Trendy Grilled Cauliflower

In Living Colour

Cauliflower Steak

What’s popular in Paris today is braised or grilled cauliflower. It started last summer (2018), when everyone was grilling ‘colourful’ cauliflower.  A cheerful and healthy choice. We are featuring purple cauliflower for the nutritional value.
Purple cauliflower has the same antioxidant: anthocyanin, which is also found in red cabbage and red wine. The trend towards gluten-free and dairy free helps support cauliflower. Food companies are capitalizing on the low-carb, gluten-free trend by using vegetables like cauliflower to replace flour, rice and other simple carbs. Mashed cauliflower (see recipe below) instead of mashed potatoes is a welcome change.

Slicing Cauliflower Steaks for the Grill

Spicy Herb Oil : Use this oil to baste your grilled cauliflower.
Add basil, parsley leaves, garlic, lemon zest, salt and oil to a food processor: emulsify.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. It’s your basting oil, your taste buds. You never go wrong with fresh herbs. That’s the real secret.   Transfer the oil into a small jar or container. Make it hot (caliente) by adding  jalapeno and stir to combine. Baste the cauliflower with this oil mixture at the end of cooking.  Your Paleo  friends will applaud  your efforts.  Make enough grilled cauliflower to FREEZE and enjoy at a later date.

Colorful Grilled Cauliflower Trees -We Are Eating Healthy Today!

ADD FLAVOUR ‘when you kick it up a notch’: Click on -> Emeril Lagasse for his oil spice suggestions. Emeril  likes to add curry powder and/or cayenne pepper & garam masala to his basting oil  mixture instead of our  classic *basil, parsley and lemon mix*.  We are  all-embracing the healthy, exotic, eastern spices. Oven roasted instead of on the  grill works well for Emeril as he chooses flowerets for easy eating and coverage.  It’s all good, healthy and tasty!

Caliante (Hot) Basting Sauce  with ”Garam Masala’

BONUS recipe

CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES
HEART SMART: This recipe  using ‘white’ cauliflower, cuts back on carbohydrates and starches in your diet  (part of the Paleo Diet Plan). . A healthy choice!  The big bonus is that some people can not tell the difference between your cauliflower mash and your traditional ‘starchy’ mashed potatoes  you have served for many years.

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Ingredients:

• 1 large head cauliflower
• 5 large cloves garlic, peeled
• ¼ – ½ cup light sour cream
• 1-2 Tablespoons unpasteurized butter
• Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill a four-quart stockpot with 1-2 inches of water and allow it to come to a boil.
  2. While water heats, wash and trim cauliflower and cut up the florets and stem.
  3. Place cauliflower and garlic into the pot, lightly salting. Boil 10 minutes, or until everything is tender. Drain out the water and transfer the garlic and cauliflower into a food processor (or high-speed blender).
  4. Add in butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth and serve hot

FREEZER TIME: 10-12 MONTHS. Cooked cauliflower can not sit longer than 2 hours before freezing or refrigerating for another 3-5 days. Properly stored, freezer cauliflower  will maintain best quality for 10 to 12 months. But will remain safe beyond that time.

Cauliflower has several properties that may help with weight loss. First, it is low in calories with only 25 calories per cup, so you can eat a lot of it without gaining weight. … As a good source of fiber, cauliflower slows digestion and promotes feelings of fullness.

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Chicken Marbella

JUICY CHICKEN STORY!: Chicken Marbella recipe was voted the fan favourite dish of the 25th anniversary edition of the Silver Palate Cookbook. Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins get top billing for popularizing this chicken dish. The  real inspiration was from  the tajines of Morocco and from the cuisines of southern Spain. It also has a similarity to the classic French dish “lapin aux pruneaux“.  It was never discovered in  Marbella but in New York city.  However, the flavour influences were from those areas.   S.S.F. has given this dish a new healthy spin. This recipe is S-O-O-O delicious. It is a great dish for entertaining and can be served hot for dinner or even cold for an outdoor picnic. It will be a smash hit every time. Three bay leaves helps makes this a stunning dish famous for its sweet, tangy, briny, garlicky flavor. Cutting back on the brown sugar maintains  the right balance of flavors.

Chicken Marbella Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Marinating time: 3 hours to overnight
  • Yield: Serves 5-6

Although the original recipe calls for 4 small chickens to be quartered, you could easily do this recipe with 5 pounds of chicken pieces, thighs and breasts. Bone-in pieces would be more flavourful.

