Cauliflower Rice with Portobello Mushroom Stir Fry

I feel like I have to preface this recipe. I am not a vegetarian. I do not follow a paleo or low carb diet. I eat what I feel like eating and cook what I want (you’re not the boss of me!). I am not trying to convert you to a new fad diet. I just happened to make a really amazing stir fry that falls into a bunch of trending diet categories.

Ok, preface over: This is a recipe that really surprised me. I created it for a BeFunky.com guest blog post, and I was so pleased with the results. I love mushrooms—I knew it was going to be good, but I just didn’t expect it to be SO good.

This stir fry hits all the right notes: salty, spicy, really savory with a tiny hint of sweet from the honey. The portobellos are really beefy and satisfying, even for a carnivore like me and the ginger, garlic, chilis, and soy give it the unmistakeable flavor and balance of a classic Asian dish. It is just so packed with flavor.

And, hello, cauliflower rice. Where have you been all my life? It’s such a funny thing. I did NOT expect to love it so much. I’ve been reading all of these cauliflower recipes, from cauliflower pizza crusts to cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” and as much as I do love cauliflower, I have to admit that some of the recipes made me roll my eyes. But I finally gave this a try to keep within the paleo/vegetarian/low carb theme and I take back my eye rolling. It is surprisingly delicate and satisfying and serves exactly the same purpose as rice: soaking up all the yummy stir fry juices!

IMG_8856

I drove a plate over to my mushroom loving friend and her daughters (ages 7 and 6) begged to have it for dinner that night! She texted me a picture of them holding their clean bowls! A vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, low fat/low carb recipe that kids beg to eat? I’m still patting myself on the back. Oh, and I’m pretty sure the stir fry would be vegan-friendly, too, if the honey was swapped for something else… just a thought.

I am including the recipe for the cauliflower rice below, and you can check out my BeFunky post and stir fry recipe here: 5 Pinterest Tips for Food Bloggers Featuring Paleo Stir Fry Recipe! 

IMG_8849

Cauliflower Rice

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 10mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil (whatever oil you prefer)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
Cut cauliflower into florets, removing any large pieces of stem. Either grate the cauliflower on the large holes of a box grater, or pulse florets in food processor until you have fine, rice sized pieces. You will need to work in two or three batches to ensure you don’t over process the cauliflower. You want it fine, but don’t take it to the point where it becomes wet.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet and add the cauliflower. (**The stir-fry I served this with is so flavorful I don’t even bother with seasoning the rice in this recipe, but if you are serving it as a plain side dish add a sprinkle of salt and pepper**)
Cook over medium-low heat stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let steam off the heat for 5-10 minutes.

Let’s connect!:

Twitter

Instagram

BlogLovin’

Kale and Walnut Pesto

In honor of meatless Monday, I thought I would finally post my Kale and Walnut Pesto recipe. Obviously vegetarian, this pesto uses one of the trendiest super foods on the planet. While I don’t always hop on the trendy food bandwagon, kale is something I can really get behind. The first and most important reason I love it: It’s delicious. The fact that it’s healthy and inexpensive are lovely bonuses.

It is often compared to spinach, which I don’t really agree with. It is much sturdier than spinach and keeps a nice crunchy texture as opposed to the wilted flimsiness of cooked spinach. My veggie loving son won’t eat cooked spinach; he loves cooked kale. You can buy it in big bags already cleaned and chopped, throw it into soups, stir fries, and dare I say it… smoothies. But my favorite way to prepare it is this pesto — I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. Serve this alongside pretty much any grilled meat (just not on meatless Monday), or toss it with pasta for a totally vegetarian meal. My choice would be farfalle, or bowtie pasta, and if you want to push the healthiness factor even further, use whole wheat pasta! Or, perhaps the simplest and most delicious way to enjoy it: toast a good loaf of Italian bread ’til it’s crusty on the outside but still soft on the inside, tear it into chunks, and dip to your heart’s content.

