Ingredient: extra-virgin olive oil

Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Grains, Grains, Low Sodium, Main, Paleo/Primal, Salads, Sides, Sides, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Edamame and Summer Corn Quinoa Salad

This light and fresh deli-style salad that I originally bought from Stater Bro. Market in Joshua Tree sustained me for a couple days whether before a hike in Joshua Tree National Park or as a light snack on one of our many car rides during our southern California summer vacation.

I know this salad will become a permanent addition to your summer rotation of favorite, go-to recipes.

All Seasons, Appetizer, Dairy, Fall, Main, Pork, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Quiche

Serve with chopped walnut, pear and arugula salad with honey white balsamic vinaigrette-

This was a surprise hit as egg pies or quiches do not necessarily elicit much excitement unless you are in your local coffee shop looking for something healthier than scones to go with your just-perked java.
My youngest loved it so much she asked if she could have it for breakfast the next day. Because this is such an easy recipe to make with most of the time invested in waiting for it to bake, we whipped up another quiche, baked it, and cooled it all before her bedtime. My oldest daughter, who typically does not care for eggs, loved it, but was especially keen on the chopped walnut, pear and arugula salad, going back for seconds. The whole meal is a keeper!

All Seasons, Beef, Fall, Latin America, Main, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Beef Tamale Pie

Serve with a mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette-

Although tamale pie has its origins in the United States, most likely California, many American Hispanics prepare this ultimate comfort food. Not to be confused with Mexican tamales, tamale pie is a baked casserole of ground beef, cornmeal, tomatoes, olives and cheese. I simplified the original recipe, which calls for preparing cornmeal and pouring it into the bottom of a pie dish and again topping the beef mixture with more cornmeal, by substituting a corn muffin mix. A simple side salad completes this family-friendly meal.

Condiments, Condiments/Sauces, Contains Nuts, Gluten free, Low Sodium, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetable

Easy Economical Pesto

I created this more economical version of pesto with walnuts rather than the traditional pine nuts. Walnuts are less expensive as well as the popular nut can usually be found in most kitchens while pine nuts are a less seldom used dry good. This version gives you more incentive to prepare this super healthy and delicious condiment more often.

All Seasons, American, Beef, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Soups, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Beef and Cheddar Cheese Chowder

Served with green salad with maple dressing-

I threw together this soup one day when my oldest daughter was feeling run down. She loves Whole Foods Market’s version but declared my version just as good. It’s so simple to make and adding chopped spinach to an energizing protein-rich base balances hormones and boosts immunity.

American, Beans/Legumes, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Stews, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetable, Winter

Pumpkin Chili

Serve with arugula, grape and sunflower seed salad, skillet cornbread-

Maria A. from Merrimac, Massachusetts forwarded her pumpkin chili recipe to me a few years ago. It is a huge hit with her family and friends, an often requested dish during the long, cold months in Boston. I first made it for my book club and we all loved it. My friends were quite surprised to learn the chili included pumpkin. The original recipe called for ground turkey, but this version is vegetarian. An iron skillet cornbread and a crispy salad are the perfect sides.

American, Contains Nuts, Fall, Gluten free, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Salads, Sides, Vegetable, Vegetarian, Winter

Fall Salad with Creamy Pumpkin Balsamic Vinaigrette

While I love the fresh greens and pears that are in season this time of year, the amazing salad dressing is the star of this recipe. It is spiced with one of our favorite fall seasonings-pumpkin pie spice. Tossed with some toasted pumpkin seeds and pecans, mixed greens, some blue cheese and sweet crunchy pears, this salad will wow not only your family but anyone that is lucky enough to taste it.

Uncategorized

End-of-Summer Shrimp and Green Bean Salad

Serve with skillet cornbread-

For most of us, the beginning of September marks a transition to a new season, even though temperature-wise it may still feel like summer. Our kids are back in school, most of the local summer fruit and vegetables easily found at most farmer’s markets are starting to dwindle, and we start to feel more grounded. What I love most about this recipe, besides being so darn good, is that it transitions our taste buds from summer’s abundance (the green beans and basil) to fall and winter’s sustaining comfort foods (cornbread). Transition and change is a good thing!

Uncategorized

Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Serve with tomato and Corn Salad-

I am always tinkering with recreating a true Maryland-style crab cake and I finally found a healthy version that brings back memories of growing up in the greater Philadelphia area with access to Chesapeake Bay classics like crab cakes.

The distinct difference between most crab cakes and a Maryland-style one is the Old Bay seasoning, a staple in most Maryland households. I have lightened up the coastal seafood delicacy by broiling rather than pan frying in oil. I did not miss the original fried version and rather preferred this lighter one. My crab cake recipe got two thumbs up from my southern-raised husband who spent many a childhood summers on the Chesapeake and my daughter who does not typically like seafood.

All Seasons, Fall, Main, Mexican, Seafood, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Hint O Lime Fish Tacos

Serve with black bean and corn salad-

When I travel to sunny, southern California, this is one of my favorite dishes to devour. The fresh seafood, guacamole and salsas are classic Baha cuisine, especially when sitting at an eatery on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). Preparing this meal at home transports me back for one surfin’ safari night!

In the suggestions I have provided recipes to make salsa and guacamole from stratch- well worth the extra 10 minutes of preparation. Once all the ingredients are made, this is such a fun meal to eat, as each family member gets to make their own tacos. Crank up some Beach Boys and let the fun begin!