Category Archives: Quick Healthy

Marinated zucchini salad

You can find an earlier version of this recipe here from back when I first started this blog. I thought about just updating that post but didn’t want to wipe out the memory of our early garden completely.  This year we’re in a new house and our garden isn’t quite ready to give us tasty zucchini. However this no cook meal was just right to celebrate the first day of summer.

Marinated Zucchini Salad

  • 1 zucchini, sliced thinly
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh, crumbly cheese of your choice
  • Fresh herbs
  • Optional prosciutto or pine nuts

Layer thin slices of zucchini with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. It’s key to let the salad sit for about an hour before eating to let the lemon juice tenderize the zucchini so that it doesn’t taste raw.

Experiment with your favorite crumbly cheese and fresh herbs. Today’s version featured fresh cotija cheese and basil. I’ve made this before with feta, ricotta salata, and goat cheese.  If you want to make a heartier salad, proscuitto and toasted pine nuts are a great addition. I’d love to hear about your favorites.



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Filed under Dinner, Garden, Quick Healthy, Salad, Vegetable

Oven Roasted Salmon over Pasta with Greens

imageA quick and easy weeknight dinner that has a little bit of carby goodness to keep you warm at night, but can easily transition to a light summer meal. Perfect for this time of year.

Also, we’ve got swiss chard growing so happily in the yard that we’ve got to incorporate it into every meal :). Feel free to sub any kind of green.

Oven Roasted Salmon over Pasta with Greens

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

2 fillets of salmon
1 lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch swiss chard, ribs removed and chopped
2 servings of pasta
Parmesan cheese to taste
2 Tb prepared pesto

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Add the salmon, and season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice a 1/2 a lemon and layer slices over the salmon. Roast in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, turn the oven to the BROIL setting and broil for 2 additional minutes.

While the salmon is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until almost al dente, about 7 minutes. Add the swiss chard and boil for one more minute. Scoop out 1/2 c of cooking water, and drain pasta and chard. Return to the pot.

Mix the 1/c of cooking water with 2 Tb of prepared pesto, and add to the pot of pasta and greens. Add the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon. Stir to mix well.

Plate up pasta and greens and top with a fair amount of grated parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Plate your salmon on top and enjoy!

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Filed under cooking, Dinner, Quick Healthy

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Olives and Artichoke

IMG_1183One pot meals are just the greatest, aren’t they? So much flavor and so little clean up. This one is full of Mediterranean flavors of artichokes and olives, and results in a super tender chicken. 
IMG_1181Pretty simple preparation: Sear your bone in-skin on chicken thighs skin side down to get them nice and crispy. Flip them over and fill the pan with veggies, and toss the whole thing in the oven. Dinner is served!IMG_1190Plate this up with some crusty bread and some fresh parsley. Enjoy!IMG_1180

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Olives and Artichoke

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Adapted from Crispy Chicken Skillet with Artichokes, Beets, Lemon, Olives


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
7 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
Salt, pepper, granulated garlic to taste
Zest from 1 lemon
I cup chicken stock
2 cups chopped mushrooms
8 oz artichoke hearts, chopped
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
Juice of 1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Heat up olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium to high heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, and sautee for about 10 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients.
Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and granulated garlic on all sides. Place the thighs skin down into the hot skillet, and leave them for 5-7 minutes to develop a nice crispy skin. Flip the chicken thighs and add the remaining ingredients to the skillet.
Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes, and then transfer the whole skillet into the oven to bake for 30 minutes, or until the juices of the thighs run clear and the chicken is cooked through. Finish by squeezing a lemon over the whole dish to brighten up the flavors.


Filed under Dinner, Quick Healthy, Recipes

Turmeric and Ginger Sweet Potatoes

IMG_1102I love potatoes. Who doesn’t love potatoes? And what I really love are sweet potatoes. The bright orange delicious ones.IMG_1095I was inspired by Gina of So…Let’s Hang Out and these Turmeric Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsley Tahini Sauce. Sadly, when I was meal planning I did NOT check the weather, and it was way too hot to turn on the oven the day I decided to make these.  So, I improvised and went with big slices of potato that could be cooked on the grill. Also, I only have whole cloves in my pantry and was feeling a bit too lazy to grind them up (on a Tuesday, forgive me!). So I tossed slices of yams with coconut oil, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper, and threw them on the grill with some asparagus and fish. So delicious! Honestly might be my new favorite way to cook potatoes. Such a great combination of sweet, salty and earthy. Thanks Gina for the inspiration! One note: if your potatoes are cold out of the fridge, the coconut oil will harden as you toss it with the cold potatoes. Nothing wrong with this, but it does make it harder to evenly distribute the oil and spices.IMG_1097Of course, if it is not 80 degrees at 8 pm at your house, feel free to cube the potatoes and roast them in a 400 degree oven.IMG_1101I did make the Parsley Tahini Sauce, but honestly I didn’t think the potatoes needed it. They were just so good on their own. However, it was a nice addition to the salmon and asparagus, so all in all a good endeavor.IMG_1103

Grilled Turmeric and Ginger Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • Approximately 3 sweet potatoes or yams sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Toss all of the ingredients together, and lay out on a perforated pan for your grill. Cook the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

The message that I hope to convey to you with this post is to be inspired, and never feel held back by the circumstances of your kitchen. Don’t have a spice or an herb? Substitute another! Too hot to cook something you were dying to try? Take it outside! Don’t have a grill? See if you can pan sear or broil whatever it is that inspires you.

