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 coconut oil (for cooking & flavoring) *you can also try lemon or garlic infused coconut oil or butter or ghee*
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 coconut oil 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 coconut oil 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.
I’m backkkkk!!! Sorry I’ve been away so long, but life sometimes gets in the way. I’ve missed my followers and I’m excited to get back into all things food! So let’s start with this yummy Alfredo Sauce recipe I found today on food.com, I’ve adjusted it to suit my taste. You have to try this super creamy sauce soon! Pair it with some blackened or spicy grilled chicken or shrimp and you’re golden!
16 ounces linguine
4 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 1⁄2 pints heavy cream
1⁄2 cup butter
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
1. Put butter in large saucepan on medium heat, add chopped garlic and cook for about 30 secs, add cream cheese, let melt, stir in 1 pint of heavy cream.
2. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Slowly stir in the parmesan cheese, about 1/4 cup at a time.
4. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper if desired. Simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently.
5. If sauce seems to be really thick then slowly stir in the rest of heavy cream.
6. Toss pasta with sauce, garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese
NOTE : I love using fresh broccoli, so I sautéed about 4 cups of broccoli in a little butter with 4 cloves chopped garlic, red pepper flakes and a little sea salt. Then I added it to the sauce.
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.
This here is my absolute favorite Mexican Rice recipe, it turns out perfect every time and I always make extra to freeze for later meals. The rice smells amazing while its being cooked but at the end when you throw in the fresh cilantro and jalapenos and a squeeze of lime juice, the flavor goes over the top! A must try! I’m sure you will also add this recipe to your regular rotation!
I usually make this rice with black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole and carne asada!
12 ozs tomatoes, very ripe and cored
1 medium white onion
3 medium jalapenos
2 cups long grain white rice (I used brown)
1⁄3 cup canola oil
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste (may omit if using canned tomatoes)
1 tsp tomato and chicken bouillon (optional)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350.
Process tomato and onion in processor or blender until pureed and thoroughly smooth. Transfer mixture to measuring cup and reserve exactly 2 cups. Discard excess.
Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalapenos and discard. Mince flesh and set aside. Mince remaining jalapeno. Set aside.
Place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear- about 1 1/2 minutes.Shake rice vigorously to remove excess water.This step removes the starch from the rice so it will not stick. IF YOU OMIT THIS STEP YOUR RICE WILL NOT BE DRY AND FLUFFY.
Heat oil in heavy bottomed ovensafe 12 inch straight sided sautee pan or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid over low-medium heat about 2 minutes.( I just used a regular frying pan and transferred to a glass dish covered tightly with foil). Drop a few rice grains in and if they sizzle then it is ready. Add rice and fry stirring until rice is light golden and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Be careful that the oil doesn’t get too hot too fast or the oil will splatter.
Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and 2 minced jalapenos and cook , stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Stir in broth, pureed mixture,tomato paste, and salt. Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
Cover pan and transfer pan to oven to bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30-35 minutes.Stir well after 15 minutes. ( I didn’t have an oven safe pan so i transferred rice mixture to a baking dish tightly covered in foil)
Stir in cilantro, minced jalapeno to taste, and pass lime wedges separately.
Edited 8-15-08: Leftovers are just as delicious the next day so this is a perfect dish to make ahead time for potlucks. This rice also freezes well. For Freezing Ahead: Cool, portion and freeze in a ziploc bag. To reheat from frozen: Place in a pyrex dish and warm in the microwave, stirring every 2-3 minutes until heated through
For a long time I caught myself in a food rut, I would make the same thing every other week and even though the food tasted good we were all getting a little bored. If I left it up to my 4 year old, he would eat pizza every night and not complain * then again, who would?!*. So I decided to try one new recipe every week to break up the monotony.
This week I though I would try this Basil Pesto recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I made a couple of changes because my poor little basil plant looked a bit naked after I picked a cup’s worth of leaves 😀
I mixed the pesto with penne and grilled some chicken breasts, my son made a salad and we had a quick and easy dinner! It was very tasty and both kids thought it was so cool to eat alien green pasta 😀
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts (i used toasted walnuts)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves roasted garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon each salt and fresh ground pepper
Blend the basil, spinach, pine nuts, cheese, and garlic together in a food processor or blender. Pour oil in slowly while still mixing (or a little at a time, then mix, then more oil, then mix again, etc). Scrape down the sides, then add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse until everything is blended together and relatively smooth. Taste and add more salt/pepper 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.
SHHHHHH!!! You can’t tell anyone about this!..*comes closer*… Do you want to know why Caribbean food always tastes sooooo good??? Well I’m going to tell you but you must promise to never share! Ok?! Excellent!… I trust you!
It’s this! Green seasoning! We all make it, everyone has their own variation, there’s never an exact measurement, you know you’ve got the right amounts of ingredients by a certain smell! Once you know it, you’ll remember it forever! I just can’t explain it!
Green seasoning is used on meats, fish, vegetables and even for a body scrub *ok maybe not a body scrub…really don’t do that*.
My preferred blend includes;
cilantro (shadow benny/ bandania is used in the Caribbean, cilantro is in the same family)
congo/ scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
lime or lemon juice
Then you blend it together until smooth and store in the fridge. Use this pesto looking mixture to marinate meats, fish and vegetables for incredible flavor! So go on! Grab an islander and have them tell you if you’re on the right track! 🙂