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Friday, October 2, 2015

Amy's "French" Mushrooms & Eggs

French Mushroom & Eggs

I am not an expert in French cuisine by a long shot, but there are some things that I know and LOVE about French cooking:

1.  They love to put eggs on things, and I LOVE eggs, eat 'em all the time!
2.  They love mushrooms, me too
3.  They have amazing wine for drinking, but also love to use it in their cooking = incredible YUM!
4.  They love cheese; need I say more?

So while I ate my lunch today I felt as though I was, dare I say it, eating lunch in a little French bistro (I wish!!!)   Every single bite was pow-wow amazing.  My son kept giving me skeptical glances from across the table unsure how my seemingly messy plate of food could taste so good.  And yet.

If you like this, here is a look at other inspired French dishes using Mushrooms & Eggs!  Here is my somewhat sloppy, yet totally delicious, version:

Amy's French Mushroom & Eggs Recipe (GF: Gluten Free & Vegetarian)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, just enough to thinly coat pan
2 pints mushrooms, stemmed, washed, dried & sliced (I used regular ol button mushrooms)
1 red onion, chopped
Garlic Powder, to taste (I used 2 tsp)
1 Tbsp unsalted Butter
1-2 Tbsp dry red wine (whichever one you like to drink!)

1/4 cup Arugula confetti (simply pulse dry fresh baby arugula in food processor until 'confetti' like pieces result)
2 Eggs
2 heaping Tbsp Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Coat cast iron pan  with olive oil and put on medium high heat.   Add sliced mushrooms, allowing to brown, stirring occasionally, using a wooden spoon.  Add onions and garlic powder; cook a few more minutes.  When desired doneness is attained, add the butter, mixing until melted.  Turn off heat.  Deglaze pan with red wine.

Cook eggs; I made mine extra over easy, with super runny yolks.  Plate your meal, layering 1-2 cups of mushrooms/ onions*, the arugula confetti, and the eggs.  I then cut up my eggs to allow the yolks to run and mix with mushrooms and then topped it all off with the cheese; yum!

*save remaining mushroom and onion mixture to throw on a pizza later or serve over steak!

+++As always, if you follow a Gluten Free diet because of a serious medical condition, please be sure to double check the ingredient lists of all foods used in these recipes, as Gluten likes to hide in all sorts of things!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Portobello Mushroom Pizza (Gluten Free & Delicious!)

Gluten Free Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Made this for dinner the other night; YUM!  So easy and so filling, and soooo DELICIOUS.  I love mushrooms and I love pizza, but this is the first time I ate them together like this, and it is so going into the rotation at home!  And yes, I ate two - it was dinner after all!  Though you could eat just one if you pair it with an awesome salad.

And by the way, mushrooms (all kinds!), are great for your immune system and health!  So eat up and enjoy :)

Here is what you do:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Brush a little olive oil on the bottom of a rimmed sheet pan.  Place 4 large Portobello mushroom caps upside down (stem side up!) on sheet.  You can totally leave the gills there, no problem.  Brush bottoms with olive oil and sprinkle on some garlic powder.  Cook for 15 or so minutes.  Remove from oven and top each cap with:

3 TBSP  Trader Joe's jarred Bruschetta
1/4 cup Cannelini beans (rinsed/ drained, if canned)
Mozzarella cheese, as much or as little as you want

Pop back into oven for 12 or so minutes, watching closely, allowing the cheese to brown up to perfection.  Remove, cool, dive in!  YUM.

*As always, if you follow a Gluten Free diet because of a serious medical condition, please be sure to double check the ingredient lists of all foods used in these recipes, as Gluten likes to hide in all sorts of things!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

By now you have likely heard all about the growing "Gluten Free" trend.  Some people must forgo gluten for medical reasons, but then there are those of us who have voluntarily cut out most or all Gluten simply because we feel better (no longer tired and bloated after every meal!) not eating it.

I have been doing this for years, in an effort to increase my consumption of Veggies and to cut calories with good success.  So I've decided to go back through my recipes and start identifying and labeling these meals as Gluten Free, when it applies, to help others out there trying to do the same thing.

And I'll also be updating and converting old recipes that contain Gluten to Gluten Free, so the GF folks have more fun stuff to choose from.  First up:  an old Pumpkin Bread Recipe became:  Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread --the kids crazy loved it this morning for breakfast!  Recipe below.  And for those wanting more info, check out this link which provides lots of details on a Gluten Free Diet.

Amy's Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350, Grease Loaf Pan.

