Summer Pasta Salad

This is very versatile; any combination of vegetables you have on hand can be used.  You can also add cooked chicken or shrimp or, if you are vegetarian, TVP, for a complete meal.

3 c. cooked pasta such as penne (gluten free or other)

1/2 medium zucchini, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

3 mushrooms, chopped

1 c. diced cucumber

1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed

1 T. each walnut pieces and sliced almonds

2 T. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. raisins

Dressing

1 – 2 T. dried dill

1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt, thinned with a little milk

1/2 package Simply Organic Ranch dip

1 T. creamy cucumber dressing

 

Combine pasta and remaining ingredients except dressing in a large bowl.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over pasta salad.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until chilled.

Why I Do What I Do

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A beautiful comment yesterday left by a new reader to my blog made my day.

I’m so glad I found this. Trying to find advice for cooking (and eating) while chronically ill seems downright hopeless somedays. I can’t really eat out and there are veryfew storebought convenience meals I can eat due to my allergies, yet making a full course meal usually ends in me collapsing 1-3 times. My boyfriend is so used to finding me on the kitchen floor at this point that he doesn’t bat an eye. I really do love cooking, though, so it’s awesome finding someone else out there facing similar challenges with wisdom to share.

Thank you so much.

This is why I started my food blog.

*Note some of the recipes do take longer to prep.  Save those for days when you aren’t flaring, or can enlist help.

Easy Three Vegetable Salad

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1 pepper, seeded and sliced

1 – 1 1/2 c. green beans

1 c. corn

Steam pepper and beans together until tender, about 10 minutes.  Cook corn (I microwaved it). Dice pepper and cut beans into small pieces.

Dressing ingredients:

1 T. olive oil

1/2 T. balsamic vinegar

1 T. dried dill

1 T. italian spice mix

Salt and pepper

Place cooked vegetables in medium size bowl.

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Add dressing ingredients, stir to combine. Enjoy!  Great with any meat.

Chocolate-Walnut Spread / Truffles

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AKA “Healthy Nutella”

Gluten free, egg-free, dairy-free, sugar free no-bake, and yummy

1.5 cups walnuts, or hazelnuts, ground

1/4 c. liquid – milk, juice, water

8 dates, pitted

1/4 c. cocoa powder

dash salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Grind the nuts in a food processor. Add liquid, process some more. Add dates, process some more.  Add remainder of ingredients and process until completely blended.  Can use as a spread or roll into balls and roll the balls in nuts, coconut, etc. for truffles.

Colorful Quinoa Salad

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1 c. quinoa

2 c. water

Combine quinoa and water in large pot, bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low, simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Let cool.

In large bowl combine the quinoa with the following:

2 c. diced cucumber

2 c. diced pepper

1/3 c. toasted sunflower seeds

2/3 c. toasted sliced almonds

1/2 c. raisins

1 small can mandarin oranges, drained (reserve juice)

 

Dressing:

Combine in a jar or other container with a lid, shake well, pour over salad.

1/3 c. reserved mandarin orange juice

1/4 c. olive oil

1 T. each dill, Italian spice blend

1 tsp. mustard

1 tsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper

 

Serves about 8 – 10 as a side salad

 

Chicken Salad on a Bed of Spinach

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1 c. spinach, roughly torn

1/2 cooked chicken burger, ground (equal amount of a cooked chicken breast could also be used)

1/2 small zucchini and 1/2 medium carrot, shredded

1 tsp. oil

1 T. non-fat plain yogurt

1 T. Sesame Teriyaki sauce, such as Organicville.

 

Put the spinach on a plate.  Combine remainder of ingredients in small bowl, place on top of spinach. The chicken salad blend would also work well in a wrap or as a sandwich.  Serves one, easily doubles or triples. Enjoy!