Jackfruit Carnitas Mexican Bowl

I feel a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their head around enjoying a meal that doesn’t include meat. So here’s a recipe that meat lovers and vegetarians alike will enjoy. Jackfruit is a fruit original from southwest India. When green, the fruit pods are stringy and have very little flavor so recently its been used as a meat replacement in some delicious meals!

We aren’t really big meat eaters ourselves so this recipe quickly became a favorite for meatless days.

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Ingredients for the Jackfruit Carnitas

2 cans of green jackfruit (we used Trader Joe’s)

1 medium white onion (sliced)

Juice of 1 orange

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 cup canned sliced jalapeños

5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Mexican seasoning pack

1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)

Directions

In medium high heat pan add oil, jalapeños and onions. Stir until onion is translucent and soft. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Drain jackfruit very well. *canned jackfruit comes in brine so we rinsed it to make it less salty. But no need to rinse.*

Add jackfruit to the pan along with mexican seasoning, red wine vinegar and orange juice. Stir and let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until all ingredients are nicely mixed.

Mix in cilantro right before serving.

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Ingredients for Cilantro Rice

2 cups rice (we personally like long grain or jasmine rice)

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 large lime

Salt to taste

1 tbsp live oil

Directions

Follow cooking directions on rice package for basic white rice.

Once cooked, let rice cool off to room temperature.

Add chopped cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice, olive oil and salt to taste.

Mix all ingredients.

*We love this rice as a side dish to many meals such as grilled meats, tacos, burritos, bean stew and mexican bowls as this one!

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*Per title photo, we finished the bowl with tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, lettuce and tortillas. But you can add any ingredients of your liking for a delicious AND meatless meal! Enjoy!

 

Italian Semolina Bread

My boyfriend and I always look forward to our weekends together since we don’t get to see each other much during the week. Especially when we turn them into all out cooking weekends. We both absolutely love semolina bread, an Italian bread made of semolina flour, the same flour used to make pasta. Going to my boyfriend’s family gatherings for the last almost eight years semolina bread is always a staple and part of every holiday meal or special dinners.

This bread is a little more dense than your regular bread but delicious and goes great with salads, pasta or just as accompaniment to a great charcuterie board!

This recipe is a pretty traditional semolina bread recipe. But this time we used the King Arthur Flour recipe which calls for diastatic malt powder. An extra ingredient that helps the bread rise and create a softer texture.

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups semolina flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon diastatic malt powder

1 1/3 cups lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the topping

5 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions

Combine all dough ingredients into fairly stiff dough. About 6 minutes in mixer.

Shape dough into a ball and let rise in covered bowl for about 90 minutes or until rises to double in size.

Once rises to double size, divide dough in half.

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Shape each half into a braided roll or ok to leave shape as regular loaves.

Places loaves on greased parchment paper and let them rise another house until nice and plump.

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit

Brush loaves with egg white wash an sprinkle sesame seeds.

Bake loaves for about 25 minutes until they’re golden brown.

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Enjoy!!

 

 

Roasted Carrots & Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Here’s another easy, healthy and delicious recipe than can be had as a light meal or as a great side dish to complement a main dish.

As a kid (like most kids) i wasn’t very fond of vegetables, especially beets. I always remember the strong smell and their appearance when my mom would serve them to us with our dinner. Most of my trauma though was due to them being canned. This was the only way I knew beets existed.

As an adult I rediscovered them as a fresh vegetable and gave them a well deserved chance. This day in particular we had lots of small carrots and beautiful beets from our vegetable garden and theres no better way to bring out all great flavors of beets and carrots than roasting them in the oven.

Below find ingredients and directions. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

1/4 lb Fresh Beets

1/4 lb Small Carrots

1/3 cup Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/3 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

1/3 cup Roasted Pepitas (Sunflower Seeds also work)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375

Clean beets and carrots of excess dirt and top leaves. (Beet tops are also edible and are delicious in salads.) I personally like leaving the tails of the beets cause they add extra flavor. In a baking pan add beets, carrots and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss together.

