Monday, October 20, 2014

Fruity Lentil Salad with Persimmon, Apple, and Avocado (and Ten More Meatless Salad Ideas with Persimmons)

Fruity Lentil Salad with Persimmon, Apple, and Avocado found on
The combination of lentils + fruit really worked in this Fruity Lentil Salad with Persimmon, Apple, and Avocado!

I'm a huge fan of lentil salads (like this Vegetarian Lentil Taco Salad or this Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad), but I have to admit combining lentils, fruit, and avocados into this Fruity Lentil Salad with Persimmon, Apple, and Avocado was thinking outside the box, even for a lentil-lover like myself.  But please believe me when I say that this slighty-sweet salad with lentils and fruit was just delicious!  

I learned to really like persimmons when a blogging friend sent me some Fuyu Persimmons in the mail a few years ago.  Since then I've bought a few persimmons every fall when they start showing up in the stores in Utah.  It's persimmon season right now and you need a few persimmons in your life, don't you?   (And if the idea of persimmons + lentils is just too far outside the box, check after the recipe for more persimmon salad ideas!)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Recipe for Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

This Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna is so delicious, you won't even miss the noodles!

(For Phase One Fridays I feature Phase One Recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites. Phase One Recipes are also Low-Carb and Gluten-Free.   This delicious mock lasagna that I first posted in 2012 has all the flavors that make lasagna good without the pasta, enjoy!)

I love creating Phase One recipe ideas beyond the usual grilled-meat-and-salad meals that many people rely on when they're watching their weight.  Not that I don't enjoy a delicious piece of meat or fish and a tasty green salad, but after a few days of that I start to crave something that's more in the "comfort food" category.  I had comfort food in mind when I came up with the idea for Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin, and this Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna is another comforting casserole that's so loaded with flavor that you won't even miss the lasagna noodles.  When I made this I ate it for lunch and dinner two days in a row, and if I hadn't put some in the freezer, I might have had it the next day as well!  If you're not a fan of kale yet, other sturdy greens like chard or collards would probably work, but I don't think softer greens like spinach would hold up that well in this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on
So many good flavors in this Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers.

I've mentioned how I'm working to embrace ground turkey, after years of thinking it was rather bland in the flavor department.  And lately I'm really loving it, especially when it's in a highly-seasoned recipe like this Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers.   In this dish the oil is seasoned with onion onion and garlic, and then the cooked turkey is flavored with a stir-fry sauce that has fresh-frozen lime juice, Red Boat Fish Sauce, Sriracha Sauce, Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce, and just a touch of Agave Nectar.  With the addition of red bell this recipe has the sour-sweet-spicy-salty-bitter flavor notes that make Thai cooking so distinctive.  

If you're new to stir-frying, you might want to read the basic rules for stir-frying that I learned many years ago when I studied Chinese cooking.  Once you've mastered those basic techniques, you can make an endless variety of good-tasting dishes!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Learning Food Photography with White on Rice Couple and Things I'm Thinking About on Tuesday (10-14-2014)

Todd and Diane's huge collection of cutting boards, captured by iPhone!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you might have noticed that a few weekends ago I was enthusiastically sharing about a  food photography workshop hosted by my good friends and amazing photographers, Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple.  I've heard Todd and Diane talk about food photography at several blogging conferences, so I knew the workshop held in their fabulous food photography studio outside Los Angeles would be informative, but I never imagined how life-changing it would end up being for me.  Two days of listening to the experts, watching demonstrations, and practicing new shooting methods really got me thinking outside the box on my personal food photography journey.

Plus Todd and Diane had visited my house on the tour for their gorgeous cookbook, so they could help me with one of my biggest photography challenges, which is too many big windows in the rooms where I normally shoot.  When I got home, I bought black foam core boards and clamps the very next day!  A few food bloggers have been asking me about the workshop, so I thought I'd share some highlights  and a few of my photos.    

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Burrata (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Burrata found on
Discovering Burrata Cheese at Costco inspired these Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Burrata!

You probably could guess that I'm one of those food-obsessed people who loves to try out new things, and lately I've been hearing about Burrata, a fresh Italian cheese made from Mozzarella and cream.  I think that sounds amazing, and when I spotted some Burrata at Costco recently I had to try it.  Google told me that Burrata is good with pasta, so I immediately thought Zucchini Noodles, and my niece Kara and I came up with these Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Burrata, which were really delicious.  We had fresh basil, which also bumped up the flavors here and really went well with the cheese.

I enjoyed the Burrata a lot and it's something I would buy again.  But, it's fairly expensive and once you open the package it only keeps for about 24 hours.  If you don't want to buy a special cheese just to make this, I'd recommend soft goat cheese, or even fresh mozzarella for a substitute.  The fresh basil is also optional; use any dried or fresh herb that appeals to you if you don't have basil.

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