Recipe Redo Blog

Traditional Recipes Redone…Healthier

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Chef Spotlight – Chef Raju

Meet Chef Raju: Head Chef at The Art of Living Retreat Center


Chef RajuChef Raju Bhujel has traveled a long way from home to please guests who dine at the Art of Living Retreat Center. The Center is located near the blue Ridge Parkway outside of Boone, N.C.; Chef Raju is originally from Nepal. Drawing on flavors and spices that span his culinary journey, Chef Raju presents vegetarian dining that is creative, filling and delicious. Meals are served in a 41,000-square-foot dining hall with captivating mountain views.

His culinary experience included learning extensively from his father-in-law, formerly the personal chef to the late king of Nepal. Chef Raju continued his studies professionally, graduating from the National Institute of Hotel Management and working at one of Nepal’s leading hotels. He expanded his horizons by traveling with Crowne Plaza to work in the Middle East, around the world with Carnival Cruise Lines, and at a Michelin-starred restaurant in California.

Specializing in fusion as well as South- and Southeast-Asian cuisine, Chef Raju creates vegetarian menus in the Center’s alcohol-free environment. He describes success in cooking as, “Coming from a fusion of consistency and equanimity.” Chef Raju also believes that cooking is a mindful activity, “I love to prepare food that makes guests feel happy and balanced. Food that is simple and easy to digest.”

The Art of Living Retreat Center includes a Meditation Center that can hold up to 3,700 people, additional halls for events, a labyrinth, pottery studio and gardens. Shankara Ayurveda Spa is one part of the experience at the Center. Including a boutique hotel with three spa suites and 27 rooms, as well as wellness and fitness activities, the Center is quickly becoming known as a great spot for retreatists.

To arrange an interview with Chef Raju,
please contact Debra Locker – 859.536.0282 and

Visit The Art of Living Retreat Center 

Visit Shankara Ayurveda Spa


Chef Raju’s Recipes on Recipe Redo:

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Three Grain Burgers

As the blooms on the trees indicate– warmer weather is making it’s impact. Soon, this will lead to barbecues and patio parties galore! Why not try out this Three Grain Burger and have it star as your main dish? There is a large variety of bean burger recipes, but this meatless option stands out to me with it’s daring taste and nutritious ingredients. What I love about this recipe is the extended option to add smoked gouda pimentos and fried avocados to amp up the flavor even more. Try this recipe out and comment below to share your success!


Image from Vegetarian Ventures

Three Grain Burger with Smoked Gouda Pimento & Fried Avocado


For the patties:

  • 1 cup wheatberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup whole wheat rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup oats, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • salt / pepper
  • flour, as needed

Detailed directions, ingredients and an extended recipe can be found by heading over to Vegetarian Ventures.

Vegetarian Ventures is an excellent resource for those who lead a vegetarian lifestyle. Their eye catching photos featured on their blog are indicative of the food’s wonderful taste! Keep up with VV  on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Slow Cooker Breakfast Quinoa

This recipe is a no stress and no sweat kind of meal (those are the best kind in my opinion). Some days a simple and guilt-free recipe is exactly what you need to jumpstart the morning and get the kids to school on time. Slow cookers are an often overlooked kitchen essential that should be utilized to their full time-saving potential. A slow cooker is are a wonderful addition to the kitchen of an on-the-go family, and is essential to preparing this breakfast quinoa. Prepping for this meal is unbelievably easy, just throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker before you go to bed and set it to low overnight. In the morning this quinoa will be ready to serve for a deliciously healthy breakfast!


Slow Cooker Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients: (5 Servings)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups milk (or almond milk)
  • 4 medjool dates chopped
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1 apple peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For detailed directions that explains how to prepare this Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bake, visit the blog My Whole Food Life.

This recipe was originally penned by Melissa, a healthy eats expert that calls Dallas home. She is a self-proclaimed vegetarian of 16 years and considers cooking her true passion and loves developing recipes for her popular blog My Whole Food Life You can connect with the food-maven on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.



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Black Lentil Salad with Cumin Lime

With the lentils, black beans and veggies in between, this hearty meal will have you feeling full and satisfied. Add this recipe to your repertoire and this summer you will have an excellent way to showcase your garden produce! Preparation for this dish is pretty straightforward– to save some time it is most efficient to work on the salad dressing while the lentils are cooking. Feel free to serve this dish immediately following preparation or let the salad chill overnight before serving; this gives the dish’s flavors some time to combine.


