Archive for July, 2011

July 30, 2011

Marionberry Almond and Oatmeal Crumble

I was totally ditched by a friend tonight. No beers for me! I’ve been so good all day. I cleaned, went to the gym, and yoga. I cooked very healthy vegetarian meals, and now I’m at home all alone. Boo!

I’ve been snacking on marionberries all day long. They are delicious! They are very specific to Oregon, and are really just blackberries. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of them, or if you can’t find them. Use blackberries instead.

I wanted to make a dessert for the blog that was extremely easy, and healthy. I’m on low calorie, low gluten kick these days!

I came up with something super yummy, and very seasonal. A crumble. It can’t get easier than this. The recipe below is for one since I’m solo here!

What do you do when you are stood up?

Marionberry Almond and Oatmeal Crumble


  • 3 Tbsp almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free, steel cut oats
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 tsp pure vanilla (depending on how sweet, you want your cobbler)
  • 2 tsp raw local honey
  • a few sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup berries
  • Mix almond meal, oats, coconut oil, and cinnamon together with a fork until it resembles little pebbles. You may need to add a little ice water.
  • Place berries in a minil quiche dish, drizzle vanilla on top of berries, top with almond meal/oat meal pebbles.
  • Drizzle honey, and sliced almonds on top.
  • Bake on 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown, and bubbly.
  • Enjoy, with a class of wine, preferably Moscato D’Asti.
July 30, 2011

Italian Kale Salad with Ricotta Salata, and a Lemon and Shallot Vinegarette

We can’t get enough kale salads around here. They are hearty, and light at the same time. Perfect for lunch, or with dinner, and super nutritious for you. If you don’t like kale, try one of my salads, and you will definitely change your mind.

I was at Dove Vivi for take out last weekend. We love their cornmeal crust. If you live in Portland, or have the chance to visit this place it’s super delicious. You can get slices, half pies, or whole pies. What a cool concept huh? I had a glass of wine while waiting for my take-out. I was studying the menu and came across a salad I just knew I needed to try. It was settled, I was having the kale salad, with my glass of Rose while that pizza was baking.

It was earthy, salty, lemony, and perfect. I decided to adapt it here, because I love it so much. You will too. I promise!!! I mean, I loved it so much I had the leftovers for breakfast. I think I even dreamed I was eating throughout the night. It’s that delicious!


  • 1 pound lacinato kale (also called Tuscan kale) or tender regular kale, stems and center ribs discarded
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon medium sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated ricotta salata
  • Cut kale into small pieces, and remove stems, and centers of each piece. I use kitchen shears for this, it’s must faster and easier. Place in bowl.
  • Whisk together shallot, lemon juice, and slowly pour olive oil until combined.
  • Grate ricotta salata on a microplane, or box shredder depending on size preference.
  • Toss everything together until well combined. Serve, and enjoy!
July 30, 2011

Zucchini “Spaghetti” with Yogurt, Garlic, Basil, Pine Nuts, and Pecorino Cheese!

Okay, okay Mother Nature must have heard my cries for the sun. It’s here!! It’s a nice eighty degrees, and my skin is starting to take on some color. After seven twelve hour shifts in a row, I’m ready to cook. I can’t wait, I think my kitchen has missed me, or uh I’ve missed my kitchen.

P and I are going to a wine tasting at Vino tonight. We are super excited to taste local wines from Owen Roe. We always look forward to David O’Reilly’s annual release of Abbot’s Table, and Sinister hand. Two of our favorite wines.

We will also be checking out a cool show at the Doug Fir, but before all of that we still have a bunch of produce to finish before our next Organics To You delivery arrives on Monday.

I like our meals to consist mainly of vegetables. I think vegetables should be the foundation of any diet, vegetarian or not. P agrees with this idea, even though he does eat meat. We regularly consume spaghetti squash in the Fall and Winter but I wanted to try making spaghetti with zucchini. I saw a cool recipe on Green Kitchen Stories that called for zucchini and mango, but wanted to make a more savory version of their recipe. I always like zucchini with white sauce, but since we are trying to eat healthy this just wasn’t in the cards for tonight’s dinner. I decided to adapt a recipe I ate regularly two Summer’s a go. I used to mix whole grain pasta with shredded zucchini, garlic, Greek Yogurt, and shredded cheddar for a healthy mac and cheese like meal.

