Tikka Masala with Cauliflower

curry3This meal is vegan and gluten free. If you’re looking for a way to either reduce meat or dairy consumption – this is perfect. It’s packed full of flavor and the cauliflower gives it texture. You can make it quite spicy – I kept it on the mild side since I’m the only one in the family that likes really spicy food.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed loose
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small pieces


In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle the oil and place the onions and garlic. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Then add in all the spices and mix together well, coating the onions. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring constantly. Place the onions and spices in a blender with about a half cup of tomato sauce, enough to give them some liquid.

Blend together until smooth, and carefully slow back into the pan. Add the rest of the tomato sauce and the coconut milk. Sprinkle the cilantro in the pan and stir until everything is mixed.

Add the cauliflower into the pan, and reduce the heat to low -high. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

curry4To make hotter, adding both diced jalapenos to the onions, and increasing the cayenne will work well.

Gluten Free and Dairy free Rice Crispy Treats

fall2I saw treats at the store the other day, and I was craving them. I actually thought about them several times. My mom made them for us when we were kids, and even with how simple it is – I enjoy a good Rice Crispy treat now and then.

Now with my mom being a diabetic, she can’t chow down on these – but she did have a small treat. I had a slightly larger one, since I also watch the sugar and carbs. It was good. It was really good. I got the recipe here: Coconut Oil Rice Crispy Treats I used gluten free Rice Krispies, and a different brand oil.

I could not taste the coconut oil at all, I had wondered if it would give it a different taste. It was a great substitute for butter. Also, the marshmallows did not stick to the pot. Marshmallow can be horrible to clean up.

1/4 cup Coconut oil
10 oz marshmallows (small sized will work better)
5 cups Gluten Free rice krispy cereal

In a large pot over medium heat pour the marshmallows and the coconut oil. Stirring frequently, cook until the marshmallows have melted down. Pour in the cereal and mix together well.

Place a sheet of parchment paper in a 9×9 pan. Pour the cereal mixture into it, and gently press into place.

Eat and enjoy!



Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Carving

I’d seen some really cute pumpkin ideas on Pintrest a week or so ago. I haven’t decorated a pumpkin in ages, and I was feeling a bit festive. I made this one, with a large pumpkin scooped out, and three white pumpkins made into cat heads. I used hard felt for the ears and whiskers, and a Sharpie for the face. I bought some cute ribbon at Michael’s Crafts, where I also work part time.

Instead of tossing the seeds out, I roasted them. This is very easy to do, and I’ve been snacking on them since. They are also great on salad.

pumpkin2Preheat the oven to 350F.

While scooping the seeds from the pumpkin, remove as much of the stringy pieces of pumpkin as you can. Spread them across a baking pan, as evenly as you can.

Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, and sprinkle some salt. I also tossed a pinch of garlic salt on them.

Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes. At about the 15 minute mark, give them a good stir.

Pepper and cayenne also taste great on them! Feel free to mix up the spices to your liking.

Place on a sheet of paper towel and allow it to soak up the excess olive oil. Then, snack away!


Chicken, Mushrooms, Red Peppers and Tomatoes with a Cream Sauce

Yum. This is a great fall time dinner. It’s warm, comforting, and it’s pretty dang healthy. I love creamy sauces, this went great over rice. I’ve also eaten it without. The roasted red peppers and tomatoes give it a nice flavor, and I could eat mushrooms everyday. I had almost wished I had doubled up on them, but as much as my family likes them, it’s me who craves them.

This dish is not difficult to put together. Most of the time, I can’t sit and watch the pans so closely, so I prefer meals that I can allow to cook for a bit while I am cleaning up. I do find cooking relaxing, I just don’t always have the time.


1 large red pepper, sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and cut into slices
2 tablespoons butter
4 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Cut the tomato and red pepper. Lay them skin side up on the baking pan, and bake for about 20 minutes, until starting to blacken.

While they roast in the oven, take the butter and put it in a larger skillet. Put the heat on medium, and when the butter has melted, add the chicken. Salt and pepper the side that is up, and sear. Once the bottom side is done, flip them over and salt and pepper the side that is already cooked. Sear the other side until it’s a light brown. If the chicken hasn’t fully cooked, this is ok, it will finish cooking later.


Remove the chicken from the pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until they soften up, then add the chicken stock. Add the heavy cream to the pan, along with the Parmesan cheese. Stir together well to mix. Place the chicken breasts back into the skillet, and add the tomatoes and peppers when they are done roasting. Sprinkle a bit of dried parsley into the pan. Add a bit more salt and pepper, if desired. Turn the heat to medium low, and allow everything to cook together for about 10 minutes.

Makes 4 servings. Goes great alone, or over rice or quinoa.

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

I was given a large pile of tomatoes earlier in the week. I already have salsa in the fridge, and given it’s becoming fall now, so I wanted something warm and comforting. I decided to make them into a heart warming pot of soup. I wanted to roast the tomatoes and onions to really bring out the flavor in them. Since I wanted to keep the soup fresh and healthy I did not go with a cream based. You want to roast the tomatoes until they are starting to lightly bubble and become black. This recipe can easily become vegetarian by swapping the chicken broth out for vegetable. I think the chicken adds just a bit more flavor.

