Cauliflower Fried “Rice” With Honey-Ginger Sauce

Last night we made Chinese and Thai food at home since there are no good delivery options near us. Its actually really frustrating b/c when we lived in NY there were a million amazing Thai restaurants nearby and at least a handful of decent Chinese. Ah well! I can complain about lack of amazing food options in D.C. in every post I make.

In an effort to be healthier, I used cauliflower instead of rice. How versatile is this vegetable? Its basically amazing as a pizza crust, as a substitute for rice, and as a vegan “steak” option. I am so in love. And its so easy to use (except of course the cleaning up part – the joy of having little cauliflower pieces everywhere in my kitchen is no fun).

For our lunchtime salads these days I usually make a Honey-Ginger Dressing so I modified that a bit and used it for the sauce on the rice. It was the right balance of flavors for a rice dish, I would have to say! You can chow down on this all by your lonesome but we paired the it with a Tofu and Broccoli in Peanut Sauce that I made which turned out pretty decent as well. I may post that recipe soon too.

We definitely didn’t miss the rice!

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Crispy Kale Chaat

If you have been to an Indian restaurant in Washington D.C., then you have seen either a “crispy spinach chaat” or “crispy kale chaat” on the menu. Its a twist on a popular Indian street food – chaat – which is basically a loose term for a collection of sweet/savory dishes that are usually found in roadside stalls in India (but is usually found in restaurants both there and here all prettied up!). I think chaat is kind of hard to explain unless you have had it, since the flavors are a real explosion of sweet/salty/tangy/crispy all in one. I love it. Chaat nights where we just eat a bunch of different types of chaat is up there with my favorite meals of all time.

I tried to recreate the crispy kale chaat I love so much at a restaurant here called Bombay Club. I am not sure its as good as the restaurant version, but it does the trick for a unique appetizer thats not very hard to put together!

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Black Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas

These enchiladas are what we had for dinner on Wednesday! It totally hit the spot for my once-a-week Mexican food craving. Ok, honestly, its more like once a day Mexican food craving.

I have never used quinoa as a filling for enchiladas before but since I just bought some red quinoa and wanted to put it to use, I figured it would be a great substitute for rice. It worked really well with the creamy black beans. I also tried my hand at making my own enchilada sauce by adapting this recipe I found on Add A Pinch and it worked super well! I am normally obsessed with Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce (which you should try if you haven’t), but I can honestly say this was a better home-made substitute!

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Kale Pesto

I realize I have posted quite a few recipes in my short time blogging featuring kale. I didn’t realize I love it so much, but I guess its so versatile that this veggie is like a gift that just keeps on giving!

A few nights ago I wanted to make a pasta but do something fun with it so I decided to make kale pesto for the sauce. It came out so delicious! Instead of pine nuts I used cashews which totally worked well to make the sauce creamy, and the addition of lemon really adds a nice summery flavor. This is super quick to whip up and I bet it would be great to store. Next time I might make more so I can do that.

We paired our pesto with penne and added some slightly cooked grape tomatoes and a little bit of mozzarella cheese on top. This is on the list of go-to sauces to make again and again!

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Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” and Semi-Homemade Pesto Sauce

My husband is a WAY better cook than me. In fact, he jokingly refers to me as his “sous chef” which is mildly funny because my nickname is “sue” (haha) and also mildly annoying because it means he is usually yelling orders at me to get things out of the fridge. But yes, he really is a great cook – he really understands flavors and takes the time in the kitchen that I often don’t. So from time to time I am going to showcase his culinary talents. Today’s recipe is a simple one that he made which came out so good.

We were randomly talking about making cauliflower “steaks” over the weekend and then lo and behold, Guy Fieri made them on his show on Sunday morning! It was definitely a sign. My husband adapted this recipe significantly, especially the sauce because neither of us like olive tapenade very much. I love, love, love this dish!

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My Mom’s Falafel and Sesame-Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Mother’s day is approaching so I think this is an appropriate time to post my mother’s awesome falafel and yogurt sauce recipe. Because my mom’s falafel are awesome. She uses green split peas instead of chickpeas to make the falafel balls which is pretty unique in America’s falafel-land (although I think using split peas is more common when making falafel in India or other parts of the world) and her yogurt sauce kicks butt. Its got cucumber, toasted sesame seeds and bread (WHAT?, yah I said bread) which make it fresh, creamy, and thick.

I grew up eating falafel her way and when I first had a non-mom falafel my taste-buds were not ready for it. Since then I have grown to love many different types of falafel, but I still think my mom’s recipe rocks the house. I changed it up a bit by adding garlic (because she really doesn’t like garlic and I LOVE it) and tandoori powder in the falafel mix. The yogurt sauce got kicked up a notch with some garlic too (sorry mom!) and cayenne pepper. We are eating this for dinner tonight with a full falafel fixin’s bar including hummus, feta cheese, pickles and a tomato/cucumber/onion salad. I can’t wait for dinner!

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Cauliflower (Gobi) Manchurian

We had a big head of cauliflower in the fridge and I was debating what to do with it last night when I decided that trying my hand at the delicious Indian-Chinese dish “Gobi Manchurian” would be fun (gobi is what cauliflower is called in Hindi). This is not a dish you find at traditional Chinese restaurants (its clearly not authentic Chinese), but it is an adaptation of Chinese food that you see all over India. I am not sure how to best describe it so if you are wondering if its more Chinese or Indian in it’s flavor profile, I can’t answer that!

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