Arugula Salad with Nectarines and Fresh Mozzarella

Here is the perfect summer salad…a variation on the classic Caprese but with all the sweetness of the season.

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Ingredients:

10 ounces of arugula ( I use the boxed or bagged organic baby leaves)
1/4 cup aged white balsamic vinegar (the thick and syrupy kind) or traditional aged kind, plus more to finish
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more to finish
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 large firm but ripe nectarines
2 balls fresh mozzarella (packed in water) cut into 8 wedges) or small mozzarella balls packed in water.
Vegan/DF option: sliced avocado

Directions:

1) Place the arugula in a large bowl and drizzle with the 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and the olive oil. Toss to coat. Arrange the arugula on a platter and sprinkle with a few pinches of the sea salt.
2. Tuck the nectarine wedges into the arugula, evenly spacing them throughout the platter. Do the same thing with the mozzarella.
3) Drizzle the entire salad with equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with several pinches of the sea salt and add the freshly ground pepper to your liking.
4) Taste for seasoning. Using enough salt is key to bringing out the sweetness of the nectarines, so don’t be afraid to add another pinch.

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Summer Fruit Cobbler

This is my absolute favorite dessert! It takes absolutely no time to make and is so delicious that you will have it on repeat forever! This dessert can be made vegan and gluten free by substituting gluten free flour for regular flour, and non dairy margarine like Nature’s Balance, for butter. You can also substitute coconut sugar for brown sugar. No matter how you prepare it, the taste is superbly delicious!

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Ingredients:

  1. Whatever different fruits you like:
    I used blueberries, cherries, strawberries, pineapple and mango
    (about 5-6 cups for a 9X11 inch pan)
    1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
    1 cup flour or gluten free flour
    1 cup rolled oats
    1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    1/2 cup melted butter or dairy free margarine
    1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400° F

Chop bigger fruit into bite sized pieces, pit the cherries, and mix together the different fruits.

Mix the dry ingredients in bowl, then stir in melted butter and honey.

Cover the bottom of the baking pan with the fruit and sprinkle the cobbler topping over.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes. If the topping gets too brown, tent it with foil and bake until the fruit begins to bubble (about 10 minutes more).

Serve hot or cold, with or without vanilla ice cream!

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Beyond Meat Spring Burger

If you have never tried The Beyond Meat Burger, I insist you do it today. This Vegan burger rivals any beef burger I have eaten. We created our’s with carmelized onions and an aioli sauce. The results were amazing!

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Ingredients:

4 Beyond Burger patties (2 packages)

3 cups arugula

Caramelized Onions (recipe below)

4 slices of cheese of your choice. (we used Jarlsberg lite)

4 hamburger buns (we used preztel hamburger buns)

Garlic aioli

 

Plant-based Caramelized Onions Recipe:

1 tbsp vegan butter

OR olive oil cooking spray

1 large yellow or red onion

1 tbsp sugar or coconut sugar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

 

Plant-based Garlic Aioli:

⅔ cup vegan mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2-3 tablespoons water (optional to thin)

Directions:

Vegan Caramelized Onions Instructions

Over medium-low heat, melt the vegan butter in a thick-bottomed stainless steel or cast iron pan. Or coat the pan with olive oil cooking spray. Add the sliced onions and cook for 10 minutes to soften. Add a pinch of salt and the sugar, then reduce the heat and continue to cook the onions for 30 minutes to one hour until they are deep amber in color and caramelized. Stir them often enough so that they don’t burn, but not so much that they won’t brown.

Finish off with the balsamic vinegar, thyme, and garlic. Cook for an additional 3 minutes and set aside.

 

Vegan Garlic Aioli Instructions

Add vegan mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, and sea salt to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Scrape down the sides and then added as much water as needed. Blend and repeat until desired consistency is reached.

Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. Vegan aioli will last up to seven days in the refrigerator.

 

Burger Instructions

Cook Beyond Burger according to package instructions. 2-3 minutes before patty is finished cooking add a slice of cheese and allow it to melt. Covering the frying pan speeds this up.

Toast hamburger buns for 2-3 minutes, in the pan. Top with beyond burger patty followed by caramelized onions, fresh arugula.

