banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter cookies + cacao crunch | gf + df + raw(ish)

banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter crisps | what's cooking good looking
banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter crisps | what's cooking good looking

Since my last post, I needed to do some things to fill my soul up a little bit. So I made some (crazy-healthy-delicious) ice cream sandwiches, ate them, and then hopped on a plane to a far off place.  The latter was much less spontaneous, however, the timing could not have been better. After a couple weeks of mourning, reflecting, and crying my eyes out, there was not better feeling than landing in Iceland. A place that I have been wanting to explore since I was a kid and learned about vikings, and a place that was so drastically different from my everyday life. 

And now that this leg of my trip is coming to an end, I can easily say that Iceland is one of the coolest place on earth. Hands down.  No words or pictures can describe the feeling of standing in front of a glacier, or being dwarfed by a misshapen mountains that sit up against black sand beaches. Or soaking in a hot spring or lagoon, where you can almost feel every little trouble getting pulled out of your body.  It's dreamy and magical and so very good for the soul. 

Before I left, I spent some time in the kitchen, because just as much as traveling is food for my soul ..... so is being in my kitchen getting my hands and dishes dirty. I felt like making something sweet, and since summer is basically here, I wanted a treat I could make as a snack or dessert all summer long. I remembered a little while ago, Laura (The First Mess), make a version of Sara's (My New Roots) banana ice cream from her new book (My New Roots). I've always wanted to try making a banana-based ice cream, and I had just purchased Sarah's new book ....... I knew her recipe would not disappoint.

In searching for the banana ice cream recipe in the book, I came across some ice cream sandwiches. Yay! That was it. These ice cream sandwiches are completely inspired by Sarah's,  but I put my own twist on the cookie part. She has this genius way of making the cookies by melting almond butter and freezing it, however, her version adds chocolate (which sounds delish as well) but I was craving straight up almond butter, so that's what I did. Almond butter, bananas, honey, salt, and crunchy cacao bits, are all meant to be. You can never go wrong. Put it all into an ice cream sandwich and this might be my new favorite summertime snack / dessert. The best part is, there is negative guilt ..... so little guilt, you could eat these for breakfast.  Oh, and another bonus, they are so easy to make and do not require an ice cream maker (!!!)  Healthy, decadent food that is easy to make is good for both of our souls. 

banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter crisps | what's cooking good looking
banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter crisps | what's cooking good looking
banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter crisps | what's cooking good looking
almond-butter-banana-ice-cream-sandwiches-WCGL-06.jpg
banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter crisps | what's cooking good looking
banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter crisps | what's cooking good looking
banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter crisps | what's cooking good looking

banana ice cream sandwiches with salted honey almond butter cookies  + cacao crunch

This recipe is inspired by and adapted from the ice cream sandwich recipe in Sarah B.'s book, My New Roots
These sandwiches are actually very very easy to make, and do not require an ice cream maker. It just takes a little pre-planning, but you can also make them up to a month in advance. 

MAKES
about 4-6 sandwiches (and will likely leave you with some extra banana ice cream, which you can enjoy on it's own)
 

INGREDIENTS

for the cookies:
3 tablespoons of almond butter 
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of honey 
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
(** feel free to double this recipe, if you want more sandwiches. There should be more than enough ice cream for that)

for the banana ice cream:
2 cups of raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup of water (you might need a little more)
1/2 cup of light coconut milk (the kind in a -BPA free - can)
4 very ripe bananas 
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla)
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

for the cacao crunch:
1/4  cup of cacao nibs
1/4  cup of a nut of your choice (almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts work well)
1/4 cup of toasted coconut (optional, but I used the salted dang chips and it was delish)
 

METHOD

The night before – prep by freezing and soaking:

  • The night before you want to make / enjoy the ice cream sandwiches, freeze the bananas, and soak the cashews. Soak the cashew in water, overnight. Peel and slice the banana and place it in a bag, container, or a sheet pan with some wax paper and allow them to freeze overnight.
    ***FYI - for the cashews, soak no longer than overnight, and no shorter than 3 hours. 

