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for the love of all things delicious

recipes. photos of yummy things. booze recommendations. general knowledge about food & drink

veggie friendly chorizo cauliflower rice

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i was watching one of my favorite cooking/ chef shows and Tofurkey chorizo came up in a recipe.  the chefs on the show seemed into it, so  i went on a venture to find it, after 3 grocery stores, i finally did!  this stuff is pretty darn tasty, it’s got the chorizo flavor and I really like that it’s in crumble form opposed to links.  i have made a million different cauliflower rice recipes and this one didn’t disappoint.  you can take out the scrambled eggs and just add a fried egg on top of each portion.  the pickled onions are a staple in my fridge and don’t require the stove, like most do. take out the eggs and cheese and it’s vegan friendly.  garlic & jalapeño amounts depend on your love of heat and garlic, use to your liking.

1 package of Trader Joe’s frozen cauliflower rice
1 package Tofurkey chorizo (not links)
1/2 large white onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, minced
2-4 eggs, scrambled with a pinch of salt
1/2 – 1 jalapeño, finely minced
2-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 bag Trader Joe’s frozen white corn
neutral oil
kosher Salt
cumin
dried oregano
garlic powder
chili powder
4 avocados (for 8 large side servings or 2 for 4 entrees)
pickled red onions (recipe follows)
cojita cheese
4 scallions, finely slice

. In a large skillet over medium high heat brown Tofurkey chorizo, takes about 5 minutes and set aside
. cook eggs on same pan, set aside with chorizo
. place about 2 tablespoons of neutral oil (i use safflower) in pan, add onion, bell peppers, garlic, jalapeño and garlic
. sauté until onions are just translucent
. add cauliflower rice, chorizo, eggs, corn and mix well
. add salt, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and chili powder to taste
. saute until the corn is warmed through and cauliflower is just tender enough
. top with sliced avocado, pickled red onions, cojita cheese and scallions

pickled red onions

1 large red onion, cut in half down the center of the root and sliced THINLY
2-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
About 1/2- 2/3 cup roasted garlic rice vinegar (regular can be used but I just like garlic… a lot)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar

. in 16 ounce jar stack red onions (separate slices so all of the onions get the vinegar love) and garlic
. top with salt & sugar
. pour vinegar on top
. close jar and shake
. place in fridge for at least 30, giving them a shake every so often

food bites… asian rice bowl

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when you are trying not to eat carbs, but this wouldn’t be nearly as amazing without it, so f it.  lemongrass meatballs, spicy creamy cucumbers, sliced avocado, sliced scallion ginger chicken, pickled onions & RRIIIICCCEEEEE!

food bites… mediterranean baked feta

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after going to zoe’s kitchen for the first time a few weeks ago, i began to crave their baked feta dish.  so, i decided to make my own version.  i’ll tweak the recipe the next time i make it and get it up on the blog.  a nice chuck of feta baked with roasted red peppers, oven roasted tomatoes, pepper dew peppers, fresh garlic & olives make this an amazing snack or appetizer.

food bites… sesame crusted seared tuna

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after consuming cheesy burgers and all things delicious while visiting family in the south, i needed to get something fresh in my life.  so, a big tuna steak it was.  sesame seed crusted and quickly seared with soy glaze, gochujang mayo & chive from the garden.  lunchtime perfection.

food bites… summer corn gazpacho

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it’s summer and that means corn season.  i am obsessed with fresh corn in any form.  made with shucked corn, yellow tomatoes, yellow peppers, white onion, garlic, rice vinegar and olive oil.  i topped it with avocado puree, bacon and chives.  i can’t lie, it is a pain in the butt to make.  after blending you have to be super patient while pressing the soup through a strainer. still worth it, it’s what corn season is about.

food bites… meatless Monday lunch

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it’s summertime and it is too damn hot for ramen.  so, i took one of my favorite elements of ramen, the marinated egg and built a vegetation lunch around it.  soy, sake & mirin marinated deviled egg, crispy sesame tofu, garlicy kale salad and fried vermicelli noodles for the win.

recipe quickie… crack kale salad


i know, kale.  i have to say kale won me over long ago, so i am not a bandwagon fan.  the reason it won me over is that it can sit around in the fridge for a few days and still taste great.  after all, who likes a soggy salad green?  all you really need for this salad is kale & the dressing, the rest is up to you.  my go to is shredded carrots, sliced or chopped red onion & smoked almonds.  so, here is the life changing salad dressing.  note that kale is perfect for kale, it’s thick and can quickly weigh down other greens.

1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
braggs liquid amino acid to taste

* you can partially or completely replace olive oil for lemon juice, i simply like it without.

my new obsession, cold smoking… part one

we all know how delicious smoked food is.  aside from smelling like firewood, it’s easy & has great results.  i come from a home from everything could be smoked, from thanksgiving turkeys to ribs.  this however is a game changer, cold smoking is where it is at!  thanks to a christmas wish fulfilled by my brother, i finally got around to giving it a go.

this is super easy, little mess & cheap!  what the hell is cold smoking?  it is a way to flavor food without cooking it like in a traditional smoking.  Iall you need is a smoker or grill, a pellet tube smoker, smoker wood pellets & a utility lighter.  oh, and lots of random food to smoke!  i used my grill, a 12 inch A-maze-n tube smoker, smoke pellets from amazon & disposable metal trays.  the instructions that come with the tube smoker are simple to follow and worked like a charm.  so, get to ordering your supplies so you can join the fun!  just a note, where i live this is the perfect time of the year to cold smoke due to the 35 to 50 degree weather.  if you live in a warmer climate, i would do some research before you dive in.

