Spicy Cucumber-Kohlrabi Gazpacho (gluten-free and vegan)

Cucumber-Kohlrabi Gazpacho

You know those times when you think you’re eating something really healthy and then you realize there’s all kinds of hidden food bombs lurking within? Gazpacho might just be one of those great deceivers. It is for me!

Every time I eat a light, delicious gazpacho I forget that most of the time they contain stale bread as a thickening agent. The horror! Now, I’m not gluten-free – in fact I make my own sourdough bread every other week and eat the darn stuff daily – but I don’t like feeling duped by my soup.

In light of this sense of gastronomic justice, I experimented with using Kohlrabi – German for “cabbage turnip” – as a thickening agent…and it worked!

Kohlrabi is not a root vegetable but in fact a member of the brassica family – along with brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. It grows above ground and is loaded with minerals like copper, potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium, as well as vitamins, such as vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin K. It’s flavor  is – in my opinion – unremarkable. So, dress it up in cucumber and spice and let’s call it a day!

Move Well DC - Cucumber Kohlrabi Gazpacho

Spicy Cucumber Kohlrabi Gazpacho

{Makes 4 servings.}


  • 1 bulb of kohlrabi
  • 2 large organic cucumbers
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 1 Tbs champagne vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes (plus the zest of 1)
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup basil (for garnish)



  1. PREP: Trim, peel and roughly chop the kohlrabi and cucumbers. Set aside a half a cup of the cucumbers and chop that portion into small cubes. Seed and halve the serrano. Set aside one half and slice thinly for garnish later. Peel the garlic. Cut the basil into small ribbons and set aside for garnish later.
  2. ASSEMBLE: Place all ingredients except the slivered almonds and cucumber, serrano and basil you have set asside for garnish in a high-speed blender. Purée until smooth (note: if you have an older blender you may need to strain the gazpacho with a skimmer or mesh bag to eliminate inconsistencies in texture).
  3. SET: Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to overnight!) before serve to allow the flavors to meld (note: it will get spicier with time).
  4. SERVE: Place 2 Tbs of cubed cucumber in each bowl and ladle gazpacho on top. Garnish with 2 Tbs of basil ribbons, 2 Tbs of slivered almonds and serrano slices to taste. Drizzle a little extra olive oil and dust with freshly ground black pepper for even more taste impact.


Homemade Peanut Butter (sugar-free)!

When it snows and your noon class gets canceled, what else do you do besides cook? Okay well maybe that’s just me, but snow day = kitchen marathon. I’ve already made these pancakes:



And of course added my own twist with cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut, banana rounds and chia seeds.


Now, it’s time to tackle my first ever batch of homemade peanut butter….



So many of the brands you’ll find in stores contain sugar and if you haven’t heard, sugar overload is killing us. I’ve wanted to make my own peanut butter for a while, but it wasn’t until a recent trip to Houston, TX that I picked up some fresh, raw peanuts from Frobergs Farm that I finally got the motivation.


Turns out, it’s super easy if you have a food processor! Give it a try. Warning: you might never go back to the store bought stuff.



Homemade Peanut Butter (Sugar-Free)

Makes 1 pint (or 1 wide mouth, 16 oz mason jar)


For the Peanut Butter –

  • 1lb roasted peanuts, shelled
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (or slightly more to taste)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 Tbs coconut oil, melted

For roasting the peanuts –

  • 1lb raw peanuts, shelled
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place peanuts in a large bowl and toss with the melted coconut oil and salt until well coated.
  3. Place on 1 non-stick or lined sheet pan, making sure to spread them out into a single layer. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking.
  4. Remove the peanuts from the oven and let them cool before eating/using for Peanut Butter. They will continue to become crunchy as they cool.
  5. To make peanut butter, remove the skin by rubbing the peanuts together in your hands held over a salad spinner, allowing the peanuts and skins to fall into the bowl. Once the skin has been loosened from all of the peanuts close the salad spinner and spin until all of the skin has been separated from the peanuts. (This step is optional – an idea taken from Alton Brown. I skipped it and had a few skins in the mix that didn’t just naturally fall off in roasting and it still turned out well!).
  6. In a food processor, combine roasted peanuts, melted coconut oil and sea salt to taste. Pulse until smooth or slightly crunchy – we all have our  preference!

Note: you can store this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.


