Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

I’ve already told you how I like to make myself a healthy “salad” on Sunday that will last me all week. Keeps me from panicking when I’m hungry AND in a hurry since there is something nutritious waiting for me.

I’ve also already told you about my newest obsession: Pinterest. I think the entire US is on Pinterest by now, but if you are new to this site, look at it as an online vision board or scrapbook. Instead of clipping out the article, photo, or recipe (who clips anymore, anyway? It’s all online!) and tucking it in a file or on your bulletin board, you “Pin it” with a click of your mouse to your online “boards.”

I have boards for photos, recipes, books, inspirational quotes, brilliant ideas…

Once you pin your photo, you can click on it and it will bring you back to the original article or recipe. It is so easy to keep track of those great ideas you come across! I used to email myself good looking recipes and keep them in an email folder, but this is much easier…

Which brings me to my Wild Rice and Lentil Salad…because it has been on my Pinterest board to try and I finally did!

It ROCKS! It is hearty and chewy and crunchy and yummy. I altered the original recipe, and mine is much better 🙂

Wild Rice and Lentil Salad

  • 1/2 cup dry wild rice
  • 1/2 cup Edamame
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup broken walnuts (or any nuts, really!)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of another type of oil (I used walnut)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Cook the wild rice in 1 1/4 cup of water for time on package (about 50 minutes). Drain and cool.

Boil the lentil for about 20 minutes (you don’t want them too soft and mushy). Drain and cool.

Cook/thaw edamame.

Whisk dressing ingredients.

Put rice, lentils, edamame, nuts and cilantro in bowl and toss with dressing.  Add additional salt or pepper to taste!  Eat chilled!

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I know a lot of you are curious about juicing or finally got yourself a new juicer. Congratulations! Juicing is an awesome way to get nutrients in your body. Look at fresh vegetable juice as a liquid vitamin – better than any pill you could pop in your mouth. There are people out there that have cured their cancer with juicing. Check out Jess from Wellness Warrior if you want to get inspired!

Why juice over eating a carrot or making a green smoothie?

By stripping away the indigestible fiber and drinking it alone, your body can assimilate the vitamins and minerals immediately. When the body has other “stuff” to deal with, many of the nutrients get passed through the digestive system without being used.

What kind of juicer should you get?

My first juicer was a Jack LaLanne juicer from Costco for about $89. I didn’t know how I was going to like it so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. This juicer is a centrifugal juicer, where the produce is shredded then spun through a fine mesh basket, extracting the juice along the way.

The problem with this type of juicer is you get less juice, particularly out of the greens. The nutrients also deteriorate faster do to the heat caused by the friction and the amount of oxygen the juice is exposed to. But, centrifugal juicers are the most reasonably priced juicers out there and still great to start with.

I just graduated to a Green Power twin gear juicer, which uses a different technology to extract the juice. Two large “screws” are fitted so close together that when the produce is pushed through, it presses the juice out. It minimizes the exposure to oxygen, the slow moving gears do not produce heat, and pressing the juice yields way more juice. I guess I’m getting about 25% more juice. I have actually had to alter some of my recipes because I am getting so much more juice out of my greens, it has changed the taste!

Whatever juicer you start out with, good for you. Don’t get too hung up on spending a lot of money to get the “best” juicer out there. It needs to fit into your lifestyle, countertop and budget!

How often should you juice?

I try to juice 4-5 times a week. I drink about 8 ounces on those days that I juice. Kris Carr juices a couple times a day, everyday. Jess juices on the hour, 13 times a day! If you are trying to cure something, your juicing will be much different than if you are healthy and are using juice as a way to augment your nutrient intake.

Bottom line, DO WHAT YOU CAN. Work it into your life. Get used to it. It feels big at first, but it gets easier.

Ready to start?

Here is an easy recipe for you!

Ginger Beet Juice

4 beets
6-8 carrots (about 12-14 ounces)
1 apple
1 peeled lemon
1/2 inch piece of ginger

Wash your beets, carrots and apple thoroughly, but don’t peel. You’ll be giving away minerals! Juice and enjoy! (Makes 2 servings)

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So, you decided you are going to try the 5-day Jumpstart Detox. Awesome! I really can’t wait to hear about what you feel and think along the way. You have to promise me you will share the good and the bad with me. Others will want to know your tips and turning points so they know they are not alone!

It isn’t always a piece of cake…but don’t worry. If you take time to prepare yourself, you will be much more likely to succeed and feel in control.

