Cooking Club: Week 53


Thank you for posting your photos this past week! I love love love seeing this food actually be made in your kitchens. Even if you did not take pics and you squirrel your SKCC meals away for no one to see, I love you and appreciate you ;) The winners of the goodie bags are:

I’ll put up the head-to-head vote for fav picture on IG Stories later today.

We are looking at the end of fresh salmon season, so if you are a fan, I would grab some in the next couple weeks. We usually buy ours at Costco and while it is too much fish for us, I plan to host others for dinner, then use leftovers to top green salads for lunch or stuff into tacos for the kids. If you have a fish monger near you or other place for fish, don’t skip the sams!

Hope you have a nice holiday weekend, friends!

1-hr. Prep


  1. Whisk together vin/marinade for #1. Store ½ the mix in a jar and set aside for later, use the rest for the chicken.

  2. Marinate chicken for #1 and set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to grill later tonight. Let set on the counter for 15 minutes before you grill.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375’ and prep 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On one of the sheets prep your bacon for #2 and cook for 16-20 minutes until crispy. Drain, cool, and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use for the sams later this week. Reserve 4 slices for dinner tonight.

  4. Meanwhile, chop the veggies for the enchilada sauce in #3.

  5. Turn oven up to 425’ on that other baking sheet, season your veg for the enchilada sauce in #3 and roast for 30ish minutes. Remove, cool, and finish the sauce in a blender or food processor. Store in large jars in the fridge.

  6. Turn on the grill and finish the Pear + Pepper Chopped Salad for dinner.


  1. Vinaigrette + marinade made for Recipe 1.

  2. Marinated chicken for Recipe 1.

  3. Cooked bacon for Recipe 1 + 2 (optional)

  4. Enchilada sauce done for Recipe 3.

  5. Pear + Pepper Chopped Salad for din.


I am assuming you have sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a higher heat oil, such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Check your stock on these before you head to the market, and check off any other items you may already have. As you continue to use these recipes, you will see repetition of my favorite ingredients. For example, while real maple and pine nuts are pricey pantry staples, they won’t sit in the pantry, you’ll use them in upcoming weeks. Use bulk bins at your local health food store to buy in smaller quantities if you prefer.

Your List i

pear & pepper chop salad salmon, guac, & bacon sams summer vegetable enchiladas lunchbox friendly sunbutter bars



meat + dairy

recipe 01: pear & pepper chopped salad

serves 4

It’s pear season, the time of year when you can almost feel the natural sugar crystals in the fruit. This is a perfect, quick weeknight meal and is best served family style on a large platter so the eaters at your table can pick and choose the bits they want. 

Rotisserie chicken or roasted bone-in-skin on chicken breasts (see week 31 for the method) would all work here for a protein if you don’t feel like grilling. This calls for the optional leftover bacon from the sandwiches in Recipe Two. You can leave this off and sub with extra feta. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Make a big sheet pan of bacon on Sunday for both the salad and salmon sandwiches in recipe two. Chicken can be marinated a day in advance, even grilled and cooled if you’d like, and the vinaigrette can be left in the fridge for a week.

Use it Twice: Pears, peppers, bacon, arugula and maybe a gruyere would make a great grilled cheese. Double the chicken and serve with a honey mustard sauce and green beans for another night in the week.

Kid Friendly: My kids loved this simple chicken. Bacon is always popular. Cried about the bell peppers. Always ask for pears.

Vegetarian friendly: Grilled Halloumi would be phenomenal here in place of the chicken. You could mix the salad without a protein or hard boiled eggs would make it filling too.


Dressing + MARINADE

2 cloves garlic, grated
1 medium shallot, minced, about 3 Tbsp. 
2 Tbsp. Whole grain mustard
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Dried Italian seasoning
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
A few grinds of black pepper

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, pounded thin

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. chopped chives, plus more for garnish

1 large red bell pepper, sliced very thin
2 pears, sliced very thin
1 shallot, halved + shaved thin
⅓ cup toasted pistachios
1 big head red leaf lettuce, chopped
2 handfuls baby arugula
salt + cracked pepper

4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked + crumbled, optional 
Feta cheese, optional


In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, shallot, both mustards, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, juice, oil, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pour half of the mixture in a jar and save for the vinaigrette. To the bowl, add the chicken, and let it marinate for an hour.  

