Springtime Quinoa Salad

This is a perfect spring salad that's simple to make!




1 cup uncooked quinoa
2-3 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup feta cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil and cilantro
1/2 cup almonds, pulsed in a food processor until crushed


1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 large juicy lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
a few tablespoons honey (I did 3, but adjust to taste)

See the entire recipe and directions at Pinch of Yum.

Curried Cauliflower Rice Kale Soup

The cauliflower in this soup helps to make this a nice, substantial soup while still being low in calories. Plus the recipe is both Paleo and vegan!



5-6 cups of cauliflower florets (about 3-4 cups when "riced'). See notes.
2- 3 tbsp curry powder or curry seasoning (turmeric should is usually included in the curry seasoning/powder)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
2-3 tbsp olive oil for roasting
3/4 cup red onion chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp olive oil or avocado oil
8 kale leaves with stems removed and chopped
2 cups (5oz) chopped carrots
4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken if not vegan)
1 cup almond milk or coconut milk (the drinking kind works best and is smoother).
1/2 tsp red pepper or chili flakes (use less if you don't want as spicy)
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt to taste after cooking

See the entire recipe and directions at Cotter Crunch.

Perfect Paleo Lemon Bars (GF & Nut Free)

These are a delicious, fresh tasting treat for gluten-free and Paleo diets! They're definitely a crowd pleaser!

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1/4 cup raw honey
1/3 cup ghee room temp*
1 egg room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/8 tsp sea salt
grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about 4 lemons
Grated zest of one lemon
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp raw honey
3 eggs plus 1 yolk
1 Tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp coconut flour

See the entire recipe and directions at Paleo Running Mama.

Spring Risotto with Brown Rice and Asparagus

Spring is nearly here, and delicious young shoots of asparagus can be found in the grocery store! This is a wonderful risotto recipe that uses whole grain brown rice instead of the processed white rice found in most risotto recipes. It makes a great side dish or light dinner!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)
¼ cup 1% milk
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces using only the top ¾ of stalk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at Tastefully Julie.

Delicious Lentil Salad

Lentils are the queen of legumes- they're quick cooking, don't require soaking, and are incredibly versatile! They're also a fantastic source of fiber and vegetarian protein! This salad makes a fantastic lunch or light dinner! The recipe uses feta, which can easily be disregarded for dairy free and vegan diets. I'd definitely recommend doubling the recipe so you have leftovers!



1 cup  dried green lentils (or other lentils) (Note 1 for canned)
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth (or water + 1 bouillon cube, crumbled)
1 1/2 cups water
1 large garlic clove, smashed
Lemon peel (about 1.5 x 5 cm / 3/4 x 2")
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 rib celery, broken into 3 or 4 pieces (or just a handful of leafy fronds)

8oz cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 cucumbers, cut into quarters then diced
1 red onion, finely diced
¼ cup coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
3 oz feta, crumbled (or more!)
2 handfuls rocket/arugula lettuce (optional - bed for salad)

Lemon Dressing:
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup / 85 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp sugar, optional
½ tsp salt + black pepper

See the entire recipe and directions at Recipe Tin Eats.

Blueberry Quinoa Smoothie Bowl

I was reading something that said how Smoothie Bowls are the hottest thing- then, since I had to look up what a "smoothie bowl" even was, came across an article that said, "Smoothie bowls are SO 2017"! Well, before today I had never heard of them, so maybe I just live under a rock. They do sound neat though, a smoothie that's a little more filling, that you eat with a spoon rather than a straw- sounds good to me!

My coworker, Liz, loves smoothies for breakfast, but personally, I feel like I need something I can chew a little. Well, smoothie bowls are the perfect happy medium (plus they're a great way to get more fruit in your diet), and since this recipe contains quinoa (a great high protein grain), it can help you to feel more satisfied than a plain fruit smoothie.


This recipe makes 4 servings


For the quinoa:

1 Cup Quinoa uncooked
2 Cups Almond Milk  

For the smoothie:

2 Cups Almond Milk
4 Cups Frozen Blueberries

For topping:

1/4 Cup Honey
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Almond Milk
1/2 Cup sliced almonds, toasted 

See the entire recipe and directions at the Food, Faith Fitness Blog.



Coconut Flour Chocolate Chunk Bars (GF, DF, & Paleo)

These healthy dessert bars are gluten free, dairy free, and suitable for a Paleo diet- plus they're absolutely delicious!



1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup honey, agave nectar or maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 oz your favorite dairy-free dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coconut flakes, optional

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Vegetable Soup

Red lentils make such a delicious, flavorful soup, while also being a fantastic source of vegetarian protein! This is an amazing soup to make early in the day so you can come home to a beautiful hot meal simmering away!



1½ cups red lentils
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
½ a bunch of kale (about 4 leaves) stems removed and chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
½ an onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon parsley
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6½ cups vegetable stock

See the entire recipe and directions at Sweet Phi.


PB & J Overnight Oats

These are absolutely delish and can be made the night before for a fast and healthy breakfast- it's great for kids too!



1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Greek yogurt*
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons no-sugar-added strawberry preserves
2 to 3 strawberries, chopped

*To make dairy free substitute with a dairy free yogurt, blended tofu, applesauce, or pureed bananas

See the entire recipe and directions at Rachel Ray's blog.

Mean Green Detox Vegetable Soup

This is a fantastic soup for the new year! It's delicious and has a unique blend of healthy ingredients This soup is best when the vegetables are slightly crisp, so take care not to over simmer your soup (like I usually do with most soups).



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek halved + sliced
4 carrots chopped
4 cloves garlic minced or grated
1 inch piece of ginger grated
kosher salt + pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 quarts low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup green lentils
4 cups roughly torn kale
2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 head purple cabbage shredded
zest + juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh parsley plus cilantro


See the entire recipe and directions at Halved Baked Harvest.


High Fiber Paleo Breakfast Muffins

I am a big fan of these muffins. A high fiber muffin is a wonderful and quick way to start the day-  they taste especially good warmed with a little bit of butter. Most Americans don't get anywhere near the recommended daily amount of fiber in their diets, so this is a nice way to up those numbers- plus it has omega 3s, which are crucial to our health!


1/2 cup ground flax seeds (flax meal)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup prunes, packed
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons  coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup carrot, grated, about 1 large carrot
1/4 cup  chopped pineapple chunks

See the entire recipe and directions at Laura Fuentes Fresh Living.

Gluten Free Baking Contest Winner: Apple Dumplings with Cinnamon Glaze

This recipe was the Kid's Choice Winner for our Gluten Free Baking Contest made by Denise Jean! It was absolutely delicious and is definitely one to try!

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Pastry Ingredients:

2 c. gluten-free flour blend

1 c. shortening

4-5 tbs. water


Cut shortening into flour. Add water one tablespoon at a time to form a ball.  Roll dough flat between two pieces of parchment paper.


Filling Ingredients:

6 granny smith apples, peeled and cored

2 tbs. brown sugar for each apple

1 tbs. butter for each apple



Place apples in pan and add brown sugar and butter into the core of each apple.

Form the dough around each apple in the pan.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook an additional 35-40 minutes.


Cinnamon Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar

1/8 tsp. cinnamon extract

1-2 tbs. Half and half



Mix ingredients together and drizzle over warm apple dumplings.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Baking Contest Winner: Carrot Cake

This recipe won First Prize for our Gluten Free Baking Contest!  The recipe was made by Jessie Gramont and it was completely amazing!  Please forgive our poor photography!

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2 cups gluten free all purpose flour blend
1 ½ gluten free sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 6 large carrots, peeled)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix together sugar, oil, and eggs in one bowl and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix gluten free flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.  Once that is all mixed, then add the crushed pineapple with the juice and the shredded carrots.
  5. Grease two 8” round pans, and divide the mixture evenly between the two pans.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.  
  7. Cool and then frost with the cream cheese frosting below and enjoy!


Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
1 stick (or ½ cup) of salted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


Cream together butter and cream cheese.  Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla until it becomes smooth and creamy.  Frost gluten free carrot cake and decorate with chopped nuts (if desired) and enjoy!

Gluten Free Baking Contest Winner: Chocolate Lovers Dream Cupcakes

This recipe won Second Prize for our Gluten Free Baking Contest!  The recipe was made by Mary Dabrowski and it was ridiculously good! If you like chocolate, you absolutely must try these- plus they’re dairy free too! Please forgive our poor photography!



2 c. sugar
1 ¾ c. Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour
¾ c. Hershey’s cocoa
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. Bob’s Red Mill xantham gum
2 eggs
1 c. Almond Breeze almond milk
½ c. canola oil
2 tsp. Madagascar vanilla extract
1 c. boiling water
Preheat oven to 350
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Beat in eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Stir in boiling water (batter will be on the thin side).
Pour into cupcake pans ¾ full (cupcake liners are recommended), and bake for 17-20 minutes.
Note: They are done when a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely before filling and frosting.


Chocolate Lovers Dream Frosting


½ c. Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks
2/3 c. Hersheys cocoa
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. Almond Breeze almond milk
1 tsp. Madagascar vanilla extract
½ tsp. Kraft minute tapioca (optional)
Melt butter, then stir in cocoa
Alternately add powdered sugar and almond milk beating to a spreadable consistency.
Note: Add small amounts of powdered sugar or milk to create the thickness you desire.
You may tapioca to thicken frosting- it helps to thicken frosting without making it too sweet.


