Category Archives: Gluten Free

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Here’s an easy and healthful dip made with black-eyed peas. It’s vegan, SOS-free, healthful, easy to make, and delicious. It works well with vegetable sticks, chips, pita bread, with a salad, and can even be used as a sandwich spread. Try it sometime!

Below is a video demonstration of how to make the dip. The written recipe is below the video.


Black-Eyed Pea Dip
Makes about 2-1/2 Cups

2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or 1 (15-oz) can of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained)
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or 2 small cloves garlic, chopped)
1/3 cup chopped onion, or ½ tsp onion powder
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
½ tsp dried dill weed
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve with vegetables, crackers, pita bread, and chips, or use as a condiment on wraps and sandwiches. Store leftover in a covered container in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.

Sweet Potato Oat Bites

Sweet Potato Oat Bites

If you want to make a simple, easy to make treat that’s healthful and not too sweet, here it is! These little “bites” are a cake-like/cookie-like treat that will help to satisfy that sweet tooth in a gentle yet healthful way. Give them a try!

Below is a video demonstration of how to make the little bites. The written recipe is below the video.


Sweet Potato-Oat Bites
Makes About 14 Small “Bites”

These are soft cake-like, cookie/like treats that are really easy to make. Stir in the add-in of your choice for unlimited variations. The recipe can easily be adjusted to make as many as you need. Enjoy! jk

1 cup oats (any kind)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup mashed cooked sweet potato
1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup or apple butter, to taste
1 or 2 Tbsp milk of choice, or more if needed
¼ cup “add-in” of choice

Place oats in a food processor and pulse until the oats are medium ground (with some oat flour, but some oat pieces are fine). Add remaining ingredients (using 1 tablespoon of milk at a time) and pulse until well mixed, and holds together when pressed…not too wet and not too dry. If too wet, add a small amount of oats and process more. If too dry, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is moist and holds together. Stir in your “add-in” ingredients.

Scoop by rounded teaspoonful onto a silicone mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 18 to 20 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Possible add-in ingredients (use any combination or single ingredient of choice):

Chopped dried fruit of choice, such as cherries, cranberries, figs, apples, raisins, apricots, etc.
Chocolate chips
White baking chips
Cinnamon chips
Nut of choice such as pecans, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds, cashews, Brazil nuts, etc.

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.


Quinoa 101 – The Basics

Do you enjoy quinoa, but are looking for some new ideas on how to flavor it, or what to do with it? I have answers! Below is a comprehensive article all about quinoa, from what it is and its health benefits, to how to select, store and prepare it, as well as serving ideas and tips, along with what goes well with quinoa. I even have some suggested recipe links to help you in your quest to find that perfect quinoa dish!


Quinoa 101 – The Basics

About Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is typically used as a grain, but it is actually a seed in the same family as beets, chard, and spinach. It is not a member of the grass family of plants, as are grains. Quinoa has been enjoyed as a staple food for thousands of years beginning in South America, where it was called “the gold of the Incas.” Still today, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador remain the world’s top producers of this healthful seed.

There are different varieties of quinoa, usually denoted by their color. We see white or ivory quinoa most often in American grocery stores. But it can also be found in various shades of yellow, red and black. The white or ivory variety has the mildest flavor and cooks the fastest. The flavor of red and black quinoa is described as stronger and more earthy. Nevertheless, all varieties of quinoa have a nut-like flavor. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free is rated as being low in allergenic properties.

Nutrition and Health Benefits of Quinoa
For its size, this tiny seed offers a lot of nutrients. It supplies a lot of manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, folate, fiber (both soluble and insoluble), and zinc. It also has small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and more monounsaturated fats than cereal grains. A three-fourth cup serving has 222 calories and 8 grams of high-quality protein (16% Daily Value). Its high fiber and protein content work together to qualify quinoa as a low-glycemic index food.

Furthermore, quinoa is also high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, giving this seed even more healthful benefits in the prevention and treatment of disease.

How to Select Quinoa
When buying quinoa, be sure there are no rips in the bag or box. Also look for signs of moisture or insects and avoid any such packages.

