Coconut Curry Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, (about 3), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14-ounces) unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 1 medium lime)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 3-4 cups hot, cooked rice for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until it is hot and shimmering. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Add them to the hot oil. Let the chicken cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and red pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onions and peppers are slightly softened. The chicken and vegetables don’t have to be fully cooked as they will simmer and cook further in the next step.
  2. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, cayenne pepper, brown sugar and curry powder. Stir to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, gently, for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve a ladle or two of the soup over a scoop of rice and garnish with more cilantro, if desired.


The slight dash of cayenne pepper doesn’t make the soup spicy, instead, it just enhances the overall flavor. You can add more to taste, if you like things a bit spicier. Also, if you are worried about the fish sauce, don’t be! It is widely available in most grocery stores in the Asian foods section. It is relatively inexpensive and lasts a long time in the refrigerator. It adds an element of flavor you can’t get otherwise, but in a pinch, you could leave it out and sub in probably 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste). If you don’t know what you would use the rest of the fish sauce in, here are a few of my other favorite dishes that call for it: Shrimp Stir Fry with Coconut Curry Sauce, Chiang Mai Noodles, Red Coconut Curry Noodles, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Authentic Egg Rolls.)

Make Ahead Instructions: Follow the recipe through the step through the first paragraph. Transfer the chicken/onions/peppers to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (except the lime juice, cilantro and rice). Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Serve over rice.

All images and text ©Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Chewy Molasses Cookies (Healthy)


  • 1/2 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 & 1/4 cups light spelt flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar, for rolling (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flax and water in a mug and set aside for a few minutes. Stir to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, molasses, syrup, vanilla, and flax mixture until smooth and combined.
  4. In the same bowl, beat in one-by one, the dry ingredients (ginger, cinnamon, soda, salt, cloves, and flour) until just combined. Be sure not to overmix.
  5. Shape dough into balls and roll in a bowl of sugar (optional).  Place balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Carefully flatten ball slightly with hand.
  6. Bake cookies for 12 minutes for a crispier cookie, or 10 minutes for a softer cookie (I did 12). Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!


Notes: 1) You can probably swap the light spelt flour for all-purpose flour if desired. 2) This recipe can be doubled if you desire 24 cookies instead of 12. 3) I used a combo of cane sugar and turbinado sugar for rolling (the turbinado makes it really crunchy), but you can use all cane sugar if you prefer.


Note- I substituted with almond butter and almond flour because that was what I had on hand and it tasted great

Source:  Oh She Glows

Berry Pie


  • 4 cups boysenberries (I sometimes use frozen blackberries, rinsed.)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of Nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of butter


  1. Combine berries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  If berries are frozen, let sit in bowl for a bit to thaw.
  2. Place in unbaked 9-inch pie crust.
  3. Dot with butter and place crust on top.
  4. Cut slits in top and sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Bake 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

Source:  Lori Davis

Note: For the crust I use the recipe for the Pate brisee pie crust 

Cheesy Potato and Chicken Soup


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 cups peeled, chopped potatoes (30-32 ounces), about 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided (meaning you’ll use 1 cup at first and the other 2 cups later)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded or diced chicken, optional (see note)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • Cooked, crumbled bacon for serving


  1. Using the Saute function on the Instant Pot (or similar function on another electric pressure cooker), heat the butter or oil.
  2. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
  3. Add the potatoes, 1 cup broth, parsley, salt and pepper. Give the mixture a good stir.
  4. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  5. Quick release the pressure (if liquid spurts from the release valve, wait 5-10 minutes and try again).
  6. In a blender, combine the cream cheese, flour, milk, and remaining 2 cups broth. Process until smooth.
  7. Turn the Instant Pot to Saute again. Stir in the cream cheese/flour mixture (it’s ok if the potatoes break apart a little as you combine the ingredients).
  8. Continue cooking, and stirring constantly, until the soup simmers and thickens.
  9. Add the cheese and stir until melted.
  10. Add the chicken (if using) and the corn and heat through.
  11. Serve immediately (or keep warm in the Instant Pot for up to an hour). Top individual servings with bacon.


Many times when I’ve made this, I’ve used the cute, small potatoes (i.e. Little Potato Company – I buy the large bags at Costco but I know there are other brands out there) and I don’t peel them, and it works great. I just halve or quarter the potatoes.

The chicken is optional but tasty. I most often use a deboned rotisserie chicken thawed from the freezer, but you could go so far as to add uncooked, diced chicken in the first step and it will cook with the potatoes and other ingredients.



Cheesy Black Bean Quinoa Bake


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, about 24 ounces (see note)
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 12 ounces salsa verde (can sub your favorite tomato salsa, if desired)
  • Juice of 1 lime (about a tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked, chopped chicken (rotisserie chicken works great here – you can easily leave the chicken out for a meatless dish as well)
  • 2-3 cups shredded Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses
  • Chopped, fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the quinoa, black beans, tomato sauce, salsa verde, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chicken (if using). Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  3. Spread half of the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Layer with the rest of the quinoa mixture followed by the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro (optional) and serve with tortilla chips, if desired.


This recipe can easily be halved for a 9X9-inch baking dish.

My go-to method for cooking quinoa these days is to combine equal parts quinoa and water in the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes, quick release. Otherwise, on the stovetop, combine 1 1/2 cups water or broth for every 1 cup of quinoa plus a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook on low for 14-15 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes off the heat.

One cup dry quinoa will yield about 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked quinoa. 


Butter Rolls (light)


  • 6 to 7 ounces whole milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 2 teaspoon active dry yeast


  1. Measure all ingredients into bread pan.
  2. Select dough setting.
  3. Press “Start/Stop”.
  4. When unit signals and display reads 0:00, press “Start/Stop” and remove dough.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, shape into balls and place in greased muffin cups.
  6. Cover, let rise for 30 minutes.
  7. Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or convection Bake 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Source:  Oster Bread Machine 2 pound loaf Recipe Book

Salty Carmel Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
  • 1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
  • 12 ounces Rice Krispie cereal


  1. Grease 9 x 13 pan with butter.
  2. Place cereal in a large heatproof bowl.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir brown sugar, cream, and corn syrup into butter; cook, stirring, until mixture becomes thick and syrupy, 7 minutes. Stir 2 teaspoons salt into butter mixture. Remove from heat and add marshmallows; stir until marshmallows are smooth and melted.
  4. Pour marshmallow mixture over rice cereal and stir. Transfer cereal mixture to prepared baking dish and press down with greased parchment paper.
  5. Optional:  Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
  6. Cool and cut into squares.