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Spicy Tuscan Stuffed Artichokes

Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 60 minutes / Servings: 4 artichoke halves


  • 6 tbsp. olive oil, divided 

  • 1 cup Arborio rice 

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 2 large artichokes, cut in half lengthwise, centers removed

  • juice of 1/2 lemon 

  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped 

  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons capers

  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, pressed or minced

  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flake

  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Add 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice and 2 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil to a large skillet.  Heat on medium heat and toast the rice for about 3 minutes, until it begins to smell flavorful.  Add the chicken broth, stir, and bring to a boil.  Once the broth boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Allow the rice to cook for about 20 minutes, until soft.  Keep 1 1/2 cups cooked rice for the recipe and reserve the leftovers for future use.  

  2. While the rice is cooking, fill a large pot with about 4 quarts of water.  Season generously with salt and bring to a boil.  Add the lemon juice and artichoke halves, cover, and allow to boil for about 20 minutes until the artichoke leaves are soft.  Drain and set aside.

  3. Heat a large skillet with another 2 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil on medium heat.  Add the diced pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes, until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally.  Add the bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, red chili flake, rosemary and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir until combined and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the peppers are soft.

  4. Add the chopped Roma tomatoes and cooked rice.  Drizzle in the remaining 2 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil and stir until combined. Continue to cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down.

  5. Stir in the frozen peas, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the peas are thawed and warm.  

  6. To serve:  Place the artichoke halves on a plate.  Generously spoon the stuffing into the center of the artichokes.  Garnish with fresh parsley, serve immediately.

Golden Curried Cous Cous in Lettuce Cups

Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 15 minutes / Servings: 6 


  • 2 1/4 cup(s) of Chicken Broth 

  • 3/4 cup(s) of Golden Raisins 

  • 1/3 cup(s) of Lemon Juice (1 lemon) 

  • 1/2 tbsp. of Grated Fresh Ginger 

  • 1 tsp. of Curry Powder 

  • 2 tbsp. of Finely Chopped Fresh Cilantro 

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) of Whole Wheat Cous Cous 

  • 6 Fresh Leaves of Butter or Bib Lettuce, washed and drained 


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add lemon juice, golden raisins, curry powder and grated ginger. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk all ingredients on medium heat until combined.

  2. Bring the mixture back up to a boil, stir in couscous, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed into cous cous.

  3. Fluff the cous cous with a fork until separated. Stir in cilantro and mix until all ingredients are combined.

  4. To serve: Place one leaf of lettuce on a dish for each serving of cous cous. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the cous cous into the lettuce leaves and serve.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts on the Vine

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 45 minutes / Servings: 4-6

1 vine of Brussels Sprouts (I got mine at Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup Agave Nectar
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper 
1 tbsp. Herbs de Provence 



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Trim the vine of Brussels Sprouts so that it will fit into a roasting pan (I just had to cut mine in half).

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine Agave nectar, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs de provence.  Whisk vigorously until combined, about 30 seconds.

  4. Using a basting brush, cover the sprouts completely on all sides with the marinade.

  5. Place the vines on the roasting pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, until the sprouts are soft when pierced with a fork.

Oven Baked French Fries

Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes / Servings: 2


  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 tsp. sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

  2. Peel the potatoes and slice them into 1/2" thick slices.  Cut the slices again into 1/2" sticks, about 4-5 fries per slice.

  3. Place the fries in a strainer and run under cold water for 2-3 minutes, stirring the fries with your hands.  The water will run clear from the fries (it will be cloudy at first) and stiffen up a bit when they're ready.  Pat the fries dry with a paper towel.

  4. Place the fries on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt.  Mix again with your hands until all the fries are coated.

  5. Arrange the fries on the cookie sheet so that they're not touching each other and every fry has some space, flat on the cookie sheet.  Use two cookie sheets if necessary.

  6. Bake the fries in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Flip them over with a spatula and bake for another 5 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.  Plate and serve.

Best Ever Mango Guacamole

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Servings: 8


  • 4 ripe avocados, chopped

  • 1 Roma Tomato, chopped

  • 3 scallions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno, membrane and seeds removed, chopped

  • 1/2 lime, juiced

  • 1 medium size mango, peeled, seeded and chopped

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. In a large serving bowl combine avocado, mango, scallion, jalapeno, cilantro and tomato.  Mix well with a spoon.

  2. Squeeze lime juice on top and add salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Stir again to combine.  Serve with chips and fresh vegetables.

Southwest Quinoa and Corn Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 25 minutes / Servings: 4


  • 4-6 red potatoes, washed and quartered (leave skins on)

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 3/4 cup cooked Quinoa, prepared to package directions

  • 1 ear of white corn, kernels removed and ear discarded

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, fresh red onion

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped

         (or a small can of diced chiles)

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 

  • salt and pepper

  • lime wedges for garnish 


  1. Fill a large pot with heavily salted water.  Bring to a boil and add the potatoes.  Boil for 10-12 minutes, until soft when pierced with a fork.  Drain the water and transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.

  2. Add the olive oil to the mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and smash with a potato masher for about one minute, until potatoes are in small bits. DO NOT over mix. Cover and set aside.