How to Store Quinoa
Quinoa will last for several months when kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If kept in the refrigerator or freezer, uncooked quinoa will keep for 2 to 3 years. Cooked quinoa will keep well in the freezer for up to a year.

Once quinoa is cooked, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use leftovers within a few days. If you won’t be able to eat it that quickly, place your container in the freezer.

How to Prepare Quinoa
Quinoa seed is covered with saponin, a type of phytonutrient that is actually a protective coating developed by the plant. Although it may have some positive health properties, saponin has a soap-like flavor. Most quinoa on the market has already been rinsed at the processing plant to remove some of this coating. However, because of this objectionable taste, most people opt to further rinse their quinoa well before cooking. To remove any remaining saponin, place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it very well with fresh water as you gently rub the seeds. Drain well.

To cook quinoa, place 1 part seeds to 1-1/2 to 2 parts water in a saucepan. (Use the lesser amount of water if you want your quinoa to be less mushy.) Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover the pan. It usually takes about 15 minutes to cook. When done, the seeds will become somewhat translucent and the germ will partially release, forming a little white spiraled tail around the seed. Fluff the cooked seed with a fork before serving.

For a nuttier flavor, dry roast your quinoa first. Place the seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes, then cook as directed. Some people will add oil to the frying pan to add extra flavor and texture to their quinoa before cooking it.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Quinoa
* Serve cooked quinoa as a breakfast porridge by adding nuts, fruits, and milk of choice. Sweeten as desired.

* Use quinoa in place of pasta with your favorite pasta or noodle recipe.

* Add quinoa to vegetable soup.

* Add a little ground quinoa flour to cookie or muffin recipes for a protein boost.

* If you enjoy tabbouleh, but must eat gluten-free, substitute cooked quinoa for the bulgur wheat in your favorite recipe.

* To flavor your quinoa, add some herbs or spices to the pot when cooking it. Try a bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper, or other seasonings of your choice. Some people add thyme to quinoa while it is cooking.

* Try cooking quinoa in broth of your choice rather than plain water. This will add flavor to your cooked quinoa and may add a lot of flavor to the dish you’ll be using it in.

* Add a little flavored oil to your quinoa as it starts to cook. Sesame oil, walnut oil, or coconut oil would all add distinct flavors to your cooked quinoa.

* Top quinoa with your favorite sauce. Alfredo, marinara, pesto, or cheese sauce are some options. Use your imagination!

* Try adding tomato, avocado and lime for a Southwest flavored quinoa.

* Make an interesting succotash by combining quinoa with summer squash, bell peppers, and corn.

* Quinoa soaks up and retains a lot of water. Drain off any extra water after it has cooked to prevent it from becoming soggy.

* Add quinoa to burger patties, whether they are meat or meatless.

* Add quinoa to chili while it’s cooking.

* “Warm up” your cooked quinoa by adding some cilantro and roasted poblano peppers for some heat. Add this to veggies for a quinoa bowl.

* Make quinoa into a pudding by cooking it slowly in the milk of your choice. Add sweetener and fruit, as desired.

Herbs/Spices That Go Well with Quinoa
Basil, cilantro, cumin, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, salt

Foods That Go Well with Quinoa
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Almonds, beans (in general), beef, chicken, eggs, nuts (in general), shrimp, turkey

Vegetables: Arugula, beets, bell peppers, carrots, celery, chard, chiles, chives, cucumbers, endive, greens (i.e. beet, collard), kale, mushrooms, onions, scallions, spinach, squash (winter), tomatoes, zucchini

Fruits: Avocados, citrus fruits, dried fruit, pineapple, pomegranate seeds

Grains and Grain Products: Corn, grains (in general, esp. those with mild flavors)

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Almond milk, cheese (esp. feta), yogurt

Other Foods: Oil (esp. olive), stock (i.e. mushroom, vegetable), vinegar

Quinoa has been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
Baked goods (i.e. breads, muffins), cereals (hot breakfast), Mexican cuisine, pilafs, salads (grain, green), soups, South American cuisines, stews, stuffed vegetables, stuffings, sushi, tabbouleh, veggie burgers

