Salmon and Avocado Salad with Japanese Ponzu Dressing

If you have a nearby Costco, they usually carry Norwegian smoked salmon (the one with three rows of different smoked salmon). This comes in handy for pizzas, pastas, quiche, etc. You can buy “ponzu” soy, but I prefer making this dressing as shown. In place of the arugula I used baby romaine as a bed for the salmon.

Smoked salmon and avocado salad with Japanese Ponzu Dressing

Salmon & Avocado Salad with Japanese Ponzu Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. smoked salmon – thinly sliced
  • Large handful of wild arugulas
  • 2 avocados – diced
  • 1 English cucumber – cut in rounds and halved

Homemade Ponzu Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice (or a combination)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 tsp of chili pepper flakes

Method:

1. In a large salad bowl, combine the ingredients for the ponzu dressing, and whisk well.

2. Add in the arugula, avocado, and cucumbers. Give it a good toss. Add in the smoked salmon and lightly toss again. Taste and adjust any seasonings if needed. Enjoy immediately!

Chilled Asparagus with Citrus Dressing

For a great summer lunch try this chilled asparagus with some salmon poached in wine. I usually do the salmon with cold green beans (blanched), but not having found any at Costco, I went for using asparagus, which I believe you northerners are seeing IN SEASON. We started the meal with a cold strawberry soup ( which is somewhere on this blog if you do a search). The great thing about this meal is that you can easily prepare it all in the morning and just plate it up when company arrives.

Chilled Asparagus with Citrus Dressing

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-pound asparagus, woody ends cut off
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • Juice of an orange
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Add in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Immediately remove the asparagus from the boiling water and place it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

4. Once the asparagus has cooled remove it from the water, blot it dry with a towel, and place it in a large bowl.

5. In a glass measuring cup combine the remaining ingredients (everything from zest down to pepper) and whisk together to form the citrus vinaigrette.

6. Pour the desired amount of vinaigrette over the asparagus and toss to coat.

7. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, then top with a little more salt and pepper.

Asian Zucchini Zoodles

For those of you trying to avoid regular pastas, “zoodles” are a fun and tasty way to replace them with extra nutrition. Many grocery stores now sell already “zoodled” vegetables, like cucumbers, zucchini and beets! My favourite are the zucchini zoodles, made easier with a proper “spiralizer”.

Zoodle away with this simple dinner or lunch option!

Asian Zucchini Zoodles

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar use honey (I preferred honey)

Preparing the zoodles.

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large zucchinis spiralized (yellow and green)
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes to taste

1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and brown sugar; set aside.

2. To a large skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil (any type) and onions. Cook onions down for 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Next, add the sauce to the skillet and cook for about 1 minute then add the spiralized zucchini noodles and cook just for 1-2 minutes or until fully coated with sauce. Add pepper flakes. Serve immediately!

A Blast from the Past

So many of you have joined this blog since it was begun back since 10 years ago, that I thought you might enjoy a flashback from the past, more or less the recipe that started it all! Hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as myself and many others have turned to so many times… Thanks for hanging in there my friends! Originally posted March 19, 2011

Rose and Thistle Salad Dressing

Technically, this recipe was stolen from a little restaurant in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada. The restaurant is/was The Rose and Thistle.  As a special request was made, I decided to post this one early…let me know how it turns out Bev…

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup salad oil (NOT Olive)
  • crushed garlic to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T honey
  • Dash Worcestershire
  • Dash pepper

Put into a blender for 1 to 2 minutes. I cheat and pout it in a shaker and shake hard.

Make it ahead as it keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks. It is great on almost any salad, including spinach!

Shrimp Stir Fry

I am always looking for new stir fry sauce recipes and I came across this one on my favourite sites, Pinterest. I almost always use peeled and deveined shrimp to simplify cooking prep and this suited what I had on hand. Since we began a KETO diet years ago for the most part, we avoid rice and pastas, with some exceptions. You do not need to have rice with this, and thus, it becomes a shrimp “stew”…LOL. We always have a stir fry blend of vegetables on hand in the freezer, so you can substitute these with the frozen vegetables.

Shrimp Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 lb large shrimp (I usually buy peeled and deveined)
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 8 oz baby Bella mushrooms or other variety
  • 8 oz snow peas
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 2 bell peppers

Stir Fry Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth can also use vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp chili paste more if you want spicier
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

Peel and de-vein shrimp if needed. Whisk all ingredients for the sauce together and set aside. Chop vegetables and set aside.