A few hours before you want to enjoy the sandwiches, make the cookies. This can also be done a few days (or up to a month) in advance:

  • Line a large baking sheet (or two small) with wax paper.
  • Place the almond butter, coconut oil, honey, and salt into a small saucepan. Heat up over medium-low heat, while watching and stirring. Heat just until everything is melted and mixed together. Remove from the heat.
  • Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture out onto the baking sheet, one tablespoon per cookie. Make sure to leave a little room between each cookie.
  • When done, place the baking sheets in the freezer, and freeze for a couple of hours until the cookies are solid. Once frozen, you can also transfer them to an air-tight container and freeze for up to one month.

The morning (or at least 5 hours) before you want to enjoy the sandwiches, start to make the banana ice cream:

  •  Remove the bananas about 10 minutes before you blend the ice cream, while you prep everything else. Drain the cashews, if you haven’t done so already.
  • Combine the cashews, water, and coconut milk in a high-powered blender, and blend on high for a few minutes until very smooth.
  • Add the vanilla, bananas, salt, maple syrup, coconut oil, and lemon juice, and blend on high until very smooth.  Taste and adjust and seasoning or sweetness accordingly.
  •  Transfer to a glass, or a metal ice cream container (does not need to be specific to ice cream, either – I found a glass container worked just fine). Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours, but can also be frozen for up to a month, just be sure to make sure it’s an air-tight container. 

Assemble the ice cream sandwiches:

  • Quick FYI - you want to work quickly here, and handle the cookies minimally because they melt (not quick enough for you to enjoy the sandwich, but quick enough to get sticky and slightly mis-shapen when assembling). 
  • First, take the ice cream out about 10 minutes before assembling so it has time to soften. 
  • While thats defrosting a little, make the cacao crunch. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse several times until you have a crumble. Do not over-process. 
  • Place the crunch onto a small plate, and have a wax paper lined baking sheet near by. Start to assemble the sandwiches by placing a scoop of the ice cream into one piece of cookie. Place the second piece on top and press down to spread the ice cream evenly out to the ends of the cookie. I would take a butter knife around the cookie/ice cream to give it a smooth edge. Then, roll the end with the ice cream in the cacao crunch mixture. Place onto the baking sheet and do this until all of the sandwiches are assembled. 
  • Some tips ...... if this is taking too long and things start to get melt-y, pop the cookies / ice cream back into the freezer for a few minutes to firm up. You can also keep the wax paper lined baking sheet in the freezer and place the sandwiches directly into the frezer after  you're done assembling. 
  • Let the assembled sandwiches sit in the freezer for about another 10 minutes before enjoying (if enjoying immediately) or keep them in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to one month. 

 

poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup

poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking
poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking

We lost my mother this past weekend, and I lost a huge piece of my heart. I wasn't sure if I wanted to share such sad and personal news here, but it also didn't feel right not to share. My mother was my biggest supporter, in everything, but especially with my career in food. She gave me my love for food, and my passion for living life. My mom was a nurse who worked incredibly hard, and always somehow managed to put a delicious home cooked meal on the table for us every single night. She was so proud to have taught me so much about cooking, a fact she liked to brag about to everyone. She was the one to give me my first le cruset, and my favorite knife. She was the first (and for a while, the only) person commenting on my blog. She loved every single thing I cooked for her .... the good and the not so good. When I was sick, she made me rice pudding, and when I wanted a treat, she would make me stuffed artichokes. She was a funny lady, and anyone who knew her knew how much she loved to laugh. Her laugh filled the room. She was the first person who I called when I was bored or sad or had good news or just wanted someone to talk to. She loveeed to talk. My heart is completely broken, but if I could talk to her today, she would tell me "it's okay honey, you're gonna be okay again one day." She gave me her incredible strength, and for that I will pick myself up and move forward, but I will keep her with me forever. 

Dedicating this recipe and all my recipes to my mom, my best friend. 

poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking
poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking
poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking
poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking
poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking
poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking
poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup - what's cooking good looking

 

These are not your average butter, white flour, egg, pancakes. These are crazy, fun, adult, adventurous pancakes. While all three components to these pancakes work well on their own, together they take breakfast (or brunch) to a whole other level. The buckwheat gives an earthy taste to the pancakes, and the poppy seeds give them a little crunch. The strawberry salsa and the balsamic maple syrup are what's really special and delicious here, mingling somewhere in the middle between sweet and savory, just how I like it. 

poppy seed + buckwheat pancakes | strawberry salsa | balsamic maple syrup

MAKES
6-8 pancakes

INGREDIENTS

for the strawberry salsa:
about 1 cup of strawberries, hulled and diced
2 green onions, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
6 basil leaves, minced
the juice of 1 small lime
1/4 teaspoon of salt

dry ingredients for the pancakes:
1 cup of buckwheat flour
1 cup of oat flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking soda
3 tablespoons of poppy seeds

wet ingredients:
1 cup of unsweetened nut milk (or regular milk if you prefer)
1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten

some butter or olive oil or coconut oil for the pan

for the balsamic maple syrup:
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of maple syrup

METHOD

First, make the strawberry salsa:

  • Comine all of the ingredients for the salsa in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside until you're ready to serve. 

