Rona's Favorite Healthy (And Not So Healthy) Recipes



I am not a vegan.  Let’s start with that.  I do, however, eat healthy things as you know.  That’s why I really enjoyed making some recipes from this cookbook, Pescan, written by Abbie Cornish and Jacqueline King Schiller. It’s filled with over 100 delicious plant-based and seafood recipes that are both dairy and gluten-free.

Actress Abbie Cornish and chef Jacqueline King Schiller are best friends who bonded over their love of food and wellness. A few years ago, Abbie, a novice cook, asked Jacqueline, a graduate of the National Gourmet Institute, for cooking lessons. Every Sunday, they would take trips to the local farmers’ market, spend the day cooking, then serve these dishes to their family and friends.

I was lucky enough to meet these wonderful women at a recent event at Melissa’s Produce. 

They shared a few of their recipes with us and I have to admit, I was impressed with how flavorful and rich they tasted.  And only ONE recipe had coconut in it! (For those of you who don’t know…I HATE anything with coconut, and many vegan recipes use coconut oil as a substitute for butter and other oils.  To me, it makes everything taste like coconut.  Not a good thing.)  But I digress….

This is the menu they shared with us:

The Happy Hippy Quinoa Salad pg. 118
(Using Melissa’s Kale Sprouts, Radicchio, Cooked Quinoa, Dried Cranberries & Watermelon Radish)

Fiesta Black Beans pg. 38
(Using Melissa’s Perfect Sweet Onion; Peeled Garlic & Cilantro)

Fiesta Veggie Rice pg. 146
(Using Melissa’s Perfect Sweet Onion)

Shrimp with Mole Sauce pg. 172
(Using Melissa’s Perfect Sweet Onion, Jalapeño, Peeled Garlic, Tomatillo, Pepitas, Cacao Nibs & Cilantro)

Almond Butter Mousse Fruit Pie with Rosemary Cookie Crust pg. 224
(Using Melissa’s Rosemary & Canela)

Blended Vanilla Iced Mocha pg. 63
(Using Melissa’s Cacao Nibs & Canela)


I especially enjoyed the vanilla iced mocha and the shrimp.  After sharing this event on social media, my friend Nancy asked me to make it for her.  I was happy to!  She and her hubby have a fantastic kitchen, and it’s always fun to share food with friends, don’t you think?  Any recipe for mole is going to have a long list of ingredients, but the actual making of it doesn’t take long.

Melissa’s Produce generously gave us the ingredients for many of the recipes listed above.  It only took me about 40 minutes to prep the sauce…

…and the shrimp only took a few minutes on each side to fully cook on the stovetop grill.

There’s an added bonus with this recipe–the marinated red onions.  They’re in lime juice and add a bit of brightness to the dish that marries very well with the chocolate of the mole sauce.  You’ll have lots of sauce left.  Use it with chicken, too!  Enjoy and feel good about eating this rich, decadent dish.

Shrimp Mole

November 3, 2019
: 4 as an entree
: Easy

According to Jacq: This version allows the aromatics to cook and mellow slowly while you throw everything else into a blender.


  • Mole:
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, trimmed, halved and seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1C chopped tomatoes
  • 1C vegetable broth
  • 3 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4C tahini
  • 1/4 C pumpkin seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 3 Tbsps cacao nibs
  • 2 Tbsps cacao powder
  • 2 tsps chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked salt (I used regular and it was fine)
  • 1 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 ground anise seed (use fennel seed if unavailable-I did)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more to taste)
  • 1C warm, filtered water
  • Sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds for garnish
  • Shrimp:
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4C thinly sliced red onion
  • Kosher sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1/4C fresh cilantro leaves and stems for garnish
  • Step 1 Making the mole:
  • Step 2 Heat the oil in a large saute pan over mediaum-low heat.
  • Step 3 Add the onion, jalapeno and garlic and stir to coat in the oil.
  • Step 4 Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until softened and browned. If they begin to blacken, lower the heat to low.
  • Step 5 Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the tomatoes, broth, tomatillos, tahini, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, cacao powder, cinnamon, anise/fennel, cumin, oregano and cayenne.
  • Step 6 Add the softened onion mix and water.
  • Step 7 Blend until smooth.
  • Step 8 Scrape the sides to make sure all the ingredients are blended.
  • Step 9 Pour the sauce into the saute pan and warm over low heat, stirring occasionally while you prepare the shrimp-up to 20 minutes.
  • Step 10 Shrimp:
  • Step 11 In a small bowl, squeeze the juice from the lime over the onion. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss. Set aside.
  • Step 12 Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 13 Add 1/2 cup of the mole sauce and toss. Grill the shrimp until light grill marks appear and the shrimp is just opaque all the way through–1-2 minutes per side.
  • Step 14 To serve:
  • Step 15 Pour 1/3 cup mole sauce onto the middle of each plate. Spread the sauce into a circle with the bottom of the measuring cup.
  • Step 16 Divide and arrange the shrimp on the plates.
  • Step 17 Lightly sprinkle with sesame and pumpkin seeds.
  • Step 18 Top with the sliced onion and a bit of fresh cilantro.
  • Step 19 Serve.


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