Instead of using pasta tonight, I just used zucchini. Delicious, perfect, light and simple. Go on- give it a try. You know your garden is going to leave you questioning what to do with all that zucchini to come.


  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 -3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp Extra Virgen Olive Oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 small container, or 6 oz of Greek Yogurt
  • A big handful of fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Grated Pecorino Cheese
  • Shred zucchini using a a julienne slicer, mandoline, or food processor.
  • Toast pine nuts until lightly brown.
  • Make yogurt sauce by combining yogurt, lemon, and olive oil.
  • Sautee garlic until soft and fragrant.
  • Add zucchini, and cook for 1-2 minutes, so it’s still a little crunchy.
  • Add salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
  • Remove from heat, mix with yogurt sauce.
  • Top with shredded cheese, basil, and toasted pine nuts.
  • Delicious!!
We enjoyed this with Muga Rose! Tis the season!
July 20, 2011

Oven Dried Tomato, and Goat Cheese Basil Cream Almond Tartlettes.

So it’s raining again. It’s July 19th, and I’m still white as a ghost. I’ve been day dreaming for the sun to kiss my skin-even just for the slightest of moments. I can barely sit still. I’m just finishing a long stretch off from the hospital. I spent most of it studying and prepping for upcoming wine classes. I miss long lazy summers. I miss water sprinklers, watermelon beer, barbeques, river floating, and of course my dream date- the sun.

I have great fear for friends gardens, local produce, and I have hope- I really have to have hope, that the grapes will get everything they need weather wise this year.

I’m feeling the need to escape someplace warm, sunny, and not dreary and grey. I know friends on the opposite coast who are wishing for an early Fall. It already feels like fall here. I’m wearing jeans, a tank, and a sweater today. Not your typical summer gear. My coat hasn’t been dry cleaned, because I may need it. This may sound a bit dramatic, but I’m seriously lacking in vitamin D.

We got our Organics to you crop box delivered yesterday. It was filled to the brim with veggies. 3 heads of lettuce, 8 tomatoes, 4 zucchini, 2 cucumbers, 1 pint of raspberries, 1 pound of cherries, chard, 3 spring onions, 5 purple potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, 1 pound of snap peas, and 2 bunches of carrots. We are definitely veggie lovers, but wow! We hit the jack pot.

I’ve been planning  meals for the weeks to come. I had some great tried and true meals to share with you- but in all honesty they are bit too summery. They will have to wait until the sun decides to come out and play.

With all these wonderful veggies in my fridge, I decided this was the perfect day to bake some mini tarts. I was inspired by whatkatieate, and her birthday blog. Birthday’s are always fun, and hopefully filled with love, friends, and good food. Her buttery puff pastry looked amazing, but in all honesty it’s not my birthday- so I don’t get to indulge that much. I adapted her tomato tart into something a little more me, and little more healthy. I hope you like it! I know P and I will be eating this all summer long!

Oven dried tomatoes- See recipe here

Goat Cheese and Pesto Cream

2 oz Fresh basil, washed and dried ( you could even use arugula and basil too)

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup sliced almonds (pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and pine nuts work too)

2-3 Tbsp grated Pecorino cheese (parm is fine too)

4 oz goat soft goat cheese such as Chevre


Place all ingredients into food processor, blend until smooth and creamy. Salt as needed.

Place in fridge until ready to use.

Almond Meal Tartlettes

  • 2 Cups almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp butter or grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh herbs such as basil, oregeno, thyme, or whatever you desire
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp ice cold water


  • Mix almond meal and small pieces of butter together in food processor, or mix with hands.
  • Slowly add ice water, and herbs and salt.
  • Mix until pebble like. It will be moister than most doughs.
  • Use fingers to shape into tart pans.
  • Par bake tart shells on 350 for ten minutes. I always place mini or large tart pans on a cookie sheet for easy removal from the oven.
How to assemble:
  • Place basil cream mixture into each tart. Top with tomatoes, and bake on 350 for ten minutes.
  • Remove from tart pans to serve, and top with fresh shredded basil, and pecorino cheese!
  • Yum! For something extra indulgent, drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar!!
Serve with crisp Gruner Veltliner, stainless steel fermented Chardonnay, or nice light Pinot Noir.
July 14, 2011

Hello, Pimientos de Padron. I’ve missed you!

