Archive of ‘Appetizers’ category

AirFryer Sweet Potato Fries

If I were to tell you that it is possible to combine the words healthy, delicious and french fries in the same sentence you would not believe me. I do not even believe it. But with the Philips AirFryer it is possible. More popular in Europe, Asia, and Australia, the AirFryer is finally making its way to popularity in the US market just in time for New Year’s resolutions. The last thing I thought I needed was another appliance. I’m already out of kitchen space and have to store a bunch of things from my kitchen in my garage. Surprisingly I have used my AirFryer almost every day since I bought it and not just for french fries. I have made steak, bacon, yellow squash, zucchini, and brussel sprouts in it already. Every time I use it I think of something else I could use it for. Everything comes out delicious and it is easy to use, easy to clean, and saves me so much cooking time. It’s perfect for meals for 2-3 people. My favorite thing i’ve made and the reason I decided to buy the AirFryer is for these sweet potato fries. They are so incredibly delicious you forget they are healthy. With the AirFryer they are crispy outside just like deep fried potatoes but do not taste greasy. They are super easy and of course so delicious. Here is how you make them.

Sweet Potato Air Fries 2

Ingredients:
1 Sweet Potato Peeled and Cut Evenly into French Fry Sticks
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt

Sweet Potato Air Fries 3

Directions
1. Soak Sweet Potato Sticks in water for 30 minutes
2. Rinse and dry
3. Spray with olive oil and add salt
4. Pre-heat AirFryer to 330 degrees
5. Air fry sweet potatoes at 330 degrees for 5 minutes.
6. Open AirFryer, stir potatoes, close AirFryer and increase temperature to 390 degrees.
7. Cook for 10-15 minutes longer {depending on how thick you cut the potatoes} stirring every 5 minutes. Between 10-15 minutes check every 1-2 minutes until done. I like mine to be slightly brown.

Sweet Potato Air Fries

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Pear Prosciutto Wraps – easy holiday appetizer

Pear Prosciutto Wraps 3

Looking for a great easy appetizer for your holiday potluck? You are in luck with these super easy and delicious Pear Prosciutto Wraps. One of the reasons I started this blog was to keep track of my favorite recipes and how I modified them. Keeping track of recipes I make and love is so much easier with a blog. My pinterest account is totally unorganized plus full of things i’d like to try. You also never know if a recipe that has been posted will still remain years into the future so the blog is a great reminder of what i’ve made that I love. This is one of those recipes I want to keep track of. I love using seasonal fruits and vegetables in my cooking and pears are in season right now. I found this original recipe here and I just realized now I totally made it wrong. I just went by the photo without reading the actual recipe and used the following ingredients and they were delicious:

Pears Sliced
Basil
Gorgonzola Cheese – Crumbled
Prosciutto

I loved the combination of sweet pears, salty prosciutto, lovely basil and strong gorgonzola. Next time I make these i’ll be adding honey to them and I think they will taste even better.

Pear Prosciutto Wraps 2

Pear Prosciutto Wraps

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Gluten-Free Pretzel Bites & Cookbook Giveaway

The Delight Gluten Free Pretzel Bites

That smell of the freshly baked pretzels in the mall or airports makes me crave their chewy doughy texture. It’s a craving i’ve had since I eliminated gluten from my diet. A craving I have yet to find a quench for until now. Thanks to The Delight Gluten-Free Cookbook written by Vanessa Weisbrod, executive editor of Delight Gluten-Free Magazine, and her team. This cookbook is a great resource for anyone on a gluten-free diet, whether you are just beginning or you have been eating gluten-free for years. The first section goes over the basics of being gluten free including a list of gluten free ingredients, how to shop, how to substitute for gluten ingredients, and lists of available resources. There a so many great recipes including breads, soups, salads, snacks, side dishes, main dishes, cocktails and desserts.