This recipe can easily be doubled.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered, bone-in, skin-on
  • Garlic cloves, 5 minced
  • 4 Tbsp dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/4 cup or 8 large pitted Spanish green olives, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or preferably a brown sugar substitute
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

METHOD

Marinating Chicken

1 Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, sugar substitute, wine and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight. (You can also optionally freeze at this point.)

2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken in a large baking pan, top with marinade. Arrange chicken in a single layer in the pan and spoon marinade over it along with all the other ingredients: prunes, olives, capers, etc.

Final Touches

3 Bake until done: Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Chicken is done when a sharp knife inserted into the thigh pieces, at their thickest point, run with clear yellow juices (not pink).

4 If the sauce is watery, remove the chicken and reduce the sauce  to make it thicker and more flavourful.

5 Serve with pan juices. With a slotted spoon, move the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Pour some of the pan juices over the chicken and sprinkle generously with parsley. Serve remaining juices in a gravy boat.

6. If serving cold, let the Chicken Marbella cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerator and you are serving it outdoors or at a picnic site, allow it to come to room temperature before serving. By the time you arrive at the al fresco site or have your table set and the sides out, the temperature should be fine. Spoon some of the reserved juices over the chicken.

Chicken Marebella -Plated For A Starry Night

DRIED PLUMS OR PRUNES YOU’VE BEEN IGNORING: Whether you have 1 prune or 10 prunes a day, you not only improve muscles, bones, digestion, you improve your eyesight. Vitamin A and K are included in this super food. Bone density is improved more with prunes than any other fruit. Some doctors claim after 3 months reverse osteoporosis occurs when adding [100 grams = 10 prunes = 240 cal]  prunes to your daily diet.  It is also a deterrent for arthritis.  You can adds prunes to your smoothies, trail mix or simply snack on a prune if you are looking for a sweet treat!

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Serving size: ¼ of recipe Calories: 402 Fat: 25 Saturated fat: 3 Unsaturated fat: 15 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 29 Sugar: 13 Sodium: 829 Fiber: 4 Protein: 10 Cholesterol: 25

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

THE STORY BEHIND THE SOUP
The origins of this Indian inspired soup comes from SRI LANKA (formerly Ceylon). Peasants would eat this soup with water and pepper. Decades later, more spices were added to what you see today. The name originates from the Tamil words millagai / milagu and thanni (மிளகாய்த்தண்ணி / மிளகுத்தண்ணி) and can be translated as “pepper-water”. Today, mulligatawny bears little resemblance to the original.


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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup butter (or olive oil for vegan)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 red jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger root
  • small firm apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (uncooked)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken or 1 skinless boneless chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream or canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • and black pepper to taste

GARNISH
Roasted cashews
Chopped parsley, cilantro and/or scallions

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion, carrot, celery and jalapeno, then saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
3. Add the garlic, ginger, apples, chicken and diced tomatoes to the pot. Saute for another 3 minutes, then add in all of the spices and toss to coat.
4. Add in the lentils and broth and let the contents come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
5. Puree about 75% of the ingredients using either an immersion blender or by transferring a portion of the contents to the bowl of a standard blender.
6. Leave some of the chunks whole, as it adds a nice texture and consistency to the soup.
7. Return the soup to the pot if needed, then stir in the coconut milk.
8. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as needed.
9. Serve topped with cashews and scallions along with naan bread for dipping.


Elaine orders Mulligatawny soup at the Soup Natzi “No soup for you!

This is a soup with many variations.  A spicy, soup with huge flavor and usually includes beef, chicken or lamb.  My version of Mulligatawny reminds me of the wonderful colours of Autumn.

VARIATIONS
Apples and the lovely Indian blend of spices is heart warming. I use lentils for my soup.  No lentils today? Use barley, rice, sweet potatoes or more onions.  BTW,  gram-for-gram, lentils have more protein than beef. You can add the chicken or not. It is optional. Tastes as good without it. A great soup for leftover chicken or turkey! You can add the cooked ‘hot’ chicken to some bowls as requested and leave other bows as vegan -style. We don’t have to follow the recipe verbatim.

Modern Raw Carrot Salad

Ingredients

2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1½ cups fresh orange segments (about 3 oranges)
1/2 cup dried black currants (or raisins or quartered dates)
½ cup green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
⅓ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley or mint or cilantro
zest and juice of 1 large orange
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste
½ cup toasted almond slivers (optional)

Instructions

1. Place the orange juice, rice vinegar, lemon zest, cumin, and crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl and whisk together
2. Add the carrots, orange segments, dates, green onion, chopped parsley, and toss to combine.
3. Add salt to taste.
4. Refrigerate to chill.
5. Just before serving toss in the toasted almonds.

