Lemon Parsley Pesto


2 cups loosely packed Italian (“flat leaf”) parsley
¾ cup combination of cashews and walnuts or pecans
1 lemon juiced
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
¼ - ½ teaspoon lemon zest*
¼ - 1/3 cup olive oil

1. Wash and de-stem herbs. Blend all ingredients except olive oil in blender or small food processor.
2. Carefully open vent of food processor and add olive oil slowly (while food processor is on) to incorporate oil.
*zest is only the outer yellow edge of the skin of the lemon, not the white rind

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Green Sesame Sunflower Salad

GF, GrF, DF, V, Vegan

1 head of broccoli or 2 broccoli crowns
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces, tender stems finely chopped
½ small red onion, finely chopped
½ cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
½ - 1 medium apple, diced or chopped
*Optional: Sesame seeds

1/3 cup sesame oil or combination of sesame and olive oils
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is a good brand)
1-2 teaspoons natural sweetener (raw honey, pure maple syrup) or 5-8 drops Stevia
1 tablespoon soy sauce, wheat-free tamari, coconut aminos, or Bragg’s aminos
½ - 1 teaspoon ground ginger
*Leftover dressing can be used for salads or marinade

1.  Prepare all salad ingredients and place in a large bowl.
2. Mix dressing ingredients over salad ingredients and add more, to your liking. You can determine your preference for dressing amount. Leftover dressing may be used for side salads, marinades or dressings for another day.

*This tastes better if you stir periodically

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RDN

Corn and Tomato Salad with Fresh Herbs

Tomato Corn Cilantro Salad.jpg

GF, DF, V, Vegan 

4 ears of corn – shucked and cleaned of silk
1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes
½ bunch cilantro chopped
3 green onions, sliced
Juice of 2 limes or 2-3 Tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1. With water, wash and drain all fresh produce.
2. If tomatoes are large, cut in half.
3. Cut corn kernels off of cob. Hold corncob upright with flat end on cutting board and cut straight down with knife.
4. Chop cilantro. Cut tough stems from cilantro and use leaves and upper stems. Roll cilantro and tender stems and chop.
5. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add chopped cucumber, red or green bell pepper and/or green beans
If you like spicy food, add a dash of cayenne pepper or 1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper
Substitute basil, mint and/or parsley for cilantro.
Add 1 can of rinsed garbanzo, white and/or black beans

 Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RDN

Basil Cucumber Salad

GF, GrF, DF, V, Vegan

2 medium cucumbers, cut into thin slices (may choose to peel first)
½ cup thinly sliced basil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Salt to taste

1.  In a medium-sized bowl toss together the sliced cucumbers, basil, garlic, and chili flakes. In a small separate bowl, whisk together the coconut vinegar and coconut nectar. Pour over cucumbers. Season with sea salt to taste. The salad is best served after the cucumbers have marinated for about an hour. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RDN

Cashew "Ranch" Dressing

creamy dairy free dressing.jpg

½ cup raw cashews or macadamia nuts
½ cup water
2 cloves garlic (or 2 teaspoons jarred garlic)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
2 teaspoons fresh dill or ½ teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or honey or 4-5 drops liquid stevia
black pepper, to taste

1. Place the nuts, water, and garlic into a blender. Blend until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and blend again until combined.
2. Pour into a glass jar or container and refrigerate. Shake and pour over your favorite salad or dip with your favorite veggies or seed crackers. Enjoy! :)

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Cauliflower Rice with Cilantro and Garlic

cauliflower rice.jpg

1-2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large head cauliflower
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 3 tsp jarred garlic)
3/4 teaspoon salt or Herbamare (herbed seasoning salt)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1. Cut cauliflower into very large florets or chunks. Depending on the size of the cauliflower, you will want to divide the chunked cauliflower into 2 to 3 batches.
2. Place 1/2 or 1/3 of the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse or process it until the cauliflower turns into a rice-like texture. In a medium bowl, set aside each batch until you have finished "rice'ing" the cauliflower.
3. Heat a medium pan to low-medium heat and add the oil and minced garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until garlic is softened.
4. Add the cauliflower and sprinkle the salt or Herbamare over the top. After about 5 minutes, add the chopped cilantro and continue sautéing for 3-5 more minutes until heated through.
5. Serve with Honey Mustard Chicken or any other place you'd use rice. I love serving it with this lovely and delicious Veggie Korma recipe from Seasonal and Savory.

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Golden Milk

golden+milk picture.jpg

2 cups nut or seed milk (almond, coconut, cashew, flax, other)
1-2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 drops liquid stevia or 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 pinch, each of cayenne and black pepper

1. Blend ingredients in a blender at high speed
2. Serve immediately or for warm golden milk, transfer to small saucepan, stirring constantly to heat to desired temperature
3. Enjoy!

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Leigh's Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

GF, GrF, DF, V, Vegan

1 large head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup olive oil-based mayonnaise or Veganaise (egg-free mayonnaise)
¼ - ⅓ teaspoon salt or Herbamare (herbed seasoning salt)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a medium or large pot with a steamer basket, fill pot with 1-2 inches water and bring to a boil.
2. Add cauliflower and garlic, reduce heat to a low boil, and cover pot.
3. Cook for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is very soft.
4. Drain water and add remaining ingredients to pot
5. Mash/blend the cauliflower and garlic mixture until creamy using a(n):
         -Potato masher
         -Immersion blender (a.k.a. “stick blender”)
          -Food processor
6. Adjust seasonings, if needed

Serves: 4-6

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RDN