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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Filtering by Tag: gluten free

Beef Chili (No Beans

Tracy Byrne

Beef Chili (No Beans - Whole 30) | Pale Yellow

If you are looking for a break from the onslaught of Christmas Cookies, look no farther.  This chili is healthful, easy, and warming.  It will leave you full and counteract all the butter and sugar!

Print the recipe!

Beef Chili (no beans)

Adapted from Whole 30

Yield - 3-5 servings

  • olive oil
  • 1 lb grassfed beef, 93%
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth

Add a little olive oil to a large skillet with sides to heat.  Add the ground beef to brown.  Stir and break up the meat.  Cook for about 10 minutes until only a little pink remains.

Beef Chili (No Beans - Whole 30) | Pale Yellow

Finely chop the onion, peppers, carrots, celery, and garlic.  

Beef Chili (No Beans - Whole 30) | Pale Yellow

Add to the meat. Stir and cook until the onions the are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Beef Chili (No Beans - Whole 30) | Pale Yellow

Add the dried herbs and spices.  Adjust if you like things spicy. I found this to be medium-hot, but I’m a whimp!  Stir to toast for 1 minute.

Beef Chili (No Beans - Whole 30) | Pale Yellow

Add the tomatoes with juice and the broth.  Stir to combine.  Let simmer for 1-2 hours with a lid on.  The carrots should become soft.  During the last 20 minutes remove the lid.

Beef Chili (No Beans - Whole 30) | Pale Yellow

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  Serve with avocado, guacamole, radishes, or anything you want!

Beef Chili (No Beans - Whole 30) | Pale Yellow


Tracy Byrne

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

Are you addicted to kombucha?  Is the cost of kombucha ruining your bank account?  If so, it's probably time to start brewing your own!  It's a little out there, a little hippy, but trust me, it's worth the effort.  In a half hour of active time a week, you can have about 7 bottles of kombucha for about the cost of one bottle.  Bonus, you're now one at parties who want to talk about the joys of the symbiotic relationship of bacteria and yeast on your digestive system!

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

My biggest suggestion is to start with a kit.  I've been using this one for almost a year after my brother gifted it to me for Christmas.  The kit comes with a perfect jar, pH strips, a SCOBY, and the consumable ingredients for your first brew.  My SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) has grown and grown over the past year.  I've divided and it gifted in with some kombucha liquid to friends.  The SCOBY is a living thing, your newest friend!

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

To bottle, I love these bottles, I bought two sets.  The one draw back is everyone thinks you're drinking a beer.  I wish.  I'm sure you are all more creative than me, when it comes to flavors, I keep mine pretty simple.  Go wild! 

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!


Adapted from The Kitchn & Shutterbean

Yield - 7-8 16-ounce bottles

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 8 tea bags (black, green, or a combination of any)
  • SCOBY + 1 cup kombucha liquid
  • cold water
  • 4-10 ounces organic, pure juice
  1. First batch - Add the sugar to a clean, 1 gallon glass container.  Pour in the boiling water.  Stir to melt the sugar.

  2. Add the tea bags and let steep until the mixture reaches room temperature.  The temperature should be between 74-84 ˚F.

  3. Remove the tea bags and add cold water to fill about 2/3’s of the jar.  Gently add the SCOBY and liquid.  Fill the jar to the top with cold water.  Check the pH, the mixture should be less than 4.5.

  4. Cover with a breathable fabric like cheesecloth and set in a warm place, away from the sun, but with access to airflow for at least 7 days, more is fine too.  Again, check the pH, it should be between 2.5 and 3.5.

  5. Bottling - With the cleanest of hands, remove the SCOBY and place in a separate container with at least 1 cup of kombucha liquid.  Yes, it feels gross, just do it!

  6. Add 4-10 ounces of pure juice to the jar and stir.  My favorites are pomegranate, grapefruit, lemon-lime, and apple cider with ginger.  You can also add fresh fruit, ginger, or herbs.  You just want a juice without any sugar and preferably organic.

  7. Pour the kombucha through a fine sieve and bottle in 16-ounce bottles.  Cap and store in a cool, dark place for 2-7 days for the second fermentation.  The longer they ferment, the more fizzy.

  8. Once fermented, place bottles in the fridge until you are ready to drink them.

  9. With the SCOBY and remaining kombucha liquid you put aside in step 5, you can start the process again!

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

Apple Chips

Tracy Byrne

Apple Chips | Pale Yellow

This is so easy it doesn't even need a recipe!  After I go apple picking my favorite thing to make is apple chips. They are great snack, so healthy and satisfying.

Apple Chips | Pale Yellow

Apple chips are usually pretty expensive to buy, but are easy to make. They do take a bit of babysitting, but it's definitely worth it. I always try and make them last, but usually they're gone within the hour! 

Apple Chips | Pale Yellow


  • 3 apple (fills two baking sheets) 
  • cinnamon, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 225 °F and spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. 
  2. Slice apples thin using a mandoline (I use setting 3) and core out the middle with a piping bag tip. 
  3. Lay in an even layer on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. 
  4. Bake for 1-1:30 hours checking every 20 minutes. Flip over half-way through baking.  The chips should be barely brown and dry. 
  5. Let cool before eating, they will crisp up! 
Apple Chips | Pale Yellow

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut (Gluten Free)

Tracy Byrne

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

This is how we do dairy-free - rich, sweet, indulgent, and full of tasty things.  Guess what?  They are also gluten free!  Hello allergy and dietary restriction friendly!  Once the recipe started down the road of being dairy free, I decided to get fancy with coconut sugar.  At that point, why not bring out the coconut flour.

