Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

There is nothing I love more in this food world than Brussels Sprouts.
To prepare mine, I cut the ends off which normally has a chunk of stem remaining. Then, I slice the sprout in half and remove a layer or two. Now they are ready for a rinse. After rinsing, I coat them with oil, salt and pepper.

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Roast them at 400F until they are tender. Eat them as is, or dress them with a vinaigrette. I love pairing roasted sprouts with a sweet honey mustard. I usually make the dressing by putting spoonful of dijon, with a generous amount of honey, a splash of vinegar, and a healthy amount of olive oil… I know what you are thinking, where are the exact measurements!? I fail here. I will do my best to work on one. But, I will tell you this: every time I attempt to measure something, it is never as good as making it off the cuff.

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Warm Spinach Salad with Sautéed Garlic, Butter Beans, Goat Cheese and Roasted Beets

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After a 5 days on the road, indulging on a variety of food and spirits, my body needed a detox. I knew once I got home, did a mound of laundry, put things back in their places; I would not be enthused to spend a large amount of time in the kitchen. I made a quick and practical meal which utilized elements I had on hand. You can apply this concept to other ingredients you have. No spinach? How about bok choy, cabbage, kale or swiss chard? Not a fan of beets? Try a different root veggie, perhaps a carrot or roasted sweet potato. To make it vegan, omit the goat cheese, or make a delicious vegan parmesan topping! Whichever you choose, I am confident you can use a minimal amount of ingredients for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Ingredients
– 1 16oz package organic spinach
– 1 12oz can butter beans
– 1 clove garlic
– olive oil
– salt
– 1 medium beet
– goat cheese
– lemon infused olive oil for garnish
– salt/pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat the beet with some oil. You can leave the skin on. Roast the beet until it can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, cool, peel, then cut into diced pieces
2. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium. While it’s warming, slice a clove of garlic very thin. Add the garlic to the oil, cook until fragrant
3. Add the butter beans to the garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then slowly add in the spinach. Cook the spinach until just wilted
4. Dress the salad with some goat cheese, serve with beets on the side (for presentation purposes only, prevents the salad from becoming discolored)

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Homemade Chive Ranch Dip

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Tonight was a night where I was ravenously hungry and lazy as ever. So, I decided to whip up some roasted cauliflower that were spiced perfectly. I didn’t measure anything, but here are the ingredients that I used.

– 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
– olive oil
– onion powder
– garlic powder
– smoked paprika
– hot sauce
– vegenaise
– chives
– salt/pepper
– water

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Toss cauliflower with oil, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika
3. Cook for about 10 minutes
4. Remove from heat, add hot sauce, return to oven and cook for 5-10 more minutes
5. To make the dipping sauce, combine vegenaise, chives, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and water

Enjoy!

Chinese 5-Spice Quinoa and Cabbage Salad

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Nothing makes me happier than when I create a recipe from my own creative devices. Such was the case with this Chinese 5-Spice Quinoa and Cabbage Salad. We had an abundance of cabbage on hand, so I decided to start there. I sautéed it with some onion, garlic and ginger, adding the red pepper at the end. The only challenge was perfecting the dressing. I’ve come pretty close to doing this, but seem to still be tweaking it since I am terrible at writing measurements down. So, be aware that the recipe for the dressing is a complete guesstimate. Feel free to play around with it before adding it to the salad. (PS this makes a very large amount…)

Ingredients
– 3 c cooked quinoa
– 1 large head of green cabbage, chopped
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 red pepper, diced
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1″ ginger, minced
– salt and pepper
– 1 c olive oil
– 2 Tbls sesame oil
– 2 Tbls rice vinegar
– 1 Tbls Chinese 5-spice
– 2 tsp red pepper flakes (more to taste)
– 2 tsp tamari
– 2 tsp agave

1. Saute the onion in oil, once soft, add the cabbage. After the cabbage cooks down, add the red pepper, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and 2 tsp Chinese 5-spice. Cook for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and add to the quinoa
2. For the dressing, whisk together the oils, vinegar, 2 tsp Chinese 5-spice, red pepper flakes, tamari and agave. Taste….and alter as needed. Pour over the quinoa cabbage salad. Chill or serve warm

Product Review: Spirit Creek Farm’s Curtido

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Last year, I had no idea what curtido was. Now, I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff! The vinegar infused, fermented slaw-like mixture is addictive and delicious. My favorite brand is Spirit Creek Farm from Spirit Creek, WI.

I have incorporated this into sandwiches and veggie burgers/brats. I also enjoy eating it salad style with chopped avocado and spinach.

There are many health benefits from incorporating fermented foods into your diet. The blog site “Nourishing Days” has a great article that states, “The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

Definitely check out your local co-op to see if they carry this amazing product. And if cabbabge, carrots and onion aren’t your favored vegetables of choice, Spirit Creek Farm also makes a variety of other delicious fermented veggies!