Saturday, December 25, 2010

Health for Life Cooking to Start the New Year!

Lemon Ginger Blast Green Smoothie

All of those holiday treats, even though they were quite healthy, finally took their tole on my body and I was in need of a good cleansing smoothie to help get rid of what ever was trying to take over my body and make me feel a little sickly right before Christmas. This green smoothie that I came up with really hit the spot and put be back on track. I'm excited to share it with you to start off the new year. The combination of apple, lemon, dates, (all in season) your favorite greens and a splash of ginger and cayenne pepper really rev up your immune system and increase detoxifacation. And what a blast of fresh, crisp, and sweet taste to wake you up in the morning. I love this smoothie! I think it's my new favorite for the winter.

Vegetable Bean Burritos w/home made chili sauce

This recipe is from Doctor Fuhrman ( and is a favorite that I've made for years! It's loaded with vegetables, some pinto beans and a white cheez sauce that makes this burrito so unique and unlike any burrito you've ever tasted! Top it with a delicious home made chili sauce to add a little extra spice and extra flavor!

Black Bean Dip - I remember as a kid my dad bought bean dip in a can to go with chips and salsa. I loved anything with beans including my dad's dip. This recipes for Black Bean Dip reminds me of the dip my dad bought. It originally comes from a Dr. McDougall newsletter in 2009 ( Both my husband and I thought it needed a little more zip so I've added a few more ingredients to spice up the flavor and make it more like the bean dip I loved as a kid. This is perfect with home made oven baked tortilla chips.

Spicy Tomato and White Bean Soup - I found the recipe for this soup at In the original recipe there wasn't enough vegetables and the soup turn out a little bland for my liking. I've turned it upside down, switched it all around, added more seasonings and vegetables and made it my own. This soup is full of flavor and nutrients and is a meal all by itself.

And there you have it! Health for Life cooking to start off the new year. Class dates are Wednesday January 5, Tuesday January 11 and Tuesday January 18 and begin at 6pm.
Hope to see you in class! For more information or to register, contact April at

Friday, December 10, 2010

Luscious Lentil Soup

Collards and Black Eyed Peas

Tortilla Soup and Mediterranean Rice Salad

I'm excited to introduce Whole Food Goodness!

Whole Food Goodness is a collection of my favorite recipes that I have modified to meet my standard of using as much whole unprocessed plant foods as possible. My recipes are unique in that they contain no extracted oils, very few processed sugars, and limited processed grains. The processed grain that I most often use is 100% whole wheat, preferably freshly ground.

Another important aspect of my recipes is the inclusion of leafy green vegetables. Leafy greens are the healthiest foods on the planet and we need to eat them every single day. According to my favorite health guru, Joel Fuhrman, MD, we need to eat a lot of them, at least a pound a day. So I put them in any time I can get away with it. And what I have discovered is that they only make the dish better; tastier and more colorful.

Along with the recipes, you will find documented research studies that will tell you why it's important to eat a plant based diet. Knowledge is power and it is my hope and prayer that this book will help you gain the strength and determination to make the changes necessary that will bring you excellent health throughout your entire life!

If you are interested in getting a copy of Whole Food Goodness, contact April at

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Healthy Holiday Treats

Give some treats that you can feel good about and enjoy some treats that you don't feel guilty about!

Health for Life cooking in December will teach you how to make delicious healthy holiday treats that you and your family and friends will love.
Going clockwise from 12:00:
Walnut Cranberry Cookies
Peppermint Patties
Gingerbread Man Cookies
Fruity Nut Balls
Peanut Butter Dips
All of these treats contain nuts and the gingerbread men contain wheat.
Only one class is being offered on Wednesday December 1. All class participants will go home with a decorative Christmas tin full of an assortment of goodies!
*Hope to see you in class! April
*Must pre-register at

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Health for Life cooking in November

Cornbread Stuffing

This stuffing is made with home made no oil cornbread and is loaded with onions, celery, and carrots along with just the right holiday seasonings. My Uncle Ron, who is the only member of my family who really gives me grief about my eating habits, actually complimented me on this dish a couple of years ago when I had the family over for Christmas dinner. It's also been well received in my holiday cooking classes for the past two years.

Festive Mashed Potatoes w/No-Chicken Cashew Gravy

Winter squash is what gives this dish of mashed potatoes it's orange glow. Because of the color, it turns an other wise low micro-nutrient food, such as a white potato, into a more festive and nutritious one. Top it off with No-Chicken Cashew Gravy and YUM! So creamy and delicious!

