Category Archives: Side Dish

Cinco de Mayo Simple Bean Salad


Yay for May and warmer weather! It’s *almost* warm here in New York State. My daughter still loves to wear her sweatshirt, but we’re able to eat our meals outside. Today it rained for just a few minutes, and then cleared up nicely for a quick BBQ with friends. We had grilled chicken, organic hot dogs, gluten free organic blue corn chips, salsa, lemonade, and this super simple bean salad. I just pulled together a few simple ingredients I had in the cabinet and the fridge.

1 Can pinto beans, organic
1 Can black beans, organic
Coarsely chopped cilantro, about half a bunch
4 Scallions, sliced thinly
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Teaspoons raw organic apple cider vinegar, or freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste

Rinse and drain beans well. Toss all ingredients to combine. Chill or eat immediately.

Getting ready for our bbq with bean salad, gluten free bunny cookies, zucchini to grill, salsa, chips, and fresh pineapple for the grill. Chicken was already outside cooking! Not a traditional Cinco de Mayo, but was enjoyed by all!


Pantry Minestrone Soup – Simple and Kid Friendly


I had to write this down while I remembered what I threw together… My son LOVES this soup so much, and I want to make sure I get it right next time I make it. In the background is another variation of my homemade allergy friendly bread! I used 3 tablespoons cocoa flour and topped it in rolled oats. Love the look! Flavor was pretty much the same as usual. Love homemade bread with soup!

Half a box of Gluten Free Elbow Pasta
1 10 oz box frozen mixed vegetables
Reserve 1 Cup water
1 Can cannellini beans
3/4 Cup (ish) tomato basil sauce (I used Classico)
Enough homemade (or organic) chicken broth to cover all ingredients
Splash Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dash each salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (to taste)

Boil in the same pot the elbow pasta and the frozen mixed vegetables, approximately 7 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Drain and rinse the beans. Add cannellini beans, then add enough broth to cover all the food. Add the tomato sauce, olive oil, and seasonings by eye. Stir and simmer about another minute. Serve to yourself and kids for a warm early spring pantry meal that you can throw together last minute!

Cole Slaw 2 Ways and St Paddy’s Day Dinner Celebration


Thanks to my sister Kim, again, for organizing a great family and friends dinner with lots of kids. She is such an awesome host, and I’m not just saying that because I like getting free food! She is great at organizing meals, and her home is always such a welcome place for gathering.

I brought cabbage! Ha! It’s true, but I tried to make it as fancy as I could. March is a month full of many things, cabbage being one of them. I have a like/dislike history with St Patrick’s Day, but decided this year that I would make the most of it and fully embrace the holiday once again. The children loved getting dressed in green and making arts and crafts for the day, too.
This adorable craft was great for keeping the kids occupied for a decent chunk of time! Great idea, credit to my cousin Holly for organizing and pulling this off!

I was busy yesterday morning in the kitchen using mostly my food processor to cut up a green and a purple cabbage. A food processor made the job so much easier, but I couldn’t help remembering all the years I shredded vegetables by hand at my grandmother Alice’s house for almost every holiday.

Old Fashioned Vegan Cole Slaw

I used the smallest shredding attachment on my food processor to make the fine shred here. You could also you a box grater to achieve the same look and texture.

6 Cups shredded light green cabbage
2 Cups shredded purple cabbage
2 Cups shredded carrots
1 Large shallot, minced

4 Tablespoons Veganaise (or more to taste)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Teaspoons organic raw apple cider vinegar
2 Teaspoons Dijon style mustard
2 Teaspoons celery seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

After shredding all the vegetables, toss well to combine. Mix all the ingredients together for the dressing in a small bowl by either whisking or stirring. Use more Veganaise if you like your cole slaw to have a mayo taste. Toss dressing into your slaw and refrigerate one hour, or up to a day (if making ahead) to allow all the flavors to combine. If you make ahead, you can add a bit more dressing right before serving and toss to fluff it up.

Asian Inspired Cole Slaw

I used a larger shredding attachment on my food processor to make the long ribbons for the red cabbage. I played with different blades when I chopped my celery to make both thin slices and julienned pieces.


3 Cups shredded red cabbage
1 Cup shredded green cabbage
1 10 oz bag of frozen edamame, boiled in salted water for 4 minutes, drained, rinsed in cold water
2 Carrots, finely shredded
1 Large shallot, minced
4 Stalks of celery, sliced and julienned


3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A large handful of cilantro, very finely chopped
1 Tablespoon agave syrup
2 Cloves fresh garlic, minced
Juice of 2 Limes
Salt and Pepper to taste


After preparing edamame and shredding all vegetables, toss well to combine. Chop cilantro small using the blade in the food processor. Slowly add the rest of the dressing ingredients to the food processor until it is all well combined. Toss the dressing with the slaw and refrigerate one hour to combine the flavors. If making a day ahead, reserve some dressing (or make more) to add and toss again to fluff up the salad.

Kimmy’s Amazing Brisket! (I hope she will share her recipe!!)
More cabbage, boiled. Can’t have St Patrick’s Day without a lot of cabbage! There were also potatoes, I missed getting a picture of those.


Olive platter, the platter was my grandma Alice’s. She is with us on every family meal in spirit. She was my inspiration to cook in the kitchen. Everything that Kim and I know about cooking all started with her love of cooking, the kitchen, and all things family.

I couldn’t end this post without a picture of how happy our cousin’s children and my children are when we get together. This is what the true meaning of family is. I hope everyone had as wonderful a St Patrick’s Day as we did!

Lentil Soup


My son and I love lentil soup at our local diner, and their lentil soup is gluten free. However, when eating out at a diner, it’s hard to really know if something hasn’t touched a potential allergen, and for someone with severe allergies, I don’t believe it would be good enough.

