Category Archives: Meals

Korean Style Cauliflower Rice

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this!

It’s Friday!!! Woot woot!!! We survived another week!

We’ve been in Dallas and have been having so much fun and my brother’s family and sister’s family arrive tonight so my kids are so excited to see their cousins!

Spending time with family. Seriously, this is what it’s all about.

I love that all of our kids can get together and play and love seeing each other. Ah, if only we could all live in the same state! A girl can dream . .

Well, today, I’m bringing you something I am obsessed with. Something I seriously hope you will try. .  I might say this about every recipe (don’t we all?) but I sooooo mean it with this one.

If you’re a fan of cauliflower, you have to try cauliflower rice! I’m telling you, this is not to be missed. I love dishes that turn something as beautiful as a head of cauliflower into something like this.

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this!

All with the magic of a food processor.

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this!

I am guest posting today over at Everyday Maven for my friend, Alyssa, who recently had a baby and is spending some quality time with her newborn. If you haven’t visited Everyday Maven, you need to. Alyssa has a great “why I started the blog” story, and has a ton of delicious mostly Paleo, Whole30 & Gluten Free recipes and she loves Korean and Asian Foods! She even has this great post on how to make cauliflower rice and a delicious recipe for Ginger Coconut Cauliflower Rice.

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this! #cauliflowerrice

My Korean Style Cauliflower Rice that I am sharing today uses some of my favorite Korean food ingredients and yes, has a little heat. Big flavor, a little spice, lots of texture and it’s healthy! OK, so maybe the fried egg on top doesn’t make it completely healthy but I couldn’t help myself.

How could I not top this with an egg?! So, head on over to Everyday Maven for my post and this recipe! I hope you enjoy!

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this! #cauliflowerrice

Korean Style Cauliflower Rice
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Korean-ish
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
  • 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower, green leaves removed and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, split + more if desired
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 8 oz. package mushrooms, finely diced (I used cremini)
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 2 to 3 asparagus spears, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Korean hot pepper paste (Gochujang)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • fresh green onions, diced for garnish
  • half raw zucchini, julienned and finely diced for garnish
  • Fried egg for serving, optional
  • roasted sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions
  1. Using a food processor, place the cauliflower chunks inside and pulse until it becomes a cous-cous like texture. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  2. Using a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat one tablespoon of the sesame oil, after a minute or two, add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. For the rest of the instructions and to see the entire recipe card, please visit Everyday Maven.

For the rest of the instructions and to see the complete recipe card, please visit Everyday Maven

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this! #cauliflowerrice

 

 

 

Scalloped Potato Casserole with a Twist

Impress your friends and family with this Scalloped Potato Casserole at your next party or holiday brunch! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with pesto and then topped with tomatoes and a light bread crumb topping, this casserole will be the star at your table! #Easter #brunch

I love scalloped potato casserole dishes. .  and love to vary them up all the time. Last year, I topped my potatoes with sliced tomatoes and now, I seem to do this all the time. I love the freshness and burst of flavor that the tomatoes add.

Easter is right around the corner so I wanted to add a little something special.  . so I added my favorite pesto in between the potato layers.

Impress your friends and family with this Scalloped Potato Casserole at your next party or holiday brunch! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with pesto and then topped with tomatoes and a light bread crumb topping, this casserole will be the star at your table! #Easter #brunch

You guys have to try this! This casserole dish is not only stunning but it’s also delicious! Seriously so much flavor with the pesto!! This would be perfect for your upcoming Easter brunch!

I hope you check out my post and the recipe, posted over at The Kitchn. Oh and there’s talk of golden eggs. . does anyone else do this for your Easter egg hunt?

