Monday, December 17, 2012

date citrus flatbreads

adapted from A Decade of Cooking the Costco Way
This is a perfect appetizer for holiday parties
makes 8 generous servings
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 naan (or other flatbread, can also use 2 medium-large premade pizza crusts)
2 tangelos, navels, or clementine mandarins (these are the easiest), peeled, segmented and cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup pitted and chopped Mejool dates
1 tsp dried (or 2 tsp fresh) rosemary
2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
(if you are a Green Barn shopper then look no further for all your ingredients)

1. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute 8-10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle salt over the onions, and cook 20 minutes, until the onions are a rich brown color (and smell really good!)

2. Preheat the oven broiler to low.

3. Sprinkle mozzarella over flatbreads. Place under broiler until cheese starts to melt, about 2 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and top with caramelized onions, citrus pieces, dates and rosemary. Sprinkle with feta.

5. Place under broiler for another minute or until toppings are hot and the bread browns slightly. Cut into pieces and serve.

Monday, November 19, 2012

roasted brussels sprouts

Last week I had said to stay tuned for more Thanksgiving recipes. Unfortunately, in the meantime, my camera memory card was misplaced (or it may have been taken out of one slot in the computer and jammed into the disk drive by some little person. At least that is what we have deducted so far with our sluething skills). Without that I can't take pictures! This has been a little frustrating because I have had a few recipes to post but no picture. My mom came to the rescue and let me borrow her camera which isn't quite the same but will definitely work in a pinch.

adapted from Food and Wine. The honey-caraway-lime dressing adds and Asian flare to a traditional dish
4-6 servings

2 pounds brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Preheat the oven to 425. In a large bowl, toss the halved brussels sprouts with the olive oil and season them with salt. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they are tender and crisp on the edges

2. Meanwhile, in small skillet, toast the caraway and fennel seeds until they are fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a grinder (I used a very well rinsed out coffee bean grinder but if you happen to have a spice grinder have at it). Let cool before grinding to a fine powder.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the carrot with the lime juice, honey, garlic, and spice powder. In a large bowl, toss the hot brussels sprouts with the dressing, green onions, mint and cilantro. Season with additional salt if desired.

Monday, November 12, 2012

roasted acorn squash and beet salad

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
This is a great make-ahead salad. The beets, squash, and dressing can all be prepped ahead and refrigerated overnight

makes 6-8 servings
1 lb small beets
1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-in slices
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil

3 cups mixed greens
1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

1. Preheat oven to 400. Tightly wrap beets in foil. Place on middle oven shelf. Roast 45-60 minutes, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel and set aside.
2. Place squash slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Place on middle oven shelf and roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup maple syrup over squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool.
3. To make dressing, in a small bowl whisk the mustard, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup maple syrup together. Add 1/3 cup olive oil and whisk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. To assemble, place salad greens in the middle of a large plate. Arrange beats and squash on top. Pour half the dressing over salad. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing.

maple mascarpone mashed yams

This recipe came about as a result of me not being satisfied with another yam recipe I tried; it just wasn't quite it.  This combination grew in my mind and I must say it is really tasty (and simple).

makes about 6 servings
5 small yams or one ginormous one  (yes I know that's not really a word) or however many you need to serve the number of people you are feeding
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (more or less to taste, available at the Green Barn in the dairy section. It is the most delicious sweet cream cheese)
1/4 cup maple syrup (more or less to taste)
sage leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Bake yam(s) directly on oven rack (with a pan underneath to collect any drippings) until soft (my huge one took about 2 hours). Let cool slightly. Peel off skin and mash.
2. Add mascarpone and maple syrup to taste.
3. Reheat in oven or on stovetop.
4. If you want a little garnish, heat some olive oil in a small skillet and fry sage leaves for a few minutes, until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Friday, October 26, 2012

kale and apple soup

adapted from
This soup provides a healthy dose of greens with a little indulgence in the form of bacon and crème frîache (if you so desire). Even the kids loved it.

serves 4
1/4 cup cubed bacon
1 large bunch kale
4 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium apple, cored and chopped
1/4 cup crème frîache, mascarpone cheese, sour cream or plain yogurt (The Green Barn has them all!)
freshly ground black pepper

