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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Rockin’ Gluten-Free Stuffin’

Gluten Free Stuffing_2So, the holidays are in full swing. Lots of parties being hosted, corks being popped, tinsel being hung, smooches under the mistletoe being had, and all that festive jazz that we look forward to this time of year. And we can’t forget the most delicious, yet most dreaded part of the season… EATING. All of those scrumptious appetizers, decadent cakes, pies and candy treats, and get-together dinners full of anything and everything = heaven AND hell (as it applies to a large percentage of people’s New Year’s resolutions and shedding the added poundage, am I right?)  Anyways… I look forward to this time of year because of the extraordinary, enjoyable noshing we get to do, along with spending quality time with families and special friends. I get excited to participate in the “dish-to-pass” shin-digs and all that is involved at creating a recipe to share with everyone. Whether it be inventing something or tweaking an already established recipe – making it my own in some way is the most fun part for me! A lot of the time that I do “make it my own”, is the time when I transform a recipe to be more healthful or allergen-free (if possible), when it comes to the things that my personal diet needs to obey or those in my sphere of influence would benefit from (and of course others that find them helpful whatever their health goals may be), while still enjoying yummy goodness 😉  One of my FAVORITE things about the Thanksgiving day menu is stuffing. This item most often makes it in to the Christmas holiday season as well. Back in the day, it used to be straight up Stove Top Stuffing. Then, it elevated to homemade, family heirloom-type stuffing dishes. Well, nowadays, I have an opinion on ingredients that are in the average stuffing recipe, mostly having to do with the grains that wreak havoc on our bodies that have a sensitivity to them, i.e. wheat, gluten, etc.  I learned several years ago I’m not supposed to have wheat, therefore I try to oblige by the recommendation of my naturopath and avoid this controversial ingredient. From the research that I’ve done, the wheat grain of today is not that of our ancestors and does things to our digestive systems that can be extremely harmful to our overall health. So, this Thanksgiving I attempted to make a gluten-free stuffing and it shocked the heck out of me! I was blown away how much it tasted like the good ol’ Stove Top and Grandma’s family recipe I’d grown to love, pre-wheat/gluten-free days. There are are some stuffing recipes that have been created that are gluten-free, but definitely don’t resemble the ones we are so fond of during the holidays. This recipe is a definite exception to those, and a home run. Using all organic, clean ingredients is preferred, if at all possible.

  • 1 pound (loaf) of Gluten-Free Bread (I prefer Sami’s Bakery Millet Sourdough Bread)
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions, diced
  • 3 stalks of Celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh Sage (you can use 2 teaspoons of Sage powder, if need be)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Thyme Leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth (gluten free)
  • 2 organic, free range Eggs

Gluten Free Stuffing_1

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with some olive oil.
  2. Cut bread into cubes about 3/4-inch square and spread onto a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the bread cubes in the preheated oven until crisp, 12 to 17 minutes.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onions and celery in the hot oil until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir sage, thyme, salt, and black pepper into the vegetables. Mix toasted bread crumbs, chicken broth, and eggs into vegetables.
  5. Spoon dressing into the prepared baking dish and cover dish.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake until top of dressing is crisp and lightly browned, about 10 more minutes.

PRINT RECIPE: Rockin’ Gluten Free Stuffing

**Sami’s Bakery http://samisbakery.com/samis-bakery/

Sami’s Bakery is a family-owned bakery in Tampa, FL and have been in business since 1978. They make fabulous handmade breads, delicious desserts and other baked goods. You can order online through their website, however a lot of natural food stores throughout the country have their products on the shelf. I have been using their “gluten-free” breads and other products for a few years now. Some of their breads or snacks, although aren’t made with any wheat or gluten containing ingredients, may not say “gluten-free” simply because the facility where that particular product was prepared may have had other items prepared there that contained wheat, etc. therefore they can’t put that on the packaging. So, use caution if you are highly sensitive to wheat, gluten, or have celiac severely, to be safe.

Happy Holidays!