Impress your friends and family with this Scalloped Potato Casserole at your next party or holiday brunch! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with pesto and then topped with tomatoes and a light bread crumb topping, this casserole will be the star at your table! #Easter #brunch

Scalloped Potato Casserole with a Twist
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8

Ingredients
For the basil and arugula pesto:
  • PAM Canola Oil Cooking Spray
  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¾ cup arugula
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
For the scalloped potato casserole:
  • PAM Original Cooking Spray
  • 3 to 4 large unpeeled Russet potatoes; washed and cut into ⅛-inch thick slices (for best results, use a mandolin slicer)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Gruyère or Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 5 to 6 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 to 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
  • Light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

Instructions
For the pesto:
  1. Coat your food processor with PAM Canola Oil Cooking Spray. Combine the basil, arugula, parsley, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly combined. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse again until smooth. Season with salt, taste and adjust any ingredients as necessary. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  2. To see the rest of the instructions and the complete recipe card, please visit The Kitchn.

To see the rest of the instructions and the complete recipe card, please visit The Kitchn.

Impress your friends and family with this Scalloped Potato Casserole at your next party or holiday brunch! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with pesto and then topped with tomatoes and a light bread crumb topping, this casserole will be the star at your table! #Easter #brunch

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with PAM Cooking Spray and The Kitchn. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

 

Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

Hey everyone!! We’re on Spring Break and I’m in Dallas with the girls visiting my parents. Do you remember Spring Break as a kid or a teenager? I think I just remember lounging around the house, sleeping in late and hanging out with friends.

Since my parents live in Texas, we try to visit as much as possible so the girls can see their grandparents. Anyway, should be a really fun week!!

Let’s get to these tacos!

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

You guys . . these tacos are filled with some of my favorite things: swiss chard, asparagus (which I can’t get enough of these days), black beans, farro and more!

And to make these tacos even better, I made an avocado crema . . with a secret ingredient!!!

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

I love the avocado crema on these tacos!! Adds such a fresh and creamy taste!!! I LOVED these tacos!

This is seriously the easiest meal to throw together and so delicious! You can even make the avocado crema ahead of time and store it in your fridge. And if you have leftover filling, just eat the filling by itself for lunch! I wish I doubled the recipe so I could eat more of the farro filling!

So, click on over to The Kitchenthusiast, where I am sharing my post and this complete recipe! I hope you enjoy!

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian

Ingredients
For the avocado crema:
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved with the pit removed
  • ¾ cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons salsa verde
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt + more if needed
For the tacos:
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 spears of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (about 4 cups), leaves only; chopped
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 cups cooked farro
  • 8 small flour tortillas, warmed
For serving:
  • Your choice of salsa: red or salsa verde
  • Red bell peppers, finely diced
  • Tomatoes, finely diced (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocado slices
  • Avocado crema

Instructions
For the avocado crema:
  1. Pulse together the avocado and yogurt in your KitchenAid® Food Processor until smooth. Add in the cilantro, salsa verde, lime juice and cumin and process again for about a minute or so. Season with salt, pulse together again and taste. Adjust any seasonings as needed.
  2. For the rest of the instructions and for the full recipe card, please visit The Kitchenthusiast.

Click here for the full recipe card and instructions.

And in case you missed it, enter my giveaway for a KitchenAid NESPRESSO MAKER here!!!! Good luck and I hope you enter!

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with KitchenAid. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. 

 

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

My spiralizer. Yes, I’m hooked. And not with just zucchini. I’ve been spiralizing broccoli stalks, Chinese radishes, carrots and potatoes. I’m actually reviewing the new Inspiralized Cookbook by Ali Maffucci for The Kitchn and will be giving away a COPY so stay tuned for that post and a chance to win in the next couple of weeks.

This recipe is inspired by this recipe (uh, gorgeous!!) and I changed a couple of things up and added zucchini noodles instead. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can also use a julienne slicer and cut up the zucchini that way. But, if you’ve been on the fence, you need to just buy a spiralizer.

I mean, come on.

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

Hello gorgeous.

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

I made this dish for my friend the other night and she was amazed at not only the taste and texture, but how the zoodles actually looked. Like real noodles!

As you are reading this, I am presenting to 125 second graders on Korean culture. I decided against the Gangnam Style dance and am teaching the kids how to sing Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes in Korean instead. Thank you to everyone who gave me advice and some great tips!!

