Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

by Beverly Mills

Easy
From GKC reader Leora Weinreich

GKC loves it when reader share recipes. This one is easy and low in fat (only 1 egg and ¼ cup of oil). It seems like a good one to have around as a snacking cake or a mid-week light dessert.

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
Mash the bananas with a potato masher, a fork, a spoon, or your hands (potato mashers work best).
Add the flour, sugar, egg, canola oil, and baking soda. Mix until doughy. Then add chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!

Asian Soy Lettuce Hand Rolls

16 large butter lettuce leaves
1/2 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
1 pound Soy Ground Round (soy ground meat)
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 medium shiitake mushrooms (about 1 ounce), stemmed, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup unsalted, roasted cashews, chopped

Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter. Pour chili sauce into a small bowl; place on platter with leaves. Mix soy ground round, scallions, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a medium bowl; marinate 10 minutes at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add mushrooms; stir-fry 15 seconds. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry 10 seconds. Add soy meat mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon mixture into lettuce leaves, dividing equally. Garnish with cashews. Roll leaves around filling and dip into chili sauce.

Salmon Burrito


This is a great weeknight dinner or lunch anytime. I like to eat it sometime before a fast because it is filled with carbs but also has some healthy protein in it. Its great with smoked salmon too but that may be too salty before a fast.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 red pepper, sliced and cut in half
1 cup diced tomato
8 ounces cooked salmon fillet (I use whatever is left over from a weeknight salmon dish), cut into bite-size pieces or smoked salmon
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
4 large (burrito-size) flour tortillas, warmed
Salsa (optional)

1. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add eggs and milk; scramble in skillet. Cook until barely set, then stir in salt, pepper, chives, red pepper, tomato, and salmon.

2. Spread 2 tablespoons cream cheese onto center of each tortilla. Spoon warm egg mixture over cheese, dividing evenly. Roll up burritos, tucking in ends. Serve with salsa if you like.

Angel Hair Pasta with Mixed Color Tomato Sauce

photo: Kana Okada

The tomatoes are so ripe and delicious this time of year. In this recipe we used different color tomatoes to give it more color and flavor. If you only have Roma tomatoes or Vine Ripe red ones the recipe still comes out very tasty.
2 tablespoons pure olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large shallots, minced
1 pound yellow tomatoes, diced
1 pound ripe green heirloom tomatoes, diced, or vine ripened red ones, diced
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 sage leaves, finely chopped
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, or 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes.
In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the garlic, shallots, basil and sage. Season with salt.
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain and transfer to the large bowl. Toss well with the butter; serve.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Mozzarella Cheese and Onion-Lemon Dressing

Watermelon and tomatoes are so good for a pre-fast meal. They both contain a lot of water to keep you hydrated.

3 cups watermelon, cut in chunks
3 cups tomatoes, cut in chunks
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup good quality mozzarella cheese, cut in ½ inch pieces

Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste. Toss the watermelon, tomatoes, onions and cheese. Add the dressing, toss and serve.

Salmon With Balsamic Sauce

Photo by Patrina Tinsley

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 thyme sprig
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the thyme sprig, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream, then whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, skinned side up. Cook over moderately high heat until the fillets are browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the salmon and cook over moderate heat until the fish is just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the salmon to plates, spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

At GKC we really like salmon and have many recipes posted. This is one of our oldies but goldies. My son even made it for a dinner party recently!

Seared Tuna Steaks with Citrus Sauce

photo by Con Poulos


1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin or rice vinegar
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
One 3-inch strip of lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Four 4-ounce tuna steaks, 1 inch thick

Salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin (or rice vinegar), shallot, jalapeño, orange juice, lemon zest and juice, sugar and coriander. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Strain the sauce.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat for 1 minute per side. Transfer the tuna to a platter and let rest for 1 minute; thickly slice and serve with the sauce.

If you are a fan of seared tuna (and we are!), you can try this recipe as well.

Grilled Halibut and Tapenade Bundles

photo: sunset.com

Original recipe by Sunset magazine, edited by GKC

12 very large romaine lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup green olive tapenade or homemade
1 pound halibut fillets (1 inch thick)
Olive oil
Lemon wedges

Heat grill to medium – about 375 degrees. Cook lettuce leaves 2 or 3 at a time in a pot of boiling water until ribs are flexible, 1-1/2 to 3 minutes and then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Lay leaves flat with smooth sides up on kitchen towels and pat dry.

