Veggie Bomb Cauliflower Fried Rice

cauliflower-fried-riceHello there! Happy Tuesday! Thanksgiving is just 2 days away and my brain has been buzzing on all of the different kinds of things that I can whip up and bring to the holiday gathering. I love this time of year with all of the different festive events, decorations and extra family and friends time.

With these specific times of year making my creative thoughts flow extra strong, I seem to get more interesting with recipes I’ve been making for some time in my queue. A couple weeks ago, I jazzed up my Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe. It’s a great alternative to your typical fried rice dish, with white or brown rice (or another rice of your choice). It allows the dish to be lower in carbohydrates, fits into a Paleo regimen if that’s your gig, your grain-free, or you just don’t like rice 😀 LOL!

Like I said, I’ve been making this recipe for a long time now, and it is on the recipe circuit everywhere with fellow health, wellness, clean-eating foodie bloggers, however the other night I amped up the recipe, and created it into a veggie bombastic cauli rice, and I HAD to share (although not really Thanksgiving-y 😀 ). This can be a a side dish or a main dish. You can also make it NON-vegetarian and NON-vegan, if you like, by adding a protein of your choice, ideally the protein being already cooked, however. Check it out!

Ingredients:

  • ½ large head of Cauliflower – made into a rice consistency in a food processor
    • From the above process, it should make about 2 cups Cauliflower “Rice”
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Carrots, chopped
  • ½ Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Green Onion, chopped
  • 6 White Mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup Green Beans, snipped into smaller pieces (string, fresh)
  • ½ cup Broccoli, snipped into small florets
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 whole Egg
  • Tamari (gluten-free), to taste OR Coconut Aminos
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

NOTE: To create cauliflower “rice” – take head of cauliflower, chop roughly into florets, place in food processor and pulse until it takes on a rice consistency:

cauliflower-fried

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in coconut oil, over medium heat
  2. Add in the carrots and a tiny splash of water to prevent sticking, and cook for 3 minutes
  3. Add the mushrooms, green beans and broccoli, and cook for another 2 minutes
  4. Add the green onion and egg, which will start to cook quickly
  5. Add in the cauliflower rice, along with a splash of tamari or coconut aminos, salt and pepper
  6. Stir to combine and heat through, about 3-5 minutes
  7. Adjust the seasonings to taste, then serve

**Putting a TWIST on the DISH:

Print Recipe: veggie-bomb-cauliflower-fried-rice

 

Enjoy!

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Summer Soul Chopped Salad

Summer Soul Chopped Salad - finalYes! I’m still alive 🙂 !  It has been a very busy, yet productive 3 months. I’ve let my posting go to the wayside a bit, which I am not very proud of, however I’m back in the swing of things with a ton of yummy things to share for everyone’s bellies these coming months. I have been inspired in a number of different ways over the last little while, that has gotten a lot of my creative juices flowing… and simply kept my soul fed and geared up to pass on to those that are interested.

My husband and I love soup and salad. We eat a lot of that combo during our week – simple and detoxifying, letting our bodies rest from possible indulgences from traveling, social activities, or just plain wanting to cheat a bit :-). We tend to practice the 80/20 rule – 20% of the time we have some fun and experience not-so-“healthy” cuisine, and then 80% of the time we have our nose to the grindstone, whipping up fun, healthy creative meals.   Our soups can be hearty or light, depending on our appetite or season. Our salads are full of our favorite goodies like sprouts, mushrooms, seeds, avocados, etc.

This past week I was having a conversation with a neighbor about a Greek chopped salad she was making for a Memorial Day weekend dinner feast. It sounded lovely. I love chopped salads, although I never really see much on menus, nor have I ever made one myself. Funny enough, I read an article the same day about a Southwestern flare chopped salad that sounded divine, although I would have to eliminate the corn that was in it (I don’t care for it, and neither does my Blood Type or digestive system 😦 ) .  Anywho, needless to say, my creative juices started moving around up there and I decided that I was going to invent my own chopped salad recipe with some scrumptious and healthy ingredients. It turned out wonderful. I’m craving it now… I think there are leftovers 🙂 !  It is hearty as well, and made a great main dish, instead of just a side or dish to pass, although it will work quite nicely as one, with summer BBQ’s and other gatherings these coming months. There are a lot of health benefits in several ingredients (all of them actually – bonus!)  Chop away!

Ingredients:

  •  Large head of Romaine Lettuce
  • 15 oz. can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and
    drained
  • 1 large Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 ½ cup Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 cup cut Fresh Green Beans – ends snipped and
    cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 to 1 ½ cup Cucumber
  • 6 Green Onions

Dressing:

  • ½ cup fresh Dill, chopped OR 2 heaping tbsp of dried Dill
  • 1 large ripe Avocado
  • ½ fresh Lemon Juice, more to taste
  • 1 large Garlic Clove
  • ¼ to ½ cup Olive Oil (eyeball it)
  • a small SPLASH of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper

** adjust any of these ingredients to taste

Directions:

Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, green beans, cucumber and green onions. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Summer Soul Chopped Salad - collage

Recommendation: **If serving individual salads, take around 2 cups of chopped salad mixture and place into a small mixing bowl and then add 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing – mix well (give or take the amount to taste) stir to combine and serve on individual plates. **If serving as one big, chopped salad (say at a get together) combine the chopped salad mixture and dressing into a serving bowl, then serve as desired/needed. TIP: Keeping the chopped salad mixture and dressing mixture separate is key if it is just an intimate dinner for two, so storing the extra salad in fridge overnight can stay fresh, so it doesn’t get soggy if combined. Making fresh dressing for a second day of salad delight is advised. You may have leftover dressing, but it is delicious with other things, i.e. as a dip with crackers, breads or veggies.

ONCE SERVED, SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE.

PRINT RECIPE: Summer Soul Chopped Salad

As I said above, this salad has a lot of goodness for bodies in it…

Green Beans – high in folic acid and calcium… http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/folic-acid-foods/    http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-high-in-calcium/

White Beans – high in calcium… http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-high-in-calcium/

Avocado – a SUPERFOOD – high in calcium… http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/folic-acid-foods/

Tomatoes and Peppers – high in vitamin C… http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-high-in-vitamin-c/

Go ahead, try it out – It will become a staple!

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Healing Turmeric Spice Latte (Dairy-Free)

Turmeric LatteIt has been a little chilly the last couple of days over here on the East Coast of NC. No, I know it isn’t Polar Vortex cold, but it’s been frosty enough for me! I’ve been craving warm things like creamy soups, spicy teas, hot chocolate, and cozy fleece blankets that were a thoughtful Christmas craft of Mom’s. Although I often Vita-mix up a smoothie when I return from yoga class, for breakfast or lunch, today my body was saying a big NO when I was trying to satisfy my tummy. I was initially wanting my Turmeric Smoothie I love so much, but after realizing the shivery, damp air had made it into my bones, I opted to nibble on some egg avocado salad with a few sprouts and get creative with Turmeric in a way that would allow me to enjoy it warm in a favorite mug at my desk, instead of in a glass tumbler with my mittens on. I’ve read a lot about turmeric teas, golden milk a.k.a. turmeric milk, so I knew I could whip up my desired beverage with this healing spice.

Turmeric is affectionately coined by Ayurveda as “The Golden Goddess” and been used for centuries in the 5,000 year old natural healing system of India. For sooooo long, many different cultures have used this amazing, versatile herb to treat a infinite list of diseases and ailments. The most well-known medicinal action of Turmeric is that it is used as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also acts as an analgesic, antibacterial, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic – a lot of anti’s! Read more about Turmeric and Ayurveda here. Also, another powerful article I have most recently come across talks about why it might be the most important thing in our spice rack: 600 Reasons Turmeric May Be The World’s Most Important Herb

Anyway… I’m sold if you couldn’t tell!  And now on to my little creation – my Healing Turmeric Latte (and of course, Dairy-Free). This is now going to be a staple, especially on these more frigid kind of afternoons. Happy sipping!

