Perfect for lunch or a light dinner on a summer’s day. Sweet mango, sour lemon, tangy Blue cheese, salty crunchy cashews, smooth avocado, and chicken for protein. All on a bed of organic baby lettuce and baby spinach.
Ingredients: makes 2 salads
Several handfuls of baby spinach-baby lettuce mix per plate
1/2 cup shredded roasted chicken
1 Manila mango or 1/2 Tommy Atkins mango, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 large Haas avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tb blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup roasted, salted cashews (can substitute peanuts or pistachios)
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
A few shakes Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Put lettuce-spinach mix on plates. Arrange chicken, mango, and avocado pieces evenly around the top of the greens.
Sprinkle blue cheese and cashews on top. Squeeze the lemon and sprinkle with Kosher salt on the salad. Drizzle olive oil over the salad. Toss to combine. Enjoy!
I’ve been buying an extra half pound of salmon so that we can make salmon salad with the leftovers. Coho salmon is really the best and has few bones, even in the center cut.
This recipe is made with produce that is common is Mexican cuisine . The jicama looks like a pointy potato, but is a bit sweet and crunchy inside.
The citrus dressing is a nice contrast to the sweet papaya, and has a little kick from Habanero salsa and ginger. I thought of adding the cilantro after we ate it, so I’ll have to wait until next time to retake the picture with it.
Ingredients: Serves 2
Several handfuls of clean baby spinach, long stems discarded
About 1/3 cup sliced jicama
1/2 small papaya, sliced into bite sized pieces
1/4 medium avocado, sliced
1/3 cup of toasted pepitas
About 1 Tb cilantro leaves
3 Tb juice from 1/2 medium lemon and 1 lime
1 Tb cold water
3 drops Habanero salsa (That’s hot enough for my taste but you are welcome to add more if desired.)
1/4 tsp finely grated ginger
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tb olive oil
Make dressing: Combine all ingredients except oil in a jar and shake well. Add oil and shake well to emulsify.
Toast the pepitas (Green pumpkin seeds): Preheat oven to 350′ Measure 1/3 cup of pepitas in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp water on them and mix in. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt and stir well. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until pepitas are light brown. Cool on a rack.
Place baby spinach on plates, removing the long stems. Slice papaya, avocado and jicama and place on top of spinach.
Place cold salmon on top. Dress with citrus-ginger dressing. Sprinkle toasted pepitas on top.
Ground turkey makes a lighter and healthier filling than ground beef for tostadas and tacos. Even low-fat ground turkey becomes moist and flavorful with the addition of tomatoes, salsa, and spices.
I browned the entire pound package and added a whole onion, and doubled the salt. I then saved half of the meat mixture for Baked Ziti or other Italian meat sauce.
These seasonings are at the low end of the spicy scale, so season to your taste.
Ingredients: Makes approximately 8 – 10 tostadas or tacos
2 Tb olive oil
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced and chopped
A few shakes red pepper flakes
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 tsp of chipotle or other chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 Roma tomato, chopped
2 Tb salsa chipotle or salsa Mexicana
1/4 cup water or broth
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan until it shimmers. Place turkey on the oil and let it sit about 5 minutes or so until it browns. Turn it over and let it brown on the other side a few minutes, then use a metal spatula to break it up. Add the chopped onion and salt, and continue breaking up the turkey. Cover the pan and turn the heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in garlic and seasonings, the tomato, salsa and water or broth. Cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed but turkey is not too dry.
Spread the tostada shell with frijoles pintos, then with the turkey. Top with lettuce, cilantro, tomato, avocado, radishes and black olives (halved so they won’t roll off the tostada!) and salsa if desired. Tacos pretty much the same, except with heated tortillas.
Phyllo (sometimes spelled fillo) means leaf in Greek and the sheets of dough are as thin as leaves. I buy it frozen in Middle Eastern markets and if I’m lucky it also shows up in Berkeley Bowl and other large markets. I use it to make Spanakopita, and there’s usually enough leftover sheets to make Apple Strudel for dessert. I caramelize the apples before rolling them into the phyllo dough.
Ingredients: (makes 3 rolls)
3 medium apples (Gala or other cooking apples are good)
6 Tb butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tb cinnamon
2 tsp lemon zest, from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup + 2 Tb bread crumbs or 2 slices of toast, torn into pieces
If you don’t have breadcrumbs, place the torn toast in the blender. Run on high and you will have made breadcrumbs! Divide them in half.
Melt butter in a large skillet. Pour out 1/4 cup and set aside. Add apples to the skillet and stir until they are coated. Stir in cinnamon and brown sugar and cook until the liquid is thick and sticky. Stir in 1/2 the breadcrumbs, pecans, lemon juice and zest. Remove from heat.
Divide the remaining breadcrumbs into 3 groups.
Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a pastry board or clean surface. Lightly brush with melted butter. (If the butter has thickened, reheat it in the microwave.) Place another sheet and repeat, and then a third sheet. Sprinkle 1/3 of the breadcrumbs in a rectangle at about 2 inches from the sides and top.
