If The Professor ate kale and said it was good, then I feel like I would be abandoning my duties to the world NOT to share the recipe.


Dinosaur kale if you’re fun, Tuscan kale if you’re not. Toasted walnuts. Simple dressing. A smidge of sharp cheese. (I used the special edition Grano Padano from Aldi’s, but Parmesan is also sufficient.)

Easy and delicious. Made The Professor willingly eat kale.

Not sure what more I have to say.

Low FODMAP Dinosaur/Tuscan Kale Salad with Maple Lemon Vinaigrette

(Serves 4-6)

  • 1 bunch Dinosaur/Tuscan kale
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shaved Grano Padano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Wash and ‘de-stem’ the kale. Cut into thin (1/4″ or so) strips.

Whisk together dressing ingredients.

Pour dressing over kale and massage with your hands (or just mix together with a spoon).

Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese and walnuts.

Toss lightly and serve.

Note: I like to dress the salad and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours because I think it tastes better, but the kale shold soften up in as little as 30 minutes.

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I received free samples of the Krusteaz products mentioned in this post. I was not compensated for my time.


Nothing says “Thank You” like freshly baked muffins.img_8772-1280x853

And nothing says “Happy Fall Birthday!” like a giant cake made out of pumpkin pancakes.


Luckily, I was able to “Say it with Krusteaz” AND show off their brand new packaging.


The smell of your kitchen alone is worth baking for…img_8739-1280x853

…but the rave reviews and fabulous taste make these gifts of baked treats truly special.


Pumpkin Pancake Birthday Cake with Spiced Pears

  • 1 box Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Pancake Mix
  • 1 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup water
  • cooking spray (butter or coconut oil)
  • 2 cups fresh pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. pie spice
  • 1 8 oz. container whipped topping
  • 2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  1. In a medium saucepan, combined fresh pears, 2 tsp. pie spice, and a few tablespoons of water (to cover the bottom of the pan). Bring to a simmer and cook until pears are soft, but not mushy.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together pancake mix, milk, and water, in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Heat a small skillet* over medium to high heat.
  4. Working one at a time, make pancakes approximately 6″ in diameter, spraying the pan well with cooking spray in between each one. [If you mess up a few, that’s OK! This recipe allows for about 3 large pancakes to be leftover for snacking….or mistakes.]
  5. Allow pancakes to cool.
  6. While pears and pancakes are cooling, stir together whipped topping and 2 Tbsp. maple syrup.
  7. When pancakes are cool, assemble cake: layer a pancake, topped with whipped topping, sprinkled with pears, then repeat, ending with whipped topping and pears.
  8. Sprinkle remaining tsp. of pie spice over the top of the cake and drizzle with remaining syrup.

*I used a 6″ skillet, so each pancake filled the pan. If you have a larger skillet, you can make more pancakes at a time, but you’ll need to try and keep them uniform size.


I was also given the chance to sample some of Krusteaz Gluten-Free mixes, and I had people in my office–where I left the Blueberry Muffins–coming up to me days later telling me how addictively delicious they were!


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So if you’re like me, you kind of thought, “Cool theme fort this month’s Recipe Redux, but really, aren’t these ‘Plant Power Bowls’ just about the sauce you cover everything in?”


But man, the delicata squash (although butternut or sweet potatoes will do), roasted at 400 degrees with just a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme is so delicious it’s hard to save enough to even MAKE a bowl.img_8931-1280x853

And roasted grapes..nothing added, just popped in to the oven along with the squash (or potatoes) until bursting with sweetness (literally….out spills the juice)–well those go down like candy.img_8990-1280x853

Oh, and of course the spinach, sauteed with lemon juice, ginger, and salt is everything you would hope it could be.img_9000-1280x853

The quinoa is perfect for providing protein, fiber, and perfect for soaking everything up.img_8992-1280x853

But yeah, it’s really just about the sauce.img_8983-1280x823

Pumpkin Spice Miso Peanut Sauce

[Makes enough for 4-6 bowls]

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or 4 Tbsp. peanut powder + 2 1/3 Tbsp. water)
  • 3 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. mellow white miso
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp sambal oolek (optional)

Whisk together all ingredients.

