Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing

There is nothing better than a classic creamy Caesar dressing, it is the perfect combination of creamy, garlicky, cheesy and peppery. With some crisp Romaine and crunchy croutons, you cant beat it.

While I love caesar, I know that traditional store bought creamy dressings are not always the healthiest choice. So, Io and behold this better for you creamy caesar dressing.

This healthier take on the classic uses Greek yogurt as a base. Packed with protein and low in fat, it not only creates the perfect creamy base but also, adds nutritional value.

With the greek yogurt and fresh lemon you will find this caesar dressing to have a light and refreshing feel while still maintaining a creamy indulgence. This dressing has become such a favorite in our home that we no longer even think of buying the store bought version! It takes just a few minutes to whip up and uses ingredients we typically have on hand. So, when the craving strikes-its an easy decision.

Once you give this dressing a try, I am sure you’ll agree. Delicious, creamy and healthier Caesar dressing—what’s not to love?

A few final notes:

  • Anchovies. Now, I know not everyone will love the idea of using anchovies in this dressing. In my opinion the anchovy is what makes this dressing truly taste like a classic caesar. But, if you’re really opposed to it and would like to omit it, you can substitute 2-4 black olives. Also, if you do decide to use anchovies, I recommend buying the anchovies in the jar vs. the little tins. Reese brand makes them in a resealable jar. That way we just keep them handy in the fridge for when we make the next batch.
  • We typically use a 2% fat Greek yogurt for this dressing. You can use full fat, 4% or even 0% fat if you would like. I find the 0% fat yogurt to be a bit more sour tasting, but otherwise it will not affect the flavor.
  • I use an immersion blender for this dressing. It can be hard to chop the garlic and anchovies small enough so you aren’t getting big chunks. You can try using a regular blender or food processor as well but you may need to thin with a bit more water to get it to blend up well. Immersion blenders are relatively inexpensive and an extremely versatile kitchen tool. If you don’t have one, I would highly recommend, I use mine ALL the time.
Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing
Ingredients
  • 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. In a container like a jar or pyrex glass measuring cup add all ingredients except for 2 tbs of water.
  2. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients until smooth (see notes on blog post)

  3. Depending on how thick you prefer your dressing, add additional 2 tbs of water or more based on preference.
  4. Serve with salad or top anything you wish and enjoy!
  5. Store in fridge up to 1 week, you will see some separation when storing, just give it a good stir and it is good to go!

Before you go, if you are looking for any other quick and delicious meals you will love this Maple Glazed Chicken and Kale Salad or this decadent Spiced Balsamic Reduction.

Finally, if you make any of these recipes and decide to share on Facebook or Instagram be sure to tag @Kitchencartographer & #kitchencartographer. I would love to see your kitchen creations!

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Quick Chickpea Masala

Need a super easy, simple meal for meatless Monday? I’ve got you covered with this under 30 minute chickpea masala. During the week the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time cooking. I used to think that if I wanted something healthy and delicious it was going to be time consuming and needed a lot of ingredients, especially if it was vegetarian or vegan. Over the last few years I have come to learn that is entirely, NOT true. This vegan chickpea masala is the prefect example of that.

With all of the delicious and aromatic flavors you love in Indian cooking and only 6 ingredients, this chickpea masala will easily become a weeknight favorite. Not to mention, it’s healthy and vegan! 

Using chickpeas instead of chicken, this Masala couldn’t get any easier. Chickpeas are a great way to add fiber and protein to any meatless meal making it filling and satisfying. With such a mild flavor and meaty texture chickpeas can be use in many recipes as a “meat substitute”. In this vegan masala, you won’t find yourself missing the meat at all—Promise!

So, if you’re running short on time and fresh produce, but want a healthy vegan meal. You’ll just need a few pantry staples and about 20 minutes. So, skip the takeout and make this quick chickpea masala!

