A teaspoon of ground tarragon supplies 0.52 milligram of iron, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but is an impressive dose for such a small amount of food! So if you have 2 TB in this recipe, you get 6 teaspoons of Tarragon and lots of iron-wow! The herb also supplies some Calcium for your bones and Vitamin A for your eyes. What a great dressing to add to those grilled veggies.

¼ Cup Lowfat Buttermilk

2 TB Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp Honey

1 Clove Grated Garlic

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TB Finely Chopped Tarragon

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Shake all the ingredients together in a jar and taste for salt and pepper.