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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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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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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- Photo by Lara Robby/Studio D for Food Network Magazine
Get back in the healthy habit early and ring in the New Year with a smarter spread. Balance out the alcohol with plenty of food and virgin cocktails — nobody wants to kick off 2010 with a hangover
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