Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Recipes, Uncategorized

Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers

stuffed peppers
Photo and recipe courtesy of Leaves of Life. Pictured here with meat-stuffed peppers.


  • Sweet and/or spicy banana peppers
  • Soft goat cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil for drizzling


  1. Slice peppers longways on one side and remove stems and seeds
  2. Flatten fresh basil leaves along length of inside of each pepper (use 1-2 leaves per pepper)
  3. Spread 1-2 tsp goat cheese on top of fresh basil leaves inside each pepper
  4. Arrange all peppers in a baking dish and drizzle with oil
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  6. Roast on top shelf of oven for 30-40 minutes until peppers are browned and soft


Another variation on this recipe is to mix soft goat cheese with pesto instead of using fresh basil leaves.  And you could potentially use other herbs as well.

Detox, Elimination Diet, Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Recipes, Uncategorized

Stuffed Peppers

stuffed peppers
Photo and recipes courtesy of Leaves of Life. Pictured here with goat cheese stuffed peppers.


  • 8 large green or red peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 pound ground meat (great way to use venison if you have it)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice or Rotel (or 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 8 ounce package of mushrooms, any kind
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cubed zucchini squash
  • 1 cup cubed yellow squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 and bake empty peppers until they start to soften (about 20 minutes)
  2. Brown ground meat, crumbling as it cooks, drain fat
  3. In a separate skillet,  add olive oil, garlic, and all veggies and cook until soft
  4. Add meat, tomatoes, fresh basil, Italian herbs and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly
  5. Spoon mixture into peppers
  6. Cook another 40-60 minutes until all peppers are tender


Recipe can be topped with tomato sauce and/or shredded cheese if desired.

How We Recharge, Patty's Retreat

Green Heron Chick

No, green heron chick isn’t a super hero… but, for a bird, it’s pretty close. It can hover briefly to catch prey. Some even say this bird is one of the world’s most intelligent because it has been know to use bait to attract fish.

Check out this green heron bait fishing with bread:

We’re lucky enough to have a green heron pair nesting near our pond for the past several years.  We always know when they’ve arrived each year because of their loud and very distinctive calls (advertising and alarm calls are what we hear most often). It’s impossible not to take notice when what sounds like a crazy, prehistoric chicken is croak/shrieking as it flies from tree to tree around the pond.

It wasn’t until this year that we were finally able to locate “our” green heron pair’s nest, which looks more like a scaffolding made of loosely interlaced twigs. Although we were able to observe the parents feeding the two chicks, we missed the chance to photograph them before they fledged this precarious perch.

GH nest

This little cutie was spotted 3 days later hiding in tall grass next to the pond.  It seemed wary, but tolerated a somewhat prolonged photo session and even seemed to vamp a bit for its first close up.


At different times of the day now, the parents can be heard calling to the chicks in their croaky, prehistoric voices, announcing a regurgitated meal of small fish, frogs, bugs and other small prey.

Mmmm-mmmm good!

Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Healthy Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Dairy Free/Gluten Free)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Dairy Free/Gluten Free)

Almond Meal Choc Chip Cookies

Photo courtesy of Leaves of Life.  Recipe courtesy of Elana’s Pantry


  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks


  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
  2. Combine the two bowls.
  3. Form 1-inch balls and press onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.  Set a timer because the time goes fast…mine got a little too done!



Dairy-Free, Elimination Diet, Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Paleo

Thai Inspired Chicken Coconut Soup

Recipe and photo courtesy of Leaves of Life


  • 3 large chicken legs, bone in
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Handful of fresh basil, diced
  • 16 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into long strips
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
  • Juice of 1/2-1 lime


  1. Over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  2. Add onion, ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes
  3. Add chicken thighs, can of coconut milk and dry herbs
  4. Place a lid on the pan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes
  5. Add all the vegetables except the zucchini and cook 10 more minutes
  6. Add zucchini and fresh herbs and cook another 5 minutes
  7. Remove chicken from pan and cut off the bone
  8. Add chopped chicken back to pan
  9. Add lime juice to taste and stir
  10. Serve and enjoy!


This would have been great with some fresh cilantro. Also some kaffir lime leaves and crushed red pepper would have given it more of a kick. Otherwise it was amazing!

Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Uncategorized

Grain free pasta: a comparison


A friend of mine recently gave me two boxes of grain-free pastas to try.  So I got to work making a grass-fed meat sauce with some veggies including onion, mushrooms, and peppers. Then I topped the pastas and enjoyed the leftovers for days.  Below is a comparison of the two types.

