Flaked Salmon Spread

Baked and flaked salmon made from cream cheese and sour cream provides a smooth base for this appetizer. Fresh roasted salmon gets folded into the mixture and can be served with crispy crackers or bread.

Flaked Salmon Spread

Serves 8

8 oz Neufchâtel cream cheese, softened
2 TB whipping cream (*see note)
1/2 cup light sour cream
4 TB fresh chives, chopped
6-8 oz fresh salmon
1 tsp lemon zest
Crackers or bread for dipping
Salt and pepper

Bake the salmon at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 min then break into small pieces and “flake.” Have the salmon cooled down as much as you can before adding to the cream cheese mixture so the spread doesn’t melt.

Mix cream cheese, whipping cream, and sour cream until smooth. Add the chives and lemon zest. Fold in the baked salmon. Season with salt and pepper as needed. 

If there is time, place in the fridge before serving to firm up and develop flavors. 

*Note: I used cream but can substitute using half-n-half, milk, plain yogurt, or plain Greek yogurt. 


“All the Good Stuff” Stuffing

This dish reminds us of Thanksgiving with many flavors arising. There is the chewiness from the bread, sweetness from the dried cranberries, and earthy from the rosemary and almonds. This celebration of stuffing has great sources of vitamin A and vitamin C. There is even high protein in a single serving, about as much as a cup of milk!

"All the Good Stuff" Stuffing

Yield: One (8×8) pan or 7 cups

1 loaf (about 1 lb) whole wheat bread, cut into small chunks
4 TB (1/4 cup) vegan butter or olive oil
1 cup kale (or swiss chard), chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 large apple, chopped
1 TB fresh sage, chopped
1 TB fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup almonds (pre-sliced or chop)
2 TB sunflower seeds
2 TB pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz Italian sausage (chicken or turkey), cooked and chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Scatter the whole wheat bread chunks on a baking sheet and place in the oven to toast. When the toasted bread chunks are done, place in a large bowl and add the kale (or swiss chard).
  3. In a large sauté pan, melt the vegan butter and cook the onion, celery, apple, sage, rosemary, and parsley for 3-4 minutes or until the onions become tender.
  4. Add the onion mixture to the bowl with the toasted bread and kale (or swiss chard).
  5. Add the almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, salt, and pepper; add the sausage now if you’re using; toss to combine.
  6. Add the vegetable broth to moisten the bread. You could also use clean hands to “soak” the broth into the bread.
  7. Dump the stuffing into a buttered or oiled 8×8 casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

*Note: If you don’t have or don’t want to use all the different nuts and seeds, you could just use one kind to equal 1/2 cup; or leave them out.


"All the Good Stuff" Stuffing

Bananza Date Smoothie

This smoothie reminds me of an horchata except this uses almond milk instead of rice milk.  This icy and refreshing beverage will give you all your morning sugar cravings while ingesting fruit!  Either drink this on the go or pair with a nice granola.  I love using dates because I can substitute it for real sugar!

Bananza Date Smoothie - The Kitchen Bistro

1 serving

1 cup almond milk
2-3 ice cubes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 banana, chopped
6 pitted dates, chopped

Chop the dates and banana to make sure the dates are really pitted because more often than not, the dates still have the pit in them
Add everything but the ice cubes (or leave them out) to the blender and whizz away!  The blender might need a couple minutes to get the dates chopped.  Lastly add the ice cubes.

I found that when I added everything at once, the ice cubes froze the pitted dates and made it harder to blend.

I use unsweetened everything like unsweetened almond milk; regular, vanilla, and chocolate would taste fantastic too!
I also keep frozen bananas on hand but raw bananas work great too

Bananza Date Smoothie - The Kitchen Bistro

Pimento Cheese Spread

This red-orange hue colorful mixture is perfect to make and store in the fridge for awhile.  I use it for quick lunches or as a cracker spread for snacks and if I have guests over.  The flavor components include: garlic, peppers, and creamy cream cheese!  It’s definitely my go-to quick meal.

Pimento Cheese Spread

Makes about 2 cups, a pint jar full

3 TB pimentos
1/4 cup plain yogurt
4 oz Neufchâtel cream cheese
2 cups mozzarella
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Stir the pimentos and yogurt or puree them till smooth
Mix the cream cheese and mozzarella, you can also use a different cheese or a couple different ones.
Add the pimento mixture to the cream cheese and mozz
Finally add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder

*I like to use all mozzarella to cut back on the fat and blend the pimentos so they aren’t chunky

Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento Cheese Spread

Icebox Pea Salad

Refreshing cold, good end-of-summer salad; creamy and light onion flavor.  I first had this at a local coffee shop as a quick lunch and knew instantly I had to recreate it!  This salad I could take on a picnic, a light summer dinner party, or if I’m hosting a tea party.

Icebox Pea Salad - The Kitchen Bistro

2 servings

2 cups frozen peas
1/4 cup + 2 TB ranch dressing
4 chives or 2 scallions, chopped
Lemon zest, a little (half or whole lemon)
Salt and pepper

Mix everything together and hold in the fridge till ice cold and the peas defrost [although the salad would be good with crunchy frozen peas]

* Scallions are a stronger onion flavor while chives are a milder flavor
* You may not need all the dressing (or need more) depending on your taste
* I love making this in the morning or the night before and let it sit and stew; the salad gets utterly cold and the flavors meld together

Potato Pancakes

Soft fluffy smooth little potato-y pancakes!  Great for breakfast, dinner, as a quick snack, or pair with vegetables like kale!  These are my dad’s and my favorite breakfast meal when we go out; traditionally served and topped with applesauce, sour cream, or even cottage cheese.

Potato Pancakes - The Kitchen Bistro

20 oz bag shredded hash brown potatoes
1/4 – 1/2 white or yellow onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 scallions, optional
Oil for sautéing

Defrost the shredded hash browns
Mix or puree (I like using a small blender) the onion, garlic, and egg
Fold in scallions
To the hash browns add the egg mixture, flour, salt, and pepper
Form into small patties as best you can and set in a hot oiled pan
You’re going to have to pat the patties down once in the pan
Wait till they’re slightly brown on one side then flip (couple minutes)

Makes about 14 small patties

*Pair with fresh pan cooked kale

Potato Pancakes - The Kitchen Bistro

Carrot Cake

This is my egg version of carrot cake unlike my vegan carrot cake.  Whether I’m making cupcakes or a cake, I like to add my lemon cream as a filling.  It adds a “brighter depth” to the dessert.  I especially love to freeze this cake with the filling inside and frosting on top!  It tastes like a lemon-icy blast!

Carrot Cake - The Kitchen BistroCarrot Cake - The Kitchen Bistro

1 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
3 large carrots, shredded
8 oz crushed pineapple, canned (1 cup)
1 cup chopped nuts, optional (walnuts, pecans)
1/2 cup raisins, optional

Cream cheese frosting:
2 (8 oz) packages of Neufchâtel cream cheese
4 TB margarine or vegan butter
2 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar

First shred the carrots into a bowl
Add the wet: sugar, egg, oil, and vanilla
To the same bowl add the dry: flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt
Add the pineapple and optional ingredients

Mix with electric mixer the cream cheese, vegan butter, and vanilla
Add in powdered sugar slowly, start with 3 cups, more may need to be added to thicken the frosting
It will be softer so I recommend adding more powdered sugar, keep refrigerated
*If you use real butter, the frosting is a bit more stable and less runny

Bake at 350 for 30-40 min
Makes about 22 cupcakes or 3 cake layers

Carrot Cake - The Kitchen Bistro