Category Archives: sides

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Super Easy Homemade Cranberry Apple Jelly/Sauce (cane-sugar free) with Vegan and SCD Options

Hello friends.  As soon as cranberry season comes rolling around I like to make a batch of cranberry jelly (sauce) each week.  If you follow my blog, then you know I am NOT a big sweet tooth.  Jelly always seems a bit too sweet for me.  Even the cane-sugar free jelly I buy, yes, often too sweet.  So you can imagine how much I love the tartness of cranberries.  This jelly comes together super quick.  You can sweeten it with anything you like and to your sweetness preference.  This also makes a fabulous Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.  See here for my other cane-sugar free cranberry sauce recipe.  Also seen in the above picture is my all-time favorite bread from Danielle at Against All Grain.  I make it nearly every week!  I like to add 2 1/2 tablespoons of honey.  This gives the bread a gentle sweetness and incredibly soft texture.  Together, this bread and jelly makes a lovely breakfast or anytime snack.  
-16 ounces fresh cranberries (about 5 cups) 
-1 1/2 cups filtered water 
-1/2 cup (3 ounces) Medjool dates, seeded and diced
-3/4 cup sweet red apple, peeled and very small chop 
-1/4 cup honey (vegans use maple syrup, coconut nectar or coconut sugar and adjust to your sweet preference)
-1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia (SCDers use additional 3 tablespoons honey)

How To:
1.  In a medium sauce pan add the fresh cranberries and water and bring to a boil.  After the mixture comes to a boil, give it a stir and turn it down to a rapid simmer.  Add in the dates and apples.  Rapid simmer for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.  
2.  After 10 minutes it should look fairly thick and the cranberries should all be cooked down.  At this point add in the honey (or sweetener of choice), turn down heat to a soft simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3.  Turn off heat and add in the stevia.  Stir.  Allow mixture to cool before serving.  Total cook time is around 20 – 25 minutes.  
Serves 6 to 8 (depending on serving size). 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, fall cuisine, sides, spreads, thanksgiving side dishes.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Creamy Chilled Mint Avocado Soup With a Puckery Kiss of Lime (SCD, raw, vegan)

The searing heat wave that was plaguing the East Coast and Mid West has now made its way to Northern California.  We’ve had a very mild summer and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, but it’s always a shocker when those triple digits hit (and for multiple days).  Turning on the oven is out of the question (unless it’s very early in the morning).  So I’ve tried to be creative with meals and do most of my cooking before it gets too hot.  I’ve made this avocado soup four or five times in the last couple of weeks.  I happen to adore avocados, so this dish is a delight.  I’ve experimented with several different ingredients (adding cucumber, omitting the mint, playing with various measurements of lime), and this recipe is my favorite.  I LOVE strong flavors.  My palate is quite needy in this way.  Tart is one of my favorites.  So, I add more lime than you might see in some avocado soup recipes.  This recipe is slightly adapted from Joy the Baker.  As you can see she adds more liquid, less lime, and other ingredients (including corn and bacon).  I wanted to keep this soup raw, SCD and vegan.  I love the complex flavor combination of the mint and lime, offset by the creamy avocado.  My favorite topping is creamed beet “cheese” sauce (cashew based).  The sweet beets are PERFECT against this tart dish.  Let me know if you try this recipe – what you add, what you omit.  I always appreciate variations. 

Creamy Chilled Mint Avocado Soup with a Puckery Kiss of Lime (vegan, raw, SCD)

-2 fresh, ripe avocados 
-1 1/4 cup filtered water (or veggie stock) 
-2 to 4 tablespoons lime juice (I use 4) 
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
-3 tablespoons cashew cream (see below in notes)
-1 to 3 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped (I use 3, which is 1 Tbs) 
-Optional: 1/2 peeled cucumber (surprisingly, I don’t care the cucumber in this soup), roasted red pepper, bacon, vegan yogurt, parsley.  The options are endless really.  

How To:
1.  In a food processor mix avocado, water, lime juice, salt, cashew cream, and mint until creamy and well incorporated.  
2.  Transfer to refrigerator until chilled.  
3.  Serves 4 as antipasto, or 2 large meal servings.

