This is what I call a use-up-what-you have kinda dish. What that means is that although I did specify specific ingredients and amounts that I used, they are extremely flexible. You will need about a cup of “white”- so, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, plain yogurt, or anything similar that you have on hand... A few side notes: I think it is best to use at least two different whites, and definitely don’t use ALL yogurt. And for the shredded cheese, use whatever you have.
This recipe makes a lot! But it reheats really well, so you can enjoy the leftovers for several days. I like to serve this with venison tenderloin steaks, but it will go good with just about anything!
BROCCOLI CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup cream cheese
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 head fresh broccoli
1 head fresh cauliflower
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 small onion, diced
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2/3 cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)
1. In a bowl combine ricotta, cream cheese, egg, garlic, salt, and onion powder. Mix vigorously (I like a hand mixer but you can use a whisk if that’s all you have) until everything is smooth.
2. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and toss into cheese mixture; gently stir/fold until all are evenly coated. Add the diced onion, red bell pepper, shredded cheddar and stir/fold everything together again.
3. Dump the mixture into a 9X13 pan and cover the top with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. I like to stir it right in the pan after it comes out of the oven in order to release some of the steam and water- which I think makes it the perfect consistency in the end. Top each serving with sliced almonds, if desired.
Guacamole is an often-overlooked powerhouse food. It is so good for you, loaded with avocado, lime, and fresh garlic. And whats not to like? The problem many people run in to is that they usually eat it on tortilla chips and aren't sure what else to do with it.
It is so very simple to make, but we'll start with the basics for anyone who has never ventured into the world of avocados...
Selection: if they are to be used within a day or two, go for the ones that are dark browny-black-green colored and not bright green. Pick one up and give it a gentle squeeze, it should give a little to the pressure of your fingers; this is the one you want. I have been know to squeeze every one in the bin looking for the ones with the best texture! FYI, occasionally there are not any ripe ones available. Of course you can buy green ones and let them ripen on your counter at home, which will take several days.
Guacamole Ideas to Try:
-a great topping for your grilled chicken breast
-cucumber, celery, and bell pepper slices dipped in it
-fajita bowl: sauteed steak, peppers and onions topped with a big dollop
-a great sweet potato topping
-great for a salad: lettuce + black beans + tomato + grilled corn + shredded carrot + guacamole + vinaigrette dressing
-hardboiled egg cut in half and topped with a spoonful of guacamole (beats mayo any day!)
-fancy appetizer: radicchio or endive lettuce cups filled with guacamole and topped with cheddar cheese
1 Roma tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
½ cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped or grated
½ tsp sea salt
2 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
3 Haas avocados, very ripe*
1. In a bowl combine the tomato, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and salt.
2. Cut the avocadoes in half and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. If it is very ripe/soft you can put it in the bowl with the other ingredients and just vigorously mix everything up. If it is slightly under ripe/hard I will pile it up on my cutting board and use a potato masher to mash it into bits.
3. Add the avocado to the other ingredients and mix to combine. Enjoy!
Guacamole doesn’t store too well, so I recommend making only as much as you will use in a day or two. Store it in the fridge and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in the bowl that it is in.
*If you have good ripe ones it should form a uniform mash, if they are a little under-ripe they will form mashed up little pieces, which are fine. I do think that very ripe avocados make the best guacamole.
Water is so very important, we all know this. But how can you get yourself to drink more? Make it fancy! This isn’t quite a “flavored” water…maybe more of a “scented” water, but either way, it looks fancy and it always helps me to drink more water.
The secrets are these:
1. Use a glass water pitcher and lots of ice- this is what makes it fancy and appealing to drink all day.
2. Use fresh anything!
It's simple: Keep a bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer and grab a small handful out to add to your water pitcher. Paired with a few slices of fresh orange, this one is wonderful. You can even cut the cranberries in half for more cranberry flavor.
By the way, you can make any flavor you wish, just used what you have around! Here are some more ideas:
mint-lime (my summertime favorite)
fresh pineapple (you could use the inedible core for this!)
a few slices of fresh strawberries
pear and fresh ginger
the possibilities are endless!
Just keep your pitcher in the refrigerator. The ice will stay solid almost a whole day in there. Keep refilling the pitcher with water as you drink it throughout the day. Or keep it out where you can see it and add more ice as needed.
People have been doing this all over for a long time…but I got the idea from Chef Laurel Robertson of the Eau Claire area- she is a personal chef and also holds cooking classes (which are great fun, by the way).
Thanks Chef! Check her out at: http://www.dinners-on.com/