Image from the Garden Grazer

Black Lentil Salad with Cumin Lime


  • 1 cup dry lentils (green or brown)
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes
  • Large bunch cilantro, stems removed
  • Optional: green onion

For the Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Optional: chipotle powder, chili powder, pepper, hot sauce, other seasonings, etc.
You can find detailed instructions for this recipe on the blog The Garden Grazer. Enjoy!
Kaitlin, of the blog The Garden Grazer is a self proclaimed vegetable enthusiast who enjoys making recipes that complement her passion for veggies. Her blog features recipes that are a creative and delicious take on eating fresh. For more from Kaitlin and all things The Garden Grazer, connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Mango Kiwi Avocado Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are a great option for those that wish to add extra fruits and veggies into their daily diet, but prefer to do so in an on-the-go fashion. I particularly love this recipe because it’s abundant with vitamin C, fiber and really everything wonderful for you! The combination of kiwis, avocados and mangoes balanced out by 2 cups of spinach make for a concoction that is not overly sweet, so it acts as a great mid-day refresher. All you truly need to make this recipe a reality is to be in possession of a blender– so have fun and try to mix things up a little bit! Comment below and share your favorite green smoothie combination.

Green Smoothie

Image from Ambitious Kitchen 

Mango Kiwi Avocado Green Smoothie


  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 kiwi, sliced and skin removed
  • 1/4 medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup ice, if necessary
You can find detailed instructions for this recipe on the blog Ambitious Kitchen. Enjoy!
Monique is the face behind the healthy-eats blog Ambitious Kitchen. Her recipes are a creative and delicious take on eating fresh. For more from Monique and all things Ambitious Kitchen, connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


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Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad

Trust me, you’ll be crazy for this irresistible Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad too! What I love about this recipe is it’s use of fresh veggies to make a crunchy salad that at the same time makes use of warmer weather’s essential kitchen appliance– the grill. Once you’ve collected all the ingredients for this recipe, the preparation for this dish is fairly simple. After you’ve grilled the corn, you’ll only need to worry about combining all veggies in one bowl and whisking the dressing up in another to pour over the salad later. The best part? There will be only a few dishes to clean up afterwards– which will ensure that you get to enjoy your Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad more quickly than expected.


Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad

Ingredients: (8 Servings)

  • 5 ears corn, grilled – remove kernels with a sharp knife
  • 10-oz container cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 avocados, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 3.5-oz container reduced fat feta cheese
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
  • ⅛ tsp. pepper

For detailed instructions to prepare this dish, you can find the original recipe published on Yummy Healthy Easy.

Jen, of the blog Yummy Healthy Easy, posts recipes that are taste-tested by her So-Cal family. All of her recipes are simple and delicious–the perfect solution for busy families that want to make healthy meals a priority. For more from Jen, check out amazing blog: Yummy Healthy Easy and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.


Baked Stuffed Apples with Peanut Butter and Granola

This unique recipe is a clever take on the composition of a healthy dessert. By using the natural sweetness of the apples combined with the crunchy or creamy goodness (depending on your preference) of the peanut butter and granola, the natural qualities of the ingredients shine to make an outstanding dish. Not too long ago I posted a recipe about Stuffed Bell Peppers. Though the overall taste of the two dishes is completely different– I’m still inspired by the creative way these recipes use the peppers and apples and transform them into a final product that tastes completely different! As an additional positive, this recipe requires little ingredients– so say goodbye to those long grocery lists! You won’t have to worry about forgetting that obscure essential ingredient with this recipe because it truly is that simple. All you need is Apples, Granola, Peanut Butter and some hot water and you are on your way to enjoying a delicious treat!


Baked Stuffed Apples with Peanut Butter Granola


  • 4 baking apples (such as Fuji, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Braeburn, McIntosh or Rome Beauty)
  • 1 cup granola
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 1 cup hot water

For detailed directions that explains how to prepare this healthy dessert, visit Dessert Now Dinner Later.

Amber, the face behind Dessert Now Dinner Later develops recipes that satisfy a food enthusiast’s desire for healthy recipes that are also easy to make. As a culinary graduate, Amber uses her knowledge and skills to aid her blog. You can connect with the food-maven on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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