The 5 Recipe Instructions I Never Follow (and It All Turns Out Fine)

The 5 Recipe Instructions I Never Follow (and It All Turns Out Fine): Confessions of a Home Cook
iStock/UberImages

When I first started learning to cook, I followed recipe instructions to the letter. I measured obsessively, packing my cup measure full of chopped onion or shredded cheese, and discarding or saving the rest. I timed my cooking religiously: three minutes per side ticked out by an egg timer.

It was exhausting.

But things have changed. I have gotten far more comfortable in the kitchen, and these days, when I read a recipe, I usually riff, using more or less of a certain ingredient depending on what I have in the fridge or swapping things out entirely. And even when I’m following a recipe, there are a few instructions I always ignore.

1. “Add onions and garlic.”

I never add onions and garlic to the pan at the same time, regardless of what the recipe tells me to do. Onions improve as they cook, developing a rich, brown caramelization and a beautiful sweetness. Garlic, on the other hand, just burns, turning acrid and bitter (as Serious Eats tested).

When a recipe tells me to add them both at the same time, then, I add just the onion, cooking it until translucent or brown (depending on what the recipe calls for). I only add the garlic at the last minute, cooking it for barely a minute before adding whatever liquid ingredient (wine, broth, tomatoes) comes next.

2. “Toss with spices and place in the oven to roast.”

I never add spices to the outside of anything that’s going to be cooked at high heat, such as in a pan or in the oven, before cooking. Spices are delicate, and they could easily burn instead of just toast.

When I’m cooking something wet, like a stew or soup, I have no problem toasting the spices (adding them at the same time as the garlic) before adding the liquid ingredients. But when it comes to spiced, roasted veggies, I always season simply with salt (yep, even black pepper stays off!) and toss the hot veggies with the spices directly on the pan when they come out of the oven.

This allows the spices to toast in the residual heat from the oven without burning, giving you richer, more complex flavors.

3. “Peel the vegetables.”

It’s no surprise to me that one of the main tasks I was given in the kitchen as a child was peeling: it’s tedious, but more than that, it’s wasteful.

Since I buy all organic vegetables, I never peel them: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, even rutabaga just get a good scrub before being prepared. There’s lots of great flavor and nutrients in the peels that then stay in the dish instead of in your compost bin.

4. “Wipe the mushrooms with a dry paper towel.”

Recipes constantly tell you how important it is not to wash mushrooms, lest they get waterlogged, but ever since Alton Brown disproved this myth, I’ve rinsed mine with no adverse effects. Not only does this method save you from wasting paper towel, it also saves quite a bit of time.

Whenever mushrooms have a bit of soil on them, I just rinse them under running water and wipe them dry with a dish towel before using.

5. “Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.”

When it comes to most fats, I don’t measure; I eyeball. Once you get used to the amount of oil it takes to properly sear a steak or roast some veggies, you can save yourself the hassle of washing your measuring spoons and just add the fat directly to the pan.

This is actually true of many ingredients in savory cooking. Once you get to know what a cup of sliced onion or shredded cheese looks like, it’s far easier to just eyeball rather than measure it out. It keeps you from having to save small amounts of leftover chopped veggies (which usually end up getting forgotten and binned anyway).

Did we miss any of your favorite cooking hacks? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Related on Organic Authority
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Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.



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How to Master Vegan Grilling (Tricks, Techniques, and 5 Gourmet Recipes!)

vegan grilling

The moment the weather turns warmer, we’ve got grilling on the brain. The only problem? For many, cookouts immediately call to mind hot dogs and hamburgers, and without a bit of advance planning, vegans can be left holding a sad, frozen veggie burger – a real shame when you consider all the delicious options vegan grilling provides.

The good news is that most people are ready and willing for this unfortunate situation to be relegated to the past: plant-based diets are rapidly growing in popularity, and even omnivores are excited to see (and taste!) delicious grilled vegetables, veggie burgers, and more.

So if you’re ready to make your next vegan cookout a success, look no further: the guide below has everything you need.

