side dishes

cranberry-apricot chutney


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
pinch of nutmeg
1 lb fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ cup dried apricots, finely chopped
¾ cup dark brown sugar or other sweetener like coconut sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
3. Add the cranberries apricots, sugar, vinegar, and ¼ cup water and cook, stirring, until the cranberries start to burst, about 5 minutes.
4. Mash some of the cranberries, and cook, stirring, until the chutney thickens, about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Let cool before serving.

makes 2 ¼ cups

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quinoa tabbouleh

This very healthy and filling salad also makes a great side dish for chicken. You can make ahead of time and chill or you can serve it at room temperature. From Food Network Magazine
serves 8


1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (green onion) white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cucumber, unpeeled, medium diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups medium-diced or crumbled feta

1. Combine quinoa and 1 ½ cups water and 1 tsp. salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for 12-15 minutes, until tender.
2. Place in a bowl and add the lemon juice, olive oil and 1-1½ tsp. salt
3. In a large bowl, combine the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 1-2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Add the quinoa and mix well. fold in feta. Serve at room temperature or chill.

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brussels sprout gratin

Obviously I wouldn't post this recipe if it wasn't delicious, but this dish is SO good! I do like brussels sprouts. I suppose I wasn't turned off them in childhood by being forced to eat soggy bitter ones. I only remember my mom making them once and I ate them because they looked like cute little cabbages. I especially have enjoyed them roasted and I think that I will continue to prepare them this way most often because it isn't as rich as this recipe. I chose to make this dish for our Christmas dinner not only because it looked and sounded yummy but the description said that it would turn nonbelievers into fans. It is true because I tried it on my whole family and everyone liked it, even the kids.
serves 6


1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp flour (or tapioca starch)
1-2 tsp. fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic minced
salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup panko breadcrumbs (just pulse bread in blender until you have crumbs and bake at 300º until crispy, about 10 minutes, stirring once)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Shave the sprouts crosswise into ⅛-inch thick slices.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sprouts, cheddar, flour, thyme, and garlic and toss to combine.
3. Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch baking dish. Pour cream evenly on top.
4. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and olive oil and pour over the top of the Brussels sprouts mixture.
5. Bake, uncovered until sprouts are tender, the sauce is bubbling, and the top is golden brown (25-30 minutes). Garnish with parsley.

delicious crispy topping.

roasted butternut squash filled with pomegranate-soaked fruit

This is a fun and easy way to serve squash. It can be a main dish or a starter. You can scoop the mixture onto crusty bread and top with some aged cheese or skip the bread and eat straight up. Adapted fromBetter Homes and Gardens.

makes 4-6 servings


1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 Tbsp. olive oil
¾ tsp. salt
2 cups pomegranate juice or port wine (I used a mixture)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
½ cup salted whole almonds, chopped
aged white cheddar or another favorite (we used Prima Dona which is a parmesan-Gouda mix)

Toasted whole grain bread, optional


1. Preheat oven to 425º. Lightly coat a large baking tray with oil.
2. Rub Squash halves with oil, then sprinkle cut sides with ½ tsp. salt. Place squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Roast until easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a platter, cut side up.
3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the juice and/or port, vinegar, ¼ tsp. salt. Bring to boiling over medium heat and cook, uncovered, 4 minutes. Add apricots and cherries. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes then remove fruit with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat. Bring to boiling and cook until reduced to about ½ cup (approx. 20 more minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the fruit and nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Spoon mixture into squash and place any extra in a serving bowl.
5. To serve, top with shaved cheese or place cheese on bread before spooning squash and fruit mix on top.

coconut crusted salmon with lemony quinoa

This scrumptious meal is light but nourishing and makes me think of Spring. The herbed coconut crust on the salmon is so delicious and carb-free. Pine nuts and spinach round out the quinoa and make it a perfect side dish. Salmon recipe adapted from Trim Healthy Mama and the quinoa from kale&chocolate

