Category: Recipes

My Version of the Life Changing Bread and Events!

Hi everyone! I recently returned from an amazing trip to Seville and before I post some amazing tapas recipes for you in the near future, I need to share my version of the Life Changing Bread from the My New Roots website that I brought with me to keep me healthy :-).

Also, while I was gone, the interview I had done with the Whole Life Challenge founders aired in a podcast on their site so feel free to listen to it as you make this bread!

WLC podcast interview

Lastly, I want to alert you to the fact that my favorite designer appliance store called Designer Appliances! is having a demo and tastings of some summer BBQ marinades this weekend using my favorite grill, the Big Green Egg!

Come by from 10-5 this  Saturday, 6/27 at the 208 Bellevue location, from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Now for the bread!

The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
Makes 1 loaf


1 cup  sunflower seeds
½ cup  flax seeds
½ cup  pumpkin seeds
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium husk powder
1 1/2 tsp.  coarse salt
1 Tbsp. date syrup
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 ½ cups  water

1. In a loaf pan lined with parchment paper,  combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk date syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F .
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan and parchment paper, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 40-60 minutes. The seeds should look dark brown and toasty. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

The End of the WLC -Or Just the Beginning???

Hi everyone! I know, my post title is DEEP! Is it really the end? We are finishing the Whole Life Challenge tomorrow and it is a tad bittersweet. Some of you have stayed compliant for the full 8 weeks, some decided not to finish early on,and some chose to do it in bits and pieces. No matter how you viewed the WLC, I imagine and hope you took something away that will endure for, if not a lifetime, a while.

I want to thank the community on the secret facebook page and in the streets, the supermarket, the private emails and the Take Back the Kitchen blog. We all appreciated the sharing of support and recipes and Patti Safian’s generous $5 yoga class that helped raise money for Prader Willi Research and support services. Again, a percentage of your registration fee was also donated to an organization that helps fund research and helps individuals with Prader Willi Syndrome-you all helped raise over $2,500,00.00 for people with my son’s syndrome and I am personally touched that we raised so much. Thank you!

We learned so much! How to make almond meal bread, date and coconut fudgesicles and a newly created fruit and nut bar with unsweetened cacao! (recipe coming soon!) from our WLC Pinterest board. We all learned from an inspiring and organized team member that mason jars are a great way to store food, that we can get in exercise, stretching AND meditation points if we take a yoga class 🙂 and that giving someone a compliment makes us feel good AND gives us points!

All 127 people learned that cheeses and gluten are good but we can live without them and we won’t perish.

Most of all, I learned that there are always new and fun people to meet, who can support us in making our lives healthier and more fulfilled. Thank you for the honor to be a part of your process.

Keep on holding yourself accountable and remember that the next challenge starts in May :-))))!

Have a great weekend and go eat some gluten, it’s OK!

Recipes for Week 4 of the Whole Life Challenge and Being Helpful!

Hi everyone!

We are entering our 4th week of the Whole Life Challenge and I hope it is going well for those of you on it.

Please remember to save the date , February 19th, Thursday, for our WLC potluck from 6-9. Location TBD.

If you are not losing as much weight as you like, examine the foods you are eating. If you only eat nuts and chick pea flour products, you may need to focus on vegetables. Are you exercising enough? Are you sleeping enough? You will get out of it what you put into it. Now is the time to really push.

Also, I wanted to let you all know that we raised over $2,500.00 by your participating in the challenge and that money will be helping people with Prader Willi Syndrome so THANK YOU!

This coming week’s challenge is to help your team mates. Whether you are on the challenge or not, it’s time to help people in your lives with something meaningful. It can be offering to go shopping for them,  making them dinner, offering a kind word of support or just clicking “like” on their post on facebook. technically, to receive the points, you need to comment positively on at least THREE people’s reflections a day on the leadership board of the WLC site.

Below are some recipes that will help you mix it up a bit in the coming weeks. Enjoy!

Wild Rice with Shrimp and Portabello Mushrooms

Roasted Vegetable Medley

Hazelnut Parsnip Soup with Rosemary

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage,Tomatoes and Onions

Coconut Red Lentil Soup– I omitted the tomato paste, red bell pepper and chick peas

Turkey and Chicken Chili

Millet Tabouleh

WLC Schneider House Rules and Week Two Meal Suggestions

Hi everyone!
I am continuing with my posts about the Whole Life Challenge for the next eight weeks-it starts TOMORROW, January 17th!!! You can still read up on it and join our team, even until Jan. 25th if you are a week late. Read here for the link: Sign up for the WLC.

