Category Archives: sides

Fresh Guacamole with Tomatoes

guacamole dip
This is the best guacamole you’ll ever eat.  It’s spicy, chunky, and full of freshness.  Even the “guac-haters” love it.   It’s great with chips, on salads, or on a big bowl of black beans and salsa, and James just eats it with a spoon.

Guacamole dip and chipIt’s really simple to make and the secret is all in the mixing so pay close attention to the sequence and method of chopping.

Start with a ripe avocado (should be dark in color and be able to slightly press your thumb into the sides).  Make sure you have a juicy lime, a nice red onion, fresh jalapeno, and cherry tomatoes.  If you are a lover of cilantro, make sure to have some of that, too.  For the spices: have salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and a little garlic.

guacamole ingredientsI finely chop about a fourth of the red onion and half of a large jalapeno.  It blends so well when the pieces are very small.

Stab the avocado seed with a knife to twist it out.  Then, slice the avocado inside the peelings before spooning it out. Guacamole dip stab


guacamole avocado choppedIn a bowl squeeze the juice of one lime.  Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic. Spoon out the avocado and add it to the bowl.  Stir in the onion and jalapeno.   Add the sliced cherry tomatoes and some roughly chopped cilantro.  Stir this together with a fork, but just slightly.  I like it chunky and not slimy.  If it seems a little dry squeeze a little more lime juice on the top.  Taste it one last time to adjust it for your families taste buds. guacamole cilantroGuacamole dip and chip 2This is so delicious, filling and healthy.

guacamole closeguacamole closer

Fresh Guacamole with Tomatoes
Recipe type: Dip
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 large ripe avocado
  • 2 large juicy limes (may need more if lime isn't juicy)
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ large red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ large fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced without the seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (optional), roughly chopped
  • ¼ salt (add salt to taste)
  • Sprinkle of cumin (an ⅛ teaspoon or less)
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (we add a couple of dashes because we like the spicy punch)
  • Dash of garlic powder
  1. Squeeze two limes into a small bowl. Stir in the salt, cumin, pepper, and garlic.
  2. Slice the avocado in half, remove the seed and slice into small chunks within the peelings.
  3. Spoon it out into the bowl of liquid. Rough chop it into the liquid using a fork.
  4. Slice the onion very thinly and fold it into the bowl of avocado.
  5. Slice the jalapeno very thinly, make sure to remove the seeds, and fold it into the bowl of avocado.
  6. With a fork mix in the cilantro, roughly chopping and blending. Be careful not to stir too much or it will become very creamy. This is a chunky version of guacamole so there is no need to excessively stir it.
  7. Add a little more lime or salt if necessary. Garnish with a twig of cilantro.



Delicious Creamy Vegan White Sauce

Creamy White SauceThis sauce is absolutely delicious and can transform any vegetable into an irresistible dish. Others will think you spent hours in the kitchen preparing it.  It’s easy and it’s guilt free.  It has a butter flavor without any butter.  It It looks creamy, but there is no cream, no cheese, and no milk.  It’s all organic and super healthy.  I use this sauce to make creamy collards, guilt-free broccoli casserole, Alfredo fettuccine, healthy mac and cheese, potato soup, and so much more.  I’ll post all of these recipes eventually, but today I’m putting it over quinoa pasta and sauteed spinach with roasted bell peppers. Continue reading Delicious Creamy Vegan White Sauce

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Pecans

Brussels Sprouts Dish Brussels sprouts caramelized with red onion and roasted pecans is a popular dish in my house.  It amazes me that I once despised this cute little cabbage-looking vegetable.  My mom loved to boil them just like she did cabbage, and insist I eat every one of them that she put on my plate. I hated the bitter taste. They were on my “hate-list” along with beets and turnips.  So, when she wasn’t looking, I would spit them in my napkin and throw them away just like I did with my beets and turnips.  She insisted that I would created a “taste” for them if I kept eating them.  I did finally create a taste for all of my “hate-list” vegetables, but it was only when I learned to cook them properly that my taste buds changed.  It was their health benefits that persuaded me to give these super foods another chance. Continue reading Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Pecans

Best Broccoli Rice Casserole Ever

brocolli riceJames is all about a broccoli rice casserole, and I’ve never been a big fan until now.  I found this recipe in Southern Living magazine.  Well, this is the real story:  I dug the recipes out of drawers and cook books and from my favorite internet sites.  My magazines, notes and pictures were scattered all over the place because I was trying to put together a great Thanksgiving menu with a mixture of creative comfort foods and a good  traditional mix of old fashion recipes with a good blend of healthy foods.

Continue reading Best Broccoli Rice Casserole Ever

Squash Fettuccine with a Creamy Spinach Sauce

Squash Fettucine with Creamy Spinach This was thought to be Michelangelo’s favorite pasta.  Well, not the pasta made with squash and a Veggetti slicer, but fettuccine with creamy ricotta and sauteed spinach tossed with pine nuts and raisins.  I’ve prepared it both ways and it’s absolutely delicious made with real pasta, but it is equally as good made with my squash pasta.  When I’m trying to be easy on carbs, I use squash instead of real fettuccine. And it’s gluten free! I think you should try it both ways to compare the difference. Continue reading Squash Fettuccine with a Creamy Spinach Sauce

Grilled Corn in Creamy Sriracha Sauce

Grilled Corn in Creamy Sriracha SauceGrilled Corn in Creamy Sriracha Sauce was inspired by a side of corn I ordered last week at The Little Owl in West Village, New York.  And to think we almost passed this dish by.  James had their delicious, highly recommended sliders in a spicy tomato sauce, and I had the best Eggplant Parmesan I had ever eaten. That was all we intended to order, but everything on the surrounding tables looked so good.  We just had to try a few more of their dishes, and our server suggested we try the corn.  Just corn.  It sounded kind of boring to me, but I went with it and oh my goodness!  It was the best “just corn” I’d ever tasted. Continue reading Grilled Corn in Creamy Sriracha Sauce

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I like to clean out the fridge before I leave town. I can’t bare to come home to moldy, wilted vegetables. Such a waste!  Today I realized I had a dozen colorful peppers that would no longer be crisp and crunchy when I return from New York.  I’m leaving in two days so I decided to cook everything, mix it with quinoa, and stuff it into peppers. It worked! These were delicious and there’s nothing left except a few tomatoes and cucumbers on the counter. Mission accomplished and it was a success! Continue reading Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Sicilian Caponata

CaponataYesterday I received two beautiful eggplants from a dear friend’s garden.  It will probably be the last fresh eggplants of summer so I thought I’d better make the best of them. When I think of eggplants lately (I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me say this), I think of Italy, especially Sicilia or as you know it: Sicily.  It was Sicily that rekindled my childhood love of eggplants. I guess because I grew up eating things fresh from the garden, I didn’t know eggplants could take on such a horrible bitterness. Later on in life, when I was unable to walk out to the backyard to pick fresh vegetables, I started to hate eggplants because they were always bitter, horribly bitter.  Actually, my whole family hated them so when I cooked eggplants, I had to disguise them in tons of tomato paste or sauce with too much salt.  Lasagna and Eggplant Parmesan are perfect disguises for grocery store eggplants you’ll have in the winter.  I’ve come to realize that eggplants that are not fresh, will just be bitter. You can soak them in salt water, soak them overnight in milk, remove the seeds and peelings, or hang them in the shower (okay, the last one is a joke..hehe). These things will disguise the bitterness, but the best thing to do is have fresh eggplants. And that’s what I have today thanks to my buddy, Diane 🙂 Continue reading Sicilian Caponata