Keeping with the theme of clean eating!

Clean Eating!
April 19, 2017
My Wife is taking over!!!
May 3, 2017
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Keeping with the theme of clean eating!


Keeping with the theme of clean eating ~ which my wife is insisting we do, this week was really an experiment with making common dishes with a different twist.

The Coconut Salmon recipe came from the singer Jewel who appeared on The Chew.  I LOVE salmon, any way it is cooked.  My wife, on the other hand, says salmon needs a crust or a sauce to hide the very strong fish flavor.  This recipe caught her eye and when she sent the recipe to me I agreed with her, we needed to make this dish. 

We always have salmon on hand so the only ingredient we were missing was the mango.

It lived up to the hype – this is a MUST MAKE recipe!


Coconut & Herb-Crushed Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa




  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons dried tarragon (plus additional to garnish)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
  • 4 fillets salmon (skin removed, butterflied)
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (stems removed, roughly chopped)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)




  • 1 mango (peeled, pith removed, diced)
  • 1 avocado (peeled, pitted, diced)
  • 1 jalapeno (minced)
  • 1 red onion (peeled, minced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 2 limes (juiced)



  • Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat and add coconut oil.
  • Add sea salt, pepper, dried dill, dried tarragon, and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Place the coconut in a baking dish. Dredge both sides of the butterflied salmon fillets in the coconut and place in the pan. Allow to cook for 2 minutes on each side until the coconut is golden brown and the salmon is medium rare.
  • To serve, place the steamed kale on the platter, top with salmon fillets and mango salsa.
  • For the Steamed Kale: Insert a steamer basket into a large pot and fill with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil then place the kale in the steamer basket, cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes or until the kale has wilted and is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  • For the Mango Salsa: Add the mango, avocado, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  • Tip: Coconut is a good substitute for gluten-free bread crumbs!

Coating the salmon in the coconut.


All of the spices mixed.


The finished product


I am sure I have told you we watch a LOT of cooking shows on television.  I get ideas, ingredients and different methods of cooking from those shows.

I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows which is Cook’s Country/America’s Test Kitchen on PBS. The show always creates great recipes while showing the techniques they use to get the best results.  One of the dishes they made, and looked so good, was Smoked Bourbon Chicken.  It is made by using a mixture of Bourbon, soy sauce and spices then marinated overnight.  I followed the recipe and have to say I was disappointed with the outcome.  Maybe it was too sweet or maybe there wasn’t enough smoke?  Not sure.  I usually make the recipe as stated the first time, then change it up to be better the next time.  But one thing for sure with the original recipe were the leftovers where I made maybe one of the best Asian stir fries I have ever prepared.  My guess as to what made the stir fry so great was the deep but subtle soy marinade used to make the chicken.

Also, I used an air dried chicken which took longer to cook.  Not sure I will buy that again.



Smoked Bourbon Chicken



Use a bourbon you’d be happy drinking. Use all the basting liquid in step 5.

1 1/4 cups bourbon

1 1/4 cups soy sauce

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 shallot, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons pepper

2 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) whole chickens, giblets discarded

1 cup wood chips

4 (12-inch) wooden skewers


  1. Bring bourbon, soy sauce, sugar, shallot, garlic, and pepper to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Set aside 3/4 cup bourbon mixture for basting chicken. (Bourbon mixture can be refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.)
  2. With chicken breast side down, using kitchen shears, cut through bones on both sides of backbones; discard backbones. Flip chickens over and, using chef’s knife, split chickens in half lengthwise through centers of breastbones. Cut 1/2-inch-deep slits across breasts, thighs, and legs, about 1/2 inch apart. Tuck wingtips behind backs. Divide chicken halves between two 1-gallon zipper-lock bags and divide remaining bourbon mixture between bags. Seal bags, turn to distribute marinade, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, flipping occasionally.
  3. Just before grilling, soak wood chips in water for 15 minutes, then drain. Using large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap soaked chips in foil packet and cut several vent holes in top. Remove chicken halves from marinade and pat dry with paper towels; discard marinade. Insert 1 skewer lengthwise through thickest part of breast down through thigh of each chicken half.

4A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour into steeply banked pile against side of grill. Place wood chip packet on coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.

4B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Remove cooking grate and place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Set grate in place, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burners. (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature between 350 to 375 degrees.)

  1. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken halves skin side up on cooler side of grill with legs pointing toward fire. Cover and cook, basting every 15 minutes with reserved bourbon mixture, until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 75 to 90 minutes, switching placement of chicken halves after 45 minutes. (All of bourbon mixture should be used.) Transfer chicken to carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.
From Cook’s Country via PBS.

Using the leftover Bourbon chicken I made this stir fry with the vegetables we had in our fridge.  There are times I just want to use up the leftover vegetables and proteins left over and a stir fry is the answer for me!  Takes 5 minutes to chop everything then the stir fry takes mere minutes.

A healthy way of using your leftovers.



Kids’ Corner

This week I chose two recipes that I believe would be a fun way for your children to get involved in the kitchen.  Teaching our children the value and “fun” of food will help them as they grow to make good choices in their meal choices.  I chose Cheese Fondue and Ricotta, Blueberry and Grape Toast.  Be sure to go to and click on Kids’ Corner for the recipes.

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