Happy Thanksgiving! Recipes & things from me to you

In the spirit of gratitude, I wanted to thank all of my readers with a Top 10 List of my favorite MOARfit recipes:

  1. Sweet Potato Spice Smoothie
  2. Autumn Spice Granola
  3. Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread
  4. Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon, Pomegranate and Cumin Dressing
  5. Pomegranate Power Bites
  6. Pecan & Flaxseed-Crusted Oven-“Fried” Chicken
  7. Chickpea, Quinoa & Kale Taco Salad + Radicchio Wraps = Super-Bowl
  8. Warm Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing
  9. Bison-Stuff Acorn Squash
  10. Coconut Cauliflower Soup with Capers and Dill Oil

You may have also noticed that my website has changed a bit. Now that I’ve decided to take the plunge into full-time wellness work, I thought it was time MOARfit got a face-lift. You’ll still find all the recipes you love, but now you’ve also got all my articles, videosteaching schedule, and information on current and down-the-road offerings at your fingertips.

Other than my recipes (I kid), what are you most grateful for this holiday season?

I’m grateful that I get to spend today with my big sis and her cute-as-heck boys, and that we all have love in our hearts and health in our bodies. Oh, and lest I forget to mention, THE FOOD. I worked extra hard in my yoga classes (abs for days) so that I can go for seconds on my favorite fixing (stuffing).

The other thing I’m really thankful for, today and every day? You! I really can’t thank you enough for taking time to read my ramblings, try my recipes, and show your support.

30 off


As a special thanks to all of you who are helping me live the life I have imagined, you can take 30% off all full-price items in my online store–including my New Year, New You 10-Day Detox which is now on sale–from now through December 15th with promo code THANKYA30.


And finally, a universal blessing:

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where
there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
may they bring you all the blessing, challenges, truth,
and light that you need for your journey.
May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your soul-love.

~John O’Donohue, “A Friendship Blessing”

And We’re Brunching!

Week two of my stint on TLC Sunday Brunch kicks off today at 12:00pm EST. I’ll have two 2-minute segments airing between 12:00-1:00pm (likely one per half hour like last week). Rumor has it videos from last week will soon be online, so if you missed it you can catch up. Four of my MOARfit recipes are on TLC.com, as are some semi-embarrassing behind-the-scenes photos–and I’m sure there are more of those to come!

I took some of my own on-set shots to remember this cool and unique experience…


Ashley On Set

Ashley, our kind and talented Director, was all over the staging and set up. She made my food look amazing–I can’t wait to see those aerial shots!

Kid-Friendly Healthy Pizzas

The food looked just as yummy this week as last. Look at these adorable pizzas! Ereka and I got a little creative and decided to make our on air version look like a happy face with “luscious lips.” Tune in to see that work of art.

Director's View

It’s amazing how much goes into filming these short segments. We had such a fun and hard-working crew. They made the hours fly by!

Hair and Makeup.

Amy and Darryl

Darrell did an amazing job on my hair for weeks 2,3 and 4. I absolutely loved the Farrah-esque waves. Hello, Charlie!

Ereka in Hair Makeup

Ereka had Loretta, Darrell and Pascale’s expert hands helping her get shoot-ready. What’s the saying? It takes a village! Her hair, makeup and wardrobe were gorgeous for weeks 2, 3 and 4. Speaking of wardrobe…

Wardrobe Highlights.

Jazzy Leggings

For our B-roll yoga shoot, I wore the cutest Glyder Jazzy Leggings–which everyone on set was coveting–and Glyder’s comfy Sweat It Out Tank. Both fit perfectly and made me feel totally confident as I struck yoga poses for national TV.

Nina Necklace

I also rocked my gorgeous beads made by my beautiful and talented friend Nina. If you’re interested in buying one of these babies, shoot me an email.

And since I love pretty things…


Purple Bouquet

The props team was putting together STUNNING floral arrangements for another segment. I saw these and immediately started imagining my gypsy/Cirque du Soleil dream wedding.

