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Not everyone is as into spreading the healthy love as I am.

I get that.  And I hold all judgment.

(Except when my mother tries to put chicken on my plate at a barbecue, all the while trying to tell me it’s not meat.

I mean.  It’s probably not because she bought it in one mass-produced package at a wholesale club and so it’s probably more antibiotic and pesticide than it is actual chicken.  But that’s another argument for another family gathering.)

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But when I have a dinner party.  You will eat a vegetable in every component of every course.  And you will like it.

(Even dessert.  Carrot cake cookies.  Nuff said.)

I’m a drill sergeant when it comes to such things.

You should say a prayer for my future children.

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Thankfully, and quite contrary to popular belief, it is actually quite easy to make vegetables taste good.  So good, in fact, that no one realizes they haven’t eaten a single speckle of animal protein until hours after the meal has been completed.

And your self-proclaimed carnivorous physical therapist, who made the overarching statement during one of your physical therapy sessions a few weeks ago that vegetables “don’t taste good”, decides to take a glaringly large container of leftovers home with him to eat for lunch the next day.  (Don’t hold it against him.  He really does know his way around all of the important running muscles of your leg.  And even the unimportant ones.)

The key is to use big bold flavors.  Fresh herbs.  A hint of cheese.  And present them in a way that people know and love and won’t question (unless you’re my brother…who questions everything I make.  Especially dessert, after an unfortunate incident in which I made a chocolate zucchini cake that he ate and liked and hates himself for liking).

Crostini, cheesecake, lasagna.  All dinner party winners.

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Another person who, like me, is trying to spread the veggie and healthy-but-tastes-good love is Peggy Kotsopoulos who, in her new book “Must Have Been Something I Ate” describes how what we eat affects every aspect of our lives – from our mood to our energy level to our sex drive.  Each chapter focuses on a specific one of these relationships – food-mood, food-weight, food-beauty, and food-health – and describes what foods and natural supplements you can eat to try to ameliorate or avoid having problems in these areas.  Then, at the end, she provides recipes that use some of these superfoods.

While I thought the book was definitely an interesting read, I’m not sure that some of the more esoteric supplements are really necessary for good health.  So while I’ll be willing to eat more garlic or asparagus to pump up my sex drive, I’m probably (definitely) not going to seek out sacha inichi seeds or chlorella.  It also bothered me that some of these supplements are only available in pill form, with Kotsopoulos citing that she takes some of these pills multiple times a day!  In my opinion, eating a well-balanced healthy meal is going to lead you to good health more readily than popping a pill ever will, and I wished that Kotsopoulos had focused on this aspect of nutrition more.

Regardless, the recipes she provides do sound tasty and I will definitely be trying some in my kitchen.  I made her guilt-free blueberry jam which uses chia seeds rather than tons of sugar and pectin as a gelling agent.  I’d heard of chia seeds before, as they are quite popular among health food bloggers.  Chia seeds are super rich in omega-3’s and can be used in porridges, oatmeals, or puddings or can be ground up and put in baked goods in a similar way that flax seed is.  They can be found at Whole Foods and other natural food stores.  I liked that the jam really allowed the blueberry flavor to shine through and that the predominant flavor wasn’t just SUGAR.

Now for the GIVEAWAY:   the Vega team was super gracious in sending me not only a copy of the book for myself, but one for you as well!  To enter, please leave a comment telling me what your favorite healthy dish to bring to a dinner party or barbecue is!  The winner will be announced on Wednesday July 6th.

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Sorry for the overload of recipes today, but they are all so good that I wanted you to have them at your fingertips and on your taste buds before the mass barbecues everyone is sure to be having this weekend.

Both crostini recipes are the perfect mix of sweet, salty, cheesy and tangy.  Your guests will just keep reaching for piece after piece.

And the pesto cheesecake?  Well, that was absolutely the hit of my dinner party a few weeks ago.  It’s a savory cheesecake, which sounds like a strange concept, but is utterly addictive, especially with the fresh flavor of pesto added into the mix!

Spreading the healthy love never tasted so good.  Or so satisfying.

**Also, please check out my guest post over at Simply Life, one of my favorite blogs! It features a dessert that would be PERFECT for the 4th of July weekend!

