Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Power Green Salad




My friend Marly made Sprouted Kitchen's Power Green Salad last night and brought me leftovers. I just ate it for lunch and it was so good.  Great salad for leftovers too because the kale can stand up to the dressing and doesn't get soggy. I served with fresh green juice, Siggi vanilla yogurt and toast with tahini and fig spread. Perfection!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Spicy Roast Cauliflower and Chickpeas




My friend Marly made this recipe for Spicy Roast Cauliflower & Chickpeas last night and it was delicious. She served with a delicious honey mustard chicken dish (recipe coming soon). It was a perfect dinner and leftovers were equally delicious today.


Quinoa Salad with Roasted Broccoli & Feta


My kids don't like broccoli tops so I feed them the stalks and end up roasting the tops for myself. Since I'm obsessed with quinoa salads I thought I would use the roasted broccoli for a new salad. My friend Marly and I came up with this creation and it was delicious. Next time I might add some lemon zest as well. 

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Broccoli & Feta

Rainbow quinoa
Roasted broccoli (with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic)
Feta
Sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing (very rough measurements)

1 garlic clove, minced and mashed with the side of a knife into a paste
Juice from half a lemon
1-2 t Dijon
1/2 t honey
2 T olive oil
1-2 T golden balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper

Greek Quinoa Salad




I've been experimenting with lots of quinoa salads lately. Here is one of my favorites. I use a lot of spinach so it feels super healthy. I chop it up and stir it in so you don't get any bites that are overloaded with raw spinach. This is great for lunch or as a side salad for dinner.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Quinoa
Spinach, chopped
Basil, minced
Kalamata olives, sliced
Feta
Sliced almnods, toasted
Salt & pepper
Greek dressing (I love PCC's own Greek dressing)

Optional add-ins:


Pepperoncinis
Chicken 
Cucumber
Grape tomatoes

Panini Night: Roasted Broccoli, Turkey & Cheese




I like making healthy things unhealthy and making unhealthy things a bit healthier. This is a good example of both. I made the broccoli less healthy by sandwiching it between white bread and melted cheese. But I made a classic grilled turkey and cheese more healthy by adding broccoli. 

I was inspired by this recipe for a Turkey, Broccoli, Cheddar Panini. It was insanely good. I used Essential Bakery Columbia for the bread. Honey mustard for dipping is a must. Such a good flavor combo.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Breakfast Quinoa: Also Better Than It Sounds



I'm also trying to cook more new recipes out of GP's It's All Good cookbook so when I had extra quinoa in the fridge, I looked in her book for something to try. I ended up making her breakfast quinoa the last few days. It's so simple - cooked quinoa warmed with almond milk and topped with chopped banana and syrup. I will definitely make this again. It was so satisfying. 

Tofu Tacos: Way Better Than They Sound




I'm trying to cook more out of The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook so last week I tried the recipe for Asian Tofu Tacos with Hoisin Slaw. They were way better than I expected and I was so excited for leftovers the next day. My only change would be to spoon the sauce on rather than mixing with the cabbage. I did it both ways and liked having it separate. Besides, the sauce is what makes these so good. My kids even ate their own versions of this (tofu and pear wrapped in crisp tortilla). Can't wait to make these again.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta




My friend Julianne got me the beautiful and inspiring cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen. I love it. My friend Marion cooks out of it all the time so I asked for some recommendations. She said she loved the Roasted Cauliflower Capellini so I made that tonight. It was so good. Better than I would have expected for how simple the ingredients were. 

I served with Heather Christo's Kale Salad with Lemon, Almonds & Pecorino and roasted asparagus. It was such a good dinner. Perfection.

My only changes to the recipe:

I used half whole wheat spaghetti and half regular spaghetti. Marion suggested toasted pine nuts instead of hazelnuts so I made that change too. Other than that I followed the recipe and loved it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Banana Muffins




One of my very first posts was about my grandma's banana muffins. I love them. Ever since my friend Shannon revised my zucchini bread recipe and made it a bit healthier, I've been thinking I should do the same with these. Not knowing how, I reached out to my friend Marion and she gave me some simple adjustments to make them healthier without sacrificing their great flavor. Just made these and they are delicious. I did 3 versions (of course)... 1/3 plain, 1/3 with chocolate chops and 1/3 with chopped walnuts. The plain ones turned are great so I imagine the others are even better. We'll eat plain or nut for breakfast and chocolate chip for dessert. My kids go crazy for this stuff.