I’m totally behind on blog reading and this is why. . I prepped a power point presentation and then realized I’m presenting to 2nd graders so took out a lot, kept it pretty simple but still informational but added just a bunch of images and a couple videos.

You Tube has been my savior lately.

So, after today, I’ll be catching up!!!

And before I get back to this recipe, I need to tell you guys about the Pinterest Party that Liz, Brandy, Carolyn, Anna, Diane, Taylor, Alea, Kim and I are throwing. .  TONIGHT, at 9pm EST!!! And you could win a $500 juicer from KitchenAid (and more!) so JOIN US!!!

Spring is almost here (officially) and the weather will be warmer, we’ll be putting away the jeans and busting out the shorts, dresses and skirts so yes, as much as I love pasta, I’m cutting down on it. And with this recipe, you might not even miss it.

This puttanesca sauce is super easy to prepare and comes together pretty quickly. AND it has so much flavor, you might want to eat this everyday for three days in a row. Just sayin’.

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

You guys have to try this.

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Some spiralizer brands are different so just use the blade that will give you the thinner noodles.
Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 large sized zucchini, unpeeled and spiralized with blade C
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (about ¾ cup)
  • ½ tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup black olives, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • few slivers of Parmesan cheese

Instructions
  1. Spiralize your zucchini and set aside. Using a large sized sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. After a minute or two, add the onions, anchovy paste and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, or until the onions just start to soften a bit.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, olives and chopped basil, turn the heat up and bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to low and simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and toss gently, coating all the zucchini with the sauce. Cook for a few minutes and season with crushed red pepper flakes if desired. Serve with big slivers of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Vikalinka.com

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

 

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Gorgeous and impressive, this Asparagus Gruyere Tart makes for a delicious appetizer or main dish. It's also super EASY to make! You've got to try this! #brunch #tart #savory

That dreaded walk of shame.

You might know that walk. And maybe you have to endure that walk pretty frequently like myself. I’m talking about whenever I’m late for something. Walking in late. With my head slightly down.

At church. At pre-school when I drop off Madeline late. At Madeline’s ballet class. Sometimes, when meeting friends.

I’m almost always running late, which I hate. This is something I am constantly working on. Some days/weeks are great but some days/weeks, it’s bad. Like having your daughter late to pre-school everyday, three days in a row.

The walk of shame.

Gorgeous and impressive, this Asparagus Gruyere Tart makes for a delicious appetizer or main dish. It's also super EASY to make! You've got to try this! #brunch #tart #savory

You can tell what the state of my life and mind are in simply by looking in my purse (or my messy bedroom). If my purse is organized, I’m good. .  but usually it’s a big mess, with all sorts of things thrown in there: napkins, snacks, half eaten crackers and granola bars, a million pieces of paper with scribbles on it (almost always a grocery list or recipe ideas).

The other day, I was done. I was sick of having crap everywhere so I cleaned the house, cleaned out my purse and got Madeline to school on time. And then, I came home and made this tart.

Gorgeous and impressive, this Asparagus Gruyere Tart makes for a delicious appetizer or main dish. It's also super EASY to make! You've got to try this! #brunch #tart #savory

This super easy and utterly delicious Asparagus and Gruyere Tart.

Gorgeous and impressive, this Asparagus Gruyere Tart makes for a delicious appetizer or main dish. It's also super EASY to make! You've got to try this! #brunch #tart #savory

Maybe it was the magical, beautiful asparagus that inspired me. That was calling my name. Maybe it’s because it’s spring and the weather is starting to warm up again and I have no time for lateness. I have no time for messy and unorganized.

I want to be my best self this spring. Insert the inspirational music right here.

And this tart kinda gave me hope that I can do it. And you can too.

Gorgeous and impressive, this Asparagus Gruyere Tart makes for a delicious appetizer or main dish. It's also super EASY to make! You've got to try this! #brunch #tart #savory

Easter is less than one month away and I don’t know about you, but Easter is big for us. And you gotta have great food right?! We always host an Easter brunch and you can bet that this tart will be on the table.

Totally inspired by Martha ..  but I added this honey dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar for an extra kick and used two puff pastry sheets to make a larger tart. If you don’t have this, you can simply use dijon and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. I hope you give this one a try!

