Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mini Cheese Pizza


This Mini Cheese Pizza is delightful when eaten warm. Also known as fried pizza or Pizza Fritta, they are deep fried, and you make it sweet or savory with your favorite toppings. Here, I have stuffed the dough with mozzarella cheese and instead of deep-frying, I baked them in the oven for about 12 minutes at 450˚F. The baked pizza turned out superb, crusty on the outside with gooey cheese inside!


Mini Cheese Pizza

Ingredients

1 Packet (about 320g) Fresh Pizza Dough (available at Whole Foods Market)


80 g Mozzarella Cheese, diced and divided into 6 portions

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ tsp Dried Italian Herbs

Red Chili Flakes
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Baking tray-lined with parchment paper



Method





Preheat the oven to 450˚F.



Press down the dough on a lightly oil surface. Then divide the dough into 6 equals balls. Roll each out into a circle. Place diced mozzarella cheese in the center of each circle, wrap the dough around filling and flatten it with your palm. Place the dough on the baking dish, seam side down, brush the top with olive oil, and sprinkle some Italian herbs, chili flakes, sea salt, and black pepper. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until light golden brown in color. Serve warm.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Honey Sesame Chicken


Try this sweet and sticky Honey Sesame Chicken stir-fry for your next meal. The chicken may take a while to marinate, but it’s quick to prepare, and it tastes great.

Honey Sesame Chicken

Ingredients

4 (About 430 g) Skinless and Boneless Chicken Thighs, cut into bite sized cubes

2 tsp Corn Flour/Starch
Peanut Oil for stir-frying (about 2 Tbsp)
½ tsp Red Chili Flakes
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Roasted White Sesame Seeds

Marinate

1 Tbsp Shaoxing Cooking Wine


1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce

1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
3 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp Oyster Sauce
½ tsp Sea Salt
A few dashes of White Pepper

Method

Marinate the chicken cubes with wine, light and dark soy sauce, chili flakes, honey, oyster sauce, sea salt, and pepper for about 2 hours. Then discard some of the marinate liquid and mix in the corn flour/starch.

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large wok or cast iron pan until hot. Add chicken cubes and stir briefly. When the chicken are sizzling fragrant, add the chili flakes, dark soy sauce, honey, sesame seeds and stir vigorously, switch off the heat, and serve immediately.





Monday, September 24, 2012

Bacon And Cheese Stromboli


These Bacon and Cheese Stromboli is a breeze to make! Basically, they are just great tasting rolled-up pizza. I used ready made pizza dough with lots of cheese, scallions, and crumbled bacon.

Bacon and Cheese Stromboli

Ingredients

1 (391g) Pillsbury Pizza Crust

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

3 Scallions/Green Onions, sliced

¼ Cup Crumbled Crispy Bacon
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A few pinches of Red Chili Flakes

Sea salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper



Method



Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.


Unroll the dough and brush with olive oil. Scatter the scallions over the dough, follow by the cheese, chili flakes, bacon, and season with salt and pepper. Roll up the long side, tuck the short sides in and slide onto the baking tray, seal side down. Make a few cuts on top of the dough and brush lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and browned. Leave to cool slightly before serving.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Baked Chicken Meatballs


These Italian flavored Baked Chicken Meatballs are juicy, delicious, and healthy. Made with a mix of ground chicken meat, mushrooms, onions, and italian seasonings. These meatballs are ideal for any meals or as a game-day snacks! Serve them with your favorite pasta sauce.


Baked Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Vegetable or Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
½ Red Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
½ lb Cremini Mushrooms, finely diced
½ tsp Red Chili Flakes
1 ½ lbs Ground Chicken
2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil
¼ tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Large Egg
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Cup Pasta Sauce, warm

Method

In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil and butter until soften, about 8 minutes. Then toss in the mushrooms, stir, seasoned with salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are softened. Remove the onion and mushroom mixture and let cool slightly. Drain some of the juices from the mixture.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken; onion and mushroom mixture, chili flakes, parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, sea salt, egg, and some freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate the chicken mixture for about 2 to 3 hours.


Preheat an oven to 350˚F. 