Suggested Flavor Combos Using Quinoa
Add quinoa to any of the following combinations…

Almond milk + cinnamon + nuts
Bell peppers + carrots + parsley + rice vinegar + sesame oil/seeds
Black beans + cumin
Black beans + mango
Cashews + pineapple
Cucumbers + feta cheese + parsley + tomatoes
Cucumbers + lemon + mint + parsley
Dill + lemon juice + zucchini

Recipe Links

Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa

Roasted Shrimp Quinoa Spring Rolls

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa

Strawberry Quinoa Salad

50 Creative Ways to Eat Quinoa: Healthy Quinoa Recipes

Healthy Quinoa Recipes

10 Easy Quinoa Recipes


Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.


Oats 101 – The Basics

Oats seem to have gained a lot in popularity in recent years. It’s no wonder why. People have finally realized just how nutritious they are for us to eat! And they have gotten very creative in the ways to include oats in their diets.

If you have questions about oats, hopefully the following article will provide the answers you need. It’s comprehensive, including information from what they are to how to use them, and everything in between! Let me know if your questions are not answered below, and I’ll be glad to help, if I can.


Oats 101 – The Basics

About Oats
Oats are the edible seed of a grass in the Poaceae family. They are known as a cereal grass or cereal grain because they are specifically grown for their seeds to be eaten as a grain product. Other cereal grasses include wheat, rye, barley, kamut, spelt, triticale, sorghum, rice, corn, and millet.

After oats are harvested, they are cleaned and the outer hulls are removed. At that point, they are known as “whole oat groats.” In the United States, the oat groats are processed from there into (1) “old fashioned” rolled oats, (2) quick and instant rolled oats, and (3) steel cut oats. Old fashioned rolled oats are whole groats that were first steamed, then rolled to flatten. They are then dried. Quick and instant oats have been either rolled or steamed for a longer period of time, or both, to produce oats that cook faster than traditional rolled oats. Steel cut oats are simply whole groats that have been cut into smaller pieces with a steel blade. Steel cut oats may be referred to as “Irish” or “Scottish” oats, but those types of oats have actually been stone-ground rather than steel cut. Steel cut oats can come in assorted size pieces with different cooking times ranging from 5 to 7 minutes, to 20 to 30 minutes. However they are marketed, oats are considered to be a “whole grain.”

Oats have been enjoyed as a food for thousands of years. Today, Russia produces most of the world’s oats, with Canada being the second largest producer. Oats are also grown around the world, with the United States growing about 4% of the world’s supply, with most being grown in Wisconsin.

Nutrition Tidbits and Health Benefits of Oats
Oats are a nutritious grain to say the least. They are an excellent source of manganese and molybdenum, and a good source of phosphorus, copper, biotin, Vitamin B1, magnesium, chromium, zinc, dietary fiber and protein. They also contain important phytonutrients as well. Here are some of the wonderful health benefits of oats:

Antioxidants: In addition to their abundance of vitamins and minerals, oats are rich in antioxidants, some of which are almost unique to oats. These special compounds may help to lower blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels, reducing inflammation and reducing itching from skin disorders.

Protects against heart disease: Oats contain the soluble fiber, beta-glucan, which forms a thick gel-like solution in the digestive tract. Beta-glucan is known to reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan is also known to help protect LDL-cholesterol from oxidative damage, which causes inflammation in the arteries and raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Improves blood sugar control: The soluble fiber in oats, beta-glucan, is also known to help to improve blood sugar control. The fiber delays stomach emptying which slows the absorption of glucose into the blood. Beta-glucan also appears to improve insulin sensitivity, further aiding in the management of blood sugar.

Weight management: Oats are very filling and help us to feel full longer, aiding in weight management. The beta-glucan in oats appears to promote the release of a satiety hormone, leading to a reduced food intake, decreasing the risk of obesity.

Skin care: Finely ground oats, known as “colloidal oatmeal,” have long been used in skin care regimens. Oats applied topically have been shown to relieve itching and inflammation from various skin conditions, including eczema.

