Sep 282012
 

You know when you come across something that is so good you just want to eat it all the time?  For me it is still that salad I told you about a few posts ago- the simple purple cabbage and creamy avocado.  But last night I was looking for a bit more protein, so I came up with this super satisfying salad that has all the great textures; the crunch of the cabbage, creaminess of avocado and light crisp cucumbers, but also has some heartiness from the falafel burger.  This salad will really stick with ya. 

Falafel Salad

 If you are like me, your life is super busy; between my day job, running a business, writing recipes, working out, camping and having fun with my family and friends, there isn’t much time left for elaborate dinners – especially during the week – so I love to use time saving shortcuts like these Sunshine Burger pre-made falafel burgers.  Not only are they DELICOUS, but you can actually pronounce each and every ingredient; such as, sunflower seeds, brown rice etc. 

Falafel Salad

 For the dressing, I used my favorite Annie’s dressing, totally vegan and another one of those amazing all natural products that you can feel good about eating. The goddess dressing has tahini, lemon, garlic and a bit of soy which makes for the perfect compliment to the falafel burger.

Falafel Salad

Crisp Cabbage and Creamy Avocado Salad with Falafel “Croutons” and Annie’s Goddess Dressing

Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup sliced red cabbage
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 avocado, chopped
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 falafel burger, I used Sunshine Burger 
1 Tbsp Annie’s Goddess Dressing 
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional – 4 Slices Bell Pepper or Mild Pepper of Choice

Directions

1. Heat burger in toaster oven until just warmed through.

2. Layer cabbage, cucumber, avocado and onion in a large bowl; tear heated falafel burger gently and add to salad; top with Goddess dressing, salt and pepper, to taste and bell pepper if using.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 416.4
Total Fat 25.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 421.8 mg
Potassium 602.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.2 g
Dietary Fiber 15.0 g
Sugars 2.1 g
Protein 9.5 g

Vitamin A 58.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.2 %
Vitamin C 64.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.8 %
Calcium 8.4 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 23.0 %
Iron 8.0 %
Magnesium 9.6 %
Manganese 14.9 %
Niacin 6.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 9.5 %
Phosphorus 6.8 %
Riboflavin 7.2 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 7.0 %
Zinc 4.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Aug 202012
 
Do you want to go to breakfast?, my friend Justine asked.  Check out the menu from Delicomb, she said, handing me the menu.

Being a promoter of anything fresh and organic, this was the first thing that caught my eye.
“Pretty much everything is Homemade using All Natural/Organic Ingredients.
*None of our products contain hydrogenated oils (trans fat) or high fructose corn syrup.”

The second thing I noticed was the number of vegetarian, vegan and non-dairy options alongside the standard ham, chicken or tuna.

“Yup, I’m sold”, I said.
Delicomb, Jacksonville Beach, Florida
In beach attire and flip flops, we rode our bikes over to Delicomb, before hitting the beach.  I was welcomed with an inviting storefront off 3rd street. 

Delicomb Delicatessen and Espresso Bar, Jacksonville Beach, Florida

The diminutive interior is super casual, eclectic and fun. The have four or five tables inside and two rounds outside – perfect to bring kids and pets.
Eating area at Delicomb, Jacksonville Beach, Florida

One look at the deli counter with a chickpea dish and handmade Kimchi in jars I knew I was in the right place.
Delicomb, Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Oh my, what to get, what to get…..
Should I get breakfast, a sandwich or salad? All of these caught my eye….

Bittersweet Salad
Spinach, veggies, sprouted mung beans, & lentils, raw pumpkin seeds, avocado, dried cranberries w/ honey lime vinaigrette – $8.95
Add tempeh (or chicken) – $3

Vegan Wrap
Hummus, avocado, tomato, carrots, alfalfa & crunchy sprouts, miso sesame dressing in a while wheat wrap – $8.25
Add tempeh (or chicken) - $3

Rolled Oats and Honey
w/ fresh fruit and soy, almond or whole milk
sm – $4.95 lg – $6.95

Well, I knew at least the rolled oats and honey is what I’d be getting my daughter. She is allergic to both dairy and soy, however, lately seems to be tolerating soy a bit better so we went with that.


