Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower

I fell in love with roasted cauliflower at Fadi's, a local Mediterranean restaurant. Not long ago, I found it on the buffet at Ali Baba, another Mediterranean eatery. It's better at the buffet because there I can eat my fill! :o)

1 head of cauliflower
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Set oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut cauliflower into 1 1/2-inch size florets; rinse well. Dry with a kitchen towel to absorb moisture; water will keep the cauliflower from browning.

Toss cauliflower florets in a medium bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper, mixing well.

Pour onto a baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning. Brown until deep golden spots appear.

*For some extra flavor, try snipping about 7-8 fresh sage leaves into tiny pieces and tossing in with the cauliflower before roasting. Delicious!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


1 1/4 c. nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts), broken pieces
3 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c. almonds, halves or slivers
1/4 c. sunflower seeds

1/3 c. canola oil
1/4 c. real maple syrup
1/4 c. honey

1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit (optional)

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix oats, nuts, seeds, and coconut together in large bowl.

Heat maple syrup, honey, and oil in small saucepan, whisking occasionally until warm.

Pour mixture over dry ingredients; stir with spatula until mixture is thoroughly coated. Turn mixture onto an 11-by-7-inch jelly roll pan, spreading mixture in an even layer.

Bake, stirring and respreading mixture into an even layer every 5-10 minutes, until granola is golden brown. Immediately turn granola onto another jelly roll pan to stop cooking process.

Stir in dried fruit if desired, then spread granola evenly in pan; set on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Loosen dried granola with a spatula; store in airtight container.

*You can use whatever combination of nuts and seeds you like: pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds, etc. Just try to keep the amount of dry ingredients to 5 1/2 c. or the syrup mixture won't provide a good coverage.

*I like to mix 1/4 c. granola with 1 heaping Tbsp. of plain, nonfat yogurt for breakfast.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Black Bean Quesadillas

I started making quesadillas in college after I heard an El Chico commercial on the radio explain how they make theirs. I like mine better. :o)

10 taco-size flour tortillas
butter or margarine
Mexican blend shredded cheese
garlic powder
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Mexicorn, drained
1 can black olives, rinsed, drained, and sliced
green onions, thinly sliced
tomato, diced
jalapenos, seeded and diced

Butter one side of tortilla and place butter side down into medium-hot skillet.
Sprinkle cheese and a little garlic powder on one half; top with desired fillings. (Be sure you don't put too much for your filling or everything will fall out!)
Top with a little more cheese, then fold the empty half over.
Flip quesadilla to other side and grill until lightly browned.
Cut into two or three wedges and serve hot with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

*To cut fat and calories, lightly spray hot skillet with olive oil in place of buttering the tortilla. Also, use less cheese.

*Add cooked, seasoned chicken or steak strips for meat quesadillas. Use desired fillings.