RICED CAULIFLOWER TACO BOWLS

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So I’ve jumped on the riced cauliflower bandwagon. It’s tasty and a much healthier alternative to rice or other grains.  Tonight we made riced cauliflower taco bowls and they were so tasty!  Tacos are a favorite in our house and we eat some version of them at least once a week so they can get a little boring.  Enter the taco bowl.  All the taco fixings thrown in a bowl!  We made ours with ground turkey and topped with black beans, store-bought salsa, cheese, and avocado.  Quick, easy, fun, and bonus – my 15 month old son gobbled it right up!

Many stores sell cauliflower already riced, but if you can’t find it you can easily throw cauliflower florets (1 medium sized head) into a food processor for a couple seconds to get the same effect.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan.  Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until just tender and slightly browned – about 10 minutes.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.

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In the same pan, add another 2 tablespoons of oil and the ground turkey.  Cook until no longer pink and cooked through.  Add taco seasoning and cook per package directions. You can certainly make your own taco seasoning (tons of recipes on Pinterest!), but for convenience I used store-bought.  You can also sub your favorite meat – ground beef, chicken, or pork would all be great.

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To serve pile rice in a bowl and top with turkey taco mixture and your favorite taco toppings.  And for the heck of it add some sour cream – you’ve saved calories from the cauliflower so you deserve it!  Enjoy!

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No sugar added Apple-Banana-Carrot Muffins

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As Logan quickly approaches his first birthday he suddenly  has become an extremely picky eater.  I think it has less to  do with the flavors and more with textures at this point, but it makes mealtime very frustrating. Because of this I’ve tried to get creative with the food he will eat. He is a huge fan of bananas and applesauce so I wanted a way to combine those 2 in something with a little more texture.  I found this recipe for Apple-Banana-Carrot muffins and was sold.  There is no added sugar, it is sweetened only with applesauce, which makes these even more appealing especially for Logan.

These muffins are surprisingly good even without any added sugar. They are just slightly sweet from the added fruits and vegetable and you just feel healthy eating them!

I made a few alterations to the recipe  and was pleased with the outcome – I used canola oil instead of coconut oil, 2 bananas instead of 1, omitted the ground almonds and replaced with regular flour in the same amount, and also left out the walnuts. Logan hasn’t tried any nuts yet so I made sure to completely avoid them – I’m sure these muffins are great with them added though.

If you’re looking for a healthy muffin, especially for your littles, I’d definitely give this a try!

 

 

Apple-Raspberry Tart

Fall is right on our doorstep and the cooler weather makes me so excited for pumpkins, apple desserts, Halloween, and cozy sweaters.  Although we’ve had a recent bout of unseasonably warm temps (mid-90s in September!), Logan and I decided to get in the fall spirit with some apple picking.  We met a good friend of mine and her son at a nearby orchard and walked away with a bag of tasty apples and a few pints of raspberries. It was Logan’s first time fruit picking and he seemed to have a good time – or I should say he seemed to have a good time sampling the fruit!

I was looking for an easy apple recipe and found this one for a rustic apple- raspberry tart.  Crisp, tart apples and sweet raspberries combine in a freeform style crust that is baked until browned and the filling hot and bubbling.  I love the idea of a a freeform crust because you don’t have to be so precise in rolling out and shaping the dough.  You simply roll it out into a general circle, pile the filling in the middle, and fold the edges up around the filling.  I baked mine a little longer than the recipe called for in order to achieve a nice golden crust. We ate ours warm with vanilla ice cream and it was simply delicious!

 

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TACOS AL PASTOR

image.jpegWe eat tacos at least once a week in our house. They are a quick and easy meal, though we tend to follow the same recipe – ground beef, cheddar/Colby-jack cheese, lettuce, tomato.  This weekend I decided to mix things up and follow this recipe for Tacos al Pastor.

The pork is slow cooked in a pineapple, chipotle, beer sauce making it slightly sweet and smokey and the pork super tender.  The meat is shredded and mixed back in with the sauce right before serving atop corn tortillas with pineapple, avocado, red onion, cilantro, and goat cheese.

These tacos are surely a family favorite!  The flavor of the meat is quite versatile and could easily be served on rolls with cheddar cheese or with rice and beans.

