Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing – Gluten Free and Vegan

This recipe is vegan and gluten free creamy cilantro-lime dressing is simple and delicious! -

It’s summertime in Texas, which means is a jillion degrees outside and I’m not kidding even a little bit.

As you may know, when it’s a jillion degrees outside, it can be difficult to find the desire to eat.

Or run.

Or move at all.

As the temps soar, I tend to lose my drive to spend time in the kitchen.  Since there are people in my house who think they must eat every single day, multiple times even, I found myself in the kitchen just long enough to make this salad.

Go me!

The salad is really just leftovers piled randomly so you can get creative here.  I used romaine, spinach, baby kale as the base and topped it with a chopped vegan veggie burger, some roasted acorn squash and garnished it with guacamole and radishes.

Creamy cilantro-lime dressing that is vegan and gluten-free. Simple and delicious! -


After piling all the goodness in the bowl, it called for something cool and creamy.  Not wanting to undo all the hard work I’ve been putting into keeping healthy, I opted for a light vegan dressing with just the right amount of creaminess to think I was being bad.

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing (Vegan and Gluten-Free)


1 c. coconut yogurt (unsweetened)

a handful of cilantro

juice from half a lime

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (optional)


Place all ingredients except the apple cider vinegar in a mason jar or blender.  I went the mason jar route since I have an ancient blender and the blender blade and ring fits the jar.  Easy and no mess.

Vegan and gluten free creamy cilantro-lime dressing. -


Blend until all the cilantro is chopped and the dressing takes on a uniform green color.

Taste to adjust salt and pepper.  At this point, add the apple cider vinegar if you want a tangy dressing.  You can also add more lime.  Whatever floats your boat.

Drizzle it on a salad for a healthy meal or use it as a healthy dip for fresh, seasonal vegetables.

Creamy cilantro-lime dressing. Gluten free and vegan. -


For more healthy meal inspiration, visit my Fit Foodies Pinterest group board.  If you are interested in contributing to the board, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to add you!

Follow Sherry Lyle of TheSimpleHive’s board Fit Foodies on Pinterest.


Easy Breakfast Smoothies

Supercharge your mornings with this easy and quick energy smoothie.  -

Just about every morning for the past 12 years, I’ve had a green smoothie for breakfast.  When I was running the rat race in Big D, my smoothie saved me from crashing and burning when Lunchtime was so sporadic that I sometimes had to rename it Early Dinner.  Although I am no longer spending my life in traffic, I still rely on my morning smoothie to help me out in the trenches of Homeschooling.

It’s a jungle in here, folks. Continue reading “Easy Breakfast Smoothies”

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Healthy gluten-free and vegan options for easy lunches. -

I’m on a mission to feel better and have more energy and so far, it’s working!  I have been doing yoga on a regular basis and fitting a little running in when time allows, but mostly, I’ve been making healthier food choices.  Over the last few years, I have fallen into a bad habit of letting lunchtime get the best of me.  We homeschool so we can exercise healthy food choices, but we don’t always do it.  Some days we are knee-deep in schoolwork and don’t allow for a real lunch break.  We eat while discussing our latest math concept or history timeline.  That’s not always a bad thing, but doing these things over sandwiches and chips is not so great.

I’m not knocking sandwiches.  They are what you make them. For the chips, I have no strong argument.  I will say, there was a time in my life I didn’t eat chips.  I never even bought them.  Five years ago, after discovering the need to eat a gluten-free diet, I began substituting the wheat snack crackers I once enjoyed with chips.  What was I thinking?  I wasn’t.  It wasn’t thinking about the extra fat and empty calories until the extra pounds began layering themselves on my person.  It isn’t a daily thing, but I put chips on my plate more often than I care to admit and my thighs are angry about it.  They’re not gonna take it anymore!  (You’re singing Twisted Sister in your head right now, aren’t you?  Sorry.) Continue reading “Healthy Lunch Ideas”

Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

Health benefits of Matcha green tea - the simple hive

Because I’m over forty and don’t want to feel like it, I’m trying to be good about taking care of myself.  Just about every morning for the past 10 years, I have a green smoothie for breakfast.  It’s a good start, but lately, I’ve been adding Matcha green tea powder to it for an added energy and I love the calm boost it gives me in the morning.  Because I like this boost, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate it into other foods.