Grandma Tess's Banana Muffins
Adapted by Marion

1/4 c butter
1/4 c coconut oil (or a little less even)
1 c sugar (or a little less even)
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 eggs beaten
1 c white flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 almond flour/meal
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 c almond milk 
1/2 t lemon juice
1 c mashed over-ripe banana
1 t vanilla
½ c nuts, optional
½ c chocolate chips, optional

Mix in order given. Butter muffin pans or use paper muffin cups. Fill muffin pans 2/3 full (you might end up with extra batter but don’t fill tins too high). Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes.

This batter made 18 muffins for me. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Serve Well Chilled


Photo Credit: Bogart Loves


My friend Ali introduced me to Lillet and ever since I've been hooked. I order Lillet cocktails everywhere I go and serve them at my house a lot. Everyone who tries them falls in love. Here are a few versions I enjoy. Once you buy a bottle you can find lots of other Lillet cocktails online.

The Lillet Cocktail
Lillet on the rocks, splash of soda and an orange twist

Fiesta Lillet 
Lillet on the rocks, few splashes of prosecco, orange twist

Essex Lillet Cocktail
Rosé Lillet on the rocks, green olive and an orange twist



Monday, March 3, 2014

Two More to Try




My friend Jen told me about two more good recipes from Gwyneth's It's All Good cookbook so I tried them today. The first was the Best Green Juice which I made to go with lunch and it was quite delicious. It is something I could get used to drinking every day. For dinner I made the Braised Chicken with Green Olives and Lemon. It was really good. Jen said to serve with brown rice so you have something for the sauce. I did that and steamed broccoli and it was all so good together. I used four whole chicken legs so I doubled the sauce. Next time I will make sure they are each cut into thighs and drumsticks because I imagine it will cook better. After I took the rest of the meat off the bones, I used the bones for a small batch of chicken stock which always makes me happy. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tarragon Chicken Wraps


I've always loved Ina Garten's chicken salad with tarragon and make it often on good hearty wheat bread. My friend Marly took it to the next level though with her Tarragon Chicken Wraps. They are so good. She wraps the chicken salad in a flour tortilla with Dubliner cheddar and a big leaf of romaine. They are the best wraps ever. Great for a picnic, ferry ride, day up at the mountain or dinner at home. I've eaten it all those ways and more.

Tarragon Chicken Wraps 
Marly Eiford

For the Marinade

Chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts and just cut each one into roughly 6 pieces)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Fresh tarragon
1-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

For the Chicken Salad

2-3 T Mayonnaise (I used Veganaise)
1T Dijon
1 T fresh tarragon
1/4 - 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Salt and pepper

For the Wraps

Flour tortillas
Dubliner cheddar
Romaine lettuce


Marinate chicken thighs in lemon, olive oil, bunch of chopped tarragon, garlic, and Dijon mustard for 2 hours. Cook the chicken for 35 min at 350 degrees. (Less time if using cut up chicken breasts instead of thighs.) Allow to cool.

Dice and mix with Mayonnaise, Dijon, tarragon, slivered almonds, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed, then wrap in a flour tortilla with romaine lettuce and Dubliner cheese slices.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Banana Sour Cream (Chocolate Chip) Pancakes


Photo Credit: Food is Luv

This morning I made Ina Garten's Banana Sour Cream Pancakes. I couldn't resist putting chocolate chips in them and it took them from good to great. I mashed the bananas and mixed it into the batter, instead of adding diced bananas to the pan. They were so good we didn't even use syrup!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Easiest Appetizer




Dalmatia Dried Fig Orange Spread



My friend Marly made this up and now it's a staple at our gatherings:

Mt. Townsend Truffle Flavored Fromage Blanc
Dalmatia Orange Fig Spread
La Panzanella original crackers

Assemble them right before guests arrive or let people do their own. Cracker, cheese, spread. Yum! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Panini Bar Party



I was hosting a mom and kid dinner party this past weekend and couldn't decide what to make that would be adult and kid friendly so I could make one dinner instead of two. I happened upon my friend Heather Christo in Seattle Magazine showcasing an easy Grilled Cheese and Soup Bar which inspired me to do a panini bar. Super easy and fun. Everyone loved their sandwiches. We had adults share bites to taste all the different versions. My friend Whitney made the best one in my opinion so I made it last night. Delicious...

