Creamy Apple, Celery & Grape Salad

by Susan on October 3, 2015

The word “creamy” when paired with salad almost always guarantees mayo. While I’ve gotten over my utter loathing for the condiment (well, as long as it’s homemade or high-quality), I still don’t necessarily embrace the concept of a creamy salad. I just picture a big jar of Miracle Whip!

This one, however, gets it texture thanks to one of my favorite culinary secret weapons: raw cashews. As such it’s a vegan way to make a refreshing salad, which could easily be “beefed” (pardon the pun) up with a little chicken or other protein served with it.

I adapted the recipe from Whole Foods, tweaking it only slightly to make it gluten-free. The original calls for Braggs Liquid Aminos, which is healthy but NOT gluten-free (it’s soy-based). I also thought this one needed a little salt, which I personally think is key when balancing the sweet and savory.

I found this salad really refreshing! I did enjoy mine topped with some turkey as a traditional salad, but you could eat it as lettuce wraps or put some in a pita or a gluten-free bread option if that’s your thing.

This one is gluten, grain and dairy-free.

Creamy Apple, Celery & Grape Salad
adapted from Whole Foods

cashew dressing:
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 tbs. white wine or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. powdered mustard
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. gluten-free soy sauce

3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
3 tbs. chopped raw walnuts or sunflower seeds


Grain-Free Apple Pie Granola

by Susan on October 2, 2015

I had to cap off two weeks of apple-based recipes with this fun one, even if it doesn’t use fresh apples or cider. Granted, you could make this with homemade applesauce. But if you’re as busy as I am, organic and unsweetened jarred sauce is plenty good enough.

I adapted this recipe from Multiply Delicious, a blog that I’ve often found delicious, paleo-based recipes. In hindsight I don’t know that I would pulse the nuts, as I do prefer a chunkier granola. It does help, however, to break up the dates (if they’re too big they won’t effectively sweeten the granola and will be a bit too hard and chewy). While the original recipe called for a little added maple syrup, I found the mixture plenty sweet with just the dates and applesauce. The kids seemed to find it sweet enough too, as they certainly weren’t complaining when sampling it straight from the baking sheet!

This will definitely crisp up after it comes out of the oven. It is also definitely best kept chilled to ensure the coconut oil stays firm, allowing the granola to remain crunchy. This would be delicious stirred into some plain Greek yogurt, or served as cereal with almond milk. If you want to simply snack on it I would again suggest not pulsing it too small in the food processor to make it easier to munch on.

As written this one is grain, gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free.

Grain-Free Apple Pie Granola
adapted from Multiply Delicious

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
7 pitted medjool dates, chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbs. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.

Add nuts, dates, and unsweetened shredded coconut to a bowl of a food processor and pulse to slightly chop nuts.  Add spices and salt and pulse again to evenly distribute.

In a bowl whisk together applesauce, melted oil  and vanilla extract.  Place wet ingredients into the bowl of the food processor with nut mixture and pulse to combine.

Spread granola out in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Place in oven for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.  Stir once during baking to ensure the edges don’t over-brown.

Allow to cool thoroughly to crisp up. This granola is best stored in the fridge or freezer to stay crisp.


Cider-Dijon Pork Chops w Roasted Apples & Sweet Potatoes

October 1, 2015

The weather has finally dipped into proper fall temps here in New England, so I’m breaking out both the boots and some classic autumnal foods. You can’t beat pork paired with apples, and roasted vegetables are the epitome of warming comfort food. This one gets a double dose of apple thanks to a cider-based pan [...]

Read the full article →

Easy Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese

September 30, 2015

If you’re a parent there are a few basic recipe that you should have in your repertoire. Homemade mac and cheese it definitely one of them! I confess, though, that I rarely make such staple recipes. I’m always trying to get creative that I rarely keep things simple. My brood likes to keep it real, [...]

Read the full article →

Grain-Free Apple Cider Donuts

September 28, 2015

There are two flavors that remind me of visiting our local farm in my youth: fresh corn on the cob and warm apple cider donuts. While I do occasionally indulge in delicious corn in the summer months, it’s definitely not something I eat often. And donuts? Forget about it. That’s the problem, though. I can’t [...]

Read the full article →

Homemade Maple & Apple Breakfast Sausage

September 28, 2015

Sausage patties freak me out. While they might be tasty, I always wonder just what’s in them. Packaged options, for example, contain corn syrup, MSG, “flavorings”… not to mention there’s no way of knowing the quality of the meat. If you make them yourself, however, you not only control the ingredients but wind up with [...]

Read the full article →

Apple & Avocado Green Smoothie

September 26, 2015

This one is an easy and refreshing way to kick off a morning. I love to include cucumber in smoothies when I’ve just worked out, as I find it adds a nice cooling factor. You can easily omit it if you’re not a fan. You honestly can’t taste the avocado, but it helps make a [...]

Read the full article →

Clean Eating Hasselback Apples

September 24, 2015

Cooking Light has been sharing some great short clips lately that could best be described as food porn. I saw this apple recipe’s video back when I was still in beach and watermelon mode, but I knew I’d have to revisit it. What a delicious way to mark the first day of fall! I tweaked [...]

Read the full article →

Beer-Braised Chicken

September 23, 2015

This chicken tastes like it simmered on the stovetop all day, yet takes less than 20 minutes to cook. I tweaked the original Food Network recipe to be gluten-free by using arrowroot starch to dredge the chicken and gluten-free beer. I also suggest using nitrite-free bacon and organic potatoes to make this one as clean [...]

Read the full article →

Savory Stuffed Apples

September 22, 2015

We’re coming up on the first official day of fall, and this was our first quite brisk morning to kick of the week here in New England. I knew I wanted to feature a savory dish with apples, so found myself inspired to go all out with the autumnal theme. Anything stuffed (both literally and [...]

Read the full article →