All posts filed under: Appetizers

Spanish White Bean and Vegetable Stew

Hearty Spanish White Bean and Vegetable Stew

This hearty, spicy dish is inspired by a traditional Spanish stew called Fabada. It has all of the warm, comforting flavors of the original, but with an extra helping of veggies and plant-based meaty goodness in place of pork sausage and bacon. This recipe is perfect… comfort food on a cold winter’s night. to feed a group without breaking the bank. to serve to people who think a meal is not complete without meat. This will change their minds! when you want a filling, replenishing meal after a workout. Nutritional Highlights: The beans, soyrizo, and seitan bacon make this a very protein rich dish with all of the essential amino acids. Studies have shown that plant protein can be more filling and satiating than meat sources. One teaspoon of paprika has 37 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A which can help protect your eyes bright and your skin clear. Beans are considered heart healthy because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when you make …

Spicy Buffalo Tofu Fingers with Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing

Spicy Buffalo Tofu Fingers with Avocado Ranch Dressing

 I made these Spicy Buffalo Tofu Fingers for Super Bowl last year and they were a big hit with vegetarians and meat eaters alike, so I wanted to share the recipe before the big game this Sunday. Now, you don’t have to be watching a sporting event to enjoy these, but they do happen to have a spicy kick that stands up nicely to a cold beer and a loud television. I like to use Wildwood Organic Tofu made with sprouted soybeans because it is vacuum sealed rather than packed in water, but any extra-firm tofu will work. I use an organic Jalapeño Hot Sauce, but you can use any hot sauce you like, Just make sure vinegar is listed as an ingredient, to ensure that you get the right flavor. My favorite Sriracha comes from Organicville.  All of these ingredients are available at Whole Foods or other natural foods markets. Try them with my creamy Avocado-Herb Ranch Dressing.  It’s the perfect cooling compliment to these spicy treats. Nutritional Highlights: Tofu is a complete protein, containing all …

6 Easy Veggie Swaps to Cut Calories and Boost Nutrition

10 Easy Veggie Swaps to Cut Calories and Boost Nutrition

We know by now that eating a diet rich in vegetables is good for our health, our mood and even our looks. Here’s a list of the veggie swaps you can make to get more of them into your meals while lightening up on calories. If you’re worried about feeling deprived, don’t. Because they’re so nutritionally dense, you may actually fuller with the veggie versions! 1. Instead of Flour Tortillas use Collard Greens- Swap out the refined flour for a crunchy collard greens next time you make a wrap and save over 100 calories while getting the anti-inflammatory benefits of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids. How-to: Cut off the thick stem and carefully slice the rib so that it is flush to the leaf. That way it won’t break when you roll it up. Remember to always cut with the knife cutting away from your hand to avoid accidents. Add your filling in the center of the leaf, perpendicular to the stem, then fold in the sides and roll it up like a burrito. Try a …

French Green Beans with Caramelized Shallot, Strawberries, Pine Nuts and Mint

Spring has sprung which means strawberries will soon be at their peak. Here they’re paired with french green beans, the skinny, sexy cousin of regular green beans. Also known as haricot vert, they’re longer, crisper, more tender and quicker cooking than their standard counterpart. Green beans and strawberries are both high in vitamins A and C; antioxidants know for their anti-aging properties. This delish dish will keep you feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed all season long. Enjoy! Ingredients: 4-6 Servings 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil 1 medium Shallot, thinly sliced 1 lb French Green Beans 1 large or 2 small Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced 1 tsp fresh Lemon Juice (1 lemon wedge) 1 tsp Lemon Zest 1/4 cup Strawberries, thinly sliced (2-3 berries) 2 Tbsp Pine Nuts 1 1/2 Tbsp Mint, thinly sliced (chiffonade) Pinch of White Pepper 1/8 tsp Maldon or other flaky Sea Salt (optional) Add the oil and shallot to a large frying pan and heat over medium until the shallots become translucent (about 2 minutes), lower heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. …

Real Food Fast: Sautéed Mushroom and Wilted Spinach Salad with Cashews and Sun-Dried Tomato

Here is another healthy, flavorful meal you can throw together in 10 minutes or less. I served this with toast topped with protein-rich sage hummus that I made by blending regular hummus with a couple of fresh sage leaves. It was quick, delicious and super satisfying!  Ingredients:  2 Servings 3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided 6-8 Sage Leaves 1 Shallot, chopped 1 lb. Button or Cremini Mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 1 tsp Dijon Mustard, preferably whole-grain Sea Salt & Black Pepper 6 cups Baby Greens (spinach, kale and/or chard etc.) 1 Radish, thinly sliced 1/4 cup Cashew, Raw 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, sliced Heat a pan over medium-high then add 2 Tbsp olive oil. When hot, fry the sage for 30-60 seconds, if it starts to brown remove immediately from the pan. Use tongs or a fork to transfer the leaves to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain and crisp. In the same pan add the chopped shallot and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened. Add the …

