24 January 2014

Mangia Bene

I've been experimenting over here in the kitchen...with some success and one big disappointment. Chicken thighs, artichokes, roasted red peppers and rosemary in the crock pot? Sounds good, right? Not so much. It was basically a stewed rubbery chicken dish that lacked color, and none of the flavors combined. Mooooving on to the winners! Garlic Mashed Cauliflower,  Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Bites and (Healthy) Chicken Bacon Alfredo. These were all things I'd make again- easy and pretty tasty!

Cauliflower has been the veggie of choice in our house lately. Ever since we started getting Field Goods deliveries and the purple, orange and green cauliflower showed up in the bag, I've been telling anyone who will listen how much I love it. (Bonus- The purple has anthocyanin, which may help prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting, and the orange has 25 times more beta carotene than normal cauliflower.)

Although I intended  to make cauliflower pizza crust last week, I ended up with two other really delicious cauliflower dishes instead. Full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fiber and omega-3's, cauliflower is helpful for our detox, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory systems.

Make Ahead Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Make Ahead Garlic Mashed Cauliflower was a Pinterest find. How could I go wrong with something pinned by over 18,000 people?!

via nom nom paleo
SO EASY!!! And so delicious! Seriously.
Steam a head of cauliflower. Put it in the Cuisinart with five or six chopped cloves of garlic, 2 T of butter, some nutmeg, and voila! It remains pretty creamy when reheated too.

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower
This recipe came from a vegan website, and in all honesty, this meat-dairy-fish-lover is usually scared to try anything "vegan." I know, Bill Clinton, Amber Valletta, Anne Hathaway, Deepak Chopra and Buddha are all committed to it. But it doesn't work for me, so I didn't use vegan butter in this recipe. And I certainly didn't eat it with vegan blue cheese. Despite not being quite as healthy as the recipe, it was still a hit!

via the v word


1 large head of cauliflower
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
A dash of cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. vegan butter
¾ cup hot sauce
Celery stalks
Carrot sticks
Vegan blue cheese dressing


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Core the cauliflower and cut it into bite-sized florets. Put the florets on a large baking sheet.
Toss with the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cayenne and oil.
Arrange the florets in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes until firm and a bit blackened. Flip them once halfway through the time. If they are not cooked enough, turn on the broiler for a few minutes. You want them to have some bite to them.
While the cauliflower is baking, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the hot sauce, mix well and heat through. When the cauliflower is ready, transfer it to a large bowl, add the Buffalo sauce and toss to coat.
Return the cauliflower to the baking sheet and bake for 10 more minutes. This will “seal” the hot sauce onto the cauliflower.
Cut the celery and carrots into sticks.
Serve the Buffalo cauliflower bites with the celery and carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Chicken Bacon Alfredo
This receipe came from PaleOMG-- If you haven't visited Juli Bauer's site, go! Beautiful photos, easy recipes and a hilarious random rants page.

Again, I made some substitutions....turkey bacon instead of the real deal, and I added spinach for color and nutrients. Next time, I'd make it with real bacon.

via PaleOMG

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
1 larger delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
½lb chicken tenders
4-6 slices bacon, diced
½ cup canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your 425 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash delicata squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and excess threads. Don’t be dainty.
Place open side down on a baking sheet (use aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up) and cook for 20-25 minutes. You will know when they are done cooking when you can poke the outside skin and it ‘gives’ a bit.
Now you can either cook your chicken at the same time or after the squash is done cooking. Whatever you’d like. Just place chicken on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet, sprinkle some olive oil over the chicken (or other kind of fat), salt and pepper it, and sprinkle just a bit of basil on top. Easy peasy. I cooked my tenders for around 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Keep that sh*t moist bro.
Once your squash is done cooking, pull it out of the oven, de-thread the spaghetti squash into a large bowl with a fork. Go against the grain, if spaghetti squash had grain.
Now throw your diced bacon into a skillet and cook until done. Use a slotted spoon to pull out your cooked bacon, but leave behind the grease.
Take your delicata squash and hollow it out. Unless you want to eat the skin, be my guest. If you’re smart though, you’ll just use the insides and dump them into your warm skillet filled with bacon grease. Then add your coconut milk. You may need to add a little bit more coconut milk depending on how runny you like your sauce. Mix thoroughly with a ladle to break up the squash a bit. I used a pink ladle. It works the best.
Add seasonings to the mix and salt and pepper as needed. Mix thoroughly and cook on low for about 5 minutes to simmer.
Now dice up your cooked chicken.
Pour sauce over spaghetti squash and add your chicken to the mix.
Mix well.
Top with bacon. Duh.
Eat it like you mean it.

Happy weekend!

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