Tag Archives: Lemon

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – gluten free

moist and lemony gluten free lemon poppy seed muffins

moist and lemony gluten free lemon poppy seed muffins

My lemon poppy seed muffins are lightly sweetened with a tender crumb and a nice little crunch from the cornmeal, and poppy and chia seeds.  The perfect little something for a school day snack, an early morning bite, or an afternoon tea.  lemon poppy seed gluten free muffins
I’ve started a new gig where I’ll be a contributor to the Westchester County Mom’s Blog.  I’ll be posting all new recipes, not found here on SweetGreenKitchen.  Check out my first post, where you can find the recipe for these delicious, moist and lemony Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins here.….Enjoy!


Citrus, Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Sweet, juicy and delicious citrus tossed with creamy black beans and avocado

Sweet, juicy and delicious citrus tossed with creamy black beans and avocado

It’s been a very long, cold and snowy winter here in New York and many other parts of the country and I’m happy to feel Spring poking it’s head out of all the winter white with some 40 degree weather this week!  I also love to get a little taste of sunshine this time of year with a bite of in season citrus fruits.  Oranges, clementines, grapefruits are all in season now and add a nice refreshing twist to this winter salad.   

Citrus Black Bean and Avocado Salad

There’s citrus in the salad along with black beans and creamy avocados and citrus in the dressing with a little extra freshness from chopped cilantro.

sweet and juicy citrus dressing

sweet and juicy citrus dressing

citrus dressing with black beans

citrus dressing with black beans

This bright, colorful, fruity salad is simple and delicious.  I like to eat this atop some crunchy Romaine leaves alongside cheesy quesadillas, or top with your protein of choice for a nice light main dish salad.

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Lemon Chia Tea Cake


Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Testing this recipe has been like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in trying to determine the perfect amount of lemon to use.  The household tasters just could not come to agreement. The first few times I made this with the juice and zest of just one lemon and it was really tasty with a very nice mellow lemon flavor.  BUT, I decided we just had to try upping the ante of lemon just to see…So the next time I decided to really go for it “go BIG or go home” and added in 2 whole lemons worth of juice and zest.  I didn’t change anything else in the recipe, even though the extra lemon added in another ¼ cup of liquid.  The result was intensely lemony, but not excessive and the extra juice made for a really moist cake, whereas one lemon made for a drier crumb but easier to get a nice clean slice out of, which is a plus for presentation.  Now at this point we came to some disagreement, my husband loved the extra zing of lemon, but my daughter (who still happily ate several slices) said it was just too much.  In fact Skyler described the taste as “violently lemony”, which sounded pretty bad to me, but to her teen age self that wasn’t a bad description at all.  To me the taste of the extra lemony tea cake was more like a big smacking kiss of lemon, the way may 5 year old plants a BIG kiss on my face.

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

So on to round 3, which was really more like round 5 or 6, but who’s counting, we’re just eating…Now it was time to split the difference and try it with the juice and zest of 1 ½ lemons, which required another trip to the grocery and me being late to pick up Skyler from swim team practice which ended 30 minutes early that day without my knowing, but hey she got some cake out of it even if she had to sit out in the rain a little extra time. I wonder does making lots of yummy food cancel out numerous late pick ups in mommy universe?  So Saturday morning, one more tea cake was made and this time I used 1 ½ lemons.  One taste and finally we felt this version was just right, nice and moist with a pronounced but not over powering flavor of lemon.  But, I will leave it up to you to decide what is the ideal amount of tart for You.  Lemon Chia Tea Cake

With all that said, I really do love lemon in SO many ways, however I’m not usually a fan of lemon in sweets preferring more of a savory twist on my lemon, but Skyler has been begging for months for me to make lemon poppy seed muffins and then I came across the Clever Carrot’s recipe for Lemon Poppy seed Cornmeal Muffins and since I love corn muffins and lemon I was sold!  As usual, I added a bit of my own twist to it with a little whole wheat flour, some extra cornmeal for added crunch and some coconut oil.  But then when it came time to add the poppy seeds, which I had every intention of using, I found that my ancient jar of poppy seeds had gone rancid, so rather than run out to the store in the middle of baking I tried to figure out a substitute and lo and behold, chia seeds came to the rescue!  Just make sure you add in the  seeds at the very last minute, otherwise they may start absorbing liquid and gel up, which is not what you want.Lemon Chia Tea Cake Batter

The first time around I did make these as muffins but then I decided to try it in a loaf pan and liked it even better (that much the whole family could agree on).  However you slice it, this is a very tasty treat, perfect for an afternoon with tea, served at brunch, as a late night snack or even for breakfast with a side of yogurt and berries.

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from The Clever Carrot’s Lemon Poppy seed Cornmeal Muffins


1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)

½ cup corn flour

2 Tablespoons corn meal (adds a nice little crunch)

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt


2 extra large eggs

2/3 cup natural cane sugar

¼ cup coconut oil – either softened or liquid

1 cup buttermilk

Juice & zest of 1 1/2  lemons (or just 1 or up 2, whatever you prefer)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon chia seeds, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top



Preheat oven to 350 F.  Oil a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (flour through salt), plus the lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil.  Next add in the buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk it all together.

Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.  Lastly add in 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds.  Pour it all into your oiled loaf pan and sprinkle the top with a few more chia seeds.

