Aviva's Blog

Healthy Halloween Recipes: Spider Black Bean Dip

Black beans, fresh tomatoes, and vegetables (spiders optional) make this a healthy yet deliciously fun dip for a Halloween party or as a meal before heading out to Trick or Treat.  Serve with cheese cut like pumpkins, our homemade tortilla chips, and your favorite veggies -- fresh sweet peppers, blanched green beans, jicama, celery sticks, carrots for a healthy Halloween recipe.  This might become your favorite Halloween recipe.

Black Bean Dip Prep (10 minutes) Makes about 2 cups of dip, 8 servings, 1/4 cup each 15 oz. canned black beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. orange juice 1/2 lime, juice only, about 2 Tbsp. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or use 1 clove fresh garlic, minced) 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

In a food processor or blender, puree all the ingredients. If too thick, and 1/8 – 1/4 cup water.  For spicer flavor add 1 chipotle pepper or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper....

Summery Appetizers: Watermelon, Feta and Mint Cubes

Our 17-year-old, Solomon, was home for a couple of weeks this summer without much to do (to his delight) so he and I decided it was a good time for him to learn a few more cooking skills. Solomon’s cooking repertoire is mostly limited to homemade nachos, queso dip, brownies and smoothies, and he recently added cooking pasta and making scrambled eggs. As the son of a professional cook,  who likely only has one more year at home before going to college, I thought he needed to add to his range.

I hired Solomon to make an appetizer for a meeting I was going to. We came up with the recipe concept together then I left it to him to shop and implement (I did give him some tips on safely cutting a watermelon so he wouldn’t lose a finger).  I left the room to prepare for the meeting and I was so impressed with the result of his efforts. These watermelon, feta and mint cubes look tantalizing and the sweet and salty bites were a big hit at the meeting.


Watermelon, Feta and Mint...

Zucchini Recipes: Stuffed Zucchini Gondolas

Summer’s the season of bounteous crops of zucchini and yellow squash, which is also affordable because it’s so plentiful and easy to grow. I don’t find zucchini to be the most flavorful or exciting vegetable, but I love it as a crunchy crust stuffed with flavorful filling. I was going to call this zucchini boats but our son Solomon saw them and said they looked like canoes.  Recipe tester Samantha McKenzie’s 10 year old son said, " I don't generally like zucchini but this dish was great!" Serve it with garlic bread and grape tomatoes.  Add this to your repertoire of zucchini recipes.

Stuffed Zucchini Gondolas

Prep (30 min.) + Cook (10 min.) 6 servings

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 3 medium zucchini, 8 – 10 oz. each 1/2 bell pepper, any variety, finely diced 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced 1 tsp. minced garlic, about 2 cloves 8 oz. lean ground beef, turkey or meatless crumble 1 cup tomato basil pasta sauce 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped 2...

Fun Family Dinner Recipe: Baked Mexican Egg Rolls

The burrito meets the egg roll and my family approves of the match up! Great anytime of the day and as fun family dinner recipe.  Serve them with avocado and cucumber salad or mangoes. Baked M-egg-xican Egg Rolls Prep (30 minutes) + Cook (25 minutes) 8 servings, 2 egg rolls each 16 oz. ground turkey breast, or use 12 oz. meatless crumbles 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed 15 oz. black beans, rained and rinsed 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 cup salsa 8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack, Mexican blend or Cheddar cheese 16 egg roll wraps, sold frozen or refrigerated 1 egg, beaten olive oil nonstick cooking spray 1 cup sour cream, for serving Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, brown the turkey or crumbles in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, season it with the chili powder and cumin (if using meatless crumbles, add the spices with the corn and beans). Drain, if...

Celebrate National Hummus Day with Savings from Sabra and Recipes Using Hummus

What? You weren’t aware that tomorrow our whole nation will be celebrating National Hummus Day? I plan to celebrate by making this week’s Mediterranean 7-Layer Dinner Dip for my family and serving it with soft, warm naan (Indian flat bread) for a light and healthy springtime dinner. Want to join me? We can celebrate our love of this creamy, nourishing dip or spread with savings on my favorite brand of hummus, Sabra. In honor of National Hummus Day, Sabra is giving away 10,000 buy-one-get-one-free coupons on its Facebook page TOMORROW!! And if you aren’t one of the lucky 10K, you can still get a coupon for $1 off any Sabra dip on Facebook tomorrow. Hummus is a healthy, satisfying dip that originated in the Middle East.  It’s made from chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), garlic, and often with other flavors added. Sabra features luscious flavors with lemon, chipotle, jalapeno, roasted red peppers, even basil. I’ve been known to eat...

