Air Fryer Cauliflower Bites

D and I were asked if we wanted to do a cooking demonstration in the next few months. The kicker, it will need to be vegan.  We do no eat vegan, but that does not mean we can not cook vegan.   I have been testing new recipes out, and trying to come up with a unique, yet easy, meal that we could make. This recipe was made with regular milk ( it is what we had on hand) but it can be easily modified.

Scroll to the bottom for the recipe.

This Christmas we received an air fryer. This appliance is really easy to use, and so far most of our recipes have turned out great.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit adventurish,  I waned to make a cauliflower recipe.  Cauliflower may be a staple in your home, but it is not typically found in ours.

I began by rinsing the cauliflower  and cutting it into florets.  I kept mine about bite sized, but you can go larger or smaller.

Next make a basic batter.  Mix flour with spices (salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika). Then add the liquid, I used a combination of milk and water.   I found that it was better when it was on the thicker side.

Next, prepare a large zip-lock bag( or bowl with lid) full of bread crumbs and more seasonings.

Then, you want to prep a drip station.  This is important when using a wet batter in an air fryer.  You want to avoid dripping while cooking.   To do this I placed a cooling rack into a baking tray.

Once all of your stations are prepped you can begin.  You want to cook these in batches,  there should be space between each florets so that it will cook more evenly.

First drop a handful of florets into the batter.  Make sure they are well coated.  Next using a slotted spoon, let the excess batter drip off and transfer to the bread crumbs.  Then give it a good shake, kids will love to do this part.  Once covered, use tongs to place on to the rack.  This will help any loose breadcrumbs to fall off.

Finally, you can place the breaded cauliflower in to  the air fryer basket.  I set mine at 350 for 15 minutes.  Make sure you shake it a least 2 times.   When they are finished, you can place them onto a plate or baking sheet, and begin your next batch.

I made 3 batches.  When I was done with the initial cooking, I put them all back into the air fryer to warm up.

 

The cauliflower comes out super crispy and crunchy.  I served it with cauliflower rice and a General Tso’s inspired sauce.   You can create your own, or buy a pre-made sauce.

Alternatively you can serve these like nuggets or with your favorite wing sauce. To make them more wing like, just make the florets a bit bigger.

I hope you enjoy!

-R

 

Ingredients

1 cauliflower – cut into florets.

For the batter
– 2 cups flour
-Spices to taste – Salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika
– 1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup milk or milk substitute

– 2 cups breadcrumbs
-more spices

 

  1. Rinse and cut cauliflower into bite size florets
  2.  Prepare the batter, mix dry ingredients.  Slowly add milk and water.  The batter should be on the thick side.
  3. Prepare a zip-lock bag of breadcrumbs and spices.
  4. Drop a handful of florets into  batter.  Make sure they are well coated.
  5. Place battered florets into bread crumbs. Shake until covered.
  6. Place on to cooling rack, to let excess topping fall off.
  7. Place into air fryer basket in a single layer, make sure they are not touching.  Cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.   Shake basket about 2 times during cooking.
  8. Once all cauliflower is cooked, you can reheat it by putting it back into the air fryer.
  9. Serve over rice, with favorite Asian sauce.  Or as wings, with your favorite wing sauce.

 

 

Jellied PEPPER Spread

A few weeks ago during some of our travels, we came across a jalapeno pepper jelly  My mind immediately said, “I can do this with the Carolina Reaper peppers that we have”.

 

 

Now you may be asking yourself,; “What is a Carolina Reaper?”.   A reaper pepper is a dayglow orange ball of hate that D grew for fun.  Just to see if he could.   here is a link below.

https://www.pepperscale.com/carolina-reaper-vs-ghost-pepper/

 

His “Fun” plant has produced almost a hundred peppers this summer.   Now the trick is finding things to make with them.  I have cut and dehydrated 2 batches; which we then added to hone and olive oil.   For this recipe I made two incredibly spicy jellies; which I now need to find a use for.

 

The process is pretty simple; all you need is fruit, peppers, pectin, sugar and jars.

