Friday, December 19, 2014

Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe (Gluten-Free)

It's soup weather, and this Stuffed Pepper Soup is perfect for a cold winter night.

Stuffed Pepper Soup
If you like stuffed bell peppers, you're going to love this Stuffed Pepper Soup!

(Stuffed Pepper Soup is being featured for Friday Flashbacks, where I share recipes from the past that you might have missed.  This soup is one of my favorites; I'm making it for the Denny Family Christmas Party next weekend.)

I have a notebook on my desk where I jot down recipes ideas, both things I spot on the web and those that seemingly just pop into my head.  And sometimes an idea pops into my head and when I check online I notice that other people have had the same idea.  That's what happened with this recipe; I had Stuffed Pepper Soup down in my notebook, and when I decided to make it I found out just how many other people have made a soup inspired by stuffed peppers! 

That didn't stop me from creating my version, which uses both hot turkey Italian sausage and lean ground beef, and has a "secret" ingredient to add flavor.  Jake and I both loved the soup, and when I gave my sister Pam some to take to work for her lunch she texted me in the middle of the day to say she loved it too.  If you like stuffed peppers at all, I promise you're going to love this soup!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Easy Broccoli and Radish Salad Recipe with Gorgonzola (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

This Broccoli and Radish Salad Recipe with Gorgonzola is a healthy red-and-green salad for your holiday buffet!

(Easy Broccoli and Radish Salad with Gorgonzola was updated with better photos, December 2014.)

Everywhere you look on Pinterest and on the blogs there are Christmas cookies, and even though I do have a few ideas for low-sugar and sugar-free cookies, truthfully I'm tired of the sweets and ready for something green and crunchy!  This Easy Broccoli and Radish Salad with Gorgonzola is the kind of simple salad I'd make for myself for a quick lunch, but don't you think the bright red and green colors (and the use of creamy Gorgonzola cheese) make this something you can get away with for a Christmas salad?  Personally I would head right for this on the buffet table.

Before we get to the recipe, let's talk about healthier salad dressing.  Blue cheese dressing is definitely a limited food if you're following the South Beach Diet or trying to focus on healthy eating.  But I love blue cheese dressing, and for years I've been buying Lighthouse Chunky Blue Cheese and mixing it half-and-half with buttermilk for an easy and more diet-friendly blue cheese dressing that still tastes wonderful. That's the dressing I used for this easy salad, but if you have a favorite dressing recipe, I'm sure homemade dressing will be even better.  (And if you're making homemade blue cheese dressing eight days before Christmas, more power to you!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa's Milk Drive, and Other Things I'm Thinking About on Tuesday (12-16-2014)

Milk is a much-needed donation at your local food bank!

I confess I don't like everything about the holidays (The sweets!  The overspending!)  But one thing I do love about this time of year is the way many of us are inspired to do things to help others.  Yes, I know some people donate for tax purposes.  But whatever motivates it, when people give to help those who are less fortunate, it's all good. 

Sadly, one in seven people in America face hunger, and many Americans rely on food banks to have enough food for their families.  And milk is one of the least donated items to food banks; in fact families who receive food from food banks get less than one gallon of milk per year.  

I'm grateful to my friend Heidi at FoodieCrush who told me recently about Santas Milk Drive, a milk donation program sponsored by The Great American Milk Drive to encourage donating milk during the holidays. If you visit the website and donate money for milk between now and December 31, every gallon of milk you finance will be matched by Feeding America.  (I just made a donation; you enter your state to be sure the milk you donate goes to food banks in your area.)  Please help by making a donation to Santa's Milk Drive if you can.

Now here are a few more things I've been thinking about . . .

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sweet Potato Appetizer Bites with Feta and Green Onion (Gluten-Free, Meatless)

These Sweet Potato Appetizer Bites with Feta and Green Onion are a healthier nibble for holiday parties or the Superbowl!

I've been a little distracted by the new design for Slow Cooker from Scratch, and now it feels like I went to bed in November and when I woke up there were less than two weeks until Christmas!  And I do have a few new holiday recipe ideas I want to share before things get too crazy, starting with these Sweet Potato Appetizer Bites with Feta and Green Onions.  Yum!

I love this combination of flavors, and if I went to a holiday gathering or Superbowl party and found a table loaded with sweets and chips staring me in the face, I would be so excited to find a deliciously healthy option like this to eat instead.  The hardest part of making these might be finding the thin sweet potatoes, but you can make them into two-bite nibbles if needed!  (And I do try to focus on meatless main dishes for Meatless Monday, but I could make a meal out of these, so this is my Meatless Monday idea for the week.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Recipes for Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Two different Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies, made with the sweetener of your choice.

Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies found on

(Both versions of these Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies have only qualify for my new Five Ingredient Fridays, keeping in mind that I don't include common ingredients like salt, pepper, olive oil, water, etc.  I made two versions of this cookie and both were good!) 

This cookie experiment started when I spotted Choco Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies on Mochocholata-Rita which reminded me of something my mother used to make, and I thought it would be fun to come up with a sugar-free version. After a few attempts I ended up with two similar but slightly different cookies and when I tested them on my contractor, he liked both the fudgy and cakey versions. This is a regular Utah guy who's most definitely not on a diet, so when he thought both cookies were good I figured I'd let people decide which one to try.

Photos are of the fudgy cookies, but both versions look very similar. Technically the cookies made with added agave are not really sugar-free, but they're still a very low-sugar cookie. If you're not watching your sugar intake, both these cookies could be made with sugar and the cookies would also be gluten-free if you used gluten-free oatmeal.

Blogging tips