Archive for February, 2011

Appetizers for the Academy

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

When it comes to the Academy Awards, my family likes to host our own little party (yes, that means we even fill out our own ballots to predict the winners). Since I won’t be at home this year, I guess it’s up to me to make my own appetizers for the awards show. Any appetizers with smoked salmon involved are usually an automatic crowd pleaser, so I decided to make blinis with smoked salmon and a horseradish sour cream sauce. This recipe is surprisingly quick (don’t be fooled by it’s fancy appearance!). All it involves is some easy mixing and some mini-pancake flipping on the stove. (more…)

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Put the Mac in the Butternut & Eat It All Up

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Butternut squash, what exactly are you? A vegetable? A fruit? A nut? Like the coconut, the butternut squash is an ingredient that just seems to perplex botanists and chefs alike. Luckily for me, I got to know the butternut squash a little better while preparing this week’s recipe.

While it’s unfortunate that it has to be raining on one of the few three-day weekends of the year, it gives me a better reason to curl up with a bowl of my favorite comfort food: mac ‘n cheese! It was on my search for a healthy mac ‘n cheese recipe that I came across the butternut squash. With its sweet and nutty flavor, butternut squash adds a new twist to creamy mac ‘n cheese sauce. The best part is that its bright orange color even tricks you into thinking the sauce purely has cheese in it! The orange color comes from the high level of carotenoids, which help protect against heart disease. The butternut squash’s low fat content and high fiber content also make it a heart-healthy ingredient. Most of all, the butternut squash is known for its high vitamin C level, meaning it has lots of antioxidants for lowering damage to the body caused by toxic chemicals. (more…)

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Struck by Cupid’s Cupcakes

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Red velvet cupcakes: everyone’s favorite. They’re starting to appear all over now, even at Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The first time I fell in love with red velvet cupcakes was when I tried the SusieCakes Bakery recipe, which has frosting in the center of the cupcake (they are to die for!). As you can imagine, red velvet cupcakes can’t be the healthiest of desserts with that rich cream cheese frosting, so I went on a search for a healthy red velvet cupcake recipe. The result? A gluten-free cupcake with added fiber and protein. The secret ingredient? Garbanzo beans. (more…)

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Go Big or Go Home: Super Stuffed Taquitos

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday, which, in my book, means that it’s Super Food Sunday. To be honest, I never even know who’s actually playing in the game; I just get excited about the food coma I’ll be slipping into after the game (but who doesn’t?). One of my favorite finger foods happens to be taquitos, so I thought it would be perfect to serve as a Super Bowl Sunday appetizer.

Unlike the usual deep-fried taquitos, this recipe requires baking the taquitos instead. Now I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s always better to bake instead of deep fry, but I bet you’re also wondering why that’s the case. Oils, especially the healthy ones, are rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are fats that our body cannot naturally make. Deep-frying not only destroys the nutrients in oils, but it also turns EFAs into toxic products (yikes!). Therefore it’s always better to go with baking, which doesn’t destroy the oils as much.

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