Recipe Redo Blog

Traditional Recipes Redone…Healthier

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Vegan Muesli – Yummy and Fast Breakfast for Busy Kids


On a recent trip to Canyon Ranch, I had their incredible Alpine Muesli and was very impressed with the nutrition and great taste. I also loved the fact that it was served chilled as I knew this would be a great option for busy parents who want their kids to eat healthy before school, but are a bit time pinched. Any version of this recipe would be so much better than sugary cereal or toaster treats.

Because I try to always watch the ingredients that might cause some issue with digestion and food sensitivities, I adapted their recipe and created one of my own.

My main substitutes were;
• Replaced the dairy yogurt and milk with coconut products to make it vegan and lactose free
• Used oat groats and chia seeds instead of instant oatmeal to increase the fiber content and offer raw, enzyme rich ingredients
• Swapped dates for the honey to decrease the sugar amount and add a dose of iron


2/3 C Oat groats
¾ Cup Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt
1/8 C Chia seeds
1 t Vanilla
3 Small apples – peeled and grated
1 Small orange – juiced
¼ C Sliced almonds
3 Pitted and diced dates
¼ C Unsweetened coconut flakes


Rinse oat groats and soak in water overnight – double the water to amount of groats
After 12 hours, drain and rinse the soaked groats and allow to strain. In a bowl add the yogurt, chia seeds and vanilla. Place the oat groats in the yogurt mixture, stir and set aside. Peel the apples and grate into a bowl. Juice the orange over the grated apple and stir. Add in the almonds, dates and coconut flakes to the grated apple and mix well. Blend in the yogurt mixture and blend. Let sit for 15 minutes and then enjoy at room temperature or chill. This recipe can be stored for a couple days in the refrigerator so double the batch if needed.

You can also use plain instant oatmeal to eliminate the soaking process

Makes 4 servings at about 300 calories per serving

Recipe Created by Debra K

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Cherry Vanilla Energizer

I like to drink green smoothies almost every day and highly encourage everyone to give them a try. To keep it simple and tasty here is a recipe to get you started. Watch the video below to see how easy it is!

You need a high quality blender to make this Energizer. Make and drink half of this recipe 45 minutes prior to your run or within 30 minutes upon your return. Refrigerate any leftover Energizer in an airtight container and drink within 8 hours.

Serves: 1


Place in blender in the following order:

  • 1-1 1⁄2 C water (You can also use 1⁄2 water and 1⁄2 non-dairy milk for a creamier version)
  • 1⁄2 frozen banana
  • 1⁄2 scoop vegan Vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tsp. whole flax seed
  • 1 small zucchini or cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1 large handful mild lettuce or spinach, fresh

Cherry Flavor: I have recently started using Genesis Pure Cherry E2 workout powder. It offers a natural sweet boost to my juices and smoothies and more importantly…MORE Energy. This is so much better than bottled fuel drinks that have a lot of sugar, artificial colors and sweeteners.

You can order it HERE
  • Add 1⁄2 scoop of Cherry E2 – or you can throw in a few frozen cherries.


Blend until smooth. Add liquid until you reach the desired consistency and enjoy. Happy Running!!

For more videos follow Debra on Youtube
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Chilled Bean and Artichoke Salad

Since I’ve been on and off the “lose weight” wagon most of my life, I’ve learned a few things that help get me going when I jump back on.  One thing that really gets me off on a good start is to always have healthy and filling snacks prepared and waiting in the fridge.  That way when a craving hits, I can immediately access something that tastes good and keeps me on track.  I keep a variety of bean, green and slaw salads ready to go.  They also make great side dishes for family meals.
This is a hearty and filling recipe that should make everyone happy.  It will last for days in the fridge and the longer it sits, the better it tastes.

Salad Ingredients:photo (13)

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and halved
  • 1/2 container plum tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 C chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 C chopped basil

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C cider vinegar
  • 3 Tb olive oil
  • 2 tsp agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all bean salad ingredients into a large bowl.  Place all vinaigrette dressing items into a deep container and using a hand blender, blend until smooth.  Pour the dressing on top of the bean mix and coat well.  Store in the refrigerator.  The longer it marinates the better it tastes.
Makes 6 servings
Approximately 180 calories per serving

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Wilted Kale Avocado Salad

photo (27)This mostly raw salad is healthy, flavorful and great for those with food sensitivities.


