Gluten Free Meal and Snack Options

One thing Harbor Greens is always striving to perfect is their customer service! You will most likely be greeted at the door, the staff are friendly and helpful, the food and plant selection is top notch, many items are local and the vendors even visit the store and the selection of gluten free items is growing daily.  With more and more people unable to eat gluten the demand for high quality and yummy tasting options is becoming a very important aspect of owning a grocery store and Harbor Greens offers hundreds of items to help you on your journey to a healthier diet if gluten cannot be part of it.  Of course you can pick up a piece of meat, seafood, any vegetable, fruit and many other items but sometimes you just want a quick meal or a delicious snack.  Here are a bunch of items both locations carry to help you on your way (there are many more):

IMG_0973Amy’s brand carries a huge selection of prepared items that are easy to make at home or at the office in both a microwave or oven.  Items include but are not limited to mac and cheese, international dishes such as enchiladas and tamales, pizza, pasta, burgers and much much more.

IMG_0974Amy’s also has prepared chocolate cake and pound cake in the freezer section for those quick desserts! Just top with fresh berries and whip cream and dessert is done!

IMG_0975Mountain Muesli is a delicious and local company that makes granola and granola bites which are gluten free and so delicious!

IMG_0977Crispy Green is an awesome company which has great snack options for kids and adults. Freeze dried fruit and nothing else makes for a delicious bite of something sweet! Some big packs even have smaller individual packs inside for on the go.

IMG_1744Many other snack items such as nuts, dried fruit, bars and more make for quick snacks and pantry staples.  I especially love Kind bars and High Valley Orchard snacks.  The Nature’s Bakery vanilla fig bar is delicious and while it is not gluten free it is dairy free and so yummy! Maybe grab that for someone who is not required to eat gluten free and surprise them with a delicious snack!

IMG_1756Just Great Stuff has a delicious line of organic bars that seriously pack a punch! They are flavorful, healthy, gluten free and organic. A great snack bar.

IMG_1757A big company like Stonewall Kitchen has even jumped on the gluten free wagon and recently started offering a chocolate cupcake mix and vanilla cupcake mix for those gluten intolerant people.  This company makes delicious stuff!! It’s especially great for when you are having a party and need an easy dessert that will satisfy all people.

IMG_1758Another favorite, Tate’s Bake Shop, has made a line of gluten free cookies. If you’ve ever had their original chocolate chip cookie you’ll know how delicious they are and what a treat it is to have a gluten free option!!! Awhile back I made an cookie cake with Tate’s cookies and these gluten free substitutes would allow anyone to make this amazing dessert! Check out the recipe: Chocolate Whipped Cream Cookie Cake.

IMG_1759Lucy’s cookies are a great cookie substitute for the gluten intolerant people in your family! These cookies are yummy and even vegan!

IMG_1760WOW cookies are a great way to start or end the day.  With a variety of flavors from chocolate to oatmeal they can be a delicious breakfast cookie or a great midnight snack!

IMG_1761Coconut, chocolate and gluten free all wrapped into a macaroon… sign me up! Jennie’s makes 2 varieties of macaroons that are delicious and so sinful!

IMG_1762The brand that probably started gluten free food options, Udi’s, not only offers bread, bagels and muffins but they now have cookies!

IMG_1763Zing Bars are more than just a snack.  They are a nutritional powerhouse intended to satisfy you and taste good at the same time.  Definitely worth a try!


Prime Rib French Dip with Thyme Au Jus

This sandwich is seriously delicious! It is hearty, meaty, gooey and gets a little soggy when you dip it, which is so perfect with the crispy bread!  Do yourself a favor and use the sliced prime rib available in the deli to make this french dip extra special.  If you can’t get fresh sliced prime rib than just grab roast beef and still make this sandwich!


IMG_2123The line up: sliced prime rib, white cheddar cheese, basil, a fresh ciabatta roll, au jus and fresh thyme.

Optional add ons:  pesto, sriracha aioli, arugula, different cheese, tomato and more!

IMG_2125In a small pan simmer together au jus concentrate with some chicken stock, beef broth or water.  Toss in a sprig of thyme to enhance the flavor.