*To make the cashew cream, soak 1/2 cup cashews in filtered water for 4 – 6 hours.  Drain cashews and blend with 1/3 – 1/2 cup filtered water (you want a thick, creamy texture).  After you add this 3 tablespoons of cashew cream to the soup, from here you an add in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup roasted beets and make a delicious cashew “cheese” beet spread on pizza crust or as a topping on the soup.  
For garnish: prepared black beans or garden fresh tomatoes 

Super easy creamed beet “cheese” sauce with Caralyn’s SCD/dairy free Cauliflower Pizza Crust 

Shared on: Allergy-Free Wednesdays,  Keep It Real ThursdaysRaw Foods Thursday , Wellness Weekend, Fight Back FridayFresh Bites Friday.Freaky FridayLifeologia Summerizing Party, Friday Food, Allergy-Friendly Fridays, Whole Foods FridayGluten Free WednesdaysReal Food Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays,

Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, SCD, sides, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.


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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Steamed Baby Broccoli with Lemon and Sautéed Garlic (SCD Friendly)

We eat broccoli a couple times each week.  I prefer baby broccoli because it’s soft, buttery and just plain delicious (and it has very sweet flavor all on its own).  We all enjoy our little green trees, but lately I’ve been bored with the same old steamed dish (what’s new), so I jazzed it up with a sprinkle of Celtic sea salt, fresh lemon and my favorite, sautéed garlic.  I thought this made a lovely presentation.  And what a perfect side for lasagna night!  

-2 bunches of baby broccoli
-One lemon
-1/2 cup fresh garlic cloves 
-Garlic granules 
-Celtic sea salt (or whatever salt you have on hand) 

How To:
1.  Wash and trim broccoli and steam in filtered water until just slightly tender (or however you like your steamed broccoli).  
2.  While the broccoli is steaming, saute the garlic.  To a small pan add a touch of oil, pinch of salt, and dash of garlic granules (how’s that for a recipe).  Saute on med/low heat, taking care to not burn the cloves.  You’ll know they are done when they are no longer spicy.  They will be soft, slightly brown, sweet and delicious.
3.  To finish, squeeze some lemon over broccoli, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and garnish with lemon and that lovely garlic.  

Posted by Amber at

Labels: SCD, sides, vegan, vegetarian.


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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Spicy Green Beans with Homemade Soy-Free Teriyaki Sauce

My dear friend Moe loves spicy green beans.  She orders them every time we go to P.F. Chang’s.  So I made this recipe with my sweet friend in mind.  One thing I wanted to do, however, was make a soy free and low(er) sodium version.  This calls for coconut aminos, one of my favorite ingredients.  Unfortunately, coconut aminos isn’t SCD legal, but it’s still a great sub for soy-free folks.  This is a super fun side dish too for your Asian cuisine or otherwise.  Teriyaki sauce is also super yummy with eggplant, another dish Moe loves!   
I’ve been excited to share this dish with you.  
-1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans (preferably organic if you can find them)
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-1 1/4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
-1/4 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1/2 garlic clove, minced, watch for spice factor if making for kids) 
-2 tablespoons honey
-1 teaspoon sesame seeds
-Thickener of choice (I use Kuzu to thicken, which I find at my local Coop). 

How To:
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees
1.  Wash and trim green beans and steam for a few minutes.  This takes some of the toughness out of the green bean.  Don’t over steam, you still want a crunchy bean.  No need to soak these in cold water after steaming, simply remove steamer basket from pot and rest on the counter. 
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the above sauce ingredients until incorporated.
3.  Remove 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid and reserve for later. 
4.  Transfer steamed beans to glass baking dish and toss with mixture.
5.  Transfer to oven and roast for 12-15 minutes.
6.  Thicken sauce* (optional) 
7.  To make the green beans spicy, add freshly grated ginger and garlic to the top of the green beans (for adults only).  As is, the sauce is just slightly spicy.  My 6 year old doesn’t detect it, but my 3 year old says it’s spicy.  So, if you’re serving this to young children, add less garlic and ginger to the original mixture and obviously don’t garnish with fresh garlic and ginger.  
Serves 4 -5  

