Duck Salad with Mango

We have the good fortune to have a local, humanely raised duck and rabbit vendor at our local farmer’s market. Summer is here and salads are so yummy this time of the year. after you cook the duck breast and chill it, this is a very fast and simple recipe to prepare. The cherry infused (or regular) balsamic vinegar is all you need for dressing and the angel hair slaw and Marcona almonds provide a wonderful crispness.Gluten-free, low fat, diabetic friendly and full of nutrients, this salad is sure to please.

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Duck Salad with Mango

Yield: 2 servings

Prepare duck breast ahead of time by roasting or pan searing with your favorite dry rub. Slice into thin strips

4 cups angel hair slaw
1 carrot shredded
½ a mango julienne
1 green onion julienne
½ cup Marcona almonds
Drizzle cherry infused or regular balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine slaw, carrot, onion and mango and portion onto two plates. Arrange sliced duck breast as pictured and add almonds. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.

©2016 Aron Bradley

Walnut Falafel

I love the middle eastern vegetarian falafel traditionally made with chickpeas or fava beans or both in combination, but I am often disappointed by dry mixes, food truck or restaurant fried versions which are often greasy and gritty textured with little flavor. This comes from frying and using ground dried beans. I know this is the usual method but it leaves me flat.This recipe is moist and yummy  and the walnuts are a plus for nutrition and texture. You can make this gluten-free by eliminating the pita and form larger patties and serve with a salad. This recipe is vegetarian, heart healthy and diabetic friendly.

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Walnut Falafel

Yield: 6-8 servings

1 can drained garbanzo beans or cooked, dry
2 eggs
1 cup shelled walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon sesame tahini
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Combine the above ingredients minus the coconut oil in a food processor. Form falafel filling into small balls and flatten them. Cook at medium heat till golden brown on both sides. Use with your choice of pitas and filling. Pictured: Cabbage slaw and baby kale with diced Roma tomatoes and plain non-fat Greek yogurt with harissa paste as a dressing. Or, a more traditional cucumber, red onion, tomato and tzatziki if you like. The choices are limitless.

©2016 Aron Bradley

Gluten-Free Mackerel Cakes

Here is another recipe my Dad taught me. We were fairly poor at the time in that Berkeley flat.  Mackerel in the late 60’s was 29 cents a can. The original recipe was not gluten-free. It was breaded with crushed saltine crackers (also cheap). I have fond memories of Jay Jay (my dad’s partner) making us a batch of these for lunch with a simple salad. This recipe is gluten-free and diabetic friendly,  and is quite nutritious and tasty.

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Aron and Dad ( second birthday)

Aron and Dad ( second birthday)

Asian Spring Salad with Shrimp

Val made this fabulous salad for me the other day and I just had to include it in my blog. The  crunch of the almonds, the tang of the pomegranate seeds, the sweet meat of the shrimp, the crisp springtime taste of the asparagus and the sesame, soy and ginger umami of the dressing work so beautifully together it is a feast for the senses  and it is super healthy as well and very filling. This recipe is low-fat, heart healthy and diabetic friendly.

Asian Spring Salad with Shrimp Recipe


Asian Spring Salad with Shrimp

Yield: 2 generous servings

4 cups finely shredded cabbage
8 cooked asparagus spears sliced into 2 inch pieces
8 oz. cooked shrimp
10 fresh pea pods
2 green onions sliced into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons honey roasted sliced almonds
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Suggested garnish: Lemon slices
Suggested dressing: Newman’s Own™ Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing

Divide and arrange the above ingredients onto 2 plates as shown

© 2013 Valerie Bradley

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

I played with this idea for a while. How do you make a soup with cheese that can be served cold or hot. I can tell you that using a roux to thicken it is a mistake because cold it sets up like a thick pudding. I also wanted to make it gluten-free free so the roux is out. Cornstarch and water also doesn’t work because your saliva breaks down the cornstarch. So I decided to go as minimal as possible and preserve the fresh clean tastes of the mild raw milk cheddar from Full Circle Creamery and my Hometown Harvest  broccoli. The answer was simple. Literally, this recipe has just 4 ingredients but is awesome. This recipe is lacto-vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Yield: 2 servings

7 oz. broccoli
2 cups (16 fl. oz.) water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
4 oz. white cheddar (raw milk preferred)

Heat water in a saucepan. Add bouillon cube and dissolve. Add broccoli and shredded cheddar. Cook till broccoli is tender then transfer to a blender to puree. This soup is great hot or chilled.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Chicken & Baby Kale Salad w/ Artichoke Heart Dressing

This is a very tasty lunch or dinner salad with baby kale and romaine lettuce and a myriad of  tastes and textures from the whole sugar snap peas, sliced almonds, crunchy carrots, savory succulent chicken a bit of heat from the Fresno chilies and one of my favorite and easiest to prepare creations: Creamy Artichoke Heart Salad Dressing. This dressing works well with any salad but is especially nice with this combination. This dish is high in fiber, heart-healthy and diabetic friendly and very nutritious.

