Raw broccoli salad with seeds and nuts ? Oh Yes!

Raw broccoli gets a bad rap for taste for some people.. I have found out that just steaming the florets in the microwave first removes the bitterness. This way you are keeping all of nutrients in buy not over cooking it . win win!

A new favorite of mine is a raw broccoli side salad for lunch! what I do in a bowl

For one head of broccoli, chop in large pieces , rinse and steam broccoli in the microwave for 2 minutes in a bit of water.

For the dressings add to a large bow, 2 tablespoons of avocado Mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and water together.

Mix the broccoli into the dressing and then add whatever nuts and dried fruit I have at home. This time I added unsalted raw pumpkin seeds which gave it a nice crunch. Sometimes I even add bacon bits. It’s so delicious and so easy to add and make it your own. Try it out and change the way to you think about this great nutritious greens

chef tip! you can make it in batches for parties, the longer it sits the better taste try it out.

#TryMeTuseday

My Fried “Rice” Rice which is really Nice!

So one evening I had a large head of cauliflower in my fridge I had to use it up and also has bit of white long grain rice left over Here is the dish that I thought up to use both up. You can leave out the white rice to to make it gluten free.

It made me think about when “riced” vegetables became huge in the cooking world and what is cauliflower rice is actually.

So Cauliflower rice is not actually rice or a starch. It is simply a vegetable, cauliflower, that has been riced. The verb “riced”, according to the dictionary, I read means to pass potatoes or other vegetables through a sieve or ricer, such as cooked potatoes which are riced before making mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is riced, usually before cooking or blended in food processor lightly , in order to turn it into tiny bits that then look like rice. Cauliflower rice is a low calorie and low carb alternative which I have grown to love for grains of actual rice and is gluten free . Give it try !

Fried Rice and “Rice”

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked white rice
1 head of cauliflower chopped into pieces.
1 cup chopped leeks or spring onions
1 tablespoon each of onion power and garlic powder and turmeric powder.
salt and pepper to taste

How to Make it

So cook white rice according to the directions and set aside.
Add raw cauliflower to a food processor and grind on on low. do not over grind.
Add olive oil to skillet and add in chopped leeks and cook until browned but not burned.
Add garlic, onion and turmeric powders plus salt and pepper.
Lastly add in the cook white rice and combine once the cauliflower is cooked.

chef tip! Add in any other vegetables you want or chopped meat or egg , Combinations are endless. Just make sure they chopped finely and cooked through before blending them towards then end.

Rustic potatoes with parsley and oil

Thinking of an easy Thanksgiving side dish and want to spice up your boring masked potato dish? Try this! Homemade rustic smashed Yukon Gold potatoes with olive oil and fresh Italian parsley mixed in . Yum! A low calories and dairy-free version that many more people can enjoy.

It is easy and wonderful side dish that goes with everything. Potatoes are such a staple ingredient in many homes. They’re relatively inexpensive and super versatile, and you can easily turn them into many delicious dishes. In my house , I grew up with these type of mashed potatoes since they went with everything, fish and meat particularly.

What kind of potatoes are best for boiling you ask?

I find yellow-fleshed potatoes like Yukon Gold potatoes to be best for this kind of boiled potato recipe. They are medium-starch potatoes that contain more moisture so they can handle boiling well without completely falling apart.

Ingredients

serves 4 as a side dish
3 potatoes, medium sized potatoes
Garlic, one large clove, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

How To make it

Peel the potatoes and cut them into large cubes. Throw them in a large pot with water with salt, make sure that water is salty like the sea! Bring to a boil and cook until tender.

Drain the potatoes very well. Throw them back into the hot pot. Roughly smashed them in the pot.

To the pot add the good extra virgin olive oil and fresh chopped Italian parsley.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve

chef tip! You can leave them in chunks as well to if you don’t want to mash them.

Balsamic vegetables over cheesy soft polenta – Something from nothing!

Sometimes looking at what you have in your fridge can be great inspiration for great dishes. This simple “fridge creation” came from making do with what I had at home.

I had cubes of cheddar cheese in my fridge that I didn’t wait it to go waste at the end so I transformed it into a wonderful side dish along with the vegetables I had to on hand . I had over ripe cherry tomatoes , a semi hard green zucchini and a wrinkled red bell pepper. Here’s how I made this great combo

How to Make It

Combine the chopped vegetables in a sauté pan with olive oil and chopped garlic. At then end mix in a bit of balsamic glaze for sweetness. For the soft polenta , I cooked the instant corn meal with water until soft and smooth. At the end added in the chopped cheddar cheese cubes.

Use what ever veggies you have for a great vegetarian dish. Add in some meat and you have whole dinner.. The polenta or vegetables is a great side dish on it’s own . So many dinner possibilities. I just love being creative in the kitchen!

A twist on good steak and a summer succotash

Sometimes you want to follow a recipe and sometimes you just end up doing it your way. Inspired by recipe I read in Real Simple magazine . Over the years I’ve collected tons of recipes from magazines, cut them out like coupons and save them a big binder. I save online recipes in files in my computer so they are like a searchable digital cookbook.

Highly recommend having a system to keep them organized and together whenever you need some cooking inspiration.

In true fashion, I changed up the ingredients based on what I had on hand at home in my freezer and fridge. Inspiration is all that you need to make great food at home.

