Category: Soups, Salads and Sides

20 Jul 2019

Shaved Brusssel Sprout Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

What says summer better than a light and fresh lemon vinaigrette salad?  One with blueberries it…YUM!!  The vinaigrette is easy to prepare ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to put your salad together.  Just pour over the top and toss.  This would also be delicious with dried cranberries in place of the blueberries but tis the season to use those fresh berries.  Also, the pecans could be swapped out for walnuts or almonds, if you’d prefer.

To make the vinaigrette, I used an immersion blender.  These are really handy gadgets for making dressings/vinaigrettes but I realize not everyone has one.  A blender or food processor will work just fine.




  • 1 – 10 oz package shaved Brussel sprouts
  • ½ small red onion, chopped
  • ¾-1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese (reserve a small amount for sprinkling on top)
  • ½-1 cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds (optional)

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp Primal mayo
  • 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ lemon, juiced (2 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp jarred minced garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 5 sprigs of fresh basil (more or less based on preference)
  • 1-2 tsp birch xylitol sweetener or honey (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small blender.  Pulse until basil is chopped and vinaigrette is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add all the salad ingredients to a large salad bowl.  Toss together.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and mix just until the ingredients are evenly coated.
  4. Top with the reserved feta cheese and a few extra blueberries for a pretty presentation.
02 Jul 2019

Mexican Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Let me begin by saying, zucchini and carrots are not typically “Mexican-style” veggies, but they taste delicious in this dish!  In other words, there are no rules.  Add whatever floats your boat.  Zucchini is abundant this time of year, so why not?  I had a ton of carrots in my fridge, so why not?  You get the picture.  

Also, I was making chicken thighs to serve for my protein so I used the same Mexican spices on the chicken. This is a great way to tie your meal together.



  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, sliced ¼” thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 whole carrots, sliced
  • 2-3 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used tri-color)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (to prepare quinoa)
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1-1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime (optional)
  • sliced avocado (optional) 



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place onion, pepper, carrots, zucchini and tomatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, season with half of the spices and gently toss.  Roast for 20-25 minutes or just until tender.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, prepare quinoa according to package directions.  I used the chicken broth as the liquid but you can also use water.
  4. When quinoa is tender, add the black beans and the remaining seasonings.  Mix to combine and warm briefly if needed.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables and quinoa to a large bowl and gently fold together.
  6. Squeeze the juice of lime over the top for some freshness.
  7. Serve and garnish with sliced avocado and fresh cilantro.


10 May 2019

Pickled Red Onions

I love having a jar or two of pickled red onions in my refrigerator.  A lovely pink condiment that will add extra crunch and tanginess to any salad, burger or taco!  Be creative and change up the spices to suit your fancy.



  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ACV
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • ½-1 tbsp xylitol or other sugar substitute (swerve, erythritol)
  • 1 tsp oregano



  1. Peel and thinly slice the onion.  I prefer half moon slices but you could also slice into full rings.
  2. Add onion, garlic, peppercorns and oregano to a mixing bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring vinegars, water, salt and sweetener to a light boil over medium heat.
  4. Pour hot liquid over the onions and stir.
  5. Allow to sit on the counter for about 1 hour.  Gently stir several times throughout the hour.
  6. Transfer onions to a glass jar (I used two smaller jars).
  7. Store in the refrigerator.  They will keep nicely for several weeks.



13 Apr 2019

Grain-Free Rosemary Bread

Have you been rockin’ a grain-free, low carb lifestyle but find yourself craving the feel of some bread in your mouth?  Well this bread will satisfy that craving and keep you on track with your healthy eating plan!  It’s extremely easy to make and you will not be disappointed.  You can serve this with some seasoned EVOO for dipping, add it to a beautiful cheese board, or just slather a slice with grass-fed butter or nut butter.  Is your mouth watering right now?  Mine is!

I’ve made this bread several times and have been so happy with the results.  I served it warm out of the oven along side a bowl of delicious soup…yum!   Enjoy!!



