Crunchy Kale Salad

This recipe comes to us from one of my favorite blogs, Use Real Butter. Not only is she a fabulous cook but an amazing photographer too. (And she has a super sweet black Lab who often cameos, how could I not be smitten?) The first time I made this, like with most new recipes, I make it the way it is written. But hubby wasn’t too keen on it. I think it was the tahini flavor that got him. So the next few times I’ve made it with almond butter instead, which for us paired better with the maple, orange and sliced almonds. I also prefer a less oily dressing usually, so I reduced the oil.

I’ve also made this for a GF Gals night and one of our local support group potlucks. It has gone over well at both occasions.

Crunchy Kale Salad | Beyond Rice and Tofu

Crunchy Kale Salad

Adapted from Use Real Butter

4 cups kale, stems removed, torn
2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced or chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped if large


1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp almond butter
pinch of salt, if desired
3 Tbsp olive oil

Whisk together the orange juice, maple syrup, almond butter, and salt in a medium bowl until blended. Slowly add the olive oil while constantly whisking.

In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.


It’s best if the dressing is stirred in an hour or two before serving so that it has a chance to soften the raw kale leaves, especially if the recipients aren’t as big on raw kale as we are.  Or, if you love raw kale salads, you can make it and serve it right up.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I got hit with the flu last week. So once again, I was lucky that we had some pre-cooked meals in the frig. I had made three of them on Monday, the day that I started to get sick but didn’t yet realize it. And so we managed to make-do with those for the majority of the week. And we have some of the meals from last week waiting in the wings for this week.


Curried Red Lentil Soup – a Deborah Madison recipe, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Corn Chowder in Winter – recipe from my favorite veggie slow cooker cookbook.

Black Bean Chili with corn tortillas – a pressure cooker recipe from my favorite veggie PC cookbook.

Roasted Tofu with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice – I like to take advantage of having the oven on and roast both the tofu and sprouts. Roasting tofu makes for a nice chewy texture. I will probably make some sort of peanut sauce for the tofu and rice, or just use some pre-made San-J brand peanut sauce.

Tamales with Kale Salad – we’ll pull some of the tamales out of the freezer that we made over Christmas and eat up with some kale salad and maybe some Spanish rice.

Spaghetti and Salad – an “if-we-need-it” meal.

What’s on your menu this week? Need some inspiration? Check out the other meal plans over at Celiac Family.


I ended up with the flu this past week. First time in more than 12 years. But it got me. I made these the day that I was starting to get sick, but I was still in denial. I was SURE I was just getting a bad cold. Nope. But luckily I didn’t lose my appetite while I was sick. And these leftovers called my name all week in the frig. I had to make a deal with the hubby to split the last of them, we both loved them so much.

We enjoyed these topped with a dab of sour cream, chopped avocado and my homemade tomatillo salsa with its tangy taste, which is a nice complement to the other sweet and savory elements.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Kale Tacos | Beyond Rice and Tofu

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Kale Tacos

1 pound of sweet potatoes, 1/4″ dice

2 tsp oil, divided

2-1/2 tsp cumin, divided

2-1/2 tsp chile powder, divided

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1 onion, chopped

2 cups cooked black beans

3 cups kale, torn

Corn tortillas

Sour cream (omit for vegan or dairy-free)

Avocado, chopped

Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Preheat oven to 450*. Line a baking sheet with foil. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chile powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet. Roast for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how small you cut them, turning once.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion until tender. Add remaining 1-1/2 tsp cumin, 1-1/2 tsp chili powder and stir, cook for 1 minute. Mix in black beans. Add kale and 1/4 cup of water and stir well. Cook until kale is wilted down. Add roasted sweet potato and cook until potato is heated through again. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste. Add more cumin and/or chili powder as desired.

Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and allow to heat through. Lightly fry corn tortillas in oil on both sides.

Assemble tacos with sweet potato mixture, sour cream, chopped avocado and tomatillo salsa in corn tortillas.


Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Raw Kale and Avocado Salad with Lime-Sriracha Vinaigrette – we love our kale salads, and we love sriracha, so this is a big winner at our house! And of course, as I mentioned in the last post, we have fallen for the pizza crust too.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Kale Tacos with Slaw – we didn’t get to this last week, so we’ll be having it this week. And I think I finally have the recipe the way I like it so hopefully I will get around to posting it this week.

Vindaloo Vegetables with Rice – from my favorite slow cooker cookbook, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. A recipe to put in the frig for the week.

Potatoes and Peas in Red Curry – from another vegetarian slow cooker cookbook I found at Powell’s in Portland this summer called The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Another meal to be made and placed in the frig for later in the week.

Curried Red Lentil Soup – a Deborah Madison recipe, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Roasted Tofu with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice – I like to take advantage of having the oven on and roast both the tofu and sprouts. Roasting tofu makes for a nice chewy texture. I will probably make some sort of peanut sauce for the tofu and rice, or just use some pre-made San-J brand peanut sauce.

