#cooking healthfully, #easy entertaining, Quick Tips, Recipe of the Week, Side Dishes

Super Substitute…. “Saffron” Yellow Basmati Rice

saffron yellow basmati rice

Many of us have a recipe or two that calls for saffron and experienced sticker shock when we looked at the price tag.

Saffron is a spice derived from the crocus sativus flower (or the Saffron crocus). As Saffron crocus grows and flowers, its vibrantly colored stigmas (or threads) are harvested, by hand, and dried to be used mainly as a gourmet seasoning and coloring agent in food. Saffron, is a rare and delicate spice and among the world’s most costly spices by weight.

An expensive ingredient that I don’t always have on hand, however, I have managed to get by substituting a combination of two spices that are always in my kitchen… turmeric and paprika.

My take on a “saffron” rice is a quick, easy and economical recipe that’s a great dish or perfect base for a quick dinner – just add diced chicken or shrimp and some veggies and you’re set.   I also sometimes serve this alongside my oven-fried haddock, my black beans or in a burrito.

saffron yellow basmati rice 2

“Saffron” Yellow Basmati Rice
½    onion, finely diced
1    tablespoon olive oil
1    cup basmati rice
1 ¾ cup water or chicken stock
¼    teaspoon turmeric
½    teaspoon paprika
salt & pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a microwave safe bowl, cover and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Take out microwave, stir and cover again.  Return to microwave and cook at 50% power for additional 12 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.

Double this recipe to have extras on hand for easy weeknight meals.



#cooking healthfully, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Entrees

Eating Healthfully… Colorful Mixed Greens, Beets & Goat Cheese Salad


Eating Healthyfully… This salad is easy to throw together, filled with antioxidants and oh so pretty!


What makes it extra special?… The only dressing it needs is a drizzle of our BR Cohn Olive Oil and Napa Valley Naturals Balsamic Fig Vinegar.

Find BR Cohn Olive Oil and Napa Valley Naturals Balsamic Fig Vinegar at a la Maison in Baldwinsville.

What’s in our salad?…

2-3 Cups Mixed Greens and Spinach
1/2 Cup. Raw Beets, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/2 Cup. Raw Carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/3 Avocado, sliced
1 oz. Goat Cheese, crumble
1 Tbls Pep it’s

Arrange ingredients on a plate, then drizzle with BR Cohn Olive Oil & Napa Valley Natural Balsamic Fig Vinegar. Season with sea salt and pepper.


#cooking healthfully, New at à la Maison

New at a la Maison… Napa Valley Naturals Organic Toasted Sesame Oil


Another great oil added to the shelves of `a la Maison is Napa Valley Naturals Organic Expeller Pressed Toasted Sesame Oil. It is made from sesame seeds that have been roasted at a low temperature for a rich and smooth sesame flavor. It’s unique flavor is the perfect choice for Asian inspired dressings, sauces and marinades.

Because it is organic, it is an environmentally responsible product and you can feel good about knowing it is free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

It’s a go-to oil that I pair often with our King Soba organic rice, buckwheat and ramen noodles. If you have a few vegetables in your pantry, you have a super quick & healthy meal that can be on the table in 20 minutes. Finish it off with a touch of toasted sesame oil and you’re done!

Find Napa Valley Naturals at `a la Maison in Baldwinsville. For more recipe ideas and tips on using organic toasted sesame oil or King Ramen organic noodles, stop into the store at 25 Syracuse Street, Baldwinsville, New York to learn more.

Cheers to healthy eating!


#cooking healthfully, New at à la Maison

Cooking Healthfully with Napa Valley Naturals Grapeseed Oil


Napa Valley Naturals Grapeseed Oil is made from the seeds of grapes that have been crushed to make wine. This product supports environmental sustainability as it requires no new farmland, water or other natural resources to produce.

Chef’s Choice: Not only ecologically responsible, Grapeseed Oil is also a very healthy choice and the ultimate everyday cooking and condiment oil. Many chefs reach to it for its light taste as it won’t overpower the flavor of food; while its high smoke point (485 degrees/F), lets you fry, bake or sauté without smoking or burning. Its delicate flavor is the perfect choice for light salad dressings and a healthy alternative to butter, margarine, and other saturated fats.

Cooking Healthfully: Also, Grapeseed Oil is an excellent source of Vitamin E, an important antioxidant, and offers one of the highest concentrations of heart healthy mono and poly-unsaturated fats of any vegetable oil. If that isn’t enough, Grapeseed Oil has one of the lowest saturated fat levels of ANY oil.

Grapeseed Oil sits front and center in my pantry – right next to my Olive Oil. It is my go-to oil for stir-fry, as unlike Olive Oil, it can take the heat without breaking down and smoking.

Grapeseed Oil is a staple ingredient to any healthy pantry. You can find it on our shelves at `a la Maison in Baldwinsville. If you have any questions about Grapeseed Oil, and how to use it, please stop into the store for tips and recipe ideas.

Cheers to healthy cooking!