1. Wash kale and remove bottom 1" of stem. Chop roughly into 1" pieces.
2. In a stock pot over medium heat, sautée the bacon for 1 minute. Add the kale and stir to coat with rendered fat. Add a bit of olive oil if kale sticks to pan. Cook, stirring, until kale begins to wilt. Add 2 cups chicken stock, lower heat to medium-low and cook covered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer mixture to blender. Let cool slightly then puree. (I am always nervous about having liquids explode out due to one past experience, but if you hold down the lid with a kitchen towel it should be fine). If blender is more than half full you will need to reserve some to make room for the next step.
4. In the same skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and cook onions with salt until just barely showing color. Add chopped apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until apples soften and onions are translucent. Transfer mixture to blender.
5. If working in two batches (if you doubled the recipe or if you have a small blender), add half the remaining chicken stock (1 cup), cover and puree until smooth. If working in one batch, add all the remaining stock and puree until smooth. 
If soup seems too thick, add more stock or water until it reaches the desired consistency.
Garnish with a dollop of crème frîache, mascarpone cheese, sour cream or plain yogurt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Monday, October 22, 2012

quinoa salad with yams and apples

adapted from Food and Wine
Another fall salad we just tried. Although hearty enough for a light lunch also makes a light and refreshing appetizer or side dish.

serves 10-12 (I halved the recipe)

1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 pounds yams, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 large granny smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
8 cups baby greens (about 6 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Add the quinoa and toast over moderate heat. stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 16 minutes (if all water is absorbed sooner, add additional 1/2 cup). Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff quinoa, spread it out on a baking sheet and refrigerate at 20 minutes or more.
2. Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, toss the yams with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until golden and softened. Let cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 6 Tbsp. of oil with the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Add quinoa, yams, apples, parsley, onion and greens. Toss well and serve.

note: to make ahead prepare quinoa and yams. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

caramelized squash salad with pistachios and goat cheese

a tasty and elegant fall salad adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
I've said before that I REALLY want to love goat cheese. There are so many tasty looking recipes that call for goat cheese. I try to be adventurous, but is has been difficult to acquire a taste for it. This salad looked very good so I decided to go for it. I chose a honey goat cheese which was so creamy and mild (and may I say delicious?). Even the kids ate a little because I didn't mention the goat word :)

makes 6-8 servings

1 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (1 tsp. or so dried can do in a pinch)
1 1/2 lb squash (I used delicata), peeled (not necessary with delicata), seeded, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
6-8 cups mixed greens (I used organic spring mix) or whatever amount looks right
1/2 cup roasted salted pistachio nuts
3 oz goat cheese (can substitute feta if you must) :)

1. For marinade, in a small bowl stir together orange juice, maple syrup, mustard, and ginger. Set aside 1/2 cup for salad dressing. Place squash in a large resealable bag and pour remaining marinade over squash. Seal bag and marinate, refrigerated, for 1-4 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a large baking sheet with thin layer of oil or nonstick cooking spray.
Drain squash, discarding marinade, and place on prepared baking sheet. Roast squash until tender and lightly browned in spots, 26-30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. For the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the reserved marinade, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil. Drizzle 2-3 Tbsp. of dressing over the warm squash; toss to combine. In a large bowl combine the mixed greens and half the pistachios. Toss with half the dressing. Gently toss roasted squash into salad. Top with remaining pistachios and dollops or crumbles of goat cheese. Pass remaining dressing.
* as usual almost everything can be found at the Green Barn! Only the orange juice isn't available, unless you squeeze your own.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

citrusy mashed squash with toasted pecans

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
makes 4-6 servings

3 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup sour cream (or 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese. I REALLY want to try this but didn't have it on hand)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp finely shredded orange peel, plus some reserved for garnish (from 1 medium orange)
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, plus some reserved for garnish (from 2 small lemons)
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp snipped fresh sage
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
      sliced green onion and/or fresh sage leaves

