Category Archives for "Snacks & Sides"

Honey Ginger Miso Dressing

I love to use raw, local honey in dressings and sauces. If you don’t want to use honey, then maple syrup or coconut nectar is a good replacement for this delicious & spicy dressing.

Dip fresh veggies into it or drizzle it on a salad, for a spicy, sweet punch.



  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons sage honey (depending on your tastes)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Placeall ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth or whisk together in a bowl.

Creamy Basil Garlic Dressing

I love when I am home making a salad and I get a craving for a new dressing. Instead of my old stand by’s, I start to peruse the fridge for any fresh herbs and other condiments I have lurking.  I then throw them together to see what comes of it. Sometimes I get lucky, other times I don’t, but this dressing came out so delish, I had to share!

It’s creamy, sweet and pungent at the same time. If you don’t want it as garlicky, use less cloves. I love GARLIC, so I went for it!



  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 basil leaves
  • Pinch sea salt


Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until creamy smooth. Use as a salad dressing or a dip.

Mango Basil Frummus (Fruit Hummus)

A traditional middle eastern appetizer, this fun and fruity take on hummus will transport your right to a tropical paradise.

Feel free to dip fruit, veggies or crackers in it. It’s good on everything, even fingers!



  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup cubed mango
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 3 large basil leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • juice of one lime

Place all ingredients into a food processor cup fitted with the s-blade. Puree until smooth, scraping down sides in between. Serve chilled. As seen in the July/August 2013 issue of Women’s Health

Cheesy Chipotle Kale Chips

Here’s another delicious version of my favorite snack! These are so addicting. I can eat a whole head of kale in one sitting!

Look at all this delicious kale that my amazing Tower Garden produced. Love aeroponics and how quickly my greens grow!



  • 1 head kale, stems stripped
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons raw almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 teaspooon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder



Hearty Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup has always been a favorite of mine. It’s hearty enough for a meal with an awesome side salad. My Dad used to make a mean Minestrone, but he would put meatballs and regular pasta in it. I’ve left out both, and used gluten free pasta shells by Tinkyada as well as an untraditional addition of a garnet yam (you all know I love to cook with yams.) I also used 2 kinds of beans, so you’ll get the protein punch you need and you won’t even miss the meat.



  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ circles
  • 1 medium garnet yam, peeled and diced small
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 1-15-ounce can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1-15 ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1-15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked gluten free Tinkyada Shells

In a large soup pot, over medium heat, saute the onions, celery & garlic in olive oil until soft. Add carrots and garnet yams and stir to combine. Add dried herbs & chili flakes, if using, stirring into veggies. Cook for about 5 minutes to release the flavor of the herbs, stirring occasionally. Add broth, kidney beans, chick peas & tomatoes. Turn heat to high, cover and bring to  boil. Once boiling, turn to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat. Add fresh basil, sea salt, pepper & pasta. Serve in soup bowls with an side salad or some delicious gluten free bread.

Banana Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are all the rage these days. A lot of you may remember them from the old-school Ch-ch-ch-chia pet commercials, but now they are making their way into many kitchens across the country not as plant heads & pets, but as a high-nutrient ingredient that is keeping people healthy & providing energy. They are the highest source of Omega 3’s on the planet and they also contain protein, fiber and so many other great nutrients. They help to lower cholesterol and have heart-healthy antioxidants. I love to bake with them as they can be used as an egg substitute in a lot of recipes, they have the same binding properties. You can also throw them in smoothies for a little extra nutrient kick!

This recipe is simple to make and has only 6 ingredients and all you need is a high-powered blender, such as a Vita Mix or Blend-tec. You won’t miss the dairy in this awesome recipe, and you don’t need to use tofu either, as most vegan puddings do these days.



  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1-1/2 c. almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. pitted dates
  • 2 tbs chia seeds soaked in 4 tbs water for 10 minutes until gelatinous
  • 3 tbs raw cashew butter

Place all ingredients in high power blender and blend until thick and creamy. Pour into bowls and refrigerate to firm up for 2 hours. Serve with fresh berries.

Here are some of my favorite resources for Chia Seeds

Mila by LifeMax – 3 varities of the best chia seeds you can find in the world all blended together!

Nutiva Brand – different organic varieties of Chia

Healthy Holiday Recipes Galore!

Yes, it’s that time of year when all the yummy, fattening food starts to appear before our eyes and tempts us into indulging! But, here’s the good news, you can indulge on good, healthy food that is tasty and you won’t even miss your usual holiday fatty fare that will put you in food coma. And the best part is, you won’t gain those dreaded holiday pounds!

Here are some awesome recipes I think you will really enjoy this holiday season. Why not challenge your family to a plant-based holiday and spend time whipping up healthy dishes in the kitchen together!

**Instead of gooey yams with butter, brown sugar and marshmallows, try out this healthy and delightful version that will dance on your tastebuds…

Mashed Miso Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (I like garnet yams in this recipe)
  • 1-2 tablespoon sweet white miso paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Wash sweet potatoes and poke holes in them using a fork. Place on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Cook until tender, about 45 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. The potatoes are done when you can easily poke through the center. Remove from oven and split lengthwise to cool

When cooled, but still warm, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash well with a masher or fork.