I decided to try the Honey Buttered Pretzel Bites with Cheddar Cheese & Beer dip. The recipe was really easy for both the pretzel bites and the cheese dip and both turned out fantastic. They make a great appetizer for parties. They are best right out of the oven and heat up well when you microwave them for 30 seconds. Your guests would never know they are gluten-free.

The Delight Gluten Free Pretzel Bites 2

Delight Gluten Free would like to give away one copy of the cookbook to one of my lucky readers. Here’s how to win your own copy of The Delight Gluten-Free Cookbook:

1) Visit http://www.delightglutenfree.com
2) Leave a comment below letting me know what recipe you would like to make from their site
3) One winner will be chosen on Saturday, November 15th at 10am PST

The cookbook is also available on Amazon in hard copy or kindle version.

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Easy Ceviche

Easy Ceviche Recipe - Gluten Free and Paleo Appetizer

Ceviche to me equals party food. It doesn’t matter if it is a party or not. I am always super happy when I eat it so I like to make it for dinner too. It’s extremely easy to make this recipe and a great appetizer to bring for potlucks. It’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser as long as your party peeps like things spicy. If not, just reduce the chiles or de-seed the chiles to reduce the spice level. This can be served paleo with plantain chips, vegetables, endive, or lettuce cups. Or, serve with tortilla chips or tostadas for gluten free.

Ingredients:
1 lb. Frozen Peeled and De-Veigned Shrimp
Bowl of Ice Water
1/3 Red Onion, Diced
Juice of 6 Limes
1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt for Ceviche and 1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt for Cooking Shrimp
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Chopped
1 Cucumber, Peeled and Diced
2 Serrano Chiles, Diced
4 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
2-3 Avocados, Diced
Plantain chips, vegetables, endive, lettuce cups, tortilla chips or tostadas

Instructions:
1. De-frost shrimp in a bowl of luke warm water
2. Bring a pot of water to boil
3. Add 1 Tbsp Kosher salt to boiling water
4. Prepare bowl of ice water
5. Add shrimp to boiling water and remove from heat as soon as shrimp turns pink and is cooked all the way through
5. Place cooked shrimp immediately in ice water to stop the cooking
6. Dice cooked shrimp and combine in a bowl with 1/3 Diced Red Onion, Juice of 6 Limes, 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt, 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro, 1 Peeled and Diced Cucumber, 2 Diced Serrano Chiles, 4 Diced Roma Tomatoes, 2-3 Diced Avocados

Serves 6

Enjoy!

Easy Ceviche Recipe - Gluten Free and Paleo Appetizer

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Peach Pistachio Summer Guacamole Appetizer

I don’t think these photos do this peach pistachio summer guacamole appetizer justice. It is SO good with the sweet, ripe peaches and the crunchiness of the pistachios. Antonio’s rating of this recipe is bomb dot com and he can be a very harsh critic when it comes to food. I first had guacamole with fruit at Taco Maria at the OC Mix, my favorite shopping and dining center in Costa Mesa. This is not Taco Maria’s guacamole recipe and it doesn’t even begin to give you the full Taco Maria experience so you should definitely check them out. Their food is amazing.

I made a similar recipe for guacamole last fall using pomegranates and it was a huge hit. Now that pomegranates are not in season anymore I decided to try other fruits. This recipe can also be made with pineapple, mangoes, nectarines, or plums.

Summer Peach Guacamole Paleo Gluten Free

Ingredients:
2 Large Avocados
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Cilantro
2 Jalapeño Peppers De- Seeded and Chopped (Reduce or eliminate to reduce spice)
Juice of 1 Lime
Pistachios, shells removed
1 White or Yellow *Peach, Peeled and Diced – make sure it’s a ripe peach
Taro Chips, Plantain Chips, Sliced Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Carrots, or Celery

*Note: This recipe can also be made with pineapple, mangoes, nectarines, or plums.

