Roasted Kale, Broccolini and Chickpea Salad

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So I’ve been making this for the past few weeks….fine tuning the flavors each time.  Garbanzo/chickpeas are not a regular thing in my kitchen, but I absolutely love this salad/side dish and had to share!

What you will Need:

  • 1 bunch broccolini, or broccoli, cut into long florets
  • 1 bunch Tuscan or Lacinato kale, stemmed (if large) and torn
  • 1½ cups/240 g cooked chickpeas (see below) or canned, drained
  • 1 clove garlic,chrushed
  • ¼ cup/60 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus for drizzling
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Chili Powder
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • A few VERY thin slices of Black radish
    • OPTIONAL: fresh ricotta cheese

How it’s Done:

Preheat the broiler to high.

place the Chickpeas on a cooking sheet, sprinkle with Chili powder, roast them on their own for 5-8 min.

Toss the broccolini, kale, onions, and garlic with the olive oil. Season lightly with sea salt, pepper and add red pepper flakes to taste (I like a decent amount) and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Broil the sheet, tossing halfway through cooking, until the kale is crispy and the broccoli just tender and charred but still bright green, about 5 minutes.  Add bacon, radish slices, and squeeze the juice from two lemon wedges all over the top and toss together.

 Plate the salad and top each with a dollop of ricotta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Orginal idea from: http://edibleliving.blogspot.com

Roasted Cumin-Lime Carrots

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What you will need:

  • 1 pound baby carrots with fresh green tops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice and fresh grated zest of 1 lime  (I used extra, but I LOVE lime)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

How it’s Done:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim the tops off the carrots. Toss them on a baking sheet with the olive oil, and zest, honey, salt and spices.
  3. Roast about 20 minutes, depending on size, until the carrots are just tender and beginning to deepen in color. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the fresh Lime Juice and serve!

 

Concept Credit goes to: http://familystylefood.com/2011/03/roasted-cumin-lime-carrots/

Fried Mozzarella

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You know, sometimes, there comes a day when you just want to fry some cheese.  When those days come along, I say go for it!

What you will need:

  • Olive Oil or Coconut oil
  • 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella (dried with a paper towel) and cut into bite size pieces
  • Salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Coconut Flour or All purpose Flour
  • Gluten Free Breadcrumbs or Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Optional additions: Homemade Marinara, fresh basil, fried bell peppers.

How it’s done:

  1. Dredge the mozzarella in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs (I like them really crunchy, so I do this step twice) Set them aside.
  2. Heat oil on medium in a pan.  Once oil is hot add the mozzarella and lightly brown all sides.  Takes about 2 min. 
  3. Serve immediately

Chocolated Dipped Almond Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt

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These are REALLY GOOD almond butter cookies all on their own!!  The Pomegranate Salt & Dark chocolate add beautiful color to this simple presentation.  This recipe is from http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2013/11/chocolate-dipped-peanut-butter-cookies-with-pomegranate-salt-gf.html  I modified my cookies to use almond butter & almond flour…but check out her blog it has absolutely gorgeous photography!

 Pomegranate Salt

  • I used Kosher BUT I think Maldon salt (or another flaky salt) would work better
  • Pomegranate juice
  1. Either get pomegranate juice from when you cut a pomegranate in half, from crushing some pomegranate arils (seeds), or store-bought pomegranate juice.
  2. Use a spoon or pastry brush to splatter a piece of parchment paper with a little pomegranate juice.
    1. Sprinkle a few table spoons of salt over parchment paper and use a fork to gently stir. Splash on a bit more pomegranate juice if needed.
    2.  Stir until all the salt is coated.
    3. Spread salt out carefully over the piece of parchment paper and leave to dry.
  3. Once dried, store in a small jar or bowl.

Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup Almond peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • Pomegranate salt (see recipe above) or flaky salt, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the first 6 ingredients until smooth. Stir in the almond flour.
  3. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto the lined cookie sheet, spacing them about 2-inches apart.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden underneath and on the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Melt the chocolate. Dip one half of each cookie into the chocolate and place onto a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with some pomegranate salt (or normal flaky salt) and leave to set.

Bacon Baked Avocado

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Honestly, I am not sure what I LOVE more…Bacon or Avocado!  With this recipe, you don’t have to choose and that makes it another favorite at my house.  This was derived from my baked potato cravings…since I limit my starches (potatoes)…I needed something to fill the void!  These work fantastic as a appetizer or as a side dish.

