These Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs might just be the best deviled eggs you’ve ever eaten. This recipe adds a fun Bloody Mary twist to this popular appetizer, garnished with gherkins and olives. Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs are perfect for any holiday party, brunch, New Year’s Eve, or even brunch. Continue reading “Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs”→
Cranberry Balsamic Glazed Turkey Meatballs are sticky, sweet, and moist. Lean ground turkey is seasoned with parmesan cheese, herbed breadcrumbs, garlic, fresh rosemary, and a little orange zest. They are then coated with luscious glaze made with cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, fresh rosemary, orange juice, and soy sauce. Mini meatballs are the perfect appetizer for any dinner or holiday party. Continue reading “Cranberry Balsamic Glazed Turkey Meatballs”→
A perfect combination of fall flavors, this salad is perfect for lunch or as a side for dinner. Roasted beets and butternut squash are served over peppery arugula, tangy feta cheese, earthy walnuts, sweet pomegranate arils. Tossed in a maple dressing that is easy to make and shake, this beautiful salad is gluten free and nutrient dense! Continue reading “Beet and Butternut Squash Salad”→
This Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad is filled with bursts of sweetness, texture, and nutrients. The quinoa soaks up a delicious Maple Dressing and the arugula gives just a hint of a peppery note. What’s best is it’s great to eat for lunch, or have as a side dish. Continue reading “Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad”→
Fresh and beautiful veggies from across the rainbow to make amazing salads are my favorite. This Quinoa Fiesta Salad is one of my family’s favorites. As a mom, it makes me happy that the girls are getting so much nutrition in one bowl. The kids look at the colors and get excited to eat a rainbow and I love that they are enjoying fresh and healthy ingredients!
This salad does triple duty which I love. A dish which becomes a meatless entree can also serve as a side dish or a salad depending on my mood. The cherry on top of this recipe is that it takes less than 30 minutes to make and is very forgiving if you need to substitute or leave out ingredients.
HOW DO I MAKE A QUINOA FIESTA SALAD?
1. Cook the quinoa. While the quinoa is cooking, you can get the dressing and your other ingredients ready!
2. Make the Cilantro Lime Dressing. I love this dressing because it is so light. If you choose to leave it out as I do for my girls, simply replace it with a drizzle of Olive Oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
3. Combine all of your ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to mix.
4. Enjoy and get addicted to this salad as much as my family and I are!
Fresh fruit, caramelized onions, bright flavors, and an abundance of crostini. That is what I call the perfect crostini board. Simple ingredients that require more assembly than cooking is a delicious way to start your party! Continue reading “Crostini 3 Ways”→
This chickpea salad is a refreshing summer salad filled with fresh produce. It tastes great served as a side salad or your main lunch meal. Best of all, you don’t need to make a special dressing for this salad. Continue reading “Chickpea Avocado Salad”→
One of my favorite times of the year is the spring when the Farmer’s Market starts to get bigger with more and more farmers who start to bring a larger variety of produce and goodies. I’ve mentioned in the past that I like to make a menu for the week (more so my kids don’t complain they want something else than what is served), but what I haven’t mentioned is how I love going to the Farmer’s Market to do my weekly produce shopping. Sometimes, I will even tailor some of my dishes to include produce I find at the Market.
Recently, I partnered with our local Farmer’s Market (Danville Farmer’s Market) and I will be creating recipes for them a few times a month in the hopes that I can bring awareness to locally farmed produce at all of our farmer’s market. Having fresh, organic produce and supporting the local farms is a win-win.
This Spring Crudites Platter is so beautiful, we all had a bit of hard time digging in. No one wanted to mess it up. Ah well, our stomachs won that round. The beauty of this platter is that you are not restricted to the same produce I picked up. Pick up what your farmer’s market has, just make it colorful.
Here is what I used:
Purple Cauliflower (chop these into big chunks)
Rainbow Baby Carrots (trim the stems off and save to make pesto – be sustainable!)
Watermelon Radishes (slice these a little thick into rounds to give a beautiful effect)
Cucumbers (I sliced these on the diagonal for aesthetics. Feel free to slice into rounds or sticks to make them easier to serve)
As for the hummus, I chose purple sweet potato and red beets to be the base of each hummus. For the Red Beets, I roasted it with garlic, then pulsed it with a little tahini and a few other ingredients. This is by far one of my favorite variations on hummus. Paired with all that beautiful produce, it’s perfect!
