Guilt-Free Chocolate Donuts


A healthy, power-packed breakfast!

Makes: 12 donuts


  • 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cups oat flour (or just oats ground fine in a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, ground in a food processor
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbs milled or ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbs Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup stevia for baking
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large food processor (or a bowl with a hand mixer will also work well) and blend.
  3. Add zucchini and chocolate chips to the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the remaining ingredients, then pour into the food processor bowl and process until well-blended. Alternatively, mix with hand mixer for a couple of minutes.
  5. Divide mixture among 12 silicon donut molds. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean

This recipe was adapted from a zucchini bread recipe that I love. While the zucchini bread by itself was good, it could easily be made better by adding some antioxidant rich walnuts, oat flour, and ground flax. Skipping the oil and will also make the heart and arteries much happier. As for the donut molds instead of a bread pan? Well, that’s just to make it look more breakfast-like! Plus, it becomes a single-serve grab-and-go that way.

I like to pair it with some mixed fruit to get a good, well-rounded breakfast. For a little icing, you could also melt some more dark chocolate and drizzle on top. I prefer to keep the sugars as low as possible, though, so I just keep mine plain and dunk in some coffee. Soft, delicious, and gentle on your heart and your waistline!

Mediterranean Buddah Bowls


This dish works great for dinner, or to meal prep for a week’s worth of lunches!

Servings: 4


  • 2 – 15 oz cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 4 cups of spinach and arugula mix
  • 1 cup of radishes, sliced and pickled (soak in apple cider vinegar for 30 minutes)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, diced
  • 20 kalamata olives
  • Hummus
  • Non-dairy tatziki sauce – click for recipe I used (I swapped in radishes for cucumber because I don’t like raw cucumber)
  • 2 limes
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Start by peeling and slicing the radishes, then put them in a bowl and cover with apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to directions. Amount of liquid may vary depending on type of rice, but the kind I used needed 2 1/4 cups of water. Bring rice to a boil, then turn down on low, cover, and simmer until water is gone, stirring occasionally.
  3. While radishes are pickling and rice is cooking, chop all of your vegetables and drain the chickpeas. Prepare tatziki if using.
  4. Assemble by dividing equally among four bowls the rice, greens and chickpeas. On top of the greens, divide and place all of the remaining veggies, including the pickled radishes.
  5. Salt and pepper the bowl, then squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lime over each bowl. Top with desired amount of hummus and tatziki sauce. I used about 1/4 cup of hummus and a heaping tablespoon of tatziki.
  6. Stir it all up and enjoy!

After growing weary of scrolling through paragraph upon paragraph of chatter to get to the recipe on other sites, I decided to post the recipe first and then talk about it for those who like to read the commentary!

I adapted this recipe from an idea I found on Pinterest. As mentioned in the recipe I don’t like raw cucumber, but I’ve found that radishes give that same cool bite without the flavor I hate, so I now always use radishes instead of cucumbers. If you like cucumber, then simply sub in cucumber for the radish – whether or not you pickle it is totally up to you!

I also left out the feta cheese to keep this recipe plant-based. I’ve been eating much more plant-based lately than I used to because I was finally able to kick the cheese habit. I have three servings of meat or dairy per week to keep my total animal protein intake to no more than 5% of calories. Or in other words, 560 calories or less per week from animal-based sources. If you want the feta, you can definitely add some feta crumbles to this.

Next up on Mediterranean Monday- chocolate donuts that are entirely plant-based – no dairy, no eggs, no oils. They also have an added pop of antioxidants with walnuts and milled flax, making them not only guilt-free, but good for you. Stay tuned!




Mediterranean Monday: Lentil Curry Stew with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Dear Friends,

Fall is coming, and soups and stews are going to be a staple in our kitchens again! Last week I really started to buckle down on being more plant-centered after a little dose of reality reminded me why it’s so important. I’ve definitely been much more relaxed over the last couple of years, and slipped a little (a lot) on how much is considered “moderation” for all things meat and dairy.

For years, most of my meals were plant-based, with some poultry, fish, eggs and cheese mixed in about three days per week. In the last couple of years, mostly due to the challenge of appeasing children, I’ve been consuming those things much more regularly, and only my “no red meat or processed foods” seems to have survived the tests of time. Although recently I’ve actually been consuming bacon quite a bit more, and it is definitely the kind that is cured with nitrates…which are a big no-no for me with a family history of leukemia.