  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • 6-8 mini sweet peppers- tops and seeds removed, sliced into rings
  • 1 small red onion- Cut in half and thinly slice the onion 


  • 2Tb toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2Tb tamari low sodium (or soy sauce)
  • 2Tb rice vinegar
  • 1/2 chopped avocado
  • 1tsp Sriracha sauce
  1. Strip kale leaves from stems and chop or tear into bite-sized pieces.  Add kale and prepped vegetables to a large bowl.
  2. Place all dressing items into a deep container and using a hand blender, blend until smooth.  Pour the dressing on top of the vegetables.  Begin to knead the dressing into the kale until the kale has softened and all vegetables are coated.
  3. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and serve.
  4. Top with pumpkin seeds or almonds if desired.  You can store for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Makes 4 servings
Approximately 150 calories per serving

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Healthy Sweet Plantains

plantainsWhile visiting a Cuban restaurant recently enjoyed fresh fried plantains.  But, knowing the recipe most likely called for butter and white sugar, I adapted the below recipe to be healthier and free of all common allergens.


2 firm plantains – More green than black skins


1/4 C Raw Coconut Sugar or Sucanat

Dash of cinnamon


Peel the plantains and slice at an angle so you have larger circular slices.  Heat a flat bottom skillet on the stove and place in enough ghee to coat the bottom of the pan.  In a separate bowl, put in the sugar and a dash of cinnamon.  When the ghee is hot put in the plantain slices and fry until golden brown.

Transfer the plantains into the bowl with the sugar and toss to coat the plantains.  Set aside to caramelize for a few moments.  Serve and enjoy immediately.


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Debra K’s Holiday Recipe Redo

Original Printing of this article Palm Beach Woman Magazine.

Yikes!   Are the holidays almost here?   Never fear Debra K, host of the television show Journey into Wellbeing and Natural Health Explorer, is here to “healthify” your holidays.

“I believe we all have the right to enjoy incredible looking and tasting cuisine…Trust me, I’m not going to miss a meal. To ensure we stay healthy this holiday season, I have asked some of the top chefs in Palm Beach to redo traditional recipes in a healthier fashion. Enjoy!"   ~Debra K

“I believe we all have the right to enjoy incredible looking and tasting cuisine…Trust me, I’m not going to miss a meal. To ensure we stay healthy this holiday season, I have asked some of the top chefs in Palm Beach to redo traditional recipes in a healthier fashion. Enjoy!” ~Debra K

With the holidays right around the corner there is a good chance you’ll soon be noshing on office goodies, grabbing meals on the go, attending school recitals and partaking in a few well deserved cocktails.   While all these activities are festive and fun, there’s a good chance as the days progress so will the number on your scale.  Most of us will pack on a few extra pounds by the New Year and regardless of our good intentions after December, there’s a good chance we will never lose it.  Add on a decade of busy holidays and your staring at an extra ten to twenty pounds in the mirror.  While this busy time of year isn’t the most ideal to make drastic changes, there is much you can do to keep your long-term health goals in mind by making good eating choices.

Eating out can be challenging as there are always an array of delectable dishes that tempt you away from your commitment.  Unfortunately, many items on restaurant menus contain more salt, fat and calories than needed for any one meal.  Did you know a plate of nachos can contain over a thousand calories?  For some that is almost a whole day’s worth of their caloric needs.

As a resident of Palm Beach County I can vouch for the fact that there are many great eateries to choose from when hunger pangs hit.  To help with our holiday preparation I decided to head out and challenge some of the top chefs with providing healthy holiday recipes.  During recent explorations into Palm Beach I quickly learned…you do not have to sacrifice taste to enjoy some healthy local cuisine.

First Stop:  Zuccarelli’s Italian Kitchen


zucc Olimpia Douglas and DK

Olimpia Zuccarelli and Chef Douglas A. Chmielewicz with Debra K

Often people associate Italian food with lots of carbohydrates and fat and with the new gluten-free craze some have given it up entirely.  But, there are many great options when choosing to incorporate traditional Italian into your diet.  Originating within the fabled borders of Italy, The Zuccarelli family team, Mom Frances and Daughter Olimpia, have been serving up the region’s finest Italian for over 30 years in Palm Beach.  There are many healthy options on the menu including gluten free pasta. You will find it easy to stay on track while enjoying some dishes fresh from the kitchen.

