Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Make Ahead Mother’s Day Brunch

Spring has "sprung", the azaleas are blooming in Atlanta, and May seems as busy as December this year. But Moms Special Day is Coming Up, and we want to honor her and the other moms in our life. Don't make reservations - make brunch yourself with these easy and make ahead recipes. 

Spinach and Artichoke Breakfast Pie

Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 Large Eggs
4 Large Egg Whites
8 OZ Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
3 oz Manchego Cheese, grated
1 oz Grated Parmesan
1 Heaping Cup Frozen Artichokes, defrosted and chopped
1 (10 oz) Box Frozen Spinach, defrosted and drained
¼ Cup Minced Red Sweet Pepper
2 TB Chopped Green Onion
2 TB Chopped Cilantro
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Step One
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease or spray a 9-inch pie pan lightly with olive oil. (Or use a springform pan lined with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, whites, ricotta cheese, Manchego and Parmesan. Add the artichokes, spinach, pepper, green onion and to the cheese and egg mixture. Season lightly with salt and generously with black pepper Stir until combined.
Pour contents of into the greased pie pan and drizzle or spray with olive oil. Cook until the middle is set, about 60 to 75 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

If making this delicious egg dish ahead of time, don’t preheat the oven. Pour the ingredients into the pie pan, cover and slide in the refrigerator. On the day you want to serve it, remove the pie from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350F. When the oven is hot, drizzle or spray the top with olive oil and slide the pie into the oven and cook until the middle is set, about 60 to 75 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Berry Good Orange Strawberry Brunch Salad

3 Cups Fresh Strawberries, Sliced
2 Oranges, Peeled and Coarsely Chopped
6 Cups Baby Greens
1 Cup Dried Berries (Cranberries or Blueberries)
½ Cup Walnuts, Toasted and Chopped
OJ Salad Dressing*

Arrange the Cherries and oranges on top of the baby greens, which have been spread out on a platter. Sprinkle with the Walnuts and drizzle with the dressing.

*OJ Salad Dressing

3 TB Orange Jam
1 TB Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Whisk the ingredients together.


Prepare the strawberries and oranges and place in separate ziplock bags. Toast the walnuts and make the dressing. The next day, assemble the salad and drizzle with the dressing.

Baked Maple and Cinnamon French Toast

6 to 8 (1 Inch-thick) Slices of Whole Wheat Bread
2 Large Eggs
4 Large Egg Whites
2 Cups Almond Milk
1/2 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

Step One Preheat the Oven to 425F. Spray a large baking pan or dish with non-stick spray. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer - the bread should fit into the pan snugly.

Step Two Combine the eggs, whites, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk to blend and then pour over the bread. Let soak until all the egg mixture is absorbed, turning the bread after about 10 minutes.

Step Three Bake the toast in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.

Complete the recipe through Step Two. Cover and place the French Toast in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and let sit on the counter while the oven preheats. When it reaches temperature bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.)

Maple Cinnamon Syrup:
1 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
Combine maple syrup and ground cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a simmer. Remove from the heat; place the baked French toast on heated plates, top with the warm maple cinnamon syrup and serve.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Eating Better, Faster and Easier From a Package that Tastes Great!

 I don’t really LIKE packaged food. When the Food Should Taste Good folks contacted me to try their new hummus, I was skeptical. The cornerstone of my “eating better” philosophy of “stealth health” is cooking at home. I think making it yourself ensures that you will include only good for you ingredients. You’re in charge; you get to pick what goes in your food.

However, after a couple of back and forth emails, I realized that their hummus could help me out. It’s a fresh snacking option made from real, clean food and it comes in four unique and cravable flavors When I get as busy as I have been lately, it’s hard to take the time to prepare good food and eat, even as a healthy chef. And I’m an eater. No mealtime goes by without my eager participation. So when I get this busy, just like you, I look for alternatives to making everything from scratch.
I loved sharing Food Should Taste Good Hummus with Christine at ATL & Co

My biggest challenge is what to eat when I’m on the road, in between meetings, or just trying to finish up all the details life throws my way. That’s when I hear the siren call of the pizza at the big-box store, the pastry at the coffee place, the grab-and-go sandwiches at the supermarket, or the bar of dark chocolate that I bought specifically for a new recipe.

