Sticky Roasted Cauliflower Pad Thai

I had leftover cauliflower florets from my Cauliflower Parmesan and was trying to think of what to do with them! Combined with mushrooms, I tossed them in olive oil and roasted them in the oven and then the magic happened. This dish is tangy, sticky, delicious and EASY! Completely vegetarian but would be delicious with chicken added. This sauce is my go-to and I swear I use it on so many different recipes. It can be tweaked based on what you have available but it’s pretty basic and totally delicious. I will give you all the secrets below!

Ingredients

Sauce:
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Sriracha
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
Pinch Sesame Seeds
Other ingredients:
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup sliced mushrooms
Pad Thai Noodles
Lime Juice
Sliced Green Onion
Green Onion/Lime garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and toss the cauliflower and mushrooms in olive oil and roast for 25-30 minutes until crispy. Remove from the oven.
  • Start a pot of boiling water for your pad thai noodles. Cook your noodles according to the package directions. While the noodles are cooking, mix your ingredients for your sauce. Add all the ingredients to a bowl or a jar and shake or mix together until combined.
  • Heat sesame oil or olive oil in shallow pan and turn stove to medium heat. Once warm, add the cauliflower and mushrooms. Now add your sauce and stir until the vegetables are coated and the sauce starts to bubble. This sauce will reduce and get a bit sticky (but that’s the best part). Once your noodles are done cooking, save some of the pasta water (this will come in handy later) and transfer the noodles to the pot with the cauliflower, mushrooms and sauce. Stir until combined and the sauce has coated the noodles. Gradually add about 1/4 cup of pasta water to the noodles. This will help the sauce to become a little creamy which makes it so so delicious!
  • Finish the dish with a splash of lime juice and sliced green onion and mix until combined.
  • Plate your dish and top with sesame seeds, green onion & lime juice. Enjoy!


Thai Sweet Potato Carrot Soup

This is THE comfort soup of winter. Full of so much flavor and secretly has so many vegetables, you won’t be disappointed. I love soup. I love making soup because it’s usually a one pot wonder full of delicious ingredients that come together effortlessly. This soup is just that! A one pot wonder that gets some love in my Ninja blender and then topped with so many fresh and delicious ingredients. Boom! Dinner & lunch leftovers are here!


Ingredients

  • 1 shallot
  • 6 large carrots, peeled and cut
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut
  • 1/4 cup celery
  • 2 scallions, whole
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • cilantro & lime for garnish
  • yogurt lime sauce for garnish

Instructions

Add olive oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add shallot and ensure shallot does not burn. Add sliced carrot and sweet potato and mix. Add 3 cups of water. Let this come to a simmer. Add garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, scallion and celery. Bring to a simmer and let carrot and sweet potato get fork tender about 20-25 minutes.
Remove the whole scallion from the pot. Add sriracha and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
Turn heat off and transfer mixture to a high power blender or use an immersion blender to blend ingredients together.
Return back to the pot and turn heat to medium. Add coconut cream and let come to a simmer.
Once coconut cream is combined into soup remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Add chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. Then add a dollop of yogurt lime sauce (combine non-fat yogurt with lime juice).
Enjoy!!


Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers

These are too good not to share! Always trying to find balance in my eating without sacrificing flavors or what I am eating. These Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers have everything you need to feel full and fueled! I love buffalo chicken – usually on football sunday over wings or cauliflower bites! I love playing with the flavors and that’s why they work so perfectly in this dish! A combination of chicken thighs, shredded carrot, celery & 90 second rice come together with a tasty buffalo sauce and then stuffed inside green bell peppers! YUM!


Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce (I use The New Primal Medium Buffalo Sauce)
  • 1 tbsp shredded carrots
  • 1 tbsp sliced celery
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced and seeds removed

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken thighs in oven safe pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove and add buffalo sauce. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove chicken thighs from oven and shred with two forks. Add the carrot and celery and mix everything together. Place back in oven and cook for 5 more minutes.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Slice your green bell peppers in half (top to bottom) and remove the seeds. Place the four pieces of bell pepper in the water and let them get soft. Drain water and remove from the pot.
Place 90 second rice in the microwave to cook. Remove the chicken thighs from the oven and set aside. Once the rice is complete, add 1 cup to the shredded chicken mixture.
Prepare a sheet pan lined with foil. Add bell peppers belly side up and stuff each with the chicken & rice. Place in the oven until the edges become crispy, about 3 minutes.
Top with a lemon yogurt sauce or sour cream and green onions and enjoy!