Super healthy, super delicious, super easy… My kind of super food. Here’s the recipe:

IMG_4788

Kale and Walnut Pesto

 

Ingredients:

  • two bunches of Kale: about 16-20 ounces total
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • juice of one lemon (and zest if you want it extra lemony)
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste (the cheese is salty, so you may not need any salt)

To Prepare:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, just as you would for pasta.

Prepare your kale by removing it from the tough stems, tearing into smaller pieces, and rinsing well. (unless, of course, you buy it in a pre-washed and pre-trimmed bag — then you can skip this step.)

Once the water is boiling, add kale and cook for 1 minute. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Once cool, squeeze with your hands to remove any excess water, then spread on a towel or paper towels and really press to get as dry as possible.

In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients and pulse until you have a fairly coarse purée, (if using a blender, you make have to stop and push the ingredients down a few times). If you want it looser, add more oil or a splash of water until you reach the desired consistency.

This will keep in the fridge for a few days and is good on pretty much everything!

Enjoy!

 

Corn and Potato Chowder

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I am not a vegetarian. I love meat. But I also love moderation. I am perfectly happy going meat-free a couple times a week, and I’ve made it a normal part of my family’s routine. Going meat-free isn’t just good for our health, it’s good for our budgets and our planet.

I started seeing “meatless Monday” popping up on various social media sites and I think I read about it in a few magazines, but I had no idea what a big deal it really is; it’s an actual movement. “Meatless Monday began in 2003, launched in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In May, 2009, Ghent, Belgium, became the first non-U.S. city to go meatless. Shortly thereafter, Paul McCartney introduced the U.K. to Meat-Free Mondays.” Check out the website for more info, and make it a part of your weekly routine if you haven’t already.

This soup is a great way to start. I modeled it after my grandma’s recipe, (She actually makes tuna chowder, which I love, and this is really that recipe minus the tuna). She usually makes it with evaporated milk, and you can absolutely substitute the half and half for evaporated milk–it is so old-fashioned; I love it. I just always have half and half for my coffee, so I throw it into recipes.

It sounds funny, but the “secret” ingredient really is the celery. Celery seems so insignificant, but it makes all the difference in chowders. My French ancestors were really on to something with their mirepoix, and I’m happy to carry on the tradition. This is a great base for any kind of chowder. Try tuna, clam, chicken… and of course, feel free to start the recipe by crisping some bacon as long as it’s not meatless Monday.

Finally, I am a big believer in dunking things in soup, so I serve it with something toasty, and usually cheesy… I can’t help myself.

Here’s how I made the soup, and the cheesy dunkers:

IMG_3372

Corn and Potato Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 2 cups half and half or evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes (I used 5 medium sized potatoes)–peeled and diced
  • 3 cups corn kernels (I used frozen, but in the summer time you must use fresh corn–so good!)
  • 1 medium yellow onion–chopped
  • 1 carrot–peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery–diced
  • 1 garlic clove–peeled and gently crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • Chives or parsley to garnish (optional)

To Prepare:

In a large pot melt the butter, and add diced onions, carrot, celery, garlic and bay leaf with a big pinch of salt–about a teaspoon, a few grinds of black pepper, and a teensy pinch of cayenne, if using. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

Add flour and stir to combine, cook for about a minute.

Add wine and stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and add potatoes. Cook for about twenty minutes until potatoes are just tender. Add corn and half and half, bring back to a very gentle simmer until heated through. Don’t boil! Taste and adjust seasoning. The salt you add will depend on your stock, so it is very hard for me to give an exact measurement. Just add what tastes good!

Garnish with chives or parsley and enjoy!

*One of the benefits of evaporated milk is that it can withstand boiling, so if you use it you don’t have to be quite as concerned about curdling as if you use half and half.

If you want to serve it with a dipper, here’s how I made my most recent version:

IMG_3362

Parmesan Toasts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 loaf of italian or french bread
  • 1/2 stick soft butter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

To prepare:

Smear bread evenly with butter, sprinkle evenly with cheese, place under broiler and watch carefully until the cheese gets brown. Don’t walk away! This happens fast! Slice and serve alongside the soup!