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You'll find over 385 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Silky Smooth Hummus with No Tahini

June 10, 2016

By Kath Dedon

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Don’t want to use tahini? You can still make fabulous Silky Smooth Hummus with No Tahini. Maybe you’re out of tahini. Maybe you’re serving the hummus to someone who has a sesame seed allergy. Maybe you just don’t like tahini. You can still make great hummus.

On Martha Stewart’s site I learned that you don’t need to use any substitutions; you can just make your favorite hummus recipe and omit the tahini. That’s pretty much what I did. I omitted the 6 tablespoons of tahini that were in the original Classic Hummus recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. I added a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter to give it a hint of flavor.

ATK’s method produces the creamiest texture! And you don’t need to remove the skins to achieve it. You grind the chickpeas and the dry ingredients in the food processor. Then, with the motor running, you slowly add the lemon juice and water blend and then the olive oil and peanut butter. The result? Silky smooth hummus goodness!

I highly recommend this method to make Silky Smooth Hummus with No Tahini. If you want to use tahini, just substitute 6 tablespoons of tahini for the peanut butter for a delicious Classic Hummus.

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Silky Smooth Hummus with No Tahini served with mini pepper strips and pita chips

Hummus with peppers and pita chips

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Silky Smooth Hummus with No Tahini

Adapted from a recipe in ATK’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook using advice from Martha Stewart’s site

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(print the recipe)

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Makes about 1¾ cups

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Ingredients for hummus.JPG

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¼ cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon peanut butter (I used natural peanut butter. The peanut butter is optional. Omit, if you want.)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1½ cups cooked chickpeas (or one can, rinsed and drained)

1 small clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley (optional), for garnish

 

1. Stir the water and lemon juice together in a measuring cup.

2. Stir the peanut butter and olive oil together so it’s blended well.

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Mixing peanut butter with oil.JPG

I put the peanut butter/oil mixture in a small measuring cup for easy pouring.

Peanut butter and olive oil

3. .Set aside about 1½ – 2 tablespoons of the chickpeas aside to use as a garnish.

4. Put the rest of the chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor and process until it’s ground up well, about 15 – 20 seconds.

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Dry ingredients in the food processor

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ground

 

5. Scrape the mixture down with a spatula. Turn the motor on and slowly stream the water and lemon juice into the chickpeas. Scrape the mixture down again and then process for 1 minute.

6. With the motor running, slowly stream the peanut butter and olive oil mixture into the food processor. Process for about 15 more seconds.

7. Put the hummus in a serving bowl. Garnish with the reserved chickpeas, a drizzle of olive oil, and, if using, the cilantro or parsley.

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Silky Smooth Hummus with no tahini.JPG

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Small Batch Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

May 25, 2016

By Kath Dedon

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Small Batch Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are just what you need when you want homemade chocolate chip cookies but don’t want to make a huge batch.  The recipe makes just 12 – 14 cookies. It’s quick to make, and it can be mixed in a bowl with a whisk or a fork. There’s no need to use a mixer!

The recipe was developed by America’s Test Kitchen for The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook (a great cookbook, by the way). They found that you can simply stir in melted butter, eliminating the need to cream the butter and sugar with a mixer. Talk about easy!

The recipe is supposed to yield 12 cookies, but it actually made 14 cookies for me. I baked the extra two in my new convection toaster oven, but I found that the ones baked in my regular oven turned out better.

The next time you just need to have a few chocolate chip cookies, I highly recommend that you try Small Batch Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re quick, easy, and loaded with chocolate chips! You can be pulling them out of your oven in no time to satisfy your craving!

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One dozen

 

Small Batch Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Adapted from the recipe in The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook by ATK)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Makes 12 – 14 cookies

 

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup packed (3½ ounces) light brown sugar

¼ cup (1¾ ounces) granulated sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

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Ingredients for the cookies (flour is in the bowl)

Ingredients for cookies

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1. Preheat the oven to 350° with the rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.

2. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool a bit while you prepare the other ingredients.

3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.

4. Whisk the light brown sugar and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl.

Sugars

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5. Pour the melted butter into the sugar and stir until it’s well combined.