Trying to recreate lentil soup at home was much easier than I anticipated. This meal is full of nutrition, especially if it is made with homemade bone broth. It is sure to become a staple at our winter dinner table!



1 Cup of green lentils
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Large carrots, peeled and diced
1 Small onion, diced
1 Rib of celery, diced
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Cup Pomi diced tomatoes (or dice your own)
6-8 Cups homemade bone broth (or use organic low sodium chicken broth)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Teaspoon turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon cumin
1/2 Teaspoon paprika

Optional add ins:
Leftover baked potatoes and leftover roasted chicken, diced


Rinse lentils, picking out any unwanted particles. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a dutch over or heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add diced onions, celery, carrots and stir, cooking for about 8 minutes, until onions are translucent but not browned. Season veggies with sea salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and paprika. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, broth, and lentils to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, on low, for 20 minutes. Lentils should be soft. About 5 mintues before the soup is done, add in any leftovers you may want. I used already cooked baked potatoes and chicken, from the previous night’s dinner. Even frozen vegetables would work in this (defrost first)! Experiment with what you have on hand!

Avoid overcooking. Cool slightly before serving. Great with rice, quinoa, or my toasted allergy friendly bread!


Cole Slaw, vegan and super simple!

cole slaw with grapesEver since I discovered grapeseed oil based “mayo”, I’ve been looking for reasons to use it! This recipe is so simple, I added grapes to see if I could trick my kids into trying it. So far, they haven’t been willing to try it. However, my daughter loves raw cabbage, so why change it up if I don’t have to!

1 Cup shredded cabbage
1/4 Cup shredded carrots
(or use premixed cole slaw mix)
1 Cup small red grapes, rinsed
1 Tablespoon vegan mayo, I use Veganeaise
1 Teaspoon raw organic apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.

Put all ingredients except for grapes in a medium size mixing bowl.  Mix thoroughly, then toss grapes in and lightly stir until incorporated.


Game Day Menu with Chili Con Queso, Dairy Free

chili con quesoWe don’t watch the Super Bowl in my home. Shocking! It wasn’t until last week that I even had any idea of football on my radar. So many people do watch the Super Bowl that it’s almost like a holiday. A day that has it’s own food culture. I’ve also recently become more aware of how limiting being dairy free is. I don’t miss cheese like I thought I would, but up until this point, I haven’t tried to make many meals with a cheese substitute. I like my dairy free lasagne made with cauliflower/tofu sauce, but there isn’t anything ooey or gooey about it.

I recently learned about Daiya cheese products. This is something I would consider a specialty item, and not something I would buy very often. Except that my son who can’t eat cheese LOVED it! So now I might have to buy it more often! I’m happy that he has a new food that he can add to his available options. It’s easy for me to just cut it up and give it to him. Although it’s not what I would consider a “whole food”, and has a few ingredients that I find iffy. I approve of Daiya cheese only as an occasional treat.

I was inspired by this web site to make my own Chili Con Queso with beef. The original recipe is from a vegan site, so I hope they aren’t too offended by my inclusion of ground beef.

Olive Oil,
Half a medium size onion, diced
Half pound of ground beef
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon chili poweder
3/4 C gluten free beer (I used homebrewed sorghum beer)
1 Package Daiya Havarti Wedge with jalapeño and garlic, cubed
Half Package of Daiya Cheddar Wedge, cubed
3/4 Cup Salsa
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute beef and onions with a splash of olive oil on medium heat. Seaon meat with paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Break up ground beef into small pieces. Once onions are transparent and meat is cooked, add the gluten free beer and simmer about 5 minutes. Turning heat to low, add diced Daiya cheese and stir until all cheese is melted. Do not over cook. Stir in salsa last. Done!

This dish was best served right away after making. It is warm and gooey. Just right! Eat with chips, or makes a fantastic sauce for hot dogs or sliders too! I even made it into a quesadilla the next day! When reheating it, avoid using the microwave. I microwaved it, and a bit of separation occurred.

We made a lot of other food for Family Dinner night, all Mexican themed, and all that would be great for a game day, too, if you are so inclined. We made salsa verde using beautiful, large tomatillos from a farmer’s market.
me cooking

Margaritas using Wildtree organic agave mix:
agave margarita mixer
Kimmy’s Mexican Chicken Soup:
kim seasoning
Fresh guacamole:
guac 2

And next day quesadilla:

Photography: I was away at my sister’s house spontaneously for Sunday dinner. It wasn’t planned, and my Canon DSLR was not charged. I decided to see how pictures turned out using my iPhone. Although not the best, with a little bit of TLC using Photoshop, I don’t mind these pictures at all.

Rainbow Snack


My children like to say “taste the rainbow” when they eat something they like. They also say “tastes like sunshine”, “tastes like rainbow flowers”. I think it’s so cute! When visiting a friend, she thought my children were quoting an advertisement, to her dismay. I insisted that they weren’t and that I had helped teach them to say “taste the rainbow” by making this snack.  I love making it so much, and it’s a great surprise to have waiting for them when they get home from preschool.

It’s very easy to do, just buy any selection of produce that is red, orange, yellow, green, blue and indigo. My selection today were strawberries, orange pepper, golden grape tomatoes, raw broccoli, blueberries, and red grapes.  Select organic when possible for higher nutrition and exposure to fewer chemicals. Rinse thoroughly and cut into bit size pieces. Arrange in the shape of a rainbow on a plate big enough to hold all those fruits and veggies! Enjoy watching your children eat! They ate almost all the colors, unfortunately the orange pepper wasn’t a favorite of the kids, but I love them so bonus pepper for me! Yum!