Teriyaki Salmon, Brown Rice with Kale & Greens A La Gwyneth Paltrow

*Read post to learn how you can enter to win a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook! Entries accepted through August 21, not the 18th like I say in the video! Oops...

I have been harboring a deep, dark, secret for many years. However, as I have gotten older, I realize that it is silly to let it eat me up inside the way it has for so long. It's time to confess to the world, and be proud of it at that.... I have a serious girl crush on Gwyneth Paltrow. There I said it. Am I ashamed? No! Any bitch that calls her grandmother a word that rhymes with runt on national t.v., can rap "Straight Out of Compton," calls herself a lush (when it comes to drinking), and makes witty Tweets like looking for someone to "bang" in order to get an advanced copy of the Coldplay album, is cool beans in my book. And yes, I do secretly wish she would watch this video, read this post, do an adopted British laugh and then ring me up on the tele (that's with an English accent people, but most likely it would be via e-mail) and proclaim that we should be best friend and that I should immediately board her private plane and come to her London home where our kids can frolic in her yard (mine and hers are he exact same age) while we make pizza in her outdoor wood-burning pizza oven, talk about Spelt flour, sugar alternative, Global knives and of course food, and how much we both love it. We will then move in to her living room, admire her hand-painted wall paper and Darren Almond's photos, while the kids bathe in the $17,000 Antonio Lupi Baia tub she has in her bedroom, yes, I said bedroom. Hey, if I was as rich as her, I would certainly indulge in all these things! Unfortunately, if Gwynnie (I can call her that now since we are besties) did ever read this, she would likely be mortified and peg me as some wacko stalker. One can dream though, one can dream....

Ok, enough with my banter. Let's talk about the book for a quick second. A lot of people, professional chefs and foodies especially, were very skeptical when the cookbook was announced. I remember when she graced the cover of Bon Appetit magazine (she looked pretty darn cute) the editor had to defend the move vehemently to readers explaining that she "loves to cook for her friends and family...[is] comfortable and confident in her kitchen....[and] appeal[s] to the savy home cook." As a home cook, I have nothing but good things to say about the book. First of all, it is highly readable! The way she talks about family and togetherness is endearing, and her introduction, where she talks about her father, actually made me teary. Also, I never once felt like she was being preachy in the book and she makes lots of alternative suggestions for each recipe, like how to make it kid-friendly, or vegan and even how to substitute hard-to-find ingredients with ones that are readily available to most grocery stores. Just keep in mind, she most certainly is in a different socio-economic status than you, therefore obviously has things at her disposable that you don't; you can't expect her to pretend she knows what life is like on a teacher's salary. Lastly, the recipes I have tried are pretty damn good. Especially the ones I am sharing with you today!

I have featured a teriyaki fish recipe before, but not one with a home-made sauce and I must say, this rocked! And don't even get me started on the rice. It was sooooooo good! In fact, my daughter loved it so much she asked for seconds. Seeing her eat kale made my heart swoon. Now my kids didn't dig the salmon, but, as Gwynnie suggested, I made it with tofu and they ate it up.

My tofu version

Now for some exciting news! I enjoy this cookbook so much I want to share it with one of you! I will be giving away one copy of My Father's Daughter to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave me a comment and tell me what things you would like to see more of in my webisodes. Any suggestions are appreciated. Should I keep focusing on recipes? Give food prep tips? Talk about healthy food options? Give it up since I suck? I would love to hear from you, I can take it. Just make sure to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you! (I promise I won't stalk you like I do Gwynnie.) This give-away will end Sunday, August 21 at midnight. Good luck and I can't wait to hear from you!

*Note, some of the following recipes were adapted from the book and are not exactly the recipe you might find if you purchase it. I always tend to make some variations to recipes.

Baked Salmon with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Adapted from My Father's Daughter

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup of water
1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated ginger
small handful of cilantro (she suggests 2 sprigs)
4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin discarded
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh chives, for serving

Combine the first five ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat. Once it boils, turn the heat to loe and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the saucespan from the heat and let the sauce cool down. Once it's cool, pour into a plastic bag and add the salmon. Marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, or you can let it sit overnight. Go back every 15 or so minutes and move the salmon around in the bag, massaging the sauce into it.

When you are ready to get the party started, preheat the oven to 420. Gwynnie suggests to broil the salmon, but I prefer to bake it.

Put the salmon on a baking sheet lined with foil paper. I sprayed the bottom with non-stick cook spray to keep the salmon from sticking. I drizzled some of the sauce on top of it. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how well-done you like it. While it's cooking, you can strain the extra sauce into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil, and let it reduce then drizzle it over the fish. I actually skipped this step and I thought the salmon was flavorful enough. Sprinkle the chives over the salmon before serving!