Summer Peach Guacamole Paleo Gluten Free

Instructions:
1. Cut avocados in half and remove seeds.
2. Mash avocado in a bowl.
3. Add juice of 1 lime, 1 Tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp Cilantro, 1-2 chopped Jalapeños, and stir.
4. Top with pistachios and peach.
5. For paleo serve with Taro Chips, Plantain Chips, Sliced Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Carrots, or Celery

Peach Pistachio Summer Guacamole

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Heirloom Tomato and Peach Caprese Salad

This heirloom tomato and peach caprese salad is definitely not my invention. If you google it you can find so many variations that all look so good. I love this salad so much that I had to share it. Not only is it fun to make and a beautiful presentation, but it’s another salad that I actually like to eat. I am not usually a tomato fan. In pasta dishes or cooked down to a sauce I am ok but don’t really like regular tomatoes on their own. However, I love heirloom tomatoes all summer long and ripe peaches are so delicious when combined with the sweet tomatoes.

There are many varieties of heirloom tomatoes and you can now find them at almost any grocery store. Some taste better than others. They have a shorter shelf life typically than regular tomatoes which is why you often see them a little too ripe in the store. I like to buy mine in the multi-package at Trader Joes and store them in the refrigerator to make them last a little longer even though the flavor is better when you leave them out.

Heirloom Tomato Peach Caprese Salad

Serves 2

Arrange the following on a plate:
1 Heirloom Tomato, Sliced
1 Ripe Peach, Sliced – yellow or white but make sure it’s ripe
Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
Chopped Basil
Fresh Pepper
Drizzle with Olive Oil
Optional – Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato Peach Caprese Salad

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Avocado Citrus Salad

Avocado Citrus Salad

This avocado citrus salad is fun to make and is a salad you definitely want to eat. So many salads are boring and not appealing but people eat them because they feel like they have to have some vegetables. Salads for me are an opportunity to be creative, have fun, and come up with great flavor combinations that surprise the taste buds. This recipe is a summer variation of my Beet Citrus salad I like to make in the fall. I love the combination of sesame oil with the citrus. It is so refreshing and light plus super easy. A perfect addition for BBQ meals. Summer is definitely my favorite season for cooking. I can’t get enough BBQing and sitting outside to eat when the sun doesn’t set until 8pm. The best part of all is the cleanup because BBQing doesn’t make a big mess in the kitchen.

So many store bought salad dressings contain hidden gluten. It’s best to select brands that are certified gluten free. Also, beware of some vinegars that are based on gluten grains. Blue cheese dressings can potentially contain gluten and cause reactions for some people with gluten sensitivities. I prefer to make my own dressings at home because they are fresh, I know what’s in them, and I can make whatever I feel like having that day.

Here is how you make the delicious salad.

Cut and combine the following:
1 Pink Grapefruit
2 Oranges
1 Avocado
Pistachios (Optional)

For the dressing combine:
1/8 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Tbsp Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Chopped Ginger (I use the pre-made one found in the herb section of the grocery store)

Just pour the dressing over the citrus and avocado right before serving.

Avocado Citrus Salad

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Gluten Free Walnut Bread Crusty Boule

I found this gluten free bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Mintes A Day a couple of years ago. After trying all of the gluten free grocery store breads I could find I wasn’t satisfied. The grocery store brands had no flavor, were dry, crumbled too easily, and didn’t have the texture of the bread I used to love before I discovered my gluten intolerance. So, when I made this bread for the first time I was ecstatic. It has the texture and consistency of premium fresh baked bread and is so delicious. The recipe is super easy. There is a lot of waiting and planning but very little hands on time. Believe me, it’s worth it. It’s especially good fresh and warm out of the oven. After making the basic recipe several times, I started experimenting and making different versions.

Gluten Free Walnut Bread

My favorites are jalapeño cheddar, olive, and walnut breads. I follow the directions exactly as the website lists except I cut the salt in half. Here is how you make the walnut bread:

I don’t have a plastic bucket like the original recipe calls for so this is what my dough looks like when I put it in the fridge. I typically make the dough the day before I want to bake the bread.

