Cauliflower Tabbouleh (4)

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Cauliflower is in vogue at the moment popping up as cauliflower rice, cauliflower steaks and even as cauliflower tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a popular middle eastern vegan and vegetarian dish.  It seems that people have their own take on the recipe but the basic ingredients are bulgur wheat, tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion, oil and lemon juice. I replaced the bulgur wheat with cauliflower (finely processed in the food processor) and I added cucumber, garlic and feta cheese. I imagine that this would make a good packed lunch.

8 oz. cauliflower – cut into florets

4 oz. plum tomatoes – cut into very small pieces

2 oz. English cucumber – cut into very small pieces

1 oz. red onion – cut into very small pieces

1 oz. feta cheese – cut into very small pieces

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 clove of garlic – grated

1 tbsp. mint – finely chopped

1 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Process cauliflower florets in food processor then place in a large mixing bowl.

Add chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion and feta cheese.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and grated garlic and pour over the cauliflower mixture. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.

 

 

 

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Turkey Pie (4)

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The turkey version of Shepherd’s Pie is a lighter, leaner version and at this time of year may be a good way to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner – turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy or turkey broth (all presuming there are any).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

3 tbsp. olive oil – of which 1 tbsp. is seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz. onion – chopped

2 lbs. ground turkey

8 oz. carrots – cut into slices and the slices cut into quarters

8 fl. oz. turkey or chicken broth + 5 tbsp for the mashed potatoes

8 oz. frozen peas

1 1/2 lbs. mashing potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks

Heat 1 tbsp. oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper in a skillet and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown then remove to a large bowl.

Add ground turkey to the skillet and sear it then add to the onions along with the carrots and peas.

Pour over 8 fl. oz. broth and mix well before placing mixture in an ovenproof dish.

Cook potatoes in boiling water until soft enough to mash, drain and mash with 3 tbsp. oil and 5 tbsp. broth.

Spread mashed potato over the turkey mixture and cook in oven for 40 minutes.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon (4)

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Growing up in the UK we always had sprouts as a side dish at Christmas –  usually picked  from the garden on a cold morning and our fingers went numb! Sprouts go well with turkey as does bacon (often wrapped around a sausage). Hence, sprouts and bacon make a good team.  The sprouts are tossed in olive oil before roasting. The bacon – thickly sliced and cut into small strips – is mixed with the sprouts and then put in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees.

2 pounds of sprouts – prepared by cutting the bottoms off and removing the outer leaves. Ideally the sprouts should be relatively small, so if not, cut them into halves or quarters.

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 rashers of thick bacon – cut into thin slices

Place sprouts in a bowl and toss well with seasoned oil, then place in a roasting dish.

Add the bacon and mix well.

Roast in oven for an hour and turn them over every 20 minutes.

Citrus Honey Chicken (4)

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Chicken often needs a sauce or herbs or a good gravy to make it less bland and because I poached the chicken in the citrus juices it was also very moist. At the end of cooking some of the juices were added to a honey and soy sauce mixture and then poured over the chicken.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp. olive oil

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of half a lemon

Juice of half a lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. gluten free soy sauce

1 tbsp. honey

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap the chicken breasts in and put it in a roasting pan. Place chicken breasts on top and pour over the oil followed by the various juices then season well. Wrap the chicken breasts well in the foil ensuring that none of the juice escapes.

Cook for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.

When cooked remove the chicken, cut into slices and place on a warm plate.

For the sauce mix the honey and soy sauce together then add 2 tbsp. of the citrus juice that the chicken was cooked in.

 

Crock Pot Chicken Chili (4)

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Finally, the perfect blend of spices – not so mild that you don’t know you are eating chili and not too spicy that your mouth feels on fire. Exchanging the traditional beef for chicken makes the dish lighter. To get the best flavor I softened and browned the onions and garlic and also seared the chicken pieces on all sides before putting them in the crock pot. If you can find a good quality chicken broth that makes a difference too.

 

1 tbsp. oil seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2  chicken breasts – cut into bite-size pieces

1 x 15 oz. can of cannellini beans – drained and rinsed

1 x 15 oz. can of black beans – drained and rinsed

1 scant tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. turmeric

3.5 oz. canned mild green chiles (they come roasted, peeled and diced and the brand was ‘La Preferida’)

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Heat the seasoned oil in a skillet and when sizzling add the onion and let cook for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Continue cooking until nicely browned, stirring frequently. Then tip into the crock pot.

Place chicken pieces in the same skillet and sear until browned on all sides. Then place in the crock pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot and place on ‘high’ for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Mediterranean Eggplant (4)

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Many countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea use eggplant (also known as aubergine) in their cuisines: ratatouille (France); eggplant parmesan (Italy); moussaka (Greece). My recipe borrows ingredients common to these countries and combines them with harissa paste which is found in many Tunisian dishes.  The topping is melted feta cheese.

Makes  a nice side dish or a good vegetarian meal.

To prepare the eggplant and get rid of any possible bitterness, I peeled, sliced and chopped it into small pieces. Then I liberally salted it in a colander and left it for an hour. After that I rinsed it well and dried the pieces in a dry T-towel.

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 medium eggplant (prepared as above)

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup roasted red peppers from a jar – roughly cut

1 – 2 tbsp. harissa paste (depending on how fiery you like things)

3 oz. feta cheese

1 tbsp. vegetable broth

Start by heating oven to 350 degrees.

Heat seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish on the stove top and when sizzling add the grated garlic and turn down the heat.

Let garlic cook but not brown, for a few minutes then add the eggplant chunks and cook for 10 minutes, stirring fairly frequently. They should be lightly browned by then

Add tomato sauce, red peppers and harissa paste. Stir well together and place in oven (with lid on casserole dish) for 20 minutes.

Five minutes before eggplant mix is ready place 3 oz. feta cheese (crumbled) in a saucepan and add 1 tbsp. vegetable broth. Heat on stove top and whisk till mixture is smooth.

Take eggplant mixture from oven and top with feta sauce.

Fall Soup (4)

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This soup is a beautiful orange color and reminds me of the leaves as they turn and soup season begins. I teamed butternut squash with carrots and sweet potato and added some ginger and some coconut milk to make a delicious, smooth and filling soup.

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz. onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – finely chopped

2 inch piece of ginger – peeled and finely grated

1 pound butternut squash – peeled and cut into bite-size chunks

12 oz. sweet potato – peeled and cut into bite-size chunks

8 oz. carrots – peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

3 cups veg. broth/stock

1 x 13.66 fl.oz. (403 ml) can of lite coconut milk

Heat seasoned olive oil in a cast iron casserole dish.

When sizzling, add onion and cook for a few minutes before adding the garlic and ginger. Let onion soften and brown slightly

Add all veg. together with broth/stock.

Bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Add coconut milk.

Process in food processor.