Pour liberally over the bowl described above….or anything, really.

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I received free samples of the Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna mentioned in this post. I was not compensated for my time.


When you go on a Low FODMAP diet, you start to rely on straight-up protein as the one thing you know will keep your belly calm. So regardless of potential mercury elevating effects (whichI think have been debunked?) I find myself consuming multiple cans of tuna a week. Sometimes just cracked open, water squeezed out, a pinch of salt added, and eaten straight from the can with a fork.

Because that’s what you do when you can’t eat a bowl of watermelon for a snack anymore.img_8861-1280x853

What perfect timing then, with Bumble Bee Seafoods recent announcement that it would be the first major American tuna supplier to certify all of its canned white albacore tuna as Non-GMO, in addition to an expansion of  Trace My Catch feature, which will now include all of its salmon, sardines, and clam products, in addition to its tuna.img_8866-1280x774

In honor of these sustainable achievements–and because October is National Seafood Month–I was given the opportunity to create a recipe using the new, Non-GMO branded tuna for a recipe.


I figured I should probably move beyond the salt, fork, can mode of consumption mentioned earlier, but I didn’t feel the need to get TOO complicated. After all, my cooking time these days involves whatever I can make happen in the 10 minutes I stand up to stretch from dissertation transcription and writing.img_8875-1280x853

This, though, this is worth taking a break for.


Low FODMAP Curry Coconut Tuna Salad

[Makes 1-2 servings, depending on hunger level :)]

  • 1 6 oz. can Bumble Bee Non-GMO Wild Caught Albacore Tuna in Water
  • 2 Tbsp. finely diced carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. plain, unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Low FODMAP* curry powder
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Low FODMAP* garam masala
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened flaked coconut

*Includes no onion or garlic powder.

  1. Rinse and drain tuna.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except salt and coconut.
  3. Stir everything together, adding salt taste.
  4. Sprinkle with coconut just before serving.

(I prefer mine on Romaine lettuce, perhaps with a side of leftover, cold rice–seriously– or a wheat-free toast, or rice cake.)

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I received free samples of Sabra Spreads mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


Call me gobsmacked the first time I saw The Professor swipe hummus across a piece of bread and make a sandwich.

For someone who won’t let me put any toppings but cheese on pizza, let’s just say, hummus on a sandwich is thinking WAY outside of the culinary box.img_8607-1280x854

It should NOT be surprising, then, that The Professor was also the first to dig into (spread onto?) the new Sabra Spreads that made their way to our doorstep.img_8592-1280x853

[I have no idea if he liked them or not, but this also means nothing, as the only time he will comment on how good something is is 1) if someone else made it, and 2) that someone is a professional chef.]


I knew that when it came to this recipe contest (co-sponsored by The Recipe Redux), I really needed to think outside of the (lunch) box, so to speak, but it turns out, the random combination that came about because of the random things I tend to buy without knowing how I’ll use them is NOT THAT WEIRD. In fact, I found quite a few recipes pairing grapes and salmon…but none on a sandwich!


I wanted to keep this as Low FODMAP as possible, and since 1 Tbsp. of hummus is moderately “safe” on the diet, I figured 1 Tbsp. of sandwich spread would also be OK. [I suffered very few consequences that I can report.]


This is on a corn tortilla (for FODMAP friendly purposes), but it would taste great on a flour or whole wheat tortilla or wrap as well.


You might still think the combo sounds strange, and that’s OK.

