1 family. friendly food.

kale chips

Baked kale chips. I’ve seen them before on this blog and this blog and wanted to make them ever since.

While I was on the Detox diet (now I’m on an elimination diet to try and figure out which food/s make my body crazy (more about that later) ) it was the perfect timing to make it.

They are so good, even my kids!!! eat them. And I don’t have to persuade them. I think that says it all. Kids eating leafy greens… I rest my case.

And you can eat as many as you want without the guilt feelings and without counting how many you had. (13 potato chips are 150 calories, but who eats only 13 potato chips, right? Not to mention the monstrous amounts of salt added.)


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Baked kale chips

1 bunch kale, rinsed and spun dry in a salad spinner (or pat with clean towel to absorb water)

pinch of salt, black pepper

1/2 to 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

pinch chili flakes/paprika/Cheyenne power, optional

Remove the kale leaves from their tough inner stems. Tear with your hands to big bite-size pieces.

Toss with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and oil. (The leaves should only be lightly coated with oil.)

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until crisp.

Like kale? Read The slugs, the beer, and the squirrel and Pumpkin “fondue” time


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Tags : , Categories : Appetizers, Healthy Food, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian Comments 3 Comments


I am crazy busy promoting this theater play (for tickets Smile http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/248853) … but I wanted to give you something quick and delicious to make for lunch.

It might not look like much.

It might not look like something filling.

But it is both.

Rice and lentils, or some sort of downsized Mujadara in this case, make hearty dish that kept me satiated for a few hours.

My diet doesn’t allow it, but if you can, add some yogurt, or spiced yogurt is even better.


In this bowl:

onion and garlic, quickly sautéed in extra virgin olive oil + a bit salt and pepper

brown rice (I use store-bought cooked and frozen. Thawed in the microwave)

cooked lentil (Cook lentils in water that has boiled with some salt for 15-30 minutes over simmering water. Time depends on the type of lentils.)

When onion if fried to your liking, add rice and lentils and warm it all together.

Add chopped mint and lemon juice.


VM postcard 2

Tags : , , Categories : Bite size, Health, Healthy Food, Recipes, Side dishes and Vegetables, Vegetarian Comments Comments Off on Quick lunch


I remember this night about a year ago, having dinner in one of my favorite restaurants in Capitol Hill. I remember the exact table where we sat, my husband and I, on a date night, while we were examining the menu and planning our meal. Everything sounded tasty and good.

We wanted to try almost everything but narrowed it down to 5 dishes, saving some room for 2 desserts, that we wanted to share. (That specific restaurants has a choice of small/large plates, the large ones are not necessarily very large). We also drank wine and left room for an espresso to finish.

I remember the thought that crossed my mind while we were contemplating what to order, “This is too much partying. I’m going to pay for this some day.”

Well, payment or not payment, I am now trying to find out what’s causing the rashes and itchiness and eating out is nearly out of the question.

Right now it seems that different things might be the cause (I’m still having a hard time separating and checking them one at a time—everything is mixed up.) Eggs, dairy, and wheat. I haven’t tried soy yet. (It’s easier not to consume soy compared to the other three.) Coffee, wine, chocolate? Canned, cured, or grilled food?

Since I’ve had my fair share of dining out in restaurants, I’m not complaining, however eating out is challenging. Everything has 2 or more of the those ingredients. I was never aware before how eggs, wheat, and dairy became an inseparable part of lunch and dinner.

At home, I am learning a new style of cooking. Eating lots of fruit, more veggies, raw and cooked, using less oil… I can use brown rice pasta or noodles in my pasta recipes, but of course there are no more quiches at the moment…


In this bowl:

Brown rice pasta
3-4 oz. sautéed chicken breast
steamed asparagus
steamed broccoli
fried onion and garlic
salt, pepper

Tags : , , , , Categories : Chicken, Health, Healthy Food, Recipes, Side dishes and Vegetables Comments 4 Comments


When I started the Detox diet, almost by chance, I had not idea what impact it is going to have on my life.

It happened by a series of consequences when one thing led to another. I thought “OK, I’d give it a try and see what happens”. By the end of the Detox, 3 weeks later, I felt so good—so much better than I’ve felt in the past couple of years! It’s been an eye opener and the ultimate proof how food affects health.

After Detox I literally felt clean from inside, and still do: skin is clean, pain and tightness in muscles and joints went away, rashes healed/nearly healed, and I lost 10 lbs. and felt so much lighter, energy levels went up, and my mood is so much better, and happier.

Since then I also became more aware of the importance of using not only clean food but also clean cosmetics.

Before detox, the skin on my eye lids was so itchy, and in retrospect I know they were also puffy and swollen ( I now know because now it feels normal and relaxed) that I started suspecting one, or all, of the 5 different cosmetic products I used on my eyes: eye liner, pencil, make up remover, cream, and concealer.

As part of the detox, the naturopath doctor talked to me about toxins in cosmetics, soaps, detergents, etc.

