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veggie friendly chorizo cauliflower rice


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
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

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.

oven roasted tomato spread

 whether tomatoes are in season and i have overloaded on too many delicious varieties or i simply just don’t use all of them up after a recipe, this is my favorite recipe.  i put it on all of the things.  on crusty bread rubbed with garlic and topped with balsamic glaze for a perfect snack, as a spread on italian sub or tossed in a pasta salad.

makes 1 /2 cups

1 cup tomatoes, if tomatoes are larger cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves (or more if you really like garlic), roughly chopped
1/3 cup mayo
olive oil
salt & pepper

. preheat oven to 400 degrees
. cover small baking sheet with foil
. toss first 3 ingredients with enough olive oil to coat
. season with salt & pepper
. roast in oven until tomatoes have popped & blistered about 15-20 minutes
. remove from oven & cool completely
. in a food processor (I use the little attachment for my emulsion blender) blend tomato mixture & mayo
. season with salt & pepper if needed

*if the tomatoes are super juicy, either drain some of the liquid after roasting before you blend or add a little more mayo. as with most sauces, after setting up in the fridge it does firm up a bit.

apple, dried cranberry & thyme chicken salad

i like my salads… tuna salad, shrimp salad, chicken salad, egg salad etc.  i love the fact that i can make a batch of some kind of salad at the beginning of the week & have it for lunch or post workout snacks.  there so many ways of shaking things up so that you don’t get bored.  i made this one up when i really didn’t have much in the fridge & it really has been one of the best i have ever made.  it actually ended up being one of the best & most healthy chicken salads i’ve ever made.  i didn’t have a lot of chicken, so there is almost more veggies & fruit in this salad than chicken.  it can even be made vegetarian/ vegan, the recipe adjustments will be at the bottom of the page.  be prepared to be addicted.

1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken, cooked & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 apple, cored & cut into 1/2 inch pieces (i used honey crisp)
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 cup mayo
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
olive oil
salt & pepper

. combine everything except olive oil & salt/pepper
. add olive oil to loosen chicken salad to your liking (use less mayo & more olive if you would like)
. salt & pepper to taste

** the vegetarian/ vegan version**

. simply use 1 1/2 apples & replace chicken with about a cup of pecans or walnuts ( i toast & cool them if i use them in this recipe)

. do as above & replace regular mayo for vegan mayo

leftover turkey day sandwich 

turkey day is coming & we all know there are going to be tons of leftovers.  turkey sandwiches are a favorite.  i had always gone with the turkey, avocado & bacon panini until now.  this sandwich is my take on a recipe i found & it got rage reviews.  so here i am, a few days before thanksgiving with a recipe that will get you looking forward to the day after.  it’s the perfect combination of creamy, smoky, tangy & pure happiness.

makes 4 big sandwiches

4 rolls of your choice, make sure they can stand up to the pile of ingredients
1 pound of leftover turkey, shredded
1/2 large white or sweet onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped – plus 1 clove just peeled & sliced in half
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock (if you have this left over from thanksgiving, just use water)
1 stick of butter
1 sprig rosemary (if you don’t have this, don’t worry about it, but it does step up the turkey game)
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cranberry sauce (jelly if you want it to be a little sweet, whole cranberry sauce if you want tangy, which is my choice)
1 teaspoon orange zest
8-12 slices of bacon (depending on your love for bacon), cooked
4-6 slices sharp cheddar (not too aged because it won’t melt.  also if you have an alpine style cheese left over from your cheese plate, just use that)
salt & pepper

for cranberry mayo

. in food processor combine mayo, zest & sauce (don’t over process, it’s nice to get the bits of cranberry in it)
. salt/pepper to taste

for turkey mix

. on a pan over medium heat, melt 3/4 stick of butter
. add onions & chopped garlic
. cook until translucent then add turkey, wine, chicken stock & rosemary sprig
. cook until the liquid has almost gone away (we don’t want it too dry or too runny), discard rosemary & salt/pepper to taste

to assemble
this is the tricky part because you want your rolls toasty & potatoes/ turkey hot.  so, make the mayo first & set aside.  then start to work on other things, get your turkey started, it takes a little while.  prep your rolls & heat your mashed potatoes.  when your turkey is done, pop your rolls under the broiler.
. heat your oven to broiler
.  slice rolls in half & place them on baking sheet
. top each roll with remaining butter (add a bit more if you’d like)
. pop the rolls in the oven until toasted, remove & rub all rolls with garlic clove
. remove bottom of rolls from cooking sheet, place cheese on the top portions of rolls with cheese & put back in oven until cheese is melted
. spread cranberry mayo on top halves of rolls

