Category Archives: Vegan
Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese, whether it be Canada’s KD (Kraft Dinner) or any number of restaurant style macaroni and cheese dishes? One of our fav restaurants in Merida, Yucatan – Merci, does a wonderful macaroni and cheese with jumbo shrimp! What’s not to love about that? Of course, when you do KETO, you avoid pasta, But, since we are now only KC (Keto conscious) we have a little leeway. Don’t tell your family it is KETO. They do not need to know. This is undoubtedly a new fav recipe, with a touch of jalapeno (optional).
KETO Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese with Bacon
Ingredients (Vegans, omit bacon)
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into small bites
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese I use a cheddar blend
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 5 strips of uncured bacon cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)*
- 3 teaspoons bacon grease melted
- 2 jalapeño peppers minced (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
- 1-2 tablespoons hot water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish
- Add the cauliflower florets to a microwave safe bowl with a plate (or paper plate) on top Microwave for 7-8 minutes or until slightly tender (or your desired texture). You can steam it instead, if you don’t have or want to use a microwave, but I wouldn’t boil it, it might be too watery.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium. Add in the butter and bacon grease, then sauté the jalapeño peppers until tender, should take just about 2-3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and still until well combined and all the cheese has melted.
- Add in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
- Once the cauliflower is cooked through, you don’t need to drain it or pat it dry. The small amount of moisture will be perfect with this sauce, which as I mentioned, is on the thicker side. Pour cauliflower in the skillet and mix well to coat each piece, then serve.
- Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or crumbled bacon.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.
The amount of jalapeño pepper that you use is entirely up to you, and will depend personal preference. I would recommend using 2 jalapeño peppers for a mild to medium level of heat and flavor. If you’re like me and love a spicy kick and a stronger jalapeño flavor, you’ll want to use a bit more.
Our Canadian friends who are “snowbirds” recently had us over for lunch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. She served a wonderful cucumber and mango salad, not unlike this recipe. She and her husband love to experiment in the kitchen with whatever ingredients they have on hand. The cucumber and mango salad was wonderful!! We ate it all and this sent me looking through Pinterest for a similar recipe. Hope you will be able to give this one a try…
Cucumber Mango Salad
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)
- 2 mangos peeled and diced
- 1/2 c. diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lime (about 3 Tbsp.)
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/16 tsp. red pepper (more if you like it spicier)
- 1/4 tsp. coriander
- 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
- Toss together the cucumber, mango, red onion, and garlic in a medium sized bowl,
- In a separate small bowl or jar whisk together the lime juice, honey, cumin, red pepper, coriander, and black pepper. Pour over the cucumber-mango mixture and stir gently.
- Fold in the chopped cilantro.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for later
You are probably wondering why I am using summer squash now that it is Fall. Well, the truth is that northern type squash, which I love, are not normally available in Yucatan. What is “normal” are patty pan squash which are quite small but are available most of the year here. Recently I found a package of these so-called summer squash at a local grocery chain. So, here goes…
Roasted Summer Squash with Sweet Peppers and Onion
This recipe can be easily doubled, using 2 baking sheets and rotating the pans to allow for even cooking. And, yes, we eat the rinds, since there are lots of nutrients..
- 1 large yellow squash or smaller summer squash [about 2 cups] unpeeled
- 1 large zucchini squash [about 2 cups] unpeeled
- 1 medium purple onion
- 1/2 cup sliced sweet red pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced sweet orange pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 3/4-1 tsp garlic salt
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a baking sheet liberally with cooking spray.
- Cut the yellow squash and zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick pieces.
- Thinly slice the onion and cut the peppers into strips.
- Place all of the veggies into a medium size mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the veggies add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Sprinkle with the seasonings, add 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, 3/4-1 teaspoon of garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Stir. In the first 20 minutes, the vegetables will release a lot of moisture.
- Bake for another 15 minutes, then stir again.
- Increase the oven temperature to 475°F and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden.
If you should get invited to a Spanish ‘tapas’ party, this makes a perfect dish to bring. Okay, in English we might say appetizer, in French hors d’oeuvres ??? No matter it was another great find on Pinterest. It was also quick to prepare.
Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemons
- one block of sheep’s milk feta (sold in the brine) about 10-14 ounces
- 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/2 large lemon
- 1 – 2 cups mixed olives* (recipe calls for whole and pitted) see below
- a few sundried tomatoes chopped
- 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- a few coarse grindings of black pepper
- Set oven to 350F
- Put the feta in a gratin dish or other small ovenproof dish that you will also serve out of.
- Pour the olive oil into the dish, followed by the lemon juice. Arrange the olives* (I would suggest using ONLY sliced olives as they whole ones fall off when you lay them on the cheese when serving) around the cheese, with the rosemary. I quarter the squeezed lemon half and throw that in as well. Sprinkle the red and black pepper over all. I also added some slices of sundried tomatoes.
- Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. I loosely laid a sheet of foil over mine. You can finish under the broiler if you like for a little charring effect.
- Serve hot with toasted bread
We likely all grew up with cauliflower smothered with Velveeta cheese. I was never quite sure that I didn’t like the cheese best? As my taste buds have matured I was willing to give roasted cauliflower a chance. I also like Thai foods. Grand slam for this recipe. You can certainly adjust the amount of Thai red curry paste you like, but as is the recipe is not all that hot. Give it a try and stop looking at that whole cauliflower and thinking CHEESE!
Red Thai Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
- 1 whole cauliflower head
- 1 Tbsp red curry paste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra to coat pan and for little pieces)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Remove the leaves of the cauliflower and then wash
- Place the whole cauliflower head on a cutting board, with the stalk of the cauliflower facing up; then slice with a large, sharp knife into about 1 1/2″ thick slice, aiming to get 4, but if it’s a small head, you’ll get about 3. It isn’t a perfect science. Expect small pieces to break off (save these).
- Coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet or sheet pan with a little olive oil
- Place your “steaks” on the pan
- Mix together the red curry paste, olive oil and a little salt and pepper (based on your preferences – I go heavier on the pepper and wait until I taste later to add salt).
- Coat the cauliflower steaks on the side facing up (only) with the red Thai curry/oil mixture and then pop into the oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take the smaller pieces and put them into the bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
- After the 20 minutes, ip the “steaks” and add the small pieces
- Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until soft in the middle and slightly charred. Enjoy!
Baby its cold outside (in the North, actually here in Mexico too, trust me on this one…). Great time for a hearty chowder – vegan if you leave out the bacon!
It calls for a whole head of cauliflower, but here we can but 1 lb. packages of florets which simplifies the recipe. I think you’ll really like this one my friends…great start to the New Year!
Creamy cauliflower chowder
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4-5 people
Creamy Cauliflower Chowder is a healthy, easy, comfort food recipe and ready in under 30 minutes. It’s gluten free, low carb and keto friendly.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup diced Onion
- 5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 1/2 cup diced Carrots
- 1 Whole Head of Cauliflower (cut into small florets)I bought a one lb. bag of florets
- 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- Salt to taste
Olive Oil and cooked bacon (4 strips) for topping
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.
Add carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, pepper, oregano and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, and slow the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the cauliflower is tender.
Switch off the flame and using a blender, blend the soup partly in the soup pot. If you don’t have a hand blender, pour half the soup into a blender and pulse a few tips till creamy.
Switch the flame back on and add a cup of water or broth along with the cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and switch off the flame. Feel free to thin the soup further if you like with some more broth or milk. Top with olive oil and bacon and serve hot.
I want something different for breakfast on Sunday! What do I have? – sweet potato, red onion and bleu cheese, eggs. Why not? It was a pretty straight forward recipe I found and it turned out well. Mr. L thought it was quite rich with the bleu cheese (secret – I added more than the recipe called for…he was right) Stick to the recipe!
Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Frittata
2 Red onions, medium
1 Sweet potato, large
6 Eggs, large free-range
1 Nutmeg, whole
3 tbsp Olive oil
100 g Blue cheese crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
- Rub the sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and leave to cool.
- Peel and finely slice the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 26cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion, pop on the lid and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft. Leave to cool.
- Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Crumble in the cheese, then add the onion, and scoops of sweet potato flesh, discarding the skin. Add a good grating of nutmeg, then season.
- Wipe out the pan and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the egg mixture and fry over a medium heat until the eggs start to settle and cook.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 more minutes, then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Delicious served with a seasonal salad.
Too vegan for me…LOL…I cooked some bacon….
I have always remembered this soup from my adolescent years for some reason. I was looking for something different for dinner with friends in place of a salad. Too warm for regular hot soup and we happened to have a box of strawberries in the fridge. Pinterest showed me this wonderful and simple recipe!
TIP – Whether it’s a salad or cold soup, I always freeze my bowls before serving time!
Chilled Strawberry Soup
Author: This Mess Is Ours Prep time: 2 hours 15 mins
Total time: 2 hours 15 mins Serves: 4 cups
This soup only takes about 15 minutes of time to prepare but be sure to let it chill for 2 hours before serving so that the flavors intensify.
- 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, preferably organic
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup white grape juice (or white wine)
- 3 tablespoons raw honey (one tablespoon was sufficient)
- freshly ground black pepper
- sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 or 2 radishes, cut into thin shreds with a grater or mandoline
- fresh mint
- In a food processor or high powered blender process the 3 cups of sliced strawberries, Greek yogurt, white grape juice, and honey until smooth. Stopping periodically to scrape the sides. Cover and chill for 1½- 2 hours. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, sliced strawberries, shredded radishes, and bits of mint. Serve immediately. NB…dont skip the radishes, they were awesome!
Bonus day today as I have two similar recipes, one of which originated from our “sister” Jean in Peterborough, Ontario. She served it while we were visiting for her sons wedding in August. It has a great fresh taste when served with tortilla chips.
The second I ran across while waiting for Jeans recipe to arrive. The ingredients are very similar, with the exception of the avocado and the dressing.
- Corn and Black Bean Dip from Jean Johnston
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2cup olive oil
1 tbsp water
1 can lentils
1 can corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup each celery, green pepper and green onion
Jar of pimento ( I used red pepper because I didn’t have any pimento)
I added a few fresh spices. Her daughter suggested adding fresh cilantro which makes sense.
Mix all together and soak for at least 3 hours. Drain and serve.
2. Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Dip
Prep time: 15 minutes Yield: 20 servings Serving size: 1/4 cup
- 15 oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
- 15 oz can yellow corn, drained + rinsed
- 2 avocados, cut in half, pitted + cubed
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- juice of one lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix until combined.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Let me know if you try either of these at your next event…
Think this is great for all of you vegans…right Jaromey?
Brown Rice Salad
- For the salad
- 1 1⁄2 cups brown rice
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup raisins or 1⁄2 cup sultana
- 1⁄2 cup cashews or 1⁄2 cup peanuts
- For the dressing
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soya sauce
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- black pepper
- Cook brown rice until tender, allow to cool.
- To prepare the dressing put the ingredients into a large jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Put aside.
- In a large bowl add the rice and all other salad ingredients.
- Pour over the dressing and mix through. The flavours improve on standing as the rice soaks in the dressing. Enjoy!