~ Makes 2 Servings ~

  • 2 cups of Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or other non-dairy milk (I use this one)
  • 1 teaspoon of Turmeric (I use this one)
  • ¼ teaspoon of Black Pepper (when you combine black pepper and turmeric, the absorption of turmeric is actually enhanced)
  • 1 inch piece of Ginger, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon of Coconut Oil (I use this one)
  • Raw honey to sweeten (if desired)

*From what I’ve read from several different sources, if you have an intestinal issue where there were to be anything ulcerative, don’t include the black pepper, as it could be problematic. Black pepper sometimes can make small cuts in the bowels of those that have Crohn’s disease.*

Turmeric Latte prepTurmeric Latte prep2

  1. In a saucepan, add all of the ingredients (except the honey) and whisk them together
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it begins to slightly bubble
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for around 5 minutes so the flavors mesh together
  4. Strain out the piece of ginger
  5. Add honey to desired sweetness
  6. Blend briefly in a blender, Bullet (Nutri or Magic), so it becomes whipped and slightly frothy
  7. Serve in your favorite mug

PRINT RECIPE: Healing Turmeric Spice Latte

Stay warm! ❤

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Thanksgiving + Football = Bacon-Wrapped Avocados

Bacon Wrapped Avocados

Well, it is almost that time of year – actually less than 24 hours away! We are all collectively drawn together this particular Thursday in late November to conjure up meals that consist of new recipes, the good ol’ traditional recipes, recipes altered to fit new lifestyles, and so on. Most often, the precursor to the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, there are the spreads of appetizers that make you sometimes too full to eat the main course! Originally, we made this snack on Super Bowl Sunday and it was a crowd pleaser to the football get-together attendees.

If you are looking for something different to add to that display of the Thanksgiving snacks, which pairs lovely with the traditional pigskin (no pun intended) chaos going on the TV all day, this is a great one to plug in. You can use TURKEY BACON if you aren’t into pork. With this recipe we of course used uncured, organic bacon. Although we have not attempted it, I’m sure this recipe can be made sans meat, using a VEGAN bacon product. So maybe this recipe can be for all diet lifestyles 😉

  • 1 package of Bacon (pork or turkey) – for pork we used Applegate Organic Sunday Bacon – uncured, minimally processed, casein, gluten and dairy free – this company has wonderful Turkey Bacon that we use, as well
  • 2 and 1/2  Avocados (organic)
  • Chili Powder
  • Sea Salt – optional (for light sprinkling after done baking)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Cut the avocado into equal slices
  4. Wrap each avocado slice with bacon – one piece of bacon should be good for 1-2 avocado slices
  5. Sprinkle chili powder over the slices of bacon-wrapped avocado; line them up on the baking sheet
  6. Put in the oven and bake 12-15 minutes

PRINT RECIPE: Bacon-Wrapped Avocados

Have a blessed day!

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***Original recipe adapted from PaleoLeap

Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “No-tatoes”

mashed cauliflower potI was shocked when I tried this recipe… SHOCKED! I love mashed potatoes. Always a past-time at Grandma’s Sunday dinner (alongside her fried chicken, of course), present at every holiday get-together, the epitome of comfort food. It is hard not to love them. Well, I had a head of cauliflower one evening, had heard of this concept, and decided to play. A GREAT alternative to mashed potatoes for ANY occasion. And the two biggest holidays are just around the corner… Crazy, I know, but maybe this is a must try for those family shindigs!  I’m addicted to these and I’m O.K. with that! Because my hubby was in for some comfort food this particular evening, we paired it with some “fried chicken”, HOWEVER, this chicken was battered with an EGG WASH and some ALMOND FLOUR – totally gluten-free, grain-free. Just lightly fried up in some olive oil at a moderate heat, and it made a nice fried-like coating, perfect complement to the mashed “no-tatoes” 🙂

  • 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 5 large cloves of Garlic (using pre-peeled garlic makes this easiest)
  • To taste – Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of Grass-Fed Butter (preferably organic)
  • To taste – Black Pepper

Let’s get mashin’….

Fill up a large stock pot with a couple inches of water and set on stove on high, using a steamer insert in the pot, and cover with a lid. While you wait for the water to start boiling, cut up the florets and stems of the large head of cauliflower. Then, slice up the cloves of garlic. It’s easiest to use already peeled garlic that you can grab at most markets, but you can peel your own if you’d rather. Once the water is boiling, throw into the pot the stems, half of florets, and garlic. Salt everything liberally. At this point, put in the rest of the cauliflower, season with a bit more salt, replace the lid, and steam everything until it is soft, approximately 10 minutes. Test with fork to make sure the veggies are tender and don’t need to steam longer. Once the florets are done, put everything into a colander and let it drain. Once done draining, place everything into a food processor and add some black pepper and the butter. Process everything until smooth. Taste test for seasoning adequacy. Serve right away, place on a very low heat in a crock pot/warmer OR low heat on stove, to keep warm for ongoing enjoyment (at if at a gathering, etc.)