To begin bring a large pot of water up to a boil to sterilize the jars and lids.  Once it is hot, place jars in water, let boil 5-10 minutes.  I chopped my fruits during this time.   Remove the jars and set aside.  Save the water.

Cut your fruit into tiny pieces, add them to a medium sauce pan.  Turn the temperature to a medium heat.  You want a slight bubble.   Add in the sugar and pectin (per package directions some are different.)

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Turn a fan on. Finely chop your reaper peppers add to the sauce pans.  You may want to use gloves.  I also recommend washing your cutting board and knife with dish soap as soon as possible.  THEN remove the gloves, and wash your hands with dish soap 2 more times.

 

 

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After this brief cleanup, you jelly should be ready to place into the jars.   Be sure to leave at least 1/4th inch of space from the top. Clean the edges. Place the lids on to the jars,and seal tightly.

 
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Place the filled jars back into your water bath for about 10 -15 minutes.  This will help to seal and sterilize the jars once again.

During this time you can bleach your counters to hopefully prevent any pepper juice from getting into your eyes.  ( trust me it’s not fun)

After the jars have been re-boiled, remove them from the water and let cool.  At this stage the jelly may seem liquid, but it should set as it cools.  You should also here all of the jars  “pop”.

Now how can you use this jelly?

We tried it on crackers with cream cheese. If you notice, I made sure to have some crackers with no jelly and a tall glass of milk near by.  We want to try it on wings  as well as pork some time.  For now we are just waiting for a party to share it with our friends.

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ENJOY!
Rebecka

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3rd cup of Fruit finely chopped  – pineapple and peach were my choices
  • 1 reaper pepper – If you dare, keep the seeds in it
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of pectin – follow package directions
  • 1 1/2 cup of white sugar.

 

  • sterilize jars with a water bath, save the water
  • finely chop fruit, add to a saucepan and heat until bubbling
  • add pectin and sugar
  • add finely chopped peppers,  brief clean up
  • fill sterilized jars, and seal
  • place into water bath for 10-15 minutes
  • remove jars from water, and let cool
  • serve and enjoy.

Purple Sauerkraut

Purple sauerkraut is the prettier cousin of your normal sauerkraut; I just use purple cabbage.   This recipe is simple, and can be completed overnight.

 

To begin, warm 2 cups of water with bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, salt and sugar. Let this boil for about 10 minutes.   Mix in the vinegar and oil. This will create a brine.

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While the brine mixture is boiling, thinly slice/ shred the purple cabbage. Shred 2 carrots as well.  Place into a large mixing bowl.

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Allow the brine to cool for another 10 minutes.  After the brine is cool, pour it over the shredded cabbage and carrots.  Add in 1 tbsp of  minced garlic. We like to use pre-minced, from the store.  Mix well

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Place a plate inside the cabbage bowl.  Add a second bowl on top, and fill with water.  This will act as a weight.  Allow the sauerkraut to cool for a few hours.  Remove the bowl of water, and plate.  Cover and store in the refrigerator over night.

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The sauerkraut is ready to eat as it.  I personally like to seal it in jars to keep it longer. While there are many methods, this is the one that I use.

 

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Boil jars, lids and rings for 10 minutes to sterilize.   Tightly fill each jar with sauerkraut, add brine liquid to fill.  Clean the rim of the jar and add he lid and rim.

Place jars back in boiling water and boil for 15 minutes.  This will help cook the sauerkraut a little bit, while sterilizing

at the same time.

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Remove the jars and let cool.  They should begin to “pop” as a seal is created.

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As always you  can save $10 on your first box of Imperfect Produce when you use the link below.  The items are in  great condition.  The imperfectness comes from  surplus,  odd shapes, too small or too large.   It can be delivered too your door every week if you would like.

http://imprfct.us/jLPGk

 

 

Recipe 

Ingredients

1 head of cabbage

2 carrots

1tbsp minced garlic

 

Brine

2 cups water

1/4th cup sugar

1 tbsp salt

5 peppercorns

4 bay leaves

5 whole cloves

1/4th cup olive oil (I added 2 tbsp of our Reaper Oil for spice)

1/3rd cup vinegar

 

Instructions:

  1. Boil water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cloves for 10 minutes. Add oil and vinegar.
  2. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Finely chop/ shred cabbage. Shred carrots.  Place in large mixing bowl.
  4. Pour brine into cabbage. Place a plate on top, followed by a bowl of water. Let cool.
  5. Store in refrigerator overnight.

