7 Ingredient Roasted Cauliflower Salad


This month’s theme for The Recipe Redux is all about economy- they challenged us to make a dish with seven ingredients or less:

“It’s Income Tax Season, so our brains could use some easy arithmetic; as in seven-ingredient-or-less recipes. Show us the healthy, no-brainer dish you fix for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”

This cauliflower dish is easy, and comes in at even ingredients. I have been obsessed with it since recreating it based on a restaurant dish I had earlier this month. It is easily my new favorite way to eat cauliflower becaus even though it is simply and the ingredient list is short, the flavors that are in this dish really pop and complement each other like whoa. It makes a great lunch time salad that’s just a bit different from your average lettuce based salad- it’s hearty, sweet, salty, crispy. It’s loaded with fruit and vegetable goodness and its no slouch in the protein department either.

Oh, and there is bacon.

Not a ton of bacon, just enough to lend its smokey flavor. Yum!


5.0 from 1 reviews
7 Ingredient, Change-Your-Life Roasted Cauliflower Salad
  • 1 Head Cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 pieces Bacon
  • ¼ cup Mixed Dried Fruit (or, just use dried cranberries)
  • ¼ cup Mixed Nuts (or just use pecans)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Green onions to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Spread cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until brown and starting to crisp, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy. Remove from pan.
  4. Toss nuts into pan along with the bacon fat and toast, just until fragrant. Remove from heat immediately.
  5. Chop bacon into crumbles.
  6. When cauliflower is nicely browned, remove from the oven and toss with the nuts and the bacon. Place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Remove, sprinkle with salt and pepper again, toss with dried fruit, garnish with green onions and serve.

Cheeseburger Wontons and the Super Bowl


My beloved Broncos have made it to the Super Bowl!

I could not be more proud… or more nervous. Yup, definitely nervous. Did you see their last Super Bowl performance? Not so great. But it probably cannot go worse. And surely they have learned a thing or two since then. Yipes, I sure hope so.

If you need anything on Sunday, I will not be available. I will be glued to the tv, watching the Vonster rip apart the Panthers o-line.

Anyway, to give me something- anything- else to focus on between now and then are these tasty cheeseburger wontons. These do take a little time (they are easy- just a little time consuming) but they are so worth it- crispy on the outside, warm and gooey and comfort-foody on the inside. By reducing the amount of ground beef and replacing it with caramelized onions and the meaty, umami flavor of sauteed mushrooms you are significantly reducing the amount of saturated fat and upping the flavor. Throw in a little garlic, some cheese and and some parsley and you are in for a surprising amount of flavor in these tiny, crispy little bites. Oooh, they are so good- seriously, I am almost as excited about these cheeseburger wontons as I am about watching the Broncos in the Super Bowl.


They also get baked, no frying here! But they still have that characteristic crunch that comes from frying, but it makes them significantly healthier. So go ahead, have another one while I go make sure my lucky shirt is cleaned and ready to go!

Cheeseburger Wontons and the Super Bowl
Serves: 25
  • 8 oz Button Mushrooms
  • ½ Large Yellow Onion
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup 93% Lean Ground Beef
  • ½ cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Parsley, minced
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 package wonton wrappers.
  1. Peel and chop the onion. Chop the mushrooms.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, when oil is hot, add the onions and turn the heat down to low. Allow the onions to caramelize for about 20 minutes. To do this, keep the heat low, stir only occasionally and add about 2 TBSP water to the pan every 3-5 minutes- or when the pan is very dry and you are worried the onions may burn- to help the onions caramelize without burning. Stir after you have added the water but leave the onions to caramelize while the water evaporates.
  3. While you are waiting, prep the rest of the mixture: finely chop the garlic and the parsley and combine in a bowl with the ground beef, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, mustard and salt and pepper.
  4. When the onions are brown and caramelized, push them to the outskirts of the pan. Toss the mushrooms into the pan and allow them to cook, undisturbed for 2 minute. Stir and then let cook another minute.
  5. De-glaze the pan by adding 1 TBSP water. Turn off the heat and stir, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Water should evaporate within a minute.
  6. Allow the onion mixture to cool a bit, then stir it in with the ground beef and cheese mixture.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  8. Scoop ~2 tsp of the mixture into a wonton wrapper. Wet the edges with water and seal them together. Place them on a sheet pan/cookie sheet or baking tray that has been LIBERALLY sprayed with pan spray. Repeat with the remaining filling until you are out of filling.
  9. Before putting them in the oven, spray the wontons with pan spray, again, be generous. Bake for 6 minutes or until golden and crunchy on the outside and ground beef is cooked through.
This makes ~25-30 wontons but can easily be doubled.
It also freezes well, so go ahead and make the wontons ahead of time, but do not cook. Freeze on a sheet pan for at least 20 minutes, then transfer to a ziploc or tupperware container. When ready to eat, remove from the freezer right to the oven. Increase cooking time 3 minutes.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Flour


New Year, new ingredients! There are a few new things I would like to tackle in 2016: experiment with different flours, experiment with natural fruit sugars in baking, work on more super quick dinner ideas… the list goes on.

You ever notice how much easier it is to make a list than it is to do anything on it? Fortunately, The Recipe Redux’s theme for this month helped push my wishlist into a reality,

“Pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try… and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. Show us how you’re cooking with something new (to you!) in 2016.”


I decided it was the time to try out coconut flour. Coconut flour is nutty and its lightly coconutty flavor is quite tasty in baked goods. It lacks the gluten that makes muffins dense or chewy, but it also lacks the gluten that really gives baked goods body. It also absorbs an unbelievable amount of liquid, so it cannot just be substituted 1:1. It definitely took some trial and error, but overall I am quite happy with the end result!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Flour
Serves: 8
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • ¼ cup sugar + 2 tsp
  • 3 Eggs
  • ½ cup Coconut Flour
  • ½ cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 2 TBSP orange juice
  • zest of one orange
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Combine soy milk and vinegar, allow it to sit for 5 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, the ¼ cup sugar and the eggs.
  4. Add the vanilla, the orange zest and 1 TBSP of the orange juice.
  5. Pour in the sour soy milk.
  6. Add the flours, the baking soda and baking powder, the pie spice and the pinch of salt.
  7. Fold in the nuts and the carrots.
  8. Whisk together the cream cheese, the 2 tsp sugar and the remaining 1 TBSP orange juice.
  9. Scoop a scant ¼ cup into a prepared muffin tray. Add a small dollop of the cream cheese mixture to center of the muffins and bake for 22-25 minutes.

5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste


Reducing Food Waste…

I really hate throwing out food- I hate the money that I am wasting, I hate the toll food waste is taking on our environment and I hate throwing out a perfectly good meal. So, here are a few ways that I have come up with to reduce food waste in my own home- I hope that they will help you as well in 2016!

1. Meal Planning is key! Figure out what meals you are going to be eating each week. Sit down with your family and decide on some favorites that you are going to serve that week and plan accordingly. I usually leave one or two days open, one for a leftovers night (see suggestion #2) and one for going out. I don’t go out every week, but I know if I suddenly decide to I won’t feel guilty for not eating the meal I had planned. If I don’t go out, I scrounge and use up all those leftover ingredients- the leftover cilantro, half a package of cream cheese, half a lemon etc. Check out this site for help using up those spare or one off ingredients.


2. Use up those leftovers! Stir fries are a great way to combine leftovers and one of my favorite go to options, they often end up served over leftover pasta or whole grains. But, get creative- leftover veggies go well in soups (check out these ideas for leftover veggies), leftover pasta can be turned into a great casserole, stuffed peppers can be chopped up and cooked with beans, the possibilities are endless, so get creative! Need some inspiration? Check out this site to get that spark going.

3. Know what you have on hand. Before you go shopping look through your pantry, your cupboards and your fridge to know what you have and what you still need to get. If you already have a tub of sour cream, there is no reason to get another one.

4. Learn how to substitute with what you have! If you have some sour cream but probably not enough check out this site and this site to find out if you have anything else you could use in place of that sour cream. For example, plain yogurt, pureed cottage cheese or buttermilk all make good replacements for some or all of the sour cream a recipe calls for. Learn a few good substitutions to use what you DO have:

  • Avocado works great in place of butter on toast, in cooking or baking, even in frosting!
  • Mashed bananas make a good fat substitute in baking.
  • Smashed crackers or chips can be used in place of breadcrumbs- also using up those pesky crumbs at the bottom of the bag that no one wants to eat or throw away.

