Cauliflower Biryani Rice (Whole 30) (Paleo) (Vegan)

A low-carb, paleo side dish to go with any Indian feast!

Cauliflower Biryani Rice #paleo #whole30 #vegan #glutenfree #grainfree

Cauliflower Biryani Rice

This spin on cauliflower rice was originally created to accompany my Tikka Masala Meatballs, but it was so tasty (and is so healthy, by any metric) I thought it deserved its own post. Perfect for Whole 30 – and also happens to be vegan, if you swing that way.

3 cups of riced cauliflower (I pulse it in my food processor) is ABOUT
what I get from one medium head, but if it’s a little more or a little less, don’t sweat it. If you’re using pre-riced cauliflower that’s starting to be sold all over (Trader Joe’s New Seasons, etc.), I just wanted to give you a ballpark amount.

CAULIFLOWER BIRYANI RICE

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon  coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
3 cups (or thereabouts) cauliflower, riced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, nigella seeds (you could substitute cumin seeds if you can’t find nigella, a.k.a. charnoushka), coriander seeds, and turmeric. Sauté until onions have started to turn golden brown and the spices are oh-so-fragrant; 4-5 minutes. Add salt and cauliflower and cook for about 7-8 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick (the other whole spices are fine), take of heat, stir in almonds and cilantro, and serve!

Cauliflower Biryani Rice (Whole 30) (Paleo) (Vegan)
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 3 cups (or thereabouts) cauliflower, riced
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, nigella seeds (you could substitute cumin seeds if you can't find nigella, a.k.a. charnoushka), coriander seeds, and turmeric.
  2. Sauté until onions have started to turn golden brown and the spices are oh-so-fragrant; 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add salt and cauliflower and cook for about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Remove cinnamon stick (the other whole spices are fine), take of heat, stir in almonds and cilantro, and serve!

Cauliflower Biryani Rice #paleo #whole30 #vegan #glutenfree #grainfree

Paleo, vegan, Whole 30 Cauliflower Biryani Rice

— posted by Anne

Genius Almond Milk Triple Mushroom Soup

Almond Milk Mushroom Soup

Almond Milk Mushroom Soup

This is a revolutionary idea: Cream-less Cream of Mushroom Soup. A revelation, I tell you.

There is something about the almond flavor that pairs perfectly with the mushrooms. It just really, really works. This guilt-free creamy soup tastes decadent and rich, yet it is low fat and low carb and full of mushroom-y goodness.

It’s not only Whole30, it is low-carb, low-fat and vegan as well. One of the healthiest (and yummiest!) things I have put in my mouth this year. So far anyway. Mushrooms are one of the best things humans can eat. They are nothing short of miraculous, health-wise. They are effective cancer fighters, particularly breast cancer, they lower cholesterol, improve immune systems, help burn fat and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Instead of “an apple a day,” perhaps we should eat a pound of mushrooms a day.

One of my favorite type of garnish/sauce is chimichurri. It adds a powerful flavor punch to any dish that has it is spooned on top. If you put a fresh chimichurri on top of a piece of shoe leather, I am pretty sure I would eat it and rave about its deliciousness.

I decided to add diced raw mushroom to standard chimichurri. This was a spectacular topping to the mushroom soup. So, so, SO good.

Almond Milk Mushroom Soup

ALMOND MILK TRIPLE MUSHROOM SOUP
with Raw Mushroom Chimichurri Topping

2 ounces dried shitake mushrooms
1 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
32 ounces vegetable broth
4 cups unsweetened almond milk

Place the dried shitake mushrooms in 4 cups of boiling water and let steep for about 30 minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Drain off and reserve liquid and chop softened mushrooms.

In a large stockpot, saute onions in oil until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms and saute for another few minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Add in garlic and cook for one more minute. Add in chopped shitake mushrooms.

Pour into stock pot the reserved mushroom water, the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or so.

Remove the stockpot from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth.

Return to stockpot and whisk in the almond milk. Serve with raw mushroom chimichurri.

Raw mushroom chimichurri: Stir together 1/2 cup minced parsley or cilantro; 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar; 2 cloves garlic, pressed; 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil; and 1/2 cup diced white button mushrooms. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Genius Almond Milk Triple Mushroom Soup (Whole30) (Vegan) (Low Carb)
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
Instructions
  1. Place the dried shitake mushrooms in 4 cups of boiling water and let steep for about 30 minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Drain off and reserve liquid and chop softened mushrooms.
  2. In a large stockpot, saute onions in oil until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms and saute for another few minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Add in garlic and cook for one more minute. Add in chopped shitake mushrooms.
  3. Pour into stock pot the reserved mushroom water, the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or so.
  4. Remove the stockpot from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth.
  5. Return to stockpot and whisk in the almond milk. Serve with raw mushroom chimichurri.
  6. Raw mushroom chimichurri: Stir together ½ cup minced parsley or cilantro; 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar; 2 cloves garlic, pressed; ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil; and ½ cup diced white button mushrooms. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Other food bloggers do vegan mushroom soups:

Vegan Mushroom Soup, Cookin Canuck
Oyster Mushroom Bisque, The Blender Girl
Vegan Chanterelle Cream Soup, My New Roots

Southwest Soba Noodle Bowl with Ginger Jalapeño Broth (Vegan)

Broth with a flavor punch of ginger and jalapeño – and the trick to serving soup to a crowd!
Southwest Soba Noodles

A good soba noodles bowl is one of my favorite comfort foods. I love Asian flavors and so I was craving this dish, but wanted to try a twist, naturally.