Steamed Brussel Sprouts w/Avocado Dip

I know very few people who like brussel sprouts. But I'm convinced that it's because of the way they are cooked. When these little gems are steamed to perfection they are tender and delicious and are one of my most favorite vegetables. I have to admit however, that I prefer them much better with this avocado dip than by themselves. And that's a good thing because when you add a fat, such as avocado, to your vegetables it can increase the absorption of those fat soluble phyto-nutrients by up to 10 times!

Cranapple Salad

As soon as cranberries are available, I start having this delicious salad for breakfast. Cranberries are high in anti-oxidants and phyto-chemicals but are very bitter and hard to eat on their own so I've added some sweet apples and a few dates to sweeten. Then a few fresh spinach leaves to add a festive look and increase the nutrients even more. Then some chopped walnuts to increase the nutrient absorption and add some omego 3 fatty acids. Once you try this salad, you'll be hooked too!

Non-Dairy Pumpkin Pie w/Whip Cream

MMMMM! I love pumpkin pie. And I don't feel a bit of guilt when I dig into a slice of this very healthy vegan version. This pie is sweetened 100% with dates and there is no tofu, no eggs, and no fuss. The thickening component of the dates is what give this pie it's firm structure. Top it off with a non-dairy whip cream and you will never miss your old time favorite.
And there you have it! Health for Life cooking for the holidays. The dates for this months classes are Wednesday November 3 and Tuesday November 9. Hope to see you in class.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Health for Life Cooking in October

Autumn Stew

As much as I hate to see summer come to an end, there is something inside of me that looks forward to the comforts of fall.....long sleeve shirts, comfy sweaters, warming up to the fire place on a cold night, and soup! I love a good hearty stew on a cool night. And this one really hits the spot! This could be called Three Sisters Stew because it contains the three sisters: squash, beans, and corn. And of course I have to throw in some greens! This soup would be a great addition to your holiday feast. Served in a hollowed out, lightly cooked pumpkin, it would make a great looking center piece. Much prettier than a dead bird!

Lentil Loaf w/ Mushroom Gravy

I love lentils and I love rice! Put them together, add some onion, garlic, mushrooms, just the right seasonings and top it with a delicious mushroom gravy and you have a very tasty, filling and satisfying dish that's fit for a king! I made this for a potluck with a mixed crowd of veggies and meat eaters, and those who tried it seemed to really like it.

Pumpkin Bread

I don't do a lot of baking because I can't seem to leave the stuff alone if it sits on the counter for more than 5 minutes! I do love to bake though, especially in the winter, and some of my favorite baked goods have pumpkin in them. That's a good thing because pumpkin will increase the nutrient value significantly because of the beta carotene......that orange color in the pumpkin. This pumpkin bread is made with freshly ground 100% whole wheat flour. It has no extracted oils but does have some minimally processed organic cane sugar that has a hint of molasses flavor that really adds to the rich flavor of this bread. It also contains walnuts, but you could leave the walnuts out. However, the oils from the nuts help to make this bread just a little bit lighter.

And there you have it! Health for Life cooking for the month of October. Class dates are Wednesday October 6th, Tuesday October 12th, and Tuesday October 19th. Hope to see you in class!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Health for Life Cooking in September

Scrambled Hash and Vegan French Toast

As a kid I loved scramble eggs. So I was happy to know that I could enjoy this tasty breakfast food without the fat, cholesterol, and animal protein that comes with egg consumption. Not to mention the cruel conditions these egg producing feathered friends live under. This Hash Scramble is a step above ordinary Tofu Scramble which I have done in the past. With the added potato and kale, this scramble becomes a hearty load of protein, carbs
(fuel for your body) and phyto-nutrients that will fill your growing kids or the hungry man (or woman) in your life.

Second on the menu is Vegan French Toast and I never even liked french toast until I started making it vegan. Now I love it. Especially made with Ezekiel 4:9 bread. You will have your choice of a regular whole wheat "Great Harvest" style bread or Ezekiel Sprouted Wheat bread. You can top this with either almond butter and real maple syrup or .................

Peaches and Cream - This is the season for peaches and what goes better with peaches then fresh cream!.........made with walnuts! Put this on top of your french toast or enjoy it as a side dish.

