Grilled Salmon Skewers

Get your party started this summer with nutritious and delicious grilled salmon skewer appetizers. Grilledsalmon skewer appetizers (1)If there’s a trend I can get behind, it’s outdoor living!  I love creating spaces where I can read,  enjoy a bite to eat or just chill. Now that I’ve successfully refinished the surface of an old table (#inlovewithmyminisander), I’ m ready to reveal my latest project…

IMG_4296 it a patio, porch, or veranda, but I call it Keeper’s bedroom. Here’s where Keeper, my 16 year old labrador retriever  hangs out  most days and some nights too!IMG_4311

My new dog friendly zone ties in with the al fresco dining part this month’s Recipe Redux theme : Small Plates for Sunny Days.

Small bites are perfect for trying many different tastes. Take tapas style eating outside for al fresco dining or a simple picnic. Or maybe you’re serving small bites at a bridal or baby shower or a graduation party. Show us your healthy take on small plates and finger foods. 

Hanging out with Keeper, in his shady exterior  room, I’m enjoying my delicious small bites, Grilled Salmon Skewers. (BTW, all my dogs love salmon). These little kebabs, high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids,  make a dynamite combo with other  finger foods or salads; I paired a couple with some tabouli, made with ingredients from my CSA (community sponsored agriculture) box.IMG_4272 I  bet there are some more great links from my Recipe Redux colleagues  at the bottom of this post for recipes that will pair delightfully with my Grilled Salmon Skewer appetizers. Please let me know in the comments section what you think looks yummy!

Grilled Salmon Skewers (Appetizers)

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 1 pound salmon filet, skinned
  • 3 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • lemon slices


Thirty minutes before grilling, soak twelve 6- to 8- inch wooden skewers in water. Drain. Set aside.

Preheat gas grill.

Rinse salmon; pat dry with paper towels. Cut salmon filet in half lengthwise, then cut each piece crosswise into 6 pieces.

Combine pesto, lemon juice and salmon. Toss. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Tread one salmon pice onto each wooden skewer.

Reduce heat on grill to medium. Arrange skewers on greased grill rack. Cover. Grill for about 3 minutes then turn. grill for 3 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

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Garden Burgers

Bring the garden to the table with these cheesy, herb infused burgers featuring Cabot’s Tomato Basil Cheddar. (13)
Disclosure: I am a member of the Cabot Cheese Board and I received free Cabot cheese as mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering the #CabotGardeners recipe contest and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Opinions are my own.

Sunday was  Mother’s Day, and  I reflected on being a Mom and Motherhood in the general sense…. nurturing gets a bad rap. However, it’s always been part of my life map. I see my family as my BIGGEST accomplishment. My kids, no matter what their age, (or mine) will always kids.  So, the truth of the matter is, I will never stop trying to influence and provide guidance. Yes, there ‘s a down side, results aren’t measurable by any analytic program, and there’s no guarantee that things will turn out the way I hope, hello #brokenheartclub. For me, it’s just about doing what feels right, and what was instilled by my own Mother, #thankyouMom.

With both of my kids out of the house, my daily nurturing instincts manifest themselves by caring for my  labrador retrievers..which are actually my children’s dogs left for moi to raise…#gofigure!IMG_3860 And watching what  I’ve planted grow, like herbs in a window box,  and vegetables in my raised bed …IMG_3806 I’m patting myself on the back for getting the garden started 6 weeks earlier than last year! However,  fresh herbs are still  the only thing making it from the garden to the table in May.   With grilling season underway, I’m pulling out the stops with what I call a garden burger. This burger is made with  a technique chefs have used for years and one I’m a HUGE fan of, extending meats with mushrooms. Mushrooms have a savory flavor and meaty texture, making them a perfect complement to a burger. They not only extend your portions saving you money, they save you calories and boost the nutritional value . I’ve given this patty a  gourmet  taste with fresh herbs (thyme, parsley and oregano) and Cabot’s Tomato Basil Cheddar!  The recipe is below, and it’s made for two, cause that’s how I roll nowadays, #emptynester.IMG_4254_edited-2

How will you nurture yourself with something fresh from the garden?IMG_4260

Garden Burgers

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspooon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground round
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, basil)
  • 2 ounces Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar, sliced


1. Preheat grill.

2. In a medium skillet, saute chopped mushrooms in olive oil until tender.

3. In a large bowl, add cooked mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg and fresh herbs to ground meat. Mix thoroughly.

4. Shape beef mixture into 2 patties.

5. Add burgers to the grate of a hot grill. Grill to desired doneness, about 10 minutes per side.

6. Add cheddar slices to tops of burgers during last couple of minutes of grilling to allow cheese to melt.

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Strawberry Kiwi Fizz

Treat mom to a modern (and a much healthier) version of an old fashioned ice cream soda with this strawberry kiwi (11)Hello May! I love you for your strawberries, warmer weather and celebrations of Mom! Today I’m sharing a recipe incorporating all of the above in one  cool and refreshing beverage. It’s   casual enough for serving on Saturday afternoon between bouts of yardwork, yet classy enough for sipping with Mom on the patio!

