Archive for the ‘veggies’ Category

postheadericon Bestest Kale Salad

I first had this kale salad at Whole Foods, and found it absolutely divine, despite the fact that it had raisins. I promptly lost the recipe Whole Foods handed out, but after searching the recipe ingredients I remembered, I found this Smitten Kitchen kale salad recipe. I’ve tweaked it a little bit for our family (no raisins!), and found that my kale-disliking child found this palatable. My kale-neutral child ate it without any problem. My kale-enjoying child begged for it for lunch, then asked me to make more the following week. That’s a good level of acceptance of a recipe for me to make it again – and they ate it the second time, too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 TBS white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (no balsamic, but a herbal vinegar works beautifully here)
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, also known as lacinato kale, a flatter, non-curly kale variety
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I tend to use toasted heels of bread that I run through the food processor to make breadcrumbs, but I’ve also been very happy with Ian’s breadcrumbs.)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed

Method:

Best kale saladPrep work: Walnuts – toast the walnuts at 350F for 10 minutes. Breadcrumbs: warm 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat in a skillet; sauté garlic for a minute, add breadcrumbs and toast for a couple minutes until golden, stirring frequently.

Rinse the kale. Rip the leaves off stem of the kale, then stack the leaves. Roll a few leaves into a cigar-type shape. Thinly slice the leaves on a slight diagonal, also known as a chiffonade.

Take a large bowl and assemble the salad. Add kale, walnuts, vinegar, cheese, remaining 2 TBS olive oil, and lemon. Toss together until the kale is well coated with the olive oil, lemon, and vinegar. Let sit for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to marinate, then toss in the breadcrumbs and serve.

This is delicious fresh, and also delicious as leftovers. My middle daughter loves taking this to school in her lunch.

 

postheadericon A Wonderfully Creamy Kale Smoothie

Kale smoothieWhen my cousin offered to make me a kale smoothie, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. But it was pretty good! Then I went home and tweaked it over a few months. Now I make it for breakfast every morning. I don’t even feel guilty when I eat a cider donut with it, it makes me feel that virtuous!

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:celery

    • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
    • 3 cups kale, packed
    • 1/2-1 inch ginger paste, or 1/2-1 tsp grated ginger
    • 4oz frozen pineapple chunks (I like to get the 4 pack of pineapple tidbits that are prepackaged. I then freeze them in their containers. However, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple or 1/2 cup pineapple chunks & juice that has been frozen works well)Kale
    • 1 TBS Chia seed (I prefer to buy my chia seeds via Amazon’s subscribe and save, but Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods often have good deals as well)
    • 1 heaping TBS protein powder (I’ve really liked the vanilla Designer Whey protein powder, there’s no grit or aftertaste, but it’s obviously not dairy-free)
    • 1 1/2 cups milk (I prefer soy or almond, but any milk or milk substitute will work)Ginger pastePineapple tidbits

 

Method: 

Kale smoothie ingredients

Put the above ingredients into the blender. I do it in the order listed above. Turn your blender on low and start blending. You may need to stop and stir the ingredients as the blender gets going, depending on the strength of your blender. (A Vitamix will finish this off in the blink of an eye, but the average blender, like the one I own, will take a bit longer.)

Pour into a glass and enjoy! This will serve 1 or 2 people depending on how hungry/thirsty they are.

 

postheadericon Tarragon-Lime Green Beans

Lime & Tarragon Green Beans

This was adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. It’s a pretty fast cooking dish, and the flavors are amazing. Don’t cheat and use bottled lime juice – if you don’t have a fresh lime to zest and juice, wait until you do.

Serves 6.

Decorative Tarragon Sprigs with green beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
  • grated lime zest from 1 lime
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 TBS olive oil (this does not need to be extra virgin, and could be another cooking oil)
  • 1 1/2 pound green beans
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Method

Green Bean prep

Combine 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and lime zest in small bowl; set aside.

Juice the lime and chop the tarragon leaves, and set aside.

Snap off both ends of the green beans, and set aside. Set aside the minced onion with the green beans.

Just browning

Heat 1 TBS regular olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add onion, green beans, 2 pinches kosher salt, and 3 grinds teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add water, cover, and cook until beans are bright green but are still crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove the cover, increase heat to high, and cook until water evaporates, about 60 seconds.

