Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Ultimate Easter Dinner Menu

The Ultimate Easter Dinner Menu

In the Little Leopard Book house we LOVE holidays! A great time for friends, family, fun and of course, FOOD!

I wanted to share our Ultimate Easter Dinner Menu with everyone so that you too can have the Ultimate Little Leopard Book Easter experience in your home!

Main Course: Roasted Rosemary Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

rosemary pork tenderloin, balsamic rosemary pork tenderloin, paleo pork tenderloin, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, bacon wrapped herb crusted pork tenderloin, recipes, paleo, herb crusted pork recipe

Side Dish: Cast Iron Skillet Rustic Potatoes

cast iron skillet recipe, cast iron skillet potatoes, sliced herb potatoes, recipes, rustic potato recipe, food

Side Dish: Pecan Bacon and Blue Cheese Green Beans

gluten free side dish, bacon blue cheese green beans, bacon and cheese green beans, pecan and bacon crusted green beans, pecan crusted green beans, bacon pecan blue cheese green beans, nutty green beans with bacon and blue cheese, blue cheese green bean recipe, recipes, food, bacon and cheese vegetable recipes

Side Dish: Rosemary Focaccia Bread

rosemary bread, focaccia bread, rosemary focaccia bread, easy bread recipe, simple focaccia bread recipe, recipes, homemade focaccia bread

Dessert: Strawberry Mini Pies

Mini Fresh Strawberry Pie

Dessert: Easter Bunny Shaped Oatmeal Almond Date Bars

Gluten Free 10 Minute Easter Breakfast Bars

Cheers to a happy and delicious Easter Sunday from Little Leopard Book!

No Bake Oatmeal Almond Date Bars

Oatmeal Date Easter Bars

I am so excited to share this new recipe that does not require baking, needs only 6 simple ingredients, takes only 10 minutes to prepare and is gluten-free, dairy-free with no sugar added!

No Bake Oatmeal Date Bars

Purchasing energy bars at the store can get expensive… and they don’t come in fun shapes!

Easter Almond Date Bars

These bars can be made for any holiday using cookie cutters or simply sliced into squares for every day enjoyment!

Gluten Free 10 Minute Easter Breakfast Bars

Oatmeal Date Bar Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates (chopped)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup honey

Simply place all of the above ingredients in a food processor.

How to make oatmeal date bars

Blend for 30-60 seconds or until a sticky ball forms.

No Bake Oatmeal Date Bars

Place the oat mixture on wax or parchment paper. (I found parchment paper worked better, less sticking!)

Press the mixture into a thin layer using your hands, or use a rolling pin to flatten the mixture.

No Bake Oatmeal Almond Bars

Simply use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes, or slice into squares with a knife.

Easter Shaped Oatmeal Coconut Bars

Easter Bunny Shaped Oatmeal Bars

Voila!  A healthy Easter snack was just made in 10 minutes!

Easter Oatmeal Date Bars

These are perfect to take for lunch or a mid-morning snack, eat for breakfast or even serve as a healthy dessert!

No Bake Gluten Free Almond Date Bars

Dates are known as “nature’s candy” and produce a delicious natural sweetness! They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins!

Easter Bunny Oatmeal Date Bars

The almonds help lower bad cholesterol and build strong bones and teeth, while the oats provide energy, nutrients and more fiber!

10 Minute Gluten Free Easter Bars

Who knew that such a cute little Bunny bar could pack so many health benefits!

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

No Bake Oatmeal Almond Date Bars

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

No Bake Oatmeal Almond Date Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates (chopped)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup honey

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend for 30-60 seconds or until a sticky ball forms.
  3. Place the oat mixture on parchment paper.
  4. Press the mixture into a thin layer using your hands, or use a rolling pin to flatten the mixture.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes, or slice into squares with a knife.
http://whitneybond.com/no-bake-oatmeal-almond-date-bars/

Strawberry Cucumber Juice and Healthy Juicer Giveaway

Healthy Juicer

I was beyond excited when I ran into my friend Drew at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim!  I know Drew as a photographer and fellow Okie, but I totally forgot that he has another business in addition to his photography.  Enter: the Healthy Juicer!

He was at the expo promoting the Healthy Juicer and I started talking with him about giving one away to a lucky fan of the blog.  He not only agreed to give one away, he also gave one to me!  I was so excited when I picked it up last weekend and couldn’t wait to start juicing!

Juicing Cucumber with Healthy Juicer

It is so easy to put together, use and clean! I was skeptical at first, but after using it a couple of times this weekend, it’s totally true!

I busted out my fruit, vegetables and juicer, chopped the fruits and veggies, put together the healthy juicer, juiced it up, drank up the deliciousness, then took it apart and cleaned it, all in less than 30 minutes!

Juicing Strawberries

There are no messy screens to scrub and the Healthy Juicer even comes with this handy little wrench to help take the juicer apart! They also have this sweet video to show you just how quick the cleanup process is!

How to use the Healthy Juicer

The Healthy Juicer is a masticating juicer, masticating means to ‘chew’ or grind. Other juicers that are centrifugal, use a high RPM  to cut the produce and then slap it against the screen, extracting the juice. During this process there is heat build-up and oxidation which kills nutrients.  The Healthy Juicer uses a high torque motor with a 72 RPM auger to squeeze the juice out of produce with no heat-build up, resulting in a live-enzyme juice and killing no nutrients. Yay for keeping your nutrients!

Another benefit is that a masticating juicer such as the Healthy Juicer can juice wheatgrass and other leafy greens, whereas others simply can’t.  Wheatgrass is entirely too fibrous for a centrifugal juicer to extract juice.  Check out this Healthy Juicer full demo video for even more information on this awesome juicing machine!

Strawberry Cucumber Kale Juice

For my first juicing experience I combined Strawberries, Cucumbers and Kale!

Ingredients

  • 8-10 strawberries
  • 1 cup kale (chopped)
  • 1 cup cucumber (sliced)

Add each ingredient to the Healthy Juicer and watch it go to work producing a delicious, super healthy, nutrient packed beverage!

