Friday, December 6, 2013

honey roasted carrots

delicious! honey and orange help bring out the natural sweetness of these beauties
adapted from delicious

1 lb carrots (I used a bunch of small carrots with the tops still on but baby carrots or large would work fine) , cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
freshly grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lay the carrots in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and mix until the carrots are evenly coated.  Drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the carrots are just tender.  If you’re using regular carrots in lieu of baby carrots – then slice them in about 1/4 inch slices.   Turn the carrots once or twice for even baking.  Transfer the carrots to a serving dish and sprinkle with freshly grated orange zest.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

whipped sweet potatoes with coconut and ginger

Here is an easy way to change up a traditional fall or Thanksgiving dinner side dish. This version uses coconut cream and ginger to give delicious flavor.


6 lb yams or sweet potatoes (6 large)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted (if you are wanting to go lighter use less)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream (I used the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk, you may need 2 cans)
1.5 Tbsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger
unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Bake yams on a baking sheet for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly.
2. Peel the yams and transfer to a food processor or blender (may need to do in batches). Add butter, coconut cream, ginger and blend until smooth.
3. Reheat, sprinkle with coconut and serve.

Friday, November 1, 2013

maple glazed squash stuffed with quinoa and mushrooms

The maple thyme glaze is incredibly delicious and turns this squash into an exceptional side, or main dish if served with the quinoa. If you want even more substance serve with roasted root vegetables brushed with the same glaze. from food and wine
serves 6


salt and pepper
1 3.5 lb kabocha squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 6 wedges
olive oil for brushing
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 thyme sprigs

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 thyme sprigs

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced plus 2 shallots thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
2.5 cups water
salt and pepper
1.5 cups quinoa
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb mushroom, preferably oyster, chantrelle, or shiitake (or combination), sliced
1/3 cup chopped parsley

1. to prepare the squash, preheat the oven to 350º. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper; arrange on a baking sheet cut side down and roast for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip wedges and roast for 20 minutes, until just tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar, maple syrup and thyme. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Turn the squash skin side down and brush all over with the maple glaze. Roast for 10 minutes longer, until the squash is lightly browned and glazed.
3. For the sauce: In a saucepan, whisk the cream and maple syrup. Add garlic and thyme and simmer over med-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup. Discard garlic and thyme and keep warm.
4. To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, melt the 2 Tbsp. of butter. Add minced shallot and cook over med. until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper then add quinoa. Cover and cook over med-low heat until tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
5. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in the oil. Add the sliced shallots and cook over med-high heat, stirring until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, 5 minutes or so more. Stir in quinoa and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
6. Arrange the roasted squash on plates. Fill each wedge with quinoa stuffing, drizzle with the sauce.

autumn arugula salad

yum! caramelized squash, spiced pecans, avocado, pomegranate and pomegranate ginger vinaigrette. adapted from howsweeteats
serves 4-6


2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 acorn squash, sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds then in half, seeds removed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
6 cups baby arugula
1 avocado, sliced
1 pomegranate, arils removed (check out these easy instructions)
1 long english cucumber, sliced

pomegranate ginger vinaigrette
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squash slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. If desired, add the brown sugar to help the squash caramelize. Set aside
2. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the pecans. Toast until slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking pan as they toast, about 5 minutes. Toss them with pumpkin pie spice.
3. For the dressing: combine pom juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in bowl and whisk together. slowly add olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together.
4. Add arugula to large bowl. Add in avocado, pomegranate, cucumber, pecans, and squash. Drizzle with dressing.

roasted pumpkin soup

How fun is this? Eating this pumpkin soup out of a pumpkin is a clever idea (and it saves doing dishes). You scoop out pumpkin with each spoonful of creamy vegetable soup.You can also try a kabocha squash.

serves 2-4
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery
1 large ripe tomato, seeded, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 sugar pumpkins
grated parmesan and chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

