Zesty Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower “Rice”

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Happy New Year! I hope all of you had wonderful holidays, got to spend time with loved ones, and enjoyed good food…and maybe drinks too! Jesse and I had a lovely time back in Michigan and as usual, the time flew by much too fast. There were many holiday festivities while we were home and even a little birthday celebration for Jesse (his 36th birthday was NYE – also the day we flew back to Portland). We’re grateful for the time we had, and feel fortunate we were able to be there for and with our families.

Meanwhile, I have an intention to invest more time in my blog this year, even if it’s only a little bit more. I enjoy having this space to share and miss doing so on a more regular basis. Last year was challenging in many ways and stepping back was necessary for me. Some challenges still continue, but things are evolving. Coming back around, I think blogging will be quite nurturing and I look forward to it.

Anyway, onto this side dish. It’s a bit zesty, a little spicy, and a lot flavorful! Pair it with chicken, fish, eggs, or even meatballs for a complete meal. I think it’s even tasty cold, but with the frigid temps we’ve been having (in the 20s, which is so cold for Portland), I’ll stick to eating it warm for now. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large white sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 16 oz coarsely riced cauliflower (I used a fresh riced pack from New Seasons)
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil (I used this brand)
  • 1.5 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Fresh ground lemon pepper seasoning, to taste (I used this one)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a large baking sheet, mix together sweet potato pieces, onion, garlic, all the spices, and 1 Tbsp of the avocado oil. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the cauliflower rice. If needed and/or desired,  add up to 1 Tbsp more avocado oil and additional sea salt and black pepper. Mix well and place pan back in oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring midway through.

 

Cinnamon Spice “Porridge”

cauliflower porridge

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at cauliflower “porridge” for some time now and finally got around to doing it. I was surprised how easy it was and how well the porridge held its shape. The texture came out just right, but I think a lot of that can be attributed to the shredded coconut. It adds a bit of thickness and a nice bite. I ate my porridge with fresh strawberries and blueberries mixed in, which was delicious, but you can garnish it with whatever you like. I’ve listed some topping suggestions in the recipe below. This is great hot or cold, and is pretty filling too. It also makes for a good treat!

Also, if you’re wondering if you can taste the cauliflower — yes, of course you can. It’s not overpowering, in my opinion, but is noticeable. I happen to like cauliflower, so it doesn’t bother me, but if you don’t care for cauliflower, this recipe probably isn’t for you. My husband and I are both fans of this concoction though. Hope you are too!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Medium head of cauliflower, riced in food processor
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums or stabilizers)
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I like this brand)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised, whisked
  • Up to 1 Tbsp raw honey, optional

Topping Ideas:

  • Fresh berries
  • Banana slices
  • Drizzle of coconut milk
  • Chopped nuts
  • Cacao nibs
  • Extra drizzle of raw honey

Directions:

  1. Add the riced cauliflower and shredded coconut to a large saucepan. Then, add the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT for the whisked egg and raw honey. Stir well over medium-low heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cover with lid and continue to simmer 20-25 minutes or until porridge is smooth and creamy. Stir occasionally.
  3. Once porridge is done simmering, remove from heat and add a small amount of the mixture to the whisked egg to temper it. Add a little more porridge and whisk again. Then, add the egg mixture to the porridge and stir well.
  4. Taste and adjust spices as desired. Add raw honey, if using and stir well.
  5. Serve warm or cold with toppings of choice.

Chicken Coconut Mango “Rice”

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Wow, it’s been exactly a month since I last posted…oops! I guess life got away on me a bit, but the past month has been great. I turned the big 3-0 on March 2nd and celebrated on my own (took the day off and got a 90 minute massage!) and with Jesse that day. Since my birthday was on a Monday, I celebrated with friends out in wine country the following weekend and it was a gorgeous 70 degree day. Work has kept me busier lately, but in a good way, though some days are definitely long and exhausting. All in all, I have no complaints, but I haven’t had with much time or motivation to experiment in the kitchen! Simple, quick meals and roasts in the slow cooker are pretty much my saving grace.