Chocolaty Sesame Milk - I've told the story many times about my experience in healing my tooth pain with a sesame seed milk shake. This Chocolaty Sesame Milk Shake is the concoction that took my tooth pain completely away in less than a week. And I've never had the root canal that my dentist told me I needed over 5 years ago! I've wanted to share this recipe for a long time so I figured breakfast was a good place to do it! I don't know that others would have the same experience as I did, but I do know that sesame seeds are one of the riches sources of calcium.
And there you have it! Health for Life Cooking in September. Class dates are Wednesday September 1st, Tuesday September 7th and Tuesday September 14th. Hope to see you in class! April

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Health for Life Cooking in August

Southwest Humus Wrap - This wrap comes from Rip Essylstyn ( tri-athlete, fire fighter, author of the Engine 2 Diet, and now educator of a "plant strong" diet. Who would ever think you could put humus, a Mediterranean bean spread, into a black bean Mexican style wrap! He did it and it's delicious!! I've added some avocado and salsa, and I'm using basic home made humus instead of roasted red pepper humus.

Basic Low Fat Humus - For those of you who love humus but have never made it, I highly recommend saving your $$ and making it at home. It's so quick and easy and you control what goes in it! All you need is a food processor, garbanzo beans, tahini (sesame seed paste) lemon juice, garlic and a little salt and then add what ever herbs and seasonings you want. That's it! It's so easy! For some reason I get a lot of compliments on this humus, but honestly, it's just your basic recipe found all over the Internet. I've decided that the secret is using home cooked garbanzo beans.

Mexico Chop w/ Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing and Crispy Tortilla Strips - This recipe originates from Real Food Daily, a great restaurant in southern California that I love to visit when I'm in the area. I've changed the dressing ingredients to eliminate the oil and up the flavor just a tad. Top it off with Crispy Tortilla Strips that I've seasoned and baked in the oven and you have a complete meal. This salad is cool, crisp, and perfect for a hot summer day!

Key Lime Pie - I've heard that Key Limes are in season in July but have yet to run on to any, so this pie will most likely be made with regular limes which work just fine! This pie may look a little odd (many vegan foods do!) but the tarty sweet taste with the ultra creamy texture will knock your socks off!! It's the perfect way to top off a mildly spicy Mexican meal. And NO, there are no green leafys used in this recipe!....but that's not such a bad idea!

And there you have it! Health for Life Cooking in August! Class dates are Wednesday August 4th, Tuesday August 10th, & Tuesday August 17th.
Hope to see you in class!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Health for Life Cooking in July

Creamy Tomato Soup - As a kid I loved Campbell's Tomato Soup, but it had to include an entire package of saltine crackers! So I had a little bit of soup with my crackers! That wasn't very healthy for a growing girl but luckily my tastes have changed and I have ditched the saltines and have rediscovered my love for tomato soup. When I found a tomato soup recipe on-line and tried it, I decided that with fresh tomatoes coming in season, it would be the perfect time to make it for my July cooking class! This soup is a bit different then Campbell's but much better because it's fresh and much healthier. And with just a little bit of processing in my Vita Mix (not necessary to make this soup) it's almost just as quick as opening up a can and cooking on the stove. With fresh basil, a tiny bit of chipotle chili and a small amount of cashews, this soup is flavorful, creamy and mmm mmm Good!!

Mediterranean Rice Salad w/ Tofu Feta - I had thoughts of making a pasta salad sometime during my summer classes but using pasta goes against my commitment to stick with whole grains as much as possible. I just don't feel that pasta is a very healthy food, whole grain or white. Whole unprocessed foods are always better!! So when I found a recipe for Mediterranean Rice Salad I got excited. And then when I made it, tweaked it to make it better and tried it.......who needs pasta salad!! This salad is great!! It's loaded with all the things you would find in a pasta salad such as tomato, cucumber, peppers, basil, and feta cheese.......except my feta is tofu feta! Oh yes, and we can't forget the spinach! Gotta get those greens in!

Lentil Salad - This salad comes from May All Be Fed by one of my favorite health guru authors, John Robbins. I liked this recipe the way it was so I didn't have to change it much other then replacing the olive oil with half of an avocado. It adds a nice thickness to the dressing that sticks to the salad well and unlike the olive, all of the parts of the avocado are intact for perfect balance. Nothing added, nothing taken away. Just the way nature provided. You can find this recipe at

Summer Fruit Parfait - One of my favorite things about summer is the wonderful fruits that are in season! I could live on it, and I practically do. This idea came from a fruit pie recipe that I got off Dr. Fuhrman's web site ( The parfait in this picture includes strawberries, kiwi's, black berries, layered with an apricot puree and a nut crumble. By the time classes roll around, I may need to change the fruits a bit because I want to include some fresh, locally grown fruits as much as I can. Whatever fruits are used in this parfait, it's sure to be a hit!

