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

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Meal Replacement in a Can or a Box? I don’t think so…

Slim Fast vs. Medi-Fast vs…. REAL FOOD!

We’ve all been through stages where we didn’t have time to cook or just thought it was simpler to count calories by eating something from a box or a can. Slim Fast started first (or at least in my lifetime it was first…). I don’t know how popular it is now, but I do know how popular Medi-Fast is. I can’t begin to tell people who feel they are only successful losing weight on these plans that they are WRONG, but I do think the approach is misguided. Again, I suppose if you are very overweight and this is the only thing that has worked for you… My problem is that I don’t like to judge. What I do like to do is provide better options.

That’s my shtick.

Substitution is your strategy.

So I’m suggesting a substitution for your (meal) substitution. If you’re going to replace a meal with a drink, do it right. Consume real nutrients and not just high fructose corn syrup in a glorified milk shake. Sometimes people aren’t even trying to lose weight. They just don’t have time to deal with it, so they pick up a can or bar, thinking that because the label says it has protein, it’s a good choice.

(Those commercials for giving the “nutritious” shakes to kids make me crazy. This is obviously a larger conversation, but if you’re that desperate, make them a shake yourself with whole food ingredients, like cacao that contains tons of antioxidants. You can even sneak in some greens and they won’t know. Try finding an antioxidant in a children’s Ensure or Boost shake. Again, this is a larger conversation we can have another day…See below for more on this topic and of course my upcoming book will have lots of recipes and ideas.)

If you think that the only way you can lose weight is by replacing 1 or more meals with a shake, at least make it yourself so you can include real nutrients and live foods in it. I’m all about the green smoothie for breakfast. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about lunch and dinner. I even have a great example for you. I know there are a million green smoothie recipes out there. Some people will just never be into that. Okay, so eat a huge salad. Your body will register that you’ve eaten (much better than only drinking a meal), you can throw in high fiber and high protein beans, add healthy fats, like a nut or avocado based dressing, and you are set. But when you really just want to grab and go, you can make a few shakes at a time and keep them in your fridge, or even freeze them in mason jars.

Here is a great recipe, from the Reboot Kitchen (That’s Joe Cross from the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” movies…). Serve it in smaller amounts to your kids for an awesome after school snack. This is a much better “car snack” for the way to soccer practice than anything processed or from a drive-thru. And if the drive-thru was going to be dinner – give them a big serving of this instead.

Goji Cinnamon Almond Smoothie (Plus Greens!)

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This is a smoothie that contains greens, but it doesn’t actually turn out GREEN, so it doesn’t seem to be a “green smoothie.” This helps some people who just have an aversion to them. It is rich and filling. Truthfully, I’ve been trying to like almond butter (as a more healthful replacement for peanut butter) for years. Haven’t succeeded yet. However, I love it in this smoothie! I love everything about this smoothie. It is rich, creamy, filling, yummy… and now I know how I can use up all that almond butter I bought and never used for Passover!

Give it a shot and let me know how you like it!

Do you use meal replacements from the store or your doctor? Are you willing to try a new way? More book news coming very shortly…but I will be conducting workshops around the book release. Let me know what you are looking for. Dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less. How is that? What else?

p.s. About the kids…continued from above. I hear from many parents whose children are newly vegetarian that they have no idea what to feed them. I’m considering putting together a workshop or teleseminar/webinar or e-course on the topic. Please let me know what your questions are so I can answer them!


2 Delicious Summer Salads! Recipes and Pictures included

Easy, Healthy Summer Salads! Use as a main meal or side dish.

For an easy summer Shabbat lunch, with or without company, see how many fruits and veggies you can make! Then when you go to eat the leftovers…you won’t feel guilty – just happy and light and like you’ve set yourself up for a healthy week. That’s the Healthy Family, Healthy You way!

First, my recipe, and then one from www.Kalyn’

This first salad is a hearty weekday meal filled with different colors and textures. This works great for a one dish dinner or lunch. If you’re not watching carbs, perhaps add a side of garlic bread made on sprouted whole grain bread, like Ezekiel. I’ve been meaning to finally try to make my own seed crackers for the past month or two, but just haven’t gotten there yet. Those would also make a crunchy and filling side for this salad. I’m also about to finally experiment with Zucchini Chummus. That sounds like a guilt free dip to round out this meal.

See recipe below.


