Hey guys! I’ve been testing some healthier recipes that I’ve found in books and online. Today’s experiment was cauliflower rice! I hate cauliflower, but this actually had a nice taste 😁😁😋
1 large head fresh cauliflower (about 2-3 pounds)
2-3 tablespoons ghee (for cooking & flavoring) *you can also try butter or flavored coconut oil*
1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons lemon juice (I used 1 1/2 tbsps ♥️ lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
Prep the cauliflower. Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the food processor bowl and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice. This takes about 10 to 15 one-second pulses. You may need to do this in a few batches to avoid overcrowding (which leads to mush).
2. Cook the aromatics. Place 2 teaspoons ghee in a large, nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until it’s translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and Aleppo pepper and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds
3. Finish it up. Add 1-2 tablespoons ghee to the pan, along with the cauliflower, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together and sauté until the cauliflower is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the parsley, try a bite, then add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
MIX IT UP!
Replace the lemon zest & juice with lime and swap in cilantro instead of parsley.
Keep the lemon and replace the parsley with fresh or dried rosemary.
When I moved to the United States, I was amazed at the variety of foods! Almost every country’s dishes could be found. Immediately I was drawn to Mexican food, my first experience was Taco Bell and needless to say I was sorely disappointed until I had the real deal at a small authentic Mexican restaurant that didn’t even serve cheese on their tacos! The little lady chef muttered “That’s for Americans! We no do that in Mexico!”
I was blown away, the intense flavors, the spiciness, the savoriness and the desserts Oh my goodness! Give me a coconut macaroon every day please! or maybe a cream filled churro dipped in a ton of cinnamon and sugar *drool* but I digress. Since Mexican food is quickly becoming a favorite, I’ve tried to make a few dishes myself. I found this black bean recipe on Food Network. It’s pretty basic, but very tasty and it goes great with tacos, burritos, carne asada, mexican grilled chicken or by itself! I just love the different shades of purple and navy you see after soaking, so pretty 🙂
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
Queso fresco and fresh cilantro, for topping (optional)
Soak the beans in a pot of water overnight. Drain.
Heat the olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Add the oregano and the beans, then add enough water to cover (about 9 cups). Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are just tender, about 3 hours. (Usually takes about 90 mins but some beans are just difficult 🙂 )
Add 2 teaspoons salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 45 minutes. Season with salt. Let sit 15 minutes before serving; top with queso fresco and cilantro, if desired.
Dhal, a staple in Trinidadian cooking. We make this dish alongside curries or to be eaten alone like a soup or with roti *flat bread*. It’s healthy, flavorful and filling.
So funny story, when I was a teenager I was a bit rebellious *What? Really?! No way!*… I know, hard to believe right!? Anyway, my mom was forcing me to learn how to cook and I wanted no part of it, so I was throwing a hissy fit about cooking dhal and deliberately doing it wrong so she would just get mad at me and shoo me away. Well….she didn’t and I got a pot spoon thrown at me and she made me count each grain of dhal *split peas* in the package! Ever since then I’ve hated dhal and refused to make it! *Yeah! I’ll show her!!*
Years later, I’m pregnant and craving dhal and I didn’t know how to make it! According to Caribbean superstition, when you get pregnancy cravings and you don’t satisfy it, your child will be born with a birthmark shaped like what you were craving! And I was not about to have a child with a dhal birthmark on his head! 😁
Luckily my sister Giselle was visiting me and she is the best dhal maker I know *Yeah! Take that mom!!*, so I paid close attention and wrote down this recipe. I like my dhal not too thick and not too runny, just in the middle.
1 cup yellow split peas
2 1/2 cups water
7 grains garlic
1/2 onion chopped (medium)
1/2 habanero pepper ( keep whole if you want the flavor and not the heat)
1/4 tsp saffron powder
2 pimento peppers finely chopped (or you can use jalapeños)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp whole geera (cumin)
1. Soak split peas for a couple hours and drain.
2. Boil 2 1/2 cups of water and then add the peas.
3. Add the 5 garlic grains, onion, peppers and saffron powder.
4. Let boil until peas are very soft and tender.
5. In a small pan, heat oil and add 2 grains garlic and geera, let it brown over low heat.When the garlic is brown, carefully pour the oil mixture into your split peas. (This process is called chunkaying)
6. Whisk the mixture or puree until smooth and add salt to taste (about a tsp)
TIP: If your dhal is too thick you can add hot water until you get to your desired texture.