For the Purple Sweet Potato, I baked it in the oven then pulsed it with tahini as well. Though the idea behind both hummus’ are the same, the flavor profile differ vastly. Yet both are addicting.
I hope you have a chance to make a beautiful Spring Crudites Platter like this for your next gathering. I promise you will love it.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Place sweet potatoes, beets, and garlic in individual foil sheets. Drizzle beets and garlic with olive oil. Wrap each food tightly into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove and let cool before opening the foil wraps.
For the Sweet Potato Hummus:
Remove foil wrap and peel skin. Chop into rough chunks and add to food processor. Add roasted garlic cloves and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with parsley, a drizzle of oil, and/or roasted chickpeas.
For the Roasted Beet and Garlic Hummus:
Remove beets from foil and chop into rought chunks.
Add into food processor with roasted garlic and the remaining ingredients.
Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes)
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with roasted chickpeas, toasted sesame seeds, and/or a drizzle of olive oil.
To Assemble the Crudites platter:
Place the bowls of the hummus in the center of the platter. Add the larger veggies first, i.e. cauliflower and carrots.
Fill in with medium sized veggies, i.e. cucumbers and snap peas.
Add the smaller veggies, i.e. radishes and cherry tomatoes.
Finally garnish with watermelon radish slices and edible flowers if you have any.
**Note: I used a whole bulb of garlic and divided between the two hummus dips as I knew I was making them at the same time (and a little extra garlic is always appreciated). If you are making only one hummus dip, follow the instructions of roasting cloves instead of the whole bulb.
Crisp, cold watermelon tossed with tangy feta and fresh mint is the perfect summertime salad to have on a hot day. This refreshing salad is a great side to have with grilled chicken, steak, and even hamburgers! Continue reading “Summertime Watermelon Salad”→
The sun is finally coming out, we are able to see friends and family after a long time, and I am ready to share apps around the table as I catch up with my loved ones. Nothing says fun in the sun with loved ones like bruschetta. Fresh tomatoes mixed with garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and parmigiano reggiano served on garlic rubbed Italian bread. Yep. Count me in!
Growing up, I would order bruschetta every time we ate out at an Italian restaurant. It still is one of my favorite appetizers. I can name so many members of my family that also love it just as much as I do. There was even a time when bruschetta was a given at any family gathering. And rightly so.
Just a few ingredients that makes this recipe absolutely divine.
Tomatoes – crisp, juicy, sweet, red tomatoes are a must. Try to avoid mushy and soft tomatoes as you’ll end up with more liquid and the chopped tomatoes won’t hold their shape.
Garlic – chopped in the bruschetta mix but I also use whole cloves to rub toasted bread to give it that extra zing in flavor
Basil – this sweet peppery herb adds the perfect burst of earthiness
Parmigiano reggiano – The earthy, sharp, nutty flavor is the perfect flavor to bring all of the different ingredients together
Balsamic Vinegar – this is my surprise ingredient that takes this bruschetta up a notch. Each bite there’s just a hint of the tart, fruity liquid that makes you want to keep eating it.
Fresh Italian Bread – toast these up a little then rub a fresh clove of garlic over it as they come out of the oven.
So, what are you waiting for?! This is the perfect appetizer for a wine and cheese night (my favorite), for a gathering, or if you want to create a beautiful Italian dinner!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Vibrant, fresh, mildly spicy, and packed with flavor, this Cilantro Chutney is a necessity in Indian cuisine. This particular chutney is made using fresh cilantro, mint, curry leaves, green chilies, cashews and spices. Continue reading “Cilantro Chutney”→
These skewers are by far one of my favorite snacks! Often times, if I am hosting a party, they usually make an appearance. The best part, my girls love to eat them too (minus the basil and glaze)! Super easy to assemble, healthy, and 5 simple ingredients. You really can’t beat that!
For the skewers, I kept the Basil in the caprese, but the addition of rosemary gives it a little boost. Rosemary can be strong which is why just the hint from the skewers is perfect here. Bite sized, creamy mozzarella, tangy grape tomatoes, sharp basil, the sweet balsamic glaze finished off by fresh rosemary is definitely going to be one of the best foods I eat today!
