Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower Steaks

Have you ever had something so unexpectedly delicious that you just don’t know what to do with yourself? That’s what happened with these cauliflower steaks. I’m sure they are delicious simply because they are delicious.  BUT. When all you’ve eaten for 5 meals in a row is lettuce with more lettuce and a bit of lemon juice and avocado thrown in for good measure, they turn into the most

I’m sure they are delicious simply because they are delicious.  BUT. When all you’ve eaten for 5 meals in a row is lettuce with more lettuce and a bit of lemon juice and avocado thrown in for good measure, they turn into the most incredible delicacy you’ve ever had in your whole life.

The good news is, the “steaks” are approved for all phases of The Plant Paradox Program* and are lectin free, nightshade free, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and everything else free.

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Cauliflower Steaks

An unexpectedly delicious to your next meal. 

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Plant Paradox, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Emily Levenson

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp avocado (or olive) oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Trim the green ends off the cauliflower and then cut in half. Take one half and cut in half again (about 1/2 - 3/4" thick). You should have one piece with two cut/flat sides. That's the "steak". Do the same with the other half of the cauliflower and set aside the remaining portions for another use. 

  3. Heat a cast iron skillet (or another oven-safe skillet) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of avocado (or olive) oil and add the cauliflower steaks to the pan and sear until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt before turning. Add another tbsp of oil and sear for 3-4 minutes more. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

  4. Remove from heat and transfer skillet to the oven. Roast at 400°F for 15 minutes. 

  5. Remove from oven and serve hot. 

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free, wheat free, corn free, soy free, lectin free. 

PS — In case you’re more of a visual person, I found this video on making Cauliflower Steaks from Katie Quinn to be SUPER helpful.

 

*This is an affiliate link.

Rice Pilaf With Almonds (Gluten Free)

Rice Pilaf With Almonds (Gluten Free)

Did you know that rice is more than just a way to get more soy sauce (or tamari) into your face? Yep. It can be made into things like mujadara, spanish rice and rice pilaf. I especially love rice pilaf with almonds, and I love it even more when it’s gluten free, dairy free, and nightshade free. 

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com

Pinterest is good for a lot of things; finding recipes, getting inspiration for what to cook, and finding a whole lotta craft ideas for toddlers. It’s also been good for showing me a glaring gaping hole in my menu planning prowess.

Seriously hard to believe, I know.

I realized a few weeks ago that I have very few side dishes that I like and want to eat on a regular basis. More often than not, the side dish is a total after thought with something like “salad” or “veggies” added in for posterity.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com

I’ve even tried to remedy this situation by searching Pinterest for interesting side dishes. Which, on the surface would seem like a really good idea. But if you dig deeper, and actually do the searching, you’ll find that 99% of the side dishes people pin are filled to the brim with cheese, white potatoes, and bread of some kind.

No bueno for someone who is avoiding gluten, dairy, and the nightshades.

So I tried to look through my own archives to see what the hell I used to cook, and discovered that there was a little treasure trove of ideas. I also discovered that rice is more than just a way to get more soy sauce (or tamari) into my face.

It can be made into things like mujadara, spanish rice and rice pilaf.

I especially love rice pilaf.

Way back when I first started cooking for myself, I thought buying the boxes of Near East Brown Rice Pilaf* was the most gourmet thing I made.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com

But my visions of rice pilaf grandeur came crashing down when I realized that it was off limits.

Hello, you glutenous and delicious orzo, you.

So last weekend I spent a good 20 minutes on Pinterest looking up recipes for gluten-free rice pilafs only to find that there was at least one ingredient in each recipe that was off limits to me. So, I took the best parts of each one and came up with my own.

I’m happy to report this version is delicious, and happily ate it every meal for 4 days straight.

Oh. Yeah.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com
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Rice Pilaf With Almonds (Gluten Free)

Did you know that rice is more than just a way to get more soy sauce (or tamari) into your face? Yep. It can be made into things like mujadara, spanish rice and rice pilaf. I especially love rice pilaf. Particularly when it's gluten free, dairy free, and nightshade free.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1-2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 cup almonds loosely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine rice and vegetable broth in a rice cooker or medium saucepan with a lid. If using a rice cooker, simply turn on, set to cook, and let the rice cooker do it's job. If cooking rice on the stove top, bring vegetable broth to a boil, add in rice and stir once, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for about 18 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. While rice is cooking, add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add in onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent. Add in garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Once rice is done (either in the rice cooker or on the stove), stir in cooked onions and almonds and allow to rest for another 5 minutes, covered.
  4. Serve hot!

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, egg free, soy free, and corn free.
 

Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad

Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad

This tomato, cucumber, and chickpea salad is a light summer salad that packs a flavorful punch. Serve with your favorite protein or on top of a bed of lettuce. Either way, your taste buds will thank you.

Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad | emilylevenson.com

A few weeks ago, I decided it would be a really good idea to try adding tomatoes back into my diet. I have a really hard time watching other people enjoy those juicy red jewels in the summertime and felt like I needed to know once and for all how they were making me feel.

So I bought a pint of grape tomatoes and plotted how I was going to enjoy them.

And then I waited, because I wasn’t sure I could handle knowing that they were really making me sick. It was one thing to suspect it and avoid it on my own terms. It’s yet another to have tangible proof that my body isn’t able to tolerate it.

Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad | emilylevenson.com

But I waited too long, apparently, because the tomatoes were juuuuuuust about to go bad. So I did what any other self respecting food blogger would do and threw whatever I had in the house into a bowl and called it dinner.

