Lemony Chopped Cauliflower & String Bean Salad

Do you ever look at that bag of frozen cauliflower and inspiration strikes? It doesn’t happen often but when it does, you gotta go with it! I thought it would be nice with string beans (another bag that was lurking in the veggie bin) and lemony sorrel leaves. And you want to use Bella Di Cerignola olives because they aren’t too strong, yet add a nice flavor. This is quick salad to make that goes great, especially with grilled fish. I added the peppadews last minute and it made all the difference, making it so much more flavorful and colorful. Enjoy!

  • 3 cups cauliflower florets, cooked until tender
  • 1/4 pound string beans, chopped and blanched
  • 4 Bella Di Cerignola olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, smashed and minced
  • a few sorrel leaves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • peppadews*

Take your minced garlic and allow it to sit in the vinegar, while your veggies cook and you prepare the rest of the salad. To save time, I cooked the cauliflower and used a hand held strainer to drain it, so I could use the water to cook the string beans. Rinse off your veggies with cold water and drain well. Into the vinegar, stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and ground black pepper. Combine all of the ingredients and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serves 2-3.

*not pictured

Cauliflower, Broccoli Rabe & Cannellini Bean Pot

A hearty veggie and bean dish hits the spot on a chilly autumn night. It’s the season where balancing the household and the upcoming holidays can become a little challenging. And that’s when you need a satisfying meal that nourishes the soul and leaves the belly nice and full. As the temperatures cool down significantly, it’s important to take care of yourself and gets those antioxidants in. This dish is full of veggies and it’s really delicious. It was hard to keep on the stove, my hubby and I almost ate it right out of the pot, it was just so good!  This is great on its’ own or you can add rice, quinoa, or farro on the side. Great for leftovers also! It’s delicious when served with a Slow Roasted Pork Loin with a Pear & Rosemary Sauce. Enjoy!

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed into florets
  • 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups roughly chopped broccoli rabe
  • 1/4 cup quartered sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • sea salt

Bring a heavy bottomed pot of salted water to a boil and add the cauliflower and season with sea salt. Let the water continue boiling on high heat, leaving the pot uncovered. After 7 minutes, add the broccoli rabe, let it cook for 3 minutes. If using sun dried tomatoes, add into the water and after a minute and drain the pot.(You can use oil packed sun dried tomatoes, if you do, add them in with the beans later on.) Keep your veggies warm and into the same pot, add in the olive oil and garlic. Let this cook on low heat. You don’t want the garlic to burn, you want it to get nice and soft. Sometimes, instead of adding the butter to the olive oil right away, I add it once the garlic gets nice and hot, so it slows down the cooking process. So add in your butter and continue cooking until the garlic is soft. Take the garlic out and set aside, leaving the oil and butter in the pot, add in the cauliflower and broccoli rabe. Let this saute for a minute or two and give the pot a nice stir. Add in the drained can of beans and heat through, until the beans are hot, about 10  minutes, (less if you want the vegetables on the crisp side.) stirring occasionally. Add in the cooked garlic and rosemary and cook for a few more minutes. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Makes 4-6 servings.

Creepy Cauliflower

Halloween is a time to dance with what frightens us, and illusions are a big part of the season. And this creepy cauliflower does exactly that, on your dinner plate! You can surely get your teenagers and their friends to eat their veggies when you serve a creepy cauliflower “brain” for dinner. Taking this out of the oven, creepied me out and seeing it on the plate did also, so I think this is perfect for this time of year, where the scarier the better! After the creep factor sets in and the cauliflower is broken up, it’s really good served with buttered and dilled brown basmati rice. Great for a creepy veggie night meal! Serves 4.

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • sweet Hungarian paprika
  • turmeric
  • garlic powder
  • 2 sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons light cream
  • ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Trim the cauliflower of its’ leaves and cut the stalk down, (I cut in deeper, almost removing the stalk altogether, but be careful, if doing this.) so the cauliflower sits evenly in the pan. Next, run your knife down the center of the cauliflower and cut into it about an inch or so deep. Take a small knife and cut into the center cut, at an angle, creating that center part. (Although not much, you can save the trimmings for another use, like adding them into a bowl of soup.) Rub the olive oil over the cauliflower and season with the paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, salt and pepper. You can rub the spices into the cauliflower. Pack on the coriander seeds, letting them fall into the crevices of the cauliflower. Place in a baking pan and pour 1/2 a cup of water into the pan, give your cauliflower a final drizzle of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree pre-heated oven. After 30 minutes, pour another 1/2 cup of water over the cauliflower and bake for another 30 minutes. Repeat, this step again. Totaling the cooking time at an hour and a 1/2. If you want the cauliflower more tender, add 30 more minutes to the cooking time, adding another 1/2 cup of water. After your cauliflower is baked through, (fork tender in its’ thicker parts) spread on the sun dried tomato and spoon on the light cream. Bake for about 5 minutes and your creepy cauliflower is done.

