Cauliflower Soup

 

 

$4.99!

Almost Five Dollars!!

That’s how much it costs for a can of average quality soup at my grocery store. FIVE DOLLARS, PEOPLE!! And what’s in that can?? Not a whole lot...

 

Making soup is just like making any of your favorite dishes…pureeing it up…and thinning it out with a little chicken stock...well kind of...

 

 

 

 

The bottom line is that making your own soup saves you a ton of money, plus you can get some great nutrition in a filling, flavorful and many times low-cal little package.

 

Have I sold you yet???

 

 

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Cilantro Pesto Rice with Feta, Peppers, + Eggs

Cooking these days is all about finding time savers.

I'm always asking myself, What ingredients can I have on hand to make a flavorful meal quickly?

In answer to my own question, I've discovered that one food that seems to have taken up a permanent residence in my fridge--and for good reason!--is Cilantro Pesto.

Made with handfuls of cilantro, almonds, garlic, and Parmesan, this pesto can be used as a sauce or spread that instantly makes a meal special!

I’ve slathered it on pizza, spooned it over chicken, and drizzled it over shrimp. And now, I've discovered yet another dish that becomes amazing with the simple addition of Cilantro Pesto! This time, I toss it with rice, peppers, and a little tangy feta, then top the whole thing with a perfectly runny egg.

Just by having a little Cilantro Pesto in the fridge or freezer and some Veetee Rice on hand, I can make an incredible dinner in 5 minutes! No, seriously, just 5 minutes!

And of course I could cook my own rice, but this stuff is just as good!

Plus sometimes those precious 20 minutes post-Baby's-bedtime need to be spent watching the Bachelor instead of making rice.

Cilantro Pesto Rice with Feta, Peppers + Eggs

servings: 4 cups of rice + 1¼ cups of Cilantro Pesto; serves 2

Cilantro Pesto:

  • 2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds + ribs removed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ½ cup olive oil

Rice with Feta, Peppers, + Egg:

  • One 10.6-ounce package Veetee Microwavable Thai Jasmine Rice (makes 1½ cups)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon + a pinch kosher salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 2 roasted red peppers (an 8 ounces jar)
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta (about 3 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup Cilantro Pesto
  • Cilantro leaves for a garnish (optional)

Cilantro Pesto:

  1. Add the cilantro, parmesan, almonds, jalapeno, lime juice, salt, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor; process until finely chopped. Stream in the olive oil while the food processor is on, and allow everything to mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Rice with Feta, Peppers, + Egg:

  1. Microwave the rice for 2 minutes as per the package instructions.
  2. While the rice cooks, prepare the eggs sunny-side up. Place a small nonstick pan over medium-low heat, spray it with cooking spray, and crack the eggs into it. Sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and pepper cook until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny, about 5 minutes, covering them for the last 1-2 minutes to ensure all of the whites are cooked through.
  3. When the rice has finished cooking, add it to a large bowl with the peppers, feta, Cilantro Pesto, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and mix to combine all ingredients.
  4. Serve by splitting the rice between two plates. Top each serving with an egg and sprinkle with some of the reserved chopped cilantro if desired.

Notes:

  • Use leftover pesto as a spread on sandwiches, drizzled over pork, steak or shrimp or tossed with pasta or sautéed veggies.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

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Pumpkin Butter

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, which means my 10-day "Meat On The Side Countdown to Thanksgiving" is officially coming to an end.

Aw, no need to cry! I know, I know--it’s a sad day--but I promise there will be more Meat on the Side recipes in the very near future!

And as a celebration of our last ten days together, I'm giving you one more recipe--quick and easy enough that you'll still have time to make it before Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! 

I’m showing you how to whip up a pumpkin-infused butter, perfect for slathering on all those biscuits, dinner rolls, and crescent rolls.

Just start by letting some regular unsalted butter come to room temperature.

Whip it up in your food processor and then combine it with pumpkin puree, vanilla, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice.

Suddenly you have a unique holiday butter that makes everything taste special. 

Enjoy!

And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Pumpkin Butter

servings: 1 1/2 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Add the pumpkin puree to a small pot over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until it reduces by almost half—about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whip the butter in a food processor until it is smooth. Add the cooked pumpkin puree along with the maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract to the food processor. Continue to puree until this mixture is smooth and combined.
  3. Transfer the butter from the food processor to an airtight container for storage in your refrigerator. When you are ready to use it, allow it to warm to room temperature, then spread on your favorite bread or toast.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!

 

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Ricotta with Chili Honey

 

 

 

Ok, time to come clean, everyone has done it, I’m talking about that time that you took a store bought cake, pie or appetizer, gussied it up a bit and passed it off as your own.

 

 

 

 

Hey, we don’t all have the time to make a 6 layer cake to bring to Thanksgiving! And sometimes, even when you do, your beautiful creation doesn't make it through the cab ride to your in-laws, and by the time it reaches the dessert table it an official #FoodFail (I only cried a little)

 

 

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Chili Spiced Cucumbers

 

 

I’m obsessed with parties, and any party of mine is bound to have an endless array of appetizers. In order to get the variety I want and not lose my mind making my 10th labor-intensive app, I always like to include some appetizers of the “silly easy” variety.

 

 

 

 

And these cucumbers are just that, they get a bath of lime juice, a sprinkle of chili powder and sugar, and a hit of salt, resulting in a crisp, tangy, spicy, salty treat that takes minutes to make.

 

 

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Avocado Spinach + Pesto Pasta

 

 

Normally when I cook I put on some music, I pour myself a glass of wine, I stir slowly and gracefully chop; I take my time and I create masterpieces. It’s fun, relaxing and a totally unrealistic way of cooking for most people.

 

 

 

 

I’m sure everyone would love to have it be a relaxing part of their day but the truth is that when your afternoon has quickly ran into evening and you’re starving, you really just want something fast without a laundry list of ingredients. So when writing my book Meat On The Side I made an effort to make all my recipes easy and without too many ingredients.

 

 

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Roasted Garlic + Broccoli Pita

 

 

I like so many different things in life; I like to have tea on my terrace while the birds are singing and the people on the streets are yelling.  I like to find a spot in yoga class which is far enough away from the smelly man who says his “om” with a bear-like grunt.

 

 

 

 

However, the things I like most of all is to make meaty tasting meals, without the actual meat and to stretch a little bit of meat with other hearty, smoky flavors.

 

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Pie Dough

 

 

People tell you all the time that things are easy.

 

I usually don't believe these people.

 

 

 

 

It's like when someone tells you to take a class at the gym and they reassure you that it's easy...

 

But when you can't walk like a normal human being for a week and sitting down makes you grunt a little, you learn to be skeptical.

 

 

 

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