  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp pysillium husk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp ACV
  • 1/2 cup boiling water



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  3. Add coconut flour, pysillium husk, baking powder and spices to a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  4. Add the eggs and oil to the dry ingredients.  Beat with a hand mixer just until blended (no longer than 1 minute is needed).
  5. Add the ACV and mix briefly with a spoon. It will look lumpy (1st picture).
  6. Add the boiling water slowly, a little at a time (you may not need the entire ½ cup).  Continue to stir until water is incorporated completely.  Dough will be wet and sticky but smooth (2nd picture).
  7. Place dough onto the parchment paper and form a round shape with your hands.
  8. Score the top with a knife.  Sprinkle with a little rosemary for textural appeal.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and the center is firm to the touch.
19 Mar 2019

Cabbage and Apple Slaw

Here’s a quick and easy side dish that can be put together in no time.  This cabbage slaw recipe is not your “typical” cole slaw.  It has that touch of sweetness from the apples which adds extra crunch and freshness!  My husband, who is  not a big cole slaw fan, loved this.  Also, as a little side note, the vibrant colors are so pretty and will make any plate come to life!



  • 9 oz bag shredded cabbage (some mixes have carrots added to them but I like to add extra)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 large or 2 small apples (your choice – I used Granny Smith and Pink Lady)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup approved mayo
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp ACV
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)



  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayo, EVOO, ACV, mustard, honey, all the zest and juice of ½ lime, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the bag of cabbage.  Use a kitchen scissors to chop through and cut any pieces that are too big.
  3. Add carrots and onions.  Mix to combine.
  4. Add diced apples to a separate bowl and squeeze the juice of the other half of the lime over the top.  Toss to coat apples.  This will keep them from turning brown.  Add the apples to the cabbage and toss everything together.
  5. Pour the slaw dressing over the top and gently mix until evenly distributed.
  6. Add poppy seeds, if desired.
  7. Chill for 1 hour.
28 Jan 2019

Chicken Cauliflower Curry Soup

I can honestly say that this soup is ranked up there as one of my favorites.  I happen to adore the flavor of curries but there are those people (like my husband) who are not big fans.  Let me follow that with…he inhaled two bowls!  Besides, it’s always good to be open-minded about trying new foods so give it a go!

A few things to note.  This soup comes together very quickly.  It isn’t necessary to have it simmer on the stovetop for several hours to gain all the flavors.  Simmering for too long will also make the cauliflower pretty mushy.  I made mine a few hours before and then let it sit until dinner.

Also, I suggested a range for the curry powder and ginger due to peoples’ varying tastes for those spices.  I used the full 2 Tbsps and it was delish!      




  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken, cut up (I used leftover baked chicken thighs)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-1½ cups shredded carrots
  • 3-4 minced garlic cloves (2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 cup pea pods, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups organic chicken stock
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (or frozen)
  • 1½-2 Tbsps curry powder
  • 1½-2 Tbsps ginger
  • 1/2-1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp arrowroot, optional (for thickening)



  1. In a large stock pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and red pepper.  Sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add carrots and garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cauliflower and spices.
  4. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock.  Stir to combine and allow to simmer for several minutes.
  5. Stir in the chicken and pea pods.  Cover and allow the cauliflower to cook down for about 5 minutes.
  6. If you wish to thicken the soup, remove a small amount of the broth and combine with the arrowroot in a small bowl.  Add back into the soup and stir.  Allow to simmer.
  7. Stir in the spinach shortly before ready to serve and allow to wilt down.
  8. Dish up a warm bowl and enjoy!!
08 Jan 2019

Smoked Oysters with Olives and Tomatoes

If you’ve never tried smoked oysters, I highly recommend them!  They are inexpensive and a great source of protein, healthy fats and iron.  I always have these on hand and will often toss them on a salad or serve them with a veggie and cheese platter.  Not an olive fan, try replacing them with chopped celery or carrots.  This is also delicious with some fresh feta cheese added!  Enjoy this great little side dish on it’s own or serve on a bed of arugula or your favorite greens.

Note:  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s or order them on Thrive Market.  (Amazon and Whole Foods have them but they are more expensive.). I have yet to find them at any of our local grocery stores.  If you find an off brand, be sure to read the ingredient list.