Scoop 1/3 of the apple mixture and spread on top of the breadcrumbs. Fold the top and sides over. Then roll it up by folding it over the apple filling.
Brush the butter over the sealed bottom and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Butter the top and sprinkle a little cinnamon on it.
Let bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing. Sift a little powdered sugar on top just before serving.
Braised eggplant is one of my favorite Chinese dishes. Our favorite restaurant, King Yen in Berkeley, serves it fragrant with fresh basil. I picked up the veggies from the farmer’s market: long Asian eggplants, mushrooms, with fresh basil, red bell peppers and green onions (scallions) for color.
I added a chicken breast for more protein. If you have leftover roasted breast you can chop it in bite sized pieces and add it in with the basil.
I make it vegetarian/vegan by swapping the chicken for tofu. and use vegetable broth. I also use both chicken and tofu. I add flavor to the tofu by salting it and frying it in the same oil I used for frying the onions, garlic and ginger.
I only add a teaspoon of Sriracha because I can’t handle much heat, but feel free to amp it up, adding it at the end to taste.
This is even better the next day, when the basil has a chance to permeate the dish.
This is a time consuming dish. Be sure to do all the chopping and sauces prep before you start to cook so you’re not all stressed out while you’re cooking!
3 1/2 Tb canola oil for frying (2 Tb if not using tofu)
1 Chicken breast, about 3/4 pound (optional)
1 package extra firm tofu. Salt for sprinkling on tofu
1 pound Chinese eggplants (3 long skinny ones)
8 medium mushrooms (crimini or white)
6 dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 medium or 2 small red or yellow bell peppers
2″ piece of fresh ginger to make 1 Tb grated ginger
5 large cloves of garlic to make 1 Tb thinly sliced garlic
2 green onions (scallions). You can mince a slice of regular yellow onion to make 2 Tb if you don’t have green onions.
1/2 bunch fresh Thai or regular basil to make 1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (add more for more heat)
4 teaspoons (1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) water or reserved soaking liquid from dried mushrooms.
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Make brown rice
Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in 1 cup warm water
If using tofu, cut the block into 3 or 4 slices. Pat dry with a paper towel and wrap in a clean dishtowel. Press between two cutting boards and place a heavy frying pan on top for 15 minutes while you prepare the sauce. Unwrap and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch slices and sprinkle both sides with salt.
Peel and grate ginger to make 1 Tablespoon
Peel and thinly slice garlic to make 1 Tablespoon
Trim woody ends from mushroom stems, then quarter.
Slice red peppers into strips
Slice green onions crosswise. Mince the green parts and reserve for garnish.
Chop eggplants at angles into uneven bite-sized pieces. This will help prevent them from sticking to the pan.
Rinse water chestnuts and chop them into halves
Chop chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, if using
Pull leaves off of basil stems to make 1 1/2 cups of leaves
Heat wok on high and add oil (2 Tb if adding chicken, 1 1/2 Tb if not.) Stir-fry chicken a few minutes to sear it, then toss with onions and red bell peppers. Mix in ginger and garlic with metal spatula to incorporate browned bits of chicken.
If you are making this vegan, just stir fry the pepper and onion mix
If adding tofu: remove vegetables (and chicken if using) to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil behind as possible. Add 1 Tb of oil and add 1/2 the tofu at a time and fry on each side until browned. Remove and set on paper towels to drain, then add anther Tb of oil and fry the remaining tofu and drain.
Slice the reconstituted dried mushrooms and discard the stems. Reserve 4 teaspoons of the soaking liquid for the thickener. If making vegan, use soaking liquid in the sauce instead of chicken broth.
Add the onion mix back into the pan along with the rest of the chopped vegetables and water chestnuts. Stir-fry a few minutes over high heat.
Pour in the sauce and toss the vegetables to coat. Add the fried tofu and gently toss to coat it. Lower heat and cover wok. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that vegetables are submerged.
Stir in the basil leaves and continue simmering covered for another 3 minutes until eggplant is thoroughly cooked and tender.
Mix the reserved mushroom soaking liquid with the cornstarch. Stir in the thickener and bring sauce to a boil until it thickens
Serve over brown rice or on its own. Garnish with a few basil leaves and green onions.
Perfect for Independence Day* dessert! I kept the sugar low, but the fat content is, well it is what it is, but the fresh berries make up for all that cream, right?
The shortcake recipe is based on my Light as a Feather Cream Biscuits. I added vanilla, a couple of spoonfuls of sugar, and a tad of nutmeg to complement the berries. Buy a pint of cream to make the shortcakes, and softly whip the remaining 1/2 cup to top them.
*4th of July in USA, and or any country whose flag is red, white and blue.
Shortcakes: Makes 5 or 6 large shortcakes
2 cups flour
1 Tb baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tb sugar
1 1/2 cups cold cream. I put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before mixing it in the dough.