Then I looked up and saw this…..
Thai Bagel
Peanut butter, cucumber, red onion, chili flakes and honey – $4.95

Ooo….sweet, salty and spicy.  I’d found my breakfast!  I ordered the Thai bagel on a sesame bagel.
Thai Bagel, Delicomb, Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Between a large coffee with soy milk and Thai bagel for me, egg sandwich with bacon for hubby and the small rolled oats for my daughter, we made it out with only an $18 tab.  Unheard of!
The pleasant wait staff brought the food out to our table on mismatched dishes adding an element of fun.
I was in love!  They used real peanut butter – I’m not talking Jiff or Skippy here – real peanut butter with simply peanuts and salt.  To top that was fresh, cool cucumber and aromatic red onion, a kick of chili pepper and some sweet honey.  The sesame bagel was perfect, adding a distinct nutty flavor.

 

Thai Bagel, Delicomb, Jacksonville Beach, Florida


My daughter’s rolled oats came topped with tons of fresh berries and cranberries.  They left the rolled oats raw – adding some nice texture.  The portion size was huge for the small I ordered so what she didn’t finish we poured into a cup and enjoyed on the beach – the oats soaking in some of the milk and making a perfect afternoon snack.


Rolled Oats with Soy Milk, Fruit and Honey

 

Justine ordered the latte – Wow! Need I say more?

Justine with her Latte at Delicomb, Jacksonville Beach, Florida

My bagel was so good I went back in to tell the chefs what a great job they did and ask who created the dish.  I was told that a regular customer suggested it, (and they were smart enough to put it on the menu.)
We will definitely be going back to visit!

Delicomb

Delicatessen and Espresso Bar
Breakfast and Lunch
Artisan Kimchi

7 to 4
Tuesday – Sunday
Closed Monday
1131 3rd St N
(A1A @ 11th Ave N)
Jax Beach, FL 32250
904-372-4192


Thai Breakfast Sandwich

Inspired by Delicomb’s Thai Bagel
Vegetarian
(To make vegan, try agave instead of honey, and for gluten free, use gluten free bread.)
Serves 1-2
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 sliced sesame Ezekiel bread (or for gluten free use gluten free bread)
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1/4 to 1/3 cucumber, sliced
2 slices red onion
1/2 Tbsp local honey (or for vegan use agave)
Pinch of chili flakes

Directions

1. Toast bread, top bottom slice with peanut butter through chili flakes; cut in half and share one with a friend or enjoy yourself for a heartier meal.

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 195.3
Total Fat 8.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 78.2 mg
Potassium 112.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.8 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Sugars 4.3 g
Protein 8.2 g

Vitamin A 0.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.7 %
Vitamin C 1.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.1 %
Calcium 0.4 %
Copper 0.5 %
Folate 0.8 %
Iron 4.4 %
Magnesium 6.6 %
Manganese 1.2 %
Niacin 6.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.3 %
Phosphorus 8.5 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 0.1 %
Thiamin 8.4 %
Zinc 4.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Delicomb Delicatessen & Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

Aug 072012
 

 

Tropical Salsa with Cucumber, Fresh Mint, Peach and Mango

 

Summer here is all about quick and easy – especially since last week I was really sick.  My doctor said I caught it before it turned into full blown pneumonia.  Goodness knows that one thing I can’t seem to do is slow down, so I had simply worn myself down.  For someone in-tune with their body, I have a hard time listening when I’m sick and that is something I need to work on.  
 
On a positive note, I found Netflix on line and watched every episode of Survivors from the BBC where a flu pandemic wipes out most of the world and the few survivors left have to live life and find a cure.  I loved all the story lines and watching the writer’s ideas of what would happen when government is gone – which is also kind of a fun fact about me.  I LOVE reading and watching survivalist books and movies.  Not necessarily zombie movies, though I did like I Am Legend.  (It doesn’t have”zombies”, but there are definitely some un-realistic vampire/undead people.)  It’s the whole virus part I find so interesting. Biology and sociology were some of my favorite subjects in college - in fact, I started out majoring in biology and ended up with a sociology degree! Studying people is SO interesting so wondering what would happen and what we would do if a major virus outbreak or climate change. 
 
After that, at the suggestion of some co-workers I started watching Breaking Bad.  It’s about a high school chemistry teacher that finds out he has terminal lung cancer and starts to cook meth with a local drug dealer.  So far I haven’t really been able to get into that one but they keep telling me to get through the first two episodes so I’ll have another go at it later.
 