Something for Sundays: Nourishing Miso Breakfast Soup

Miso Breakfast Soup - Move Well DC

One of my all-time favorite detox recipes is this Nourishing Miso Breakfast Soup. Okay, okay, so it’s not exactly a big batch recipe – though you could totally prep all ingredients except the eggs, broth and miso in advance of your work week – but it is easy like Sunday mornings are supposed to be. In under 30 minutes (20 once you get it down), you’ll have a warm, healthy and savory breakfast that will change the way you thing about this meal. If you simply can’t get behind the soup for breakfast thing, this also makes a super quick and convenient weeknight dinner. Go on, get outside your box and try something a little different!

Something for Sundays - Move Well DC - Nourishing Miso Breakfast Soup

Something for Sundays: Roasted Fennel & Butternut Squash

Amy Rizzotto Butternut Squash Move Well DC

Big batch recipes are where it’s at! Save yourself time, money, and brain space by making a sheet pan full of roasted vegetables, 4-5 servings of a healthy whole grain, and a pot full of beans or lentils at the start of each week to make workweek meals easy peasy. You can think of the recipe below like a formula – swap the veggies out for others you like (brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) and change up your spices (cumin, red pepper flakes, curry, etc). Just be sure to keep an eye as you roast different combinations as some vegetables might not need as long to cook. Look for golden brown bits around the edges and avoid letting your vegetables get black and burnt – no carcinogens please!

Something for Sundays - Move Well DC - Butternut Squash and Fennel

Something for Sundays: Papaya Coconut Granola

Work weeks are hectic and weekends are no longer for rest – at least that’s the way I’m feeling these days. In an effort to fit it all in we have less and less time for essentials like sleep, feeding ourselves and down time. What would happen if we all set aside just a few hours, once a weekend, to stay in, read a book, make some food and just plain relax?

Big batch recipes are a great use of our limited down time – good bang for your (time) buck! With that in mind, I’m launching a new series on my blog “Something for Sundays” to provide big batch recipe ideas that will help you maximize your relaxation time. You may have to hang around the house – dare I suggest, read a book, watch a movie, or listen to a podcast – but you won’t have to be too hands on with these recipes. First up…

Move Well DC Papaya Coconut Granola Recipe


Foods to Fight Cancer

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched deeply and irreversibly by cancer. The disease – in all its many forms – is not kind, patient, or forgiving. It is surprising, frightening, and debilitating – yet so many of those diagnosed are the strongest, fiercest, bravest and most compassionate among us. Whether you have been directly or indirectly effected by some form of cancer, you can help protect and heal your body through food. Below is a quick list of what to eat and cook with and what to avoid when it comes to prevention and holistic treatment.


  • Ginger root
  • Turmeric root
  • Curry
  • Green tea
  • White tea
  • Spinach, kale, swiss chard, beet greens and collard greens (and all dark, leafy greens)
  • Salmon/fish in general
  • Lean meat – unprocessed chicken, turkey and pork (not the fatty cuts though like bacon or belly)
  • Brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet and teff (or any whole, gluten-free grain)
  • Organic veggies (and if this is crushing your bank account just buy the ones on the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list organic and the rest conventional)
  • Fruit in limited quantities (no more that 3 servings per day, follow the Dirty Dozen list as well, stick to low glycemic fruits like barely ripe bananas, berries, and tart apples)
  • 2% plain yogurt
  • Folate, calcium and vitamin D supplements (but talk to your doctor about this first)



  • Processed foods
  • Red meat and processed meat (like most sausages/hot dogs)
  • Desserts
  • Added sugar of any kind (I’m going to lump maple syrup, honey and agave in here)
  • Fried foods
  • Refined grains (like white bread)
  • Alcohol – it’s basically sugar


When cooking to fight and fend off cancer, keep your recipes simple. Try seasoning with warming spices (cumin, turmeric, curry, cayenne, chili, cardamom, coriander, red pepper flakes), citrus (fresh lemon or lime), olive oil, and salt and pepper. Strip away the the excess and eat whole, healthy, real foods. We should all eat this way as often as possible, cancer or not.

Monday Mocktails for Dry January

Well friends, I know many of us are going to feel the need to drink to get through this weekend. Whether you’re committed to dry January or just need to dry out this week in preparation for inaugural imbibing, I’ve got a few mocktails to keep booze-free beverages interesting.