1. In large pot cook squash in lightly salted boiling water, covered, 16-17 minutes or until tender. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in small skillet over medium heat, whisking constantly until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Transfer half the squash into blender or food processor. Add butter, sour cream, maple syrup, orange and lemon peels, salt, and pepper. Cover and process until smooth. Place remaining squash in a bowl; add pureed mixture. Mash slightly. Stir in fresh sage.
3. Top with pecans, green onion and/or sage leaves, and citrus peel.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

red cabbage stir fry with coconut/baked yams with maple ricotta

I have to say that these 2  side dishes complement each other very well, both in color and taste.
red cabbage stir fry with coconut
adapted from Food and Wine
(wow, can someone remind me to make sure the photo turns out before eating the presentation?)
 4-6 servings
2 Tbsp oil (I happened to have some mustard seed oil on hand so I used that. coconut would work well but you can use what you have)
1 tsp mustard seeds (or ground mustard)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 2-lb red cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 chile stemmed and coarsely chopped (I omitted except for some fresh as garnish for the lovely photo above)
1/2 cup finely shredded dried coconut

1. In a large deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook over moderate heat for about 30 seconds. Add cumin and curry leaves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and turmeric and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the water and cook until water is evaporated and cabbage is tender, 5-6 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mash garlic, coconut, and remaining 1/4 cup of water into a paste (if using chile pulse together in a blender). Add to skillet and toss to coat the cabbage. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Season with salt and serve.

baked yam with maple ricotta
adapted from Woman's Day
for each serving:
1 8-oz yam or sweet potato (I'm partial to yams for their color especially)
1/2 cup ricotta
1 tsp maple syrup
large pinch cinnamon
2 Tbsp chopped pecans

1. Bake yams. You can place unwrapped yams directly on the oven shelf, just make sure there is a pan beneath to catch drippings. I baked mine at 300 for a couple hours until very soft.
2. mix together ricotta, maple syrup and cinnamon (I could just eat this on its own!)
3. Cut yams open and top with mixture and sprinkle with nuts.

Breakfast (part 2)

chocolate avocado pudding
"What??" you may say? Don't knock it until you try it for youself. Here is a way to have a breakfast that is truly a treat yet also rich in nutrients and healthy fats. Delicious served with fruit and for an extra indulgence serve with whipping cream and possibly some orange zest.

2 large avocados (ripe but not over ripe)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides several times. Taste and adjust flavors if needed. If it needs some more liquid add a bit more oil or a splash of milk.

cocoa banana berry "ice cream"
a fun twist on a smoothie that is very fun to eat
In a blender or food processor blend 2 frozen bananas 1 cup berries (if omitting berries add additional 2 frozen bananas), 1 Tbsp cocoa, 1/4-1/2 cup yogurt (as much as is needed to reach the right consistency), and 2 tsp honey (optional, especially if using vanilla yogurt)

               animal pancakes
So not the most skilled presentation but it's a start ;)
Can you tell it's a giraffe? Good thing kids are pretty imaginative
There are way many fun ideas online...

an elephant as requested by our little guy

I started with a recipe for whole wheat pancakes:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flower
1 T baking powder
3 Tbsp raw or brown sugar
2 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 Tbsp oil (or 2 Tbsp applesauce and 1 Tbsp oil)

1. Mix all the above ingredients (except egg whites), then fold in beaten egg whites.
2. Pour batter into squeeze bottle (I used a wilton bottle with the top of a honey bottle).
3. Heat butter or oil in pan or on a griddle (someday I'd love one!)
4. Get creative with animals or shapes. If the kids are old enough they would love to make some too! Our daughter enjoyed making some "blobs" for me to eat. Turn when crisp and golden and cook until done. Add chocolate chips or raisins for eyes.

apple pie oatmeal
serves 4
1 apple, cored and chopped (skins on)
2 cup water (or milk)
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Bring the liquid to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the oats, apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Adjust heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. That's all there is to it. Serve it with a splash of milk and a little or a lot of brown sugar sprinkled on top.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

carrot-ginger-yam-coconut soup

quite the title but it is quite the soup; a perfect way to ease into fall. This soup has rich creamy flavor (without  cream). This can also be made in a slow cooker.
serves 6
2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (or 2lb baby carrots)
1 large yam, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp curry powder
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
14 oz coconut milk

1. Place carrots, yam, onion, ginger, and curry powder into large pot or slow cooker.
2. Pour in vegetable stock.
3. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer about 1-11/2 hour (until veggies are soft), or cook in slow cooker on low 6-8 hours.
4. Allow to cool slightly then puree in blender adding coconut milk. Return to pot and reheat. Add salt to taste.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Breakfast (part 1)

