Roasted red pepper hummus.

I made this yummy roasted red pepper hummus last Friday night for a friend’s birthday party we were hosting.  It was so good and so much better than store-bought hummus.  I love controlling the ingredients, especially the salt, that goes into my foods.


1  - 15 oz cans of garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 c of chopped roasted red peppers
3 tbl of olive oil
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
2 tbl tahini
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp of salt
1/8 of tsp of ground pepper
If you like spicier hummus, add 1/2 tsp of Sriracha sauce

Directions:  Add everything to your food processor and blend.  If it’s too dry, add  additional lemon juice.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  Then serve with your favorite veggies, chips or pita bread.


Asian turkey lettuce wraps.

I love having dinners where everyone can build their own plate.  I especially love when my youngest, who only eats to live, eats a more than usual and goes back for seconds, or even thirds!  I am an Italian mom after all ;)

I found beautiful butter lettuce at the farmer’s market today and immediately thought of making these for dinner.  Safe to safe, there are very little leftovers tonight.


2 heads of butter lettuce (yielded about 20 lettuce leaves in various sizes)
1.5 lean organic ground light meat turkey
1 tbl olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbl of low sodium soy sauce
1 tbl of rice wine vinegar
1 tbl of Sriracha chili sauce (extra for topping)
1 tbl of dark sesame oil
2 tbl of toasted sesame seeds
6 green spring onions, chopped


Carefully cut off the bottom of the lettuce heads.  Then remove each lettuce leaf carefully. Wash and pat dry and set aside on a large platter.

In your skillet over medium heat, add the oil.  Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.  Drain and place in a bowl.  Set that aside.  In your skillet, add the onion and cook until translucent.  Then add the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil and seeds, and the green onions.  Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the ground turkey.  Mix well and keep over a low flame until you’re ready to serve.  I served this dinner along with a side of organic quinoa.

You can serve this as an appetizer or for your main course.


Sriracha Turkey Meatballs with a Chobani sweet & spicy dipping sauce.

I adore Sriracha sauce!  I pretty much put it on anything I can.  I thought it would be fun in a Vietnamese style meatball and I was right… it was!  I also made a yummy sauce for dipping (neglected to take a pic of that for you but trust me, it’s worth making with these meatballs).  Would be a great appetite for a party but served as dinner for my family tonight with fresh veggies.


1.5 lbs of ground 85% lean turkey (I wouldn’t go leaner on the meat or the meatball will be super dry)
1 egg
1/3 + 1 tbl of panko bread crumbs
1/4 yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
3 green onions
1 inch piece of peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tbl of toasted sesame seeds
2 tbl of Sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp of salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbl of olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350.  Then in your food processor, add garlic and onion and process.  Then add that to your mixing bowl with the paddle attachment along with all of the other ingredients, omitting the olive oil.  Mix until well incorporated.

In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil.  Once hot, start rolling your meatballs.  Cook until you have a nice brown coating on the outside and then remove and add to your cookie sheet.  Bake these browned meatballs for about 30 minutes or until fully cooked.  Then place on a platter.

To make the dipping sauce:

1/2 c of Plain Chobani yogurt
1 tbl of honey
1 tsp of Sriracha sauce
1/8 tsp of salt

Whisk together and serve with the meatballs.



Organic Pea Pesto.

Here’s another great example of eating the rainbow!  And, thankfully, another way of sneaking veggies into your kids :)  Made just like a classic pesto, this versatile recipe is one  of my favorites and is so vitamin-packed – you won’t feel guilty eating it.


12 oz Cascadian Farm Organic Peas
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 c of grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
Crackers or toasted baguette slices
10 cherry tomatoes, halved

In your food processor:  Blend peas, garlic, parm, salt and pepper.  Then drizzle olive oil into the mixture.  Add enough until you have a thick but softer consistency (see photo).  Spread on your crackers or bread and top with cherry tomatoes.


Olive tapenade.


I love olives!  They are my biggest weakness… I made this yesterday for our Super Bowl party that we were having.  It is always a hit and leftovers only get better the next day!

I take a baguette and slice it on the bias (fairly thin).  Spray with olive oil and broil until golden brown.  Keep a watchful eye because it will burn quickly.  Remove and flip – repeat on the other side.  Set the bread aside.

In your food processor add olives (about a cup but this recipe doesn’t have to be exact).  I use pitted kalamata & green olives stuffed with a garlic clove.  3 garlic cloves peeled and left whole.  1/4 c of olive oil.  1 tbl of capers. 1 tbl of fresh parsley.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Process until finely chopped.  You can add extra olive oil if needed.  You can either top the bread slices with the tapenade or serve in a bowl along side the bread.


Bacon wrapped figs.

Okay if you are looking for the easiest appetizer EVER… you can stop looking!  I had something similar at La Cave in Las Vegas.  They served it with an accompanying blue cheese dip.  I bought figs last week at our farmer’s market and couldn’t resist giving this super easy recipe a whirl.  So glad I did!  The smell of bacon cooking is reason no. 1 why these are a winner and 2 – the sweet/salty combination is hard to resist.

I bought a half of a pound of Turkish figs.  Cut the stem from each top.  I took several pieces of bacon and cut them in half.  Wrap one piece around each fig and place the seam side down on your cookie sheet.  Place in a preheated oven at 350 degree for about 35 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and fully cooked.  I placed them on a paper towel lined plate to drain and serve.  YUM!




Shrimp Margaritas.


This recipe is a bit of a departure from the shrimp cocktail typically served at parties.  This slight variation was extremely well-received by our guests at our Super Bowl party.  I also liked it because you can prepare it ahead of time so  you aren’t slaving in the kitchen while you’re guests are enjoying themselves.  Also no cooking or baking required!


1.25 cooking, de-veined shrimp – tails removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tbl of Olive Oil
1/4 c of Tequilla
1/4 c of fresh lime juice
1/4 of orange juice
2 tbl of ketchup
2 tbl of hot sauce (Tabasco, Sriracha)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 medium sized tomatoes, diced (do this step prior to serving)
3 ripe avocados, pitted and chopped (do this step prior to serving)
1/4 c of red onions, chopped
Lime wedge for garnish

About 2 hours prior to serving – whisk together tequila, lime juice, orange juice, ketchup and hot sauce.  Place the shrimp into the mixture and toss.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Take your individual serving bowls/glasses etc. and layer the shrimp/marinade mixture in the bottom.  Alternate with tomato/red onion/avocados on top.  Do this until you fill it 3/4 way to the top.  Top with some salt and pepper.  Garnish with lime wedge.