Author Archives: Rachel Repard

About Rachel Repard

I'm a foodie with a penchant for healthy eating (and the occasional cupcake). Like so many of us, breast cancer has touched my life. Although we can't predict what life will bring, I believe it's important to fortify your body with natural, healthful cooking. Find my other blog at

New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas

Happy New Year! In the American South, black-eyed peas are considered lucky when eaten on New Year’s Day. Plus, they’re a great source of lean protein and easier to use than other dried beans. Instead of soaking overnight, you can add dried black-eyed peas right to the pot and they’ll cook in about 1.5 hours.
We made duck for Thanksgiving this year, and have been enjoying the duck fat and stock we made from the leftovers ever since. This is the perfect recipe to use it! The silkiness of duck stock is enhanced by ham hocks, but don’t worry if you …


Gluten-free pumpkin cashew pancakes

Especially during the holidays, it’s nice to have an indulgent breakfast. Pancakes are such a comfort food, but refined flour and sugar are best avoided. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these tasty breakfast treats! Inspired by this recipe, I decided to make a healthier version. Cashew meal replaces flour for a gluten-free, protein-filled pancake.

Gluten-free pumpkin cashew pancakes
1/2 cup cashew meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
unsalted butter for cooking
Combine cashew meal and baking powder. Add maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add salt and spices. Heat …


Festive flavored water

I know what you’re thinking. Festive….water? 
But hear me out! Especially around the holidays, it’s hard to keep up with healthy eating habits. Drinking enough water is one of those things that seems so simple, and yet sometimes, it’s hard to get those 8 glasses a day in. An easy way to encourage yourself to drink more water is to make it more fun to drink. Adding fruit and herbs to your water not only makes it pretty to look at, it turns drinking water into something festive.

Try serving a pitcher at a holiday party, or keeping one in the refrigerator …


Sloppy sweet potatoes

This recipe is one of those “oops” moments that turns into something serendipitous. I had a package of grass-fed beef I was planning to make into meatballs, but I forgot to buy most of the other ingredients at the store. (Parmesan-less meatballs? How could I?) I did have some canned tomatoes and Italian spices, so I changed my plans and made a gloopy, flavorful mixture. But what to put it on? We’re not big bread-eaters, but we do keep plenty of sweet potatoes around. And after a successful experiment putting bbq chicken on baked sweet potatoes, I thought making a …


Curried Cauliflower Soup

A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that regularly eating nuts may lower the risk of health issues like heart disease, colon cancer and type 2 diabetes.
A great way to make your diet a little nuttier is to add nut butters to smoothies or ground nuts, like almonds or cashews, to soups. This flavorful, healthy cauliflower soup is from Andrew Weil’s cookbook True Food. As is, it’s a creamy concoction, but I like to add a little extra texture with some cubed sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans for protein and kale for color.

Andrew Weil’s Curried Cauliflower Soup
1/3 …


Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach

Thanksgiving is just one week away, so I have one last healthy side suggestion. This recipe comes from one of my favorite places on earth: Wegmans. Before moving to the Boston area from upstate New York, I shopped for all of my holiday meals at Wegmans. They have great recipes and suggestions, and one has become a mainstay for me. Simple, easy, and healthy! Enjoy, and please let me know if you have any other favorite healthy holiday recipes.

Wegmans Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach
Find the original recipe here
2 pkgs (20 oz each) cut butternut squash, or 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and …


Vegetarian chili for a crowd

I made this recipe last winter and I’ve come back to it several times. It’s always good to have a recipe that feeds a crowd, especially with the holidays coming up. This chili also freezes quite well, so if you aren’t expecting a hoard, you could freeze half the batch and come back to it later.

This recipe doesn’t have any meat, but it’s so flavorful meat-eaters won’t miss it. I think the added step of making a chipotle chile paste really takes it to the next level.

Chipotle chile paste
4-5 chipotle chiles (dried, smoked jalapenos)
2 small onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 …


Healthy Thanksgiving side: Carrot slaw

Thanksgiving is about family and food and tradition. We all have those go-to dishes that we need to make, or it just isn’t Thanksgiving. But since most of those dishes are on the decadent and fatty end of the food spectrum, that makes it hard to stick to a healthy eating plan.
I remember one Thanksgiving, I decided to add a healthy, raw recipe to the mix. I made a light carrot slaw, studded with dried cranberries, with a yogurt and whole grain mustard dressing instead of mayo. Although it isn’t one of the “standard” Thanksgiving dishes, it’s one of the most memorable.
I …


Sweet potato side dishes

Happy Halloween!
With November right around the corner, I’m already starting to plan my Thanksgiving meal. With a holiday so focused on decadent food and overindulgence, it’s hard to find healthy options. Sweet potatoes are doused in marshmallows, everything is slathered in butter…and then there’s dessert. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Sweet potatoes go perfectly with the season, and are one of the healthiest foods for you. Here are a few options that would be great on a Thanksgiving table.

Mashed sweet potatoes
Making mashed sweet potatoes is so simple. Just boil some water, throw in your peeled and cubed …


Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen: Gingerly Carrot Soup

Ginger is my favorite flavor. The scent of fresh ginger makes me swoon, and I add it to tea, pasta, soups…the list goes on. Here’s another recipe from the cookbook Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen. It might be my favorite so far – a bit of cinnamon enhances the sweetness of the carrots, and that delicious ginger tastes great and helps with nausea.
Make sure to check out the cookbook, and my other posts on the book, whether you’re a cancer patient, survivor, or just want to get some more goodness into your diet. You can feel these recipes working: not …