Currently Browsing: Karen Sheer

Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing and Dip

Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing and Dip

A fabulous dressing and dip that is a game-changer for every cook! Creamy, garlicky (yet mild from the roasted garlic), slightly sweetened with maple syrup and enough zesty flavor from fresh squeezed lemon.  

The Ultimate Kale, Romaine and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing

The Ultimate Kale, Romaine and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing

Chock full of antioxidants and complementary flavors! The Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing is a game-changer for every cook, full of zesty-robust tang. I enjoy serving with spiced grilled chicken for a main course salad.

How to Roast Whole Garlic Heads in Olive Oil and How to Use It

How to Roast Whole Garlic Heads in Olive Oil and How to Use It

Mellow yet with deep concentration – oven roasted garlic cloves enhances the flavor of everything!

Fried Summer Zucchini with Garlic – Lightened-Up

Fried Summer Zucchini with Garlic – Lightened-Up

2019 Thanksgiving Survival Guide ~ the Best A Zest For Life Holiday Recipes!

I’ve got you covered with 23 well-tested and fabulous recipes for your celebration! Plus 13 Desserts ~ Something for everyone! How to make a tender and flavorful turkey?Aromatic Vegetables are placed on the bottom of the pan – and let them caramelize until they develop a rich, deep color ~ then you will add the […]

Desserts for Thanksgiving!

Make it homemade this holiday with my selection of well tested sweet endings. Recipes have dynamic and vibrant flavors with a healthier profile. Something for everyone! Let’s start with Apple Desserts – a must have for your dessert table: For an extra layer of “yum” top the cake with my Caramelized Apples and Caramel Drizzle. […]

Haricot Vert (Thin French Green Beans) Recipes for the Holidays!

French Green Beans are special for the holidays – I always serve them on Thanksgiving. 2 Fabulous recipes to try! Both Vegan.Haricot Vert with Sliced Radishes and Pan-Fried Shallots with a Miso-Lemon-Maple Glaze andHaricot Vert with Garlic, Almonds, Pomegranate Seeds and Shiitake “Bacon” with Za’atar Seasoning Haricot Vert Beans are longer and thinner than American […]

Haricot Vert with Sliced Radishes and Pan-Fried Shallots with a Miso-Lemon-Maple Glaze

Haricot Vert with Sliced Radishes and Pan-Fried Shallots with a Miso-Lemon-Maple Glaze

The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving and the Holidays! Full of color & flavor – can be made early in the day. Sauté Haricot Verts in a hot skillet to blacken the edges. Add Sliced Radishes and a quick stir in of Miso, Lemon Juice and Pure Maple Syrup. All tastes delicious with Pan-Fried Shallot […]

Haricot Vert with Garlic, Almonds, Pomegranate Seeds and Shiitake “Bacon” with Za’atar Seasoning

The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving and the Holidays! Full of color & flavor – can be made early in the day. Vegan. Sauté Haricot Verts in a hot skillet to blacken the edges. Add Garlic Chips, Shiitake “Bacon”, Toasted Almonds, Pomegranate Seeds and Za’atar Seasoning.

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells with Lightened-Up Alfredo Sauce

Taking Comfort Food to a Whole New Level! Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Fresh Ricotta Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella, Roasted Pumpkin, Fresh Spinach, Shiitake Mushrooms in a Creamy Lightened-Up Alfredo Sauce. Delizioso! I visited Arthur Avenue in “da” Bronx last week ~ a food loving Italian section with real charm and truly very authentic. Sure tourists […]

Karen's Lightened-Up Alfredo Sauce

Karen’s Lightened-Up Alfredo Sauce

A versatile sauce you’ll make again and again. Light on calories ~ big on flavor! The recipe uses Homemade Chicken Broth, yet use Vegetable Broth for Vegetarian.

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells with Lightened-Up Alfredo Sauce

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells with Lightened-Up Alfredo Sauce

Taking Comfort Food to a Whole New Level! Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Fresh Ricotta Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella, Roasted Pumpkin, Fresh Spinach, Shiitake Mushrooms in a Creamy Lightened-Up Alfredo Sauce. Delizioso!

Amazing Veggie Chili Without Beans

A Healthy and Hearty Chili Chock Full of Veggies with Chickpeas, Lentils, Butternut Squash and Cremini Mushrooms in a Tomato Based Sauce with Homemade Chili Seasoning – dig in and be creative with your toppings! There are benefits of eating more vegetarian meals – embracing a plant-based diet just one day a week. We know […]

Amazing Veggie Chili Without Beans

Amazing Veggie Chili Without Beans

A Healthy and Hearty Chili Chock Full of Veggies with Chick Peas, Lentils, Butternut Squash and Cremini Mushrooms in a Tomato Based sauce with Homemade Chili Seasoning – dig in and be creative with your toppings!

How to Roast Whole Garlic Heads in Olive Oil and How to Use It

Mellow yet with deep concentration – oven roasted garlic cloves enhances the flavor of everything! Recipes: How to Roast Whole Garlic Heads in Olive OilMashed Roasted Garlic Cloves with Cherry Bomb Peppers and HerbsTopping of Roasted Garlic Cloves with Olive Oil – Balsamic Reduction ~ Topping for Fish I’ve got an amazing garlic stash! Just […]

Acorn Squash and Celeriac Soup for Fall

Acorn Squash and Celeriac Soup for Fall

A Creamy & Chunky Soup with a Coconut Cream Swirl and Hatch Chiles… very comforting and healthy! Perfect for weekdays, special enough for company and holidays. I’m a pretty consistent soup maker. I find it relaxing to stir up interesting flavors and make soup at least once a week. Always setting a side a portion […]

Acorn Squash and Celeriac Soup for Fall

Acorn Squash and Celeriac Soup for Fall

A Creamy & Chunky Soup with a Coconut Cream Swirl and Hatch Chiles… very comforting and healthy! Perfect for weekdays, special enough for company and holidays. Many types of winter squashes make glorious soups. I recently picked up some Acorn Squash and thought – maybe an underdog squash for soup… is butternut squash really superior? […]

Baba Ganoush with Roasted Peppers

Fabulous & Smokey Eggplant Mediterranean Dip & Spread you’ll keep making! Healthy and Delicious. A silky, creamy, delectable eggplant dip – light on calories…big on flavor!!A recipe all good cooks should master – the perfect healthy nosh or appetizer. Baba Ganoush is a typical Lebanese/Middle Eastern meze (‘starter’) often eaten as a dip with pita bread, and is sometimes […]

Baba Ganoush with Roasted Peppers

Baba Ganoush with Roasted Peppers

Fabulous & Smokey Eggplant Mediterranean Dip & Spread you’ll keep making and enjoying! Healthy and Delicious. A recipe all good cooks should master – the perfect healthy nosh or appetizer.

How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce

End of Summer / Early Fall Tomatoes are put to great use in a wonderful simmered sauce you can savor well into Fall and Winter. Use it to make my terrific Ground Turkey “Meat Sauce” with Fresh Tomato Sauce. Tomato sauce – made with fresh peeled tomatoes tastes entirely different from the jarred variety. With […]

Ground Turkey “Meat Sauce” with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ground Turkey “Meat Sauce” with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Doesn’t get more delicious than this! Laced with Onions, Shallots, Garlic and my Fresh Tomato Sauce – it’s my go to sauce for a comforting weeknight meal.

How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce

How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce

End of Summer / Early Fall Tomatoes are put to great use in a wonderful simmered sauce you can savor well into Fall and Winter. Make my wonderful Ground Turkey “Meat Sauce” with Fresh Tomato Sauce too!

Fall Salad with Chèvre and Apples

Fall Salad with Chèvre and Apples

A salad to “fall” in love with! Starring Fall ingredients like Radicchio, Pink Pearl Apples, Pink Radishes, Delicate Squash and teamed with Chèvre Cheese and Pistachios. Fresh fall produce makes this salad stand out, and will satisfy your healthy cravings. Farmers’ markets are jammed now with end-of-summer delights! Visit one and let the season offerings […]

Fall Salad with Chèvre and Apples

Fall Salad with Chèvre and Apples

A salad to “fall” in love with! Starring Fall ingredients like Radicchio, Pink Pearl Apples, Pink Radishes, Delicate Squash and teamed with Chèvre Cheese and Pistachios. There are endless ways to compile a Fall Salad ~ first think what’s in season, the flavors you like, multiple textures and colors.

Dehydrated Heirloom Tomatoes Packed in Olive Oil and Thyme

Preserve summer by dehydrating or oven drying your favorite tomatoes. Pack some in jars with extra virgin olive oil and thyme branches. A refreshing burst of sweetness! I like to dehydrate my tomatoes until somewhat dry and chewy. These are not very dry tomatoes. They still have tomato texture a little chewy with dry edges. […]

How To Dehydrate Cherry Tomatoes (oven recipe too!)

How To Dehydrate Cherry Tomatoes (oven recipe too!)

Savor Summer and learn how to dehydrate all those fabulous tomatoes!  I save some for adding to many recipes ~ layer others in jars and cover with olive oil and thyme branches. See below all my brilliant ideas for using them.

A delicious and moist Gluten Free Zucchini Quick Bread using Maple Syrup three ways

Maple Zucchini Walnut Bread

A delicious and moist Gluten Free Zucchini Quick Bread using Maple Syrup three ways ~ in the bread, glaze and glazed walnuts. Not too sweet with healthful ingredients.Easily made vegan. It really is so simple to make a good quality zucchini bread at home. Farmers’ markets are loaded right now at the end of the […]

Maple Zucchini Walnut Bread – Gluten Free

Maple Zucchini Walnut Bread – Gluten Free

A delicious and moist Gluten Free Zucchini Quick Bread using Maple Syrup three ways ~ in the bread, glaze and glazed walnuts. Not too sweet with healthful ingredients. Easily made vegan. Use a good quality natural maple syrup (not pancake syrup!!) You know – the kind with one ingredient: maple syrup! I used a Grade […]

Blackened Halibut with Cajun Seasonings and Caper Remoulade

Cajun Seasonings with Blackened Halibut, Dirty Rice and Caper Remoulade Sauce

A Zippy & Zesty Cajun Blend for seasoning and blackening. Make a batch which is salt-free and sprinkle salt when needed. This is a wonderful, well balanced meal with flavors from the South. Four recipes:How to make Karen’s Best Cajun Seasoning BlendHow to Blacken Fish (Local Halibut)Dirty Rice Cajun Style – a lightened up versionQuick […]

Blackened Halibut with Cajun Seasonings and Caper Remoulade

Blackened Halibut with Cajun Seasonings and Caper Remoulade

Homemade Cajun Seasonings encrust Fresh Halibut finished with a Quick Caper Remoulade Sauce. Try with my Dirty Rice recipe too.

Dirty Rice Cajun Style

Dirty Rice Cajun Style

A healthier version of Southern Dirty Rice ~ lightened-up! Brown rice teams with Caramelized Onions, Garlic, Pattypan Squash, Bacon (I’ve used turkey) and Karen’s Best Cajun Seasonings.

Karen’s Best Cajun Seasoning Blend

Karen’s Best Cajun Seasoning Blend

The most flavorful Cajun Seasoning Blend with a nice spicy kick! See the important ingredients that make it special. Salt-free ~ add salt when needed.

Best of Summer 2019 Recipes: azestforlife.com

Enjoy the flavors of Summer with fresh seasonal ingredients and some inventive, well-tested and healthful recipes! Soups, Sides, Mains & Something Sweet. Summer Soups! Blend the season’s best garden-fresh veggies into bowlfuls of summery goodness. Best Side Dishes ~ Visit a local Farmers’ Market, be inspired! Satisfying Mains: A Sweet Finish ~ Desserts: Enjoy the […]

Vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream + Cashew Brittle

Vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream + Cashew Brittle

This vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream has a silky texture, is all-natural and surprisingly easy to prepare. (You’ll need an ice cream maker for this recipe, but it’s worth it.)

Pesto Compound Butter over Grilled Swordfish with Slow-Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes & Peppers

Have too much Summer pesto on hand? Make delicious compound butter in minutes! Slice and add to just-off-the-grilled local swordfish ~ melts into a dreamy sauce. Slow Roasted Vegetables make everything it touches taste better.I add minced shallots, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper to roasted heirloom […]

Pesto Compound Butter over Grilled Swordfish with Slow-Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes & Peppers

Pesto Compound Butter over Grilled Swordfish with Slow-Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes & Peppers

Have too much Summer pesto on hand? Make delicious compound butter in minutes! Slice and add to just-off-the-grilled local swordfish ~ melts into a dreamy sauce.

How to Quick Pickle Vegetables

Quick Pickled Vegetables

Crunch on these! Eat them right out of the jar, or chop them up – they lend bright flavors to all kinds of dishes. These Pickled Vegetables have a little spice going on too — mustard seeds, chile peppers, multi-colored peppercorns, sliced garlic along with vinegars. It’s super easy and fun to pickle vegetables ~ especially […]

How to Quick Pickle Vegetables

How to Quick Pickle Vegetables

Crunch on these! Eat them right out of the jar, or chop them up – they lend bright flavors to all kinds of dishes. Fun, easy and super-quick to prepare! These Pickled Vegetables have a little spice going on too — mustard seeds, chile peppers, multi-colored peppercorns, sliced garlic along with vinegars. I’ve chosen Fiesta Striped […]

Grilled Peach Salad with Sweet & Sour Vinaigrette

A Must Try Summer Salad! So simple, fresh & delicious! Summer peaches are sweet and juicy and their flavor intensifies on the grill. I love shopping at various Farmers’ Markets in the Summer. You will find just-pick fruit and veggies and buy directly from the farmer. The selection is much different than your local supermarket […]

Grilled Peach Salad with Sweet & Sour Vinaigrette

Grilled Peach Salad with Sweet & Sour Vinaigrette

A Must Try Summer Salad ~  So simple, fresh & delicious! Summer peaches are sweet and juicy and their flavor intensifies on the grill. Simple Ingredients ~ Yellow and White Grilled Peaches, Toasted Hazelnuts & Almonds, Red Oak Lettuce, Little Gem Lettuce, Colorful Cherry Tomatoes and an Awesome Sweet and Sour Vinaigrette with Honey, Mustard […]

Watermelon Gazpacho ~ Your Summer Cool-Down in a Bowl

An easy Summer soup topped with grated feta cheese and fresh mint ~ it’s light, vibrant and has a spicy kick Gazpacho is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables – here I’m adding a good dose of watermelon, adding naturally sweet fruit to the mix. Packed with antioxidants, this chilled soup is perfect for everyday […]

Watermelon Gazpacho with Shaved Feta

Watermelon Gazpacho with Shaved Feta

An easy Summer soup topped with grated feta cheese and fresh mint ~ it’s light, vibrant and has a spicy kick

Beet Tzatziki Sauce with Spiced Chicken Skewer

Healthy and Oh-So Colorful! A Zesty But Light Sauce enriches many recipes and perfect with my Grilled Chicken Skewers. This is an intense and creamy tzatziki ~ grated beets transform it into this bright rose pink color. Make this beautiful colored Beet Tzatziki and use it as a sauce, dip or spread. It’s simple to […]

Beet Tzatziki Sauce with Spiced Chicken Skewers

Beet Tzatziki Sauce with Spiced Chicken Skewers

Healthy and Oh-So Colorful! A Zesty But Light Sauce enriches many recipes and perfect with my Grilled Chicken Skewers. This is a versatile sauce that is the perfect accompaniment to many Mediterranean dishes. You can also slather it on your sandwiches; or simply use it as a dip with warm pita and your favorite vegetables.

Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe ~ THE Spread for Everything!

This spread has so many culinary uses. Great served with good crackers and crudités ~ use also as a sandwich spread, a burger topper or a stuffing for vegetables. The possibilities are really endless. Pimento cheese has been a Southern staple for well over 50 years.It’s served cold, pimento cheese is typically served as a dip […]

Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe ~ THE Spread for Everything!

Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe ~ THE Spread for Everything!

This spread has so many culinary uses. Great served with good crackers and crudités ~ use also as a sandwich spread, a burger topper or a stuffing for vegetables. The possibilities are really endless. Pimento Cheese: Adds a cheesy, slightly spicy flavor and creamy, dreamy texture to multitude of tasty things

Cold Tomato Bread Soup with Basil (Karen’s take on “Salmorejo”)

Cold Tomato Bread Soup with Basil

THE Summer Soup to devour! Healthy and delicious ~ a lightened up version with personality, creaminess and flavor. My take on Spanish Salmorejo. Vegan. Ah… Summer Tomatoes ~ anyone who knows me understands my special affinity for this vegetable (well, really a fruit.) What’s better to eat and cook with than a perfectly ripe tomato? […]

Cold Tomato Bread Soup with Basil (Karen’s take on “Salmorejo”)

Cold Tomato Bread Soup with Basil (Karen’s take on “Salmorejo”)

THE Summer Soup to devour! Healthy and delicious ~ a lightened up version with personality, creaminess and flavor. Vegan. My Cold Tomato Bead Soup with Basil is a take on the Andalucia region’s famous soup: Salmorejo from Spain. The ingredients are few – ripe, dark red vine ripened tomatoes are a must.

