Book Club almost always inspires me to try making something new and the Watermelon Heirloom Salad has been on my list of ‘must try’ since my sister-in-law, Betty, told me about it.
I served this in July with tomatoes and watermelon in season. It is a refreshing salad especially during the hot days of summer. The salad was served with the feta on the side since some of our members are Vegan. Easy peasy and satisfies all. What a wonderful fusion of great flavors. It’s now one of my favorite summer treats.
WATERMELON HEIRLOOM SALAD
3 large heirloom tomatoes (about 1.5 pounds), cored and cute into chunks or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I used multi-color cherry tomatoes)
4 cups cubed watermelon
1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used Champagne vinegar)
juice of 1 lime
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh feta (don’t skimp on the quality of the feta)
1 lime, cut into wedges
- Combine the tomatoes, watermelon, mint and basil in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour olive oil mixture over the fruit and toss to mix.
- Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the feta over the salad (or on the side). Serve with lime wedges and sea salt.
Recipe from FreyFarms
Honey + Chicken = Delicious! I am fortunate to live next to a beekeeper and have two additional friends that have hives in their yards. Local honey is such a wonderful treat and inspires me to try new recipes. This recipe is definitely a keeper and wonderful paired with a fresh, green salad.
HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN
1 1/4 pound Chicken breasts
1/3 cup cassava flour (GF) or flour of preference
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup Chicken broth
4-5 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoon avocado oil (oil of choice)
Grate garlic with a grater or garlic press.
In a glass bowl add the sauce ingredients (honey, chicken broth, grated garlic, rice wine vinegar, yellow mustard, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt). Set aside.
Place chicken on parchment paper and pat dry. Add salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to your chicken.
In another glass bowl add the cassava flour. Coat the chicken on both sides.
Place your skillet on medium heat and add oil to the pan. Once oil is heated, place chicken in the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side.
Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Place sauce in the pan and scrap up the pieces on the bottom of the pan. Then add chicken back to the pan.
Cook chicken an additional 4 minutes per side. Serve right away!
Recipe adapted from Redsreality.com
These Berry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are great for breakfast on-the-go or for a snack. The bars are free of refined sugar and gluten. The original blueberry recipe from Iowa Girl Eats is delicious (of course everything she makes is!). My second batch was made with blueberries and raspberries…Yum! I may try to substitute applesauce for the bananas on a future batch for family members that don’t like the taste of bananas.
Wouldn’t these be great to freeze and have on hand especially for busy Moms once the kids are back to school?
BERRY BREAKFAST OATMEAL BARS
- 2.5 cups certified gluten-free old fashioned oats, divided (I actually just used the food processor on all of the oats)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 2 small or 1 large banana)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 heaping cup of berries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Add 1 cup old fashioned oats to food processor or blender and process until oats have turned into flour (Note: I blended the entire 2.5 cups). Set aside. Alternatively you can use a scant cup of oat flour.
- Add milk, mashed banana, honey, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. Add remaining 1.5 cups oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in the berries then pour batter into greased baking pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Cool before slicing into bars and store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can individually wrap the bars in Saran Wrap and freeze.
Recipe adapted slightly from: Iowa Girl Eats
Autumn brings cooler weather, falling leaves and wonderful vegetables. I’ve become a huge fan of roasted vegetables and loved the idea of combining squash with Brussel sprouts. Adding cherries, nuts and honey were the icing on top of the vegetables.
This is a wonderful dish for a potluck, holiday and just an ordinary night at home.
ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS
4 cups Brussel Sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaved removed, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and dubbed into 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or halves
1/2 cup dried cherries (or Craisins)
optional: 2-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (I did not add additional honey)
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussel sprouts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt (to taste) and toss. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning. The cut sides should be nicely browned and partially charred.
Roasted Butternut Squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a foil-lined baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), olive oil, honey, and cinnamon. Toss to mix.
- Place butternut squash in even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until squash is softened.
NOTE: You can roast both the Brussel sprouts and the butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time .
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted Brussel sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cherries (or cranberries) and mix to combine.
OPTIONAL: For more sweetness, add 2-4 tablespoons or honey or maple syrup…add slowly to desired amount of sweetness.
Adapted from Juliasalbum.com
Who doesn’t like chocolate cake? I wanted to make a chocolate cake for a gathering of friends, two of which are Vegan. We all love to share salads, fruits, pastas, but dessert is always a bit tricky.