Making the balsamic glaze is pretty simple too! I used to be nervous about making the glaze because it seemed too daunting. Then one day, I figured, I’ll try it and see what happens. I can’t believe I was ever so nervous! Literally I’m boiling balsamic vinegar with a little brown sugar and that’s pretty much it! Oh.My.God. It tastes so good, I could drizzle this glaze on pretty much anything!
So what are you waiting for? Try out these delicious skewers and impress your guests with a fancy-ish appetizer!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these Rosemary Caprese Skewers with a Balsamic Glaze.
I first learned what arancini is when I was watching Giada on Food Network. Man they looked delicious. Rice and cheese mixed together, battered, and fried. I don’t think you can go wrong. I love the salty and creamy and cheesy combination. Oh I can go on and on!
Well, seeing it on tv and actually trying them are two different things. The first time I tried it was on a date with the husband. Oh.My.God! All I wanted was to eat these delicious arancini for every course! Seeing them on tv, then actually eating them are two different things, and I’ll tell you what. Eating is absolutely much better for this case!
I’ve made quite a few attempts over the years to make these. Initially, they melted as I was trying to fry them. Then the seasoning was off, and each try I missed something until finally, I was able to make a delicious batch! I’m so glad this was one project I didn’t abandon!
About a month ago, we had leftover pearl couscous (it seems we always do). I wanted to upcycle it and have the girls eat it in a different way and instantly I thought of arancini. It was a long shot but in my mind, I thought, hey, a leftover grain that could potentially bind with cheese. All I had to do was season it correctly. Results? The kids want me to make this for them everyday! Let’s not get carried away though. I did make quite a few and had to really work on distracting the girls with other foods because they are just as in love with arancini as I am!
Try these out for appetizers, make them a little larger and have them for a main course, make them bite sized and serve them for parties. I served them with warm marinara sauce and a sprinkle of chopped basil and for me, that was the perfect pairing.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these decadent Couscous Arancini!
⁄Crunchy on the outside, creamy and buttery on the inside, these avocado wedges are the perfect snack. They are remarkably tasty, easy to make, and impressed my 5 and 4 year olds. Honestly though, anything that is breaded and fried is an automatic win in my book. I’ve had these in tacos too and seriously, they are delicious.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT AVOCADO FOR THIS RECIPE?
Personally, I like to use avocados that have just turned ripe. They’re still a little firm but ripe enough to be creamy when eaten. A good scale to use is if they are good enough to use for Guacamole then they are too soft to use for these wedges. You don’t want the wedges to melt and loose structure because they are too ripe.
AIR FRYER vs BAKING
I used an air fryer for this recipe because it gives the crispy exterior that you would see when deep frying. If you don’t have an air fryer, baking is just as good but beware that it will take a little longer to cook them. I have given instructions for both in the recipe card.
ARE THESE HEALTHY IF THEY’RE FRIED?
Yes they are because they’re air fried! And avocados are definitely healthier than traditional potato wedges. Don’t get me wrong, I love potatoes in all its many glorious forms but I do love a healthy alternative any day. Here are some of the many nutritional benefits to these Avocado Fries:
Provides about 5 gm protein per serving
Almost ¼ of your DRI Fiber
About a third of your Folic Acid DRI
Almost ¼ Vit. K requirements
Great source of potassium, phosphorous, Vit. A, and Vit. B6
So what are you waiting for?! Try these incredibly delicious Avocado Fries and fall in love with a new way of eating fries!
This fall and winter season I have been obsessed with acorn squash and pomegranates. It only made sense that I find a way to combine the two together. The girls love the rainbow shape this takes on when cut so I wanted to create something fun for them too.
The great thing about acorn squash is that it is a little sweet naturally but it will still take on any flavor you give it. If you haven’t tried them yet, I made some Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos recently with acorn squash part of the filling. It took on the spices really well so I wanted to go on the opposite spectrum this time and season it with something a little more mild.
I chose mostly fresh herbs that would bring out the more earthy flavors. To help give it a little crust, I also added a little Parmesan.
Anyways, here are a few fun nutrition facts about acorn squash:
A nutrient dense food, acorn squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber yet is comparatively low in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Great source of phytonutrients, particularly carotenoids which have antioxidant properties.
Acorn squash is a starchy fruit, however, because it is so nutrient dense, there’s a good balance to eating this squash. The high fiber content slows down digestion which helps you stay full longer and slows down the release of glucose in your blood. This process helps in maintaining weight and stabilizing your blood sugar.