Preheat grill to medium high. Remove chicken from marinade and allow excess to drip off. Transfer chicken to greased grill grates and grill for 5 minutes, flip, and finish for another 6-7 depending on thickness. Remove and allow to cool a bit. Slice on the bias. Drizzle a little bit of dressing and toss the chicken in it and it’s juices. 

To the jar with remaining vinaigrette, add white wine vinegar and chives. Shake well. 

In a large bowl, pour a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette in the bottom. Add in peppers, pears, shallot, chicken, and pistachios. Give it a toss and add lettuce and arugula. Season with salt, pepper. 

Top with bacon, cheese and chives. Serve immediately. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    45 g
  • carbs i
    28 g
  • protein
    32 g

recipe 02: salmon, guac, & bacon sams

serves 4

These were inspired by Ina Garten’s Salmon and Guacamole Sandwiches we make every summer as an appetizer cut into two-bite squares served open face. 

It’s kind of sacrilege to change her recipes, but the combination of both lemon and lime juice in the guacamole works better with the slightly spicy-sweet salmon. This time of year the salmon is bright red and stunning, so we usually choose to serve these open face to let the fish shine.

I live with a bunch of raw tomato haters, but I thought a few slices belonged on here. Personal opinion ;)

To cook the bacon:

Preheat oven to 375’. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, place a baking rack over pan, and lay 12 strips of bacon on the rack. Season with cracked black pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes until crisp. Remove and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Allow it to cool. If you don’t have a baking rack, it will all still turn out just fine.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Bacon can be cooked a day in advance.

Use it Twice: If you have extra guac, serve it with the enchiladas later in the week. To save the guac longer, put in two avocado pits into the leftover mix and press plastic wrap onto the top of the guac. This will keep it from oxidizing.

Kid Friendly: I do serve a toddler. She who will go unnamed, loses her mind if things fall out of a sandwich. I put a little guac on both sides of the bread, flaked up the salmon and squished everything together so it stayed in the sandwich.

Low Carb: Leave out the bread and serve over a big arugula salad.


4 4-6 oz. salmon filets, deboned
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
Juice of ½ a lemon

4 ciabatta rolls or focaccia 
1 clove garlic, peeled

3 ripe avocados, halved + pits removed
¼ red onion, finely chopped
⅓ cup chopped chives or cilantro
Juice of half a small lemon
Juice of one lime
2 Tbsp. jalapeno, minced 
½ tsp. Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper

Handful of baby arugula
Olive oil
Salt + pepper

8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked


Preheat grill to medium high, grease grates. 

On a parchment lined baking sheet, season fillets with a glug of olive oil, maple syrup, chili powder, and salt. Rub the mixture into the fish until its well coated. Transfer to the grill, skin side down, and cook for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. For easier clean up, place the fillets on a foil boat before grilling. Salmon is done when a fork flakes easily in the middle with little resistance. Hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice. Allow to rest.

Cut rolls in half and toast until just golden. Rub garlic on cut side of the bread and set aside. 

Meanwhile, make the guac. Scoop out the flesh of the avos into a medium bowl. Add onions, chives, lemon and lime juice, jalapeno, salt, and pepper. Mash with a fork until it is still a little chunky. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Remove skin from salmon and flake into big chunks. Dress arugula with a teeny drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. To assemble, spread a few heaping tablespoons of guac on the bottom half of the roll. Top with salmon, arugula, and two slices of bacon. Slather the top bun with more guac, or leave it open faced. Serve immediately. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    68 g
  • carbs i
    54 g
  • protein
    37 g

recipe 03: summer vegetable enchiladas

serves 4

You can skip the tomatillo sauce and swap for 1 ½ cups or a jar of your favorite enchilada sauce, red or green. If goat cheese is not your thing, sub for shredded Monterey jack, putting ½ in the veg mix and half on top. 

If you can’t find good fresh corn, the fire roasted frozen corn from TJ’s is a great option.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Enchilada sauce can be made five days in advance. The filling can be made the night before. The enchiladas can be prepared and frozen before baking.