Spread the 8 largest leaves with olive tapenade. Cut fish into 8 pieces, each about 2-1/2 inches wide. Place 1 piece at base of each leaf. Top each piece of fish with 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. If leaf isn’t big enough to enclose fish, overlap leaf with another. Roll up each bundle from base, folding in sides (gently crack lettuce ribs if needed). Brush bundles with oil. Discard any extra leaves.

Grill bundles, turning once, until fish is just opaque, 8 minutes. Serve with lemon.

Halibut is so expensive so we like to save it for very special recipes like this one.

Pasta with Tomato and Eggplant Sauce

photo by Todd Coleman

Serves 4 -6

2 medium eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained and crushed by hand
16 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand
1 pound twist pasta or spaghetti
4 ounces good quality mozzarella cheese, grated

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Put eggplant into a bowl and drizzle with 4 tablespoons oil. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Transfer eggplant to 2 baking sheets and bake, turning occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add chile flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic softens, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and half the basil, season with salt, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just al dente – about 9 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to tomato sauce. Stir in reserved eggplant and toss to combine. Stir in remaining basil and season with salt. To serve, transfer pasta to a platter and garnish with mozzarella cheese and a little drizzle of olive oil.

The pasta possibilities are endless. You might enjoy this light and easy spinach and feta version.

Imitation Lobster and Potato Chip Rolls

photo by John Kernick


Lobster rolls are a fun food item available at many beach food stands and restaurants. I have always been intrigued by their popularity and when the imitation lobster came out in kosher markets, I had to try out a version. I think the results are both fun and delicious.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons Tabasco
2 tablespoons snipped chives, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt
1 pound imitation lobster meat, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
6 hot dog buns
One 4-ounce bag potato chips

In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, celery, garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco and the 2 tablespoons of chives; season with salt. Refrigerate until chilled.
Cut the imitation lobster into chunks. Mix into dressing and chill for one hour.

Melt the butter on a large griddle or in a large skillet. Add the closed buns and toast the outsides over high heat, turning frequently, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the buns to a platter, split the tops and fill with the lobster salad. Tuck the potato chips into the rolls, garnish with chives and serve.

And while we’re talking imitation fish, try these terrific imitation crab cakes.

Crispy Fish with Pickle Remoulade

Pickle Remoulade
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced celery
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons chopped drained capers
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Crispy Fish

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs), crushed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 large eggs
Eight 5-ounce skinless flounder fillets
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pickle remoulade. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a pie plate, whisk the cornmeal, panko, 1/2 cup of flour, the salt, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, sage, ginger and cumin. In another pie plate, beat the eggs. Dust the flounder with flour, then dip in the beaten egg; coat in the panko mixture, pressing the crumbs to help them adhere. Transfer the fish to a baking sheet.
In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Fry the fish in 2 batches over moderately high heat, turning once, until the crust is golden and crisp and the fish is cooked through, 4 minutes. Drain the fish on paper towels.

Serve the fish with toasted bread and pickle remoulade.

What is fried fish without French fries? You might as well go all out!

Salmon with Stone Fruit Slaw

Stone fruit slaw recipe adapted from bon appétit

Make sure you use firm fruit for this recipe. You want the fruits to hold a good julienne slice to give the appearance of a slaw and not a salsa. It is very flavorful and works well with grilled chicken too.

6 salmon fillets, skin on
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (to taste, or optional)
1-½ pounds assorted firm stone fruit (about 5, such as plums, nectarines, peaches, all julienned)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt

For the slaw:
Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add fruit and scallions, toss gently to coast. Season to taste with salt.

For the salmon:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and kosher salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until fish is opaque but cooked through. Serve warm or room temperature with stone fruit slaw.

