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.

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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Chicken, Mushrooms, Red Peppers and Tomatoes with a Cream Sauce

Yum. This is a great fall time dinner. It’s warm, comforting, and it’s pretty dang healthy. I love creamy sauces, this went great over rice. I’ve also eaten it without. The roasted red peppers and tomatoes give it a nice flavor, and I could eat mushrooms everyday. I had almost wished I had doubled up on them, but as much as my family likes them, it’s me who craves them.

This dish is not difficult to put together. Most of the time, I can’t sit and watch the pans so closely, so I prefer meals that I can allow to cook for a bit while I am cleaning up. I do find cooking relaxing, I just don’t always have the time.

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Ingredients:
1 large red pepper, sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and cut into slices
2 tablespoons butter
4 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Cut the tomato and red pepper. Lay them skin side up on the baking pan, and bake for about 20 minutes, until starting to blacken.

While they roast in the oven, take the butter and put it in a larger skillet. Put the heat on medium, and when the butter has melted, add the chicken. Salt and pepper the side that is up, and sear. Once the bottom side is done, flip them over and salt and pepper the side that is already cooked. Sear the other side until it’s a light brown. If the chicken hasn’t fully cooked, this is ok, it will finish cooking later.

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Remove the chicken from the pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until they soften up, then add the chicken stock. Add the heavy cream to the pan, along with the Parmesan cheese. Stir together well to mix. Place the chicken breasts back into the skillet, and add the tomatoes and peppers when they are done roasting. Sprinkle a bit of dried parsley into the pan. Add a bit more salt and pepper, if desired. Turn the heat to medium low, and allow everything to cook together for about 10 minutes.

Makes 4 servings. Goes great alone, or over rice or quinoa.

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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