Strawberry Cucumber Juice

Now I know you all would like one of these awesome juicers for free, right? I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff?  It’s super simple to win one! Just head over to Little Leopard Book’s Facebook page, “like” the page, enter your e-mail address, then share the giveaway with your friends, every time you share the post between now and April 7th, you’re entered to win again!

Free Juicer Giveaway

So what are you waiting for?  Get liking and sharing so you can get juicing with your own Healthy Juicer!

Strawberry Kale Juice

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Beets, Pork Chops, Beanie Weenies and Jalapeños

Pork Chop and Beet Chili

A couple of weeks ago my friends over on Little Leopard Book’s Facebook page gave me four delicious ingredients to turn into one delectable dish!

Chopped Challenge Ingredients Week 24

These four ingredients were beets, jalapeños, pork chops and beanie weenies. I decided to turn these ingredients into a “grown-up” beanie weenie chili, with pork chops replacing the weenies.

Pork and Bean Chili Recipe

The beets were pureed and used in the sauce, as well as the chopped jalapeños… and a few more goodies!  The final result was a delicious sweet and spicy Pork Chop Chili!

Pork Chop Chili Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beets (steamed & peeled)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (divided)
  • 2 cans pork & beans
  • 1 lb pork chops
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 jalapeño (de-seeded and diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Begin by placing the beets on a baking sheet and drizzling with olive oil.  Next, sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar on the beets. Roast them in the oven at 450° for 10 minutes.

Sweet Roasted Beets

While the beets are roasting, place the beans and pork chops in a crock pot.

Pork Chop Chili

Then add the chopped onions, jalapeños and garlic.

Pork Chop Chili Recipe

Turn the crock pot to high and cover.

Remove the beets from the oven and place in a food processor or blender.

Roasted Beets in Food Processor

Add the worchestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar, then puree.

Pureed Beets

Oh, isn’t that pretty?

Now add the pureed beets and remaining brown sugar to the crock pot.

Pureed Beet and Pork Chili

If beets aren’t your thing, 1 cup of tomato paste can be substituted for the beets!

Mix everything together and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours in the crock pot.

Spicy Pork Chop Chili

Pork and Beet Chili

Serve with bread for dipping. Little Leopard Book’s Rustic Potato Bread or Rosemary Focaccia Bread would be an excellent addition to this dish!

Sweet and Spicy Pork Chop Chili

Pork Chop Chili Recipe

I didn’t tell my roommates what was in the chili before they ate it to see if they could pick out the beet flavor.  Their response “I have no idea what it is but it’s delicious.”  Haha, good response to get I guess!

Sweet Pork Chili

Gourmet Pork Chop Chili

♣ Vegetarian Option: Replace the pork chops with chopped carrots and replace the pork and beans with vegetarian baked beans.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Beets, Pork Chops, Beanie Weenies and Jalapeños

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Serving Size: 4

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Beets, Pork Chops, Beanie Weenies and Jalapeños

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beets (steamed & peeled)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (divided)
  • 2 cans pork & beans
  • 1 lb pork chops
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 jalapeño (de-seeded and diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place the beets on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar on the beets.
  3. Roast the beets in the oven at 450° for 10 minutes.
  4. While the beets are roasting, place the beans and pork chops in a crock pot.
  5. Add the chopped onions, jalapeños and garlic.
  6. Turn the crock pot to high and cover.
  7. Remove the beets from the oven and place in a food processor or blender.
  8. Add the worchestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar, then puree.
  9. Add the pureed beets and remaining brown sugar to the crock pot.
  10. Mix everything together and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
http://whitneybond.com/chopped-challenge-thursday-beets-pork-chops-beanie-weenies-and-jalapenos/

Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti

You know when you find something so amazing that you have to share it with all of your friends immediately?

Something amazing: Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

My friends: All of you!

Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

After eating a delicious Baked Ziti dish on a Progressive Dinner, my friend and fellow Buffalo Chicken addict, PK, suggested that I make a Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti.

Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti

I was obviously on board with this idea and a couple weeks later, Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta was created!

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

I re-named it “baked pasta” instead of “baked ziti” because sometimes ziti is not available, like at Trader Joes, where I was purchasing my pasta for this dish 😉

Buffalo Chicken Baked Rigatoni Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 lb pasta (ziti, rigatoni or penne)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Begin by pressure cooking or boiling the chicken breasts and cooking the pasta.

Next, shred the chicken breasts, then combine the shredded chicken, cooked pasta, mozzarella, buffalo sauce, ricotta cheese and blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Mix all of the ingredients together then pour into an oven safe baking dish.

Buffalo Chicken Four Cheese Pasta Bake

Next, combine the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.  I also added a little Italian seasoning.  Totally optional, but gives it a little extra flavor!

Parmesan Breadcrumb Crust for Pasta Bake

Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pasta dish.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake with Breadcrumb Parmesan Crust

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes, then turn the broiler on to high and brown up the crust for 3-5 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Baked Rigatoni

Garnish with diced green onions if you would like!

Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta Recipe

I’m all about a little extra kick, so I sprinkled some crushed red pepper on top as well!

Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

Crispy crust, cheesy center, buffalo chicken spice, I couldn’t ask for anything more in a dish!

Easy Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

Oh, and it’s easy to make and takes less than an hour to prepare and bake, yeah I’m totally on board!

Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken Pasta Dish

If simple dishes are your thing, be sure to check out our Pinterest board with “Quick and Easy Dinner Dishes”, all prepared in under an hour!

LLB Pinterest Quick and Easy Dishes

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the chicken for a vegetarian Cheesy Buffalo Baked Pasta dish.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta and breadcrumbs to make this recipe gluten-free.

Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 lb pasta (ziti, rigatoni or penne)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Begin by pressure cooking or boiling the chicken breasts and cooking the pasta.
  2. Next, shred the chicken breasts, then combine the shredded chicken, cooked pasta, mozzarella, buffalo sauce, ricotta cheese and blue cheese dressing.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together then pour into an oven safe baking dish.
  4. Next, combine the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pasta dish.
  6. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes, then turn the broiler on to high and brown up the crust for 3-5 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/buffalo-chicken-baked-pasta/

Rama Thai San Diego: Taking Thai Food To Another Level

Fresh Veggie Tofu Spring Rolls

I was first introduced to Thai Food when living in LA… and it was love at first bite!

Pan Fried Roti Bread with Yellow Curry

Then I was introduced to Rama.  And my love affair with Thai Food was taken to another level!

There is literally nothing I have eaten at Rama that has not been totally, irresistibly delectable. And as you’ll see through the course of this post… I’ve had a lot of things!

Above you’ll see their fresh tofu, vegetable spring rolls, a deliciously light way to start your meal at Rama, then, there it is, the absolute most delicious thing ever.  Pan Fried Roti Bread with Yellow Curry Sauce.  Holy cow, there is nothing I don’t love about this simple, little appetizer!

I am so beyond grateful that my friend PK ordered this the first time I ever dined at Rama, now it’s my go-to appetizer!  It also inspired my first homemade curry sauce recipe in my Indian Chicken Curry Pitas!

Beef Thai Salad

When the owner found out I wanted to do a “Restaurant Rave” on the spot, he generously brought out some samples of his favorite dishes, in addition to my regular “go-to” items!

First was the Thai Steak Salad, thin slices of beef top delicious mixed greens, mint, scallions, green onions and thai chilies for one meaty, scrumptious salad!

Next, was the Vegetable Tofu and Eggplant with basil, garlic, bell peppers and onions.  The perfect meal for all my vegetarian friends out there!

Thai Tofu and Eggplant

Next, he brought out a couple of tasty seafood dishes, the Coconut Lemon Grass Grilled Tiger Prawns and Pan Seared Scallops in Chili Sauce.

Coconut Lemon Grass Grilled Tiger Prawns

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Chili Sauce

Is anyone else’s mouth watering?

Both seafood favorites were packed with flavor, while still maintaining a light, fresh taste.  I would highly recommend the scallops, like really highly!

Last but not least was my other “go-to” dish, the Drunken Noodles with Chicken.  A simple Thai meal, turned into one of my favorite dishes of all time at Rama!

Drunken Noodles with Chicken

Now it’s confession time.

  • Confession #1: I was alone at lunch when all of this food appeared on my table.
  • Confession #2: I was sitting on their sidewalk patio and people walking by looked at me really funny!
  • Confession #3: I ate 90% of this food.
  • Confession #4: I wish I had worn looser pants so I could have eaten 100% 😉

If you’re in San Diego or visiting in the near future, do not miss this unforgettable Thai food!

My aunt was recently in town for a conference and said this was the best Thai she has ever had. One of my best friends that lives in Miami said this is his favorite restaurant in all of San Diego. So if you don’t believe me, take their word for it 😉

Rama is located at: 327 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA. 92101 (Between J & K St.)

Date Trees, Fields of Carrots and Orange Grove Fun on the California Farm Water Tour

Date Trees

I was so excited when Jackie from The Seaside Baker sent me an e-mail titled “Palm Springs”.

Palm Springs, what could this be about, something fun, I’ve never been to Palm Springs, is she inviting me to Palm Springs?  These were all the thoughts running through my mind as I opened the e-mail. And sure enough, it was something fun and she was inviting me to Palm Springs!

Jackie was part of an exclusive group of food bloggers invited by the California Farm Water Coalition to participate in a weekend tour of farms in the Coachella Valley and areas surrounding Palm Springs.  They had a last-minute spot open up and Jackie recommended me (thanks girl!)

The Seaside Baker and Little Leopard Book

Next thing you know we’re standing high above the Coachella Valley on our way home from an amazing weekend in Palm Springs and beyond!

We started the weekend by doing a little carrot picking.

Farmer Picking Carrots

Or should I say, carrot shoveling!  Along the way we learned all about the water needed to grow the food, such as these carrots!

Did you know that it takes 894 gallons of water to produce the food one person consumes in a day?  That’s a lot of water!

Whitney Bond Picking Oranges

We then headed over to Seaview farms where they’re growing a whole lot of fresh citrus and dates!

Seaview Citrus and Date Farm

Date trees on the left, citrus on the right, I’d like to live in the middle!

Here’s another fun fact for you: California annually exports $12.9 billion in farm commodities to 194 countries and needs 41% of the state’s dedicated water supply to do so!

Date Tree

In fact, 99% of the United States dates come from California! And who could live without delicious Bacon Wrapped Dates, right?

Cutting Grapefruit on the Farm

After eating up some delicious grapefruit, sliced right off the tree we headed over to the Salton Sea!

Salton Sea

The sea is sustained by agricultural runoff from the Imperial and Coachella valleys and is a haven for hundreds of species of fish and aquatic birds!

After the Salton Sea we headed into Palm Springs and off to dinner.  After a lovely dinner at Jackalope Ranch, we retired to Indian Wells Resort and Hotel to recharge for Day 2!

Day 2 began at the Oasis Date Gardens.

Oasis Date Farm

Yes, more dates!! They took us on a quick tour of their facilities and let us try a date shake! Yum!

Oasis Date Farm Facilities

For 100 years Oasis Date Farm has been providing hundreds of thousands of dates around the globe, they now produce over 1.4 MILLION pounds of dates per year!

A typical chicken sandwich requires about 200 gallons of water to produce, so just imagine how much water it takes to grow 1.4 MILLION pounds of dates?

Whitney Bond at Oasis Date Farm

After hanging with Mr Date Man, we headed over to the Coachella Valley Water Recharge Facility to check out the operations they have going on!

Coachella Valley Water Recharge Facility

This facility uses Colorado River water delivered to the valley via the Coachella Canal, across 120 miles to Lake Cahuilla in La Quinta. The water then travels along existing irrigation pipes, is pumped into 39 recharge basins and left to percolate into the ground.*

The facility can recharge the Coachella Valley’s aquifer with up to 40,000 acre-feet of water annually. One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.*

Pretty cool stuff!  I’m up for anything that helps my delicious California fruits and veggies grow!

Coachella Valley Scenery

After that, it was over the mountains and through the woods to grandmothers house San Diego we go!

Thank you to the California Farm Water Coalition for the fun and informative weekend!

Check out more information at “Food Grows Where The Water Flows” on Facebook and give them a “like” to learn more interesting facts about how food is grown in the great state of California!

*Source: http://www.cvwd.org/news/news70.php

Meme’s Cherry Coke Salad

Pineapple Jello Salad

What a big day on the blog, it’s St Patricks Day, I just launched a huge Healthy Juicer Giveaway over on my Facebook page AND it’s my 300th post!!

Just in case you missed post #100 or post #200, every 100 posts, I publish a recipe from my Grandma Meme’s cookbook in her memory!

Bond Family

I was lucky enough to grow up across the street from my wonderful grandparents and my Meme taught me so much about the love that goes into cooking!

Christmas with Meme

Today I re-created her Cherry Coke Salad, a southern favorite that we served at most (if not all) holidays when I was growing up!

Pineapple Cherry Jello Salad

Sweet, tart and oh-so-delicious, this jello salad is perfect for BBQ’s or family dinners!

Cherry Coke Salad Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 21 oz can pie cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 oz box cherry jello powder
  • 1 cup coca-cola
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple

Begin by boiling the cherries, sugar and water on the stove.

Boiling Cherries for Salad

Next, pour the mixture over the jello powder.

Cherry Coke Salad Recipe

Allow to cool on the counter, then add the coca-cola and pineapple.

Pineapple Cherry Coke Jello Salad

Mix together then place in the refrigerator to set, 6-8 hours.

Cherry Coke Salad

Simple and scrumptious, two of my favorite things!

Pineapple Cherry Coke Jello Salad

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Meme’s Cherry Coke Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Meme’s Cherry Coke Salad

Ingredients

  • 21 oz can pie cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 oz box cherry jello powder
  • 1 cup coca-cola
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple

Instructions

  1. Boil the cherries, sugar and water on the stove.
  2. Next, pour the mixture over the jello powder.
  3. Allow to cool on the counter, then add the coca-cola and pineapple.
  4. Mix together then place in the refrigerator to set, 6-8 hours.
http://whitneybond.com/memes-cherry-coke-salad/

Japanese Sweet Miso Eggplant and Carrots

Sweet Miso Vegetable Recipe

A couple weeks ago when I was on my Ahi Tuna kick preparing Japanese inspired dishes left and right, I remembered a dish I had grown to love while working at a Japanese restaurant in college, Sweet Miso Eggplant, also known as Nasu Dengaku in Japanese.

Sweet Miso Eggplant and Carrots

I quickly picked up some Japanese Eggplant at my friendly neighborhood Asian market and cruised home to make the dish.

I originally planned to make this dish as a side, but then decided to add some carrots and pour the vegetables over white rice to make a delicious Vegetarian Rice Bowl for dinner.

Sweet Miso Glazed Vegetables

The result was a super scrumptious side dish-turned-dinner!

Sweet Miso Vegetable Rice Bowl Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb carrots (chopped)
  • 3 small Japanese eggplants (sliced)
  • 1 cup white miso
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (zested)
  • 1 cup white rice

I’d like to start this recipe off by showing you a picture of my “walking man” carrots!

Funny Shaped Carrots

Don’t they look like a pair of legs walking? Haha.  Ok, well hopefully it made you laugh, maybe, just a little!  Now on to the recipe!

Begin by heating the olive oil in a wok or large skillet.  Next, add the carrots and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the japanese eggplant and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Sautéed Japanese Eggplant and Carrots

While the vegetables are sautéing, prepare the sweet miso sauce by combing the miso, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, white wine vinegar, water and ginger in a small bowl.

If white miso is not available, yellow miso can be used.  The darker the miso, the saltier, the lighter in color, the sweeter, therefore when preparing a sweet miso sauce, the lightest color miso available is the best choice! Depending on the sweetness or saltiness of the miso used, the amount of brown sugar can be altered slightly more or less!

Japanese Sweet Miso Sauce

Next, pour the sauce over the vegetables.

Japanese Sweet Miso Sauce Vegetables

Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

While the vegetables are cooking prepare the rice on the stove or in a rice cooker.

Spoon the cooked vegetables over the rice and serve.

Japanese Miso Vegetable Rice Bowl

Top with chopped chives as a garnish if desired.

Sweet Miso Vegetable Recipe

Japanese Miso Vegetable Rice Bowl

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: All of the ingredients pictured above in this recipe are gluten-free.

Japanese Sweet Miso Eggplant and Carrots

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Japanese Sweet Miso Eggplant and Carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb carrots (chopped)
  • 3 small Japanese eggplants (sliced)
  • 1 cup white miso
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (zested)
  • 1 cup white rice

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a wok or large skillet.
  2. Add the carrots and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the japanese eggplant and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Prepare the sweet miso sauce by combing the miso, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, white wine vinegar, water and ginger in a small bowl.
  5. Pour the sauce over the vegetables.
  6. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  7. Prepare the rice on the stove or in a rice cooker.
  8. Spoon the cooked vegetables over the rice and serve.
  9. Top with chopped chives as a garnish if desired.
http://whitneybond.com/japanese-sweet-miso-eggplant-and-carrots/

Chef Inspired Dish: Bailiwick, Grilled Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Jalapeño Thyme Sake Reduction

After reviewing the delicious Brunch at Bailiwick, I knew I had to return for my next “Chef Inspired Dish” segment with Chef Konstantin Plavnik!

Instead of brunch, we decided to re-create their most popular happy hour and dinner menu item, the Grilled Oysters with Thyme, Sake, Jalapeño Brown Butter.  Check it out!

Ingredients for Grilled Oysters

Ingredients

  • 6 large oysters
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 jalapeño (de-seeded & minced)
  • 4 slivers manchego cheese

Begin by shucking the oysters.

Next, add the sake to a small skillet over medium heat, cook until the sake begins to bubble then remove from the heat.

In a separate pan, add the butter and melt, next add the thyme and jalapeños. Brown the butter for 2 minutes. Bring the sake back up to a boil, then add the butter.

Jalapeño Sake Thyme Sauce

Next place the oysters on a grill over high heat. Spoon the sauce over the oysters,  cover and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Flame Grilled Oysters

Don’t worry if they catch a little flame, that’s supposed to happen 🙂

Add the cheese on top of the oysters, cover and grill for an additional minute, then remove from the grill and serve.

Grilled Oysters

Grilled Oysters with Jalapeño Butter

For my first Grilled Oyster experience, this one was epic!

Grilled Oysters with Sake Jalapeño Reduction

Thank you to Chef Konstantin Plavnik, Ali Grant of Be Social Public Relations and everyone at Bailiwick! Also a special thanks to the amazing videography work of Eric Lingle at Web Video Solutions.

To enjoy these delicious Grilled Oysters prepared by Chef Konstantin, visit Bailiwick at 756 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101.

Shamrock Shaped Pancake Recipe with Green Cream Cheese Syrup

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

After preparing my “Green Raviolis” and discovering the disappointing news that I did not actually own a shamrock shaped cookie cutter, I sought out to find one and make another recipe “shamrock shaped”!

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

I decided to make this Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancake recipe shamrock-shaped, and serve them with a side of my favorite cream cheese syrup… with a little festive green added!

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

These pancakes are similar to those served by Premium Gold at the Natural Products Expo West this weekend in Anaheim! They’re gluten-free, fluffy and delicious: a winning combination!

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

Ingredients

Begin by combining the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

Combine the next 3 ingredients in a small bowl then add to the dry ingredients.

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

Mix well, then pour the batter into an aluminum shamrock-shaped cookie cutter placed in a skillet over medium heat and coated with cooking spray.

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

Use tongs or a spatula to flip the cookie cutter after 3-4 minutes.

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes then remove the pancake from the cookie cutter.

Now this process will go a lot faster with more than one cookie cutter, but if you only have one, you can still make it work!

Simply remove each pancake from the cookie cutter, then place it back into the skillet and pour the batter inside, then repeat the steps above.

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

Now on to that Green Cream Cheese Syrup!

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

Ingredients

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 drops green food coloring

Simply use a hand mixer to blend all of the ingredients together and serve alongside these delicious pancakes for a festive St Patricks Day brunch!

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

These pancakes and syrup can be made in other shapes and other colors for any time of the year!

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

Check out the thick, fluffy texture of these delectable gluten-free delights! Yum!

gluten free pancakes, gluten-free, shamrock shaped pancakes, shamrock pancakes, st patricks day pancakes, st pattys day pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, st patricks day breakfast, st pattys day brunch, green syrup, green cream cheese syrup, st patricks day green syrup, recipes

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Shamrock Shaped Pancakes with Green Cream Cheese Syrup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 8 pancakes

Shamrock Shaped Pancakes with Green Cream Cheese Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup premium gold flax and whole grain gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 (1.23 oz) packet apple cinnamon oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup soy milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 large egg
  • Green Cream Cheese Syrup
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 drops green food coloring

Instructions

  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the next 3 ingredients in a small bowl then add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix well, then pour the batter into an aluminum shamrock-shaped cookie cutter placed in a skillet over medium heat and coated with cooking spray.
  4. Use tongs or a spatula to flip the cookie cutter after 3-4 minutes.
  5. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes then gently remove the pancake from the cookie cutter.
  6. To prepare the cream cheese syrup use a hand mixer to blend all of the ingredients together.
  7. Pour on top of shamrock pancakes.
http://whitneybond.com/shamrock-shaped-pancakes-with-green-cream-cheese-syrup/

Blackened Soy Ahi Burger

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

While my self-proclaimed “Ahi Week” was technically over a week ago, I still have a couple more delicious Ahi recipes to share!

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

The week started with Mango Avocado Ahi Fillo Baskets, then went on to Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Cakes and now for the delicious soy marinated, blackened ahi burger!

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

The idea for this recipe came from a spicy ahi burger I used to frequently eat at a beach bar my friend worked at.  It was fresh and delicious, while also having that nice  spicy kick… I re-created it just the same!

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

Ingredients (makes 4 ahi burgers)

  • 1 lb ahi (cut into 4 steaks)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 hamburger buns

Optional(-ly awesome) Toppings

Begin by pouring the soy sauce over the ahi steaks and brushing on all sides.

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to marinate.

In the mean time, mix all of the spices together in a small bowl.

Remove the ahi steaks from the refrigerator and coat all sides with the blackening seasonings.

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side in a cast iron skillet.

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

Place on the buns and top with wasabi aioli.

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes, wasabi mayonaise, wasabi aioli

Top with the other optional-ly awesome ingredients of your choice!

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

There’s nothing like fresh, creamy avocado on a thick steak of spicy ahi tuna with crisp red pepper slaw and sweet pickled ginger!

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

I used the blackening seasoning from my Blackened Red Snapper recipe, and it was just as delicious on the ahi!

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

The ahi is just slightly seared on the outside for that beautiful bright pink center!

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

blackened ahi, blackening spices, blackening seasonings, blackened soy ahi burgers, soy marinated ahi burgers, ahi burger with red pepper slaw, spicy blackened burger, spicy ahi burger, spicy blackening spices, recipes

♦ Gluten Free Option: Omit the buns or use gluten-free buns to make this recipe gluten-free.

♠ Paleo Option: Replace the soy sauce with lime juice to make this recipe paleo. Omit the wasabi aioli and pickled ginger as optional toppings.

Blackened Soy Ahi Burger

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ahi (cut into 4 steaks)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Optional Toppings
  • 1/4 cup wasabi mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup pickled ginger
  • 1 cup red pepper cabbage slaw
  • 1 fresh avocado (sliced)

Instructions

  1. Pour the soy sauce over the ahi steaks and brush on all sides.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to marinate.
  3. Mix all of the spices together in a small bowl.
  4. Remove the ahi steaks from the refrigerator and coat all sides with the blackening spices.
  5. Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side in a cast iron skillet.
  6. Place on the buns and top with wasabi aioli.
  7. Top with the other optional ingredients of your choice.
http://whitneybond.com/blackened-soy-ahi-burger/

Guest Post: The Seaside Baker’s Top 5 Bar Recipes

the seaside baker, dessert recipes, bar recipes, brownie recipes, guest blogging, Tagalong Bars, Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars, Berry Custard Bars, Lemon Brownies, Dulce de Leche Brownies

I’m so excited to switch roles for the day with Jackie from The Seaside Baker!  While my post all about 5 Dinner Recipes Made in Under 50 Minutes is live over on her site today, she’s sharing with you all her Top 5 Dessert Bar Recipes!

What an honor it is to be guest posting on Little Leopard Book! Whitney and I first met for a cup of coffee a couple months ago after realizing we were both San Diego food bloggers. I was so excited to finally meet someone with the same passion. Whitney is not only passionate about food blogging, this girl is motivated. Watch out Little Leopard Book fans, this girl is going to take the world by storm!

I decided to share with you some of my Top 5 Bar Recipes. While I love to eat little cookie rounds, I prefer to make bars. They are a lot less time consuming, and are perfect for large gatherings when you need to serve many people.

1. Tagalong Bars

the seaside baker, dessert recipes, bar recipes, brownie recipes, guest blogging, Tagalong Bars, Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars, Berry Custard Bars, Lemon Brownies, Dulce de Leche Brownies

2. Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars

the seaside baker, dessert recipes, bar recipes, brownie recipes, guest blogging, Tagalong Bars, Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars, Berry Custard Bars, Lemon Brownies, Dulce de Leche Brownies

3. Berry Custard Bars

the seaside baker, dessert recipes, bar recipes, brownie recipes, guest blogging, Tagalong Bars, Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars, Berry Custard Bars, Lemon Brownies, Dulce de Leche Brownies

4. Lemon Brownies

the seaside baker, dessert recipes, bar recipes, brownie recipes, guest blogging, Tagalong Bars, Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars, Berry Custard Bars, Lemon Brownies, Dulce de Leche Brownies

5. Dulce de Leche Brownies

the seaside baker, dessert recipes, bar recipes, brownie recipes, guest blogging, Tagalong Bars, Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars, Berry Custard Bars, Lemon Brownies, Dulce de Leche Brownies

I hope you enjoy these recipes and please visit The Seaside Baker anytime to satisfy your sweet tooth after making one of Little Leopard Book’s fabulous meals!

Shishito Peppers in Soy Ginger Sauce

Soy Ginger Shishito Peppers

Over the years I’ve turned hundreds of friends and family members on to Shishito Peppers!  Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but lets just say it’s been a lot, and out of all those people, everyone has loved them!

Shishito peppers are a japanese pepper generally served as a starter at popular sushi restaurants such as Nobu, Ra and Katsuya! The fun thing about these peppers is that they’re a mild, sweet pepper, yet about one in every ten is spicy!  Surprise!

Sweet Soy Ginger Sauce Shishito Pepper Recipe

When I saw bags of shishito peppers staring me in the face the first time I visited the Japanese market, I felt like I had struck gold!

Up until that point I had never seen the peppers for sale in a grocery store or at a farmers market and they’re not always available at sushi restaurants.

I quickly swooped up 4 bags of the peppers, come on people, it’s not every day you strike gold 😉

Shishito Pepper Recipe

I sautéed these babies up with some sweet soy ginger sauce to form a nice glaze, then sprinkled toasted panko crumbs on top for a delicious treat that went perfect with my Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Cakes!

Soy Ginger Shishito Pepper Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shishito peppers
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (zested)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional topping)

Sauté the shishito peppers over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

Next, whisk the other ingredients together in a small bowl.

Sweet Soy Ginger Sauce

Pour the sauce over the shishito peppers.

Sweet Soy Ginger Sauce Recipe

Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the sauce begins to thicken into a glaze.

Sautéed Shishito Peppers

Toast the breadcrumbs in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

Toasted Panko Breadcrumbs

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the shishito peppers and serve!

Japanese Shishito Pepper Recipe

Sushi Restaurant Shishito Pepper Recipe

These peppers make for a great party starter or simple weeknight snack!

Soy Ginger Shishito Peppers

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Leave the panko breadcrumbs off the top and be sure to use a gluten free soy sauce to make this recipe gluten-free.

Shishito Peppers in Soy Ginger Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shishito peppers
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (zested)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional topping)

Instructions

  1. Sauté the shishito peppers over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Whisk the other ingredients together in a small bowl to form the sauce.
  3. Pour the sauce over the shishito peppers.
  4. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until peppers are tender.
  5. Toast the breadcrumbs in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the shishito peppers and serve.
http://whitneybond.com/shishito-peppers-in-soy-ginger-sauce/

Three Cheese Basil Raviolis

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Inspired by the popularity of my Heart Shaped Cranberry Pomegranate Mini Pies for Valentine’s Day, I set out to make a “Shamrock Shaped” recipe for St Patrick’s Day.

It was only when I was elbow deep is green pasta dough that I realized my “101 Cookie Cutters Box” did not contain a shamrock!  Say what?

There were 8 different sized hearts for Valentine’s Day, but not one measly little shamrock for us Irish folk?!  I was appalled, but already too deep into the recipe for a trip to the craft store to find a shamrock shaped cookie cutter, so I decided circular green raviolis would just have to do 🙂

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Luckily they came out very green, so to me they still screamed St Patty’s Day fun!

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

I served them tossed in Kale Pesto Sauce and topped with Pistachio Crusted Tilapia.

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

My, oh my, was that one delicious meal!

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Ingredients – Ravioli Pasta Dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto

Three Cheese Italian Herb Filling

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh italian parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Begin preparing the pasta by adding the flour to a large mixing bowl, then making a well in the middle and adding the eggs.

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Combine well, then add the water and pesto until a solid ball forms that is not dry, yet not sticky.  If dry, add additional water.  If sticky, add additional flour.

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

While the basil pesto adds some green color to the dough, you can also add a couple dashes of green food coloring to add more “green” to the pasta!

Next, roll the pasta dough into thin sheets either by hand or with a pasta roller.

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Next, prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Cut the ravioli dough with round pastry cutters or cookie cutters and place a large spoon of the filling onto half of the cut pasta rounds.

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Place the other half of rounds onto the filled dough then press the edges together with your fingers until sealed shut.

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Add the raviolis to a pot of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the raviolis float to the top.

Toss with Kale or Basil Pesto for that extra bit of green!

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

Add the Pistachio Basil Crusted Tilapia for a little protein!

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

I can’t wait to share this recipe with all of my friends who aren’t big on “Green Eggs and Ham” or “Corned Beef and Cabbage” for St Patty’s Day!

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

While my roommates love everything I make, they were particularly impressed with these raviolis! There is just something about creamy ricotta cheese pouring out of fresh, homemade pasta that can not be beat!

homemade pasta, ravioli pasta dough recipe, how to make your own raviolis, three cheese raviolis, basil ravioli dough, three cheese basil raviolis, ricotta filled raviolis, three cheese ravioli recipes, italian, pasta, st patricks day recipes, green pasta, recipes

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten-free flour for traditional flour to make this recipe gluten-free.

Three Cheese Basil Raviolis

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

    Basil Pasta Dough
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • Three Cheese Italian Herb Filling
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh italian parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl, then make a well in the middle and add the eggs.
  2. Combine well, then add the water and pesto until a solid ball forms.
  3. Roll the pasta dough into thin sheets either by hand or with a pasta roller.
  4. Prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Cut the ravioli dough with round pastry cutters and place a large spoon of the filling onto half of the cut pasta rounds.
  6. Place the other half of rounds onto the filled dough, then press the edges together with your fingers until sealed shut.
  7. Add the raviolis to a pot of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the raviolis float to the top.
http://whitneybond.com/three-cheese-basil-raviolis/

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Cakes

Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna

Welcome to the second recipe from what I now lovingly refer to as “Ahi Week”!

Spicy Tuna Rice Cake Recipe

After purchasing a large amount of Ahi Tuna at the Whole Foods Del Mar grand opening, I first headed home and whipped up these delicious Mango Avocado Ahi Poke Fillo Baskets.  Next on the list to make was my sushi restaurant favorite and yours, Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Cakes.

Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice Recipe

And just how do I know they’re your favorite?  Because I worked at a sushi restaurant in college and trust me, they are everyones favorite!

This post contains the making of three different recipes:

  1. Spicy tuna
  2. Sushi rice
  3. Crispy rice cakes

At the end, they will all be combined into these delicious little sushi favorites!

Spicy Tuna Ingredients

Ingredients – Spicy Tuna (makes app. 2 cups)

  • 1 lb sushi-grade ahi tuna
  • 2 tbsp hot chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hot chili oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or Vegenaise
  • 1 tbsp chives (chopped)

Begin by gently dicing the ahi tuna, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

How to Make Spicy Tuna

Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to allow the spicy flavors to soak into the ahi.

Meanwhile, prepare the sushi rice, then rice cakes.

Homemade Sushi Rice Ingredients

Ingredients – Sushi Rice (Recipe adapted from Food Network)

  • 2 cups sushi or short grain rice
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (for the rice cakes)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (for cooking rice cakes)

Begin by rinsing the sushi rice well, then combining the rice and 2 cups of water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover.  Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat, keep the rice covered away from the heat for 10 minutes.

Next, combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.

Place the cooked rice in a glass bowl and add the vinegar mixture to the rice, combining well.

Homemade Sushi Rice

Allow the rice to cool, then form the rice into small rectangles using your hands, a cookie cutter or this sweet little contraption.

Tool for making Nigiri Sushi Rice Cakes

This nifty little tool was part of the “Sushi Party Kit” I picked up at the Japanese Market for $3.50.  Have I mentioned how much I love that place?

Sushi Party Kit

Once the rice is formed into tight rectangular shapes, cook them lightly on each side over medium heat with 1 tbsp of sesame oil.

Crispy Rice Cake Recipe

Remove from the skillet and dip the rice cakes into the soy sauce.

Soy Rice Cakes

Next, cook the rice cakes for an additional 2-3 minutes in 1 tbsp sesame oil on each side or until crisp and golden brown.

Japanese Crispy Rice Cakes

Remove from the skillet and top with the spicy tuna, then garnish with additional chopped chives.

Katsuya Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice Cakes Recipe

Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice

These scrumptious little bites are just as good as the ones you get in the restaurant, and probably even better because of all the tender, love and care that you put into making them at home 😉

Japanese Spicy Tuna Rice Cakes

Spicy Tuna Rice Cakes Sushi Recipe

Try these with other sushi restaurant favorites such as shishito peppers and miso japanese eggplant.

Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice Cakes

♣ Vegetarian Option: Replace the ahi in the spicy tuna recipe with diced cucumbers and carrots, then top with fresh avocado.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Be sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce and this recipe is gluten-free.

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Cakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 24

Ingredients

    Spicy Tuna
  • 1 lb sushi-grade ahi tuna
  • 2 tbsp hot chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hot chili oil
  • 1/4 cup vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
  • 1 tbsp chives (chopped)
  • Sushi Rice
  • 2 cups sushi or short grain rice
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Rice Cakes
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

Instructions

    Spicy Tuna
  1. Prepare the spicy tuna by gently dicing the ahi, then adding the rest of the ingredients to the tuna and mixing well.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Sushi Rice
  4. Prepare the sushi rice by rinsing the rice well, then combining the rice and 2 cups of water in a medium pot.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat, keep the rice covered away from the heat for 10 minutes.
  7. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.
  8. Place the cooked rice in a glass bowl and add the vinegar mixture to the rice, combining well.
  9. Rice Cakes
  10. Allow the rice to cool, then form into small rectangles.
  11. Cook them lightly on each side in a skillet over medium heat with 1 tbsp of sesame oil.
  12. Remove from the skillet and dip the rice cakes into the soy sauce.
  13. Cook the rice cakes for an additional 2-3 minutes in 1 tbsp sesame oil on each side or until crisp and golden brown.
  14. Remove from the skillet and top with the spicy tuna, then garnish with additional chopped chives.
http://whitneybond.com/spicy-tuna-crispy-rice-cakes/

Kale Pesto

Homemade Kale Pesto

I’m a HUGE pesto fan and a recently converted Kale fan! For the sake of full disclosure I will admit that I’m a somewhat finicky kale fan.  I don’t enjoy it raw.  It’s too bitter and I’m not a huge fan of the texture either, but I do love it steamed and now I also love it as pesto!

