Creamy Celery and Onion Soup

This soup is healthy, tasty and ridiculously easy to prepare. All you need is a large yellow onion, a couple of stalks of celery,  extra virgin olive oil (optional), water and seasoning. That’s it! 

This is a family recipe and a favorite of mine. It’s perfect for detoxing, fighting colds and transitioning between seasons. During cold months, I like adding a small-size (peeled) potato to the soup ( boiling it together with the celery and onion before blending it). When I feel under the weather, I like adding a couple of garlic cloves to the mix. You can also use a handful of cashews to achieve a thicker consistency. 

This recipe is very simple but versatile. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Celery and Onion Soup


Creamy Celery and Onion Soup
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  1. 4 stalks of celery, large dice
  2. 1 large onion, large dice
  3. 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  4. 4 cups of water
  5. salt and pepper ( seasoning to taste)
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the celery and onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until the celery is bright green and the onions caramelized.
  3. Add 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Transfer to a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve warm or chilled.
  1. You can omit the oil all together and sauté the onion and celery in a little bit of water.
Sunshine & Kale

Some interesting facts about celery:

Relax – In traditional Oriental medicine celery was used to treat hypertension. This is because phthalide compounds in celery can act as a sedative as well as lower blood pressure.

Sweet dreams – Celery is thought to promote a good night’s sleep because of the vitamins, mineral salts and nutrients it contains. It is also thought to have a calming effect on the central nervous system.

Food of love – Celery has a formidable reputation as an aphrodisiac, going back to Roman times (they dedicated the plant to Pluto, god of sex and hell!). While Madame de Pompadour, official chief mistress of French King Louis XV, swore by celery and truffle soup washed down with hot chocolate.

Hangover cure – Another use of celery by the Roman’s was to use it as an antidote against the intoxicating effects of wine and the ensuing headache by wearing wreaths of celery leaves.

Bottoms up! – The Bloody Mary cocktail was invented in the 1920’s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. However it wasn’t until the 1960’s that celery was associated with the drink, when a guest at a Chicago hotel was given a Bloody Mary but nothing to stir it with. He improvised with a stick of celery from the buffet!

Greek’s Gold – Winners of athletic events in Ancient Greece were presented with bunches of celery, much as flowers are given today.

Food for thought – Celery was first used as a food in Italy during the 16th century, later spreading across Europe as a flavoring for soups, meats and stews.

Some interesting facts about onions:

– The country that eats the most onions per capita is Libya, where each person eats about 66.8 pounds of onion every year.

-According to Guinness Book of World Records, the largest onion ever grown, weighted 10 pounds 14 ounces.

-The official state vegetable of Georgia is the Vidalia onion.

-The official state vegetable of Texas is the Texas Sweet Onion.

For more fun facts, check out LOVE CELERY

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Soyrizo and Tempeh Bacon

Fabada is a rich bean dish originally from Asturias in Northern Spain. It is traditionally made with large white beans also known as “judiones”, Spanish chorizo and morcilla or blood sausage. My version of fabada is 100% plant-based. It contains soyrizo and tempeh bacon.

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Kale - Mise en Place

In Spain, we love to cook with extra virgin olive oil, using plenty of vegetables and legumes in our dishes. For my recipe, I used butter beans, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and kale.

