Figs Stuffed with Sesame Mint and Quinoa

This recipe for Figs Stuffed with Sesame, Mint and Quinoa is incredibly creative! If you like figs, put this recipe on your list. Now that summer I here, I am in the mood to make more appetizers. These figs are stuffed with a flavorful trio of dried cranberries, quinoa and cool mint. If you have trouble finding fresh figs in the grocery stores, you can use halved apricots or pitted Medjool dates. If you’re a vegetarian or gluten-free, definitely put this recipe on your to-make list.

Find this recipe recipe along with 499 others in this comprehensive cookbook by Camilla Saulsbury published by Robert Rose books (my cookbook publisher).  In this cookbook, you will also learn so many things about quinoa. Examples of things that I learned are how to stock a quinoa pantry, how to cook quinoa, what is the thermos method, how to add quinoa to baked goods, how to toast it, how to sprout it and how to create quinoa flour.

Healthy Pan Bagnat Grilled Cheese

Today’s recipe for Healthy Pan Bagnat Grilled Cheese is one of my absolute favorites. Have you ever tried a Pan Bagnat? The name for this sandwich (pronounced pɑ̃ baˈɲa) originates from Nice, France. It consists of ingredients in a Salade Niçoise, including canned tuna, olives, anchovies, tomatoes, onions and hard-boiled eggs. I tweaked my recipe to create a healthy grilled cheese, while still using most of the traditional ingredients.

This sandwich recipe is one of my favorites in the “light and healthy” chapter of my cookbook 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  Place your tuna in a mixing bowl and add fresh lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and pepper. These ingredients give it a nice, light flavor. Top the bread with fresh tomatoes and spinach leaves and some freshly grated Parmesan. Then, place in a Panini grill or large skillet to get it a little warm and toasted, and it’s fantastic!

In my cookbook, you will find grilled cheese recipes for appetizers, breakfasts, main dishes, lunch ideas, desserts and more. There is definitely options for everyone. If you’re trying to eat healthier these days, I have fifteen other recipes in this chapter with low-fat, low-carb and gluten-free options. You’ll also find low-fat and recipe lightening tips, grilled cheese making tips, sandwich timesavers and more.

 

5 Healthy Mother’s Day Recipes

Pomegranate Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

For Mother’s Day this weekend, I am sharing five  healthy Mothers Day recipes (all smoothie bowls) starting with this Pomegranate Berry Smoothie Bowl. These recipes are all easy, healthy and filled with raw, sweet fruits just in time for spring and Mother’s Day. Happy Mom’s day to all of you moms out there and have a great weekend!

Most of these recipes are in my latest cookbook, 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes published by Robert Rose Books.

Berry Yogurt Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Berry Yogurt Smoothie Bowl

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl

Greek Yogurt Smoothie Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Greek-yogurt-smoothie-Bowl

Watermelon Tropic Smoothie Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Watermelon-Tropic-Yogurt-Bowl

Quinoa Tabbouleh Wraps

If you like tabbouleh, you’ll be a fan of these Quinoa Tabbouleh Wraps. Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a tiny grain, often called “super grain” because it’s rich in so many nutrients, particular protein and all nine essential amino acids. The most common color of quinoa is white, which is what I used in this recipe. If you’re looking for other options, red quinoa has a richer taste. Black quinoa has an early flavor. Rainbow quinoa is a mixture of red, white and black.

Usually tabbouleh seems time consuming to prepare, but this recipe only takes 35 minutes from start to finish. Start with cooked quinoa and add tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, fresh parsley, green onions,  fresh lemon juice, good olive oil, black pepper and stir. It is that easy. This recipe is perfect for a healthy lunch or light dinner. It can also be completely gluten-free, using gluten-free tortilla wraps.

Feel free to half this recipe if you only are serving two people. If you make the entire recipe, the quinoa mixture is great as a healthy side. I like to eat one wrap and spoon the rest over mixed greens. Enjoy and have a great rest of your week! Alison

Excerpted from 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved: Not to be reprinted without publisher permission.

 

Three Ingredient Banana Smoothie

Looking for a super easy breakfast or snack recipe idea?  This Three Ingredient Banana Smoothie recipe is effortless. We have been making a lot of smoothies lately, and this one is the simplest. This recipe is quick and easy with very little cleanup. It is also great for kids and adults, gluten free and is only 3 ingredients.

If you want to increase the protein in this recipe add 1 (6 ounce) container of nonfat plain Greek yogurt and/or your favorite protein powder. My favorite plain nonfat Greek yogurt brands are the Fage and Trader Joes. With this addition, I add an extra teaspoon of honey. Also, I add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseeds to this recipe. You can’t taste it and adding it increases the fiber and antioxidants.

Even though you don’t always see bananas on superfood lists, I definitely consider it to be one. Bananas contain fiber and antioxidants (such as including dopamine and catechins), potassium, Vitamin C and folate. There are also studies that state that bananas can reduce bloat, fight cancer, help with digestive issues and increase energy. One banana provides nearly 500 milligrams of potassium, giving athletes a quick dose of this very essential mineral.

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

As you know,  I love food and travel, so I am really excited about this new book! Admired for its long tradition of gracious hospitality inspired by local cuisine and culture, Relais & Châteaux presents “The Art of Entertaining,” its first book dedicated to sharing the secrets to crafting outstanding parties and events nuanced to replicate unforgettable experiences at home.  Set for an October 2016 release from Rizzoli New York, the compilation brings to life 17 seasonal parties from Relais & Châteaux members across North America. Each chapter is designed to celebrate the senses in a unique environment with exquisite food and cocktail recipes, creative décor and the thoughtful, creative touches for which Relais & Châteaux is renowned.

Cover_Art of Entertaining

In this gorgeous new book, some of North America’s most renowned chefs and innkeepers share their thoughts, recipes and secrets for successful entertaining at home to inspire readers.

With 85 Relais & Châteaux properties located throughout the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and Canada, the opportunities to share entertaining tips, tricks and expertise are endless. The themes featured within this first book are hinged on delicious gourmet recipes that can be easily executed. You’ll also new ideas for tablescapes and décor from the beautiful backdrop of the legendary Relais & Châteaux venues.

This Meadowood Garden Beet Salad is one of Meadowood’s favorite dishes during the summer harvest season. The beets can be small heirloom varietals of all colors and stripes (literally). Chef Alejandro Ayala recommends taking some artistic license with the presentation; he cuts the beets into various shapes as well as paper-thin cross sections. The salad is at once both bright and earthy, and the pistachio “soil” is an unexpected, at-home, twist.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower is the latest trendy vegetable right now, and did you know it makes a great substitute for rice in fried rice? Believe me, it does! This Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe is so amazing, and it makes yummy leftovers too. When you pulse the cauliflower, it resembles the texture (and color of rice). Sautéing it creates a winning main dish for those who are following a gluten-free diet or those who can’t eat rice. Cauliflower also makes a good substitute for mashed potatoes.

And did you know that cauliflower is really good for you? Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C, B Vitamins, fiber and vitamin K. The antioxidants in cauliflower can helps with our immune systems and aid in reducing the cancer and stroke. Eating cauliflower works well for those on an anti-inflammatory diet, and it can also help maintain bone and brain health. Enjoy this thirty minute recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice on any weeknight since it’s quick and easy! Serve it with a salad, and dinner is done is ready.

One Pot Chicken and Eggplant

One Pot Chicken and Eggplant

Sorry I have not posted in a while. My website was hacked, so we are still working on getting everything straight and regrouped. My daughter, Leigh, said, “Who would want to hack a food/travel blog?” That is a really good question. Anyway, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you will know I have been in Jackson Hole, Missouri and Atlanta in the past week and a half. All of this travel makes want easy, healthy dinner options such as this One Pot Chicken and Eggplant recipe which my family loved! Serve it over fresh spinach, pasta, rice quinoa for a one dish meal. I love that you cook the eggplant and make the sauce and then puree it–this is a great way to get your kids to eat more eggplant. Enjoy this for an easy weeknight or weekend main dish. Serve with a salad and dinner is done!

Paleo Ratatouille

Paleo Ratatouille

I found a new cookbook, Sheet Pan Paleo, which is packed with 200 recipes and super easy steps. I love the idea of using a sheet pan for the majority of  your cooking. Since my family loves eggplant, I made the Paleo Ratatouille, which was a huge hit! The flavors are wonderful, and it’s great served as a side or main dish. With all of these recipes, just toss ingredients onto a pan; then roast, bake or broil! And clean-up? It’s a breeze! I don’t personally follow the Paleo diet, but many people seem to have a lot of luck with the diet, but all of these recipes for any healthy eating! This recipe turned out great!

Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay this is the best gluten free cookie recipe I have made in a while! When you read the ingredient list, you may think to yourself (huh?). I promise these Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are amazingly good! I was hesitant too, and you should have seen my kids face when I told them what was in them! When they and I tried these, they were hooked. My son, Zachary, ate 5 the first night and my daughter, Leigh had 3 (and they have been begging me to make them again). These cookies are so simple and will melt in your mouth. Trust me on this one and let me know what you think! Have a great weekend, and here’s to awesome healthy, fabulous cookies!