Category Archives: side dish

Homemade Apple Sauce

Apple sauce is one of those amazing comfort foods that not many people make at home anymore.  I remember when I was younger my grandma making applesauce for all the special occasions we would celebrate together as a family.  She would make one that was sugar free for me and another with sugar for the rest of the family.  I personally see no need to add sugar to applesauce if you buy apples that are not too tart.  Homemade apple sauce is good for you (an apple a day, right?), it is delicious, and most importantly it is easy!  I use one special piece of equipment, a Food Mill, but with the method I am going to show you, if you don’t want to buy a food mill or don’t own one already, there is a slightly more time consuming way to make it as well.

Apple sauce is GREAT for canning.  I do not know how to can (although I wish I did) and there are many people who make HUGE quantities of apple sauce and then can it. Check out these links if you are interested:

*Pick Your Own

*Make it Do

*Simply Canning

Homemade Apple Sauce

This is one of those recipes that is more of a method than a “I must stick exactly by the quantities to make this recipe work” recipe.

1. Gather apples.  The sweeter the apples, the sweeter the sauce.  Gala, Jonathan, Fuji and Pink Lady work well.  For this batch I used 10 apples that were getting a little mushy.  The texture was not great for eating, but that doesn’t matter for saucing.  However, as you can see from the picture, the skins of the apples are reddish/pinkish in color.  This will add a beautiful pink hue to the sauce.

2. Use either an Apple Corer and Slicer or a sharp knife to slice and core the apples.  DO NOT remove the apple peel.

3. Place apples in a large pot and add about an inch of water.  The apples will start to break down, so you don’t want to add too much water.

4. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  When the water has been boiling for a bit, reduce heat to medium-high and cook until all the apples are cooked through.

5. Let the apples cool a bit and then if you do have a handy food mill, pass the mixture through the food mill.  If you don’t have a food mill you have two choices: 1. Cook the apples with no skins to begin with and mash them with a potato masher when done (the sauce will not have a pinkish hue) OR 2. Spend some time pick out all the skins once the sauce is cool, then you can mash with a potato masher.

6. At this point, when all my glorious apple sauce is in a large bowl, I add cinnamon to taste.  For the 10 apples I added about 1 Tablespoon.

7. EAT! YUM!

Note: you can eat this apple sauce warm or cool it off in the fridge.  Either way it is amazing.  I suggest either eating it as a snack, over latkes or with pork chops.



Filed under breakfast, dairy free, dessert, egg free, gluten free, grain free, low sugar, nut free, paleo, side dish, snack, toddler approved, vegan, vegetarian

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

New Years is a wonderful time for reflection and renewal.  In pagan springtime celebrations, the egg was used as a symbol of rebirth.  I love using this notion of rebirth around this time of year and I also love eggs and Brian loves smoked salmon.  Put it all together and you get a delicious smoked salmon deviled egg appetizer for New Year’s Eve or any other occasion!

These deviled eggs are naturally gluten-free and diabetic friendly.  I only made a small batch of these because we went to a small New Year’s Eve party.  Feel free to double the recipe if you need a bigger batch!

Oh, what’s that you’re saying?  You want to know why there is a jar of Nutella behind the cutting board used in the photo…well-you will have to wait for my next post to find out!

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

8 hardboiled eggs*
3 Tablespoons sour cream
3 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Slice each egg in half lengthwise.  Place all the yolks in a medium size bowl and mash with a fork.  Add sour cream, smoked salmon, scallion, salt and pepper.  Continue mashing with a fork until well incorporated.  Choose your best looking egg whites.  Now, you have a few choices, you can: spoon the mixture into the whites; use a piping bag with a big tip and squeeze the mixture into the whites OR; use a ziplock bag with the tip cut off and squeeze the mixture into the whites.  Any of the three methods will work just fine and in the end, the eggs will all taste the same regardless of how you put them together.

To serve: I like to place red or green lentils on a nice plate or platter and place the eggs on the lentils. The lentils hold the eggs in place and make for a pretty presentation.  (Note: this is an older picture of regular old deviled eggs I made a few months ago.  That is why they look slightly different.) You can sprinkle the tops with capers or leave them as they are.


