Category Archives: vegetables

Sweet Vegetables


Almost everyone craves sweets. Rather than depending on processed sugar to satisfy cravings, add naturally sweet foods to your daily diet to satisfy your sweet tooth.


                                                            Sweet Vegetables Semi-sweet vegetables Other Vegetables
Examples corn, carrots, onions, beets, winter squashes, sweet potatoes and yams turnips, parsnips and rutabagas red radishes, daikon, green cabbage and burdock
Flavor sweet when cooked subtly sweet don’t taste sweet, but have a similar effect on the body in that they maintain blood sugar levels, reduce sweet cravings and break down animal foods in the body

Red beet

Sweet vegetables soothe the internal organs of the body and energize the mind. And because many of these vegetables are root vegetables, they are energetically grounding, which helps to balance out the spaciness people often feel after eating other kinds of sweet foods. Adding in sweet vegetables helps to crowd out less healthy foods in the diet.

A simple way to cook these vegetables is to follow the recipe below that we call Sweet Sensation. It has few ingredients and preparation time is minimal.

sweet corn

Sweet Sensation Recipe

  • Use one, two, three, four or five of the sweet vegetables mentioned above.
  • Chop the hardest ones, like carrots and beets, into smaller pieces.
  • Softer vegetables, like onions and cabbage, can be cut into larger chunks.
  • Use a medium-sized pot and add enough water to barely cover the vegetables. You may want to check the water level while cooking and add more water if needed. Remember, vegetables on the bottom will get cooked more than the ones on the top. Cook until desired softness. The softer the vegetables get, the sweeter they become.
  • You may also add any of the following ingredients: spices, salt, seaweed. You can add a can of beans for extra protein.
  • When the vegetable cooked to your satisfaction, empty the ingredients into a large bowl, flavor as desired and eat. The leftover cooking water makes a delicious, sweet sauce, and is a healing, soothing tonic to drink by itself.

Other cooking methods include steaming, roasting, stir-frying. They can also be simmered and pureed to create a soup, or you can simply eat them raw, grated in a salad. Be creative!

rutabaga n turnip


Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Food Focus: Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are on everyone’s mind this season. (Ok, maybe not everyone… as some do not enjoy the delicacy of a delicious sweet potato melting in your mouth…)  But they seem to go hand in hand with the family gatherings, and fortunately, eating these and other sweet vegetables needn’t be limited to this time of year. As soon as it frosts, then it is time to dig sweet potatoes! Store them in a cool, dark place and eat them roasted, steamed, or baked like a white potato. They are even good grilled! 😀

Cravings for sweets can be greatly reduced by adding sweet vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, beets, squash, turnips and rutabagas to your daily diet. Sweet potatoes elevate blood sugar gently rather than with the jolt delivered by simple refined carbohydrates, so there’s no energy crash after you eat them. This makes them an ideal vegetable or side dish for diabetics! :)  Much higher in nutrients than white potatoes and especially rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes offer a creamy consistency that is satisfying and soothing.

They are healing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and help to remove toxins from the body. They can increase the quantity of milk in lactating women and can lessen cramps and premenstrual symptoms. If you don’t have any sweet potatoes in your kitchen, go out and buy some (organic and local if possible) and make the recipe below. (I am trying not to drool… because anything with lime and cilantro is bound to taste yummy! :) )

Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro

This recipe is an eye-opener for those who find sweet potatoes sweet or those who are tired of eating them smothered in marshmallows and brown sugar (NOT healthy!!) . Japanese sweet potatoes, with their pale flesh and delicate flavor, are a treat if you can find them.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


4 sweet potatoes

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

2-3 limes

butter or olive oil, salt (optional)


  1. Wash the sweet potatoes and bake them whole, in their skins, at 375 degrees until tender, about 40 minutes.
  2. Wash and chop cilantro leaves.
  3. When sweet potatoes are done, slit open the skin and place on serving plate. Season with salt and dots of butter or a sprinkle of oil, if you like, then squeeze fresh lime juice all over, and shower with cilantro leaves.

