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Barley Salad

Quick Barley Salad

September 3, 2015

I thought I would post recipes this week that have lots of summer ingredients.. since you can still find all the fresh ingredients.. although this one can be made any time of year, but it is particularly delicious with some grilled fish or meat!

  • 1 cup barley (I used the quick cooking variety), cooked according to package directions. Instead of water, I used chicken broth, juice of half a lemon and 1 teaspoon salt to cook mine. Cool the barley and add to a serving bowl and let cool.
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup dill, chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste


Add the parsley, mint, dill, cucumber, tomatoes, lemon juice, oil and salt to the cooked barley and mix well. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.

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Quick Summer Pasta

Quick Summer Pasta

September 2, 2015

I was watching Michael Symon making a summer pasta and I decided to tweak his recipe and make my own. I have to say, one of my favorites!!

  • 3 strips bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup green beans, chopped
  • 2 ears of corn, off the cob
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ pound pasta of choice, cooked al dente with ½ cup pasta water spared
  • Salt

Heat a frying pan and add bacon and oil. Cook the bacon on medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon pieces are golden brown. Add the beans, corn, garlic, green onions and jalapeno. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pasta and pasta water, mix well and add salt, dill and cilantro. Serve warm.


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Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken and Potatoes

September 1, 2015

This is a delicious, quick, healthy meal to make through the week. Best of all, I made it a one pot meal.. I used my largest frying pan (14 inches), it was large enough to fit everything. In case you don’t have crazy large pans, just cook the ingredients in batches and put them together at the end.

  • 3 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • ½ cup leftover tomato compote or tomato sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Marinate the chicken pieces with the tomato compote/sauce, garlic, oil and salt.  Mix well let sit for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge.

  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch discs
  • 1 bunch green beans, trimmed

Place the potatoes discs in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes or till the potatoes are tender but not mushy.  Add the beans while the potatoes simmer and blanch for 1 minute. Take the beans out with tongs while the potatoes are still cooking. Place the beans in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and keep aside. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and keep aside.

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dill, chopped
  • Salt

Heat a large frying pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and brown both sides, either together or in batches depending on the size of the pan. Take the chicken out and add more oil if necessary and add the potatoes. Brown both sides on medium heat. Move the potatoes aside and add the beans and toss them for 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt. Add the chicken back and finish cooking through. Top with feta, parsley and dill. Check for seasonings and add salt. Serve warm.


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Vegetable Drunken Noodles

Vegetable Drunken Noodles

August 30, 2015

Meatless Mondays are back with this delicious recipe with flat noodles. I used all vegetables but it can be made with chicken, shrimp, etc. If you want to make it completely vegetarian, eliminate or substitute with the suggestions below. Kids will love it!

  • 1 pound pad Thai flat rice noodles
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Serrano chilies, seeds taken out and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas, sliced in half
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Shaosing rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (eliminate if making it completely vegetarian)
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce mixed with 1 teaspoon brown sugar (substitute Worcestershire sauce if making vegetarian)
  • 2 green onions, sliced on a bias
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions, drain and rinse with cold water and add 1 tablespoon oil to avoid sticking. Keep aside.

Add the 2 tablespoons oil to a wok on high heat and add the garlic, chilies and onion. Saute for a minute on high heat. Add the snow peas, bell pepper and the carrot. Saute for another minute and add the noodles and mix well. Add the rice wine, oyster sauce, tamari and the fish sauce and sauté till all the flavors have combined. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.

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Black Bean Brownie with Coconut oil

Black Bean Brownies with Coconut Oil

August 25, 2015

I have made this recipe before and it was a big hit! I changed it up this time with coconut oil and coconut sugar. My daughter gave it a thumbs up. You can have some without thinking twice.. good for you and delicious!!

  • One 15 ½ ounce can black beans- strain and rinse well
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate- grated

Coat an 8 X 8 baking pan with some oil and keep aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the beans to a large food processor and add the oil. Process till smooth. Add the eggs, coconut sugar, cocoa, vanilla extract, baking powder and salt. Process till everything is incorporated and smooth. Take the bowl off the processor and add the grated chocolate and mix with a spatula. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes till knife comes out clean.

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Banana Bread with Coconut Oil

Banana Bread with Coconut Oil

August 24, 2015

This is the most delicious banana bread. I changed up my regular recipe to included coconut oil and coconut sugar. If you want to indulge.. definitely make this recipe. The great thing is that it is not completely bad for you…

  • 1¼ cups unbleached white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut oil, at room temperature, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed with a fork (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup toasted walnut pieces
  • ½ cup milk or dark chocolate, chips or grated

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a medium bowl, set aside.  Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup with a spout, set aside.  Lightly brush a 9X5X3 inches loaf pan with coconut oil.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing until incorporated.  Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled), and remove the bowl from the mixer.

With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated.  Fold in the nuts and chocolate pieces and transfer the batter to the prepared pan.  Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.  Cool the bread in the pan for 5 minutes before taking it out.  Cool completely before serving.

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Sausage and Basil Dumplings

Sausage Basil Dumplings

August 23, 2015

This is a great way to keep kids busy as school is not open yet. These are delicious dumplings with yummy Italian flavors… serve it with marinara sauce!

  • 3 sausage links, squeezed out of the casings (any kind of sausages)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • ½ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 pack wonton skins
  • Small bowl with water

Heat a non-stick pan with the olive oil. Add the meat from the sausages and brown for 2 to 3 minutes while separating the meat with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the shallot and garlic. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat. Turn heat off and cool for 10 minutes. Add the chopped basil and keep aside.

Take one wonton skin, wet the edges with a finger. Place one to two teaspoons of filling in the middle.  Fold the wonton skin in half and seal the top while pleating at the same time. Repeat the process using up the remaining filling.

  • ¼ cup olive oil

Heat a frying pan with 1 teaspoon oil. Add enough dumplings making sure not to over crowd. Brown the dumplings on both sides on a medium heat. Add ¼ cup of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook the dumplings on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Take the lid off and cook any excess moisture. Transfer the dumplings to a platter and cook the remaining dumplings. Serve with marinara sauce.


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