1. Heat oven to 375º
2. In a pot over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil. Add onion, garlic, celery, tomato, and herbs. Saute 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tsp. of the salt, 1/2 tsp. of the pepper, and chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil, remove from heat, stir in cream and set aside. (if you prefer a creamy vs. chunky soup then puree).
3. To prepare pumpkins, cut off tops and reserve and scoop out seeds. Season insides with remaining salt and pepper. Ladle soup into pumpkins discarding herb sprigs. Place tops on pumpkins.
4. Roast on a foil lined cookie sheet for 1-1.5 hours or until pumpkins are tender when pierced with a knife.
5. Serve soup out of pumpkins or ladle into bowls and divide pumpkin flesh. Garnish with parmesan and parsley.

Friday, October 11, 2013

gluten free multigrain bread

I was hopeful (but kind of skeptical) that gluten free bread could be tasty based on sampling products in the past.  I searched around until I found some promising recipes. This is my first attempt and I have to say I think it turned out great. It actually tastes like bread and has an excellent texture. Since it doesn't require kneading it is pretty simple to make. I am on a gluten free diet for at least a month until my allergy tests come back, so it possibly I will have to stay away from gluten for life (yikes!), hence the recent gluten-free recipes. After tasting this bread I know it won't be too horrendous if I am gluten intolerant :)

adapted from Allergy Free Alaska. She also has some other great-looking GF bread recipes


1 cup millet flour
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/2 cup blanched almond meal/flour
1/2 cup amaranth (or teff flour). I had to grind some amaranth in the blender to make it fine
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup flax meal
2 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

3 eggs
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

yeast ingredients:
1 1/4 cup hot water (110º-115ºF)
2 Tbsp. honey
2 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast (NOT instant)


1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the honey and hot water. Sprinkle in the yeast and give it a quick stir to combine. Allow to proof for 7 minutes exactly (set a timer). Make sure you have all the other wet and dry ingredients mixed and ready to go when the time is up!

2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together (This and the next steps can also be done in a mixer if you happen to have one, which I don't).

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, molasses, and vinegar.

4. When the yeast is done proofing, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until it's a little paste-like, then slowly add the yeast mixture. Mix for about 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl then mix on medium 2-3 minutes or until the dough is smooth.

5. Pour dough into parchment lined and well greased 9x5 metal bread pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 45-60 minutes (check at 30 minutes). When dough is close to reaching the plastic wrap, remove it; allow dough to rise remaining time uncovered. When bread is finished rising, bake in preheated 375º oven for about 30 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

homemade granola bars

These make a great nutrient packed snack or breakfast on the go. I am excited to play more around with flavors, maybe substituting honey for the molasses and raisins or chocolate chips in place of apricots.


1 cup pitted prunes
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
2 1/2 cups rolled oats, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds (or combination)
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

1. Preheat oven to 325º. Line an 8x8 or 9x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Lightly grease or spray with nonstick spray.

2. Cover prunes with hot water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain and place in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add syrup, molasses, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Process to form a thick paste, about 20 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides a couple times. Add 2 cups of the oats and pulse 8-10 times, until the oats are coarsely chopped. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in remaining 1/2 cups oats, apricots, nuts, and sunflower seeds.

3. Using slightly dampened hands, press the mixture firmly and evenly into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.

4. Cool dish for 15 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to freezer and chill until completely cooled (about 30 minutes). Cut into 10-12 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

lemony quinoa apricot muffins

These little goodies are also delicious gluten free; just substitute whole wheat flour for an all purpose gluten free flour.adapted from prevention magazine

makes 10-12 muffins


3/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 egg
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup cooked quinoa*
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots


1. Heat oven to 350º. Line or grease muffin pan. Whisk milk, oil, egg, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir into wet ingredients.
3. Fold in cooked quinoa and apricots. Divide in muffin pan. Bake 30 minutes. Makes 10-12 muffins.

