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Pineapple Mint Martini-Oh My!

Pineapple Mint Martini-Oh My!

A pineapple mint martini is a twist on a classic and worth a try if you love gin and are looking for a light refreshing, slightly tropical cocktail.  H.L. Mencken, an American journalist, satirist, and cultural critic once called a martini “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.”  E.B. White, an American writer and contributor to The New Yorker magazine, called it “the elixir of quietude.”  The martini is in a category of its own.  Clearly, I don’t need to sell a martini to anyone.  But let’s briefly discuss the health benefits of pineapple.  High in Vitamin C and Thiamine, this tropical fruit is also a good source of manganese, which is considered important for bone health.  All that said, the pineapple juice makes this martini fantastic.  Personally, I have never been a fan of a martini in general.  They are typically just too strong for me, reminiscent of rubbing alcohol.  But this drink I love.  My mother-in-law is a fan of flavor-infused martinis: a martini made with cucumber vodka has been a favorite.  So I thought of her when I came up with this one.  With a playful and tropical spin, this pineapple mint martini, served up, is a great one to add to your easy specialty drink arsenal, especially during the summer.  Cheers.

pineapple mint martini

Pineapple Mint Martini

August 11, 2017
: 1
: 5 min
: 5 min
: easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 large mint leaves, plus a mint sprig for garnish
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • splash of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave
  • ice
Directions
  • Step 1 Fill a shaker with a good amount of ice.
  • Step 2 Add the 3 mint leaves, gin, pineapple juice, lime juice and agave. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  • Step 3 Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

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California Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

California Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

I call this my California vegetarian burrito bowl: it’s nothing fancy, but it’s a favorite of mine.  It’s rather easy to make, adaptable and healthy.  This one-bowl meal is a great, reliable option for busy nights when you need something fast that’s not from the freezer. This is also a great meal option for my many friends who have kids in competitive sports, making it almost impossible to serve everyone in the house a meal at the same time.  With most of the work done in advance, kids can then easily assemble their own burrito bowls and re-heat them when they are ready to eat, making less work for mom and dad.  Burrito bowls have become vastly popular these days; if you look around, you see them everywhere.  The restaurant chain Chipotle first popularized the burrito bowl and amazingly now sells more of these than burritos.  This is not so surprising as the trend of high protein, low-carb diets has gained mainstream acceptance and has shown no sign of stopping.  The one-bowl meal is also appealing for people on-the-run, or as an easy grab-and-go lunch option.  I enjoy a good burrito bowl but as with a salad, I like fresh ingredients and I like them to look attractive.  This recipe has brown rice, which you can easily exclude if you are carb conscious. (Brown rice has a similar glycemic profile to white rice, but it contains more fiber and nutrients.)  This is also a vegetarian recipe but you can also easily add additional protein such as grilled steak, shrimp, chicken, fish or tofu if desired.  For those who need to make this a super fast meal option, try using pre-made frozen organic brown rice, available at most grocery stores, which can help save more prep time.

California Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

August 8, 2017
: 2
: 20 min
: 25 min
: 45 min
: easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 bag riced cauliflower (available now at most grocery stores)
  • 1 can black beans, seasoned and heated
  • 5 cups spinach, packed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack or spicy Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup your favorite spicy salsa
  • tortilla chips
  • cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • sour cream, for garnish
Directions
  • Step 1 For the cauliflower: In a large sauce pan, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the riced cauliflower and sauté, stirring occasionally, until cooked thoroughly, about 6-7 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Note, if pre-made riced cauliflower is unavailable, make your own by placing florets in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until cauliflower is ground into fine bits that looks like rice.
  • Step 2 For the spinach: In a large saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil until hot, but not smoking. When hot, add the spinach and wilt/lightly sauté for just a few minutes. Drain and reserve.
  • Step 3 To assemble the burrito bowl, try to work quickly while everything is warm. I suggest using two large shallow bowls. Spoon some cooked rice on the bottom to start. Add a generous scoop of the cauliflower rice into the bowl. Working in a circle, spoon some black beans next to the cauliflower. Place some sautéed spinach next to the beans. Place some diced avocado next to the spinach and some shredded cheese next to the avocado.
  • Step 4 Top with a generous dollop of spicy salsa and some sour cream.
  • Step 5 Add some tortilla chips for scooping and fresh cilantro leaves to garnish.
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That Delicious Japanese Salad Dressing You Love…

That Delicious Japanese Salad Dressing You Love…

This is the only dressing, besides blue cheese, that makes iceberg lettuce taste awesome.  This Japanese salad dressing recipe is made with miso, ginger and carrots and super easy to whip up.  For those who do not do so already, making your own homemade salad dressing can be a life-changer.  Store bought dressings are loaded with sugar, often have little nutritional value, and can be full of chemicals.  This is a simple, clean recipe that packs a ton of flavor and nutritional punch, thanks to the ginger and carrots, which complement each other perfectly.  Ginger, for those who don’t know, is believed to be extremely beneficial to the body, helping with digestion, reducing nausea, easing muscle pain, reducing inflammation, preventing heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and even helping to reduce symptoms of the common cold.  If that’s not enough, carrots are rich in vitamins A and K, are high in fiber, and are associated with a number of health benefits including protecting vision, promoting healthy skin, lowering the risk of heart disease, and improving gum health.  Seriously, I think we all should be eating this dressing daily!  Try this on your next salad, use it as a dip for your kids’ vegetables; you name it, it’s good for you and delicious.  Feeling inspired, for 10 other great homemade salad dressing recipes I love click here.  Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator this delicious dressing will last for a week.

Japanese Salad Dressing

Miso-Ginger Salad Dressing

August 6, 2017
: 1.5cups
: 15 min
: 15 min

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 5 tablespoons sweet miso
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  • Step 1 Using a kitchen mixer, such as a Cusinart fitted with a metal attachment, add the carrots, ginger, sesame seeds and blend on high until very chopped.
  • Step 2 Add the miso, peanut oil, canola oil, sesame oil and rice vinegar and pulse to blend. Mixture should be slightly chunky.
  • Step 3 Season to taste with salt.
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