Archives for posts with tag: Vegetarian

It's behind the ceviche!

Another great vegetable side dish for a BBQ. This is more of a summer recipe, so keep it in mind as you’re doing all your ab work to get a ROCKIN beach body! I made this dish along with Peruvian Ceviche and Raw Pear and Blackberry Tart.

When grilling the vegetables remember a few things:

  • charring food is bad. The charred portion becomes carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in our bodies. Try to keep flare-ups to a minimum and keep those “grill marks” light.
  • along the same lines it’s better to use a higher heat oil when grilling. Olive oil and other medium-low heat oils will oxidize and change chemical structure in high heat… making them unsuitable for our bodies. Coconut oil can drip into the grill and cause flare-ups sometimes, so I used grapeseed oil in this recipe.  

    Geoff says "Grill Safely or else!"

Grilled Vegetables with Salsa Verde

 1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 3/4″ strips
2 bell peppers
3-4 zucchini, sliced lengthwise same as eggplant

  1. Heat grill to medium high.
  2. Place whole bell peppers on the grill, turn occasionally until skin is slightly blistering and soft.
  3. Brush zucchini and eggplant slices with some grapeseed oil and dust with pepper and salt.
  4. Grill slices until soft with slight grill marks
  5. Remove bell peppers when ready. Cool in cold water and remove skin and seeds.
  6. Slice bell pepper into strips like the eggplant and zucchini.
  7. Serve on a platter with Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

1 avocado
1/2 c. cilantro leaves
1/2 c. parsley leaves
1/2 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
Juice from a half of lemon
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
sprinkle of paprika

  1. In a blender or small food processor chop garlic and ginger
  2. Add parsley and cilantro and chop until well combined. Scrape down the sides with a spatula when necessary
  3. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste
  4. Serve sauce over grilled vegetables or on the side.
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The Original Urban Solace Version, complete with grilled cheese and sweet potato fries

My husband used to work at a restaurant in San Diego. Not gonna lie, this restaurant makes some pretty delicious meals and my man is one of their biggest fans. He loves many a dish on their menu… Beef cheeks, fig meatloaf, ahi tuna chop chop… I could go on forever. Not being one to back down from a challenge, I sometimes try to recreate his favorite meals with a paleo-friendly ingredient list.

Apparently, I succeeded in my quest and now hubby has a new favorite home cooked meal. So much so that he mourned the impending end of this meal while he was halfway through his cup of soup. Just the thought of it being over made him sad. I’m pretty sure he would have hooked up a soup IV if he could.

So with that introduction I give you (Duh Duh DA DA!!!)

Tomato and Roasted Fennel Soup

1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
3 c. stock
1 sweet onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
4-5 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. duck fat, divided
1 Tbsp. dried basil
sea salt
pepper
1/4 c. pine nuts
olive oil to drizzle

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. In a bowl, coat the fennel, garlic, and parsnips with 1 Tbsp. of fat and season with some salt and pepper
  3. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 mins

    Parsnips, Garlic, and Fennel

  4. In a soup pot, over medium heat, sauté the shallots and onions until translucent
  5. Once the fennel mixture is done roasting, add it to the soup pot, sautéing for another 5 mins

    Add roasted veggie to sauteed onions

  6. Add stock and simmer for 10 mins

    Add stock before tomatoes

  7. Add tomatoes and continue to simmer for 5 mins adding basil
  8. With an immersion blender (or regular blender) puree the contents of the soup until all chunks are gone, add salt and pepper to taste
  9. In a blender or spice grinder, grind pine nuts with sea salt until it becomes a fine dust like grated parmesan
  10. Add half the nuts to the soup pot and stir

    Success!

  11. Serve with a garnish of olive oil and a dusting of pine nuts

Roasted Squash and Eggplant with Arugula

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (1/4 inch)
1 eggplant, peeled and diced (1/4 – 1/2 inch)
3 c. fresh arugula
2 Tbsp. melted bacon fat or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. In a bowl, coat eggplant and squash with oil and seasonings
  3. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 20 mins until the edges are browning.
  4. In a bowl, toss the warm veggies with the arugula until it begins to wilt.
  5. Serve with your favorite entree, like Cilantro-Pistachio Pesto Chicken

    Makes a nice side dish for the winter season.

Here’s a simple one for those chilly Southern California nights (wink, wink). Soup is a great way to stretch your dollar and incorporate some really healthy items into your food rotation. BONUS: there’s usually leftovers which means for very little time investment, you can have a few meals for the next few days!

Butternut Squash is a seasonal vegetable. It comes around in the harvest time so it’s best eaten in the fall and winter months. It has a delicate and mildly sweet flavor, similar to an acorn squash. Good for soups because it’s not as heavy as sweet potato or pumpkin. Butternut’s versatile flavor pairs well with savory elements like rosemary, bacon, and brussel sprouts as well as sweet ingredients like cinnamon, apples, and golden raisins.