In a bowl mix:
1 cup Gluten Free Flour (I use Trader's Joes All Purpose Flour)

1 cup Old Fashioned Oats (always be sure to use certified GF Oats, if you are GF due to a medical condition!)
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree

Pour into Loaf Pan and bake for 40 minutes, turn and bake another 20 minutes.  Enjoy and top with your choosing; in our house that means either eating it plain,  or topping it with regular butter, peanut butter or cashew butter!

*As always, if you follow a Gluten Free diet because of a serious medical condition, please be sure to double check the ingredient lists of all foods used in these recipes, as Gluten likes to hide in all sorts of things!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Gluten Free Eggplant Kale "Lasagna"

Eggplant Kale Lasagna

Isn't it great when friends and family have bountiful gardens and generous souls?  My awesome cousin gave us a big beautiful bunch of Kale, which I sautéed in Olive Oil with some sliced Garlic and Red Pepper Flake - YUM.  The plan was to just eat it that way, but then I spied an Eggplant on the counter, and the vision became clear:  Lasagna!  Double YUM.  What isn't good with Tomato Sauce and Cheese?  And also, easy-peasy!

If you like Eggplant and Kale, you will LOVE this; I did.  It goes together easy, bakes up nice and is super filling.  Also, leftovers are great for lunch the next day, served cool on a hot summer day!  And you have probably already heard how great Kale is for you (Antioxidants, Anti-Cancer and on and on).   So, here is my:

Gluten Free* Eggplant Kale "Lasagna" Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350.

1/2 cup + 1/2 cup Organic No Salt Added Marinara
1 Eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch semi-circles
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 bunch Kale, precooked in Olive Oil with Garlic & Red Pepper Flake
2 Tbsp water
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced into semi-circles (however much you wanna use!)

To Assemble:
Pour 1/2 cup Marinara into a casserole dish, brush it all over the bottom and sides of the dish.  Then on top form a single layer of the Eggplant slices.   Brush Olive Oil across the tops of the Eggplant slices.  Add the next layer:  the Kale.  Add another layer of the remaining Eggplant, again brushing them all on top with Olive Oil.    Pour water into corner of dish.  Top dish with slices Mozzarella, cover and bake for 40 minutes.  Check for doneness; you may  need to cook another 20 minutes or so depending on how deep your lasagna is and how soft you like your veggies.  Serve on plate with another 1/2 cup of Marinara, more or less to taste.  Enjoy!

Note: This would have been great with a layer of sweet onions in there too - I'm gonna add them next time!

*As always, if you follow a Gluten Free diet because of a serious medical condition, please be sure to double check the ingredient lists of all foods used in these recipes, as Gluten likes to hide in all sorts of things!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Perfect Summer Salad with Deviled Eggs

For me this is Summer on a plate; it does not get any better!  Jersey Peaches, Jersey Blueberries and Jersey Tomatoes (hey, they don't call it the "Garden State" for nothing!) served on a plate with 1/2 Avocado, a little Fresh Mozzarella, a few Garlic Stuffed Marinated Olives and my own version of Deviled Eggs over Arugula tossed with fresh lemon juice and Olive oil = my perfect lunch for a warm August day!

This is a filling Veggie packed meal with Protein and Fiber, along with lots of good fats, thank you Avocado and Extra Virgin Olive Oil!  And here is my skinnier Deviled Eggs Recipe below; seriously my boys did not even notice a difference from the regular Mayo loaded ones!

Amy's Deviled Eggs Recipe

Hard Boil 6 Eggs, chill, and remove shells
Cut in half, placing all the yolks into a bowl

To the yolks add:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil Mayo 
3 Tbsp of Plain Yogurt
Salt to taste

Mix it all together into a wonderful creaminess*

Spoon creamy yolks into egg white halves and top each with a few Capers (they add a big YUMminess pow!)


