hummus2 cups (500 ml) drained, well-cooked or canned chickpeas or beans, reserving liquid, if possible

½ cup 125 ml tahini

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

2 cloves peeled garlic, or to taste

juice of one lemon or more to taste

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

¼ tsp paprika or to taste

1 Tbsp ground cumin or to taste, plus sprinkling for garnish

Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish


Put the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in food processor. Sprinkle with pepper, salt and seasonings.  Process. Add chickpea liquid or filtered water as needed for a smooth puree.

Taste. Adjust seasonings as desired.

Serve drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with cumin and parsley.



Substitute cumin with other flavourings to create new dips. Try fresh dill, fresh basil or other herbs to create your own favourites.

Baked Fries

bakedfriesWash, but don’t peel three or four large homegrown potatoes.

Cut into wedges or strips, whatever you prefer.

Melt ½ cup coconut oil on large pan.

Add potatoes and bake in 450 F oven.

Add optional seasonings, one or combination of:

  •             Paprika
  •             Turmeric
  •             Greek Oregano
  •             Rosemary
  •            Mrs. Dash

Turn frequently, every ten minutes or so until desired crispness is attained (30 to 50 minutes, depending on cut).

Remove from oven and season with Himalayan Sea Salt, optional.

Serves three or four, depending on size of potatoes.



borschtpic1/2 lb beef stew meat

½ tsp sea salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

2 Tbsp oil (coconut, olive)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup diced onions

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 cup chopped cabbage

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup diced potatoes

1 handful fresh dill stalks, flowers, and leaves

sour cream or yogurt

1 cup chopped canned or stewed tomatoes with juice

1&1/2 lb cooked, peeled and diced beets


Saute first seven ingredients in a large pot until onion is tender and meat is brown. Cover with 6 to 10 cups water. Simmer for 2 to 4 hours or until meat is falling-apart tender. Stir in cabbage, carrots and potatoes; cook 15 minutes. Add beets, dill, tomatoes and enough water to cover. Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes.


Remove large stalks of dill. Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt.


Vegan: This meal in a bowl can easily be prepared without the meat and served with a bit of coconut milk.

Chocomole – Chocolate Avocado Pudding

chocmoleMy family is deeply affected by certain foods. We have gluten sensitivity, diary allergies, and we are careful about processed food including anything with sugar in it.

As a result birthday parties and other family celebrations require careful planning. We can’t just buy a cake and our traditional family recipes need to be significantly modified.

We are learning to think about food differently. Why do we need cake to celebrate? Shouldn’t we celebrate with the nutrition of whole real food?

Last evening we celebrated my daughter’s birthday with a family dinner. I was charged with bringing dessert.

As I have avoided sugar since the Christmas chocolate and goodies ran out in early January, I wasn’t thrilled about bringing a cake, imposing that unhealthy item on my health-conscious family. Even a gluten-free dairy-free cake needs sugar to make it palatable.

I had read about making chocolate pudding out of avocado and I wanted to try it for the party. I found numerous recipes online and I decided to create my own using those recipes as a guideline.

I have to say, I really outdid myself. My youngest grandtoy, J____, licked her bowl clean and then eyed the two extra servings on the platter. When Mommy said no, J____ was choked.  Peace was restored when I told her I had brought the extras so she and her sister could take them for lunch the next day.

Chocomole is creamy (because of all of that healthy avocado fat). The maple syrup sweetens it without all the harmful effects of white sugar. The antioxidants of the dark chocolate are preserved because they’re not heated.

In my opinion Chocomole is better than conventional chocolate pudding: no “cow” aftertaste and mucous buildup in my throat that I usually get when I eat dairy products.

I’ve been thinking about how I can use avocado to make other “puddings”. (If you have ideas, do share!)

Nobody would ever guess that this dessert is actually good for them. I urge you to try it for yourself.

Bon appetit!

Avocado sliced in halfMy Chocolate Avocado Pudding “Chocomole”

adapted by Shelley Goldbeck from four recipes

  • 4 avocados, ripe and soft
  • ½ cup coconut milk (or almond/rice milk)
  • 1 ounce of dark chocolate (72% or higher), high quality, dairy-free, melted
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. high quality cocoa powder or to taste (you may use all cocoa if you don’t have
    • dark chocolate squares)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch Himalayan sea salt
  • ¼ to ¾ cup maple syrup, to taste. (Or honey or agave; I expect you would need less of these).
  • (I add sweetener last, in increments, to avoid making it too sweet).

Portions depend on the size of the avocados.  I used medium.  Process until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides. Taste and add more cocoa powder, required. Add more sweetener, to taste, and milk, if you’d like it looser. Divide between serving cups and serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps in fridge 24 hours. Make 8 to 10 ½ cup servings.

Garnish with fresh berries or toasted almonds.

Nasturtium Salad

Nasturtium SaladIn medium bowl, mix together:

  • 1 avocado peeled and cut into ½” (1.5 cm) cubes
  • 1 large (or 2 small) tomatoes, cut into ½” cubes
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • ½ long English cucumber, remove seeds and chop into 1 cm pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup washed Nasturtium petals (optional)*

Add dressing:

  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1 small clove or ½ large clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp seasoning, your choice.  I have used:
    • Victorian Epicure “Spanish” (original flavour of this salad)
    • Victorian Epicure “Herbes de Province”
    • Mix of basil and oregano

Marinate for half hour (on the counter: tomatoes are best at room temperature)

*Nasturtiums are very easy to grow and they keep certain bad bugs away from your garden. The petals and leaves are edible. I only recommend eating home grown, organic flowers. They add a subtle but spicy tang to the taste of this salad but it’s still great without. Nasturtiums also make very pretty bouquets as they come in a variety of colours and patterns from pale yellow to pumpkin orange to fire truck red. They’re perfect for the dinner table because they have short stems; you can easily see over the flowers.