Branzino Fillets with Green Olive and Fennel Tapenade Recipe

Happy almost-Mother’s Day and almost-graduation and Holy Communion and there’s a lot happening right now! I don’t know about you, but I tend to entertain more in the spring and summer and I am always looking for new recipes since I tend to have the same people over again and again.  Because my husband and I tend to lean towards a plant-based + fish diet, I always serve fish when I have guests.  Branzino fillets are one of my go-to’s because they cook super quick and they have a mild flavor. I usually serve them with a simple relish or sauce and that’s an easy entree!Continue reading

Dinner Planner – Week of May 2, 2022

Lots of fun this week, friends!  First of all, this is probably your last chance to take a bootcamp live with me!  This week I am repeating two fantastic bootcamps that you do not want to miss – Raising Healthy Eaters and Entertaining with Ease!

I am also excited to eat all the Mexican food I can handle on Cinco de Mayo and I am hoping Hubs and my son make me something delicious and healthy on Mother’s Day!  Here’s your dinner planner for the week: Continue reading

Sheet Pan Cauliflower Taco “Meat” Recipe

Looking for a plant-based taco recipe that doesn’t involve ultra-processed fake meat?  Me too!  I am really over all the fake meat products.  But I also understand that sometimes swapping cauliflower for meat is not going to cut it in terms of satiety.  This mixture of cauliflower rice, hemp seeds and finely chopped nuts + the perfect seasoning blend is satisfying and totally flavorful.  It passed the test with Mr. Picky who can eat practically the entire sheet pan himself!Continue reading

Dinner Planner – Week of April 25, 2022

Big news!  I am bringing back two of my best bootcamps beginning the first week in May – Entertaining with Ease and Raising Healthy Eaters!!  I am probably not going to be offering bootcamps live again for the foreseeable future, so if you enjoy the one-on-one attention from taking the bootcamps with me and the support from the group, do not hesitate to take either or both of these! Both of these bootcamps will take the ANXIETY out of both entertaining at home and feeding your kids.  I promise, you will feel lighter, less stressed, and you will actually have a total attitude shift after these bootcamps.  I’m offering $100 off with coupon code EWE100 for Entertaining with Ease and code KIDS100 for Raising Healthy Eaters. Can’t wait to see you in class! Here’s your dinner planner for the week: 

Continue reading

Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe

Oh my gosh, I am excited about this recipe!!  My whole family goes gaga for all fried rice dishes but this one is hands-down their favorite.  It is a total flavor party!!  In fact, I make it for my son one a week and reheat it for school lunch.  I’ve eaten kimchi fried rice with an egg or tofu for breakfast and it is an ideal way for me to start the day.  If you have never bought kimchi before, this is your invitation!Continue reading

Dinner Planner – Week of April 18, 2022

Happy Holy Week if you are observing the Easter holiday!  I’m enjoying a wonderful week with my family on Long Island and we are all trying to relax and focus on being present with each other. Here’s your dinner planner for the week: 

Meatless Monday: California Nicoise salad (with or without the tuna), check out this post for what to do with all the leftover eggs after Easter.

Tuesday: Instant Pot chicken tinga p. 199 served with baked pinto bean tostadas p. 277 from Quicker than Quick

Wednesday: Grilled carrots with tahini sauce served with my Lentil and Grilled Eggplant Salad

Thursday: Miso glazed black cod, pea and mushroom sauté or black rice and sauteed mushrooms

Friday: Miso Soup Bar and veggie potstickers from Trader Joe’s to make things EASY 😉

Saturday brunch: Slow cooker apple pie steel cut oats

Sunday: Turkey and brown rice stuffed bell peppers, clean-out-the-fridge green salad

 

Here’s what you can do in advance if it helps you: 

Sunday: 

Make salad dressing

Wash greens

Blanch green beans

Monday: 

Cook beans if making from scratch

Make tahini sauce

Tuesday: 

Cook lentils or use pre-cooked

Friday: 

Cook rice for stuffed bell peppers

 

I have LOVED seeing all your creations of my recipes on Instagram. If you make any of my recipes, please tag me @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman so I can check them out!

My cookbook, Quicker Than Quick, is on sale for $14.99 on Amazon!  If you have 1 minute, would you mind leaving a review on amazon?  I would be so grateful, thank you! Take a peek at my first cookbook “Kitchen Matters”!

Strawberry Mounds Bars Recipe

Mounds Bars were one of my favorite candies during Halloween and my Aunt Maria still to this day brings an enormous chocolate covered coconut egg for Easter.  I can hardly eat more than a bite of either these days as they just taste way too sweet for me. But these little strawberry coconut “mounds bars” are just perfect.  They’re festive, delicious, barely sweet, and even kids will go crazy for them.  They’re the perfect treat to make for both Easter and Passover.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Not too sweet, which is how I prefer my desserts;
  • Bite-size pieces – great for portion control LOL;
  • Can be made in advance;
  • Easy to adapt for different types of chocolate or freeze-dried fruit.

