Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Lee’s Arugula Garlic Pesto

| November 10th, 2015

 What a great way to use up all the arugula in our garden!  This pesto is fantastic on so many dishes and it can be frozen for all winter use.

3 cups fresh arugula
4 garlic cloves peeled and minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese or use a parmesan substitute
1/2 cup pine nuts lightly toasted or chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend everything in a food processor or high speed blender until thoroughly smooth. Seal in containers and freeze for winter use.  This is delicious!!

Delicious Baked Quinoa Nosh

| May 8th, 2014

Baked Quinoa appetizers

Served at our Farm Dinner

These appetizers  are always such a surprise whenever we serve them to family and friends.  We introduced them at our last farm dinner and they were a big hit!  It would be a stretch to say they resemble Arancini, Italy’s beloved deep-fried risotto balls, as the ingredients in this recipe and cooking method are far better nutritionally.  In contrast, these are formed into little “football” shaped pieces then baked with a touch of oil.  You can add a handful of very finely chopped cooked leftover veggies like broccoli, asparagus, or cauliflower, depending on the season. They’re great with ripe avocado or drizzled with the chipotle adobe sauce below, our favorite.                                                                                   -To your good health, Lee Newlin


1.    2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature

2.    pinch red pepper flakes

3.    4 eggs, room temp. and beaten (or 1 cup of aquafaba, the liquid in canned garbanzo peas)

4.    1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

5.    1/4 cup  finely chopped fresh lemon thyme

6.    1 cup of scallions

7.    1/3 cup vegan Parmesan, a delicious parmesan subtitute-1 cup raw cashews and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast ground in food processor.  Save the remaining “cheese” and store in refrigerator

8.    3 cloves garlic, finely minced

9.    1 cup gluten free or whole grain bread crumbs

10.  A small amount of water, if needed

11.  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter


1.    Preheat oven to 400° 

2.    Combine the quinoa, pepper flakes, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl.

3.    Stir in the thyme, scallions, cheese, and garlic.

4.    Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so that the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into football shaped croquettes.  If not add a little water but go sparingly.

5.    Using a sided baking sheet lightly oil the pan.

6.    Form the croquettes into oval shaped pieces, like a football and place on sheet.  With a oil mister or brush lightly add a bit of olive oil on top.   Do not crowd.

7.    Chill in frig for 15 minutes or overnight covered with plastic wrap 

8.    Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.  Do not burn.

9.    Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining croquettes. Once cooled keep covered as not to lose any moisture from croquettes


Serve with Chipotle Sauce 

1.    ½ cup Vegenaise egg-less mayonnaise (I use this in place of other mayonnaise and the flavor is fantastic)

2.    1 tbsp chipotle adobe pepper canned

3.    2 T cilantro leaves

4.    1 garlic clove

5.    1green onion sliced

6.    1 t lime juice

Combine all in a food processor until finely blended, then chill. Serve with Quinoa patties that have been gently reheated.  Makes around 30-40 pieces



Notes:  The quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can make these into larger patties for a meal.

Red Beet Hummus

| January 23rd, 2013

No, you’re wrong – this isn’t raspberry ice cream with a cookie.  It’s red beet hummus.  Beets have an intense crimson color that indicates the sheer quantity of antioxidants they contain.  One of those antioxidants is called  betalains which is higher in beets than most other veggies and fights off cancer and other diseases.  I encourage you on behalf of beet lovers everywhere to introduce this beet hummus to your family and friends and get the conversation rolling about just how delicious healthy can be with this colorful, tasty dip.  This makes an awesome sandwich spread as well.

If you have someone who refuses to eat beets, then go ahead and fool them by asking them if they want raspberry ice cream!


1 large beet (or 4 or 5 small ones) with leaves removed

1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas) with no liquid

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup slivered almonds

5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

1 T fresh lemon

1/4 t. ground cumin

salt and pepper to your taste

1/4 cup  slivered almonds or minced parsley to sprinkle on top


Prepare beets by simmering in a medium saucepan of water until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes.

Drain and cool until you can comfortably handle them then peel off  skin.

Place beets into food processor along with garbanzo beans, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, oil and garlic and blend until smooth.

Add vinegar and blend, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup slivered almonds on top or some minced parsley.

Serve with “Mary’s Gone Crackers” gluten free crackers or slivered fresh veggies for dipping.


-To your good health, Lee Newlin


Cannellini Bean Spread

| May 30th, 2010

This simple spread makes a delicious lunch or tasty appetizer when served with some cherry tomatoes, radishes, black olives, pita chips, thin slices of fennel, cukes, celery pieces or to fill a ripe summer tomato resting on a bed of salad greens. Any peasant bread would be wonderful.

Makes about 2 cups

2 cups cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1/3 cup finely diced celery or sliced fennel
1/3 cup red bell pepper
2 T olive oil
2 t. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced (this is strong-you could lightly sauté it)
1 t fresh minced rosemary
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
few pinches of dried red pepper flakes or a few drops of tabasco sauce

Put ½ of beans in food processor along with everything else except celery and red pepper.
Put remaining beans in a large bowl to the side.
Pulse beans in food processor till chunky then pour into bowl with remaining beans and celery.
Let stand covered for 30 minutes before serving to mingle flavors. Taste for seasonings.
If you refrigerate this let it come to room temp before serving.

Lentils You Will Love

| May 30th, 2010

Beluga Lentil Caviar

The caviar-like appearance of these wonderful lentils gives such a beautiful look to this healthy appetizer. Be diligent in preparing the beans as not to over cook them.

1/2 cup (1 #) dried beluga or French lentils
2-3 cups of fresh water
1/2-1 t. sea salt

1 whole wheat (if you can find it) baguette sliced thinly on an angle
1/3 cup olive oil
3 large cloves garlic

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese (1/3 less fat than cream cheese) or ricotta or goat cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup tender baby kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Broccoli sprouts, slivers of roasted red pepper or sliced grape tomatoes, walnut halves to top off each piece

Wash and pick over the lentils then drain. No need to soak them. Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with 2-3 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil and reduce immediately to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Lentils should be tender but not splitting and falling apart. Salt to taste at this point – I use around 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You decide if it needs more. Remove from the heat and drain any remaining liquid. Drizzle 2 T. of extra virgin olive oil over lentils and let cool.

Make the garlic bruschetta:
Brush a light coating of olive oil on slices of baguette. Place rounds in a single layer across two baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove and let cool. Cut the ends off the garlic cloves. Take a single clove in your fingers and rub the top of each piece of bread with the garlic to give each slice a bit of a garlic kick. Don’t overdo it.

Make the chive cheese spread: In a food processor add the cheese, kale, salt and pepper and chives. Process till smooth and the pale green color is uniform. Check for flavor and set aside.

All ingredients should be at room temperature. Take each slice of toasted bread and smear each with a bit of the chive kale spread. Top with a small spoonful of lentils. Garnish with broccoli sprouts and/or pretty purple chive blossoms or any of the above listed options. Serve immediately.