Preheat a large cooking pan or a wok over medium heat and add peanut oil.

Sauté vegetables, mixing often, until start to soften. Don’t cook vegetables all the way because it will continue to cook after you take it out of the pan and later with sauce.

Take veggies out of the pan and add a little more oil to the pan.

Sauté shrimp over medium-high heat until just turns opaque on each side.

Add vegetables back into the pan and stir.

Whisk the sauce again and pour it into the pan. Stir well and cook for a few minutes, just until sauce thickens.

Stir in green onions and serve right away.

You can serve shrimp stir fry over rice, with noodles, or just on its own.

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl with Coconut Rice and Ginger Sesame Greens

At first glance, this recipe seems complicated as you are cooking three items for the bowl. The salmon and the rice both require the same cooking time! Like many Asian recipes, the prep is more time consuming. The greens take very little time. Trust me, this all makes for a great meal!

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Teriyaki Salmon Bowls with Coconut Rice and Ginger Sesame Greens

Ingredients for the Teriyaki Sauce OR Use store bought to simplify

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed or finely grated
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 large salmon fillet, roughly 200g (you could also use chicken breast or thigh OR for a veg version, some firm tofu, cut into inch sized cubes)

Ginger Sesame Greens

  • 5 large handfuls of greens – I’ve used green beans. Feel free to use your favourite green veg. Other delicious options – bok choy, snowpeas, broccoli, broccolini, baby spinach, etc.
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed or finely grated
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

Coconut Rice

  • 1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed well – It’s important to rinse the rice as this helps make it nice and fluffy. It also means we add less water to the pot when cooking, 1¼ cups of water instead of 1½ cups if we didn’t rinse.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1¼ cup boiling water

Toppings

  • Toasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Japanese mayonnaise for drizzling (optional)

 Teriyaki Salmon

Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the honey, tamari, mirin, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.

Add the salmon fillet (or protein of your choice) and coat thoroughly.

Place the salmon and the combined sauce into a small paper-lined baking dish.

Bake at 180C / 350F for 15 minutes then grill for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.  Once cooked, remove from the oven.

Coconut Rice

In a small saucepan add the coconut oil, rinsed rice, and a little salt.

Add the boiling water, bring to a boil, then turn down to low heat and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.

DO NOT remove the lid at any time. We want all the steam trapped in the pot to create that perfectly fluffy rice.

After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the rice to sit for 3-5 minutes.

Remove the lid and fluff up the rice with a fork.

Set aside until ready to use.

Ginger Sesame Greens

While the rice and salmon are cooking, grab a large saucepan and add the sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.

Now add the greens then sauté on medium heat until bright green and slightly wilted.

Add the tamari and stir to combine.

To Assemble

Add a scoop of rice to each serving bowl, some salmon and surrounding leftover baked sauce, and the ginger sesame greens.

Top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, spring onions, fresh chopped basil and a dollop or drizzle of Japanese mayo (if using). Enjoy!

 

Stacked Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

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Stacked Tomato Salad with Black Olive Tapenade and Sweet Basil Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, (beefsteak, yellow, and heirloom), sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • Tapenade, recipe follows*
  • 1-pound goat cheese, thinly sliced (or use Mozzarella, but goat is better)
  • Fresh basil leaves and sprigs, for layering and for garnish

Sweet Basil Dressing, recipe follows below

Directions

Place a tomato slice on a plate and spread with some of the tapenade. Then place a slice of the goat cheese on top, add a few basil leaves, and finish with another tomato slice. You can add another layer to make Napoleon as high as you desire. Top with another small spoonful of the tapenade and then drizzle the Sweet Basil Dressing over the tomato and around the plate. Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and repeat to make 4 to 6 plates. For a smaller version, use Roma tomatoes.

Tapenade (Honestly, I buy a small jar at the store…a whole lot easier)

  • 2 cups kalamata or niçoise olives, pitted
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine olives, garlic, anchovies and pine nuts in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sweet Basil Dressing

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup pure olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (roll the leaves in a little tube shape and slice across the leaves)

Whisk together vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and then stir in the basil.

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Korean Chicken Stir Fry and Zucchini Pancakes

Apologies for not posting sooner, but Internet was down here. Back in action with 2 great Korean recipes! First tried these pancakes at Korean Grill and Ice Cream and they were an awesome appetizer. To upgrade the pancakes to a dinner, I have prepared the Korean Chicken Stir Fry.

