Easy French Onion Soup (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

Such and easy soup to make and so silky, rich and sweet.  If you like French Onion soup but you’ve always thought it was too hard to make for yourself, this is the recipe for you.  Makes 2 servings.

You’ll need:

  • 1 large or 2 medium onions (I used a Vidalia but you can use any onion you like)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 blend
  • 2-3 cups vegetable (or mushroom) stock (or if you can use it, use beef stock but I find the vegetable stock makes a very rich soup)
  • 2 slices of gluten-free bread (I love the DeLong’s millet bread)
  • 2 slices of dairy-free mozzarella or provolone cheese

First, cut onion in half and then cut across into slices.  If you want, you can then cut these slices in half.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a 4 quart pot (you want as much space on the bottom as possible while having room to add the stock later.  Stir the onions every few minutes to be sure that they don’t burn.  You want to caramelize them which takes about 20 minutes and you will probably want to reduce the heat when they begin to brown.  This is the longest, hardest part of the cooking process.

Once the onions are caramelized, add the flour and stir to make sure it is absorbed by the oil.  Over low heat, let the flour cook out for a couple of minutes.  Its okay if it sticks a little to the bottom of the pan since adding the stock will deglaze the pan.  Add 2 cups of stock and stir until it starts to boil.  If the soup is too thick (you want it silky but not as thick as gravy), add more stock to thin.  Reduce heat as low as it will go and cover pot.  Let cook 10 minutes.

According to every recipe I’ve seen on making French Onion soup, it tastes best if you chill it overnight and let the flavors melt together.  But its so good I won’t blame you if you put it hot into two oven-proof bowls and eat it the same day!

Using a large biscuit cutter if you have one or just a knife, cut the bread so that each slice will fit into one of the bowls.  In a fry pan large enough for both slices, heat the 1 tablespoon oil and when hot, add the bread rounds and grill on both sides.  Place on top of the soup and then put a slice of cheese on top of the bread rounds.  Broil (or microwave) until the cheese melts.  If you broil it, you’ll get that great crust on the cheese like in a restaurant.  Enjoy!

Quick Celery Root and Leek Soup (dairy-free, gluten-free)

This is a quick and easy soup that tastes wonderful; creamy and rich even without dairy or thickening.  Provides 2 large bowls or 4 smaller ones if you’re using it as an appetizer.

You’ll need:

  • 2 good sized leeks, white and green parts only, cut in half and washed then sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves depending on how much you like garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite herb mixture
  • 1 medium celery root, peeled and diced (like potatoes, the smaller you dice the root, the quicker it will cook)
  • 3 cups of  light vegetable broth (or if you prefer chicken stock or broth)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized pot, heat oil and add the leeks and lightly salt them; cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the garlic (you don’t need to slice it, just peel it) as well as the herbs.  Add the stock or broth along with the diced celery root, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until celery root is tender. Blend in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.

Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Want a quick and easy yet tasty lunch?  This takes only minutes, is very filling and delicious.  Serves 2.


  • 1 can of tuna
  • 1/4 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup cooked peas
  • 2 tablespoons (or enough for your taste, don’t make it too dry) of your favorite vinaigrette or vegan mayonnaise

Spoon mixture onto large lettuce leaves (I used red butter lettuce).  You’ll need 6 to 8 leaves depending on how hungry you are and how big a spoonful you place on each lettuce leaf and how many toppings you want to add.

You can top each lettuce leaf with a number of things to give them some crunch and/or added flavor such as:

  • Grated carrot
  • Grated radish
  • Grated jicama*
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced avocado

*If you aren’t familiar with jicama, its also called Mexican yam bean or Mexican turnip.  Its a white, fibrous root that has a high water content and is very crunchy like an apple. Jicama is an anti-inflammatory that can help people who suffer from disorders such as IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and ulcers.  Its also very delicious.

Carrot Cake (dairy, gluten, egg, and refined sugar free)

My husband’s favorite cake is carrot cake, so moist and flavorful.  One of my favorites as well since it has so little sweetener because of the sweetness of the carrots.  This recipe allows you to add some granulated fructose, stevia, or chopped dates in place of the sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Lightly grease a large 12-cup bundt pan.

In a large bowl, combine:

  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (one 12 ounce bag of baby carrots)
  • 1/4 cup fructose or chopped dates (or 2 teaspoons of stevia)
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil or 1/4 cup applesauce (or pear sauce)

Mix well to combine.  Add:

  • 1 3/4 cups Bobs 1 for 1 gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup Bobs Sweet Sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup potato flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raisins, cranberries, currents, etc. (optional)
  • 1/4 cup ground walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, hemp hulls, etc. (optional)

Mix while adding  1 1/2 cup club soda.  If the batter is too thick, add more club soda until batter is the consistency of thick mashed potatoes.

Bake 60-75 minutes depending on how hot your oven runs.  Cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes before turning out of the pan.  Cool completely before frosting.