I first made this delicious, healthy pesto sauce for my Kale Pesto Spaghetti with Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes recipe, but now use the sauce all the time on my favorite pastas and pizzas!

Homemade Kale Pesto Sauce

I recently served it with Three Cheese Basil Raviolis and Pistachio Basil Crusted Tilapia. So delicious!

Kale Pesto Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 1 1/2 cups)

  • 4 cups kale (chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Begin preparing the pesto by adding the kale, garlic and cashews to a blender or food processor.

Homemade Kale Pesto Recipe

Blend for 30 seconds.

How to make kale pesto

Next add the salt, pepper, olive oil and water and blend until all the ingredients have been incorporated.

Finally add the parmesan cheese and pulse for 5-10 seconds to combine.

Kale Pesto Recipe

Now you have all the health benefits of kale, such as cancer prevention, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure in a delicious sauce!

Fresh Kale Pesto Recipe

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.*

This recipe has 4 cups of the good stuff in it! That’s a lot of vitamins 😉

Fresh Kale Pesto Recipe

*Source: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

♠ Paleo Option: Omit the parmesan cheese to make this recipe paleo (and vegan).

Kale Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups kale (chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Instructions

  1. Add the kale, garlic and cashews to a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil and water.
  4. Blend until all ingredients have been incorporated (30-60 seconds).
  5. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse for 5-10 seconds.
  6. Serve with pizza, pasta or your favorite dish.
http://whitneybond.com/kale-pesto/

Mango Avocado Ahi Poke Fillo Baskets

Hawaiian Mango Avocado Ahi Tuna Poke

I always know when a dish is really good when I go to post the recipe 3 days later and begin to drool on my keyboard after uploading the pictures!

Avocado Ahi Poke Recipe

This is one of those recipes!

Ahi Avocado Poke Baskets

On Wednesday morning I ventured up to Del Mar to the grand opening party for the new Whole Foods.  The party consisted of goodie bags, delicious samples and an incredible Ahi Tuna special!

I purchased 3.4 lbs of Ahi because:

  1. I can’t pass up a good deal.
  2. I can’t pass up a good deal on fresh sushi-grade ahi tuna.
  3. Everyone needs a little more ahi in their life!

I went home with my giant cut of fish and then began my menu planning for the next couple of days. I’m not going to lie to y’all, I had a nightmare last night that all of the ahi was gone.  Yes, my ahi addiction is now out of control!

These fillo baskets were the first dish I made with the delicious fish.

Avocado Tuna Sushi Baskets

The original idea for this recipe came from Tuna Fillo Baskets that we served at a sushi restaurant I worked at in college. I combined their recipe with my recipe for Mango Avocado Fillo Baskets and the Ahi Poke Fillo Baskets were born!

Ahi Sushi Fillo Baskets

Poke is Hawaiian for “to slice or cut” and the dish is just that, raw sliced up marinated ahi with added ingredients such as avocado, chili peppers, onions or hot sauce.

Mango Avocado Ahi Poke

The dish is now very popular served as an appetizer with soy sauce and wasabi, so it looks like I’m right on trend 😉

Mango Avocado Ahi Poke Fillo Basket Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb fresh sushi-grade ahi tuna
  • 1/4 cup ponzu sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 mango (diced)
  • 2 avocados (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 30 mini fillo shells
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh wasabi

Begin by gently dicing the ahi tuna.

Black Pepper Ponzo Ahi Tuna Recipe

Next, add the ponzu and black pepper.

Ponzu Marinated Ahi Tuna

Place in the refrigerator to marinate while preparing the rest of the poke.

Combine the diced mango and avocado.

Mango Avocado Salsa

Then add the onion, cilantro and lime juice.

Mango Avocado Salsa Recipe

Add the mango avocado mix to the marinated ahi. Place the poke in the fillo baskets, then top with a very small dollop of wasabi. Very small or not quite as small depending on how spicy you want it!

Mango Avocado Salsa Recipe

Mango Ahi Fillo Baskets

This was totally not intentionally, but don’t these look like cute little Easter baskets? So perfect for the upcoming holiday!

Ahi Poke Fillo Baskets

Ahi Tuna Avocado Poke Fillo Baskets

If you’re scared to roll your own sushi, this dish would be the perfect substitute! All of the delicious, fresh flavors, placed in a fillo basket instead of rolled in seaweed!

Ahi Tuna Avocado Poke Fillo Baskets

Ahi Tuna Poke Recipe

I’ll be serving this up all spring and summer! Happy Cooking Chopping!

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is pescaterian, but can be made vegetarian by omitting the ahi tuna.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Instead of fillo baskets, use Tostitos Scoops which are gluten-free.

Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!

Mango Avocado Ahi Poke Fillo Baskets

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 30 fillo baskets

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb fresh sushi-grade ahi tuna
  • 1/4 cup ponzu sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 mango (diced)
  • 2 avocados (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 30 fillo baskets
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh wasabi

Instructions

  1. Gently dice the ahi tuna.
  2. Add the ponzu and black pepper to the diced tune.
  3. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Combine the diced mango and avocado in a small bowl.
  5. Add the onion, cilantro and lime juice to the mango and avocado.
  6. Combine the mango avocado mix with the marinated ahi.
  7. Spoon the combination into the fillo baskets.
  8. Top with a very small dollop of wasabi.
http://whitneybond.com/mango-avocado-ahi-poke-fillo-baskets/