Posts filed under ‘Main Dish’
Strolling through our local farmer’s market is one of the highlights of my weekend. The local bee keeper selling his honey, the vibrant fresh flowers are on display in gorgeous bouquets, the scent of fresh-popped kettle corn is intoxicating, and the colorful vegetables…oh, the fresh garden vegetables remind me of a rainbow in food form!
My favorite stand is the organic Cedar Rose Farms run by a sweet and very knowledgable couple. I always buy several items that they have featured for the week. Carrots, spring onions and zucchini were featured the week I made this recipe (yum!)…which was ideal for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal! I was thrilled to come across this Farmer’s Market Skillet from Heather’s blog Join Us, Pull Up a Chair and use up my farmer’s market goodies! It may not be the prettiest dish to photograph, but it was DELISH!
I swapped out carrots for the corn since I didn’t find any at the market. I also incorporated goat feta cheese instead of cow’s for easier digestion my end (though you can swap out dairy-free cheese if needed OR use fresh avocado chunks and season with additional salt and lemon for a flavor boost) and used up the vegetable stock I had on hand to keep this a veggie-friendly main dish! I squeezed some additional lemon juice on top to amp up the acidity…which I’m about if you’ve been following me for a while🙂 This was a big hit! It can stand alone as a dinner, quick lunch (hot or cold) or a zesty side dish alongside your favorite protein. Swap in your favorite fresh veggies to your liking – fresh corn kernels, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, beets, bell peppers, etc. I think this dish would also be delicious with chickpeas and a few olives for fun too!
While I happily chose to make her Farmer’s Market Skillet, Heather’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Pretzel Bars had me singing “It’s Peanut Butter-Jelly Time” along with a impromtpu shameless celebration dance in my kitchen while ideas swirled in my head to make a healthier and allergen-friendly version at a later date. I loved her idea for Buffalo Chicken Rolls as a hand-held appetizer and a perfect game-day recipe for upcoming football gatherings and Heather’s Gazpacho with Basil Cornbread Croutons made me want to hold on to warm summer days and sunshine.
Farmer’s Market Skillet (lightly adapted from Join Us Pull Up a Chair)
Gluten-free, Soy-free, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Vegan and Dairy-free Options, Refined Sugar-free, Corn-free, Egg-free
1 3/4 cup broth (vegetable for veggie-friendly OR chicken stock or broth if desired)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
2-3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
2-3 green onions, chopped
1-2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese (I used goat’s feta – for dairy-free/vegan, use a shredded dairy-free cheese or choice, cashew cheese or substitute chunks of avocado)*
2-3 Tbsp chopped basil
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2-3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 3 Tbsp bc I love acidity)
1 1/2 Tbsp honey, maple syrup or agave (do not use honey if strict vegan)
1 garlic clove, microplaned
1/2 tsp sea salt (or more to taste, if desired)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Using the broth or stock, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Once cooked, fluff the quiona with a fork and let cool slightly.
2. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette, whisk and set aside.
3. Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown.
3. Add the zucchini and green onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until just tender and then add the quinoa and half of the vinaigrette. Stir well and cook for an additional minute.
4. Add the remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, cheese/avocado and basil to the skillet. Stir well to combine. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or lemon juice if desired and enjoy!
If you want to make this a cold salad, do not combine the quinoa into the skillet. Let all ingredients cool separately and then combine the cooked quinoa, cooked vegetables, tomatoes, feta, basil and vingairette into a large bowl. Chill until you’re ready to serve.
*If you opt to substitute the cheese for avocado for an easy dairy-free swap, I suggest you add a bit more salt and lemon juice since the cheese adds a nice salty element to the dish and add the avocado right before serving. Enjoy!
ABC…easy as 1-2-3…that’s what this salad and dressing is! If you have these three ingredients on hand, you can whip a quick dressing up in less than a minute, and there’s no need for a blender, just a simple whisk (or a fork if you must!).
A for Almond butter (or your favorite nut or seed butter)
B for Braggs liquid aminos (or coconut aminos for Paleo, Whole30 and/or soy-free)
C for Apple Cider Vinegar
For the salad itself, choose your favorite chopped greens along with some crunchy cabbage for the base. Toss in your preference of veggies, such a sliced grape tomatoes, diced bell pepper and chopped celery and there you have it! You can top it off with your favorite nuts and/or seeds, diced apple or coconut chips for some extra crunch and flavor.
This dressing is simple but SO good! For a touch of sweetness, either add a drizzle of maple syrup or agave or a spoonful of date paste. If you are looking for a quick lunch or light dinner, this is it! You can substitute the greens for chopped kale or swiss chard and keep it in the fridge for longer since it will hold up as opposed to wilt.
