Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Recipe Inspiration

All
Chicken
Gluten free
Paleo / Primal
Slow Cooker
Summer
Vegetarian
Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Slow Cooker Friday Night Chicken Wings
Slow Cooker Friday Night Chicken Wings
Escarole with Italian Sausage and White Beans
Escarole with Italian Sausage and White Beans
Slow Cooker Meat Loaf Burgers
Slow Cooker Meat Loaf Burgers
Chocolate Cranberry Truffles
Chocolate Cranberry Truffles
Pickled Shrimp
Pickled Shrimp
Pumpkin Mousse Tarts with Cranberry-Pecan Crumble
Pumpkin Mousse Tarts with Cranberry-Pecan Crumble
Hearty Sloppy Joes
Hearty Sloppy Joes
Arugula, Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette
Arugula, Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette
Creole Turkey and Rice
Creole Turkey and Rice
Spanish Tapas-Style Shrimp and Chorizo
Spanish Tapas-Style Shrimp and Chorizo
Slow Cooker Turkey BBQ
Slow Cooker Turkey BBQ

Michele Gholson

About Me

I created The Whole Meal with a vision of educating others in mealtime preparation focusing on delicious, healthy and simple recipes. To good food and a better life!

Blog Posts

Recent Posts

Proscuitto and Melon Spinach Salad

It was love at first site and first bite with this colorful and vibrant spinach salad that I first had at Pie for the People in Joshua Tree, CA. The sweet cantaloupe chunks and salty Italian dry-cured ham are nestled next to Guinness caramelized onions and raw red onions and served in a sweet vinaigrette.

This summer salad inspires you to slow down, pull up a chair to a table under a shady tree, pop open a crisp bottle of white wine and invite a handful of your favorite people to toast the blessing of your abundant life. Yes, truly..it does!

Kale and Cruciferous Crunch Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Prepackaged salad greens have really come a long way from the standard mix of iceberg, romaine, radicchio and carrot shreds. You now have your choice of micro greens, blends of baby kale, baby spinach and baby romaine, and other specialty lettuce blends, but it was a bag of kale, broccoli slaw, and shredded Brussels sprouts packaged with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a poppy seed dressing that inspired me to make this kick-up raw salad that pairs perfectly with your fall chilis and stews.

I did not like the rancid soybean oil dressing that came with it so I decided to create my own version. I am glad I did as this has become a much requested salad from family and friends. It’s a great way to sneak in those nutritional powerhouse cruciferous veggies that we seem to avoid. A secondary bonus is it’s all raw so we get a great boost of plant enzymes sorely lacking in our modern diets.

Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Quiche

Serve with chopped walnut, pear and arugula salad with honey white balsamic vinaigrette-

This was a surprise hit as egg pies or quiches do not necessarily elicit much excitement unless you are in your local coffee shop looking for something healthier than scones to go with your just-perked java.
My youngest loved it so much she asked if she could have it for breakfast the next day. Because this is such an easy recipe to make with most of the time invested in waiting for it to bake, we whipped up another quiche, baked it, and cooled it all before her bedtime. My oldest daughter, who typically does not care for eggs, loved it, but was especially keen on the chopped walnut, pear and arugula salad, going back for seconds. The whole meal is a keeper!

Beef Tamale Pie

Serve with a mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette-

Although tamale pie has its origins in the United States, most likely California, many American Hispanics prepare this ultimate comfort food. Not to be confused with Mexican tamales, tamale pie is a baked casserole of ground beef, cornmeal, tomatoes, olives and cheese. I simplified the original recipe, which calls for preparing cornmeal and pouring it into the bottom of a pie dish and again topping the beef mixture with more cornmeal, by substituting a corn muffin mix. A simple side salad completes this family-friendly meal.

Beef Kefta Flatbread Pizza

Serve with Tomato-Cucumber Salad-

I was flipping through a Cooking Light magazine and came across Beef Kefta Patties with Cucumber Salad. Kefta? A quick internet search yielded my answer: Kefta is the Lebanese/Syrian dialect for Kofta- a Middle Eastern, South Asian and Balkan meatball or meatloaf, although it is also referred to as kefka in Morocco. In the Middle East Kefta is ground beef or lamb, typically mixed with cumin, paprika, minced onion, coriander and parsley. Cinnamon, hot ground pepper, and mint leaves are optional.

The recipe below shows traditional quantities of these spices and herbs. I have, however, sautéed the kefta mixture in favor of forming into kebobs and made it as the base for a flatbread pizza. In honor of its Lebanese roots, serve it with a cooling cucumber-tomato salad.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

This is my whole foods version of baked beans that can be eaten as a main dish; a little bit tangy and a little bit sweet. Serve this with a side of greens, homemade cole slaw or a crispy salad. I like it over brown rice, but a warm loaf of baked bread or dinner rolls, and chunks of cheese would also suffice.

Slow Cooker French Dipped Sandwiches

If you happen to be in Los Angeles you must make a stop into Phillipe the Original in Chinatown for the best French dipped sandwiches. While all their versions are pretty yummy (lamb, roast pork, turkey or ham) it’s their classic roast beef French dip that is iconic LA food and I had to recreate the sandwich at home for when the craving just needs to be satisfied. This is the restaurant’s classic recipe adapted for the slow cooker. Much cheaper than a plane ticket!

Slow Cooker Asian Beef and Broccoli

A bit of a twist on a popular Chinese dish, which is typically made with sirloin strips, this slow cooker version uses more economical and fuss-free lean ground beef. This is a staple for my family on Tuesday piano practice night when we come in late and need dinner in a hurry. I prepare my rice in a rice cooker just before we leave and keep it on warm for our return.