Gluten Free

Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

I’m fascinated by the idea of roasting an entire head of cauliflower, so when I came across these adorable baby cauliflower at the market the wheels started turning. They make a visually stunning side dish, perfect on cold winter nights. You can substitute one large cauliflower if you can’t find the little ones.

BLT Lettuce Wraps: THE BEST Late Summer Meal

BLT Lettuce Wraps: THE BEST Late Summer Meal

I prefer to ditch the bread in my BLT because it really just gets in the way (which might be why it’s not called a BBLT). Instead, I make mine “protein style” served stuffed in the hollow of a big piece of romaine lettuce for more of the stuff that I really want.

Parmesan Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

Parmesan Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, brown cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered. I topped this baked cheese crisp  (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza!

Layered Lasagna Dip

Layered Lasagna Dip

A creamy, warm, vegetarian layered dip that tastes like lasagna. This recipe is loaded with cheese. Serve with fresh veggies.

Spicy Thai-Mex Slaw

Spicy Thai-Mex Slaw

This crunchy, salty, and spicy no-mayo Thai-Mexican coleslaw is an excellent companion to Sonoran style dishes is inspired by Som Tum (green papaya salad).

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Festive enough for New Year’s Eve, this pretty appetizer only takes about 5 minutes to make. Bacon infused caviar adds a 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.

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin salsa is an all-purpose salsa that can be used for dipping, for seasoning, and as a taco sauce. A little goes a long way, so if you prefer a milder salsa, cut the amount of chiles down by a half or a third. This recipe is from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

Beef Patty Tacos

Beef Patty Tacos

The beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around Tucson since at least the mid-70s. A hamburger patty was folded into a tortilla and fried. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato.

Buffalo Chicken Rumaki Bites

Buffalo Chicken Rumaki Bites

Whatever happened to Rumaki, that vaguely Polynesian appetizer that they used to serve at tiki themed parties in the 70s? Maybe making buffalo-style rumaki will help modernize them a bit and bring them back into the public lexicon? Let’s all try serving this recipe at our next soiree and see what happens.

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites With Sprinkles

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites With Sprinkles

We all know that rainbow sprinkles make the world-go-round and this super-easy recipe is fun, festive and good for you too. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave which makes it the perfect treat for a hot summer’s day.

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

A healthy recipe for creamy, cheesy, supreme pizza flavored spaghetti squash, for the pizza flavors that you crave in cute single servings. They are fairly low in calories, very filling and taste like pizza. So it’s win-win-win.

Bombshell Boxed Brownie Dessert Pan Pizzas

Bombshell Boxed Brownie Dessert Pan Pizzas

These individual brownie pan pizzas are baked and served in Lodge 3.5-inch cast iron skillets. The options for different toppings are endless. Have fun experimenting with different combinations or set up a topping bar and let everyone pick their own.

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

A beautiful looking stacked dessert that’s easy to make using boxed brownie mix, berries and whipped cream.

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The cheese crisp is the perfect comfort food. A cross between a Mexican pizza an an open-faced quesadilla, Southern Arizona restaurants started selling the dish more than 50 years ago and it’s become a staple of our local Sonoran style cuisine. 

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This super easy salad dressing recipe is especially good on a Greek salad, cucumber salad or Asian Chicken salad and you can make it right in the bottle if you only have a little bit of Sriracha left.

Carb-Free Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin Cups

Carb-Free Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin Cups

There’s no flour in these breakfast muffin cups, yet they’re still light and fluffy! The secret is to beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

Consider the Artichoke

Consider the Artichoke

There was a basket of cute purple and green baby artichokes in the produce section of the market. My intent was to buy the larger globe artichokes for my recipe but these charmed me. I figured that I would grill these up and serve them with lemon-butter. Then I realized that was all wrong. They needed to be marinate, not dipped and scraped like their larger counterparts. So, I boiled them up and placed them in a big bell jar with a simple italian style marinade.

Greek Country Salad

Greek Country Salad

A classic Greek Salad of chunky vegetables and feta tossed in a light vinaigrette will prove that you can indeed win friends with salad.

Johnny Marzetti Three Ways

Johnny Marzetti Three Ways

To demonstrate the various ways that a recipe can be modified I came up with two versions of Johnny Marzetti based on the original recipe from the Columbus Ohio restaurant which I also posted.

