Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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I am a HUGE pizza fan. I grew up where there was a great Italian restaurant or pizzeria on just about every corner. My dad had Celiac and was diagnosed in 1996. This was before the whole world had embraced Gluten free eating so it was always a challenge to come up with recipes that tasted good. He and my mom came up with an excellent gluten free crust but we never tried a cauliflower crust. I think he might have liked this one. It is really tasty. This is firm enough to pick up a eat like a slice of “real” pizza. It is a good alternative to a flour based crust. Be creative with the toppings! I will be making this again! Adapted from the blog ifoodreal.com.

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Ingredients

1 large head of cauliflower or 5-6 cups of store bought cauliflower rice
1 egg, large
1 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded
Cooking spray
Toppings (I used mushrooms, roasted grape tomatoes, tempeh and cheese)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces. Process in food processor in 2 batches, until “rice” texture forms (skip if using store-bought “rice”). Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 mins.

Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball (cauliflower inside the cheesecloth) as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out. This is a key part of making the crust firm.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. In bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower; mix very well with spatula until combined.

Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper or same silicone mat (just make sure to scrape off any bits of cauliflower) and spray with cooking spray. Transfer “dough” in the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, carefully flip with spatula or invert with another baking sheet (this worked best for me) and bake about 15 minutes. Top with your favorite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown. Slice and enjoy.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 days.

Freeze: Tightly wrapped in plastic for 1 month.

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CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS

CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS

I adapted this super recipe from the New York Times; if you like the combination of chicken, caramelized shallots, mustard and tomatoes, this is for you! This serves about 4-5 and makes great leftovers the next day.

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INGREDIENTS

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 whole medium shallots, peeled
1 large onion, quartered
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 sprigs tarragon

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Rinse chicken thighs in water, and pat them very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them with flour, salt and pepper. I used a sieve to do this or you could dredge them in the flour

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or skillet set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, cook the chicken, in batches if necessary, until well browned and crisp on all sides. Set aside.

Add the whole shallots and onions to the pot and sauté them in the oil and chicken fat until they begin to soften and caramelize, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pot, stir with a large spoon, then add the mustard and tarragon, then the chicken thighs. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken, 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. While chicken is cooking put sliced tomatoes on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes are nice and juicy and getting caramelized. You can skip this step and just add them to the pot before serving but I love the added flavor of the roasted tomatoes.

Creamy Artichoke Soup

Creamy Artichoke Soup

This taste-of-spring soup is made creamy with silken tofu instead of  heavy cream—I adapted this from a cooking light recipe. It was a bit bland so I added some lemon balsamic vinegar since I did not have any lemon juice on hand. I also want to try this with greek yogurt replacing the tofu.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 (16-oz.) pkg. silken tofu, drained
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon Juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and artichokes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until artichokes are very tender, about 5 minutes.

Place artichoke mixture, tofu, and peas in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender, and place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds. Return mixture to saucepan; stir in milk lemon and salt, and pepper. Heat over medium until warmed through.

Jelly Doughnut Cake

Jelly Doughnut Cake

I found this recipe in a magazine “Bake from Scratch’ and adapted it slightly – it was perfect to serve to a friend for tea. I got out the china cups and the teapot. It is just wonderful.
The recipe calls for piping the batter around the edges but spooning carefully works well, too. I have also skipped step 4 and served right out of the pan. I like it better without the sugar on top as it is a little too sweet for me but my guests liked the topping. I have posted pictures with and without. This really does taste like one of those jelly filled doughnuts.

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Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup blueberry, raspberry or triple berry jam

Topping:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour, and line pan with parchment paper.
  2. For cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spoon remaining batter into a large piping bag. Pipe a ring of batter around the inside edge of the pan. Spoon jam into center of the ring. Pipe remaining batter on top of jam, and smooth with an offset spatula.
  3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour, covering with foil during last 30 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  4. For topping: In a small bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Run an offset spatula around edge of pan to loosen cake before turning out. Turn cake back over (so dome is on top). Brush top and sides of cake with melted butter. Sprinkle top with sugar mixture, and press into sides of cake.
Vegetarian Tacos

Vegetarian Tacos

My husband and I are not vegetarian but we do experiment with lots of vegetarian recipes. I have found a new (to me) meatless product made by Quorn. We have tried several of their products and love all of them. Some are Vegan, Gluten free, soy free all vegetarian and made with mushrooms. The packaging can be recycled. I made this dish with the “Chic n Tenders”. We loved them. This is not really a recipe as it is more of a suggestion for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that is healthy. You can use just about any fillings with this product.

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Ingredients

1 bag Chick’ n Tenders
1 red pepper,  seeded and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
shredded lettuce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
shredded cheese (I only had sliced and it also worked great)
sliced avocado
warmed corn or flour tortillas

Directions

Heat the oil and add the onions and saute when golden brown. Add red pepper and cook until soft. Add Chic’ n Tenders and stir fry until heated through. Add spices. Serve with toppings and warmed tortillas.

Cauliflower Korma with Toasted Almonds & Blackened Raisins 


Cauliflower Korma with Toasted Almonds & Blackened Raisins 


This was adapted from a recipe by Meera Sodha, author of Fresh India. This serves 4-6 but the recipe can be easily halved for 2 people. I made a few adjustments – I am adding this to my regular rotation of meals I love!

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Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

This is “Faux” Pho – a faster, easier weeknight version that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen! Perfect for cold and rainy nights. This turns out different every time I make it, depending on the ingredients.

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Ingredients

8 oz rice noodles
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons ginger root minced
1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste
1 onion, sliced thin
8 cups seafood stock or chicken broth
2 strips lemon peel (use carrot peeler)
2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 cups bok choy stem thinly sliced & leaves roughly chopped
1 lb shrimp raw

It is not traditional but a can of light coconut milk tastes really good in this!

Optional Garnishes
thinly sliced onion, slices jalapeno, cilantro, lime wedges, sriracha sauce, bean sprouts, Thai basil

Instructions

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, warm sesame oil over medium heat for 30-60 seconds until it starts to shimmer. Add ginger and chili garlic paste then stir for 30 seconds to release flavors.
  3. Add onion and cook until tender and translucent
  4. Stir in broth, lemon peel, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, hoisin, cinnamon and spices. Bring mixture to a boil then add shrimp and bok choy.
  5. Continue to simmer until shrimp turns bright pink and bok choy wilts – about 3-4 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper/soy if necessary.
  6. Add noodles (and coconut milk if using) to soup and serve immediately.
  7. Serve with optional garnishes.