3-Ingredient Easy Roasted Cauliflower

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Oh, hey.  It’s just about Easter time?  What the what?  I am all out of sorts.  I still have shamrock shakes from St. Patty’s Day in my freezer.  Seriously, is ANYONE a fan of Eater in freakin’ March?  This is ridiculous.  Why does it hop around like that?  (Get it, hop?)  Other holidays are either a set date (like Valentine’s Day), or the first ____ of a month (like Mother’s Day).  This Easter business is a crap-shoot, and I’m over it.  No one even gets Good Friday off anymore, so why even do this in the cold?

Don’t worry, I have a solution:  let’s move Easter to the summer, when we can enjoy the egg hunt without our winter coats.  The calendar may say spring, but it just snowed this week, so who’s with me?

Also, with Easter in March, we are still (well, I am anyway) trying to work off all of the weight we packed on from indulging over the winter holidays.  Desserts, libations, and hibernating (via Netflix) magically make my clothes tighter, and the last thing I want to do is chow down on a spongy, fatty roasted pig and potatoes.

If you’re in my boat, or if you’re cooking for someone who is carb-conscious, you GOTTA try this super-simple recipe:  roasted cauliflower.  3 ingredients, a few minutes, and you’re done.  It’s healthy, tasty, and won’t weigh you down.  And, if we can move this holiday to the summer, it’s good year-round!  Enjoy 🙂

 


Materials:

  • cutting board and knife
  •  1 gallon-sized Ziploc bag
  • non-stick pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T olive oil
  • optional:  salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets.IMG_7082[1]
  3. Place cauliflower, garlic, and oil into Ziploc bag.  Shake to mix well.IMG_7085[1]
  4. Pour bag contents onto a nonstick pan.FullSizeRender_2[1]
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden-brown and tender.IMG_7087[1]
  6. Enjoy!FullSizeRender_1[1]

 


 

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 25 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Materials:

  • cutting board and knife
  •  1 gallon-sized Ziploc bag
  • non-stick pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T olive oil
  • optional:  salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  3. Place cauliflower, garlic, and oil into Ziploc bag.  Shake to mix well.
  4. Pour bag contents onto a nonstick pan.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden-brown and tender.
  6. Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Roll Rose Tarts

If you live in a city like Boston, brunching is basically a sport.  Finding a solid go-to place w excellent selections, reasonable prices, hangover-curing coffee, AND being able to get a seat in under an hour for you and your pals is not for the weary.  It’s not just for the #basics anymore:  try to get a table at any 4-star or higher Yelp-rated eatery on a weekend, and you will see a good sampling of the city’s men and women feasting away.

I have found a few places in the Boston/Cambridge area that are my go-tos, such as The Friendly Toast, The Trophy Room, Back Bay Social Club, and Masa, but there’s is never a guarantee that we can get a table before we whither away.  So, as much as I love love love going out to eat, has it ever occurred to us to host a brunch?

With my studio apartment, I can only host my cat, and she’s a jerk.  Currently we aren’t speaking, so I don’t think I’ll be asking her how she takes her coffee or mimosa.  But when I do move to a bigger apartment (which is currently in the works, more to come!), I fully plan to rangle the weekend crew over and relax over food at my table.  No wait, no worries.  No cats.

To start preparing for these home-brunches, I have begun experimenting with some munchies.  my favorite so far is this Apple Cinnamon Roll Rose Tart.  It’s beautiful, delicious, and your guests will go ga-ga over the smell of cinnamon rolls.  Enjoy!


 

Materials:

  • medium pot
  • measuring cup
  • cutting board and knife
  • muffin tin
  • cooking spray

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cinnamon rolls
  • 1 apple
  • 1 c water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Core and cut the apple in half, then thinly slice.  Aim for uniform sizes (you can discard ends).
  3. Add water to pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook apple slices in the water until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from water and drain.  Allow to cool enough to handle.
  6. Remove cinnamon rolls from packaging.FullSizeRender_1
  7. Open one of the rolls into a long strip.
  8. Line dough with apple slices horizontally.FullSizeRender_2
  9. Carefully roll the dough and apple slices back, creating a rose-shape.  FullSizeRender_3FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_5
  10. Place rose into a lightly-greased muffin tin.
  11. Repeat with the rest of the dough.FullSizeRender_6
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until rolls are golden-brown.FullSizeRender_7
  13. Enjoy with powdered sugar, or packaged icing.