Then, prepare the pancake batter and cook them:

  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. 
  • Then, in a blender or food processor, blend the milk, banana, olive oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add it to the dry mixture, along with the egg, and stir to combine everything. 
  • Prepare the pan for cooking by melting some butter, coconut oil, or olive oil in a large cast iron over medium heat. When the pan is good and hot, spoon the batter in (I use a 1/3 cup measuring cup, this gives me the perfect sized pancakes). I don't like to crowd the pan, so I do two at a time. After about 3 mins, flip and cook the other side for about three minutes. If you want to keep them warm while you finish cooking the rest, place them on a baking sheet and keep them in a 200º oven. 

While you're cooking the pancakes, make the balsamic maple syrup as well:

  • In a small pan, add the vinegar and maple syrup and heat over medium heat. Whisk occasionally, and cook for about 5 minutes until it has reduced slightly and thickened slightly. 

Assemble and serve:

  • To serve, stack 3-4 pancakes (or as many or as little as you like), top with the salsa and finish with a drizzle of the balsamic maple syrup. 

grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard stems + green harissa (and a fried egg, if you like)

grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard + broccoli stems + green harissa | what's cooking good looking
grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard + broccoli stems + green harissa | what's cooking good looking

My best meals come from when I have a bunch of leftover bits in my fridge and I have to make something out of them. I bet you would say the same thing. My favorite meals are bowls of food that contain a balance of grains, greens, veggies, legumes, doused in a delicious dressing. Bowls of food made form leftover bits in the fridge is my kind of real, everyday food. 

More and more I am making a conscience effort to collect the odd parts of the vegetables that you might otherwise discard. You know, the stems or leaves that often get chopped off and forgotten about. Since there has been an abundance of swiss chard in the markets right now, I'm finding myself buying them for their vibrant colored stems, instead of for their leaves, since they make such a tasty treat when they are roasted and sautéed. Maybe you've been doing this all along since your mom and grandma used to do it, or maybe you've been throwing them away. Either way, I hope you save your stems, sauté them with some garlic and olive oil and add them to a bowl of grains and other goodies. 

In addition to those pretty chard stems, lots of extra inspiration went into this humble bowl of veggies. Sarah's (Sprouted Kitchen) newest book: Bowl + Spoon, hardly needs an introduction or an endorsement since she is she such a superstar who consistently produces excellent recipes, words, and photographs. Her latest book has has inspired many of my recent meals at home, especially when it's just me or me and Michael on a weeknight.  The Bowl + Spoon concept is simple, lovely, and pure genuius. Bowl food is the best food, and should be celebrated. This green harissa that she shares in the book should also be celebrated. I have made it about 15 times in the past few weeks, I cannot stop pouring it over anything and everything, and anyone that I have made it for is obsessed.  She serves it in the book with eggs, potatoes, and asparagus. This bowl I am sharing today is not too dissimilar, but I promise you that there is not much that this sauce would not compliment. 

This bowl was also inspired by some trays of microgreens that were given to me last week by lovely Brendan of Good Waters Farm. His microgreens are a staple in my shopping cart, so I thought it was so kind of him to give me some trays to play around with. I have been expeiementing with different ways to use the microgreens ..... pesto is always a win, throwing it into your smoothie is also a great way to use up those last bits that you might have left (you know, before they go bad), but the most obvious way is also the best way to use these special mini greens, which is sprinkled over a salad (or ANY dish). It gives a pop of flavor, and makes your food look so much more elegant. 

