New York Style Chopped Salad (GF) (V)

New York StyleNew York Style Chopped Salad with Homemade Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing


  • 3 cups Mixed Salad Greens
  • 3 cups Bibb Lettuce
  • 8 whole Romaine Leaves
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Corn
  • Sliced Or Diced Bell Pepper
  • Avocado, Sliced
  • Cucumbers, Halved Then Sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing (recipe follows

The method:

  1. Lay out different greens and all the veggies in small dishes.
  2. Have a big stainless bowl with tongs. Have everyone build their own salad by throwing what they want into the bowl. Toss with dressing, then pour tossed salad onto a cutting board.
  3. With two knives, quickly chop the salad so that it’s chopped into smaller pieces.
  4. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing:


  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Agave Nectar Light
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Pretty (and YUMMY!) Fruit Salad

fruitThere is something about these hot, HOT Arizona summers that just get me in the mood for a crisp, refreshing fruit salad.

When I was little and still living in New Jersey, my grandparents used to take us to pick strawberries on those humid summer days. We would make fruit salads, desserts or just eat those succulent berries all by themselves. Ahhh the good old days.

I pulled this recipe from one of my favorite down-to-earth chefs – Ree Drummond 9aka the Pioneer Woman). I realize she makes hearty, cowboy recipes that aren’t exactly the healthiest things to put in our bodies, but she will throw in a salad or fruit dish every now and then.

Her recipe calls for a sugar and water mixture to sweeten the recipe up, but I just like to use to some freshly-squeezed orange juice to kick up the antioxidants and Vitamin C levels.

This dish would make a great dessert or side dish as any BBQ. In fact, I’m eating it right now for breakfast!


Pretty Fruit Salad:

The ingredients:

  • 1 green apple, cubed
  • 1 pint of strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • A couple of mint leaves, chopped

The method:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss together. Refrigerate until cold and serve. Great as leftovers!

What’s for Lunch? Sesame Tofu and Broccoli (GF) (V)

sesame tofuSesame Tofu and Broccoli (GF) (V)

It’s true… Chinese food is the ultimate leftover lunch!

The ingredients:

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch, for dusting
  • canola oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seed, lightly toasted
  • 1 bunch scallion, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces


  • 1/3 cup agave
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 finely minced garlic cloves
  • 1 -2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

The method:

  1. Wrap tofu with paper towels and place on a cutting board.
  2. Put a heavy plate on top to press out liquid for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Stir sauce ingredients together in a saucepan.
  4. Simmer sauce while you cook the tofu.
  5. Dry drained tofu with paper towels and cube. Dust very lightly with cornstarch.
  6. Heat 1″ oil in deep frying pan.
  7. Fry tofu in 350 degree F oil until golden brown.
  8. Place fried tofu in a large bowl and toss with 2/3 cup sauce, sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds and scallions.
  9. Toss gently.
  10. Serve over rice with remaining sauce for dipping or drizzled over vegetables.

Orange Tofu and Broccoli (V) (GF)

orange chickenOrange Tofu and Broccoli (V) (GF)

The ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce or sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, weighted, drained, and cubed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • Bean sprouts to garnish

The method:

  1. In a bowl, whisk cornstarch and warm water. Add orange juice and zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar and hot chili sauce. Reserve.
  2. Steam broccoli for 2-3 minutes until broccoli turns bright green but is still very firm.
  3. Heat oil in a very large nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add tofu to pan and cook, browning on all sides, about 6-8 minutes total. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add broccoli and orange sauce and stir to combine. Cook until sauce begins to bubble and reduces slightly, an additional 2-3 minutes. Plate the entree, top with bean sprouts and serve with rice.

Brussels Sprouts and Radicchio Salad (V) (GF)

kale and radicchio saladTo be honest, this recipe was supposed to be a slaw – but my clumsy self broke the shredder attachment on my food processor (BIG surprise – not). So, in a panic and in desperate need to use up my 2 lb bag of brussels sprouts and the head of radicchio sitting in my crisper, I decided to turn this slaw into a salad.

This slaw or salad is a great addition to any bbq or pasta dish. Here is my recipe:

The ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and fibrous stems removed
  • 1 small head radicchio, quartered and cored
  • 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
  • 3 Tbs. maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

The method:

  1. Shred the brussels sprouts and radicchio. Transfer to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Add half of the dressing to the brussels sprout-radicchio mixture and toss well to combine, adding more dressing as needed. Let stand for 15 minutes to slightly wilt the brussels sprouts. Top with the pecans and serve immediately.

Dan Dan Noodles …errrr Rice (GF) (V)

Dan Dan RiceI didn’t feel like noodles last night, so this recipe is my take on Dan Dan Noodles – but with rice instead.

Dan Dan Rice

The ingredients:

Sauce Ingredients

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 ounce minced green onion
  • 1/2 block drained, plain tofu (for veggies) or 4 ounces cooked ground chicken (for meat-eaters)
  • 14 ounces cooked egg noodles
  • cornstarch


  • bean sprouts
  • julienne cucumber

The method:

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. Cook rice according to package or internet directions. I like to cheat and use the frozen rice is venting bags from Trader Joe’s and Sprouts. All you need is 3 minutes in the microwave to perfectly cooked rice.
  3. Heat 2 woks. Add one teaspoons of oil to each. Sear chili paste, garlic, and minced green onion for 5 seconds to release flavors.
  4. Add tofu to one pan and cooked ground chicken to other and sear, stirring and tossing for 5 to 10 seconds.
  5. Add sauce mixture and simmer for 20 seconds.
  6. Thicken proteins  and sauce with a mixture of corn starch and water (equal parts). Consistency should be a very thick sauce to stand on top of the noodles. Pour over center of rice.
  7. Garnish with bean sprouts and julienne cucumbers.

