Couscous and Edamame Salad

There are some words that are just plain cool. You know, the ones that roll off your tongue and are fun to write in cursive. Ironically two pretty cool words found their way into this Couscous and Edamame Salad.

Couscous and Edamame Salad

Couscous has been a part of mediterranean cooking for centuries. The tiny little grains make a light, but hearty addition to a meal. Edamame is in the soybean family and is a good source of protein and fiber, according to WHFoods. Together in this salad, they make a great combination of texture and flavor.

I love the chewy, salty, crunchy and chilled elements of ingredients in this salad. It would be great to take on a picnic or enjoy as a light lunch. If you’re looking to fill up even more you could add some chicken or tuna! I added beets for more color and flavor, but the salad tastes great either way.

Couscous and Edamame Salad

Couscous and Edamame Summer Salad


  • 1 box of cooked couscous (according to package directions)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked edamame
  • 1 cup canned corn
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts*
  • For Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


For the salad: Cook couscous according to package directions. Fluff and let cool. In a separate bowl add cooled couscous, edamame, corn, garbanzo beans, green onions, cranberries, feta and pine nuts.

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, lemon, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.

*To toast the pine nuts, heat small skillet to medium heat. Add pine nuts and shimmy in pan   until light golden brown. This happens quickly so don’t go anywhere!

Couscous and Edamame Salad


I am so excited because I have a few surprises in store but I can’t reveal them for a couple weeks, so stay tuned! Hope you enjoy the salad.

Love food. Love self. Love life.



Acai Bowl

Last weekend while I was visiting San Diego I devoured an Acai Bowl for the first time. It’s a smoothie-parfait-like treat topped with berries, granola and honey. My friends claimed the Pirates Cove Tiki Port near Ocean Beach has the best Acai Bowl they’ve ever had. Now I’m on a mission to duplicate it at home!

Acai Bowl with Granola, Fresh Berries, Banana and Honey

Acai Bowl at Pirates Cove Tiki Port in San Diego.

After researching I found that acai is popular in Brazil. This superfood is typically grown in the Amazon, but can be found frozen at a specialty grocery store like Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Acai is full of antioxidants and is a natural source of energy!

Acai Bowl Recipe


  • 1-2 frozen acai packets
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • Fresh banana slices, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon agave or honey
  • Optional: Hemp seeds (these have lots of omega-3!) or toasted coconut


Run the acai packet under hot water or let sit out for a few minutes to slightly defrost! Blend together acai, frozen banana, frozen berries and apple juice until smooth. Pour into bowl. Top with granola, fresh fruit, honey and any other desired toppings.

San Diego Beach

Above are my friends Bridie and Julia, below is my cousin Stephanie, and we’re pictured at Mission and Ocean Beach. Bring a bit of the beach to your kitchen this summer and make an Acai Bowl for breakfast!

Tuna Melt

It’s the fresh 9-grain bread that makes this Tuna Melt gourmet. On my latest HERBan Explorer post you’ll learn how to make this simple and inexpensive meal for yourself.

I like making my Tuna Melts open-faced with sliced tomatoes. Plus, the addition of hot sauce kicks up the flavors. You can have fun with your own combination, too! Along with the step-by-step photographed recipe you can read more about my adventure at the Saturday market.

Pomegranate Jelly Stuffed French Toast

You know the taste of smooth cream creese and jam melting on a toasted bagel? Combine that sensation with the flavors of buttery, cinnamon french toast. Voilà! Stuffed French Toast is similar to those two ideas, but extraordinarily more amazing.

You can find a step-by-step recipe for the delicacy pictured below on the other blog that I write, “HERBan Explorer.”

Stuffed French Toast Recipe

I made this dish for a breakfast-for-dinner one night. It was so heavenly I should have called it dessert. This Stuffed French Toast served with scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit and coffee would be my ideal weekend brunch.

For the filling I used pomegranate jelly that I purchased from a local farmers market. I could definitely tell how natural and pure the flavor was. I encourage you to check out a local market and find a flavor that you love, as well!

Comment on the post and let me know what flavor of jelly or jam you use. A peach, orange, lemon or apple would be great as well.


Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic Vinaigrette is a light and flavorful dressing to top any kind of salad. To get my favorite balsamic vinaigrette recipe, visit the latest post on my HERBan Explorer blog.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Did you know that there is a science behind making a perfectly balanced salad? In the post you will also find out about the ideal combination of flavors and textures.

Baking Day 2011

Yesterday my family and I had our annual baking day. We make our favorite traditional recipes just in time for the Christmas festivities. I blogged about several of these recipes last year, but I want to share them with you again because they are so sweet and so easy. Here are a few photos from the day, some captured by Instagram.

Me wearing the holiday baking apron my Aunt Buffy made for me!

My Aunt Carol’s Almond Bark Mix is the best combination of salty and sweet. The recipe is so simple–mix together the cereal, pretzels, nut and M&M’s and add melted Almond Bark. Lay out to dry and ta-dah! All done.

Pretzel Buttons are just as simple. M&M’s pressed into Hershey’s Hugs melted on top of pretzels. Just a few simple steps for a must-bake recipe.

Haystacks are made of chow mein noodles, chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch. That’s all! A little touch of holiday sprinkles and you’re set for Christmas.

Remember the Scrabble Mix I blogged about a few days ago? Well here it is! Savory, crunchy, inexpensive and addicting in the best way possible.

My aunt, cousins and I!

One week until Christmas!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Aunt Patty shared her recipe for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies a couple years ago and I always look forward to the holidays so I can enjoy them. The pumpkin spice flavors compliment the rich chocolate chips so well. Pair these cookies alongside a cup of coffee or some vanilla ice cream for dessert. Yum!

Patty’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can pumpkin (or 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips


  1. Measure all dry ingredients (except sugar) into a separate smalls bowls cream butter and sugar together in larger bowl.
  2. Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla to butter and sugar. Blend/add in dry ingredients to wet. Add chips once well blended.
  3. Drop on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees, 12-20 minutes depending on cookie size.
  5. Bottoms should be light brown and cookies soft.

9 days until Christmas!