(Family Features) - If you're looking for recipes that are impressive enough for entertaining and fit easily into a healthy and active lifestyle, try Chef Joanne Weir's tasty new recipes and tips for gourmet meals with simple sophistication.
Known for her award-winning cookbooks, Chef Weir focuses on fresh and natural ingredients such as almonds, olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon and garlic.
"When planning meals, stock up on ingredients that boost flavor and texture," says Weir. "Take meals from ordinary to extraordinary by choosing tasty and versatile ingredients, like almonds, that work well in sweet and savory dishes."
In addition to bringing great crunch and flavor to meals, almonds are also good for your heart and may help maintain a healthy cholesterol level.* A one-ounce serving, or about 23 almonds, provides protein (6g) and fiber (3.5g) and is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium.**
Chef Weir has developed simple, yet gourmet recipes like her Lavash Pizza with a Salad of Greens, Gorgonzola and Toasted Almonds. True to her style, the ingredients are pure and simple on their own - and when combined, they create an amazing flavor and texture experience. This recipe calls for pungent gorgonzola, creamy mozzarella, simply dressed salad greens and crunchy, roasted almonds atop lavash bread. Lavash is a rectangular-shaped soft flatbread; find it in the bread aisle of most supermarkets, usually near the pita bread.
For more simple, affordable gourmet recipes, visit AlmondsAreIn.com.
* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized almonds with a health claim in 2003, stating, "Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."
** Good news about fat. U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.