Smokey Tomato and Shrimp Stew

You could say this meal is a happy accident. I started this dish with the intention making jambalaya…then I wasn’t happy with the flavor combination and it morphed into a comforting soup that hit the spot for these long winter nights we’ve been having. I immediately scribbled down all of the ingredients because I will be making this one again soon!

Smoked paprika, green lentils, diced tomatoes, celery and bell pepper and chicken stock make up the base of this recipe. I threw in two sliced links of chicken sausage (andouille would have been delicious but I didn’t have that on hand) and shrimp for added protein and bulk. I am picky about rice in soups but the addition of 1 to 2 cups of cooked brown rice could also be added or served on the side for an even heartier meal.

Smokey Tomato and Shrimp Stew


3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp oil, butter, ghee (butter/ghee lends a richer flavor)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup cooked green lentils
2 links of cooked chicken sausage, sliced
26 oz boxed diced tomatoes (I used Pomi brand), canned works too
2 cups chicken broth (I used homemade chicken stock)
20- 24 cooked shrimp (50-70 count)
1 1/2 Tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos, tamari or gluten free soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste


1. In a Dutch oven or a large soup pot, heat oil/butter over medium heat. Add celery, onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally.
2. Add garlic and seasonings and saute about 1 minute until fragrant.
3. Add lentils, sausage and tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in broth and let cook for 10 minutes until heated through.
5. Lastly, stir in the shrimp and Braggs until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

Recipe Notes: Leftovers were delicious after the flavors had more time to marry. Enjoy 🙂


Hummus Bread

If I had to eat hummus every meal for a week straight, I think I might be able to do it.

Example of one day might look like this:

Breakfast – hummus and avocado over gluten free toast
Snack – Rice crackers and carrots with hummus
Lunch – Open-faced turkey sandwich on hummus bread
Snack – 3-ingredient deviled eggs (made with hummus)
Dinner – Grilled chicken or grilled portabella mushrooms (for vegetarian), rice/millet/quinoa and sauteed greens served with a big dollop of hummus

Too much for you? Maybe that’s a little overboard. I am not advocating an all-hummus diet, I’m just sayin’ I love that creamy spread/dip.

I’ve baked with garbanzo beans and other cooked beans in breads and desserts before, so why not add a bean spread into a bread recipe for added moisture? I was curious if this would turn out…I am happy to report that it did!

I present to you an egg-free, yeast-free, gluten-free bread baked with prepared hummus. It’s similar to a flatbread, a bit dense from the lack of starch and eggs but it has a nice depth of flavor and was delicious warm out of the pan! I meant to sprinkle a tablespoon of sesame seeds on the bread prior to baking for adding texture and presentation, but I forgot 😦 I’ll put that on my list next time around!

Hummus Bread


1/2 cup oat flour (I grind my own gluten-free oats)
1/2 cup garbanzo bean/chickpea flour (or other bean flour)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp coconut flour (or you can substitute 1/4 cup 3-4 Tbsp brown rice, teff, sorghum, buckwheat or other gluten free flour)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp paprika, optional
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp olive oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, refined coconut oil or butter/ghee/Earth balance
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp prepared hummus (any flavor, I used original hummus from the deli)
1 tsp lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
3. Add remaining ingredients and stir until moistened. Batter should be thick.
4. Spread and press into the loaf pan evenly. Bake for 18-21 minutes until cooked through and no longer gooey (mine cooked for 18 1/2 in my toaster oven). Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and cut into bars. Enjoy!

Carob Covered Coconut Protein Bars/Energy Squares

A few weeks ago, Sonia at the Healthy Foodie posted a recipe for her peanut butter and chocolate energy squares. These little squares looked and sounded so appealing, I had them on my mind until I was able to get into the kitchen and whip a version up myself!

Though I love peanut butter and chocolate together, I opted for a caffeine free and nut free version, just for kicks 🙂 I admit, these bars are quite addicting and were the perfect pre and/or post workout snack when I was needed something quick. They taste SO, SO yummy that these squares were enjoyed for dessert on several nights as well. Next time (umm, this week), I will triple the batch because I went through these so fast!