And finally, I got my hands on the Secret.  If you haven’t watched it, you have to rent it.  It’s all about the power of positive thinking and changing our thoughts from constantly thinking about what we DON’T want to what we DO want.  So instead of me saying, I hate sitting in a cubicle, I hate being stuck till 9 pm away from my husband and baby girl at end of month, I have changed my thoughts to I can’t WAIT for my career in food and nutrition.  I can’t WAIT to change people’s lives for the better.  I can’t WAIT to make a real and positive impact on this world.  In fact, I have TWO “vision boards” and a gratitude board. 
 
On the vision boards we paste pictures of what we want – I have the logo for Institute of Integrative Nutrition up there, teacher training at Yoga Den, a photo of the big tent that attaches to my camper and my beach house in St Augustine – down to the comforter on the bed and the layout of the kitchen.  What this does is keep our wants in the forefront of our brains so we are constantly reminded of it and thinking about it.
 
Has it worked so far? Absolutely.  I got my Dyson vacuum, after LOTS of problems I finally got my healthy baby girl, I lost the weight I wanted, brought my daughter to Cape Cod, took my trip to wine country, got my daughter to sleep through the night when she was a baby – and on and on.  You can put ANYTHING on there.  It’s actually lots of fun!
 
Next up, the gratitude board, where each day I write something I’m grateful for and really try to think about it.  A roof over my head, healthy husband and daughter, running water, hot shower, food at the grocery, my parents and in-laws live five minutes away – and so many more things.
 
My second love is motivational books. I recently read The Choice, Beach Money and the Business of the 21st Century from the author that also wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad. 
 
What are your favorite subjects to read about and watch?   Do you have a “vision board” – if so what is on there?
 
10 minute -5 Ingredient Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Back to the burgers!
 
These 10 minute – 5 ingredient bean burgers are a main staple in the house so I hope you’ll forgive me for posting these again with a fresh twist.  Since these burgers are mainly beans and oats, I love that my 3 year old daughter can help me make them and she even loves to lick the bowl!
Tropical Vegan Black Bean Burger
This combo of hearty black beans, cool cucumbers, fresh mint, ripe peach and sweet mango blended together in a perfect melody.  I just had to share it! 
 
Throw a little hot sauce on for a kick and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Vegan Tropical Black Bean Burgers

with Cucumber, Mint, Mango and Peach Salsa

Vegan
Serves 4
 
 
Salsa Ingredients (Makes about 4 cups – 8 servings)
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 peach, seeded and chopped
1 mango, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
 
Burger
2 cups cooked and drained black beans (or use a 14.5 oz can)
1/3 cup instant oats (or 1/2 cup rolled oats pulsed in the food processor)
1 Tbsp steak seasoning
1 Tbsp coarse ground prepared mustard (or whatever mustard you have)
2 Tbsp Gluten Free Ketchup
 
Optional
4 Ezekiel Whole Grain Burger Buns
Hot Sauce of choice
 
Directions
 
1. Mix salsa ingredients in a large bowl.
 
2. Preheat the broiler on high and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.** Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; divide into four burgers or eight sliders. Broil first side for 6 minutes; flip and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until browned.
 
3. Toast buns; top each with 1 burger, 1/4 cup salsa and a few dashes of hot sauce.
** Reserve extra salsa for later use.
 
 
Jul 142012
 
Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing
Oh my goodness I am one busy girl.  Not only has work been crazy but I’m also taking care of a sick little one, sharing Mila, doing yoga, hitting the gym, writing a food blog and cooking (to name just a few).  
And I have some exciting new to share with you!  I was asked to do a presentation at Baptist Beaches Hospital this Wednesday for an MS group there, Native Sun is now carrying some of my recipes (check it out!) AND I was invited to an exclusive media dinner at the Casa Monica’s restaurant, 95 Cordova, to review their new summer menu on August 10th!
Things are really moving along and gaining momentum.  In fact, last week on Tuesday I made the decision, after a particularly stressful day at work, to make peace with where I am in life and really have gratitude for what I have.  So I started a “Gratitude Board” where I write something I’m grateful for every day and really try to think about WHY I’m grateful for it.  Also, I began writing in a journal my goals and dreams in great detail as if they have already happened.  This little trick sets your subconscious up to be looking for ways to achieve what, in writing, has already happened.  I made a conscious decision to think of myself as a lucky person – and guess what.  I was on Native Sun’s blog and entered a little contest by guessing a secret ingredient and actually won!  The fact that it’s just a little (but VERY delicious) smoothie doesn’t matter….it’s the fact that when you get your mind right the universe responds to you.
Here are some of the things I wrote in my journal in a nutshell.
My first goals are to go back to school to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach like my friend Michelle at Find Your Balance.  To get there I will greatly grow my business with Mila so that I can share Mila with LOTS of people and change their health forever.  I want to continue doing seminars and presentations on health and nutrition and continue being the volunteer coordinator and event planner for KYV farm.  
I will make the world a better place than I left it. Ultimately, I strive to make a positive impact on people’s health and the environment.
How is that for a deep subject on a Saturday?  So where does food and recipes fit into this you ask?
I’m not sure, but the universe must have been telling me to try Cara’s Spicy Tomato Coconut Sauce because I found something my husband and I both love.  This was very surprising to me because I actually made this sauce for myself he isn’t a fan of tomatoes or coconut. I know, very selfish of me but I had been dying to try it.  Cara – the universe is talking and it’s telling the world to make Spicy Tomato Coconut Sauce.  It is perfect over some GF pasta.
Spicy Coconut Tomato Sauce

