Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Turkish Inspired Popcorn and Italian Hot "Sausage" Popcorn

Turkish Inspired Popcorn and Italian Hot "Sausage" Popcorn

Do you ever have one of those nights where you just don't feel like cooking? Last night was one of those nights for me.  It had been a long day at home, I was exhausted, but yet we had absolutely nothing in our fridge, so I hit the store while my hubby watched the kids.  I spent $150 on beautiful produce and a bunch of other goodies but in true Becky fashion, any meal I put together would have to be prepared (no TV dinners in this house!).  After bringing in and putting away all of the groceries, I just wanted to put my feet up so we decided to make popcorn for dinner.  We experiment with different seasonings for popcorn frequently and these two are the ones that we keep coming back to.  I know what you are thinking, popcorn as a meal?? Give these simple stove-top recipes a whirl and you may think differently!

The ingredients...

Turkish Inspired Spices minus the Sumac which is sprinkled on afterwards...

The Italian Hot "Sausage" Spices..

Add seasoning into your popcorn popper after one or two of the kernels pop...

The finished Turkish inspired popcorn!

The finished Italian hot "sausage" popcorn (sorry for the poor lighting in this picture)!

Turkish Inspired Spice Mix
1/2 tsp of Himalayan salt
1 tsp of a good smoked paprika
1tsp of ground cumin
Ground Sumac (for sprinkling on afterwards)

Italian Hot "Sausage" Spice Mix
1/2 tsp of Himalayan salt
1 tsp of ground fennel seed
1 tsp of crushed red pepper

Heat a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil (or oil of your choice) in the bottom of your popcorn popper (similar to the Whirly Pop but a stainless steel version).  Once heated, toss in 1/2 cup of organic non-gmo corn kernels.  Once one or two start to pop, toss in seasoning mix of your choice and turning the crank until kernels stop popping. Dump into a bowl and prepare to devour the entire thing!

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking
Recipes by Becky Loves Cooking

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Roasted Curried Cauliflower, Carrots, and Onions

Roasted Curried Cauliflower, Carrots, and Onions

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables.  It is so versatile and so good for you! With Paleo diets being so popular these days, I have seen it grated to mimic rice and even used as pizza dough.  Not only is it high in fiber and vitamin C but it may also be a cancer fighter so I make it a point to cook it in my house weekly.  I have prepared cauliflower many different ways but this is the one that I keep coming back to each time.  We love it so much in our home that I double it and add additional vegetables, like carrot and onions!  The carrots add a wonderful sweetness to this dish and the onions become nicely caramelized. It is now a staple in our home and I am sure it will be in yours as well! Enjoy! See recipe below.

The veggies.......

All cut up and ready to go!

The ingredients for the mixture!

Make sure the veggies are nicely coated and into the oven they go!

 After 30 minutes, give the veggies a good toss!

All finished!

Roasted Curried Cauliflower, Carrots, and Onions

2 organic heads of cauliflower, cut into florets 
5 or 6 organic carrots, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
1 organic onion, quartered

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1 tsp Kosher or Himalayan salt 
1/4 tsp  freshly ground pepper 
1 Tbsp of a good Garam masala 
1 Tbsp black mustard seeds 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut up your veggies and spread them out in a roasting pan.  Mix together the oil, salt, pepper, Garam masala, and mustard seeds in a bowl.  Pour the mixture over the veggies and toss to make sure each piece is coated. Roast for 30 minutes and stir. Roast for another 30 minutes (or until all veggies are nice and crispy!).  All ovens are different so just keep an eye on them.  Add additional salt to taste. Serve over Basmati rice and enjoy!

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking
Recipe adapted from

Friday, February 21, 2014

Greek Lemon Soup with Quinoa and Rice (Vegan Avgolemono)

Greek Lemon Soup with Quinoa and Rice
(Vegan Avgolemono)

I have an enormous love for Greek cuisine and I was just heartbroken when the little mom and pop Greek market near my former job, closed.  I have had dreams of their avgolemono soup, their stuffed grape leaves, and their amazing tzatziki!  No other establishment has been able to take their place, in my opinion.  I made an attempt at making avgolemono years ago but it ended in disaster when I couldn't seem to temper the eggs properly (my soup ended up looking like Chinese egg drop rather than having the creaminess of the avgolemono!) so I threw my hands up in the air and surrendered.  I vowed to give it another some point.  