Fried Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Balls

I have been really into goat cheese recently. Mostly enjoyed on fall harvest salads with beets and massaged kale OR on a charcuterie board with fig and olive crackers. YUM! But this, this recipe is something cool that honestly didn’t realize how easy it was until I tried it. I had some left over sweet potato and half a log of goat cheese and that’s how the magic of this dish was created. These are perfect for a Friday night snack, part of your next party platter or great for sunday funday. Lets get to the details!

Ingredients

1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
1/2 large log of plain goat cheese
1/2 cup gluten free flour + pinch of ground pepper
1 egg + 1 tbsp water
1 cup breadcrumbs

Instructions

Mix the goat cheese and sweet potato together in a ball. Roll into 1 inch balls. Prepare are bowl with flour + pepper, egg + water and bread crumbs. Add the sweet potato and goat cheese ball to the flour, then egg, then bread crumb. Repeat until all are coated completely. Place in the freezer for 10-20 minutes until firm. Add oil to a deep pan (about 1/4 cup) over medium high heat. Once hot, add goat cheese balls and cook until crispy on out the edges!
Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce – I made a quick yogurt lime sauce and it was perfect!


Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Ok – here it happened – I transformed that creamy mushroom cauliflower soup in the THE creamiest and tastiest mushroom pasta! WOW! Cooking for one can get tough, especially with leftovers, so I am always trying to find new and fun ways to use things I have in my fridge. If you made my creamy mushroom cauliflower soup (my last post) then you can easily turn it into this delicious CREAMY MUSHROOM PASTA!!

This is the perfect cozy meal for any night of the week. It’s easy and comes together super quick (and quicker if you make the soup, because I use that in this recipe!) I can see a difference in the weather and all I want to do is cozy up on the couch with a big bowl of this pasta and lots and lots of cheesy garlic bread…oh and a glass of pinot noir because wine makes everything better!


Ingredients

2 cups of your favorite pasta
2 cups of Creamy Mushroom Cauliflower Soup
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
salt & pepper
cheesy garlic bread

Instructions

Cook pasta per the packaged instructions. While the pasta water is cooking, slice 3 shiitake mushroom’s and add to a sauté pan with olive oil. Cook until brown and golden. Once the pasta is done, reserve about 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and then add butter and creamy mushroom cauliflower soup to pot. Mix and then add pasta. Stir until well combined. Add asiago cheese and some of the pasta water to loosen the sauce. Let cook for 2 minutes. Plate in a bowl, add the shiitake mushrooms on top and add more asiago cheese. Serve with warm cheesy garlic bread and BOOM, perfect dinner is ready!

Enjoy!


Easy Sweet Potatoes

Ok, taking it back to the basics and breaking down the best way to cook a sweet potato. Yes, sweet potatoes can be cooked MANY ways but when you eat them as often as I do you need something simple, easy & foolproof.


What You’ll Need:

Sweet Potatoes
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with tinfoil
  2. Carefully cut both sweet potatoes in half long ways. Place the sweet potatoes down on the baking sheet flesh side down. The skin should be facing you at this point.
  3. Add about 1 T of olive oil to each piece of sweet potato (4 T total). Drizzle the olive oil so that the sweet potato is fully covered
  4. Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully with tongs flip the sweet potatoes over
  5. Season the flesh side of the sweet potatoes with salt & pepper
  6. Place back in the oven for 18 minutes
  7. Remove & enjoy! The center of the sweet potato should be soft to the touch with a fork

I love incorporating sweet potatoes into all my of meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner! They are versatile, filling and healthy. An added bonus is that they can be transformed into french fries, and if you know me you know I LOVE french fries! In all seriousness, I made a batch of these sweet potatoes on Sunday and had them ready to go for the week ahead! They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They reheat very well in the microwave, air-fryer or oven!

Now go make some sweet potatoes and let me know what you think!

Cut sweet potatoes in half long ways
drizzle about 1 T of olive oil over each sweet potato. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes
remove & flip, season with salt & pepper and cook for an additional 18 minutes
perfectly cooked sweet potatoes!