Bake at 350 F for about 40-45 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, remove from the oven and let cool in the pan, slice it up and Enjoy!

If you prefer muffins – bake regular size muffins for about 17 minutes and mini muffins for 10.  Makes about 15 regular or 26-30 minis.  Just make sure to oil your muffin tin well and skip the paper liners as I find the muffin sticks a lot more to the paper than they do to the pan.

Lemon Chia Muffin

Lemon Dijon Asparagus


Lemon Dijon Asparagus

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

I found the most beautiful fresh asparagus at the Croton-on-Hudson farmer’s market the last two Sundays.  It was sold loose and I was able to pick through and choose each individual spear, they ranged from super skinny and spindly to medium and large, and oh so very tender.  I decided they were too lovely to roast or steam and they were absolutely delicious raw, so I chose to delicately bathe them in a light and lemony Dijon vinaigrette, so so good.

IMG_5355 Lemon Dijon Asparagus


Asparagus – about 20 spears, roughly 1/2 pound


2 teaspoons Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Zest of 1/2 Lemon

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice

Flaked Sea Salt – to taste

3-4 sprigs of Thyme IMG_5343 Lemon Dijon Asparagus

IMG_5344 Lemon Dijon Vinagrette


Snap or cut off the ends of each Asparagus stalk.  IF your Asparagus is not quite as fresh, you may also wish to peel off a little of the stalk’s skin at the bottom.   Place in a shallow dish.

Mix together the dressing ingredients and pour over the Asparagus.  Mix around so each spear is equally covered in the dressing.

Serve cold or at room temperature, whatever you prefer.  Enjoy!                                

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Lemony Tabbouleh

Lemony Tabbouleh

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones



To so many, parsley is thought of as just a garnish, but not I.  To me, parsley is an ingredient to be celebrated as much as other favorite herbs like basil or salad greens such as arugula, field greens and others.  It shows up regularly, pretty much daily in my meals, sprinkled atop sliced eggs on toast or over pasta or mixed into any number of recipes, it adds a freshness like no other to just about any savory dish.  But here, parsley becomes the star, no longer a mere garnish, parsley is the main ingredient in this simple lovely salad.  This truly is traditionally a parsley salad with bulgur, mint and tomatoes playing the supporting roles.  I like my tabbouleh with extra lemon, so feel free to add less if that’s not to your liking.  Either way, this is a quick, simple, yet wonderfully delicious dish that itself could be the star of the meal. 


2/3 cup fine Bulgur wheat (medium or coarse grain can be substituted) *see notes – or Quinoa for a gluten free option

Zest of 1 Lemon

About 4 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice, from about 1- 2 lemons (less if you prefer)

About 4 -6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large bunch (about 3-4 cups) Flat Leaf Italian Parsley (so much more flavorful than curly parsley)

1 small bunch Mint (about ½ – 1 cup)

About ½ – 1 whole pint of small Tomatoes, such as grape or cherry

Optional: 2-3 chopped Scallions

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste




Rinse bulgur in a tight mesh strainer under cold water and then drain thoroughly.  Pour into a medium bowl.  *See notes below if you wish to use Quinoa. Zest your lemon (before juicing).  Add lemon juice and olive oil to the bulgur, add less to start with as you can always add more lemon juice after tasting, but you can’t take it out.  Allow to sit for a few minutes to absorb the dressing.  If using medium or coarse grain bulgur, you’ll need to add a little hot water to soften the grain, before adding the dressing.

Meanwhile, wash and dry parsley and mint leaves and chop.  Add to the bulgur along with the lemon zest, salt and pepper and scallions if using.  Stir to combine.

Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters, depending upon the size and what you like.  Add the tomatoes to the salad and gently stir.

Taste, adding more lemon juice or salt and pepper as you like.

Can be served chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy! IMG_4476IMG_4482

Recipe Notes:  

It’s best to let the salad sit for a bit of time before eating to allow the grain to soften and fully absorb all the flavors of the dressing, herbs and tomatoes.  If I have time and actually think ahead, I mix the bulgur with the olive oil and lemon juice and leave in the fridge overnight, before adding the remaining ingredients, but this is not necessary.

 Tabbouleh can be served in so many wonderful ways.  I like it simply in Romaine lettuce cups or added to a hummus wrap or falafel sandwich or atop a larger green salad or served alongside your favorite fish. It was also my contribution to the family Easter brunch, served along side my dad’s amazing quiche and goat cheese tart.  

Ingredient Notes: 

Parsley has numerous health benefits.  It is an excellent source of Vitamins K (one half cup serving provides over 500% of your daily value!) and C and also a very good source of Vitamin A, folic acid and iron. It is high in numerous healthy flavonoids.  All of which means parsley is good for your heart, joints, digestion and more.   

Bulgur wheat also goes by the name cracked wheat, it is high in protein and fiber and low in fat and calories, an excellent substitution for other grains such as brown rice or oats. 

*BUT, if you can’t find bulgur or wish to make this wheat/gluten free, I find Quinoa makes a perfect substitute for the bulgur.  If you do use Quinoa, you’ll have to pre cook it, I would probably use about 1/3 cup uncooked to 2/3 cup water, brought to a boil and then covered on a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Quinoa increases in volume by a lot, so don’t be concerned by the small amount at the start.   

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