Thursday, February 24, 2022

Nut and Cookie Butter

 Nut and Cookie Butter 


I enjoy making nut butters in my VitaMix. My recipe is simple...3 cups of nuts. I blend the nuts until a smooth consistency is achieved. Today I used roasted and unsalted peanuts.


Sometimes I make small batches of unique nut butters. Cinnamon is a favorite in our household. 


Today I made two small batches using HomeFree Treats. One batch used two packages of Crunchy Organic Ginger Snap Mini Cookies and another batch used Crunchy Vanilla Mini Cookies. The texture and flavor of both batches was great. It is a sweet treat to enjoy on the banana bread that I just made!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Kale, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes

My garden is producing quite a bit of lettuce, chard, and kale right now. As a result, I searched for recipes to use the bounty from my garden in new ways. I came across a recipe for Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

I modified the recipe and made it my own based on the ingredients I had on hand and personal preferences. My dish features the KALE more than the original. It leaves the ingredients chunky and with a variety of textures.



  • 6 cloves of garlic (diced and crushed)
  • 1 14 OZ can of diced tomatoes  (either with garlic or italian herbs)
  • 3 cups of diced kale
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • olive oil (so nothing sticks to the pan)


  • Saute the garlic and onion in oilve oil until translucent
  • Add the caraway seed and warm for a minute or two
  • Add the diced tomatoes and stir to combine
  • After a few minutes add the kale and chickpeas
  • Cook until kale has softened to your liking 

Serve with rice, gluten free pasta, or gluten free bread bread 

You can add some shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese (I prefer Violife Vegan Cheese) to the dish as you serve

PB HomeFree Protein Bites

 I was looking to make a twist on a tried-and-true favorite snack. I took one of my favorite cookies and combined it with my PB Protein Bites Recipe and HomeFree Chocolate Mint Cookies. 


I substituted HomeFree Chocolate Mint Cookies for 1/2 of the oatmeal in my original recipe


Base Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Oats (DRY)
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1/2 cup Ground Flax Seed Meal
  • 1/3 cup Honey (or sugar)  (Sub Maple Syrup to make Vegan)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla


 HomeFree Cookie Remix Recipe Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 Cup Oats (DRY) 
  • 1/2 Cup HomeFree Chocolate Mint Cookies (Crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1/2 cup Ground Flax Seed Meal
  • 1/3 cup Honey (or sugar) (Sub Maple Syrup to make Vegan)


The result was a crunchier bite. You can add more chocolate flavor by adding additional chocolate. You could add more mint flavor by adding mint flavor in place of the vanilla in the original recipe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Red Lentil Ginger Soup

Lentils are high in folate, fiber, and potassium. They are a good addition to your diet if you are looking to lower blood pressure or cholesterol levels. They are easy to use and can be added into many recipes. I usually purchase lentils from Bob's Red Mill. 


This soup can be made in about 30 minutes. 

It is perfect for a chilly fall evening!


  • 1 cup Red Lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I use low sodium)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (diced)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • Just enough olive oil so noting stick to the pan



  • Add just enough olive oil to caramelize the onion in a soup pot 
  • Add the ginger, garlic, and spices and warm for a minute or two 
  • Add lentils and broth and bring to a boil
  • Reduce to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes (covered)
  • Use an immersion blender to smooth the texture OR place the soup in a VitaMix to make it a silky texture



Serve: Garnished with crushed red pepper, seeds, or gluten free bread crumbs

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Lentil Tikka Masala

 Tikka Masala can be enjoyed Gluten Free and Vegan. 


  •  olive oil ... just enough so nothing sticks
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1-2  tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted or with peppers added)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 can coconut milk


Saute onion, garlic, ginger, and garam masala in olive oil until onions are translucent

Add can of tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir to combine.

Bring to a boil then turn heat down to low and cover. 

Once most of the liquid is absorbed, add the coconut milk. Start with 1/2 a can. Add the full can if the extra liquid is needed (based on personal preference and how absorbent the lentils are).


Enjoy with rice ... white or brown based on your preference. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Greek Style Spaghetti Squash

 Spaghetti Squash is Versatile


I enjoy eating it as a side dish and I enjoy using it as a main dish. 

It is easy to prepare and warms the house on a cold day.


  • 6 cloves of diced garlic
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 can tomatoes (I used tomatoes with basil and garlic) 
  • 2 cups diced olives
  • Feta (I used Violife Vegan Feta)
  • Just enough olive oil so nothing sticks to the pan
  • Salt and pepper to taste (at serving)



Cut the squash in half and removing the seeds. (I also roasted the seeds for use in other dishes).

Roast the squash in the oven heated to 350 for about 1 hour. The roasting time depends on teh heat of your oven and the size of the squash. 

Add the diced garlic, onions, and olive oil to a pan. Saute till translucent. 

Add the can of tomatoes, and diced olives  and stir to combine. 

Once the squash is roasted, let it cool enough to remove from its shell and add to the mixture in the pan. 

Crumble feta on top as you serve. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Butternut Squash Soup and Roasted Seeds

Butternut squash is a favorite of mine as it can be used in a variety of ways. Not only does it taste great, but it also has a longer shelf life than other vegetables so I can pick up a few when they are on sale and use them over time! I love butternut squash as a soup, roasted, added to stir fry dishes, and used in place of noodles in lasagna. 


This butternut squash soup recipe is simple, requires few ingredients, and is ready in a short amount of time! 


  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cloves of garlic (medium ... or 2 large) ... smashed and diced
  • 1 cup onion - diced
  • Olive oil to make sure onion, garlic, and squash do not stick
  • Olive oil for roasting seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper in soup ... 1/2 tsp for roasting seeds 
  • SEEDS ... rinsed and dried
  • 2-4 pounds butternut squash ... peeled, seeds removed and washed, and diced (10-14 cups) 
  • 1tbsp butter (regular or vegan) or olive oil



Peel, seed, and dice the squash

Rinse, clean, and dry the seeds. Place in aluminum foil with olive oil and cayenne pepper. close the foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350. Turn the oven off and open the foil. Leave the seeds in the oven for a few minutes to "dry" a bit.

Dice onion and garlic

Saute onion, garlic, and squash in just enough oil so nothing sticks to the soup pot.

Once onion and garlic are translucent add spices, water, and broth.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook until squash is tender.  

Optional ... add 1 tsp butter (regular or vegan) or olive oil. (Helps body absorb nutrients from butternut squash).

Use an immersion blender or place in a VitaMix (once cool) to puree. 

Serve garnished with the squash seeds.