White Bean Crostini

White Bean Crostini

With the holiday season upon us, there are so many delicious dishes being served and eaten, but how healthy is all the wonderful food we are consuming? I thought I would share an easy to make, tasty and healthy white bean crostini appetizer I found on Pinterest. It originated from the House Beautiful website, but it only had a description, so I had to doing some experimenting. Fortunately, it wasn’t too hard to figure out with just 6 ingredients and that included the bread! It’s the kind of dish, where you can easily make adjustments to suit your tastes. It’s a classic Italian appetizer with olive oil, garlic, rosemary and white beans! Just perfect for the holiday parties!

White Bean Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounce) organic white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon + extra chopped fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • 1 baguette, sliced ⅜-inch thick

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant. Add the white beans and mash well. Finally, add salt to taste. Mix well.
  3. Spoon the bean mixture on the toasted baguette slices.  Sprinkle with rosemary. Serve immediately.

White Bean Crostini

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Spooky Halloween Tortilla Chips with Guacamole

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I wish that I was the one who came up with the idea to make these spooky Halloween chips using cookie cutters and flour tortillas, but it was the “Domestic Diva” Martha Stewart! Rather than using cooking spray, I brushed the scary figures with canola oil. My flour tortillas were an organic wheat and corn and an organic whole wheat and corn that I had purchased at Trader Joe’s. What goes perfectly with these delicious and healthier chips other than homemade guacamole! This is the ideal spooky appetizer for any upcoming Halloween party!

Spooky Halloween Tortilla Chips with Gucamole

Spooky Halloween Tortilla Chips with Gucamole

TORTILLA CHIPS:

Ingredients:

  • Large flour tortillas, such as organic wheat and corn, organic whole wheat and corn
  • Organic canola oil
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using the cookie cutters, cut shapes out of the tortillas. Place on nonstick cookie sheets.
  3. Put some canola oil in a small bowl and brush both sides of tortilla chips with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.

GUACAMOLE:

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • Juice of one lime
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 large Roma tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon+ chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. Place the avocados in a large bowl. Add lime juice. Mash the avocados using a potato masher. Add cayenne and cumin. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Stir in the onion, garlic, jalapeno, tomato, and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Spooky Halloween Tortilla Chips with Gucamole

“PERFECT” Peach Salsa

One of my favorite summer fruits are peaches, but I don’t always purchase great peaches. Sometimes they are hard, mealy, flavorless and just not sweet. Last Sunday, when I was at Trader Joe’s, unbeknownst to me at the time, I had hit the jackpot! They were still a little hard, so I waited until Tuesday to taste one. The first bite into the juicy fruit and I knew they were PERFECT!

Then I thought to myself, how was I going to advantage of having such fabulous peaches? Salsa came to mind. I did some research and came up with the following recipe. It is simply healthy and is a beautiful mixture of colors, flavors and textures! For those who love a little heat, add some red pepper flakes!

"Perfect" Peach Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe (but firm) peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup organic frozen corn, thawed
  • ½ cup organic red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. To peel peaches, add them to a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon. Then place them in a bowl of ice water. The skin should come off easily using a paring knife.
  2. In a medium bowl, add peaches, corn, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro and jalapeño.
  3. Stir in lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve with organic tortilla chips.

"Perfect" Peach Salsa

Simple Corn Salsa

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One of my favorite snack foods to eat is chips and salsa. I have never made a corn salsa before, but I always have it added to my salads at Chipotle. After doing my research on the internet, I found an appetizing recipe on the Food Network Kitchen website. At Trader Joe’s, I was able to get all my ingredients, except for the poblano chile pepper. Since the dish already had a jalapeno pepper in it, I decided to wait to the until the end to see if the salsa needed a little more “heat.” That’s when I added a pinch of red pepper flakes. The only other changes I made to the recipe were using less olive oil and omitting the sugar—my frozen corn was nice and sweet! My only regret about preparing this dish was I didn’t make more!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen organic sweet corn, thawed
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Tortilla chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, add corn, jalapeno, cilantro and red onion.
  2. Stir in oil, lime juice, sugar (optional) and salt. Finally, add pinch of red pepper flakes.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Lunch at the Wimbledon Championships

Lunch at Wimbledon Menu

Watching the early rounds of Wimbledon this year, brings back the wonderful memories of our trip to England and attending the finals of the Men’s and Women’s Championships. It was twenty years ago, when my husband and I were given a business trip of a lifetime, traveling aboard the iconic luxury supersonic airliner, the Concorde. Unfortunately, British Airways and Air France terminated the service of the airliner in 2003.