Childhood asthma: Researchers believe that introducing solid foods too early in infants can spark the development of asthma and other allergic conditions. Studies have shown that early introduction of oats to infants can help to ward off such developments.

Constipation relief: Studies have found that oat bran can help relieve constipation in elderly people when fed oat bran daily for 12 weeks. Most of the patients were able to stop their use of laxatives after the 3-month study.

Improved gut microbiome: In a study reported in Science News in 2015 (from the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology), researchers found that people who ate beta-glucan-enriched pasta for two months had increased populations of beneficial bacteria and reduced numbers of harmful bacteria in their intestinal tracts. The subjects also had reduced LDL-cholesterol after the trial. This study was in an effort to find prebiotic foods that encourage the growth of healthful bacteria in the gut.

How to Select Oats
Oats have a slightly higher fat content than other grains, so they can go rancid faster than other grains. With that in mind, it may be helpful to purchase smaller amounts at one time if you don’t go through them quickly. Oats are usually sold prepackaged. However, some stores sell oats in bulk bins. When buying oats from bulk bins, be sure there is no sign of moisture, and also smell them to be sure they are fresh. If they have an “off” odor, they may be going rancid and would not be good to buy.

How to Store Oats
For best shelf life, store oats in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Oats will usually come with a “best by” date, so for the best quality be sure to use them before that date.

Do oats contain gluten?
The answer: no and yes. Oats themselves do NOT contain gluten, and are usually safe to consume by people who are gluten-sensitive. However, oats are often processed in a facility that also processes gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye and barley. If oats are processed in the same facility, remnants of the other grains often remain on the equipment and thus “contaminate” the oats with their gluten. Hence, if oats are not labeled as being “gluten-free” they were most likely processed in such a facility and therefore DO contain contaminant gluten.

Oats that are labeled as being “gluten-free” were processed in a facility dedicated to processing only gluten-free grains. Therefore, they can be safely consumed by those who are sensitive to gluten.

There is a small subset of gluten-sensitive people who do react to oats labeled as being gluten free. Scientists are not certain as to why, but they have found that some gluten-sensitive people react to some (non-gluten) proteins that are found in some, but not all varieties of oats. Furthermore, oats grown in fields next to fields growing gluten-containing grains may also become contaminated with gluten. It might be possible that these people are reacting to gluten contamination from neighboring fields, or to the non-gluten proteins that are found in some varieties of oats. Therefore, if you are gluten-sensitive and find that you have reacted to oats labeled as being gluten-free, it might be best to avoid eating oats altogether.

Can you eat uncooked oats?
Some raw food enthusiasts have wondered if oats can be eaten raw. The oats we buy have already been processed to some degree, so technically speaking they are not “raw.” Then the question remains, “Can we eat oats uncooked?” Yes, they can be eaten uncooked, but it’s not advised to eat them dry. Eating uncooked dry oats can cause them to build up in your stomach or intestines, causing indigestion or constipation. Furthermore, raw oats contain phytic acid, which binds to the minerals in oats, making them hard for the body to absorb. Soaking oats before consuming them reduces the phytic acid content, making them easier to digest and preventing constipation.

Healthful ways to eat uncooked oats include adding them to smoothies or stirring them into yogurt. Oats may also be soaked overnight (in the refrigerator) in water or milk. They will absorb a lot of the liquid, making them more digestible in the morning. So, uncooked oats can be included in a healthy diet as long as they are soaked or moistened in some way beforehand so they are not consumed dry.

How to Prepare Oats
Oats are usually prepared by being placed in cold water, then brought to a simmer and cooked until tender. The time will depend upon the type of oat being cooked. Usually 1 part of oats is cooked in 2 parts of water; however, steel cut oats will require more water, often up to 3 parts water to 1 part of oats. Follow the package directions to be sure.

Tips and Quick Ideas
* For a delicious breakfast, add some of your favorite nuts and cut fruit to a bowl of hot oatmeal.

* Substitute up to 25% of oat flour for wheat flour in baked goods for a nutrition and flavor boost.

