Category: Soups, Salads and Sides

18 May 2021

Curry Chicken Salad

The curry spice, the sweetness of the apple and cranberries and the crunch of the cashews combine to make this chicken salad so delicious and flavorful!!  This dish would be perfect for a light lunch with a side of veggies but is hearty enough to serve as a dinner entree.  Serve over fresh greens for a beautiful salad or in a tortilla/lettuce wrap.

Note:  Some easy swaps for this salad would be: 1) celery for the carrots; 2) raisins for the cranberries; 3) sunflower seeds for the cashews.



  • 2+ cups cooked chicken, cut up (I used some chicken tenderloins that I cooked up.  Of course, rotisserie chicken would be great as well.)
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 Tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup cashews, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup yellow apple, chopped (or other variety)
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 



  1. In a mixing bowl, add the chicken, onion, carrots, and apple.  (I like to drizzle a little lime juice directly over the apple pieces to minimize oxidation, but this is optional.)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, lime juice, curry powder, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Pour the curry mayo dressing over the top of the chicken.
  4. Fold in the cranberries, cashews, and cilantro.
  5. Chill salad in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.
13 Feb 2021

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

Just imagine a pot of this chicken curry soup simmering on your stovetop and the curry smells filling your kitchen!  Whether you are a curry lover or have never tried a curry dish in your life, give this soup recipe a try.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  When you dish up a bowl, all the colors come to life and the flavors will wow you!    


  • 3 cups rotisserie chicken, cut up or shredded
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into ½” pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can of drained diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas
  • ½ cup shredded carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp curry paste
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small can of diced green chilis
  • 1-2 cups fresh or frozen spinach (or kale)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot flour



  1. Heat the coconut oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, red pepper, garlic, ginger, carrots, curry paste, and spices.  Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the peas, tomatoes, broth, coconut milk, and chilis.  Bring to a small boil.
  3. Mix a tablespoon of arrowroot flour with about 2 Tbsp of the soup broth and then stir it into the boiling soup.  This will give a little thicker consistency.  (This step is optional.)
  4. Add the chicken and spinach/kale and continue to cook until heated or until the spinach is wilted.
  5. Lastly, add the cilantro and stir the soup to combine.
  6. Dish up and enjoy!  For a little added freshness, squeeze fresh lime juice over the top or sprinkle with some extra cilantro.
22 Jan 2021

Roasted Eggplant Spread/Dip

A few days ago I happened to be channel surfing and I landed on the Food Network channel.  (Let’s face it, there are limited choices out there.)  Trisha’s Southern Kitchen was on and her guest was Nadia Comaneci (the olympic Romanian gymnast).  Nadia was preparing a traditional Romanian Eggplant salad/spread.   Well, for some reason this dip intrigued me and ironically I had just brought home an eggplant from the grocery store.  The great thing about this recipe is there are minimal and very basic ingredients needed.  

I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was so I decided to share it!  When you taste it for the first time, the eggplant is very subtle and difficult to identify.  You will definitely have people guessing!

I did make a few adjustments to the recipe to make it my own…(1) I added garlic, (2) I used half red onion and half yellow onion, and (3) I added jarred sun-dried tomatoes.  Feel free to add these as well or omit if you so choose.  Also, you may have to adjust the quantity of the mayo and EVOO based on the size of your eggplant.


  • 1 small to medium-sized eggplant
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 tsp jarred minced garlic or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp healthy mayo (made with avocado oil and cage-free eggs)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp jarred sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



  1. Roast the eggplant whole in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, depending on the size of your eggplant.  Turn the eggplant halfway through the roasting process.  When done, it should be very soft to the touch.
  2. Allow the eggplant to cool.  Peel away the skin and place the flesh (seeds included) of the eggplant on a cutting board.  Chop the eggplant until it forms somewhat of a paste or puree.
  3. Place the eggplant in a mixing bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. This can be served immediately or cover and refrigerate for at least one hour if you prefer it chilled.
  5. Top with fresh diced tomatoes or herbs, if desired.  Serve along side fresh cut vegetables, healthy crackers or bread slices.
11 Jan 2021

Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad

You might think this salad is more suited for a summer-time potluck but I tend to disagree.  It’s a great way to get fresh vegetables into your diet any time of the year.  It checks all the boxes; crunchy, creamy, sweet or tart (depending on what type of apple you choose), and most importantly, healthy!  