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

These brownies were made for Andrea and her Bachelorette party on Shelter Island.  It was a lovely, simple weekend full of great food, lots wine, brownies, and blankets.  It was cold, but we were able to celebrate Andrea is the best way possible.  You don't need butter to celebrate!

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

Like virtually every brownie recipe on this blog, these are adapted from my favorite brownie recipe that is super easy and requires one pot to do everything.  The brownies are fudgy and moist with the perfect texture.  You can add in whatever you want to the brownies to customize for your tastes.  These were a perfect batch!

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut (and pistachio and cacao nibs and gluten free!)

Adapted from MMMMM Brownies

Yield - 16 pieces


1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 tablespoons vegan butter

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon instant coffee

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, dairy free (almost a full bag - save the rest of the bag to mix in whole)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cacao nibs

1/3 cup roasted, salted pistachios

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (reserve some for the top)

flaked sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F.  Grease an 8x8” pan with shortening and line with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper.

  2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, sugar, water, and instant coffee.  When melted remove from the heat.

  3. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until combined and melted.  Add in the eggs and vanilla one at a time and stir to combine.  Add in the flour, soda, and salt mixing until just combined.  

  4. Stir in the cacao nibs, pistachios, remaining chocolate chips from the bag, and most of the coconut until all combined.

  5. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining coconut shreds on top.  Sprinkle flaked sea salt on the top.

  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is shiny and crusty and a toothpick comes out almost clean.  DO NOT OVER BAKE!

  7. Let cool slightly and then slice and serve!

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

Easy Salsa and Cheese

Tracy Byrne

Easy Salsa and Cheese | Pale Yellow

A little late for your Super Bowl party, but perfect for anytime!  Especially anytime you have a large gathering of friends.  Or whip this up in the middle of the next snow storm, which is what I did.  Storm Jonas didn't stand a chance when I was holed up in my apartment with plenty of snacks like this salsa & Vernors and Netflix.  Life is good!

Easy Salsa and Cheese | Pale Yellow

Ever since purchasing my food processor this summer, I have been searching for ways to use it more often.  This dump salsa is perfect.  Just a light chop with the knife and everything else gets tossed in the processor to be blended together.  Instant salsa!  My aunt always serves salsa with shredded cheese in it, and I love the idea!  A little protein with your chips and salsa!

Easy Salsa and Cheese | Pale Yellow

Sometimes the taste of canned tomatoes has an off taste when raw, but there was no off taste here.  Here is a recipe that does not rely on the summer bounty of fresh tomatoes, so it can be enjoyed all year long.  Confession time - the salsa was almost a little too spicy for me.  I know, I know, I'm a wimp.  Next time I would probably only add half a jalapeno.

Easy Salsa and Cheese | Pale Yellow

However, when I took the salsa to a work meeting, no one else thought it was too spicy.  Make your own decisions!  Because this recipe makes a tremendous amount of salsa, I used it in a variety of ways: a cup or two with cheese for snacking, a cup and a half paired with chicken breasts in the slow cooker for an easy shredded chicken, and the rest was taken into work for sharing.  This recipe could easily be cut in half in your salsa needs are not so great!

Easy Salsa and Cheese | Pale Yellow

For Secret Recipe Club this month, I visited the lovely Michaela of An Affair from the Heart we have much is common like the need for a creative outlet and dinner with with family every night.  Since a storm was coming, I went straight to her dip tab (yes, a dip tab!) and found a recipe I could enjoy while being snowed in!  The salsa was satisfying, fresh tasting, flavorful, and most importantly, easy!

Easy Salsa and Cheese | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Easy Salsa and Cheese

Adapted from An Affair from the Heart

Yield - 56 ounces of salsa (it’s a lot!)

1/2 large onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic

1 jalapeno, deseeded and roughly chopped

28 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 10-ounce cans Rotel

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

large bunch of cilantro, just the leaves

1 lime, juiced

finely shredded Mexican cheese

tortilla chips

  1. Peel, chop, and prepare the vegetables.  Add to a large food processor.

  2. Add the vegetables, tomatoes, sugar, salt, cumin, cilantro, and lime juice.

  3. Pulse until blended and combined.

  4. Stir together salsa and cheese in a 3:1 ratio in a decorative bowl. Example - 1 1/2 cups salsa + 1/2 cup cheese.  Enjoy with chips!

  5. The remainder keeps nicely in mason jars in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Easy Salsa and Cheese | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oatmeal

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oatmeal | Pale Yellow

There are few things better than prepared breakfasts. Hearty breakfasts that can be grabbed, thrown in your bag and taken to work.  A breakfast that can sustain you until your late lunch at 1:30/2.  Overnight oats are that type of breakfast.

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oatmeal | Pale Yellow

Especially when they are fancied up with my favorite ingredients for fall like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, and pumpkin.  Especially when they taste you're eating pumpkin pie for breakfast!

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oatmeal | Pale Yellow

Now that fall is in full swing, let's get in the pumpkin game!  For breakfast, for dinner, forever!

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oatmeal | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oatmeal

Pale Yellow Original

Yield - 2 servings

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cloves

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

4 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup oatmeal, old fashion oats

4 tablespoons maple syrup

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix well and divide between two pint-sized mason jars.
  3. Store in the fridge overnight to set up.
  4. Enjoy hot or cold.  To heat, remove the metal lid and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until the oatmeal reaches your desired temperature.

