Who said ‘Meatless Monday’ is boring? My husband Jon has made some accusations in the past, but all fun things are happening with these grilled cauliflower steaks tonight!! This might be one of my favorite summer vegetarian dishes ever and the family agrees. Served with a side of authentic chimichurri sauce and a refreshing white bean salad – what’s not to love? This summer vegetarian meal is packed with protein, fiber and a healthy dose of vegetables. Tonight is anything but boring – so get ready to fire up the grill.
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri and White Bean Salad
- 1 Head Josie's Organic Cauliflower
- 2 Tbsp Oil avocado oil
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Parsley chopped
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 4-5 cloves Garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp Red Onion minced
- 1 Jalapeno chopped
- Salt + Pepper to taste
White Bean Salad
- 2 15 oz. can White Beans
- 1 Red Bell Pepper diced
- 1/3 cup Red Onion diced
- 1/4 cup Parsley finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Cilantro finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice freshly Squeezed
- 1 tsp Honey
- Salt + Pepper to taste
Grilled Cauliflower + Chimichurri
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Prepare cauliflower steaks by trimming stem and slicing into 1-1 1/2 inch thick steaks. You can get 2-3 good steaks out of 1 head of cauliflower. Save any leftover florets for roasting or turning into cauliflower rice.
- Brush each side of cauliflower steak with avocado oil and salt. Grill for 5-7 minutes on each side, until they are charred and easily pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, add all chimichurri ingredients to food processor. Pulse until well combined.
White Bean Salad
- In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Fold in remaining ingredients for white bean salad combining well.
- Top white bean salad with cauliflower steak and drizzle with chimichurri sauce!
From time to time, I work with amazing companies I believe in to develop recipes for my website. Today’s post was brought to you by Josie’s Organics. All opinions are 100% my own and I thank you for supporting the brands that encourage my creativity.
Shop Small – Shop local – shop with the friendly team at Avon Prime Meats located in Avon, Connecticut! You know I am a huge fan of shopping local, supporting my community, and selecting the best foods for my family to eat. Shopping at Avon Prime Meats covers all three of these categories! With a large selection of quality prime meats, gourmet grocery products, prepared foods – as well as fresh local produce and baked goods, they really have it ALL!! When we first moved to Connecticut, my mother-in-law introduced us to their location. She is obsessed with the marinated steak tips and we eat them at her house frequently! Living close by in West Hartford, we make stops by the Avon shop to pick up specialty cuts and local treats when preparing for special dinner’s at home! Last week I was able to catch up with General Manager, Rocio Olivares, to take a deeper dive behind the scenes of our well loved community Butcher, Grocer and Caterer!
Chances are you’ve heard the terms Prime, Choice, or Select, when referring to cuts of beef. Maybe you’ve even noticed the grading shields on packages of beef you bought at the grocery story. But, do you know the difference between the 3? It can definitely be confusing, but Rocio and her knowledgeable team are able to help you select what you need to prepare the perfect meal factoring in tips on cuts to select, preparation tips, and dietary needs with an on-site Nutritionist as part of her team!
Where to start at Avon Prime? With the Butcher of course! Only quality meats are selected from this skilled team! Overall, beef is graded into either Select, Choice, or Prime, with Prime being the highest of quality. We have to look at a few things to help define this – quality, tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass. Avon Prime carries a large selection of Premium and Prime cuts bringing you some of the highest quality- all natural beef to choose from.
This shop is pure magic and offers more than quality beef! Prepared items or take out meals are available in the cooler sections! Some favorites I found include: Chicken Marsala with Wild Mushrooms & Garlic Herb Zucchini Noodles, Kale & White Bean Salad, and Rainbow Chard with Garlic Scapes, are prepared daily by in-house chefs! The kids love sitting on the cow bench in the front of the store while I pick up items we need.
Specialty items and sales are featured in the shop weekly, but a few things I picked up on a recent trip included a killer Tomahawk Steak and Copper River Salmon. Minimal preparation needed for both of these beautiful delights because they are perfection on their own. Salt and pepper to both sides of the Tomahawk and into the smoker it went. After a nice slow smoke, we performed a reverse sear for a perfectly pink and tender Rib Eye dinner! As for the Copper River Salmon (known as the worlds best Salmon), wild harvested from Alaska’s renown Copper River, we took care and brushed it lightly with butter and seasoned with salt & pepper baking it at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes for a heart healthy meal.
One of my favorite parts about Avon Prime beyond the quality meats is being able to truly shop from some of the areas local farmers and artisans alike. Some of my favorite CT locals that can be found here are: Sweet Fever Cakes, Hartford Baking Company, Brewery Legitimus, Browns Harvest, and Tulmeadow Farms. If you are a food lover local to Connecticut, or just passing through, take a moment to pop into Avon Prime Meats! You can pick up a sandwich at the deli counter, grab some meals to-go, or pick up groceries to make an awesome quality meal at home. If you are making a dinner for 2 or hosting a holiday party, a knowledgeable team member will be happy to help you plan accordingly.
