Category Archives: side dish

Moroccan Quinoa


When we went to Disney World last year we ate at a different “country” every night. We love ethnic cuisine and wanted to try out as many as possible. Moroccan was one of our favorites and I’ve been recreating some of the dishes since we’ve gotten home. This Moroccan quinoa is a favorite in our house. They used cous cous but that it often made with plain white flour and even if it is whole wheat, its not sprouted. We soak, sprout, or sour all of our grains and quinoa is very easy to sprout. If you arent into sprouting your grains, just simply soak it for 15 minutes then rinse and drain since quinoa can have a bitter taste if you don’t. Quinoa is a great substitute for cous cous since it’s a similar size.

I served this with a Moroccan fish and vegetable dish. It was also great the next day cold, straight out of the fridge as leftovers for lunch.

Moroccan Quinoa

serves 6

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

2.5 cups bone broth or water

1/2 tsp each tumeric, cumin, and coriander

1/4 tsp salt

1 lime, zest and juice of

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

Place oil, onion, and garlic into a saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in quinoa and 2.5 cups of water or bone broth. Cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Add spices, lime juice and zest, almonds, and raisins.


Nutritional Information

calories: 254

fat: 9 g

sodium: 101 mg (4 %DV)

carbohydrates: 38 g

dietary fiber: 5 g

sugars: 8 g

protein: 8 g


Sweet or Savory Millet Biscuits


I am a believer of a completely balanced diet. I don’t like low carb or grain free diets, vegetarian, paleo, low fat, low calorie, etc. I think you should eat a balanced diet and have all (healthy) foods in moderation. So we do eat a lot of whole grains, but they are unprocessed whole grains that are traditionally prepared by soaking or sprouting. I also  vary those grains and not focus on just wheat and rice like most of America. We eat rice, quinoa, barley, amaranth, etc.

Another grain we eat is millet, but Dave and I arent huge fans of it plain. It just has a very dry texture, no matter how much liquid is added while cooking. I made a big batch for dinner, as I do with all our grains to use in lunches the rest of the week, but neither of us really wanted to eat it. So I decided I would repurpose it. I completely winged it and made some delicious biscuits/fritters. Alyssa now says millet is her new favorite grain over amaranth. I made them savory the first time with thyme and cheese and the second time with a little honey. The honey ones ended up tasting like cornbread. So if you have a corn or wheat allergy, this would be a perfect cornbread substitute.

I made these twice just to get rid of the huge batch of millet I had made and now I’ll have to go buy more millet just to continue making them!

Sweet or Savory Millet biscuits

makes 12 biscuits

3 cups cooked millet (little less than 1 cup dry millet, soaked then cooked in water)

1/3 cup kefir or buttermilk

3 Tbs butter, softened

2 eggs

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Sweet version: 2 Tbs honey

Savory version: 1/3 cup shredded cheese, 1/4 tsp thyme, couple shakes of pepper

Place millet, buttermilk, butter, egg, and salt into high powered blender or food processor. Process until uniform consistency and millet is completely pureed. If using honey, add that at the beginning too. Once pureed, add baking soda and baking powder and give it a quick whirl just enough to combine. If using thyme and cheese, stir that in after everything is pureed.

Put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Spoon onto silpat baking sheet.

Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.


Nutritional Information: honey. thyme and cheese in parenthesis

Calories: 106                          (108)

fat: 4.3 g                                    (5.3)

sodium: 193 mg                     (213 mg)

carbohydrates: 14 g               (11.6 g)

fiber: 1.3 g                                (1.3 g)

sugar: 3 g                                (0g)

protein: 3 g                              (3.6 g)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


We try to eat seasonally and locally. That means in the summer it’s a lot of berries and zucchini and in the winters it’s a lot of greens and broccoli. I usually roast our broccoli but I was wanting to switch it up so we didn’t get too tired of it. This broccoli cheddar soup was perfect on a chilly winter day.

