Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spinach Cheese Cakes

I used love the spinach cheese dip appetizer served at a lot of restaurants. However, it's shocking to discover what most of those dips consist of...let alone the calorie content. Therefore, I wanted to come up with a spinach dish that was similar to spinach cheese dip but healthy. I also wanted something that could be used as a stand alone or main dish. With all this in mind, came these yummy spinach cakes. They are hearty enough to be served as a vegetarian main dish and you don't need chips to eat them unlike actual spinach dip!

Worth mentioning - Spinach is number 5 on the dirty dozen list so it's worth it to buy organic!


16 oz bag frozen chopped organic spinach, thawed
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
1 cup organic light cottage cheese
2 eggs, free-range organic if possible
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain or squeeze excess water off spinach. Place in a food processor. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese plus all the remaining ingredients and pulse until well combine leaving texture. Set aside. Next, coat a muffin pan with cooking spray or light oil. Fill muffin cups to top with spinach mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until set and slightly golden on top. Let stand 5 minutes to set. To remove, loosen edges with a knife then use a flexible spatula to scoop out. Makes 8-10 spinach cakes.

Pineapple, Carrot and Mango Salad

This is a sweet and spicy salad that's bursting with flavor. It combines sweet fruit, carrots and spicy radishes to add a kick of flavor. You can leave the radishes out, but they really add another level to this salad. Plus, because of the high vitamin content of radishes, they are helpful for colds, flu, cancer, skin disorders, asthma and other respiratory conditions.


1 small pineapple, peeled and cubed
1 large mango, peeled and cubed
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bunch radishes, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 orange, juiced
Pinch of stevia or honey to taste
Sea salt and pepper to taste


Add pineapple, mango, carrots, radishes and cilantro to a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, orange juice and stevia. Pour over pineapple mix and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tomato, Feta and Olive Salad

I love the sweetness and color variety of grape and cherry tomatoes this time of year. They are so yummy just by themselves, that I can't help but sample them while I'm in the store! In this dish, I decided to pair them with delicious tangy olives and creamy feta. These classic Mediterranean flavors mingle so well together and offer a totally tasty dish!


1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup large green olives, cut in half
4 oz feta cheese
1/2 red onion, diced
Juice of one lemon
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


Combine tomatoes, olives, feta, and onion in a large bowl. Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; season dressing with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill or serve at room temperature.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Raw Blueberry Tarts

My Grandma always made fruit pies all of which were delicious. However, my favorite was always her blueberry pie. It was so sweet, and the beautiful deep purple color of the blueberries made it beautiful to look at as well. With this inspiration, I wanted to make a healthier blueberry dessert that would preserve the nutrients of the blueberries as they are packed full of disease reducing goodness. And here's my healthy version of the famous blueberry pie!


1 1/2 cup almonds
1 cup dried apricots
(if hard, soak for at least one hour)

2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups cashews
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
1 cup fresh blueberries, for garnish


For crust - Place almonds in a food processor and blend until finely ground. Add apricots and blend until mixture forms a smooth dough. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Next press about 1/2 tablespoon of dough onto the bottom only of each liner. Set aside.

For filling - Place all ingredients into a food processor except the blueberries for garnish and blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary. Spoon about 1/4 cup filling into each cupcake liner and place in fridge for several hours until firm. Alternatively, place in freezer for a frozen treat until firm. Garnish with blueberries and enjoy. Makes about 18 tarts.