Fall Harvest Soup

This soup feels like a hearty, warm hug but gives a nice light dinner that doesn’t weigh one down.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, halal, Whole30

Fall Harvest Soup

1 medium carrot, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
2 Tbsp. stock powder (I used a vegan chicken stock)
48 ounces water
1/2 can coconut milk
Generous sprinkle oregano
Generous sprinkle cumin
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Liberal sprinkle black pepper
Liberal salt
1.5 Tbsp. butter or vegan equivalent
Big hand full pepitas toasted in 1/2 tsp. coconut aminos
Optional: 4 ounces turkey bresaola, crisped until browned in a dry pan

Prep all veggies and add to a slow or multi cooker with spices and liquids (everything but the butter, pepitas and bresaola).

Press the stew/soup setting.

When complete, open the lid and add the butter/butter substitute. Let cool a bit and blend all but 1/4 until smooth. Add the reserved 1/4 back in for texture.

Serve topped with the pepitas and bresaola if desired.

Serves 6

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

I know, I know – another weird-sounding recipe that turns out surprisingly good despite sounding wrong.

This is a great way to sneak in a liiiiiiiitle extra nutrition (not that this already packed salad needed more greens) on weeks when you feel like you haven’t seen a real vegetable (helloooo, adulting).

This salad also keeps well even dressed and, if you’re like me and enjoy confusing your friends, is easy enough to bulk up enough to serve a crowd.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo, Whole30

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

For the salad, add the following to a large bowl:

1 cup ribboned collards or kale

1.5 cups ribboned red cabbage

1.5 cups ribboned Napa cabbage

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 large red pepper, julienned

1 hand full mint, chopped

2 Tablespoons pickled jalapeños, chopped

1 big hand raw pumpkin seeds

For the dressing, add the following to a blender:

1 big hand hulled sunflower seeds

1/4 cups frozen spinach

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tablespoon your favorite grainy mustard (y’all know my affinity for Maille)

1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar (I accidentally added 1.5 and it would have been too pungent on day 1 – I didn’t get around to eating a big bowl of this until day 2, so the flavor had mellowed)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

10 grinds salt

Generous sprinkle black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

50 pumps sprayable oil (or a few glugs)

A little water if needed to get things moving in the blender

Combine the dressing with the salad and either toss well or massage in.

Serves 3-4 as written; easily scaled up for more

Grapefruit Salsa Salmon

This is a quick, light meal perfect for the heat of Summer or when you’ve had enough of feeling locked in a dark Winter and need a little sunshine on your plate.

Gluten-free, Paleo, pescatarian, Whole30

Grapefruit Salsa Salmon

4 salmon filets
1/4 c. coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sriracha (check your labels)
1 inch ginger, grated
4 squirts garlic oil
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice

First, prep the ingredients above to form a marinade. Marinate the fish for 3 – 6 hours.

When it’s time to cook, pull the fish, pat dry and sautée over medium-high with a little oil until your desired doneness is reached.

To make the salsa, combine:

1 grapefruit, supremed
1 orange, supremed
1.5 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 small limes
1 inch ginger, grated
Generous sprinkle cumin
Salt & pepper

Serve with slices of avocado, roasted mixed potatoes and a squeeze of lime.

Serves 4

Spicy Lime Vinaigrette Meal Base Two Ways

This past week, all I could fathom making were things involving lime juice and chili flakes. A weird craving, I know, but my brain was in search of something simple I could use to dress up a couple different meal variations while requiring the least effort possible. I think this was a success – I felt like my diet was fairly varied, I got the lime punch and heat I was missing, and because I batch cooked, meal time while hangry didn’t beckon me to easily overeat.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, Whole30, FODMAP

Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

1/2 cup fresh lime + orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos depending on your diet

Mix all ingredients together and give a good whisk or shake. Dole out through the week like liquid gold.

Now, what to pair with this bounty? I went two routes: a simple cold salad and a warm veggie bowl.

Summer Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

1.5 cups chopped cucumber
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1.5 Tbsp. minced or grated ginger
4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
About 1/4 cup of the Spicy Lime Vinaigrette above

Optional toppers: shredded rotisserie chicken, rice/quinoa blend. This is also great as a stand-alone salad.

Mix all ingredients and let marinate a few hours or overnight. When serving, make sure to salt & pepper to taste and add more red pepper if you want more heat.