Kid Friendly: If your littles are skeptical of enchilada sauce, put the filling in a tortilla and make a veggie quesadilla.

Carnivore Addition: Add shredded chicken to the filling, ground beef or turkey, or a little chorizo.

Low Carb: Try a brand like Siete Foods Almond or Cassava flour tortillas. They may be a bit tricky to roll and not hold their shape quite as well but they will work!

Extra Credit: Make the SKCC pickled onions in the condiment archive.



1 lbs. tomatillos, husked, rinsed + quartered
1 poblano pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, peeled + chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp. avocado oil
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
4 oz. can mild green chiles
½ cup chicken stock
Juice of a lime
1 cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup creme fraiche or sour cream

for the FILLING

1 Tbsp. avocado oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 poblano or bell pepper, seeded + diced
½ tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 13.5 oz. can pinto beans, drained + rinsed
4 oz. goat cheese

10 corn or flour tortillas
4 oz. goat cheese or Monterey jack

for serving

Fresh cilantro, chopped
Lime wedges
Extra guac or avocados


Preheat oven to 425’. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. To the sheet, add tomatillos, poblano, onion, and garlic. Drizzle with avocado oil and season with oregano, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Toss together, nestling the garlic under the veggies so the cloves don’t burn. Roast for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a food processor, add the contents of the sheet pan with green chiles, chicken stock, lime juice, cilantro, and creme fraiche. Blend until mostly smooth. Taste for seasoning and salt accordingly. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high. Once oil is shimmering, add onions and pepper. Season with salt and sauté for 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add coriander, cumin, and garlic powder, stir, and add zucchini and corn. Sauté for an additional 5 minutes until the mix is softened but still has a bit of texture. Stir in pinto beans and remove from heat. Allow to cool a few minutes and slowly fold in the goat cheese. Set filling aside.

Over a burner (if you have a gas stove), lightly char each side of the tortilla, 1 minute per side. This isn’t essential but helps them hold together. Do not over crisp or they will break when you roll.

Preheat the oven to 425’. 

Set up your assembly station. In a 9x13 pan or similar size baking dish, pour a heaping ½ cup of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Working one at a time, fill each tortilla with a ¼ cup-ish of filling, and roll it up. Lay seam side down in the sauce. Continue with the remaining, squeezing them taught. If you have extra filling, save it! 

Pour remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining goat cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until warmed through. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Top with sour cream, guac, cilantro, and lime. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    27 g
  • carbs i
    71 g
  • protein
    26 g

recipe 04: lunchbox-friendly sunbutter bars

Serves 16

These were tested with unsweetened sunbutter. If yours has sugar in it, note your bars will be a bit sweeter. I know brown rice syrup is a little trickier to find, but they do stay together better with this versus the maple. 

We store these in the fridge or freezer. They will become more delicate as they sit in a lunchbox, so will be a bit messier, but can travel just fine. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: These can be kept in the freezer for as long as it takes you to eat them. If you keep them frozen, they will last longer in a lunchbox and won’t melt as much.


⅔ cup sunflower seed butter
⅓ cup brown rice syrup or maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ½ cup brown rice crisp cereal

1 cup chopped dark chocolate
3 tbsp. sunflower seed butter
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Flaky salt


Line an 8x8” square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium low, stir together sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Whisk to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes until mixture has melted, thinned and become glossy. If it needs a little help thinning, add one more tablespoon of coconut oil. Take off the heat and add in vanilla.

Stir in cereal and combine well until coated.

Pour the cereal mixture into the pan and press down firmly with the back of your spoon or use your hands. Transfer to the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour chocolate, sunflower seed butter, and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 seconds increments, stirring incrementally, until it’s smooth. This will likely take one minute.

Take bars out of the freezer and spread on chocolate later with an offset spatula. Smooth out to the edges. Top with flaky salt.

Transfer the bars to the freezer or fridge for at least an hour. With a sharp knife run under hot water cut into 16 squares. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Nutrition Information

per bar

  • calories
  • fat i
    15 g
  • carbs i
    19 g
  • protein
    4 g