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Smokey Southwestern Roasted Cauliflower with Lime

This was another assignment for my cooking class. The lesson was roasting vegetables without oil. The outcome of the assignment turned out very well. I divided the finished product to use in two different dishes. One for a bowl meal and the other for a creamy dip.

Today I will show you the base of these two different dishes. Then I will do two other posts for these two dishes another time. Actually, I think I will have three different meals out of this sheet pan of cauliflower. I love it when I can stretch an ingredient into multiple different meals.

Note: You can find the recipe for Smokey Southwestern Seasoning in the basics section or you can purchase the blend pre-made on my store page.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat (this is what I used).

In a large bowl mix together broth, half of lime – juiced and Smokey Southwestern Seasoning.

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Stir in cauliflower florets into marinade.

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Evenly distribute cauliflower onto sheet pan. Add lime half to sheet pan.

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Roast cauliflower for about 20 minutes. Halfway through roasting process stir cauliflower.

Remove from oven. Using tongs to pick up lime half and squeeze juice of lime onto roasted cauliflower. Stir.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Baby Potatoes Topped with Spinach Artichoke Dip

The truth is I made this up for a meal for myself. It wasn’t this pretty, yet it is just as tasty. This is a little bit more elevated to the original Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip just by switching out the base ingredient. These would be great for small parties : Baby showers, Dinner parties, and even a Girl’s Night In. There are so many possibilities.

I have a secret for you, but you can tell anyone you want. I used leftover roasted baby potatoes for these little delectable bites. The combination is … it is so hard to put the right words for these little bites. They are that good and they look pretty.

I promise people will think you worked really hard. I made these a day ago. All I had to do was warm the spinach dip and baby potatoes in the microwave and assemble. However, they are just as good cold.

  • Spinach-Artichoke Dip
  • Roasted Baby Potatoes
  • Fresh Parsley

Slice as many Roasted Baby Potatoes as you think you will need. I would use about 4 halves per person. Warm in microwave (if using leftover, cold potatoes). Otherwise, slice potatoes in half when you are able to handle them.

Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip in microwave until heated through. Length of time depends on your microwave.

Assembling is extremely simple. I like to give the potatoes a light smash, just enough to give them a slightly flat base. This helps the potatoes stay upright. Put a dollop of dip on top of the potato. I used a teaspoon, however you could use a snipped ziplock bag and pipe it onto the potato. That would probably be easier. Garnish with a fresh parsley leaf.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

I plan on using this dip for our Super Bowl Party. The boys (men) all come over and we eat and watch the commercials and the game too. So I am testing it out now, you know, just in case there needs to be any tweaking to the recipe. However, I think it is perfect the way it is.

I will probably be working on a couple more recipes for the big game. So keep a watch out for more to come.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs garlic, minced
  • a couple of dashes of red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 16 oz. silken tofu, drained
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp all-purpose seasoning, divided, (2 tsp- 1/2 tsp – 1/2 tsp)
  • 14 oz canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • Bread or tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8×8 baking dish

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of all-purpose seasoning onto onions ; stir. Cook until onion are softened and golden.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add artichoke hearts, spinach and 1/2 tsp of all-purpose seasoning. Stir mixture until spinach is wilted.

In a blender or food processor, blend together tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and 2 tsp all-purpose seasoning until smooth. Add onion, spinach and artichoke hearts to tofu mixture. Pulse about 15 times. Add red pepper flakes.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until top of dip is golden.

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Let cool about 5 minutes. Serve with bread, crackers or tortilla chips.

Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries 3.0

This might just might be my favorite version of Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries. The original version was Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries. The second version I add butternut squash, just as appealing and tasty as the first. However, this version ranks right up there with the first two.

The 3.0 version uses compound butter, an orange and pecans – Yum. Just a little twist, but oh so good.

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  • 1 pound of Brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 c pecan, pieces
  • 3 tbsp compound butter, cut into cubes (see website)
  • all-purpose seasoning (see website)
  • 1/4 c maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread Brussel sprouts, cranberries, pecans evenly onto a sheet pan.  Dot compound butter onto Brussel sprout mixture. Generously sprinkle all-purpose seasoning onto veggies.

Roast in oven about 20 minutes or until Brussel sprouts are fork tender.  Stir vegetables about midway through roasting time.

Drizzle Maple syrup over veggies. Stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Traditions

The past week I have came across probably over a hundred posts regarding Christmas traditions. It got me thinking about ours and how they have changed or evolved over the years.

For many years we pastored and a lot of our traditions were centered around our church.  We always had a children’s program. That was always fun, you never knew what was going to come out of the mouth of babes. We would have a Candlelight Christmas Eve Service with Communion. It was only an hour long, but it was a wonderful time, reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas. We would then gather at my in-laws and have a meal, nothing extravagant, but we were all together. Sometimes our boys and their cousins would stay at Mamaw and Papaw’s house Christmas Eve night. Somehow Santa always knew where the kids were going to be in the morning.

Our boys always knew why we were celebrating Christmas, Jesus. Santa was just fun, and that was okay. Christmas Eve night George (my incredible husband of almost 33 years) and I would fill the boys stockings and lay out a few things to keep them occupied until we got up Christmas morning. What is funny is that as the boys grew older they slept in longer and we were waking them up to see what Santa brought.

