Blackberry Honeydew Cream Trifle

Blackberry Honeydew TrifleThis light and fresh dessert is perfect for a weekend afternoon treat. Its full of fresh fruit and layered with this delicious cream that’s a mix of cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and fresh lemon juice.

1 medium sized honeydew melon, diced
1 pint blackberries, slice the larger ones
8 oz cream cheese, softened
5.3 oz plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

trifle3In a medium sized bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then add the yogurt and lemon juice and mix until combined. Dice up the honeydew and layer in cups or bowls the honeydew, a light layer of the cream, and finally the blackberries, making two layers. Serve chilled. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!

Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried RiceThis is another fried rice recipe that I love, with lots of small pieces of fresh pineapple and ham with my vegetables. It doesn’t take long to prepare – especially if you have rice prepared ahead of time. Have I said before how much I enjoy having a rice cooker? I received one for Christmas last year and it’s been great.

I’ve kept this fried rice simple, so that the spices aren’t overwhelming the pineapple and ham. I wanted this to be a dish that everyone could enjoy, and eat their veggies (hopefully!)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
3 large carrots, grated
3/4 cups ham, diced
2 cups pineapple, diced
3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
3 cups cooked rice



In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.


Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots, peas and carrots, cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the pineapple, ham, and rice.

Carefully pour the bowl of soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil over the rice and vegetables and combine well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until everything is cooked throughout. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Raspberry Iced Tea


Fresh ripe raspberries and tea together, what a wonderful combination. Staying hydrated is important – and I do like to have something different to drink from time to time. I’ve used black tea for this – however green will work as well.

1 cup raspberries
5 cups water (2 boiling)
2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea of choice
juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Bring 2 cups of the water to a boil, and while that is going – place the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Once blended add the sugar to them. Strain and discard the seeds, adding the raspberry juice to the other 3 cups of water. Add the lemon juice to the water. Steep the tea in the boiling water for 4-5 minutes when ready, then discard the tea leaves. Combine the boiling water to the fruit water. Chill until ready to serve. Serve over ice. Enjoy!

Tomato Pie

tomatopieTomato Pie is a popular dish in the southern US. Savory pies are great, and this is a fantastic way to great way to serve up tomatoes fresh from the garden. The recipe is simple and fresh – and it’s a pot pie that’s perfect for the summer.

gluten free pie crust
3-4 large tomatoes, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely diced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
5 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

tomatopie4If using my gluten free pie crust, follow the instructions for it – otherwise follow package instructions for a premade crust While letting the pie crust bake, or letting the oven preheat, I suggest slicing the tomatoes, lighting salting them and allowing them to drain some of their excess water. Carefully squeeze them with a paper towel or a clean dish towel.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange a layer of onions on top of the crust, followed by a layer of tomatoes. Next, sprinkle half of the basil on top of the tomatoes, and repeat another layer of tomatoes and basil.

tomatopie2In a small bowl, combine together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, sriracha, worcestershire sauce, and cheddar cheese. Spread on top of the tomatoes. Top off with the mozzarella.

tomatopie1Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cheese is starting to turn golden brown and bubbly. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

Sweet Potato and Spinach CurryThis curry is full of fresh spinach, sweet potatoes, and spices. I love making a dish like this early in the week because it reheats well for lunches if there are leftovers. Curry is very versatile – the combinations you can make with it are endless, and can be very healthy like this bowl. I also love the way the spices make the house smell, it’s very inviting to me.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
4 cups fresh spinach
15 oz diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

rice or grain of choice


After preparing the sweet potatoes, steam them for 10-15 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Add the curry powder, ground cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, fresh ginger, and sea salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Next add the spinach, you may need to add it a cup or two at a time, allowing it to wilt. If more liquid is needed, add a teaspoon of olive oil.

After all the spinach has been added and wilted add the diced tomatoes, water, and fresh lemon juice.  Next, add the sweet potatoes to the skillet, and reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice or other gluten free grain of choice. Makes 4 large servings.


Veggie and G/F Enchiladas

Vegetarian and Gluten Free EnchaladasThese enchiladas are bursting with zucchini, a bit of peppers and rounded out with some cheese and spices. I’ve made them light – and shared an easy homemade enchilada sauce because finding a gluten free sauce isn’t always easy to find at the store. These are great for a warm summer’s night when you have friends and family over, and can be topped off with fresh salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste

For the enchiladas:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 large zucchinis, grated
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup yellow corn
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium scallions, diced
6 large gluten free tortillas
1 1/2 cups Mexican cheese blend

veggieenchalada4In a medium sized saucepan place the olive oil with the garlic, cumin, and chili powder and saute. Add the tomato sauce and vegetable broth, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.


veggieenchalada3Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a large skillet place a tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic, onions, cumin, chili powder and salt. Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the zucchini, peppers, and corn and cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove any excess water from the pan and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese into the vegetables and allow it to melt.


