Healthy Recipes

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Fig Marinara Pasta Recipe Recipe

Fig Marinara Pasta Recipe

09.05.13 by Jackie

Lala, my husband's youngest sister, helped to maintain our vegetable and fruit garden all summer. She definitely has a green thumb and has been so good watering our tomato plants and keeping them alive (even when I was out of town for the Banh Mi book promotion in Houston last week). Lala has just started 4th grade this month. She's a very witty girl, full of energy and such a foodie. She told me she didn't want to have to eat the school lunches this year and would prefer eating homemade food for her back-to-school lunch (click on the link for more back-to-school lunch suggestions).

I told her it would be possible only if she helps me in the kitchen once she's done with her homework. She started a chart with the menu of the week and she seemed so thrilled! I couldn't be more excited because these are more precious moments I get to  share with my munchkin, plus it's about sharing my passion for cooking. 

So this evening, we gathered a few San Marzano tomatoes, basil flowers and Brown Turkey figs. You're probably wondering what we made with all these fantastic ingredients? Pasta sauce! I sweetened the tomato sauce with a hint of maple syrup and tossed medium shell pasta into the delectable sauce. It’s sweet without being overpowering, and the figs give it a wonderful new dimension.


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Pizza Cracker Recipe Recipe

Pizza Cracker Recipe

08.29.13 by Jackie

If you want to have a healthy late night snack, these savory pizza lavash crackers are for sure going to satisfy your appetite. Leftover lavash bread, thick tomato sauce, marjoram, thyme, oregano, crushed red peppers and Parmesan cheese are all you need to make the perfect crowd pleaser.

The spiciness from the crushed red peppers makes them so addictive. You can also prepare a sweet version with apples and cinnamon, if you prefer; these crackers are as delicious as their savory equivalent.

I also have an announcement for this weekend. I'm going to be making a stop in Houston, Texas for an interview with Cleverley Stone on CBS Radio 650 AM at 10am. Tune in if you can, because a lucky listener will win a free copy of my cookbooks. Then I head to Barnes & Noble to sign my just released cookbook, Banh Mi, and my previous book, Haute Potato. Make sure you stay to sample a dish featured in Banh Mi! Hope you stop by and say hi! 


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Chia Seed Blueberry Tea Drink Recipe Recipe

This morning, Lulu's 13-year-old teenage sister Mimi and I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and prepared a drink so we could have enough energy before our yoga routine. The drink was very refreshing, delicious, rich in antioxidants and made with natural ingredients such as chia seeds, fresh blueberries, oranges, green tea, ghee and maple syrup.  

This special concoction was Mimi's idea, and I adore it. It doesn't require too much sweetener thanks to the blueberries and chia seeds, which add another dimension to the tea drink. Isn't it wonderful to start the day in a healthy way? Plus, it's gluten free!


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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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