Author Archive | Kristen Desmond

Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad

Yield: 4 servings I adapted this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook to serve 4. In my copy of the cookbook, this page is well-used and wrinkled – always a good sign of an old favorite! “Ina” calls for marinating the chicken for 6 hours or overnight – I go for 30 minutes. Do whatever works […]

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Watermelon + Tomato Salad

Yield: 4 servings This salad is simple, refreshing, delicious – and sophisticated. It makes for a great great starter, or side dish for grilled meats. If you don’t have sea salt (it’s worth it – give it a try!), you can substitute kosher salt, or use 1/4 teaspoon table salt. Ingredients: 4 cups cubed watermelon 2 cups yellow heirloom tomato, […]

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Cannellini Bean Salad with Lemon and Cumin

Yield: 4 servings This recipe is adapted from, one of my favorite recipe web sites. The cayenne makes for a nice kick, so don’t skip it. If you use canned beans for this, you will need 2 cans. Rinse and drain the beans first. Ingredients: 4 cups cooked Cannellini beans 1/2 cup thinly sliced […]

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Tuscan Tuna Salad

Yield: 2 servings This salad is delicious served on a bed of arugula or as a sandwich. It’s hard to go wrong with these flavors, so go ahead and play with the amounts. If you used canned beans, you will need 1 can. Rinse and drain them first. Full of fiber and protein, no matter how slice it, this […]

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Cannellini Bean Dip with Rosemary

Yield: 1 1/2 cups The combination of fresh orange juice and rosemary backing the creamy texture of the beans is really tasty – and a little different. If you use canned beans for this, you will need 1 can. Rinse and drain them first. Serve this dip with crudités, crackers, or toasted pita. It also […]

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Golden Door Blueberry Lime Ice

Yield: 6 servings On Wednesday nights, Chef Dean Rucker hosts a cooking class in the kitchen at Golden Door. This not-to-be-missed event offers guests an opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the healthy, delicious fare coming out of the kitchen. As an intern, I got to assist the Chef  with class and this recipe was […]

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Stone Fruit Salad

Yield: 4 servings This salad is an unexpected and refreshing way to use nectarines, peaches, plums, and apricots. It’s also beautiful! And, I must say, a vinaigrette does not get more simple than this. If you prefer goat cheese, substitute it for the feta cheese. Honestly, any combination of stone fruit will do. I tossed blueberries into the mix for a […]

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Caroline’s Fruit Crisp

Yield: 1 9-inch fruit crisp My friend Caroline gave me this recipe many, many moons ago. I have used it with a variety of fruit including peaches, apples, and a combo of nectarines and blueberries. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this is one of my all time favorite desserts.  The original recipe calls […]

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Chocolate Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf It’s hard to know whether this scrumptious quick bread belongs under breakfast, snacks, or small indulgences, because at my house, it satisfies as all three! At Rancho La Puerta, sister spa to Golden Door, they serve this bread following the morning hike. Unsweetened prune puree (yup, baby food!) works its magic to help bind […]

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Curried Chicken Salad

To make this really easy, buy a rotisserie chicken.  Or, follow these directions on how to poach chicken. To serve this as an appetizer, chop the ingredients finely, place about 2 teaspoons of salad on top of crackers or cucumber slices, top with a dill sprig, and voila. To serve as a salad or on sandwiches, no need to chop ingredients as finely. Either way, it’s a hit. […]

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