Creamy tomato soup
There’s nothing better to do with a surplus of homegrown tomatoes than make tomato soup. I can only eat so many of them fresh. This year we have a super abundance of tomatoes. We harvested 25 pounds just in the last week! I will be making this soup a lot this summer. So much so that I decided to buy a food mill to make the straining step easier.
Creamy herb dressing
Creamy herb dressing is a staple in our house. I started out making it as a classic ranch with fresh dill and parsley, but over time have made many variations with different herbs from my garden. My favorite way to eat it is as a dip for fresh celery. Celery has such a fantastic texture and flavor that combines perfectly with this dressing. I love how when I crunch down on the celery the cells burst open and release their watery juices. It reminds me of the way it feels to jump into a pool on a hot summer day. The dressing is also delicious on a salad or heaped onto a fish fillet or chicken thigh and baked.
Tomato basil turkey meatloaf
This meatloaf is many steps above the bland and boring meatloaf we all know and loathe. The combination of almond flour and egg mixed with the ground turkey gives it a cheesy flavor and texture. The tomato-basil topping is downright delicious. I found it challenging to take a pretty photo of it. I hope you’ll trust me that it tastes great! It looks appetizing in person. It is Whole30 and Paleo approved, gluten free, and dairy free. It is very quick and easy to make too.
Sweet potato chicken nuggets
This is another fantastic Whole 30 approved recipe. Who doesn’t love chicken nuggets? These are particularly yummy with a hint of sweetness from the sweet potato, perfectly sized for dipping. The nuggets are surprisingly easy to make too.
My go-to fish recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express. The fish fillets are smeared with a paste made from garlic, oregano, olive oil, and lemon juice. Then they're baked for just eight minutes and sprinkled with olives. I make this recipe time and time again because it works with any kind of fish, it’s easy and made with ingredients I always have, and it consistently comes out delicious. This time I used fresh mahi mahi that we got on trip to the Texas gulf coast.
We discovered the slow cooker is by far our favorite way to cook turkey legs. When you do nothing more than add salt and pepper and cook low and slow, the meat ends up so tender you can pull it cleanly off the bone with your fingers. It tastes so delicious we end up with nothing left but a pile of shiny white bones and tendons. There are so many little bones in turkey legs a lot of it usually ends up not getting eaten. Carnivals are always full of people walking around with a carnage-covered turkey bone. The slow cooker totally solves this problem, and the flavor and texture of the turkey soar.
We are healthy eaters, most of the time. Vacation is another story. When we went to the beach for a recent weekend getaway, I packed a ton of food to help us stay on track. I figured the more good food we had with us, the less tempted we’d be by the chips and cookies that usually figure heavily in our travels. Full disclosure: we still treated ourselves to one dinner out (mmmmmm shrimp po’ boy) and some chips while we were on the road. And I had an ice cream float one night- it’s the beach! I consider it a success, both the food and the trip overall. The key was bringing healthy foods we couldn’t resist.
Slow cooker kalua pork
This super simple slow cooker pulled pork recipe is such a treat. It is one of my favorite recipes to serve at a big gathering, to take on a road trip, or just to indulge. The flavors are inspired by the Hawaiian method of roasting a pig in the ground. I’ve actually roasted whole pigs in the ground several times and it always comes out amazing. This slow cooker recipe is amazing too. It is juicy, tender, and flavorful.
I have a major sweet tooth. Going sugar free is a real challenge for me. This tasty banana “ice cream” hits the spot. It has only three ingredients and is super simple to make. Really you just need frozen banana. I added peanut butter for flavor, which might be my favorite add-in for banana ice cream. Cocoa powder and almond butter are great too. I added coconut milk to make it easier to blend in my not-so-powerful mini food processor. If you have a powerful blender, you probably won’t even need the milk. This couldn’t be any easier or healthier given how indulgent it tastes.
Fennel and orange salad
This is hands down the best fennel dish I’ve made. The salad is bright, crunchy, and sweet. The fennel adds just enough licorice flavor without being overpowering. I started with a recipe from my favorite cooking blog, Smitten Kitchen, and substituted a few ingredients. I’ve posted a few recipes from Smitten Kitchen before: Garlic & Butter Roasted Mushrooms, Deb’s Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix, and Strawberry Summer Cake. I can always trust Deb for a fantastic recipe. I think we are foodie kindred spirits. I served the salad with cod roasted in lots of lemon juice. It was a light, refreshing, and fulfilling meal.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.