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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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Nut-Free Spinach Basil Pesto

Pesto PicSo, we don’t normally have pine nuts hanging around the house, so we needed something that was sans-nuts when creating a pesto. This pesto is AWESOME on gluten-free pasta, veggie noodle pasta, vegetables, homemade flatbreads or pizza, or used as spread on a wrap! It is packed full of flavor. We even used fresh basil from our famous “terrace cotta pot” garden 🙂 .You can also kick it up a notch with a little bit of red pepper flakes. POW! We made the pesto to originally accompany a homemade, flatbread-type pizza one Sunday afternoon (well, the flatbread wasn’t “homemade” – we used Sami’s Bakery gluten-free lavash).

  • 4 cups of fresh Spinach
  • 2 cups of fresh Basil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese (can be optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (give or take, depending on how/if you like the kick)
  • 1/3 cup & 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  1. Add the spinach, basil, garlic, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper (optional red pepper flakes) in a food processor or high powered blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the olive oil while the machine is running. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth.
  1. Serve with pasta, veggies, as a spread, etc. The pesto can be stored in a jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It also freezes well.

If you like a thinner pesto you can add a touch more of the olive oil.

PRINT RECIPE: Spinach Basil Pesto – Nut Free – Recipe

**Although there are many recipes for a from scratch, gluten-free pizza crust or flatbread, Sami’s Bakery is a great source for gluten-free breads, rolls, lavash (a Mediterranean flatbread), pita chips, etc. – www.samisbakery.com . We have access to some of their items at a local natural food store to some of their products, however you can order online, as well. NOTE: Sami’s Bakery technically cannot label their millet/flax, etc. items as “gluten-free” because their facility also makes other products that are made with ingredients that contain wheat or gluten, therefore there is a possibility of traces of them. If you are highly sensitive to these, please research further with them directly if you are interested in checking them out.

Grilled, Spicy, Organic/Grass-Fed Lamb Burgers (gluten/dairy-free)

BeFunky_Grilled Spicy Lamb Burgers.jpgWe don’t eat a lot of meat on a regular basis, but when we do, we have come to love this recipe. We love lamb – lamb chops, burgers, grilled, cooked in the cast iron… etc. Organic, grass-fed lamb also has some nice health benefits.

This recipe is wonderful! We used freshly chopped herbs from our “terrace cotta pot garden” 🙂 that made them even more special!

 

We chose to make this recipe GLUTEN-FREE and DAIRY-FREE by not using pita rounds/buns or feta/goat cheese, however you can dress up with the optional below fixin’s, which are incredibly complimentary to them. Serve with a side of sautéed green beans or grilled asparagus.

MAKES ABOUT 4 BURGERS

  • 1 pound of ground Grass-Fed Lamb
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Mint – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Cilantro – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Oregano – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Garlic – chopped1 teaspoon of ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon of All-Spice
  • ½ teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground Black Pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 4 Pita Rounds (or buns) & 4 ounces of Feta or Goat Cheese

*IDEA: Try additional dressings like fresh spinach leaves, grilled or roasted red peppers and a slice of red onion. Scrumptious!

  1. Preheat grill at a high heat.
  2. Put the lamb in a large bowl, and mix with the mint, cilantro, oregano, and garlic. Season with cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and mix well. Shape into 4patties.
  3. Marinate patties in olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice for 30 minutes.
  4. Brush grill with oil. Sear burgers on each side for 1-2 minutes, for desired charring. For a medium temperature burger, reduce heat to low and cook each side for 5-6 minutes.  Heat the pita pockets or buns briefly on the grill. Serve burgers alone or the option to wrap them in pitas/buns and dress with feta or goat cheese.

PRINT RECIPE: Grilled, Spicy, Organic, Grass-Fed Lamb Burgers

So what’s the skinny on organic, grass-fed lamb…

Organic, grass-fed lamb sourced from local farms is about as good as you can get. The cleaner the meat, the better. For example, organic standards help lower the risk of lamb getting contaminated feed and 100% grass-fed lamb may be available from local farms with small flocks, which provides a more natural life and environment for their them. Lamb is high in omega-3 and 6 fats, selenium, zinc and B-12, as well as other important B vitamins.