Anything is better with cilantro, right? 😀

Enjoy! ~Coach Shannon


  1. Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  2. Mannafold Blessings In Health

Italian Dressing

By: Shannon Beeghley, LPN, NS, CHHC

1 & 1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 TBSP honey

2 tsp. dry mustard (can use prepared mustard too)

1 1/2 tsp. minced onion

1 tsp dried dill weed

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp paprika

Mix dressing together in a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Makes approximately 1 3/4 cups.  Drizzle on lettuce salad, cooked quinoa or rice, or on a pasta salad.

Italian Chicken

Shannon's Italian Chicken
Shannon’s Italian Chicken

Put approximately 5-10 pieces of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (or can use other pieces) in a 9×13 (or other baking dish)  and drizzle the Italian dressing over it. Chicken does not need to be submerged in the dressing. Bake uncovered for one hour at 300 degrees.  Serve hot. Leftovers make a really good cold chicken sandwich or a good chicken salad mixed with mayo, cheese, pickles etc.

Note: I just made this for a group of 40 people. I had 30 large and small pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large foil roaster pan. I made a double recipe of the Italian Dressing and drizzled it over all. It was baked, uncovered, at 350-375 degrees for 2 1/2  hours and was very tender and moist. (I did move the chicken around in the pan a couple times while it was baking since the chicken was overlapping.)

If you have leftover broth, drain it off and bring to a boil in a pan. Add rice or quinoa and cook till the grain is tender.  This is good in any side dish with vegetables!

Shannon’s Fresh Salsa

Fresh Salsa
Fresh Salsa

By: Shannon Beeghley, LPN, NS, CHHC

4 medium ripe tomatoes, diced (or you can use 2 (16oz) cans of diced tomatoes, drained)

1 pint black beans, rinsed & drained (or one (16 oz) store bought can)

1 cup of fresh cut sweet corn (or use 1 (16oz) can of cut sweet corn, drained)

1 small onion, chopped

Fresh cilantro to taste, chopped as fine as you desire

1 cup zucchini, chopped

1 cup  yellow squash, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 medium cucumber, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic salt (or garlic powder)

2 teaspoons dried dill weed

4 Tablespoons lemon juice

4 Tablespoons lime juice

4 Tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother)

Any other variety of beans added are optional (kidney, garbanzo, great northern, etc)

Mix all together. Let it sit and marinate in the refrigerator a couple hours to blend the flavors. If you like spicy heat, add your own amount of chopped jalepenos. Serve with tortilla chips, as an addition to your lettuce salad, on tacos or burritos, or on a “straw hat” meal. The possibilities are endless! 😀

Green Food Focus

Why is it that in the summer we naturally crave more fresh and raw foods? These foods have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness and high water, fiber and vitamin content work together to act as our internal air conditioning during these warm months. At this time of year we also need less dense, high-energy food because we get so much energy from being outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

God Almighty

One benefit of eating so many good greens, is the light-energy you feel after chewing it well. The chlorophyll is what makes it green, but that also cleanses your blood system and gives you a boost of energy like never before! So many friends are drinking green smoothies now… is it just an “in” thing? Nope. :) It is a way to boost your energy, clean up your red blood cells and added side effects are fighting against cancer, inflammation and free radicals that cause our bodies to break down. Another word for this is antioxidant! :) Now who is with me? Sounds better all the time! 😀 Many people have fought against cancer by increasing the greens in their diets as well as drinking liquid chlorophyll. Anything that is highly alkaline will help eradicate cancer faster than the average medication. Why? Because cancer can only thrive in an acidic environment. Eating alkaline foods will help balance your pH levels and force the cancer to retreat! I will write more on this subject at a later time!


There is no better season than summer to have fun creating your own fresh, tasty, creative salad combinations. By simply tossing together several of your favorite raw veggies, with or without a light dressing, you have a perfect meal for a hot summer’s day.

  • Try your favorite leafy lettuce with various sliced, diced or grated veggies. The possible combinations are endless.
  • Fresh herbs are a wonderful option to mix in, as they are packed full of flavor.
  • Experiment with adding diverse forms of protein to your salads, such as nuts, seeds, beans, fish or poultry.
  • Pick up a light and healthy dressing at your local health food store, or mix up something easy, like lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil. Or try some of these yummy vinegar’s straight from California and drizzle your salads! I personally know this chef and his right hand assistant! This summer I got a personal tour of the winery where they make them, taste test some and brought back some bottles for my kitchen. Highly recommended! 😀


This is a great opportunity to try a new vegetable from your market. What are some creative flavors you’ve never tried before? Fennel and mint? Daikon radish and arugula? Summer squash with watercress? I am very creative with my salads and usually eat my vegetables, proteins, and fruits all together! I like to cut up raw bok choy or zucchini with some finely chopped cilantro for added zing to any salad. Whatever you choose, have fun with your food and stay cool. Happy summer!

~Coach Shannon :)

Bok Choy Apple Slaw

Prep time: 7 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


6 stalks bok choy (about 1/2 head), thinly sliced

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 granny smith apple, sliced

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds


1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons honey or brown rice syrup

salt and black pepper to taste



  1. First make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and whisking well.
  2. Chop all the salad ingredients, leaving the apples until last. Mix in a salad bowl.
  3. Toss salad with half the dressing. Add additional dressing if desired.
  4. Eat immediately, or chill for up to one hour and then add the apples just before eating.

Eat all

Aduki Squash Stew

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Yields: 4 people

1 pound winter squash (kabocha, butternut)
1 1/2 cups aduki beans, soaked
3 inches seaweed (kombu or wakame)
5 cups of water
Sea salt

1. Peel and cube squash into 2-inch squares (can leave skin on if edible).
2. Place washed beans and seaweed into pot. Add water and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Uncover and add squash cubes. Cover and simmer for 30 more minutes.
4. Uncover, add sea salt and stir until water evaporates.

• Try with roots like carrot, parsnip and turnip. These roots don’t need more than twenty minutes to cook with beans.

Guacamole with Jicama Sticks

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
Yields: 4 people

2 avocados
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 small tomato, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (use seeds if you like it hot)
1/4 bunch cilantro, minced
Juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large jicama


  • Carefully cut open each avocado, remove the seed and scoop out the meat into a mixing bowl.
  • Add onion, tomato, pepper, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime juice.
  • Mix with a fork until you reach the desired texture for you guacamole.
  • Peel the jicama and slice into sticks.
  • Dip one into the guacamole to taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Enjoy!
  • Note: Jicama (HEE-kah-ma) is an edible root that resembles a turnip. It has thin brown skin and crisp, juicy, white flesh that is mild in flavor. It is also known as Mexican yam or Mexican turnip.

    Ants on a Log

    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 0 minutes
    Yields: 1 person

    2 tablespoons almond butter or other natural nut butter
    2 stalks celery
    A small handful of dried blueberries, cherries or raisins

    Wash celery.
    1. Spread nut butter inside each stalk.
    2. Dot with blueberries or “ants”.

    Here’s a simple, healthy snack for kids that adults like too.

    Pumpkin Seed Dressing

    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 0 minutes
    Yields: 4 people

    1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
    3 tablespoons scallions
    2 teaspoons umeboshi paste
    1/2 cup water
    1. Place all ingredients in a blender and purée until creamy.

    • Serve over steamed vegetables, salad, or noodles.

    Avocado Dip

    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 0 minutes
    Yields: 4 people

    1 large peeled and stoned avocado
    2/3 cup plain goat-milk yogurt or soy yogurt
    1 tomato, diced
    Dash or two of cayenne pepper Sea salt
    Fresh black pepper

    1. Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth.
    2. Add yogurt, tomato and cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, blender or with a fork.
    3. Add sea salt and fresh black pepper.
    4. Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.

    • Best made 1 hour maximum before serving