Category Archives: Original Recipes

These recipes are the creative effort of Lisa Rodrigues of The Aspiring Nutritarian:

Fig & Onion Port Sauce

½ large onion (or 1 small onion), chopped
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 500 ml bottle ruby port (2 cups)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped
2 whole star anise
2 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onions in oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until soft, about 6 minutes. Add port, broth, figs, and star anise. Boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by a third, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the star anise. Puree mixture in a blender until smooth. Pour back into pan over low heat and whisk in ghee and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, add a bit more broth to thin. Serve hot.

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars—Best ever!

This sauce is perfect over roasted pastured chicken, duck, and even a leg of lamb. To jazz up the sauce, add drippings from your roasted meat directly to the heated prepared sauce, stir it up, and top the meat with it. If you’re feeling a little crazy, add a drizzle over a dressing-coated, tossed chopped salad. It’ll lend a beautiful balance of flavors to your salad.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced
½ Herdez canned chipotle chili pepper, peeled and seeds removed **(see note)
3 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 green onions, chopped
Small handful of cilantro, chopped

Heat oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Add onion and sautee for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continur to sautee about another 2 minutes. Add sweet potato and chipotle to pan. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Place contents of the saucepan in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more vegetable stock, if needed, to achieve a smooth consistency. Return soup to pan, heat, and add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and top with chopped green onions and cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars—Best ever!

Spicy, full-flavored, smoky, and warming are just a few words that describe this simple soup. It can be served as a starter as well as a main course. If you love heat in your food and are feeling a bit daring, add a whole chipotle pepper instead of a half of one.

**Note: Herdez brand chipotle peppers are beautifully smoked whole jalapeno chili peppers in a can. Many of the peppers in the can are already peeled and, if they are not, the skins slide right off the whole pepper with little effort. After removing the skins, slice the pepper in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds with your fingers or a butter knife.

Rice & Black Bean Salad

½ cup vegetable broth
1” ginger, peeled & grated
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 ½ cups black beans (or one 15 ounce can), drained & rinsed
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise, cut into ¼” thick slices
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
½ cup green onions, sliced

In a small saucepan, bring broth, ginger, and garlic to a boil. Stir in vinegar, pepper sauce, and tamari and remove from heat and let cool. In a large salad bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and top with the cooled dressing and toss. Cover and chill for up to 6 hours. Stir well before serving. Serves 4.

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars—Best ever!

Tangy, full-flavored, and extremely satisfying are just a few words that describe this salad. It can be served as a side dish as well as a main dish. White long grain rice may be used in place of the brown rice if desired. The photo features white rice but brown rice offers more nutritional value and tends to hold together a bit longer before getting soft, offering a better experience for eating leftovers–if there are any! Double the recipe to share with a group of folks. You’ll enjoy the unique nature of this one.

Spiced Rum Apple Cider Tonic

10 ounces fresh apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange, cut in half
2 ½ ounces spiced rum

Place apple juice and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until heated through. Do not allow to boil for more than a few seconds. Remove from heat and let sit for two minutes to allow the cinnamon to steep. Remove and throw out the cinnamon or save it for another use. Divide the juice into two mugs. Squeeze the juice into the mugs–half an orange per mug–and place the halved orange in the juice. Yes, let it bathe in the warm juice. Then add 1 ¼ ounce of spiced rum in each mug and stir. Enjoy. This makes two servings.

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars—Best ever!

I have fresh apples, a friend just gave me fresh blood oranges, and I happen to also have a cold. Drastic circumstances call for drastic measures. I know that spiced rum is not considered Nutritarian, or Eat to Live, but sometimes a person’s got to do what a person’s got to do–I’m still aspiring to be 100%, remember? The moment I took the first sip of this beautiful tonic, my sinuses opened up and the pressure in my head was released. Please enjoy this rare treat responsibly. Cheers!

Asian Salad Dressing

5 dates
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tahini
1 clove garlic
1 green onion
3/4″ piece of ginger
1 chili pepper
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cilantro

Place all ingredient in a blender and blend until smooth.

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars—Best ever!

