Category Archives: Side Dishes

“Twitter” potatoes and Wellness Wednesday

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twitter potatoes titlesThese cute potatoes are simple to make, and probably get you some attention in the form of eye-rolling from your social media-savvy kids – right before they eat them all up!

Start with 6-8 small potatoes, scrub them and cut them in half lengthwise to give you the flattest cut surface area. Use your knife to score the cut side of the potatoes into the hashtag (tic tac toe) sign.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl mix together 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon  smoked paprika  and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Dip the potatoes into the bowl of seasoned olive oil coating all sides but especially the cut side. Place the potatoes cut side up on a baking sheet or baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside.

"Twitter" potatoes
Recipe type: side dish
Hashtags on the top of the potatoes give this simple side dish a fun twist.
  • 6-8 small potatoes
  • 2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or you can use melted butter)
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise giving them the flattest cut surface area possible.
  3. Use a knife to make hashtags (tic tac toe sign) in the cut side.
  4. Mix the olive oil, paprika and sea salt in a bowl.
  5. Dip the potatoes into the seasoned oil making sure all surfaces are coated.
  6. Place potatoes cut side up in a baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes.


Now it’s time for Wellness Wednesday! Please enjoy the featured posts and all of the new ones for this week. We’d love to have you link up your own blogs using the link below.

Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Saute

brussels sprouts sweet potatoes bacon titlesHere’s another great post from Amy, the other half of Well Fed Family. I will forgive her description of me in the morning because this recipe is so yummy!

Getting Creative with Breakfast

After my sister went gluten free, she began coming up with very creative breakfast ideas. These often involved shredding various vegetables and slowly sautéing them in bacon grease, then topping them with a fried egg. Lee is not a morning person, and moves very slowly in the morning. This means that it takes her a while to cook her breakfast, especially when we’re in vacation-mode at the lake. Something about this method of slowly cooking brightly colored vegetables, combined with the mouth-watering aroma of bacon, makes my sister’s gluten-free breakfasts very appealing. Is it the way she stands at the stove, patiently sautéing? Or is it the visual appeal of the bright vegetables? Maybe it’s the heavenly smell of the whole thing. Or maybe it’s all of that plus the relaxing atmosphere of the lake? I don’t know, but after spending Christmas together and watching Lee prepare more Paleo style breakfasts, I found myself back home scouring the fridge for something more colorful and exciting than the same old bacon and eggs.

Everything’s Better with Bacon

On that particular day, my fridge was found wanting of pretty squash and beautiful greens, but I did have a bag of Brussels sprouts needing to be used, and a big bushel box of sweet potatoes from a recent bulk foods delivery. There was just one thing missing, and that was in the freezer: BACON! I immediately knew what to do, and produced a breakfast that made me the envy of my family. First I cooked a few slices of bacon, then sautéed some shredded sweet potato and Brussels sprouts in the grease. When that was done, I crumbled bacon on top and set it aside while I fried an egg. I ate the egg on top of the potatoes and Brussels sprouts. It was divine! And it was so delicious that I made it again for dinner for my oldest daughter and me, then again the next day for the family! A few days later, I increased the quantities and took it to a potluck. Yes, a legend has been born. This is our new favorite dish.

You can adjust this recipe to serve just one or two people, or to make enough as a side dish for a full meal. The amounts given here make a nice sized side dish that will provide leftovers, but you can use just one sweet potato, a couple slices of bacon and a handful of Brussels sprouts to make enough for one or two people.  A food processor makes preparation quick, but if you are just making enough for one person then it is no trouble to just use a hand grater and a knife. You can chop the sprouts as coarsely or fine as you like. Finely shredding the sprouts makes their flavor less bold for those finicky eaters in your family.

sweet potatoe brussels sprouts bacon with titlesSweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Saute

1 package bacon, preferably antibiotic-free, nitrite-free
1 package Brussels sprouts, washed and stems and outer leaves trimmed
2 or 3 sweet potatoes, peeled (optional) and shredded
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a heavy-bottom skillet until somewhat crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to cool, and reserve the drippings in the skillet. While the bacon is cooking, chop or shred the Brussels sprouts and set aside. Add the sweet potatoes into the hot bacon grease, slowly sautéing over medium heat until tender. Add the chopped Brussels sprouts, continuing to sauté until they are cooked to your liking. Crumble the bacon and mix it in. Taste for salt and pepper, and add if needed. Serve immediately!

Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Saute
Recipe type: vegetable side dish
Smoky bacon adds great flavor to this simple vegetable dish. Serve it as a colorful, nutritious side dish with dinner, or top it with a fried egg for a great Paleo-style breakfast.
  • 1 12-16oz package bacon, preferably antibiotic-free, nitrite-free
  • 1 package (about 1 lb.) Brussels sprouts, washed with stem and outer leaves trimmed
  • 2 or 3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled (optional) and shredded
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Cook the bacon in a large, heavy bottom skillet until somewhat crisp, then remove bacon and reserve the drippings in the skillet.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, chop or shred the Brussels sprouts and set them aside.
  3. When the bacon is cooked, add the shredded sweet potatoes to the hot bacon drippings and slowly saute over medium heat until tender.
  4. Add the prepared Brussels sprouts to the pan continuing to saute until they are cooked to your liking.
  5. Crumble the cooked bacon and mix it into the sweet potato mixture.
  6. Taste for salt and add as needed along with the pepper.
  7. Serve immediately.


Are you a morning person? Or does it take you a long time to get going? Do you wish someone would fix you this delicious dish for breakfast? Tell us about it in the comments. Don’t forget to Pin this recipe for later.

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Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts 2 titles resized

People have a love/hate relationship with Brussels sprouts. I happen to be in the love camp. We were in Auburn, AL, recently and went out to eat for my daughter’s birthday. They had Brussels sprouts on the menu. They were crispy, salty and smoky and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. I’ve come pretty close to the flavor with this recipe. This is so simple, really, that it’s hardly a recipe.

I started with a pound of fresh Brussels sprouts which I washed, trimmed off the bottoms and outer leaves, and sliced in half. The sprouts went in a big bowl, and then I melted about 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease. Yes, I save bacon grease – and you should too! Lard and bacon grease are stable fats for cooking, have a nice balance of monounsaturated and saturated fats, and if your pigs lived outdoors they’re also a source of vitamin D. Anyhow, back to the recipe – I sprinkled a couple of teaspoons of Smoky Salt Blend over the sprouts, drizzled on the bacon grease and tossed it all together. Everything got dumped into a stoneware pan (a cast iron skillet would work too) and roasted at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes until they were caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside.

The Smoky Salt Blend is one of about a dozen homemade salt/spice blend recipes from the Practical Paleo cookbook. I love Practical Paleo not just for the recipes, but for the great information, too. This blend is 1 Tblsp chipotle powder, 1 Tblsp smoked paprika, 1 Tblsp onion powder, 1/2 Tblsp cinnamon, 1 Tblsp sea salt, and 1/2 Tblsp black pepper. I think it would be just as good if you subbed garlic powder for the cinnamon.

I made sure there were a few Brussels sprouts leftover and had myself a Paleo-style breakfast this morning. I fried up one slice of bacon, reheated the sprouts in the pan and crumbled the bacon over top. Then fried up one of the eggs from my recent farm delivery over easy on top of the whole thing. I love veggies and eggs for breakfast!

brussels sprouts egg titles

Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Recipe type: side dish
smoky flavors and roasted Brussels sprouts!
  • 1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1-2 teaspoons Smoky Salt Blend
  • 1-2 Tablespoons melted bacon grease
  1. Wash and trim the Brussels sprouts and slice them in half.
  2. Place the sprouts in a large bowl, sprinkle with smoky salt, drizzle with bacon grease and toss.
  3. Place in stoneware or cast iron pan and roast at 425 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

Do you love Brussels sprouts too? You might become a convert once you try this simple recipe! Share with us your favorite way to eat your veggies, leave a reply in the comments section.

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Thai Chicken Burgers with Lime Mayo and Snow Pea Slaw

thai chicken burgers with titleTo say my daughter loves this menu would be an understatement. Whenever she sees me meal planning she begs me to include these burgers. When she noticed me pulling out the recipe to blog she asked hopefully, “Can we have these tonight?” And I agree they are delicious. We’ve served them to company because even though it’s casual fare it’s still enough of a flavor carnival in your mouth you feel special just eating it.