A few final notes:

    • Fresh ginger makes a huge difference in recipes. I wouldn’t recommend substituting ground for this recipe. If you’re like me though, and hate buying things you think will go bad before you use it all, don’t worry! Fresh ginger is great frozen, in some instances I prefer to have my ginger frozen. Typically when I buy a fresh ginger I cut it up into about 1-2 inch pieces and freeze it. Ginger grates really well frozen, better than it does fresh so for recipes that I want really finely grated or chopped ginger, it’s perfect. For this particular recipe I like to mince the ginger. So I will take it out of the freezer and thaw it in the microwave for about 10 seconds at a time until It is just soft enough for me to mince. That way I almost always have fresh ginger on hand. ‘
    • This chickpea masala is great served with brown rice, cauliflower rice, white rice or quinoa! Sometimes I even use a blend of cauliflower rice and brown rice.
    • I made the fenugreek in this recipe optional only because I know it is not always readily available at all grocery stores. I found mine at a local Indian grocery store, but I believe I have seen it at Whole Foods before. I will say though, if you can find it, it’s worth getting. Fenugreek has such a unique flavor and aroma, it defiantly makes the dish taste more authentic. I absolutely love the herb and have found ways to incorporate it in other dishes!
Quick Chickpea Masala
Servings: 6
Ingredients
Ingredients
  • 2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs fresh ginger minced
  • 2 tbs or about 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk canned, reduced fat or full fat
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbs fenugreek optional
Instructions
Directions
  1. In a heavy bottom pot heat 1 tbs of olive oil over medium heat, add onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until onions become translucent and begin to soften.
  2. Add garam masala and sauté for about 30 seconds with the onions, ginger and garlic or until fragrant.
  3. Add chickpeas, tomato sauce, coconut milk and sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add fenugreek (optional)
  5. Salt to taste and serve over rice or base of choice!
  6. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

 

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Before you go, if you are looking for any other quick and delicious meals you will love this easy Skillet Bruschetta Chicken or this quick Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry!

Finally, if you make any of these recipes and decide to share on Facebook or Instagram be sure to tag @Kitchencartographer & #kitchencartographer. I would love to see your kitchen creations!

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Raw Zucchini and Carrot Salad

Zucchini is definitely a favorite of mine. With multiple ways to prepare, it never gets old. In the summer my favorite way to prepare zucchini is typically grilled. But this summer, I’ve had a new favorite method of preparation.

Light and refreshing, this raw zucchini and carrot salad will easily become a summer favorite. With just a few ingredients you have a healthy and simple salad ready in no time. Thinly sliced, then marinated with lemon, olive oil and fresh herbs you will be amazed at how flavorful just a few fresh ingredients can be. 

Best part is, It only gets better with time. This salad is a great make ahead dish for any occasion. The longer it sits, the better it gets, trust me. So hurry up and grab all the zucchini you can, you’ll want it for this one!

A few final notes:

  • The carrots add a nice crunch and a little sweetness to the salad, but feel free to leave out and just use all zucchini. Get creative with it, I have also added diced cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced sweet onion.
  • I typically use a combination of dill, mint and parsley for the herbs. But use whatever you have on hand, you can try different combinations or use just one.

Before you go, if you are looking for any other great summer salad recipes you will LOVE this crunchy Asian Broccoli Salad or this sweet and salty Fig and Arugula Salad!

Finally, if you make any of these recipes and decide to share on Facebook or Instagram be sure to tag @Kitchencartographer & #kitchencartographer. I would love to see your kitchen creations!

Raw Zucchini and Carrot Salad
Ingredients
Ingredients
  • 2 zucchini thinly sliced
  • 1 summer squash thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs dill minced
  • 1 tbs parsley minced
  • 1 tbs mint minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
Directions
  1. Use a peeler or spiralizer to thinly slice the zucchini, squash, and carrots thin into ribbons.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together zucchini, squash, carrots, lemon juice, olive oil, and minced herbs together until mixed well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Taste again before serving and adjust seasoning as necessary.

 

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Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Bars

I’ve had a recent obsession with lemon flavored baked goods. Until recently, I didn’t really like lemon flavored baked goods. I had this memory of them as being cloyingly sweet and not very lemon like. Fortunately,  I have finally been able to experience some really awesome lemon baked goods and now I’m hooked.

With Spring in the air I have been craving the bright, tart flavor of fresh lemon. So, I went ahead and made these Lemon Poppy Seed bars with a special healthy ingredient. Chickpeas!

