Friday, September 15, 2017

Soft Scramble Eggs with Salmon and Fennel

Who got to take advantage of Trader Joe’s anniversary celebration a few weekends back and scored a dozen or two or six of their eggs for 50 cents per dozen?  Needless to say it didn’t last as most never made it on the shelf.  I scored two dozen for myself with someone intending to make frittata.  That did not happen so I figure I might as well make use of it as I hate wasting food even if it only costed me a dollar.  I had a little leftover salmon with fennel and decided to turn it into breakfast by adding some soft scramble eggs with it.


Two eggs
Dash of milk
½ tbsp olive oil
Leftover salmon and fennel


1.      Beat eggs with a dash of milk

2.      Add olive oil into a small skillet over medium heat until heat through

3.      Add beaten eggs and cook over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally as it cooks up to desired consistency

4.      Top cooked eggs with leftover salmon and fennel

Price:   2 eggs which came out to a dime in this case

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Parchement Baked Salmon Filets with Fennel and Chickpeas - Eat Well Challenge #24

Since I found myself consuming way too much sugar from desserts to boba drinks to chocolates, I decided that I needed to blast some of that sugar out.  So I have cut back boba drinks to once a month minus the boba and limit the amount of desserts consumed.  At the same time, I have tried a few recipes from Dr. Ian’s book Blast the Sugar Out in the past month or so.  This is by far my favorite recipe as it is simple, tasty, and with very little cleanup since it is cooked in parchment paper.  Unfortunately it took until the end of salmon season to discover it. 

Losing 5 lbs to my pre-Maui/pre-holiday weight of 2011, I have to say it was a success. 

Dr. Ian’s Recipe from Blast the Sugar Out


1 small bulb fennel, timed, cored, and fronds reserved
1 can (14 oz) low-sodium chickpeas drained and rinsed
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried dill
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
4 center-cut skinless salmon fillets, preferably wild (6 oz each)
¼ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, very thinly sliced and seeds removed


1.      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

2.      Using a mandolin slicer or very sharp knife, slice the fennel into paper thin slices crosswise and put them in a bowl.  Add the chickpeas, basil, and dill, toss to combine 

3.      Arrange 4 large sheets of parchment paper (about 12 inches long) on a work surface

4.      Divide the fennel mixture among the parchment sheets, arranging in a flat, single layer on the center of each sheet. 

5.      Dot each pile of fennel with some butter cubes

6.      Place a salmon fillet directly on top of the fennel on each parchment sheet

7.      Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the fish and lay 2 or 3 lemon slices on top

8.      Bring the ends of each parchment sheet together and fold them tightly down over the top of the salmon, fold up the ends and tuck them under the salmon to enclose the salmon and vegetables completely

9.      Transfer packets to a baking sheet and bake unto the salmon is cooked through, about 20 minutes

10.  To serve, put a packet on each of four plates and open them at the table.  Chop the fennel fronds and sprinkle them over the top of the salmon to garnish. 

Price:  $22 for 4 servings = $5.50 per serving


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Corn and Watermelon Salad

It was a hot day in Sacramento when I was enticed by the corn and watermelon salad at Formoli’s Bistro.  So when I found myself back home with temperatures as high as Sac, I knew a remake of that corn and watermelon salad would hit the spot.  Perfect as a side for a BBQ or a light dinner with or without protein, I took advantage of the end of the summer bounty with the final week of fresh corn and a yellow flesh watermelon at the Farmer’s Market and spring salad mix, goat cheese, and pear vinaigrette from Trader Joe’s.  Since I have an abundance of Sweet 100 tomatoes from my backyard, I threw in a few for additional color. 


Small watermelon, cubed
Spring salad mix
1-2 corn on the cob grilled with kernels removed
Goat cheese
Pear Vinaigrette dressing


1.      Grill corn with husk on for about 20 minutes

2.      Once cooled, remove husk and remove kernels

3.      Line plate with spring salad mix

4.      Top with watermelon cubes, corn kernels, and goat cheese and drizzle with pear vinaigrette

Price:  $10 for 4 servings = $2.50 per serving



Monday, September 11, 2017

Sliced Pork Lettuce Wraps

With the second weekend of high temps in a row in a house with no AC, slaving over a hot stove is the last thing you want to do.  So anything to minimize the time cooking is key, with lettuce wraps a refreshing way for dinner to be served.   

I recently discovered Mama Cho’s in Castro Valley had ready to cook meats available in their butcher area so with a large container of marinated pork that required about 5-10 minutes to cook leaving behind a mildly spicy sauce to toss with your leftover rice and it was the perfect dinner to wrap in a piece of lettuce and enjoy, leaving you enough time to catch the sunset.


Marinaded sliced pork
1 tbsp olive oil
Butter Lettuce leafed into cups
Leftover cooked rice

1.      Heat the olive oil in a pan, add pork and sauté for about 5-10 minutes until cooked through
2.      Heat up leftover cooked rice and toss with pork if desired
3.      Add mixture to lettuce wraps and serve

Price:  $10 for 4 servings = $2.50 per serving

Friday, September 8, 2017

Turkey Salisbury Steaks with Mushroom Sauce - Eat Well Challenge #23

I was debating whether this would qualify as eating well as it does have Worcestershire and soy sauce but at the same time since this was one of Dr. Ian’s recipes to Blast the Sugar Out, it is better than most choices out there.  So if you are trying to cut down on sugar, this is one for you. 

Dr. Ian’s Recipe from Blast the Sugar Out


Two tbsp olive oil divided
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, divided
1 lb lean ground turkey
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried parsley
Two large eggs beaten
4 oz cremini mushrooms sliced
1 tsp low sodium soy suace
¾ of one 15 oz can low sodium beef broth
2 tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt

1.      Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat

2.      Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes

3.      Add 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and cook until it begins to bubble. 

4.      Remove from heat and pour onion mixture into a medium mixing bowl, cool to room temperature

5.      Add turkey, salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley to the cooled onion mixture

6.      Using your hands, mix well until combined

7.      Whisk the second tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and eggs together and add to turkey

8.      Mix well with your hands and divide mixture into 4 equal portions

9.      Shape each portion into an oval about ½ in thick

10.  Add remaining oil to the skillet that the onion was cooked in and heat over medium high heat

11.  Add the turkey patties and cook until golden brown on underside, about 5 min

12.  Flip the patties, reduce heat to medium low, cover pan and continue cooking until cooked through and golden brown (about 6-8 min more)

13.  Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm

14.  Return pan to the stove over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring until they release their liquid and begin to brown, 6-8 min. 

15.  Add third tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, soy suace, and broth, and bring the mixtue to a boil.  Cook until the liquid has reduced by about half (about 5 min)

16.  Remove from heat and stir in the yogurt

17.  Serve the Salisbury steaks warm with the hot mushroom sauce spooned over the top

Price:  $6 for 4 servings = $1.50 per serving

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fig and Burrata Caprese

If your only experience with figs is with Fig Newtons, you need to try fresh figs while you still can.  Aside from eating them on its own, I love making them as a decadent dessert paired with marscapone, honey, and pistachio nuts - 

But when I saw this sweet and savory option via a Bon Appetit link, that can be served as an appetizer, I immediately knew I needed to try it this way but substituting the buffalo mozzarella with creamy burrata cheese. 

With three ways to eat fresh fig, a far cry from what is stuffed into a Fig Newton, you have no excuse not to give it a try before it is gone for the season. 

Price:  $10 for 4 servings = $2.50 per serving (picture is 2 servings worth)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

End of Summer Buddha Bowl – Eat Well Challenge #22

While I had made my previous two Buddha Bowls vegetarian, the original recipe that inspired me to make them actually was not, making I am sure many question, Buddha eats chicken?  Not all practicing Buddhist eliminate all meat from their daily diet but only on special holidays throughout the year and if anything it would be beef that they avoid since cows are sacred in the religion.  

So as a homage to the recipe above that inspired me to even make Buddha Bowls making my Eat Well Challenge easier and tastier, I decided to add some healthy grilled chicken breast to this end of summer Buddha Bowl. 


2 Chicken Breasts Butterflied
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Mangos, diced
1 Package of Riced Cauliflower
Olive Oil
Handful baby spinach
Mango vinaigrette


1.      Placed chicken breasts in a container with lemon juice

2.      Saute the package of riced cauliflower until tender but still crisp and set aside

3.      Grill chicken breast in George Forman grill until fully cooked and juice runs clear when you slice into it (4-5 minutes total)

4.      Assemble Buddha Bowl (cauliflower topped with spinach, mangos, and sliced chicken breast)

5.      Top with mango vinaigrette

Price:  $12 for 4 servings = $3 per serving