A couple of notes about the ingredients:  Sriracha sauce is a very spicy Thai sauce made from hot chili peppers, vinegar and garlic. It’s easy enough to find in most grocery stores BUT it’s important to read the labels because most of them have chemical preservatives in them – don’t ask me why because there’s nothing in hot chilis, vinegar, garlic and salt that needs extra chemicals! So anyhow, look for a sauce without preservatives. Lee Kum Kee makes one and so does Shark Brand.  The red curry paste is another ingredient that needs label reading. Red curry paste should be just a mixture of flavorful herbs and spices including lemongrass, galangal, Kaffir lime, and chilies. But sometimes you will find msg or chemical preservatives, too. I like Thai Kitchen’s red curry paste, but I’ve read good things about Mae Ploy brand and both of those have good ingredients.

To get this all on the table at the same time here’s the order I do things:  First I mix up the Lime Mayo sauce and refrigerate it, then I mix up the slaw with the dressing and let it marinate. Then I like to get the burgers all mixed up and shaped into patties on a tray. The burgers will absorb all the flavorful ingredients as they sit. Lastly I slice up the sweet potatoes and get them into the oven so they will be done when the burgers are grilled. If you don’t want to heat the kitchen at all you can actually make the sweet potato fries on the grill, too, but you’ll need to get them started before the burgers since they take a little longer. Once the potatoes are going I grill the burgers. Poultry burgers must be fully-cooked, no medium or rare with these guys! I use an instant-read thermometer to check that they are done. A minimum of 165 degrees is recommended.

Lime Mayo

3/4 cup safflower mayonnaise (or homemade)

zest and juice of one lime

2 Tablespoons of Sriracha sauce (use less if you don’t like it hot)

Snow Pea Slaw

1 cup julienned snow peas

1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

1 cup julienned bell peppers, use orange, red, or yellow for the prettiest salad

1 1/2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon raw honey

Thai Chicken Burgers

2 pounds ground chicken (you can also use ground turkey or a mixture of both)

3 scallions, sliced thinly

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons raw honey

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

1 Tablespoon red curry paste

6 cloves garlic, pressed

Sweet Potato Fries

1 medium sweet potato per person

coconut oil

sea salt

For the Lime Mayo sauce:  Combine everything in a small bowl and set aside.

For the Slaw: Combine the vegetables, stir in the remaining ingredients and toss well to coat with the dressing. Set aside.

For the burgers: Combine the ground chicken, scallions, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, curry paste and garlic mixing well in a large bowl. Divide the mixture into eight 4oz patties. Grill over medium-high heat about 4-5 minutes per side. Burgers are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the sweet potato fries: Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into wedges about 3/4″ thick, at least 8 wedges per potato. Toss the slices with melted coconut oil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. You can roast them in a cast iron or stoneware baking pan at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, or you can grill the wedges on a medium-high grill for about 12 minutes per side. If they begin to burn on the outside before they are tender in the middle, move them away from the direct heat and allow them to continue cooking.

Thai Chicken Burgers with Lime Mayo and Snow Pea Slaw
Recipe type: menu
Cuisine: Thai-inspired
Thai flavors infuse the slaw, dressing and burgers for an explosion of flavor
  • ¾ cup safflower mayo
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1 cup julienne sliced snow peas
  • 1 cup julienne sliced orange, red or yellow bell peppers
  • 1 cup thinly slice red cabbage
  • 1½ Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 lbs ground chicken or turkey
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red curry paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • sweet potatoes
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt
  1. For the sauce: Combine the mayo, zest and juice, and Sriracha sauce in a bowl, set aside.
  2. For the slaw: Combine the snow peas, peppers, and cabbage in a bowl.
  3. Add the vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce and honey and toss well to combine making sure the dressing coats the vegetables.
  4. For the burgers: Combine the chicken with the green onoins, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, curry paste and garlic in a large bowl.
  5. Use your hands to mix the meat and seasonings well.
  6. Shape into eight patties, 4oz each.
  7. Grill over medium-high heat until burgers reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  8. For sweet potatoes: Slice potatoes lengthwise into ½" wedges, about 8 wedges per potato.
  9. Use one medium potato per person.
  10. Coat the slices with melted coconut oil and sea salt.
  11. Roast the potatoes in a 425 degree oven, or grill them over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes.