And there you have it! Health for Life Cooking in July. Class dates for July are Tuesday July 6th , Wednesday July 14th and Tuesday July 20th.

I hope to see you in class!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Health for Life Cooking in June

Health for Life Cooking is gearing up for the warmer whether with some great ideas for those days when you want to eat a little lighter and don't want to spend much time in the kitchen.

California Goodwich - This BBQ wrap idea comes from the book that changed my life...Fit for Life! I've taken the New York Goodwich from their recipe section and changed it to suit my liking, and since I'm from California, I wanted to call it the California Goodwich. It contains sauted mushrooms and onions smothered in my home made BBQ sauce, layered with steamed broccoli that has been dressed with my Creamy Tahini Dressing.
With a little avocado and mustard added, this wrap is surprisingly delicious!

Zucchini Soup - Zucchini is my least favorite vegetable. I think it's tasteless! But I do try to eat it because according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, ( it's one of the super foods that we need to eat often. So I decided to turn this otherwise bland food into a creamy delicious low fat soup that I could eat 3 bowls of....which I just did!!

Spinach and Potato Salad - For those of you that know me, you know I love my greens! So I was excited to run onto this potato salad recipe with spinach in it! What a great idea! It's a little different then my more traditional potato salad recipe that I have demonstrated in some previous classes. This one has red pepper, red onion, and spinach topped with my Sweet Mustard Dressing that also goes perfect with a basic green salad. You're going to love it!!

Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream - With temperatures rising and cherry season right around the corner, I thought it was a good time for Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream! I use frozen organic cherries, since cherries are one of the dirty dozen fruits, and blend them with freshly made almond milk and add a touch of cocoa powder. This is quick and easy to whip up with a heavy duty blender such as a Vita Mix, but could also be made with a regular blender and fresh non frozen cherries. Just freeze it in an ice cream freezer. Heavenly!!
And there you have it! Health for Life Cooking in June. I hope to see you in class!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Health for Life Cooking in May

Chipotle Burgers - These patties are slightly smoky, slightly spicy and are a delicious healthy alternative to the high fat standard American burger. The base of these burgers is made with kidney beans and oats. They are served on your choice of Ezekiel 4:9 bread or a whole wheat bun, with all the trimmings including some romaine lettuce fresh from my garden.

Tangy Sweet Cole Slaw - This cool crisp cabbage salad is the perfect companion to the Chipotle Burgers. It's made with green and red cabbage, carrots, apples and a delicious lime dressing.

Cream of Broccoli Soup - Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods on the planet! It's a cruciferous vegetable so it's loaded with thousands of phyto-chemicals that are absolutely critical for excellent health. I love it and try to eat it every day! This broccoli soup is creamy and delicious and is a quick and easy way to get this super green into your diet.

Raw Strawberry Pie - Tis the season for strawberries!! And you are going to LOVE this pie!! Because strawberries are at the top of the "dirty dozen" list (very high in pesticide residue) I'll be using organic berries that taste almost as good as the ones we grew when I was a kid! Nothing like those huge flavorless Costco variety that must be pumped up with something unnatural!! This pie is sweetened with only dates so there is no refined sweeteners used! And the crust is made with only nuts and dates.

And there you have it. Health for Life Cooking in May. Hope to see you in class!


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Friday, March 26, 2010

Health for Life Cooking in April

No-Chicken Pot Pie

A combination of my favorite pot pie ingredients, peas, carrots, potatoes, and broccoli, covered in a creamy cauliflower sauce, covered with a whole wheat no-oil biscuit crust. Talk about comfort food that is healthy.....this is it!!

Garden Fresh Collards and Black-Eyed Peas

Fresh from my garden collards steamed to perfect tenderness with some garlic, onion, and celery and then mixed with home cooked black-eyed peas. This is a lot like my Kale and Black Bean recipe but the flavor is very different. This is so amazingly delicious and it's one of the healthiest dishes you could eat.

Tapioca Pudding Parfait

Simple, delicious, and beautiful!! My extremely easy, no cook Tapioca Pudding recipe layered with berries is a delicious way to top off a meal.
This dessert has zero fat and no processed sugars!

