Paprika Spiced Vegetables

paprikaspicedveggies

My favorite items to buy at the famer’s market are the colorful carrots.  They come in purple; they come in white; they come in orange.  Each color has a different flavor; mixed together they create a vibrant side dish.  The purple carrots happen to be my favorite providing sweetness; the white carrots taste closer to parsnips; the orange carrots have an earthy taste to them.  Peeled, sliced, seasoned and cooked, the carrots are one of my favorite side dishes with a low-calorie, nutritious benefit.

Carrots are plentiful in various vitamins.  One medium carrot contains 204% of your daily recommended value of vitamin A.  They are a good source of vitamins K and C.  Vitamin K maintains your blood’s ability to clot and contributes to bone and kidney strength.  Vitamin C is associated with a healthy immune system and strong gums.  It helps your body absorb iron.  Among those valuable reasons to eat carrots, carrots provide you with 7% of the daily recommended value.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I cook my carrots for about 40 minutes flipping them halfway through at 350 F.  If you are in a rush, you can use aluminum foil and cook the carrots in about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Spray pam on a baking sheet to keep the carrots from sticking.
  3. I spray my carrots with pam before seasoning them to allow the spices to adhere.
  4. Be sure to peel the carrots and cut them in even pieces.
  5. Space the carrots evenly along the tray and sprinkle them with paprika.
  6. You can add other root vegetables to the mix just be sure to adjust cooking times, and keep the other vegetables around the same size.

paprikaspicedveggies3These paprika spiced vegetables won’t stay on the table for long.  Spices are a great way to mask the taste of vegetables and provide them with flavor.  It mixes up the monotony of the daily vegetables.  Check your local farmer’s market or grocery store for your favorite vegetable and try a hand with your own spice mixture.

Leave a comment with your favorite farmer’s market finds.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Be sure to check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

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Stuffed Peppers

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I love my mom’s stuffed peppers, so this recipe is all “cootoes” to her.  It’s an easy dinner recipe that allows for multitasking on those busy nights or keeping frozen for that day you just need a taste of home.  The recipe hits the nail on the head in all the food groups–carbs, proteins, veggies and fat.  Making the peppers during your famer’s market’s peak allows for the full flavors of the vegetables to stand out.  Enjoy a delicious, comfort meal that your family and friends will love.

You’ll need:

4 Green peppers
1 Package of Jennie O Lean Ground Turkey
Onion (I usually use ½ an onion)
2-16 oz Cans of Tomato Soup
4oz (or less) Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese
Minute Brown Rice (I usually use 1 cup)

The Process:

Step 1: Clean out the peppers.
stuffedpeppersStep 2: Cook the ground turkey and onions stovetop.
Step 3: Combine the turkey mixture in a bowl with the uncooked rice.  Add ½ can of soup and cheese.
Step 4: Stuff the peppers with the mixture.
Step 5: Place the peppers in a microwave bowl with the remaining soup (the peppers should sit in at least half a bath of soup) and sprinkle cheese on top.
Step 6: Microwave on 50% power for 25-30 minutes.  The outside of the pepper should be soft.

The Tips:

  1. Be sure to clean out all of the seeds from the peppers, but only cut the tops off.
  2. Keep the rice uncooked because it will cook in the juices while being microwaved.
  3. Be sure to use tomato soup.  I tried the recipe with tomato sauce once and it was too powerful and overwhelming with a thick consistency.
  4. Be sure to have a big enough cookware that keeps the sauce from spilling over while in the microwave.
  5. Cover the peppers before adding to the microwave with cling wrap, or you’ll have one messy microwave afterwards.

This recipe is my comfort of home in a pepper.  It is simple and easy to make with a flavorful, nutritious meal.  “Cootoes” to my mother for making such a tasty meal microwaveable.

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

Cauliflower Mash with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

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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.

Cauliflower Cake

cauliflowercake

You may think I’m crazy. Cauliflower and cake in the same sentence seems like an alien recipe–with out-of-this-world flavor! I’ve gone crazy with cauliflower in the past. From cauliflower used as a pizza crust to rice, I have learned the versatility of vegetables. Now, this cauliflower cake falls into the frittata family and packed with a combination of savory flavors.

Cauliflower has 16 percent less carbs and 79 percent fewer calories per half cup serving than potatoes and other starches. Thanks to the abundance of pectin–the stuff that thickens jams and jellies–pureed cooked cauliflower has a velvety texture that adds body to soups, mimics potatoes in a mash or tots and can even form cakes and crusts. Its versatility lends a helping hand to a variety of meals.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I kept my florets larger, but I suggest making them the size of a bottle
    cap–personal preferences.cauliflowercake3
  2. Use Pam in place of the olive oil if you have consumed your fats for the day.
  3. Caraway seed pairs nicely with the dill. It resembles fennel seed.
  4. Garbanzo bean flour or another gluten free flour can be used. It will be found in the natural food section of most markets and will need to be refrigerated in an air tight container after being opened.
  5. The mix of eggs and cheese help create cohesion between ingredients; the flours create the cake like consistency although the entire dish resembles a frittata.
  6. I used a fresh red pepper charred stovetop. You can also broil the pepper being sure to turn it charring all sides.
  7. I usually prefer to nix dill from recipes, but it is a necessity in balancing the savory aspects of the dish.
  8. I used Pam along the inside of the springform pan rather than parchment paper.

cauliflowercake2I’ve learned to not judge a recipe by its name. It may sound crazy, but the crazy recipes are the ones that make your taste buds sing. Cauliflower’s timid flavors pair well in various forms. From pizza to cakes, there’s a recipe to expose your family to vegetables in a healthy and flavorful way. Trust me, like the favored cauliflower pizza, you will be begging for more of this bizarre meal.

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