Chik’n Sandwich Italian Style

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Veggie chicken sandwich on brioche.

Pretzel buns make this a fun sandwich. Easy to prepare; tasty when done. Continue reading

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Napa Cabbage Salad with Toasted Ramen

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

¼ cup rice vinegar
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon grated ginger
2 Tablespoons of Tamari sauce
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
1 medium Napa cabbage
1 bunch of green onions
1 cup of slivered almonds
3-ounce package of ramen noodles

To make the dressing for this salad, combine the first five ingredients (rice vinegar thru black pepper) in a small mixing bowl and stir well. Set aside until ready to use.

Cut the bottom off of the cabbage. Cut into ribbons then chop coarsely. Set aside.

Cut the ends off the onions and slice into thin rounds. Set aside.

Using a large, dry skillet, toast the almonds on medium-high heat for three minutes, so they don’t burn. Remove the almonds to a sheet of parchment (or wax) paper. Set aside to cool.

Crush the ramen noodle into small pieces and toast on medium-high heat in the same skillet used for the almonds. Toast until they just begin to brown. Remove from the skillet to the parchment paper with the almonds. Set aside to cool.

Add all salad ingredients (cabbage, onions, almonds, and noodles) to a large mixing bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Tip: I like this best if it is refrigerated for at least 30 minutes, but you can serve it at room temperature, and it is still mighty tasty.

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Lemon-Mint Zucchini (grilled)

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

See this recipe in my new book, Ojai Valley Grill It Cookbook. Now available on

The combination of fresh lemon and mint with grilled zucchini makes this side dish different. Different good. I know you’ll like it. So will your friends and family. Continue reading

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Grilled Avocados on Crusty Rosemary-Olive Bread

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Avocados: grill ’em!

Here’s a different way to use the grill this Memorial Day weekend: grill avocados! Grilling softens the avocados. It also brings out the natural oils that make this fruit tasty and satisfying. Continue reading

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How To Grill Corn On The Cob

Photo: Randy Graham

See this and other recipes in my new book, Ojai Valley Grill It Cookbook. Now available on

I used to throw corn on the barbecue and cook it until I thought it was done. This method was not only hit-and-miss but insured an over-cooked cob and charred corn silk that stuck between my teeth. Learning how to properly grill corn, however, has made all the difference in how I enjoy it. Continue reading

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Grilled Peach, Avocado & Jalapeño Salsa

Photo: Randy Graham

See this and other recipes in my new book, Ojai Valley Grill It Cookbook. Now available on

This is a fresh salsa with a taste of summer barbecue. What could be better? Our son, Robert, sent this to me to practice on, so when he comes to visit in August, I’ve got it down. Smart young man! I think I’ll serve it once with roasted jalapenos and then again with the firm, fresh jalapenos sliced super thin. Whichever version tastes better . . . that’s what I’ll make for Robert.

The smokiness of the grilling process plus the combination of the sweet peaches and the spicy jalapeños goes nicely with potato or honey-lime sweet potato tacos. I’ve also used it as a condiment with crispy beer-battered avocados. Give it a try!

2 ripe avocados
2 ripe peaches
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (divided)
¼ cup shallots (chopped fine)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 jalapenos (seeds removed and sliced thin)
¼ teaspoon salt


Preheat grill on medium-high heat (400 to 450 degrees).

While the grill is heating, slice the avocados and peaches in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Brush a mixture of 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 tablespoon lime juice on the flat sides of each half. Make sure they’re coated generously to avoid sticking to the grill.

Once the grill is hot, add the avocado and peach halves, cut side down, and close the lid. Grill for 4 minutes. Use grill tongs to carefully remove the peach and avocado halves to a plate.

While the peaches are still hot they can be easily peeled. Allow them to cool before dicing. Use a large spoon to scoop the avocado flesh away from the peel.

In a large bowl combine the remaining lime juice, shallots, garlic, jalapenos, and salt. Dice the avocados and peaches into small pieces and fold into the salsa. Use as a condiment for tacos or as a dip for your favorite chips.

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Grilled Avocados

Photo: Randy Graham

See this recipe in my new book, Ojai Valley Grill It Cookbook. Now available on

Here’s an appetizer that our son, Robert, shared with us. It is sort of a Caprese Salad folded into a grilled avocado. Who’d a thunk it! Easy to prepare, it is full of nutrition, and it doesn’t hurt that it looks and tastes fantastic. Continue reading

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