Before Monday, Answer These Questions So You Are Totally Ready!

1. Why did you decide to try a cleanse? To lose weight? To stop cravings? To jumpstart a longer commitment to healthy eating? Kick a caffeine addiction?

Getting an idea of your goals for this detox will help ensure you don’t blow it in the end.

I am doing it for all of those reasons. I have found that eliminating inflammatory foods – like wheat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and animal products – and being very strict for a manageable amount of time kicks my cravings fast and helps me lay the foundation for continued healthy eating. Thus, I don’t plan on eating more Christmas cookies on day 6 🙂

So, don’t stop after the detox! Use it to propel you into a year of healthy eating! This isn’t a diet…it is about changing the foods we put in our bodies permanently. You may find that eliminating some of these foods makes you feel so good that you don’t want to add the back!

2. How does your calendar look?

How Does next week look for you? Is it full of things that will have you running all around town? Do some of your appointments back up to each other not allowing you to get a healthy meal in?

Make sure you set yourself up for success by allowing yourself to have an easier week. I know that isn’t always possible, but if you can reschedule some meetings or errands, do it!

I am one who’s eating deteriorates when I am too busy to deal with food: I’ll just grab something that isn’t the best for me. I don’t even care and think I somehow deserve it because I’m busting my butt.

5. What is one life-giving thing that you would like to do this week?

I’m going to make an appointment for a massage! What can you treat yourself to?

Maybe a lunch with an old friend at a place that has wonderful salads? Or trying that yoga class you have always wanted to check out. What about walking through the museum exhibit you keep telling yourself you will do. Have you always wanted to get energy work done?

Think about this and don’t stop there: MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AND PUT IT ON YOU CALENDAR!

4. What foods are you going to eat?

If you are planning on ordering food from Conveniently Natural, make sure you call them (913-475-8004) by Friday and mention the Dalai Lina cleanse for 10% off!

If you are making your own foods, start looking NOW at possible recipes that you can eat from all week. I like to make one soup and one side like a rice, bean or quinoa dish.

Remember, you can make most recipes vegan by altering some of the ingredients!

Here are some ideas:

Indian Roasted Tomato Soup

Broke Bean Stew

Spicy Collard Green and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Lickable Lentil Stew (substitute vegetable stock)

French Lentil Soup

Mexican Quinoa (omit the cheese)

Quinoa Tabouli

Curried Quinoa (substitue vegan sour cream for the yogurt)

Mexican Bean Salad

Barefoot Contessa Roasted Carrots and Brussel Sprouts

You can find so many amazing recipes on the internet, if these don’t tickle your fancy, spend some time looking at some food blogs. Here are some of my favorite: Oh She Glows, Peas and Thank You, The Edible Perspective, Sketch-free Vegan, and The Wannabe Chef.

If anyone has an amazing recipe, please share the link in the comments!

Once you have your recipes, print them off, highlight what ingredients you will need, and tuck them aside until tomorrow when we will make a grocery list.

So, stay tuned! Tomorrow, I’ll give you some foods to put on your list so you can go to the grocery store this weekend and be all ready for Monday!

Until then, chill out today on the sugar and caffeine…

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Looks tasty, doesn’t it? Good thing I used the Biggest Loser’s stock photo instead of mine, because I wasn’t channeling Ansel Adams today. Here is my picture:

I’m just not capturing the magic. And there is magic in this simple, healthy soup. It is so awesome, I can’t even tell you. You will not feel deprived eating this stew and your shouldn’t feel guilty getting a second helping!

Here is my slightly modified recipe. Funny enough, I made the whole soup with only 2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth and didn’t notice my mistake until I was done. And I didn’t notice that it needed any more liquid…so maybe mine is more like chili and if you add more broth it is more like soup. Your call. Easy to add additional liquids later!

Broke Bean Stew

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped/minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp kosher salt
2 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (14.5oz) (I used one can fire and one can tomatoes and green chilis)
3 cans (15.5 oz each) any beans: dark red kidney beans, black bean, white beans; rinsed & drained
4 cups fat-free vegetable broth (I used 2 1/2. Seems crazy but it worked)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
5 ounce container of fresh baby spinach leaves

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in 4-quart saucepan. Add onion and sauté about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Do not brown garlic.

Add spices and tomatoes and simmer about 5 minutes. Add beans and broth and bring to a boil. (don’t add cilantro yet!) Reduce to a simmer.

