Sunday, June 3, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

It's Rhubarb Season and I could not be happier. Here's my first nod to this summer time delight!

12-18 Muffins

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp.baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
6-8 oz plain or honey yogurt. (I used a honey flavored greek yogurt)
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 piece rhubarb, diced
1 cup chopped strawberries
4oz milk or water
brown sugar, to garnish the top of the muffin
sliced almonds, to garnish the top of the muffin

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your muffin tins with liners.
Combine the first 4 ingredients and set aside. Combine the butter, oil, sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Once combined it may seem dry, if so add 4oz of either water or milk to the batter to thin it out. This may or may not be needed. Once everything is combined add your fruit and stir into batter. Drop into lined muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with brown sugar and sliced almonds and bake 14-16 minutes until they are golden brown.

Hot out of the oven!

Smells delicious!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jerk Chicken Pasta with Vegetables

It's been awhile since I have cooked anything blog worthy. Tonight I was inspired by asparagus which is finally back in season! This fresh veggie pasta was a success!

Serves 2-4

2 handfuls of farfalle pasta
1 chicken breast
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 orange bell pepper, chopped
12 sprigs asparagus, chopped
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
4 green onions, shaved
1/4 cup skim milk
1/3 can low sodium, fat free chicken broth
olive oil
hot ajvar
jerk seasoning
black pepper
onion powder
garlic paste
red pepper flakes
shaved grana, optional

Eastern European Eggplant-Red Pepper paste meets Caribbean Jerk Spice!

Start with your pasta and prep everything else while it boils. Chop one boneless, skinless chicken breast and cook on medium heat with a small amount of olive oil and a tablespoon of jerk seasoning. I used Busha Browne's Traditional Jerk Seasoning.When the chicken was cooked through I added the chicken broth, skim milk, and a heaping spoon of ajvar. I like to use the ZerGut Hot Ajvar. I let everything come to a boil and then added the veggies. Cover with a lid so the spinach and asparagus can steam for about 5 minutes. When the asparagus was tender I added the pasta and additional spices (black pepper, onion powder, garlic paste, red pepper flakes and paprika). Depending on how much flavor and heat you like you might want to add a little more jerk spice or ajvar. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, toss, and serve. I had a little grana in my fridge and shaved it over the dish right before it was served. This was a delicious experiments in flavors. I can't wait to swap the pasta for quinoa next time.


The finished dish with shaved grana!

If you don't have access to specialty food store where you live you can purchase the ajvar and jerk spice online at

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Citrus Kale Salad

Always on a quest to use kale in everything. I made this sweet salad to compliment a savory soup.

Serves Two

2 cups finely chopped kale, no stems
1 segment of a red pepper, diced
1 half carrot cut into matchsticks
1/2 cups mandarin orange segment's (I used canned ones)
garlic powder
sea salt
black pepper
rice vinegar
olive oil
juice from 1/2 ruby red grapefruit

After making sure your kale is washed thoroughly shake of excess water and/or pat dry. Remove the tough stems leaving just the leafy green. Roll several leaves into a log and chiffonade until they are in thin strips. Place into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Using your hand wilt the kale until it is soft and fluffy. Once the kale is soft enough you can add your carrots and red pepper.

Sprinkle the mixture with olive oil and rice vinegar. I used probably about 1 tsp each, you do not need much. Then sprinkle with black pepper and garlic powder. Finish by squeezing 1/2 of a grapefruit's juice over everything. Mix to combine flavors. Add the mandarin orange segments last so they remain whole.

Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Won Ton Taco Bites

Won Tons seem to be the new rage in appetizer creations. The options are endless for what they can be filled with. I had small amounts of stuff left over from a taco night and made these to serve as a side to a southwest chowder. I really don't think these even warrant a firm recipe. Use this recipe as a guide to make your own version.

12 servings

12 won ton wrappers
taco meat
green onions, chopped
cooked black beans
frozen corn
green pepper, diced
salsa of your choosing
shredded cheese. I used monterray jack for this version
roma tomatoes, sliced
black pepper
non stick spray

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is heating up you can spray your muffin tin and press one won ton wrapper into each cup.

Now you can layer your ingredients into the cups. I started with a layer of cheese, then added the meat, beans, and corn. I added a spoonful of salsa over each one and packed the ingredients down with the a spoon. Then I sprinkled each cup with the chopped green onions and green pepper. I added another layer of cheese and then topped each one with a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper.

Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges of the won tons are golden. Remove from oven and let sit about 10 minutes, serve warm.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Warm Chickpea and Spinach Salad

This is the most delicious thing I have made in ages. I could eat it everyday! Thanks to the many people who had various versions of this on the web. I made it my own, and I made it delicious!

Serves 4

1 can chickpeas, drained
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch spinach, washed, stems chopped off
3 baby lemons, juiced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
oregano, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste
paprika, to taste
olive oil

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are soft. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes along with red pepper flakes, paprika, and oregano. Cook covered for about 18 minutes, stir on occasion. Then add one bunch of fresh spinach and cook for another 7 minutes. Finish with salt and pepper and the juice of fresh lemons.

Garnish with chilled and segmented roma tomatoes. 

Bacon & Veggie Chowder

Once again I am cleaning out the fridge and trying to make something delicious with not much. After look at all sorts of chowder recipes on the web I felt pretty confident I could wing my own. For a first attempt at chowder it was pretty delicious!


2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 can diced green chilies
1 red potato, skin on, diced
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2-3 green onion stalks, chopped
frozen corn, 1 handful
black beans, cooked, 1 handful
1/4 cup flour
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or jack cheese
black pepper, to taste (I used tons)
cumin, to taste
paprika. to taste
onion powder, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
sea salt, a pinch

Bring chicken stock and 1 cup water to boil. Add all veggies and spices to pot and simmer for 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. While the veggies are simmering you can cook your bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and cook chopped garlic in the bacon drippings. Add browned garlic and crumbled bacon to the soup. Lower heat and continue to cook covered.

In a separate bowl add 1 cup of skim milk and add 1/4 cup flour. Whisk until there are no lumps, or you can use an immersion blender which is much faster. Add mixture to soup and stir well. Now you can add your shredded cheese. Stir well and let cook for another 10 minutes to ensure everything is blended well.

Serve with tortilla strips and chopped cilantro.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Potato, Kale, and Sausage Soup

I am starting to think I should call my blog "Sausage and Kale" instead of "Rhubarb and Mint" seeing as these two ingredients make their way into my cooking on a pretty regular basis. Kale is pretty much boss in terms of awesome ingredients, especially as fall is starting to creep its way into Seattle. This is my first attempt at a Potato, Kale and Sausage Soup...Per usual I am just winging it, no recipe to follow per se, just throwing my favorite things into a pot.


3 tbs olive oil
1 lg shallot, diced
2 tbs mashed garlic
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, ground
14oz chicken broth
2 lg red potatoes, halved and sliced thin (skins on)
1 half bunch of kale, finely sliced
4 cups water
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste

Heat olive oil in a soup pot and add shallots and garlic. Stir until onions soften and start to brown. Once the onions are cooked add the sausage and brown on medium heat. After the sausage is thoroughly cooked you can add your chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and add your potatoes, kale and spices. Let boil for about ten minutes and then turn onto low heat and let simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 45 minutes.

So much kale....
Steaming Hot and Delicious

Perfect start to the Fall season!

Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and crusty bread. I also put a little dollop of sour cream in one bowl, and it was divine.