Farmer’s Market Skillet (SRC)

Strolling through our local farmer’s market is one of the highlights of my weekend. The local bee keeper selling his honey, the vibrant fresh flowers are on display in gorgeous bouquets, the scent of fresh-popped kettle corn is intoxicating, and the colorful vegetables…oh, the fresh garden vegetables remind me of a rainbow in food form!
farmers market skilletMy favorite stand is the organic Cedar Rose Farms run by a sweet and very knowledgable couple. I always buy several items that they have featured for the week. Carrots, spring onions and zucchini were featured the week I made this recipe (yum!)…which was ideal for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal! I was thrilled to come across this Farmer’s Market Skillet from Heather’s blog Join Us, Pull Up a Chair and use up my farmer’s market goodies! It may not be the prettiest dish to photograph, but it was DELISH!

farmers market skillet vegI swapped out carrots for the corn since I didn’t find any at the market. I also incorporated goat feta cheese instead of cow’s for easier digestion my end (though you can swap out dairy-free cheese if needed OR use fresh avocado chunks and season with additional salt and lemon for a flavor boost) and used up the vegetable stock I had on hand to keep this a veggie-friendly main dish! I squeezed some additional lemon juice on top to amp up the acidity…which I’m about if you’ve been following me for a while 🙂 This was a big hit! It can stand alone as a dinner, quick lunch (hot or cold) or a zesty side dish alongside your favorite protein. Swap in your favorite fresh veggies to your liking – fresh corn kernels, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, beets, bell peppers, etc. I think this dish would also be delicious with chickpeas and a few olives for fun too!
farmers market skillet1While I happily chose to make her Farmer’s Market Skillet, Heather’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Pretzel Bars had me singing “It’s Peanut Butter-Jelly Time” along with a impromtpu shameless celebration dance in my kitchen while ideas swirled in my head to make a healthier and allergen-friendly version at a later date. I loved her idea for Buffalo Chicken Rolls as a hand-held appetizer and a perfect game-day recipe for upcoming football gatherings and Heather’s Gazpacho with Basil Cornbread Croutons made me want to hold on to warm summer days and sunshine.

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Farmer’s Market Skillet (lightly adapted from Join Us Pull Up a Chair)
Gluten-free, Soy-free, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Vegan and Dairy-free Options, Refined Sugar-free, Corn-free, Egg-free


1 3/4 cup broth (vegetable for veggie-friendly OR chicken stock or broth if desired)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
2-3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
2-3 green onions, chopped
1-2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese (I used goat’s feta – for dairy-free/vegan, use a shredded dairy-free cheese or choice, cashew cheese or substitute chunks of avocado)*
2-3 Tbsp chopped basil
salt and pepper

1 Tbsp lemon zest
2-3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 3 Tbsp bc I love acidity)
1 1/2 Tbsp honey, maple syrup or agave (do not use honey if strict vegan)
1 garlic clove, microplaned
1/2 tsp sea salt (or more to taste, if desired)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Using the broth or stock, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Once cooked, fluff the quiona with a fork and let cool slightly.

2. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette, whisk and set aside.

3. Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown.

3. Add the zucchini and green onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until just tender and then add the quinoa and half of the vinaigrette. Stir well and cook for an additional minute.

4. Add the remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, cheese/avocado and basil to the skillet. Stir well to combine. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or lemon juice if desired and enjoy!

If you want to make this a cold salad, do not combine the quinoa into the skillet. Let all ingredients cool separately and then combine the cooked quinoa, cooked vegetables, tomatoes, feta, basil and vingairette into a large bowl. Chill until you’re ready to serve.

*If you opt to substitute the cheese for avocado for an easy dairy-free swap, I suggest you add a bit more salt and lemon juice since the cheese adds a nice salty element to the dish and add the avocado right before serving. Enjoy!

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For other recipes from this week’s reveal, click the link below!


Butternut Whoopie Pies with Goat Cream Cheese Filling

The leaves are turning bright yellow and orange in Montana, the air is crisp and it’s set to snow tomorrow. It’s about time my pumpkin and winter squash recipes start appearing!

And so the goat cheese craving continues…yet this time in sweet form 🙂 You are welcome? Don’t be scared! These butternut whoopie pies have a slightly tangy but deliciously sweet and creamy filling to compliment the autumnal spiced cake-like cookies.

This recipe was adapted from King Arthurs’ pumpkin whoopie pies to make them gluten free. I cut the recipe in half since it was a “test recipe”, and I sure wish I hadn’t. These were delicious! I used up the last bit of King Arthur’s gluten free multi-purpose mix with this recipe, but I think that any all-purpose gluten free mix can be substituted.

A few other tweaks I made were eliminating the cloves since I didn’t have any on hand, reducing the sugar a bit while adding in some stevia, using butternut squash puree for the pumpkin (it’s my favorite of the winter squashes) and subbing honey for the molasses. Yummm.

A “baby” whoopie pie! Oh how I love mini foods 🙂 

I’ll be making a FULL batch again soon, and I’ll definitely be using this goat cream cheese filling as a frosting…I could eat that on all toast, cookies, cake or even apple slices 🙂 I thought it was plenty sweet but feel free to tweak the sweetener based on your preference.

