Tag Archives: cauliflower

Twice Baked Cauliflower

twice baked cauliflower

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely LOVE cauliflower. I’d say it’s my favorite vegetable, next to carrots. I like to eat it roasted and dipped in BBQ sauce (kind of reminiscent of a chicken nugget that way), steamed with a little cheese sauce on it, cooked and turned into mashed cauliflower (instead of mashed potatoes) and raw with a light, healthy dip. The possibilities are really endless and this is another one of my favorite ways to eat it. If you’re making this for a Meatless meal, leave out the bacon, but if you want to add it for a nice little touch, go right ahead! I’ve made it both ways and love them both!

 

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower
4 oz. low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley (for topping)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENT, omit if you’re making this for Meatless Monday. Keep in mind that the nutritional information is calculated WITHOUT the bacon:

6 slices bacon, cooked until very crisp, then crumbled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut stem and core from cauliflower, then cut into small pieces. Cook in large pot of boiling salted water until cauliflower is tender, but not overly soft. Drain well and mash with potato masher, leaving some chunks. Mix in cream cheese, sour cream, green onion, Parmesan, and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon.
Spread evenly in a medium-sized glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with low-fat cheddar cheese and  optional reserved bacon. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Nutritional Information per serving (makes 6 servings):
 Calories 162.4
  Total Fat 9.0 g
  Saturated Fat 5.5 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.7 g
  Cholesterol 28.3 mg
  Sodium 323.6 mg
  Potassium 502.6 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 9.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
  Sugars 1.3 g
  Protein 15.0 g
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes

Meatless Monday Double Feature

Ok, folks, I’ve got a double feature for you this week to make up for missing last weeks meatless Monday. These quinoa bites get whipped up pretty quickly and they freeze well which is why I make them on a pretty regular basis.

Cheesy Quinoa Bites

adapted from soveryblessed.com

(click the link to see the original recipe and better pictures)

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (*see note at bottom)
  • 1 egg and 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 3 stalks green onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash (original flavor)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix together quinoa, carrot, egg, green onion, garlic, cheese, flour, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper.
3.  Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each).
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

*regarding the quinoa- I cook it a day ahead of time as doing this seems to help it all stick together a little better. I also cook the quinoa in Chicken broth to add more flavor. You could also cook it in Beef or Vegetable broth.

 

 

Crockpot Quinoa and Lentil Soup

https://i1.wp.com/media-cache-ec2.pinterest.com/upload/182888434839324128_jODz8Oxv.jpg

1/2 cup quinoa

3/4 cup uncooked small red lentils

2 large carrots

2 stalks celery

1 small head cauliflower (can also use 1 med. zucchini OR 1 small butternut squash)

1 large onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 inch piece cinnamon stick (optional, see note*)

2 thin slices fresh ginger (I used 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground ginger since I didn’t have fresh)

6-8 cups chicken stock (start with 6 and add more to get desired consistency, I used 8)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground fennel seed

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp dried thyme leaf or 1 sprig fresh

1 tsp dried basil or 1 Tbsp minced fresh

1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves or 1 sprig fresh

1/2 tsp salt or to taste and fresh ground black pepper

4 Tbsp minced fresh herbs: parsley, cilantro or basil

2 cups chopped fresh greens: kale, chard, or spinach (optional)

Crockpot Directions:

  1. Rinse the lentils in a bowl or pan, then drain into a colander
  2. Peel carrots and cut into thin pieces
  3. Wash and trim the celery stalks, then slice into thin pieces
  4. Break or cut the cauliflower into medium-large chunks (they will break up into smaller pieces as they cook)
  5. Combine quinoa, lentils, herbs & spices and fresh ginger in the crockpot
  6. Add the vegetables (except for the greens) and cover with the 6 cups chicken broth
  7. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or more if needed
  8. 30 minutes before serving, turn the heat up to high and stir in the greens
  9. Just before serving, add the minced fresh parsley, basil or cilantro, salt & pepper, and serve, removing the ginger slices, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, as you come across them

*I thought the cinnamon stick was too much so next time I make it I’ll either leave it out completely or take it out after 15-20 minutes. I also made my soup on the stove instead of the crockpot. If you want to do that start by sauteing all the vegetables (aside from optional greens) for about 10 minutes, then add spices and seasonings, followed by chicken stock, lentils (rinsed) and quinoa. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa and lentils are fully cooked. Remove bay leaf, ginger and cinnamon stick before serving.

