Roasted Maple Glazed Delicata Squash

Monday, November 2, 2015

I love all things squash,  I really do. But Delicata Squash might actually be my new favorite! It's delicious, you can eat it with the skin, it's satisfying and easier to cut in half then it's relatives. Yes, butternut and  acorn, I am talking to you!

2-3 squashes
1-2 tablespoons of oil, I use grape seed oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425. I use my highly regarded Breville Convection Oven for this but it would do just fine in the regular oven.

To prepare, wash and dry your delicata squash. I usually made 2 or 3 as they tend to not be very large. Cut in half the long way, this should not be very difficult as the skin is not that thick.
Scoop out seeds and toss. You do not need to remove peel as the entire squash minus seeds can be consumed!

Slice into about 1/2 inch half moon slices. Place onto a baking sheet. Add a bit of oil and salt.

Roast for about 10 minutes, turn over using spatula. Add a bit more oil if  needed. Continue to roast till soft and golden brown. If using, drizzle maple syrup and roast an additional 2 minutes.
Cooking time should be about 1/2 hr in total. You may want to flip is over carefully a few times.

This makes a great side dish or a welcome addition to a fall salad.


Maple Glazed Delicata Squash

Maple Glazed Delicata Squash Served with Teriaki Black Cod

Home Made Salad Dressings

Friday, August 7, 2015

Once you go home made with the salad dressing, there is really no way to go back to the store bought bottled version! No way, no how!

Making homemade salad dressing is a quick and simple way to take your salad to another level!
Here are a few versions that are in my regular rotations. Keep in mind, the portions size here is to accommodate my family of four, so adjust accordingly.

I tend to use a ceramic bowl where I mix all the ingredients with a fork. I continue to mix the ingredients as I dress the salad.

If you have leftovers, they will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days. Don't forger to mix prior to adding to salad.

Balsamic Vinaigrette and Variations:
I have used a variation of this one here: Strawberry, Almond and Goat Cheese Salad
  • 2 Tablespoons ExtraVirgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Aged Balsamic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt to Taste

If you are feeling motivated, you can also add the following:
    1/2 Small Chopped Shallots OR 1 Clove Minced Garlic
    2 Grated Strawberries OR Berry Preserves

Strawberry, Almond and Goat Cheese Salad Dressing in Balsamic 
White Balsamic and Honey Vinaigrette:
I have used a variation of this one here: Peach and Burrata Salad
  • 2 Table Spoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • Sea Salt to Taste

Ponzu Sesame Dressing:
This one goes really well seafood or Asian inspired salads.
I have used a variation of this one here: Baked Lobster Tail with Spring Salad and Shrimp Mango Avocado Salad
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of Ponzu Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil 

Shrimp, Mango, Avocado Salad Dressed in Ponzu Sesame 

Shishito peppers with lemon and sea salt

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Shishito peppers are a delicious, savory and occasionally spicy appetizer. I have had a version of these as a restaurant appetizer but never attempted at home. This was super easy and a huge hit.
Note to self, next time double the quantity (I had about 4 cups and they were gone in minutes).

Wash and dry the peppers. Heat a little olive oil till hot, about 2 minutes. Add the peppers and cook them over medium flame, tossing and turning frequently. This should take about 10 minutes.

Once done, toss with sea salt and lemon juice. 

Serve hot. The entire pepper is edible except for the little stem. You will get a spicy one about 1 in 7 or so, for the most part, these are mildly flavored.


Dijon and Panko Crusted King Salmon

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

This recipe is inspired by the salmon from Blue Apron Delivery that I received a few weeks ago. Even my husband who normally dislikes salmon approved , so I decided to recreate it at home using a nicer more luxurious fillet! Looks like a fancy and impressive meal but is ready in 20-30 minutes. 

I used wild king salmon fillets but regular salmon fillets will work just as well. Note that cooking time will vary based on thickness of the fillet.

4 salmon fillets, mine were 3/4 inch thick 
1/2 cup of panko, I used Ian's whole wheat
1/2 cup of Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oil of choice (I used grape seed)

Wash and pat dry salmon fillets. Add salt and pepper to taste on both sides.
Heat your skillet. While skillet is heating, spread dijon onto the salmon side that does not have skin.
Dip in panko, first mustard side down then the other side.

Into a hot skillet with oil, add salmon mustard/skin free side down. Cook 2-3 minutes on that side and flip over. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Since the salmon fillets I was using were thick, I finished them off in the oven for an additional 15 minutes at 350. If your fillets are thinner, you can omit this step.

I served the salmon with a side of quinoa topped with sauteed mushrooms and shallots for a tasty meal! 

Leave me a note in comments to let me know what you think.

Dijon and Panko Crusted King Salmon Fillets

Dijon and Panko Crusted Salmon with Quinoa and Mushrooms

Oat Chia Blueberry Chocolate Chip Healthy Eggless Muffins

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I love muffins. I don't eat them but I love them. Because they are high in fat, high in calories and once I start eating them, I don't think I will stop. I will need to have one for breakfast every day!

