Cauliflower Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day (Whole30) (Paleo) (Low Carb)

A Whole 30, low-carb, nutrient-packed version of the comfort food classic for St. Paddy’s Day.

Cauliflower Colcannon (a.k.a. Caulicannon) for a #paleo #whole30 #lowcarb St. Patrick's Day

Cauliflower Colcannon (a.k.a. Caulicannon) for a #paleo #whole30 #lowcarb St. Patrick’s Day

As one of the unmistakable portents of impending spring, St. Patrick’s Day recipes are starting to pop up all over. I’ve come to love cauliflower rice in so many different forms, so a few years ago, I thought, why not use cauliflower mash as the foundation of a low-carb AND paleo colcannon? Let’s call it Caulicannon.

On top of good flavors, the texture combination works really well here. All on its own, I do generally prefer either ricing cauliflower or roasting it, rather than the pureed version that can be substituted for potatoes, but in this instance, it really hits the spot. My only regret is not doubling the recipe so I’d have more leftovers! Can’t help thinking this would be excellent with some corned beef or bangers, but it would pair well with anything that goes with mashed potatoes.

Slainte to all!…

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Cocoa Crusted Roasted Cauliflower (Whole30) (Low Carb) (Vegan)

Cocoa Crusted Roasted Cauliflower

Some recipes just make you scratch your head in wonder. Cocoa and Cauliflower are two things I never thought I would see in a recipe together. And yet, here we are.

Foodie Boy Genius Justin Warner coated his cauliflower with cocoa powder and then roasted it. They don’t call him a Boy Wonder for nothing. This is a genius dish, I tell you. The cocoa gives the cauliflower a rich, deep satisfying taste.

I thought it needed a little heat and smokiness, so I decided to add smoked paprika in equal parts with the cocoa powder and then some salt. SO delicious. The one thing I will say is that you should eat this right out of the oven, because if it sits, the moisture form the cauliflower florets will make the cocoa soggy and not crusty.

This dish only takes about 5 minutes of prep time. You just toss the cauliflower florets in some olive oil and then dip the florets in the cocoa powder mixture.

And you’ll never look at cauliflower the same way again.

Cocoa Crusted Roasted Cauliflower

Cocoa Crusted Roasted  Cauliflower

1 small head of cauliflower, hard stem removed and broken into florets
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the florets in oil . Stir together the cocoa powder, smoked paprika and salt. Hold the florets by the stems and then sprinkle each one generously with the cocoa mixture. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until cauliflower is fork tender.
Serev warm.

Cocoa Crusted Roasted Cauliflower
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, hard stem removed and broken into florets
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the florets in oil . Stir together the cocoa powder, smoked paprika and salt. Hold the florets by the stems and then sprinkle each one generously with the cocoa mixture. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until cauliflower is fork tender.
  3. Serev warm.

Other food bloggers do intriguing cauliflower:

Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Lemon and Cumin, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Honey Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Crispy Sage, Food for my Family
Buffalo Ranch Cauliflower Nachos, The Wicked Noodle
Roast Cauliflower with Lemon, Almonds and Pomegranate, Healthy Delicious

5 Minute Miracle Thanksgiving Dishes

Seriously easy, seriously delicious holiday dishes.
grape walnut salad

Last minute holiday dishes that are ready in 5 minutes are such a joy when you are exhausted and frazzled and out of time.

One of my very favorite easy fruit salads is a perfect example. Grape Salad with Walnuts has only four healthy ingredients, takes 5 minute to stir together and – most importantly – is so, so delicious. The textures and flavors are amazing – soft grapes, crunchy walnuts and pomegranate seeds and then a creamy vanilla yogurt. YUM.

This salad has become a must on the Kelly family holiday table.

Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Bites

If you need a quick, easy appetizer, these Cranberry Pistachio Goat Cheese Bites will save you! There are just five ingredients and take just a few minutes to roll. And, bonus: they look so festive on a platter!

White Bean Kale and Sausage Soup

Soup as a first course turns a meal into a feast, wouldn’t you agree?

This White Bean, Kale and Sausage Soup is packed with flavor, has just five ingredients and takes only 5 minutes. Yes, I do believe in miracles.

This soup has become one of my weeknight go-to dinners – it is amazing that it takes only a few minutes, and that includes opening the cans of beans! My family asks for it over and over again.

Happy, relaxing Holidays is my wish for you!



Roasted Brussels Sprouts Grapes and Shallots

A last-minute Thanksgiving side that takes 10 minutes of your precious holiday cooking time.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Grapes and Shallots

If you are a Brussels sprouts hater, this dish is for you. The sweetness of the grapes and shallots are a perfect foil for the sprouts – and the nuts add a nice crunch. The medley of the flavors and textures of this dish just sing!

Bonus: this dish takes very little of your time, which is always at a premium on holidays. Just tossing things in oil and spreading them on a baking sheet – so easy, so worth it.

You probably knew this, but Brussels sprouts are some of the world’s healthiest things. They are little powerhouses packed with nutrients, and we should be eating them pretty much every day.