snow peas, red cabbage and peppers make colorful slaw

colorful snow pea slaw

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Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

red white blue potato flag title image

Hot sunshine on the back of my neck. The smell of peaches and cantaloup in the fruit bowl on the table. Fragrant gardenia blossoms in a vase. Watermelon, baked beans, grilled hamburgers and my mom’s homemade potato salad. The sound of the diving board followed by a splash.  All of these mean summer to me. And when it comes to that potato salad no one makes it better than mom!

red white blue potato close up

Whenever we gather for family cookouts we always need potato salad. Make a big bowl full and hope for leftovers for lunch the next day. Bring it to your next summer gathering because it’s easy and tastes even better when you make it ahead of time.

red white blue potato line

I love the look of the multi-colored potatoes in this recipe, but if you can’t find them you can use new potatoes of any color. Red Finn and Red Thumb are two varieties that actually have rosy colored flesh. Purple Peruvian has a striking blue flesh all the way through that intensifies when cooked. Yukon Gold is creamy colored. The standard red-skinned potatoes are also delicious.

red white blue potato salad horizontal

*a note about mayonnaise: the very best mayo to use is a homemade (and fermented) one such as this recipe or this one.  If you aren’t making your own then please read the labels on the store brands and buy one made from safflower, sunflower, coconut or maybe grapeseed oil. Just avoid the ones made with GMO soy, corn and canola.

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: American
Grammy (my mom) makes the best potato salad. Simple to make and great for cookouts and potluck.
  • 3 lbs new potatoes or fingerling potatoes, multi-colored
  • 3 eggs, preferably from pasture-raised hens
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 green onions, or half of a sweet onion
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • ½ - ¾ cup mayonnaise, plus more as needed
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Scrub the potatoes, cutting large potatoes in half, and place them in a pot and cover with filtered water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are just tender, about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
  3. In a separate smaller pan, cover the eggs with cool water and bring to a boil, cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the cooked potatoes into a colander and allow them to cool until able to be handled.
  5. Drain the boiled eggs and peel the shells off.
  6. Finely chop the celery and green onions (or sweet onion) and place into a large bowl.
  7. When the potatoes and eggs are cool enough to touch, chop the potatoes into bite-size chunks and place them in the bowl.
  8. Sprinkle sea salt over the chopped potatoes.
  9. Chop the eggs and put them in the bowl with the potatoes and vegetables sprinkling again with the sea salt.
  10. Crumble the dried dill over the top of the potatoes and eggs.
  11. Gently toss to mix the potatoes with the rest of the vegetables, but do NOT add the mustard or mayonnaise yet.
  12. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until time to serve.
  13. Just before serving time stir in the mayonnaise, mustard and additional salt plus freshly ground pepper, tasting to adjust for enough salt.
  14. Some people like creamy potato salad, others like it more dry, so add mayonnaise to your taste.

  red white blue potato salad square

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Sauteed Squash with Leeks

Amy and I are visiting mom and dad in east central Alabama; it’s time for our annual Cousins’ Camp. The kids have been looking forward to this for months – and so have the grownups because who doesn’t love to spend a week swimming in the lake, water skiing, hiking in the woods and just relaxing in the hammock?!

This week of Cousins’ Camp always signals the beginning of summer to me and some of the things that make it feel that way aren’t the sunshine or swimming. It’s the scent of the freshly cut gardenia blossoms from the front yard filling mason jar vases around the house. It’s the first peaches and cantaloupe of the season ripe and fragrant gracing bowls and baskets in the kitchen. It’s also the abundance of fresh vegetables from the local farm markets. I especially love the summer squashes mom gets from her CSA.

squash and leeks with feta and basil

Sauteed squash and leeks with feta and basil

The CSA is with Randle Farms on the outskirts of Auburn, AL. The 200+ acre family-run farm grows blueberries, blackberries and other fruits; seasonal vegetables; and they raise sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens which are rotated on the green pastures and used to improve soil fertility all over the farm as well as provide meat, eggs and dairy for farm customers.

This week we are feasting on Zephyr Squash, onions and leeks. This morning I’m dicing up some onion and a small squash and sauteeing them in a little bacon grease for about ten minutes, then frying an egg over easy and serving it on top of the sauteed vegetables for an easy Paleo breakfast. Mom likes to halve the squashes lengthwise, steam them and top them with some grassfed butter and sea salt.  Here’s another recipe that uses both squash and the leeks from the CSA box together with fresh summer herbs.

