Chili almonds are the perfect snack. You can make these ahead and have them after a workout, an afternoon snack, or even on a cheeseboard. Quick to make, these chili almonds are a delicious combination of spicy and crunchy. Continue reading “Roasted Chili Almonds”
So, traditionally, a carpaccio is an appetizer made of thinly sliced meat. I decided to take the technique and make my own summer version of that. The sharp tang of lemon, the fresh fruit, and the crunch of toasted pistachios on top are an amazing combination. This Fresco Carpaccio is great as an appetizer for any dinner or party you are hosting, or just follow what I did and make a plate for yourself, and enjoy it in the sun!
I really didn’t want to stop eating it! Hubby and I finished it within minutes and this has become another of our favorite summer recipe.
The best part, this is so healthy for you with not too many calories or fat, there’s no cooking involved, and it takes 10 minutes to make (I’m not counting how long you have to wait for it to marinate).
I highly recommend marinating this as the flavor of the dressing will be sharper and will help breakdown the raw taste of the zucchini since you are not cooking it.
I used a mandolin for this but if you don’t have one, no worries. Use a potato peeler and make thin ribbons of the zucchini and cucumbers.
What fruits and veggies will you use? Share your pictures!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this carpaccio as much as we did!
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ c Avocado Oil
2 Tbsp pistachios
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, mix together lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk to mix well.
2. Add in oil and whisk 2-3 minutes until oil and lemon juice have emulsified.
3. Add in salt and pepper and whisk one last time to mix. Set aside.
4. Trim the ends of the zucchini and cucumber. Using slicer or peeler, make very thin ribbons.
5. Add zucchini and cucumber ribbons to dressing and toss to coat each ribbon equally.
6. Cover bowl and marinate in fridge for 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, on a med flame, heat up a small skillet. Add in the pistachios and toast 3-5 minutes until they are nice and crunchy.
8. Give the toasted pistachios a rough chop and set aside.
9. Pull zucchini and cucumber out of fridge.
10. Thinly slice avocado.
11. In a plate, line up each fruit with one slightly on top of the previous one. If you have any dressing left, drizzle a little on top. Garnish with toasted pistachios.
About a month back, we finally had a weekend free to take the girls to the Farmer’s Market which we’ve desperately missed during the winter months. The girls love tasting all the fruit samples and of course stopping at the kettle corn stand, while I love to check out all the new produce and imagine different recipes I can create. Continue reading “Microgreens Salad Yum “
I recently co-hosted a baby shower for my good friend, Diana. I am so excited to meet the little one and am counting down the weeks now!
I loved being a part of the baby shower because we did a lot of mini’s and individual foods to mesh with the baby theme. It was too cute!
The fun thing about these taco cups is that you can use whatever filling you choose. I’ve done a seven layer dip, black bean and corn salsa, and now sweet potato and black beans! I have to say, the sweet potato was a hit, not just with my family, but all the guests and especially the mama-to-be! That in itself made this recipe blog worthy.
Making the taco cups is really easy. In fact, I’ve even made them in advance – just store them in an airtight container and it will last up to a couple of weeks! Yep! These are perfect for parties! Bonus… they take less than 10 minutes to make! It can’t get better than that.
To make the cups, I used large burrito sized tortillas and a 4 inch diameter round cookie cutter. I got about 4 out of each tortilla – not bad!
Once you have the amount of disks you want, heat them up in the microwave for about 12 seconds to warm them up and make them soft and pliable. Remember to spray the muffin tin with cooking spray and also the disks to once you press them into the individual cups.
Bake at 350ºF for about 5-7 minutes until they are golden red. Remove from heat and let them cool completely. Store in an airtight container or plate them to use with filling.
For Taco Cups:
4 burrito sized tortillas
4 inch round cookie cutter
For Sweet Potato and Black Bean filling:
1 large sweet potato, peeled, chopped into ½” cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced finely
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp honey
juice of half lime
Cilantro to garnish
For Avocado Crema:
¼ plain yogurt, whipped
½ Avocado, mashed
zest of 1 lime
juice of ½ lime
salt to taste
pepper to taste
For Taco Cups:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Use the cookie cutter to cut out the disks from the tortilla. Wrap the disks 4 at a time in paper towel and warm in microwave for about 12 seconds to make soft and pliable. Immediately press into greased muffin tin pan. Once all disks are in pan, spray again with cooking spray.
Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove and cool. Store in airtight container.
For Sweet Potato and Black Bean filling:
Preheat oven to 400ºF. On a baking sheet, line sweet potato. Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt, paprika and pepper. Mix well and roast in oven for 20-25 minutes.
In a nonstick pan, heat EVOO. Add in onions and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in black beans and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add in the roasted sweet potatoes, honey, cumin powder, and lime juice. Mix well and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated.
