Category Archives: Uncategorized

Brag Blog

This post is purely a bragging post.  This year was the first year I tried to start my own garden.  I tried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, rosemary, lemon thyme, parsley, zucchini, and squash.  I picked my first large tomato the other day, plucked a few basil leaves, and had a great dinner salad!  Perfect for summer.  I’m so proud of myself.  Just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt, and summer is in full swing!

tomato basil

I’m off for a little summer vacation and will be off the grid for a few weeks.  Can’t wait to come back with new food ideas and inspiration!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bacon and Cherry Broccoli Update

I was determined this week to revise and update the Bacon and Cherry Broccoli Salad this week.  I didn’t steam the broccoli, added sugar to the dressing, used real bacon instead of turkey bacon, and chopped the cherries into small pieces.  Big differences!  Here is the improved and updated recipe.  A keeper for sure!

Bacon and Cherry Broccoli

Pieces:

  1. two heads of broccoli
  2. 5-6 slices bacon
  3. one quarter of a red onion
  4. one cup dried cherries
  5. 4 tbsp. (vegan) mayo
  6. 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  7. 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  8. 2 tsp. sugar

 

Process:

  1. Chop the broccoli so the stems are removed and only small heads remain.  They should be bite sized heads.
  2. Slice the bacon into small bite sized pieces.  Saute the bacon over medium heat about 5-8 minutes, until crispy but not burnt.  Drain the fat, or spoon the bacon pieces into a bowl using a slotted spoon.
  3. Chop the red onion into very small, fine pieces.
  4. Chop the dried cherries into small pieces.
  5. In a large bowl, add the broccoli, bacon, onion, and cherries.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, and thyme.  Combine well.
  7. Pour the mayo mixture over the broccoli mixture and toss to combine.
  8. Serve!

bacon cherry broccoli 2

 

 

New and improved!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bacon and Cherry Broccoli

I am slightly obsessed with a broccoli salad they make at my Whole Foods.  It’s crunchy, sweet, and creamy all at the same time.  Instead of going to Whole Foods daily to get some, I tried my own version.  In this recipe, I steamed the broccoli, but next time I think I would leave it raw.  My version didn’t have the same crunch, and I think it’s because I cooked the broccoli.  I’ll let you know next time how it comes out.

Bacon and Cherry Broccoli

Pieces:

  1. two heads of broccoli
  2. 5-6 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)
  3. one cup dried cherries
  4. 4 tbsp. (vegan) mayo
  5. 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  6. 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  7. one quarter of a red onion
  8. 1 tbsp. olive oil

Process:

  1. Chop the broccoli so the stems are removed and only small heads remain.  They should be bite sized heads.
  2. Slice the bacon into small bite sized pieces.  Saute the bacon over medium heat about 5 minutes.
  3. Chop the red onion into very small, fine pieces.
  4. Add the olive oil and red onion to the bacon and sauté another 3-4 minutes, until the red onion starts to soften.
  5. In a large bowl, add the broccoli, bacon, onion, and cherries.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayo, red wine vinegar, and thyme.  Combine well.
  7. Pour the mayo mixture over the broccoli mixture and toss to combine.
  8. Serve!

 

bacon broccoli

 

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Smokey Sweet Potato Salad

I love potato salad in the summer, but wanted to make a healthier version that still had summer flavor.  So, I used sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes and a vinegar based dressing instead of mayo.  I was really happy with how this turned out!  I’ll definitely make it again.

Smokey Sweet Potato Salad

Pieces:

  1. 3 sweet potatoes
  2. 5-6 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)
  3. 4 tbsp. honey mustard
  4. 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  5. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  6. 2 tsp. lemon juice
  7.  1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  8. 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  9. one half tsp. coriander
  10. salt and pepper

Process:

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes.  Cut them lengthwise into quarters or fifths.  Then cut into bite sized pieces.
  2. Roast the sweet potato pieces with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the sweets are tender when pierced with a fork (but not mushy).
  3. Slice the bacon into small bite sized pieces.  Saute the bacon pieces on medium heat until crispy.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes and bacon.
  5. Make the dressing by adding the honey mustard, white wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon rind, paprika, and coriander to a shaker or bowl.  Shake or stir to combine.
  6. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and bacon.  Toss lightly to coat.
  7. Let cool in the fridge for a couple hours.
  8. Top with scallions and serve.

smokey sweet potato

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Pasta Salad With Horseradish Dressing

Part of my cultural background is Polish, and I love it when my mother cooks Kielbasa sausage on a weekend morning.  So why not have it for lunch or dinner, too?  This is a spicy pasta salad that combines the classic summer flavors of sausage, peppers, and onion.  Hope you enjoy, as I have been this week!

