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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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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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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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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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/