 

 
Enjoy!

-R

 

 

When Life Gives You Giant Brussels Sprouts

Every two weeks we get a delivery of ugly produce from Imperfect Produce.  The company sends produce that is “ugly” around the United States.  What qualifies produce to be ugly?  Too large, too small, too many, or just oddly shaped.  You can follow this link to receive $10 off your first box.  If they do not deliver in your area, just keep checking; they are rapidly expanding.

https://www.imperfectproduce.com/register.php?referral=382306

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On our last delivery, we recieved GIANT Brussels sprouts, like the size of my palm giant.

I did a quick google search, and watched a few videos to decide what we could make with them. We decided to make Stuffed Brussels sprouts.  It takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 15 min to cook.

 

Begin by washing and cutting the Brussels Sprouts in half.

Next, blanch until bright green. Make sure to put them cut side down in the water.  You want the insides to be soft, but the outside layers to remain crunchy.

Once blanched, gently remove the inside layers of the Brussels Sprouts, you want to form a cup shape.  This may take some practice and patiences.   Place the middles layers in to a bowl, until all of the Brussels Sprouts are  shaped.

 

Next, finely chop the middles. If you want to save time, you can add your fresh herbs to finely chop.  Once they are chopped up, place them back into your bowl.

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Next, you want to add the garlic, black pepper, panko bread crumbs, parmeasean cheese, and goat cheese. We happened to have some blue cheese dip  ( from Keystone Sports Review in Indianapolis), that was left over, so I threw that in too.  Mix well.

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Once mixed, spoon mixture into the Brussels Sprouts cups, and place on a foil lined baking sheet that is sprayed with oil.   If you have any left over filling, you can place it into an oven safe dish and heat it up.  Enjoy it like a dip.

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Place in an oven at 450 for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

 

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Enjoy after they Cool!

 

 

 

 

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Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

12 Large Brussels Sprouts
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
fresh herbs- oregano, parsley, garlic chives, thyme ( or dried italian seasoning)
1/4th cup shreded parmeasean
1/2 cup goat cheese
(1/4th blue cheese dressing )
1/4th cup panko bread crumbs

Preparation

  1. Preheat Oven to 450F.
  2. Wash, cut and blanch Brussels sprouts. When blanching place cut side down.
  3. Remove the middles to form cups with the outer layers.
  4. Finely cut the middles of the Brussels Sprouts. Chop herbs at the same time. Place in bowl.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well.
  6. Spoon mixture into Brussels Sprout cups.
  7. Place on a foil lined tray (sprayed with oil).
  8. Bake at 450F for 10-15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything Pita Bites with Lox

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Do you love everything bagels smeared with cream cheese and lox? I know that I do, but what I don’t love, is all of the unnecessary carbs that are present.  I decided to get my fix, using pita crackers that I found.  This recipe is super easy, it also makes for a quick 5-minute appetizer if you have a party coming up.

Ingredients:                                                                                   Calories

12 Townhouse Pita crackers                                                     140

2 tbsp light cream cheese                                                          60

1 oz Lox or smoked salmon                                                       55

Everything bagel seasoning                                                       5

 

The above amounts are what I used to make a decent snack for myself.  It may not be the healthiest option, but it is way better than a WHOLE bagel.

Preparation:

Smear cream cheese on to the pita crackers. Add a 1/4th inch of the lox and sprinkle the everything bagel seasoning over.  That is it!  Like I said, this is a super easy, yet delicious recipe.

If you want to get really fancy, you can use fresh carrot chips or celery.