Thank goodness it ended up being absolutely delicious, because that would have been one hell of a disappointing reintroduction.

(Phew.)

Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad | emilylevenson.com

Delicious, it was.

Good for my body, it was not.

Turns out it gave me a raging case of indigestion and a kickin’ headache to boot. But don’t let that stop YOU from making this delicious side of summer. Everyone else raved about it, including my non nightshade sensitive neighbor who ended up with the leftovers. She didn’t hesitate for a second about taking it off my hands.

Such is life, I suppose.

Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad | emilylevenson.com

Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad | emilylevenson.com
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Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad

A light summer salad that packs a flavorful punch. Serve with your favorite protein or on top of a bed of lettuce. Your taste buds will thank you.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 cup cucumbers diced
  • 1 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon juiced (about 2 tbs)
  • zest from lemon
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Allergen Information

Dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, soy free, egg free, and corn free.
Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad | emilylevenson.com

Balsamic Vegetable Kebobs

Balsamic Vegetable Kebobs

Vegetable Kebobs with Balsamic and Herbs

I’ve been wanting to grill up some veggies for weeks now.

In fact, they’ve been on the menu for about a month, with something happening each time to prevent it from actually happening. Things like the zucchini going bad. Or the tomatoes and peppers being used in another recipe.

And each time I realize what’s happening, it’s too late.

Vegetable Kebobs with Balsamic and Herbs

But not this week. THIS week, I planned ahead. I actually had it on the menu in the beginning of the week, so that the veggies couldn’t be used for anything else.

I made sure to stock up on a bounty of veggies; mushrooms (for The Hubster), peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, and onions. I probably could have done some broccoli in there, too, but didn’t think of it until it was too late.

Actually, can you even use broccoli for a kebob?

Vegetable Kebobs with Balsamic and Herbs

We paired the vegetable kebobs with some Teriyaki Burgers. It was our very first meal that was 100% grill.

Next time we do kebobs, I’ll probably add some steak or chicken (or both) in with the veggies. That would make it an even easier dinner to pull together. One dish. One thing to pay attention to on the grill. And a whole lot less mess.

I’m also curious what other vegetables we could use. I had thoughts of potatoes (sweet or red), broccoli (is that legit?), cauliflower, and perhaps a pineapple chunk or two.

Vegetable Kebobs with Balsamic and Herbs

Vegetable Kebobs with Balsamic and Herbs
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Vegetable Kebobs Marinated with Balsamic and Herbs

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

For the Kebobs:

  • 6-10 Bamboo Skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • 2 medium onions quartered and pulled in half
  • 1 bell pepper chopped into large chunks
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini sliced in half lengthwise and then in 3/4" chunks
  • 1 small summer yellow squash, sliced in half lengthwise and then in 3/4" chunks
  • 6-12 mushrooms we used button, rinsed and destemmed

For the marinade:

  • 1 tbs or fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs lemon juice about 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp mustard dijon or brown
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Make the kebobs:

  1. Prep and chop veggies.
  2. Thread the vegetables onto the skewers, alternating so that each skewer has 1-2 of each vegetable. Transfer to a large baking dish.
  3. Continue to thread the vegetables until the vegetables are all gone or you run out of skewers.

Make the marinade:

  1. Combine parsley, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar and shake like crazy to combine. (You could also mix in a small bowl with a whisk if you prefer.)
  2. Pour over vegetable kebobs and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Grilling:

  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat and let preheat for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Optional: Oil grill grate so that the veggies don't stick.
  3. Place kebobs on grill, turning, until vegetables are browned around the edges and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer kebobs to platter and serve immediately.

Allergen Information

Dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, corn free, soy free, egg free. (Could also be nightshade free by swapping out tomatoes and peppers.)
 

Sauteed Asparagus

Sauteed Asparagus

Asparagus

Growing up, I was never a huge fan of asparagus. It always seemed to look and smell funny to me.

And then, of course, there is the whole “it changes the way your pee smells” thing.

That was enough for me to pass on it at the dinner table…

Asparagus | Emily LevensonBut then I got older, and a bit wiser.

And I also got slammed with a ton of food intolerances, taking away the safety net of my favorite vegetables.

I needed to expand my horizons, and quickly. Or I was going to be eating the same two foods on a daily basis.

Sautéed Asparagus | Emily Levenson

Since The Hubster loved asparagus, I figured it was worth a try.

Even if I didn’t love it, it certainly wouldn’t go to waste.

Sautéed Asparagus | Emily Levenson

Turns out, I loved it.

In small doses at first.

But now. Now, I crave the stuff. I look forward to it coming into season every spring. And finding new ways to whip it up.

This, while not a new way to whip it up, is an old stand-by. Probably not fancy enough to call a recipe, but delicious enough to make it worth posting.

Sautéed Asparagus | Emily Levenson

Asparagus
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Sauteed Asparagus

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash asparagus and snap tough ends off. You can also use a vegetable peeler and shave off the ends, if you prefer.
  2. Place in a skillet.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Sautee of medium-high heat until bright green; about 5-7 minutes depending on thickness.
  6. Serve hot with your favorite main dish!

Allergen Information

Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, Corn Free.
 

PS—I’ve been working hard to schedule out posts for when the baby really does come. Which may or may not have happened at this point. I will be making an announcement on the blog when we are back home, but you can always check out Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see if there have been any updates.