*cover 1 cup quinoa with water and soak for at least 15 minutes. Rinse well in strainer. Heat in pot with 1 1/4 cup water. Bring to boil then simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Friday, October 4, 2013

thai curry butternut squash soup

This gives a delightful Thai twist to a traditional fall soup. Modified from

serves 4-6


3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp. red curry paste
3 cups vegetable stock
4 cups uncooked butternut squash, cubed in 1-inch pieces
1 -2 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
¼ cup fish sauce
coconut aminos or soy sauce to taste
coconut sugar to taste
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup torn fresh cilantro for serving
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts for serving


Heat a large pot over med-low heat and add coconut oil. Once it is melted, add in the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt and stir. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in ginger and curry paste and stir until incorporated. Cook the curry and onion mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock and add the squash cubes. Cover the pot and increase heat to medium. Cook until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.

Once the squash is soft, turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Puree in blender (in 2 batches if needed) until smooth. Pour back into pot and heat over med-low. Add in coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, salt, and pepper, and stir. Cover and cook until heated through. Taste and season additionally if desired. Serve with a garnish of cilantro and crushed peanuts.

updated 10/28/15

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

pumpkin cream cheese muffins

these are a fun and healthy treat with a surprise filling
adapted from
makes 21-24 muffins


for the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. honey

for the muffins:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

for the topping (optional):
4 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
7 Tbsp. rolled oats
3 Tbsp. turbinado (coarse) sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces

1. To make the filling combine the cream cheese and honey in a bowl. Beat with mixer until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe 24 equal dollops onto parchment or wax paper. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.
2. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line muffin pans with paper liners or grease. In medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda; whisk to blend. In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, and applesauce. Mix until blended. Add in dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
3. To make the topping, combine flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. whisk to blend. Add in the butter and cut into try ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks (or handy dandy tupperware food mixer) until mix is coarse and crumbly. Transfer to refrigerator until ready to use.
4. To assemble muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom (about 1 Tbsp). Place the dollop of cream cheese on top. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, covering the cream cheese completely. Sprinkle each with topping if desired.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving (because the filling is hot).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

roasted acorn squash

Roasted squash topped with buttery crunchy walnuts and sweet dried fruit. Tastes like fall!
adapted from


2 acorn squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup dried fruit,  (I used a combination of cranberries, golden raisins, and figs)

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Carefully cut each half into 4 wedges.
3. Place wedges in large baking dish and drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
4. Bake for 1 hour or until soft and caramelized around the edges.
5. When squash is almost done, in a small saucepan over medium add the butter, walnuts, and fruit. Cook until butter is melted, then drizzle over squash. Drizzle with some maple syrup for extra sweetness if desired, or hot sauce for a spicy twist.

Monday, September 16, 2013

pumpkin bran muffins

A healthy fall treat. Great for breakfast, snack, or along with soup.
adapted from


1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk (or add slightly less than 1 Tbsp. vinegar to milk)
1/4 cup oil or applesauce (if you choose applesauce then spraying the paper liners helps the muffins not to stick)
orange mascarpone cream for serving (optional) Mix mascarpone with orange zest and honey to taste

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat bran, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, buttermilk, and oil (or applesauce).
4. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
5. If desired serve the muffins with orange cream.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

apricot mango fruit roll-ups

100% real fruit roll ups. Simple to make. Adapted from Great Kitchen Stories
I decided to make these for our daughters first day of kindergarten. This is a new phase for us and I sure I will be delving into healthy lunch recipes!
makes 8-12 roll-ups per batch


1 large ripe mago
7 oz dried apricots
1 orange (the juice)

1. Preheat oven to the lowest temperature (mine is 170º). Puree ingredients in blender until smooth. Spread 1 1/2-2 cups (so you may have some pure left) on greased or sprayed parchment paper (I lightly greased mine with coconut oil).
2. Put in oven with door slightly open. Leave in for 5-8 hours until puree is not sticky
3. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut and roll them with wax paper or parchment paper when they are still warm. Depending on how many you want you can cut them along the short or long side of the pan and can choose the width.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

peach caprese salad

Peach season in upon us! This variation of caprese uses juicy peaches in place of tomatoes layered with creamy mozzarella and fresh basil and is finished with a delicious reduced balsamic glaze.


