The Fake Take on General Tso… Honey Baked Cauliflower!!!

cauliflower

Oh the days of when I used to go to the Chinese carry out and get either sweet and sour chicken or general tso.   Ummm….. just sitting here thinking about it makes my mouth water for some and revisit those old days.  But I won’t because not only are those types of meals fattening but they can be loaded with MSG which can cause me to swell.  So those meals aren’t looking so good to me now.

However, in my quest to find delicious and healthy meals. I just happened to stumble upon this beauty that recreates my old classics without the fat and the not so good-for-you MSG.    Honey Baked Cauliflower!  Oh what a joy it is to recreate your favorite dishes but with a healthy twist. How I can’t wait to dive right in and eat this while just relaxing on my sofa.  Yes, it’s comfort food at it’s very best…. sweet, sticky and yummy.   Would you like to partake of this sweet goodness? Well, let me stop going on and on and get right to it.  Thanks to http://kirbiecravings.com/2016/01/honey-garlic-baked-cauliflower.html… you’re able to make this delicious recipe to enjoy as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs (Kikkoman brand preferred for even baking)
  • 2 large eggs, whisked

for the sauce:

  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 6 tbsp water + 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • Or Annie Chun’s Korean sweet and spicy sauce in place of the soy and sriracha

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Set whisked eggs aside in a small bowl. Set panko crumbs aside in a separate bowl. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Dip cauliflower in egg mixture and then shake a few times so that excess egg drips off. You don’t want to dampen your breadcrumbs with excess egg because then they won’t stick to the cauliflower. Then roll in panko a few times until fully coated and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all cauliflower is coated. About halfway through, your breadcrumbs may start to clump together from the egg coating touching it, making it harder to stick to the cauliflower. To help get these clumps to stay on the cauliflower, gently press them with on when coating the cauliflower.
  3. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until coating is a dark golden brown and crunchy.
  4. While the cauliflower is cooking, make sauce on the stove.In a small bowl, completely dissolve cornstarch in water and set aside. Add all sauce ingredients except the cornstarch + water to a small pot or saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir a few times until ingredients are mixed. This should only take a few seconds. Then add cornstarch water to the sauce. Stir until sauce reaches a simmer again (make sure to stir otherwise the cornstarch will clump up) and cook until sauce thickens (about 2 minutes). Allow sauce to cool a few minutes and thicken even more. Drizzle over cauliflower or toss cauliflower in sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped scallions if desired.
  • If you make any adjustments to the sauce (i.e. add more soy sauce or other liquids) you may need to also add more cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Remember to dissolve any additional cornstarch in a little water before adding it.
  • You should have enough sauce to drizzle over all the cauliflower but if you want to coat your cauliflower or you used more than a small head of cauliflower, you may want to double the sauce.

 image and recipe from © Kirbie’s Cravings.

Enjoy with Love,

Nakesha

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Spicy Chili Lime Kale Salad

Hi guys!  I’m back to blogging again. Oh, how I’ve missed you! Things got pretty hectic in my life and I just couldn’t find the time to post, but my days are organized now so that I’m able to blog on a regular basis and boy am I one happy girl. 🙂

Alrighty, since you’ve heard a little bit of my chit chat let’s just get down to business with this recipe.  First, let me tell you that I came up with this recipe by accident but boy is it delicious, filling, healthy & simple to make. For this recipe you will need the following:


Ingredients:

2-3 cups of Kale (or as much as you would like)
2 Tbspns McCormick Perfect Pinch vegetable seasoning
1/2 c Dried cranberries
1/4 c Planters Chili Lime peanuts
1/2 c of celery
1/2 c bean sprouts (optional)
Kraft Asian Sesame Salad dressing

Directions:
1. Steam the kale for about 10  – 15 min. Once the kale starts wilting from the steam (maybe about 10 min in) add about 1 tablespoon of McCormick’s Perfect Pinch vegetable seasoning, stir and continue to steam kale for about 2 – 5 more min.
2. While kale is steaming start chopping the celery.
3. Once the kale is lightly wilted transfer it to a bowl.
3. Add the chopped celery, dried cranberries and the chili lime peanuts. Add a pinch of vegetable seasoning if you prefer.
4. Mix all the ingredients together and add the Kraft Asian Sesame salad dressing & enjoy.

