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.

Kale Guacamole

Kale Guacamole

I had a great time last weekend at Lake Austin Spa Resort where I was teaching smoothie bowl classes promoting my latest cookbook 200 Best Smoothie Bowls. I also had the amazing opportunity to workout, take a mediation for clarity class, try hydrobikes and experience amazing spa treatments and of course, food. The food at this Texas spa is out of this world with so many clever, creative and healthy combinations. The first night they had “Kale Guacamole” on their menu for an appetizer. They didn’t have the recipe, but I came home and recreated it tonight. My husband said, “It tastes just it.” This recipe is classic guacamole recipe with kale added. Why did I not think of that?

Alison Lewis

Passover Smoked Salmon Bites

Passover Smoked Salmon Bites

Why did I not think of this before? Passover Smoked Salmon Bites are the perfect appetizer, snack, or lunch idea that only take 5 minutes to prepare. My daughter, Leigh, thought this was a brilliant idea, and I agree. She and my son, Zachary, came home from school and ate these so fast that I barely had any left to serve for appetizers to my hubs. Oh well, he did have one, and he thought these Smoked salmon bites are a wonderful light starter or refreshing snack. Feel free to half or double this recipe–they go really fast! I know what you’re thinking…Smoked salmon has sodium. Yes, that is true, but it also is a good source of protein, Vitamin B, Vitamin D and magnesium. These are very pretty too and a great way to use up your leftover matzah or use matzah even if you’re not celebrating Passover.

6 Winning Super Bowl Nacho Recipes

Fully Loaded Nachos with green and red salsa

I am unsure if nachos or chicken wings are the most served appetizers for the Super Bowl or really any big game, no matter the sport. Did you see this? The National Chicken Council estimates 1.3 billion chicken wings will be consumed this weekend, with today being the second biggest eating day of the year. My family, especially the boys, absolutely love and request nachos. These 6 winning Super Bowl nacho recipes are very diverse including grilled, steak, rotisserie chicken, Greek Style and even Mexican street corn. Enjoy for the Super Bowl tonight or for March Madness, your favorite baseball game or even the Masters. Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday and have a great week!

Fully Loaded Nachos with Green and Red Salsa via Bon Appetit

 

Greek Style Nachos

Greek Style Nachos via Ingredients, Inc.

Steak Nachos

Steak Nachos via Ingredients, Inc.

Mexican Street Corn Nachos 800 3298

Mexican Street Corn Nachos via Closet Cooking

Easy Rotisserie Chicken Nachos

Easy Rotisserie Chicken Nachos via The Food Charlatan

Grilled Blue Corn Nachos

Grilled Blue Corn Nachos via Ingredients, Inc.

Greek Style Nachos

Greek Style Nachos

Super Bowl Sunday is next week, so how about an appetizer that’s unexpected such as these Greek-Style Nachos. These are so easy to make, and your guests will be wowed. There is minimal preparation time (just 30 minutes of chill time). I used Gaea Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the P.D.O. region of KALAMATA in the southwest Peloponnese, overlooking the Ionian Sea is a vast olive grove and the land that gave birth to the most sought-after world famous “Koroneiki” olive variety. Enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday or anytime of the year as a wonderful appetizer to start a meal of chicken, seafood or pork.

Pork Eggrolls

Pork Eggrolls

For an fabulous tasting appetizer, try these Pork Eggrolls which are so easy and come out great! These egg rolls make a great alternative finger food for the Super Bowl and are a family favorite served with fried rice or miso soup. Use water to seal the edges, but you don’t need much at all–not even 1 teaspoon on each wrapper. Use the preshredded cabbage already in the package to speed up the preparation time and feel free to substitute ground chicken. Be sure to make extra because these great heated up later or the next day. Check my favorite fried rice recipe, Quinoa Fried Rice  which is gluten free!

Quinoa Fried Rice

Steak Nachos for Super Bowl Sunday

Steak Nachos

It’s only 3 weeks until the Super Bowl, and I am already getting emails, direct Facebook, Twitter, Instagram messages and texts for recipe ideas. This Steak Nacho Recipe should be on your list for sure! I made this last week for my kids and husband, and they LOVED it! It’s really easy, fun to make and so flavorful. I will be making several versions of these nachos with ribeye steaks in one, grilled chicken in another, and a third with just black beans (for my vegetarian friends). Also, if you’re looking for a great grilled steak rub, try the spices listed above because the steaks by themselves are incredibly tasty too. It’s Super Bowl Countdown month so share with me what you’re serving. Good luck to the 8 teams remaining!

Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Crockpot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Now that school is starting back, having a slow cooker is a handy appliance that can be a  lifesaver. Author, Judith Finlayson shares how to create 175 different recipes in her latest book “175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics” and how easy and convenient it is. You’ll find recipes for everyday favorites to elegant entertaining as well as an array of vegetarian dishes, tips, techniques and photographs. I love this recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Dip. What a simple, brilliant recipe idea! Judith offers great tips in her cookbook. If you prefer a smoother dip, place the artichokes and spinach in a food processor, in separate batches, and pulse until desired degree of fineness is achieved. Then combine with remaining ingredients inc the slow cooker stoneware.

This recipe is fabulous for an appetizer for busy school nights, tailgating, football parties, Labor Day and more. Enjoy and be sure to check out this book at the link here.

FinalEssentialSCCover

 

Super Simple Avocado Salsa

Super Simple Avocado Salsa

With Cinco de Mayo only one day away,  you may scrambling to find the perfect dishes to celebrate the occasion. For this healthy twist on a Cinco de Mayo favorite recipe, all you have to do is combine all of the above ingredients, and chill it in your refrigerator for about one hour. Pair this Super Simple Avocado Salsa with a bag of low fat chips or veggies, and you are ready to start snacking. Thank you to the team at BistroMD for allowing me to share this recipe. Happy Cinco De Mayo!