*To thicken add 1 1/2 tablespoons thickener of choice to the cool reserved liquid and dissolve.  Remove green beans from baking dish.  Add the thickened cool liquid to the warm sauce and whisk.  As mentioned above, I use Kuzu.  Top green beans with thickened sauce.  If the sauce isn’t thickening up, simply add more thickener to a little water (or more coconut aminos) and continue to add into the warm sauce.  Thickening is optional, but yields a nice presentation. 
*For more about how to thicken sauces see here.  
*Vegans use agave, coconut sugar, stevia or other sweetener of choice in place of honey. 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: sides, soy free, vegetarian.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Raw Cauliflower Apricot Curry Salad (SCD) and The Whole Earth Festival

Every year over Mother’s Day weekend the most awesome festival is held here in town on the UC Davis campus.  It’s called The Whole Earth Festival.  Now, you know I’m passionate about the environment, and so I get super excited about this festival.  It’s a no-waste event, which means great efforts are made to create zero landfill waste.  This is an amazing feat considering the size of this event.  But this is a model concept that ALL festivals should adopt.  I personally gave up on Earth Day festivals years ago.  The waste produced by these gatherings was so counterintuitive, and for me, there was a sharp sense of detachment to the heart of the cause: THE EARTH.  See below for pictures of The Whole Earth Festival, featuring eco friendly gifts, vegan, raw, and vegetarian food booths, music, pertinent environmental causes, and a glorious sense of community.  I made a raw dish inspired by one of my favorite restaurants, Lydia’s Lovin Foods, a local company from the Bay Area.  I have pictures of the food below (they offer organic, raw, vegan, sugar free, gluten-Free, eco-Friendly cuisine).  These are MY kinda peeps, ya’ll.  So awesome.   
Raw Cauliflower Apricot Curry Salad 

Salad Mix
-1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, chopped (two small heads)
-7 ounces dried Turkish apricots (preservative free) 
-1 cup raw cashews, small chop
-3 medium carrots, small chop
-2 ounces yellow onion, small dice (about a 1/4 onion) 

-1/2 cup oil (use a neutral oil – my fave is grapeseed) 
-1 heaping tablespoon green curry paste (or any curry of choice)
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 
-1 teaspoon honey (vegans, use coconut sugar or other vegan sweetener of choice) 
-1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (I used 1/8, some might like more)  
-1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon garlic granules (I used 1 tablespoon, some might light less – you could also use fresh minced garlic to your taste). 
-Fresh ground pepper to taste 

How To:
1.  In a bowl add dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.  Check for seasoning and spice factor.  
2.  Combine salad mix and dressing in shallow dish (like a roasting dish, this just makes it easier to mix together) then transfer into glass storage and refrigerate overnight (or least 8 hours).  Serve cold.  
3.  Serves 6 to 8. 

The Whole Earth Festival: Davis, CA (May 11, 12, & 13)
Skylar and Ethan rocken’ out to the groovy music 
Later in the daythe crowd enjoying the music 
Yoga anyone? 
I love walking around looking at the booths
here are some of my favorites 

This booth is made entirely of sticks.  
How’s that for eco friendly – no plastic!
Fun area for the kids:

Mommy and Sky doing some yoga
Here’s my favorite booth: a local company I adore.  
See below for pictures of the food and what we ate!

This is a no waste event, so they provide plates and utensils, or bring your own.  
We bring our own
Snacks before lunch
Raw Middle Eastern Plate:
 Dolmas grape leaves with Raw “Rice,” a scoop of
Coconut Almond Hummus & Lydia’s Crackers topped with Sesame Dill Sauce served with Greek Salad
French – Mex Crêpe:
(made with sprouted buckwheat) 
black beans, salsa fresca, avocado, spouted beans, & greens 
topped with a “Kreemy”Chili Sauce

My loves.
What a great day! 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: festivals, raw, salad, SCD, sides, summer cuisine, vegetarian.


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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Walnut, Cranberry, and Apple Salad with Raspberry Honey Vinaigrette

We’ve had some gorgeous spring weather with pleasant afternoons and cool nights.  Perfect weather for after dinner bike rides and early morning jogs.  Something about spring kicks my cravings for salads into high gear.  I made this salad last week for Ethan’s birthday party and have made it twice since then.  It’s a winner salad.  And my kiddos love this it too.  It’s just the right balance of sweet and tart and the textures are very pleasing.  I just love having prepared salad on-hand ready in the fridge, such an easy snack/lunch.  If you’re looking to incorporate a salad into your weekly rotation, perhaps you’ll give this one a try.   