In a 9×13 baking dish, cover the bottom with just a bit of the enchilada sauce. Scoop the vegetable mix into the tortillas, evenly dividing among the tortillas and fold them seam side down into the baking dish. Top off with the rest of the enchilada sauce, then sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and scallions and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot with toppings of choice. Enjoy!

*For premade enchilada sauce, use 22 oz can.

Bunches of Blueberries Cheesecake Bars (gluten free)

Bunches of Blueberries Cheesecake BarsI’ve had the baking itch for awhile now, however it’s been so hot and humid that I’ve not wanted to turn the oven on. Today however, it’s lightened up and I’m not missing my chance, I’m baking! With the majority of my desserts and treats – this isn’t very sweet. I’ve gone to agave as my sweetener to let the blueberries be the stars with a hint of lemon.

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

For the filling:
16 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup agave syrup
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large)
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 1/4 cups blueberries

*If you prefer a sweeter dessert, switch out the agave for 1/2 cup of sugar.

blueberrybars4Preheat the oven to 325F. Mix together the crust ingredients and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper. Spread the graham mixture evenly across the parchment and place into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

In a medium sized bowl mix the cream cheese until smooth, and then beat in the eggs, agave, lemon juice, and mascarpone. Mix together until completely blended. Carefully pour over the crust, and using a spatula even out the top. Top off with the blueberries and press them into the cheesecake just a bit to allow them to sink down just a bit. Place into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The middle will be a bit wobbly in the center still, but the outsides will be a slight brown.

blueberrybars3Allow the bars to cool completely on a wire rack before placing in the fridge to finish cooling. Allow them to cool in the fridge 2.5-3 hours before serving (hard I know!) to fully set. Once done lift the parchment from the pan and slice into bars. Makes 9-12 bars. Enjoy!

Mango and Avocado Salad

Mango and Avocado Salad This light and fresh summer salad is perfect for an outside lunch or picnic, and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. The mangos really give it that summer fresh taste – and give a great contrast against the avocado. The salad vanished fast off the table!

2 avocados, sliced
2 mangos, cubed
4-5 cups romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
3/4 cup plum tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl combine the lettuce, mangos, avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over top the salad and carefully toss until the salad is lightly coated. Serve immediately, makes 4 servings. Enjoy!


Black Bean Chili with Cilantro and Lime

black bean chiliI’d been in a mood for a good bowl of chili lately so I made one with a bit of summer flair. It has some of those wonderful traditional chili flavors we all love, and I added some fresh cilantro from the garden, fresh lime juice and cumin. Yum!

1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 quart reduced sodium beef stock
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

*extra toppings like sour cream or cheese if you desire

blackbeanchili3In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and onions. Cook until translucent. Transfer them to a large stock pot and place them with the beef stock over medium heat and bring to a low boil.

In the skillet brown the beef and season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Drain any excess fat from the beef and transfer it to the stock pot. Next add rinsed black beans, diced tomatoes,  and spices to the stock pot. (Everything other than the lime juice and cilantro.) Reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for an hour.

Add lime juice and cilantro and cook another 10 minutes. Top with additional toppings of choice. Makes 4 large bowls. Enjoy!


Toasted Almond Chicken

Toasted Almond ChickenThis chicken dish goes from pan to plate in under 30 minutes. It has a light gravy and topped off with roasted almonds. I’ve served it over rice – however you can serve it over another grain or even cauliflower or another veggie.

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1  1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup unsalted almonds


Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes until no longer pink. Remove from the pan.

Add the last tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is clear. Add the milk, and slowly stir in the cornstarch. Add the chicken back to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a small skillet over medium heat (using a heavy bottom pan is best) place almonds in the skillet and stir them frequently, every 30 seconds or so – to prevent them from burning. Roasting on the stovetop is the fastest way and they’ll be done within 3-5 minutes, and will have browned edges and have a fragrant smell. Remove from the pan to fully cool.

If you want the almonds to stay crisper, top the chicken just before serving, otherwise add to the gravy and allow to simmer with the chicken for a few minutes.

Serves 4.