Ravioli and Spinach Lasagna with White Sauce

photo: foodnetwork.com

2 (1 pound) boxes cheese ravioli, defrosted
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons margarine
2 cups Imagine pareve chicken broth
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 (8 ounce) packages shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Slowly pour in pareve chicken stock, whisking constantly so that mixture thickens.  Next slowly add in the half-and-half, whisking constantly so that the mixtures thickens.  Stir in the cheese, nutmeg and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes until cheese is thoroughly incorporated. In a 9 x 13-inch pan place small layer of sauce. Next add a layer of ravioli. Sprinkle cheese over ravioli and cover with sauce. If your family likes spinach, add a layer here. Add another layer of ravioli, more sauce and cover the whole top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

If you feel like potchke-ing, try these delicious lasagna rolls.

Chickpea and Feta Salad

photo: marylandmeals.com


Easy

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
1 tomato, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss together salad ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together all dressing ingredients except olive oil. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Pour over salad and mix well. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you’re a fan of chick peas, try this great side dish.

Chocolate Pound Cake


The best pound cakes are made with butter. Since you aren’t eating meat anyway, this is your chance to make a special, simple yet rich, weeknight dessert.

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1-3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in flour, cocoa and baking powder. Pour into greased 12-cup Bundt pan. Bake for about 1-1/2 hours. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. You can serve alone, dusted with powdered sugar, with a dollop of (real!) whipped cream or with some fresh berries.

If you’re in the mood for more chocolate, this cake is worth trying even though it isn’t dairy!

Mushroom Onion and Tomato Quiche


I love to make quiches – It’s a great meal to have for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner! – A slice of this quiche paired with a delicious green salad makes for the perfect light summer meal. It is a great addition to add to your 9 days menu – and as long as you keep the egg custard the same, you can substitute any vegetable for the inside.

By Sarah Lasry

For the Quiche Crust:
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
Large pinch of kosher salt
1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), sliced into pieces (make sure butter is very cold)
5-6 tablespoons ice cold water

For the Quiche Au Fromage (Cheese Quiche)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
Kosher salt and black black pepper to taste
2 cups sliced baby portabella mushrooms
6 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
8 ounces Guyere cheese (or any mozarella, swiss or white cheddar cheese), cut into peices
2 farm tomatoes, sliced round
1/4 cup fresh sweet basil, diced roughly
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the chunks of butter into the flour. Pulse it, until the butter is incorporated into the flour and the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. With the food processor running, add the water and process briefly, using pulses, just until the pastry begins to hold together in large clumps.

Turn the pastry out onto a floured work surface and gather it into a ball.

Roll out the pastry to fit a 10-1/2-inch inch pie or quiche plate. Crimp the edges, poke the bottom with a fork and place the quiche shell into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

While the quiche is freezing, sautee your onion in the olive oil on med-high heat. Add the spices and mix well. Let the onions cook down all the way – until fully wilted and have turned a nice light brown (about 10-12 minutes). Remove the onions and in the same pan add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook for about 6 minutes, with minimal stirring. Once mushrooms have cooked, add the onions back into the pan, mix together, remove from heat and set aside to reserve for later.

In a large mixing bowl start putting together your quiche custard, add the eggs, whisk well and then add the cream, and milk and whisk everything together until blended well. Then add the cheese, season a little with salt and pepper and whisk everything together to incorporate. – Set bowl aside in fridge till ready to fill your quiche.

After 30 minutes – Line the pastry with foil and pastry weights and bake in the middle of your oven until the pastry is golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil and pastry weights. Return the pastry back into the oven and bake until the bottom is golden, an additional 5 minutes.

Remove Pastry from oven and spread an even layer of your mushroom and onions on the bottom of the crust. Then add a layer of sliced tomatoes on top. Then using a ladel, spoon the custard on top of all the vegetables. Fill the quiche till the top of the shell. Add a layer of sweet chopped basil and finally sprinkle the top with some nutmeg. Carefully place quiche back into oven.

Bake in the center of the oven until the filling is golden and puffed and completely baked through – about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, shake the quiche – if it is solid with out a pool of uncooked filling in the center – it is done. Remove quiche from oven and serve.