Simple Tempeh Tacos (GF) (V)

tempeh tacos I love Mexican food – and I LOVE simple recipes. This dish took all of 15 minutes to make – mine was made with tempeh and Nick’s was made with chicken.



Tempeh Tacos

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 package tempeh, sliced into 1/2 inch cubes or 2 chicken breast, diced for meat-eaters
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • other taco fillings such as lettuce, tomatoes, lime juice
  • corn tortillas or taco shells

The method:

Sautee the onion in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft.

Add tempeh/chicken, gf soy sauce and cumin. Allow to cook for about five more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

Fill your taco shells or tortillas with the protein mixture mixture and top with lime juice, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa or if desired.

Tempeh with Broccoli

beef with broccoliConfession: I’m kinda obsessed with Pioneer Woman.

I realize she doesn’t necessarily cook the healthiest of meals (she uses butter almost as much as Paula Deen), but damn, those dishes look goooooood. While I was exploring the recipes on her blog, I came across a pretty simple and yummy-looking Beef and Broccoli recipe.

Considering the fact that Nick and I order Chinese take-out all the time, I figured this would be an excellent meal to try – and if it turned out awful, we could always order in. J

I used marinated skirt steak for Nick’s and marinated tempeh for my dish – luckily, both of our versions turned out phenomenally. I thought I had way more broccoli on hand than I actually did, so I compensated by adding some mushrooms and asparagus. Now, the original recipe calls for Oyster Sauce – but I can’t eat that so I made my own version that is vegetarian and shellfish-free.

Tempeh with Broccoli/Beef with Broccoli

  • 1/2 lb skirt steak, thinly sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thick strips
  • 1 lb broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
  • handful of sliced mushrooms
  • 6 asparagus spear sliced into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to season the beef

Stir-fry Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons “oyster sauce” (recipe follows)
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)

“Oyster Sauce”

  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (just mix)
  1.  In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade. Add the beef and let marinade for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  2.  In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for “oyster sauce” in one bowl and the stir-fry sauce in another bowl.
  3.  In a wok or large sauté pan, add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus for 3 minutes. Then add broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.
  4. Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat and when hot, add the high-heat cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and tempeh/steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.
  5. Pour in the Stir-fry Sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.
  6. Serve over a bed of brown rice.

Make your own Chipotle Burrito Bowls at home! (GF)

Ever since I found out I had a gluten intolerance, I’ve made it a priority to radically change my eating habits. Since I’m already a vegetarian friends, co-workers and my family have been asking what things I can still actually eat. Luckily for me, both of my dietary restrictions are widely catered to in the US. For instance, most pizza places have a gluten-free crust option available for a slight upcharge – I can hardly even taste the difference. Even Nick couldn’t tell that the crust was made sans gluten.

Chipotle Burrito BowlAnother one of my favorite places is Chipotle. It’s vegetarian friendly and always has gluten-free options available. They have corn tortillas that can accompany any taco or burrito bowl dish, not to mention that their salad is a very simple way to eat gluten-free.

The only bone I have to pick with Chipotle is the price. I’m not saying that this place is wildly expensive, but you can save a ton of money by making these items at home. If I ever picked up dinner for Nick (he likes every meat option available there) and myself, the bill would never come to less than $18.

I know, I know. $18 doesn’t seem like a lot of money – especially since there is no cooking involved and no clean up other than throwing the to-go boxes into the trash. However, when I made my own version of their burrito bowls (I made mine with tempeh and Nick’s with chicken), each serving ended up only being $2.50 – and we had enough leftovers to make lunch the next day! This even included buying every single item that is listed in the following recipes.

Chipotle’s Adobo Marinated Chicken/Tempeh:

The ingredients:

  • 1 package tempeh (for vegetarians) and/or 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. boneless chicken breast (for the meat-eaters)
  • 1-2 tsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder

The method:

  1. Place all ingredients in plastic zip top bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
  2. If you’re making chicken, grill on outdoor grill or cut in bite sized pieces and cook in skillet with 1-2 Tbs. oil.  If you’re making tempeh, just cook it in the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently till done.

Chipotle’s Vegetarian Black Beans:

The ingredients:

  • 2 cans black beans, 1 drained and 1 undrained
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar

The method:

  1. Pour the beans into a small saucepan.
  2. Stir in the other ingredients.
  3. Heat over medium heat until hot. Allow to simmer until the rest of the meal is ready.

Chipotle’s Corn Salsa:

The ingredients:

  • 16 oz frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

The method:

  1. Stir all the ingredients together. Top your burrito bowls with it!

Chipotle’s Guacamole:

The ingredients:

  • 3 Ripe Avocados
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Red Onions
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Cilantro
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Jalapeno
  • 1/8 Cup of Lemon and Lime Juice – 80/20 ratio
  • Pinch of Salt

The method:

  1. Place Avocados in a bowl and mash with a fork – You will want to leave it a little chunky.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and mix.
  3. Tope your bowls with this yummy addition!

Chipotle’s Cilantro-Lime Rice:

The ingredients:

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups Basmati rice (I used brown rice)
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

The method:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pan.
  2. Stir in the rice. Cook uncovered at a medium boil for 12 minutes.
  3. Drain the rice in a colander.
  4. Put rice back in cooking pot. Stir in cilantro, lime juice and salt.

To make the burrito bowls, assemble the ingredients to your liking and enjoy! We also added some Pico de Gallo to the dish and sautéed bell peppers. Yum!