Cauliflower Fried Rice

You read it right… except there is no rice, at least not the kind you were thinking. This recipe is grain free, making it a great option for anyone looking to stay away from the carbs and keeping it clean. 

  • 1 small/medium cauliflower 
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2/3 cup onion, sliced (green onions work great with this recipe)
  • 2 cups carrots, choppped 
  • Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • Pinch of turmeric powder 
  • 2 tsp coriander powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin powder 
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1/3 bunch of cilantro, destemmed and chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil (sesame is ideal)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  1. First start by chopping the cauliflower into four quarters. 
  2. Add the cauliflower pieces to a food processor/ blender one at a time and pulse for about 15 seconds each until the grains are the size of rice. Repeat for remaining pieces. (Working with one piece at a time makes for more even sized cauliflower grains)
  3. Next heat a large enough pan over medium heat and add the oil. 
  4. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add all the chopped vegetables except for the pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes. 
  6. Next add the peppers and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the carrots have softened. 
  7. Add the cauliflower rice, stir for 2-3 minutes. 
  8. In the meanwhile, mix the salt, coriander, cumin turmeric and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. 
  9. Add the spice mix and to the cauliflower rice and mix well. 
  10. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  11. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime juice and serve hot. 

Chunky Salsa

Summertime calls for a great salsa. This recipe is so delicious that even your guests will be left wondering where it’s from. Perfect to make ahead for a picnic, to eat with tortilla chips or even to top a steak or fish for a quick summer meal, this salsa is so refreshing. Adapted from Simply Recipes. 

  • 2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stems and seeds removed and roughly chopped (add more/less as per taste)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of dried oregano (add more/less as per taste)
  • Pinch of ground cumin (add more/less as per taste)
  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well along with the salt and pepper as per your taste. 
  2. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. If not hot enough, carefully add a few of the seeds from the chilies, or add a little more ground cumin.
  3. Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled. 

Asparagus!!

Yet another superfood, asparagus, a springtime vegetable is packed with antioxidants, folic acid, vitamins E and K and the list just goes on and on. But don’t just take my word for it, check out http://www.health.com/nutrition/asparagus-health-benefits

When you’re buying asparagus, choose firm, bright-green stalks with tight tips and moist ends. No matter what color you buy, just make sure their color is vibrant with no brown spots or blemishes.

Asparagus is best eaten fresh. If that’s not possible, store them in the fridge in a container of water, like you would store flowers and loosely cover the tops with a plastic bag. 

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt (as per taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil OR spray olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (makes for easier clean up). 
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the asparagus, olive oil and garlic salt and mix well. 
  3. Spread evenly on the lined tray and sprinkle the cheese. 
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until just tender (12-15 minutes) depending on thickness of the asparagus spears. 
  5. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve hot! 

Chipotle Bowls

Summer foods are the best! There’s an abundance of vegetables and there’s no limit to what you can make. I chose to make this grain free but feel free to make some brown rice if you like. (Tip: cook the rice in some chicken broth for extra flavor). 

Let’s talk for a minute about avocados. Whether you’re eating it in the form of guacamole or as whole, avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Healthy for the heart, prevention of osteoporosis, healthy babies, lower risk of depression are just a few of the health benefits. You can read more about the benefits of avocado at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php

So have fun and grab a margarita to complete this little summer feast!

  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into strips
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 avocado diced (or use guacamole instead)
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 tsp chili powder 
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 limes, 1 sliced and the other juiced
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (optional)
  1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes till the onions soften. 
  3. Add chicken and cook all the way through, approx 10 minutes. 
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan. 
  5. Add the remaining tsp of oil and add in the vegetables as well. 
  6. Cook till vegetables are soft, approx 6 minutes. 
  7. Remove from heat and toss with the chicken. 
  8. Add in the spices and juice of 1 lemon. 
  9. To set up the individual bowls, add spinach and cooked brown rice (if using) and evenly distribute the vegetables and chicken in each bowl. 
  10. Add avocado/guacamole and salsa to each bowl next. 
  11. Add a lime wedge for an extra squeeze. 
  12. Enjoy!

Mushroom Peas aka Muttar Mushroom

Indian food always hits the spot. It doesn’t matter what the season is, mushrooms are great! But I feel like mushrooms don’t get their due credit. It is considered to be a superfood, promotes heart health and helps with weight management. (Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858.php)

  • 1 cup fresh/frozen peas
  • 500g/1lb mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • Pinch of turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder 
  • Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Fresh coriander, chopped for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a high sided pan over medium heat. 
  2. When hot, add the cumin seeds and fry until they stop spluttering. 
  3. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned. 
  4. Next add the onions and fry until softened. 
  5. Now add the mushrooms and peas and the powdered spices. 
  6. Add salt to taste and cook until the mushrooms begin to give off their juices, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Serve hot, garnished with the chopped coriander. 

Garden Vegetables with Pasta

Another great summery side. Eat along with your favorite protein or just on its own. You could even chop up some cooked sausage to make it a one pot meal. 

  • 2 cups pasta (cooked as per package directions OR use spiralized zucchinis)
  • 1 cup eggplant, diced
  • 1/4 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, sliced
  • 2 clove garlics, chopped
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 2 tsps balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 tsp basil, chopped
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. 
  2. Add the eggplant and mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. 
  3. Add the sliced garlic, squash, red pepper and vinegar and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Next, combine the cooked pasta with the mixture along with the basil. 
  5. Mix well and serve hot. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

Yummiest and easiest side ever… enough said!

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 strips bacon, roughly chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a large resealable bag (ziploc works great!).
  3. Seal tightly, and turn to coat the Brussels sprouts evenly.
  4. Pour onto a baking pan and place in the center of oven. (Tip: line the pan with aluminum foil – it makes for an easier clean up)
  5. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking pan every 5-10 minutes to ensure that the sprouts are browned evenly.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle the bacon bits.
  7. Serve hot.

Sautéed Bok Choy and Mushrooms 

Easy would be the operative word here. This fun, summery side dish can also be eaten hot or cold so great to make ahead if needed. 

  • 1 lb bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large, high-sided, lidded pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add the garlic and sauté lightly. 
  3. Add in the sliced mushrooms before the garlic browns. 
  4. Keep stirring until the mushrooms get a little color. 
  5. Next add in the bok choy and mix well. 
  6. Add the soy sauce, if using. 
  7. Add salt to your taste. 
  8. Give it a good mix and cover with a lid. 
  9. Allow the vegetables to cook for about 5 minutes in its own steam, stirring once in between. 
  10. Serve hot or cold. 

Watermelon Salad

Spring time brings an abundance of fresh fruits. And one that I look forward to is watermelon. I tried this once at a Vietnamese restaurant and have never been able to forget it. This salad goes great with just about anything – be it a cookout or just as a side with some protein. 

  • 1 7-8lb seedless watermelon 
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1-1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt 
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chat masala (available at Indian food stores)
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves 
  • 1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped fine (optional)
  • 1 cup Feta cheese (optional)
  1. Chop the watermelon into 1-inch chunks and chill for an hour. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, juiced limes, salt and pepper. 
  3. Drain the watermelon of any excess watermelon juice and then pour in the lemon dressing. 
  4. Add mint leaves along with the jalapeño and feta cheese (if using) and mix well together. 
  5. Serve chilled. 

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