Nori Sweet Potato Collard Wraps

Yes, I went to the market this weekend…

Three Times.

No, I wasn’t bored.

I was just excited.

And I purchased lots of Collard Greens.

I repeat, lots of Collard Greens.

So, I took one look at the four beauteous bunches of collards in my kitchen on Sunday night and thought about what to do.

Nori and Collards.

Yes.

I created a vision in my mind.

Why not wrap it up?

And I did just that.

Enjoy…

Nori Sweet Potato Collard Wraps

Serves 4

Ingredients

Directions

  1. On a flat surface lay out blanched collard greens; blot to dry with a paper towel.
  2. Top each collard leaf with a nori sheet, spread Nutzo nut butter atop each nori sheet, followed by sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, a dollop of Greek yogurt, pinch of lime zest, a squirt of lime juice, balsamic vinegar, salsa, ground flax seeds, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Fold and roll up like a burrito.
  4. Serve at room temperature with additional salsa.
  5. Enjoy!

It’s Giveaway Time…

I’m excited to announce a new Gluten Free product that I’ve recently encountered, The Gluten Free Bar. The folks over at Gluten Free Bar were kind enough to offer 2 of my readers each a free pack of Gluten Free Bars.

To Enter My Gluten-Free Bar Giveaway:

  • Leave me a comment on this post telling me which flavor bar you’d like to try
  • Tweet about this giveaway and tell me that you did
  • Post this giveaway on your website and tell me that you did
  • Post this giveaway on your facebook page and tell me that you did

Good Luck!

And, now for some fun other lil’ tidbits…

And for those of you yearnin’ to spice up your plate, check out the new iSPICE app for both your iPhone and iPad, which teaches you about different spices, herbs and seasonings via videos recipes and where to purchase.

And, if you live in or around Manhattan, be sure to check out Well & Good’s:

New York City Wellness Trends to Look for in 2011

This is an adorable calendar of food headlines from the satricial publication, The Onion, which makes a cute lil’ stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life.

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Taco Night Sweepstakes

I am so excited to announce my Taco Night Sweepstakes which starts today!  You can simply submit an original taco, guacamole or salsa recipe using Avocados from Mexico as an ingredient.

There will be one Terrific Taco Winner announced on my blog on November the 1st who will be awarded a $100 iCard.  But that’s only half of it…there is a chance to also win a $25 iCard every Thursday via Twitter, too…You can spread the word for my Taco Night Sweeps via Twitter and Facebook to encourage others to enter.

How exciting is this? I know all of you have some fabulously delicious avocado recipes so get started and whip up a delicious dish to enter my Taco Night sweepstakes.

All recipes should be submitted as a comment in the ‘comments’ section or as a link in the ‘comments’ section of this post.   The sweepstakes is open from today thru October the 29th.

On November 1st, one winner will be chosen using a random number generator software program and then announced on my blog for a $100 iCard.

You can tweet about this contest using the hashtag #taconight and you can also post about the contest on your Facebook page.  Every Thursday night, you can participate in the Twitter promotion by tweeting a photo of your ‘Taco Night’ to @Guacgrl.

The first 5 tweets each Thursday will receive a $25 iCard!

Participation is free and recipes will not be judged.  Limit one entry per person, per blog site.  Recipe submission is not a requirement for entry.

Speaking of Avocados…Here are two of my favorite ‘Avocado-Inspired’ recipes:

Zucchini n’ Avocado Hummus

Mango n’ Avocado Salsa

I am looking forward to seeing all of your comments n’ recipes…

What are you cookin’ up with your Taco Night?

Please note, as required by the Federal Trade Commission, I am running at the request of Avocados from Mexico, for which I will receive $100 gift card in appreciation.


Coconut Curry Tofu Salad and Spa Giveaway

 


This is a wonderful salad to enjoy for tasty lunch, dinner or a mid-afternoon snack scooped into hollowed-bell peppers, zucchini boats and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. firm tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (6 oz.) container Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. organic salsa
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Dash of Sea Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Press firmly on tofu to remove all excess water.  Place a heavy object such as a book or a brick atop a clean paper towel and the block of tofu.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Remove tofu and slice into 1 inch cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Gently toss to combine.
  3. Serve chilled.
  4. Enjoy!

 

And Now…For my Spa Giveaway

The contest, “Social InSPAration,” is running from  today, August 2nd thru August 6th. This is a fun and easy way for your chance to win a 90 minute spa treatment at The Spa  at The Surrey, which is the only Upper East Side Manhattan location to  receive the highly regarded Darphin scrub.