what food should you cold smoke? While you can cold smoke bacon & salmon, i am starting with food items that don’t need to be cooked.  aside from smoked salmon or cheese, there aren’t a lot of searchable resources on cold smoking.  i just tried to think about what food items i would want to have a smoky flavor.  i’ve had smoked salt & smoked tomato sauce, so that is where i started.  i decided on salt, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cauliflower, ricotta, cheese blocks & onions.  i’m looking forward to smoking other things like hardboiled eggs, fruits & nuts.  this will be a two part post considering the amount of stuff i smoked.

smoked salt

2/3 cup course salt
8X8 tray

. smoke for 1 hour

i just used kosher salt.  if you want to make more salt, no big deal.  it will just take a little longer & you will need to stir half way through to make sure all of the salt gets even exposure to the smoke.

what to use it for? season anything that you would use regular salt for.  popcorn, roasted veggies or fish for starters.

plum tomatoes

4 plum tomatoes, quartered & deseeded
8X8 tray with 1/8 to 1/4 inch holes in the bottom

. smoke for 3 hours

what to use these for? since they aren’t cooked, i put them in the food processor & will add them to a tomato sauce.  if you wanted to peel your tomatoes before you smoke them, you can make tomato jam, salsa… the list goes on

smoked ricotta


1 16 ounce container whole milk ricotta
8X8 tray
salt & pepper

. smoke for 1.5 hours to 2 hours stirring half way through

. this cheese is super delicate, so watch out for over smoking.  taste test to smoke level then season with salt & pepper.

what to use this for? as you would use any ricotta.  i used it as pictured on a crostini, but i am looking forward to using it in lasagna & pizza.

smoked ricotta & honey crostini

this combination is straight perfection! smoky, sweet, spicy & savory. OH. SO. GOOD.

1 small baguette, thinly sliced
smoked ricotta
honey
red pepper flakes
fresh thyme
salt & pepper
olive oil

. preheat oven to 375 degrees
. place bread slices onto baking sheet in a single layer
. lightly drizzle with olive oil
. bake until both sides are lightly browned, flipping over halfway
. let bread cool enough to be handled
. spread ricotta on bread & place onto serving dish
. LIGHTLY drizzle with honey
. season with red pepper flakes, cracked pepper & salt
. sprinkle with fresh thyme

chickpeas


2 cans chickpeas, drained
8X8 tray with plenty 1/8 to 1/4 inch holes in the bottom

. smoke for 2 hours

oven roasted chickpeas

we have all had the yummy guilt free snack.  this is just the best of the best in flavor town (yes, sadly i just quoted guy fieri).

. preheat oven to 425 degrees
. cover large baking sheet with foil
. place chickpeas on baking sheet & drizzle with olive oil just to coat the chickpeas
. season with salt, pepper & garlic powder
. toss until everything is coated
. bake 20 minute, shaking baking sheet every 5 minutes
. make sure they are crispy before you take them out of the oven, sometimes the golden color makes you think they are done before they are

cauliflower


1 lb small cauliflower florets, do not cut too big for even smoking
2 8X8 trays (or one larger sized tray) with plenty of 1/8 to 1/4 inch holes in the bottom

. smoke 3.5 hours

what can this be used for? replacing protein in things like pasta.  since it isn’t cooked, you can cook to make cauliflower mash (just don’t boil) or even just eat with dip.

cauliflower salad with bacon & sunflower seeds

this is like replacing potatoes or pasta, even chicken or tuna for a healthy salad.  just break down cauliflower into bite sized pieces, you can even finely chop the stalks leftover to add to the salad.

1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon apple cider or rice vinegar (i used roasted garlic rice vinegar)
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
5 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
2 scallions, thinly sliced
salt & pepper

. mix cauliflower, mayo, red onion & celery together
. season with salt & pepper & toss to make sure everything is coated
. when ready to serve top with bacon, sunflower seeds & scallions

asian kale & quinoa salad

oh kale, the leafy green that everyone loves to hate.  it’s diverse, healthy & doesn’t taste too bad.  after all, it is just a vehicle for dressing or even butter.  So, hop on board the kale salad train.  i top this salad with chicken, fried tofu, even pineapple chicken meatballs.  the recipe for the dressing makes a lot.  trust me, you will want to put it on everything.  i used veggies from the salad bar, so this can be made pretty quickly.  as long as you have the right measurement for the veggiees (excluding the kale), you can use whatever veggies you want.

makes 4 main dish sized salad

for dressing

2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup roasted garlic rice vinegar
4 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons honey or agave
1 tablespoon gochujang
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

for salad

4-6 cups PACKED kale, cleaned and in bite sized pieces
1-2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 bell pepper, cut into bite size strips
1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
4 scallions, white & green parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
black sesame seeds

to assemble

. in large bowl combine first 6 ingredients of salad with dressing.  the quinoa & kale vary for your adjustment for a more leafy or more quinoa packed meal.
. add dressing 2 large turns of the bowl at a time to dress to taste
. after dividing salad into portions top with scallions, sunflower seeds & black sesame seeds

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