Spread garlic aioli on top half of bun half and enjoy!

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Tamari Salmon With Edamame

Here is a fabulous recipe for salmon that you can prepare on the BBQ or in the oven. You can also use low sodium Tamari sauce as a healthier alternative. Tamari is also gluten free.

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Ingredients:

1 skinless salmon filet (you can remove the skin after grilling on BBQ in foil.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup regular or low sodium tamari sauce
juice of 1/2 orange
3 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups frozen, shelled edamame, thawed and brought to room temperature or fresh refrigerated edamame (I use the ones from Trader Joe’s).

Whisk together the tamari sauce, orange juice, garlic, honey and sesame oil in a bowl. Place the salmon in a 9X13 pyrex dish and pour half of the marinade over the fish. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400° F or fire up the BBQ to medium. When the fish is ready to be cooked, if you are opting to cool in the oven, remove it from the marinade and place on over on a parchment lined baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.

If you are grilling on the BBQ, place the fish on top of a piece of aluminum foil and set the heat to medium and close the lid.  Cook until the fish flakes when prodded with a knife but is still moist or to your liking. I prefer my fish cooked all the way through. This should take 10-15 minutes for either the BBQ or the oven.

Remove the salmon from the oven or BBQ and let cool for about 5 minutes, and transfer to a serving platter.

Pour the remaining marinade over the fish and sprinkle the edamame and sesame seeds evenly over the top.

Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

My new best friend is the Slow Cooker. What could be better than dumping a bunch of healthy ingredients into a pot, turning it on and walking away?! This recipe does just that.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 3-4 cups cooked chopped or shredded chicken (the meat from about 1 rotisserie chicken) OR 1 ½ - 2 lbs. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

  • 2 cups frozen corn

  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 4.5 ounce can diced green chilies

  • 1 cup taco sauce or salsa of your choice

  • 1 cup diced onion

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning

  • Optional garnish for serving: shredded cheddar cheese sliced green onions, lime, cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream

  • Bag of tortilla chips

Instructions

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine chicken broth, chicken, corn, diced tomatoes, black beans, green chilies, taco sauce, onion, garlic powder, cumin, and taco seasoning in slow cooker.

  2. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 1 ½ - 2 hours.

  3. Crumble a handful of tortilla chips and place in bottom of individual bowls. Ladle soup over chips and garnish with desired toppings.

Note: If using raw chicken breasts, you will need to increase the cooking time to 4-6 hours on LOW or 2-3 hours on HIGH. At the end of cooking, shred or chop the chicken breasts, return to the pot, and serve.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. If using uncooked chicken, start by heating 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add diced chicken and cook, stirring regularly, just until chicken is browned (it doesn’t need to be cooked through).

  2. Note: If you’re starting with diced, cooked chicken, you can skip the first step and just add the chicken to the Instant Pot with the rest of the ingredients.

  3. Add the chicken broth, corn, diced tomatoes, black beans, green chilies, taco sauce, onion, garlic powder, cumin, and taco seasoning to the pot with the chicken. Stir well.

  4. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce heat to a low simmer.

  5. Let soup simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

  6. Crumble a handful of tortilla chips and place in bottom of individual bowls. Ladle soup over chips and garnish with desired toppings

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Tumeric Ginger Cauliflower Rice

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Tumeric and ginger, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, give this dish an added boost of health. the flavor of this riced cauliflower is so delicious, that I dare you to have any leftovers!

Ingredients:

2 cups of riced cauliflower ( 1 16 oz bag or
or 2 heads of cauliflower riced in a food processor fitted with a metal blade)
1 red onion chopped
non aerosol olive oil spray
or 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Coat a frying pan (I like to use a cast iron skillet), with cooking spray or simply add 1-2 tablespoons of the
oil
Sauté the onions on medium low heat until soft and translucent. (about 15 minutes).
Add the cauliflower and spices and continue to sauté until tender and well coated.
Serve immediately
Serves 4-6

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Wolfgang Puck's Passover Friendly Apricot Macaroons

These macaroons are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. They are the perfect 4:00 pm pick me up during this long week of Passover, when you are craving something light and sweet.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
4 egg whites
4 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

In a small saucepan, combine apricots, water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook apricots over medium heat until tender and about 1 tablespoon water remains. Cool slightly and transfer to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add remaining sugar, egg whites and 1/2 cup coconut. Process by first using on-off spurts, and then allow machine to run until apricots are pureed. Transfer to large bowl of electric mixer. Add remaining coconut. Beat on medium speed until coconut is well blended. Stop machine and check the texture. Mixture should hold together when pinched. Conitnue to mix, if necessary.

