Pineapple Nectarine Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo (“rooster’s beak”) is said to be named thus because originally people ate it by pinching pieces between the thumb and forefinger. Or it could refer to the shape of the fresh salsa pieces.  The wonderful tart, tangy pineapple compliments the sweet nectarines and goes well with chicken, seafood, pork or with tortilla chips. As with any ready-to-eat foods make sure you wash all produce and your hands thoroughly before preparing. I have used some of this salsa fresco atop a grilled piece of fresh, wild sockeye salmon with garden ripe sliced tomatoes and fresh zucchini sauteed with salsify greens and Cuban oragano. (Pictured) Both are gluten-free.

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Pineapple Nectarine Pico de Gallo

Yield: 6-8 generous servings

½ fresh pineapple small dice (¼ in x ¼ in)
2 fresh ripe nectarines small dice
1 medium yellow or white onion small dice
½ bunch of cilantro chopped fine
1-2 serrano peppers chopped fine
½ tablespoon salt

In a medium bowl combine all the above ingredients mixed thoroughly, chill and serve.

© 2014 Aron David Bradley

Squash ‘Noodles’ with Pistachio Pistou

Pistou  is a Provençal  sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil. Although usually served cold, it can also garnish soups or create a delicious sauce for noodles of any kind. Like a pesto, I have added pistachios rather than pine nuts because their unique flavor enriches the pistou and goes well with the earthiness of the zucchini and the sweetness of the butternut squash. This recipe is gluten-free, diabetic friendly and far lower in carbs than any pasta dish.

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Zucchini Butternut Sqaush image

Squash ‘Noodles’ with Pistachio Pistou

Yield: 2-3 servings

2 zucchini
1 small butternut squash

1.5 cups fresh basil
5 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
20 pistachios
Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Garnish: shaved parmesan and red pepper

Make the pistou by placing the ingredients in a blender set to puree. Use a Paderno™ Turning Slicer or a mandolin to make ‘noodles’ with the squash (peel and remove seeds from the butternut squash). Add the pistou to a wok or sauté pan and add squash noodles. Use tongs to mix while cooking till all your ‘noodles’ are coated (about 2 minutes). Portion, serve and garnish with shaved parmesan.
Optional: Julienned red peppers

© 2014 Aron David Bradley

General Tso Eggplant

It appears that the popular dish general Tso Chicken was not a general’s favorite or even originated in China. It’s origin can be traced to one of two Chinese restaurants in New York in the early 70’s as a dish to introduce Hunan style cuisine to the masses although real Hunan dishes are seldom as sweet and way spicier. So General Tso is an Americanized dish with some Hunan notes. My healthy twist is that nothing is deep fried and is not as sweet as some recipes. This is a  pungent, piquant and gingery way to cook eggplant and is gluten-free and vegan.

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General Tso Eggplant

Yield: 2 generous servings

1 eggplant cut into 1 ½ inch strips
½ red onion julienne
6 large Crimini mushrooms sliced
4 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic chopped
2 teaspoons ginger minced
1 teaspoon chili flakes

Dust eggplant, onions and mushrooms with cornstarch. Mix tamari, vinegar, honey, garlic, water, chili flakes and ginger and set aside. Heat a wok or sauté pan with oil. Stir fry eggplant, onion and mushrooms till they start to brown add seasoning mixture and cook another 1-2 minutes. Serve with rice.

© 2013 Aron David Bradley

Mission Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza

Many stores now carry pre-made balls of pizza dough which make a large, thin crust pizza. This is a real time saver for those meals on the fly. Today’s offering marries black mission fig and goat cheese which are great on a crustini and even better on pizza dough. The fresh sage and  onions just kick it up a notch. Lately you may notice that we have been coloring outside the lines of traditional recipes. Our reasoning is to hopefully get you to be more adventurous with your food choices. Please let us know if we are succeeding!

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Low Carb Lasagna

Have you ever missed a zucchini or two in the garden and they have grown to zeppelin-like proportions or been gifted some of these babies from friend’s garden? Well fret not for I have the perfect solution.Take out your mandoline or a very sharp knife and cut these into 1/8 inch thick strips lengthwise and you have the start of a fabulous lasagna that is low carb, gluten-free, and diabetic friendly. Because you are using the squash instead of pasta you also have your veggie serving built in and have avoided all that refined flour and calories. You can also make this a meatless entree by just omitting the turkey sausage in the recipe.
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Low Carb Lasagna

Yield: 6-8 servings

2 very large zucchini (green or yellow)
2 lbs. reduced fat ricotta cheese
1 ¼ lbs. lean Italian seasoned turkey sausage
14 oz. reduced fat part skim mozzarella cheese
2-14 ½ oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1-12 oz. can tomato paste
8 fl. oz. Merlot or burgundy red wine
1 ½ lbs. Crimini mushrooms
5 cloves of garlic
6 sprigs fresh basil
2 oz. egg beaters or 2 eggs
1 oz. shredded parmesan or Romano cheese
2 tablespoons of sucralose or sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Slice the large zucchini lengthwise on a mandolin 1/8 inch thick to use in place of pasta. (Don’t cook it). Shred mozzarella cheese, set aside. Combine ricotta, eggs, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper and Parmesan or Romano cheese in a bowl, set aside. Slice mushrooms, mince garlic and chop basil. In a saucepan add ½ tablespoon of olive oil, sausage (remove casings), mushrooms, garlic and sauté till sausage is cooked. Drain excess fat and add tomato products, basil 1 tablespoon kosher salt, sucralose or sugar and the wine, reduce to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes stirring frequently. Coat a large lasagna pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Layer zucchini, ricotta mixture, sauce and mozzarella lasagna style. Bake in 375° oven for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley

Kale Pesto

Val and I have an abundance of beautiful kale from our garden and it has also been showing up in our CSA box from lately so we have been brainstorming a way to put up our bounty for those winter months.  We came up with this recipe which, like its basil counterpart, freezes well. This still retains the wonderful flavor of kale but we feel holds its own with the traditional basil version. You may of course play around with nut choices, combining it with basil or other herbs, amount of garlic etc. This pesto recipe is gluten-free, vegetarian, heart healthy, diabetic friendly and delicious!
Pictured: Kale Pesto over Trader Joe’s™ Chunky Portobella Mushroom Ravioli with grated Parmesan Reggiano (aged 24 months).

