Archive for September, 2012

Pledge to go Veg Meal Plan #5

Sep 28 2012 by | Comments (0)

So you’ve decided to make the pledge to go veg for one week!  Woohoo!  Are you having a hard time convincing the rest of your family to join you?  Well, here is a family friendly, kid approved meal plan that everyone will love.


BreakfastCrispy Waffles with a side of fresh fruit

SnackOrange Julius

LunchNaked Quesadillas

Snack – Skip and instead have dessert after dinner!

Dinner – Pasta with Sarah’s Marinara Sauce, a green salad and Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Creamy Vanilla Frosting


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Pledge to go Veg Meal Plan #4

Sep 27 2012 by | Comments (0)

My husband made the decision to go entirely plant based by himself.  He did the research and came to the same conclusion I did – it’s healthier, better for the environment and the best commitment you can make to providing your body with the best that nature has to offer.  However, he was skeptical of what he was going to be able to eat, especially being a meat and potatoes kind of guy.  So here is his meat and potatoes guy approved meal plan! Enjoy!


Breakfast – Pumpkin Sausage Patties with a side of Naked Hash Browns

Snack – a handful of Smokey Bacon-y Almonds

Lunch – Fiery Mexican Soup and a side of Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Focaccia Mini Buns

Snack – Apple Pie Truffles

Dinner – Sweet and Saucy Teriyaki Stir Fry

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Pledge to go Veg Meal Plan #3

Sep 26 2012 by | Comments (0)

Warm and comforting is the theme for this meal plan. Whether there’s an autumn chill in the air or you’re feeling under the weather or maybe you just had a bad day the meals in this plan will have you feeling better in no time.


BreakfastSlow Cooker Steel Cut Oats with fruit of choice

SnackChocolate Graham Crackers

LunchSoul Soothing Miso Ramen Soup

SnackHomemade Pear Sauce

DinnerLentil Shepherd’s Pie



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Pledge to go Veg Meal Plan #2

Sep 25 2012 by | Comments (0)

This menu plan features some of my favorite fall recipes featuring fresh produce direct from the farmers market.  It’s perfect for Pledging to go Veg!


BreakfastSmoothie Chia Pudding

SnackSpiced Pumpkin Granola

LunchFarmer’s Market Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette and Roasted Tomato and Quinoa Soup

Snack – Fresh, ripe and crisp apple

DinnerRoot Vegetables Pancakes and Baked BBQ Lentils


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Pledge to go Veg Meal Plan #1

Sep 24 2012 by | Comments (0)

Are you ready to make the Pledge to go Veg?  We’re here to help!  We’ll be sharing some of our favorite ‘veg’ meal plans with you all this week.  Here’s one of my favorites.


BreakfastToasted Banana Breakfast Roll and a glass of fresh ‘green’ juice

Snack – a handful of Tamari Roasted Almonds and some carrots

Lunch – Veggie Sub with Avocado Spread

SnackPizza Baked Chickpeas

Dinner – Spicy Peanut Pasta

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Homemade Doritos Seasoning

Sep 21 2012 by | Comments (4)
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Kale chips.  That’s how this recipe came about.  I wanted to come up with a tasty fun new seasoning for a batch of kale chips that I was working on.  I used to love Doritos and thought it would be great if I could recreate that flavor.  I ended up using this on not only kale chips but I added it to pasta, sprinkled it on my salad, over roasted veggies and even put some on my popcorn.  Then I made Dorito breadcrumbs, added it to my favorite tacos and finally made a to die for Doritos flavored hummus.  Aren’t versatile recipes the greatest?! Now, it’s been many, many years since I’ve had an actual Dorito so if the recipe below doesn’t taste exactly like you remember a Dorito tasting like please feel free to add a pinch of this or that until it’s to your liking.  If you were a Cool Ranch lover, don’t worry, I got ya covered too!  Enjoy!



  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 heaping tsp paprika (for a bit of a bacon-y flavor substitute with smoked paprika – so yummy!)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp yellow mustard powder


  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and pulse 2 or 3 times.
  2. You can mix this seasoning by hand but it’s best to use a blender to create the right consistency.

Nutritional Info:

Makes just over 1/3 cup.

Serving size 1 tbsp.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 30.5, Cal. from Fat: 3.5, Total Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 5.5g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 80mg, Chol: 0mg


Leftover seasoning can be stored at room temperature for several months.