5. Keep a roll of masking tape next to the fridge and date the leftovers so you know how long they have been in the fridge. Keep an eye on what foods have been in the fridge the longest and game plan to use those first to prevent them from going bad. Leftovers have a life of about 7 days in the fridge before you run the risk of food poisoning. Eat them within that time frame.  Keep an eye on your produce as well to prevent it from getting tossed as well. If you see something starting to go, use it. Cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and carrots all go well in salads or tossed with whole wheat pasta. Zucchini, carrots, apples, and bananas can be used in quick breads, fresh berries can be used to top ice cream or added to pancakes. If you cannot use things and you see them starting to go, or you cannot stomach the idea of spaghetti ONE MORE NIGHT, toss it in the freezer. Here is a guide on freezing fresh fruits and veggies to get the most use out of them and make sure they are edible when you pull them out.

Canning is another great option

Canning is another great option

….And if all else fails, start a composting pile. All that good, organic matter in your food will break down and create a rich, viable soil- one that I fully intend to use to help keep my herbs alive! For more information on composting, check this out.


Chicken with Delicata Squash- The Recipe Redux


The Recipe Redux theme for this month is to open the cookbook you are currently loving and redux the recipe:

It’s the end of the year and we’re taking a moment to reflect – The Recipe ReDux has been around for 54 months! To celebrate, we’re playing a little party game this month: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 54 or 154. We can’t wait to see the books you’re cooking from these days.

Right now I am really into Silvena Rowe’s “Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume” a collection of recipes from the Eastern Mediterranean and personal stories that are short but sweet. Not to mention, every single recipe I have made out of it is absolutely amazing and offers something just a little different from traditional Mediterranean fare.


I had a tough time deciding between the pumpkin za’atar hummus on page 54 and the “Abu Basti- Lamb, Winter Squash and Tahini” on page 154. Both were so appropriately seasonal, but I went for the Abu Basti on page 154 because I was intrigued by the yogurt and tahini sauce. Plus, there is just something about a steaming stew this time of year that I just cannot turn down. And I am so glad I did, the flavor is incredible- warm and hearty without weighing me down.

I made a few substitutions, some because I didn’t have an ingredient on hand, like lamb or tahini (I used peanut butter because I almost always have it on hand whereas tahini… almost never). I subbed out the arborio rice in Ms. Rowe’s recipe for quinoa, simple because I like it better than rice, although I am sure the rice would be spectacular.


I added mint for a splash of color, plus I just love the fresh flavor it gives foods. I had some garbanzo beans laying around from a recent hummus endeavor and while the recipe called simply for “winter squash” I made the executive decision to use delicata for two reasons: 1) I had it laying around and 2) This dish is a little labor intensive (but so worth it) and the skin of a delicata is thin enough that I didn’t have to peel it… I just removed the seeds, cut the whole thing up and served it skin and all. It made for one less step.

Chicken with Delicata Squash- The Recipe Redux
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into 1" cubes and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 lbs. delicata squash, washed and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups yogurt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh mint, chopped
  • 1½ cups cooked or canned garbanzo beans
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Heat one portion of the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and heat, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. Stir and left sit until golden brown on the other side, about 3 minutes more.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and water. Cover and reduce the heat to simmering. Simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and reserve the cooking liquid.
  4. Meanwhile, arrange the squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the 400f oven about 20 minutes, until squash is tender and golden around the edges.
  5. After the chicken is done, whisk the yogurt and the egg yolk and season. Add ¾ cup of the reserved cooking liquid and cook for 12-15 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly until lightly thickened. Do not boil. Stir in the squash, chicken, peanut butter, spinach and garbanzo beans.
  6. Meanwhile, bring 1½ cups of the cooking liquid and the quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer over low until tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve the stew over the quinoa with a sprinkling of fresh mint.
I have to say, it was worth the labor and all the dirty dishes- it was tangy, savory, bright, rich and altogether warming. Although this dish may not make it into my regular rotation, it may make an appearance when I want to impress!

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