Spaghetti Korma

Going out for Indian food is such a treat for me because the nearest Indian restaurant is a about an hour away. So when I go, I savor all of the intense gorgeous flavors. I love the heat of the tandoori, the creaminess of a korma sauce, the crunch of poppadoms, refreshing raita sauce and a cooling mango lassi. I could have a mango lassi for dessert and be a happy girl. But when I want that Indian flavor at home, I make a pretty easy spaghetti korma. You can always serve the korma over basmati rice or have a nice bowl served with naan bread for a more traditional Indian meal but the spaghetti korma is fun and unexpected! This isn’t a hot and spicy curry sauce, more of a spice infused sauce but if you want more heat, you can always add Sriracha sauce!  A touch of Sriracha sauce does wonders to this dish! And I love taking a bite of naan bread and coming across a coriander seed, so I added a little more of them to the sauce, so adjust the seasonings to your liking! Enjoy!

  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, using only the florets, reserving the stalks for another use
  • 1 10 oz box frozen peas
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups water, as needed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 2 cardamon pods, left whole
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • crushed pistachio nuts, for garnish

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the sliced onion. Saute on low heat until translucent then add all of your spices. You can always add a little bit and then add more as you need. Stir your spices until fragrant, then stir in the tomato sauce and 2 cups of water. Let this come to a boil and simmer for about half an hour, until the liquids reduce. Add in your cauliflower florets and 1 cup of water, if needed. Only add the water if your sauce is too thick, if the sauce begins sticking on the bottom, add more water. Simmer your sauce until the cauliflower is cooked through, about half an hour. Stir in the frozen peas and simmer for a few minutes. Next, stir in the heavy cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, let it simmer for a few minutes until it thickens again. Discard the cardamon pods and toss the spaghetti with the sauce, topping more of the korma sauce on top and garnish with pistachio nuts. This serves 6-8 people. Great for leftovers too!

Cauliflower & Poppy Seed Ravioli with Roasted Asparagus

The first time I made this, was years ago, thinking the cauliflower would be a good filler for the ricotta cheese. I was trying to save some calories and it was pretty good! But it looked like it needed something and I threw in the poppy seeds and it really made this dish fun. This is great for a hearty vegetarian main course. Serve with crusty bread and fresh butter and a garden salad, and I think everyone will be happy.

  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed so you only use the florets, boiled until soft, drained well and mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 5 roasted garlic cloves (minced), from an olive bar, (only if you have on hand, I was craving olives the other day and threw these guys in the mix and they were left over, ate the good stuff first, lol)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegeta seasoning
  • 1 big bunch young and tender asparagus drizzled with olive oil and salt, roasted at 450 for 20 minutes
  • some unsalted butter, for sauteing the ravioli
  • 1 jar good Vodka sauce
  • some mint leaves, (optional)

Combine the cauliflower, ricotta cheese, garlic cloves, Vegeta seasoning (if none on hand, that’s okay just use a good all-purpose seasoning that you like) and the poppy seeds. Stir well incorporating everything. Start making your raviolis! Take a won ton wrapper, add a tablespoon of filling in the center, dip your finger in water and draw a line around the edges and top with another won ton wrapper and seal closed.

Set up your ravioli station with a few large plates, one for the just made ravioli, one for the cooked ravioli. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Throw in about 2 at a time into the boiling water. They cook very quickly, they are done when they rise to the top. Scoop them out with a drainer spoon. Make sure they don’t touch each other, because they do stick. On medium heat, melt your butter and saute your raviolis, a few at a time. Top with asparagus, vodka sauce and some chopped mint leaves. I loved it with the mint, a fun little surprise! This serves 6 with about 4 raviolis each. Enjoy & Happy Weekend! :)