grain-free tabbouleh

I’ve made this Grain-free Tabbouleh recipe from Melissa Joulwan’s The Clothes Make the Girl for several potlucks now and it’s always been a huge hit. The cauliflower substitution for bulgur wheat is a really good touch.

Chris is part Lebanese and I’m a sucker for ethnic food so we jump on the tabbouleh-train whenever possible. We’re lucky we don’t have actually gluten intolerances so we indulge in the occasional traditional tabbouleh but this recipe makes it a real meal instead of a cheat meal.Paleo Tabbouleh

The salad:
1 head raw cauliflower
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 seedless cucumbers
4 ripe tomatoes
4 cups curly parsley leaves (about 2 bunches)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
6 scallions

The dressing:
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. After washing your cauliflower and separating the florets, use your food processor to rice it. Use the pulse mechanism until the cauliflower begins to resemble rice. You may have to do it in batches if necessary. Melt the coconut oil and in a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the coconut oil.

2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and coat the sheets with the riced cauliflower in a thin layer (as thin as possible). Place in the oven. Check on it at 10 minutes, then again at 15 minutes, and once more at 20 minutes. You don’t want it to burn but you don’t want it to be soggy – you want crispy.

3. Clean the cucumbers and tomatoes and begin dicing them into small pieces. As you go, place them in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with sea salt, allowing the vegetables to sweat out the moisture.

4. With your best knife, begin to mince the washed herbs. This might take some effort but I like the pieces small so they spread evenly within the dish. Place the herbs in a large bowl.

5. Take your scallions and begin to finely slice them. Side note: when you’re done with the roots, don’t throw them away! Place them in a small cup with about 1/3 cup of water, they will regrow (I know! It’s magic!).

6. If the cauliflower is done, allow it to cool. Meanwhile, drain your the tomatoes and cucumbers. Then combine all the veggies with the herbs!

7. In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Slowly drizzle the olive oil while whisking everything with a fork. With a rubber spatula, meld the dressing into the large bowl, allowing everything to be coated. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

dairy-free, easy peasy pesto

Something I always tell people about eating healthy is to have fun with it! It shouldn’t be some a punishment or horrible chore that you have to do. Eating clean is not easy but it doesn’t have to be miserable. That’s when you can start getting creative. Homemade condiments and sauces are one way to get unnecessary ingredients out of your diet and connect with your food!

Here’s an easy quick recipe for pesto that can go on top of anything! Eggs, veggies, meats, even by itself if the moments calls for it :)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic (if you’re not a huge fan of garlic, take it down to 2 cloves)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups basil (about 2 small bunches or 1 large bunch)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. In your food processor, grind walnuts and garlic together until it has a rice-like consistency.
  2. Add in basil, olive oil, and salt & pepper.
  3. Blend until everything is well-mixed and super green! The viscosity should be hardy and not runny.
  4. Add to whatever you’re craving at the moment!

 

Seen here on top of some ground beef egg muffins :)

If you want to be adventurous, try adding mint, parsley or other fresh herbs to the mix. Play around with ingredients and see what you can come up with. ¡Buen provecho!

stuffed roasted squash

Who loves fall? This girl. I love everything about it: the beautiful saturated colors of the leaves, the crisp air in the mornings that make you want to stay in bed, the smell of cider and pumpkin – I don’t even mind having to carry layers of clothes around because it’s cold in the morning and toasty during the day! But what I love most about fall is the food (duh).

Eating seasonally is pretty important to me and I make every effort to buy most of my produce from local farmers around the Central Virginia area. And what yummy produce is in abundance in the fall? Squash! Roasted, baked, sautéed – any which way you cook squash it will be nutritious and delicious!

Here’s a super easy idea that allows you to get creative and use whatever you have on hand! The only important part is preparing the squash.

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash squash of your choice (I like acorn) and grab your best & sharpest knife. Cut horizontally across the top and a little bit off the bottom to stabilize it. Scoop out the seeds. (If you want to get really resourceful, you can save the seeds to toast them and have an handy-dandy snack for later!) Line up on a baking sheet and pop into the oven for about 45-60mins.
2. Grab your skillet and get going on a good stir-fry! Good ingredients to mix-and-match are: ground meat, onions, peppers, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, and bok choy. Some of my favorite spices for stir-fries are: paprika, chili powders, cayenne pepper, ginger, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and all-spice. Add salt & pepper to taste. Go crazy! Get creative! Have fun!
3. Once your squash is squishy (that’s a technical term) but still holding its shape, start scooping the stir-fry in. If you’re doing dairy, top them off with some aged gouda or a really good parmesan.
4. Turn your broiler on as you stick the squash back into the oven and let them go for 5-10mins. Let the flavors and textures blend together but don’t let it burn!
5. Take the squash out. Let them cool. Devour as necessary!
I didn’t include measurements or numbers because it will depend on the type of squash you use and how big your batch of stir-fry will be. Whatever you don’t use up = leftovers! You can’t lose, really.