Tikka Masala with Cauliflower

curry3This meal is vegan and gluten free. If you’re looking for a way to either reduce meat or dairy consumption – this is perfect. It’s packed full of flavor and the cauliflower gives it texture. You can make it quite spicy – I kept it on the mild side since I’m the only one in the family that likes really spicy food.

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed loose
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small pieces

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In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle the oil and place the onions and garlic. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Then add in all the spices and mix together well, coating the onions. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring constantly. Place the onions and spices in a blender with about a half cup of tomato sauce, enough to give them some liquid.

Blend together until smooth, and carefully slow back into the pan. Add the rest of the tomato sauce and the coconut milk. Sprinkle the cilantro in the pan and stir until everything is mixed.

Add the cauliflower into the pan, and reduce the heat to low -high. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

curry4To make hotter, adding both diced jalapenos to the onions, and increasing the cayenne will work well.

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Gluten Free and Dairy free Rice Crispy Treats

fall2I saw treats at the store the other day, and I was craving them. I actually thought about them several times. My mom made them for us when we were kids, and even with how simple it is – I enjoy a good Rice Crispy treat now and then.

Now with my mom being a diabetic, she can’t chow down on these – but she did have a small treat. I had a slightly larger one, since I also watch the sugar and carbs. It was good. It was really good. I got the recipe here: Coconut Oil Rice Crispy Treats I used gluten free Rice Krispies, and a different brand oil.

I could not taste the coconut oil at all, I had wondered if it would give it a different taste. It was a great substitute for butter. Also, the marshmallows did not stick to the pot. Marshmallow can be horrible to clean up.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Coconut oil
10 oz marshmallows (small sized will work better)
5 cups Gluten Free rice krispy cereal

In a large pot over medium heat pour the marshmallows and the coconut oil. Stirring frequently, cook until the marshmallows have melted down. Pour in the cereal and mix together well.

Place a sheet of parchment paper in a 9×9 pan. Pour the cereal mixture into it, and gently press into place.

Eat and enjoy!

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Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Carving

I’d seen some really cute pumpkin ideas on Pintrest a week or so ago. I haven’t decorated a pumpkin in ages, and I was feeling a bit festive. I made this one, with a large pumpkin scooped out, and three white pumpkins made into cat heads. I used hard felt for the ears and whiskers, and a Sharpie for the face. I bought some cute ribbon at Michael’s Crafts, where I also work part time.

Instead of tossing the seeds out, I roasted them. This is very easy to do, and I’ve been snacking on them since. They are also great on salad.

pumpkin2Preheat the oven to 350F.

While scooping the seeds from the pumpkin, remove as much of the stringy pieces of pumpkin as you can. Spread them across a baking pan, as evenly as you can.

Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, and sprinkle some salt. I also tossed a pinch of garlic salt on them.

Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes. At about the 15 minute mark, give them a good stir.

Pepper and cayenne also taste great on them! Feel free to mix up the spices to your liking.

Place on a sheet of paper towel and allow it to soak up the excess olive oil. Then, snack away!

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Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

I was given a large pile of tomatoes earlier in the week. I already have salsa in the fridge, and given it’s becoming fall now, so I wanted something warm and comforting. I decided to make them into a heart warming pot of soup. I wanted to roast the tomatoes and onions to really bring out the flavor in them. Since I wanted to keep the soup fresh and healthy I did not go with a cream based. You want to roast the tomatoes until they are starting to lightly bubble and become black. This recipe can easily become vegetarian by swapping the chicken broth out for vegetable. I think the chicken adds just a bit more flavor.

tomsoup4Ingredients:
2 pounds of tomatoes, cut in halves
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
pinch of ground thyme
3-4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: Fresh Parmesan cheese to top it off

tomsoup3Set the oven to 375F. Place a piece of tin foil on a baking sheet. Set the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the top of them. Place in the oven, allow to cook for 30-35 minutes. Watch for the tomatoes to be starting to bubble slightly and blacken. Remove from the oven.

While the tomatoes and onions are roasting and are close to done you can put a pot over medium heat. Pour the chicken broth in it, along with the fresh basil, thyme and salt and pepper. Once the tomatoes are ready, add them and the onions to the pot.