Super Nachos with Gooey Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce (Vegan)

This is my favorite thing to make when people come over to watch football so I wanted to share it in time for the big game! Everyone loves these nachos and people always ask for the recipe. They are fresh, flavorful and satisfying without being too heavy or greasy. They’re packed with veggies and other wholesome ingredients so they’re super healthy, but still rich and filling. I make a couple of plates of these, one of my big party platters, and big bowls of popcorn sprinkled with truffle oil, sea salt, black pepper and nutritional yeast. This simple menu keeps everyone happy and since you can make most of it ahead of time, you won’t have to spend the whole game in the kitchen. Enjoy! xJacq Ingredients: Serves approx. 6 Cheese Sauce: 1 Sweet Potato 1/4 cup Raw Cashews, soaked 2-4 hrs and rinsed 1 1/4 cup Hot Water 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour 1 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tsp Dijon Mustard 1 Garlic clove 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt 1-2 tsp …

How-to Put Together the Perfect Party Spread in Less Than an Hour!

I read an article recently that said young people are not hosting as many get togethers nowadays  in part because they are intimidated by the trend of gourmet cooking. It made me want to put together a post to show how easy it can be to put together a beautiful spread for a party in less than an hour with no cooking involved! I really think there is nothing better than getting together with friends and/or family and enjoying some good food and sharing a laugh. We spend so much of our lives online that it’s important to make the effort to get together live and in person once in a while, and the holidays are the ideal time to do it. For starters we’ll make a big party tray so you’ll need to invest in a big platter if you don’t already have one. This is something you can use time and time again when you have people over. I have a couple of fancy ones that I bought at estate sales for the same …

Smoked Salmon, Almond Cream Cheese and Veggie Toasts

Simple ingredients are elevated in these delicious mini toasts. They’re perfect for entertaining; easy to throw together and always a crowd pleaser. Salmon, cream cheese and veggies are natural partners and the lemon, dill and capers add a fresh and savory flair. I use pumpernickel cocktail bread as the base which is the perfect size and has a full flavor that pairs nicely with the other ingredients. You can also use your favorite sliced bread and cut it into quarters. This is the route to go if you want gluten-free or organic bread since I have not seen those offered in cocktail size.  As for the salmon I always use wild Alaskan salmon. Alaska is known for responsible management of their fishery populations. Wild salmon is more nutritious than farmed because it’s eating a varied diet and swimming sometimes thousands of miles before it is caught. Farmed salmon is fed pellets that contain grains and soy and sometimes even chicken. They are often vaccinated and fed additives to make their flesh more pink. They’re kept …

Watermelon Radish with Avocado Cream, Snap Pea and Baked Tofu

For those of you that  follow me on social media, you know that I had a canapé assignment for my plant-based cooking program at Rouxbe Cooking School. My last assignment was to have a party and make five small-bite appetizers to serve. That’s my kind of final! I was really pleased with how each one turned out, but if I had to pick a favorite, this would be it. It’s spicy, creamy, citrusy and meaty (from the tofu) all in one bite. It’s super flavorful, light and nutritious. I also love how beautiful it looks on a serving platter. It’s completely raw, so you can make this recipe quickly and still totally impress your guests.  Baked tofu is denser and more savory than traditional tofu and you can find it at stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Black sesame seeds look cool, but can be a little hard to find. You can stick with plain white sesame seeds or use a sprinkle of black lava salt in their place. I like to use Organicville Sriracha …

Chocolate-Orange Blossom Mousse with Toasted Coconut Chips and Pomegranate Seeds

These sophisticated, sweet and creamy mini-mousse cups pack a superfood punch. Avocado, spirulina and cacao are some of the most nutrient-dense ingredients on the planet, but they come together in a treat that tastes of pure chocolate decadence.  Orange blossom water adds a delicate floral note and can be found next to rose-water in that baking section or Middle Eastern aisles of supermarket. Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is very high in amino acids and balances the sweetness of this dessert with its earthy flavor. It can be found in the herbal supplement aisle of natural markets and health food stores. My favorite toasted coconut chips to go along with this recipe are the crunchy, spicy Made in Nature Ginger-Masala Toasted Coconut Chips.   This the perfect recipe to make for a cocktail party since it takes only a few minutes to throw together in the blender. It’s so nice to serve something sweet and delicious without it being too rich and heavy. Your guests will love it! I use little glass espresso cups for serving, but shot …