1 large peach
1 8 oz. ball fresh mozzarella
8 fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. reduced balsamic vinegar. (I used the recipe from mountain mama cooks but made half)
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Cut the mozzarella into 8 slices, each about 1/4 inch thick
2. On a serving platter, arrange the cheese, basil leaves, and peaches in a fan pattern, alternating them in that order.
3. Drizzle with oil and balsamic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

favorite lemon herb salmon

I have made this 3 times this summer. It is that good.

makes 4 servings

1 lb salmon fillet (skin on or skinless)
1 lemon
1 Tbsp. snipped dill
1 Tbsp. snipped tarragon
1 Tbsp.
snipped flat leaf parsley or chives
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp oil or butter (or mix)

1. Pat fish dry. Shred 1 tsp. of peel from lemon; set aside. Juice the lemon and reserve for later. In a bowl combine the lemon peel, snipped herbs, salt, pepper, and oil. Spread evenly on the salmon.
2. Preheat grill to 400º. Oil grate and add salmon herb side down. Grill 2-3 minutes. Turn salmon, pour lemon juice over. Grill 3-7 minutes until salmon begins to flake and center still has a trace of darker pink.

Monday, July 15, 2013

flash roasted broccoli and tomatoes with spicy crumbs

The delicious taste of roasted veggies is complemented by garlicky pepperoni breadcrumbs. This would also taste wonderful when prepared on the grill instead of in the oven. If you like you can use just broccoli or tomato instead of both. Slightly adapted from foodandwine.

6 servings


2 oz sliced pepperoni - you must try the wonderful all natural Olli pepperoni salame (available at the Green Barn of course)

1 cup panko (see note in this post)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs broccoli, trimmed and cut into long spears
1/2-1 pint grape tomatoes
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 425º. In a mini food processor or blender, pulse the pepperoni with the garlic until finely chopped (If you don't have a mini processor just mince the garlic and pepperoni then add with crumbs to blender and pulse). Add the panko and pulse to combine.
2. In medium skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add the crumb mixture and cook over medium until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Scrape onto plate and let cool.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the broccoli and tomatoes with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt. Spread on baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes, turning once, until tender and browned in spots. Brush once side with mustard and sprinkle with the crumbs, pressing slightly to help them adhere.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

crunchy coconut chicken fingers with peach honey mustard

tender chicken pieces with tasty coconut coating.
adapted from
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders
1 can coconut milk
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs*
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 ripe peach, peeled and chopped

1. Shake or blend coconut milk until smooth and creamy. Place chicken tenders in a baking dish, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and cover with coconut milk. Refrigerate 1-2 hours or more.
2. Preheat oven to 450º. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine coconut, flour, panko, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well. Dredge chicken pieces in the mixture, pressing gently to coat well. Place chicken on rack.
4. Spray all chicken tenders with coconut oil spray or other nonstick spray. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip and spray the other side. Bake for 10-15 minutes more, until golden and crispy.
5. While the chicken is baking, add peach chunks to blender or food processor and puree. In a bowl, whisk together honey, dijon, and peach puree.

* These could hardly be easier to make: cut a few slices of whole wheat or multigrain bread into pieces. Pulse in blender until you have coarse crumbs. Lay on baking sheet in single layer and toast in oven at 350º for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until crispy but not browned. Voila!

Friday, June 28, 2013

cedar planked salmon with maple glaze

A delicious way to treat yourself or guests at your next BBQ. The cedar plank gives a subtle smokey flavor. These are available at grocery or hardware stores (or if you know someone in the woodwork/cabinet making industry have them give you one (: ). If you can't get one this recipe is still delicious cooking the salmon on tin foil.
salmon fillet with skin (size depends on how many people you want to feed. I used a whole fillet)
honey mustard marinade (optional. I used the Bolthouse dressing)
untreated cedar plank (soaked for several hours)
greens from one bunch scallions (green onion) or chives

1 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. liquid amenos or soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

