Balsamic Green Beans and Onions

Balsamic Green Beans and Onions Recipe

I love green beans basically any way a person could cook them. But sometimes I like to mix it up a little bit, and make something a little more exciting than just adding butter, salt, and pepper. I made this dish as a side to our main course when my in-laws were visiting recently, and everyone loved it. My mother-in-law was taking notes so that she could make it again once she got back home.

So I guess it passed that test!

Plus, the kids asked for seconds. Which basically means you should go make this right now.

Balsamic Green Beans and Onions Recipe

Balsamic Green Beans and Onions
A great way to "mix up" your green beans from the same-old-same-old.
Course: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Author: Emily Chapelle
  • Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil no coconut flavor
  • A couple of onions sliced or diced
  • clove A or two of garlic minced
  • Green beans washed and with the ends snapped off
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Melt your coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat while you cut the onions.
  2. Add the onions and let them cook for a few minutes, until translucent.
  3. Toss the garlic into the pan and let it cook for a couple of minutes with the onions.
  4. Add your green beans to the pan, and toss to coat with the oil. Cover
  5. Cook, covered, about 10 minutes, opening the pan once or twice to stir things around again.
  6. When the green beans smell delicious (the timing is very precise as you can tell), remove the lid and add a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  7. Stir and let the vinegar reduce a bit.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.


Easy Chilled Cucumber Salad Recipe

This easy chilled cucumber salad recipe is another of my family’s favorite super-simple recipes, and since the cucumbers at the Amish market have been absolutely beautiful, we’ve been happily munching this for months now. It comes together in just a few minutes, and it’s a great addition to dinner, but the leftovers are even better after marinating overnight in the fridge.

My husband’s eyes lit up when he saw me pack some of the leftovers in his lunchbox, and my daughter ate a huge pile of this after coming home from school the other day. It’s a big hit in our family!

Easy Chilled Cucumber Salad Recipe

Easy Chilled Cucumber Salad Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
This easy chilled cucumber salad recipe comes together in just a few minutes, and it's a great addition to any dinner. As a bonus, the leftovers are even better after marinating overnight in the fridge.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Emily Chapelle
  • 4 large Cucumbers peeled and seeded(optional), sliced or cubed
  • 1/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Parsley or Dill
  1. In a small lidded jar, shake the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, a good pinch of Sea salt, and a sprinkle of parsley or dill.
  2. Pour the dressing over the sliced or cubed cucumbers, toss to coat.
  3. Chill until it's time to eat!


Easy Chilled Cucumber Salad Recipe

Primal Baked Zucchini Rounds (Grain Free, Gluten Free)

A little while back, I found these zucchini tots on Pinterest and thought to myself, “Dang if I don’t like me some zucchini. I bet these are the bee’s knees!” Or something along those lines anyway. Rayna got the idea from Kelsey at The Naptime Chef (here are her Zucchini Bites) and wow. Hers look good too.

I must be a bit of a pig, because my incarnation of them was twice as big as Kelsey’s and four times the size of Rayna’s batch. What can I say? I love Zucchini.

I also made mine grain/gluten-free. They’re Primal too, or Paleo plus cheese.

You can follow my step-by-step image instructions, or skip to the end for the recipe.

Step-By-Step Primal Baked Zucchini Rounds (Grain Free, Gluten Free)

Grate a bunch of zucchinis. I like to hold on to the stem end as a “handle.”


(Thanks to my sweet husband for taking a couple of pictures of me and Joseph cooking! Gotta love babywearing for cooking with the littles.)


That’s my new Kokadi stars wrap. I’m a total kokadi fan now… must get more kokadi!


Anyway, grate your zucchinis onto a kitchen towel. When you’re finished, spread them out evenly.


Fold over the edges, and…


place another folded towel on top. Then…


roll up the whole thing and SQUEEZE that sucker. Press on it, smash it, squeeze it. You’re trying to get out as much “juice” as you can so your rounds won’t be soggy.


This is pretty good!


Now add a diced onion. I really like them diced smaller than this, but my knife needs some sharpening, so I didn’t want to keep fighting with it. (Does anyone have a foolproof knife sharpener recommendation? I mean I AM A FOOL so need EASY.)


Grate some cheese and throw it in too. I used sharp cheddar.


Add your eggs…


…almond flour…


…and seasonings. I used garlic salt and cumin. I would have used MORE cumin but I ran out. Noted on the grocery list! You can use whatever seasonings you like though.


Use your cookie scoop to drop lumps onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. I’ve been using this reusable parchment lately and I LOVE it. It’s thin and flexible, not thick like the silicone sheets (and it’s way cheaper). I need to get more of these to cut to fit my loaf pan, cake pans, etc. Sorry for the tangent but I gotta share.

I patted them down a little bit with my fingers after taking this picture, to make them a bit flatter.


Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes…


…then flip them over, and continue baking, around 5-7 more minutes to crisp the other side.

They’re piping hot and ready to eat!


They reminded me and my husband both of potato latkes, but… not potatoes, and baked in the oven, not fried. But zucchini. And with cheese. But still. Latke-esque. So I pulled out the sour cream as a condiment for them. Good good choice.


I’m sure you could make a fancier dip, but they didn’t need anything fancy. Little unassuming zucchini rounds, packed with flavor.


5 from 1 vote
Servings: 36
Author: Joyful Abode
  • cups About 4 of zucchini shredded, moisture squeezed out
  • 1 diced yellow onion
  • 1 cups to 1 1/2 of shredded cheddar cheese please grate it yourself
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of almond flour/almond meal
  • Seasonings to taste. I used garlic salt and cumin.
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to drop “lumps” onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, and pat gently with your fingertips to slightly flatten.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the bottom edges begin to brown, then flip over.
  5. Return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes, until browned on the other side.
  6. Enjoy plain, or serve with sour cream!
  7. Freeze in vacuum-sealed bags, and re-heat in the oven if you’d like.

gluten free zucchini recipeThese are great for:

  • A cookout side item (easy to eat without utensils!)
  • A child’s lunch box (they’re good cold too)
  • Breakfast (they reheat great… I had some this morning)
  • Snacks between meals
  • Party appetizers
  • A dinner side (I think they’d be awesome with any sea food especially)
  • I think you get the idea…

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Green Beans and Potatoes

I was so excited to try this recipe from Real Simple. I’m a sucker for lemony things, skin-on chicken, and any excuse to eat roasted garlic.

The first time was a bust though. I’ve cooked lemon slices like this before (the original recipe has you put them in the bottom of the baking dish), and wasn’t pleased with the results so I wasn’t sure about it, but I followed the directions anyway… the lemons get bitter when you bake them so long. They made the green beans too bitter to eat, and the potatoes weren’t great either.

So I took out the lemon slices, and simplified the rest of the process, and ended up with some DELICIOUS chicken and veggies. You need to make this. Seriously.


Lemon Garlic Chicken with Green Beans and Potatoes


  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2-3 lemons
  • several cloves of garlic, cut in half (I buy the pre-peeled cloves — they’re so easy! And I put in probably 10-15 because I LOVE to eat them once they roast and get all soft)
  • salt or seasoned salt
  • pepper
  • a bunch of green beans (1-2 pounds, ends trimmed)
  • 8-10 red potatoes, cut into chunks (I do 4-6 pieces per potato depending on size)
  • Chicken thighs or breasts, bone-in, skin-on. I did 8 thighs the last couple times we made this.


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves.
  3. Add the green beans and potatoes to the oil mixture and toss to coat. Using tongs (salad tongs work great), transfer the veggies to a baking dish (9×13 is good).
  4. Using the tongs, swirl each piece of chicken around in the oil mixture before placing on top of the veggies in the baking dish.
  5. If any oil remains, drizzle it on top of the chicken.
  6. Roast for an hour. Enjoy!

Grain-Free Artichoke Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffing

My mother-in-law makes a fantastic sourdough bread stuffing with onions, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s something I always looked forward to at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and to be honest, if she were making it I’d still totally eat it up. Sourdough bread is one kind of bread that has never caused me digestive discomfort after “going Primal.” (It still has the high-carb effect of being hungrier, sleepy, etc, but that’s much more tolerable when splurging than bloating, gas, and pain.)

But buying sourdough in my house is VERY rare, and I wanted to see if I could Primal-ize the stuffing recipe so that I wouldn’t have to feel like it was a splurge or compromise at all. And I did.

It was really, really good. It’s gone now, which makes me sad, but now that I know it works and is awesome, I’m totally going to make it for Christmas.

To start with, you’ll need about half of this grain-free bread recipe, or enough to make about 4 cups of croutons. Cut the bread into cubes about 1”, then put in a 250 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until it dries out and gets a little toasty.


Meanwhile, dice 2 onions and start sautéing them in about 1/4 cup olive oil.


Peel and mince 2 garlic cloves.


And about 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (the ones in oil in a jar, not the dry crunchy ones in a baggie).


Also cut up 2 cans or jars of artichoke hearts (in water, not marinated) and add them to the onions once they’re translucent.


Add the garlic and tomatoes. Heat everything through.


Now dump the mixture into a 9 x 13” baking dish, along with the croutons. Add about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, and sprinkle salt and basil to your preference.


Whisk together 2 eggs and 1 cup of chicken stock.


And pour it over the bread mixture, then stir to combine.


Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes,


then uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.


Oh my…


I had to dig in right away. And it made my day!