So now that you know about my favorite squash this season, let’s move on to my favorite fruit of the season.
Pomegranates are known as one of the healthiest fruits on Earth!
High in fiber (7gms in 1 cup of arils), they also contain an impressive amount of protein (3gm in 1 cup of arils), and 16% of DRI of Folate (also in 1 cup of arils)
A great source of antioxidants which help with anti-inflammatory properties.
they improve exercise performance by delaying fatigue and increasing blood flow.
Basically, this is one healthy dish that you can have this winter season and enjoy every bite of it! Try it out and tag me on Instagram @bitofspice146.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios.
Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios
I think hands down, these are one of my favorite holiday foods. I’ve had so many and I don’t think I can tire of them. Snacking is one of my favorite activities. These delicious tostadas make it so much easier as they are low in calorie, healthy, and guilt-free.
High in fiber, antioxidants, a good source of protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals, these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas definitely pack a punch!
Between the Serrano peppers and the watermelon radish, there were some strong flavors. I knew I wanted to use the pomegranate arils to give it a sweet note (and make it look pretty).
But it needed depth so I played around with a few options before settling on the hummus and avocado. And yet the radish was still giving off a bit of a pungent taste and therein comes the smear of pesto.
There are so many random flavors that they work despite wanting to prove the opposite.
Make these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas this holiday season and you won’t be able to stop eating them. From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy them!
Ok so I know that the name alone makes this salad sound like an explosion of so many different flavors and it is! But….. that’s what makes this salad work so well!
Between my obsession for salads and my inclination towards making my own dressings, my salad game is going strong right now. I’ve been wanting to use watermelon radish for a while now because of it’s flavor and just how pretty it looks!
Here are a few fun facts about watermelon radishes:
They are nutrient dense with Vitamins K, A, E, C, and B6.
High in antioxidants
High in fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron among many other minerals
One serving of watermelon radishes has over 1/3 of your daily Vit. C requirements!
They’re just so darned pretty
The fennel was added in to balance out the peppery flavor of the radish (though, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how the hubby was going to like it as he is not a big licorice flavored guy. The best part about eating fennels to me is the licorice!). Luckily, the fennel taste was mild when combined with the flavors of the salad.
As to the Ginger Lime dressing, adding the hint of ginger balanced with a little honey in the dressing and the lime to brighten up the salad, it was the perfect choice to use this for the salad.
When I think about this salad, it really has a great balance of sweet, spicy and tangy! So perfect for a lunch meal, side dish, or a Covid free Thanksgiving dinner!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this salad!
Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with a Ginger Lime Dressing
Every Indian household is sure to have samosas for any occasion. Whether we were visiting relatives or friends, at a wedding, holidays, celebrations of any kind…. well, you get the point! Samosas everywhere. When I went off to college, my mom used to make dozens and dozens and put them in large zip top bags that I would freeze and microwave them as I was in the mood for them.
My roommates and friends at college also benefited. There were many nights sitting in our common room studying over samosas, sharing heartbreaks or girl talk or just hanging out.
These samosa puffs are a fun twist to the traditional samosas that are usually filled in a cone made of freshly kneaded dough. The girls had fun with the flaky pastry and loved that I kept the filling with the traditional potatoes and peas that they are used to.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious Samosa Puffs!
Heat a nonstick pan on medium flame, and add oil to it.
Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle.
Add in the ginger and Serrano pepper and cook for 30 seconds.
Add in the peas and cook them for 2-3 minutes.
When the peas have a bright green color to them, add in the chaat masala, cayenne pepper, cumin powder, and fennel powder. Mix well and let the spices cook for an additional 30 seconds to bloom them and release the flavors.
Finally, add in the boiled, crumbled potatoes and salt and mix well. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In each pastry square, fill about 1-2 Tbsp of filling in the center.
Brush the edges with milk and seal tightly. If needed, use a fork to seal the pastry.
Repeat until all the puff pastry sheets are filled.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Brush the Samosa Puffs with more milk on the outside to give it a crisp surface while it bakes.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the pastry has cooked through.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
Serve hot with your favorite chutneys!
** If you don't have chaat masala or aamchur powder, you can replace it with equal amounts of lemon juice
Bright, crunchy, colorful and easy to assemble with a creamy coconut jalapeño dressing, this salad is a perfect addition to your meal.