Sauteed Squash with Leeks
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: seasonal vegetables
tender squash and leeks sauteed with fresh herbs and topped with feta
  • 2 Tblsp organic butter from grassfed cows
  • 1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups cubed summer squash
  • 2 cups sliced leeks (well washed)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 oz sheep's milk feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tblsp chopped fresh basil
  1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat for 20-30 seconds.
  2. Add the squash and leeks to the pan and saute 5-10 minutes until tender and slightly caramelized.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter and sprinkle with the fresh basil and crumble feta and serve warm.

leeks and squash randle farms

Randle Farms leeks and zephyr squash

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Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

Casablanca, Marrakesh, sultans and belly dancers, spice markets, and people wearing fezzes before fezzes were cool – Morocco brings an exotic flavor to all sorts of things including this great little salad.  Savory and spicy, cool and tangy, very fragrant with lots of crunchy textures this salad is like a little travelogue for your mouth.

Make this Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad ahead of time and let the flavors mix and mingle. Take it to a Memorial Day picnic or pack it in your lunchbox. It’s very portable, you could even take it in your carry-on bag when you fly saving you from having to eat those little packets of processed bits they hand out during in flight service. Quinoa and chickpeas give this salad quite a protein punch while the almonds and olive oil add good fats making for a satiating dish. If you soak and cook your own garbanzo beans from dried you’ll make this dish even more nutritious and, because quinoa is not a grain but really a seed, it qualifies as a grain-free and gluten-free recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Moroccan Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
Recipe type: salad or side dish
Cuisine: Moroccan
Serves: 4
Fresh mint, zesty lime, and a warm mixture of anti-oxidant rich spices in a protein-filled make ahead salad.
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground tumeric
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1¾ cup filtered water
  • 1 carrot, cut into julienne matchsticks
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries (organic if you can find them, read the added ingredients and watch out for bad oils)
  • ¼ cup slivered toasted almonds
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or use one can drained
  1. Bring the water to a boil (adding a pinch of salt and some butter if desired) and stir in the rinsed quinoa.
  2. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer and cook 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and allow the quinoa to cool.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, mix together the lime juice and zest, olive oil, sea salt, pepper and all of the spices in a large bowl.
  5. Add the carrots, cranberries, toasted almonds, mint and chickpeas to the bowl.
  6. When the quinoa is cooled add it to the bowl.
  7. Toss everything together coating well with the spices and dressing.
  8. Cover the bowl and chill until ready to serve.

Moroccan quinoa and chickpea salad 2

Moroccan quinoa and chickpea salad

Gluten-free Tabbouleh

I love tabbouleh.  I had to look up how to spell it; apparently it can be tabouli, tabouleh, and a few more variations.  Makes sense since the salad itself has several variations. Traditionally it is made from bulgur wheat, parsley, onion, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil.  But bulgur wheat (which is made by taking grains of wheat, steaming or partially boiling them and then drying and cracking them up ) has gluten in it. Bad for me as gluten gives me a tummy ache so I avoid it whenever I can.  But what’s a girl to do when she still craves the lemony fresh green taste of a good tabbouleh?

Quinoa to the rescue!  Quinoa (keen-wa) is a pseudo-cereal meaning it’s not really a grain since it doesn’t come from a grass-type plant. Instead it is more closely related to beets or spinach, so it doesn’t contain gluten.  I buy quinoa from the bulk bins at my local health food store which saves a couple dollars per pound over the grocery store packages, but either way you will probably still need to rinse it before you cook it. Quinoa has a naturally bitter coating, so I just put the quinoa in a wire mesh strainer and rinse it for a few minutes in cold water before draining it and then cooking it. Sometimes you can find pre-rinsed quinoa so you can skip that step. Either way, quinoa is cooked like rice. 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water plus a little salt and butter, bring to a simmer, stir, cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Cool, fluff and serve.

This tabbouleh recipe makes enough for a side dish for a family of four. It can easily be doubled or tripled to make more for a crowd. It keeps for a couple of days in the refrigerator so you can make extra and take the leftovers for lunch.quinoa tabbouleh 2

Gluten-free Tabbouleh
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Quinoa is substituted for the gluten-containing bulgur wheat found in traditional versions. The bright green lemony minty flavor of tabbouleh is retained.
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked as directed below
  • 4-6 large sprigs of fresh mint
  • ⅓ cup chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice plus some of the zest as desired
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Rinse quinoa in mesh strainer until the water runs clear, drain.
  2. Bring 1 cup of water and quinoa to boil in small pot along with pinch of sea salt and 1 tsp butter or oil if desired.
  3. Stir quinoa, cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, remove the mint leaves and parsley leaves from the stems discarding stems, and chop them.
  5. Halve or quarter the tomatoes.
  6. Toss parsley, mint, chopped sweet onion, and tomatoes together in a bowl.
  7. Mix together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice and zest, sea salt and pepper and drizzle over the vegetable mixture.
  8. Toss well to coat the dressing over everything, then taste and adjust for salt and pepper if needed.

quinoa tabbouleh 1Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only.

Fresh Green Beans Mediterranean-style

Fresh green beans are overflowing the farmer’s market tables and produce bins.  These aren’t the thick, heavy pole beans in need of lengthy simmering, but rather the long, thin, bright green snap beans perfect for quickly steaming served glistening with deep yellow spring butter.  Or pair them with the first early tomatoes and make this party-worthy side dish.

This recipe is a family favorite and makes about 5 servings, but you can easily double it to serve a crowd for Easter dinner. The flavors go well with a beautiful roast leg of lamb or golden turkey.

Fresh Green Beans Mediterranean-style
Recipe type: side dish vegetable
Cuisine: Mediterranean
fresh green beans are dressed up with sun-drenched flavors of tomato and garlic
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, cleaned and snapped in half
  • 1 Tblsp real butter
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1 can organic diced tomatoes OR 1 lb fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tblsp chopped fresh oregano OR 1 tsp dried
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Fill a large pot half full with filtered water, about 2 quarts, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the green beans and cook for 4 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender.
  3. Drain the beans and set aside.
  4. Add the butter to the pot and melt over medium heat.
  5. Add garlic, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper stirring well until somewhat thickened, about one minute.
  6. Add the green beans to the tomato mixture and stir well.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature drizzled with a good extra virgin olive oil to garnish.

green snap beans

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Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Lime and Fresh Mint

The weather here in Central Florida has been spectacular this week – blue skies, fluffy white clouds, temps in the mid-70s to low 80s, cool breezes in the palm trees – it’s like living in a vacation postcard 🙂   The mint in my yard is growing like crazy, I picked enough peppermint to dry and use for peppermint tea, and I’m using the English mint in a great salad recipe that I can’t wait to share with you today!  Grapefruit season stretches on at least through the end of this month and it’s getting to that time of year where people are tired of it and are leaving bags of it in the back hall at church or on people’s front porches.  My avocado tree is already blooming, getting ready for next year, but I did find a big bag of five avocadoes for $4 at Sam’s Club.

English mint

English mint

I love all the different tastes and textures in this dish with juicy tart grapefruit, creamy rich avocado, and the mojito magic of the lime and mint all come together to create a salad that makes its own dressing.   I’ve used spring mix, and I’ve used different kinds of head lettuces, but I also think arugula might be good with its peppery bite.  Sturdy Romaine holds up well if you want leftovers.  Peel and supreme the grapefruit right over the bowl you will use for the salad so you catch all the juices.  Never supreme a grapefruit? It’s easy, but you need a sharp knife! Just peel the fruit including the white pith, then use the sharp knife to slice out the individual sections and tossing the membrane (but not before squeezing out any remaining juice into the bowl!)

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Lime and Fresh Mint
Recipe type: salad
Bright flavors and contrasting textures in a salad that makes its own dressing.
  • 2 large pink grapefruit
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from one lime (and a little zest if desired)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 or 2 Hass type avocadoes
  • 1 head of lettuce or bag of spring mix, washed and spun dry
  • big handful of fresh mint leaves
  1. Peel and supreme the grapefruit catching the juices in the bowl.
  2. Peel, pit and chop the avocado.
  3. Chop or slice the lettuce into fork-size pieces.
  4. Finely slice the mint leaves.
  5. Combine all the ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss well to coat the lettuce and distribute the ingredients.

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