Tag Archives: cauliflower

Colorful Lunch and Dinner for Spring Day

Happy belated Spring Day!

I learnt that yesterday was an official celebrated day in South Africa. A day called Spring Day. We don’t have that in North America and yet we have every other holiday it seems. So why don’t we have a Spring Day?

Well I spent my Spring Day relaxing in the sun. I am starting to get a nice tan, let me tell you! But our housekeeper told me that where she is from people splashed each other with water – think like the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness, except it is to remind the locals that summer is on its way!

Tan lines!

All of yesterday was a pretty lazy day all in all, so I thought I’d do a whole bunch of cooking today. When Lizzie comes I like to make a special lunch for her sometimes so that she can get a great meal. So for today’s lunch I went for a pita bread type sandwich.

There was a perfect amount of colors and a balance of flavours. Perfect!

 Pesto Veggie Pita

I got the recipe from here though I did change it some.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (7g) packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup (25g) finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • ½  zucchini cut into ½-inch slices
  • ½ squash cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 medium green sweet peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Halloumi cheese, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 2 large pita breads
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 cup (47g) shredded romaine lettuce

 

Directions:

  1. For pesto vinaigrette, in a food processor combine basil, olive oil, the Parmesan cheese, nuts, vinegar, and garlic. Cover and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl toss together squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, the olive oil, and oregano. Grill in a pan for 6 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Meanwhile, lightly brush cheese slices the additional olive oil. Place on grill rack; cover and grill about 2 minutes or until heated through and cheese is golden brown, turning once halfway through grilling.

  3. Place pita breads in toaster to toast some. Remove from oven and fill pita with romaine lettuce, halloumi cheese, and grilled vegetables. Top with homemade pesto vinaigrette. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 Lizzie and I loved it to bits. She loved the flavours and everything. Makes me happy.

Then for dinner, well dinner was fantastic. Another vegetarian dish for the day, but a superb one. Both mom and dad went for seconds even! Everyone loves a good stew, right? Well this one obviously does not have moist meat, but protein packed with lentils and soft cauliflower!

Harissa Lentils and Cauliflower

Food is truly my happiness. I got the recipe from here and also tweaked it some. Some being an understatement. It came out like magic, anyway!

But can anyone tell me what adobo sauce is? I haven’t a clue and cannot find it in South Africa! But luckily I found a recipe for an adobo seasoning.

So this meal is called Harissa. What is Harissa? Lord knows I didn’t know. Only found out when writing this post even! It is a Northern African condiment type sauce. It is made with chilies and peppers and is used with meats usually. To make Harissa you need adobo sauce AND chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. None of which I had. So this is where Tracy’s adobo seasoning helped out like crazy! Though I am pretty sure my meal looked nothing like the recipe I followed!

Harissa with Lentils and CauliflowerHere’s the recipe I followed:

Ingredients:

Harissa

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Tracy’s Adobo Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (15g) fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cilantro

Lentils

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups (200g) small cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup (100g) red lentils
  • 1 can (400g) stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500ml) low-sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. In food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until harissa is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add cauliflower and continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes. Stir in lentils, stewed tomatoes, ¾ cup of the harissa, and 2 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until lentils are tender, 20-24 minutes.

  3. Serve over grains and drizzle with remainder harissa sauce.

  4. Enjoy!

 IMG_5361So I am pretty damn sure that is not what it was meant to look like, BUT you know what? Who cares? It tasted amazing. Even the Harissa without this mysterious adobo sauce! That was quite spectacular actually. 

This could and probably would be made again! Although my father needed some additional salt, it was perfect for both mom and I. AND it was still pretty colorful to go with the Spring Day meal from lunch, right?

I hope you get around to eating one or both of these recipes. They were both delicious so they should be great in your kitchen and on your plate too!

Enjoy your meal everyone!

L

 

 

 

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Healthy and Light Dinner in the Summer Heat

I love the heat. I mean I was raised in it. You can’t live in Latin America and the Caribbean and not find joy while being in high temperatures and sunshine with the possibility to cool down in a pool in your backyard. But lately, the temperatures have been insanely high in the Netherlands and have caused me to want to almost peel my skin off like Robbie Williams in the music video Rock DJ. Although I am not the best dancer… with or without skin.

So for this evening’s meal I had to opt for something pleasant in the heat, while still being light on our stomachs. Mostly because the real meal for the evening will be popcorn as my sister, mom, and I will be headed to the movie theater to watch a comedy. The movie is The Other Woman. I showed mom the trailer before she moved to South Africa and she seemed to like the trailer, so we got lucky that it was playing when she returned to the Netherlands three months later!

Although to watch this movie I will be missing out on my team playing in the FIFA World Cup, but not to worry, I’ll know whether we win or lose by the reaction of everyone else wearing orange downtown. Actually, I am pretty sure the entire nation will be sporting our national color of orange.

 Grilled Chicken with Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Asparagus

I made this lovely meal. I mostly loved my presentation on the new plates, but luckily it also tasted fantabulous!

The meal is fried chicken breast with garlic mashed cauliflower and asparagus.

I absolutely love cauliflower mash, it makes a great substitute  for potatoes, while giving you so much less guilt with the other additional flavours to make it fluffy. It is my version of perfection, true perfection!

Here is the recipe for the mash:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 2-3 Tablespoons light cream cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Trim cauliflower of leaves and wash. Chop cauliflower into chunks and place a pot on the stove top to boil. Once water boils, add cauliflower chunks to cook for 6 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

  2. Once cooked, drain all liquid. Replace in pot and add cream cheese to cauliflower. Grab your immersion blender and blend until smooth. 

  3. Add garlic and Parmesan cheese as well as vegetable bouillon powder to mixture and continue to blend. Add black pepper and fresh chives and cover with a pot to allow to keep warm.

  4. When everything is ready sprinkle more chives and pepper on top and enjoy!

I fried my chicken while I boiled my cauliflower and then used the fat in the pan from the chicken to cook the asparagus.

Everything came out truly delicious! Except when I added my garlic to the mash I had a whole garlic and expected it to purée in the pot, or at least blend into a mush. That didn’t quite happen. Luckily I was the one to end up eating the full garlic clove rather than my mom.

I can tell you that it is a relief that I am not in a relationship or my partner would be afraid of me with my breath.

Garlic Mash with Fried Chicken and AsparagusI am in love with how the plate looks. I swear, giving this to my mom for tonight’s dinner made me feel very chef-like with the fabulous presentation.

So, about football? Are you watching the World Cup?

I know I am. I watched the first game of Brasil and Croatia last night and cheered Brasil constantly. Can you believe it was only team Brasil who made goals? Even against their own team?

Well tonight it is the Netherlands against Spain. I am kind of fearful of that turn out, but I am still supporting!

huphollandhupI’ve got my bright orange nail polish on and am sporting some orange earrings. I also bought an orange team Holland T-shirt at our local grocery store too! I am ready to join our country in supporting our national team!

Who are you cheering for?

 

 

Nothing Says Friday Like a Glass of Sangria with a Good Meal

Romantic dinner for one? Don’t mind if I do!

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Sangria and Tulips!

While usually I would prefer having someone with me like my boyfriend or best friend, but when you live alone you dine alone. But just because you dine alone do you have to cook lazily because you haven’t got anyone to impress! I personally love to plate my meals as best as I can just to see what I am capable of.

And because I have bad memories of the first time I tried to plate something.

–          It was my first time in a professional kitchen with my class and we made vanilla bavarois with raspberries. Everyone else in my class had such an elegantly looking plate while mine looked…. Like shit. The teacher even pointed me out from the crowd and mocked me.

Since that time, all I’ve wanted to do was make my food presentable.

Cauliflower Fried RiceNow although my plate doesn’t look the best, I am pretty sure the meal looks grand! I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed (or fresh)
  • ½ cup frozen organic corn, thawed (or fresh)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 sweet pointed pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook brown rice as instructed on box (for me that was 8 minutes in boiling water).

  2. Remove outer leaves of cauliflower. Soak and rinse cauliflower. Drain and dry. Grate the head of cauliflower over the course side of a large grater. This should yield about 2½ cups of rice like cauliflower.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the onions, sweet pepper, and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. (approx. 3 minutes)

  4. Add the riced cauliflower and soy sauce and cook for three minutes. Add the cooked brown rice, corn, peas and sesame oil and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.

  5. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a leafy green or green beans.

If you’re wondering – my green of choice was broccoletti! I just blanched it in boiling water for 2 minutes and then ran it under cold water rather than ice.

At my apartment I do not have any circular forms to create perfect circles for a dish (such as rice) so I just used my spatula to smooth out the edges of my nicely formed circle on my plate. That is why there was a bit of yellow on the plate.

Cauliflower Fried RiceThis was a delicious meal which looked both appetizing and tasted it. Best of all it was incredibly easy! The hardest part would have been grating the cauliflower and that in itself is simple.

So this meal is a 10/10! You should definitely try it. And if you’re not doing so already, follow the OrdinaryVegan! I follow her on Facebook and that is how I got this recipe. There are many delicious recipes to find on here.

If you do make this, then enjoy!

Vegetable Enchiladas for a Colorful Evening

So… there was a fiesta in my oven last night. No seriously, it seemed that I was at a proper Mexican party where a piñata let out enough color to celebrate. It was delightful. Most of all delicious too.

Last night’s meal was a mix of healthy vegetables and salsa to create a perfect enchilada. What a great thing to be eating on a Tuesday which kick starts the warmth to come during the week. It has been quite cold as of late, but yesterday was pretty warm and the remainder of the week will increase in temperature as well. So enchiladas definitely are making week look good.

Fiesta in Oven

Okay, so that doesn’t quite look like a fiesta or a piñata, but when it came out it sure looked impressive.

Colorful

Look at all those beautiful colors! Layers of colors at that. Perfection.

The recipe can be found here:

Ingredients

  • 1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (or one small cauliflower head), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and slivered
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 3 Tablespoons heat-safe olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups homemade or store bought salsa/pico de gallo
  • 2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 big handfuls)
  • 5 corn tortillas, teared into appropriate slices as needed
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheese works best)
  • sour cream and thinly sliced scallions for garnish, if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 218ᵒC (425ᵒF). Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
  2. Place poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, and corn kernels onto cookie sheet. Drizzle oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together. After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 175ᵒC (350ᵒF).
  3. Prepare an 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, stir the cilantro into the salsa. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, a handful of spinach, and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
  5. Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.

Beautiful LayersCheck out those fantastic layers. Does it actually even look like layers to y’all?

Well when it came to plating the meal I opted out from using sour cream and chives. It really was unnecessary for both the reason of adding more fat to the dish as well as the taste is fantastic without it!

You really should try this. It doesn’t plate all too attractively, but it tastes great.

Stacked Vegetable Enchiladas

Plus to make things even better, I took a little bit back to my apartment and decided to make an omelette with the enchilada mixture inside. Seriously that was perfection. I before eight in the morning and I am still full at four.  Usually I would be peckish but I am satisfied. Well maybe not now after writing an entry on food.

So this is definitely a five star meal. If I could have made it gluten free I would have too. But where does one find gluten free tortillas in the country of the Netherlands? If anyone can help me on that one please do!

I really hope you all try this meal out. It is great.

Buen provecho!

Tofu Curry on a bed of Mash

I’ve been living life all wrong and I realized this today. Why eat mashed potatoes when everyone knows they are so filled with calories when you can have a wonderful substitute which is so much better for you and that much more delicious? I realized that potatoes are so not the way to the heart but cauliflower is.

For dinner tonight I’ve made cauliflower mash with a tofu curry. This meal is extremely easy and so good. Keep in mind that I did not even have all the spices needed, so if I find it good how it is then imagine what it would be like with the correct spices! Heaven!

Tofu curry on a bed of Cauliflower Mash

To make this I made the mash first but in reality I could have done it whilst the spices and tofu were combining in the pan. Alas I used the same pan for both the mash and the curry so I did the mash first then washed the pan and made the curry.

In light that one should make the curry before the mash I will provide you with the recipe for the curry first. With that the recipe I followed can be found here, while the recipe for the mashed cauliflower can be found here.

  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup tofu, cut into small pieces
  • Water as needed
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

Spices

  • 2 teaspoons Turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion, garlic, and ginger to oil and sauté until brown.

  2. Once fragrant, add spices and mix well. Then add chopped tomato and green peas and mix well. Next add tofu and mix.

  3. Add enough water to make a gravy and allow to simmer blending flavours together.

  4. As flavours bind make your cauliflower mash.

Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium pan pour water inside (an inch in depth) and add about ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling add cauliflower and allow to steam for five minutes or so.

  2. Once soft, drain cauliflower of water and add milk, butter, and goat cheese to mix. Blend well with stick blender or place into food processor and mix until smooth.

  3. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

By the time the cauliflower mash is complete your curry should be finished as well. Now you can place enough of the mash in a bowl-plate and make a little hole in the centre to put more of the curry in. Add the curry to the cauliflower mash and enjoy.

Tofu Curry with Peas on a bed of Cauliflower Mash

Want to know a weird and funny fact about the stick blender? When I used to work in the kitchen upon getting my education in the hospitality industry my one teacher would call it a dildo. Because of that whenever I see this tool I have to hold back on calling it such an awful thing. Mr. Young if you’re reading this you’ve changed my view on such a simple thing like the stick blender for life!

Well this meal was completely filling. So much so that I actually couldn’t finish my plate. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t succeed.

Unable to FinishThat’s when you know it is truly too good that you want to finish but just can’t go through with it.  I would like to make this again, maybe with the correct herbs if that is possible. The cauliflower mash will be a must, that’s for sure.

I hope you also make this. You won’t regret it!

As they say in Hindi, कृपया भोजन का आनंद लीजिये !
(please enjoy your meal)