Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Stuffing peppers with nutrients: Protein-rich wild rice in peppers makes a powerful, tasty and colorful everyday meal

Shake up your routine this school year with a healthy and delicious weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy.

All too often, a family’s busy routine doesn’t allow for much time to create a meal the kids will enjoy, especially if the meal involves a vegetable. I’ve created an affordable recipe of fresh green peppers stuffed with a wild rice mixture that’s topped with marinara sauce. It is a colorful dish that’s also a real time saver in the kitchen.

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Chicken recipe is light but full of flavor

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

My mother’s southern Italian cooking is rustic and fiery, with recipes often calling for sweet tomatoes and hot peppers, the perfect ingredients for an authentic sauce.

Since one of my mom’s favorite dishes is baked Chicken Parmesan in a marinara sauce, I decided to wow her for Mother’s Day with a modern take on this nostalgic dish that is light and healthful.

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San Diego Pretzel Company

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

The San Diego Pretzel Co. dates back to 1995, when the owner and former executive chef, Harris Golden, opened up a small pretzel bakery in Ocean Beach. Golden was born and raised in New York, then moved to Arizona when he became the executive chef for Elizabeth Arden’s Maine Chance resort for eighteen years. Being a “Zonie,” his family would escape the Arizona heat and vacation in beautiful San Diego. After numerous summers of vacationing, Golden decided his vacation city of San Diego, would be the perfect place to live in and start a business.

The popular trend of today is eating foods that are made from 100% all natural ingredients, free of preservatives, and non-GMOs. San Diego Pretzel Company adheres to these standards, hand rolling each pretzel using all natural, quality ingredients. Quality, authenticity, and freshness are top priorities.

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Visit Bencotto in Little Italy

Located in the new “Q” building in the heart of Little Italy, a young generation of Italians, motivated from their experiences from the restaurant business in Milan, Modena, New York, and San Diego, succeeded in creating a modish, relaxed, and appealing kitchen-restaurant. “Bencotto” means and refers to a meal “done well,” or perfectly cooked, and that is exactly what you’ll get. Read more in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego and San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City.

Visit Bencotto in Little Italy

Fiori Di Zucca Ripieni: Lightly fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta and smoked mozzarella cheese (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Visit Bencotto in Little Italy

Pasta E Fagioli Alla Toscana: Tuscan Bean Soup and Homemade Pasta (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Paccheri (Large Tube Pasta) with Salsiccia (Sausage in Spicy Tomato Sauce) with a side of meatballs (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Paccheri (Large Tube Pasta) with Salsiccia (Sausage in Spicy Tomato Sauce) with a side of meatballs (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Tiramisu (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Tiramisu (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Bencotto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New Menu at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse

The recent renovation of Tom Ham’s Lighthouse would not have been complete without a redesigned menu crafted by new Executive Chef Lance Repp.

New Menu at Tom Ham's Lighthouse

Fig and Burrata Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Previously the executive chef of the historic four-diamond La Valencia Hotel, Chef Repp now aims to delight guests at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse with the freshest seafood and ocean-inspired dishes. He explained, “The goal was to reflect the beauty of the restaurant’s Harbor Island location in our cuisine.” The new lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus include Mediterranean-style seafood dishes with contemporary twists. Chef Repp’s creations include Fig and Burrata Salad, Grilled Lobster, Ahi Crudo and Jidori Half Brick Chicken.

The new head of the Tom Ham’s Lighthouse kitchen ensures a perfect dining experience for guests, as they enjoy newly expanded views of the San Diego Bay and city skyline. “I love that Tom Ham’s Lighthouse is family-owned and that the Baumanns are dedicated to carrying on the legacy of Tom Ham,” said Chef Repp. “Of course, there is the best view of downtown and the bay from our restaurant. During the day there are a variety of ships and sailboats, and at night the lights of downtown are amazing.” Chef Repp also oversees the restaurant’s popular wedding, banquet and event menus.

Octopus (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Octopus (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

With a new menu based heavily on seafood with Mediterranean influences, there are other options, including dry-aged steaks, pork belly and duck. “We use as much local produce and sustainable seafood as we can, including local fishing boats for our day-boat dishes. Almost everything is made in house.” explains Chef Repp. “We also have 32 taps on hand, as we are constantly rotating through local craft brews.”