The Professor would eat it, though.*


*OK, he definitely would NOT eat this, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. :)

Smoked Salmon, Grape, & Spinach Wrap

  • 1 large corn, flour, or whole wheat tortilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Sabra Spreads Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup chopped red grapes
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta
  1. Spread Sabra Spread onto tortilla.
  2. Layer salmon and spinach on top.
  3. Sprinkle with grapes and feta cheese.
  4. Roll up and eat!

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I received coupons for the Nasoya products mentioned in this post. I was not compensated for my time.


OK. The title of this post is highly misleading. It SHOULD be called Peanut Butter Miso Tofu w. Strawberry Jam & Soy Dipping Sauce. But I’ve learned that with children (and some 35-year-old adult males who shall remain nameless) it is often better to keep it simple, and the names of any potentially alarming ingredients out of the working title. [Until they’ve tried it, of course.]


And this recipe IS for kids. As part of Nasoya‘s Outside-of-the-Lunchbox recipe series for the new school year, I was offered free products in exchange for a recipe. [That was the least difficult decision I had to make that day.]img_8419-1280x853

Since joining a Low FODMAP community online, I’ve learned that yes, even kids need to go on a Low FODMAP diet sometimes, and that their parents need something to feed them. So for this thinking outside-of-the-lunchbox challenge, I also wanted to think low FODMAP, and something that would be just as great warm the night before, and then delicious packed up in a lunchbox as leftovers.


This recipe absoluely fits the bill. As well as all those naturally kid-friendly (OK, and adult-friendly) characteristics of being both sweet and salty, healthy and delicious, and has the strong potential to be finger food.img_8455-1280x853

Thank you, Nasoya! [I’ll let y’all thank ME, later. :)]



Peanut Butter Miso Tofu w. Strawberry Jam & Soy Dipping Sauce

[Serves 4]

  • 1 14 oz.-package Nasoya firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter*
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. mellow white miso
  • 2 tsp. lemon or lime juice

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam (Low FODMAP approved)
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. water (adjust according to jam consistency)
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. samball oolek (optional, if you–or your children–like things with a little kick!)

*The salt and sugar content of the peanut butter you use may affect how much miso you want to add. Adjust according to taste.

  1. Drain tofu. Cut into 8 equal-sized blocks and press between paper (or cloth) towels for at leat 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Cube tofu and arrange on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  4. Bake tofu for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, miso, water, and lime/lemon juice.
  6. In a second small bowl, whisk together dipping sauce ingredients.
  7. When tofu has finished baking, heat a smidge of coconut oil in a frying panover medium-high heat.
  8. Add tofu to the pan, stirring rapidly and continuously for about 30 seconds.
  9. Pour peanut sauce over tofu, and continue to stir.
  10. Cook until tofu is coated and browned.
  11. Serve warm OR cold over rice (or another grain), with a side of dipping sauce and cut veggies.


P.S. This is how I press tofu in The Smart Kitchen.


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To be honest, for someone who loves to cook as much as I do, I don’t have too many early memories of cooking.


There was making pancakes with Papa Smart on weekends, but really that was me wanting to take over because he erred on the side of burnt and I love them still gooey in the middle. (It’s true.)

There was apparently cookie making with my Grammie but that I remember mostly because of some fantastic photos of me and my cousin licking chocolate off of her fingers.

And of course, the delicious spaghetti with a side of “garlic (powder & butter) bread” I used to make for my sister when I babysat.

Not having strong memories of cooking does NOT, however, mean I don’t have memories of FOOD.img_8383-1280x853

One thing I remember very strongly is the carrot and raisin “salad” Mama Smart always (always!) made for our church Lenten potlucks. Probably there was a lesson on how to make it, or I stirred it together for her, or maybe I just picked out all the raisins and prevented smooth assembly….either way, it is still a taste memory from my childhood.img_8392-1280x855

For whatever reason, that is the dish that stuck in my brain when I heard this month’s Recipe Redux theme…but of course I had to add a new twist. [And since there are now 1,000,000 versions of carrot salad all over the internet, I don’t even know if this one will stand out to anyone but me. :)]


[Low FODMAP] Warm Carrot & Kale Salad with Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing

(Serves 4 as a side dish)

  • 4 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 cups frozen chopped kale, thawed [substitute spinach if you can’t find kale]
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tsp. (or so) olive oil
  • 1 cup plain kefir [or yogurt, if not following a Low FODMAP diet]
  • 4 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. stone ground dijon mustard
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)
  1. Whisk together kefir, maple syrup, mustard, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  3. Add carrots, kale, and raisins to the pan.
  4. Stir well, and continue to saute until carrots are crisp tender.
  5. Pour dressing over carrots and kale, stirring well to combine.
  6. Cook until heated through.
  7. Serve immediately.

NOTE: This does taste great cold. It just wouldn’t be a warm salad then. Obviously.

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By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Nestlé Health Science and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


Can you imagine how excited I was to find out that Nestle Health Science had created a Low FODMAP Central website this past spring to help educate people with IBS [or the family and friends who suffer with them :)] by providing accurate information and helpful tools and recipes?

Can you imagine how much MORE excited I was to learn that the latest contest for The Recipe Redux was to create a recipe for the site?


One of the best parts of converting to and following a Low FODMAP diet (aside from the obviously much happier GI system) has been finding a number of other people like me, and sharing tips and recipes, even just through creating a Pinterest board with suggestions for how to adapt recipes.unbenannt

I’ve also been more inspired in the kitchen lately. Challenges will do that for me. So when I faced the issue of what to take to a football viewing party, I came up with this. (Yes, it tastes great with pizza.)

Because of said pizza, however, there was a lot leftover, and I realized it was a perfectly packable lunch, which I’ve heard to be a big quandary for people upon switching to a diet limiting FODMAPs.


When following a Low FODMAP diet, it is recommended that you stick with one serving of fruit per meal. I’ve purposely balanced out the serving of grapes in the dressing and those in the salad to feed 4 people and remain Low FODMAP in terms of fruit servings. However, if you have a particular sensitivity in this area, you may want to adjust the amount of dressing you use or the quantity of oranges.

Speaking of individual differences, I find that my tummy prefers green to red grapes (my tongue has it’s own ideas…it actually prefers the black ones), and the vinaigrette tastes great with either type. [In the photo below I used 3/4 cup green, 1/4 cup red.]img_8283-1280x853

It’s really just up to you how vibrantly purple you want your salad to be. :)


Low FODMAP Spinach & Quinoa Salad with Grape Vinaigrette

(Serves 4)

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, dry measure
  • 10 oz. baby spinach (or flat leaf spinach, coarsely chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced cucumber
  • 2 navel oranges, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
  • Grape Vinaigrette
    • 1 cup seedless grapes (red will result in a vibrant purple/pink vinaigrette)
    • 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp. tahini
    • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme (leaves)
    • 1/8 tsp. salt
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  3. In a large salad bowl, stir together quinoa, spinach, cucumbers, and oranges.
  4. Just before serving, dress salad with prepared vinaigrette.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

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One thing I never thought I’d sayas a former vegan/vegetarian/whathaveyou–is that I am currently having a love affair with ground turkey—as in “craving it on the regular.” Strong cravings. Like, want to eat it for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner types of cravings.IMG_8185 (1280x853)

As y’all know (I hope) it’s not meat in and of itself that I am against, but much of the terrible aspects surrounding its production and processing in this country…so I have tried to be very careful about where, and from whom, I purchase meat.

The FODMAP diet has meant an increase in protein in my diet, and that also means an increase in meat. [You can be a vegetarian and eat Low FODMAP, but this is what works for me.] Luckily, I’ve found a ground turkey in town that I *believe* is humanely raised, and I’ve been having a lot of fun using it in various recipes.