*Different people have different beliefs about how long a hardboiled egg should be cooked.  I personally prefer my hardboiled eggs to not get overdone, so I am in the “cook the eggs for less time” camp.  Other people, like my mom, like their eggs cooks for a few minutes longer.  Here is the general method I use (cook for as long as you see fit):

12 minute eggs

Place eggs in a medium sized pot.  Just barely cover eggs with water.  Cover pot and bring water to a boil.  AS SOON AS THE WATER BOILS turn OFF the heat and set a timer for 12 minutes.  (My mom prefers 15 minutes).  Drain the eggs and run cold water over them until they are easy to handle.  Peel the eggs while they are still slightly warm.


As a side note: older eggs are actually easier to peel when hard boiled because the inside membrane has started to weaken.


Filed under appetizer, breakfast, gluten free, grain free, low sugar, nut free, side dish, snack, vegetarian

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

These stuffed mushrooms are a fantastically easy appetizer for New Year’s Eve or any other celebration you might be having.  They are also great for a quick and easy weeknight appetizer if friends are coming over!  The combination of roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese is sumptuous (in my opinion).

Brian and I were lucky enough to be visiting my parents over the holidays and one of my friends from high school and her husband came over to visit for dinner.  We had a great time and everyone enjoyed these mushrooms as a simple, tasty, gluten free (without trying) and diabetic friendly appetizer.

I have also made these yummy little morsels of goodness as a main meal by stuffing large portabella mushrooms and serving them with the sauce over quinoa or rice.  You can make these mushrooms with herbed goat cheese or by adding in other herbs to the mixture.  If you try something new, let us know!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

2 packages baby bella mushrooms (you need about 24-choose the larger ones)
8 ounces plain goat cheese
*6-10 cloves roasted garlic, cooled
2 ounces sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 cup pasta sauce (any variety)

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.   Clean the mushrooms using a mushroom brush or a damp paper towel.  Use a small spoon to scrape out the gills.  Set mushrooms aside.  Spread the bottom of a 9×13 Pyrex  baking dish with tomato sauce and set aside.  In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade place goat cheese, garlic and sundried tomatoes.   Pulse until mixture if fully incorporated.  Stuff each mushroom with about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture and place on sauce in the baking dish.  Bake for 10-20 minutes.  Serve the remaining tomato sauce on the side to dip or drizzle.  Enjoy!

*How to roast garlic:

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.  Pull 6-10 garlic cloves off the head, but keep the individual cloves still wrapped.  Place the cloves in a small square of aluminum foil.  Pour 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over the cloves on foil.  Close up the foil and roast for 30-35 minutes until cloves are soft.

Even if you are not a garlic lover, please try the roasted garlic.  It has a subtle sweet flavor and is amazingly delicious.  I could eat an entire head of roasted garlic in one sitting!  Especially mixed into the goat cheese and with the sundried tomatoes, the flavor diffuses even more and just adds a subtle sweetness.


Filed under appetizer, egg free, gluten free, low sugar, nut free, side dish, snack, vegetarian

Garlic Roasted Broccoli

I LOVE BROCCOLI! It is one of my favorite vegetables and there are many, many ways to prepare it.  (My favorite part of the the broccoli is the woody stem-so if you plan to throw yours away, send them my way instead!)  One of my favorite and easiest and TASTIEST ways to prepare broccoli is to roast it.  Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and roasting broccoli is no exception.  I made this dish for our family’s Chanukkah party alongside a few other roasted veggies and I love it so much, I made it again tonight!  Just as a side note-our almost 3 year old niece LOVED this broccoli, so it is very kid-friendly as well.

This recipe is inherently vegan and gluten free so those with restrictive diets, rejoice!  For those who do not have restrictive diets, roasted broccoli still makes an incredible vegetable side dish, so do not despair.  We ate this broccoli alongside mango chicken sausage and smashed potatoes.

What is so wonderful about this recipe (more of a method, really) is that you can toss the broccoli with whatever your heart desires…cumin, basil, oregano, curry powder, anything!  You can also adapt this recipe for cauliflower.  When I roasted cauliflower for Chanukkah, I tossed it with Penzey‘s Turkish seasoning, a blend of salt, garlic, cumin, Tellicherry black pepper, Turkish oregano, paprika, sumac, cayenne red pepper and cilantro. It was delicious!

Garlic Roasted Broccoli

1 large head broccoli
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped-if you like less garlic, use less!
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425°F

Cut broccoli into florets and cut down the stem into bite size pieces.  You can discard the stem if you wish-but I advice against it.  Toss broccoli with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread broccoli on baking sheet or in a large pyrex dish.  Roast for 25-30 minutes until browned. EAT! Yum!


Filed under dairy free, egg free, gluten free, grain free, low sugar, nut free, side dish, toddler approved, vegan, vegetarian