Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

Ok, so I’m on a harvest-theme here lately, and all the dishes that have been making me happy speak of (North American) Fall.

This dish is lighter-than-expected, makes a lovely salad for surprise company, and can be bulked up easily to feed a crowd.

It’s also fantastic topped with leftover turkey pancetta and pepitas from last week’s Fall Harvest Soup recipe.

Quick note: if your coconut flakes look like mine (shreds) and you toast your cauliflower as deeply as me (I like some burnt pieces), this dish may look like it has croutons in it. Which was giving my brain a weird disconnect that was less than pleasant. The coconut in here is actually really pleasant and gives a nice little subtly sweet nuttiness with a bit of texture.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Whole30

Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

1 smallish head cauliflower, cut into small bits or riced (I did small bits because with my current kitchen setup I just can’t be bothered to fully rice cauliflower)

1 apple (Granny Smith or Fuji – you want something with a bit of tartness or crispness)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Double hand full flat leaf parsley, chopped

Pomegranate seeds (I’m lazy and buy mine prepared – I used a good amount and keep adding more fresh every time I go for leftovers because they’re delightful and so very pretty. Use however much your eye wants to bring nice color to this otherwise very green dish)

3 Tbsp. coconut milk (optional)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

Few generous sprays oil (I love a grape seed oil pump I’ve been using lately – it’s really cutting down on the amount of oil I feel I have to use)

Generous sprinkle black pepper

Liberal amount of salt

Generous sprinkle cayenne pepper

Generous sprinkle curry powder

Generous sprinkle cumin powder

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup unsweet shredded or flaked coconut

Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Prep a baking sheet with a liner, process your cauliflower into tiny bits, and spread in a single layer.

Hit with the oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and curry). Toss and roast for 35-40 minutes or until your desired toastiness is achieved.

In the last 5 minutes (or if you forget, stir the cauliflower, flip the pan around and put back in the oven), chuck the almonds & coconut on the pan. Roast to toast 3-5 minutes, being careful to watch and make sure these delicate additions don’t burn.

When done, add to a large bowl.

Chop and toss in the apple, garlic and parsley. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Toss to combine. Add enough pomegranate arils to make yourself happy.

Serve room temp or cold – either way is fantastic.

Serves 4 as a meal or a party as part of a larger spread

Fall Harvest Soup

This soup feels like a hearty, warm hug but gives a nice light dinner that doesn’t weigh one down.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, halal, Whole30

Fall Harvest Soup

1 medium carrot, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
2 Tbsp. stock powder (I used a vegan chicken stock)
48 ounces water
1/2 can coconut milk
Generous sprinkle oregano
Generous sprinkle cumin
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Liberal sprinkle black pepper
Liberal salt
1.5 Tbsp. butter or vegan equivalent
Big hand full pepitas toasted in 1/2 tsp. coconut aminos
Optional: 4 ounces turkey bresaola, crisped until browned in a dry pan

Prep all veggies and add to a slow or multi cooker with spices and liquids (everything but the butter, pepitas and bresaola).

Press the stew/soup setting.

When complete, open the lid and add the butter/butter substitute. Let cool a bit and blend all but 1/4 until smooth. Add the reserved 1/4 back in for texture.

Serve topped with the pepitas and bresaola if desired.

Serves 6

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

I know, I know – another weird-sounding recipe that turns out surprisingly good despite sounding wrong.

This is a great way to sneak in a liiiiiiiitle extra nutrition (not that this already packed salad needed more greens) on weeks when you feel like you haven’t seen a real vegetable (helloooo, adulting).

This salad also keeps well even dressed and, if you’re like me and enjoy confusing your friends, is easy enough to bulk up enough to serve a crowd.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo, Whole30

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

For the salad, add the following to a large bowl:

1 cup ribboned collards or kale

1.5 cups ribboned red cabbage

1.5 cups ribboned Napa cabbage

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 large red pepper, julienned

1 hand full mint, chopped

2 Tablespoons pickled jalapeños, chopped

1 big hand raw pumpkin seeds

For the dressing, add the following to a blender:

1 big hand hulled sunflower seeds

1/4 cups frozen spinach

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tablespoon your favorite grainy mustard (y’all know my affinity for Maille)

1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar (I accidentally added 1.5 and it would have been too pungent on day 1 – I didn’t get around to eating a big bowl of this until day 2, so the flavor had mellowed)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

10 grinds salt

Generous sprinkle black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

50 pumps sprayable oil (or a few glugs)

A little water if needed to get things moving in the blender

Combine the dressing with the salad and either toss well or massage in.

