Roasting vegetables is so satisfying. It’s super easy to do and it changes the taste, texture, and look of the veggie to create a completely new version.
Sometimes I roast veggies without knowing what I’m going to do with them. In this case, I had a craving for cauliflower and bought a good looking bunch at the local market. After roasting them for 25 to 30 minutes, I scoured the refrigerator and pantry to see what else I had on hand. I ended up with this delightful spinach salad with carrots, dates, and pine nuts and a simple, homemade dressing.
So satisfying and so healthy.
This ginger chicken stir-fry recipe with brown rice is a perfect combination of fresh vegetables and protein and provides everything you need for a truly healthy and satisfying meal—not to mention it’s delicious!
Sometimes the hardest part of preparing a lunch or dinner meal is figuring out what you’re in the mood for. When in doubt, my go-to is a quinoa bowl full of my favorite foods. In this case, I put together chickpeas, kidney beans, carrots, and celery. A simple combination that satisfies my craving for a healthy, filling lunch that keeps me happy all afternoon.
To top it off, I put together an easy dressing with ingredients I had on hand. I love balsamic vinegar and with a dash of salt, pepper and oregano, I was able to add just the right amount of flavor.
I am always looking for different and creative ways to integrate vegetables into my family’s diet. (With a 6- and 8-year-old at home, I’ve discovered that I need to somehow keep veggies interesting). This Roasted Vegetable Soup recipe incorporates 8 fresh vegetables and simple herbs to create one amazing combination. Roasting the veggies before pureeing brings out their sweetness and intensifies their natural and delicious flavors.
I find that this soup hits the spot after a few weeks of indulging during the holidays. It’s a great recipe to take with you into the New Year!
It’s sometimes challenging to get my young kids to eat a healthy chicken meal. Like most kids, they tend to prefer fried chicken nuggets; so when I place a standard grilled chicken breast on their plates, I brace myself for complaints. Having this in mind, I tasked myself with creating a delicious chicken recipe that the whole family will enjoy while still providing nutritional benefits.
This crispy almond crusted chicken uses a splash of extra-virgin olive oil (eliminating the need for butter or peanut oil) and skips the white flour that is standard in most recipes. The end result is a gluten-free, nutty-tasting chicken that’s awesome on its own or atop a bed of greens. Feel free to add your favorite veggies, squash, or grains to create a heartier meal.
I love the fresh flavors that come together in a stir-fry. In this particular version, I use salmon, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, water chestnuts, and spinach. But the beauty of stir-fry is that you can substitute nearly any vegetable for another. Shop your local farmers market for the season’s best and add or substitute as you please.
You may have noticed that I’ve been a little quiet on the blog these past couple of months. My passion for food and the culinary arts combined with my love for producing large-scale events, inspired me to create the first annual St. Pete Wine & Food Festival. My goal was to highlight the emerging culinary scene in the Tampa Bay area, while creating a premier wine and food event like the city has never seen before.
The event was a huge success! We partnered with over 35 restaurants, 30 breweries, and 40 wineries to create a memorable four-day festival including a Charity Wine Pairing Dinner, a craft beer festival (BEER Night St. Pete), and two-day Grand Tasting.
The Grand Tastings featured some of the best food from local Tampa Bay area restaurants. The chef demos added a nice touch for the foodie, like me, who loves to cook. And the variety of wines from all over the world provided something for everyone. The culinary emergence is happening everywhere and it’s worth celebrating!
I am honored to work with the talented group of chefs, brewers, and vintners who helped bring this event to life. I hope you’ll consider joining me for the 2nd annual St. Pete Wine & Food Festival in 2016 (date to be announced soon). In the meantime, enjoy the photo highlights below.
This is a great salad for summer. With kale and quinoa as the base, add your favorite veggies (and, if you’d like, your choice of protein for a delicious salad that will keep you full, satisfied, and happy!
Years ago, before I had children (who are now 6 and 7), my husband and I would take our boat to a waterfront restaurant not far from our house. Although there are many waterfront restaurants to choose from (we live in Florida) we selected this particular restaurant because it had one of our favorite appetizers—shrimp ceviche served with tortilla chips. Although the restaurant no longer exists, this refreshing dish reminds me of the time we spent sitting on the restaurant dock drinking wine and enjoying this favorite appetizer.
Over the years, I’ve made some changes to the dish. The restaurant used baby shrimp but I found that I enjoy medium size shrimp that are chopped into smaller pieces rather than baby shrimp. I also added bay scallops to the recipe as the combination of shrimp and scallops ensures every bite is special.
If you want to do all the prep at once, do so, but just don’t combine the vegetables with the seafood until you’re ready to serve. I usually prep the seafood and while it’s in the refrigerator, I prep all the vegetables (except the avocado). I cover and store in the fridge until I’m ready to combine and serve. A little squeeze of fresh orange juice and the addition of avocado added immediately before serving and you have a perfectly healthy and crave-worthy dish.
In a glass or stainless steel bowl, stir together the lime juice, lemon juice, Add the shrimp and scallops, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours. Stir once or twice during chilling.
When ready to serve, drain the shrimp and scallops. Add the tomato, cucumber, red onion, garlic, cilantro, Serrano chile, and salt and toss gently.
Just before serving, add the avocado and the juice of one orange and toss. Serve with tortilla chips.
Confession: I am not a huge fan of bell peppers; or at least I didn’t think I was. I typically avoid cooking with them or leave them untouched on my plate at a restaurant. But when a recent video shoot left me with a surplus of beautiful red and yellow peppers, I couldn’t let them go to waste. It was time to give them another go.
With quinoa as the base and the addition of a few veggies, almonds, cranberries, herbs, and spices, I was able to create a quick and easy stuffing for the bell peppers. The sweet taste and tender texture of the peppers balance the quinoa stuffing perfectly.
In “The Healthy You Diet“, I encourage readers to give new foods a try, even if they think they don’t like them. It was time I listened to my own advice. This recipe changed everything I previously thought about peppers, and instead of avoiding them I now crave them!