Cauliflower Mash with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon


A daily diet should consist of 2-3 servings of vegetables.  This cauliflower mash with brussels sprouts and bacon helps achieve that goal.  Because cauliflower is so versatile in texture and flavor, it works well as any base.  Cauliflower can substitute rice, pizza crust and now mashed potatoes while still maintaining complex flavors.  It allows for you to enjoy all those starchy meals with a healthier alternative.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. This recipe makes two appropriate portion sizes, so if you’re someone who is making this for a large meal you’ll need to double or triple it.
  2. Take as much of the stem off the cauliflower as possible.
  3. I placed my cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl to microwave for 6 minutes instead of cooking it stovetop.
  4. I used turkey bacon because it still has the flavor without all the sodium and
    saturated fats.
  5. The bacon can be cooked in about 4 minutes stovetop.cauliflowerbrusslesprouts2
  6. Food process the cooked cauliflower to a
    puree consistency.
  7. Adding olive oil to the cauliflower creates flavor and a smoother consistency.
  8. The puree should mock the look of
    mashed potatoes.
  9. The nutmeg adds a depth of flavor to the dish.
  10. I cooked the brussels sprouts in the oven because I think they crisp better. Cook them with some pam for about 40 minutes flipping halfway through.
  11. I nixed the chickpeas because it is already a carb heavy meal; luckily, your carbohydrates are coming from vegetables.
  12. Use tofurky for vegan and vegetarian options.

Vegetarians and food fanatics alike will dive into this dish.  The combinations of ingredients all compliment one another creating a deep, palate profile.  It’s a quick and easy way to enjoy vegetables; it’s a quick and easy way to enjoy a meal without bursting your waistline; it’s a quick and easy way to enjoy a burst of delectable flavors.

Leave a comment with your favorite cauliflower recipes.  Follow my Pinterest.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and trick from The Cooking Bug.


Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce


Sound fishy? We’ve divulged in fish Fridays every week. It can be challenging to mix up your fishy flavors. Teriyaki salmon with sriracha cream sauce elevates your fish in 30 minutes cooking time. Place atop rice and you have a wonderful dish that can compete with sushi restaurants worldwide. I love the complimentary sweet and spicy sparks that sizzles in my mouth with every bite. I don’t usually care for mayonnaise or spice, but this recipe changed my mind. Combined, they create a cooling sensation to the fire of sriracha.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Allow the fish to marinade and collect flavors.
  2. In place of mayonnaise, you could use a greek yogurt. It is a healthier substitute that maintains a cooling sensation.
  3. Sriracha is a widely used hot sauce in many Asian dishes and can be found most commonly in ethnic food sections.
  4. The sweetened condensed milk is foul on its own; it is used to create the creamy thickness of a sauce.teriyakisalmonwsrirachacream
  5. I suggest using the sauce in small increments because it can clear your nostrils. I halved the recipe and still had leftovers.
  6. Add the sauce to a bottle and store in your fridge for later use and to create uniform plating.
  7. Keep eyes on your marinade because it can begin to burn easily on the stove.
  8. I suggest using Coho salmon because it contains the most nutritional benefits.
  9. When cooking your salmon, put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the pan. The excess sauce can cook into the pan and make it harder to clean.

Sweet, spicy and savory the dish hits all the high notes of a tasteful meal. High in omega-3 and full of flavorful notes, you’ll learn to love salmon as much as I do. It can be a versatile sauce for pork and other seafood. Experiment with the “spieety”–sweet and spicy–tastes of this meal.

Leave a comment with your favorite fish recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.



Today, calzones are a easily identified in cuisines. It is a folded pizza or turnover shaped like a half-moon, or in my case any shape. Typically calzones are stuffed with tomato, mozzarella, sauces and other pizza toppings. This calzones is a step in a more sophisticated design. The calzone maintains the integrity of original calzones mixing mozzarella and ricotta while keeping nutrition in consideration with leaner meats and spinach power.

Ricotta–literally meaning recooked–uses whey, the liquid that remains after straining curds when making cheese. Ricotta curds are creamy white in appearance and slightly sweet in taste. In this form, ricotta is somewhat similar in texture to some cottage cheese variants, though considerably lighter. Like mascarpone in northern-Italian cuisine, ricotta is a favorite component of many Italian desserts, such as cheesecakes and cannoli. There are also a variety of different cookies that include ricotta as an ingredient. Ricotta can be beaten smooth and mixed with condiments–such as sugar, cinnamon, orange flower water, strawberries and occasionally chocolate shavings–and served as a dessert. This basic combination features prominently as the filling of the crunchy tubular shell of the Sicilian cannoli. Combined with eggs and cooked grains and baked firm, ricotta is a main ingredient in Neapolitan pastiera, one of Italy’s many “Easter pies”. Additionally, ricotta is commonly used in pasta, calzones, pizza, manicotti, lasagna and ravioli. It makes an appropriate substitute for mayonnaise in traditional egg or tuna salad and as a sauce thickener. It is often used as a substitute for paneer in the Indian dessert known as
Ras Malai.


Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used Jenni-O turkey sausage. My grocery store rarely has chicken sausage. You can use either hot or sweet sausage.
  2. If you use sweet sausage, I suggest adding red pepper flakes to give the dish some spice.
  3. Removing the casing will allow for the meat to crumble, and you will be free of that slimy, gross casing.
  4. Use the full four cups of spinach because it will reduce down tremendously in size.
  5. Using a mix of mozzarella and ricotta cheese blends the calzones well. The mozzarella bonds the ingredients and the ricotta creates a savory element.
  6. I used a mix of oregano, dried onion, dried garlic and parsley in place of the Italian seasoning. This process allowed me to modify the seasoning to my desire.
  7. My friend, Charlie Mai, told us about Trader Joe’s whole wheat crust. Apparently, after searching relentlessly, they are the only ones that have whole-wheat crust. It is premade and only needs to be rolled out which is a great time saver. Their crust have a great flavor and consistency, I highly suggest paying a little more to accomplish such flavors.calzone2
  8. I used two packages of pizza dough, filling three with a cheese only mixture. You can probably use just one package and be sure to roll the dough out thin enough to make five servings.
  9. Slicing the top of the calzones will allow heat to penetrate the ingredients inside and cook the dough all the way through. Additionally, it is the traditional look
    of calzones.
  10. I suggest using Pam in place of oil to cook the sausage, if and only if, you are using turkey sausage. Chicken sausage will need that extra grease to cook and create flavor. Turkey sausage is naturally greasy, so oil will slow the cooking process down.
  11. I suggest using marinara sauce for dipping. I created my own sauce with seasoning (parsley, dried onion, red pepper flakes, black pepper, oregano and garlic) and
    tomato sauce.

Like most of the entrees I have experimented with, the calzone is easily made for any pallet. Combine meat, cheese and a vegetable of choice to create a simple and delicious meal for family and friends. Mix and match with sweet or savory ingredients for a lunch, dinner or dessert. The easy and simplicity of this meal combined with the flavor make it one for
the books.

Leave a comment with your favorite pizza recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Chopped Ham and Apple Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing


I rarely enjoy blogging about salads because I feel that most times they are easy to create, or I do not enjoy all of the ingredients together. Surprisingly, I found this recipe a salad to talk about. The dressing was similar to blue cheese; the ham was a excellent note of something different; the apples created a crisp tartness to the overall dish. Together the ingredients create a fabulous dish that can be made within minutes. There were very few changes that I found necessary in this chopped ham and apple salad with creamy parmesan dressing–shocking
I know.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used white wine vinegar; it provides a hint of acid and breaks the thickness of yogurt
    and mayonnaise.
  2. If you do not like mayonnaise, add yogurt in its place.
  3. Make the dressing before starting any of the chopping or cooking to allow the flavors
    to soak.
  4. The dressing will be thicker than normal ranches; it taste similar to a blue
    cheese dressing.
  5. I used prepackaged lettuce leaves: one with radicchio for crunch and color. Feel free to use whatever type of lettuce that you enjoy.
  6. I used two Fuji apples because they were smaller. Fuji apples are sweet and tart, adding an extra note to the dish.
  7. Radishes are zero calories and create an extra crunch to the salad. Also, they pizzazz the salad with color.
  8. I forgot the pecans, but they were unnecessary. There was already a surplus of crunch; however, the nuts pair well with the dressing.
  9. I like the note they suggested about toasting the nuts. Toasting your nuts allows for the nutty flavor to rise to the forefront and become fragrant.
  10. The ham steak was delicious probably because I rarely use ham. Cooking it stovetop begins to caramelize the outside of the steak and add a warm element to the dish.
  11. If eating the entire entrée at one sitting, I suggest mixing the ingredients in one huge bowl. If eating at separate times, keep the dressing separate because it will wilt the lettuce. The thickness makes it somewhat difficult to incorporate, so I just added dollops on my salad.

I like to be pleasantly surprised by a mix of ingredients, and the salad described follows that idea. A combination of sweet, tart, salty and blue I found the salad to be complimentary in many ways. Salads offer the greatest variety of ingredients without breaking down and having a feast at your table. For a salad, it was different and delicious.

Leave a comment with your favorite salad recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.