Best Homemade Veggie Burgers

Burgers are a staple of barbecues, and vegans need not feel left out. While there are tons of store-bought options to choose from (check out our favorites below!) homemade veggie burgers are even more delicious, and they’re surprisingly simple to prepare. Here are just a few we love:

  • These sun-dried tomato and lentil burgers are both vegan and gluten-free, and they’re full of flavorful ingredients like sweet potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, lentils, soy sauce, and garlic.
  • This green pea burger offers a completely different flavor profile, with a combination of green peas, green bell pepper, spinach, and spices.
  • If simplicity is all you’re looking for, a portobello mushroom cap, marinated in your favorite marinade or simply seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper, can be a great burger stand-in.

Best Meat Alternatives

Meat alternatives or mock meats are a terrific choice for a quick vegan barbecue main. Tempeh and tofu require minimal prep, and mock dogs and veggie burgers are even easier – just throw them on the grill!

3 Steps to Grill Tempeh to Perfection

This guide to grilled tempeh lays out the ideal steps for grilling the fermented soy product: pre-cook, marinate, and grill.

The pre-cooking step is essential for softening the naturally chewy texture of tempeh and allows the marinade to penetrate more thoroughly, rendering the result even more flavorful. We’ve included one marinade option here, but you can marinate your tempeh with whatever flavors you like best.

Grilling Tofu: It’s All About the Marinade

Once you’ve selected the right tofu for grilling (hint: it’s not silken), grilling tofu is all about adding flavor. First, prep the tofu to soak up as much of your chosen marinade as possible by drying it well. Then, just marinate the tofu until you’re ready to cook it up.

This guide to grilling tofu will ensure that you’ve covered all of these steps, plus a few others, to make your grilled tofu experience as delicious as possible.

Choosing the Best Store-Bought Mock Meats

If you’re looking for a truly no-fuss option, store-bought burgers and mock dogs will become your new go-to.

  • For mock dogs, we love SoyBoy Not Dogs, which have a relatively short ingredients list including organic soy and excluding wheat. As the package says, “no nitrates and nothing phony.” If you want to peruse even more choices, here’s an excellent guide to some tasty veggie dogs.
  • For veggie burgers, we still love the classic Amy’s California veggie burger, made with organic vegetables. Amy’s even makes a gluten-free version of the veggie burger, so everyone can partake.

Top 10 Vegan Grilling Veggie Marinades

Grilled veggies make the perfect main or side for omnivorous and vegan grilling parties alike. The secret is finding the perfect flavors to really make those veggies sing.

Marinate your vegetables for as little as 10 minutes when they are particularly porous, like mushrooms, or for up to a few hours when they’re a bit more solid, like carrots and peppers, and be sure to remove any fresh herbs or garlic from the vegetables before grilling them to avoid burning.

Here are 10 of our absolute favorite combos:

  1. Mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  2. Carrots with fresh lime juice, ginger, coconut oil, cilantro, and salt.
  3. Corn on the cob with fresh lime juice, cayenne pepper, olive oil, and salt.
  4. Red bell peppers with pomegranate molasses, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and salt.
  5. Shishito peppers with soy sauce or tamari, grapeseed oil, a touch of sesame oil, and black vinegar.
  6. Zucchini with fresh lime juice, olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper.
  7. Cauliflower steaks with olive brine, olive oil, a touch of agave syrup, and shallots.
  8. Salsify with red wine, black pepper, grapeseed oil, salt, and pepper.
  9. Artichokes with olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, shallots, salt, and pepper.
  10. Eggplant with garlic, mint, fresh oregano, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Gourmet Vegan Grilling: 5 Recipes

If burgers and not-dogs aren’t your style, take a gander at some of our favorite vegan grilling recipes that are more on the gourmet side. These recipes are sure to impress, but they’re still easy enough to prepare so that you won’t end up chained to the grill all night long.

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine

Image via Karissa Bowers

1. Grilled Asparagus with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine

This vegan asparagus and lemon white wine fettuccine is a delicious way to use your grill to serve up a more gourmet meal. Pencil-thin asparagus are great for grilling, as you can get them nice and charred on the outside and cook them all the way through in a relatively short amount of time.

grilled romaine

Grilled romaine image via Another Pint Please

2. Grilled Romaine

For a more interesting play on a typical summer salad, this grilled romaine recipe is a nice trick to have up your sleeve. You can either serve the lettuce with your favorite vegan dressing or alongside a homemade hummus for dipping.

vegan grilled tacos

Photograph © 2015 by Rodale Inc.

