CITRUS CAULIFLOWER RICE

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 😁😁😋

INGREDIENTS:
  • 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)
DIRECTIONS:

  1. 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.

Meal prep fajita bowls: citrus caulifower rice, chicken, peppers and onions, guacamole, pineapple chow
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AU GRATIN POTATOES

Au gratin potatoes is an easy dish that goes with almost anything! The ingredients are cheap and you probably already have them in your pantry or fridge! This is a slightly lightened version *so I can eat a little more of it yay me!*. Give this a try if you’re bored of the same old mashed potato as a side every week. *I still love you mashed potatoes, you complete me!* 💕

We had this yummy cheesy potato dish with cajun grilled salmon and roasted garlic asparagus!  Here’s my salmon stealing superhero Hailey ❤ 😀DSC_6107

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 -2 tablespoon flour
    • 2 cups low fat milk
    • 2 lbs potatoes, thinly sliced
    • 2 cups shredded low-fat cheese ( I use extra sharp cheddar and mozzarella)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1teaspoon black pepper
  1. DIRECTIONS
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Thinly slice potatoes (I used my food processor, I love that thing)906709_10155507786105431_3595937942901911516_o
  4. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  5. Melt butter in a large frypan over medium heat; add in onion and cook stirring occasionally until onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes).11206619_10155507786060431_8762224442090326059_o
  6. Stir in flour, then slowly add in milk.
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  8. Add in potatoes; stir to mix; bring to a boil.
  9. Stir in 1 cup cheese, salt and black pepper.11148832_10155507786470431_6750918319184762305_o
  10. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish then spread out.
  11. Bake for 1 hour uncovered.
  12. After 1 hour cooking time cover with foil and continue to bake another 20 minutes more.
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  14. Change oven to broil heat.
  15. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over potatoes and broil 6-inches from heat until the cheese is golden (about 1-2 minutes).10854295_10155507786915431_1677532549819606027_o
  16. Cool 5 minutes before serving
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MEXICAN RICE

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!

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INGREDIENTS

  •  12 ozs tomatoes, very ripe and cored
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 medium jalapenos
  • 2 cups long grain white rice (I used brown)
  • 1cup 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 1teaspoons salt
  • 1cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 lime
 DIRECTIONS
  1. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350.
  2. 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.11255535_10155538307265431_2976728615470210383_o
  3. Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalapenos and discard. Mince flesh and set aside. Mince remaining jalapeno. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.10845871_10155095921315431_5041143329489425294_o
  6. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and 2 minced jalapenos and cook , stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  7. Stir in broth, pureed mixture,tomato paste, and salt. Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
  8. 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)1269366_10155538307680431_3718644683125039388_o
  9. Stir in cilantro, minced jalapeno to taste, and pass lime wedges separately.
  10. 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

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TROPICAL SALSA

I love love love salsa and this tropical spin is so fresh and perfect on grilled meats! I’m making this to go along with Jamaican jerk pork. My tummy is going to be happy tonight!

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 semi-ripe mango, chopped
  • 1 kiwi, chopped
  • 1cup purple onion, chopped
  • 1cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or to taste)
  • 1/2  tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped fine (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rum (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon jalapenos (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl, mix it up, and let it sit for a little bit to allow the flavors to mingle.

So easy!

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My family had this salsa, with jerk pork and Jamaican rice and peas!

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I’m bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday because every fiesta needs salsa!   The party is hosted at blogFiestaFriday.net.Thanks to the new co-host Anna @Anna International! For having us!

DHAL

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.

RECIPE
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)

DIRECTIONS

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.

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The Big Green Secret behind Caribbean Food

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;

  • chives
  • cilantro (shadow benny/ bandania is used in the Caribbean, cilantro is in the same family)
  • celery
  • thyme
  • spanish thyme
  • oregano
  • congo/ scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
  • pimento pepper
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • onion
  • salt
  • lime or lemon juice
  • water

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! 🙂
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SAUTEED MUSHROOMS AND ONIONS

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  • 1/2 lb sliced button mushrooms (crimini works as well)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a frying pan and add the mushrooms and onions; let them cook slowly, over medium heat, until the mushrooms are getting a little brown and the onions are nice and soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. While there’s still some moisture left from the mushrooms, add the Worcestershire sauce, pepper flakes and garlic salt.
  3. The mixture will thicken and it’s ready to serve.
  4. Serve with grilled steak and use leftovers for omelets.

Steak

I know a lot of people say all a steak needs is salt and pepper, which is true, but I prefer three things, Montreal steak seasoning, garlic and Worcestershire sauce!

I lovingly rub in the garlic and seasoning salt and gently bathe the steaks with Worcestershire sauce. I let my steaks come up to room temperature while soaking up all that goodness and then quickly sear over high heat for about 2-3 mins on each side, until it gets to a nice medium.

I can’t wait to have leftovers today  yessssss!

Oh and i also topped it with a mushroom and onion saute! That recipe is also in my blog!

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SPIRALIZER…you complete me!

I have a new love and his name is Paderno… Paderno spiralizer and he makes my life complete! I don’t know whether I love watching the spirals of veggies flow quickly through his sharp blades or eating the quick and super easy meals he gives me. Either way, he makes yummy recipe options, especially if you’re trying to lose your Christmas weight *thanks a lot sugar cookies and eggnog*

The spiralizer is really easy to use, you select a blade according to how thick or thin you want your veggie noodles, attach your vegetable and turn the handle and watch your beautiful noodles filling your plate!

For my dish, I kept it really simple. I spiralized zucchinis, carrots and onions. Then I sliced some garlic cloves. Sir fry the garlic, with kosher salt and red pepper flakes in a little olive oil and then add your noodles and cook until the texture is to your liking! Easy peasy and oh so yummy!!

My quick and super easy veggie noodles
My quick and super easy veggie noodles