Meanwhile, this recipe turned out so delicious! The lime is very abundant and zesty, while the mango adds just the right amount of sweetness. It pairs well with the savory chicken and creaminess of the coconut milk. The house smelled wonderful while this was cooking, which I mostly attribute to the kaffir lime leaves. If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves, omit them and add a little bit more lime zest.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • About 6 cups cauliflower, riced in the food processor
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 Tbsp gluten-free fish sauce (I like this brand)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Juice and zest of one small lime
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • Sliced green onion for garnish

chicken coconut mango rice

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the chicken and jalapeño, and season to taste with sea salt. Sauté until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, pour the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, lime juice and zest, kaffir lime leaves and ground ginger into a small pot over medium heat. Mix well and simmer until the liquid has reduced down a bit.
  3. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the chicken and stir. After 1-2 minutes, stir in the cauliflower rice and season to taste with sea salt. Cook until the cauliflower rice softens slightly. Then, stir in the mango and cook about one minute more.
  4. Serve and garnish with sliced green onion.

Yields: 5-6 servings

Chicken and Italian Veggie “Rice”

Chicken and Italian cauli rice

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope all of you that celebrate Valentine’s Day had a great one. We don’t really celebrate or care much about it, but I always get Jesse some nice chocolates every year, just to be a little cheesy. He surprised me this year and gave me a raw honey-sweetened chocolate bar with a generous gift card to Athleta. I was not expecting it at all since he generally doesn’t get me anything (he’s done flowers once or twice in the past, but the cats eat them), so was shocked when he handed me a gift. It was so sweet of him and I was quite touched. The rest of my Valentine’s Day was spent at a friends house meeting her 4-week old baby boy. I took lunch over to her from Cultured Caveman, hung out with her little dude and talked essential oils with her (and her husband too!). She wasn’t able to come to the oils class I hosted a couple weeks ago since she had just had a baby, so I came to her. After that, I headed home for a bit and then Jesse and I met our friends for dinner at Besaw’s. We didn’t choose to go out to dinner because it was Valentine’s Day, but because we had all been wanting to get together, and it just so happened to work out that day. Anyway, it was a fun evening with good friends! It was a great day too!

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this recipe! It came together unplanned (like many of my recipes do) and to be honest, I really wasn’t prepared to take a picture of it, but snapped one anyway. Hopefully, I can remake this sometime soon and update the photo with a better one. I just know I didn’t want to wait any longer to share the recipe (I already waited a little bit) since I’m a bit overdue.

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 small or medium head of cauliflower, “riced” in the food processor (I use this one)
  • 2 cups torn lacinato kale leaves with stems removed
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • Splash of chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, plus more if desired
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt 1 Tbsp of the butter or ghee in an oven proof skillet (I use and love this one) over medium heat. While pan is heating up, season chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts to the hot pan and sear 4 minutes each side. Then place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
  2. While chicken is baking, melt the other Tbsp of butter or ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and fennel, and sauté 3-4 minutes or until fennel is softened slightly. Then, add the kale and bone broth, and stir.
  3. After a minute or two, reduce heat to medium-low and add the riced cauliflower, oregano, and sea salt and pepper to taste. If needed, add a dash more bone broth. Then, add the chopped tomato and stir. Allow mixture to cook through a couple minutes and then keep warm over low heat until chicken is done.
  4. Once the chicken is done, slice into strips and serve on top of the cauliflower rice mixture.

Fluffy Lemon Cauliflower Rice

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I know I’ve been dragging my feet a bit with my recipes lately, but I finally have a good one for you! I don’t like sharing half ass recipes that I try to whip together just because I need a post and I’ve vowed not to do that. I’ve also learned that some of my best recipes come on their own accord — naturally and unforced. It’s in these situations when I tend to feel most creative and things come together. On the other hand, when I try too hard to think of a recipe to make and share, it just doesn’t happen (most of the time). I think that’s been part of my problem lately. That, and I’ve been resorting to really simple and basic meals lately, some of which I’ve already shared.

Anyway, this lemon cauliflower rice is incredibly refreshing and pairs nicely with chicken or mild fish. I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand, but a garnish of fresh thyme, parsley or rosemary would be delicious with the lemony flavor of the rice. We ate our rice with sauteed kale and chicken breasts seasoned with sea salt and a generous amount of black pepper. It was divine!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (make sure it’s pure!)

Directions:

  1. Place raw cauliflower florets in the food processor and pulse until riced. If need be, do this in two batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the riced cauliflower and stir. Next, add the sea salt and continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once cauliflower rice is heated through and maybe browned slightly, remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. If need be, add more sea salt to taste.
  4. Serve warm with protein of choice (see recommendations above).

Yields: 4-5 side dish servings

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Simple Supper Friday: Mandarin Beef Stir Fry

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Whew, it’s been a busy day so far! I slept in until a little after 7 and then got up, changed, gathered my goods and drove to the food cart to replenish my treats. I was there about 90 minutes, then came home for a cup of green tea and a short bit of downtime before heading to Recreate for a 10 a.m. workout. I foam rolled and chatted with Jesse after the workout, and it was about 11:30 when I got home. Then, I cooked a big breakfast/brunch/lunch, whatever you want to call it (my first meal of the day) and enjoyed it in solitude. Now, it’s blogging and doing some other work at home. Then, after I finish my work, it’s on to studying exercise science and working on my homework. That class is really hard and complex, and I often feel lost when the teacher is lecturing. That equates to a lot of outside studying time to understand and know it!

Regarding the recipe, I’ve been getting a lot of citrus in my CSA boxes lately (grapefruit, oranges, mandarin oranges, etc.) and sometimes it ends up going bad before I use it. Jesse and I aren’t big citrus fruit eaters, so even if we do eat it, it takes effort and time to get through it. We like it, but it’s just not our preferred fruit that we would pick out ourselves. I actually don’t like grapefruit period, so Jesse is always responsible for those.

Anyway, as a means to use up some of the mandarin oranges we recently got in our box, I added some fresh-squeezed mandarin juice to this stir fry. I figured it would work well and boy, did it ever! I know it sounds generic, but the stir fry tasted so good with the mandarin juice. It really helped bring all the flavors together, and added a nice subtle sweetness. We ate our stir fry over scallion cauliflower rice (recipe below), but zucchini noodles or leafy greens would work as well. Heck, you can even eat it by itself.

For the stir fry:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed tallow
  • 1/2 lb grass-fed skirt steak, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 3-4 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • Splash of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 mandarin orange, juiced
  • Splash of rice vinegar (yes, it’s okay!)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the tallow in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and celery and let saute a couple minutes. Then, add the skirt steak and season with a little sea salt and pepper.
  2. Continue to cook a couple minutes, then add the mushrooms and carrots. Saute one minute more, then add the coconut aminos, mandarin orange juice, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes. Stir well, then after a minute or so, add the broccoli.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Once sauce has thickened up a little bit, after about 3-5 minutes, remove from heat and serve over scallion cauliflower rice (recipe below).

Yields: 2-3 servings

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For the scallion cauliflower rice:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 2-3 scallions (green onion), chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add cauliflower to the food processor and pulse until it’s completely riced. If need be, you can do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, add the cauliflower rice and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook a few minutes until cauliflower is heated through. If you like your cauli rice a little browned, you can cook it a bit longer.
  3. Stir in the chopped scallions and serve.

Yields: 4-5 servings

Red Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Red coconut cauliflower rice.

This post was actually meant for yesterday, but life got busy and I didn’t get it done. Yes, I could have found the time, but I felt like there was no harm in waiting. Plus, I just wasn’t feeling it yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little blog, but some days blogging just feels hard! Any of my fellow bloggers out there feel the same way?

Lately, I’ve been making cauliflower rice a lot more. I think it’s because I got a new bigger food processor that makes prep a breeze. You see, before, I was using a tiny 4-cup prep food processor and had to rice cauliflower in multiple batches, which took a fair amount of time. It didn’t come as a big surprise when the motor in that little guy crapped out. I always pushed its limits and take full credit for it’s death (on the bright side, I got my money back, even after having it for over a year). Now, my 11-cup Cuisinart rices the sh*t out of cauliflower! Thanks to my sis, Ashley for giving me this as a wedding shower gift. I definitely needed it!

Anyway, I love the versatility of cauliflower rice and appreciate how easy it is to prepare. Sometimes though, it gets boring, so it’s nice to create different variations. This specific recipe is great with stir fry, curry, stew or something as simple as baked chicken thighs. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you want to serve it with.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3-4 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Toss chopped cauliflower pieces into the food processor. Pulse several times until cauliflower is riced.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the riced cauliflower and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Cook for a couple minutes. Then, add the cayenne and paprika, and stir.
  3. Continue to cook for a few more minutes over medium-low heat. Adjust seasonings if need be.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded coconut.

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