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Chicken & Baby Kale Salad
w/ Artichoke Heart Dressing

Yield: 4 generous servings

2 baked free range chicken breasts cut in half and sliced
2 hearts of romaine chopped
5 oz. whole sugar snap peas
4 oz. julienne carrots
2 oz. mixed baby kale
4 tablespoons sliced raw almonds
2 Fresno chilies de-seed and julienne
1- 13.75 oz. can of artichoke hearts in water
1 cup of olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon stevia
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon dill weed
½ teaspoon salt

Mix romaine, baby kale and carrots in a salad bowl and portion onto 4 dinner plates. Top each with sugar snap peas, sliced almonds, chicken and Fresno chilies. Add all dressing ingredients into a blender and puree. Top salads with dressing and serve.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Tortilla Soup (sopa de tortilla)

My wife Valerie and I just returned from a fabulous vacation in Zihautanejo Mexico (yes the magical destination at the end of the Shawshank Redemption movie). One afternoon we had lunch at “Fonda La Tertulia” and enjoyed a simple yet tasty house tortilla soup with the special of the day. The tortillas were fried which gave the soup a wonderful texture. I have replicated the recipe here for you to enjoy. Gluten-free and meatless this recipe is also diabetic friendly.

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Tortilla Soup (sopa de tortilla)

Yield: 2 servings

4 cups gluten-free MSG-free vegetable stock
5 thin corn tortillas
3 – oz. Casero (queso fresco) cheese
1 tablespoon chili powder (hot, medium or mild your preference)
1 tablespoon canola or grape seed oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sugar, stevia or sucralose

Cut tortillas into thin strips (chiffonade) and fry in the oil till crisp but not brown. Transfer them to a paper towel. Heat vegetable stock and add chili powder, cumin and sweetener. Crumble the Casara cheese. Ladle soup into two bowls and add half the fried tortilla strips and half of the crumbled cheese onto each portion. Serve.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley

Aron at Fonda La Tertulia in Zihautanejo Mexico

Shrimp Louis

The west coast of the United States is believed to be the origin of the crab Louis because of the abundance of the delectable Dungeness crab. The seafood Louis added Oregon bay shrimp and the shrimp alone version came about to make it more affordable.
Where and when was Crab Louis first served? Even the best food historians can’t nail this one down for certain. Most agree the Louis began appearing on menus of finer West Coast establishments between the turn of the 20th century and World War I. Credit for its creation is deadlocked between the Olympic Club in Seattle and San Francisco’s Solari’s restaurant or St. Francis Hotel.
Even though the origin may be hard to place, the popularity of this American derivation of the niçoise salad is still a favorite. The variety of ingredients differs from restaurant to restaurant and it may contain black olives, red or green peppers, sweet pickles, cucumbers, artichoke hearts etc. but the seafood is always the star heaped lavishly on top of the greens.My variation features romaine mix and coleslaw mix to beef up the nutrients lacking in the traditional iceberg lettuce.This recipe is gluten-free, low in fat, heart healthy and very satisfying.
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Shrimp Louis

Yield: 2 generous servings

12 oz. bay shrimp meat
6 oz. fat free Thousand Island dressing
6 oz. coleslaw salad mix
3 oz. Romaine mix lettuce
4 dill pickle spears
2 hard cooked eggs (shelled)
4 stalks of steamed asparagus
1 large tomato quartered
1 lemon quartered
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Make a bed of half your romaine salad mix and 3 oz. of the coleslaw mix. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, egg, pickle spears, asparagus2 tomato wedges and two lemon wedges as pictured. Serve dressing on the side. Repeat for the second salad.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley

Florentine Pinwheels

This is a quick appetizer or snack and if you add fresh fruit or a small salad could be a nice lunch. I have used a spinach tortilla wrap but you can use any flavor. Try mixing fresh basil leaves with the spinach or replace the prosciutto with bay shrimp or hard cooked eggs. You can use diced fresh tomatoes instead of roasted red peppers, thin sliced grilled zucchini or eggplant. The variations are endless.

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Florentine Pinwheels

Yield: 4 servings

4 large flavored tortilla wraps
8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
6 oz. prosciutto
5 oz. sweet red peppers (water packed)
1 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
Optional: Mix fresh basil leaves with the spinach

With a rubber spatula spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the tortilla being sure to coat it all the way to the edge. Add prosciutto, spinach leaves (one layer), and peppers leaving about 1 inch with only cream cheese around the edge of the wrap. Roll it and slice it into 1 ½ inch slices. Plate and serve.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley

Original Joe’s Special (my healthy variation)

Original Joe’s Fine Italian Food is a San Francisco institution that began in 1937. Their ‘Joe’s Special’ recipe has been repeated in so many variation’s especially in the West it has become an institution itself like the also imitated Cobb Salad. The original recipe used ground chuck, mushrooms, onions, garlic, previously frozen chopped spinach, olive oil and fresh eggs. It was also served on garlic, olive oiled toasted chunks of sourdough bread. Yes, admittedly yum but not so healthy. My variation is way lower in fat, gluten-free and still very tasty.

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Original Joe’s Special (my healthy variation)

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 lb. ground turkey breast (99% fat-free)
5 oz. fresh organic baby spinach
6 large Crimini mushrooms sliced
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1 cup Egg Beaters™ or equivalent
4 cloves of garlic minced
4 tablespoons shredded Asiago cheese
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms till they begin to caramelize. Add ground turkey, salt and pepper and break it into crumbles. When turkey changes to white add fresh spinach, as spinach is wilting add Egg Beaters™. Cook another minute and serve. Shred about one tablespoon of Asiago on each serving.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley