Father’s Day is coming and when it comes to making a special meal for Dad, all you will see are suggestions for thick slabs of steak and meat and potato dishes. It’s like food editors have their minds stuck on a “Leave It To Beaver” 1950s Americana version of what fathers are like. There’s no one type of father anymore, so why are all the dining out and recipe suggestions the same? A kid growing up today is just as likely to have a vegan hipster dad or drag queen dad (my son did!) as he or she is a lumberjack or suburban lawn-mowing dad, so let’s celebrate Father’s Day with a full array of dishes to please pop, no matter what his lifestyle preferences.


Banana Pancakes

No reason Mom should be the only one surprised with breakfast in bed. 



1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 semi-ripe banana sliced

Walnuts and whipped cream, optional



Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vanilla extract vegetable oil and bananas.

Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. 

Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. 

Cook until pancake shows bubbles across the surface.

Lift to see if golden brown on underside. If so, flip and cook 1 minute on remaining side, or until golden brown.

Top with sliced bananas, walnut pieces, and whipped cream (optional)

Serve with melted butter and maple syrup.


Spinach Quinoa Salad

For dads who prefer to eat healthy, this delicious salad is a sure-fire winner.



¾ cup quinoa

1 ½ cups water

5 oz. baby spinach (about 5 cups)

1 avocado pitted and diced

¾ cup chopped cucumber

½ cup red bell pepper strips

½ cup chopped red onion

½ cup crumbled feta cheese


¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper



Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. 

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.

Whisk together dressing ingredients, set aside.

Top spinach with quinoa, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and feta cheese.

Pour dressing (or toss) over salad right before serving.

Note: you can also toss the ingredients together while the quinoa is warm for a wilted salad.


Fiery Fish Tacos

For the dad who likes his fare spicy and light. The corn salsa adds an extra crunch.



Corn salsa

2 cups cooked corn kernels

½ cup diced red onion

1 cup peeled, diced jicama

½ cup diced red bell pepper

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juiced and zested

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons salt, or to taste

6 cod fillets (4 oz. each)

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 corn tortillas, warmed

2 tablespoons sour cream, or to taste

Arugula (optional)



Preheat grill for high heat.

In a medium bowl, mix together corn, red onion, jicama, red bell pepper, and cilantro, lime juice and zest, set aside.

In a small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, cumin, ground black pepper, and salt.

Brush each fillet with olive oil, and sprinkle with spices to taste.

Arrange fillets on grill grate and cook for 3 minutes per side. 

For each fiery fish taco, top two corn tortillas with fish, sour cream, and corn salsa.

Optional: top with a handful of arugula.


Sun-Dried Tomato Penne Pie

A great option for the vegetarian dad. For a vegan dad, swap out vegan cheese for the mozzarella.



kosher salt

1 box whole wheat penne rigate

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes with oil

2 ½ cups crushed tomatoes

1 clove garlic, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup freshly chopped parsley, divided

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, divided



Preheat oven 375°. 

Lightly grease a 9" or 10" pie dish and set aside.

Bring an 8-quart pot of water to boil and generously season with salt. 

Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. 

Drain, but do not rinse, and add back to pot.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor add sun-dried tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup parsley, and olive oil; pulse until well combined. 

Pour sauce into stock pot and mix with pasta. 

Stir in 1 ½ cups cheese, then pour pasta mixture into pie pan. 

Top with remaining cup cheese and bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned (about 25 minutes). 

Garnish with remaining parsley and serve immediately.


Meaty BBQ Pork Ribs

Okay, so there are still those meat and potato dads out there. Serve this dish with a baked potato and sour cream and watch him smile.

6 lbs. country pork ribs

1 can beer


Rub Recipe

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup salt

2 ½ tablespoons ground black pepper

3 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons garlic powder


BBQ Sauce

5 tablespoons pan drippings

½ cup minced red onion

2 cups Hickory flavored BBQ sauce

2 cups apple butter

cayenne pepper to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Combine BBQ sauce ingredients, set aside

Preheat oven to 350°.

Rinse the ribs and pat dry. 

In a medium bowl, stir together the rub ingredients. 

Coat ribs liberally with spice mix. 

Place the ribs on a rack in a 10x15 inch roasting pan.

Pour beer into bottom of roasting pan.

Cover pan with foil and bake in a 350° oven for 45 minutes.

Remove ribs and lower oven temperature to 275°.

Coat rib liberally with sauce, retaining some for table.

Bake uncovered for 1 to 1½ hours, or until the ribs are tender and nearly fall apart.