**Not many people like Brussels sprouts but this is one of my fave holiday side dishes and it’s simple to make! I guarantee it will turn you into a sprout convert!

Lemony Roasted Brussel Sprouts

  • 3 pounds Brussel sprouts
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash Brussels sprouts well and then cut off stems and cut into quarters. Place in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and shallot pour over sprouts and mix well so that all sprouts are covered with marinade. Pour into glass baking dish and cover with foil. Cook for 20 minutes covered and then remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until brown and tender.

**Cranberry Sauce is usually a favorite at holiday time, but most people are familiar with the cylinder shaped gelatinous blob that is loaded with sugar. Try this modernized take on Cranberry sauce. It’s loaded with good for you goji berries and some other delightful surprises!

Tangy Cranberry-Goji Chutney (makes 3-1/2 cups)

  • 12 oz. frozen cranberries (1 bag)
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 cup apple cider (juice) or fresh OJ
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch allspice
  • Pinch cardamom
  • Pinch cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • zest of orange
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Combine cranberries, goji berries, apricots & shallots in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cider or OJ and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the goji berries are soft and plump, and the cranberries pop. Stir in maple syrup, spices and salt. Cook 5 minutes longer. Adjust seasonings if needed, remove from heat and stir in orange zest and nuts. Cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

**Gravy is another must at Thanksgiving, but it’s usually high in fat and made with white flour and turkey drippings. If you want a healthier version this year, try this delectable and earthy mushroom gravy as inspired by Ann Gentry owner of Real Food Daily

Mushroom Gravy

  • 3 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped wild mushrooms (Portobello, shitake, oyster)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (so delicious brand is best)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup low sodium tamari or braggs aminos
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspooon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together nutritional yeast flakes and rice flour. Set aside

Heat olive oil in a large sauepan over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the sage, thyme and tarragon and stir to release flavors of herbs. Whisk in

Whisk in the flour mixture thoroughly to combine and then whisk in veggie broth and tamari or braggs. Bring to a simmer while stirring frequently until gravy is thick and creamy.

Serve immediately

**Cheesecake is a fave among many so I had to come up with an alternative to the normal fatty, sugary one we are used to. I think you will love this. Make a fresh berry sauce to put over top!

Raw Vegan “Cheese”cake

  • 2 cups macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup dried coconut
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • dash sea salt
  • 3 cups cashews, soaked for 4 hours
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked for 2 hours
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make crust:

In food processor, pulse macadamia nuts, maple syrup and coconut together until sticky. Press into a 9-inch spring form pan.

To make filling:

In high-powered blender blend cashews, coconut oil, lime juice, maple syrup, water, vanilla bean (or extract) & dates until smooth. Pour into crust and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm. Slice while frozen and defrost for 1 hour before serving. Serve with berry sauce or fresh berries.


Quinoa & Strawberry Salad w/ Citrus Dressing

This salad is light, nutritious and easy to make. Quinoa is a perfect protein on its own and when paired with all the other delightful ingredients in this salad, there’s even more nutritional punch to every bite. It’s a great summer salad to take to a bbq or picnic. If berries are out of season, feel free to use apples or pears.


  • 1 c. quinoa, rinsed, cooked & cooled
  • 1 c. strawberries, quartered
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 c. jicama, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 c. red bell pepper, diced small
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs freshly chopped mint

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over top and stir to combine.


  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 3 tbs lime juice
  • juice of one orange
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar

Mix dressing ingredients together in a blender or shaker bottle.

Karma Chow’s Recipes in Tony Horton’s book, “Bring It”! Yumalicious!

Kids, I know that most of you are aware that I wrote the recipes in P90X creator, Tony Horton’s book, Bring It, but not all of you own the book, so I wanted to share some of these delectable delights with you here on Karma Chow! Of course, this shouldn’t deter you from buying this awesome book, as Tony put together a revolutionary plan for all levels of exercisers, even non-exercisers that are thinking of starting. It even includes a simplified version of my 30-day Vital Life Cleanse, which has helped hundreds of people change their eating habits into a healthy lifestyle and build a new awareness around What they are eating, When they are eating and Why they are eating!

One of my favorite recipes in the book is the Brussels Sprout Saladwith Cranberries and Almonds. Most people don’t like Brussels sprouts but this recipe has converted a lot of those ‘haters’ into lovers of these nutrient packed, cruciferous orbs. This recipe was inspired by a salad that I love and eat often at LaGrande Orange in Santa Monica, which is now known as M Street Kitchen. I’ve gotten pretty close to replicating it, without the cheese of course! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do



  • 1 lb. Brussels Sprouts, end cut off and thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1/2 c. almonds, smoked or roasted
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries, preferably apple-juice sweetened
  • Lemon Vinaigrette (see below)
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Cracked Pepper

Blanch Brussels sprouts in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, place in a large bowl and add almonds and cranberries. Toss with vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. This salad will be better the next day when the flavors marry in the refrigerator over night! Great to bring to a party or bbq and share with your friends!



  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs agave nectar
  • 1 shallot, minced finely

Puree all ingredients together in a blender or shake in a shaker bottle. Save remaining dressing to use for other salads.