Tag: whole life challenge recipes

Red Lentil Pasta With Clams and Rosemary

Red Lentil Pasta with Clams and Rosemary

Hi everyone!

Once agan I want to remind you to treat yourself when you are dining alone. Eating by yourself is an opportunity to prepare something extra special with just a few ingredients, not to scarf down a bowl of cheerios or the mac and cheese that the rest of your family may be eating. I highly recommend practicing dishes on yourself if you are uneasy about serving others. Practice reduces your anxiety and promotes confidence, as we well know.

I am very into this red lentil pasta lately but use whatever pasta you like. Better yet, use some leftover pasta and make your life even easier. I swooned over this dish and it was made with mostly pantry items and a few cherry tomatoes from my garden.

Red Lentil Pasta With Clams and Rosemary

1 cup cooked red lentil pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, slivered thinly

1 tsp fresh rosemary, washed and minced finely

1- 6 oz. can clams, drained and chopped

pinch kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

A few sliced grape tomatoes


Boil the pasta according to instructions and set aside.

While the pasta water and pasta are boiling, you can make the sauce.

In a small frying pan, add in the oil, the garlic, the chopped clams and the rosemary and stir for a few minutes.

Drain the pasta, place one cup of it in a bowl and add in the mixture from the frying pan. Salt and pepper your dish, add on some pretty tomato garnish and enjoy!


Week 6 going into week 7 Recipes for the Whole Life Challenge

Hello everyone!

We on the Whole Life Challenge are in our 6th week and although it may be getting easier, for some it’s getting harder. The answer is to have healthy snacks on hand!!!!

This may be the week that you begin to start seeing the effects as tough as it may be to have had to wait this long. Trust me, you will eventually see results.

This past week has been all about making lists and prioritizing things we need and would like to do in the near and distant future. Keep up this list making because it really can help get us organized.

Next week, starting tomorrow, is all about conscious meals. This means no technology at the table, paying attention to your food,the people around you,  making meals a time to hang with friends and family and COOKING!!! Enjoy the recipes below :-)))

Butternut squash and Green Bean Curry

Thai Peanut Sauce

Kale Egg Salad

Chick Pea Flour Fritters   These are making a comeback now that you are all seasoned cooks!

EASY Indian Split Pea Soup

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Raisins

Week 5 Recipes and the WLC Potluck on Feb. 23rd

Hi everyone! We are now in week 5 of the Whole Life Challenge and hopefully it is becoming easier for everyone who is eliminating gluten, dairy, soy and processed sugar from their lifestyle.

Whether or not you are doing the Whole Life Challenge, substituting healthier foods for all the above is not an insurmountable feat, just one that takes planning and preparation. I’m sure you have noticed that not cooking makes eating healthier a lot more pricey and with a lot fewer options than if you are making food in your own kitchen.

There are so many delicious and simple treats you can make for yourself but start small. Perfect one dish and keep making it. Below are a few recipes that may inspire you to make dinner from scratch this week.

Lastly,please note that our WLC potluck will be from 7-9 on Monday February 23rd and NOT on Feb. 19th as previously planned. Email me if you plan on coming. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetable Medley

Gluten Free Meatloaf

Spanish Tortilla with Sweet Potatoes

Mushroom with Wine and Cashew Cream Sauce

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Farinata Bread


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 Recipes for Week 3 and The “Whys?” of The WLC Nutrition Piece

Hi everyone!

Well, for those of us who are trying to make 2015 a healthier year with the Whole Life Challenge or not, being grateful is something we need to focus on every week but it is mandatory this week if we are on the WLC! Documenting 3 things every day that we are grateful for this week may just bring us closer to being the person we’d like to be.

I want to focus on a few things that have been brought up for the nutrition piece of the WLC. Some of the items may seem arbitrary on the nutrition lists but it is explained why in a bit more detail here: Splitting Hairs better understood:http://1rogq52a7wkma06cf1om64f1.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/

Secondly, some people have already started losing weight but some have not. If you haven’t , do not fear! Sometimes it takes our bodies a few weeks or even longer to realize what is happening and only when our body is ready will we start to shed some pounds. Regardless of how much weight you lose or don’t lose, getting rid of sugar and processed foods can only help us in the energy and health department, right?

Below are some recipe suggestions I have for the third week (even though we are only in the second week. I’m trying to keep you ahead of the game). I hope you like them:

Dill Potato Frittata

Superbowl Compliant Easy Asian Wings

Brussel Sprouts with Mustard and hazelnut Sauce

Curried Carrot Soup

Roasted Golden Beet Pate

Curried Zucchini and Quinoa

Cod Cakes with Spicy Mayo (substitute almond or chick pea flour for panko and omit sour cream in the sauce)

Mafe (African Peanut Stew)

Turkey and Chicken Chili

Vegan Cheese Ball (yeah you heard me right. Sounds gross but it’s good!)

Homemade Coconut Butter

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 manningpf@verizon.net

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 Pattisafian@gmail.com

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!

DIPS!!!! and Setting Yourself up for Failure for the Whole Life Challenge or ANY Task

Hi everyone!

below are some WLC compliant dips to ALWAYS have in your fridge so we don’t set ourselves up for failure.

When getting ready to change our ways, it is vitally important to do a reality check on ourselves to make sure we don’t set ourselves up for failure, get discouraged, and then give up on the home cooking thing altogether.