The result a grilled Flat Iron steak with a succotash of charred yellow squash , corn and pancetta mixed together in olive oil. Super simple and tasty.

Check out the original recipe below. How would you change it up?

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/grilled-hanger-steak-with-charred-succotash

Beautifying Brussel Sprouts!

Brussels sprouts have high levels of many nutrients and so very healthy for you and can lead to many health benefits.. They get a bad rap for being America’s most hated vegetables and need a little love to taste good.

When cooked properly, Brussels sprouts taste fantastic, even addictive. Charred and crispy on the outside, lightly caramelized and meaty on the inside, when sautéed Brussels sprouts can become a quick and easy side dish.

One new way I learned to love them is hiding the bitter taste of brussel sprouts with fresh escarole and kale mixed in. I added in bacon bits and light agave syrup it’s amazing! 😀💚

Here is how I elevated these little green balls into a tasty dish.

Ingredients.

1/2 (12-ounce) packages Brussels sprouts, ends and brown leaves trimmed
1 cup cleaned and chopped curly kale leaves
1 cup cleaned and chopped leafy escarole leaves
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon syrupy light agave or honey
2 tablespoons bacon bits

Steps

Heat a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over over medium heat. Add the olive oil, sliced Brussels sprouts, kale and escarole, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute them all well, for about 4 to 5 minutes,until very tender. Once soft but not burned add in the agave syrup and bacon bits. Serve hot.

Cool Food fact! Brussels Sprouts first appeared in Europe in the 5th century, but were later cultivated near Brussels in Belgium, leading to their name. They are sometimes mistakenly called ‘Brussel’.

Full of Farro love! Farro with Arugula, sweet sausage, and mushrooms

I look for interesting foods to continually please and provoke my palate. I found the ingredient in Trader Joes and was intrigued and now love it. 10 min Farro is great because it cut’s down on the long cooking time.

My love for Farro

I love farro. It’s hearty and wholesome, with an amazing chewy texture and nutty flavor. I enjoy it all year long, but it really becomes one of my kitchen staples in the fall. Its toasty flavor is delicious with all kinds of spices, vegetables and meats.

Here is a simple recipe that combines Farro with Arugula, ground sweet Italian Sausage and oyster mushrooms.

chef tip! even make this a vegetarian dish by leaving out the sausage meat and adding in spinach leaves to make it more filling.

How to Make it

Clean and cut the mushrooms into slices, peel and crush the garlic, remove the skin from the sausages. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan or skillet, add the garlic peeled and slightly crushed and fry. Add the chopped sausage meat and brown a little then add the mushrooms previously cleaned and cut into strips and cook through. Add the fresh arugula during the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. Season with a pinch salt and Pepper. Add in the cooked farro and combine. Top with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

Here comes the Zucchini Boats!

If you’re looking for a new way to spice up zucchini , you should make more zucchini boats!

When you use zucchini as a flavor vessel, and fill it with vegetables and and proteins , then tip with cheese and bake the combinations are endless!

The outcome is just as delicious as you would think. The texture of the zucchini after being roasted will still have a nice bite that stands up to the cheesy gooey filling inside. I like it when I want something a little out of the ordinary, sometimes combining your grains with vegetables and protiens can be boaring. Plus this perfect if you are on a keto, low card like food plan.

My favorite part is when the filling on the inside is just perfect and really comes together with all of the flavors. Yum!

How I make mine

Ingredients:

1 Zucchini, Includes Skin Raw 31 Calories per serving
1/2 cup Cheese Mozzarella Shredded Part Skim
1 cup raw spinach
1 cup watercress
2 tsp Garlic Salt Spice Blends 1 Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup chopped chicken breast meat, cooked then shredded

Steps

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Trim ends from zucchini and slice in half, lengthwise. Use the tip of a spoon to scrape out the zucchini flesh, chop it and set it aside to be added the other vegetables

Cook the chicken first until cooked through in olive oil.

Add the spinach and watercress and the zucchini flesh , garlic salt and mix well.

Spoon the mixture into each zucchini boat. Top each zucchini boat with the shredded part-skim mozzarella

Bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown and zucchini is soft and or until heated through about 25 minutes.

chef tip : Pick your own filling ! This recipe includes chicken., There’s a way to adapt this meal for almost anyone by just adding more vegetables to the mix instead of a protein. Be creative, it’s probably what I love most about them.

Kale chips. A superb snack!

Kale is the king of super foods. With so many ways to prepare it and to get it’s multiple health benefits. I used it a lot in my cooking at home.

I love buying pre-chopped and cleaned greens. I recommend the Glory Foods brand for your southern style greens.  Explore what Glory has to offer on their website at. The have some great recipes listed to.

Glory Foods

I frequently buy their fresh Kale. I normally just chopped it fine and cook them with a little water salt and pepper and the lid on, I will sometimes prepare them with rendered garlic and onion in good olive oil as well. There are frozen and canned versions which are fine for soups or stews but they never seem to be as good as the fresh chopped variety.

I love that Kale Greens are very versatile and can used in many recipes. I’ve made wonderful kale and nut pesto., had them sauteed for breakfast with eggs, even as a massaged kale salad.

Recently I’ve been making lots of Kale chips. I first preheat the oven to 400°F. I drizzle some olive oil or avocado oil on the kale, add some salt and a spices and bake them for 10-12 minutes until crispy. It makes a great super healthy snack that so addictive! Kale as a. “healthier” chip” ? I’m sold !