Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Cauli rice"

I was in Meijer the other day and picked up some organic cauliflower that was on managers special because it was on the verge of not being good anymore.  (By the way, that is a great way to save some money on organic produce; as long as you intend to use it right away)

So when I got home I found myself staring at this cauliflower, thinking, "what in the world am I going to make with this?!?!"  Feeling the pressure of needing to use it sooner than later, I began looking up recipes on the sites of my 'go to' FAVORITE bloggers'!!  Well I shouldn't have been surprised that I would find an awesome recipe for Cauliflower Rice on Elana's Pantry.  She modified the recipe, which apparently, has been around a LONG time in the Low Carb world.  Who Knew??

So I immediately made this recipe for part of our Sunday lunch.  This recipe is in my opinion, one of THE BEST WAYS TO SERVE CAULIFLOWER!!  It lends itself to the appearance of what rice would be, but really has no other similarity than that.  So if you intend to make this recipe hoping for the taste and texture of rice, you will find it lacking.  BUT, if you just look at it as an awesome veggie side dish, that you could use in place of rice, you WILL NOT be disappointed :)

I was so happy with the way this turned out!  I served it today under a heaping portion of last nights chili left over from dinner.  I finished it off with a bit of sour cream, fresh grated cheddar cheese and some fresh chopped scallion.  Put this on a plate with one of my almond flour "corn" muffins and I had one of THE MOST AWESOME MEALS I have had in a while :)  The only modification I made, was to use a bit more seasonings, ex: more salt, and pepper.  I also sauteed the veggies in a generous portion of coconut oil.  You can use any oil or butter that suits you.

As I finished my lunch, and contemplated licking my plate, I imagined all the ways I can use this "Cauli Rice"  again :)    OK, I will admit it... I DID lick my plate :) ha ha!  It was that good!

So I hope you have an awesome day! After all; this is the day the LORD has made, so rejoice and be glad in it :)
Love Sara

Friday, February 25, 2011

Asparagus and Rosemary Fritatta

Its cold and snowy today in Central Ohio.  Most of the schools are closed, our county is under a level 1 snow emergency and I am enjoying Billy as he is working from home.  It is a winter wonderland outside my window; so I felt inclined to make a warm comforting breakfast.  My family was always big on breakfast, and I can remember snow days and weekends when my mom would make a big beautiful breakfast, breaking out her table cloths, china and fine drinking glasses.  She made it so special and its part of the reason why breakfast is my favorite meal of the day :)
Well, last night we had AMAZING Cajun fish and asparagus for dinner!  (I was going to take a picture and post but we devoured it so quickly I forgot!)  I woke up this morning thinking about my delicious asparagus and that in the coming months the farmers market will be open and beautiful, in season, asparagus will be plentiful!  I cant wait for that.  But until then my whole foods frozen asparagus will do, its still delicious. 

I wanted to make a hearty, healthy, satisfying breakfast and use some of my asparagus from last night.  Then it hit me.  I remembered watching someone on the food network whip up a frittata!  I've never made one before today, and honestly have never given them much thought.  Boy have I been missing out!!  Frittata's are like omelets but without all the hard work.  So I threw together some flavors I thought would be good, and it turned out WONDERFULLY!!

I used:

6 pastured eggs
salt and pepper to taste
a sprinkle of dry mustard (probably 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon of fresh chopped Rosemary

I whisked this all very well in my Kitchen aid until light and fluffy.

In an oven proof skillet I sauteed over medium heat:
(I used a good amount of coconut oil to saute)

1 small onion
5 spears of chopped Asparagus
1 small clove of garlic

once the veggies were tender I poured the egg mixture into the skillet so the eggs could set on the bottom.  Then I transferred the pan into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until set.

I loosened the edges of the frittata and flipped it onto a sering plate. 

I topped the frittata with cheese and set under the broiler just to melt the cheese.  (I used oven safe dishes, but you could leave it in the pan and just top with cheese and set under broiler)

Then I topped with fresh chopped green onion.

It was so easy and DELICIOUS.  The possibilities are endless.