Awesome Summer Grilling Recipes

Inspiring & Healthy Barbecue Recipes for Every Taste! Grilling is a simple way in the summer to get dinner on the table in lightning speed. Pay special attention to marinades, sauces and salsas – and use the freshest ingredients you can find. Summer is finally here and that means the grilling ideas are absolutely endless […]

Summer Strawberry Salad with Walnuts, Feta and Maple-Walnut Vinaigrette

Seven Terrific Strawberry Recipes! And New: Summer Strawberry Salad with Walnuts, Feta and Maple-Walnut Vinaigrette

Seasonal Lettuces and Vegetables team with the juiciest Strawberries with the perfect Zesty Vinaigrette Finally the Summer season begins tomorrow!I’ve been inspired to create this new salad – and have added six other Strawberry Recipes for you to try. This is a wonderful plant based salad with just-in-season June vegetables and strawberries. I’ve added walnuts […]

Summer Strawberry Salad with Walnuts, Feta and Maple-Walnut Vinaigrette

Summer Strawberry Salad with Walnuts, Feta and Maple-Walnut Vinaigrette

Seasonal Lettuces and Vegetables team with the Juiciest Strawberries with the perfect Zesty Vinaigrette

Mediterranean EVOO Herb & Corn Sauce

A light and hearty Mediterranean “Sauce” for Chicken, Fish and beyond. An Extra Virgin Olive Oil Based Pan Sauce combines Garlic, Shallots, Five Herbs and Fresh Corn. A super-quick and healthy sauce you whip up in a skillet in minutes.What does this sauce work with? … well everything!Perfect topping grilled proteins, yet mingles well with […]

Mediterranean EVOO Herb & Corn Sauce for Chicken and Fish

Mediterranean EVOO Herb & Corn Sauce for Chicken and Fish

A light and hearty Mediterranean “Sauce” for Chicken, Fish and beyond. An Extra Virgin Olive Oil Based Pan Sauce combines Garlic, Shallots, Five Herbs and Fresh Corn. A super-quick and healthy sauce you whip up in a skillet in minutes. What does this sauce work with? … well everything!

Fresh Peach Frozen Yogurt

Fresh Peach Frozen Yogurt

A refreshing treat on a warm Summer Day – Lightened up with less sugar. In just a few steps – in just a few minutes the base for the frozen yogurt is ready to chill.Leave to cool in the refrigerator until cold, then churn. Choose juicy, ripe delicious peaches for the recipe. Mealy or underripe […]

Fresh Peach Frozen Yogurt

Fresh Peach Frozen Yogurt

A refreshing treat on a warm Summer Day – Lightened up with less sugar.

Skillet Jalapeño Cornbread

Crispy on the exterior, tender inside – this skillet cornbread is big on flavor! Additions include Jalapeños, Poblano Chiles, Chives and Fresh Corn. Gluten Free. The perfect side dish to complement everything you’re cooking this summer.Crispy yet moist, tender and crumbly – you will make this recipe over and over! When you pour the batter […]

Skillet Jalapeño Cornbread

Skillet Jalapeño Cornbread

Mildly spicy and full of flavor! Additions include Jalapeños, Poblano Chiles, Chives and Fresh Corn. Gluten Free.

Charred Sugar Snap Peas on the Grill with Hazelnut-Sesame Sauce

Tender crisp with a smokey essence ~ these peas are finished with a zesty and spicy nutty sauce… time to heat up the grill! Finally fabulous weather in Connecticut! The rain has subsided and sunny skies and greener grass are abound.Time to uncover the grill and get cooking outdoors! Cooking vegetables are a breeze in […]

Charred Sugar Snap Peas on the Grill with Hazelnut-Sesame Sauce

Charred Sugar Snap Peas on the Grill with Hazelnut-Sesame Sauce

Tender crisp with a smoky essence ~ these peas are finished with a zesty and spicy nutty sauce… time to heat up the grill! An AMAZINGLY Delicious Side Dish!! Add proteins and noodles you like for a complete meal.

Shiitake Stuffed Mushrooms with Tomatillo Salsa Topping

Delectable with Mexican Spices – these caps are stuffed with flavor! Lots of colorful vegetables and ground turkey. I’m all for stuffing mushrooms with a healthy portion of vegetables – yes we should all be eating more plant-based foods!Here I sauté lots of veggies and ground turkey – add some smokey ground chiles, cumin and […]

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