I haven’t always liked Brussels sprouts. In fact, I hated them. This is because most people cooked them incorrectly in the 1970’s. We all just threw them in water and boiled them until they were mushy, sulfury blobs. I still shudder when I think of them this way.

But if you roast them at high heat – now this is a revelation!

My daughter Amy was at my table when I made this recipe – and she posted to all the world: “Only my mom can make Brussels sprouts taste yummy.” This is the child who hated most vegetables!

This is a huge Mom Win!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Grapes and Shallots
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Thro together this amazing side dish in just minutes!
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Holiday
Serves: serves 4 to 6
  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes
  • 2 large shallots, sliced pole to pole in ¼ inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup diced toasted almonds or hazelnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut stem end of Brussels sprouts off and cut large sprouts in half. Toss with one tablespoon of olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes at top of oven.
  3. Toss grapes and shallots with one tablespoon of oil. Add to baking sheet, sprinkle everything with salt and return to oven for another 20 to 30 minutes, until everything is softened and lightly browned.
  4. Remove from oven and place everything on baking sheet in a serving bowl. Pour vinegar and water onto baking sheet and scrape off browned bits with a fork or whisk. Pour over vegetables in serving bowl. Add nuts and toss everything. Serve warm.

Here are some other Brussels dishes with a medley of sweet and crunchy:

Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Cranberries, Julia’s Album
Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate, Walnuts and Jalapeño, Alexandra’s Kitchen
Vietnamese Brussels Sprouts with Mint and Cilantro, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Savory Corn Ebelskivers for Thanksgiving


These savory corn ebelskivers are some gluten-free AMAIZEBALLS for your Thanksgiving sides.

Easy Corn Ebelskivers with Chive Compound Butter #glutenfree

AMAIZEBALLS: Savory Corn Ebelskivers with Chive Compound Butter

It should go without saying by now that I (brace yourself) love Thanksgiving. Any waxing rhapsodical is totally redundant at this point. Even the fact that I love the sides more than the turkey: old news. Let’s take all that as a given, eh? Cracking on with it: Man, I do specifically love me some cornbread on Thanksgiving. Well, anytime, really, but as I try to minimize starchi-carbiness in the day-to-day, it’s definitely one of my favorite treats on special occasions.

My friend Kimberly hit upon garbanzo bean flour as the perfect flour pairing for a gluten-free adaptation. This works remarkably well regardless of the method/technique you choose. This year, I thought I’d try playing with the shape of it a bit, and what’s more fun (and simple, once you get the hang of it) than ebelskivers? The bonus: I get to call them A-MAIZE-BALLS.  …

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Roasted Acorn Squash with Easy Mole Sauce

The vegans at your table will swoon over this southwest spin on a fall favorite squash!
Roasted Acorn Squash with Mole Sauce and Pepitas

Thanksgiving is really all about the sides. Oh sure, both turkey and tofurky (because: family vegetarians) are on our menu every Thanksgiving. But c’mon – the real fun is the sides. You can be adventurous with the sides. Be creative! Be unique! Be bold! Spike your sides with all the flavors loved by those whose legs are under your table. The Kellys are spice and heat lovers. After all, I come from southern Arizona and grew up on tacos and burros. For our extended family Thanksgiving feasts, my uncles would line up on the porch and have a jalepeno eating contest – we kids squealed with delight when their faces turned bright red and sweat poured off of them in buckets!

I decided a spicy spin on fall acorn squash was in order. This dish has warm fall flavors with a kick of heat: acorn squash, spicy mole with just a pinch of chocolate and crunchy pepitas.

The mole is super easy, and can be made up to a week ahead to help minimize last-minute holiday meal stress. Just soak the dried chiles – they will blend up to be very smooth in your sauce. Just a hint of chocolate goes a long way – you don’t want to be reminded of hot fudge sauce!

Mole sauce is traditionally made with chiles and nuts or seeds as thickeners. Here I have simplified things by using almond butter to make the blending quick and smooth. I love both the flavor and texture of this simple sauce – rich and velvety with a hint of heat and spice.

I like to sprinkle pepitas over the top to add crunch – but you could use sliced almonds as well.

We are firm believers that acorn squash should make it to your table this fall. Check out our oven-free squash rings: Maple Chipotle Waffle Iron Squash, and Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash.

Maple Chipotle Waffle Iron Acorn Squash

Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash with Simple Mowiele Sauce and Pepitas
Prep time
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Total time
Acorn squash with a whole new spicy twist.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 servings
  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 guajillo or ancho ciles
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for garnish
  1. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds and strings. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss in oil and then spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until fork tender and lightly browned.
  2. While squash is roasting, chop the chiles and remove seeds and stem. In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil the chiles, broth, onion. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes, or until chiles are very soft.
  3. Add in all remaining ingredients and let simmer another 10 minutes. Cool to warm.
  4. Blend sauce in a blender and taste and season with salt and pepper.

Other bloggers do fabulous and flavorful roasted squash:

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Pistachio Stuffing, A Couple Cooks
Miso Roasted Acorn Squash, Half Baked Harvest
Agave Balsamic Roasted Squash, Kalyn’s KItchen

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Fries

Pumpkin Fries

Healthy Halloween just got even more delicious: PUMPKIN FRIES.

