Category Archives: Dinner

Fresh Marinara Sauce – so easy!!

This recipe is adapted from Jason Wrobel, chef and star of “How to Live to 100” on the Cooking Channel. (

It’s so easy – you just plop everything in a food processor and you’re done!

  • 3 – 4 Roma (or any) tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 crushed garlic
  • 1/2 onion (I use a whole small), chopped
  • 2 cups soaked sundried tomatoes (reserve the soaking water for blending later) (I also have skipped the soaking step and it was fine)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp lemon
  • S & P to taste

Optional additions (I add them all)

  • 1 carrot
  • 1-2 kale leaves
  • mushrooms

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, adding the reserved soaking water until you get the consistency you want (It will be slightly chunky).

You could just plop it fresh onto some warm quinoa or pasta and call it a meal.  The first time I made it the raw garlic was too intense so I simmered it for a while to blend the flavors.  The next time I made it, I only heated it slightly because it was SO delicious fresh from the processor.

I threw in some kidney beans with my pasta just to add some more fiber and protein to round the meal out.



[Kim G]



Italian style Potato & Escarole Soup

I am in love with this new cookbook I recently purchased.  Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas

I don’t think there is anything in this book I’m not excited to make.  I love escarole and I love soup this time of year so when I saw this recipe – had to try it!

I use a slotted spoon to take out the potatoes, carrots, and chickpeas for Olivia.  And I finely chop the escarole before adding it to her plate.  Sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on top to add a little cheesy flavor.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 medium or 4 small potatoes (russet or golden), peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 32oz box of low-sodium veg broth
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 can chickpeas or cannellini
  • 1 medium head of escarole, chopped and rinsed really well (this would also work with any other type of green)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • S & P to taste
  • Tamari sauce to taste (I added to recipe b/c I thought it could use a bit more flavor).  Braggs Liquid Amino would work too.
  1. Saute onion in oil or water until soft.  Add garlic and saute a bit more
  2. Add potatoes, carrots, broth, basil, thyme, and two cups water.  Bring to boil, then cover and simmer until potatoes are soft (about 20 min)
  3. Stir in the chickpeas, escarole, tamari if using, and half of the parsley.  simmer until escarole is tender (8-10 min)
  4. Mash some of the potatoes to thicken the soup some.  Stir in remaining parsley, salt & pepper to taste.



[Kim G]

Bean and cornbread casserole in a crockpot

Holy cow was this good!  I was a little weary about cooking cornbread in the crockpot on top of a bean stew but it was so moist and delish.  You guys have to make this!

*You may want to make some extra cornbread to serve with leftovers if you are like us who ate a “healthy” portion of bread with our beans.

Original recipe is from here:


  • 1 large green or red bell pepper
  • 1 large sweet or white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic (I used 5 cloves b/c we love garlic!)
  • 1 can (16oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (16oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (16oz) black beans ,drained and rinsed
  • 8-10 oz tomato sauce
  • 16 oz diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1/2 can cream corn
  • 2 t chili powder (I only used 1 tsp and it was plenty spicy)
  • 1 t pepper
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t hot sauce
  • 1T sugar (Optional – I like the balance of sweet/spicy.  Also cuts acidity of tomatoes)
  • 1/2 bunch of greens (I used Collards, chopped)

Corn Bread Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 3/4 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 egg replacer mix of choice
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
  • 1/2 can cream corn


  1. Chop onions and bell peppers, and mince garlic cloves.
  2. Sautee onions, peppers and garlic in water in a pan until tender, then add to the slow-cooker.
  3. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1/2 can of corn, spices, sugar, and hot sauce.
  4. Cover, and cook on high for about 1 hour.
  5. Chop greens and stir them into the bean mixture.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, then stir in  the milk, egg replacement, oil and the rest of the corn.
  7. Ladle the cornbread batter over the bean mixture in the slow-cooker, making it nice and smooth.
  8. Cover again, and cook for about another 1.5 hours, or until cornbread is cooked through.

[Kim Gillespie]

Tofu Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

This was a easy to make and enjoyed by the whole family.  Original recipe found here:

Serve with rice and a veggie (I served with

1/2 small onion
2 garlic cloves
2 cm piece of ginger
2 T lemon juice
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1. Puree all ingredients in the food processor.
2. Marinade cubed tofu (1 block) covered for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
3. Saute the tofu on all sides till golden brown in oil (I used safflower but coconut would be good too).

found here at Recipekitchen
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy (i used 1/4 creamy and 1/4 chunky)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
3 Tbl. lemon juice
2 Tbl. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground ginger (I used fresh ginger, grated)
1/2 tsp. red pepper, crushed flakes
Heat all ingredients in a sauce pan on low-medium heat.
[Kim Gillespie]

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan

I thought this was delicious.  Olivia….couldn’t spit it out fast enough.  Which was weird b/c she likes butternut squash.  I’m posting anyway b/c it was that good.

This recipe came from OhSheGlows:

Squash mixture

  • 2-2.5 pound butternut squash
  • 2 lg. cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup de-stemmed and roughly chopped Lacinato kale

Almond Pecan Parmesan “cheese”

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/8th tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease a casserole dish with oil.
  2. Peel the squash. Chop into 1-inch chunks and place into casserole dish.
  3. Add minced garlic, parsley, oil, and salt into casserole dish and stir until well combined with the squash. Do not add the kale yet.
  4. Cover casserole dish with a lid (or tin foil with a few holes poked) and bake for about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, process or chop the parmesan ingredients together until chunky
  6. When squash is just fork tender, remove from the oven and reduce heat to 350F. Stir in the chopped kale and sprinkle the parmesan all over the squash. Bake for another 5-8 minutes, until the nuts are lightly toasted. Watch closely so you don’t burn them. Remove from the oven and serve immediately!

[Kim Gillespie]

Garlic & Greens Soup

This recipe comes from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (

I make this whenever any of my family feels a cold coming on and it nips it right in the bud!

  • 1 whole head garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 bunch greens (kale, collards, spinach, etc)
  • 3-4 potatoes, cubed
  • 8 cups veg broth or water with bouillon cube
  • 1 can cannellini beans (beans aren’t a part of the original recipe – I added for a dash of protein)
1.  Saute the onion & garlic
2.  Add potatoes and broth, simmer for a bit
3.  Add greens & beans until potatoes are soft
4.  Salt to taste
5.  add 1T of rice vinegar to bowl when serving & sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on top
Crusty bread is a must!  I put cubes of bread on Olivia’s plate to soak up the broth since she doesn’t do well eating soupy liquids yet.
[Kim Gillespie]

Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili

This was our dinner tonight and Olivia ate it up!  I used butternut squash instead of sweet potato because that’s what we had – and it was delish.  I also only used a teaspoon of chili powder instead of a tablespoon.  And I topped it with a little maple syrup to balance the spicy.

This recipe came from here:

one 29 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
one 6 oz can tomato paste
32 oz vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder (I used 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks (I used butternut squash)
1 cup dry quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
avocado, cilantro for garnish  (optional)

Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium low heat. Add onions, and cook until soft and they start to turn brown (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the beans, stock, and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper . Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the quinoa. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes – 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa and potatoes are cooked and the chili has thickened. Add a bit of water if the chili becomes too thick for your liking. Top with avocado and chopped cilantro.

*I drizzled maple syrup on top too!

[Kim Gillespie]