Add olive oil mixture to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until beans are crisp-tender, lightly browned, and beginning to wrinkle, 2-3 minutes.

Summer dinner - 1 pan, plus grill

Transfer green beans to serving bowl, toss with lime juice and tarragon. Serve immediately, or cover the bowl with a plate or other lid to keep warm when bringing the rest of the meal to the table.

This is great with some roasted potatoes and a fish that has been in a citrus marinade. There won’t be many leftovers with these!

postheadericon Summer Gazpacho

Gazpacho is chilled tomato-based soup with lots of veggies and a bit of a spicy kick is just right. For my kids, I explained it was “salsa soup”, which interested them. The adults loved it, and all the kids enjoyed it, too.

On a hot summer day, a cool bowl of gazpacho is just what my taste buds are wanting. My corner of the world (New England) hasn’t had many hot summer days this year, but on the last one I developed a serious craving. Of course, when I was able to make the gazpacho, the days had become cooler again, but it still tasted wonderful!

I misplaced my gazpacho recipe in the move, so this is loosely based on Alton Brown’s Gazpacho recipe, which is more time intensive and while yummy, doesn’t include two of my gazpacho staples – cilantro or avocado.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:

A little summer treat
  • 28 oz can peeled & seeded plum tomatoes

  • 3 cups Tomato juice
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 chopped red, orange, or yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 chopped medium red onion
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2-3 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 bunch scallions, white & light green only
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced (we love our OXO Citrus Squeezer)
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or several grinds)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Method
Open the can of peeled and seeded tomatoes. Strain juice through a sieve into a large mixing bowl. Remove seeds from the tomatoes, then dice and add to the bowl.

Add 3 cups bottled tomato juice to the bowl. Add olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, cumin, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and stir to combine

Great Summer Gazpacho

Dice and add avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic cloves, and scallions.

Use your immersion blender (no one should live without a good Stick Blender, also known as the “juzsh juzsh thing”) to puree half the mixture. Or transfer half to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Stir again to combine the pureed and chunky parts of the soup.

Add chopped cilantro to the soup, then cover and chill for 2 hours or more.

Serve with extra chopped cilantro. Yum!

postheadericon Pennsylvania Dutch Cabbage & Chicken

This recipe is inspired by a Pennsylvania Dutch mystery by Tamar Myers I read a while ago, and have since returned to the library. It’s further inspired by several recipes I found online that weren’t quite what I remembered. It’s slightly sweet and slightly tangy, and using red/purple cabbage makes it look beautiful. Yummm…

Stirring dinner

You can easily make this without the chicken, and have a lovely cabbage & apple side dish or for vegans and vegetarians.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • about 1 1/3 lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded or sliced very finely
  • 1 medium apple, sliced but not peeled
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBS flour or starch (arrowroot or corn works well)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice plus milk substitute to make 1 cup (I like coconut milk best for this, as it’s thick and creamy – and it doesn’t taste like coconut in savory dishes)
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • a couple grinds black pepper

Method:

Chicken, Cabbage, and Quinoa

Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté until they start to soften.

Add chicken to the pan, and stir. Continue to sauté until the chicken browns on all sides.

Stir the apple and cabbage into skillet, and sauté for a couple minutes, until the cabbage starts to soften.

Pour in the soured milk and vinegar, then mix in the brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Once that is well combined, sprinkle in the flour/starch, stirring until well combined.

Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with some kind of starch – we like quinoa. This has a great mix of sour & sweet and different textures, yum!

postheadericon Creamy vegetable curry

My family loves my tomato-based curry, and I vastly prefer coconut milk-based curries. I tried to mix a few ingredients they love in the tomato curry, but using coconut milk. It seemed to work – everyone ate it happily! Any meal where people finish without an argument is one that is worth repeating a few times!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe. The recipe can served vegetarian and vegan, or with meat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS Patak’s curry paste
  • 1 head cauliflower, or 1 16oz bag frozen cauliflower
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 14oz can coconut milk
  • 2 handfuls red or brown lentils
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1-2 lbs pork cutlets, pork loin, or just pork, cubed (optional)
  • Cooked rice or cooked lentils on the side

Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions soften.

Add the pork (if using) and brown, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.

Stir in the curry paste. Add lentils, coconut milk, and water.

