After my pumpkin-season rant last week, I’m suuuper excited to share some good news: I found the queen of pumpkin recipes. As in, the end-all-be-all, look no further-type recipe: Pumpkin Butter Mochi. It’s deliciously pumpkin. With a twist.
Despite what it may look like, I don’t cook every day. Sometimes dinner involves raiding the fridge for delicacies like… cereal and milk. Chips and guacamole. And my all time favorite: cheese and crackers. It’s also one of the things I miss most now that my grocery shopping habits have changed, thanks to Sam being banned from eating gluten and dairy. I suppose I could buy these items for myself, but it just feels mean. I’m trying to be supportive.
With all of these food allergies and dinner upheavals, I was grateful to be connected to the folks at Simple & Crisp; a Seattle-based company that’s making a beautifully packaged ‘cracker’ made exclusively of dried fruit. That’s right – an organic, gluten free and vegan cracker that’s low cal, to boot. It doesn’t solve my brie craving, but it certainly helps solve the wheat dilema.
Quinoa Salad has totally been our go to dish this summer. Because it’s easy, healthy and full of flavor. And, it’s also gluten-free and dairy-free – which matters to us now that Sam has a bunch of (super lame) dietary restrictions.
Growing up in Hawaii, we ate rice every day – sometimes with every meal. I’m still loyal to my rice dishes, and it took me a while to embrace quinoa. I found that the trick is to use the grain in new dishes, rather than trying to sub it in to be healthier with my favorite recipes. This Quinoa and Lime Salad is a perfect example. This recipe simply wouldn’t be as good with rice. And it wouldn’t be as filling, either; quinoa is a protein powerhouse.
Do any of you remember that time I thought my hubby was gluten intolerant? I kinda freaked out and tried to, um, take care of all the gluten-loaded items in our house. His tests later came back negative, but fast forward 2 years and we’re back there. Again. But to make it even more interesting, he’s basically been told he can’t eat gluten or dairy. What? I know. When he came home from his most recent doctor’s appointment, I literally asked him if his doctor understood that he is married to a FOOD BLOGGER. Hello?!
Anyway, we’ve cleaned out the cupboards and I’m working on building up my collection of gluten-free-dairy-free recipes. So far things have been… well, a little hit and miss to be honest. But here’s one of the winners: Creamy Avocado Pesto Linguini with Shrimp. You guys. This is really good. Of course we used brown rice pasta to keep this dish gluten free, but if you’re more normal than us, please feel free to use real pasta.
My paternal grandmother was an artist and an amazing cook. One of my favorite things she served was chicken salad. But, this was no ordinary chicken salad. She made it with a ton of goodies mixed in – like fruit, veggies and nuts. She’d serve it with a green salad as well as different types of bread and crackers. It was a perfect family style meal because there was something for everyone. Even at a young age, I remember thinking that I would make this dish when I was grown up.
I’m not sure if I’m a grown up or not yet, but I love re-creating her chicken salad recipe. I often modify it depending on what’s in our fridge and cabinets. And, like my grandma, I enjoy experimenting with different ways to serve the salad.
Currently I’ve been neglecting the bread completely and instead scoop the chicken salad into an avocado. Although I’m a total carb-o-holic, I don’t miss the bread at all in this dish. There is so much going on – different textures and flavors – but it’s protein-packed and therefore super filling at the same time. A win, win, in my book.
Next time you have leftover chicken at dinner, whip up some chicken salad in an avocado bowl. Wrap it up and tomorrow’s lunch is all set, and guaranteed to be soggy-free (is there anything worse than soggy sandwich bread? Ugh.) Tested and approved in our household.
Take it from me… lettuce is so last year. This dish, err, salad, is packed with protein-rich red quinoa, meyer lemon zest, kale that’s cooked until slightly softened, garbanzo beans, citrus slices, and pomegranate seeds for crunch.
And holy cow, it’s good. And pretty too, right?
The quinoa will leave you full for hours – and the mix of savory, sweet and tangy ingredients will leave your tastebuds feeling truly satisfied. Seriously. In fact, I originally made this dish as a side salad – but quickly learned it’s much more of an entree.
There are obviously a million and one ways to roast a chicken. It’s not a seasonal dish, by any means. Try adding your own favorite herbs and vegetables. You really can’t go wrong.
And the roasted vegetables? Oh my goodness. I’ve already told you how I feel about caramelizing veggies on high heat. They turn into candy. And all it takes is a quick toss in olive oil and sea salt. Honestly guys, try this at home, if it’s not already on your recipe repertoire.
There are about 500 food carts in Portland. No exaggeration. But it’s easy to spot the really good ones by watching the lines at lunch. One of my favorite carts makes killer rice bowls – but needless to say, there is always a line. And who has time to wait around?
A few years back when Sam was in grad school and we were on budget mode, we got in the habit of attempting to duplicate our favorite recipes. This southwestern brown rice bowl was an evolution of this that we honestly make about once a week. It just doesn’t get old.
Let’s review the talking points:
Quick to make.
And so tasty!
Bookmark it already.