Category Archives: Appetizers

Bonita Barley Bowl

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With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, I figured we all needed to gear up for the impending celebrations and fiestas. I have been waiting for the perfect time to deliver this recipe, and I believe this is it. There are so many things I love about this bowl of wholesome goodness. It is protein and fiber packed and has so much flavor that I could seriously eat it every day for the rest of my life and never once be mad about it. I call it the “Bonita” bowl because of it’s South-of-the-Border Mexican flare and, well, because it truly is beautiful just like it’s name suggests. This is the perfect lunch when paired with a few corn tortillas or a semi-hard-boiled egg and will most definitely keep you full for hours. It can also be shared at a party or gathering as a delicious side dish. The cilantro-lime dressing keeps this bowl together with a bright and zesty tang and the diced jalapeños and red onion pack a spicy punch. Barley is one of my favorite whole-grains to use in salads and soups because it has a toothsome bite and never looses its hardiness. Not to mention, barley is full of dietary fiber which only betters our digestive health, and who doesn’t love that? I cannot express how much you will savor this dish, as it has become a staple in my home that I will forever adore. You know I frequently talk about how much I love a good single-bowl lunch or dinner and here is just another one to add to the repertoire. Enjoy amigos! 

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Bonita Barley Bowl

Serves 4


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Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
35 min

Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
35 min

For the Barley Bowl
  1. 8.8oz of (dried partially-cooked) Barley (I buy the “10-minute Barley” from Trader Joe’s)
  2. 1 cup (about 8oz) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I pick the smallest tomatoes from the container)
  3. 1/2 small red onion, diced
  4. 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  5. 1 15oz can black beans, drained
  6. 1 cup frozen roasted corn kernels (see note*)
  7. micro greens as garnish or any salad greens for serving
  8. 2 avocados, sliced and divided among the bowls (see note*)
For the Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
  1. 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (to help out the blender a bit)
  2. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  3. juice of 3 small limes
  4. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 tsp pepper
  7. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your spice level)
Optional Accompaniments
  1. semi-hard-boiled egg
  2. corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Prepare the barley per package directions. Barley can often take a long time to cook, so that is why I choose the partially-cooked kind from Trader Joe’s that comes in a perfect little package (but feel free to use any kind you like). While the barley is cooking, prepare the Cilantro-Lime dressing. Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to the blender and blend until mixed well. Set aside the dressing. Once the barley is cooked, drain and set aside in a large glass bowl.
  2. Heat the drained black beans in a sauce pan until just warmed through and add to the barley. Also, heat the frozen roasted corn in a small skillet until hot and add to the barley. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes, the diced jalapeño and red onion. Pour the Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette over the top and using a large spoon mix until everything is coated in the dressing. Top each bowl with a few slices of avocado, or a hard-boiled egg, and some micro-greens. Serve immediately with or without warm corn tortillas.
Notes
  1. I like to buy the frozen roasted corn kernels from Trader Joe’s. If you have fresh corn, char a single ear of corn on the stove top or grill and then slice off the kernels and reserve in a bowl and set aside.
  2. If you are serving this dish as an entree, top each bowl with three slices of avocado and a few micro greens. If you are serving the dish as a side salad for a gathering, feel free to add chopped avocado and mix into the entire salad just before serving.
  3. I made this dish for lunch for Kris and I and had plenty leftover. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Fry-Fecta w/ Vegan Chive & Onion Dip

