Tag Archives: Dairy Free


Go-To Granola

Hi guys! How are you? It’s been awhile since we’ve last talked. 

Did you have a good weekend? I had such a good weekend.

My mom and dad came to Philly for a visit! We spent Friday evening eating, drinking and enjoying a perfect summer evening.

On Thursday evening, Greg and I picked up our brand new charcoal grill! Can you believe it? It was a generous and perfect gift from Greg’s mom and stepdad. I can barely get over the fact that we now have a grill and we definitely took great advantage of it Friday evening. Burgers for my mom and dad, and sweet potato burgers for Greg and I. We also got a veggie rack and grilled whole cremini mushrooms and onions. We added pasta salad, hummus and guacamole and called it a meal. 

Saturday, the four of us went to nearby Peddler’s Village. It was so much fun! Definitely recommended for locals/visitors!

I unfortunately took zero photos over the weekend, although I would have had some very good ones to share with you. The comment/joke of the weekend was everyone saying to me “This would have been a good photo, Jess.” ­čÖé Oops! 

Anyway, let’s now talk about granola.

You need to look no further. This is your new go-to granola recipe.


Whether you’re looking for a healthy snack, a hearty breakfast or a homemade gift, this recipe has got you covered. 


I’ve always loved granola but I don’t eat it that often. That’s mostly because I can’t find a granola that I’m really in love with. 

Usually store-bought granola tastes too sweet. Or is too crumbly. Or just tastes plain stale. 

But, this recipe changes it all.


I’ve been wanting to make my own for awhile now. I wanted something that is healthy. That has a simple list of ingredients, things I know. I didn’t want it to be oily. Or crumbly. I wanted there to be large chunks of granola. I didn’t want it to be overly sweet or sugary. I wanted to control what went in.


So, I did it. I’m in love with this you guys. I knew what I wanted going in, but I didn’t know I’d come out being addicted. Does what I described above sound good to you? Prepare to be addicted. 


Let’s talk about the goodness of this granola.

1) It has a short list of ingredients:

Sunflower seeds
Unsweetened coconut
Coconut oil
Egg white
Pure maple syrup

2) You won’t be left still feeling hungry after eating it. Yep, it fills you up!

3) You won’t feel a sugar rush or like you just ate dessert after eating this granola. It is just slightly sweetened with pure maple syrup and perfectly cinnamon-y. The cinnamon just warms me up.



4) This granola is crunchy and sticks together in large clumps.

5) It takes one bowl to prepare. Yep, one bowl, one spoon and one pan. Maybe some measuring cups. It’s simple and easy, you guys.

6) It is customizable. Make it your own. Use this as a base and be creative. Add what you like and leave out what you don’t!


I’m telling you. Once you start on this granola, you won’t be able to stop. But really, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. ­čÖé


Go-To Granola
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  1. 3 cups rolled oats
  2. 1 cup pecans, lightly chopped
  3. 1 cup sunflower seeds
  4. 1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  8. Scant 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  9. 1 egg white
  1. Preheat oven to 300*.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add the melted coconut oil and maple syrup.
  4. Crack the egg white into a bowl and whisk very well, until it becomes a bit foamy.
  5. Add the egg white to the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Stir everything together very well, so that the dry ingredients are completely wet and everything is well mixed.
  7. Place the granola on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the granola is slightly browned and hardened.
  8. Let the granola cool for about 10-20 minutes, or until it is hard and can be broken into pieces.
  9. Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

One Pot Fajita Pasta

Do you like fajitas?




Do you like pasta?


So…how about fajita pasta?


Are you on board?

Am I crazy?


I know. This is different. Maybe crossing a couple of culinary lines. 


But I was thinking one day. I love the flavor of fajitas. I love the veggies involved. Peppers, onions and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. I love them. And, I love noodles. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with spaghetti noodles. 

So, I thought, why not bring the amazingness of fajita flavor to some noodles. It’ll make those noodles happy. 


Here’s what I told a maybe slightly skeptical Greg: a noodle is really just a vehicle for flavor. Yes, it may be that we’re used to that flavor being tomato sauce and cheese or white sauce and veggies, but why can’t we put any flavor on those noodles! 

So, that’s just what I did. And! Even better, I went with this new one pot method.


I first saw the idea on Pinterest. I love the idea. Then Pami, of A Crust Eaten, made the pasta, and I was inspired. I decided then that I wanted to make it, too. 


I think her version with tomato, garlic and basil sounds sooo good. I would like to try that soon. You should definitely check it out, too.