SUPER EASY!!

What you will need:

  • 2 ripe (but firm) Avocados
  • 6-8 strips of cooked Bacon (I prefer thick cut)
  • 1.5 c cheddar cheese
  • Greek yogurt

How it’s Done:

  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Half and pit the Avocados
  3. Cook Bacon (note: I bake mine in the oven – see instructions at the bottom)
  4. Chop Bacon and fill each avocado half as full as possible
  5. Top bacon and avocado with cheese
  6. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes (or until cheese is bubbly)
  7. Remove and top with Greek Yogurt and serve!

 

Baking Bacon

  • Line a rimmed** cookie sheet. with parchment paper, place strips of bacon on sheet.
  • Turn the oven to 400 degrees and place bacon in oven immediately (do not preheat)
  • Bake for 20-25 min, remove and let cool on paper towels to soak up extra grease

**A rimmed cookie sheet may seem to be common sense BUT you would be surprised!  I have heard of one too many grease fires, and I don’t recommend it!

Cauliflower Crust Pizzettes

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With parties and family gatherings on the horizon this is a great alternative (no grain) “finger food” or appetizer!! 

I’ve made the “cauliflower crust” in the past and I promise that THIS one works…the trick is making sure that the Cauliflower Rice is REALLY, REALLY dry.

What you will need:

Crust:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (cut into small floretts, you should have about 3 cups once processed)
  • 1/2 c of Mozzarella cheese shredded (I used fresh, it was tricky to “shred” but worth the trouble)
  • 1 egg  (I only use Pastured Eggs)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Olive oil

Topping:

  • More shredded Mozzarella
  • Tomato slices (I used what I had, grape tomatoes, sliced thin)
  • Fresh basil

How it’s done:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F, line cookie sheet with parchment paper, and grease with Olive Oil
  2. Take the raw cauliflower and process it in your blender or food processor (until riced)
  3. Heat large sauce pan (to cook processed cauliflower) of water to boiling, add Cauliflower…let cook for 5-8 min…until tender.
  4. Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze out as much moisture as you can (I squeezed out more than 1 cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry. Otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy dough, not a crusty one.
  5. Transfer Cauliflower to a large mixing bowl and let it cool slightly (you don’t want to cook your egg just yet) 
  6. Add egg, mozzarella, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Scoop one tablespoon of cauliflower mixture and drop onto the baking sheet. Pat into a thin round circle about 2-inches wide. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  8. Cook for about 20 min, or until slightly golden.
  9. Remove from oven and top each pizzette with shredded cheese, tomato slices.

10. Broil until the cheese melts and the tomatos are slightly roasted (3-5 min)

11. Remove from oven, let them cool (5 min), top with fresh basil…and Serve!

Recipe inspiration from : www.theironyou.com

Polish Cabbage Rolls with Mushroom Sauce

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I will be completely honest…I have NO experience with Eastern European food I probably should considering my heritage…but this was my first go at it, and I was pleasantly surprised!!!  The ONLY downside to this recipe is that it takes about 2.5 hrs from start to finish.  Thankfully last night was weird…so we were ok with eating dinner at 8:30. 

I made very few modifications to the original recipe from “CrankingKitchen”  The biggest adjustment below is that I will be doubling the mushroom recipe since we couldn’t get enough of them!  

I got this recipe FROM: http://crankingkitchen.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/paleo-polish-cabbage-rolls/ 

-Cabbage Rolls-
What you will need:

  • 1 head of cabbage, cored
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

How it’s done:

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the cabbage head and remove the leaves to a bowl or strainer as they come off the head, about a few minutes for each. Aim for about 12 leaves. When you get to the center and the leaves are small, just take the head out, let cool and chop. Lay in the bottom of a casserole pan.

2. As the cabbage is boiling, heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Add the beef, pork, and egg to the vegetables, along with salt and pepper, and mix well.

4. Lay each cabbage leaf out on a work surface (shake out any remaining water) and place about 1/3 cup of meat mixture (it’ll vary depending on the size of the leaf) at the base of the leaf. Roll up a little bit, then fold in the sides and continue to roll. Like a mini Polish burrito. Burrito-ski. Place each pigeon tightly in the baking dish, seam side down.

