Salmon With Roasted Asparagus and Ginger Soy Mustard Sauce

Sarah’s Notes: A great spring meal. Pretty easy and very pretty.

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

1 1 1/2-pound skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut three 1/2-inch-deep slits crosswise in top of salmon (as if dividing into 4 equal pieces but do not cut through). Arrange asparagus in even layer on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and turn to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place salmon atop asparagus; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until salmon is just opaque in center, about 20 minutes.

Transfer asparagus and salmon to platter. Spoon sauce over salmon. Cut into 4 pieces along slits and serve.

Per serving: calories, 336; total fat, 18 g; saturated fat, 3 g; cholesterol, 96 mg

Nan Bauer’s Pumpkin Sweet Potato Soup

9 1 1/3 cup servings

Bake or microwave 2 large sweet potatoes. Take out the pulp and mash real good with a fork (it can be kinda stringy if you don’t smash it down).

Sauté a diced red onion in some oil or butter (or non-stick spray if you’re being good).

Add the sweet potatoes and a 14 oz. can of pumpkin puree (make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling, which has all sorts of weird stuff added).

Whisk in 8 cups of broth; let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Whisk in 1 c peanut butter – it has to be the cheap hydrogenated kind, not the healthy kind that separates – and 2 T grainy mustard (any mustard except for the bright yellow stuff is fine). Sprinkle in some nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste. (I usually salt the onions as it makes them brown a little nicer, but you could probably make this with no salt at all).

Scallions make a nice garnish.

Thickens seriously on reheating. Freezes swell.

Jean’s Red Lentil Soup

Serves 6

Heat in a large heavy soup pot over high heat:
1 Tbls Ghee or peanut oil
2 Tbls black mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
Cover and let sizzle until mustard seeds pop. (15-30 seconds).  Immediately turn off the heat and let sit, covered, until the seeds stop popping, about 1 minute.

Stir in:
2 c chopped onion
2 Tbls freshly minced ginger
¼-½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Sauté over medium high heat for 1 minute.

2 c water
2 c soymilk
1 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium low and stir in:
1 ¼ c red lentils
3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick pieces
1/3 c unsweetened grated dried coconut
Cover and cook at a gentle boil for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add:
1 tsp salt
Continue cooking about 15 minutes more, until lentils have melted.  If the soup is too thick, thin with additional soymilk.

318 calories per serving
11g Fat
17g Protein
41g Carb
11g Fiber
6,724 mg sodium

2 Protein, 1 carb, 2 fat

Garlic-Roasted Chicken Breasts

Sarah’s Notes: This is a great, quick weeknight alternative to roast chicken.

Servings: Serves 2.


2 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
1 1/4 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves (about 15), unpeeled
1/2 cup dry white wine or sake


Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle chicken with sage, salt and pepper. Heat oil in medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, boil garlic cloves in small saucepan of water for 2 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water to cool; peel.

Arrange garlic cloves around chicken in skillet. Pour wine over. Cover skillet; bake chicken and garlic 10 minutes. Uncover; baste chicken with pan juices. Bake chicken uncovered until cooked through, about 8 minutes longer. Using tongs, transfer chicken to plates.

Boil pan juices over high heat until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon garlic sauce over chicken.  Serve with mashed potatoes or cauliflower.

CI Tomato Basil Mozzarella Pasta

Sarah: Great way to make a meal out of an abundance of summer tomatoes

If handmade buffalo- or cow’s-milk mozzarella is available (it’s commonly found in gourmet and cheese shops packed in water), we highly recommend using it, but skip the step of freezing and add it to the tomatoes while marinating.

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (use the good stuff – Columela Extra-Virgin is a good one).
2-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (or more to taste, depending on tomatoes)
1 small garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 small shallot , minced fine (about 2 tablespoons)
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes , cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese , cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note above)
1 pound penne pasta or other short tubular or curly pasta such as fusilli or campanelle
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar (to taste, depending on tomatoes)

1. Whisk oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add tomatoes and gently toss to combine; set aside. Do not marinate tomatoes for longer than 45 minutes.

2. While tomatoes are marinating, place mozzarella on plate and freeze until slightly firm, about 10 minutes (IMPORTANT – don’t skip this step unless using handmade cheese). Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain well.

3. Add pasta and mozzarella to tomato mixture and gently toss to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in basil; adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice or sugar, if desired, and serve immediately.

