Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Creamy Spinach & Spiced Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Seriously Delish

Did you know that Jessica Merchant, author of #theprettydish has another cookbook?  Seriously Delish was published in 2014.  I bought a copy recently from Barnes and Noble.  It is also available on Amazon where it has 4.6 stars.  The contents (with a super introduction to each) are broken down into Breakfast, Snack Time, Sandwiches & Stuff on Toast (her great sense of humor is also present!), Salads, Soups & Vegetable-Like Things, Tex-Mex, Burgers, Pizza & Everything Else, Stuff to Sip On, Lighten Up, and Celebrations.  Her "Introduction" is a great read.  She writes that her grandmothers were an influence on her cooking, and how she cooked her way into her husband Eddie's heart.  The recipes in the cookbook can all be made in 20-45 minutes.  Part of her introduction focuses on what is in her pantry with explanations, great cooking tips, and a few of her favorite things.  After reading her introduction, I feel another sense of inspiration for my cooking and this blog. Thank you, Jessica!

The recipe I chose was a savory sweet potato on page 215 of Seriously Delish.  I was lucky; there was only one ingredient I did not have on hand to make this recipe.  I only had to buy cardamom, and I only needed a pinch!  As Jessica mentions in her introduction to the recipe, there are many ways to eat a sweet potato other than with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows (even though we all love that!)  I used the recipe two ways, and as Jessica states, it can be a stand alone side dish as well.

Creamy Spinach & Spiced Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 
Serves 2     Time:  65 minutes (because of the sweet potato cooking time)


2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 garlic cloves
10 ounces fresh spinach
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmetg
Pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1.. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them on a baking sheet.  Bake until tender to the touch, 45 to 60 minutes.  Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool slightly on the baking sheet.

2.  A few minutes before the sweet potatoes are finished cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the coconut oil and the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the spinach.  Cook until the spinach wilts, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium and add the coconut milk.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low.

3.  In a bowl, combine the chickpeas with the nutmeg, cardamom, and cayenne.  Add the chickpeas to the spinach, cooking until the mixture is warmed through.  Season with the salt and pepper and stir.

4.  Slice the sweet potatoes open through the center.  Use a fork to scrape some of the sweet potato flesh loose, just so it's easier to eat.  Stuff each potato with the creamy spinach and chickpea mixture.

It is "Seriously Delish!"

Not only is this recipe delicious, it is healthy!  Win-Win!  I had enough left over to put some of the creamy spinach and chickpea mixture over eggs the next morning.  Clever me!  It was "Seriously Delish", too!

Over eggs--yummy!

I hope you will consider purchasing Jessica's cookbook, Seriously Delish, if you do not already own it.  Again, I receive no compensation for my endorsement of her cookbooks.  It is all for the love of good, healthy food!

Next week I'm planning a surprise for all of the readers.  I hope all goes as planned.  Just a little teaser.

Are you done vacuuming yet!

Had to share this!  I looked over while I was vacuuming and saw this!  Guess Milo doesn't like vacuum cleaner noise!

Have a wonderful week.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Coconut Carrot Soup and Gruyere French Onion Grilled Cheese from The Pretty Dish

Ok, I know what you are saying.  How can you have a grilled cheese sandwich on a yeast-free food blog?  Well, you are correct.  There is no substitute for Gruyere cheese in this yummy sandwich.  I'm including it because if you make the Coconut Carrot Soup for your family, someone may want a sandwich to go with the soup.  This sandwich is fantastic, so I'm including it for your family.  I did go off the plan to eat this sandwich, and I can attest that it is delicious!!!

The recipe for Coconut Carrot Soup is on pages 128-129 of The Pretty Dish.  This is one recipe where no substitutions are needed!!


3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
A pinch + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 pound carrots, chopped into 1" pieces
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, or cilantro
Toast or baguettes, for serving (did not do that; optional for your family)


In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and stir.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add the ginger and stir until it is incorporated.  Add the carrots and stock.  Cover the pot and increase the heat to medium.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.

