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.

Pin It!

Pin It!

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

image

 

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

Pear Fruit Roll-Ups-How to make fruit roll-ups at home

 

Pear Fruit Roll-Ups

Pear Fruit Roll-Ups

One of my favorite ways to use ripe fruit is by making fruit roll-ups.  In my opinion it’s the best way to use fully ripe fruit, because the fruit is ripe, it’s very sweet, and that means that you don’t have to add sugar to make these fruit roll-ups great.  Additionally fruit roll-ups are so super easy to make and a great way to reinvent a fruit that you have an abundance of.  I have dehydrator, but these can be done in an oven.  Just set your oven to 150 or the lowest possible setting. If you don’t own a dehydrator yet, I suggest that you get one, they are really inexpensive around $40-$50 on the lower end–these work fine, and $299 on the higher end.  But they are so useful! At the least you’ll be able to make some of my favorite fruit roll-up recipes like: Tropical punch fruit roll-ups, pineapple fruit roll-up, Strawberry-apple fruit roll-ups or strawberry fruit roll-ups.

Pin It!

Pin It!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 4-6 hours

Ingredients:

5 ripe pears

Directions:  Quarter the pairs and remove the core.  Add cored pears to a blender,

image

Blend until smooth.

image

Pour the pear puree out onto a piece of parchment paper or a silpat, and smooth out into a thin layer.

image

Place in a dehydrator on 134F for 4-6 hours.

image

Alternatively you can place the parchment paper or silpat on a cookie sheet and place in the oven on the lowest setting for 4-6 hours.

image

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!!!

Pin It!

Pin It!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

IMG_5019

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!

IMG_5023

 

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.

 

Pin It!

Pin It!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

image

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

image

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!

image

image

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.

Pin It!

Pin It!

 

 

 

 

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.

image

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

image

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!

Pin It!

Pin It!

 

 

 

 

 

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:

image

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

image

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

image

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!

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.

Pin It!

Pin It!

 

 

 

 

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.

image

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

image