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A blog about all things allergen-free and delicious

Entries in Recipe (8)


Help! I'm Vegan and Can't Eat Soy. How Do I Get Enough Protein?


Getting Protein from Veggies, Seeds, & Fruit

Are you following a vegetarian or vegan diet and have found that you cannot tolerate soy products? Don’t worry--while soy products are high in protein and often considered a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets, you can absolutely get enough protein and variety without soy as part of your diet. 
The thing to keep in mind is that all foods, even fruit, contain a certain amount of protein. The key is to choose the foods that are highest in protein per serving in their category.

Here are 3 ways for a vegan to get enough protein without using soy products:

  1. Beans are your Friend: With all of the soy products out there, it can be difficult to remember that soy is just a little ol’ bean. And just like soy, starchy beans, like pinto are a wonderful source of protein. While soy is the bean highest in protein content, fava beans, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans and black beans are very close in their protein content per serving.
  2. Go for High Protein Vegetables: Vegetables also contain protein. Peas, Broccoli, Spinach, Artichokes and Potatoes (yes, potatoes—isn’t that the best news?) all have a decent amount of protein per serving.
  3. Hurray for Seeds: Some of the highest protein ‘grains’ aren’t grains at all—they are seeds. Quinoa, Buckwheat, Amaranth, Millet and Teff. All of these seeds have more protein per serving than rice.


Quinoa Pumpkin Seed Salad

Serves 4-6

This delicious, high-protein salad featuring quinoa and black beans is one of my most requested recipes. 
1 cup dry red quinoa, rinsed well (or 2 cups cooked red quinoa)
2 cups water
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 scallions, sliced
1 15-oz can black beans, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
In a saucepan, boil water and add quinoa, lower heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.  Allow to cool at least to room temperature before continuing (or use precooked quinoa and skip this step).
In a bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, cumin, and chili powder. Pour over quinoa and stir in cilantro, scallions, beans and peppers, mixing thoroughly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until service.  Right before serving, stir in pumpkin seeds.

About Chef Jenny Brewer

Jenny Brewer is a nutritionist and chef who teaches people how to cook healthy foods that taste delicious. Visit her site at for delicious healthy recipes, meal plans and cooking inspiration.






See More of Jenny's Posts

Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart (super allergen-free)

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan, DF, GF, Soy-free, Nut-free)

Plans Your Meals, Change Your Life!



Recipe: Vegetable Chili


This recipe is from Chef Jenny Brewer, guest contributor to the Tender Palate.  See her meal planning article that includes this Vegetarian Chili, and how you can plan your week around it.












 Serves 6

This chili is easy to make, low in fat and loaded with protein and fiber.  It is inexpensive, filling and makes great leftovers.

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 1/2 cups (about 4 ounces) fresh mushrooms, chopped

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 Tablespoon cumin powder

2 Tablespoons chili powder

2 chipotle peppers canned in adobo, minced

2 Tablespoons tomato paste (save rest of can in another container)

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, not drained

1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained

Salt and pepper to taste


Put it Together


Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add garlic and onion; saute for a minute or two, then add peppers, mushrooms and zucchini, saute for a few more minutes, then add seasonings and tomato paste, stirring to make sure tomato paste is dissolved.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes (or longer, this is a great recipe for a crockpot!) and serve.


About Chef Jenny Brewer


Chef Jenny Brewer is passionate about making healthy foods flavorful and fun. For free recipes and more meal plan information, visit







More from Chef Jenny

Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart (super allergen-free)

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan, DF, GF, Soy-free, Nut-free)

Plan Your Meals, Change Your Life! 




RECIPE: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan, DF, GF, Nut-free, Soy-free)

Here is another great recipe from Chef Jenny Brewer, that uses the winter powerhouse called "Sweet Potato".  Chef Jenny will start guest blogging for us in March (2012), with cooking tips and recipes for Tender Foodies of all kinds.  I'm very excited to have Chef Jenny lending her expertise! 



