Thursday, August 21, 2014


Billy and I have been dining out a-lot lately; breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, you name it! 

I try to make wise food choices, but how do I turn down a buttermilk batter, fried portabella mushroom sammie topped with cheese and pesto…you tell me?!!

I feel like a big ol’ bowl of greens helps me get back in line and back on track.  Since it’s summer, fresh kale from the farmer’s market and local summer fruit are what I crave.

I used apricots and plums; but peaches, nectarines and or cherries would also be really good in Kale and Summer Stone Fruit Salad.

The dressing for this salad uses quite a lot of shallots, the shallots taste pickled in this low-fat dressing.  

Some folks massage their kale to soften it, but I’d rather receive a massage than give it (Sounds selfish, I know.) so I dress just the kale and leave it overnight in the refrigerator to soften the kale, though just a few hours will be okay.

The great thing about this recipe is that it makes a whole whack, and that the salad is fine to sit in the fridge for three or four days.  I can eat Kale and Summer Stone Fruit Salad for days and feel good about my eating again!


Serves 8 to 10


      1                     clove      Garlic, minced
¼             cup          Shallots, minced (about 2 small shallots)
1                             Navel orange, juice only
½                            Lemon, juice only
1              Tbsp.         Dijon mustard
1              Tbsp.         Honey
½             tsp.          Soy sauce
1/8           tsp.          Sesame oil (optional)
A pinch                    Dried red chili pepper flakes (optional)
2              Tbsp.        Olive oil
2              Tbsp.        Canola, grape seed, or avocado oil
                               Salt and pepper to taste

   1.        In a small bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients.  Pour the olive oil and canola oil into the first ingredients in a slow steady stream while whisking continually.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*You may also just add all of the ingredients together to a jar, close the lid tightly and shake the jar for a minute or two until the ingredients are emulsified.


12              cups         Kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces (1 bunch of kale)
1         ½             cups        Snow peas or snap peas
½                             Red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3                              Apricots, cut into thin wedges
2                              Plums, cut into thin wedges
¼                cup        Toasted, slivered almonds

   1.        In a large bowl, combine the kale with ¾ cup of the dressing and a couple of pinches of salt & pepper; toss well to coat and refrigerate for at least an hour, or even better overnight.  Marinating the kale will help to soften the tough kale; and don’t worry, it won’t be mushy like lettuce.
   2.       When ready to serve, add the remaining ingredients to the salad as well as the remaining dressing.

*Notes:  This salad will be terrific with any combination of stone fruits including fresh cherries, peaches, and nectarines.
Because of the sturdiness of the ingredients, the salad will keep well for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.


Thursday, August 14, 2014


Confession time!  For years and years I’ve been eating frozen veggie burgers.  Not because I like them, nor are they satisfying, but because they’re easy to make, and because I hadn’t taken the time to come up with a veggie burger recipe.

I guess it’s been about 6 months since I determined to eat little in the way of processed foods (Other than candy; in fact I’m eating a bag of  Twizzlers as I’m writing this post!), and in that time I’ve been making all kinds of veggie burgers!  I’ve learned that one of the tricks to making a veggie burger that doesn’t squish out of the sides of the bun is to not use a food processor at all; it took me a couple of tries at making burgers to figure that one out…sheesh!

Using canned beans makes easy work of veggie burger making, and for this burger I also use leftover cooked rice to give White Bean Broccoli Burgers some heft.  Leftover quinoa, freekah, or another cooked grain could easily replace the rice.  Broccoli is one of my very favorite foods (I’m a weirdo), it’s affordable and accessible; when the burger cooks some of the broccoli as well as the cheese gets caramelized which is really really yummy!

I’ve hopped aboard the “no more veggies pretending to be meat” bandwagon, and I don’t intend to get off any time soon!


Makes 4 man burgers, or 5 girl burgers

1              Tbsp.      Olive oil, plus more to for cooking the burgers
1              cup         Broccoli, finely chopped
2              cloves     Garlic, minced
½             tsp.        Dry mustard
                              Salt & pepper to taste
1-15          oz. can    Cannellini bean, drained and rinsed
¾             cup         Cooked rice, white or brown
1              cup         Grated cheese, such as cheddar, Swiss, or Gouda
3              Tbsp.      Toasted almonds, chopped
½             tsp.        Italian seasoning
   1.        Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the broccoli and garlic to the skillet, stir frequently for about 2 minutes.  Add the dry mustard, as well as a couple of pinches each of salt & pepper, continue to cook and stir until the broccoli is tender but not mushy; about 2 more minutes.  Remove to a bowl to cool.
   2.       In a medium bowl, mash just half of the beans quite well using a masher or a fork, stopping short of the beans becoming a paste.  Add the remaining beans and mash those just slightly to break up those beans.  Gently, stir in the remaining ingredients, including the cooked broccoli.
   3.       Divide the mixture into 4 or 5 patties and put them into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set up.
   4.       Coat the bottom of a large non-stick skillet in olive oil and heat the skillet over medium to medium-high heat.  when the skillet is hot, add the burgers, and cook until both sides of the burgers are deep golden brown.

Top with tomatoes, lettuce, red bell peppers, sundried tomato pesto, roasted red pepper aioli, or Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

 *Note:  Frozen broccoli which has been thawed may be used in place of fresh.  You will skip step 1, omit the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and just mix all of the ingredients together.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

3                             Roasted Piquillo peppers from a jar (or 1 jarred roasted bell pepper)
¼             cup          Plain Greek yogurt, or mayonnaise
½             clove       Garlic, minced
3              Tbsp.        Fresh parsley, finely chopped
                               Salt & pepper to taste
                               Tobascco sauce to taste.

   1.        Add the roasted peppers, yogurt (or mayonnaise), and garlic to the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth.  Add the parsley, salt, pepper, Tobascco, and pulse just until mixed in.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

   You may also like:

Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Greek Burgers