Thai Cauliflower “Fried Rice” with Coconut

by Jackie Alpers on April 11, 2016

recipe for coconut thai fried rice made with cauliflower

Cauliflower that has been pre-chopped into tiny rice-sized bits is my favorite new food product. It’s almost indistinguishable from real rice in recipes, yet contains significantly less carbs, so it’s perfect for grain-free and Paleo diets. If you want a little more protein just add about a half cup of diced cooked pork or chicken.

Trader Joe’s makes both fresh and organic frozen varieties, but if you can’t find pre-riced cauliflower, pulse chopped cauliflower in a food processor for the same results.  Be sure to use gluten free soy sauce (tamari) if you are sensitive.

Thai Cauliflower “Fried Rice” with Coconut
2 cups (16 ounces) riced cauliflower
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce, (optional)
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon Thai seasoning blend such as Gourmet Garden
3 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir fry the riced cauliflower until it starts to brown, about two minutes.
  2. Add the sesame seeds and chopped onion and continue to stir fry for a minute or two more.
  3. One at a time, stir in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, Sambal Oelek and Sriracha.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in coconut milk, cilantro, basil and Thai spice blend. Simmer until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add the beaten egg, stir until well combined and cook for two minutes more.
  6. Enjoy!


recipe for coconut thai fried rice made with cauliflower




Quinoa Burrito Bowl With Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette

by Jackie Alpers on April 3, 2016


This recipe originally was written for and published on Refinery29 as part of an article on easy and affordable grain bowls. Check out the rest of the recipes on the site.

The Greek yogurt adds a little creaminess to the vinaigrette, so I recommend arranging it all pretty in bowl, then smooshing and swirling the whole thing together into a big mess before you eat it.

Quinoa Burrito Bowl With Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/4 cup green salsa
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh or dried chopped cilantro
1/2 cup drained and rinsed black beans
1/2 of an avocado, sliced 
2 tablespoons chunky pico de gallo salsa
2 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt
For chipotle lime vinaigrette
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon grainy mustard
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring broth and salsa to a boil in a medium pot. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes or according to package directions. 
  2. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, cover and steam for 5 minutes. 
  3. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon the quinoa into the bottom of your serving bowl. Arrange the beans, avocado slices, chunky salsa and nonfat yogurt on top. Pour vinaigrette over everything and enjoy!


Creamy Wheat Berry Breakfast Hash Bowl

by Jackie Alpers on March 28, 2016

wheat berry butternut hash-_JackieAlpers

Prepare the grains according to package instructions unless otherwise noted. You can do this in advance and store the cooked grains in the refrigerator to save time later.

Different varieties of the same grain have different cooking times so be sure to check the label. This recipe was originally written and published for Refinery29. 

Creamy Wheat Berry Breakfast Hash Bowl
1 cup prepared wheat berries, warmed
1 cup diced butternut squash
1 egg
1/3 cup ricotta cheese, part skim or full milk
2 teaspoons butter, divided
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in a nonstick pan. Toss in the butternut squash chunks and sauté over medium heat until browned and soft, about 15 minutes. It will look mashed. If it doesn’t look mashed, smash it a bit with the back of your spatula. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Fry the egg in the remaining teaspoon of butter. Spoon the wheat berries into the bottom of your serving bowl, leaving a well for the squash. Place the squash in the well, then top with ricotta followed by the fried egg. Season with salt and pepper.


Spinach Linguini with Walnut Pesto

by Jackie Alpers on March 3, 2016


Walnuts are less expensive and easier to find than the traditional pine nuts and I think they taste even better. Plus they’re loaded with healthy fats.

This recipe originally was written for and published on Refinery29 as part of an article on easy pasta recipes. See the rest of the article here.

Spinach Linguini with Walnut Pesto

For Pesto

makes 2 servings


1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil 

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan/Romano blend 

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt


Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until well combined. 

For Pasta


1 pound dry spinach linguini

1 cup prepared walnut pesto

1 cup parmesan cheese plus more for serving

1 teaspoon salt for the pasta water 

salt and pepper to taste 


Fill a large pot or dutch oven 3/4 full with water, (about 4 quarts) Add the salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook stirring frequently until al dente, 5-8 minutes. 

Drain, but do not rinse the pasta, you want a little bit of the pasta water in the sauce. Return to the pot and stir in the pesto and parmesan cheese,  add salt and pepper to taste. Save any extra pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Garnish with a few small basil leaves if you have any left over and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper on top. 


Sweet Pepper Poppers

by Jackie Alpers on February 9, 2016

Easy Sweet Pepper Poppers | Food photography by Jackie Alpers

How To Make Sweet Mini Pepper Poppers

Lay peppers on preparation surface. Slice off the front of each one, leaving a deep well and the stems intact. Fill the remaining hole with jalapeño cream cheese for a kick of heat that’s milder than traditional poppers. Top with panko breadcrumbs moistened with melted butter and bake at 400 degrees until browned.