Whitney Panini

Grand Central Como bread
Provolone
Fresh mozzarella
Fra Mani Nostrano salami
Pesto
Red pepper spread from Delaurenti
Mild Mama Lil's peppers
Arugula
Pepperoncini

Mini Zucchini Muffins




My mom's zucchini bread is so good. I bake a ton of it when zucchinis are in season and abundant at the farmers market, cut the loaves in half and freeze them. Every few weeks I can satisfy my morning sweet tooth with a slice of zucchini bread, warmed and slathered with butter. I grew up eating and loving this "bread" which is more like cake than bread. 

My friend Shannon tried the recipe making a few adjustments and did mini muffins instead of bread pans. They are healthier than my original recipe and I love the mini muffins. Great for kids snacks and equally good with my coffee for breakfast. 

Mini Zucchini Muffins
Shannon’s Version

3 eggs, beaten
1/3 or 1/2 cup coconut oil, slightly warmed/melted 
3/4 cup agave
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups grated zucchini 
2 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup oat bran 
1/4 cup ground flax
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1 t clove
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ginger

Preheat oven to 325. Mix first four ingredients together. Then add the rest and stir to combine. Put into mini muffin pans (greased or with paper cups). Cooke for 22-25 minutes. Remove and place pans on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rainbow Smoothie





I'm back on a rainbow smoothie kick. I love this smoothie because it's packed with goodness and my kids beg for more.

Rainbow Smoothie

Frozen strawberries
Frozen raspberries
Frozen peaches
Lemon juice
Banana
Cucumber
Parsley
Kale
Spinach
Frozen blueberries
Almond butter 
Protein powder 
Coconut water (I use coconut aloe water)


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Perfect Herbed Grilled Chicken




My friend Jen turned me onto another great new recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good cookbook and a great way to meal plan. She was making Gwyneth's turkey meatballs and realized that all the herbs in the meatballs are also used in Gwyneth's Perfect Herbed Grilled Chicken. Buying five different herbs is fine if you can use them again but I hate throwing out herbs that have gone bad. The chicken uses all five (sage, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley) so I made meatballs last night and chicken tonight. Both are delicious recipes with lots of leftovers.

Notes on the chicken:

I butterfly the chicken breasts before pounding it thin. So much faster to get it to 1/4" and I do like that super thin style chicken. The marinade was quick and easy. I used the same amount of marinade but only two chicken breasts (instead of four). I marinated it for an hour and a half. Sauté in a hot pan with olive oil and it's ready in a flash. I served with steamed broccoli and the spinach Caesar I just posted. It was such a satisfying and healthy dinner. I will most definitely make this recipe again. 

Simple Spinach Caesar


This Spinach Caesar was inspired by my friends Whitney and Marly and different salads they've each made me lately. I took Whitney's simplicity with Marly's knack for spicing up store bought dressing and made a Spinach Caesar. Loved it.

Spinach Caesar

Organic baby spinach - I bought the packaged baby spinach and washed it a few times in cold water, spun and set aside
Parmesan - I bought the pre-grated parm from PCC


Caesar Dressing

1/2 cup store bought Caesar dressing (I LOVE PCC's vegan Caesar)
1-2 T olive oil
2 or 3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced and smashed
3 T lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Put ingredients in a blender and blend on high. Toss with spinach, then sprinkle with parm and pepper. Serve.

Hama Hama Crab Cakes





One of the best food items I discovered in the last year is the Hama Hama crab cake using their secret Grandma Helena's recipe. They are the best crab cakes I've ever had and I was addicted immediately. I started buying them every week at the farmers market because they're perfect for a quick family dinner while also being good enough to serve to guests.

Quick Crab Cake Dinner

- Saute the crab cakes in a tiny bit of oil and butter until browned
- Serve with good aioli (I like Met Markets), a lemon wedge, and minced chive if you have the energy
- Also serve with a light arugula salad and/or steamed asparagus (asparagus is also good with the aioli and chives)

Simple. Easy. Delicious.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Simple Pork Chops


One of my easiest recipes that everyone will eat is a pan-fried, thin-cut pork chop. They are a simple, fast, and healthy main course. 

