Cauliflower Pizza Crust–How to make Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

I’m trying to find different ways to serve vegetables to Page.  She has a new found love for pizza–before she wasn’t at all impressed.  Recently, I’ve started to get her involved in helping me to make the meals we’re eating.  I saw a food documentary about food, and kids.  In it the narrator said that the best way to get kids to eat vegetables is to have them take part in cooking. Page is at that age where she’s very eager to help, so I thought why not take advantage of that.   I’ve also really wanted to try out a cauliflower pizza crust on our new baking steel.  I have to say that I was more than impressed with the results–so was Page.   Now for those of you wondering if this will taste anything like that delicious yeasty bread that you’re used to with pizza–the short answer is no.  Bread is bread–this is an alternative to bread.  Although it’s not bread–it mimics bread in form, and it is so delicious that it stands on it’s own.  The reason cauliflower is most often used by people as a substitution for grains is because it has such a mild flavor.  It also has great texture. This recipe requires that you add cheese.  I used parmesan, but you could use mozzarella, or pecorino, or a combination of your favorite Italian cheeses.  I also used fresh basil, but you can use rosemary, or another herb of your choosing, dried or fresh–totally up to you.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small head of cauliflower

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of truffle salt

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan–or cheese of your choice

1 egg

Directions: Pre-heat your oven and pizza stone or baking steel  to 450F for 45 minutes. Steam the cauliflower for 5-7 minutes–or until fork tender.

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Transfer cauliflower to a processor and process until cauliflower looks like grains of rice.

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Transfer processed cauliflower to a clean kitchen towel, or a nut milk bag, and squeeze until the cauliflower becomes dry.  You want to squeeze out as much water as you can.

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Transfer the cauliflower to a medium size bowl, and add garlic powder, salt, basil, and cheese–mix together into a ball.

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Spray a sheet of parchment paper with oil.  Add the cauliflower mixture to the center of the parchment paper, and with your hands begin to flatten and form it into the shape of a pizza.

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Once you have the shape you want, place it in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

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Once it’s golden brown and bubbly like this:  remove it from the oven.

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Now you can top it with your favorite tomato sauce, cheese and toppings.

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Once you have it topped, place it in the oven to cook until the cheese and topping melt.  Remove from oven, cut serve and enjoy!

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This made a 10-12 inch pizza, not a crumb was left over.  Everyone enjoyed it–my husband didn’t even know that the crust was made from cauliflower until Page told him! If you like this try my recipe for Tortilla Pizza!

D.I.Y. Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning

 

I used to be the queen of packaged seasoning, if they made it I tried it.  It never really occurred to me that I could just as easily make most of these seasoning with spices that I already had in my pantry.   It wasn’t until I was in the middle of browning some ground meat to make tacos that I realized I was missing one key ingredient–the taco seasoning–and I was forced to make due with what I had. That was a fateful day indeed. Enlightening and freeing! I no longer buy pre-made seasonings.  I just make my own.  This taco seasoning is equally as good as the prepackaged mix that I used to buy, except it doesn’t have any cornstarch or any of the other fillers that packaged seasonings tend to have.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1/4 cup or one package of taco seasoning

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of chili powder (optional)

Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Add the entire contents to browned ground meat, or try it out in my recipe for Makeover Chicken Taco’s

 

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Like this seasoning?  Then you make like my Dry Ranch Seasoning  or my Spicy Dry rub seasoning

Indian and Herb Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops

Indian and Herb Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops

Indian and Herb Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops

 

Lamb is one of my favorite meats.  Personally I like it more than beef, if given the choice between lamb and steak, I’d choose the lamb every time.  My husband on the other hand prefers steak.  He is 100% a meat and potato’s kind of guy.  After having these lamb chops he said that he’s a convert..Lol..I doubt it!   However, I’m glad that he thought that these lamb chops were delicious. I came up with the idea of marinating these with the fillings that I use for my Lamb Patties.  I added a little bit of curry powder and cumin to give the chops a little punch of flavor.  I’m so glad I did these are super flavorful, and grilling them made them more amazing than they already were.  If you only try one of my lamb recipes try this one! You will not be disappointed!!!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 pound of lamb chops

1/4 cup  fresh cilantro

1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley

1/4 cup fresh mint

1 large shallot (can sub with onion, use half of a small onion)

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Sea salt to taste

 

Directions: To a blender add cilantro, parsley, mint, curry powder, cumin powder, shallot and olive oil, blend into a paste.  Season the lamb chops with sea salt, then rub with the marinade.

