Cauliflower Couscous w/ Quick Pickled Red Onions

DSC_0329Cauliflower is the new black. I swear this vegetable has made the biggest comeback (in the most delightful way) in the past couple of years. Currently you can find cauliflower as a gluten free option for just about anything, including (but not limited to); pizza doughs, pasta dishes, and several baked goods. It is such a versatile little veggie that is pretty subtle in flavor and will take on pretty much whatever you wish of it. I wanted to make a cauliflower couscous after I saw this recipe. What an incredible way to eat a ton of veggies in one big bowl! It really feels like you are eating “real” couscous (you know the kind that is made with all the glutens and flours?)! Except, in this recipe you are consuming a vegan, gluten-free, and insanely delicious salad without any of the, so-called naughty, carbohydrates. The best part about the entire bowl, is that you can eat the whole thing and never once feel guilty. You could even hit up some seconds! Sounds like a winner on the neat and clean eating front. Oh, I shouldn’t forget to note that I have been wanting to share my recipe for quick pickled red onions for some time now. Pickled onions are one of the easiest ways to add so much flavor to any meal. I like to keep a jar on hand for quick weeknight salads or lunchtime sandwiches. It takes but thirty minutes for the pickled onions to deliver a zesty tang, a faint spiciness, with just a hint of garlic. Quick, easy, and flavorful is like the trifecta of awesomeness. These were the perfect addition for the cauliflower couscous. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Excuse me while I head back for another helping… DSC_0285

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Cauliflower Couscous w/ Quick Pickled Red Onions

Serves 4


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Prep Time
30 min

Total Time
45 min

Prep Time
30 min

Total Time
45 min

For the Quick Pickled Red Onions
  1. 1 small-medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
  2. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  3. 1 cup rice vinegar (you could use any light vinegar; white wine vinegar or even apple cider vinegar)
  4. 1 tsp sugar
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 2 tsp peppercorns (I used multicolored peppercorns)
  7. 1 tsp dried rosemary
  8. 1 tsp red pepper flakes
For the Cauliflower Couscous
  1. 1 head of cauliflower
  2. 1/2 cup pine nuts
  3. 1 english cucumber
  4. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  6. 1 large handful fresh basil, chopped
  7. 1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  8. 1 large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  9. 1 lemon, zest and juice
  10. 1 TBSP honey (or agave if vegan)
  11. 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  12. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  13. 1/2 tsp salt
  14. 1/2 tsp pepper
  15. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  16. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Quick Pickled Red Onions
  1. In a large stockpot, bring about a quart of water to a boil. Thinly slice the red onion and add to a large glass bowl. Once you have finished crying, pull the slices apart from each other and separate them with your fingers. Pour the boiling water into the glass bowl and let the onions sit for about 30-45 seconds in the water. Drain the par-blanched onions into a strainer. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and sugar and mix until dissolved. Add the garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Add the onions into a clean glass jar or container you wish to store them in (I had to pack the onions down in the jar to fit all the slices). Pour the seasoned vinegar over the onion slices (I added just a tad bit more vinegar to the top of the onions so that they were all covered in the liquid). Place the onions in the fridge and let them sit for at least 30 minutes before using. They will store in the air-tight container for up to two weeks in the fridge.
For the Cauliflower Couscous
  1. Bring a large saucepan with water to a boil (add 1/2 tsp salt to the water). Meanwhile, cut off the cauliflower stem and chop the cauliflower into florets and add them to the bowl of your food processor (if your food processor is small you should work in batches). Pulse a few times until you reach a couscous texture (careful not to pulse too much or it will turn into cauliflower paste, ew!). Pour the cauliflower bits into the boiling water and let cook for about three minutes (we aren’t trying to cook the cauliflower here, just taking the raw edge off). Drain the cauliflower couscous into a fine mesh sieve (try and get a much water off as you can). Add the couscous to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.
  2. In a dry skillet, add the pine nuts. Toast them over med-heat, stirring occasionally until slightly toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set them aside. In a small bowl, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients; lemon zest and juice, honey, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk well to combine. Add the dressing to the couscous and continue to fluff with a fork. Add the toasted pine nuts, the dried cranberries and the edamame to the couscous. Cut the english cucumber in half, and using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds of the cucumber (this is an important step because the seeds add too much water to the salad if you leave them in). Chop the cucumber and add it to the salad. Add all the chopped herbs and give one last stir to mix. Top each bowl with some of the pickled red onion slices and serve immediately. Store the salad in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Notes
  1. This couscous salad makes enough for four people as a side and is plenty for two people as a main.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Grilled Artichokes w/ Lemon Caper Aioli