Spicy Lime Vinaigrette Summer Veggie Bowls

3 cups chopped zucchini and carrots in whatever mix makes you happy
Garlic oil
1/4 – 1/2 cup FODMAP-friendly stock
Salt, pepper and ground cumin to taste

Heat a large sautee pan over medium-high heat. Spray with a little garlic oil (or drizzle). Add the veggies, salt, pepper and cumin. Sautee, stirring occasionally, until they are on their way to browning nicely. Add 1/4 cup of the stock, cook until the liquid is evaporated. Repeat for another round if your carrots still aren’t soft. Taste for seasoning this second time and adjust if necessary.

Makes 3 – 4 servings as part of a larger bowl. I served mine most days with a blend of long grain rice + quinoa, a couple Tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and a hand full of rotisserie chicken. One day, I switched it up and went with chili tuna + brown rice pasta.

Cucumber Carrot Greens

This recipe came about because after ODing on pork, potatoes and Diet Coke (to the point I didn’t want to see another potato or fizzy drink which is suuuuuuper weird since that was 90% of younger-me’s diet) during my recent German vacation, I needed a reset. And what says “reset” more than Japanese food and bok choy?

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, Whole30, FODMAP

Cucumber Carrot Greens

1 – 2 c. chopped cucumbers
Few grinds salt
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos if Paleo
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 – 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1.5 c. carrots, in thin coins
3/4 – 1 c. chopped bok choy
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
Few sprays garlic oil

In a large pan, heat the garlic oil over medium-high. Add the ginger and stir-fry until fragrant.

Add the carrots and 2 Tablespoons water. Stir-fry until just beginning to soften.

Add the bok choy and 2 Tablespoons water. Stir-fry until softened.

Turn the heat off and set aside while you whisk the rest of the ingredients together.

Add the cooked veggies to the cucumber and dressing and toss again.

Serves 4

Chicken Shawarma Pan

This one-pan meal makes a fantastic batch cook dish and can be dressed a million different ways. I went vaguely Middle-Eastern (hence the shawarma) because what I really wanted was a huge sad bread chicken sandwich that day – but I wanted spicy, and I needed to use up some of the ubiquitous cucumber & tomato I swear just comes with the shopping basket where I live.

Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30

Chicken Shawarma Pan

Preheat your oven to roughly 425F. Prepare a baking sheet with lining.

Toss together:

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp. your favorite oil
4 grated cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. zaatar
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper

Scootch to one side of the pan. Add:

1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds

Brush with:

1-2 Tbsp. your favorite oil


2 tsp. sesame seeds
2 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper

Add the lemon halves to the pan

Bake 40-45 mins or until the chicken is cooked and the sweet potato is soft and browned.

There are a number of ways to serve – my favorite combo was with a swirl of hummus on the bottom of a bowl, a side of roasted tomatoes, a whole wheat pita or tortilla, and the salad below.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl:

2 small cucumbers, chopped
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Squeeze of the roasted lemon from the chicken
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Makes about 4 servings

Vinegar Poached Chicken Bowl

I first came across a version of this chicken on Instagram in relation to a sandwich, and it got the wheels turning.

What you end up with is a pile of tender, shreddable-if-you-look-at-it-crosswise chicken that pairs beautifully with roasted, nutty veggies and a rich sauce.

I can imagine this would also be fantastic as part of a chicken salad with grapes, pecans and extra rosemary. Or dill. Dill might be great here.

I served mine as part of a quinoa/rice bowl with some leftover cauliflower I’d batch roasted a few days before.

Gluten-free, paleo & Whole30 with a different bowl base

Vinegar Poached Chicken Bowl

4 chicken breasts
1c. red wine vinegar
1c. olive oil
Peel of half a lemon
2 sprigs rosemary
1 jalapeño
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. coriander seeds
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
Salt & pepper

For the bowl:

Quinoa & rice, cooked (optional)
1 Tbsp. mayo mixed with 1 tsp. rice vinegar and 2 tsp. minced rosemary
Roasted cauliflower or other veggies

Combine all the non-bowl ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring up to a boil, cover, lower the heat & simmer 1 hour or until the chicken is falling apart.

Cool chicken, pull out of the oil & vinegar, and shred. Place in the bowl with the other ingredients.

Serves 4

Combine all

Chicken with Raisin Oil

This recipe is based on a show-stopper in a cookbook from one of my absolute favorite chefs in Miami.

This version incorporates chicken thighs and stovetop cooking – I don’t currently own a pan that can go in the oven; and the whole chickens looked kinda sketch at the store the day I shopped for this meal, so modifications it was!

If you can, check out Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-To-Earth Cooking for People Who Love To Eat by Chef Michael Schwartz. Where he excels, and what makes his Miami restaurant(s) so successful, is taking a few good ingredients, treating them with love and not much else, and turning them into something that sounds dead-easy but tastes special.

