Maria’s Raw Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad

I have known Maria McEvoy for many years – first as an amazingly fit and head-strong athlete and soon after as a deep, thoughtful, and intelligent friend.  I admire Maria’s balance between focusing on her health and the strength of her body and her ability to enjoy life and connect with those she loves around her.

As a pastry chef, Maria’s sweets have always knocked my socks off.  She is also an amazing cook and food blogger, and I have started following her healthy and easy recipes on her site, Flycakes Kitchen.  This Raw Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad is particularly healthy and easy, and it’s perfect for the spring weather that’s finally arrived.  Try it — You’ll love it!



The recipe I’m sharing with you today was inspired by the pudgy feeling I get after a summer of little too much indulgence in CO;  my happy place . Whether you’re feeling this way after a European vacation, an injury that has sidelined your from working out, a long and very social summer in the Hamptons, or a long winter of hibernation this salad will make you feel lighter, well fed and well maybe just a little bit smug for making yourself.

Hugs, Maria

Raw Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad

  • 1/2 head cauliflower or 1 small head chopped into fat chunks
  • 3 or 4 small carrots peeled and sliced (or 10-15 baby carrots to save time)
  • 1 clove garlic or 2 scallions roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric (if you have it)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (or more to taste) or 1/2 a serrano roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt if you have it
  • 4 tbsp currants (or raisins, or dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (Note: I only had basil and cilantro today and that’s what I used)
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds (or pine nuts, or pistachios)

For the dressing: combine 2 tbsp light miso, 2 tbsp tahini and the juice of one lemon. If it’s too thick add a little bit of water or more lemon juice to thin.

Maria2 copy

Place the cauliflower, carrots, garlic or scallions, and serrano (if you’re using it) in the food processor and run until the veggies are minced and resemble couscous.

Maria6 copy

Put the contents of the food processor in a bowl and add the turmeric, cayenne (unless you really love spice, exclude the cayenne if you’ve used the serrano), pepper and salt and stir to combine.

Maria5 copy

Place all the herbs and your nuts of choice (not your spouses’) in the food processor and run until they are finely chopped.

Maria4 copy

Add herbs, nuts and dried fruit of choice into the bowl and stir to combine and finally pour the miso dressing into the couscous and stir again. Refrigerate.

Maria3 copy

So simple right? Have this for lunch and snacks for three or four days and you will start feeling less spongy. Promise.

Enjoy and always let your taste buds soar!



Maria McEvoy’s blog, Flycakes Kitchen is about living life in balance: Finding it, maintaining it, and coming back to it when we’ve lost it.  The recipes she shares with her readers reflect that balance: healthy, nutritious and simple meals followed by a little indulgence. In her words, “My diet is far from perfect (I have a profound love affair with m&m’s and Nestle Crunch) but I try every day to take a long term view on my life, health, diet and the choices I make. I try to make my recipes approachable, unpretentious and always fast because who the hell has time to spend a lifetime in the kitchen?”

Maria has been a freelance pastry chef for over a decade (after she “recovered from working on Wall Street”) and while she still very much enjoys that work, she believes that  sweets should only be a small part of her family’s diet. “When we eat that dessert it better be the best tasting, explode-in-your-mouth-with-flavor sweet, made with the purest, and least processed ingredients. Ingredients that our bodies will recognize. Bring on the butter, sugar, eggs, and flour but deliver it in such a way that ONE serving will scratch that itch.” Part of finding balance for her is exercising every day, and she considers it a non-negotiable appointment she makes with herself. She is thankful she’s married to a man who feels exactly the same way!

Jenné’s Springtime Salad

Jenné Claiborne is one of those people you can’t help but admire and want to befriend at the same time.  I met her at a health and wellness event at Barefoot Tiger last year and felt like her positivity and enthusiasm were incredibly contagious.  She also made some of the most delicious vegan food I had tasted in a long time!

As spring finally comes (thank goodness!), we start thinking about venturing outdoors, wearing our long-awaited spring clothes, and making delicious salads.  Jenné has offered a great salad recipe here – and I also recommend checking out her personal chef service and her vegan food blog at and



Springtime Salad by Jenné Claiborne

Since the beginning of the year, I have been looking forward to craving salads again. To feel warm and cozy during the cold winter, I filled my plate with roasted vegetables, cooked greens, lots of legumes, and plenty of hot drinks.

Now it’s officially Spring, and my body is asking for a salad. Not just any old salad, but one that is full of different non-starchy vegetables, healthy fat, a good amount of zest, and lots of color. I call this a “Daily Salad” because I could easily eat it everyday. When I grow tired of one component of the salad or need more bulk, it’s easy to substitute or make an addition. Some of my favorite additions are lentils, beans, strawberries, cilantro, mint, basil and sunflower seeds. Have fun with this salad, and make it your own!

Jenné’s Daily (Springtime!) Salad 

(Use a food processor with a shred blade to shred the carrots and cabbage. It makes your life easy, and cuts the time it takes to make the salad.)

serves 1-2

  • 6-8 leaves of kale, torn off stem
  • 4 cups of arugula
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage, shredded
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed or sliced
  • pinch of sea salt
  • juice of 1 lemon (or 1/2 lemon more to taste)

Place the clean kale into a mixing bowl. Into the kale add the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a pinch of sea salt and 1/2 of the avocado. Using your clean hands, massage the toppings into the kale for a minute or so, until the kale has shrunken in size and become tender. Rinse your hands, then add in the arugula, shredded veggies and remaining lemon juice. Toss it all together, using your hands then serve topped with more avocado, pumpkin seeds and a pinch more of sea salt.



