Curry Vegetables over Cauliflower Mash

This light, healthful dish is full of flavor, and also leaves lots of room for creativity. If you prepare it, you’re not limited to the vegetables I used in my recipe. Tailor to with your favorite vegetables. You could try eggplant, broccoli, or spinach.

Because it’s a light meal, you might seek a bit more heft, like some of my family.  Ground turkey meatballs is a perfect complement to this dish. I included the meatball recipe below.

Curry Vegetable

  • roasted chickpeas
  • 1 can 15 oz coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp green curry paste or to taste
  • 1 large white sweet potato, thinly sliced
  • carrots, thinly sliced
  • bok choy
  • kale, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Cauliflower Mash

  • 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream or dairy-free sour cream
  • salt
  • pepper

Optional Turkey Meatballs

  • ground turkey
  • cayenne
  • paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • curry

In a skillet, pour and combine coconut milk and green curry paste. Allow milk mixture to come to a simmer, then toss in the sweet potato and carrots.

Cook for about 7 minutes or so. You don’t want the carrots and sweet potato to get to tender yet. Add in kale and bok choy and cook for about 5 minutes more.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Steam cauliflower just until soft. Puree the cauliflower in a food processor, then add sour cream and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

To plate, scoop a hefty serving of cauliflower mash into a dish and top with the curried vegetables and roasted chickpeas (or meatballs).

*This dish is great as a vegan dish. However, if you would like to add some extra protein grab about a ½ lb. of ground turkey and add in the cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper, and curry powder.  Grab about 2 oz. of meat and shape into a ball. Brown the meatballs in a light oiled skillet and cook thoroughly in an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Not much to say here. This speaks for itself. Few ingredients yet flavorful. You can do anything with these. I’ve made sweet and savory ones.

Toss on a salad, in a curry or as a snack. This is perfect for an avid muncher like me because it isn’t doing any damage that a chocolate chip cookie would. 😉

  • Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Oil

Mix in a bowl and place on a pan in the oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes.

Candied Pecan Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I am about to expose a little about myself, but it’s the truth. Cookies are my go-to for many reasons, but I’ll narrow it down to three:

  1. Versatility
  2. One bowl preparation
  3. High volume with minimal cooling time, which means I get to eat them sooner.

It might sound overly voracious, but I don’t care! Cookies are a true gift, and I give gift cookies often.

I was feeling fancy when I made these, so I added the flaky salt. The humble cookie is so underestimated.  A cookie can be cakey, chewy, or crunchy. It can be a simple, frosted sugar cookie, or whatever else you can think of.

Can you imagine a world without cookies?! Would you even want to? Not this self-proclaimed cookie connoisseur.

  • 1 ¼ c sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses*
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3 ¼ c flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, optional
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz 60% Dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Candied pecans, chopped
  • Flaky Salt

*If you don’t have molasses, don’t sweat it. You can just substitute the granulated sugar for brown sugar instead.

Preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper

In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar and molasses and until fluffy. Add in eggs.

In a separate, medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch and salt.

Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.

Fold in candied pecans and chocolate chunks.

Use about 2 tbsp. of dough for each cookie. Drop them on baking sheet. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

Bake for 9 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with flaky salt. Allow to cool completely.

Grab 3 or so and go on your merry way!

Candied Pecans

A quick, simple way to satisfy a sweet tooth. The combination of spice and toasted flavors accompany the sweetness perfectly on these pecans. I lean on these when I am trying to do right but honestly, they are good in general. And on ice cream?! I digress.

  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 oz pecan halves
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine the sugar, salt and cinnamon, then set aside.  Whisk the egg whites until they are a little frothy and bubbly. Add the water and vanilla to the beaten egg whites, then add in the pecans until all the nuts are coated in the egg white mix.

Next, pour in sugar mixture and stir until all pecans are coated. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, put into a 400ᴼ oven, and. bake for 20 minutes, flipping the nuts halfway through to ensure even baking on both sides.

Remove from oven and cool completely.  You’ll have a sweet and crunchy snack to enjoy.

Cinco De Taco Tuesday

I don’t know why some people make a big deal out of Cinco de Mayo. Well I have an idea, but that’s a topic for another day. Happy Cinco De Taco Tuesday! This year it seems epic enough to acknowledge since most of us can’t go anywhere, and I suggest you try making your own taco buffet!

