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!

Eggciting Veggie Frittata – My Paleo Breakfast Staple!

Paleo breakfasts can be difficult because you need to eat a lot of protein and who wants a steak for breakfast every morning?  I’ve done the Paleo thing before and this is what I had for breakfast pretty much the entire time.  It’s super easy to make and lasts a while.  I usually triple the recipe so it lasts me all week.  Rob’s sister and brother-in-law got me a cast iron skillet for Christmas so now I really have all the tools necessary to make it.  I swear it tastes even better from cast iron!

eggs with beater

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 oz white mushrooms, thinly sliced

4 large pasture raised eggs, beaten

onions, red peppers, and mushrooms in cast iron skillet

Showing off my new Lodge cast iron skillet!

Preheat oven to broil.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium flame.  Add pepper, onion and garlic.  Saute while stirring for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Mix in mushrooms and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour in eggs and continue to stir occasionally for 2 additional minutes.

Place in over and broil for 3 to 4 minutes until eggs are brown on top and firm to the touch.

vegetable frittataI usually add a little salt and pepper before I put mine in the oven but if you want to be truly Paleo, leave it out.  I use this recipe all the time and switch out different veggies to keep it interesting.  Hope you like it as much as I do.  Happy cooking!

Final Detox Post – Potassium Balance Soup

I finished my green detox, yay!  Proud of myself for doing it.  Here’s the final recipe in the detox and I’ll talk about results afterward 🙂

4 cups filtered water

4 medium zucchini, finely chopped

3 celery stalks, leaves removed, then finely chopped

1 cup roughly chopped green string beans

1 large bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves roughly chopped

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon rosemary

soup makingsPut all the ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat, cover, and let simmer gently for 30 minutes.

IMG_2061

There you have it.  I ate this all three days for dinner.  It’s surprisingly hearty and yummy!  So now for the results.  I did the detox purely for health reasons.  I wanted to start this year off with a clean and healthy body.  I wound up losing three pounds during the detox. An added benefit I guess!  The first day of the detox I had so much energy!   Then that night I got a killer headache and felt really nauseous after dinner.   Day two I felt very weak and then I got another headache in the afternoon that went through until the next morning.  Day three I felt really exhausted and weak.  Only a headache in the morning but it subsided early and then I was craving chicken!  The day after I finished the program I felt great!  My  body just felt so clean an energized!  My run in the afternoon was awesome!  I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested.  I didn’t post everything so make sure to get the book Hungry for Change and read about it so you know what to expect.  That’s all for now.  I’ve begun the Paleo diet.  More to come!  Happy Cooking!

Happy New Year! Detox time…Green Sushi Salad

Hi friends!  I’m back at it!  After my job change, a crazy move across LA and the holidays I’m finally ready to start cooking again. I’ve been cooking just not COOKING.  Nothing exciting at least.  I’m all settled in now and I have the time, so the blog is back in action!  I decided to start 2014 with a guided green detox from my favorite Hungry for Change book.  It’s a three day thing and then after that I’m doing Paleo for 30 days.  I’m making the commitment.  I posted my detox  breakfast smoothie on my Facebook page so if you’re interested, check it out there.  This salad is what I had for lunch all three days of the detox.  It’s surprisingly delicious!

For the Dressing:

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

1 tbsp tamari

Juice of 1 lemon

For the Salad:

1 ripe avocado, sliced

1 large cucumber,  halved and chopped

1 carrot, grated

Handful of alfalfa sprouts

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 nori sheet, cut roughly with scissors into bite-sized strips

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Avocados on cutting boardTo prepare the dressing, take the ginger gratings and squeeze them between fingers, making your hand a fist, into a small jar. Discard the pulp.  Add the tamari and the lemon juice to the ginger juice.  Close the lid and shake.

To prepare the salad, mix the avocado, cucumbers, carrot, sprouts, parsley, and strips of nori in a bowl and toss with the salad dressing.  Sprinkle the seeds over the top to garnish.

green sushi saladThis is a surprisingly hearty salad.  It takes a while to eat because there’s so much to chew but it will keep you feeling full!  Stay tuned for the dinner installment in a day or two and the results of the detox!  Happy cooking!

Back on Lentils – Hearty Lentil Stew

There was a time in my life when I ate lentil soup for lunch every day for probably 6 months straight.  A friend of mine inspired me and she and I both vowed to never eat lentil soup again around the same time as we both got completely sick of it.  That was about a year ago so I figured it was time to try it out again.  It’s a great lunch staple afterall!

IMG_18054 tablespoons coconut oil

4 medium onions, roughly chopped

4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 cups dried green lentils

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning

1 bunch kale, chopped

2 cups frozen peas

Fresh sage, chopped

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

IMG_1806Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions, celery, and carrots in the oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the lentils, stirring to coat them evenly with the oil and vegetable mixture.  Add enough filtered water to the pot to cover everything by an inch.  Add the bay leaves and Italian seasoning.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed, add the kale and peas.  Cook an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in the chopped sage to taste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

IMG_1810This makes a bunch and is hearty enough to keep you full until dinner time. I guess I’m back on the lentils!  Happy cooking!

 

 

 

Salad of the Summer – Arugula Salad with Berry Dressing

I have my go-to salad that I rework every once in a while with different fruit and vinegars but its basically the same.  I decided to do something a little different for Memorial Day and found this recipe on tasteofhome.com.  I reworked it so it complied with real food guidelines 🙂  It turned out really delicious.

1 cup halved strawberries, divided

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon raw honey

Dash salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios

4 cups fresh arugula

3/4 cup fresh blackberries

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup grated jicama

IMG_1796For the dressing, place 1/4 cup strawberries, vinegar, oil, honey and salt in a blender; cover and process until smooth.

Divide the arugula between 4 salad bowls, top each with blackberries, blueberries, jicama, remaining strawberries, and pistachios.  Drizzle with dressing.

IMG_1801This might be my favorite salad ever made.  I love fruit in salads and this one is so easy.  Enjoy!  Happy cooking!