Cauliflower Tikka Masala

Hey everybody, sorry it’s been a little while since we posted anything, our laptop had to be sent in for repairs and we just got it back !

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 lb.), florets cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, whole milk or low fat (not fat-free) (we used Fage’s 2%)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (we used Colavita’s extra-virgin olive oil)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, olive oil, or ghee (we used a little more than 1 tablespoon of Colavita’s extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (we used Hunt’s tomato paste)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. finely minced or grated fresh ginger (we grated our ginger on the small holes of a cheese grater)
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala (we used McCormick’s)
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (we used Hunt’s)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream; more as needed (we didn’t use more than the 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Pinch sumac (optional) (didn’t use it)
  • Basmati rice or naan, for serving (we used rice)

Directions

  1. Move your oven rack to the middle and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Take a medium-sized bowl out and add to it the cauliflower, yogurt, olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. salt, tossing the cauliflower to coat. Spread the cauliflower out in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet (we lined our baking sheet with aluminum foil before putting the cauliflower on). Place the baking sheet in the oven, cooking the cauliflower for 22 to 25 minutes or until it’s tender and has browned in spots, flipping once during that time*.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, take a large skillet out and add the 1/2 tablespoon of oil to it, setting the skillet over medium heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion in, stirring frequently for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion’s softened and beginning to brown. Add the following ingredients in, stirring to combine: tomato paste, garlic, ginger, garam masala and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir constantly for about a minute or until you can smell the garlic and the spices. Mix the diced tomatoes and their juices in, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, turning the heat down so it’s just at a simmer while you wait for the cauliflower to get done roasting.
  4. Add the cauliflower, heavy cream and half of the cilantro to the skillet, stirring to combine. Let the sauce cook for another minute or two, until the sauce starts to bubble. Take a taste, adding more salt if necessary. If you want to tone down the spices, add more cream to the sauce (we didn’t). Serve the cauliflower tikka masala, sprinkling on the remaining cilantro and the sumac (if you’re using sumac).

*It took us longer than 25 minutes to achieve the tenderness and browning. The cauliflower did stick to the foil so we’ll spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray next time.

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Mommy loved eating this ! I’m sure I would’ve as well based off how great it smelled but I’m a picky eater and passed on trying this. In her words: “Outstanding ! The warmth of the spices in the garam masala was so wonderful with the acidity of the tomatoes. I loved the hearty, meaty texture of the cauliflower and the silkiness given by the heavy cream. I’m sure the ginger and the cilantro that was cooked in the sauce had to help lend flavor but I couldn’t pick those flavors out. Now, when I had a bite with the fresh cilantro added on at the end, then I could taste it. The dish was great without the cilantro but it was even better with it. It added some freshness and a new layer of flavor.

This recipe came from Fine Cooking.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Fage, Colavita, Hunt’s, McCormick, or Fine Cooking.

Take care everybody !

Fall Vegetable Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup small cauliflower florets
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 tsp. Madras curry powder
  • ½ cup organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson)
  • ½ tsp. salt, divided (we used table salt)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained (we used regular chickpeas)
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained (we used a regular can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 (8.8-oz.) pkg. precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben’s) (we cooked up a pot of brown rice)
  • ½ cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt (we used whole-fat Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Pour the oil into a large nonstick skillet, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add in the sweet potato, stirring now and then for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the cauliflower into the skillet as well as the onion and curry powder. Stir the mixture continuously for one minute before stirring in the broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, chickpeas and tomatoes, waiting for the dish to come to a boil afterwards. Once boiling, put a lid on the skillet and turn the heat down low enough for it to just simmer. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring now and then during that time.
  2. While the curry is simmering, cook the rice according to the directions on the package they’re in. Take the cooked rice and place it in a mixing bowl, adding in the last ¼ teaspoon of salt, stirring to combine. Once the vegetables are tender, split the rice evenly between 4 bowls, topping it with the curry vegetable mixture, yogurt, cashews, and the cilantro.
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This is a wonderful comforting dish to enjoy ! This curry stands on its own but you can choose to add on the toppings and have another layer of flavor and textures. The yogurt does add a creamy texture to the dish but the curry is great without it and omitting the yogurt makes this a vegan curry !