1. If you want extra flavor, marinate salmon in honey mustard for a least 2 hours. Discard marinade and remove excess from fish.
2. In a small saucepan simmer maple syrup, ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste until reduced to about 1 cup (about 30 minutes) and let cool. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.
3. Preheat grill to low. If using cedar plank, oil lightly then arrange scallions on top and place salmon, skin side town on the scallions. Brush with glaze (reserve some for serving). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill 15-30 minutes until beginning to flake (when the center has only a touch of dark pink left). Watch that the wood doesn't catch on fire. You can use the top rack or you can place the plank on top of a cinder block to keep it farther from the flames.
4. Drizzle with remaining sauce.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

cucumber honeydew salad with feta

A unique and tasty salad; the prefect blend of sweet and tangy.
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
10 servings
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. poppy seeds (optional)
1 medium honeydew melon, seeded and cubed (5 cups)
1 cucumber, unpeeled and cubed
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (rinsed and patted dry if you want to tame the raw taste)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
4 oz. feta, crumbled

In a large bowl pour the lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil in a slow steady stream until incorporated. Whisk in honey, salt, pepper and poppy seed. Add melon, cucumber, onion and dill. Toss to combine. Just before serving top with feta. Yep, it's pretty simple.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

creamy pasta verde with garlic brown butter breadcrumbs

Oodles of greens in noodles. Deliciousness on steroids. The whole family loved this dish.
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
4 servings
1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup broccoli, chopped
10 asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into thirds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 leeks, tough green tops discarded, cleaned, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. fresh spinach
1/2 bunch kale leaves, torn from tough ribs
1/2 cup shelled edamame* (could also substitute frozen peas)
1 ripe avocado
6-8 oz mascarpone cheese (=yum)
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

1/3 cup whole grain breadcrumbs (pulse bread in blender to form crumbs and toast in the oven at 300º until crisp)
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare pasta. While waiting, start of the rest of the dish. Keep in mind that you need to reserve about 2/3 cup of the pasta water.
2. Heat a large skilled over medium heat. Add 1.5 Tbsp. olive oil, then toss in chopped broccoli and asparagus with 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Toss well to coat, then cook until slightly golden and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Add remaining olive oil to skillet and head to medium-low. Add leeks and red pepper, stirring well to coat and cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add spinach and kale with remaining salt and pepper, tossing well. Cook and stir until wilted, about 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly. As soon as brown bits begin to form, remove from heat and whisk for 30 seconds. Let butter stand 2 minutes, then add in minced garlic and whisk. Add in breadcrumbs and stir well. Set aside.
5. Slice avocado in half. Remove flesh from one side, mashing until smooth. Add 2/3 of reserved pasta water and mascarpone cheese and stir until creamy.
6. Add spinach and kale mixture to pan along with pasta and avocado sauce. Finish by adding in the cheese, broccoli, asparagus, and edamame. To serve, slice remaining avocado and add to top of each dish, the sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

*can be special ordered through the Green Barn

Thursday, May 23, 2013

grilled zucchini with mozzarella and dill

This delicious summer dish is so simple and only uses a few ingredients.
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
makes 4 servings 
3  medium zucchini (I mixed in some yellow summer squash), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and black pepper
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
2 Tbsp. snipped dill
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat grill.
On a baking sheet arrange zucchini in a single layer. Brush both sides lightly using about 2 Tbsp olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Place zucchini directly on grill rack and grill over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, turning once.
3. On a serving platter, arrange warm zucchini with mozzarella. Sprinkle with dill and crushed red pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil.

Friday, May 10, 2013

toasted almond, quinoa, and dark chocolate granola

need I say more?
adapted from
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup cooked quinoa*
1 cup toasted sliced almonds (for a quick option use the Almond Accents since they are ready to go)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp coconut oil or unsalted butter (both taste great)
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. If using butter: add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 min., then immediately remove from heat and set aside. Stir in honey and vanilla (it will now smell delicious. If using coconut oil, melt and add honey and vanilla.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, quinoa, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir very well with spoon or hands. Spread evenly on baking sheet in one layer. Bake 10 minutes, toss and then bake for 10 minutes more. Toss again, then bake for about 10 more minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so until the mixture is golden.
3. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze granola together with hands to help it clump. Pour chocolate chips over and stir gently. Let cool completely for at least an hour before eating (this will be difficult).

yummy with milk, almond milk or yogurt. Enjoy!