I've been eating grain bowls since wayyyyyyyy before grains bowl became "a thing" on the internet. Although, I never gave them such a sophisticated name, they were always my: let's-see-what-I-have-in-the-fridge-to-make-an-edible-and-nutirious-lunch .... bowl. They make for the best lunches and the most complete meal. In this grain bowl, I decided to make the sprouts the co-star with the grains, since I had a variety at my fingertips. There are no strict rules to using the microgreens, I like to throw it all in and get surprised by he different pops of flavor. If fact, there are no strict rules when it come to throwing together a grain bowl, just maybe a few bendable guidelines.  For my grain bowl, I usually like to have a grain, a bean, some greens such a kale or arugula, microgreens, some sautéed veggies, and every once in a while a fried or poached egg on top. But of course, all of this can sway depending on what's in my fridge, what I have prepared already, and what kinda mood I am in that day. You know this drill. 

grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard + broccoli stems + green harissa | what's cooking good looking
grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard + broccoli stems + green harissa | what's cooking good looking
grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard + broccoli stems + green harissa | what's cooking good looking
grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard + broccoli stems + green harissa | what's cooking good looking
grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard + broccoli stems + green harissa | what's cooking good looking
grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard + broccoli stems + green harissa | what's cooking good looking

grain + sprout bowl with sautéed chard stems + green harissa (and a fried egg if you like!)

(The green harissa recipe comes from Sara Forte's latest book: Bowl+Spoon, pg. 10)

SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

for the green harissa:
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of parsley
1/2 cup of cilantro
1/4 cup of mint
1 serrano (or jalapeno) chili, stemmed + seeded (mostly)
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of salt (a little more if you like)
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

for the chard stems:
about 10 chard stems (leaves reserved for another use), cut into 1" pieces
some olive oil
salt + pepper
1 large clove of garlic, minced

guidelines for the grain bowl:
about 1 cup of cooked grain such a quinoa, millet, farrow, barley, spelt, etc etc. 
about 1 cup of cooked beans such as navy, pinto, black, cannellini, kidney. 
about 2 large handful of greens such as kale, chard, spinach, arugula (or a mix)
Several pinches of microgreens. I like to use a combination of a few such as sunflower, watercress, sorrel, wasabi, basil, arugula, etc. 
Any other garnishes that you like such as nuts + seeds. 
I also sometimes like to add a fried or poached egg on top. 

METHOD:

Make the harissa:

  • Add the garlic, parsley, cilantro, mint, chili, lemon, cumin, and salt to a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Then, while the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil until everything is combined. Set aside until you're ready to assemble. 

Sauté the chard:

  • Heat some olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the chard stems and sauté for about 7-10 minutes until they are good and tender. Season with salt and pepper, add in the garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until you're ready to assemble the bowls. 

To assemble the bows:

  • Again, this is more of a guide, but this is what I like to do. First, in a large bowl, add a couple of spoonfuls of the harissa to the grain, and toss to coat evenly, then add in the beans, and toss, and lastly add in the greens and toss. You might want to add a little more harissa at this point too.  Then divided the grain salad evenly amongst the bowls, divided the sautéed chard as well, and garnish as you please with some microgreens, nuts, seeds, and the egg if you like. Serve any additional harissa on the side (this will also keep for a few days, in an air-tight container in the fridge). 

black pepper + lime baked (wild) salmon with a snap pea slaw + crispy carrots

salmon-asian-slaw-WCGL-01.jpg
black pepper + lime baked (wild) salmon with a snap pea slaw + crispy carrots | what's cooking good looking

I'm a firm believer that no matter who you are, you need to have a go-to dinner recipe in your back pocket for when you have surprise dinner guests or just want something solid to make for your family or friends. Even if you don't like to cook all that much, or even if you cook all the time, having that one recipe that you have made so many times you barley have to think about putting it together is important and will also make you're life a little easier. 

I have 2-3 go-to (easy) dinner dishes, and this salmon is one of them. This is typically what our early-in-the-week-dinner looks like, but I can fancy it up if I have a last minute dinner guest and I don't have time to menu plan.  And by fancy it up, I mean make something like  a really tasty slaw that I can impressively pile way high on top. Fish is my favorite dinner party food, because I have so many friends who are "gluten-free, vegetarian ..... with fish" which I guess would be called a pescatarian, but who like labels. Certainly not me. 

 

When it comes to fish, it's important to be as picky and as savvy about the fish that you buy as you are about the rest of the food that you eat that. I'm sure that you already are, but I find the whole buying fish thing to be a little confusing. You have to look out for for more than one thing (and actually organic is one thing you don't want). When I buy fish, this my criteria:  sustainable, NOT farmed, low in mercury, high in omegas, very fresh and tasty. You have to keep you eye out for tricks like calling a fish "organic" because there is no such certification for that.

