Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Taco Salad Layered Appetizer





If you enjoy Nachos or Tacos, you will love this layered Mexican Salad that is my sister in law Amy's party go to !. She made it this year for her neighbor's Super bowl Party , and as usual there was not a morsel left over! It's kind of her signature dish, and I always look for it when ever she has a party!

It's easy to assemble, tastes fabulous, and is made from real food including fresh chopped tomatoes and scallions.!

 And I love that it simply requires assembling, not cooking.
If you have unexpected company drop by, you can whip this chopped salad  up in 15 minutes.

Make it as spicy or mild as you like- that part is based on individual taste. Personally, I like my food on the milder side, but feel free to give it the kick that you like!

You'll love the beautiful presentation, and that it meets vegetarian and gluten free standards!

It's a layered salad type appetizer,  so you will need to serve it with some sort of chip or raw veggie. I like raw carrot wedges which are sold in bags in most supermarkets.

**You will also need to use a spring form pan if you would like to remove it from the bowl!

Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  None
Special Tools Needed: spring form pan

Amy's original recipe card


Ingredients:   
1st layer:      1 vegetarian can of refried beans, drained
2nd layer:    1 eight ounce package of cream cheese and 1 eight ounce container of sour cream or plain Greek Yogurt mixed together well
3rd layer:    1 eight ounce container of taco sauce
4th layer:    2 tomatoes chopped, 2 scallions chopped and 1 small can mild chopped jalapeno peppers ( or less to taste)
5th Layer:   8 ounces of Shredded Cheese
                     

Directions:

Layer One





Layer 2

Layer 3 - taco sauce
Layer 4

Final Layer ( if you make in advance, add the cheese layer just before serving)



Directions:
Spread refried beans in a spring form pan. Next spread the cream cheese and sour cream ( or Greek Yogurt) mixture for the 2nd layer. For the 3rd layer spread a jar of taco sauce. For the 5th layer, spread the chopped tomatoes, scallions, and chopped jalapeno peppers ( mix together first) . For the 5th and final layers, sprinkle the 8 ounces of cheese over the top. Remove from the spring form pan before serving.



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    Good food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian/vegan and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.
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    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    Beet Detox Drink + my favorite beet recipes



     
     Do you like beets?
     Beets are one of nature's natural and potent detoxifiers.
     The components of this bright red vegetable help provide an avenue for harmful toxins to be eliminated from the body. I've included a way to use raw beet for juicing to make a Beet Detox Drink and 5 of my favorite cooked beet recipes!

    After indulging during the holidays, I felt it was time to get back on track- adding more vegetables like beets to my diet, just makes sense to help detox  some of the bloat, toxins, and few extra pounds that I've accumulated. 

    To detox with beets: add a 1/4 fresh beet ( peeled) to your favorite fresh juice ( made in the juicer)  or add to a smoothie - remember : raw beets are potent, you don't need a lot.

    My Beet Detox Drink
    • I sometimes juice using my juicer ( not a Bullet )
    • 2 -3 carrots,
    • 2 stalks celery,
    • 1/4 beet,
    •  4 stalks romaine lettuce,
    • 1/2 cucumber ( all organic) .
    • After juicing,  I add some water to the glass so it is not too sweet and a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil. ( need to know more ? here is more in depth info on how and what to juice- need more energy? then juice
    • _________________________________________________________________
    Don't like beets?
    Here are two other ways to use food to detox 
    without using beets

    1. Winter Soup Detox Soup - the most popular post on my blog- everyone loves nourishing, satisfying, warming winter detox

    2. Morning ph balancing drink- my #2 most popular post
        Drink This, lose weight

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Eliminating junk food, processed foods, and adding a fresh vegetable smoothie or fresh vegetable juice daily is a great way to get started!

    Cooked beets are delicious and contain valuable nutrients and antioxidants. Even kids love them!The best part is that they are actually  low in calories, have significant fiber, low in fat, rich in potassium and have zero cholesterol. (sounds like a good choice)

    Two reasons that I often forget to eat or make beets
    1. I love them, but my husband won't touch them with a ten foot poll.
    2. They can be a little messy to make and do stain, so you have to be careful.
    I've learned to use rubber gloves when handling them.