When it comes to cooking healthy meals, Chef Repp advises the home cook to use fresh ingredients. “Using minimal ingredients such as a simple grilled cauliflower with olive oil and light salt and pepper can offer great flavor. More importantly, watch portion sizes by eating or sharing a few different things instead of one large entrée.” Chef Repp also suggests eating more fish and stay away from fried foods.

One “sinful food” Chef Repp enjoys in moderation is pizza! “Pizza is definitely a weakness for me. And of course Foie Gras when traveling!”

Ahi Crudo (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Ahi Crudo (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Chef Repp has worked in restaurants and resorts across Southern California, bringing the experience required to undergo such a major restaurant transformation. Before Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, Chef Repp worked alongside restaurant consultant and two-star Michelin Chef Jason McCleod to rework the extensive menu of the Mediterranean Room at La Valencia Hotel.

He has also served as the executive sous chef of La Valencia Hotel Auberge Resorts, where he helped manage the kitchens of three restaurants and oversaw menu planning. His work at La Valencia Hotel landed him into the San Diego Chef Hall of Fame in 2009 and 2012. He has been the executive sous chef of the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa and the chef de cuisine at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. Prior to coming to California, Repp worked as the banquet chef of Rocky Fork Hunt and Country Club in Ohio.

Chicken (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Jidori Half Brick Chicken with Wild Mushroom Risotto (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

The Ohio native began his culinary career by earning a degree in applied sciences from Columbus State Community College after completing a three year American Culinary Federation apprenticeship program under Chef James Decker, CEC, ACC, at the Lakes Golf and Country Club in Ohio, where he was later made sous chef.

“I completed 3,600 hours of on-the-job training,” Chef Repp said. “During the apprenticeship, I also assisted Decker on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Culinary Team, which won gold medals in Germany.” In addition, Repp holds a degree in business management from Kent State University.

Chef Repp enjoys giving back to the community and has participated in multiple charity events, including the San Diego Food and Wine Celebration, San Diego Triathlon Challenge by the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Taste of La Jolla and Mama’s Day at Mama’s Kitchen.

During his (infrequent) down time, Chef Repp relaxes by spending days with his Great Dane Cholula at his home in Crowne Point.

Tom Ham's Lighthouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Market Restaurant and Bar

The cuisine at this restaurant is so product-driven, it seems to carry a type of pedigree that sets it apart from other restaurants in the area. Chef Carl Schroeder continues to hone his craft, while customers keep the place packed on any given night. Read more in the ‘Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego’.

Read about Chef Carl Schroeder and get his recipes for Cabernet Braised Beef Short Ribs & Roasted Tomato Tart with Sweet Corn & Caramelized Onion Sauté AND Local White Sea Bass & Sweet Corn Soufflé with Tomatillo Sauce, Shaved Fennel-Arugula Salad & Cherry Tomato Avocado Salsa in  the ‘San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City’.

Market Restaurant + Bar

First Amuse Bouche: Bloody Mary Prawn Cocktail with Horseradish Cocktail Sauce (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Second Amuse Bouche: Lemon Sorbet with Watermelon/Jicama Salad and Chiffonade Mint (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Local Grapefruit & Avocado Salad with Date Sugar, Purple Haze Goat Cheese, Toasted Pistachios and Arbequina Olive Oil (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Local Bluefin Tuna Tartare & Dungeness Crab Salad with Pickled Cucumbers, Daikon Sprouts, Yuzu Aioli, Citrus-Soy Broth and Coriander Crisps (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Miso Glazed Local Black Cod & Udon Noodles with Shitake Mushroom Roast, Cucumber-Radish Salad and Five Spiced Hot & Sour Broth (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Flash Grilled Local Yellowtail with Hericots Vert Tempura, Fresh Baby Vegetables and Sticky Rice (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Market Restaurant and Bar
3702 Via De La Valle
Del Mar, CA 2104

Market Restaurant + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Smashburger Fires Up North County

San Marcos to Feast On a “Better Burger” In Nordahl Marketplace

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

Smashburger, the nation’s fastest growing “better burger” restaurant, is celebrating three years in San Diego by bringing its fresh approach to San Marcos by opening its eleventh San Diego location at 763 Center Drive (next to Starbucks). Smashburger will be dishing up juicy burgers that are smashed fresh and served delicious, along with Smashchicken® sandwiches, salads, hand-spun Haagen-Dazs® shakes, tempting sides and regional menu items crafted to please locals’ palates to North County.

