Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Vegan Breakfast: Spicy Maple Tempeh Patties

Spicy Maple Tempeh Patties
Serves 4 (8 patties)

1 package of organic tempeh
2 medium potatoes or 6 mini potatoes, boiled and roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
Note: I used mini purple potatoes to add some color
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed, small dice
1/4 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1/4 tsp oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp shallot, minced
1/3 cup oat flour
2 Tbsp nama shoyu
2 Tbsp unfiltered olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Pulse tempeh in food processor until small and crumbly
  • Transfer tempeh to mixing bowl
  • Boil potatoes until fork tender, roughly chop and add to mixing bowl
  • Combine all ingredients and mix until well-combine
  • Form 2 inch balls with mixture and then flatten them to form patties
  • Brush each patty with olive oil and place on non-slip cookie sheet 
  • Bake 15 minutes and then flip patties and bake for an additional 15 until golden brown
  • Serve with hot sauce and/or maple syrup + fresh veggies - Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raw Peach Sorbet + Watermelon Fennel Salad

I’m pretty excited about the fresh ingredients used in this week’s recipe post. I’ve got an appetizer salad that serves 4 and a fully raw dessert for two!

Fennel is typically available at the farmers’ markets in late spring, but I’m still seeing it around at the end of July! Green Door Gourmet had beautiful, tiny heads of fennel at their booth at the West End Farmers’ Market only a couple weekends ago! I was thrilled and scooped up an armful of them right away. Forest Garden Growers still have some fennel as well. And of course, it’s SUMMERTIME in the south, so melons are here and they are incredibly juicy and sweet this year!

Fennel has an anise-like taste, is subtly sweet, and has an amazing crunch. It’s texture is similar to celery, but without the stringy fibers running through it… it’s a must try. The unique taste of fennel paired with the light but oh-so-sweet watermelon is divine. Arugula rounds out this salad with a peppery kick; it’s crucial to this recipe! (Did you know argula is part of the cabbage family? It also contains more antioxidants than most green lettuces, including many dark leafy varieties! It’s also higher in calcium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin E than most salad lettuces.)

This salad was a big hit on Grow Yoga School’s last Living Foods & Yoga Retreat in Rosemary Beach, FL. It’s spa food at it’s finest!

Everyone in Nashville does a little happy dance when The Peach Truck comes back to town, so I had to fit in a recipe with some of their peaches before the season ends. This dessert recipe is SO SIMPLE it almost seems too good to be true; just two ingredients and only a few minutes are needed in order to whip this treat up. You can buy a few bags of peaches, make this in large quantities and enjoy it after peach season ends, too. Keep reading!

Enjoy and remember to support your local farmers and artisan vendors at the local farmers’ markets every week.

Watermelon & Fennel Salad
Image from @MyPoorTiredLiver on Instagram
Serves 4

½ medium watermelon
1-2 bulbs fennel, mandolin sliced very thin
1 cup fresh mint, chiffonade
1 cup arugula, hand torn
¼ cup white wine vinegar (optional… you could also use the juice of ½ lime)


  • Cut watermelon into 1 inch cubes – or use a cookie cutter to stamp out fun shapes
  • Wash fennel well and mandoline slice the bulbs – save some of the delicate green fennel fronds for garnish!
  • Chiffonade cut mint, leaving some smaller leaves uncut for visual appeal
  • Toss all ingredients in a large bowl
  • Drizzle with white wine vinegar and toss again to combine
  • Serve and enjoy!

Raw Peach Sorbet
Image from @MyPoorTiredLiver on Instagram
Serves 2

2 peaches, frozen
1 very ripe banana, frozen


  • Combine pitted peaches and banana in your high speed blender and blend until smooth!
  • Stop and scrape down the sides of your blender as needed – do not add water!
  • Optional: Blend with 1 tbsp real maple syrup or raw agave if you prefer it sweeter
  • Freeze for 2-3 hours
  • Once frozen, scoop and enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2014

TWO delicious & summery vegan recipes: Sesame Chili Pasta + Hazelnut Quinoa Salad

I am so happy to be home in Massachusetts this week. I haven't been back since Christmas last year, so I was definitely due for a visit.

It's amazing how often we take amazing things for granted in life. I remember being in high school just DYING to get out of the suburbs of Massachusetts and move to Boston. Shortly after, I was itching to get farther away, so I moved to Austin, Texas. Now, having been out of my parents' house for an entire decade (weird!) I find myself appreciating every little thing when I come home. I went for a glorious 5 mile run this afternoon through the center of Douglas, where my parents now live, and found myself really connecting with my surroundings... Flowers, old stone walls, rustling maple trees. The style of the houses in New England is so fun to observe; the architecture in Massachusetts is (in general) so old and beautiful, and there's a certain blue collar, hardworking theme that runs through every small town. It took moving away for 10 years to truly appreciate the character of small New England towns. I'm so happy to be home.