Gluten Free Walnut Bread

Use about a grapefruit size piece of the dough and mix gently with 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Shape dough into a loaf and smooth top with wet fingers. Let the dough sit out on a piece of parchment paper covered slightly with a piece of plastic wrap for 1.5 hours.

Gluten Free Walnut Bread

30 minutes before baking, place Le Creuset pot into the oven and set temperature to 500 degrees. Place the dough and parchment paper into the heated pot like this. The pot is very hot and I have a scar from not being careful once and barely touching my arm on the rim of the pot.

Gluten Free Walnut Bread

Place lid on pot and bake bread for 20 minutes. Remove lid and reduce heat to 450 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven.

Gluten Free Walnut Bread

Enjoy!
Gluten Free Walnut Bread

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Coconut Fried Chicken With Creamy Mango Sriracha Dipping Sauce {Gluten Free and Paleo Recipe}

This is a great 20 minute meal and I love coconut fried anything. This chicken is so good and makes a great meal or paleo appetizers for a party. The mango dipping sauce is delicious and easy. Recently i’ve noticed that anything fried in canola oil bothers my stomach so this was the first time I tried coconut oil to fry in and loved the results. I am going to try this from now on. I am a big fan of this unscented coconut oil and buy it on Amazon. It’s great for baking and, now I know, great for frying too.

Coconut Chicken with Creamy Mango Sriracha Dip Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb Chicken Breast Strips
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Cup Coconut Oil for frying

For The Sauce:
1 Mango, sliced
1 Tbsp Honey
1/3 Cup Coconut Milk
3-4 Drops Sriracha Sauce

Instructions:
1. Melt the coconut oil in a 2-3″ deep pan and slowly bring the temperature to 350°
2. Place the chicken strips into a bowl with a couple of pinches of salt, fresh ground pepper, and cayenne pepper. Toss the strips to coat them in the seasoning, and set them aside.
3. Set up 3 bowls side by side and place coconut flour with a pinch of salt and pepper in the 1st bowl, beaten eggs in the 2nd bowl, and shredded coconut in the 3rd bowl.
4. Dredge one strip at a time into flour, dip it into the beaten eggs, and then into the shredded coconut. Coat chicken well for each step.
5. Fry the strips in batches of 4-5 strips at a time for about 1 ½ – 2 minutes. Turn them very gently with tongs until they are a deep, golden color. Remove from oil and place onto paper towels or a cooling rack to drain.
6. To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Coconut Chicken with Creamy Sriracha Mango Dipping Sauce

This recipe was inspired by this recipe.

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

Pomegranate Pistachio Guacamole {Gluten Free and Paleo Recipe}

A few weeks ago I was at the OC Mix having lunch with my brother at Taco Maria. The guacamole was so good I had to go back and have it again. I love that they mix pistachio’s and fruit in with the guacamole. The combination of flavors is delicious. The first time I went they had grapes and pistachios and the 2nd time, they had persimmons, grapes, and pistachios. When I made my version, I decided to swap out the persimmons and grapes with pomegranates.

Pomegranate Pistachio Guacamole Recipe

Here is what the Taco Maria guacamole looks like:

Taco Maria Guacamole OC Mart Mix

Here is how you make my variation of Taco Maria’s guacamole.

Ingredients:
2 Large Avocados
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Cilantro
2 Jalapeño Peppers Chopped (Reduce or eliminate to reduce spice)
Juice of 1 Lime
Pistachios, shells removed
Seeds of 1 Pomegranate
Tortilla chips or sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, and celery for paleo.

Instructions:
1. Cut avocados in half and remove seeds.
2. Mash avocado in a bowl.
3. Add juice of 1 lime, 1 Tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp Cilantro, 1-2 chopped Jalapeños, and stir.
4. Top with pistachios and pomegranate.

Enjoy!

Pomegranate Pistachio Guacamole Recipe

For parties, serve in individual ramekins like this:

Pomegranate Pistachio Guacamole 5

Pomegranate Pistachio Guacamole

Share on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page

1 2