Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Billy Goat Cheese & Spinach Quesadilla w/ Pesto

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Organic/natural ingredients taste best.

Be ready to hold people back on this one.

Tangy, spicy, gooey, crunchy, rich, terrific with beer or natural carbonated drink or even hot tea.

Very adaptable and delicious as an appetizer or light lunch.

You’ll need:

6 Large 8 inch soft Taco size Flour Tortillas: white, wheat, or your choice
5-1/2 Ounce container Goat Cheese, contents in bowl
3 Tablespoons Basil Pesto or your choice
2 Scallions, Green part only, minced
1 Large handful Spinach leaves only
2 Cloves Garlic minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Salsa for dipping, your choice

NOTE: Can add minced jalapeno, chipotle, or other hot pepper for more heat. Suggest using latex gloves to handle them.

Large or 12” heavy skillet (not nonstick) very thinly oiled with light cooking oil

To prepare:

In a medium saucepan, steam spinach in about 1/2 inch of water till totally wilted. Drain and when cool, squeeze out removing as much water as possible. Chop and add to goat cheese with garlic and chopped scallions. Mix all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread each of three tortillas with a thin/medium layer of goat cheese mix. On the other three tortillas spread a thin layer of pesto and place on top of goat cheese pesto side down. Heat skillet over medium heat. Wait until skillet heats through, about 3 minutes. Toast one quesadilla pressing down gently with a spatula until golden maybe 3 minutes. Turn over gently and press again. Mixture should be melting and soft. Toast second side till golden. Remove to cutting board and repeat with rest of quesadillas. Cut eat into quesadilla into 8 wedges and arrange on serving dish with salsa. Incredible!

Tasty Tortilla Snack Bite

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Natural/organic ingredients are best.

Appetizer - Tomatoey Tortilla Snack BiteFast and easy, crunchy, soft, rich, filling

— takes maybe less than 30 seconds to prepare.

Lite luncheon with the ladies and a terrific, healthy, after school energy fix for the kids.

You’ll need:

1 Package tortillas – organic or best quality. The flavor can be to your taste.
1 Container of organic hummus also to your taste
Several organic tomatoes (with some in reserve for 2nds & 3rds) sliced
1 Jar pitted Kalamata olives cut in half
2 Ripe avocados – pitted, sliced & scooped out of skin
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

One medium cast iron or stainless steel skillet
NOTE: the size of the tortilla depends on if you want each person to have her/his own tortilla or pizza cut slices from very large burrito size

To prepare:

Bring skillet to medium heat. Place one flat tortilla in skillet and toast slightly on both sides about 30 seconds on each side. You can adjust this later to make it less or more crunchy. Transfer to a plate and repeat for as many as you want. Spread each with hummus and top with avocado slices, tomato slices, halved olives and a drizzle of olive oil. Cut into pizza slices or serve each person their own. Voila! Delicious finger chews!

Chewy variations are infinite: add herbed bar-b-que chicken bites or marinated tempeh bits or even feta cheese for that salty complimentary tang…..

Here are two:
Chicken: Slice breast into thin strips and saute in olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs of your choice, and garlic. Cut strips into bite size pieces and add to tortilla tops.
Tempeh: Prepare same as for chicken but cut tempeh into small cubes and sauté/toast until sides are golden tan. Add to tortilla topping.

Mandarin Ginger Chicken Bites

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Organic / natural ingredients taste best.

mandarinchickbitesThis is an appetite wetter for sure.

Just that right chickenny sweet ‘n sour ‘n crunch.

This makes you lick your lips for what’s to come.

You’ll need:

1 Cup finely chopped cooked Chicken
1/2 Cup Golden Raisins
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 + teaspoon Fresh Ginger
3 Tablespoons finely chopped Fresh Parsley OR Cilantro
2 Tablespoons toasted sliced Almonds
2-3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise or to your taste
1/2 teaspoon Raspberry Vinegar or other sweet light vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
40-50 Wheat Crackers good quality natural cracker
*One jar of Mandarin Orange sections drained and rinsed

NOTE: You can use veggies instead of crackers like thickly & diagonally cut English cucumber rounds. Again, your choice.

Mixing bowl
Serving platter if they get that far

To prepare:

In a bowl, mix together first 6 ingredients. Mix vinegar and mayonnaise together and add to chicken mixture. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Spoon mixture onto your favorite crackers or veggies and serve. Delicious.

ABOUT: Wellness Chef Helen Sandler
Lecturer, personal chef, teacher, wellness coach, & speaker, Helen promotes a healthier lifestyle through common sense, organic / natural approach to a happier, positive life.

Helen Sandler is used to being an innovator and at the cutting edge of whole foods whole grains awareness. After graduating from SUNY, New York with a teaching degree, she began to follow her real passion for healthy cooking which took her from Los Angeles to Boston to attend the cooking school of the late and great master Japanese natural chef, Aveline Kushi. Later that passion took her to Kyoto, Japan to continue her studies, where she spent four more years learning the art of healthy Japanese cooking (Seishoku).

As Wellnes Chef Helen she is the featured authority at CTNgreen /wellness with articles in the library there and the virtual paperless magazine at CTNGreen Magazine