This salad can be made 2 or 3 days in advance and brought to your family picnic or event. It had no mayonnaise or egg products so it is safer to bring on those hot summer days and it is so tasty too!

I Go Cuckoo For Coconut Rice!

THE NEW TREND
COCONUT RICE!  One of the joys of cooking is always learning!

BEST OF BANGKOK, THAILAND
I was excited to meet my fellow foodie at Tealicious Cafe in Bangkok, Thailand. It was a long plane ride. I did sleep. But, I felt like I was in twilight zone.  The cab ride was wonderful. Great to get back on terra firma.

Tea-licious cafe

Picture Perfect Menu [Anthony Bourdain-blue T-shirt-upper balcony]

Lisa recommended the Pineapple Fried Rice . It was the first time I enjoyed this wonderful meal.  Y-u-m-m!  Whenever I prepare this dish at home, it reminds me of good times in Bangkok.

Lisa said, “A big part of the great flavour is the coconut rice.”  Today, some foodies  have embraced this rice as their all time standard fare. Your guests will comment favorably on your dishes when you use this not so secret  “coconut” rice.  It is as easy to make as regular rice!

Fill a Cup, Ramekin or Small Bowl With Rice, To Shape Your Rice [ Invert the cup on to your plate]

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COCONUT RICE | Kao Mun

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • enough Thai Jasmine Rice or Basmati  to fill the can
  • Enough water to fill the can
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5-6 green cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Empty can of coconut milk into a pot.
  2. Fill the can with rice and pour into the pot.
  3. Fill the can with water, swirling  to get all of the rice out, then pour it into the pot.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, cardamom pods, lemon half and cook on high until the mixture comes to a boil
  5. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes without removing the lid.
  6. Turn off the heat and serve the rice when you have finished preparing your meal. This can sit in the pot undisturbed for up to 10 minutes.  Fluff and serve.
  7. You only have one pot to wash!

There are many other instructions that can be given for making rice but this recipe is for the busy person to make it fast and it works!  You can put the timer on for 20 minutes and let it cook while you prepare the rest of the meal.  Then it’s all  done at once!

You can optionally add the cardamom for a delicate flavour.

You can optionally add the lemon as the acid to balance out the sweetness of the coconut milk and also it will help your body to become more basic for better health.  You do not taste it as a specific lemony flavour.  It just adds to the overall result.

 


Now, we are going to FLAVOR~TOWN!

As shown in the final photo, you can easily freeze any leftover portions in glass for a future side  dish or stir fry.
FOOD TIP: Coconut milk can be found in cans or in the powdered form. Any leftover liquid milk can be frozen in ice-cube trays, then transferred to freezer bags to add to curries or soups. You can rinse the rice until water is clear before cooking. Rinsing gets rid of starch that makes rice sticky.    Michelin three star Chef Ramsey uses cardamon pods  and star anise (anise benefits include killing off bacteria and fungus  & naturally fighting off the flu ) for making rice.  Three split cardamon pods may be enough flavour  for you. Try it and see how you like it.
Grilled shrimp on coconut rice!M-M-M-M-M-M-M GOOD!

DID YOU KNOW? Coconut water is filled with antioxidants and electrolytes. Not only is coconut water low-calorie, but it is super hydrating.
RICE MAKING TIPS ~VIDEO: This video is simply cooking regular rice. I wanted to share it with you because it had excellent tips for all types of rice. It’s easy to substitute coconut milk for water by following  your “coconut rice” recipe.  I did learn something new here about new and old Jasmine rice! I hope you will learn something new as well! Other videos making coconut rice


DOCTOR’S CORNER: A new addition to my foodie posts is “Doctor’s Corner”.  If the recipe has an ingredient that has a health benefit, this is the place you will find me writing about it. For instance, coconut is good for brain health. Coconut contains MCT or medium chain triglycerides, as opposed to long chain triglycerides (LCT), which are found in other fatty foods. Medium chains are easier to digest. MCT helps balance gut bacteria, and is protective against pathogenic bacteria and viruses – this means a healthier microflora. Did you know 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut? Serotonin is good for brain health. Coconut oil has the most MCT of all the oils at 55%.  Coconut milk  has 14% MCT. Interestingly, butter has 8% MCT. A trace amount of “medium” length fatty acids are stored in our fat cells  after ingestion. Energy (from ketones) is released quickly using MCT based foods. At the same time, the production of free radicals is reduced. This is important for brain health, as free radicals are unstable and destructive, and increase the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases. Higher levels of ketones are beneficial for prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s. There is also emerging research supporting ketones playing a role in improving mental health disorders, such as ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.