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cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower with Olives and Raisins

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Olives

Whether you’re planning for the holidays or are simply looking for a healthy (and crave-able) dish to pack in some veggies in between, this cauliflower dish comes highly recommended.

While rather simple, the recipe has a complexity of flavors going on that gives it that must-reach-for-seconds quality.

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Olives

It all starts with cauliflower, a cruciferous I love to make comparisons with to a giant-sized brain. (Anyone else ever think that?!)

The cauliflower gets caramelized in the oven (yum!), and then tossed with a sweet-and-salty combination of raisins and olives.

Olives and Almonds

Parsley adds a freshness and almonds finish it all off with toasty aromas and a nice crunch.

Seriously, so good.

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Olives

This came as a collaboration with my friend Nicole from vestige HOME. It’s always a treat to cook up a lunch with her and then play around with her beautiful boards and wooden spoons in the photo process.

I definitely recommend checking out her work…certainly good holiday gifting inspo!

Cauliflower

Serve this as a side dish or have it for lunch alongside a hunk of crusty bread and a salad.

If you double the recipe, this would also work as a great dish to put on the holiday table.

It’s not “traditional” per-say, but I guarantee it’ll be a crowd-pleaser!

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Olives

Throw a few extra olives on the side to munch on as you share this meal with friends/family, and enjoy.

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Garlic and Dill Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Dill

I cracked my first iPhone screen yesterday. It made me sad. That is a first world problem, I know, and nothing that a little creamy cauliflower cannot fix.

When life gets a little jagged in parts, keep your head up. Toss in some cream. You’ll be golden. Then praise the sun you have a house. And food. And life.

Garlic and Dill Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

One of my coworkers the other day told me about a practice he once did where you count how long it takes you to have six negative thoughts. He said it was surprising how early on the morning he would hit that limit.

It’s a practice I want to start doing – because while I feel like I’m a pretty positive person, I know there are a lot of areas surrounding this in which I could use work. Like appreciating the positive side of things I don’t always love. 2015. Cheers.

Now onto the recipe already…

Cauliflower

Mashed potatoes are a childhood favorite of mine. I mean, who doesn’t love mashed potatoes and gravy? This version uses cauliflower to lighten up the dish, and adds roasted garlic and fresh dill, so that no gravy is even needed. It’s packed with flavor, and every bit as creamy, if not more, than your standard mashed potato recipe.

If you’re ringing in the New Year on a light note, but still want a touch of creamy comfort, know that you can do both. Think positive, and know that this recipe is proof.

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Cauliflower, Kale, and Lentil Ragout

Cauliflower, Kale, and Lentil Ragout

I’m convinced I live in the best neighborhood in Philadelphia.

My apartment is just blocks away from the Mecca for persimmons by the bucket, 2-for-$1 avocados, and unlimited other cheap produce deals. AKA, the Italian Market. It also happens to be a prime destination for people-watching, which my camera and I enjoy quite often.

Cauliflower

Within this special place is Fante’s, a kitchen storefront with every type of gadget, pot, pan, canning material, etc. that you could ever need. You want an “asparagus steamer”? They’ve got it — along with special asparagus tongs, several kinds of asparagus peelers, and a platter to serve it all on. I  try not to frequent Fante’s because I also try not to let my bank account go underwater.  There’s a Whole Foods up the street that I save for that job.

Yes, just a few blocks in the other direction from my apartment lay two grocery stores. Whole Foods is one of them, and here I’m caught far too often fulfilling all my bulk food needs and trying to keep myself away from the hot bar. Sometimes I’ll nerd out with the Whole Foods employees about black rice and kombucha.

Cauliflower, Kale, and Lentil Ragout

In my ‘hood, Bella Vista, (in Italian, meaning “beautiful sight”), there are two wonderful yoga studios within walking distance, several coffee shops — one of which I’m convinced is in the running for the best iced coffee in the city — and an awesome spot to play late night pool.

On top of it all, it’s within biking distance of nearly every other main neighborhood I frequent in the city.

For me, it’s the place to be in the city, and for some reason I feel the need to write about this as the rain keeps me tucked inside my small apartment on its streets.

If I just had all of my friends here, a garden, a mountain, and a lake out my back door, I’d be set for life. Ha. While Bella Vista is awesome, I think “beautiful sight” by my standards might be a bit of an overstretch.

Kale and lentils

What is undoubtedly a beautiful site, however, is this mighty head of cauliflower I snagged yesterday at the market. And also this piece of fabric I picked up in fabric row, just another couple blocks away. A $2 piece of fabric and a $1.50 cauliflower + a priceless meal = beauty.

I whipped up a huge batch of this so I could freeze some of it for later meals. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if that’s not a project you want to do, or you don’t plan to feed a crowd.

The ragout itself is light, yet hearty, which I love. All of the spices make it feel rich, while its staples — cauliflower, kale, and lentils — keep it light. Top it with Parm or nutritional yeast, and it becomes a meal you could eat all week. What you place underneath is up to you, so you choose the grain/pasta that strikes your mood.

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Roasted Butternut, Kale, Bean Soup

Butternut Kale Vegetable Soup

Gah! Can’t I just transplant my entire family and friends to the West Coast? Or to a spot where the temps never dip below the 60s, and I feel alive 365 days per year?

For some people, a splash of cold air in the mornings brings them to life. For me? I want two seconds of that. Which I can get with some cold water in the shower, if need be.

Whatever. I could say I’m going to run off to California all I want, but until the right opportunity strikes, it’ll likely remain a vaca. spot for now. And I will survive cold fall nights and winter days by surrounding myself with good food and good people. After all, those are two of the most important elements in life, right?

Roasted Butternut Kale Vegetable Soup

I like to think good food in the fall means soup and winter squash. Like tacos in the summertime, soups and stews become a weekly occurrence on my dinner table.

As the early Sunday evening sun begins to set, I like to have a large pot simmering away. Steam is fogging the cool glass windows. Music is playing. If I’m lucky, bread is waiting to be cut. This is how the best weekends come to a close. Make a mighty enough pot, and it can be how the best weeknight meals come to a start, too.

Following is a light and brothy soup, given heartiness with creamy roasted butternuts, kale and chickpeas. Don’t play hooky on the nutritional yeast. It’s a lovely compliment to the autumn feel of this soup, and really rounds out the whole bowl.

Butternut Kale Vegetable Soup

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“Cheesy” Roasted Cauliflower

Vegan Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

Looking for a fun veggie side for your Memorial Day cookout/BBQ? I promise this one will be as addicting as the potato chips some lame-o places on your red-checkered tablecloth. It’ll be even more addicting than your mother’s potato salad, as good as I’m sure that is, and a vegan crowd-pleaser that’ll cost you just six ingredients, S&P included. Dare I say this is my favorite veggie snack? For the moment, at least.

This “Cheesy” Roasted Cauliflower takes one of those junk-food-esque routes that easily persuades vegetable-eating, without being all that junkie. Nutritional yeast, my vegan weapon of choice in dishes like pesto, acts as a nutty coating that gives the florets all the flavor they need. A dash of garlic powder, salt and pepper, and you’re ready to move onto other picnic-friendly dishes, like Watermelon and Lime Salad, and Roasted Asparagus Avocado Tartines. I’m hoping to whip up some kind of sweet strawberry treat for the bonfire I’m planning on this weekend. Although, S’mores will definitely make it onto the dessert menu too.

Whether shindigging or not this weekend, cauliflower will be hitting summer gardens sooner than not, making this a recipe you’ll want to keep in mind. No judgement if you devour 1/3 of the bowl all by yourself.

Head on over to Clean Eating mag, where you’ll find my recipe.

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