Thursday, June 30, 2011

Salmon Salad with Spicy Nuts and Cilantro Dressing

Hey, everybody! For my meal on Wednesday, I made a delicious and healthy salmon salad. On the weekend, my parents went to a restaurant and came home with glowing reviews of the food. My mom described her dinner: salmon served on a bed of field greens with a lime-cilantro dressing and spicy walnuts. I loved the idea of that so much that I recreated the dish.

Salmon Salad with Spicy Nuts and Cilantro Dressing
Serves 5


1.5 lbs wild salmon filet
1 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large head red-leaf lettuce
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup pecans
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder

For dressing:
3/4 a bunch cilantro
1/2 of a Granny Smith apple, seeds removed and core on
The juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 1/2 jalapeño peppers
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil (start with a 1/4, and adjust as needed)
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Make a tray out of tin foil by folding over the sides and folding them up so they are rigid. Rub salmon with cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic. Then, drizzle 2 tbsp of the olive oil on top.

2. Thoroughly rinse the lettuce in a large bowl of cold water and dry with a salad spinner. Coarsley chop and make a bed of it on each plate. Sprinkle the chunks of pepper and tomato on the lettuce.

3. Heat a small skillet on medium heat with the remaining olive oil. Add nuts and spices and sautee for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Once the nuts have cooled, chop them just a little bit (you want them to be no smaller than your fingernail).

4. Remove the stem from the jalapeño. Half lengthwise and remove the seeds and most of the membrane. Combine all of the dressing ingredients the food processor. Process until it looks similar to pesto.

5. Top each bed of lettuce with a piece of salmon. Garnish with spicy nuts and pour dressing on top. Serve.

The final product!
 More recipes and pictures will be coming soon! I'll also share my 4th of July meals with you. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow this blog, and spread the word!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer So Far

Hey, everybody! Sorry I haven't posted in awhile; I haven't created any outstanding recipes lately, so there was no reason to post anything. However, I anticipate some super tasty dinners for the next week! I have recently been put in charge of planning my family's meals one week at a time. I'll post recipes of my upcoming dinners throughout this week, but for now, enjoy photos of my friend Hannah and I making homemade pizzas! And no, I do not have a recipe for pizza. I can't bake to save my life, so unfortunately I can't produce a pizza crust formula. Instead, I found a recipe for quick-rising pizza crust on Everyone loved dinner that night.

My dad's pizza

Grant (Hannah's brother) and his pepperoni pizza

Hannah's pizza has a face!

My mom's gluten-free pizza

My pizza, made with tomato sauce, cheese, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, basil, and arugula
 Please stay tuned in the next week to see the results of the meals I have planned! One of them is a remake of Mexican Wedding Soup; I had to readjust it because I recently discovered that I'm intolerant to carrots, which was one of the main ingredients in it. Afterward, I will also share my 4th of July experience and pictures from my upcoming cooking classes that I'm instructing! Stay healthy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vegetarian Lasagna

Hey, everybody! Already I have a new recipe for something and summer break started ten hours ago. I made a spectacular vegetable lasagna. I layered lasgna noodles, homemade chunky marinara sauce, marscapone cheese (I don't like ricotta, and people that do like ricotta agree that marscapone is better), mozzarella cheese, zucchini, spinach, and basil. My parents said that my lasagna was the best lasagna they had ever eaten.

Vegetarian Lasagna
Serves 6

1 (16 oz) package lasagna noodles
1 medium-sized zucchini
1 (16 oz) package fresh baby spinach
1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 egg-sized balls mozzarella cheese, packed in water
1 cup marscapone cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated asiago cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large handfuls basil, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, add the garlic and sautee for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and wait until it simmers. Add a third of the basil and stir. Remove from heat.

2. While the marinara sauce is being prepared, boil some water for the pasta (make sure you have more water than you think you need). Add salt, a bit of olive oil, and the noodles. Stir well and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain noodles and rinse in cold water.

3. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, and each half in half lengthwise again. Cut each long strip of zucchini into thin chunks. Slice the mozzarella into thin slices. Using your hands, break apart the slices into thin strips. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the asiago cheese.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and sautee for about 4 minutes. Add all of the spinach. Press it down to compress it as much as possible. As the spinach on the bottom begins to wilt, the mound on spinach will decrease in height until eventually, you can stir the spinach enough to wilt it evenly. Remove from heat.

5. In a 9x13 glass dish, use one third of the noodles to create an overlapping layer of pasta on the bottom of the dish. Spread a third of the marinara sauce on top of the noodles. Spread half of the marscapone on top of the marinara. If it doesn't spread well, that is okay. The marinara and marscapone can mingle together if needed, creating a layer of creamy marinara. Sprinkle the bottom layer with a third of the mozzarella. Add half of the zucchini and spinach. Cover with another layer of noodles, making sure that they are arranged in a different direction than the noodles on the bottom layer. For example, the bottom layer of noodles is going horizontally from your perspective. The next layer of noodles should be arranged vertically from your perspective. Repeat the filling process with the next layer. Put the remaining noodles on top. Spread marinara on top and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and asiago.

6. Bake lasagna for 45 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and mozzarella is melted. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.

The final product!
Another thing I want to talk about is Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, a truly incredible show. Jamie Oliver is very dedicated to changing the food that this country eats. This show has impacted my motives so much that I posted the link to my speech on a Facebook page supporting the Food Revolution. You can make a difference by going to and getting involved. Stay healthy! 

Vista Speaks

Hey, everybody! I haven't posted in awhile because of my busy schedule and I'm so sorry! I figured that the end of the school year would free up more of my time, but apparently not. I had to write, memorize, and present a speech in Humanities. My speech was about... you guessed it... healthy eating and preventing obesity. I posted the link. Please look at all of my other videos if you haven't already! The best part about the speech is that I got 100% on it!

I'm on summer break now, so more videos and posts will definitely be coming because I'll have all day to goof around in the kitchen. I promise you ALMOST No-Bake Mac n' Cheese is coming this summer, and so is Gluten-Free Peach Crisp!

Please leave a comment either on the post or on YouTube! Subscribe to me or follow my blog if you have a Google account. I really appreciate your support! Please share this video with your friends; I'm really passionate about this topic and I want to spread the word!