Do you have any good fritatta recipes???  Send them my way, I'm officially obsessed :)

Well, I'm going to go cozy up on the couch now with my coffee! Hope you have a great day :)

Love Sara

Monday, February 21, 2011

The past three days

I've tried out several recipes within the last few days.  So I decided I would take pictures of all and share in this post.  The first recipe was for coconut butter cookies by Bruce Fife in his book titled, "Cooking with Coconut Flour".  The link is a preview of his book from the simply coconut website.  I absolutely LOVED these cookies.  Think, coconut macaroons, but without all the work of beating the egg whites and gently folding in, etc, etc...  They have such a rich buttery flavor, and hold up so well.  My 2 year old niece Nevaeh ate two of them, and my mom (and myself) couldn't get enough :)  I did make a substitution for the sugar, using half a cup of Xylitol and several drops of vanilla flavored Stevia.  This adaptation made my cookies cane sugar free.  You could also use honey or any sweetener you prefer :) just depending on what you use might impact if they stay fluffy or spread a little more.  You will have to experiment.  If your interested in tyring coconut flour; which is very low in carbohydrates, high in fiber and great for those who have gluten intolerance, this link is a great starting point with lots of recipes.

The second recipe was my attempt at working with almond flour.  Almond flour tastes excellent and is ideal for an alternative to wheat flour.  I learned about this flour after reading Elana Amsterdam's blog called Elana's Pantry.  I finally broke down and bought a bag of this stuff.  It is expensive!  I couldn't wait to get it and try some new recipes.  Well, while I was waiting on my order to arrive, I found some videos on YouTube that showed you how to make your own almond flour.  So I made my own!!! It was so easy.  So I made Elana's chocolate chip cookies using my own almond flour.  The only modifications I made was to use Maple Syrup instead of Agave and melted coconut oil instead of the butter.  There are a lot of mixed ideas on the true health qualities of using Agave as a sweetener, so at this time I am choosing to use other sweeteners other than Agave.  I don't know if it was my homemade flour or the use of the coconut oil, but I didn't need to press down my cookies at all.  They were perfect and baked out just like normal chocolate chip cookies.  SO delicious, and after I calculated the nutrition facts, I think there were only 3 grams of sugar per cookie!  That is amazing :)  If you don't like the flavor of coconut I would definitely use the butter instead.  My husband is the PICKIEST eater you will ever meet, and he liked these cookies.  Although he said he did notice the coconut flavor.  All in all this recipe was a huge success in my book!

These are the cupcakes that I refered to in my last post.  Elana has two different Vanilla cupcake recipes.  One using coconut flour and the other using almond flour.  So I was inclined to try both :)  the one on the right with the coarser texture is the almond flour cupcake and the coconut flour cupcake was much more smooth.  They both tasted great, however the textures were so different they are completely different.  You will have to try them out to see which you prefer :)  The almond flour cupcake really almost reminded me of the texture of a corn muffin!!  They were delicate and moist and delicious.  I will make these again without the sweetener and crumble them up in some chili.  I will make that for dinner tonight I think!
I think I over baked the coconut flour recipe a little so it seemed a tad dry, but after sitting overnight they seemed much better!(I had one for breakfast with coffee, ha)  One thing I have noticed when baking with coconut flour, is that the baked goods seem to get better as they sit a day or two.  They seem to reabsorb the moisture or something!  So if you experimenting with baked goods using coconut flour, don't write it off until its really had a chance to sit and get better :) so below is the picture of both opened up so you can see the texture. :)
Well, I am going to go play with Eva now!  She is so cute :)  Until next time...
Love, Sara

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Passion. New Blog.

My sister Angela is the best friend I could ever have. She is my biggest fan, a huge inspiration, SO MUCH FUN, the best to laugh with, and always up for listening to me rant about whatever I'm into that week! There are a couple of things that the people who are closest to me know. I LOVE food, I LOVE healthy food, and I LOVE to cook and bake. I'm always experimenting with the latest thing I read about, different types of diets, exercise classes, pretty much anything I find interesting. Well lately I've been interested in cooking gluten free. Its a whole new world out there that I never knew about! I've lost myself for hours reading so many cool blogs and websites, discovering AMAZING recipes. So of course I've been trying all these awesome recipes and RAVING to my sister Angela all about all of them. I always take pictures of the things I try and have had so much fun. So today I was once again raving to Angela about these awesome cupcakes I tried from an awesome blog called Elanas Pantry. Once we finished talking Angela INSISTED that I start blogging about all this, since it was obvious how passionate I was. Attached is the picture of the cupcake I made today. It was SCRUMPTIOUS!!! So this is my first post on my new blog. Simply Sara. Credit goes to my creative sister Angela. I'm excited to update this blog and talk about all the cool new recipes I've tried, the things that went well, the things that totally FLOP and all the fun that goes along with it :)
So Angela this is dedicated to you :) I love you so much and I cant imagine having a better sister than you!
Love Sara