Toss this dressing into a cup of cooked quinoa or brown rice to make it more filling or add your favorite protein for a hearty main course. I served this salad with grilled salmon burgers the other night, and it was a lovely combination or smoky, sweet, salty and tart. If you like sweeter dressings, dial down the amount of vinegar you use and use two drizzles of maple or agave.
ABC Cabbage Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free Option, Vegetarian, Vegan, Sugar-free, Egg-free, Keto-friendly, Paleo-friendly option
For the Dressing:
2 Tbsp almond butter or your favorite nut or seed butter*
2-3 tsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (or coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari)
1 -2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
water to thin, if needed
Optional – for a sweeter dressing, drizzle in a teaspoon or so of agave, honey or maple syrup or date paste to taste. For a lower carb option, add a couple drops of liquid stevia
For the Salad:
1 handful of chopped purple cabbage
2 handfuls of chopped greens
5-6 grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/3 cup alfalfa sprouts
Or whichever salad ingredients you enjoy, this recipe is flexible!
Ideas for crunchy toppings
Chopped nuts or seeds
Makes 1 large salad or 2 smaller salads
- For the dressing: whisk almond butter/nut butter through vinegar in a small bowl until smooth. If it’s too thick, you can thin with a drizzle of water. I like my dressing on the acidic side so feel free to adjust to taste. Feel free to add in a
- For the salad: Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl. Toss with salad dressing until combined, if you like a lightly dressed salad drizzle a little at a time (leftover dressing can be saved). Sprinkle with topping options if desired and serve!
*The choice or nut or seed butter will determine the flavor or your dressing. I’ve tried this with peanut butter, sunflower seed butter and cashew butter along with the almond butter. A roasted nut/seed butter has a lovely depth of flavor that adds to the dressing. If you use a salted version, you may want to adjust the Bragg’s/aminos to your taste. If you use sunflower seed butter, it’s not as sweet as the almond/peanut/cashew options so adding a little sweetener will balance out the flavors nicely! This dressing is flexible so adapt it to suite your taste buds and your tummy!
Have you ever eaten duck eggs? Wow, they have quickly become my new food love. I stumbled across some at our farmer’s markets as well as a local health food store and it’s been a game changer for me. After some allergy testing and an elimination diet, I discovered that I react to chicken egg whites and despite being briefly bummed, I sought out alternatives and experimented with egg-free versions of my favorite recipes. After duck eggs were discovered, my foodie world expanded once again.
Here are a few highlights of the beloved duck egg and why you might want to get your hands (and forks) on some if possible:
2. Duck egg shells are harder to get a clean crack and are much tougher than chicken eggs, creating a longer shelf life.
4. Just take care not to overcook the whites of duck eggs, they contain more protein and therefore can become more rubbery if cooked too long.
5. The yolks have a richer, almost buttery flavor, most likely attributed to the higher fat content.
6. Duck eggs contain more albumen, which gives them more structure, thus creating a very light, fluffy, and rich baked good with a higher lift than those made with chicken eggs.
I’ve been searching for more breakfast options and was itching to try out my new duck eggs in a recipe…so when I spotted Amy’s recipe for Baked Eggs in Portobello Mushroom Caps, I was sold. This recipe was lightly adapted from Amy’s Savory Moments blog that I was assigned to this month for the Secret Recipe Club reveal! I swapped out the chicken eggs for ducks eggs, used green bell pepper instead of the grilled piquillo and served the dish with sliced avocado and fresh basil for a bit of freshness. I left out the cheese for allergy purposes but but I sure that would a lovely addition if you can eat it. In short, I loved this recipe! Not only does it provide a hearty serving of veggies to start the day, it’s flavorful, simple ingredient and adaptable!
Baked Eggs in Portobello Caps (adapted from Savory Moments recipe)
2 large portobello mushroom caps
2 duck eggs or 2 large chicken eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp small diced onion
large handful of mixed greens or baby spinach (roughly 1 cup)
1/2 green bell pepper, small diced
about 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or favorite non-dairy cheese (optional, I omitted)
pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
paprika for garnishing
fresh avocado slices or guacamole for serving, optional
chopped fresh basil (or cilantro or parsley) for serving, optional
favorite fat or oil for cooking (coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil)
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and drizzle a bit of olive oil/fat in small baking dish. Wipe the dirt off your mushroom caps with a damp towel. Gently scrape the gills out from the underside of the mushrooms with a spoon. Place in the baking pan and drizzle a small amount of fat/oil on the mushrooms and a bit of black pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the begin to get soft and shrink up a little.
- While mushrooms are baking, heat some fat/oil in a small pan and saute the garlic, green pepper and onions for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the spinach and cook until it’s wilted. Add some salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Remove mushrooms from the oven and lower oven temp to 325F.
