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Accoutrements

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Tuna Salad for Two

Ritz Crackers, Rice Cakes, on a French Roll, over a salad, in a lettuce cup… there are so many ways to enjoy Tuna. My favorite way to enjoy it is with Henry as it’s his very favorite snack. The second that the opener punctures the can, Henry comes running from where ever he is in the house because he knows its a matter of momets before he gets in on the protein packed snack.

Now, I’m not usually one to brag… but I’ve been told the tuna salad that I prepare is among the best many have had.

Servings: 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

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Arugula Walnut Pesto

Pesto is traditionally made of Fresh Basil, Garlic, Parmesan, Olive Oil, and Pine Nuts. Originally, all ingredients were roughly chopped and pounded into a paste using a Mortar and Pestle. Thank goodness most of us at home cooks own a food processor now. Today we have many variations of the lovely and fragrant sauce. The French version, Pistou, substitutes tomatoes for pine nuts. A version from Calabria includes grilled Bell Peppers, and tons of Black Pepper. Another version from Sicily also adds Tomatoes, and substitutes Almonds for Pine Nuts. My version? My version includes Arugula, Walnuts, Garlic, Parmesan, and the best quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can find.

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

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Spinach, Kale, & Greek Yogurt Dip with Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Over the years I’ve learned that there are very few places in one’s daily life that provide so much satisfaction and angst all at the same time. To name a few off the top of my head I’d say Target, Ikea, Disneyland, and TRADER JOE’S. When it come’s to grocery stores in my area I believe that Trader Joe’s has the most to offer, yet I constantly find myself less motivated to go than my last visit. Parking is a nightmare at every location I’ve ever been to, their shopping carts have bogus wheels and give me a mild heart attack every time I have to use one, and I can never remember my reusable shopping bags(I own at least 20). So skip the trip all together, and go to another grocery store- that’s the only logical answer for my anxiety, right? But where do I get my Organic Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter, or the Coconut Oil Spray that I can’t find anywhere else… or the delectable variety of Joe Joe’s that we all love so much, and the teeny tiny cups of coffee you get to shop with? What about their delicious unique dips, and impeccable wine selection for those who appreciate good wine but don’t want to pay a fortune? What about all of the things at Trader Joe’s that keep everyone going back?

Today, instead of braving the storm of shoppers, I decided to take a stab at one my favorite Trader Joe’s treats myself. Much to my surprise it was delightful on just my first try. Trader Joes’ Kale Spinach Yogurt Dip is such a delicious snack. Unlike other dips of it’s nature, it has less than half the amount of calories, and I’d go as far as to say that its actually quite nutritious for you. Let me know how you think it compares.

 

…For the record- my love affair with Trader Joe’s will never end.

 

Servings: 6-8

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

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Chimichurri Lamb Chops with Paprika-Lime Arugula

As it’s more clear that spring time is upon us, I like to think of some traditional foods of the season. I associate the time of year with fresh, bright ingredients- plenty of herbs, the zest of a lemon, and a little bit of spice to really brighten any dish. Thinking of spring, and the sun staying out longer I’m reminded of years worth of family bbq’s where a variety of meats and giant salads were all that filled everyone’s plate. A staple in many mediterranean diets, Lamb is considered to be quite healthy because of the ability it has to lower cardiovascular disease. A majority of lamb raised spend most of their life time grazing as these animals require less of a confined space, and more free-range over an open grassland  in order to produce quality cuts of meat- as a result they not only lead a very humane life comparatively, and their meat provides a lot more of a organic flavor naturally.

Servings: Variable

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

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Perfectly Hard Boiled Eggs

Fun fact: The number of folds in that tall, pleated Chef’s toque you see in a lot of professional kitchens, and every stereotyped cartoon, are supposed to represent all the different ways you can cook an egg- that’s right… it is said that there are roughly ONE HUNDRED different way’s to cook an egg. I bet after reading that you will have a new found appreciation for that one breakfast cook at your favorite brunch spot who is scrambling the ten orders of eggs, frying seven, and poaching nearly a dozen that are on order all at the same time. From this point on let’s try to tackle and master at least one a week, eh? To start: The perfectly hard boiled egg… because let’s face it- no body likes a gray yolk. (Side note: Gray or Grey?)

Servings: 1

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes, depending on how far off sea level you are

Cook Time: 15 minutes

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Deviled Avocado Eggs & Radish Frisee Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing & Shaved Pistachio

I can’t always wait for the next pot luck, or celebration shower to indulge in the one or two bites of the all loving, decadence of the deviled egg. I think it’s safe to say that everyone, internationally, has enjoyed the amuse bouche at least once in their lives. With the number of varieties of preparation, differing slightly by region, they all share something in common- one is never enough. A lovely appetizer, the perfect lunch, or even just a quick snack… my lighter version is not only delicious, loaded with potassium and heart healthy monosaturated fatty acids, but one of the most guilt-free variants of the recipe you may ever try.

Servings: Variable

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

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Homemade Granola

Old-Fashioned rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, honey, chocolate, candy, puffed rice cereal… you name it- it probably goes marvelously in Granola. Through plenty of years, and tons of diets, I finally found a combination that I believe to be a simply perfect compliment to yogurt, ice cream, or even just enjoyed on it’s own. Let me know how you like it!

 

Servings: 15-20

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

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Rosemary Braised Farmers Market Carrots with Garlic &Sea Salt

Carrots are one of the very few vegetables that, interestingly enough, are better for you cooked than raw. I absolutely LOVE carrots- I find them to be a very sophisticated ingredient on any plate as the color spectrum for different carrots is basically that of the rainbow… they’re filling enough to substitute for a lot of different starches, the sweetness in them only enhances the flavor of anything you pair them with… and they’re excellent for any of your four-legged dinner guests.

Servings: As many as you chose

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

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Cherry Tomato Marmalade

I’ve always been such a fan of accoutrements. Dips, spreads, relishes, djons… you name it- I probably really, really enjoy it. Tomatoes, in all forms, are one of my favorite ingredients in the kitchen- in this recipe especially. Take a cherry tomato and cook it, very slowly so as to draw out and enhance all of it’s natural sweetness, place it atop just about anything- and you’re sure to go in for more bites than you had anticipated.

 

Servings: 10

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

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