There you have it! Health for Life Cooking in the month of April. Hope to have you for dinner!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Health for Life Cooking in March - Whole Food Goodness

Orange Spinach Salad w/Orange Vinaigrette

With navel oranges in peek season, I wanted to come up with a salad that included this delicious winter time fruit. I literally dreamed about this salad one night so I put it together the next day and was very excited. Sweet Navel oranges together with an orange vinaigrette is the perfect topping for a simple spinach salad. Sprinkle on a few chopped walnuts and this salad is like dessert!
The kids might even try it!

Luscious Lentil Soup
My husband isn't a huge fan of lentils so I've been trying to come up with some lentil recipes that he would enjoy. This Luscious Lentil Soup is packed full of high nutrient veggies and protein packed lentils. At 31%, they have the highest percentage of protein of the most common legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. However, it's not as high as broccoli or spinach at 45%! Never the less, this soup is a perfect and complete meal all by itself!

Vegetable & Red Rice Pilaf

I love rice dishes but it seems I have to add a lot of sodium to make it taste good. So I decided to cut back on the rice in this recipe, which I got out of Vegetarian Times magazine over 10 years ago, and use more corn which is a more flavorful grain. I kept a small amount of rice and used red rice instead, which has 10 times more anti-oxidants then brown rice. Mix in some young asparagus, zucchini, peas, and carrots, season with your favorite herbs and spices and you have a very filling nutrient packed meal.

Lemon Pie w/ Oat Nut Crust

I have fond memories of my moms Lemon Meringue Pie. I'll never forget the one that ended up on the ground outside the kitchen window where she had set it to cool. Lemon Meringue was one of my dad's favorite pies and is one of mine. So for years I've been wanting to come up with a healthy vegan version. It's pretty hard to mimic meringue without egg whites so I decided to just leave it off. The lemon part is the best part anyway. I have to admit this tofu based pie is a bit different then the Lemon Meringue Pie of my youth, but it's still tangy sweet and delicious!

And there you have it! Health for Life Cooking in March. I hope to see you in class!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Health for Life Cooking goes Mexican!

My absolute favorite food is Mexican! So I love to do Mexican cooking classes. The dishes I will be demonstrating for the month of February are, as usual, high nutrient and low in fat. Nothing like their traditional counterparts.

Because green smoothies are such an important addition to any diet, I feel it's important to occasionally demonstrate how to make them, no matter what the menu for class will be. So we will start off with an appetizer of one of my favorite winter time smoothies, the Green Navel. This is packed with vitamin C, calcium, protein, and thousands of other phyto nutrients to boost your immune system and fight off the winter cold.

The main dish for the evening will be this easy to prepare Deep Dish Tortilla Pie. This pie is chock full of veggies that will provide a ton of nutrients, but is also full of that spicy (but not too spicy) Mexican flavor. Between each layer of filling is an Ezekiel Sprouted Wheat Tortilla. Sprouted grains are much more nutritious and easier to digest. I top the pie off with a tofu/cashew "cheez" sauce that is creamy, cheezy and delicious!

My all time most favorite quick and easy Mexican dish is on the menu as well. I feel like I'm going out on a limb with this one because it doesn't look very good but taste? I can't get enough of it! I make these Kale and Black Bean Tacos every chance I get. When cooked enough, the kale becomes very soft and combines so well with the black beans. Also, when the kale is cooked, more of the phyto nutrients are made available for absorption. Beans and greens together make a perfect high calcium, high protein meal. Serve this in some sprouted corn tortillas and top with some left- over cheese sauce from the pie and it's truly heaven!!

Kenny's Famous Salsa is a family favorite. Kenny is my brother and when ever he comes to visit his Utah family, they ask him to make salsa. While he was here over Christmas, he made bottles of it to give as Christmas gifts, so I had the opportunity to observe. And it's very easy to make. It's a cooked salsa, so it goes against my belief that we need to eat as much food as we can raw, but during the winter when their are no good tomatoes available, this is a nice change. I'll add some fresh avocado, green onions, and cilantro to make it chunky and oh so good! I'll serve it with baked corn tortillas.

I'm not sure if they eat brownies in Mexico but because of Valentines Day, we must have chocolate! So Brownies it will be for dessert. These are moist, rich, and chocolaty!....and, believe it or not, they are a good source of nutrients.

And there you have it! Health for Life cooking for February. I hope to see you at class.
For more information or to register, contact April at

100% Plant Based 100% Nutritious 100% Delicious

Health for Life cooking will demonstrate how to incorporate the wonderful plant foods that nature provides into delicious meals that are rich in phyto-nutrients, protein, calcium, and taste! Processed flours and sugars are rarely used and processed oils are never used! To purchase my cookbooks and find out when my next cooking classes are, visit