Holiday, Recipe, S, Veggies

Broccoli Salad

I love Amish broccoli salad. It is amazing how the sweet creamy dressing, crunchy vegetables, salty bacon, cheese, cranberries and seeds blend together into something that I could eat as a meal on its own! It is just super delicious and if you haven’t tried it yet, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Unfortunately, traditional Amish Broccoli salad has sugar in it, but thankfully that is an easy fix! Here is my take on this traditional salad. Oh, and I know this is called broccoli salad, but it includes cauliflower too. If you don’t want the cauliflower, you can always double the broccoli, but I really like it this way.

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 pound bacon, fried and crumbled (or 1 cup real bacon bits)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup “craisins” (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (optional)

Directions

  1. In a bowl large enough to hold the whole salad, mix first three ingredients together with a whisk to combine.
  2. Add all other ingredients to the bowl and stir to coat all ingredients in dressing.
  3. You can serve immediately, but I like it best when it has an hour or more to sit in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld.

Do you have your Thanksgiving Menu planned yet? If not go check out My Thanksgiving Picks to find 20 recipes all in one place!

Beverages, Crossover, Dessert, Dinner, Drinks, E, FP, Holiday, Recipe, S, Sauces, Dressings, Sides, Snack, Veggies

My Thanksgiving Picks

Do you know that Thanksgiving is 3 weeks from today! I feel ready and I hope you do too. I have spent the last several weeks gathering and posting recipes here to get ready for the holiday season. Here is what I have gathered.

The first thing on my menu is the turkey of course. I started using a “spatchcock” method for cooking my turkey lately and I highly recommend it! It cooks so much more quickly and evenly. Check out how to Spatchcock a Turkey and get a bonus gravy recipe HERE.

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Here are my picks for the best things to have alongside the bird:

Sweet Potato Casserole (Crossover or E)

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Bean Casserole(XO)

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Green Bean Casserole (E)

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The Best Green Beans (S)

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Loaded Veggie Casserole (S)

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Roasted Veggies (S, E or XO)

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Stuffing (S)

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Cranberry Sauce (FP)

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Mashed Cauliflower (S or FP)

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Rolls

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Broccoli Salad (S)

And for dessert I suggest the following:

Pumpkin Roll (S)

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Coconut Cream Pie (S)

slice-of-pie

Pecan Pie (S)

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Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake (S)

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Pumpkin Pie (S)

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Tagalong Pie (S)

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (S)

Berry Crisp (S)

Need some beverage suggestions? Here are my favorites:

Cranberry Wassail (FP)

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Pumpkin Spice Latte or Creamer (S or FP)

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How is your holiday planning going?

Crossover, E, FP, Recipe, S, Sides, Veggies

Roasted Veggies

Sometimes you don’t need a big fancy recipe to make something delicious. Sometimes you just need a few simple ingredients and the right cooking method to turn out something everyone will love.

That is what is so great about roasted veggies. It is a simple preparation that can be done to almost any vegetable. It can be a S, E, FP or XO side dish depending on the type of veggie and the amount of fat you use. Roasting the veggies brings out the natural sweetness in them and can change your least favorite veggie into one you crave. Think you don’t like asparagus or brussel sprouts? Have you tried them roasted? If you haven’t then you can’t answer that honestly just yet.

So what do you need to know about roasting veggies? Temperature, location and size, that’s it!

First, temperature

You want a nice hot oven so set it at a minimum of 425 degrees for most veggies. Root veggies can handle a temperature of 450 degrees.

Second, location

Place the oven rack in the lowest position. Having the veggies roasting on the lowest position allows a better caramelization to occur.

Finally, size

Whatever size you choose, it needs to be uniform. When you are chopping your veggies you want them all to be pretty much the same size. (Shape does not matter.) If you have some large chunks and some tiny pieces the veggies won’t all finish at the same time. The size of your pieces will play into how long your veggies need to cook. The bigger the pieces the longer the cook time.

 

What veggies should you use?

Well, what kind of meal are you preparing? Is it an FP or an S? Then choose whatever non-starchy you’d like! Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, brussel sprouts, asparagus, cabbage, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, even onions and tomatoes in moderation.

For an FP meal you want to chop your veggies into whatever size you like. Then you have two choices. You can either lightly spray the pan and veggies with cooking spray and sprinkle on your seasonings, or you can place your cut veggies in a Ziploc bag and add no more than 1 tsp of melted oil or butter per serving. You can toss the veggies around in the bag to make sure they are fully coated with oil then add your seasonings to the bag, moving everything around to be sure everything is evenly seasoned.

For an S meal you can do things exactly the same as above except be more liberal with the oil.

For an E meal you can add the starchier veggies. E meals are where I like to get my root veggies in. While some root veggies can be used in small amounts in other meal types, I like to have more of them when I am having them roasted, so I keep my roasted root veggies to E where I can really enjoy them. Sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, butternut or acorn squash. Cut your veggies into even pieces, apply oil and spices as you would for your FP meals above.

What oil and seasonings should you use?

Coconut oil, Red Palm oil, butter or olive oil are all good choices. As far as seasonings go I always use salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Beyond that it is really up to your personal preference.

Cooking Method

Your cooking method is the same for all, even though your temperature will vary. Preheat your oven to 425 for non-starchies and 450 for the root veggies. Spread prepared veggies into an even layer on a lightly greased, rimmed sheet pan. Place the pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Check on the veggies and stir them around every 10 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the veggies and the size of cut you used. The cooking time will most likely take at least 20 minutes but could take 30 – 35.

 

Try different varieties, different combinations, different seasonings. The variations are endless! I hope you will give some new veggies a try with this method!

Holiday, Recipe, S, Sides, Uncategorized, Veggies

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels sprouts, did you know that it wasn’t Brussel sprouts? Well, now you do! Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that many people don’t like based on how they have had them prepared. Well, if you’ve never had them prepared like this, I encourage you to give them another try! This is one of my favorite side dishes. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into bite sized pieces (pork or turkey, if using turkey add 2 TBSP more oil)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBSP Parmesan cheese (green can is fine)

Directions

  1. Cut Brussels sprouts into quarters.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add bacon to skillet and allow fat to begin to render. If using turkey bacon be sure to add 2 TBSP of coconut oil with the bacon pieces.
  4. Add remaining oil to pan along with Brussels sprouts.
  5. Saute Brussels, stirring often for 6-8 minutes until they are tender and starting to brown.
  6. Add water, balsamic, salt and pepper, cover and steam for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove cover, add garlic, nutritional yeast and Parmesan cheese, stir to combine. Saute for 2-4 more minutes.

    These were so delicious I had a hard time sharing!
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FP, Recipe, S, Sides, Veggies

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Let me start by saying this, I am not going to tell you that mashed cauliflower tastes just like mashed potatoes. It doesn’t. Many times I think we thwart ourselves on our journey to better health with false expectations. The only thing that tastes just like mashed potatoes is mashed potatoes. And there is no sin in eating mashed potatoes once in a while. But if you are on a journey trying to slim down, then regular white potatoes tend to work against you. Even if you are at an ideal weight, white potatoes are higher on the glycemic index, so they need to be moderated to keep our blood sugar even. Because of that we seek to find substitutes.

This is a substitute, and it is a good one. Even though it is not starchy, it helps to satisfy that desire for a starchy side. You can load it up just like mashed potatoes to make it even more festive. As long as you start with the right expectations, I think you will love this side dish. I’m going to give you some alternatives so that you can make this either a rich, S side dish or you can keep it lighter with a few tweaks. As written, without optional ingredients this recipe is a THM S. With all the optional ingredients it is an heavy S. Using the tweaks marked with an * you can make this recipe a THM FP.

Mashed Cauliflower ~ THM S or FP

Ingredients

1 pound cauliflower (fresh or frozen, whole, florets or riced)
1 cup liquid (water or chicken broth/stock) I recommend the broth/stock for flavor
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 TBSP butter*
~Optional ingredients~
1-2 oz cream cheese*
1 – 2 TBSP sour cream*
2 TBSP heavy cream*
1/4 cup chopped bacon*
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other cheese of choice)*

Directions

Cook cauliflower in liquid until soft (you don’t want any “crunchiness” left at all.) If you are doing fresh cauliflower you may want to steam it and it may require extra liquid.

Once the cauliflower is soft enough to mash you want to drain off the liquid into a separate container. Keep this liquid in case you need it later.

At this point you are going to mash the cauliflower. How you choose to do this depends on the texture you want to end up with. If you want a very chunky mash you can just use a potato masher. If you like a smoother mash with just a little texture a hand mixer would be your tool of choice. If you want a completely smooth texture I would suggest a food processor.

Begin the mashing process before you add any other ingredients. After you have the mashing process started you can add all of the other ingredients, including the optional ones EXCEPT for the bacon bits and cheese. Continue stirring/mashing until you have reached your desired consistency. If the mixture is too thick, use some of the cooking liquid you reserved to thin it out.

When you have the texture you want you can stir in the bacon and cheese if you are using it or just use them as a garnish on top. I chose sour cream, cheese and bacon for my add ins. Yummy!

FP Option

To keep this recipe an FP you are going to make the following changes to the recipe. The cooking and preparation methods are exactly the same, but the ingredients are tweaked to keep the fat low. The changed ingredients are marked with an *.

Ingredients

1 pound cauliflower (fresh or frozen, whole, florets or riced)
1 cup liquid (water or chicken broth/stock) I recommend the broth/stock for flavor
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp butter extract*
~Optional ingredients~
2-3 wedges light laughing cow cheese*
2 TBSP almond or cashew milk*
1 – 2 TBSP Greek yogurt*
1/4 cup chopped turkey bacon*
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese*

Be sure to keep checking back. I will be posting all of the recipes that I like to have on hand to keep me on track during the upcoming holiday season. I will eventually compile them all into a Holiday Menu post to be published on November 1st.