I have been compiling some healthy and delicious breakfast recipes that also pass the kids' taste test (and most also made it to the "yummy" list). I usually don't plan out breakfasts in advance but I thought some exciting new recipes could help us all out a bit. I don't know about in your house but for some reason meal times (especially breakfast) can be a battle. Here are some ideas for ya.

orange bran flax muffins
adapted from Barlean's  flax oil recipes

makes 18 muffins
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup ground flax seeds (in blender or coffee grinder)
1 cup wheat bran (or more oat bran)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (I used coconut)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup raisins (a mixture of golden and red looks pretty)
2 small oranges, washed, quartered, and seeded (with peels)

1. In large bowl, combine the oat bran, wheat bran, flax, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine oranges, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and baking soda. Blend well. Pour into dry ingredients. Mix until well blended. Stir in raisins. Fill paper lined muffin cups almost to top.
3. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool in tins for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

best oatmeal
adapted from Barlean's flax oil recipes
servers 4
1 cup oat groats (whole oat grain)
4 cups milk (I used part whole milk and part almond milk)
1/2 cup rasins (if you aren't a fan, substitute dried apricots or apples)
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon
raw honey, agave, or maple syrup to taste
4 Tsp flax oil (optional)
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds (optional)
plain yogurt to top

1. Grind the oats in a blender or coffee grinder to desired consistency (depending on your preference for coarse or fine cereal.
2. Bring milk to a rolling boil. Whisk in ground oats. Add raisins. Reduce heat and summer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, cinnamon, a sweatener. Stir in flax oil. Serve topped with yogurt and flax.

orange peach smoothie
serves 1
blend together:
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
1 cup frozen peaches (or nectarines)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 banana
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
pinch nutmeg

vanilla raisin cream of rice
adapted from Barlean's flax oil recipes

serves 3-4
1 cup brown rice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups milk (rice, almond, regular or a combination)
4 Tbsp flax oil
1/2 cup raisins
maple syrup or other sweetener to taste (if desired)
plain yogurt for top (if desired)
ground flax (if desired)

1. Finely grind the rice to a powdery consistency in a blender or coffee grinder.
2. Bring milk to a boil in a large pot. Whisk in the rice powder. Add the raisins. Cover and summer gently over low heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and flax oil and sweetener if using and top with a drizzle of yogurt if desired.

The picture isn't the best but this is so good. It reminds me of rice pudding.

whole grain waffles
adapted from allrecipes
makes about 6 waffles
2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cut wheat germ
4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
dash cinnamon (optional)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat in flour, flax seed meal, wheat germ, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until batter is smooth.
2. Preheat a waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron in batches, and cook until crisp and golden brown. 

You can double the recipe and save extra waffles in the freezer. Just toast in the oven or toaster for a quick breakfast.

date and almond energy bites
adapted from
makes approx. 15 bites
1 cup oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup dried dates (can substitute other dried fruit such as figs or apricots), cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then add almond butter and honey. Mix together and let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
2. Roll into balls.
store in refrigerator (they last at least 1 week)

Monday, August 27, 2012

stuffed peppers with Thai curry rice

adapted from Food & Wine
I generally avoid cooking with white rice, but it lends itself very well to this dish.  The combination of flavors is excellent. Even our 4 year old loved the rice stuffing and asked for more (and that doesn't happen very often)!

4 servings
4 large bell peppers
2 Tbsp butter or oil
2 medium shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup Jasmine rice
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (plus 1/4 or so reserved coconut cream for serving)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (for extra spice include seeds)
1/2-3/4 lb mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 cups chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped basil (Thai basil if available), plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Slice the tops off the peppers and cut the tops into 1/4-inch dice; discard cores and stems. Boil the hollowed out peppers until just tender, 4 minutes. Using tongs, carefully transfer peppers to paper towels and drain, cut side down. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.
2. In a saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp of the butter or oil. Add shallots and garlic, season with salt and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until toasted, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, ginger, curry paste, and the reserved 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp butter or oil. Add diced pepper tops and jalapeno and cook over medium heat, stirring, until tender, 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, 2-3 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until mushrooms are browned, 2 minutes longer. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 minute. 
4. Add the vegetable mixture to the rice and stir in the basil and lemon juice. Season with salt. Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and set them in a shallow glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes, until the rice filling is heated through. Garnish with basil leaves and dollops of coconut cream.

