Simple Summer Slaw

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Here is a quick recipe I threw together for a friend’s cookout yesterday. I should rephrase – quick if you have a food processor, but doable if you don’t. I was able to chop all the vegetables in less than 5 minutes with the food processor. If you don’t have time for that, you could by pre-shredded cabbage and broccoli slaw mix at the store. I don’t measure my liquids, so I am guestimating below…feel free to tweak as needed.

Simple Summer Slaw


  • 2 pound head of purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 pound celery (1/2 package), finely diced
  • 5 whole carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 pound radishes, julienned
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, diced (something tart works well)
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds (chopped walnuts would be great too!)
  • 2/3 cup thaini
  • 1 TBSP real maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Mix all the vegetables, cranberries, apple, and almonds together in a very large bowl (I had to use 2 bowls)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the thaini, syrup, and vinegar together.
  3. Pour over vegetable mixture and spread throughout. A little goes a long way, so just make sure to coat well.
  4. Let sit for at least 8 hours before serving. The longer the better – slaw gets its awesome taste after the cabbage ferments a little with the vinegar, so make sure you let the ingredients do their thing 🙂

Baked Salmon with Avocado Mango Salsa and Asparagus

Salmon with Avocado Mango Salsa

While I was finishing up some practice questions tonight, J put together one of this week’s recipes.

Salmon with Avocado Mango Salsa and Asparagus
Originally from Simply Recipes 


  • 2- 6oz salmon fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 large mango, peeled
  • 1 avocado (not too mushy!), peeled
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 poblano  pepper, diced
  • 2 limes
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. Place fillets skin side down on the foil. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salmon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Cut the mango and avocado into 1/2″ cubes. Mix them with the onion and pepper. Squeeze limes over the mixture and gently mix.
  3. Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and cook until bright green (they will still have some crunch then). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if needed.


All in all, it was pretty good. The salsa wasn’t spicy at all, so we would use a hot pepper next time. I think the salmon would be even better if it were marinated in lime juice and hot peppers, and then grilled. You could also do this to the asparagus to add a little something special to it; I have never had lime on asparagus, but lemon is quite good. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

Banana Oat Muffins

photo (4)These muffins are  so d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. and only contain a few simple ingredients. Plus they are low-fat and flour-free, so they are a great snack or breakfast for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and well, anyone!

I should call they lazy day muffins, because they are so easy to make. You don’t have to mix anything yourself and you only have to clean 2 things when you are done – a food processor and a muffin tin. I am pretty sure they took 10 minutes from start to oven.

The recipe is a modification from “Keeping up with the Joneses” blog. I made their original recipe last week – it turned out ok but I knew it needed some tweaking. This version turned out perfect, so give it a try!

Simple Banana Oat Muffins

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  • 2 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Place oats in a food processor and pulse until they are very fine chunks – not quite flour, but very small pieces.
  3. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. Pulse a few times to mix.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and then let the food processor do the rest of the work! Process until well blended.
  5. Fill the muffin tins nearly full with batter.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top and edges are lightly browned (I did 25 minutes).


Homemade Larabars – Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookie Dough! via

Much cheaper than buying them at the store for almost $2 each! I first fell in love with larabars back in 2010 (read more here), thanks to a suggestion from my food from Sarah. I have been making them at home ever since, but after a quick search of my blog I just realized I have never posted my recipe! The link provided above and here will take you to Oh She Glows’ version. I usually don’t add salt or vanilla and follow a different pattern for mixing the ingredients, but it all turns out the same in the end. Here is the general ingredient structure I follow.

  • 1.5 cups of nuts (any mixture – I usually buy raw or roasted, unsalted nuts whenever possible)
  • 1 cup of pitted dates or combination of dates and other dried fruit (not chopped, but the big ones that don’t have a pit)
  • 0.5 cup of add-in chocolate chips, coconut, or more dried fruit

You can mix and match nuts, seeds, fruit, and ingredients as you like.  As you see here I have 1.5 cups nuts and 1.5 cups fruit and other. Play with the consistency to see how you like yours. You can make a bigger batch by keeping the proprotion of nuts:fruit and add-ins about the same.

Here are the steps I take to make the bars:

  • Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse them so they are very small pieces (some will be chopped while others will be a powder) and set this aside. Add the dates and let the food processor (no need to clean it out) and turn it on. It will need to process for a while. First the dates (or 1 cup combination of fruit) will roll up into a big ball. Then it will start to smooth out. Stop the food processor once the dates have smoothed out. Add the nuts to the mixture and pulse until everything is combined (maybe 10 pulses).
  • Line a square 8″ x 8″ baking pan with wax or parchment paper. Remove the mixture from the food processor and place in the pain. Pat the mixture down firmly and spread with your hands to cover the entire pain. Continue to pat the mixture together until the mixture seems to be pressed down as far as it can go. Set in the refrigerator for an hour. Cut the bars and wrap in cling wrap. You can keep them at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.

