I ORIGINALLY posted this recipe in 2012, but I’ve been making it since the 80’s, but boy did it need a serious photo update. This recipe makes a great side that lasts several days or even weeks with a great vinegar base.

40 ounces +/- canned sliced carrots, drained
14 ounces +/- canned baby peas, drained
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 can Campbell’s tomato soup**
3/4 cup vinegar (I sometimes use apple cider and it is just as good)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup avocado (neutral flavored) oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Whisk together soup, oil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. 
  • Add carrots, peas and onions. 
  • Chill overnight so flavors blend. 
  • Serve cold.

**I replaced the canned soup with the following recipe:

2 tablespoons butter 
3 tablespoons flour 
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups milk 
dash each of garlic salt, onion salt, basil, and oregano.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour and seasonings and cook until bubbly. 
  • Add tomato puree’ and blend well.
  • Remove from heat and gradually whisk in liquid. 
  • Return to heat and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened to desired consistency.


2 LARGE chicken breasts grilled to your liking OR 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken pieces
Yakisoba noodles for 4
1/2 pound Beech mushrooms
3 large green onions, sliced thin
1 cucumber, sliced
A handful of snap peas, trimmed

1 red, yellow and orange mini pepper, sliced
pickled onions
Chopped cilantro, optional

1/2 cup salted creamy peanut butter (see notes)
2-3 tablespoons BRAGG’S liquid aminos
2 tablespoons maple syrup
+/- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, depending on your heat level
Juice of 2 FRESH limes
+/- 1/4 cup water (to thin)

  • Whisk together the peanut butter, liquid aminos, maple syrup, chili sauce and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add water a little at a time until a thick BUT pourable sauce is formed.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, chili garlic sauce for heat, lime juice for acidity, or liquid aminos for saltiness.


  • Almond butter or Cashew butter SUBSTITUTE WELL for Peanut butter.
  • If your sauce becomes too thin, add more nut butter.
  • If your sauce is too thick, thin with more water.
  • FRESH grated ginger to taste adds another layer of great flavor.

NOTE: The leftovers added to torn lettuce make a wonderful salad 😀


I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER: Our Heavenly Father, kind and good, We thank Thee for our daily food. We thank Thee for Thy love and care. Be with us Lord, and hear our prayer. Amen.

2 medium cucumbers, sliced thin
1 tablespoon KOSHER salt
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 LARGE shallots, sliced thin
1 stalk celery, FINELY diced
1 Fresno chile, halved seeded and thinly sliced
3/4 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste 
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley (optional)

  • Add cucumbers to a LARGE colander and sprinkle with KOSHER salt. Allow to drain 15-20 minutes.
  • Whisk together the sugar and vinegar into a large mixing bowl until sugar is dissolved.
  • Fold in chilies and green onions. Set aside.
  • Rinse cucumbers and pat dry.
  • Whisk sour cream into vinegar mixture.
  • Fold cucumbers into sour cream mixture tossing to coat well.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour until ready to serve.


I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.


Oh, the Lord is good to me. And so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need. The sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me. Amen.

ANTIPASTO SALAD adapted from Valerie Bertinelli

2 tablespoons QUALITY red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard  (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste, crushed red pepper flakes or sriracha 
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 
1/2 small shallot, minced 
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
3 tablespoons avocado oil 

  • Whisk the vinegar, mustard if using, chile paste, Italian seasoning, shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl.
  • Gradually whisk in the avocado oil.
  • Pour into a cruet and shake.

4 radishes, thinly sliced (watermelon OR yellow radishes if you can find them)
2 celery heart ribs, thinly sliced 
1 romaine heart, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips 
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips 
1/4 pound provolone, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
1/4 pound mozzarella balls
1/4 pound Genoa salami, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
3 tablespoons sliced pickled pepperoncinis
3 tablespoons sliced pickled cherry peppers

  • Combine the radishes, celery, romaine, iceberg, provolone, salami, tomatoes, pepperoncinis and cherry peppers in a large salad bowl.
  • Toss with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.


