3 Course Dinner!!

What do you make for your family that you know they will ALL enjoy? How about some good ol' southern cookin'! And a healthier version at that! :D

This past Valentine's Day I wanted to make something special for my husband. So I planned out a 3 course dinner, and it was SO delicious!! My husband loved it so much he ate 4 plates of it all! You'd think I was starving the man! ha! :P

First Course

Organic Baby Greens with Balsamic Raisin Vinaigrette

  • 1 package of Organic Baby Greens of your choice
  • 1 c. Freshly Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • 2 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 recipe of Balsamic Raisin Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  1. Place baby greens in salad bowl. Top with a small handful of shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers. Drizzle Balsamic Raisin Vinaigrette on top, then sprinkle with some chopped green onion.

Balsamic Raisin Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins*
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Chia seeds
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until liquified. Pour into a storage container and refrigerate until thickened slightly. Stir or shake well before using.
*If you’re not using a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, you will want to soak the raisins in the water till plump before blending.

Second Course

Printable Recipe

Roasted Asparagus and Pearl Potatoes

  • 1 bag of baby pearl potatoes, about 10 ounces, wash and scrub well
  • 1 bag of frozen roasted or grilled asparagus (I found some at Trader Joes)
  • 1 very small onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup fat-free balsamic vinaigrette, such as my Balsamic-Raisin Dressing
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 T. coconut sugar
  1. Steam pearl potatoes for about 10 minutes. Add asparagus and onion and steam for another 10 minutes or until all veggies are tender.
  2. Place veggies in large bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.

Third Course

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

  • 1 1/2 pounds organic sweet potatoes, peeled (about 3 medium sized potatoes)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (divided 1/2 and 1/2)
  • 2 tablespoons natural tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less, depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 large red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend


  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 T. coconut sugar
  • 2 T. + water
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Organic ketchup 
  • Organic Dijon mustard

  1. Steam the peeled sweet potatoes until tender (about 20 minutes). 
  2. Place the sweet potatoes into a food processor. Add HALF of the rinsed/drained black beans, along with the tahini, garlic, and all the spices. Process briefly until everything is combined and the potatoes are mashed. (Or you can do this in a bowl with a potato masher.)
  3. Scoop the potato mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining black beans, onions, green pepper, and corn meal. Stir well to combine. Add the gluten free flour and stir well to make sure that it’s distributed evenly. The mixture should be very thick and not too wet; if it seems wet, add a little more corn meal or gluten free flour to get a very heavy “dough.” Set aside while you preheat your oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Form the mixture into 10-12 burgers, using 1/3-1/2 cup per burger. I made mine about 1/2 - 1 inch thick. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until outside is firm and brown but center is still a little soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before removing from pan.
  5. To make the toppings: Sauté the sliced mushrooms and onions till tender with the water and coconut sugar in a pan on Medium heat (about 3 minutes). Set aside for topping.
**Note: I normally would simply wrap the burger in Romaine lettuce leaves, but I found some low fat vegan rolls without gluten or yeast in the ingredients by Sami's Bakery. Though the label warns that it's processed on shared equipment. For those really sensitive to gluten or yeast, I recommend sticking with the lettuce wrap or a warmed brown rice tortilla.

Smoky Apple Baked Beans

  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 3 15-ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (or 1 4-ounce can of tomato paste and 4-ounces of water)
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped OR 3-4 T coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or chili powder
  • 2-4 T. coconut sugar, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with a couple tablespoons of water. When water starts to sizzle, add the onion and sauté until it begins to soften adding water when needed (this helps keep it from sticking). Add bell pepper and minced garlic to the pan and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the apple and cook for another minute. Add the beans and remove from heat.
  2. Combine tomato sauce and all remaining ingredients in blender. Blend at high speed until the dates are completely smooth. Pour this sauce into the onion and beans, and stir well. Spoon mixture into a large non-metal, lightly-oiled baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes. It comes out piping hot, so be careful! Enjoy!

My second plate


– Hummingbird


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