*Soak for at least 15 minutes, rinse, then bring to a boil along with 1 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 25-35 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork

rainbow salad

This was definitely a "what do we have in the house?" kind of salad. Full of delicious fresh veggies and leftover grilled asparagus, topped with flax and toasted almonds, and drizzled with a flax honey lime vinaigrette it makes a colorful and tasty spring and summer dish. Orange bell peppers and blueberries would turn this into a truly rainbow dish. To make this salad a meal or to entice the "where's the meat?" crowd, feel free to add bacon and hard boiled eggs.
*Ingredients: (in whatever quantities your heart desires)
organic spring mix
tomato: I used cherry and roma but heirloom would be great too
yellow corn, blanched in boiling water for a couple minutes then removed from cob
grilled asparagus (or other grilled vegetables)
bell peppers
red (purple) cabbage
bacon (optional)
hard boiled eggs (optional)
ground flax
sliced and toasted almonds (I used the very handy Almond Accents)

for the dressing:
equal parts balsamic vinegar and flax oil. Add to taste: fresh lime juice, honey and some salt and pepper

*all available at the one and only Green Barn

Monday, April 1, 2013

toasted coconut brussels sprouts

If you like coconut or brussels sprouts you have to try this recipe. If you don't like brussels sprouts you have to try this recipe. Some friends of ours made these for us last week and they were so good I asked for the recipe and made them the next day. I served them to some family who normally don't like brussels spouts and they were a hit! The kids loved them too.
recipe adapted from

2-4 servings
1 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and halved or quartered
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp. (or more to taste) coconut milk
2-3 Tbsp. (or more to taste) coconut, toasted

Add quartered sprouts to a bowl and drizzle with melted coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and toss to coat.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add brussels. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted and nicely charred. Reduce heat to low and stir in coconut milk. Stir in 2 Tbsp. toasted coconut, then transfer to a bowl to serve. Top with remaining coconut.

Friday, March 15, 2013

root vegetable soup with parsley pesto

satisfying, low fat and high in vitamin C
4 servings

2 Tbsp butter
8 garlic cloves, peeled
5 cups peeled and coarsely chopped root vegetables such as golden beets, yukon gold potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, and carrots
1 cup chopped onion
29 oz (2 cans or one carton) beef broth
2-3 Tbsp horseradish
2 ciabatta rolls or 4 baguette slices, toasted
parsley pesto:
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup toasted nuts, such as pine nuts, almonds, or pecans (if not pine nuts make sure they are finely chopped)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper

1. In stockpot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chopped vegetables, onion, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add broth; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
2. Stir in horseradish. Cook, uncovered 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, spread a small spoonful of the pesto on the cut side of the breads. Broil about 1 minute or until pesto is heated through. Drizzle any remaining pesto into the soup

Thursday, February 28, 2013

kale caesar salad

Kale may seem an odd choice for a salad, but in this recipe it is tenderized then tossed with a delicious dressing, simple homemade croutons, and fresh parmesan. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K and C, and calcium. The croutons are a yummy little snack just on their own
serves 4
16 oz. kale, washed, stems discarded, leaves torn or chopped into bite size pieces
3 slices rye bread (I used marbled), cut into 1-inch cubes
6 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pearled barley (optional)

6 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. vinegar (I used balsamic)
2 Tbsp. mayonaise
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
lemon juice
dash worcestershire sauce
anchovy paste (optional; it adds a deeper saltier taste. I know it is not the usual household staple. For some reason we've had a tube sitting in our fridge and now I was able to use it)