 

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Hobak Buchim (Zucchini Pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini about 8 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 2 green hot chili peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup buchim garu (Korean savory pancake mix) or flour (see note)
  • 1 large egg (omit for a vegan version and add some water)
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch gochutgaru (red chili pepper flakes)
  • OPTIONAL baby shrimp and chopped green onions

Instructions

Cut the zucchini into matchsticks. Place them in a bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes until wilted and released some liquid. Squeeze the liquid out from the zucchini as much as possible, reserving the liquid in the bowl. Set the zucchini aside.

Add the egg and pancake mix (or flour) to the bowl with the zucchini squeezed mix. Mix everything well with a spoon, and then combine with the zucchini, onion and chili peppers. The zucchini mix may look stiff when mixing, but it will become more liquidy after a few minutes. If it’s still too stiff, mix in some water (2 to 3 tablespoons to start with).

Heat a skillet with two tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Add about 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter and spread it evenly into a thin round shape. Depending on the size of your pan, you can cook 3 to 4 pancakes at once. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the bottom is light golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Serve hot with a dipping sauce.

Notes

Use 5 tablespoons all purpose flour with 3 tablespoons cornstarch if available.

This recipe makes 6 to 8 3-inch round pancakes, or two large pancakes.

Korean Chicken Stir Fry

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste

Korean Sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce low sodium
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. Red curry paste or sambal oelek

Garnish

green onions        toasted sesame seeds             red chilis sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

Toss the chicken pieces through the egg first, then dredge through cornstarch.

In a large bowl whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Add about 3 inches of oil to a heavy bottom pan and heat to 375 °F.

Add chicken to the pan and fry in batches about 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining chicken.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Stir in the brown sugar and honey and cook for about 1 minute until the brown butter dissolves. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and gochujang sauce to the skillet and stir. Cook for 30 seconds then add the chicken to the skillet and toss well with the sauce.

Serve garnished with green onions, toasted sesame seeds and red chilis.

Honey Dijon Pork Roast

Finally got together with our two new friends from Vermont and since I had a lovely pork loin roast in the freezer, some very fresh cauliflower and four sweet potatoes, it was a no-brainer! Bonus – after thawing the roast I didn’t have to marinade it! Start it off with a crisp Caesar salad…actually this meal would be great for Easter...

Honey Dijon Pork Loin Roast

Servings 8 serves

Instructions

  • 3- pound pork loin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Pat dry pork loin with paper towels.
  4. In a small mixing bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  5. Lightly spray pork loin with cooking spray. This will make it easier for the spice mix to stick.
  6. Take the spice mix and rub it all over the pork loin.
  7. Heat olive oil over medium heat and sear the pork loin until browned on all sides; about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer pork loin to previously prepared baking sheet, fat-layer side up; set aside.
  9. In a bowl, combine garlic, honey, soy sauce, mustard and oil; whisk until well combined. If too thick, add a bit more oil or soy sauce.
  10. Brush remaining honey mixture over the pork loin.
  11. Roast for 45 minutes or until internal temperature of the pork loin reaches 145˚F

 

Honey Mustard Pork Chops with Broccoli

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Recently we were able to find some parsnips here in Mexico. I found this recipe some time back and found it amongst my other recipes…too late! We already had eaten the parsnips…darn! Nevertheless  I ventured forth with this recipe omitting the parsnips. It still is a great recipe. Maybe next time if I ever find parsnips again…

Honey Mustard Pork Chops with Parsnip and Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 2 Pork Chops, Thick cut bone in pork chops
  • 400 g Parsnips (omitted this time) *
  • 350 g Broccoli
  • 1 Tbsp Strong English Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 35 g Butter
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add a generous amount of salt. *
  2. Peel and cut the parsnips in half and then add to the boiling water and parboil for 10 minutes. *
  3. Trim up your pork chops, I like to French trim mine because it means less mess fingers when I pick up the bone to gnaw it clean later.
  4. Break your broccoli down into florets.
  5. After your parsnips have been boiling for 10 minutes remove from the water and place in a sieve to steam dry for 2-3 minutes. *
  6. Heat a pan that will transfer to the oven over a high heat.
  7. Mix together the mustards, honey and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Melt the butter in a hot pan and then toss in the parsnips and caramelize for 4-5 minutes to get a nice colour. *
  9. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and nestle into the pan.

10.Pour over the honey and mustard sauce.

  1. Add in the broccoli and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the thickest part of the pork chop reaches 58°C or 135°F.
  2. Rest with a lid on for 5 minutes or until the temperature of the chop reaches 62°C or 145°F