Roasted Broccoli and Chickpea Salad




This delish salad was sent to me by my mom. I am not sure where she found it but I have altered it a bit from its original recipe to give it my own flare. You can do the same.

Roasted Broccoli and Chickpea Salad

1 head organic broccoli
15oz. Chickpeas (garbanzo), either soaked and cooked (best) or from a can (easiest)
2+ Tbs chopped fresh parsley
2+ Tbs chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4+ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Roast bite sized pieces of broccoli in 400 degree oven until tender (or just slightly crunchy). Combine all ingredients down through the garlic in a bowl. Toss with parm and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Great for potlucks too!



Authentic Greek Salad


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I don’t know about you but the cucumbers in my garden are going gangbusters!! I needed a quick, cold, summery recipe that called for lots of cucumber. My cherry tomatoes are also getting close to ripe. Perfect timing!

Deciding on a Greek salad wasn’t hard, it’s one of my favorite things! Hope you enjoy it too!

Authentic Greek Salad
Serves 3

2 cucumbers, peeled and quartered, then cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/3 package light feta cheese from Trader Joes (or your favorite feta), broken into chunks
1/2 avocado, cubed**
Dried oregano
Quality olive oil

Put all ingredients through avocado into a bowl. Sprinkle generously with dried oregano, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Toss. Drizzle olive oil and toss again. Taste and adjust oil and salt and pepper to your liking. Put in fridge for at least a half hour to meld ingredients and let salad get nice and cold.
** the avocado is not “authentic” but adding kalamata olives would be and would be fabulous, I just didn’t have any on hand.

Coleslaw with Yogurt



I have had a craving for cold coleslaw but didn’t want it full of mayo. This recipe was based on one by Martha Stewart but there are a few things I would do differently. This salad tastes great on a hot day!

Coleslaw with Yogurt
1/2 head purple or green cabbage, sliced very thinly
1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly
2 scallions, chopped thinly
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (the thicker the better)
1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. dijon or stoneground mustard
juice of 1/4 lemon
2 tsp. agave
Salt and pepper

Thinly slice cabbage and other veggies. Place into a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together all other ingredients and toss with cabbage mixture. Place in fridge for 1/2 hr – 2 hrs.

Matcha Frozen Yogurt with Chopped Raw Almonds




I bought some Matcha “green tea” powder from my local co-op the other day and needed something to do with it. I planned to make some yummy cookies I had pinned on Pinterest but got sidetracked by the nice weather we are having and decided Matcha Frozen Yogurt would be more fun. I used an Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Machine for this recipe.

Matcha Frozen Yogurt with Chopped Raw Almonds

1 cup organic non-fat milk {or any fat %}
2 cups organic plain yogurt
2 T. Matcha powder
1/4 cup agave
1/3 cup chopped raw almonds

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. I actually used a whisk to make sure the Matcha was fully blended. Chop almonds and add to yogurt mixture.

Turn on ice cream machine and pour mix into the machine via the top opening. Run machine for 30 minutes and presto, homemade matcha frozen yogurt full of antioxidants!! So good and healthy too!




Whole-Wheat Banana Bread with Pumpkin and Poppy Seeds




What drew me to this 100% whole-wheat banana bread was that the author recognized the pure silliness of other recipes that call for a cup of sugar in their banana breads. I agree that bananas are sweet enough and only a slight bit of added sweetness is necessary (if at all). If you are on the same page as me here, then try this Whole-Wheat Banana Bread recipe for yourself. I added both the seeds for my personal flair.

2 ¼ cup whole-wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup honey
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil (or coconut oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons poppy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl mix mashed bananas with yogurt, honey, eggs, oil, pumpkin seeds and vanilla.
Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Do not overmix.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top.
Bake large loaf for 40 – 50 minutes or until it comes clean with a toothpick.

Quinoa salad with apple and raisins



When I recently needed a big dish to serve nearly 10 people I came up with something that was easy to make and pleased even those with gluten sensitivities. In addition, my nearly 2 year old son loved it! Can’t argue with that!!

Quinoa with apple and raisins
serves 10
2 cups dry quinoa
1 apple {I used fuji but anything would be good}
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed chopped parsley
Sesame oil
1/3 cup chunked white cheddar {or any cheese you desire}

Make quinoa by bringing to a boil 4 cups water and 2 cups quinoa. Once boiled, simmer with lid on for 15 minutes. When done, fluff with fork and put lid back on for 10 minutes.

Pour all of quinoa in a big bowl, large enough to allow you to toss ingredients around in it. Add the remaining ingredients down to sesame oil. Give a quick toss. Drizzle sesame oil and toss, then drizzle more, sprinkle salt, toss and taste. I like mine to have just a hint of sesame oil, not be oily feeling in my mouth or pungent with sesame flavor. Once t cooled down a bit I added the chunks of white cheddar and gave one last quick toss.

Quick and Easy Cioppino



Take me out to an Italian restaurant and I don’t even need to look at the menu. I will predictably order Cioppino without fail. I have tried many many versions and this quick and easy one was so easy in fact, that I can’t believe I have never made it before, especially considering how mildly obsessed I am with it. I varied a recipe found on with what I had on hand.



