Category Archives: appetizer

maple masala pecans

DSC_0574This past Saturday morning, we went and strolled around the farmers’ market. We  came across some great finds. I bought some incredibly beautiful Batavian lettuce – which I proceeded to savor each night for 4 nights straight. Sadly, it is now gone. And I shall have to wait until Saturday morning to go back to the market and buy some more delicious-ness. I can hardly stand the wait. I would have loved to have joined a CSA this year. But, as our home is up for sale  – and we are unsure as to whether it is going to sell or not – we simply could not take the chance of buying a CSA share only to move away.

Another little gem we found at the market were Olomomo gluten free flavored nuts from a local Boulder-based company. They had samples at the ready – the “masala” were our favorites. Even the kids went nuts over these treats. No pun intended there. They were a wee bit on the expensive side but we treated ourselves to a small bag anyway. And after the bag was gone – which, I admit , did not take long at all – I decided to make some.  As I put the tray on the counter-top at snack time – my kids assumed the position and declared, “these are GOOD mommy!”  I actually had to cut them off….

I used Grade B maple syrup on these. Grade B contains more vitamins and minerals than the more expensive Grade A.

2 1/2 cups raw pecans, soaked overnight in filtered water
1 tblsp garam masala
3 tblsps maple syrup
1 tblsp turbinado sugar

  1. Combine the garam masala, maple syrup and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over the soaked and rinsed nuts and stir to make sure all the nuts are coated.
  2. Line a cookie sheet or baking tray with parchment and spread out the nuts in a single layer.
  3. You can dehydrate them. Or you can put your oven on the “warm” feature and let sit in the warm oven for 3-4 hours until they are dried.
  4. Store in a covered container.

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Filed under appetizer, holiday, snacks

maple masala pecans

DSC_0574This past Saturday morning, we went and strolled around the farmers’ market. We  came across some great finds. I bought some incredibly beautiful Batavian lettuce – which I proceeded to devour as part of a giant salad each night for 4 nights straight. Sadly, it is now gone. And I shall have to wait until Saturday morning to go back to the market and buy some more delicious-ness. I can hardly stand the wait. I would have loved to have joined a CSAthis year. But, as our home is up for sale  – and we are unsure as to whether it is going to sell or not – we simply could not take the chance of buying a CSA share only to move away.

Another little gem we found at the market were gluten free flavored nuts from a local Boulder-based company. They had samples at the ready – the “masala” were our favorites. Even the kids went nuts over these treats. No pun intended there. They were a wee bit on the expensive side but we treated ourselves to a small bag anyway. And after the bag was gone – which, I admit , did not take long at all – I decided to make some.  As I put the tray on the counter-top at snack time – my kids assumed the position and declared, “these are GOOD mommy!”  I actually had to cut them off….

2 1/2 cups raw pecans, soaked overnight in filtered water
1 tblsp garam masala
3 tblsps maple syrup
1 tblsp turbinado sugar

  1. Combine the garam masala, maple syrup and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over the soaked and rinsed nuts and stir to make sure all the nuts are coated. 
  2. Line a cookie sheet or baking tray with parchment and spread out the nuts in a single layer.
  3. You can dehydrate them. Or you can put your oven on the “warm” feature and let sit in the warm oven for 3-4 hours until they are dried.
  4. Store in a covered container.

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eggplant spread

This is one of those recipes that you make once, and you will forever be committed to it. It is so delicious. It tastes sinful but it is actually quite healthy. And it’s vegetarian. I like to spread it on toast, crackers, or use it as a spread on a sandwich in place of mayonnaise. The possibilities are endless. I use olive oil here – but I roast at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Olive oil can only handle 325 degrees without hitting its smoking point.

1 good sized eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 tblsp minced garlic
good olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tblsp tomato paste

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Chop eggplant, pepper and onion into similar size pieces. (The goal here is to have them all cook uniformly).
  3. Place vegetables in a bowl and add garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Toss to coat. 
  4. Transfer vegetables to large cooking sheet. Roast for 50-60 minutes.
  5. Let vegetables cool slightly and transfer to food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add tomato paste. Pulse three or 4 times – but do not puree. Rather, leave the spread chunky.

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louise’s lemon dill dip

Yesterday, I was at the supermarket. As I rounded the corner, there were these huge perky bunches of organic dill perched right in front of my shopping cart. My first thought was the lemon dill dip of my childhood. Our neighbor Louise used to make it for us. She was the coolest lady with incredible stories of travelling the world. And she had an incredible arsenal of recipes in her kitchen to boot. Her children were grown and gone so she used to love making special treats for us.  Her original recipe had dairy but I recreated it using cashew cream/meal. It’s a perfect complement to carrot, celery and cucumber sticks but you could always break out some low-sodium crackers if you like.

1/2 cup (heaping) raw cashews soaked overnight (in filtered water)
1 tblsp filtered water
1 1/2 tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup gluten free mayonnaise (I like Spectrum Canola Mayonnaise)
2 tblsp fresh dill, chopped/minced
pinch salt & pepper to taste

  1. In a glass bowl, cover cashews with filtered water and pinch of salt. Let soak overnight. In the morning, strain cashews and discard the liquid. Rinse cashews thoroughly.
  2. Place cashews in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add water and lemon juice. Process for 15-20 seconds, or until cashews are almost smooth.
  3. Add mayonnaise and dill and process for an additional 30 seconds. Dip will be smooth and creamy.

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yellow split pea dip

This dip is one of my favorites. It’s hearty and delicious. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s good for you either. The pine nuts and sundried tomatoes give the dip a slightly sweet taste balancing the peas and the garlic nicely. It pairs great with vegetable crudite,  chips/crackers or even as a spread on a sandwich or veggie burger in lieu of mayonnaise.

1/2 cup yellow split peas
1/2 cup + 2 tblsp pine nuts, soaked preferably overnight
6 sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil and patted dry with a paper towel)
1 bay leaf
2 basil leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup purified water
1 large clove garlic, minced

  1. Place pine nuts in a glass bowl covered with purified water. Let soak as long as possible.
  2. Put split peas and bay leaf into a saucepan with 2 cups purified water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 25 minutes.
  3. Drain peas and transfer to a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Drain pine nuts and discard the water. Then, add pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, basil leaves, and garlic to the bowl. With the blade running, slowly pour in the olive oil and water through the feeder spout. Pulse into smooth.

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hummus

This is something I make all year long. I love to break it out for an mid-afternoon snack with some carrot sticks, sliced cucumber or even Hol-Grain Brown Rice Crackers. I go light on the tahini and oil. Keeps it really fresh tasting yet it’s really satistfying at the same time.

2 15oz cans organic garbanzo beans
1/3 cup room temperature water
3 tblsp freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tblsp good olive oil
1 tblsp tahini
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tblsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Place all ingredients except water in a food processor fitted with metal blade. While holding food processor in the on position, pour water through feeder spout and let process at least 2 minutes until hummus becomes very smooth.

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grilled lemon chicken

This chicken is a staple in our house. And whenever I make it for company,  it is a definite crowd-pleaser. Especially with the satay dip. One of the reasons I love it so much is because of it’s flexibility. It suits a more upscale type occasion, such as New Years and it also fits perfectly nestled among other dishes at a barbeque. It’s a peanut-free and soy free adaption from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa cookbook.

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 whole fresh thyme sprigs or 1 large bunch
3 medium size organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 4 smaller ones)

  1. Whisk together lemon juice, oil salt pepper, and thyme. Place chicken in bowl and pour marinade over chicken. I use a glass bowl (nonreactive). Marinate for 6-8 hours. 
  2. Preheat grill. Grill ckicken breasts until just cooked through, about 10 minutes per side. Slice on the diagonal and serve. Or you can skewer the pieces for cleaner presentation.

Satay Sauce

1 tblsp good olive oil
1 tblsp dark sesame oil (not toasted)
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated ginger root
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tblsp GF red wine vinegar
2 tblsp agave nectar
1/2 cup nut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/4 cup GF ketchup
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

  1. Saute shallots, olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes in a saucepan for no more than 7-10 minutes.
  2. Whisk remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add nut butter mixture to saute pan, whisk until combined, about 20 seconds. Remove from heat. Cool. Use as sauce for Grilled Lemon Chicken.

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