Category Archives: Recipes

Artichoke Chive Pesto

I love the way artichoke and chive flavors meld so well together in this particular pesto!

Artichoke-Chive-Pesto

I had leftover artichokes so I cooked them up and made this delightful pesto.  I love to add pesto to salads, they add so much flavor and a little bit of creaminess. I like how I can use the chive flowers as a pretty garnish as well.

Artichoke-and-Chive-Pesto

Serve with a dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc, Ruada, White Rioja or a bubbly like a nice Cava or Prosecco.

Chive-Artichoke-Pesto Recipe: Approx. 3 1/2 Cups

  • 2 Artichoke Hearts
  • 1 Cup Fresh Chives
  • 1 Cup Aged Asiago Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions:

Cut the stem of the artichoke off.  Place them in a large pot of boiling water and place a wet towel on top to keep them wet and immersed during cooking.

 Boil for about 35 – 50 minutes, depending on the size. Don’t cover or they can become bitter.  Test a leaf to see if it’s ready, it should pull out easily. You don’t want to over cook.  Pull out of the water and turn upside down to drain any excess water.  Enjoy the leaves for your lunch : )

While artichokes are cooking, cut the chives in to 1 inch pieces to measure, grate the Asiago in to fine shreds, squeeze the lemon, and peel the garlic.  Measure out all ingredients and put in the food processor or blender.  Cool the artichokes and remove leaves and scrape away the hairy part.  Add the hearts to the rest of the ingredients and puree to desired consistency.

Health Benefits:  Artichokes are a rich source of dietary fiber, which is great for the colon and heart. The bitter compounds contribute to cholesterol reduction in the blood. They contain good amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin-C and other anti-oxidants that protect the body from harmful free radical. It is also rich in B-complex group. They are one of the vegetable sources of vitamin K that is good for bone and brain health. Artichokes have a powerful liver protectant called flavonoid silymarin making it a powerful detoxifier. Chives contain flavonoid anti-oxidants, plant fiber, minerals, and vitamins.  It is one of the richest sources of vitamin K, rich in vitamin C and is really high in vitamin A. It reduces cholesterol production in the liver and helps decrease the risk of coronary artery disease.  It also helps maintaining bone mineral density. Other Posts

Red Lentil Cilantro Coconut Soup

This is a flavorful soup with some serious spice.  

Red-Lentil-Cilantro-Coconut-Soup--

My mom came to visit Robby and me for my birthday.  It was a bit overcast so I made this soup to warm us up.  I like to have an extra soup or salad available when guest come to stay.  I love red lentils.  They are so quick and easy to make and they lend a great flavor and texture to any soup.  Not to mention, they are cheep and so very good for you!

Red-Lentil-Cilantro-and-Coconut-Soup-

Enjoy a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rioja or a Borolo.

Red-Lentil-and-Cilantro-Coconut-Soup-

Recipe: 8 – 10 Servings

  • 4 Cups Red Lentils
  • 12 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeño Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Vegetable Bullion Cube (unsalted)
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 4 Cups Cilantro
  • 2 Cans Coconut Milk (full fat)
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Tamari
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Homemade Curry Powder or Simply Organic Curry
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Lemon Grass
  • 2 Teaspoons Tumeric Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1Tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

* Garnish with thinly sliced green onion and cilantro leaves

Instructions:

Measure and rinse the lentils until the water runs clear.  In a large soup pot; add the lentils and water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Skim off the starch. Cook until lentils are soft.  (about 15 minutes)

Dice the onions, mince the garlic and slice the jalapeño into thin slices (if you want it milder you will have to remove the seeds first)

In a 5 1/2 quart pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic, stirring often, cook until soft and garlic begins to brown.  Add bullion cube, jalapeño and wine, reduce until syrupy.

Add the coconut milk, cilantro, lime juice, tamari, ginger and all the spices to the 5 1/2 quart pot along with half of the lentils. Let simmer for 10 minutes then puree in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth.  Pour back in to the pot and add the rest of the lentils.  Cook on medium-low heat to incorporate all the flavors.  When hot it’s ready to serve.

 Garnish with green onion and cilantro

Health Benefits:

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health.  They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K.  They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth.

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Arugula Burrata Tomato Salad with Mint Chèvre Pesto and Piquillo Peppers

This has to be one of the most tastiest salads ever!

