Romantical Meal Series Post 2 – Coconut Oil Roasted Cauliflower

Here is the second course in my Valentine’s Day meal for Rob.  I’ve been working a lot with cauliflower since Rob loves it so much but also it’s really versatile!  This side dish could go with just about anything.  As a reminder, this is adapted from the Feb/Mar 2014 Taste of Home magazine.

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 tbsp capers, drained and coarsely chopped

2 tsp lemon juice

Cauliflower floretsPreheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut stem ends off unpeeled garlic cloves.  Wrap cloves in a piece of foil.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until cloves are soft.  Unwrap and cool to room temperature.  Squeeze garlic from the skins.  Mash with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat.  Heat 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

Place cauliflower florets in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan.  Drizzle with melted coconut oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.  Roast 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is golden brown and tender.

Transfer to a bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and roasted garlic; toss well to combine.

Coconut Oil Roasted CauliflowerThis was such a yummy side dish.  The golden raisins added just a bit of sweetness that went really well with the cauliflower.  Stay tuned for part 3 of the series.  Happy cooking!

 

 

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Romantical Meal Series Post 1 – Kale Salad

Valentine’s Day was last month and Rob and I decided that our gift this year would be homemade.  In true cook form I decided making a big, romantic meal was my best bet.  I’m going to do a series of three posts to chronicle what I made for him.  I’ll start with this yummy kale salad.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the Feb/Mar 2014 Taste of Home Magazine, as is the rest of the meal.

10 cups sliced kale (about 1 bunch)

1 medium apple, thinly sliced

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup pepitas

Place kale in a large bowl.  With clean hands, massage kale until leaves become soft and darkened, about 2-3 minutes; stir in apple.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until blended.  Drizzle over salad, toss to coat.  Sprinkle with pepitas.

Pale Kale salad

First off I must apologize for the quality of the picture.  I was running around trying to get the meal put together before Rob got to my place so pictures were taken haphazardly.  Second, wow who knew what a difference massaging kale makes!!  It as the first thing Rob commented on.  The kale was soft and easy to eat.  I will be massaging my kale from here on out!  Stay tuned for post number 2 on our Valentine’s day meal.  Happy cooking!

Summer Love – Basil Corn on the Cob

Who doesn’t love grilled corn on the cob?  I don’t have a grill but I still wanted to do corn on the cob for Memorial Day so I did it in my oven.  It turned out deeeeelish!  Here’s the recipe:

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6 large ears of corn

6 tablespoons raw butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon rapadura

Dash sea salt

Dash garlic salt

1 cup fresh basil leaves

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Carefully peel back corn husks to within 1 inch of bottoms: remove silk.  In a small bowl, combine the butter, dried basil, rapadura, salt, and garlic salt; spread over the corn.  Place basil leaves over the butter mixture.  Re-wrap corn in husks.  Place in a stock pot; cover with cold water.  Soak for 20 minutes; drain.

Grill corn in an oven set to broil for 25-30 minutes or until tender (or on a grill over medium heat for the same amount of time) turning often.

IMG_1800Peel and serve!  I got this recipe from tasteofhome.com and reworked it so it was a little healthier.  Let me know if you like this one.  I loved it!  Happy cooking!

And she’s back! – Steamed Cauliflower and Broccoli with Chunky Avocado Salad

I have to apologize to you all, I’ve been away from this blog for quite a while.  I recently quit my job and took a new one which is great except that I’m now commuting 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day to and from it.  I’m also still trying to finish my MBA.  Needless to say, this cuts into my cooking and blogging time!  So the frequency at which I post will likely be less but I will still be sharing good real food recipes that I find as often as I can!  This dish makes is really great to take to work for lunch.

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Half a head of broccoli, cut into florets

Half a head of cauliflower, cut into florets

4 ripe avocados

2 small carrots, sliced into coins

1 cup chopped purple cabbage

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 teaspoons chili powder

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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Place the broccoli and cauliflower into a steamer basket and steam over boiling water until just fork tender.  Remove from the steamer basket and arrange on plates.  Place the avocados into a bowl and gently toss with the carrot, cabbage, garlic, parsley, hemp seeds, chili powder, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Divide the mixture between the plates, placing alongside the broccoli and cauliflower.

IMG_1778I found this recipe in my favorite Hungry For Change cookbook.  It’s a good one!  Happy cooking!

 

Healthy Yumminess – Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts

I haven’t had a lot of time to cook because it’s the end of the semester and, well, I got a new job! So interviewing, and now finding my replacement along with school projects and studying for finals has me pretty busy.  But I did make this little side dish last weekend when I was cooking up a storm so I’m posting it now!  It’s a really good one.  If you have kids that don’t like Brussels sprouts, try this.  They’ll eat them right up!

1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Steam the Brussels sprouts in a medium sauce pot with an inch of salted water for 7 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and cut them into quarters.  In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Combine the Brussels sprouts, peanuts, salt and pepper.  Pour the vinaigrette over the top and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

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There you have it!  I’ve already forgotten what I served this with but it would go well with anything. Another great one from the Hungry for Change cookbook.  It’s seriously my go to book!  Happy cooking!

 

Colorful Healthy Side Dish – Lemon-Garlic Rainbow Chard

I’ve been getting bunches of rainbow chard in my CSA and last month I totally forgot about it and had to throw it out.  I was not about to do that this month.  So I served it for Easter.  I though it’s colorfulness made it appropriate.  This is a really great way to use all of your chard bunch, instead of throwing away the stems and it’s very easy and quick.

1 bunch rainbow chard

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 pinch crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

IMG_1727Separate the steps of the chard from the leaves.  Cut the leaves into thin strips and set aside.  Thinly slice the stems.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.  Stir in the sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and chard stems, and cook for 3 minutes until the flavor of the garlic mellows and the stems begin to soften.  Stir in the shredded chard leaves, cover, and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.  Stir, recover, and continue cooking until the chard is tender.  Toss with lemon juice and serve.

IMG_1730This is a great side dish for just about any protein.  I’ll be using this again!  Happy cooking!

 

 

Basic Side Dish- Baked New Potatoes

This is post two in the Valentine’s Day dinner meal series.  Rob loves potatoes, so I made some for him!  These are super easy and will go with pretty much any type of protein.

1 pound medium red potatoes

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Leaves from 2 fresh rosemary sprigs

IMG_1641Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a large sauce pan, cover potatoes with two inches of cold water and bring to a boil.  Cook over high heat until almost tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and cut in half (careful, they’re hot!).  Spread potato halves on a large roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, a few grinds of pepper, and rosemary, and toss well to coat.

Roast for 25 minutes, until golden and completely tender.  Serve!

IMG_1642You could serve these with some sort of topping but I just kept them plain and they were still yummy.  Stay tuned for the main entree tomorrow!  Happy cooking!