Hungry Hottie: Tasty Treats For Food Lovers & Pound Droppers Alike

I’m always on the lookout for healthy meals to please a crowd – remember, brunch is my favorite meal to prepare and serve, so we’re often entertaining friends with different dietary desires.

One person craves tofu, another bacon.

Since I’m all about welcoming the whole bunch to my table, cookbooks and recipes that make my cooking style easy are my favorites. Enter: The Hungry Hottie.

I asked Cynthia Pasquella, my new buddy and celebrity nutritionist (you’ve probably seen her on TV), to recommend the best brunch recipe for my next shin-dig. Here’s a recipe she gave from her new cookbook, Hungry Hottie! 

But before you get to the recipe, and in case you don’t already know Cynthia, here’s a quick breakdown.  Cynthia’s worked with numerous celebrity clients like Blake Lively, Sandra Bullock and Charlize Theron.  She’s also a best-selling author and nutrition expert for The Dr. Phil ShowThe Doctors and The Today Show as well as many others.  She’s been called a thought-leader for the new generation by Gabrielle Bernstein and Dr. Phil.  She’s the real deal!

AND if you sign up to get her Hungry Hottie book today she’s offering a whopping 53 PAGES of The Hungry Hottie Cookbook for FREE!


But wait – there’s more!

When you buy Hungry Hottie from Cynthia by Saturday 4/13/13, I’ll gift you a free edition of my Week In A Weekend!

That’s a week’s worth of plant-based menu’s, recipes, shopping lists, and a cooking video, you’ll have everything you need to get started on a healthy path. (there is a gluten-free week too – your choice!)

That’s a $47.89 program for FREE when you buy Hungry Hottie!

Click here to get the recipes, book and more by 4/13! 

(just email me the e-receipt at, SUBJECT: Hungry! Hungry!)

Here’s just a sample of what you’ll get with Hungry Hottie:

Tasty Veggie Tacos!

Makes 2 servings

1 c raw walnuts
½ clove garlic, minced
½ green onion, diced
juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tsp cumin
1 medium tomato, diced
4 large romaine lettuce leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

1.    Place walnuts into a food processor until finely chopped.
2.    Place chopped walnuts into a bowl with garlic, green onion, lemon juice, liquid aminos, and cumin.  Mix together well.
3.    Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.    Place a scoop of the taco filling on a lettuce leaf and top with tomatoes.
5.    Roll up and enjoy!

Walnuts are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids which will help boost weight loss. Plus the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat content reduces cholesterol.

Get your Week In A Weekend &  recipes here and the special offer by 4/13: 

Remember - just email me the e-receipt at, SUBJECT: Hungry! Hungry!

My Good Mood Food Recipes with Joe Cross!

Ever see the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead?

I joined Joe Cross, the subject and filmmaker from the inspiring documentary,

on the third episode of The Joe Show to share two of my favorite mood-boosting recipes.

Watch as we make the recipes on Good Mood Foods!

Gluten-Free Scones: Delicious & Easy? Bake on!

I love gluten-free recipes.

Orange Hazelnut Gluten-Free Scones

Orange Hazelnut Gluten-Free Scones

I’m not celiac myself, but many of my friends are, and I like cooking for people I love.

I like cooking easy recipes that can feed all my peeps in one fell swoop – and this gluten-free recipe satisfies a diverse crowd.

Because I love connecting with people. We host brunch once a month to bring our diverse group of friends together and share time and our home.

Food holds such emotion for us because sharing food & eating together is the most intimate thing we do with other people – in public.

(Like that idea? Tweet it here!) 

And I want to share the deepest intimacy with my friends as possible – to make them all feel welcome.

This recipe is one of the best for welcoming everyone’s dietary leanings and food rules to the table. Not only can gluten-free people dig in, but they welcome the vegans, the paleo-leaning (ok, there is maple syrup, but it’s pretty close).

