Tag Archives: simple

Creamy Spinach (a.k.a. Popeye) Soup (vegan)

Pictured here with arugula topped with pear and pomegranate and tuna salad.
IMG_11462 Tablespoons canola oil
1/2 onion; chopped
2 celery stalks; chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 small clove garlic; crushed
1 lb frozen spinach
pinch fresh ground black pepper
pinch cumin
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 1/2 cups water

Preheat a soup pot to medium low, add canola oil, onion, celery and sea salt and simmer for 5 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally and add 1 Tablespoon of water as needed to prevent burning. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Puree the ingredients with a handheld immersion blender OR allow to cool, puree in countertop blender, return to pot and reheat. Add more water as needed for the consistency and salt and pepper to taste.


Lemon Batter Dipped Pollock (gluten free)

1 lb pollock fillet
1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (about 1 lemon’s worth)
1 large or 2 small eggs; beaten
water, 1 Tablespoon at a time
canola oil for frying

Rinse pollock fillet, pat dry with paper towels and set aside. In a medium sized bowl combine the dry ingredients and lemon rind, breaking up any lumps with the back of a fork. Add the beaten egg and mix until a thick paste is formed. Add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition until the mixture is comparable to thick and creamy pancake batter. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the rest of the meal. I made a lemon fillet of fish sandwich (lettuce, fillet of fish, mayonnaise, ketchup and relish to top) for my husband with a side of light slaw. I enjoyed my gluten free fish fillet on a bed of lettuce and light slaw.

Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Coat the pan with canola oil for frying. Dip both sides of each fillet in the batter, allow the excess to drip off and place in the hot oiled pan. Repeat till the pan is full. Fry until the batter sets and becomes golden on the edges, flip and repeat on the other side. Place finished fillets on a plate or platter (on a paper towel to drain excess oil if needed). Continue until all of the fish have been prepared and serve immediately. I had mine gluten free on fresh garden lettuce and Light Slaw (below) while my husband enjoyed his on a roll, sandwich style.

1/2 head green cabbage
1/2 head red cabbage
2 carrots; shredded
1/2 red onion; halved and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Finely grate the carrots directly into a large glass or ceramic bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, drizzle with vinegar and oil and toss until well combined. Add the onion and cabbages. Rinse the cabbages, cut in half, remove any “bad” leaves, cut out the interior stem and slice the cabbage into fine strips and add to the dressed carrots. Mix well and set aside.

Friday Night Toss Up

A nourishing, tasty and simple one bowl meal after a long week.
DSC_00101/2 cup brown rice
1 cup water
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes; chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup Spanish olives; sliced
1/4 onion; minced
1 sweet Italian (yellow) pepper; finely chopped
1 can black beans (normally I soak and cook dry beans but I did not plan ahead so took a shortcut)
1 1/2-2 cups romaine lettuce; sliced
2 Tablespoons fresh pressed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch-1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a small bowl soak rice in enough water to go 1 inch above the rice.

Meanwhile, chop sun dried tomatoes (make your own from summer tomatoes) into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces and place in a small bowl. Boil 1 cup water, pour over tomatoes and cover with a lid/plate.

While the tomatoes rehydrate and the rice soaks prepare the remaining ingredients and place into a large bowl; slice the spanish olives into disks, mince the onion, finely chop the pepper, drain and rinse the black beans, thinly slice the romaine lettuce, add the dressing ingredients (lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper) and toss together.

Drain and rinse the rice and place into a small pot. Drain the sun dried tomatoes directly into the pot with the rice. Add the sundries tomatoes to the large bowl with the other vegetables and toss together. Bring the rice with sun dried tomato water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till all the water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Add the cooked rice to the bowl with marinated vegetables, toss together and enjoy.

Masala Scallops, Brown Basmati Rice and Chutney Style Mango and Cucumber Salad

2 ripe mango; pealed, pitted and chopped
2  poona kheera cucumbers; chopped
dash (1/8 teaspoon) sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground ginger
pinch pepper flakes
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl and allow to rest while preparing the remainder of the meal. I served this over fresh salad greens but it can be served as a side on its own.

