Cinco de Mayo gave me the perfect excuse to try new recipes, throw a “build your own taco bar” dinner party, and chug kombucha filled margaritas. In an effort to maintain this gluten and grain free lifestyle, I have been a huge fan of the Siete tortillas and tortilla chips. Combining that love with my recent use of a Cauliflower Foods pizza crust, and curiosity, I set out on the goal to create my own cauliflower based taco shells. After setting an extremely low bar for myself, prepared to either be impressed or laugh at this epic fail, and a cabinet filled with back up options, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. These shells were a lot easier to make than one would think and, I can guarantee from my experience, you will without a doubt impress your guests. Trust me, my bragging ability of these bad boys only got louder and stronger with every margarita I had. Note: while they can fold to form a true “taco shell” and maintain their shape, I actually enjoyed eating them as tostadas.
This (delicious) meal was inspired by two questions I found myself wondering this past week. One, what exactly makes a pesto a “pesto”. Is it the basil? Is it just a leaf blended with some type of nut and an oil? Is it simply something green that is a spreadable sauce? Two, why the heck is half of the fennel I just purchased all stems and fronds and what am I supposed to do with them (because I am mentally unable to throw away any type of food). Along with these questions, I found myself at my favorite local butcher shop looking through the glass case the same way I have a thousand times before but all of a sudden gravitating towards a different type of meat: lamb. Following my stomach (because how else should you live life), these thoughts, questions, and epiphanies, I was led me to one thing: fennel frond fucking pesto. Sorry, I know I have an extremely bad cursing habit and use the F word as an adjective too often, but it just rolled off the tongue so perfectly. So anyway, this triple F pesto sauce became the connection between all of my wondering thoughts and the base of a deliciously adventurous, and very different than my usual, weeknight dinner.
One of my goals during Whole 30 was to incorporate new dishes into my day instead of continuously rotating through the same ones like I usually do. Being unable to enjoy my usual kefir puddings, overnight oats, and fistfuls of granola (by the bag), breakfast has become seemingly difficult. Then I realized: who said vegetables can’t be the star of your breakfast. So with that mindset, and the success of finally finding Whole 30 compliant bacon, I created this new brunch superstar. Not only is this dish absolutely delicious, but it is aesthetically pleasing and will impress any brunch crowd you have invited to your kitchen. Plus, every once and awhile we all need to cut back on our morning overload of sugars, whether its natural or not, and include some more hearty vegetables.
Basically, the hangover cure. Don’t waste your money or time on a bodega sausage egg and cheese to cure that headache. Replace your usual order with these easily prepped omelet cups. Trust me, your stomach will thank me later. And if you’re not hungover? Well, firstly, kudos to you and your refreshed self. Secondly, this are still delicious.
Smoothies are such an interest breakfast phenomenon right now. While I love their ability to fill me up on an incredibly cheap and quick to prepare basis, I find it absolutely redonkulous that places are charging $12+ dollars for one. And the even worse part? That I have been that person on the other side of the register handing these money thieves my credit cards in return for a semi-decent, sugar packed, stupid expensive smoothie. Why? Because I didn’t know better and I was hungry. So, if you are one of these people, I am here to help rid you of this unnecessary habit. One of my main problems with store purchased smoothies is their ability to sneakily add in so much unnecessary sugar. Whether it be through the flavored and sweetened almond milk, the high fructose syrup concentrated juices, or even just an overload of fruit, some of these smoothies have a full day’s serving of sugar in them. While I love fruit just as much as the other person, I made an effort to create a less fruit-focused smoothie and challenged myself to add in some, potentially unusual, vegetables. This got me to thinking: what are some of my favorite foods that hide their high vegetable content? And then it came to me… carrot cake. To use the word love to describe my feelings about carrot cake is an understatement. This is what led me to create this carrot cake smoothie because, my friends, what is better than a breakfast that tastes like carrot cake in the form of an easy and cheap smoothie.
For some reason I constantly overlook blueberries. They are such an easy fruit to eat and match with different flavor profiles, and whenever they are in my fridge I devour them, but I never actively think to purchase them. When considering different fruit and flavor combinations, I came up with the odd pairing of blueberry, vanilla, and almond. While not one you see often, these three tastes compliment each other extremely well. Enjoy for a “not so normal” version of your everyday overnight oats.
There is something so comforting about a warm delicious stew on a cold winter day. While I mainly steer towards tomato based and meat filled versions, lately I have had a serious craving for all spices Indian. While trying to follow Whole 30 and also omit garlic & onion, Indian food is a cuisine that is nearly impossible to eat if not making it yourself. Indian takeout may be in my (very minimal) takeout rotation, but there is 0 chance I am going to be able to find a dish without so many ingredients. So instead of even attempting to explain everything over the phone to a delivery guy to then only be turned down, I decided to create my own version. Packed with flavor, protein, and some starch, this dish knocks Whole 30 Indian food out of the park.
While (almost) everyone loves chili, people seem to seriously disagree regarding on if its main ingredients: should it, or should it not, include beans. In my world, chili will not only include beans, but it will have 3 different varieties. That being said, I was mind blown to hear that people felt differently. What the heck is chili without beans!? Evidently, it is Whole 30 approved chili. Since chili is a continuing staple in my cooking rotation, I decided to give this counterargument some thought and try this whole sans-bean- chili thing. The worst (or best) part of it all? I hate to say it, but I actually really enjoy this meal. So while I am still “team chili with beans”, I will gladly enjoy this version for the next month.
Is it starting to get cold outside? Are you realizing that flip-flops and jean shorts are far away from your reality? I’m truly sorry. However, with cold temperatures come great vegetables. I absolutely love the produce, flavors, and dishes served in the fall and winter. For some reason, it brings joy to my cold bones. This bowl combines all of my favorite things fall in a healthy and easily transportable way. Your shivering colleagues will be jealous.
This may sound odd, but one of my favorite things to do when visiting another city or town is finding a way to see firsthand what a person’s day to day life is like and what it would feel like to live there. Since my life revolves so much around food, these adventures usually involve a ton of research to find the local restaurants and hit as many as possible. But to really cure my curiosity, I need to find some type of market. Walk around with all the locals enjoying their Sunday grocery haul, watch the interactions with the stand owners and the customers, take inventory of all the options, and purchase some things to truly test what it’s all about. So before hopping on my train back to NYC the other weekend, I made my ay to the local Ardmore market and went all chameleon style trying my best to blend in. Within 3 seconds I fell in love and regretfully realized that, with a train ride ahead, I couldn’t buy everything my eyes wanted. Instead, I decided on the first thing I saw when I walked in: jumbo lump crab meat. This meal further strengthened my love for this market and guaranteed another trip in the near future.