Here’s a little trick, use smoked paprika to get the smokey taste of bacon without the mess, fat or calories. Also great to use in vegetarian dishes. I used it here with this roasted Cauliflower to enhance the roasted taste and add some depth of flavor.
Smokey Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower broken into florets
1-2 T olive oil ( or substitute your favorite oil)
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/2 t-1t smoked paprika
Preheat your oven to 400. Toss Cauliflower with oil and lemon juice until well coated. then sprinkle on salt and paprika and toss again. lay on a baking sheet and put in the oven. cook for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft and starts to brown.
No, Im not pregnant but I do love pickles, they are a perfect little snack that packs in a lot of flavor with little calories. They are also great on burgers or any sandwich and so easy to make that you’ll forget about buying them at the store.
Spicy Honey Dills: Homemade Refrigerator Pickles
1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
2 t chopped garlic
1 jalapeño sliced
1 small yellow onion sliced
5 small thin skinned cucumbers sliced into 1/4 “-1/2” rounds
2 T honey
2T pickling spice
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t dried dill weed
Pour water and vinegar into a med sauce pan. Add pickling spice, thyme, red pepper, dill, garlic, salt and pepper, bring to a low boil and stir in honey. Turn heat off and let cool.
Meanwhile layer cucumbers, onions and jalapenos in a glass jar.
Add cooled liquid into jar until it covers the cucumbers, put on lid and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.
Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip
1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)
2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces
1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths
1 tomato sliced into wedges
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 t chopped garlic
2 t cumin
1 T lime juice
Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired
Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.
My husband is back on the low carb diet so I am back to being creative with cauliflower. This hand mashed cauliflower has the same texture and flavors of a risotto without the rice and carbs. I don’t even think my kids noticed the difference.
Parmesan and Cauliflower “Risotto”
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1/2 c ricotta cheese
3 T- 1/4 c cream
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
juice of 1/2 lemon ( about 2 T)
salt and pepper
Steam or cook cauliflower until fork tender. Drain excess water, Add to a med sized pot and hand mash with a potato masher. Add ricotta, lemon juice, cream (start with 3 T and add more if needed) stir in Parmesan cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat over low until heated through.
Here is a close up of the texture. If you prefer a puree of cauliflower instead just add to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
Sides can be boring, this one isn’t. Perk up your broccoli with this easy recipe but be careful it might steal the show.
Broccoli with Lemon, Olive Oil and Parmesan
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1-2 t olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1/4 c shredded or shaved parmesan cheese
1/4 t salt
Steam broccoli until crisp tender. I used a microwave steam bag this time, but any method with work, just don’t over cook it. Toss with oil, lemon juice, parmesan and salt. Serve.
If you know me or follow my blog you know that I am a sucker for produce. I love all the colors and textures and the way all the fruits and vegetables look stacked in neat piles. I wish I could decorate my kitchen to look like a farmer’s market. I also will buy anything I haven’t seen or eaten before, or anything out of the ordinary, my youngest son and I are suckers for any exotic fruit or vegetable. So I have tried Rapini, otherwise known as Broccoli Rabe or Broccoletti before but I am sure many people haven’t. It looks like greens with little pieces of broccoli attached and is actually a member of the turnip family.
It can be prepared like most any leafy green, sautéed, blanched etc… It is somewhere between cabbage and collards as far as bitterness. To prepare just wash and chop off the very bottom of the stems, the rest of the plant is edible. Great as a side dish or part of a main meal like this Rapini and Sausage dish.
Rapini and Sausage
1 bunch Rapini or Broccoli Rabe
1 t salt
1 lb smoked turkey sausage ( you could use any sausage in this dish)
1 small onion chopped
1 t garlic chopped
1 t red pepper flakes
1 T lemon juice
1 c mushrooms sliced ( I used baby bellas)
Bring a pot of water and 1 t salt to a boil, toss in rapini and cook for 4 minutes. drain.
In a large pan heat oil over med high heat, add sausage and onions saute until sausage in cooked through. add garlic, red pepper flakes, rapini and mushrooms (add another T of oil if needed). Continue cooking until mushrooms are soft, squeeze lemon juice over dish and salt and pepper to taste.
Yes I am mean, this is what I tried to serve my husband and kids as so called wings. But guess what it was delicious, maybe not low fat but it sure is healthier than regular buffalo wings and if you don’t over think it , it tastes pretty similar. The heat and crunch are there and dip anything in blue cheese and its a winner. Mix it up this Super Bowl and try this, perfect for vegetarians and dieters.
3 T butter
2 T hot sauce
1 head cauliflower , cut into florets
blue cheese dressing (optional)
Met butter in a pan
add hot sauce and stir over med high heat. Add cauliflower and saute for about 4 minutes, until coated, but still crunchy.
Sprinkle with salt. Serve with blue cheese dressing
It is soup weather, this decadent, silky soup is great for guests and kids.
2 T butter
1 cup chopped leeks
1/2 c chopped celery
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c half and half
1/2 t salt
white pepper to taste
2 c shredded smoked Gouda cheese
melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven, add leeks, celery and garlic, saute until leeks and celery are soft, about 8 minutes, add cauliflower and saute for 2 minutes more.
add broth and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Puree mixture in a large blender. Return to pot add cream, 1 1/2 c cheese, salt and pepper. cook over low until cheese is melted. Ladle into bowls and garnish with remaining cheese.
Perfect for football games or kid friendly dinners.
Bacon Wrapped Chicken With Honey Mustard Sauce
4 chicken breasts cut into 3rds
12 slices of bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
2 T dijon mustard
2 T honey
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375. Wrap 1 slice of bacon around each piece of chicken and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 25 minutes, draining juices from pan 1/2 way through cooking to ensure crispy bacon. Mix mayo, mustard and honey together, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
This is an easy and quick side dish or weeknight meal that captures the season’s flavors.
Warm Apple, Bacon, and Spinach Salad
5 slices of bacon chopped into 1″ pieces
1/4 c chopped onion
1 apple, chopped into bite sized pieces ( I left the skin on)
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 t honey
6 c fresh spinach
1/4 c pepitas (roasted and salted pumpkin seeds)
In a large fry pan, cook bacon over med high, add onions and cook until crisp, add apples and cook for 2 min, add honey and vinegar until heated through ( if you bacon is very fatty drain off all but 2 T fat before adding the honey and vinegar)
Add warm apple mixture to spinach toss and sprinkle with pepitas and serve.