Jenné helps people adopt and maintain a healthy, delicious and sustainable plant-based diet so they can improve their energy, lose weight and feel their very best. She is the founder of The Nourishing Vegan, a New York based personal chef service. She is also the creator of Sweet Potato Soul, a vegan food blog that features recipes, tips and super fun cooking videos. In late-summer 2013 Jenné launched the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint–an interactive online program that takes the guess work out of becoming vegan and guides members to become vibrant, nourished and glowing herbivores. She is a regular contributor to the Vegetarian Times blog. Follow Jenné on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram @sweetpotatosoul.

Meet Lauren Rust and Her Truffle Roasted Vegetables!

I really like to bring attention to great friends who are doing important work in the wellness world.   Lauren Rust is one of those people. She is a health coach – but she specifically works with women who have been diagnosed with HPV and cervical dysplasia.  Lauren is developing a program to support women in this situation and to help them make health- and immune-boosting lifestyle choices.

I am happy to introduce Lauren’s work here. And I’m especially looking forward to trying this fantastic recipe!!




By: Lauren Rust, CHC

I’m pretty cold right now. How about you? Being raised in Georgia did nothing to prepare me for the kind of winter we’re having. When I moved to the city five years ago, my idea of a winter coat was a light jacket. Needless to say, I’ve upgraded my wardrobe since then!

When it’s cold outside, my body craves warm, nourishing foods and there’s nothing easier than roasting veggies for dinner. (HEALTH COACH CONFESSION: Contrary to popular belief, when I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen emulating June Cleaver). So when I’m in a pinch for time or need a fabulous side dish, this is my go-to recipe. It’s so simple and it’s always a crowd pleaser!

And what kind of health coach would I be if I didn’t tell you about all the glorious health benefits of this delicious dish? In my practice, I work with women who have HPV or cervical dysplasia, teaching them how to support their immune systems naturally, and one of the best things women can do for strong immunity is to add lots of cruciferous vegetables into their diet! We all know vegetables are good for us, but cruciferous vegetables are the powerhouses of the vegetable world! So today, let’s talk about one of them – Brussels sprouts!

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts contain compounds called ITCs that promote the elimination of carcinogens from the body. ITCs also help reduce DNA damage that could potentially lead to the development and proliferation of abnormal cell growth! Plus, sprouts are full of vitamin C (for immune system support), folate (for healthy cell growth) and vitamin K (which helps regulate inflammation).

So next time you’re craving a warm, delicious dinner that’s also super nutritious, do yourself a favor and start roasting!



  • 1 small bag (or heaping handful) of Brussels sprouts
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 (8 oz.) pack of mushrooms
  • 1 onion (red or yellow)
  • 1 (13.75 oz.) can of artichoke hearts
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Extra-virgin coconut oil (I recommend Trader Joe’s brand!)
  • 1 tsp. (divided) of truffle oil (this is optional, but gives them that extra delicious flavor!)


  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease 2 baking pans (I’m a big fan of leftovers, but if this is too much for you, cut the recipe in half).

2. Finely chop the garlic and cut the onion into long strips.

3. Wash and chop your mushrooms into smaller pieces (there is no wrong way to chop these veggies, by the way!).

4. Wash and cut your asparagus into thirds (discarding the tough white end of the stalks).

5. Wash and chop your Brussels sprouts in half. Then with your knife, make a tiny slit into the “tree trunk” looking end of the sprout (this helps them cook more evenly!).

6. Wash and break your cauliflower into smaller pieces (you can use your hands!).

7. Now drain your can of artichokes and break the hearts into smaller pieces.

8. In a large mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients and drizzle with just enough coconut oil to give the veggies a light coat. Mix well.

9. Give the veggies a generous sprinkle of the spices listed above, then spread the mixture evenly onto the baking pans.

10. If you’re using truffle oil, drizzle ½ tsp. per pan over the veggies and bake for 40-45 minutes (flipping halfway through) until the veggies are cooked through and slightly browned. Enjoy!


Lauren Rust Bio Pic

Lauren Rust is a Certified Health Coach based in New York City. She works with women who have HPV and cervical dysplasia, giving them emotional support and simple tools for supporting their immune systems through food and lifestyle modifications. She received formal training in nutrition and innovative coaching techniques at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Lauren is a travel junkie, a big fan of her trusted bicycle and a great listener who would love to connect with you in person or by phone! You can learn more about her programs at Lauren Rust Wellness.


Sweet Potato and Lentils:
Warming and Healing in Winter


It’s been cold!! This week, I asked Joanie  – one of my instructors and resident health coach – to give me one of her favorite healing winter recipes to help us get through the season. Not only has Joanie’s clients seen amazing results, but her food is also incredibly tasty.  Try this recipe, and you’ll be a happy camper!



Warming Sweet Potato and Maple Lentils

The winter months are known for bringing on colds, coughs, sneezes and sniffles. That makes it more important than ever to eat healthy, mineral-rich foods to keep your energy up and your immune system strong. This simple recipe is flavorful, packed full of nutrition and warms you up from the inside out.

2 cups dry lentils
1 medium, red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet apple, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced small
14-oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)
2.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp regular mustard
1 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Rinse and drain lentils. In a large oven-safe pot bring lentils and 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring often. Cook until lentils are tender and a majority of the water is absorbed.
2. Add onion, garlic, apple, sweet potato, tomatoes, maple syrup, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper to the pot with the lentils. Stir well to combine. Add apple cider vinegar.
3. Cover and bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and bake for additional 8-12 minutes, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste
4. Serve over toasted multi-grain bread, whole wheat pita or on a salad of dark, leafy greens.

Makes 4-6 Servings

Joanie Johnson - Certified Pilates instructor, TRX trainer, health coach and trained professional dancer.

For more recipes or information about Motivated Nutrition’s 6-month coaching program, visit