Butter added

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6. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until combined.

7. Use a spatula to gently blend the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.

Cookie dough

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8. Fold the chocolate chips into the dough.

Chocolate chips added.JPG

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9. Using about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie, roll the dough into 12 or so balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

10. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 7 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still soft and puffy.

Baked.JPG

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11. Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing. Enjoy the cookies warm or at room temperature!

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Cooling.JPG

One dozen - Copy.JPG

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Spiced Lentil Soup

May 11, 2016

By Kath Dedon

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This Spiced Lentil Soup may be the best lentil soup I’ve ever had! The recipe is from Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows blog. Her blog and book both focus on healthy vegan recipes, many of which are gluten-free. Now I am pretty sure I will never become a vegan, but I do enjoy a good vegetarian meal. I find that I’m eager to try more of Angela’s recipes. I recommend that you hop on over to Oh She Glows to see Angela’s gorgeous photos.

The soup is quick and easy to put together and the spices are perfect. It’s very flavorful without being overly spicy. The coconut milk makes it rich and creamy. Angela said she has tried it with light coconut milk but she really prefers it made with the full-fat coconut milk.

I’m sorry that I didn’t take photos of the process, but I still wanted to share this Spiced Lentil Soup with you. At the first taste Bob and I both declared this a blog-worthy recipe. I know I’ll be making it again.

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Spiced Lentil Soup 2

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Spiced Lentil Soup

(Adapted, barely, from Angela Liddon’s recipe on ohsheglows.com)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4

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1½ tablespoons olive oil

2 cups diced onion (1 medium/large)

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

1 (15-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, with juices

1 (15-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

¾ cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained

2 cans (3 ½ – 4 cups total) vegetable broth

½ teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

5 ounces baby spinach

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

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ingredients

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  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 4 – 5 minutes, until it softens.
  2. Add the garlic to the onions and cook, stirring, for about a minute.
  3. Add the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir for about a minute.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 18 – 22 minutes, or until the lentils are done.
  5. Remove the pot from the burner and stir in the spinach until it has wilted. Add the lime juice and taste for seasoning. (If your broth is salty, you probably won’t need any more salt.) Enjoy!

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Spiced Lentil Soup.JPG

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Spiced Lentil Soup 2 - Copy.JPG

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Gluten-Free Blueberry Crisp

May 8, 2016

By Kath Dedon

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Blueberry Crisp was the dessert Laura requested for her birthday. It’s a quick and easy recipe to make and delicious plain or with a bit of ice cream.

I combined some of the ingredients and methods from two other recipes, Blueberry Pie and Peach Crisp. The blueberry filling was adapted from the out-of-print 1981 Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. The crisp is an adaptation of Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything The Basics.

This time I used pecans in the crisp and I chopped them as the original recipe suggested. I would definitely chop them if you’re mixing the crisp mixture by hand. I, however, used my food processor and the chopped nuts were chopped up a bit too much. Next time I would add the nuts whole to the food processor.

If you love blueberries, I definitely recommend this Blueberry Crisp! It’s quick to put together and easy (much easier than a blueberry pie) and it makes a festive dessert that serves 6 – 8 people.

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Blueberry Crisp

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Blueberry Crisp

(Adapted from recipes in the 1981 Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book and Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything The Basics)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Serves 6 – 8

 

I like to use my food processor to make the crisp but you can definitely do it by hand. Just chop the nuts, if you use them, into pieces that seem to be the right size. Then put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mash it together with your fingers until they are pretty well combined.

If you don’t need to make it gluten-free, just substitute all-purpose flour for the tapioca flour and the gluten-free flour blend for the crisp. 

 

The blueberry filling

About 6 cups blueberries, picked over to remove any stems, rinsed and well-drained (4 – 5 half pints or 1½ – 1¾ pounds)

½ cup sugar (I used maple sugar.)

1/3 cup tapioca flour

Zest of 1 lemon

 

Crisp topping

5 tablespoons cold butter, plus more for greasing the pan.

½ cup packed brown sugar (I used maple sugar.)