Leave a comment

Filed under Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes

Meatless Monday – Vegetable Sides

It seemed like time to post some more veggie recipes in case you’re running out of ideas on how to fit them into your daily diet without seeming boring. These are some of my favorites, I hope you enjoy them, too!

 

Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger and Sesame

Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger and Sesame

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free option)
  • 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • Grapeseed oil, or some other high smoke-point cooking oil
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, rinsed, patted dry, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

Instructions

1 Toast the sesame seeds by first heating a small, stick-free sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and jiggle the pan so they spread out in a single layer. Let them cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Do not walk away from them while cooking, as once they start to brown they can easily burn. Once lightly toasted remove from heat and put into a small bowl, set aside.

2 Mix the stock, soy sauce, and dark sesame oil together in a small bowl, set aside.

3 Heat 1 Tbsp of grapseed oil in a large, covered sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the broccoli florets, stir to coat the florets with the oil, Sauté for about a minute. Clear a space in the middle of the broccoli and add the ginger and garlic. Add a little more oil to the ginger and garlic (about a teaspoon) and sauté for half a minute, stirring just the garlic and ginger, until fragrant. Then stir the garlic and ginger in with the broccoli.

4 Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock mixture to the pan. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cover. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is still firm, but can be pierced with a fork. Remove from heat. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Return pan to heat, increase heat to high and boil down the liquid until just a couple tablespoons remain. Turn off heat, return broccoli to the pan, add the toasted sesame seeds, toss with the liquid. Put into a serving bowl.

Yield: Serves 4.

 

Caramelized Fennel and Onions Recipe

Caramelized Fennel and Onions

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, halved then sliced lengthwise (root to tip) in 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Instructions

1 Heat olive oil and butter in a large, uncovered, wide pan on medium high heat. Add the sliced fennel and onions and stir to coat. Stir occasionally. After about 10 minutes, sprinkle the onions and fennel with salt. Lower the temperature to medium. You want to strike a balance between allowing the pan to get hot enough so that some caramelization (when the natural sugars in the onion and fennel start to brown) and keeping the pot from getting so hot that the onions and fennel dry out. If it becomes an issue, you can add a couple tablespoons of water to the pan to help the onions and fennel to keep from drying out too much.

2 Stir occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Note that the browned bits are the tastiest parts. Cook for another 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much of a hurry you’re in, and how caramelized you want your mixture to be. The longer you cook, the more caramelized and browned. Taste test along the way to see if the cooking has been sufficient for your taste. By the way, the onions and fennel will have plenty of flavor without having to be completely cooked down and browned all over.

3 When ready to serve, remove from heat and toss in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, the chopped parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.

Serve alone as a side to chicken or seafood, or on crackers or thinly sliced toasted baguette for a crostini. You can also use it as a filling for a rustic tart.

Yield: Serves 4.

 

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon Recipe

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 pound bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste

Instructions

1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2 While the water is heating, toast the pine nuts in a dry sauté pan until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them, as pine nuts go from toasted to burnt quickly. Set the pine nuts aside when they are toasted.

3 Add the bacon to the pan and fry gently over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside with the pine nuts. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute on medium-high heat, then add the cauliflower, pine nuts, bacon, oregano and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Do not let the garlic burn.

4 Turn off the heat and add salt and lemon juice to taste.

Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish

 

Creamy Green Beans and Mushrooms

Creamy Green Beans and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into 1-inch pieces (if fresh, remove ends, if frozen get pre-cut)
  • 1 pound mushrooms (cremini, button, shiitake), thickly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

1 Put 2 quarts of water, salted with 1 tbsp of salt, in a pot to boil while you cut the mushrooms and onions.

2 Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan and dry sauté them until they begin to release their water. Sprinkle them with a little salt. Once they have released most of their water, remove them to a bowl and set aside.

