Healthy Southern Sweet Potato Pie

2 C grated, raw sweet potato - peeling optional if organic
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1/2t nutmeg
1t cardamom
1t cinnamon
1/2 C milk (dairy free works)
1/4 C coconut oil melted in pie dish to grease it

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Add some pecans or other nuts of choice to taste. Bake in pie pan at 350 for 30-40 min until done- top will be browned.

One of my favorite holiday dishes is my mom’s sweet potato pie, a side dish from deep in the South that is resplendent in butter and sugar. Yummy—but not healthy despite the main ingredient being a very nourishing sweet potato.  So I set out to create a version of the dish that was Alpha Gal friendly and with greatly reduced sugar. The final dish is every bit as wonderful—but now a guilt-free treat. This process can be applied to any of your favorite recipes, remember it’s ok to fail in the experiments —that’s how we learn!

Back to the recipe redo…. there were two main ingredients I was concerned about for health reasons: sugar and butter.

It is important to undertake this process in steps and understand a little about the “chemistry” of the dish:

The butter/fat adds to the flavor and makes the nutrients in the sweet potato more readily absorbed by the body—but 2 sticks for the size of the recipe is excessive.

Sugar isn’t just a sweetener but sometimes acts as a catalyst. For example when whipping cream—the addition of sugar helps the cream form better though less is needed than most people realize, so we cannot completely remove some ingredients without consequences to the final product! 

I experimented with reducing the butter first, could I cut the butter in half and still have a good version? The answer was yes—1 stick of butter tasted identical to 2 sticks in the final product. So then I halved that again—½ stick butter—and it was a little dry (not so yummy).  So I added some unsweetened apple sauce and that worked! Then I replaced the ½ stick of butter with an equal amount of coconut oil—success—no mammal and a nearly identical flavor. Next step, the sugar…

The original recipe used 2 C of sugar in total! I cut that in half…and it wasn’t noticeably less sweet, especially with the apple sauce. Next, I made it with even less (½ C) and it was a little flat compared to the original recipe. 

So what to do? 

I increased the cinnamon then added cardamom and clove to the mix and increased the applesauce and amount of sweet potato. The extra spices did the trick—the nature and flavor of the dish were preserved and the sugar was reduced by ¾! Now we can enjoy this dish without the sugar rush. I have also experimented with a monk fruit-based sweetener replacing the ½ C sugar making a dish that is safe in moderation even for those with diabetes! Don’t tell my mom but sprinkling some chopped nuts on top of this is a wonderful addition- pine nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts all work beautifully with this recipe! And, nuts are good for your body and brain!

Here is my final "Healthy" version of Southern Sweet Potato Pie!

I hope this helps inspire you to take some of those family favorites and tinker with them to make them better for you. Pancakes, cookies, and pie crusts often lend themselves well to a gluten-free makeover and it’s worth the work to figure out which options work best. For example, I love shortbread and the gluten-free flour mix that rocks for pancakes but was a disaster for shortbread— but almond flour was even better than the original!

Cooking is a special kind of alchemy, one that transforms humble ingredients into nourishing and flavorful dishes. Food is the first medicine, but it doesn’t need to taste bad! If you need inspiration, check out our Facebook Group, Raja Wellness Ways to Health, and search #realfoodfast or browse the recipes on our website.

Yours in Wellness,


Clears summer heat and stomach heat. Generates body fluid and relieves thirst. Translation: helps to alleviate/prevent dehydration, reduce inflammation, regulate digestion, and offers a way to use up something we would normally discard.

Watermelon can be a bit of a sugary treat, so be careful not to overdo it with the sweet part of the fruit, a little of it is fine—it has a number of electrolytes!


• 500 g (17.06 oz) watermelon peel

• 1 tsp salt

• 20 g (0.71 oz) garlic, minced

• 1/2 tsp sugar, to taste

• 1/4 tsp salt (natural sea salt is preferred) to taste

• 2 Tbsp sesame oil

• 3 tsp vinegar

Makes 3 servings

Take the white portion of the watermelon peel and cut into 2-inch by 1/2-inch strips.

