Justin Chapple of Food & Wine's Mad Genius Tips demonstrates how to easily healthify our favorite comfort foods, inspired by Sheryl Crow's cookbook, If It Makes You Healthy: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Seasons. His quick, easy and time-saving recipes include wonton lasagna, watermelon margarita pops and more.
1. Sheryl's Chocolate-Avocado Mousse
2 large ripe avocados
1/2 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup agave nectar, plus more to taste
1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ teaspoon almond extract
1/2 pint fresh raspberries, or whatever berry you have on hand
Halve avocados, remove pits and scoop into food processor.
Add agave, cocoa powder, vanilla and almond extract.
Pulse together until smooth.
Dollop into bowls and top with berries.
2. Faux Tso's Cauliflower
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup canola oil, for frying
1 pound small cauliflower florets
Sliced scallions and sesame seeds, for garnish
Steamed rice, for serving
In a small bowl, whisk the chicken stock with the soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce and cornstarch.
In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the cauliflower and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and sesame seeds and serve.
3. Wonton Lasagna
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground turkey or chicken
4 cups marinara sauce
Salt and pepper
18 large wonton wrappers
3/4 pound farmer cheese, crumbled
3 cups lightly packed baby spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the ground meat and cook over moderate heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Spread one fourth of the sauce mixture in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and then top with 6 wonton wrappers. Spoon one fourth of the sauce on top and sprinkle with one third of the farmer cheese and half the spinach, then top with 6 more wonton wrappers. Repeat that layering one more time, then top the wonton wrappers with the remaining sauce and farmer cheese along with the shredded mozzarella.
Bake at 350°F until hot. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
4. Watermelon Margarita Pops
325 milliliters (1/2 bottle) silver tequila
1 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup light agave nectar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 small seedless watermelon-halved, peeled and cut into wedges
In a large baking dish, whisk all of the ingredients together. Add the watermelon wedges and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning once.
Stick popsicle sticks in the bottom of each watermelon wedge and transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm before eating.