Trader Joe’s Favorite Foods

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

It’s here! Trader Joe’s has made its way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Halloween 2013 to be exact, and I have been tasting my way through it ever since. With their fun Hawaiian shirts and friendly smiles – it is definitely a place to check out – if you haven’t already!

You walk in and immediately see the colorful selection of fresh flowers and you can’t beat the price! If you are looking for an instant pick-me-up look no further. Their produce is just beyond the flowers and I have already found a few favorites.  Lately I have been grabbing their pre-chopped and seasoned Brussels sprouts. Full of Vitamin C, which is important for joint protection, also having cancer preventative benefits – I love roasted Brussels sprouts and for just fifty cents more you can have them ready to bake – how easy is that?! Their organic pre-chopped kale is pretty great to have handy too. Add to your smoothie for a nutrient boost, bake it making easy Kale Chips in minutes (recipe below), or try this Sautéed Kale and White Beans recipe featured on WebMD.

I love adding dried cranberries to muffins, breads, and salads, and their orange flavored variety is so yummy. In fact, they have a great selection of dried fruits including wild blueberries and mangoes. A friend had a cheese and Kalamata olive board (so good!) at a party, and she added their Juicy Dried Mango pieces to the board. Creamy, salty, and sweet – what a combination – I might have eaten half of the board!

There is also a great selection of hummus – so many tasty flavors, with heart-healthy fiber, this is a go-to snack on its own or you can mix up your Mediterranean Layered Spread by choosing fun new flavors. Some of y’all on Twitter recommended the Cilantro Jalepeno Hummus and that is definitely on my list to try next visit!

Trader Joe's Curried White Chicken Deli Salad

Trader Joe’s Curried White Chicken Deli Salad

I like to keep this Curried White Chicken Deli Salad, packed with flavors and spice, with a touch of sweetness, on standby for a quick lunch. On a bed of lettuce, whole wheat bread and paired with my warm Quick Shrimp, and Corn Soup, this convenience item made a quick budget-friendly gourmet style lunch. Their almond butter is a delicious pantry staple to add a little variety to your PB&J, smoothies or baked goods.

I can’t wait to hear your favorite finds and add them to my list!

 

Kale Chips from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook

Crisp and crunchy; melts in your mouth. No-fuss, simple, fun recipe.

 

Makes 8 servings

1 bunch of curly kale, washed, dried, torn into 2-inch pieces

Salt to taste

 

1. Preheat oven 400°F. Line baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Spread kale on prepared pan in single layer. Coat kale lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Season to taste.

3. Bake 8-10 minutes or until kale is crispy and edges brown.

 

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories 19 Calories from Fat 0 Fat 0g Saturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 17mg Carbohydrates 4g Dietary Fiber 1g Total Sugars 0g Protein 1g Dietary Exchanges: Free

 

Find more of Holly’s fun delectable dishes here.

 

 

 

Sweet Rewards Just Got Sweeter

BaconBiscuitsDo you have a favorite sweet potato recipe featuring Louisiana yams?  If so, here’s your chance to showcase your recipe and be a winner!  The search for delicious sweet potato recipes is back and better than ever.  The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, along with Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine, is hosting its 10th annual Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest for fresh, frozen and canned sweet potatoes.

 All chefs are invited to enter their original recipes in the professional category. Recipes should include fresh, frozen or canned yams. There is no entry fee or limit of entries per individual. The contest organizers hope to show sweet potatoes’ versatility in a wide range of dishes.  The contest will kick off January 1 with final entries being due June 1, 2014. One overall grand prize winner will be awarded $1,000. Additional winners from each of the categories will receive $500.

Finalists’ recipes will be prepared by culinary students from the Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, which will also serve as the new location for the contest. A respected panel of food-industry professionals will judge recipes based on overall flavor, texture, visual appeal and creativity.

In addition to the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission and Louisiana Cooking Magazine, Bruce Foods and Alexia Foods will sponsor the 10th annual Sweet Rewards contest.

