Cauliflower Steaks with Walnut Caper Salsa

Happy New Year, Friends!

Here’s to a happy and healthier year ahead. With that in mind comes lots of new healthy recipes and in 2018, I am definitely going to focus on more plant-based eats. I came across this amazing recipe a few weeks back from Bon Appetit and finally got around to making these delicious cauliflower steaks. Wow wow wow!! It is a new favourite that I’ll make again and again.

Check out the dish below (with a few modifications) from one of my favourite recipe sources – Bon Appetit

Cauliflower Steaks with Walnut Caper Salsa (yields 2-3)

Walnut Caper Salsa

  • ⅓ cup walnuts (toasted)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp drained capers, patted dry
  • 1 chile pepper or hot pepper of your choice, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried currants
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • Himalayan Salt

Cauliflower 

  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • Himalayan salt
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp earth balance all natural spread or butter
  • 2-3 sprigs oregano
  • 2-4 strips lemon zest
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

Salsa Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 7–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
  2. Heat oil and capers in a small saucepan over medium, swirling often, until capers burst and are golden brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Carefully pour oil and capers into a small heatproof bowl; let cool.
  3. Mix in walnuts, chile, parsley, currants, vinegar, and lemon zest; season with salt.** Salsa can be made 1 day ahead, covered with plastic, pressing directly onto surface. Bring to room temperature before using **

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Cauliflower Prep & Assembly:

  1. Remove the toughest outer leaves from cauliflower (leave on any tender inner leaves). Trim stem to create a flat base. Resting cauliflower on stem, cut in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes with stem attached. Trim outer rounded edge of each piece to create two 1½”-thick “steaks” (the stem should hold the florets together); set steaks aside. Very coarsely chop remaining florets.
  2. Cook florets in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until very tender, 6–8 minutes. Drain well, then process in a food processor with garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and 1 tbsp water until smooth; season with salt. Set aside. **Purée  can also be made a day in advance and heated before plating**
  3. Heat oven to  425° for roasting cauliflower.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add earth balance spread or butter, swirl until melted, then add cauliflower steaks, oregano, and lemon zest. Cook, gently lifting up cauliflower occasionally to let hot fat run underneath, until steaks are deep golden brown (if oregano or lemon start to burn, place on top of steaks). Turn steaks and season with salt. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until cauliflower stems are fork-tender, 10–15 minutes.
  5. To serve, spoon about 1/4 cup cauliflower purée onto plates and place steaks on top. Spoon salsa over and sprinkle with salt. Serve with lemon wedges.

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Bon Appetit! xx

Almond Coconut Irish Cream

We are officially on holidays and couldn’t be happier; sitting here sipping my coffee and homemade Baileys, anticipating the days to come and reflecting on the amazing year that was had. It’s these simple moments before the day begins that I really want to savour more often. The calmness and joy that comes from sitting and enjoying a cup of java rather than rushing out the door with a cup in hand. And with the holidays amongst us, your regular cup of joe can become much more festive with this quick and easy clean Irish Cream.

For the last two years, I have been loving my homemade Coconut Baileys Irish Cream, but this year wanted to try a recipe that didn’t involve stove time and one that was a bit lighter on the calories. Here comes my newest version, Almond Coconut Irish Cream.

It’s healthier, cleaner, dairy-free, paleo-friendly, vegan friendly and pretty amazing in my opinion. It’s easy to double or triple the recipe and makes for a great gift giving idea too!

Almond Coconut Irish Cream (yields 16 oz)

  • 1/2 cup Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or 2 medjool dates work great too (add more or less to your liking)
  • dash of cinnamon
  1. Put all the ingredients into blender and mix
  2. Pour the Homemade Clean Irish Cream into a bottle/ airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks
  3. Shake well before serving

Happy Holidays! xx

Tom Yum Soup

Well it has been quite some time since I have posted, my sincerest apologies. 2017 has been a very exciting and busy year, from becoming engaged, planning a wedding, getting married and then honeymooning! It has been the best, but I have missed being in the kitchen and connecting with all my dear followers, but now I am back. 🙂

I promise 2018 will bring lots of new things and I will post an update soon on all the fun we have been having, but in the meantime, I am finding inspiration again in the kitchen and wanted to share. Even though, there was some debate in my head on whether to post with pictures or without as my camera is donezo and these photo’s aren’t great, but this dish is too good not to share.

For the month of October, we were away in Bali, enjoying all the honeymoon bliss and boy, were we ever inspired with all the delicious food and drinks that were had. We were absolutely blown away in every way. From their local Indonesian fare to some of the best Italian food we have ever had, the food in Bali was incredible. Wow wow wow! Not to mention all the local and plant based food they served; it really inspired me to pay more attention to my food consumption and habits.

Last week, we were hit with a cold spell in the city and I was craving warm and spicy dishes to warm the soul. I decided to finally give one of my favourite Thai dishes, a try. Tom Yum,  was super easy to make and turned out amazing that I found myself going back for seconds and could have gone back for thirds. This is definitely becoming part of our weekly rotation.

