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Easy baked salmon

salmonI love this salmon dish because it tastes kind of exotic even though it is SUPER simple and it uses ingredients that are always in my pantry.  We are having it again tonight–you should too!

Easy baked salmon

  • 2 salmon filets
  • 1/8 c soy sauce (gluten free, low sodium)
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 t dried ginger or 1 T freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • salt, pepper, hot pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, lemon juice and spices.

Place salmon in a shallow baking dish and pour the liquid mix over the filets.  Allow the fish to marinade for up to an hour.

Bake about 25 minutes, or until the salmon is flaky.

Apples and cinnamon

Do you have a bit of a sweet tooth, like I do?  If so, give this a try.

Sweet apples with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon

Sweet apples with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon

Slice up an apple, coat it with cinnamon, eat, and enjoy!

Why cinnamon?  Why not!  It is tasty, good for you, and it may even help control your hunger.

First off, if you are using the right kind of cinnamon (I like cassia because it has a more intense flavor) it is DELICIOUS!  Do you remember those little red hot candies called RED HOTS that were popular about 30 some years ago?  Well, if you use a high quality cinnamon, that is the flavor you will get from this inexpensive spice.  Now think about that coating a sweet apple.  No sugar, no salt, just wholesome goodness.  YUM!

There is not a lot of science behind the claims, but there is a lot of talk about how cinnamon can help with fat loss, appetite control, and blood sugar regulation.  Even if those claims aren’t based on science, the level of antioxidants is measurable and is a fact.  So enjoy knowing with 100% certainty, that you will be helping your immunity, reducing slow burning inflammation, and cutting back on the damaging effects of oxidation, all while snacking on this tasty treat!

So head to your kitchen now, slice your apple and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.  It is that easy!

Mango Gazpacho

Best gazpacho ever!

Best gazpacho ever!

I love springing forward for so many reasons, but a big one for me (especially right now) is the fact that there will be a bigger and more interesting and flavorful selection of fruits and veggies available at the store.

This week, my very favorite mango was available at Sams, by the flat.   I have been patiently waiting for their reappearance, checking back every couple of days, and my heart soared when I finally spotted this orange beauty sitting out!

Mango salsa, mango salad, mango smoothies, and this crazy awesome, mango gazpacho are just a few of the many things I make with this super sweet, exotic, and bright tropical fruit.

There are many different varieties, but the smaller, champagne (ataulfo) variety is hands-down my favorite and what I almost exclusively use here in my kitchen.

If you aren’t a big fan of mango, I would guess that you just haven’t had a perfectly ripe, soft, and sweet one yet.  It is crazy how they change as they ripen.  The really pretty, flawless ones that you see in the store and in ads are not ready to eat and honestly, taste terrible.  You have to be super patient with mangoes and allow them to ripen to the withered, ugly state before you eat (devour) them.

If you haven’t had one for a while, follow the above advice on the champagne mango and then let me know what you think!

Now, back to the gazpacho…

Mango gazpacho.  BEAUTIFUL!

Mango gazpacho. BEAUTIFUL!

Just look at this picture and tell me your mouth isn’t exploding with excitement.  Whether it is just me and my hubs having an intimate evening together or if we have a house full of hungry friends, this is one of my favorite ways to start a meal.   You can make it well ahead of time and just let it sit and chill in the fridge while you prepare the main course or entertain your guests.

All of the crispy, colorful bits of veggies  are such a great contrast with the smooth and creamy mango puree!

I can’t wait for you to try this one.  Don’t wait too long…these good mangoes are only here for a couple of months and if you miss your opportunity you will have to wait another season before you can enjoy this beauty of a soup.

As the season progresses, I stock up on the mangoes, big time!   They freeze very well, so I peel them and store them in the freezer.  That way I can enjoy all of my favorite recipes through the fall and winter months too.

Now go out and buy a flat of these orange beauties and give this recipe a try!