Turn the heat up, and add vegetables. Break the cauliflower into florets directly into the pot, or pour bag of frozen cauliflower into pot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. If needed, add more liquid – the vegetables and meat should be somewhat submerged.

When the sauce begins to boil, cover loosely. Lower the heat slightly, and cook at a low boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.

After 20 minutes, the sauce should be somewhat thickened, the pork tender, and the cauliflower will have broken into small pieces.

Serve this with lentils or brown rice beneath to absorb the sauce. Delicious!

postheadericon Creamy vegan lasagna

This is a delicious, family-friendly gfcf, gluten free recipe! It is also wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, corn free, vegetarian & vegan recipe. It could be OK for South Beach phase 1 by serving the filling as a side-dish. If you use whole-grain pasta, this should be OK as is for South Beach phase 2.

We serve this with a side of Italian sausages, as there’s no meat in it. You could probably put ground turkey in with the vegetables, but I like it being Vegan, as then I can serve it to vegetarian friends. We all love this recipe, and it takes care of my need for something creamy and Italian without eating dairy.

Creamy Lasagne

Ingredients

  • 1 batch White sauce
  • 2-3+ cups marinara sauce (how much you use depends on how soupy you want it)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 1 bag baby spinach (10 oz) (or 1 lb of regular spinach that has been cleaned, de-stemmed, and torn into pieces)
  • 1 package crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced (7-10 oz)
  • 1 package GF lasagna noodles (we like Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagne)
  • olive oil

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F

Heat olive oil in skillet over low heat and let garlic simmer for a few minutes – watch to make sure it doesn’t brown.

Turn heat up to medium and add eggplant and mushrooms. Cover and cook until eggplant is very tender (almost mushy), stirring occasionally. This takes about 5-10 minutes.

Make the white sauce while the eggplant & mushrooms are cooking.

Lasagne and Sausage

Add spinach to the skillet, stir and take off heat once spinach has just wilted. Add 1/2 of the white sauce to this mixture, and stir to combine.

Barely cover the bottom of a 9×13 (or so) baking pan with marinara sauce. Lay 3 uncooked lasagna noodles across the bottom of the pan. Spoon half the spinach/eggplant/mushroom mixture over the noodles. Ladle some marinara on top of the vegetables. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles. Repeat with another layer, and top with 3 more lasagna noodles.

You will have now used 9 lasagna noodles. Put the rest away for something else – sometimes we break them up for use in soup.

Pour white sauce on top of the final layer of noodles.

Cover tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Take off cover, and bake additional 10-15 minutes until everything is browned and bubbly (I sometimes turn on the broiler for the last 2 minutes to brown the top).

This ends up tasting like it has cheese in it. YUM. No one ever even notices that there’s eggplant in it or that it is gluten & dairy-free. Serve with a side of some sort of protein (we like turkey Italian sausages), and you’re ready to eat!

postheadericon Baked Stuffed Shells

This is a delicious, family-friendly gfcf, gluten free recipe! It is also wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, corn free, vegetarian & vegan recipe. It could be OK for South Beach phase 1 by serving the filling as a side-dish. If you use whole-grain pasta, this should be OK as is for South Beach phase 2.

We serve this with a side of italian sausages, as there’s no meat in it. You could probably put ground turkey in with the vegetables, but I like it being Vegan, as then I can serve it to vegetarian friends. We all love this recipe, and it fills my creamy, Italian goodness spot.

A tray of Baked Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

  • 1 batch White sauce (if you’re doing South Beach, you might want to use 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 broth (or just Lite coconut milk, which is simply watered down coconut milk)

  • 2-3+ cups marinara sauce (how much you use depends on how soupy you want it)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 1 bag baby spinach (10 oz) (or 1 lb of regular spinach that has been cleaned, de-stemmed, and torn into pieces)
  • 1 package crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced (7-10 oz)
  • 1 package GF pasta shells for stuffing (we like Tinkyada)
  • olive oil
Baked Stuffed Shells filling

Method

Heat olive oil in skillet over low heat and let garlic simmer for a few minutes – watch to make sure it doesn’t brown.

Turn heat up to medium and add eggplant and mushrooms. Cover and cook until eggplant is very tender (almost mushy), stirring occasionally. This takes about 5-10 minutes.

Make the white sauce while the eggplant & mushrooms are cooking.