REAL assembly
. cheesy bottom half of roll topped then potatoes, then turkey then bacon & top with  other half of roll  (and give it a little bit of a press to keep it together)

vietnemese shaken beef

this dish makes me want to dance.  the recipe is very universal, i haven’t found one that isn’t almost exactly the same as the last.  just a few little tweeks in each & so i added my own tweeks for my perfect version.  loved by all that has had it & one of my best friends even wants me to make it for her dad (one of the best cooks i know).

makes 4-5 servings

1 1/2 pounds sirloin (use whatever you’d like, if filet is on sale, why not?), cut into bite size cubes, about an inch
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons tamari (or regualr soy sauce if you aren’t gluten free)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch of watercress, stems trimmed
2 heads romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped
2 -3 tomatoes on the vine, sliced
rice (as much as you’d like to eat)

for vinaigrette

2/3 cup rice vinegar (i used the roasted garlic flavor because i just love garlic)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt

. combine & set aside

for dressing

juice of 1-2 limes (depending on size)
salt & pepper to taste (lots of pepper)

. combine & set aside

for beef

. combine first 7 ingredients in plastic bag & marinate for 2-3 DAYS

for pickled onions

. combine onions & 1/4 cup vinaigrette, toss & set in fridge for 10-30 minutes

to assemble
you have all of the hard work done at this point, lots of prep with a short cook time, just make sure your rice is done.

. take beef out of fridge & place beef on a paper towel lined plate to soak up any marinade.
. in a wok or large pan, heat veggie oil over medium high heat
. drop beef in small batches (normally 3 for this recipe) & cook quickly just until the beef is browned
. make a salad on each plate by mixed the romaine with a bit of vinaigrette, then top with a bit of watercress, tomatoes & pickled onions
. place a portion of beef & rice on each plate
. top everything off a just a bit of dressing

food bites… national sandwich day!

 it’s national sandwich day!  i’ve been craving a cuban and happen to have some smoked pulled pork in the freezer.  add sliced ham off the bone, homemade sweet n sour pickles, swiss cheese & mustard sauce.  all pressed between crisp buttery bread.  add a side salad & fried yuca… the happiest of national sandwich day!

loaded veggie & quinoa salad topped with grilled shrimp 

veggie quinoa salad topped with grilled shrimp in a roasted garlic & lemon dressing

this meal is incredibly refreshing whether it is in the middle of the summer or during the cold months when we tend to crave hearty comfort food.  i love this dressing & you can normally find it in my fridge to use all of the time.  However, if you want to use a store made dressing to quicken up the recipe, i would recommend something very light.

serves 4

for shrimp

1 1/4 pounds shrimp, deveined & peeled
zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper
olive oil

. in a bowl toss shrimp in enough olive oil to coat
. add lemon zest, garlic powder, salt & pepper
. grill em up & set aside (this can easily be done ahead of time)

for salad

2 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups cucumber, deseeded & sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 cobs of corn, cut off cob ( if using frozen: half bag WHITE corn, defrosted and patted dry)
2/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2-2/3 cup feta, crumbles
1 avocado, cut into chunks

for dressing

1 head of garlic, roasted
zest of 1 small lemon
juice of 1 small lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
olive oil
salt & pepper

. combine everything except olive oil, salt & pepper in food processor
. add olive oil slowly until dressing is emulsified, then salt & pepper to taste

to put together

. combine all salad ingredients with dressing, adding just a bit at a time to your liking
. plate salad & top with shrimp

simple marinated mozzarella spinach & tomato salad

 i love fresh mozzarella in any shape or form.  i may have a ton of cheese knowledge, but there is something about it’s simplicity.  it’s a bit of a blank canvas.  one of my favorite things to do when tomatoes are everywhere & perfect for eating is make this salad, have it on the side or add a protein and a meal is made.  the marinated cheese & dressing can be done days in advance, so this is great for parties or midweek meals.  no other salad i make tastes a fresh yet comforting as this bowl of tastiness.

makes 4 large side salads

1 box fresh baby spinach
3 cups cherry, grape or small tomato cut into bite sized pieces if needed

for marinated mozzarella

1 container of bocconcini
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
olive oil

. drain liquid from container & add all of the spices/herbs
. add just enough olive oil to coat the bocconcini making sure the mozzarella is well coated with spices & herbs
. put in the fridge for at least a couple of hour and up to a few days in advance

for dressing

2 shallots, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2-3 teaspoons rice wine vinagar
olive oil
salt & pepper

. combine everything except olive oil, salt & pepper in food processor
. add olive oil slowly until dressing is emulsified, then salt & pepper to taste

to put together

. toss tomatoes with dressing
. toss spinach with dressing
. slice bocconcini in half
. place spinach in center of each bowl or larger salad plate, then tomatoes on one side & mozzarella on the other (i don’t mix this salad or pile the tomatoes or mozzarella on top of the spinach because it gets all mushy, gross)

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