The ingredients in this soup easily blend together for some amazing flavour. One thing to note is do taste test as you go, add a little bit of this and a little bit of that if you need, don’t be shy here, this is how I developed such an amazing soup. If you want it more spicy add in more chilli, prefer it less creamy skip a can of coconut milk, if it is too sour add in more sugar. The great thing about this dish, is once you get the broth portion to your liking, you can add in whatever you like in terms of veg or protein. Don’t be scared off by the number of ingredients, it is SO GOOD!! I also chose to make mine extra brothy, so feel free to add more veg or less liquid if you prefer.

Tom Yum (yields 6-8 servings)

  • 1400 ml no salt added vegetable broth
  • 2 cans coconut milk (1 regular and 1 light)
  • 1 tsp of sugar (your choice, I used cane)
  • 3 tbsp tom yum paste
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass paste or the lower third of lemongrass stalk cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 2-4 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 small bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half mooons
  • half a cup of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 8-10  mushrooms, sliced
  • Thai rice noodles
  • 2 cups of shrimp, I used cooked but raw would be best
  • handful of cilantro

Tom Yum IngredientsTom Yum Ingredients

  1. Pour broth and coconut milk into a large saucepan and set over medium. Whisk in sugar, tom yum paste, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and chilli-garlic sauce.  Cover and bring to a boil
  2. Add onion, pepper, wait 5 minutes then add carrot, zucchini,  mushrooms, tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until veg is cooked through, about 7-10 min
  3. Stir in lime juice, fish sauce and salt
  4. While the above is cooking, boil rice noodles in a separate pot for 5 minutes (according to package but not to fully soft), drain and rinse
  5. Stir in cilantro, rice noodles and shrimp, cook for 3 minutes
  6. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, and enjoy!Tom Yum Soup

Keep Cozy! xx

Strawberry Coconut Face Scrub

There are a ton of amazing masks/scrubs out on the market, Perk Naturals and Skin Essence are two of my favourites. However, I do like experimenting at home with simple ingredients that I have on hand. This always works well when I run out of product or if I want to give my skin a little break. I love my matcha mask, but lately have been experimenting with combinations that are a bit more scrub-like. All you need are some basic ingredients and a few minutes to spare.

First off, you need to choose the base, your exfoliant, which is real simple – two options, sugar or salt. I prefer sugar as it is less abrasive and I typically lean towards brown sugar as it is usually what I have on hand and it’s best for sensitive skin since it is the softest of the sugars. Salts will give you a real good scrub if looking for a deep exfoliation.

Next, you have to select your preferred oil. Lots of options here; I do recommend one of the following: avocado oil, almond oil, extra virgin olive oil or my favourite coconut oil. Oh the wonders of coconut oil, it really is a beauty wonder. It is naturally antibacterial and packs a ton of antioxidants and free radicals that prevent all the bad stuff…ahem aging. 🙂

Lastly, add in a fruit or vegetable of your choice (coffee grounds are also amazing, stay tuned for details on this). Again, there are so many options here, all adding different amazing properties to your scrub, but do note that adding in fruit or veg will lower the shelf life and  you will want to keep it refrigerated vs. in the shower. Kind of annoying, I know, but you can easily make these for one or two time uses.

For this particular scrub, I went with strawberries, since I had a ton of fresh Ontario strawberries on hand (’tis the season!). They are the best for evening and brightening your skin tone while also toning. Plus, its fragrance is beyond lovely; it’s good enough you may want to eat it.

Side note here, if you have left over strawberries mash some with baking soda and this makes for a great natural teeth whitener. 🙂

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Now, the how to. Super simple, dice up your strawberries and then mash them down. Add in melted coconut oil and brown sugar. About 1 tbsp of each. All depends if you want it more oily vs. scrubby, less oil if you want it more scrublike. Then seal in an air-tight container and in the fridge.

Stay tuned for the dish on my other favourite scrubs. 🙂

Happy Scrubbing! xx

 

 

Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodles

I love Mexican flavours and try to often think of interesting ways to incorporate the flavour profiles outside of the beloved taco. Even though, I could eat taco’s every single day!

After a little inspiration from Pinch of Yum, this Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle recipe is a new favourite dish added to the weeknight rotation!IMG_3283

Sweet, spicy, smokey, hearty and fresh; this noodle recipe is simple and healthy and an easy go-to recipe to whip up. The chipotle dressing and sweet potato noodles make for an amazing base that you can simply add any toppings of your choice and you are set for a delicious meal. I worked with what I had on hand, peppers, tomatoes, jalapeno, kale, avocado, pepitas, goat feta, and cilantro. However, this would be equally as awesome with some black beans and roasted corn. And you can easily omit the cheese to keep this vegan friendly.

Here’s the dish –

Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl (yields 4-6 servings)
  • olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped greens – kale, spinach, arugula, etc (I love black kale!)
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/4 cup goat feta or cojita (or opt for no cheese)

Chipotle Lime Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • juice of one orange
  • juice of one lime
  • 2-4 individual chipotle peppers, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  • pinch of Himalayan sea saltFullSizeRender (8)
  1. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped peppers and saute until soft.
  2. Pulse the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  3. Remove, wipe skillet and add a little more olive oil over medium heat. Add the sweet potato noodles and toss for a minute or two until softened (no more than 5). Also, toss in a 2 TBSP of the dressing to coat noodles.
  4. Once slightly cooked, toss the noodles, peppers, kale, cilantro, and pepitas together.
  5. Toss with the salad ingredients and top with tomato, avocado and crumbled cheese.

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Dig In. xx