  • I like to add a generous drizzle of a QUALITY balsamic glaze.
  • I also like to refer to this as a kitchen sink salad because I use up whatever is in my crisper bins and deli drawer 😀


MACARONI POTATO SALAD adapted from A Spicy Perspective

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into half inch cubes
12 ounces macaroni
1/2 cup FINELY minced Vidalia onion
1 large carrot, coarsely shredded
1 can Le Suer peas, drained WELL
1 LARGE bunch green onions, minced
1 1/2 (+as needed) cups Duke’s mayonnaise
1 cup sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large stock pot.
  • Fill the pot with cold water until it is one inch over the top of the potatoes.
  • Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Once water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, add the macaroni noodles, stirring to combine and continue boiling for 6-8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.

  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish including juices, apple cider vinegar, mustard if using, allspice, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring until smooth.
  • Use a grater to shred the onions and carrot.

  • Drain the potatoes and macaroni in a colander and place in a large salad bowl.
  • Add in the onion, carrots, peas, and scallions.
  • Pour the dressing over the top and mix until well combined.

  • Cover the potato macaroni salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.


  • If you have time, make the salad a day or so ahead of when you want to serve it. It tastes even better on day two!
  • Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

  • You can make this with unpeeled new potatoes for a slightly different texture. Follow the instruction as is, yet leave the potato skins on when you chop them.


1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup champagne vinegar 
1 cup FRESH sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard  (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped 
FRESH gound sea salt

  • Blend together the ketchup, yogurt, vinegar, mustard, sugar, paprika, onion and salt to taste into a high-speed blender.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

4 slices bacon
6 ounces sugar snap peas, stringed and cut on the bias (about 3 cups) 
2 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 SMALL head butter lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups bite size torn romaine lettuce pieces
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Italian parsley leaves
Wedge of Parmesan, for grating 

  • Put the bacon in a large cold skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside.
  • Add the peas to the bacon fat, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until they get a slight color, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.


  • Scatter the peas and herbs onto a bed of butter lettuce leaves.
  • Crumble the bacon and scatter over the pea layer.
  • Finish with a grating of Parmesan and a drizzle of dressing.
  • Serve with more dressing on the side.

NOTE: This salad is another “kitchen sink” salad that allows for substitutions, deletions or additions to clean out the crisper drawer or leftover chicken.


I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.


Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive, from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.

2 cups dry rotini pasta
1/2 pound snap peas, trimmed and halved
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
1 LARGE shallot, small diced
1/4 cup FRESH chopper parsley
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced or rough grated
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, diced (optional)
3 tablespoons tarragon rice vinegar (or flavor of choice)
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
  • Whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Italian dressing, mustard (if using), salt and pepper until emulsified.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss cooled pasta, snap peas, shallots, Parsley, artichoke heart pieces and chicken pieces together.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over and toss again.
  • Fold in tomatoes and cheese, tossing to coat well.
  • Chill several hours before serving.



2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup FINELY sliced red onion or shallot
1/4 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
1 can seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed WELL
1 LARGE can fire roasted corn, drained WELL
1/2 cup sour cream
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 1/2 cups chopped OR shredded rotisserie OR grilled chicken
1 cup shredded spicy Mexican blend cheese
4-6 cups salad greens of choice
FRESH chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Lime wedges for garnish (optional)
1 batch balsamic vinaigrette (see below)

  • Whisk together sour cream and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl toss together the beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, tomatoes and vinaigrette.
  • Toss together the chicken and sour cream mixture until well coated.
  • Fold in cheese.
  • Transfer bean mixture to platter.
  • Top with chicken mixture.
  • Sprinkle with FRESH ground pepper, cilantro and FRESH lime wedges if desired.