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STUFFED PEPPERS

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Once the weather starts to warm up I typically prepare much lighter meals packed with veggies. Stuffed peppers are one of my favorites and make a super easy and quick weeknight meal.

Usually they end up being a mix of meat, rice, and whatever vegetables I have on hand – today zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes.  I also used ground turkey and brown rice to make these a healthy dinner option. I kept the flavor light and simple but with a few tweaks you can switch things up pretty easily. Think ground beef, tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese for an Italian version or ground lamb, olives, roasted peppers, and feta cheese for a Greek spin.  These are topped with a bit of breadcrumb and Parmesean cheese to make the perfect delicious bite.

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Ingredients
4 medium peppers
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup cooked rice
1 medium zucchini
4oz mushrooms
2 small tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
4 TBSP olive oil
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
handful of parsely, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Cut tops off peppers and removed ribs and seeds.  If necessary, slice a small amount off bottom of pepper to allow it to stand.  Sprinkle inside of peppers with a 2 tbsp oil and salt and pepper.  Roast in 350 degree oven until peppers just begin to soften, about 15 minutes.

Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.  Meanwhile heat remaining oil in medium pan and add turkey.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until browned. Small dice zucchini and mushrooms, mince the garlic, and add all to the pan.  Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Dice tomatoes and add, along with any juices, to the pan and cook a few more minutes.  Stir in rice and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Use a spoon to fill cavity of pepper with meat, rice, and veggie mixture.  Don’t be afraid to fill those babies up!  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and cook about 10 minutes more until peppers are soft and tops are slightly browned.

*Any leftover mixture is great stuffed in zucchini or tomatoes or eaten right from a bowl!

 

 

 

PORTUGUESE SOUP (CHOURICO AND KALE SOUP)

I’ve grown up eating Portuguese Soup and whenever I want a comforting meal it’s one of the first things I reach for.  It’s slightly spicy from the chourico  and the mix of beans, kale, and other vegetables is simple yet delicious.  This is a quick and easy recipe and I’ve found the flavor only improves the next day.  I usually make a big batch on Sunday and eat it throughout the week.  Serve it with some crusty bread and enjoy!

Ingredients
2 links chourico sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
3 medium carrots, diced
3 celery hearts, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups kale, leaves removed from stems and roughly chopped
1 can cannellini beans
6 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in bottom of large heavy saucepan or dutch oven.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and cook until softened about 10 minutes.  In separate pan add remaining olive oil and chourico.  Cook until browned – about 2 minutes per side.  Remove chourico to paper towel lined plate to drain off any excess oil and set aside.

Once vegetables are softened add beans and cook for another minute.  Add chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to boil.  Add chourico to pot and cook at a boil for another 5-10 minutes to allow chourico to flavor broth.  Add kale and cook until wilted – about 15 minutes.   Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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LEMON RICOTTA MUFFINS

We’ve had pretty mild temperatures around here lately which has me dreaming of spring – and wanting light lemony sweets.  I don’t know what it is about warmer weather that has me reaching for anything and everything lemon.  These lemon ricotta muffins fit the bill.  The lemon is bright without being overpowering and the ricotta makes them super moist.  There is also a slight almond flavor which is lovely.  I also can’t wait to try these cookies and this cake.

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POT ROAST WITH ONION GRAVY

IMG_6030Is there anything better than a pot roast, especially one that has been slow cooked until tender?  It’s the perfect dish to warm you up and is one of my go-to comfort foods.  This recipe does not disappoint!  The onions are slow cooked with the roast then thickened into a savory gravy.  It’s the perfect family meal and can easily be doubled or tripled based on the size of your roast. Continue reading

GARLIC LINGUINE WITH SHRIMP

garlic pastaOne of my favorite meals is spaghetti aglio e olio – basically pasta in an olive oil and garlic sauce. It’s quick and easy for a busy night and I almost always have the ingredients on hand.

Tonight I put a spin on the basic recipe by adding mushrooms and shrimp and was thrilled with the outcome.  Now most chefs will tell you cheese and seafood should never go together and this recipe has a healthy amount of Parmesan cheese to it.  In my humble opinion parm belongs on anything and everything, so I won’t tell if you don’t!

Recipe follows. Serve it up with some garlic bread and wine for a nice little meal.  Enjoy!

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