appetizers

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

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I love cauliflower! It is so healthy and so versatile in cooking. So many people have gotten crazy creative with how to use it in cooking and baking. It is so great!!! You can steam it and then throw it in a blender in order to add creaminess to a non dairy soup. You can also make rice or mashed potatoes out of it. Some people are using cauliflower as a pizza crust and many vegan restaurants are making buffalo cauliflower appetizers, which is probably one of my top favorites out there! If you haven’t tried buffalo cauliflower bites, that is a total must!

Cauliflower yields some great nutrients and antioxidants! It is very high in vitamin C! One medium size head is more than your daily intake of Vitamin C needed and is about 11g of protein! It is also high in Vitamin B-6, Potassium, Magnesium, and calcium. Cauliflower contains a good amount of fiber. Fiber is important for digestive health and can even reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, especially those relating to your bowels. It is also high in fiber and antioxidants which are great in helping your body and cells combat disease, such as cancer.

To be completely honest, growing up, I did not care much about cauliflower. I thought it smelled bad and when I grew up it took me a while to get around to cooking it. I had memories from childhood and was slightly scared of it because I didn’t even know where to start in trying to cook this awkwardly hard and  rough plant. Once I got over the hump and cooked it once, I decided it wasn’t so bad. Moral of the story, if you’re like me, and have never cooked with it and are a little frightened, just try making it once or twice and you’ll get the hang of it. The first time I attempted to cook it, I steamed in for about 9 minutes and then threw it into my high speed blender to make a creamy soup. Now, I also enjoy baking it in the oven or chopping it up small and sautéing it. The other night, I finally tried the cauliflower pizza from Trader Joe’s, AND IT CAME OUT BOMB!!! Anyways, we’re talking about baking it, so shall we get to that portion??

Recently, I went to this really great Italian restaurant with some friends. The Cauliflower appetizer, minus the butter it normally would be cooked in, was one of the things I could eat on the menu. Normally it’s made drizzled in butter so I asked the waiter if he’d mind asking the chef to use oliv oil instead. He said, “YES!!!” So the way they prepped it was with chili, oil, and capers. Myself and my non plantbased friends thoroughly enjoyed it. My friends even said they thought it was the best thing out of everything on the table they had eaten! Win! Well… Naturally, I had to make this at home, IMMEDIATELY!! And I did. It’s pretty simple. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy my beautiful friends!!

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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower: 
-1 Head Cauliflower
-3 Tablespoons olive oil
-1 Tablespoon Chili Sauce (I used sambal) you can also use 2 Tablespoons for you spicy lovers!!
-1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
-1 teaspoon Black Pepper
Method:
-Preheat oven to 425.
– While oven preheats, wash and cut the cauliflower. The way I do it, is by sticking a knife slightly slanted at the base where the root is, almost as if to cut a hole in the bottom. You’re basically trying to take the root out. Once you’ve done that, you can break the pieces off and cut the big pieces into smaller pieces.
-Throw all the pieces into a bowl adding all the ingredients and mix it well to evenly coat the cauliflower. Sometimes adding half the ingredients and mixing, and then adding the rest works a little easier for coating!
-Once the cauliflower is coated, oil a baking pan or dish and put in the oven. Roast for 25 minutes.
-Cauliflower should feel a bit softer. If you like it crunchier, check it at 15-20 minutes.
-Take it out and let it cool. Then top it with capers for an added flavor burst.
-Enjoy.
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appetizers, entrees

Indian Nachos!!

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Say what??!! Indian inspired nachos. Yes, I said what you read, Indian Inspired nachos!! As some of you may have noticed by now, I WILL do whatever I can for an excuse to make and enjoy nachos! I also like to be different, and I like a challenge. So of course, why not take so many of our favorite dish, nachos, and use different flavors? I recently found this fantastic company Maya Kaimal, who I will be doing a product review in more depth shortly on another post, and I thought, “I am going to use one of their wonderful simmer sauces and flavor some yummy veggies, then throw them onto chickpea chips with vegan cheese!!! Whoo hoo!!

The first year of becoming vegan, I was holding onto some of my favorite meals pretty strong. So you can bet that Plant based nachos, caesar salad, pizza, burgers, and mac & cheese were constantly in the mix. Of course, all of these things are still highly processed. So once I got use to being plant based and I felt more knowledgable, I felt more comfortable to branch out and try less processed meals. I started using more whole foods and beans or lentils to substitute for “meat.” Beans and mushrooms have a meaty like texture, or at least the firmness some of us crave in a meal. I find when it looks and feels similar with colors & texture and it has a great seasoning and flavor, it makes it easier to be satisfied with meals we are use to eating.

I took some vegetables that I am use to eating with Indian food, like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and garbanzos and sautĂ©ed them with Maya Kaimal’s Simmer Sauce! It is so easy because the flavor is already all there in the sauce, SO DELICIOUS! All you have to do is chop the vegetables, add the simmer sauce, cook, and then plate over the chips and cheese. It is just a fun spin on your usual Indian dish with just rice or potatoes.

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Indian Nachos

Ingredients:

-1/2 Medium Onion

– 2 Cloves Garlic

-1 Tablespoon Coconut oil

-1/2 Cauliflower Head

-1/2 Broccoli

-1/2 Bell Pepper

-1 Yellow Zucchini

-1 Can Garbanzo beans

-1 Jar of Maya Kaimal’s Madras Curry Simmer Sauce (or if you find another flavor of their many flavors, use that)

-Shredded Mozzerella (Or any other dairy free cheese you like)

-1 Bag of chickpea chips

Method:

-Chop all the veggies in smaller portions so they fall over the chips better. Start to sauté the Onions until translucent (about 3-5 minutes on medium heat). Then add the garlic to the onions and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the broccoli and cauliflower and sauté for another 8 minutes.

-Add Zucchini, Simmer sauce,  bell pepper, beans and sauté for another 10 minutes.

-While the vegetables and sauce are simmering, in between stirring every 2 minutes, start plating them chips. Get a nice pile of chips and either sprinkle the cheese on top of the chips, so that when you put the hot topping on it melts, or just add it to the mix of vegetables. Either way is fine and up to you. Own it! Enjoy it. Be proud you made something new and fun!

Love, Always, Stephie <3

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