“No-mato” Spaghetti Sauce Nightshade Free

Photo: Stocksy

It’s true. If you looked at it you wouldn’t believe it, and if you did a blind taste test, it’s safe to say you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this carrot-beet “no-mato” sauce and the traditional Italian version made with tomatoes.

For those of us who are extra sensitive to nightshade vegetables—a group of vegetables that consists of potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes, known for causing inflammation and chronic pain—this recipe is a saving grace.

For those who are Paleo, you’re also in for a treat—your quinoa pasta has finally met its match.

Carrot Beet Sauce

Makes 1 quart


  • 8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 cup beets, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup minced garlic (4 large cloves)
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • 2 to 2½ cups reserved vegetable cooking liquid
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red miso, dissolved in ¼ cup liquid
  • 2 tablespoons umeboshi paste*
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Combine carrots and beets with water to cover in a medium pressure cooker and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook in a large pot covered, for about 40 minutes. Drain vegetables and let cool. Reserve cooking liquid.

2. In 1-gallon saucepan, heat oil over medium flame; sweat onion with salt and garlic until onions are translucent. Add oregano, basil, and fennel. Continue to sweat a few minutes longer.

3. Puree carrots and beets in blender with half of onion-garlic mixture, 2 cups reserved cooking liquid, miso, umeboshi paste, and balsamic vinegar.

4. Return sauce to saucepan and add remaining onions and garlic. Add remaining ½ cup cooking liquid to achieve proper consistency, if needed.

5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

*Umeboshi is a Japanese plum that gives recipes a savory-sour quality. Most grocery stores carry it in the ethnic food aisles.


Oven Roasted Garlic Chickpeas


I always have a cans of chickpeas in my cupboard. They’re great for making vegan “tuna” salad, adding to salads for some extra fiber and they also make a great crispy, salty snack!

This recipe is so easy to do, takes no effort and is a great alternative instead of eating chips when you’re looking for something a little crunchy and salty.


1 can chickpeas (drained)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder

cayenne powder (optional if you want a little heat)



Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy.

I recommend eating them as soon as they come out of the oven since that is when they are crunchiest. If you wait for them to cool too long, they can become soft again.


Have you tried this before as a snack? What spices would you like to use on yours?


Sugar Free Banana Coconut Granola

Photo: Ashley Sauve

Let’s talk about store-bought granola for a second, shall we?

Yes, it’s delicious.

Yes, it’s crunchy.

And yes, it’s often (totally unnecessarily) loaded with refined sugar.

Womp womp.

But here’s the good news! You can make a homemade granola that is just as delicious, crunchy, and clustery as its store-bought counterpart. The best part is, it is sweetened with just one, all-natural ingredient: bananas! That’s right. No refined sugar or even honey is needed for this deliciousness.

I highly recommend baking up a batch of this Banana Coconut Granola at the beginning of the week and dividing it into containers for munching on throughout the week. You can serve it with almond milk, oatmeal, with berries in a yogurt parfait or even on its own.

Serves 6


  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt.
  3. Add the mashed banana and coconut oil into the bowl with the oat mixture. Use a spoon to mix ingredients until evenly distributed.
  4. Spread mixture in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Press down slightly and place in oven.
  5. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, checking and tossing every 15 minutes. Break up large clusters if necessary. Once the granola is evenly browned and no longer feels damp, remove from oven. (Note: As it cools it will crisp up even more, so do not over-bake.)
  6. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week, or store in the freezer for a few months.

6 Easy Changes To Have A More Plant Based Lifestyle

Photo: Stocksy

We all know that a plant-based lifestyle is better for our bodies and for the planet. And while it can seem overwhelming at first, the truth is that making the switch to plant-based living can be pretty easy. There are so many fun, delicious, and healthy ways to use plant ingredients in your everyday routine. Here are six swaps that will bring you closer to a 100 percent plant-based life. Get ready to be inspired, you’ll feel better about yourself while and the planet!

  1. Use nut milk in your favorite morning rituals
Photo: Stocksy

If you’re super attached to your morning coffee or tea with milk, I get it. But there are so many amazing nut milks out there that you’re definitely missing out on if you haven’t tried this simple swap.

2. Take a look at your supplements

This may surprise you, but a lot of supplements and vitamins contain animal products. The good news is it’s a simple fix. There are tons of vegan options for supplements. Garden of Life came out with a MyKind line that is perfect for making this swap.

3. Ditch the honey

Every now and then, we all need a little something sweet. But before you reach for the honey, why not try a whole-food sweetener like banana or dates? They’ll add that little sweetness to your oatmeal or chia pudding without adding any animal by-products.

4. Veganize your smoothies

Photo: Stocksy

I think of green smoothies as the ultimate health food, but if you’re using whey protein, you’re not quite plant-based. So next time you make a smoothie, experiment with some vegan protein and see what you think.

5. Healthy fats don’t just come from fish

So many of us depend on fish for our healthy fats, but flax and chia seeds are great sources of omega-3s. Try sprinkling them on your favorite salad for some added sustenance.

6. Make a creamy salad dressing

Want to go plant-based but worried you’ll miss your favorite dressing? You can make a super-creamy salad dressing by adding some avocado or unsweetened coconut yogurt to your recipe. Just blend in the blender and enjoy!

Making these swaps will bring you six steps closer to a plant-based lifestyle, and you’ll barely have to lift a finger. After all, living your healthiest life should be more about mindfulness than time and effort.


Avocado Ice Cream Dairy Free

Photo: Random House

Like everyone else, I’m obsessed with all things avocado. This ice cream recipe is creamy, despite being totally dairy-free, and the avocados provide a hefty dose of heart healthy fats to keep your skin plump and belly full.


3 ripe avocados
1 frozen banana
1 cup coconut cream (the thick cream that forms at the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk)
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Remove the pits from the avocados (discard the pits), separate the thick cream from the top of the can of full-fat coconut milk (save or discard the water at the bottom) and blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender or food processor.
A tip for the coconut cream: place the can of coconut milk in the fridge upside down for 4-6 hours before using it and the cream will solidify, leaving the water at the top of the can. I always keep a can of coconut milk in my fridge so it’s ready to use when I need it.
Once the ingredients are blended, pour into a container and freeze, covered, for 4-6 hours or until frozen. Once frozen, remove from freezer and let it soften on the counter before trying to scoop it.