honey mustard glazed carrots

Honey Mustard Glazed Carrots

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These honey mustard glazed carrots go great with this peach pork loin but would also go great as a side to almost any protein. It’s always nice to have a long list of easy side dishes available for any weekday dinner. Honey mustard is also just a super easy way to add a lot of flavor during the potentially boring first phase of an elimination diet. Even better that this recipe comes together easily with ingredients that most home cooks will already have available.

I always loved brown sugar glazed carrots when I was a kid. I’ll still make them sometimes as an adult but there’s a mental block about adding a quarter cup of pure sugar to my vegetables that makes it seem just a bit too unhealthy. They also typically have a good amount of butter as well. These honey mustard glazed carrots switch the butter out for the vegan friendly coconut oil and add some mustard to add flavor without adding many calories. The honey still gives it that sticky sweetness but it just feels better than pure brown sugar. 

I know that honey isn’t typically considered vegan so that does make it difficult for those purists. However, I will stand by the assertion that buying honey HELPS bees and keeps bee communities running and full of healthy bees so I will continue to encourage all people of all dietary persuasions to use lots of honey. We need the bees, bees are our friends.

Are Baby Carrots Healthy?

Yes! There are some misconceptions out there about baby carrots but I can assure you they are a healthy addition to your elimination diet.

Baby carrots come in two forms. Baby cut carrots are immature carrots harvested while they’re still baby carrots. But sometimes they are actually just full grown carrots whittled down into baby carrot shape. Both are perfectly healthy and safe to eat.

Baby carrots were an ingenious response to the problem of people not wanting to buy “ugly” produce. Farmers are able to take the oddly shapen carrots and turn them into baby carrots to reduce waste. You get just about the same nutrition profile as regular carrots without having to do any of the peeling or washing!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz baby carrots
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium low heat, reduce if it starts to boil too hard
  2. cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender
  3. serve warm
honey mustard glazed carrots

Honey Mustard Glazed Carrots

Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz baby carrots
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium low heat, reduce if it starts to boil too hard
  • cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender
  • serve warm
Keyword corn free, gluten free, nightshade free recipes
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Walnut and mushroom black rice

Walnut and Mushroom Black Rice

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This walnut and mushroom black rice is a deceptively easy side dish that you can use to reintroduce tree nuts back into your diet. The intense purple, black color will also stand out on any plate and make your guests feel like you have a few tricks up your sleeves in the kitchen.

I cook the black rice halved with regular brown rice. Black rice by itself has an unusually springy texture that can be a bit overwhelming when it’s on its own. Using brown rice cuts the texture but also cuts the price since black rice can usually only be found at a specialty market. I buy all my rice at the local Asian grocers, best price on large bags. On an elimination diet, you’ll be going through plenty of rice so this is a good investment.

The walnuts and mushrooms add texture and lots of good for you fats to make for a filling side dish. I served mine with these Mini Meatloaves with Cherry Ketchup. Walnut and mushroom black rice will mix up your normal rotation of side dishes without adding too much extra effort to a meal.

How to Prepare Black Rice

Preparing black rice is basically the same as preparing brown rice. I even cooked both of mine for this recipe together and it turned out just fine. The key for black rice is to rinse it thoroughly. You’ll see the water run a deep purple for quite some time. Rinse it until it comes through nearly clear. Then you can prepare as you would with any other rice.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Invest in a rice cooker! These little kitchen appliances make recipes like this walnut and mushroom black rice so much easier to put together and you get perfect rice every time! Try this affordable one:

Instant Pot Zest 8 Cup Rice Cooker, Steamer, Cooks Rice, Grains, Quinoa and Oatmeal, No Pressure Cooking Functionality

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooked black rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. heat a skillet over medium low heat, drizzle with olive oil
  2. saute the mushrooms and onion until the mushroom release their liquid, about 12-14 minutes
  3. add the garlic and seasonings, saute 2 minutes more
  4. add the walnuts and cooking sherry, stir well
  5. let the cooking sherry’s alcohol burn off for about 2 more minutes
  6. add the cooked rice and mix
  7. serve warm
Walnut and mushroom black rice

Walnut and Mushroom Black Rice

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup cooked black rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced1
  • yellow onion diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • olive oil

Instructions
 

  • heat a skillet over medium low heat, drizzle with olive oil
  • saute the mushrooms and onion until the mushroom release their liquid, about 12-14 minutes
  • add the garlic and seasonings, saute 2 minutes more
  • add the walnuts and cooking sherry, stir well let the cooking sherry’s alcohol burns off for about 2 more minutes
  • add the cooked rice and mix
  • serve warm
Keyword corn free, gluten free, legume free
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Quinoa salad with crispy sesame tofu

Quinoa Salad with Crispy Sesame Tofu

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This vegan quinoa salad with crispy sesame tofu has the best tofu I’ve ever made. I always have had a problem with getting tofu to that successful level of crispy. It’s usually too soft, and one time I accidentally made tofu croutons, way too crispy! But this tofu is coated in a sesame seed crust that makes it crispy on the outside and just a little soft on the inside. Exactly how I want it!