Traditionally broccoli cheddar soup has heavy cream and processed cheese like Velveeta. This soup is light and simple and super healthy. It has pureed beans added for thickness and texture without the extra junk. We ate the entire batch with dinner in one night and Alyssa was disappointed when she requested 4ths and it was gone.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

serves 6

2 cups chicken broth (I use homemade.Use reduced sodium if you use store bought)

1.5 cups cooked great northern beans (preferably from dry beans, but if using canned use reduced sodium and rinse well)

4 cups chopped broccoli, fresh or 10 oz bag frozen

4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 onion, diced

1 tsp chopped garlic

salt and pepper to taste

block of parmesan for topping

Bring chicken broth to boil. Add broccoli, onion, and garlic. Cook until onion and broccoli are very tender (about 20 minutes).

Use immersion blender and blend until desired thickness. I like to leave some chunks. Puree beans separately and stir into soup. Add shredded cheddar and heat until beans are warmed and cheese is melted (about 10 more minutes), stirring frequently. Salt and pepper to taste.

If using a blender: blend beans first, then add the majority of the soup (reserving some broccoli if you want some chunks) and puree. Pour it all back into pot, add cheese and let melt.

Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 159

Fat: 6 g

Sodium: 320 mg (13%)

Carbohydrates: 15 g

Dietary Fiber: 5 g

Sugars: 2 g

Protein: 11 g

“Creamed” Spinach


Before kale took the spotlight, spinach seemed to be the popular super green food. While we do love kale, we have not forgotten about spinach. Its also nice that it comes nicely packaged in the frozen section so you can enjoy it year round. I was at a loss of what vegetable to have for dinner the other night so I decided to try something new, creamed spinach. Its usually so heavy that its far from healthy. This spinach was light and flavorful and everyone’s favorite part of dinner.

Creamed Spinach

serves 4

1 Tbs grass fed butter

3 Tbs finely minced onion (or 1 tsp dried minced onion)

1 tsp minced garlic

1 Tbs flour (any kind)

1/2 cup milk

10 oz spinach, fresh or frozen

2 Tbs freshly grated parmesan cheese

dash each salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste

Melt butter in skillet over medium low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. This should only take a minute or two since the onion is so tiny. Add flour and onion and cook for a minute. Pour milk in little by little, working it into the butter/flour mixture as you pour. Add spinach, fresh or frozen and let it either wilt down or defrost. Stir frequently until hot. Add seasonings and cheese and stir throughout.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 88

Fat: 5 g

Sodium: 156 (6%)

Carbohydrates: 6.5 g

Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g

Sugars: 2.2 g

Protein: 5.6 g

Summer Quinoa Salad


It was hot around here the other day and I wanted something cool and summery to eat. I was able to come up with a meal mostly out of my garden that Dave kept describing as “so fresh”. It was the perfect summer meal.


I am going to double it and make it for my girls birthday party next month as a side dish. And since its served cold, it would be a perfect make ahead meal to take with you to work for lunch. It’s a one dish meal covering all food groups, gluten free, and it doesn’t get much healthier or easier to make.


Summer Quinoa Salad

                  serves 4

1 cup dry quinoa

1 3/4 cup water

1 tsp butter or olive oil

2 squash, chopped

1 lb shrimp, raw and peeled

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tin cherry tomatoes, cut in half

handful fresh basil (5-7 leaves), chopped

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

3 oz crumbled feta

Rinse quinoa then cook in salted water.

While quinoa is cooking, place squash and shrimp in skillet on medium with butter and garlic and cook until squash is tender and shrimp is cooked through. Drain any liquid if you used defrosted shrimp.

Mix cooked quinoa, squash and shrimp, tomatoes, basil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper in a serving bowl. Combine well and let sit in refrigerator until cool. When cool, stir in feta. Serve luke warm or completely chilled.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 381

Fat: 10.2 g

Sodium: 543 mg (23%)

Carbohydrates: 35 g

Dietary Fiber: 5 g

Sugar: 5 g

Protein: 37 g

Mayo Free Cole Slaw


With summer BBQs in full swing, I am often trying to think of what side dish to contribute. I like to bring something healthy so if all else fails and there’s nothing but hot dogs, mac n cheese, and mayo loaded potato salad, we can still try and get something a little healthy in our bodies.