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 450′
Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir in sugar. Add vanilla to the cream and pour it into the flour mixture. Slowly stir until the dough is shaggy. Turn it over a few times with your hands to gather up any flour into the dough.
Spray an insulated cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Grab a piece of dough the size of the biscuit you wish to make and quickly form it into circle with your hands. You don’t want to handle the dough too much, so the circle doesn’t need to be perfect.
Bake for 12 minutes, until biscuits are light brown. Keep the oven light on so you can keep an eye on them.
Let cool on a rack about 20 minutes.
Softly whip 1/2 cup cream with 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp sugar or maple syrup.
Rinse 1 pint each strawberries and blueberries. Organic berries are best, since conventionally grown berries contain a lot of pesticides. Cut tops off strawberries, then slice. Mix berries together in a bowl.
Split shortcakes in half crosswise (top and bottom). Spread whipped cream on the center, cover with berries, then put a dab of whipped cream on the top and cover with more berries.
I’ve developed this cooking method through trial and error to make the most tender and juicy salmon. The secret is to fry the salmon skin side down. This makes the skin crispy enough to easily remove. The salmon develops a crusty exterior and tender interior. I brush it with lemon butter and finish it with a wine reduction with lemon butter.
Coho wild salmon is a good choice, economically and ecologically.
2 Tb olive oil, divided
1 pound salmon fillet
1/4 tsp sea salt
several grinds of black pepper
Sprinkle of dill weed
1 lemon to make 2 tsp lemon juice, plus lemon slices to garnish
1 Tb butter, melted
2 Tb Chardonnay or other dry white wine
Approximately 1 Tb sliced almonds to garnish
Mix lemon and melted butter together and set aside.
Sprinkle fillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Place salmon, skin side down, in the hot oil and turn stove to medium.
Sprinkle dill weed on salmon and cook for 3 minutes.
Brush top with lemon butter. Flip salmon over.
Remove crispy skin using a metal spatula.
Brush salmon bottom with more lemon butter. Cook for 2-4 minutes, depending on how well you like it cooked.
Flip salmon again so that the bottom gets a little brown, then put on a plate.
Sprinkle salmon with a tiny bit of sea salt.
Add 2 Tb white wine to the pan and stir about a minute. Add remaining lemon butter to the wine reduction.
Pour sauce over salmon.
Cut salmon in half to serve two people.
Garnish with a sprinkle of sliced almonds and a slice of lemon.
Serve with steamed artichokes with lemon butter dip and a glass of Chardonnay
This is a delicious summer fruit salad masquerading as a caprese salad.
I got the idea when I visited the SF Giants Baseball Stadium (AT &T Park) Organic Garden with our CHEFS students. After the garden tour, they gave each of us a delicious strawberry wrapped in a basil leaf.
Cut summer fruit: Strawberries, stone fruit such as plums, apricots and /or peaches. Mix in ciliegine, little balls of fresh mozzarella. Tear basil leaves and sprinkle over the fruit and mozzarella. Drizzle a little olive oil over the fruit and cheese.
Make caprese salad appetizers by threading a piece of fruit, basil and half a ciliegine on a toothpick. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. I mixed in a bit of blood orange infused olive oil with the regular oil.
What’s better than pesto on pasta? Pesto with sauteed mushrooms on pasta!
I made the pesto, and then sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil. I used oyster mushrooms, ’cause that’s what I had in the house, but you can experiment making this with different types of mild flavored mushrooms. When the mushrooms are soft, stir the pesto into the mushrooms and serve over pasta. I used brown rice penne in the picture above and it worked great.
Heat a large pot of water until boiling fast. Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 pound pasta, and 1 tsp olive oil. Cook until al dente. While heating water and cooking pasta, make the pesto and mushrooms.
1 small clove garlic
1 bunch fresh whole basil leaves, thick stems discarded (I got mine for $1 at the San Francisco Civic Center Farmer’s Market)
1 bunch curly parsley, thick stems discarded
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cooking water from pasta
Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely minced. Add all ingredients except oil and pulse until fine. While processor is running, drizzle in oil and cooking water and pulse until almost smooth.
Rinse 1/2 pound mushrooms and chop roughly. Heat 1 Tb olive oil in a frying pan and add mushrooms. Sprinkle with a few shakes sea salt and saute until soft.
My family loves that jellied cranberry sauce that has the can marks on it. It’s mostly high-fructose corn syrup of course. I figured out a recipe that is healthier than the canned stuff. It gets its sweetness from frozen concentrated apple juice If you’re counting calories, this makes about 200 calories per cup, (about 25 calories for 2 tablespoons) instead of the 419 calories per cup in the canned cranberry sauce. Even my husband, who distrusts that homemade cranberry sauces could ever measure up to the canned stuff, thinks this one tastes good.
When I was a little kid back in the day in the 50s and 60s, jello dishes were all the rage. I wish I had an old-fashioned jello mold to pour this in. I suppose I could pour it into an empty can to get the can marks! But I poured it into small cups and dessert…