Cauliflower Chowder

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I made this a few weeks ago but it’s totally worth the share.  A chowder thickened with cauliflower.  No potato here!  And no cheese needed!!  A total winning, kid friendly, paleo styled meal.  One that will surely be added to my rotating recipes.

Cauliflower Chowder

Cauliflower Chowder

A potato free chowder. So delicious you don't even realize that the potato is absent!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 large leek, whites chopped into half moons
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 bag of Trader Joes cauliflower rice
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 21 salute seasoning Trader Joes
  • s&p
  • quart chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Season chicken thighs with s&p and 21 salute seasoning both sides. Place in an even layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes until just cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Cook bacon until crispy and set aside.
  3. Heat up a bit of the bacon grease in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leek, carrot, celery, and garlic. Saute 5 minutes until starting to soften.
  4. Chop the cauliflower head into chunks and steam in another pot until very tender.
  5. Add the cauliflower rice and 2 cups of chicken broth to the veggies.
  6. Place the steamed cauliflower in a bowl and puree using an immersion blender (or in a food processor/blender). If needed add a bit of coconut milk while pureeing.
  7. Shred the cooled chicken and add to the soup along with the cauliflower puree. Season with 21 salute and with s&p. Add 1/2 to full can of coconut milk, your preference. If the soup is too thick add more of the chicken broth until desired consistency is reached.
  8. Simmer 15 minutes until all the veggies are tender.
  9. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.
http://mydailybite.com/cauliflower-chowder/

 

Tomato Sauce Braised Cauliflower

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I’m welcoming myself back!  Trying to get better at my time management, forcing myself to cook blog worthy meals, and actually blogging them.  Wish me luck!

At work (Kaia FIT Lafayette) we are finished up week four of our current six week Brik, or boot camp program.  I decided to really clean up my diet during this time.  No sugar, no alcohol, no wheat, no grain, no dairy.  I’m not doing a strict Whole30 but I’ve stayed pretty close to being on track.  I was with my dad during his birthday last week so I had a few beers with him and cake to celebrate.  But afterwards I jumped right back in.  No regrets but motivation to keep on keeping on.  And so far it’s been a great and easy experience.  I don’t focus on what I am not eating but instead focus on all the good stuff I am eating.. veggies, lean protein, and some fruit pretty much makes up my daily diet.  Typically I do eat a clean diet but the chocolate consumption was out of hand.  I’m too embarrassed to admit how much I was eating!  Amazingly it was no struggle to give it up.  In fact there are bars sitting in the cabinet that I haven’t touched.  Go me!

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Now for this meal!  I love a good tomato sauce.  We eat plenty of tomato sauce with ground beef over cauliflower rice.  It’s a weekly staple for quick and easy cooking.  This is along those lines except I used ground turkey and braised a whole cauliflower.  Really there is nothing to it.  And it looks pretty fancy.  If you have the time go ahead and make your tomato sauce from scratch.  I used a jar that I love (sugar free) and added capers, kalamata olives, red wine vinegar, parsley, and smoked paprika.  The cauliflower is pushed into the sauce and simmered until tender.  My kids happily gobbled this up without question to where the pasta was.  I’m pretty happy to know there are leftovers waiting for dinner tonight!

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Tomato Sauce Braised Cauliflower

Tomato Sauce Braised Cauliflower

Whole cauliflower braised in a puttanesca style tomato sauce. A beautiful presentation for a simple meal!

Ingredients

  • shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced/pressed
  • 1 crook neck squash, chopped (substitute zucchini)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 32 oz jar tomato sauce (sugar free- read your labels!)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • splash red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup pitted & chopped kalamata olives*
  • 1 whole head cauliflower, leaves removed from bottom
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil, to serve
  • pecorino romano, fresh grated to serve (if you are not dairy free)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot heat up a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and squash. Saute 5 minutes until starting to soft. Add the garlic and ground turkey. Continue to cook until turkey is browned. Drain off any excess liquid.
  2. Add the jar of tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, parsley, smoked paprika, capers, and olives. Bring to a simmer. Season with s&p.
  3. Place the head of cauliflower into the sauce pressing down so it is 2/3 of the way submerged.
  4. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until cauliflower is tender crisp.
  5. Serve with plenty of fresh basil and pecorino romano.

Notes

I recently discovered dried kalamata olives from trader joes. They are AMAZING. I love the intense olive flavor they offer.

Leave the ground turkey out for a vegetarian meal.

http://mydailybite.com/tomato-sauce-braised-cauliflower/

Summer Stir Fry

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Oh my oh my summer is about over!  Time is flying.  It’s been a summer of fun and work all wrapped into one.  I can’t believe Cia is about to go back to school.  Part of me loves that we will fall back into a more routined schedule.  But at the same time.. summer how much we all love summer and are sad to see it end.

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This year I have left our garden to Josh.  Literally.  I’m super busy and wasn’t fully inspired to take on all the responsibility and time.  I love putting lots of energy into gardening and didn’t want to deal with the frustration of time management.  I will say even though we only planted a few things we are getting some nice produce – cucumbers, beets, squash, carrots, cilantro, basil, tomatoes, eggplant.  It’s all pretty happy out there being wild.  Our chard and kale keeps getting chomped so there is little of this but I’m not complaining.

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I say it every season of fresh produce and here it goes again – I love cooking with garden ingredients.  The flavors are vibrant and require minimal seasoning.  So much better than anything store bought!!!  I sautéed two crooked necked squash from our garden with local green beans, tomatoes, and homemade bone broth.  The only seasoning I used was fresh basil also from our garden and some s&p.  That is all!  For protein I added in rotisserie chicken (plain – no extra seasoning here).  And it was awesome!  The kids gobbled it up as did Josh and I.  Simple easy cooking.  My absolute favorite way to cook!  Just a reminder cooking does not have to be complicated!!  The intention behind eating is to fuel our bodies!

Summer Stir Fry

Summer Stir Fry

Summer fresh veggies!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 crook neck squash (or any other summer squash/zucchini variety)
  • 1.5 pounds green beans
  • 1/4 cup broth or water
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • s&p
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, lightly shredded or chopped

Instructions

  1. Slice ends of squash and green beans; discard ends. Slice squash lengthwise and cut down into 1/2" half moons. Slice green beans lengthwise and cut down into 2" pieces.
  2. Heat up a large skillet over medium heat with a bit of olive oil. Add the squash, green beans, and broth (or water). Season with s&p and cover skillet. Allow veggies to steam for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile half the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Remove the lid from the veggie once they are tender but definitely still crisp. Stir in the chicken and tomatoes. Cook just a few minutes to heat through.
  5. Lastly toss basil in and serve.

Notes

Serve with fresh grated pecorino romano is desired.

http://mydailybite.com/summer-stir-fry/

Tarragon Chicken Saute

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Cheers to this meal, one I threw together on a whim.  I had a loose plan in mind.. chicken tenders, tarragon, zucchini, mushrooms, broccolini, and coconut milk.  I was leaning towards baking everything in the oven for lazy cooking but the thought of the oven heating the house led me to keep it on the stovetop.  Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs.  Typically it’s not commonly used due to it’s distinctive and somewhat overpowering flavor.  It doesn’t mix well with a lot of herbs and so I don’t buy it all the time.  But I love anise and anything anise like so for me tarragon is a winner!

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As I cooked this dish I debated whether my kids would enjoy it.  Tarragon is not a flavor you can hide and I always use more than enough.  But when I cook a meal I cook enough for us all.  And you know what?  My kids ate and ate and ate.  Three servings each!  The veggies were a hit, the chicken was a hit, and tarragon, well they are my kids so no surprise they do love the distinct flavor.  I grew up on licorice, my brother and I being the ‘weird’ kids who like the black jelly beans, licorice snaps (my favorite), wheels, and pastels.  My grandfather loved all things licorice as does my dad and my uncle.  I guess it’s a Driscoll thing.

Tarragon Chicken Saute

Tarragon Chicken Saute

Tarragon, white wine, and coconut milk create a perfect flavor profile and sauce for this chicken sauté!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken tenders
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 globe zucchini, chopped into 2" pieces (or regular zucchini)
  • 1 bunch broccolini broken down into smaller pieces
  • 8oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 sprigs tarragon
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • garlic powder
  • s&p
  • dry white wine
  • 5 oz can coconut cream
  • ghee

Instructions

  1. Place the flour in a bowl and season with garlic powder, and s&p. Heat up a large skillet over medium heat with a pat of ghee. Dredge each chicken tender with flour, shaking off the excess, and add to the warmed pan.
  2. Meanwhile heat a tablespoon of ghee in another large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, zucchini, broccolini, and mushrooms. Season with s&p and add the tarragon leaves from the sprigs.
  3. Once the chicken tenders have browned on one side, 3-5 minutes, flip over and brown the other side.
  4. The veggies should be about tender crisp at this point. Deglaze the chicken pan (tenders still in it) with a bit of white wine (~1/4 cup). Add the veggies and coconut milk. Allow to simmer another 5 minutes until chicken is fully cooked through and sauce has thickened.
  5. Season with a bit more s&p.
http://mydailybite.com/tarragon-chicken-saute/

Mango Pudding

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I’ve been on a mango kick this summer.  They’ve been on sale just about every week and I have discovered how incredibly sweet the Ataulfo (aht-ah-uhl-foe) variety is.  Hands down the sweetest mango I’ve ever eaten.  The flesh is incredibly creamy, no strings, and the pits are tiny.  They seriously melt in your mouth.  I’ve enjoyed many bowls of chia pudding topped with fresh slices, made mango/coconut milk popsicles for the kids (SO GOOD), mango smoothies, and now I’ve ventured on to making mango pudding.  If you can get your hands on some of these Ataulfo mangos buy them, lots and lots of them!

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Ataulfo mangoes are perfect for pudding.  When you puree the flesh it practically becomes pudding on its own.  The texture is so silky smooth.  It’s amazing!  As I was planning how I wanted to make my pudding I decided to keep in line with my ‘healthy’ desserts.  I added very little to this recipe using chia seeds to thicken it up, cardamom and vanilla to season it, maple syrup to sweeten it, and coconut milk to cream it out a bit more.  The texture resembles a tapioca pudding.  And this is saying something but I looooovvve tapioca and pretty much nothing compares to it.  But this mango pudding really brought me back to my days of eating tapioca pudding.  Josh and the kids will be lucky if they get more than a taste :)

Mango Pudding

Mango Pudding

Vegan mango pudding! Thickened with chia seeds, seasoned with cardamom, and sweetened with maple syrup. Need I say more?

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Ataulfo mangos
  • 2.5 oz coconut milk (be sure to get some of the cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoon chia seeds
  • shredded coconut, to serve

Instructions

  1. Peel mango skin and slice the flesh off the pits. Puree in a blender until smooth. You should have between 2 - 2.5 cups.
  2. Leaving the puree in the blender add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and cardamom. Blend again to combine. Add the maple syrup too if you desire, it may be sweet enough without.
  3. Lastly add the chia seeds and quickly pulse only to evenly distribute the chia seeds. You don't want to grind them up.
  4. Place mango pudding in a container and refrigerate at least an hour.
  5. Serve as is or with shredded coconut.
http://mydailybite.com/mango-pudding/