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Easy Summer Salad with Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado dressing

Serves 6-8

Salad ingredients
2 sticks celery, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 Persian cucumber, diced
2-3 cups spinach
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw, unsalted are best)

Combine all ingredients, except spinach and optional garnish, in mixing bowl. For individual servings, or for a group platter, spread spinach on bottom of plate, bowl or platter; then place vegetables on top, in the center. Drizzle dressing over salad. Optional garnish: 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds per serving.

Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado Dressing
1 cup roasted red peppers
1 avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
1 small shallot
2 garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss everything into the blender and blend!

Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey!


Chickpea and Edamame Salad with Lemon and Mint
Recipe by Kalyn’s Kitchen

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I wish I could tell you this was my recipe, but it is not. Click on the picture or recipe title to get the detailed recipe. For those of you into paleo and whole30, her website should be a good resource. It’s great to know that someone who is into meat also knows how to put together a fantastic vegetable dish. This can be a vegetarian main dish or a hearty side dish. The bright green edamame just makes me happy!

(Uhh…by the way, I realize the above picture is pretty crappy. I have to commit to taking all of my dishes out to the sunroom to take pictures. That’s why the first one is so good. Be patient! I’m improving my food photography!)

Also, for everyone who feels like they have to grab chips or a granola bar for snacks, I have to tell you that I grabbed these leftovers the other day before I picked up the kids for Practice and Play at My Gym. I didn’t say a word to my kids about eating it (always a good way to get them to try something out of curiosity, rather than resist your orders and refuse to taste a dish). In fact, I hadn’t even realized that my daughter had been snacking on the salad until one of the teachers told me. I mentioned to my daughter that I wanted to show her the new Healthy Family, Healthy You book cover (I’ll be posting it shortly!). The teacher overheard and asked what the book was about. I told him it was a book to help parents feed their children healthy food, with nutrition information and a strategic plan, tips and tricks. He said, “Oh, that makes sense. You guys always have the coolest snacks. Your daughter was just eating away at those beans!” Oooh, I was so proud!

Do you have a salad you make that your kids enjoy? Let me know over on my Facebook page. Have you liked it yet? You know you want to…get healthy tips and tricks over there!








Shavuot and Every Meal Made Easy!

Tasha’s Tip: This particular blog refers to places local to DC and Maryland. However, wherever you live – and whichever holidays you celebrate – you should find a local place where you can buy food of the same quality, ingredients and calories, as what you would/could make at home. Unless you live in a super rural place, you should be able to find one. And if you do live in a rural place, look harder or ask someone to work with you.


This year’s Shavuot schedule is pretty grueling. 3 day yuntov, starting with Shabbat. Get some help and get some with healthy and delicious catering from Soupergirl or 7 Layer catering!

Ask… and you shall receive! All I needed from the universe (well, food related, anyway!) was a kosher vegan meal pick up option. Now, I’ve got two!

Soupergirl is now officially certified by the Star K and accepted by all. In addition, a new game in town, 7 Layer Catering, is working out of local (Rockville, MD) kosher caterer, Potomac 18, certified by the Capitol K Vaad.

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For Soupergirl, you can order weekly delivery, dine in or pick up at their Takoma Park DC store, pick up at their downtown DC M Street store, or pick up from one of many local stores. I love knowing that whatever I buy from here will use the same good quality ingredients I would use at home. Choose from chunky or pureed soups, sandwiches, and salads. They also carry fresh Breadsmith products, such as challah, cornbread muffins and mini baguettes.


7 Layer Catering

Go to

For a 10% off Shabbat special, use promo code: LEKAVODSHABBAT

New Power Lunch special: $8.99 for a main dish, two sides, drink and dessert.

7 layer catering deviled potatoes FINALLY took care of my two year craving (you know, since I became vegan!) for deviled eggs! The Hearts of Palm Salad is refreshing and creamy. The knish has a samosa-like tofu filling. The seitan brisket is amazing. My mom had just made pot roast with egg noodles for my hubby and kids. I took the seitan and mixed it with tofu shirataki noodles (the fettuccine type) and Tofutti sour cream.

Tofu Shirataki Noodles Fettuccine Shape 10 bags

Voila! Vegan beef stroganoff! What a guiltless, but indulgent, meal.

Have a wonderful week, weekend, Shavuot and Memorial Day!

Thank you to all of our men and women in uniform who serve our country every day. We mourn those we have lost and honor those who have served.

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