½ cup gluten-free rolled oats (not instant oats)

½ cup of your favorite gluten-free flour blend (I like this one)

¼ cup nuts, optional (I used pecans. Chop them if you’re mixing by hand.)

Pinch of salt

 

Vanilla ice cream for serving, optional

 

 

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Put a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to catch any drips that might occur.

2. Use a bit of butter to grease an 8×8 square baking pan or a 9-inch pie plate.

3. Cut the 5 tablespoons of butter for the crisp topping into small pieces and put them in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes while you prepare the blueberries.

butter

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4. Toss the blueberry filling ingredients (the blueberries, ½ cup sugar, tapioca flour, and lemon zest) together and put them in the prepared pan.

Blueberries with sugar, tapioca flour, and lemon zest.jpg

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Blueberries in pie plate

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5. Put the topping ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is mixed but still has some texture.

In the food processor

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processed crisp topping

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6. Sprinkle the topping over the blueberries. Put the crisp on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the blueberries are bubbling and the top is browned a bit.

gluten free Blueberry Crisp

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7. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Blueberry Crisp - Copy.JPG

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Oven-Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers

May 2, 2016

By Kath Dedon

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Oven-Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers make such a colorful side dish! I have cooked the peppers on the grill, but more often than not I have roasted them in the oven. It’s super easy and can be made ahead of time and eaten at room temperature.

When I serve them as an appetizer I leave the stems on. They have very few seeds; I just wash them and grill them or roast them and serve them whole.

As a side dish, however, I like to take the stems off and I remove most of the seeds. I recently served them with Gemelli with Sausage, Grapes and Red Wine.  The peppers added great color to the plate and were delicious with the pasta.

I hesitate to even call Oven-Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers a recipe, but I found that every time I made them I turned to the Internet for oven temperature recommendations and timing. I figured other people would also like go-to instructions, so here’s how I did it.

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Mini Sweet Peppers

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Oven-Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers

(Inspired by the recipe on a blog, Lady Behind the Curtain )

 

(print the recipe)

Serves 6 – 8

 

2 pounds mini sweet peppers

1 tablespoon avocado oil (olive oil is also good)

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Wash the peppers. Cut off the stem end and pull out most of the seeds.
  3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or heavy duty foil.
  4. Put the peppers in the center of the baking sheet. Drizzle the avocado oil over the peppers. Toss them with your hands to distribute the oil.
  5. Spread the peppers out. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and ground pepper.
  6. Roast for about 10 minutes.

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Almost done

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7. Stir the peppers and then return to the oven.

8. Roast for an additional 5 minutes.

9. Put the peppers in a serving bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and serve at room temperature later.

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Oven-roasted mini sweet peppers

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Mini Sweet Peppers - Copy.jpg

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Crazy Spice Cake

April 25, 2016

By Kath Dedon

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My latest “crazy” cake is this Crazy Spice Cake.  I used the basic cake recipe that I used for the Vegan Lemon “Crazy” Cake, omitting the lemon zest and lemon extract. Then I searched for the right combination of spices.

Using Eat Your Books (an online tool that I really appreciate), I noticed Walter Waltuck  and Melicia Phillips’ recipe for Spiced-Up Honey Cake.  I pulled their Staffmeals from Chanterelle cookbook from the shelf to look up the recipe. Their combination of equal parts cinnamon and ginger with smaller amounts of nutmeg and coriander sounded perfect.

For my 8-inch square cake, I halved the amounts of spices and I really liked this combination of spices!

The Crazy Spice Cake can be sprinkled with powdered sugar, as you see here.  But next time I make it, I’m going to try Waltuck and Phillips’ glaze. I’m actually wondering why I didn’t do that yesterday. That just gives me a good excuse to make it again, I think! (I guess I’m just crazy for crazy cakes!  🙂 )

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Crazy Spice Cake

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Crazy Spice Cake

(Adapted from recipes from the Sweet Little Bluebird and the Art of Gluten Free Baking blogs, and Walter Waltuck and Melicia Phillips’ recipe in Staffmeals from Chanterelle)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 9

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If you don’t have any issues with wheat or gluten, you can definitely substitute 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour for the gluten-free blend. To measure by weight, if your brand of all-purpose flour weighs 30g per 1/4 cup, you’ll need 202g for this cake.

