Vegetable Soup

I absolutely love using Wailani's scrubs for the great topical applications, such as reducing the appearance of stretch marks or calming inflamed and sore muscles from a tough workout, but secretly one of the things I love is that it reminds me to include the healthy ingredients in my family's meal plan.  The fact that it makes my shower smell like Hawai'i doesn't hurt either.  As the wife of a soccer coach, mother of three, and native of Hawai'i we've used ginger in our house both topically and in our food to help with inflammation and nausea and just because it tastes ono (good). 

I'm using it everything from the scrambled eggs to smoothies and juices.  In our Good Fish Friday recipe, we shared links to just about every other recipe we've shared with ginger, just in case you can't get enough of it.  With our spring special body scrub coming out this week, Hunny Ginger, I thought I'd share a yummy soup recipe that includes ginger and turmeric, both known for their amazing anti-inflammatory properties. 

As you might recall, our Golden Pineapple Body Scrub's beautiful coloring is derived from organic turmeric and so I'm excited now to round-out the anti-inflammatory regime with a scrub that includes ginger essential oil. 

Don't be scared of the long list of ingredients.  The recipe is simple to prep and pull together.  This recipe can feed a crowd, so if you know any expectant mommies out there, a container of soup and a Hunny Ginger Body Scrub make a great Mother's Day gift.  Check out our specials just in time for summer!

Vegetable Soup

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

20 baby carrots cut into 1/2 pieces

4 celery hearts cut into 1/2 pieces

3 leeks, white and green parts only, cleaned and cut into 1/2 pieces

1/4 cup coconut oil

64 oz. vegetable stock

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp ground turmeric

28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice

2 medium zucchini cut into 1/2 in pieces

1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tbsp dried parsley

1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese and rind


1) In a large stockpot, heat 1/4 cup coconut oil over medium heat.  Add cut potatoes, carrots, celery, and leeks.  Stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes.

2) Add vegetable stock, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, onion powder, ground ginger, ground turmeric, and canned tomatoes with juice.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

3) Add zucchini, beans, minced garlic, parsley, and grated parmesan cheese and rind.  Reduce heat to low and cook for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to combine.

4) When you're ready to serve, either mash the whole tomatoes with a potato masher, blend with an immersion blender, or transfer tomatoes and some vegetables to a blender and blend to smooth then return to the soup mixture.

5) Serve sprinkled with additional grated parmesan cheese alongside a salad or a piece of crusty bread.

Fancy Fake-Out

Just because I have three kids aged four and under doesn't mean I don't have time to think about just means I usually don't have time.  I love this edible salad bowl that I've been making for years because even if you don't have time, you can make this in less time than it will take you to read this blog.  Seriously fast makes this a fancy fake-out and it even got an 18-month-old to eat some salad- a winner for dinner parties or just making the weekly meal something new and enticing.

Edible Salad Bowl 

Shredded parmesan, romano, and asiago cheeses

Coconut oil

Note: I've used just parmesan cheese before, so whatever you have on hand is fine.  Just make sure it's shredded and not grated.  You can also use olive oil instead of coconut oil, but you know me, whatever excuse I have to add coconut oil to my family's diet, I do.

1) Heat ~ 1/2 tsp coconut oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.

2) Once the oil is melted and spread over the pan, sprinkle the shredded cheese in an even layer to coat the pan.

3) The cheese will start to melt and bubble and you will start to see the edges turn brown. 

4) Once all edges are turning brown, remove the pan from heat and place a small bowl in the middle of the pan.

5) Cover the bowl with the top of a plate that is larger than your frying pan and flip over, setting the bowl and cheese on the plate to dry.  (Be careful when flipping.  If you used too much oil, it may drip down, which is why it's important that your plate is larger than your frying pan)

6) Let the edible cheese bowl dry on your bowl for a few minutes and then remove the cheese bowl.  Looks a little like coral in the ocean, doesn't it?

7) Fill with your favorite salad.  Holds up well to salad dressing, but it's best if you plan to serve the salad right away.  Unlike the below picture, you probably don't need extra cheese on the salad.  My kids just love cheese.

~Have fun and live healthy!

Edamame Hummus

When I was pregnant, I loved snacking on hummus with raw vegetables, as chickpeas are a good plant-based protein.  My favorite was red pepper hummus and it was one of the only kinds my husband would eat.  Years later, it took a road trip and some fun times with friends to be introduced to Edamame Hummus.  Of course, when we fell in love with it, there was only one problem...I couldn't find it anywhere in my hometown.  So, I decided to make my own...which of course means I'm sticking one of my favorite ingredients for heart health in there- Coconut Oil.


Before I get to the recipe, let me tell you a little more about what I love about some of the ingredients and why I loved that my kids gobbled it up.  Both chickpeas and soybeans (edamame) are in this recipe, which means a great source of both protein and iron.  Iron deficiency can definitely be a risk for many women late in pregnancy.  What's important to remember is that your body can better absorb iron with the aid of Vitamin C. The Vitamin C alone in soybeans isn't enough, so I've added Lemon Juice in the recipe and recommend pairing the hummus with a great source of Vitamin C, like raw bell peppers.  I've also got ginger in there, which is a great anti-inflammatory for athletes with pain and inflammation or anyone with arthritis or gout.

