Low carb comfort food? Sign me up! Upon finding myself in possession of a generous amount of cauliflower, I looked through a few cookbooks and blogs for inspiration, and one of my all-time favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, came through with a great idea for cauliflower cheese. It’s kind of like mac and cheese, only with cauliflower instead of macaroni. Doesn’t it sound delicious? I thought so! So here’s my version. I’ve adapted Smitten Kitchen’s recipe by using Gruyére instead of Cheddar, adding some extra Dijon mustard, and topping it with some smoked paprika and crunchy panko (breadcrumbs). (But you can leave those off if you are avoiding all carbs, or substitute sliced almonds.) Continue reading
sesame kabocha soup with crunchy maple topping
Feeling like making something a little lighter, yet still comforting? Soup is your friend! Or maybe you’re looking for something to do with a random squash, like a kabocha, in your possession, and you’re ready to go beyond simple roasting. Here is a lovely and light, low-fat yet filling soup for your winter nights. Don’t skip making this topping – it is SO GOOD. It kind of reminds me of those little Asian sesame stick snacks which are my absolute favorite snack of all time – in fact, I can’t keep them in the house! And it does all this while being naturally vegan, darling. We had this with avocado toast on the side. (For avocado toast: Take a slice of hearty, whole grain toast, mash 1/2 avocado on top, and lightly salt & pepper to taste. Eat with everything!) Continue reading
pumpkin casserole with crunchy pecan topping
I love savory pumpkin dishes. Also, anything involving Ritz crackers is likely to be delicious. Perhaps not slenderizing, but delicious, especially when also featuring a savory blend of pumpkin, red pepper, onion, and garlic, with some smoked paprika and chipotle for pizzazz, topped with crunchy pecans and panko, and baked until slightly puffed and golden brown. The original recipe from The New York Times uses yellow summer squash, which one steams and purees for inclusion in the dish, but I didn’t have enough squash so I substituted a can of pumpkin for half the squash puree; you can make the whole casserole with all pumpkin instead of squash. Plus, it’s less work that way since you needn’t steam and puree the squash. Win! You can bake this in a casserole (2 1/2 quarts), or small ramekins or cocottes for a cute presentation (just bake it for less time). We had this as a main dish, but it would also be great as a side for a holiday meal such as Thanksgiving. Yay!
kale mac and cheese
Do you ever have a day in the early autumn when you absolutely *must* have comfort food? OK, maybe more than one day? A day like that just happened for me, while the NYC area was being rained on by a Nor’Easter for a week, while waiting to see if a hurricane was going to hit us next. I decided I *needed* to make classic macaroni and cheese, with a Radish Rose twist.
Where does one turn for the best classic recipes? To Cook’s Illustrated New Best Recipe, of course! For my Radish Rose variation, I added smoked paprika and dijon mustard to the classic cheese sauce, and I mixed in some kale before baking for extra healthy yum (not that this dish is slenderizing in any way!). And instead of regular bread crumbs, I used panko for extra crunchiness in the golden brown topping. I also baked it instead of broiling it as the original recipe says, because of that time I caught a breadcrumb topping on fire in the broiler. See? I can be taught. Continue reading
easy, healthy baked fish with crunchy crumbs
Ah, the New Year. Don’t we all wish for something lighter to eat after all that holiday indulgence? How about lovely flaky white fish fillets topped with crunchy crumbs with a slight hint of garlic and lime? This dish is never heavy like a fried fish dish might be. It’s a favorite adapted from Cooking Light (here’s the original recipe), which I’ve lightened it up even further by leaving off the melted butter and simply spraying the breadcrumbs with cooking spray to get them to crisp up. I highly recommend Japanese panko crumbs for this – they’re sort of pre-crunchy already – but you can use any breadcrumbs you like. Also, this is seriously easy. Five minutes of prep, and 20 minutes later you are enjoying the crispy crunchiness!