Split Pea Pesto Salad

Spinach was on sale this week. So I stocked up — 2 tubs for the price of 1. Now we have to use it up before it goes bad. Luckily, we all like spinach (although two out of the four of us would deny it. Any guesses as to who the two are??)

When I dished up this plate to photograph it, I got a couple of boos from the under 10 crowd. Yes, even Kid Foodie balked at the prospect of an entirely green dinner. But then he tasted it. Added a bit here, took away a bit there and he was s.a.t.i.s.f.i.e.d! I wolfed down this plate and loaded up another one. Dad came home and helped himself to two complete servings. And the kicker — after trying many avoidance tactics, Little Brother finally determined to choke his serving down. Imagine his surprise when after the first bite he realized he too liked it. His plate was CLEAN. It might have been a first.

Split Pea Pesto Salad


1½ cups dried split peas, rinsed and picked over

1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

1 cup sunflower seeds (raw), divided

1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems

⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 cups spinach


1. In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups water to boil. Add split peas and simmer, uncovered, about 25 – 30 minutes until tender. Drain and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt.

2. Make the cilantro pesto: In a blender or food processor, combine ⅓ cup of the sunflower seeds, the cilantro, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and a splash of olive oil and puree until smooth. Continue blending while gradually drizzling in the remaining olive oil until the pesto becomes a vibrant green sauce (makes about 1 cup).

3. Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss the cooked split peas and the remaining ⅔ cup of sunflower seeds with two-thirds of the pesto. Continue tossing until everything is well coated. Lay down a bed of spinach on a serving plate, top with split pea mixture, drizzle with some of the additional pesto to taste and sprinkle more Parmesan to taste. Serve immediately.

This recipe was based on this one I found via Pinterest.

For my second serving, I crumbled a bit of gorgonzola over my greens and warmed it up just a tad. It tasted truly decadent. Not sure what the nutritional value is when you start adding rich cheeses, but I figure I’m eating an enormous amount of greens so that’s got to count for something right? In all seriousness, though, this was a highly satisfying meal and very quick and easy to make. It may make another appearance this week or next — depending on how quickly we can go through my stockpile of spinach. I don’t think I’ll hear any complaining the next time I make this dish!


Kid Foodie’s Honey Glazed Ribs

Sometimes, altering a favorite recipe to fit within gluten free guidelines is quite simple. So simple, in fact, even a kid could do it. Well, this kid, anyway. Kid Foodie was going through one of his favorite cookbooks, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes, and decided to give the Hansel and Gretel Spare Ribs a try. (Really it’s just honey glazed pork ribs). Roald Dahl is the author of many books including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Both are books Kid Foodie has read and re-read. The recipe book is filled with foods that are referenced in his whimsical books.

Here he is in action. Click on the photo to watch a YouTube video of Kid Foodie’s rib prep:

The Worcestershire Sauce was clearly marked gluten free and we have replaced soy sauce with wheat free Tamari. Soy sauce is one of those sneaky culprits that harbors wheat. It’s surprising to a lot of folks. You can find the wheat free Tamari in the natural foods section of most grocery stores. I generally don’t find it in the Asian food aisles, though. The nice thing about this recipe is that it calls for relatively few ingredients. A little basting throughout the cooking time is the only extra TLC it needs.

Hansel and Gretel Spare Ribs from Rhyme Stew


1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon wheat-free Tamari

1 Tablespoon mustard

1 Tablespoon ketchup

1 Tablespoon honey

1 medium onion, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 pounds spare ribs


1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.

2. Place ribs in a roasting pan.

3. Mix all ingredients together and spread mixture on the ribs.

4. Place pan of ribs in the oven and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, turning them over every half hour and basting them with the juices.

NOTE: These must be well cooked and crunchy.

There was nothing revolting about this recipe! Kid Foodie felt pretty proud to make dinner for the whole family. It’s quite nice for me too. Do you think it’s possible that cooking dinner for us could become a regular thing? Now wouldn’t that be nice?

  • Kid Foodie

  • About This Blog’s Authors

    Even before his diagnosis of Celiac Disease in 2010, Kid Foodie was passionate about food. Although the diagnosis brought some restrictions, his appreciation and appetite for good, healthy food has only skyrocketed.

    For me, his diagnosis of Celiac opened up a world of food possibilities and a new way of thinking about what we eat. It has absolutely been a joy to overhaul our family's food choices and we all continue to benefit from it. We write this blog to help our family and friends understand how to cook gluten free and to provide them recipes to try out themselves.

    Kid Foodie now has his own blog:

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