Avon Prime Meats is located at 395 West Main Street Avon, CT www.avonprimemeats.com
Kicking up a weeknight salad with Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower and homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing! This salad is anything but boring! Fresh crisp Josie’s Organic Celery and Romaine Lettuce topped with bursts of heat from roasted buffalo Cauliflower. Finish with salty, sharp, and tangy, easy-to crumble blue cheese, for a fast vegetarian meal loaded with flavor!
Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Salad
Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Salad
- 1 head Josie's Organics Cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
- 2 Tbsp Butter melted
- 2 Tbsp Buffalo Sauce or hot sauce
- 1 head Josie's Organics Romaine Lettuce chopped
- 2 Carrots peeled into ribbons
- 3 Josie's Organics Celery Stalks chopped
- 1/2 Shallot thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk
- 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 3 Tbsp Chives minced
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Toss cauliflower florets with oil and pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast the cauliflower until it begins to soften and brown on the bottom,
about 15 minutes.
- Combine hot sauce and melted butter in a small glass bowl. Add the roasted cauliflower and toss. Return the cauliflower to the baking sheet and roast until the sauce is thickened, about 5 more minutes
- Chop lettuce + celery and thinly slice the shallot. Run vegetable peeler down length of carrots, shaving off long ribbons.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well. Taste
and adjust seasoning if necessary. Chill until ready to serve by tossing salad in dressing and topping with blue cheese crumbles and Buffalo cauliflower.
It’s officially summer time!! Fire up the grill and give me all the the wooden skewers because dinner tonight is being served on sticks!! Meat on a stick, with the best seasonings you can find at Spiceology. Veggies on a stick and pineapple rounds… they are all going on the grill for a dinner or happy hour snack that’s ready in less than 30 minutes!! I even jumped on TV to show you how to do it! Check out all the fun I had during my Better Connecticut segment here!
Grilled Chicken Skewers + Grilled Pineapple Rounds
- 6 Boneless Chicken Thighs
- 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
- 1/2 Lime fresh squeezed juice
- 2 Tbsp Avocado Oil or Canola Oil
- 1/2 cup Spiceology Chile Lime Spice or favorite grilling spice blend
- Scallions chopped, garnish
- 1 Pineapple cut 1/4" slices
- Soak 12 wooden skewers in water for about 3 hours.
- Preheat grill to high.
- Skewer each boneless chicken thigh with 2 skewers so they lay flat.
- Whisk together the pineapple juice, lime juice, oil, and chile lime spice blend. Brush on marinade to each side of the skewered chicken!
- Place thighs on heated grill, cover, and cook until each side becomes golden brown and slightly charred, about 4-5 minutes per side. Do the same to the pineapple slices.
- Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut the thighs down the center giving you 2 skewers per thigh. Garnish with scallions and grilled pineapple.
Challenge Accepted!!! When Chef George Noujaim of Noujaim’s Bistro said he made the best Maryland Crab Cakes, I took this statement to heart. For a Maryland girl who loves her Mama’s cooking and grew up eating plump handcrafted Maryland Blue Cakes, this was a bold statement!! Standing strong on his word, Chef George took on my mom head to head for a Crab Cake Challenge in his Bistro located in Winsted, CT.
My Mom working her magic in Chef George’s kitchen where the two of them whipped up 28 plates (56 Crab Cakes) in a blind tasting for customers on June 21st, 2019.
Set in the heart of Winsted, CT you can find a cozy Bistro filled with love and life from owner and Chef, George Noujaim! His sister, Noha, is a burst of sunshine working away hand crafting treats like Kibbieh, Maamoul and Baklava! Kibbieh, is made of bulgur (cracked wheat) stuffed with ground beef, onions, and spices!
In the main dining room you will find local artist’s creations, treasures from Lebanon, and often live entertainment! Dining with Noujaim is more than tasting a meal packed with traditional Lebanese flavors, it’s a meal crafted with passion, love, and a story behind each dish coming out of his cozy space. Chef George steps from behind his kitchen to greet his customers and takes time to remember what’s most important about enjoying a meal … the good company that should follow.
The Crab Cake Challenge was no disappointment to anyone who was able to reserve a table for this sold out event! In the end, both Chef George and my Mom brought passion and love to every deliciously handcrafted Crab Cake that left the kitchen! Two very different style’s of Crab Cakes but, again I say, “Don’t mess with this Maryland Mama who knows her way around a traditional Crab Cake!” Winner Winner Mama’s Crab Cake Dinner!
Noujaims Bistro is a Restaurant with Lebanese heritage located in the heart of Winsted, Connecticut. Chef George offers both catering, take out, and reservations for dinner – all information can be found here!
Introducing the summer pasta salad that will have everyone excited at your next gathering!! This dish is loaded with crispy bacon and grilled broccoli – what’s not to love here?? Yup, I said grilled broccoli…because who really wants to turn on the oven in the summer? By lightly grilling whole broccoli crowns, allowing the outer edges to get slightly charred, a sweet/nutty flavor develops that is seriously delicious in this dish!
Raw, thinly sliced red onion, and beautiful shell pasta help to add in different textures and color to this bright salad! Tossed with homemade fresh herb dressing and serve cold with cubed avocado!!
