Tag Archives: Spices

Cauliflower Medley

Cauliflower Medley
Cauliflower Medley

This simple dish came to life recently while sharing food with friends over the weekend. I’ve had the pleasure of picking up fresh produce from a local farm market for many weeks now and this time I found this wonderfully colored cauliflower. It was orange, unlike any I’ve ever seen and kept it’s color nicely when steamed. I tried to pick other vegetables that would compliment the cauliflower nicely, while also adding color to the dish. I do love the colors found in fresh, natural foods! In order to maintain the flavor of the cauliflower I separately sauteed the kale, using stronger spices, and then combined everything, the flavors from the kale then adding nicely to the dish as a whole. Of course I like just about anything topped with hemp seeds for extra protein and texture, and they are very mild in flavor. This dish came about the same evening I made Curried Spaghetti Squash and the two dishes complimented each other nicely when eaten or even mixed together.

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • celery
  • onions
  • kale
  • vegan butter
  • saute kale (with cayenne, garlic and spices)
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic power/fresh
  • hemp seeds (opt)

Directions:

  1. Steam cauliflower, carrots, onions, celery together until tender but not over-cooked. You should be able to tell desired tenderness by the feel of poking veges with a fork. Season lightly with vegan butter, garlic powder and salt.
  2. Saute fresh garlic, kale, cayenne, coriander and cumin with coconut oil or grape seed oil and any other seasonings you may be called to use. Kale cooks quickly, be sure not to over cook it.
  3. Combine together all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Topped with Hemp Seeds
Topped with Hemp Seeds
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Cooking with Spices

Cooking with Spices

I’d like to bring up an important part of how I cook, especially when it comes to seasonings. With any recipe I make or follow I am sure to intuitively use the called ingredients, which might mean removing entirely unwanted ingredients or adding a few more of my own. For seasoning amounts in my recipes, I will often times not be able to put down exact measurements because when I season dishes and cook, it’s all very intuitive. The food and the smells of the spices, are a great guide. Try if you will to smell the spice recipe calls for, pinch the spices, no spoon or shaker bottles necessary, and feel what feels like the right amount to you. You might just surprise yourself and find the dish you create to taste infinitely better then original recipe. Cooking is not straight forward and so improvising or trying new things allows cooking and food preparation to become a form of art flow and makes cooking fun!

A container like this one (Masala Dabba box) is a great tool for cooking. I’ve picked up my favorite spices in bulk from local Indian Markets and have access to the ones I use most by keeping them in here and readily available on my kitchen counter. Shown here I have turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander (crushed and seeds) and garam masala to name just a few of the ones I love to use most.

I invite you to explore the world of spices and seasonings free from the reigns of any given recipe. I first began substituting ingredients, when working with a vegan diet, and then continued to re-create recipes when beginning to omit gluten and soy as well. With out animal proteins, gluten or soy my options for cooking vary slightly, and I do have to be more creative but I’ve found that spices and fresh herbs are the missing ingredient to any dish needing just a little extra TLC and FLAVOR!

I like to think of recipes as guidelines, and prepared creation a work of art. Just as I like my art to look beautiful, I like my food to taste good!

Namaste