Category Archives: healthy eating

Sweet Somethings: Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts in Pre-Made Shells.

Tartalicious Recipes! Sweet And Savory Mini Tart Shell Options

Entertaining a crowd is a breeze when you have a culinary trick or two up your sleeve. Or, in this case, a box full of them! One of our favorite items to have in the freezer are pre-made French pastry and tart shells. Not that we don’t appreciate a great handmade pastry dough, but it can be a bit messy and time-consuming to prepare it every single time, especially if you have guests coming and a flour explosion in the kitchen is not on the agenda.

Sweet (or Savory) Little Savers! Pre-made pastry tart shells.

Sweet (or Savory) Little Savers! Pre-made pastry tart shells. Photo: GourmetFoodWorld.com

Pretty in Pastry: The Beauty Of Pre-Made Tart Shells

We love the versatility of tarts shells, how they can be a great savory appetizer, a delicious lunch, or a sweet treat for dessert or with tea. Because we stock a really great variety of ready-made gourmet pastry and tart shells (we’ve done half the work for you, you’re welcome!), we thought we’d give you some delicious filling options to try out this weekend!

SHOP Pre-Made Pastry and Tart Shells >

So Cute You Could Eat Them Up…(and should!): Mini Raspberry & Chocolate Tarts

Our sweet selection comes from Naomi Robinson Bakersroyale.com. Guys, she made a NO BAKE dessert. We love her, just because of that! She started with pre-made tart shells, added chocolate, followed with a yummy layer of pureed raspberries, and topped it all off with decadent raspberry mousse. If you’re not drooling by now, take a look at the picture below. A touch of cassis liqueur make these utter perfection!

Mini Raspberry Tarts Recipe >

Sweet Somethings: Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts in Pre-Made Shells.

Sweet Somethings: Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts in Pre-Made Shells. Photo by: Naomi at BakersRoyale.com.

Deliciously Good (and good for you!): Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts

For our savory tart, we sifted through a lot of heavy, cream-filled options, but we fell in love with this super healthy recipe from TalesofaKitchen.com. As great believers of a healthy approach to gourmet eating, we loved the mixture of gourmet ingredients in a good-for-you recipe. Chris made her own tart crust (which is vegan, by the way!), but we loved the idea that you could also just whip up the pesto and avocado filling and put it in pre-made savory tart shells.  You can serve these at any cocktail party, but feel good about yourself (and your diet) the next morning!

Pesto and Avocado Fresh Mini Tarts Recipe >

Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts: Pretty (good for you)!

Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts: Pretty (good for you)! Photo by: Chris, TalesofaKitchen.com.

Make sure you check out our contributors’ blogs for more of their great recipes and cooking tips! A big thank you to Chris from www.TalesofaKitchen.com and Naomi of www.BakersRoyale.com for sharing their amazing recipes with us!

Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

A Fresh Summer Meal: Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

Plump tomatoes, buttery crust and creamy goat cheese? Yes, please! Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese. Photo credit: Laura Bolton for Fork Knife Swoon, http://www.forkknifeswoon.com.

We’re all about fast, delicious summer dishes this month at Gourmet Food World, so to continue on that trend, this week we’re featuring a great recipe that combines fresh flavors with delicious ingredients, and that essential touch of sophistication that all our gourmet customers look for. This week: Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart, by Fork Knife Swoon.

Savory tarts, or quiches, as they’re also widely known, are probably one of the most versatile dishes you can turn out. First off, they’re light, but you can pack them heavy with veggies, so you get a nice, healthy serving of greens. A tart can work perfectly for brunch, lunch – we love it paired with a baby green salad – and can also serve as a nice appetizer for dinner. It’s even a great light summer dinner option when paired with a more consistent side dish, like quinoa or couscous.

Creamy and tangy goat cheese

Creamy & tangy goat cheese. Photo: GourmetFoodWorld.com

This Tomato, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese tart recipe is a perfect example of a classic savory tart.  It masterfully combines the freshness of tomatoes with the sweetness of a perfectly caramelized onion,  but the truly outstanding ingredient here is the goat cheese – tangy, yet superbly creamy and indulgent, with its winning tanginess. All of these perfectly-cooked ingredients are contained in a flaky pastry shell, the perfect buttery vessel to contain all these flavors.  The result is pretty and colorful, making it a beautiful dish to serve to guests.

Pair this mouthwatering tart with a chilled glass of your favorite crisp white wine, and toast to Laura from Fork Knife Swoon, who was kind enough to share her fabulous recipe with us.  Visit her blog at http://www.forkknifeswoon.com, where you’ll find delicious recipes for the home cook, with a focus on seasonal produce and whole foods.

Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 4 tarts

Serving Size: 1 tart

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe paté brisée
  • 6-8 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 425º F.
  2. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8″ thick. Using a saucer as a guide, cut out four 6″ circles of dough. Place each one over a 5″ tart pan, and gently use your fingers or a dry pastry brush to smooth the dough into the pan. Using a knife, trim the dough so that it is flush with the edge of the pan. Place tarts on a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Peel the onion and slice it into thin rings. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic, turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. Cook an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the onions become golden.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes cross-wise into thin rings, about 1/8″ thick.
  5. Remove the tart shells from the refrigerator. Crumble 1 oz of the goat cheese into the bottom of each tart in an even layer.
  6. Add 1/4 of the onions to each tart. Arrange the tomato slices in an overlapping circular pattern, with one slice in the middle. Top with 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake until the tarts begin to bubble and the crusts are golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Products from this post:

Goat Cheese >
Tart  Shells >
Olive oil >
Kosher salt >

Health emblem

Hypertension – Reducing Your Risk For High Blood Pressure

Intro: April 7th is international World Health Day and we’re talking high blood pressure.

World Health Day is celebrated internationally on April 7th, and each year, the organization picks a theme that “highlights a priority area of public health concern in the world”. For 2013, the issue of concern is high blood pressure. One in three adults around the world suffer from high blood pressure, so chances are high that you, or someone in your family, has it or is at risk of having it. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can cause increase the risk of serious health conditions, like stroke, heart attacks and heart failure. If you have diabetes, then those risks are even higher.  Plus, for older women at risk of Osteoporosis, excessive sodium might cause the body to excrete calcium.

High blood pressure is most commonly associated with a high-salt, high sodium diet. The recommended intake of sodium is below 2,300 mg per day and if you think of it terms of quantity, consider this: just one teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium and a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup a whopping 890mg.  Odds are, you’re getting more sodium than is healthy.  As a matter of fact, most Americans get DOUBLE the recommended amount.

So, should you never look at a saltshaker or can of soup again? That’s not realistic, nor necessary, since you shouldn’t cut out sodium entirely from your diet. Sodium is essential to your body, helping it maintain the right balance of fluids. The key is to make sure you keep the quantity you consume low, and that means making a few chances in your diet.

Cut Back on Processed Foods
The main culprit for the rise of high blood pressure in the US is the massive consumption of processed and packaged foods. These foods are PACKED in salt, to preserve them and to enhance the flavor. Avoid especially anything that comes in a can or frozen (like packaged pizzas or frozen portioned meals). Of course, your busy modern lifestyle might not allow you to make homemade dishes for every meal, so if you eat a prepared frozen meal, like Lean Cuisine, make sure you choose one that has under 600mg of sodium, and watch your salt intake the rest of the day.

Binge on Veggies
Fruits, too.  Most non-processed foods like fresh vegetables and fresh fruits have negligible amounts of sodium. They’re full of vitamins, minerals, and are just overall the best types of foods you can eat.  There are certain vegetables that even help lower your high blood pressure, thanks to some key vitamins and minerals, especially potassium and magnesium. What veggies to buy in bulk? Anything rich in potassium and magnesium, both great allies for lowering blood pressure. For example: spinach, beans (black, white, navy, pinto, lima and kidney), potatoes, and bananas (high in potassium).

Be A Dairy Queen (or King)
Fruits and vegetables are not the only foods that help lower blood pressure. Skim milk and other low-fat milk-derived products like yogurt and cottage cheese can reduce the risk of hypertension. These foods contain Vitamin D and calcium, two powerhouses that work together reduce blood pressure, sometimes by as much as 10%.  Replace or supplement your usual breakfast with a bowl of cottage cheese with some mixed berries (also delicious for a dessert!).

One Square a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Another great, unexpected and delicious heart-helping, high-blood-pressure-busting food? Dark chocolate! Just one little square of dark chocolate can help to lower your blood pressure in just 18 weeks, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. The trick is to choose chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa powder, and to keep it to one piece a day, since chocolate is high in calories.

Love the Labels
The best and easiest way to control your salt and sodium intake is to read labels. Nutrition labels must state you how much sodium is in one serving of any given food. Note: keep an eye too on how many servings you’re consuming.  The renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota recommends that you keep to under 200mg per serving. A slice of whole wheat bread, for example, has about 132mg of sodium, so that’s a good breakfast choice.  Want to know the sodium content of most foods? Check out the super useful USDA National Nutrient Database sodium reference chart, here.

Masters in Marketing
Beware of gimmicky marketing claims that some food companies like to use, with words like “reduced” or “light” in sodium. Yes, a food might be reduced in sodium, but how much sodium did it have to begin with? 25% less sodium out of 1000mg is still 750mg of sodium, a pretty high amount. Go instead for “Sodium Free” (less than 5mg), Very Low Sodium (less than 35mg) and Low Sodium (less than 140mg).

trader_joes_ingredients

Photo credits: The Allergista

Move That Body
It’s not just what you eat; lowering your high blood pressure also means living a healthy lifestyle, which goes beyond diet. Exercise is an integral part of maintaining a healthy body weight, so make sure you get the recommended 30 minutes daily.

No Smoking Allowed
If you’re looking for another reason to quit, consider this: every cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your blood pressure while you’re smoking it and for several minutes afterwards. So if you have high blood pressure or at risk, quit. If you’re not at risk, quit anyway!

Leading a healthy, active lifestyle and following a low sodium diet is the best, proven way to reduce not only your high blood pressure, but also your risk of many diseases.  So on April 7th, go your neighborhood pharmacy, have your blood pressure checked, and see what chances you need to make to your life to be as healthy as you can possibly be.  Happy Health Day 2013!