  3. Add cooked Quinoa, corn, red onion, chopped jalapenos and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper and fold with a spatula until all ingredients are well mixed. Garnish with lime wedges before serving.

Chipotle Chedder Bacon Tots

Prep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 40 minutes / Servings: 12


  • 2 medium Russett potatoes 

  • 1/2 pound(s) of bacon, chopped 

  • 1 cup(s) of shredded cheddar cheese, plus 2 tbsp. for garnish 

  • 1 tsp. of chipotle chile powder 

  • 6 ounce(s) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese 

  • 1 cup(s) of all purpose flour 

  • 3 eggs, beaten 

  • 1 8 oz. box of Panko bread crumbs 

  • 1/4 cup(s) of finely chopped, fresh cilantro 

  • 1 quart(s) of vegetable oil (for frying) 


  1. Heat a large skillet on high heat. Add the bacon and continue to cook on high heat for 7-10 minutes until the bacon is crispy and brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, remove bacon from drippings with a slotted spoon and add to a large mixing bowl. Reserve drippings.

  2. Peel potatoes. Grate the potatoes using a cheese grater or food processor. Add to the mixing bowl.

  3. Add cheddar cheese and chipotle chile powder to mixing bowl.

  4. Soften the Philadelphia Cream Cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds and add to the mixing bowl. Season entire mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir all ingredients well until combined. 

  5. Using a small spoon or your hands, create small, round bite size tater tots (mixture will make about 48 tots). Place them on a cookie sheet and set aside.

  6. Using three separate plates, create three breading stations. Spread the flour onto the first, the eggs onto the second, and the bread crumbs onto the thrid.

  7. In a deep fryer or large frying pan, combine the bacon drippings and 1 quart of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees.

  8. In batches of about 6-10 tots at a time, dredge the tots through the flour, shake of excess, dip in egg mixture, then dredge through the panko bread crumbs and shake off excess. 

  9. Fry the tots in the oil, in batches of about 6-10 tots, for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl lined with a paper towel.

  10. To serve: Place the tots on a serving dish, garnish with extra cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 60 minutes / Servings: 10-12


  • 2-3 lbs. Russet potatoes, washed and peeled 

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

  • 4 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)

  • 12 oz. thick cut bacon, chopped

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 cup 2% low-fat milk 

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 4 cups five cheese Italian blend

  • 7 oz. blue cheese crumbles 

  • cracked black pepper to taste

  • chopped chives for garnish



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

  2. Generously butter a large, glass baking dish. 

  3. Heat a large skillet to high heat,  add the bacon and cook on high heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bacon is cooked and crispy.  Drain with a slotted spoon into a bowl that's lined with a paper towel.  Set aside.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream and milk. Whisk in the flour until combined.  Season with cracked black pepper to taste.

  5. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the Italian cheese, blue cheese and chopped green onions.  Mix until combined.

  6. Using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice potatoes into 1/4" slices.  

  7. Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes into the bottom of the buttered baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the bacon mixture on top, followed by 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 of the cream mixture. 

  8. Repeat previous step until all the cheese and cream mixtures are gone (you may have extra potatoes). 

  9. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the dish is slightly browned and bubbly.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with chopped chives.

Southwest Stuffed Avocados

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 4 minutes / Servings: 8


  • 2 tbsp. Southwest salad dressing (I used a Fire Roasted Poblano Ranch)

  • 12.7 ounces Frozen Southwest Vegetable Blend (I used Bird's Eye Steamfresh Protein Blend)

  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for garnish

  • juice of 1/2 lime 

  • 4 Avocados 


  1. Place the frozen vegetables in the microwave (in the bag) and microwave on high heat for about 4 minutes. Allow the bag to cool before handling and transfer veggies to a large mixing bowl.

  2. With a large knife, cut the avocados in half lengthwise and discard the seeds. With a spoon, hollow out the avocados a bit more by running the spoon in a circle around the pit, leaving about 1/2 the fruit in the shells. 

  3. Add the salad dressing, chopped fresh cilantro and lime juice to the mixing bowl with the veggies.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir until all ingredients are combined.

  4. Fill the hollowed avocados with the veggie mixture. Top or garnish with chopped more cilantro and sliced limes. Serve immediately.

Grilled Artichokes with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Servings: 2


  • 1 large artichoke

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper 


  1. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise with a large knife.  Remove the fuzzy centers by scooping them out with a spoon or by cutting them out with a paring knife.

  2. Place the artichoke halves into a large pot with about 3" of boiling water or into a prepared steaming basket.  Steam the artichokes for about 20 minutes until soft.  Remove from the water and allow to dry/cool for a few minutes.

  3. Drizzle both sides of the artichokes with olive oil and then sprinkle them with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Gently rub the oil and spices into the artichokes.

  4. Preheat the grill to high heat.

  5. Place the artichokes on a plate and place them in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.

  6. Remove the artichokes from the freezer and place on the heated grill face down for about 5-7 minutes, until the artichokes have nice, brown grill marks on them.  Flip them over and repeat on the other side.  Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce (recipe below).


Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Servings: 6



  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard

  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil 

  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper 


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except for the olive oil.  Whisk until well combined and then drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk vigorously.  

  2. Mix until dressing is smooth and creamy.

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