Arugula-Tomato-and-Burrata-Salad

 I can’t even begin to tell you how good this salad is!  I have to admit I didn’t completely come up with it out of thin air.  I had a salad at one of our favorite restaurants called West End Tap and Kitchen.  The salad contains tomato, buratta, shaved fennel and arugula pesto.  It was a bit rich, so I ordered a side of arugula to add to it.  I ordered piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese and added them to the salad as well.  I just had to recreate it at home!  I used a mint chèvre pesto and chèvre stuffed piquillo peppers.  It turned out to be one of the best flavor combinations I have ever had.

Arugula-Tomato-Burrata-Salad

Serve with a dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc, Ruada, White Rioja or a bubbly like a nice Cava or Prosecco.

Arugula-Tomato-Burrata-Salad-with-Piquillo-Peppers

Recipe: 4 Salads

  • 1 Cup Mint Chèvre Pesto
  • 1 Ball Burrata
  • 2 Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 4 Cups Arugula
  • 8 Piguillo Peppers
  • 1/2 Cup Chèvre Cheese or to taste
  • 1 Cup Fennel Bulb
  • Micro Sprouts
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions:

Make the Mint Chèvre Pesto and add 1/4 cup on the side of the plates

Cut the burrata into 4 parts and place in the middle of the plates

Cut the tomatoes into wedges, and arrange a half of tomato on the side of the burrata next to the pesto

Cut the fennel and cut in half then cut out the core and slice each half in half then slice as thin as you can and top with a 1/4 cup on the burrata

Stuff the piguillo peppers with the chèvre and place two on the side of the pesto

Wash and dry the arugula then arrange one cup on the side of the piguillo peppers

Top with the micro sprouts, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Health Benefits:

Arugula is a super food that cleanses the blood and detoxifies cells. It is an extremely high anti-oxidant making it a free radical absorbent and increases oxygen levels. It has a cooling effect on the body and contains 90% water so it keeps your body hydrated making it a great addition in the summer heat. Arugula has very high levels of chlorophyll, which helps with liver damage and contains phyto-chemicals that fight cancer-causing carcinogens. The leaves have an excellent source of vitamin A helping with vision, skin and respiratory health. It has good levels of vitamin C that’s great for cells and skin health. Arugula also contains decent levels of minerals, especially copper and iron. It has high amounts of calcium and vitamin K that strengthens the bones. It’s high fiber content helps with colon health and reduces chronic inflammation as well. It is high in folate (B9), which helps to slow down the aging factors of the brain and supports your metabolism.

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Kale Jicama Salad with Smokehouse Almonds and Roasted Grape Vinaigrette

This is a very unique salad with the combination of vinaigrette, smoked almonds and jicama.  It is mostly savory with a hint of sweetness from the grapes.

Kale-Jicama-Salad-with-Smokedhouse-Almonds-and-Roasted-Grape-Viniagrette

 You definitely understand how challenging it is to come up with a recipe that hasn’t been done before if you’re a blogger.  I am pretty sure you have never seen this combination of flavors together.  I especially love the origins of the ingredients.  Kale was farmed in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.  Jicama a native to Central America and Mexico and has to be one of the coolest tubers.  Grapes are natives of Western Asia and Central Europe and feta is from Greece.  Check out the history of almond.

 

Kale-Jicama-Salad-with-Roasted-Grape-Viniagrette

 I enjoyed this salad with a dry Rose wine.  It also pairs well with dry white wine or a beer of your choice.

Kale-Jicama-Salad-and-Roasted-Grape-Viniagrette

Recipe: 2 – 4 Servings

  • 1 Head Kale
  • 1/2  Small Jicama
  • !0 Grapes or to taste cut in half (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Crummbled Feta
  • 1/4 Cup Basil Packed then minced
  • Smoked House Almonds to taste on top

Instructions:

 

Make the smoked almonds and let cool

Wash the kale and tear off main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding off the leaves then chop in to thin strips

Put the kale into a large bowl with the olive oil and massage the oil into the kale

Mince the basil, add to the kale and mix together

Shred the jicama in a food processor or by hand, crumble the feta and slice the grapes in half.  Either mix the jicama, feta and grapes with the kale or add on top of individual portions

Top with whole or chopped smoked almonds

Health benefits:

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)    More on kale 

 

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Lemon Cilantro Hummus

The light zest of fresh lemon and the added savory hint of cilantro makes this hummus on a crisp rice cracker amazing!