Add spinach to the skillet, stir and take off heat once spinach has just wilted. Add 1/2 of the white sauce to this mixture, and stir to combine.

Ready for the oven

Barely cover the bottom of a 9×13 (or so) baking pan with marinara sauce. Take the uncooked pasta shells and stuff them with the veggie mixture. Sometimes this is easy when the shells are open, but sometimes it requires creatively poking filling through openings. You can boil the shells for a couple minutes to make this easier if you want, but then they are wiggly.

Fill each shell until overflowing until you run out of shells, placing them in a rows of 3 across. I piled some broken shells in the corner of baking dish and heaped the remainder of the filling on top. Cover with a scant layer of marinara sauce, then drizzle the second half of the white sauce on top – it will look remarkably like melted cheese!

Cover tightly and bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Take off cover, pour white sauce on top, and bake additional 10-15 minutes until everything is browned and bubbly (I sometimes turn on the broiler for the last 2 minutes to brown the top).

Italian dinner

This ends up tasting like it has cheese in it. YUM. No one ever even notices that there’s eggplant in it or that it is gluten & dairy-free. Serve with a side of some sort of protein (we like turkey italian sausages), and you are ready to eat.

Being gluten & dairy free (and whatever else free) doesn’t have to be traumatic – look how good it can be!

postheadericon Chicken Rattatouille

First of all, just to clarify, Ratatouille is a vegetable dish of Italian origins usually involving eggplant, tomato, and other vegetables. There is no rat involved. That was the first thing my children asked, so I wanted to declare it up front. :)

This recipe was inspired by a recipe in the wonderful The Silver Spoon cookbook. I’ve changed pretty significantly to fit with our family’s eating preferences and requirements. It isn’t a completely authentic Ratatouille, but as long as you have some zucchini, tomato, and eggplant in it, play with the other ingredients – whatever you can get your hands on!

This recipe turned out to be a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 1 safe recipe.

Chicken Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (optional)
  • 2-3 zucchini or summer squash, cut into cubes
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into slices (optional)
  • 2 portabello mushrooms, cut into cubes (optional)
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, quartered, and seeded OR 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 lbs chicken, cut off the bone and into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • olive or canola oil to coat bottom of pan
  • Splash of wine (optional)
  • pinches of kosher salt and grinds of pepper to taste

Method:
Prepare all the vegetables and chicken. Place the peeled and cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let sit for about 30minutes while you do everything else.

Find a large skillet (I think mine’s 12-14 inches), and cover the bottom of the pan with your cooking oil of choice. Bring pan and oil to medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, shallot, and celery. Once that’s sizzling, add the chicken, and stir for a few minutes until it is browned.

Add the vegetables, except the tomatoes (be sure to rinse the salt off the eggplant first!) to the chicken & onion mixture. Stir to combine and sauté for a few minutes.

Chicken Ratatouille over penne

Add the tomatoes and some of their juice. Splash in the wine, and add the salt, pepper, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until vegetables have softened and meat is cooked through.

Serve with brown rice noodles (South Beach Phase 2) or spaghetti squash (South Beach Phase 1).

postheadericon Asian Rice Salad

This recipe contains peanuts! You could easily substitute pea butter, sunbutter, or soynut butter for the peanut butter, though. Do not despair! The top 8 allergen I can’t avoid in this recipe is soy, as the soy sauce is integral to the taste. If you have a good soy sauce substitute you use, though, try it – and let me know!

One day when we were having lunch with friends, my oldest daughter tried this salad, and promptly scarfed down the entire container! I was quite excited, as cold dishes aren’t a big hit in our family, so my friend sent me the recipe. This is my adaptation of the original.

Taste Testing Scoop

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also a wheat free, dairy free, egg free, tree nut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked short grain brown rice

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 TBS sesame seeds
  • 3 TBS peanut butter or substitute
  • 2 TBS rice vinegar (cider vinegar works fine)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 TBS soy sauce (LaChoy is GF, Braggs is GF and corn free too)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (toasted is ideal)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
Asian rice salad

Method
While the rice is cooking, combine everything else in a large bowl. Mix together well.

Add rice to the rest of the ingredients while still warm – this will help the rice soak up the flavors. Taste and adjust seasoning (it might need more soy sauce or vinegar).

Chill, then serve. This makes a great dinner with some stir-fry; or in summer serve it along side some cole slaw and something off the grill!

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