Fifty Shades of Greens

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Many of our recipes are well talked through and planned between the two of us. We write shopping lists, buy enough groceries so we can test cook them properly a few times and make sure to take down notes during the process. I always use the laptop but Luise insists on scribbling on small pieces of paper that often end up in the hands of the kids and their crayons (can somebody please tell that woman to put her fancy new Macbook to use!).

We always feel quite content after having published one of those type of recipes. But it actually seems like the recipes from simple fridge and freezer findings that are whipped together quickly without a moment of planning, seem to spark just as much interest, even though they are very basic. This quick pasta dish with fifty shades of greens started out like that, with two hungry kids, half a package of pasta (made from legumes) and some leftover green vegetables (the ones on the photo obviously look a little less sad than the first time we made it). It ticks all the right boxes for a February recipe. Simple. Comforting. Nutritious. Vegan. Tasty!


It reminds me of a pasta dish I used to cook back when I was living in Rome. One of my favourite things to buy from the local farm stands were cute baby zucchinis (and they were so cheap!) that I sliced and fried with onion, garlic, thyme, capers, fresh herbs and spinach. Then I poured over a dash of cream and white wine before tossing in the cooked pasta. It was my go-to dinner for one, ready in 12 minutes.

Here we have added even more greens. We are using frozen peas and one whole broccoli, shaving the stem thinly and breaking the rest into small florets. The vegetables are cooked in coconut cream which also adds a little sweetness. When making green vegetable dishes like this, remember not to cook it too long. You just want to soften the vegetables up, not kill them. If you are a quick chopper, you can have dinner ready in less than 20 minutes. And if you are cooking for kids and are afraid that they will dream horrible nightmares from being fed too many vegetables, Elsa’s recommendation is skipping the spinach and add more peas. Because cooked spinach is: “The most horrible thing I have ever tasted in my entire life”.


Our pasta of choice here is a green pea fusilli pasta which is gluten free but also adds protein. Not to mention, it is green and bring yet another shade to this dish!

More and more alternative pasta/noodle products made entirely from legumes (beans, lentils and peas) are popping up in stores. Not only health food stores but also many supermarkets. We like them because they are nutritious alternatives to regular refined wheat pasta. They are also rich in fiber, made from complex carbohydrates, naturally gluten free and they come in many colours and shapes, which make it more fun for the kids to eat.



Pea, Spinach & Broccoli Pasta (or fifty shades of green)
Serves 4

If you don’t have all the vegetables at home, no worries, just use what you’ve got. You can use frozen broccoli and spinach instead of fresh. If you’ve got some leftover white wine in the house, try adding a splash together with the garlic and onion. And if you don’t fancy coconut milk/cream, you can use ordinary cream or a vegan alternative.

2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp pickled capers (use the brine as well)
½ large zucchini or 1 small, sliced into thin half moons
1 small broccoli, broken into small florets and stem sliced thinly
2 handfuls whole spinach leaves
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
1 small can coconut cream or the solid top layer of a coconut milk (more info here)
1 tbsp lemon juice and a little zest
sea salt and pepper
chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Pasta for 4 servings, choose the sort you prefer (read about our pasta of choice above).

Bring a saucepan filled with water to boil. Add pasta and let cook until ready (as instructed on the package), then drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Finely chop garlic and onion and add to the skillet. Let sauté until fragrant and then add thyme and capers and cook for another minute. Add zucchini and broccoli and cook until almost tender. Now add spinach, peas, coconut cream, lemon salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is just wilted.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and mix to combine.
Scatter over fresh parsley and serve. Non-vegans can of course add some grated cheese if they wish.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe

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Post image for Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe

I was once in a play with this woman who had the most incredible body – she was fit, toned, strong, and beautiful.

I asked her what her secrets were and she proceeded to tell me all the usual stuff – “I eat right,” “I drink 8 glasses of water every day,” “I exercise almost every day,” “I stretch” … you know, all the kinds of things you should do.

And then she leaned in and whispered to me, “But my real secret is I eat a cookie every day. The same cookie every day, one I absolutely love. A big, delicious cookie!”

I can see the logic in that. When you know you have a reward waiting for you, it is so much easier to do all the right things.

If I were going to eat a cookie every day, it would most likely be this cookie – a Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

It’s not the sexiest cookie in my arsenal, or the prettiest – more homey than fancy. But boy, does it taste amazing. Crispy around the edges, a little chewy on the inside, sweet, wholesome, and delicious.

To keep this reward more in tune with the way I like to live my life these days, I use organic sugar and brown sugar from Wholesome!, certified organic gluten free oats, organic unsalted butter, and cage free eggs. It makes for an indulgence I don’t feel at all bad about. Even if I eat one every day.


Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.
Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup Wholesome! organic sugar
1 cup Wholseome! organic light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups gluten free oats
2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups raisins


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Put 1½ cups of the oats in a blender or food processor and grind it to a powder. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ground oats, the remaining 1 cup of un-ground oats, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

With the mixer on low, add all but ½ cup of the flour/oat mixture to the butter mixture gradually and mix until just combined. With a large spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl and make sure everything is well combined. Toss the raisins in with the ½ cup flour/oat mixture and coat the raisins well. Fold into the batter.

Spoon the batter onto the prepared pans using between 1 and 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie, depending on how large you like them, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until set and golden brown.

Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.


Makes 24 – 48 cookies, depending on size.

Ready for dessert?

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Need a quick meal?

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Researchers propose a mechanism to explain the relationship between low vitamin D status and increased risk for breast cancer

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A new RCT assesses the effects of vitamin D supplementation on sex hormones to explain the relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer. Continue reading →

Chipotle Orange Avocado Toast

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Who has jumped on the avocado toast bandwagon? I definitely have, but the richness of the avocado combined with hearty whole grain bread makes me stop at one slice – it’s so darn filling. I usually go all savory, with a little lemon, salt and pepper for contrast, but this chipotle orange version offers sweet, savory, […]

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