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BBQ Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower, or the “magical plant of wonder” as it’s known around these parts, is a shape-shifting vegetable that can transform into “rice,” “steak,” or even pizza crust. I like to think of it as the crunchy superhero of healthy eating.

In fact, it’s a superfood loaded with vitamins C, K, a bunch of Bs, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and biotin, which promotes healthy skin and hair. In short, it’s a veggie that helps keep you healthy and pretty. Cauliflower should wear a cape.

As if cauliflower weren’t versatile enough, it takes the place of chicken in this recipe for hearty barbecued salad that’s perfect for summer grill-outs or a bring-to-work lunch.

Chock-full of greens, fiber and protein, this barbecued cauliflower salad works as a stand-alone meal or as a side to a lean protein.

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BBQ Cauliflower Salad

Serves 4
Prep Time 15 Mins
Cook Time 15 Mins
Ingredients
  • ½ medium cauliflower, cut into florets (or 3 cups florets)
  • ½ tsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce, reduced-sugar
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • ½ cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ¼ medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing
  • ½ medium avocado, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Place cauliflower on a large baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with oil. Toss to blend. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Brush cauliflower evenly with barbeque sauce. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Set aside to cool.
  5. Combine lettuce, beans, corn, onion, carrot, and Healthier Ranch Dressing in a medium serving bowl; toss gently to blend.
  6. Top with cool cauliflower and avocado. Serve immediately.
Tips:
  1. Look for barbecue sauce that has an ingredient list that does not contain artificial sweeteners, additives, or preservatives. There are many brands on the market that are sweetened with small amounts of honey, maple syrup, or molasses.
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NutritionalData-BarbecuedCauliflowerSalad-

Nutrition Facts from Beachbody

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

 Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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Ingredients

  • 1 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, corn, beans, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Spoon the filling into each bell pepper cavity. Place on baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.
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Panda Express Copy-Cat Chow Mein

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Who doesn’t love recreating their favorite restaurant recipes at home. This recipe is absolutely delicious and is practically fool-proof. It requires very few ingredients and has delicious flavor that your family will think you slaved all day to get this much flavor. This recipe can also be made in less then 30 minutes, who doesn’t LOVE that?!!

I had some left over rice noodles, from PHO that I made last night, and I knew I wanted to make some chow mein. This recipe didn’t disappoint and I know it will make heavy rotation.

My husband and 2 little ladies LOVED it. Anything with “slurp noodles” is their favorite. This recipe is a great way to add some veggies in your families diet, or sneak in some kids case. This is great paired with some egg rolls or wontons. Yum! Enjoy!!

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Panda Express Copy-Cat Chow Mein 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 ounces rice noodles, cooked (Taste of Thai brand)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • Shredded Chicken (or your favorite meat) optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and white pepper; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and celery, stir often, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cabbage until heated through, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in noodles and soy sauce mixture until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can substitute yakisoba or even spaghetti noodles if that is all you have on hand.


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Macaroni and Cheese Grown-up Style

I always want to find a good Macaroni and cheese recipe and I think this one was a definite winner. The trio of cheeses paired so well together. I am a huge fan of blue cheese so I think next time I would add even more of that since I could taste it enough but other then that it was excellent.

What are your favorite add ins to macaroni and cheese?!!

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Macaroni and Cheese Grown-up Style


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Ingredients

Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gouda cheese, grated
4 ounces Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 slices white french bread
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gouda, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into buttered dishe.
  4. Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top

 

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Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Restaurant Style Salsa

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My favorite part about going to a Mexican restaurant is the chips and salsa! I’m sure that I’m not alone in this, so when I made this recipe I knew I had to share because it’s that good and so similar to my favorite Mexican restaurant. Most of the ingredients are items that you probably have on hand, or are items you should keep on hand, in case you have pop in guests, you can whip this up in a jiffy.

Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe

Serves 6
Prep time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Meal type Appetizer
Misc Pre-preparable
Website The Pioneer Woman
No need to go to a Mexican restaurant when you can make restaurant style salsa at home. FrenchToasty.com has lots of Mexican food recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 (14oz) can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (10oz) can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 jalapeno (quarted and sliced thin (seeds add heat, so remove if you want less spicy))
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)

Directions

Step 1
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you'd like---I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.
Step 2
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.
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Roasted Seasoned Carrots

Oven baked carrots

I was at the farmers market the other day buying some delicious huge snap peas and I looked over and saw these gorgeous carrots, so I grabbed a bunch up. We ate a few as soon as we got home in some dip but I wanted to have them for dinner. So I figured why not bake them and add a little seasoning. They turned out excellent and my whole family loved them, especially my daughter.

I feel like carrots don’t get enough credit, they are often pushed to the side of peoples plates and left :( but that is a shame. Next dinner party you have make these and watch them get gobbled up.

For this recipe you can cut them into spears, slices or leave them whole like I did. If they are really big I’d recommend cutting them in some way for even cooking. You can add a huge variety of spices to change these dramatically. Some suggestions are paprika, thyme, rosemary, cumin, sage, cayenne, crushed red peppers actually anything you can think of would be great just make sure not to do too many at once :). You could also try pre-made spice blends such as Italian, Old Bay or Mexican. Let me know what spices you experiment with.

