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first recipe from our 12 Steps classes this week

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Feb 26, 2011

Thanks everyone who came to the Orem, Riverdale, and Sandy Good Earth 12 Steps classes this past week. It was a first time trying to cater classes for 80-100, and the Orem class was rough around the edges….so sorry if you were inadvertent guinea pigs in that class.   I think we got the bumps worked out for the next two!

I will be posting the recipes we demo’d and served here in the next week, as well as sending the handout to the Orem class that they didn’t get.

The salad dressing I demo’d was Maple Syrup Dressing from Ch. 3. My homemade dressings have nutritious oils and natural sweeteners rather than processed ones, unrefined salt, no chemicals, and herbs and spices. Because we don’t dilute the dressings with water or vegetable oil, as commercial dressings do, a little goes a long way and you can enjoy your salad with just a tablespoon of dressing.

Recipe is below–one of my family’s favorites and very easy to make. Again, my dressing recipes last only as long as their perishable ingredients. In this case, that’s fresh onion. So if you want it to last a month in the fridge, substitute 1 tsp. onion powder for the fresh onion.

I like to make a triple batch and then freeze some for later.

Maple Syrup Dressing (from Ch. 3 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

6 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup brown mustard

1/4 yellow or white onion

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Blend in high-powered blender until smooth.

Posted in: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Recipes

43 thoughts on “first recipe from our 12 Steps classes this week”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can I get the Hot Pink smoothie recipe?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been using your 12 step program for 6 months now and your dressings are the best! Thanks

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a problem with hypothyrodismand I take meds for this, they have told me to make sure my veggies are well cooked. I wonder if I go raw foods completely, am I going to have a problem with my thyroid gland? I read lots of stories about people with “hyper” not “hypothyrodism”.



    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Very frustrating to me, Denise, that people are telling you to denature your foods to assist a low thyroid. I have had low thyroid for 10 years and solved it with my mostly raw, plant based diet–including cruciferous vegs and spinach in abundance. But that’s me. That stuff about eating raw vegs hurting hypothyroid is not very well documented, I believe, so get more info, experiment with yourself, and use caution to put a lot of faith in counsel that may be flawed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What is the pink Smoothie called in the book? That was a great class!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn,

    We have been drinking your green smoothie for a few weeks now and loving it! I have a question, when I make a full blender of 8 cups, and then serve it to 5 of us, how many servings of vegetables is that? I, too, would love your Hot Pink smoothie. I bought a bunch of beets for it but can’t find the recipe online.

    Thank you!!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Hilary, that recipe is in the Breakfast collection, also Step 10 of 12 Steps. That’s about 4-5 servings each.

  6. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I has been 30 odd years that I make my own salad dressings. Now I have a new one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have been off and on green smoothies for over a year. The “on” times are when all is well, of course! However, on an off spell I had trouble sleeping and was assured that melatonin was a safe sleep aid. In the past 2+ months of taking one pill a night, I have gained about 15 lbs. Do you know anything about this melatonin/weight gain situation?

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Pam, I have never heard of that. I take melatonin myself. If you’re sure that’s the only change, definitely stop taking it! Anyone who knows of a melatonin/weight-gain link, please point me to the source to read about it. thanks

  8. Anonymous says:

    Any ideas on Maple Syrup? Should we just buy any organic variety or do you recommend a certain one? Or do we make it?

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Get Grade B, which is best, Jeannie–or at least real maple syrup, grade A.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn. Really enjoyed Friday’s class!! Great job. So happy you are here locally and can share you beautiful self with us!

  10. Anonymous says:

    The reason why the doctor may have told Denise to eat well cooked vegetables might be because of the medication. If you take Synthroid and don’t wait at least three hours before eating foods containing fiber and calcium the medication becomes ineffective. It was not a doctor but a pharmacist who shared that information with me. I have hypothyroidism and thrive on raw fruits and vegetables. I do wait three hours after taking medication before I eat anything. Some times that means setting the alarm early to take the medication and then going back to sleep if there is an early breakfast. I am ok with that as I have been able to better manage my weight and have more energy!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Cindy, interesting….do you have any sources I can read about eating the cruciferous vegetables long after the meds?

      By the way, anyone suffering with hypothyroidism:

      Try to find a bioidentical hormone clinic. Not only is bioidentical much cheaper, but it is natural and won’t burn out your thyroid like the drugs will (Cytomel, Synthroid, etc.).