We live in such an instant gratification based society that it makes sense that we want it and we want it NOW. If we can’t get it, we may give up and move on to the next thing. For some tasks, we may indeed excel at first and that will give us the motivation to keep going. But what if we don’t ? How will we keep moving toward our goal if we stink at first? The answer is to manage our expectations and give ourselves a break and a pat on the back for trying. To have small goals, or just smaller than what we originally thought we should be able to achieve instantaneously. This goes for cooking as well as many other tasks in life. Please allow me to self disclose for a minute to show you by example:

This year I started a bootcamp class that had as one of its foci an urbanathalon in NYC. One had to do a minimum of a 4.5 mile run as well as relays, climbing fences, hopping through tires and more fun seeming activities.

I set out to do this even though the others in the class had done it in years past and had been training for a month before I even got there. Did I mention I have zero leg strength and never have? I prided myself on the fact that I had done pushups and squats 3 times a week without fail for the last 3 years so I assumed I was in good shape. Uh, wrong. When the instructor asked us all to start running the track, I started with everyone but fell behind literally in seconds. I could not even keep up for seconds!
I was so embarrassed and so shocked that I felt like a loser. I was so crazy far behind everyone that I didn’t know wether to laugh or cry. I was surprised at myself for caring so much but I did.

Even though I kept returning to the bootcamp class and planned on attending the extra days of training for the urbanathalon, I soon found that with my packed schedule with my job, my volunteer work, my four kids, the constant and unexpected beginning of school meetings for my son with special needs and the random illnesses and plumber visits, there was no way I could train effectively to do this urbanathalon four times a week. What the heck was I thinking? I’m not idle and childless! But I had told everyone that I was doing the urbanathalon…..

I had to pull myself out of the urbanathalon and felt bad about myself. I was kind of embarrassed to show my face in the class and felt the need to explain to the others (who barely knew me by the way and probably couldn’t care less) that I just did not have the time to train. I had set myself up for failure.

Instead of throwing in the entire bootcamp towel, however, I continued to attend the bootcamp classes and although I am like a turtle (slow and steady wins the race) and am ALWAYS the last one who finishes running, I can now run around the track without stopping 10 times to walk.

I shifted gears and shifted the expectations of myself and accepted the reality of my life’s situation which is that 2 days of bootcamp a week are manageable for me but not training 4 days a week. I do other exercises at home on the other days when I can find a moment. I often pat myself on the back and ask my husband to pat me on the back that I have committed to 2 days a week. That bootcamp is HARD and I never miss those 2 days.

Back to you: Please look at your own life and your own reality. If you plan on committing to serious cooking every day but have little foundation, time, help, energy or all of the above, how about committing to just a couple of days of cooking a week to start and plan on assembly foods like salads, burritos, dips and healthy take-out for the rest of the week to start? You have the rest of your life to get comfortable with all of this so start small so you don’t get discouraged and give up.

Sometimes we are not experts at a given task, our goals in a certain arena are just too lofty at first. We may not be naturals. That being said, if you want to play me in a game of jax, you know, the tiny ball and metal star looking things, even 35 years after I used to beat all my siblings every game, I will indeed kick your ass. I’m naturally very good at jax.


1 cup Chick peas, cooked

6 TBS olive oil (more if necessary)

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

1/4 tsp ground cumin

2 TBS tahini (can get at most supermarkets, Whole Foods)

1-2 TBS lemon juice

2 TBS water (more if necessary)

optional: a little cayenne pepper or 1/2 a roasted pepper or 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes)


Puree all ingredients in a food processor. Add more water or olive oil if too thick and adjust spices. Enjoy!


Sun Dried Tomato Hummus


4 cups chick peas

3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tsp cumin

1 cup water

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.



Chili Black Bean Dip:


1 can drained black beans

1/4 cup sourcream

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

1 small garlic clove

pepper to taste


Eggplant Dip ( Babaganoush)


3 Medium sized eggplants,split in 1/2, laid on parchment paper over a cookie sheet and covered with tin foil. Roasted for about one hour at 475 degrees

2 TBS Joya Brand Tahini (sold at most supermarkets)

2 TBS Olive oil

2 pinches of salt

1 clove of garlic

1 TBS lemon juice


Remove eggplant from skin with your hands or a spoon and puree with all the other ingredients until smooth. Add more salt or other ingredients if you wish.



Puree in a food processor until creamy…That’s it!


Caponata (eggplant dip/sauce):


1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants, sliced in half horizontally, sprayed with olive oil or canola oil, covered in aluminum foil, and roasted at 400 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour, until tender

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped into small pieces 3-5 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly

1 cup pasta sauce-I used trader joe’s brand but you can make your own

1 TBS capers

1 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS organic cane sugar (or just anither TBS of brown sugar) or dates!

1/4 cup black olives, chopped

2 TBS pomegranite syrup (if you cannot find this, just add a little more sugar and a few shakes of balsamic vinegar)

Salt and Pepper to taste




Scoop out the roasted eggplant and set aside in a bowl. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add 2 TBS olive oil but make sure the flame is not too high because olive oil has a low smoking point and will burn. When hot, add chopped onions, stir for about 5 minutes until wilted. Add the sliced garlic and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Add in eggplant, capers, olives, tomato sauce, pomegranite syrup, sugar and eggplant and stir until combined and heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve as a cold dip after refrigerated for a while or as a delicious pasta sauce.



Truffled Bean Dip:


1 TBS plus one tsp truffle oil (Can buy at Trader Joe’s or Whole foods)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 14 oz. can cannelini beans

1/8 tsp salt


Puree until very smooth in a food processor and enjoy with pita chips, carrots, or any other vehicle!


Perfect Guacamole:


2 ripe avocados

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp lime zest 1/2 lime’s juice

2 pinches salt

10 grinds of fresh pepper


Mix gently to combine!