I've been on a mission to help my mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law start eating healthier on a daily basis. (They don't eat UNHEALTHY all the time, but they rarely ever eat a fully plant-based meal, despite the exploding garden in the backyard.) The 4 of them seem to hit all the same road blocks and have similar requirements when it comes to meal planning:

1. Grab & Go: My family members all work in Boston, so they wake up really early for work. They need food that's ready to grab and go!

2. Easy Prep: Not everyone enjoys hanging out in the kitchen all day, getting the perfect small dice or julienne cuts (hehe) so they need food that's simple to prepare but doesn't lack nutrition, flavor or visual appeal.

The two recipes you'll learn today keep well in the fridge during the week, so you can prepare them in large quantities beforehand (on a Sunday before work, let's say) spoon them into to-go containers and hit the road. They are 100% vegan and gluten-free!

So, without further ado, I give you two SUPER EASY and delicious vegan recipes... These will surprise and please your omnivorous (or vegan!) family and friends- guaranteed!

Gluten-Free Sesame Chili Noodles
Serves 6
Photo from @MyPoorTiredLiver on Instagram

1 bag of brown rice pasta
2 organic red bell peppers, julienne cut
2 quarts cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1 bunch green onions (about 5), chopped
2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup gluten-free Tamari - sub coconut aminos if you can find them!
Optional: Select chili-infused sesame oil if you want to give this dish an extra kick! You can also stir in 2 Tbsp Sriracha if you can't find sesame chili oil.


  • Boil rice pasta according to package directions.
    • Rinse cooked pasta repeatedly with cold water until water runs clear
    • Consider using zucchini noodles or kelp noodles if you want to enjoy this recipe raw! Baby steps with my family, and those raw substitutes didn't fit our meal prep criteria, so we went with rice noodles!
  • Toss drained noodles with sesame oil and tamari quickly, so noodles don't stick together
  • Combine chopped veggies with noodles and toss until well-combined
  • Garnish with raw sesame seeds and enjoy!

Hazelnut Quinoa Salad
Makes enough to last a week!
Photo from @MyPoorTiredLiver on Instagram

Quinoa Ingredients:
2 cups organic white pearl quinoa - You can use any variety of quinoa for this recipe, I just like how the white variety looks with the fresh ingredients
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 cup dried cranberries, rough chop
1 cup raw hazelnuts, chopped - Soak for at least 4 hours, if you can
2 green apples, small dice - As you cut them, toss apples in 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice to prevent browning

  • Soak quinoa while you chop your produce
  • Rinse quinoa until water runs completely clear
  • Cook quinoa according to package directions
  • Toss quinoa with vinaigrette (below) and allow the mixture to cool
  • Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until you're ready to scoop and serve! This dish is best served cold. 
Chef tip: Toss apples in lemon juice as you're chopping them to keep them from browning

Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup agave - Sustainably harvested local raw honey would also be delicious, but not vegan.
3 tsp Himalayan sea salt
2 tsp cracked black pepper

  • Whisk all ingredients together and pour over quinoa
  • Stir until well combined.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Farmers’ Market + Backyard Tomato Salad

Farmers’ Market + Backyard Tomato Salad
Photo from Instagram @MyPoorTiredLiver

This week’s recipe couldn’t be more refreshing, nourishing, and SIMPLE. We’ve all been seeing bright, colorful tomatoes at the markets lately. Let’s put them to good use!

You cannot find better tomatoes than what’s available at the local farmers’ markets right now in any grocery store— I guarantee it. Most of the fruits and vegetables found at your local chain supermarkets have been shipped in from California, Mexico, or Florida and were harvested before they reached peak ripeness on the vine. Because shipping a juicy ripe tomato would lead to bruising, splitting, and spoiling, the tomato industry picks them when they first show a hint of color but are still mostly green. Over the course of about 2 weeks (the lengthy time it takes for the tomatoes to reach your local supermarket in many cases) these premature tomatoes will turn red and partially ripen. Another way the tomato industry gets those seemingly perfect tomatoes to your grocery store is through force-ripening in warehouses with the use of ethylene gas. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it? These grocery store letdowns are less sweet, more acidic, and lack any wonderful aroma that healthy, ripe tomatoes should have. To wrap this section up: buy freshly-picked, perfectly ripe tomatoes from your farmers’ market! They are picked the day before or same day you’re purchasing them.