Even if you are not doing it, all my posts will be relevant for you and your good health so read on :-).

Please read all the info below.

First off, pat yourself on the back for joining the WLC!!! You may notbe compliant every day but each new day is a new start so pick yourself up and start again!

Perfect is the enemy of the good!!!!

Please watch ALL THE VIDEOS you have been sent by the WLC people. You will find all your info in these videos.

Please remember to log in for the previous day. That;s how the logging in works. That means you will record Saturday’s work outs, food, etc. on Sunday.

This blog is where you will get all your pertinent supplemental info from me, your captain. My blog posts will be supplemented by our private facebook page if you are registered, the leaderboard on the WLC site AND our new Pinterest page which is exclusively for WLC recipes for easy access. You do need to sign up for Pinterest to follow the boards and post recipes: WLC Pinterest Board

You’ve heard of the movie Cider House Rules? Well, because our WLC Team Take Back the Kitchen is over 100 people!, I felt we needed some “Schneider House Rules” (clever, no?).

First off, what is my role as your captain? My job is to provide a community for all of us to share our experience, hold a few events (like our potluck Feb. 19th in Montclair-save the date from 6:30-9-more details later), provide inspiration and information that is NOT provided by the WLC website. I am like a supplemental cheerleader without all the mean girl dynamics and bulging quad muscles. You can message me on facebook or email me and I will help you however I can outside of what the site offers.

So here goes: If you are on our team, you are added to our private facebook page where we share inspiration, vent and most importantly, recipes and tips to make the WLC doable. Because there are so many people, I must ask you to do two things:

#1: ALWAYS tag me if you have a question specifically for me on fb. There are just too many posts for me to read through.

#2: Please make sure you have looked for the information before asking me a question. The site is indeed a challenge to navigate at times but all your team info is there. If you CANNOT find the info you are looking for, then seek me out.

ABout the exercise piece: Some people are confused about what to do for this on the challenge. The site wants you to do something that you can measure. That simply means that if you now do 20 sit ups in 3 minutes, try to do 40 sit ups eventually in 3 minutes. The same goes for the elliptical with speed settings or running faster in the same amount of time that you are already doing it.

The site provides a WLC workout also. If you are local, I also recommend bootcamp with accelerate bootcamp in Montclair where Patsy Manning will give you 25% off for the 8 weeks if you are on our team. Contact her at

If you live in Montclair, Lululemon offers free yoga classes Saturday and Sunday mornings and Patti Safian is offering a $5.00 yoga class on Thursday mornings in Montclair for our team! Contact her at

You can also do the 7 minute workout app provided by the NY Times. Do it 2 or 3 times if you like. Very portable and it’s great if you are going away because you can do it in your hotel!

Here are some ingredient suggestions and where to get them, at least locally here in NJ:

Trader Joe’s:
almond flour (meal)
cashew flour (meal)
dried fruit , unsweetened
dried unsweetened shreddedcoconut
unsweetened Greek yogurt
almond milk -unsweetened
almond butter
peanut butter

Whole foods:
unsweetened cacao nibs
dried dates
compliant oils-avocado, grapeseed, coconut oil
coconut butter (in coconut and other oil section)
coconut milk in a can
coconut oil
brown rice cakes
frozen berries and frozen vegetables
almond milk unsweetened
unsweetened Greek yogurt
compliant hot sauces
almond butter
peanut butter
canned tomatoes
grass fed butter

Middle Eastern and Indian stores/supermarkets:
chick pea flour
avocado oil
olive oil
coconut milk
garbanzo beans
quinoa and other compliant grains and legumes like buck wheat, sprouted mung beans, brown rice
frozen fruit and vegetables
coconut oil

Aidell’s chicken sausage
proteins: fish, shellfish, chicken, beef, pork
brown rice
unsweetened dried fruit
almond butter
peanut butter

Now for the meal suggestions for the coming weeks!

Ancho Black Beans with Chicken

Ancho Black beans with Chicken and Rice
Lentil Kale Stew with Sausage
Chipotle Lentil Stew with Turkey Kielbasa-or other compliant sausage
Swiss Chard and Sausage Stew
Curried Chicken Salad
Lemony Beet Tuna Salad– sub out crystallized ginger for raisins
Peach, Black bean and corn salsa-sub with brown rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Easy roasted potatoes-sub out white potatoes for sweet potatoes

Curried Stewed Fruit Omit the agave and pineapple juice and maybe add in some dates for sweetness if needed.