Sunrise Boquet

I had to muster all my inner morality not to swipe one of these beauties on the way out. It was really, really hard.

Keep check back here and on TLC.com/SundayBrunch for more updates, photos and fun recipes.

Lights, Camera…TLC Sunday Brunch!

A few weeks ago, producers for a new TLC show (TLC Sunday Brunch) approached me to be their on air “Health Expert,” sharing several of my MOARfit recipes with viewers alongside the lovely and talented Ereka Vetrini. I could barely contain my excitement despite my best efforts to play it cool. I must say it was kind of a dream come true.

Way back in middle school me and one of my best friends, Jenna, used to do cooking shows for our families or whoever else would stomach our babbling and “creations.” My culinary skills weren’t exactly expert at the time, but both Jenna and I have grown up to work with food and feeding people in our own various ways. Never in a a million years did I imagine, however, that I’d be on TV telling people about my recipes and spreading the good word about how easy, affordable and fun healthy cooking can be.

My brief segments will air today, Sunday, July 27th and next Sunday, August 3rd between 12:00-1:00pm. Get your DVR ready to go! And I just might be filming a few more segments around yoga and mind/body wellness so stay tuned for more info on that!

Here are some photos from my very very cool day:

photo 5

Lights, camera, ACTION. We got to work in my dream kitchen – a HUGE island with tons of counter space and a light, airy vibe.

Amy Rizzotto_TLC Sunday Brunch_Makeup

I got the full treatment with a hair stylist, Daryl, and makeup artist – her name is escaping me but she was so gorgeous and practices yoga and meditation so she’s my kind of chick! I can’t thank them enough for making me look purdy!

P.S. I had those curlers in for nearly 4 hours and was walking around like Betty Draper in my apron and full makeup.

TLC Sunday Brunch_Makeup

I had serious makeup arsenal envy after getting dolled up. A trip to Sephora might be in my near future.

Amy Rizzotto_TLC Sunday Brunch_Headshot

The finished product! They did good, no? If only my hair could look that good every day…

TLC Sunday Brunch_Branded Apron

I even got to rock one of their cute TLC Sunday Brunch aprons. Thank goodness for stylist, Pascale’s handiwork in tweaking it to fit my petite frame!

TLC Sunday Brunch_MOARfit Strawberry Balsamic Tart

Speaking of stylists, my food even had a stylist. Actually, make that two! My Strawberry Balsamic Tart never looked so good.

TLC Sunday Brunch_Crew

A great big THANK YOU to the cast and crew who included me in this wonderful experience and made me feel so welcome and comfortable for my first TV appearance. I don’t know how they do it but they’re amazing!

Honey Ginger Carrots and Kale

Carrots and kale deliver a one-two nutritional punch packed with anti-inflammatory properties and potent antioxidants. Inflammation is at the root of much that harms and hurts us as we age, affecting everything from the skin and joints to  our cardiovascular health and risk of disease. Antioxidants are crucial internal warriors, fighting of damaging free radicals at the cellular level. Both veggies feature high concentrations of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, important for safeguarding those peepers, and Vitamin K, essential for bone health and blood clotting. Kale is also an excellent plant source of calcium, which is especially crucial for us ladies out there as we age.

This recipe makes for a great side dish to any meal. I served it alongside black rice cooked in green teach (antioxidant obsessed much?) and homemade, slow-cooker BBQ pork ribs.

Honey Ginger Carrots and Kale


What You’ll Need:

  • 4 cups kale, chopped (thicker stems removed)
  • 2 cups baby carrots, sliced thin
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

How to Make It:

  1. In a large skillet, melt oils with honey over low heat. Stir in grated ginger and lemon juice.
  2. Stir in carrots and toss to coat. Increase heat to medium and cook 5 min until heated through.
  3. Add kale and cook another 5-7 min, covered and stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender but still bright and al dente.
  4. Add sesame seeds and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Cherry Cashew Power Bites

If you’re like me and you’re always on the go, it can get hard to eat three healthy meals a day let alone snacks. Healthy eating takes planning. To help you incorporate more whole foods into your busy lifestyle  I’ve come up with an easy snack recipe that you can make on the weekend, store in the fridge and enjoy for the next 10 days.