For the last 8 years Sarah Lasry has been the heart and soul of the successful and celebrated Tastebuds Gourmet Café & Flower Shop in Howell, NJ. Sarah opened and ran Tastebuds to much critical appraise for her unique approach to delicious, kosher gourmet cooking as well as her legendary parties, original style and artistic culinary flair. In 2006 Sarah wrote the acclaimed bestselling cookbook “THE DAIRY GOURMET” which revealed all the secret recipes of Tastebuds Café. With much anticipation from her many fans and fellow foodies, Sarah’s brand new cookbook “THE AT HOME GOURMET” just hit the stores with high praise and reviews. Sarah currently resides in Lakewood, NJ where she has recently left the restaurant business to concentrate on her passion for writing cookbooks and is hard at work as the Food and Home contributing editor for Binah Magazine and www.Kosherstreet.com.

Tarragon-Cheese Bread Pudding

photo: womensunitedonline.com

1 challah, cut into cubes
4 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
6 eggs
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Grease a 2-1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Spread bread cubes evenly in dish. Whisk together milk, cream, cheese, eggs, tarragon, salt and pepper. Pour over bread cubes. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours or even overnight. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
For another savory dairy bread pudding try this mushroom and feta one.

Butterscotch Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, add flour and baking soda. Stir in nuts and butterscotch chips. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake for about 12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

If you’re still in the mood for cookies, try your hand at these Double Ginger Cookies.

Cucumber, Jicama, and Pickled Ginger Salad

2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 seedless cucumber (1-1/4 pound; usually plastic-wrapped), cored and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
1/2 pound jicama, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks (2 cups)
2 tablespoons drained bottled pickled ginger, finely chopped

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Toss together cucumber, jicama, ginger, and dressing in a bowl until combined well, then let stand, covered and chilled, 15 minutes.

Fillet of Sole

photo: thesouthinmymouth

This is worth breaking the budget for; it is delicious in its utter simplicity.

1 cup flour
8 (4-ounce) sole fillets
Salt
Pepper
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

Sauce:
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Mix flour with salt and pepper and place in shallow dish. Dredge fish in flour. Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add fish and cook until golden. Flip over and repeat with other side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add butter for sauce to skillet (for very clear sauce, pour off drippings and wipe skillet clean) and cook until melted. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice. Spoon gently over fish. Eat slowly and savor.

For other delicious fish dishes, check out our index.

Pickled Ginger Baked Salmon

From the NY Times

Serves 4
4 (8-ounce) fillets salmon
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
24 slices pickled ginger
4 slices smoked salmon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the fillets in a small roasting pan. Drizzle with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the pickled ginger in an even layer over the fillets. Top each with a slice of smoked salmon. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the fish is translucent pink in the center.

Tuna with Wasabi Mayonnaise

photo: Scott Peterson

Adapted from bon appétit

2 tablespoons wasabi powder or wasabi sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 pound fresh tuna steaks, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
28 large slices pickled ginger*
28 (8-inch) wooden skewers
1 bunch arrugula
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Mix 2 tablespoons wasabi powder and 1 1/2 tablespoons water in small bowl to blend. Whisk in 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Cover wasabi mayonnaise and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Combine tuna, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Marinate tuna 30 minutes at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Thread 1 ginger slice onto each skewer 2 inches from tip.

Line platter with arrugula. Place bowl of wasabi mayonnaise on platter. Drain tuna; pat dry. Return to medium bowl. Sprinkle with pepper; toss to coat. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna and sear until browned on all sides but still pink inside, about 2 minutes total. Thread 1 tuna cube onto each prepared skewer next to ginger. Arrange skewers on platter and serve.

Apple and Ginger Salad

The addition of yogurt makes this a dairy salad, and therefore perfect for this time of year.

3 apples, chopped (can be a combination of Granny Smith and Fuji or Gala)
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
½ cup vanilla yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans

In a large bowl, toss together apples, water chestnuts, celery, cranberries and crystallized ginger. Whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar and ginger. Pour over salad and mix well. Refrigerate until serving time. Sprinkle with pecans.

Fruit salads are just right in the summer time; for variety try this one also.

Mango Gazpacho

photo: myrecipes.com

If you like mango (I do; my husband doesn’t), then you will probably really enjoy this refreshing summer soup.

2 cups diced mango
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 seedless cucumber, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 small jalapeno, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Purée mango, orange juice and olive oil in a food processor. Mix with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you have a husband like mine or if you are just looking for an alternative, try this Cantaloupe and Fruit soup.