*I have also made Deviled Eggs this way using Hummus instead of Plain Yogurt in a pinch, it works and ups the Fiber factor to boot!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Carrot Chicken Salad

Carrot Chicken Salad
Yummy filling low-cal lunch today; all thrown together based on stuff in fridge.  Sometimes just a few ingredients is all you need to create a totally satisfying meal.  Mixing different textures and flavors is key!  Check it out:
Carrot Chicken Salad  (*Calorie Total: 297 Calories!!!!! )
1 cup grated Carrots  (45 Calories)
½ cup Chicken, white meat, diced  (116 Calories)
3 Artichoke Hearts, quartered (canned, rinsed, drained; 50 Calories)
3 Tbsp Avocado (68 Calories)
1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette (18 Calories!)
*Fat Secret is a great website with loads of Calorie info!!
We know Carrots are great for about this:  Eat Your Way to a Natural Tan!
Boasting rights:
Low Cal
3 servings of Veggies = loads of Fiber & Vitamins
Dairy Free Salad (the Avocado gives it just enough creaminess!)
Possible Alterations:
Pescatarians:  Sub Tuna or Salmon or Shrimp for Chicken
Vegetarians/ Vegans:  Sub White Beans or Tofu for Chicken, and use a traditional Vinaigrette

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gluten Free Blueberry Oatmeal Bread

Gluten Free Blueberry Oatmeal Bread ingredients

Gluten Free Blueberry Oatmeal Bread

Me and my boys love Blueberries so I have been loading up the last few weeks as the in season blues arrived.   The obvious answer to what to do with so many blueberries - bake a bread!  I couldn't find a recipe I liked, so I have been trying out different versions on the kids and hubby....they have liked each variation, though I thought one was too wet, one too dry and another too dense.  This was my fourth go round and guess what - we all loved it!

Here is my recipe, but PLEASE remember to double check all ingredients for Gluten Free Certification if this is of medical importance to you and your family!

Amy's Gluten Free Blueberry Oatmeal Bread Recipe

Preheat oven to 350

In large mixing bowl add 2 eggs, beat them, then add:

1 cup applesauce (all natural, unsweetened)
1 cup Gluten Free Flour - I used Trader Joe's Gluten Free Flour
1 cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal (again, double check this is GF, lots of Oatmeal is processed in factories with Wheat!)
1 pint Blueberries
1 Banana, sliced
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda

Blend all ingredients together and pour into greased loaf pan.  Cook 40 minutes, then turn and cook another 20-30 minutes ensuring it is cooked through before removing.  Set on rack to cool.  Wait if you can....then EAT!

Yes this is a bread you can feel good about sharing with your family, and enjoying yourself!  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Turkey Guac Tortillas

Turkey Guacamole Tortillas
I can't believe I never thought of this combination before!  I don't actually eat cold cuts much, but every once in a while it's a fun little change.   This had loads of flavor and was really filling!

Turkey Guacamole Tortillas

2 small white Corn Tortillas, heated (if you can toast them on the stove they are that much better!)
top each Corn Tortilla with:
a handful of fresh Arugula
a couple slices of low sodium Turkey cold cuts
a few Tbsp of Guacamole*


*I eat tons of Avocado, but rarely spend the time making Guacamole, even though I love it.  Just too much work for this busy girl!  However, I picked up some of those pre-made single serving packs which are great!  Pack just enough flavor and creamy texture with all the Avocado goodness to boot - I'm hooked! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Teriyaki Veggies with Chicken & Cilantro

Teriyaki Veggies with Chicken & Cilantro

The Veggetti strikes again!  This time in an Asian dish:  Teriyaki Chicken & Veggies!  Easy, fast and delicious!!!  

One thing that made putting this together, super easy was using a favorite bottled sauce:  Trader Joe's Island Soyaki:

So here is how I did it:

I gave one small Zucchini the Veggetti treatment, which took less than a minute.  I put the strands into a bowl with a couple Tbsp of water and cooked them in the microwave for 3 minutes total, in 1 minute intervals, stirring in between.  I added 2 Tbsp of Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce, tossed it and plated the "noodles".   Don't worry if there is a little water left in the bowl, just mix it in with the sauce, which will thin it out just a touch and make it go further- thus minimizing calories, sugar & sodium. 

Tip:  Keep the bowl with the remnants of the Teriyaki sauce to toss the other ingredients in!

Teriyaki Zucchini Veggetti

Yup, this is one whole smaller sized Zucchini.

Next I measured out 1/2 cup of mixed Veggies from the fridge that I had cooked in a little Canola oil the day before:  Baby Corn, Water Chestnuts, Carrots, Onions, Mushrooms, Snap Peas, and Sweet Peas.  I tossed them in the bowl with the remaining Teriyaki Sauce and then placed them on the noodles. 

Teriyaki Veggies

I added them cold, as I was making this for lunch and wanted it to be a chilled Asian dish.

Next I took 1/4 cup of precooked diced grilled Chicken, also stirred it in the Teriyaki bowl and then added it to the dish.  I used a plastic spatula to scrape the last remnants of the sauce onto the dish in an effort to savor every last drop!

