Appetizers Recipes

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Broiled Agave Nectar and Honey Grapefruit Recipe

Broiling grapfruits is extremely easy, and it imparts an added sweetness to the fruit.  If you know someone who won't eat grapefruits and complains about the bitterness, this recipe might change their mind.

Just glaze the fruit with a sweetener and place under the broiler of your oven for a few minutes. The combination of the tart and slightly sweet glaze makes it a winner.

I serve it as a side for breakfast or during Sunday brunches. My hubby loves it. Or you can serve it as a first course as I used to get in my middle school cafeteria in France.


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Roasted Bell Pepper Pearled Barley Recipe

Barley used to be poor people food during the Medieval times. It's also the food that feeds horses but if it's well-cooked and tender, it's a very healthy meal full of fibers. The texture is chewy and you can add a lot of spices to make it flavorful.

The cooking process is similar to cooking risottos but I added a can of diced tomatoes to make the barley more tender.


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Pan Seared Artichoke with Balsamic Glaze Recipe

Artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables. Some people seem to dislike artichokes without getting to know them because of all the work involved in eating it. It requires a good deep cleaning under the sink, steam it, pan sear it and you're done. Serve it with a flavorful dipping sauce like the balsamic glaze in this recipe, or your own aioli (which I'll provide a recipe of soon).

Since moving to America, I have to admit that it seems that many Americans are more concerned with convenience than taste. No offense. The French, and I include myself in this stereotype, are infamous for savouring every morsel of food. Food is a social activity and so we don't mind a bit of extra work.

My aunt was watching me prepare this dish today, and her first reaction was: "Why are you cooking this? It's such a pain to eat". When the artichokes had fully cooked on the griddle. I plated it, removed one leaf, dipped in the balsamic vinaigrette and put it in her mouth. She stopped talking and ended up eating the entire artichoke. 

Tanya, this recipe is for you since you requested a low fat, low cholesterol veggie recipe for your parents.


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Mini Fried Vegetarian Eggrolls (Cha Gio Chay in Vietnamese) Recipe

Eggrolls (Chà‰ giò in Vietnamese) are a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. Despite its name, eggrolls contains no egg. They're filled with taro root, carrot, dried mushroom and rice vermicelli noodles. They also usually contain tofu or a meat product. This version is fried but there's also spring rolls that are not fried, I'll make those and post them some time soon.

This recipe is for my version of vegetarian eggrolls. They are very convenient when you're serving a large crowd. Eggrolls are the perfect party food. You can make them large and serve them with the main course, or make them smaller and serve them as appetizers. All you need is a good fillling and a ton of little helpers to wrap the crispy delicious cigar shaped snacks. Some of my earliest culinary memories are of my mom making me wrap a bunch of eggrolls before a party.

It took all of us about half an hour to wrap everything whereas if you're alone it'll take about 2 hours. It won't take that long for your guests to devour them though!


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Vegetarian Cutlets (Indian Potato Latkes) Recipe

Cutlets are a slightly denser Indian version of traditional potato latkes. They are flavored with Indian seasonings like dried mint, turmeric, fried onions, and of course, spicy green peppers.

We make tray-fulls of these tasty potato patties on weekends.  It's a fun and easy recipe to make with kids to get them into the joy of cooking.


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