So now, I am turning back into that mean mother who makes my poor deprived children eat food that is good for their health, their immune systems, and their waist lines. They are going to hate me for a while, but I know they will thank me when they’re grown and don’t have to struggle with health or weight because they know how to be healthy since they were raised that way. That is what I will keep reminding myself of every time they complain. Or rather when Hunter complains, because he is my picky child. Logan will eat just about anything!

So, back to the food! I have a recipe for kale and white bean soup that I used to make a lot (you know, back before I fell off the plant-centered wagon), and I thought I could use that as a base for something new. I love sweet potatoes and curry together. I also love lentils and curry together. And I had a bag of dried lentils in the pantry needing to be used. From that, this lentil curry stew was born!



  • 1 1/2 cups dried green lentils
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 5-6 large kale leaves, torn
  • 1 1/2 boxes of organic vegetable broth
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 1/2 TBS cumin
  • 1 TBS curry powder
  • salt and pepper
  • hummus and parsley, for garnish


  1. Pour dried lentils into a large bowl and fill with water to an inch above the lentils, then place in fridge to soak overnight.
  2. In a crock pot (or in a large stock pot if you don’t want to slow cook), stir together all ingredients except the parsley and hummus.
  3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, then turn down to low for another 1-2 hours, or until lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Serve in a bowl garnished with a dollop of hummus and some fresh snipped parsley, as well as some toasted garlic bread if you wish (I used Ezekiel bread for real whole grains and no sugar).

While I refer to myself as plant-centered (as opposed to plant-based) because I still eat some poultry, fish, eggs and dairy…this dish is completely plant-based and vegan. It’s also delicious and satisfying, and is definitely going on my list of soups to make again! This really is the epitome of what the Mediterranean Diet is all about — total balanced health and wellness, with the meals centered around plants instead of meat. It isn’t the traditional American diet…which is why it’s so darn good for you!

In the words of Hippocrates – “let food be thy medicine”. Happy and healthy eating, friends!





Mediterranean Monday – Corn and Avocado Salad with Chickpeas

Dear Friends,

For this week’s Mediterranean Monday, I’m bringing you a new lunch dish inspired by tomorrow’s dinner date! I’m going with my friend Erica to try out a new plant-based restaurant called Trio. I am not vegan, but I do make fresh veggies the center of my diet and am happy to do meatless and dairy-free meals. Last week I didn’t do the greatest — Michael was out of town and my boys were gone, so it was just me at home. I took full advantage of the opportunity to not cook for a few days!

That meant pizza on Sunday and cheese enchiladas topped with grilled chicken plus a ton of chips and salsa on Wednesday. And in between? Well, I am a French fry addict! They are my absolute favorite food, and I decided to “treat” myself by buying a bag of seasoned fries that I can toss in a skillet frozen and have fried and ready to eat in a matter of minutes. I basically lived on those things for lunch and dinner the other two nights, with either leftover veggie frittata or a salad on the side. I also made lemon lavender shortbread cookies for work, and my usual serving of oatmeal for breakfast.

In short – by the weekend I was completely carbed out, and in desperate need of more fiber and less cheese and fat!! So for this week’s meal plan I made sure to include a meatless option for lunches, plus some good veggie options to go with the dinners. It’s me, Michael, and his teenage daughter Mia this week, so I still had to come up with things that a teenager would eat. I chose Chicken Parmesan Meatballs for dinner tonight — that I could serve over traditional (albeit whole wheat) spaghetti for her and her dad, but eat without pasta and with a large salad on the side for myself.

I’m planning a traditional summer feast for Wednesday, because Mia is picking fresh sweet corn with her uncle on Tuesday, and my grandma gave me some garden cucumbers and bell peppers too. So we’re going to do some turkey burgers with corn on the cob, cucumbers and sliced tomatoes from my garden.Tuesday and Thursday are leftover nights, and Friday is one that I’m excited for — Shrimp and Veggie Lo Mein. It’s basically like a stir fry with brown rice noodles, and that is one of my favorite things!

I also like to plan at least one thing for lunches each week in case there aren’t enough leftovers, and that leads me to the topic of today’s post! I made a Salmon Quinoa Salad a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it would be easy enough to swap out the salmon for some chickpeas, and switch out a couple other ingredients to create a new summer salad that centers on a major staple right now — corn on the cob! I know, I know…still a carb! But it’s in season right now so it’s sooo good! And it pairs really well with tomatoes and avocado!