Orange Hazelnut Scones with Raisins, Almond & Coconut Flour



1 1/2 cups of almond flour

½ cup unsweetened coconut flour

1/4 tsp of sea salt

1 tsp of baking soda

1 egg replacer

2 tbs of maple syrup

2 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest from one organic orange

1/3 – 1/2 cup unsweetened almond, coconut, rice or other plant-based milk

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (pecans are a great substitute, especially if you’re from Texas like my grandma)

½ cup raisins




  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This makes it easier to lift the cooked scones as they won’t stick to the sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg replacer, maple syrup, orange juice, zest, and milk.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until blended together. If the dough seems too dry and isn’t sticking together, use another tablespoon or two of milk.
  5. Add the hazelnuts and raisins and use your hands or rubber spatula to evenly distribute through the dough.
  6. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop out evenly sized scones and place scones on a parchment lined baking sheet and gently press down to flatten to 1/2 in thick with palm.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until the tops are golden brown, and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Get Grounded with Winter Sweet Potato Miso Soup

Like this recipe? Click here to tweet & share with your peeps! xox

Ground your energy and your body by eating more sweet root veggies this winter.

Winter Sweet Potato Miso Soup Recipe

Winter Sweet Potato Miso Soup Recipe


Is this a bowl of punishment for staying out too late and not calling your parents?

No, what I mean by grounding, rooted energy is that you’re literally feeling more solid in your body. Instead of spacey, heady, or light, you feel more solid, strong and sturdy. 

Think hibernation. In the winter our still-very-animal human bodies want to cuddle up, get cozy, and stay out of the elements. We dig in, burrow down, and pack into the earth energetically like carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes. 

So eating these foods can bring that energy straight into your body, supporting the seasonal swing of drawing down and in.  

One of my favorite healing ingredients is organic miso, which offers digestive benefits as well as grounding benefits – and we gotta keep your digestion in tip top shape! Your GI tract is the base of your health, and miso works wonders with digestive enzymes – just don’t boil it! Always add it at the end of cooking to preserve the healthy bacteria and enzymes. 

In addition, this soup has a nice dose of the sea vegetable wakame. Nutrient and mineral rich, sea veggies are a wonderful addition to soups and add iron, magnesium and calcium.

Sweet Potato Miso Soup


6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced

6 cups filtered water

1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 small sweet potato, small dice

1/4 cup soaked wakame (sea vegetable)

1 block firm tofu, cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons dark red miso*

1 tablespoon low sodium gluten-free Tamari* (naturally brewed soy sauce)

1 green onion, thinly sliced green and white parts


*For a totally soy free miso soup, you can skip the tofu all together and add 1 cup of cooked white beans. Substitute the soy miso with chickpea miso and use Coconut Aminos as a great soy sauce replacement! So many options!


  1. Combine shiitakes, water, onion, sweet potato and wakame to a simmer.
  2. Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. Add the tofu and cook for at least 5 minutes more.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Scoop 1 cup of hot water into a bowl and add the miso paste. Use a fork or small whisk to dissolve the miso. Add back to the pot and stir well to combine.
  6. Serve hot with garnishes of scallions.


Try it!

If you like it, click to tweet and share the recipe! If you make it and add your own unique twist, leave a comment below.

Happy Cooking!



A tale of 2 Scones :: Gluten-Free Baking Success (& Failure)

We LOVE the holidays.

And I LOVE to bake. So Christmas is pretty much the convergence of heaven + paradise for me. And I love sitting around with friends enjoying stories, inspiration, troubles, and dreams for the future.

AND I like bringing the good energy of positive people into my space – they bless my kitchen, which is right next to my office, they share their wealth of wisdom with my son, and they create my “chosen family” that grows every year I live in NYC.

Last weekend we invited over 9 friends to share a holiday brunch by the tree.

But our diverse group of friends has a variety of dietary restrictions:

- vegan

- vegetarian & pregnant

- gluten-free

- soy averse

- hard core omnivores

- 3 kids under 6…

…which made for a cooking challenge!

What’s your friendly neighborhood healthy chef to do bake? I like to something that EVERYONE can enjoy – but sometimes that ain’t easy.

So I chose 2 recipes – both gluten-free, both from trusted cookbooks. Luckily, one recipe turned out fine.

Better than fine, actually.

The other recipe was a total failure. Actually, this is the 3rd recipe that hasn’t worked from this particular cookbook, so I won’t be going back to it. (Part of me wants to warn you which cookbook this is, but I also don’t want to spread bad news…should I/ Is this part of my duty? What do you think?)

