Grilled Salmon with Balsamic Rosemary Glaze


1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4-6 salmon fillet portions
olive oil
salt and pepper


Preheat grill and set to medium-high.

Reduce the 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar with rosemary sprigs in a small saucepot, over medium-high heat, to a glaze consistency, about 8 minutes.

Brush salmon fillets lightly with olive oil and season. Grill for 5 minutes, then turn over the fillet and grill 5 more minutes.

Brush salmon with the balsamic rosemary glaze during last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serve salmon with balsamic onions on the side and some extra glaze poured over the dish.

Balsamic Onion Glaze

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add onions.

Sweat onions, stirring often, until all liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Add half of the 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar and simmer until absorbed.

Add remaining balsamic and reduce until onions are glazed. Season to taste and set the balsamic onions aside.

This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: BBQ/Grilling
Savory Sunday
Food on Friday: Fish and Seafood

Herbed Chickpea Salad


1 16 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup fresh peppers, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 lemon, juice only
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pinch salt and pepper


Drain chickpeas and rinse them well with cold water.

Chop tomatoes, peppers (you can use any kind really), and mince garlic. Add to a bowl with juice from 1/2 lemon.

Mince fresh herbs and add to bowl along with crumbled feta and chickpeas.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Serve at room temperature or chill and serve. Keeps for days and gets better in the fridge!

This recipe is also linked on...

It's a Blog Party's Fall Fest Recipes 2011

Hummingbird Cake


2 cups flour, all purpose
1 cup cake flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cup very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

In a large bowl, sift the first six ingredients and whisk together. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs; stir in vegetable oil, vanilla, pineapple and mashed banana. Add to dry mixture and stir until moistened; take care not to overmix. Fold in the coconut and pecans. (Batter will be thick.)

Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake 15 minutes on the middle rack. Rotate cakes 180 degrees and continue to bake 10-15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes, then depan and let cool fully.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 6oz pkg. cream cheese, warm room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat all the ingredients together. Scrape down the sides and continue beating until softened and well aerated; a softer consistency will be easier to frost with.

Once cakes are completely cooled, use a long, serrated bread knife to slice off the domed portion of the cakes. Cut the two 9-inch cakes to create four layers and frost using a scant cup of frosting between layers, and use the remaining frosting for the sides and top of the cake. (If you’re running low on frosting at this stage, use less on the sides and garnish with more coconut or chopped, toasted pecans.)

This recipe is also linked to...

It's a Blog Party's Fall Fest Recipes 2011
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Nuts

Strawberry Muffins


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped strawberries
2 eggs
1 cup yogurt (or sour cream)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Coarse sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar and baking soda. Stir in strawberries. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, butter and vanilla extract. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined.

Divide batter evenly among the lined muffin cups. If you want strawberries to stay at the top of your muffins, cut up a few extra and place several pieces on top of the batter in each muffin cup. I also sprinkled each muffin with coarse sugar.

Bake for 18-25 minutes preheated oven until the tops are golden brown.

Remove immediately from muffin tins and cool on a wire rack.

This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Red
This Week's Cravings: Strawberries

Stoplight Salad


2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup corn kernels canned or frozen
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 cup purple onion, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


In a medium bowl, combine beans, corn, avocados, onion, pepper and
cilantro. Mix gently to distribute ingredients evenly.

In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, lime juice, spices and oil.
Pour over beans and vegetables. Toss to distribute. Serve immediately or
cover and chill.

This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: Special Diets (GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NUT FREE and MORE)

Black-Eyed Pea Salsa


1/2 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (regular white vinegar works fine too)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
3 cups chopped tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
pita or tortilla chips


Whisk together the salt, garlic, vinegar, oil and cumin. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve with pita or tortilla chips.

Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad


1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp peanut oil (or other high smokepoint oil)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 cans chickpeas, drained and well-rinsed
3/4 cups plain yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 green onions thinly sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
salt to taste


Measure out cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and combine, crushing slightly with mortar and pestle or heavy meat mallet if desired.