This elimination diet recipe utilizes two different forms of soy and is a great way to reintroduce soy into your diet on an elimination diet. I missed being able to use soy sauce as the base for many marinades and dressings so the flavor profile of this salad was absolutely delightful to me. I like to buy soy sauce at the korean market down the street from me. They have way more options than the local grocery store and they’re much much cheaper. Try various ones from different regions and you’ll see how varied the flavor of soy sauce can actually be. 

It’s important to use untoasted sesame seeds for the crust of the crispy sesame tofu. They’ll be toasting while they’re being baked on the tofu. If you start with toasted they’ll likely end up charred and will leave your tofu bitter and unpleasant. Buying sesame seeds, or any seeds and nuts, in bulk is really the best, most cost effective way to go.

Do you have to peel cucumbers?

No! In fact, the peel is one of the most nutritious parts of the cucumber! Instead of peeling your cucumbers you should wash them. I’ve started washing and sanitizing my fresh produce in a solution of water, vinegar and salt.

Use about 8 cups of room temperature water, 1/2 cup plain white vinegar, and 2 tbsp of plain table salt. Stir it until the salt is dissolved and then place produce in the bath for 10-15 minutes to get rid of any contaminents. I’ve noticed that this also cuts down on the waxiness that can be found in fruits and vegetables like cucumbers and apples. Rinse the produce just a bit and dry thoroughly after the soak.

Ingredients

For the Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds (not toasted!)
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot powder

For the Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 large carrot, shaved
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar

Instructions

For the Tofu

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. line a baking tray with foil
  3. chop the pressed tofu into ½ inch cubes
  4. mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a bowl
  5. marinate the tofu in the sauce mixture for about 20 mins, nearly all liquid should be absorbed
  6. mix the sesame seeds and arrowroot powder in a separate bowl
  7. dip the marinated tofu in the seed mixture, coat well on all sides
  8. place the coated tofu on the lined baking tray
  9. bake for 11-13 minutes on the top rack, until browned and slightly crispy

For the Salad

  1. in a small saucepan heat the white vinegar, sugar, and black pepper
  2. once the sugar is melted and the mixture just begins to boil, add the red onion and carrots, remove from heat
  3. in a separate bowl combine the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, ginger and rice vinegar
  4. in a large container combine the quinoa and cucumber, toss with the dressing
  5. add the quick pickled red onion and carrots
  6. top with crispy tofu and serve
Quinoa salad with crispy sesame tofu

Quinoa Salad with Crispy Sesame Tofu

Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Chinese
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu pressed
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds not toasted!
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot powder

For the Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large cucumber diced
  • 1 large carrot shaved
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar

Instructions
 

For the Tofu

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • line a baking tray with foil
  • chop the pressed tofu into ½ inch cubes
  • mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a bowl
  • marinate the tofu in the sauce mixture for about 20 mins, nearly all liquid should be absorbed
  • mix the sesame seeds and arrowroot powder in a separate bowl
  • dip the marinated tofu in the seed mixture, coat well on all sides
  • place the coated tofu on the lined baking tray
  • bake for 11-13 minutes on top rack, until browned and slightly crispy

For the Salad

  • in a small saucepan heat the white vinegar, sugar, and black pepper
  • once the sugar is melted and the mixture just begins to boil, add the red onion and carrots, remove from heat
  • in a separate bowl combine the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, ginger and rice vinegar
  • in a large container combine the quinoa and cucumber, toss with the dressing
  • add the quick pickled red onion and carrots
  • top with crispy tofu and serve
Keyword corn free, gluten free, nightshade free recipes
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vegan cheesy broccoli rice

Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Rice

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This vegan cheesy broccoli rice does something that I’ve never had in other vegan cheese imitations. It actually feels cheesy. I’ve found plenty of vegan cheese recipes that taste kind of cheesy, look kind of cheesy, or feel kind of creamy but this is the first that actually has the mouth-feel of cheese. 

I discovered the strategy on accident. I was attempting to make vegan rice cakes using flaxseed instead of egg. It didn’t work very well. The cakes didn’t hold together so I basically just ended up making a different kind of fried rice. Not one to throw out food, me and my bf ate it with dinner anyway. He said that it was interesting because you could feel the attempted binder in the rice. He said it kind of felt like cheese. Oh! I can use this!

So I combined the ground flax with the nutritional yeast commonly used to make vegan cheese substitutes and here we are! Delicious, super healthy, completely vegan cheesy broccoli rice. Such a great side dish to serve with any meal. The meal doesn’t have to be vegan by the way, this rice is yummy and suitable for any diet. Even phase one of your elimination diet!

