Spicy Crispy Baked Cauliflower

IMG_0093     IMG_0066Spicy, crispy cauliflower… um yes please.  I really like cauliflower. The mister loves it, or at least likes it better than any other vegetable. So when he asked for spicy cauliflower, well yea I am going to make it because I am so nice and really, could I say no to a veggie request? (I might have said no if it involved deep frying) Also, I found fresh cauliflower on sale! ($2.25) I don't usually cook fresh cauliflower, but  I figured at that price, it wouldn't be bad to cook a head. (If I am cooking cauliflower, which I do a lot, I just use frozen….casue it be waaaay cheaper) 

Fresh, cheap and requested veggies….those are must makes. And the mister was happy with I handed him the plate of oh so lovely looking crispy crunchy loveliness. (I kind of like to make him happy…sometimes)

IMG_0075The stuff. Cauliflower, chopped and broken into pieces. Corn meal mixed with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, and because I made this for the mister, parmesan cheese. And in the green bowl, srirsachi and a little oil. IMG_0076The cauliflower gets a coat of the hot sauce and then tossed around in the corn meal mixture. Handling as little as possible, place coated pieces on a lightly oiled baking sheet and stick those suckers in the oven for about a half hour, taking them out and flipping half way.IMG_0086And take them out of the oven when pieces tuned golden brown, stik them on a plate, and serve immediately.

A bit of spice, a bit of crispy , a lot a yum.  Serve with some crunchy veggies, maybe a squeeze of lemon and definitely some type of avocado situation.

A beer would be lovely too!

Have a fantastic weekend! 

-C


Spicy Crispy baked Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped or broken into florets
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 3-4 tablespoon sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Any seasonings you might like (garlic or onion powder, parmesan cheese, national yeast…. whatever floats your boat)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

In a bowl, mix together sriracha and oil. In a separate  bowl, mix salt, pepper, any seasonings you might like, and corn meal.  Take cauliflower and toss in sauce to coat. Remove from sauce and toss around in cornmeal mixture till fully coated, but try not to hand too much so the coating doesn't come off. Place pieces on a lightly oiled baking sheet and stick into oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, remove and flip pieces. Back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes (depending on you crispy preference) Remove when golden brown (or darker if you like) and serve immediately.

Cucumber, celery, and carrots are great accompaniments.. also a little mashed avocado or guacamole is much appreciated.

Spring Pea Pesto and Bow Ties

IMG_3773Peas scream spring to me. The bright green color with that nice bright fresh taste….. kind of like a fresh spring day. Ah spring, so lovely, so nice, so hasn't made its way here yet. So I guess I am left to eat my spring. And what better way to highlight those lovely spring tastes? A fantastic pesto my friends, and it can be made lickidy split.

Pesto is one of those things that I am constantly making, and not just the kind most people think of with basil and nuts, I pesto everything..peppers, greens, carrots, squash.  And yea, I used this post to make a pesto pasta dish, but pesto has so many other fantastic uses. Like as a sandwich or wrap spread or a dip for veggies and crackers. I have used it as a soup base, a pizza sauce, on roasted potatoes and marinated tofu with pestos. It can also be thinned down and used as a salad dressing. See, so many uses. 

And this pea pesto is no exception. It has such a great light, almost fruity, super bright taste. I mean, it's peas so it taste just like peas but somehow even better. It really works in my mouth. I could eat a bowl of this stuff and be happy. 

Whatever you plan on using it for, make the pesto. You will be thanking me later. 

IMG_3751Pesto Stuff. We got the peas, garlic, lemon, oil, cheese if you please, and salt.  IMG_3757Take a handful of peas and set aside for later. Juice the lemon and take that and the rest of the stuff and stick in a food processor and puree until smooth. 

Oh my, so green, so good.  I first made it without cheese and  scooped a little out for me. It was perfect. Like the most brilliant bright pea flavor ever. It made me happy. After I added in the cheese, the mister said it tasted even better…. so cheese or not, it's going to be good!IMG_3798The pesto is made, and it only took about 2 seconds, now boil up the pasta.  If you were a thinker, you could start the pasta and make the pesto while its boiling. (I wasn't being a thinker) I used bow ties cause they are super cute, but use whatever pasta you're feeling. Shells or the ones that look like little brains would be good options.

Once the pasta is cooked, strain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the water. Add that bit of water back to the pot, add in the pesto, give a stir and dump pasta back into the pot. Toss in a handful of peas, maybe sprinkle some cheese and give it a good crack of some pepper.

IMG_3776Into a bowl and served with a fork to eat it with.  A super green fresh springy meal of happiness. And all under 15 minutes in the kitchen.

Oh you want to thank me for this...

Hey, not a problem….not a problem at all.

-C


Spring Pea Pesto and Bow Ties

Makes enough pesto to coat a pound of cooked pasta and have some left over for sandwiches or to spread on crackers.

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 ish tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, really or vegan (optional)
  • salt
  • 1 lb (an average box) of bow tie pasta (use any whole wheat, vegan, gluten free variety)

Place peas, (remove a handful and set aside to toss into the pasta) garlic, the juice of the lemon, olive oil and the parmesan (if you are using) into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste and salt as needed.

Pasta… Boil per instructions on box. Strain pastas but save about a 1/4 cup of starchy water. Toss pasta, starchy water and pesto together, adding in the handful or more of the whole peas. Sprinkle with more parmesan and or cracked pepper ,if wanted, and serve in big bowls. 

Use a fork. Eat, smile and be happy. 

Parsnip and Carrot Fries with Smokey Sriracha sauce

   IMG_0792  IMG_0950Before we get to the fries, I just want to mention that  yesterday was one of those fantastic winter days that reminds me why I love living in Vermont.  Pretty white snow everywhere, the sun was out, and 20 degrees without a gust of wind. The trash dog an I were even able to go for a little hike.  It was so nice and soooo sooo needed!  Anyways, the other day as me, my sister and the mister where putting together  one more piece of Ikea furniture, (I am the master at Ikea assembling!)  a little runs into the room and presents the mister with a Dominos pizza. Yup, a whole pizza just for him. Why you might ask? Well I guess my sister was  delivered the wrong pizza and the place didn't want it back and she didn't want it, so she gave it to him.

A whole pizza to himself. I didn't mind too much..he was just going to be eating it for lunch and dinner until it was out of the fridge. But for dinner I did want him to eat something of the vegetable matter that didn't come out of a box. I was going to make him a big salad, but then realized that would mean sharing the last of the greens that I had for MY dinner and I was not about to do that, so I made him parsnip and carrot fries instead. No biggy, just some slicing, a little tossing and a bit of time in the old oven. And I figured I might as well make a nice sauce for those fries because I be so very nice.

The biggest problem that I ran into when I made these fries was that I didn't make enough, so you should probably make twice as many as you think you will eat. If you end up not eating them all (which you probably will), well then you now have a great start for a soup or a nice addition to a salad. Either way, you will eat them because they are amazing and addicting… and as healthy as can be!

IMG_0818The carrots and the parsnips are all sliced up into big matchsticks and ready to be baked to crispy browned perfection.  I added the oil to the pan to toss the fries in and then sprinkled with a fair amount of salt and pepper.  If you don't have and or want to use a cast iron pan, a baking sheet works just the same.

IMG_0852   IMG_0896Oh saucy sauce stuff. Tomato puree, sriracha, and yellow mustard. Add a little bit of honey to lighten it up (can use brown sugar if keeping it vegan), a splash of apple cider vinegar and a couple minced cloves of garlic. Topped off with the smokey delightful spice of cumin. I cold eat this on everything…and I kind of did. 

All mixed up in an oven safe dish, I stuck it into the oven for a about 8 minutes until it got a little bubbly, just to let all the flavors fuse together…

IMG_0917Fries are done, Sauce is ready. Served in super cute tea cups.(from now on I want to serve everything in tea cups.) A perfect side dish, snack, or even a light meal.  It lead the mister to ask the question...What pizza? 

Happy Day!

-C


Parsnip and Carrot Fries with Smokey Sriracha Sauce

The Stuff

For the Fries

  • 2 large parsnips
  • 2 large carrot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 tablespoon water)
  • 2 cloves or garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Wash and trim carrots and parsnips and cut into large matchsticks (any shape is good, just make them all uniform) Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on cast iron pan or baking sheet and stick in oven for 30 or so minutes, and rotating after about 20. The fries are done when  crispy and brown.

For the sauce. Mince garlic and add to all the sauce ingredients in an oven safe bowl. stick into oven for about 8 minutes until slightly bubbly and hot.

Dip fries in sauce

Two Dips of Greatness….. Cauliflower Sweet Potato Queso and White Bean Guacamole

IMG_8415 I was informed yesterday that if I was going to make tortilla chips, that I better make some sweet ass dips to go with them.  I kind of agree… tortilla chips need dip… or better yet, two dips. Queso and guacamole. It's what needed to be done, and so I did it.

Guacamole is amazing… anything avocado is amazing…this guacamole is amazing. White bean guacamole is amazing. And not that we really care, but this guac is half the fat then straight up guacamole.  Plus it's packed full of protein making it a kind of super duper, must eat all of it, kind of dip.  And sweet potato anything will make me happy.  Making queso dip with sweet potato and cauliflower is probably one of my best food combos so far. (after eating a butt load, I felt like I was a genius and made an amazing discovery) Again, not that we need it to be, but this is also a fat-free, vegan, gluten-free, super healthy, packed full of B12,  fiber and nutrients, dip for all kind of dip.…. just another reason why you cannot feel bad when you finish off half a batch before you get a chance to stick it in a serving bowl. (I might have done that)

 Here is what you need for a good time:

−These tortilla chips ….Check.

−Some  Chopped Veggies (I want the veggies)…..Check

−Cauliflower Sweet Potato Queso.…Check.

−White Bean Guacamole…Check. 

You are now ready for it. It being this party, that party, the Super Bowl, or a Wednesday afternoon.  

 IMG_8325     IMG_8346 

To the left we have the makings for the cauliflower sweet potato queso.. Steamed cauliflower, a baked sweet potato, nutritional yeast, garlic, and chopped up red onion, red bell pepper and jalapeño. To make all you need to do it take the chopped peppers, onion, and garlic and sauté for a few minutes just to slightly soften and bring out flavors. While that's going on, take the steamed cauliflower and sweet potato(skin off..but eat it, or save it for soup or feed it to the dog) and puree together with a blender or food processor. Add in nutritional yeast, about a tablespoon or two of hot water and, salt and pepper to taste. Blend for about 5 minutes until super creamy smooth. Add in sautéed stuff and pulse just enough to incorporated the veggies but not complete blend in.  Stick in a bowl.

To the right we have white bean guacamole stuff.  Two cups (or one can) rinsed white beans, one ripe avocado, a lime, a few cloves of garlic,(I also added a bit of garlic powered…I like my garlic) and some chopped up red onion and tomato.  Place beans, garlic, avocado and lime juice in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt to taste and toss in the chopped tomato and onion. Blend for sec to mix that in…Stick in a bowl 

IMG_8431Perfect...

IMG_8435To think that both of these dips took about 10 minutes total to make. (I had pre baked the cauliflower and sweet potato)  And for real, I would spend much more time if I had too because both of these dips are so freaking good, I definitely will be making these on the regular.

So there , dips for those sweet ass chips or whatever you want to dip or them spread them on. 

And he guys…It's FRIDAY! Have a fantastic day!

-C

White Bean Guacamole 

  • 2 cups white beans (or 1 can) rinsed and drained
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4  small red onion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt

Finley chop onion and tomato. Set aside. Place the beans, avocado, garlic, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and the juice from one lime into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add a splash of water if needed to help keep things moving. Taste and add more salt if needed. When smooth, add  the onion and tomato and pulse a few times to mix in. Scoop into a serving dish and finish with a squeeze of lime and a bit of chopped onion and tomato. 

Cauliflower Sweet Potato Queso

  • 1 1/2 cups pre cooked steamed or roasted cauliflower
  • 1 medium pre baked sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 a small red pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

Finely dice the red pepper, jalapeño, onion and garlic and sauté in a skillet for a few minutes until slightly soften and fragrant. Take the pre-cooked cauliflower, sweet potato (skin removed), and nutritional yeast and place in a blender or food processor. Blend for about 5 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add in a tablespoon  of water  to keep things moving. When completely smooth, add in sautéed veggies and pulse a few times to combine. Scoop into a serving dish. If your feeling it,  top with scallions and cracked pepper.

Serve dips with chips, veggies or anything you want. Also make great spreads for sandwiches and crackers too!

Pomegranate Guacamole

IMG_5662Pomeamole!!  That's what I want to call it, so that's what it is. Guacamole with the addition of tiny little pearls of sweet and tangy juice.. I mean, come one, it can't get much better. This is what happens when avocados are on super sale, I buy a lot…and then eat a lot….and then eat some more.  I start to get a little crafty and, wa la.. add pomegranate seeds. I also inflict anyone eating around me with avocado, even if they believe that they don't like it because that's not possible. I know this because there was a time where I believed that I didn't like avocados… and that's just crazy. I remember the very moment I realized I was wrong. It was the first food Nick ever made for me. I was working at a pottery studio and wasn't able to leave because of a raku firing  and I was starving. My love saved me with a sandwich, and it was the best I had ever eaten.  A sandwich that contained hummus, greens, sun-dried tomatoes, and yup, big slices of avocado. That sandwich change my life. I knew from that moment on….  I loved avocados……oh and that I loved Nick too. I know, we are so cute that you want to barf. Well go ahead, just do it before you eat the pomeamole.

IMG_5645It's all pretty simple...One very tasty ripe avocado, about 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds,  a little chopped onion, a bit of chopped tomato,  a lemon, a few cloves of garlic and a pinch of salt.  It's what dreams are made of.

IMG_5649Mash it all together minus the pomegranate seeds… As smooth or as chunky as you like it….

IMG_5655Fold in 1/2 the seeds

IMG_5670And top with the rest! And another squeeze of lemon… just like that. You can eat this magic with anything you want;  chippers, rice cakes, tacos, toast, or even top a kale salad with a big scoop. …..we at it with carrots and broccoli. SO GOOD!

Pomeamole! (Pomegranate Guacamole)

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 a small red or sweet onion
  • 1/2 a small tomato
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • salt
  •  a lemon or lime

Pit and scoop avocado into a medium bowl and smash until desired consistency. Finely chop onion, garlic and tomato and mix together with avocado and half the juice of the lemon. Fold in most the pomegranate seed. Top with the rest and the squeeze the other half of lemon on top.

Serve with food, or just eat with a spoon.

Hooray for on-sale avocados!! 

-C