New Ways To Eat: Peach Salsa

Do you ever want to make a recipe but maybe don’t know what goes well with it? A special recipe that uses a few ingredients that aren’t already in your pantry? A sauce or dip that you use once that just finds a nice hiding place in the back of your refrigerator for a week or so? And then you think, DARN IT! that was good – I wish I remembered it was back there! Trust me… been there, done that SO many times!

I want to show you that you can make something tasty and use it multiple times so that you avoid waste and savor the flavors as long as possible. So, lets take the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa that I made – (that was SO FREAKING GOOD – and I am probably going to make it again because I miss it already) and see how we can incorporate it into multiple lunches/dinners. Cooking for one or two can be hard and I am the first to admit I do not like eating the same thing over and over and over again – BUT I will show you how to take something tasty, like salsa, and pair it with a few different entrees so that you can find a happy medium of not wasting but changing up your meals more!

First up! FISH

I love love love pairing a fresh fruit salsa with fish. The fresh, sweet flavors pair compliment the subtle, light flavors of fish (even salmon!) This is a pan-fried filet of cod paired with rice and the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa.

To prepare the fish: prepare one dish with bread crumbs (I always season mine with garlic powder, onion powder and paprika) and one dish with a beaten egg. Take the cod filet and coat with the egg wash mixture – transfer the filet to the bread crumb mixture and make sure it’s coated evenly on all sides.
To cook the fish: Transfer to a cast iron skillet or a non-stick pan. Add a generous amount of oil to the pan (1/4 cup-ish) – turn pan on medium heat. Once pan is very warm, lay the fish down and sear each side for about 2-3 minutes. TIP: to avoid the fish sticking to the pan, after about 30 seconds in the pan take your tongs and shimmy the fish around so that it does not adhere to the pan throughout the cooking process. Once seared on all sides, place in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked thoroughly.
Now the easy part! Mix a ½ cup of rice (brown or white) with ½ cup of the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa. Place rice mixture on the bottom of the bowl and then top with your fish filet. The cod is flaky and when you get a little bite of the fish, rice & salsa it makes for a perfect bite! This would also pair well with salmon, shrimp, crab cakes, tilapia or bronzino!


Now let’s talk TACOS!

I always have corn tortillas on hand in my refrigerator because I am a firm believer that you can transform anything into a taco and it will taste amazing! Here I went Crispy BBQ Chicken Taco with Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa! WOW! This salsa pairs so well with the sweet and tangy flavors of the BBQ sauce. This would taste equally delicious with grilled BBQ chicken instead of crispy. I also made a quick garlic lemon yogurt sauce (because I love sauces)! Just take a big spoonful of Greek yogurt + juice of one lemon and a little minced garlic or garlic powder – mix together!

To build the tacos: start with a warm corn tortilla, add a little of the Greek yogurt sauce on the bottom, add arugula, then your BBQ chicken, a few slices of red onion, a big spoonful of the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa and then finish off with a dollop of the Greek yogurt sauce! You won’t be disappointed adding this salsa to any taco creation – I promise!


Classic Dip!
Yes, I found myself on multiple occasions eating this salsa straight out of the bowl with grain-free tortilla chips AND sweet potato chips. It was perfect and pairs with any type of chip, chip alternative, vegetable you could dream of.


Honorable mention (didn’t take any photos)
Soft Scrambled Eggs with Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa – holy cow the best way to start your morning!

Now hold onto the late summer peaches as long as you can, make this salsa one more time and enjoy it throughout the week! Tell me how you used the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa throughout the week and what you made with it!


Sweet And Spicy Peach Salsa

I am soaking up all of the summer produce, especially the peaches! Here is an EASY Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa that is sure to kick up any ordinary dinner. It is so delicious and perfect for a quick snack or served with chips watching sports! 6 ingredients total, it really is that easy! All of your favorite summer flavors are combined in one dish and that’s what makes this Peach Salsa so perfect. Combining peaches, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno and lime juice, these flavors blend together for the best tasting summer salsa. I have been loving the combination of peaches with jalapenos – it’s the perfect blend of sweet & heat!

What is your favorite summer produce staple? Every time I go to the produce market I am instantly drawn to the peaches. I didn’t grow up loving peaches or remembering enjoying them during the summer. I mostly remember the adventures in the woods and all of the mosquito bites instead. I do remember when I lived in Philly with my older sister, we would be so excited to go to the market in the summer to get peaches. She loved them so much and taught me how to pick the ripe ones. One summer in particular they took so long to get ripe – we were waiting and waiting. Week after week we would go back to the market to see if they were finally ripe! This is why I do not take ripe peaches for granted and I eat them up any chance I get!

