Saturday, December 20, 2014
Ever struggle with cooking for a crowd due to the variety of food allergies and requirements that come with it? Risotto is a perfect go-to option thanks to it's versatility, satisfying needs of gluten free, vegetarian and even vegan eaters. This delightful rice imitates pasta and makes a perfect background to carry vegetables or meat.
In this version, carrots and fennel take center stage to give an interesting warm fennel flavor with the slight sweetness of carrots. When cooked properly, risotto is creamy on it's own but I did dip into some manchego cheese for a bit of extra salty creamy goodness. Not only does it taste good, but it develops a gorgeous golden color.
There are keys to cooking risotto to help develop the creaminess are pretty easy to get down; toast the rice, preheat the liquid before adding it and use a wooden spoon to help determine when to add more broth (more on that below). Take your time and let the risotto develop, it's worth it.
This dish is great on its own or pair it with roasted meat as a side dish for a fat and happy crowd pleasing meal.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Binge season is upon us; there is no reason to try to deny it. But you can fight it, deliciously.
These little raw chocolate balls are not new, but my version adds in crunch to help satisfy that crunchy, cookie need with popped millet. It takes a few extra minutes to pop the millet, but it's so worth it for the addition of gluten free crunch.
The bonus with these balls is that they don't just satisfy your sweet craving but they do it with natural sugar and energy from the dates, good fat from the coconut oil and antioxidants from the cacao and they help to regulate blood sugar with the cinnamon. Set these out but don't tell anyone what they are until after they try them and comment on how good these are.
Indulge if you must right now, but keep these babies in the fridge or freezer year round as your go to healthy, sweet, energy option.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
I cannot stop coming up with squash recipes! Gotta get them in while we can right? One of the ways I've been enjoying squash these days is charring the skin, either on a grill or in the oven. It's delightfully crunchy and tasty, especially next to a slightly acidic sauce.
This dish plays like a warm salad but feeds like a hearty, meaty dish. I've used both acorn squash and butternut squash and they are both great in this dish; use both for the best variety. Any grain would work in this salad; try brown rice, farro or or wheat berries.
Grill, roast or broil your squash for a super delicious, healthy and hearty meal.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Aside from the craziness of Black Friday shopping, the day after Thanksgiving begins the drudgery of what to do with the leftover turkey. Sure you could make a sandwich or eat them plain as is, I also highly recommend this Potato Cake with Champagne Mushroom Ragu, or this Turkey Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. If you are looking for something a bit cheesier you might try this Horseradish Mac n Cheese dish.
But perhaps this year you want something a littler and healthier? This is the dish for you. Loaded with veggies and topped with a super yummy poblano 'cream' sauce that is filled with the good fat that will keep you nourished from the inside. Toss in whatever veggies you have, from tomatoes to left over brussel sprouts.
The sauce is so creamy you won't believe that there isn't cream or cheese in it. Just healthy avocado, roasted pepper and raw pumpkin seeds. Yes, pumpkin seeds. I used them as my tahini base instead of sunflower seeds; it's a tasty way to get your zinc in. Once you make this sauce, you might start using this on your salads, as a sandwich spread or as a dip!
You'll be so excited for this pasta, you might just throw a another turkey in the oven~ who knew leftovers could taste soo good?
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Pumpkins are a dime a dozen this time of year, hence the many of them adorning my counter tops right now. I've been playing with a crazy number of recipes that you will be seeing here soon.
Since our biggest eating holiday is coming up next week, I'm going to post a simple pumpkin soup recipe first. In this soup I used a touch of Chinese Five Spices to give a little flavor twist over the typical pumpkin soup. It's an interesting mix of cinnamon, clove, pepper, fennel and anise. It marries quite well with meats but you'll find it sweet, savory and complex in this soup. If you haven't tried this spice blend before, you may find yourself become immediately addicted to it and find yourself putting it on everything. It's quite concentrated so a little goes a long way.
Orange Pepper Cashew Cream tops the soup in a creamy, non-dairy way. If you haven't made a creamy, dairy substitute out of cashews before, now is the time to try. It's super simple, just add cashews and water and blend.
Instead of ending your Thanksgiving meal with a pumpkin, perhaps this is the year to start with it. Pumpkin 5 Spices Soup with Orange Pepper Cashew Cream, a deliciously healthy pumpkin soup.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Mixing breakfast with typical dinner items gives me great pleasure. Why do we not have pancakes in the evening and pulled pork in the morning? Who imposed these limits? I for one am not going to follow them.
Enter the chickpea pancake, topped with pulled pork, runny eggs and a tart lemon gremolata. Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Could be made for any of them- even brunch!
When you serve this, don't mention that this dish is gluten free, nobody will notice. The chickpea flour is filled with protein and gives a really yummy and hearty base for the eggs and pork. This is the perfect dish for left over pulled pork; of course you could substitute in chicken or turkey if you like. Lemon gremolata tops the dish with a touch of freshness.
Break through the meal time barriers for a fat and happy dish, you'll be glad you did!
Friday, November 14, 2014
From a basic pulled pork recipe you can make a myriad of recipes. From bbq sandwiches, port tacos or even a chickpea pancake.
This isn't earth shattering, just an easy crockpot way to slow cook pork until it's so tender it just falls apart.
Cook, enjoy and then tell me great ways you ended up using this pork.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
I'm also using up the last of my home grown tomatoes about now, so a quick warming of onions and garlic with them makes a super quick sauce.
When you chop the basil, do chop up the stems and eat them. They add a tiny crunch and additional basil flavor.
The whole dish is a healthy, tasty, rendition of classic pasta and sauce, just a little different.