Jacob’s Best Broccoli Salad

Every summer I enjoy finding a new favorite salad recipe.  And this summer my son Jacob gets the prize for the best salad of summer!  Here is Jacob’s version of broccoli salad, packed full of healthy ingredients AND it’s so yummy.  Sometimes we even have a bowl for dessert or a late evening snack.  Ready for some delicious nutrition?  Here we go…


3 heads broccoli (or as much as you can get, Jacob says), chopped, including tender stems
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup olive oil
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a big salad bowl.  It’s ready to eat, or you can refrigerate it and eat it all week.  Enjoy!

Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Daniel 1:12 (NKJV)

p.s.  My son Jacob is about to serve a one-year mission with Campus Crusade for Christ, planting CRU groups at colleges around Europe.  If you would like to learn more about his mission, please contact me.

Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Garden Minestone Soup

agardenminestronesoupYes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.  Psalm 85:12 (NKJV)

Today is the first day of fall, and we are still bringing in veggies from our garden.  What a fun summer we had watching it grow, setting out sprinklers on super-hot days, and bending over to pull weeds (well, we ignored many of them!).  Now we are enjoying the fruits of our labors and trying to find creative ways to incorporate all these veggies into our meals. Thank you, Jesus, for our garden!

Here is one of our favorite soups which uses at least seven ingredients from our garden. The original recipe came from The first Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (1977).  I modified her recipe to fit our garden and taste buds.  Garden minestrone soup doesn’t take long to prepare.  Enjoy this on a crisp fall day!

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 to 2  cups celery, chopped (I like extra)
1 to 2 cups carrots, circles or half-circles
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 to 2 cups zucchini, diced
1 cup green pepper, chopped
2 cups tomato juice
3 1/2 cups water
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup dry gluten-free pasta
Fresh parsley

Putting it Together:
In a big soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until soft, but not brown.  Add the carrots, celery, and garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Add pepper, oregano, and basil.  Cover and cook over low heat 5-8 minutes while you prepare more veggies.  Add zucchini, green pepper, tomato juice, water, and garbanzo beans.  Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes.  Add tomatoes and 1 more teaspoon salt.  Now turn up heat and bring soup to a boil. Add the gluten-free pasta and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Serve topped with fresh parsley from your garden.  Hmm, hmm, taste those blessings!

While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.  Genesis 8:22


Little Joel heads out two or three times a day to harvest garden veggies.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.


Chickpea Salad

chickpea saladWhen the thermometer is in the 90’s and creeping to 100, you want to avoid the oven and stove at dinner.  Here is a tasty and nutritious summer salad sure to please!

Our son Jacob is into eating healthy, so I googled chickpea heathy facts for this recipe.  You will be happy to know that according to The World’s Healthiest Foods,
“Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of molybdenum and manganese. They are also a very good source of folate and copper, as well as a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, protein, iron, and zinc.” Mix those nutrients with some tasty veggies and seasonings, and you have a fresh, delicious dinner!

I have so many people to thank for this recipe!  Thank you to FISHLOVE who posted the original recipe on allrecipes.com.  Thank you to my co-Grandma Dana who made this for our daughter Kallie on the birth of our granddaughter Kennedy.  And thank you to my friend Elsbeth who loved it when I made it for her when her new baby Eli was born.  Try this for your next supper on a hot day…

2 (19 oz) cans garbonzo beans drained and rinsed
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 mini red pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/3 cup mayo or dairy-free yogurt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dry dill weed
salt and pepper
fresh spinach leaves or pocket bread

Putting it together:
Put chickpeas (garbonzo beans) in a bowl and mash slightly with a fork.  Add veggies, mayo, lemon juice and seasonings. Cover and chill in frig until ready to eat. Serve in pita pocket bread or on a bed of fresh spinach (my gluten-free favorite), with a side of fresh fruit and a tall glass of lemonade or ice tea.  Your summer evening is set!

