Tater Tots don’t need much of an intro. The goal here: make and eat, and feel pleased at the bonus veggie intake. That’s right: stop reading and get thee to the kitchen. It’s Tots Time!
Cauliflower Tater Tots
1 head cauliflower, grated
1.5 tablespoons cassava flour (or flour of your choice)
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (or Slap Ya Mama)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
sea salt to taste
1-2 cups sunflower oil or high heat oil
7 oz. tomato paste
1 tablespoon kimchi juice
1 tablespoon kimchi, chopped
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
For your ketchup: Whisk all ingredients together. If this feels like too much work, you can always pour a little kimchi juice and chopped pieces into store-bought ketchup.
For your tots: Grate your cauliflower on the largest side of your grate. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Take golf ball sizes of your mixture and pat them into little tots (don’t worry about making them perfect) and line up your army on a cutting board. Pour enough oil into a shallow frying pan to fill it a quarter of the way. Bring to high heat and place the tots into the hot oil using tongs. If you have a splatter guard, I highly recommend tenting the tots to prevent kitchen chaos. Let the tots fry for five minutes and then flip using your tongs. Transfer onto paper towels to drain excess oil and hit them with an extra dust of salt flakes and chives. Dip away and remember to breathe in-between bites.
I’m obsessed with Mediterranean food — specifically Greek. And while we all know the classic Greek Salad, I’m not sure as many might react when I say Maroulosalata. MAROULOSALTA. No? Let me educate you.
It’s salad perfection. So clean, bright, and simple. Fresh, crunchy greens in a bright lemon and dill dressing. Gorgeous on it’s own, the perfect vehicle for protein, and so good when paired with a bright white wine like a sancerre.
I was feasting on this salad at my favorite local greek restaurant, Stella’s (worth the trip alone just to see the dope greek mythological monsters wallpaper in the bathroom), and immediately knew I had to recreate this at home. With a twist.
Cue crunchy quinoa. (Yes, your new favorite thing in life.)
Al dente quinoa, toasted up nicely in extra virgin olive oil, tossed into salad, and BOOM. Extra protein and the crunch of a crouton.
So, let’s stop wasting time reading this and get to making the salad!
Maroulosalata with Crunchy Quinoa:
1.5 bunches romaine, slivered
2 bunches green onions, slivered up to the green, 1/4 of greens slivered
1/4 cup goat/sheep feta or Kite Hill (vegan option) soft fresh cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup multi color quinoa
3/4 cup veggie broth
Pinch sea salt
1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Big pinch salt flakes and dash of black pepper
Combine all the dressing ingredients first and whisk well.
Combine quinoa, broth, and pinch of salt in a small pot and cook over medium heat until al dente aka you don’t want them to get fluffy on you. That’s why we’re using less liquid than you would normally use. Once your quinoa is al dente, warm the olive oil in a frying pan over medium/high heat. Add the quinoa and spread it as thin as possible. Toast your quinoa for roughly five minutes, perhaps tossing it around once or twice. Don’t take your eye off it! It will absolutely burn if you ignore it. You want the quinoa to get golden (although a bit of burn ain’t so bad) and crunchy.
Clean your romaine, drain well, then sliver and throw into a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt (it will chill while you’re working on the quinoa). Toss well with the dressing, then fold in quinoa and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pasta solves all problems. Am I right, or am I right?
I’ve made it twice this week — not because I’m riddled with issues, but because we’ve been snowed in — in SOUTH CAROLINA! Yes. Sheer chaos, but I love it. There are ultimately two recipes below, one for vodka sauce and one with a red wine base. Honestly, I was going to make the vodka sauce again but realized we were out of vodka, so I busted out some red wine instead. The spinach pairs beautifully with the vodka sauce, and the spinach-mushroom does wonders with the red wine sauce, but obviously, you do you.
I realize the coconut milk is unexpected, but it’s a great way to create that gorgeous pink hue and creaminess without bogging down the sauce with heavy cream. If you’re vegan, you can nix the cheese and up the salt, or even toy with adding nutritional yeast.
Vodka Sauce or Red Wine Sauce Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 t red pepper flakes or 1 red chile, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
3/4 cup red wine or 1/3 cup vodka
1 25.5 oz jar San Marzano diced tomatoes
1/3 cup light canned coconut milk (use the white part)
1/3 cup grated romano or parm
2-3 cups spinach
10 bella mushrooms, quartered
sea salt and black pepper to taste
pasta of your choice (I used brown rice penne)
Bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. Season it with enough salt to make it taste like the sea. Cook your pasta of choice (big fan of brown-rice penne or veggie spiraled noodles) al dente and drain. Start this process after you’ve added the tomatoes to your sauce.
Warm your olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté onion and chili pepper seasoned with a good dash of salt and pepper for 5 minutes or until slightly golden. If you’re adding mushrooms, toss them in and now and give them a good stir. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes or until they soften. Time to add your booze! Choose whether you want a vodka or red wine sauce and let it cook off for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, taste for seasoning, then let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Add your coconut milk, cheese choice, and spinach. Give it a spin with your spoon, covering all the spinach with sauce, and turn off the heat after one minute. I like my spinach to wilt, but not to disappear (and spinach is notorious for curling into little green nothings). Taste for more salt and pepper and serve over your favorite pasta. I highly recommend adding a quick glug of extra virgin olive oil on top right before you serve with a dusting of finishing salt such as Maldon (the KING OF SALT).
(Just a note: it’s difficult to get the true taste of a sauce when it’s pipping hot, so I high recommend letting it cool a bit before serving.)