Butternut Squash Soup

Tracy Byrne

Butternut Squash Soup | Pale Yellow

As you know, I am in the middle of a Whole 30 and one thing needed to make the process go smoothly is easy meals for grabbing and going.  Soup is simple to make in large quantities and freeze.  Lunch is a no-brainer when I can thaw a bag of soup and have lunch ready to go!

Butternut Squash Soup | Pale Yellow

The soup is as delicious as it is easy.  There are lots of veggies and their flavor shines.  The butternut squash is a beauty that my coworkers and I (along with the kiddos) grew in our garden. Butternut squashes were grown in abundance so there will be more butternut squash in my future.

Butternut Squash Soup | Pale Yellow

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was on the hunt for soups and stews.  Mary of Goodie Godmother has a whole category!  I had the butternut squash so I made this soup, but I'm sure I'll make this slow cooker chili soon!  Her blog is lovely and admire her former bakery in California!

As the weather gets colder, it is soup season, sweater season, and boot season.  I pulled out my boots and polished them nice and put the sandals up on the shelf, sad face.  Butternut squash soup is perfect for fall.  It's easy, tasty, and healthful!

Butternut Squash Soup | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Butternut Squash Soup

Adapted from Goodie Godmother

Yield - 7 2-cup servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

14 ounces mirepoix (1/2 onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks finely minced)

1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped

5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 medium butternut squash, peeled & chopped into cubes

salt + pepper

1 quart vegetable broth

2 bay leaves

5 fresh sage leaves roughly chopped

14 ounce can light coconut milk, shaken

chopped hazelnuts and fried sage for garnish

  1. Add the oil to a large pot or dutch oven.  Heat on low.

  2. Add the mirepoix mix and stir to coat.

  3. Chop the onion and add to the pot.  Stir and let cook on low until the veggies are soft and the onion transparent.

  4. Roughly chop the garlic and set aside.

  5. Peel and chop the butternut squash.  Add the garlic and squash to the pot.  Stir and let cook until you can smell the garlic.

  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper generously, I used about 2 teaspoons salt and 15 grinds of pepper.

  7. Add the broth, bay leaves, and sage.  Cover and let simmer for 1-2 hours or until the butternut squash is fork tender.

  8. Let cool slightly and add the coconut milk.  Remove the bay leaves.

  9. Puree with an immersion blender (best option) or a food processor (not as great option, but I did it and it was messy).

  10. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts and fried sage if desired.

  11. The soup can be easily frozen.  To a quart baggie I added 2-cups and then froze flat to save space.  Soup for later!

Butternut Squash Soup | Pale Yellow

Whole 30 - Week 1

Tracy Byrne

Hi. Yes, I'm doing a Whole 30 with my maj Lynn. I wish we could be physically together to share meals and recipes, but the phone & moral support is excellent!

I eat food repeatedly whether or not I'm on a regime, so you'll see a lot of same. Makes things easier with less waste!  After six days the sugar withdrawal headaches finally went away.  When researching the Whole 30, they say the second week is the hardest, but hopefully this is not true.

Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 1:

  • Chia pudding with mixed berries (frozen) an a seed/nut/coconut mix; coffee with cashew milk; banana
  • Butternut squash soup; hazelnuts
  • Filet mignon (seriously amazing!). roasted broccoli
  • Half an apple with almond butter
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 2:

  • Chia pudding with mixed berries (frozen) an a seed/nut/coconut mix; coffee with cashew milk; banana
  • Butternut squash soup with hazelnuts; half an apple
  • Steak salad with onion & tomatoes; roasted broccoli; smashed sweet potato
  • Warm apple cider
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 3:

  • Baked eggs with broccoli & onion; bacon; half an apple
  • Slow cooker pork loin; bacon fat roasted sweet potato; simple green salad
  • Turkey burger on spinach; cauliflower "rice" sautéed  with onion & peppers
  • Chocolate pudding (full-fat coconut milk + banana + cocoa + almond butter)
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 4:

  • Turkey burger with two fried eggs; half an apple; coffee with cashew milk
  • Unsweetened passion fruit tea
  • Guacamole with carrots; pork loin; mixed seeds and nuts
  • Spaghetti squash with mushrooms, marinara sauce, and chicken meatballs
  • Chocolate pudding (full-fat coconut milk + banana + cocoa + almond butter)
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 5:

  • Baked eggs with broccoli & onions; 2 pieces bacon; coffee with cashew milk; banana
  • Pork loin; sweet potatoes; half an apple
  • Spaghetti squash with mushrooms, marinara, and meatballs
  • Chocolate pudding (full-fat coconut milk + banana + cocoa + almond butter); nut/seed mix
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 6:

  • Chia pudding with nut/seed mix; banana; coffee with cashew milk
  • Butternut squash soup with nut/seed mix; guacamole and carrots
  • Pork fried "rice" (cauliflower) with extra veggies; half an avocado; apple cider
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 7:

  • Baked eggs with veggie mix; half an avocado; coffee with cashew milk
  • Pork fried "rice" with extra veggies; apple
  • Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion; truffle fries (not compliant :-(, oh well)
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 8:

  • Baked eggs with veggie mix; half an avocado; coffee with cashew milk
  • Turkey wraps with lettuce, tomato, and avocado; apple
  • Spaghetti squash with mushrooms, marinara, and meatballs
  • Chocolate mouse (full-fat coconut milk, soaked almonds, 2 bananas, cocoa powder)

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup

Tracy Byrne

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup 1

Let's start our New Year right; veggies and bean.  Easy and delicious.   Healthful.  A recipe so good and tasty I made it several times throughout the fall.  Since a batch makes so many servings, it makes a for a simple week of lunches.  

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup | Pale Yellow

I love the different textures from the veggies and beans; the lentils make the soup seem almost creamy. Can we talk about how weird 2015 seems?  I type it lot for work, but it seems like this mysterious time of the future.  It's hard coming to terms with this new year, I'm losing track of years and how much time has passed?  Is this what it feels like to get older?  My mom has been talking about her and my dad's trip to NC for their "30th" wedding anniversary this spring.  Here's the issue, I'm already 30 and they'll be celebrating 35 years.  Oh the confusion and fun!  Maybe eating loads and load so bean and veggie soup will improve memory!

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup | Pale Yellow

One Year Ago - Apple Cider Doughnuts

Print the Recipe!

Easy Vegetable and Bean Soup

Pale Yellow Original

Yield - 4-5 lunch servings

2/3 cup dried lentils, I used red & green

2/3 cup dried beans, I used black & pinto

1 dried bay leaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 ounces chopped white onion, I used frozen

5 ounces chopped red & green pepper, I used frozen

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium vegetable stock

2 generous pinches of salt

plenty of freshly cracked pepper

  1. The night before add the lentils and beans to a 1-quart mason jar with the bay leaf.  Add water to fill and let the beans soak overnight.
  2. Add the olive oil to a medium soup pot with a lid to let heat.  Saute the onions and peppers until soft.  Stir in the carrots and celery.
  3. Drain and rinse the legumes and add to the pot with the bay leaf.  Stir in the vegetable stock and season generously.  Lentils need a lot of salt.
  4. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, letting the soup simmer on low.  Check the doneness of the beans, they should squish in your fingers when cooked through.
  5. Let cool and portion for this week’s lunches!

*Alternatively, add the drained beans, veggies, stock, and seasoning to a crock pot and cook on high for 5 hours.  Check the beans for doneness.  Even easier!

easy vegetable and bean soup | pale yellow

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Easy Penaut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale YellowIn no particular order here are some things that happened to me this week.  I was trapped in my bedroom and and couldn't get my bedroom door open.  After unscrewing my doorknob and prying off one hinge I was still stuck, sweating profusely despite the chilly temperature, and was crying on my bedroom floor because I was getting panicky.  Did I mention that this was all happening at 6:30 a.m.?  I finally texted my landlords and after several keys and brute strength, they broke open the door for me.  Luckily I was only a little late for work and no longer have a doorknob on bedroom door. Easy Penaut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale YellowI met Bill Nye the Science Guy!  He is incredibly bright, thoughtful, and funny.  As soon as grad school work dies down, I can't wait to read his newest book, which I have autographed!  There are few things better than geeking out with science teachers.

Easy Penaut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale YellowBoth of my grad classes have term paper rough drafts this due at the beginning of the week and because of my busy schedule, high sleep needs, and procrastination, I was down to the wire with due dates.  Sunday I made myself a nice schedule to write my paper and was completing my midday activity of writing a paper at Panera when I went to insert a photo and Word shut down.  Oh no.  AutoRecovery saved me, but then that shut down and wouldn't come back.  Cue panic.  Three hours  of work, good writing I might add, gone.  GONE!  Naturally I caps-locked-yelled at Lynn and started crying in the middle of Panera.  What's a girl to do?

Easy Penaut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale YellowOne word - cookies.  Two words - easy cookies.  Peanut butter, an egg, some sugar, and a few little extras.  Mix it together and bake, boom cookies.  Adding mini chocolate chips is a delightful addition and I can't believe I've never added chocolate chips to peanut butter cookies before.  Whether you're having a great week and meeting Bill Nye or crying on your bedroom floor, these are an easy cookie to make you feel better.  And thankfully, I found my lost paper!Easy Penaut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from I Am Baker

Yield - 21 2-tablespoon cookies


1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

splash of vanilla

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl cream together the peanut butter and sugars.  Stir in the egg, baking soda, salt, and vanilla until well combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the cookie sheets.  Use a fork dipped in granulated sugar to make crosshatches.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or just set.  Let cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.Easy Penaut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix | Pale YellowHere is a secret - I've been going to bed early every night, early early.  Like 8 p.m. early.  It's as if I'm so overwhelmed with all I have to do, I just give up and go to bed.  It may be time to reintroduce caffeine back into my life because November is going to be crazy busy! Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix | Pale YellowThis is a an easy recipe for those of you that are crazy busy.  Just toss ingredients together and let cook; maximum results for minimum effort!  Plus, the recipe is completely adaptable for any ingredients you want and a great way to use up odds and ends left in the pantry.

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix | Pale YellowAnd, it's almost Halloween, this would a fantastic, not-so-sugary snack to nom on between fun size candy bars. pumpkin spice Chex mix is addicting.  I found myself taking little bites over and over again when I was waiting for it to cool and when I was packaging it up.

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix | Pale YellowThis isn't the crispiest Chex mix, but that is fine by me.  I found myself looking for the pieces with the most spice mixture on top.  There is rich, warm flavor from all the fall spices and a subtle sweetness from the maple syrup.  My favorite bits were the Club crackers.  As always, substitute the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg for an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice.  Even if you don't make this for Halloween, I  think it would make a fantastic appetizer for Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix | Pale YellowOne Year Ago - Lemon Cheesecake Ice Cream

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Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

Adapted from Averie Cooks

Yield - 15-20 servings


6 cups Chex Rice cereal

1 cup banana chips

1 cup peanuts

1 cup raw cashews

2 cups butter pretzels

1 cup Club crackers, minis

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1/2 cup real maple syrup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon ginger

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 bag pumpkin spice M & M’s

  1. Add the cereal, banana chips, peanuts, cashews, pretzels, and pumpkin seeds to a 5-6 quart crock pot.  Toss gently to combine.
  2. Melt the butter and stir in the maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, salt, and vanilla.  Pour over the mix in the crock pot and stir gently to coat all the ingredients.
  3. Cook on high power for 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes.  You don’t want the bottom pieces to burn and this will make your house smell amazing!
  4. Once the mixture is cooked through and there is no remaining liquid, let cool on two baking trays to dry out overnight.  Toss in the M & M’s.
  5. Store in gallon sized bags.Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix | Pale Yellow

Smoked Paprika Kale Chips

Tracy Byrne

Smoked Paprika Kale Chips | Pale YellowTrue story, I ate all of the kale chips over a 24 hour period and I felt it.  Kale may be a good thing, but too much kale is another story and I may have hit the too much kale limit. Smoked Paprika Kale Chips | Pale YellowI couldn't help myself!  The kale chips were super flavorful from the salt and smoked paprika and the ground cashews + nutritional added a delightful cheese-like element.  It's hard to go wrong with a tasty, crispy, healthy snack.

Smoked Paprika Kale Chips | Pale YellowRight after I saw this recipe I visited an apple orchard with a huge farmer's stand.  The kale caught my eye and I immediately knew what I was going to do with it when I got home.  I'm not a fan of curry, so I modified the original recipe to handle my favorite love - smoked paprika.  Make this healthy snack soon, just don't eat it all yourself!

Smoked Paprika Kale Chips | Pale YellowOne Year Ago - Fudge S'more Bars

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Smoked Paprika Kale Chips

Adapted from Shutterbean

Yield - 1-4 servings


1 large bunch flat leaf (lacinato) kale

1/4 cup ground cashews

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

3 heaping teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

2 teaspoons maple syrup

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F and line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Rip the stems out of the kale and rip into large-ish pieces.  Wash and dry completely.
  3. Grind your cashews and add them to a large bowl with the yeast, paprika, cumin, salt, oil, and syrup.  Whisk to combine.
  4. Toss in the kale and massage to coat evenly.
  5. Spread the kale in a single layer on the baking sheets.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the kale is dried and crispy but not burnt.
  6. Let cool before storing.Smoked Paprika Kale Chips | Pale Yellow

Apple and Honey Pork

Tracy Byrne

Apple and Honey Pork - an easy crockpot dinner! | Pale YellowIf last week was fall food week, this is savory week.  There are not a lot of dinner recipes here on Pale Yellow, especially those featuring meat because meat is the one thing I lack the confidence to cook often.  A crockpot situation is a whole other story!  Pork tenderloin is not cheap and this is a sure fire way to cook it perfectly.  Add the apples, cinnamon, honey, and pork and set-it and forget-it!  This is an easy dinner for any night of the week and all it needs to finish out the meal is a nice side salad.Apple and Honey Pork - an easy crockpot dinner! | Pale Yellow Print the Recipe!

Apple and Honey Pork

Adapted from Stockpiling Moms

Yield - 4-5 servings


1 granny smith apple

1 1/2 lbs pork loin

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

3/4 cup apple juice or cider

  1. Slice the apple into thin pieces.
  2. Make 4 or 5 slits in the pork loin and place apple slices inside the slits.
  3. Add the remaining apples to the bottom of a crockpot and place the pork on top.  Drizzle the honey over the pork and sprinkle the cinnamon on top.
  4. Gently pour the apple juice on the bottom.
  5. Cook for 5 hours on low or until a meat thermometer reads 170 ˚F.
  6. Let rest and then slice and serve.Apple and Honey Pork - an easy crockpot dinner! | Pale Yellow

Quinoa with Patty Pan Squash

Tracy Byrne

Quinoa with Patty Pan Squash | Pale YellowThis recipe born out of creativity with a new vegetable I had never tried nor heard of, the patty pan squash.  As the wonderful man at the CSA pickup told me, think of a patty pan squash like a zucchini that holds it shape better.  This is a perfect description because it is a summer squash, but lacking much of the water zucchini and yellow summer squash have.  The flavor is pleasant and the texture divine. Quinoa with Patty Pan Squash | Pale YellowLike all food that I don't know what to do with, I decided to toss it in a quinoa salad for lunch.  The rest of  the ingredients for this particular quinoa dish were inspired by the garden at work and the remaining ingredients from my CSA box.  Fresh picked leeks?  Absolutely!  Spicy little peppers?  Of course!  Use up all the parsley?  Obviously!

Quinoa with Patty Pan Squash | Pale YellowI understand that this might not be the easiest recipe to replicate, but replication is not the only purpose of blogging.  Hopefully this recipe will inspire you to try out a new vegetable at the farmer's stand or grocery store.  You can really do whatever you want as long as you are tasting as you cook and put in things you enjoy!