Place 3 cups of soup in blender or food processor with cilantro and puree until smooth. BE CAREFUL AND LET MIXTURE COOL A BIT FIRST! Otherwise it may explode on you. Ouch. Add mixture to stew. Add spinach and heat just until wilted. Stir well and serve hot.

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Here is a great soup if you like a southern, cajun flare. It is an awesome soup for detoxing since it is vegan and chalked full of greens and fiber.

Spicy Collard and Black-eyed Pea Soup (adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)

2 onions, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 cup diced green bell pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
4 vegetable broth
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon double strength tomato paste (or 2 tbsp. regular)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cans of black eyed peas
1 bunch collard greens, tough stems removed and greens chopped

Look at the original recipe here if you are interested in using a pressure cooker and dry beans.

Heat a large pot and add olive oil.  Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic, thyme and oregano and cook, stirring, for 3-5 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes through black pepper and simmer for 20-30 minutes to let all the veggies really incorporate.

Add the black-eyed peas and collard green and cook for at least 25 minutes to allow flavors to develop and the collard greens to soften. Serve alone, with brown rice, or with additional hot sauce.

Makes at least 6 servings. Each provides 242 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 488mg Sodium; 11g Fiber.

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Thanksgiving is OVER. OK, stomach? You have got to get a grip. I finally had to throw away the pie because you were out of control and greedy.

This is what you are getting today and you will like it:

Actually, if there is one “take away” from my Blueprint Cleanse was that juice doesn’t have to suck.

My previous philosophy was, juice whatever you have around and choke it down.

I never tried to make it taste GOOD.

So, I’ve been attempting to replicate the Blueprint Green Juice secret recipe.

I think it is pretty close. My greens are spinach, kale and swiss chard.

That was typically all I would juice, and it tasted like $h!t. Anyone who tells you kale juice straight up is yummy is lying.

Just like a shot of tequila, those bad boys need a chaser.

A couple apples, lemons, celery stalk and cucumber will do…

The recipe makes enough for two juices. I have been storing them in my used Kombucha bottles, so don’t let that confuse you. I just like the size and the ability to grab it and go. Some people like to store it in mason jars, but they can get a little messy in the car…

“Blueprint Cleanse” Green Juice Recipe (inspired by Blueprint Cleanse)

  • 3 oz kale leaves (approx 4 medium leaves)
  • 3 oz spinach leaves (approx two large handfuls)
  • 3 oz swiss chard leaves (approx 3 large leaves)
  • 2 apples
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 really big cucumber
  • 2 lemons

Juice them all, skim the “froth” off the top (who like a mouthful of green foam?) and store them in glass containers. The less exposure to oxygen the better, so the tapered top of the Kombucha bottles is a good choice since there is only a small area exposed.

This recipe makes enough for two 14 ounce servings.


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Did I tell you we made TWO turkeys yesterday?

Dalai Dan really wanted to try to smoke a turkey. I have mentioned his infatuation with smoking here. He is really taking it to a new level, bringing it into the family tradition and all.

Well, to say I was a bit worried that his first attempt at a smoked turkey would be THE DAY OF THANKSGIVING. is just being nice.

So, I made my own.

His turkey won in the family taste off, which truthfully annoyed me to no end. Now he is threatening to start his own food blog, Dalai D’s Down Home Diet.

If it can be smoked or prepared out of a box, you can bet it will be on the blog.

This left me with 3 pounds of leftover meat. Wowzers!

After my 3rd trip to the store in 24 hours and another dirty kitchen (I have unloaded no less than 4 full dish washers), this tasty chili is waiting for dinner.

You guys, it is SO amazing. Don’t forget the cilantro. That would be a sin.

White “Leftover Turkey” Chili Recipe

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small to medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 good sized garlic cloves
  • 1 pound leftover turkey (white and dark), cubed
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste – may need more/less depending on turkey)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilis
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce


  • Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Crushed tortilla chips


Sauté the onion, bell pepper, celery and pressed garlic cloves in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (5-7 minutes).

Add the cubed leftover turkey and all the spices.

After the spices are fully incorporated, add the beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

Cook until fully hot and serve with chopped cilantro, jack cheese or sour cream and crushed tortilla chips!

This chili is so darn good, you wont even remember that it used to be your Thanksgiving Turkey! If you don’t have leftover turkey, I’m sorry.