In one of our meetings I brought with me a big bag with shampoos, soaps, creams, eye liners, lotions (some were recommended to me by dermatologists and pediatricians!) and we read the labels.

  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Parabene, Ethylene Glycol, Benzoyl Peroxide, Heavy metals, petrolatum…. are only part of the long list of chemicals and toxins added to these products.

We use this things daily or a few times a week!

All the $$$ I spent on these products… Now that I know about the risks, I asked myself “Should all these go in the trash? Or should I give them to other people who don’t care about this stuff?”

Even most doctors I’ve seen in the past 2 years don’t care!!! This really blows my mind.

“Keep using the eye liner, I wouldn’t worry about it, and use the steroid cream when it itches”, one doctor told me. Of course I’m not going to see her again!

But no, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give these products to another person, a friend/ family, after I knew that they are bad.

To the trash they went.

With a list of recommended brands and ingredients to avoid, I went shopping for new, cleaner products.

You’d think they will cost a fortune, but no, they actually cost the same as the bad guys brands.

– – – – – – – –

It feels so much better knowing that I put a cream on my face, on my eyes, on my skin that is cleaner, that is plant-based.

One dermatologist I met mocked the plant-based products. I guess he believes that steroids are so much better… Not seeing him again.

And what about the kids? Their skin, their mouths (toothpaste), their heads (shampoo)…

We make choices for them. I certainly feels so much better knowing that I give them products that are better and safe.


Stay away from products that have these names I mentioned above in the ingredients list. The naturopath recommended this web site for more information and getting updates: http://ewg.org/

Don’t use products with gasoline, GASOLINE, titanium, Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Parabene, or fake chemically-produces fragrances on/in your body. They are toxins.

I spend a lot of time reading labels and consulting with the knowledgeable teams at the better stores and slowly switching to new products.

It feels good.

Tags : , , Categories : Detox, Health Comments 4 Comments


I’ve been trying to do some detective work to find out what’s causing my health “issues”.

I might have sensitivity to eggs. I will have to re-check that again sometimes in the future. It could also be wheat, or dairy, or… It could also be something that is not food. It could be a side effect from the numerous dental work I had done in the past years? Lord knows what chemicals they are using there. Or cosmetics, or… Ah, my head is spinning just from thinking of all the possibilities. It could be millions of things that add up through the years and then make a person get farther from optimal health.

I’ve decided to continue with the detox for 2 more weeks. That includes supplements the naturopath prescribed to help my body cleanse from toxins and whatever it is that irritates it. And I am now allowed to add a few more foods like oatmeal, oils, beans, more veggies and fruits.

Will 5 weeks be enough to recover from whatever it is that made my body angry in the past 2 years (or more)?

I’m still not eating or drinking dairy so I tried a new product, almond milk with vanilla flavor. It took some time (however, less then one carton) but I got used to it Smile

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In this bowl:

1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats

1 cup vanilla-flavored almond milk

a bit of sugar

Mix and microwave in a glass bowl covered with a glass plate (plastic in the microwave is toxic too) on high for 2 minutes. Let sit to soak all the liquids.

Add cinnamon and/or cardamom, optional.

Tags : Categories : Breakfast, Health, Healthy Food, Recipes Comments 2 Comments


(This is not a sponsored ad.)

Speaking of detox, I wanted to tell you that I ate, still do, lots of brown rice.

It can be tiring after a while.

Then, I discovered these noodles in the Asian isle.

I love them.

They taste good on their own with nothing added but a little salt. It tastes even better after soaking some sort of sauce or jus. (I couldn’t use soy on a detox…)

I gave it to the kids with an added teaspoon of olive oil and they asked for seconds and thirds.

They have a tender texture and pleasing gumminess and they’re done with 4 minutes of cooking.

They add a little oomph to the same old dishes and salads.

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The 21 days of Detox are officially over.

How do I feel?

I feel great. So much better than what I had felt in the past few months, maybe even more than a year… I can’t remember.

I lost about 10 lbs. and I feel much lighter.

My skin is cleaner and relaxed.

My achy neck, hip, and muscles in general, are relaxed, not tight, and not achy. I don’t wake up with a tight neck and stiff body in the morning.

Today I even noticed that I have more space in my shoes. I guess my feet were swollen as the rest of my body and I didn’t even know.

It’s pretty amazing what 21 days of plant-based diet can do.

I’ve been obscure about my health “issues” in my last posts, but now I can tell you that I had rashes in my arms, neck, throat, and my eye lids and they were bad.

I still have some rashes but some itchy spots that I’ve had on my skin are now gone. Healed.

This has been the best healing experience I’ve had in the past 2 years.

For 2 years I’ve seen numerous doctors who didn’t know what to tell me besides to continue and take steroid creams and anti-histamines. These medications didn’t help. Allergy tests didn’t reveal much.

– – – – – – –

After 21 days of detox diet I gave myself a little break on Mother’s Day weekend. That was the worst gift I could give myself.