Allow the soup to cook on medium low heat until it simmers. About 20 minutes. Then use an immersion blender, or transfer the soup to a blender in batches about 2 cups at a time. Be careful if going this route, the soup will be quite hot. Once it is all blended together, pour into bowls. You can top it off with a bit more fresh basil, and some Parmesan cheese if you like. Makes 4 bowls.

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Kale and Quinoa Soup

Kale and Quinoa Soup

Today I made a pot of soup. I wanted to use some of the delicious fresh vegetables that I had available. I wanted it to be hearty and filling. I also wanted it to be healthy, and I wanted something that make good leftovers. It’s not a difficult soup to make, there’s time involved in preparing the vegetables and then you just allow it to cook.

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 zucchini quartered and sliced
2 cups green beans
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
3 cups kale
salt and pepper, to taste

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Over medium high heat put the olive oil in a dutch oven or larger pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Allow them to sweat for 3-4 minutes. Add in the green beans, zucchini, rosemary and paprika. Next, add the vegetable broth, water, and tomato sauce. Add in the rinsed quinoa and black beans. Lower the heat to a medium low and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes. Finally add in the salt, pepper, and kale. Allow to cook another 5-7 minutes stirring all the kale in and allowing it to wilt.

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This will serve 6-8. Serve hot, and enjoy.

A few notes: You can use fresh or frozen beans. The quinoa is uncooked and just rinsed before going into the soup. I do remove the ribs from the kale, and shred it a bit with my hands. I added a bit of cheese on top of mine since I love cheese. I’m looking forward to enjoying it again for lunch tomorrow.

I Tried It. Baking your Hard Boiled Eggs

When I was on Facebook the other day I saw a video in my feed from the Food Network. They were showing how to cook your hard boiled eggs in the oven. I cook my bacon in the oven (less mess, no splatter), so I figured I’d give this a try. I rarely post anything that isn’t a recipe, but I found this interesting.

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I make hard boiled eggs a couple times a month. I have days where I am in such a rush that I don’t have time for much of a breakfast, or I want them for a salad. They’re fairly portable, and then I won’t have a growling tummy or the cravings for junk food.

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So what did I think about baking the eggs? Well you cook them at 350F for 30 minutes in a cupcake pan, instead of the 12-ish minutes in boiling water. If you’re my mom, you let the water boil over. I put the oven timer, placed the muffin tin in, and went about my business while they did theirs. They tasted the same, as I had to test one with a bit of pepper right away. I thought it worked out well. Have you ever tried it?

Quinoa and Spinach Salad with Fresh Berries

quinoasalad1I’ve been a bit burned out with the cold and dreary weather as of late – and I wanted something cheerful to pick me up and give me that warm summertime feeling. Plus, I’d been craving fresh berries for the past couple of weeks, so I caved in and bought some. Besides just snacking on them plain, and using for oatmeal and a few other things – I wanted to make a delicious salad.

quinoasalad2Ingredients:
5 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 clementines, peeled and sectioned
1.5 cups cooked quinoa
3-4 tablespoons crushed walnuts

for the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

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In a bowl mix together all of the salad ingredients. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a smaller bowl and pour overtop the salad and toss until evenly coated. Makes 3-4 larger salads. Enjoy.

Asian Quinoa Salad

asian quinoa saladThis fresh and flavorful salad is one of my favorites. I love all the colors in it, it looks so inviting – and it’s very healthy and filling. It can work both as a side dish or a meal, I served this as a dinner for two with leftovers for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups red cabbage, chopped
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 cup bean sprouts, chopped

Dressing:
3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt, to taste

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Cook the quinoa to package directions and prepare the vegetables. Combine all in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, then stir into the salad. Can be served while the quinoa is warm, or chilled. Enjoy!

Roasted Red Potatoes and Asparagus

Roasted potatoes and asparagusI made this dish to go along with a large salad for a vegetarian meal. I like to have a hot dish to go along with a cold salad in the winter, and since I wasn’t in the mood for soup, I went for roasted vegetables. Asparagus is also a favorite of mine and I like to look for different ways to serve it and keep it healthy. I roasted the potatoes for a bit on their own first so that the asparagus didn’t get overly soft, while waiting on the potatoes to soften.

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Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1 pound red potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon worschiresauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
fresh ground pepper and sea salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375F. On a baking sheet spread out the potatoes and toss them in the olive oil with the garlic, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the potatoes and stir in the asparagus and worschiresauce and return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.