DSC_0307Yesterday was Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday! So, because it was such a memorable day, and we were celebrating two major reasons to love on my on pops, I decided to make his favorite grilled veggie. When I was growing up, I could find my dad in the kitchen on special occasions, otherwise it was mostly my mother who cooked. My father was the grill master and would always be the one to prepare a select few things; he made the juiciest steaks, the best gyros, and of course, the perfect artichokes. He knew what he was really good at and he stuck to his classic recipes. From what I can remember, we seemed to always have those crazy good artichokes on those long summer nights and it was usually for a Sunday supper. Sunday dinners were always special in our home. My sister and I would sit down with my mom and dad and discuss the past weeks events and the future weeks plans. It was nice and I really miss those times.

I wanted to make the same grilled artichokes I grew up with, but with a bit of a twist. Kris and I don’t own an outdoor grill, so the job had to be done on a grill pan on our stovetop (which incidentally turned out perfectly!). I have always been a bit intimidated by the big green vegetable, that some what resembles a succulent or cactus flower, but have learned that they are just the opposite of intimidating. In fact, they are super simple to prepare but do require just a few tasks. The thing about artichokes, is they take some time to prepare and they need a lot of flavor enhancing goodies. They are all about a labor of love and that is one reason why I adore them so much. Even when it comes time to eat them, you have to “get through” the outer leaves to reach the perfectly cooked center, called the heart. You must coax these babies with a lot of affection and they will most definitely love you right back! The lemon caper aioli is a friendly dipping sauce for the artichokes and is really nice if you are serving this as an appetizer for a small gathering, but otherwise isn’t really much needed. These artichokes can be eaten straight from the pan and have enough seasoning to sustain them alone, although the ailoi is always a nice touch. Serve them how you wish and remember to give them a try for your next dinner! Enjoy! 

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Grilled Artichokes w/ Lemon Caper Aioli

Serves 4


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Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
30 min

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
30 min

For the Grilled Artichokes
  1. 4 globe artichokes
  2. 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  3. 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 garlic clove, smashed
  5. salt & pepper
  6. 1 TBSP chopped fresh dill
  7. 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsely
For the Lemon Caper Aioli
  1. 1 large egg yolk
  2. 1 garlic clove, minced
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  5. pinch of cayenne
  6. juice of a small lemon
  7. 2 tsp dijon mustard
  8. 1/4 tsp pepper
  9. 1 TBSP capers (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Prepare the Lemon Caper Aioli. In large clean bowl, whisk the egg yolk, garlic and salt with 2 teaspoons of water until frothy. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, about a teaspoon at a time, until it become thick and creamy looking. Whisk in the cayenne, dijon, lemon juice and pepper. Add the capers and whisk. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
  2. 2. Prepare the artichokes. Add the olive oil and the smashed garlic clove to a small bowl and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 TBSP red wine vinegar. Cut off about an inch off each of the artichoke’s stems and about 1/2″-1″ off the top of the artichokes. Peel away some of the outer lower tough leaves. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scoop out the choke (the “hairy” middle). Add the artichokes to the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes, using tongs to push them under the water from time to time. Drain the artichokes and place on a large plate or baking sheet. Heat your outdoor grill, or your stove-top grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once cool enough to handle, brush each artichoke with garlic infused olive oil and sprinkle each one with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place cut side down and grill for 5 minutes or until visible char marks are seen. Plate the artichokes cut side up and sprinkle with freshly chopped dill and parsley. Serve immediately with (or without) the lemon caper aioli. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. These artichokes could serve a small gathering of 4-6 people as a little, yet super delicious, appetizer, or 2-4 people as a side.
  2. The aioli is obviously not vegan. If you are not consuming animal products, a nice lemon vinaigrette could work just fine. These artichokes are just as good without a dipping sauce when served on their own!
Adapted from Aioli from Sprouted Kitchen
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Sweet Cherry Hand Pies