    If you are looking to add more variety to your meals and want to improve your diet, don't forget about beets!

    My Favorite Beet Recipes

    Beet Salad with Lemon, Celery and Mint  is a favorite recipe that has a rich lemony taste. This crunchy side dish can be eaten with just about any meal. It hints a Middle Eastern flavor that is very inviting.  I like beets topped with a dollup of Greek yogurt or sour cream. (otherwise this recipe is vegan gluten free/grain free)























    Beet and Orange Salad in White Balsamic Vinegar is colorful to look at and makes a beautiful presentation. The sweetness of the beets and oranges mixed with tart balsamic vinegar makes a tangy side dish that is sure to please all beet lovers! Vegan, gluten free/grain free)

    Quinoa Lover's Salad with Roasted Beets- This is one of our favorites! It is a perfect entrée that satisfies your vegetarian or vegan guests while delighting meat eaters as a side dish. Quinoa is high in protein, light in taste, and nutrient dense. The addition of roasted beets makes it hearty and delicious. (vegan, gluten free/ )

    Medley of Roasted Winter acorn Squash and roasted beets is a perfect combination that adds a little sweetness to the blander acorn squash. Roasting the vegetables brings out the best flavors. ( vegan, gluten free/grain free) 

    Hearty Beet Borscht Soup; Cold or hot- I think you either love beet soup or you hate it! I'm used to it because of my eastern European background. My grandparents and parents ate it on a regular basis: hot in the winter and cold in the summer. ( my grandmother lived to be 107 - was it the borsht??? (vegan, gluten free/grain free)

    Caramelized Beets in Balsamic Glaze- Simple to make; a delight to eat. We enjoy this easy but delicious way to eat beets. Looks pretty too.

    What are your favorite beet recipes? Please share


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    Good food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian/vegan and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.
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    Author: Judee Algazi

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  • The information on this blog is for educational purposes only. Always check with your doctor before making changes to your diet.
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    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Best Ever Chanukah Potato Latkes Baked ( Hanukkah)



    This year, Chanukah starts tonight at sundown. (Dec 16-2014 ) and will last for the next 8 days! The most traditional food to eat on Chanukah is Potato Latkes!

     Chanukah is spelled so many ways because it is a Hebrew word that is translated into English and there are many acceptable English spellings including Chanukah and Hanukkah, ) I like Chanukah!

    A few years ago, I had a Hanukkah Chanukah get together and served 3 large trays of homemade latkes- each with a different ( gluten free)  recipe. One tray was fried, one tray was baked, and another was fried but a different recipe. Guess what! In a blind taste test, hands down, everyone loved my baked latkes the best- so I'm sharing the recipe

    I know we are supposed to fry on Hanukkah Chanukah to commemorate the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days in the Temple in Jerusalem thousands of years ago, but
    I think these baked latkes are a healthier, less fattening, and just as delicious version- Of course they are also gluten free. Enjoy

    Ingredients:
    6 large baking potatoes , peeled and grated
    2 carrots, grated
    1 cup of hand grated real parmesan ( don't use the powdery parmesan- it won't work)
    3 eggs

    5 scallions, chopped fine
    Freshly cracked pepper to taste

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
    Line two large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment and spray with some oil.

    Using a hand grater or  machine, grate the carrots and potatoes and mix together. Wring out as much liquid as possible ( use a clean hand towel) . Add eggs, scallions, parmesan, and freshly cracked pepper.
    Drop a large tablespoon full onto the cookie sheet and flatten into a latke shape ( like a large cookie) Bake 15-20 minutes until beginning to brown and getting crispy. Serve immediately and top sour cream, Greek yogurt or homemade applesauce.

    Note: I haven't done this, but I have been told that if you are really in a hurry, you can buy a bag or two of shredded potatoes that are used for hash browns. Defrost them, wring them out and use them as your grated potato in a potato latke recipe.

    Sometimes I really want to save on carbs and calories, so I make a vegetable ( without the starchy potato) latke. I like it because it's still crispy and crunchy . Vegetable latkes


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    Good food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian/vegan and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.


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