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Peas, Mint and Parmesan Crostini
Makes 12, adapted from Bon Appetit June 2011

12 slices baguette bread
1 cup fresh/frozen peas
Kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
shaved parmesan
torn mint
balsamic vinegar

1. Blanch peas in a large saucepan of  boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes for fresh and 1 minute for frozen.

2. Drain peas.  Transfer to a bowl.  Season with salt and olive oil and mash with the back of a fork.

3. Spread about 1 tbsp mixture onto each slice of bread.  Garnish with shaved parmesan, mint and balsamic vinegar.

Pesto Cheesecake
Makes 1 10-inch cheesecake, adapted from We Are Not Martha 

1 1/2 cups crushed sesame crackers
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup ricotta
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (I used a sun-dried tomato blend from trader joe’s)
8 oz low fat cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/4 cup pesto
1/3 cup low fat sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Mix the cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Press into the bottom and 1 1/2-inches up the side of a springform pan.

2. Beat the ricotta, feta, and cream cheese in a bowl until creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Stir in the pesto and sour cream.

3. Pour the mixture over the crust.  Place the pan on a baking sheet and put in the oven.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top starts to brown and the center is almost set.

4. Let cool on a wire rack. Loosen the sides and let cool for another hour.  Place in the fridge for 2 hours to cool or allow to cool at room temperature overnight (what I did).  Serve with veggies and/or crackers.

Blueberry Mozzarella Crostini
Makes 12, adapted from Must Have Been Something I Ate 

For the jam:
1 1/2 cups blueberries, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
1 heaping tbsp chia seeds

1. Puree 3/4 cup of the blueberries in a food processor or blender.  Mix in the vanilla and coconut sugar, if using.  Put into a bowl.  Stir in the remaining blueberries as well as the chia seeds (feel free to ground the seeds if you wish to hide them better).  Allow to sit in the fridge overnight so that it can gel up.

For the crostini:
1 whole wheat baguette
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
balsamic vinegar

1. Slice the baguette.  Top each slice with some mozzarella and blueberry jam.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

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You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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110 Responses to Pesto Cheesecake, Pea Mint & Parmesan Crostini, Blueberry Mozzarella Crostini…and a GIVEAWAY!

  1. I want to come to your dinner parties! Wow! I mean all three look amazing but I think my favorite (and that would be because I have this on my list to do) is the pea crostini. SO flavorful and that vibrant green color is simply beautiful!

  2. I love how you put the blueberry chia jam on a crostini! Genious! 🙂

  3. I don’t even know what to say about these recipes, both look incredible! My favorite healthy dish to bring would be bean salad (for summer events).

  4. Ruth Daniels says:

    I am sooooo drooling over these dishes. They make me forget I’m a … dare I say it here… a carnivore!

  5. Victoria says:

    Mmmmmmmm, the physical therapist came over for dinner? Seriously? And you didn’t tell me? Well anyway, all this stuff looks super tasty, I love crostini (it comes with carbs, doesn’t it?) and that savory cheesecake looks really flavorful too! xo

  6. Maureen says:

    You crack me up. Maybe we should ALl come to your dinner parties. 🙂

    These look so good – I wouldn’t miss the meat either if I had these.

  7. Sam says:

    Those crostini look amazing! They may make an appearance at our 4th of July party this weekend. My favorite healthy dish to bring to a party (in the summer at least) is usually the Orzo Super Salad from 101 Cookbooks–lots of veggies and fresh herbs. Or I’ll throw together some sort of quinoa salad with veggies and some sort of herb dressing.

  8. Faith says:

    There’s so many goodies going on in this post, where to start? I’ve been dying to make a savory cheesecake for so long…I’m bookmarking the recipe and bumping it up to the top of my list of things to try!

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Joanne! My favorite healthy thing to bring to a BBQ is veggie pasta salad with sesame dressing.

  9. The cheesecake sounds intriguing. I am skeptical…but intrigued.

  10. Oh, and my favorite healthy dish for a picnic at the moment is carrot salad. It stays beautifully even in the heat and is SO refreshing on a hot day.

  11. OMG that pesto cheesecake sounds to die for! And I probably would die of a heart attack, because I would surely eat the whole thing!

    My favorite healthy dish to bring to a dinner party is low fat spinach dip… even though it’s low fat, it tastes so good that no one is the wiser!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I like to make a southwest qunioa salad with beans and veggies and a dressing of lime and cumin, delicious

    Lauren
    LESantay@verizon.net

  13. Danielle says:

    These all sound amazing! We make our own hummus and bring it everywhere – I think people expect it!