Salad Fixin’s

-1 pound mix of fresh baby spinach and romaine (or your preferred greens)

-1 ½ cups dried cranberries

-1 ½ cups toasted walnuts, chopped

-2 medium size red apples, small chop

-1 cup red onion, small chop

Raspberry Vinaigrette

-1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

-1/2 cup oil (I use grapeseed)

-2 tablespoons of honey

-2 tablespoons of raspberry preserves, no added sugar, preferably (I use this brand)

-1 teaspoon dijon mustard 
-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (or ½ small garlic clove, minced – check for heat)

-1/8 teaspoon onion powder 

How To:
1.  In a large bowl, combine salad fixin’s.
2.  In a separate bowl add vinegar, honey, jelly, mustard, salt, garlic, and onion powder – whisk.
3.  While briskly whisking, slowly drizzle in oil.
4.  Add dressing to entire salad (your desired amount, heavy or light) and about 5 minutes before serving.  Or drizzle dressing on individual servings bowls. 
5.  Store leftover dressing in glass container in the refrigerator  

*Serves 6 – 8 adults.  
*Adjust seasoning, sweetness, and flavors to your preference.  I like dressings on the tart side, I don’t care for overly sweet.  So, make this your own and to your taste preference. 
I like to store my leftover dressing in an old honey jar 
I make a big batch of salad and store in a glass container, it keeps all week in the fridge. 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, salad, sides, summer cuisine, vegetarian.


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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Simple Curtido (El Salvadoran Cabbage Salad) SCD Friendly

A few years ago, my dear friend Deborah introduced me to curtido; and it was love at first bite.  I’ve made it many, many times since then.  Today this dish holds a special place in my heart, an example of how food connects us. Last October Deborah moved to Connecticut with her family and we miss them all very much. We met when our daughters were just about 2 years old.  They were fast friends, and so were we.  And we were pretty much inseparable for the better part of four years.  Among so many other things, she shared my love of food and cooking.  And let me tell you, she can bake a cake like nobody’s business!  So whenever I make curtido, I think of my special friend across the countryand smile.
You know I’m a sucker for cabbage. This dish is typically made with slightly wilted cabbage (from a quick blanch) and much more vinegar.  However, I prefer to make this raw and wilt the greens in a small amount of vinegar.  This dish is best served after marinating for 6-8 hours.  My advice is to make it the night before!

-1 lb green curly cabbage, thinly sliced
-2 large carrots, peeled and grated (or julienne)
-4.5 ounces red onion thinly sliced (about 1/2 an onion)
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-3 tablespoons oil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dried cumin 
-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
-1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon honey (for vegan, add agave or a few drops of stevia) 
-A few turns of the pepper grinder

How To
1.  In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots and onions.
2.  In a separate bowl (I use a Pyrex), combine vinegar, oil, salt, oregano, cumin, garlic, honey and pepper.
3.  Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage.
4.  My favorite method for mixing all the ingredients is to cover the bowl with a lid, then shake, shake, shake.  
5.  Store covered in fridge until ready to serve (at least 6 hours).

This is my son’s favorite salad!  

And up next
Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, salad, SCD, sides, vegetarian.


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Monday, April 23, 2012

Grain Free Spanish "Rice" (SCD Friendly)

One dish I really miss on SCD is Spanish rice.  We are some HUGE taquería lovers in this house, and I have to say, it’s one of my favorite cuisines.  I never, ever get tired of it.  Once a week we have a fun taquería night with all the fixins’.  Rice has been bothering my digestion (so obvious why grains are not allowed on the SCD).  So I created a grain free Spanish “rice” dish that was a tasty alternative to the traditional version.  It’s made with cauliflower.  And while the texture is different, it was pretty simple getting all those great Spanish flavors in there.  
-2 medium/small heads of cauliflower, cut cored, and washed 
-1 small yellow onion, diced 
-3 roma tomatoes 
-1 green pepper (optional)
-2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning* (use less for children) 
-2 teaspoons garlic granules 