Sonia wanted to up the protein a bit in her bars; for 8 bars mine came in around 12 grams of protein per serving, plus its low in sugar, contains healthy fats, fiber, potassium and calcium! I rarely ever calculate the nutritional information for recipes, but was curious how mine stacked up…

If you wanted to increase the protein content by several grams, substitute half of the coconut butter for almond or peanut butter and use almond meal/flour for the coconut flour if preferred. If you want a lower calorie bar, cut them smaller into 10 or 12 servings – it’s up to you!

Carob Covered Coconut Protein Bars/Energy Squares
(inspired from The Healthy Foodie)


Bottom Layer
1/2 cup coconut butter, melted (I used homemade coconut butter)
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp honey, agave or brown rice syrup
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla)
100 grams all-natural vanilla protein powder (I tested this with Jay robb’s whey protein, was 3 scoops)
3 Tbsp flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp oat flour or oat bran
2 Tbsp coconut flour (could sub your favorite flour but would need to increase amount by a 1-2 Tbsp)
pinch of sea salt

Top Layer 
2  1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (I used unrefined for more coconut flavor)
2 – 3 Tbsp carob powder (or cocoa or cacao powder)
1 Tbsp honey, agave or brown rice syrup
pinch of sea salt, optional but enhances the flavor

For garnish, optional
Chopped nuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas or shredded coconut


For the bottom layer
1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine coconut butter, applesauce, sweetener and extracts. Process until smooth.
3. Add in protein powder through sea salt and pulse until combined and well incorporated. If the mixture looks too wet, add a bit more flour (the bottom layer will firm up when refrigerated though). Spoon and spread into the loaf pan and refrigerate until firm (I left the bars overnight, but you also freeze the bars for an hour or so before finishing them with top layer).

For the top layer
1. Combine all of the topping ingredients and stir with a spoon or fork until well combined.  Pour/spread over the chilled bottom layer and sprinkle with chopped nuts/seeds/coconut.
2. Place bars back in the refrigerator or freezer until firm (several hours). Cut into bars and enjoy!

I stored these bars in the freezer (these tasted fantastic cold) but refrigerated works well too.

Ginger-Garlic Baby Bok Choy

It’s time for some more greens around here! The last couple weeks I’ve been baking and tasting up a storm for Fork and Bean’s Valentine’s bake-off. Instead of eating sweet for all my meals and snacks, I thought I would be saute something green to make my tummy happy 🙂

I don’t do well on overload of sugar so the ginger helped alleviate the sourness in my stomach (ginger is good for nausea too) and the crunchy bok choy was light and flavorful. This dish is an easy side or a light lunch served with cooked grains like whole-grain brown rice or quinoa. I made my easy baked tofu and served this bok choy alongside cooked quinoa for a healthy no-fuss meal.

Ginger-Garlic Baby Bok Choy (inspired by this dish at Epicurious)


1/2 to 1 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce, Tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 Tbsp vegetable or chicken broth (or you could probably use water if you don’t have either on hand)
heaping 1/2 tsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
sea salt
1 Tbsp refined coconut oil (no coconut taste), grapeseed oil, peanut oil or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or very thinly sliced
1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
dash of crushed red pepper flakes (I used two shakes)
7-8 baby bok choy, washed thoroughly and cut in half
1 tsp sesame seed oil
sesame seeds (black, white or a combo), I eyeballed it about 1/2 to 1 tsp


1. Stir together broth, soy sauce, tapioca starch, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt until the tapioca has dissolved. Set aside.
2. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour oil down side of wok, then swirl oil, tilting wok to coat side.
3. Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes stir-fry until pale golden, 5 to 10 seconds. Add half of bok choy and stir-fry until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes, then add remaining bok choy and stir-fry until all leaves are bright green and limp, 2 minutes total.
4. Stir broth mixture, then pour into wok and stir-fry 15 seconds. Cover with lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sesame oil and sesame seeds, then transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!