tasteovers by jackie

 Click here for our RSS Feed.

grilled sharp cheddar cheese panini with cranberry mustard and arugula

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

grilled sharp cheddar cheese panini with cranberry mustard and arugula

The grilled cheese sandwich has been around ever since I’ve been around. Though I always called it “toasted cheese” as a kid. The classic version of this popular sandwich is traditionally made with pasteurized process cheese food, sometimes known as American singles. It’s unfortunate since this type of “cheese” is only required to contain 51% real cheese. Yikes!

So here’s my updated version of the classic grilled cheese, accessorized with flavorful ingredients, including a cranberry mustard and fresh arugula, and grilled in a panini press. The highlight is the cheese. I made this recipe with Sargento slices which are 100% real, natural cheese. Enjoy it made with sharp Cheddar, like I did, or pick your favorite variety. (Hint: Sargento has more than 30 delicious sliced varieties.) Hope you savor the panini soon!

Calories saved: 40

Why it’s better for you? It’s best to focus on what goes between the bread. Use natural cheese instead of processed cheese food. That’s where the succulence happens!

Disclosure Note: I teamed up as a paid spokesperson with Sargento® Foods to provide you this blog post. The recipe and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Read the rest of this entry »

sharp cheddar quesadilla with apple salsa

Posted by on Nov 16, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

sharp cheddar quesadilla with fresh apple salsa

One of my quick go-to food fixes is a quesadilla. I never seem to make it exactly the same way twice. Here’s my newest version—with a bit of New York flair. It’s made simply with sharp Cheddar and scallion between two whole grain tortillas. The enticing twist is the topping. I usually love a good pico de gallo made with fresh tomatoes. But since tomatoes aren’t in season in my part of the world, I’ve gone with a New York apple-based salsa. Choose whatever apple is seasonal.

Want a true “Empire State” experience? Make the salsa with New York-grown apples, like from Red Jacket Orchards. Their delicious, sustainably-grown apples are available at my local farmers market all-year-yound. But you can enjoy them delivered straight to you. The salsa will work with either a sweet or tart pick. It transforms this quesadilla into something rather special, too!

Calories saved: 250

Why it’s better for you? More whole grains; more fruit; more seasonal; less “bad” fat!

Disclosure Note: One of my clients is Sargento® Natural Cheese. I did not receive compensation for this blog post. The recipe and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Read the rest of this entry »

meatless monday: seasonal pumpkin and sage risotto

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

seasonal pumpkin and sage risotto

Risotto is a comfort food that I adore—especially as the weather turns colder. But whole grain risotto is not easily found on restaurant menus. So this is one dish I prefer to make at home.

Since traditional preparation of risotto can take a bit of time and patience, I’m sharing with you my cheater’s version! Simply use short grain brown rice for an excellent risotto-style entrée that’s easier and more intriguing than the conventional version. Luckily, this kind of cheating is a good thing! The short grain rice provides a perfectly sticky texture that’s ideal for risotto making.

Here, I’ve gone seasonal and used fresh pumpkin and sage. Creaminess and tang is provided by yogurt and just the right amount of cheese. All you need to do next is pair it with a protein rich appetizer, such as edamame, or a side, like white bean salad, to round out the meal completely and deliciously!

Calories saved: 120

Why it’s better for you? Pumpkin, whole grains, and healthy fats!

Did you know? You can pledge to go meatless this Monday! Click here!

Read the rest of this entry »

meatless monday: western stuffed potato skins with eggs

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

western stuffed potato skins with eggs

If you’re a fan of sporting events or bar food, chances are good that you’ve probably enjoyed a stuffed potato skin or two during football season! Now, here’s a way to enjoy them more often–at home and in a healthful yet equally delicious way. They’re a perfect addition to a Meatless Monday night football gathering. And don’t worry if your game day starts super early. These potato skins are stuffed with eggs; so they’re ideal to savor for a sporty brunch (and a tasty way to boost protein early in the day). Think of them as the best of both–a western omelet and hash brown–all in one fun bite!

