SPECIAL DIETS

All Seasons, Condiments, Condiments/Sauces, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Low Sodium, Paleo/Primal, Spring, Summer, Vegetable, Winter

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!

Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Grains, Grains, Low Sodium, Main, Paleo/Primal, Salads, Sides, Sides, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Edamame and Summer Corn Quinoa Salad

This light and fresh deli-style salad that I originally bought from Stater Bro. Market in Joshua Tree sustained me for a couple days whether before a hike in Joshua Tree National Park or as a light snack on one of our many car rides during our southern California summer vacation.

I know this salad will become a permanent addition to your summer rotation of favorite, go-to recipes.

All Seasons, Appetizer, Dairy, Fall, Main, Pork, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

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!

All Seasons, Beef, Fall, Latin America, Main, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

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.

Appetizer, Bbq/Grilling, Beef, Fall, Main, Middle Eastern, Pizzas, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer

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.

All Seasons, American, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Hickory Smoked BBQ Short Ribs

Do you have a craving for BBQ ribs, but no time to precook them, bake them, and then grill them? No problem, as this slow cooker does it all for you. It’s finger-licking, fall-off-the-bone good and pairs perfectly with cornbread, coleslaw and an ice cold beer (fresh lemonade for the kids).

All Seasons, American, Beans/Legumes, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Sides, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Winter

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.

All Seasons, American, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Main, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

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!

All Seasons, Asian, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

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.