Monthly Archives: January 2016

Spinach Basil Pesto

Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa, Northern Italy. The full name of this sauce is Pesto Alla Genovese. It’s traditionally made with crushed garlic, pine nuts, basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese), Pecorino Sardo (cheese made from sheep’s milk) and salt, all blended with olive oil.

My recipe is 100% plant-based. It’s made with spinach, basil, parsley, walnuts, salt and extra virgin olive oil. I used walnuts instead of pine nuts to save on the cost. This pesto can be  paired with crostini, bruschetta, mixed with pasta or poured over a baked potato. It can also be used as a salad dressing or eaten with vegetable crudites. Buon Appetito!

Spinach Basil Pesto Mise en Place

Spinach Basil Pesto

Spinach Basil Pesto
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
  1. 2 cups of spinach
  2. 2 cup of fresh basil leaves
  3. 1/2 cup of fresh parsley
  4. 1/2 cup of raw walnuts
  5. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  6. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. few pine nuts for garnishing ( optional)
  1. Place all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until well combined.
  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Sunshine & Kale

IIN – Thai Green Mango and Apple Salad

Once again, I am feeling grateful and honored that my holistic school, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), selected one of my recipes to be featured on their blog

This is one of my favorite go-to recipes. It is simple, delicious and nutritious! As IIN teaches, cooking doesn’t need to be complicated to be healthy. This salad only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Enjoy it!

IIN Thai Mango Apple Salad

{Vegan} Creamy Cauliflower Soup

I came across this delicious soup while completing Dr. Mark Hyman’s “10-Day Detox Diet” last fall. You can read more about this “challenge” by clicking on the image / link below.

My experience with the 10-Day Detox Diet by Dr. Mark Hyman

Since then, I have prepared this recipe at least six times. It is creamy, thick and delectable. You will never guess that it’s dairy-free and gluten-free. It almost tastes like a vichyssoise. It can be eaten hot in winter and cold in summer.

Cauliflower Soup Mise

{Vegan} Creamy Cauliflower
Serves 4
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Prep Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
  1. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  2. ½ medium onion, diced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  4. 4 cups of water
  5. 1 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets
  6. ¼ cup raw cashews
  7. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or 1 tablespoon tahini (preferable)
  8. 1/4 avocado (optional) **
  9. 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley or chives, chopped
  10. salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add 4 cups of water, the cauliflower, cashews, and sesame seeds or tahini.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Garnish with parsley or chives
  1. Serve warm or chilled with your favorite salad and protein of your choice.
  2. ** Dr. Hyman recipe suggests blending 1/4 of avocado with the cauliflower. Since avocados are not in season, I omitted this ingredient. It still tastes delicious.
Sunshine & Kale
Enjoy it!


{Ayurvedic} Cumin, Coriander & Fennel Tea

Several year ago, I discovered two Ayurvedic remedies while traveling in India: CCF Tea and Golden Turmeric Milk. I recently shared my recipe for the delicious turmeric drink and its benefits. You can read more about it here.

Delicious Golden Milk #ayurvedic #almondmilk #turmeric #cinnamon #cardamom #ginger #nutmeg #vegan #vegana #vegano #vegansofig #goldenmilk #plantbased #plantstrong #plantpowered #solarplexus #antiinflammatory #digestive Follow me in FB too!

{Ayurvedic & Vegan} Golden Milk 

This week I want to share the Cumin, Coriander & Fennel Tea, aka CCF Tea. This is a very simple but effective remedy, great for your digestion, weight loss, mental clarity and detoxification.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds are rich in iron and are thought to help stimulate the secretion of enzymes from the pancreas which can help absorb nutrients into the system. It has also been shown to boost the power of the liver’s ability to detoxify the human body.  You can read more here

Fun facts – Superstition during the Middle Ages cited that cumin kept chickens and lovers from wandering. It was also believed that a happy life awaited the bride and groom who carried cumin Seed throughout the wedding ceremony.*

Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, coriander has traditionally been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects. The health benefits of coriander include treatment of swellings, high cholesterol levels, mouth ulcers, anemia, digestion, blood sugar disorders, etc. You can read more here

Fun Facts Coriander has been around since biblical times.  In the Bible, Exodus, XVI, 31 mentions coriander.  You can find medical and culinary uses for coriander in texts from India, Egypt. Ancient Rome and China dating back seven thousand years.  The ancient Egyptians believed coriander could be used in the afterlife as a food for the departed.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds contain significant amounts of fiber, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease. It’s also rich in calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A, B and C. 