Lemon-Cilantro-Hummus..

Adding lemon zest to the original lemon hummus added that additional “POW!”

LemonCilantroHummus.

I don’t know about you but I like using hummus on everything especially when it’s freshly made.  If it’s not gone after the first couple hours, use it on a sandwich, as a veggie dip, on your morning toast or get real creative make a salad dressing by adding a little olive oil

Lemon-Cilantro-Hummus

Recipe: 

  • 1 Cups Uncooked Garbonzo Beans (2 Cups Cooked)
  • 1/4 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon of Lemon Zest
  • 1 1/4  Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste

Instructions: 

First prepare the garbanzo beans or if you are not into cooking your own you can purchase the canned organic beans although they are not as tasty and as fresh!

In food processor combine beans, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice; blend well.  Then add garlic, cilantro, lemon zest and salt to taste;  puree until smooth

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Roasted Grape Vinaigrette

This is a wonderful fresh flavored dressing that will brighten up any salad!

Roasted-Grape-Vinaigrette

 Summer is officially over for most but here it can be nicer in the winter than it is in the summer.  I got the idea to make this dressing after seeing one of Rowena Dumlao-Giardina recipes on her blog Aprons and Sneakers.  The beauty of this dressing is that it is great in both summer and winter.  You can serve it chilled or warm it up and drizzle it over a kale salad.

Savory-Roasted-Grape-Vinaigrette Recipe:

  • 1/ 2 pound (about 20 grapes) Seedless Red Grapes
  • 2 Tablespoons Shallots
  • 1 Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Dash Pepper

Instructions:

Pick the grapes off the stems

Roast the grapes in a 400 degree oven on top rack for 15 – 18 minutes

Mince the  garlic and shalots

Puree the grapes, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper

Add the  garlic and shallots the the puree and turn on just enough to blend but not to purre garlic and shallots

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Kale Cucumber Leek Salad with Roasted Leek Manchego Pesto Vinaigrette

This is my new favorite salad, if there could be one!  There is a lot of texture due to the kale, Peruvian cucumbers, fennel and toasted almonds.

Kale-Salad-with-Roasted-Leek-Manchego-Pesto

This has been a very busy summer of never-ending guests and I love it!  One of my dearest friends Tiffani is here from Colorado and I am super excited!  We are going have a girls day at the beach today and this salad will be perfect along with a bottle of Rueda.

Kale Salad Roasted Leek Manchego Pesto

I will enjoy this salad with a Rueda but it also pairs well with a Sauvignon Blanc, a white Rioja, a Pinot Gris or a Riesling.

Kale-Salad-Roasted-Leek-Manchego-Pesto-Vinaigrette

Recipe: 2 – 4 Servings

  • 1 Head Kale (I used Luciano)
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 1 Cup Peruvian Cucumbers (about 2)
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage
  • 1 Cup Roasted Leek Manchego Pesto
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Toasted Almonds (I make more to have around)

Instructions:

Make the pesto,  (you can make a half batch or make the whole batch and have it on some toasted french bread along side of the salad!)

Toast almonds – spread out on a cookie sheet bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf on 350 degrees

In a bowl mix together the pesto, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside

Wash the kale and tear off main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding off the leaves then chop into thin strips

Put the kale in a large bowl with the olive oil and massage the oil into the kale

 Mince and measure the red cabbage and add to kale

Mix the dressing and all the veggies together with the kale and enjoy

*Top with almonds just before eating otherwise they will get soft

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Roasted Leek Manchego Pesto

 The combination of roasted leek and manchego cheese is outright delicious!

Roasted-Leek-Manchego-Pesto

Robby and I have been watching a lot of Jacques Pepin lately and he uses a lot of leek in his dishes.  He has inspired me to use them more frequently.  Roasting them gives them such a depth of flavor and works brilliant with manchego.

Roasted-Leek-with-Manchego-Pesto

I like this pesto with a Spanish wine like a Ruada, Albariño, white Rioja, red Rioja, Tempranillo or a Garnacha.