- Discard all juice inside mushroom caps and wipe out all juice out of the baking dish. Take a towel and gently press the inside of the mushrooms to get out any excess juice. Place the mushrooms (bottom/cup facing up) back into the baking dish. Put half of the spinach mixture into each mushroom, and sprinkle with cheese if using. Try to leave a “hole” in the center so there is room for the egg yolk.
- Carefully crack an egg on top of each mushroom. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, paprika, and some extra cheese. Carefully place the baking dish back into the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are cooked and the yolk is set. Garnish with paprika and serve with avocado slices and fresh basil or favorite herbs (optional).
Smothering a whole organic chicken with mayo at one point in my life would have totally freaked me out. Now, it makes drool…oh how times have changed. I used to think that eating dietary fat = automatically gaining body fat. Ten years ago, I would have cringed at eating anything that wasn’t labeled low-fat and I’d even meticulously cut fat off lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Interesting how we get ideas in our head of what is considered “healthy”.
The more I learn about nutrition, and the more I am open-minded and willing to try new things, the more I REALLY comprehend that how one person eats doesn’t always work for the next person. Mind you, I am not advocating eating blocks of cheese, fried chicken and deep-fried oreos… but fats from whole and unprocessed foods can do wonders for the body and our health. More on this later, let’s get to this recipe!
I found this incredibly easy and DELICIOUS recipe for Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken on Nicole’s blog I am a Honey Bee for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment. I was already familiar with Nic’s blog when I made her Lightened-up Broccoli Cheddar Soup awhile back so I was excited to have her site again! Her Payday Pie looks and sounds absolutely heavenly and her Homemade Paleo Bacon will be made as soon as I get my hands on fresh pork belly (I have to order it from my local health food store).
This chicken though, what a fantastic way to cook a whole bird! The result is a juicy and tender chicken and the mayo creates a lovely crust on top of the skin, which crisps up nicely and infuses a delightful punch of flavor! You can carve up the meat and serve it as the main dish or use the meat for another recipe, so it’s a win for versatility. I made a few changes: I used my own homemade avocado mayo, added a bit of fresh lemon thyme and stuffed the bird with quartered lemon wedges. I omitted the garlic and the bay leaves since I didn’t have those on-hand but they would have been a great addition as well. I can’t wait to experiment with different flavor combos and the mayo in the future – yum! Thanks for the inspiration Nicole!
Also, I have a confession: It’s been quite the couple of weeks and this recipe reflects just that. Do you see anything wrong with these photos?! Umm…I cooked this chicken upside down! Wow, where is my head at? I didn’t turn it over after seasoning it so that’s was an oops. I should have posted this for April Fool’s Day…but this was a nice reminder to laugh at myself🙂
Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken (lightly adapted from I am a Honey Bee)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole 30 & Keto-friendly, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Candida-friendly
Makes 1 whole chicken
5-6 pound whole organic chicken
1/2 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces
1/2 pound celery, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces
2 large onions, sliced into 1/2″ wedges
4 sprigs of fresh lemon-thyme and/or 3-4 bay leaves
approximately 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used homemade avocado oil, sugar-free mayo, recipe below)
one lemon, quartered
coarsely ground black pepper
Other seasoning options:
4 garlic cloves, minced
- Preaheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove the giblets from the chicken. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.
- Place the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and two sprigs of thyme (and/or bay leaves) in a roasting pan. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the quartered lemon and two of the sprigs of thyme.
- With about 2 tbsp of mayo, rub undernearth the chicken skin. Take remaining mayonnaise and run all over the whole chicken. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken to prevent burning.
- Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes prior to slicing and serving. Lift the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.
Homemade Avocado Oil Mayo (lightly adapted from The Healthy Foodie)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole 30-compliant, Keto-friendly, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Candida-friendly, Vegetarian
3 eggs yolks (or 1 extra large egg)*
1/2 tsp sea salt (I’ve used flavored salts like hickory smoked sea salt)
juice from half a lemon or 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp of mustard (I use stone ground dijon mustard made with apple cider vinegar)
1 cup avocado oil (or extra light tasting olive oil)
- To a large mouth glass jar, add the egg yolks. Add the remaining ingredients on top of the yolks.
- Place immersion blender in the glass jar until it hits the bottom (this is the only way I’ve every made mayo so I am not sure what else you can substitute).
- Turn the immersion blender on and let run without moving for a full 20 seconds. You’ll see the oil will start to emulsify and it starts to look like mayo!
- After 20 seconds, move your stick blender around and up and down just to ensure that every all of the oil gets well incorporated into the mixture. There you have it!
- Store in the refrigerator an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
*I used yolks only since I found out I am sensitive to egg whites so I am keeping my intake to a minimum