Yep! These bars are made with chickpeas and just 8 other simple ingredients! These bars are gluten and dairy free and packed with protein and fiber. They are the perfect balance of tart and sweet that makes them refreshing and decadent at the same time.

They are super simple to make (all the ingredients go right into a blender or food processor). The active cook time is only about 10 minutes, then pop them in the oven and let it do its thing. Basically, these are my newest obsession. A dessert that is healthy, easy, quick, and satisfying. How can you go wrong?

 

A few final notes:
  • I added a little tapioca starch to the mix because in my experience working with almond flour, the tapioca starch helps give the baked good a more cake like consistency. If you are Paleo–feel free to omit, it may just change the consistency a bit.
  • The chunks of dried sugared lemon are so good in this ( I found them at Trader Joes) but, if you cant find them or don’t want them you can omit altogether or try cutting up some of the fresh lemon rind.
  • Because chickpeas are the main ingredient I stored these in the fridge in a tuppewear. for a more fudge like consistency enjoy cold right out of the fridge. Or, heat in the microwave for about 10 seconds for a more cake like bar.
  • Bars should keep well for 4-5 days in the fridge, but good luck getting them to last that long!!

Before you go, if you are looking for other fresh and fruity dessert ideas you will love this easy 5-ingredient Coconut mango chia pudding or this slightly more decadent Blood orange Pavlova!

Finally, if you make any of these recipes and decide to share on Facebook or Instagram be sure to tag @Kitchencartographer & #kitchencartographer. I would love to see your kitchen creations!

Lemon Poppyseed Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Healthy Simple Lemon Poppyseed Bars made with chickpeas 

Ingredients
  • 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbs tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tbs poppyseeds
  • 4 slices of dried sweetened lemon- diced in small chunks (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line a 9X9 baking tray with parchment or spray with nonstick spray
  3. In a food processor or blender combine garbanzo beans, eggs, coconut oil, almond flour,
  4. tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, lemon juice, zest, poppyseeds, blend till smooth.
  5. Stir in diced dried and sugared lemon (or dice fresh lemon rind)- see notes

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked though.
  8. Before cutting let cool for 10-15 minutes. Slice and enjoy!!
Recipe Notes
  • I added a little tapioca starch to the mix because in my experience working with almond flour, the tapioca starch helps give the baked good a more cake like consistency. If you are Paleo--feel free to omit, it may just change the consistency a bit.
  • The chunks of dried sugared lemon are so good in this ( I found them at Trader Joes) but, if you cant find them or don't want them you can omit altogether or try cutting up some of the fresh lemon rind.
  • Because chickpeas are the main ingredient I stored these in the fridge in a tuppewear. for a more fudge like consistency enjoy cold right out of the fridge. Or, heat in the microwave for about 10 seconds for a more cake like bar.
  • Bars should keep well for 4-5 days in the fridge, but good luck getting them to last that long!!
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Asian Broccoli Salad

I’ve been SO excited about the first hints of spring that have been popping up in the last couple of weeks. I knew that winter had been tough this year, but I had no idea how much I missed warmer weather until recently.

In the last two weeks I have been in full on spring MODE. I have been cleaning, redecorating, buying ALL of the house plants and most importantly getting an early start on the garden, because this year I am determined to have a successful crop.

A little background for you— we have lived in our little house now for two summers. The last two summers I have “tried” to grow a vegetable garden and have been unsuccessful. I say, “tried” because in all honesty I didn’t put in as much effort as I should have and just kind of expected things to grow and they didn’t (shocker). This year though, I am way ahead of the game. I have been doing my research and planning and I am feeling confident!

So with warmer weather on my mind and an anticipation of a bountiful crop, I bring you this bright, summery, Asian inspired broccoli salad. Fresh broccoli, shredded carrots and red cabbage come together with a creamy almond butter ginger dressing for some seriously crunchy flavor.

This is going to be a perfect way to use up the broccoli from my garden this summer (because it WILL be successful and we WILL have tons of broccoli). But seriously, whether you have garden overflowing with broccoli or not, this salad is going to be the perfect salad for all of your summer cookouts.

