Grilled Mahi with Tropical Salsa and Coconut Rice


This is really three recipes in one. And each is awesome on its own. We snacked on the tropical salsa with blue corn tortillas chips. The coconut rice could accompany grilled chicken. It’s just delicious. And the grilled mahi, marinated in olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, and cilantro is fresh and flavorful. It’s all so good. Don’t let your lack of a grill stop you, the fish could be roasted, broiled, or pan-fried as well. Here’s to summer and hopefully many more meals like this!

Grilled Mahi with Tropical Salsa and Coconut Rice


1/2 cup sliced yellow onions
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
pinch cayenne
4 (~6 oz.) mahi mahi fillets
toasted coconut flakes, garnish
chopped cilantro, garnish

Coconut Rice:
1 cup coconut milk (I used a full can of light coconut milk and reduced the water to 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. sugar
1 cup long grain white rice
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Tropical Salsa :
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup minced red onions
1/4 cup minced red bell peppers
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. minced jalapeno (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. In a bowl, combine the onions, oil, orange and lime juices, cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne. Place the fish in a large, non-reactive baking dish. Pour the marinade over the fish, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

2. Preheat a grill (or indoor grill pan), and lightly oil the grill rack with vegetable oil. Remove the fish from the marinade. Place on the oiled grill and cook until marked, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Turn carefully with a spatula and cook until the fish is just cooked through, about 4 minutes, depending upon thickness. Remove from the grill.

3. Spoon the coconut rice into the center of 4 large plates. Arrange 1 fillet onto each serving of rice and top with the Tropical Salsa. Garnish with toasted coconut and cilantro, and serve.

Coconut Rice:
1. In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir well, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer undisturbed until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit without stirring for 10 minutes.

2. Fluff with a fork and add the cilantro. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Serve hot.

Tropical Salsa :
1. Combine the mango, avocado, pineapple, onions, bell peppers, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno (or cayenne), garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl and gently fold to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving for the flavors to blend.

Serves 4.

(Adapted from Food Network)

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By in Seafood ·

Whole Wheat Banana Bread


A basic banana muffin (or bread if you bake it as a loaf), made with 100% whole wheat (plus flax) and a touch of honey. These don’t taste nearly as healthy as they are. They’re soft and plenty sweet and lightly spiced (add the cinnamon!!). Enjoy them warm and then freeze the leftovers- they’ll stay fresh much longer and you can pull one out of the freezer for a snack anytime!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread/Muffins


2 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour (I replaced 1/4 cup flour with ground flaxseed)
¾ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt)
¼ cup honey
2 eggs
⅓ cup oil (I used melted coconut oil)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 F and light coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt (and cinnamon if using).

3. In a separate bowl mix mashed bananas with yogurt, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla.

4. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Do not overmix.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan.

6. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

NOTE: This recipe can be made into a loaf. Bake in a loaf pan for ~50 min.

*high altitude adjustments (~7000 feet): increase oven temperature to 375 F, halve baking soda

Makes 12 large muffins.

(Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

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By in Bread, Breakfast ·

Salmon Rice Bowl with Maple Lime Glaze


We love a good rice bowl. (One of my favorites is the salmon- with veggies- teriyaki bowl at Whole Foods. Clara and I have shared a dozen of those over the last few years.) So I was excited when I found this recipe. The maple-soy-lime glaze is what really makes it awesome! Steam some rice. Saute spinach and whatever other vegetables you desire. Simmer a quick glaze to brush on the salmon before roasting and drizzle atop before serving. I added some steamed broccoli on the side. Healthy and delicious.

p.s. Serve it with brown rice if you prefer. Or try rice noodles. I bet chicken or shrimp would be equally delicious. (Shrimp you can roast- it’ll cook quick!- but chicken I would grill or cook in a skillet.) Or tofu. Or just go crazy with the veggies.

Salmon Rice Bowl with Maple Lime Glaze


1 cup jasmine rice
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
3-4 salmon fillets (12-16 oz. total), skin removed
1 tsp. canola, coconut, etc. oil
2 5- oz. packages baby spinach (and/or a mixture of vegetables to saute- I added green beans, shallot, and bell peppers)
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
chopped green onion or chives, for serving (optional)


1. Heat oven to 400 F. Cook rice as directed on package (I use 2 cups water and 3/4 tsp. salt for 1 cup white rice).

2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté garlic and pepper flakes until garlic is lightly golden, 1 minute. Add syrup, juice and soy sauce; cook until bubbling, 3 minutes. In a bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tsp. water; stir into garlic glaze. Cook until slightly thick, 1 minute.

3. Arrange fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread 1 tsp. glaze over each fillet. Roast until just cooked through, about 12 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add 1 package spinach; sauté until just wilted. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from pan; set aside. Repeat with second package spinach. (At this point you can sauté any other vegetables you want to include.) Divide rice among bowls; top each with spinach/veggies and salmon. Drizzle with remaining sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion/chives (optional), and serve.

Serves 3-4.

(Adapted from Self)

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By in Asian, Seafood ·

Vanilla Birthday Cake


Clara’s birthday cake. I almost made her this funfetti cake but decided last minute to try a new recipe for vanilla cake with a buttery cream cheese frosting and just add some sprinkles between the layers and on top. Simple and elegant and just whimsical enough for a 3-year-old. I was truly wowed by how delicious this vanilla cake turned out to be! Soft and tender and moist. The frosting (which I added a little more cream cheese and used a little less sugar in) was just right. Creamy and not at all too sweet. We all LOVED it!


When I’m deciding whether to try a recipe from another blog, I always read through the comments. Besides rave reviews, many people wondered if they could use whole eggs instead of whites. The answer is that no, not in this case. It would change the texture, color, and final result. And the cake would probably take on a yellow hue. Save those yolks and make some ice cream too! I made a few slight adjustments for high altitude, which I’ve detailed below*. We had a bit of cake leftover, which I froze and then devoured the following week. It was just as amazing the second time around.

Vanilla Birthday Cake


Cake Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar (to taste)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Pinch salt


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8 or 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Cut two 8 or 9-inch rounds of parchment or wax paper and line the bottom of each pan; spray the paper with nonstick spray. (To measure the parchment paper, just trace the bottom of the pan.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until very soft and light. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg whites and milk by hand in a medium bowl until just combined.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in one-quarter of the flour mixture, then one-third of the milk mixture, stopping and scraping down the bowl and beater after each addition. Beat in another quarter of the flour, then another third of the milk mixture. Scrape again. Repeat with another quarter of the flour and the remaining milk mixture; scrape. Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture.

5. Scrape the bowl with a large rubber spatula. Don’t worry if the the batter looks a little grainy. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.

6. Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes, until they are well risen and set on top and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on rack for 5 minutes, then unmold onto rack to finish cooling right side up (keep parchment paper underneath cake layers so they don’t stick to rack).

7. When cake layers are completely cool, transfer to cake plate and frost with vanilla buttercream.

8. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until creamy and well combined. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat in the vanilla and salt. If the frosting is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk or cream.

for high altitude (~7000 feet): increase baking temp to 375 F, decrease baking time to ~25 min., + 3 Tbsp. flour, halve baking powder, + 2-3 Tbsp. milk, -1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

(Adapted from Once Upon a Chef)

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By in Cake, Dessert, Frosting ·

Whole Wheat Waffles with Flax


If you’re looking for a healthier waffle recipe, here it is. These waffles are whole wheat (or whole grain if you want to mix up the flours, add some flax or oat, etc.) but still light and fluffy. King Arthur suggests replacing a few tablespoons of the liquid with orange juice to tone down the intensity of the whole wheat. I’ve tried it and not noticed much difference, but it you’re using regular whole wheat (as apposed to white whole wheat which has a lighter texture and flavor) I’d suggest it. You can use butter or vegetable or coconut oil. You can replace with milk with buttermilk (might need to thin it a bit with some water) or a diary-free substitute like almond milk. And the recipe works in a regular or Belgian waffle iron. I always add a bit of vanilla and cinnamon for extra deliciousness.

Whole Wheat Waffles with Flax


1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I replaced 1/4 cup flour with ground flaxseed)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (can replace 2 Tbsp. milk with orange juice for a milder wheat flavor)
1/3 cup melted butter or oil (canola, grapeseed, coconut)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)


1. Preheat your iron while you make the waffle batter.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon (if using).

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and butter or oil, and vanilla (if using).

4. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy; that’s OK.

5. Cook the waffles as directed in the instructions that came with your waffle iron.

Makes about 4 large Belgian waffles, more if using a regular waffle iron.

(Adapted from King Arthur)

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By in Breakfast, Whole Wheat ·