* Do you need oat flour for a recipe? Simply place some oats in a coffee grinder, food processor, or high-speed blender, process, and you’ll have oat flour in no time!

* Oats can be used as a thickener for soups or stews simply by adding a tablespoon or two of oats or oat flour to your food after it has cooked or while it’s cooking. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for it to thicken the liquid.

* When you’re short on time to prepare breakfast, try overnight oats that are soaked in milk or water overnight in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat in the morning, your breakfast will be waiting for you.

* Adding oats to a smoothie is a great way to thicken it while adding lots of nutrients and healthful fiber.

* Use oats to bind the ingredients of veggie patties and burgers.

* Use oats as a basis for homemade granola cereal or granola bars.

* Oats can be used in place of crushed graham crackers in pie crusts, such as in a cheesecake or tart.

* Make your own oat milk simply by blending 1 cup of oats with 2-1/2 to 4 cups of water. Strain it or not…it’s up to you. Add a little sweetener and/or vanilla, if you want. Stir it before you use it. Store extra in the refrigerator and use it within 2 or 3 days. If you elect to strain your oat milk, use the pulp in veggie patties, meatloaves, baked goods, smoothies, pancakes, or any other way you can sneak it into your foods.

* Rolled (old-fashioned) and quick cooking oats are interchangeable in most recipes. Instant oats are not interchangeable, since they have already been fully cooked then dried.

* When making yeast breads, oat flour can be combined with wheat flour (up to 25% substitution). A 100% oat flour yeast bread will not rise because yeast needs gluten to rise.

Herbs and Spices That Go Well With Oats
Cardamom, cinnamon, dill, fennel seeds, ginger, mace, nutmeg, parsley, sage, vanilla

Other Foods That Go Well With Oats
Proteins, Nuts, Seeds: Almonds, cashews, chicken, eggs, nuts (in general), pecans, pork, seeds (esp. flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), walnuts

Vegetables: Celery

Fruit: Apples, apple juice, apricots, bananas, berries (esp. blueberries, raspberries), coconut, dried fruits (esp. cherries, cranberries, currants, dates, figs, peaches, plums, raisins), fruit juice (in general), oranges, peaches, pears, plums, raisins

Other Grains and Grain Products: Baked goods, breading

Milk and Non-Dairy: Butter, buttermilk, cheese, cream, milk (dairy), milk (non-dairy, esp. almond, coconut, hemp, rice, soy), yogurt

Other Foods: Honey, kefir, maple syrup, molasses, oil (esp. coconut, flaxseed, safflower, sesame), salt, stock (vegetable), sugar (esp. brown)

Oats have been used in the following dishes and cuisines:
Baked goods (esp. biscuits, breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, quick breads), breading, cereals (esp. hot breakfast), desserts (esp. fruit crisps and crumbles), Irish cuisine, vegetarian meatballs, burgers or meatloaf, muesli, pancakes and waffles, Scottish cuisine, soups (esp. Irish, Scottish, and as a thickener to make it creamier), trail mix

Suggested Flavor Combos Using Oats
Combine oats with the following…
Almonds + Cinnamon + Fruit + Maple Syrup
Almonds + Cashews + Cinnamon + Maple Syrup + Vanilla
Almonds + Cinnamon + Yogurt
Apples + Brown Sugar + Cinnamon + Raisins
Apples + Cheddar Cheese
Apples + Cinnamon + Honey + Raisins
Bananas + Cinnamon + Maple Syrup
Brown Sugar + Nuts + Raisins
Cinnamon + Figs + Honey + Vanilla
Cinnamon + Maple Syrup
Cranberries + Nuts
Ginger + Plums
Pecans + Sweet Potatoes + Vanilla

Recipe Links
25 Ways to Use Oats When You’ve Had Enough Oatmeal

51 Oats Recipes That Go Beyond Oatmeal

13 Wonderful Ways to Eat Your Oats

Savory Oats With Ontario Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes

Overnight Oats with Stone Fruit

Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes to Go

50 Things to Make with Oats

50 Best Oatmeal Recipes

Oat Breaded Pork Medallions with Dijon Mushroom Sauce

17 Next-Level Ways to Eat Oats

Easy Recipes to Make the Most of Oat Pulp

Oat Milk—Here’s Everything You Need to Know

How to Use Oat Flour


Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Easy Sauteed Turnip Greens

Easy Sauteed Turnip Greens

Here’s a recipe for turnip greens that is really simple, fast, and delicious too. Also, it can very easily be tailored to your liking and needs…oil or no oil, salt or no salt, whatever you prefer. It’ll be yummy no matter what changes you need to make! Give it a try.

