The best cauliflower you will ever eat

5-6 Cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1/3 Yellow onion diced (red onion for a sweeter caramelized flavor)
2 Tsp dried parsley
4 Tbsp olive oil 
4 Pinches sea salt
1- Head of cauliflower chopped up

4-6 Sliced hot cherry peppers diced up
1 Tsp hot cherry pepper juice 

Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients excluding hot peppers.  Taste for flavor once it's all combined.  I add more garlic, pepper, or more salt at this stage. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and toss in peppers and juice.  Cook another 10 minutes until it reaches your desired doneness. (I like it al dente, my husband likes it soft).  Normally I don't pull it until the onions are soft and caramelized.  I marinated mine for 2 hours prior and I think it gave it more flavor. I think this could also be marinated over night and thrown in the oven the next day. 

I used to make this adding the peppers at the start of cook time.  I realized it added too much heat and took away from all of the other flavors.  I now add it in at the end of cooking. I find the peppers stay sweeter, and you can still distinguish the onions and garlic from the overwhelming heat.


Spicy garlic parmesan chicken wings

My husband and kids love the Garlic Parmesan wings from Wing Stop.  After about five years I gave in and tried to make something similar without deep frying them.  The first time I just seasoned them and threw them in the oven.  After that my husband asked me if I could try it with Panko to make them really crunchy.  I tried, and the wings of happiness were born.

2-3 Pounds of fresh party wings (not frozen, must be defrosted)
1 Cup panko breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion granules
4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (smaller grain the better)
Chipotle powder to your liking I use about 1 Tsp
2 Tsp dried parsley
Pinch salt
1/2 Tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.  Coat wings in olive oil.  Add a third of your seasoning to wings and give them a good rub down coating the entire wings in seasoning.  Add remaining two thirds of seasoning to panko and mix.  Line a pan with foil.  Place baking cooling racks over foil (if you have them).  One at a time roll each wing in the panko and place on the baking rack.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Carefully flip each wing over once trying not to knock off all of the coating.  Bake for another 15 -20 minutes until wings reach an inner temp of 175.  Pull out and let rest 5-7 minutes.  Enjoy.

Life hack.  I sometimes sprinkle more parmesan on the wings after I flip them.  Life hack two.  Even though it goes against all of my clean eating tips, my family really prefers that parmesan cheese in the green shaker bottle near the pizza sauce.


Authentic Pork Carnitas

**Pleas note this is an updated recipe but not an updated after pic.  My husband and kids ate the food so fast last night I did not get a picture of it. However this was by far the most moist, and flavorful carnitas I have made to date.
1 large 2-3 pound pork shoulder/butt
1/2 medium white onion chopped
6 cloves garlic chopped
1.5 tbsp sea salt or kosher
2 tbsp black pepper
2 Bay leaves
1 Tsp cumin
1 Cube chicken bullion

warm flour tortillas (or corn its a preference really)
1/2 white onion fine diced
cilantro fine minced

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8-9 hours.  Shred with a fork and allow pork to simmer in juice for ten minutes. Serve. Mix diced white onions and cilantro. Place pork on warmed tortilla, top with onions and cilantro and enjoy.


Slow cooker BBQ pulled pork

4 - 5 pound pork shoulder
1 chicken bullion cube
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 yellow onion chopped

BBQ Sauce:
1/2 yellow onion cubed
4 cloves garlic
 1 can tomato paste
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 can pineapple chunks with juice
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Combine all ingredients for BBQ sauce in blender and puree until smooth.  Taste for seasoning.  I added a little more balsamic vinegar after tasting.  It is going to taste tomatoe-y until it's cooked down.  Add pork, half of sauce, and all ingredients for pork into crock pot.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Store remaining sauce in blender, covered in the refrigerator.  After the 8 hours using a large spoon drain half of juice from cooked pork, shred and cover with remaining half of sauce.  Allow to cook for another hour until sauce thickens.  Serve and enjoy.  I served mine on a whole wheat bun spread with a little salted butter, and sliced fresh tomatoes.  The boys devoured it.

