Easy Vegetarian Chili

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Meatless Monday Vegetarian Chili

Why I didn’t think about adding chili to our Meatless Monday routine before.. Well, I’m not sure! It’s a great way to add flavor to your favorite veggies and it makes for such a delicious, comforting bowl of chili. Check this recipe out!

Yields 4-6 servings

  • 4 cups of chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 can of diced roasted tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 16 oz can of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • cheese and sour cream (optional)

With a large stew pot, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat and cook onions and garlic until softened. Add in remaining vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. Add in salt and remaining spices. Stir well then add in beans and stock. Bring to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes until some of the liquid reduces and the chili begins to thicken.

Divide chili into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and cheese. Happy Eating!

Roasted Chicken 101

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Tarragon Roasted Chicken

You’ve probably made roasted chicken a million times and a million ways and each time it came out different. No matter how you and I season our birds, we’re all aiming for the same goals: juicy, moist, and tender where it ALMOST falls apart when sliced. I have some simple tips that could be a real game changer for your next roasted chicken. This method is FOOL-PROOF! Guaranteed!

  • 1, 3-4 pound chicken with giblets removed
  • 2 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 an onion quartered
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 bunch of peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large bunch of fresh red radishes
  • parsley for garnish
  • good EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)
  • Butcher’s twine

Preheat oven to 450˚F. Pat your chicken dry with a paper towel. Doing this ensures that your skin browns evenly and the fat renders without steaming the chicken (We want thin crispy browned skin.)

In a small bowl, make a paste out of the butter, salt, tarragon, and garlic. Using your fingers slowly open the pockets between the skin and the meat of the chicken. Do this gently and take some butter and smear it under the skin and on top of the skin.  Stuff the chicken with the quartered onion and half a lemon. Tie the legs together with twine and tuck wings of the chicken behind its back side.

Pour 1/2 cup of water into roasting pan. Place the chicken on a roasting rack then set on the roasting pan. If you do not have a rack, you can place 4 ramekins upside down and then place the chicken on top. Rub chicken with some good olive oil.

Place chicken on bottom middle rack in oven and bake for 30 minutes. The skin should begin to brown nicely. Loosely cover the roasting pan with foil and lower the temperature to 350˚F and cook for another 30 minutes. Lower temperature once more to 325˚F and cook for another 30 minutes. Add in your root vegetables around the chicken. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 1 more hour. Once done, let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes so the juices redistribute.

Serve your chicken by placing vegetables on a large dish and set chicken on top. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Variations:

  • If you do not have tarragon, you can use a medley of fresh thyme and rosemary, or even sage.
  • You can also substitute chicken broth for water.
  • Skip the butter and use only olive oil if you wish but I think butter really gives the chicken an OOMPH factor that olive oil lacks.

I hope this recipe becomes an addition to your go-to recipes. Happy Eating!

Easy Kofta Kebabs

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Kofta Kebab is my FAVORITE mediterranean dish. My goodness is there anything better than perfectly seasoned ground beef or lamb with fresh herbs fired on an open grill? I like this recipe because the seasoning can be applied to ground turkey, beef, or lamb. I used beef and and served the meal with sliced tomatoes and yogurt sauce.

Recipe yields 4 servings

  • 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef, lamb, or turkey
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons of kofta seasoning
  •  olive oil
  • 8 skewers soaked in water

In a large bowl, combine meat, onion, parsley, and kofta seasoning but do not overmix. Using a large spoon, take a scoop of 2 oz of meat and mold into a ball and add to skewer. Add 2-3 meatballs per skewer and repeat with remaining meat. Lightly drizzle with good olive oil. Grill 5 minutes on each side.

 

Cauliflower with Roasted Pepper Ragout

We have replaced most of our starches with low starch vegetables or leafy greens. Can we just talk about the amazing uses of cauliflower for a bit? It’s such a versatile vegetable. Great for steaming, roasting, grilling, chopping up and using as a rice or pasta substitute (WHAT?! I know). It’s also very low carb and neutral enough in taste to be used across multicultural dishes. I promise you will love this dish cauliflower dish layered with red pepper cream sauce and lots of cheesy goodness! You may want to make extras because people will ask for seconds.

Recipe yields 4 entree servings or 6-8 side dishes

  • 8 cups of fresh cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of roasted red peppers in oil, drained and pureed
  • 1 cup of crushed tomatoes from a can
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a large saute pan, melt the butter on medium high heat then cook the onions and garlic until softened. Add in roasted red peppers, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper, cream and parmesan cheese. Lower heat to a simmer for 10 minutes until ingredients are combined. Stir occasionally.

