Vegetarian Recipe: Ginger Carrot Soup

Ginger Carrot SoupCarrot soup is made more delectable with dry white wine, curry powder, and ginger in this recipe adapted from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Alukins. In this vegetable soup recipe, onions, ginger, and garlic are sautéed in butter. Chicken stock, dry white wine, and carrots are added and simmered until the carrots are tender and flavored with fresh lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and ground pepper. The soup is pureed until smooth and can be served either hot or cold. This is especially delicious with crusty bread or a side of salad. This delicious soup is also quite therapeutic and can help alleviate cold or flu.

Ginger carrot soup can be served as refreshing easy appetizers or a light meal with salad and bread. If you want a vegetarian version, you can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. The curry powder and ginger adds a subtle spice to the dish and a tingling sensation in the palate. The wonderful aroma of the soup also adds to the eating experience and the beautiful color of the dish enlivens any dinner table.

Use an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor for pureeing the soup. If you are using a regular blender, puree the soup in batches and reheat them before serving (or chill in the fridge and serve cold). There are many ways you can garnish this dish. For a healthy option, garnish the dish with yogurt and herbs like parsley, celery, basil, thyme, or coriander.

Ingredients: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 large yellow onion, diced, ¼ cup freshly grated ginger root, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 7 cups chicken stock, 1 cup dry white wine, 1 ½ lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced into ½ in. pieces, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, Curry powder, Sea salt, Freshly ground pepper

Preparation Instructions: Ginger Carrot Soup Recipe

In a stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic, sautéing for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the stock, wine, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Using an immersion blender, traditional blender, or food processor, puree the soup, working in batches. Add the juice, a pinch of curry powder, and salt and pepper.

For a more savory soup, you can garnish with bacon bits, caramelized onions, fried garlic, sautéed mushrooms, croutons, sour cream, diced hard-boiled egg. You can also garnish the soup with diced and blanched carrots, sautéed asparagus, diced zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, or grilled eggplant. Ginger carrot soup is also delicious with Indian flatbreads like roti or chapatti.


Vegetarian Recipe: French Onion Soup with a Twist

French Onion Soup with a TwistHealthy recipes for onion soup uses vegetable stock instead of beef stock and is seasoned with teriyaki sauce for a different twist. The sweet teriyaki sauce pairs well with the caramelized onions and create quite a tasty dish. Also called soupe à l’oignon in French, onion vegetable soup recipe is traditionally made with beef stock or beef broth. The soup is garnished with croutons and cheese and served as easy appetizers in French meals.

Originally a soup associated with poor peasants, onion soup is now a popular soup enjoyed around the world and has been around since the Roman times. During those times, onions were abundant and easy to grow and to this day remain inexpensive and easy to make. This is perfect for busy weekdays and can be whipped up any time of the week.

In this recipe, cheddar cheese is used to garnish the dish together with the croutons. The garnished soup is placed in the oven and broiled for a few minutes until the cheese melts and the croutons brown a bit on top. Use a ramekin or tureen for placing the soup in before placing them in the broiler or oven. Regular soup bowls are not appropriate if they are not made for heating in the oven. Commonly, gruyere cheese is used to garnish the onion soup, although it is more expensive than cheddar. Some like to enhance the soup with cognac or sherry.

Ingredients: 6 yellow onions, sliced or diced, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1/4 C prepared teriyaki sauce (your choice), 2 tbsp sesame oil, 8 C vegetable stock, crutons, 3 C old cheddar cheese, grated

Preparation Instructions: French Onion Soup with a Twist Recipe

In a large soup pot, briefly sauté the onions and garlic in the sesame oil and teriyaki sauce. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 12 minutes on high heat, stirring slowly. Pour soup into oven-safe bowls or designated onion soup tureens. Top with croutons and grated cheese. Broil in the oven for five minutes, or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serve hot and enjoy.

Most of the flavor of the soup should come from the caramelized onions, which should be thoroughly sweated and nicely browned to bring out their sweetness and concentrate their flavors. The onions should be cooked slowly on low heat to prevent them from burning and becoming bitter. When caramelized, the onions will shrink in size to about half its original volume. This process also draws out the liquid from the onions and creates a rich and flavorful soup.


Easy Appetizer Recipes

Easy Appetizer Recipes 

Appetizers are not the main event so sometimes, you’d want to make easy appetizer recipes without too much hassle. You don’t want to channel all your creative kitchen skills on the appetizers alone. If that is the case, your menu should only include no cook (or minimally cooked) appetizers and easy to assemble ingredients.

The open bag and serve kind of easy appetizers are chips and ready made dips. Select tortillas, nachos, toast breads, and other packaged crisps for your party platter. Herbed dips and salsas are available in supermarkets and delis to help make your appetizers easier to prepare. So use them.

Easy Appetizers Recipes 2

But if you want something to dip them with, and not from a jar, try these recipes in the collection: black bean and corn salsa would go well with the 10 minute guacamole. Meanwhile, the easy spinach dip and beer and cheese dip add flavor and excitement to crudités, crackers and toasts.

Little sandwiches can also be considered as easy appetizer recipes. Cut off the crusts and spread white bread with homemade sandwich spreads, fillings and toppings. Classic favorites are cucumber, chicken salad, grilled cheese, cream cheese and pesto, and smoked salmon. Slice, spread, and serve are all it takes to make these easy appetizer selections.

With a big, crusty bread, you can make it as vehicle for herbed cheese spreads. Whip up the cream cheese, season with basil or any herb of choice and scoop them onto the hollowed out part of the bread. It’s an instant bowl which you can eat as a tasty leftover later.

For an interesting appetizer, arrange a cheese platter with the works. Slice off a variety of contrasting (or similar) cheeses like chevre, mozzarella, cheddar, brie, and more. Pluck some grapes, raisins, dried apricots, and dates and alternate them with the cheese (or put them in the middle of the cheese platter since they are more colorful and eye catching). Wine would go well with the platter so have some handy to compliment the flavors of your cheeses. And you didn’t have to cook to make this appetizer.

If you want something a bit more fancier and want to make your kitchen work easier, it is best to make everything ahead. We have bacon wrapped scallops, caviar and eggs, french fry pizza pie, and grilled tomatoes in this collection. Do make them ahead, assemble on the day of the party and enjoy. You deserve it.

Meat Appetizers

Meat Appetizers 

When it comes to appetizers, it always means light eating before the main course is served. However, it doesn’t have to always be “light” when you can offer meat appetizers, especially when the occasion calls for it, such as Christmas, Super Bowl Sundays, three course meals, long dinner parties, and large banquets.

ground meatMeat appetizers help satiate guests especially if the event is held for a long period. To maximize and offer variety, alternate cold and hot meat appetizers when you serve them. Cold appetizers or the antipasti platter include cold cuts like salami, ham, pepperoni, sausages, bologna and chorizos. Serve them on a huge platter with cubed or sliced cheeses as well as ripe pitted olives. The platter can be arranged in the morning or the day before, wrapped securely and chilled in the refrigerator.

Hot appetizers require sautéing, grilling, baking and roasting the meat. An example of this is includes miniature stuffed filet mignon and a platter of meatballs pierced with toothpicks. Imagine a whole range of meatballs you can create—from Swedish to Italian to Asian as well as the dips you can offer. Mustard, horseradish, catsup, pickle relish and gravy make good dips for meatballs.

Barbecue skewers also offer variety—you can have it in chicken, pork, beef and turkey. Marinate them well or use Asian-style satay sauces for that wonderful flavor. Likewise, you can also make sausage and onions in a skewer by grilling or baking them. Partnering the meats with vegetables add flavor as well as texture and nutrition to the meat appetizer. Last in this skewered list are fruited ham balls, using apricots or pineapples to give a tart and sweet note to the meat appetizer.

Several types of pig in a blanket can be made into a meat appetizer. Encase them in dough, with both ends of the sausage peeking out, before baking. It’s almost like a sausage roll. Likewise, cut up the sausages into two and fill a pita bread with half a sausage, put in pickles, mustard and other fillings and then roll securely. Like a blanket indeed.

Make meat as an element in the appetizer as well, by doing a roast beef dip, stuffing vegetables with chopped sausages, or wrapping food in bacon. Bacon is a favorite appetizer ingredient because anything you wrap with crisp bacon becomes an instant, gratifying favorite such as the bacon-wrapped scallops in the collection. Don’t forget to add a vegetable appetizer to break the monotony of meats.