1 cup brown basmati rice; soaked for at least 1 hour or overnight, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook till all the water is absorbed- 20 minutes but check after 15 so the bottom does not burn. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.

3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup onion; diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup celery; diced
1/2 cup carrot; diced
2 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1 Tablespoon ground garam masala
1 lb bay scallops

Preheat a wide bottom pot over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, onion and salt. Sauté covered for 3 minutes. Add celery and carrot, stir and sauté covered an additional 3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes and garam masala, stir and sauté 3 more minutes. Add the bay scallops, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer till the scallops are cooked through (no longer transparent) 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Ratatouille with Fried Tempeh Over Quinoa


Ratatouille can be served as a side dish (traditional) or over pasta as a meal. I served it over quinoa (gluten free) with fried tempeh making it into a hearty meal. Mozzarella is a nice option for vegetarians but not necessary for a satisfying meal.

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion; diced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 Italian pepper; diced
3 plum tomatoes; diced
2 heirloom tomatoes; diced
1 eggplant; cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 zucchini; cut into 1/2 inch cubes
5 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2-1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
large handful fresh basil; chopped (or 2 Tablespoons dry)

Heat a large wide bottom cook pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and salt, stir and cover. Stir occasionally until onions are tender and transparent, about 3 minutes. Add pepper, stir, cover and sauté another minute. Add remaining ingredients except basil and simmer with lid on stirring occasionally so the eggplant and zucchini begin to soften and break up. *this is a good time to start the fried tempeh* Simmer for 10 minutes or until the eggplant and zucchini are tender. Add the basil, stir and continue to simmer an additional 5 minutes.

*To prepare the friend tempeh (be sure to read the ingredients for gluten free, I get the soy and brown rice but there are tempeh varieties that have gluten in them so beware) preheat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Meanwhile, cut tempeh into bite sized cubes. Pour a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in the preheated pan, place the cubes in the hot oil and turn as the edges begin to brown and continue turning until all sides are crisp and golden. You may need to add more oil during the process as the tempeh absorbs the oil. Place pieces that are done in a shallow dish or on a plate to reserve for serving with the meal.*


Blueberry Gluten and Dairy Free Coffee Cake

DSC_00071 cup oat flour
1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup almond milk
1-1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

DSC_0001Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8×8 glass baking pan. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a hand whisk or electric beater. Add remaining ingredients except blueberries and mix together with a hand whisk or electric beater until just combined. Pour into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle top with blueberries (they will sink into the batter and bake into the cake).

DSC_0002Place in middle of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes (check for doneness by gently shaking pan, if it doesn’t “jiggle” in the middle it is done). Allow to cool then cut into squares for serving. If covering to save for later be sure it is completely cool so there is no condensation that drips onto the cake.

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

I make several different versions of this meal depending on the vegetables on hand. This is our weekend breakfast (or vacations when we are home to eat breakfast together). Vegetable and protein is the base. Grains can be added in the form of whole grain bread/toast or whatever left over grains that are in the fridge. Dairy to round off the meal in the form of cheese. Simple, delicious, healthy and keeps us going strong all morning.
This serves two (I have 1 egg, Xav has 2) so adjust as needed:

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion; minced
1 celery stalk; minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 small/1 large tomato; chopped
handful cilantro (about packed 1/4 cup); minced
dash fresh ground black pepper
3-4 eggs

Preheat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, celery and salt. Cover and sauté for a couple minutes until the onion and celery soften. Add tomato, cilantro and pepper. Stir, cover and cook a few minutes until the juices cook out of the tomatoes. *if you are having toast, get that in the toaster now/or warm up left over grains in the microwave* Crack the eggs on top of the cooked vegetables (we like our eggs with a “runny yolk” but you can pop the yolks) cover and cook until the whites of the eggs set. Remove from heat and scoop out onto a plate as is or with grains on the side. Cheese can be sprinkled on top.