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Chef Audrey shares Waldorf salad and “cheeze” dip recipes for a healthy holiday

Bring on the Holidays & a Healthier YOU!

We’re full on into the holidays now, can you feel it? There is a magic in the air this time of year as bundle up and begin the winter season. However, this time of year we also have more on our plates (get it?!) and that contributes to stress.  Because stress is a precursor to disease, we want to do our best to stay balanced and take care of ourselves. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean we have to fall into the same patterns year after year!

Audrey Barron, Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe, shares her recipes for Waldorf Salad and Garlic & Onion “Cheeze” Dip!

Chef Audrey’s Living Waldorf Salad with Sweet Cashew Mayo

Serves 4

Traditional Waldorf Salad is laden with mayonnaise and white sugar – these are definitely not ingredients that support a healthier you!  Mayo is full of animal fat and white sugar will ravage your immune system, leaving cellulite and sugar crashes in its wake.  My reinvention of the recipe uses protein-rich cashews as the base of the “mayo” and just a pinch of raw organic honey, which provides your body with antibodies that will boost your immune system – not wear it down.  Enjoy!Sweet Cashew Mayo

  • ½ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp raw honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of white pepper

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 ribs celery, washed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup green onions or chives
  • ¼ cup raisins
  1. To make your mayo, blend cashews and water in high-speed blender until it becomes creamy and smooth. Add the rest of your mayo ingredients and blend until combined and smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Put your sliced apples, fennel and celery in your dish (celery and fennel will be the same length as your apple slices) and pour over your mayo. Gently toss until apples, fennel and celery are coated.
  3. Sprinkle on your walnuts, onions and raisins and gently toss again.
  4. Put into a beautiful bowl and serve with love.

Chef Audrey’s Garlic & Onion Cheeze Dip

Makes approximately 1 cup of dip

Growing up (and still to this day) my family has some kind of cheese ball every Christmas.  Yes, they are tasty, but I wanted to make a dairy-free version for folks who would rather not consume dairy products.  This dip is high in protein and healthy fats while also boosting the immune system with the power of fresh garlic and onion.  Serve with fresh veggies and crackers and it will be a favorite at your family gathering!

Cheeze Base Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cashews, soaked for 20 minutes
  • 1 cup water

Cheeze Flavoring Ingredients:

  • ¾ teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon minced yellow onion or shallot
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped chives or green onion
  1. Blend all ingredients except your green onion, in your blender until smooth.
  2. Add to a beautiful bowl and sprinkle with your green onion. Serve with fresh veggies, crackers or chips.  Enjoy a healthier holiday!

Would you like to take a class with me? Check out our class lineup and just more about Ezra’s Café at

Want to follow me (Chef Audrey) to see what I’m up to at home, behind the scenes at the café and at our farm? Find me at @GaiaChef or


Florida woman accused of zipping her boyfriend in suitcase for hours until he died

(CNN) — Sarah Boone called 911 and said her boyfriend got trapped in a suitcase and died during a game of hide-and-seek, according to court records.

The Florida couple had been drinking Chardonnay and doing puzzles Sunday night in their Winter Park apartment, Boone told authorities, when they thought “it would be funny” to hop in a suitcase as a part of the game, according to an arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Boone, 42, zipped up Jorge Torres Jr. in the blue suitcase containing a few items for donating. Two of his fingers stuck out, so she assumed he could open it, according to the affidavit.

She went upstairs to bed and thought he’d get himself out of the suitcase and join her, only to wake up Monday and find him still in it and not breathing, the affidavit says.

Boone was arrested Tuesday and faces a second-degree murder charge after investigators determined videos on her phone contradicted her story.

The phone footage shows her mocking her boyfriend as she filmed his cries for help, and telling him it was his punishment for cheating, according to the arrest affidavit.

“I can’t f**king breathe, seriously,” her boyfriend said in the phone video. “That’s on you. Oh, that’s what I feel like when you cheat on me,” she responds.

The video shows the victim pushing on the suitcase and trying to get out, the affidavit says. When police showed the video to Boone, she pushed it away halfway through and said she didn’t want to watch it, the affidavit says.

Police searched her iPhone after she signed a waiver and gave verbal and written consent. CNN has reached out to her public defender.

Boone denied intentionally leaving Torres in the suitcase, according to the affidavit.

Boone called police Monday afternoon and said she woke up hours earlier but assumed her boyfriend was on his computer in another room. When she could not find him, she suddenly realized he was still in the suitcase.

“Sarah unzipped the suitcase and found Jorge unresponsive and not breathing,” the affidavit says. “Sarah zipped Jorge in the suitcase to where he could not get out. Jorge begged Sarah repeatedly telling her he could not breathe and Sarah left him in the suitcase … and demonstrated a depraved mind without regard for Jorge’s life.”

When police arrived at the scene, they found the victim near the front door with a laceration on his lip and bruising around his eye.

Boone is being held without bail. No cause of death is listed on the arrest affidavit.