health 4 life cooking

Dilly Ranch Salad Dressing

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 cup water

3 T apple cider vinegar

3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 t onion powder

1/2 t garlic powder

1/2 t mustard powder

1/2 t sea salt

4 T chopped fresh dill

 

Blend all but dill until smooth. Add more water to thin if desired. Stir in fresh dill. Keep refrigerated.

This will thicken in the refrigerator and will become spreadable like mayonnaise. Thin with water, more lemon or vinegar if needed.

To increase the nutritional value of the sunflower seeds, soak them in water for eight hours and then sprout for a day. When blending with remaining ingredients, start with 1/2 cup water and add more if needed.

 

Raw Strawberry Pie

Ounce for ounce, strawberries have more vitamin C than citrus fruit. They are one of the “dirty dozen” so if you want to limit your pesticide exposure, only buy organic strawberries. This recipe is from my cookbook Whole Food Goodness.

25 pitted deglet dates

1/2 cup water

6 cups sliced strawberries

Soak dates in water to soften for blending. Blend 1 cup of straw-berries, dates and water until smooth. Pour this sauce over remaining strawberries. Pour over Raw Nut Crust. Let set for 1/2 hour.

Raw Nut Crust (for one pie)

1 cup almonds or other nuts and seeds

15 soft pitted dates

1 tsp vanilla

Chop finely in food processor until it starts to stick together. Press into a pie plate or 8×8 cake pan.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Vine-ripe tomatoes and fresh basil are key to making this salad amazing. It’s one of my husbands favorite summer meals. This recipe has been revised from my original recipe for “Lentil Salad” in my cookbook Whole Food Goodness.

1 cup lentils rinsed

2 1/4 cups water

2 cloves garlic minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cucumber cut in small pieces

2-3 medium tomatoes coarsely chopped

4 oz. chopped spinach

1/2 cup black olives, drained, rinsed and chopped

1/2 cup thinly slice red onion

1 cup fresh chopped basil

3 T balsamic vinegar

Fresh ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Bring water to boil. Add lentils, lower heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, until tender. Add more water if needed. Transfer to salad bowl to cool.  When cool, add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Sour Cream Frosting

This frosting goes perfect with Vegan Carrot Cake but could be folded into a fruit salad. Leave the lemon out for a delicious “whip cream” for Vegan Pumpkin Pie.

1 cup light colored sweet potato (not orange “yam”)

15 small pitted dates soaked in ¾ cup water

1/4 cup raw cashews

Juice from 1 lemon (add zest if you like more lemon flavor)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Use just enough water to make it a thick cream. You will need more water is using pecans.

Cauliflower Soup w/ Rice

This is creamy, comforting, and so satisfying! This recipe has saved me on my year-long elimination diet.

1 yellow sweet potato yielding 1 cup cooked

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, chopped

Florets from one medium head cauliflower

1 1/2 t marjoram

Salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper

Cooked brown rice or other grain*

 

Bake sweet potato in 350-degree oven until soft, about 2 hours. Higher temp is shorter time is needed.

Sauté onion in dry soup pot over medium-high heat until it starts to brown. Add garlic and sauté one more minute.

Add about 4 cups water and loosen browning off bottom of pan. Add celery, carrots, then lay cauliflower florets over the top so they can easily be scooped out. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender.

Scoop out cooked cauliflower and place in a blender jar and blend until smooth. Add cooked sweet potato and blend. Stir in blender contents into soup pot along with marjoram and mix well. Heat for 5 minutes. Mix in cooked brown rice or other grain.  Salt and pepper to taste.

*I love a combination of cooked quinoa and cook buckwheat. Boil 2 cups water, add 1 cup quinoa and ½ cup buckwheat. Lower heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 – 15 minutes.

Sesame Parmesan

1 cup sesame seeds

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Toast seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Process all ingredients in a coffee grinder or  blender until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

This recipe is from a great little cookbook entitled “Of These Ye May Freely Eat” by JoAnn Rachor. See her YouTube channel here for some great cooking videos.

Eggplant Roll-Ups

Even meat-eaters will devour these comforting Eggplant Roll-Ups. Using thinly sliced eggplant instead of noodles is a great way to get this nutrient-dense vegetable into your diet.

2 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper chopped

2 cups chopped mushrooms

4 cloves garlic minced

2 tsp Italian style seasoning

3 Tbsp Sesame Parmesan seasoning

2 Tbsp nutrition yeast flakes

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

14 oz firm tofu pressed and crumbled

10 ounces baby spinach

1/2 cup chopped olives

1 large jar of oil free pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on cooking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a second baking sheet or aluminum foil. Bake about 20 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 5 – 10 minutes to brown and become flexible enough to easily roll.*

While eggplant is cooking, sauté bell pepper, onion, garlic and mushrooms until tender. Add seasonings, tofu and spinach. Mix well and cover until spinach is wilted. Add 1/2 cup pasta sauce and salt to taste. Mix well. Lightly cover bottom of pan with pasta sauce. Place 1/4 cup of the vegetable filling on each eggplant slice, roll and place in a baking dish. Top with pasta sauce and olives. Bake 20 minutes.

