The Best Lightened Up Potato Salad

If you like potato salad, put this Lightened Up Potato Salad recipe on your list. My kid’s great grandmother, Dedee, made the best potato salad we have ever had. This Lightened Up Potato Salad is the closest version to hers. It’s the perfect side dish recipe to make this time of year, for picnics, and special weekends like Father’s Day, July 4th and Labor Day weekend.

This recipe is slightly lighter than hers, since it uses nonfat Greek yogurt, reduced-fat mayonnaise, fresh dill, celery and red onion. I hope you will love it as much as we do.

Strawberry Moscow Mule Cocktail

If you like Moscow Mules, check out this Strawberry Moscow Mule Cocktail recipe. I put a twist on a basic Moscow mule recipe and added fresh strawberries, and it came out great! If you have very ripe, sweet strawberries, cut the sugar amount in half. For a non alcoholic version, omit the vodka and white cranberry-strawberry juice instead. I have a ton of great Moscow Mule recipes pinned to my Pinterest Board “Cocktails Calling My name.” Here are some additions to jazz up this cocktail:

•Blackberries

•Pineapple

•Watermelon

•Grapefruit

•Peach

•Pomegranate

•Blueberry

•Hibiscus

The Best Veggie Burgers

These Veggie Burgers are a home run. I crave more vegetarian foods in the summertime so this is the prefect time to try this burger recipe. I developed this recipe for my first cookbook 400 Best Sandwich Recipes, but it is the very first time that I’m sharing it online.

When I started testing veggie burger recipes, I tried a lot of ingredients to create the best base. These burgers start with bulgur, which is a staple used in the Middle East. Combine the bulgur with pinto beans, oats, grated carrots, soy sauce, cumin, Parmesan and remaining ingredients.

This recipe is simple to make. Often, I prepare these burgers ahead of time and reheat them prior to serving. My husband is such a meat guy, but he gave me the thumbs up on these. So, did the kids, so I’m considering these a huge win. I hope you enjoy them too.

If you need new burger recipe ideas, I have 39 burger recipes in this cookbook. This recipe is 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. Photo by Colin Erricson.

Quick Dark Chocolate Brownies

Do you need a sure thing brownie recipe? Here it is. This recipe for Quick Dark Chocolate Brownies has been in my recipe arsenal for nine years. I think it is a terrific idea to start off the week with a dessert recipe.

With Father’s Day and July 4th coming up, these brownies will come definitely come in handy. I consider these brownies to be better-for-you. They  are rich in chocolate, but balanced in sweetness by almonds, which also add a little crunch. You can substitute your favorite chocolate for the dark chocolate chips.

I originally developed this recipe for Canola.org for the World Health Day campaign, one of my favorite recipe projects. You will find a lot of fabulous recipes on their site. Here’s to starting the week off with something chocolate and sweet!

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.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie Bark

I think it’s certainly time for something sweet. This Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie Bark recipe is a terrific go-between between chocolate cookie and a bark recipe. Can you believe that I created this recipe about ten years ago? My Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie Bark recipe combines scharffenberger chocolate, pecans and peanut butter morsels. It is incredibly easy, with only 30 minutes of preparation time. I am adding this recipe to my menu list for Father’s Day.

The first time I made this recipe was when I was recording about four television food segments a month for NBC 13 Birmingham’s show “Daytime Alabama”. This was one of their top performing recipes. Over the weekend, I pulled it out of my archives, and I am so glad that I did. Let me know how you like it! Be safe everyone and have a great day.

Rah Power Balls

I am so excited about this recipe. These Rah Power Balls are a recipe from One&Only Reethi Rah. They are now my new favorite go-to snack before or after a workout. Also, they are also easy to make. Be sure to prepare them ahead because they have to chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

Made from some of the healthiest ingredients, these Rah Power balls taste as good as they look. Enjoy these fantastic balls for a mid-morning energy boost or a little treat after a workout. Check out this super healthy ingredient list:

Manuka honey aids in digestive health, have antiviral properties and more.

Bee Pollen is made up of  antioxidants, protein, carbohydrates vitamins and minerals. One tablespoon can have over two grams of protein.

•Turmeric is filled with health benefits.. Read my article about the health benefits of Turmeric here.

Surrounded by the wonders of the Indian Ocean, One&Only Reethi Rah makes its home on one of the largest islands in North Malé Atoll. The Resort is located 700km (430mi) southwest of Sri Lanka. One&Only Resorts have launched new initiative One&Only At Home, which is amazing creative content. Go check it out.

Easy Gluten Free Granola

I have a granola obsession. I eat it about five times a week. No joking here. This Easy Gluten Free Granola recipe is my new go-to granola favorite. It starts with gluten free rolled oats (my favorite one is from Trader Joes). I add raw pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds and cinnamon for my base. My liquid mixture is comprised of a mixture of honey, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Bake it in the oven, and it is that simple.

I am so picky about granola. Honestly, I have tried every single granola brand out there. I cannot find one store brand that has wowed me over. When my daughter and I put this version together, I have been making it ever since.

How I use granola:

•Top off smoothie bowls or smoothies

•Add to Greek Yogurt with fresh fruit

•Eat as a grab-and-go snack.

•Add to warm oatmeal

•Serve with milk

•Give as a gift

If you want to add or subtract nuts to my recipe, go ahead. Also, if you want to add dried fruit to the mixture, add after baking.

If I do ever purchase granola, my favorite is the grainless granola is from Alabama Biscuit in Birmingham.

Easy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

If you want a new breakfast or brunch baking recipe, try this recipe for Easy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. These muffins make a scrumptious spring or summer breakfast, mid-morning or afternoon snack or dessert.

We love anything with fresh lemon, so these muffins always win rave reviews with my kids and husband. I lightened up this recipe by substituting nonfat plain Greek yogurt for some of the milk and sour cream.

If you’re stuck at home, these are simple to make. Hopefully, they can brighten your day.  If you’re headed out to the lake, beach or poolside, these Lemon Poppyseed Muffins are perfect for kids and family. Also, they are a great snack for long car rides. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container, and they should last up four to five days. Enjoy and have a great week!

Blueberry Banana Bread with Greek Yogurt

Over the weekend, I made this Blueberry Banana Bread with Greek Yogurt. It was an absolute hit! No mixer is need for this recipe. Grab the kids and ask them to help. Start by adding all of the ingredients except the blueberries in one bowl and stir. Then, fold in the blueberries and pour batter into a prepared pan.

I like to make this recipe the night before so it’s ready for breakfast the next day. My kids love this bread for breakfast, dessert after lunch, for an afternoon snack or dessert. If you’re a fan of this recipe, try my No Mixer Banana Bread Recipe too (pictured below). Have a great week everyone!No Mixer banana bread