Below is a video demonstration of how to cook the greens. The written recipe follows the video.


Easy Sautéed Turnip Greens
Makes 4 Servings

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or 2-3 Tbsp water or vegetable stock)
½ cup chopped yellow onion
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch turnip greens
Water or vegetable stock, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of ½ to 1 lemon or lime (or 1 Tbsp vinegar of choice)

Wash and drain the turnip greens, but do not dry or spin them. Coarsely chop the greens; removing the stems is optional. Set aside.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil (or water or stock, if preferred). Sauté the chopped onion for about 1 minute, until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more, until the garlic starts to soften. Add the prepared turnip greens, and salt and pepper to taste. Raise the heat to medium-high if needed to keep the vegetables cooking. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the greens are wilted and as tender as you like. If needed, add a small amount of liquid (water or stock) at a time to the pan to keep the vegetables from getting too dry as they cook. Turn off the heat and stir in the citrus juice or vinegar, using as much or as little as desired. Serve.

Millet Vegetable Pilaf

Millet Vegetable Pilaf

If you’re looking for something different to fix for a social gathering, or simply to make ahead for a weeknight meal, this should do the trick. It’s not hard to make and is ready in about the time it takes to cook a small pot of millet.

Below is a video demonstration of how to make this dish. The written recipe follows the video.


Millet Vegetable Pilaf
Makes 4 to 5 Meal-Size Servings (or About 8 Side Servings)

1 cup millet
2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup diced carrot
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small (4 oz) can or jar of mushroom pieces OR 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1-1/2 cups diced zucchini or yellow squash
1-1/2 cups cooked great northern beans OR 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, optional
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of one lemon

Place the millet in a fine strainer and rinse it under running water. Allow it to drain over a bowl. In a medium pot with a lid, bring the 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Add the millet. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium-low so the millet will simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow the millet to rest for 5 minutes, with the lid still on the pot.

Meanwhile, cook the vegetables. In a skillet with a lid, heat about 1/3 cup of the vegetable broth. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrots, basil, thyme, parsley flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir-steam the vegetables over medium heat until they are almost crisp-tender, keeping the skillet covered when not stirring. Add more broth as needed to keep the mixture from getting dry. When the carrots are almost fork-tender, stir in the mushrooms, zucchini, the cooked beans (if using them), chopped spinach, any remaining broth, and the lemon zest. Continue cooking about another 1 to 2 minute, to allow the spinach to wilt and the zucchini to cook to a crisp-tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Total cooking time is roughly 13 minutes. Remove from heat. Gently stir in the cooked millet and serve.

Rice Chickpea Crackers

Rice-Chickpea Crackers

Here’s an easy gluten-free cracker to make! Below is a video demo of how to make the crackers. The written recipe follows the video.


Rice-Chickpea Crackers
Makes about 4 Dozen 1-1/2” Crackers

2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
1 Tbsp flax meal (ground flax seed)
1/2 tsp salt (optional, see note below)*
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil**
1/3 cup water or milk of choice, or more as needed

Combine the flours, flax meal, and salt (if adding it to the mixture) in a small bowl. Add the oil and milk; stir well to combine.
Transfer the dough to a silicone baking mat or sheet of parchment paper the size of a large baking sheet. With your hands, form the dough into a rectangle. Cover the dough with a sheet of waxed paper about the size of the baking mat or parchment paper. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle until it is 1/8” to 1/4” thick. Remove the waxed paper. Score the dough into individual crackers about 1-1/2” square (this will not be perfect and don’t stress over measurements), with a pizza cutter or a dull butter knife. Don’t press hard, as you don’t want to cut the baking mat or parchment paper!