*Baked eggplant slices are delicious with hummus spread on them and rolled up. See my Whole Food Hummus recipe found here.

Vegan French Onion Dip

French Onion Dip w/ Veggies

This vegan French onion dip goes perfectly with crackers or vegetables! Made with cashews, sunflower seeds and white beans as your base, this dip is a healthy, high-fiber super-star that is simple and delicious! This recipe is in my cookbook Whole Food American Favorites.

1/2 cup each: raw sunflower seeds and

       cashews soaked in 1 cup water for 1 hour

1 cup cooked navy beans (or great northern)

1 t garlic granules

2 T onion granules

3 T lemon juice

3 T apple cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 green onions, sliced (use some of the green)

3 small pitted dates

Fresh dill or other fresh herb of choice

Chives for garnish

Sea salt

Puree all ingredients in a strong blender until smooth.  Add in fresh dill or other fresh herbs, green onions, or chives. Salt to taste. Great with fresh-cut vegetables.

Better Than Meat Loaf

This recipe is from my cookbook Whole Food American Favorites. 

1/2 cup dry green lentils

1 onion, chopped

1 cup chopped mushrooms, cremini or white button

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 T dried oregano

1/2 t pepper

2 cups cooked kidney beans

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, raw

1 cup Blender BBQ Sauce (Page 98 in Whole Food American Favorites)

Boil 1 1/4 cups water. Add lentils, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until tender. Add more water if needed. Sauté onion, mushrooms, garlic, carrot, and celery until tender. Add herbs and pepper. Cook 3 – 4 minutes. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Add cooked lentils, kidney beans, oats, nuts, and BBQ sauce. Using a pastry cutter, mash all ingredients together until they become sticky. Don’t mash too much. You want to leave a little texture. Transfer to a loaf pan. Top with more BBQ sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Gingerbread Man Cookies

A strong blender such as a Vita Mix or BlendTec, or a strong food processor such as a Kitchen Aid or Cuisinart, is necessary for this recipe.

25 small pitted dates

2 1/4 cups white wheat flour, sifted

2 t baking powder

1/4 t sea salt

1 1/2 t powdered ginger

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t cloves

1/3 cup molasses

1 cup raw cashews

1 t vanilla

Soak dates in 1/2 cup water for at least 4 hours. Mix sifted flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Blend dates and water with remaining ingredients in a strong blender or food processor until smooth. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for several hours until chilled. (This step makes rolling out much easier.) Divide dough in half and roll one half between two pieces of parchment paper.  Roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a gingerbread man cookie cutter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Cookbooks by April

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Whole Food Goodness

“Thank you April for your cookbook. We have been using your recipes for about 10 weeks now and I’ve lost 25 pounds. We’ve not been perfect but darn near. Best of all, I’m feeling healthier and I don’t feel deprived.” Rob - Pocatello, Idaho
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Whole Food American Favorites

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“I’ve been using the recipes in your cookbooks. I love the Spicy pumpkin soup and your mustard potatoes…. yum! I cook up a batch of the potatoes and freeze them to use for meals for my brother. Usually potatoes get mushy in the freezer but these seem to be OK. I tried the Peppermint Patty’s and really liked them too! Thanks!”  K. Page, St. George, Utah
"Your recipes are making it much easier for us to keep on the diet." Yvonne, St. George
“I just love your cookbooks! I’ve been gradually working towards a plant based diet since about 2012 and have used a few really good cookbooks – the happy herbivore books, the China Study Books, Engine 2 etc — which all gave me a great foundation for this approach. Your cookbooks have offered new ways of seeing some of the recipes . I’ve made a few of the deserts, some of the loafs, and breakfasts. Great use of herbs and spices, and I like the fact that the ingredients are very simple to use. ” Thanks again, Sue

Whole Food Goodness and Whole Food American Favorites contain a collection of my favorite high nutrient whole food plant based recipes. My recipes are unique in that they contain no extracted oils, minimal processed sugars, and limited processed grains. I use an abundance of leafy green vegetables, which are the healthiest foods on the planet and have the greatest power to cleanse, detoxify, and repair damaged cells and bring you greater health for life.

Along with the recipes, you will find quotes from some of my favorite nutrition experts and documented research studies that will tell you why it's important to eat a plant based diet. Knowledge is power and it is my hope and prayer that these books will help you gain the strength and determination to make the changes necessary that will bring you excellent health throughout your entire life!

You can purchase a copy of Whole Food Goodness at these locations:

Downtown Yoga
50 E Tabernacle
St. George, Utah 84770
http://downtownyogasg.com/

Sunshine Nutrition
111 W. 535 S, Cedar City, Utah

Harvest Moon Health Foods
1241 North Main, Layton, UT 84041
(801)-719-6028