Category Archives: lunch

Green salad with white beans, boiled eggs, veggies and a champagne vinaigrette from

Simple Food: Green Salad with White Beans, Boiled Egg and Champagne Vinaigrette

I can almost hear you thinking, “Simple!  What is simple about soaking and cooking beans, boiling eggs, and preparing a homemade dressing?”  but I promise it is true!  Let’s break it down.  The beans can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for several days, or they can be pre-cooked beans from a can (drained and rinsed, of course).  Boiled eggs take roughly 10 minutes from fridge, to pot, to ice bath, to peeled and quartered, ready to be eaten.  The Sauce, otherwise known as champagne vinaigrette, takes 2 minutes and a mason jar.  So toss up some leafy greens, throw in a generous handful of vegetables and you can have a gorgeous, healthy meal in well under 30 minutes.

green salad with white beans, boiled eggs and veggies

Green Salad with White Beans, Boiled Egg


salad greens (be adventurous and hop off the Iceberg; try green leaf, red leaf, romain, butterhead,arugula, or get really crazy with kale, chard, dandelion or escarole)

cooked white beans (aiming for toothsome, not mushy)

boiled eggs

suggested options:





red bell pepper


goat cheese


apple slices

loading up with goodies

The Sauce|Champagne Vinaigrette

adapted from  The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

2 Tbs. champagne vinegar

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 to 5 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil

(try this, and then play around with the ratios.  Jason and I love a vinaigrette with a bit of a bite and a lovely, well-emuslified consistency.  You may like something milder, or just different.)

Combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a mason  or jelly jar.  Swirl, or shake, to combine, then add oil.  Now put the lid on, and shake what your momma gave you (and the jar, too).  Continue to shake until oil and vinegar have emulsified (combined in such a way that they are not separate from one another).


Some Like it Hot: Three Bean Chili

What are we up to; well, would you be surprised to hear we are getting ready for another extended trip?  No, not surprised?  I don’t really blame you; I’d be surprised to be able to tell you we were staying put!  This weekend Jason and I are off for three and a half weeks of family, friends, and fun in the sun, with a work trip to round it all out.  But before we head south, I wanted to get another recipe up.  This one is excellent for those who may be participating in the allergy elimination diet (and for everyone else besides).  So, say hello to a Three Bean Chili that still has my fingers burning. . .forget to wear gloves for the darn jalapeno!

Three Bean Chili

This chili is packed with vegetables and beans, which would inevitably lead my friends Frank and Nicole to say, “well, then it is bean soup, not chili”;however, as luck would have it, this is both my recipe and my site so. . . chili it is! (I love you, Frank and Nicole).  I hope you enjoy.  Look for more allergy elimination diet information to be posted later this week.

Wait, you say, what is that marvelous muffin mincing just out of focus?  That, my friends, is Sarah Brittons‘ wonderful Black Quinoa Corn Muffin.  Head over and get the recipe for a perfect chili pairing!


make ’em sweat

putting it all together

Three Bean Chili


1 cup mixed dry black, kidney, and pinto beans (or 2 cups cooked beans)

1 bay leaf

olive oil

1 lb. ground beef or turkey

1 lg. can tomatoes, chopped, crushed, or squished btw your fingers

3 poblano peppers (dark green triangular peppers)

1/2 to 1 jalapeno

1 med. white or yellow onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs fresh or 2 tsp dry oregano

1 1/2 Tbs chili powder

1tsp cumin

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1/4 tsp coriander

small pinch ground clove

1 tsp (a nice chunk) unsweetened chocolate

salt and pepper to taste


Soak 1 cup of beans in water to cover overnight.  Drain beans, and transfer to medium pot.  Add water to 2 inches above beans, bay leaf and 1/2 tsp salt.  Bring to boil then reduce to bare simmer; check for done-ness at one hour.  Beans should be fully cooked but still toothsome-remember, they will cook more in the chili.  Alternately, place dry beans in crock pot in the morning with water to cover by 3 inches, bay leaf and salt, and cook on low.  They will be ready to go in the chili when you get home!  Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid, then drain beans.  Put beans and liquid, together, aside until needed.