5. Place, uncovered, in the middle of the oven and bake for 2 hours, basting with the pan juices every 30 minutes.

-Mushroom Sauce-

What you will need:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds of cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 tbsp of garlic powder (used instead of fresh garlic because I forgot to slice them)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or beef)
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (or wt. wine)
  • drippings from the cabbage rolls
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

How it’s done:

1. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat. When the foaming has just died down, add the mushrooms. Stir frequently. First they will absorb the butter, then they’ll release their liquid, then soak it back up again.

2. Add the garlic, stir frequently for about 30 seconds – 1 minute, then turn the heat down to medium. Add the broth and drippings and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced. Season to taste.

Chocolate-Pomegranate-Ginger Bark

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Simple Sweets

What you will need:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), broken into 1-inch pieces
1½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)
1½ tbsp. minced candied ginger
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

How it’s done:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Melt the Chocolate …I use the double broiler method on the stove top  http://candy.about.com/od/workingwithchocolate/a/meltchocolate.htm

3. Once melted, gently stir half of the pomegranate seeds, the ginger (break up any clumps with your fingers), and the salt into the chocolate.

4. Scrape the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it to desired thickness.

5. Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds evenly over the top, pressing them into the chocolate.

6. Refrigerate until fully set, about 30 minutes.

7. Break the bark into chunks with your hands (be careful not to crush the seeds), and serve. The bark will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Recipe from:  http://laradelilah.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/chocolate-pomegranate-ginger-bark/

Sautéed Cauliflower and Homemade Tahini Sauce

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Are you looking for a different way to serve Cauliflower??  Then you MUST check out this Middle Eastern Classic!! 

I fell in love with these flavors while living in NYC…there was a guy at a middle eastern convenience store that made these Fried Cauliflower wraps for me on a weekly basis.  It was heaven!  So when I found these recipes I was thrilled!!!  This Tahini sauce is amazing, so I ALWAYS double the recipe to ensure there are leftovers!

Cauliflower

  • 1 head of Cauliflower, cut/broken into bite size pieces
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • Olive Oil

Tahini Sauce

  • ½ c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 4 lg cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ c. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp parsley (fine chop)

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 medium yellow onions sliced very thin (I use a mandolin slicer)
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

NOTE: In my cooking, I use stainless steel exclusively, and I have to warn you…you cannot be afraid to BURN your pan.  I have been fortunate, and have always been able to get mine clean & shinny again…but it can get pretty scorched.

  1. Clean and chop cauliflower then set aside
  2. Combine with mortar & pestle (or a food processor) garlic and tahini.  Add oil, lemon juice, and a tablespoon of warm water.(I like the tahini thick since it is going over hot cauliflower…but you can add more warm water until you get the desired consistency.)  Mix in parsley and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, add oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  (Heat until oil sizzles when you add a drop of water)
  4. Add cauliflower to pan with med heat, tossing occasionally…you want to get some color on the florets.  When al dente, add pine nuts, cook for 1 minute and remove from heat into large bowl.
  5. Add the tahini sauce to the florets and set aside, I keep mine in the microwave so that it stays warm (one of the few things I use it for)
  6. Next add about 3 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil to pan (I use the same pan the cauliflower was just in)  Heat until butter sizzles and add in the Onions
  7. Mix the Onions and butter/oil together so that they are well coated,  turn heat to Med/High.  Process takes 15-20 min, Resist the urge to stir the onions, you want them to burn slightly.
  8. Once at desired consistency, remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate, pat off excess oil and add to the Cauliflower.  SERVE immediately

Recipe Inspiration from:

Hollyshelpings.com

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

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I am always looking for a good soup and this one is a winner!  I had not worked with Wild Rice before this and I was pleasantly surprised…it’s a fantastic “add” to any soup.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 finley chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 3/4 lb thin sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 2.5 cups of cooked wild rice
  • 2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp dry sherry
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream (amount can be to taste)

How it’s done:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in onion, celery,& carrots; sauté for 5 min.  Then add mushrooms, sauté for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add flour gradually, stir well.  Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly, until added.  Bring just to boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer
  3. Add the rice, chicken, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground pepper, and sherry.
  4. Allow it to heat thru, then pour in cream.
  5. Let simmer for 1 hr (DO NOT let it boil or your roux will break)