This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is beef. We don’t eat a whole lot of that around here (I do, sometimes), but if you do, be sure to check out the other menus posted over at Celiac Family. And even if not, there is plenty of inspiration for everyone!

What are you having this week?

You’ve probably seen the recipes too. I didn’t believe the raving reviews either. But you know what they say, seeing trying is believing – and now we believe!


The first time I made this I wasn’t sure if hubby would be up for me messing around with his traditional concept of pizza this much, so I made it just for me and he ate his own gluten-full frozen pizza. But when I told him what I was making he asked me to leave off the chicken on part of it so he could taste it too (he’s the veggie, not me). And when he tasted it he ended up preferring this pizza to his own gluten-full one!

One caveat, this crust makes a pizza that you need to eat with a fork, you can’t pick up a slice of the pizza. But it doesn’t matter, it is so delicious you won’t care. We’ve made this pizza the past three weekends and my (gluten-eating) husband and I are both in LUV.


Amazing Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Adapted from here, here and here.

One small head of cauliflower (about 2 cups after processing)

2 cups shredded cheese (I’ve used a mix of some leftover Monterrey jack and mozzarella and only mozzarella, any combo should work)

2 large eggs

1 Tbsp whole fennel seeds

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp crushed garlic (from a jar)

1/2 tsp salt

Your favorite pizza toppings

Preheat oven to 425. Preheat a sheet pan or baking stone, if desired (I used a baking stone). Chop the cauliflower into florets. Pulse in food processor until it becomes the texture of couscous. Transfer to a glass bowl. Cook cauliflower in the microwave (uncovered, no water needed) for 8 minutes.

Mix cauliflower and remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Spread mixture over hot(!) stone or sheet pan evenly. (My round pizza stone is about 12-14″ in diameter and the full recipe above is just a tad too much for my size of pan. So use two smaller pans – or just spread it thicker, which has so far worked for me.)

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Add toppings. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes, just enough to melt the cheese and rewarm. Cool slightly and serve. (The crust holds together better if you let it cool slightly before cutting and serving.)

Let me know if you try it, or if you make changes to this recipe and how it turned out and I will do the same. There are a lot of versions of this out in the blogosphere too… I hope you’ll use this as a jumping off point to find your new favorite!

**Don’t forget about the KIND giveaway. Entries will be open until tomorrow, Tuesday, January 29th at midnight mountain time.**

With my school and volunteer activity schedule these days, I have had to revise my typical meal planning/grocery shopping routine. I am not home from class until later in the evening on two nights and one evening I volunteer and so I am not home until quite late. But my husband is usually home on these evenings, and I like to make sure he is eating well even if I can’t be home (otherwise he’d be – happily – eating frozen pizza every night!). So, I have been utilizing some of my favorite kitchen tools, my slow cooker and pressure cooker, to make things a bit easier. On Sundays or Mondays, I have been cooking up two meals, at least one meal in the slow cooker, sometimes I even get both cookers out and fire them both up. These meals I just then put in the frig for later in the week. The same goes for the pressure cooker (PC).

This morning I have one slow cooker going and I have cooked some dry black beans in the PC for one meal this week (tacos below) and in a bit I am going to cook up another meal in the PC for later this week.

This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is cabbage and it is being hosted by Angela’s Kitchen. If you need help meal planning be sure to hop over there and check out what everyone else has on their menu plan this week for some inspiration. I wasn’t even paying attention to the theme for the week, but I have been on a cabbage kick lately myself (love me some spicy slaw!) and this week I have two meals with cabbage as a key ingredient.


Our plan for the week:

Perfect Hominy White Bean Chili from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker and possibly this Raw Kale with Lime-Sriracha Vinaigrette Salad – the chili is in the slow cooker as I type and will be put in the frig for later in the week.

Dilled Cabbage Soup with Rice and possibly veggie burgers on the side – this is  my pressure cooker recipe this week. The recipe comes from Lorna Sass’s Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. Also going into the frig for later in the week.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza and Salad – we are loving cauliflower crust pizza!!!

Buffalo “Wing” Chickpea Salad – my version is coming soon, inspired by this recipe.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Tacos with Spicy Slaw – a recipe in the works for the tacos.

Homemade Black Bean Tamales – from the freezer, if needed.

What’s on your meal plan for the week?

Okay, so don’t look back and see how long it has been since I posted last. Yes, I know it was May. A lot of bloggers that say that once you get out of the habit of posting that it can be hard to get back into it. I would agree. But also, a lot has happened since May!

I am sitting here now, staring at my Anatomy and Physiology notes, making flash cards to help me study connective tissues. Yep, I am back in school. I am studying Nutrition with a goal to become a Dietitian!

