Fresh Salmon-Cilantro Burgers & Grilled Peaches with Amaretto-Pecan Caramel Sauce

Mom Dishes It Out is excited to announce our new association with Cooking Light! Like MDIO, Cooking Light shares recipes and is focused on experiences that help build family and community. In honor of Memorial Day, fire up your grills because we’ll be sharing with you two recipes adapted from Cooking Light: Fresh Salmon Cilantro Burgers and for dessert, Grilled Peaches with with Amaretto-Pecan Caramel Sauce. And remember, follow MDIO’s tips on How to Have a Hip and Healthy “Mama-Q” BBQ!

Fresh Salmon-Cilantro Burgers


  • 1/4 cup Chobani Greek yogurt, plain, non-fat
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup dry Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns
  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices English cucumber
  • 4 leaf lettuce leaves or spinach


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; cover and chill.
  2. Place salmon in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add breadcrumbs and next 6 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon black pepper); pulse 4 times or until well blended. Divide salmon mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 2 minutes. Carefully turn patties over; cook 2 minutes or until done.
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture over bottom half of each hamburger bun. Top each serving with 1 salmon patty, 3 cucumber slices, 1 lettuce leaf, and top half of bun.
  5. Spinach salad: Combine 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons canola oil, 2 teaspoons water, and 1/4 teaspoon chile paste in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add half of 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach, 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper strips, and 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion to bowl; toss to coat.

Grilled Peaches with Amaretto-Pecan Caramel Sauce


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup 100% apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur) or substitute with 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chilled butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 6 firm ripe peaches, halved and pitted (about 3 pounds)
  • Cooking spray


  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Combine granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly. Continue cooking 8 minutes or until golden brown (do not stir); gently tilt pan and swirl mixture to evenly brown. Remove from heat. Slowly apple juice, amaretto, and butter, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon (mixture will bubble vigorously). Cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until smooth. Stir in pecans. Remove from heat.
  3. Place peaches, cut sides up, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until tender. Serve warm with sauce.

Vegan Blueberry-Banana Muffins

Photo credit: Laura Iu

In general, many pastries, muffins and baked goods contain eggs or dairy products. So when people hear the word “vegan,” often they’re not sure what to expect. When it comes to baking, the appropriate type of ingredients and proportions are key to creating a delicious baked good. This recipe uses applesauce to substitute for eggs, and vegan butter was used instead of regular butter. By cutting the amount of butter and sugar used in a typical recipe, this muffin recipe is slightly healthier..but still just as delicious. Made with healthy and wholesome ingredients, these muffins are so tasty, even you might not believe it’s vegan!

Makes 12 muffins (if you like the tops to overflow, it will make more like 8 big muffins)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen) 



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. (Do not melt the butter in the microwave, it makes a difference! The muffins will be lighter if the butter stays at room temperature.) Add the applesauce, bananas, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Mix in the flour but be careful not to overmix. Small clumps are OK. Gently fold in the blueberries. 

Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Distribute batter evenly, about 3 tbsp in each cupcake liner. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown. To check if it is done, stick a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

May be refrigerated or frozen.

Gluten-Free Lemon Meringue Pie


Meringue Pie Crust  (one 9-inch crust)

2 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 tsp teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff and glossy. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger and see if the mixture feels gritty, if so continue to beat until smooth, this will mean the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and mix in well.

Spread mixture into the prepared pan forming a shell by spreading the mixture up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue crust in the oven for another hour. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.


Lemon Filling

1 ¼ cup sugar

1/3 cup corn starch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cup water

½ cup lemon juice, fresh

zest of 4 lemons

4 egg yolks

2 tbsp butter

4 egg whites, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk the sugar, corn starch, and salt together.  Whisk in the water, lemon juice, and zest.  Whisk the egg yolks until no streaks remain and then add to the lemon mixture.  Place the filling mixture in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the butter.  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Let cook for an additional minute.  Filling should be very thick.  Pour the filling into the warm crust and lay plastic wrap down onto the filling.  Beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar very gradually, then beat on high until the peaks are stiff and glossy, but not dry.  Add the vanilla extract and beat for another few seconds.

Pour the thickened lemon mixture onto the meringue crust. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool to cut.

Almond Biscotti

Recipe courtesy of Carla Murray

There is nothing like saying “Thank you” with a batch of homemade biscotti. I remember when I was younger and a new neighbor would move onto our block. My mom would always bake banana bread or something yummy. We would carry it over to the new neighbor and welcome them. Well, recently I was the fortunate recipient of theses delicious cookies featured today and it made me nostalgic for the old times before we only texted “Thxs” or emailed a note. A special thank you to Carla Murray for my family’s bellies and hearts.


  • 2-1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 c raw almonds
  • 1/4lb of butter @ room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • Parchment paper/additional flour


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and almonds; set aside.

In large bowl, combine butter and sugar; Beat unitl light and pale, about 5 min.  Add eggs one at a time, mix well and scrape down bowl after each addition.  Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.  On low speed, add flour mixture gradually until a smooth dough forms.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and divide dough into 4 equal parts (I use a pastry scraper).  Roll each part into a 12” long by 1-1/2” diamater dough log.

Line 12” x 18” long pan with parchment paper or grease with butter (I also sometimes use silicone mats).  The dough will spread as it bakes so place the dough logs on the baking sheet at about 3” apart.  Lightly flatten the top of each piece with the palm of your hand until it is about ½” thick.  Bake untl golden brown, about 18 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets until they can be handled (about 10 minutes).  Leave oven set at 375 degrees.  

Transfer logs to a cutting surface and with a sharp knife, cut ½” wide pieces on a diagonal.  Arrange cut side down on the baking sheet and return the pans to the oven.  Bake until nicely toasted and edges are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Let the cookies cool completely on baking sheet,  Store in covered container up to 2 weeks.

Red Velvet Cake Bites with Fresh Raspberries

Photo courtesy of The Pioneer Woman


INGREDIENTS (Makes 30-35 bites)

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup  unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp red food coloring
  • 2 ¼ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  1. Cream butter and sugar.  Add applesauce and egg and mix well.  Blend in vanilla, buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest and food coloring.  Mix well.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add slowly to mixture, stirring well.  Pour batter into pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread batter to a depth of only ½ or ¾ inch thick.  Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool before frosting.  Set on a flat surface while preparing topping.



  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Fresh raspberries


  1. Melt chocolate in microwave or using double boiler.
  2. Using a knife, spread a thin layer of chocolate on top of cake, then set raspberries in straight rows (so that there will be 1 raspberry at the center of each cake bite.)
  3. Cut into small squares and serve!

70 calories, 1.5g fat, 5.6g sugar, 12.9g carbohydrates, 1.4g protein

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl


  • 1 cup quinoa (1 cup uncooked quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked!)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 small apple, with skin on for fiber and diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (feel free to substitue with black raisins or dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it with cold running water…this will help remove any bitter flavors. In a medium pot, bring water and quinoa to a boil and add salt. Reduce to lowest heat setting, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove cover from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the apples, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts. Serve warm.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Photo Credit: TastFoodBlog

Recipe by Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE,CEDS  *Originally published published in Everyday Health

Each cookie has 70 calories, 2g fat, 15g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1g protein, and 6g sugar. Yield: 28-32 cookies.


¾ cup canola oil
1 cup honey or agave nectar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup raisins
½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
1½ cups wheat germ
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ cup powdered fat-free milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the canola oil, honey, eggs, vanilla extract, raisins, chopped walnuts, wheat germ, and rolled oats.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and powdered milk.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones until well-combined.
  • Scoop out spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Cookies will not spread much, so you don’t need to leave a lot of room between them.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until dry around the edges.
  • Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf, but 2 loaves are pictured above!)

  • 1.5 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup apple sauce (cinnamon flavored works great with this recipe!)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread (optional):
  • 1/2 cup light, whipped cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat the bread pan with oil.

Sift flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and add the sugar, salt, cinnamon, gloves and ginger. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil and water. Combine the dry and wet ingredients until well blended. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes. While this is baking, you can prepare an easy pumpkin cream cheese spread that will compliment the pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin puree and sugar. Whisk gently, until sugar has dissolved. In honor of Halloween, I served this in a mini pumpkin. Simply slice off the stem of the pumpkin, and remember to scoop out all of the seeds before filling it with this delicious spread!

After 45 minutes, remove from the pan from the oven to check if it’s ready. (Baking time may vary depending on the pan you use.) Insert a toothpick or  knife in the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. Allow it to cool for about 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. Serve alone or with a dollop of the pumpkin spread!


PB & Fresh Fruit Quesadilla

With fresh fruits like bananas and strawberries, the dynamic duo—PB&J—just got better! This recipe is so easy to make, is delicious served cold or warm, and makes a perfect dish for breakfast, as a snack or dessert. All you need are tortillas, fresh fruit, peanut butter and maybe some help from the kids!

 INGREDIENTS (Makes 2 Servings)

  • 2 Whole-wheat Tortillas
  • 2 tbsp Organic Peanut Butter
  • 1 Banana, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Driscoll’s Strawberries, thinly sliced (Feel free to sub in blueberries too for a healthy dose of antioxidants!)
  • 1/4 cup of Organic chocolate chips (optional)
  • Canola Oil Spray


  1. Spread 1 tbsp of peanut butter on one side of each tortilla.
  2. In a large non-stick pan, lightly spray oil. Heat one tortilla on medium-low heat. Layer sliced bananas and strawberries and place tortilla on top. (If you decide to add chocolate chips, this would be the time!) Cook for a 1-2 minutes on each side, or until peanut butter has melted. Remove from heat and cut into wedges. Serve with a cup of low-fat milk, if desired.
  3. As busy parents, you can even make these ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze and heat them up as a quick and healthy dish!


Vanilla Chia Pudding

Vanilla Chia Pudding

Looking for a healthier dessert option? Try this chia seed recipe for an nutrient packed dessert, topped with fresh berries! 

Chia seeds are a great endurance food, providing essential omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants, protein and fiber. If you’re new to chia seeds, you can always add 1 tbsp into smoothies or sprinkle over yogurts to begin with.  However, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, this creamy chia pudding recipe is not only a healthier dessert option for you and your family,  but it is so delicious that you may just forget how healthy and nutrient-dense it really is!

(Makes 4-6 servings)

½ cup chia seeds
2 1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon, or to taste


1. Place chia seeds in a medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
2. In a medium container or large bowl, add chia seeds, milk and honey. Let mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes, whisking every few minutes to prevent chia seeds from clumping, pudding will thicken fast. Place in the fridge and chill for 1 or more hours.
3. Remove from fridge, whisk to remove clumps. Serve chilled topped with berries. To store, keep covered in a sealed container in the fridge.


It is delicious served with fresh berries like Driscolls, sliced almonds and/or finely chopped dark chocolate. This pudding can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 5 days.