Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe

Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe

This Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe was inspired by my love of potatoes. While there is only a little potato in it, that certain creamy potato flavor is there. The combination of potatoes, leeks, and garlic are more than the sum of their parts – they were made to sing together. Lately, I’ve been on the sub cauliflower for white potatoes in everything train, and I did stir some cauliflower into one bowl of this soup and that was delicious. In this vein (of mashed potatoes) you might top a bowl with a little grass-fed organic plain yogurt. This recipe also has a boost of plant protein with a can of white beans in there. All in all, a nutrient-dense and delicious soup, perfect for a cool spring day.

In my humble opinion, potatoes have gotten a bad rap in the healthy food world. They are rich in fiber and vitamin C, and particularly when you can find smaller colorful purple, red or gold fingerlings – all very worth the space in your garden – filled with disease-busting antioxidants.

Garlicky Leek Soup

In honor of my love for potatoes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6


  • Soup pot
  • Immersion blender or Regular blender


  • 1 large spanish onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots cleaned and chopped
  • 4-5 stalks celery chopped
  • 6 large cloves garlic peeled, center stem removed, chopped
  • 1 medium organic potato skin on, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups clean water
  • 3 large leeks sliced and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp thyme dry
  • 1 15-oz can cannelloni beans (Eden brands is a good choice)
  • 1 small bunch parsley chopped
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper or to taste


  • Place onion, carrots, celery garlic and potato in a heavy soup pot, with olive oil, and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are soft. Add leeks and thyme and stir.  Once you smell the leeks and thyme begin to cook (couple minutes), add water and beans.
  • Turn to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes.
  • If you have an immersion blender, lucky you - blend the soup. If not, use a blender (to minimize accidents, let the soup cool before you blend it). Alternatively, leave it unblended. Add parsley, black pepper and just a smidgeon of salt.
  • Other additions if you so choose:1/2 head cauliflower, chopped. Plain organic grass-fed yogurt.

Potato heads unite!
2014-02-02 07.09.28 2


I hope you enjoy my Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe.  For more delicious recipes, visit my Easy Healthy Recipes page.

Breakfast Salad Recipe

Breakfast Salad Recipe

This summer I was breakfast salad crazy – in the garden, knee-deep in some wonderful greens, and the vegetable bowl craze just pointed to making more breakfast salads. Yum.

Now that the weather is just beginning to cool, my breakfast salads are warm. The garden is filled with tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and other delectables. Now, my breakfast salads are one-pan wonders morphing into veggie bowls. All good!

To put together a breakfast salad, pull together whatever you have in the fridge, notice the veggies that are in season (even better, at their peak) now, and think about the flavors you’re pulling together. I choose greens, a vegetable or two, flavorful protein-rich compatibles like nut butter, nuts or seeds, whole grains or soft-boiled eggs.

Salad dressings can boost nutrition – making your own from whole ingredients is worth it! Topping your breakfast salad with a bit of mayo, smooshed avocado, or good olive oil and vinegar works great too.

For more delicious recipes, visit my Easy Healthy Recipes page.

Asparagus, Sweet Potatoes & Soft Boiled Egg Breakfast Salad

Quick, fresh and satisfying.
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Cost $2.00


  • 1/2 cup spinach or other greens I used baby organic
  • 5 stalks asparagus, sliced Use any vegetable you have on hand.
  • 1/2 sweet potato, cooked, sliced I often cook-off 3 or 4 sweet potatoes on a Sunday to use through the week.
  • 2 eggs, soft boil To soft boil an egg, place them in a small pan in cold water, then turn to high and bring to boil. Turn heat off - when the water is cool enough to peel the eggs (about 15 minutes) the eggs will be soft-boiled.
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise, good quality organic or it's actually easy to make your own
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh dill, diced


  • Toss sweet potatoes, greens, and asparagus in a medium breakfast bowl. Top with 2 soft-boiled eggs, sliced in half. Top with mayo and mustard.
  • Toss all together, top with dill and enjoy.