I need help and inspiration – and a little time. I’d never advocate for a product unless I checked out the ingredients...and the taste. I can tell you that this hummus is not only full of flavor, but does not have anything in it that I wouldn't add myself - or eat. A week ago a big box of the Food Should Taste Good hummus arrived. I had such fun tasting and creating recipes with their four new flavors – Black Bean, made with lime adobo, topped with tomatillo salsa verde, Chickpea, made with za'atar spice and extra virgin olive oil, topped with roasted pine nuts, Chickpea & Lentil, made with vindaloo curry, topped with mint chutney, and Edamame, made with sea salt, topped with pickled ginger and togarashi spice – that I had to share my new creations!

The unique new flavors of Food Should Taste Good hummus provided an interesting start for some new light lunches and snack recipes. Super easy and fast to make, they package up quickly and travel well in a lunch bag (plus the four hummus flavors come in a serve-able bowl that’s easy to place in a basket or on a platter for entertaining guests!). These recipes are for you. And lately, for me, too! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Pack them up, make a double recipe, cook once and eat twice or three times!

Check out the Food Should Taste Good Product Locator to find the hummus in a store near you!

Smoked Salmon and Food Should Taste Good Chickpea Hummus Sandwich
2 Servings

Smoked Salmon is a great way of making a sandwich that is fast, interesting and easy. Instead of a bagel and cream cheese, try spreading a little hummus on a toasted English muffin and topping it with some “dressed” spring greens. This sandwich was a HIT with the host and cast of Atlanta & Company yesterday!

1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Handful Spring Greens
Sprinkle of Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Whole Wheat English Muffins, toasted and split
4 TB Food Should Taste Good Chickpea Hummus
2 Slices Smoked Salmon

Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl. Add the lettuce, salt and pepper and toss. Slather the hummus on both sides of the English muffin. Add the salmon and then salad to one side and top with the other.

*Use the rest of the lemon in your water bottle!

Food Should Taste Good Black Bean Hummus Tacos
2 Servings

Who doesn’t love Mexican inspired recipes full of black beans and avocados? No one I know! This is great way of getting in a little kale in our meal, too!

4 TB Food Should Taste Good Black Bean Hummus
4 Corn Tortillas
1 Avocado, Sliced
3 Grape Tomatoes, in half
1 Cup Finely Shredded Kale
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
Sprinkle of Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Spread 1 TB of Food Should Taste Good Black Bean Hummus on each tortilla. Layer one-quarter of the avocado, tomatoes and kale on each taco. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper and fold in half.

Food Should Taste Good Edamame Hummus Quinoa Salad
2 Servings

I love quinoa, and accenting it with some Asian flavors. Here’s a way to celebrate the crunchy green pop of edamame with a dressing made from edamame hummus, too!

3 TB Food Should Taste Good Edamame Hummus
2 TB Veggie Stock
1 TB Rice Wine Vinegar
1 TB Soy Sauce
2 Tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
3 Cups Cooked Tri-Color Quinoa
1 Cup Cooked Edamame
¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro
¼ Cup Chopped Green Onions
1 TB Sesame Seeds

Whisk the hummus, stock, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil together in a large bowl. Add in the quinoa, edamame and cilantro. Top with the green onions and sesame seeds.

Food Should Taste Good Chickpea and Lentil Hummus Rollups
2 Servings

Have you ever had a sushi “crunch roll? I love them, but the crunch often comes from fried bits - not very good eats. The crunch in this rollup comes from Food Should Taste Good Chips, a better-for-you alternative!