Turn off the heat and very carefully transfer the mixture to a blender.  Blend until the soup is pureed and smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and place over medium-low heat.  Stir in almost the entire can of the coconut milk (reserving a few tablespoons for drizzling), lime juice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until warmed.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve the soup with a drizzle of coconut milk and garnished with fresh herbs, along with toast or baguettes on the side.  This makes 4 servings.

Coconut Carrot Soup

The recipe for Gruyere French Onion Grilled Cheese is on page 140-141 of The Pretty Dish.  The Thyme Butter used in the recipe is to die for!  It really inflates the flavor of the sandwich, so be sure to take the time to make the special butter. 

Ingredients for Thyme Butter:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Pinch of salt

Ingredients for Sandwiches:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 slices of bread (I'm going to discuss bread options below.)
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, freshly grated

Directions for Thyme Butter:

In a small bowl, stir together the butter, thyme, and salt.  Set aside.

Directions for Sandwiches:
In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat.  Add the onion, thyme, and salt.  Stir well.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden and caramelized.  This will take a full 30 to 40 minutes.  (It is worth it!!)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Spread 1 side of each bread slice with the thyme butter.  Turn the slices over and top 2 slices with a quarter of the cheese each, then a spoonful of the caramelized onions.  Top with the rest of the cheese and the other slices of bread.

Cook the sandwiches in the skillet until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the bread is a golden brown.  Serve immediately.  This makes 2 servings.

Gruyere French Onion Grilled Cheese

The sandwich is just as good as it looks!  I put it on store-bought sourdough bread, but there are options for yeast-free breads.  I have previously mentioned Yeast Free Bread Mix from Breads from Anna in my March 29, 2015 blog.  Also, Julian's Bakery carries and almond and coconut bread.  They are found in most health food stores, and are in their frozen section.  This was featured in my April 13, 2013 blog.

Have any of you tried sourdough bread starter?  It does not contain any yeast, just the yeast that is naturally in the air.  I may try this with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour.  I am always looking for options.  I've found a few recipes online that I want to try that just need a little tweaking.  So, I will be working on that for you.

Of course, I have to show you one of my favorite photos of Milo.  My sister took this one on a recent visit to my house.  I think he is a pretty handsome dude! 

I love my Aunt Glenna!
Have a wonderful week! 


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Our Favorite Bolognese--The Yeast Free Way

This is one of my favorite recipes from The Pretty Dish by Jessica Merchant.  Many readers of How Sweet Eats, Jessica's blog, are now making Our Favorite Bolognese as part of their weekly rotation of meals.  It is delicious, and I was able to easily make a few substitutions to the dish so it follows the Candida diet.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch + 1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped  (So sad that mushrooms are a no-no)
1 pound of ground beef  (I made it with 2 pounds of ground beef, no pork. Ground turkey would work)
1 pound of ground pork (See substitution above)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar  (I used 1 tablespoon of Truvia brown sugar blend)
1/2 cup half-and-half  (I used Silk Sweet & Creamy Almond Creamer)
1 cup dry red wine  (I left it out; so sad)
2 cans (14 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Try to find all of the canned tomatoes and tomato paste without citric acid, if possible.)
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (I left it out.)


1.  Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large pot.
2.  Add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt.   Cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. 
3.  Increase the heat to medium and add the beef, pushing the vegetables to the sides, and breaking apart the meat with a wooden spoon.
4.  Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, basil, oregano, and red-pepper flakes.  Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat into small pieces, or until the meat is browned.
5.  Add the Truvia brown sugar, almond creamer, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Stir well.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 
6.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. 
7.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

There are many possibilities for serving the bolognese.  I put it over zucchini noodles.  Another night I put it over Tinkyada Brown Rice Linguine.  I gave some of the bolognese to my sister.  She put it over garbanzo beans.  I thought that was genius!  Since this recipe makes 6 to 8 servings, I was also able to give a few servings to my mother.  It freezes well, too. 

