Holistic Saturdays: Strawberry Red Pepper Smoothie (V, GF)

Strawberry Red Pepper Smoothie

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Water

Blend until smooth.

One medium-sized red bell pepper provides 169% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C, making it one of the richest dietary sources of this essential nutrient. One cup of strawberries has 149% RDA of Vitamin C.

So add more bell pepper and/or strawberries if you like. Cayenne pepper gives it a kick and opens your sinuses. This is a great smoothie to drink if you have a cold. Let me know how you liked it!

Holistic Saturdays: Blackberry Smoothie (V, GF)

Blackberry Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave (optional)
  • Water

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth.

This is super simple to the point that perhaps it shouldn’t be called a “recipe.” It’s so good though.

This is probably my favorite smoothie. Make it without the agave to see if it’s sweet enough for you. If not, add the agave one tablespoon at a time.

Blackberries do not get the love they deserve. This smoothie is a great way to enjoy them. Let me know how much you enjoyed this smoothie!

Holistic Saturdays: Mixed Berry Smoothie. (V, GF)

Mixed Berry Smoothie

  • 1.5 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 2-3 clementines, peeled
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • water
  • any leafy green (optional)

Blend until smooth.


You can always use fresh berries. Frozen berries are much cheaper, which is why I always use them in my smoothies.

Smoothies are a great place to add any leafy green. Spinach works well here because it’s a sweet green that doesn’t interfere with the taste. I didn’t add it here because frankly the original recipe makes for a prettier picture. 😊

It’s yummy. Let me know what you think.

Holistic Saturdays: Vanilla and Chocolate Milkshakes. (V, GF)

Years ago, when I was raising my kids vegetarian, my parents had come for a visit. I gave my soul food loving father this vanilla smoothie to drink. He tried it. He looked at me and said, “I see my grandchildren are not suffering.” I found that comment hilarious. He drank the entire milkshake and asked for more.

Both of these shakes are long-standing recipes in my house. You know how you sometimes make the same thing over and over again? Not for a lack of imagination, but because it’s just that good. And this is super simple too.

Vanilla Milkshake

  • Three frozen peeled bananas
  • Two cups or more unsweetened vanilla or plain non-dairy milk – I use plain almond milk
  • Two packets stevia or two tablespoons agave
  • Cinnamon powder to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, less if you use vanilla non-dairy milk

For the chocolate milkshake, just add three tablespoons of chocolate powder to the vanilla recipe. I use Hershey’s Cocoa.

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender.


Keep frozen bananas in your freezer so you’re always ready to make a milkshake. I wait for them to get ripe, full of brown spots. Then I put them in my freezer whole and unpeeled. When I make a milkshake, I run the bananas under hot water to easily remove the skin.

You can also peel and chop them. Store peeled bananas in a freezer bag.

Using frozen bananas is the difference between a banana smoothie and a vanilla milkshake.

Let me know how you like them!

Holistic Saturdays: Carrot Smoothie.

Carrot Smoothie

  • 3-4 organic carrots broken in half or cut in pieces (depends on how powerful a blender you use)
  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1-2 cups almond milk or any non-dairy milk (depends on how thick you want your smoothie)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup
  • ground cinnamon or ground pumpkin pie spice (to taste). Start with a teaspoon.
  • optional:
  • 2 cups of kale
  • small handful walnuts

Add all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth!

I’ve been drinking this in the morning before breakfast. It makes a great coffee replacement. Carrots have a lot of natural sugar in them. I notice a boost in energy whenever I drink this.

All of the ingredients are to taste. If you want it sweeter, add more agave or another banana. If you want to make this smoothie more of a meal replacement, add the walnuts which adds good fat and extra calories.

Once I made the smoothie with water instead of milk. Yuck! Milk is definitely the way to go. I love this smoothie (I love all the smoothies I’ll share on my blog!). It’s an easy way to get vegetables in you. Also the kale (or any leafy green) is not noticeable. Try a couple pieces of kale instead of two cups if you are hesitant. I promise you won’t taste the “bitter greeniness” of kale.

A high-powered blender like a VitaMix or Ninja or Blendtec are preferred for all smoothies, especially for blending a tough vegetable like carrots. Use what you have in your kitchen now. Add more milk until the smoothie is no longer chunky (hence why it’s called a smoothie and not a “chunkie!”) Enjoy!

Vegan Deli Bowls with Smashed Chickpea Salad (V, GF)

Gena Hamshaw’s original recipe with video here at FOOD52.

Adapted from her book Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals.

Gena’s website: The Full Helping.

If you like macaroni salad, egg salad, potato salad, then you’ll love this chickpea salad. It’s a Gena Hamshaw recipe from her cookbook Power Plates. I eat this every day for lunch. It’s that good. And it’s super simple to make. Below is my adapted version of the recipe.


  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, or 2 (15-ounce, or 425g) cans, drained and rinsed
  • stalks celery, finely chopped
  • scallions, green parts only, chopped
  • large dill pickle, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon capers + a splash of caper juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (I use Veganaise), plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Add everything into one large bowl. Mix well. That’s all I do!

Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors marinate.

I eat it with tomatoes, avocado, and cucumbers. Sometimes I add pita bread, rice, or baby red potatoes. Add any green vegetable and you’ve got a yummy, simple lunch. Enjoy! I love it!

Up next: a review of Shia LaBeouf’s autobiographical film “Honey Boy” (2019).