Roasted Seasoned Carrots

Serves 4-6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
Website Voracious Vander
This is the easiest way to make delicious carrots for a terrific vegetable side dish. FrenchToasty.com has lots of vegetable dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1lb carrots
  • salt & pepper
  • crushed red peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Step 2
Clean and chop carrots into desired size. Coat carrots with olive oil.
Step 3
Spread onto cookie sheet and season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.
Step 4
Cook for about 20 minutes flipping about half way through. Edges will be slightly golden brown.

Turn this…

carrots

into this. YUM!

Oven baked carrots

Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Broccoli

Pesto Pasta

This is a quick and super easy meal and I needed to make a quick dinner tonight so I came up with this delicious dish. I always keep a big batch of pesto in the fridge so I always have some on hand, glad I did because it came in handy tonight.

This pasta is packed with veggies and even better because it’s made with homemade cilantro pesto. I love sun dried tomatoes and I put them in most pastas that I make. I also had left over salmon so I added some and it was a delicious addition. You could also add chicken if you would like, that would be yummy also or leave just as pictured above.

Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Broccoli

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
This Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Broccoli is a quick and easy meal for a week night dinner. FrenchToasty.com has lots of quick recipes for you and your busy family.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 box rotini noodles
  • 1/2lb broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro pesto
  • fresh shredded Parmesan cheese

Optional

  • 1/4lb cooked salmon

Directions

Step 1
Cook pasta according to box.
Step 2
Add broccoli for last two minutes.
Step 3
Drain noodles and then add noodles back to pan. Add sun dried tomatoes and pesto sauce and stir until all piece are covered.
Step 4
Add optional cooked salmon or cooked chicken if you want it.
Step 5
Add fresh shredded Parmesan cheese right before serving.
Pesto Pasta
Pesto Pasta
Pesto Pasta with Salmon

Optional cooked salmon

Cilantro and Red Onion Pesto Quesadilla

Mexican is so popular in my area, my city has 4 Mexican restaurants in a 1/2 mile radius. I know that seems crazy, but they are all a little different so they all do great. As much as I love going out to eat, I’ve learned to cook a lot of my favorite dishes at home. With a little one it’s so much easier to eat at home, she can play and be as loud as she wants!  So here is my newest Mexican creation, Enjoy!

Quesadilla

Cilantro and Red Onion Pesto Quesadilla

Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
1 cup Cilantro and Red Onion Pesto
4 flour tortillas
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups cheddar or pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 T olive oil
Toppings:
2 cups kale, chopped
1 cup guacamole
1 cup pico de gao
1/2 cup sour cream
hot sauce

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a big pan.
  2. Put tortilla down, lay cheese on half of it and the pesto on the other half.
  3. Add chopped pepper and onions to the side with cheese.
  4. Continue to cook on med-high for a few minutes. Put a few splashes of hot sauce on cheese and pesto. Keep a close eye to make sure to not burn.
  5. Fold quesadilla in half, cut in half or quarters and then add your toppings. Serve immediately if toppings are on other wise place finished quesadilla in oven to keep warm, until ready to serve.
Cilantro Red Onion Pesto Quesadilla
Completed Quesadilla with all the toppings

 

Cilantro Red Onion Pesto
Cilantro Red Onion Pesto

 

Basic Green Kale Salad

Green Salad

Everyone knows how to make a basic green salad, but this is just giving you an idea of some of my favorite ingredients that I like in my green salad.

When making a salad opt for kale instead of lettuce, more nutritious and it holds up nicely and doesn’t wilt. Both perfect reasons to enjoy a salad with dinner tonight!

Basic Green Kale Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Salad
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Crisp green salad with nutritious kale and vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale (discard middle stem and rip into bite size pieces)
  • 2 Small bell peppers (red and yellow) (chopped bite size)
  • 2 medium slices pepper jack cheese (cubed)
  • 1/2 Medium cucumber or zucchini (sliced and quartered)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • dressing of your choice (my favorites are balsamic vinegar, honey mustard and cesar)

Optional

  • 1-2 hard boiled eggs (sliced)

Directions

Step 1
Layer all ingredients in a bowl or on a plate and apply dressing right before serving. Enjoy!
Veggie Salad

Roasted Browned Butter Balsamic Asparagus

Asparagus is a great vegetable to have, it’s not only fun to eat but very tasty. This recipe is excellent to make for a large group because you apply the sauce over the asparagus and people can serve themselves. If you like balsamic vinegar then you will love this recipe. It’s not an overpowering flavor but a slight hint and that makes it very tasty.

This recipe can easily be doubled for a large crowd, so serve this at your next family dinner.

Buttered Asparagus

Roasted Browned Butter Balsamic Asparagus

20 Asparagus spears, trimmed (about 1lb)
dash of sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
cracked black pepper, for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Arrange asparagus in single layer on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes (slightly tender), do not overcook
  5. Remove from oven a lay on platter, pour sauce over the top, garnish with cracked pepper and serve.

Browned Butter Balsamic Sauce

  1. Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes (lightly browned), make sure to shaking pan occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Drizzle over vegetable. Garnish with cracked pepper if desired.

The browned butter balsamic sauce would be excellent on any vegetable. I have tried it on broccoli, brussel sprouts and of course asparagus.

Balsamic Asparagus

Crunchy and delicious, my 1 year old daughter loved it.

Asparagus