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Soda & Swine and Polite Provisions announces their debut weekend brunch menus at both neighborhood locales in Normal Heights

(Courtesy image)

(Courtesy image)

Soda & Swine

Chef Jason McLeod of the meatball & pie shop, Soda & Swine, offers ten palate pleasers that cover everyone’s need, with innovative creations varying from savory to sweet. The new menu features standouts like the Breakfast Slider, Biscuits & Chorizo Gravy, Bruleed Grapefruit, and the S&S Omlette, but crowd pleasers like German-inspired Bircher Muesli with apples, whipped cream, berries & honey served in a mason jar, and the three Oven Baked Pancakes (lemon, sugar & maple syrup; maple cured bacon, brie, chives broccoli & aged cheddar; apples, cinnamon, pecans & caramel sauce) are sure to quickly attract a brunch cult following. S&S’ brunch pricing modestly ranges from $3 – $8.

From 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., the hours between brunch & dinner service, S&S offers a limited menu of slider selections and fries.

Polite Provisions

Cocktail guru, Erick Castro’s new menu offers a world of cocktails beyond the clichéd Bloody Mary or Mimosa, all designed to open eyes (and justify pre-noon drinking). “We wanted to have a well-balanced lineup of beverages that appeal to the morning drinker, especially after a tough week on the job. Some of my favorites include the Bella Fragola, the Liquid Sword & our killer housemade Bloody Mary.”

Imbibers may enjoy additional libations like the Chai Toody or Gold Buttered Rum for $8 each, and while brunch cocktails are offered from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., the full Polite Provisions cocktail menu is available to those who prefer something a little more boozy.

Because weekend brunch should be enjoyed in all its magnificent glory, Polite Provisions will join forces with Soda & Swine on Saturdays & Sundays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to offer full table service while inside Polite Provisions, unlike their normal order at the S&S counter-style service offered on weekdays.


The dual-concept launch of Polite Provisions and sister restaurant, Soda & Swine, puts one of the nation’s most respected bartenders, Erick Castro, alongside two-star Michelin Executive Chef, Jason McLeod, to bring a renewed spirit of community to a bustling street corner of one of San Diego’s most eclectic, burgeoning neighborhoods, Normal Heights. Helmed by Consortium Holdings, the social-engineering-duo who have been single handedly pioneering San Diego’s urban hospitality movement, Polite Provisions aims to revive and modernize the golden era of the neighborhood drugstore with spirited cocktails prepared with housemade bitters, soda pop, tinctures and syrups, as a nod to those ingredients’ medicinal uses. The adjoining eatery, Soda & Swine, features a straightforward menu consisting of two classic staples: meatballs and apple pie, keeping in line with the simplicity of Main Street America.

Polite Provisions is open daily from 4pm to 2am, with brunch offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends, and is located at 4696 30th Ave, San Diego, Ca 92116. For more information please call 619.677.DRUG or visit www.politeprovisions.com. Soda & Swine is located at 2943 Adams Ave. San Diego, Ca 92116. For more information call 619.269.SODA or visit www.sodaandswine.com. Doors open daily from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., with a brunch menu offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends only.

*Courtesy information

*Related Articles:

Polite Provisons

Polite Provisions on Urbanspoon

333 Pacific Oceanside

333 Pacific is in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego

Located near the historic Oceanside pier, this gorgeous restaurant features indoor and outdoor dining areas, lively music, a big-screen TV, and an electrifying bar and lounge. The inside dining room offers a very nice ocean view, but the large outdoor patio gives you a closer view of the Pacific. Read More about 333 Pacific in the ‘Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego’.

Crab, Shrimp, and Lobster Cake Sandwich with ancho aioli, napa cabbage slaw, kaiser roll, mango salsa, and house cut fries (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Crab, Shrimp, and Lobster Cake Sandwich with
ancho aioli, napa cabbage slaw, kaiser roll, mango salsa, and house cut fries (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Vegetable Quiche (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Vegetable Quiche (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

333 Pacific - Steak + Sea on Urbanspoon