Serves 6-8
Preparation Time:  
20 mins
Cooking time:  
35 mins



1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 anaheim pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lbs),peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 28-can whole plum tomatoes

1 cup water or vegetable stock

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained

1 dried chipotle pepper (smoked jalepeno), seeded and chopped (easiest to do with scissors)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves



Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, pepper, garlic, and sweet potato chunks. Saute, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add water or stock, beans, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Stir in cilantro and serve.


About Chef Jenny Brewer

Jenny Brewer is a nutritionist and chef who believes eating healthy should be easy, delicious and fun! She inspires individuals to stay committed to eating healthy with her free healthy eating resource, Tasty Bites with Chef Jenny available at





More Recipes from Chef Jenny

Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart (super allergen-free, healthy & delish, delish, delish)


RECIPE: Roast Chicken with Figs, Thyme, Garlic, & Sweet Potatoes

Thyme from the garden - picked in Michigan in January.

Thyme in January

When I first moved to Michigan 6 years ago, thyme was one of the first herbs I planted.  I was so grateful to have dirt to play in (15 years in the concrete jungle makes you appreciate stuff like that), that even in winter, I stepped out to stare at my garden and plan for the coming summer.  To my surprise, the thyme was thriving under the snow.  It had also turned a deeper green, and the most exposed leaves sported a beautiful hue of purple. 

Thyme and roast chicken are a classic combination winter-wise.  But since it stops growing when Jack Frost comes to town, I only harvest a few sprigs during its dormancy.  So one day in January,  I made an unusual garden trek in my wellies, without a coat, and on an unseasonably warm pick some thyme. Then stuffed the butt of an organic chicken with this precious herb, along wtih lime, figs, and garlic.

Thyme grows best in July and August, so during the summer I put it into glass jars or ziploc bags, then "just" cover the thyme with olive oil, and freeze.  When I remove from the freezer, I use the infused olive oil as well as the thyme for diferent dishes.  This recipe has become a favorite means of making beta-carotene loving sweet potatoes as well.  They soak up the chicken juices and the beta carotene is activated by the olive oil.



1 -- 5-6 lb organic, roaster chicken (choose organic to be sure that the chicken has not been injected with a gluten-based solution)

CHEF TIP:  one method to get the skin crispy when roasting is to place it in the refrigerator prepared in the pan and leave uncovered for a few hours.  This gets the excess moisture out of the skin which helps it brown.

2 cups of organic parsnips (rough chopped into 2 inch pieces)

2 cups of organic carrots (rough chopped into 2 inch pieces)

3- 4 sweet potatoes (ends sliced off, and chopped into 1 inch x 2 inch pieces)

1 head of garlic (root sliced off, head rough chopped in half)

1 lime (or lemon), cut in half

Dried figs  (stems chopped off, 5 per chicken butt, 1 handful to mix with veggies)

25 sprigs of thyme (20 per chicken butt, 5 with veggies)

*if you don't have thyme, this recipe actually works well without it, too.

Olive Oil

Sea Salt



Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees.  Place the racks low in the oven so the roaster can fit.  

Vegetables:  Spread the carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and figs along the bottom of the pan.  The veggies act as a rack for your chicken.  Sprinkle the 5 thyme sprigs throughout.  Place about 1 TBS of olive oil and 1-2 tsp. of salt into your hands and toss the vegetables with it. 

Giblets:  Pull out the giblets and neck and throw into a hot pan with a little olive oil.  Fry them up (brown on all sides) and put aside for another use (the cat likes them).  I use the neck and carcass of the chicken in the Nourished Kitchen's slow cooking, immune-building bone broth, a recipe I have come to love and use often.  Pan-fry the neck as well and refrigerate overnight and then toss it into the bone broth the next day with the left over chicken and bones.


Frying Giblets

Chicken:  Rinse the chicken inside and out and remove any pin feathers.  Cut excess flabby fat from the chicken, but leave the skin on.  Pat the skin dry with a paper towel.  I always rinse my chicken, however, I've noticed that not all chefs do this.

Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil, and salt the outside and the inside of the chicken.