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. John 1:12 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Split Pea Soup (GF and DF)

asplit pea soupHere is a wonderful crock pot recipe to warm you on a cold winter’s day. Just put it together at breakfast time, and it will be waiting for you at supper time!

In a large crock pot, combine:
6 cups or so water
2 cups dried split peas or lentils
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced carrots
1 red onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf

Cook on high for 8 hours. Before serving, ladle 2 cups of the soup into a blender, blending until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the crock pot. For an extra touch, add:
1/4 cup molasses and juice from 1/2 a lemon. Serve with rice crackers and fruit salad. Delicious!

He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.  Psalm 23:3 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Tofu Salad

img_0052This refreshing summer salad is packed full of protein and sweet fruit.  You can eat it as a salad, serve on toast, put it in wrap…so many ways to enjoy it!  No kids in this picture, Joel says it’s weird :-). But it’s super yummy for grown-ups!

12 oz. package extra firm tofu, drained and diced
1-2 cups grapes, halved
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup pecans or almonds, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup Vegenaise mayo
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger

In a large bowl, combine the tofu, grapes, celery, nuts, and raisins.  In a separate container, mix together the dressing: Vegenaise, curry powder, salt, and ginger.  Pour the dressing over the tofu mixture and toss to coat.  Cover and chill the tofu salad until serving time.  Garnish with lettuce leaves, serve alone or on gluten-free toast or wraps.  Delicious!

 As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him. Psalm 18:30 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Vegetable Rice Chowder

This quick and yummy soup is perfect for a blustery fall day or the frigid days of winter.  Use leftover veggies to make chowder on the stove top or in your rice cooker.  Snuggle in with a steaming bowl of vegetable rice chowder today!


5 cups water
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
3 cups diced veggies (potatoes, carrots, celery, green beans, peas, corn, etc.)
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

On the stove top, bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.  Just before serving add 1 cup milk.
In the rice cooker, put all ingredients in the inner pot.  Program for desired eating time.  Just before serving add 1 cup milk.
Serve with cheese and crackers and home-made gluten-free bread.

“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to help you,
And in His excellency on the clouds.
The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms…  Deuteronomy 33:26-27 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Gluten Free Corn Bread & Vegetarian Chili

GF Facts:
There are several items that the gluten-free dieter should avoid when purchasing groceries.  Most of these are processed foods including breads, cakes, cookies, pies, pasta, rice mixes, cereal, pancakes, sweet rolls, and some teas.  Other items include processed dairy products, processed fruits and vegetables, processed meats, soups, matzo, licorice, some candies, thickeners, soy sauce, modified food starch, and malt. 

The best way to avoid these unwanted ingredients is to make your meal from scratch with naturally gluten-free ingredients.  Here’s a favorite lunch or dinner meal for a cool day in summer or any time of the year.  You will feel good knowing your corn bread and chili are additive and gluten-free!  This is also a special meal to have when guests are arriving for the holidays.  Keep the chili warm in the crockpot as people arrive at various times.

Gluten Free Corn Bread

1 cup corn meal
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp. xanthum gum
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup oil or applesauce
2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inch pan.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Add milk, butter and eggs.  Beat 1 minute.  Pour into buttered pan.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with honey, syrup, or vegetarian chili.

Vegetarian Chili

16 oz. dry kidney beans or bean variety, soaked overnight
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. basil
3 Tbsp. chili powder
Dash of cayenne
Salt & pepper
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup carrots, cut into circles
1 cup frozen corn
32 oz. can diced tomatoes (or 2 small cans)

Drain soaked beans.  Put beans in a big soup pot and add 6-8 cups water and 1 tsp. salt.   Cook until tender (about 1 1/2 hours).  In a frying pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil.   Add cumin, basil, chili powder, cayenne, salt, pepper, green pepper, carrots, and corn.  Pour a bit of water to help steam the vegetables.  Add the saute to the cooked beans and water.  Stir in the tomatoes.  Simmer over low heat about 3 hours.  Serve with cheese and corn bread.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.