 

Enjoy

-R

Ranchy Chicken Salad

The other day, I made a whole chicken for dinner.  But, after a while you get tired of eating the same chicken day after day.  This recipe is a great way to take the left over chicken to the next level, while still being healthy. When I have made this recipe in the past, I always used mayo or ranch dressing to hold the chicken together. I have even used an avocado, leftovers did not look pretty. This recipe uses shredded zucchini.. weird I know, but stick with it, it does work. I promise!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken – diced
  • 2 cups zucchini – shredded
  • 2 tbsp ranch powder
  • Additional spices from the herb garden- basil, oregano, rosemary
  • pepper

Preparation:

  • In a medium bowl, mix zucchini, chicken
  • Add in ranch powder and additional spices
  • Additional veggies can be mixed in as well, we liked tomato or carrots for a crunch.
  • Enjoy on a sandwich, with Ritz or club crackers, or on fresh veggie slices.

 

Have a great day!

-R

Baked Egg Rolls

 

 

Hey Friends!

The other night D and I wanted to have some Chinese food, but rather than take out we made Beef and Broccoli  with Crab Ragoons at home.  But that left me with a ton (OK 10) wanton wrappers. So today I decided to make some egg rolls.  This recipe is super simple, and you can make a bunch with in 45 minutes.  Which is great for kiddos in the summer, or for when unexpected guests stop by.   I will post the other recipes later!

Ingredients

  • Cabbage- can be precut, think coleslaw mix
  • 1 bag
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • Grated ginger
  • ½ tsp ( or a few shakes) of ground cinnamon
  • Precooked ground sausage if desired.
  • Wanton wrappers ( I find these near the produce section)

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • On stove top, warm olive oil.
  • Add cabbage, stir to coat
  • Add in soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger and cinnamon. Stir to mix.
  • If adding sausage, make a hole in the center of pan. Push cabbage mixture to edges.
  • Once sausage is warm, mix throughout cabbage.

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  • Place 1 wanton wrapper on a clean cutting board, corner pointed towards you.
  • Add a spoonful (about 1/4th cup) of cabbage mixture on to wanton.
  • Fold corner up, then the 2 sides. Making sure the filling stays inside, roll the wanton.
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  • On the upper corner, dab water to help seal edge. Place on foil lined baking tray
  • Repeat until all of the cabbage mixture is used.
  • Spray both sides with cooking oil of your choice.
  • Place in oven for 10 minutes,
  • Flip each role to the other side, cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, let cool and Enjoy!

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*Tip, pair this recipe with the Crab Rangoon for a fun Asian night.

Makes 10 medium egg rolls.

Feel free to comment  or ask questions!

 

Need a dipping sauce?  Check out this recipe https://creativelyserved.com/2018/07/11/sweet-and-spicy-sauce/ .

 

-R

Stuffed Dates

Every other week, we get vegetables delivered to our house, and we can add fruit if we want. These vegetables are to “Ugly”, or there are too many to be sold in the stores.  One week I decided that we needed dates, I saw one of my friends get them and was all for it.  But I didn’t know what to do with them, I remembered someone talking about a cheese stuffed bacon wrapped date. This sounded like a perfect idea to me, and with a party coming up, it was perfect.  Due to dietary restrictions of friends, we made them with and without bacon. (Meat free options will be available on other recipes)

 

Ingredients:

  • 20 dates
  • 1 package plain goat cheese
  • 1/4th cup brown sugar
  • 1/8th cup water (more may be needed)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 strip of Bacon per date ( we like WM thick cut)

Date Preparation

  • Remove the pits and slice 3/4th the way to make a pocket.
  • Fill the center with goat cheese that has been brought to room temperature
  • Place a toothpick in center, and place on foil.
  • Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  • Cover in brownsugar glaze

Bacon wrapped.

  • Once filled, wrap ½ strip of bacon around secure with toothpick
  • Place on drip tray and bake for 30 minutes, turning half way through
  • Cover in brown sugar glaze

Brown sugar glaze

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan
  • Add 1/8th cup of water
  • Wisk in 1/4th cup of brown sugar until combined