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Three Marinades to Get You Grilling

Labor Day weekend hails the end of summer and is considered by many Americans to be the last grilling weekend of the season. This coming weekend, we recommend you polish off the summer in style with one of the tasty marinades  below. These have been adapted from the June 2008 issue of Real Simple Magazine.

All recipes below will marinade 2 pounds of meat, seafood or veggies. To prepare, mix all ingredients in a baking dish or sealable glassware and marinate for 20 minutes to overnight, turning a few times to ensure proper soaking of all surfaces. The exception to this is all forms of seafood – it should not be marinated more than 15 minutes as the acid in marinades break down the delicate tissue quickly and you will be left with mushy fish.

Photo by JaBB|Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by JaBB|Flickr Creative Commons


Southwest Marinade

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup avocado or grapeseed oil (these withstand the high heat of the grill better than EVOO)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (VIBRANCE is a fan of Celtic Sea Salt)

Best as a marinade for chicken, flank steak, pork chops, bell peppers, corn on the cob and summer squashes.

Ginger Sesame Marinade

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or tamari if you can tolerate soy)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar free fish sauce  (Omit if using tamari)
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 scallions,thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Delicious with scallops, shrimp, salmon, pork tenderloin, London Broil, mushrooms, and eggplant.

Lemon Rosemary Marinade

  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary stolen from your neighbor’s yard (it taste’s better that way!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Delightful with chicken (one-in), boneless leg of lamb, shrimp, bass, lamb chops, zucchini, summer squashes, asparagus, shallots and leeks.


Recipe: Nori Wrapped Salmon

Wild Pacific Salmon is rich in omega 3 fats and free-radical fighting carotenoids, making this dish one of the healthiest protein sources available. When choosing salmon, always go wild caught – preferably Alaska, as it is swimming in the cleanest waters. Farmed salmon is fed pesticide laden, food dyed pellets and is not an environmentally friendly or healthy choice. Due to their diet, they lack fewer omega-3 fats then their wild counterparts, and their pale pink color comes from the food dye in their fish chow. (MmMMmm, tasty!)

This recipe is an excellent meal during spring and fall – when it’s cool enough that you want a heartier meal but warm enough you don’t want something too heavy. Serve with steamed bok choy or salad in springtime and bamboo rice or Asian style root veggies in the fall.

Serves 4

4 Wild Salmon fillets (8 oz each)
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp powdered wasabi
Furikake or Osaka Sea Salt to taste (a Japanese seasoning found in Asian markets – look for one without MSG)*
4 sheets nori seaweed

Preheat oven to 450. Mix mustard and wasabi powder together and spread on nori. Sprinkle the salmon with salt, pepper, and furikake or Osaka sea salt. Place salmon face down in the middle of the nori sheet and wrap like a package so that fish is fully covered. The nori will stick to itself and the fish. Place wrapped fish in a slightly oiled baking dish. The general rule for fish is to cook it 10 minutes for each inch of thickness. The nori will lightly flavor the fish and seal in the juices. 

*Hey, Seattleites! Try Osaka Sea Salt available at World Spice Market near Pike St. Market – It’s excellent!

Recipe of the Moment: Thai Sea Goddess Saute'

Okay.  I just finished making and eating this and I am one HAPPY camper! I added lotus root to this recipe to make it extra special. Lotus root is found in most Asian supermarkets for reasonable prices. It is a deeply symbolic food item with a rich cultural history (check it out).

Holy basil is a variety of basil revered for it’s effect on calming the nerves and reducing irritation and inflammation throughout the body while boosting immunity and facilitating the body’s ability to adapt to stressors.  Scallops and shrimp are high in tryptophan and contain appreciable amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, making this a sure-fire mood lifting meal.Thai Sea Goddess Saute'


Thai Sea Goddess Saute’

This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on CHOW.com

  • 1 tbsp.  peanut or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic or 1/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup lotus root, sliced thinly and quartered
  • 1¼ pounds raw bay scallops
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, sliced fine
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, tops only, sliced fine
  • 1/2 pound frozen cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 3 tablespoons  holy basil leaves (you can use Thai basil instead)
  • Holy basil florets or stem tips, for garnish
  1. All advance preparation may be found in the ingredient list.
  2. Add the oil to a very hot wok or skillet and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and lotus root and  sauté until garlic is light golden. Immediately add the scallops, and zucchini and stir-fry 1 minute.
  3. Add the chile sauce and sauté quickly until fragrant.
  4. Reduce the heat and add the cilantro, scallions, shrimp, and fish sauce. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Just before service, add the holy basil leaves and stir to incorporate.
  5. Serve over brown rice or quinoa. Even better — rice or quinoa that has been cooked in coconut milk.  Incredible!

Recipe: Easy Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower is a fantastic alternative to mashed potatoes for those avoiding nightshades or high glycemic potatoes. Surprisingly, these do not taste strongly of cauliflower; rather they pick up the subtle buttery notes and allow spices such as cracked peppercorn and garlic to shine through. Use the recipe below as a baseline and feel free to experiment by adding roasted garlic, basil and sun dried tomatoes, rosemary, dill, or other favorite spices to liven things up!

Aimee’s Easy Mashed Cauliflower

* 2 heads cauliflower
* 1 qt. vegetable broth
* 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
* sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Tear florets from the cauliflower head and add to a large stock pot. Cover with broth, bring to a boil and steam until very tender – about 15 minutes.

Transfer florets into Vitamix (this makes them supercreamy!) or a food processor. Add butter or oil, salt and pepper, and any spices you wish to use. Puree on high for 30 seconds – 2 minutes until smooth.

Transfer to a warmed ceramic dish and serve.
Makes about 7 cups.

Summer Watermelon Salad

This salad is AWESOME.  The basil and watermelon are refreshing and energizing, and the feta adds heartiness and depth that allows this to be quite satisfying.  It keeps well for about 2 days.  It is also fantastic without the feta!

Serves 4

* 3 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon (rind removed), cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
* The juice and zest of one lime
* 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (see note)
* Coarse salt and ground pepper, if desired
* 4 ounces imported Sheep milk feta cheese, broken into large pieces (about 1 cup)


1. In a large bowl, combine watermelon, lime juice, lime zest, basil; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.  Refrigerate until chilled. Serves 4.

Cash and Half (truly non-dairy creamer)

This recipe comes from Elanaspantry.com,a gluten-free recipe blog. She gives the recipe for a cashew milk, but I opted to try the thicker, creamier version for my evening tea since I have a carton of almond milk in the fridge.

Cash and Half
1 cup (raw) cashews, soaked overnight
2 cups water
1 tablespoon agave nectar
pinch sea salt

  1. Discard soaking water and rinse cashews thoroughly until water runs clear
  2. Place cashews, 2 cups fresh water, agave and salt in Vitamix
  3. Process on high for 20-40 seconds
  4. Store in glass jar in refrigerator

For the viscosity of regular whole milk add 2 more cups of water to the Vitamix; if you want to make milk with the consistency of 2% cow milk, add  an additional 3 cups of water.

Elana says, “Cashew milk is very foamy when first removed from the blender; it settles nicely after sitting in the fridge overnight. Often a layer of cream forms on top of the milk, though don’t be thrown, underneath is pure, delicious white stuff.”

I like the cash and half. It whitens my tea like half and half would and by the spoonful has a thick, mildly sweet taste. The recipe is relatively effortless and gives me just what I am looking for in my blackberry sage tea. Thanks, Elana!

Detox Friendly Pesto

This vegan pesto was a great hit last night! The miso is a fine substitute for cheese; most could not even tell the difference!

1 cup pinenuts (use equal parts pumpkin and sunflower seeds for nut allergies)

1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic

3 tbsp. chickpea miso (or mild yellow miso if you are not detoxing or soy-sensitive)

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1/2 – 1 lemon)

2 bunches fresh basil

Tear basil leaves from stem. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Thin with additional lemon juice, if desired.

Toss with spaghetti squash, use to flavor soups, or add onto sandwiches and pastas.

PCC’s Emerald City Salad

PCC is the local co-op in Seattle, Washington. This recipe is my favorite use of kale, and is a wonderful dish any time of year.  If you live in Seattle, you can usually find this in the deli. YUM!

1 cup uncooked organic wild rice

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 bunch organic kale

1/2 bunch organic chard

1/2 diced red bell pepper

1/2 diced yellow bell pepper

1/2 thinly sliced fennel bulb

1 bunch green onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped parsley

**Optional: add toasted almonds or walnuts, if desired

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Salt the water (if desired) and add rice. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 60 to 65 minutes. When the water is absorbed, remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. When the rice is cool, toss with dressing.

Remove tough stems and ribs from greens and chiffonade. Combine with peppers, fennel and green onion. Just before serving, toss veggies with dressed rice.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe from PCC Natural Markets, Seattle, Washington: http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com

RECIPE: Pinto Bean Yam Chili with Chipotle

The colors and flavors of this untraditional chili are wonderfully diverse and complex. Like many chilies, this one tastes better the next day! Serve over brown rice or in a large baked potato.

2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tsp. chipotle powder (or 3 dried chipotle chilies ground in a spice mill)
1 tsp. cumin
2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 large garnet yam, peeled and diced
2 large zucchini, chopped
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 14oz. can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 15oz. can No Salt Added pinto beans, drained
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. lime juice
4 tbsp. cilantro, chopped, and more to garnish, if desired.

Heat olive oil on med-high. Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring for one minute. Add vegetable broth and yams. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until yam is softened. Add corn, zucchini, tomatoes with their juices, and beans. Cook, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, until chili thickens and yam is very tender. Stir in orange zest, lime juice and cilantro. Spoon into bowls and garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.

Serves 4.

Recipe taken from Pioneer Organics Healthy Home Delivery Newsletter, week of 11/08/04

250 calories, 6.6 grams of protein, 47 grams carbs, 4 grams of fat per serving (a recipe makes 4 servings)

Recipe: Vanilla Rice Cream with Blueberries

Too orgasmic to keep to myself, this recipe is taken directly from “A Celebration of Wellness” By James Cederquist and Natalie Levin. A BIG ‘thank you’ to them both!

  • 1 cup organic brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vanilla coconut milk, rice milk, or almond milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • maple syrup or honey to drizzle on top

Toast the dry rice in a medium hot skillet until evenly browned, stirring constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Grind in a Vitamix or coffee grinder until fine and powdery (I left mine with a few chunks).
Bring water and dairy-free milk to a boil in a pot, whisk in rice cream, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes (I think it took about 20 with the chunky bits) or until desired consistency is reached.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and blueberries. Drizzle with sweetener of choice.

Serves 3 to 4 (It took me three tries to finish the pot)