Category: Soups, Salads and Sides

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.

 

Ingredients:

  • 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

 

Directions:

  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. 

 

Instructions:

  • 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

 

Directions:

  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!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 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)

 

Directions:

  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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

 

Directions:

  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.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1-1½ lbs organic ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ 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)

 

Directions:

  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!!  

Ingredients:

  • 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

 

Directions:

  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!

 

22 Nov 2019

Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

I love the flavors of this soup!!  The combination of the spices with the roasted vegetables is so delicious and gives me that warm, cozy feeling.  And the beautiful golden color is perfect for fall and Thanksgiving!  

For a time saving tip, roast your vegetables the day before and store in the refrigerator.  You will appreciate one less step when the time comes. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (bite size)
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1½ tsp cumin
  • 1½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • (additional salt and pepper for roasting vegetables)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Add cauliflower and sweet potatoes to a prepared sheet pan.  Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil and season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  3. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time.
  4. In a small bowl, combine all the spices and set aside.  This makes it much easier as you will be adding them all at once.
  5. Add remaining oil to a dutch oven or stock pot and heat over medium heat.  Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes to allow all the flavors to come together.  If too dry, add a small amount of water or oil.
  7. Add the broth, coconut milk and roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
  8. Stir to combine and simmer briefly over low heat.
10 Oct 2019

Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Onions and Apples

Crispy Brussel sprouts with a touch of sweetness!  Yum!  Of course, anything with Brussel sprouts and I’m all in.  It’s apple season…yah!  They’re everywhere and there are more varieties than ever before.  I used Pink Lady because that’s what I had on hand but that is certainly not a must.  However, I would recommend an apple variety that tends to be crisper.  

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 16 oz bags of Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 apples, diced or sliced (I used a Pink Lady variety)
  • 2-3 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil and drizzle a small amount of oil over the foil.
  3. Add Brussel sprouts and red onion to sheet pan.  Drizzle with the remaining avocado oil and season with garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and toss vegetables with a large spoon.
  5. Add diced apples to sheet pan and return to the oven for an additional 8-10 minutes.
  6. To achieve that extra crispness, broil under high setting for 2-3 minutes.
24 Sep 2019

Kimchi Pancakes

If you are not a fan of kimchi or don’t even know what it is for that matter, then you will either ignore this post or read on out of curiosity!  Kimchi is a Korean fermented side dish made of fermented vegetables and spices.  There are a wide variety of combinations.  Most will include cabbage but after that you may find a combination of cucumbers, radishes, onions, carrots and even apples included.  Kimchi has many health benefits but the major one is its rich abundance of probiotics that contribute to a healthy microbiome.

I was first introduced to kimchi pancakes at our local city farmer’s market.  There is a Korean vendor that I always stop at to purchase my supply of kimchi.  They also serve several Korean style food items so I decided to try the kimchi pancake topped with spiced pork and fresh greens.  Well, I fell in love with these little guys!  Although this was definitely a healthier choice on my part, I’m not certain what kind of flour they use in the pancake batter or what type of oil they fry them in.  That’s the hazard of eating out, we’re never quite sure what the restaurants put in our food.  Sooooo needless to say, I decided to make them at home…my way!

Notes:  I like to serve mine incorporated into my meal.  Almost like a tortilla.  I’ll stack it with some protein, veggies and fresh greens (and maybe a sauce).  They are also delicious alone or with an asian dipping sauce on the side.  

If you don’t have a food processor, beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and mix well.  Lastly, add cut up kimchi and liquid.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp potato starch or tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp himalayan salt
  • 1 cup kimchi
  • 2-3 Tbsp of water or kimchi juice
  • 1-2 green onion (optional)
  • coconut or butter for frying (or in a spray form)

 

Directions:

  1. Add eggs, potato starch, flour and salt to a food processor.  Blend for about 1 minute.
  2. Add kimchi, green onion, and juice/water.  Pulse a few times until kimchi is broken up into smaller pieces.  Mixture will be somewhat watery.
  3. Coat the bottom of a skillet with a small amount of oil and heat over medium heat.
  4. Pour ¼ cup of kimchi mixture into the hot skillet.  If the egg starts to spread out, use a spatula to pull the edges back.  Also, use the spatula to evenly disperse the kimchi over the pancake.
  5. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.  Flip the pancake and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, checking often to ensure pancake doesn’t burn.  (They cook quickly!)
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.

 

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 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

 

Directions:

  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.