Quinoa with Patty Pan Squash | Pale YellowThis particular quinoa dish made a volume of epic proportions!  I had lunch all week and then some.  The leeks provided tremendous light-oniony flavor throughout the dish while the the patty pan squash provided such crunch and bulk.  A little pepper adds spice so your lunch is never boring and parsley adds freshness.  Overall, this is a healthful and tasty lunch to make your work weeks more bearable! Quinoa with Patty Pan Squash | Pale Yellow

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Quinoa with Patty Pan Squash

Pale Yellow Original

Yield - 7 lunch servings


1 cup quinoa

2 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth

1 cup fresh fava beans, optional

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 leeks, washed well and finely chopped

1 jalapeno, deseeded and finely chopped

3 small patty pan squashes, chopped

salt + pepper

1 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped

  1. Add the quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and cook until water is absorbed, stirring frequently.  When the water is about 75% absorbed, stir in the fava beans to cook them.  Once cooked, turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large saute pan and heat.  Add the onion, leeks, and jalapeno and cook until softened.  Add the squash and cook until softened.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the cooked quinoa and stir to combined.  Stir in the freshly parsley.
  4. Enjoy cold, room temperature, or warm - I preferred slightly warm.Quinoa with Patty Pan Squash | Pale Yellow

Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies - GF

Tracy Byrne

peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellowHappy Memorial Day!  There is a little memorial park at the end of my block and it's perfectly decorated with red ribbons and crisp American flags.  It's beautifully maintained and the perfect reminder of what this weekend is all about.  Thank you. peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellowI'm spending the weekend catching up on errands and Sons of Anarchy.  Wow SoA, wow!  I didn't see those plot twists coming.  Bam, bam, they're all shot and dead.  It slightly scares me how much I enjoy watching all the violence on TV.

peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellowIn other, less violent news, these brownies were made for a spa weekend to celebrate Michelle's upcoming wedding at her bachelorette party.  And really a spa weekend is the absolute opposite of violent, motorcycle gangs on TV!  The party was a great success and perfectly lovely and relaxing.  I wish I could afford more spa get-aways.

peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellowThese brownies are delightfully fudgy and gooey.  Spread the peanut to the edges so every bite has decadent, creamy peanut butter.  You wouldn't even know they are gluten free. Using coconut flour in place of all-purpose or GF all-purpose adds the slightest coconut flavor and a toothsome texture.  It's time for some brownies with peanut butter!peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellow

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Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies - GF Adapted from Top with Cinnamon Yield - 16 pieces

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate 1/2 cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 eggs 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 cup coconut flour 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 1 teaspoon coconut milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.
  2. Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat until it is melted and browned.
  3. Meanwhile generously grease an 8x8” pan with butter.  Cut parchment paper to fit on the bottom and over two sides.  Grease the parchment paper.
  4. Chop the chocolate, remove the browned butter from the heat, and add the chocolate to the butter.  Stir until melted.
  5. Stir the honey and vanilla into the chocolate-butter mixture.  Add the eggs one at a time and stir to make sure the mixture is well incorporated.
  6. Stir in the salt, soda, flour, and cocoa powder.  Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  7. Place the peanut butter and coconut milk in the same pot you just made the brownies.  Heat until the peanut butter becomes melted.  Dollop over the brownie batter and swirl with a knife.
  8. Bake for for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.peanut butter swirl brownies GF | pale yellow

Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Tracy Byrne

spring vegetable quinoa salad | pale yellowWhen I first started the blog one of my main goals was to try new foods and document my experiences.  Things like gelatin came easy in homemade marshmallows and beets in cupcakes and juice.  The Brussels sprouts ruined testing of further vegetables. spring vegetable quinoa salad | pale yellowWhen I saw this recipe for spring vegetable wheat berry salad, it sounded fantastic.  I bought radishes without even considering the fact that I may not like radishes!  Conclusion?  Radishes are quite tasty.  They add crunch and color and freshness to the salad.

spring vegetable quinoa salad | pale yellowClearly I eat a lot of quinoa; a good quinoa salad lasts me 4-6 lunches depending how big the batch.  It's an easy lunch full of protein and vegetables.  Plus, the chopping is relaxing and making lunch for the week is part of my routine.  I tried to change things up with a different grain, but the grocery store didn't sell wheat berry, so I went my old standby.

spring vegetable quinoa salad | pale yellowThis particular quinoa salad is one of the best I've made!  I love that it is limited to a few months a year when asparagus is fresh.  The vegetables are crisp and crunchy, the vinegar dressing is bright and tangy, and the nuts and dried add flavor and texture.  I look forward to making this salad again while asparagus is still in season!