Asian Broccoli Salad
Cook Time
20 mins
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups finely chopped broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro optional
For the dressing :
  • 1/2 cup all natural almond butter
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger or very finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or very finely minced
  • 4 tbs rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs tamari or gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 tbs water
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces and place into a large bowl. Shred the carrots using a food processor or a grater and place into the large bowl with the broccoli. Thinly slice the cabbage like you would for a slaw and place into the large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine almond butter, lime juice, grated ginger, pressed garlic, rice vinegar, Tamari and water. If it seems a little thick till add water one tbs at a time until consistency is to you liking. Consistency can vary depending on how well the almond butter was stirred and if it was cold or not.
  3. Add dressing to your liking to the slaw mixture. Stir well to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy!!
Recipe Notes

If you make the dressing ahead of time and put it in the fridge it will thicken. Add a bit more water to soften before adding to the slaw. Or make sure to take it out of the fridge about an hour before using to let it come back to room temp and soften.


Cashew Curry Satay Bowls

These Cashew Curry Satay Bowls are basically begging to be made all summer long. I know it’s only March, but a girl can dream right?

Tender strips of Flank steak are simply marinated in lime, ginger and garlic. Grilled to perfection they top a fresh bowl of Cauliflower rice, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots and cilantro. Pulling it all together a creamy cashew curry sauce that will keep you coming back for more. This dish is ALL about the sauce.

I am not gonna lie I have already made these bowls three times. Not including the recipe testing phase… I can’t help it, they are just SO good and make great leftovers! The best part is, you can use the leftovers to eat it as a bowl—with rice or cauliflower rice ORRRR you can eat it as a salad! Both ways are equally delicious.

I recently had a reunion with all my friends from college. We stayed at a friends place up north for the weekend and hung out, played games, ate delicious food and spent a lot of time catching up and reliving old memories. It was SO fun. There were 14 of us in total and I made this dish for dinner.

It was literally the easiest thing to make for a group and satisfied a lot of different diets. In our group we have people who are vegetarian, gluten-free, low carb and just generally health conscious. The only thing I had to do to satisfy all these requirements was to have a vegetarian option and for that, I simply diced extra firm tofu and marinated it the same way the meat was then baked till crisp.

Because it is a “make your own bowl” kind of dish this recipe is great for feeding a crowd for a casual dinner. I prepped pretty much everything ahead of time so when it came time to make dinner I was able to put everything In the oven and not spend the whole evening cooking. Here is how I did it:

The day before:
Make the sauce
Sliced and marinate the meat and tofu
Shred the cabbage
Shred the carrots

The morning of:
Bake the tofu
Skewer the steak
Sear the steak on an indoor grill ( you can wait to do this part if you have an actual large outdoor grill but where we were we only had a small stovetop grill and 6 lbs of steak!!) then placed it in a large baking tray in the fridge.

An hour before:
Bake the cauli rice 45-mins to an hour
Bake the steak skewers about 25-35 mins until finished cooking and heated through
Reheat the tofu in a skillet with a touch of olive oil
Slice lime wedges
Dice cilantro
Take the sauce out of the fridge and let come back to room temp ( it gets thicker in the fridge)
Once the rice and meat are done it is ready to serve!

