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.

IMG_1775

 

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

IMG_1777

 

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!

 

Mushroom Lovers Dream – Zucchini Mushroom Soup

I’m back!  I huge apology for being MIA the past week.  I usually get extremely busy around this time in the semester and this spring is no exception!  But I have a few great posts for you so keep checking back.  This soup turned out amazingly good.  I got the recipe out of my Hungry for Change cookbook but I did a few things differently.  First, I used Japanese mushrooms instead of wild mushrooms because I LOVE them! Also, this soup is supposed to be pureed but I left it chunky because I love the consistency of Japanese mushrooms so much.

IMG_1731

2 tablespoons coconut oil

6 cups roughly chopped mushrooms

1 medium-size yellow onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons

1 bay leaf

Water

2 cups chopped cauliflower

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

IMG_1732

 

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the mushrooms in the oil with a sprinkle of sea salt until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the onion, garlic, and zucchini and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the bay leaf and enough water to cover the vegetables.  Cover the pot, bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and let everything continue to simmer until the cauliflower is soft.    At this point you can puree it in a blender if you want to go that route but I really loved it chunky!

IMG_1734

 

I made a double batch of this and I ate it all week.  If you like mushrooms then this is definitely the dish for you!  Happy cooking!

Remember those leeks? – Chicken with Creamy Braised Leeks

A week or so ago I posted on my Facebook page that I had 5 leeks I was looking to do something with. Most people said to put them in soup but being the adventurer that I am I chose to try something different.  I put on in stir fry, but I found this recipe which suggested I use mashed potatoes for the leftover sauce.  I make a mashed cauliflower that is one of Rob’s favorite things and as luck would have it he’d just recently requested it so I had discovered the perfect meal option!  Mashed cauliflower is a great option for Paleo peeps who love mashed potatoes but can’t eat them on Paleo.

IMG_1662MASHED CAULIFLOWER

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 cup chicken broth

Steam the cauliflower in a steaming basket until very tender.  I put it on when I started prepping the chicken and once the chicken was done I took the cauliflower off the burner.  Once done steaming, put the cauliflower in a medium size bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until there are no more large chunks.  Add chicken broth and mix well.  This does not have the same consistency as mashed potatoes so there will be some chunkiness to it.

IMG_1666

 

CHICKEN AND LEEKS

4 medium leeks

2 cups chicken broth

3 garlic cloves, halved

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup canned coconut milk (you can use heavy cream as well)

IMG_1665

 

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Trim roots and dark tops from leeks, leaving 5 to 6 inches of white and light green parts.  Cut the leeks in half lengthwise; rinse well.  Place the leeks in a single layer in a 9-b-13-inch baking dish, on their sides if necessary, nestling them together.  Pour in broth, submerge the garlic and thyme in the broth between the leeks.  Bake for 40  minutes.

IMG_1667After about 30 minutes, sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side.  Remove from heat.  After 40 minutes remove the leeks from the oven and nestle the chicken into them.  You may need to add more broth at this point.  Add coconut milk and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the hot skillet (do not turn the burner back on).  Stir up any browned bits and let the coconut milk heat up from the warmth of the pan.  Pour the cream mixture over the leeks and chicken.  Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve chicken with the braised leeks and mashed cauliflower, spooning sauce over everything.

IMG_1668This was super yummy and very filling.  The  leeks are so tender!  Happy cooking!