Are you feeling like a little “Cool Ranch”?  Simply omit the cayenne and paprika from the recipe above and add in 1/2 tsp parsley, 1 tsp chives and an additional 1/4 tsp garlic.

Surprise Yourself!

Sep 19 2012 by | Comments (1)

When I meet people for the first time it’s usually only a matter of time before my food choices are discussed.  I get asked lots of questions like, where do I get my protein and calcium from and do I eat a lot of salad?  I do my best to explain that a whole foods plant-based diet naturally provides me with ALL of my protein and calcium needs.  And while I eat a lot of salad, my diet is rich in many other food choices.

During my conversations with people what I usually hear most often is “I could never give up _____ (insert food choice here)”.  I usually respond with – “Have you tried?”  My kids and I have one rule in our school and it’s that you don’t say you can’t do something until you’ve tried.  I never thought I could go 5 days without food, but SURPRISE –  I did it!

October is fast approaching and I’m challenging all our readers to ‘go veg’ for 1 week from October 1 – 7th.  What does a pledge like this mean?  A LOT!  Eliminating all animal products from your diet will not only improve many aspects of your health but it will have enormous positive impacts on animals and the environment.  Did you know…

  • Farmed animals are no less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than are the dogs and cats we love and cherish.  10 BILLION animals are crammed into factory farms each year and they have no legal protection from the horrible cruelty that they will suffer.
  • More than half the water used in the US goes to animal agriculture and since farmed animals produce 130 times MORE excrement (that’s poop people!) than the human population does, the run-off from their waste greatly pollutes our waterways.
  • By switching to a plant-based diet you can save about 100 animals each year from being tortured and killed in factory farms!
  • A completely plant-based diet requires about 300 gallons of water per day.  A meat-eating diet requires 4,000 gallons a day.  If you skip showers for 1 YEAR you will save 3,650 gallons of water which means that you can save more water by not eating a pound of meat in ONE DAY than by not showering for a year!  A completely vegan diet saves 25,971 gallons of water each WEEK!
  • Approximately 72% of the cereal grains grown in the US feed livestock, not people, and the world’s livestock eats 80% of the world’s soybean crop and more than half of the world’s corn crop.  The world grows enough food to feed 10 BILLION people yet most of that goes to animals so that we can eat meat while 925 MILLION people go hungry each year.
  • In a 2006 study published by an international team of 14 scientists, data indicates that the world’s supply of seafood will run out by 2048. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that “over 70% of the world’s fish species are either fully exploited or depleted.”

Are you up for the challenge?  Will you pledge to go veg for 1 week?  We want to help you succeed in this life altering endeavor.  All next week we will be sharing our favorite plant-based recipes with you.  We’ll also have meal plans available to help you plan your meals for the week.  Want even more support?  Go to or call 858-202-0147 to sign up (you do NOT need to live in the San Diego area to sign up).  You’ll receive emails that will contain health and nutritional tips, recipes, activity updates and more.

This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.  I have seen first hand, not only in myself but in ALL of my family, the impact that a plant-based diet can have on your health and your life.  If you have questions or concerns about taking this pledge PLEASE send us an email or reach out to us on Facebook.  We are here to help and support you any way we can!

To all our current plant-based eater we thank you for your continued support.  While this pledge may not apply to you we’d love to hear your story about how a plant-based diet has changed your life – send us an email or share your story in the comments.

Are you ready to surprise yourself?  Are you ready to improve your health?  You’ll never know if you don’t TRY! :)


Categories : The Naked Life
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It might be the end of summer but it’s the peak of many fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market. Cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, onions, apples, peaches, pears and so much more. This salad is comprised of many of the seasons peak ingredients tossed with the most creamy, mouthwatering and to die for vinaigrette that you will ever taste.



For the salad

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (or equivalent amount of any other variety of tomato, diced)
  • 1/2 cup diced jicama
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 4 cups greens of choice (arugula, kale, romaine, bok choy)

For the dressing

  •  1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds
  • 3 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste


  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients except the greens in a bowl.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the hemp seeds and stirring frequently toast until just starting to show a little color. Remove to the bowl of a food processor. Process until ground to a powder like consistency being careful not to over process into hemp butter. Remove to a small bowl.
  3. Add the shallots to the food processor and process until finely minced. Add to the bowl with the hemp seeds.
  4. Mix both vinegars to the bowl with the hemp seeds and onions and add salt to taste.
  5. Whisk in the oil until smooth and creamy.
  6. Pour half the dressing into the bowl with the salad ingredients. Add more dressing as needed to get the consistency you prefer.
  7. Place 1 cup greens on each serving plate and top each with a forth of the salad mixture.
  8. Serve leftover vinaigrette on the side for those who prefer more dressing.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 2 cups salad ingredients (not including the greens) and 1 cup of vinaigrette.

Serving size 1/2 cup salad and 1/4 cup vinaigrette.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 371, Cal. from Fat: 269, Total Fat: 26g, Sat. Fat: 4g, Carbs: 22g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 9g, Sodium: 246mg, Chol: 0mg


It’s best to make only the amount of salad to be eaten right away however the dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Stir well before using.


Naked Quesadillas

Sep 14 2012 by | Comments (1)
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Quesadillas are probably one of the most requested meals in my family.  I don’t often say no to making them either.  They are super quick to throw together (see notes), extremely nutritious and clean up is a breeze.  These quesadillas are packed full with antioxidants, vitamins A and E, and a healthy dose of vitamin B6 which is especially important for pregnant or nursing mothers.  Along with being a good source of protein and fiber this dish is also filled with important minerals like manganese, zinc, iron and copper.  If the health benefits weren’t enough I should also mention that they are super yummy!  My daughter and I prefer them without cheese but for my husband and son I added in a bit of Daiya cheese.  Either way they are fantastic.



  • 6 (10 inch) tortillas of your choice (I used a sprouted grain tortilla but if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free tortilla)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added black beans
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup sweet corn (if frozen, thaw first)
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1-2 tbsp Taco Seasoning Mix, optional (My kids and I prefer our quesadillas without any added spices but my husband loves when I mix in some taco seasoning.  The choice is up to you.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Gold Oil or olive oil
  • shredded cheese of your choice – optional (I used Daiya Cheese)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the peppers and sauté until soft.
  3. Add the corn and black beans (and taco seasoning if using) and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and lightly brush one side of each tortilla with the remaining oil. Place the oiled side down and evenly divide the black bean mixture among the tortillas and top with cheese if using. Fold in half.
  5. Place the quesadillas in the oven for about 5 minutes and then flip each one over.  Bake for another 2-3 minutes or until each side is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes before slicing into pieces.  Cut each quesadilla into thirds and serve with some Homemade Guacamole or your favorite salsa.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 6 servings.

Serving size 1 quesadilla.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 345, Cal. from Fat: 84.5, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 6g, Carbs: 28.5g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 35g, Sodium: 375mg, Chol: 57.5mg


These quesadillas are best served right away.  Make only the amount of quesadillas that will be eaten immediately.

The leftover black bean mixture can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.  You can also freeze the mixture and store in single serving freezer packs for up to 6 months.

I make these quesadillas at least 2 or 3 times a week either for lunch or dinner.  I like that they are a quick, hot meal that I can get on the table in about 10 minutes.  I usually make a double or triple batch of the black bean mixture and freeze it into 2 and 4 serving portions.  When I’m ready to make quesadillas I simply microwave the black bean mixture (you can quickly reheat on the stove if you don’t want to use the microwave) and add the mixture to the tortilla shells and continue baking as stated.  Dinner is on the table faster than it would be to get fast food!

Chicken-less Bouillon and Seasoning

Sep 12 2012 by | Comments (2)
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This ‘tastes like chicken’ mixture was created one day when I was working on re-creating a recipe that originally included chicken. I needed that chicken-y flavor to get the taste just right. By mixing some of the classic chicken seasonings with a few other ingredients Chicken-less Bouillon was born, or should I say hatched?  I add this bouillon mixture to many different recipes to add depth of flavor and richness. It’s great in soups, sauces, grains, beans and so much more. In the ‘Notes’ section you will find one of my favorite (and simple) uses for this bouillon.



  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp onion powder (not onion salt)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage leaf (sometimes called rubbed sage)
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (I crush this in a mortar and pestle before adding)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in an airtight container. Shake or stir to mix.
  2. To use as a broth add 1-2 tbsp to 1 cup hot water and stir to combine.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Serving size 1 tbsp.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 34, Cal. from Fat: 4, Total Fat: >.5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: .5g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 120mg, Chol: 0mg


Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

To make a quick and tasty rice side dish bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add 1 cup brown rice, 2 tbsp of the bouillon mix and a pinch of saffron. Cook according to the rice package directions.