Banana Walnut Almond Ice Cream

The day after I posted about purchasing an ice cream maker I spent a few hours in the kitchen trying to come up with the perfect recipe. I had read that using low-fat options, like skim milk, made the ice cream more ice than cream. I had read of some success people had with 2% milk and half-and-half, so I I thought I would start there. Instead of 2% milk I wanted to try Vanilla Almond Milk – the fat content is about the same, but the calories in almond milk are almost 1/2 AND the almond milk already had the vanilla flavoring and sugar, saving even more. The half-and-half was just because it is hard for me to purchase real cream (that will have to change).

So I began my simple recipe of 2 ingredients. I removed the bowl from the freezer and put the lid on to star the machine. The directions said it should be running when you add ingredients to prevent sticking. I added about 1 1/2 cups of almond milk and 1/2 cup of cream to my running ice cream maker.

As you can see from the picture the “ice cream” was more like ice milk. It had vanilla flavor but was not creamy. I was disappointed, but not defeated. We had tried banana ice cream in the food processor a few weeks ago and I remembered how thick and creamy the banana dessert was. We had a few ripe bananas on the counter, so I grabbed two, mashed them up and added them to the mix. I let it run for another 20 minutes. The mixture was creamier but also runnier since the bananas hadn’t been frozen.

I remembered another trick I had read on a blog somewhere – freeze the mixture in ice cube trays for later. I grabbed an extra ice cube tray and filled it up the mixture. The next day J and I decided to give it a try. We popped out 8 ice cubs of banana-vanilla-almond ice cream and put them in the food processor. I then addded about 1/4 cup of walnuts. I pulsed the mixture until it looked like a crumbled mess. Then I turned it on and let it go. The mixture will eventually turn into a ball and then smooth out. The final result (after about 2 minutes of running) was this:

Pretty nice, huh? The texture and taste were just like ice cream but not as sweet, so we both felt satisfied after our serving. I was quite pleased for my first attempt. The walnut pieces were still pretty big, so if I did this again I would first blend the walnuts into a walnut butter and then add the cream mixture. You could also use peanut butter instead. I will cotninue to experiment and be back with more recipes (possibly some that include real cream).

Apricot and Date Chicken

Slow Cooker Chicken with Apricots and Dates by A Year of Slow Cooking


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken meat (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup orange juice


  1. Put the chicken into the bottom of a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add diced onion, and spices. Sprinkle on the apricots and dates. Pour the broth and orange juice evenly over the top.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.  The chicken should be quite tender and shred easily with a fork. If your chicken isn’t tender enough, stir well and cook for a bit longer on low.
  4. Serve with quinoa or brown rice with the juices.

New Obsession – Larabars

I am always taken aback by how time fies between posts. In the past month so much has happened! I have been studying like crazy for the MCAT, applying to medical schools, taking Spanish class, working, volunteering, and training for a marathon! In the midst of this I often think about what I should blog about next. I am planning to start a nutrient series soon – it will highlight various nutrients, what they do for our bodies, and where we can get them. Anticipate a post in a week or so 🙂

In the midst of all of this craziness I was recently introduced to Larabars. They are a delicious, simple, and nutritious snack with only 3 or so ingredients. The base is made of dates and then there is always at least one type of nut and then a few ingredients to make the bar’s flavor. This makes them free of most allergens (except nuts, of course). 

 just finished eating the Pecan Pie bar – dates, pecans, almonds. That’s it!  My cat, who is quite particular and never tries to eat anything I am eating, actually kept trying to get a bite. I gave him a little crumb and he ate it up and came back for more! I like them before a run or as a good snack. The bars are a little expensive. I have shopped around and found Target has the best deal at $1.08 per bar. The local grocery store the most expensive so far at about $1.45 per bar. I tried to find a discount online by buying them in bulk, but nothing is cheaper than target, which is still a little much for me (especially since I can get a generic crunchy granola bar for $0.50 each). Then it came to me – why don’t I just make them? Here are two sites I found with recipes that are simple and descriptive:

Southern, Eh?

Enlightened Cook

I plan to try these out soon! We are in the market for a food processor and the money saved by making my own will likely pay off over a year. However, I might try them in the blender first. If you give them a try, please comment with the flavor you made (presenting existing as a larabar or one you made up) and ingredients. I will update this post once I give them a try! Enjoy 🙂

UPDATE: I tried to make these in the blender with little luck. While the peanut butter, date , and walnut blob was delicious, it was definitely not a Larabar. I’ll post again once we get the food processor!

Berry Trifle

This is a super easy recipe I made for the 4th of July. I didn’t take a picture, but it looks a lot like the picture below from this website.

-1 tub of low-fat cool whip
-2 boxes of fat-free vanilla pudding
-4 cups of skim milk (for the pudding)
-2 pints of blueberries
-2 pints of strawberries 
-1 ring of angel food cake (purchased or prepared on  your own).


  1. Prepare the vanilla pudding and let set in the refrigerator.
  2. Cut up the angel food cake into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes
  3. In a large bowl, mix the angel food cake and berries.
  4. Begin layering by placing a layer of fruit-cake mixture on the bottom of the dish. Top with dollops of pudding and cool whip. Repeat this layering until you reach the top of the dish.

*If you don’t have a tall dish, you can use a long cake pan and just have fewer layers.