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

TIP: I simply leave my frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Then, it’s ready to use the next day. If you don’t have the honey dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard and serve with some balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer, Side or Main
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar
  • 7 ounces (about 3 cups) Gruyere cheese, freshly grated
  • 1½ pounds medium asparagus, trimmed*
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Balsamic glaze, when serving

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep a parchment lined baking sheet and place the two puff pastry sheets on the baking sheet, overlapping them just an inch in order to connect them. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges all around to mark a rectangle. Then, using a fork, pierce the dough all around in the center, not the edges. Bake the pastry dough until golden, for about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the pastry shell from the oven, let it sit for a minute or two and then spread on the honey dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar (or dijon mustard if that’s what you have) and then sprinkle on the Gruyere cheese.
  3. *Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell. Arrange them in a single layer over the Gruyere cheese, alternating ends and tips. Brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the spears are tender, for about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve with balsamic glaze.

Check out this great step by step video here.

Gorgeous and impressive, this Asparagus Gruyere Tart makes for a delicious appetizer or main dish. It's also super EASY to make! You've got to try this! #brunch #tart #savory

Easter Brunch Menu Ideas:

Asparagus Gruyere Tart, recipe above

Onion, Mushroom and Thyme Tart

Apple and Cheddar Quiche

Fennel Apple Salad

Apple Spinach and Zucchini Salad

Roasted Potatoes with Arugula

Lemon Madeleines

Lemon Olive Oil Yogurt Cake

Olive Oil and Thyme Mini Bundt Cakes

Spring Time French Macarons

 

 

Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad

Quick, EASY to make and delicious! This raw Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad, mixed with a light and flavorful creamy lemon dressing is so good! You have to try this!

You guys. I think we made it. We survived another winter.

I’m starting to see real signs of spring and we actually put away my daughter’s snow boots and snow pants the other day. The weather is now in the mid to upper 50’s here and Friday will be 65 degrees! What?!!!

We made it.

Quick, EASY to make and delicious! This raw Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad, mixed with a light and flavorful creamy lemon dressing is so good! You have to try this!

Spring is here and I’ve got salad on the brain. I love salads that I can munch on straight out of the refrigerator. Everything is raw and crunchy and I love it. And with this salad, you can even eat it with chips.

Or at least that’s what I did.

Homemade BAKED Tortilla Chips

Have you guys baked your own tortilla chips before? It’s so freaking easy. And my kids like these better than store bought so I’ve been going through tortillas like crazy. Next up: to try making whole wheat tortilla chips.

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing

So, I used the same creamy lemon salad dressing for this one. Because I am obsessed. And again, I love the texture in this salad. I love raw veggies, cauliflower included, so threw some in here. It’s nutritious and adds some crunch. I love the cauliflower with the tomatoes and avocado and chickpeas. .  all drenched in the creamy lemon dressing.

It’s so good, y’all.

Quick, EASY to make and delicious! This raw Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad, mixed with a light and flavorful creamy lemon dressing is so good! You have to try this!

I might make some more today. And eat it outside. :P

Enjoy!

Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad
 
This salad is so versatile. Change up the dressing, add in different things like kalamata olives or pine nuts. Make it your own!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer or Main
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the tortilla chips:
  • 8 small flour tortillas, cut into triangles
  • kosher salt
For the dressing:
  • ⅓ cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • kosher salt and pepper
For the salad:
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped small or diced
  • 3 cups fresh arugula
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 2 avocados, chopped

Instructions
For the tortilla chips:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the tortilla triangles on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 6 minutes, then flip them over, sprinkle with some salt and bake for another 6 to 9 minutes, or until they have reached the desired brownness. Remove from the oven and sprinkle more salt if desired.
For the dressing:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust any ingredients as needed.
For the salad:
  1. Using a large salad or mixing bowl, gently toss together the chickpeas, cauliflower, arugula, parsley, tomatoes, red onions and avocados. Drizzle on the dressing (don’t pour in the entire thing, start with a small amount and see how much you need) and toss together. Serve with the tortilla chips.