And for the salad – mangoes were on sale at Fresh Market 10 for $10 so I bought some and then decided on a tropical salad so grilled pineapple fit the bill.  I made this dressing for my friend Suzanne and her husband Dan who are oil free vegans that also eat Mila and lost a TON of weight. This dressing is sweet and creamy from the avocado and mango and the onion adds that hmmm factor and helps, along with the lime, to keep the avocado from oxidizing.

Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing

I will definitely be grilling more pineapple in the future. I haven’t done it in ages and I’ve been missing out. It turns even sweeter and caramelized on the outside….you don’t need dessert after this salad!

Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing
Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with
Mango, Avocado and Fresh Lime Dressing
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

4 slices pineapple, sprayed with organic cooking spray

Dressing
1 ripe mango, skin removed and chopped
1/4 avocado
1/4 red onion
Juice 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp sea salt

Salad
6 cups spinach blend
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced

Directions

1. Preheat grill to medium high.  Add pineapple – grill 5 to 7 minutes per side or until nice grill marks form.

2. Meanwhile mix the dressing ingredients in a Magic Bullet or blender – set aside.

3. Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Slice grilled pineapple into wedges.  Serve 2 cups salad mixture, 1 sliced pineapple around and a few Tbsp dressing on each plate.  The dressing can also be mixed in beforehand.

**You will most likely have dressing left over to reserve for another use.

Nutrition Facts Salad
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 59.6
Total Fat 0.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 37.1 mg
Potassium 399.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 9.4 g
Protein 1.9 g

Vitamin A 86.3 %
Vitamin B-6 10.5 %
Vitamin C 65.2 %
Folate 25.5 %
Iron 9.2 %
Magnesium 12.7 %
Manganese 91.2 %


Nutrition Facts Dressing
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 54.0
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 147.4 mg
Potassium 145.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 0.5 g

Vitamin A 8.3 %
Vitamin C 27.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jun 152012
 
The day I was reading through my VegNews magazine I happened to be relaxing on a sunny day, kicking back in a lawn chair, clad in bathing suit and floppy hat when I came across the recipe for tofu feta.  It sounded so intriguing that I got up and made it right then. Little did I know, the tofu I had in my fridge happened to be the pre-cubed version – what a time savings!
I threw it together and have been eating it on a whole variety of dishes; anywhere you would put feta cheese. The extra firm tofu and salty brine are really satisfying when eaten along with Greek dishes. It’s not real feta, mind you, but it’s a great vegan sub if you have cut out cheese. In addition, there are tons of benefits to eating organic, non-GMO soy in moderation. They have lots of the 9 essential amino acids, lots of lean protein and calcium.
As for the salad, I mixed an oil free version for my friend Suzanne at work to try as well since she is an oil free vegan. The sun ripe tomatoes and cool cucumbers were perfect with just a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper; I didn’t even miss the oil.
Enjoy!
Greek Salad with Herbed Tofu Feta
Inspired by Veg News Herbed Feta and Classic Greek Salad
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Ingredients
Tofu Feta
1 16oz package organic, extra firm, cubed tofu (or you can buy the block and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes)
2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend (with basil and oregano)
Raw Tomato Salad
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
1/4 red onion, sliced
Handful parsley, chopped
Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
(2 Tbsp olive oil optional)
Directions
1. Heat all ingredients for feta in a saucepan heated over low heat; simmer about 30 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate overnight.  The longer you keep it in the fridge marinating the better it gets!
2. Toss the salad mixture in a large bowl.
3. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Drain the feta and add to salad bowl, pour dressing over evenly and toss mixture gently.
*Alternatively you can mix the salad and dressing and simply add the desired amount of feta on top.
Salad Nutrition Facts
4 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 37.9
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 302.7 mg
Potassium 342.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 1.5 g