Roasted-Leek-and-Manchego-Pesto Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 Cups Leek (1 Large)
  • 1 Cup Manchego Cheese
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste (start with a 1/4 teaspoon due to the sprinkling on the leeks, taste and see if it needs more)

Instructions:

Start by washing the leek really well.  There is always dirt on the inside.  Watch this how to video if you have never cooked with leek before.  Cut the roots off, cut in half and cut the halves in half.

Spread the leeks on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper

Roast in a 400 degree pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes or until edges start to brown a bit, measure and add to a food processor

Finely shred the cheese, measure and add to a food processor

Juice the lemon with a hand held juicer, measure and add to a food processor

Measure walnuts, olive oil, paprika and salt and add to food processor along with the garlic cloves, puree and scrape down the sides at least once

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Puréed Coconut Squash Leek Soup

This is a silky creamy soup without cream.  What is great about this soup is that it is delicious served either warm or chilled.

Puréed-Coconut-Zucchini-Leek-Soup

I tend to crave soup regardless of the weather.  I found these cute little round squashes called Mayan squash at the farmer’s market.  They taste like zucchini which is a perfect substitute if you can’t find the squash.

Check out this video  SECRET GARDEN DINING EXPERIENCE !  What a cool concept, I want to go to one : )

Puréed-Coconut-Zucchini-and-Leek-Soup

This is best paired with a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or a Riesling.

_Coconut-Zucchini-Leek-Soup

 Recipe: 4-6 Servings

  • 2 Mayan Squash or 3 – 4 zucchini  (4 cups cut into small chunks)
  • 1 Leek
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Vegetarian Bullion Cubes
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper or to taste
  • 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 2 Cups Water

Instructions:

Cut the squash into small cubes and set aside

You want to wash the leek really well.  There is always dirt on the inside.   Watch this how to video if you have never cooked with leek before.

Chop the leek and set aside

Dice the onion, mince the shallot and garlic, put into a 5 1/2 quart pot and add 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Saute on medium low until the onions are fairly soft (about 10 minutes)

Add the wine and bullion, reduce to a syrup (about 2 -3 minutes)

Add the squash and the leek, cook until soft (about 3 – 5 minutes)

Add the water, coconut milk, bay leaf, chili flakes, salt and pepper

Continue to cook on medium low heat until squash is cooked all the way

Transfer to a food processor, purée in 3 stages, then transfer to pot, heat it up and serve

Health Benefits:

Squash is a very good source of potassium and is a heart-friendly electrolyte which helps reduce blood pressure. Its peel is good source of dietary fiber. They are a good source of vitamin C, that helps your body metabolize cholesterol and keeps your tissues strong.  Squash also contains lutein and zeaxanthin that promote healthy eyesight.

Leeks allicin content reduces cholesterol production, blood pressure, blood vessel stiffness and protects the lining. Leeks help chronic low-level inflammations like in diabetes, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis.  They contain polyphenols that are known to be strong antioxidants that fight against free radicals, which help with chronic disease and aging. They are a good sources of vitamin-A, C and K.

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Sesame Kale Chips

Kale chips are a snack that won’t even make it in the bag after baking; they’ll be gone in seconds so make extra!

Sesame-Kale-Chips

It took me quite some time to master the perfect crispness of the kale chip, it requires much patience.  Although you can use any strain of kale I found the Lucinato Kale is the best

Sesame-Kale-Chips..

Recipe: 

  • 6 Cups Lucinato Kale leaves without rib
  • 4 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Tamari, Braggs Amino Acids or Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of ground Ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds

Instructions:

Pre~heat oven to 275 degrees.

Starting with the fresh kale, remove the rib by holding onto it and tearing the leaf downward; cut or tear into chip size pieces and set aside in a large bowl

In a separate small bowl mix all of the ingredients except the sesame seeds.  Pour the marinade over the kale, using your hands massage into the kale.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and lightly toss to coat the kale.

 Lay parchment paper on a cooking sheet,  spread kale out making sure it is not over lapping so the kale bakes evenly.

 Bake for 10 min and turn the cookie sheet then bake for another 12-15 min. Let cool on sheet then remove after 3 minutes.  The kale will continue to crisp up after it cools.

*Notes:  If you want to get experimental and try other flavors just note that  using too much liquid (not oil) will make the kale soggy and doesn’t seem to ever get crispy.  Cooking kale chips at a higher temperature may make the kale burn more easily or taste burnt.

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver. It is an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)    More on kale 

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