Good luck and we are here for you!

Week One Meal Ideas for the Whole Life Challenge

Hi everyone! Whether we are starting the Whole Life Challenge or just starting off the year right, I thought I would share some menu ideas with you for a week. Our WLC doesn’t start until Jan. 17th but it is a good idea to start assembling ingredients so that we are not stuck at the last minute (and then lunge for the cheese platter).

If these recipes do not all float your boat, please check out the other recipes on Take Back the Kitchen and my recipes on my “leftovers site” at where I contribute recipes, many of which are compliant or easily made compliant.

Breakfast ideas:

coffee or tea with milk or almond milk OR bullet proof coffee (coffee blended with a tbsp of coconut oil and a tbsp of unsalted butter until frothy-it’s actually delicious)

Monday: Brown Rice cakes with almond butter and a schmooshed date on top

Tuesday: Eggs: Always have hard boiled on hand or scramble up your eggs with your leftover vegetables, sauteed roasted red peppers, fresh herbs with avocado on the side and/or compliant salsa. Can serve with the brown rice cakes if you need a bread like substance. Can have compliant sausage like Aidell’s chicken apple sausage from Costco-YUM!

Wednesday: Oatmeal with fresh fruit, raisins and walnuts or pecans/almonds or any other nut

Thursday: Sage frittata or any kind of frittata (don’t use the ricotta!) with a side of greek yogurt mixed with compliant hot sauce

Friday: A big handful of nuts or Fruit and Nut Bars


Monday: handful of nuts, preferably raw almonds
Tuesday: bananas and clementimes
Wednesday: apple slices with almond butter
Thursday: Sun Dried Tomato Hummus or truffled bean dip with pre made carrot sticks or celery sticks
Friday: frozen and then toasted Chick Pea Flour Pancakes
Saturday and Sunday-NUTS or fruit and nut bars

Lunch and dinner:
Have prepared quinoa or brown rice every day and store in clear tupperware in your fridge.
Roast vegetables for the week such as kale, broccoli, beets, cabbage, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Dice them all up small and lay the separated vegetables on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 450 degrees until they are tender. Place vegetables that are similar in texture on the same sheet since they will take around the same amount of time to cook-like sweet potatoes and beets together, cabbage and fennel together, broccoli and brussels sprouts together. Have them stored in tupperware at eye level and use them all week for salads, stir frys, to put in compliant pastas, eggs, stews, rice dishes or by themselves.

Always have brown rice tortillas on hand (can get at Trader Joes).
Always have Aidells Apple Chicken Sausages on hand or other compliant sausage. I get them cheaper at Costco.
Always have hard boiled eggs on hand to eat alone or to make Mally and Bailie’s Famous Egg Salad
Make and freeze a TON of these amazingly delicious savory pancakes and then toast them: Chick Pea Flour Pancakes

Mujadarra (Mediterranean Lentils and Rice dish)

Lentil Kale Stew (with or without chicken or pork Sausage)

Chicken Chickpea and Dried Cranberry Tagine

Edgar’s Rosemary, lemon Chicken or sub out tofu

Turkey (substitute tofu for vegans)Peanut Pumpkin Stew: (and save some of the pureed, canned pumpkin or fresh for the savory pumpkin pancakes

Thai tofu or chicken Curry


Cilantro Chipotle Cole Slaw (and roast the rest of the cabbage)

Or any of the above grains with some dried fruit and nuts tossed in and dressed in some flavored oil or vinegar


Frozen bananas with cacao nibs and almond butter
Fruit and nut bars
Rice cake with almond butter and coconut butter-my favorite and filling!
Dried Medjool Dates with some cacao nibs shoved inside-yum!!

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving with Some Healthy Additions?

Hi everyone!