3. Vegan Tacos with Salted Grilled Plantains

This tasty taco recipe features hearty grilled plantains, which are cooked until they’re nicely caramelized. The result is a taco that perfectly blends the natural sweetness of plantains and the savory flavors of salsa verde, pepitas, and a shredded red cabbage slaw.

vegetable gyros

Photographs by Erin Kunkel

4. Grilled Vegetable Gyros

Gyros may more traditionally be made with some sort of roasted meat, but this vegan version of the Greek dish uses the flavorful spice blend typical of the recipe on a combination of peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and onion. In place of the yogurt sauce, this vegan ranch is an excellent accompaniment.

shishito peppers recipe

Photo by Ally-Jane

5. Grilled Shishito Peppers

Alone, grilled shishito peppers make the perfect appetizer, but combined with a grilled mock meat of your choice or other grilled vegetables, they can be a great element of a complete vegan grilled meal.

5 Must-Have Grilling Tools for the Perfect Vegan Barbecue

Make grilling a breeze by ensuring you have the tools you need. Here are five of our favorites.

1. Nesting Grill Trays

How often have you marinated your vegetables and brought them out to grill, only to find that the only place to put the cooked veggies is back on that slick prep plate? These grill prep trays  are the perfect solution: carry the veggies out to the grill on the top tray, then swap it out and use the clean one to bring your cooked veggies back inside to serve.

2. Veggie Grill Basket

If you’re sick and tired of your veggies falling through the barbecue grates, a grill basket is the ideal tool for you. This nearly 14 by nine-inch basket allows you to line up your veggies for even cooking and flip them all at once with ease.

3. Grilling Tongs

Some veggies, like corn on the cob, can go straight on the grill – no basket required. But using regular kitchen tongs to turn them can leave you with uncomfortably warm (and even burned) hands. These easy-to-use, 16-inch, stainless steel grilling tongs are long enough to keep your fingers out of the fire.

4. Basting Brush

Add even more flavor to your veggies by basting them with marinade as they cook; this stainless steel basting brush makes the task easy. It boasts a 15-inch handle to keep your hands from growing too hot as you brush on the flavor. The silicone head is removable for easy cleaning in the dishwasher.

5. Grill Pan

Just because you don’t have an outdoor grill doesn’t mean you can’t take full advantage of these techniques and recipes. This cast-iron grill pan from fan-favorite Lodge  can become a workhorse for your kitchen grilling all your faves on a 16 x 9- inch surface with raised ridges to sear foods. This pan is even reversible with a flat side that’s perfect for weekend brunch faves like pancakes, French toast or even sandwiches and ready to use right away. This pan is also oven and broiler safe.

Did we miss any of your favorite vegan grilling techniques? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter.

Related on Organic Authority
How to Grill Vegetables to Absolute Perfection (Secrets Revealed!)
Vegan Hot Dogs: Health or Unnatural?
Do Your Vegetarian Hot Dogs Contain Meat? Revealing Study Looks at DNA

Vegan grilling image via Shutterstock

Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.



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19 Healthy Sandwiches With 5 Ingredients or Less

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

I have a hard time getting myself to eat lunch. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I usually forget to because I’m so preoccupied with work. Once I get into that writing flow, there’s no prying me away from my computer for very long. Which means if a lunch needs more than 10 minutes to make, then I’m probably not going to make it.

I can usually count on a sandwich as something I can throw together quickly, but sometimes even they get overly complicated. Not five-ingredient sandwiches, though. With just bread, veggies, protein, and maybe a spread, they’re as simple as it gets, and they never take longer than 10 or 15 minutes to prepare. Another plus: They’re so easy to pack! So if you know you don’t have time or space to whip up lunch in the middle of the day, you can prep a sandwich at night or in the morning, so that it’s ready to go when hunger strikes.

These 19 easy recipes are packed with protein, fiber, and healthy carbs, so they’ll keep you satisfied. Most are perfect for a packed lunch, but there are some breakfast sandwiches included, too! And while they may be simple, they definitely aren’t boring.