I took this picture before baking to avoid making a mess. Baking softens the pepper and allows all the flavors to combine more.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

gingered stir-fry with shrimp and snow peas

pretty yummy meal made from pretty basic ingredients

serves 4
1/2 cup chicken stock or low sodium broth
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese chile-garlic sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp oil (I used coconut. Sesame would be good too or whatever you have on hand)
1/4 cup fresh ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
1/2 pound snow peas
1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 small scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
steamed rice or quinoa, for serving

1. In a small bowl, whisk the chicken stock with the soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce and cornstarch.
2. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the ginger matchsticks and stir-fry over med-high heat until they are softened, about 1 minute. Add the snow peas and stir-fry until crisp-tender and the ginger is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Whisk the chile sauce, add it to the skillet and stir-fry until the shrimp are opaque and sauce is thickened, about 1 minute longer. Serve with rice or quinoa.

Monday, July 30, 2012

beet, blue cheese, and almond salad

Feeling a little adventurous? Try this beet salad. It adds gorgeous color to your menu.

serves 6
7 medium beets (21/2 lbs)
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
8 oz. blue cheese
1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1. Trim and peel the beets. Cut 6 in bite-size pieces. Place in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam 20-25 minutes until tender.
2. Coarsely grate the remaining beet; place in a large bowl. For a dressing mash garlic with a pinch of salt to a paste (it helps to mince then scrape the flat side of a knife over it in both directions); add to grated beet along with the oil, lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt, and the pepper. 
3. When the beets are cooked, toss them with the dressing. Cool to room temperature or chill in refrigerator.
4. Crumble blue cheese over the salad and sprinkle with almonds and parsley.

Monday, July 23, 2012

lemony chicken pan roast with zucchini and feta

This was delicious (and I am not just saying that). I found this recipe while paging through my Food and Wine magazine and it looked good so onto the meal plan it went. It tasted even better than I thought it would. All the flavors worked so well together. What could be better than a simple recipe and only handful of fresh ingredients?
And, if you don't care for olives don't pass up this recipe, just omit the olives (although I really think you should rethink your distaste :)

makes 4-6 servings
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 chicken thighs or 4 large chicken breasts (can be bone in or boneless)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2-2 lbs small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
1 large lemon, cut into eights (or a couple small, quartered)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chopped oregano
1/4 lb feta cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (I used half plain and half greek herb)

1. Preheat the oven to 450. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add it to the skillet, and cook over high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 5-6 minutes.
2. Transfer the chicken to a large roasting pan. Add the zucchini, lemon and olives to the skillet and cook over high heat until zucchini and lemon are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and oregano and season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the roasting pan and arrange around the chicken. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife.
4. Preheat the broiler. Scatter the feta on top of the chicken and zucchini and broil for 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned and beginning to melt. Serve with crusty bread. Yum!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

grilled zucchini and peaches with macadamia cream

This dish is equally good served warm or cold. A perfect summer side dish or light dinner on its own

makes 4-6 servings
3 zucchini (1 1/2 pounds total. I used green and gray), sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
3 peaches or nectarines, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp finely chopped mint
2 Tbsp macadamia nuts toasted (I did them in a 300°F oven for about 7 minutes) and coarsely chopped
*macadamia cream (recipe follows, start this the night before.)

1. Light a grill. Brush zucchini and peaches with half the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Cut the peaches in wedges. Stack zucchini and slice lengthwise into thin ribbons.
2. In a bowl, toss the zucchini with the parsley, mint, and remaining 1/8 cup oil. Transfer to a platter and top with peaches and chopped nuts. Add drizzle (or dollops) of macadamia cream and serve.

*macadamia cream
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup water
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if you don't have any like me, substitute 1 Tbsp corn starch and see alternate instructions, step 3b)

1. In a bowl, cover the nuts with water. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight.
2. Pour the nuts and water into a blender and puree. Strain the nut milk through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much milk as possible.
3. Rinse out blender and return strained milk to it. Add the lime juice and agave nectar.
a. With the machine still on, add the xanthan gum and blend until the cream is light and airy, about 1 minute.
b.  If you are using cornstarch, mix 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp of the milk. Heat remaining milk in pan and whisk in the cornstarch mix. simmer until thickened. Cool in refrigerator. This makes the cream into more of a pudding consistency, but is still tastes great.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

strawberry-blueberry coconut popsicles

this tasty popsicle recipe is super easy and very healthy too!

makes about 12 popsicles

1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 can coconut milk
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup honey

5 oz Dixie cups
wooden popsicle sticks

1. Add strawberries, blueberries, coconut milk, apple juice and honey to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into cups, filling 2/3 of the way. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
2. Insert sticks and continue to freeze until the popsicles are completely frozen, about 6 hours.

when you are ready to enjoy, cut or tear the Dixie cups off the popsicles.