These Cherry Cashew Power Bites are perfect for pre-workout fuel because they’re a balanced combination of fat/protein/carbs that will keep you energized but not overly full (which can detract from the task at hand). Every ingredient is a whole food that your grandma would recognize. Best of all, there’s no added sugar so you don’t run the risk of a glycemic spike and resulting crash.

If you’re not a fan of dried cherries, opt for dried mango or wild blueberries–just make sure they are unsweetened and unsulphured.



 What You’ll Need:

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup  dried dark cherries (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tbs lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)

How to Make Them:

1. Soak cashews for 3-4 hours. Drain and rinse.
2. Soak cherries for 20-30 minutes until slightly softened and plump.

3. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a sticky dough is formed.

4. Use a teaspoon to spoon out enough to make a 1″ ball. Squeeze the dough in your palm to bring it together and roll between your palms until you get a nice ball.
5. Roll in shredded coconut to coat.

Recipe makes approximately 20 power bites. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

At approximately 110 calories per ball. I like to snack on one or two of these 30 minutes to an hour before I workout. They give me the energy my body needs to move and play but don’t weigh me down.

Turmeric and Thyme Baked Potato Chips

If you follow health news, you’ve probably been inundated by now with revived exuberance for the Mediterranean diet [exhibit A, B and C]. Last month the New York Times reported, “About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals.” The study yielding these impressive results was even cut short because the results were so decisive that researchers found it unethical to continue.

To me, this diet just plain makes sense. Why? Because it’s not really a diet, it’s a lifestyle, and one that is pretty easy to maintain. Unlike other diets, the Mediterranean diet is not very restrictive and has a vast array of menu options to keep you interested and satisfied for the long haul. I would, however, add whole grains into the mix as they’re an important part of a well-balanced diet. Additionally, I encourage anyone without a lactose  allergy to fit in some low-to-no fat dairy products. This is especially important for women as we need anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day.

The bottom line for a healthy heart and happy stomach: pick up some good olive oil, lay off the red meat (for the most part), enjoy some delicious salmon with a side of asparagus, and grab yourself a glass of wine. I think I could get used to this kind of lifestyle.

And finally, in the spirit of the Mediterranean diet, here is a great snack and/or appetizer recipe for you to try. Buon appetito!


Turmeric & Thyme Baked Potato Chips

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  •  1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cayenne
  • 6-8 organic red-skinned potatoes (each about the size of two golf balls)

How to Make Them:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F
  2. Slice potatoes 1/8″ or slightly thinner on a mandoline.
  3. Toss potatoes with all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Arrange slices in a single layer on a cooling rack set atop a baking sheet (this allows air to crisp the chips 360°)
  5. Bake for 20 min, flip, then bake another 20 min.

[Serves 6-8 as an appetizer; approx 160 cal per person]

I like to pair them with Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar or a nice mixed olive tapenade. These would make a great app for any dinner party, potluck or tailgate.

Soba Noodle Stir-Fry w/ Sirloin, Shiitake Mushrooms & Goji Berries

Goji berries are a Himalayan superfood used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to safeguard the liver, prevent macular degeneration, improve sexual function and fertility, boost the immune system, increase circulation, and promote a long and happy life. These lofty health claims are rooted in facts. These sweet/tart berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly the carotenoids beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin helps protect your eye’s retina by absorbing blue light and may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over 65.