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Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad Adapted from Alexandra Cooks Yield - 5 servings

1 cup quinoa (I used a mix of white and multi-colored) 3 cups water 1 small yellow onion 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 cup raw cashews 1 bunch asparagus 1 bunch radishes 4 dates 1/4 cup olive oil kosher salt freshly cracked black pepper crushed red pepper flakes

  1. Add the quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and cook until all the water is absorbed, stir frequently.
  2. Slice the onion into thin slices and place in a small bowl with the vinegar.  Toss to coat and set aside.
  3. Roughly chop the cashews and add them to a dry saute pan and toast.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Trim the asparagus and chop into 1 inch pieces.  When almost all the water is absorbed in the quinoa, add the asparagus to cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Use a mandolin to thinly slice the radishes and then cut into thin strips.  Set aside.
  6. Dice the dates.
  7. When the quinoa and asparagus have cooked and all the water has absorbed, turn off the heat and immediately add the olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Stir to combine and check the seasoning.  Adjust as needed.
  8. Toss in the cashews, onions with the vinegar, dates, and radishes.  Again stir, taste, and adjust.
  9. Delicious warm or cold.spring vegetable quinoa salad | pale yellow

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

Tracy Byrne

buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellowHappy Easter!  I hope everyone had a joyous holiday.  My Easter was spent in Brooklyn like the good old days; St. Savior, a rejuvenating and wet mass, and brunch at a local favorite.  On my stroll back to the car I stumbled into a bookstore to look for a book I've been thinking about, Notes from a Blue Bike; I want to live a more purposeful life!  However, the book wasn't at the bookstore, so I bought a different book, Ample Hills. buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellowAnd let  me tell you, this book of ice cream recipes is going to change my life and then your life!  Ample Hills is a fantastic, artisanal creamery in Brooklyn.  As much as that sentence kills me, it's a true delight.  Now I can make my own artisanal delights here in Queens, the peninsula better watch out, this is some good stuff!

buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellowThis salad is also some good stuff.  As you all should know by now, I rarely make the same recipe twice and I've made this two times in the past month.  It's a perfect salad for lunch because it's tasty warm or cold.  Plus, it fairly healthful and easy to throw together.  Using pre-packaged broccoli slaw is totally the way to go.

buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellowIf you want a salad that is hearty, just a little bit spicy, easy for quick lunch or dinner, this is the recipe for you!  Trust me, you'll like it.buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellow

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Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Yield - 5-6 servings

1 cup quinoa 3 cups water 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/4 cup oil 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup hot sauce, Franks 1/2 teaspoon celery salt 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 12 ounces broccoli slaw 4 green onions, finely chopped

  1. Quinoa - Add the water and quinoa to a small saucepan and allow to simmer until all the water is absorbed.  Stir occasionally.
  2. Chicken - Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and saute in a medium saucepan in a little olive oil until cooked through.
  3. Dressing - In a small bowl whisk together the oil, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, celery salt, salt, and smoke paprika.  Stir half of the dressing into the cooked chicken and stir.
  4. Assembly - Add the quinoa, broccoli slaw, and half of the chopped green onions to the pot with the chicken.  Stir to combine and add the rest of the dressing.
  5. Serve warm or cold.buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellow

Chocolate Peppermint Roll

Tracy Byrne

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowI should be done with holiday recipes and start posting healthful food to get 2014 started right!  However, I'm not done!  January will bring more sweet treats and Monday will bring the last holiday themed recipe.  Promise!  I'll be so busy packing and moving all January, I'll probably just post cocktail recipes; that sounds closer to the truth.

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowThe recipe was an accomplishment; I've never made a roll up cake before.  I've always loved the look of roll-up cakes but was really intimidated by baking a cake on a cookie sheet and then rolling it up.  Fear is gone!  Despite a few cracks, this cake was a piece of cake!  Pun intended.  I made this when Michelle was over helping me bake and she was all like, "I've made lots of roll up cakes, they're easy!"  It was great having her on hand to lend some tips!

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale Yellow2012 was the year of stacked cakes, 2013 was the year of bundt cakes, so maybe 2014 will be the year of rolled cakes.  I know I have a pumpkin one pinned for next fall and I have visions of strawberry shortcake dancing in my head.  It will probably happen!  I'll just need to wait and see how my new kitchen is for baking; I've been very accustomed to my current set-up...

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowDid you know this cake is gluten free?  True story; naturally gluten free!  I appreciate when recipes are naturally gluten-free or vegan or dairy free without any special ingredients.  I want to build my arsenal of allergies-friendly recipes that I can whip out whenever needed without having to buy weird stuff.  Everyone deserves to eat delicious treats!

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowThis cake is quite delicious. The cake portion is soft and spongy with a rich chocolate flavor.  The eggs keep everything light and moist.  It's hard to go wrong with a rich, minty whipped cream in the center!  To top of the cake there is a lovely ganache with peppermint pieces.  This type of dessert tastes as good as it looks and is a perfect center piece for any holiday table!

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Chocolate Peppermint Roll Adapted from Joy the Baker Yield - 10-12 slices

Cake 6 eggs, separated 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla pinch of salt 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Filling 1 1/4 cup heavy cream 3 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon peppermint extract 1 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped out

Ganache 2/3 cup heavy cream 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 1/3 cup Andes peppermint pieces

  1. Cake - Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.  Grease a 17x12” cookie sheet and line with parchment paper.  Grease and flour the parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Separate the eggs.  Beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  3. While eggs are beating, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10-second intervals.  Add the chocolate in a slow stream while the mix runs on high.  The egg mixture should become even thicker.  Beat in the vanilla.  Transfer the mix to another bowl.
  4. Clean the bowl and beater well and dry.  Add in the egg whites and and a pinch of salt to the clean bowl.  Beat until frothy.  Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three increments.  Fold slowly to keep the air.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly. Take care to not squash the batter.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is dry.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Filling - While the cake is cooling make the whipped cream filling by adding the heavy cream to a bowl of stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  9. Add in the sugar, peppermint extract, and the seeds from one vanilla bean.  Beat until the cream has stiff peaks.
  10. Allow to set in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
  11. Spread the whipped cream over the cooled cake.  Start rolling at the short end of the cake facing you.  Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake.  If it cracks a bit it’s ok.
  12. Once the cake is rolled, place it in the fridge for another 10 minutes to set.
  13. Ganache - Heat 2/3 cup heavy cream in a saucepan until it begins to simmer.  Pour over the chocolate and set aside for 3 minutes.  Stir until the chocolate is melted.
  14. Assembly - Pour the ganache over the cake and push to the sides.  Sprinkle the Andes mint pieces over the top.  Refrigerate the cake for several hours to firm up before cutting.Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale Yellow