I joined Olimpia and Chef Douglas A. Chmielewicz in the kitchen. Amid the flurry of flying pizza dough and the enticing aroma of garlic, I watched enraptured as they worked their magic and provided two great recipes for our Holiday Recipe Redo.

Chef Douglas prepped the first dish, Antipasto Di Mare and I was pleased to see how simple it was to make and that all the ingredients were minimally processed and prepped.  The dish is not only delightful, tasty and simple, but it is something South Floridians can easily make at home after a quick stop at the local fish market.   In shellfish — including shrimp, clams, scallops, lobsters, crabs and abalones —15 percent or less of the calories come from fat, making this a great “low fat” option.

Antipasti Di Mare – Fruits of the SeaZucc Antipasto di Mare

This mix of shrimp, scallops, clams, calamari, and mussels tossed together in a zesty lemon dressing is a great option for Christmas Eve.

      • 1 C Calamari, cleaned and cut into rings
      • 10-12 baby shrimp, peeled and deveined
      • 4 scallops
      • 8 clams – add for last 4 minutes
      • 4-5 mussels – add for last 4 minutes
      • Handful of capers, kalamata olives and pepperoncini as desired

Heat 1 C of water in a large skillet and cover and poach the seafood for 5-6 minutes.  When cooked, drain the hot water and add ice cubes to cool the seafood.  When cooled, transfer cooked seafood to a separate bowl.  Toss in capers, kalamata olives and pepperoncini.

Dressing:Zucc ADM with wine

      • ½ C Diced celery
      • 1 T Balsamic vinegar
      • ½ C Fresh lemon juice
      • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a separate bowl add diced celery, lemon juice, parsley and a touch of balsamic vinegar to form the dressing.  Toss into seafood mixture.  Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste.

Create Salad made of lettuce with sliced cucumber, onion and tomatoes.  Top salad with the seafood mixture and enjoy.

zucc Chef Doug broccoli prep (2)

I then asked the Chef to quickly put together a healthy side dish that could easily be made at home.  Within a few minutes, he had created vibrant green garlic infused sautéed Broccoli Rabe.  Similar to turnip greens, this green is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe

      • Kosher salt Zucc Brocc dish
      • 1 Bunch broccoli rabe, remove tough and non-leafy stems
      • Extra-virgin olive oil
      • 3 Cloves garlic, smashed
      • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil. Add the smashed garlic and crushed red pepper and bring to medium heat. When the garlic is golden brown, toss in the Rabe and a dash of salt.  Steam for approximately 6 minutes by placing another pan over the sauté pan or add a lid. Shake occasionally to prevent burning.  When rabe is tender, serve immediately.

If you don’t feel like cooking, both these dishes are regular menu items, so plan on stopping in and enjoying with the Zuccarelli family.

Next Stop:  Table 26°


TB26 TeamTable 26’s atmosphere and menu carries you to a warm and welcoming place with their exceptionally delicious comfort food dishes. Owners, Eddie and Ozzie, purposely chose West Palm Beach in the heart of the historical Mango Promenade district.  Leading their culinary team is Chef Steven Polowy who personally holds a deep passion for the freshest and finest food.  Whenever possible he utilizes local farms to ensure the freshness of all produce offerings. Chef Steven is known for taking traditional comfort food and adding surprising twists.

I was very excited to see the Chef’s salad offering.  Staying true to the flavors of fall, he created an exciting combination of squash, cranberries and turkey – a blend that immediately took me to happy days of holidays past.  This salad is a great option for those trying to stay trim as the Chef removed the traditional additions of heavy cheese and fried croutons and instead offered a healthy preparation of the squash providing high doses of natural fiber and carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease.

Turkey Terrific  Salad

Butternut Squash “Croutons”

      • 1 Butternut squash, peeled and medium diced
      • Salt and pepper

Season and roast butternut squash for 15 minutes @ 350 until cooked. Cool.   Note: Treat the butternut squash as croutons and serve either room temp or preferably slightly warm atop.