Sauteed Greens with Onions & Soy Sauce
Adapted from My Father's Daughter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced (I accidentally chopped it, but I think slices would be way better!)
1 pound seasonal greens (kale, Swiss chard, etc...) stems removed and discarded, leaves washed and roughly torn
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Gwynnie suggests 1 1/2)
salt and pepper (Gwynnie omits these)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add half the greens and the water and allow them to wilt for a minute of two. Add the remaining greens and stir for another 3 minutes, until wilted. Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper, and cook for a few more seconds.

Friend Rice with Kale & Scallions
Adapted from My Father's Daughter

3-4 large stems of kale
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
3 large scallions, cut into 1/4 inch slices, using only the white and light green parts
3 cups cooked brown rice (*Note-I use
this method to cook my rice. It is the best I have found.)
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Remove the kale leaves from the stem. This is VERY important is the stems are VERY bitter! Cut the leaves in half lengthwise and then cut across into very, very thin ribbons. Steam the kale for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant, but not browned. Raise the heat to medium and add the steamed kale and scallions. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring. Add the soy sauce and cook for 30 seconds more.


You've Never Had a Quesadilla Like This!

Quesadillas are one of those super simple meals that are easy to put together... but, it is always fun to jazz things up. The marinade is enough to make at least 4, or 2-3 chickens. I made this for myself using shrimp, so feel free to mix it up however you like! Just one quick tip, after you have baked it, set the oven to broil and let the top brown a bit for a bit of an extra crunch! Cheers guys and happy eating!!!

Quesadilla recipe

1 garlic clove
1/4 cup canola oil
3 TB lime juice
3 TB red wine vinegar
2 TB honey
sprinkle of cilantro
1.5-2 tspn cumin
1.5-2 tspn chili powder
chipoltle peppers in adobe, to taste (I use at least one)

Blend all ingredients in a small blender. Use half the mixture to marinade protein, reserve the other half for when you assemble your quesadilla.

1/2 yellow onion (if you are making four, use the whole thing)

Saute in oil with adobe peppers, salt, pepper.

Tortilla shells
Mexican shredded cheese
Gruyere or Gouda Cheese
Chicken, cut into strips
Sprinkle of the marinade
Shredded Cilantro

Start with sprinkling Mexican cheese on one tortilla shells. Add the onion and chicken strips. Add about 2 tablespoons of the marinade, followed with some cilantro and lastly with a generous amount of Gruyere cheese.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 5-7 minutes. Finally, set the oven to broil and let the top brown for a minute.


An Israeli Breakfast...Shakshuka

I first had shakshuka in my early twenties and for about 6 months I couldn't stop eating it; I guess I felt the need to make up for lost years. Many different cultures have their variation of this dish, which I believe originated in Libya, but this particular recipe takes me back to Israel. The longer this dish cooks, the deeper the flavors become so feel free to leave it on the stove for as long as you would like. Though I talk about it being an Israeli breakfast, it really is a serve anytime kinda meal. Let me know what you all think! Cheers and happy eating!


a few swirls of olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (if you are sensitive to spice, use about half, and remove the seeds)
2 red peppers, chopped
2 cans of diced tomatoes (i don't strain them, but you certainly can)
3 teaspoons of tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/2 cup vegetable, or chicken, broth (set aside about another 1/4 cup in case the shakshuka gets too dry)
4 eggs
red pepper flakes, optional
pita bread, or a good piece of toast


In a large skillet, that has a lid, heat some olive oil on medium high heat and saute the onions until they soften, about five minutes.

Add the red peppers and jalapeno, and saute for 3 more minutes. Add the garlic, some salt and pepper and saute for an additional 2 minutes.

Add the two cans of diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, the cumin, paprika, turmeric and some more salt and pepper. When the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes.

Add the vegetable, or chicken, stock and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to low ans summer uncovered. You can leave it cooking like this for hours, but make sure to do it for at least 30-40 minutes! Make sure to come back every 5-7 minutes and stir the mixtures to ensure that the vegetables do not stick to the bottom. If the shakshuka gets dry to fast, add a little liquid. I ALWAYS have to add more liquid!

When ready to serve, gently crack four eggs into the pan making sure not to break the yolks. Cover the pan and cook the eggs till the whites solidify and the yellows JUST turn white. You want the yolks to be slightly, or over easy. On low heat, this should take 6-8 minutes.

Use a large spatula to transfer the portions onto a plate. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the eggs and some red pepper flakes if you are feeling adventurous. Serve with hummus and warm pita. DELICIOUS!!!