Serves 4

  • 1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded and bulb cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in juice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar plus a spoonful of sugar (sub a full bodied red wine if you have a bottle open)
  • 4-ounces clam juice (for a $ saver, I just used the juice from the canned clams)
  • 1 pound skinless fillets of thick white-fleshed fish such as halibut, hake, or pollack, cut into 2-inch chunks (I used hake)
  • 12 oz. canned wild caught clams (because I didn’t want to mess with buying them shelled)

Pulse fennel, onion, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then stir in chopped vegetables, bay leaves, thyme, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring once or twice, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their juice, water, wine, and clam juice and boil, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in seafood and cook, uncovered, until fish is just cooked through and any shellfish is open wide, 4 to 6 minutes (discard any that remain unopened after 6 minutes). Discard bay leaves.

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Quinoa Asian Sesame Salad



Somewhere along the lines I read the words, “Quinoa Asian Salad” and without a description or photo I came up with a picture in my head of exactly what this salad would look {and taste} like. I took those three words and came up with something very easy and very tasty. It has worked well as a quick dinner and as a potluck dish to share. In the two or three times I have made this salad in the last two weeks, I regrettably did not take a photo. Sorry about that, you’ll have to trust me on this one.

Quinoa Asian Sesame Salad

Serves 3

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cucumber

2 carrots

2 or 3 green onions

1 Tbs. sesame seeds {black or blond}

1 Tbs. toasted sesame seed oil

2 tsp. tamari, soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos

1 clove chopped garlic

crushed red chili flakes, to taste

Rinse quinoa and place 1/2 cup quinoa to 1 cup water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork when done and let set for another 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, julienne {I like to do this very quickly in a Cuisinart} the cucumber and carrots. Finely chop the green onions and garlic. Pour tamari, soy sauce or braggs, along with the sesame oil into a medium bowl and add the garlic. Combine julienned cucumber and carrot in the same bowl and toss. Add all of the cooked quinoa to the same bowl and sprinkle with red chili flakes and sesame seeds. Toss lightly to coat but to make sure to not mush the quinoa together. Taste once you have tossed and adjust any of the liquid or spice ingredients to your liking.

I have found that this dish keeps in the fridge for one day, but doubtful you’ll have much leftover anyhow.

Thai Butternut Squash Soup Obsession



Let me introduce you to my first Featured Friends blog guest: my sister Amy!  She decided to share a Thai Butternut Squash Soup that she just loves! I haven’t made it yet, but as soon as I get my hands on some squash {probably next week when the hubs is back from NYC} I’ll be givin this baby a try. I do have the ingredient fish sauce on hand so I’ll incorporate it as well. I bought it at my local Asian Market yesterday for a Green Curry recipe that I made tonight. I didn’t take blog pics but it turned out really tasty so I’ll share that recipe with you, sans pics, soon. Until then, enjoy this Thai culinary delight from my sista!!

I am in love with this soup. The first time I made it was with pumpkin. That’s what the original recipe called for. I find butternut squash to be easier to find, but as we move towards spring I haven’t been able to find it in stores. Because of this I opted for the pre-cut cubes from Costco this time. I have altered the original recipe some, just to make it easier, but I will list the ingredients I have omitted if you so choose to use them. I never make the same thing the same way twice. I’m always throwing a little more of this or that into the pot, so feel free to alter this recipe to your liking. I don’t think you can go wrong!
2 lbs. butternut squash cubed
2 tbs. olive oil
1 onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbs. powdered ginger, fresh if you have it
1 tbs. onion powder
2 tbs. lemongrass finely chopped (this, in my opinion is the key ingredient!)
1 can coconut milk
2 cups water
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (I use Mae Ploy… YUMM!)
a few sqiurts of Saracha to your spicy standards
a few squirts of Braggs Liquid Aminos
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ommited ingredents:
Cilantro (it mucked up my immersion blender)
Fish Sauce (I don’t keep this on hand)
Saute onion in olive oil in large soup pot for a few minuted until translucent. Add squash cubes, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, onion powder, salt, pepper. Cook for a few minutes stirring to heat up the squash and garlic. Add coconut milk, water, chili sauce, Saracha. Cook for 10-15 mins until squash is tender. Puree by your method of choice. I just bought an immersion blender which I love for the lack of mess! But any method will work. Serve right away.

Ladle extras into small freezer bags for a quick and easy single serving meal!Image
Thanks Amy for sharing this golden deliciousness!

Braggs-Roasted Seeds & Nuts




Hello again. It’s been a while. I’ve either been out of town, sick or uninspired, but I am feeling invigorated thanks to this yummy little nutty & seedy snack: Braggs-Roasted Seeds & Nuts!

This recipe was inspired by “Feeding the whole family” cookbook but I tweaked it a bit for my own touch of flare. I used Braggs Liquid Aminos as an alternative to tamari, soy sauce or shoyu. Braggs is a liquid protein concentrate. It worked well as a substitute and as a bonus we will get to enjoy the 16 Amino Acids it contains. You can buy it by the bottle or get as much or little of it as you want in bulk at your local health food store. Enjoy!

1 cup whole raw almonds {any nut}
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds {any seed}
1-2 Tbsp. Braggs liquid aminos {or tamari or shoyu}
1/2-1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2-1 tsp. ground coriander
Pinch cayenne {optional & delish}

•preheat oven to 300*F. Place nuts and seeds on cookie sheet.
•toast in oven until they give off a nutty aroma {10-12 mins}.
•mix Braggs and spices together.
•once nuts and seeds are toasted pour into a bowl and drizzle the spiced liquid over them. Toss to coat and return back to the cookie sheet.
•place cookie sheet back in oven {turn it off and make sure to keep the door closed} to dry for at least 5 more minutes. Once completely dry, store in a glass sealed jar.