Teriyaki Veggies with Chicken

Full disclosure:  I bought the pre packaged pre cooked sliced Chicken this week.  I typically cook Chicken myself, but was feeling a little bit lazy at the moment in the store when I passed it.  Yes it costs more but it has made quite a few meals this week easier to put together for sure!

Finally, Cilantro on top!  My happiest moment in the preparation because I snipped it from my very first herb garden on my patio - so far it's growing well!!!

Teriyaki Veggies with Chicken & Cilantro

Result:  YUM! 

For Vegetarians/ Vegans:  Remove the Chicken and substitute Peanuts or toasted Almonds!   (The Soyaki sauce is certified "Vegan"!)

Gluten Free folks:  Sadly this Trader Joe's sauce is NOT Gluten Free, so if you are looking to do a GF meal, simply find another yummy sauce that is labeled Gluten Free and enjoy!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Zucchini Veggetti with Sausage

Zucchini Veggetti - WOW!
So a few weeks ago I read about the "Veggetti", the simple kitchen tool that can turn veggies like squash and carrots into spaghetti like strands.  For a mere $15 I had to buy it and try it.  Result:  it is AMAZING!!!   Literally took me about 30 seconds to turn my large raw zucchini into a plate of veggie-spaghetti; I love this thing!!!  I really don't think I'll be mourning pasta anymore, as this is so easy, and so fast!   And it's dishwasher safe on the top rack.  Above is a pic of my very first go round with the Veggetti!

the Veggetti!
Ok, so day 1 with the Veggetti I was ready to go all out and have a full on filling yummy "pasta" dish:  Turkey Sausage with Marinara topped with Parmesan cheese.  Delicious!

Here were my ingredients:

Zucchini Veggetti, Marinara and Turkey Sausage

1 packed cup of raw Zucchini Veggetti
1/2 cup Organic No Salt Added Marinara
1/4 cup cooked Turkey Sausage, diced

I added all three ingredients into a large bowl, along with 2 Tbsp water and heated in the microwave for 1 minute; stirred it and did another minute.   That is it!

Zucchini Veggetti with Marinara and Turkey Sausage before microwaving

I plated it and added 1 Tbsp of Parmesan Cheese and dug in!

Zucchini Veggetti with Marinara and Turkey Sausage

Zucchini Veggetti with Marinara and Turkey Sausage topped with Parmesan Cheese

I cannot think of an easier way to cut carbs or calories, or to go gluten free yet still provide a delicious and filling meal so fast!  You can add endless proteins and veggies to this dish.  I cannot wait to try all my favorite pasta dishes using this thing (Pesto, Olive Oil/ Garlic, Thai Peanut, Creamy Chicken and Mushroom, the list is endless!)  And I'm eager to try it out using Carrots and Yellow Squash too.  Stay tuned!

Monday, May 11, 2015

St. Augustine Shrimp

St. Augustine Shrimp

So, as you may already know I take holidays and celebrations pretty seriously regarding food - I am not about deprivation particularly on special days!  So needless to say I indulged all weekend on delicious well deserved treats (if I say so myself!)   I somehow managed to eat pizza multiple times, in widely differing forms, and enjoy cake and ice cream in the midst of all that!   Here is a pic of my yummy Mother's Day pizza lunch, in downtown Philly - YUM!

Mediterranean Pizza Lunch in Philly!

So by last night, I was ready to create something that was low calorie and low carb, yet still a delicious Mother's Day worthy dinner (Hubbie had already made me my favorite breakfast that morning, his forte!)  My first thought, as it usually is for special  meals at home was: Shrimp!  Delicious, low cal, and easy to cook into any type of cuisine or dish.  I saw my leftover Artichokes in the fridge and the Tomatoes on the counter and remembered back to a yummy dish from a restaurant where I worked in high school:  Pasta St. Augustine.   Tons of Garlic, Olive Oil, Artichoke Hearts, and Tomatoes - all perfect to go with Shrimp!  So I got busy making my version of it - subbing in White Cannellini Beans and Zucchini for the Pasta, and serving it all over a bed of Arugula.  YUM!

Amy's Shrimp St. Augustine Recipe

1.  Cook the Augustine Sauce:  in Dutch Oven over medium to high heat, add: 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil and 1 Sweet Onion, chopped.  Sautee for a few minutes then add:  2 large Zucchinis, chopped.  Once that all begins to brown add: 6 diced Roma Tomatoes and 6 large cloves of Garlic, chopped.  Add Salt to taste.  When you can smell the Garlic cooking up, add: 1 cup White Cannellini Beans  and 1.5 cups chopped Artichoke Hearts (canned, rinsed, drained).  Cover and turn off heat.