For Avocado Crema:
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until you have a smooth, creamy consistency.
Place 1 Tbsp of sweet potato and black bean mixture in a taco cup. Top with a dollop of avocado crema and garnish with cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.
From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did and will continue to do so.
Summer is here which means so many things in my household. Getting the grill out for bbq’s, eating all the fun fresh summery foods, and trying to eat healthy to get in shape for a beach body (this is always a struggle!). Typically in the past, the hubby and I have done standard bbq’s – burgers, corn, potato salads, chips and dip, etc. etc. etc. This year, we have been inspired to grill almost everything we eat.
One of my husband’s favorites is Peaches. So I of course go out to Costco and buy a whole case (or 2) then realize, how are we going to eat so many?! Well, I promised him we would grill some since he fell in love with the idea of it last year. I also love avocado and have recently seen them grilled in my dishes in restaurants. Hey, why not add it in? If anything, it’s a good source of protein and adds a little meatiness to the plate.
Summer also means that I can harvest some of the vegetables, herbs and fruit in my garden. I am so excited about my garden that I literally watch it like a hawk every single day and get so happy over the tiniest fruit growing. Well, we have an abundance of arugula growing as well as Basil. Oh how I love the peppery smell and taste of both of these leaves! So delicious especially when they are fresh! I put Basil leaves in my salad? Yep. Don’t get ahead of yourself. I used the leaves but …. I made a basil vinaigrette to go on my salad.
When I told my husband about all the different components of this salad – he was a little skeptical. How can so many different flavors work together? Won’t I overshadow the grilled peaches for which this salad was created in the first place? I decided to find out. Am I so glad that I did! The sweetness of the peaches with the peppery arugula and basil was the most divine combination.
Quarter the peaches and avocados and brush with some EVOO.
Heat up the grill (or griddle) and place all the fruit down on one side. After a couple of minutes, flip to the other side. Oh I love those grill marks. And the peaches smell so delicious, I can’t wait to try them!
To assemble the salad, lay down the arugula first, then add some raw cashews. For the goat cheese, use a fork to crumble it into the salad and finally, add the grilled fruit. Then, a drizzle of the basil vinaigrette and you’re ready to enjoy a fun, healthy, summery salad!
For the Salad:
2 c fresh Arugula
1/3c raw cashews
2oz goat cheese
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and quartered
2 ripe peaches, pitted and quartered
EVOO to brush on the fruit
For the Basil Vinaigrette:
3/4 c fresh basil
1/4c red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
freshly ground pepper
For the salad:
Brush fruit with olive oil and set aside. Heat the grill on high heat. When it is heated through, place the fruit side down on one side and keep for 2 minutes. Flip to the other exposed side of the fruit and grill for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Assemble the salad with the arugula at the bottom, followed by the cashews, the fruit and the goat cheese crumbled in. Drizzle with Basil Vinaigrette.
In a blender, add all the ingredients for the Vinaigrette and blend to a smooth texture. Store in an airtight bottle in the fridge.
I’m a big fan of Asparagus. And of snacking. And with asparagus being in season now, I’m trying to consume as many as I can!
A couple of years ago during Thanksgiving, we decided to have a potluck with the family. One of our cousins brought the most delicious Asparagus fries with garlic dip and I have to tell you, they flew off the pan as soon as they were out of the oven. Definitely a huge hit! I could snack on these all day!
I’ll let you in on a secret – even though they’re called fries, I’ve baked them, making them healthy along with delicious. One of the simplest recipes ever that can work as a side, appetizer or hey! a snack all for me!
Try it out:
Wash and pat completely dry the asparagus (if you don’t dry the asparagus completely, the mixture will not stick properly and will become clumpy in places – trust me, I speak from experience)
You’re going to need 2 shallow bowls – 1 for the whisked egg and 1 for the bread crumb mixture.
Mix 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs and 1 cup grated parmesan cheese.
Coat each asparagus first in the whisked eggs then in the bread crumb mixture and line on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes till they are golden brown. You don’t want to nuke them so they shrivel up, just enough to cook them. You’ll get a nice crunch to them and they should still hold their original thickness.
For the yogurt sauce,
Whip the yogurt so it looks nice and creamy and smooth. Then add in the dill, salt and lemon juice. Mix well and dip away!
Here’s the recipe:
For the Asparagus:
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed 1″ from the bottom
2 eggs, whisked really well
1 c Italian bread crumbs
1 c grated Parmesan Cheese
For the Yogurt Sauce:
1/3 c non-fat plain yogurt
3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray.
Wash and pat completely dry the asparagus. Dip one at a time in the egg first then in the bread crumb mixture. Line on baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
For the yogurt sauce,
Whip the yogurt to a smooth and creamy texture. Add in the dill, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Serve with hot Asparagus fries.