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When I think back on the parties my parents had when I was little, I remember a few things in particular. I remember the way my parents would prepare days ahead of time; cleaning and organizing the house, arranging the patio furniture so that it would be perfectly accommodating for all our guests. I remember the way my mother smelled when she got dressed up just before the company arrived. The thing I remember most was the habitual appetizers they would present for everyone to snack on. They were only put out on special occasions and that is why I have such fond memories of the food. We always served päté with some soft cheese, whole grain mustard, and seeded crackers as well as some baked brie with crusty bread. They would also serve things that were a bit more kid friendly, although I personally thought the päté was divine, like ridged potato chips with the BEST sour cream and onion dip. I don’t recall it being anything fancy, maybe just one of those seasoning packets mixed with sour cream but I loved it. Now, in my adult life, the only difference is that I still crave those creamy onion flavors but would never purchase the artificial stuff. I wanted to make my own onion dip but instead use wholesome ingredients that are nutritionally beneficial yet still taste amazing. This vegan and healthy dip is seriously one of my favorite things I have ever made to accompany baked “fries”. The fries are a combination, or trifecta if you will, of my favorite veggies; organic carrots (of many colors), parsnips (otherwise known as carrots spicier cousin), and sweet potatoes. The mix of these not only creates the most beautiful presentation of fries you have ever seen, but tastes incredible while providing ample amounts of vitamins and minerals. Ridiculous. Fry-fecta in full affect! 

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Fry-Fecta w/ Vegan Chive & Onion Dip

Serves 4


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Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
27 min

Total Time
37 min

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
27 min

Total Time
37 min

For the Fries
  1. 1 small sweet potato, peeled, cut into fries
  2. 3 parsnips, ends cut off and peeled, cut into fries
  3. 3 small carrots, ends cut off and peeled, cut into fries
  4. 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tsp ground cumin
  6. 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chili powder (substitute paprika if you do not want the spice)
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  8. 1/2 tsp pepper
  9. 2 TBSP fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
For the Vegan Chive & Onion Dip
  1. 1 cup soaked cashews (soaked in water overnight and then drained)
  2. juice of 1 lemon
  3. 1 tsp worcestershire (anchovy-free if vegan)
  4. 1/2 cup plain organic almond milk
  5. 3-4 TBSP water or milk (until desired dipping consistency is reached)
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 tsp pepper
  8. 1 tsp onion powder
  9. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  10. 2 TBSP fresh chives, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 385. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or aluminum foil. Using tongs, mix the carrots, parsnips, and sweet potato fries with the olive oil and spices until evenly coated. Make sure the fries are in one even layer and aren’t overlapping. Bake for 20 minutes, toss them again with tongs, and turn up the heat to 500. Bake for another 7 minutes, keeping a close eye so they don’t burn, and then set aside.
  2. While the fries are baking, combine the soaked and drained cashews, into the blender. Add the lemon juice, worcestershire, and almond milk. Add a few tablespoons of water until you reach the desired dipping consistency you like. Add the spices, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings (I added a tiny bit more salt, onion powder, and splash of worcestershire). Pour into a glass bowl and then add the chopped fresh chives and mix well.
  3. To serve, place the fries on a platter with the chive and onion dip, and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. There will be leftover chive and onion dip! There are endless possibilities for this sauce: use as spread on burgers or sandwiches, use as a dip for a veggie crudité, or serve with you favorite chips!
Adapted from A House In The Hills, Paprika Parsnip Fries
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

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My love for things on toast or rice cakes or crackers is pretty obvious and I am sure you are quite aware of the obsession by now. Every morning I try to switch up my breakfast routine but usually stay within a realm of something toasty or crunchy topped with something creamy or rich that embodies ample amounts of protein/fiber to get me through the day (or until lunch, rather).  It is most often a brown rice cake with almond butter, sliced banana, and a drizzle of honey. Sometimes I go the savory route and switch it up to smashed avocado with a hard boiled egg topped with salt and red chili flakes. Both are SUPER delicious and keep me feeling full for up to 5 hours, when I can usually take my lunch. My newest infatuation though, involves this recipe for raspberry chia seed jam. The jam is slightly sweet yet mostly tart and is chalk full of fiber (thanks to those little vitamin-packed chia seeds!) and pairs stunningly with creamy almond butter. It takes all of 5 whole minutes to prepare and is so ridiculously easy there is really no reason for you not to make it. Introducing your new favorite morning habit…you’re welcome! 

