5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road! + 3 Recipes!

3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road! Plus 3 Recipes!

Are you traveling later this summer and nervous about access to healthy food? Or, did you already travel and have a disastrous food experience? If so, read on!

I thought it was sometimes hard to be kosher and vegetarian while traveling. Forget it. With this vegan business of mine, my chance of starving, even with a 5 star kosher restaurant in my hotel, is about 90%!

Here’s what I’ve learned that may help you.

3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road!

1. Call ahead. Talk to caterers, restaurants, your hosts, whomever is relevant, to plan for your allergies or dietary restrictions. Stress that if what you need is very different from the food they normally make, you have some great, simple ideas; you’re happy to help cook; you can even bring some special ingredients or run out to the grocery store.

2. Determine your resources. Will you be staying in a house with access to a full kitchen, a hotel with a microwave and refrigerator, a hotel without either or camping in the outback? Do you have to pack everything in your travel bag or can you hit the grocery store when you arrive at your destination? Make a list of items you can eat with your circumstances and then the corresponding list of foods you need to bring with you and/or purchase at the store. Some items will need to be made ahead of time at home, and some make more sense to prepare at your destination.

3. Determine and plan for your biggest challenges. For instance, if you usually find yourself hungry and buying a sweet roll or fast food on your way to your flight, bring something healthy and satisfying, like my No-Grain Granola/Trail Mix. If you know your kids are going to beg you for unhealthy and expensive snacks, make your own granola bars and bring them with you. If the caterer can accommodate your food requirements for one meal, but not another, plan for that too. For a healthy meal replacement, make my new Basic Travelin’ Green Smoothie.

Here are the recipes:

Recipe 1

Grain-free Granola/Trail Mix

Grain free Granola and Trail Mix


1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup golden raisins

2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Melt coconut oil (can use microwave and melt 10 seconds at a time).

Mix pumpkin and sunflower seeds with coconut flakes. Add melted coconut oil and mix well. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes (until slightly browned/roasted but not burned). Don’t you dare leave the room or it may burn! Keep a close eye on the oven.

Remove from oven. Place into your storage container (glass works great). Mix in the raisins and maple syrup thoroughly. Enjoy! Keeps at room temperature (for 3 days) or in the fridge (for 7 days).

Recipe 2

Travelin’ Green Smoothie

Travelin Green Smoothie

Travelin’ Green Smoothie

I bought Teavana’s powdered matcha tea for my travelin’ greens. I got the idea and information about its health benefits (and a great smoothie recipe!) from my buddy over at Healthful Pursuit.

My recipe is super easy and convenient, whatever your resources. If you have electricity you can use an immersion blender and if you don’t, you can simply bring an old fashioned egg beater!


TGS Ingredients

1 very ripe banana

1 teaspoon powdered matcha tea

3/4-1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)


Travelin Green Smoothie Ready to mix

Break up the banana into your vessel. For the immersion blender, they often come with a tall plastic container designed for smoothies. If using an egg beater, you can simply use a wide enough cup. I used a standard tall drinking glass.

Add powdered tea and then add the non-dairy milk.

Mix with immersion blender or egg beater until frothy!

Recipe 3

Easy Granola Bars/Chocolate Chip Cookies

granola bars and chocolate chip cookies

Easy Granola Bars/Chocolate Chip Cookies

You won’t find a healthier or easier recipe than this! These also make a great substitute for sandwiches at lunch.

I first made these one morning before taking the kids to school. My hubbie was like, “Okay Mrs. Cleaver. Way to whip up some cookies before school!” Delish! Easy! You CAN do this in the morning!

(Makes 11-13 cookies)


2 bananas

1/2 cup quick oats

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup flax meal

Dash of real vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1/8 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350. Mash bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl. Add oats, almonds and flax meal, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix again.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Then…you have to make a decision: Are you making granola bars or cookies?

For cookies, simply take a big spoonful of the mix and place on the cookie sheet. Flatten the top with the back of the spoon. Space 2 inches apart.

For granola bars, dump the whole mixture onto the parchment paper and then flatten with the back of a spoon. When you’re done baking the full sheet, use a pizza cutter to cut out bars.

Bake in center of oven 10-15 minutes, with the cookies on the lower end and the bars on the higher end.

Tip: For either the cookies or the bars you can mix in different nuts (whole or ground) and dried fruit, depending on your preferences. However, I will tell you that I tried coconut flakes and the flavor really got lost.


Let me know if you have any travel tips and if these tips work for you!

Red, White and Blue Recipes! 1 pie, 1 Salad & 3 Drinks!

Red, White and Blue Recipes! 1 pie, 1 Salad & 3 Drinks!

All-American fun with watermelon and corn! And Pie!

I know most people are focusing on barbequing meat this weekend. Let’s also focus on what will be refreshing, healthy and seasonal.

Don’t forget FUN!

Fourth of July Face Pie! (Serves 8)

FourthofJuly Face Pie

Fourth of July Face Pie! (Serves 8)

Lemon crème recipe, courtesy of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine


1 12.3-ounce package reduced-fat, extra-firm silken tofu, crumbled
1/3 cup Grade A (light) maple syrup or agave nectar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon peel, grated

1 graham cracker crust (optional)

1 pint blueberries

1 large strawberry for face pie


Blend tofu, maple syrup or agave nectar, lemon juice, and lemon peel until very smooth in a blender or food processor (or place in a bowl and use a handheld blender).

Pour into graham cracker crust (or skip it. You can also find healthier versions at health food stores).

Wash and dry blueberries.

