Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Asparagus Soup- Healthy with Veg/Vegan/Whole30 Options

Asparagus Soup

This quick, healthy recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes. It is flavorful and filling, but not heavy. 
I served it with some gluten-free breadsticks I found at my local grocery and topped it with sliced asparagus and Parmesan. 
This recipe is easily adaptable to Whole30 and vegan/vegetarian diets as well.


1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 Shishito peppers (I had these lying around- I'm sure that another mild pepper would be a fine substitution)
2 lbs. asparagus, fibrous ends cut off, diced
2 tbsp. evoo or ghee
2 cups veggie or chicken stock
1/3 cup half and half (omit if whole30/vegan- if omitting, I might add a half tablespoon or so of ghee to add some of the rich flavor back in.)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. cayenne
salt and fresh pepper to taste


Heat evoo over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed stock pot.
Add onion- 3 min
Add peppers- 2 min
Add garlic- another min or so.
Add asparagus and continue to saute another 5-6 minutes
Pour in the stock you're using- simmer veggies until tender. 
Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, VitaMix or whatever you have)
Add the cayenne, half and half and Parm. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Forbidden Black Rice Salad

Forbidden Black Rice Salad- SO easy. So good. So healthy. A Summer (or spring/fall/winter) go-to side. Add grilled fish or chicken for a lovely light meal. 

3c. black rice- cooked and cooled to room temperature
2c. diced snap peas
2 mini sweet bell peppers, diced
1/4c. diced onion
1tbsp coconut oil (or cooking oil of choice)

1/4c. seasoned rice vinegar
1tbsp. bragg's liquid amino acids (or soy sauce, if not GF)
2tbsp. peach/mango/orange preserves


In a medium/large sauté pan over medium/high heat, add the coconut oil. Sauté the onions until they just begin to turn translucent- 2 minutes. Add peppers, cook another minute. Add diced snap peas and sauté until they are just turning bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and put all the veggies in a large bowl, reserve. 

In a separate small bowl, add the vinegar, amino acids and preserves. Whisk together. (A tsp. or so of sesame oil might be good in the sauce too if you have it on hand- but, not necessary.) Dump the cooled rice into the larger bowl that the veggies were cooling in and toss to combine. Pour the dressing over the rice/veggie combination and toss to evenly coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Healthy Baked Falafel Salad with Homemade Tzatziki

I love, love Greek food. Falafel is one of my favorite things- full of protein and packed with flavor. 
Tzatziki is delicious on most things- as a dip, on top of a salad, and on sandwiches and burgers. 

Below are lower calorie recipes for both- (of course, you could fry these falafel balls if you wanted.) The falafel can be served however you'd like- in GF pitas, as an appetizer with the tzatziki as a dip. You can even make the falafel into larger patties and bake them, using them like burger patties on sandwiches. Super versatile- we ate them on top of a salad greens with feta, chopped olives, cherry tomato chopped cucumber and lemon zest. We used the tzatziki as the dressing, with a dollop of hummus and just mixed it all together. SO satisfying!

Baked Falafel


2 12 oz. cans chickpeas- rinsed and drained
4-6 tablespoons organic oat flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 handful parsley finely chopped
1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2-4 tablespoons oat flour (or any other flour you have on hand)


Preheat oven to 350.

Add all ingredients except chickpeas and flour in a food processor. 

Pulse until coarsely chopped.

Add chickpeas into food processor and stir to incorporate. 

Pulse until the chickpeas are rough chopped and uniform in size with the rest of the ingredients. 
Do not blend to the consistency of hummus! Stop when they are still coarsely chopped.
Feel the mixture- you want it to be sticky- like the consistency of cookie dough. 
If it seems really wet, fold in the oat flour in 2 tablespoon increments to make it a little drier. 

On a lined or greased baking sheet, place heaping tablespoon-sized balls of the falafel mixture on the sheets. Press lightly to partially flatten them.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until beginning to brown. 

Flip and bake another 20 minutes until golden brown.

As the falafel is baking, make the tzatziki. 



1 cup Greek Yogurt (I used 0%- but you can use whatever.)

Juice of 1/2 of a large lemon
1/3 cup cucumber, skin removed and minced (English cucumbers are best because their seeds are very small. if you use a regular cucumber, remove seeds.)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dill- fresh if you have it- minced
(optional- a little fresh parsley if you have it leftover from the falafel, finely chopped.)
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together- taste and adjust flavor as you see necessary.  

Cover and chill- the longer it chills the better the flavor.


Ps- LOVE those funky dishes that are in the photos? Check out my Etsy page for handmade ceramic wares!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding

Really. Make this as soon as possible. 
My husband's review: "I could seriously eat this every morning for breakfast."
(And then, he also ate it for dessert after dinner...)