Grilled Broccoli and Bacon Pasta Salad
- 1 lb Pasta Shells or Bow Tie
- 1 lb Bacon thick cut
- 1 package Josie's Organics Broccoli Crowns
- Avocado Oil Spray
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes cut in half
- 1/4 cup Red Onion thinly sliced
- 1 Avocado cubed
- 3/4 cup Greek Yogurt plain
- 3/4 cup Mayo
- 3 tbsp White Vinegar
- 3 tbsp Chives minced
- 3 tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley minced
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- Cook pasta as instructed.
- Warm Cast-iron skillet to medium heat and add bacon to pan. Cook until the bacon starts to brown on one side. Use tongs to flip the bacon. Move cooked bacon to dry plate lined with paper towel to absorb grease. Once bacon has cooled, chop into medium pieces.
- Spray broccoli crown with avocado oil and place over medium heat. Grill for about 20 minutes (turning every few minutes) until the thickest parts of broccoli are crisp around the edges. Once cooled, cut the florets free beneath the flower canopy into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, bacon, broccoli, tomatoes, red onion.
- In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together. Add to pasta mixture and mix well.
- Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator and top with cubed avocado before serving.
Beautiful Shrimp Scampi!! Garlic. Lemon. Butter. Need I say more?? Fire up the grill for some garlic toast points and saute shrimp in garlic! This dish is simmered in a light chicken broth for a smooth flavor. Traditionally, this recipe uses white wine, but I swap wine for broth because I always have it on hand, and I can reuse the remaining broth throughout the week in other dishes. Just know you can go either way here – white wine or both (it will still be amazing).
Pile these shrimp beauties up on garlic toast for an appetizer or serve as a main dish! This classic butter-garlic sauce is one of my favorites!! It literally has me licking the pan clean. I serve this as an appetizer straight out of the pan because it allows everyone to spoon the sauce over their toast. YUM!!!
Not in the mood for toast? I totally get it! Swap toast for a favorite pasta! The pasta soaks up all the sauce the some way!! Looking for a low carb version? Serve this over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. Either way you decide to serve this dish it’s sure to be a winner for any garlic shrimp lover!!
Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Toast
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 5 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1 1/4 lb Large Shrimp peeled, deveined, + tail on
- 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
- 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup Parsley chopped
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- 1 Baguette cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 tbsp Butter melted
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- Peel and devein shrimp by making a shallow slit down the middle of the back to expose the black intestine. Lift out the black vein with the point of a paring knife and wipe it off. Keep base of tail on so the tip of shrimp stay juicy.
- Heat olive oil and 2 tbsp. of butter in large pan or skillet. Add in the minced garlic and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add in shrimp, salt + pepper to taste and saute for about 2 minutes on one side. Once the shrimp begin to turn pink, flip them over using tongs.
- Pour in chicken broth and the red pepper flakes and simmer for about 2 minutes. The sauce will reduce by about half.
- Add in the remaining 2 tbsp of butter, lemon juice and parsley and remove the pan from the heat.
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- Cut baguette into 1/2 inch slices
- In a small bowl, combine butter + minced garlic and melt in microwave. Brush melted butter + garlic onto both sides of the baguette slices.
- Place the bread on the grill. Cook and turn occasionally, until the bread is crisp on both sides.
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting two Connecticut Moms, Tiffany and Jenn, who are on a mission to make ALL kids feel inclusive at special events- even if your child has a top 8 allergen! The mission that started the joint venture was simple. Separately, they were two moms who scrambled to find specialty bakeries, or out-there recipes to accommodate the food allergies of their children. After searching and researching the market, they found nothing that totally worked for them. Tired of creating large batches of cupcakes for one child where the rest ended up in the freezer or eventually the trash, and totally burnt out on running to a specialty store to pick up one cupcake, they decided to take matters into their own hands! They spent a year working with high quality ingredients in their home kitchens to develop custom cupcake kits that are safe for kids, fun to make, and convenient for parents!!!
A custom cupcake kit?? It’s an absolutely brilliant idea when you think about it!! A kit that is fun, interactive, tastes amazing for everyone, and best of all, includes EVERYTHING you need to make 2 or 20 cupcakes!!! That’s right, these ladies thought of everything and I was not surprised because they are moms on a mission!! They created the Duo Kits to create two cupcakes (so no more freezing leftovers or wasting them) or a Party Kit of 20 cupcakes for those larger events or to take to school!! All kits include: the cake mix, frosting mix, disposable frosting bag, the cutest oven-safe baking cups, mini wood spoons, handy carry box/bag and an allergen display sticker so everyone knows who the treat is for and what’s in it! These ladies really nailed it in making something that not only tastes great, but that allows everyone to be inclusive at an event.
Darren and Lillian baked this chocolate Party Kit of 20 for Sunday dinner and we served them to the family. If you don’t know this about Italian families, they can be brutally honest – especially when it comes to food. Everyone at the dinner loved them not knowing they were baked without gluten, dairy, or eggs!! You can read more about Tiffany & Jenn and purchase Fun for all Foods products here.