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Once your grill is nice and hot, place the lamb chops on the grill and cook for 7-8 minutes on each side or until the chops reach you’re desired level of doneness.  Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan, Lemon and Red Pepper Flakes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Parmesan, Lemon, and Red Pepper Flakes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Parmesan, Lemon, and Red Pepper Flakes

 

 

I was at the farmers market this past Sunday, doing my usual weekly shopping.  One of my favorite vendor’s had these beautiful stalks of brussels sprouts.  I got so excited about them that a woman, who was also shopping, pulled me aside and whispered : “How do you cook those?” This isn’t the first time this has happened to me,  believe it or not, people stop me all the time, either at the farmers market, or at Whole Foods, to ask how to cook a variety of vegetables. The funny thing about people asking me cooking questions is that they almost always whisper the question?  I don’t understand why they whisper the question! I want to tell them, “you know you’re not the only person on the planet who has no idea what to do with ((insert name of vegetable here)).”   I shared this recipe for roasted brussels sprouts with the  the lady at the farmer’s market. It’s simple, easy and so delicious.  It’s one of my absolute favorite ways to cook and eat brussels sprouts.

 

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of brussels sprouts halved

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

3 tablespoons of olive oil ( or ghee or coconut oil)

Sea salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese

 

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Add the lemon juice and red pepper flakes to a medium sized bowl and set aside.  In a medium bowl add the brussels sprouts, oil and sea salt, toss well making sure that all the brussels sprouts are evenly covered with oil.

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Place on a foil lined baking sheet and put in the oven.

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Cook  for 10-15 minute, or until the brussels sprouts take on a significant amount of color and they become crisp and tender. Sprinkle the sprouts with  half the cheese and cook for another minute or two, just until cheese melts and becomes crisp, remove the sprouts from the oven, transfer them to the bowl with the lemon juice and the red pepper flakes, toss well to coat the brussels sprouts with the lemon juice, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, serve immediately and enjoy! These are crispy, tangy with a little kick! They are the perfect side dish for almost any meal!

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Tahini Salad Dressing — Tahini Vegetable Dip

 

Mother's Market Inspired-Tahini Salad Dressing

Mother’s Market Inspired-Tahini Salad Dressing

I love a great salad. One of my favorite salads to eat when I eat out is a simple garden salad that I get at a local health food market that I frequent.  The salad is simple in every way,  fresh mixed greens, topped with fresh mushrooms, carrots, and beets.  What makes this salad better than other salads?  That’s simple, the tahini dressing that accompanies it. The dressing is one of the best salad dressings that I have ever tasted.  The only problem is that the restaurant doesn’t sell it in a bottle, so I can’t take it home to use at a later time, and the restaurant is very secretive about what exactly is in the dressing.  I’ve asked a thousand and one times, but they won’t give me the recipe. Sort of like they wouldn’t give me the recipe for their gingered greens, which I also love.  So as usual, I had to experiment, and come up with my own version, and it is amazingly close to their tahini dressing– exact actually.  It is so good!  You can use it to dress a salad, but it’s equally good as a dip for cucumber, carrot, and celery sticks. My daughter loves it, with a capital L, and the best part is that nothing in it is bad for you.  It’s high in protein, because it contains both sesame and cashew butters.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: none

Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of tahini paste

2 teaspoons of cashew butter (about 20-30 whole cashews)

4 medium sized cherry tomatoes (about 2 tablespoons chopped)

1 large clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of Tamari soy sauce

3 tablespoons of a neutral oil like safflower

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Directions:  Place all of the ingredients in a blender or processor and blend until smooth.  Pour into a serving container and enjoy! This would be awesome on grilled veggies as well!!

