Cauliflower Piccata


Winter has officially arrived- all in one weekend might I add- here in Northeast Ohio. We got pounded with over 4 feet of snow, some areas up to 12 feet along the snow belt. Cars were trapped in between mounds of heavy snow, roads became icy where even the snow plows had a hard time keeping up with clearing the roads. The temperature dropped down to 9 degrees with a wind chill of negativeΒ 13.Β  I did recently read that spring is 50 some days away though, good news! Its hard to prepare for a snowpocalypse in Ohio because the weather always tends to be the opposite of what is foretasted. This time however, they were right- it’s a good thing I did my grocery shopping earlier in the week because the grocery stores and gas stations were madness on Friday.Β 

In the winter, everyone turns to satisfying comfort food, something to warm the soul. Commonly soups, stews, chili, pastas- anything hot and heavy, a kind of amenity to fill you with contentment during this cold and dark time of the year. A favored dish among many-Picatta may not be the first choice for something hearty on a frigid evening, I personally always find comfort in anything with butter, lemons, pasta and everything with a brine.

Piccata is a preparation typically with meat (Chicken or Fish) that is lightly dusted with flour, seared and served with a sauce of butter, lemons and capers.Β  My recipe is far from the classic as I am substituting a vegetable for the protein and I chose not to do the traditional Beurre Blanc (White wine butter sauce). Not going to lie my sauce doesn’t look the best and I kept it simple as I just melted butter with some aromatics and added in the capers and lemon juice.Β  If you prefer to keep the sauce conventional, here is a great butter sauce recipe. I found cauliflower to be wonderful alternative as the silky texture from the sauce and pop of acid readily absorbs and gives a great compliment to the produce.


Mise En Place:

  • (1) Head Cauliflower
  • (2) Sticks Butter, cut into cubes
  • (1/2) Yellow Onion, Julienne
  • (1) Small Jar Capers-in brine
  • (2) Lemons-Juiced, seeds removed
  • (2) Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • Angel Hair Pasta
  • S&P, TT


Method of Prep:

  • Heat oven to 400 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Prepare the Cauliflower steaks by cutting the head in half vertical, then slicing those halves in half again. The steaks will tend to break apart, it happens. Try and keep them together best you can. Drizzle steaks with olive oil, S&P. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes-turning over after 10 minutes to allow even cooking on both sides. If you want to go classic Piccata-try lightly coating the Cauliflower in a dusting of AP Flour and searing on both sides until golden.Β 
  • Fill a sauce pot with water, bring to a boil and cook off Angel hair pasta. I always add salt to the water for flavor and a little oil to keep the noodles from sticking together. Drain water from the pasta and set aside.
  • Prepare the sauce by first sauteing the aromatics (garlic and onion) until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Begin to slowly add in butter cubes and continuing to whisk until melted over low heat. If butter begins to break remove from the heat.Β 
  • Whisk in Lemon juice and Capers (drain from brine first). Strain sauce from the aromatics, optional. (I kept the aromatics with the sauce to add to the pasta for a little something extra in the dish). Season with S&P, TT.
  • Place a decent serving of Pasta on a plate, top with Cauliflower and coat in Butter sauce mixture. (Optional-toss pasta in butter sauce upon serving).
  • Enjoy!

**Note: Eat immediately to keep the butter sauce from solidifying or breaking upon sitting**



Shrimp Primavera


The weather here in The Land, aka Cleveland hasn’t quite broken into spring temps just yet. Mother Nature has decided to keep winter around a little longer this year. Well, I think everyone can agree with me, enough is enough and winter, you need to go bye bye! The forecast for this weekend is giving us a little hope that spring isn’t far, with a high of 75 tomorrow! However, this is Cleveland and any chance we get with warmer weather always comes with rain….If you dislike the weather where you live, move to Cleveland and change my mind.Β 

April is the month I like to start looking into more fresh ingredients to use in my cooking. It’s around that time of the year where all the good produce is coming into season and everyone is looking for lighter food options to enjoy during the summer heat and refrain from gaining extra winter weight (I refer to this as the summer body diet). There is also the issue with cooking time on meals. I find most folks don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes preparing dinner especially when they are feeding more than themselves. Long days at work and then having to come home and cook dinner get exhausting very fast. Pasta is always a quick go to and whats nice about this recipe, you can cook the pasta and prepare you vegetables ahead of time so all you have to do when you’re ready to eat is heat it up!Β 

Even on a low carb diet, I find this recipe to be keto friendly. I just measure out my pasta to grant myself 1/4 cup to eat that way I don’t consume all of my daily carbs in one meal. I love the addition of fresh lemon juice and the mixture of vegetables in this dish! My primavera is very light and the acid gives a lovely crisp mouthfeel. Shrimp is the best option for protein as it is also very light. Butter is the only “sauce” used, you may substitute EVOO or Avocado Oil in place of the butter if you would like.Β 


Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Mise En Place:

  • 1/2 Box Bow Tie Pasta, Cooked in salted water, drained
  • 1 LB Raw Shrimp (Approx. 20 Pieces) peeled & deveined
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Green Belle Pepper, medium dice
  • 1/2 Cup Red Onion, medium dice
  • (1) 14 Oz Bag Frozen Vegetable Medley
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • S&P, TT

Method of Prep:

  • Cook off pasta and drain if you haven’t already done so. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add frozen vegetables. Cook until soft but not overcooked, approximately 5 minutes.
  • In a saute pan, Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Season both sides of the shrimp with salt & pepper. Add into pan and sear for 2 minutes over medium heat. Turn shrimp over, cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, addΒ  1 tablespoon butter, 1 Teaspoon minced garlic & half the lemon juice to the pan, quickly baste the shrimp for 10 seconds. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat up 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add in all vegetables and garlic. Stir and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add in pasta, remaining butter, shrimp, pepper flakes, and lemon juice. stir until well combined and hot. Taste, adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Enjoy!
  • **Pair this pasta with a glass of French Chardonnay or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!


Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I’ve gone and done it again. I’ve constructed another awesome recipe with the help of Brandon for a delicious dinner entree. The whole version of this recipe is a sweet potato gnocchi with a sage cream sauce, bacon, caramelized brussel sprouts, onions, maple syrup drizzle and pumpkin spice. The total time to make this dish from start to finish is almost 4 hours. I’ve broken the recipe down to two separate posts, the first one being this post, how to make just the gnocchi. The next one will include the sage cream sauce, and vegetables. You can make the gnocchi’s a day ahead if you wanted to make this, or you can set aside a whole afternoon if you’d like. This is a time consuming recipe so you have to be willing and able to do it from start to finish. Having a second hand to help in the kitchen may help speed the process up a little bit.

This recipe may not be on the clean eating or real foods list, but it is a fantastic fall dish and if the picture doesn’t do justice, you will have to make this and find out for yourself. The best way to get the perfect gnocchi is to pan sear them in a little bit of butter to get a nice golden brown coat on them. Searing them gives a nice crunch on the outside, and beautiful color as well. If you don’t want to sear them you can pop them in the oven or in boiling water to heat them up. If I were you Id pan sear them for better results. When working with the dough in the beginning, it can get sticky and tricky. You don’t want too much flour but if you don’t have enough flour the dough gets all over your hands and counter top and is hard to come off. Just have patience and take your time. I had to make this recipe twice because the first time didn’t go so well. This recipe also goes well with a tomato cream sauce.


Active Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 2 Hours

Mise en Place (Ingredients):

-2 Sweet Potatoes, cooked, mashed

-1 egg

-2 1/2 Cups AP Flour

-1 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Tablespoon Butter

Other Tools:

-Dough cutter or paring knife

-Ricer or masher

-Sheet Tray

-Frying pan

-Ice bath

-Pot boiling water

-Slotted spoon


Method of Prep:

-Turn oven to 350 degrees. Rinse sweet potatoes under cold water and clean the skin. Using a paring knife make a large slit going vertical along the potato. Put a heavy coating of salt on the sweet potato.

-Place in the oven and cook until soft approximately 30 minutes or more depending on size of the potatoes.

-Remove from the oven and let cool completely for 20 minutes.

-Once cool, remove the potato from the skins. Discard skin and run the mash through a ricer or mash up by hand. Be sure to remove all large chunks and mash until smooth.

-Add in egg, salt and flour. Mix by hand on a lightly seasoned counter top until you form a smooth ball. (This is the tricky and sticky part. Add flour as needed but don’t add too much that your orange ball become white from all the flour.)

-Once your ball is made set a side for a few minutes and get a pot of water on the stove ready to bring to a boil.

-Lightly flour the surface of your counter top and cut the dough in half. Starting with the first half of your dough, you want to lightly begin rolling the dough into a long thin snake like shape. Keep your fingers spread apart and only use the tips of your fingers to gently push the dough. Its best to start in the middle and work your way to the edges. continue doing this until you have a 1/2 inch width on the dough.

-Have 2 sheet trays set aside and lightly floured as well. Begin cutting the dough into little pillow shapes and place on the sheet tray. Repeat these two steps with the second half of the dough. (The dough may begin to lose its pillow shape when you pick it up or go to boil them, its okay)

-Gather your ice bath if your haven’t done so yet.

-Once your water is at a boil, drop a handful or so of gnocchi into the boiling water. Don’t over crowd the water with too many gnocchi. Make sure your water stays at a boil the whole time, keep temperature at high.

-Leave gnocchi in water until cooked, about 3 minutes. An easy well to tell if they are done is they will float.

-After 3 minutes, using a slotted spoon remove from the water and place in an ice bath for 1 minute. Repeat the last 2 steps with the rest of the gnocchi.

-Remove from ice bath and set aside on another sheet tray or in a bowl.

-Heat up a frying pan and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Fill pan up with gnocchi and sear on medium high heat until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes each.

Recipe to be continued!