Tips for using flax seed

  • Buy ground flax seed. Flax cannot be digested in its whole seed form, it needs to be ground in order to gain the health benefits as well as to act as a texture agent in recipes. Buying pre ground is the best way to ensure it’s the right form and will save you tons of time and energy from grinding it yourself.
  • Activate it with water. Combine the ground flax seed with a small amount of cool water before using it as a binder. Letting it sit with the water creates an egg like texture that can provide structure to vegan recipes. The powder alone wont do this.
  • Season your flax seed. There is nothing stopping you from seaasoning your ground flax seed before adding it to elimination diet recipes. Even just a little salt goes a long way in making something like this vegan cheesy broccoli rice flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 small head of broccoli, small florets
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded 
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 6 tbsp cool water
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (or plain milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. combine the flax seed and cool water, stir well and let sit for 5 minutes
  2. stir the broccoli and shredded carrot into the rice
  3. add the remaining ingredients minus the olive oil to the flax seed
  4. stir the mixture into the rice
  5. heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  6. pan fry cheesy rice mixture in the oil for 5-7 minutes to heat and incorporate
  7. serve warm
vegan cheesy broccoli rice

Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Rice

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 small head of broccoli small florets
  • 1 medium carrot shredded
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 6 tbsp cool water
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder½
  • tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup coconut milk or plain milk of choice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • combine the flax seed and cool water, stir well and let sit for 5 minutes
  • stir the broccoli and shredded carrot into the rice
  • add the remaining ingredients minus the olive oil to the flax seed
  • stir the mixture into the rice
  • heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • pan fry cheesy rice mixture in the oil for 5-7 minutes to heat and incorporate
  • serve warm
Keyword gluten free, soy free recipes, vegan
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hearty chicken barley soup

Hearty Chicken Barley Soup

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This hearty chicken barley soup will keep you full with high fiber barley and lots of big chicken chunks. It has a homestyle feel that will warm up any winter day and even make the pickiest eaters feel nostalgic. 

Once you’ve successfully added wheat and barley products back into your diet this soup will be a nice addition to any meal plan. Barley does contain gluten but is also acceptable for those with a wheat allergy, not a gluten intolerance. It’s also beneficial that every other ingredient is still from phase one so there are no other variables to worry about. If you’re comfortable adding more wheat this soup pairs great with whole wheat bread or crackers. As always, mind the ingredients for any hidden soy or corn.

I love playing with soups. They’re so versatile. This one comes together quickly with pre-cooked chicken and quick barley if that’s what you choose to use. It only takes 10 minutes to cook! Likewise the veggies should only take about 10 minutes to saute and shouldn’t require any extra cooking time past that. Many soups can take 4 or more hours to really get right. So this is a hearty chicken barley soup that you can easily make in under an hour total. Suitable for any quick dinner.

It freezes well and can be stored for future use as well. Sometimes I just throw togther a soup like this to put straight into the freezer. It’s always a good idea to have backups on days when you didn’t have time to meal prep.

What is quick barley?

Simple, quick barley is just pearl barley that was steamed before packaging. This makes it much quicker to cook at home. It’s the same concept as instant rice. It allows the consumer to save a ton of time in the kitchen. Also, it happens to be the only kind of barley my local grocery store carries anymore so it’s what I use by default.

Quick barley and instant rice aren’t any less “natural” than the slow cooking alternatives. They’ve just had most of the work done already. This does make them a bit more expensive but if you are short on time it’s worth it.

Ingredients

  • 2 large cooked chicken breasts chopped into ½ inch dice
  • 8 oz asparagus (half a bundle) chopped in 1 inch sections
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup uncooked barley
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. heat pot over medium low and drizzle with olive oil
  2. saute onions, carrots, and celery until the onions sweat, about 10 minutes
  3. add the asparagus and zucchini
  4. add all seasonings and garlic, saute for about 2 minutes
  5. add broth and bring to a boil
  6. add the uncooked barley, lower temp to a simmer and cook the appropriate amount of time, if quick barley about ten minutes, if pearled barley about an hour
  7. add cooked chicken, remove bay leaf, and serve hot 
hearty chicken barley soup

Hearty Chicken and Barley Soup

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large cooked chicken breasts chopped into ½ inch dice
  • 8 oz asparagus half a bundle chopped in 1 inch sections
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini chopped
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup uncooked barley
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Instructions
 

  • heat pot over medium low and drizzle with olive oil
  • saute onions, carrots, and celery until the onions sweat, about 10 minutes
  • add the asparagus and zucchini
  • add all seasonings and garlic, saute for about 2 minutes
  • add broth and bring to a boil
  • add the uncooked barley, lower temp to a simmer and cook the appropriate amount of time, if quick barley about ten minutes, if pearled barley about an hour
  • add cooked chicken, remove bay leaf, and serve hot
Keyword corn free, dairy free, nightshade free recipes
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