Heat oil in large heavy frying pan until shimmering. Add mustard seeds, cover pan, and cook until popping stops, about 1 minute. Remove lid and add cumin seed/fennel seed/red pepper mixture and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. (Be careful not to burn these aromatic ingredients. Lower heat and add chickpeas, then cook 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times so the chickpeas are well-coated with oil. Turn off heat and let chickpeas cool about 15 minutes.

While chickpeas cool, slice scallions, and finely chop mint and cilantro. Stir together yogurt and lemon juice in a medium-sized glass (or other non-reactive) mixing bowl. When chickpeas are cooled nearly to room temperature, add them to yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Then gently fold in sliced scallions, chopped mint, and chopped cilantro. Season with salt, then let sit at least 15 minutes for flavors to combine. Serve salad at room temperature.

Spinach, Pear and Bacon Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

1/3 cup light or low fat sour cream
1/2 cup Hellmann's Real or Hellmann's 1/2 The Fat
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled

6 cups baby spinach
3 pears, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup walnuts


In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and blue cheese. Set aside.

To serve, place spinach, pear slices, bacon and walnuts in a large bowl and toss gently. Dress and serve.

This recipe is also linked to...

Food on Friday: Pears and Peaches
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Nuts

Chocolate Cake


3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square or round cake pan (or it makes 12 cupcakes).

In an electric mixer, beat the oil and cocoa powder. Add the agave or sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda and baking powder. Beat again. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool the cake completely before unmolding.

This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: Special Diets (GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NUT FREE and MORE)

Creamy Barley Risotto with Asparagus & Porcini


1 pkg (14g) dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups homemade or low-sodium vegetable/chicken stock
1/2 cup crumbled fresh soft cheese with garlic & herbs (such as Boursin)
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
Salt to taste


In a 2-cup glass measure, combine porcini mushrooms with 1 cup water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and pierce plastic wrap in several places with the point of a knife. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Remove mushrooms, squeezing out and reserving soaking liquid. Rinse and drain mushrooms, then chop finely. Strain soaking liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a medium saucepan. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, porcini and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until onion is soft but not browned. Stir in barley until well coated with onion mixture.

Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring until wine has been absorbed. Stir in 2 cups stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until stock has been absorbed and barley is swollen and is starting to soften.

Meanwhile, add remaining stock to mushroom soaking liquid and heat over medium-high heat until steaming. Keep warm over low heat.

Add hot stock mixture to barley 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often and allowing barley to absorb stock before adding more, until most of stock is used (you may not need all of it) and barley is tender but still a little chewy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim woody ends from asparagus by snapping spears where they break naturally. Cut asparagus diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces. Stir asparagus into barley. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until asparagus is tender-crisp. Stir in cheese and half of chives. Season with salt and more pepper to taste if necessary.Spoon into shallow bowls and sprinkle with remaining chives

Julieann's Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 3 dozen

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
2 Tbsp tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
3/4 cup quinoa flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips (12-ounce bag)
1 cup chopped lightly toasted nuts (optional)

Instructions: Position the rack in center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Mix together brown rice flour, tapioca flour, quinoa flour, xanthan gum and baking soda in a bowl; set aside.

Cream butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl. Add the egg, egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla, and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl. Add the flour mixture, and mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using. Chill dough for 30 minutes to make it easier to handle.

Form heaping tablespoons of dough into balls; space about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the tops down to help the cookies spread evenly. Bake for approximately 8 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet and bake another 3-5 minutes more. These cookies tend to be light in color when fully baked. Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Per cookie: 128 calories, 1 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat (4 g saturated), 26 mg cholesterol, 102 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Julieann's Strawberry Tartlets

These vegan gluten-free tartlets are also free of refined sugar.

Makes 18-20 mini tartlets

1/2 cup whole raw cashews, soaked for 35 minutes to 1 hour
about 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon pectin
1 1/2 tsp cold water
3 cups strawberries, cleaned and trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 Tbsp pomegranate juice

Garnishes (optional): Orange zest, Melted cacao nibs, Cashew "whipped cream" (see Note)

For the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil 20 mini-cupcake tins and set aside.