I had to through out the whole batch. Bummer.

gluten-free spiced raisin scones

Gluten-free spiced raisin scones

Well, I’ll give you the entire brunch menu later, but for now, I’ll share the biggest success of the day -

Spiced Raisin Scones

The secret to these moist, gluten-free crowd pleasers is the combination of gluten-free flour with almond meal and coconut flour.

The natural fat and moisture from the almond and coconut make these scones light yet moist and flakey.

Kinda’ like magic.

You’ll need:

1 1/4 cup unsweetened Almond Coconut milk

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup Earth Balance, or non-hydrogenated margarine, or frozen coconut oil, shredded on a cheese grater

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons sucanat, or natural cane sugar

1 cup raisins


What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Measure the milk and add the vinegar, then set it aside to curdle, just like buttermilk. Without the moo.
  3. Combine the flour, almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Chop up the Earth Balance and drop it in. Use your finger tips to lightly crumble and mix the Earth Balance int the flours until it looks like coarse sand.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the milk, oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until about half the flour is incorporated. Add the sugar and raisins and mix again until just mixed. Don’t over mix! It takes the lift and flakiness out.
  6. I use a medium sized ice cream scooper to scoop out perfectly rounded scone shapes onto the baking sheet.  You can also use a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
  7. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Yields: 14-16 scones




My Favorite Natural Sore Throat Cures: Sore Throat Remedy

This is an ancient Japanese remedy for quickly alkalizing the blood and is
useful for all sorts of conditions:

Feel a cold, sore throat, or flu coming on?  Drink a cup
 of this.  I’m drinking it today on the couch with my kitty and sore throat:

It makes a great hangover remedy too…I’ve heard.

As odd as this drink may seem for us Westerners who didn’t grow up eating ume paste (pulverized pickled plums),

it works
well for upset tummies, sore throats, colds and more.

Now, this recipe takes a few unusual ingredients, but you can find them all at Whole Foods or other health food stores.

And you’ll thank me for it…once you can talk again after your throat has healed up.

Here’s what you need:

* 1 heaping teaspoon Kudzu:

It usually comes in white chunks, so you’ll want to crush it into powder with the back of a spoon (found in the macrobiotic section” of health food stores like Whole Foods)

* 1 cup 
cold water

* 1 teaspoon Umeboshi paste (found near the kudzu in the “macrobiotic section” of your local health food store)

Shoyu - you know, the naturally brewed, good kind of soy sauce (or tamari soy

* ¼ cup grated diakon radish (the big white radishes you usually stroll by in the store)

* ½ to 1 teaspoon fresh Ginger Juice

- Make fresh ginger juice by taking 1-inch piece of fresh ginger and grate it on a cheese grater or microplane.

- Pick up the gratings and gently squeeze it to get the juice out



  1. Dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon of kudzu in 1 cup cold
 water in a small saucepan.
  2. It will be 
easier if you dissolve it in some of the water and then add the rest. Then 
add the ume paste.
  3. Stir over medium heat until the liquid becomes more clear in
color and
it is okay if it comes to a boil.
  4. Add maybe 1/2 teaspoon of shoyu 
soy sauce and then turn off the heat.
  5. Add ginger juice
and grated daikon and stir well. Drink hot.

Sugar Free till Thanksgiving!

I’m doing it.
I’m going sugar-free until Thanksgiving.
My body tells me every once in a while that it needs a break from the sweetness I’ve been enjoying.
Now it’s that time again!

Day 1 was fine:
Minor sweet cravings after lunch were easily handled with herbal tea “latte” made at home with unsweetened Almond Breeze Coconut-Almond milk.

Day 2 was annoying:
Got my period.
Just the time I allow myself to normally indulge in extra chocolate.

Day 3 was a little more inconvenient:
I got a cold!
My son is almost 6 years old and I get a few colds a year from just being a parent.
So normally I would have some raw honey in a cup of ginger tea, but instead I’m enjoying Yogi Tea blends that have some stevia leaf in them.

I stopped by one of my favorite local cafe’s, Sun in Bloom here in Brooklyn, and met up with Chef Aimee Follette to get inspired by her sugar-free journey. Here’s what Aimee and I share about going sugar free:

This Celiac Was Hungry On Her Gluten-Free Diet

This Celiac was Hungry, Then She Ate My Pizza

Her eyes closed in total bliss, as she tasted the hot slice. Then she groaned in total ecstasy.

No, this isn’t an excerpt from 50 Shades of Grey.