Serves 3-4 as written; easily scaled up for more

Empress Green Salad CSA – Weeks 2 & 3

Totally forgot to take a pic of the Week 2 haul. I’m a week into this new feature, and I *already* dropped the ball. Oops!

The Backstory

Not content to only have a monthly meat subscription, we joined the summer salad CSA from Empress Green in Staten Island. Empress Green is really something cool – it’s the first commercial farm grown within a residential development in NYC (it’s located in the space between two buildings in the Urby complex in Staten Island’s Stapleton neighborhood) and the farmers, Zaro and Asher, are committed to building something great for the community while providing educating about food and farming.

Aside from a salad CSA, Empress Green offers a flower CSA starting next month, holds a weekly farm stand open to the public, hosts a number of special events and activities (including farm-to-table dinners) and keeps bees. I’m looking forward to seeing more of what they have to offer in the coming months.


Week 2

Braising mustard greens
Arugula
Bacchus radishes
Chives
I also bought some kale for smoothies
Week 3

 

Mixed kale & spinach

Lettuce mix

Hakurei turnips

Cilantro

 

What I Made – Week 2

I used chives in pretty much everything during week 3. A standout: that Gold Sauce I made for steaks & Week 1’s radishes.

I made a simple salad of arugula, radishes & yuzu dressing with chicken for dinner one night.

I made butter chive zoodles with shrimp & bacon & lots of butter one night.

I accidentally dropped the mustard greens in a smoothie instead of the kale – oops – wasn’t bad, though.

I made smoothies almost every day with the kale and some leftover spinach I had.

I braised the rest of the kale and served with bourbon steak.

This week, I had most of the radishes, a couple chives, and some random lettuces left over.

 

What I Made – Week 3

I used the kale + spinach mix in smoothies (made 6 smoothie servings).

I dropped a third of the cilantro in one day’s smoothies.

I made a bigass salad for lunch one day with all the lettuce and some of the leftover radishes.

Later that day, I had the last of the radishes as a snack dipped in butter and sprinkled with salt.

I had a chicken and radish salad with last week’s leftover lettuce greens.

I used some more cilantro in dinner one night as a garnish.

I chopped up the turnips and created a little honey and lime juice salad for a snack.

This week, I had a little cilantro left over.

Week 1

Roasted Radishes with Gold Sauce

Radishes + butter is not a new concept, but I couldn’t help mess with the idea a bit – especially after viewing a scroll-through Facebook video for something called Cowboy Butter. Cowboy Butter sounded enchanting, but required too many ingredients. So, I got to researching, combining, and playing around a bit and I think I hit on something fantabulous here. This sauce is great with roasted veggies, steaks, burgers & zoodles … pretty much everything.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian


Roasted Radishes with Gold Sauce

1/2 lb. radishes
Oil for roasting
2 Tbsp. unsalted grass fed butter
2 tsp. whole grain mustard (my favorite is Maille)
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (watch your labels!)
2 tsp. Texas Pete or other tomatoey hot sauce
2 Tbsp. chopped chives
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400F. Chop your radishes into about 1/2 inch segments and toss in a Tablespoon or so of your favorite roasting fat. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 for 20 – 25 minutes or until beginning to brown.

While your radishes are working, make your sauce by melting the butter in a small pan over low heat. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients (minus the fresh herbs) until combined.

When the sauce is combined, throw in the herbs plus a couple pinches salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

Serve drizzled over the radishes. Also great with meats – really pretty much anything; I’m loving it with eggs, and may even attempt to thin it out to make a salad dressing.

Serves 2 – 4

Japanese Sesame Greens

This quick and easy side dish makes a great light dinner with a little protein. Inspired by a recipe made on one of my favorite YouTube channels: Texan In Tokyo (RIP).

gluten-free, paleo, whole30, keto, vegetarian, vegan


Japanese Sesame Greens

1 bunch bok choy (about 1 cup chopped)
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
2 drops stevia

In a medium pan, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy and cook, stirring frequently, until softened.

