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.

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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.

DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

I am really into making homemade fresh salad dressings this summer. When I was out of town last month in Cabo, I came home and my husband had planted various hanging fresh herb baskets in our backyard. Needless to say I was beyond excited, and this DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe will be the first of many recipes including fresh herbs in the coming months. This vinaigrette can be drizzled over salads, fish tacos, seafood, pork and chicken. We served it last night over a big mixed salad with grilled shrimp, and it was divine! If you want to grow your own cilantro this summer, it’s super easy. It just needs good sunlight and water almost every day.

fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro is very low in calories, and its green leaves contain  antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce the “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. It’s also high in potassium, calcium, folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It’s also said to be a detoxifying food.

 

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Ratatouille is a French side dish located with Mediterranean vegetables. I decided to turn this healthy side into a salad with grilled vegetables and quinoa with this Grilled Ratatouille Salad recipe. This gluten-free and vegan recipe is perfect for a weeknight summer dinner or weekend lunch. I am actually serving this alongside grilled steaks this Memorial Day weekend. It’s three of my favorite things: healthy, flavorful and beautiful!

Thai Salad with Blood Oranges

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Tuesday is World Health Day (April 7th) so how about a recipe for Thai Salad with Blood Oranges? This recipe is super healthy and filled with some of my favorite colorful and flavorful ingredients. If you can’t find blood oranges, feel free to use regular oranges or even fresh strawberries for a twist. If you want to use a fresh Thai Chili instead of red pepper flakes, start slow when adding it to the dressing because they are very spicy. Also, be careful not to touch your eyes after handling the chopped chilis. This salad is also great served with grilled shrimp, steak or chicken, but my kids and I love it on its own. The dressing is fabulous and can be made ahead and stored for up to a week. It uses Colman’s mustard, tons of lime juice and some other wonderful ingredients. Happy spring and World Health Day!

Valentine’s Day Red Salad

 

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I am starting off the week trying to offer up some healthier Valentine’s Day recipes with this Valentine’s Day Red Salad. This is a great starter salad full of amazing flavor contrasts. February is also Women’s Cardiovascular Health Awareness, so this is perfect for heart health with some of my favorite ingredients including grapefruit, orange, beets, fennel and chicory. This healthy combination is ideal for Valentine’s dinner or anytime this season. This recipe is adapted from mother-daughter duo Tracy and Terry Paulding. Paulding & Co. a San Francisco based family owned business who hosts culinary classes and catering. Serve prior to any Valentine entree of your choice and enjoy!

Shredded Kale Salad with Date Puree and Pine Nuts

Shredded Kale Salad with Date Puree & Pine Nuts

Kale has become one of the most popular superfoods and National Kale Day is October 1st. I love innovative fall and winter salad recipes, and this Shredded Kale Salad with Date Puree and Pine Nuts is a beautiful recipe packed with so many nutrients. This recipe, from home and style expert, Svitlana Flom (also the Editor-In-Chief of Art de Fete) is one of my latest favorite kale recipes. Svitlana has an informative website that offers tips and recipes to help women enrich their home entertaining style. Beautiful recipe packed with so many nutrients. Be sure to check it out!

Grilled Corn Salad

summer corn salad

I love summertime salads, and I am so fortunate that my kids do too. I bought some fabulous fresh summer corn at the Farmer’s market last week and decided to make a Grilled Corn Salad.  The corn was so sweet and amazing that when I tossed it with tomatoes, onion and basil it did not even need any specific dressing, lime juice or even salt and pepper. I served it over arugula with a slight drizzle of sherry vinegar and olive oil and it was divine! Don’t forget that corn is so healthy! I often have people asking me isn’t corn fattening and filled with sugar? Actually, one ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple and less than one-fourth the sugar. Corn also not only provides the necessary calories for healthy, daily metabolism, but is also a rich source of vitamins A, B, E and many minerals. Its high fiber content ensures that it plays a significant role in the prevention of digestive ailments like constipation and hemorrhoids as well as colorectal cancer. The antioxidants present in corn also act as anti-carcinogenic agents and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Enjoy this month, Labor Day weekend, or for any summertime dinner while corn is in its peak season.

Peach Watercress Salad

watercress peach salad

Peppery and tangy, watercress is a storehouse of many natural phytonutrients that have health and disease prevention properties. Try it in this Peach Watercress Salad with fresh peaches, toasted pine nuts, avocado and blue cheese. Enjoy it for a side dish or lunch with grilled chicken or shrimp. Here are some of my favorite health benefits of watercress:

  • Watercress is a super low-calorie green leafy vegetables (only 11 calories). It is antioxidant rich, and it is often recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs
  • It is also high in B-complex group of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions.
  • Watercress is an abundant source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are said to be beneficial for the eyes and the heart.

Super Foods Salad

Super Salad

This is a sponsored post for Weight Watchers Cheese, but all opinions are my own.

My kids are constantly asking me to purchase snack cheese, and these Weight Watchers Natural Reduced Fat Colby Jack Cheese Sticks have become their favorite. These are so convenient and a healthy on-the-go snack that we can grab on the way to dance, baseball or put in in their lunches for school. They are also perfect for mid morning or afternoon summer snacks after we come in from the pool. I made this Super Foods Salad for lunch with kale, arugula, berries, and of course, cheese. This also makes a great main dish salad topped with grilled chicken, shrimp or steak.

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These cheese sticks from Weight Watchers are full of flavor and fun to peel, this colorful blend of reduced-fat Colby and Monterey Jack cheese are only 60 calories per stick. They are an excellent source of calcium and protein and are 2 PointsPlus® value per serving. They make the perfect healthy snack! What’s your favorite healthy on-the-go snack?

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11 Ways to Use  Weight Watcher’s Snack Cheeses

Use with crackers

Skewer with fruit

Skewer with turkey and tomatoes for gluten free sandwiches

Serve over soups

Put inside omelets

Serve with apples and nuts

Serve on pita chips with a slice of apple

Skewer with strawberries and pineapple

Make your own lunchables

Serve with olives and salamis

Serve with cooked edamame beans or fava beans

Weight Watchers

 

 

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30 Mushroom Recipes

I am so excited to announce my winner of this month’s mushroom giveaway! Congrats to Kelley from Mountain Mama Cooks for her submitting her recipe for Bacon and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. Be sure to check out all of the other contest entrants and the Mushrooms for Hope Pinterest Board for a collection of fabulous mushrooms recipes.

I love using mushrooms in my cooking, and you can always lighten up your family favorite recipes by using finely-chopped, umami-rich mushrooms for a portion of ground meat. Mushrooms and ground meat blend seamlessly to add an extra serving of vegetables to the plate by enhancing, extending or replacing the meat. Finely chopped mushrooms look similar and blend seamlessly with meat, so classics can be healthier without losing taste or satisfying texture. A great example of this is my Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms, but there’s so many unique ways to use mushrooms in your cooking. Using more mushrooms reduces calories, fat and actually creates a healthier main dish (I actually think it tastes better too)! With the mushroom and meat blend, you don’t necessarily have to consume large quantities of meat to feel full and satiated, and your dish will also be more economical. Also, mushrooms bring important nutrients to your diet. See my blog post on 7 health benefits of mushrooms.

Check out the 30 mushroom recipes below!

Mushrooms are still available in their pink packaging for Breast Cancer awareness so add some of these recipes to your menu list! This post is sponsored by Mushroom Council, but all opinions are my own. I love mushrooms!