Friday, March 13, 2015

Chicken Meatballs and Black Sesame Carrots

I recently tried 2 new recipes from It's All Good and they were delicious. I paired these two with chicken fried rice and it was the best dinner ever. It also provided leftovers for days. 


New Favorite Salad

I am currently obsessed with this kale salad. I can't get enough of it. It's good as a side dish with whatever else you're serving and saves really well for the next day. Thank you Mckenzi!!!

The Cabo Salad

1 bunch of kale (curly green kind)
1/3 cup bread crumbs, toasted until lightly browned
Shredded parmesan cheese

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (one medium sized lemon)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with kale, then let sit for 20 minutes. When ready to serve, toss kale with bread crumbs and parmesan.

Fast & Satisfying Dinner

My friend Whitney mentioned this dinner combo and I'm currently obsessed…

Sausage, browned (my kids and I love PCC's pork breakfast sausage but any kind is good)

Side of OlyKraut (

White beans sautéed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper

Green veggie - broccoli, kale or asparagus

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fish Taco Heavenly Sauce

My friend Marly made this Grilled Tomatillo and Pineapple Salsa for fish tacos one night and we went crazy. We kept calling it crack. She has made it several times since and we can never get enough. We eat it with tortilla chips, fish tacos, quesadillas, you name it. It's so super spicy and sweet. Amazing flavor. If you like halibut fish tacos, this is a must try.

To cut down on prep work, Marly uses 2 cans of tomatillos instead of roasting fresh ones. She also uses more chipotle chilis in adobo sauce than the recipe calls for (maybe 2 or 3 instead of 1). Throw it all in a cuisinart and it's done in less than 10 minutes.

Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs

Photo credit: Jessica Burns

My friend Meredith made Ina's Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs for a small dinner party one night and it was delicious. She served with Ina's orzo salad (minus the shrimp) and crab strudel as the appetizer. Amazing dinner. 

I made the salmon last night for a friend and it turned out great. Quick and easy. I served with Marly's Green Bean & Kale Salad. Starter appetizer was a version of this spread - crostinis, good mozzarella, roasted tomatoes (2 kinds), basil and prosciutto. Perfect dinner for two.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pork Stroganoff with Three Mustards

My friend Marion gave me this recipe and I love it. It's quick, easy and tasty. I like it over basmati rice with a veg on the side.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Classic Lasagna

My friend Whitney made lasagna for my birthday dinner back in October and it was delicious. When she wanted to take me to lunch as a thank you for doing her a favor this spring, I asked if she could make me some lasagna instead. I love me some lasagna but hate making it because there are so many steps. She was happy to do it and I was over the moon. I ate lasagna three meals a day until it was gone.

Whitney found the recipe from an article in the Seattle Times. The recipe has reigned as the most popular recipe on for more than a decade. 

Article here.

Recipe here.

Summer Picnic Sandwich

After college I went to Europe with two friends and whenever we took the trains we would always end up buying these sandwiches from those little carts that pass through. I have been making them at home ever since. These are perfect for a summer picnic or kids lunches if you want to change it up a bit. I have several friends hooked on these now too. So good.

Pretzel roll *

Slice the roll in half. Butter one side and throw in some sliced salami. Close and eat. Simple as that.

* If you live in Seattle, you can get pretzel rolls at PCC.

Currently Craving

My friend Whitney introduced me to this combination. It's so delicious. Good, fresh blueberries make all the difference.

Frozen waffle, toasted
Peanut butter
Syrup - little bit
Molasses - little bit
Fresh blueberries

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Another Favorite Spring Dinner

I made this a ton last year so it was one of the first meals I was excited to revisit when asparagus was back in season. Serve as a salad and guests can make their own little flavor combos. It never fails - people love this! Perfect starter or light dinner.

Fresh or whole canned tomatoes, sliced and drizzled with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper, then roasted until they are sweet and delicious. They are definitely the highlight of the whole plate if done right.

Roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. Finished with a splash of balsamic.

Tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Good quality buffalo mozzarella, sliced (I like Delaurenti's brand fresh mozzarella).

Good quality prosciutto.

Baguette slices brushed with olive oil, broiled until golden brown, then rubbed with raw garlic clove.

Any other antipasto ingredients
Artichoke hearts, olives, etc.

Great Hangover Cure

Tropical Flavor Emergen-C Packet (3/4 packet)
Equal Parts:
Coco Aloe Water & Trilogy Kombucha

For other reasons I have these ingredients in my house at all times. 
It just so happens they also come in handy for hangovers which I have been 
known to have once or twice. Plan ahead, you won't be sorry.

Homemade Granola Bars

My friend Marion made a version of the Sprouted Kitchen granola bars from the cookbook and they were delicious. Marion found this recipe online from Sweetsonian adapted from the original. I made some today using pecans instead of cashews too.

I should have listened to Marion and skipped the protein powder. The flavor is too distinct. They are great though and an easy recipe to be creative with, adding different nuts, seeds, or dried fruit.

These are great for breakfast, lunches, after school snacks, and even dessert. 

Carrot & Halloumi Patties

Photo credit: The Spice Peddler

My friend Marion made these Carrot and Halloumi Patties for me and they were SOOOO good. Great paired with a salad. Delicious, fresh, light and flavorful.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I get addicted to certain breakfast foods and eat them daily until I never want to have it again. It's what gets me out of bed in the morning. Currently I am obsessed with this combo: 

Eltana everything bagel
Whole Foods lemon hummus
Sliced radish
Minced chives

I first had a bagel with hummus and radish in Portland at the Taste Bud food truck but have since perfected it (added pepper and chives). I like to eat this with coffee, yogurt, berries, and a green juice. Healthy and satisfying start to your day.

Spring Favorite: Raviolis & Asparagus

One of my all-time favorite spring dinners is also one of the fastest and easiest. 

Roasted cauliflower raviolis from Delaurenti with browned butter and sage. While you bring the water to a boil and cook raviolis for 5 minutes, you brown the butter and mince the sage. I shave a few pieces of parmesan on top and then serve with roasted asparagus. I personally cut the asparagus up and toss with the raviolis. I love the flavor combo and this meal can be done in 15 minutes!

I like to serve this with kale caesar too because it pairs well and is hearty but any green salad would be good.

My asparagus prep is so simple...

- Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper on a cookie sheet
- Broil for 2 minutes
- Remove and toss
- Broil for 2 minutes
- Done!

P.S. The raviolis are frozen so you can have them in your freezer for those nights when you need a quick meal. They have tons of different ravioli flavors in case roasted cauliflower doesn't speak to you.

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Dinner Obsession

I made this dinner twice last week and again tonight. It is so flavorful, satisfying and healthy.

- Roasted Curry Cauliflower from this old post (recipe below)
- Sriracha Roasted Chickpeas (inspired by this recipe)
- Sauteed spinach or roasted asparagus
- 2 poached eggs
- Sriracha or hot salsa (optional) for extra flavor and heat

Roasted Curried Cauliflower (the winner)
Inspired by Bon Appetite

one head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
1/2 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced and soaked in olive oil
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 t coriander
1 t cumin
1-2 t curry powder
1-2 t paprika
1 t kosher salt (plus more to taste)
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of one lime

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower florets and onion in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, vinegar, cumin, curry, paprika and coriander. Transfer to a rimmed cookie sheet, in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower for 10 minutes. Take out and stir. Roast for 5 more minutes. Stir in garlic. Roast for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and lime juice. Toss and serve hot or at room temperature.

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)
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

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

Optional add-ins:

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
Fresh mozzarella
Fra Mani Nostrano salami
Red pepper spread from Delaurenti
Mild Mama Lil's peppers

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
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.