Hello everyone! I'm recuperating from a quick 48 hour weekend road trip from Texas to Arizona with my brother, sister in law, and four precious nieces. I had a blast but as expected I am exhausted! We drove long hours to accomplish some serious mileage. The girls were road warriors too. We made some fun stops in Carlsbad, New Mexico and the Grand Canyon in Arizona before I parted ways to fly home. They're continuing their journey towards California where my brother will give a presentation and receive an award for the work he's done in Neuroscience research. Smarty pants! He certifiably got all of the scientific genes so that by the time I was born there were none left. And I do mean zero. On paper I did very well in every science class. In reality, it is completely lost on me. But, I digress.
I will be getting back into my routine this week but wanted to provide a quick post about the dinner I mentioned in last week's post "What's Up Wednesday". Maybe this type of post will eventually be the start of a "Monday's Menu" post? I'll add that to my list of ideas as my site continues to develop! For now I will just share this neat Paleo dinner I made for myself.
This dinner was originally going to take a slightly different route with baked chicken as I was actually preparing it for the loved one. Last minute he couldn't make it over, so I improvised to use the ground turkey I was already cooking to take for Whole 30 breakfasts that week. I had purchased a lot of groceries on Instacart that needed to get used up anyway.
Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce: I made my "Alfredo" sauce based off of Leelalicious's recipe I found on Pinterest a while back. There's a bunch of versions you can try, but so far I've only used this one and it's dairy free version at that. I start by boiling 3/4 a head of cauliflower in chicken broth (or vegetable broth if that's all I have). While it's boiling to soften the cauliflower, I caramelize the onions and garlic in coconut oil (olive oil is ok too). Once the cauliflower is softened, place it a blender and reserve the broth you boiled it in. You then blend the onions, garlic, and cauliflower with almond milk (or regular milk if you're not dairy free) and broth until the consistency is to your liking. The recipe says to use 3/4 cup milk, and 1/2 cup broth. I wing it without measuring. I guess I take risks! Or, I'm lazy. I simply add a bit of almond milk and blend, taste it, add some broth, blend, taste it, etc. until I think it tastes right. But, if you're in to following directions the please do! I added some pink Himalayan salt, but you could also add truffle salt.
**I have to note that when I made this recipe I used my handheld OXO Illuminating Digital Immersion blender for the first time that I got from the loved one for Christmas last year. It was a wish list item that I could never bring myself to buy FOR myself as it's not a "necessary" item. HOLY MOLY - what have I been waiting for?? Immersion blenders are where it's at. It was way better than transferring to a blender or my food processor and then having containers and blades to clean.
Italian Seasoned Organic Ground Turkey: This is a simple protein topper with little to no true recipe. I saute onions and garlic in coconut oil or olive oil, add in 1/2 lb organic ground turkey, then I season the turkey as it cooks with Italian seasoning, oregano, basil, and Pink Himalayan salt to taste. I personally like a lot of flavor so I add a ton as it cooks, sometimes adding additional garlic and onion powder as well.
**I also have to note here that I used my new "As Seen on TV" Copper Chef pan. I saw the infomercial while at the gym and was hooked. It's worth the purchase. It works!
Spaghetti Squash: cut a spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and strings in the middle, rub a little olive oil over the insides of both halves, place them face down on a foil lined baking sheet to bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 F. You can see my previous post where I used it here.
Roasted Bell Peppers: There is no magic to this. I am a simple girl when I cook for myself. I sliced up bell peppers, tossed them onto a greased baking sheet and into the oven to roast at 350 F for 35-40 minutes or so. Bell peppers have so much flavor as it is, and they become even more flavorful once roasted. I find every color to be sweeter after roasting them. You can add salt or a Cajun seasoning if you wish, but I left them plain this time. No oils needed.
Balsamic Butternut Squash: Honestly, what I made here didn't turn out great. I winged it last minute with the idea, didn't look up a recipe, marinated the squash in balsamic vinegar far too long, and it was stout! I love balsamic vinegar and tend to use only that on salads, no oil. However, I marinated them mistakenly by having lost track of them while preparing 3 other dishes at once (photos above) and that was the cause of the problem. What I should have done in hindsight would be something more like this recipe from Kayln's Kitchen. Sounds good doesn't it? And it looks more appetizing too. That is pretty much what I had in mind, only my mind forgot about them altogether. Oops!
I might have mentioned before that I multi-task when I cook with ground turkey. I split it in half to make two different meals, depending on who/how many I will be serving. 1/2 lb of ground turkey meat is plenty for two to three servings in one dinner. This is why I have to pans cooking simultaneously with different seasonings. Consider that a time saving tip!
I hope you enjoy this dinner idea and share these ideas with your friends! I welcome any suggestions you may have. Have you tried any cauliflower Alfredo recipes that were a success? I'd love to know so I can try them too!
Posting below the two new kitchen toys I used in making this meal: