Spicy Orange Ginger and Garlic Cauliflower with Orange Ginger Cauliflower Rice

This week it’s all about the cauliflower.

Here’s the recipe, running out for an event, but wanted to share this with you guys. Always Set the Table with Love.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets

• 2/3 cup water

• 1/3 cup cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon

• 1/3 cup flour

• 3 tablespoons coconut oil

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup onions, minced

•. 1 teaspoon ginger, minced

• 1 large orange, zest only

• 1/4 cup orange juice, from zested orange

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

• 2 teaspoon sweet chili sauce

• 1 teaspoon brown sugar

• vegetable oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

1 In a bowl, whisk together the water, 1/3 cup of corn starch, the flour, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.

2 In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, minced garlic, ginger and onions, orange zest and juice, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a slight boil.

3 Stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1 tablespoon of water until dissolved. Whisk into the sauce and reduce heat to a very lower simmer.

4 Next, heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees.

5 Coat each cauliflower floret in the flour mixture.

6 Carefully place each floret into the hot oil. Fry each piece until golden brown – about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.

7. Toss the cauliflower in the sauce mixture, pour into a bowl and spoon the remaining thick, hot sauce over top. Garnish with some cilantro or sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions, (optional).

Serve immediately.

Easy Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions

It’s back to school and here’s an easy recipe that will be a go to for you and your family. I love making this for my family because it’s quick, healthy and fills their bellies. When school starts back we all are in the grind of life, adjusting to a new school year schedule. There are footballs practices, ballet rehearsals, music recitals and a thousand other things we have to focus on, so let dinner be one thing, you pour Love into, but not lots of time. But hey it can taste like it. 😉

Note: A short cut here for this recipe is to precooked the potatoes the night before or use frozen potatoes. I prefer to precook fresh potatoes the night before, fresh ingredients really does make a difference. If you do, cook them until they are mostly tender and not mushy. They will cook later in the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4-5 Sweet Italian Turkey sausage links

10 medium red or purple hasselback potatoes, cut in half

1 large yellow onion, sliced

3 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips. I used what was in the fridge.

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

1 tbsp Italian seasoning ( optional) 

Sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Add the potatoes to a pot of boiling water, cook until mostly tender, they will cook in the saucepan with the sausage and peppers later. Drain and set aside.

*If you are using precooked potatoes or frozen, skip this step above.

While the potatoes are cooking, Poke each sausage a few times with a paring knife or fork (this helps release steam as they cook).

In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sausages and brown gently and slowly. Cook for 3- 5 minutes, turning occasionally to gently brown on all sides. (They should not be fully cooked.) Once browned, remove sausages to a plate. Set aside.

Increase heat to medium high. Add onion and pepper slices. Toss to coat in oil and sear vegetables until slightly browned, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add vegetable broth, to deglaze the saucepan, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release bits. Simmer the vegetable broth until reduced by half.

Add Italian seasoning ( optional). Stir well to combine. Add sausages and the potatoes. Add salt to taste and gently toss. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until potatoes and peppers are soft and sausages are cooked.

Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese with a twist

This is a simple recipe, but it has a twist. Instead of using water to steam the broccoli you use vegetable broth. It gives the broccoli so much flavor. In a sauce pan add a bit of oil on heat the stove on medium heat . Toss in 2 cups of broccoli florets. Stir the florets around in the pan to help coat them with the oil. Add in a 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable. Place the lid on top of the pan and allow to steam until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese on top, place lid back onto the pan to help the cheese melt. Serve immediately. Enjoy

Keto Zucchini Cakes the Vegetarian Way

I had such a beautiful afternoon spending time with my girlfriend Sarah and talking about her amazing weight-loss using the keto lifestyle plan. She has lost 40 pounds using this plan. So in honoring of her big victory, I decided to make her my keto savory zucchini cakes.

We did a Facebook Live, where she was able to talk to about how the keto lifestyle plan has helped her live a more healthier way of living. It’s pretty fun, hilarious and educational, so check it out in my Facebook page under Lisa Washington.

Here’s the recipe. To find out more about to keto lifestyle Magic Pill on Netflix.

Keto Zucchini Cakes

Ingredients

• 1 pound zucchini

• 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt or regular sea salt or to taste

• 2 large eggs

• 1 1/2 tablespoon onions, diced and 11/2 tablespoons garlic, diced

• 1 1/2 teaspoon savory south seasoning by Hillari Moon or herbal garlic no salt seasoning

• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 cup almond flour

• 1/4 cup coconut flour

• 1/4 cup grated Vegetarian Parmesan cheese, BelGioioso Cheese is Vegetarian

• olive oil for frying

Instructions:

1. Grate the zucchini on a box grater . Put the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with the teaspoon of Himalayan pink sea salt or regular sea salt. Mix the zucchini gently to distribute the salt and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Squeeze the zucchini out with your hands and place into a medium sized mixing bowl.

