Spicy Cauliflower Sandwich

OK. I understand your hesitation. It’s a vegetable sandwich. There’s no crispy bacon or roasted turkey. No honey baked ham or grilled chicken. But, here’s what this sandwich does offer: Spicy sriracha mayo. Smoky , salty, roasted cauliflower. Melty provolone. Clover sprouts for veggie-crisp texture. And (store bought) crispy fried onions. All between two slices of toasted whole wheat bread. When I say this sandwich makes dreams come true, I mean it is so satisfying, it makes those way-back corners of your mouth water and you can’t stop, won’t stop with the combo of sriracha mayo and cumin/chili roasted cauliflower. And sorry, the texture of charred-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside cauliflower on top of whole wheat toast is, like, on another level. I had no idea. Until now. And now I’m here, to share it with you.

roasted cauliflower sandwich with melted provolone, sprouts, crispy onions and sriracha mayo on whole wheat toast
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Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup

Yeeeeesssss, creamy, dreamy, cheesy soup with green things for our health and beer for our wanna-have-a-good-time taste buds! I made this soup for dinner last week, right before my mom and I left for the Wine & Chocolate Festival in Greensboro, NC. More on that in a bit. First, let me tell you about this thing that had me holding the bowl up to my face, licking up all the last drops.

Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup in small white bowls on a board with spoons
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Easy Beef Enchiladas

Ease is the name of the enchilada game here. I need a lot of food with minimal effort, like now. To that end, I’ve shimmied this recipe down to the most basic steps: Brown some beef, combine canned enchilada sauce with salsa and sour cream, layer it all with corn tortillas and cheese and bake. 30 minutes later, locate a fork and a couch.

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Roasted Veggie Bowl

Let’s roast all the things! Let’s coat them all in a creamy tahini dressing! And add some pop and zip with a pomegranate walnut salsa! And, let’s prep it all in advance so this does-a-body-good roasted veggie bowl is ready when you are. Heads up: you will *always* be ready for this. The combo of flavors and textures will light up all those “Oooooo!” areas of your brain in the best way and you’ll soon find yourself addicted to the healthy veggie-ness of it all. Cauliflower, chickpeas, squash, onions, apples… Quick meat-related side note: I add diced, roasted chicken breast to this veggie bowl. It’s in the picture, I’m not hiding it. I love chicken, ok? Let’s move on.

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Beef and Broccoli

This Beef and Broccoli recipe is sponsored by the wintertime garden gods of the OBX. We grew broccoli in our backyard garden! Like, good, sweet, tender, edible broccoli. Of course, by “we”, I mean Joey. He is careful and patient and attentive to everything in the garden. I am impatient and reckless about planting and tending to the things in our sweet little raised bed, which Joey carefully and patiently built by hand. So sweet.

broccoli growing in a raised garden bed
Broccoli about a month before it found it’s way into delicious Beef and Broccoli.

When our hearty green crop of broccoli was ready to be harvested, I felt obligated to cook it… thoughtfully? Yes, thoughtfully. Roasting or boiling seemed too harsh. Keeping it raw just didn’t have the feel-good, delicious vibes I was looking for. Enter, my frienemy, stir-fry. Historically, I can eat stir-fry by the pound, but I am not good at making it. Turns out, there’s nothing like the challenge of treating your homegrown produce right to whip your cooking skills into shape. A light steam and a quick toss in a perfectly saucy sauce was this broccoli’s destiny; here’s how I made it happen.

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Fry Bread

Today, I get to share the best bread ever that I made with Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili the other night! If you’ve never heard of fry bread, it’s a Native American flatbread, that is quickly fried in oil where the inside fluffs up and the outside becomes a crisp golden brown. It lightly crunches in a OMG-this-is-incredible way when you bite into it, just before the soft, pillowy inside melts onto your tongue. While it frequently shows up next to my bowls of chili, we’ll talk later about another highly recommended place for fry bread in your life.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Sometimes, chili is just a vehicle for the toppings. The cheese, the avocado, the sour cream… all the things! Let’s get one thing straight: This chili is not that. It’s a flavor bomb of tender sweet potatoes, black beans, and (optional) beef suspended in a deep, tangy, chipotle, tomato, beer sauce-like-broth. Oh, and it’s yum x10 because of my current best friend: roasted garlic. We’ve been over the undeniable splendor of roasted garlic. If you’re not on the train yet, please hop on. It’s so good and there’s such satisfaction in just squeezing the rich, golden, caramelized paste into whatever you’re making.

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Sausage Cassoulet

We’re up to no good with some pork and beans today. This Sausage Cassoulet is a stew of all the meats, beans, a tomato-y broth, and… wait for it…. a whole head of roasted garlic. Can’t stop now – now you already know – this is going to be delicious. It’s ok – go ahead and picture yourself at the stove, standing over a simmering pot of rich tomato broth full of sliced smoked sausage, generous hunks of pork and chicken, creamy beans, just squeezing an entire head of buttery, sweet roasted garlic into the mix.

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Cajun Chicken Pasta

Friends: This skillet of Cajun Chicken Pasta is on point for everything you want right now, and it knows it. It’s creamy, spicy, and saucy with loads of chicken and veggies. How much do you need this right now? I needed it for dinner last night, for lunch today, and probably at least one more time this week.

As good, if not better than the taste? It’s a one-skillet meal deal! Yeah! That means only 1 pan to wash while you’re deep in your happy-carb-coma. How do you get to this convenient, craveable pasta nirvana? Let me help you.

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Lamb Gyros

It is 39 degrees on the Outer Banks today. Never mind that it was 54 degrees a few days ago, winter is here and these days are meant for putting on multiple fuzzy layers with no intentions of going outside, making a cup of hot tea, and roasting something yummy in your oven. It’s Lamb Gyro day! Roasted lamb, slathered with garlic, sliced thin and broiled till it’s crispy… folded into a soft, warm pita spread with tzatziki sauce and topped with lettuce, onion, and tomato… OMG and the french fries? That we’re going to bake in the olive oil/lamb fat that’s leftover from broiling the lamb? You guys… what are we even doing here? Making the best wintertime dinner ever!!

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