2 pounds of tomatoes, cut in halves
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
pinch of ground thyme
3-4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: Fresh Parmesan cheese to top it off

tomsoup3Set the oven to 375F. Place a piece of tin foil on a baking sheet. Set the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the top of them. Place in the oven, allow to cook for 30-35 minutes. Watch for the tomatoes to be starting to bubble slightly and blacken. Remove from the oven.

While the tomatoes and onions are roasting and are close to done you can put a pot over medium heat. Pour the chicken broth in it, along with the fresh basil, thyme and salt and pepper. Once the tomatoes are ready, add them and the onions to the pot.

Allow the soup to cook on medium low heat until it simmers. About 20 minutes. Then use an immersion blender, or transfer the soup to a blender in batches about 2 cups at a time. Be careful if going this route, the soup will be quite hot. Once it is all blended together, pour into bowls. You can top it off with a bit more fresh basil, and some Parmesan cheese if you like. Makes 4 bowls.


Easy Applesauce

016.JPGI received a box of apples a few days ago and they were a bit tart. There was also a lot of them. I decided that I would turn them into applesauce. Applesauce is not a real picky recipe to make. There are so many different ways to go about it, even the cooking style. If I had more, I would have done canning as well, which leads into that process. However, you can make applesauce out of just a couple of pounds of apples. This is in a 16 oz container. It’ll make some great snacks! Since I love cinnamon I went a bit heavy there. I was told it tasted like apple pie filling, and left it a bit chunky, instead of running it with the immersion blender.

2-3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut
1/4 cup water
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Once you are done peeling, coring, and cutting the apples into smaller pieces, place them into a pot with the water. Set the temp on medium heat. Squirt the lemon juice on top and give them a stir. Add in the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Allow them to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring on occasion. Once they start to soften and break apart, turn the heat down to low. You can use a spoon to break up the pieces of apple more. If you like it pureed, use an immersion blender at the end, or scoop cups out and pour into a blender.

Mine is a bit darker from coconut sugar. I have skipped the sugar in it before, however since these apples were quite tart, they needed it. You can use apple juice instead of water, and the cinnamon and sugar ratios are more to taste. This is very flexible and it makes your house smell great! Give it a try next time you have a surplus of apples on hand.

Beef with Cabbage (1 pan meal)


This is a meal that is easy to make, easy to clean up. It’s healthy and not heavy on the carbs. It reheats well, which is just another bonus. It reminds me in a way of almost a deconstructed egg roll. It’s warm and fills your stomach.

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 lb ground beef
1/2 head fresh green cabbage, sliced
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
salt and pepper, to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions, turmeric and beef. While the beef cooks, cut the cabbage into large strips. Add the cabbage and both cans of the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Cook on medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*I like to add a bit of cayenne pepper as well, depends on who is over for dinner. I like spicier food, where my family often wants mild.

Fresh Mushroom Soup for Two

I love soups! They make me think of fall, the beautiful leaves, and the cooler weather. It’s not exactly cool here, but I got these lovely Crimini mushrooms at the farmer’s market. I’m a huge mushroom fan, when I make pork chops and steak, I love a big pile of sauteed mushrooms on top. They’re almost better than the main course for me! Anyways, the soup takes about a half hour to make. Since I bought a pound of mushrooms, I can make another batch of this. Cooking for two people can be tough. As much as I like leftovers, I can’t always eat all of them and need something fresh.


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons white rice flour (pretty much any gf flour will work)
2 cups diced mushrooms (Crimini or Baby bella will work the best)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium high heat melt the butter in a pot. Add the onions and garlic and allow the onions to soften. Add the flour and stir it in well with the onion and garlic. Next, add the mushrooms and allow them to soften. Stir in the broth, heavy cream, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Allow it to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*The vegetable broth can be replaced with a chicken broth, or even water.

*The heavy cream can be replaced with milk, but I would suggest adding a bit more flour to thicken up the soup.

This will make 2 larger bowls, or 4 small bowls. You can easily multiply the recipe to make more.

Good Morning Egg Bake

Breakfast on the weekend can be a real mess. Sometimes I’m wanting to sleep in, sometimes I’m rushing to the farmer’s market. Other times, I’m working. Besides being easy to put together, it’s a great way to clean out your fridge of any veggies that need to get used up, or you have too small a quantity to use elsewhere. Either way, I like eggs. I’ll also say that even though I do love cooking – I don’t always like to buy ingredients for one dish. If you are missing something, use something else!

8 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 cup diced ham
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, diced
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar


Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix together the eggs, milk and spices, and pour into a baking pan, or pie pan. Pour the eggs in, then add all the cut vegetables and meat. Top with cheese and a bit more pepper. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Serve hot, makes 4 servings.