Tag Archives: Gluten-Free

New Recipe on Jaybird: Sweet Potato Waffles

Sweet Potato Waffles Recipe

Hey foodie friends! If you’ve enjoyed paleo recipes from Humble Foodie in the past, you’ll love these Sweet Potato Waffles made with easy sweet potato puree and a few simple ingredients. You can get the recipe on JaybirdBlog.com, which is where I share new recipes, DIY projects and life experiences.

Old Humble Foodie recipes will stay here for a couple more months, but you should copy and save any you’d like to keep after February 2014. To keep getting new recipes, follow Jaybird Blog and like us to stay up to date:

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Lemony Roasted Brussels Sprouts

lemony roasted brussels sprouts

I don’t remember ever eating brussels sprouts at home as a kid. Though I had my share of fits over being forced to eat spinach and broccoli, these little green sprouts were a mystery. So when I tried “sprouts” at a salad bar and later announced to my grandmother  that I love-love-loved sprouts and they were so good and I really wanted some…she was surprised. Turns out, I’d been crunching away on bean sprouts, and I thought brussels sprouts were pretty disgusting. Luckily my tastes have changed over the years, and now I can barely consider something a meal if it doesn’t have at least one serving of green vegetables.

brussels sprouts stalk

Truth: a love like this knows no bounds/dietary restrictions. #noshame

Brussels sprouts are now a beloved part of my winter meals (evidence: see above). Lemon and good quality sea salt bring out the surprisingly light flavor of this cruciferous vegetable. Stray leaves that fall off while you’re preparing the sprouts will crisp up in the oven and give this dish a delicious crunch. Read on for this simple recipe.

Lemony Roasted Brussels SproutsServes 4
Prep time: 4 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

16 ounces (1 lb.) brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
juice of one lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Trim the stems of the brussels sprouts and slice in half. In a large bowl, toss sprouts with liquid coconut oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Distribute evenly on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, pausing midway through to gently shake the pan so the sprouts will redistribute and cook evenly.


Najma’s Blackberry Kale Salad

One of the coolest things about 2013 is that I have been blessed with awesome coworkers. Of course everyone has all the virtues of a good coworker-friendly, punctual, and hardworking- but another perk is that we have a ton in common. Our lengthy discussions range from contemporary fiction to social justice to thrifting, and they always inspire me to think about things in a new light.

blackberry kale salad

One of the best things we have in common is a love of food. Though our diets are very different, from vegan to Paleo to standard fare, we all enjoy cooking and sharing plates heaped with delicious culinary experiments. We have planned a few staff potlucks this year, and I’m always excited to see what everyone will bring. This salad is my coworker Najma’s creation–she is known for elaborate kale salads, and this one does not disappoint. The sweetness of juicy blackberries contrasts with crisp kale, highlighted by tart lemon juice, for a simple salad that will satisfy a wide range of palates.

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Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Thighs

vintage crockpot slow cooker

This old thing? Total powerhouse.

Coming home to the aroma of lemon, rosemary, and sage is a wonderful welcome, especially on weeknights when you want dinner on your plate immediately. A slow cooker is an essential kitchen tool for anyone who wants to put something in a pot, switch it, and forget all about it for a few hours while getting some work done. This timeless kitchen appliance has been a constant in my memories of food and growing up. My dad used our vintage Crock-Pot to make an amazing seafood bouillabaisse for special occasions (except I couldn’t pronounce it for awhile, so I’m pretty sure I called it “boogeybase” which sounds disgusting). On other evenings we filled it with chili or roasts. Since receiving a 7-quart Crock-Pot for Christmas, I’ve made everything from sweet baked apples to huge turkey drumsticks to vegan chili.

slow cooker lemon chicken thighs

Slow-cooked chicken thighs don’t made the sexiest photograph…but they taste AMAZING!

With the Whole30 starting this month, I wanted to prepare a few simple slow cooker recipes so the refrigerator would be full of options for lazy weeknights. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are usually very affordable, and using the Crock-Pot makes the meat so tender that it falls right off the bone. The combination of garlic, lemon, and herbs will have everyone running into the kitchen, excited for dinner to get on the table. This savory meal is easy and delicious the first time around, but make sure to embrace the leftovers too! Chicken can be shredded to make another easy Paleo meal– enjoy it in lettuce wraps, quesadillas, stir fries, and breakfast hashes.

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Brown Bag Tuesday: Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Eating on a budget is anything but boring! Brown Bag Tuesday is a weekly peek into my lunch bag to see that saving time, money, and energy still means getting to enjoy real food. Share this effort and treat yourself to something delicious from home today.


Today I had a simple lunch inspired by a kale salad in Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. I brought this cookbook home over the Thanksgiving holiday to show my family all of the amazing recipes and pictures, and my dad was inspired to cook up a Paleo send-off before I came back to Illinois. There is a recipe for a kale salad in the book that includes several other colorful vegetables and a lemon-tahini dressing; my lunch today is the lazy woman’s version. I tore kale into bite-sized pieces and massaged it just until it changed color to make it more palatable raw, then I tossed it with shredded leftover roast chicken and an equal mixture of lemon and tahini. It wasn’t quite as fancy as the salad from the book, but I still enjoyed it! An orange and some carrot sticks for munchies brightened up my lunch. What’s in your brown bag?