PRINT RECIPE: Garlic Cauliflower Mashed No-tatoes

fried chicken 2fried chicken and cauliflower mash

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy! ❤

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Spicy Chipotle Bean Dip

Chipotle Bean DipIf there is one thing I love whipping up in the kitchen,  it is “appetizer-like” food. I dig experimenting with all sorts of ingredients that can form into a great dish to bring to a party, have out for game day chow, or even pair with wine or special cocktails. There is an endless list of appetizer/snacks that can be created. I tend to find something, tweak it, and make it my own… and then next time I do it, it will become something even more fabulous because I will add or delete something (or a little less fab, you never know 😉 ) – it’s my creative side coming out, what can I say 😉

Anyways, the other day while playing in the kitchen, while occasionally glancing to watch football with my honey, I decided to try this dip out. It turned out to be AMAZING (if I do say so myself) with just enough kick, to serve with pita, chips or crackers (all gluten or grain free preferably) vegetables, spread it on a wrap or taco…

It has minimal and simple ingredients, making it a quick appetizer to whip up for game day or to bring as a dish to share at a party. It is a tad spicy, but not overbearing. It is a smoky-spice, giving it a rich flavor that is very satisfying.

  • 1 (15-ounce) can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 & ½ Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce, or more, to taste
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Dark Chili Powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Chipotle Bean Dip prep

In the bowl of a food processor, combine cannellini beans, chipotle peppers, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and chili powder. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified.

PRINT RECIPE: Spicy Chipotle Bean Dip

I’d recommend DOUBLING the recipe, as it goes super fast!! Enjoy!

What the heck is a Cannellini Bean?

Well… for starters it is a cool name for white kidney bean 🙂 . White kidney beans are a protein-rich starchy vegetable, full of vitamins, minerals and an excellent source of dietary fiber. Adding them to your diet offers a variety of health benefits such as promoting digestive health and preventing heart disease. White kidney beans are large and squared at the edges, unlike smaller white beans, such as navy beans. Kidney beans, like other beans and legumes, are rich in both types of dietary fiber — soluble and insoluble. Both forms of fiber offer health benefits. Want more info on these guys? http://www.healwithfood.org/healthbenefits/cannellini-beans.php

XOXO

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Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)

Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)I. Love. Soup. There, I said it. I am not ashamed of this. I am fascinated with all of the kinds of recipes that can be conjured up into wonderful goodness in that Le Creuset soup pot. You can make cream-of soups, chunkie soups, detoxifying soups – the list can go on. I ESPECIALLY love those creamy, cozy, nourishing soups. This afternoon, as my hubby and I were toying with ideas of what to make for college football game day snackies and eventually dinner, we thought a delicious, creamy, curry soup utilizing cauliflower sounded like an appetizing option. Yes, a creamy, curry, cauliflower (say that three times, why don’t ya) soup was what I was going to aim for come dinnertime. I made something similar some time ago, which was pretty good, but this one I concocted was an absolute winner, if I may say so myself ;-). It was very simple to whip up, can act as the main event or be a nice little side dish.  Cauliflower is in season from August to December, so it is a delightful addition to the menu as we creep on into Fall. Try it out!

  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 medium Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt, plus more to season
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large head of Cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets
  • 4 ½ cups Vegetable Broth
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • Black Pepper, to season

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until melted and coating the bottom. Cook the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt until onions are soft and translucent, about 9 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add cauliflower, vegetable broth, coriander, turmeric, curry, cumin, red pepper flakes and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-17 minutes.Creamy Curry Cauliflower mixPour the mixture into a Vitamix, food processor (in batches), OR high-powered blender, and add the coconut milk. Purée until smooth, adjust any of the seasons if need be to taste, mix again if so, and then return the soup to the pot. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot.) Again, taste and add more salt, pepper or spices if you’d like. **NOTE** If you want to make it slightly thinner, just add splashes of more vegetable broth.

PRINT RECIPE: Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)

Who would have thought Cauliflower was so fabulous…

Because of its beneficial effects on numerous aspects of health, cauliflower can easily be described as a superfood. It helps fight cancer, boosts heart health, it’s an anti-inflammatory, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, it boosts brain health, it supports detoxification, has digestive benefits, and has plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Read more at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx 

Yummy in my tummy 😉

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