  14. Candace says:

    The photo of the pea crostini is just beautiful! I would love to try all of the recipes, Joanne. Seriously, they look soooo good. And about the carrot cake cookies? They were a absolutely amazing and a huge hit with my family. Have a great weekend!

  15. Mary says:

    These are lovely recipes, Joanne. No need to apologize for overload. A gal can never have too much jewelery or too many recipes. Have a wonderful holiday. Blessings…Mary

  16. Peggy says:

    Yeah, there’s no doubt in my mind that these were dinner party hits! I’ve been all about making crostinis lately, and it’s good to know I’ve got a few more to add to my list =)

  17. Jeanette says:

    Joanne, love these crostinis! I try to bring something healthy whenever I go to a BBQ and people always are grateful – I think they appreciate having something healthy to enjoy alongside all the heavier foods. My favorites to bring are fresh salsas or a quinoa salad. That way, I have something I can enjoy too!

  18. Miriam says:

    Your recipes are splendidly amazing!!! Happy 4th! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  19. Lbell16 says:

    These all look delicious! Orzo salad with roasted veggies, pine nuts and feta is always a hit at parties, and so easy to make.
    Happy 4th weekend!

  20. brocstar says:

    My favorite healthy dish to share with others is a chocolate chip brownie made with beans instead of flour. And nobody ever knows. 🙂
    My brothers have gotten to the point of asking me, “Is this healthy?” before eating something. I always say no until I find out if they like it.

  21. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind dropping in on one of your dinner parties. And instead of saying a prayer for your future children, let me just say that I think they’ll be the luckiest kids ever. They’ll grow up eating everything and eating healthy–because I can’t imagine you standing for picky eating at your table. =)
    As for my favorite healthy thing to bring to a dinner party . . . I’d say my fruit salad with mint-honey-lime dressing is healthy and very party-friendly. I’ve only made it for one dinner party so far, but will be making it again! The recipe is on my blog, and it uses all fresh fruit and a killer homemade syrup/dressing.

  22. Mariam says:

    Your food looks delicious!! i can’t wait to try it! 🙂
    My favorite to bring is a fusilli spinach cherry tomato pasta.
    It starts with heating some olive oil in a pan and adding chopped garlic to infuse it. Add some chopped baby spinach and some salt and pepper and let it wilt for a few minutes. Add cherry tomatoes (halved) and the pasta in the pan. Top with asiago cheese and some parmesan. Toss together and serve.
    Not only is this an easy and nutritious dish but it also looks gorgeous with all the pretty colors.
    Also, it’s just as easy to add some extra veggies like baby corn, peas or red/yellow peppers, cucumbers…whatever one has on hand.
    Enjoy!

  23. I agree it’s super easy to make veggies fun and delicious!! In general, I’ve found that people who don’t like vegetables had plain, overcooked veggies growing up.

    I love bringing veggie-packed flatbreads to parties 🙂

    Sues

  24. “probably more antibiotic and pesticide than it is actual chicken” So your mum is right, chicken is not meat, its not chicken, its actually antibiotic and pesticide flavoured with traces of chicken:)

    Pesto cheesecake sounds interesting

  25. My brother is my harshest critic, too. I bring some kind of vegetable to Sunday dinner at his house every week and he’d put it on his plate and peer at it like it was moldy. Kudos to him, though, he always took at least a bite, and a couple of times he went back for seconds.

    My favorite healthy food to bring to a BBQ is usually fruit salad. It’s simple and usually disappears quickly.

  26. I believe you, Joanne. These do look great and I would actually love to taste this… and I don’t even like vegetables 🙂

  27. What a unique spread! Everything is so different but I can tell they would all be delish. My fave healthy dish to bring to a gathering is Marissa’s Good Peas. It’s basically peas mixed with a little butter and a packet of Italian dressing mix, and some water chestnuts and mushrooms if you feel like it. Super easy and yummy!