Choose whatever kinds of tomato you like best. As a general rule, the deeper red the tomato is, the more lycopene. Small, dark red tomatoes have more vitamin C and lycopene per ounce than larger tomatoes… but I like to mix big beefsteak tomatoes, Cherokee purple, and yellow tomatoes in this salad, too. Variety of tomato (and color) provides this simple salad with depth of flavor and visual appeal.

In addition to the gorgeous tomatoes you’ll use for this salad, you can include other ingredients picked right from your own backyard! Dandelion greens are one of my favorite bitter greens for a number of reasons: 1. They’re free! 2. I love the bitter taste… they are an excellent addition to this otherwise sweet salad. 3. Dandelion greens are nutritional powerhouses; high in calcium, rich in iron, loaded with antioxidants AND dandelion greens have more protein per serving than spinach. (If only Popeye had known!) Dandelion leaves contain 14% protein and contain all essential amino acids. One cup of dandelion greens contains 1.5 grams of protein!

Dandelions are also great for detoxification. Whenever I see my skin start to break out, I start including dandelion greens in my diet in the form of salads and tea… clears my skin right up! The condition of your skin is a great way to tell how your liver’s doing. (If you’re interested in learning more about holistic detox and plant-based nutrition, join me on one of Grow Yoga School and Hot Yoga Plus’ upcoming Living Foods & Yoga Retreat this September!)

Make sure, if you forage this element of the salad, you’re picking greens from an area that’s free of pets, roadside pollution and pesticides. If you don’t have access to an area like this, you can usually find dandelion greens for sale at Whole Foods in Green Hills.

Farmers’ Market + Backyard Salad Ingredients:
1 pint of organic mixed cherry tomatoes, quartered
1-2 organic beefsteak tomatoes, large dice
1 cup raw dandelion greens, torn into ½ inch sections
1 cup arugula
½ cup fresh basil, chiffonade cut
2 tbsp shallot and/or green onion, chopped

Vinaigrette Ingredients:
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon, orange, or lime juice
1 Tbsp local raw honey (or agave)
1 small garlic clove, crushed, peeled and allowed to rest 10 minutes
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black peppercorn, to taste
¼ cup olive oil (or ¼ avocado if you’re avoiding oils)

·      Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in blender (except for oil) and blend until uniform throughout.
·      Drizzle oil in slowly while blending to emulsify.
·      Add all salad ingredients to large bowl and toss with vinaigrette
·      Garnish with basil flowers, salt & pepper, and additional chopped fresh basil.
Consider this: Next time you’re weeding your garden, save the dandelion greens that pop up for salad! You can also eat the yellow flowers and stems.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Raw Vegan Summer Squash Soup

We’re well into summer now and our city is in full bloom! Every day of the week, Nashvillians can explore one of the many farmers’ markets and take home armfuls of fresh, organic produce. Some of us are even members of the various CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs around town and get to enjoy a box full of colorful, delicious produce each week that changes as new crops become plentiful.

Every now and then, you may find something at the market or in your CSA box that intrigues you, but you have no clue how to prepare it. Allow me to help!

This week, I picked up an overflowing box from Delvin Farms at the 12 South Farmers Market. In it, I found three squash I have never prepared before, so I was excited to try something new.

Pattypan squash are mild, similar to zucchini, and absolutely gorgeous! They are the yellow and green squash you’ve been seeing, with the scalloped edges. They are growing like crazy right now and they are good source of magnesium vitamins C and A as well as niacin. If you are trying to consume less calories and fat, adding summer squash of all kinds to your diet is an excellent idea.

I decided to make a raw, dairy-free soup with my pattypan squash. I also used fresh carrots, white onion, purple bell peppers, garlic, dill, and cucumber… all from the farmers’ market! Only a couple ingredients below were store-bought at Turnip Truck in the Gulch. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy a brand new way to enjoy this week’s summer produce!

Ingredients Part 1 (Broth):

2 cups [1 small, 6 inch across] pattypan squash
½ cup water
1 tbsp organic lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (Grapeseed oil will work too)
1 tsp organic white miso
¼ cup shelled hemp seeds (or ¼ ripe avocado for creaminess)
¼ tsp sea salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed and allowed to rest 10 minutes
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp fresh dill
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, adds cheesy flavor)

Ingredients Part 2 (Texture):

2 carrots, small dice
1 ear corn, shave off the kernels with a knife
1 purple bell pepper, small dice
½ cup zucchini, small dice
½ cup yellow squash, small dice (more pattypan will work, too)
¼ cucumber, peeled & small diced (filet out the seeds, save them and add to a salad later!)
¼ avocado, small dice
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp fresh dill, minced