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Kale

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Soyrizo and Tempeh Bacon
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  1. 3 cups ( 2 - 15.5 OZ cans) of cooked butter beans ( I like Goya brand)
  2. 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  3. 1 medium onion, small diced
  4. 1 small carrot, small diced
  5. 1/2 stalk celery, small diced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 12 oz Soyrizo ( I like Trader Joe's brand)
  8. 3 cups of vegetable stock
  9. 1/2 cup of white wine
  10. 2 tablespoons of Pimenton de La Vera ( Smoked Sweet Spanish Paprika)
  11. 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  13. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  14. 2 teaspoons of dried mushroom powder - optional
  15. 1 cup of tempeh bacon, small diced - optional **
  16. 3 bay leaves
  17. 1 pinch of salt
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat-high. Add the onion, carrots and celery, Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized. Then, add the minced garlic, the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and dried mushroom powder.
  2. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the soyrizo, butter beans, kale, vegetable stock, wine, tomato paste and bay leaves. Bring everything to a gentle simmer to prevent the beans from breaking apart . Cook for approximately 30-35 minutes until the liquid reached a thicker and almost creamy consistency.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary. The traditional version doesn’t usually need salt due to the high content of sodium in the meats.
  4. Transfer the fabada to a “cazuela de barro” or traditional clay pot and topped it with the tempeh bacon before serving.
  1. ** Recipe for tempeh bacon can be found here:
Sunshine & Kale
¡Buen provecho!

Happy early V-Day!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” ~ William Shakespeare. 

Strawberries, perhaps? Tell me, what would you rather have: A dozen roses or a bouquet of strawberries?

Bouquet of Strawberries

For a delicious Valentine’s recipe, try my Chocolate Cherry Mouse w/ Whipped Coconut. Enjoy it!

Happy Valentines Day!

{ Vegan} Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

I recently came across PETA’s SpicyBuffalo Cauliflower “Wings” while searching for the best Super Bowl vegan snacks. I took PETA’s recipe and started experimenting with it (using only water, using different types of non-dairy milk, using different types of flour). My Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings” are made with a combination of water, soy milk, garbanzo flour and spices. In my opinion, this is the best combination. I hope you enjoy it!

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Superbowl. jpg

This is me in 2007, watching Super Bowl XLI, LIVE!. The American Football Conference Champion Indianapolis Colts played the National Football Conference Champion Chicago Bears under pouring rain. The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Bears 29–17.

I was invited to attending this game by one of my closest friends, an experience I will cherish FOREVER!

{ Vegan} Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings"
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  1. 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets ( approx. 4-5 cups)
  2. 1/2 cup of water
  3. 1/2 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk ( I use soy but almond will work too)
  4. 1 cup of garbanzo flour ( You can use gluten-free rice flour instead)
  5. 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  6. 1 teaspoon of paprika
  7. 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  9. 1 cup of Tabasco Buffalo Style Sauce
  10. 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted
Vegan Ranch Dressing
  1. 1 cup of vegan mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  5. 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon of dill
  7. Whisk all ingredients together and chill before serving.
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the water, non-dairy milk, flour, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Dip the cauliflower florets in the batter until coated evenly and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes.
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, melt the buttery spread and mix with the buffalo sauce.
  5. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for 8 minutes
  6. Serve with vegan ranch dressing and celery sticks.
Sunshine & Kale

{ Raw } No Bean Hummus

Hummus is an Arabic word (حمّص ḥummuṣ) meaning “chickpeas,” and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is حمّص بطحينة ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna, which means “chickpeas with tahini”.

This recipe uses zucchini instead of chickpeas. so in theory it can’t be called hummus. However, the flavor and texture is very close to the original dish. 


This recipe was slightly adapted from the book “RAWvolution” by Matt Amsden, chef and owner of the restaurant with the same name. One of my favorite places to eat while in Santa Monica. 

Rawmazing Restaurant   


Visiting RAWvolution in Santa Monica

Rawvolution II

{ Raw } No Bean Hummus
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  1. 3 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
  2. 3/4 cup of tahini
  3. 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
  4. 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  5. 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  7. 1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin
  1. In a high speed processor, combine all the ingredients until thick and smooth. Garnish with a pinch of paprika and parsley
  1. Enjoy it with homemade pita chips or fresh vegetable crudités. It can be used as a spread on sandwiches, as a salad dressing ( blending it with a little bit of apple cider) or as a condiment. It tastes delicious with falafel and veggie burgers.
Sunshine & Kale


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!