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I’ll tell you why I will never have my own cookbook. Because it would have to be titled,

Dalai Lina Cooks: recipes not included

Recipes assume I have all the ingredient around, which never happens. Recipes make me use onions when I prefer garlic. They tell me to use rice when I’m feeling like farrow.

I couldn’t do that to you…

This is an IDEA of a recipe.

While I love salads, in the winter, it is hard for me to do a COLD salad. Chilly Willy, mama needs some heat.

Which makes perfect sense if you follow Ayurvedic medicine:  our metabolisms “heat up” in the winter, so we are able to better digest heartier grains and root vegetables. You have to keep that belly fire stoked, though, by eating less fruits and more warm foods. (I chatted a bit about it here)

So, I’ll cook a big batch of brown rice, farrow, or quinoa. I’ll mix it with a tablespoon or so of oil, juice of a lemon, some salt and pepper and store it.

When I’m ready for a warm, winter “salad” I’ll sauté some vegetables in a pan. ANY vegetables will do. Today it is the last of my swiss chard from my garden. Keep adding things, people. Whatever you have in your fridge. You can’t mess up. Especially when you add garlic.

Warm up your grains from the fridge in the same sauté pan (for my sake and yours, don’t use your microwave. That is a topic for another day…)

Mix all that warm shiz together and you have yourself a proper Dalai Dinner.

Bon Appétit!

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Good thing I had these blondies around.

They helped me get through one of those days. The kind that starts with a visit to your OBGYN and find out you’re pregnant. (Oh, wait, that was 6 years ago) I mean, have your doc fondle your knockers and intimately examine your yoo-hoo.

Then back for laundry day.

Which would be enough until an innocent trip to the closest toilet (my sons) exposed his dirty little secret: 2 pounds of kitty litter excrements obstructing all functional use of the facilities.

Thanks, honey, for cleaning out her box. What a help.

One old toothbrush, a wire hanger, and hundreds sweat provoking plunge moves later: problem solved.

Just to make sure I couldn’t get anything done, a kid came home sick. The one silver lining is that I don’t feel guilty about not signing up to help with her field trip BECAUSE SHE WON’T BE ON IT. No, she will be home with me, bonding over Tylenol and bad TV.

Yes, it was a good thing these were around…

Check out these ingredients. Freaky, huh? I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t made them myself. They are brilliantly moist, gluten-free, high in fiber, and low in refined sugar. Plus it is fun to try weird recipes.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Blondies (adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)

  • 1 15 oz can Chickpeas (also called Garbonzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 dried dates (or another 1/4 cup brown sugar) *I use dates
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup “fat” (peanut butter, almond butter, coconut oil, coconut mana) *I use coconut mana, which I am obsessed with.
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips)

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until super smooth.  It should look like this:

Mix the chocolate chips in by hand.

Place in a 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper or greased.  Cook in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes – but don’t over cook!  You want them to retain their moist, soft texture.  They will set up more once they cool.

I had to fight my children for them, but I got my fair share.  And I earned it.

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Why do my friends have birthday parties at Mexican Restaurants?


It’s quite thoughtless of them, if you ask me.



Don’t they know me well enough by now? Putting me in a Mexican restaurant is like putting a cocaine addict in crack ally.


Nothing healthy can become of it.



All I wanted it to be a good girl all week. The day started out good.


Lunch consisted of this beautiful salad. A gorgeous bounty from God’s green earth…



…Then a dinner of margaritas and chips. Total choke move.


Actually, I like to view it as celebrating and being supportive. Ok. Jeez, you only turn 44 once.



I am a firm believer in the 80/20 rule. Be good to your body 80% of the time and it will forgive you for having fun the other 20%.

Not that eating salads can’t be fun. I’m just sayin.

A-Z Salad

Any combination from the five categories and you can’t go wrong…it’s all just a vessel for the awesome dressing.

  • Leafs (spinach, romain, butter, arugula, you get the idea)
  • Nuts/Seeds (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pine, pumpkin, sunflower, etc)
  • Fruit (apples, strawberries, pears, grapes, blueberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries, just about any fruit will work)
  • Cheese (feta, blue cheese, goat, shaved parmesan, grated anything. How can you go wrong?)
  • Onion (red, green, caramelized. Yum.)
Dijon Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
I like my dressing tangy, so you don’t have to use as much.  If you like Dijon vinaigrettes, this one is going to rock your world.

Have a perfectly wonderful 80/20 day.  (70/30 is ok too)

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