Notes:  Adjust the amount of mayo based on how much cauliflower and broccoli you use and also on your “creamy barometer”.  The dish will get creamier as it sits in the refrigerator.  Also, error on the side of cutting cauliflower and broccoli florets on the smaller size so they’re not so awkward to eat.  Next time I will make mine a little smaller.   



  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (bite-sized)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (bite-sized)
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 6-8 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 apple, cut into pieces (any variety)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½-¾ approved mayo
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp jarred minced garlic or ½-1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt (I use Redmond real salt)
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (optional)
  • splash of ACV
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds (optional)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (optional for garnish)



  1. In a large mixing bowl, add cauliflower, broccoli, onion, bacon and apple.  I drizzled fresh lime juice over my apple chunks to keep them from browning.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, garlic, salt, ACV, lime juice and honey.
  3. Pour the mayo mixture over the top of all the ingredients and stir to combine.  Squeeze some lime juice over entire salad for some added freshness.
  4. Add the sunflowers and give a quick mix.
  5. Best if chilled in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.
  6. Garnish with dried cranberries, if desired.
16 Oct 2020

Coconut Curry Cauliflower Rice

A curry side dish that is not only healthy and delicious but is quick and easy as well.  The flavors will compliment any protein dish perfectly.  The vibrant colors add eye appeal for that beautiful finishing touch to your plate.



  • 12 oz bag of frozen cauliflower rice, thawed
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 heaping tsp minced jarred garlic or minced fresh cloves
  • ½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1½ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½-1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper



  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  2. Add the coconut oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, peas and ½ of the reserved coconut milk mixture.  Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Lastly, add the cauliflower rice and remaining coconut milk.  Continue to cook until rice is heated.  This will not take long so be careful not to overcook or you’ll end up with a mushy dish.
06 Jul 2020

Loaded Cold Tuna Salad

The hot days of July call for a lunch that is light, refreshing and doesn’t involve turning on your oven.  This tuna salad checks all of  those boxes and is quick and easy to boot!!   Perfect for summer and can be made ahead of time as well. 



  • 3 cans of sustainably caught tuna (drained)
  • ½ cup diced cucumbers
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tsp minced jarred garlic (or 2-3 minced cloves)
  • 1½ Tbsp spicy brown or dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp approved mayo
  • juice of half a lime or lemon
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Mash the avocado in a small bowl and drizzle with lime juice to keep it from oxidizing and turning brown.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add tuna, cucumbers, carrots, onion, garlic, mustard, mayo and salt and pepper.  Mix briefly to combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Fold in the mashed avocado.
  4. Drizzle with the EVOO.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to chill.
  6. Serve over a bed of greens, in a lettuce wrap or as a side with your favorite veggies.
22 May 2020

Grain-Free (Keto) Bread

This might be one of the easiest bread recipes to make, not to mention one of the best tasting.  If you do not have psylium husk in your pantry, it might be a good idea to invest in some (Amazon is easiest).  Also, let’s briefly mention the paleo flour.  I have it in some of my other recipes and it really is convenient for use in any grain-free baking.  I usually make my own (my recipe is posted).  You can also purchase it, however, it can be difficult to find in grocery stores.  

If your pantry is not stocked with the ingredients you need for this bread, it will require a little effort initially.  However, when you smell it baking in your oven and bite into a warm slice slathered with grass-fed butter, it will have been so worth it!!