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Raspberry Chia Seed Jam


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Prep Time
1 min

Cook Time
4 min

Total Time
5 min

Prep Time
1 min

Cook Time
4 min

Total Time
5 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup frozen raspberries (or any mix of your favorite frozen berries)
  2. juice from 1/2 lemon
  3. 1 TBSP honey (or more if you like it a bit sweeter)
  4. 2 TBSP chia seeds
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, over low heat, combine the berries, lemon juice and honey. Using a fork, smash the berries down so that they become a jam-like consistency. Once they have broken down, remove from heat and add the chia seeds and mix well to combine. Pour into an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least an hour. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
Notes
  1. The recipe yields about 1 cup prepared jam.
Adapted from A House In The Hills
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Sweet Potato Ricotta Crostini w/ Roasted Grapes & Thyme

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“Things on Toast”. I have always been an avid supporter of this kind of eating. I even thought that if I was ever lucky enough to write my own cookbook one day, that this is what it would be titled. I am lover of bruschetta, tartines, crostinis, or anything for that matter that is served on a toasty crunchy little vessel. I think because I am someone who is a devotee to textures, I am kind of obsessed with the way different foods come together in your mouth in a single bite. A creamy center amid a cripsy frame is what I am all about. Layers and levels of flavor as well as composition are what make food enjoyable and, in my opinion, set the tone for artistry and craftsmanship. You can build an incredible meal when you really start to consider what exactly makes individual ingredients standout or blend in. Here is my food for thought: not only is important to think of “things on toast” as one structure with several stories, each supporting and holding the next level up, but all food should be understood in this way. This recipe, in particular, is one of my most favorite, simple yet seemingly fancy, toast creations. I love the crunchy rustic loaf paired with the velvety sweet-potato cheese, topped with the roasted grapes that taste like candy, and sprinkled with earthy and aromatic thyme. It has depth of flavor and really emphasizes the antecedent “food for thought” proposition. Also, I can not help but mention that it’s star ingredient is taking us straight to Healthy Town, USA. Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense little miracles packed with extremely high levels of antioxidants and many essential vitamins and minerals. It is a superfood that some experts believe we should eat every single day. I could easily get on board with this campaign and I think I’ll start right now…. 

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Sweet Potato Ricotta Crostini w/ Roasted Grapes & Thyme

Serves 4


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Cook Time
25 min

Cook Time
25 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sweet potato, skinned and diced in 1/4″ cubes (1 small sweet potato)
  2. 1 cup red grapes
  3. 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided
  4. 1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  5. 1 TBSP milk (I used almond milk, use whatever you have or use water)
  6. 8 small slices of a crusty rustic loaf
  7. salt
  8. pepper
  9. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  10. 1/4 tsp cumin
  11. minced thyme for sprinkling (about 1 TBSP or less)
  12. honey for drizzling
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Place the sweet potato cubes on a small rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Toss with your hands to make sure all the sweet potatoes are covered in oil and spices. In an 8×8 glass baking dish, add the grapes, 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss with your hands. Set the grapes aside. Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 10 minutes. Once, the 10 minutes are up add the grapes into the oven alongside the sweet potatoes. Roast them together, side by side, for 12 minutes. Let both grapes and sweet potatoes cool a bit.
  2. After a minute or two of cooling, add the roasted sweet potatoes to the bowl of food processor. Add the ricotta, cumin, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. I added 1 TBSP of almond milk to thin out the mixture just a bit.
  3. Toast the slices of the rustic loaf in the toaster oven or under the broiler. Spread the sweet potato ricotta cheese mixture on the toast, top with a few roasted grapes (be sure to stick the grapes into the spread to avoid them rolling off the toast), drizzle honey over the top and sprinkle with a little bit of fresh thyme leaves. Serve immediately while the toast is still warm! Enjoy!
Notes
  1. This recipe makes enough for 8 slices of toast and would serve 4-6 as an appetizer. If you have extra sweet potato ricotta spread leftover, save it in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before serving again.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Caviar w/ Potato Blinis

