[Food Series]

3 Detoxifying and Anti-Inflammatory Homemade Juices

if you are dealing with any inflammatory dis-ease, these simple and delicious juices might just give you a bit of relief! Enjoy!

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Roasted Leeks & Carrots

Sometimes, all it takes is a thick slice instead of a fine dice or slow roasting in lieu of sauteing and out of nowhere you have an exciting and delicious, new dish!

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Watermelon Burrata Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Here's a great way to spruce up a watermelon! A simple summer salad that's elegant enough to serve for company. Enjoy!

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Ginger Leek Risotto with Rosemary Prime Strip Steak

For most of my adult life, I have been intimidated by risotto, for no apparent reason, until one day last year when I was standing in my mom's kitchen watching her make it and I said, "that's it?!" 

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Baked Golden Beet Chips

I'm on a beet kick! Golden beets to be specific! I know, I know...beets are one of those foods that you either love or you hate. Well, luckily, everyone in our family loves them.

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Perfectly Crispy Kale

Meet our newest obsession: Crispy Kale Chips! On a scale of one to ten, our kale consumption generally hovers around a seven. Not too bad.

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Orange Cilantro Yellowfin Tuna Salad

In an attempt to beat the heat and welcome this weather with open arms, we decided to fire up the grill and what was born was a delicious and simple summer salad!

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Easy Peasy Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is kind of like an ancient tradition in my family. I grew up on it and so folklore dictates, my family, too will grow up on it.

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Dutch Oven Dover Sole

Last Christmas, my mom gave me the best present ever. A dutch oven! And since that fateful day, I've been dutifully trying to put it to good use.

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Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies

We don't keep sweets in our house, no refined sugary substances here, so when the sweet beast reared its curly-tressed head recently, I went digging in the pantry to see what I could come up with!

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Wilted Kale, Mandarin and Walnuts

My love affair with kale started a decade ago on a trip to a dusty, u-pick organic farm with a bunch of friends and I haven’t looked back since.

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Roasted Balsamic Beets with Goat Cheese

I know, beets aren't for everyone. Most people I know either love them or hate them. Luckily, for my family, we all fall in to the LOVE them category!

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Herbed Goat Cheese & Pepper Bulgur

Bulgur is a really light and fluffy whole wheat grain that is naturally high in fiber and low in fat. Ready in 15 minutes, this dish is definitely a quick, healthy and delicious mid-week family meal that won't break the bank!

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Ginger Lemon Cupcakes & A Cocoa Glaze

Let me preface this by stating that I am not a baker. I dabble, but we don't do a lot of sweets in our house in general, so I racked my brain to come up with something comprised of ingredients we already had at home.
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Raw Avocado & Rosemary Pasta

We don't do much pasta in our house, but lately, I've been in a dinner rut, so when my hubby came home from the grocery with brown rice pasta, my creative juices starting flowing. 

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3 Detoxifying & Rejuvenating Homemade Juices

We eat copious amounts of fruits and vegetables in our house and, for the most part, I prefer to enjoy all of the benefits of eating the whole food. But in the winter time, when germs are at an all time high and everyone we know is sick, we juice. 

It's one way to ensure that we get the extra immunity-boosting vitamins and minerals we need to keep us healthy and active. Here are three of our favorites! Enjoy! 

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Rustic Thyme and Brie Apple Tart

Last minute full-blown dinner parties always bring out my creative side, so when our friends called us over for what was sure to be a seven course meal, I knew I had to represent with a beautiful desert.

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Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

Our family just recently started receiving our produce through a community supported agriculture (CSA) delivery service. Everything is locally grown, seasonal, organic and delivered to our doorstep. When I open my front door, once a week, and our box of goodies is sitting there, it's almost like I won the lottery and can't wait to open it up to see what we've won! This week was a ton of butternut squash...

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Mom's King Cake

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm from New Orleans and as most Crescent City natives are, I am extremely proud of my hometown! Tradition runs deep in my family and I strive to pass it down to our daughter along with my husband's family traditions. And so, it is with pleasure that I introduce her (and you) to the King Cake!

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Turkish Meatballs (Köfte)

I'll be honest, Meatballs are my husband's domain. He's the Köfte master. Before this attempt, I had only made them once, so I didn't expect to knock it out of the park! Even the hubby said mine were better than his (on which the jury is still out). Anyway, here it is! The best darn Turkish meatball a New Orleanian ever made! Enjoy!

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Roquefort Stuffed Chicken Provençal

I first made this dish, what seems like a lifetime ago, but I guess it was only about 8 years ago. It was a romantic, candlelit and conversation-filled evening with my husband.

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Red Lentil Soup

In the winter months, you can pretty much bet that at least once a week, soup will be served in our house! I just love soup! There's something so warm and cozy about snuggling up to a steamy bowl of soup, how it fogs up the kitchen windows and let's face it, how super easy it is! This red lentil soup is a staple in our house. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Around the holidays, my domestic, nostalgic side kicks in to overdrive! Cue the cookies!

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Roasted Cauliflower & Brussel Sprouts

If you have veggie eaters in your house, this one couldn't be any easier or more delicious and nutritious!

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Maw Maw's Macaroni & Cheese

This recipe has been passed down from my great-grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mother then, to me and it always has a place on our Thanksgiving table.

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I've been making this dish for guests for years now, even picky, non-shrimp eaters!  It's simple, nutritious and delicious!

There's just something so inviting and cozy about roasting squash, not to mention the fact that it's pretty much the easiest thing in the world to do!

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I finally got on the mandolin train and was looking for any good excuse to use it when I spotted the radishes in the back of the fridge.


Rosemary Carrot and Apple Hash

This side dish is hearty enough to feed hungry Saints fans and delicious enough to make again, even for a more refined bunch!

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Five Onion Soup with Gruyere Crostini

I look at Onion Soup as if it were a long term relationship. It's warm and comforting and of course, it's a commitment, but it's totally worth every minute!

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Ginger Salmon En Croute

You know when you suddenly find yourself in the middle of an impromptu dinner party for 6 and you decide to make something that was barely a thought which only the second before flew into your head?! Well, I found myself doing just that a couple of weeks ago.

Roasted Garlic and Broccoli Soup

When I'm making soups that feature one vegetable, like broccoli soup, the fewer the ingredients, the easier the prep, the quicker wholesome food gets to the table for us to savor!

Sesame Soba Noodle Salad

In an effort to be more mindful of what I put in my body, I decided to give buckwheat (soba) noodles a try. This pasta salad takes a flat 10 minutes to make, is chocked full of nutrition and keeps in the fridge for days!

Oatmeal Banana Bread

Some people say we are a family of Monkeys because, in our house, we go through bananas at break-neck speed. Banana bread is one of my favorite breakfast foods and a must have make-ahead meal when we go camping. It's also a quick and healthy snack on the trail.

Pea and Pancetta Risotto with Mint

I have been in a European state of mind this week, pining for its narrow cobblestone streets, Gothic cathedrals, fresh pastries and one-of-a-kind coffee. I just can't seem to shake the gentle whisper of far off lands, so I decided to make some Risotto!

Hearty & Healthy Potato Leek Soup

In the hopes of coaxing Madame Fall to The City of Angles, I decided to honor her with a pot of Potato Leek soup! 

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Mediterranean-Style Halibut Stew

I'm not a menu-maker when it comes to food at our house, I'm more of a meal composer. That was the birth of this recipe. We loved it so much that I just had to share it with you guys!

Karnıyarık (Stuffed Eggplant) was one of the first Turkish dishes I mastered (after Cacık) and one of my husband's favorite foods. There are a few more steps than most of my recipes, but trust me when I say it's WORTH it! Enjoy!
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Roasted Broccoli and Pancetta Quiche

Quiche is one of our family's favorite dishes anytime of the day, any day of the week and any week of the year & a great Cook-Ahead Camping Meals

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Summer Picnic Ideas

The Hollywood Bowl is a beloved LA landmark whose cultural and musical history has been delicately woven into the very fabric of our lives for over a decade. It will be featured in an upcoming MommyHiker.com article, but today I wanted to showcase a few quick, easy and nutritious summer picnic ideas, perfect for mad-dashing out to a concert or just to the neighborhood park!