  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup paleo flour
  • ¼ cup psyllium husk
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together over a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add the eggs and olive oil to the dry ingredients and mix together.
  4. Stir in the warm water (if adding honey, stir into the warm water prior to adding).
  5. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until bread is a deep golden brown.
  7. Once removed from the oven, take the bread out of the pan and place on a cooling rack.
  8. Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing.  (If you can…the smell is amazing!!)
06 Mar 2020

Baked Mediterranean Artichoke Hearts with Goat Cheese

When someone says, “artichokes”, what’s the one dish that comes to mind?  Spinach artichoke dip, right?  Yummy, but definitely not something you should be serving as your vegetable side for dinner.  Artichoke hearts are one of those vegetables that seems to get lost in the vegetable shuffle mainly because most of us don’t know what to do with them.  So if you’re looking for a side that’s a little “outside the box”, give this recipe a try!    

Note:  I always keep bags of frozen artichoke hearts on hand.  They are so convenient and I will randomly toss them in a dish for something unexpected.


  • 2 – 12 oz bags frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
  • 1-1½ cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup sliced green or Kalamata olives (I used a combination)
  • 4 oz goat, feta or parmesan cheese
  • 1/4-1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp dried parsley



  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet, add the olive oil for sautéing.  When oil is hot, add the onions and sauté for several minutes until translucent.
  3. Over medium heat, stir in the spices, garlic, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Sauté for several minutes while stirring continuously.  Remove from heat and add the sun-dried tomatoes and the olives.  Stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, toss hemp seeds with the other portion of olive oil.
  5. Crumble the goat cheese over the top of the skillet mixture and sprinkle the hemp seed crumble over the top.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
26 Feb 2020

Italian Turkey and Vegetable Soup

Did you know there was a National Soup Day?  Yep, February 4th was officially National Homemade Soup Day!   Of course, I think every day is a great day to celebrate soup.  And the best thing, even an “average” cook can pull off a great soup! 

There are just a few notes I would like to share for this soup recipe:  1) The ACV is optional.  It adds a nice little zing and contrast to the heat undertones which I happen to like.  It also pairs nicely with the tomato base of the soup.  2)  I thickened my soup with 1-2 tsp of arrowroot flour.  I added a little too much broth and  I prefer a thicker, heartier soup. I simple scooped out about ¼ cup of the soup broth, whisked in the arrowroot flour and then stirred it back into the soup when it was at a low boil.  3)  You will notice that the last picture shows that I added some Shirataki noodles.  If you are not familiar with these, they are a gluten-free/grain-free option for pasta.  They are made from the Japanese konjac yam and are translucent and gelatinous in texture.  They come packaged in a fishy-smelling liquid but don’t let that scare you.  Just drain, rinse and they are good to go.  No need to cook them so add them at the end.



  • 1-1½ lbs organic ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • ½ large red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ can tomato paste (about 3-4 Tbsp)
  • 1-1½ cup packaged shredded carrots (roughly chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fire roasted)
  • 2-4 cups of beef or chicken broth (based on your thickness preference)
  • 2-3 cups of fresh spinach or 1-2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp ACV (optional)
  • 1 package of Shirataki noodles (optional)



  1. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper, onion, bell peppers and garlic.  Sauté until turkey is browned through.  Stirring throughout.
  3. Add spices, tomato paste and carrots.  Stirring continuously, cook for 4-5 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and broth.  Stir to combine and bring to a low boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low.  Add ACV, if desired.
  6. Cover and allow to simmer for 30-60 minutes.
  7. Add spinach approximately 10 minutes before cooking time is done.
02 Dec 2019

Paleo Flour

Paleo flour is a combination of  gluten-free and grain-free flours that can be used to replace all-purpose flour in your baking.   It  can of course be purchased at various stores and online but it is super easy to whip up a batch!  I use this in some of my baked goods and it really is so easy and convenient!  Give it a try!!  


  • 1½ cup almond flour (It’s a good idea to sift the almond flour because it tends to be kind of clumpy.)
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour



  1. Add all the flours to a mixing bowl.  Whisk together, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated!
  2. Store in an airtight container.  I used 2 jars, each being 1½ cups…very convenient for future measuring!