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How To Cook Tomatillos: (Plus 5 Amazing Tomatillo Recipes!)

How To Cook Tomatillos: 5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love

Tomatillos are a delicious member of the tomato family essential to many Mexican recipes. They may seem challenging but they are quite easy to cook. We’re sharing 3 easy ways to cook tomatillos and 5 tomatillo recipes that’ll make you a fan of this vibrant fruit.

How To Cook Tomatillos: 5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll LoveTomatillos are often mistaken for green tomatoes but they are quite different in terms of flavor and texture. Tomatillos are covered by a thin, paper-like inedible husk which once peeled away, reveals a vibrant, green glossy fruit.

The tomatillo thrives in autumn but can still be found year around in most grocery stores. When selecting tomatillos, choose ones that are both firm and have tight-fitting husks. If the husk is loose, check inside to make sure the interior is unwrinkled and still vibrant. This will indicate the tomatillo is not overripe.

Tomatillos can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or blended in sauces.

How To Prepare Tomatillos

How To Cook Tomatillos: 5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love

5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love

5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love
Remove husks from each tomatillo. Place de-husked tomatillos in a colander. Rinse thoroughly to remove the sticky residue and any dirt.

5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll LoveTransfer to a cutting board and trim any stems. If preparing to use in a sauce, quarter the tomatillos.

How To Cook Tomatillos

How To Cook Tomatillos: 5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love

1. Raw
It’s perfectly safe to eat tomatillos in their raw state, although they may be a bit sour. Counteract the tartness by pairing it with sweet fruit like in the strawberry tomatillo salad recipe below!
2. Sautee
Soften up tomatillos and add flavor by sautéing them. Chop the tomatillos, and then sauté over medium heat with your favorite cooking oil. Add garlic, onion, and sea salt for flavor and sauté until softened.
3. Boil
Tomatillos can be boiled in soups, stews, or for pureeing in a sauce. This method is quick and easy!

Tomatillos Recipes

These tomatillo recipes prove they are good in more than just salsa!

1. Vegan Chilaquiles Recipe

Vegan Chilaquiles Recipe with Cashew Cream and Salsa Verde
Image via Vegan À La Mode

Tomatillos get pureed with jalapenos, garlic, and vegetable broth to make a perfect sauce for vegan chilaquiles in this recipe. Drizzled with cashew cream and served alongside vegan refried beans, these chilaquiles are a crowd-pleaser.

2. Roasted Tomatillos Chickpea Curry

Roasted Tomatillos Chickpea Curry
Image via Chef De Home

Tomatillos and chickpeas pair for a unique take on classic curry from Chef De Home. This warming and comforting dish is the perfect way to use tomatillos during autumn or winter.

3. Watermelon, Strawberry, and Tomatillo Salad

Watermelon, Strawberry, and Tomatillo Salad
Image via Pickled Plum

Sweet strawberries and refreshing watermelon get a tangy twist thanks to raw tomatillos in this delicious salad recipe from Pickled Plum. Serve this up at a summer picnic and you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family!

4. Potato Tacos with Mango and Salsa Verde

Potato Tacos with Mango and Salsa VerdeImage via Vegan À La Mode

Ripe and juicy mango complements the tartness of tomatillos in this potato tacos recipe.

5. Vegan Enchilada Sauce

Vegan Enchilada Sauce
Image via Karissa Bowers

Tomatillos make the perfect base for a verde vegan enchilada sauce. This easy recipe can be prepared in advance and used the next time you’re craving enchiladas!

Related on Organic Authority
What are Tomatillos and Green Tomatoes? Same or Different?
Plant of the Month: 5 FAQ’s About Harvesting Tomatillos
5 Unique Salsa Recipes: Bring More Fiesta to Your Summer

Images of tomatillos via Karissa Bowers


Karissa Bowers
Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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How To Cook Asparagus 5 Ways

How To Cook Asparagus

Asparagus’ adaptable, light flavor makes it a versatile vegetable apt for a variety of cooking methods. This vibrant veggie adds a fresh crunch to salads when served raw, takes on a tender bite when roasted, or develops a crispy, charred flavor when grilled. However you choose to cook it, asparagus remains a standout vegetable of spring.