Mango Gazpacho

  • Perfectly Ripe Mangoes–flesh of 8 or so–about 2 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 c freshly squeezed orange, tangerine, or mandarin juice (I by the whole fruit and use my juicer)
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped into pretty small pieces
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper
  • generous squeeze of lime
  • salt and pepper, too taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, too taste
  • cilantro for garnish

In a food processor, blender, or vita mix puree the mango, jalapeno, and garlic together.  Add the citrus juice (including the lime juice) and mix well.

In a medium bowl add the chopped veggies.  Add the mango puree and mix until well incorporated.  Add a dash of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chipotle pepper flakes and mix.  Taste and adjust the seasoning to your palate.

Serve in small decorative bowls topped with a generous cilantro garnish.

Bon Appetit!




Veggie pasta with a crazy good green sauce

You have been served!

You have been served!

We had such a great dinner last night, I couldn’t wait publish this post to tell you all about it!

I found this recipe online a couple of days ago.  A versatile, raw, dairy free, gluten free sauce–using just a few ingredients–the star of the sauce being raw cashews.  Cashews are sweet, tender, and one of my very favorite nuts, EVER.  I knew I had to make this one ASAP…and I did!  The next day (yesterday), I got busy and whipped it together.  It was so easy, I had it ready in no time.

We haven’t had pasta in quite a while, so I went with gluten free noodles, like we always do, to debut this sauce.

Initially, I was going to make a simple sauteed mushroom topper for the pasta and sauce, but after sampling the sauce, I noticed that it tasted a lot like a creamy, super rich pesto sauce. I decided I better go with sauteed veggies instead–heavy on sweet corn.  That was a great decision.  Check out the picture to see how beautiful this pasta was with all of the brightly colored veggies and the cool green sauce.  Isn’t that fun?!

This should engage your senses!

This should engage your senses!

I hope this picture also makes you yearn for the smell and flavor of this dish.  Both are HUGE in this lively pasta!  You can adjust the seasoning for the veggies to suit your taste, I am sure just about anything would work here!

I don’t usually indulge in second helpings when it comes to pasta, but last night was an exception.  I filled her up twice and had to contain myself from licking the bowl clean!  I am not kidding!

Cashew, garlic, and kale make up this creamy and delicious sauce.

Cashew, garlic, and kale make up this creamy and delicious sauce.


I think this sauce would work great as a replacement for just about any cream or cheese sauce.  I might try it on a veggie lasagna next.  Doesn’t that sound good?

Until next time.  Remember, you are what you eat, so make it GOOD!




 Cashew, garlic, and kale sauce

  • 2 c sprouted cashews (2 c raw cashews soaked in about 2 cups water for about 2 hours, then drain)
  • 4 + cloves garlic
  • 2 c organic baby kale mix (baby kale, spinach, beet greens, carrots)
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes or more, to taste
  • dash of freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • splash of lemon juice (optional)
  • 1-2 c water, depending upon the consistency you need.  Check out the picture.  I used about 1 c of water.

Throw this all in a good blender or food processor and spin it until smooth.  Adjust the seasonings as needed.  Eat and enjoy or stick it in the fridge until you need it.  It should last 5-7 days easily in the fridge.

Sauteed Veg Mix

  • 1-2 T EVOO 
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small bag of organic, non-gmo frozen corn
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, diced

In a small sauteed pan, add the EVOO and chipotle pepper flakes and warm over a med-low flame.  Add the bell peppers and corn and cook until they start to soften–1-2 minutes.  Add the corn and crushed garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.   Mix in the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.  

Gluten Free Veggie Pasta with cashew sauce

  • 1 package of gluten free brown rice noodles, cooked according to package directions (al dente)

Mix about 1-1 1/2 c of the sauce with the drained noodles.  Add the veggies and combine carefully so you do not tear up the noodles.  Serve and enjoy!! XO



Roasted basalmic and mustard salmon

My plate

My plate

This roasted basalmic and mustard salmon has a so much flavor — my mouth is watering just looking at this picture.  It is also versatile enough, you can serve it like we did– simply, with a side of steamed veggies– or  serve it over a salad of greens, or a bowl of steamed rice or quinoa.  There are so many great options with this one!

It takes just a few minutes to whip together the bright and tangy marinade.  Pop it in the oven and about 25 minutes later you will be devouring this healthful fish–think about all of those omega 3 fatty acids!  

I would guess this would be a great choice if you are having guests for dinner.  Elegant and simple.  A dinner that can be mostly prepared before guests arrive.  

Cheers to making dinner easy, one tasty and healthful dish at a time! 

  • 2 Wild salmon filets 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 T basalmic vinegar, aged at least 10 years.
  • 2 t dijon mustard
  • dash of ground rosemary
  • splash of avocado oil (or your fav cooking oil)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • hot pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl mix together basalmic, olive oil, mustard, rosemary, crushed garlic, hot pepper, ground black pepper. Let sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes.  

Generously coat the fish with the sauce.  If you want it to marinade for a bit, stick it in the fridge (up to a couple of hours would probably work ok).  Otherwise, pop it right in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.  Want a little more brown on top?  Turn up the heat to broil and let salmon cook for another 2-3 minutes, until perfectly browned.  

Serve over a bed of quinoa with a side of steamed veggies for a beautifully balanced and healthful meal.

Andy's plate

Andy’s plate




Morning gluten-free glory

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

I had to cancel yoga classes again this morning because of all of the snow and ice here in the Ozarks.

Yes, I am a little bummed out about that, but it is nothing that a yummy muffin and big glass of cinnamon almond milk won’t cure!

To pick up my spirits I went straight to the kitchen to create these muffin treats.  They are pretty darn good…and GLUTEN-FREE!

I like that you use whole foods in the recipe to add sweetness and to keep them nice and moist…and boy are they moist and delicious

In fact, I am going back for seconds right now…

Take a little extra time today to be good to yourself and MAKE THESE MUFFINS!  You will be glad that you did!

Stay warm and safe!

Tastes so good I am having a second!

Tastes so good I am having a second!

Morning gluten-free glory muffins

Makes ~10-12, depending upon the size

  • 1 c organic oat flour
  • 1/2 c quinoa flour (if you don’t have this, use all oat flour)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 c unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 c raisins, plumped (just soak raisins in warm water to plump)
  • 1/4 c melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 c almond or coconut milk
  • 1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (to include the raisins, carrots, and apple).  Add the dry to the wet and mix until incorporated–don’t over mix.  Spoon into a lightly greased muffin tin (12 muffin).

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is a golden brown.

ENJOY with a big glass of almond or coconut milk.  YUM!


Citrus meets fish

Cod with orange zest, tomatoes, and red onion. YOU MUST TRY IT!

Oranges are in season now and WOWZA are they sweet and juicy! I bought a big bag at the store the other day and have been adding them to just about everything coming out of my kitchen–smoothies, salads, sauces, and desserts. Last night I decided to try using one in our main dish. I dolled up a boring piece of cod with orange zest and boy was it good. Check out this 488 original and let me know what you think about citrus meeting fish!
Bon Appetit!

Citrus meets fish

Servings:  2

  • 2 cod steaks (fillets)
  • 1/2 t sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t ground chipotle pepper flakes
  • 4-5 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • juice and zest from 1/2 orange
  • 1-2 t butter, melted
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional), just a sprinkle.  You may sub a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for the parm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel.

Put the diced red onion in a roasting pan so it will set directly under the cod fillets.  Place the cod fillets on the onion.  Sprinkle fresh orange juice on top of the fish.  Melt the butter and brush each fillet with butter.  Sprinkle the dry ingredient mix evenly over the 2 fillets and do the same with the orange zest.  Place the tomato slices on top of the fish to cover the entire surface of the fish.  Add a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to the top of the tomatoes.

Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the cod.  Turn the oven up to broil and cook for another minute or two, just enough to lightly brown the top of the fish and cheese.

Serve immediately and ENJOY!



My Ozark BUN

My Ozark BUN

I started this post a little over a year ago and never finished it, so after doing an inventory of the refrigerator last night I decided I would finally get back to this WAY overdue recipe.  Wow, am I glad that I did.  The Vietnamese noodles in my bowl were bombarded by all sorts of delicious vegetables–steamed and fresh.  Mushrooms, onions (white and green), broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, kale and cucumber were perfectly flavored with an acidic and flavorful lime vinaigrette sauce.  You might remember the vinaigrette sauce from my FRESH  spring roll recipe–I sincerely hope that you do, anyway!  It is super simple to whip together, packed with flavor, and absolutely perfect for this dish too…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!  The shrimp in this BUN are totally optional, but they really tasted good to me last night!  I also added an extra big hit of chopped cashews to top off the meal, which gave me extra healthy fat and protein to keep my belly full all night long!  The really great thing about this noodle bowl is how good you feel after you eat it–smarter, faster, stronger!  Ok, maybe that was more about my 90 minute power yoga class, but I did feel extra good last night!  Give My Ozark BUN a try and see if how it makes your body feel!  You will not be sorry that you did!

Here’s to feeding your belly well and loving every minute of it!

Color, texture, and tons of flavor--makes for the perfect BUN!


My Ozark BUN

Servings:  2

  • Rice Vermicelli noodles, enough for 2 servings
  • Uncooked shrimp, optional.  As much as you like in two servings of BUN!
  • Your favorite vegetables!  My choices this time were broccoli, kale, carrots, sweet bell pepper, yellow onion, green onion (for a heavy garnish), mushrooms, cucumber.
  • Lime Vinaigrette Sauce–recipe follows
  • Nuts, chopped–either peanuts or cashews, or both
  • Cilantro and green onions, chopped for a heavy garnish
  • Kosher salt for the shrimp boil
  • Water for the shrimp boil and to cook the pasta

If using shrimp, quick boil them in a salted pot and refrigerate until serving.  Reserve the salted liquid to use for cooking the rice pasta.
Cook the rice pasta, following the instructions on the pasta package.  Use the reserved liquid from the shrimp boil to give the pasta extra flavor.
Steam the vegetables to al dente or as soft as you like.  I grated the cucumber and added it raw to the dish.  Serve them over the cooked pasta and garnish with the green onions, nuts, and cilantro.
Pour the lime vinaigrette sauce over the top of the dish and ENJOY the gorgeous, fresh flavor of My Ozark BUN!

2 Servings

Lime Vinaigrette Sauce

  • 2 1/2 T fish sauce
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 1/2 t + chili sauce (sriracha)–or more depending upon your tolerance for HEAT
  • 1 1/2 T garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t anchovy paste
  • 2 t ginger, minced
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 c water

Mix all ingredients into a small bowl.  Makes enough for a least 2 servings of BUN.


Black Bean Enchilada Soup

Black Bean Enchilada Soup

I have this awesome friend named Lisa.  She is a riot, beautiful, and always, I mean always has a big smile on her face and a great story to share!  Oh, and she also has a great appreciation for good shoes and good food — no wonder we are such great buds!

So, Lisa sent me this Enchilada soup recipe over the weekend.  When Lisa sends a recipe, I know I had better drop everything and make it immediately!  Which is pretty much exactly what I did!  She got the recipe from her Farm Chicks cookbook (I guess I need to get my hands on one!) and I adapted it with my usual tweaks to create this flavorful masterpiece that ended up in my stew pot this weekend–pure scrumptiousness in a bowl!

Before I share the recipe, do you want to know more about our weekend?  Too bad, cause I am going to tell you anyway!  🙂  It was our first weekend at home with NOTHING TO DO–no visitors, no commitments, NOTHING–in a very, very long time!  I can’t tell you how happy that made us!  So, what did we do??  LEAVE!  We took Tobi and Wilson (Henna has a bum leg right now, so she stayed home to rest) hiking on Sunday.  We headed south to check out Johnny Morris’ Dogwood Canyon Nature Reserve.  Great decision!  I have to take this opportunity to give Johnny much deserved thanks for creating a wonderful place for nature enthusiasts to get some exercise in the heart of the Ozarks!  For those of you who aren’t from these here parts (ha, I had to say that!), Dogwood Canyon is a beautiful nature reserve boasting a 6 1/2 mile paved trail for hiking, running, biking, roller blading–they even have a tram for those less inclined to get out and move!–whatever your preference may be.  The trail is lined with waterfalls, stunning cliffs, caves, trees, and much, much more!  Making it a photogs dream!  You could seriously spend all day exercising and snapping photos of the scenery–which is pretty much what I did!  Oh, happy day!

Anyway, we were exhausted by the time we made it home, but I couldn’t wait to get started on the much anticipated enchilada soup.  I quickly got the prep work done and set the soup to simmer.  Simmer it did–for about two hours while we sat outside by a bonfire sipping on thirst quenching home brews, playing with the dogs, rehashing our day of fun!  When we finally drug ourselves in for dinner we were starving for this hot and filling soup.  It took just one bite to know that it completely exceeded our expectations!  It was the perfect way to end our perfect day!  THANK YOU LISA for sharing!

Dogwood Canyon


Black Bean Enchilada Soup

Servings:  6

1 T ground cumin

1 T cumin seed


1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 T  garlic, minced

3-4 c veggie or chicken broth

1 # chicken (thigh is best), cut up into small pieces (hormone free-antibiotic free).  This soup tastes GREAT without the chicken, so don’t be afraid to make this vegetarian or vegan.

2 cans organic, non-gmo black beans, do not drain

1 14 oz can organice fire roasted tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 c frozen corn (non-gmo, organic)

1 c organic salsa

2 roasted jalapenos, minced

1 T chili powder

1 lime, juiced

1 t chipotle pepper flakes

cilantro, chopped

green onion, chopped

non-dairy sour cream (we use tofutti sour cream!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Slice open the jalapenos and place them on a cooking sheet seed side down.  Roast for about 25-30 minutes, until very soft.  Remove from oven and mince.

While the peppers are roasting, saute the red and yellow onion, garlic, chipotle pepper flakes and cumin (both the seeds and ground) in EVOO in a large skillet over low heat until the onions are soft, but not brown–about 5-7 minutes.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the corn, chili powder and roasted jalapenos and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the salsa, fire roasted tomatoes, chicken (optional) beans and a big squeeze of lime (about half of the limes juice) and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Turn up the heat to medium high, add the broth and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low (as low as you can go!) and cook uncovered for about an hour (or two if you get distracted), stirring occasionally.

Serve the soup once it has achieved the consistency you desire!  Garnish with a big spoonful of sour cream, a handful of chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, and a big, big squeeze of lime!






Carousel Pizzas

Hi ya!  Today I thought I would share my favorite pizza combinations.  We had a big pizza party here at the casa last weekend and my neighbor and mother-in-law refused to let me in the kitchen–I was instructed to mingle while they topped the pizzas.  Mingle I did!  What a great evening of eating, drinking and catching up.  I have no idea what sorts of pizzas were created, but they were having a blast custom creating for the hungry party-goers all night long!

Before the party, I put together a list of our carousel (regular rotation) topping combinations for Celine and Brenda to use, but once the custom orders started coming in, I don’t know how many of mine were actually made.  Which is why I am posting them here!  If you have a favorite combination please let me know what it is and I will fire up the oven and give it a try!

Carousel Pizzas

Peach, Pig, and Parm

  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Roasted garlic
  • My red pizza sauce
  • chipotle pepper flakes
  • very thinly sliced peaches or mango
  • pancetta, pan fried very crisp and crumbled into tiny pieces

Sun-dried tomato, sweet onion, and hot, hot pepper

  • baby mozzarella, cut into very small pieces
  • sundried tom
  • my red pizza sauce
  • jalapeno, minced
  • carmelized onions
  • chipotle pepper flakes

Pesto and roasted corn

  • roasted corn, with loads of minced garlic, and chipotle pepper flakes
  • pesto sauce
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Italian cheese blend
  • chipotle pepper flakes
  • freshly ground pepper

Margherita Pizza

  • my red pizza sauce
  • mozzarella slices
  • fresh or dried basil
  • chipotle pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper