I’ve been craving goat cheese lately. I can’t get enough! If someone will put it on a salad, sandwich, or just scoop it directly in my mouth, I’m gonna eat it.
Goat cheese is such a great cheese for summer — light, sweet, and flowery. On those nights it’s just too hot to cook, it can be the center piece of a charcuterie and cheese board dinner alongside fresh berries, honey, olives, salami, and a really nice bread.
When a recent craving for Mexican was hard to ignore in the face of my on-going need for as much goat cheese as possible, these Goat Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas were born. I knew they’d be good, but OH MY!! I ooohed and ahhed through our entire meal. They were absolutely to die for!
I started by adding some great smokey flavor with the serrano pepper and corn tortillas. I fire toasted both of them over the open flame on my grill (this works over a gas stove burner too). Either way, be careful! The serrano blackened and sizzled in a couple of short minutes. I love this pepper because it’s warm with great flavor without torching your mouth, especially after removing the seeds. I typically put a couple in my homemade guacamole and even my toddler daughter isn’t alarmed by their presence. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
Both smoky and sweet, roasted red peppers add instant oomph to any dish. While it’s easy to make your own (remember to turn on the hood fan as even sweet red peppers can make your eyes sting), the jarred versions can also be good. For instance, I just discovered Trader Joe’s house brand, which are dead ringers for homemade.
Here are five ways I like to use them, and you’ll no doubt enjoy, too!
Add to salads, just as you would any other vegetable. This Balsamic Tomato and Red Pepper salad recipe includes instructions for roasting the peppers.
Purée in dips, like the red pepper and walnut-based muhammara from Syria that’s popping up in Middle Eastern restaurants, or this lower calorie Roasted Red Pepper Dip. (more…)
Warm up the grill and your taste buds because this new recipe is going to light a fire under your next cookout! Some are lucky enough to spend a summer along the Gulf Coast soaking up the sun, and waves, and the dynamic culture that defines the region. Some of us have to phone in a good ‘ole Cajun cookout from our backyards. Whether you’re summering in the South or in the North, these Bayou Kabobs need to be on the menu.
The big flavor on these simple-to-assemble kabobs are the Andouille sausages from Applegate. Known as the makers of the “cleaner weiner,” this company is committed to organic, hormone-free, humanely-raised animals to craft quality meats you can feel good about eating and serving.
These Andouille sausages are made with only a few ingredients – all of which you’ll recognize, all of which are organic. Because Applegate uses turkey and chicken, the meat is leaner, meaning less fat and calories. But they don’t skimp on flavor. The package says spicy and they mean it. It’s not overwhelming, might not make you sweat, but it’s got a tasty bite. (more…)
If I told you that you could have big salads tossed with a creamy dressing and it would be fat free, would you believe me? Not only fat free, but extremely low calorie, fresh flavor, and maybe the best dressing you’ve ever had. Let me show you the way.
I prepare a big entree salad for dinner for my family once or twice a week. I swore off grocery store salad dressings years ago because they’re terrible, and frankly, I can whip up a vinaigrette on demand with a flavor that perfectly complements my meal. But I recently grew tired of the vinegar and oil and craved the creamier variety I used to douse my salads in. Inspiration struck.
Picking through the refrigerator, I found feta crumbles, Greek yogurt, and the strawberries and basil I usually add to vinaigrette. These were blended together, without the oil, and the sweetest pink dressing adorned our salads that night. And with that, my creamy feta dressing fixation began. (more…)
Either as a side dish or the main event, grilled vegetables are a fresh, healthy way to celebrate the summer season.
Not only is it important to eat more vegetables as part of a healthy diet, but if you’re eating more vegetables, chances are you’re eliminating higher-fat foods in favor of colorful, plant-based foods.
Opt for Veggies that Grill Well
Just like meats, different types of vegetables stand up to heat differently. Eggplant, summer squash, button mushrooms, peppers, corn on the cob and onions are all excellent on the grill. To serve them in a more creative way, opt for kabobs or a grilled vegetable salad.
New Orleans might be the hub for Mardi Gras parades and celebrations on Tuesday, March 8, but you can easily get into the spirit of this holiday no matter where you are. Mardi Gras, also called Carnival in some countries, is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday in the Christian faith.
The kickoff of Mardi Gras is known as “Fat Tuesday,” which for some, might imply that it’s hard to celebrate without loosening your belt or spending some extra hours at the gym. Instead of overindulging, recreate some of your favorite Cajun and Louisiana recipes for Mardi Gras this year — but with a healthier twist. (more…)
Along with fall comes the seasonal flu. It’s inevitable. People at high risk of catching the flu should protect themselves first and foremost with a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has great information on steps you can take to prevent a flu infection. It includes the basics like washing your hands and avoiding people who exhibit flu-like symptoms. But I’m going to focus on an area that is often overlooked – your immune system.
The job of your immune system is to protect your body from bacterial and viral infections, such as the ones that cause the common cold and seasonal flu. The immune system protects you in three different ways:
- It creates a barrier that prevents bacteria and viruses from entering your body (your skin).
- If a bacteria or virus does enter the body, the immune system tries to detect and eliminate it before it can make itself at home and reproduce.
- If the virus or bacteria is able to reproduce and start causing problems, your immune system is in charge of eliminating it. (more…)