While asparagus’ peak season is April, it is readily available February through June. It’s likely even available year-round in states such as California. We love cooking with it this time of year since it can be found in abundance both at grocery stores and farmers markets. Asparagus is a member of the  Environmental Working Group’s “Clean Fifteen”, meaning it has a low pesticide load when grown conventionally.

It’s not just asparagus’ versatility that makes it a spring favorite, it also has an abundance of nutrients to boot. Asparagus has high levels of vitamins B1, B2, and K, folate, copper, and selenium. It also has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its antioxidant nutrients. Not to mention asparagus also helps with digestion and blood sugar regulation.

When choosing asparagus, look for dark green and purple tips with freshly cut ends. The stems should be firm and rounded. Avoid spears’ whose ends have dried out as they will lack flavor.

Gather up your asparagus spears and learn how to cook this all-star veggie with us!

Asparagus Purple, Green White shutterstock_367820072
Image of green, white, purple asparagus on slate via Shutterstock

There are three types of asparagus; white, purple, and green. The varying hues indicate a slight difference in flavors. While all are edible and enjoyable, it’s important to note the differences.

White asparagus takes on its colorless hue because it’s grown in the dark which prevents them from producing chlorophyll. White asparagus is considered a delicacy in many cultures and is harder to find due to its more complex method of growth. It also is tougher in texture and more bitter than green asparagus which means it must be peeled and cooked longer. Purple asparagus gets its color from antioxidants known as anthocyanins which are common in purple foods. It also has a sweeter, more fruity flavor than traditional asparagus. It only requires light looking or is even best enjoyed raw.

How To Cook Asparagus 5 Easy Ways

How To Cook Asparagus

1. Raw

If you choosing to eat asparagus raw, we encourage purple asparagus since it lacks bitterness and is instead sweet and fruity. Trim ½ inch of the ends and chop into ¼ inch pieces. Toss with sea salt and pepper and serve as desired.

2. Blanch

To retain asparagus’s vibrant color and enhance the flavor, you can blanch it for a quick cooking method. Simply bring a pot of water to boil and have a nearby bowl of ice water ready. Add trimmed asparagus to the boiling water and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and quickly plunge into the bowl of ice water for one minute. Drain and season with sea salt, lemon juice, or other desired topping.

3. Steam

Steaming asparagus eases the texture and gets rid of any bitterness while still preserving the nutrients. To do so, fill a pot with enough water to reach the bottom of a steaming basket. Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut until it fits easily in the basket. Steam for 3-5 minutes, until fork-tender.

4. Roast

Tried and true, roasted asparagus is swoon-worthy with its tender texture and buttery taste. A little drizzle of olive oil goes a long way as it naturally wilts and becomes moister as it roasts. To achieve perfectly roasted asparagus, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the ends of the asparagus to your preference, making sure to get rid of any woody ends. Drizzle the asparagus with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Squeeze half of a fresh lemon over the asparagus and serve.

5. Grill

Preheat a grill or stovetop grill pan. Trim the ends of the asparagus and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a touch of lemon zest. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place asparagus on the grill diagonally. Grill for about 5 minutes, tossing halfway through so all sides are evenly cooked. Remove from grill and top with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Asparagus Recipes

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine
Image via Karissa Bowers

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine
Pair chargrilled asparagus with fettuccine noodles and a white wine sauce for a refreshing spring dinner.

Pan-Grilled Asparagus and Endive with Fava Beans, Orange and Basil Recipe
Image via Erin Kunkel

Pan-Grilled Asparagus and Endive with Fava Beans, Orange and Basil
This endive salad features pan-grilled asparagus making it the perfect, refreshing way to use asparagus during late spring and early summer.

Whole-Wheat Asparagus Tart Recipe with Ricotta-Egg Filling
Image of asparagus quiche via Shutterstock

Whole-Wheat Asparagus Tart Recipe with Ricotta-Egg Filling
For chilly days, warm up with this comforting and aromatic baked whole wheat tart topped with asparagus.