Cappello’s is an almond flour pasta made with eggs , tapioca flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt. It literally takes 45 seconds to cook and tastes great! Very satisfying! The downside? A hefty price tag at $9/box—but you can get at least 3 servings out of it.

Tolerant’s Organic Red Lentil Penne was next up. The only ingredient? Lentils! How could this make a pasta dish? But it did. I would describe it as al dente. It’s great for vegetarians or vegans because it’s packed with protein.

Capello’s was a tough act to follow. I definitely preferred the taste and texture. Both can be purchased at Earth Fare. Leave a comment if you happen to try either of these pastas. I would love to know what everyone else thinks!




Asian Inspired Chicken Stir Fry

Asian Stiry Fry
Photo and recipe courtesy of Leaves of Life


  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
  • Coconut flour for breading
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cups fresh green beans
  • 3 8 ounce packages mushrooms, any kind


  1. Heat coconut and sesame oil in a large skillet and add breaded chicken chunks, frying until golden brown.
  2. Remove chicken to a plate with paper towels to drain.
  3. Using the same skillet, add garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute to flavor oil, then add green beans and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Next add mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes longer.
  5. Add vinegar and soy sauce and stir to coat veggies thoroughly.
  6. Return chicken to the skillet and stir to coat.


Try a flavored balsamic vinegar for extra zing.  I substituted out half the balsamic vinegar with tangy fig balsamic vinegar (YUM!).  This recipe can be served over mashed cauliflower, spaghetti squash, rice or quinoa.

Elimination Diet, Fat Free Vegan Low Sugar, Gluten Free, Low Fat Low Sugar

Vegan Southwest Sweet Potato Hash

Photo and recipe courtesy of Low Fat Vegan Chef


  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 16 oz can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp roasted ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 tsp tamari
  • 1-2 large leaves of swiss chard or kale chopped
  • 1 large yam, baked or sliced and steamed
  • chili powder to taste
  • Herbamare to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 small avocado, chopped (omit if doing 2 week NO FAT plan)
  • Salsa *optional


1. Cook quinoa.
2. Cook or reheat cooked yams.
3. When quinoa and yams are almost done, sauté onions dry in a non-stick pan for 4-5 minutes until soft.
4. Add in garlic and bell peppers and sauté for another 2 minutes.
5. Add in black beans and quinoa and stir to heat through for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add in seasonings and swiss chard and stir to wilt.
7. Add in green onions and cilantro and stir.
8. Cut up yams into cubes and gently toss with hash to combine..
9. Season to taste with chili powder, Herbamare or salt and pepper.
10. Spoon into bowls and top with chunks of avocado and salsa if desired.

Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Paleo

Sausage and butternut squash stuffed tomatoes

Photo courtesy of Leaves of Life. Recipe courtesy of Against All Grain.


  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1 cup peeled and finely diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup almond meal


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Core the tomatoes, leaving the bottoms intact. Using a small spoon, gently scrape out the seeds and half of the flesh, carefully leaving the skin intact.
  3. Drain the tomatoes, cut side down, on paper towels while preparing the filling.
  4. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and brown the Italian sausage, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the squash, onion, mushrooms, garlic, basil, rosemary, salt, and pepper and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond meal.
  6. Spoon the filling into the tomatoes, packing it down slightly.
  7. Place the stuffed tomatoes in a lightly greased baking dish, and baked until tomatoes are cooked through and the filling is golden brown on top, about 40 minutes.
Dairy-Free, Detox, Elimination Diet, Fat Free Vegan Low Sugar, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Low Fat Low Sugar

Vegan Chili

vegan chili
Photo and recipe courtesy of Fat Free Vegan Kitchen


  • 2 tbsp broth
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 28-ounce cans beans of your choice (try a combination of pinto, pink, and black beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño or other hot peppers, seeded and minced, or one 8-ounce can mild or hot chopped green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped ripe tomatoes for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish


  1. Heat the broth in a large soup pot. Add the onion sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until the onion is golden. Add the remaining ingredients except the last three. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender and the flavors have melded.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the other seasonings. If time allows, let the chili stand for up to several hours before serving. Heat through as needed.The chili should be nice and thick; if it has gotten too thick, stir in a cup of water. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with tomatoes and cilantro.


  • Add a cup or two of cooked corn kernels toward the end of cooking time
  • Add a medium or large firm-cooked sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • Add a diced zucchini or yellow summer squash about halfway into the cooking time
  • Serve with grated nondairy cheddar cheese on the side for garnishing individual servings
  • Put out extra “hot stuff” like minced fresh chili peppers, dried hot red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for those who like their chilies extra-spicy

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