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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Easy Applesauce

016.JPGI received a box of apples a few days ago and they were a bit tart. There was also a lot of them. I decided that I would turn them into applesauce. Applesauce is not a real picky recipe to make. There are so many different ways to go about it, even the cooking style. If I had more, I would have done canning as well, which leads into that process. However, you can make applesauce out of just a couple of pounds of apples. This is in a 16 oz container. It’ll make some great snacks! Since I love cinnamon I went a bit heavy there. I was told it tasted like apple pie filling, and left it a bit chunky, instead of running it with the immersion blender.

011Ingredients:
2-3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut
1/4 cup water
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Once you are done peeling, coring, and cutting the apples into smaller pieces, place them into a pot with the water. Set the temp on medium heat. Squirt the lemon juice on top and give them a stir. Add in the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Allow them to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring on occasion. Once they start to soften and break apart, turn the heat down to low. You can use a spoon to break up the pieces of apple more. If you like it pureed, use an immersion blender at the end, or scoop cups out and pour into a blender.

Mine is a bit darker from coconut sugar. I have skipped the sugar in it before, however since these apples were quite tart, they needed it. You can use apple juice instead of water, and the cinnamon and sugar ratios are more to taste. This is very flexible and it makes your house smell great! Give it a try next time you have a surplus of apples on hand.

Fresh Mushroom Soup for Two

I love soups! They make me think of fall, the beautiful leaves, and the cooler weather. It’s not exactly cool here, but I got these lovely Crimini mushrooms at the farmer’s market. I’m a huge mushroom fan, when I make pork chops and steak, I love a big pile of sauteed mushrooms on top. They’re almost better than the main course for me! Anyways, the soup takes about a half hour to make. Since I bought a pound of mushrooms, I can make another batch of this. Cooking for two people can be tough. As much as I like leftovers, I can’t always eat all of them and need something fresh.

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons white rice flour (pretty much any gf flour will work)
2 cups diced mushrooms (Crimini or Baby bella will work the best)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium high heat melt the butter in a pot. Add the onions and garlic and allow the onions to soften. Add the flour and stir it in well with the onion and garlic. Next, add the mushrooms and allow them to soften. Stir in the broth, heavy cream, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Allow it to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*The vegetable broth can be replaced with a chicken broth, or even water.

*The heavy cream can be replaced with milk, but I would suggest adding a bit more flour to thicken up the soup.

This will make 2 larger bowls, or 4 small bowls. You can easily multiply the recipe to make more.

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.

Grape, Avocado, and Chopped Walnut Salad

grape saladWho doesn’t like a fresh and light summertime salad. This has fresh grapes, diced avocado, roasted walnuts, crumbled blue cheese, and a light vinaigrette. It’s perfect for an outside meal, or served along at a cookout.

Ingredients:
6 cups lightly packed mixed greens of choice
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
2 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and roasted
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup red onion, diced

For the Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
pinch of salt and ground black pepper, to taste

grapesalad2Start by roasting the walnuts. Place a skillet on the stove and turn it to medium high. While allowing it to warm up, you can start preparing the greens and other items.

Keep an eye while roasting the nuts, they can burn quickly and only take 5-10 minutes. They’ll start to brown and smell toasted when ready, stir frequently.

Slice the grapes in half, Dice the onion, chop the avocado and add it to a large bowl with the greens.

Mix all the items in the vinaigrette together. When the walnuts have cooled off a bit, add them and the blue cheese to the salad and carefully pour the vinaigrette on top.

Serves 3-4. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Rice Skillet

veggieskilletThis dish is so simple and delicious. Cheesy and just enough spice to give it a little bit of heat and lots of flavor. Packed full of black beans, corn, and green chilies, with just enough of the enchilada sauce to hold it together. You can top it off with a little bit of sour cream even if you like. This reheats perfectly for lunches the next day, and everyone will enjoy it.

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Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked rice (cooked to package directions)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 4 oz can mild green chilies, diced
1 14 oz can mild enchilada sauce (make sure is gluten free)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook your rice first, then set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, then add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the black beans, corn, chilies, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir well then add the rice and enchilada sauce. Allow the sauce to coat all the vegetables and rice.

Next sprinkle the cheese over the top of the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and allow the cheese to fully melt. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Baked Potato Casserole

potatoesThis potato dish is a fantastic dish that will go great with pretty much anything. It’s easy to make and everyone will enjoy it. This works as both a main dish or a side dish, and is quite flexible. I’ve kept the ingredients simple, fresh, and delicious – which is perfect for any meal.

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Ingredients:
4-5 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

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Preheat the oven to 350. Wash and cut the potatoes and place into a 9×13 pan, along with the broccoli. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and rosemary on top – then drizzle the olive oil on top. Stir to evenly coat the vegetables. Sprinkle the cheese over top. Over with tinfoil and place into the oven for 55 minutes – 1 hour. Serve hot.

Clementine Smoothie

clementine smoothieThis smoothie is bursting with vitamin C and tastes fantastic! It’ll make 1 larger sized smoothie, perfect for breakfast or a snack. It reminds me of a dreamsicle, but all healthy,

Ingredients:
3 clementines, peeled and pith removed
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or milk)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground ginger

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If you like your smoothie really smooth, run it through a sieve and then into your glass. I like it as is – so I just pour from the blender. Drink and enjoy chilled.

Creamy Garlic Mushroom and Onions over Quinoa

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms and Onions

I made this delicious dinner for two the other night and it was wonderful. It’s elegant and delicious – but it’s quite simple to make and takes under 30 minutes. I was looking for something creamy and more of a comfort food, but it had to have lots of great flavor and fill me up. This really did the trick!

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz whole white mushrooms
1/2 cup white onion, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
4 tablespoons cream cheese
2-3 tablespoons milk (depending on how thick you want the sauce)

3 cups cooked quinoa, cooked to package directions – or grain of choice

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Start off with cooking the quinoa or other grain, as it’ll take longer than the mushrooms.

In a large skillet over medium heat place the mushrooms, onions, olive oil, and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms and onions are tender – about 5-7 minutes. Add the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and basil and allow the cream cheese to fully melt down – then add milk until it’s at your desired creaminess. Pour over top quinoa or other grain and serve hot! Enjoy!