Butter a casserole dish and layer half of the cauliflower florets and spoon half the sauce on top. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese then repeat. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender but not overcooked. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Around The World in 4 BBQ Rubs

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Sure you can purchase premixed bbq seasoning but where’s the fun in that? If you need a reason to make your own rubs and seasonings, start with the list of ingredients in premixed spices in your grocery store. Chances are they’re laden with sugar, anti-caking agents (silicon dioxide.. YUM!), and MSG (monosodium-glutamate). I don’t want these things hanging around in my pantry and I don’t want to serve it to my family either. I’ve put together 4 seasonings that are essential for any grill master’s pantry. Each bbq rub recipe serves 10.

Asian Rub: Rub liberally on whole chickens or pieces, pork ribs or chops, duck.

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated stevia

Jamaican Jerk: Sprinkle over whole chicken or pieces and different cuts of pork

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons granulated stevia
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Lebanese Kofta: Use over ground lamb and beef or chicken breasts

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Sweet N Smoky BBQ: Rub generously on beef ribs, brisket, chicken, turkey, or pork.

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated stevia
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

 

Vegetarian Broccoli Salad + tips on going meatless

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Vegetarian Broccoli Salad

It’s been over 3 months since our family has participated in Meatless Monday. We started giving up meat 1x a week so that we can focus on more important things than food like making room for spiritual time, getting chores done, writing a cookbook (yay!) and practicing to live with as little as possible not because we can’t have an abundance but because we actually don’t need as much as we think we do. I realize too that giving up something like meat makes us more thankful for what we have. It also helps us appreciate the people who raise and slaughter our animals, something we don’t have to do because meats are packed nicely in the supermarkets so that we forget that we’re eating something that came from a farm. In so many ways, we’ve lost touch with the concept of sacrificing. We hope to understand and appreciate what’s been done for us by giving something luxurious up even just for a day.

I have some advice if you are thinking about going short-term vegetarian:

  • Do not be afraid of aromatics like garlic, onions, shallots, and leek. Use them in your marinade, dressings, and garnishing for a punch of flavor.
  • Have fresh and dried herbs on hand. I prefer dried herbs for dipping sauces and dressings since they hold up better. I love fresh for garnishing, braising, roasting and grilling.
  • Stock your pantry with an array of spices that you love. My new obsession is smoked paprika which I use on baba ghanoush, hummus, and grilled meats for a sweet and smoky punch. Fun recipe to try it below.
  • Venture out and try new produce to add variety in your vegetarian diet.
  • If you crave a meat dish on your meatless days, find a vegetarian substitute.

Here’s a delicious recipe you can try. Completely meat free and satisfying. I love the tanginess of the apple cider vinegar and the creaminess of the mayo.

Recipe yields 2 entree servings or 4 sides

  • 4 heaping cups of fresh broccoli florets
  • salt for water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of stevia
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Blanch the broccoli for 2 minutes and drain. Allow to cool completely.

In a bowl mix together vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, garlic, stevia. Add in onions and chopped walnuts. Pour dressing over broccoli and mix to coat evenly. Chill before serving.

 

Simple Yellow Curry

Hi all! Yellow curry is one of my favorite go-tos when I want something warm and savory. I always have Madras yellow curry on hand in my pantry just in case the craving strikes. Traditionally, the Vietnamese version is made with sweet potato, a whole chicken cut into pieces, onions, and lots of lemon grass. My version will be much simpler, carb-friendly, and I bet most of these items you already have in your pantry if you cook Asian food even occasionally. Let’s start!

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Delicious Yellow Curry Noodles w/ Shirataki 

Recipe yields 4 servings

  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1/4 cup of Madras yellow curry powder
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sliced ginger
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil (coconut oil works too)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 small chicken thighs sliced 1/3 inch thick

Optional low-carb additions to the stew:

  • sliced mushrooms
  • eggplant cubes
  • baby spinach
  • baby corn
  • bell pepper strips
  • broccoli florets
  1. In a medium pot on medium high heat, add oil and fry the onions.
  2. Once fragrant, add in garlic, ginger, curry powder, and chicken thighs. Stir well and add in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 20 minutes before serving.
  3. You can serve this soup as is or over heated shirataki (0 carb) noodles. Enjoy!