Cooking and Chef Recipes

Apple-Iced Green Tea from the Divas of Dish

Divas apple iced tea

Everyone needs a little pick-me-up, especially during the dog days of summer. The divas love this cool, refreshing sip that’s full of antioxidants and gives us energy.

Green tea also fights bacteria for a healthy mouth and sweet breath, and if that's not reason enough to sample this deliciously healthy brew, we’ve been told that L-thiamine, an amino acid found in green tea, works with caffeine to improve overall brain function well into the golden years. So, take a break and sip a spell, where the only sweat will be on an ice-cold glass.

Creamy Chipotle Corn from the Divas of Dish

Divas Chipotle Corn

Introducing a sizzlin' hot side to perfectly complement fajitas, tacos or a thick, juicy steak hot off the grill. The divas are taking our beloved fresh corn off the roasted cob, the caramelized sweet kernels kicking flavor over the top.

A creamy chipotle reduction simmers while the ears roast, adding a mix of creamy, smoky sweetness to the corn, with a topping of nutty grated parmesan. You could stop right there and await a well-deserved standing ovation, or add a sprinkle or freshly minced cilantro. Pass with juicy lime wedges for added sparkle.

Cool Mint Coleslaw from the Divas of Dish

Good Catch mint coleslaw copy

Summer has arrived, and that means plenty of casual get-togethers that happen at the beach, poolside or in the back yard. And for the divas it also means steering clear of the kitchen. This is one of our go-to salads that eschews lettuce, a riff on old-fashioned slaw that’s gussied up with peas and fresh mint – a little ah-ha that makes everyone want the recipe. (It’s from the “Good Catch” cookbook co-authored by diva Pam Brandon, Heather McPherson and Katie Farmand.)

With five ingredients, it comes together in about five minutes. Who wants to cook when a cool cocktail awaits?

Haute Hummus with Cinnamon-Scented Lamb

Divas Hummus

Forget about it, folks. When you're asked to bring an appetizer, the plastic container of hummus and predictable bag of pita chips is no longer an option. It's time to raise the bar.

Start by losing the plastic tub. Spread the hummus evenly over the platter, then go all out with sautéed ground lamb, pushing this delicious hummus starter into main-course territory. Part dip, part stew, part salad, it's the perfect casual meal to enjoy outside with friends, perfectly chilled wine--and plenty of oohs and ahhs.

Mother's Day Pasta from the Divas of Dish

Mothers Day Pasta

Mother’s Day is one day of the year you should insist mom stay out of the kitchen. No matter how much she resists, it’s a day to let her know she’s raised you right.

If you prefer a day at home instead of queuing up at a restaurant, we’re sharing this epicurean combo that anyone can toss together in less than 30 minutes, then serve at room temperature. It’s super easy to prep and clean up, with fresh tomatoes, a little wine, lots of garlic and the salty finish of capers and Kalamata olives. Serve with a little green salad and crusty bread for a meal worthy of mama.

Farro Taboulleh

Farro Tabbouleh

The divas love a satisfying salad that involves more than a few greens – give us a hearty protein or grain, some crunch and sweetness for the perfect one-dish dinner. And one that can hang in the fridge for a few days for impromptu snacking.

Here’s our version of tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern salad that’s usually made with bulgar wheat. We’ve substituted farro, an ancient grain that’s making a comeback with a chewy, nutty goodness. The grain is full of minerals and said to zap cholesterol, what’s not to love?

We’ve added toasted pine nuts for a little extra richness, a handful of currants for sweet and a chopped jalapeño for a kick.

Cilantro Lime Chic-n Salad with Roasted Pepitas and Cumquats

Diva chix salad

Hold the mayo. Served in all its myriad forms to the Ladies Who Lunch, chicken salad is rarely seen without its creamy cohort, mayonnaise. This lighter version of chicken salad brims with the bold, bright flavors of Latin cuisine.

Perfectly poached, good-girl, chicken breast tenders are marinated in a vibrant vinaigrette of lime, garlic, minced fresh cilantro and a touch of agave nectar, then garnished with buttery sliced avocado and colorful kumquats. To go with, thick-cut heirloom tomatoes are always a hit.
For a swankier soiree, this versatile vinaigrette also shines with plump, chilled shrimp or lobster. Serve in martini glasses with an olive and crunchy tortilla strips.

Easy-Cheesy Italian Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Basil

Divas Cauliflower

Calling all cauliflower heads! Try this crisp-tender mélange featuring golden, pan-roasted cauliflower, tossed with garlic, then simmered in marinara. Of course you could stop right there, but the divas prefer to top things off with a nutty mix of feta, asiago and shredded mozzarella cheeses. And for added color and a fresh herbal edge, Italian basil is scattered over all. It's as delicious as a gooey square of mom's lasagna, without the huge carb overload.

As most cauliflower enthusiasts know, the trick is in caramelizing the veggie to bring out the natural sweetness. We love this one-dish wonder as a quick weeknight supper, or for brunch with poached or scrambled eggs. On the side, serve up some crusty bread or a chopped arugula salad, tossed in lemon fresh lemon juice and your very best extra-virgin olive oil.

Kale Salad With Dried Cherries, Almonds and Goat Cheese from Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival

Divas Kale SaladPhoto: The Walt Disney Company

Spring is one of Florida's beautifully subtle seasons, when we get a jump on our neighbors to the North with blueberries, sweet corn, tomatoes and watermelon. It's also time for one of the divas' favorite outings, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (through May 17), showcasing our state's fabulous farms and flora.

This year they've ramped up the food to include all sort of wonderful tastes at little Outdoor Kitchens around World Showcase Lagoon – what a perfect place to nosh and burn off calories.
One of this year's new dishes is this vegetarian, gluten-free kale salad, a bowl packed with protein and good-for-you crunch. You'll find it at the Urban Farm Eats kiosk, but it's also super-easy to make at home.

Chilled Sesame Spinach from the Divas of Dish

Chilled Spinach

If you're lucky, you've tasted the delicately delicious starter at your favorite sushi place that inspires this recipe. Cooked, chilled, then tossed with a perfectly balanced Asian vinaigrette, this spinach is at once, sweet, savory and salty. With a spicy sesame kick, it's lo-cal bliss in a bowl, savored slowly with a lovely pair of chopsticks.

Serve this as a starter with steamed sea bass, brown rice and hot sake. Make extra marinade for dipping. Open Sesame!

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