Fun Facts – Ancient roman texts mention the value of this herb for its aromatic seeds and succulent edible stalks. The ruler Charlemagne (745-815 AD) promoted fennel’s use during the medieval time. He cultivated the herb on his imperial farms.  Romans introduced the herb to Britain during the Roman occupation. The Americas were introduced to the herb in the 1700’s.

The Greek name for fennel is marathon (μάραθον) or marathos (μάραθος), and the place of the famous battle of Marathon (whence Marathon, the subsequent sports event), literally means a plain with fennels [Wikipedia]

CCF Tea,jpg


Enjoy it!

{Ayurvedic} Cumin, Coriander & Fennel Tea
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
  2. 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  3. 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds
  4. 3 cups of water
  1. Boil 3 cups of water.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds.
  3. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain and serve.
  5. Sip the drink throughout the day.
  1. It's important to take this tea hot or at lukewarm temperature.
Sunshine & Kale
* “Antioxidant Properties of Spices, Herbs and Other Sources” By Denys J. Charles

{Raw Vegan} Lasagne with Walnut Bolognese, Basil Pesto, Marinara and Macadamia Cheese sauce.

This raw vegan lasagne is a feast for the senses! It’s so rich and decadent, it will make you scream for more!

Raw Lasagne

With Victoria

This is me (on the left) with my friend & yogi sis Victoria, celebrating New Year’s Eve with some delicious food: A Raw Vegan Lasagne with 5 layers and 4 sauces ( Walnut Bolognese, Basil Pesto, Marinara and Macadamia Cheese sauce),  Cuban food ( black beans with garlic rice and vegan “ropa vieja” made with jackfruit) and Raw Date Energy Truflles.

 This recipe was slightly adapted from Russel James, aka The Raw Chef

Raw Vegan Lasagne with Walnut Bolognese, Basil Pesto, Marinara and Raw Macadamia Cheese sauce.
Yields 12
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Layer 1 - Walnut Bolognese Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup of walnuts, soaked 1 hour or more
  2. 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  3. 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  4. 2 teaspoons of dried sage
  5. 1 tablespoon of tamari
  6. 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  7. Combine all the ingredients of in the food processor and set aside.
Layer 2 - Basil Pesto Sauce
  1. 2 cups of basil leaves
  2. 3/4 cups of pine nuts
  3. 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 garlic clove
  5. 1 tablespoon of lemon
  6. a pinch of salt.
  7. Combine all the ingredients of in the food processor and set aside.
Layer 3 - Marinara Sauce
  1. 1 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  2. 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  3. 2 pitted dates
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  6. 2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  8. Combine all the ingredients of in the food processor and set aside.
Layer 4 - Macadamia Cheese Sauce
  1. 1 cup of macadamia nuts, soaked for 4 hours
  2. 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  3. 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  5. 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
  6. 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
  7. 1/2 cup water, as needed
  8. a pinch of salt
  9. Combine all the ingredients of in the food processor and set aside.
Layer 5 - Marinated Spinach layer
  1. 6 cups torn spinach
  2. 5 tablespoons of dried oregano
  3. 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  4. a pinch of salt
  5. Place all ingredients in a bowl to marinate and wilt for 1 hour or longer.
  1. Cut the zucchini lengthways into 2 mm strips, using a mandolin or a sharp knife.
  2. In a deep-dish baking pan, assemble the lasagne by alternating layers of zucchini with walnut bolognese sauce, basil pesto, marinara and macadamia cheese.
  3. Finish with a layer of marinated spinach
  4. Place the dish in the fridge for several hours until it firms up.
  5. Serve with cherry tomatoes, basil and pine nuts. Buon Appetito!
  1. This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  2. Hint: It tastes better the second day, if you can resist not eating it all the first day!
Sunshine & Kale
 Happy 2016, everyone! Enjoy it!