Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Honey Dijon Dressing

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Ingredients:

-3 large beets; peeled

-1, 4 oz package of honey goat cheese (or plain goat cheese)

-2 tablespoons dijon mustard

-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

-1 tablespoon honey

-Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the beets and wrap them in aluminum foil, drizzled with a little bit of olive oil. I put mine on a sheet pan so that the liquid stays contained. Cook for about 1 and a half hours, or until beets are fork tender. Let cool slightly, and cut into bite sized pieces. Crumble the goat cheese on top.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dijon mustard, olive oil, and honey. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on top of the beets and goat cheese. Serve warm or room temperature, & enjoy!

Mushroom & Kale Puff Pastry Pockets

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Yield: 12 pockets

-1 box of Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Dough (two sheets come per package), thawed

-2 cups diced baby bella mushrooms

-2  and 1/2 cups finely chopped kale, stems removed

-1 medium white onion, minced

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or dried)

-3 tablespoons butter

-2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and place into the refrigerator or on the counter for about an hour prior to making this dish. Set aside for now.

Add the butter into a large skillet. When it’s melted, add the onions & let them cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, or until they are slightly caramelized. Add the garlic, rosemary, & mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are halfway cooked through, then add the kale. Pour about 1/2 cup of water into the pan and cover with a lid so that the kale can steam and get soft–about 10 more minutes. Taste for salt and add some if you feel it needs it.

Once the puff pastry sheets are thawed, cut each ply of the sheet into 2 equal parts. This should make 6 equal pieces per sheet (12 all together). Using your hands, gently stretch out a puff pastry square. In the center of the dough, add about 2-3 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture. Bring together the opposite corners and pinch the puff pastry together as best you can. I had a little difficulty with this (as you can tell from the photo). I suggest that if you want your pockets to stay completely closed, dab your fingers into some cold water while you’re pinching them closed–this will help the dough to stay together.

Place the pockets onto a greased baking tray. Bake for about 2o-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Enjoy!

 

 

Vegetarian Cauliflower Chik’n Wings

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I have made these wings about five times just in the last month. Fair warning; they are addictive! Let me also add that the people who have asked me for this recipe have ALL been meat-eaters. That says a lot, huh?! I made them for a good friend who I had over for dinner a few weeks ago. She absolutely loved them– the texture, the flavor, and how they weren’t greasy like chicken wings are. I then made them again for my family’s annual Halloween party. They were a hit there, too! I think the fact that they are healthier, less messy to eat, and still have the same flavor profile as chicken wings make this recipe a hit for all types of palates.

Now, if you are vegan and/or gluten free, let me just tell you how simple it is to re-work this recipe a little bit to accommodate your dietary needs. Using the same measurements, replace the flour with gluten-free all purpose flour, like this one from Bob’s Red Mill. Instead of using melted butter, just use margarine or olive oil–it’ll get the job just fine, and replace the milk with PLAIN soy milk or PLAIN rice milk.

Yield: ~24 wings

-1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets

-1 and 1/2 cups milk or plain soy milk

-1 cup flour (or 1 cup gluten free flour)

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

-1 tsp salt

-3/4 cup Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce

-3 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking tray with butter or cooking spray.

Break up the cauliflower into medium large pieces; about the size of a typical chicken “wing.” Make sure there is not a lot of the stem left on each piece. This part gets kind of messy; just a warning!

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt. The consistently will be like a sticky, thick paste. Coat each cauliflower piece and let the excess mixture drip off from each piece. Place onto the greased baking tray. Cook the cauliflower for 20 minutes. You don’t want them so soft that they are falling apart though! Remove from the oven and set aside.

Mix together the Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce and the melted butter. Coat the cauliflower wings in this mixture and place them back into the oven on 400 degrees until they begin to get crispy–about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with blue cheese and celery sticks if you prefer.

Also, what I like to do, is pour some wing sauce over the cauliflower right before I am going to serve them. This gives them a more authentic, saucy taste. Enjoy!!

Asian Cucumber Salad

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This salad is nice and crunchy and packed full of flavor. Hoisin sauce is a thick, pungent sauce that is typically used in Chinese cuisine. It’s typically made from soy sauce, black bean paste, and sweeteners. If you do not have this sauce and don’t want to purchase it, just whisk together soy sauce (gluten free if you choose), and honey. It won’t taste EXACTLY the same but it will be close enough. I didn’t have them in my kitchen, but you can sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the salad when you serve it for a nice presentation! 🙂 Enjoy! xx

Yield: ~3 cups of salad

-2 large cucumbers, washed & sliced VERY thinly

-1/2 red bell pepper, minced

-1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

-1 glove garlic, minced

-1 large handful of cilantro, chopped finely

-2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce (or 2 tablespoons soy sauce & one tablespoon honey if you don’t have hoisin)

-1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

-1/4 cup sesame oil

-1 tablespoon sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the Hoisin sauce (or soy sauce mixture), rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Add the ginger, garlic, and cilantro and stir well, then add your vegetables (the cucumber and the red bell pepper). I would let the salad sit for about 30 minutes before serving, so that all of the flavors can soak into the cucumber!

Pineapple Salsa

IMG_7239This recipe is super simple & delicious. Just mix all of the ingredients together, taste for salt & pepper, and then let sit for about 20 minutes in the fridge before serving. This will give it enough time for the flavors to marry. If you like your salsas a little spicier, you can add minced jalapeno to it (I would say about 1/2 tsp worth for this quantity). I love how this salsa is nice and sweet and has a great texture from the pineapple. Enjoy!

Serves: 4

-1 fresh pineapple (small), cut into small pieces

-1 medium roma tomato, diced

-2 tablespoons minced onion

-2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

-1 teaspoon salt

-pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)