There is something so great about combining fresh ingredients together to make something super tasty. This is a chunky salsa perfect to add to any fish dish (enjoyed with cod last night), mixed into white or brown rice (yum!), on tacos and as a classic chip & dip match made in heaven. I believe a generous amount of salt is key to a perfect salsa. I am also very generous using lime juice as I love how it balances out all the flavors and blends them together. TIP: you could substitute mango, pineapple or watermelon for the peaches to customize your perfect version of this salsa. One thing I can guarantee is that you will want to eat this on everything!

PEACH SALSA

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Peaches
  • 1/2 Tomato
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 TBSP Jalapeno, seeded
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro
  • 3 Limes
  • Pinch of Salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Take peaches, tomato and red onion and dice small and add to a medium sized bowl. Slice the jalapeno, remove the seeds and dice small (the more seeds you keep the spicier the salsa will be). Chop the cilantro and add it with the other ingredients. Cut the limes in half and combine juice to the mixture. TIP: before you cut the limes in half, roll them on a flat service for 15 seconds. This will help to loosen the insides and extract more of the juice inside! Once all ingredients are in the bowl add a heavy pinch of salt to the top. Take two spoons and start to mix the ingredients together until well combined. Enjoy as a dip or on top of your favorite protein!


Loaded Bell Pepper Nachos

Nachos are great, there is no denying that! They are that perfect bite every bite kind of snack or meal that are great when watching sports – at least that’s when I love eating them! That crispy chip, the flavorful protein (chicken, beef, pork, beans….the possibilities are endless), the cheese – THE CHEESE! and then all of the toppings! These are nachos with a twist – same indulgence with some healthier substitutes!

Let’s be honest, a crispy corn tortilla is the perfect vessel to load up all the amazing toppings. It’s going to be hard to match the texture and the durability of a corn tortilla chip, trust me! BUT with a little engineering and proper cook times there is one substitute that holds up and passes the vessel test! Bell Peppers to the rescue! When cut into “chip like” pieces, these are a great and healthy alternative to the corn tortilla chip! I used green and red because they have different flavors – but can imagine yellow and orange would be quite tasty! Then the fun begins – the building!! Like I said before, the possibilities are endless here and this is your time to get creative!

I am focusing on balance in my life. I think balance looks a little different for everyone and I think that’s an amazing thing. Balance for me is making sure I am filling my body with real foods but also enjoying that glass of wine as I relax at the end of a busy week. When I make more intuitive choices in my diet (picking the real food option over maybe the processed option) I tend to feel fuller and more fulfilled. But hey, it’s balance and like I said it looks different for everyone! A few other ways to make these even healthier loaded nachos:

-Use ground chicken or ground turkey (leaner cuts of meat) and add on the seasonings! I love to season with cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper!
-Cumin baked beans or refried beans are insane and would pair with this amazingly!
-Yogurt based sauces – it’s so easy to make a flavorful sauce that tastes just as good as sour cream.

LOADED BELL PEPPER NACHOS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 5 oz ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup shredded low skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup tomato
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup non -fat greek yogurt
  • Cilantro, handful
  • 2 limes

Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce

mix together the non-fat greek yogurt with 1 TBSP of cilantro and juice of 1 lime. Mix together until a creamy dressing forms. Add water to create a thinner style sauce.

Quick Tomato Salsa

combine tomato, red onion, cilantro to a food processor and pulse together. You can add jalapeno if you like it a little more spicy!

Nacho Assembly

Preheat oven to 375. Cut bell peppers into ‘chip’ sized pieces. Place on a line baking sheet and place in oven. Cook for 5-8 minutes until they are soft but still hard. Cook ground chicken or ground turkey and add any seasoning you would like (a little cumin, chipotle powder, salt & pepper works well). Drain and rinse black beans. Remove bell peppers from the oven and layer on the ground turkey, black beans and mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven until cheese is nice and melted (5ish more minutes). Remove from the oven. Remove parchment paper from the pan by grabbing the corners carefully and place on a large plate. Now we will top! Add the Quick Tomato Salsa, Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce, pickled red onions, avocado and finish with more cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice! Enjoy!