Greek Quinoa Salad

Tracy Byrne

greek quinoa salad | pale yellow Are you tired of quinoa yet?  I'm not.  It's such an easy and healthful grain to add to a salad to bulk it up and make the salad more filling.  I don't feel weighted down when I eat a quinoa salad they way I do when I eat a pasta salad or rice dish.  Maybe it's the lack of gluten? greek quinoa salad | pale yellowAt any given time Ruth and I both have leftover quinoa dishes in our fridge.  Yes, I know, we are very much yuppy white girls who live in Park Slope.  I fully acknowledge the stereotype and own up to it.  However, we're not buying our quinoa from the co-op, so that should count for something, right?  There is nothing wrong with wanting to eat filling meals that are healthy!

greek quinoa salad | pale yellowI like this particular quinoa salad because nothing is cooked besides the quinoa; all the vegetables are raw.  The onions have bite while the cucumbers and tomatoes are juicy.  If you're so inclined, add kalamata olives, I know they are traditional in Greek salads.  I, however, despise olives and will not include them in my salad, ever.  Plus, there is feta.  Feta is probably my second favorite cheese because of how crumbly and salty it is, I love feta in my salads!

greek quinoa salad | pale yellowThe parsley adds freshness and the lemon juice brightness.  This Greek quinoa salad is bright and friendly.  Because there is more of a dressing, it feels more salad like and I enjoy serving heaping cup fulls over beautiful baby spinach leaves.  That's just me, you can serve your quinoa however you want!  This is a fantastic salad to eat throughout my first official week back to work.

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Greek Quinoa Salad Yield - 4 lunch servings

1 cup quinoa 2 cups vegetable stock 1 medium red onion 1 yellow pepper 2 roma tomatoes 1 English cucumber 1 bunch parsley salt + pepper 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 4 ounces feta spinach, optional

  1. Add the quinoa and vegetable stock to a medium saucepan over low heat.  Simmer and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring periodically.
  2. Slice the onion into thin slivers and chop the pepper.  Add to a large bowl.
  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley.  Add to the bowl.  Sprinkle a liberal dosage of salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Sprinkle in the oregano.  Mix to combine everything.
  4. Taste the vegetables, add more seasoning as needed.
  5. Cube the feta and set aside.
  6. Mix together the olive oil and lemon juice, add the to vegetables and toss to combine.
  7. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl and stir to mix.  Gently fold in the feta.
  8. Serve over a bed of spinach if desired.

Tex Mex Quinoa

Tracy Byrne

tex mex quinoa | pale yellowLast week's quinoa was a big hit with friends on Facebook.  People actually made the dish!  Sometimes I make things and wonder if anyone actually makes them.  It was nice to hear about and see the proof.  Way to go Fatema and Nicki! tex mex quinoa | pale yellowI've made this quinoa several times over the past year.  The corn and black beans make the quinoa salad really filling and there is no need to eat for hours after consuming a big bowl.  Plus, anything with avocado is bound to be delicious!

tex mex quinoa | pale yellowIf you're a spice-loving person, add some cayenne, red pepper flakes, jalapenos, or sriracha.  I'm only mildly spicy and want to make sure my lunch is edible without downing huge glasses of water or smother the dish in yogurt.

tex mex quinoa | pale yellowThis isn't a dish limited to the lunch box, I think it would make a great accompaniment to any BBQ or outdoor party.  The quinoa doesn't need to be refrigerated and it has familiar flavors party-goers enjoy.  As a bonus, it's super friendly to your vegan and gluten free friends!  No one wants to leave out those friends!

tex mex quinoa | pale yellowOverall tex mex quinoa is smokey in flavor from the cumin and crunchy from the quinoa.  The lime juice adds plenty of zip and the avocados are creamy.  This is one of my favorite lunches and I'm excited to finally share it with you!

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Tex Mex Quinoa Yield - 5-6 lunch servings

1 cup quinoa 2 cups vegetable stock 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion 2 small bell peppers (red and yellow) or 1 large pepper 2 roma tomatoes 1 15-ounce can black beans 1 15-ounce can corn 1 bunch cilantro 1 ripe avocado 1 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder salt + pepper juice of 1 lime

  1. Add the quinoa and vegetable stock to a medium saucepan over low heat.  Simmer and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring periodically.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Finely dice the onion and add to the pan.  Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Finely dice the bell peppers and add them to the pan.  Sprinkle with salt.  Saute until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft.
  4. Roughly chop the tomatoes, salt liberally, and add to a large bowl.
  5. Rinse the black beans and corn and add to the tomatoes.  Chop the the cilantro and avocado and add to the bowl.  Set aside.
  6. Sprinkle the cumin and and garlic over the cooked onions and peppers.  Add on some freshly cracked pepper.  Stir to combine.
  7. Add the cooked quinoa and onions & peppers to the bowl.  Stir to combine and add the lime juice.  Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.tex mex quinoa | pale yellow