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn,

    I can’t wait to you and the Sun Warrior group in Seattle on the 25th 🙂

  12. i have also been dying for your pink smoothie recipe!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have any sources, but the instructions that come with the medication state that you shouldn’t eat fiber or calcium until two or three hours after taking the medication. The pharmacist was the one who told me that it would be best to wait three hours. Most doctors advise to wait only a half an hour to an hour. My son visited a heart doctor in Provo a number of years ago who was also a proponent of raw food and stated that our bodies are designed to digest as many first generation foods as possible. He told us that he was in the process of writing a book about that. I’m sorry I can’t remember his name, but what he said made sense to me. He did indicate that when raw vegetables and fruit are cooked it changes the way they are digested.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Interested in the pink smoothie recipe too! Love your website. Thanks for the info on the dehydrated sprouted flax. Never heard of it until you

    mentioned it. And, yes, that is a great addition to your green smoothies.

    Way to go!

  15. Anonymous says:


    I recommend you go to see Dr. Hugo Rodier at the Pioneer Clinic in Draper. He is a family practice MD who focuses on nutrition in healing our bodies. He also teaches at the U medical school. He will probably tell you what your doctor told you is incorrect. He keeps up on the latest research by reading over 50 medical journals per month is what I have heard. I keep forgetting to confirm that with him when I see him.

    His telephone number is (801) 576-1086. He also has a blog at hugorodier.com

    My sister-in-law also sees Dr. Rodier and her thyroid medication has been decreased because of green smoothies and eating whole foods. Her thyroid is literally being healed because her change in diet. Amazing!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      I second that. I send people to Dr. Rodier all the time.

  16. Anonymous says:


    I assumed you live in Utah. If you don’t live in Utah… many people do come from all over the country to see him. Good luck!

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is great info on hypothyroidism which I have had for the past 10 years. I never have had any symptoms except occasional constipation. I have never had a weight problem and am not especially active. I only found out from a blood test. I take Armour Thyroid (120mgs) Is this as good as bioidentical hormone? By the way, what are first generation foods?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, What about those of us who have already taken synthroid for 25+ years already. Should we also go onto armor or another biodentical hormone or is our thyroid already burned out? What do you think? Thanks!

  19. Anonymous says:

    2nd generation foods are those that have been cooked.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’m a breast cancer survivor (10 yrs ago, lumpectomy, radiation, chemo because tumor was estrogen negative) and take Synthroid for hypothyroidism. After hearing you when I was in UT, I realize I’ve exposed my body to some BAD stuff! I’ve been making various green smoothies for nearly a year, but would really like to know if you recommend bio identical hormones. Everything I’ve read, except from Suzanne Summers tells me they are not good for us. I sure would appreciate some clarification and perhaps a suggestion of who to turn to. I would love to take hormones again (I’m 63) and get the many benefits they offer. Confused in CA.

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Polly, who says drugs are better than bioidentical? I’ve never read that–was it written by drug companies who rely on patented drug formulas? If it’s identical to our own hormone, it stands to reason that would be gentler on the body than a chemical, but please consult a practitioner in bioidenticals.

      I take Armour (bioidentical thyroid) and wish I’d learned about it before I took a synthetic for two years, many years ago.

  21. Anonymous says:


    Is Armour always bioidentical or are there two different kinds? I’ve taken Armour for years but never heard it referred to as bioidentical. Any clarification would be helpful.

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      I don’t know; I just know there’s a bioidentical. I think maybe they don’t make it anymore–my own specialty pharmacy has to get another product now.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Your maple dressing is the best! I started making it a few weeks ago and keep getting compliments every time I serve it. Thanks, Robyn.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, I have a problem and I’m in need of counsel. I’ve documented the whole truth about my diet but I’m gaining weight: 15 pounds in 15 months.

    I drink the green smoothie for breakfast every morning with a bowl of oatmeal. I blend up my vegetables every afternoon which consists of 2 tomatoes, 1 large carrot, 1 cucumber and about 1/3 bag of spinach with 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed. I drink my sole daily. I also drink my apple cider vinegar daily. I drink another two bottles of water daily. It’s fiji water exclusively.

    For dinner I eat either a salad or a bowl of beans. If I get hungry, I snack on nuts or this raw granola bar by Two Moms in the Raw that I found in the health food store.

    My reality is that I get 6 hours of sleep each night. I’d prefer 8. I don’t exercise, per se, but I never really have anyway. There is a fair amount of physical work in my daily routine.

    Before I learned the truth about food in the China Study, I was eating primarily animal protein and vegetables. I ignored fruit and grains and drank milk and water. I weighed 135. Now I weigh 150. I’m 5’9″ and prefer to weigh 135, like I did in high school. I’m 44 and I have 3 kids. I’ve gained this weight since I moved to a whole foods, plant-based diet.