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Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

 

From time to time, I crave a meal with a deep rich wine sauce. When that happens I turn to Julia Child’s beef bourguignon recipe, or my version of it.  If you have ever made beef bourguignon, then you know the sauce that accompanies the beef is everything for that particular dish! The beef, as succulent as it is, is nothing without that sauce, and that sauce was made to adorn a potato mash! The year that I had Page I decided rather than running from house to house to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, it would be easier on her, and my husband and I,  if we just stayed home and made dinner ourselves. My best friend agreed and we divided the dinner duties. Instead of a massive turkey, I roasted a chicken, she made a few sides, and I baked a cake. One of the sides she made was a potato and cauliflower mash. It was delicious, and Page loved it! It was hearty and everything you’d expect when eating mash potatoes and at the same time it had the added bonus of cauliflower. When I was making my beef bourguignon, and anticipating the yumminess of the sauce, I knew that this cauliflower mash would go perfectly with the sauce. If you’re on a low carb diet, you can omit the potatoes, and whip the cauliflower in a blender. For this recipe, I opted to not whip the mash, I wanted the hearty texture, so I used a potato masher instead. If you want a more creamy texture, just throw all the ingredients in a blender after cooking them.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small head of cauliflower (about 5 cups)

2 medium potatoes (2 cups cubed)

4 tablespoons of grassfed butter

2 tablespoons of half and half (optional)

1 head of roasted garlic

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:  Add the cauliflower and potatoes to a pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and cook until potatoes and cauliflower are fork tender.  Immediately drain the water from the cauliflower and potatoes, then add in, butter, half and half, roasted garlic, sea salt and pepper.

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Mash with a potato masher until well incorporated, or add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, then enjoy!

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Roasted Garlic-How to Roast Garlic

How to Roast Garlic

How to Roast Garlic

Can you image cooking without garlic? I can’t! I love it! Garlic lends so much flavor to a savory dish, it’s hard to imagine not having it to use. I love garlic in every state, raw, blanched, powdered, and roasted.  Each has it’s own unique flavor. Roasted garlic is so delicious, and there are so many uses for it. I add roasted garlic to a plain tomato sauce to instantly take it from bland to fantastic! I add roasted garlic to one of my favorite roasted eggplant dishes. I spread roasted garlic on a good piece of crusty bread and dip it into a balsamic, red pepper, and olive oil vinaigrette, and of course, I add roasted garlic to mashed potatoes, or my cauliflower potato mash! There are a plethora of uses for roasted garlic, (like using it for my Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken recipe), once you learn how to roast garlic, you will wonder why you’ve been cooking without it!

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Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time:30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large bulb of garlic

1 teaspoon of olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste (optional)

1 sheet of foil–must be big enough to fully enclose the garlic

Directions: Pre heat the oven to 400F. With a knife slice the top off of the garlic. Place the garlic inside of the foil, pour the oil over the top of the garlic, making sure to cover all exposed garlic. add sea salt and black pepper if using:

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Fold all sides of the foil, making sure that the garlic is fully enclosed. Place the garlic bulb in your oven:

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Cook  for 45 minutes, or until garlic is beautifully golden brown:

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Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove by squeezing, or by removing each individual clove of garlic with a pairing knife, and enjoy!

Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Meringue Cookies

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Meringue Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Meringue Cookies

If there was ever a food match that was made in heaven, it is peanut butter and chocolate! One of my favorite lazy treats is to dip a dark chocolate bar into peanut butter.  So the other day when I was craving a sweet, I thought what a great idea it would be to make a delicious peanut butter cookie that was both moist and light.  Sort of like my Starbucks Inspired Flourless Chocolate Cookie ,or, (cue the light bulb over my head), how about exactly like my Flourless Chocolate Cookie! But instead of adding melted chocolate to the meringue, I’d add melted/warmed peanut butter—and so this cookie was born! It’s light, moist, gooey, and crisp in all of the right places! A miracle really, considering the fact that we all know that I am not the most proficient baker. I was fully expecting that this would turn out to be another disastrous baking episode for me. I’m so glad that I was wrong, and that this turned out to be all that I wanted and more!