2.  Cook Shrimp:  Clean Shrimp if necessary, rinse and then pat dry on a kitchen towel.   Season with Salt, Garlic Powder and Turmeric.  Turn another pan on medium high, when it is hot add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and start gently placing the Shrimp into the oil; you should hear the sizzle as you put them in.  Be careful not to crowd the Shrimp - you want them to cook up fast and almost crispy on the outside.   Turn after a couple minutes and finish on the other side.

3.  Serve it up and EAT!   I started with a handful of Arugula on my plate, then topped with the Augustine Veggies and placed the Shrimp up on top.   Also, I added a touch of water to the Shrimp cooking pan to make a little sauce which I drizzled on top of the whole plate.  DELICOUS!

Happy Mother's Day to me!  And the hubbie loved it too!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Artichoke Avocado Arugula Salad

Artichoke Avocado Arugula Salad

Today I was actually inspired by my son's lunch.  He wanted Turkey and Avocado with Chips, I threw on some sliced Artichoke Hearts and it all looked so good to me that I had to make myself a salad version of the combo! (Pic of his inspirational lunch below - his Strawberries were on the side.)  So I put together a salad for myself using the same combination of flavors, subbing in Arugula for the chips, and adding a couple other yummy things and ended up having a fantastic salad.  Dare I say, it seemed like an excellent salad for a Mother's Day Brunch this weekend if you are looking for something light and delicious!

My Son's Lunch which inspired my Salad!

Artichoke Avocado Arugula Salad Recipe:
(this is just 1 serving, so obviously increase the amounts based on the amount of people you are feeding!)

2 handfuls of fresh Arugula
1 Tbsp Trader Joe's Balsamic Vinaigrette
3-4 slices of Low Sodium Turkey Cold Cuts, chopped
2 Artichoke Hearts, chopped
1/4 Avocado
1 Tbsp Toasted Sliced Almonds*
2 large Strawberries, diced

It actually provides a wonderful balance of flavors and textures:  creaminess from the Avocado, sweetness from the Strawberries, a zippy pepperiness from the Arugula, nuttiness and crunchiness from the Almonds obviously, and the savory taste from the Turkey and Artichokes;  YUM YUM YUM.

It would be very easy to make a Vegetarian version of this by removing the Turkey and subbing in some White Cannellini Beans, to add some protein, fiber and more creaminess. 

It would also be easy to kick up the decadence with some crumbled Goat Cheese or Feta on top.  (If you are going to make this for Mother's Day, cheese is a well deserved must!!)

*Toasting nuts is easy and makes a tasty nut that much tastier!  I toast mine on the Broil setting in my toaster oven for just a couple minutes - watch out they burn quickly so it's best not to walk away from them!   I also make twice the amount I need so I have some extra to throw in the fridge for next time!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Warm Veggie Salad with Carrots and Cauliflower Rice

Warm Veggie Salad with Carrots & Cauliflower Rice over Arugula

Sometimes I find myself at a buffet staring at way too many delicious decadent desserts and I may have more than one, or two, get the picture.  Yesterday was that day....dark chocolate cake, cheesecake, mini pecan pies, chocolate dipped macaroons, mini chocolate éclairs (I didn't really eat all of them...ok, yes, I did.)   I'm all about good healthy eating most of the time, so once in a while on special occasions or when I'm out I can really just enjoy myself without feeling guilty.  Yesterday was one of those days. 

So today, I was all about creating a low calorie, yet filling, lunch to help balance out the extra calories from all those dessert bites.  (I'm calling them 'bites' to make myself feel better!) 

This Warm Veggie Salad with Carrots & Cauliflower Rice over Arugula fit the bill:

Directions:  Into a medium sized bowl add 1 cup of grated carrots + 1 cup of Cauliflower "rice"* + 1/3 cup of Trader Joe's jarred Indian Curry Simmer Sauce + 3 tbsp. water.  Heat in microwave for 90 seconds (covered is best), mix, and then serve over 2 cups fresh Arugula. 

Here is the Calorie break down:

1 cup Carrots: 52 Calories
1 cup Cauliflower: 25 Calories
1/3 cup Indian Sauce: 70 Calories
2 cups fresh Arugula: 10 Calories
GRAND TOTAL:  157 Calories!!!  