Calories saved: 190

Why it’s better for you? Stuffed with veggies and a wholesome egg, not greasy stuff!

Read the rest of this entry »

meatless monday: baby bella and broccoli lo mein

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

meatless monday: baby bella and broccoli lo mein

This Asian-inspired stir-fried noodle dish is a delight! It has a nice balance of saltiness to sweetness … the slight hint of sweetness coming naturally from coconut water. It’s a tasty way to up your veggie quota for the day. It’s a versatile recipe, too. You can swap in nearly any non-starchy vegetables. Try it with various noodles, like protein rich adzuki bean or edamame spaghetti. And serve this dish hot or cold. When chilled, lightly splash with rice vinegar and enjoy as a lively noodle salad. Whichever way you choose to partake in this lo mein, do enjoy it often–and especially on Meatless Monday!

Calories saved: 230

Why it’s better for you? Lots of veggies + whole grain goodness!

Read the rest of this entry »

vegan vanilla chia cupcakes

Posted by on Sep 28, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

vegan vanilla chia cupcakes

I just turned another year older, so I baked cupcakes to celebrate. Birthdays do only come once a year, after all! However,  to make sure the desserty treats were at least a tiny bit better for everyone to enjoy, this cupcake recipe uses whole-wheat pastry flour and chia seeds. It’s free of butter and eggs to please any vegan, too. Now I’m sharing my recipe—with its hint of wholesomeness—for all of you to enjoy.

Calories saved: 110

Why it’s better for you? Whole-wheat and chia seeds! Unless you need to be following a gluten-free/wheat-free diet, embrace wheat … it’s full of health protective benefits, including the potential to improve intestinal and metabolic health and lessen chronic inflammation. And chia seeds help to punch up heart-healthful omega-3 fatty acids.

Disclosure Note: I attended an excursion sponsored by the Wheat Foods Council and I’m a member of their Media RD Group. I was not paid to write this blog post. The recipe and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Read the rest of this entry »

meatless monday: mexican breakfast scramble

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

simple mexican breakfast scramble

I make many variations of this breakfast scramble. It’s my go-to recipe idea when in the mood for an egg entrée with plenty of intrigue. This Huevos rancheros-inspired version highlights Udi’s Ancient Grain Crisps. Ancient grains, such as millet and amaranth, have withstood the test of time since they haven’t changed for ages, literally. And they’re key ingredients in the crisps in this dish, which can ultimately help boost your plant-based nutrient intake and satisfaction.

This recipe is a fun and tasty way to get your grains. It’s a winner for anyone fond of Mexican cuisine. It’s ideal if you need to follow a gluten-free lifestyle. Plus, it’s a perfect pick when you want a meat-free breakfast (or lunch or dinner) dish for four in 20 minutes or less. Perfect for Meatless Monday!

Disclosure Note: I was compensated for my time to participate in a webinar sponsored by Udi’s Healthy Foods, LLC. I was also sent free product samples. The recipe and opinions in this blog post are my own.

Calories saved: 860

Why it’s better for you? Ancient grains may help reduce risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and obesity. This dish is “just right” sized, too!

Read the rest of this entry »

roasted vegetable hummus

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

roasted vegetable hummus

I’m a big advocate of food never going to waste! So whenever I have extra vegetables getting lonely in the fridge, I often sauté them and toss with pasta, scrambled with eggs, or stuff into a burrito. Sometimes I create new flavors of hummus with them, too. So I decided it was time to write down the recipe and share it with all. This is my roasted vegetable version of hummus. I made this particular recipe with broccoli. But you can swap out the broccoli and replace with nearly any veggie that roasts well. (Hint: Try it with roasted beets; the hummus will be pink!) You can go heavier on the vegetables if you wish, too. Serve it like you would traditional hummus, such as a dip along with pita wedges, or enjoy in any non-traditional way you choose, such as a sandwich spread or an intriguing pasta sauce!

Calories saved: 160

Why it’s better for you? Beyond beans … it’s beans + veggies + green tea.

Read the rest of this entry »