Caramelized Cauliflower Slivers

Until I got into cooking, I never realized that the way a food is sliced can completely change the way it tastes and the way that particular ingredient becomes part of a dish. A zucchini cut into discs is certainly different than a zucchini cut into long ribbons. You may find those discs sautéed into a stir fry, whereas the ribbons would be better suited for a fresh summer salad. I love when I’m at a restaurant and a certain vegetable will be sliced uniquely, and the new shape totally changes the way I think about the food and in turn, changes the way it tastes.

Although I’ve had roasted cauliflower many a times, when I saw this recipe for Caramelized Cauliflower Slivers, I was captivated by the thin pieces which are so different than the large florets that typically emerge from my oven. I loved how the slim pieces allow for more surface area to become roasted and crispy. I’m not one to compare a health food to a snack food, but my husband and I literally popped these cauliflower slivers like they were chips and the entire pan disappeared in mere minutes. I can’t believe I’m professing my love for something as basic as roasted cauliflower, but by simply using this new slicing technique this dish became anything but basic. I know this new preparation has me thinking about other ways I can slice vegetables to step them up a notch, and I hope it does for you too!

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Caramelized Cauliflower Slivers

Recipe Source: The Family Cooks

What You Need

  • 1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower and/or broccoli cut from top to bottom into thin slices (some will crumble, that's ok)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil (enough to thinly coat all the vegetables), plus more for the baking sheets
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

What To Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil 1 or 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the cauliflower and/or broccoli with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer to the baking sheet(s) and spread out so that the pieces aren't crowded.
  3. Roast until golden and tender, flipping occasionally so that the slices brown evenly, 25-30 minutes.
http://glorioffood.com/2014/12/17/caramelized-cauliflower-slivers/

Spiced Pecans

This holiday season, Cooking Light is running a Bake It Forward campaign, encouraging people to bake an extra batch of treats for a friend, coworker, charity, community organization, or anyone who could use some good cheer. I can totally get behind this idea because I’m a firm believer that good food should be shared, especially food that is homemade with love. If you following me on Instagram, you may have seen that I Baked It Forward by bringing brownies to the fire station in our neighborhood. It was an unexpected surprise for them, and it made me feel good to see their reactions. You can post your own Bake It Forward picture on Instagram and #BakeItForward for a chance to win $500 from Cooking Light.

Last week I made these Spiced Pecans, and although they’re not technically a baked good, I thought they’d be an easy thing to make an extra batch of and share. Anyone on the receiving end of these sweet and spicy nuts will love how they can be enjoyed as a quick snack or added to the top of a salad. They would also look enticing on a coffee table during a holiday party. The ancho chili powder, syrup and other seasonings make these Spiced Pecans a tasty homemade gift for anyone to Bake It Forward!

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Spiced Pecans

Recipe Source: Cooking Light Magazine

What You Need

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoons ancho chile powder (add an additional teaspoon for extra spice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups pecan halves

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine maple syrup, Worcestershire, chile powder, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring well. Add nuts to syrup mixture; toss well to coat.
  3. Arrange nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375° for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer sticky. Cool completely on pan.
http://glorioffood.com/2014/12/09/spiced-pecans/

Classic Lasagna

Two weeks ago my husband and I hosted our first Thanksgiving. Luckily there wasn’t too much pressure since I had tons of help from my mom and sister-in-law, and because it was just my family for the holiday. Prior to their arrival, I prepared as much as I could so we would have plenty of food to eat and ready-to-go meals. Everyone rolled into town late on Tuesday, and with children involved, it was too late to go out. I wanted to have dinner ready for them when they arrived, so I made my first ever Classic Lasagna. As I scoured the internet for the best lasagna recipe, I became overwhelmed by the variations and options. Ultimately I consulted my mom for a tried and true recipe, and the outcome was everything I had hoped for! The lasagna was meaty, cheesy and saucy, possessing many qualities of the perfect winter comfort food dish. Although this dish does take a little time to prepare and assemble, the degree of difficulty is low and it’s not nearly as involved as some other lasagna recipes. Plus, this dish feeds an army, is great left over and freezes well. Served with a big salad and a glass of red, this Classic Lasagna was the perfect way to kick off our indulgent holiday week!

