Because I’ve been known to eat a Thanksgiving meal that consists almost entirely of mashed potatoes and gravy, I replace the cream and some of the butter in the recipe with an aromatic garlic and chile infused broth that I cook the potatoes in, resulting in lighter mashed potatoes that are BIG on flavor.
How to dehydrate and grind chile peppers for chili powder and custom spice blends using fresh homegrown and/or exotic store bought chiles. Preserve expensive and/or hard to find chiles.
Tomatoes are at their best, and something about the heat and humidity of the Arizona monsoon season makes me almost totally inert and immobile. This is about all I can muster dinner-wise, so I’m lucky that it’s fairly healthy… It turns out that mayo and bacon are better for us than expected, and my versions is also low-carb.
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).
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.
Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would.
There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round.
This recipe is an outtake from my new cookbook Taste of Tucson that was cut for space. It comes from Erika and Jake of Seis Kitchen, who said to be sure and not throw out the hibiscus flowers after you boil them, eat them instead! They said, “They are still super tasty and similar in texture to fruit leather.” This agua fresca isn’t too sweet, so you can drink it all day long and even into the night (perhaps with vodka!) Plus, hibiscus flowers have a myriad of health benefits.
This recipe was originally developed for TasteCooking.com. This pasta is quite spooky looking, yet elegant enough to serve at a Halloween themed adult dinner party.
How to make a healthier tuna noodle casserole.
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.
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.
Learn how to make frozen Watermelon Wedges: the all natural ice pops.
All of the bark and none of the bite.
A creamy, warm, vegetarian layered dip that tastes like lasagna. This recipe is loaded with cheese. Serve with fresh veggies.
Inspired by Mexican Street Corn, this whole beef jumbo hot dog is topped with roasted corn, mayo, lime and spices and served in a top-cut, whole grain bolillo roll. Food photo and recipe by Jackie Alpers.
Spicy Ranch French Onion Dip. Two Dips That Live As One, Together At Last!
Healthy burrito bowl recipe with quinoa, black beans and avocado tossed in a chipotle lime vinaigrette dressing.
Start your day with this Tucson Sonoran style power breakfast bowl. It’s high in protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.
A cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole featuring my copycat condensed Cream of Chicken Soup recipe.
Sweet and creamy butternut squash hash, hearty wheat berries and protein rich eggs merge into the perfect breakfast bowl.
This dessert has it all, Omega 3 packed chia seeds, antioxidant rich frozen berries and dark chocolate, and a 5-minute prep time.
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.
Looks can be deceiving; my favorite monsters are scary looking, but innately good. Just like these monster-ized eggs, which have been turned green and frightening looking, but are completely delicious. These fried eggs with pesto and Parmesan are also monstrously easy to make.
Everything you love about New York style hot dogs in cute appetizer form.
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.
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.
My Arizona Cowboy Caviar recipe is made with lentils, chile peppers and red onion in a spicy citrus vinaigrette.
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!
Recipe for a fast, yet fancy looking snack Hummus With Baked Pita Chips
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.
I believe in the healing power of both chicken soup and Thai food. Combining the two will cure whatever ails you, and the spicier you can make it the better.
How to make baked falafel. I knew I wanted a healthy falafel sandwich with the falafel baked, not fried. So after a little internet research on how to construct a baked falafel, I came up with this recipe. It makes 3 sandwiches with two falafels each.
4 pieces light whole grain bread
1 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup non-fat milk
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. 100% pure maple syrup
Spray a large skillet with canola cooking spray & heat to medium/low.
Whisk together the egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla until frothy.
Soak the bread in the mixture for 10 seconds on each side.
Add the soaked bread to the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown
Remove the skillet from the heat and cover. Let sit for 2 minutes. This makes the french toast fluffier.
Serve with light butter and a tablespoon of pure maple syrup, or dust with confectioners sugar.