Zesty Honey-Lime Cauliflower Rice

Admittedly, I’m still on a not-so-silent crusade to get a cat.

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A large part of my job is to poke around the Internet for cat and dog videos, memes and stories, and occasionally I come across the right cat video to make me swoon. Then I promptly text Mike to once again ask if we can get a cat, at which time he promptly says absolutely not.

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I’m wearing him down slowly, I can feel it. Madison will be a whole other story, because she has no love for cats and thinks they’re all squirrels she can torture. That would certainly make for some good videos though.

#catsmakeeverythingbetter.

I may not have a cat, but I have this cauliflower rice dish, which is going to be just enough, for now.

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What You Need:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, florets and stems chopped off
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 scallions, whole

What You Do:

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Put the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower becomes a rice-like texture.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, olive oil, minced garlic, scallions, lime juice, cilantro and pistachios, stirring well to fully combine.

Chill in the refrigerator or heat in an oven or microwave depending on your desired temperature for serving. I served mine warm with a piece of seasoned chicken.

Drizzle very lightly with the honey.

Top with the scallions for garnish, and a lime wedge on the side if desired! Delish!

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Honey Lemon Quinoa and Brussels Sprouts

I’m on a not-so-silent crusade to get a cat.

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We have a dog – Madison, who is wonderful and fun. Also, she is super cute. BUT. I really want to get a cat.

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I used to have mixed feelings about cats, but part of my day job entails looking at cat photos online for hours at a time, so it’s kind of hard to resist falling in love with those funny little fluff balls.

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There’s only one small problem, which is that Mike absolutely refuses. He will not budge on this one, which gives me no choice but to quietly plot the adoption of a cat while he is at work, or in the shower or something. I figure once the cat is in our home, there’s nothing he can do. I get a cat, he gets yummy meals. It’s a win-win right?

What You Need:

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  • 1 lb. Brussels Sprouts, stems cut off and sliced into quarters
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350F

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Combine the Brussels Sprouts, red and green bell peppers and shallot in a large baking dish.

Pour water over the vegetables, cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until veggies are fully cooked.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, thyme leaves, black pepper and olive oil and whisk until well mixed.

When vegetables are done cooking, pour into a large serving dish and mix thoroughly with cooked quinoa and cranberries.

Pour the lemon-honey sauce over the entire dish and mix well.

Top with crumbled feta and you’re good to go!

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Tofu Honey Chili with Gluten Free Jalapeno Cornbread

So back in the day when I was a budding foodie, I had a food blog on Blogger called Two Peas in a Pot. I was pretty excited about it and posted quite a few recipes. Then I stopped keeping up with it as life got busier, and I let it fall into the great Internet abyss.

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However, I uncovered it recently thanks to Facebook alerting me to the fact that I hadn’t posted in awhile (5 years – thanks Facebook). Having advanced somewhat in the food blogging world at this point in my life, I got a good laugh about the amateurish quality of the food photos I had been posting with my recipes. The whole blog left a lot to be desired, but we all have to start somewhere, right? And the recipes themselves aren’t bad. This honey chili and cornbread is an adaptation of a recipe I had posted on my old blog. However, for comparison’s sake, here’s the photo of this dish that I originally took:

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Appetizing, right? It’s nice that my hand is in the shot, and I’m also pretty sure I had already taken a bite out of that cornbread before snapping this photo. Mike definitely chuckled when I showed him – thank goodness I’ve improved my food photography at least marginally since my old blogging days.

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But like I said, the recipes aren’t bad. As soon as I came across the honey chili and jalapeno cornbread, I wanted to make it again and see what I could do with it. And honey chili 2.0 has come out fabulously. I love making dinners like this because of the leftovers and because they’re basically just super easy but pack a healthy and filling punch. Plus, this entire meal is 100% gluten free. Even the cornbread. (Honestly for something made primarily of corn you would think it would always be gluten free, but it’s not).

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What You Need for the Chili:

  • 1-14oz package firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 12 oz can diced tomatoes (or chop 1 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes)
  • 12 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese

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What You Need for the Cornbread (adapted from GlutenFreeOnAShoestring):

  • 2 cups coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt*
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 jalapenos, finely chopped (seeded if desired)

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 400F

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Before doing anything, shred the tofu into a strainer using a cheese grater. This will help remove excess water from the tofu and you can set it aside to drain while you cook.

Make the cornbread first, as you can make the rest of the dish while it bakes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal through baking powder.

In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, including jalapenos.

Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix well. The batter will be fairly fluffy in texture.

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Scrape batter into a well-greased 8-or-9-inch baking pan. I used a round cake pan.

Bake for 20 minutes. The top of the cornbread will be a lovely golden brown and the bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cornbread is baking, heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until soft.

Add the tomatoes and beans and mix well, stirring occasionally until well heated. Then add the spices, honey and vinegar and mix well.

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Finally, add in the shredded tofu and mix well. The cool thing about this dish is that the shredded tofu adds a hearty meat-like look and feel while keeping it 100% vegetarian.

Serve with a slice of cornbread and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.

*Pro Tip: Don’t have plain Greek yogurt on hand for the cornbread? Substitute with an equal amount of sour cream or buttermilk.

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Thanksgiving Dish Day 3: White Wine Honeyed Brussels Sprouts Over Quinoa

There are some things you’re confronted with as a child that, despite your small stature, are non-negotiable. You will gladly sit at the table all night long, relinquish dessert rights, resign yourself to missing your favorite cartoon, get sent to bed early – all in the name of avoiding eating a vegetable (usually green, usually slightly slimy and usually exuding a questionable odor).

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Did I ever think I would like – and look forward to – eating Brussels Sprouts? No way. Did my parents? That’s an even bigger “no way.”

I was always “a picky eater” (my mother’s words) – particular about my meals and mostly partial to sugar-laden foods and non-green stuff. But I was a kid. And I grew out of it – thank goodness too because honestly, green stuff is amazing.

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Brussels Sprouts are like tiny cabbages (but sweeter) that become packed full of the flavors they’re cooked with, and they develop a delicious crispiness when pan-fried that makes them almost more like (yes I’m going there) a snack.

It’s not surprising that kids don’t like these, but it’s probably based on appearance and, also, keeping up appearances, because you can’t just GIVE IN and admit to your parents that you like something right? I hope to raise a child who does, but it’s not likely considering how many times my mother wished that I would have a kid someday just as picky as myself.

I wish I could go back in time and see what my 9-year-old self would think of these bad boys, but definitely let me know how this recipe goes over! My 31-year-old self couldn’t get enough of them, and they’re a great addition to any Thanksgiving spread.

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What You Need:

  • 1 cup red quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups Brussels Sprouts with the hard stems sliced off and any bad outer leaves pulled off
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp honey, warmed so it’s loose and will mix easily
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine

What You Do:

In a large bowl that has lots of extra room to stir the Brussels Sprouts without losing any over the side, mix the Brussels Sprouts with 1 tbsp olive oil, the honey, salt and pepper, until the Brussels are covered well.

Warm the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.

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Pour Brussels Sprouts into the skillet – they should sizzle in the heated oil.

Stir around, gently cooking all sides of the Brussels.

Once Brussels are warm and well-mixed in the pan, add the wine, and stir continuously until the liquid burns off.

Now they’re ready to serve! Pile over a bed of the quinoa and enjoy!

Pro Tip: For a fuller meal, add cooked sweet potato, squash or diced cooked chicken to the quinoa with some cooked onions and/or peppers.