GENEROUS 1/2 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon QUALITY Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Add all ingredients to a lidded mason jar and shake WELL.
  • Refrigerate until needed and shake WELL again before using.


adapted from Melissa d’Arabian

1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 + 1 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped **
1/4 pound white button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup shredded carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 teaspoon dried tarragon or thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock, plus more if needed
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Rinse and dry the chicken thighs and season with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil  and 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the thighs on both sides, working in batches if needed. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the Dutch oven and cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms have softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and flour and cook, stirring, to remove the raw flour flavor, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the tarragon or thyme.
  • Turn up the heat and deglaze the pan with the white wine, allowing to bubble for a minute or two.
  • Return the chicken to the Dutch oven.
  • Add enough chicken stock to reach halfway up the sides of the chicken. Cover, place in the oven, and braise for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and set aside.
  • Add the mustard and sour cream and whisk to blend well.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and allow the flavors to meld before serving, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve over Super Buttered Noodles.

NOTE: **I use a combo of red and green onions or whatever I have on hand.

1 tablespoon Better Chicken Bouillon
1 pound egg noodles
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a large pot filled with boiling water, dissolve the bouillon and cook the noodles according to package directions.
  • Drain the noodles in a colander and then nestle the colander into the pot so some of the pasta water goes into the pot as the pasta continues to drain.
  • Remove the colander and stir the butter and sour cream into the pasta water until the butter melts.
  • Add the parsley and the noodles.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and pepper.
  • Toss to combine well.
  • Pour into a serving bowl and serve.


SOUR APPLE SLAW adapted from Michael Twitty
8 cups shredded green cabbage
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 Granny Smith apples, julienned
1 bunch green green onions, sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

  • Toss cabbage and salt together.
  • Let stand in a colander over a large bowl for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes submerge cabbage in COLD water. Drain and pat dry.
  • Whisk vinegar, maple syrup, sugar, salt and pepper together.
  • Toss cabbage, apple pieces, herbs and green onion slices together.
  • Drizzle dressing over cabbage mix and toss well.
  • Chill for several hours.
  • Toss again before serving.



2 chicken breasts

2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped

  • In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients.
  • Add chicken into the bowl, coat the chicken, and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Fully cook chicken and cut into cubes.

¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • In a mason jar, combine ingredients for the dressing.
  • Shake and set aside.

2 romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup red cabbage
½ cup carrots, grated
¼ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup almond slices
¼ cup fried wonton chips

  • Add all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl and add the cubed chicken and dressing.
  • Toss and enjoy!

NOTES: Get creative and add in ANYTHING you’d like; tomatoes,diced celery, red onions, hard boiled eggs, mandarin oranges…



2 ounces sake
3 ounces mirin
4 ounces Bragg’s liquid aminos
3 tablespoons (45 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 1 tablespoon water

  • Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat; whisking 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the sauce bubbles and thickens slightly.
  • Set it aside to use on the salmon and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

2 pounds salmon filets, deboned and scaled
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 scallions, sliced on the bias, for garnish
Steamed white rice, for serving

  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel, cut into four 3-inch pieces, and season it with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Once you start to see white smoke, lay the fish flesh-side down in the skillet. Move the fish around constantly while cooking to keep it from sticking. When the fish is medium, 4 to 6 minutes, turn with a spatula only once.
  • Cook the other side for another minute.
  • Add the teriyaki sauce to the pan and reduce the heat to low. The sauce will begin to simmer and reduce.
  • Tilt the pan around a few times and turn the fish until it’s well coated with the sauce.
  • Serve with rice on the side. 

This quick and easy salad is essentially just a big ol’ bowl of quick-pickled cucumbers, which is exactly why it’s so tasty. It makes a fresh, crunchy and acidic side to any main dish. Assemble it the night before and it will be even more perfect.


1/4 cup rice wine or white vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons flaky sea salt, plus more as needed
FRESH ground black pepper
4 medium cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill 

  • Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. 
Slice the cucumbers into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.
  • Place them in the bowl, add the dill, and toss to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Taste and season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed before serving.