But, I just thought this fajita idea would work. I just wanted to taste fajitas on noodles. 


For anyone reading this who doesn’t know about the one pot pasta method it is this: Place all pasta ingredients (noodles, water, veggies, seasoning) into a pot, bring to a boil, cover and turn down heat, wait 15 minutes, and you have a complete pasta dish! Everything cooks together, making a yummy, creamy sauce from the starch that’s released from the noodles. How much better can that get?


One pot pasta is big. The flavor possibilities are endless. I’m loving this fajita version. But I want to make more! 


I will say, this version won’t be for everyone. It is a bit spicy. The spice in my recipe comes from the cumin and the poblano pepper. If you want to try this, but don’t want the spice, leave out some or all of the cumin. If you do leave it out, I would try using one of those fajita spice packets instead, or whatever seasoning you usually use for fajitas. You could also leave out the poblano pepper and use all sweet peppers. 


So, what do you guys think? I hope that you try this. I’ve eaten it three days in a row and can’t get enough. Share your thoughts! 


One Pot Fajita Pasta
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  1. 1 package spaghetti noodles
  2. 1 green bell pepper
  3. 1 poblano pepper
  4. 1-2 red bell peppers
  5. 1 medium onion
  6. 1 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  7. 1/2 - 1 tablespoon cumin
  8. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  12. 4 1/2 cups water
  1. Thinly slice the peppers and onion.
  2. Place all ingredients into a large pot over high heat.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, give it a stir, turn down heat and cover.
  5. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 12-15 minutes, or until noodles are cooked through and water is absorbed.
  6. Taste, and season more accordingly.
  7. Enjoy!
  1. If you don't want this to be overly spicy, leave out the poblano pepper and use less or no cumin.
  2. If you don't use cumin, maybe try one of the fajita seasoning packets instead!
  3. After the pasta is done, it may need more seasoning according to your taste. Add until you get it where you like it. It's easier to add seasoning than to take it away!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

Shrimp + Rice + Veggie Cabbage Wraps

I am so excited!


Because these wraps are seriously the best ever!


This idea started at market on Sunday. I asked a fellow market worker what she was going to do with the cabbage that we were both taking home. I had originally planned on making a batch of slaw to have throughout the week. She said that she wasn’t sure what she’d do with hers, but she usually uses cabbage leaves as wraps.

I thought about that for a little and as I was looking over what I got at market, this idea began to develop.


Then I made carrot and cucumber salad. And then I thought that would go perfect in my little wraps. And then, I read about this new-to-me way to prepare shrimp. And then I saw a bag of rice sitting in the pantry.


The idea was complete, now I just needed to execute it.


Let’s talk about this.


The carrot and cucumber salad is, like I said yesterday, wonderful on its own, but in these wraps, it is just perfect. You could put any veggies in these wraps, but I do really suggest the carrot + cucumber peanut salad.


The shrimp. I always prepare shrimp the same way. I usually cook them in a little olive oil on the stove on high heat. I read this new method in Martha Stewart Living magazine and it intrigued me. I wanted to branch out my shrimp cooking methods and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity. The simple steaming method is just perfect for these wraps. It is unbelievable how much amazing flavor shrimp have when they are cooked with nothing else. You have got to try this method (described below in the recipe).


I blanched the cabbage leaves for this recipe. Blanching the cabbage is super easy and turns out perfect to act as wraps. The leaves get soft but still retain a bit of stiffness and roll perfectly around the rice, shrimp and veggies. And, I noticed that once rolled, the leaves kind of stick together, keeping everything rolled very tight. It’s perfect!


These wraps have a sweetness from the shrimp, an earthiness from the rice, a crunch and freshness from the veggies and cabbage. They are a wonderful summer meal, but we liked these so much that I can see us eating them all year long. Greg said last night, after eating five of these, that he thinks he may want these at least once a week now. I can deal with that! ­čÖé


If you are looking for something light and healthy, that will make you feel great after eating, something summery and refreshing and something so delicious that you will be dreaming about it, this is it. I hope that you enjoy these cabbage wraps as much as I did.

Cabbage, 1 leaf per wrap
Rice, I cooked one cup of rice
Shrimp, in shells, plan for about 2 per wrap
This carrot + cucumber peanut salad

Cook the rice. Have the carrot + cucumber peanut salad ready. Click the link above for the recipe.