Combine the strips of watermelon peel and salt in a bowl. Mix with hands for 5 minutes. Then rinse under cold water to remove the salt. Place peels on paper towels to dry.

Combine garlic, sugar, salt, sesame seed oil, and vinegar in a bowl. Mix with a whisk. Add watermelon peel and toss until evenly combined. Marinate for 1 hour before serving.

Cold Cucumber Soup 

1 large chilled English cucumber 

1 clove garlic, minced

1 green onion, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh red chili pepper (optional)

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

4 teaspoons vinegar

5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced (optional)

1 cup cold water

7-8 ice cubes (1 cup)

1- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, ground


1. Cut the cucumber into 3-inch long thin matchsticks/slices and put them into a chilled mixing bowl.

2. Add your garlic, green onion, and red chili pepper (if used).

3. Add the salt, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Mix well, gently with a spoon until the salt and sugar are well dissolved.

4. Add the water, ice cubes, and the sliced tomato (if used), and gently mix with a spoon. Let ice cubes dissolve.

5.  Spoon 4 portions into individual bowls, sprinkle sesame seeds on top, and serve right away with rice (optional) on the side.

It can be served with a side of rice, but it does just fine on its own as a refreshing, easy-to-digest, and healthy summer soup!

I was in search of a little sheet pan inspiration recently, and found a recipe that I liked but lacked
a few ingredients—so I improvised and was thrilled with the results. This recipe is nutritious,
easy to make, and alpha-gal friendly. Don’t feel shy about using different vegetables or adjusting the ingredients to your liking—experimentation makes food fun!

1 lb raw tiger shrimp
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch Kale, roughly chopped
3/4 red onion, cut into thin slices
1 zucchini, sliced into thin quarters
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, cut into halves
6-7 kalamata olives, sliced
Salt, pepper to your liking (I like to go heavy on the pepper) Italian seasoning to taste (I like to add some additional oregano OR basil—but not both)
Marinated artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes also make a nice addition


Preheat oven to 425°F

In large bowl, mix kale, red onion slices, kalamata olives, zucchini, 1⁄2 of the minced garlic,
lemon juice from 1⁄2 lemon. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a couple of dashes of the
herbs. Toss well.

In a separate bowl, add peeled and deveined tiger shrimp (pat w/ a paper towel to remove
moisture), the remaining garlic, juice from remaining half of the lemon, remaining olive oil, salt
and pepper to taste, and a couple dashes of the herbs. Toss.

While your shrimp is marinating, add vegetable mixture to an 8x8 glass baking dish. Cover with
aluminum foil and cook for 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven.

Add just a light drizzle of olive oil to the dish, and add marinated shrimp. Cover in aluminum
foil and return to the oven for 6 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and cook another 8 minutes, or
until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Serve immediately and enjoy!

As mentioned, this dish is alpha-gal safe. If consuming dairy is not a concern for you, consider
topping with a few crumbles of feta cheese.

For even more delicious recipes, check out our Facebook Group, Raja Wellness Ways to Health where we also share more tips and inspiration for healthy living!

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Source: BT Leigh's

Time to bring out the grill and try this amazing Grilled Trout recipe that’s “clean plate” approved!

4 fresh trout filets, skin-on
1 bottle of Jalapeño Business
2 limes
1 lemon
A neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat your grill to 250 degrees. Make sure your grill grates are properly cleaned so the trout does not stick.

While your grill is heating, slice up one lime and one lemon. Make sure to slice the fruits fairly thin.
Lightly coat your trout filets in oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place the trout on the grill, skin side down. Next to the trout, place the citrus slices in approximately the same size as the filet - usually about 3 slices.

Take a brush and apply a thin layer of Jalapeño Business on the citrus and the fish.

Be careful to watch your fish. Trout will cook quickly on the grill and will be done when the flesh is flakey and white. This should be approximately 3 minutes. If its a bigger filet, be sure to flip it onto the citrus bed halfway through cooking. For a smaller filet, flip it onto the lemon-lime layer just before it finishes cooking. Be sure to brush the skin with some Jalapeño Business!

