Zesty Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower “Rice”

roasted-sweet-potatoes-and-rice

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.

 

Advertisements

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.

Simple Supper Friday: Chorizo Sauce with Mashed Cauliflower

IMG_3699

Happy Friday, everyone! For whatever reason, I feel a bit lost for words today, so won’t be saying too much. It’s just one of those days. I am definitely glad it’s the weekend though and am looking forward to having brunch with my dear friend, Laura, after work tomorrow. We’re going to Besaw’s — no surprise there. It’s only my favorite breakfast place that I’ve mentioned over and over again, right?

Meanwhile, if you like chorizo and spicy seasonings, this recipe will be right up your alley. It’s got a nice smoky kick that tastes divine with the buttery mashed cauliflower. It’s pretty much a match made in heaven.

Cheers!

For the spicy chorizo sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed tallow
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 fresh pork chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (add more or less depending on spice preference)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar (add more if sauce tastes too spicy for you)
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and stir.
  2. After a minute or so, add the ground beef and chorizo. Break up the beef with a spatula and continue to cook.
  3. Once the meat is nearly done browning, add the chili and chipotle powder, smoked paprika, and sea salt and pepper. Cook for another minute and then add the apple cider vinegar, broth, tomatoes and green beans.
  4. Continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes or until green beans are tender. Serve atop of mashed buttered cauliflower (recipe below).

Yields: 4 servings

IMG_3697

For the mashed cauliflower:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter (don’t skimp!)
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Place cauliflower in a pot with a steamer basket and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the cauliflower for about 10-11 minutes or until soft.
  2. Place the cooked cauliflower in the food processor with the butter and sea salt. Process for 20-30 seconds and then scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add more salt or butter if desired. Then, process again until smooth.

Simple Supper Friday: Sirloin Green Curry

Sirloin green curry.

Remember the sirloin curry I mentioned in Monday’s post? Well, here it is, as promised! If you don’t already know, I have a weakness for curries and just can’t seem to get enough. Curries are often one of my defaults and always seem to satisfy. I guess I have a big place for curries in my heart. I prefer to eat my curry over zucchini noodles, but cauliflower rice works too. Heck, you can really eat it on top of any vegetable.

On another note, I have some fun things planned this weekend. Tomorrow starts out with some time at Clackamas Physical Conditioning with Jason Seib and then afterward, Jesse and I are having lunch at Dick’s Kitchen with a friend of ours (also a client of Jesse’s) and her husband, who we’ll be meeting for the first time. They’ve never eaten at Dick’s, so they’re in for a real treat! I always look forward to a good grass-fed burger there. When I was there last a few weeks back, I had my first experience with an elk burger and it was fantastic. It did not disappoint.

Aside from that, Jesse and I both work briefly Sunday morning and then talked about going for another round of blueberry picking later in the day. We might not pick as much as we did a couple weeks ago (15 lb), but want to get at least half that amount. We want to add to our supply in the freezer, but keep a little bit more out for eating this time around.

Also, I wouldn’t mind going back to Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider taproom in our neighborhood and having another cider. This sounds like a good Saturday thing to do, after a nice long walk . Jesse, if you’re reading this, it’s a big hint.

Oh, and get this, I have jury duty on Monday and Tuesday. I was summoned a few weeks back. I’m not really looking forward to being confined and sitting all day, but hopefully I’ll get out early or won’t be a fit for the case. I won’t find out until they do the questioning that first day though. If I do have to stay, I’m at least hoping for an interesting case!

What are your plans for the weekend? Have you ever served for jury duty?

IMG_3651

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced in half moons
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lb petite top sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp green curry paste (I use this brand)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 8 oz can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (use Thai basil if you can find it)
  • Sliced green onions, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the garlic, jalapeno and onion. Saute a couple minutes and then add the sliced sirloin. Continue to saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, curry paste, coconut aminos and cayenne. Add to the pan with the meat and onion mixture, and stir.
  3. Add the carrot, cabbage and cauliflower and stir. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  4. Next, stir in the bamboo shoots and stir. Once heated through, mix in the chopped basil.
  5. Serve straight up or atop of zucchini noodles. Garnish with green onion, if using.

Yields: 4-5 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Mandarin Beef Stir Fry

IMG_3235

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

IMG_3232

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.

IMG_3182

Curried Chicken Soup

This is a recipe that I previously made as a vegetarian and really enjoyed. Surprisingly though, I think I only made it a total of one time. I feel like I have a lot of recipes like that, actually — I make something, am totally into it, and then forget about it somehow. Regardless, I’m glad I remembered it because it has fantastic flavors and a nice little kick. It’s no longer vegetarian because I added chicken to it to beef it up, but if you are a veggie and read my blog, just omit the chicken. Side note here, but this soup warms me up so much that I have to turn the heat off when I eat it (no exaggeration). It’s either that or shed layers, and I prefer to eat with my clothes on.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or other fat of choice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups of chopped bok choy
  • 2 cups homemade bone broth (or decent store-bought chicken broth)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond butter
  • 1-1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (or more if you want it spicier)
  • Cilantro for garnishing, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté a few minutes, until onion is translucent.
  2. Mix in the curry, allspice, sea salt, cumin, cauliflower and bok choy, and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  3. In a separate small saucepan, mix the almond butter and 3/4 cup of broth together over medium heat. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to the vegetables and stir for a couple minutes.
  4. Add the shredded chicken, remaining broth, coconut milk and cayenne. Heat for about 5 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. Serve with cilantro garnished on top, if using.