Our Favorite Bolognese over Zucchini Noodles

Our Favorite Bolognese over Brown Rice Linguine

Our Favorite Bolognese over Garbanzo Beans

Milo at the park.  He turned 9 months on April 28th!!

I hope you enjoy the bolognese.  Share it with your family and friends.  Remember to "Like" my page, and feel free to leave a comment or a photo of your dish.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Maple Raspberry Overnight Oats Yeast Free!

This week on the blog I am featuring another recipe from The Pretty Dish by Jessica Merchant.  Even if you have tried overnight oats before that were lackluster, I'm here to tell you that the Maple Raspberry Overnight Oats are fabulous!  I only had to make a few changes in the recipe to make them follow the Candida diet, and the flavor was not compromised at all.  The dish itself takes very little time to make the night before.  Then the next morning while your coffee is brewing or with your first cup, you can finish the oats in no time.

First of all, I made them with raspberries, but you can substitute strawberries or blackberries.  I used steel cut oatmeal instead of old-fashioned oats.  I substituted Truvia brown sugar blend for the maple syrup.  (I know that is the sad part.)  I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk for this recipe.


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats.)
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling (I used 3/4 tablespoon of Truvia brown sugar  blend, plus a little extra.)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds


1.  The night before, in a bowl, stir together the oats, milk, 1/2 tablespoon of Truvia brown sugar blend, the chia seeds, and vanilla until combined.  Put it in the refrigerator until morning.

2.  In the morning, mash the 1-3/4 cups of raspberries with the remaining 1/4 tablespoon of Truvia brown sugar blend.  Be sure to taste the raspberry mixture.  If you feel it needs more brown sugar, feel free to add more. (Note:  Keep a few whole raspberries to place on top.)  Divide the mashed raspberries between two glasses.

3. Next, scoop the overnight oats into both glasses on top of the mashed raspberries.  If you'd like an even creamier consistency, you can add a splash of milk here.  (Note:  I did this because the steel cut oats really soak up the almond milk overnight.)

4.  Add the whole raspberries, some almonds on top, and a little more Truvia brown sugar, if desired.  It is ready to be served!

Maple Raspberry Overnight Oats with Jake Stanley!

Didn't they turn out beautiful?  I loved them.  I had one for breakfast that morning, and put the other in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on top for the next morning.  It was still perfect the next day!!  The steel cut oats lend a granola-type consistency similar to grape nuts.  I really liked it, plus it is so healthy.  They would be a perfect addition to a brunch, too.

You may have noticed a little guy in my picture with the cookbook and the overnight oats.  That is Jake Stanley, also known as Flat Stanley.  Jake Stanley has been visiting me this week from Wisconsin.  He was so helpful in the kitchen when I was making the oats!  Thanks, Jake!  We have gone on other adventures this week in Orlando.  I hope he has enjoyed his time with me, and much as I have with him. The real Jake will be visiting me in July, so it will be a lot of fun to talk about the project then!

I hope you will try the overnight oats. Feel free to send me a photo.


Jake Stanley on a walk with Milo!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Zucchini Bread Pancakes the Yeast Free Way!

I'm continuing my series of recipes from the outstanding cookbook, The Pretty Dish, by Jessica Merchant.  Everything I have made from the cookbook has been delicious, even with the yeast free substitutions.  The zucchini bread pancakes are no exception.  They are scrumptious, even though they contain a vegetable!

Zucchini Bread Pancakes--Complete!

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used 1 tablespoon Truvia brown sugar blend)
2 teaspoons baking powder (Be sure it is aluminum-free)
1 teaspoon baking soda (Also aluminum-free)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups milk (I used 1-1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup freshly grated zucchini
Unsalted butter, for cooking the pancakes (I used Pam Cooking Spray Butter Flavor)
Maple syrup, for serving  (Use Truvia Natural Sweetener or Truvia brown sugar blend)


1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Whisk together until combined. 
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and melted butter. 
3.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until smooth.
4.  Fold in the zucchini.
5.  Heat a large skillet or electric griddle over medium heat.
6.  Add butter or butter spray.
7.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter on the hot skillet.  Repeat, leaving 1" between the pancakes.
8.  Cook for 2 minutes, or until the pancakes bubble on the top and edges.
9.  Turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until set. 
10. Repeat with the remaining batter.
11. Top with butter and your choice of Truvia sugars.