2. Sauté the onions and garlic in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Remove from pan once the garlic is golden brown. Set aside to cool.

3. Add the eggs to the zucchini and the cooled onions and garlic mix together. In a small bowl, add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir together. Add them to the zucchini and mix thoroughly.

4. Heat a medium to large pan over medium – high heat. Pour in enough oil to completely cover the bottom surface of the pan. When it looks hot, stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and check for bubbles. If the bubbles are moving quickly, then the oil is hot enough.

5. Stir the zucchini mixture one more time and dip a 1/4 cup measuring cup into the batter, level off. Dump the batter into the pan and gently push it into a flat pancake shape with the back of a metal spatula/flipper. Cook for three minutes adjusting the heat up or down as needed, then flip, cooking for another three minutes. Add more oil to the pan as needed to prevent sticking.

6. Drain the zucchini cakes on a paper towel before serving.

Honey, how do I lower my carbs, but still have the snacks I love? 🤔

Okay, so my biggest client is my husband. He is in amazing shape… and the Oscar goes to his wife, that’s me, for making him delicious and healthy meals, everyday. Yes everyday, well almost everyday. Lol 😂

He went for his yearly annual and his doctor told him most everything looked awesome, just had to watch those carbs. Of course, I get a call, because my husband is serious about his health and he married his nutritionist.

“Honey, he says, I need to cut back on the carbohydrates, but how do I do that and still enjoy what I love to eat? ”

Well before we get to that, let’s look at Why Carbohydrates are good for us:

Here’s the deal on carbohydrates, first off they are our friends. We need carbs to function, they give us energy. They help fuel our brains, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system. They help us fill full and assist in keeping our blood cholesterol levels on point.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you should consume, at the very least, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates, which is 130 grams for adults, 175 grams for women who are pregnant and 210 grams for women who are breastfeeding. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, women should consume 25 grams of fiber on a daily basis, while men should consume 38 grams of fiber on a daily basis. Source:WebMD

If you have health issues, like diabetes or prediabetic this number can vary based on your doctors evaluation.

If you have diabetes, you should see a doctor or dietitian who can help you plan meals to control your blood sugar. Though your daily carbohydrate requirements are the same as those for someone without diabetes, it’s important to avoid eating too many carbohydrates in one sitting. The American Diabetes Association suggests that you should limit your intake to about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal. SOURCE: WebMD

If you are just cutting back, I like to suggest 100 grams a day for weight loss. Substituting your simple carbs with more complex carbs, like brown rice for white rice, eating more fruits, whole grains and legumes. Eliminating simple carbs out of your diet, like sugary foods, white flour and white potatoes.

Also knowing how to count your carbs is very important. For example, multi grain bread may have 21 grams of carbs, but 4 grams of fiber, you subtract the fiber and you get a true number of how many carbs will be in that slice of bread. Got it?

Enough of the science, here’s some healthy substitutes I bought my husband that I know he will eat.

Popcorn instead of chips, is the big one for all of us:

The Special K bars have 11 g of carbs, the Dave’s Killer Bread, thin slice has 9 g of carbs, for breakfast he toast that and add a tablespoon of Nutella on it ,which is 10 g of carbs. The Smart Food popcorn has 11 g in 1 3/4 cups . We are cutting his desserts down to once a week, because we are not skipping on dessert. 🍮 . He eats some type of protein with each meal. The carbs gives him energy, while the protein builds muscles, skin, and hair. Both are needed in order to stabilize blood sugar and are best when eaten together.

So there you have it folks, my long answer to a question I think a lot of us are asking. Need more low car tips, just shoot me an email. Oh yes, I almost forgot, remember to Set the Table with Love.

Vegan Spinach Florentine Rice Paper Wraps.

Here’s another recipe that may wow your Valentine’s Day date. 💕It’s so simple, easy, delicious and healthy. I love taking traditional recipes like a spring roll adding non traditional ingredients and allowing my guests to experience something in familiar in a new way. This will make appetizer, before dinner or add some wonderful cheeses, nuts,dried fruit and you got a beautifully unique anti pasti platter, pair it with your favorite wines and dinner is served. Psst… throw in some really good chocolates and this Valentine’s Day will be talked about for awhile. The truth is whatever you decide to do, just make sure you Set the Table with Love. NOTE: The pictures below show a wok fried version of this recipe, but I did give you an option to back them. Ingredients:1 tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup onions 1/2 cup red bell pepper1/2 cup sundried tomatoes 1 medium garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and pat dry to remove excess water1/2 cup chanterelle or baby portobello mushrooms,choppedFreshly ground black pepper and sea salt to tasteRice Papers To help hold them together:1/2 tbsp cornstarch 1 tbsp water Basil oil for dipping 2 cup of basil 1 cup olive oilSea salt to taste Directions: Preheat your oven to 425.In a sauté pan on medium heat add the olive oil. Add onions, peppers and garlic and sauté for about minutes or two until onions are a bit transparent. Add the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until everything is heated through. Remember you will be baking these as well. Remove from stove and set aside. Prepare your rice paper for baking: 1 Place a single wrapper on a wet kitchen towel (cover the remaining wrappers with another kitchen towel so that they don’t dry). Arrange the wrapper in a diamond shape, place a bit of ingredients at the bottom. Stop when you reach half way, fold the right and left corner in so that the roll looks like an open envelope. Brush a bit of cornstarch mixture on the final corner and finish rolling. Place under a damp kitchen towel while you roll the rest. 2 Brush the rolls with a small amount of vegetable oil and place on a baking tray lined with a piece of baking parchment. 3 Bake for about 15 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes on the other side, until the rolls are golden brown. Remove from the oven and enjoy with the basil oil or your favorite sauce.

Preparing Rice Paper wraps for deep frying. Use the same rolling process as you would for baking adding the ingredients in the rice paper and rolling according to previous instructions:To start the process of deep frying, all you need is a nice big wok or saucepan, a ladle or a pair of tongs and some oil.

  1. Heat up a cup of oil on low heat in a wok or big sauce pan. When the oil starts to lightly smoke, it is ready for frying.
  2. Using a ladle or a pair of tongs, gently immerse a spring roll into the hot oil. Be very gentle so that the oil does not splash on you.
  3. After half a minute, turn the spring roll over gently. Fry for another half a minute, then put it to the side of the wok and let it continue frying. You need to do this before putting the next spring roll into the oil as the spring rolls may stick to each other before both sides have been fried for half a minute.
  4. Fry the spring rolls until they are golden brown and crispy.
  5. Remove from oil and place ice on a paper towel, to remove and excess oil and enjoy!

For basil oil: Add all ingredients in a blender and lightly pulse, until well blended, add more oil if you like a nice thin basil oil. Continue to 5 of 6 below.

Sundried Tomato Risotto ~ Easy Elegant Entertaining

What I love about entertaining at home, is spending time with my friends and family, so that means, not being in the kitchen all day, while everyone is having a good time in the other room. Who doesn’t want to be a part of the party?  I even bought our new house with that purpose in mind, to be with my guest, while I am preparing food for them. We all sit around our 8 foot island and just connect with one another over an excellent bottle of wine and eat as each course comes out.

Creating recipes that are loaded with flavor and doesn’t take a lot of time, but will make your guest feel like it did, is the key. My to go to recipe, my Sundried Tomato Risotto, because it seems, difficult, it looks fancy, but psst… IT’S NOT and it’s pretty darn delicious.

Risotto is one of those dishes you can truly make it your own, you can flavor it with all kinds of mouthwatering possibilities, with spinach, sweet peas and mint or you could do butternut squash and fried sage with just a pinch of nutmeg. Just allow your imagination to run wild, serve it with steamed veggies or a nice salad, some crusty bread, excellent wine, and you will be the hostess of the year, will maybe of the month, it is risotto and not coq au vin, LOL, 🙂

So here’s the recipe I hope you will enjoy it with your friends and family as you Set the Table with Love.

Sun dried Tomato Risotto

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Sundried Tomato Risotto photo by: Noi Tran Photography

Ingredients:

1 cup of water

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup Arborio rice

1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil, I used pre sliced ones)

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup of white wine

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

finely chopped fresh basil leaves for sprinkling the risotto after cooking

Directions:

1. In a saucepan add the water and the bring the liquid to a simmer, and keep it at a bare simmer. In a large saucepan cook the onion and the garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until they are softened, add the rice, stirring until each grain is coated with oil, and stir in the tomatoes.

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Sundried Tomato Risotto Photo by: Noi Tran Photography

2. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering liquid and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Once you have added all the water and broth liquid add the 1/2 cup of white wine remember to allow each portion to be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still al dente)

3. Stir in the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the risotto with the fresh basil. I like to drizzle a little olive oil over it all at the end. Makes 4-6 servings

Vegan White Bean Chili

It’s another cold day in Georgia and we got some snow. Yes! I love when it snows here. Everything shuts down, because that’s how we do it in the south. 😊

I love it because it gives our family a chance to get quiet and slow down the hustle and the bustle of life and just be inside and enjoy a nice fire, watch our favorite movies and get outside and attempt to make a snowman ⛄️ .

Vegan White Bean Chili in the Snow ❄️ When it’s this cold, it’s time for some chili. Instead of the traditional chili with dark kidney beans, I am using cannellini beans and making Vegan White Bean Chili. I love the buttery flavor of cannellini beans and they don’t cook very long, since I am using precooked beans. This recipe is quick, easy and full of flavor. I spiced it up with some spicy poblano peppers and a little cayenne never hurts .

Enjoy and always remember to Set the Table with Love.?💕

Vegan White Bean ChiliIngredients: 3 cans or jars of Cannellini Beans ( I used Jovial Organic Cannellini Beans)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion large, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped poblano peppers

6 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning (no salt)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

dash black pepper

Instruction:In large sauce pot heat the oil. Add the onions and sauté until transparent about 10 or 15 minutes.

  • Add the garlic, peppers, ground cumin, dried Italian herbs, ground cloves and cayenne pepper.
  • Sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add the beans
  • Add 6 cups of the vegetable broth, stir and bring to a boil
  • Add the nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper.
  • Turn on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes ( do not overcook, or the beans will become mushy)

Zucchini Chips

I need potato chips, NOW!!!! Okay, breathe in, breathe out, namaste, namaste, namaste. Nope, it is still there. I need potato chips. Okay no potato chips, you took out off the house, those things that would compromise this cleanse. Yes, holistic Lisa, you are right, I did do that. Now just get creative. Okay, holistic Lisa, you are right. What’s in the house I could make into a potato chip….? Yes, zucchini.

Okay, thanks for taking a moment to read my rage of craving chips. This easy little recipe will save you from not eating the potato chips. So if you have taken them out of the house, this will save you gas money as well.  Well enough of that, let’s just get to the recipe.

Zucchini Chips
Zucchini Chips

Zucchini chips. Super easy.

1 zucchini
olive oil cooking spray
sea salt
smoked paprika
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 225 . Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil, and spray with olive oil. Set aside.

Slice zucchini into thin circles, about the thickness of a quarter, use a mandolin or slice with a knife, be careful.

Lay out slices on prepared baking sheet, and spray tops lightly with additional cooking spray. Sprinkle with sea salt,  just a little salt, the zucchini will shrink a lot and leave you with a salty chip. You can add more later.

Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes. Rotate baking sheet, and bake an additional 30-50 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and add additional seasonings. Eat immediately. They get chewy after a few hours, so eat them NOW. LOL. 🙂

 

Vegan Gluten Free Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bake

So this blog will be short and really naturally and organically sweet, LOL,  school just started back, and we are off to get school supplies for my son. In honor of school starting back up, I decided to do a 30 day cleanse. I will try my best to post some of my detox recipes for this cleanse, but you can find some amazing cleansing recipes already here on the blog. Okay, so what are you doing with this cleanse, Lisa?

Vegan Raw Carrot Cake
Vegan Gluten Free Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bake

Well here is an example, I am eating a vegan, gluten free, no processed sugar diet, well no white sugar or grains, no honey, no maple syrup or agave, just coconut sugar.  No alcohol, so enjoyed my sangria week. LOL.  No yeast based products. But I will have dessert, and yes it will go under this cleanse. Since we are on desserts, here’s my Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bake, now I am eating this for breakfast, but it’s so delicious you may want to call it dessert. It’s super simple. Enjoy and keep a look out for some more of my 30 day cleanse yummies.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups quick rolled oats, certified gluten-free, if possible
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups lightly packed shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnut halves (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F and lightly greased brownie dish. I used an 8″x 8″  2in. rectangular casserole dish.
In a medium saucepan, add the non dairy milk and salt to a boil. Add quick rolled oats and the remaining ingredients, except the raisins and walnuts. Lower the heat, cook for 3 minutes, add the raisins and walnuts. Stir. If it’s too thick, add a little more non dairy milk. Add the mixture into the greased casserole dish smooth out with a spoon.
Sprinkle on a little coconut and coconut sugar, as garnished.
Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden along edge. The oatmeal may look wet in some places, that’s okay, it will firm up.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Oh yes, Remember to Set the Table with Love.

Two sides of the coin ~ Toasted Pearl Barley Salad

When I competed on Food Network’s All Star Academy season 2, I was blessed to be mentored by Iron Chef and Food Network guru, Alex Guarnaschelli.  She looked at me and my teammate Lee Abbot and said, “You will never look at cooking the same,ever again.” She was right. Competing on Food Network’s All Star Academy, was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  It’s not just television folks, it’s an experience you will never forget. It challenged me to my very soul, not only in front of the cameras, but also behind the scenes. In such competitions, 12 hours of filming, elimination challenges, television politics and illness, you discover a part of you, you never knew. I have to say, I am so grateful for my time on the show. The experience is still revealing more of who I am and what I am capable of. You may say, Lisa, it was just a game show, maybe, but life is how you digest it, how you take it in and savior all of it’s flavors, like a wonderful dish executed with skill, patience and lots of care. This is experience was one of the best I have ever consumed.

The dish I would like to share with you today reminded me of my time on the show. I got a chance to cook also with Chef Curtis Stone, he is incredibly brilliant chef, that takes his craft very seriously.  Chef Stone inspired me with his precision and attention to every single detail. Chef’s food reminded me of art, fashion, symphony, culture expressed on a plate. Chef Guarnaschelli mentoring and food is full of soul, spirit, it’s holistic, she hits you with texture, flavor, aromas, emotions, she brings you HOME.

I made today two salads, from produce I got from the Farm and from my local grocery store. The salad is made with all the same ingredients, not one is missing no matter how different they may look. When I made these dishes, I wasn’t thinking of my experience on Food Network, I was just creating, but as Chef Guarnaschelli said,  You will never look at cooking the same, ever again. She was right. Thanks Chefs for the inspiration that  sometimes comes out unconsciously. It’s in me now. 🙂

 

Toasted Pearl Barley Salad ( two ways) 

This salad is necessarily not a recipe. It using your favorite vegetables and displaying them from your cooking perspective. Here is what I used.

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Toasted Pearl Barley with veggies Basil and Garlic oil

 

For the Rustic Salad and Salad of Art

Using a mandolin, slice up squash, radish, red cabbages, set a side

Cut up campari tomatoes in quarter for the rustic salad, for the artistic one, thinly slice of the bottoms, not exposing the inside, scoop out the top and some of the inside of the tomato, set a side.

Cut up 1 shallot, peel and slice horizontally, keep two of the ends where the circles are intact, the remainder will be used to toast in the rustic salad.

This is all about creativity, so follow my instruction or go wild with your imagination.

 

Here’s the instructions you need to follow:

Toasted Pearl Barley with Ras El Hanout season walnuts and vegetables with a fried egg

( a mouth full) 🙂

Toasted Pearl Barley

Ingredients:

1 cup pearl barley

1 tsp olive oil

2 cups organic vegetable broth, low sodium

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup green cauliflower florets, small pieces

1/2 cup green sweet peas

1/2 cup sliced red bell peppers

1/2 cup sliced onions

1/2 cup walnuts

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp ras el hanout

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Cook pearl barley as instructed. Once cook set a side. In a sauté pan add the oil, the peppers, onions, and pinch of the salt, cook until tender remove. Add the cauliflower, pinch of salt, cook for 1-2 minutes, you want it to stay crunchy. Remove and add to the peppers and onions. Add the walnuts and the ras el hanout and a pinch of salt. Cook the walnuts and seasonings for about a minute, you are just warming up the walnuts and bringing out the flavors of the ras el hanout. Add all the ingredients into the toasted pearl barley, season with more ras el hanout and sea salt, to taste.

For the Rustic Salad:

Add the toasted pearl barley to a plate and toast in your favorite veggies, remember to leave some of the vegetables on the side to create your Salad of Art. You will need 3 medium squash slices, 6 small pieces of the squash slices, 6 small radish slices, 3 pieces of the red cabbage,  Drizzle with the Basil and Garlic oil, recipe below:

Basil and Garlic Oil:

Ingredients:

2 cups of packed basil leaves
½ cup – 1 cup of olive oil, adjust based on the thickness level you prefer
1 garlic clove
Salt to taste

Instructions:

Place the basil, olive oil, garlic, mini-food processor, mix until you have smooth sauce. Taste and add additional salt if needed.

Salad of Art:

On a beautiful white plate, add 3 pearls of basil oil on the plate, take 3 of your mandolin cut squash and add it on top of the basil oil pearls. Stuff your campari tomatoes with some of the toasted pearl barley mixture, add one pea on top of the each stuffed tomato. Add a piece of the red cabbage inside of the stuffed tomato, allowing it to stand up like a flag. Add the radishes on the outside of the tomatoes with a dollop of the basil and garlic oil and add the small squash slices onto that. Add the pieces of the green cauliflower artistically onto the plate with the slices of shallots.

Be creative, squash all that I have written and honey do your on thing. LOL.

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Toasted Pearl Barley with veggies Basil and Garlic oil

Enjoy and Remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon

Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon

Dee this one is for you.

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Asparagus with parsley and shaved parmesan

I love my friends. I am even so grateful that God put some incredible women in my life. I have women that have been in my life for over 3 decades. They have celebrated life with me and some of my most tragic times. These ladies have loved me unconditionally. They understand me and allow me to just be Lisa, without depends. I am so grateful for that more than anything.

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We all wrote a blessing on this card for her.

Yesterday I was able to throw a birthday brunch for one of those beautiful souls, Dee Armstead. I met Dee when we both were going through a very hard time in our lives, we both had lost our moms and we were there for each other. We kept each other afloat. She loves me for me, she builds me up and never tears me down. This is 14 year friendship and I can honestly say these words about her.

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Dee is the fabulous one in the linen pants

Dee is a big giver. When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said, Lisa I want to do something that will inspire and empower women. This is her gift, Dee inspires others, so I want this to be really special. So, I decided to do one of my Coming Home to You workshop brunches. I filled the whole entire brunch and exercises with positive affirmations, deep breathing technique , meditation and a lifestyle behavioral coaching exercise. The ladies were very inspired and the best part, my Dee was happy and pleased with the outcome.

God is amazing in how he works. There were many components in planning such a brunch, because it is not just about beautiful table settings and food, but helping people move passed the things that get in the way of connecting again themselves and what is next in there lives.

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Follow your Dreams

Dee trust me, she never once asked me, what I was planning. This is how you now it is God, she closed it out with a speech of gratitude and gave each of her guest, a beautiful frame with the most inspiring words that went along side the workshop’s entire message. “Allow ALL life to move though you, let go of fear and embrace love.”

One of the best things I got a chance to teach my granddaughter how to Set the Table with Love. She pressed napkins, linens, we made floral arrangements, and made the prettiest table settings. We had a blast.

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Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon Homemade Floral Arrangement adds a special touch.

Thanks Dee for being one of my dearest friends and allowing your light to ignite my light within. Love you.

The menu was vegetarian. I wanted to share recipes with everyone that was simple, easy, delicious and healthy . The chai muffins were gluten free and one of my favorite recipes, we served the muffins with a simple ginger and cardamom butter.

The menu included:

Blueberry and Lemon scones with lemon sugar

Chai Muffins made by my bestie, Kristina Millsaps

Frittata Muffins with cheddar cheese and parmesan

Roasted Asparagus with parsley and parmesan

Roasted Potatoes with herbs and parmesan

Strawberry Basil Rosé Lemonade punch

Chocolate Oolong Tea

Coffee

Guests Favorite:

I want to share with you one of the recipes that was one the favorites. I will share the other recipes, including that incredible punch later this week. Enjoy this one.

Roasted Asparagus 

Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus

A bunch of parsley leaves

Fine sea salt, ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan shavings

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400.

Trim away the bottom third of each asparagus stalk.

Put the asparagus on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, top with parsley. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until slightly tender, about 10 -15 minutes. Just before serving, add shaved parmesan.

 

 

 

Pan Seared and Poached Halibut with sweet peas in a lemon caper broth topped with Sweet Potato Chips

Halibut. One of my favorite fish to make. I use to be so intimidated about making fish, until I was on Food Network’s All Star Academy and my mentor, Alex Guarnaschelli had me make Arctic Char for one of the elimination challenges, her  mentoring gave me the confidence to never be scared of fish again. The thing that blew me away the most, was during judging. Adam Richman, Man Finds Food, told me my Arctic Char could be served in a restaurant and he would order it, Yes!!

The key to any ingredient is understanding the ingredient itself. If you have never used a particular ingredient, I would suggest to research it. Ask a chef or someone you know that  is an excellent cook that has used it before, successfully. Cooking is an adventure, so dive in with an open heart.

Now, back to the recipe. I had a few of my fans wanting this recipe, so I hope you guys enjoy it, but make sure, before you get started to Set the Table with Love. Enjoy.

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Pan Seared and Poached Halibut with sweet peas, sweet potato chips in a lemon caper broth

Pan Seared and Poached Halibut:

Ingredients:

4, 5 oz. halibut filets

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon no salt herb garlic seasonings

2 tablespoons of organic butter

1 shallot, finely minced

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup of dry wine

3/4 cup of chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp capers

5 springs of thyme

1 tablespoon of cold, unsalted butter

1 cup green peas,  frozen peas thawed out
Instructions:

Place a large lidded skillet over high heat. Once hot, season the filets with the salt, garlic seasoning, then add the unsalted butter and then place the halibut filets in the pan. Sear on one side, without moving, for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes carefully flip the filets and then move the heat to low. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, dry wine, shallot, bay leaf, thyme and capers. Place the lid on the pan and cook  on low heat.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until halibut is just opaque.The fish will keep cooking so do not over cook it. When desired doneness is reached, pull the skillet off of the heat and remove the halibut from the pan and place the fish on a warm plate and lightly cover with foil. Use braising liquids from the pan to make your broth. Add the cold butter into the liquid and whisk until combined. Keep the broth on low heat add the green peas into the broth and allow to warm through.  Keep the broth warm, on a very low heat.

Sweet Potato Chips

1 medium sweet potato, sliced with a mandolin

sea salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and position oven rack in the center of the oven.
    Rinse and dry your sweet potatoes thoroughly and slice them with a mandolin, or use a knife and slice them as thinly as possible.
  2. Toss slices in a touch of olive oil to lightly coat, then sprinkle with salt.  Lay a piece of parchment paper onto a non stick baking sheet.
  3. Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, then turn the potato slices over, and bake for another 6-7 minutes , watch for the edges, they will start to get darker, pull them before they burn. Remove once crisp and golden brown. Some may feel a little tender in the middle but take them out and let them rest for 10 minutes, so they can crisp up. To assemble this dish, I put the chips on top of the halibut as a garnish with a lemon wedge.

Assemble:

Add broth into a bowl, add halibut in the middle of the bowl and top with sweet potato chips and lemon slice( optional).

Tuscan White Bean Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Summer is around the corner, but honey if you live in Georgia, it is already here sitting on our backs like a monkey. LOL. In the Summer time my go to is salad. I love to use vegetables and fruits that are in season to make super flavorful and refreshing salads. This salad here is excellent anytime of the year. What makes it special to me is the champagne citrus vinaigrette, it gives the salad this wonderful burst of summer in your mouth. I am one to take my salad seriously. It’s not just putting raw vegetables and fruit in a bowl. Allow yourself  to get wild with salads this summer, roast, sauté, grill bake your ingredients and add them to arugula, wild kale, Napa cabbage, just get creative and add lots of color, EAT THE RAINBOW! Salad is a great way to do this. I hope you enjoy this recipe just as I have. Remember, to Set the Table with Love.

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Tuscan White Bean Salad with a Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Tuscan White Bean Salad w/ Lemon Basil vinaigrette
2 cans white beans
1 1/2 tbsp Tuscan season blend
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onions, med, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, med. chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1 garlic clove
5 small artichoke heart , cut in fours
1/2 cup black olives,small
3 tbsp parmesan grated cheese
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp capers
4 shaved pieces of parmesan for garnish
1 boiled egg cut in quarters as garnish,
optional

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
1/2 cup basil leaves, packed
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash of cracked black pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp lemon zest
2 1/2 tbsp. organic honey
1 tbsp citrus champagne vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

1. In large skillet add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, saute the onions, peppers,
beans. Sprinkle everything with 1 tsp of Tuscan season blend and
1/2 tsp of sea salt , cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until the garlic is soft. Set
everything aside in a larger salad bowl.
3. Add to the bowl the quartered artichoke hearts, black olives,
capers, red onions, 3 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, dried basil and
the remainder of the Tuscan season blend. Set aside and make the
vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette
1. In a food processor, process the basil, garlic, salt, black pepper and
lemon juice vinegar and zest, until smooth. As the food processor is
running, slowly add the oil. Blend until combined.
2. Drizzle vinaigrette onto the white bean salad and gently toss until
all ingredients are combined. Do this to taste. I like to start off with a
small amount of dressing for the salad and add more, as needed. Or you
can leave the dressing out and serve it with the salad on the side.
3. Place the shaved pieces of parmesan on top and quartered boil eggs and add to the salad.

 

Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Coconut Cream

I will make this blog, quick and sweet. But don’t get that twisted. The flavor will still be explosive. I will let the recipe do the talking. I have this recipe in an earlier blog, but I used butternut squash and regular sweet potatoes. I  decided with this recipe to use purple sweet potatoes, instead. Boy, I could not wait for this soup to be done, for one reason only,  outside of tasting it, the color. Purple soup! Yes! Purple soup. 

Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Remember to Set the Table with Love. 

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Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large sweet purple potato, peeled and small cubes

1/2 cup onions, peeled

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 cup vegetable broth or more for consistency

1 tbsp maple syrup

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Coconut Maple Cream

1/2 cup canned coconut milk, you want the cream part of the milk. Refrigerating the coconut milk will make it more solid.

1 tsp maple syrup

Directions:

In large saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil.  Add purple sweet potatoes. Stir and cook for 10 minutes or more, until soften. Add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add fennel, thyme and spices. Stir.  Add vegetable broth. Turn up heat and allow to come to a boil. Turn off the heat and remove the pot and allow the soup to cool down, before adding to the Vitamix.

Prepare Coconut Maple Cream.

In a food processor add coconut cream, maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Process until smooth.  Do not over process the coconut cream, where it liquifies. You want it to be smooth like a whipped cream.  Place in a bowl and set in the fridge.

Once the soup has cooled down.  Add the soup to your Vitamix or blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tbsp of maple syrup and blend.  If the soup is too thick add a little more vegetable broth. Taste it for seasonings. Add more sea salt or pepper, to taste.

Add the soup back into a sauce pan to heat up. Heat the soup up on medium heat, while constantly stirring. Remove from heat. Serve immediately in your favorite soup bowl. Add the coconut maple cream in the middle of the soup and garnish with thyme leaves.

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

Who doesn’t love a good waffle. They are crunchy on the outside, moist and soft in the inside. We lather them with lots of butter and good Vermont Maple Syrup. I am bias about maple syrup. I believe the best syrup is made in Vermont and I am Georgia girl.  But sometimes you want to expand your mind and come up with something a little different. Well, in this case, a lot different. I so enjoyed sitting in my kitchen and thinking of how I could make a waffle, savory. I looked in my fridge, pantry, and garden, because these are the places that inspire me to make innovative recipes, with what I have on hand.

I am not one to go out regularly and buy a ton of ingredients to make a dish. Use what you have, no waste, my mama always taught me. She could make a thanksgiving dinner from an egg, head of lettuce and loaf of bread. LOL! Hey , she was before her time, she would have blown the competition away on Food Network, Chopped.

Well, she was my hero in some many ways, especially in the kitchen. Okay, with that being said, I found leeks and potatoes in my kitchen and decided to make this potato and leek savory waffle. It was so delicious and it’s vegan, gluten free and I made a raw basil oil to dress it. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

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Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

 

Waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive
2 tbsp organic maple syrup
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour blend
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt

 

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Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

The potato and leek mixture

Ingredients:

1 -2 tbsp olive oil, to coat the bottom of a sauté pan

1 large yukon gold potato, cleaned, peeled and diced small

2 leeks, cleaned, cut into very small slices

1/2 cup onions diced small

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced small

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp  No Salt garlic herb seasonings

1 tsp red crushed peppers

sea salt to taste

Basil Oil

Ingredients
2 cups packed basil leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles
Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles

Instructions:

For the Waffle batter:

Combine almond milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and let set for a few minutes to activate, it will get bubbly. Then add olive oil , maple syrup and whisk. Set aside.
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well incorporated. Let set for 5-10 minutes, this will allow the, baking powder and vinegar mixture to activate even more. It will give you a very fluffy waffle. Heat up your waffle pan.

For the Potato and Leek mixture:

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add in the small diced potatoes. Stir and allow them to cook until they are slightly golden brown and soften. Add the diced onions, red bell peppers and leeks. Stir.  Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced garlic cloves . Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool  GENTLY fold the mixture into the waffle batter, leave about 1/4 cup of potato and leek mixture out, to use as a garnish, if you desire. IF NOT YOU CAN ADD THE WHOLE MIXTURE INTO THE BATTER.
Once waffle iron is hot and ready to go, generously coat with non-stick spray and pour on about 1/2 cup of batter. Cook according to manufacturer instructions and then remove and place on a baking rack in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. In order to keep them crispy , do not stack and instead keep them in a single layer.

Basil oil

Wash basil leaves. Squeeze out water and dry with paper towel.
Place basil, the oil and salt into a blender or food processor and puree.
Let it settle a little then pour into a glass container. Drizzle over your waffles.
Use immediately or refrigerate. Making this oil a day in advance, will intensify the flavor. Fridge shelf life ~ one week.