Monday, September 23, 2013

Purple produce: roasted purple cauliflower


Maybe you've heard it before, but in case you haven't, it is important to eat a variety of colors. I like to say "a colorful plate is a healthy plate, unless it is a plate of skittles".

I saw this alien looking cauliflower in the grocery store recently for the first time and knew I had to try it!I love trying new things and this crazy looking veggie went straight to the top of the list.

I am hard pressed to think of a roasted veggie that I don't like. This one turned out to be no exception. Simply for the sake of beauty, I think I'd like to make this next time with a mixture of the purple and the usual while, or throw in the orange or green cauliflower.

Roasted Purple Cauliflower
  • 1 head purple cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400. 
  2. Give the cauliflower a quick rinse and remove the leaves and stems. Pull off sections of the cauliflower and then trim into 1-2 bite pieces. Kids are great helpers with this task. Evenly sized pieces = evenly cooked pieces.
  3. Place cauliflower pieces on a cookie sheet or in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with oil, add the garlic and a bit of salt and pepper. Toss with your hands (again, kiddos = excellent helpers) until evenly coated. 
  4. Pop in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges and tender when you poke it with a fork. Exact timing will depend on the temperature of the oven and the size of your cauliflower pieces.

Tip: don't overcrowd your pan. To roast well, there needs to be air circulation around the veggies. If they're too crowded, they'll still cook, but they'll be steamed instead of roasted.

Note: you don't have to use a 400 degree oven - you can do hotter or cooler if you want to cook two things at once the other item requires a different temperature. Roasting is flexible!



Saturday, September 21, 2013

{Recipe Redux} No-Cook Desserts: Cinnamon-Banana Ice-Cream

A good friend Kelly first told me about this great way to finish a meal without guilt but still take care of the sweet tooth. When she told me that it was basically a mushed frozen banana, I was rather skeptical.

Really, Kelly? Do you know how much I love good quality ice-cream?

But sure enough, one frozen banana + 2 minutes in the food processor = one smooth and creamy dessert!

Banana Ice-Cream
  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • Optional: vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder, almond butter, etc for flavor
  1. Peel banana, slice into several small chunks and freeze. 
  2. When you're ready for a healthy solution to your sweet tooth, pop that banana into your food processor (or very powerful blender) and blend until creamy and smooth. Note: this takes a few minutes; hang in there.
  3. Add flavorings if you wish, I used cinnamon powder and vanilla extract, blend to combine, scoop into a bowl and enjoy!
This tasty dessert is gluten free, dairy free, egg free and guilt free :)

For best flavor and texture, make this dessert right when you're going to eat it. If you puree and then freeze, it tends to get icy. If you need to freeze extra, just let it thaw for a few minutes and give it a good stir before serving.

Cheers! 




Sunday, September 15, 2013

Current Cooking Class Menu Options

Cooking Class Menu Options

$50 per person
Optional wine or cocktail pairing: $10 per person 
Southwest Swing

Fresh Crudités with cilantro lime yogurt dip
El Paso Pilaf - smokey rice and beans
Chipotle deviled eggs
Banana Ice-Cream with cinnamon + cocoa
Mojito Water
(gf, v)

Savory Salmon

Fresh Crudités with ranch yogurt dip
Salmon burgers
Smokey sweet potato wedges
Garlic broccoli saute with almonds
Seasonal fruit cobbler
Apple spritzer
(gf)

 Anytime Brunch
Fresh fruit with honey + orange yogurt dip
Pumpkin pie steel cut oats
 Egg + mushroom omelet
Cinnamon spiked coffee
(v, gf, df)

Spaghetti Squash Stampede
Fresh Crudités with balsamic + black bean hummus
Turkey meatballs tossed with spaghetti squash strands
Kale salad
Dark chocolate dipped seasonal fruit
Infused water

(v) = vegetarian
(gf) = gluten free
(df) = dairy free

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Garden Goodness: Grilled zucchini lasagna

Looking for more veggies? You got it!
Need something gluten free? OK!
Trying to use up zucchini from your garden? This is the perfect recipe for you!

Hearty and filling - this recipe will warm your belly!

Grilled Zucchini lasagna

Ingredients: 
  • 3 medium zucchini or yellow squash, sliced 1/8" thick
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or two teaspoons dried)
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 16 oz part-skin mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded
  • 2 large eggs - local and grass fed is best
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce - look for low sodium + low sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with non-stick spray. 
  2. Cut the ends from your summer squash and slice thinly using a sharp knife of a mandoline. Brush with a small amount of vegetable oil and sprinkle with pepper.
  3. On a preheated grill pan or outside on your own BBQ, cook both sides of the zucchini until wilted and has grill marks. Set aside and finish grilling each slice. 
  4. Meanwhile, mix ricotta, half of mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Pour half of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of prepared 9X13 pan or large casserole dish. Layer 1/3 of the zucchini "noodles", half of the cheese mixture, 1/3 of the noodles, and the rest of the zucchini. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with reserved mozzarella cheese.
  6. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes covered at, then uncovered 15 minutes. Let stand about 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Quick Quiz: How's your fiber intake?

Fiber is a really important nutrients for our health. Unfortunately, with our dependence on processed foods and avoidance of fresh fruits and vegetables, too many of us are falling short on this nutrient.

Let's see how you're doing! Consider what you ate yesterday. For each food group, multiply the total number of servings times the average grams of fiber per serving.

The goal for ladies is 25 grams per day. The goal for gentleman is 38 grams per day. Are you on target?


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