Ninety percent of the time, my beverage  choice is water .  I consume it throughout the day, and am a BIG fan of water flavored with cucumbers, herbs, orange or lemon slices. Lately I’ve seen some amazing recipes using pureed fruit to flavor water or tea.  Taking my cue from these recipes,   I’ve come up with one of my own using pureed fruit… IMG_4106

 strawberry kiwi fizz. This jazzed up water has  90 calories per serving.  Although  it does have some added sugar (8 grams per serving) , it’s a far cry from the 33 grams of sugar in most 12 ounce soft drinks and there is no caramel coloring or fructose corn syrup. Take note that the Strawberry Kiwi Fizz has added benefits vitamin C! Enjoy! Happy Mother’s Day!

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ice
  • sparkling strawberry kiwiwater


1. In a food processor or blender process sugar until superfine. Combine with strawberries and pulse until coarsely chopped. Mix yogurt with lemon juice and pour gradually into the machine through the feed tube or top of blender. Process until smooth and creamy.

2. Using an ice cream scoop, divide strawberry frozen yogurt between four glasses. Add sparkling water. Garnish with kiwi slice .

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Cast Iron Skillet Radishes with Brown Butter

Radishes aren’t just for salads, they make tasty sides and the greens are edible! (10)

Disclosure: I  received a Produce Box,  mentioned in this post, free of charge. I was not compensated financially for writing this post. Opinions are my own.

Local produce, reducing food waste, farm love..this post is about all of the above. You see, the Produce Box was started by a stay at home Mom,  Courtney Tellefsen, in an effort to make it easy for  health conscience NC families to eat local, sustainable food. They also serve the wider community. Read about TPB history here and if you haven’t already joined,    please sign up here to enjoy boxes like this beauty…

IMG_483471801 I love the conveninece of having the farmer’s market brought to my doorstep and I #feelgood about supporting local farmers; the Produce Box has a Farm Fund and has donated more than $20,000 to farmers to make capital improvements. I also enjoy  the variety of produce,  trying new things (like this cool cuke),  and getting inspiration to prepare vegetables in new ways. Today’s recipe (adapted from the recipe included in my box) is a new way of using radishes.  They generally go into my salads, but today I ‘m preparing them in a cast iron skillet. The interesting thing about this dish, it reduces food waste by using the entire vegetable, including the  part you usually toss! Go ahead, eat the whole thing!IMG_483471801-copy

IMG_4217Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter

Adapted from Bon

by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 bunch medium organic red radishes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil + more for brushing skillet
  • Himalayan pink salt, ground
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Brush an 8 inch cast iron skillet with olive oil.

2. Wash radishes and cut off all but 1/2 inch of the green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse well; coarsley chop and set aside.

3. Cut radishes in half lengthwise and place in a medium bowl. Add olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, in prepared cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with coarse Himalayan pink salt.

4. Roast unitl radishes are crisp tender, stirring occasionally, (about 18 minutes). Remove from oven and season to taste with additional salt, as desired.

5. In 6 inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add pinch of Himalayan pink salt and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes.

6. Remove skillet from heat and stir in lemon juice.

7. Drizzle brown butter over roasted radishes. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.

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Easy Lunch Bowl

EasylunchBowlAre there any food trends you’re hooked on? Moi? I’ve flipped for bowling, aka   building a meal in a bowl.  I think this trend is here to stay. Sorry plate!  Bowls encourge smaller portions, and  combining  layers of veggies, along with whole grains, is ultimately what we hope more people embrace.  This concept inspired my Real California Breakfast Bowl, and  it’s also helping me cut back on food waste by  using leftovers in tasty bowls I create for lunch. So of course, I was thrilled to see  the Recipe Redux theme this month focus on lunch:

 Limping Along with lunch: Ever get in a lunch rut? Need new ideas for packing your kids’ or your own lunch? Are packable noontime options dwindling? Surely you’ve met the ‘What shall I pack for lunch?” question head-on with creative ideas. Please share your healthy lunch recipe – so we can swap it into our own rotation.

Yesterday at noon,  I gathered up some leftovers from earlier in the week, added them to a bowl,  tossed it in the microwave,   and  then topped it off with some coleslaw and a bold barbeque sauce. Simple, right? You can use whatever you have on hand. Just think about  adding texture and flavor!

If you’re packing a lunch, this would be just as simple to pack into a portable bowl. Use one that’s  microwave safe,  if you plan on reheating the ingredients, and pack cole slaw and bbq sauce separately.

Oh, one more tip for an easy lunch this time of year…enjoy it in some fresh air.

IMG_4181IMHO, this bowl would be perfectly fine eaten cold. Would you eat this cold? Be sure to visit the links at the bottom of this post for more ideas to get  out of the lunchtime rut!
Easy Lunch Bowl

serves one

by Diane Boyd MBA, RD, LDN


  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice , quinoa or other whole grain
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn
  • 1/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 3 ounces cooked chicken breast or other lean protein source
  • 1/2 cup cole slaw , salsa or relish
  • fresh rosemary for garnish

for the sauce

  • 1 tablespoons bbq sauce
  • 1 talbespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


For the sauce

Combine bbq sauce, cider vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

for the bbq bowl

Add brown rice, corn, black beans and chicken side by side to a single serving bowl or microwavable container. Place in microwave and heat on high for 2 minutes or until heated through. Finish with cole slaw and garnish with fresh rosemary. Serve with bbq sauce for dipping or dizzle over top.

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