To cook the shrimp: Bring about 1 inch of water to boil in a large saucepan. Once the water is boiling, add the shrimp (in shell) to the pan. Turn off the heat, put a lid on the saucepan and let sit for three minutes. After three minutes, the shrimp will be cooked through. Drain and let the shrimp cool.

Once cool, peel and devein the shrimp. To devein shrimp, I simply cut a line down the back of the shrimp and use a toothpick to remove the waste. Rinse the shrimp once it is deveined and cut each shrimp in half.

To blanch the cabbage: Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the cabbage leaves into the boiling water and blanch for about 1 minute. Remove the leaves and place into the ice water. I did two leaves at a time, but you may do more depending on the size of your pot. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels.

To assemble the wraps, place a blanched cabbage leaf flat on a plate. Place a couple of spoonfuls of rice in the center. Place a couple of pieces of shrimp on top of the rice. Finish it with a spoonful of the carrot cucumber salad. Fold over the bottom edge of the leaf and then fold in one of the sides. Begin rolling and tucking in the other side as you roll. It should stay together well while you are eating.

-If you don’t want to cook/peel/devein your own shrimp, do it your own way and skip the section on shrimp above. Any shrimp would be great in this.
-Our wraps stayed together well, so if you roll in right, yours should too. One was overstuffed and did fall apart a bit, but they generally should stay together very well.


Carrot + Cucumber Peanut Salad

This little salad dish was born from farmer’s market loot.


On Sundays, Greg and I have been working at Headhouse Farmer’s Market for the always amazing Three Springs Fruit Farm.



Each week, we come home with our hands full of bags of market goodies.


This week, I am determined to base the dishes I make around what I got at market, rather than think of a recipe and have to buy groceries.


First up is this salad.


Crisp carrots and cucumbers slathered in some of this light and delicious peanut sauce and topped off with crunchy peanuts and sesame seeds and cool cilantro. This refreshing salad comes together quickly and is seriously awesome.


I am obsessed with using the vegetable peeler for these veggies. It is not a way that I have been used to enjoying raw veggies, but I think that I will be doing it much more often now. The veggies become almost noodle-like, but retain that great, juicy vegetable crunch.


The carrots and cucumbers + peanut sauce together are delicious, but it is really the toppings that make this dish. Most recipes I share on here are so customizable, but in this dish, the chopped peanuts, cilantro and sesame seeds are mandatory. You have to use all three if you make this, or it just won’t be the same. Amounts are customizable, but omitting one of those three ingredients will change the dish.


This summer salad is very good on its own. I would just make it as a side dish for a summer dinner. But I have big ideas for it too. Tomorrow I will share with you one of those ideas, so be sure to check back for a delicious meal featuring this salad.


I hope that you enjoy this tasty summer dish!


2 cucumbers
3 large carrots
For the peanut sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 large garlic clove
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
Large handful fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Using a vegetable peeler, slice the carrots and cucumbers into long and thin strips. Add the sliced vegetable to a large bowl.

To make the peanut sauce, place peanut butter, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and hot water into a blender or food processor and blend/process until completely smooth. This made 3/4 cup sauce for me.

Pour 1/2 cup peanut sauce over the sliced veggies and toss very well.

Top with chopped peanuts, cilantro and sesame seeds and toss again.



White Bean Tapenade

White bean tapenade crostini sounds complicated and fancy, but believe me, it’s so easy to prepare and is so delicious.


I don’t really have many words to say (type) about this, so I’m going to share with you mostly photos.



This recipe is from Bon Appetit. I’ve been wanting to make it for awhile, and getting a baguette at the farmer’s market this weekend gave me the perfect opportunity.



It really takes no time at all to put this together. I had intended to make this yesterday in the late morning/early afternoon, but somehow didn’t get around to starting it until going on six in the evening. Of course, I was a bit panicked because I had missed the best natural light of the day for photos and at that point, I’d be lucky ┬áto get any good light at all. Luckily, ┬áthe few, simple ingredients took no time at all to prepare, giving me plenty of time for photos. ­čÖé


This would make a great appetizer for a group of people. Or, enjoy it like Greg and I did, as a dinner side dish for two, with leftovers for the next day.



The recipe can be found here, on Bon Appetit. It is not only easy and delicious, it’s also very customizable. Some people may not prefer a strong lemon flavor in food (my dad), so don’t add as much lemon zest or juice. Use any type of olive you like, or leave them out completely. Use any array of spices you have. Eat it as a crostini, with the bread, or just plain, without the bread. It really is delicious as is, but can be easily changed to fit your taste.









I hope you enjoy this simple, summery dish!