Items in my usual boring but healthy breakfast rotation include plain plain oatmeal with brown sugar and dried apricots, Fage with added honey, hemp seeds and berries,  Breakfast Chia Pudding with Berries or Overnight Oatmeal that I learned about from the The Yummy Life Blog.

When the The Yummy Life Blog posted the recipe for the "Magic Muffins", healthy muffins I became obsessed with trying them. Let me tell you, these were a huge hit. Both kids and husband approved! I will definitely be making these again. The original recipe is here: So far, I tried blueberry to which I added chocolate chips. I will definitely be trying a variety of these and will report back. I had to modify the recipe a bit because I was not able to find some of the flour varieties (barley or brown rice) so I just used oat. No issue. These were moist and delicious. There were meant for make ahead if desired but I made all 12. For my gang, made ahead would only work if the recipe is doubled.

These have are whole grain and have no eggs or no butter. They get their moisture from the chia seeds which create a gel like substanace! Magic! 


2 cups of Whole Grain Oat Flour 
      (note Yummy Life's recipe uses 1 cup of oat flour, 1/2 cup of barley flour and 1/2 cup of brown rice flour but I could            not find these so substituted, no issues) 
2 tablespoons GROUND chia seeds
2 teaspoons baking POWDER
1/2 teaspoon baking SODA
1 teaspoon ground cinamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup lowfat buttermilk*
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey (my kids thought these need to be a tiny bit sweeter, will add a bit more next time)
Fruit, nuts, etc. 

Cooking Spray (I used Trader Joe's Coconut Spray) 

*Buttermilk substitute can be created by combining 1 tablespoon of vinegar with enough low fat milk to make 1 cup total liquid and letting is sit for 10 minutes. I did not try this. But if you do, please let me know how this turns out. 

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients. Mix.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix to combine. Do not overmix, it's fine if mixture is a bit lumpy. You will NOT BE STIRRING again when adding mixture to your muffin tin.

4. Allow to sit on counter for 30-40 minutes. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. I did not try to refrigerate. You can double or triple the recipe. 

5. Wash your fruit or berries that you will be using. I used about 1 cup of blueberries and about 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips.

6. Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

7. Add a bit of muffin mixture, add a few blueberries and a few chocolate chips. Add more mixtures till muffin cup about 2/3 full. Add a few more blueberries and chocolate chips to each.

Assembled muffins ready to bake

8. Bake about 22-25 minutes till toothpick  inserted in center comes up clean. Mine took about 25 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before moving to cooking rack.

Baked  muffins straight from oven

Baked muffins cooling! Kids waiting impatiently!

Yesterday, per my kids request, I tried two additional varieties, raspberry chocolate chip and banana chocolate chip. Both were delicious. I cut the raspberries into halves and bananas into half circles layered same way I did blueberries.

Muffins Batch 2: Raspberry, Banana, Blueberry. All have dark chocolate chips. 

Per the original recipe, these can be cooked in microwave as individual serving.

I have not tried these.The Yummy Life suggests many varieties or you can make up your own! My girls are already begging me to make more so I will review those when I do. They each devoured 2 each for breakfast. The younger one said they need to be a bit sweeter and dipped them in berry preserves.

Pan to Oven Filet Mignon

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

This recipe results in a perfect steak! Simple, delicious and few ingredients. Just the way I like it.
Searing the steak first gives it a nice crust on the outside as well as seal in all the juices. Baking it afterwards results in a steak that is cooked through just the way you like it , for me, that would be medium with a nice pink center.

1 filet mignon steak per person, mine were about 5 ounces each and about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Remove the steaks from the fridge about 1/2 to 1 hour prior to cooking to allow them to come to room temperature. 

Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat butter in an oven proof skillet till hot. Add steaks and cook 2 minutes, flip over and cook another 2 minutes. Do not disturb while cooking to allow crust to form.

When your oven is preheated, place skillet with steaks into the oven. Cook for about 10 minutes for medium. Internal temperature should be approximately 150 F.

Cooking time will vary based on the size and thickness of your fillet as well as your cooking preference.

Rough guidelines for cooking time:

Rare 6 minutes 130-140F
Medium Rare 8 minutes 140-150F
Medium 8-10 minutes 150-160F

You can keep the steaks warm by covering with foil. They will continue to cook a bit after removing from oven.

I served these with roasted potatoes and sauteed kale for a delicious meal the whole family enjoyed.

Pan to Oven Filet Mignon with Roasted Potatoes and Pan Sauteed Kale

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Monday, December 22, 2014

Beef short ribs are not in my regular rotation, this was my first time making them ever but the results were delicious. I used Anne Burrell's recipe (link below) which I adapted to fit my preferences (I loathe celery) and what I like more (leeks) as well as ingredients I had on hand. 

This recipe is fairly simple with the work front loaded and the rest of the time spent just smelling the delicious smell.


