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Easy Homemade Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Easy Homemade Cauliflower Fried Rice

So delicious and easy - plus you'll almost have no clue it’s cauliflower (but your waistline will).

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head (about 24 oz) cauliflower, rinsed
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup red onions, diced small
  • ½ cup red bell peppers, diced small
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onion

Directions

  1. Remove the core of the cauliflower and coarsely chop off just the florets
  2. Put the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice - shouldn’t take more than 5 or 6 seconds, but if it’s a lot of cauliflower for your processor, do it in 2 batches or it can get mushy.
  3. Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium heat with 1 tablespoon oil then add onions, peppers and mushrooms; stir and cook about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in ginger and garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds) then add the cauliflower rice - drizzle with a little more oil, and stir frequently until all is heated through and beginning to get a bit of color - maybe 3 minutes
  5. Then add the soy, sesame oil and Sriracha - mix well
  6. Finally add the beaten eggs, and stir until egg is cooked through - about another minute
  7. Remove from heat - serve and garnish with green onions.
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Cold Asian Noodle Salad

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Cold Asian Noodle Salad

A simple and delicious way of eating without cranking up the oven.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon Sriracha
  • ½ cup carrots, julienned (matchstick size)
  • ½ cup sugar snap peas sliced diagonally
  • ¼ cup radish sliced thin in half circles
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup English cucumbers sliced thin in half circles
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (like avocado)
  • 10 peeled, deveined tail-on shrimp (I used 16/20’s in this recipe)
  • Kosher salt
  • Sesame seeds
  • Thinly sliced green onions and chopped cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions - do not overcook, drain, rinse well with cold water, drain again and transfer to a bowl
  2. While noodles are cooking, in a small bowl combine vinegar, soy, sesame oil, sugar and sriracha - stir well and set aside
  3. To the noodles add carrots, peas, radishes, celery and cucumber - mix and add a little sauce (adding more sauce as needed)
  4. Heat a pan over medium/high, add oil and justvwhen it’s about to smoke add the shrimp and cook about 1 minute - season with Kosher salt, add splash of ½ tablespoon soy and 1 tablespoon Sriracha; mix well and cook until done, remove shrimp from heat
  5. Place the noodles/vegetables on serving plate, top with shrimp and garnish with green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds
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Fresh Tomato Sauce

The only way this gets easier is if someone makes it for you.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 vine-ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup red wine (any wine you enjoy drinking will do)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (stacked, roll like a cigar and then thinly sliced lengthwise)
  • Kosher salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat and add onion - cook about 5 minutes
  2. Add garlic and cook another minute or so - just until fragrant
  3. Add tomatoes, turn heat up and let cook a minute or two
  4. Next add wine and tomato paste, mix then bring sauce to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer about 10 minutes
  5. Add the basil then season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Serve on everything - pasta (of course), toast, eggs, polenta, pizza, grilled bread, chicken... did I say on everything?
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Green Goddess Dressing

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Green Goddess Dressing

It’s 1973, Sacheen Littlefeather accepts the Best Actor Award for Marlon Brando in The Godfather, All in the Family was huge on TV and Green Goddess Dressing was all the rage – and still should be.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, coarsley chopped
  • 2 green onions, white & light green parts coarsely chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

DIRECTIONS

  1.  Put all ingredients in a processor and blend until smooth 

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Pork Chow Mein

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Pork Chow Mein

Get ready for the Chinese New Year with these great noodles - and the quick little black bean sauce makes this ridiculous.

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ pound boneless pork (tenderloin or country style ribs work great), thinly sliced 
  • ½ tablespoon of neutral oil*
  • *(unflavored oils such as canola, vegetable or peanut)
  • ¼ pound sugar snap peas sliced diagonally
  • ½ pound shitake mushrooms
  • 4 oz chow mein noodles, cooked
  • green onions, chopped to garnish

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine black bean and soy sauce, set aside
  2. Heat sautéed pan on medium-high, add oil and pork and cook cooked until pork is just done, about 4 minutes ­ - remove pork mixture to a bowl
  3. In same pan, heat to high and add a little more oil
  4. Add peas and stir fry until crisp tender, about 3 minutes then add to pork mixture
  5. Return pan to heat again, add more oil and the shitakes, cook until softened, about 5 minutes
  6. Turn heat up to high, add the pork mixture and then the add soy/black bean - stir until heated through
  7. Add chow mein noodles, combine well, plate and garnish with green onions
  8. Serve

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Steamed Artichokes

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Steamed Artichokes

Weird looking? Yes. Simple to cook? Yes.  Delicious? Oh hell yes!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 or 3 artichokes, approximately 1 for every 2 people
  • ½ stick Finlandia butter*
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut the stem off the bottom of each artichoke so it will sit flat, and about 1 inch off the top of each
  2. Then cut the point off each leaf (to keep you & your guests from getting poked)
  3. Place artichokes in large steamer with about 3 inches of water below, cover with a lid and steam about 45 minutes, or until you can pull off a leaf off easily
  4. While it cooks, melt Finlandia butter in a small pot with a minced clove of garlic, some lemon juice and a sprig of thyme
  5. Put artichokes on a serving plate with a bowl of the dipping butter beside.