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Kale Pesto

Yield: 8 servings

2 cups blanched kale (we used Russian Red Kale) packed into measuring cup
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup shredded parmesan
½ cup raw cashews
1 lemon juiced
3 cloves garlic
½ to ¾ cup water
1 teaspoon stevia
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste

Blanche chopped kale in hot water for a minute or two, drain and measure. In a blender add cashews, garlic and olive oil and puree. Add remainder of ingredients and puree till fairly smooth. This will freeze well.
NOTE: You can exchange the nut portion with pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or your personal favorite for variation.
Pictured: Pesto over Trader Joe’s™ Chunky Portobella Mushroom Ravioli with grated parmesan reggiano (aged 24 months).

© 2012 Aron and Valerie Bradley

Marinara Primavera

Primavera means; ‘The Season of Spring’. A very apt title for this marinara chock full of seasonal vegetables. This is one of Val’s recipes and it is divine and so flavorful. As pictured this is vegan and gluten-free (quinoa and corn pasta). This is also low-fat and heart healthy. Enjoy it on pasta, gluten-free pasta, polenta, a baked potato or even as a pizza sauce.

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Marinara Primavera

Yield: 8-10 generous servings

2 large cans of spaghetti sauce
1 cup red wine
1 Walla Walla or Vidalia sweet onion chopped
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
2 cups finely chopped spinach
2 cups finely chopped Swiss chard
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped fresh basil
6 cloves of chopped garlic
4 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Amino™
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Adjust salt and cracked pepper to taste

Sauté onion, garlic and spices in olive oil. Add chopped veggies and sauté till tender. Add spaghetti sauce, wine and Bragg’s. reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring frequently. Serve over pasta, polenta, gluten-free pasta or as a pizza sauce.
Pictured: Sauce over quinoa/corn pasta with parmesan reggiano (aged 24 months).

© 2012 Valerie Bradley

Zucchini Linguine with Oyster Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

The cabbage and Oyster mushrooms came from our recent C.S.A. box (see earlier posts). This recipe is subtle and flavorful with the fresh veggies and meaty mushrooms enhanced by the unctuous goat cheese and a slight zip with the red Fresno Chilies. I think you will love this pasta dish. A Merlot is a nice pairing but a sparkling chardonnay would be truly sublime.

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Zucchini Linguine with Oyster Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

Yield: 6 generous servings

2-9 oz. packages of Buitoni™ fresh natural linguine pasta
3 cups sliced oyster mushrooms (or Crimini)
2 medium zucchini shredded
2 cups cabbage chiffonade
½ cup Stella™ goat cheese crumbles
2/3 cup Stella™ Parmesan, Romano, Asiago blend shreds
2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
5 cloves garlic chopped
4 julienne Fresno chilies (remove seeds)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Prepare pasta as per directions on package. Rinse and drain pasta. Sauté mushrooms, garlic, cabbage, zucchini, chilies, salt and basil in olive oil for 1 minute. Portion pasta onto plates and spoon sautéed mushroom veggie mixture over the top. Add cheeses and fresh cracked pepper and serve.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Purslane Pita Pockets

Purslane is sometimes looked at as a curse or a blessing. A curse if it is taking over areas you don’t want covered in it and a blessing if you enjoy eating it. I prefer the blessing since I love its peppery, lemony taste. I thought a Greek style recipe would perfectly suit this wonderful plant.This recipe is very healthful and nutritious and a snap to prepare. A perfect light lunch or dinner on those hot sweltering summer days when you don’t want to go near a stove. This recipe is lacto-vegetarian, high fiber, diabetic friendly and can be gluten-free if you omit the pitas and serve it as a salad.

PS: This is super easy and very quick to prepare.

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Purslane Pita Pockets

Yield 4 servings

4 cups organic spinach
½ English cucumber diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup purslane
1 cup grape tomatoes
¼ large red onion sliced
¼ cup Newman’s Own™ Lite Balsamic dressing
8 pita pockets
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano

Combine the veggies, cheese, olives, and tomatoes in a bowl. Toss with dressing. Stuff into pita pockets and serve. 2 pockets per serving.
NOTE: Omit the pita pockets and serve as a salad for a gluten-free option.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Curried Cauliflower Pilaf

Val and I wanted to do something special with the cauliflower in our CSA box and decided a curried pilaf would be divine. This is a sumptuous side dish as is but could become a vegan main with the addition of either peas, chickpeas, edamame, or lentils to combine the amino acids and form a complete protein. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

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Curried Cauliflower Pilaf

Yield: 6 generous servings

2 cups brown basmati rice cooked (in a rice steamer: 2 cups rice, 5 cups water, salt)
1 cauliflower, sliced thin and chopped
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro chopped
1 white or yellow onion diced
½ cup matchstick carrots
1 red bell pepper diced
2 jalapeno peppers diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 -1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon black mustard seed (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Sauté onion, garlic and spices till onions are semi opaque. Mix in cauliflower, carrots and peppers. Cover and reduce heat till cauliflower is tender. Stir mixture into cooked basmati rice and add chopped cilantro. Serve.

© 2012 Valerie Bradley