Vitamin A 20.9 % 
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.8 %
Vitamin C 30.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.4 %
Calcium 2.2 %
Copper 5.1 %
Folate 7.6 %
Iron 4.8 %
Magnesium 5.2 %
Manganese 8.4 %
Niacin 4.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.8 %
Phosphorus 4.1 %
Riboflavin 3.8 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 5.2 %
Zinc 1.9 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.




Tofu Feta Nutrition Facts

4 Servings (Or you may get more depending on how much “feta” you want.)
Amount Per Serving

Calories 116.8
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 1,755.8 mg (sodium will actually be lower since you are draining the liquid but in creating the recipe in the builder I had to include the entire amount of salt)
Potassium 189.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 4.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 12.0 g
Vitamin A 0.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 3.2 %
Vitamin C 24.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.1 %
Calcium 12.0 %
Copper 10.9 %
Folate 8.4 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 20.7 %
Manganese 54.2 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.0 %
Phosphorus 18.6 %
Riboflavin 3.0 %
Selenium 18.3 %
Thiamin 4.3 %
Zinc 8.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 282012
 
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I will review a vegan dish paired with two different wines.
To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe.
For the spring rolls we look for a wine that would pair well with the following ingredients -
Fresh mint leaves, fresh cilantro, fish sauce, fresh lime juice and garlic.

The wines chosen to pair – LOUIS Dry Riesling 2010, ( Rheinhessen, Germany) and ARESTI Estate Carmenere 2010, ( Curico, Chile)

So far my favorite part about doing these wine pairings is learning more about the wines.  I tend to find a few and stick with them, but this exercise is getting me to branch out and learn more about the wine makers, varietals and background of each winery, which gives each wine more depth in my mind.

Louis Guntrum Winery was originally established in 1648 and was taken over by Louis Konstantin Guntrum – the 11th generation of wine makers.
During World War II, the family winery and mansion was occupied by US General Patton as he was crossing the Rhein river right in front of their estate.
The winery is located in Rheinhessen, Germany where the grapes reside in a cool climate that gets approximately 1800 hours of sunshine a year and has been certified as a sustainable winery by the German Agricultural Society.  The wine itself is actually called Niersteiner Oelberg Riesling Spatlese Trocken but they figured it was an easier sell as LOUIS Dry Riesling.  I would agree with that.

ARESTI Estate Carmenere 2010, ( Curico, Chile)
Aresti wine is a family owned business that was founded in 1951 and is run by three generations of the Aresti family – they grow over 1000 acres of vineyards. The award winning labels feature a panting called “Harvest at the Bellavista Hacienda” that depict part of the Aresti winery history.

 The grapes are grown in Curaco, the second largest wine producing valley in Chile.  It has a Mediterranean climate with a dry season that lasts about five months. Chilean Carmenere grapes were initially thought to be merlot as the leaves are very similar; however, they are actually a later ripening variety of Bordeaux.Fresh Spring Rolls

When my husband and I were first married and built our first house I had lots of wine and cheese parties. Almost one Friday night a month I would turn on the white lights lining the patio, put Michael Bublé on the CD player turned just a hair too loud, pop open a few varieties of interesting wine from the Wine Warehouse and make an appetizer. Fresh spring rolls were one of my first ever “gourmet” appetizers – I was very proud of myself. It was a Cooking Light recipe and I followed every ingredient to the letter. They were delicious, but I’m glad that now I’m much more comfortable producing my own creations, many times even more delicious than the original.
I hadn’t made fresh spring rolls in a while and I was inspired by all the spring rolls on my friend’s blog, Amanda at the Grains of Paradise. I decided create some simple ones with some creamy avocado and add the super fresh factor from cilantro and mint. I did sauces two ways, one with a fish sauce and the other with a simple mixture of sriracha and agave. I tried adding several different ingredients to the sriracha sauce but the simple two ingredient mixture was sweet and spicy perfection. I’ve been putting it on everything – salads, in soups and on sandwiches.
Sauces Two Ways
Rice Wrapper Tip: Wrapping the rolls can be daunting but once you get a few under your belt you’ll be an old pro. If you have never done this before, take a plate with raised edges and add a bit of water. Take the rice paper sheet, soak it for a few moments in warm water until it just becomes pliable and place it on the plate. The water will make it so the paper doesn’t stick and rip. Gently place your fillings, not in the center, but just a bit towards you. Fold the edges over and then roll.