Last night I served these to the kids with a chunk of cheddar cheese, some cashews and banana. It was my low effort version. Some nights I will finish the pork chops with a splash of soy sauce and serve with brown, white or fried rice and a green veggie which feels more like a proper dinner. 

Simple Pan-Grilled, Thin-Cut Pork Chops

Thin cut pork chops (I buy these pre-packaged at PCC)
Fresh ginger 
Few cloves of garlic 
Black pepper
Salt or soy sauce
Flour, optional
Olive oil

Rinse the pork chops and pat dry. Cut a chunk of the ginger and set aside. I peel the skin but not required. Crack a few cloves of garlic and cut off 1/3 so you have a large open edge. Now rub each side of the pork chop with the ginger and garlic. This just gives it a bit of flavor. Sprinkle with salt if using and lots of black pepper. Sprinkle with a touch of flour if using. 

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. When hot, add the pork chops. Once browned on the first side, flip over. Brown on the other side, then remove from pan. It only takes a few minutes to pan fry the pork chops because they are so thin. Sprinkle with a splash of soy sauce if using and serve.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lemon Yogurt Cake





Tonight my kids helped me make Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake. They love it for dessert. I love it for breakfast with coffee. Everyone is a winner!

One Pot Dinner




Marly made this recipe for Braised Beluga Lentils with Kale & Rosemary tonight and we both loved it. Perfect one pot dinner that's flavorful and super healthy (lentils, veggies and an entire bunch of kale!) So good.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Healthy Lettuce Wraps



I forgot how good this recipe is for Healthy Lettuce Wraps and haven't made it for years. It's delicious. Served it tonight with edamame and steamed broccoli. Kids loved the chicken because it's so salty from the soy sauce. Great dinner that can be prepped and cooked quickly.


Caesar with Lime Marinated Chicken


Marly made a delicious Caesar with a mix of romaine and kale and a really flavorful chicken inspired by Marion's Mint Chicken. It was a very satisfying dinner that had to be shared. This is not an exact recipe but based off her memory. 

Lime Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper

Marinate for 2 hours, then sauté in a pan with olive oil.


Caesar Dressing

Store bought Caesar (we like PCC's vegan Caesar)
Olive oil
Worcestershire sauce
Garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper

Use romaine, kale, croutons, parmesan, chicken and dressing. Toss and serve.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Asparagus Gruyere Tart


Photo Credit: Bite This


As you may recall, I'm completely obsessed with asparagus so I'm always looking for new recipes to use my favorite veg. Last spring my friend Marly made this Asparagus Gruyere Tart and I was so crazy for it that I made it several times after. This is a must-try recipe once fresh asparagus arrives so stash it away but don't forget!

Spicy Tomato Lentil Soup


Spicy Tomato Lentil Soup
Photo Credit: Heather Christo


Another great find by Marly. She made Heather Christo's Spicy Tomato Lentil Soup one night and we both gobbled it up. So good. And I loved how easy the recipe sounds. Great weeknight dinner. This and a kale salad is a perfect dinner to me.

Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese




My friend Clare told me about this recipe for Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese. It's really good. I use regular spaghetti though (rather than whole wheat). Easy and flavorful pasta.



Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette


Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette - Perfect as a light lunch or even a meatless Monday dinner option!

Marly is a master at salads. She is always making new ones and they never disappoint. She made this Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette one night and it was delicious. It's hearty and flavorful. Will definitely make it sometime soon.


Vif Panini






























Photo Credit: Seattle Magazine


I absolutely love Vif, the new cafe and wine bar on Fremont Ave. I love going there with a friend for lunch and a glass of wine, going alone to work and get coffee and treats, or grabbing delicious take out when I don't have energy to cook. They also have a great wine selection so it's hard to get out of there without grabbing a good bottle for the stash. 


I had this panini there one day and loved it so much that I've been making it at home. 


Vif Panini

Soppressata
Gruyere
Mama Lil's Peppers (I like the spicy ones)
Good bread

Assemble, brush with olive oil and grill on a panini press.