My journey began in the fall of 2011. For almost 15 years I had been working as a landscape architect. I made the decision to go to school to become a landscape architect when I was 16. Very few of us know who we are at 16. And most of us continue to evolve as people our whole lives. Over the past few years, I had discovered that landscape architecture was no longer my passion. It was a hard realization to come to as it felt like I had failed. I spent a good portion of 2011 trying to become “okay” with this realization.

As well, at 16, I didn’t realize then what an impact food would have on my life. I was diagnosed with celiac disease at 19. And while it did make an immediate impact on my daily life, I didn’t know then how much it would change my whole perspective on food, life – and the world. A few years later, I was lucky to become involved in the Chicago Chapter of the Celiac Sprue Association (Thanks to Ed and Betty for convincing me to get involved!). And then through that, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center (Thanks, Michelle!). All of those experiences have played a huge part in how I got to where I am right now.

And so I knew I had to get off my bum and do something about these feelings I was having. I was finally okay with leaving my old career behind. So, I did my research and talked to folks in the field and realized that yes, this is where my passion now lies – in healthy, great-tasting food!

So I met with the head of the Nutrition department at the University of New Mexico and figured out how to get this ball rolling in December of 2011. She suggested I go to the local community college and take care of the health sciences prerequisites I would need. So on January 2nd, 2012, I signed up for my first class at the community college – First Aid! The advisor suggested this in order to get me into the system so that I could have existing student/priority scheduling for the summer semester.

And so in May, shortly after my last post here, I started taking one class – I was still working full time in landscape architecture, and saving as much money as we could. I started out with General Chemistry I, which I hadn’t had since high school almost 20 years ago. Yikes! Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of extra time this past summer since I was working and battling chemistry! It was enough to get dinner on the table, groceries in the frig and keep the laundry going, let alone blog (or clean the house – thanks, hubby!). But all that work paid off with an A and a feeling that yes, I was headed in the right direction.

This past August rolled around and I left my job to start school full time. It has been an adventure. Education has changed A LOT! Technology, in particular, has changed everything. Last semester was filled with more chemistry, biology, public speaking (yuck!) and my first nutrition class. It is now the third week of the new spring semester and I have a full load of classes, along with some volunteer work to keep me busy. This semester it is organic chemistry, microbiology and anatomy/physiology. Whew! I have also applied to transfer to the University of New Mexico in the fall to start my junior year there. Fingers crossed.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to these last 8 months!

And when KIND Healthy Snacks contacted me asking if I was interested in helping them celebrate National Peanut Butter Day by hosting a giveaway, I said sure! It was a perfect reason to get me back here and finally write this post.

Yes, today, Thursday, January 24, is National Peanut Butter Day.

Happy Peanut Butter Day to you!

Now, I don’t know about you, but KIND bars are already some of my favorite gluten free on-the-go snacks. I almost always have a KIND bar in my purse or backpack for those moments when nothing else is safe and available and/or I need something RIGHT NOW! (You have those moments too, right?) I even took a big box of KIND bars to China with us when we went a few years back. If nothing else, I knew I would be able to eat a KIND bar! I love KIND bars over most other bars because they are made from healthy nuts and dried fruits – real food that I can see – with the occasional chocolate drizzle – and peanut butter! As well, they aren’t covered in chocolate, so they don’t melt. (Although some flavors can stick to their wrapper a bit after they have been banging around in your bag for a while, so eat up!)

KIND was kind enough to send me some samples of the giveaway products to try, most of which are new to me. Did you know that they have a Healthy Grains line of granola-like clusters? I didn’t. But I have to say, the peanut butter clusters are pretty awesome! And yes, celiac friends, they use gluten free oats, as it states clearly on the package ingredients.

Last night I was volunteering with some fellow nutrition students and so I took some of each of the products in the giveaway to share with them and everyone gobbled them right up. The verdict was  that they were all super tasty! (And everyone but me was a gluten-eater, so you can be assured that they don’t “taste” gluten free.)


In honor of today, KIND is allowing me to give away a selection of their peanut butter products! One lucky recipient will receive the KIND Peanut Butter Cube which contains the below:

Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters (2 pouches) – Tastes like crunchy peanut butter and is made of 100% whole grains like amaranth and quinoa

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein (4 bars) – Healthy, satisfying blend of peanuts and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.  It’s so good some people confuse for a candy bar.

Peanut Butter & Strawberry (4 bars) – If you don’t have time to make a PB&J sandwich, this bar tastes strikingly the same, and is just as good.

What is your favorite way to eat peanut butter? Let me know below, by midnight Mountain Time on Tuesday, January 29th, and be entered to win a KIND Peanut Butter Cube of your own. One entry per person, please.

I’ll start:  My favorite way to eat peanut butter is on toast with sliced bananas. Or with a spoon and a chunk of dark chocolate. (I can’t pick one favorite, can you?)

*The products were very kindly provided to me free of charge, but the opinions expressed above are my own.