~Have fun and live healthy!


Edamame Hummus

3 cups cooked Edamame in shells

1  16-oz. can Chickpeas, drained

1 clove Garlic

1/2 tsp Wasabi

3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

3 Tbsp Lemon juice

1 Tbsp ground Ginger

1/2 tsp ground Cumin

1/4 tsp ground Coriander

1 tsp dried Parsley

1/4 tsp Sesame oil

1/2 C Water

  1. De-shell the cooked edamame and place in a blender along with the other ingredients (except water). 
  2. You can loosely chop the garlic clove for better distribution. 
  3. Use the coconut oil in it's solid form in the blender (since you'll be refrigerating any leftovers). 
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water and blend on medium.  Continue to add up to the full 1/2 cup of water for desired consistency. 
  5. Serve with your favorite hummus side, such as bell peppers and other raw vegetables or pita bread.


Protein Party

You think I'd invited the soccer team over for my recipe this week, because it's protein packed and can feed an entire team. In addition to the protein that's so great for athletes, this recipe would also be good to share with friends that have a new baby or friends that could just use a little support and love of a nice meal from a good friend.

Let me tell you about what I love about some of these ingredients in my quinoa salad with chicken before I get into the recipe. 

  1. Quinoa: It's a complete protein that provides you with all 9 amino acids and it's gluten free.  So why the chicken then? Well I'll be honest.  I usually share recipes that everyone in my family loves to eat.  No matter how I've prepared it, my kids just don't like the texture of quinoa.  I'm not going to stop trying, but I'm also going to make sure they're getting their protein.
  2. Black beans: My kids loved the black beans in the salad and I love it because they're high in iron, along with folic acid and protein.  Get why this recipe is protein packed?!
  3. Bell pepper and lime juice: Love the Vitamin C I get to boost my family with during cold and flu season.
  4. Ginger: Excellent anti-inflammatory. I was just introduced to using it in my scrambled eggs and now I more bravely trying to add it to as many recipes as possible.
  5. Coconut oil: You knew I wasn't going to leave this one out.  It's heart healthy, improving cholesterol ratios, and can improve metabolism.  

In case this isn't enticing enough, the added benefit is that you can make enough to feed a party in 30 minutes (as long as you have the black beans cooked ahead of time or you're using canned beans). Healthy meal to make a crowd happy in half an hour, yes please!  Hope you share the LOVE this Valentine's Day!


Quinoa Salad with Chicken



1 chicken breast per person

Salt and pepper

Quinoa Salad:

1 box quinoa

2 cups of cooked black beans or 1  14 oz. can drained and rinsed

1/2 cup frozen corn, cooked and cooled

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 tbsp lime juice


6 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 tbsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp Hawaiian or Alaea salt

2 1/2 tbsp dried cilantro

1 tbsp honey

3/4 cup coconut oil, brought to liquid form


  1. Prep your salad items that need dicing, cook frozen corn kernels, and reheat pre-cooked black beans.
  2. To cook quinoa, use a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, pound each chicken breast  to 1/4-1/2 inch for fast cooking.  Season with salt and pepper and grill until cooked.
  4. Combine all ingredients in the dressing together in a blender, except for the coconut oil.  Once blended smooth, slowly add the coconut oil to combine.
  5. Once quinoa is cooked, place in a large serving bowl, add 1 tbsp lime juice and mix.  Then add all other salad ingredients and mix until there's an even distribution.  Once combined add the dressing slowly, mixing in between to make sure all parts are covered and absorbed.
  6. Top with chicken or serve on the side. 

Ahi Tuna

My food philosophy is that I love cooking healthy foods that my family LIKES to eat...which is easier said than done with 3 kids aged 4 and under.  I'm very happy that all three kids will eat fish, because it's a protein that is low in fat and cooking is so fast.  In particular, I like ahi tuna, a fish high in Vitamin B, because I can do so many things with the leftovers.  I make extra and use it the next day either as the protein in a salad or on a sandwich. 


Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to give a few hints on replacement options, in case you don't have one or more of the ingredients in the recipe:

  1. I included Hawaiian salt, the same I use in my Kalua Pig.  I could get it in the local grocery store when I lived in Rhode Island, but I buy it online now.  An alternative would be Alaea salt which is the base of one of my favorite seasonings for my Secret Ingredient Steak and with over 80 minerals and elements it's one of the star ingredients in Wailani's Salty Hibiscus Body Scrub.  Alaea salt is also similar to the more readily available Pink Himalayan Salt. 
  2. I was lucky enough to have a meyer lemon on hand, which is actually native to China and so I used it in the recipe that I'm sharing on Chinese New Year.  But clearly, you can use regular lemon zest or dried lemon pepper. 
  3. I used an applewood rub, but Yakima applewood smoked sea salt is another option.  Black pepper instead of white.
  4. You could also add sesame seeds (regular or blacked), but my kids just don't like that added texture.

I think you get the idea, substitute as needed to fit what you have on hand or use more frequently from your pantry.

