All Posts By Amie Valpone

Touchdown Baked Nachos

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, February 1, 2013

baked nachos
You’ve got a hoard of people coming over to watch the big game and boy, are they going to be hungry! These nachos are gluten free and loaded with veggies: spinach, avocado, cilantro and salsa. Sesame seeds give them some crunch. If you’ve got some extra time, swap the jarred salsa for freshly made Game Day Salsa. The nachos are also dairy-free, so guests with multiple allergies can enjoy this savory, melted delight too.

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Game-Day Salsa

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, January 29, 2013

salsa

Chips and salsa are the perfect, traditional game-day combination. Invite all your buddies to gather around the coffee table to watch the game and munch on freshly made salsa. Forget about the canned varieties sitting on the shelves at the grocery store — they are often filled with preservatives and extra sodium. This salsa uses fresh tomatoes, buttery avocados and zesty cilantro with a touch of salt. Serve it with crudités or corn tortilla chips for the ultimate gluten-free game day appetizer.

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Easy Red Pepper Dip

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, December 31, 2012

red pepper dip
The New Year is almost here and we’re all excited about what 2013 will bring. But when it comes to that last string of holiday parties, do you know what food you are going to bring to the table? It has to complement your New Year’s resolution and be tasty enough to enjoy. Here’s your solution: savory red pepper dip made with your skinny jeans and taste buds in mind.

Not only does this power dip contain one of my favorite vegetables, red bell peppers, but it is also soaring with fiber and vitamins. In this recipe, cashews and chickpeas add a subtle crunch and boost of nutrients to your plate.

What some people believe makes a red pepper dip, or any other dip for that matter, taste delicious is added cheese or butter;  but there is no need for these empty calories. One of my healthy holiday secrets is to replace butter with healthier oils, and in this case, olive oil. Lean on your friend, the dutiful food processor, to whip these ingredients together and make a smooth dip you can serve as an appetizer with gluten-free crackers or as condiment for your main dish such as fish tacos, burritos or chicken. You’ll quickly see how this simple recipe is one of the easiest health switches you can make.  Believe me, you’ll want to whip up a batch of dip each week to store in your fridge and serve with breakfast eggs instead of ketchup, lunchtime sandwiches instead of mayonnaise and afternoon snacks such as crudités.

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Turkey and Hummus-Wrapped Pears

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, December 30, 2012

turkey and hummus wrapped pears
It’s almost 2013 — make this the year you try new and exciting gluten-free recipes. Why not play on your flavor palate by combining fresh and delicious ingredients? One of my favorites is organic sliced turkey, hummus and pears: it’s not exactly the most common of food combinations but when wrapped together, it can be one of the tastiest!

Pears and hummus are both common go-to gluten-free foods. If you’re gluten-free or have Celiac disease, it’s important to purchase gluten-free turkey, such as Applegate Farms and gluten-free hummus such as Sabra to ensure you are making a safe and healthy gluten-free meal you can enjoy. Also included in this recipe is one of my favorite fruits, pears, which are deliciously sweet and nutritious, not to mention they are a rich source of essential vitamins and dietary fiber. Still not convinced? If you’re worried the subtle flavors of turkey and hummus may make for a bland meal, you are surely in for a treat. The addition of chili powder (one of my favorite gluten-free condiments), ground pepper and orange zest will add the satisfying tang you are looking for.

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Artichoke-Cashew Spread

by in Healthy Recipes, December 28, 2012

artichoke dip
If you have a big crowd heading over for a New Year’s Eve bash and aren’t sure where to start when it comes to tasty finger foods to serve, here is one simple, healthy answer: artichoke dip. With a little help from your  food processor, this dip is guaranteed to be as easy to make as it is crowd-pleasing.

