Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers

Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers are golden brown and deliciously crispy on the outside, yet tender on the inside. Fun, festive, and full of parmesan flavor! This recipe can be adapted to make easy eggplant parmesan too - with no messy stove-top frying! | QueenofMyKitchen.comFor this month’s Recipe Redux challenge (creative cuts – fruits and vegetables) I chose to highlight one of summer’s most abundant vegetables – eggplant. The humble eggplant is among the most versatile of vegetables. It can be grilled, roasted, baked, fried, diced, stuffed, and rolled. You can put it on pasta or pizza, make a sandwich or dip with it, and use it in soups and stews. Eggplant takes center stage in a variety of classic dishes from divergent cultures such as Italian (eggplant parmesan), French (ratatouille), Mediterranean (moussaka), and Asian (stir-frys). And even as I’m writing this I know that I’m barely scratching the surface of the many uses and recipes for which eggplant is well suited. Since eggplant is so delicious and so plentiful this time of year, I’m sure no one will mind that I am adding to the unending list of uses for eggplant with this fun and festive recipe that’s perfect for summer – Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers. Flower shaped eggplant slices are dipped into a savory egg and olive oil mixture, then breaded and oven baked. The result is golden brown and deliciously crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, pieces of eggplant that will knock your socks off! (more…)

Baked Zoodles Caprese

Baked Zoodles Caprese is made with zucchini noodles and tastes like lasagna. A light dish, with zesty Italian flavor and under 200 calories per slice. | QueenofMyKitchen.comI hope the food blogosphere can handle another spiralizer recipe because this one is a gem! Baked Zoodles Caprese is zucchini noodles transformed into a dish that is a cross between quiche and lasagna.  It looks and cuts like quiche and has all the delicious savory flavors of classic lasagna, but is lighter and less filling.  When served on a small pool of warm marinara it makes a heavenly lunch or light dinner. (more…)

Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salsa

Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado SalsaIn my recent quest to create a simple summer salsa I relied on three of my favorite foods  – sweet potatoes, black beans, and avocados.  These foods never disappoint me, no matter what recipe I put them in, so I knew they’d make a fantastic salsa.   Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salsa is a sweet and spicy salsa with vibrant colors and a wonderfully zingy taste.  It’s great as an appetizer when served with tortilla chips and crackers, but it’s just as good as a topping for grilled fish, chicken, or pork.  The cool, refreshing ingredients scream “summer” but you can easily make this salsa all year-long. (more…)

Chocolate Avocado Oil Cake with Raspberry Chia Filling

Chocolate Avocado Oil Cake with Raspberry Chia Filling - gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, paleo, and no refined sugar. The perfect clean-eating dessert.Chocolate Avocado Oil Cake with Raspberry Chia Filling is a decadent chocolate cake made with almond flour, avocado oil, coconut sugar, raspberries, and chia seeds. To say that this cake is moist is a gross understatement.  Each melt-in-your-mouth bite is like a heavenly little pillow of intense chocolate deliciousness, so it’s hard to believe that this cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, paleo friendly, and contains no refined sugar. (more…)

Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws

Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws – A classic cocktail snack! These are clean tasting Parmesan cheese straws made with coconut oil instead of butter. Crispy and delicious, they go great with wine and mixed drinks. Perfect to set on the bar while entertaining or as an accompaniment to your favorite dip.Most cheese straws are made with gobs of butter and cheese making them very rich. They’re likely to crumble a bit when you eat them (especially the puff pastry ones) and they’ll usually leave your fingers really greasy. Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws are quite different.  They’re made with just two tablespoons of coconut oil instead of butter, and contain only a small amount of Parmesan cheese. The result is a clean tasting, crispy cheese straw that won’t crumble when you bite into it, leaving you free to hold a drink in the other hand!  They’re the perfect gluten-free appetizer to set on the bar when you’re entertaining or to serve as an accompaniment to your favorite dip.