Place the sheet on the rack in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven, and allow them to bake for 18 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned. The baking time will vary depending upon the thickness of the dough and whether they were baked on parchment paper or silicone.

Important! Set your timer for 10 minutes at the start, rather than the full baking time. Crackers along the edges will bake faster than the crackers in the center. As they brown, they will need to be removed and allowed to cool on a plate or cooling rack. Return the remaining crackers to the oven, setting the timer for short intervals at a time, removing browned crackers along the way, until all the crackers have lightly browned. When all are lightly browned and dry, remove the pan and allow the crackers to cool, either directly on the pan or on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Store cooled crackers in an airtight container at room temperature.

* Note: Feel free to add any herbs you want to flavor these your way. Dried herbs can be added when combining the dry ingredients. The added salt will enhance the flavor of the cracker, but it can be omitted, if desired; OR leave the salt out of the batter and sprinkle a small amount of salt on top of the formed crackers before they are baked. Be careful not to add too much, as a little goes a long way!

**The olive oil can be omitted, if desired, but the crackers will have a very dry mouth feel.

Chickpea Tomato Herb Crackers

Chickpea Tomato Herb Crackers

If you’re looking for a flavorful tomato herb cracker using gluten-free flours, this is a great one to try. They are delicious, gluten-free and easy to make. Give them a try sometime!

Below is a video demonstration of how to make the crackers. The written recipe is below the video. Happy baking!


Chickpea Tomato Herb Crackers
Makes about 4 Dozen (1-1/2 to 2” Crackers)

½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp flaxmeal
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp dried basil*
½ tsp dried rosemary*
¼ tsp dried oregano*
1 tsp dried parsley
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well to make a smooth paste-like consistency. If the dough is too wet, add more flour. If it is too dry, add a little more water in small amounts until the dough can easily be rolled, but is not too wet.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the dough on a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit a large baking tray. With a spatula or your hands (moistened with water to keep the dough from sticking), gently form the dough into a rectangle. Cover the dough with waxed paper and roll it into a large rectangle, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Remove the waxed paper. With a pizza cutter or a butter knife, gently score the dough into 1-1/2 to 2-inch squares to form your crackers. (Don’t stress over perfection!)

Place the pan on the rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the crackers are crisp and lightly browned. The baking time will vary depending upon how thick the dough has been rolled and whether they are baked on parchment paper or silicone, so they must be watched closely.

Important! Monitor the crackers as they bake, starting at about 10 minutes into the baking time. Remove any browned crackers along the edges as they bake to prevent them from burning. When all are baked (lightly browned, dry to the touch, and move freely on the baking sheet), remove the pan from the oven and allow the crackers to cool. Store in a covered container at room temperature.

* If preferred, you can use 1-1/4 tsp (or more) of Italian seasoning in place of the basil, rosemary and oregano.

Judi's Powerhouse Oats with Green Juice

Powerhouse Oats

Here’s the recipe for my Powerhouse Oats. I eat this for breakfast on most days, along with about 6 ounces of freshly made green juice, mostly of kale and carrots. Between the two, this breakfast holds me well and has done a lot for my health! Try it sometime!!

Below is a video showing how I make the oats. The written recipe is below the video.


Judi’s Powerhouse Oats
Makes 1 Serving

½ cup rolled oats, uncooked
1-1/3 cups water
¼ cup cooked great northern beans
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp blueberries, or more if desired
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 medium apple, chopped
Milk of choice, optional

In a small saucepan, add the oats, water, beans, chia seeds, blueberries and cinnamon. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir constantly for 1 or 2 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl. Sprinkle with ground flaxseed and top with chopped apple. This breakfast oatmeal can be eaten as it is or enjoyed with some milk of choice.