1. If using pearled barley, bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add barley and cook until tender, 20-25 mintes. Drain, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain again.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add bread cubes and cook over moderate heat until crisp and golden, about 5-7 minutes, stirring a few times. Season with salt and transfer to a plate to cool.
3. In a large bowl, toss all the kale. Scrunch to tenderize.
4. In a food processor or blender or cool tupperware gadget :), puree garlic with dijon and vinegar. Add mayo and mix. Add olive oil in a slow stream. Add 2 Tbsp. parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice, w. sauce and anchovy paste.
5. Add dressing to kale and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Top with barley, rye croutons and remaining cheese.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

cherry chicken spirals

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 11/2 lbs)
6 slices bacon, halved
2/3 cup snipped dried cherries
1/2 cup honey mustard, 4 Tbsp. for prep and remaining for dipping (you can make your own with dijon, honey, and plain yogurt or mayo)
1 cup whole wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 Tbsp snipped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly coat a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken  to 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Place bacon on chicken.
2. In a small bowl combine cherries and 2 Tbsp honey mustard. Divide mixture evenly among the chicken. Roll up chicken. You may need help from kitchen string or toothpicks if the chicken wont stay rolled up. Brush with 2 Tbsp honey mustard. Lightly sprinkle with salt if desired.
3. In a shallow dish, combine panko, thyme, and pepper. Roll chicken in mixture to coat. Place, seam sides down, in prepared pan.
4. Bake, uncovered for about 25-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

grilled tuna steak

a quick flavorful marinade adds delicious flavor to this meaty fish
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper

2-4 tuna steaks

Mix marinade ingredients together. Add tuna steaks and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes; turn and baste and grill an additional 1-2 minutes until done (should still be pink in the center).

sour cream biscuits

these crisp buttery biscuits are perfect with soup or stew
adapted from Food and Wine
makes about 18 
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sour cream or creme fraîche
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup heavy cream
coarse salt for sprinkling

1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the egg yolk, sour cream and milk. In a large bowl, combine the flour with the sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the egg mixture and stir until the dough is evenly moistened. Gather the dough into a ball and knead 2-3 times, just until it comes together.
2. Press dough into and 8x10-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll out into an 11-inch square. Fold in half and roll out again to same size. Repeat once more. Using a 2-inch round cutter (or a glass of the same size), cut out as many biscuits as possible. Gather scraps, re-roll and cut out more.
4. Preheat oven to 375º. Evenly space the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden.

Monday, February 11, 2013

watercress soup

a delicious and nutritious soup, which is great served with crusty bread or biscuits like these:
serves 4

1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 potato, peeled and diced
6 ounces watercress
14 oz. (1 2/3 cup) vegetable stock
14 oz. (1 2/3 cup) milk
lemon juice, to taste
salt and pepper
sour cream to serve

1. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy pan and cook the onion over gentle heat for about 5 minutes, until soft but not browned. Add potato, cook gently 2-3 minutes and then cover and cook over gentle heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, strip the watercress leaves from the stalks and coarsely chop the stalks.
3. Add the stock and milk to the pan, stir in the chopped watercress stalks and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and summer gently, partially covered, for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add all but a few of the watercress leaves and simmer for 2 minutes more.
4. Process the soup in a blender, then pour into a clean pan and heat gently with the reserved leaves. Add a little lemon juice and adjust seasoning.
5. Garnish with sour cream and enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

white bean hummus

a super healthy and delicious dip that is great for crackers, chips and veggies.
Pita chips and the new 34˚crispbread crackers pair marvelously well with this hummus.

serves at least 4 people
1 head garlic
3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1-15 oz. can white beans (or dried, prepared)
1 small lemon, juiced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
2 tsp. tahini (sesame paste), optional

1. Cut garlic in half across to expose all the cloves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.
2. Add beans, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper and tahini to food processor or blender. Squeeze garlic halves; the cloves should slide out. Process until mixed. Add olive oil and mix until smooth. Adjust seasoning if desired.
Serving suggestion: drizzle with some more olive oil and sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts.