Tag Archives: healthy

Cauliflower Done Right

26 Apr

Green Gourmet L

With the weather getting warmer and the flowers in full bloom, the urge to eat lighter is upon us. And I, for one, am totally ready. Although I’m also ready to gorge myself on a 7 course meal in a Thai man’s basement tonight. Don’t worry, I’ll take lots of pictures and tell you all about it later this week.

Back to spring, I love the vegetables that appear this time of year. Snap peas, green beans, sprouts, I’m getting excited to go to the farmer’s market again. I whipped up something last night that put me in the warm weather mood. Seared salmon with sauteed kale and cauliflower mash. If you’ve never had cauliflower in this way, you’ll be a convert. It satisfies your craving for mashed potatoes, but it’s lighter and (possibly?) healthier. Give it a try!

Cauliflower Mash


Makes 3-4 small servings

  • 5 cups cauliflower or 1 bag frozen cauliflower
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 TB butter
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or plain kefir
  • salt and pepper


Place cauliflower in a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes or until very tender. Drain well.

At this point, you can either mash by hand, use a handmixer, or place in a food processor (depending on what texture you like). Add the other ingredients and mix well. Garnish with chives or spring onions. Serve hot alongside your favorite spring dish and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!


Indian Spice: Chickpea Coconut Curry

16 Mar

by Green Gourmet L

I have the extreme pleasure of assisting at a cooking school in DC. It’s so fun for me because I get to attend an $80 cooking class for free. Not only do I get to pick up on new techniques, the chef cooks the recipes for the assistants at the end and we get to ask questions (food related or otherwise)!

One of my favorite chef’s that I assist for is a quick-witted, gay, Indian man who always cooks barefoot. His cooking style is very relaxed (clearly) and his recipes are to die for. Unfortunately, the written recipes are usually not the easiest to follow, so I’ve had to adapt based on what worked for me. The other night, he made a chicken dish for our class, but he said that you could easily make it vegetarian by substituting chickpeas. I’ve already made this at home twice and HAVE to share it!


  • 2 cups chickpeas that have been soaked, rinsed, and drained
  • 2 cups light coconut milk
  • 2 TB ginger/garlic paste (see below)
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 4 TB oil
  • 2 tp curry powder
  • 2 tp paprika
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 TB cilantro


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute whole spices (cinnamon and black peppercorns) for 3-5 minutes.

Add onions and saute until onions are light brown about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Make ginger/garlic paste by placing 2 large cloves of garlic (without skin) and 1 1/2 inch of ginger (with skin) into food processor. Grind until a paste forms.

Add ginger/garlic paste to pot and cook for about 1 minute.

Add curry powder and paprika, mix well, and cook for about 1 minute.

Add chickpeas, coconut milk, and tomatoes. Adjust for seasonings and add salt/pepper.

Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes until chickpeas are completely cooked through, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve over rice. Enjoy your authentic Indian cuisine and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Pita Chips and Spicy Hummus

2 Mar

by Green Gourmet L

Have you noticed that hummus is now everywhere? In every different flavor you can imagine? Roasted garlic, red pepper, black bean, eggplant, cilantro, and sun-dried tomato! Have you noticed how much they charge for the smallest tub? $3.99 or even $5.99 for some of the specialty kinds. It’s funny to shell out money for hummus, week after week, when you can make 10x the amount at home for the same price. All you need are the right ingredients for the perfect, melt in your mouth, Middle Eastern street-food favorite. This recipe is for the plain version and then you can jazz it up with whatever eggplant/cilantro/tomato combo you like. For me…I’ll stick with extra spicy. Yummmm.


  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed) or 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (cooked and drained) *see below
  • 2 TB tahini (sesame paste, can be found at most grocery stores)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 TB yogurt
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2-4 TB of water (or chickpea cooking liquid)
  • salt and pepper


If cooking your own chickpeas (which I highly recommend), soak overnight in a bowl. Make sure there are at least 3 inches of water above the top of the chickpeas. Once soaked, drain and place into a medium pot. Add new water that comes 3 inches above the chickpeas.

Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Skim any foam that forms on the top. Save some of the cooking liquid for your hummus. When done, chickpeas should be tender but not mushy.

Place chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor or blender. If you like yours spicy (like me), I add one whole chili pepper in adobo. It has that smoky heat that is really great in hummus.

Add the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and yogurt. Blend. Begin adding your reserved chickpea liquid (or water) one TB at a time until mixture is creamy. Pour into a serving dish and top with additional olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper. By the way, wouldn’t this hummus be fabulous with some home-made pita chips? It couldn’t be easier!

For Pita Chips:

Preheat broiler and line baking sheet with foil. Cut pitas into 8-12 pieces and separate each piece in half.

Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Add whatever spices you like (garlic salt, paprika, cayenne, etc).

Cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.

You just saved money and now you can make as much hummus as you like! Don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

OMG- My Husband Ate Tempeh

28 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

Mr. Green Gourmet is a picky eater.  He will deny it, but he loves things like pizza, fries, burgers and other typical man food.  Luckily, I write a food blog, and he’s forced encouraged to eat things that are  a bit healthier!

The other day at Whole Foods, I found some soy tempeh for $2.79…way less expensive than chicken. Tempeh has been around in Asian cooking for hundreds of years, although it is relatively new to American cuisine. It’s made from cooked soybeans (or flax or other grains) and then formed into a patty, like a veggie burger. It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly, and certain kinds are gluten free. It’s texture is different from tofu and it has a slightly nutty flavor. It still takes on the flavor of what it’s cooked around though, so make sure you marinate or cook with a sauce to help it blend in.  Also- low fat, high protein. Yep.

Photo from lifestyle.8flo.com

Always a good standby if you’re trying to do more veggie dishes in your life. I know that Mr. GG loves Thai food, so I decided to make a green curry dish with veggies and then sneak some tempeh in there. And the result: his initial response was “pretty good”, then when I explained the tempeh, he said “edible”. I think I will take the pretty good and not tell him what’s in it next time.

Green Curry with Tempeh

  • 2TB green curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk (light)
  • 2 TB fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup veggie stock
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced and seeded
  • 1 head broccoli, separated
  • 1 package tempeh, cut into 3/4 in cubes
  • chopped cilantro

Cook first four ingredients for sauce on medium for 7-8 minutes until thickened. Add veggies and cook for 10 minutes. Add tempeh and cook for an additional 5 minutes until flavor of the sauce has been absorbed. Serve over rice and top with cilantro. Trying tempeh for the first time like my husband? Don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

It’s Chicken Week- Parmesan Chicken

23 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

Everyone is looking to stretch their dollar. When you are having a dinner party or feeding a large family, this is even more crucial. One of the best ways to make your meat go further is to make it thinner. This is a great idea since it actually tricks your eyes into thinking you are eating more than you are. This recipe works best if you cut your chicken breasts in half before you pound them. Did I mention you get to pound something? Long day? Frustrated? Get a rolling pin and get to it! This recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa.


This recipe makes enough for 7 (with leftovers!)

  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 TB water
  • 1 1/4 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • Unsalted butter
  • Good olive oil
  • Salad greens for 7, washed and dry
  • 1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette


Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip  into the egg mixture, then into the bread-crumb mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad with some dressing. Place a mound of salad on each piece of chicken. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Enjoy stretching your dollar and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

6:30 Empty Fridge Challenge

17 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

I’m sure everyone has had a night similar to this. It’s 6:30, you have next to nothing in the fridge, and you are too lazy (or had too much wine!) to go to the store.  Mr. Green Gourmet and I call this is a ‘true chef challenge’, because restaurant chefs can always make something out of nothing.

So here were the suspects:

Fridge: ½ red pepper, ½ tomato, last bits of a goat cheese log, ½ lemon, few sprigs of flat leaf parsley

Pantry: garlic, pasta, sweet potato

So here’s what happened:

Sweet Potato Red Pepper Pasta

  • 1 sweet potato, grated
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Pasta (linguini, angel hair, or spaghetti)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup goat cheese (or more to taste)
  • any herbs that you might have (basil, parsley, etc.)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Boil water for the pasta and cook according to directions. Reserve at least ½ cup of pasta water.

Heat one TB of olive oil over medium high heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add sweet potato, red pepper, tomato and ½ cup of water, cook for 8 minutes until the vegetables become soft. Season with salt and pepper. At this point you can also add red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.

Drain pasta and add to the vegetable mixture. Add lemon juice, goat cheese, and herbs and toss. If the pasta looks too dry, add reserved pasta water about 2 TB at a time. Serve with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Not every meal has to be complicated to taste great. Enjoy and don’t forget to tell them you read it on Green Gourmets!

Savory Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

15 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

I know someone who is very upset that football is over. But who says you can’t eat tailgating food anyway? One of those foods that just screams football to me is potato skins and twice baked potatoes. Smothered with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, and chives. It’s great, but it’s far from a healthy side dish.

I love sweet potatoes since they tend to have added health benefits. They are high in Vitamins E and A, low in fat, cholesterol-free, and have more fiber than a bowl of oatmeal.  But it seems that the only sweet potato recipes that I can find have a “healthy” dose of butter, sugar, and maple syrup. I don’t want a potato dessert, I want a savory appetizer. So here’s our take on twice-baked potatoes, Green Gourmets style.


Makes 2 large servings or 4 appetizers

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2-4 whole garlic cloves, with paper left on
  • 1/4 tp cumin
  • 1/4 tp paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • aluminum foil


Preheat the oven to 375. Pierce your sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Put your garlic cloves (with paper still on) onto a foil sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bring up the sides of the foil to seal the package.

On another piece of foil, place the chopped onion. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and seal the package. Place the garlic and onions on the same baking sheet as your sweet potatoes.

Bake for 1 hour (check your onions and garlic at 45 minutes). The onions and garlic should be roasted and sweet.

Remove from the oven and allow the sweet potatoes to cool until they are cool enough to touch. Slice the potatoes in half; scoop out the insides while leaving the skin intact.

Remove the skin from the garlic and place the bulbs and the cooking liquid from the packet in a small bowl.

Add potato flesh, onion, and spices and mix together.  Season with salt and pepper.

Rub the outside of the potato skins with oil and season with salt and pepper to ensure they get crisp. Add the filling back into the skins and top with a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.

Enjoy this healthy twist on Twice-Baked Potatoes and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets! To print this recipe, click here.