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Makes 8 cookies

Ingredients:

2 egg whites
6 Tablespoons of creamy peanut butter warmed
1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar
3/4  cup of powdered sugar (I used maple sugar,see how to powder any type of sugar here)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (optional)

1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

Directions:  Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Over low heat warm the peanut butter, until it begins to thin a bit, and takes on a glossy shine—about 5 minutes, set aside.

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Add the two egg whites to a bowl and beat on low until bubbles form, add the cream of tartar and beat on high, add in the sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat until peaks are stiff and fluffy—you can turn the bowl upside down with out the mixture running.

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Pour in the melted peanut butter and fold it into the egg white fluff–be gentle– fold until the white streaks disappear.

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Fold in the chocolate chips,

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then spoon the cookie mixture onto a parchment/silpat lined cookie sheet.

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Let them cool for 10 minutes, then move them to a cookie rack to continue cooling 5-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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Ground Chicken and Cabbage Curry

Ground Chicken and Cabbage Curry

Ground Chicken and Cabbage Curry

Do you ever pull out something for dinner and then have no clue what you’re going to make with it? I do…all the time! Most of the time it works out, but working out on some days can be relative. Success for me is getting a nutritious meal on the table on most days. This Chicken and Cabbage curry recipe  almost didn’t come together. I pulled out the ground chicken, but all I had to go with it was the cabbage. I didn’t have any fresh onion, no fresh garlic, none of the ingredients one needs to make something taste good. My fridge was empty because I had put off grocery shopping, and now I had to pay the price. I turned to my cupboards for help. I had a bevy of ground dried spices, curry, onion powder, ground ginger and garlic.  From those dried spices, this meal was born, and let me tell you what a delicious meal it was! It is one of my husbands favorite meals. I’ve made this with fresh onion and garlic, but the dried spices give this much better flavor.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of ground chicken

1 tablespoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of curry powder

1 teaspoon of ground ginger powder

2-3 tablespoons of  olive oil, or ghee

1 small head of cabbage, chopped roughly

4 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a pan add dried spices and  heat for 20 seconds or just until spices become fragrant. Add in ground meat and brown. Once meat has cooked, add in the cabbage, and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until cabbage wilts a bit.

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Remove from heat, top with cilantro and serve as is, or over a bowl of brown basmati rice and enjoy!

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Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobos

 

Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobs

Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobs

I think that there is definitely an art to marinades. I’m still learning that particular art. I recently purchased the highly acclaimed Modernist Cuisine book set. It’s massive and filled with information–extremely useful information. I’m only on the second book about 1000 pages into this probably 7000 page set, and the information that I’ve learned has completely changed the way that I view cooking.  This set is amazing! If you’re interested in the how’s and why’s of cooking, from a scientific perspective—then you want this set. If you can save the $550 plus dollars it costs to buy this book set then I highly recommend it.  Or just stay tuned to my blog, lot’s of changes are coming.  Not to mention appliances. One is the immersion circulator that I’ve been wanting for years.  Another is a vacuum chamber sealer.  I returned my Food saver in preparation for this machine.  This machine makes marination super easy, and effective.  It sucks out all of the air in the chamber and compresses everything in it. Thus making pickles in a matter of minutes, and  infusing steak or chicken and fish with marinades in minutes. Long gone will be my days of marinating anything over night.  I’m really excited for my vacuum chamber to arrive. Not having my Food Saver or a vacuum machine has been torture, but life goes on.  This particular marinade is a mixture of dry and wet ingredients.  It’s really delicious, and so flavorful, that it doesn’t need more than a few minutes to flavor the chicken–gotta love a quick marinade with no fancy equipment.

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 lb of skinless boneless chicken thighs, cubed into one inch pieces

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions: Add the onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, olive oil and lime juice to a small bowl and mix well.

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Season the chicken generously with sea salt and black pepper, add it to a large bowl.  Add the marinade paste to the chicken then toss well to cover the chicken with the marinade.

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Place chicken on skewers and grill cooking until chicken is cooked through about 10-12 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

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