Chocolate Lovers Dream Cupcake Filling

8 oz. Tofutti brand cream cheese (GF and Dairy Free)
3 to 3 ½ tbs. Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
½ tsp. Madagascan vanilla extract
2 ½ c. powdered sugar
2 ½ tbs. Hershey’s cocoa (sifted)
Whip cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy, about a minute.
Add vanilla and powdered sugar then sift in cocoa mix until smooth.

Gluten Free Baking Contest Winner: Gluten Free Cookies with Salted Pecans

This recipe won Third Prize for our Gluten Free Baking Contest!  The recipe was made by Caryl Zierbes and we all loved them!  Please forgive our poor photography!

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1 ¾ cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped toasted pecans
6 wrapped caramels, chopped (I used Fannie May’s) (optional)
Sea Salt, coarse (optional)

  1. To toast pecans, heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Starting with about 2-4 ounces of raw pecan halves, place on baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove nuts frim the baking sheet to prevent residual cooking. When the nuts have cooled, give them a rough chop to prepare for use in the cookies.
  2. Next, whisk flour blend, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. 
  3. Whisk melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in large bowl until well combined and smooth. 
  4. Whisk in egg, milk, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. 
  5. Stir in flour mixture with rubber spatula and mix until soft, homogeneous dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 30 minutes. (Dough will be sticky and soft.)
  6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a medium ice cream scoop, about 1 1/2 tablespoons, portion dough and space 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Add several caramel pieces to the top of each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with ¼ teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
  7. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, rotating sheet halfway through bakingtime, until edges are golden brown and have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10- 11 minutes.
  8. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. 
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cookies are best eaten on day they are baked, but they can be cooled and placed immediately in airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

This recipe has been adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.



Gluten Free Flour Blend from America’s Test Kitchen

24 ounces white rice flour
7 ½ ounces brown rice flour
7 ounces potato starch
3 ounces tapioca starch
¾ ounce non-fat dry milk powder
Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Store the blend in an air-tight container. It can be refrigerated up to 3 months.

Gluten Free Baking Contest Winner: Lemon Blueberry Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe won Honorable Mention as well as our Kid's Choice Award for our Gluten Free Baking Contest!  The recipe was made by Tommi Sellers and was absolutely delicious!  Please forgive our poor photography!



For the Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes:

1 and 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, if using frozen do not thaw first
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
(1) 8 ounce block full-fat cream cheese, very soft
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract (optional, but really amps up the lemon flavor)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl combine 1 and 3/4 cups of the Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl combine the sour cream, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice; whisk well to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add in the granulated sugar and beat until well combined. Add in the egg and mix well. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add in 1/flour mixture and mix until just combined (this should take about 5 seconds). Add the sour cream mixture and mix until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the floured blueberries (and any excess flour in the bowl) and lemon zest.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  5. For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
  6. In a medium bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the powdered sugar and lemon juice, beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract, lemon extract (if using); beat until smooth.

Cauliflower Stuffing (Low Carb, Paleo, and Grain Free)

Thanksgiving doesn't have to mean throwing dietary restrictions out the window- there are plenty of delicious options for low carb or gluten free diets!  Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable, and this recipe will make you barely miss the bread!


4 tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced
1 small head cauliflower, chopped
1 c. chopped mushrooms
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp. ground sage)
1/2 c. vegetable or chicken broth

See the entire recipe and directions at Delish.

Maple Pecan Tart

Pecan pie is a wonderful, old-fashioned dessert perfect for Thanksgiving. This recipe substitutes maple syrup for the corn syrup usually used in pecan pie, and while this is still a rich dessert, pecans are full of antioxidants and good fats!

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1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
2 cups pecan halves, divided
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (use gluten-free flour if needed)
½ teaspoon salt, divided
2 large eggs
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons dark rum (optional)
⅓ cup dried cherries, chopped (raisins can be substituted if desired)

See the entire recipe and directions at Eating Well.


Roasted Green Beans, Mushrooms, and Onions

Forget the gross canned green bean casserole this Thanksgiving and wow your guests with these gourmet (and simple to make) green beans for a fresh take on the Thanksgiving staple!


1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. fresh bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs (use gluten-free if desired)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

See the entire recipe and directions at Delish.

Pumpkin Oat Bran Muffins

This is a fantastic, high fiber recipe that's perfect for fall! Oat fiber is good for the heart, and pumpkin is full of antioxidants!

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1 1⁄2 cups unprocessed oat bran
1⁄2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1⁄2 cup milk or nondairy milk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten (or substitute for 1 egg, beaten)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
vegetable oil cooking spray

See the entire recipe and directions at The Genius Kitchen.