 

Good in a mug or a bowl

 
Butternut Squash Soup
 
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 c. water
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
3 c. organic chicken stock
1 inch ginger root, diced
1 honeycrisp apple, peeled and diced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
 
  1. In a large pot, saute the yellow onion until soft.
  2. Add water and butternut squash, heat on med-high until squash becomes tender.
  3. Add ginger, apple and 2 c. chicken stock. Simmer for a bit until the squash is really soft.
  4. Using a blender or immersion blender, begin processing the soup to desired thickness, adding additional stock when necessary.
  5. With the blended soup in the pot, stir in spices.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some Plantain Chips.

Layers of Vegetables

Made this beauty for Thanksgiving. It was a hit! Creamy and delicious and FILLING. Use a mandoline slicer or attachment on a food processor if you don’t want to spend the whole day thinly slicing. Other than that, this recipe is a breeze.

Rutabaga, Green Apple, and Butternut Gratin with MacCashew Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

Gratins
5-6 rutabaga, peeled and thinly sliced
4 granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced 
1 butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
1/4 cup fresh thyme, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cold-pressed coconut oil, warmed to liquid
Fresh ground black pepper
Fine ground sea salt

Cream Sauce
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, not soaked
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. On low/medium heat, slowly sauté red onion with sugar and a tbsp. of coconut oil until onions are brown and caramelized (be patient and careful not to burn.) About 10-15 min.
3. Oil a casserole dish and begin to layer the vegetable slices:
Rutabaga: brush coconut oil, fresh thyme, tiny pinch salt/pepper
Apple: brush coconut oil, tiny pinch salt/pepper
Onion
Butternut squash: brush coconut oil, tiny pinch salt/pepper
4. Whatever layer you finish on, top with a little more salt and pepper as well as some thyme. 
5. Bake for 45 mins. 
6. Make cream sauce while the gratin bakes. Drain cashews from soaking liquid and rinse. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over gratin when done. 
recipe adapted from : Yum Universe

Rice? No. Cauliflower Rice? Yes!

Pulsing cauliflower in a food processor is a great way to mimic a rice-type texture in a recipe. I like this particular dish because it reminds me of the flavors of thanksgiving turkey stuffing. The herbs and the golden raisins really satisfy the savory cravings of the season. Try this recipe with different combinations of herbs, spices, nuts, and dried fruit. Dried cranberries and pecans would be great!

Excuse the poor lighting...

 

Cauliflower Rice with Toasted Almonds and Golden Raisins

 4 T grape seed oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
5 cups cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
2 T fresh sage, chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup golden raisins
½ cup sliced almonds
1 t sea salt

  1. In a large skillet , heat oil over medium heat
  2. Sauté onion over medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft
  3. Add celery to skillet and sauté for 5 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a food processor with the “S” blade and process until the texture of rice
  5. Add cauliflower, thyme, sage, cabbage and raisins to skillet, cover and cook 5-10 minutes, until soft, then add salt
  6. Toast almonds in a skillet, set aside
  7. Serve warm with almonds as garnish.

Though uncommon, sometimes I am asked to cover a shift at trader joe’s working Demo . Many people know it as the sample place, snack corner… or, if you’re a free-loading pig, it’s lunch.  Either way, I’m never totally stoked about these shifts. Something about the general public, free food, and a predetermined, unhealthy TJ’s concoction just doesn’t suit my particular sensibilities.

Fortunately, my bosses usually cut me some slack and let me experiment in the kitchen as long as I continue to dole out nasty small plates to the customers.

I decided that not only would be wise to introduce my coworkers to a late night snack in the realm of Paleo, but also include some unfamiliar ingredients. While many may think that Trader Joe’s is a healthy establishment full of hippie lettuce munchers and knowledgable vitamin pushers, I regret to inform you that you are sorely mistaken. As a whole (keep in mind, I’ve worked at not one, not two, but FOUR different stores.) most crew members are satisfied on a diet of cigarettes, beer, and frozen pizza.

With that in mind I give you:

Stuffed Dates

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Lemon Curd

1 case Trader Joe’s Medjool Dates (pitted)

4 oz. plain goat cheese

2 Tbsp. lemon curd

sesame seeds for garnish

1. Slice one side of the date lengthwise to take out the pit and create a space for the goat cheese.

Little Date boats waiting to be filled with goodness.

2. In a bowl, mash together goat cheese and lemon curd and scoop into a pastry bag, or a ziploc.

3. Trim off tip of the bag and squeezing from the top, fill each date with a little bit (…or a lot) of goat cheese.

4. Garnish with some sesame seeds (black, white, or toasted will do fine)

Pistachio Version

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Pistachios

4 oz. plain goat cheese

1/4 c. roasted and salted pistachios (chopped)

2 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Same process as the first batch, just different ingredients.

2. In a bowl, mash together cheese, most of the chopped pistachios (reserve about a tablespoon of pistachio pieces/dust), vanilla, and honey.

The Pistachio Filling

3. Fill the dates and garnish with the reserved pistachios.