Some Christmas mornings I would make Cinnamon Rolls (Just like Cinnabon – No lie), or a Breakfast Casserole. I plan on make a Breakfast Casserole this year. I am still working on a gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe. I sure do miss those cinnamon rolls. Anyway – traditions.

I would say over the past decade we have been making up stockings for my in-laws. That has been fun. Mamaw (mother in-law) loves Christmas. We always put in some Christmas themed magazines and her favorite candy, plus some other goodies in her stocking. My mother in-law loves Christmas, so much that there are some decorations that stay up all year. For a while, every year I would paint a miniature house/building and give that to my Father in-law for Christmas. Now he has quite a collection that have a permanent place on their mantle all year round.

Now that the boys are men, 28, 26 and 24 years old. I know, where does the time go? Our traditions have changed. The past few years we have been having all the boys with their girlfriends over Christmas Eve Night. We have a no fuss buffet of simple fare: Meatballs, Turkey Sliders, Crudites with dip, Assorted Fruit and Dip, and Cookies, Easy. Lots of stories are shared, presents opened, and tons of laughter. It is wonderful.

Christmas day we all head to Mamaw and Papaw’s house (the in-laws) and have lunch. All the cooking duties are divided up so it is not a burden to just one person. I am usually in charge of the veggies, rolls, and desserts. This year my Green Beans with Walnuts was requested. I am still thinking on the desserts.DSC_0037 6

Of coarse there is presents to open. Soon after, the boys and their girlfriends leave and participate in the festivities of their girlfriends’ families. Now that they are grown we do not get to keep them all to ourselves. Just like everything else, things change and evolve. There will be a time when they will have their own traditions. My hope is that we will have a part in what they choose for their own lives, future families and traditions.

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Have a Merry and Joyous Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year!

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Steakhouse Meal @ Home

Last night I made us a steakhouse steaks with the sides. When you buy the cuts of steak that you would love to get at your favorite restaurant and make them at home you save $$$. A Filet Mignon can cost you from $25 – $50 per person, a la carte. Then you add on the sides and any type of drink from tea to alcohol and you have spent $100 – $150 for a dinner for two. Oh, and do not forget the dessert. I think you get my point. It can get very expensive.

With only 5 minutes of prep work in the morning you can have a steakhouse steak in the comfort of your own home that night within 20 minutes. Really, only 20 minutes.  Not only will you be eating in less time than it would take you to get your order and something to drink, but you will be saving lots of $$$.

One of the ways that I accomplish this is by purchasing a beef tenderloin and cutting the steaks myself. I like to do this for two reasons :

  1. I get more bang for my buck. More steaks for less money.
  2. Control portion size. I like a fairly thick steak. Cutting it myself lets me control the thickness of the steak.

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In a past post I shared how to cook a Steakhouse steak. Here is the link to that previous post. I prepped the steaks just like I did in the previous post, however, I pan seared the steaks in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the steaks were cooked to our desired temperature I removed them from the heat and set them aside to rest. Then I proceeded to make sautéed mushrooms.

Sauteed Mushrooms:

  • 2 12 oz. packages of sliced mushrooms. (Another time saver)
  • 1-2 c beef broth
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 3 dashes of fish sauce ( I use this instead of worcestershire sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In the same skillet I cooked the steaks add mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping any bits that are stuck on the skillet. Add beef broth and garlic. Stir and reduce broth to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over steaks and greens beans.

Also, here is the link to cook the Green Beans. I made these for Thanksgiving. They were wiped out.

Cauliflower puree can be rather mundane unless you elevate this side dish. I have used this ingredient when I have made a mashed potato casserole. The secret ingredient is – Cream Cheese. It only takes a little bit, but it makes all the difference to take cauliflower puree from ordinary to an extra Yum factor.

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

  • 15 oz. Steam in bag Cauliflower Florets, thawed (this cuts back on time)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook cauliflower according to package directions. I cooked mine about 7 minutes in the microwave.

In a food processor add cooked cauliflower, butter, cream cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend ingredients until creamy and smooth. Serve. Eat. Enjoy and Save.

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Roasted Green Beans and Walnuts

This is a little twist to my roasted green beans. I made 1 1/2 pounds of green beans for Thanksgiving and they were all wiped out. I would say they were a hit. The walnuts adds an extra crunch to the dish. They looked pretty on the platter too.

This is a twenty minutes, minimal effort kind of dish. It only requires you to stir it once midway through the cooking process. The recipe is for a smaller quantity.

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  • 12 oz. fresh green beans
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • all-purpose seasoning (see website)
  • 1/2 c walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a sheet pan spread out greens beans and walnuts. Drizzle olive oil over green beans. Sprinkle generously all-purpose seasoning over green beans. Stir green beans, and spread evenly on sheet pan.

