All posts filed under: sides

Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

Where’s Whole30 week 3? Yeah, there’s not. Life got too hectic to control every bite I ate and I didn’t feel I was going to get the full benefit doing it half way (more on that later). For now, I’m still keeping it fairly light hoping my pants will respect my efforts. I bought cauliflower to make a creamy ‘bisque’ like this one, but in my pinterest rabbit hole got caught up in the idea of making cauliflower fried rice. I’ll preface this with saying that I’ve tried cauliflower “mashed potatoes” and “pizza” and god knows what and I didn’t like any of it. But the texture of this seemed promising, and it was a good chance to use my new little Ninja chopper that’s been lurking since Christmas with no love.  I pulverized half a head in the chopper. I was surprised and impressed by the rice like texture. Promising. Repeat with some mushrooms, garlic, and a shallot. So turns out? A wok would be a helpful piece of kitchen equipment to have. Add …

Sous Vide Scallops

I’m a sucker for a gadget, but I haven’t been this excited for a kitchen appliance since my Vitamix arrived. I first learned what sous vide cooking was from Top Chef and have been obsessed with the idea of the technique ever since. My parents gifted me with the Gourmet Digital Sous Vide Pod Immersion Circulator Precision Cooker and I obviously couldn’t wait to start playing around with it.  I’ve spent most my time on http://www.seriouseats.com to get ideas on temps and technique. I started with scallops. Quick. Simple (allegedly). I coated it with some salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic after giving them a quick rinse, and followed the directions for getting them airtight in a plastic bag. With a sous vide set to 51 C I was ready to cook. By cook I mean set my alarm for 30 minutes and walk away. Once they were cooked, I heated some butter to brown and dried the scallops from the bit of liquid that cooked out so they would take a quick sear. About 30 seconds …

Identity Crisis Risotto

I don’t even totally know how to get back in to this blogging thing after my hiatus. I spend more time on here trying to welcome myself back than I do actually writing, and my resolution was to spend more time here. Now that I’m home and we have about 72 feet of snow, I can assure you that’s about to happen.  I have so much to tell you about Australia, my food, my workouts, and more pictures of recipes and dogs begging to be shared that I can’t even start to count. I couldn’t come up with a name for this. With the cilantro, lime and avocado, is it Mexican? A little. But it’s risotto – definitively Italian.  And then what’s with the poached egg? Totally French last I checked.  Identity crisis, I’m telling you. Here’s the recipe. I’ll share more later (like the lamb chops and mussels from Melbourne!). Ingredients – Makes 4 Servings (only 1 serving proportions pictured) 1 cup Arborio Rice 2 tbs Butter 4 cups Chicken Stock 2 Limes 1 Bunch Cilantro …

“Cream” of Mushroom Soup

Ok, fine. It’s cauliflower and celery soup with some mushrooms thrown in, but does that sound nearly as good? No.  I feel like cauliflower went from trendy to lame when people figured out that it is not, in fact, a russet potato. (It’s ok, guys. I was disappointed too.)  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be valuable as a kitchen stable when trying to manage your calories, fat, carbs – you name it. The only carbohydrates in this come from vegetables, and it’s got so much fiber that it’s *almost* like eating nothing. It doesn’t taste like nothing. It’s rich and creamy and earthy and all the things that I want a creamy soup to be.  If I hadn’t made this in my own kitchen, I still wouldn’t be convinced that it’s free of all starch and dairy products, but it is.  Miracles DO happen. I’m over hyping this soup. Just try it – for the nutrition exchange, you’d be hard pressed to do better. Need something more to crunch on? Add some more sauteed …

Tomato Parmesan Bisque

So I keep using the word “bisque” for this soup… turns out? It doesn’t mean what I think it means. Bisque Definition:  A bisque is a rich, creamy soup made with shellfish — specifically, bisque is traditionally made with the puréed meat of crustaceans, including lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish.  (Source) Whomp, whomp… you are wrong. Oh wait!: Additionally, although a classic bisque is made only with shellfish, some thick soups made with vegetables, poultry or meat are sometimes referred to as bisques. Boom. I’m NOT wrong. Or at least, not more wrong than EVERYONE ON GOOGLE. Ok, I’ll admit it. I spent way too much time trying to prove I’m right. To who? I’m guessing you guys don’t really care. At all. Where’s the damn recipe? Before you do anything, turn your oven on to 400 degrees. Start by roasting your garlic. You’ll need one head for the soup, and maybe a second one just for eating. (If eating a head of roasted garlic is wrong, I don’t want to be right.) Chop off the top …

Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Jalapeños

Have I really been absent for three weeks? I think this is my longest hiatus since I started this blog. What a slacker. So much has happened, I don’t even know where to start. Let’s start with the photos you’re about a see. I finally invested in a big girl camera.  This one. And a nifty fifty lens. (Yeah, I’m already getting the DSLR lingo down. NBD.)  I’m super excited to bring you recipes that look as good as they taste. These peppers were a product of a delicious appetizer my aunt made at Christmastime, when she stuffed jalapeños with sausage and cream cheese. I’m not gonna lie, they were absolutely delicious. But it’s no longer the holidays and I’m trying not to eat with flagrant disregard for calories, portions, or nutrition in general. Plus, we didn’t have any sausage defrosted. A quick raid of what we had in the kitchen, and the brainchild of what you’re about to see what born. Like a popper but not fried. And definitely more nutritional value. INGREDIENTS: 6 Jalapenos, …

Kona Steak & Black Bean Chili

 There’s something about football and the weather changing that makes chili seem like it should be its own food group.  If you’re in the market for something with a robust, earthy, slightly spicy flavor that’s absolutely packed with protein to get you through lunch on a Monday, you’re in luck. I was at a dinner at Capital Grille two Christmases ago for a work lunch and one of the options was to have my filet ‘Kona Crusted’ (I know, I know, #firstworldproblems). I said “Kona? Like the coffee? What?” The waiter assured me it was delicious, and (as I generally do at a nice steak house) I trusted their judgement and went with it. Steak? Good. Coffee? Good. Together? SO GOOD! It doesn’t taste like you’d expect (if you’ve even developed expectations at this point). It’s just a nice earthy “what’s that spice she threw in there?” taste. Trust me on this one. Don’t care for steak? Or generally eating anything that once had eyelashes? I get it (kinda). Go ahead and follow this exact …

Roasted Tomato and Wild Mushroom Bisque

So much good news to report! First, on November 4th, 2013, my life changed dramatically. I got a VitaMix. This one. Ten days later, I already don’t know how I ever survived without it. I’m bound to become obnoxious singing its praises; I apologize in advance. Second, the folks over at http://www.battr.com extended a very exciting invitation to share some of The Natural Ginger’s recipes on their new site.  Go check them out (and me too while you’re at it!). This soup is there, as are hundreds of beautiful, delicious looking recipes from the very best food bloggers around the net.  I want to eat everything I see. This soup! So good.  I had some tomatoes and, well, I just HAD to make something in the VitaMix (I think she needs a name). I feel like I’m in the infatuation stage of a new, exciting relationship. Every day still doesn’t feel like enough. First things first. Gather all your ingredients. 3 Vine Tomatoes, halved and cored 1/2 Onion, peeled and coarsely chopped 1/2 Cup Wild Mushrooms (Shiitake, Crimini, etc.) Coarsely Chopped 1 …

Stuffed Portobella Mushroom Caps

I love when a trip to Trader Joe’s turns into a kitchen inspiration. I traveled past my usual store that’s on my daily trip home from work in favor of heading to the magical Brookline location that offers WINE. I know what you’re thinking, “Two Buck Chuck, that’s their thing! Don’t all Trader Joe’s have wine?” No. No they don’t. Thanks a lot, Massachusetts. The Brookline location really is an amazing place. Large aisles, room for carts to pass, products I’ve only dreamed of being carried in the Boston downtown location. I think I spent 30 minutes just wandering aimlessly, browsing my new options. Did you know they carry hard alcohol too? They really just have things figured out over there. After I grabbed a basket, I found the wine first. Obviously. Fun Fact: My big work bag can comfortably carry 6 bottles of wine in addition to a pair of shoes, a wallet, headphones, lip gloss, hand sanitizer, and even a jetBlue sleep kit (ok, maybe it’s time to clean it out). I wandered the produce for dinner …

Perfect Shoestring French Fries

Do you have one of these? It’s a mandoline slicer. If you don’t have one, first things first.  Buy it here. Next, familiarize yourself with the most amazing and terrifying piece of equipment a kitchen has ever seen. Seriously, it’s like something out of a horror flick. I always vacillate between terror and amazement when I use it. Watch your fingers and always keep a reverent respect for this thing. Or prepare for stitches. If you’re wondering why I even bother, then you probably haven’t used one.  It’s only the most fantastic time saving device ever (and clearly designed by a Type A personality that craves uniformity). Plus, anything that has a “French Fry” setting is good with me. If you have the ability to slice up some potatoes, you’re already 75% of the way to making some fast food caliber french fries. (If you don’t think fast food and/or dirty drive thru burger joints provide the best french fries known to man, stop here. I can’t help you.) I usually go for a potato …