To recap…

Grain-Free Artichoke Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffing Recipe


  • 4 cups of croutons (1” cubes made from this grain-free bread in an oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-30 minutes.)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut-up
  • 2 cans or jars of artichoke hearts (in water)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • basil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Saute the onions in the olive oil.
  3. Meanwhile, mince garlic and cut up tomatoes and artichoke hearts.
  4. When onions are translucent, add tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Heat through.
  5. Pour mixture over croutons in a 9×13” baking dish.
  6. Add cheese, salt, and basil. Mix.
  7. Whisk together stock and eggs. Pour over bread mixture and combine.
  8. Bake 30 minutes, covered.
  9. Uncover, and bake 10 minutes longer.

How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

Honestly, I don’t understand when people say, “I don’t like vegetables.”

Like vegetables are a whole group of unappealing foods or something… and they’re all the same.

But in my opinion vegetables are some of the best things EVER. Especially when they come from your own garden or from a local farmer. They are so fresh and delicious, flavorful and crisp!

Oh wait… flavorful and crisp. Maybe THAT’s why people “don’t like vegetables.” They have only had improperly cooked veggies and/or canned ones — bland and mushy. If you can’t get fresh veggies, frozen is the next best thing. And if you overcook your vegetables, you may as well be eating wet sponges. Gross!

So the lesson here is cook your vegetables properly! Steamed broccoli, for example, should NOT be squishy. You should be able to bite it with your teeth and have it actually break, not rip and leave strings behind. My dad’s rule, which works quiet well, is that when you begin to be able to smell the vegetable it’s done cooking.

So here we go!

Step 1: Cut the florets off of the stem.  They don’t have to be the same size as each other, but they should be small enough to be a comfortable bite. No one wants to have to cut their broccoli once it’s on their plate.

steaming broccoli

Step 2: Rinse the broccoli, just in case there’s anything you don’t want to eat on it. Don’t worry about trying to get all of the water out; you need a bit of water for the broccoli to steam!

steaming broccoli

Step 3: Place broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl or casserole dish, and cover. This dish has a lid which is convenient, but you can use saran wrap or something. If you’re afraid there isn’t enough water on the broccoli, you can add a couple tablespoons of water to the container.

steaming broccoli

Step 4: Microwave UNTIL YOU CAN SMELL THE BROCCOLI. This usually takes about 6 minutes in modern microwaves. Since I got my microwave off Craigslist 2 years ago, and it’s probably about 8 years old, mine takes 8-10 minutes to cook.

See how it’s just a bit darker green and a bit less opaque? That’s perfect. It’s still structured, crispy, and flavorful.

steaming broccoli

One of my favorite toppings for hot steamed broccoli is lemon pepper. Of course, it’s fantastic on its own, too.

Are you a fan of vegetables in general? Which is your favorite, and what is your favorite way to cook it?

Steamed broccoli is high on the list for me, but blanched or roasted asparagus is up there too. I also love cauliflower, raw carrots, raw red/yellow/orange bell peppers, zucchini… man, I’m just a fan of vegetables in general.

Tomato Pie in Flaky Pastry Crust

The first time I posted this recipe was back in September of ’07. I like this dish even better (if that was possible!) if I peel the tomatoes first. So, here’s the same recipe, a second time around!

I make my own crust, but store-bought should work fine too. If you have a pastry crust recipe you like though, feel free to use that!

If you’re using a commercial crust, you may want to pre-bake it for a few minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re picky like me, you might want to peel and de-seed your tomatoes before you slice them. If not, slice away. Lay your tomatoes on paper towels or cloth to absorb the excess water. No one wants a soggy pie! When your tomatoes are ready, fill your crust with them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, basil and onion powder. Like I said in the original post, I am very liberal with the basil and salt.

tomato pie filled pastry crust
Then, mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 2 cups of your choice of shredded cheese (this time I used mozzarella). Spread this over the tomatoes.

tomato pie cheese filled pastry crust

If you’re using homemade crust, you can add the top now, making sure to poke vents into it. If you’re using a commercial crust, don’t worry! It’s just fine without a “lid.”

tomato pie double pastry crust

Protect the edges of your crust with a shield. If you don’t have a pre-made one, aluminum foil will work perfectly.

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then remove the foil.

cover pie crust edges with aluminum or tin foil

Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until your crust is goldeny delicious.

tomato pie bake until golden

If you can wait, it’s good to let the pie sit for 10-15 minutes, so everything can congeal inside. I couldn’t wait this time, so the slices in these pictures are a bit oozy. (Mmm….) If you let it sit, it’ll slice into pieces that are actually triangular, rather than triangular-plus-oozage.

delicious tomato pie with flaky pastry crust

I missed some seeds I guess! But a few don’t bother me. Doesn’t it look delightful? Mmmmmm! Tomato Pie!

serve up tomato pie with pastry crust for dinner