This cake was moist, delicious and almost healthy! I would make it again and again whether my guests were Vegan or not. Even one of my Grand Dogs thought it was worthy of his attention!
CHOCOLATE CAKE…VEGAN AND ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS
3/4 cup plain flour/GF flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unrefined cane sugar/brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
This makes a small amount of frosting as the cake doesn’t need much, but for a full batch
1 1/2 tbsp. lite Nuttelex or other dairy free butter/margarine alternative
1 1/2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F.
- Grease and line a small cake tin (or cupcake tins)
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl combine applesauce, sugar and vanilla and pour into dry ingredients.
- Mix until just combined and pour into cake tin.
- Bake for 20-35 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted removes clean. If making cupcakes, cook for ~10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
- For the frosting, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a mixer, adding in the cocoa and vanilla and mixing until combined. If needed, add a couple of drops of milk/non dairy milk until your desired consistency is reached
Recipe from Southerininlaw.com
Fresh fruit salad in winter is a real treat. This recipe is delicious, combining several fruits including apples, kiwi, blackberries, pomegranate, bananas and Mandarin oranges. The dressing is fresh and tasty, delivering a nice side to compliment any meal.
WINTER FRUIT SALAD WITH LEMON POPPY SEED DRESSING
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. poppy seeds
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
8 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented (I used Cuties)
4 apples, diced
4 ripe kiwis peeled and diced
4 bananas, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1 large)
1-2 cups blackberries (I added to the recipe)
- Combine all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from CookingClassy.com
Last year was the first time I ever planted tomatillos plants in my garden. While my tomatoes struggled last year, the tomatillos went crazy and they are even crazier this year given all of the summer rain in Colorado.
My first try at tomatillos salsa went the easy – route and it was delicious. I froze a few bags for winter enjoyment, too! I plan to branch out this year and try a few other recipes, too!
GREEN TOMATILLO SALSA
8 ounces (5-6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno (or 2 serranos), stemmed
5-6 sprigs fresh cilantro (thick stemmed removed), roughly chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
salt to taste
- Chop the tomatillos and the jalapeño.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro and 1/4 cup water. Process to puree, then scrape into a serving dish.
- Stir in the chopped onion and salt.
Trader’s Joe’s finally came to Denver last year and what fun we’ve had exploring their many wonderful products. During one of my trips, they were tasting their Cruciferous Crunch Salad with mixed nuts and Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette. Yummy in the tummy!
The recipe is so simple, it doesn’t need one. Chop the contents of the salad mix. Chop about 1 cup of mixed nuts (or nuts of your choice), and top with Trader Joe’s Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette dressing. Toss and serve immediately.
It’s simple, delicious, and good for you. What’s not to like?
Krusteaz’s Double Chocolate Gluten-Free Brownie mix is an absolute favorite of mine, first discovered at Costco many moons ago. It’s delicious and even lovers of gluten will love them.
This mix was the perfect base for a patriot, 4th of July dessert with fresh berries and a cream cheese base. This recipe can easily be cut in half and baked in a round or square pan.
The dessert is best served the day it is made but leftovers brownies can be good for 1-2 days.
PATRIOTIC BROWNIE FRUIT DESSERT
2 packages Double Chocolate Krusteaz gluten-free brownie mix (I bought a large box at Costco) and ingredients stated on the box (water, vegetable oil, egg)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh red raspberries
1 cup apple jelly
- Make brownies according to package directions and bake in greased jelly roll or sheet pan as directed. Let cool completely.
- Beat together softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- Spread mixture over cooled, baked brownies.
- Top with berries.
- Still jelly until smooth and brush over berries
- Refrigerate dessert until ready to serve.
It’s salad time, again. I love salad 365 days a year but with fresh produce and fruit in spring and summer, it’s the best! This salad is so simple and so delicious and you can have it anytime. Experiment with different greens, fruit and nuts and enjoy!
What a yummy patriotic salad to share this Memorial Day weekend.
STRAWBERRY AND SPINACH SALAD
Baby Spinach salad mix
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed, drained and sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
Sweet Balsamic Dressing
1.5 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper, to taste
- Blend salad dressing ingredients together and chill.
- When ready to serve, toss salad with dressing and serve immediately.
Recipe from Faithfulprovisions.com