IMG_2126Cut ciabatta roll in half and smear pesto on each side. Or do pesto on one side and sriracha aioli on the other like I did for my husbands!! Place a few basil leaves on one side.

IMG_2127Pile it up with some aged white cheddar (sliced thin so it will melt)

IMG_2129Assemble the sandwich and toast for a few minutes to melt the cheese if desired.  Dip in au jus and enjoy!

A couple tips:

*Dip meat in warm au jus before piling it onto the bread to enhance the flavor and to warm it up.

*Grill the sandwich for a few minutes if you want melted cheese. Otherwise just serve once assembled.

*Add a sauce (pesto or sriracha aioli like listed above) or your own favorite to moisten the roll a little.

*Trim the sliced prime rib to remove excess fat so your sandwich doesn’t end up too tough

*Go make this sandwich now and ENJOY! It literally takes minutes to assemble!

Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars

I will be the first to admit that I love a good chewy granola bar for many reasons: their slightly sweet but still feel a little healthy because of the oats and nuts, their quick and make for an easy snack and they are fairly cheap and easy to make for a great grab and go for anyone in the family. While you can buy them in the store for quite cheap they are also easy to make at home and have on hand in the freezer.

I decided to make my bars with a combination of dried apricots, coconut, dried cranberries, chocolate and nuts.  They are slightly sweet but you don’t feel like you are eating a candy bar.  They fill you up and my toddler loves them.  Win for all!


IMG_2144You can buy sliced or slivered almonds but I find it cheaper to buy whole ones and chop them yourself.

IMG_2145Chop to the size you like: here is how I like them.

IMG_2146On a sheet pan, toast the oatmeal and almonds for about 8 minutes or until fragrant (stir once halfway)

IMG_2148In a saucepan combine honey, butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract until sugar is dissolved.

IMG_2150My choice of add ins.  You can customize these granola bars any way you like: dates, dried cherries, m&m’s, any other dried fruit, other nuts and more

IMG_2151Once sugar is dissolved add almond butter if desired. You could also use any other nut butter.

IMG_2152Pour mixture over oats, almonds and wheat germ

IMG_2153Stir until combined.

IMG_2154Add flax seeds and let cool for 5 minutes.

IMG_2155Once the mixture has cooled a little add your desired extras.  The chocolate chips will melt a little which is fine because it will help the bars stick together

IMG_2157Pour mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with tin foil and sprayed with non stick spray or oiled

IMG_2158Press mixture into the pan until it is really compact.  This helps the bars stick together better later.  Really press them in.  Add remaining chocolate chips to the top and gently press them in with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

IMG_2164Remove bars from pan and slice into desired size.  Store bars in an air tight container for up to a week (if they last that long) or freeze the rest for later.


Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (quick cooking)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips plus 3 tbsp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a sheet pan toast almonds and rolled oats for about 8 minutes or until fragrant.  Stir once in between. Transfer for a big bowl with wheat germ.  In a small saucepan add butter, vanilla, brown sugar and honey.  Heat over medium heat unit sugar is dissolved.  Add almond butter and stir to combine.  Add to bowl and stir to combine.  Allow mixture to cool for about 5 minutes.  Add flax seeds and other add ins.  Press mixture firmly into an 8×8 square pan lined with foil sprayed with nonstick spray.  The more you press the better the bars will stick together later. Top with remaining chocolate chips and press gently with a spatula.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to over night.  Remove from pan and slice into desired size.  Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for later. 
All ingredients are optional and can changed depending on your families taste!

Homemade Falafel

Street food… it’s found everywhere and in many different forms: Thailand, the Middle East, China, Italy, Japan, Vietnam and most other countries have their version of street food.  Whether is it sweet desserts, kabobs, pizza, meat on a stick or falafel wrapped in a pita, street food is everywhere and so delicious! It’s one of the best ways to eat while traveling because it’s authentic, cheap and accessible.  I decided to make my own version of a delicious form of Middle Eastern street food: falafel (aka. a chickpea patty that is fried and served with a tangy yogurt sauce in a warm pita).