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One of my favorite things to do with my husband is recreate some of the fancier meals we have had while dining out in the comfort of our own home. There is something so special about having a dinner with the one you love in the place where you are most vulnerable and where you are the most at peace. It is so utterly important to take time away from the insanities of life and remember to look back into the eyes of the person that holds your heart. I often try to make meals for Kris that will not only impress him but will give him the feeling that I put an enormous amount thought and adoration into every element. It really is so imperative and necessary for him and I to plan date nights like these, with each other, to keep our marriage functioning and viable. I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of our favorite (and a bit lavish) indulgences is caviar. Now this might seem intimidating or even a bit daunting to someone who has never delighted in such a treat, but it is honestly one of the most fun and entertaining meals to put together. It is always impressive and eloquent, yet one of of the most important factors is that it does not have to break the bank. Caviar is not only for the well-to-do and wealthy folk; in fact, there are caviars for everyone and every palate.  There are a few things about caviar that you should know, if this delicacy seems a bit unfamiliar:

1. Caviar is meant to be savored and tasted. Like, really tasted. The individual eggs should spread along your tongue and the roof of your mouth. You should be able to identify one or several kinds of flavors; it can be nutty, buttery, salty, briny, earthy, or fishy depending on the type. Take into account what exactly you can taste and make the experience be about all that is happening in your mouth. 

2. Traditional accompaniments to caviar include (but are not limited to) the following: potato blinis (or potato pancakes), creme fraiche or sour cream, hard boiled egg crumbles (I have the perfect hard boiled egg recipe here), fresh chives, and minced shallots. Ice cold vodka or champagne should be enjoyed between each bite to cleanse the palate. Do not accompany with red or white wine; it will too heavily compete with the flavors of the caviar. 

3. Expensive caviar does not equal the best. Caviar is enjoyable because everybody’s preference and appetite is different. You may find that the moderately priced tin is your absolute favorite and the more expensive simply doesn’t suit you. The price on caviar is based upon how rare the eggs are and is not based upon taste; so find what it is you like and experiment with that. 

Now that you have an idea about how culinary exciting and intriguing caviar can be; plan your next date night. Valentine’s day is just around the corner and it would be super fun to show your partner exactly what caviar is all about. Impress the ones you love with a memorable meal and enjoy! 

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Caviar w/ Potato Blinis

Serves 4


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Prep Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr

Prep Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr

For the Potato Blinis
  1. 1 Russet potato (about 1lb)
  2. 3 Tbsp flour
  3. 1 TBSP Creme Fraiche
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  5. 1/4 tsp pepper
  6. 2 organic brown eggs
  7. 1 organic brown egg yolk
  8. a few tsps of unsalted butter
For the Accoutrements
  1. 2 hard boiled organic brown eggs, finely diced
  2. 1 large shallot, minced
  3. 1 TBSP fresh chives, finely diced
  4. 2 TBSP Creme Fraiche
  5. Caviar* (see note)
Instructions
  1. Peel the potato and cut into 8 small cubes. Add the potato to a large pot of water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. While the potato boils, start on the accoutrements; mince the shallot and finely dice the hard boiled eggs and chives. Set them aside in separate decorative bowls.
  2. Drain and remove the cooked potato cubes into a large bowl. Mash the potato with a fork. Add the flour, creme fraiche, salt and pepper. Add the eggs one at a time completely combining before adding the next egg. Make sure to get as many lumps out as you can. Set the batter aside (it should look like a light yellow pancake batter).
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a little teaspoon of butter and once it melts, begin spooning out batter into small pancakes (I use a TBSP measure to make sure that all my potato pancakes are even in size). Let cook for about a minute or two before flipping (there should be dark brown marks on the surface). Cook for another minute or two on the other side and then place onto a plate. Continue this process until all the batter is used (adding more butter to the pan when needed). You should end up with about 16-18 mini pancakes.
  4. To assemble the potato pancakes: spread a small amount of creme fraiche on the pancake and top with a few chives, shallots, and egg crumbles. Top with about a teaspoon of caviar and enjoy! Drink ice cold vodka or champagne in-between bites to cleanse the palate and then repeat!
Notes
  1. We love the Lascco Whitefish Caviar (2oz jar) from Gelson’s, which happens to be the least expensive of their loot. Other caviars that we like include Sturgeon and Bowfin. Feel free to try any of your choosing; after all, we all have different preferences.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/