Category Archives: Lunch

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]



Sunflower Seed “Salad”

This raw recipe is filled with wonderful nutrients and was very easy to make – only took about 5 minutes! It would go great on toast, crackers, plopped on top of a green salad, or just plain in a bowl (that’s how Olivia ate it).

The recipe was adapted from this blog:

  • 1 cups sunflower seeds, soaked (I soaked for about an hour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (or use already prepared mustard)
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery (I used dried celery salt)
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp dulse flakes (or any seaweed flake)
  • 1-2 kale leaves, chopped

Throw everything in a food processor and blend until it is pate consistency.  done!


[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]

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]

Barley Butternut Squash Soup

Now that the weather’s getting colder, it’s time for some tasty soups to warm me up after playing outside. Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth to make it vegetarian.


1/2 cup barley

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 onion, finely chopped

3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces*

5 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 sprigs thyme

pinch nutmeg

1/4 cup cream

*I don’t weigh my squash. I used 1 large squash for this recipe, and put as much as I could in the pot, allowing for it to be covered by the broth.


1) Bring a small pot of water to boil, then add barley. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2) Meanwhile, melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion until softened.

3) Add butternut squash, broth, thyme, and nutmeg and bring to simmer. Cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

4) Remove thyme sprigs. Purée in blender or food processor to desired consistency. If you want some chunks and texture to your soup, just a few quick pulses will do.

5) Return to pot. Put on low heat, stir in cream and cooked barley. Add additional broth/water if needed. Salt and pepper to taste.

Can be frozen in ice cube trays for quick and easy baby/toddler size meals.

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s, “Butternut Squash Soup.”