One delicious way to consume more matcha is to make a healthy, vegan Shamrock Shake.  It’s loaded with goodies and tastes like chocolate-mint ice cream!

Ice cream for breakfast!  I’ll do it.  I’m not afraid.

As I was browsing the internets, I came across some convincing reasons to consume matcha.  Because I want us all to enjoy good health, and jiggle less, I’m sharing the love.

Continue reading “Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea”

Gluten-free and Peanut-free Peanut Sauce

Untitled design (3)


Say what?! How can peanut sauce not have peanuts? By simple definition, it would be a sauce made with, or containing, peanuts.

Not in this house, it doesn’t. And…it’s gluten-free!

Three of my four children are peanut allergic so “peanut” is a four-letter word in our house. Yes, I know the word peanut actually has six letters, but you know what I mean. Or, maybe you don’t. Maybe I’m confusing you. I’m confusing myself. It happens all the time.

Before I completely loose my marbles, let me pass along one of the tastiest UNpeanut sauce recipes that I have ever tasted. I should have titled this post “Unpeanut Sauce”. That way people would be buzzing about the new unpeanut sauce in town. It’d be all the rage. I’m sure it would go viral.

To clarify, I have tried many different variations of sauces to mimic peanut sauce for my gluten-free chicken imperial roll recipe, which was recently pinned by BlogHer on Pinterest, by the way (*cough*shameless plug). Actually, they pinned the old blog post, but whatever, I’ll take it!

Since sunflower seed butter is our go-to replacement for peanut butter, I tried subbing it, but the sauce always fell short of my expectations. For the most part, I settled into thinking I would be stuck with only plum sauce in which to dunk the delicious rolls.

Last night, I was a woman on a mission. I blended and tweaked until I came up something that took me back in time to my peanut-eating glory days!

I didn’t take pictures of the process because it was really very simple. I threw all the ingredients in a regular mason jar, screwed on the blender blade and ring and let it whirl. I did stop once to scrape the sunflower seed butter off the sides and then blended it again.

Here’s what you need to make the “unpeanut” sauce:

2/3 c. gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
2 TBSP. rice vinegar
2 TBSP. apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
1/4 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. sunflower seed butter
Sriracha to taste*

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and there are no visible chunks of garlic.

*If you have many people in your home with varying tastes for spicy, the Sriracha can be left out of the original blend. When serving, add a dollop of Sriracha on top of the sauce in individual bowls.


Serve it up with these lovely rolls, which were pinned by Blogher on Pinterest.  Did ya hear?


TheSimpleHive on Pinterest

Make sushi at home


Please forgive me.  It has been a few weeks since my last post.  I have been busy and this is beginning to sound like a confession of sorts.  What a weird way to begin a blog post.  But, by  now you know me and would expect nothing less.

Now that this month of crazy is coming to an end, I promise I’ll be better at trying to post more regularly.  Don’t you love my commitment?  I’ll be better at trying to post more regularly.  Don’t be like me.

But, if you’re already like me, you need to eat gluten-free to be healthy. Also, if you’re like me, you prefer to stay at home in your t-shirt and yoga pants and have dinner and a movie night with the family.  Fun for all ages!

Although, sushi is healthy, store-bought or restaurant sushi is typically not gluten-free. The seaweed wraps and rice do not contain gluten, but the fillings can contain soy sauce, which contains gluten.

What’s a gluten-free girl to do?

She makes her own at home. That’s what!