This is a small look behind the scenes at a private cooking class I gave last Monday night.


Easy Gluten Free Vegan Pizza Recipe

Easy Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe

It all started when I donated a private cooking class to my son’s preschool in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Even though we were leaving that year for kindergarten, I had fallen in love with the staff and mission of the school and wanted to support their growth one last time.

Jennifer, another mom, bought my private class, and last week we got together to cook – but there was one big request she had of our time together -

“Can you please teach me some filling gluten-free recipes?”

See, Jennifer was diagnosed as celiac last year, and has been avoiding all foods that contain gluten. While her body was recovering from the digestive hell she had suffered while eating gluten, Jenn felt unsatisfied and hungry most of the time from her new diet.

I brought over several recipes to teach her, and the hands-down favorite was this gluten-free, polenta crust pizza. We made the original recipe with egg and cow’s cheese, since her family eats dairy and keeps chickens, but the dairy free recipe below is really delicious:


Polenta Pizza Recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil

18-oz. pkg. precooked polenta

2 -4 Tbs. water

2 Tbs. flax seed meal (flax meal)

2 Tbs. gluten-free oats

1 tsp powdered garlic

½ cup plus ⅓ cup vegan Parmesan cheese

2 cups tomato sauce

1 recipe shitake bacon*

½ medium red bell pepper, sliced into 1-inch strips

1-2 scallions, greens thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly oil baking sheet lined with foil.
  2. Slice polenta, and place in food processor. Process polenta, and add water, flax meal, oats, garlic and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth. Spread polenta evenly on pizza pan.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove polenta from oven, and spread 2 cups sauce evenly over polenta crust. Top with sliced soy bacon, bell peppers, scallions and remaining 1/3 cup soy Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes more. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Shiitake Bacon

2 cups shiitake mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt


  1. Wash and stem mushrooms. Slice caps evenly into ¼ inch slices.
  2. Toss with olive oil and salt. Roast at 450 for 12-15 minutes, until crispy.

Oats, redux: 2 new ways to enjoy hearty grains at breakfast

I’m usually a protein girl in the morning. Long gone are the donut days where I could swill a cup of OJ and chomp a croissant and still make it to lunch. If I tried that now, I’d be in a sugar coma by 10am!

Now I like to mix up my morning meal with protein rich almond butter on sprouted grain toast, or a green smoothie with added nuts.

But the weather is cooling, the mornings are darker, and I want something warm and rib-stickin’.

Here’s how we do “oatmeal” in the morning:

Quinoa Porridge


1. Combine 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk with 1 cup washed and drained quinoa.

Bring to a  boil over high heat.

2. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Uncover and stir in 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon,

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup raisins, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.

3. Top with chopped pears.



1. Bring 2 cups unsweetened almond coconut milk to a simmer, whisk in 1 cup oat bran. 

2. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and any fruit you like.

3. After 2 minutes, turn off the heat and add in 1/4 cup hemp seeds.

4. Stir well and serve with maple syrup and extra milk.

Truffled Miso Eggplant, AKA “Veggie Crack”

Simplicity at its finest.

I learned this recipe last summer and it has become a favorite in our home -

rich, aromatic, and simple to make.

It requires 3 ingredients, so each one needs to be high quality or the entire recipe suffers:


1.  Eggplants

2.  White, Blonde or Chickpea Miso paste

3.  Black Truffle Oil


Choose a good quality infused truffle oil. This means a high quality sunflower or olive oil infused with real truffles,

rather than oil that has various chemical compounds added to imitate truffle aromas.

Just know that truffle oil is a finishing oil.

That means you don’t cook with it, but rather drizzle it on at the end of cooking.

This lends its flavors and smells without cooking the aroma away.


To make this delicious and highly addictive recipe, do this: 


1.      Wash and dry several baby eggplants or one large eggplant.

2.      Cut the baby eggplants in half or slice larger eggplants into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices.

3.      Cover a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with olive oil.


4.       Set the eggplants cut side down on the foil and broil on high for 3-4 minutes, or until just softening or browning.

5.      Flip the eggplants over and spread a thin layer of miso across the surface of each piece.


6.      Broil again for 3-4 minutes, or until the miso just begins to brown.

Remove from broiler and drizzle with truffle oil. Serve hot. Accept raving applause from guests!