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Classic Lasagna

Recipe from American Beauty lasagna box, with my own slight changes

What You Need

  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 one pound can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 6 oz cans of tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 oz lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded

What To Do

  1. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat. Add meat and onions, browning slowly, while breaking the meat up into small pieces. Continue browning until cooked, and then spoon off excess fat.
  2. Add next 6 ingredients to the pot. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, gradually add up to a cup a water to achieve desired sauce consistency.
  3. While the sauce simmers, cook noodles in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Lay noodles out on a plate or cookie sheet individually to prevent noodles from sticking together.
  4. Combine ricotta cheese with eggs, seasoning and parmesan cheese.
  5. In a 9x13 baking dish, place 1/3 of the noodles on the bottom of the dish. Spread 1/3 cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Layer with 1/3 meat sauce and 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers 2 more times.
  6. Bake lasagna at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until nice and hot all the way through. If you're making this a day ahead and its coming out of the refrigerator, you may need to bake for up to 45 minutes.
  7. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
http://glorioffood.com/2014/12/08/classic-lasagna/

 

Kale Caesar Salad

When a couple of friends came to visit earlier this year, I joked that we were going to be on a Kale Caesar Salad Tour. Ever since the word got out about kale, salads containing this leafy superfood have been gracing restaurant menus everywhere. Each and every restaurant I took my friends to when they were in town had some version of a kale caesar on the menu. And we ordered it at each and every spot.

Since I’m often ordering kale caesar salads when out, I’m shocked that I haven’t thought to make my own at home…until now. I came across a great caesar dressing recipe, and decided that with a few tweaks, I could make this healthier and just as good as its restaurant counterpart. I swapped mayo for Greek yogurt, ensuring the dressing is just as creamy without tons of fat. With the tanginess from the lemon and garlic, the dressing packs nothing but punch. One bite of salad, and my husband was already commenting that it tasted unhealthy. It’s a victorious moment when something healthy tastes much more sinful than it is!

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Kale Caesar Salad

Recipe adapted from Real Simple

What You Need

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (1 ounce) + extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 medium bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

What To Do

  1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients except for kale.
  2. After the thick stems have been removed from the kale and the leaves have been thinly sliced, place kale in a large bowl. Add salad dressing and coat evenly.
http://glorioffood.com/2014/11/11/kale-caesar-salad/

Apple Streusel Muffins with Maple Drizzle

I have been on a muffin-baking binge lately. It started with the Banana Blueberry gluten-free muffins, and it has just spiraled out of control! Since then, I’ve tried out several different types of muffins. The catalyst for this muffin bender was finding out that my husband graciously buys a muffin for his coworker each morning at the coffee shop. When I heard this, the health conscious person in me said, “I could provide a healthier breakfast option”; the economist in me said, “we could save some dough if I make the muffins”. So, I got to work and now the freezer has been stocked with muffins galore for many breakfasts to come. In my opinion, this muffin-baking kick is a win/win for everyone!

The current flavor of the week is Apple Streusel with Maple Drizzle from Cooking Light Magazine. These muffins looked majorly enticing with the oatmeal streusel topping and maple drizzle. Plus, these were a great way for me to use up the last of our loot from apple picking a few weeks ago. The recipe called for spelt flour and whole wheat flour; I substituted the spelt for good ‘ole white flour. Next time, I’ll pick up some spelt flour at the store and give them a try with the intended flour type. Aside from the topping, the muffins are not super sweet, which I think is great, because then you don’t feel like you’ve started off your day with dessert. The apple inside provides a fruit serving, plus they help keep the muffins moist – delish!

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Apple Streusel Muffins with Maple Drizzle

Yield: 12 muffins

What You Need

  • Streusel:
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons spelt flour (I used white all purpose flour)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Muffins:
  • 5 ounces spelt flour (about 1 cup) (I used white all purpose flour)
  • 2.5 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (I made my own by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the milk)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon water

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. To prepare streusel, combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; set aside.
  3. To prepare muffins, weigh or spoon 5 ounces spelt flour and whole-wheat pastry flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Combine buttermilk, 1/2 cup sugar, oil, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and egg in a bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in apple. Divide batter among 12 paper-lined muffin cups; top evenly with streusel. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.
  5. Combine powdered sugar, syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon water in a bowl; stir until smooth. Drizzle evenly over muffins.
http://glorioffood.com/2014/10/30/apple-streusel-muffins-with-maple-drizzle/

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