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Pasta Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Pieces:

  1. one kielbasa sausage link
  2. one read pepper
  3. one yellow pepper
  4. one half of a sweet onion
  5. 2 tbsp. olive oil for sauteing
  6. your favorite gluten free pasta (I used one half of a box/bag)
  7. 2 tbsp. olive oil for the dressing
  8. 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  9. 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  10. 2 tsp. dried thyme
  11. 3 tbsp. horseradish mustard (or 1 tbsp. horseradish and 2 tsp. Dijon mustard)
  12. 1 tsp. honey
  13. 3 tsbp. chopped parsley
  14. salt and pepper

 

Process:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Chop the peppers and onions into bite sized pieces.
  3. In a large sauté pan, sauté the peppers and onions in olive oil and salt and pepper until cooked (not crisp anymore).
  4. Cut the kielbasa lengthwise down the middle and then into bite sized pieces.
  5. In another large sauté pan, cook the kielbasa until cooked through and a little charred around the edges. (I didn’t use oil because the kielbasa has fat on it that should help it to sauté nicely)
  6. In a large bowl, combine the cooked and drained pasta, peppers, onions, and kielbasa.
  7. To make the dressing, put the olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon pepper, thyme, mustard, and honey in a dressing shaker or bowl and shake/stir to combine.
  8. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and stir to combine.
  9. Dress with chopped parsley.
  10. Enjoy hot or cold!

sausage pepper onion pasta salad

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fifty Shades of Chicken… Recipes

I got this hilarious (cook)book from a friend, called “Fifty Shades of Chicken.”

50 shades chicken

 

It is a parody on “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but is all about chicken.  It takes the tone of the original book, but if you read closely, actually has chicken recipes in it, too!  It is very funny to read…spices up your time in the kitchen.  I recently made a recipe out of it that was delicious, called Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet and Sour Onions.  I made a few personal changes (like using half the chicken and onion amounts, using chicken broth instead of wine, and using ground cinnamon instead of a cinnamon stick), but loved the overall flavor.  I will definitely make this again.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet and Sour Onions

Pieces:

  1. one half pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  2. 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. 1 tsp. pepper
  5. one half of a sweet onion, diced
  6. 1 cup chicken broth
  7. 1 bay leaf
  8. 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  9. 1 tbsp. honey
  10. 2 tbsp. (vegan) butter
  11. (I added 1 tsp. hot honey mustard, too)

 

Process:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss the chicken with the garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a saucepan, simmer the onion, chicken broth, bay leaf, cinnamon about 15-20 minutes, until liquid has almost evaporated.
  4. Add the honey and butter (and hot honey mustard).
  5. Spoon the mixture over the chicken and bake for 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. (Although next time, I would probably simmer the chicken in the onion mixture over the stove, covering with a lid until done.)

 

drippy thighsHappy Allergy Free Eating… and Reading!

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bacon Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is one of my favorite side dishes.  I know, probably one of the least popular, but I love it (almost as much as beets!).  Actually, I like just plain old sautéed spinach, too.  If you don’t like creamed spinach as much as I do, here is a way to dress it up a bit… add cream and bacon!  Who couldn’t love creamed spinach with some bacon in it?

