Archive for February, 2013

Arugula and Pine Nut Cauliflower “Bread”

I love cauliflower. I remember how excited I was to find that you could make pizza bread sticks, crust, and tator tots with it. It took me a bit to convince my dad to buy some though as cauliflower was, for some reason, one of those foods that we never ate. After some cauliflower soup, however, that attitude changed. Anyway, I wanted to use the basis of the cauliflower breadsticks recipe to make my own- and a little more unique- type. Turns out it was a success! Everyone liked this recipe and wished that I had tripled it (as did I). And when my brother likes something, you know it’s good.

ImageArugula and Pine Nut Cauliflower “Bread” 

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh and uncooked riced* cauliflower

1 cup fresh arugula

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1 egg

1 tbsp pine nuts

*In order to make riced cauliflower, simply place raw cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until cauliflower resembles rice.

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x13 loaf pan with cooking spray. Place parchment paper in loaf pan (make sure the parchment is long enough that it hangs over the sides of the loaf pan-this is important for later). In a food processor, pulse together the riced cauliflower, arugula, cheeses, and garlic powder until the arugula is chopped into small pieces. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add and mix in egg and pin nuts. Pour mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes. Take “bread” out loaf pan by holding the parchment paper and flip it onto a greased baking sheet. Set the oven for 450 degrees and bake for 12 more minutes. Before serving, cut “bread” to the desired size and shape.

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I recommend at least doubling this recipe!

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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Lava Cake

This year, I had the best valentine. This dude loves to sample my work, is good at cuddling, and happens to be very handsome. He also happens to be four-legged and small enough to carry around. Yup, my dog, Bungie. Sad? Maybe. Do I care? Nope, not at all 🙂 So for this Valentines, I (with the help of Bungie) made a chocolatey treat for dessert. Yes, there’s a little sweetener in this, but for a once-in-a-while treat, it’s harmless. Just try to use organic ingredients, if possible! This is much better than the boxed lava cakes at the store and quicker to make than the time waiting at a restaurant!

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With the help of Chef Bungie!

Chocolate- Peanut Butter Lava Cake 

Ingredients: 

cacao powder

1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil

1 tbsp organic peanut butter

1/4 cup organic dark chocolate chips

1 tbsp spelt flour (whole wheat works too)

1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey or sugar)

1/8 tsp salt

1 large egg

Optional: powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a ramekin with cooking spray oil. Completely coat with cocoa powder. Over a stove, melt the coconut oil. Mix in the peanut butter until melted. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add in maple syrup and mix until the chocolate mixture is the same color throughout. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and egg. Add and stir in the melted chocolate. Pour batter in the ramekin and bake for 12 minutes.

After taking out of the oven, slide a knife around the ramekin. The cooling time depends on the amount of “lava” you want (if you want a lot of lava, serve right away). Place an upside-down plate on top of the lava cake, flip, and gently wiggle off the ramekin. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Note: I’m still playing around with this recipe. I want to eventually sub in coconut flour. If you try out any  alterations please let me know! 🙂

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Right out of the oven

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Bungie, becoming very involved in the baking process

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A volcano, ready to erupt

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All of a sudden, he’s looking pretty worried

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And there goes the lava. Ooops, forgot. Dogs can’t have chocolate (another reason why dogs make great valentines)

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Maybe next year, boy 🙂

Black Bean Soup

Ahhh Valentine’s Day. I feel like this holiday is becoming more of a big deal every year. Then again, maybe I was just too young to really grasp its importance. Well, importance to some people anyway. I don’t know, Valentine’s Day just never was a big thing for me. Why?

  1. If someone got me a card, I’d throw it in the corner of my room for 6 months, eventually find it, feel guilty, throw it out, and feel guilty again.
  2. If someone got me boxed candy, I wouldn’t eat it because I didn’t like the taste and ingredients in them.
  3. If someone got me flowers, they would be dead by the next day.

But the biggest reason was because of the valentine’s cards I’d have to bring to my elementary class. I ABSOLUTELY hated this tradition. The weekend before Valentines Day, you could find me sitting at the kitchen table writing every kid’s name from my class over and over again on scrap paper for hours (no exaggeration here). You see, according to my dad, my handwriting was horrible. And so, he made my practice writing my classmates names until they were “suitable” enough to write on a card. I really started holding grudges against people with long names, such as Christopher, Marcellus, and Anna-Sophia.

Anyway, Valentine’s Day has never made it on my top 5 favorite holiday list. However, please don’t think of me as a total grinch (or what ever equals to an anti-Valentine’s Day person). I still greatly appreciate any gestures people show me. As a kind of contribution to the holiday, I decided to post this recipe. After all, everyone knows the song “beans, beans, good for the heart.” Just ignore the rest of the song (Hey, we’re all above the age of 12 here, right?)

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Black Bean Soup

Ingredients: 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, coined

1 tbsp jalapeño peppers

1 tbsp dried parsley

1 tbsp dried cilantro

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup red wine

3 bay leaves

salt and pepper

hot sauce

Optional: shredded cheese

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add and sauté the onion and garlic cloves for 5 minutes. Mix in the green bell pepper, carrots, and jalapeño peppers and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Add in the parsley, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and red pepper flakes and cook for 15 more minutes. Add in beans, chicken broth, red wine, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove bay leaves and puree with an immersion blender. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese, if desired.

Corn and Jalapeño Cannellini Bean Dip

Well, tomorrow is New Years Eve Part II (more commonly known as Super Bowl Sunday). To be completely honest, I’m not a big football fan. Who knows? If the Eagles eventually get to the Superbowl, I might be. But in the meantime, I’ll just watch the commercials 🙂

When I was young though, I loved the Superbowl for a different reason. You see, parents (particularly dads) hate having a bunch of whiny kids around during the Big Game. Their solution? Throw said kids (and lock?) them in the basement. Oh, and maybe throw down a hoagie for them to nibble on every so often. Looking back, this probably wan’t the best idea on their part. 15 hyped-up 6-12 year olds can cause A LOT of damage in a small amount of time. Not a year went by that someone didn’t shed tears or got injured. Then one unfortunate adult (I swear, they drew straws) would come downstairs and do damage control. After they left, the chaos would recommence.

Yup, childhood was awesome.

Sadly, those days are in the past. So this year, it’s commercials. In case you need something for the Big Game, here’s a very yummy and healthier-than-your- average bean dip. If you’re locking some kids in the basement this year, it might be a good idea to throw some down to them 😉

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Corn and Jalapeño Cannellini Bean Dip 

Ingredients:

2 (15oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 and 1/2 cups grated provolone cheese (divided)

1/2 cup water

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt

pepper, to taste

1/3 cup frozen corn

jalapeño slices

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 8×8 baking dish with cooking oil. Add the beans, 1 cup cheese, water, garlic cloves, cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the food processor and puree until smooth. Manually mix in corn. Pour and spread out mixture into baking dish. Top with 1/2 cup cheese. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes. Top with jalapeño slices.