Pinterest entered my life not too long ago and I began hoarding all kinds of recipes onto my "recipes to try" board.  Remembering that dreamy avgolemono that I had once pined over, I scoured the site for recipes.  Since we have become mainly vegetarian in our household, I was open to all versions.  I happened upon a vegan avgolemono and immediately thought to myself, how could this version even come close to the one that I remember?? And eggs involved?? That sealed it for me! Ha! I had to give this a try.  Well, I take back any and all negative thoughts that ever crossed my mind.  I think that I make a pot of this deliciousness weekly now because it is so wonderfully satisfying.  I hope that you enjoy this soup as much as we do in our home! See recipe below!

Saute the onions in extra virgin olive oil...

Once the onions are translucent, add he carrots...

After 5 minutes or so, add your garlic...

Next, add your rinsed quinoa and rice!

Stir until it is well incorporated...

Add your liquid, cover, and bring to a boil...

Ingredients for your slurry!

The slurry, ha!

When the soup is finished cooking, add your slurry...

...and your nutritional yeast..

..and your dill!

The finished product! Enjoy!

Greek Lemon Soup with Quinoa and Rice (Vegan Avgolemono)
Serves 4

6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup of quinoa, well rinsed
1/2 cup of Basmati rice, well rinsed
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots (or 4 small), peeled and chopped
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1.5 tbsp white miso
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 heaping tbsp dried dill, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (I highly recommend the fresh!)

1. Heat the oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven on low to medium heat and sweat the onions with a pinch of salt. Once the onions are translucent, add the carrots and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so.  Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Next, add the rice and quinoa. Stir until they are incorporated. Add the vegetable broth, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots, rice, and quinoa are cooked through (roughly 15-20 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, make your slurry! Whisk together the miso, tahini, and lemon juice until smooth. Once the soup has finished cooking, pour in your slurry. Stir in the nutritional yeast and dill. Your soup is finished! 

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking
Recipe Adapted from The Taste Space

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Curried Quinoa

Curried Quinoa

Quinoa is a popular grain these days.  Not only is it considered a perfect protein but it is also gluten free and easy to digest! I have been incorporating this fabulous ingredient into our meals for quite some time now but I must admit that it does need some sprucing up.  I love the warmth and incredible flavor that Indian curry gives the quinoa.  This dish can easily be served as lunch over some leafy greens or as a simple side dish! Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Start by frying the cumin and mustard seeds in the oil until the seeds begin popping..

Next add your onions and saute...

Add in the carrots....

Next, add the garlic and dried chili!

Add the rinsed quinoa and toast it...

Add in your chili and curry powders...

In goes the vegetable stock!

Once the quinoa is has finished cooking, sprinkle your frozen peas on top and put the lid back on...

Curried Quinoa
2 TBSP of La Tourangelle Pan Asian Stir Fry Oil (or oil of your choice)
1 tsp of black mustard seed
1 tsp of cumin seed
1/2 of an organic onion, finely chopped
2 small organic carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large clove of organic garlic, finely chopped
1 dried Indian red chili, rinsed and torn in half
1 TBSP of a good Indian curry powder (I used a hot Madras curry powder because I like things spicy!)
1 TBSP of chili powder
1 cup of organic quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups of organic vegetable stock
1 cup of organic frozen peas
1/2 cup of raw cashews (I usually add these but didn't have any on hand)

Begin by heating your oil on low heat in a small cast iron pot (2.75 quart is what I use), add the mustard and cumin seeds, and cover the pot.  Once the black mustard seeds have popped and the cumin seeds are nicely browned, add in the onion and sprinkle with some Kosher or Himalayan salt. When the onions are translucent, add in the carrots, garlic, dried chili, and saute for 5 minutes.  Next, add in the curry and chili powders.  After a minute or so, add the quinoa and toast it for 3 to 5 minutes.  Once the quinoa is toasted, pour in the vegetable stock, cover the pot, and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and cook for 23 minutes, covered.  When the 23 minutes is up, turn off the heat, dump the frozen peas and raw cashews on top of the quinoa, replace the lid, and let it sit for another 15-20 minutes.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork, check for seasoning, and serve it up!

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking

Recipe by Becky Loves Cooking