The 2013 Sweet Rewards contest grand prize was awarded to Harvey Morris of Chicago, Illinois for his “Sweet Potato Bacon Biscuits.” Susan Mason, from Des Moines, Iowa, placed first in the appetizer category with her “Baby Batata Burritos” recipe. In the side dish category, Robert McNeill, from Surfside Beach, South Carolina, won first place for his recipe for “Sweet Potato Cakes with Pepper Jelly Drizzle.” Kim Pham, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, won first place in the main dish category with a “Vietnamese Curry Chicken.” Valonda Seward, from Coarsegold, California, won first place in the dessert category for her “Spiced Sweet Potato Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Infused Cream Filling.” Amiee Deitz, from Tualatin, Oregon, placed first in the professional category with “Sweet Potato Cake with Honey Swiss Buttercream.”

Since a biscuit was the winner, I wanted to share with you my trim & terrific Sweet Potato Cornmeal Biscuit

Winners’ names and recipes are featured in Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine’s November and December issue, as well as on their website.

The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission aims to promote the consumption of Louisiana sweet potatoes by educating consumers on the root’s nutritional value and versatility in unique, delicious recipes. Free recipes and nutritional information are available on the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission’s website at http://www.sweetpotato.org and on the Commission’s Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/louisianayams.

For detailed contest rules, tips on cooking with sweet potatoes and additional information about Louisiana sweet potatoes, log on to www.sweetpotato.org.

2013 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest Grand Prize Winner

Sweet Potato  Bacon Biscuits                                                                                   Sweet Potato Bacon Biscuit

 Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
4 slices cooked bacon, coarsely chopped

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and reserve.
2. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, brown sugar, kosher salt, cream of tartar, and cayenne pepper. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheddar cheese and bacon. Make a well in the center of flour mixture.
3. In small bowl, combine milk and sweet potato. Add sweet potato mixture to flour mixture. Using a fork, stir just until combined. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead gently for 12 strokes. Roll dough to a 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Cut into 8 square pieces.
4. On reserved baking sheet, place biscuits one inch apart. Bake until lightly browned, 12 minutes. Serve warm with honey-butter or fruit preserves.

 

When you are cooking sweet potatoes, always make sure to leave the skins on! It is shown to increase the nutritional value by 70%.Use this tip when preparing your own sweet potato recipes for Louisiana Cookin’s 2014 Sweet Rewards Contest http://www.louisianacookin.com/culture/item/2373-2014-sweet-rewards-recipe

 

Bernardus Lodge in Carmel

Bernardus Wine TastingEveryone knows I think Bernardus chardonnay is the best and I drink it all the time.  When I had the opportunity to go to the Bernardus Lodge in Carmel, it was a dream come true.  First, I was so excited about the VIP wine tasting  they had set up, but I never knew what I was missing with all the varietals of wine from the Bernardus vineyard.  My Bernardus chardonnay is their best-selling but I was “wowed” by so many others I tasted (Of course I bought their wine  to send  home).   After our wine tasting it was back to the Bernardus Lodge which is understand elegance-loved as soon as I walked in the door, I was offered a glass of  Bernardus Sauvignon-what a way to start!

I only wish I was spending several days there instead of one night.  Chef Cal lived up the the culinary reputation with one of the best meals I had eaten and the ambiance of  dining outside in this beautiful surrounding was absolutely incredible.  After dinner, how fun to was to sit by the fire pit and have dessert, and more wine.  Service impeccable and a dining experience! Chef Cal

Bernardus Lodge is a definite to put on your  “go-to”  destinations when you are in that part of the country.  Wine, outstanding food,  tennis, swimming and of course a spa and more wine.  I felt like I was in another world.  Back home and back to my Bernardus chardonnay, which after a trip to Napa, it is still my favorite wine.

By the FIre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here’s to Bernardus and a wonderful time and trip!  Thanks everyone there!!!Cheers Bernardus!