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*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.


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Super Simple Black Bean Burgers

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Super Simple Black Bean Burgers

Makes 2 big burgers or 3 smaller ones

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • One 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, smoked paprika if you have
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Sliced Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 or 3 buns, something good though ya hear me?

Optional: tomato slices, shredded iceberg lettuce, avo slices – basically whatever your little heart desires

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook onion in a non-stick pan with a little oil until just softened
  2. Add garlic and cook until really fragrant, 30-45 seconds more, then set aside
  3. Mash 2/3’s of the drained beans in a medium bowl, then add remaining beans, onion & garlic, egg, panko and seasonings
  4. Mix everything well to combine, put a little oil on your hands and shape into 2 or 3 patties
  5. Heat the pan you cooked the onions in, add a little more oil and cook patties until crispy and brown on each side – 6-7 minutes total
  6. Add cheese slices when you flip them over
  7. Toast buns lightly and serve
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BEST CHINESE STIR FRY SAUCE

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BEST CHINESE STIR FRY SAUCE

This is the 'little black dress' of stir fry sauces – good for chicken, beef, pork, veggies and seafood.

Makes about 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or even water
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or Tupperware and mix well
  2. Stir fry about 4 cups any combination of diced vegetables and/or seafood, chicken or beef
  3. When just done, add 1/2 to 2/3 of sauce, mix and let thicken slightly – about a minute and serve
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Butter Sauteéd Carrots

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Butter Sauteéd Carrots

Can anything better then these simply cooked carrots?

Makes a pound

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound baby multi-colored carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons Finlandia butter*
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice carrots lengthwise, trim green at the top, but leaving about ½ of the green at the top
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the carrots
  3. Begin to cook, slowly and season to taste with salt & pepper
  4. Turn over every so often to get color on all sides
  5. Cook until crisp/tender – and when they’re almost done, add remaining butter and chives
  6. Plate and serve

*Finlandia butter is available at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway.

 

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Hummus 2.0

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Hummus 2.0

One of my favorite go-to lastminute appetizers, take a simple little hummus and make it party fancy. 

INGREDIENTS

  • Spicy hummus (or whatever you have in the fridge)
  • kalamata olives, chopped
  • pita bread or flat bread
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch Kosher salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Garnish hummus with drizzle of evoo, olives, dusting of cayenne and pinch salt
  2. Toast bread and slice and serve 
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MAPLE CARROTS

Right in time for Thanksgiving - just make em.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb small carrots with green leafy tops, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1  1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Pinch Kosher salt
  • 4 grinds Freshly Ground Black Pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Trim down the tops, leave a small green stub (keep leafy parts for later)
  2. In a large deep skillet cook whole carrots in butter until sizzling 
  3. Add water and maple syrup, put lid on and bring to boil, reduce heat simmer 15-20 minutes
  4. Serve the carrots, topped with 1-2 tablespoons of chopped carrot leaves
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PUMPKIN MAC AND CHEESE

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PUMPKIN MAC AND CHEESE

This nice and easy switch up from the norm, will have the whole family coming back for more. With the added bonus, of the nutritional benefits, pumpkin is rich in Vit A & K and packed with fibre.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound pasta - elbow, curly, penne – it’s up to you
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 7 tablespoons butter, divided (means you"ll just use it at different times)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin puree - be sure it's not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water - about 1 minute less than directions
  3. While the pasta cooks, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sized pot, add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened - about 5 minutes
  4. Add 4 more tablespoons of the butter and when it melts sprinkle flour over the top then whisk in to make a thick & relatively lump-free paste
  5. Stir in the milk until smooth and slightly thickened – then add in the Dijon, both cheeses, pumpkin, cayenne & salt & pepper
  6. Stir well until you have a rich, thick & beautiful sauce - then add drained pasta and combine well - place into an oven proof dish
  7. Melt the remaining butter in a non-stick pan, add breadcrumbs and mix well to coat - add to the top of the macaroni
  8. Put in the oven and bake 30 minutes or until golden brown & serve

 

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PUMPKIN CORNBREAD

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PUMPKIN CORNBREAD

Serves 6

Don't neglect any canned pumpkin puree leftovers. Make this stupidly awesome and easy sweet treat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup butter

DIRECTIONS

  1. blend ingredients as per box instructions, add the pumpkin puree and mix thoroughly

  2. pour mixture into greased 8x8 oven proof dish and cook as per instructions
  3. slice it up and spread on the butter, enjoy

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