Bacon Creamed Spinach

Pieces:

  1. 2 pieces bacon (I like Applegate Farms turkey bacon)
  2. 2 tbsp. chopped shallot
  3. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  4. one and one quarter cup coconut (or other dairy free) creamer
  5. 1 tbsp. gluten free flour
  6. 3 tbsp. vegan butter
  7. 2 cups frozen spinach
  8. 2 tsp. nutmeg
  9. 2 tsp. pepper
  10. 1 tsp. salt
  11. one half tsp. cinnamon

 

Process:

  1. Chop the shallot and sauté in a pan with the olive oil.  Saute just for a minute or two.
  2. Chop the bacon into smaller than bite sized pieces.
  3. Saute the bacon with the shallot.  Add the vegan butter.  Saute until the bacon gets nice and crispy.
  4. Add the creamer and gluten free flour and stir for a couple of minutes to thicken.
  5. Add the spinach and continue to stir.
  6. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  7. Stir until spinach is heated through.
  8. Serve hot!

 

 

 

bacon spinach

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

I love the sweet and salty flavors of chocolate covered pretzels.  Instead of buying a bag, make your own at home with your own flavor combinations…. such as coconut, peppermint, smoked sea salt, or even curry!  These also have no baking involved, so they are a perfect summer treat on hot days.  And of course, gluten and dairy free!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Pieces:

  1. one bag gluten free pretzels
  2. 2 cups dairy free chocolate chips (I swear you won’t know the difference!)
  3. your favorite toppings… I sprinkled with shredded coconut, smoked sea salt, and even a few with curry powder for a spicy kick.  You can also add your favorite candies or extracts, such as peppermint or orange.

 

Process:

  1. In a microwavable bowl, add the chocolate chips.  Microwave on high for about 1-2 minutes, checking after each minute.  Stir the chocolate to see if it has melted.
  2. Dip the pretzels in the chocolate halfway, and lay on wax paper.
  3. Top with your favorite toppings and leave to cool.  You may have to put them in the fridge, depending on how hot the day is.  If you are adding flavor extract, stir a tsp. in with the melted chocolate.
  4. Enjoy!

 

choc pretzels

 

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pouch Potatoes

I love trying new ways to cook potatoes.  They go with any meal, are easy to flavor, and can be cooked in so many different ways.  Here, I tried steaming the potatoes in an aluminum foil pouch that I baked in the oven.  I imagine you could do the same thing on the grill.  This recipe is also very open to different flavors by just changing what goes into the pouch.  Instead of rosemary and olive oil… try paprika and chili powder, or dijon mustard and lemon thyme, or even citrus zest!

Pouch Potatoes

Pieces:

  1. one to two pounds small red potatoes
  2. 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  3. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  4. 2 tbsp. vegan butter
  5. 2 tsp. salt
  6. 2 tsp. lemon pepper

Process:

  1. Cut the potatoes into quarters, or bite sized.
  2. Using a large piece of aluminum foil, create a pouch by putting the potatoes on top of the foil.  Then sprinkle the olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, and rosemary on top and fold up the sides of the foil.
  3. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until fork tender.  You could also steam on the grill, keeping the lid to the grill closed.
  4. Serve hot!

pouch potatoes

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fancy BLoT

My childhood summers consisted of many trips up to Maine beaches, which always also included Maine lobster.  YUM!  So to me, nothing says summer more than some red hot lobster.  After a very filling recent lobster dinner, I took some leftovers and made a Fancy BLT open sandwich the next day.  Even better the second day!

Fancy BLT

Pieces:

  1. the leftover claw and tail meat of 1 lobster
  2. 2 slices bacon
  3. 15-20 cherry tomatoes
  4. 1 tbsp. (vegan) mayo
  5. 2 celery stalks
  6. 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  7. 2 slices of your favorite gluten free bread
  8. 1 tbsp. vegan butter

Process:

  1. Strip the claw and tail of the lobster to get all possible meat.  Shred with your fingers or a fork and put into a bowl.
  2. Cut the bacon into small bite sized pieces and saute on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until crispy.
  3. Slice the cherry tomatoes into quarters.
  4. Chop the celery into the same size pieces as the tomatoes.
  5. Add the sauted bacon, cherry tomatoes, celery, lemon pepper, and mayo to the lobster meat and stir to combine. 
  6. Toast and butter the bread to your liking.
  7. Create an open sandwich by scooping lobster salad on the toast.
  8. Enjoy!

lobster blt

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized