Barbecue Cauliflower

IngredientsIMG_7813

1 head of cauliflower

1 cup barbecue sauce (I found some soy-free organic sauce at Kroger)

Directions

  1. Cut cauliflower into florets/bites.
  2. coat the florets in the bbq sauce.
  3. place on foil covered baking sheet and drizzle excess sauce on top.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, tossing and adding more sauce every 10 minutes.

Mat and Cassie’s Master Chef Cook-off Round 1: Red River Boat

My awesome friend Mat and I are having a foodie competition like no other… Or maybe a lot like Master Chef, but, that’s beside the point. Anyway, we are cooking for atleast three rounds to win the ultimate title: “The Winner.” Here’s how our competition works, we come up with a challenge for each round. Then we cook a meal for each other that corresponds with the challenge. We then rate the meals as unbiased as possible by 1) Nutrition: 10 pts 2) Creativity: 10 pts 3) Presentation: 10 pts. and 4) Flavor: 10 pts for a total high score of 40 points. We are inspired by our lovely little town Athens, OH and the amazing farmers market we have every Saturday. All of our meals will be vegetarian and use as much locally grown produce as possible. Let the games begin!


This challenge is called Red River Boat. The main color of the dish must be red and resemble a boat. Remember to use as much locally grown produce as possible, nutrition is key!

Chef: Cassie 

Meal: Red Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Here’s her recipe:

Ingredients:red quinoa stuffed peppers

2 bell peppers

1 1/2 cups diced medley tomatoes

2 carrots, shredded

1/2 white onion, diced

2 cups spinach 

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup red quinoa

1/2 cup uncooked black beans

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. of salt

1/2 tsp. of black pepper

topping: optional but oh-so-good

1 cup finely shredded montery jack cheese

Directions:

1. In a small pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add raw black beans and reduce to medium simmer for 20-25 minutes or until black beans are cooked through. Drain and rinse.

2. While black beans are cooking, start red quinoa on another burner. Bring 2 cups of water + 1 tbsp. olive oil to a boil. Reduce to low heat, add in quinoa, let cook for 15-20 minutes, or until tails appear.

3. While both black beans and quinoa are cooking, start chopping veggies. Cut 2 bell peppers in half and partially gut out seeds (I like to keep the stems on for presentation). Cut up onion, garlic, medley tomatoes. Shred carrots.

4. In a large deep pan, add 2 tbsp. olive oil and garlic. Let garlic simmer on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add onions and carrots, and spinach for 5 minutes. Then add medley tomatoes for 2 minutes. By this time, black beans and spinach should be completely cooked. Add in black beans first, then quinoa. Let cook together (you may need to add a bit more oil) for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and cumin.

5. Preheat oven to 375. Take the mix off heat. Then gently stuff each half pepper with the mix. place in baking pan with 1 inch water. Top the peppers with shredded monetery jack cheese, you can’t have too much. Then cover the pan with foil.

6. Cook at 375 for 20 minutes. Then remove foil and continue to cook for 10 minutes.

7. Serve and enjoy.

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Chef: Mat

Meal: Veg-Chana Masala

Here’s his recipe:

Ingredients: IMG_7707
1 can pre-cooked garbanzo beans

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. dried parsely

1 tsp. dried basil 

5 medium-sized tomatoes

Curry powder (combination of cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper)

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash of ginger, fresh or powder

4 servings broccoli

1 onion

1 zucchini

Directions:

1. In a pan, add pre-cooked garbanzo beans, 1 tbsp. olive oil and a combination sprinkling of dried parsley and basil.

2. Simmer on low while you dice 5 medium-sized tomatoes.

3. Add tomatoes, a good helping of curry powder (turmeric, salt and pepper with a dash of cumin), fresh garlic, and ginger (fresh or powder); continue to simmer on low-medium heat for 20-30 min.

4. During the full simmer, sauté broccoli in a separate pan for 3 minutes. Add sliced onions, diced garlic and zucchini and cook for 6 minutes or until soft throughout.

5. Add vegetable sauté to the tomato/chickpea combination and simmer for a final 5 min on low.

6. Add curry combination to cooked rice and enjoy!


Cassie’s final score was 32.5, Mat was close behind with a 31.5. Cassie wins round 1! She tends to be a “sore-winner,” the type who makes everyone feel bad that she won. But, Mat is not discouraged. Both are excited for round 2! Leave challenge ideas in the comments section below!

Coconut breaded Shrimp (serves 4)

Ingredients:

4 servings of large pre-cooked shrimp (~6 per person)

1 cup of bread crumbs, I like to use cornflake crumbs for this recipe

1 cup of shredded coconut

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp of ground black pepper

1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil

1 cup flour

4 tbsp. cooking oil

Directions

1. Set up your stations to make preparation go buy quicker. First have a place for shrimp, then a station for flour, then a station for the melted butter or coconut oil, then a station for the breading and then the pan, filled with 4 tbsp. of cooking oil. Trust me, this makes the process so much easier.

2. For the breading, mix the coconut, bread crumbs, salt and pepper together in a bowl.

3. Roll the shrimp in the flour, then coat them in the butter or coconut oil, then roll them in the breading, then plop them in the pan.

4. Let the fry on each side for 2-3 minutes or until breading begins to become crunchy.

5. Once the shrimp are done cooking, dry them out on a paper towel, they tend to be a little greasy if you don’t.

6. Serve and enjoy! I like to have these with just a simple side of brown rice but they are good with mixed veggies, salads and pasta dishes as well!

Potato Parsnip Soup (serves ~4)

Go grab the last of those parsnips at the farmers market before they’re out of season, because this soup is to die for!

Ingredients:parsnip soup

2 large potatoes

2 parsnips

2 tablespoons water

3 cups of unsweetened almond milk or (my new favorite) Cashew milk

1 1/2 cups water + 2 veggie broth cubes 

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

4 ounches of shredded white cheddar cheese

optional: croutons to garnish the soup

Directions:

1. Cut up the potatoes and parsnips and put them in a microwave-safe dish with 2 tbsp. of water.

2. Put the dish in the microwave for 10 minutes or until the parsnips and potatoes are soft enough to puncture with a fork easily.

3. Once the potatoes and parsnips are soft, put them in a blender with the milk of your choice, and atleast some of the broth if not all. Blend it up until it is a smooth mixture.

4. Put the mixture in a large pot with the rest of the broth, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese. Make sure there are no lumps and it is nice and smooth.

5. Let cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Then remove heat and serve! I garnished my soup with some lovely garlic croutons I got at Earth Fare!

 

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

We have the best farmers market ever (yes, ever!) here in Athens, Ohio. Today’s harvest consisted of various squash, potatoes and parsnips. I love parsnips, but I only knew a couple of recipes for them so I bought them as a challenge. If anyone has some good parsnip recipes for me, put a link in the comments!

All of the credit for this recipe goes to Ina Garten at Food Network.

Ingredients

2 whole parsnips, peeled

2 whole carrots, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch freshly ground black pepper

pinch of sea salt

pinch of parsely

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Cut the carrots and potatoes into quarters so that your pieces are large enough to cook down.

3. Place the carrots and parsnips in an oven-safe baking pan and drizzle olive oil over top. Sprinke on salt, pepper and parsely.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender (check with fork).

5. Enjoy with a salad or as a side dish.

Spinach and Shells (serves ~4)

My roommate and I accidentally bought 5 lbs. of spinach and needed some inspiration for what to do with all of it! After searching high and low for a new and delicious recipe, we ended up making up our own… and boy was it goooood!

Ingredients

1 box of shell pasta

10 oz. of spinach (remove stems)

1 clove of garlic

2 tbsp. of olive oil

1 red bell pepper

Directions

1. Boil the pasta and the spinach in the same pot for 8 – 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked.

2. While the pasta is boiling, mince the garlic and simmer it in the olive oil in a large cooking pan.

3. Slice the red pepper into thin strips and saute it in the pan with the garlic.

4. When the pasta is cooked, strain the pasta and the spinach, get as much water out as you can.

5. Saute the pasta and spinach with the peppers for about 5 minutes until the pasta becomes a golden brown.

6. When it’s ready, sprinkle on some feta or some mozzarella and enjoy!

Hearty Beef Stew (serves ~6)

After many failed attempts at making a mouth-watering beef stew, I have finally found THE ONE! The broth is thick, the meat is tender and the veggies are full of flavor. My family loved it! Let me know what your families think in the comments below!

Ingredients

1 lb of beef for stew, cubed

4 cups of beef Pacific Beef Broth

1 small can of Hunt’s tomato sauce

2 tblsp. of olive oil

2 tblsp. of sea salt

2 tblsp. of ground black pepper

1/2 cup of flour

4 large potatoes

4 carrots, peeled

2 celery stalks

1 garlic clove

2 bay leaves

a pinch of thyme

2 tbsp. of flour

Directions

1. Season the beef chunks with sea salt and ground pepper. Then coat them in the flour.

2. In small portions, brown the floured beef in a pan with the olive oil. After each portion is browned, set it aside in a bowl.

3. Combine beef broth and tomato sauce in a large stew pot. Then add the beef and all residual juices in the bowl.

4. Peel carrots and chop into 3 inch pieces. Cut the celery into 3 inch pieces, as well. Peel and cut the potatoes into large cubes. Then mince the garlic clove. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic into the pot with the beef.

5. Add the bay leafs and pinch of thyme to the pot. Stir the contents together.

6. Cover and let cook at medium heat on the stove top for 1 hr 45 min, stirring occasionally.

7. When 1 hr 45 min is up, stir the flour into 1/2 cup of water so there are no clumps and add that into the pot. For 15 minutes, stir frequently as the broth thickens. When 15 minutes is up, the stew is ready to enjoy!

Grilled Salmon (serves 4)

IngredientsIMG_4366

4 salmon filets

1 tsp. honey

2 tbsp. dijon mustard

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

Directions

1. Melt the butter first and then mix in the honey, mustard, lemon, salt, and pepper.

2. Then dip the filets into the mix and place on the grill.

3. Depending on how well cooked you like your salmon (I’m a well-done kind of gal), it should take anywhere from 2-4 minutes a side.

4. These grilled fillets taste excellent on top of a salad or with a side of steamed veggies. Enjoy!

Noodle’s & Company Pasta Fresca replica recipe! (Serves ~4)

That’s right, I replicated Noodle’s & Co.’s Pasta Fresca. I’ve been trying for about a year now to get the measurements of each ingredient just right, and I finally struck gold! Just in case you don’t know about this amazing chain restaurant, Pasta Fresca is a delicious combination of garden veggies and noodles, very different from any regular pasta dish. I encourage you to try it! The most important thing to remember when making this dish is to use ALL of the ingredients, you can’t forget a single one or it will not taste the same. Let me know what you all think!

Ingredients

1 box (4 servings) of penne noodles

4 cups of spinach

2 tomatoes

1 tsp. of minced garlic

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of garlic flavored red wine vinegar

1/2 cup of white cooking wine

1/2 tsp. of basil

1/2 tsp. of oregano

pinch of pepper

pinch of salt

extra: 1 cup of feta OR parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Cook the penne until soft and chewy. While it is cooking, prep your veggies. Take the stems off of the spinach and cut and deseed your tomatoes.

2. Prepare a large frying pan with the olive oil, garlic flavored red wine vinegar, white cooking wine and minced garlic. No matter how many servings you are making, make sure that you have equal parts olive oil, red wine vinegar and white cooking wine.

3. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them thoroughly (no excess water), and put them in the frying pan along with the spinach and tomatoes and spices.

4. Saute the ingredients in the pan on medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the oil/wine mix has been absorbed by the noodles and spinach.

5. Turn the heat off and mix the cheese in evenly in a large bowl.

6. Enjoy!!

Mini green bean casserole (makes ~4)

IMG_3914Ingredients

1 can of green beans

2 cups of almond milk

2 tbsp. of butter

2 tbsp. of corn starch

1/2 tsp. of parsley

pinch of pepper

pinch of salt

2 cups of your choice of bread crumbs

1 cup of bacon bits (optional)

1 cup of cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring milk, butter, corn starch, parsely, pepper, and salt to a boil.

3. When the mixture is thickened, drain the green beans and add them in to the mix.

4. Let the mix simmer and, in a separate bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, bacon (optional), and cheese (optional) together.

5. Pour green bean mix evenly into ramekins. Then place a layer of breading over each ramekin and place in the oven uncovered.

6. Bake for 10 minutes, remove carefully, and enjoy!