This recipe and food photograph was developed for a article on 10 Ways to use Sweet Mini Peppers. Read the rest of the article here.


Chicken Pot Pie in a Mug

by Jackie Alpers on January 14, 2016

For centuries, people believed that it was impossible to make a chicken pot pie in the microwave. I have proven them wrong. This recipe first appeared in the article “10-Minute Dinner Recipes That ANYONE Can Make” Get the rest of the dinner in a mug recipes from this article at Refinery29.

Chicken Pot Pie in a Mug
1 tsp butter
1 tsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk, cream or half & half
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup peas, defrosted if frozen
1/4 cup corn kernels, defrosted if frozen
1 tsp onion flakes
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Onion flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 small can crescent roll dough (approximately 4-oz), such as Pillsbury’s


  1. Heat the butter in a large mug in the microwave until melted, about 20 seconds.
  2. Whisk in the flour, using a fork, to make a paste. Then whisk in the milk or cream, followed by the broth. Mix in chicken, peas, corn, paprika, onion flakes, salt, and pepper.
  3. Unroll the crescent rolls and lay two or three of them across the top of the mug to make a crust, leaving a small amount of space between them so that steam can vent.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes or until the top is puffy and lightly browned, as shown.


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Vegan Cocktail Pups recipe With A SECRET INGREDIENT! 

by Jackie Alpers on September 3, 2015

easy vegan cocktail pups made in the crockpot

Vegan Cocktail Pups

The secret ingredient is baby carrots! This is so simple that there isn’t even a recipe. Just toss a bag or two of baby carrots a crockpot with your favorite barbecue sauce and cook on low for 4 hours.

Find out more super easy ways to use up that bag of baby carrots sitting in the fridge in my article, Beyond The Bag: New Ways to Eat Your Baby Carrots.   


Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

by Jackie Alpers on August 18, 2015

Parmesan crisps with caviar

Festive enough for New Year’s Eve, this pretty appetizer only takes about 5 minutes to make. Bacon infused caviar adds an unique smokiness that will intrigue your guests and is fairly inexpensive, but any decent quality caviar will do. The one-ingredient parmesan crisps are a savory, no-carb alternative to blini.

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 ounce caviar
1/4 cup crème fraîche


  1. Preheat the broiler to 480-500 degrees.
  2. Line a half baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Drop 1-to-2 tablespoons of the shredded Parmesan onto the baking sheets into tiny mounds. Bake 5 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely and loosen with a spatula. Top each parmesan round with a dollop of crème fraîche and caviar. Serve immediately.

Pile the shredded Parmesan into tiny mounds.


Each of the crisps are unique and look like jeweled works of art.

Parmesan crisps with caviar


Parmesan crisps with caviar


Dark Chocolate Chia Pudding With Frozen Berries

by Jackie Alpers on June 21, 2015

 black chocolate chia pudding with frozen berries: recipe & photo by Jackie Alpers

Frozen berries top this easy dessert with a 5-minute prep time… because it’s hot out there.

Chia seeds are truly a super-food packed with antioxidants, fiber and loads of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, so they are a particularly good Paleo-friendly choice for vegans and vegetarians.

If you prefer a sweeter dessert, use sweetened coconut or almond beverage, otherwise use unsweetened. You could also try a vanilla flavored beverage and skip the additional vanilla in the recipe. 

Dark Chocolate Chia Pudding With Frozen Berries
1/2 cup chia seeds
3 cups almond or coconut beverage, sweetened or unsweetened, depending on your taste.
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, I used King Arthur Flower’s Black Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mixed frozen berries, PLUS another 1 cup for serving.


  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for 1/2 of the frozen berries. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to give the chia seeds time to swell and absorb the liquid. Spoon into individual ramekins or small serving bowls and top each with an even portion of the remaining frozen berries. Serve immediately.


italian chicken Jackie Alpers

This is a healthy and extremely flavorful way to dress up boneless skinless chicken breasts. Adding just a small amount of butter on top, and using grated parmesan for a garnish, keeps the fat and calories down.

Don’t skip the anchovy paste. It may seem like a weird ingredient, but it adds a lot of flavor. Also, don’t be alarmed, the lemon juice will appear to cook the chicken a bit, turning it white in the marinating bag.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon onion flakes
juice from one small lemon 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coarse ground salt 2 small pats butter (approximately 1 teaspoon each)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  • Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to about 1/2 inch thickness with a mallet, then put them in a resealable plastic bag with all of the marinade ingredients, using only 2 of the 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.
  • Grill over medium until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on each side.
  • To serve, top each chicken breast with a small pat of butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of chopped sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

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