Frost with plain cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 8-ounce package of non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1-3 tablespoons of agave nectar, depending on how sweet your family likes frosting (you can also use honey or coconut nectar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix using a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.

Easy Maple Walnut Cake (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free)

If your family likes a gooey, nutty, sweet dessert, but you don’t have a lot of time to make desserts and they’re hungry for a sweet right now, this one is a great one to try.  My husband loved it with the sugar-free vanilla ice cream on top but I’m sure a non-dairy frozen dessert would work just as well.  Very easy and quick to make.  It took me less than ten minutes to get it in the oven.  Should be served hot.  Serves 4-6 depending on portion size.  Doubles well if you need more servings.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Liberally grease a 5×8″ baking pan.  If you don’t have a 5×8″ baking pan, you could make individual cakes in a muffin tin.

Heat in a small saucepan until it boils:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (I used my husband’s Maple Grove Sugar-Free syrup)

Mix in a medium sized bowl:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1for1)
  • 1/8 cup sweet sorghum flour
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup of sweetener such as granulated fructose (or you could use stevia but of course not as much, probably 1 tablespoon would be more than enough since this is just to add a little sweetness to the cake); or agave or coconut nectar but then decrease the amount of milk to adjust for the liquid sweetener.
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice

Mix well and then add:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon softened margarine of choice
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice or enough to make it the consistence of soft mashed potatoes

Mix well until margarine is well combined.  Pour the hot syrup into the bottom of the baking dish and pour the mixture (or spoon if easier but be sure to cover as much of the syrup as possible).  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  If you’re using the muffin pan, check them after 10 minutes.

Place on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes; loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and then turn out onto a serving plate.  Sprinkle the top liberally with chopped or ground walnuts.  If you want it nut free, use hemp hulls, sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead of the walnuts.  Serve with some non-dairy frozen dessert, whipped topping, or sugar-free ice cream.

Easy Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes (dairy free)

I’m a real lover of curry.  My mother grew up in Jamaica and introduced us to English curry very early on (Jamaica was still a British territory when she lived there).  That’s made quite differently from the Indian and Asian curries I’ve now come to love.  Here’s a quick, easy recipe that serves two but can easily be doubled, etc.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 to 1 pound diced chicken, depending on your appetite
  • 1 medium or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 small to medium onion (I used red but it doesn’t matter), diced
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1-3 teaspoons Madras curry powder [if you want a mild curry flavor, use 1 teaspoon; for a full flavored, slightly hot curry, add 3 teaspoons]; if you use the pre-bottled stuff from the grocery store, you’ll need to add more because those are very bland. Some Whole Foods stores, and probably now some grocery stores, have it in bins where you can purchase the amounts you want.
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock or, if you can use it coconut milk

Heat a medium to large skillet over high heat and add the oil when hot.  When the oil gets hot, turn the heat down to medium, add the curry powder and toast until very fragrant but be careful not to burn it, this should take less than a minute.  Add the diced chicken, onion, garlic and celery.  Cover and cook until veggies are soft and chicken is cooked, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the sweet potato and chicken stock, cover and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 7-10 , minutes.  At this point, you have several choices.  You can remove the cover and let the liquid boil off OR you can add 1/2 tablespoon of corn starch or gluten free flour (all purpose works fine) that you’ve dissolved in 1/4 cup of stock or milk.  That will thicken the sauce.

Plate and garnish with chopped scallions, dried cranberries or raisins along with a quarter of lime.  Curry loves citrus and sweet things so feel free to add cranberries, raisins or coconut, along with nuts (the oilier nuts work best here rather than almonds or macadamias; my mother always added walnuts) for a crunch or put them on the side so they can be added to taste.

Quinoa Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free)

This is easy to make and one of those dishes where you can follow my recipe exactly or add whatever vegetables your family likes.  Quick and easy.  To turn this side dish into a meal, simply add 12 ounces of flaked tuna or salmon, or cooked chicken.  If you want to add more fiber, you can add some sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or even some hemp hulls or chia seeds.  This recipe is also very easily reduced to make fewer servings.

Put in a 2 quart saucepan:

  • 1 cup plain or red quinoa
  • 2 cups water

Cover and cook on medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and fluff with a fork before you put it in the fridge to cool.

To a 10-12 inch skillet heat:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 small zucchini sliced
  • 1 small summer or yellow squash sliced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic depending on size
  • 1 small yellow, orange or red pepper chopped

Saute over medium heat until softened.  Put aside to cool.

Add to the pan:

  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (I like to use the rainbow)
  • 1/2 cup diced jicama (or if you prefer apple)
  • 1/2 cup sliced snap or snow peas
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked green peas
  • 1/2 cup cooked yellow or white corn

In a large mixing bowl, add the quinoa and all the vegetables.  Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite vinaigrette and mix thoroughly.  Chill.  You may need to add more of the vinaigrette after you’ve chilled it since it may dry out as the quinoa absorbs more of the liquid.  I like to serve this on a bed of red leaf lettuce.  This recipe serves 8-10 as a side dish.