Bold, yet smooth, this dressing is sure to compliment your next bowl of chopped cabbage and mixed vegetables. Try this over a steaming bowl of brown rice for a unique take on a satisfying entrée rice bowl.

Spinach Salad Dressing

1 clove garlic
1 cup dates
¼ large onion
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 medium apple, cored
½ cup cashews
4 tablespoons prepared mustard
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup water

Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender on high to make a smooth dressing. Add more water to get desired consistency. Makes 3 cups.

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars—Best ever!

I worked long and hard on this one. I was craving an old fashioned, sweet spinach salad dressing for some fresh greens but the old recipes I had access to called for granulated sugar—up to one cup in a single recipe! The dates fill in for the sweetness in this gem. Prepared mustard has a good amount of sodium per serving on its own, however, once the dressing is prepared, a little goes a long way which minimizes the sodium intake per serving, overall. Cashews replaced oil and gave it the substance needed for the dressing to hold together without separating. Although I have not tried it yet, I would bet the farm that this would make an excellent coleslaw dressing as well. Score!

Chia Seed Pudding

¾ cups raw cashews
1 ½ cups water
4 large pitted dates (or 6 small to medium dates)
1/3 cup chia seeds

Place the cashews and water in a high powered blender and blend on high until a creamy cashew milk is formed. Add dates and blend until the dates are pureed in the cashew milk. Place the milk mixture in a bowl and add chia seeds. Mix until the seeds separate and then let sit for 10 minutes or so. Mix again to evenly distribute the chia seeds and place in the refrigerator until set and chilled through, about an hour or more. Serve on its own or with fresh fruit and raw chopped nuts. Makes about 4 servings.

Chia seed pudding

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars—Best ever!

Chia seeds are packed full of nutritional value. To name just a few of what this superfood has to offer, a 2 tablespoon serving of raw chia seeds includes:
• 11 grams of fiber
• 4 grams of protein
• 9 grams of fat (5 of which are Omega-3s)
• 18% of the RDA of calcium
• 30% of the RDA of magnesium
Considering the benefits, you can rest easy knowing that this dessert is delicious for all the right reasons.

Thai Cucumber Salad

¼ cup white vinegar
2 large pitted dates
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cups peeled, seeded, and sliced cucumbers
¼ cup snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoons seeded and minced jalapeno
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Blend the vinegar, dates, and soy sauce into a smooth liquid. Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss with the blended vinegar. Chill until ready to serve.


★★★★ 4 out of 5 stars—Loved it!

This is a refreshing salad that is full of vitamins and minerals, It transforms fresh, simple vegetables into a savory Thai side dish or a very light main entree.

Balsamic Glaze

½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 pitted dates
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried thyme

In a blender, blend the vinegar and dates into a smooth liquid. Pour the blended vinegar into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the Dijon mustard, marjoram, and thyme. Remove from heat and cool completely. Brush and/or drizzle on anything your heart desires.

balsamic glaze

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars—Best ever!

Bold, flavorful, and satisfying are just a few words that describe this glaze that is excellent on roasted vegetables and air-fried tofu. To air fry a block of tofu, pat dry and cut into cubes. Place in the air fryer in one layer and cook as directed on the fryer or until the outside is light brown and crispy. When done, drizzle the glaze over the tofu and serve. If you haven’t tried air fried tofu, you must try it soon!

Indian Rice

1 cup basmati rice
1¼ cup water
½ cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup chopped tomato
½ cup diced eggplant
½ cup diced golden potato
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoons soy sauce (optional)
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup peas
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Rinse rice in cold water until water runs clear. Drain well. Add a few tablespoons in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and water saute until fragrant and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add all the above spices and cook, stirring often, about 1 minute. Stir in all the vegetables (except peas and cilantro). Add the rice, stirring gently to mix it well with all the vegetables. Pour in water and bring to a boil, uncovered. Reduce heat to low, and simmer covered, for 15 minutes. Toss with peas and garnish with fresh cilantro.


★★★★ Loved it!

Aromatic and bold is what this rice dish is all about. Serve it as a side dish or as a main course. It’s meaty and satisfying. You won’t be disappointed.