I absolutely LOVE kale but can’t stand eating it raw. Eww….Yuck! So for me lightly steaming my kale allows me to enjoy a kale salad w/o the taste of raw kale. Lol…Just make sure that when you steam your kale that it’s not too wilted for the salad.  The beauty of this dish is that you can let your kale cool before adding the dry ingredients or enjoy this salad with the kale being warm. I chose to eat my kale salad warm and it was sure good! 🙂

Well, I hope you like this easy and simple kale recipe. Let me know how yours turns out. 🙂

From me to you with love, 

Nakesha 

Have A Drink On Me

Umm….It’s that time of the year. Can you smell the aroma of fall in the air? Well, if not, this beverage will sure get your senses going. Hot and delicious, many people can’t wait to run to Starbucks to get this soothing beverage during this time. What am I talking about?  I’m talking about Apple Caramel Cider.

Many versions of this recipe are floating around but I’m going to give you an easy and simple way to make it that will surely please your tastebuds. Let me know how you like it.

Apple Caramel Cider

caramel apple cider

Ingredients

  • 8 cups apple cider or juice
  • 1 cup caramel flavoring syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • Whipped cream, caramel ice cream topping and cinnamon sticks (3 inches), optional

Directions

  • In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the apple cider, vanilla extract & caramel syrup.
  • Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Pour cider into mugs; garnish with whipped cream, caramel topping and cinnamon sticks if desired. Makes about 12 servings.

Ok my friends. Enjoy this sweet treat.

Until next time,

<3~Nakesha~

Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Ok, stay calm!  Yes, it’s delicious, healthy and it has pumpkin in it. Perfect for this season. Not to mention the health benefits of coconut. This has got to be one of my favorite recipes yet! And, I am so excited to bring it to you because I think you will like it just as much as I do.  Are you ready for one of the most delicious, healthy and filling dishes you’ll probably ever eat with pumpkin?  Ok…well, here it is….

Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Curried-Coconut-Pumpkin-Soup

Ingredients
  • (Optional) 2 cups shredded chicken breast
  • 1 cup cooked brown or wild rice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup roughly chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner stalks only, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic chili sauce or 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree, not pie filling
  • 3 cans light coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 ounces baby arugula or spinach, long stems removed
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • For the garnish:
  • 1 medium avocado, thinly sliced (keep from browning by sprinkling with a bit of lemon juice)
  • 2 green onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fresh ginger, lemongrass, garlic chili sauce, coriander, cumin, and curry powder and cook another 30 seconds or until aromatic.
  2. Add chicken broth and canned pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool slightly and blend with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until smooth. If using a regular blender, return to pot and turn heat back to medium. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar and return to a low simmer. Add spinach (or arugula) and fresh basil and remove from heat.
  4. To serve, place approximately ¼-1/3 cup chicken(optional) in each of 6 shallow serving bowls. Ladle soup into bowls and place approximately ¼ cup rice (optional) in the center. Arrange avocado decoratively on one side of the rice and sprinkle each serving with cilantro and sliced green onions. Serve – and expect your guest to love you.

Recipe courtesy of thecafesucrefarine.com

From Me To You With Love,

Nakesha

Just in time for Fall – Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash

Hello Ladies and Gents,

Well, I have a new recipe for you to try and I am so excited about this one because it’s healthy and it has a few of my favorite foods mixed together – quinoa and cranberries (ummm yum). 🙂  With the autumn season here, it can easily become one of those comforts food you will not feel guilty about eating and you can’t beat that. Enjoy.

Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash

Quinoa-Salad-with-Butternut-Squash-Dried-Cranberries-Pepitas

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning squash
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pepitas

Citrus Honey Dressing:

Juice of 3 large oranges
Zest of 1 large orange
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place butternut squash on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss until squash is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, turning once, until tender.

2. While the butternut squash is roasting cook the quinoa. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool quinoa cool to room temperature.

3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, butternut squash, dried cranberries, and pepitas. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, zest, olive oil, and honey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle over quinoa salad. Toss until ingredients are well dressed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Note: You can use agave instead of the honey to make a vegan salad.

I hope you enjoy this delightful dish. Recipe courtesy of twopeasandtheirpod.com

As always, From Me To You with Love,

Nakesha