  28. I think my biggest problem is that I eat roasted broccoli four nights a week. That’s not really a problem for me, but my roommate gets annoyed. I’ll have to try those pesto cheesecakes to appease her next time 🙂

  29. So…is the physical therapist hot? Just wondering 😉 The blueberry mozzarella crostini sounds marvelous! And the last (semi)healthy thing I took for a gathering was a whole wheat orange bundt cake…in which everyone looked at me like I was on crack. I also brought zucchini muffins made entirely with whole wheat, pineapple, bananas…they were delish. My mom proclaimed that “all that healthy stuff pretty much tastes the same”. So now you know why healthy eating is a struggle 🙂

  30. Shannon says:

    oh wow, i’m glad you included each of these recipes, b/c they all sound delicious!!!!! yum.

    my favorite dish in philly was a quinoa/black bean/corn salad. introduced many a friends to quinoa 🙂

  31. Lizzy says:

    I am in love with these recipes!!! I need to make that cheesecake (my fav kind of cheescake!!!) and those crostini’s! They look A-MAZING!

  32. I am drooling over your pesto cheesecake and pea mint crostini, wow, what a creation and pics, amazing dear 🙂

  33. Hi, I just started reading your blog and I LOVE it! I’m also training for a marathon, and will be moving from LA to NYC in the fall! My favorite thing to bring to a bbq are concoctions for summer cocktails… like strawberry-infused vodka or fresh fruits and wine for sangria… although that’s not very healthy. On the healthy side would probably be my favorite poppyseed cabbage slaw!

  34. ~Chris says:

    How bad is it that I’m 44 and having a senior moment?!? LOL Your post reminded me that I thought of something late last night that I want to try with pesto. I’ve remembered THAT, but not what it was that I wanted to do with it! Sigh …

    My favorite healthy item I have to bring EVERYWHERE is Eetch (Red Tabouli made with bulgar or quinoa):

    http://hyethymecafe.blogspot.com/2010/10/eetch-red-tabouli-mock-kheyma.html

  35. Gloria says:

    I love appetizers specially crostinis!!!IOne of my favorite dish is smoked salmon in toasted bread and normally I bring fruits pies to bbq, and love salads too!!!nice post and beautiful pictures, gloria

  36. It’s like a little pea and/or blueberry mini pizza… the look delicious. Good luck with your give away, hope a bunch of new folks stop by to say Hi

    Dave

  37. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Love to feast on your healthy spread, Joanne! Probably a healthy Quiche or Risotto will be my choice for the takeaway.

  38. Tina Marie says:

    These all look good…but the blueberry is calling to me.
    No BBQ parties for me this weekend so I will not enter the contest…but I am loving what you put together here.

  39. “It’s probably not because she bought it in one mass-produced package at a wholesale club and so it’s probably more antibiotic and pesticide than it is actual chicken.”

    That made me laugh, even though I have eaten mass-produced chicken before. But when you put it that way . . .

  40. Mari says:

    OMJESUS way too many good looking things in one post…the foodie inside of me is going crazy. Maybe I shouldn’t read your blog for the next 9 days hahaha

  41. Angela says:

    Oohh..yummy. I would definitely not miss the meat at one of your dinner parties. My favorite healthy dish to take is a raw veggie or fruit plate. I realized that there was not only a lack of veggies and fruit at the pot lucks I attend, but that the veggies being served are usually cooked to death. I like to have something fresh and crisp to munch on; and I can’t expect it to be there if I’m not willing to bring it:)

  42. OK, I don’t want to scare anyone off, but here goes – my favorite healthy potluck dish involves TOFU.

    It has only two ingredients. Well, three if you count the crackers. Here’s the entire recipe: 16 ounces of firm tofu and a small jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil. Just whirl those two together in your food processor and then serve them with crackers for spreading/dipping. Easy. Yummy. Healthy. A triple winner!

    Happy Fourth to You!

    Donna

  43. aipi says:

    You have vast range in your cooking skills. Every time I visit I am amazed n intrigued at the variety of dishes n their ingredients!
    Loved the pesto cheese cake !
    US Masala

  44. Your recipes are so awesome it would never be considered overload! Favorite healthy dish would have to be some sort of salad. I can’t think right now!

  45. Great ideas. The Blueberry Mozza Crostini is beautiful. I love that you added chia seeds. Brilliant.

  46. sofia says:

    lovin’ the crostini. when do i get to eat some of your cooking results?! seriously now.

  47. Katie says:

    Those crostini look beautiful. My favorite, healthy dish to bring to a dinner party is roasted vegetables!

  48. AikoVenus says:

    Those look so beautiful and I love chia seeds!