Butternut Whoopie Pies with Goat Cheese Filling (adapted from King Arthur)


For the cookie

1/4 cup butter  or ghee (use Earth Balance for dairy-free), room temperature
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
1 Tbsp honey (or molasses)
1/8 tsp pure stevia (or 3-4 more Tbsp sugar)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg
3/4 cup butternut squash puree (or other winter squash puree or pumpkin)
1 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose mix
3/4 tsp xanthan gum

For the filling
3 ounces of cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat version)
2 ounces of mild chevre (goat cheese), at room temperature
1 tbsp butter, ghee or Earth Balance, room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp honey, maple syrup or agave (or more to taste for sweeter filling)


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat mat and set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine butter, oil, coconut sugar, honey, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
3. Add in butternut puree and eggs and whisk until combined.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and the xanthan gum. Add to the wet ingredients until combined.
5. Scoop the thick batter onto prepared cookie sheet (size will depend on how big you want your pies to be). Bake smaller cookies for 12-13 minutes and larger one for 16-17 or until lightly golden around edges and slightly firm to touch while still soft. Remove from oven and let cool completely while you prepare filling.
6. Use a beater or a mixer, beat cream cheese, chevre and butter until light and creamy. Add in vanilla and sweetener to taste.
7. To assemble, spread filling on bottom of one cookie and place another cookie on top to create a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Enjoy!

Makes about one dozen 2 inch whoopie pies or 6-7 (4-inch) pies

Sun-Dried Tomato, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Omelette

Time flies, I can’t believe the end of September is upon us! Weeks have flown by and I have started several posts without finishing them (yes, you can slap my hand for me).

Fall baking has begun at my place (recipes to come)….along with my craving for all things goat cheese.

Let’s just say the combination of goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes is a serious weakness of mine. I’m not sure why I hadn’t discovered this luscious combo in my earlier years…unless my palate wasn’t quite refined enough to appreciate the flavor explosion those two ingredients create when paired together.

Sprinkled on salads, smeared on crackers, served on/inside/alongside chicken and cooked with omelettes, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes may go together as well as…dare I say…chocolate and peanut butter? OK, I won’t stretch my luck for those of you who aren’t yet convinced on goat cheese, but the pairing has definitely won over this foodie!

Nothing fussy or complicated here, this simple omelette allows the ingredients to really shine.  I’ve been making variations of this recipe for a couple years now, yet I wonder why I’ve never posted it? Snapping photos of breakfast early in the morning could be the culprit, especially when this single-serving meal gets cold quickly and I like to chow down when I wake up 🙂

Sun-Dried Tomato, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Omelette


2 eggs
1 egg white
splash of milk or water
black pepper to taste
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
sea salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp oil, divided (I used the oil from jarred sun-dried tomatoes for more flavor)
1 handful baby spinach (or your favorite leafy green)
2 Tbsp jarred sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil with herbs, cut into pieces
1-2 Tbsp goat cheese crumbles (omit for dairy free, but may need to add salt and/or spices for flavoring)


1. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, egg white, splash of milk/water and black pepper and set aside.
2. In a medium skillet, add 1 tsp oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with sea salt and saute until golden brown (about 5 minutes or so), stirring occasionally. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.
3. Add remaining 1/2 oil to pan and swirl to coat. Whisk eggs again briefly before adding to pan. Pour eggs and swirl around pan to coat evenly. Cover and let cook for 2 minutes then *sprinkle or lightly spray with a couple drops of water (this helps moisten the omelette!) and cover again and cook until almost set and cooked through (another 2-3 minutes).
4. Add spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and half of the mushrooms on half of the omelette and fold over and gently side onto a plate. Fold over the other side on top of the filling, garnish with remaining mushrooms and an additional sprinkle of goat cheese if desired. Enjoy immediately!

Note: If you want your spinach more wilted, add them to the pan after you saute the mushrooms for a minute or so and cover to keep warm before adding to filling.

Butternut Squash Skillet Hash

I’ve had a butternut squash sitting on my counter for about a month now. I actually forgot it was there since I’ve walked past it so many times that it’s become part of the kitchen decor.

Instead of letting it sit there “looking pretty”, I decided to make two dishes: the first being a vegetarian skillet hash and the other was a soup  substituting butternut for the squash in my spicy kabocha coconut soup recipe !

This hash combines butternut squash with sweet raisins, sauteed mushrooms and creamy tangy goat cheese for a simple but flavor-packed vegetarian meal. I have noted substitutions for a vegan dish and other ingredients for different flavor variations – this is one of those flexible meals so use what you like!

Butternut Squash Skillet Hash


4 cups butternut squash cut in small cubes (1/2 in) or 3 1/2 cups shredded butternut squash (sweet potatoes would also be delicious)
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee or Earth Balance (use oil or Earth Balance for vegan)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp onion powder (I was out of onion and had to use a back-up – could sub 1/2 cup diced onion and add while cooking the squash)
dash of crushed red pepper (omit if you don’t like heat)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I bet red bell pepper would be good too if mushrooms aren’t your favorite)
1/4 cup raisins (cranberries or golden raisins could be subbed)
2 handfuls of baby greens, optional but a variety of color (I used baby spinach, about 2 cups)
3-4 Tbsp goat cheese (or feta) (could use nutritional yeast for vegan for different flavor)
3 Tbsp chopped nuts or seeds (I forgot to add before taking photos, optional but good – I used a combo of walnuts and hemp seeds)
salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large skillet, heat oil/butter over medium heat. Add squash and season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 9-10 minutes until softened and cooked through, stirring occasionally.
2. Add garlic, onion powder, red pepper and mushrooms and saute for another 2-3 minutes until mushrooms are cooked. Toss in the raisins and greens and cook until greens are wilted, a minute or so.
3. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper if needed and toss with cheese and nuts/seeds.  Serve while warm and enjoy!

Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side dish (or one really hungry person)