Homemade tortilla chips recipe was from Simply Recipes.

Quick, EASY to make and delicious! This raw Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad, mixed with a light and flavorful creamy lemon dressing is so good! You have to try this!

Fennel Apple Salad

Easy-to-make, fresh and using in-season fennel, this Fennel Apple Salad is simple and delicious! #fennelsalad

With no real signs of spring coming any time soon, I’m taking matters into my own hands. Making salads and celebrating in-season spring vegetables!

Easy-to-make, fresh and using in-season fennel, this Fennel Apple Salad is simple and delicious! #fennelsalad

I love fennel. Absolutely love it. And I actually prefer it raw in salads because I love the texture and the crunch!

Easy-to-make, fresh and using in-season fennel, this Fennel Apple Salad is simple and delicious! #fennelsalad

Wednesday of this week I finally emerged out of my house and into the bright, shining sun. After my laser treatment last week, I purposely stayed indoors to avoid the sun.

On Wednesday, it was sunny and gorgeous outside. 12 degrees but still sunny and beautiful. I was driving home from the grocery store, the sun beaming down on me and for a second, I felt great in that moment  . . and did the unthinkable . . I rolled down the window.

Forgot where I was for a second.

Even in the 12 degree weather, it was a beautiful day and I treated myself to a salad and my Prius to a car wash. Is it just me or do you feel better when your car is clean too?

So, I got a car wash. .  and remember it was freaking cold so as soon as I drove out of the car wash thing, the droplets of water on the exterior of my car froze.

Ah, Wisconsin, you gotta love it.

I got home and made this salad. And licked the plate clean.

Easy-to-make, fresh and using in-season fennel, this Fennel Apple Salad is simple and delicious! #fennelsalad

Two things that make this salad, well, other than the fennel, are the lemon dressing and the Parmesan. You guys, I love this dressing. Do you ever make your own homemade dressing, fall in love and then proceed to drizzle it over everything?! For like a week? Well, that’s what I did here.

So, that means I’ll have another fabulous recipe coming up soon using this creamy lemon dressing.

Easy-to-make, fresh and using in-season fennel, this Fennel Apple Salad is simple and delicious! #fennelsalad

And I love big slivers of parmesan on my salads. It’s the salty with the fresh taste, and mixed in with the sweetness from the apples. .  oh baby.

Easy-to-make, fresh and using in-season fennel, this Fennel Apple Salad is simple and delicious! #fennelsalad

This is like the easiest salad to throw together. You guys have to try this! Happy Friday!!! What are you guys doing this weekend?

Fennel Apple Salad
 
I like to use a vegetable peeler to shave a few slices of parmesan over the top of the salad.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer or Main
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces (about 4 packed cups) fresh arugula, washed and dried
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin or shaved on a mandoline
  • ½ small apple, (Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Red Delicious) unpeeled and sliced thin or shaved on a mandoline
  • ⅓ cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve

Instructions
  1. Combine the arugula, shaved fennel and apple slices in a serving bowl and gently toss together. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon zest, adding another glug of olive oil if you need it. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix again.
  2. Serve the salad and drizzle on the dressing. Serve with some big slivers of parmesan cheese and enjoy immediately.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn. New to fennel? Check out this post to learn how to cut fennel.

Easy-to-make, fresh and using in-season fennel, this Fennel Apple Salad is simple and delicious! #fennelsalad

 

Beef and Barley Stew with Biscuit Croutons

Packed with beef, barley, beans, lentils and vegetables, this Beef and Barley Stew delivers. Big and bold flavors in each and every bite, you've got to try this! #stew #comfortfood

Today’s recipe is all about celebrating fresh produce and pantry staples. Because, friends, that’s all you really need to make a great meal.

Packed with beef, barley, beans, lentils and vegetables, this Beef and Barley Stew delivers. Big and bold flavors in each and every bite, you've got to try this! #stew #comfortfood

Recently, the good people from Farmbox Direct sent me a box of 100% organic fruits and vegetables. Farmbox Direct is a new subscription based produce delivery service. They are a farm to table, CSA style, USDA certified organic produce delivery service with a focus on locally harvested seasonal produce and all of their products can proudly show the USDA organic logo.