Related on Organic Authority
4 Tasty Asparagus Recipes for a Springtime Meatless Monday Meal
7 Spring Vegetables: From Peas to Purple Asparagus
Meatless Monday Recipe Roundup: The Asparagus Cleanse

Images of asparagus on wood board via Karissa Bowers


Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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5 Cauliflower Rice Recipes to Try Now

Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Lower your carb intake and sneak in some veggie goodness with these light and healthy cauliflower rice recipes!

By swapping cauliflower for rice, you’ll be saving time, carbs, and even a bit of money since you are forgoing takeout when you make this.

Not only is cauliflower rice easy to make, it’s also fun. Cauliflower gets morphed into a fluffy rice like texture with a simple whirl of a food processor or swipe of a grater! Both methods achieve the fluffy base, without having to wait the normal 30 minutes to an hour it takes to cook rice.

Cauliflower is chock full of health benefits and has been commonly used as a weight loss recommended food. Its versatility allows it to even be morphed into mashed “potatoes” and even a creamy, healthy alfredo sauce.

Plus, it’s readily available at grocery stores and farmers market any time of the year. It’s also on EWG’s Clean Fifteen meaning it’s safe to buy conventional cauliflower if you can’t find or prefer not to buy the organic cauliflower.

While 1 cup of cooked white rice contains approximately 45 grams of carbs, 1 head of cauliflower only contains 29 grams of carbs. Cauliflower also is full of necessary nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber.

When buying cauliflower, make sure the vegetable is firm and without discoloration. Make sure the florets are still tightly packed together to ensure you are buying the freshest head.

Cauliflower rice is extremely versatile and can be used to replace rice in just about any dish. Use it in stir fry, burrito bowls, and so much more. Try one of our cauliflower rice recipes below for a tasty first try of this grain-free staple.

What You’ll Need
1 head of cauliflower
Chef’s knife
A food processor or box grater
Tea towel

Directions
How To Make Cauliflower Rice


1. Rinse head of cauliflower and then pat dry. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut the stem off by cutting the base with a sharp chef’s knife. Discard the stem and surrounding greens.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice
2. Section the cauliflower into smaller pieces by quartering it. Now you are left with 4 medium-sized pieces of cauliflower which will be easier to work with. Rinse each piece thoroughly, making sure to get out any dirt. Pat dry.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice

3. If using a food processor, break the cauliflower into smaller pieces by separating the florets and placing them into the food processor with the S blade attached.

You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of the food processor.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice

4. If proceeding with the food processor, pulse cauliflower until it has been chopped into small, rice-like pieces.

If using a box grater, grate the cauliflower through the medium sized holes into a large bowl.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice

5. Transfer cauliflower to a clean tea towel. Cover with another tea towel and press out any moisture thoroughly. This will allow the rice to absorb more flavor once you cook it.

Now the cauliflower rice is ready to use in one of the below cauliflower rice recipes.

5 Sensational Cauliflower Rice Recipes

These cauliflower rice recipes are packed with flavor and will bring your cauliflower rice to life!

Vegetable Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe

Vegetable Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe
Image of fried cauliflower rice via Shutterstock

This recipe will bring you back to comforting memories of ordering takeout and enjoying a hearty carton of fried rice. Except you won’t be feeling sluggish afterward as this delicious fried rice recipe is made with cauliflower rice. Swap the eggs for tofu to make this entree vegan.

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

Burrito Bowl with Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Image via Love and Lemons

Put a healthy spin on a traditional burrito bowl with this recipe by Love and Lemons. The burrito bowl’s base is cauliflower rice and is topped with black beans, corn tortilla strips, and mango plus a chile cashew cream drizzle!

Cauliflower Rice Sushi Roll

Cauliflower Rice Sushi RecipeImage via 8th and Lake

Lighten up your next sushi night and save money by making it at home with this cauliflower rice sushi recipe from 8th and Lake. The sushi is filled with more veggie goodness like sliced carrots, avocado, and purple cabbage making it a healthy wholesome dish.

Vegan Vegetable Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Vegetable Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Image via Greener Resolutions

Curry is a classic warming and flavorful Thai dish that can be quite heavy. But this cauliflower rice curry recipe from Greener Resolutions is much healthier than the takeout version. With a creamy coconut milk-based sauce and a handful of veggies, this delicious dish will leave you wondering why you even considered takeout.