Salmon with Bok Choy (dairy-free)

Want a quick meal that is very tasty?  This one can be prepared and cooked in less than a half hour.  Bok choy is one of my favorite vegetables and it pairs very well with a salmon filet.  Here I’ve sautéed the bok choy with some red onion and garlic in a little olive oil and topped the salmon with an easy mustard sauce.  The recipe serves two, or if you’re like me and love bok choy, this serves just me!

You’ll need:

  • 4 small to medium bok choy, washed and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 salmon filets
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon stevia (or 2 tablespoons agave or honey, 1/8 teaspoon monk fruit powder,  etc.)

Prepare 4 small to medium baby bok choy by cutting of the lower portion and rinsing thoroughly under cold water.  The bok choy may still have some spots and that’s okay.  Be sure to rinse the green portion as well as the white.  Then slice from bottom to the leaves, you can use all of this vegetable.

Chop one small red onion (I like to half it, then slice it into medium slices, and finally cut each slice in half).  Chop one clove of garlic.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a hot 10-12 inch skillet.  Add the prepared vegetables (bok choy, onion and garlic).  Stir to mix thoroughly and then cover and cook over medium heat for approximately 7-10 minutes depending on how al dente you like them.

Meanwhile, heat a large grill pan or skillet; add a small amount of olive oil.  Wash your salmon filets and dry them with a paper towel.  You will notice that I prefer the thinner slices of the salmon, they cook faster and I find I don’t dry the fish out as much.  Make some slices across the skin side and add, skin side down, to the hot pan.  Reduce heat to medium.  I like to cover the fish and cook for 5 minutes.  I then remove the cover and turn over the fish to cook for another 2-3 minutes until pink inside.

While your salmon and bok choy are cooking, in a small container with a lid put 1 tablespoon of your favorite mustard and 1 tablespoon of your favorite vinegar.  Add a very small amount of stevia (I used about 1/8 of a teaspoon).  Put on the lid and shake until mixed.  Sauce is ready.

Seafood Pasta Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

This is a recipe passed down from my mother and grandmother.  They traditionally made it for our July 4th celebration along with blueberry muffins since usually by early  in July, we’d have fresh peas as well blueberries in central New Hampshire.  They made it with canned salmon, crab and shrimp but these days fresh or frozen seafood is also widely available.  My mother also always made it with the pasta shells for esthetic reasons but you can use whatever type of pasta your family likes.

You can also make it two ways, like the potato salad and the cole slaw, with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise.  I prefer the vinaigrette since it has a lighter taste, especially in the July heat.

Mix in a medium sized bowl:

  • 6-8 ounces of cooked salmon
  • 4 ounces of cooked tiny shrimp
  • 6-8 ounces of cooked lump crabmeat
  • 6-8 ounces of cooked peas
  • 3 stalks of celery diced, don’t forget to add the leaves as well — they have a wonderful celery taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion, chives, or scallions
  • 2 cups cooked gluten-free pasta [here I’ve found that the quinoa pasta works the best because it doesn’t get all mushy if it sits for a day; I’ve also gotten into the chickpea pasta to add more protein]
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite vinaigrette [I make mine with 1/2 olive oil, 1 tablespoon spicy mustard, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or 1 teaspoon stevia), and 1/4 cup of water.]; if you need to, you can add more vinaigrette especially if you let the salad sit awhile in the refrigerator since the pasta will absorb the moisture.
  • OR 1/2 cup of your favorite mayonnaise mixed with several tablespoons of cold water [the water will loosen up the mayo and make for a lighter dressing without affecting the taste].
  • Salt and pepper to taste along with some fresh parsley to taste

I like to serve it on a bed of lettuce with some cherry or grape tomatoes as a garnish.  This recipe serves 4.  Delicious!

“Healthy” Chicken Tenders (gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free)

My husband has always been a big fan of the deep-fried, breaded chicken tenders while I didn’t find them that appetizing.  They always seemed so tough and stringy to me.  These chicken tenders are as far away from that as you can get; delicious and healthy!

Place 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders in a bowl and cover with your favorite milk.  Let sit while you make the breading. Preheat oven to 400 degrees if using a conventional oven.  My Cuisinart convection/air fry oven does a beautiful job making these crispy while keeping them fat free.  And they came out so tender, juicy, while remaining crunchy on the outside.


  • 1/3 cup ground golden flax
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (make sure they don’t have any sugar in them)
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste (I used approximately a 1/4 teaspoon of each)

Prepare an 8×10″ or 9×11″ baking dish by spraying with a non-stick spray.

Dip each chicken tender into the coating mix and place in the prepared pan.  Bake for 15-18 minutes until chicken feels firm when pressed and coating is a golden brown.  In my Cuisinart, I air fried them for 6-7 minutes and then turned them over for another 6 or 7 minutes.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce; honey mustard or marinara.

Honey mustard dipping sauce:  whisk together 1/4 cup of your favorite mustard with 3 tablespoons of honey (or agave or coconut nectar).