Because Farmbox Direct works with several different farms, you are able to customize what is in your box. So, enjoy a box of fresh fruits and veggies of what you want and each box comes with a recipe suggestion card for the week’s unique menu! Farmbox Direct is an easy way to fuel and maintain a healthy lifestyle, so be sure to check them out! I am a huge supporter of eating and cooking with seasonal, fresh and organic produce so I love what they are doing.

Once you have the fresh produce, you also need to make sure your pantry is stocked properly. What do you have in your pantry? I’m currently on a lentil, beans and barley kick. I could live off this stuff. For reals.

Packed with beef, barley, beans, lentils and vegetables, this Beef and Barley Stew delivers. Big and bold flavors in each and every bite, you've got to try this! #stew #comfortfood

So, I took my vegetables, the celery, carrots and the beautiful purple potatoes from Farmbox Direct, my beans, lentils and barley and made this stew!

Packed with beef, barley, beans, lentils and vegetables, this Beef and Barley Stew delivers. Big and bold flavors in each and every bite, you've got to try this! #stew #comfortfood

Oh and I can’t forget these biscuit croutons! Oh my gawd you guys. .  I had leftover biscuits that I had made one morning and so I made some biscuit croutons.

Packed with beef, barley, beans, lentils and vegetables, this Beef and Barley Stew delivers. Big and bold flavors in each and every bite, you've got to try this! #stew #comfortfood

Life changing.

So, grab a bowl and let’s warm up with some beef and barley stew. Who wants some?

Packed with beef, barley, beans, lentils and vegetables, this Beef and Barley Stew delivers. Big and bold flavors in each and every bite, you've got to try this! #stew #comfortfood

Packed with beef, barley, beans, lentils and vegetables, this Beef and Barley Stew delivers. Big and bold flavors in each and every bite, you've got to try this! #stew #comfortfood

It’s March 1st (I can’t believe it’s March?!) but it’s still cold here in Wisconsin, like cold and still snowing occasionally, until April. But I just might be able to survive another month with several bowls of this stew. Now, this one takes a while so make this one on a Saturday or Sunday and enjoy!

It’s so good!

Beef and Barley Stew with Biscuit Croutons
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients
For the croutons:
  • 3 or 4 already made biscuits, cut into large-ish cubes
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted
  • dried parsley flakes
For the stew:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 oz pancetta or bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small leek, well rinsed and chopped (tender white part only)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh Italian parsley + more for garnish
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 zest of lemon
  • 1 zest of orange
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1½ 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups cooked pearl barley
  • 1 cup cooked beans and lentils (or more if desired)

Instructions
For the biscuit croutons:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a parchment lined baking sheet and toss the biscuit cubes on top, spreading on the baking sheet evenly. Drizzle with the melted butter and sprinkle on the dried parsley flakes and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
For the stew:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the beef in batches on all sides, setting aside on a plate as the pieces are browned. (Don’t salt the meat yet, as you won’t obtain a proper sear). When all the beef is browned and has been removed, add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook just to render the fat, for about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, leeks, onion, and the garlic. Cover the pot and sweat the vegetables over medium heat until the onions and leeks are tender, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, tie the whole sprigs of parsley, rosemary and thyme and the lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves into a sachet wrapped in cheesecloth. Once the vegetables are sweated, pour in the wine and increase the heat to high to reduce the wine by half. Add in the sachet, the tomatoes, chicken stock, and allspice. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Return the browned beef to the pot, add the potatoes and cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender, but the sauce is still soupy, for about 1 to 2 hours. When the meat is tender, add the cooked barley, the cooked beans and lentils and simmer to blend the flavors, for about 15 minutes. Discard the sachet. Ladle the stew into bowls and top each serving with some more fresh parsley and the biscuit croutons. Enjoy!

Recipe from Geoffrey Zakarian’s My Perfect Pantry (changed slightly). Recipe published here.