Bake for around 20 to 30 minutes depending on your preference as far as cooking level. I like them to have a tiny bit of crunch left.

Once ready transfer to serving plate. Add goat cheese over beets and carrots. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. The sweet roasted flavor of the beets and carrots goes perfect with the tanginess of the goat cheese and the balsamic glaze. Add the pepitas for a layer of crunchiness and you have a winner dish everyone will love! Enjoy!

 

Cheesy Burger Casserole

Ok, so since we all love a one pot meal Im sharing another of my favorite recipes. This recipe came about from my love for pasta and cheese (duh!).

But I decided to play around and make it a little heartier and delicious by adding some extra ingredients.  This easy and delicious recipe will become a favorite of yours, I promise!

Below find ingredients and directions. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

1 lb Hot Ground Pork Sausage

1 cup grated mozzarella

1 cup velvet cheese

1 cup cream cheese

1 box of cavatappi pasta

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup of panko bread crumps

1 tbsp of butter

Salt, pepper and paprika (or cumin) to taste

Directions

In a medium/high heat skillet cook ground pork until nice and brown. I personally like daring the excess grease for this recipe in particular since we want a liquors and creamy cheese sauce that isn’t too oily.

Meanwhile boil pasta 8 minutes or until al dente. Do not over cook pasta or we cannot be friends!

Drain pasta and return to medium/low heat. Add all cheeses, heavy cream, sausage and spices and mix gently with spatula until all ingredients are evenly distributed into a creamy and delicious concoction.

In a small medium heat pan add butter and bread crumps. Stir continuously until bread crumbs start to crisp up and get golden brown.

Transfer pasta mix to baking pan. Sprinkle bread crumps on top and bake for 15 minutes at 375.

Serve and enjoy!

*I personally love adding some green onion, tomatoes and sour cream when serving*

 

 

Kimchi Burger Sliders

Who doesn’t love a good burger? Especially one freshly made at home from scratch!

I came up with this recipe a while back cause of my love for asian flavors. I wanted a burger with a different flavor profile and with lots of that umami taste. These easy to make asian sliders will be a favorite at your next cook out or pool party.

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Ingredients

16 oz ground sausage

1 lb ground beef

1 large garlic clove (finely chopped)

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 medium cucumber

1/2 cup chopped kimchi

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp sriracha sauce

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce

1/4 cup of rice vinegar

1/4 mirin (rice wine)

 

Directions

First, slice cucumbers into very thin slices set aside mixed with the rice vinegar and mirin and let marinate for at least 15 minutes.

In large bowl mix ground sausage and beef along with teriyaki sauce, green onion, garlic and ginger. Combine until all ingredients are evenly distributed thru the burger mix.

Make burgers around 2.75 inches in diameter in size.

Place sliders on a medium hot grill or griddle for 4 minutes each side or until they’re cooked through.

Mix mayo and sriracha for a delicious spicy and creamy sauce. Add a nice dollop to both sides of the bun. *I like toasting the burger buns for extra crunch and texture*

Serve burgers on slider buns with cucumbers, chopped kimchi and some nice arugula or butter lettuce.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Creamy Lemon Chicken

Lets be honest, the “go to” and infamous chicken for dinner can get very repetitive and may I say so myself boring. But it doesn’t have to be! This recipe is one of my favorites for various reasons; flavor profile, easiness, and most importantly you just need one skillet! Chicken doesn’t have to be boring!

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Ingredients

3 large boneless chicken breast

2 cups of mini portobello mushrooms

1 cup heavy cream

1 large lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

5oz of Fresh Kale (roughly chopped)

1 tbsp olive oil

 

Directions

Lightly season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and olive oil. In a cast iron skillet brown the chicken breasts on medium/high heat for one minute per side. We just want them to get a nice sear. Remove from pan and set aside. In same pan sauté mushrooms until tender. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and juice of one large lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add kalends mix all ingredients until kale softens. Add chicken breasts back into the pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 375 until sauce is bubbly and chicken golden.