I was able to make 12 full-sized pancakes with this amount of batter.  Three pancakes were very filling.  You might want to serve them with berries on the side.  I had blackberries on hand that morning.  I brought a serving of pancakes over to my 95-year-old mother to try.  Luckily, she had not eaten breakfast yet that morning, and she was so happy to have pancakes.  This was her first time trying zucchini bread pancakes, and she loved them! Win-Win!


Of course, I have to let you know the latest with Milo, the puppy!  I bought him a Kong Frisbee.  Oh my goodness!  He wants to play all day!  He definitely keeps me running!

"Come and get it, Mom, because I'm not giving it to you, yet!"

Let me know if you make the zucchini bread pancakes.  I'd like your comments and pictures, too!  Be sure to "Like" my page, if you haven't yet.  Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Korean Beef Bowls the Yeast Free Way!

It is a beautiful day today in Orlando--73 degrees!  I feel for all of you who still have snow and more snow on the way.  That is why my father decided to retire in Florida back in 1968.  I'm so glad he made that decision for our family.  From time to time I miss LaGrange and Brookfield, Illinois where I lived until I was 12.  I have so many great memories growing up there.  Here is a picture of the house I grew up in:

I think it looks wonderful!  My father planted the maple tree that is in the foreground of the picture.  The owners are keeping the home up so nicely.  Thank you to my cousin, Jack Koschka, for the photo.

Last week I made the Korean Beef Bowls found in The Pretty Dish on pages 166-167.  I enjoy making "bowls" for dinner.  This one is simple to make and tasty.  I changed a few of the ingredients to make it yeast free.


1 pound sirloin beef, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (1 tablespoon Truvia brown sugar blend)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (I used Hokan Fish Sauce)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (I used Sun Luck Pure Sesame Oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil, which will make your cooking time longer.)
1-1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice
2 large carrots, peeled and spiralized (You can also use a vegetable peeler.)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1.  Toss the beef with the flour.
2.  Whisk together in a bowl the Truvia brown sugar blend, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes.
*3.  In a large pan or wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the beef and cook until it is seared and golden brown.  Turn the beef over, and cook until that side is seared and golden brown.
4.  Pour in the sauce. Cook, constantly tossing, for 1-2  minutes.  Pour the beef and any extra sauce in a bowl.
5.  Bowl Assembly:  Divide the rice and carrots between 2 bowls.  Top with the beef, then add the scallion and the sesame seeds.  You can also add a drizzle of sesame oil on top, if desired.

*I changed the heat temperatures and cooking times for the recipe since olive oil has a lower heat point than vegetable oil.

The next time I make this, I am going to double the sauce.  It is so delicious, and I felt the dish could have used some extra sauce to place on the rice as you are eating.  Also, I could not get my spiralizer to work with the carrots, so I used the vegetable peeler with my bowl.  I watched a YouTube video that explained you need to use very large (wide) carrots to spiralize, so now I know what I did wrong.

Korean Beef Bowl

I also made the dish with boneless skinless chicken breasts.  The sauce worked well with chicken, too.  I cut my chicken into chunks when cooking, and poured the sauce on top of it in the pan.  Again, you will want to adjust your cooking times to be sure the chicken is fully done.

Also, I wanted to let you know that there was an error when I calculated the amount of Truvia brown sugar blend in the Toasted Garlic Tomato Bisque.  The correct amount should be 1-1/2 tablespoons, not 3 tablespoons.  I apologize if you made the soup and it seemed too sweet.  The recipe has been updated in the blog to reflect the correct amount of Truvia brown sugar blend.