The Wedge

The Wedge

The Wedge salad is one of these very classic, simple recipes that’s accessible to everyone. One that’s been loved for generations and modified along the way to accommodate changing tastes. This version is topped with a lighter vinaigrette.

Brussels Sprouts with Cream and Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Cream and Bacon

Brussels sprouts and bacon compliment each other so perfectly that this may be my favorite food of all time. You cook the bacon in with the sprouts so that a little bit of bacon grease seeps into them and makes them crispy. I can’t explain why this dish is so good… it just is. I cooked up a batch for the photo and ended up eating the whole pan for dinner along with a glass of wine, and I was happy. VERY happy.

Quick and Easy Low Carb Chicken Parmesan in Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

Quick and Easy Low Carb Chicken Parmesan in Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

I want to eat warm hearty meals in Autumn colors. Casseroles baked in stoneware dishes with rich sauces. Meat, cream, smoked cheeses, tomato sauce, and, I want the recipe to be fast, and easy, so that I can eat right away. Something that I can make from memory because I’ve been doing Atkins and I find I instantly become insanely hungry.

Mini Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

A can of pumpkin’s been staring at me from the counter top for two weeks now.The internet recipe sites are all screaming at me that it’s pumpkin season, and I am indeed ready for fall. So today I finally got to work and invented something to celebrate the beginning of my favorite time of the year.

Scrambled Eggs With Gorgonzola & Salsa

Scrambled Eggs With Gorgonzola & Salsa

This recipe is the result of an early morning haze wherein I emptied random things from the refrigerator into a pan in a blurry attempt to make breakfast. It came out better than I expected, and now my husband and I eat scrambled eggs for breakfast this way almost every day. Sometimes just a little twist on a traditional dish really makes it shine.

Sicilian Shrimp with Hot Peppers and Lots of Garlic

Sicilian Shrimp with Hot Peppers and Lots of Garlic

These shrimp go great with a glass of wine and a conversation. It’s a dish to be shared, because if everyone is eating it, you won’t have to worry about reeking of garlic… or you could just eat it all by yourself when no one else is around to the same effect. It’s fun either way.

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants now offers their famous tacos nestled in a large lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed them served that way; I didn’t miss the tortilla at all. So I’ve started experimenting with the idea at home. I modified this recipe from one in a cookbook that I photographed for Chelsie Kenyon a couple of years ago.

Arizona Cowboy Caviar

Arizona Cowboy Caviar

I call this Arizona Caviar because I’m in Arizona and it’s similar to Texas Caviar made with black eyed peas and the lentils do resemble fish eggs.

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole Recipe

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole Recipe

Chunky Guacamole for the win! I swear the recipe from my cookbook Taste of Tucson is the best ever… it’s spicy, salty and creamy yet crisp and bright with lots of citrus and just a tiny bit of crunch from the fresh Serranos.

Some people avoid avocados because they are higher in calories than other fruit, but they are filled with the good fat, the kind that’s been shown to actually help you lose weight and lower cholesterol levels. Here’s some more information on avocado nutrition from Hass. Avocados are really good for you!

Black and White Nachos

Black and White Nachos

This recipe makes a white nacho cheese sauce instead of the traditional yellow. Black beans add contrast, fiber and a bit more protein. There are more colors here than just black and white. but you get the point.

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Spicy Deviled Eggs

I’ve been having an unyielding urge for deviled eggs. Since I like a salty-spicy combo I’ll use caviar for a garnish when I’m feeling fancy. Otherwise I’ll just use capers. I feel that it’s important to buy organic eggs and I always try to buy eggs that come from chickens that are fed flax seed, giving their eggs a healthy dose of Omega3. They’re a great idea for vegetarians.I learned how to make hard boiled eggs from Martha Stewart (not in person… on her website). Here’s the link if you want to check out her instructions.This recipe serves one as a snack. For a crowd, multiply the recipe by the number of people expected to eat them.

Jackie’s Famous Gazpacho

Jackie’s Famous Gazpacho

My husband woke up, looked at me in from his side of the bed and declared this the “Week of Gazpacho”. And so, it is.

Recipe Index

Visit Jackie Alpers @ The Food Network

Jackie Alpers for the Food Network

Order Jackie’s Newest Cookbook: Taste of Tucson

taste of Tucson cookbook cover

About Jackie Alpers

Portrait of Taste of Tucson Cookbook author in her Mexican tiled kitchen

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