Meanwhile, bash the sesame all to hell in a mortar & pestle until it resembles sand.

When the sesame is done, add the coconut aminos & stevia and stir to combine. Let cook a minute or so. Add the bashed sesame seeds, stir to combine, and pull off the heat.

Serves 1 as a side dish

Nutritional Breakout: 430 calories, 7 grams net carbs, 8 grams protein, 40 grams fat

Maple Bourbon Bacon Brussels

Drool. This dish is fantastic, and a real show-stopper when shared with friends in some sort of seasonal bacchanalia.

Gluten-free, paleo-ish

  

Maple Bourbon Bacon Brussels

1 lb. brussels sprouts
1/2 – 1 lb. bacon
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard (I prefer Maille)
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
Sprinkle something hot (I used dried ghost peppers)
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Bacon fat or other Fat Of Choice
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup

Brown the bacon in your largest pan over medium heat. While your bacon is browning, shred the brussels. Remove bacon to paper towels – don’t ditch the fat. If you have a bunch of kinda burnt bacon bits, pour the fat off into a bowl or cup, deal with the bits, and put the fat back into the pan and the pan back over heat.

Add the shredded brussels to the pan with the fat, along with 2 generous pinches Kosher salt. Stir to combine fully. Add the mustard and stir to incorporate fully. Add the nutmeg and hot stuff; stir again.

Sautee, stirring frequently, until the brussels begin to brown. If your brussels look a little dry during this time, add more fat – more fat = more better; it’s the holidays.

When the brussels are a little browned at the edges, add the apple cider vinegar, bourbon and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Sauté until the liquid cooks out and the brussels are as browned as you’d like, making sure to stir frequently so nothing burns.

Crumble the reserved bacon and sprinkle over top. Taste and add more salt/heat/acid as needed.

Serves a bunch as a holiday side

What to do with a box of vegetables – Box 1

So, you’ve joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) and have gotten your first box of vegetables. Now what? This series will attempt to answer just that by illustrating what I have done with my CSA shares. There’s good news: I first joined a CSA over a year ago, and have found uses for approximately 90% of all the fruits and vegetables I received. I get a half share every other week, which feeds two people 4 to 5 dinners a week plus fruit snacks perfectly.

Here is what was in my first box of the new year:

2011 Box 1

  • 1 Local FL Grapefruit
  • 5 Satsuma Mandarins
  • 5 Bananas (this item was not originally supposed to be in a half share, but I usually swap the romaine out for bananas)
  • 6 oz. Fair Trade Blueberries or Strawberries or both
 (we got blueberries)
  • 7 Granny Smith Apples
  • 7 Carrots
  • 2 5-inch pieces Daikon Radish
  • 1 bunch Curly Kale
  • 1 bunch Rainbow Chard
  • 2 heads Broccoli
  • Romaine*
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • Ginger# (this item was given to full share recipients only)
  • 1 head Celery
  • Beets# (this item was given to full share recipients only)

*Note: I almost always swap out lettuces in my CSA shares, usually for bananas or something with more nutritional value. I eat leftovers for lunch most days and have found that lettuce just goes to waste too easy.

How I Used My Share

I used the mandarins, blueberries, apples and bananas in a fruit salad for my nightly snack.

Ginger-poached tortellini with rainbow chard

Grated daikon and carrot salad with coconut curry rice and coconut poached red snapper

Soba noodles with kale and radish

Pork tenderloin with cucumber-mango salsa

Broccoli, carrot and celery stir-fry

I also made a batch of black-eyed peas with collard greens and onions… the collards were left over from my last CSA box of 2010, as was the mango from the pork dish.

At the end of the two weeks, I have the grapefruit left over and fell down on the job with the tomatoes. I totally forgot about them, and they went bad.

1 Year Ago

  • 1/2 pint local FL strawberries
  • 3 local FL pink grapefruit
  • 8 Pink Lady apples
  • 1 big and 4 small sunchokes
  • 1 pint sweet mini peppers
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 pint local FL grape tomatoes
  • 1 local FL cucumber
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 big bok choy
  • 5 in. finger ginger

Made: Cherry tomato cous cous, port meatball banh mi, daikon with tahini, sesame bok choy and carrot stir fry, linguine with sunchokes and spinach, and chili