Roast in oven for 20 minutes, until green beans are tender. Midway through roasting stir green beans. Remove rom oven. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries and Butternut Squash

My house has been counting down to when cranberries will arrive at the grocery. Well, the time has come and I am a happy girl. This is such a pretty and colorful side dish. It has a little twist to the original I brought to you before. My original version is the top veggie dish on my website. The flavors of this new version work so well together, a little tart, sweet and hearty all in one bite, yum. This would make a beautiful veggie dish for the holidays. Scratch that, do not wait for the holidays, make it now. Cranberries are only in season for so long. You do not want to miss out on something this delicious.

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  • 16 oz. brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 1 c fresh cranberries
  • 12 oz. butternut squash, cubed
  • avocado oil to drizzle on veggies
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lin a sheet pan with aluminum foul.

Spread all vegetables on sheet pan. Drizzle avocado oil on vegetables and stir so that they are all well coated. Add salt and pepper and stir.

Roast in oven for 20 minutes; stirring midway through roasting time. Vegetables should be fork tender. Remove from oven. Drizzle maple syrup over vegetables. Stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Chicken Teriyaki Snoodles

This was a last minute idea. I had intended to makes snoodles (summer squash noodles) with meat sauce. Just like any other woman, I exercised my prerogative to change my mind. It has been a while since I made any teriyaki dish. The teriyaki sauce is another one of my basics I try to keep in the refrigerator for a quick meal.

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  • 3 medium summer squash
  • 1/4 c coconut aminos
  • 3 dashes of fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 16 oz. chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cubed
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

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Prepare Snoodles/Zoodles (see website).

 

In a small mason jar combine: coconut aminos, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic and ginger. Cover with lid and shake well. Set aside.

In a large skillet melt coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook chicken until done. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add snoodles to skillet and cook until snoodles are warm. Return chicken to skillet and add teriyaki sauce. Stir well. Add sesame seeds and stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Pan Seared Chicken Cutlet with Zoodles and Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce

I was in the produce section in the grocery looking for inspiration for dinner when I went around the corner and found Zoodles already to cook. This gave me a little thrill. A healthy shortcut to a dinner time meal. Next, I go to the meat department and pickup some chicken cutlets. Cutlets will make the meal prep go even faster. At my final destination I pick up some Parmesan – already grated. This meal is coming together nicely and quickly.

This is often how I plan my meals. It seems whenever I plan a week full of meals the plans seemed to get derailed for one reason or another and I end up wasting food. That really bothers me. Now, I try to draw from three different ideas for dinnertime meals, and then wing it from there. That seems to work out for us. It gives us room for leftovers/planovers or testing new recipes, and then I do not have any waste. I hope this gives you a little inspiration to check around the corner of your grocery store and try something new.

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  • Zoodles (see website)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 16 oz. chicken cutlets
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning (see website)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp paleo all-purpose flour (see website)
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c parmesan, grated
  • 2 c cashew milk
  • 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, minced
  • basil, fresh, garnish

Prep zoodles (see website).

In a large skillet over medium heat warm olive oil. Season chicken cutlets with all-purpose seasoning. Cook chicken to a golden brown color. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Melt butter in skillet. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in some of the cashew milk to deglaze the skillet; stirring continuously. Add garlic. Slowly pour remains cashew milk into skillet while whisking.

Whisk out any lump of flour. Remove skillet from heat and stir in parmesan.

In a separate skillet melt butter. Add zoodles and cook until warm, not mushy. Remove zoodles and plate.

Return alfredo sauce to heat and whisk. Spoon Alfredo over zoodles.

Cut chicken cutlets on the bias and place on top of zoodles. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Roasted Asparagus

This is my favorite way to make asparagus. By roasting the asparagus the natural flavors are brought out, keeping a tender bite. I like to have asparagus as a side dish, or cut up and put into salads and frittatas. This is so easy and only takes 8-10 minutes to make.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a sheet pan toss asparagus with all-purpose seasoning. Roast in oven for 8-10 minutes until asparagus is tender, yet still has a bite to the stalk. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I have tried a couple of cauliflower crusts and was not satisfied with the outcome. This one you can actually eat like a pizza. The flavor is delicious. Now you can have your pizza and eat it too. Pizza is back in the house!

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  • 1 cauliflower head, pulsed into crumbles
  • Cooking Spray, non-propellant
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 c basil, thinly sliced, divided
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 oz parmesan, grated
  • Favorite toppings: additional cheese, veggies, proteins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place cauliflower crumbles on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray cauliflower with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring midway through the time. Remove cauliflower from oven and cool. ( I divided up the cauliflower crumbles between two sheet pans.)

Increase oven temp to 450 degrees.

Blot cauliflower with paper towels. Transfer to cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Squeeze until very dry. This is very important. You do not want a soggy crust. Combine cauliflower, 1 t of oil, basil, pepper, salt, garlic, 2 oz of mozzarella, egg whites, and parmesan in a bowl. On a parchment lined baking sheet press cauliflower mixture into 2 8-inch circles. Coat crusts with cooking spray.

Bake crusts at 450 degrees for 22 minutes or until browned. If you are using two sheet pans switch the pans midway through so that the crusts baking evenly. Remove from oven; top crusts evenly with desired toppings. Bake an additional 7 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with a side salad and you have a flavorful and nutritious meal. Serve, Eat. Enjoy.