    The good that I have received is miraculous, however, and I’m not willing to go back to my previous eating habits and health. I’m healthier now than I’ve been in my entire life, notwithstanding the weight gain. My body no longer possesses a certain virus known to be incurable, my blood pressure is normal instead of low, my period is regulated, I’m not cold all the time and I don’t have mood swings. I’m not depressed and I no longer take any medication for anything at all. My digestive system finally works. I don’t get sick and I haven’t had a cold since I started this food plan. My pH is finally optimal.

    In short, the only thing that’s wrong is the extra 15 pounds. But, it all went to my waistline and I’m looking a little frumpy these days. The last 15 months have also been my first 15 months of a new marriage. I don’t want to get fat in this new marriage. Desperate, I went to a plastic surgeon for a consultation regarding liposuction and was told that I didn’t have enough fat, but that what I really needed was a mini-tuck. I can’t scar my body like that. There has got to be a holistic answer to this problem. Please help me.

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Jeannie, I don’t know, the only clue might be if you’re eating a giant bowl of the granola? If it’s not that, I would get a FULL blood panel workup at a bioidentical hormone clinic to see if it’s unrelated to what you’re eating and instead lies in hormone imbalance?

  24. Anonymous says:

    And I forgot to mention that I’m very grateful for the knowledge and blessings of my new food plan. As I got to remembering all the other ailments that have mysteriously disappeared since I became committed to a whole-foods plant-based diet, I should mention that all my arthritis vanished, my headaches are gone, my bladder control issues are gone. In short, I had more problems disappear than I was consciously aware that I even had. Please know that I’m not ungrateful for all these blessings. I don’t mean to be self-centered in my complaints regarding my weight-gain. But if you can tell by my description of my lifestyle something(s) that I either doing or not doing which may be at the root of my weight gain, I’d sure appreciate hearing any insights you may have. I know there are people who have much bigger problems than mine who need your attention, but if you have a spare moment sometime and could address mine, I would truly be grateful. Thanks Robin. Love, Jeannie

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Robyn. I’ll look around St. George and see what I can find.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m not real clear on ground flax seed vs. sprouted. I was reading your info. on the benefits of sprouted for depression. I’ve been putting flax seed directly into our smoothies, grinding them with the drink right before consumption, thinking that we’re getting the best benefit with the immediate release of nutrients. Is there a big difference with sprouted flax?

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Rhonda, sprouted ANYTHING has 200% to 500% more fiber, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. But plain flax seed is good–soaking it overnight, even better!

  27. Anonymous says:

    So, should I put the sprouted flax into our smoothies? Also, we’ve just sprouted raw sunflower seeds (per your video) and I think they’re ready. Should we store them in the frig. now, until we eat them all up or just leave them on the counter?

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Rhonda, FRIDGE now!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the quick response. I got them put in last night, but they do have red spots on them and some are even split open. Did I wait too long – are they safe to eat this way? Is this normal?

    Also, this seems to be a good way to communicate. You actually answer rather quickly! I tried e-mailing about the Polka Dot Box, but never heard back. I also tried e-mailing Rod (I think that’s his name), but the address failed. It took 3 days to find out it wasn’t going to work, then I e-mailed you, and have tried going back to the video, but it’s gone. I wasn’t able to figure out how to get in on the early registration. I tried the url number and it didn’t seem to work. I don’t know if I’m registered or not, because I’ve had trouble communicating. I do hope it’s not to late!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Rhonda, yes, I monitor the blog although whether I reply or not is partly dependent on whether I’m traveling and how much is going on. I don’t think Green Polka Dot Box ever got off the ground, which is really sad for Rod–I had hoped it would be helpful to my rural readers especially! I have asked my webmaster to take that video down. It’s okay that your seeds split–water does that to them and it’s normal. Red spots, not sure what that’s about. Probably normal. Taste them?

  29. Anonymous says:

    We’ve never had them before, so I guess they taste alright. The kids were even eating them yesterday and my 3 yr. old was just snacking on them, eating them plain. I’ve been trying to sprout the flax though and am having trouble with draining the water. It is really gooey and I can’t get it all drained off, even after leaving the jar upside down all night. Am I doing something wrong? I’m using the same method as the sunflower seeds.

    Oh, so sad about Rod, but really sad for all of us. I was so excited for this opportunity and even got my husband to listen to the video and convince him that we should get the membership. We have a Costco membership right now, but Green Polka Dot would have been a step up. SO SAD ☹

  30. Anonymous says:

    Oh, foolish me ☹, I just read your recommendation to NOT try sprouting your own flax (very messy). And I do remember reading that before, now that I see it again. Well to late, I’ve got a real mess going, which leads me to wonder how you would soak flax overnight as you recommended. Would you then add the goo and all to you smoothie?

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Yes, Rhonda, or make flax crackers with the gooey mess in your dehydrator!

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