There are so many combinations of breakfast salads.
Here are a few combos to try: 
Spinach - walnut - egg - turkey bacon - poppyseed dressing 
Cabbage - cashews - carrots - egg - Asian peanut dressing 
Red or green lettuce - grilled BBQ chicken leftovers - red peppers - balsamic vinaigrette
Tomatoes - basil - pine nuts - olives - tofu - olive oil 

pint breakfast salad

Herbal Water Recipe

Herbal Water Recipe

I finally got a glass pitcher with a cylinder in the top so that I can easily make herbal waters – cold water sun infusions. These are really the perfect alternative to soda or even to sparkling water in plastic containers.

Why Drink Herbal Water?

With herbal waters, you take a pass on the sugar and whatever else is in packaged drinks you purchase. But you also get a smidgen of phytonutrient and bioenergetic support (that certain je ne sais quoi – a delight of unknown origin) from herbs and other botanicals. Herbs do contain some of the most potent of nature’s medicines, and the flavors and fragrances you experience are those potent antioxidants that provide health-enhancing benefits like calming inflammation and helping to make your internal environment resilient.

How to Make Herbal Water

The recipe is so straight forward – it’s really more of a reminder.

Herbal Water Recipe

Herbal water passes on the sugar and expense of soda and soothes your senses with some of the most potent of nature's medicines - phytonutrients.
Course Drinks
Cuisine Plant Medicine
Keyword Herbal Water, Recipes, Plant Medicine
Prep Time 15 minutes
Steeping time 6 hours
Servings 4
Author Annie
Cost $2.00


  • Pitcher


  • 1 quart water clean, filtered
  • 1 /2 cup herbs & flavorings any edible fresh herb, root, flower or spice


  • Fill a one-quart glass pitcher with water.
  • Place herbs and flavorings in something that will allow their suspension in the water - a clean small cloth bag, for example - I have a pitcher made just for sun-tea, with a plastic cylinder attached to the lid. A tea-ball would do the trick. There are an array of options available commercially.
  • Place pitcher containing herbs on a sunny windowsill or a sunny spot free from critters.
  • Leave for at least an hour, preferably several hours.
  • Remove herbs/flavorers, and enjoy as is or over ice. Keeps refrigerated for about a week.


This is one of those non-recipe recipes - perhaps it's more a technique. But, having a quart of herbal water around is a wonderful direct and simple way to connect with what is blooming or at it's peak in my yard. Simple refreshing plant medicine. 

Here are a few of my favorite herbal water combos I’ve tried over several summers:

  • Fresh ginger and English mint – refreshing and delicious
  • Lavender and blueberries – sweet and soothing
  • Cilantro – like a light green drink – tastes cleansing
  • Watermelon and lime – sweet and tangy and what is it about watermelon that just makes me happy?

What’s Your Favorite Herbal Water Combo?

If the idea of botanical cooking appeals, check out Kami McBride’s book, Herbal Kitchen. It’s an inspiration, a classic and uses botanicals in a variety of creative ways, from herbal waters to soups to cordials and even bathing and beauty non-products. Check her out!

Check my other plant medicine and plant-centric recipes.

herbal water

Prediabetes Symptoms – Here’s How it Feels

Prediabetes Symptoms – Here’s How it Feels

The last couple years have been tough. Through my challenging time, I had a personal experience of how prediabetes symptoms feel – I don’t recommend it. For me, it was the wake-up call I needed to refocus on lifestyle.

One indicator of how life is going generally is my eating – for years I had it together, surfing life’s ups and downs while my relationship with food was stable and happy. It helped that I work at a yoga center famous for its healthful food, and that I’ve studied nutrition for almost 30 years (still fascinated!). Being an “expert” actually heightens the misery – I’m sure many of you know of what I speak.

Over the past two years, when I realized several of those big life fears (I watched the love of my life die, quick and gruesome…then…he came back to life! wait, wha?), the place that slipped was eating (of course!). In my despair, movement-related self-care was also just too hard to keep up. I moved a little but not enough – and I just could not find the joy I always felt with dance, movement and fitness.