-1/2 teaspoons salt

-1/2 teaspoon cumin (or to taste) 
-Few turns of the pepper grinder
-1/4 cup oil

How To
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1.  Mix above ingredients in your favorite roasting dish.
2.  Roast for 25-30 minutes 
3.  Allow to cool a while (make sure it’s not steaming 
for step 4). 
4.  Put half the mixture in a food processor and pulse a few times.  Careful to not over mix, you are simply creating a rice look to the mixture, not a puree.  You could probably do this by hand too, so try it out if you don’t want to lug out the food processor. 
5.  Pulse the remaining half of the mixture until rice-like.
6.  Garnish with cilantro and a squirt of lime.  

*You can find Mexican or Fiesta seasoning at any grocery store.  Or make your own from spices in you bulk foods section.   
Served the “rice” 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, SCD, sides, vegan, vegetarian.


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Roasted Fingerling Carrots ~ Fresh From The Garden (SCD Friendly)

Last weekend we harvested most our winter garden.  Still have some onions and garlic growing.  They do take a while, but worth the wait.  We grew a TON of carrots this year.  The kids LOVED pulling these big gorgeous fingerlings out of the dirt.

I roasted these sweet, tender carrots for dinner that night, and boy were they delicious!  I’m sure we all have our favorite way to roast veggies.  Mine is pretty simple.    
-1 1/2 pounds carrots
-3 tablespoons of oil
-2 teaspoons garlic granules
-1/4 teaspoon salt 

How To
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1.  In large baking dish, mix ingredients
2.  Roast for 20-30 minutes, until desired tenderness. I like mine with crunch.  

Shared on: Shared on: Just Another Meatless Monday, Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Monday Mania, Ruth’s Real Food 101 (Mondays)Fat Tuesdays, Traditional Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Kids in The Kitchen Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Whole Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food WednesdaysPennywise Platter Thursdays, Full Plate Platter Thursday, Wellness Weekend, Freaky Friday, Fresh Bites Fridays, Friday Food, Pot Luck Party Fridays, Feed Your Soul Friday, Fight Back Friday, Food Adventure Friday, Superfood Sunday,  Potluck Party Friday 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: ACD, adventures in gardening, SCD, sides, vegan, vegetarian.


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Radicchio with Fennel and Apple Topped with Fresh Orange Juice

For a long time there eating anything raw and green was out of the question.  And that’s hard for someone who LOVES salad!  But since starting medication and eating a (mostly at this time) SCD diet, I’ve had a very peaceful digestion (all you Cronies know what I’m talking about).  I’ve enjoyed indulging in salads again from the purples to the greens. However, it should be noted that radicchio is another name for chickory root, which is an illegal food.  So, please take caution when eating radicchio if you are on SCD, especially if you’re having symptoms.  Wait until you’re clear of symptoms to include this in your diet (and thank you to one of my readers for pointing this out to me!  You are awesome).  

This recipe fit the bill on a cold and rainy Tuesday.  The warm fennel and apples were savory and cozy, wilting the radicchio just enough, with buttery toasted walnuts, a burst of tart from the cranberries and a splash of fresh orange juice.  Love.  I ate two HUGE bowls for lunch and more with dinner (added in some SCD legal chicken apple sausage).  
Call me a salad eaten’ girl again! 

-I head of radicchio, cored, sliced and washed  
-2 navel oranges
-3 fennel bulbs, sliced
-2 large red apples, peeled and sliced (I used Fuji)
-1 cup walnuts
-1 cup dried cranberries (sugar free and sulfur free)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Oil of choice 
Serves 4 

How To
1.  In a large sauté skillet, add a drizzle of oil, salt, and fennel and sauté on med heat for about 5 minutes, or until slightly tender.  Add apples and walnuts and continue to sauté on med/low until apples are just tender.  Remove from heat.
2.  Build your salad.  
3.  To a plate, add a few handfuls of radicchio.  Top with warm fennel and apple sauté, cranberries, and serve with 1/2 an orange.  Use the orange as the “dressing.”   

Posted by Amber at

Labels: ACD, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, salad, sides, vegan, vegetarian.


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