Monday, June 30, 2014

Quinoa, sweet potato, & black bean salad


1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
1 3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into small cubes
1 cup sweet corn
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 avocado, cut into small cubes/chunks

Adjust these seasonings to your tastes, but you can start here (I was just sprinkling & throwing stuff in, so I'm just estimating here):
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder 
2-3 tbsp Lemon juice 
A 'Good drizzle' around the bowl of Chipotle-infused olive oil (3-4 tbsp?)


1. Bring stock to a boil in a pot. Add quinoa and lower heat to simmer; cover & cook for 20 min, when water should be absorbed. Fluff with fork when finished. 
2. While quinoa cooks, put sweet potato into microwaveable bowl, and fill halfway with water. Cover with wax paper. Microwave on high for about 4 min(?--maybe less--however long it takes to cook til tender but not mushy)
3. Drain potatoes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. 
4. Add quinoa, sweet potato, corn, beans, avocado, seasonings, olive oil, and lemon juice. Toss gently to mix. 
5. Serve warm or chilled. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

4 to 6 servings 

4 zucchini (no bigger than 8"), cut into ribbons
1/3 cup Toasted pine nuts
Shaved asiago, Parmesan, or Pecorino  cheese 
4 cups Arugula


6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp honey mustard 
1 tsp minced garlic 
1 tsp oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add zucchini ribbons, cover pot, and set heat to very low/warm. Cook zucchini for 3 min, until tender but still has some crisp to it. Drain and rinse with cold water. Spread onto baking sheet and pat dry with clean paper towels. Toss gently with dressing. Let marinate for 30 min. 
To serve, 
Arrange arugula on plate. Top with zucchini. Sprinkle pine nuts and shaved cheese on top. 

Quinoa with Pine Nuts and Green Onions

Recipe found at

4 servings 


1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed, well-drained (unless the package says it does not need to be rinsed)
1 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (toast in a dry pan, until golden)
1/2 cup sliced green onion (about 3 scallions) (green and white parts)
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (or flat-leaf parsley)

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the quinoa is toasted. Microwave stock about 3 min. Add the hot stock and salt. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and let the quinoa cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes (until the liquid is absorbed). If the quinoa is cooked, but still somewhat 'wet', turn up the heat to medium to dry it out more.

While quinoa cooks, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat, until golden, about 2-3 min (shake pan a few times to toast evenly and avoid burning). Prepare onions and cilantro. 

When quinoa is done, let stand covered for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and Stir in pine nuts, green onions, and  cilantro.  Serve hot or warm.

Moroccan Marinated Carrot Salad

After finding such a dish at a local Moroccan restaurant (shout out to Casablanca, in Warrington PA!), I just had   to find a recipe that was just like it! This one turned out perfect! 

Moroccan Carrot Salad 


"Sliced carrots are boiled then marinated with Moroccan spices, herbs, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Serve warm or cold. You can dice the carrots if you prefer, but slicing them is the traditional presentation."

Serves 4.


1 lb. fresh carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8" slices
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
2 cloves garlic, smashed 
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp smoked hot paprika

Boil the carrots in salted water, about 15 minutes or until just tender -- fork should go into piece easily with just a little resistance. Drain, and rinse or immerse carrots with cold water to cool and stop further cooking. Drain again, and try to dry them gently, as this will keep from diluting the marinade. 

In a medium pan, sauté the garlic cloves in the olive oil over low heat, 2-3 min. or until garlic is golden. Discard the garlic, and add the carrots, lemon juice, and spices. Sauté over low heat for another 3-4 minutes, and remove from the heat. Stir in cilantro. 

Serve the marinated carrots either warm or chilled. (I prefer to chill it, then take it out about 60-90 min before I plan to serve it). 

Broccoli Strascinati

Didn't have to change a thing! One my my favorite ways to prepare broccoli now!

Ginger Lime Mango Sorbet

A creamy, fruity, tangy, refreshing treat, that is easily scoopable and not icy!

Adapted from

Makes 2 qts

Special equipment needed:
2-qt ice cream machine

6 mangoes, peeled, pitted, cubed (about 7 cups)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orangecello (or you could use orange liqueur)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp ground ginger

Purée ingredients in food processor or blender. 
Strain mixture through fine mesh sieve. Chill strained mixture in fridge for 30 min to an hour. Discard the remaining substance. 
Add chilled mixture to ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. I used a Cuisinart Ice Cream machine that takes about 20 minutes until the mixture is well-thickened. For this recipe, I needed to run the machine for 25 min. 
Scoop into a freezer safe container. It should 'ripen' or fully firm up in about 6-8 hours. 

Roasted Tequila Lime Chicken

Original recipe found at
Original source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa

In this recipe I doubled nearly everything from the orginal to make sure the chicken would be fully coated...but this might not be necessary. 


1 cup gold tequila
12 oz 100% lime juice
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp minced jalapeno pepper (I used jarred sliced jalapeños and just squished them up in my hands)
2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp  freshly ground black pepper

Original: 3 whole boneless chicken breasts 
Adapted: 1 - 4 lb roasting chicken, quartered 
Olive oil

3 tbsp Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped 

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large container. Add the chicken. Refrigerate and let marinate for 8 hours or overnight.

Original: "Heat a grill with coals and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the grill to a plate. Cover tightly and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature." 

Adaptation: (Used whole bone-in chicken breasts (chicken halves) with 6 drumsticks, with skin) 
Place Skin side up in baking dish. Brushed with olive oil. 
Preheat oven to 450.(Roast setting)
Bake for 40 min.
Tent with foil after about 15 min or when the skin is nicely browned. 
Cover with foil for 15 min after removing from oven, before serving. Internal temp must reach 165 (can take out at 160) to be done.

Sprinkle with cilantro to serve. Serve hot! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Oatmeal Cookies with No-added Sugar

If there ever was a 'healthy' cookie, this one might fit the bill...
No added sugar, just the natural sweetness of dates, raisins, and bananas. Rolled oats, flaked coconut, ground flaxseed, cashews, and defatted powdered peanut butter, add some healthy fats, protein, and fiber. 

This was an experiment really, so I wasn't sure how it would turn out. But, I think they turned out pretty great for something I just threw together (that's why I had to estimate quantities in the recipe).

Makes 26 cookies.

1/4 cup raisin paste (about 1/4-1/3 cup packed raisins, processed into a paste/purée  another good idea might be to boil and soak the raisins to soften them, and then puree them. You could just use more dates and puree those, but raisins are cheaper!)
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup (P2B) defatted, powdered peanut butter
3/4 cup roasted, salted cashews
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 very ripe banana
1 tsp baking powder


Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment.
Pulse/ process banana, raisins, cinnamon, baking powder, peanut butter powder, coconut flakes, dates, until fine/smooth. Add cashews and pulse until pieces are small to medium sized.

Add mixture to a bowl and stir in oats until well mixed together.
Form 1.5" sized balls and place onto baking sheet. Flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 min until cookies are golden brown on edges. Remove cookies from pan and let cool on wire rack.