One thing is for sure: artichoke dip is always a hit, whether it’s at a restaurant or a family gathering. But what’s typically served is less than ideal for your waistline: the dip is usually loaded with cheeses, sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Think it’s impossible to get this tasty appetizer without the added greasy ingredients? Not true. Let this recipe surprise you. By the time you turn off your food processor for a taste, you’ll wish you never wasted so many crackers on old artichoke dip recipes.

This year, take advantage of the nutritional benefits of artichokes – which are already low in calories and fat – and create a healthy, scrumptious dip that won’t compromise your healthy diet. Instead of all the heavy cheeses and mayo, add feel-good ingredients like cashews and lemon juice and let extra-virgin olive oil take the place of butter.

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Sweet Cranberry-Glazed Carrots

by in Healthy Holidays, December 23, 2012

carrot salad
A Christmas meal isn’t complete without a “sweet” element — but who says the sweet stuff is just for dessert? This year, add some sweetness to your dinner table and have a not-so-traditional side dish: cranberry-glazed carrots. It’s as simple as taking cranberries and carrots and combining them together for one delicious dish.

Including orange juice and zest is also a way to kick up the flavor – in a way even the kids will enjoy! To ensure this dish is not-too-sweet, add  fresh mint to help bring balance.

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Roasted Pecan Broccoli

by in Healthy Holidays, December 22, 2012

broccoli with pecans
Veggies don’t have to be hard to cook or hard to eat. This Christmas, add some extra nutrition to your holiday dinner. This roasted pecan broccoli is a colorful, quick and easy dish to whip up.

Broccoli is delicious and something I always stock up on. More importantly, it is loaded with nutrients that are good for your overall health. Broccoli has been known to help fight against certain cancers and strokes. An added bonus: broccoli is low in calories, so eating more of it during the splurge-happy holidays isn’t likely to affect your waistline. The pecans in this recipe offer a bonus too: they contain disease-fighting nutrients and antioxidants. Plus, pecans hold multiple good-for-you fatty acids that are essential in an everyday balanced diet. So go ahead, let this roasted pecan broccoli side dish be the healthiest decision you’ll make all December.

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Gluten-Free Ricotta-Onion Pizza

by in Gluten-Free, December 16, 2012

pizza

The traditional Christmas meal varies from family to family. Some gather around the table for variations of spaghetti, while others eat ham, but what is there for those families who want to stray away from the conventional meal? Surprise your family with an unexpected meal and put your own spin on traditional Christmas recipes by whipping up a guilt-free pizza your kids are guaranteed to enjoy. It’s flavorful, healthy, and after you get your hands on it – made with 100% TLC.

Typically, pizza is a big no-no on the “what to eat” list for people with a gluten intolerance because of its flour dough and other gluten-filled ingredients. But when you make your own (and stock up on gluten-free pizza dough), alas Christmas – or any other time you get a craving – becomes the day you can enjoy this merry indulgence.

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Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

by in Healthy Recipes, December 9, 2012

Looking for new ways to spruce up potatoes at dinnertime? Here’s a fun-to-eat baked sweet potato recipe to try. Stuffed with creamy filling made with freshly squeezed orange juice, Greek yogurt, brown sugar and pistachios these potatoes are sure to please any crowd. Don’t forget to add mini marshmallows on top to get the kids excited to eat them.

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Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

by in Thanksgiving, November 21, 2012

quinoa-stuffed peppers
Meet the tastiest, most nutritious Thanksgiving appetizer around. This easy dish comes together in under an hour and makes delicious use of beautiful poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are mild chili peppers from Mexico, and their spiciness helps to bring out their taste. If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods you can always use bell peppers instead. Flax seeds and veggies offer meaty texture and flavor while quinoa and chickpeas pile on the protein. I added a touch of marjoram for garnish as it adds extra flavor, plus pretty flecks of color. Serve hot out of the oven or bake ahead of time and reheat before your guests arrive. If you have any extra cooked quinoa leftover try my tasty little Quinoa Bites, which make great hors d’oeuvres and are the perfect finger food for kids to munch on.

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