My favorite part of a falafel patty is the abundance of flavor and spices in each bite.  Thanks to the fresh herbs and slightly spicy sauce a falafel will satisfy all your senses.

IMG_2090The basics

IMG_2092Chop onion and garlic in a food process until just chopped. Set aside.  Then blend chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, and spices until just chopped.

IMG_2093Combine both mixtures back in the food processor with baking soda, an adobo pepper, lemon juice and flour and pulse until mixture just comes together.

IMG_2094Add more flour until the mixture is not too sticky but do not over mix or the patties will be gummy.

IMG_2095It should come together in a ball once enough flour has been added.

IMG_2096Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Scoop out desired size and form into a small patty.

IMG_2098Fry in canola oil until patties are browned on each side.

IMG_2100Serve in a warm pita with some lettuce topped with the spicy yogurt sauce.

Disclaimer: The pita I grabbed didn’t open into pockets but it was still delicious.

IMG_2102I love the contrast of a crunchy outside and a creamy middle

IMG_2104These falafel can be served a ton of different ways: in pitas, on sandwiches, atop salads, alone as a snack or even in place a meat balls with pasta.

Falafel Patties:
1/2 white onion
4 cloves garlic
2 cups canned chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1 adobo chili (sauce also if you like it spicy)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
approx 1/2 cup of flour (more or less depending on stickiness)
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro
Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 adobo chili plus some sauce
1/4 cup tahini paste
lemon juice
In a food processor pulse onions and garlic until just chopped.  Set aside.  Pulse chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, cumin, chili powder, lemon juice, salt, pepper until just chopped.  Add onion mixture back in as well as adobo pepper, flour and baking powder and mix until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX or patties will be too gummy.
Chill mixture for 1 hour.  In the meantime whisk yogurt, adobo chili plus sauce, salt, pepper, lemon juice and tahini paste to create the sauce. Form into patties of desired size and fry in a pan with canola oil over medium heat until patties are browned on each side ( about 3 minutes per side).  Transfer to a paper towel.
Serve with yogurt sauce or as desired.  

Deli Style Reuben Sandwich {made at home}

Gooey cheese, crispy bread, tangy sauerkraut, spicy sriracha aioli, creamy pesto, hearty pastrami and crunchy arugula.  How much more of a description do you need before you go and make this sandwich!?!? This is a serious sandwich and it will feel like you are at any sandwich shop with just a few simple steps.  Seriously, just go make it.

IMG_2051Check out all those layers

IMG_2042A few of the items you need…

IMG_2044Add some pesto to one slice of rye bread and some sriracha aioli to the other. Be generous! You’ll thank me later!

I made my pesto but it is an easy thing to grab while at the market

IMG_2046Pile your bread high with fresh sliced deli pastrami and swiss cheese. I like to add a few slices so when it melts it helps all the layers stick together.

IMG_2047Finish off each slice with some sauerkraut and arugula.

IMG_2048Stack it high and get ready to grill

IMG_2049Add a little butter to a grill pan and toast it up on one side. You could easily use a frying pan also.

IMG_2050Once the bread is nice a toasty flip it over. To get the cheese to melt I like to cover it with a lid to keep the heat in.  If you have a panini press by all means use that! I have even made it in a waffle iron!

IMG_2053Lots of layers and a nice crunch from the bread

IMG_2054As good as or better than any deli style sandwich.

Strawberry Pie

I gave a shout out to Spooner Farms delicious strawberries in this post.  Because I simply mentioned them and left you with such a cliff hanger I decided to show you what I did with the strawberries! First, I took the stems off and washed the berries.  Then I took half and froze them so I can have local strawberries anytime I want, mostly in the form of smoothies.  I also decided to use the second half and make a classic strawberry pie! It was slightly sweet, very fresh and so refreshing on a warm summer day.

IMG_2019I love the bright red color and the sweet strawberry flavor.

IMG_2002Such beauties! Notice the berries in the back on the baking sheet. Those are ready to be frozen. Just arrange on parchment paper and freeze.

IMG_2003First, cook down the strawberries by putting them in a pan over medium heat with some sugar.  Smash them while they cook at a low boil.

IMG_2004Once you have the consistence you want (I like it smooth with a few chunks of berries) add the cornstarch and water mixture.

IMG_2007Cook for a few minutes until the mixture becomes thick. (Don’t worry the white color goes away)

IMG_2008When it’s thick it becomes glossy and will coat the spoon

IMG_2010See how thick!

IMG_2013Save a few strawberries and cut them in half to line the bottom and top of the pie.

IMG_2014Pre-bake your pie crust (homemade or store bought)

IMG_2015Add a little cinnamon and fresh squeezed lemon juice to the strawberries and more sugar if needed and stir until combined.

IMG_2016Once the pastry shell has cooled line the bottom with fresh strawberries.

IMG_2017Fill the pie and top with a pretty berry design


IMG_2024Don’t forget the whip cream!

Strawberry Pie:
1 pre-baked pie shell
1 pound strawberries (stems removed, washed and chopped)
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp corn starch
whip cream (fresh or store bought)
Pre-bake pie shell according to directions.  Allow to cool.  Line bottom with fresh strawberries.  In a sauce pan cook 1 pound of chopped strawberries with sugar at a low boil until broken down.  Mash with a potato masher as necessary.  Once desired consistency is achieved add cornstarch mixed with water to the pan.  Stir constantly until thick.  Add cinnamon, fresh lemon juice and more sugar (if necessary) and cook until well incorporated.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Add to pie shell and refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).  Serve with whipped cream once cold and firm or up to a couple days later. 

Lemon Almond Poppy seed muffins

I had a craving…

First, I wanted a lemon poppy seed muffin…

Then, I wanted an almond poppy seed muffin…

So, what’s a pregnant girl to do… eat a batch of each?

No, because that would be silly. However, not the first time 🙂  Instead I made a combination of the two! And yes, it satisfied all my cravings and more!
IMG_7695Hello delicious muffin!

But, before I go any further I need to give a quick shout out to the amazing local strawberries at the market! Spooner Farms grows hands down the best strawberries in the world and for a very short window of time they are available and sooooooooo worth the price and the short season!

IMG_7688This half flat costs $13.99 but the joy you will get from devouring it will far out way the price tag!

IMG_7689It’s all about shopping local right? Well, here is your chance!

IMG_7690Make jam, eat them plain, strawberry shortcake perhaps or freeze them for smoothies later!

OK, back to the main event…


IMG_7674A few of the key ingredients for these lovely little muffins. Lemons, almond extract and poppy seeds all allowed me to create my perfect muffin in one!

IMG_7676Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy and slightly thick

IMG_7678The lemon zest along with the juice add a slightly sweet and refreshing kick while the olive oil (in place of butter) add a rich depth of flavor.

IMG_7680Can’t forget those cute little poppy seeds that speckle each muffin

IMG_7682The batter really is beautiful

IMG_7684Fill cups about 2/3 of way full and bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes

IMG_7686I love the crackly top

IMG_7691I tried them first plain and then with a glaze and let’s be honest, everything is better with a glaze!

IMG_7692Just a simple powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze added the perfect sweetness to these muffins

IMG_7696Great for a party, breakfast, brunch, or no reason at all.  Also, these would freeze and defrost very well. Just don’t add the glaze until ready to serve.

Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Muffins



2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

2 2/3 cups flour

pinch salt

1 ½ tsp baking soda

2 tbsp poppy seeds


2 tbsp powdered sugar

squeeze of lemon juice for desired consistency


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 12 muffins tins with paper liners. In a stand mixer (or hand mixer) beat eggs and sugar for 2 minutes until slightly thick and pale in color. Add eggs, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract and mix.  Remove paddle attachment and sift in flour, salt and baking soda.  Reattach paddle mixer and mix until just combined.  Scrap down sides of bowl, add poppy seeds and mix until just barely incorporated.  Do not over mix.  Fill muffins tins 2/3 full and bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before adding glaze.  Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to create thick glaze and top muffins.




20 minute Potato Leek Soup

Since I am mom, I’m pregnant and the weather has been so nice a quick dinner that everyone will love is a must for me! I couldn’t pass up the leeks and potatoes at the market and soup was calling my name! I love this soup because it can be served warm or even at room temp and it is delicious and so satisfying! I think the bacon and croutons on top have something to do with that satisfaction factor!

Potato Leek Soup


IMG_1907Chop up about 5 potatoes and 1 leek (white and light green parts only)

IMG_1906Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and and sauté 1/2 a shallot and 2 cloves of garlic.

IMG_1908Add chopped potatoes and leeks.  Allow leeks to soften a little.

IMG_1909Add enough chicken broth to cover the vegetables.  I added 32 ounces.

IMG_1910Allow pan to come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until potatoes are fork tender. About 15 minutes.

IMG_1912Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender) blend mixture until it is smooth and creamy.  If you use a regular blender just be sure to blend in batches and be careful because the soup will be hot.

IMG_1914Add 1/4 cup of half and half  to make the soup silky, smooth and so creamy!

IMG_1916Top with your choice of yummy extras such as chopped bacon, croutons, chopped green onions etc.

IMG_1918Fresh chopped basil makes everything taste better and it looks so pretty against the soup!


Simple Summer Meal!

It’s been close to 80 degrees the last few days and it is only expected to get warmer so I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and make a simple dinner for some friends! It required very little prep work.  Each item was delicious and it all came together so well!

Herb Salmon with 3 sides!

IMG_1890I love all the color and variety on the plate with very little work involved!

IMG_1878Nothing better than wild Alaska king salmon.  On sale for $19.99 lb!

IMG_1877I made a herb topping for the salmon which added flavor and kept the fish super moist while it cooked.  I blended mine in a food processor but it could easily be done by simply chopping the herbs really fine and adding the olive oil. I used fresh thyme, basil and parsley and blended it with olive oil. Use whatever herbs you have on hand.

IMG_1879Slather it on the salmon before cooking in the oven. I cooked my salmon on 375 until it flaked with a fork.


IMG_1881Fresh asparagus is so delicious this time of year and the market has local asparagus for $2.99 lb.

Lightly cover with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake with the salmon until just fork tender.

IMG_1875Nothing screams summer like fresh corn on the cob! It is simple to cook, adds a ton to a meal and makes for a yummy side dish!

5 ears for $3 is a killer deal!!!

IMG_1880Beautiful and simple yet so perfect for warm weather!

IMG_1888Serve warm with butter and salt!

IMG_1882This quinoa salad may look complicate but it is actually really great.  You can make it ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge. Not only does the flavor get better with time but the ability to make it ahead of time really makes for a stress free dinner.

IMG_1883Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside to cool.  Add any add ons. I added chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, black beans, pine nuts, chopped green olives (from the olive bar), green onions, crrumbled herb bousine cheese and a red wine vinaigrette.

Super simple, quick to make and so flavorful!

IMG_1886The salmon was simple yet looks dramatic!

IMG_1874Other awesome summer meal options are available in the meat case.  Everything comes pre marinated to save you time and money. Think pork chops, chicken skewers, ribs, chicken breast and more!

IMG_1876Don’t forget to satisfy everyones thirst on these hot days with mix and match beers.  Over 25 cans to choose from and well over 100 bottles which can all be mixed and matched to create the perfect 6 pack. Great for gifts, parties or just to have on hand!

Mixed Berry Muffins with Coconut

These muffins are too good not to share! They are also great because they can be modified according to your families preference.  Change up the fruit, take out the coconut, add chocolate chips… the options are endless!

Here is my recipe:

Mixed Berry Muffins with Coconut

IMG_1845These muffins have fresh fruit and lemon zest to give them a delicious and fresh taste!

IMG_1844Whole blueberries, raspberries and chopped strawberries are bursting from these muffins!

IMG_1846My only change would be to add more fruit and distribute it more evenly through each muffin so they are more moist and fluffy.

IMG_1847I love the flecks of cinnamon in the muffins

IMG_1849I also love the pieces of sweet coconut and yellow from the lemon zest on top!

mixed berry muffins with coconut


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