It’s back to school time! Are yours back in school yet? I remember starting school after Labor Day in New York. My three boys’ started the school year last Thursday. Where did the ease of summer go? Summer weather is still very much here in Los Angeles suburbia yet morning rush, forms to sign and lunch packing has officially begun. Specifically sandwiches. Huge, awesome, stacked sandwiches — not that you really need to go to school to make a hearty sandwich — which had me thinking about how far allergy friendly bread has come.
Asparagus Fennel Basil Soup (dairy free, gluten free, paleo, vegan friendly)
Most days, I find asparagus doesn’t need more than a simple steam or roasting, and usually my first inclination, but for Passover, I wanted something special. Something with a bright spring color, light enough to make room for the ridiculous amount of food I prepared, make ahead, and of course, better be delicious. With all the beautiful asparagus at the market, a velvety smooth soup was the obvious choice – spring flavors in a bowl!
Butternut Squash Gratin (dairy free, gluten free, grain free, soy free, vegan friendly)
Hey! Before we talk butternut squash things I wanted to share our Paleo experiment with you. Scroll down to the recipe if you came for the food. 🙂Remember back in September, I mentioned giving the Paleo diet a try? We did. Not die-hard though, more Paleo-ish, since I still used non-dairy cheese and cane sugar a few times a month to satisfy cravings and to keep pissed-off feelings to a minimum. Kidding aside, special needs inspires a very, very special love. I’m blessed to have two older sons’ who fully support our journey towards better health AND who are truly the best siblings and sons’ a Mom could ask for. This journey isn’t easy and their support for Mom’s trials and errors means the world to me.
Broccoli salad with Tahini Honey Dressing (gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly, nut free, refined sugar free, vegan friendly)
Although hearty cold salads are a staple at summer picnics and outdoor gatherings, you shouldn’t wait that long to try this broccoli salad slathered with a creamy tangy kick-ass tahini honey dressing that has, what some may call, the boring broccoli, doing cartwheels. And just look at those bright colors – hello happy school or work lunches!
Kale Fennel Cauliflower Hot Dish (gluten free, dairy free, paleo, soy free, vegan)
Dropping in briefly today to share a quick hot dish that makes a lovely dinner or side during this holiday week. It’s one of those throw-together meals that’s versatile (try mushrooms, swiss chard, parsnips, what have you), reheats like a dream, easily doubles or triples the recipe, and comes to the rescue when you need to feed your more-than-usual crowd pre-Thanksgiving. It’s a hot-dish hero I tell ya!
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts (gluten free, dairy free, nut free, paleo, soy free, sulfite free, vegan)
Thanksgiving is almost here, are you as excited as I am? I bet you are! I’m going to keep it short and sweet since I have many recipes to share with you. Say hello to balsamic brussels sprouts. Oh how I love thee.
I love, love the taste of balsamic, especially on brussels sprouts. Have you ever had brussels sprouts this way? Goodness gracious does it make this classic Thanksgiving veggie come alive … the tangy, the sweet, the sour pucker … then drizzled over perfectly roasted sprouts with just a touch of snap for texture. Just goodness. Please ignore my overuse of the word goodness – some habits are hard to break and this really is goodness I tell ya.
Warmed Chickpea Cauliflower Mango Salad (gluten free, nut free, soy free, vegan)
And just like that, summer came and went, and we jumped into back-to-school mode. Michael and Ely were excited to go to their ‘big’ middle school. My teenage sophomore was somewhat excited but now especially thrilled joining the yearbook committee and being elected president of the tech club (he’s a pretty tech savvy dude and definitely didn’t get that from his mother). We eased into the routine nicely until Michael’s school nurse called to tell me he has rashes all over his body… exactly at the point I was about to add the flour blend to my pumpkin spice muffin batter (so good and coming to the blog SOON) as one does when one is itching for pumpkin spice. Panic!
Classic Caesar Salad (gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free)
Caesar salad lovers rejoice!
Has it been way too long since you’ve had a caesar salad? A real caesar salad? Me too. This may not be the real thing but holy YUM is this close. You need this in your life, my friends.
If you think about it, there is really nothing original or unusual about a caesar salad yet it has been a popular starter since the 40’s. Some romaine lettuce leaves, dressing and cubed bread, yet when made with fresh garlic, crisp greens, and the right type of anchovy you have something extraordinary. This was one of my favorite salads way back when gluten and dairy were my so-called friends. And not something that can be made on-the-fly, you know. I tried. The catch: the dressing contains gluten, dairy, and egg. Oh right, that.
Forbidden Rice Breakfast Porridge (gluten free, soy free, vegan)
Growing up, my mother would often serve big bowls of porridge with plenty of sugar on top. Even during the summer in the Catskills, but with heaping spoons of freshly picked blueberries – my favorite way. In Russian, we call it mannaya kasha, which is basically wheat semolina based Cream of Wheat, made with milk. Not exactly a breakfast of champions. What did I know, I thought it was normal to get bloated and feel the need to pass out soon after. Needless to say, this is a better porridge option without the belly-aching, sugar-crashing side effects … what I like to call the ‘new and improved’ version of breakfast porridge. A whole lot healthier and I must say, a whole lotta DELICIOUS.
Watermelon Poke + Blistered Green Beans with Teriyaki Sesame Glaze (gluten free, nut free, soy free, vegan)
My dear poke bowl aficionados are likely wondering how watermelon has anything to do with this traditional Hawaiian staple, where the heck I am hiding the ahi tuna, and hello, no bowl.
I realize you need bowls for poke bowls. But my bowls were still in the dishwasher from our oh so very delicious ice cream sundaes the night before (have you tried the cashew flavors yet? Chocolate Cookies N Cream is my favorite!!) and it was NOT going to stop me from making this the next day.