I have been obsessed with broths lately. How to make them full bodied rich and tasty and interesting, but not take all day. So, one thing I have been doing is bringing the broth to a boil and load it with aromatics and then turn off the heat and let it steep. Like a good tea, this works like a charm. I put one sliced jalapeño pepper and some sliced ginger in a pot of water and just let it sit for awhile. The longer you let it sit, the more flavorful it becomes. I added just a dash of soy sauce and some sesame oil and – East meets West deliciousness was the result.

The other thing that makes this dish a snap to make is Nasoya baked tofu. The folks at Nasoya sent me a sample of this yummy Chipotle tofubaked for this recipe. I love the texture of the pre-baked tofu. It is no-fuss when you are in a hurry – no draining or pressing tofu. Just cube and use in your recipe. SO great. I cut the tofu into cubes and put it right into the noodle bowl, and it was perfect.

For a buffet – like for instance on Game Day – here’s the trick to serving a broth-based soup: Keep a bowl of your cooked ingredients at room temperature (minus the broth) on hand with serving bowls in a stack next to it. Then, keep a pot of hot broth in a slow cooker nearby. Let guest scoop up the ingredients and then ladle hot broth into their bowls. Perfectly cooked and hot soup every time!

Happy Game Day, everyone!

Southwest Soba Noodles

 

Southwest Soba Noodles with Ginger Jalapeño Broth

Serves 6 to 8

6 green onions, whites and green separated
1 piece (3 inches) ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup low sodium tamarin soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
8 ounces Nasoya Chipotle tofubaked, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 ounces soba noodles, cooked according to package directions
1 bunch baby bok choy, thinly sliced
6 ounces snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
Black sesame seeds for garnish

In a saucepan, place 8 cups water and the green onion whites, thinly sliced, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes.  Stein and discard solids. Pour broth into a slow cooker and turn on high.

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add oils. Sauce the bok choy and snow peas for 2 to 3 minutes, until just tender but not soft. Stir together with tofu and soba noodles and place in a large serving bowl.

Keep broth hot and let guests spoon vegetables and some hot broth into their serving bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Southwest Soba Noodle Bowl with Ginger Jalapeño Broth (Vegan)
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Southwest
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 green onions, whites and green separated
  • 1 piece (3 inches) ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ¼ cup low sodium tamarin soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 8 ounces Nasoya Chipotle tofubaked, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces soba noodles, coked according to package directions
  • 1 bunch baby bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Black sesame seeds for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, place 8 cups water and the green onion whites, thinly sliced, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Stein and discard solids. Pour broth into a slow cooker and turn on high.
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add oils. Sauce the bok choy and snow peas for 2 to 3 minutes, until just tender but not soft. Stir together with tofu and soba noodles and place in a large serving bowl.
  3. Keep broth hot and let guests spoon vegetables and some hot broth into their serving bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds.

 

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
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Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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

Compound Coconut Oil “Butters” – Easy Homemade Gifts for All The Foodies On Your List

Compound Coconut Oil “Butters” are perfect homemade gifts for all the foodies on your list
– including the vegan ones!

Compound Coconut Oil "Butters" #Homemade gifts for all the foodies on your list - including the #vegan ones!

Compound Coconut Oil “Butters”

The time of year has come when all my people are figuring out what special homemade foodie treats we’ll be making for the foodies on our list.  This year: the basic concept of compound butter (such a great flavor enhancer for so many things), but made with coconut oil instead. Perfect for all food lovers, including the vegan, paleo, or otherwise dairy-free ones, and they last for ages on the shelf, too!

Really easy as can be. Pick one or two (or all) of the flavor combinations laid out below, and play around with other variations if you like, of course! I like the sturdiness of small mason jars, but you can use any container you desire.

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Pumpkin Spice Tacos

Pumpkin Spice Tacos: sometimes a bandwagon is a very good thing. (Yes, they’re savory.)

Pumpkin Spice Tacos #vegetarian #vegan #gf #dairyfree

Pumpkin Spice Tacos

Not long ago, the advent of fall made itself known via the onslaught of pumpkin spice everything, everywhere. Judging by my social media streams, roughly half the population couldn’t possibly be more stoked about it, while the other half rolled their eyes at the now annual flavor phenomenon. Clearly in the latter crowd, a friend posted this picture:

On display at the Rosepepper Cantina in Nashville

On display at the Rosepepper Cantina in Nashville.

