Saturday, May 25, 2019

Get Your Summer Reading on Sale!

All of Elin Hilderbrand’s paperback books are on sale all weekend for 50% off at all Barnes & Noble stores in the USA. What a perfect time to pick up some great summer reading! πŸπŸ“šπŸπŸ“š

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Friday, May 24, 2019

Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki

Since on the Candida diet, I’m always searching for burgers that do not use bread or bread crumbs as an ingredient.  That is what attracted me first to this turkey burger.  Adding spinach, feta, and spices to the burger sounded so flavorful!  And, it turned out to be a winner! The tzatziki sauce is a must to make alongside this burger. It is simple to whip up and is the perfect compliment to this Greek burger.

Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki


  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (Feta cheese is not technically on the Candida diet. I will only eat goat and feta cheese as regular cheeses. The rest of the cheeses I eat are vegan.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Preheat grill to medium-high. (Note: I did not make my burgers on the grill. I pan-fried them in olive oil on the stovetop on medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes per side. They would be delicious on the grill, so I am including those instructions.)
  • Squeeze excess moisture from the spinach. Combine the spinach with turkey, feta, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; mix well.
  • Form into four 4-inch patties. (Note:  I wrapped each burger in plastic wrap for 1 hour before I pan-fried them.)
  • Oil the grill rack. Grill the patties until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 165 degrees F.)
  • Serve with red onion slices, cucumber slices, and tzatziki on a bed of baby spinach. (See recipe below.)
  • 2 (8 ounce) containers of plain yogurt (I used plain nonfat Greek.)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
In a food processor or blender, combine yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill and garlic. Process until well-combined.  Transfer to a separate dish.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavor.

Ready for Memorial Day!
These Greek turkey burgers would be a great addition to your Memorial Day celebration. The tzatziki sauce could also be used as a veggie dip, on gyros, or on a Greek salad.  It is so tasty!  Be sure to use the fresh dill.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and your holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Currently 🎧 to The Grapes of Wrath

Somehow I missed reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck in high school and college.  One benefit of being retired is you can finally read books you have thought about reading for years!  I hope to finish it by the end of May to review on the blog.  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Strawberry Pie

How many of you grew up eating the strawberry pie from Frisch’s or Shoney’s?  My father loved the strawberry pie. I have fond memories as a young girl in the Chicago area making trips to the local Frisch’s Big Boy for strawberry pie with our family.  The trips to get strawberry pie continued when we moved to Orlando.  With strawberries in season, I decided to make my own strawberry pie this year. I was so excited to find a “copycat” recipe online at that is so much like the original strawberry pie made at Frisch’s and Shoney’s.  It is the perfect spring/summertime dessert!

Strawberry Pie


  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (Note: I used a Wholly Gluten Free Pie Shell from Wholly Wholesome)
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries 
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons Cornstarch (I use Rumford brand.)
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar (I used 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Truvia Cane sugar blend.)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 box (3 oz.) strawberry gelatin (Note: I used  regular Jello-O. However, I just found out about a stevia-based jell-o called Simply Delish. I will be making another strawberry pie with that to see how it tastes. I will follow-up on another blog post.)
  • Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
  • Remove pie shell from freezer and thaw, 10-20 minutes.
  • Bake pie shell for 10-14 minutes, until it appears golden brown around the edges.
  • Allow the pie crust to cool.
  • Layer bottom with sliced strawberries.
  • Stir together water, Truvia, and cornstarch and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  • Remove from heat, add Jell-O and stir until dissolved.
  • Pour mixture over strawberries.
  • Refrigerate until set.
  • You can decorate with whipped cream, if desired. (Note: I did not.)
My childhood has returned!

This pie turned out beautifully! It is absolutely scrumptious, and best of all, it brought back many fond family memories.  The pie is extremely simple to make, and as you can see in the photo, it set quite well.  I did some research and found out that  Frisch’s restaurants are only located in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio now.  Check the link to see where they are located.  Strawberry pie is in season there!  You can check the Shoney’s website to find a location near you, too!  I hope you enjoy this strawberry pie. It will be perfect for the Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Walnut and Black Bean Veggie Burgers

The search is over for a black bean burger that will not crumble!  I love these black bean burgers from The Kitchn.  They contain walnuts, which adds omega-3, and the way they are made ensures a burger that will flip without flopping!  They do not contain bread crumbs, which makes them a great yeast-free food.

Walnut and Black Bean Veggie Burgers--Serves 4


  • 1 cup walnut halves 
  • 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (I used gluten-free oats.)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (I used tamari.)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • For serving:  butter lettuce, mashed avocado with salt, tomato slices
  • Toast the walnuts in a large regular or cast iron skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, and set aside to cool.
  • Add the beans to the skillet and toss gently over medium heat until the beans are dry and a film develops on the bottom of the pan.  Transfer the beans to a large bowl.  Wipe out the skillet and set aside.
  • Add 1/2 of the black beans, oats, tamari or soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, cumin, chili powder, and pepper to the food processor.  Pulse until the mixture comes together but is not pureed, 10 to 15 (1-second) pulses.  Add the remaining beans (reserve the bowl) and quinoa, and pulse until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is coarsely textured, 5 to 7 (1-second) pulses.
  • Transfer the mixture to the large bowl.  Divide the mixture into 4-equal portions (1/2 cup or 4 ounces each) and shape into 4-in wide patties.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the reserved skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the patties and cook until a brown crust forms, about 3 minutes.  Flip and cook on the second side until the brown crust forms, about 3 minutes more, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon oil if needed. 
Look at this!!!

I served the black bean burgers on lettuce leaves with a tomato slice and mashed avocado.  For those not yeast-free, these black bean burgers would be great served on a bun.  Be sure to follow the instructions as written, especially toasting the walnuts, and adding the beans to the pan to be sure they are dry.  When you do finally add the fluffy quinoa, the whole mixture comes together.  I hope you enjoy the black bean burgers as much as I did!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

When I went to the Winter Park Farmer's Market a few weekends ago, I bought some beautiful fresh vegetables.  I decided to make vegetable soup in the slow cooker.   I found this recipe on the website Cooking Classy that worked out just perfectly!  This recipe has the perfect mix of fresh and frozen vegetables which adds to the simplicity of making the soup.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped carrots (about 5)
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (I used vegetable broth.)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 3 cups peeled and 1/2-inch thick diced potatoes (about 3 medium)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped frozen or fresh green beans (I used fresh.)
  • 1-1/4 cups frozen or fresh corn (I used frozen corn.)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas (I used frozen peas.)
  • To make the soup in a slow cooker, saute the onions, carrots, and celery for a few minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 1 minute longer.  
  • Add the mixture to the slow cooker along with the potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, herbs, broth, salt and pepper.
  • Cook until veggies are tender on high heat about 3 hours or low heat about 6-7 hours.  Add peas and corn during the last 30 minutes. 
Vegetable Soup!

This vegetable soup can also be made on the stove top.  Just heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Then add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute 4 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.  Then add the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then add the green beans.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are almost fully tender, about 20-30 minutes.  Add the corn and peas and cook 5 minutes longer.  Serve warm.

This soup is really delicious!  It freezes well, too! You could also add extra herbs for more flavor such as basil, oregano, marjoram, or Italian seasoning, if desired.  I hope you enjoy this soup that contains beautiful vegetables you can find this spring and summer!

Beautiful veggies!