I recently went on ABC7 Good Morning Washington to show DC what mocktails are all about. There are some serious health benefits to cutting out alcohol. Whether it’s a temporary or intermittent choice, or a permanent commitment, eliminating alcohol from your diet will improve your sleep, lessen stress and anxiety levels (it’s a depressant y’all!), and decrease your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer. For those of you with New Years weight loss goals, steering clear of the bottle(s) will also do amazing things for your waistline.

If you’ve never tried going dry, give it a try – you’ll be amazed at how good your body and brain will feel!

Check out my mocktail recipes below:


To see the recipes in their full size visit Good Morning Washington’s website.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Scones with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Whole Wheat Sourdough Scones with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

I am a superfan of Paisley Fig‘s scones at Room 11 (soon to have its own storefront in Mt. Pleasant DC as well). I’ve sampled scones far and wide but no pastry elsewhere holds a candle to these shaggy pillows of flour and butter. While I am no Paisley Fig, I do love baking bread and recently got back into the rhythm with a sourdough starter from Cultures for Health. After lovingly feeding and growing my starter for a week and building it up for use over the course of another few days, I now have a robust living culture for all my sour baking dreams. Rejoice!

I baked my first loaf last week only to realize I needed to knead it more. Edible, but not ideal. This week, I attempted their gluten-free sourdough oat and buckwheat scones – only I made it not gluten-free, probiotic and savory 🙂 Check out my adaptation below – they are delicious!


Whole Wheat Sourdough Scones with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Whole Wheat Sourdough Scones with Goat Cheese and Rosemary


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 6 Tbs cold butter
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup plain kefir (low-fat or whole milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs rosemary leaves, minced


  1. In a large bowl, combine oats and flour. Cut in cold butter, cubed, until flour texture becomes crumbly (note: you can use two forks, a dough blender, or pinch the butter into the flour with your fingertips). Pour in sourdough starter and kefir and mix with your hand or cutting utensils until the dough begins to come together. Knead a few times in the bowl to ensure that everything is well-mixed.
  2. Cover with a dry cloth and let sour 8 to 12 hours at room temperature (ideally 68-85°F).
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425°F.
  4. In a small bowl, beat eggs. In a separate small bowl combine baking soda, salt, and baking powder with a fork until well combined.
  5. Add the eggs and dry mixture to the soured dough and mix together, using a utensil or your hands – I like to use my hands personally. Fold in the goat cheese and rosemary until  the ingredients come together well and the goodies look evenly distributed.
  6. Line a baking sheet. Use your hands or a large soup spoon to make shaggy triangles of dough on the prepared baking sheet. Leave at least 1 inch of space between scones. I did one baking sheet with 12 scones from this recipe, but you could definitely make them smaller and do two batches.
  7. Once pan is full, transfer scones to preheated oven and bake 14-16 minutes or until set on top and golden brown on the bottom. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving or transferring to cooling rack.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken

We live in a busy world and my clients are always listing time, convenience, and budget as their biggest constraints on healthy eating. When cooking is the last thing you want to think about, the amazing slow-cooker is your best friend. First introduced to the world in 1950 and mass-marketed in the 1970s, this piece of kitchen equipment has stood the test of time and is a staple in many a household. In most cases, you truly can dump ingredients in the large ceramic vessel, cover, and forget about it for the day – coming home to a homemade meal, house that smells divine, and still have time to spend with your family and friends.


This pulled chicken recipe is so easy. The only prep you have to do is mince the garlic and adobo pepper and thinly slice the scallions. If you’re feeling extra lazy, buy minced garlic in a jar. Serve it with a couple corn tortillas, cabbage slaw with a vinegar base, fresh avocado slices, and cilantro leaves for a healthy and easy dinner perfect for staying in or entertaining a crowd (chicken thighs keep the cost down!).

Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas



  • 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced using green and white parts
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste



  1. Add the chicken, wine, scallions, garlic, chipotles, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and salt to the basin of a large slow cooker.  Mix with a large wooden spoon to coat chicken in sauce and spices.
  2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours until the chicken is tender and shreds easily with two forks.
  3. Serve immediately with tortillas or atop brown rice and greens in a bowl.
  4. You can refrigerate this recipe in an air-tight for up to 5 days, or freeze it in an air-tight container for up to 3 months (be sure to label it!).