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Berry Patriotic Yogurt Parfait

Berry Patriotic Yogurt Parfait with 90 second Raspberry Chia Jam. Less than half the sugar of traditional fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. Perfect for any patriotic holiday!Here’s a fun and festive breakfast you can serve to your loved ones on July Fourth or any other patriotic holiday – Berry Patriotic Yogurt Parfait. These parfaits are super healthy and so easy to make. They’re similar to fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt but without all the added sugar and with a hefty helping of fresh berries on top. You might be tempted to use store-bought jam to make these parfaits but I urge you not to, as it takes less than two minutes to prep the raspberry chia jam and you will be rewarded with the most delicious, sweet, tart, jam you’ve ever tasted!  (The method for making this jam works with frozen blueberries too.) (more…)

Roasted Garlic Avocado White Bean Dip

Roasted Garlic Avocado White Bean Dip - Vegan, gluten-free and infused with fresh basil. Packed with protein, fiber and only 111 calories per 1/4 cup serving.Recipes for white bean dip abound in cookbooks, magazines, and the food blogosphere, and it’s easy to see why.  White bean dips have huge appeal because they are healthier and lower in calories compared to appetizers made with cheese, cream cheese, pastry, bread, and nuts.  Still, I have found most white bean dips rather bland, consisting only of pureed white beans, garlic, olive oil, and lemon. However, with a few simple recipe tweaks it’s easy to turn a basic, unexciting dip into a sensational, savory one.   Roasted Garlic White Bean Avocado Dip contains fresh basil, avocado, and roasted garlic – ingredients not commonly found in white bean dip, but ones that make this dip truly exceptional.   (more…)

Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw

Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw with Figs, Walnuts, and Crispy Prosciutto - A fantastic make ahead dish that’s great with steak and chicken.Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw with Figs, Walnuts, and Crispy Prosciutto was inspired by the popular Blue Cheese Cole Slaw recipe by Ina Garten, a/k/a The Barefoot Contessa. Initially I planned to do a version of this recipe using homemade avocado mayonnaise but when I did a search on Google and Pinterest I saw that there were already tons of recipes out there for blue cheese cole slaw so I decided to create a broccoli slaw instead and compliment the wonderfully distinct flavor of blue cheese with dried mission figs, toasted walnuts, and crispy prosciutto. There’s no mayonnaise is this slaw; the dressing is made from olive oil, greek yogurt, blue cheese, and parmesan cheese. If you’re a fan of blue cheese you will love this dish! (more…)

Maple Sweetened Strawberry Ice Cream

Maple Sweetened Strawberry Ice Cream - delicious and subtly sweet with bright, tangy flavor. Sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined white sugar. Gluten-free.I’m sure I’m breaking some unwritten food blogging rule that says you shouldn’t post two similar recipes back to back, but earlier this week my refrigerator was overflowing with all the fresh strawberries I had picked, so rather than see them go bad I decided to make Maple Sweetened Strawberry Ice Cream and it came out so delicious that I just had to share!  I had an old recipe for homemade strawberry ice cream in my files that I dug out and I simply replaced the 1¼ cups of white granulated sugar it called for with ¾ cup of pure maple syrup.  Aside from being able to control/lessen the sweetness (most ice cream is way too sweet), an added benefit of using maple syrup was that the liquids did not need to be heated in order to dissolve the granulated sugar.  Since the maple syrup was already in liquid form it just needed to be combined with the strawberries/puree and other ingredients.  So, not only is Maple Sweetened Strawberry Ice Cream a tad healthier than your typical strawberry ice cream, it’s also a little easier to make. (more…)

Strawberry Chicken Pecan Salad

Strawberry Chicken Pecan Salad with Feta Cheese and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette - a salad with a magical combination of flavors and textures, and the ultimate salad for strawberry season!The strawberry season is in full swing here in Massachusetts and my family and I have been enjoying its bounty.  We are blessed to live within a mile of two “pick you own” strawberry fields and have several other farm stands nearby that are bursting with fresh strawberries this time of year. I always make a point of trying at least one new recipe each year using fresh strawberries, and normally this includes some type of dessert, but strawberries are delicious in salads too, as I discovered when I made Strawberry Chicken Pecan Salad.  What makes this salad so exceptional is that it pairs fresh strawberries with other ingredients that highlight its flavor perfectly.  Maple syrup intensifies the berry flavor, balsamic vinegar adds a pleasant tartness, and salty feta helps to balance some of the sweetness.  The result is a salad where the essence of fresh strawberries really shines through. (more…)

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