I was going to attempt to make butternut squash fries today, but I didn’t have one and I just got back from the pumpkin patch yesterday with the sweetest punkin’ in the patch (see photo below). Ruby picked out a small pumpkin and carried it to the car all by herself. I decided to make it into pumpkin fries and then of course, I’ll buy a new one for her to carve later.

pumpkin patch

My experiment was a huge success! Pumpkin fries are really SO good – lots of flavor and a great texture – and so many less carbs than potatoes. The Hubs and I ate the whole batch after shooting photos. I must add here that if you let them sit, they get a little soggy – so it is best to eat them straight out of the oven if possible.

This is a great healthy treat to make to use up that Halloween jack-o’-lantern that you always feel guilty about throwing away, but don’t know what to do with. Make some pumpkin fries on November 1 – I promise you lots of swoons!

pumpkin fries

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Fries
Prep time
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Total time
Recipe type: Snacks/ Appetizers/Side Dish
  • One small sugar pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Peel pumpkin, scoop out seeds and strings and then cut into fry shapes - about ⅓ of an inch thick. Toss in oil. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at top of oven. Then, remove from oven and turn fries over. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes of so, until fries are fork tender and browned and crispy.
  3. Stir together the smoked paprika, cumin and salt.
  4. Remove fries from oven and sprinkle with spice mixture.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. (NOTE: Fries tend to get soggy if they sit too long, so eat them right out of the oven - for rave reviews!)

Other Healthy Halloween treats:

Carrot Rice Ball Jack O’ Lanterns, Apron Strings
Boonanas, Eating Richly
Bloody Brains Roasted Cauliflower, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Rajatouille: Provençal Masala

Provençal meets Masala in this Indian-spiced variation on ratatouille. 

Ratatouille Masala? Provençala? Rajatouille?

Ratatouille Masala? Provençala? Rajatouille?

A friend first introduced me to Francis Lam’s sublime and utterly killer Weapons-Grade Ratatouille a few years ago, saying, “This is the only ratatouille recipe you need.”  She was 100% correct.  Sure, I like playing around with variations on ratatouille and always will, but when I want the straightforward, real-deal, gestalt of the thing, I never turn anywhere else now. Rearrange whatever plans you need to in order to make his original recipe as soon as you possibly can. (Bonus: just reading the recipe and accompanying text is a good time.)

Then, if you DO feel like experimenting, consider giving this one a try. I had the brainstorm way back in February, while watching “The Hundred Foot Journey”, realizing the eggplant and tomatoes would make this a great template for French-Indian fusion. And yet: February. So I’ve been sitting on that concept for over 6 months – and the time is now.

Because I’m so enamored with Lam’s method (oh tomato jam, how you send me), I still used his overall approach here and all credit is thoroughly due to him. …

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Grilled Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri Sauce

Potatoes play only a supporting role in this flavor-packed grilled salad.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri

Grilled Vegetable (and Potato) Salad with Chimichurri

If you’re as obsessed with grilled vegetables  as I always am this time of year, this could very well be your new go-to summer salad. I originally made a version of this with potatoes only, and loving the POW of the chimichurri as I do, wanted to bring it with me to a gathering last week – only wanted to make it much less starchy. Simple solution? Throw in other summer vegetables to lighten it up (lowering the overall carbs and jacking up the nutrition while we’re at it).

You can, of course, play with the proportions, adding other veggies to the mix and so on, but the overall result is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit. Not to humblebrag, but I honestly hadn’t planned on posting this originally; just bringing a tasty dish to an evening with friends. I got enough requests for the recipe that I had no choice but to (happily) oblige. …

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BLT Salad with Avocado and Creamy Lemon Mayo Dressing

Time to celebrate Peak Tomato with this simple salad version of the classic BLT.

BLT Salad with Creamy Lemon Mayo Dressing

BLT Salad with Creamy Lemon Mayo Dressing (Undressed here, of course. The Before Shot.)

The tomatoes are getting really good here. Is it happening in your area too? Ratatouilles and sauces and other tomato adventures are also assuredly coming, but right now, I just want them in their freshest possible form. And nothing like a good BLT for featuring exactly that.  It was a total rediscovery when I needed to transition from over a decade of vegetarianism. What a masterpiece of minimalism the BLT is: the three star ingredients (the acronym itself) balanced perfectly; the supporting players (bread, mayonnaise) there only to serve the greater purpose.

So if you’re avoiding grains/gluten/starch/carbs, what to do? In this instance, the equation was simple as the original. Leave out the bread, and you have? Salad. Why not run with that? I decided I wanted a touch of softness in the texture, for which the avocado served nicely (along with the goodness its nutritional pedigree contributes). On the bacon, my favorite source is Niman Ranch, for their quality as well as their ethics. And finally, the mayo – I didn’t want it to weigh the salad down, but I gotta say, I definitely do like a little in the mix. Stretching it out with lemon juice and a touch of pepper was all it needed to both lighten the mayo and brighten the whole salad.

Add this to your summer after you load up at the farmer’s market tomato stand this weekend. …

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