 

Mardi Gras Mambo

2004 Mardi Gras Party

2004 Mardi Gras Party

Food for Party

Food for Party

Holly on Fox and Friends

Holly on Fox and Friends

Fox and Friends Mardi Gras Party

Fox and Friends Mardi Gras Party

Gracie and Holly at ball

Gracie and Holly at ball

Mardi Gras Fare

Mardi Gras Fare

Cabot Cheese

Cabot Cheese

Minature White Chocolate Cheesecakes

Minature White Chocolate Cheesecakes

Mardi Gras Punch

Mardi Gras Punch 

————If you are from Louisiana you probably love Mardi Gras! I love it because it’s a fun time for my whole family. It’s an excuse for all of my children to come in town! What could be better? I wanted to share a few of my most favorite Mardi Gras memories with you. I hope you enjoy them.

– I had a TRIM & TERRIFIC Mardi Gras Party as my husband was king of Krewe de Louisiane in 2004.

– I appeared on Fox & Friends in Feburary 2004 with a Mardi Gras Party

– I am the ball captain for the Krewe de Louisiane (2009) and my dear friend Gracie is the queen. I had the cocktail party at my house – we had fun!!!! Cabot Cheese graciously sent me their delicious cheese for my party–check out the mini White Chocolate Cheesecakes, and Mardi Gras Punch – yes it was spiked.

And, I am addicted to my king cake with crescent rolls in my Gulf Coast Cookbook!

Tribute to Excellence Gala 2013

I am so very honored to be chosen to receive the 2013 Tribute to Excellence Award for my work in the area of Nutrition for Cancer, Diabetic, and Arthritis patients. The Gala will be held on Wednesday, December 4 at Boudreaux’s in Baton Rouge. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $125/person or a table of 10 for $1250. The evening will feature a sit down dinner and both live and silent auctions. When I saw the past list of recipients of this award I thought “Wow”! More information about this event can be found on the Arthritis Association of Louisiana’s website.

Ivanka Trump visits my house-debuts Ivanka Trump Jewelry and I cook for her!

 

Ivanka

Ivanka Trump at my house

Pina Coloda Brie

Pina Colada Brie

I was delighted to host a party for Ivanka Trump to debut her gorgeous jewelry (check it out-the earrings on the website she is wearing are my favorites) that will be carried at Lee Michaels in Baton Rouge.  As she walked in the door, she told guests she was so enthralled reading the recipes of my new book, Too Hot in the Kitchen, that she wasn’t listening on her conference call.  And then she tasted the Pina Colada Brie for a big “WOW”  What nice words to hear! Too Hot in the Kitchen Yes, Ivanka does cook and enjoys food.  The menu for the event was prepared from Too Hot in the Kitchen, with the Fiesta Cheesecake winning out as her favorite.  And, here’s my fabulous recipe for Pina Colada Brie    that was such a hit!  But wow, was the Eight Layered Greek Dip popular!  She sipped on my Pomegranate Margarita Martini while tasting the food.  Gracious, charming, bright, sophisticated and a delight to be around–I think Ivanka left a lasting impression on everyone she met–and the jewelry (most reasonably priced) was trendy sophisticated and made a statement.  She definitely won me over.  My daughter-in-law, Sana, does all the PR for her jewelry so I think we will have an Ivanka Christmas at our house this year! Our mayor, Kip Holden, stopped by with a wonderful presentation giving her a key to the city and declaring the day in her honor.  Baton Rouge definitely has a big spot on the map. Check out more of Holly’s easy healthy recipes.

Salt Sisters – Gourmet Sea Salt, Sugar and More!

Salt Sisters

Salt Sisters

Boy was I excited when Ashley at S.a.l.t. Sisters wanted to share her delicious flavored salts, rubs, and   cane sugars with me! The first thing I reached for was the Roasted Garlic Sea Salt and it was SO delicious sprinkled over Roasted Vegetables with Pecans over Mixed Greens from my trim&TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age cookbook. The Vanilla Bean Cane Sugar caught my eye too, and what a treat in my morning coffee – you know I love my coffee! I cannot wait to try the Honey Glaze Rub next time we grill out. All beautifully packaged and unprocessed products that taste delicious and pair perfectly with trim and terrific recipes are a win-win to me! For more information where to find these delectable products visit  saltsistersonline.com.

Roasted Vegetables with Pecans over Mixed Greens

Roasted Vegetables with Pecans over Mixed Greens

Roasted Vegetables with Pecans over Mixed Greens from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of this great assortment of veggies making this simple combination a snappy salad.

Makes 6 (3/4-cup) veggie servings over mixed greens

 

2 1/2 cups yellow squash, cut in 1 1/2- inch thick chunks (about 2 medium)

1 red onion, cut in chunks

2 cups 1-inch asparagus (about 1 pound)

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste 2- 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

4 cups mixed salad greens

Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

 

1. Preheat oven 450°F. Coat baking sheet with foil.

2. Toss squash, onion, asparagus, artichokes, and pecans in olive oil and salt to taste. Spread mixture in single layer on prepared pan.

3. Roast 15 minutes, stir, and continue roasting another 15 minutes or until lightly golden and browned. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, stirring gently.

4. Serve vegetables over mixed greens. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories 129 Calories from fat 59% Fat 9g Saturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 130mg Carbohydrate 11g Dietary Fiber 4g Sugars 5g Protein 4g Dietary Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 2 fat

 

Spicy Advice: Versatile and fantastic-serve as salad, over pasta, or as a side. Roasting simplifies cooking- toss in the oven and forget about it.

For more delectable and flavorful recipes and fun food finds visit www.hollyclegg.com.

Sweet Potato Biscuits cause food fight-Too Hot in the Kitchen

Recipes from my newly released book:  Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets To Sizzle At Any Age!!!  On Wednesday of this week I am filming 3 segments for This Week in Louisiana Agriculture. Filming just one segment is a lot of work… filming three is exhausting! On Monday, my intern, Joni, came over to help me start preparing some ingredients and organizing pots and dishes. We ended up cooking most of the recipes so we could photograph them that afternoon. Y’all have heard me Tweet about her before… this girl can eat! My mother-in-law, Mae Mae, came over to help as well… I thought I was going to have to break up a fight over the Pulled Chicken Open Face Sandwiches! It was hysterical! These two women are so polite concerning everything else, but don’t make them share my cooking! ;) Thankfully there were plenty of the Sweet Potato Cornmeal Biscuits to go around… I think they each sneaked some home in to-go bags!

Besides the lunch time fiasco, we had such a great time. It was Joni’s first time helping me in the kitchen, and I was glad she was there to keep me motivated! Tuesday, Mae Mae is coming to help me finish up the prep work and then Wednesday morning is the big day, or busy day, whichever!

Sweet Potato Cornmeal Biscuits from Too Hot in the Kitchen
An unbeatable biscuit with crispy outside and moist slightly sweet center is made with a non-intimidating- simply pat into a square, cut and bake dough.

Makes 16 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 (15-ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed or 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
1/2 cup skim milk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven 400°F. Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal and baking powder. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture looks like coarse meal. Add sweet potato, milk, and honey, stir until just combined.
3. Turn dough onto heavily floured work surface, knead lightly only 5 times. Pat dough into 9-inch square, cut into 16 squares.
4. Place biscuits on prepared pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 121 Calories from fat 18% Fat 2g Saturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 6mg Sodium 96mg Carbohydrate 22g Dietary Fiber 1g Sugars 4g Protein 3g Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch

Check out more of Holly’s easy,healthy  Rush Hour Recipes

 

New Orleans Food Tour in Stretchy Pants

Dicke Brennan's Steakhouse Coconut Cake

Dicke Brennan’s Steakhouse Coconut Cake

Dietitian with Holly here, and today I am 25 weeks pregnant. Which is very convenient since my husband and I visited the delicious city of New Orleans for our 9th anniversary – otherwise known as my food tour in stretchy pants. Whenever I get the chance, I like to eat my way through new Orleans and rarely is there a bad meal to be had (not necessarily trim and terrific, however) – and this trip was especially fantastic so I just had to share in case your are planning a trip to the great food city.  On our way, my husband suggested stopping a few miles out of our way in the fishing town of Manchac at Middendorf’s – home of the thin fried catfish. I have to say, it was a delicious plate of fried goodness. There is definitely a reason the lunchroom is packed mid-week after lunch hours.

That night we made our way to Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse – which is always spectacular. It is often hard for us to try new restaurants when we have standout favorites like this classic establishment. We even had the pleasure of meeting Otis, a longtime friend and employee to the Brennan’s restaurants who you should definitely ask for when you visit. We started with the Shrimp and Grits, which was melt-in-your-mouth good and we split the Cowboy steak cooked to perfection with a side of Au Gratin Potatoes (again, not trim and terrific…but SO worth it) We had just enough room to finish with a HUGE slice of their Coconut Cake – almost enough reason to visit the steakhouse alone! The first time I had this cake was with Holly, since coconut is her very favorite, she often orders this cake to go when in New Orleans…but my husband likes to tell folks, that even if you don’t think you like coconut, you will LOVE this cake.

We get just as excited to wake up and eat dessert in this city as we do dinner, and it’s not what you think, although we do love New Orleans beignets. A few years back (on my bachelorette trip to be exact) a friend of mine turned me on to a local favorite, hole-in-the-wall pastry shop, Le Croissant D’Or, that sells the freshest almond croissants and iced cappuccinos, not to mention their wall full of other beautiful homemade goodies. If breakfast isn’t convenient we will even make a point to drop in on our way home for a delightful afternoon snack. If you think we hadn’t eaten enough, I really wanted to try The Rum House for lunch before heading home, and I am so glad we did. My husband said he wasn’t that hungry and thought he would order a little side dish, but when we saw the menu, and the all the options our stomachs all of a sudden got hungry again. Needless to say I had leftovers (which I accidentally left at a friends house – and promptly went back to retrieve. I wasn’t giving those up!) There were so many good-looking menu choices , but I finally decided on the Vegetarian Roti (wrap) with a side of the Rum House Salad – which are both outstanding! Sweet and savory, curried veggies, coconut rice, and mango – lets just say I will be a regular at the new Rum House they are opening in Baton Rouge early 2014.

And if you thought I was finished, almost! I had to run across Magazine street and visit Sucre, known for their light and sweet macarons. Mostly I wanted to pick up a gift for the in-laws for keeping our 3 year old, but I couldn’t resist a taste, especially since the lady behind the counter practically insisted I taste a macaroon for myself (the salted caramel, oh my). Thank goodness for my maternity stretchy pants.

Of course, after the baby, I will make sure to be cooking fromGulf Coast Favorites cookbook to get trim & terrific, while still enjoying our Louisiana food!

Middendorf's Thin Fried Catfish

Middendorf’s Thin Fried Catfish

Croissant D'Or Almond Croissant

Croissant D’Or Almond Croissant

The Rum House

The Rum House

Sucre Macarons

Sucre Macarons

For delicious healthy Southern trim and terrific recipes visit hollyclegg.com.

The Queen of Quick – DOcast Podcast

action shotLast week I had the pleasure of sitting down with blogger and food entrepreneur, Richard Hanley, Jr, for an interview on all things trim and terrific! If you have ever wondered where I got my start and my passion for healthy eating (because I love to eat) you will hear me talk all about it here on the DOcast podcast. From my food philosophy (DIET is a four letter word) to cookbook publishing and marketing – Richard and I discuss it all on his blog. And while you are at it, you HAVE to check out Hanley’s Sensation Salad Dressing! It is exactly that – Sensational! You will love how this local favorite will zip up any salad and veggie.

For more trim and terrific fun and recipes visit my website at hollyclegg.com.

For more podcasts from Richard Hanley, Jr. visit his website at Richardhanleyjr.com.