Also  known as wolf berries, goji berries are my new favorite ingredient to add to salads (a great addition to my Sweet Sesame Raw Kale Salad), smoothies, and stir-frys. Speaking of, I recently tried them in a Soba Noodle Stir-Fry featuring sirloin strips, shiitake mushrooms, green swiss chard and carrots. They provided a delicious tangy, sweet surprise to an otherwise straight foreword stir-fry.


What You’ll Need:

  • 6 oz buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 tbs grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 6 oz sirloin steak (cut into thin strips – against the grain)
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps (sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups green swiss chard (washed)
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbs peeled fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbs Frank’s Red Hot sauce (or Sriracha)
  • 1 tbs sesame oil (separate from first)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps toasted sesame seeds


How to Make It:

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions (no need for salt or oil here). Drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Combine rice vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger, and Frank’s Red Hot in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. Heat grapeseed oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and stir-fry 1 min. Add carrots and stir-fry another 2 min. Add mushrooms and garlic, stir-fry 1 minute. Add swiss chard and stir-fry 2-3 min until greens wilt.
  4. Move veggies to the periphery of the pan. Season your sirloin strips with a little salt and pepper then add them to the center of the skillet. Cook for 2 min (sliced thin, your sirloin will cook fast over high heat so be careful not to overdo it).
  5.  Add vinegar mixture to steak mixture, cooking and stirring constantly for 1 min. Stir in noodles, sesame oil, and salt; cook for 1-2 min until noodles are thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

My Top 5 Green Smoothie Recipes

It’s officially Cherry Blossom season here in the District, which means spring (real spring, not teaser spring) is just around the corner! To honor the onset of my favorite time of year in DC, I thought I’d share 5 of my favorite “Greenie”recipes. My Greenies are healthy vegan  smoothies that bring together fruit, dark leafy greens, plant-based protein and nutritional superfoods in one tasty and satisfying blend. At under 400 calories for 16oz of smoothie (that’s two full glasses!), all of these recipes are are great way to start your day. They’re also packed with dietary fiber (thanks to the flaxseed and chia seeds in there) and protein to keep you full and focused. Best of all, they have anywhere from 3 to 5 servings of fruits and veggies so by the end of breakfast you’ll have either met or surpassed your recommended daily intake. Now, that’s no excuse to eat junk for the rest of the day, but it is mighty nice to know that you’re giving your body much of what it needs for optimal function from the get-go. Also, studies show that if you start your day with a healthy breakfast you’re less likely to be obese, more likely to have good/stable blood glucose levels (and consequently more energy and less moodiness), and less likely to be hungry later in the day.

If you’re not a fan of almond milk substitute your favorite unsweetened rice, hemp, soy, coconut or skim milk, or try fat-free plain Greek, soy or coconut yogurt in lieu of almond milk yogurt. Coconut water is another good liquid to swap, just beware of its sugar content. Several brands really jack that up. My favorites are Blue Monkey, C2O, and–la crème de la crème–100% Raw Coconut Water.



(1) Banana-Berry Breakfast Greenie:

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen whole strawberries
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbs almond butter
  • 2 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

287 calories, 14g of dietary fiber, and 10g protein per serving.

(2) Blueberry-Kale Protein Greenie:

312 calories, 22g of dietary fiber, and 27g of protein per serving.

(3) Blueberry-Beet Power Greenie:

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 medium beets (boiled)
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbs hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbs ground flaxseed

319 calories, 21g of dietary fiber, and 25g of protein per serving.

(4) Pineapple-Mango Vitamin-C Greenie:

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

341 calories, 13g of dietary fiber, and 10g of protein per serving.

(5) Dark Cherry Goji Greenie:

381 calories, 21g of dietary fiber, and 25g of protein per serving.