In a large pot, brown meat with a bit of olive oil over medium heat.  Remove meat to colander to drain.  Wipe pot dry and add 1 Tbs of olive oil.  Sweat garlic, jalapeno, onion, and poblano chiles until onion begin to be transparent.  Add all other ingredients to the pot, stirring well to combine.  Allow chili to simmer on low at least 30, or until you are ready to have your socks knocked off!

bon appétit

Broiled Salmon with Spicy Greens and Black Rice. . .for breakfast!


I’m going to keep this short and sweet after yesterday’s marathon read.  If the idea of fish and dark leaf greens for breakfast strikes you as odd, you are not alone.  My husband looked at me with a wary eye when I suggested this experiment.  Since returning from our Australian health-pocalypse, I’ve been trying harder than ever to make sure each meal we consume is jam packed with wellness-inducing goodness.  This meal, if you can overcome its strangeness to the American breakfast palate, is overflowing with omega 3 fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin c, amazing lean protein, vitamins B12, A, C, K, E, etc.  The combination of the salmon, greens, garlic and olive oil make this an anti-inflammatory powerhouse.  If you can’t find black rice, try brown rice or quinoa.  I used chard as my green, but collards, spinach or kale would work wonderfully.  If you find you simply cannot convince your stomach that fish is an acceptable breakfast food, switch it in for lunch or dinner (Jason really likes the meal, just not in the morning).  To make morning prep. shorter and more efficient I cook the rice, check the salmon for bones, and clean and chop the greens the night before.

broiled salmon with spicy greens and rice

Broiled Salmon with Spicy Greens and Black Rice

serves 2


3 to 5 ounces of salmon per person

3 cups cleaned and chopped dark leafy greens

1/2 lemon

1 or2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 cup cooked black rice

olive oil



red pepper flakes


Cook rice per directions of chosen variety.  For the rice I use, 1/2 c. uncooked rice and 1 cup of water brought to a boil, covered and heat reduced to low.  Cook roughly 25-30 minute, then check to see if rice has absorbed liquid.  If so, remove from heat, cover with a clean towel and allow to steam for 10 minutes.  Fluff rice with fork before serving.

Arrange salmon on parchment covered baking pan; season with salt and pepper and brush with sparingly with olive oil.  In oven, move rack to highest position and turn broiler on high.  Just before transferring salmon to the over, squeeze fresh lemon juice over it.  Cook to desired doneness, but do not overcook (overcooked salmon is closely akin to shoe rubber).

Meanwhile place garlic in a cold pan with 1 Tbs of olive oil and turn heat on to medium high.  Once you begin to smell the garlic, add greens and stir to coat with oil.  Season lightly with salt, and with red pepper flakes to taste. The point is not to reduce the greens to dark squiggles of slime, but to wilt and warm; they should finish up precisely in time with the salmon.  Squeeze remaining lemon juice over greens before serving.

See, short and sweet!  Ciao.


Cumin Crusted Steak

Note:  I have tried to photograph this recipe at least three times since November.  Every single time something goes wrong, without fail.  So this time I am simply putting up the pictures I was able to get and asking you to trust that this recipe is worth trying!  I’m dedicating this post to two of my friends: Mr. W. Libby, who said o.i.h. could use a bit more meat and potatoes (I aim to please), and Mrs. Kelly Oliver, who questioned the possibility of a really great steak without a grill (I believe it can be done!).  If you are participating in the allergy elimination diet, this is a great steak for you.  Simply substitute a high heat oil anywhere butter is indicated!

Growing up, the best steaks I ever had didn’t come from a restaurant.  Restaurants produced flavorless slabs of hard to chew meat, never cooked to the customer’s specified degree.  The great steaks of my childhood were found at home.  My dad cooked them, under the broiler, covered in garlic and glistening with butter, and I thought they were the best.  My technique as an adult is a bit different, but its origins are definitely inspired by my dad; my dad, who ingrained in me (among other things) the idea that meat cooked properly does not require sauce.( The fact that my husband did not grow up with that mantra led to some severely hurt feeling  while eating our first meals as newlyweds!)  So this steak is jam packed with flavor, no sauce required!