Curry Cashew Satay Bowls
Ingredients
For the Meat:
  • 1.5 lbs flank steak
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 3/4 tsp Finley minced or grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic mince or grated
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil
For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 3/4 cup reduce fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced or grated
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder I used Spice Islands curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3-4 Thai birds eye chilies or a pinch of chili flakes to taste optional
For the Bowls:
  • 2 12 oz bags frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1/2 head red cabbage shredded
  • 4 large carrots shredded
  • Cilantro
  • 1 Lime cut in wedges
Instructions
Directions:
  1. Sliced the flank steak in thin strips. About 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut the meat against the grain at a 45 degree angle. Place into a bowl or a plastic gallon zip lock and set aside
  2. Into the bowl or zip lock bag add juice and zest of one lime, finely grated or minced ginger ( tip: fresh ginger grates best when frozen), finely grated or minced garlic, 3/4 tsp salt and 2 tbs of olive oil.
  3. Toss the marinade with the meat to coat evenly and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. While the meat is marinating make the sauce. In a medium sized bowl add cashew butter, coconut milk, grated ginger and garlic, soy sauce, curry powder, salt and chilies. Stir to combine and set aside.
  5. Thinly slice cabbage and shred carrots, set aside
  6. Mince cilantro and cut up a lime into slices, set aside.
  7. Once the meat has marinated for at least 30 minutes preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and skewer the steak then set aside.
  8. Spread the cauliflower out onto a baking tray and cook for 45 minutes to an hour until cooked through (you can also sauté in a skillet with a little olive oil but I personally like the texture baked)
  9. While the cauliflower is cooking heat the grill and start grilling the steak since the slices are relatively thin it should only take a few minutes each side.
  10. Once all of the steak is cooked and the cauliflower is done you are ready to Start assembling!
  11. In a bowl add cauliflower rice, shredded cabbage, carrots and cilantro. Add a couple of steak skewers then top with the sauce and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy immediately!


Turkey Pho

Winter is soup season. If you’re like me and live in the snowy Midwest, you quickly learn to accept the fact that once October rolls around you’re in for endless soups, stews and chowders until at least April.

This winter in particular has had me craving the comfort of a warm bowl of soup. With endless ups and downs and snow and ice storms one after another it’s nice to know there is a warm bowl of soup waiting for me at the end of the day. So, while the winter weather is still trying to decide if it wants to snow or rain, I’ve been busy in the kitchen combating the winter blues with this bowl of brothy goodness.

 

Pho has long been a favorite of mine, my husband and I live right down the street form a little Vietnamese restaurant where we love to go and order pho for takeout. It has quickly become my favorite soup for when I am feeling under the weather or just need a pick me up on a cold winter day.

While traditional pho is made with beef by stewing beef bones with herbs and spices, I decided to go a more nontraditional route. Slow cooked for a rich and flavorful broth, this pho is made with turkey for a broth that that is reminiscent of home cooked chicken soup (with a twist!). Loaded with perfectly cooked rice noodles and turkey meat then topped with fresh basil, bean sprouts, onion, jalapeño, and a fresh squeeze of lime this pho will melt away the winter blues in no time. With soup this good, who needs the take out?

So, cozy up in your favorite sweater and grab a bowl because we’ve still got at least 3 months left of soup season.

Turkey Pho
Ingredients
For the Broth:
  • Canola or olive oil
  • 1 raw or cooked turkey carcass
  • 2 turkey drumsticks raw or cooked
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves are garlic smashed
  • 2 1/4 inch slices of fresh ginger
  • 4-5 pieces of star anise
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 dried shitaki mushrooms
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
To Serve:
  • 1 package of rice noodles
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Fresh basil
  • Thinly sliced jalapeno
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Bean sprouts
Instructions
  1. In a very large pot heat add 2 tbs of oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion slices and cook until translucent. Add the Turkey carcass, drumsticks, garlic, ginger, clove, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, shiitake mushrooms, cilantro sprigs and enough water to cover or mostly cover the turkey carcass.

  2. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam that comes to the top. Lower the heat down to a simmer the cook and simmer with the lid on for 2-3 hours checking occasionally to skim the foam off the top.
  3. Remove the carcass and drumsticks and set aside.
  4. Strain the broth through a find mesh strainer and discard the solids. Pour the broth back into the pot keep warm over low heat while you season to taste with fish sauce and salt and pepper.
  5. Shred the meat off the drumsticks and any remaining meat form the carcass, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  6. Cook the noodles according to package instructions and thinly slice some red onion and jalapeño.
  7. To assemble, Add the noodles to a bowl top with broth and turkey meat then garnish with fresh basil, onion, bean sprouts, jalapeño and a fresh squeeze of lime. Serve immediately and enjoy!!
Recipe Notes

I typically make this soup after we have roasted a turkey or chicken. I will wrap the carcass and freeze it until I am ready to make soup. If you do not have a leftover turkey or chicken carcass you can buy just wings and drumsticks to make the broth. For a turkey, I would use at least 4 wings and 4 drumsticks. 


Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with Red Cabbage

Beef and broccoli is a classic stir-fry. Growing up it was always my favorite. I love the way the broccoli soaks up all of the stir fry sauce and is cooked until just tender leaving the perfect amount of crunch.

The simplicity of this stir fry is the best.  Just beef, broccoli, water, gluten free soy sauce, and cornstarch are all it takes for delicious meal. Although,  in this recipe, I like to add red cabbage for some extra veggie. I know it’s not traditional, but one night I had some extra red cabbage so I decided to toss it in. It was so good and we loved the extra veg so much that I make it that way every time now!
With stir fry, you can put just about anything you want in it. Keep it traditional and just add the broccoli or get creative and use up what you have in the fridge. To get a good stir fry, it is more about technique than anything. If you have a wok that is ideal, but if not, just a large stainless steel pan will work too.

Traditional woks are cooked over an open flame so they are able to get up to insanely high temperatures. The food is added to a hot wok and consistently stirred to keep from burning (STIR fry…get it?) while cooking it incredibly fast. Unfortunately, with the average household stove, you wont be able to get to temps that high. Especially if you are using a regular stainless steel pan. But don’t worry! You can still make a great stir fry!

Here are a few tips before you move onto the recipe:

  1. Make sure the pan is hot before you add anything and don’t be afraid to use high heat!
  2. Canola or peanut oil is best because of the higher flash point.
  3. PREP, PREP, PREP! Having all your veg, meat and sauce prepped and ready to go in bowls is essential. Once your wok or pan is hot you want to be able to move quickly.
  4. Cook your meat in batches. For a nice sear on the meat be careful not to overcrowd the pan. If you do, it will get watery (eww).
  5. Stir your stir fry–but not too much. Because you pan will not get as hot as a traditional wok, it is less important to stir consistently. You will need to let your meat and veg rest for a few seconds here and there to get a nice sear. But, since you are working over high heat you will need to stir more often than you are probably use to. So don’t leave your pan unattended for too long.
  6. Use a wooden or metal spatula or spoon. Stay away from plastic when working with high heat.
Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with Red Cabbage
Ingredients
  • 3 tbs peanut oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 3 stalks green onion
For the meat:
  • 1.5 1-2 lbs of lean flank steak
  • 2 tbs gluten free soy sauce I use Tamari
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper optional
For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper optional
Instructions
  1. Start by prepping all of your ingredients— Chop your broccoli into bite sized pieces. If you have broccoli with stems you can use a vegetable peeler to peel off the rough bark and slice the stem to use in the stir fry as well. Place chopped broccoli into a large bowl and set aside
  2. Roughly chop the cabbage. No need to thinly slice here, big bite sized chunks are good. Add chopped cabbage to large bowl with the broccoli and set aside
  3. Thinly dice green onion and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Now, with a very sharp knife, it is time to cut the flank steak. You will want to thinly slice the steak at a 45 degree angle, against the grain. This will allow the steak to cook quickly and be nice and tender. Place the sliced flank steak into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  5. Add 2 tbs of soy sauce, 1 tbs cornstarch and 1/4 tsp of white pepper to the bowl with the flank steam and use your hands to toss until it is incorporated with the meat.
  6. In a small bowl combine all of the sauce ingredients and stir well until the cornstarch is dissolved, set aside.
  7. Add 3 tbs of oil to your wok stainless steel pan. Heat over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add all the broccoli and cabbage. Cook until just tender. Once the vegetables are done, remove from the wok or pan and place them back into the bowl you used for prep.
  8. Next you will want to cook your meat, if your pan look a bit dry you can add a touch more oil if needed. Let the pan heat back up so it is nice and hot. This is especially important if you added more oil. Then, add half of the meat to the hot pan. Use your wooden spoon or spatula so spread the meat out in the pan so it can get a nice sear. Stir occasionally until the meat is cook. Remove from pan and set aside in a clean bowl. Add the remaining meat to the pan to cook through.
  9. Once the second batch of meat is cook add the first batch back to the pan along with the cooked vegetable. Toss for a minute to get everything heated back up. Grab you sauce and give it a quick stir (the cornstarch will have settled) then pour it into the pan, then add about half of the diced green onion.
  10. Toss the ingredients in the sauce until everything is coated and cook for another minute or two, the sauce will thicken slightly as it cooks.
  11. Remove from heat and serve immediately with brown, white or even cauliflower rice and enjoy!

