Arugula Tomato Salsa Fresca (15 min quick sauce)

In Southern Italy, we make many sauces fresh by just throwing tomatoes in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and herbs, then letting them sauté, then mixing that over pasta. No need to let anything stew for a long time, and they are fresh, easy, tasty, and everything you’d want in a sauce. Try this recipe and feel free to improvise by adding more vegetables or the ratio of ingredients.

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Strawberry Basil Guacamole (5 minutes)

If you’re a guacamole lover, like most of us, then you’ll find this combination to be a bit different than what you’re used to in guacamole. But, it is so good, so creamy, sweet, and goes great with everything you use savory guacamole for. Since strawberries and avocados are both fruits, and they go with pretty much anything, I figured this would be a good mix. And it was…better than good…amazing! The basil and lemon add a tangy edge, and spread this on toast, dip chips in it, vegetables, or fruit, and it will be the highlight of all the flavors. This recipe is a must try, it’s simple, and you may just eat the whole batch, it’s that addictive.

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Basil Cream Alfredo (5 ingredients)

This quick and delicious basil cream Alfredo will soften any dish. My favorite is to have it over pasta or dolloped on pizza like a soft cheese, but it can also be enjoyed over any grain or vegetable dish. It’s garlicky, creamy, smooth, spicy, and everything you’d expect in a cream sauce/spread, minus the high fat. A few scoops of this over some macaroni, and you’ll have energy for hours. Nothing beats that basil edge either. Add the optional oregano leaves and tomato for a meal huge on plant based power and flavor.

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Moist Carrot Cake with Caramel Glaze

This carrot cake is almost fudgey- that’s how moist it is. You could make it gluten free, or not (I used gluten free flour) and it will hold well. The coconut flour really helps it retain that wetness. Once slice of this cake is so absolutely filling that you will be satisfied at that, making it a great breakfast cake. The caramel glaze is truly one of my sweetest and most indulgent creations, and I couldn’t help eating it by the spoonful. This cake is healthy, sweet, soft, thick, *fudgey*, and has a great balance of rich flavors from the carrots, cinnamon, and coconut sugar.

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Maple Tahini Dressing

Eating healthy salads, raw foods, and bowls are so much better when you have the right dressings. Stack anything you like; quinoa, brown rice, farro, spinach, arugula, green beans, mushrooms, avocado, artichokes, cucumbers, tomatoes, grated beets and carrots, radish, broccoli, etc. All you need to do is have a dressing that will complement all the wonderful raw and cooked foods, and this maple tahini dressing is a tangy, creamy, slightly sweet, rich, and smooth topping that goes a long way. Use it as a dip, too. Any way you use it, you will love it, as it is also my favorite dressing that I always have on hand.

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Lavender Chocolate Breakfast Cake

I call this lavender chocolate cake a breakfast cake for a few reasons; it’s not very sweet, it’s not very oily, and it’s extremely light. The chocolate flavor is subtle and the lavender is refreshing. A slice of this goes perfect with a coffee or espresso, and a few minutes to relax and savor every bite. If you don’t have culinary lavender, then you can use almond or vanilla flavoring, but I do recommend getting some lavender at some point if you like to make baked goods. This cake is healthy and you can top it with anything you like, although I really prefer berries or sliced bananas.

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