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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Momma Said Knock You Out… Powerhouse Hot Cocoa

Superfood Hot ChocolateWAIT!! February! Don’t leave me without just getting one post in!!! 🙂

It has been a CRAZY last 45 days! When I’m not whooping it up in the kitchen, reading health articles or my current paperback, practicing yoga, spending time with my hubby and kiddo Chuckie, I’m sometimes running the highways in various states, laying the land for our wine company. Yes, vino.  We’ve been in and out of town, working and growing that part of our focus the last month-ish. It has been our family business for going on 8 ++ years now. Creating brands and selling wine to the “restless wine consumer”. A fun part of our lives, taking us on travels as we build that business, learning about varietals and regions, etc…. Although a super neat business, working with boutique brands, learning about the families that harvest that fruit that ends up in that attractive looking bottle on the local market’s shelf, meeting and connecting with new people, our soul’s are fed in a lot of other ways… Hence the next few paragraph’s subject matter 🙂

So… Once again, this winter season has been bringing a lot of us folks across the U.S.A. some pretty nasty weather! You got the North in minus single and double digits, ice covering things all over the South, and grocery stores out of bread and milk! Stand back, people! Anyone wonder what the next storm is going to be named…? Sheesh. With all that said, it can be many days, holed up in the house, craving something hot, soothing and satisfying to the tummy. I remember adoring my after school snack, around the age of 9, on those cold, Michigan, winter days – a cup of cocoa with just the right amount of marshmallows on top, and graham crackers on the side. TIP: letting those crackers soak for about 10 seconds in that yummy goodness and then taking a bite was like a little bit of heaven. Well, I’ve been playing a bit with different concoctions – totally nothing original or difficult – when it has come to that treat of my past-time hot chocolate. Then, I came across an article/recipe on MindBodyGreen a month or so ago that looked super interesting  – and DELICIOUS. After a few tries, a couple alterations, and different times of the day drinking it, I found a staple in the recipe collection! Can maybe even replace my coffee/tea/even breakfast some days! It not only is soooooo tasty, it gives you a serious, positive boost in your day. Drink it in the morning or have it as an afternoon pick-me-up snack, this Powerhouse Hot Cocoa is to die for! Move over Nestle, Swiss Miss and Carnation… There is a new hot chocolate on the block! This isn’t just your average delightful, creamy, warm, rich, marshmallow-topped, past-time beverage – this is a SUPERFOOD hot chocolate. Packed with several powerful ingredients, this comforting cocoa will satisfy that sweet craving, as well as nourish your body!

~Makes 2 Servings~ 😉 Share the love…

  1. In a saucepan, add the non-dairy milk of your choice, as well as the MCT Oil or Coconut Oil and bring to a simmer where it is slightly bubbly
  2. Add all ingredients with the liquid into a blender (I use a Nutri Bullet) and blend well until frothy
  3. Serve in your favorite mug

PRINT RECIPE: Powerhouse Hot Cocoa

Learn More About the Powerhouse Superfood Ingredient Benefits…

**JUST SAY NO! Learn more about Carrageenan: http://foodbabe.com/2012/05/22/watch-out-for-this-carcinogen-in-your-organic-food/

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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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Yummy Turmeric Smoothie

turmeric smoothieThis morning I was poking around on some of my fav websites and saw a short article about a smoothie that stood out to me because of the tremendous amount of information being shared lately about one if its key ingredients: the fabulous spice Turmeric. I personally buy it in bulk (Frontier Natural Products Co-Op brand, 1lb – I get it via Vitacost) and just fill my spice bottle when needed. Known mainly for cooking up in Indian cuisine, Turmeric has a lot of other health benefits, one being a crazy good anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant… a lot of “anit’s” 🙂  My hubby puts it on his eggs in the morning, makes a rockin’ grilled shrimp dish with it (recipe to come 🙂 ), and there is so much more that can be done with this healing spice.  ANYWAY, this article shared a yummy smoothie recipe utilizing this great spice, along with some other key ingredients, as well.

The smoothie recipe was adapted from the Collective Evolution article Turmeric Smoothie Recipe. I am going to relay it to you the exact way I made it this morning, as it was the perfect way, with this combo of ingredients, to start my day.

Add all ingredients into a Vitamix or high-powered blender and process until smooth. The article said to try to drink this smoothie in the morning before you have anything to eat. It is creamy and soothing, and it was a great way to start of the day!

PRINT RECIPE:  Yummy Turmeric Smoothie Recipe

ALL of the ingredients have tremendous health benefits, but to highlight a few of my favorites…

TURMERIC – “Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. It is what gives curry its yellow color, and has been used in India for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Turmeric is high in curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.” Read more: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/

CINNAMON – “Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have long revered cinnamon as a superpower used to treat things such as colds, indigestion and cramps and also believed to improve energy, vitality and circulation. It can lower your bad cholesterol, lower your blood sugar, which is good for those with diabetes, and has anti-fungal properties.” Read more: http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html

MACA  – “Maca is a root that will grow in the Andes mountains of Peru.This root has been used like a food source for hundreds of years, and many Peruvians use it for its medicinal purposes.  Mineral deposits which includes calcium supplement, mineral magnesium, and iron are all located in maca, in combination with C vitamin and nutritional vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12. It has a exclusive sense of balance of proteins, carbs, anti-oxidants, plant sterols, minerals and vitamins. Maca offers energy, given it account balances the endocrine system, such as the adrenals, pancreatic, pituitary and thyroid gland.” Read more: http://macapowderbenefits.net/

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.

                                  

Creamy Zucchini Soup (Vegan)

Zucchini SoupAnd good evening! My husband found this soup recipe last week and we wanted to test it out. Originally adapted from a  PaleoLeap recipe, I made some small tweaks and it turned into a vegan dish! It is perfectly delightful! Zucchini’s are in season, so try this fabulous soup tonight! We had it alongside a filling Kale salad that was simply dressed with tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

 

  • 3 medium Zucchinis – leave the skins on – cut into large chunks
  • 1 Onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • 4 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut Milk (this is preferable because of its fuller fat, but other non-dairy milk can be considered… just being mindful of allergies)
  • Coconut Oil (or a high heat, healthy cooking oil i.e. avocado, grapeseed…)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground Black Pepper
  1. Heat coconut oil (or the cooking oil of choice) in a saucepan placed over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and zucchinis and cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable stock, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer until the zucchinis are tender, around 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, add the coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of choice), and purée with an immersion blender (or pour into a Vitamix, or a high-powered blender).
  6. Continue to adjust the seasoning if need be and serve hot.

PRINT RECIPE: Creamy Vegan Zucchini Soup

So what’s so cool about Zucchini…

Zucchini has high water content and are low in calories. They are a source of folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Zucchini can lower cholesterol, help prevent cancer as it helps with oxidative stress, is an anti-inflammatory and is a powerful antioxidant, assists in prostate health with its phytonutrients, reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and lowers blood pressure, AND is high in manganese, which is key in supporting ALL of the above prevention.