Archive for the ‘healthy’ Category


Okay, if your garden’s not going crazy with zucchini yet, it will be soon. It’s zucchini season! And most of us harvest so many zucs that it’s hard to find recipes for them all. This is a great recipe for making ahead. You can either whip up the batter to freeze-ahead (just place in plastic baggies and thaw batter when ready to use) or you can also freeze the cupcakes themselves after baking. Either one of these methods makes for an easy and nutrient rich cupcake.

Aunt Jennifer’s Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached white flour

¾ cup baking cocoa (sweetened)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup plain non-fat greek yogurt

2 grated zucchinis

2 grated med. carrots (optional)


Chocolate frosting of choice (I use melted chocolate chips in the microwave and mix in heavy whipping cream for my ganache.)

Preheat oven to 350n degrees. Line 24 muffin tin with liners.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the yogurt, beating well after each addition. Fold in the zucchini and carrots.

Fill the paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. A large scoop works well for this as batter is thick. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Makes 24 cupcakes

*Note: You could also use sour cream in place of the yogurt. You could also use 2 cups grated zucchini and no carrots, if desired.

Another great zucchini recipe to try: Zucchini Crab Cakes

Note: To freeze-ahead the zucchini crab cakes, salt the grated zucchini and squeeze out all the water with a paper towel before forming them into patties. Freeze patties in-between waxed paper and place in plastic ziploc bags.

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Around here, we eat salmon. And, fortunately for us, we can have wild sustainable salmon all year round.

At this time every year (May-June) fresh wild Copper River Salmon from Alaska is everywhere! Okay… yes, it’s shipped via airplane on Alaska Airlines, and I’m sure the carbon foot print is crazy. But I’m sorry, I can’t be that militant with my food. I do my best to make good choices for me and my family, and after all I’m only human. No Mama guilt here!

Anyway, which brings me back to the salmon… (By the way, for those of you in Seattle area the price has come down from $25-$30 per pound to $9.99 per pound at QFC and $8.99 per pound at Costco!) It’s luscious buttery flesh rich in omega3 fatty acid is a true NW delicacy! And, yes – worth every penny.

The way I prepare it is SIMPLE and EASY! So, no need to make-ahead. Pair it with a simple garden salad, or grilled veggies and you have an instant healthy dinner that even your toddler-teenager will enjoy. 😉

Cedar Planked Copper River Salmon


  • 2 lbs copper river salmon filet (in this case I have 2 filets and there’s enough marinate for both)
  • 2.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • soaked cedar plank


This is what I do… and I guess, my semi-make-ahead version.

I place the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and lemon in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and mix it all together with a fork – so it coats the whole surface area. Rinse and pat dry the salmon. Place the salmon flesh side down (skin side up), in the casserole dish and cover with plastic wrap. This can marinate for a 1/2 hour and up to 4 hours.

Soak cedar planks on a cookie sheet (with a lip) for 1/2 hour to up to 2 hours.

Heat grill to med-high. Cover and let it heat for 5-10 mins. Place Salmon on soaked cedar planks and turn off the burners (only under the cedar) for indirect grilling, cover and cook for approx. 20 mins. This time will make the salmon look a little under done, but feel free to cook to your preference.

Leftovers? Don’t let that salmon go to waste!

Consider transforming it into salmon and corn chowder (lots of fresh corn right now), asian salmon soup with rice noodles, salmon scrambles, frittatas, salmon and zucchini fritters, salmon sushi, cold salmon and pasta salad… any other ideas??? Feel free to post below!

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas!

You’ve done you’re part, now leave the cooking and cleaning to everyone else!

Here’s a easy and seasonal brunch idea for your day off!!! You can even make the crepe batter ahead of time, either by freezing or keeping in the fridge for up to 3 days. (Which actually improves it’s texture anyway…) You can also get the whole family involved making these recipes. Even little ones can participate by picking the herbs in the garden, washing the greens, cracking/mixing eggs, mixing the crepe batter, rolling the crepes, dusting the crepes with powered sugar, and not to mention, cleaning up afterwards!


  • Scrambled Eggs w Herbs
  • Herbed Salad with Radishes
  • Make-Ahead Crepes w Lemon and Powdered Sugar  (recipe below)
  • Fruit Smoothie

Make-Ahead Crepes:


  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt


In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. In another bowl mix eggs, milk, water, and butter. Pour the wet ingredients with the flour, and stir well to combine so that there’s no lumps. (Can also blend mixture in a blender.) Place batter in fridge for 1 hour, or to make-ahead, cover and freeze batter for later, or keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Heat a non-stick skillet or crepe pan on med-high heat. Take off burner and  coat with cooking spray. Ladle in 1/4 cup of batter and tilt pan, swirling the batter evenly on the pan. Place back on burner and cook for approx 1-2 mins. Flip and cook for 30 sec- 1 min more.

Place stacks of crepes on a plate covered with a clean dish towel.

Some sweet crepe fillings: a few drops of lemon juice and cover with powdered sugar, jam, peanut butter, nutella, peanut butter mixed with cocoa powder, fresh sliced berries or fruit.

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I know I haven’t written in a while…super busy with three kids and all of our craziness.

Just like all of you, I’m sure.

But, thank god for my MAM group! This last Wednesday, we gathered at our friend Sue’s house to cook 8 fabulous meals! This means 8 whole days/eves of NO cooking! And, after looking at May schedule, I’m going to need the boost.

Cooking party take home meals

These are the meals I am taking home in my cooler!

So here’s the recipes! (All completed, portioned, and bagged by 10 p.m.!)

1) Ginger Glazed Mahi-Mahi
2) Tandori Chicken (omit red pepper flakes)
3) Curried Lentils
4) Salmon Steaks W Hoison Glaze
5) Spinach and Smoked Gouda Crustless Quiche
6) Chorizo Cassoulet
7) Cuban Grilled Pork
8) Guiness Brined Lamb Steaks

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It’s finally SPRING! Time to make fresh pesto! Making it doesn’t take too much effort, and it’s super easy to freeze for quick dinners later. Pesto is a great Spring/Summer staple that once frozen, can give you fresh tasting dishes that you can enjoy all year!


  • Bunch of herbs – any of these will work, or you can even combine – cliantro, basil, Italian parsley (…psst, I’ve also made steamed beet pesto, and kale pesto…!)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese
  • Handful of nuts (pine, almond, walnuts)
  • Olive oil (drizzled in)


  • Pizza base
  • Top on fresh fish – then grill
  • Mix with cooked pasta noodles
  • Add to meatloaf or meatballs
  • Add to soup (makes a great base flavor)
  • Spread on bread, crostini, or crackers


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