We got this recipe from Cooking Light.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Swanson, Uncle Ben’s, or Cooking Light.

Take care everybody !

Mexican Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 6 ears, maybe less depending on the size of your ears of corn)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions (we sliced ours)
  • 1 pint multicolored cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 ½ oz. crumbled Cotija cheese (1/3 cup)

Directions

  1. Take a small mixing bowl out and whisk together the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper together in it. Slowly whisk the oil in until combined and your dressing is complete !
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the corn, scallions, tomatoes and radish slices. Take the dressing and gently stir it into the large bowl, making sure that the dressing coats the other salad components. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and you’re ready to eat !
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When it comes to how this tastes, I think mommy’s statement after taking her first bite best describes this: “F**k this is delicious !”. When you try the dressing before it’s mixed in, it seems like you’re going to have some serious pucker power in every bite of the salad but once it’s coating all the other components and especially after the Cotija cheese is sprinkled on, the flavor of the lime juice just becomes a nice pleasant bright note in this. We love Cotija so we crumbled up more than just 1/3 cup just so we could have cheese in every serving. The funky flavor of the Cotija cheese pairs perfectly with the flavor of the lime juice and cilantro that comes through in this dish. Another awesome thing about this recipe?  There’s ZERO cooking involved ! As hot as it can get here in the summer, any dish that doesn’t require heat is an awesome summer recipe!!!

We got this recipe from Cooking Light (we weren’t paid in any form to promote them).

Take care everybody !

Skillet Rice and Beans with Corn and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or thawed frozen corn (we used thawed frozen)
  • Salt and pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
  • 12 ounces grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 5 scallions, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Directions

  1. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a 12-inch nonstick skillet, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss the corn in and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the kernels start to brown and pop. Take the corn out of the skillet and place it in a small mixing bowl. Season the corn with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour another tablespoon of oil into the skillet. Once the oil’s hot (which shouldn’t take long at all), add in the onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir frequently for 5 minutes or until the onion’s softened. Add the garlic, chipotle, cumin, coriander and oregano to the skillet, stirring constantly for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Mix the beans, broth and rice into the skillet, waiting for the mixture to come to a simmer afterwards. Put a lid on the skillet, turning the heat down to low afterwards. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, stirring occasionally (we stirred every 3-5 minutes).
  3. While the bean & rice mixture is cooking, take a large mixing bowl out and add to it the tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, lime juice and the remaining tablespoon of oil, stirring to combine. Take a bite and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once the liquid’s absorbed and the rice is tender, take the skillet off the heat and sprinkle the corn over the top of the rice mixture. Put the lid back on the skillet and let it sit for 5 minutes. Take the lid back off and fluff the rice with a fork, taking a bite afterwards to see if you want to add any salt or pepper. Sprinkle the tomato mixture over the rice and beans and you’re ready to eat !

Serves 4 to 6.

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The bean and rice mixture is already tasty, the smoky heat of the chipotles comes through in it but it becomes even more delicious with that tomato mixture, which brings a really nice fresh and bright flavor to the dish. This is definitely a tasty and filling dish that we’d be happy to have again in the future !

We got this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote America’s Test Kitchen.