Form about 35 to 38 meatballs the size of large walnuts, rolling them between your palms so they are compact and smooth. Place the rolled chicken meatballs in a lightly oiled baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, turn over and bake for another 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite pasta and sauce.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bacon Baked Potatoes


This is one of those dishes that doesn't require a recipe! Well actually, only two main ingredients are required to make this tasty Bacon Baked Potatoes. You can either slice the potatoes a bit thicker à la Hasselback style, or simply slice the potatoes and place them on a baking dish or tray. Then, place the bacon slices between the potatoes and bake! That's it! Just remember to sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper when it's out from the oven.


Bacon Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

8 Large Fingerling Potatoes, scrubbed
8 Rashers Smoke Bacon, cut into 1/8 inch Strips
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Fresh Rosemary (optional)

Method



Preheat the oven to 425˚F/220˚C.


Line a small baking tray with parchment paper or lightly oiled a baking dish.

Slice the potatoes (about ¼ inch) and place them on a baking dish. Place the bacon slices between the potatoes. Top with some rosemary leaves, if using. Bake the potatoes for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the bacon and potatoes turn crispy. Remove from the oven and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avocado Pesto Sandwich


This is probably the simplest and yet, one of the most decadent Avocado Pesto Sandwich I have ever put together! The sandwich is made with toasted whole-wheat bread with fresh mozzarella and slathered with a generous portion of avocado pesto. Simplicity at its best.

Avocado Pesto Sandwich

Ingredients

1 Large Avocado, mashed
3 Tbsp Pesto
Lemon Juice
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
200 g (1 Ball) Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into 8 pieces
4 Slices Whole-Wheat Bread

About ½ Tbsp of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the mashed avocado, Pesto, mix well and season with lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Place the bread slices, oiled side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Layer Mozzarella on two slices of bread and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasted. Remove from the oven and slathered avocado pesto on the bread and press the sandwiches together firmly.

Serves 2

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pesto


Fresh Pesto is a really versatile sauce that goes well with any grilled meat, pasta, seafood, salad, or sandwiches. This recipe has a hint of spiciness from the green chilies. Love it!

Pesto

Ingredients

2 Bags (About 210g) of Fresh Basil, rinsed and dry
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
¼ Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
2 Serrano Chilies, seeded and chopped
Zest of 1 Lemon
¾ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of ½ a Lemon
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 to 4 Tbsp Grated Parmesan

Method

Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, chili, and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse and chop until all the ingredients are roughly blended. Slowly add in the olive oil and continue to pulse and chop. Transfer to a large bowl and add the lemon juice, stir, and add the Parmesan. Check for seasoning.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata


This Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata is wholesome and tastes fantastic, hot or cold. It's also a perfect lunch-box meal! Try it!

Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion
1 Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper
1 Cup Fresh Spinach
6 Large Eggs
¼ tsp Chili Flakes
2 Cups/8 oz Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian

Method

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Heat Oil in a large nonstick skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper to skillet. Cook for about 6 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach; cook for another minute.

Whisk eggs with chili flakes in a small bowl; stir in 1 ½ cups of cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in skillet; stir once and flatten mixture evenly with spatula. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until the eggs are set. Bake the frittata in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the center is set. Carefully loosen the frittata from the skillet with spatula. Place the frittata on a serving plate and sprinkle with remaining cheese, if desired.

{Recipe adapted from Sargento}

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lemon Barley Water/Drink


This classic Lemon Barley Water recipe is easy to make and perfect on a hot day.

Lemon Barley Water/Drink

Ingredients

½ Cup Pearl Barley
Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons
5 Cups Water
Sugar or Honey to taste

Method

Rinse pearl barley until water runs clear. Place barley with lemon zest and water in a saucepan. Bring it to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Then strain it through a sieve into a jug. Discard the barley.

Add sugar or honey to the barley water and stir to dissolve. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and mix into the barley water and leave it to cool before refrigerate. Serve chilled with lots of ice.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Crispy Baked Lemongrass Chicken Wings


If you are looking for a crispy chicken wings recipe that doesn't involve any deep-frying, then I'd like to suggest you give my Crispy Baked Lemongrass Chicken Wings recipe a try. You can either use my recipe or your own to marinate the wings; but, do follow the preparation steps as I have described. It's important as the secret to creating a crispy coating for the wings is to mix the flour with some baking powder and baking soda. Then, coat the chicken wings and allow them to dry out on your kitchen counter for an hour before baking. Enjoy!

Crispy Baked Lemongrass Chicken Wings

Ingredients

12 Chicken Wings, tips removed
Lime Wedges
½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Baking Soda
Peanut Oil

Marinate

2 Stalks Lemongrass, pounded
2 Shallots, minced or pounded
1 Clove Garlic, pounded
2 Tsp Chili Flakes

2 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
2 Lime Leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Peanut Oil

Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chili flakes, lime juice, lime leaves, sea salt, and peanut oil. Marinate the chicken wings for about 4 hours, or overnight.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Line a large baking pan with tin foil. Place a wire rack on top of the prepared pan. Coat the chicken wings with the flour mixture, making sure that all the nooks and crannies are covered, and shake off any excess flour. Arrange coated chicken wings in a single layer. Allow the chicken wings to dry out on the kitchen counter for an hour before baking.

Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Drizzle a little oil on top of the chicken wings and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes on each side. Serve warm with some lime wedges and Asian chili sauce, if desired.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spaghetti With Halibut, Garlic, And Butter


It will take you less than 30 minutes to whip up this Spaghetti With Halibut, Garlic, And Butter. This is a light pasta dish, served with a delicate fish fillet that's been baked with garlic, butter, parsley, chili, and olive oil. Serve the fish pasta with some lemon wedges at the side. Simply delish!

Spaghetti With Halibut, Garlic, And Butter

Ingredients

About 1½ lbs Halibut Fillets, skin off
4 Tbsp Breadcrumbs

3 Tbsp Finely Chopped Flat-Leaves Parsley
Zest of 1 Large Lemon
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped

2 tsp Chili flakes
1 tsp Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

6 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
12 Small Roma Tomatoes
350g to 400g Dried Spaghetti
Lemon Wedges
Flat-Leaf Parsley, finely chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 450˚F.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, fresh, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, chili flakes, sea salt, and black pepper. 

Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil and grease with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Place the fish fillets on the baking tray and top with the breadcrumb mixtures and scatter tomatoes on the tray. Drizzle the remaining oil all over the fish and top with butter. Bake the fish for about 12 to 13 minutes, or until the fish fillets are fully cooked.

While the fish is in the oven, cook pasta as per manufacturer’s instructions. When the pasta has cooked al dente, drain it in a colander, and toss it in the cooked fish, mix well, and season with lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, and top with some parsley.

Serves 3 to 4

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Egg Salad Pinwheel Sandwiches


Here's a great afternoon tea hors d'oeuvre or lunch box sandwich that’s really easy to make, Egg Salad Pinwheel Sandwiches. All you need is a loaf of horizontally sliced bread and egg salad. Just allow the sandwich to chill before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Egg Salad Pinwheel Sandwiches

Ingredients

1 Loaf of White or Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, horizontally cut into 6 to 7 slices
8 Large Hard-Boiled Eggs, peeled and grated

6 to 7 Tbsp Mayonnaise
A pinch of Paprika

3 Stalk Scallions, finely sliced
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Sea Salt to taste

Some Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Unsalted Butter, softened

Method

Make the egg salad: In a medium bowl, combine grated eggs, mayonnaise, paprika, scallions, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the crusts from the bread. Flatten the bread lightly with a rolling pin. Spread each slice of bread with butter and top with egg salad. Spread the filling evenly with a knife. Roll up into a short cylinder. Wrap each roll tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, before slicing.

Makes 20 to 25 sandwiches


Friday, September 7, 2012

2-Minutes Chocolate Raspberry Cake


I think you will love this 2-Minutes Chocolate Raspberry Cake. Surprisingly, this cake is rich and moist, even though it doesn't have any milk or eggs in it! I hope my vegan readers will enjoy this cake! As usual, this is a no fuss recipe, it's super-quick and easy to make. So, I hope you will try it.


2-Minutes Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Ingredients

4 Tbsp Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Raw/Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
A pinch of Sea Salt
¼ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Vanilla Paste/Extract
¼ Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 ½ Tbsp Vegetable Oil
¾ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp Organic Raspberry Jam
A handful (about ¼ Cup) Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

Method

Grease 2 teacups or mugs with a little oil.

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, sea salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Add vanilla, almond milk, oil, vinegar, and raspberry jam and mix well with a rubber spatula. Then stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the chocolate mixture between the grease teacups.