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Dry ingredients

1½ cups + 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour  (236g, if you’re using Jeanne Sauvage’s blend*)

1 cup sugar (I used maple sugar.)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon coriander

½ teaspoon salt

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Liquid ingredients

1 cup cold water

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

½ teaspoon vanilla

5 tablespoons oil

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Glaze (optional)

2 tablespoons honey (Substitute agave syrup for a vegan cake.)

1 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoons unsalted butter (Substitute vegan margarine for a vegan cake.)

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For serving if you don’t use the Glaze

Powdered sugar to sprinkle on the cooled cake (optional)

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1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Measure the liquid ingredients into a 2-cup measuring cup.

4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir quickly to blend it together. (It’s OK if there are still a few streaks of flour in the batter.) Quickly pour the batter into an ungreased 8×8-inch square cake pan and get it into the oven.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.

6. If using the Glaze, heat the honey, sugar, and butter together in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until it is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Poke holes all over the cooled cake with a fork and brush the hot glaze over the cake.

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*Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix (found on her excellent  Art of Gluten-Free Baking Blog)

Jeanne says that 1 cup of her blend is 140g. So if you use this blend for the cake, you need 236g if you want to measure the blend by weight. Be sure to stir the blend together before measuring.

Mix together and store in the refrigerator:

1 1/4 cups (170g) brown rice flour

1 1/4 cups (205 g) white rice flour

1 cup (120g) tapioca flour

1 cup (165g) sweet rice flour (Mochiko)

2 scant teaspoons xanthan gum

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Crazy Spice Cake - Copy

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Faux Potato Salad

April 20, 2016

By Kath Dedon

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I don’t have anything against potatoes. In fact, I love potatoes and I eat potatoes. Often. But I was intrigued when I saw Elana’s recipe for No Potato Salad. She uses cauliflower florets instead of potatoes and makes a salad that looks irresistible. (Click on the link for No Potato Salad to see Elana’s irresistible photo.)

Inspired by Elana, I made what I call Faux Potato Salad. I based the dressing on the one I use for All-American Potato Salad for Two.

I admit that I was skeptical about this one, and I kind of expected Bob to dislike it because I didn’t use potatoes. However, we both loved it! It has some of the same flavors of my favorite potato salad, but it’s much lighter. It was perfect served with grilled Polish Kielbasa.

Faux Potato Salad is much lower in carbs (12g per serving) than potato salad (100g per serving). It’s lower in calories (171 for Faux, 234 for potato). It qualifies as a serving of vegetables. And it tastes great!

I’m not going to give up potato salad, but I know I will be making Faux Potato Salad again because it’s just really delicious! Leftovers taste great the next day; I’d be very happy to pack some leftover salad in my lunch.

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Faux Potato Salad 2

 

Faux Potato Salad

(Inspired by elanaspantry.com and the potato salad in ATK’s The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook)

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Be sure to allow the time to let the cooked cauliflower cool and drain so it’s dry. I cooked it about 1½ hours before I tossed it in the dressing.

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 4

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1 medium head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds)

1 stalk celery, diced

4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon brine from a dill pickle jar (optional, but we always have pickles and I like to use it.)

1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon celery seeds

½ teaspoon dried dill weed 

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 large hard-boiled egg, diced

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1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and put it in a steamer basket.

Cauliflower

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2. Steam the cauliflower about 4 minutes, until it is just tender.

3. Put the steamed cauliflower in a colander and let it cool and drain. (It’s best if it can drain for 45 minutes to an hour so it will be dry.)

4. Put the celery, onion, parsley, mayonnaise, pickle brine, vinegar, dry mustard, celery seeds, dried dill weed, and sea salt in a bowl large enough to hold the cauliflower.

Dressing ingredients

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5. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and then add the cauliflower. Gently stir until the dressing is well distributed.

6. Stir in the diced egg and serve.

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Faux Potato Salad

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Faux Potato Salad - Copy (2)

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