4 bone in beef short ribs (~2.5 pounds)
2 tablespoons of oil ( I used grape seed)
2 leeks, roughly chopped
3 shallots, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 cup of tomato paste
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups of water
1 1/2 cup of red wine
Salt to taste


Season each rib with salt. In a dutch oven/heavy cast iron pot, preheat oil on medium heat. Add salted beef short ribs. Do not crowd. If you have more then 4, you may need to do this in batches.
Brown about 3 minutes per side. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

While the oven is preheating and the short ribs are browning, puree all vegetables and garlic until they form a coarse paste. Do not overblend. Season with salt (and pepper if using-- I omit pepper, just not a fan).

Remove short ribs once browned. Drain the oil, add fresh oil and pureed veggie mixture. Cook till brown, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and tomatoes and cook  another 5 minutes. Add wine, cook about 5-8 minutes till mixture is reduced by half. 

Return short ribs to pan, placing on top of sauce. Add enough water to cover. Add thyme and bay leaves. Cover and cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Flip ribs to the other side. Cook another hour while covered. If the sauce is getting too thick, feel free to add more water. Remove cover and cook uncovered another 20-30 minutes to allow meat to brown. Meat should be very tender.

Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta with the sauce.

P.S--next time I will be making more of these to allow for left overs. 

adapted from Anne Burrell's Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe

Rainbow Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa and Ground Beef

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

These stuffed peppers are a delicious dinner option that I don't make nearly enough. You can pretty much vary the filling here to meet your dietary preferences or the leftovers grain you have on hand.

You can make them vegetarian by omitting the ground meat, and you can add grain of choice, I have tried these with rice or quinoa and both were great. Both pictures below, proportion are similar and you can eat the leftover stuffing without the pepper for lunch the next day.


2 cups of quinoa OR  rice cooked per package direction
1 pound of ground beef (I use lean grass fed beef), you can use another ground meat of choice or keep vegetarian
2 finely shopped shallots
1 bulb of leek, washed and finely chopped
salt to taste
seasoning to taste (I like to use Everything Rub from Fresh Direct which contains garlic, onion, chili powder and paprika)
1 can of diced tomatoes drained (if using)--i used these with rice but not with quinoa
1 tablespoon of oil ( I use grape seed)
4 bell peppers ( for the quinoa recipe I only had 3) with seeds removed and top cut off neatly to keep intact


In a large skillet, heat oil. Add shallots and leeks and cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium flame until they begin to soften.

Add ground meat of choice. Cook breaking up with spatula until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add rice or quinoa, salt and seasoning. Add tomatoes if using. Allow to come to warm temperature.

In a small or medium pot, add a few inches of water. Bring to boil.

Fill peppers with filling. Top with pepper top. Add very carefully to pot with boiling water. Cover and cook on a small flame about 15-20 minutes until peppers are soft. 

Remove carefully and serve in bowls


Stuffed peppers with quinoa, ground beef, shallots and leeks

Stuffed peppers with rice, ground beef and diced tomatoes

Potato Leek Soup with Bacon (Non Dairy)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

So technically, it's end of October so soup weather should be upon us. But it has been warm but nevertheless I have started out with my fall soup repertoire. Here we have Potato Leek Soup with Bacon. Because you know as well as I do that bacon makes everything better.

This was a huge hit with my older daughter and husband. The younger daughter--not so much. Thought she did eat the bacon crumbles. 

5 medium potatoes
3-4 leeks (white part only)
2-3 shallots finely chopped
6 -8 pieces good quality bacon (divided because you will blend some into the soup and use the rest as a topping)
4 cups of chicken stock  (I used low sodium organic chicken broth by Imagine, homemade stock would be even better)
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of oil ( I used grapeseed)
Salt to taste
Seasoning of choice (I used a spice blend from Trader Joe's)

Peel and chop shallots and set a side. 
Wash leeks really well. Chop and set aside 
Wash potatoes, peel if the skin looks meh, leave skin on if it's pretty unblemished. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces

In a large pot or preferably a Dutch oven, heat the oil about 2 minutes. 

Add shallots, cook on medium flame for about 3 minutes.

Add leeks. Cook another 5 minutes.

Add potatoes. Add stock and water.

Continue to cook till potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.

Season with salt and seasoning. 

In the meantime, cook bacon in a skillet till crispy. Crumble and add 4-6 crumbled slices into the soup in the last 10 minutes of cooking. 

Blend till smooth, using immersion blender. Serve topped with reserved bacon crumbles. 

Potato Leek Soup with Bacon

Citrus Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Baked drumsticks are always a big hit in my household. Easy, tasty, fast, messy and inexpensive dinner-- what's not to like? I have several drumsticks recipes on my blog already Baked Asian Style Drumsticks and Soy Balsamic Drumsticks and here is another one for a little variety.

8-10 drumsticks
Oil of choice --1 teaspoon
Seasoning you like for chicken (I used 21 Seasoning Salute from TJs)
1/2 cup of Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
Juice of 1 orange

Combine all ingredients except chicken in large ziploc bag. Shake to mix. Add chicken and shake it to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator anywhere between 1/2 hour to overnight.

Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes till brown. Flip over 1/2 through cooking time. This recipe would work just as well with other chicken parts, modify cooking time according to thickness.

I only marinated for about 1/2 hour and these tasted great anyway. I bet they would have been even better if marinated longer.


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