Packed with beef, barley, beans, lentils and vegetables, this Beef and Barley Stew delivers. Big and bold flavors in each and every bite, you've got to try this! #stew #comfortfood

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I am a huge supporter of fresh, seasonal and organic produce and wanted to help promote Farmbox Direct. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

 

Velvety Leek and Potato Soup

Rich, creamy and velvety leek and potato soup, made with a surprise ingredient so everyone can enjoy it! #soup #comfortfood #dairyfriendly #vegetarian

I’ve never been one to be afraid and not talk about stuff. But I think it’s hilarious how this recipe and post came together for The Kitchn, where I am a contributing writer and recipe developer.

So, my love for all things dairy (cheese, ice cream, recipes using heavy cream, etc.) is not a secret . . but you may be surprised to discover that I am a little lactose intolerant, which simply means my body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products.

Now, I LOVE dairy so this could pose a problem. But thank the Lord for products like lactaid, almond milk and my coffeemate creamer, which I use every morning and is lactose-free. I still obviously consume dairy products, just not that much of it, or not a lot in one sitting.

I never thought I’d be talking about my lactose problems but here we are and I’m doing it. You’ve got to check out my post, where I share how leek and potato soup came into our lives, and the recipe over at The Kitchn. I’ve now discovered how to make my family’s favorite soup, where I can enjoy it, and it’s still rich, creamy and velvety!

Rich, creamy and velvety leek and potato soup, made with a surprise ingredient so everyone can enjoy it! #soup #comfortfood #dairyfriendly #vegetarian

Velvety Leek and Potato Soup
 
If you are not lactose intolerant, you can use heavy cream in place of the Lactaid (lactose-free cow’s milk). With heavy cream, I start with just a ½ cup. Feel free to add more if desired.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer or Main
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large leeks, tender white and light green parts only, chopped
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ½ medium to large head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 cup low-fat or non-fat lactose-free cow’s milk
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and de-seeded
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chives, diced for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Using a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, potatoes and cauliflower and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have started to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and mix one more time.
  2. To get the FULL recipe card, instructions and nutritional facts for this recipe, please visit The Kitchn.

Click here for the full recipe.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, in partnership with The Kitchn and The National Dairy Council. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

 

Dukbokki: Korean Spicy Rice Cakes

Dukbokki, or Korean Spicy Rice Cakes, is Korean comfort food at its best. Made with soft rice cakes, fish cake, a variety of vegetables and a sweet and spicy sauce, you’ve got to try this! #koreanfood #dukbokki #comfortfood

We live in a small town, just outside of Madison, Wisconsin. The population here is a little over 12,000 people and unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of diversity where we live. Especially at my daughter’s elementary school.  . . a vast difference from where we lived in Washington, where there was a good mix of Indian American, Chinese, African American and Caucasian.

After an event that happened last summer, I took it upon myself to email the principal, set up a meeting with my daughter’s school guidance counselor (who is in charge of everything diversity related. .  sexual orientation, different ethnicities, different backgrounds etc. and who does a great job in teaching the kids as much as she can about respect and celebrating differences.) I wanted to find out more about the student body and what they were learning as far as different countries and cultures.

So, long story short. I am going to be giving two presentations on Korean Culture to the entire second grade. There are about 125 students so we’re splitting them up by classes. OK, second graders. .  so I have to not only make this interesting and fun but also memorable. Because the last thing I want is for them to sit through 30 minutes of me talking and showing slides and them not remember a thing.

My sister thinks I should end the talk by teaching the kids the Gangnam Style dance by PSY, a Korean pop star and singer, who was huge 2 years ago.

Um, yeah. .  what do you guys think?

I’ll keep you guys posted. My talk is happening on March 18.

The first question Phoebe, my daughter, asked me was. .  “Mom, do you know what you’re going to say about Korean culture?” I have a rough outline and we’ll see how it goes. .  one thing I know. .  I’m going to plan and prep the best freaking presentation ever. Or so I hope.