This sauce can be cooked longer, or even ahead of time.  You can simmer it on low for 2-3 hours then add it to any meat you desire.  The pork can be cooked a day ahead of time, drained and then put back in the crock pot with the sauce and cooked on low in the crock pot for 8 hours if you want the sauce to be really thick. 


Whole wheat banana chocolate chip pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder 
1.5 tsp baking soda 
1 Tbsp honey
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1.75 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp butter melted
2 ripe bananas smashed
1/4 - 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life vegan chips)

Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix in milk and vanilla extract until combined. Add eggs, honey and butter, mix until combined. Add smashed banana and chocolate chips and mix well with a fork smashing banana into batter. 

Heat non stick pan over medium low. Spray pan with non stick cooking spray and add batter. Allow first side to cook until bubbly and then flip using a large spatula. Cook until center rises and sides are not wet. 

The batter does not store well so I cook all of it in mini pancakes and refrigerate them for the week. I pack them cold in the kids lunches or heat them up for a quick breakfast. 

I serve these with pure maple syrup. 

This recipe was adapted from "100 Days of Real Food."


Turkey Chorizo Breakfast Tacos

INGREDIENTS (For 6 tacos)

4-6 Yukon gold potatoes unpeeled cubed into 1/2" x 1/2" pieces 
1 Package Turkey Chorizo (I used Diestel brand from Whole Foods)
1/2 Tsp cumin
6 corn tortillas
Water to boil potatoes
6 eggs
Salt & pepper
2-3 Tbsp oil as needed
1 Tbsp salted butter
1 Package Queso Fresco - crumbled
Cilantro - chopped

Preheat oven to warm.  Bring pot of water and potatoes to a boil.   Boil for about five minutes or until just starting to get tender.  

In a large skillet (cast iron is best) heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium high heat and cook chorizo & cumin 8-10 minutes until cooked through.  With a slotted spoon remove chorizo and set aside.  

Drain potatoes and allow to dry for about two minutes.  Add potatoes and butter to pan in flat layer and cook until starting to crisp on all sides, stirring every few minutes.  If needed add another Tbsp of oil to help crisp up (my chorizo wasn't very fatty so I had to add oil).  Once potatoes are crisp add chorizo back in and combine it all together over low heat for about two minutes.  Using slotted spoon remove the mixture into a bowl and reserve it in a warming oven.  

Using the chorizo bits in the pan add remaining Tbsp oil and one at a time lightly fry tortillas over medium heat until they start to raise and blister, getting coated in the flavors from the pan.  Place tortillas in oven to warm.  

Heat a small non stick skillet over medium low heat and crack in one egg.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Using a lid that fits the pan or is slightly bigger then the pan, add 1 Tsp water in pan with egg and cover until Top of egg white is no longer clear and runny, but the yolk is still liquid (this is called basting the egg).  The water will produce steam cooking the top of the egg without flipping it and overcooking it.  While egg is cooking assemble one tortilla, topped with chorizo mixture.  Remove egg from the pan and place on top of chorizo mixture.  Top with crumbled queso fresco and cilantro.  

This recipe is adapted from the book "The Best Cookbook Ever," by Max & Eli Sussman


Vegan vanilla muffin base recipe / vegan chocolate chips muffins

This base can be used with any mix ins. Apples and cinnamon would be great.

1 + 1/4 Cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut sugar 
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chia seeds (mixed with 1/4 cup of water, pureed in a blender or food processor)
2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cup So Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (warmed to liquify)
3 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use enjoy life)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients (Flour through salt) set aside
3. Make the chia seed mixture and set aside.
4. Add in remaining ingredients leaving out chocolate chips &; chia seed mixture.
5. Mix in reserved chia seed & water mixture.
6. Allow batter to rest for 15 minutes then mix in chocolate chips.
7. Line cupcake pan with silicon liners, or spray with cooking spray and use paper liners
8. Scoop the batter into each of the liners
9. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. You may want to over cook these as they will be a little wet if you only cook them 22 minutes. These are best after being refrigerated over night. Straight out of the pan they can be a little moist. The next morning they are perfect. 

These  muffins will rise but they fall again once they have cooled.  You can fill them about 3/4 of the way full without having them bake over the top of the tin, and then they will settle at about 3/4 of the way full again.