Mushroom Barley Risotto Recipe Recipe

Mushroom Barley Risotto Recipe

04.29.14 by Jackie

My husband Lulu has been traveling a lot these days for his work. Being a vegetarian has never been an issue since we live in the Bay Area. But sometimes it can be tricky for him to find foods that fit his diet, especially when visiting the Southeast. 

Since he hadn't eaten much apart from lettuce and boiled tofu, I figured comfort food would fill the void he had experienced while traveling. For his return, I prepared a mushroom barley risotto because barley is a nutritious grain that supports a healthy lifestyle with complex carbohydrates and proteins, compared to the more traditional rice grains.

The only downside is it's much less starchy than rice. So I added Colby cheese for texture and color and flavored it with nutmeg to complement the natural aroma of barley. 

Since the barley risotto didn't have a striking contrast of colors. I served it on a bed of string beans. When serving foods that are visually a bit monotone, I always try to pair them with other colorful ingredients. Remember, you eat with your eyes first!


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Muhammara and Cucumber Bites (Healthy Appetizer Recipe) Recipe

Muhammara and Cucumber Bites (Healthy Appetizer Recipe)

04.28.14 by Jackie

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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Easy Apple Tart Recipe Recipe

Easy Apple Tart Recipe

04.25.14 by Jackie

I am beyond excited the weekend is here. This means it's dessert time and that my husband Lulu will be home after a week-long business trip. Lulu has a weakness for sweets so I'm sure he won't have any complaints about this apple tart

This French dessert is one of the easiest tarts to assemble, with only about 5 ingredients. It has an apple- sauce filling and is brushed with apricot preserves at the end for a shiny look.


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Cocoa Balsamic Sea Bass Recipe Recipe

Cocoa Balsamic Sea Bass Recipe

04.24.14 by Jackie

Here's the seafood dish I promised I'd share with you. I prepared it wih the balsamic marinated eggplants. I  marinated seabass in the same dressing as the eggplants, with cocoa, quality balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.

Seabass is such a delicate and exquisite fish. The idea is to pan-sear it first to form an outer crust and complete cooking it in the oven so the inside remains ultra moist. 


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