Dinner in 15


20131012-269099-sunday-brunch-quick-beans-fried-eggs-thumb-518xauto-357693.jpg
Photo Credit: Serious Eats


My friend Marion introduced me to this simple dinner and now I make it all the time. It takes no time to make and is so satisfying. While you heat the beans and toast the bread, you fry the egg. It is so fast. I make this for me and then serve the same items side by side for the kids because they would never go for the beans sandwiched between toast and an egg. This is a new staple in my house. Thank you Marion!!!


Beans on Toast with a Fried Egg

Dave’s Killer Bread (red package)
Beans - either Heinz beans or Amy’s organic beans in tomato sauce
Fried egg (I usually make myself 2)
Parmesan
Pepper

Bunk’s Oregon Albacore Tuna Salad


Bunk’s Oregon Albacore Tuna Salad


I love this panini with Bunk’s Oregon Albacore Tuna Salad. Make the tunafish using good quality tuna. Then...

"Chef and co-owner Tommy Habetz puts the salad in ciabatta rolls spread with mayo and mustard, adds medium-sharp cheddar and sliced garlic dill pickles, and then grills the works in a panini press."


Follow the recipe and you will love it. 



Easy Grilled Mint Chicken


Another great recipe from Marion. Good for adults and kids.

Mint Chicken
Marion Richards

Chicken breast, butterflied and cut into strips
Lime juice
Lime zest
Olive oil
Tons of mint, minced
Cilantro, minced
Salt & pepper

Marinate for an hour or two, then grill on the BBQ.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Panini Night



Photo Credit: Please Note


I love making paninis for dinner. It's fast, it's delicious and the kids eat them. My friend Marion made me this panini one day for lunch and it's now in my rotation when tomatoes are in season. So good!


Marion's Panini

Sourdough bread
Fontina cheese
Tomatoes (good ones!)
Basil
Salt & pepper

Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala






Every few months I host an Indian potluck with 3 or 4 friends. Everyone prepares a different dish and we have the most delicious feast. We always have lots of basmati rice and my friend Marion taught us how to plate the rice in a cross formation to separate all the curries and sauces from running together. Genius. She also usually brings homemade naan which is yummy and helps soak up all the sauces. It is such a fun dinner party and so many great new recipes are introduced. I highly recommend it with friends who love to cook and experiment.

For one of the potlucks I made Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala recommended by my sister and adapted from a Vij's cookbook. It was a great dish and a fun way to mix it up. Great flavors and a good snack in the fridge for days. I will definitely make this dish again.

Manchego Salad


My friend Ali made this delicious Manchego Salad one night with baby spinach and radicchio from her garden. It was such a treat. Delicious.

Salad

Baby spinach
Baby radicchio
Manchego cheese, shaved
Apple, chopped
Dates, chopped
Walnuts, chopped

Dressing

Grated Manchego
Lemon juice
1 T shallots, minced
Olive oil
Honey
Salt & Pepper


Socca!

flatbread

Photo Credit: Kerri Conan


My friend Ali introduced me to Socca and now I'm obsessed. She made it to go with the roast chicken we made one night and I loved it together. I had never had anything like it. It's a great replacement for bread with dinner and it's gluten and dairy free for those who are interested. I like how peppery it is. Great as a side or served with some type of yummy cheese. 

The recipe that I've been using is here. Ali sent me this recipe that I also need to try.

Learn more about skillet flatbread from Mark Bittman here.

Oatmeal Pancakes



Photo Credit: Orangette


My friend Amy made me these pancakes and changed my life. They are so amazing. I don't know what it is but they are SO good. I love the texture and I especially love the berry sauce on top. Perfect combo.

From Amy:

I use Orangette's recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes with two important revisions... I only use a 1/2 stick of melted butter (a whole stick is just too much) and I add about a tsp of ground cinnamon to the batter.

As for the berry sauce, I just cut up fresh berries, rinse (and leave damp), sprinkle with sugar and let sit covered in the frig over night.  In the morning, I stir and crush with a fork.  When we don't have fresh berries, homemade berry jam is equally as good… I also like a dollop of yogurt sometimes, too.


Roasted Chicken With Preserved Lemons


Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemons & Herbs
I am obsessed with Mark Bittman's recipe for Roasted Chicken With Preserved Lemons. It is foolproof and delicious.