Let's talk about some of the health benefits first:
Salmon is high in protein. It is extremely important to supply our bodies with enough protein because our muscles, organs, bones, cartilage, skin, and antibodies are composed of protein and need enough to repair themselves and prevent cellular breakdown. Salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids which are necessary for cardiovascular and cognitive health. It is an excellent source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals which damage cells and leave them vulnerable to cancer, infection, and disease. Salmon also contains high levels of B vitamins which are vital for a healthy metabolism and good mental health.
Coconut contains lauric acid which helps raise the high density level cholesterol which keeps arteries free from plaque accumulation. It is packed with B vitamins and copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, and even calcium. Using this in place of breadcrumbs boosts the nutrition value and cuts out carbs.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a nutrition packed seed that cooks like a grain. It contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is gluten-free, high in B vitamins, and has iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E.
Pine nuts are really seeds from certain pine trees. They contain essential minerals and heart friendly mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help reduce cholesterol levels, vitamin E and vitamin B.


for the salmon:
4 Salmon filets (I like skin on, wild preferably)
mayonnaise (see below for home made) or eggs
1 cup dried coconut
sea salt
garlic powder and/or onion powder
dried parsley
cayenne pepper if you like some spice

for the quinoa:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
sea salt
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 cups raw spinach, thinly sliced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
pepper to taste

1. To make the salmon "breading", place coconut, herbs and spices in blender and blend until fine. Pour onto large dinner plate.
2. Rub salmon fillets with mayo or dip into a couple whisked eggs. Then press into coconut mix and coat generously. Place in greased baking dish
3. Bake at 350º until fish is done and coating is crispy. Check after 10 minutes. Fish is done when outer layer is opaque and inside is still a darker pink. If you want the outside more crispy then place under broiler for 1-2 minutes.

1. Rinse quinoa for a few minutes to make sure all the bitter-tasting chemicals called saponins are removed. Transfer to a saucepan and add 1 tsp. salt and 1 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. If they seem to firm after 15 minutes add a tad more water and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.
2. Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl and add toasted pine nuts, spinach, lemon zest and parsely. Place the sliced spinach on top.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Slowly add olive oil to form an emulsion. Pour dressing on top of quinoa tossing to blend all ingredients. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.


I tried making my own mayo from scratch quite unsuccessfully before. This recipe made a beautiful mayo: golden, creamy and free of soybean* oil. It was very simple and quick.

1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
dash of pepper
onion powder (optional)
dash of vinegar (optional)
dash of sweetener (optional)
dijon mustard (if you want more kick)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Put eggs in blender. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper and additional flavorings if desired. Blend well.
2. With blender running, slowly add the coconut and olive oil. Mix until thickened.
3. Chill before serving.

*soy beans have a high level of phytates which leech minerals out of the body. Soy affects the body's estrogen levels by converting testosterone into estrogen. It also suppresses thyroid function and can cause sterility (it all sounds kind of nasty!)

roasted cumin spiced cauliflower

These tender golden gems are a great alternative to roasted potatoes
1-2 heads cauliflower
olive oil
cumin seeds or ground cumin
salt and pepper
garlic brown butter bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 400º

Separate cauliflower into florets. Place on roasting pan and drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin. Roast until tender and crispy (about 20 minutes), shaking pan or stirring half way through. Top with garlic brown butter bread crumbs if desired during the last couple minutes of cooking time.

sautéed garlic parmesan green beans

inspired by a recipe from Trim Healthy Mama, these beans are so flavorful and nutritious (plus they are very easy to make) 

green beans
coconut oil
garlic powder
salt and pepper
Brag Liquid Amenos (super healthy soy sauce alternative)
freshly grated parmesan

Add a generous dollop of coconut oil to a large pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is melted and hot add beans, sprinkle with garlic powder salt and pepper and sauté until slightly tender and nicely browned in spots, stirring occasionally. Drizzle with Liquid Amenos to taste and continue to cook for another couple minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan then serve.


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.

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, 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 fromfoodandwine.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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


avocado with grapefruit topping

a fresh, healthy, and filling side dish/salad

2 avocados, halved lengthwise and pitted*
2 red grapefruit
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp lemon juice (1 large lemon)
3/4 tsp coarse salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or mint (plus more for garnish)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Brush 2 tsp lemon juice over avocados; set aside.
2. Halve grapefruit and remove segments of grapefruit by cutting out from between membranes. Transfer to a bowl, reserve juice.
3. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, salt, chopped herbs to grapefruit juice; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream.
4. Place each avocado half on a plate. Top with grapefruit then pour dressing on top. Garnish with extra herbs.

* I learned a neat trick. If you gently tap a sharp knife into the pit and twist, the pit should come out smoothly.

makes 4 servings

adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe


Thanksgiving dinner sides

The sweetness of the sweet potatoes or yams adds a surprising and delicious twist
Scalloped Russet and Sweet Potatoes
bake 55 min, 350/425°F
8 servings

1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 large onion, peeled and sliced 1/16 inch thick
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 cups milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/16 inch thick
1 med-large sweet potato or yam (I used sweet, but a yam would add a nice color), peeled and sliced 1/16 inch thick
nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Aggressively rub inside of a 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish with garlic clove, coat with 1 Tbsp butter. Set aside.
2. Cook onion in olive oil until tender, sprinkling well with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in thyme leaves. Set aside.
3. In small saucepan, heat milk and cream just until simmering. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour until combined. Remove from heat and whisk in hot milk and cream a little at a time until incorporated. Return to heat; bring to a gentle boil. Cook for about 3 minutes, until thickened.
4. Layer 1/3 of russets and yams in prepared dish. Season with salt, pepper and a light sprinkling of nutmeg. Layer 1/3 of onions then spoon 1/3 of cream mixture on top. Make 2 more layers with remaining potatoes, onions, seasonings, and cream mixture, finishing with the cream mixture.
5. Bake uncovered 45 minutes. Increase oven temp to 425. Bake 10-15 minutes until bubbly, golden crusty brown, and potatoes are fork tender. Let stand 10 minutes.

I haven't felt strongly about Brussels sprouts one way or the other. I didn't grow up on them and have only made them a few times. Since I don't dislike them, when I saw this recipe I decided to try it. These were so good!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
bake 45 minutes, 425°F
10 servings

3 pounds Brussels sprouts, quartered
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar could work too)
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. capers, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
2-oz tin of anchovies (or 1-2 Tbsp. anchovy paste)

1. Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl toss the sprouts with 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and charred in spots. Switch pans halfway through.
2. Spread walnuts in a pie plate and toast 3-5 minutes, until golden. Let cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with mustard and honey. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup olive oil until well combined. Add capers, garlic, shallots and anchovies; season with salt and pepper. Add Brussels sprouts and walnuts and toss well.
This can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time and kept at room temp. Rewarm before serving.

This is a neat way to serve stuffing, in cute individual portions

Lemony Mushroom-and-Pine-Nut Stuffing Muffins
bake 45 minutes, 375°F (plus baking time for bread cubes and pine nuts)
makes at 12 muffins

1 cup pine nuts
1 14-oz loaf of bread, crusts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 pound assorted mushrooms, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 cup cream
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chicken broth
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 2 lemons
1 cup chopped parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350. Generously butter 12-cup muffin tin. Spread pine nuts in a pie plate. Toast nuts for about 4 minutes, until golden.
2. Spread bread cubes on 1-2 large baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes, until toasted. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Increase oven temp to 375.
3. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add onion and celery and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and browned, 7 minutes. Let cool, then add to the bread.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream with the eggs. Stir in the chicken broth, lemon zest and juice and 2 tsp. salt. Add to the bread along with with parsley and pine nuts and stir well. Spoon the stuffing into prepared muffin cups. Bake in upper third of the oven for 45 minutes, until crisp on top and heated through. Unmold and serve hot.
To make ahead: the unbaked stuffing muffins can be refrigerated overnight.

All ingredients for these recipes are available at the Green Barn except anchovies.

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