Asian Peanut Noodle Salad with Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chunky natural peanut butter
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 heaping tablespoons packed light brown sugar
water (hot)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon table salt
1 pound fresh Asian noodles or 12 ounces dried spaghetti
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 scallions , sliced thin on diagonal
1 medium carrot , grated

1. Toast sesame seeds in medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in small bowl. In blender or food processor, puree remaining 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, and sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds. With machine running, add hot water 1 tablespoon at time until sauce has consistency of heavy cream, about 5 tablespoons; set blender jar or work bowl aside.

2. Bring 6 quarts water to boil in stockpot over high heat. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to 6 inches from broiler element; heat broiler. Spray broiler pan top with vegetable cooking spray; place chicken breasts on top and broil chicken until lightly browned, 4 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken over and continue to broil until thickest part is no longer pink when cut into and registers about 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside. Add salt and noodles to boiling water; boil noodles until tender, about 4 minutes for fresh and 10 minutes for dried. Drain, then rinse with cold running tap water until cool to touch; drain again. In large bowl, toss noodles with sesame oil until evenly coated. Add shredded chicken, scallions, carrot, and sauce; toss to combine. Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle each bowl with portion of reserved sesame seeds, and serve.

Brining Tips from CI


This chart can be used for general guidelines; however, always be sure that your meat is not already “enhanced” before you brine – many conventionally-produced meats are.

CHICKEN Cold Water Table Salt Sugar Time
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) 2 quarts 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 to 1 hour
2 whole chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each) 2 quarts 1 cup 1 cup 1/2 to 1 hour
4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (whole breasts, split breasts,
whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks
2 quarts 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 to 1 hour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each) 2 quarts 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/2 to 1 hour
1 turkey (12 to 17 pounds) 2 gallons 1 cup * 6 to 12 hours
1 turkey (18 to 24 pounds) 3 gallons 1 1/2 cups * 6 to 12 hours
1 bone-in turkey breast (6 to 8 pounds) 1 gallon 1/2 cup * 3 to 6 hours
4 bone-in rib loin pork chops (12 ounces each), 1 1/2 inches thick 1 1/2 quarts 3 tablespoons 3 tablespoons 1 hour
1 pork roast (3 to 6 pounds) 2 quarts 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Lime butter sauce for fish

Sarah’s Note: Simple and deeeelish.

1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt (1/4-1/2 tsp if using salted butter)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Grilled Blackened Fish

Sarah’s Note: The spice crust on the exterior of the fish is restaurant-worthy. Works well with any mild, white-fleshed fish. Especially good with snapper.



* 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
* 2 teaspoons onion powder
* 2 teaspoons garlic powder
* 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
* 3/4 teaspoon table salt
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 4 mild fish fillets, such as tilapia or snapper 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 inch thick
* vegetable oil, for grill rack


1. Combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, salt, and peppers in small bowl. Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, stir in spice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and spices turn dark rust color, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to pie plate and cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Once cooled, use fork to break up any large clumps.

2. Light large chimney starter filled two-thirds with charcoal (4 quarts, or about 65 briquettes) and allow to burn until coals are fully ignited and partially covered with thin layer of ash, 15 to 20 minutes. Build modified two-level fire by arranging coals to cover one half of grill. Position cooking grate over coals, place large disposable roasting pan on grate directly over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes. Remove roasting pan and scrape grate clean with grill brush. Grill is ready when coals are hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grate for 2 to 3 seconds).

3. Meanwhile, pat fillets dry on both sides with paper towels. Using sharp knife, make shallow diagonal slashes every inch along skin side of fish, being careful not to cut into flesh. Place fillets skin side up on rimmed baking sheet or large plate. Using fingers, rub spice mixture in thin, even layer on top and side of fish. Flip fillets over and repeat on other side (you should use all of the spice mixture). Refrigerate until needed.

4. Lightly dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Place fish perpendicular to grill grates, skin side down, on hot side of grill. Grill, uncovered, until very dark brown and skin is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Using thin metal spatula, carefully flip fish and continue to grill until dark brown and beginning to flake, and center is opaque but still moist, about 5 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Sarah’s House Salmon Cakes

Easy quick supper with things we always have on hand.

2 6oz cans of boneless, skinless salmon (Costco or Trader Joe’s are good sources)
2 (level) TBS Dijon mustard
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped red pepper (or corn or other veggie)
1 1/2 c panko crumbs, divided
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 T soy sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg
1/2 c mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp psyllium powder (optional but really helps hold things together)