Easy to make, this salad has plenty of texture, meets my rainbow requirements, and is quick to pull together for any meal. A twist on the traditional slaw, the Rainbow Crunch Salad is a healthier version with a low cal coconut jalapeño dressing to finish off a delicious salad.
With school started, life still crazy between Covid, fires, and whatever else you want to throw in there, I want to keep it easy and quick for this salad. Chopping the veggies doesn’t take very long and the Coconut Jalapeño dressing is blended in less than a minute.
Here’s what you need for the salad:
Colored Bell Peppers
I’ve used this as a lunch meal, a side salad for fish and chicken dishes, or even a quick afternoon snack if I had some leftovers.
Try it out! From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!
Growing up, I was never a fan of eggplant. I’m not sure if it was the seeds, the flavor, or the way it was cooked but I just didn’t take to it. So imagine my surprise when I went out to a Mediterranean restaurant with some friends and ended up loving my first bite of Baba Ghanouj!
Yep. It was love at first taste!
The smoky flavor, the silky texture, and a guilt free snack all rolled into one. What’s not to love?
Roasted or Grilled?
I personally love it grilled either over the stove or especially on a bbq, The flavor of the char stays in every bite which totally makes this recipe so amazing.
How do you eat it?
Baba Ghanouj is usually served as an appetizer with pita bread and crudités. I have on occasion been known to add it to a Falafel bowl if I’m in the mood. It tastes really delish!
This particular recipe is made without tahini, which is a sesame seed paste traditionally used to make baba ghanouj and hummus. I did add a lot of garlic and some cayenne and smoked paprika to enhance the smoky flavor.
food processor or by hand?
Honestly, both work but I prefer my food processor as it gets the job done quicker and I prefer a smoother texture.
Go ahead and try it out! This recipe will not disappoint!
Growing up in an Indian household, chutneys are a must. They are an integral part of any Indian household. Whether you are eating Dosa or Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles with tomato or coconut chutney, or samosas with cilantro or tamarind chutney, or Kati Rolls or Bombay Masala Sandwiches with chutney used as a spread, it’s always prominent in Indian food.
There are so many different kinds of chutneys prepared so many different ways, I just love the versatility of these dips. I tried to a different approach to my Roasted Cilantro Mint Chutney by roasting the cilantro and mint with some cashews, chickpea flour, and plenty of spices.
As you roast the herbs, they develop a char which carries into the final product and gives it just a hint of smoky flavor and smell when you eat it.
I’ve been making these chickpeas at home as a healthy snack option so I don’t turn to junk food and my girls have fallen in love with them too. I initially started them with a basic salt, pepper, olive oil and paprika seasoning. We love the basic and use them not only for snacking, but in salads, tacos, as a topping for soups (yup), and pretty much in anything I can add it to. Continue reading “Roasted Masala Chickpeas”→
The hubby loves his mushrooms. I on the other hand am not the biggest fan of them. So when we got married and he found out I didn’t like them, he was a bit devastated. BUT, I still make them occasionally….. especially when he comes home with a large container of them.
I secretly like it when he comes home with so many mushrooms because that means I have to get creative with them. This time around, he brought home baby bellas and they were larger than usual, which is perfect because I knew I wanted to stuff them right away!
I didn’t want to use too much cheese in the filling, and like anything, I want to pack a punch of flavor so I opened my fridge and stared at it for a few minutes. Seriously, I just stood and stared. And my eyes fell on a container of chives and onions cream cheese so I knew that was going to pull it all together!
I also added red bell peppers (for color and crunch) and some paprika and cayenne pepper for a kick. The hubby, and my sis-in-law Shivani, loved these! Score!
They are pretty quick to make and don’t require much effort. Go ahead, try them out.
Mango is my absolute favorite in the whole world! Done. That’s it. If I were stuck on an island and there were mangoes, I would be set.
That being said, I think for my hubby, it would be salsa. Honestly, I’ve never seen a salsa that man has not devoured.
I love this mango salsa because it is so fresh, tangy, sweet, and spicy all at the same time! I’ve paired this the traditional way with chips, fish, tacos, fish tacos, as a dip during parties and more recently with Hawaiian chicken. There’s no wrong way to eat mango pico!
The mango pico that I made is very easy and simple but it packs a punch of flavor. I go a little heavy on the spice to balance the sweet of the mango and only 5 ingredients needed to make.
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”→