Crispy Peanut Baked Tofu with Cauliflower Rice

Crispy Peanut Tofu with Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Image via Minimalist Baker
The comforting creaminess of peanut butter livens up this cauliflower rice recipe from Minimalist Baker. Crispy tofu is a slathered in a savory peanut sauce and served on a bed of cauliflower rice. A touch of bok choy adds some a nutrient-packed punch of green to this dish.

Related on Organic Authority
Arsenic In Your Rice? How to Decrease the Contamination Risk
Vegan Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (Fewer Carbs no Dairy)
Our Top 4 Vegetarian Comfort Food Recipes with Cauliflower for Meatless Monday

Images via Karissa Bowers


Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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Make This Epic Berry Dark Chocolate Bark With Just 5 Ingredients

dark chocolate bark

Nothing is more delicious than dark chocolate, except, maybe, for homemade dark chocolate bark studded with frozen berries and coconut flakes. Here’s how to make the most epic berry chocolate bark ever.

The base of this dark chocolate bark is cacao butter. Not to be confused with coconut butter, cacao butter (also called cocoa butter) is the solidified oil extracted from the cacao bean. It’s used as the fat source in making chocolate, and gives chocolate bars a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth feel.

Cacao butter shares similar characteristics with coconut oil, especially in its medium-chain fatty acid content. The fats in cacao butter are associated with reduced risk of heart disease and hardening of the arteries.

These fats, coupled with cacao butter’s high polyphenol compound content, have shown cacao to be an anti-inflammatory food.

Cacao powder adds flavor, depth, and color to this dark chocolate bark. Raw cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols – more so than green tea and red wine, according to a 2003 study. These compounds include theaflavin, epigallocatechin gallate, resveratrol, and procyanidin, all of which have been studied for their chemoprotective and heart protective abilities.

Frozen berries boost the antioxidant content of this dark chocolate bark even more, while providing a natural sweet flavor. I prefer my dark chocolate bark really dark (without adding in any sweetener), as the berries sweeten it enough. If you prefer a slightly sweeter bark, add in pure maple syrup or raw honey.

A sprinkle of coconut flakes is a delicious way to add texture and flavor to this dark chocolate bark. Choose an unsweetened version of coconut flakes to keep the sugar content low.

Creamy, decadent, and totally chocolaty, this dark chocolate bark is the most delicious sweet treat ever.

dark chocolate bark

Berry Dark Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cacao butter, chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1-3 Tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
  • ½ cup mixed frozen berries
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Add cacao butter to a saucepan and heat over low heat until completely liquid.
  2. Stir in coconut oil until combined.
  3. Whisk in cacao powder and sweetener, if using.
  4. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper. Pour liquid chocolate into baking tray and dot with frozen berries and coconut flakes. Place in the freezer to set for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove chocolate from the freezer and gently break into pieces.
  6. Store chocolate bark pieces in the freezer where they will keep for up to five months.

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http://www.organicauthority.com/how-to-make-epic-berry-dark-chocolate-bark/

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Photos by Kate Gavlick

 


Kate Gavlick

Kate Gavlick

Kate is a Nutritionist with a Master’s of Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and the blogger and photographer of Vegukate. Kate believes in nourishing the whole body with real, vibrant foods that feed the mind, body, soul, gut, and every single little cell. Her philosophy is simple when it comes to food and nourishment: cut the processed junk, listen to your body, eat by the seasons, eat plates and bowls filled with color, stress less, and enjoy every single bite. When she’s not cooking in her too tiny Portland kitchen, Kate can be found perusing farmer’s markets, doing barre classes, hiking, reading, and exploring.


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5 Delicious Non-Alcoholic Drinks: Time to Party Prohibition-Style

 

5 Delicious Non-Alcoholic Drinks: Time to Party Prohibition-Style
iStock/GMVozd
 

If you’re cutting back on alcohol, you may often find yourself faced with rather paltry cocktail party options: sugary sodas and juices or hydrating-but-ho-hum sparkling water. Luckily, that’s no longer the case: a host of non-alcoholic drinks are emerging on the market that aren’t just as delicious as wine and spirits (if not more so) but are also quite a bit healthier than boozier beverages.

monk elixers

1. Monk Provisions

Folks looking for non-alcoholic drinks that still allow them to let loose will enjoy MONK Drinking Botanicals, which combine natural herbs, fresh-pressed juices, and a low dose of cannabis.

