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