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Bon Femme & Cinnamon Whipped Cream

I rarely make dessert, but when I saw Jacques Pépin whip up this super simple dessert, I just knew I had to try it!
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Mushroom and Mint Stuffed Zucchini

I concocted this recipe by mingling 3 different ideas; Turkish Dolma, seeing the hundreds of Zucchini Boat pics on Pinterest (Ha!) and using the fresh ingredients that were already in my fridge! 

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Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls

Shrimp Spring Rolls are the perfect delicious and nutritious summer finger food and SO fast and easy to prepare! I can tell you it has already become a new family favorite!

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Easy Nontraditional Eggplant Caponata

Our family loves eggplant! I was raised by a mom who is not a big fan, but after falling in love and marrying a Mediterranean man, I quickly discovered its creamy deliciousness! Caponata is an easy and tasty way to get even picky eaters to give it a try! I must admit though, my Caponata is a hybrid mixing the traditional Sicilian flavors with some of my favorite Turkish flavors and my own Southern Girl twist! Enjoy!
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Beet Salad with Walnuts and Gorgonzola

I was introduced to this flavor-packed beet salad many, many years ago by a dear friend and it has become a star dish in my repertoire. Throughout the years, this easy and nutritious beet salad has turned even the most avid beet haters into beet believers, including my husband! It is such a versatile dish that you can serve it at a fancy dinner party or bring it along on a camping trip (both of which I have done numerous times!)
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The Turkish cuisine has so many fresh, healthy summertime dishes and there's nothing like chilled green beans in olive oil (Zeytinyağlı Taze Fasulye) to remind me of the warm breezes of the Mediterranean. This dish is so incredibly easy to make ahead and nibble on throughout the week! It's the perfect side dish or can shine as the star of the meal.
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Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup (Cacık)

This is, hands down, my favorite Turkish soup and a staple in our house, especially in the summer months. It takes less than 15 minutes to make, not to mention it's really low cal and nutritious! My two year old devours this by the gallon. Win, Win, Win!
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Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Summer is HERE in Southern California and in honor of the fact that it will be 95 degrees today, I made Gazpacho!This recipe is SO easy, there's no reason you can't have this staple in a pitcher in your fridge all summer long! Enjoy!

Leeks in Olive Oil (Zeytinyağlı Pırasa)

The Turkish Cuisine is full of healthy, simple and fresh dishes. Zeytinyağlı Pırasa was one of the first "olive oil" dishes I was introduced to by my Mother-in-law. I LOVE leeks and I LOVE olive oil. It was a match made in heaven! 

Herb-Crusted Whole Roasted Chicken

It's been a looooong time since I've roasted a whole chicken. We usually buy the value pack of chicken thighs, which I roast and keep in the fridge for easy lunch-making during the week, but this week the large organic chickens were on sale!

Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

Last month we took the baby to Underwood Family Farms and came back with a bounty of bok choy, so I went online in search of a new recipe that is bursting with flavor and loaded with nutrition! I have to say that it is now one of my top 5 favorite soups of all time!! Enjoy!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cashews

I'm all about roasting things lately. There's less clean up and less time baby-sitting food on the stove! This is a  super easy dinner packed with nutrition and flavor!

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A Christmas Cookie Carnival

Making cocoons with my Maw-maw and my mom is one of my favorite childhood memories; the three of us in the kitchen, pine scents wafting in from the christmas tree, the perpetual pot of coffee brewing and cocoons baking to perfection. 

Mücver (Zucchini Fritters)

Mücver is one of my husband's favorite dishes. I have had mücver many times, but I think because of my hubby's affinity for his mom's mücver, I was always terrified to make it! I have tried my hand at numerous Turkish dishes throughout our 16 year relationship and have fared pretty well, so after our summer excursion to turkey this year, where we ate our weight in mücver, I came home with the determination to give it a go! 

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...they have been sitting in the pantry for close to 4 months now! Finally, I decided enough is enough, so I googled "how to cook wheat berries". I couldn't believe how easy it is, then I mocked myself for ever being scared of a wheat berry to begin with! 

I am always trying to come up with quick, easy and healthy ideas for a toddler on the go! One that can be thrown in the bag and eaten on the trail.

As I was perusing the Trader Joe's refrigerated section a few weeks ago, I came across their homemade whole wheat pizza dough and it hit me! I could make calzones stuffed with anything! Freeze them and pop them in the oven whenever I didn't feel like cooking! 

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