Michael’s Genuine (and later the pizza restaurant Harry’s) were two of our favorite go-tos while living in Miami and places we could visit often, get something we would never order (like chicken that sounds kinda boring on paper), and have it be an experience we talked about for weeks after.

This recipe takes the spirit and the general flavors of one of our ‘company is coming’ go-tos from that cookbook, and makes the technique more approachable for where we are currently and the tools we have to work with.

Note: What’s up with raisin oil? It’s delicious! This dish was the first we’d encountered it, and while it is definitely a delicate taste – it adds a little somethin’ to this dish that helps it stand out. Want more? This recipe from the NYT also helped when coming up with this (super-simplified) dish.

Gluten-free, paleo

Chicken with Raisin Oil

8 chicken thighs
1/3 cup raisins (mixed golden and black is my fav)
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 rosemary sprig
4 sprigs lemon thyme (or regular)
Salt & pepper

First, make the raisin oil by simmering the raisins and rosemary with a Tablespoon of water in the 1/2 cup olive oil about :30 or until the raisins have plumped.

I left my heat up long enough to fry the rosemary leaves a bit for an added garnish.

Set aside.

For the chicken, heat your largest skillet over medium-high. Add 3 Tbsp. oil. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and arrange in a single layer in the pan skin side down. Salt & pepper liberally and sear until golden.

Flip, salt & pepper, and brown the other side.

Add the thyme sprigs and a few good glugs wine (dry white would be best but I only had some aging White Zinfandel). Cover, knock the heat back to low, and cook 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Make sure to check your chicken at the halfway point, baste, and make sure anything isn’t drying out. If it is, add a little extra wine or water.

If you’re inclined, this would be a great time to make a pan sauce with the raisin oil and/or a thickener. Despite the instructions being really clear on how to accomplish this feat in the cookbook, at this point in the evening while already branching out on my own with the cooking method (and having a glass or two of adult beverage under my belt), I didn’t want to mess with it.

So I served mine with a little raisin oil drizzled over top and it was delicious. I’ve made the pan sauce in the past and it was also delicious.

I have also found over the years that I like a hand full of fresh parsley over top (not pictured), and some times I hit the dish with a little lemon juice at the end of cooking for a bright little punch if I’m feeling saucy.

A Standard Southern Slaw

This year for his birthday, DH requested a Southern-style feast to go with games and an ice cream cake.

Southern, I can do – no problem. The ice cream cake was a stretch (shudder remembering all the terrible ice cream cakes I had growing up and the disappointment that they still had icing), but it went over well – as did my backup lactose-free salted caramel ice cream stuffed red velvet cupcakes.

This simple slaw I made so we’d have a (non-fried) veggie (the fried okra I made was a big hit as well), and something with a little crunch. Lactose-free mac-n-cheese that certainly didn’t taste it and pulled pork with ENC style sauce rounded out the day.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

A Standard Southern Slaw

About 2 cups shredded red cabbage
About 2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 Granny Smith Apple, chopped
1/4 white onion, minced
1/2 cup your favorite mayo or mayo substitute
1 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. your favorite mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Liberal salt & black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (mayo and below).

Add the fruit & veggies and mix with your hands, massaging the dressing into the cabbage. Liberally salt & pepper.

Let sit in the fridge a couple hours to marinate and serve.

Serves enough for a party

Roasted Carrot & Onion Salad

It was a roasted veggie kind of holiday around here. This one I initially served lukewarm with a rib roast and killer lactose-free potatoes au gratin, but I’m happy to report that it makes a killer hot hash the next day with eggs and chunks of beef. 🤤

Next time I may either not share with friends, or make more: this dish turned out really well.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Whole30

Roasted Carrot & Onion Salad

2 lbs. carrots
1 – 2 fennel bulbs
2 large red onions
Neutral oil for roasting
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. pepitas
2 tsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. smoky chili powder
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Small hand full fresh mint, chopped
Salt & pepper

In a 200-ish C (around 425F) oven, bake your fennel & onion which you’ve sliced into thin wedges, arranged with plenty of space on a baking sheet, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt & pepper. Bake 25 minutes.

On a separate baking sheet, add the carrots which you’ve cut into 3-ish inch chunks, oiled & seasoned. Bake 25 minutes or until everything is well browned and almost burnt in spots.

Actually, if the onion is a bit crispy, it’s even better.

Toss the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl to form a vinaigrette.

Add the veggies & toss again.

Serves a bunch