I’d love to hear about how you make substitutions in a pinch.

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Filed under Quick Healthy, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetable

Mushroom and Baby Bok Choi Overload!

My friend and I recently visited Zion Market in Kearny Mesa – a fantastic and huge Korean market. Even though this (and many other asian markets) is quite close to my house, I always get overwhelmed and too excited and buy too much of something. This time it was an abundance of shiitake mushrooms and baby bok choy at rock bottom prices. And if that wasn’t enough, a package of oyster mushrooms was calling to me as well.

First plan of attack was to make wontons – a few for me with some other delicacies from the market, and many to stock the freezer. Check back soon for more about the wontons.


Then a yummy mushroom and bell pepper sauce over salmon, and crispy ramen noodles from my William Sonoma Asian cookbook.  Crispy ramen noodles are quite a delightful little treat!


Next I attempted some mushroom tacos, marinating sliced shiitake mushrooms in lime juice, olive oil, and adobo sauce. Not too shabby, but I think there was a bit too much lime. Glad I still grabbed some carne to supplement. If faced with this future combo, a baby bok choy slaw might work nicely too.

Finally, the remaining baby bok choy was sauteed with the oyster mushrooms, tossed with soba noodles, and topped with some sesame marinated yellow-tail.

Sesame Yellow tail Over Sauteed Mushroom, Bok Choy, and Soba Noodles. 

  • Marinate the fish in sesame oil, soy sauce, olive oil and lime juice, pop in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • While the fish is cooking, saute 1 clove garlic in .5 Tb butter, toss in the baby oyster mushrooms, add a bit of granulated onion, the baby bok choy, and a splash of soy sauce. Toss the veggies with some cooked soba noodles and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Brush the sauce over the top of the fish and broil for another minute.
  • Plate it up, and garnish with a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds.

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Filed under Asian, Dinner, Quick Healthy

Salmon Burgers with a Green Garlic Sauce – Hello Spring!

Yesterday was the debut of the Adams Avenue Farmer’s Market. Let me tell you I had been counting down the days. Finally, a Farmer’s Market I could easily walk to!  I headed over yesterday and was excited to see what was in store. I made my way down the rows, tasting as I went.  Nibbles of pita bread and every kind of hummus imaginable, unbelievably sweet apricots and peaches for being May, Thai cocount pancakes, you get the picture. I was really impressed by some salmon burgers. I was given a sample of the burger with a little bit of a dijon aioli sauce.  Delish!  This was pretty early in my trip, yet I returned to buy some patties to take home because they were still lingering in my mouth.

I wandered some more and came across some green garlic, which I’ve heard about but never tried. This in particular was green elephant garlic.  I set some of that aside, browsed some leafy greens, and almost accidentally threw some curly endive in my bag as well. Since I’ve never had green garlic or curly endive, I headed back home to do a little research.

This article in The New York Times had a few recipes, including one for a Green Garlic Dipping Sauce for artichokes. While I don’t agree with the author at all (he doesn’t like garlic!) I did like this recipe. Suggested as a possible sauce for bitter greens and seafood, I was inspired to make a meal to incorporate all of my fresh ingredients.  And use some of the ciabatta loaf sitting on the counter.

Tonight’s Menu: Salmon burgers on ciabatta bread with avocado, a green garlic sauce, endive leaves, and grilled onions, with a side salad of grilled endive dressed with more sauce.

Turned out pretty well.  The sauce, endives, and salmon all went really well together. Unfortunately, there was a lot of bread!  I ended up taking off the top half so that I could actually taste the goodies inside. Next time (and there will be a next time as there are 2 more patties in my freezer) I will either (a) make open faced sandwiches, or (b) use half as much bread, slice the salmon patties in half, and stack them on top of each other to make a thicker filling to match the thick bread.

The green garlic sauce called for a lot of olive oil, so I made a few adjustments. Here’s my take on it:

3/4 c green garlic, sliced and simmered in boiling water for 5 min

1 egg

1 tsp sherry

5 tsp red wine vinegar

1 Tb dijon mustard

6 Tb olive oil

It was so nice to come home after 7 and have it still be light enough to BBQ a fresh, springy dinner.

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Filed under Dinner, Quick Healthy

When life gives you limes…make honey-lime salmon!

This meal came out of a use it or lose it philosophy with my fridge.  I had an assortment of veggies that needed to be used soon or tossed, and Randy brought me tons of limes from his tree this weekend. Looking at the veggies, I concluded they were a perfect stir-fry mixture.  And limes go excellently with Asian food!

I wanted to make a honey-lime glazed salmon from one of Rachel Ray’s cookbooks, but sadly, that cookbook is at my mom’s house.  This is what I get for trying to limit myself to the ones with calorie counts! (That isn’t working anyways, because there is always the internet.) After calling her to no answer, I had to improvise or go hungry.

This salmon turned out quite delicious, but exactly what I was remembering from the original recipe.  I’ll have to post that as an update once I track it down.

Recipe: Honey-Lime Salmon

Heat a pan over medium heat. Mix juice of one lime with 1 Tbsp of honey in a small dish.  Brush over salmon on both sides. Salt and pepper the salmon. Add a spray of oil to the pan.  Add the fish, skin side down if there is skin.  Cook 4 minutes on each side or until cooked to your likeness. Top with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges,

Very tasty with a side of stir-fried veggies 🙂

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Filed under Dinner, Quick Healthy, Recipes