 

Apple Cinnamon Roll Rose Tarts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

  • medium pot
  • measuring cup
  • cutting board and knife
  • muffin tin
  • cooking spray

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cinnamon rolls
  • 1 apple
  • 1 c water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Core and cut the apple in half, then thinly slice.  Aim for uniform sizes (you can discard ends).
  3. Add water to pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook apple slices in the water until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from water and drain.  Allow to cool enough to handle.
  6. Remove cinnamon rolls from packaging.
  7. Open one of the rolls into a long strip.
  8. Line dough with apple slices horizontally.
  9. Carefully roll the dough and apple slices back, creating a rose-shape.
  10. Place rose into a lightly-greased muffin tin.
  11. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until rolls are golden-brown.
  13. Enjoy with powdered sugar, or packaged icing.

Parmesan Squash Ribbons

It’s times like this when I wonder why. WHY. Why am I living up north?  I mean seriously, who am I kidding with this bitter-cold misery?

But I like the seasons, I say.  We all say to justify this crazy thing called winter.  Let me tell you something.  I don’t ski or snowboard Snow-shoeing is out of the question and ice-skating is not for me.  I would be all up in the curling business if they brought that to Boston, but alas, we aren’t with it yet.

Do you want to know what my winter sport is?  It’s bundling up with layers upon layers until every inch of skin is covered thrice over, finding the shortest distance to my destination, and making it there without slipping on ice.  I could go pro.

I say all of this, but it’s not all dismal.  Winter is beautiful, and better yet, it’s a chance to cook hot foods 🙂  Soups, stews, boils, bakes… I love it all.  One of my favorite new cooking ventures that warmed my insides both physically and emotionally ironically featured a an out-of-season star:  the summer squash.  Okay, before you rain hate for me buying out of season, let me be clear:  I don’t care.  I buy what I want.  You should too.

So, this dish.  Oh, this dish.  Full disclosure, I ate the entire pot, by myself.  It was that good.  AND, so easy AND FUN to make, that I am actually excited to make it again 🙂  Enjoy, and stay warm!FullSizeRender_1


 

Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • veggie peeler (horizontal)
  • knife and cutting board
  • large pot
  • spoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • two large summer squash
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • minced garlic to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop onion and set aside.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon) in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Place onion into pot, stirring occasionally. IMG_6750
  4. While onion is cooking, create thin ribbons out of your squash by peeling long strands the  length of your squash.  You may need to rotate around your squash.IMG_6748FullSizeRender_2
  5. Place ribbons and garlic into pot and stir.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until squash is tender.  NOTE:  ADD WATER TO POT IF NEEDED (about 1/4 c).IMG_6751
  6. Remove from heat.  Add parmesan cheese, alt and pepper to taste and stir.IMG_6752
  7. Serve with parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!IMG_6754

 


 

Parmesan Squash Ribbons

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • veggie peeler (horizontal)
  • knife and cutting board
  • large pot
  • spoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • two large summer squash
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • minced garlic to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop onion and set aside.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon) in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Place onion into pot, stirring occasionally.
  4. While onion is cooking, create thin ribbons out of your squash by peeling long strands the  length of your squash.  You may need to rotate around your squash.
  5. Place ribbons and garlic into pot and stir.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until squash is tender.  NOTE:  ADD WATER TO POT IF NEEDED (about 1/4 c).
  6. Remove from heat.  Add parmesan cheese, alt and pepper to taste and stir.