Blood Orange Pavlova

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

While my husband and I don’t usually make a big fuss over this holiday, we do always take the time to cook together and create something special for dinner. To us, Valentine’s Day acts as a reminder to slow down and take time for each other by turning what is just a normal necessary task (making dinner) into time well spent together.  So, with today being Valentine’s Day, I wanted to create a recipe that was truly special. If you are looking for a dessert that is both beautiful and romantic—this is it.

This Pavlova is assembled from two light and fluffy meringues that are perfectly crisp on the outside and is soft and marshmallowy on the inside. Its layers are generously filled with whipped coconut cream, spiced blood orange curd and fresh fruit. To finish it off, it is topped with loads of fresh blood orange slices, blackberries and pomegranates. It is an absolute DREAM.

While Pavlova is traditionally a Christmas dessert, you can bet that anytime I am looking for a truly impressive finish to any meal, this is high on my list. Not only is it delicious but it is absolutely STUNNING.

So, no matter who you are cooking for (or with) this Valentines Day, this Pavlova is sure to be the perfect dessert to share…or not 😉

Blood Orange Pavlova
Ingredients
Meringue
  • 3/4 cups fine castor sugar
  • 4 fridge cold egg whites
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
Blood Orange Curd
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 5 blood oranges juiced and zested
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter (dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
Coconut Cream
  • 2 cans refrigerated coconut cream
  • 1-2 tbs sugar optional
Toppings
  • 2-3 oranges sliced
  • Blackberries
  • Pomegranate arils
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
For the Meringue:
  1. You will be baking 2 meringues, each about 8 inches in diameter. On a sheet of parchment that will fit your pan, trace two circles (depending on the size of your pan you may need to use two) and set aside.
  2. Separate the whites of the eggs into a large bowl ( set yolks aside to use for curd) . With an electric hand mixer or stand beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form (peaks should be just starting to hold). Add the sugar in by the spoonful and continue whisking until the sugar is completely incorporated (another 2-3 minutes after all the sugar has been added). The mixture should look thick and glossy and all the sugar should be dissolved.
  3. Stir in the cream of tartar and mix well.
  4. Dab a bit of the meringue under each corner of the parchment, to help it stick to the pan and keep it from lifting up when you are forming the pavlova.
  5. Gently scoop 1/2 of the meringue onto each circle and form your desired shape.
  6. Place the baking sheet gently in the oven and turn the temperature DOWN to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake without opening the oven for 1.5 hours.
  7. Once the time goes off, turn the oven off. Use a wooden spoon to prop the door open and leave the Pavlova in the oven to cool. This slow clooling prevents the Pavlova from being as fragile and can help to prevent cracking. If you are in a hurry you can remove form the oven and place on a cooling rack. You might just get more cracks.

For the Blood Orange Curd:
  1. Combine 4 egg yolks and 4 whole eggs in a bowl and whisk well to combine.
  2. Zest and juice the oranges, set aside.
  3. Set up a double broiler with a pot boiling water and tempered glass or metal mixing bowl setting on top. Using the steam to heat the curd prevents it from getting over cooked and lumpy.
  4. With the bowl on top of the pot and the water boiling, add the butter and melt. Then add the juice, zest, sugar and finally the whisked eggs. Continue to heat and stir over the double boiler until the curd has thickened. It should be able to coat the back of a spoon.

  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the fridge.
For the Coconut Cream:
  1. Open the chilled cans of coconut cream and use a spoon to scoop out only the hardened cream from the cans, avoiding as much liquid as possible.
  2. Place into a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to whip the cream into a fluffy consistency. Add the sugar (if desired) and whip until incorporated.