Kimchi Chicken Tacos

Meat
·        1 lb. Ground Chicken
·        2 tbsp Soy Sauce
·        Salt, to taste
·        Pepper, to taste
·        Garlic Powder, to taste
·        1 tbsp Paprika
Topping
·        Spicy Kimchi, roughly chopped
·        Tomatoes, diced
·        Green Onions
·        Cilantro, roughly chopped
·        Sour Cream
·        Lime
Tortillas
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes
·        2 cups masa harina
·        2 ¼ c of hot water
·        2 tsp salt

Grab a large skillet and turn the stove on medium-high heat. Cook and break up the ground chicken until fully cooked. Add in the soy sauce, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Be sure to taste and season according to preference.

Tortillas

Mix masa harina flour and salt in a medium sized bowl.  Add hot water until it comes together enough to make a dough.

Divide the dough into two ounce balls dough balls. I chose 2 oz. because I wanted mine to be the size of a street taco.

Use a Ziploc bag to line the tortilla press then place a dough ball in the middle and press until about 5” in diameter.

After making sure your skillet is on medium- high heat, place your tortillas in the pan for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until there’s a little char. Move cooked tortillas to a plate and repeat making tortillas until the dough is used up.

Assemble

Grab your tortilla and fill with the ground chicken. Top with tomatoes, kimchi, green onions, sour cream and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze on top.

Enjoy!

I also got to flex my carpentry skills by making the taco stand you see in the photos. I’m part of a large family so a stand that fit about 15 tacos was a “necessity”. My stand was modeled after this one on Curbly. I really impressed myself with this meal.

Stroopwafels

I am frugal; NOT cheap. However every blue moon, less frequently really, I succumb to a splurgey weakness. I was inspired by Claire Saffitz’s Bon Appetit show, Gourmet Makes. She challenged herself to upgrade the classic Kit Kat candy bar and to make this happen, she ordered a waffle cone maker. This inspired me to attempt my own “gourmet make” of Little Debbie’s Nutty Buddy. They came out pretty good, but they were labor intensive.

Alas, my waffle cone maker sat in its box, collecting dust. I decided it was high time I use that waste of space and money and so began thinking of possible recipes for it. I couldn’t tell you how Stroopwafels came to mind, but they did, and I had no idea where to start. I researched, found a recipe and tweaked the filling. They were delicious.

Recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bake

  • 4 1/4 cups/500 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup/250 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups/226g granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup/ 60 ml lukewarm almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ c honey
  • ½ c local cane syrup
  • ¼ c sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Waffle

In a bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugar, yeast, milk and egg. Knead together until you have a smooth, consistent dough. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and loosely cover it with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm place to for 40 minutes (doesn’t rise much but that little lift helps later on).

Filling

Heat the cane syrup, honey, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a bubble. When the mixture thickens slightly and the sugar is melted, remove it from the heat.

Heat up waffle cone maker. Knead dough and shape into balls about 2 tbsp. each in size. Place the dough in the center of the cone maker and push down slightly until golden brown. Quickly remove the waffle from the maker. Have your cookie cutter ready and a knife to slice in half.

Side Note: I wasted nearly half of my dough trying to slice the hot waffles as they came out of the maker. I found it much more manageable when I used 2” and 3” biscuit cutters and followed up with the knife. It’s a little difficult because the waffles are hot, but still manageable.

 Repeat with each dough ball.

Assembly

Put a ½ or 1 tablespoon of filling, depending on the size of the cut out and sandwich the waffle sides.

An Inspired Loaf of Meat

I am not a fan of meatloaf. What’s appetizing about slab of meat topped with ketchup?! Just does not appeal me. One of my younger sisters will tell anyone, without hesitation, that she hates meatloaf. The moment she heard it was on the menu, she complained and was disappointed with me for choosing such a blah meal. I, however, had no intention of preparing a blah meatloaf.

Inspired by the Barbacoa Melt at Toasted, I decided to try my hand at converting myself and convincing our resident contrarian that meatloaf can be appetizing. And by George (whoever he is!) I think I’ve done it!