Like this one.IMG_8188 (1280x852)

Inspired both by the success of a Thai Basil Ground Turkey Skillet I tried, as well as a recipe for Orange Spice Chicken I saw on Pinterest, this dish came together fast, and with amazing results. So I had to share.

Really because I need someone else to start craving ground turkey and make me feel better about the situation.

IMG_8191 (1280x853)

Herb & Spice Orange Turkey Skillet

(Serves 4)

  • 1 cup brown rice (dry measure)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 10-oz. package fresh spinach (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped oranges
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • hot sauce, to taste [make sure it is FODMAP friendly, such as Louisiana brand]
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. While rice is cooking, blend together 1 cup chopped oranges, 1/3 cup water, 1/8 tsp. each of thyme, oregano, dill, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper, along with a pinch of salt.
  3. About 15 minutes before rice is finished, add a bit of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Season ground turkey with remaining spices, as well as salt and pepper, then add it to the hot pan.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, break up turkey and cook until browned.
  6. Pour orange sauce over the turkey.
  7. Stir in oranges, spinach, and fresh basil.
  8. Cook until spinach is wilted.
  9. Serve with rice, and drizzle with hot sauce if you like. :)
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It’s not every day Thomas Jefferson sends you a care package from the garden at Monticello.


But when I had the opportunity to receive some vegetables and herbs from Monticello and create a recipe in honor of the 10th annual Heritage Harvest Festival, well, there was absolutely no way I was going to pass that up, even if I won’t be in Virginia to attend the festival as I have in the past.HHF2016

I requested a surprise shipment, so that I could play my at-home version of Monticello Chopped. Upon opening my box, I harkened back to my days at UVA and a mantra that may have been a joke, but seemed appropriate now.

What Would TJ Do?

Well, he wouldn’t have cooked any of this himself. Let’s be clear about that straight up.IMG_8077 (1280x853)

What Would TJ Do?

He’d recognize the beauty in not messing around too much with the vegetables. He wasn’t a vegetarian, but he ate meat “like a seasoning” according to his granddaughter, or, as he himself described, “as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal diet.”IMG_8151 (1280x853)

What Would TJ Do?

He’d say “just because something hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try it now.”

This was the man who wrote The Declaration of Independence, after all.

So let’s go ahead and declare our independence from the idea that tomatoes and okra, when served together, have to be stewed and soft. Be adventurous: raw okra is delicious (but you can steam it a bit if you like).

IMG_8101 (1280x853)

What Would TJ Do?

Well, TJ would look up the definition from pilaf and recognize that instead of being cooked in a seasoned broth, the seasoning is added in the form of a dressing after it’s been cooked.

So I guess it’s really just a salad. But that’s not quite as much fun to say, now is it?

IMG_8142 (1280x853)

What Would TJ Do?

Well, if he’s anything like me, he’d stop talking and start eating.

IMG_8176 (1280x853)

[And encourage you to buy tickets to this year’s Heritage Harvest Festival if you are in the vicinity of Monticello on September 10th. Use discount code VEG16 and you’ll received a $10 discount for the Friday Night Opening!]

IMG_8143 (1280x853)

Okra & Tomato Pilaf with Lemon Herb Dressing

[Serves 6-8 as a side dish]

  • 1 cup brown rice (dry measure)
  • 1 1/2 cups halved yellow pear (or cherry) tomatoes
  • 2 cups sliced raw okra
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green Marconi pepper
  • salt + pepper, to taste

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped herbs (i.e. sage, tansy, basil, lemon balm)
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh minced ginger
  • pinch of salt
  1. Prepare brown rice according to package directions.
  2. While rice cooks, whisk together dressing ingredients.
  3. Steam okra for 2-3 minutes, just until bright green but still crisp.
  4. Combine tomatoes, peppers, and okra in a large mixing bowl.
  5. When rice is finished, add it to the bowl.
  6. Pour dressing over rice and vegetables, stir well to incorporate.
  7. Serve warm or –my preference–chilled.
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