Recipe: Parmesan and Herb Crusted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli

Cary, NC — This recipe has become the one I’m known for. It all started just over two years ago when I had invited over the woman I was dating for our first meal at my place. I knew it needed to be something fresh, something healthy, something impressive — but also something that I couldn’t screw up.

I had spent hours diving into blog posts and trying to find the perfect dinner, and as luck would have it, I did. I still make it regularly for both of us more than two years since that night. Now I’m not saying this is the magic food of romance, but hey, worth a shot!

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Vegan Christmas Breakfast

Cary, NC- On Christmas morning, I like to pop an eggy-cheesy casserole in the oven and let it bake while everyone is opening presents. A few years ago, that routine got a little more complicated when our youngest daughter decided she would eat a plant-based diet. You know, #GoVegan.

No more eggs, milk, bacon, sausage or any of what I typically think of as a “traditional breakfast”. For a while, our eldest complicated things further when she went gluten-free. Oh, and I don’t eat beef… welcome to my life!

This year I did some quick research for Vegan Breakfast ideas. I found a few that needed fake sausage or bacon, but I chose the following one because the ingredients were all readily on hand.

VEGAN ZUCCHINI BREAKFAST STRATA

I like the idea of a Strata, which literally means layers. This recipe consists of layers of zucchini and tomatoes as well as mashed potatoes. Prep time is about 30 minutes, baking time is under an hour. You can prep it all the night before and stash in the frig til you are ready to bake it. To make this gluten-free, just choose a GF bread (like Udi Bread which is available at any Trader Joes).

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini (cut into thin slices)
  • 1 tomato (seeded, and diced)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 tsp dry Italian seasoning (Oregano, thyme, marjoram, dry basil)
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 10 leaves basil plus more for garnish
  • 1 C cashews, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice plus zest
  • 4 med russet potatoes (boiled and peeled)
  • 4 leaves, sage
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and chopped finely)
  • 5 slices of your favorite bread (cubed)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Heat a large skillet, add the olive oil, then saute the garlic for just a few seconds. Then add the zucchini, tomatoes, and onions. Add pepper and Italian seasoning. Saute for 5 minutes or until zucchini softens but is not mushy. Let the liquid in the pan evaporate by turning on the heat to high if necessary.

2. Turn off the heat.

3. Make the basil sauce: In a blender, add the drained cashews, 2 cups of water, lemon juice, basil, and jalapeno. Blend and add salt to taste.

4. To make the mashed potatoes: With a fork or potato masher, smash up the boiled potatoes with the remaining olive oil, salt, sage and lemon zest.

5. In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini mixture, the bread, and half of the potatoes. Place this mixture in a 9″ x 12″ baking pan.

6. Pour the sauce over everything evenly. Press down to make sure the bread cubes are soaked evenly.

7. Scatter the remaining mashed potatoes on top.

Now it can be refrigerated overnight if needed.

To Bake

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place pan in the center rack and bake for 40 minutes.

3. After 40 minutes, move pan to top rack, turn oven to broil at 450 degrees. Broil for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes and bread are a nice golden brown.

4. Remove from oven, garnish with basil and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe comes from Holy Cow! Vegan recipes.

Recipe: Winter Chili That Won’t Slow You Down

Cary, NC – People may think spicy food is best for the cold weather, when really, you need something warm and hearty to help you power through the Winter months. A lot of chili can make you feel heavy and sluggish, so here’s a special recipe for  a chili that is both filling and light, with plenty of flavor too.

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Unique Cocktails for the Whole Holiday Season

Cary, NC – This time of year is packed with different holidays and get-togethers, so mix it up with some seasonally and thematically appropriate cocktails. Here are some ideas for different holidays and occasions. Read more

Recipe: Vegan Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Cary, NC – Thanksgiving is a popular holiday but the same staple Thanksgiving dishes can get repetitive, even dull. To change things up this Thanksgiving, here is a recipe for a vegan stuffing. Read more

What I Made from the Downtown Cary Farmers Market

Cary, NC – Fall is one of my favorite times of year to hit the Downtown Cary Farmers Market on Saturday. It’s fun to let the market guide what I make that weekend. This past weekend I was craving Thai food, and as always, the market provided me with plenty of inspiration to make the laziest, tastiest Coconut Eggplant Soup over Jasmine Rice. Yum! Read more

Homemade Ice Cream- No Cranking Required

Cary, NC – I’ve always wanted to make my own ice cream. I admit ice cream is my absolute, number one favorite dessert. I’m the birthday girl that prefers a Carvel ice cream cake to anything with buttercream icing. So when I heard that it was possible to make my own homemade ice cream that doesn’t require a machine and a gallon of rock salt, I was all over that idea.

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Meal Planning 101

Cary, NC – We get it. Everyone leads very busy lives these days. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat your meals based on the drive-thru menu at Chick-Fil-A. With a little planning, you will spend less, waste less, and eat healthier. Here’s our primer on Meal Planning 101.

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Recipe: Shrimp Tacos with Homemade Guacamole and Pico de Gallo

Cary, NC – Ever since our kids flew the coop, my husband and I have been enjoying making food that we like and eating at all kinds of crazy hours, many times as late as 9 PM. One of our recent late-night summer meals was a dinner of Shrimp Tacos with homemade guacamole and pico de gallo. Fresh and spicy and perfect for our overheated summer here in Cary, NC.

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Recipe: It’s Time to Make Pesto

Cary, NC – Right about now, if you have a garden, or a raised bed, or even a pot that contains basil, you are ready to harvest. And that means it’s time to make pesto!

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