Categories
Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
Category #3 – Pairing notes – How well this wine pairs with the dish.

Rating Scale
Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum – This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.

Category #1 – The Dish
Rating of Damn That’s Good.  I’m all about the bright flavors of lime, cilantro and mint and the buttery texture of the avocado.  I couldn’t decide which sauce was better. I love the spicy sweetness of the sriracha-agave mixture, but the fish sauce and peanuts with that hint of saltiness gave the rolls a whole new dimension of flavor.  These are perfect for the start of summer.

Category #2 – The Wines

Louis Dry Riesling

Riesling -Rating of Damn that’s Good
On first taste I thought melon.  I liked the smooth, silky texture and, though this is a dry wine, it had that hint of sweetness from a bit of residual sugar. Once it opened up I tasted pineapple and apricot.  

ARESTI Estate Carmenere 2010

Carmenere – Rating of Damn that’s Good
This wine has a slightly woody flavor; I thought of cedar. I enjoyed this a bit cooler out of my wine fridge - very drinkable with light body.

Category #3 – The Pairing
Rating of DTG for both.  Since I tend to lean towards white wines lately I was surprised how much I liked the Carmenere with this dish.  It really intensified the taste of cilantro.  The Riesling added to the sweetness of the agave in the sriracha sauce and brought down the heat.

Where to buy

All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.

Fresh Avocado Spring Rolls and Dipping Sauces Two Ways

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
(**Asian Dipping Sauce is not Vegan)
Ingredients

Rice Wrappers
8 Rice wrappers
Handful each, fresh cilantro and mint
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 seedless cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 avocado, sliced
2 limes, quartered 

Sweet Sriracha Sauce
3 Tbsp Sriracha (hot chili sauce)
1/2 Tbsp agave 

Asian Dipping Sauce
1/4 chopped peanuts
1 to 11/2 Tbsp fish sauce
Juice 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp agave
1 tsp sriracha
1/4 cup water 

Directions
1. Pour hot water into a large bowl – large enough to fit a rice wrapper laid flat.  Soak the first rice wrapper in hot water and place on a large dish with a bit of water in the bottom (this will keep the rice wrapper from sticking and ripping).  Spread out the edges of the rice wrapper if they have folded.  Top with a small amount of cilantro, mint, carrots, cucumber, green onion, a slice of avocado and a squeeze of lime.  Fold the edges in and then roll tightly into a tube.  Slice in half.  Repeat 7 more times.
2. Mix the ingredients of each sauce in two different bowls.  Serve each roll with two sauce cups for a taste of each sauce.
Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 155.2
Total Fat 6.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 304.6 mg
Potassium 429.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Sugars 5.1 g
Protein 5.9 g

Vitamin A 54.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.2 %
Vitamin B-6 8.3 %
Vitamin C 25.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.0 %
Calcium 4.4 %
Copper 11.2 %
Folate 12.1 %
Iron 6.9 %
Magnesium 9.8 %
Manganese 17.3 %
Niacin 7.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.7 %
Phosphorus 7.0 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 5.4 %
Zinc 4.4 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Apr 192011
 
A while back I had done a salad with quinoa and hummus and really enjoyed the different textures and flavors in one bowl so I decided to do another version with the below salad. 
 
I love the lemon and dill together and the addition of the black eyed peas adds a bit more weight. I will definitely be making this one again.
 
Please note, I created this recipe on the fly and after scarfing down an un-measured amount I didn’t get the number of servings so I did the nutrition info on the entire recipe and you will just have to divide it up for the number of servings you get. 
 

Dilled Tomato, Cucumber and Black Eyed Pea Salad
Serving size (see below)



Ingredients


2 seedless cucumbers, chopped
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 14.5 oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Directions


1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl.  Mix well.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for Entire Recipe
Divide by number of servings you get.


Calories 846.4
Total Fat 43.3 g
Saturated Fat 5.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 29.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 2,352.6 mg
Potassium 933.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 107.5 g
Dietary Fiber 21.8 g
Sugars 21.4 g
Protein 14.6 g


Vitamin A 100.9 %
Vitamin C 212.2 %
Calcium 52.1 %
Iron 35.4 %