Monday, January 15, 2018

This Year Resolve To Finally Eat Healthier

By: The Food Hunter

This post is sponsored by Tanimura & Antle. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

You should officially be over all the excess eating that happened during the holidays and well on your way to consuming healthier meals. Even if you aren't planning a major overhaul of your diet, taking a wholesome approach to food and lifestyle in the New Year can be made easier with premium fresh produce from Tanimura & Antle. (You can find Tanimura & Antle lettuce at Marcs.)  For example, their Artisan Lettuces and Artisan Romaine are field picked, by hand, for freshness and offer a variety of flavors so you no longer have a boring salad bowl.

If your goal is to increase your salad intake in the New Year, keep in mind that each package of Tanimura & Antle Artisan Lettuce contains four heads from the six varieties that they grow. Green or red, ruffled or scalloped, each variety has a distinct, complementary flavor. Although this might sound daunting, the good news is, you can mix and match them however you like to create a healthy and delicious meal. Basically saying good-bye to boring salads and hello to vibrant and tasty greens.

Keep in mind that to create a well-balanced meal it's important to include protein and/or additional vegetables in your salads. Prepping meal components in advance is a huge help in keeping your nutrition goals in line. A good practice is to chop, clean, and package your produce and protein immediately upon returning from the grocery store.

How you decide to dress your greens is also of great significance when it comes to eating healthy. Instead of opting for calorie laden dressings, try a homemade version whenever possible. It's not as hard as you think to make salad dressing from scratch, and the finished product always tastes much better than the store bought version.

Below are two of my favorite dressing recipes: a garlic vinaigrette and a creamy balsamic Dijon. Both varieties can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use them on your favorite Artisan Lettuce today!

 ****Be sure to scroll down for your copy of the healthy eating tip sheet and a chance to
 WIN a Fresh Start prize pack***

Garlic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, garlic powder, and salt. Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator.

Creamy Balsamic Dijon Dressing
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until combined and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It’s a New Year which means you have a Fresh Start to get healthy with Tanimura & Antle Artisan Lettuce and Artisan Romaine! Visit  and enter your information for chance to win a Fresh Start prize pack. As a bonus for entering you will be able to download a healthy eating tip sheet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wigwam Winemaker Dinner Series

By: The Food Hunter

Last month my husband and I attended the Wigwam Resort's Winemaker Dinner, featuring wines by Silver Oak winery. The dinner was attended by local wine enthusiasts, area food lovers and representatives from the vineyard. Guests got to experience an innovative five course menu crafted by Wigwam's Executive Chef, Kristen Seltzer and gain insight on the art of pairing food and wine.

Stretching over 440 lushly landscaped acres in Litchfield Park, the Wigwam has been providing guests with superb accommodations for over 80 years. And since you will be there for the wine dinner, it only makes sense to stay the night in one of the Wigwam's handsomely crafted Adobe style, guest rooms, casitas or suites.

Silver Oak Cellars is a family-owned, California winery established in 1972 by Ray Duncan and Justin Meyer that is dedicated to producing only Cabernet Sauvignon. They also established Twomey Cellars in 1999, where they produce Pinot Noir, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.

The first course of the evening was a light and refreshing spaghetti tossed in olive oil and served cold topped with white anchovies and Parmigiano Reggiano. This dish was paired with a glass of 2016 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc.

Our second was a Cedar River Beef tartar served with a raw quail egg to be poured over-top. This dish was paired with the 2013 Twomey Napa Valley Merlot; an elegant easy to drink red.

Next up Chef Seltzer presented us with another delicious plate, this time consisting of white Pekin Duck, pureed cauliflower and mizuna greens complimented with a black currant and balsamic drizzle. I loved the flavors in this elegant dish and it paired wonderfully with the 2013 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

This was followed by a Colorado Lamb chop served with oats, lentils and pomegranate. The vibrant flavors of this dish went well with the savory components of the 2012 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet.

We finished off this delicious meal with an almond blueberry torte that was spectacular.

At $99 per person the wine dinners at the Wigwam are a wonderful opportunity to learn about the vineyards and their wines, while enjoying a deliciously prepared meal. For more information about upcoming dinners contact the Wigwam at 623.935.3811

The Wigwam
300 East Wigwam Blvd.
Litchfield Park, Arizona 85340

This experience was provided complimentary, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Healthy One Pan Salmon & Veggies

By: The Food Hunter

If you love salmon and the idea of cooking ingredients together on pan for an easy weeknight meal, this is the recipe for you. Salmon makes this a super healthy dinner; while the mixture of corn, tomatoes and oregano makes it one of the tastiest recipes around. 

Served with a side of quinoa or rice you have a well-balanced, healthy meal that is ready in minutes.

Healthy One Pan Salmon & Veggies

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups corn
1 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1pound salmon fillet, skin removed

Preheat oven to roast at 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Reserve a small amount of this sauce for salmon.  Toss corn and tomatoes with the rest of the mixture and place on sheet pan leaving a space in the middle for the salmon filets. Place salmon fillets on pan and drizzle with reserved sauce.

Roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, stir vegetables and turn on the broiler. Broil salmon and vegetables for 3 minutes until the fish is brown on top. Remove from oven and serve.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Au Za'atar: A Must Try Restaurant In The East Village

By: The Food Hunter

On a recent trip to New York my husband and I decided to try a Lebanese restaurant that I had been following on Instagram. Au Za'atar is a dining destination, in the East Village, serving family recipes from Lebanon and other middle eastern countries.

The intimate dining room features an accent wall of exposed brick and lots of dark wood; particularly by the bar, where guests can cozy up to enjoy glass of Lebanese wine or beer. 

The menu is composed of a long list of reasonably priced mezzes, dips and hearty sharable plates; guaranteeing there is something for everyone to enjoy. Chef/Owner Tarik Fallous takes pride in his restaurant and describes the menu as a collection of the food he grew up eating.

A complimentary plate of Chef Tarik's homemade Za’atar pita makes perusing the menu extra special. For those that don't know, Za'atar is an intensely aromatic and ancient Arabian spice blend used to season everything from grilled meats to freshly baked bread.

At Au Za'atar it's easy to want to order everything on the menu; making it wise to choose the sampler plates for variety. We started our meal with the dip sampler, which included portions of Hummus, Spicy Hummus, Hummus Beiruti, Baba Ghanoush, Saltet Al Raheb & Muhammara. I would not be exaggerating if I said it was some of the best hummus and baba ghanoush I've ever had.

Next we tried a  mezze tray, which consisted of a nice selection of small dishes: Tabouli Salad, Arnabeet Bi Tarator, Foul Medamas, Batata Harra, Mujadara & Bemieh Bzei.

Moving on, we shared the delicious Kafta Bil Sanie, a plate of ground seasoned beef baked with tomatoes & potatoes in a spiced tomato sauce.

Though the meat dish was fabulous, for those that prefer seafood, the Provencale Prince Edward Island Mussels are a must try. They are steamed with white wine and served with diced tomato, spinach, onions, red peppers & fresh herbs.

We finished off the meal with Mouhallabi, a pudding topped with ground pistachios and orange blossom syrup. Chef Tarik also sent us a traditional Lebanese digestive of hot water scented with orange blossom water, called Cafe Blanc.

Both my husband and I were very impressed with the food, service and atmosphere at Au Za’atar. It's definitely a restaurant, in the East Village, that should not be missed.

188 Avenue A at East 12th Street
East Village
New York, NY

This experience was provided complimentary, all opinions are my own. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Smoked Salmon Potato Bites

By: The Food Hunter

Creating healthy meals is easier when you keep your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy ingredients. This is the reason I always have yogurt, specifically Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt, on-hand.

Greek yogurt is one of those foods that can be enjoyed any time of day. It can be eaten alone or easily added to many of your favorite recipes to lighten them up. Yogurt is a great substitution for mayo, sour cream, oil and even butter. And not only is it a useful product to keep around it's also delicious.

Smoked Salmon Potato Bites are made with simple ingredients one of which is Stonyfield Plain Greek Yogurt. The yogurt, in this easy to make appetizer, takes the place of cream cheese which is traditionally used with smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon Potato Bites
(serves 2)

1 package of smoked Salmon, typically 4ozs
1-2  Russet potatoes
1 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
4 oz plain Greek yogurt
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice potatoes about ¾ “ thickness and place into a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt & pepper and toss to coat.

Bake potatoes for approximately 15 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Potatoes are done when they are lightly golden, and still soft....not crunchy. Allow potatoes to cool in pan while you make the topping.

Mix the yogurt, lemon juice and zest together season with salt & pepper. 
Top each potato round with 1-2 teaspoons of yogurt sauce, a slice of salmon, and a sprinkling of chives.
Serve room temperature.