Cauliflower Steaks

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It’s a well known fact that fresh is always better than frozen products. When it comes to vegetables though, the shelf life for them being fresh and kept in the fridge goes faster than I can keep up with in my back and forth work schedule.

During the slow winter months, also knows as our off season at the Country Club, I try to use this free time to do a lot more cooking at home. The only thing I wish this side of Cleveland would offer is more farmers markets. I would much rather spend my money there than at the grocery store any day. Even though I’m doing a lot more cooking at home, I’m still watching how much produce I bring home. I can only use up so much of it at one time during the week. Like I said, fresh vegetable always seem to wilt or rot on me before I get to using them.

I’ve always had a liking for cauliflower, raw or cooked didn’t matter to me. A fellow co-worker mentioned how she will make roasted cauliflower for her 2 little kids at home. She roasts it in the over with oil, salt and pepper and then sprinkles loads of Parmesan cheese and tops it with fresh made pesto, she really talked the roasted cauliflower recipe up. I figured if 2 kids under the age of 6 will eat it, it’s gotta be good. Usually I steam cauliflower so I was ready to try something different with roasting it. I took the basic ingredients: salt, pepper, and EVOO and added a few more spices to it to really make the flavor pop. The recipe makes the best entree, or side dish, you choose.

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Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 25 Minutes

Mise en Place:

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, stem & leaves removed, cut (You will get 3 steaks out of 1 head)
  • 1/2 Cup EVOO
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend
  • S&P, TT

Method of Prep:

  • Heat Oven to 350
  • Once cauliflower is cut, place on a sheet tray
  • In a small bowl mix together EVOO & seasonings
  • Using a pastry brush, brush oil over the front and back of cauliflower, brush along the tops and sides as well. Season with S&P.
  • Place in the oven and roast for 10 Minutes. Turn over and place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until tops of cauliflower are golden brown.
  • Enjoy!
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Spinach & Artichoke Dip

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Rumor has it there’s a super bowl game going on tomorrow; talk about a Sunday-funday, eh. Anyways, if you’re a last-minute planner or for lack of a better term a procrastinator, I’ve got a dip for you that is always a huge hit amongst a group of football advocates and alcohol connoisseurs. If you’re hosting a party of your own for the big game and looking to please a crowd, spinach artichoke dip is a great compliment. If you’re looking for more snack ideas, be sure to check out last years Superbowl post for other healthy alternatives and quick recipes!

Of course this doesn’t have to be made just for football season. This is a great dip to serve for birthday parties, picnics or appetizers before a holiday feast! You can serve this dip hot or cold and it only takes 15 minutes, if that, to assemble. If you’re a big cheese head, you can sprinkle your favorite cheese on top and bake it in the oven until melted. Extra cheese is always okay.

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Gluten Free/Vegetarian/Grain Free

Mise en Place:

-1 Can Artichoke Hearts, drained, rough chop

-1 10 OZ Pack Frozen Spinach, Thawed, drained

-1 8 OZ Pack Cream Cheese, softened

-1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

-1 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Teaspoon Paprika

-1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

-Tortilla chips (or desired food to dip with)

Method of Prep:

-Drain the chopped spinach and make sure to squeeze out as much excess water as possible.

-In a large bowl add all ingredients and mix well to combine with a spoon.

-Taste and adjust seasonings if possible. I started out small with using a teaspoon of each spice. You may find that it’s not enough. Just add a little more at a time and keep tasting until it meets your satisfaction.

-If you plan to bake your dip, pop it in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until hot.

Enjoy!

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Honey Glazed Brussels With Bacon

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Brussels sprouts are becoming a lot more popular on menus now than ever before. Brussels weren’t very commonly  served for dinner, in fact I don’t think I knew a single person who loved Brussels sprouts enough to even have them around.  As for me, it’s not than I ever disliked Brussels, it’s just I’d never eaten them before. Being a cook at heart, there’s a lot more to do with sprouts other than seasoning them with salt and pepper. Yes salt and pepper go a very long way in cooking, but sometimes you need to include the help of other spices that just sit on the shelf unnoticed half the time.

My absolute favorite way to enjoy Brussels, aside from being tossed in balsamic vinegar then roasted, is caramelized with honey and cooked with bacon; nom to the nom. This side dish is excellent for all holidays or makes a great snack for in between meals. If you have picky eaters at home, I recommend this recipe. The honey gives a great naturally sweet flavor, and why would anyone turn down a vegetable cooked with bacon!?

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Mise en Place:

-16 OZ Brussels, cut in half, stem removed

-8 Oz Honey

-4 Strips bacon, cut into lardons (julienne), cooked crispy

-1/2 Yellow onion, julienne

-Salt, TT

-1 Teaspoon Pepper

-1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne (optional)

-1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

Method of Prep:

-Heat oven to 350 degrees.

-Toss the cut Brussels and onion in a large bowl with a splash of Olive oil and spices.

-Pour sprouts into a baking dish and drizzle the honey over the top. Mix with a spoon.

-Bake in the oven until crispy, approximately 30 minutes. It’s okay if they burn, it’s what you want.

-Add more honey and adjust seasoning if needed.

-Remove from the oven once crispy and mix in bacon.

-Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

***Another way to caramelize the sprouts (way I prefer more) is on the stove top. Using a very hot pan, cook with the inside of the sprout face down until golden and then flip over and cook the back until dark. crisp in the oven.

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Hiyayakko

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No that is not in English, in fact it’s Japanese. Hiyayakko is a chilled tofu dish with toppings. It doesn’t get much easier than that. This recipe is super simple to prepare and delicious. I enjoy eating this as an appetizer or a midday snack.  Very good on a hot summers day to cool you down and eat healthy as well.

 

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Mise en Place:

-1 Pack Firm tofu, drained and cut into rectangles (see above)

-Soy Sauce, TT

-2 oz Daikon or Radish, sliced thin and julienne

-Bonito (Dried fish flakes), TT

-2 Scallions, sliced

-1 Inch Fresh Ginger, Grated

 

Method of Prep:

-Cut Tofu into 1″ by .5″(inch) rectangles and press between 2 paper towels and dishcloths until dry.

-Lay tofu on a plate or sheet tray. Pour soy over each piece of tofu. Place in refrigerator and allow to chill and absorb the soy for 20 minutes.

-Garnish with toppings.

Enjoy!

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Broccoli Salad

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This post should’ve gone up a little over a week ago…but thanks to my ridiculously awesome internet for being slow and overall worthless, I haven’t been able to use the internet let alone post on my blog.

Anyways, I’ve made broccoli salad numerous times but I’ve never made it this way. this my healthier version of the traditional mayonnaise based salad. I substituted plain yogurt and used a natural sweetener to make this better for your body and soul. Summer is my favorite time for salads and broccoli salad is a great dish to bring to your picnic in the backyard or served in a small bowl as a side with some freshly grilled portabella burgers!

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Mise en Place:

-1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt

-2 Heads Broccoli, washed, florets cut small, stems removed

-1/4 Cup Cider vinegar

-4 Tablespoons Honey

-1 Avocado, diced

-4 Strips Bacon, Cooked and chopped

-1/2 White Onion, small dice

-1/2 Bell Pepper, small dice

-S&P, TT

-Garnishes (ie: grated cheese [Blue cheese], dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cooked beets) Optional

 

Method of Prep:

-In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, vinegar and honey.

-Add in broccoli and all vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well until everything in evenly combined.

-Sprinkle garnishes on top if desired.

-keep cold until ready to eat.

-Serve cold and eat immediately.

Enjoy!

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