Healthy appetizers

Healthy Appetizers Recipes Healthy Appetizers Recipes 2

Appetizers are usually served in bite size portions, so that alone helps make it healthy (through portion control) as long as you keep to a minimum and not go back for third helpings. However, if your guests live healthy lifestyles or you yourself have decided to offer more healthy alternatives when entertaining, then you must have in your arsenal a range of healthy appetizers recipes.

When planning your healthy appetizers platter, treat it as if you’re planning a healthy set meal altogether. Make sure your healthy appetizer at least complements something healthy in the main course and dessert. Healthy means eating more fruits and vegetables, so keep in mind that produce is the core of your healthy appetizersVegetables are nutritious, with almost no cooking required, and easy to make (though not counting the mise en place needed beforehand). Vegetables you can count on as ingredients for healthy dishes include bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, squash, salad greens, spinach, beets, artichoke hearts, broccoli and more. You can stuff them with rice, quinoa, lean ground meats, turkey, chicken, herbs, seasonings and breadcrumbs.

Skip the usual fried finger foods and instead, bake these treats in the oven or grill them. Should you need a bit of oil for sautéing, use olive oil or safflower oil which has less cholesterol. Although cheese and cream-based appetizers are super delicious, they do not help your healthy cause. Replace the regular cheeses with low fat versions. Better to lessen or take out the rich sauces, cream and cheese in the appetizer recipe than tempt your guests who are trying to eat healthy. Remember that these rich foods give of appetizing aromas especially when hot, so keep them out of dieters’ reach.

Mini bowls of healthy salads make good appetizers. Dress them in very light vinaigrettes. Salsas and guacamoles are healthy as depending on how you make them and what ingredients you put in. Grilled vegetables and fruit skewers make lovely, healthy and colorful appetizers so entice your guests with more of these.

To get the maximum nutrients possible, buy organic produce from your local farmer’s market. Choose the freshest you can find and keep the seasoning to a minimum. Wash them well and prepare them at the last minute if you can unless they need to be marinated, grilled or baked. Healthy appetizers rely on herbs, lemon, and spices for flavor aside from the nature of the produce itself.



Meat Appetizers Recipes

Meat Appetizers Recipes

Cocktail receptions or sit down dinners are made more exciting with meat appetizers recipes that hint at the rest of the menu. While it may be considered hearty or filling to have meat appetizers served in the beginning of a meal, it is up to the guest to have his or her fill since most often than not, these treats are made into bite size pieces. So whether it’s a chunky piece of meat or just a smidgen used for flavoring, meat appetizers recipes are there to be savored at leisure and in the company of other meat-loving acquaintances.

Meat Appetizers Recipes 2

Meats that you can use in your meat appetizer recipes include duck meat (wrapped in an egg roll with a refreshing slice of cucumber and hoisin sauce is a winner), miniature tenderloin cuts of pork and beef, veal, chicken, and turkey. Create variety by offering the range of meats—white to red meats.

To maximize and offer variety, alternate cold and hot meat appetizers when you serve them. Arrange on the antipasti platter such cold cuts like salami, ham, pepperoni, sausages, bologna and chorizos. Serve them on a huge platter with cubed or sliced cheeses as well as green and black pitted olives. The platter can be made the day before, wrapped securely and chilled in the refrigerator.

The hot appetizers may be sautéed, grilled, baked or roasted (but in smaller pieces, of course). Miniature stuffed filet mignon and meatballs are already tempting, especially if you serve them with small containers of dips like mustard, horseradish, catsup, pickle relish and gravy. Keep the meatballs and filet mignon hot by having the staff do quick rounds or just lay these meaty appetizers on a chafing dish and let the guests do the pickings.

Meat appetizers recipes on skewers are also crowd-pleasing and creative concoctions. Alternate them with vegetables (like onions, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes) on the skewers and grill them. The vegetables will offer your guests a break from all the meat. Likewise, you can also make sausage and onions in a skewer by grilling or baking them.

Make meat as an element in the appetizer as well, by doing a roast beef dip, stuffing vegetables with chopped sausages, or wrapping food in bacon. Now bacon, that strip of good flavors and crispness, will make most everything it’s wrapped in taste great. Wrap it in scallops, potato slices, jalapenos, mushrooms, and even cheese, and you got yourself a winning and meaty appetizer.