Enjoy and continued wishes for a prosperous and healthy year or in Chinese: Kung Hei Fat Choi!


Ahi Tuna

Coconut oil

Meyer Lemon zest

Granulated garlic

Hawaiian salt

Ground white pepper

Applewood rub

Ginger powder

Fresh Ahi Tuna Steaks

Melt coconut oil and rub on both sides of the fish.  Sprinkle equal amounts of all other ingredients to cover both sides and rub in. Let marinate for 10 minutes.  You can't put them back in the fridge for marination because the coconut oil will re-solidify.  Bring the grill to high heat and cook 4-6 minutes per side depending on the thickness and desired wellness.

Veganish Quinoa Chili

One reason I don't believe in diet fads, is as soon as the diet is over, the results usually are too. I believe to live healthy, you need to find a way to eat that is going to last you a lifetime.  So, for me, there are a couple of foods that mean I'm never going to be vegan or vegetarian for that matter.  I love cheese!  And, there are some meat recipes I can't live without.  I'm sure you remember me sharing my Kalua Pig recipe on Brandi Barnett's blog, which by the way was supposed to be about salads.  When talking with Brandi's husband, Garrett, I let slip another reason I would never go meatless - I love my chili recipe.  He must've said to himself, Challenge Accepted, because no sooner than the words were out of my mouth was he telling me he had a vegan chili recipe that promised I wouldn't be missing the meat.  


Before I share the recipe that I call Veganish Quinoa Chili, because to me every Chili has to be served over rice and have some cheese and a dab of sour cream, I wanted to share a little more about Garrett.  He is an insurance agent by day for his family's business, Celeste Looney Insurance, serving Tahlequah for over 66 years. I can personally vouch for his honestly and integrity, a rarity in the insurance industry for certain, in case you want to contact Celeste Looney Insurance for any of your needs.

By night, weekend, and any other vacation time he can squeeze in, he's an avid biker.  I love his straight-forward expression of love for the sport, almost to the point that I would conquer my fear of a bike (I've run into a fire hydrant people), and his viewpoint on food. 


He's some of his thoughts before I get to the yummy stuff:

"Competitive cycling began for me about 12 years ago. I had been into mountain biking but loved the sense of adventure you could find on a road bike. Within several hours you could be somewhere you had never seen or been before. With cycling you are rewarded by the level of effort you put into it. With so many sports your level of success is dictated by talent or sets of skills with which you are born. Not so in cycling. Inherent ability plays a small role in cycling but it really has more to do with the level of effort you put in. Almost without exception a rider who dedicated 15 hrs. a week to riding will surpass a rider who put in 5. My favorite thing about riding would have to be the sense of improvement and investing in myself. To see improvement beyond what I thought possible.

I have been on rides from coast to coast and many places in between but I would have to say that one of my favorite organized rides include a tour of the ski resorts of New Mexico; however, it is hard to beat a destination ride from home with your buddies. To get up and ride to Kansas or Texas with a return trip the next day is just a lot of fun. You get to ride through towns you may have never been and you can stop and eat whenever you are hungry.

In America I think diet and nutrition is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied aspect of life, let alone sport. I have tried many strategies and most don't work. I have eaten vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo and just about every other strategy in between. I think it is most important to eat as close to nature as possible. Eat meats that are as close to their origin as possible and organic non-gmo fruits and vegetables. If you don't know an ingredient on a food label, don't eat it. Do not eat processed foods such as sugar, flour, corn meal or oil from things you would not normally eat (i.e. eat olive oil, coconut oil, etc not cottonseed oil, etc.)."

See, now you want to not only try the recipe but maybe go for a bike ride too.  Favorite thing about the recipe is the Coconut Oil. Disclaimer, I'm going to give the instructions the way that I made the recipe (you can chop vegetables as you go through the steps).  But he said even easier is to just throw everything in the pot and cook for 2 hours. 


Veganish Quinoa Chili

~2 hours total cooking time

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, diced small

1 med. eggplant, diced small

4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

6 Tablespoons chili powder

6 Tablespoons ground cumin

1/2 Teaspoon black pepper

28-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

1 1/2 Cups Lentils, rinsed and picked through

1 1/2 Cups Quinoa, rinsed

1 Tablespoon salt

52 ounces of vegetable stock (more water if needed)

3 med. zucchini, diced small

Salt and black pepper

1) In a large stock pot, heat Coconut Oil over high heat.  Add half the mushrooms and saute well. Add a pinch of salt and the other half of the mushrooms, saute well.

2) Reduce heat to medium and add eggplant and add egglant and another pinch salt.  Saute until lightly brown, not gray.

3) Add onion, saute until translucent.

4) Add garlic, chilipowder, cumin and black pepper.  Stir well and cook for approx. a minute.

5) Add tomatoes, oregano, lentils, quinoa, salt, and vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook until lentils are soft and quinoa is cooked through, adding water as necessary (approx. 6 ounces).

6) Stir in zucchini and cook 5 more minutes.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with your favorite Chili condiments.


Super yummy, and you'll feel good serving your crowd this healthy chili on game day or sharing with family, friends, and neighbors.