Tex-Mex Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 poblano chile, seeded and chopped fine
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped fine (we left the seeds in)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used table salt)
  • Additional salt (we used kosher salt)

Directions

  1. Put the tomatoes in a food processor and puree until smooth, setting it aside afterwards. Put the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and set it over a large bowl. Run water over the rice (we used cold water) until the water runs clear, about 1 minute*. Drain the rice well afterwards.
  2. Take a Dutch oven out (we used a large skillet) and pour the oil i, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot and is starting to shimmer, add in the onion, poblano and jalapeños, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until softened. Take ¼ cup of the mixture out of the skillet and leave it off to the side for now. Stir the rice, cumin and oregano into the pot and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the rice has a deep golden look to it, continuing to stir frequently.
  3. Add in the broth, pureed tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring to combine. Wait for the rice mixture to come to a boil. Once boiling, put the lid on and turn the heat down to low afterwards. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the liquid’s been absorbed and the rice is tender. Take the Dutch oven off the heat and stir in that ¼ cup mixture from earlier. Put the lid back on and leave the rice be for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and season with additional salt if you think it needs it. Serve immediately.

*The water coming through the strainer looked clear right off the bat so we judged if the water was clear based off the accumulated water in the bowl. It took us roughly 10 minutes or so for the water to look clear.

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This is a new favorite rice recipe for us ! You get a little heat at the end of the bite but it doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors. Mommy really loves this dish !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Roasted Salsa Roja

Ingredients

  • 3 tomatoes (about 1 ½ pounds total), quartered and cored
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small) (we used a yellow onion)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, stemmed, halved, and seeded (we left the seeds in)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup snipped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup lime juice (we used ¼ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used roughly ½ of table salt)

Directions

  1. Make sure your oven rack is set 5 to 6 inches from the broiler. Preheat the broiler. Take a large mixing bowl out and toss the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chile pepper together in it. Pour enough oil in to coat everything. Take a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan out (we lined ours with aluminum foil) and spoon the mixture onto the pan, spreading it out so everything is in a single layer.
  2. Broil the vegetables for 8 minutes, turning them over afterwards. Broil for another 6 to 8 minutes or until the vegetables start to darken around the edges (7 minutes did the job for us). Take the baking  pan out of the oven and let it rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes, letting everything cool down.
  3. Take the roasted vegetables as well as any juices on the baking pan and place them in a food processor, pulsing on and off until everything’s coarsely chopped. Add the cilantro, lime juice and sugar into the food processor, continuing to pulse until the salsa has reached your own preferred consistency. Season to taste with salt. You can either eat this right away or put it in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 day.
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While this tastes good, we were surprised that this didn’t taste spicy at all since we left the jalapeño’s ribs and seeds in the mixture. We really enjoyed the lime flavor. It was just a nice blend of flavors that we enjoyed. As much as you might enjoy some salsa from jars, nothing can beat the flavors of a freshly made salsa ! We pureed our salsa more because I don’t care for the texture that bigger chunks of tomatoes have but whichever texture you choose, the flavor is there !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Mexican Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (we used a yellow onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups long-grain rice (we used Uncle Ben’s Original Long Grain Rice)
  • 1 (10-oz.) can Original Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (we used 2 cups)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (we didn’t use it)

Directions

  1. Pour the oil into a large skillet and set the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss the the onion and garlic in and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Turn the heat down to low and add the rice to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly so that the rice doesn’t burn. Add in the Rotel, cumin, diced tomatoes, cayenne, and salt, stirring to combine. Add 2 cups of broth in, stirring to combine and wait for the dish to come to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the skillet. Let the rice simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (we went with 15 minutes) or until the rice is fully cooked. If the rice looks sticky, pour some or all of the remaining 1 cup of broth in. Right before serving, add the cilantro to the dish if you’re going to use it.
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This was actually the first rice recipe we ever tried, before this we had just been using microwavable rice. Once we made this though, we could never go back to the pre-packaged Mexican rice. There’s a pleasant level of heat to it and there’s an al dente quality to the rice. There’s spiciness, the tomatoes provide a nice pop of juiciness when you have some in your bite as well as a contrasting texture to the rice. The heat will make your lips tingle but it doesn’t overpower the flavor from the spices. A little softness from the onion also contrasts nicely against the other textures.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Uncle Ben’s or Rotel.

Take care everybody !