Salmon is particularly tricky because there are so many types and names that it's easy to buy the wrong thing.  For example, Atlantic salmon is pretty much always farmed. Scottish too. If you want true, wild salmon, it comes from the Pacific, often Alaska, and there is a season for it which is usually right around now until the end of the summer. A good way to tell if your salmon is wild is that it will look less "fatty" and more red vs. a farmed piece which will have more fat and a organ-y color. I pride myself on the fact that I can spot a farmed piece of salmon from a mile away, but if you're more of a newby to this ...... read labels, ask the person behind the counter where the fish comes from, and how fresh it is. Don't always trust what the sign says. 

If you are not someone who eats salmon, or if you're feeding people who don't, this slaw over a cauliflower steak would be a delicious alternative. Or you can also eat this slaw for lunch, all on it's own, maybe even with a slice of avocado. It's super tasty and is my new go-to side dish. 

black pepper + lime baked (wild) salmon with a snap pea slaw + crispy carrots | what's cooking good looking
black pepper + lime baked (wild) salmon with a snap pea slaw + crispy carrots | what's cooking good looking
black pepper + lime baked (wild) salmon with a snap pea slaw + crispy carrots | what's cooking good looking
black pepper + lime baked (wild) salmon with a snap pea slaw + crispy carrots | what's cooking good looking
black pepper + lime baked (wild) salmon with a snap pea slaw + crispy carrots | what's cooking good looking

black pepper + lime baked (wild) salmon with a snap pea slaw + crispy carrots 

MAKES
3-4 pieces of salmon, the slaw makes enough for 4 servings (or 2 very generous ones)

INGREDIENTS

for the salmon:
3-4 / 7oz pieces of salmon (depending on how many people you are serving)
4 limes / half of the lime thinly sliced / the other half reserved for juice
lots of fresh cracked black pepper
sea salt
olive oil

for the slaw:
1 cup of purple cabbage / shredded (with a mandolin, preferably)
1 cup of white cabbage / shredded 
1 cup of snap peas / sliced super thin on the bias 
2 green onions  / thinly sliced
6 basil leaves / finely chopped

for the slaw dressing:
1 large clove of garlic / minced
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger / minced
1 heaping tablespoon of almond butter 
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 lime / juiced
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon of sriracha (optional)
1/2 cup of water

for the crispy carrots:
1 carrot / shredded
1 tablespoon of garbanzo bean flour (or whichever flour you like)
a couple tablespoons of grapeseed oil

 

METHOD

Prepare the salmon parchment pouches + bake the salmon:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º
  • Take a piece of parchment and lay it on a flat surface. Place 3-4 lime slices (enough to cover the length of the salmon), onto of the parchment (lengthwise). Lay one piece of the salmon on top of the limes. Drizzle with some olive oil, season with salt, and very generously with the black pepper.  Lay a couple more pieces of lime on top. 
  • Fold up the parchment into packets. Take the two long sides and bring them up to meet, then fold them in and roll them down a bit. Be sure to leave some room, but also make sure they are sealed. Twist both ends tightly. Place it onto a baking sheet, and continue until all of your pieces of salmon are in parchment. 
  • Bake the salmon for 15 minutes. Timing is everything with salmon. If you find your oven is warmer and cooks fast, then you might want to lower the time a minute or two, and check the salmon. Better to cook it less and check it than to overcook. I find that in my oven 15 minutes gets me a medium rare piece of salmon (which I prefer). Salmon does not need to be well-done, unless that is how you prefer to eat it. Just be aware that the more cooked your salmon it, the more salmon-y it is going to taste. Some people like that, some people don't. 

While the salmon is baking, make the slaw and crispy carrots:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the slaw dressing into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste, and adjust any seasoning necessary. 
  • Place all of the prepped slaw veggies into a large bowl, and then pour the dressing over and toss to combine. 
  • To make the crispy carrots, toss the carrots with the flour, then heat the oil over medium-high heat in a small cast iron. Cook the carrots, undisturbed, for a couple of minutes to get them nice and crispy. Then stir them around until they start to brown. Remove and place onto a paper towel to drain the oil. 

