SWEET TOMATO CUPCAKES

Anticipating the summer-bounty, here’s a tomato dessert that is truly delectable. While I do believe moderation is necessary in nightshades* consumption, there’s really nothing as perfect as a lush/ripe/seasonal tomato. Thus, enjoy this botanical fruit/culinary vegetable in the height of its availability and explore a myriad of ways to incorporate it in your diet. After all, we do need the lycopene!

sweet tomato cupcakes

*Nightshades are in the plant family called Solanaceae and include tobacco, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, goji berries and potatoes (sweet potatoes and yams excluded). Nightshades are linked to inflammatory problems such as heartburn and arthritis (among many others). They can also exacerbate certain autoimmune diseases, so it is very necessary to eliminate them while cleansing. Enjoy in moderation.

THE RECIPE

Banana-Cardamom-Lentil Bread

Quick-cooking breads are so satisfying and this one is even more so with the addition of lentils. The protein boost will keep you fuller longer while the cardamom offers a whole host of digestive benefits, from taming intestinal gas to alleviating constipation to relieving IBS symptoms. All of this nutritional goodness is married with the familiar flavor of banana. Delicious. If you’re feeling extra spunky, add about a cup of chopped walnuts for an Omega 3 overload.

banana cardamom bread

THE RECIPE

Hijiki Brown Rice Crispies

I don’t know who doesn’t love a Rice Krispy Treat. That irresistible combination of ooey gooey marshmallow and crispy rice cereal is just so delectable, so addictive, so…processed. Many health-minded cooks have concocted their own versions using nut butters and brown rice syrup. That’s definitely a start. However, I take it a few steps further by adding some fresh vanilla bean powder and…hijiki. Yes, I’m talking seaweed. The balance of flavors is so perfect that you’ll wonder why you haven’t been eating these for years. It’s definitely the most fun way to get all those seaweed-exclusive minerals. And the taste: I promise you’ll never again crave a shiny blue wrapped, partially hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup laced bar again. You’re welcome.

hijiki brown rice crispy

THE RECIPE

ROASTED SQUASH STUFFED SHELLS WITH A SHALLOT-SAGE JUS

This pasta is so good. Like put-your-fork-down-and-savor-every-bite good. The combination of butternut squash and pears is pure perfection but, really, it’s all about the caramelized shallot-sage jus. There’s really nothing as good as fresh sage. While it’s commonly thought of as a fall flavor (hello, Thanksgiving), its brightness also accentuates springtime so well.

roasted butternut squash stuffed shells with caramelized shallots

THE RECIPE