In addition to being guests of Cadbury Beverages for the championship matches, we were their guests for an elegant gourmet lunch under a spacious white tent. The great British tennis player, former Wimbledon and Grand Slam champion, Virginia Wade, attended the luncheon. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet her and have a nice chat.

Lunch at Wimbledon Menu

In honor of the fabulous meal provided to us at the Wimbledon Championship Finals, I made a very simple version of the crostini appetizer that was served. I only wished that cell phones were around back then; because I would have documented the entire dining experience, taking tons of pictures. For the hors d’oeuvre , I toasted some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on thinly sliced French baguette. Then I topped the bread with a tomato, basil and garlic mixture that had marinated with olive oil and red wine vinegar for a few hours. Finally, back into the oven for 5 minutes and before serving, placed thinly sliced basil on top. What you get is a crunchy, flavorful and healthy appetizer!

Tomato Basil Crostini with Parmesan Cheese

Tomato Basil Crostini with Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 4 organic plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil + thinly sliced basil for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ French baguette, 15 slices, cut ⅓-inch thick on the diagonal
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, add tomatoes, basil, garlic, oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover bowl and set aside for two hours to marinate.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread slices on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until lightly golden.
  3. Take out of oven, place tomato basil mixture on each bread slice. Bake for another 4-5 minutes. Top with slice basil and serve. Makes 15 appetizers.

Tomato Basil Crostini with Parmesan Cheese

On Saturday, we saw Steffi Graf defeat Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, 2 sets to 1, earning her sixth Wimbledon title. Then on Sunday, Pete Sampras defeated Boris Becker, 3 sets to 1, earning his third Wimbledon title. He went on to earn a total of seven Wimbledon titles! Rich and I were so fortunate to see two tennis greats play at the Centre Court at Wimbledon!

Wimbledon Programs

Spicy Edamame

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Edamame is a delicious and healthy snack or appetizer all by itself. But when you add some sesame chili oil, sesame oil, lemon juice and some salt, you get something really yummy! It is just take a few minute to make this wonderful snack with things you may already have in the refrigerator. You can adjust the “heat” and “saltiness” to your own personal taste. It can’t get any easier than this!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound package frozen edamame, cooked according to package directions
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons sesame chili oil
  • 1½ teaspoons sesame oil
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, sesame chili oil and sesame oil together. Add salt to taste.
  2. Place edamame in a large bowl. Toss the soybeans with the dressing. Add more salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

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Chicken Quesadillas

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The other day I had some delicious chicken quesadillas at the California Pizza Kitchen. I thought they would make a wonderful appetizer for our Super Bowl Party. Besides chicken, their quesadillas contain cheese and black beans. The perfect cheese to use is the organic Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese I get at Trader Joe’s, because it is just a bit spicy. I was able to use almost all organic ingredients, except for the chicken. Flour tortillas can be replaced with gluten-free tortillas. So here is my recipe for some yummy and simple to make appetizers! (This can easily be adjusted to make more or less quesadillas).

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Ingredients:

  • 6 Trader Joe’s Organic Wheat & Corn Flour Tortillas
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Organic Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
  • 1 can (15 ounces) organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 Grilled Chicken Breast Tenderloins with Cilantro and Lime Juice, chopped into small cubes (posted in an earlier blog)

Directions:

  1. Spread some cheese lightly over half a tortilla. Then add some black beans and chicken. Finally, add another light layer of cheese. Fold tortilla in half. Repeat 5 more times.
  2. Using a large nonstick frying pan, place the quesadilla in the pan. When one side in golden brown, flip over and brown the other side.
  3. Cut each quesadilla into 4 equal pieces and serve immediately. Makes 6 quesadillas.

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