Caprese Salad Skewers

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How was your Thanksgiving?  I know, you’re over it, right?  That was so last week.  Well, I’ve been completely swamped, and sick, and am finally starting to catch up with y’all.  So, I hope it was wonderful, and full of family drama, arguing over the Macy’s parade vs the football game, and of course a food-induced coma.   Or, maybe you skipped all of the nonsense to hit the stores!  I mean, it’s only a matter of time before our Thanksgiving day will be completely replaced by Brown Thursday, or whatever ridiculous name they come up with.  You know what I’m thankful for?  Amazon prime.   Continue reading

Quinoa Bowl with Goat Cheese and Avocado

IT’S HERE.  THIRTY.  3-0.

the jury is still out on how I feel about leaving my 20’s, but I’m working overtime to stay positive.  Anyway, on my birthday last year, I unveiled the list I created several years ago entitled, “To Do by 30!”  Let’s take a gander once more:   Continue reading

Quick Chicken Salad with Avocado

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In my last entry, which felt like a century ago, I talked about my recent life reflections, and how I am attempting to prioritize my life. I came up w 3 categories: the must haves, the nice to haves, and the let it goes.  I spent some time discussing the let it goes in my life, and so far am happy with the list.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing a lot more reflecting (or cooking) because I’ve been so consumed w my job lately (both the work itself as well as the incessant worry of it). When you suffer from OCD, you perseverate like whoa:  if something is pressing on me, it consumes my thoughts to pretty much a debilitating measure.  In short, I’ve been a hoot to be around.
Which brings me to my next category: the must haves. My non-negotiables. Some of these will inspire some radical changes, which I am terrified about, but will be very welcome and necessary:

  • my overall health:  I know I mentioned in the “let it goes” that having the perfect body is not necessary; however, being healthy is a must.  Most notably, needing to get my stress levels under control, finding time to exercise regularly again, and focusing on making good foods a priority, regardless of convenience.
  •   sleep:  related to the first point, I am finally taking measures to get more sleep, and under healthy conditions.  I have suffered from chronic insomnia for almost 16 years.  That’s about long enough, right?
  • desire to start a family: Yeah, I know, my egg timer is ticking.  I know I’m not married, I live alone, and love my selfish lifestyle. So unless they have found a way for my awful cat and I to…. I don’t want to even finish that sentence. But you know where I’m going.
  •  being less stressed:  this isn’t a chance for me to gripe about my work or workplace (not my style); it’s a wake up call to alter the approach to my work. Attitude, confidence, strength.
  • returning to positive:  recently, a former coworker spoke to me about how positive I always was about everything, and I felt… ashamed. I know exactly what she’s talking about:  I would pride myself on how I could stay positive about everything, look at the bright side, never get knocked down.  I feel like that person is a memory, and I need to get her back.

And of course, cooking more!  I know that this isn’t exactly cooking, but it was all I had time for, and it was absolutely delicious.  I could eat this every day 🙂  Give this a try on your super busy nights for a healthy lunch tomorrow!  I used a rotisserie chicken and it was soon good.  Enjoy!   image1


Materials:

  • cutting board
  • knife
  • bowl
  • spoon

Ingredients:

  • rotisserie chicken (or left over chicken)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 T mayo (I use olive oil mayo)
  • Pinch of lemon juice (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop chicken into small shreds.
  2. Place chicken, avocado, and mayo in bowl, Mix well.IMG_6181
  3. Season with lemon juice (optional), salt, and pepper.FullSizeRender
  4. Enjoy on a wrap, crackers, bread, or alone!FullSizeRender

Quick Chicken Salad with Avocado

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 5 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

FullSizeRenderMaterials:

  • cutting board
  • knife
  • bowl
  • spoon

Ingredients:

  • rotisserie chicken (or left over chicken)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 T mayo (I use olive oil mayo)
  • Pinch of lemon juice (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop chicken into small shreds.
  2. Place chicken, avocado, and mayo in bowl, Mix well.
  3. Season with lemon juice (optional), salt, and pepper.
  4. Enjoy on a wrap, crackers, bread, or alone!

Kale Chips

Oh my me oh my.  I turn 30 in 30 days.  Can you believe?!  Don’t answer that.

Like I said last year, I get very reflective around my birthday.  I tend to look inward a lot this time of year– taking into account where i am in my life, what I have achieved thus far, what I have yet to achieve and still want to, and changes I want to make.  With such a large milestone as this,  I am pretty much in a constant state of self-reflection.  Soon, I will be revisiting my “things to do before 30” list, and see where I’m at.  For now, I am thinking about where I am in my life in a larger sense, and what BIG changes I want to make.  I’ve decided that I need to make some changes in my life, and have put myself on a timeline to really kick myself into gear. Continue reading