Using your hands, shape mixture into pointed cone shapes. Arrange 1 inch apart on parchment paper on cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the tops are well browned. Cool on rack. Store in airtight container.

Makes 24-32 macaroons.

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Vegetable Matzah Pudding

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Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound mushrooms
2 medium onions
1 medium green pepper
1 medium red pepper
2 stalks celery
3 carrots
10 matzot
boiling water
8 eggs
3 teaspoons salt
frshly grated pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 carrot

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F
2. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a 9x13 pyrex pan and heat in the oven.
3. In a food processor fitted with slicing disc, slice mushrooms and sauté in 2 batches cooking on high heat until all the liquid is evaporated. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. Change to steel knife, and coarsely chop the onion. Sauté in a little hot oil. Add to mushrooms.
5. In 2 or 3 batches, using on and off turns, coarsely chop the peppers, celery and carrots together. Sauté in a little hot oil adding more oil if necessary. When soft, transfer to bowl containing the mushrooms and onions.
6. Break the matzot into small pieces. Place in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the matzot to cover. Soak for 1 minute to soften. Drainin a colander. Add to vegetables.
7. To the work bowl add the eggs, salt, pepper and oregano. Process 10 seconds to beat. Add to vegetable-matzo mixture. Mix well.

8. Pour into heated pan.
9. Chop carrot. Sprinkle over pudding.
10. Bake for 45 miutes or until done.

NOTE: The vegetables can be prepared the day ahead. The completed pudding can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Bake for only 35 minutes. Cover and refrigerate. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup chicken soup and reheat uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes or until warm.
4. This pudding freezes well.

Yield: 12 to 16

To reheat: Sprinkle with 1/4 cup

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Passover Butterscotch Crunch Bars

These kosher for passover treats are so good, you might want to make them all year round!

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Ingredients:

12 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 Matzo boards
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cups dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F
Melt the butter or margarine and brown sugar in a pot over medium heat, whisking until the mixture is melted and smooth.
Cover a jelly-roll baking pan with aluminum foil. Line the pan with a single layer of matzah, breaking it as necessary to fit. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the matzhot, spreading evenly with an offset spatula to make sure every surface is covered. Bake for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, toss the pecans, chocolate chips, coconut and cranberries.
When you remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle an even layer of the coconut mixture over the top. Cut into squares while warm.

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Palm Springs Light Date Shake

The Hadley’s Date Shake is a definite highlight for the drive up to Palm Springs. However, that shake is loaded with calories. This version is half the calories and all the taste! It can also be made dairy free!

I used 1% milk and Halo Top Vanilla ice cream for mine. I have also used Dreyer’s vanilla ice cream and 2% milk. both are much lower in fat, calories and sugar than a regular date shake and still delicious!

I used 1% milk and Halo Top Vanilla ice cream for mine. I have also used Dreyer’s vanilla ice cream and 2% milk. both are much lower in fat, calories and sugar than a regular date shake and still delicious!

Ingredients:

4 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 cup 1% or 2% milk
2 cups Halo Top or Dreyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream
(you can also use chocolate)
1 teaspoon honey

Directions:

In a blender, combine the dates and milk and blend until smooth and frothy.
Add the ice cream and honey and pulse a few times until smooth.
Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.

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Here you can see that although there is a 30 calorie and 1 gm of fat difference per half cup, the numbers change when you compare the sugar content and the extra protein form the halo top.  the choice is yours!

Here you can see that although there is a 30 calorie and 1 gm of fat difference per half cup, the numbers change when you compare the sugar content and the extra protein form the halo top.
the choice is yours!

One happy Date Shake Guy!

One happy Date Shake Guy!

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