Roasted Portabella Burgers

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If you have a grill, I would totally grill the bella’s over roasting them but both ways work!

Not too many folks (unless your Vegan/vegetarian) dig portabella burgers. I’m over red meat because every time I go out to eat and order a nice juicy medium rare to medium burger, some jackass who doesn’t know his temperatures always seems to over cook my burger to a well done (hockey puck style) da fuq? Why anyone orders their red meat well done is beyond me. You might as well as be a vegetarian!

I see portabella burgers all the time on menus and never order them because they seem so plain and boring. Plus who wants to eat just a mushroom and bread??Β  My fiance and I go to a bar down the road one Tuesday nights when the feature $1 burgers (This also includes turkey burgers and portabella bugers) Due in fact to them cooking their burgers beyond well done I switched it up and went with a bella burger and was immediately hooked. Now I’m into making these here at home once a week and it fits well into our healthier living/real food challenge.Β  Lastly, If you enjoy this recipe you’ll love my Black bean Burgers which are FAB-U-LOUS!

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Bella Burgers: Vegan/Gluten Free/Refined Sugar Free/Dairy Free

Mise En Place:

-Large Portabellas (1/person or 2 depending on the size), with the bottom of the cap scraped clean

-Herb Oil (See below) or olive oil

-3 Garlic cloves

1 Shallot or 1/4 Onion

-2 Red Peppers, cut into rings and roasted

-2 Avocados, mashed

-Burger Toppings and condiments of choice

-Burger Buns (I used Udi’s Gluten free whole grain bread)

 

Method of Prep:

-To make the herb oil, Take whatever herbs you have on hand and pulse inside of a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil along with garlic and onions until blended together. (For this recipe I just used cilantro and oil)

-Rub herb oil over mushrooms and let marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Add additional oil if caps look dry.

-Cut red pepper into rings and allow to marinate in the oil as well.

-If your using your oven, set to 350 degrees. Place mushroom caps on a sheet tray with red pepper rings. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

-Place in the oven and roast the red peppers for 10 minutes and the mushrooms for 20 (flip mushrooms upside down after 10 minutes).

-Remove from oven. If adding cheese, place on top of mushroom and allow it to lightly melt. Place on bread or bun of choice and garnish away.

Enjoy!

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Herb Oil Recommendations:

Basil/parsley/cilantro/Chives/tarragon!

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Coconut & Banana Rice Pudding

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One thing I love about rice pudding aside from the facts that it’s number one, delicious and number two, can be made a hundred different ways, is no matter what diet or food trend your on or following, rice pudding is probably something you can consume.

My Grandma made rice pudding as if it were her religion (meaning she made it almost everyday). She did a damn good job with the right amount of cinnamon to creamy texture ratio. While I will always love Grandma’s rice pudding, I know mine outdoes hers. Sorry Grandma, suck it.

If your into creamy textured foods and bananas you need to get in on this rice pudding. I ate it for breakfast today and will probably eat the leftovers for dessert tonight. The addition of caramelized bananas on top is the best part. If I had some bourbon (Can’t believe I don’t..something is wrong with me) I would of added that in during the caramelized process. Kinda like a flambe/fosters thing, yo. GET SOME!

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Creamy Rice pudding is: Vegan/Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Vegetarian/Refined Sugar Free/Guilt Free πŸ™‚

Yield: 4 Servings

Mise En Place:

-1 Cup Rice (I used white short grain)

-2 Cups Water

-1/2 Teaspoon Salt

-2 Cinnamon Sticks

-2 Cardamom Pods

 

-1 Can Coconut Milk

-Maple Syrup, TT

-2 Bananas, Pureed

-1 Teaspoon Vanilla

-Ground Cinnamon, Garnish

 

Method of Prep:

-In a medium sauce pot, add water, rice, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and salt. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once water begins to come to a boil, reduce heat to medium low.

-Check rice and stir every so often making sure rice doesn’t absorb all the liquid and stick to the bottom of the pan. Rice take about 15 minutes or so to cook.

-Once all the water is absorbed, taste the rice. If it is cooked about halfway (meaning the outsides are soft and the middle is still slightly crunchy) add in the coconut milk. If rice isn’t for whatever reason cooked halfway (meaning it’s still really crunchy) add in a little bit more water and allow to cook an additional 5 minutes or until water is mostly absorbed.

-Raise the temperature back to medium high until coconut milk begins to boil. Reduce heat back to medium low, cover and cook an additional 15 minutes or until the milkΒ  is mostly absorbed. (or until rice is at the consistency you want. I prefer to keep mine a little loose). Stirring often.

-Once most of the milk is absorbed, fold in the banana puree, vanilla and maple syrup. (I didn’t put a measurement of maple syrup because I like mine partially sweet. Add it in to your liking on sweetness. Don’t forget caramelized bananas, which are sweet will be placed on top, if you choose to do so.)

-Once everything is folded in your ready to serve it as is. Garnish with a few shakes of ground cinnamon.

Enjoy!

 

Caramelized Bananas: Vegan (if using earth balance) Gluten free

-1 Banana

-1 Tablespoon Butter

-2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (or natural sugar of choice)

 

Method of Prep:

-Over medium heat, melt butter in a small pan.

-Add in bananas and brown sugar. Stir sugar into butter until combined well.

-Cook bananas on each side until golden brown and delicious.

-Spoon some of the sugary and buttery goodness over the bananas for additional flavor.

-Place on top of rice pudding with a little bit of the sauce from the pan.

 

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Cannolis!!!

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Need I say more?

This is an in depth recipe that does take up to 2 hours to make so I’m not going to ramble on about my life and how awesome cannoli’s are. All you need to know is I basically woke up yesterday morning craving a cannoli. Instead of going to the nearest bakery or Italian restaurant and purchasing what was probably already 3 days if not older and made from a factory somewhere..I put myself to the challenge of making them at home. As long as you have all the proper equipment and tools, these are really easy to make. It’s worth it in the end!

 

Sadly this recipe isn’t Gluten Free/Vegan/Dairy free… but if you want to take the time to prepare a recipe that is and share it with me that would be amazing!

Yield: 24 Delicious cannolis!

Mise En Place:

Shells:

-2 Cups AP Flour

-1 Table spoon Granulated Sugar

-1/4 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Tablespoon plus 2 Teaspoons Unsalted Butter, Cut into small pieces

-1 Egg Yolk

-1/2 White Wine

-1 4 oz Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate bar, melted over a double boiler (optional)

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Filling:

-3 Cups Whole milk Ricotta Cheese

-3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

-1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

-1 Lime, Zested

-2 Oranges, Zested

-1 Teaspoon Vanilla

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Additional Tools:

-Deep Fryer (Or a deep pot to fill with oil to fry shells)

-1 Quart canola oil, for frying

-Flour for rolling

-1 Egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

-Pastry Brush

-4″ Circle cutter

-Pallet knife

-Cannoi Form

-Vegetable Spray

-Kitchen Towel

-Cookie Cooling Rack

-Rolling Pin

-Mixing Bowl

-Piping Bag

-Air-tight Containers

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Method of Prep:

Start with making the shell dough:

-In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar and salt.

-Work the butter pieces into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes coarse and crumbly.

-Add the egg and wine and mix until it becomes a smooth dough.

-Cover with plastic wrap. Flatten the dough as much as possible in the wrap. Place in the refrigerator until filling is made.

 

For the filling:

-In a medium bowl sift powder sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Add ricotta and citrus zests. Gently fold the cream into the spices and zests. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

To Roll and Fry the shells:

-Heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Lightly flour a work surface and begin rolling dough as big as you can, as thin as you can (about and 1/8″ thick).

-Cut into rounds. Roll remaining dough back into a ball and roll out again until all dough is used up.

-Wrap each circle around a cannoli mold. Use a little egg wash on the top edge of each round to seal it shut.

-Use a pair of tongs to carefully submerge shell into the hot oil. Or if you’re ballsy like me, you can just drop it in the fryer with your hands facing away from you.

-Fry shell in the oil until light brown in color and crispy, approximately 3 minutes.

-Remove from the oil using tongs (or I used my pallet knife through the holes of the mold) with a kitchen towel in one hand (Careful this product is going to be very hot!) Let cool for 1 minute before removing the shell from the mold.

-Using a kitchen towel, grab the lower end of the mold with your left hand and using your right hand gently twist to release the mold and carefullyΒ slide off being sure not the break the shell. Set aside on cookie rack. Repeat with all the circles.

-If your going to dip the ends in melted chocolate, now would be the time to do so. Using a double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth and glossy. Dip one end of the shell, just a little bit. Turn upside down and dip the opposite end. Let sit on a cookie rack until chocolate hardens (I recommend that you don’t place in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate faster..this may cause your shells to become moist and stale quicker)

 

To fill the Cannolis: Just before serving, use a pastry bag without a tip to pipe the filling into the cannoli shells.

-Fill the shells from both ends so the cream runs through the whole shell.

-Feel free to dust with powder sugar or dip in crushed pistachios for extra garnishes.

-Serve immediately.

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Lentil Bowl

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Alright friends I’ve gone MIA this month and apologize for my lack of blogging. This has been a crazy month for me with lots of vacation time and traveling. I took the time off from work and cooking in general, I hope you didn’t miss me too much :). With that said, I”m slowly getting back into the swing of things and am ready to start cooking again at home! Whose ready for some good food??

To start things off on a healthy note, I made this lentil bowl which is my healthier version of a rice bowl. I basically had a bunch of random ingredients left over in my refrigerator from this last week and took what I could and turned it into a vegetarian bowl.Β  My favorite thing about food bowls is you can add whatever the hell you want to make it delicious!

There are 3 phases to making the perfect bowl:

1.) Choose your base- Great suggestions include: Lentils, rice, beans, quinoa, couscous, or mashed potatoes (Yes mashed potatoes).

2.) Add a protein- Whatever kind of meat you love! I enjoy: Tofu, Chicken, pork or all vegetables!

3.) Fixins’- Also known as toppings! I recommend: Mixed vegetables (cooked or raw), salsa, grated cheese, guacamole and lettuce.

 

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Lentil Bowl: Vegan/Gluten Free/Dairy Free

Mise En Place:

-1 Cup Lentils

-3 Cups Water

-1 Red pepper, Julienne

-1 Avocado, mashed and seasoned (with S&P, and a sprinkle of cumin) You may simply dice the avocado if you wish.

-1/2 Small Yellow onion, Julienne

-1 small Tomato, diced Or salsa

-1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil or cooking fat of choice

-1 Teaspoon Cumin

-S&P, TT

-Small bunch Cilantro, chopped

 

Method of Prep:

-Cook lentils in simmering water until well done. (Approximately 15 minutes stirring often and kept covered)

-Over medium heat, melt oil and saute vegetables 3-5 minutes until cooked. Season with cumin, salt and pepper while cooking.

-Once lentils are cooked, spoon into a small bowl. Top with vegetables (or protein), Add salsa, mashed avocado, cheese and other remaining ingredients.

-Sprinkle with cilantro and dig in!

Enjoy!

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