Strawberry Mounds Bars Ingredients

  • Freeze-dried strawberries: these are different from dried fruit. Freeze dried strawberries are crisp like chips and will turn into a lovely pink dust when pulverized. 
  • Coconut flakes: look for unsweetened coconut flakes. It doesn’t matter if it’s finely shredded or in larger pieces since it will become finely chopped in the food processor. 
  • Maple syrup: sugar is sugar but maple syrup is less processed and it personally doesn’t spike me the way white sugar does.
  • Coconut butter: This contains the whole coconut. It may also be labeled on the package as coconut manna. 
  • Vanilla extract: pure extract with no added flavors or corn syrup solids adds a richness and natural sweetness.
  • Chocolate chips: I try to use chocolate chips or bars that have a higher percentage of cacao, which means there’s less sugar.  Usually I buy dark or bittersweet, but if you prefer semisweet or milk chocolate, you do you.
  • Coconut oil: I use unrefined coconut oil. It does have a coconut flavor compared to a refined coconut oil. Coconut oil helps thin out the chocolate so it can coat the bars easily and then the oil hardens in the fridge for a nice “shell.”

How to Make Strawberry Mounds Bars

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. No need to grease it. This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan later on. 
  2. Place a heaping 1/4 cup of freeze dried strawberries in the food processor and process until pulverized. Add coconut flakes, maple syrup, coconut butter, vanilla, and salt. Process until mixture comes together. It will be slightly sticky. 
  3. Transfer mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Press mixture firmly into a single layer. I like to press it with my hands or you can use the bottom of a measuring cup. If you have excess parchment paper overhanging on the sides, you can fold the paper in. Place pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. 
  4. In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set atop of a pot of simmering water, melt chocolate and coconut oil until completely smooth. 
  5. Remove mixture from the loaf pan 

Tips for Making Strawberry Mounds Bars

  • Allow the excess chocolate to drip off when coating with chocolate. 
  • Don’t leave freeze-dried strawberries out for too long as they will lose their crispness. 
  • I like to use a fork when coating the bars with chocolate to allow the excess to drip off. 
  • Line the plate or sheet pan you use to place the bars so they don’t stick to the surface. 

Substitutions for Strawberry Mounds Bars

  • Maple syrup: agave or honey
  • Coconut butter: I’m really not sure but you might be able to swap in sweetened condensed coconut milk in place of the coconut butter AND maple syrup. It will probably be sweeter than my recipe though. Another possibility (although I haven’t tried it) is raw cashew butter.
  • Chocolate chips: you could drizzle with chocolate instead of coating with chocolate for a lighter version.

If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag @pamelasalzman so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, subscribe for free to my site for the latest recipes and updates.

For more delicious recipes, check out my monthly online cooking classes

 

Strawberry Mounds Bars
Author: 
Serves: 12 2-inch bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1⁄4 cup freeze-dried strawberries + more for garnish
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
  • 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 7 Tablespoons coconut butter or coconut cream
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1⁄2 Tablespoon unrefined virgin coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Line an 8.5 x 4.5 or 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Place a heaping 1⁄4 cup of freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor and process until pulverized. Add coconut flakes, maple syrup, coconut butter, vanilla extract and salt. Pulse until mixture is well combined and sticky.
  3. Transfer mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Press mixture firmly into a single layer. You can use the bottom of a measuring cup to make sure the mixture is well packed. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set atop a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil and stir until smooth.
  5. Remove mixture from the loaf pan and cut into 12 bars. I like to cut in half lengthwise and then make 5 cuts crosswise, which will you give you 12 (2 x 1-inch) pieces. Gently submerge each bar into the melted chocolate letting excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and place on a plate or small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle immediately with freeze-dried strawberry pieces. You want to add these before the chocolate sets or they won't stick.
  6. Transfer bars to fridge to allow the chocolate to set, then serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a covered container lined with parchment paper.

 

Dinner Planner – Week of April 11, 2022

It has been busy in the Salzman household.  Mr. Picky just made it official and committed to a college for the fall!  Hubs and I will be empty nesters for the first time and it is bittersweet.  I want my children to be doing what they are supposed to be doing and thriving, but I will miss that kid. Next up is a trip to Long Island to see my mom, my aunt, my sisters and their families and my daughter Anna will come down from Boston!

If you take my monthly online cooking classes (if you don’t, you’re missing out – I can teach you to be a better cook in no time!), the April class has been uploaded!  I have always taught a Mexican-inspired menu in April so that you can have healthful and delicious recipes to make for Cinco de Mayo.  But whom am I kidding? I make Mexican food all year because everybody LOVES it! Here’s your dinner planner for the week: Continue reading