  49. What a fun pairing! I love the crostini with the blueberry jam. So creative!

    Great giveaway too! My healthy dish is my go-to edamame dip. Always manages to be a hit.

  50. Amy says:

    What’s that joke?…”I believe you should have a serving of vegetables with every meal. A slice of carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” I can totally get on board with that. And your crostini.

  51. Shannon says:

    The blueberry mozzarella crostini looks ahhhhhmazing! I want to bring it to the 4th of July gathering I’m attending tomorrow! My favorite healthy dish to bring to a gathering is a quinoa salad with lots of veggies – usually tomatoes, corn and black beans or something similar.

  52. I love crostini..its crunchy & that pesto sounds out of this world!! When are you inviting me? I m in awe of your creativity & recipes !! have a fun long weekend.

  53. bellini says:

    My favourite healthy food by far is taboulleh! It’s perfect for picnics and these hot summer days!!!!!Love all the dishes you gave served here too Joanne.

  54. Donna-FFW says:

    Nice choice of recipes.. pesto cheesecake, how unique! The crostini is a winner in my book.

    I think broccoli salad is among one of the healthy dishes I bring to a party.

  55. Viv says:

    i wasnt sure whether i read it right when i saw ‘pesto cheesecake’!!! you really are sneaking vege into everything 🙂 i totes agree with what u said about balanced diet as opposed to popping pills!! yes chia seeds are great and i love them in my porridge every morning!

  56. Anonymous says:

    I’d take a cold quinoa salad with lots of veggies!

    blueblanket@hotmail.com

  57. Oooh.. I just noticed your giveaway part, Joanne… my go-to BBQ meal has been mango BBQ beans lately. Yes, it has been more on more than one occasion and people constantly praise it! 🙂

  58. Those crostini look awesome! That blueberry one particularly has my eye. Lately I’ve been really getting into bringing crostini’s to parties as well. I did one not too long ago with cheddar and TJ’s soy chorizo, and no one knew it was vegetarian. I’m also big on grain salads, like tabbouleh, packed with fresh veggies!

  59. Hannah says:

    That does sound like a fascinating book- I love learning about the social and psychological impact of food… There’s so much more to the subject than merely what’s on your plate.

    But on a more basic level, wow, do those crostini have eye-appeal! Those peas are so brilliantly green, they just scream “fresh”.

  60. jenniferwdg says:

    My favorite summer time dish to make and take is Vietnamese summer rolls with a chili garlic and/or peanut sauce for dipping. It’s fresh and light and people love them! I put baked tofu in mine and even my carnivorous friends like them!

  61. Fresh peas, love it! I finally managed to score some but I could never have them as an ingredient, they go too fast straight from the pod! I would love a piece of that cheesecake.

  62. sweetlife says:

    what a dinner party feast!! the pea crostini looks amazeballs..wow and th elast pic is goregous. healthy dish- here the humidity is so high we “try” to eat lighter my dad loves it when I bring a salad with fruit ans seeds

    bonnie
    sweetlife

  63. That does sound like a fascinating.Veggies are always healthy to have.

  64. OohLookBel says:

    You do come up with some amazing flavour combos! I love the blueberry crostini – healthy yet sweet, I’ll be eating better in no time with this =D

  65. Kerstin says:

    I don’t know where to start, everything looks so tasty!

    I really like bringing cucumber hummus apps – slices of cucumber topped with hummus, chopped roasted red pepper, and crumbled feta!

  66. Jen_from_NJ says:

    “Big bold flavors, fresh herbs, and a hint of cheese” – love it! Thank you for all of the good ideas!

  67. Lora says:

    I don’t even know where to start with these recipes. A trifecta of yum!

  68. Simply Life says:

    oh I’m drooling over everything in this post, as always. My fav healthy dish is a chickpea with roasted pepper salad – it always ends up being an unexpected hit!

  69. Caronae says:

    A savory cheesecake makes perfect sense to me! I don’t like regular cheesecake, but pesto cheesecake? I might have to get on that…

    My favorite healthy dish to bring to (summer) dinner parties is fruit salad! My fruit salads are totally better than anyone else’s, because I use tons of fun and unusual fruits, all cut up by hand. Then I add cinnamon at the end!