Stuff the chicken cavity (the butt end) with the 20 sprigs of thyme, 5 or 6 figs and the whole head of halved garlic, and the halved lime (or lemon).  Then place on the vegetables and tuck the wings under its body (or they could overcook).

CHEF TIP:  one method to get the skin crispy when roasting is to place it in the refrigerator prepared in the pan and leave uncovered for a few hours.  This gets the excess moisture out of the skin which helps it brown.

Place the roaster in the oven at 425 degrees F for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

When the juices between the leg and the thigh run clear (not bloody or thick), your chick is done.

Remove from the oven and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes before carving. 



Serve a Healthy Dessert

Serve the 14-Allergen-Free, Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart for dessert.  MMM.

 Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart is Nut-free, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Sesame-Free, Oat-free, Egg-free, Corn-free, Coconut-free, & Soy-free...


RECIPE: Nourishing Burdock Stew (Vegan, GF)


I asked Lisa Rose Starner of Burdock & Rose to divulge this heavenly, vegan recipe after she served it at her 2011 talk on herbs and adrenal health.  To find out more about the medicinal properties of the herbs used in this recipe, visit this summary of her mini-seminar. If you are in Grand Rapids, you can find many of the herbs at Elder & Sage.

Castle Defense Nourishing Broth (Vegan)


Herbal Infusion Mixture


Herbal Infusion Mixture:  Red clover, Nettle, Oatstraw (read why oatstraw & oats must be gluten-free), Astragalus (2 sticks) -- approx. 2 cups dry herb total. In case of Gluten Intolerance, remove Oatstraw*, then increase Nettle and Red Clover.

1 cup dry mushroom of choice -- Chaga, Reishi, Maitake or 1 TBSP powered mushroom (MushroomHarvest online offers great mushroom blends)

Simmer herbal mixture and mushrooms SLOWLY in 6 qts of water for 20 minutes. Again, simmer, no boil.


Strained Herbal Broth

Let sit overnite (on the counter or in the refrigerator) for 12 hours. Long cooking/extraction time is needed to extract minerals. Let the broth come to room temperature, then strain & store in Ball Jars or containers and refrigerate if you aren't making soup right away. Freezes well. Can also be sipped at room temperature as a nourishing infusion.  

*Many folks allergic to gluten are also allergic to oats (see this post explaining this).  If you are not allergic to oats, be sure to source gluten-free oat straw.

Nourishing Burdock Stew (Vegan, GF if made w/o Oatstraw)

Domesticated Burdock with Carrot, Shallot, Garlic to go into soup with stewed Tomatoes & mushroom power

  • Nourishing Broth as prepared above
  • 1 cup brown rice -- cooked, optional
  • 1 cup adzuki bean -- cooked, optional
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 reg sized Burdock root (sliced or diced)
  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • Salt, pepper to taste, or even minced Parsley, Thyme, Sage or Rosemary.

Sautee onion and garlic, sweat the Burdock & Carrots until the carrots are soft enough to pierce with a fork, then stir in cooked rice & beans (optional).

Cover with prepared herbal broth.  Simmer again for 20 minutes to meld flavors.

Eat and savor this nourishing, nutrient dense soup.

***To prepare soup with the added immunity builder of bone broth (highly recommended for persons with significantly compromised immunity and also as general immunity builder during winter months)


Immune-Building Bone Broth (non-Vegan, GF, DF)


Maitake mushroom wild from Michigan forests.
Decoct herbal mixture and mushrooms as directed. In separate pot, sear soup bones (beef or chicken from healthy animals) in the pot to brown, along with the onion.

Pour the prepared broth (herbs and all) over the searing bones.  Bring pot to simmer. Add 2 TBSP of vinegar  then do a slow extraction of 12 hours or so, by simmering the broth and bones on low heat. Add some water as needed as the broth reduces down. THEN strain.  This will be your bone broth.  

Finish recipe by sautéing your vegetables, adding in rice, beans.  Simmer for additional 20 minutes for flavors to meld, serve.