Red Lentil Vegetable Patties

Red Lentil Vegetable Patties

Looking for a veggie burger recipe that’s easy to make YOUR way? Well…you’ve found it! This recipe is extremely flexible and an easy way to use up some leftover cooked potatoes or vegetables you’re just not sure what to do with. It’s SO flexible, you can use cooked potatoes or rice, and vegetables that are cooked, frozen, or raw! How convenient is that? If that’s not enough, the burgers can be pan-fried or baked in the oven without any added oil. Something for everyone 🙂

Below is a demonstration of how to make the patties. The written recipe is below the video. I hope this helps!


Red Lentil Vegetable Patties
Makes 10 Patties (1/2 cup of mixture in each)

This recipe makes delicious veggie burgers that easily include leftover cooked vegetables or extra veggies that you have on-hand, whether fresh or frozen. The flavor will change a bit based on which veggies you use, but that’s the fun of this recipe! Experiment with it and enjoy! jk

1 cup red lentils
2 cups water
1-1/4 cup oats (any type), or more if needed
1 cup cooked rice of choice, or cooked potatoes (any kind)
2 cups any combination vegetables of choice, raw, cooked or frozen (and thawed)*
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt, or to taste (use less of including cooked vegetables that were already salted)
Water, as needed
1 to 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, optional (use if pan frying the patties)

Place the red lentils in a pot with the 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with a lid cocked on the pot, or until the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Place the oats in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer oats to a large bowl; set aside. Add the cooked rice to the bowl, if using it. Or, if using mashed potatoes, add them to the bowl. If using other cooked potatoes that are in pieces, place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the 2 cups vegetables of choice (see note below) to the food processor and pulse until finely grated (but not pureed). Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the oats.

Transfer the cooled lentils to the bowl with the oats and vegetables. Add in the tomato paste and seasonings; stir well to combine. Add water as needed to make a mixture that holds together when lightly pressed together. If the mixture is too soft from too much liquid, add more processed oats until the mixture sticks together. If the mixture is too dry and will not hold together, add a little more water, until the mixture holds together when lightly pressed.

To bake the patties: Measure the mixture by ½-cup increments onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Lightly press the mixture with your moist (from water or oil) fingers to form patties. Bake them in a 400°F oven until lightly browned on the first side, about 25 to 30 minutes. Flip the patties over and bake another 15 to 18 minutes, until the patties are lightly browned on the second side, and are firm to the touch, but still have a slight “give” when lightly pressed. Serve.

To pan fry the patties: Measure the mixture by ½-cup increments and place them on a plate or tray. Lightly press the mixture with your moist (from water or oil) fingers to form patties. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Transfer patties into the heated skillet and sauté on medium to medium-low heat, until the first side is brown and patties are starting to firm up. Watch them closely, as they can easily get overly browned.  Flip the patties over and continue cooking until both sides are browned and the patties are firm to the touch. They may take about 30 minutes to cook, since they do better at lower heat so they don’t burn. They may be flipped more than once, if needed.

The patties are excellent served with ketchup, salsa, kimchi, or any sauce of your choice, like garlic herb tahini sauce, Sriracha tahini sauce, tomato sauce, yogurt sauce, mustard sauce, or any other sauce you enjoy with a veggie burger.

Store extra patties in a covered container in the refrigerator. Use within 5 days. Patties may be frozen individually then transferred to a freezer container for later use. Use frozen patties within 6 months.

* If using raw vegetables, choose something that cooks quickly like zucchini, yellow squash or spinach. Place the raw vegetables in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. When using frozen vegetables, place them in a colander under running water to thaw them out. Allow them to drain well, then add them to the food processor. If using already cooked vegetables, drain off any extra water before adding them to the food processor.

Some suggested vegetables that work well in this recipe would be raw zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, and/or spinach or baby greens. Already cooked vegetables that would work well include carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, parsnips, stir-fry blends, California blend, mixed vegetables, green beans, kale, or other cooked vegetables or blends that you enjoy. Just about any frozen and thawed vegetable or vegetable blend would work well as long as it can be eaten in the blanched state that it was in before being frozen. Frozen potatoes or other such vegetables that should not be eaten unless thoroughly cooked should not be used as a frozen and thawed item (unless you cook it before using it in the recipe).

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.