Red Barn Cafe-

Life is hectic - Savor every Bite!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Apple

Butternut Squash soup is such a satisfying meal in colder Autumn or Winter months. I love to serve it with hearty croutons and some pumpkin seeds on top.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion , diced
1 shallot, minced
4 cups cubed fresh butternut squash
2 stalks fresh thyme
4 cups organic chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt
1  teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cubed fresh Ginger Gold apple, (or any that is tart/sweet)
1-2  slices Applewood bacon, chopped
Pumpkin seeds, plain or toasted
Heat oil in a large Dutch Oven. Add  celery,  shallot, onion and bacon. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften,  3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butternut squash, thyme, apple and salt and pepper. Cook until bacon is crisp and apple and butternut squash are soft, (5 min).  Pour in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove thyme stems. Use an immersion blender to purée soup. Or,  let the soup cool for 5 min. and carefully purée in batches in a blender. Serve topped with pumpkin seeds and toasty croutons.If you're feeling a little decadent (and who says that's a bad thing?), you can stir in 3/4 cup half and half or light cream before serving. I just did.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Grilled Seafood Supper

I don't think there is anything better than fresh seafood grilled on a breezy summer night. I found shrimp and tuna steaks, freshly flown in from Alaska at the market and knew I had to make them into something special for dinner. The herbs compliment them both and everything was easy like a summer morning (or evening).


1 lb. fresh shrimp, deveined and tails off
1 tuna steak
4 small zucchini, cut into 3 pieces lengthwise
1/2 loaf crust french or Italian bread
1/2 stick butter, softened
large handful parsley
2 or 3 sprigs fresh mint
2 scallions, green and white parts
handful fresh basil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 fresh lime, juiced
sea salt
cracked black pepper
1/2 jalapeno, sliced thin
extra virgin olive oil

Basic marinade/chimichurri- combine parley,mint, basil, salt and pepper, lime juice, scallions, salt and pepper, and 1 clove garlic- either in a food processor, mini chopper and mince by hand. Add 1/2 cup olive oil.

Divide into 4 parts. 1/4 -marinate tuna, keep chilled, (no longer than half hour).

1/4-  Zucchini marinade-Add the balsamic to the remaining marinade and cover zucchini, set aside.

1/4 Shrimp- add jalapenos to the mixture and marinate, set aside in fridge until ready to grill.
The remaining 1/4 sauce can be passed or drizzled over grilled tuna, shrimp and zucchini.

Bread- spread softened butter on the half, cut lengthwise, set aside.

When you are ready to grill, assemble the containers of marinated seafood, zucchini and bread on a sheet pan. Grill zucchini first, add bread, and lastly tuna and shrimp until cooked (8-12 min depending on setting of your grill.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Meditteranean Salad

I call this Meditteranean salad, but, really it can be anything you like. This salad combiens some of my favorite ingredients. Enjoy!

1 Bag prewashed baby arugula
4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 cup slivered sundried tomatoes
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 can water packed white tuna

1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
handful; chopped parsley, basil
1/4 cup cubed feta cheese
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Arrange the arudula in a large bowl and add the other ingredients on top./ Mix dressing ingredients with a fork and drizzle over top.
Serves 2

Monday, July 13, 2015

Zucchini Pizza Boats

These taste like a pizza- carb free.

4 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup tomato sauce (I used chunky cherry tomato and chillies sauce, see pic)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese or mix (I used Parmesan and fontina)
1- 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 cup sliced sauteed mushrooms
olive oil

Hollow out zucchini and place in a casserole dish that you have greased with a little olive oil. Top with spinach, mushrooms and sauce. Add olives and cheeses. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven, covered until cheese is bubbly and zucchini are tender.

Monday, July 6, 2015

JB's Chipotle Macaroni Shrimp Salad

My husband loves this salad, and I may have posted it a while ago, but I changed it a little.

1/2 pound cooked macaroni
1/2 pound cooked,chopped shrimp
3/4 cup mayonaise
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion,minced or chopped finely
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp chipotle (chop one from the can, you can freeze the rest) Use some of the sauce from the can, too, if you like it a little more spicy

Monday, June 29, 2015

Gluten free Pancakes with Fresh berry glaze

Who doesnt love pancakes? These are high protein and gluten free.


4 eggs
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3/4 cup oats
1/2 tsp salt.

Blend the cottage cheese in blender or food processor until lump free. Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until smooth.

In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tsp butter or oil (for flavor) until hot and use 1/4 cup scoop to make 4 pancakes. Cook on medium until bubbles appear and flip for another 1-2 min. Continue making 4 at a time, recipe makes about 16 pancakes. Can be frozen for a quick breakfast or snack.

Blueberry Raspberry glaze. In a saucepan combine 1 pint blueberries, 1 pint raspberries and 2 tbsp honey. Add 2 Tbsp water and heat until berries are breaking up and sauce has thickened slightly, (about 10-15 min). Serve over the pancakes. If you have any leftovers, add to hot oatmeal or muffin batter.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

20 Minute Beef Stir Fry

I have a confession to make- I don't stir fry my Stir Fry! Instead, I steam the veggies. Less fat, less mess and tastes delicious. The secret is in the sauce.


4 Bella Sandwich steaks (I buy them from QVC- they can go from freezer to pan)

2 cups broccoli
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
3/4 cup fresh snow peas, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced (I use a rasper)
4 carrots, peeled and cut in chunks on the diagonal
1 package rice noodles


1 Cup Makoto Ginger Dressing
3 heaping tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1-2 Tbsp Sirracha hot sauce (I like Ninja Squirrel)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 scallions, chopped

Fill a large pot with water and bring to boiling.  Add the rice noodles and cook for 3 minutes, drain and set aside to keep warm.

In a large non-stick skillet, brown the steaks, breaking up in pieces until cooked (about 2-4 min). Drain and set aside. Add vegetables and garlic to the skillet, cover and cook on high heat for 6 minutes. Add a tsp of oil if they brown, mine didn't because the pan was wet from the meat.When the vegetables are al dente, pour the sauce on top and mix in. Cover and cook on simmer for 3 min, then add the beef and simmer another 3 min.Spoon mixture over rice noodles in a large bowl and top with scallions and almonds.

5 Day Salad Bar

Trying to eat healthy can be time consuming. I like the health benefit of eating salad 5 days a week but don't always take the time to put a satisfying salad together, so I decided to prep my "salad bar" once a week. The night before I pick out what I want in my salad and I'm off to work, feeling a little bit healthier. The food prep pictured took me under an hour.

Besides the basics shown in the picture below, I like to add some protein. I feel it's way more satisfying. This could include leftover rotisserie chicken, tuna, simply turkey (turkey breast cooked without preservatives and sodium- I get it at a local deli that cooks their own.) cooked shrimp or fish, (I love salmon in salads) from last night's dinner, leftover turkey burgers or hard boiled eggs. Toppings may include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted almonds or walnuts, dried cranberries, slices of apples, orange, pineapple. Other accompaniments can include green olives, artichokes, avacados, shredded brussels sprouts, roasted red peppers (I make my own), cooked green beans or cauliflower, broccoli. Whatever you like can go into your own healthy lunch!

The bonus? whatever is leftover at the end of the work week can be turned into Stir frys (see the big salad bowl?), soups, or frittatas.