  70. Mmm, I am in cheesy heaven! No missing the meat when you are cooking!

  71. Ada says:

    Pesto cheesecake is such a brilliant idea! You, my dear, could certainly convert any carnivore into a veggie lover. How could anyone not like these gorgeous veg dishes you create? Enjoy your holiday weekend and please come to Jackson Heights with me soon:)

  72. Carolyn Jung says:

    Peas, mint and Parmigiano make for a wonderful threesome. I’ve had it on crostini before, too, but the peas were mashed to a chunky consistency in that version. It speaks of spring and dazzles with that vibrant green.

  73. Chris says:

    My favorite healthy thing to bring to a barbecue is pork. That is healthy because if you try to bring anything else you are likely to get beat up, which isn’t very healthy. 😉

    Running as Joanne throws tofu at me…..

    Love you, really! Hugs?

  74. wow impressive crostini recipes have a fun weekend and happy 4th of July

  75. Foodie says:

    I love to bring cold soba noodles with scallions. it’s so easy to make and inexpensive, too. it has sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and honey for the sauce. add some chili flakes of not serving for kids.

  76. Raina says:

    I commend you for your eating habits. I try to get as much veggies as I can. I like the idea of adding them to desserts. Pesto cheesecake sounds very interesting and delicious. I would love to try it.

    I hate to admit it, but I don’t usually bring healthy stuff to a barbecue or gathering. I am usually the one with the cupcakes and cookies. I do bring an occasional pasta salad with lots of veggies in it though:)

  77. Maria says:

    Delicious flavours! I love bringing different salads, seasonal veggies and fruits to dinner parties. I find they always go down well, especially when BBQ’s tend to feature way too much meat here in Aussie.

  78. Did you say pesto cheesecake? I think I am sold.

  79. mmmm all these recipes look amazing! i love the way you combine flavors, seriously. ive never heard of a savory cheesecake but to think of it, a sweet cheesecake sounds almost counterintuitive and a savory cheesecake makes SENSE! i love the bluberry-mozarrella combo too, i’m lovin on the savory-sweet combos.

    as for a healthy dish i like bringing to BBQs/potlucks, i would say a cranberry walnut salad or a shrimp mango thai salad!

  80. tigerfish says:

    I like the “green” crostini you have prepared! And bring on all the veggies for your dinner party. I will be one of the firsts to be there :p

  81. Deborah says:

    Pesto cheesecake? Yes please!! I made a fruit salad full of fresh fruit for a family bbq earlier tonight – it was delicious and healthy!

  82. Kim says:

    I’ve never tried a savory take on cheesecake, but oh my gosh have I been wanting to. Your pesto version looks amazing! I loved reading about the blueberry mozzarella crostini. I’m kinda curious about the berry and cheese combo and would love to give that a go. Saying all that, you would probably find me over by the pea crostini, eating until my heart was content. Marvelous!

    One of my favorite things to bring to a party is hummus, although it probably isn’t healthy to eat the large amounts of it like I do!

  83. Esi says:

    Love crostini for parties

  84. Nadji says:

    Des crostinis délicieux.
    J’en mangerai avec plaisir.
    A très bientôt.

  85. All your recipes look wonderful! The pesto cheesecake looks amazing, and the pea crostini and blueberry crostini look fabulous as well! I’ve been wanting to try chia seeds and this is the recipe I might start with.

    Fruits and vegetables are the bulk of me and my husband’s diet. We eat a little meat, but it’s vegetable and legumes that we crave. What’s funny is that when I was a kid I hated beans and most veggies but my taste buds changed as I got older. I’m so glad they did! 🙂

  86. I am drooling…very much so, it’s embarrassing. What a perfect way to start a Fourth of July BBQ with these lovely and festive crostini.

  87. Mary says:

    I think my favorite is the pea crostini, but you’ve packed so many good things into one post that it really is hard to be selective. Have a wonderful holiday. Blessings…Mary

  88. daphne says:

    You amaze me each time. vege in every course! (You will be the most popular parent next time in school! LOL)

  89. I love bringing a fruit crostada. The fruit depends on what’s the most beautiful at the market. On July 4th, I am making Nectarine Crostada with Chevre. http://www.cookbookconfessional.com

  90. Joanne, your post made me smile today. I always love reading your posts. By the way, your future children will be thrilled to have such a healthy & amazing cook for a mom- Take my word for it, I should know! 🙂
    Know that my jaw nearly dropped at all the delicious food in this post. The crostini looks incredible- I mean, your photos are just so awesome! And that cheesecake is insane! Who would ever have thought?! Excellent food (as always)! Wishing you and yours a marvelous holiday weekend!
    xx,
    Tammy?