It just takes three easy  steps to be entered to win:

1. Follow The Surrey on Twitter @SurreyHotelNYC
2. Become a fan of the Spa at The Surrey on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Spa-At-The-Surrey/141275545883553?ref=ts)
3.  And lastly, post on the Spa at The Surrey’s Facebook wall which  treatment on their spa menu you want to experience most and why.

Five Tasty ‘5’ Ingredient Meals

5 Recipes, 5 Ingredients…It doesn’t get much easier than this…

Here are five fabulous recipes that I have created for those nights when there’s merely 5 ingredients in your pantry or fridge and you simply just can’t decide what to whip up for a tasty meal.  Not to fret, my bloggie pals, read on for five easy, delicious and healthy recipes that will surely leave your taste buds happy and your wallet too!

Stuffed Pesto Peppers


Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 red bell peppers
  • 2 cups beans
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed and chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. basil pesto

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook quinoa to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, remove and discard the tops, seeds and membranes of bell peppers.  Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upwards.
  4. In a bowl, mix quinoa, beans, chopped broccoli and basil pesto; mix well.  Spoon mixture into hollowed peppers.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until peppers are tender.
  6. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Turkey Ball Spinach Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 16 oz. jar organic marinara sauce
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole grain penne
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

  1. Using hands, form small ‘balls’ with lean turkey to create turkey balls.
  2. In large pot, combine turkey balls, marinara sauce, and water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, stir in penne and spinach, and simmer for 10 minutes, until tortellini and meatballs are hot and tender.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Orange Agave Chicken


Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. applesauce
  • 1/3 cup all-natural orange marmalade
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preparation:

  1. Prepare and preheat grill.
  2. In small bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken breasts and stir to combine.
  3. Prepare grill with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Brush orange mixture on chicken and place on grill. Cook 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally and brushing frequently with marmalade mixture, until chicken is no longer pink.

Balsamic Shrimp Kabobs


Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 8 oz. pkg. button mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Preparation:

  1. Prepare and preheat grill.
  2. On each of 8 metal kabobs, thread shrimp, pepper chunks, and whole mushrooms, allowing a bit of space in between each ingredient.
  3. Prepare grill with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Brush kabobs with balsamic vinegar and grill for 5 minutes or until shrimp are cooked, turning once and brushing once with balsamic vinegar.

Grilled Swordfish and Mango Salsa


Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 mangos, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 4 swordfish steaks
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. chili powder

Preparation:

  1. In a small glass bowl, combine mangos, salsa, and lime juice and chill in refrigerator. Meanwhile, prepare and heat grill.
  2. Spray grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle steaks with sea salt and chili powder; place fish on grill.
  3. Cover grill and cook for 10-12 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with fork, turning once.
  4. To serve, top steaks with salsa.

Fillet of Sole with Spicy Cilantro Salsa

Last evening, I created a delicious dinner for myself…I spent my afternoon in the long lines of Whole Foods Market at Columbus Circle…after waiting online and fighting the New Year’s Eve crowds (at 3 PM), I was a happy camper with my fresh piece of sole, parsley, cilantro, onions, tomatoes and kale.

I created a tasty dish, quite simple, in fact…I simply cooked the fillet on the stove top, covered, with a touch of low sodium vegetable broth, sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.  Once the fillet was cooked, I served it over steamed kale and my new concoction ‘Spicy Cilantro Salsa’.

Spicy Cilantro Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. spicy, stone ground mustard
  • 1 small tomato, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dulse flakes

Directions

  • Simply combine all of the above ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix well.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature atop fillet of sole, steamed kale and blanched sweet onions.
  • I served my sole with an additional dollop of Greek plain yogurt and salsa (gotta love the extra’s, hehe) as you can see in my picture below.
  • Enjoy!

Happy New Year Bloggies!

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!

Mango Avocado Salsa

I recently created a delicious recipe for The Foodie Blog Roll and the National Mango Board for their fabulous ‘Leftover Recipe Challenge’, which incorporates some of my favorite ingredients avocado, cilantro, basil and agave nectar and leftover fresh mango’s and Roma tomatoes in my pantry.

Ingredients

  • 2 large fresh mango’s, diced
  • 1 ripened avocado, peeled, cored and diced
  • 3 scallions, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber,diced
  • 1 medium Roma tomato, diced
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
  • Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.
  • Serve alongside whole grain chips, pitas or crudites.

In The News…

Top Restaurant Trends for 2010

Studies Show Eating Patterns for the Next 10 Years

A Salty Tale: Why We Need A Diet Less Rich in Sodium

Your Favorite Natural Brands May Not Be What They Seem

The Fine Print: What’s Really in a Lot of ‘Healthy’ Foods