Recipe: Making Foods on a Stick

I dropped by Studio 10 to offer some fun and easy summer entertaining tips by making four different foods on a stick.  They are colorful, great conversation pieces and best of all no plates and silverware to wash.

Foods on a Stick
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 12
The classic ensalada caprese salad is turned into single bit hors d’oeuvres and chicken on a stick – three flavors: Harlem, Thai and Buffalo.
  • 1 pack of bamboo skewers
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 12 bite-sized pieces of mozzarella
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 1 bottle spray dressing like Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bit-sized pieces
  • cup Buffalo wing sauce
  • cup Buffalo wing flavored corn or potato chips, crushed
  • cup honey
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • cup peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Chinese five spice to taste
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  1. Salad on a Stick
  2. Impale a cherry tomato with a skewer.
  3. Fold a basil leaf in half and add to the stick.
  4. Then add a bite of mozzarella.
  5. Spritz with dressing.
  6. Harlem Sauce
  7. Combine honey and chili flakes.
  8. Heat in a microwave for no more than 10 seconds.
  9. Thai Peanut Sauce
  10. Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil and Five Spice and set aside.
  11. Chicken on a Stick
  12. In a pan over medium-high heat cook the chicken bites until done.
  13. Impale each bite on a skewer.
  14. Dunk each bit in one of three sauces.
  15. For Buffalo bites sprinkle crushed chips on top.
  16. For Thai chicken bites sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Instead of spritzing with vinaigrette you could drizzle extra virgin olive oil.

Kale to the Chief

February is not a month where one thinks of the bounty of the garden.  That’s because in many parts of the country that garden is covered with 18” of snow while in others it just sits there all brown and putrid like the post-apocalyptic landscape from a Mad Max movie.  However there is one deeply green plant so rugged that it doesn’t care about the temperature and lack of sunlight; kale.

KaleUnfortunately most Americans only recognize kale as a garnish for a catering platter or artfully covering the ice on salad bars.  But kale is a mainstay of Scottish cuisine as it is one of the few plants sturdy enough to handle highland winters.  It is harvested from September through March and is a terrific source of Vitamin A (206% RDA), Vitamin C (134% RDA almost as much as an orange) and Vitamin K (684% RDA).  Kale also contains a good deal of cancer-fighting components like the two powerful antioxidants – carotenoids and flavonoids.  It also contains organosulfur a mysterious cancer-fighting compound; scientists don’t understand exactly how organosulfur fights cancer they just know that it does.

Though a serving only contains 2 grams of protein it does contain 18 amino acids – the building blocks of protein.  The paltry 34 calories in a serving drop significantly once in the body because of kale’s high fiber content.  Raw kale is on the list of negative calorie foods meaning that digesting it actually burns more calories than it contains.  That’s right, the more you eat the more calories you burn.  If bakers could figure out how to incorporate kale into donuts the Krispy Kreme Diet could be a reality.

Burns SupperSo now that you know why you should eat kale it’s time to learn how to eat kale.  It is very versatile as you can enjoy it raw in salads or cooked in soups.  In fact because of kale’s sturdy nature you can actually toss it with salad dressing hours before serving it without fear of it breaking down like lettuce does.  In soups kale is often paired with other rugged plants like potatoes and leeks.  Potato Leek Soup is a traditional menu item for Burns Night, an international celebration of all things Scottish held on or around January 25th, poet Robert Burns’ birthday.

Scottish Potato Leek Soup

  • 3 TBL olive oil
  • 1 bunch leeks thoroughly cleaned and cut lengthwise and julienned
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 c kale, torn into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1) Heat 2 TBL olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks, salt and garlic. Sauté until leeks are tender, roughly ten minutes.

2) Add potatoes and broth then simmer for 20 minutes.

3) In a large sauté pan, cook the kale over medium heat in the remaining olive oil with salt to taste, until wilted but still a little firm.

4) With an immersion blender, puree the soup for a few seconds.  If you do not have an immersion blender skip this step as it is optional.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  NOTE: this soup begs for a good deal of pepper.

5) To serve place equal portions of the sautéed kale into each serving bowl and ladle the soup on top of it.

New Recipe: Italian Nachos

Each week as part of my duties with I plan a full menu of meals that feed a family of four for an entire week. Each day’s menu feeds the family three meals plus a snack for the kiddies. These recipes need to be relatively easy to allow more quality time for the family to spend together. Another part of my charge is to come up with healthy recipes. Each week I will share one of these recipes with you. Here’s this week’s:

Recipe: Italian Nachos


  • 1 lb Gluten-free bowtie pasta
  • 1 can No sugar added tomato sauce
  • 8 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup Coconut oil
  • 1 TBL Basil, chiffonade


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Thoroughly dry the pasta with paper towels. Make sure all moisture is removed.
  2. Preheat oven to 450. In a small pot heat the coconut oil. In small batches deep fry the pasta until crunchy, roughly two minutes stirring as needed.
  3. On an oven safe plate layer the fried pasta, tomato sauce and cheese to resemble nachos then place in the oven. When sauce bubbles and cheese is melted it is ready to serve.
  4. Garnish with fresh basil.

Fall Recipe: Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Here’s a unique recipe for fall that I used to run when I was the chef at Mars Hill Cafe.  This was one of our most popular side dishes:

Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 large or two small sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoon canola oil
  1. Shred the sweet potato with the shredding attachment of a food processor or use a box grater. Toss the sweet potatoes with corn starch and coat thoroughly.
  2. In a ramekin or small bowl combine the cinnamon and cayenne.
  3. In a large saute pan or griddle heated to 400 degrees add the canola oil. Place four equal sized mounds of hash browns and spread using the side of a spatula in a chopping motion.
  4. Cook until hash browns are golden brown then flip.
  5. Season the cooked side with cinnamon/cayenne mixture and cook just until second side is golden brown.

Each serving contains 108 calories, 1 gram of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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