I didn’t let my body enough time to heal completely and I ate some goodies like a slice of cake, ice cream, wine, chocolate, cheese, tortillas etc… (Besides the wine, and I think chocolate) each time I felt a tingling-stingy sensation in the itchy spots on my skin that have started to heal during the detox but were not completely gone.

The next Monday, after consulting the naturopath, I’ve decided to challenge my body and see if I’m sensitive to eggs.

The itchiness in my eyes returned, the achy hip returned, itchy spots that have healed started to itch. After 4 days with no eggs the symptoms are better.

Now I suspect that I might be sensitive to one of the foods I ate. I might be sensitive to eggs. (I will re-challenge in the future.)

It could be eggs, dairy, maybe wheat, soy? I can’t tell since I mixed a few ingredients all at once.

– – – – – – –

I’ve told a few friends who might benefit from a detox program about it.

Friends, this post is for you.

You can do it!

It’s not hard at all to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and feel happy with your body and you won’t be hungry at all!

21 days is an excellent time frame to wean yourself from addictions.

In retrospect, I was addicted to coffee, carbs, sugar, maybe eggs (I had 1-2 eggs almost every day + food that contain eggs). Of course I denied it Smile But now I know.


In this quick lunch bowl:

Cooked chicken breast

1 steamed potato

1/2 roasted sweet potato

2-3 tablespoons of vinaigrette: salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, little extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley.

* I love to steam and/or roast a few different vegetables and then mix and match to create new combinations – see here.

Good luck!

Tags : , , Categories : Chicken, Detox, Health, Healthy Food, Main dishes/entrées, Recipes Comments 4 Comments


Steamed and roasted cauliflower

small tomato

1/2 avocado

a few pieces of sautéed chicken breast with cumin and paprika

1/2 cup brown rice pasta


1/2 teaspoon oil

Pure flavors.

Tags : , , , Categories : Detox, Health, Healthy Food, Main dishes/entrées, Recipes, Salads Comments Comments Off on Detox day 19 – Another pretty lunch plate


After 14 days of Detox I find that what I miss the most is…. extra virgin olive oil. (Even more than coffee.)

From roasting, sautéing and grilling, I switched to steaming and poaching. I actually found that steamed fish gets much tender and stays moist and delicate when steamed compared to the other cooking methods.

I look at recipes in my cookbooks and have to eliminate a lot of the ingredients which I am not allowed to use until the 21 days are over including vinegars and oils.

It is challenging to detox and I miss dough, and dairy, and oils. Not so much meat (although there’s no telling what I’d do if someone put a fragrant 4 oz. grass-fed steak under my noise).

And it’s a good thing that I love lemon! It really helps with flavor. I also use red onion, garlic, and herbs to add flavor. But a little bit of evoo is still missing to round it all.

So what did I make?

In this bowl, I had arugula, roasted yam, fresh mushrooms, roasted butternut squash, brown rice, cilantro.


In this bowl, I had tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, brown rice, lentils, red onion, garlic, lemon juice, avocado.


In that bowl I had brown rice, lentils (those 2 were mandatory for the first 10 days), parsley, red onion, lightly roasted almonds, red bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli.


Broccoli and cauliflower are the most challenging vegetables, in my opinion, to make something exciting out of when not using oil, cheese, eggs, and such.

What are the most challenging vegetable for you?

Here I made soup out of the water from steamed beets, leftover broccoli and cauliflower + carrots, yam, sweet potato, onion, and garlic cooked is salter water.


I lost 5-7 pounds which is nice—it feels good; I feel lighter—and with no effort really. I was never hungry in the past 2 weeks.

However, the other issues are still there. The naturopathic physician says “12 days are not enough to resolve a long standing problem that has been suppressed”.

I need to keep my hope that the Detox will help.

One more week to go.


Tags : , , , , , Categories : Detox, Health, Healthy Food, Main dishes/entrées, Recipes, Side dishes and Vegetables, Vegetarian Comments 2 Comments

Edan Raichel

On Saturday we went to a concert. The venue served delicious Asian food, mainly Thai food, I think, and cocktails and… And I had tea.

We usually go to dinner before a concert/show/movie. You know, to extend the date night by an hour or two. Leave the house while the kids are awake, return when they are asleep, skip the nightly bedtime routine.

This time we watched a concert and had tea.

I never wanted to be the lady sitting in front of a glass of water and lettuce salad in a restaurant.

I wanted to be the woman who eats whatever she wants. I managed to pull it off so far.

Surprisingly, I found it relieving, even liberating, that I did not “have to” order food at 9 PM. I was happy with my tea, it was herbal and fragrant and didn’t need sugar.

Sure, I admit it, a glass of wine or a beer would have been nicer than tea. But not being “allowed” to eat the food or drink alcohol set me free to focus on what I felt, not hungry and not particularly needing alcohol or a sweet cocktail.

11 days of the hardest part of the Detox are now behind me. Now I can add fish, some beans, and chicken to the list of foods I’m allowed to eat.

10 more days to go.

I can do it.

Tags : Categories : Bite size, Detox, Health, Healthy Food Comments 2 Comments