  • Dice all Part 2 veggie ingredients and combine in a mixing bowl
  • Toss with rice wine vinegar, gently massage everything together and set aside
  • Blend all Part 1 ingredients except for olive oil until smooth
  • Stream olive oil in while blending all other ingredients to emulsify
  • Choose your serving bowls and, using a cookie cutter or ring mold, press Part 2 ingredients in firmly to get the shape shown above
  • Gently remove the cookie cutter or ring mold, leaving just the veggies in your bowl
  • Drizzle broth into your bowl around the shape you’ve created
  • Garnish with fresh dill, and extra drizzle of olive oil, and some crushed black pepper
  • Enjoy!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dressing-Free Middle Eastern-inspired Salad

The Full Recipe from my segment on The Pura Chica Natural Podcast
Dressing-Free Middle Eastern-inspired Salad
Feeds 3-4 people

1 head rainbow chard
3 cups spinach
1/2 cucumber
1 cup fresh mint
1 avocado, halved
1/4 cup desiccated, unsweetened coconut
1 mango
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 lime
Pinch sea salt


  • Chop rainbow chard into bite-size peices, using the stalks and leaves
  • Add to a big salad bowl with your spinach
  • Squeeze lime over greens
  • Cut avocado into cubes and gently massage half of the avocado into the greens, reserving 1/2 avocado to be added after in bite-size peices
  • Add fresh mango, fresh mint leaves, remaining diced avocado, and diced cucumber to greens
  • Top with cayenne, cumin and coconut... add a tiny pinch of sea salt to taste!
  • Toss and serve
  • Eat seconds... and thirds. :)

For more information on Pura Chica and to listen to our podcast, visit

Friday, March 28, 2014

Join Me on a Living Foods & Yoga Retreat with Grow Yoga School in Bali this Summer!

I'm so excited to return to Bali this July with Grow Yoga School's Yoga & Raw Foods Retreat! If you are looking for culture, community, and inspiration, then Ubud is your dream destination.

Scenic rice fields, small villages, ancient temples, palaces, rivers, and the unique spirituality present in Bali is all represented in abundance in Ubud. The Grow Yoga School staff will help you experience Bali off the beaten path and help you immerse yourself in the Ubud way of life.

The Grow Yoga School Bali retreat offers powerful vinaysa flow classes, gentle, rejuvenating restorative and deep stretch classes and healing meditations with experienced teachers.

Our yoga classes are meant to help you release and relax through breathing, letting go and moving freely.

All Grow Yoga School retreats are catered by me, Jess Rice. Here in the US, I teach raw foods and plant-based nutrition classes with Metro Nashville and offer intense detox coaching and meal plan services to private clients as well as group programs.

In our raw foods classes on Grow Yoga Retreats, you will have the opportunity to learn...

  • Original recipes for healthy, raw, vegan food that you can easily prepare for your friends & family
  • Juicing and smoothies, entrees and desserts
  • Theory behind different types of raw food diets
  • Specific ways to improve your personal health
  • Plating, presentation, plate composition and basic photography of your raw food
  • Detox tips & tricks

Price and Details: $1950 includes:
  • Lodging for 6 nights/7 days at the beautiful Dragonfly Village
  • Guided run each morning
  • 2 yoga classes each day
  • Raw vegan cooking class each day
  • Group detox coaching session each day
  • One 1-on-1 detox coaching session

We will also organize fabulous dinners and outings that may include guided hikes, scuba diving excursions, spa treatments, visits to healers, visits to temples, volcano hikes and more. We can also arrange plans for you to take any of these excursions on your own. Dinners and excursions are not included in the cost of the retreat.

Receive $100 off by liking the Grow Yoga Facebook Page
Receive $150 off if you and a friend sign up together! ($300 total)
We'll also schedule a complimentary Balinese massage for you during retreat if you sign up during the month of April!

Daily Schedule
Please remember that this retreat is YOUR vacation. You may choose to join any and all meals, classes, etc…or none!

7:00 – 8:00am - Guided morning run

8:00 - 9:15am - Yoga

9:30 – 10:30am - Breakfast

10:30-11:30am - Raw vegan cooking class

12:30-1:00pm - Lunch Afternoon free with organized outings and dinner reservations*

7:00 – 8:00 pm - Group Detox Session

8:00 -9.00 pm - Yin/Restorative Yoga

*Our organized outings may include guided hikes, scuba diving excursions, spa treatments, visits to healers, visits to temples, volcano hikes etc.,.

We can also arrange plans for you to take any of these excursions on your own.

If you'd like to join me and Grow Yoga School in Bali this July 28 - Aug. 3rd, send me an email ( and/or to secure your spot. Space is limited! I can't wait for you to experience Bali life.