  • 1-2 3 oz cans Crown Prince smoked oysters, drained (I buy mine at Trader Joe’s or on Thrive Market)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6-8 kalamata olives
  • 6-8 green olives
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil (could also use fresh chopped basil)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • salt, optional (due to the olives)



  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!

13 Nov 2018

Crunchy Celery and Apple Salad

I admit I’ve never been a real big celery fan.  It always seems stringy and flavorless to me unless you pile it with dip or almond butter (and that can get dangerous very quickly).  So lately I have been trying to embrace celery and I guess you could say, give it a second chance!  This salad was definitely a step in the right direction.  The crunch and the combination of flavors really made the celery shine.  It’s Keto friendly if you omit the cranberries and use a quality sugar-free maple syrup such as Lakanto (Aunt Jemima won’t cut it!).  Whether you’re already a celery lover or still on the fence, give this salad a try.  I loved it!        



  • 1-2 cups celery, cleaned and cut into 1/4″ chunks
  • 1 apple, cubed (Granny Smith or your choice)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta or goat cheese
  • cranberries (optional)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used a little less)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp approved dijon or brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp ACV
  • juice of ½ lime or lemon
  • 1 Tbsp approved mayo
  • 2-3 tsp maple syrup (I used a keto maple syrup)



  1. In a small bowl, add the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together.  Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, add celery, apple, carrots, pecans, cheese and cranberries.
  3. Pour dressing over the top and and mix to combine.
  4. Chill and serve.


29 Oct 2018

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Fall is officially here and the one ingredient that instantly comes to mind is pumpkin!  So with a nip in the air and a craving for a bowl of chili, I decided to combine the two and make pumpkin chili?  Talk about a match made in heaven…so yummy!

I opted to pull out the beloved slow cooker which I hadn’t used in quite some time but you can easily make this in a big stock pot as well.  Totally a preference here but I was going to be out most of the day so the slow cooker was the way to go.

Note:  If you are able to tolerate legumes and they fit into your carb allotment, feel free to toss in a can of beans (black or kidney beans work great).  Also, I’ve always liked my chili a little tangy so I usually add a couple of tablespoons of ACV and then just a pinch of monk fruit sweetener (about ½-1 tsp). 



  • 1-½ lb grass-fed beef
  • 1 Tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (15 oz) organic pumpkin puree
  • ½-1 cup beef broth or water
  • 1½ Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp ACV (optional)
  • 1 packet of monk fruit (optional)



  1. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, pepper, carrots and garlic.
  2. Saute for 5-6 minutes and transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. In the same pan, add the ground beef.  Stir and break meat apart.  Cook until meat is browned.  Drain excess fat if needed and transfer meat to the slow cooker.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients into the slow cooker and stir well to combine.
  5. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Top with garnishes of choice.  I love avocado and cilantro!
15 Oct 2018

Flourless Keto Bread

Have you been following the primal/paleo way and avoiding all the grains?  Do you sometimes just crave a slice of bread or a sandwich for lunch.  This bread will do the trick without causing you to derail off your eating plan.  Grain-free, low carb and delicious!  The key is the psyllium husk powder which comes from the husk of the psyllium plant seeds.  It is naturally gluten-free and is a great source of fiber.  It can be used as an egg replacement in recipes as well as a flour replacement as in the case with this bread recipe.

Note:  You can use 1 cup of tahini instead of half and half or vice versa, 1 cup of nut butter.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon ACV (I use Bragg’s)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk powder (can purchase on Amazon)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • sunflower seeds (optional)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the baking soda and the ACV.  (It will bubble up.)
  3. Add eggs and beat with electric mixer for 2-3 minutes or until frothy.
  4. Add the tahini, almond butter, psyllium husk and coconut oil.  Beat until well incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.  Top with sunflower seeds, if desired.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Check doneness by inserting a toothpick into center of bread.
  7. Transfer bread to a cooling rack.
  8. Once completely cooled, wrap or place in ziplock bag and store in the refrigerator.  Slice as needed.