Chia seeds are packed full of protein, antioxidents and fiber. Chia seeds are the richest plant form of Omega-3's. They are a true superfood. 
And this breakfast pudding is my new favorite food. 
After we went through the first batch in less than two days, I doubled the recipe below and made a big batch. I think this will last in the fridge for 5-6 days- but I am sure that you will eat it all before that.

Above is a close up of raw chia seeds before being added to liquid. They make a great binder for gluten free baking- (use as a substitute for xanthan gum and/or eggs in recipes) when water is added they become a gel-like slurry. A few tablespoons will help replace the gluten in your baking recipes to give the dough more plasticity (aka, less crumbly.)

 I buy my chia seeds in bulk from the Good Food Store in Missoula, Montana. You can find them online and at many health food stores. Regular grocers are catching on as well- ask someone to help you find them if you are not sure. 

{Amazing, delicious and healthy} 
Chia Seed Pudding


(can be doubled)
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk (or, vanilla almond milk- or whatever kind of milk you have:)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (use plain yogurt if you used vanilla flavored milk. If you used regular milk, use vanilla yogurt. I would not use vanilla milk and vanilla yogurt for fear that the pudding would be too sweet.)
  • 1/4 cup black chia seeds (I get them in bulk at my local health food store.)
  • 2 tbsp. agave nectar (or honey, or maple syrup... whatever you've got on hand. I bet you could also use a little jam as a sweeter option if you don't have any of the above sweetners.)

For serving
(optional, but recommended)

  • Fresh berries (I used blue berries and strawberries)
  • Sliced, lightly toasted almonds or walnuts


Combine milk, yogurt, chia seeds and agave nectar (or whatever sweetener you are using) in a bowl. 

Let stand on your counter for 30 minutes, then, cover & refrigerate overnight.  

In the morning- top with your favorite berry or  toasted nuts. 



Monday, January 20, 2014

Lilly's Vegan Blueberry, Cornmeal and Millet Flour Muffins.

Today I had a rare weekday off of work as a high school art teacher. I decided to do something nice for the ladies that I carpool to work with. Several of us are gluten-free. One of us has a laundry list of allergies-  coffee, wheat, soy, dairy, chicken, mushrooms and honey, to name a few. As you can imagine- cooking anything under these guidelines for the average cook is a bit daunting. Luckily for her, she is imaginative when she sees a recipe- being able to effortlessly adapt and replace problem ingredients with ones that she will not have an adverse reaction to. 

I like to think that I am decent at doing that as well, but with wheat, oil and healthy alternatives.

Below I've adapted a Blueberry muffin recipe to be egg free, and have much less sugar than the original and no oil. I also swapped out the honey for agave- since my dear friend has an issue with honey as well. I added ground flax seed, mostly for it's amazing health benefits. The muffins come out both crunchy and soft, and not too sweet. Perfect for a weekday breakfast (especially while commuting with friends.) <3

Dry Ingredients:

3/4 c. GF cornmeal (non-GMO project verified, if you can find it.)
1/4 cup millet flour
3/4 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. cornstarch
2tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 c light brown sugar
1/4 c ground flax
1tsp. cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

1/4 c. agave nectar
1/3 c. unsweetened, organic applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla (bourbon vanilla if you've got it!)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. egg replacer in 1/4 cup warm water (or, 2 eggs)
(an extra 1/2 cup warm water- to adjust batter)
Lemon or orange zest, optional, to taste. (I used orange b/c I didn't have any fresh lemons.)
1 cup fresh (*or frozen) blueberries


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, mix together dry ingredients
Add wet to dry, mix until combined.
The batter will be drier than traditional wheat batters- if you used frozen blueberries that will add a little moisture as they cook out. 
(Feel free to add some of the extra warm water in 2 tbsp. increments as you see necessary.)

Spoon heaping spoonfulls into your lined muffin tins- makes 10-12 large muffins.
Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack. 


(Going into the oven- nail color OPI My Vampire is Buff.)

NOTES: Best when warmed up- remember, they are made with corn meal, thus, supposed to have that crunchy/grainy texture. In a good way.

*If you use frozen berries- you might want to cook them a little longer or the area around the blueberries could be a little under done. (Frozen berries release more water, making the dough around the berry a little soft.) I would worry about this is they weren’t vegan but since there is no egg or dairy to cook out, them being a little soft is not a problem (other than texture.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

{coffee + apple oat muffin = today is going to be a good day.} 

I adapted this recipe from this fantastic blog to make it gluten free. I swapped the oil for applesauce, added ground flax seed, and used regular oats. They came out perfectly. I think they would also be good with a shredded carrot in the batter. I'll try that next time. AlexandraCooks says you can use up to 1 cup of steel cut oats in this recipe for a little crunch. I only used 1/3 of a cup. But if you try it, leave a comment below and let me know how it goes. 

I brought these muffins to my girlfriends that I carpool with. Also, to my Advanced Art Studio class. All provided rave reviews. I think this recipe is a keeper.