DSC_0448I can’t believe it has been almost two weeks since the last post! What a crazy whirlwind it has been around here! I just celebrated my twenty-ninth trip around the sun and let me tell you it was one of the best birthdays yet! My husband planned out an entire weekend for us in San Fransisco and I was so elated to get on that plane because I had never been to this magical city before. I know it is so crazy to think that it took me this long to get there but I finally made it! What an incredible place. We spent three days there, sightseeing, eating, and of course, drinking. We really maxed out our efforts and filled every minute with a memory that I will never forget.  It was so beautiful and I already can not wait to go back. The Irish coffees at the Buena Vista are calling my name! When we got back from our trip, I only had a few days to catch up with work and then I was diving head first into another celebration; my best friend’s baby shower. It was such a gorgeous party and everything went off with out a hitch. She and her soon-to-be little princess were ridiculously spoiled and it was so beautiful to see all the love around her. I can not wait to meet that little baby girl and my heart is so full for the both of them.

So, after all the craziness I am finally back. I was having a bit of an internal battle deciding on what my next post would be and I decided to retouch on a recipe that had failed me a few months ago. It is really awful when you work so hard on a recipe only to find out that it either tastes horrible or that it doesn’t quite photograph how you had hoped. The latter isn’t one that everyone has to worry about but it definitely hinders me often. I not only want the dish to taste great but it has to be appealing to the eyes (and the lens) so that you all want to make it too! It is quite difficult at times, people. I made some blueberry hand pies back in February and the dough ended up being too crackly and all the filling leaked out of them and, frankly, it looked like an utter mess. I made some important tweaks to the prior recipe and I was so pleasantly surprised when they turned out perfectly this time! Since it is now cherry season, I knew that sweet cherries would be a wonderful substitute for the blueberries. These little pies, that fit so nicely in the palm of your hand, are the cutest and most delicious treats I have made in a while. They aren’t overly sweet but will definitely hit the spot. That 3:30pm lull (you know that one that begs you for a nap or a giant cupcake?) has just met it’s enlightenment. These petite pies are vegan and dairy-free, so go ahead and have another! Enjoy! DSC_0149

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Sweet Cherry Hand Pies

Serves 8


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Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
55 min

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
55 min

For the Filling
  1. 2 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
  2. light squeeze of fresh lemon juice (1-2 tsps)
  3. 2 TBSP organic cane sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 1/8 tsp salt
  6. 1 TBSP cornstarch (mixed with 1 TBSP cold water)
For the Dough
  1. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  2. 1.5 cups AP flour, plus more for rolling
  3. 1 TBSP organic cane sugar
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 3/4 cup coconut oil, in solid form
  6. 1/3 cup + 3 TBSP ice cold water
  7. 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips) (vegan chocolate if needed)
  8. turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make the filling…
  3. In a small dish, combine the cornstarch and water and stir to dissolve, set aside. In a saucepan, add the cherries, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla and salt and cook over medium heat for about five minutes and the cherries will start to release some of their juices. Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the cherries and bring it all to a boil, while stirring often (using the back of the wooden spoon, smash a few of the cherries down). The cherry juices will start to thicken. After a minute, turn off the heat and set the cherry filling aside.
  4. Make the dough…
  5. In the bowl of the food processor, add the flours, the TBSP sugar, and salt and pulse to combine. Add the solid coconut oil and pulse until the mixture forms small pea sized bits. Add in the ice cold water, continuing to pulse until dough forms into a ball. Be careful not to over-mix! Add additional water (1 TBSP at a time) if needed. Form the dough into a ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface, until it is about 1/8″ thick. Using a 4″ round cookie cutter, cut out 16 circles.
  6. Roll out each circle just a bit flatter before dividing the cherry filling among eight of the circles. Add a few chocolate chunks to the cherry filling and then top each one with an additional round of dough. Using a fork, secure the sides of each pie. Using a sharp pairing knife, cut a tiny slit into the top of each pie so that the steam can be released. Place the eight hand pies on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle each pie with a bit of turbinado sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Remove and set on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Serving these with a tiny scoop of ice cream is highly recommended and exceptionally favored!
Adapted from A House In The Hills
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/