we use N.Y. Strip, but sirloin, filet, flank. . .most any cut would be fabulous with this seasoning

I started with a beautiful 1.3 lbs. of N.Y. Strip; in our house that makes four servings.  We all know by now that we are not supposed to consume large quantities of red meat.  So, let’s assume we are all pretty heart-smart and this is an occasional treat.  Do yourself a favor and buy the very best quality and cut of meat you can for this indulgence; the meat makes all the difference.  For the sake of cooking time I cut this in half to make two 1 1/4″  thick steaks

seasoned. . .still needs a bit more cumin

Season liberally with ground cumin, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and, if desired, rub with fresh or powdered garlic.  Rub seasonings into both sides of steak and allow it to rest at room temperature while you  preheat oven to 425 degrees and begin heating a cast iron skillet over medium on the stove top.  For your cooking fat I strongly recommend butter (sounds super healthy, I know) but you can also use ghee (butter with milk solids separated and removed) or a high heat oil (using h.h. oil instead of butter makes this recipe great for the allergy elimination diet!  See our a.e.d. Food Guide for options).  Once your cast iron pan is thoroughly heated–flick some water from you fingers and listen for intense sizzle–add roughly 1 tbs unsalted butter to the pan and melt.When butter begins to bubble and brown place steaks in pan and LEAVE IT ALONE.butter makes it better

 You want to develop good, crusty browning on each side of the steak to lock in juices and create good texture. . .this will not happen if you constantly move the meat around.  Around the 1.5 to 2 minute mark, raise one of your steaks and check for browning.

checking for browning. . .still needs a few moments

Once color is good, flip both steaks and continue to brown on stove top for another 1.5 to 2 minutes. Transfer pan from stove top to oven and continue to cook to desired doneness.  In this house that is medium (that is our compromise between my vampiric tendencies and Jason’s medium-wellness).That means for this steak we do about 5 minutes in the oven before removing and setting the meat out to rest (either spooning pan juices over the meat or putting a little pat of butter on each).

rest meat for 5 to 10 minutes to let it re absorb it juices

If you are uncertain about meat cooking times here is a handy, dandy chart I found on the Canadian Beef website.  Now, you may be thinking, didn’t she promise meat and potatoes?  You are absolutely right.

Spicy Sweet Potatoes with Feta-Olive Salad from The Traveler’s Lunchbox.  Image property of Melissa Kronenthal of The Traveler’s Lunchbox

This is the most perfect meat and potato marriage I have ever experienced.  The flavor combination is beautiful and I strongly encourage you to step outside the Idaho potato box and try something new over at The Traveler’s Lunchbox.  Doing the A.E.D?  Try substituting avocado for the feta!  I’ve now made myself thoroughly hungry, so I’m off to my left-overs.  Bon appetit!

Soup of the Day: Roasted Tomato Soup (and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches)

Hi there!  I’m back with something toasty to get us through the (hopefully) last few cold days of Spring.  A completely cozy, warm and rosy bowl of homemade tomato soup!

Roasted Tomato and Basil soup

I know, I know, they are out of season, but I proceeded with good reason:  my Mr. had a tomato craving.  Now this recipe has him raving (glad, not mad I’m happy to say).  The recipe is below; I hope you’ll stay.  But stop, delay, just one moment please; what would you say to a nice grilled cheese?

The High-Vibe Sandwich Makeover. Image property of Sarah Britton at My New Roots

Arrrrg, stop the rhyming!  My brain has been working in badly composed rhyme schemes all morning.  In plain English, this soup is really good and ‘s grilled cheese sandwich is a phenomenal accompaniment.  The only changes I make to the sandwich are, first and most obvious, the use of gluten-free bread, second, a thin layer of goat cheese  and , third, the addition of cheddar for Jason.  I hope you enjoy this most warming of meals!

Roasted onions, tomatoes and garlic

Ready to puree

Roasted Tomato Soup


3 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable)
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons butter
½ to 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Remove seeds and liquid; strain and reserve juice. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.
Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot . Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, reserved tomato juice, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Wash and dry basil leaves and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender (or your best substitute) to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream if desired and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.