If there’s one thing I hope to instill in my children is their pride in being Korean. This is obviously something I want them to appreciate and celebrate. They are still young so, for now, we do what we can (I just signed them up for a Korean culture camp this summer) and talk to them and cook and expose them to lots of Korean food.

Dukbokki, or Korean Spicy Rice Cakes, is Korean comfort food at its best. Made with soft rice cakes, fish cake, a variety of vegetables and a sweet and spicy sauce, you’ve got to try this! #koreanfood #dukbokki #comfortfood

It’s still freaking cold here so I’m turning to one of my favorite Korean food comfort food dishes. Korean spicy rice cakes, or Dukbokki. I’ve made dukbokki before, here on the blog, but this version (meatless) is my go-to. .  it all starts with the rice cakes. Be sure to pick up the cylinder shaped rice cakes for traditional dukbokki.

Dukbokki, or Korean Spicy Rice Cakes, is Korean comfort food at its best. Made with soft rice cakes, fish cake, a variety of vegetables and a sweet and spicy sauce, you’ve got to try this! #koreanfood #dukbokki #comfortfood

What makes this dukbokki epic for me are all the veggies, the rice cakes, the heat and. .  the fried ramen noodles!!

Dukbokki, or Korean Spicy Rice Cakes, is Korean comfort food at its best. Made with soft rice cakes, fish cake, a variety of vegetables and a sweet and spicy sauce, you’ve got to try this! #koreanfood #dukbokki #comfortfood

I mean. .  come on. This is comfort food.

Dukbokki, or Korean Spicy Rice Cakes, is Korean comfort food at its best. Made with soft rice cakes, fish cake, a variety of vegetables and a sweet and spicy sauce, you’ve got to try this! #koreanfood #dukbokki #comfortfood

If you’ve had dukbokki before, you will love this. If you’ve never tasted dukbokki before and can handle some heat, try this. It’s life changing, yo.

And if you’ve stuck with me this past week of celebrating Asian foods here on the blog, thank you!!!

Dukbokki: Korean Spicy Rice Cakes
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Please note the rice cake soaking time. If looking for a vegetarian option, omit the fish cake. TASTE YOUR SAUCE: Add more sugar and/or gochujang as needed.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer or Main
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
  • 1 package of tube shaped Korean Rice cakes
  • Water (to soak the rice cake)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 to 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into thin pieces lengthwise
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 to 5 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup Korean red pepper paste or gochujang
  • 8 oz. mushrooms (any kind), sliced
  • 1 to 2 cups Korean fish cake, cut into triangles
  • 2 packages ramen noodles (discard the powder packets, you will only use the noodles)
  • 1 tablespoon of flour or cornstarch (if needed to thicken the sauce)
  • 4 to 5 stalks of green onions, cut into ½ to 1 inch pieces + diced (for garnish)
  • Roasted sesame seeds for garnish; optional

Instructions
  1. Soak the rice cakes in a large bowl of cold water. Use enough water to cover them. Soak for at least 30 minutes to one hour if possible. One hour is best. You are doing this to help the rice cake soften up. (Even if you buy fresh rice cake, my mom says to soak them for a while so they don’t stick together when you cook them. If soaking overnight, use cold water and place in the fridge).
  2. Using a large wok or saucepan, heat the sesame oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, zucchini and red bell peppers and saute for just a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another minute or so. Add the water, brown sugar, gochujang and rice cakes. You want enough water to barely cover all of the rice cakes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, add in the mushrooms, fish cake, and ramen noodles.
  3. At this point, if you want to or need to add in cornstarch, remove a few tablespoons of liquid from your saucepan and into a small bowl. Mix with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch until completely dissolved and then pour into the saucepan. Mix and allow to thicken a bit. Add in the green onions and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Taste your sauce! Add more sugar and/or gochujang if needed.
  4. To serve: garnish with more green onion, sprinkle sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately.

Dukbokki, or Korean Spicy Rice Cakes, is Korean comfort food at its best. Made with soft rice cakes, fish cake, a variety of vegetables and a sweet and spicy sauce, you’ve got to try this! #koreanfood #dukbokki #comfortfood