Through this time, my A1c crept up. While I know in great detail how to address it (hello, moderating carbohydrates and moving more) it hasn’t been easy. My progress until now has been rather slow. One thing that I’ve experienced (I think) is how someone feels when their blood sugar is on what I call the blood sugar roller-coaster, giving you prediabetes symptoms.  It is a profound feeling and impacted nearly every moment of my day, and has a set of unhelpful thoughts attached.

Prediabetes Symptoms

While many people with prediabetes do not have symptoms, here are a few that can happen.

Fatigue. First, you’re tired. Really tired and unmotivated. It’s hard to comprehend a reason to get up and out of bed, and why-botherism is right there, pretty much all the time. There are moments of light, but mostly grey. Tired and unmotivated.

Unwellness. Then, you feel sort of crummy. Most of the time. Low energy and achy deep inside for no real reason.

Increase Thirst & Urination. I’ve always been a water drinker and didn’t notice this one, but some folks do.

Weird things begin to happen physically – blurred vision, skin things, digestive things, that have never happened before and don’t help with moving forward.

Cravings. For me, eating my favorite comfort/trigger foods (starch for me – mashed potatoes) became a heightened experience. I got trapped in a familiar cycle of emotional eating – stress, think of mash potatoes – eat mashed potatoes, overeat mashed potatoes – wish I hadn’t eaten mashed potatoes as I feel over-full.

What to Do if You Have Prediabetes Symptoms

Get ye to your doctor. Have labs drawn. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes, and 90% of those that don’t know it.

Know that it’s action time.

Gather helpers. My counselor/therapist – weekly through the worst of it, gave me someone to get into the muck with – to go deep deep into my fears and feel them, honor them. I could never have moved on or begun to release my fears around losing my dude without her.

Find yourself a good dietitian. Every town has at least one excellent dietitian – that’s is the right fit for your personality and pocketbook. More dietitians take health insurance, and more dietitians also offer premium services like custom fitness routines, custom meal plans, and seriously regular meetings.

What is Prediabetes Anyway?

Prediabetes is when you begin to have problems with your blood sugar but you are not quite to the place of having a diagnosis of diabetes. It is action time, my friend.

Specifically, by the numbers, prediabetes is when:

  • A1c (a measure of blood sugar over several months) between 5.7 -6.4%
  • A fasting blood glucose of between 100-124 mg/dL

There are other indicators, like an oral glucose tolerance test, blood lipid levels that can also point to your risk of having prediabetes.

Here is a quiz on risk factors from the American Diabetes Association.

Why do I say it is action time? Because you can change it.

prediabetes symptoms

Update – My Story

At times, progress seemed a game of inches – sort of exasperating. It does, as you might imagine, heighten the excitement to also be an expert in the field. That’s where self-compassion comes in.  Then, as I tried to show up for my own life, and my family’s life, over and over day after day, it began to slowly shift. I had a great leap forward – normal labs! Now, I’m feeling better, eating better. My mindset is better and I’m heading in the right direction. I just show up, over and over, and participate in my own life (I wasn’t for a while). Recovery is one step forward, one step back. Sometimes it’s two steps forward, one step back and I do my best to notice and celebrate that.

Everyone, when it comes to health and well-being, has both unique challenges and resources. I am not recovering without support and friends. I have support from the medical community – I live in the great state of MA – a place that attempts to provide care for all – and that care for me (and my husband) has been nothing less than life-saving. I have access to mental health and physical health care.

Take Your Next Step

As part of my healing and hopefully helping, I am now in private practice – both telehealth and face-to-face in Great Barrington, MA. Find out more about my personal lifestyle coaching.

Tell Me

What’s your story? What are the challenges and resources you have to heal your life? I want to know!

Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry Recipe

Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry Recipe

If you live in New England, this has been a chilly – OK freezing – spring. Our minds are thinking of fresh herbs and lightening up, but our palates crave warmth. It’s an excellent time for a fresh curry. Here’s a favorite:  Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry.  You have here a one skillet meal, my friends, that takes about twenty minutes.

My beloved husband has, over the past year or so, become quite a connoisseur of quality food for less $. Do you know how sexy that is for a dietitian? Quite. I have become a student of his method of finding excellent quality food deals locally. It involves knowing when the local shopper’s guide comes out and knowing what’s on special. In last week’s supermarket circular, there was a two-for-one offer of pork tenderloins (and organic chicken breasts, by the way). Who knew?

Pork tenderloin is a lean and healthful meat, particularly when raised as nature intended – on a small farm with love and a varied diet. Here’s what I did with half of a pork tenderloin. This Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry recipe is easy to modify.  You may of course eliminate the pork and sub tofu or beans for a vegan curry. Chicken and shrimp are also easy substitutes.

Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry

Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry

Pork tenderloin is a lean and healthful meat, particularly when raised as nature intended – on a small farm with love and a varied diet
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Keyword cauliflower, Curry, Pork Tenderloin


  • Large Skillet


  • 1/2 lb Pork Tenderloin sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 cup asparagus snapped into bite-sized pieces
  • 12 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Thai or regular basil


  • Coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat with sesame oil, add pork pieces and sear, turning, for about 4 minutes.
  • Turn head down to medium. Add cauliflower and saute for 4 minutes.
  • Add asparagus, coconut milk (give the can a good shake before you open it)
  • Stir in curry paste and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Slice into one of the pork pieces to make sure it is cooked through – no pink on the inside. When pork is cooked through, the cauliflower is soft, and asparagus is bright and al-dente (still has some firmness), top with basil and serve as is or over brown rice or another grain.


Check out all my easy healthy recipes.

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pork curry recipe


Hungarian-inspired Mushroom Soup Recipe

Hungarian-inspired Mushroom Soup Recipe

I never met a mushroom I didn’t like, and I’ve had the pleasure of quite a few.
If you ever get the chance, take a mushroom walk with the Boston Mycological Club(or your local club). They are a perfect collection of culinary, botany and sensation-seeking enthusiasts. When I went, we found baskets-full of colorful beauties, then using field guides and spore patterns (the definitive method to differentiate friend or foe from a safe-to-eat perspective), we identified, divided up and took home our bounties for happy times of all sorts.

Gathering mushrooms from the wild is getting evermore popular, but I don’t do it because even though I’ve had some experience with my mycological friends, every year even expert mushroom collectors eat the wrong fungi and that’s it – they can kill you. There are such a phenomenal range of cultivated mushrooms now available, I suggest sticking with and enjoying that.

I love the mushrooms, dill, and sour cream that frames Hungarian mushroom soup. If you can find a good local organic grass-fed sour cream, then by all means, use that (grass-fed dairy has a more favorable lipid profile as well as being easier on the earth relative to its mass-market cousins). If you are dairy-free, you can substitute a bit of soy milk plus an extra squeeze of lemon to approximate the tang you’ll miss from yogurt or sour cream.

Here I’ve aimed to boost the nutrient density by loading up on herbs – both dill and parsley, as well as other vegetables, and lightened it up with yogurt rather than sour cream. I found that when I used this quantity of herbs, I needed to blend the finished product – herbs are so delicate that when they are cooked like this in a soup, they need to be blended or finely finely chopped or their texture just isn’t what you want it to be.


1 – 16 oz package organic mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 large carrots
1/2 yellow onion, sliced & cubed
1/2 medium yellow turnip, peeled and sliced
2 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock
about 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
about 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp organic grass-fed yogurt or sour cream


In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Slice carrots and clean and slice mushrooms, and slice turnip, discarding any waxy covering it may have. Add these veggies to the pot and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add stock and simmer 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, chop herbs. Add herbs and yogurt or sour cream. If necessary, cool and run through a blender for a smooth and creamy texture.