Assemble + serve:

  • When the salmon is done to your liking, remove them from the packets and place them onto individual plate. You can also remove the skin at this point (before you plate), but I usually leave it on. I don't eat it, but it's very easy to eat around. 
  • Place a large handful of the slaw on top of the salmon and finish with a pinch of the crispy carrots, and serve immediately. 

peppers stuffed with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice"

stuffed peppers with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice" | what's cooking good looking
stuffed peppers with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice" | what's cooking good looking

Mother’s day is this Sunday, and this is the first year that it is different (for me) than the many other mother’s days I’ve celebrated. Mother’s day in my family usually consisted of a nice brunch, some flowers, a gift, and a card.  We never made a huge deal about it, so I didn’t think it would bother me much this year since my mom is too sick to celebrate, but as it gets closer it’s all I can think about, and writing about anything else seems trivial.

For those of you who’s mothers are here and able to celebrate, promise me you will not take this mother's day, or any day that you have with your mother, for granted. If you live near her, make sure you take the time to visit her, make her a pie, go for a long walk. If you are far, make sure you spend extra time on the phone with her, send her a hand-written card. Do whatever you can to make her feel extra special. If you’re lucky you will have her here for a long time ….. but if not, you will want to look back knowing that you gave her the very best of your time. The memories we've made are so important, I  hold onto them so very tight. It's how I will celebrate this year ….. being thankful for our good times together. 

Last year for mother’s day, I was traveling back from a wedding so I was not spending it with my mom. I called her that morning, and she was talking my ear off about this, that and the other thing. I kept trying to get off the phone, but because it was mother’s day I caved and decided to let her chatter away. I am so glad I did. We laughed a lot, I remember so much of that silly conversation, and I know I always will.  

 

A lot of the food that I share on my blog is inspired by the meals my mother would make for us at home growing up. She always made sure there was a home-cooked meal for us even though she worked full-time. I’m still to this day not quite sure how she did it, but I am so thankful that she did. It shaped my thoughts about food, and gave me so many fond memories and recipe ideas that I now use to create my own, more modern, versions. These peppers are no exception. Stuffed peppers were one of those things that we loved, and this updated version with this magical cauliflower "rice"  is what I've been eating and loving on recently. 

stuffed peppers with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice" | what's cooking good looking
stuffed peppers with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice" | what's cooking good looking
stuffed peppers with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice" | what's cooking good looking
stuffed peppers with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice" | what's cooking good looking
stuffed peppers with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice" | what's cooking good looking
stuffed peppers with a ramp + cauliflower fried "rice" | what's cooking good looking

peppers stuffed with ramp + cauliflower fried “rice”

MAKES
6 stuffed peppers

INGREDIENTS

For the peppers:
3 green (or any color) peppers, cut in half and seeds, etc, removed
a drizzle of olive oil
salt + pepper

for the ramp + cauliflower fried rice:
1 head of cauliflower
1/3 cup of almond, slivered (or chopped)
a couple tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or a neutral high-heat oil)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
7-10 ramps, cleaned, white and green parts diced (separated)
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon of tamari or low sodium soy sauce (or braggs aminos)
1 tablespoon of brown rice vinegar
a handful of golden raisins

METHOD

Cook the peppers:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º.
  • Place the peppers onto a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until peppers are soft (but still holding their shape). Remove and set aside until you’re ready to stuff.

Make the cauliflower ramp fried “rice”:

  • Chop the cauliflower into florets, and place them into a food processor. Keep pulsing until you have a small grain-like consistency. Do not run the food processor too much because you don’t want it to become too fine or mushy.
  • Heat a medium/large wok or cast iron over medium-low heat with about a tablespoon of the oil, and then add the almonds. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the almonds are toasted and light brown. Remove them from the pan, and set aside.
  • Using the same pan, turn the heat up slightly to medium, and about a tablespoon of oil and add the onions. Cook for several minutes unitl the onions are very soft. Then add the garlic, and the white parts of the ramps and cook for about 2-3 minutes, while stirring.
  • Add the cauliflower, sesame oil, tamari, brown rice vinegar, and then give it a good stir. Cook undisturbed for a few minutes to brown some of the cauflowier. Give it a stir, and a taste. Adjust any seasoning (sesame oil, tamari, etc) that you like. Cook for a few more minutes, then remove form the heat. Stir in the green parts of the ramps, and the raisins.

Stuff the peppers and serve:

  • Take a couple of spoonfuls of the cauliflower fried rice, and stuff them into the peppers. You might have some extra cauliflower fried "rice, which you can save and eat on it's own, or reserve and make a few more peppers the next day.