To see other Paleo (and sometimes just gluten-free) lunch ideas, look in the Brown Bag Tuesday category:

frugal simple brown bag lunch

Curried Butternut Squash Risotto

Can you blame me for being in a fall food frenzy this month? With Thanksgiving around the corner, there are endless options for holiday recipes with flavors of cranberry, squash, and maybe a sprinkle of sage. This butternut squash risotto contains two of my favorites: butternut squash and curry!
gluten free dairy free butternut squash risotto

My friend Emily introduced me to risotto, an incredibly creamy dish of slowly cooked Arborio rice, stock, and dreamy mix-ins (yes, butternut squash is dreamy). This gluten-free recipe can easily be made vegan by using an appropriate vegetable stock in place of chicken. I had to throw a little chard in there too, because it’s not a meal if there isn’t something green on my plate, but you can easily leave this out. While risotto does take some time to make, one big pot will last as a side dish for several meals–and trust me, you’ll want to have enough for seconds and thirds!

Butternut Squash Risotto – Serves 4 as a main dish; 8 as a side
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60-80 minutes

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
finely ground sea salt
black pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder, adjust to taste
a pinch of cayenne pepper
optional: one bunch chard, stems removed and leaves chopped

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. While this warms up, get all your peeling and chopping done. Add butternut squash and onion to the pot with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion and squash have softened and started to brown.

Lower the heat to medium and add rice, stirring frequently and cooking for one minute or until the rice begins to appear translucent. Add half a cup of stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed completely. Season with curry powder and cayenne.

Continue adding stock, half a cup at a time, while stirring frequently. Risotto takes awhile, so be patient and let the stock evaporate almost completely with each half cup. Adjust seasonings to your taste as you go.

The finished rice should be al dente (slightly firm), yet creamy and tender. When the rice is almost there and you have added all the stock needed, add the chopped chard to the pot, stir, and cover for 1-2 minutes. Uncover, serve, and savor!

fall vegetable squash collage

(L) a drawing of me holding beloved chard and squash, courtesy of Emily; (M) Jazz and I holding my ridiculous stash of squash; (R) But why is the pumpkin pie spice gone?!

Brown Bag Tuesday: Broiled Salmon and Butternut Squash Risotto

Eating on a budget is anything but boring! Brown Bag Tuesday is a weekly peek into my lunch bag to see that saving time, money, and energy still means getting to enjoy real food. Share this effort and treat yourself to a fabulous lunch from home today!

broiled salmon with butternut squash risotto

This Tuesday’s lunch is broiled salmon with butternut squash risotto. Cooking the salmon in less than 15 minutes makes up for the fact that the risotto took about an hour and a half (worth it)! I’ll share the risotto recipe this Thursday along with the secret ingredient that makes it the perfect fall dish.

frugal simple brown bag lunch

Gluten-free Vegan Potluck (No Brown Bag This Week!)

Usually on Tuesdays I post questionably appetizing pictures of food in Pyrex glass containers and talk about the frugal, waste-reducing practice of bringing your own lunch to work. Today, I barely lifted a finger and still got to enjoy a spread of colorful, tasty dishes–lucky me! We had a staff potluck at work, and our amazing group all made food that was gluten-free and vegan to accommodate different diets.

gluten free vegan potluck

Our feast included:

  • lentil and veggie soup
  • several different quinoa salads
  • curried tofu and Asian-inspired tofu
  • a green salad
  • chips and guacamole
  • rainbow red cabbage salad
  • pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
  • spiced baked apples (made in a Crockpot right in the office!)

Everything tasted amazing, and it was nice to set aside all of our work and enjoy a meal together. Setting aside electronics (after we all took pictures and promptly posted them to Instagram) and to do lists to relax and chat was a great experience.

Next week, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Brown Bag Tuesday posts!

Roasted Split Breast Chicken and Root Vegetables (a Brown Bag Recipe)

As a way to eat food I enjoy while saving money, I pack a lunch from home to bring to work every day. Bringing lunch from home is a great way to save time, money, and energy. Brown Bag Tuesdays are meant to encourage you to share this effort and treat yourself to a fabulous lunch from home at least once a week.

brown bag tuesday roasted root vegetables

The comment I most often receive from friends who read this blog is “That looks so good- but I don’t have time to cook!”

Despite the joy cooking usually brings me, I certainly have days when I get home from work after 9:00pm, or I’m cranky, or I’m hungry and want something on the table ASAP. It’s still important to me to eat real foods, but that doesn’t mean toiling over the stove for hours on end. While I have to concede that there are recipes on this blog that take a little bit of time (exhibits A, B, and C), I’ve been pretty busy lately, and this roasted chicken and vegetables recipe was born from that experience. Bonus: you can eat one serving for dinner and pack the other for lunch, giving yourself a little time to sleep in the next morning.

brown bag tuesday split breast chicken and root vegetables

I removed the skin of the chicken before packing my lunch, so it no longer has that crispy golden exterior. If you like it, enjoy with it on!

Roasted Split-Breast Chicken and Root VegetablesServes 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

1 large beet
2 large carrots
1 medium onion
2 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Generous shakes of garlic powder, ground oregano, and salt & pepper
A dash of cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the beet and carrots. Quarter the beet, then cut 1/4 inch-thick slices and place in a 9×13″ glass baking dish. Slice the carrot into 1/4 inch-thick medallions, roughly chop onion, and add to the dish. Place chicken breasts skin side up on top of the vegetables, then lightly pour olive oil over everything and use your hands to evenly coat vegetables and chicken.

Sprinkle the whole dish with spices and roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken comes to an internal temperature of 165. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Source: Chicken recipe from About.com, vegetables can just be thrown in there

Need inspiration for your next lunch? See past lunches here, or share in the comments!
frugal simple brown bag lunch