Cruciferous Coconut Curry

Nothing beats having a plan when it comes to eating healthy:  Fail to plan, plan to fail, yes?  If you've just begun your journey to wellness, you've probably quickly discovered, living life on auto pilot(aka, without a plan) does not lead to success the majority of the time.  If you want to lose weight, heal your body, fight illness, and prevent disease, a new approach to how daily life is lived is the only way to go!  When a strategy is not in place, the food in sight and on-hand, ready to eat, becomes the only option, which makes you a victim of your circumstance.  As your health coach, it's my mission to help you help yourself ditch that victim and take charge in creating lasting, life-long, healthy habits possible to execute in your specific life situations!! 

I love the organization part of coaching along with creating realistic recipes fit for the crazy busy person or family.  It's my mission every day to make insanely satisfying (pleasurable, sexy, lovely, delicious, scrumptious, and oh so glorious) real food, which takes only a little thought in conjunction with a stocked pantry and fridge.  This Cruciferous Coconut Curry recipe (demo'ed at Grand Rapids Veg Fest 2016) is a staple in my home.  If I were to write a cookbook this would fall under the category of "Quick Sautéed Weekly Staples".  Curry is sweet, versatile, a little savory and free of the top allergens(diary, eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat and soy).  Green beans and cauliflower were chosen for their crowd appeal, but any veggie or animal/non-animal protein can easily be swapped or added in with the same tasty results.  After playing around with this recipe for months, I finally decided using the Thai coconut milk from the can is the only option for the stellar results VegFest attendees experienced first-hand.  

Cruciferous Coconut Curry

By Audrey Byker, Health Coach

-Vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free and only 30 min. to prepare

-Serves 4

8 oz. brown rice or buckwheat noodles

2 Tbls. coconut oil

1 Head of cauliflower (med.-lg.), chopped

12 oz. Green beans, ends trimmed

2 Green onions, biased-sliced into 1/4in. pieces

1 14 oz. Can unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk (Thai brand)

4 tsp. Bottled curry paste

2 tsp. Coconut sugar

Sea salt and pepper to-taste

2 Tbls. Lime juice


  1. Cook noodles according to package while getting started on step 2. Set a timer! Set aside when cooked and add a little bit of prepared sauce as soon as possible to break up the noodles.

  2. Add 1 Tbls. of oil to large, 10 inch (or larger) non-stick skillet with a lid on med. heat. Add green beans. Cook for a few minutes with lid on pan while prepping cauliflower.

  3. Add the remaining oil and then cauliflower. Toss around and sauté for a few more minutes to brown, then add lid and set heat to low. Allow veggies to cook/steam for 5-10 min. depending on desired texture, then remove lid and add green onions, coconut milk, curry paste, and coconut sugar.

  4. Simmer on low for 2-5 min. depending on desired doneness. For crisp, tender results, cook for less time. Stir in lime juice just before removing from stove and serve over hot noodles.


Chow?  Really? I know, my creative brain is on fire!

Anyway, earlier this summer I posted this on Instagram: 

Shortly after the post, and then dozens of times following that, I've been contacted to share this recipe.  Since I am a holistic health coach I found myself in the middle of a moral dilemma.  You see, the base of this recipe is not a whole food. It's not brown rice covered in real nutrient dense goodness; it's a processed, stripped, mashed up, molded form of fake food.  It's white rice squares.

Then, I thought about real life.  Real people and real problems.  If I find joy and comfort in knowing I took an addictive childhood treat and added nutrition to it in a way that I can justify feeding it not only to my family, but also myself, then this needs to be shared!  It's the truth and like all circumstances in life involving the release of secrets, once they are out you are FREE!!

So, the secrets out.  I am not perfect. Actually, I hate perfectionism and am a self proclaimed recovering perfectionist.  Here is my "Chow" recipe.  My kids beg for it and I love it as an occasional treat occasionally justified as a snack on the go or upon occasion on the beach.  Ok, ok, sometimes it's a lunch box staple--ahh, another slip up!  Either way, join me in the journey of striving for better, not perfect, and clean up Betty Crocker's oh so addictive version of this treat.


By Audrey Byker Health Coach

9 cups Corn rice or wheat squares cereal*

1 cup dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life ideal, Ghiradelli 60% cocoa or more)

1/2 cup natural nut or seed butter, unsweetened 

2 Tbls coconut oil**

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar (organic if possible)

1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut***


Measure cereal into a large bowl (do not talk or think about anything else or you will have to start over).  Melt chocolate chips, coconut oil and nut butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave or on the stove in a double broiler (my favorite method).  Add vanilla.  Pour over cereal once smooth and stir well until cereal absorbs mixture, set aside.  Mix coconut with powdered sugar then add to cereal mixture.  Add to large airtight container and cover with lid.  Shake like crazy and have a dance party.  Open and enjoy!  Store in fridge or on the counter for up to 6 days.  If you're looking to keep it clean keep chilled.

*Use rice or corn for gluten free

**For coconut free use ghee or vegan butter(earth balance)

***For coconut free get creative and use ground roasted nuts or seeds. Yum!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dip

Every.  Single.  Summer day the kids are shuffling around, in and out of the house, searching for the ipad, unloading landscaping stones from cargo pockets, poking and prodding at their sister, screaming from the toilet for a bum to be wiped, and then, exactly 1.25 hours after their last meal, it happens.  Every single day.  "Mom, I'm hungry!  I want some chocolate!  May I have some yogurt?  Can we go get ice cream?  I want a treat!"  Before I get a chance to breathe let alone answer the first question, the voices turn from a gentle whine to more of a screechy  "I'm staaaaarving!!"

Now, while patience is a virtue, I can openly admit, it is not one of mine.  Not with 3 kids cackling and screeching all at the exact same time!  Baby, you are not starving!  

It was about 3 years ago the experimentation with hummus began in my kitchen.  It was pretty clear we needed a diary-free, protein and healthy fat packed snack to help with blood sugar dips for the entire family.  While store bought hummus is a better snack option in comparison to other processed foods, it's still very much a processed food, typically containing sugar and various additives and preservatives. According to a highly selective 6-year-old, this hummus is better than those store bought brands.  

Get out your food processor, just a few simple ingredients, and be ready to wow a small family or large crowd.  Hush the hungry littles and put an end to the cravings, naturally, with this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dip!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dip

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

1 can of organic chickpeas, drained, reserving 1/3 cup of liquid

1 clove of fresh garlic

3 Tbls. tahini

2 Tbls. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. sea salt

2 organic roasted red peppers (from a jar)

1 Tbls. liquid from the roasted red peppers or more to taste

In a large food processor, add drained chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt and reserved liquid.  Turn on and process for a few minutes.  Scrape sides then add peppers and liquid from the jar.  Turn on and process for a few minutes more until hummus has reached desired consistency.  Serve with cut up veggies and/or organic tortilla chips.  Double the recipe and keep on hand, in the fridge, to use for a hunger emergency.