What Moms Really Want for Mothers Day | Special Mothers Day Ideas

We moms (and dads) love our children intensely. From the moment we bring our warm, soft, intoxicatingly good-smelling little bundles into our home, we put aside our own needs to dedicate ourselves to loving, protecting, and nurturing them. We give up our free time to help with homework, read bedtime stories and go to (often endless) school meetings. We race out of work early or arrive late, to be there for doctor’s appointments or soccer games. We sacrifice sleep to comfort a sick daughter or cuddle a scared son.  Sometimes we go haggard with worry or crazed with frustration. But be honest: Does anybody really want breakfast in bed? Personally, I used to find it hazardous, not indulgent, to balance coffee and orange juice, pancakes, and maybe even a flower on a tray perched on my lap, while lovingly assaulted by the sticky little hands and faces that delivered it with Mother’s Day kisses. After a year or two, I confessed to...

Portobello Mushroom Recipe

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Caramelized Onions, Fresh Bread Crumbs and Manchego Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms make a hearty appetizer or side dish or a light main course. They’re not the prettiest things, but they are so tasty, especially when combined with sweet and savory flavors like caramelized onions, bread crumbs and a sweet and salty cheese like manchego. Even if your kids aren’t mushroom lovers, as ours aren’t (yet!) this portobello mushroom recipe can still work. Celia ate the stuffing out of the mushrooms and gamely took a bite or two of the “crust”. Another alternative is to fill their mushrooms with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese so they resemble mini pizzas. Serve it with roasted Brussels sprouts and fried eggs. Portobello Mushroom Recipe: Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Caramelized Onions, Fresh Bread Crumbs and Manchego Cheese Prep + Cook = 30 minutes 4 servings 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 small red...

How to Make the Best Margarita | Grapefruit Margarita Recipe

Want to learn how to make the best margarita? Celebrate Spring and Summer weather with citrusy, fresh mixed drinks. Even if it's cold outside, just shake the ingredients together and feel the warmth.  Serve this delicious Grapefruit Margarita with our Mexican Pizzas, Baked Honey Wings, and/or Nacho Average Nachos.

Grapefruit Margarita Recipe 2 servings 2 oz. tequila 2 oz. orange liqueur 1 lime, juice only 1 grapefruit, juice only 2 slices jalepeno (optional) Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and serve on the rocks.

How to Make Refried Beans in the Slow Cooker

If you have every wondered how to make how to make refried beans, this recipe makes about 6 cans worth. Some of the beans can be pureed to be used as “refried” beans and some can be left whole and stored to use in burritos, salads, or other recipes.  Use the refried beans in burritos, quesadillas, nachos, as a dip for tortilla chips or vegetables, or for Mexican Pizza.

Chipotle “Refried” Beans 1 lb. dry black beans 2 tsp. minced garlic, about 4 cloves (can use 4 Dorot frozen garlic cubes) 1/2 onion, chopped 1 cube Dorot cilantro (optional) 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional) (can use Dorot chili pepper) 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder 6 cups water 1 – 3 chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce, to taste

Combine all ingredients except the chilis in adobo in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 – 9 hours until the beans are tender. Remove 1 cup of the liquid (a ladle works well) and drain the...

Mexican Pizza

Mexican Pizza takes only ten minutes to prepare and ten minutes in the oven.  You can use canned refried beans (we prefer Amy’s or Better Beans) or follow this easy recipe. This recipe, inspired by an idea from Scramble member and food blogger Jill Rabach, marries two recipes that are kid-favorites, tacos and pizza. Serve it anytime as a snack or meal.

Mexican Pizza

8 whole wheat tortillas 1 cup refried beans, canned or homemade 1/2 cup black beans 1 avocado, diced 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, no need to thaw 1/4 cup sliced black olives, or use sausage, pepperoni or chorizo 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, or use Mexican blend, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two large baking sheet with silicone baking mats or nonstick cooking spray. Put the tortillas on the baking sheets, spread a thin layer of refried beans on each (about 2 Tbsp. per tortilla), and top each tortilla with about 1 Tbsp. beans, 1 Tbsp. avocado, 1 tsp. corn, 1 tsp....