  91. You’ve done it again! These recipes all look so great! I am completely in love with vegetables and can’t go a day without eating a huge salad. And since sometimes a simple, healthy salad with greens and various veggies may be overlooked at a bbq, that’s what I love to bring 🙂 Can’t go wrong!

  92. Reeni says:

    So much deliciousness in one post! I’m intrigued over the idea of a savory cheesecake! And the crostini look incredible! Healthiest thing? Ummm does pasta salad count? With whole grain pasta and lots of veggies.

  93. Velva says:

    When you prepare and present vegetables like your post you will not have any trouble getting folks to eat their veggies.

    Happy 4th of July to you.

    Velva

  94. Johanna GGG says:

    I just bought chia seeds on the weekend. Do you know if the jam lasts very long as it sounds fantastic but I am not sure how quickly we would go through it – have tried jam with agar and it was horrid so am willing to give chia seeds a try

    love all your vegetable dishes – you and I are on the same wavelength there – I find it odd when people don’t eat vegies and I think that sylvia is quite good with her vegies because I will eat them with her so your kids will be just fine!

    my favourite dish to take to gatherings is vegetarian sausage rolls – not sure if they fall into healthy category – though probably healthier than the meat cousins – but a lemony lentil, tomato and cucumber salad is an easy dish to transport in summer!

  95. I love the idea of a savoury cheesecake. I think everyone could do with a little of you at their dinner parties 😉

  96. OK, TOTALLY loving the idea of the jam–I have Chia seeds and coconut sugar–just need the blueberries. I’m trying it for sure.

    I like to bring hummus or other healthy dips to parties with fresh veggies to dip or rice or nut crackers. I like a good non-fried, non-greasy, meat-free pupu. 😉

  97. Kelly says:

    I took a couple days off and see that you have been spinning wonders… look how much I missed!! Everything looks as incredible as always… Particularly like the blueberry mozzarella crustini – how interesting!

  98. Julie says:

    What great recipes! I so want a piece of the cheesecake! YUM!!

    Happy 4th of July.

  99. Never tell anyone there are veggies in their desserts. They don’t need to know anyways! ha The blueberry mozza crostini sounds like a lot of fun, especially with great blueberries in the markets right now.

  100. Mary says:

    Oh, a lovely platter of heirloom tomatoes is just the thing for an outdoor party. The varied colors give such sparkle to the dish and it is so simple.

  101. That blueberry mozz crostini is off the charts!
    Happy 4th Jo!

  102. Yum, these all look delicious! I love bringing hummus to BBQs…delicious, healthy and easy to transport 🙂

  103. That Girl says:

    My grandmother is a vegetarian. If you ask her what that means she’ll tell you it means she only eats chicken and fish…and steak only once in a while.

  104. Lori says:

    You do have a way with vegetables…
    I have yet to make a savory cheesecake, but they always look so good. I love the idea of one with pesto!

  105. Katie says:

    I absolutely love vegetables! Meat is good, but honestly I’d pick a bowl of veggies over a steak. I’m glad someone else thinks the same way! 🙂

  106. Julie says:

    do i still have time!!!? haha my favorite bbq recipe is fruit kebabs! pineapple, peaches, anything on kabobs and grilled = amazingness

  107. Cara says:

    So sad I missed the giveaway, that jam sounds awesome and I have yet to get into chia seeds (I bought a small packet once, but it disappeared… it will probably turn up by the time the next big trend comes upon us!)

  108. Betsy says:

    Loving the blueberry and cheese idea! We’re hosting an online seasonal potluck and July is blueberry month. If you’d like to link your recipe, we’d love to have you! http://bit.ly/eLlgG2

  109. TheIronYou says:

    Great recipe. I love Parmesan cheese and this is such a clever way to taste all its goodness!
    I recently wrote an article on how real Parmesan cheese is made and on its nutritional value. Check it out and let me know your thoughts, I would really appreciated it!
    http://www.theironyou.com/2011/06/how-parmesan-cheese-comes-to-life.html

    Peace

    Mike @TheIronYou

  110. Wow those all look so good but the blueberry crostini has totally won my heart!! Going to have to try that one for sure.

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