Tag Archives: health

Summer Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad

The mom’s group in our area is very active, and so large that it’s subdivided into groups based on the children’s ages. I’m a “Llama Mama” and this year, it was the Llama Mama’s turn to host the annual pot-luck family picnic. I volunteered and also took a side salad. Now, a typical picnic side salad dish might involve leafy greens or cold pasta and chopped veggies plus some form of cheese and dressing. Given that we’re gluten- and dairy-free and I know at least a couple of the moms in the group are vegan, I wanted to avoid those “normal” options.

As I planned for the day, I was chatting with a college friend. Feeling somewhat nostalgic, I reflected on the things she often made when we were roommates–Matza Ball Soup, latkes, bagels with cream cheese and lox (OK, no, she didn’t make that one from scratch). Now, couscous isn’t a “traditional” Jewish food (it originates from Northern Africa) but it’s commonly enjoyed in Jewish communities and I can remember having cold, crisp couscous salad in the spring and summer or hot couscous with toppings in the fall and winter. This rendition of a cold couscous salad pays homage to those while being vegan- and paleo-friendly. We hope you like it and choose to serve it at your next picnic or barbecue!

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Roasted Rainbow Beets and Spring Onions

For nearly a month, every time I walked through the produce department of our local Whole Foods, I’ve seen large and vibrantly colored spring onions. I didn’t care for onions as a kid, but I’ve learned to appreciate the flavor they add to dishes. I even enjoy caramelized onions on my burgers! The spring onions were beautiful. I suddenly couldn’t stop thinking about them.

Meanwhile, there were also “rainbow” beets. Rainbow beets! I’m not a rainbows and butterflies and ribbons and bows kind of girl. That said, sunny spring days make me feel a little more colorful, and I love colorful food. How could I resist them? Onions and beets taste great together. I’ll admit, though, I was more excited that they would look great together in photos. We served this pretty little dish for dinner on Easter with smoked brisket and it felt perfectly appropriate. We hope you enjoy it!

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Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew

I hesitate to call anything Otto’s favorite. He’s only 9 months old and unable to speak for himself, after all. But, he loves this stew. I mean, he devours it. The first time I made it for him about a month ago, I puréed it really well because he was still getting the hang of swallowing solids, and he gobbled it without hesitation. Tonight, I didn’t blend it quite as much. He was just as enthusiastic.

Otto literally leans forward in his high-chair, mouth open, eagerly waiting for the next spoonful. Sometimes he grabs at the spoon and pulls it towards his face. I also let him have a few carrots from my bowl, not blended, to pick up with his fingers tonight. He happily ate them, but also continued to lean forward for more of the purée.

To be clear, Otto does not do this with other foods. So, I think it’s safe to say, this super easy dish is his favorite. Brent and I really like it, too. Like many Instant Pot recipes, all you have to do is put the ingredients in and let the gadget work its magic! We hope you and your family, however young or old, will appreciate its simplicity and delicious flavor as well.

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Gluten-free Granola for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding can be a challenging experience at any stage. If you’re also a working mom, pumping adds another layer of (possible) complications. Some weeks, my supply seems just fine. Other weeks, I feel like I just can’t pump enough breastmilk and I worry my dwindling freezer stash will run out before Otto is ready to completely wean. Sure, we’re introducing solid foods (we started doing that two months ago, when Otto turned 6 months old). But, he’s still unsure. So his primary source of nutrition is, and will likely remain for some time, my breastmilk.

We crafted this granola recipe during one of those weeks I was feeling insecure about my milk supply, and it seemed to help! It’s specially designed with ingredients that help breastmilk production—nuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed—and uses only minimal added sugar (maple syrup) along with cinnamon (known to help regulate blood sugar) in the hopes of preventing that sugar high and crash that can happen after eating super sweet snacks.

Even if you’re not breastfeeding, this gluten-free granola is a quick and easy way to satisfy that craving you might have for a crunchy topping to your non-dairy yogurt (or regular yogurt, if you tolerate dairy well). We hope you enjoy it!

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Roasted Tomato and Olive Mediterranean Salad

As summer turns to fall, I find myself wanting roasted things—Roasted Adobo Chicken, Roasted Root Vegetables, etc. But, as is usual for the Mid-Atlantic region, we still have warm and humid days occurring regularly. So, cold salads still hold their appeal for me.

This recipe takes deliciously roasted tomatoes and olives and blends them, chilled, with refreshing cucumber and artichoke. It seemed only natural to take a mediterranean turn, and somehow it feels like the perfect late-summer/early-autumn side dish. We hope you enjoy it!

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