Healthy

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

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.

Homemade Chile Powder

Homemade Chile Powder

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.

BLT Lettuce Wraps

BLT Lettuce Wraps

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.

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).

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.

Chicken Molé Amarillo

Chicken Molé Amarillo

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. 

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

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.

Hibiscus Agua Fresca

Hibiscus Agua Fresca

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.

Creepy Spaghetti Carbonara

Creepy Spaghetti Carbonara

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.

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.

Lasagna Dip

Lasagna Dip

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

The Elote Hot Dog

The Elote Hot Dog

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.

Monster Eggs

Monster Eggs

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.

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.

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.

Arizona Cowboy Caviar

Arizona Cowboy Caviar

My Arizona Cowboy Caviar recipe is made with lentils, chile peppers and red onion in a spicy citrus vinaigrette.

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

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!

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Chipotle 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.

Baked Falafel Recipe

Baked Falafel Recipe

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.

Healthy Vanilla-Cinnamon French Toast Recipe

Healthy Vanilla-Cinnamon French Toast Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:
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
light butter

Instructions:
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.
Enjoy!

Recipe Index

Visit Jackie Alpers @ The Food Network

Jackie Alpers for the Food Network

Order Jackie’s Newest Cookbook: Taste of Tucson

About Jackie Alpers

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

Pin It on Pinterest