You can serve this  dish on top of egg noodles, pasta or rice.

Enjoy!!

 

Cheesy Eggplant & Zucchini Tart

We were invited to visit Mick Farms in Saint Cloud FL to tour and see what they were all about. This family owned 33 acre farm, market and “pick up” opened earlier this year and offers seasonal fruit and vegetables year round.

It was a pleasure meeting them and their hard working kids that gave us a great tour of the area.

They were so welcoming, friendly and the passion for their business is palpable. We left the farm with a beautiful basket of various fruits and vegetables. I got inspired by it and made tonight’s dinner using some of the eggplant and zucchini we got.

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Ingredients

1 large eggplant

1 large zucchini

8oz ricotta cheese

8 oz mozzarella cheese

4 large garlic cloves

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

fresh basil

1 pint small tomatoes

1 Pillsbury pie dough (refrigerated ready to bake)

 

Directions

Bake pie crust per instructions on package. This is definitely a shortcut for us non-bakers but Ive used this product often and its definitely the way to go plus it tastes great!

Once crust is done set aside to cool off.

Set oven to 450 degrees.

Slice eggplant and zucchini into 1/2 inch slices, brush with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste and bake in tray for 20 minutes.

Bake tomatoes and garlic brushed with olive oil in second baking tray for 20 minutes. *I cover garlic cloves in a foil pouch so they dot burn and roast nicely and soft.

Once garlic is roasted mash with fork and mix in a bowl with 8oz of mozzarella, ricotta, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil and red pepper flakes.

Assembling all ingredients in the pie crust is super simple. Just lay all eggplant and zucchini slices in the bottom. Add some fresh basil leaves and dollops of the ricotta mix. Sprinkle some extra mozzarella on top and return to oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Enjoy!

 

Follow Mick Farms on facebook for for info and events through the year! https://www.facebook.com/mickfarms/

 

 

 

 

Grilled Char Siu Steak

Char Siu has always been one of my favorite flavors to marinate pork or steak, especially for grilling. Of Chinese origin char siu is a mix of honey, five-spice powder, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and rice wine.

Here in Orlando we’re lucky to have some fantastic asian markets so its easy to find a good quality store bought option. Having said that tweaking it and adding some extra ingredients takes it to another level of flavor. Below please find my recipe for my char siu based marinade.

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Ingredients

1/4 cup Char Siu sauce

3 large garlic cloves

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp fish sauce (trust me on this. Its delicious!)

Simply whisk all wet ingredients with finely chopped garlic and pour over steak in a container or ziplock bag. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Another reason I love Skirt steak is that it doesn’t really need a longtime to absorb the flavor of the marinade so its the perfect cut of meat for a quick meal!

Grill meat over medium high heat until meat is done to taste, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Cover steak and let rest for 5 to 6 minutes before slicing.

Serve it on top of white rice, a good salad or some roasted veggies. Enjoy!!

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Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that i didn’t really eat often growing up but when I did it was usually just boiled and completely plain. Luckily i realized as an adult veggies DO NOT have to be boring! Take a break from all the heavy meat meals and make this easy and delicious recipe. (Recipe below)

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Ingredients

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 Olive Oil

Whole Cauliflower

Fresh Parsley

One large lemon

1/2 Cup Mayo

 

Instructions

Carefully cut cauliflower into 3/4 inch slices. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Meanwhile make the lemon parsley aioli. Just chop half a cup of fresh parsley, mix with 1/2 cup of good mayo, 1/2 olive oil, juice from one lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until all ingredients marry into a delicious and tangy dressing.

Once cauliflower steaks look nice and golden carefully move them to serving tray. Pour aioli over cauliflower while steaks are hot so they absorb all the flavor from aioli.

*This is a fantastic option for meatless days along with a good salad or as a delicious side dish along with your favorite protein.

Enjoy!