I already have a recipe for Mayo-free potato salad, and now I also have mayo-free cole slaw as an option.


I made this for dinner the other night to go alongside some grilled chicken and corn on the cob. I was actually was planning on making some mixed vegetables for the girls since I wasn’t sure the girls would be patient enough to eat raw cabbage. Neither are picky at all, but I thought it might be too hard to chew and eat still for Cassidy. Well they both tried it off my plate and loved it. Alyssa ate 4ths of it and then finished it off the next day as leftovers. Yes, we ate all 14 servings in 2 days between the four of us.


Cole Slaw (Mayo-free)

makes 14 servings (could cut in half if just making for a family dinner and not a big gathering)

1 head cabbage (green or half green, half purple)

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup plain yogurt (greek or regular)

1/4 cup + 2 tbs buttermilk

1/4 cup + 2 Tbs white vinegar

1/4 cup sugar or honey (or 2 Tbs of each)

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs minced onion (dried or a sweet onion)

2 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp celery seed

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/8 tsp salt

Chop cabbage into small thin strips. Grate carrots. (You could also buy a prepackaged bag of shredded slaw but I’ve never seen it organic and just any other prepackaged food, it wont be quite as fresh)

Mix together the rest of the ingredients and whisk together.

Pour over cabbage and carrots and coat well.

Let sit in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 56

Fat: 2.2

Sodium: 126 (5%)

Carbohydrates: 8 g

Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Sugars: 6 g

Protein: 1.2 g

(Regular cole slaw has 126 calories, 10 g fat, 8 g sugar, and twice the sodium!)

No Mayo Potato Salad


When I asked Dave what he ate growing up for his typical Easter meal, potato salad was one of the dishes he mentioned. At first I thought I couldn’t make it because we don’t eat mayo or keep it in the house. There is nothing good for you in mayo, and miracle whip isn’t any better.


I figured greek yogurt is a white creamy food so I would give it a shot using greek yogurt and doctor it up to somewhat resemble mayo. I figured if nothing else, it was just Dave, myself, and the kids eating so I wouldn’t have to serve it at a family potluck or anything if it ended up a fail.


I gave it a go, wrote down what I did along the way, and taste tested a ton! Both Dave and I agreed it tasted like regular potato salad, not some healthy version of it. I would totally bring this to a potluck! Especially since the leftovers are just as good, if not better, than the first day. So this can definitely be made ahead.


And a bonus of using all natural non-chemical healthy ingredients is that they are naturally lower in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium while being higher in protein. Regular potato salad clocks in at around 285 calories, 12 g fat, 34% daily value sodium, 11 g sugar, and only 3 g protein per serving. Mine has 114 calories, 2 g fat, 3% dv sodium, 4 g sugar, and 5 g protein.

No Mayo Potato Salad

serves 8

4 medium potatoes, chopped (4-5 cups)

3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

3/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1 Tbs real maple syrup

1 Tbs + 1 tsp yellow mustard

2 tsp dry dill

1/4 tsp garlic salt

salt and pepper to taste

Chop potatoes (I leave the skin on). Boil until fork tender. Don’t over cook. Drain potatoes. Put potatoes and chopped eggs into 2.5 Qt baking dish. Refrigerate until cool.

Combine all other ingredients to make the sauce. Pour over cooled potatoes and stir well. Add fresh cracked salt and pepper and stir.

If you like warm potato salad: Don’t cool potatoes and serve immediately with sauce.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 114

fat: 1.9 g

sodium: 77 mg (3%)

carbohydrates: 20 g

dietary fiber: 3 g

sugar: 3.8 g

protein: 5 g

Olivia L email me at with your name and address for the shipping of your Squooshi pouches by tomorrow or I will pick a different winner, thanks!