The Dining Diva: A Real Dish

In one sense, I talk about a “Dining Diva” as a professional woman who is an experienced, seasoned business diner— the master of her domain in the business meal setting (this is what I transform NYC women into with my periodical Strategic Diningworkshops). But such a Diva can also be the mind behind the food itself, right in her own kitchen.

The truth is, it doesn’t take much time or skill for the working woman to create simple culinary magic, and the magic can be elegant and delicious while remaining healthful, even vegetarian! Prove it to yourself by starting with the following two favorite recipes of mine….a light, zippy and protein-filled quinoa salad, and a creamy, savory red pepper dip that can double as a spread. You’ll be absolutely delighted with the results, and after a few attempts, you’ll be able to replicate them with your eyes closed. Happy cooking!

Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Cheese Dip (makes 1 1/2 cups)

4 oz Jarred Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed and roughly chopped

1 Garlic Clove, minced, or 4 Roasted Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped

The Zest and Juice of one Lemon

6 oz Feta Cheese

Blend in a food processor, and serve with celery sticks, toasts or pita chips.

Make a double batch, and save it to spread on your favorite sandwiches.

Diva Quinoa (makes 4 side dish portions)

2 Kirby Cucumbers, seeded and chopped into small cubes

1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar

A generous pinch of Salt

1 Tbsp Capers, rinsed

The Zest of one Lemon (wash the rind with a dab of mild soap first)

The Juice of one Lemon

½ can Cannellini Beans, well rinsed

3 cups cooked Quinoa

About 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

“Marinate” the cucumbers in a bowl with vinegar and salt. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, beans. Mix well. Add in quinoa. Mix well. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve room-temperature.


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