Assembly:
  1. You will want to assemble the Pavlova no more than 3-4 hours before serving as the meringue will begin to soften as it sets. Ideally you would assemble about an hour before serving.
  2. Place the one meringue circle on your serving platter or cake stand and spoon about half the coconut cream all over. Then layer on some of the orange blood curd. If desired add some of the fresh fruit to the middle layer. Add the second meringue and top with additional curd and coconut cream. Arrange orange slices, blackberries and pomegranates on top (the more the better!).
  3. Serve and enjoy!!
Recipe Notes

If you don't have Castor sugar you can put regular sugar in a food processor and blitz it for a few seconds to get a finer grain. 

If you cant find cans of coconut cream you can use cans of full fat coconut milk but you will probably need 3-4 cans instead of just 2. 

For the the coconut cream, I personally don't add sugar because I think that with the curd and meringue the dessert is sweet enough. feel free to add or omit. 


Huevos Rancheros

You GUYS, I finally did it!
 
I love, love, love huevos rancheros! I have searched high and low for a recipe that was easy to make, but as delicious the first time I had huevos rancheros. It was the sauce that did it for me. It was a smooth and smoky chili-based sauce with a pinch of heat and acidity.

So began my endless quest to re-create that OMG moment. I have searched the internet looking at all sorts of ranchero sauce recipes only to come up empty handed. I couldn’t find one that reminded me of the sauce I remembered.
 
After much trial and error, I am so happy to say, I finally did it! I’ve created a sauce that that is good enough to say OMG.
 
This sauce pairs perfectly with some some sunny side up eggs over a crispy corn tortilla and all the fixin’s. It’s like a match made in breakfast heaven.
 
The base of this sauce is made with a rehydrated dried poblano pepper (also called ancho chilies). I started using dried poblanos in cooking a few years ago when I found this recipe for Portuguese Chicken (you should try it, it’s amazing). It quickly became a household favorite. Since then, I try to keep dried poblanos on hand. I have even started incorporating them in other dishes, like this sauce.

Dried poblanos were just the thing I needed to make this sauce stand out. If you have never worked with dried chilies before, don’t let that scare you away. I promise this recipe is super easy and a great intro into using dried chilies. After rehydrating, everything simply goes right into the blender and voila! The OMG ranchero sauce is ready for some steaming hot eggs.
 
This huevos rancheros is the perfect easy brunch on a lazy weekend. Or if you like breakfast for dinner like me, its great for that too! Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Huevos Rancheros
Servings: 8
Ingredients
For the sauce: (makes enough for about 8 eggs and tortialls)
  • 1 Ancho chili
  • 1/3 cup of reserved soaking liquid see directions
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs water
  • 1/4 of a large white onion
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground balck pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
Other ingredients
  • Eggs
  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 can low sodium black beans
  • pickled red onion see instructions
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • lime slices
  • Crumbled cotija cheese optional
Instructions
Quick pickled red onion:
  1. Very thinly sliced enough red onion for garnish, the thinner the better in this case. Place in a small bowl with just enough white vinegar to cover. By the time your Huevos rancheros are ready these bad boys will be slightly pickled.
The sauce:
  1. In a small saucepan add 1 cup of water and the ancho chili. Bring to a boil then simmer until the chili has softened. Remove the chili, making sure to pull off the stem and place in a blender along with 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid.
  2. Add the water, onion, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, smoked paprika, sugar, black pepper and salt to the blender and blend until smooth, Set aside.
Assembly:
  1. Heat the corn tortillas in a pan with a little bit of olive oil just to heat through. You can also microwave wrapped in a moist paper towel but in my opinion the flavor is better if you heat it in the pan. Takes a little extra time but totally worth it.
  2. Once corn tortillas are done set aside and start cooking your eggs. You can cook them to your liking I typically go with sunny side up or over easy. For perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs with a runny yolk but not runny whites, start with a hot pan over medium heat add the eggs then reduce heat to low. When the white looks like it is mostly solidified but the top is still a bit runny add a small ice cube to the pan and top with a lid. The steam will help to cook the white the rest of the way quicker so you don’t cook the yolk through.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans then heat up over the stove or in the microwave.
  4. Slice the avocado, mince the cilantro and cut some lime wedges.
  5. Top the corn tortillas with beans, the eggs and the rancheros sauce. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, pickled onion, and a fresh squeeze of lime! Serve immediately and enjoy!