Oh how I’ve missed our summer favorite, the Pimiento de Padron. P and I are addicted to these little suckers. I was at the market today, and saw a delivery from California and I couldn’t resist. I usually buy pound after pound of these amazing treats from Viridian Farms all summer long, but these were staring at me in the face!!

Super simple and fresh.These sweet peppers are a staple on any tapas menu in Spain. They are celebrated each August in the town of Herbon, where the peppers are rumored to have originated with a festival specifically for the Padron.

It’s said that one in fifteen peppers are the spicy firecracker. It’s a fun game with friends! I can just close my eyes and imagine large Spanish families frying up batch after batch, while sipping effervescent white and pink wines on hot nights, celebrating summer fun, and hoping for the good luck firecracker to hit their mouth.

These peppers are grassy, sweet, and fresh tasting. You eat them with your hands right off the stem. I served them with my herbed focaccia bread and a simple salad of wasabi arugula, and fried goat cheese. Yum! I love the fresh flavors of summer.

Pimientos de Padron

  • Good quality olive oil (I usually fry foods in avocado, or grape seed oil, but olive is the perfect pairing for these peppers), enough to coat a large fry pan, and enough based on the amount of peppers being served.
  • Medium sea salt
  • Pimientos de Padron
  • Heat olive oil in fry pa
  • Toss washed padron peppers in oil, and flash fry for three minutes, or until peppers gets white blisters.
  • Place hot peppers on paper towel, toss with sea salt.
  • Serve hot, and hope you get the hot one! It’s good luck.
July 8, 2011

Stawberry and Basil Ice Pops!

It’s getting hot here. NOT as hot as some places, but pretty darn warm. Meals are getting lighter, and desert is pretty non existent around here.

In the next couple of days and weeks you will see me using savory herbs, and veggies with fresh fruits together in most of my recipes and meals. Summer is my favorite time to do this, and it’s just so fresh tasting!

P and I walked back from the store the other night, and realized we forgot the popcicles. Boy do I love popsicles! I just don’t love the sugar, or dyes they use in most commercially produced brands. I like knowing what goes into my food. If I can’t pronounce it, or have never heard of it- then most likely I’m not going to eat it.

I don’t know if you have ever tried a fresh Oregon strawberry, heck I don’t know if anyone is actually reading this! If you haven’t had the chance to try a Hood River Oregon strawberry please do so- and do it soon. They are going fast, and they only come around once a year. They are smaller than California strawberries, they are sweeter, and much more special than any other strawberry in the world.

I must have been dreaming about popsicles the other night, because I woke up and told P I was, and then went back to sleep. Today was day I created my own strawberry basil ice pops. Every thing is local, everything is farm fresh, and it will taste just as good straight out of my freezer. It’s like freezing the perfect Hood River Strawberry for the months to come when they won’t be around anymore.

These popcicles remind me of my mom. She loved these strawberries, so I’m going to share this recipe with you in her honor.

Strawberry Basil Ice Pops

  • 1 pound organic fresh strawberries
  • 10 organic basil leafs
  • 2 Tbsp local honey, or Agave nectar, or organic cane sugar (only if like them extra sweet)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice (I like lime!)
  • Wash strawberries, and cut off stems
  • Wash basil
  • Add all ingredients in bowl of food processor, or blender and mix until smooth. You could also create a simple syrup with the basil (muddle basil for the oils), honey, and water, and discard the basil before blending. I didn’t. I love basil!
  • Fill molds, and freeze for 3 hours (you could also strain through a fine mesh strainer if you want a smoother ice pop). If you are using traditional molds, or paper cups, you will need to freeze for 1 hour, and then add popsicle sticks.
  • Enjoy on a hot evening!