Food Allergy-Friendly Dinner Party

Times have changed and now it seems that almost everyone I know has a food allergy or sensitivity of sorts. Personally, I’m a card-carrying lactard. Despite my handicap, I’d still call myself a foodie – I just have to work harder on occasion! Due to my dietary shortcomings, all of the recipes on my blog are dairy-free, many are vegan, and from time-to-time they’re also gluten-free. The recipes below fall under all three categories and, as always, involve ingredients thoughtfully selected to boost your immune system and improve your overall health. Some of the nutritional rockstars in these recipes include:

Ginger: alleviates menstrual cramps; relieves an upset stomach; and has many other natural beauty and homeopathic applications

Coconut Milk: vitamins C, E and many of the metabolism-friendly Bs; magnesium, phosphorous, iron and potassium; may help combat heart disease and age-related diseases because of its high antioxidant content (for more info click here)

Garbanzo Bean Flour: see my post on Sweetly Salted Nut Butter Power Cookies

Turmeric: may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, melanoma  and many other kinds of cancer; is a natural liver detoxifier (aka a hangover must); and may even play a role in fat metabolism. Need more convincing? Here’s a list of 20 benefits of this superspice.


Starter: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad w/ Pine Nuts

Entrée: Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach, served with Thyme-Infused Garbanzo Bean Flat Bread

Dessert: fresh seasonal fruit topped with shredded unsweetened coconut and dark chocolate bits

Wine Pairing: Vouvray or your favorite white wine

I wrote a blog on the first recipe earlier this week – click on the link above for details. As for the entrée, keep on reading.


Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach


What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups red lentils, well washed
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes w/ juice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (to garnish)

How to Make It:

  1. In a large skillet, sauté onions in coconut oil until soft. Add garlic, turmeric, cumin, ginger, cayenne and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 1-2 min until aromatic. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil, breaking up any large chunks as you stir.
  2. Add carrots, lentils, coconut milk and broth to your slow cooker. Spoon skillet mixture into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in lemon juice and spinach leaves and continue cooking on high for last 20 min.
  3. Just after adding the spinach, in a medium skillet, sauté shallots in 1 tsp of coconut oil and a pinch of seas salt over medium heat for 3 min. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook for 2 min at medium heat then turn heat to low and cook another 8-10 min until tender and golden brown.
  4. Spoon soup into bowls and top with 1 tbs of thinly sliced green onions and 2 tbs of sautéed shiitake mushrooms.

Thyme-Infused Garbanzo Bean Flat Bread


What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/3 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs dried thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbs olive oil

How to Make It:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and thyme. Slowly whisk in water. Let  mixture sit at room temperature for 30 min while oven pre-heats to 350 F.
  2. Place 9″ x 16″ cast iron griddle in oven while it heats. (You can also use a 10″ cast iron skillet here to make a more doughy version, akin to pizza crust).
  3. When batter is ready, whisk in 1 tbs of olive oil. Use the other 1 tbs to coat the griddle. Pour batter onto griddle and bake on center rack for 45 min to an hour (depending on the oven). The flatbread should be firm but chewy. Be careful not to burn. Carefully loosen flatbread from griddle with a spatula and let cool. Cut into strips and serve alongside your soup.

Finally, a great big thanks to my good friends and fellow yogis, Caroline and Jess, for being my test kitchen guinea pigs and great company!


Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad w/ Pine Nuts


Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad w/ Pine Nuts 

  • 12-15 brussels sprouts, shredded (yield 6 cups)
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt

1. Using  mandoline, shred brussels sprouts 1/8″ thick–yield should be approximately 6 cups. Place shredded brussels sprouts in a large colander and wash thoroughly.

2. Pre-heat oven to  350° F. Toss pine nuts in olive oil and salt and spread on a small baking sheet. Bake in pre-heated oven for ~5 min, checking frequently to be sure they don’t burn.

3. In a large bowl, combine shredded brussels sprouts, toasted pine nuts and lemon vinaigrette (recipe below), massaging the ingredients to thoroughly coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs minced shallot
  • 1 tbs corse Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste

1.Combine all ingredients in a small glass bowl. Whisk vigorously to combine.