Cauliflower Fried Rice

Who would think that Cauliflower could actually be made into fried rice? Well, I am here to tell you, it can and it is delicious. I think the biggest misconception about eating healthy is that you have to sacrifice flavor. With the number of options, there are with alternative ingredients, I am here to tell you that is just not true.

My husband and I lost a lot of weight in 2016-2017 and the hardest thing about that is maintaining. Why? Well because you automatically start thinking just a little bit won’t hurt and if you say that too many times, you end up right back where you started. However, if you entertain your taste buds with options that are tasty and healthy you won’t stray too far. This is one of those recipes.

I first attempted the recipe with fresh cauliflower and it was really good, but there is a lot more prepping to get the cauliflower ready. If you prefer to go the extra mile, go for it, but with this recipe, you don’t have to. The cauliflower that comes frozen and already states “cauliflower rice” is just as good and much less tedious.

Start with your mise en place (a French term for everything in its place) and prep all the veggies. I like to use classic flavors, mirepoix – carrots, celery & onion and then I also add garlic, ginger, and mushrooms (button and shitake). You want to chop the veggies equal in size so they cook evenly and so they are not much larger than the rice itself. You can certainly add any additional veggies you may want or swap out some as well.

In a large wok on medium-high heat, add some olive oil and then the veggies in this order – onions, celery, and carrots first. Let that cook for about 3 minutes stirring them around until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger, and mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the cauliflower rice to the wok and stir so all the veggies are well incorporated with the rice. Lower the heat to medium. In a small bowl beat the eggs. Then make a well in the center of the wok and pour the eggs in. Stir them with a rubber spoon until they look like scrambled eggs. Once they are cooked, start mixing them into the rest of the rice until they are spread out evenly. If you don’t like eggs, you can skip them. **If you are adding protein to the meal, I would recommend you cook separately and then mix into the rice. The reason for this is time and temperature. If you have ever been to Hibachi, note that they cook everything in different piles and then blend together.

This is the point that I like to add my seasonings. Some people will add salt and pepper at the beginning, but I feel I can control the flavor better if I season at this point. Add all the seasonings, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix well and lower the heat to low. Add the butter and soy sauce, mix and you are ready to serve. Some people may want to add more soy sauce so I would place some on the table.

I served this meal with seared lemon pepper scallops and when everyone was done, this is what their plate looked like, which is what makes me the happiest.

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Asparagus & Mushroom Omelete

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This is a quick, delicious and healthy meal I came up with one morning on the first week of my 30-day challenge. I actually used the left over asparagus from another meal, along with some portobello mushrooms that I had in the refrigerator. I try to always have egg whites and eggs for quick breakfast ideas like these.

There are so many ways to make an omelet tasty and I not only try to use fresh ingredients, I also use spices and herbs.  This recipe’s start herb is rosemary to kick of the holiday season flavors.

I chose to serve the omelet with arugula as that is what I had in the refrigerator. But I also really enjoy greens as a side for my breakfast. I simply added a mixture of 1 part lemon juice, 1 part olive oil and a pinch of salt over the arugula. It is a great combination, trust me.

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Arugula and Parmesan Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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Super simple salad that you can make to accompany any meal. The lemon vinaigrette is bright and tasty and meshes well with many other main dishes. I paired it with a burger and potatoes to put a little green on the plate.  I used pre-shredded Parmesan cheese but you can certainly take a block of the cheese and carve thin slices off for a bolder flavor.

This salad is such a simple flavor that you can actually use as a topping on a sandwich or burger as well. A great trick when serving a salad is to make sure that the lettuce portion is chilled in the refrigerator right before you toss all together.

Salads are great way to add a little layer to your meal and a great way to experiment on flavors. Take a cobb salad, who would think of adding all those flavors together and yet they work. Hove fun with salads, you might surprise yourself.

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MEAL PLAN

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Turkey and Black Bean Burgers

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Who doesn’t like a good burger and who says that a good burger can’t be made out of turkey?  This was a very easy and yet very delicious recipe that you can make ahead of time and then cook up when you are ready to serve.  The burger is so tasty that my husband and I ate them without bread, since we are on a low carb diet, but I served my daughter in a delicious Sara Lee Artesano bun.

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I chose to cook these on the stove top and not the BBQ because I love the crust that it makes and more so the crust when the cheese gets crispy from dripping down the burger. Turkey meat is actually not that expensive so you can make these burgers for about 8 people for about $20 (meat, cheese and buns).  Since only 3 of us ate, I still have 5 burger left for tomorrow.

MEAL PLAN

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Baked Potato Wedges

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French fries  are the quintessential pairing for a burger, but try changing it up by making baked potato wedges instead.  This was not only a quick recipe it was delicious. The shape of the potatoes and baking them at 425 degrees allowed the thicker parts to be soft and the thinner parts to be crispy, making them perfectly delicious.

Another plus with the cut of these potatoes is that you do not need to serve many of them and you only need 4 potatoes for 8 people.  This recipe is also a great idea to serve with breakfast, especially if there are left overs.

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MEAL PLAN

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Grilled Salmon

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Some people are intimidated by grilling fish and I’ll admit I was also. However, my husband bought a new grill and he loves to grill everything so after much encouragement, we finally tested this recipe on the grill. It was worth it because it was delicious and very healthy.

If you love salmon and are afraid to cook on the BBQ or don’t have a BBQ, check out my recipe, the perfectly seared salmon.

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Meal Plan

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Buttered Potatoes

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Having a hard time deciding what side dish to serve, look not further, this potato recipe will not only be a new family favorite, it won’t make you a slave in the kitchen.

I always love to experiment with potato recipes as there are so many different ways to give a new flavor. This recipe however, is a very classic flavor, butter and I added a little Italian flare to it with Oregano. No matter the ages of your family members, adults and children alike, they will all enjoy this flavor.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can actually change it up tomorrow and turn it into a potato salad.  This is a win-win recipe!

As you can see from the photo, I served it with Grilled Salmon and Roasted Brussel Sprouts. See links to recipes below.

Meal Plan

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts glazed with White Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

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Brussel sprouts are not everyone’s favorites, but I can promise you that this recipe may make you a lover after all. My actual favorite part of this recipe are the loose leaves that end up really crispy and salty and oh so fun to eat.

This is an easy side dish and compliments many meals. Now that the holiday season is coming , there are many ways to experiment with this lovely vegetable and I plan to.  Until then, try this recipe and see what you think.

Meal Plan:

 

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Really Good Fish Tacos

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Miami is a gold mine when looking for fish tacos. But for some reason, I have not been able to taste that one that has knocked me off my socks. This is one of the reasons I love to cook at home and experiment.  My husband is a boater and loves the water, so naturally the love of seafood goes hand-in-hand.  The start to a great fish taco is the star ingredient, the fish! You also need a good sauce, a great shell and some crunch. This recipe delivers on all of the above.  The fish is Corvina which is a white tender meat fish that resembles Sea Bass, it’s delicious. The great sauce is a homemade pico de gallo that is fresh and tangy and full of flavor. The shell can be soft or had, or even both and the crunch comes from the broccoli slaw. This is a must try recipe!

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