Calorie info obtained at: Fat Secret

This came together quickly based on what I had prepped and ready to go in the fridge, but lots of other Veggies would have worked out well here too:  Onions, Peppers, Broccoli, Zucchini, Mushrooms, is all about what you like!  Basically Veggies are very low in calories so it's super easy to eat a ton of them and keep your meal Low Cal.  And it was filling!  Kept me going until snack time 3.5 hours later (3 cups plain popped popcorn: 93 calories!)

*Cauliflower Rice easy to make!  Just chop up a head of Cauliflower into bite sized pieces, clean it and then pulse it all in a food processor until it appears the consistency and size of rice!  Throw it in a bowl with other stuff and eat :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

I have made this twice in the last week because it is so good and warm and hearty and we were in the midst of various snow storms - it was perfect!   So easy to make and loaded with veggies goodness and great Iron from the Beef.

I don't eat tons of Potatoes in general, but I used some Yukon Golds in this recipe, which would not have had the same heartiness without them.    Yukon Golds are very versatile, so it's a great Potato to keep in the house for all your Potato needs AND they are loaded with Vitamin C and provide other surprising Health Benefits!

Beef Stew

Amy's Beef Stew Recipe:

Into hot Dutch Oven or pot add 1 tbsp. Canola Oil and 1+ pound Beef Stew Meat.  Add Salt to Beef and then just walk away and don't touch the meat until it has begun to brown a bit.  Then add 1 Sweet Onion, chopped and sauté a few minutes.  Then add 4 large cloves Garlic, chopped.  Wait for the Garlic to get fragrant, then add 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste and 3 Tbsp Worcester Sauce.   Mix and sauté over Medium heat.  Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of Red Wine - I used Merlot.  After several minutes of reducing the liquid, add 2-3 cups of Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth as well as:  2 large Zucchini, chopped, 2 cups Carrots, chopped, 4 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, quartered and 1 large bunch of fresh Cilantro, chopped.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.   When you are ready to serve, add salt to taste and chop a little more fresh Cilantro to throw on top and enjoy!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice" with Cilantro & Plain Yogurt

So I found an interesting Recipe called: "fragrant indian cauliflower couscous" in Weissman's The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook that I wanted to try.  I grabbed my large head of Cauliflower at the store and headed home with this in mind, but then realized later that I didn't have all the ingredients (no cloves, no fish sauce, no cardamom pods), so I created my own version of the dish with what I had in the pantry already, and it came out GREAT!   A wonderful balance of spicy, sweet, savory and crunchy, all cooled with a little yogurt and Avocado; a totally satisfying meal, and likely a new fav in the rotation here.

I used an old fav spice blend that also happens to make great Indian Spiced Shrimp Tacos!So this dish is a mélange of the Paleo recipe, Alamelu's inspired Indian spice mix, and a little North African flavoring which I couldn't resist adding while cooking it all up.  Here is what I did:

Amy's Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice" Recipe

Heat Dutch Oven over medium flame. 

In a small bowl make the Alamelu inspired Indian Spice Mix:  1 tsp each:  Ginger, Garam Masala, Turmeric, Cumin, Cayenne (less Cayenne if you want less heat) AND 1/2 tsp each: Salt, Cinnamon.  Mix and set aside.

Then to heated pot add 1 Tbsp EVOO and 1 cup chopped red onion.  Sauté for a couple minutes, then add 4 large cloves Garlic, chopped.  Stir until fragrant, then add the spice mix.
Continue stirring for a minute or two to infuse the oil and onion with the spice flavors, then add roughly 5 cups of Cauliflower "Rice"*, making sure to incorporate all the spices into the Cauliflower.  Then add the juice of 1 Lime, 1 handful of Sultan Raisins, and 1 handful of toasted slivered Almonds. 

Deglaze pan with 1 cup of Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth (more if necessary), then add 1 large Zucchini, diced; 1 cup frozen Peas, and 1 handful of freshly chopped Cilantro.  Mix and raise heat to boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Serve topped with more fresh chopped Cilantro, Plain Yogurt and of course, I added some fresh sliced Avocado onto mine.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"
*Cauliflower "Rice" is easily made by chopping fresh Cauliflower into bite size pieces and then pulsing in your food processor until a "rice-like" consistency is formed.
Incidentally, Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and great for people suffering from Arthritis.  In fact I remember reading that India, a country known for using a lot of Turmeric in their cooking, has among the lowest levels of Arthritis in the world!  Turmeric has many health benefits, and this article listing 20 Health Benefits to Turmeric even claims "When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer"!