And being me, I thought, ” . . . that actually sounds pretty good.” Okay, not as in a sugared-up dessert, but with savory spices, in a vegetarian Southwest context. What’s not to love? By the way, the pic above, from the Rosepepper Cantina? They have a long history of hilarious signage – check out a collection of their hits here. …

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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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Acorn squash with a whole new spicy twist.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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

Caramel with Molasses, Maple and Sucanat: Apples Optional

Sometimes it’s worth sharing a fail when there’s a WIN in the same effort, as in the case of these wretched-looking mini candy apples with what turned out to be an fabulously flavorful caramel sauce.

Caramel with Molasses, Maple and Sucanat #dairyfree #norefinedsugar

Go ahead, laugh. I deserve it! But truly, the flavor of the sauce is worth making this for other caramel uses.

Aren’t they pitiful? You can say so, I know they are. Any food blogger these days naturally gets excited when they think they may have a potential Pinterest hit in the works. I thought these adorable mini apples might be contenders, scooped with a melon baller and skewered with twig-shaped lollipop sticks, sprinkled with smoked sea salt.

Well.

The consistency was potentially a problem, but the moisture on the apple balls (having no skin on them) made them so slippery that the caramel more or less slid right off.  Letting the caramel cool and thicken a bit more helped a little, but as you can see, it was eventually to no avail.

But the good news is the flavor of the sauce. As I’ve mentioned once or thrice, I have a serious Thing for caramel and will eagerly try all the varieties I can. I wanted to experiment with some unrefined sweeteners (like sucanat and molasses from Wholesome Sweeteners). I also wanted to make it dairy-free and slightly lower-glycemic. Both the coconut milk and the unrefined sweeteners, the molasses lent the caramel a hint of tanginess and umami that worked beautifully – even if it looked far from beautiful melting around the base of those apples. And hey, the minerals in both the sucanat and the molasses give it a nutritional boost as well. …

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Caramel Apple Cheesecake Parfaits – A Raw Dessert for Early Fall

If you’ve never tried a raw dessert, these Caramel Apple Cheesecakes are a perfect intro (especially on an autumn day). 

Raw Caramel Apple Cheesecakes #rawdessert #paleo #vegan

Layered Caramel Apple Cheesecakes – a perfect raw dessert for fall.

Raw food ‘cooking’ and I got off to an awkward, if memorable, start. I was already intrigued by the concept, and had sampled and loved quite a few raw dishes at some of my favorite vegan restaurants that featured raw cuisine (like Caravan of Dreams) when I was living in NYC (and was still a committed vegetarian).  Later, having relocated to Connecticut, when I saw that a local cooking school was offering a whole series on raw cuisine, I jumped at the chance immediately, securing my slot well in advance.

By the time the class rolled around, I was newly pregnant and in the throes of so-called morning sickness. For me, like so many other moms, this was really more like feeling intensely carsick 24 hours a day (if ONLY it were limited to morning). Very little food sounded appetizing at all, the least of which was vegetables – normally something I loved and thrived upon.  I still attended the class, never one to let money or learning opportunities go to waste, so although Lily was only about the size of a peppercorn at the time, she prevented me from tasting more than a few perfunctory nibbles of everything we created. Drat!

But first trimesters pass in the blink of an eye, and soon enough I was able to make the items I had missed out on at home, thanks to the booklet our instructor had given out. Though living exclusively or even primarily on raw foods doesn’t work for me, I appreciate many of the benefits: how nutrient-dense it is, how it’s naturally dairy-free (and much of it is quite paleo-compatible, actually, if you’re including it in balance).

It’s especially great for having the occasional dessert treat  – hence this creation. With the seasonal shift well underway, I was starting to crave some caramelly, cinnamon apple flavors. A bit of experimentation led to this! It takes a bit of prep and assembly, but the effort is totally worthwhile. Multiple household members reported back with enthusiastic reviews. (Then again, none of us are pregnant. Proceed with caution if you are.)…

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Pomegranate Poached Pears

Pomegranate Pears

Poached pears is one of those desserts that I think of every time there is that fall chill in the air. I don’t eat a lot of fresh pears, but poached pears are one of my favorite things. They are soft and velvety and comforting. I love the flavors of this recipe – the pomegranate gives tartness and the Balsamic gives richness. The hint of cinnamon is just right without being overpowering.

We have Asian pear trees in our yard, and so I sometimes use those. My favorite pears for this are Red Bartletts or Comice pears. They have a smooth texture without a grainy texture, and yet are sturdy enough to hold up to poaching.

The flavors of this recipe are so warm and cinnamon-y. I love the tang of the pomegranate paired with the sweetness of the pears.

Put this on your Must Try list for fall. You won’t be sorry!

Pomegranate Poached Pears
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 3 ripe red Bartlett pears
Instructions
  1. In a large deep skillet, bring the juice, water, vinegar, sugar and cinnamon stick to a boil.
  2. Peel pears and cut in half lengthwise. With a melon baller, scoop out core and seeds from middle of pears. Please pears in skillet and immediately reduce heat so that liquid is barely simmering. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning pears frequently.