Sprinkle blueberries evenly on top of creme. Slice the strawberry from the top down. Take 2 pieces and place them for eyes (with pointed ends facing out); 1 piece for the nose (pointed down); and 2 pieces, facing one another (pointed ends facing out and inside ends touching), for the mouth.


Of course, for a 4th of July pie, you can also use the blueberries and a pint of sliced strawberries to make an American flag design. Place a square of blueberries in the corner. The pie itself can serve as the white stripes in between the red rows of strawberries.

Cover with the top of the graham cracker crust container and put in refrigerator until chilled.

p.s. You can also use this lemon crème in a parfait, with blueberries and strawberries or raspberries on top. This would be especially adorable in the tiny dessert cups that are all the rage now.

Summer Corn and Tomato Salad (Serves 4-6)

Summer Corn Salad


3 cups corn (defrosted frozen, cooked and cut off the stalk or raw if that’s what you’re into!)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 a large or 1 small avocado, diced

Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste

Himalayan pink salt to taste


Mix corn, tomatoes and avocado in a mixing bowl.

Add lemon juice and salt.

Mix gently. Transfer to serving dish if you like.


Watermelon Slurpee (Serves 4)

Watermelon slurpee

Watermelon Slurpee (Serves 4) 


4 cups cubed watermelon, frozen at least 8 hours before you go to make the recipe

2 cups filtered water




Add straw.


Watermelon Slurpee 2

Next Step: Take leftovers and make adorable ice cubes!

Watermelon Ice Cubes

Watermelon Lemonade (Serves 1)


Watermelon Lemonade (Serves 1)


8 oz cold organic lemonade

1 adorable ice cube, made with leftover Watermelon Slurpee (see above) Recipe


Tiny Umbrella


Pour the lemonade into a clear glass

Add the ice cube

Garnish with straw and tiny umbrella

Serve to your delighted and impressed guests!

Watermelon Spritzer (Serves 1)

Watermelon spritzer

Watermelon Spritzer (Serves 1)


8 oz cold seltzer

1 adorable ice cube [stars might be most appropriate for 4th of July], made with leftover Watermelon Slurpee (see above) Recipe


Pour seltzer into a clear glass

Wait until you are serving your guest to pop out the ice cube and put it in the glass. It may start to melt quickly and you want to make sure they get a chance to say, “awww,” and appreciate how cute it is!


Happy 4th of July!

7 ways to keep your kids healthy at camp!

7 ways to keep your kids healthy at camp!

1.Talk to your child’s camp. Establish a friendly relationship and ask them how you can make their lives easier. Then they won’t think you’re a nudge when you ask questions and make suggestions! And, you’ll know more about camp without having to ask and make them feel like they’re on Twenty Questions.

What you need to know: Find out what they’re feeding your kids, how often they give them water (or if they’re giving them something else to drink), and if they have a routine for reapplying sunscreen.

2. Sunscreen. In addition to finding out how and when your children are helped with sunscreen throughout the day, buy thoughtfully. Most mainstream sunscreens contain a number of chemicals that can contribute to cancer, hormone disruption and nervous system changes. Here’s a link to information about healthier sunscreen options. They’re not all more expensive and sometimes they go on sale or are cheaper online.

3. Keep them hydrated. Step away from the Gatorade and Powerade! You don’t need food coloring and corn syrup to hydrate. Cold, filtered water is plenty refreshing. Counselors can also make it fun by giving kids a choice of frozen fruit to use as ice cubes (and then gobble up, of course). You can either blend the fruit first and put it in mini ice cube trays or give them pieces of frozen fruit right out of the bag. Fruits like diced mango, cherries and pineapple are easy to simply purchase. You can also freeze fresh grapes. Trader Joe’s and warehouse clubs probably have the best deals on frozen fruit. If you really think your children need extra electrolytes you can give them a natural alternative: coconut water.

4. Plan before you pick them up. In the summer my kids always want me to take them for ice cream after camp. “It’s such a hot day. You know it’s perfect weather for ice cream!” Gee. Thanks. I hadn’t thought of that. They’re less likely to demand cold refreshment if I’ve already provided it for them, usually in the form of cold watermelon or green smoothies (tropical or chocolate flavor).

5. Give ’em a break. Chances are, your camp administrators and counselors are working very hard to make your kids happy this summer. Sometimes they just don’t have time to think through whether the popsicles have food coloring. Give them suggestions for healthier options and, if you can, even use your time to help. If you can’t, maybe someone else can. It could even be a daily activity for kids to make their own popsicles out of juice (no sugar added) or fruit puree. “Bunks” can go in on buying cool ice pop molds or simply use small paper cups and popsicle sticks.

6. Pack a healthy lunch. Here are some helpful resources for this. Websites: Lunch Box Bunch, Books: Vegan Lunch Box Around the World, Vegan Lunch Box.

7. Bring in a sample. Bring some fun and colorful foods to camp to try out with the kids (with camp’s permission of course). That way you’re taking some pressure off the counselors. Here is one idea for Rainbow Fruit Skewers (from Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel). Don’t be afraid to use frozen fruit for the mango and pineapple!

2014-01-14 11.54.08 2014-01-14 11.39.19

Here are pictures from some fun we had making flowers, hearts and stars out of fruit last year. We even found a natural watermelon heart!

Rainbow Fruit Skewers

Using wooden skewers, here is your rainbow:

Red: Watermelon (or cherries or strawberries)

Orange: Mango (Cantaloupe and oranges would work too)

Yellow: Pineapple

Green: Kiwi (or Green Grapes)

Blue: Blueberries

Purple: Purple Grapes

Have fun and let me know how it goes!