I am pretty sure that this recipe would be equally good substituting raspberries or blackberries for either of the other fruits.

strawberry shortcake popsicles

these yummy layered treats are fun to make and eat with the kids (or by yourself)

makes 12 popsicles

2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup crushed Nilla wafers
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup honey (more if desired)
12 5 oz Dixie cups
12 wooden popsicle sticks

1. In a medium bowl, combine the crushed Nilla wafers, yogurt, and honey. Fill each Dixie cup with 2 Tbsp of the yogurt mixture. Set in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
2. In a blender or food processor, puree the berries. Add a little honey if the berries are not sweet enough. Divide among the 12 cups and freeze for another 30 minutes.
3. Divide the remaining yogurt mixture among the cups, add a popsicle stick to each one, and chill completely (several hours).
To serve, just cut or tear the cup off.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Strawberry salad with candied almonds and strawberry balsamic vinaigrette

As you can tell from the title, this salad is mouthwatering.  Local strawberries really make this combination so perfect! The recipe calls for goat cheese. I really really want to be a fan of the stuff because there are so many delicious recipes that use it. I am still working on it. If you are in the same boat just substitute goat cheese for another kind.

(amounts aren't exact, just use what you think is right for how many servings you need)
mixed greens
chevre (goat cheese)
strawberries, sliced
strawberry balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)
candied almonds (recipe follows)

arrange desired amounts of each ingredient on separate plates or toss in a large bowl.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette (makes about 1/2 cup)
5 large strawberries
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
-combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor

Candied Almonds
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
1/4 cup sliced almonds
-sprinkle brown sugar in a skillet set over medium heat. As it heats up add the water to help in dissolve. When the water boils off you will notice that the bubbles will start to thicken and turn darker. When the mixture turns thick add in the almonds. Toss to coat and allow to cool.

Friday, June 15, 2012

mint and melon salad

This may be the easiest recipe you will ever make.
It requires only a few ingredients and is delicious and refreshing; a perfect summer salad
serves 6-8

1 small cantaloupe
1 small honeydew
juice of 1 lime
handful of mint leaves, cut into slivers

1. Cut the melons in half, remove seeds and make melon balls with a melon baller (or you can cut into bite sized chunks if you don't have one). Place melon in bowl and refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.
2. Drizzle with the lime juice and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with mint and toss lightly.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

whole wheat flax tortillas

these are super healthy and tasty too of course. They work great for quesadillas or wraps
If you are like me you can sometimes get frustrated when looking for healthy products. My eyes are constantly being opened when I actually read the ingredient list. Even what may at first appear to be heathy and is promoted as such can be full of preservatives. Ideally we would all make most everything from scratch, but who has the time for that? (at least not all the time!) Here is one thing that is pretty easy to make at home and you can save extra in the fridge or freezer.

makes 8 tortillas

3 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp ground flax seeds*
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp oil (I used coconut)
1 cup warm water
seasoning if desired (you can add herbs, spices, garlic. I softened some rosemary with a rolling pin before adding)

1. Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet and kneed until not too stiff.
2. Wrap dough ball and let stand 10 minutes. Separate into 8 pieces and form into balls. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
3. Roll out into 10" rounds. Stack on a plate and cover so they don't dry out.
4. Preheat pan or griddle to med-high, cook dough on ungreased surface, flipping when air pockets form, piercing bubbles. Cook until golden.

*use a blender to grind up whole flax seeds

Thursday, May 24, 2012

grilled corn on the cob

This was my first attempt at grilling corn. It does take just a tiny bit of extra work and some extra time, but  the corn does turn out very well. There is no need to remove any of the silk, except for the stuff on the top. It all comes right off with the husk after cooking.

1. Soak corn (in husk) in water for at least an hour and up to several hours.
2. Preheat grill to med-high. Remove corn from water and let excess water drain out the top. Place directly on grill. Grill for 25-30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. If some husk falls off remove it.
3. They will stay hot for up to 30 minutes while in the husk. Here are some ideas of what to do with them:

1. Self serve: have everyone husk their own and add desired toppings.
2. Husk and brush with butter, minced fresh basil, salt and pepper
3. Mexican street corn: Brush with *mayo (or butter), sprinkle with grated *parmesan, minced cilantro, chile powder, salt and pepper. The toppings like to fall off so press them on as best as you can and sprinkle what falls off on top. Serve with lime wedges.
don't get scared if the outside gets quite charred, the husk protects all the kernels and keeps them juicy
*while I'm not a huge fan of the stuff and used to avoid it at all costs, I now see that it does have a purpose. My husband, who loves mayo, of course loved it on the corn. I would like to make my own more often (I can say that since I have made it once). It isn't too difficult and you can choose what type of oil goes into it.
*this is a substitute for the traditional queso fresco or cotija. I don't know if these are easily found. You could also try feta.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

corn and crab salad

This recipe is a simple and refreshingly light side dish

serves 4

1. Boil water in a large pot and add 3 ears of husked corn. Cook 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool then cut off kernels from cob.
2. Stir together:
the juice from 1/2 a lemon
several finely snipped basil leaves
a spoonful of mayo
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
3. Add:
1/2 lb lump crab meat
some halved cherry tomatoes.
top with additional basil and serve chilled

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

yam and potato salad

serves 8

3 medium potatoes (I used red)
2 med yams
4 eggs
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
3/4 cup mayo (I used 1/2 sour cream and 1/2 mayo)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add whole and unpeeled potatoes and yams and cook until tender but still firm (about 30 minutes, checking yams after 20). Drain, cool, peel (I left some of the red potato peel on), and chop.
2. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil. Cover. Remove from heat and let eggs stand in hot water for 10-12 minutes. Remove from hot water, place in very cold water to cool, then peel and chop.
3. Combine potatoes, yams, eggs, celery, and onions.
4. Whisk together the mayo, sour cream, mustard, salt and pepper. Add to the potato mixture, toss well to coat. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley if desired. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

orange-ginger turkey meatloaf

serves 4
2 medium oranges
1-2 slices whole wheat bread or 3/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
1 large egg white
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus 1 cup leaves
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/4 lb lean ground turkey
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce*
2 Tbsp ketchup
6 cups mixed greens (I used organic spring mix)
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Heat oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 2 strips of zest from an orange and slice very thinly on the diagonal; transfer the zest to a large bowl and set the orange aside.
2. If using the bread, pulse in a food processor or blender to form fine crumbs. Set aside. Add the egg white, ginger, garlic, and 1 Tbsp water and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper to the bowl with the zest and whisk to combine; stir in the bread crumbs. Add the carrot, chopped cilantro, half the green onions, and mix to combine.
3. Add the ground turnkey and mix until just incorporated. Transfer the mixture to prepared baking sheet and shape into a 9 x 3 1/2 in. loaf. Bake for 25 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin and ketchup. Brush the mixture over the entire loaf and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 160F (10-15 minutes more). Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
5. While the meatloaf is resting (or while it is baking) cut away the peel and white pith of the orange and thinly slice into rounds. In a large bowl, gently toss the orange slices, greens, oil, cilantro leaves, remaining green onions and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Serve with the meat loaf.

* I made my own hoisin sauce with what I had in the house. I really didn't feel like going to the store just for that item and I was feeling economical :)You should also be able to find it in the Asian food section
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp honey (or molasses)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sesame seed oil or tahini
10 drops hot sauce (preferably asian style. I used 2 tsp sweet and spicy chili dipping sauce)
1/8 tsp black pepper
-stir until combined

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

grilled chicken tzatziki wrap

The grilled chicken was super good, maybe it was even better in my mind because it is the first chicken I have grilled this year! Combined with the fresh cucumber relish and yogurt and wrapped in a wholesome pita you get a deliciousness and healthiness together! If you have kids who would be hesitant to try this or if you want a neater option for the little ones here are a couple ideas: you can open up the pita and have everything inside the pocket, or you can give them chicken strips to dip in the yogurt with maybe some relish mixed in).
serves 4-6

4 whole wheat pitas (if you have the smaller ones from Green Barn then use 6 or enjoy leftover chicken :)
extra plain yogurt for garnish

for chicken marinade:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice + 2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
pinch salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

for cucumber relish:
1 english cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
pinch salt
1 cup seeded, finely diced tomato
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
6 Tbsp. coarsely chopped and pitted black olives (The Green Barn also has a small can of diced olives)
4 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp. lemon juice

1. For marinade, whisk all ingredients except chicken in a bowl. Combine with chicken breasts in a large zip-lock bag, seal and gently shake to evenly coat. Place in refrigerator and chill 2-4 hours.

2. For cucumber relish, Lay cucumber slices in a sieve placed over a bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Leave for about 30-40 minutes, or until cucumbers soften and their liquid begins to drain into the bowl. Stir occasionally.

3. Combine the tomato, onion, olives, parsley, dill, garlic, olive oil and lemon in a medium bowl. Stir in drained cucumbers, then cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

4. Grease grill and preheat to medium-high. Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade. Grill chicken breasts about 15 minutes or until cooked through, turning halfway through. Remove chicken from grill and let rest a few minutes before slicing thinly on the diagonal. Lay slices on top of each pita round and divide relish evenly among them. Garnish with a little extra yogurt and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if desired. secure with toothpicks or kitchen string if you like.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

ricotta, spinach and mint gnocchi

As this was my first attempt at gnocchi (nok ee) I followed a recipe pretty closely. I've tried a couple kinds at restaurants so I was really looking forward to making this recipe. It was delicious. When I do it next time I'd like to try using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. I also want to use steamed fresh spinach, but I was all out when I made this.

serves 4
2 and 1/2 cups ricotta or quark
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all purpose flour (sifted)
2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp. chopped mint leaves
about 3 cups (250g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup cream
extra grated parmesan (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup mint leaves
sea salt and black pepper

1. Place ricotta, parmesan, eggs, flour, lemon rind, 1 Tbsp. mint and spinach in a bowl and mix well to combine. 
2.Turn out onto a surface covered in semolina and roll into 4 - 12 inch long ropes.

since the dough was fairly soft I found it helped to place both hands like this and gently roll

3. cut into 3/4 inch lengths. Cook the gnocchi in batches in a pot of salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until the float to the surface. Remove with the slotted spoon and keep warm.

4. place the cream in a large frying pan over high heat and cook for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through. Add the gnocchi, extra parmesan, extra mint, salt and pepper and gently toss to coat.

the dough was rather soft so when I stirred it into the sauce some lost their form. Next time I think I'll try tossing them in semolina to coat all sides before cooking.

all ingredients are usually available at the Green Barn

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

garlicky asparagus flatbread

makes 12 appetizer servings

try this, it is seriously delicious
  • 1
    pound loaf fresh whole wheat pre-made or home-made pizza dough (or frozen, thawed)
  • 2 Tbsp.
  • 2 Tbsp.
  • 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup
    finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz. 
    mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
  • 1 - 1 1/4
    pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut in 3-inch lengths
  • 3/4 cup
    butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced (can substitute 1 medium yellow squash*)
  • 3 Tbsp.
    tablespoons olive oil
  • 5
    large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Honey for drizzling (optional but really good)
    green onions, about 1/4 cup thinly sliced (optional. I actually forgot to put them on top)


1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease large 15x10x1-inch baking pan; 
set aside. 
For flatbreads, on a lightly floured surface, roll to a rectangle. (If dough becomes difficult to roll, let rest for 5 minutes, then resume rolling.) Press dough into prepared pan, pressing to sides. Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until very lightly browned.
2.Meanwhile, for white sauce, in a small saucepan melt the butter over 
medium heat; 
stir in flour. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add Parmesan cheese; cook for 1 minute.
3.Spread the white sauce within 1/2 inch of dough edges. Top with 
toss butternut with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and roast about 5-7 minutes until just tender. Lightly toss asparagus with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Spread asparagus and squash on cheese layer. Bake for 10 minutes, until browned. Cool slightly.
4.Meanwhile, in a small skillet heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over medium 
Cook sliced garlic in oil, stirring frequently, until tender and beginning to brown. 
Remove from heat. Spoon garlic and oil evenly on flatbreads. Pass honey.

*if using yellow zucchini you don't need to roast first, just toss with the asparagus