Here’s what you need:


bamboo mat

Nori (aka seaweed wraps)

1.5 cups Jasmine or sushi rice (cooked with 3 cups of water)

4 oz. smoked salmon (sliced into long strips)

1 cucumber (peeled, seeded and cut into strips)

1 avocado (sliced)

wasabi sauce

rice vinegar

gluten-free tamari or soy sauce


Here’s what you do:

Measure out rice and water into a pan and set on high heat.  When the water begins to boil, turn down to low heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.  Remove lid and fluff with a fork or rice paddle.

I would advise letting the rice cool, with the lid off, for several minutes so you don’t burn off your finger tips.  You will need those in the future.

Lay out the bamboo mat.  You can buy a mat specifically for sushi, or you can do what I do and use a place mat.  I have also been known to roll the sushi without a mat.  I’m a rebel.

Place a sheet of nori on top.  Sprinkle cooled rice over the nori, leaving about a quarter of an inch border on the bottom edge and about a half-inch along the top edge.  It only takes about a half cup of cooked rice for each roll.  Dip your fingers into a small bowl of rice vinegar to keep the rice from sticking and press the rice into an even layer across the nori.


Make a horizontal indentation with your fingers along the middle of the rice and add a strip of salmon, cucumber and avocado slices extending from one side to the other.  It’s ok if you don’t go all the way to the edges, as you will trim the ends to make it all look pretty.

Squeeze a generous amount of wasabi sauce along the filling.  I like it hot, some like it not.  Do whatever makes you and your loved ones happy.  Or, surprise them and sit back and enjoy the show.


Dip your fingers into the vinegar again and moisten the top edge of the nori.  Working quickly, roll the nori away from you and over the fillings all the way to the top edge, making sure it seals evenly across.  Use the mat or towel to lift and roll.


Let sit, seam side down, while making the remaining rolls.


When all rolls are complete, trim the ends with a sharp knife and slice into 1-inch pieces.  Between cuts, wipe the knife for cleaner slices.  It’s nice to have a friend who is willing to eat the ugly end pieces to destroy the evidence of you being anything but perfect in your sushi-rolling endeavors.


I usually make my sushi in advance and cover and refrigerate until the chaos has subsided and we are all ready to sit down together.

When ready to serve. Make a dipping sauce with the wasabi sauce, tamari or soy sauce and rice vinegar mixed together.  I use small bowls for the sauce so that everybody can make their own according to their own tastes.

We buy frozen edamame to eat with our sushi.  Five minutes in the microwave and it’s ready to sprinkle with coarse sea salt and to eat.

Making sushi at home is easy and inexpensive. I can feed my family a meal of sushi and edamame for under $10. The fact that I can wear a t-shirt and yoga pants and watch a movie while I eat is a bonus.

Sayonara folks!

cilantro pesto with zucchini noodles – perfect for St. Patrick’s Day


I made this for dinner tonight and it knocked my socks off!  It was a cinch to prep, it’s gluten-free and would be a perfect addition to your St. Patrick’s Day feast, being green and all.

In order to get this posted so you all have plenty of time to gather your ingredients, I am posting this while pretty close to a long-day-after-dinner coma.  Please forgive me for any misspellings and poor sentence structure that may result.  (Not that poor grammar doesn’t happen any other time.  Nope, not here.)

Here’s what you need for the pesto:

  • 2 bunches of fresh cilantro
  • 6-8 medium size cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 c. pecan halves
  • 3/4 c. sunflower or olive oil
  • salt to taste (I used Celtic sea salt)

For the “noodles”:

  • 4 zucchini squash and a pinch of salt

Here’s what you do:

Wash and slice your zucchini.  You can do this with a knife, making thin slivers or you can track down  a Veggetti spiral vegetable slicer, or something similar.

the Veggetti in action
the Veggetti in action

I went the Veggetti route because, a) I have one and b) I like the long “noodles” it creates.  I also like typing “noodles”.  I like anything that I can use quotation marks.  Don’t even get me started on how much I love doing cheesy air quotes with my fingers.  We’ll be here all day!

zucchini "noodles"
zucchini “noodles”

Stick with me.  After your zucchini is transformed into long strips, place them in a strainer over a bowl and toss them with a pinch of salt.  This helps to remove some of the water so the dish isn’t watery.  Make sense?  Gooood!

