Tag Archives: lunch

Best kale salad, EVER!

Best kale salad, ever!

Best kale salad, ever!

All I am going to say about this salad is that after eating half of his FIRST large serving, Andy told me this needed to be on HEAVY ROTATION here through the summer.

Kale salad on heavy rotation!?!  YES!!!


Best kale salad, EVER!

  • 6-8 c organic baby kale mix (baby kale, spinach, beet greens, carrots) from Sams (any baby kale or kale mix will do just fine!)


  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Pecan and cranberry mix 

  • 1/3  c pecans
  • 1/3 c pistachios, shelled
  • 2 heaping T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls of dried cranberries.  I used sweetened.
  • salt, pepper chipotle pepper flakes

Use a grinder to process the pistachios and pecans to small pieces.  Add the nutritional yeast, EVOO, salt, pepper, and hot pepper and pulse in the grinder a few times, until crumbly and mixed.  Add the dry pecan cranberry mix, salad dressing and kale greens to a large lidded bowl.  Shake well to evenly coat the greens with the dressing and pecan, cranberry mix.  

Serve immediately.  

You can add roasted beets and/or red onions to the salad to add some more color and lots of good nutrition and flavor!  

Great color and flavor in this very simple and nutritious salad that is a meal!

Great color and flavor in this very simple and nutritious salad that is a meal!



Italian spinach pasta salad

Even though it is turning cold outside we wanted a hearty salad for dinner last night.  I checked the contents of my fridge/pantry and this is what I created.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.


This is an Italian spinach pasta salad that will add some color to your table and make your taste buds spring back to life.  The flavors are intense enough to give this salad just what it needs to become your new favorite.  That is what happened for us last night anyway as we dug into second helpings of our dinner.  You can look at the ingredient list and get a pretty good idea for the huge flavor in this one.  Italian, a little tart, a little briny, and a lot of zing!

Don’t be intimidated by the longer ingredient list for this salad–I promise, you will have it on the table in 30 minutes or less!  Give it a go and see how it wakes up your dinner plate!

Cheers to eating well and loving every bite!

Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a picture of our stray Quattro!  Isn’t she beautiful?

Italian spinach pasta salad

Servings 4-6

  • 1 – 8 oz box gluten free noodles, cooked al dente according to the package directions.  I used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Rotelle
  • 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2/3 c black olives, sliced into thirds
  • 1 c artichoke hearts in water, sliced in half
  • 1 – 14 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1-2 T Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 2 T fresh thyme or 2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 c freshly grated, aged Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix together the EVOO, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, onion and let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes at room temp while you prep the other ingredients.

Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach and cheese.  Allow to rest and marinade for a few minutes.  

Just before you serve the salad, add the spinach and cheese and toss to fully combine.  Garnish as you like–more cheese, some fresh herbs, a few fresh tomatoes, whatever you like!

Eat and ENJOY!

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro.

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro. Let me know if you would like to give her a forever home!




Sweet potato souffle

Sweet potato souffle--just out of the oven!  YUM!  I wish you could smell it right now!

Sweet potato souffle–just out of the oven! YUM! I wish you could smell it right now!

I planted a LOT of sweet potatoes in the garden this year and am hoping for a big harvest very soon!

In preparation for the digging, I decided I better find/create a few good recipes to help us use up all of those beautiful orange tubers (notice how optimistic I am this morning!).  This one is a Yoga Belly original, vegetarian, very filling, great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and is super simple to make.  I have made this dish many times and each time it seems to get better!

I am going to start by talking about the crust. There is a very short ingredient list on this one, but the flavor is HUGE!  Plus, the gluten-free crust adds a nice bit of protein, monounsaturated fat, iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber to your diet.  This crust is so good, it can and SHOULD be used with all of your favorite savory pies and quiches.

A few of my favorite oils!

A few of my favorite oils!

Now let me tell you about the filling.  Eggs and sweet potatoes are the main two ingredients, so that should give you a pretty good idea for how soft the mouth feel is on this souffle.  A high quality oil adds a LOT to the dish, so make sure you use a good, super flavorful oil.  If you know me at all, you won’t be a bit surprised by this comment, but I source most of these oils from TJMAXX or Marshalls, so I can have a nice variety here without breaking the bank.

Helpful hint–store your opened oil in the fridge to keep it from going rancid!

I LOVE truffle oil (not pictured) with just about anything, and it works beautifully here.  I have also used toasted walnut oil and loved every bite!  The rosemary, however, is the star of the dish–so be sure to use fresh, and lots of it.

Take some time to do something special like this for your family–if not this weekend, then very soon!  I promise, you will be so very happy that you did!

Served with heirloom tomatoes fresh from the garden!

Served with heirloom tomatoes fresh from the garden!

Sweet potato souffle

Servings ~6


  • 1 1/2 c almond flour or meal
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • very light dusting of stevia (optional)


  • 4-5 smaller sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • kosher salt
  • a couple of long springs of fresh rosemary — 1/4 cup?
  • 1/2 c good quality Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • 2 t truffle oil or use your fav oil (I have used both toasted walnut and truffle–both awesome!)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 shallots
  • 2 c baby spinach (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • salt and pepper
  • chipotle pepper flakes
  • ground nutmeg
  • 6 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degress F.  

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet.  Press into a greased pie pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Turn up the oven temp to 400 degrees F.


Boil the sweet potatoes in a salted boil for about 25-30 minutes, depending upon their size–until nice and soft.  Drain the water and let cool.

Place the Parmesan  rosemary, truffle oil, garlic, sprinkle of salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, and shallots in the food processor and blend until the garlic and shallots are chopped up into nice small pieces–a minute or two should be just fine.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool, add them to the food processor and mix until pretty smooth.  Add the eggs and mix until well incorporated.

Add 1/2 of the filling to the cake or pie pan.  Add a layer of spinach and sprinkle just a little bit of lemon juice on top of the spinach.  Add the other 1/2 of the filling on top.  Sprinkle the top with a dash of ground nutmeg.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the souffle is cooked through.  Let cool before you serve.





Pesto quinoa

If you are a fan of quinoa, you have to give my pesto quinoa a try!

I love this dish on its own or as the base for about anything that you would normally put over a flavored rice or potato.  I love my stuffed portobello mushrooms served over this super hearty and flavorful quinoa.

Adding some toasted pine nuts or cashews is a fantastic way to add some healthful monounsaturated fats and protein to make it even more of a meal!  I would love to hear what you do with my pesto quinoa and (I hope anyway) how much you love it!

To your belly, with love


Pesto quinoa

Servings 3-4 (depending upon what you do with it)

  • 1 1/2 c quinoa, lightly toasted (toasting is totally optional)
  • 2 1/2 c coconut milk, plain (use whatever non-dairy milk you like)
  • 1/4 c (or slightly more, to your taste) your favorite pesto (try my cheeseless or my cheesy Bestest Pesto recipes)
  • dash of freshly ground pepper
  • dash of chipotle pepper flakes or cayenne, optional

Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high.  Add the coconut milk, black, and hot peppers (optional).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is al dente.  

Remove from the heat and serve while it is nice and hot!