I hope you enjoy the Korean Beef Bowls.  Let me know if you make them, and send me a picture in the comments.  Enjoy your week!!


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Toasted Garlic Tomato Bisque the Yeast-Free Way

I hope that everyone enjoyed their Passover or Easter weekend with family and friends!  It was a beautiful day in Orlando.  Milo was dressed up for the day.

Milo is trying to find the Easter bunny!

Some readers have recently asked me how to get started on the yeast-free or Candida diet.  There is a lot of research online.  I started with a diagnosis of a Candida allergy.  From there I was given a pamphlet on foods I should avoid.  The list was long and ominous.  I didn't know how I was going to follow the plan.  But, I chose to be positive about it, and that is how this blog came about.  I thought that there must be other people looking for recipes and substitutions for foods that were no longer healthy for people with Candida.

Since I started the blog five years ago, many foods on the Candida diet are now much easier to find.  Consumers have demanded healthier products. Examples of this are quinoa, unsweetened almond milk, almond milk creamer, olive oil, coconut oil, brown rice, jasmine rice, and brown rice chips.

There are a few basic points to know about starting the Candida diet.  To me, making small changes at first and then adding on more changes makes sense.  I changed everything at once.  I don't recommend that.  You could start with dairy.  Then you could change the grains you eat.  Next you could look at which fruits and vegetables are better than others to eat.  Here is a link to the site "The Candida Diet".  There is a wealth of information in that website to get started.  I also use the Livestrong website.
The main thing is to see a doctor, do some allergy testing, and see if this could be your issue.  I would say I follow the diet 90% of the time.  If I have an occasional sweet, glass of wine, piece of bread, I immediately go right back on the plan 100%.  It is a challenge, but it can be done.

I've done some cooking from The Pretty Dish the last few days!  I'm really enjoying my new cookbook.  Today I'm going to show you how I adapted "Toasted Garlic Tomato Bisque" to make it yeast-free.  The recipe is on pages 126-127 of the cookbook.  The main issue for yeast-free living is the canned tomatoes and tomato paste.  You want to use canned tomatoes and tomato paste without citric acid or calcium carbonate.  Here is a link that lists numerous types of diced tomatoes that you can purchase.  Tomato paste is a little easier to find.  Try Costco for the Kirkland brand, Fresh Market for their brand, and most grocery stores carry the Muir Glen brand.  The main thing is to become a label reader. If you have more time, you could always make your own sauce out of fresh tomatoes.  I want to try that sometime, but I didn't this time. I left off the sherry in the recipe.  Instead of chicken stock, I used College Inn chicken broth.  I substituted Truvia brown sugar for true brown sugar.  I substituted plain almond milk creamer, not vanilla flavored, for half and half.  Silk and Calfia make plain almond milk creamer.  The soup turned out great!!  I would definitely make it again!

Here are the adapted ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste (no citric acid)
1 can (28 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (no citric acid or calcium carbonate)
2/3 cup sherry (I left that out.)
1/3 cup chicken stock (I used chicken broth.)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (I used 1-1/2 tablespoons Truvia brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream (I used plain almond milk creamer, no soy creamer)
Chopped fresh basil and oregano for topping

1.  Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan.
2.  Add the garlic.  Cook and stir until it is a golden, toasty brown.
3.  Transfer the garlic to a plate.
4.  Add the shallots to the pan and cook.  Stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes.
5.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes.
6.  Return the garlic to the pan.
7.  Add the tomatoes, broth, Truvia brown sugar, basil, salt, and pepper.
8.  Bring everything to a boil.
9.  Reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place the soup in a blender and blend until pureed.  Return the soup to the pot on low heat.  Add the almond milk creamer right before serving.  Taste, and add any needed salt or pepper.  Top with the chopped basil and oregano.  The recipe will make 2-4 servings.

I absolutely loved the soup!  It tasted great, and it was made yeast-free with just a few tweaks!  Let me know if you try the soup.