Now, on to the pesto!


In a food processor (or blender) add all ingredients and process until smooth.  You may have to play with the vinegar and oil amounts depending on how much cilantro you are using (a bunch isn’t a standard unit of measure.  Neither is “a whole mess” of something, but it should be.  It paints a clear picture.)

I think the food coma is getting the best of me.


Once your pesto is processed, heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet.  Throw in the “noodles” (there are those lovely quotes again.  In my head, they are air quotes since in my head, I’m talking to you all.)  Gently heat over medium heat for just a couple of minutes then add the pesto and stir to coat all the zucchini…”noodles”. (I can’t help myself.)


When you begin to smell the garlic, remove from heat and transfer into a bowl to stop the cooking process.  You only want to warm the pesto and still have some crunch to the “noodles”.

A note on the lovely cilantro pesto. Cilantro has been linked to being a detoxifier of heavy metals.  Not only is it nutritious and delicious, but it’s a hard-working chelator!


Happy clean eating!

(This recipe makes 6-8 servings depending on how many ravenous teen-aged beasts you are feeding.)

That’s all folks!

Follow The Simple Hive on Pinterest

gluten-free crunchy coconut & pecan granola

crunchy coconut and; pecan granola (1)

I’m about to share something with you that rocked my world when I discovered this truth.  Lean in.

Not everyone has a sweet tooth.

Are you as stunned as I am at this revelation?  I don’t get.  I think they are cyborgs.  Surely, that’s the only logical explanation.  Or, maybe there is a finite number of sweet teeth in the universe and some people have more than one, leaving other poor souls without one.  I have at least three.  One is dedicated solely to chocolate.  Another seems to favor lemon, while the last loves coconut.  There may be more, but they have yet to make their debut.

This granola recipe is for the cyborgs in your life who don’t care for sweets, but deserve a treat for Valentine’s Day.  We may not understand them, but we love them nonetheless.

Crunchy Coconut Pecan Granola

You need:

the usual suspects
the usual suspects

3 cups oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free oats)

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup apricots, chopped

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 Tbsp. flax seeds

2 Tbsp. coconut oil (I love the flavor of this brand)

1/4 cup honey (use good-quality, local honey)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup warm water

1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)

Here’s what you do:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine oats, pecans, apricots, coconut flakes and cinnamon.  Stir well to distribute the cinnamon.

melt coconut oil in hot water
melt coconut oil in hot water

In a measuring cup or bowl, combine warm water and coconut oil.  Stir until the coconut oil melts then stir in the honey and vanilla.  If you really want some over-the-top flavor, add almond extract to the liquids. (I’m allergic to almonds so I omit this when I’m making it for my family.  When I make it for friends, I add it and it is well-received.  It is delicious without it.  Follow your heart on this matter.)

add liquids and stir
add liquids and stir

Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir to coat.

spread on parchment-lined baking sheet
spread on parchment-lined baking sheet

Spread the granola on the baking sheet and place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

stir granola

After 30 minutes, stir the mixture around the baking sheet and then spread it out again in a thin layer.  Continue to do this in 10 minute increments until the coconut and oats turn light golden brown.  The overall cooking time for my oven is usually 45-50 minutes.  When I make this in the evening, I turn off the oven after 40 minutes and let it cool in the oven overnight.

let finished granola cool
let finished granola cool

When granola is completely cooled, store in an airtight container.  Stored this way, it will stay fresh for a couple of weeks.

This granola is great with any kind of milk (cow’s, soy, coconut, etc.) poured over it.  My favorite way to eat it is with creamy, organic vanilla yogurt.

With this basic recipe, you can customize it to omit allergens to use what you have in the pantry.  No pecans?  Use another nut or sunflower seeds.  You don’t like apricots? Use chopped dates, dried cranberries or raisins instead.  You don’t have whole flax seeds?  Use ground flax seeds.  You get the idea.

Go forth in crunchiness.