I have tomatoes growing at home in my back yard, which are looking much better since I’ve been using the copper fungicide to control the anthracnose fruit rot. I have some much better-looking tomatoes! The rest of the ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find in the store (that’s my beef with some vegan recipes — you have to go to specialty stores to find some of that stuff and we just don’t have that many options in a town of 40,000 people).

Now then…

Corn and Avocado Salad with Chickpeas



  • 4 cups of kale, leaves torn
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob, cooked (grilled will have the best flavor!)
  • 2 avocadoes, cubed
  • 1 large or 2 smaller tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 TBS finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of one lime


  1. First things first — sautee kale in a bit of olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper until lightly wilted and bright green (don’t overcook!). Put in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Next, run a sharp knife down the corn cob lengthwise to slice away the corn from the cob. Place the corn into the bowl with the kale, then refrigerate to cool before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  3. The rest is pretty simple — throw the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and toss together! The lime juice will top off the flavor, and also keep the avocado from browning so that it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

How is that for a simple and tasty recipe?! Lots of veggies, a little carbs without being over the top, and so good for your heart and your waistline without all the unhealthy fats and cholesterol that come with meat and cheese!

Which brings me to a new goal I’m setting for myself — limiting my dairy intake. I don’t drink milk, and never have since I was lactose intolerant growing up. My stomach can take it now, but milk is just gross to me after years of it making me sick. I’m not a big ice cream eater either — although I think I’ve eaten more of it since I’ve been with Michael than I have in the last five years combined because he gets it free from work! But when it comes to cheese…I just can’t seem to say no to the stuff. I used to be good about eating it in moderation, but now I’m eating it every single day.

I’ve completely run away with myself on the cheese front, and it’s time to get it back under control. It may not raise your body’s acidity like milk does since it’s fermented, but it has one of the highest fat percentages of any food coming in at about 70% fat on average. About the only thing worse is butter, which is 80% fat. That really isn’t a good thing for the arteries! There is also a pretty strong link between cheese consumption and an increase in cancer risk, especially prostate cancer in men. Granted I may not have a prostate…but that doesn’t make me feel any better about eating it every day!

With that said…recipes like this one are going to be more frequent for me this month, as well as for my kids. They’ve continued their tradition while away this summer of eating way too many chips and drinking way too much soda, packing on 10-20 pounds that they now need to loose. Lots of healthy eats and lots of time sweating it out at the skate park is in store for them!

If you have any recommendations for good plant-based dishes, please feel free to share them below. I am always looking for new things to try! Happy eating 🙂




Mushroom and Black Bean Wraps

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s time to start start setting goals and getting healthy, and I have a little something to help. The boys have been gone for the last week, which means emptying my produce drawer has been a little slow-going. I realized I had a ton of mushrooms left that desperately needed to be used up, along with about a third of a zucchini and a couple of shallots.

I needed something that would use up a good chunk of my mushrooms, so I opted for one of my favorite go-to lunch fixes–a wrap! They’re always quick and easy for mid-day, especially on weekend and post-workout when you’re busy, hungry, and don’t want to spend an hour planning, prepping and cooking your lunch. So yesterday, I created yet another yummy wrap with mushrooms at the center of attention.


Mushroom and Black Bean Wraps:


  • 5-6 smaller-size mushrooms (I used a mixture of crimini and button)\
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/3 small zucchini
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 whole wheat 10-inch tortilla


  1. Dice your mushrooms and zucchini, and finely chop the shallot. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil over medium heat, then add mushroom, zucchini and shallot to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer.
  2. While this is cooking, open and rinse your black beans, then measure out what you need for the wrap. Return to the pan and add the minced garlic, cooking the mixture down for a few more minutes.
  3. Place tortilla into the microwave to heat for about 20 seconds. While that is warming, add the black beans and ground cumin to the pan, and do a taste test to see if it needs any additional salt and pepper.
  4. Heat this through for a couple of minutes, just long enough for the beans to get hot, then spoon the mixture onto the warmed tortilla. Top with some sliced avocado and salsa, and serve!

How’s that for an easy-peasy meatless lunch?! I also added a dash or two of red pepper flakes to mine because I like a little spice. It was good and filling, it allowed me to use up some produce before it went bad, and it was incredibly good for my body! And you know I had to have myself a glass of chardonnay while I was cooking. It was definitely a love-my-body kind of day!

I hope you all enjoy, and I wish you a fun and safe New Year’s Eve. See you back here in 2019!