3 Add the green beans to the boiling water, and time them for 5 minutes, or until just tender. (No need to defrost frozen beans.)

4 Add butter to the hot sauté pan. Once the butter has melted, add the onions. Cook until the onions are beginning to brown.

5 As soon as the green beans are cooked just tender, strain them. Add the mushrooms to the pan with the onions, then add the green beans.

6 Remove from heat. Stir in the sour cream. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Yield: Serves 4 to 8.

 

Fennel Gratin

Fennel Gratin

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fennel bulbs (3 lbs with fronds), about 3-4 bulbs
  • Salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (herbed or plain)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • Chopped fennel fronds, for garnish

1 Cut off the fronds and stems of the fennel and save them for another dish; they are a great addition to stocks and broths. Cut the bulbs in quarters, then 1-2 inch pieces; discard the woody cores.

2 Grease a casserole pan or gratin pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and preheat the oven to 375°.

3 Boil the fennel in a medium pot of salty water for 5-6 minutes, or until the fennel is just about tender. Drain well and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.

4 Mix the parmesan, thyme and bread crumbs, then mix half of that mixture with the fennel. Add the fennel to the casserole in an even layer. Top with the mozzarella cheese, then the rest of the parmesan-bread crumb mixture. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top.

5 Cover the casserole and bake for 20 minutes. Take the cover off and bake until the cheese is well browned, about 15 more minutes. Let the gratin rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh fennel fronds.

Yield: Serve 6-8 as a side dish.

 

Green Bean Salad with Basil, Balsamic, and Parmesan

Green Bean Salad with Basil, Balsamic, and Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed green beans, cut to 2 to 3 inch long pieces
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (or shallots)
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Place the chopped onions in a small bowl of water. This will help take the edge off the onions. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.

2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans to the water and blanch for about 2 minutes or so, until the beans are just barely cooked through, but still crisp. While the beans are cooking, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When the beans are ready, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the green beans and the red onions.

3 Place the green beans, red onion, and chopped basil in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the olive oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle in the balsamic and Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chill until ready to serve. (I actually prefer this warm so I skip the ice water step and assemble while still warm.)

Yield: Serves 6.

from http://www.simplyrecipes.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes

Comfort Food – made healthier

I don’t know about you guys but where I live it’s starting to get pretty chilly outside. I’m talking highs around 50. I love it. I love the warmer, cozy clothes and how I don’t mind working up a sweat in the gym because I know when I’m done I can step out into the fall weather that is chilled just enough for a perfect post workout walk. Another thing to love about this weather is, of course, the warm comfort food that pairs perfectly with the chilly weather. Sometimes, though, it can be a challenge to take those comfort food favorites and make them healthier and veggie packed. We recently came across a recipe for macaroni and cheese that will knock your socks off! Not only is it delicious but it is packed full of veggies (my favorite part) – who could ask for more? Make sure you give this one a try, you can find the recipe HERE at Kitchen Thymes.

Image

image from http://www.kitchenthymes.com

I’m also including a side dish for creamed kale. I’ve had a ton of Kale begging to be used and this seemed like a great way to use it up.

Creamed Kale

Ingredients:

3 pounds Kale, center piece removed then roughly chopped

1 medium onion, sliced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk (or chicken or vegetable stock)

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional; adds a cheesy flavor)

Pinch of Nutmeg

3 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. flour

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a sauce pan over medium heat combine the almond milk, cottage cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic and nutmeg. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (if you don’t have an immersion blender I would suggest blending first in a blender or food processor, then transfer to a saucepan to heat up). Set aside until ready to use.

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions in pan until tender. Whisk in flour and cook about 2 minutes, making sure the mixture doesn’t brown. Whisk in the warm milk mixture and cook until thickened.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and carrots and cook until tender (not mushy), about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and then return to pot. Add cream sauce and cook until flavors meld, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

Leave a comment

Filed under Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes