Cobb Dip

Cobb DipSince I’ve always been a fan of Cobb salad, and I wanted to make a healthier snack for us on Mother’s day, I made this delicious dip. We always have some kind of chips and dip – and I did put out a guacamole as well, but this stole the show. It’s quite flexible as well, if you want to add something or omit something, it’s forgiving. You could easily add some olives or onions if you like them, or leave out the avocado.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1- 1/2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup corn, grilled or cooked – then cooled
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup bacon, crumbled
1 avocado, pitted and diced

cobbsalad2In a medium bowl mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and all the spices. When combined, take a 9″ pie pan and spread the mixture on the bottom. Then place the chopped romaine lettuce on top. Place the rest of the toppings over the romaine lettuce. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, or other gluten free snacks. Enjoy!

*Using either grilled corn, or frozen corn and cooking and draining, and cooling it will both work. Full fat or reduced fat sour cream and cream cheese are fine as well.

Cauliflower, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Casserole

caulidishRoasted cauliflower is delicious – and I can eat it right off the pan. However, adding a few more vegetables, some spice – and topping it off this this goat cheese – yum! This made a great complete meal and reheated for lunch the next day nicely. This is one of those dishes as well where I don’t feel bad if I end up eating a lot of it either!

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large head cauliflower
salt and pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large green pepper, diced
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 large eggs
2 oz plain goat cheese

caulidish1Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the cauliflower into 1/2 inch bite sized pieces and lay them on a baking sheet. Toss with 2 of the tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and place into the oven. After 10 minutes, flip with a spatula and roast another 10 minutes.

While the cauliflower cooks – in a medium sized pot on the stove, combine the other tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic and onion over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the diced tomatoes, diced pepper, and basil. Allow it to come to a simmer, then bring the heat to low.

When the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and reduce the oven heat to 375F. Take the cauliflower and place into the pot with the tomato mixture, and combine. Place into a 9×9 baking pan. Take the 2 eggs, and whisk together into a small bowl. Add the goat cheese to the eggs and stir to combine. Pour over top the cauliflower. Place into the oven for 30-35 minutes.


Chorizo, Kale, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Kale Chorizo and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers
This came together from a thought of “what do we have here in the fridge” – and I was so pleased with how it turned out. The flavors of the chorizo with the creamy goat cheese work very well together, there’s this nice crisp bite from the peppers – and I had this delicious kale I’d picked up at the farmer’s market the day before. I served them with a side of potatoes that needed to get used up as well.

2 large red bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 chorizo sausages (about 4oz), casings removed, and chopped
1/4 lb kale, stems removed
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

stuffedpeppers1Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare the peppers by slicing in half lengthwise and removing all the seeds and ribs.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chorizo and start adding the kale, a couple handfuls at a time, since it will wilt as it cooks. Stir for a few minutes and add more of the kale. After all the kale as been added and wilted, add the goat cheese and mix until just melted into the kale and chorizo. Spoon into the pepper halves and place into the oven. Bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes, just enough for the peppers to soften. Serve immediately and enjoy! Serves 4.


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Pico de Gallo

pico de gallo

Pico de Gallo is all about fresh. You can serve this with anything from fish, to tortilla chips, to chicken or beef – or topping off a salad. It’s a great addition to bring to the summertime picnics and BBQ’s.

4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 medium sized purple onion, diced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1 lime, juiced
sea salt, to taste

pico2Seed and remove the liquid from the centers of the tomatoes as best as you can – then dice them and the onions up. Then seed and dice up the jalapeno. Add the vegetables to a bowl. Mince the fresh cilantro, add to the vegetables along with the lime juice and salt and mix together. Yield about 2 cups. Store in the fridge.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

strawberry vinaigrette

We eat a lot of fresh salads here, so we also like to have good homemade dressings. This is one I like to make when we have a lot of fresh strawberries around. I love strawberries, they’re one of my favorite fruits – and we have friends that love to share with us from their strawberry bushes. Come summer I get to create lots of recipes with them from dressings, to salads, to jams, and I like to just snack on them.

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh mint, diced
1 teaspoon lime juice

In a blender, place the strawberries and puree until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Store in a container in the fridge. Makes about one cup. Drizzle on salad or use as a dip for veggies or fruits. Enjoy!



Roasted Sweet Onion and Garlic Dip

Roasted Onion and Garlic DipRoasted onions and garlic both make very happy. The flavors, the smell, it’s just perfect for me. Together they make a wonderful dip for enjoying outside during the warm summer days. I’ve served it with some rice crackers, however it also goes great as a vegetable dip.