Microwave on high/full power for 2 minutes. Remove and let the cake stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spicy And Chocolaty Energy Balls


Well, once again the summer vacation is over and kids are back in school. It also means it's time for me to get back to my usual routine, one of which is to hit the gym regularly again. In light of this, let's talk about healthy snacks that will give you the extra energy to crush your workouts. I have quite a few favorites as most of you will know from my previous posts; but, my current favorite is this Spicy And Chocolaty Energy Balls. The spiciness comes from the cayenne pepper, which is good for you. I was a bit heavy-handed with the cayenne pepper when I first made them, turned out spicy but still good nevertheless. Since then, I have toned down the spiciness level a little to suit my taste buds. So, do adjust the spiciness according to your taste and liking as well. These energy balls taste like brownies and they are superb!

Spicy And Chocolaty Energy Balls

Ingredients

6 Moist Medjool Dates, pitted & chopped
½ Cup Oat Bran
1 Cup Almond Meal
A pinch of Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
½ Cup Raw Cacao
3 to 4 Tbsp Unsweetened or Sweetened Almond Milk

Method

Combine chopped dates, oat bran, almond meal, sea salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and cacao in a food processor. Pulse and process all the ingredients together until the texture is coarse. Then add the almond milk (1 Tbsp at a time), a quick pulse, or until it reaches a dry but moist dough consistency. Scrape the dough mixture into a clean bowl; roll a heaped tsp of the mixture between your palms into compact little balls. Put them on the tray and into the fridge for an hour or so to firm up. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Makes 16 Balls (25 grams each)









Monday, September 3, 2012

Egg In A Hole With Salsa Fresca


Try making this classic Egg In A Hole (aka Egg In a Basket or Toast) breakfast. It's a quick and easy breakfast to prepare, the kids, and adults alike will love this. Serve it with some salsa fresca, if you like, it will make this a refreshing and nutritious morning fix!


Egg In A Hole With Salsa Fresca

Ingredients

2 Slices Sandwich Bread
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Large Organic of Free-Range Eggs
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Salsa Fresca
1 Punnet Cherry Tomatoes (mixed colors), diced
½ of Garlic Clove, finely chopped
3 Tbsp Finely chopped White or Red Onion
½ Jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
3 Tbsp chopped Cilantro
Sea Salt
Lime Juice
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

Mix all the salsa ingredients, taste for seasoning and set aside.

Using a small glass or cookie cutter, about 2½-inches in diameter, cut a hole out of the bread.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Melt the butter and place the bread slices together with the cutout rounds. When the bread is toasted, flip over the other side and lower the heat. Add more butter if, necessary. Crack an egg into each hole. Cover the pan with a lid for about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and let the egg set and done to your liking. Serve immediately with sea salt, black pepper, and some fresh salsa, if desired.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bircher Muesli With Seasonal Fruits


My first encounter with Bircher Muesli was at a hotel where I stayed during one of my holidays years ago. The Bircher Müesli looked so pretty in shot glasses on the self-service buffet counter. I just had to try one and I am so glad I did. They were so delicious, I couldn't stop at just one! Under the dollop of yogurt, the shooter glass is filled with oats, nuts, and fruits! Bircher muesli was originally brought to the world's attention around the 1900s by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner. Even back then, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables was an essential part of the therapy program. You can read more about it here.



This recipe for Bircher Muesli With Seasonal Fruits requires soaking the oats, barley flakes, wheat, rye, flaxseed, raisins, and cinnamon in almond milk. So, do make this muesli the night before for a quick and healthy breakfast the next day. Just before serving, mix in some fresh fruits, crunchy almond slices, and a good drizzle of honey on top. Suggest serving it chilled during the summer months and slightly warm during the winter/colder seasons. This is another perfect "pick-me up" breakfast! Have fun making this version or feel free to experiment with any fruits, nuts, or juices combination of your own choice. Enjoy!




Bircher Muesli With Seasonal Fruits

Ingredients

1 Cup of Muesli (rolled oats, barley flakes, wheat, rye, flaxseed)
1 ½ Tbsp Sultanas/Raisins
1 ½ Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk
A Pinch of Sea Salt
Ground Cinnamon
Almond Slices
Fresh Fruits
Honey
2 Tbsp of Yogurt, optional

Method

Combine, muesli, sultanas, almond milk, and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about 6 hours or overnight.

To serve, mix in the yogurt (if using), some cinnamon and top with fruits, almond slices, and a good drizzle of honey. Serve chilled or warm.

Serves 2 to 3










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