Main Salad:TB26 salad

      • 3 oz. Cooked, shredded boneless skinless turkey breasts
      • 1 C Dry cranberries
      • 1 C Cooked green beans thinly sliced in length
      • 1 C Toasted pecans, seasoned to taste.
      • 6 oz. Baby arugula
      • 1 oz. Apple cider vinaigrette (or to taste)
      • 16 Butternut squash “croutons”
      • 12 Endive spears
      • Salt and pepper

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

      • 1oz. Apple cider vinegar
      • 1 t Dijon mustard
      • 1 t Honey
      • Salt and pepper
      • 3 oz. Olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil.  Slowly emulsify olive oil into vinegar mix and season to taste.  Reserve the dressing for final assembly.

Assemble salad:

Toss portioned ingredients of cranberries, arugula, turkey, green beans, pecans, vinaigrette and season to taste. Align three endive per plate, divide equal amounts of salad per plate as well. Garnish atop and around with 4 butternut squash as if they are croutons. Serve immediately.

If you think this salad sounds amazing, you should check out what other fabulous offerings are on the menu at

Third Stop: Chunkie Dunkies 

Is a Decadent Dessert Possible? Chunkie Dunkies says YES!


We cannot make it through to January without indulging in some delicious sweets.  It just wouldn’t be right.  Usually when choosing a dessert, our focus isn’t necessarily on health, but on incredible flavor and texture – we are looking for an experience.  Fortunately I was able to track down Chef Dina Marie Lauro, who is offering a sweet option that over-delivers to all these experiential needs, including health.

dina headshot

Chef Dina Marie Lauro

Dina is a Raw Vegan Chef.  Growing up in an Italian family she was born to cook, but her “school” training began at the Natural Gourmet Institute of Health and Culinary Arts (NGI) in Manhattan, NY.  At NGI, she learned how to create delicious, plant-based foods without animal ingredients.   Following her passion to create healthy and tasty desserts, in June 2011, Dina launched her cookie business Chunkie Dunkies.

Dina was a great choice to offer us a healthier dessert for the holidays.  Her cookie company, Chunkie Dunkies, has a full line of gourmet raw/vegan cookies and brownies that are gluten-free, dairy-free and cholesterol-free. Not only are they delicious but they are loaded with nutrients, enzymes, protein, and fiber.

dina and dk with pieThis pie contains fiber, protein and vitamins from the raw nut crust and the uncooked apples.  Instead of white sugar, Dina made this version with pure maple syrup for minerals and antioxidants.  Because eggs and butter were not included in this recipe, it is a great choice for those worried about their cholesterol.  By not baking this version all the natural food enzymes remain alive so the body can digest easier giving you more energy.  With living foods, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to break the food down.

When you eat pure raw foods you are feeding your body premium fuel for it to thrive.  Raw food contains natural vitamins and minerals our bodies need to be their best.  If you want to feel and look great it’s important to incorporate real “fresh” food that hasn’t been destroyed by high heats. Fresh salads, smoothies with vegetables, fruits from the trees are all great choices.  There are no short cuts.  If you want to be healthy eat more raw organic produce.

Dina’s Raw Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble

Delicious Live Thinly Sliced Layers of Raw Apples contained in a Rich Nutty Crust topped with a Mmm Mmm Cookie Crumble

Crust:dina Apple pie prep

Makes one 9 inch crust or 4, four inch tart shells

      • 2 C Raw walnuts
      • 2 C Raw pecans
      • 3/4 t Sea salt
      • 5 Dates, pitted and soaked for 5 minutes (save some soak water)
      • 1 T Pure maple syrup
      • 1 T Unrefined coconut oil, melted
      • 1/8-1/4 Soaked date water or filtered Water
      • Dollop of coconut oil for greasing pie dish

Prepare pie pan with coconut oil and grease the inside and edges.

In a food processor, using the S blade, process all nuts and sea salt into a fine nut flour. Place nut mixture in medium size bowl.  In food processor, add the dates, coconut oil, maple and soaked date water and process until mixture is creamy. Mix wet ingredients into dry making sure to form a ball.  Press the nut dough 1/4 inch thick into 9″ pie dish or tart shells.  Place in refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours, in freezer for 2 hours or in dehydrator for 5 hours at 115 degrees.  When dough is firm, pie slices are easier to remove.

Filling:dina apple pies complete (1)

      • 5 Apples, peeled and cored
      • Juice of 1/2 lemon
      • 1/4 C Pure maple syrup
      • 1 T Non-alcohol vanilla
      • 1.5 t Cinnamon
      • A pinch of sea salt

Thinly slice apples on a mandoline.  Reserve apples pieces that are too small to slice and set aside.  Put sliced apples in a big bowl.  Squeeze lemon juice over apples and lightly toss. In a blender, blend reserved apple pieces, maple, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until creamy.  Pour creamy mixture over sliced apples and lightly coat.  Place apple filling into your prepared pie dish(es) and press down slightly.


5 to 8 Oatmeal Chunkie Dunkie Cookies, room temperature

Crumble cookies on top of apple pie.  The more the yummier.  Can be savored right away or placed in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

If you want your own Chunkie Dunkies, stop in Amici Market, Breakers News & Gourmet or check their website for all local listings.

Regardless of how stressful the holidays seem, there are things you can do to feel healthy and stay on track.  If you do manage to fall off the health wagon, then just try to be kind to yourself and recognize that every day offers a new chance to rededicate yourself to living a full and vibrant Life.  I sincerely hope you enjoy your holidays.

DK’s Smashed Cauli’taters and Egg(less)Nog

Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to tackle and “healthify” traditional mashed potatoes and eggnog.  Both of these recipes are simple and would be fabulous additions to your holiday meal.  You can find my recipes and many more at

DK in the Kitchen

DK in the Kitchen

DK's Mashed Cauli'taters

DK’s Mashed Cauli’taters

DK's Egg(less) Nog

DK’s Egg(less) Nog

Debra K’s 10 Best Swaps:

Late last year, it was determined I was testing sensitive to many foods.  My doctor recommended a full detox eliminating dairy, gluten, corn, soy, peanuts and egg for five weeks.  During this time, I became an expert at finding tasty swaps.  Here are my top ten recommendations on some swaps to try in your recipes this season.

  1. Dairy milk – Unsweetened coconut or coconut almond blend
  2. Oil – In baked goods you can substitute with half the oil called for and replace the difference  with fresh pureed  apple
  3. Sugar – A mix of agave syrup and stevia
  4. Butter – Ghee or a vegan version such as Earth Balance
  5. For baked goods – A combination of gluten free flour and oat flour
  6. Salad dressing – Oil, vinegar and fresh minced herbs
  7. Soy Sauce – Coconut Aminos
  8. Mayonnaise –Soy Free Vegenaise®
  9. Thickener – Coconut flour
  10. Ice cream – Blend frozen banana, coconut milk, cherries and vanilla vegan protein powder (non-soy)

Meet Debra K

Executive Producer and Host, Journey into Wellbeing
Owner, Well World, Inc.
Owner, imassage, Inc.
Author, Success from the Start

As the host of Journey into Wellbeing currently airing on PBS, Debra is one part Rachael Ray and one part Ellen DeGeneres. But beyond the approachable, engaging personality is the mind of a shrewd business executive and entrepreneur. Debra is a former Fortune 250 marketing and sales leader and founder of the wellness education company imassage. She is also a popular speaker within the health and wellness industry, and her expertise has been sought by national publications including Reuters, Newsweek, Spry Living and Woman’s Day.  Debra’s goal is to inspire our nation’s health transformation and she invites you to join her.

You can join the Journey by following us on Facebook at Journey into Wellbeing with Debra K or visiting

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DK’s Egg(less) Nog

Oh Yeah!  Working on my Holiday Recipe Redo’s!  I’m thinking some Non-Dairy, Non-Egg Eggnog is in order!  Eggnog always played a role in the holidays when I was growing up.  I can remember my mom spending quite a bit of time making it.  For my new eating style, I wanted to preserve the flavor of the cinnamon and nutmeg, but remove the items that irritate my tummy.  After some experimentation, this recipe satisfied my desire to have an eggnog tasting drink without any of the guilt or tummy upset.

Serves: 2

DK's Egg(less) Nog

DK’s Egg(less) Nog


  • 1 Banana (frozen)
  • 1 C Vanilla Coconut or Almond Milk Ice Cream (dairy-free)
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • 4 cups Coconut/Almond Milk (Use less if you like it thicker like a milkshake)
  • Rum to taste – or rum extract


  1. In a blender add all the ingredients
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick

Drink up and enjoy!!