Soak the cashews in tap water until softened, 35 to 60 minutes. Place in a blender with enough water (about 2 tablespoons) to make a soft puree; transfer to a medium bowl and mix in the quinoa, coconut, coconut sugar and salt. Press a scant tablespoon of this soft dough into each mini cupcake-tin; it will not come all the way up the sides, and the bottom should be thicker than the sides. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Let cool.

For the filling: Combine pectin and water in a small bowl; set aside for 10 minutes.

Place 1 cup of the strawberries in the container of a blender or food processor and puree. You should have about 1/2 cup. Add coconut sugar and softened pectin, and process briefly to combine.

Transfer the puree to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook for about 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the remaining 2 cups strawberries in a bowl, add the puree and pomegranate juice, and stir gently to combine.

To finish: Immediately spoon the strawberry filling into the cooled baked crusts. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firmly set. Remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving, and top with one or more of the optional garnishes, if desired.

Per tartlet: 66 calories, 1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 55 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Note: For cashew "whipped cream," process room temperature cashews (soaked for at least 40 minutes) with a little of the soaking liquid in a blender until smooth. With the blender running, drizzle in slightly heated coconut oil until a cream forms. Serve immediately, or chill until needed.

This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Red

Quinoa and Beef-stuffed Peppers


12 small to medium red, yellow or orange sweet peppers
2 cups 2% cottage cheese, drained
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup quinoa (or brown rice)
2 cups water
2 tsp canola oil
1 lb Extra Lean Ground Beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped drained canned water chestnuts (optional)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


Cut each pepper across stem end to make pepper lids and cups. Remove and discard seed core from each. (Note: if pepper cups won`t sit upright, remove small slice from bottom of each, being sure not to create an opening). Set aside. Combine cottage cheese and Parmesan in small bowl; set aside.

Combine quinoa (or brown rice) and water in medium saucepan; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove cover and let cool for 5 mintes. Fluff with fork. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook beef in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up with potato masher or wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes or until no longer pink. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tsp fat from skillet.

Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms to skillet; sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Return beef and accumulated juices to skillet. Stir in tomato sauce, water, chestnuts (if using), oregano, basil and black pepper to taste; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in quinoa (or brown rice).

Stuff half of each pepper with some filling. Layer each with cottage cheese mixture; top each with remaining filling and Cheddar cheese. Top with a pepper lid; place on parchment paper or lightly oiled foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Bake in 375 degrees F oven for about 20 minutes or until digital instant read thermometer inserted in centre of filling registers 160 degrees F.

Marble Cake


6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9- to 10-inch bundt pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar; add the egg yolks, vanilla and milk until well combined. Add the coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, soda powder and salt. Mix again. Fold in the egg whites.

Pour two thirds of the batter into the prepared pan.

Add the cocoa powder and water to the remaining third of the batter and whisk to combine. Pour the batter in the pan and gently swirl the batter with a butter knife. You don't want to mix the batters together, you just want to create a marbling effect.

Bake until the cake is set and slightly browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool before unmolding.

Crunchy Quinoa Salad

First you'll need to make the quinoa:

1 cup quinoa

Quinoa has a natural bitter coating called saponin. If you are buying quinoa in bulk, you will need to soak it for a few minutes and then rinse it in cold clear water until the “soapy” residue is gone. Some boxed brands may be pre-rinsed, but they still retain the nutritional goodness.

Place the quinoa in a saucepan. Add 2 cups fresh water and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.

For the salad you'll need:

1 can chilled chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup purple onion, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, cubed
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 small tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced

For the vinaigrette dressing:

2 Tbsp. hemp oil
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. soya sauce
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette.

Add the chickpeas, onion, celery, cucumber, tomato and garlic to the quinoa and fluff. Pour on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: Summer Vegetables