Healthy Recipes

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Muhammara and Cucumber Bites (Healthy Appetizer Recipe) Recipe

I created these irresistible appetizers for the California Lavash team a while back. It was their idea to combine muhammara (walnuts, charred red bell pepper, fresh pomegranate seeds and mint flavored spread), cucumber, dill, mint and cilantro in their fabulous, healthful lavash flatbread. 

Being the ultimate hostess, in my opinion, requires the art of not only making delicious food but also creating enticing and delectable bites to make sure you please all your guests. I formed twirling portions, which is ideal if you're serving a small number of people. If you're hosting a large party, I would suggest rolling regular pinwheels to save time.

I think this type of food is especially appealing to female guests. The colors are striking, almost bewitching. The appetizers have a lot of flavor, yet are super healthy. If you're looking for store-bought muhammara, I highly recommend Haig's. But if you don't want to be too adventurous, you can replace the pomegranate spread with others such as crumbled feta and chopped olives mixed with Greek yogurt and lemon juice and substitute a touch of oregano for the mint.


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Black Mushroom Tofu Recipe Recipe

Black Mushroom Tofu Recipe

04.02.14 by Jackie

In Vietnamese, this tofu dish is called tàu hủ xào nấm đông cô. This particular variety of mushrooms is delicious. Once re-hydrated, they have a fleshy, plump and even meatier, chewier texture than fresh shiitake mushrooms.

The delicate part of this preparation lies in soaking the mushrooms. You could soak them in cold water overnight or, if pressed for time as I was, re-hydrate them in warm water for about 1 hour. I saved the flavor-packed soaking liquid and made a thick sauce to accompany the tofu. I don't prepare this dish very often because one of the ingredients can be a little pricey, but it is sooooo tasty!

In order not to serve a mostly colorless dish, I included bright green string beans. 


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Quinoa Burger Recipe Recipe

Quinoa Burger Recipe

03.31.14 by Jackie

Today is Meatless Monday, so I prepared vegetarian quinoa burgers for the occasion. I flavored them with broccoli and triple cream cheese. The burgers were so flavorful and I felt in veggie heaven; not one second did I crave the meat. 

The reason behind the deliciousness of the burger is the creamy and velvet cheese. The broccoli provided a great contrast of color and the necessary greens for a balanced diet.


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Cannellini Bean Soup with Arugula Recipe

Cannellini bean soup is an easy dish I can whip up in no time. It's also a meal I can be sure everyone is going to enjoy. It's vegetarian, it contains no major food allergens and even baby Aria can eat it easily.

I try to always have fresh greens in my refrigerator. I usually toss them in a simple salad, I also make pesto or use them as garnish for appetizers, pizza and sandwiches. The addition of arugula at the last minute provides color and a peppery flavor to the otherwise fairly bland, pale soup. To ensure the nutrients of the arugula were still intact, I added finely chopped arugula only at the last minute, so it barely wilted in the soup.


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Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper with Roasted Bell Pepper Coulis Recipe

Our family brunch this weekend was delightful but that doesn't mean it took us hours to prepare it. I had ready-made blueberry blossoms (individual free-form fruit pies) that I had stored in the freezer, so my only additions were a quiche and quinoa stuffed bell peppers on a bed of roasted bell pepper coulis. 

I especially loved preparing the quinoa dish. It was colorful, flavorful and nutritious. I cooked the quinoa slightly longer till it became slightly clumpy, so when I seasoned it with a basil vinaigrette, sun-dried tomatoes and blue goat cheese, the quinoa mixture was easy to fill into the bell pepper "cups". The bell pepper sauce added brightness, thanks to the addition of tomato paste and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and contrasted really well with the sharpness and pungency of the cheese.  


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