Serve immediately, and enjoy!

It's that time of year again, where the temperatures are rising and a cool refreshing drink is starting to sound mighty good! We thought we'd share this recipe that's great for a large crowd (or can be saved to drink later) and is easy to adjust for your sweetness preference. We suggest starting with a little agave syrup (its sweetness is very concentrated!) and adding more to suit your taste if you like things on the sweeter side. Adding fresh fruit slices also makes it double as a sort of 'dessert', and is better than grabbing that big slice of cake!

If you like this recipe, don't forget to check out our 'Rethink Your Drink' series, where we share our favorite non-alcoholic beverage ideas and recipes!


1/3 cup agave syrup (can adjust for more/less sweetness)

2 quarts 100% grape juice

1 pint lemon juice

1 quart green tea

1 small block of ice or ice cubes

2 quarts club soda

1 lemon, sliced, for serving (optional)


Combine agave syrup, grape juice, lemon juice and green tea. Chill for 1-2 hours.

Place the block of ice in a large punch bowl. Pour the chilled punch over the ice. Add club soda.

Serve with lemon slices, or add any chopped fruit of your choice. We like pineapple, limes, and strawberries!

Makes approximately14 servings.

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This is a great "set and go" chicken recipe using a slow cooker! Ground coriander adds a floral and citrus-y zest! You can use the chicken in many other dishes, get creative! Goes great with just a bed of rice, but also can be diced up for salads or on the side of a heaping plate of steamed fresh vegetables.


1/4 Cup soy sauce

2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar

2 Teaspoons garlic

1 Tablespoon ginger

1 chopped yellow onion

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 Teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/4 Pound chicken breast

2 sliced carrots

2 Cups cooked sushi rice (optional)

1 Tablespoon corn starch

1/4 Cup water

1/4 Cup diced cilantro


1) In a slow cooker, stir together soy sauce, sugar, garlic, onion, vinegar, coriander, and salt and pepper. Add chicken and carrots, toss to coat. Cover and cook on low until chicken is tender, about 6 hours. 

2) (optional) Cook rice according to package instructions. 

3) In a small saucepan, whisk cornstarch with water. Ladle about half of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker into the pan; whisk to combine. Bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. 

4) Serve the chicken with sauce and rice if desired, and garnish with cilantro.

Breakfast. There’s more to choose from than cereal, pancakes or bacon and eggs—though it helps to explore some recipes that aren’t US staples. What’s your favorite “different” breakfast?

This dish—inspired by an eggplant shakshuka recipe (popular in North Africa and the Middle East) was heavily adapted. I had no eggplant to help give it texture and didn’t have time to simmer and brown the garlic and onions—so I swapped the eggplant for a quick cook quinoa with chickpeas and garlic seasoning, added in navy beans to make up for the additional chickpeas I was missing, and some canned roasted bell peppers to add in that sweet smoky flavor. 

Look at those beautiful, fragrant spices!

The seasoning I used is a Kabsa spice mix I picked up in Lexington at a Middle Eastern market—it has an amazing flavor—floral and spicy. I have a small mortar and pestle and the extra minute to grind these fragrant herbs is well worth it. The smell is divine!

Delicious-and quick!


¾ Tbsp Kabasa spice mix herbs (found at middle eastern markets)

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can navy beans

4 eggs

1 package Ancient Harvest Brand Quick-Cook Quinoa with chickpeas and garlic

To assemble: Grind Kabasa Spice Mix herbs—I used about 3/4 TBSP to grind. Add herbs, 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 can drained navy beans to non-stick skillet. Stir and remove 4 sous vide eggs from the fridge and crack into sauce (or once simmering add raw eggs and poach in juices of dish—takes a few minutes longer this way). While that’s all simmering, microwave the quinoa grains in the bag. When that is heated, add grains to the serving bowl, top with  shakshuka sauce and stir. As a final touch, place your egg(s) on top. Enjoy this warm savory dish that will keep your brain and body well fueled. 

For even more delicious recipes, check out our Facebook Group, Raja Wellness Ways to Health where we also share more tips and inspiration for healthy living!

The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.
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