3 TB Food Should Taste Good Chickpea and Lentil Hummus
1 Whole Wheat Pita Pocket, split in half horizontally
1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TB Orange Juice (take the other half of the orange along for lunch!)
1 Tsp *Garam Masala
3 Cups Broccoli Slaw, (about ½ bag)
½ Cup Crumbled Food Should Taste Good Chips, your choice
½ Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
½ Cup Golden Raisins

Spread the hummus on the two sides of the pita. Stir the oil, orange juice and garam masala together in a large bowl. Add the slaw, chips, cheese and raisins into the mix.

*Garam Masala is a yummy spice blend from India. Full of good-for-you ingredients like coriander, cumin, cardamom and nutmeg, you can find it in the spice section of your grocery store.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Girls DAY In - Easy Recipes to Help You Organize, Save, Pitch and Donate!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of co-hosting “Girls Day In”, a program at the Thomas F Chapman Family Cancer Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta. Part of an ongoing series of “Girls Night In”, its one of my favorite ways to share good cooking, food and eating with a group of women interested in living and eating better.

The group of thirty cancer survivors and thrivers talked cleaning and organization with Chaos 2 Comfort founder Teresa Taylor. Over lunch they swapped favorite tips and techniques for making small changes that end up in big results.

Of course, integral to any good "Day or Night In", is the food! I shared a couple of recipes for some of my easy go-tos perfect for a day full of organizing, saving, pitching and donating. We started the morning with a little granola and a teensy-tiny mimosa. Hey - It was Saturday, and we definitely needed motivation, given the subject.

Later on, I served up a composed salad, (in French it sounds even cooler: Salade Composee). One of the easy elements of the dish was my chicken salad. Full of the flavor of Garam Masala, an Indian Spice Blend that you can find in any grocery store, it made a hearty compliment to the rest of the leafy, green, veggie and little-bite-of-salmon plate. We served the chicken salad in a hollowed out Roma tomato. (Who doesn’t like anything that is just the size for me, or you?) Roma tomatoes are my favorite choice this time of the year – they are a little less watery and meatier.

The day was fun, the company enjoyable, and if I do say so myself, the food yummy!

Ginger Spiced Granola

3 Cups Oats

¼ Cup Uncooked Millet
¼ Cup Sesame Seeds

¼  Cup Chopped Walnuts
¼ Cup Chopped Almonds

1 ½ Tsp Cinnamon

¼ Tsp EACH Mace 
and Cardamom

¼  Cup Maple Syrup

¼  Cup Orange Juice
Zest of 1 Orange

½ Cup Your Choice of Dried Fruit
2 TB Finely Chopped Crystallized Ginger

Step One
Preheat the oven to 300F. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except dried fruit and ginger. Drizzle in the maple syrup and stir well. Add orange juice and zest, stirring so all ingredients are coated.

Step Two
Spread the mix out onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring checking about every 10 minutes so nothing burns.

Step Three
Remove from oven, add the dried fruit and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

TANGY Chicken Salad

2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Roasted and Chopped

1⁄2 Cup *Chopped Green Onions – Green Parts Only
1⁄4 Cup Light Mayonnaise

1⁄4 Cup Greek Yogurt

1 Tsp Garam Masala (or Curry Powder or Smoked Paprika)

1⁄2 Tsp Cumin

1⁄4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (or To Taste)
Zest and Juice of a Lemon

1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley

Make the chicken salad by combining the chicken, green onions, mayo, yogurt, garam masala, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Find out how to enjoy this chicken salad with sweet potatoes in my book, Taste and Savor Delicious Healthy Recipes  or by signing up for The Friday Four, a free weekly ezine of healthy recipes and tasty wine tips. 

I thought Teresa’s presentation was great, I hope you check out her website. My good friend Carrie does super organizational work, too! Check out her website for a free guide to “When to throw away Paperwork”. At Neatsmart.com