2 large vidalia (sweet) onions, peeled and chopped into quarters
1 large whole head of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon roasted paprika
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400F. On a baking sheet place the quartered onion and drizzle with the olive oil. Remove the outer part of the garlic paper (do not separate the cloves) and wrap it in a layer of foil, and place it on the baking sheet as well. Place into the oven and allow to cook for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before handling.

Dice up the onions and separate the garlic cloves, pressing the garlic pulp out of each. In a bowl mix together the sour cream, lemon juice, cilantro, paprika, salt, onions and garlic. Serve with vegetables or snack of choice! Yield about 3/4 cup. Enjoy!


Veggie Stir Fry with Fresh Peanut Sauce

Vegetable Stir Fry with Peanut SauceOnce in awhile I crave peanut sauce, and it goes great with a vegetarian stir fry of fresh vegetables. I wanted to keep this simple and light, and the part that took the longest to make for the recipe was the rice. This is a wonderful way to cook up some of your garden.  I do make my own peanut sauce – which I’ll post tomorrow. It’s really easy to do, and allows you to stay in control over what’s in it. I loved all the crispy vegetables together.

1 small head broccoli, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cups sugar snap pea pods
1 large red bell pepper, sliced and halved
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
2 large carrots, chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon gf soy sauce
3/4 cup peanut sauce

In a large wok or skillet, warm the oil over medium heat and then add the carrots and broccoli. Allow to cook for 5 minutes and add the other vegetables and soy sauce, tossing to coat. Next add the peanut sauce and stir well, cooking the vegetables for another 10 minutes. Serve over rice or other gluten free grain of choice. Enjoy! Serves 4.


Meatballs with Mushroom and Onion Cream Sauce

Meatballs with Onions and MushroomsEven in the summer heat I crave some good old fashioned comfort food, so I gave in and made these delicious meatballs and served them with some garlic mashed potatoes. I’ve worked on making the dish a bit lighter and healthier, replacing the heavy cream with sour cream, and the meatballs are a mix of pork and beef. They go great served over any gluten free grain of choice, mashed cauliflower, or mashed potatoes.

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 medium white onion, diced (other half is used below)
1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire (double check it’s g/f)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups fresh sliced button mushrooms
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

mashed potatoes or grain of choice

meatballs2In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the beef, pork, diced onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce. (Using your hands is probably best.) Roll the meat mix into 16 evenly sized balls.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, place the olive oil and let it warm. Place the meatballs in the pan 5-6 at a time, or whatever comfortably fits, and brown the sides. Repeat till all are browned (they won’t be cooked through.) Remove all the meatballs from the pan and place the water, sour cream, and beef broth in the pan – then whisk together. Add cornstarch as needed to thicken. Place the meatballs into the sauce along with the onions and mushrooms. Bring to a low boil, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes – until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with gluten free grain or alone as is. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Greek Chicken

greek chickenThis is a simple but delicious way to serve up some chicken. It works great for all of the chicken pieces since you want to serve it with the marinade. The marinade is enough for two pounds of chicken, even though I only cooked one pound this time, and makes great leftovers.

2 pounds chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, wings)
1/2 cup pited and sliced kalamata olives
1/2 cup large pimento stuffed Spanish olives
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon parsley

1 cup feta cheese, optional

greekchicken2In a large baking dish lay the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. In a large bowl mix together everything else. Carefully pour the marinade over the chicken and allow to marinate for 6 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat the oven to 425F. Place a sheet of tinfoil over the pan and place into the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 15 minutes, until the chicken juices run clear from the chicken. Serve with some of the delicious olives and tomatoes, I served a side of mashed potatoes along with it. Sprinkle with feta if you choose (I’ve made both with and without and do like the feta!). Enjoy!

BLT Chopped Salad with Cucumber and Avocado

Chopped BLT SaladAnother delicious salad for the hot summer days. There’s a lot of crunch with the romaine and cucumbers and a light vinaigrette. Cherry tomatoes always make me smile and I’m pulling lots of them from the garden right now. I used to sit in the garden as a kid, picking and eating all of the cherry tomatoes.

8 cups romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
salt and pepper, to taste

bltsalad2In a large bowl combine all of the vegetables. After cooking the bacon (I personally bake mine), pat with paper towels and crumble when cool enough to handle. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime juice and zest. Add to the salad and toss to evenly coat. Feta cheese also goes great on top. Serves 4 larger salads. Enjoy!