Please forgive me for my brief absence. Life has been very complicated, both stressful and fun. The photo to the left is of some of my family members and I taken at a fundraiser last week where we raised over $1.3 million for Prader Willi Research. As many of you know, this research is near and dear to my heart since my son has the syndrome. Thank you for supporting the cause and we really look forward to raising more for a cure in the future.
Now, on to Thanksgiving!If you’re like me, you are trying to do as much prep as possible before
Thanksgiving so you are not as stressed the day of. How psyched am I that I have purchased every single ingredient I need and it is only Tuesday? There is supposed to be a snow storm tomorrow and I may actually be snowed in. So glad to not have to shop tomorrow.
I am trying to have a very healthy Thanksgiving and went so far as having a sign up genius document sent to all my guests to reuest that everyone pick vegetable dishes as well as desserts and savory side dishes. No need for all that sugar, right?
Below is a dish I created by accident when I was trying to make burgers. The “dough” was too loose so instead of tossing it (you know I would never do that, who am I kidding?) I turned it into a scramble. I may serve it tomorrow, we shall see.
Have a wonderful holiday!
Buckwheat Scramble:
2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
4 cups cooked buckwheat
2 medium sized carrots, shredded
1/2 cup  raisins, soaked in 1 cup water for 10 minutes and then drained and chopped
1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika (I like the spicy kind)
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
In a large pan, heat up oil.
Add in the cooked buckwheat and stir until heated through.
Add in the grated carrots, soaked raisins and spices and stir to fully combine.
Top with the seeds and serve warm or hot.

Peanut Vegetable Stew and I finished the Whole Life Challenge!

Hi everyone! Sorry for the hiatus but it has been a busy time in the TBK world! The start of school has limited a lot of my time but menu planning has been a BIG help.

Having a lot of prepared foods in the fridge has kept me sane and healthy. I just completed a two month stint doing the Whole Life Challenge which meant no gluten, added sugar or dairy besides plain yogurt and butter. I feel GREAT and having healthy delicious food in the fridge was a must.

The recipe below was prepared with our Halloween pumpkin that really had no purpose and was just begging me to incorporate it into a nutty, earthy stew. I hope you like it ;-).

Peanut Vegetable Stew:

1 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped

6 cups cubed pumpkin and sweet potatoes, roasted (any combo is fine)

1 lb ground turkey

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 cups water mixed with 1/2 cup peanut butter

3 tbs marinated jalapenos or fresh, chopped

2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


In a medium sized saute pan, heat up  2 tsp of the olive oil.

When heated , add in the ground turkey and brown completely. Set aside.

In a big pot, heat up the remaining  olive oil and saute onions until wilted, about 10 minutes.

Add in the cooked pumpkin and other root vegetables or squash to the onions and stir.

Add in the turkey, peanut-y water, jalapenos, tomatoes, salt and pepper.

Let simmer for 25 minutes or until desired thickness and serve hot.




Easy Curried Chicken Salad

I am STARVING! I am doing the Whole Life Challenge so I created this delicious recipe that I can shovel in my mouth when I am hungry. As always, it is all about the prep. Had I not made this ahead of time, I would be eating an entire loaf of challah right now.  Enjoy!
Curried Chicken Salad:
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken from 2 large breasts
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used Just Mayo” brand by Hampton Creek)
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients together and serve cold on a sandwich or over greens.

September 23rd Workshop: Finally! Create Your Custom Weekly Menu

Hi everyone! As school approaches, (and for some of us it is already here), so do the stressors that accompany all the kids being out of the house; Homework help, chauffeuring, lice! and the most dreaded of all, cooking dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!

To ring in the new school year and to start off on the right foot, I will be hosting a Custom Menu Planning Workshop to help busy Moms, Dads, single folks and caretakers figure out how to create a menu for your individual family.

Date: Tuesday, September 23rd
Time: 10AM-12
Where: Olive That and More, 246 bellevue Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042
Cost: $40.00 via Paypal
Spots are limited so reserve now!

Please share!

Everyone will leave this workshop with a customized menu plan that will:

Reduce stress for adults and kids at meal time
Reduce/eliminate power struggles with food at meal time
Reduce shopping time and allow for more “you” time (massage, anyone?)
Reduce food waste and save money
Allow take-out to be a special treat as opposed to a way of life
Allow for excellent bonding during family meals

Now doesn’t that sound nice?
Hope to see you there!

Accidental S’mores with Chocolate and Almonds


Hi everyone! We have been visiting with our friends from Rhode Island and are very happy to tell you that with a little error of purchasing, we created a fantastic new recipe!  Our friends and I now realize that buying almond hershey Bars is NOT the end of the world but the inspiration for a new kind of s’more. Try this on a grill or even your stove top:

Chocolate Almond S’mores:


1 graham cracker broken in 1/2

1 marshmallow

1 inch piece of chocolate with almonds


Melt the marshmallow on the stick

Place the melted marshmallow on the 1/2 graham cracker

Add the piece of chocolate

Cover the chocolate with the other 1/2 of the graham cracker and press down

The chocolate should melt a little with the hot marshmallow

Eat and repeat!