Apple-Fennel Guacamole Recipe by Rick Bayless

Turn up the volume on guacamole by swapping out onion in favor of apple and fennel.


Listen to Rick Bayless describe how it's done and take a look at the recipe below.

This is the kind of guacamole to put on a dressed-up table with lots of fresh vegetables for dipping, maybe some garlic toasts or grilled pita, even some rustic tortilla chips.

Recipe: Apple-Fennel Guacamole
Yield: about 3 cups

Ideas for serving: My favorite way to serve it as a condiment with grilled chicken or fish on an Indian summer afternoon sitting in my backyard. Which happens far too infrequently.

However, with the Superbowl this weekend - why not try it out on your friends and guests.


  • 1medium fennel bulb, stalks and fronds cut off
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • ½ medium apple (a crisp-texture one like Granny Smith works good here), peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 ripe, medium-large avocados
  • 1 generous teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large serrano or 1 small jalapeño, stemmed, seeded (if you wish) and finely chopped

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the fennel bulb in half, then cut each half in 3 wedges. Lay them in a single layer in small baking dish, drizzle them with olive oil, measure in ¼ cup water, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, cover with foil and slide into the oven. Bake until the fennel is tender, about 1 hour. Cool. Remove the fennel to a cutting board, pull off any exterior layers that seem fibrous, cut out and discard the pieces of core that hold each wedge together, then chop the remainder into tiny pieces—the tinier the better here.

While the fennel is cooking, scoop the apple into a bowl, sprinkle it with the lime juice and toss to combine. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. Mash the avocado flesh in a large bowl: Cut the avocados in half, running a knife around the pit from top to bottom and back up again. Twist the halves in opposite directions to release the pit from one side. Scoop out the pit, then scoop the flesh from each half. With an old-fashioned potato masher, large fork or back of a large spoon, coarsely mash the avocado.

Add the thyme, chopped green chile, apples (including all the lime juice) and half of the chopped fennel to the avocado, and stir to combine. (Refrigerate the remaining fennel to add to a salad or pasta dish.) Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until serving time.

When you’re ready for the guacamole, scoop it into a serving dish and sprinkle with the cheese.


Pan Fried Onion Dip by Marlene Koch

Today Marlene Koch, Author of Eat More of What You Love, talks about her Pan Fried Onion Dip. This is a healthier version of the traditional onion dip. We made this for a recent party we had - it was a huge hit. A must try recipe! If you want to cook healthy for your family and guests without losing taste, this is your go-to cookbook.

Tune in below and listen to Marlene discuss her Pan Fried Onion Dip recipe.

Recipe: Pan Fried Onion Dip

  • 1 tsp. canola oil 
  • 3 cups roughly chopped or sliced onions 
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar 
  • 3 tbsp. light tub-style cream cheese 
  • 3 tbsp. light mayonnaise 
  • 1 cup light sour cream 
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onion 
  • 3/4 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper  

Heat the oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the onions, lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the brown sugar and continue to cook for another 7 to 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until onions are deep golden brown. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add the sour cream and then the remaining ingredients, including the warm caramelized onions.

Serve immediately, or place dip into a serving dish, cover, and put in refrigerator for 30 minutes to meld flavors and serve as a cool dip.

Some notes: Make sure you onions are deep golden brown; mine could have used a little more time in the skillet.


Quinoa Burger by Carolyn Hemming

This burger is better! A meatless, meat-lover’s burger, this is a full-flavour burger with the perfect combination of toasted pecans, mushrooms, aged cheddar, herbs and of course, red quinoa. These burger patties hold together well for freezing and make for a quick and easy meal option.

Today Carolyn Hemming, Author of Quinoa Revolution talks about her Quinoa Burger. Made with using red quinoa, grape seed oil, diced onions, cheddar cheese, rolled oats, pecans and more.

The Better Burger - Quinoa Burger
From Quinoa Revolution by Carolyn Hemming  ~

  • 1 cup (250 mL) water 
  • ½ cup (125 mL) red quinoa 
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grape seed oil or vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced onions 
  • 2 cups (500 mL) finely chopped cremini or white button mushrooms 
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) minced garlic 
  • ¾ tsp (3 mL) dried marjoram 
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) dried oregano 
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) shredded reduced-fat aged cheddar cheese 
  • ½ cup (125 mL) toasted pecans, chopped fine 
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) rolled oats, quick cooking (gluten free if required) 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free if required)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease.

Combine the water and quinoa in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Sautee the onions for about 5 minutes or until the onion is starts to become soft and transparent. Add the mushrooms, garlic, marjoram and oregano, sautéing for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside to cool.

Mix together in a medium-sized bowl, the quinoa, mushroom mixture, cheese, toasted pecans, oats, egg, and soy sauce.

Using a ½ cup (125 mL) measure, scoop mixture on to the parchment and form into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick patties leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) between (should make 8 to 9 patties). Bake for 27 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve. Note: These burgers can also be cooked in an oiled fry pan or on a barbecue baking sheet.

PER SERVING: Energy 150 calories; Protein 7 g; Carbohydrates 13 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Fat 9 g; Sugar 2 g, Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 130 mg.


Red Velvet Waffles with Beet Juice by Carolyn Hemming

Shhh. No one will guess these velvety waffles are sweetened with nutritious pureed red beets. Extra delicious with served with the optional Lemon Cream Cheese Topping.

Today Carolyn Hemming, Author of Quinoa Revolution talks about her Red Velvet Waffles. Made with beet juice, cocoa powder, using quinoa flour (typically sold right beside the quinoa seeds in your grocery store).

Red Velvet Waffles
From Quinoa Revolution by Carolyn Hemming  ~

  • 2-3 small beets 
  • 2 cups (500 mL) water 
  • 2 cups (500 mL) quinoa flour 
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) cocoa powder 
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder 
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) organic cane sugar (or white sugar) 
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
  • 1¼ cup (310 mL) 1% or 2% milk 
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil 
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract 
Lemon Cream Cheese Topping (optional)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) light cream cheese 
  • ½ cup (125 mL) low fat plain yogurt 
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup 
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) pure vanilla extract 
  • ½ tsp (1 mL) lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, bring the beets (with skins on) and water to a boil. Lower temperature to medium heat and continue to cook the beets until tender. Save and set aside the red cooking juice. Rinse beets under cool water and gently remove the skin with your fingers. Chop beets into large chunks and place in a food processor. Puree until smooth and set aside to cool.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, ¼ cup (60 mL) of pureed beets and 1 cup (250 mL) of the red beet juice saved from cooking. Blend well and set aside.

Lemon Cream Cheese Topping (optional): In a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla and lemon zest. Set aside. Grease or lightly spray a waffle iron with cooking oil and preheat it. Pour the batter onto the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions and close. Remove the waffles when the lid lifts open easily, about 5 to 6 minutes. Serve with lemon cream cheese topping (if using) or butter and maple syrup. Waffles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in a sealed container. Reheat in a slice toaster or toaster oven.

 PER SERVING: Energy 390 calories; Protein 12 g; Carbohydrates 49 g; Dietary Fiber 8 g; Fat 17g; Sugar 11 g, Cholesterol 75 mg; Sodium 200 mg.


Braciota, Italian Style Pot Roast by Mary Ann Esposito

Mary Ann Esposito is the author of 12 books on the art of Italian cooking. Through the Ciao Italia TV show, Mary Ann has taught millions of fans how to cook delicious, authentic Italian dishes. Her books show us how to make a quick meal with just five ingredients; she's helped us get dinner on the table in just 30 minutes; and she has encouraged us to slow down and take it easy in the kitchen while recreating the rich aromas of Italy.
Today Mary Ann discusses her Braciota -Italian Style Pot Roast

Braciota -Italian Style Pot Roast
From Ciao Italia-Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito  ~

  • 2 ½ tsp. salt 
  • 1 tsp. black pepper 
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano 
  • One 2 ½ lb. boneless chuck roast 
  • 2 TBLSP extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 med. Onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 1 cup dry red wine 
  • One 28 oz. can crushed plum tomatoes 
  • 1 sprig rosemary 
  • 2 sprigs basil 
  • 2 sprigs flat leaf parsley


Mix the salt, pepper & oregano together and rub all over the roast. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the roast well on all sides. This is a really important step because it locks in juices and flavor.

Transfer the roast to the slow cooker or heavy-duty oven roaster. In the same skillet used to brown the roast, cook the onion, carrot & garlic until the mixture is soft, then add them to the slow cooker or Dutch oven.

Combine the wine and tomatoes in a bowl and add to the slow cooker or Dutch oven. Tie the rosemary, basil & parsley together with kitchen twine and add to the slow cooker or Dutch oven. Mix the ingredients well. Cover and cook in slow cooker for 4 to 5 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. For the Dutch oven, cover with heavy aluminum foil and cook 3 to 4 hours or until fork tender.

When cooked, transfer the meat to a cutting board, cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Cut the meat into slices and return them to the slow cooker or Dutch oven just to reheat. Serve hot with some of the sauce. The sauce is also good over pasta or rice.


Beef Stew Val d’Aosta Style by Mary Ann Esposito

Mary Ann Esposito is the author of 12 books on the art of Italian cooking. Through the Ciao Italia TV show, Mary Ann has taught millions of fans how to cook delicious, authentic Italian dishes. Her books show us how to make a quick meal with just five ingredients; she's helped us get dinner on the table in just 30 minutes; and she has encouraged us to slow down and take it easy in the kitchen while recreating the rich aromas of Italy.
Today Mary Ann discusses her Beef Stew Val d’Aosta Style

Beef Stew Val d’Aosta Style
From Ciao Italia-Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito  ~


  • 2 cups dry red wine 
  • 1 whole bay leaf 
  • 10 whole cloves 
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 
  •  ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper  

  • 2 lbs. stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes 
  • ¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour 
  • 4 TBLSP (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 med. Onions, chopped 
  • 4 to 6 cups hot beef broth  

  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • ½ cup white or yellow stone-ground cornmeal  


To make the marinade, in a bowl, combine the wine with the bay leaf, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt & pepper. Place the meat in a a rectangular glass dish and pour the wine mixture over the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to make the stew, drain the meat; dry the pieces on paper towels, and toss in the flour.

Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed, 2 quart pot. Brown the meat pieces well then transfer them with a slotted spoon to a dish. Add the onions to the pot and cook until they wilt. Return the meat to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Pour in enough beef broth just to cover the meat, and cook over medium-low heat until the meat is fork-tender. To make the polenta, in a heavy bottomed, 2 quart saucepan, combine the milk and cream off the heat. Whisk in the cornmeal until it is smooth. Place the saucepan over med.-low heat and cook the mixture, stirring often, until it is smooth and bubbly, 8 to 10 min. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, cheese, parsley & nutmeg.

When the stew is ready, scoop some of the polenta into each bowl and top with some of the stew and its juices.


Stuffed Baked Fish by Mary Ann Esposito

Mary Ann Esposito is the author of 12 books on the art of Italian cooking. Through the Ciao Italia TV show, Mary Ann has taught millions of fans how to cook delicious, authentic Italian dishes. Her books show us how to make a quick meal with just five ingredients; she's helped us get dinner on the table in just 30 minutes; and she has encouraged us to slow down and take it easy in the kitchen while recreating the rich aromas of Italy.
Today Mary Ann discusses her Stuffed Baked Fish Bundles recipe with spinach, capers, sun dried tomatoes, onions and olive oil. 

Stuffed Baked Fish Bundles – Involtini di Pesce al Forno
From Ciao Italia-Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito  ~

  • 1 16oz. bag of fresh spinach, washed & stemmed
  • 2 TBLSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 med. Onion, peeled, minced
  • 2 TBLSP salt packed capers, well rinsed/minced
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil, drained/chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 8 Flounder fillets

Place the spinach in a pot, cover, wilt down over medium heat. Drain in a colander, pressing on the leaves to release their water. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and chop. Set aside.

Pour 2 TBLSP of the oil in a sauté pan and place over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they soften and begin to take on some color. Stir in the capers and sun –dried tomatoes. Add the spinach and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350. Brush a 12x9 inch casserole dish with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Divide and spread the filling mixture evenly on top of each of the flounder fillets, then starting at one end, roll each fillet up like a jelly roll and place in the prepared casserole dish.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or just until the fish turns white and flakes easily when poked with a fork. Serve the involtini hot with the pan juices spooned over the top.


"Sweet Earth" - Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Cookie Crumbles

In today's show, Daisy Martinez, star of the Food Network's Viva Daisy! discusses how to prepare and make "Sweet Earth" - Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Cookie Crumbles.

Daisy is also author of her latest cookbook, Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes.

This is the one "must try" recipe in the book - delicious sweet and perfect combination of coffee, cinnamon and rum. Served in little flower pots with crushed chocolate wafers on top. Daisy says, "Latin food is fun, sexy, colorful and healthy."  


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag bittersweet chocolate chips 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder 
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Pinch salt 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 3 eggs, separated 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 packets chocolate cookies, crushed (recommended: Oreo Crisps) 
  • Edible flowers, with stems if possible  


Mix chocolate, espresso powder, rum, vanilla, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water and whisk until melted. Set aside.

 In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until you can scrape the bottom of the bowl clean, about 2 minutes. Fold about 1/3 of the chocolate mixture into the yolks with a rubber spatula, then fold the egg mixture into the chocolate remaining in the bowl. Set aside.

Wash the beaters and bowl thoroughly and dry them. Whip the egg whites with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until they hold soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Once incorporated, fold the remaining whites.

In a clean bowl, beat the cream until it holds firm peaks. Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture 1/3 at a time using a rubber spatula. Divide the mousse among 8 dessert cups. Chill at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Put the cookies in a heavy sealable plastic bag. Whack them with a rolling pin to break them up into coarse pieces, then crush them into fine crumbs.

Top each dish of mousse with crumbled chocolate cookies to resemble "soil". Finish with edible flowers. Standing them straight up by inserting the stems into the mousse.


Baked Apple Recipe

Finally a cookbook that combines the fresh, exuberant flavors of great Italian food with the ease and comfort of a slow cooker. Michele Scicolone, a best-selling author and an authority on Italian cooking, shows how good ingredients and simple techniques can lift the usual “crockpot” fare into the dimension of fine food.

Today she shares one of her favorite recipes from "The Italian Slow Cooker," featuring a fall favorite: baked apples! Listen as Michele talks about how to turn apples, apricot stuffing and raisins into a delightful baked apple dish.

Having trouble? Click here to listen to the interview.