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Barbacoa Meatloaf

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  • 1.5 ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 c parsley, fresh
  • ¼ c cilantro, fresh
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp chipotles in adobo, chopped
  • ¼ c green chiles, canned, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ c cotija, crumbled
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For vegetarian version

  • 1 Lightlife Plant Based Burger patty
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp parsley, fresh
  • 1 tsp cilantro, fresh
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp chipotles in adobo, chopped
  • 1 tbsp green chiles, canned, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 5 Ritz crackers, crushed 

Topping

For the meatloaf:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ᴼ.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the meat or meat substitute with the eggs, parsley, cilantro, lime juice, chipotles, green chiles, garlic, cotija, oregano, salt and pepper.* Mix until well combined.
  3. Place in a greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the center is fully cooked.
  4. Remove loaf from oven, allow to rest for about 10 minutes and flip the meatloaf out of the pan onto your serving dish.**
  5. Top with chimichurri and allow to cool to a bearable temperature of consumption.
  6. Adorn your loaf with pickled red onions and serve.

*5 Ritz crackers for the personal vegetarian loaf

** Spare yourself the flip and shape your raw meat in a loaf pan then flip that onto a greased 9×13 pan

     and proceed with instructions.

Give this recipe a try and let me know your thoughts on it, especially if it adds meatloaf to your favorite food list.

Here’s to making the most of a bland dish!

Pear Galette

Pear 1

I’ve discovered that impromptu baking is less risky with almond flour. *SHOCK* Seriously, though. I figured out that the key here is bake time. I don’t need to worry about rise, because I know it won’t. Being aware of proper bake time nearly guarantees you will not fail; kind of like those classes based on attendance and discussion posts.

Give this a try and let me know if it flops. If I were a betting woman, I would put money on it. I won’t, but I probably should, because this really is foolproof. It’s also delicious and reasonably nutritious.

Let me know how it turns out for you.

Pear 2

  • 1 ¼ c almond flour
  • 6 tbsp butter grated, cold
  • ¼ c sweetened almond milk
  • ½ tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 1 lb. of Red Anjou Pears, slices
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Tapioca Flour
  • 2 tsp water
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • Egg wash (egg yolk+water)

In a bowl combine almond flour, coconut sugar, almond milk, egg.  Fold the grated butter in last. Roll dough into a ball, place in a freezer bag and refrigerate.

Chill dough for 30 minutes.

While the dough chills wash and slice up your pears. You can peel them, but I decided to keep the peel on.  It adds fiber and depth of color.

In a small bowl mix the honey, water and tapioca flour. Pour the pear slices into the mixture, then add cinnamon, nutmeg and kosher salt to taste. Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon.

Preheat oven to 400 F

Take the dough out the refrigerator and place onto an almond floured surface (be liberal). Roll dough out to about a 10 inch circle and ½ inch thickness.

Place the pear slices in the middle of the crust, leaving about 2 ½ inches around the edge, then fold the crust in towards the center. Folds and slight overlapping are acceptable. It creates a rustic presentation.

Brush the crust with egg wash (yolk and 2 tsp water). Be generous or your crust will be pasty and no one wants that, generally speaking.  Generously sprinkle coconut sugar onto egg washed dough.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool, slice and eat.

Pear 3

Disclaimer: I make no claims that this is healthy or going to cure the common cold because of its health properties. Truthfully, I have no idea if you benefit much from this, I’ve just developed a taste for almond flour.

Pear 4

Spice It Up

New places, new foods, new experiences; I welcome them all. When it comes to cooking new recipes, I am hesitant to leave a perfectly good recipe behind to take liberties with it. While meal prepping for my 3rd or 4th Whole30, I decided to experiment with flavors of India.  I gathered whatever I could find in the cabinets, stumbled across Garman Marsala, and tossed it all into the ground chicken.

It was  बहुत सुन्दर (bahut sundar)! That’s Hindi for très magnifique, according to Google Translate. And très magnifique translates to very magnificent, according to my rudimentary French.

I encourage you to ditch the cookbook and flex your culinary muscles. Share what you come up with. You can start by tweaking this simple recipe!

Spiced Meatballs

  • 1.5 lbs. ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp Grapeseed oil
  • 3 tbsp Greek Yogurt
  • Ginger
  • Garman Marsala
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Granulated Garlic

Preheat oven to 350 F

Combine all ingredient in a bowl and combine.

Roll into balls and place on greased pan.

  • I measured each meatball out to 1 oz each.

*Tip:  I oiled my hands to prevent the meat from sticking to my hands.

Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Note: These meatballs are perfect to freeze and reheat as needed. Let the meatballs cool completely before putting them into freezer bags, and then pop ’em into the freezer.