French Recipes

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Lavash Spanakopita (Palak Paneer Purses) Recipe

This is an Indian take on the classic Greek fare  with a healthy twist. I prepared the savory "pastry" with spinach-flavored lavash bread and used palak paneer as the filling.

Many Indian dishes are served family-style and this is a great way to turn palak paneer into individual servings. We had many guests over the weekend and I served these fusion-style appetizers with raita sauce on the side.  

Quick note: I'm going to be in Houston this weekend for my first interview with Cleverley Stone on her show on CBS Sports & Entertainment Radio this Saturday, August 31st at 10 am. Then I will be heading to Barnes & Noble at 2 pm for a cooking demo, followed by a book signing. If you live in Houston or in the area, stop by and sample some of the food from my second cookbook, Banh Mi.

Barnes & Noble Fairway Market Place, 5656 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, Texas  at 2pm on Saturday, August 31st, 2013.  (No need for the ZIP code, since people won’t be mailing anything to you there.)


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Scallion Kidney Bean Burger Recipe Recipe

These veggie burgers are prepared with gluten free bread. I made scallion-flavored croutons out of the bread and mixed them with kidney beans. I served the burgers on a bed of scallion and maple-flavored barbecue sauce; if you were putting these patties in a bun, you could always slather the sauce on the inside of the bun instead of on the plate. No mustard or mayo required!

Unlike many vegetarian dishes, these burgers won't leave you dreaming of meat. The texture is interesting and non-uniform, and the flavor is in your face. It's not a meat substitute, but rather a unique dish unto itself. I don't think meat would add anything to the patties and even the most ardent of carnivores should be able to enjoy them as is. Ok, maybe next to a steak or something. But they'd still enjoy it! 

The scallion flavor in this recipe is courtesy of Boyajian's fantastic Scallion Oil. Boyajian has an impressive array of oils, vinegars and vinaigrettes with some pretty exotic flavors. I love infused oils, and have been playing around recently with some of the products in Boyajian's lineup. Boyajian sponsored my development of recipes with their products and of course photographs of the dishes. I'll be sharing my culinary creations with you this week, and (shameless plug), if you'd like to try out any of the products, you can purchase them directly from Boyajian's website.

Boyajian Oil Recipe with Picture


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Chickpea Soup Recipe Recipe

Chickpea Soup Recipe

08.15.13 by Jackie

I had a lot of leftover soaked chickpeas after making chole (spicy Indian garbanzo beans), so I prepared a simple chickpea soup. I added potatoes that are invading part of our garden now, onions, a touch of lemon and whatever vegetables I was able to find in the kitchen (frozen corn, carrots and roasted red bell peppers). The result was surprisingly fabulous, especially since it's gluten free, dairy free and low fat. You could sprinkle a few Parmesan shavings for added richness if you like, but since there’s no photographic evidence, I’m going to say I didn't!

I prepared the chickpea soup with the idea that it was going to be for baby Aria, but all the grown-ups in our home enjoyed it just as much as she did. She's old enough to eat meat, fish and other solid carbs but I still prepare soups for her several times a week to ensure she doesn't go too hungry. According to my husband Lulu, she's plenty chubby but I guess through a mommy's eyes, there's always the fear of not providing enough for your baby.


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Bell Pepper Ricotta Pesto Tart Recipe Recipe

This is the type of light meal I love for lunch. It's satisfying, filled with vegetables and it's a one-dish meal, which means less cleanup! The tart is flavored with red and yellow bell peppers combined with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, onions, tomato paste, chili flakes and fresh oregano. To complete the dish, I topped the savory tart with mixed greens and flavorful dressing.

You can use the same bell pepper ricotta pesto to flavor your favorite pasta, grilled meats, risotto or sandwiches.


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Fig and Goat Cheese Phyllo Cup Recipe Recipe

This is a very easy appetizer recipe. All you need is phyllo dough, fresh figs, dried figs, goat cheese and a bit of sugar. I "bruléed" the fresh figs to add another dimension of flavor and served them in the cute phyllo cups. 

It feels like the end of the summer already; figs are already peaking and I'm anxious to cook with what's ready to ripen on our trees. I'm so excited and I can't wait!


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