Each four-ounce bottle provides a similar effect to one glass of wine within five to ten minutes of drinking, creating “an uplifting effect that is gentle and desirable,” according to the company.

“I’ve heard our customers say that MONK is like ‘a sigh of relief’ and that it makes you ‘feel relaxed and a little giggly,’” says Monk co-founder Aaron Burke.

The elixirs are available in four flavors: Ginger-Maple Shrub, Grapefruit-Cayenne, Turmeric-Lemon, Rosemary-Orange Peel, and Cinnamon Citrus Peel, each of which is made with organic or sustainable ingredients and created with both flavor and healthfulness in mind.

“We started by looking at the known health benefits botanicals, even before focusing on taste profiles,” says Burke. “It was critical to us to have this foundation of health. Then the real fun began when we started playing with flavor profiles, leveraging the talent of a couple good friends, one who is a Los Angeles-based herbalist and wildcrafter, the other who is a well-loved mixologist in the LA cocktail scene.”

The goal, he says, was to marry exceptional taste and health benefits; MONK fans call it a big success.

5 Delicious Non-Alcoholic Drinks: Time to Party Prohibition-Style
iStock/PeopleImages

2. Blüm

Blüm’s elixirs rely entirely on the power of natural herbs and adaptogens to create either an uplifting or a calming profile. The company’s current product line includes Uplift, which is loaded with antioxidants and yerba mate for a gentle boost; and Zen, the hibiscus and chamomile blend is better for relaxing and unwinding.

Blüm Founder Candace Coleman was inspired to create the products while recovering from traumatic brain injury.

“Healing from my brain trauma was a patient process,” recalls Coleman. “I was eager to rejoin the social scene and there was nothing on the menu that was healthy or appealing – There were no sophisticated, beverages for the non-drinker.”

Blüm is not certified organic, but many of the ingredients that make up the cocktails are, including most of the flowers and herbs that make up the blends. This philosophy will also inspire two new products which should shortly be joining the line.

belvoir elderflower presse

3. Elderflower Presse

In place of Champagne or other bubbly, Elderflower Presse is a fantastic option. The sugar-free beverage is handmade in Leicestershire with a combination of fresh organic elderflower, lemon juice, and sparkling water, all of which are sourced ultra-locally from the Vale of Belvoir.

This small, local company started as a family business a generation ago; today, demand is so high that Belvoir calls on the local community to unite each season to pick each and every elderflower by hand.

“The secret of a really good elderflower cordial is to use masses of flowers that have been picked in the sunshine when they’re warm and heavy with yellow pollen, then get them into the vat within three hours,” explains Peverel Manners, son of co-founder Lord John Manners. “This gives the drink its delicate floral taste.”

seabold ginger beer

4. Seabold Ginger Beer

A true ginger beer with its kick of spice is the perfect alternative to a cocktail; the only problem is that most ginger ales these days are far more sugar than they are ginger. Brothers Pat and John Mathisen, however, are repopularizing the more robust traditional British ginger beer with Seabold, a made-in-LA certified organic beverage. Made with fresh, organic ginger, lemons, cane sugar, and spices, Seabold’s original ginger beer packs a spicy punch.

Seabold also manufactures a unique turmeric and black pepper ginger beer for a unique spin on the classic that allows drinkers to take advantage of the increased bioavailability of curcumin when paired with black pepper.

Strawberry Mojito
iStock/Barcin

5. Homemade Strawberry Mojito Mocktail

If you’d rather rely on your own mixology skills to meet your needs for non-alcoholic drinks, a strawberry mojito mocktail could be just the thing.

Unlike many other mocktails, this recipe doesn’t rely on tons of sugar to give it flavor. Instead, fresh organic fruit and herbs are paired with a hint of raw honey to make these mojitos as beautiful as they are delicious. They’re sure to make all of your guests feel special.

Related on Organic Authority
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11 Compelling Reasons to Stop Drinking Alcohol (At Least for a Little While)


Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.



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