Eating with the Armstrongs

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First of all, Happy Father’s Day to my amazing dad, father-in-law, my Grandpa & my Papau! We are so thankful for these men who love us, generously support us, and have consistently cared for us for so many years.

When I was little my dad’s specialty was splatter: a combination of fried spam, onions and potatoes. And I have to tell you, it was delicious. He has since learned how to make gourmet omelets and is a grill master, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he brought out his splatter recipe again.  There are so many things I love about my dad. He is the funniest man I know, extremely creative, hard working, and generous. He definitely set the bar high in my mind of the kind of man I wanted to marry. I’m thankful that my husband fits the bill in every way. I love you, Daddy, and am happy to celebrate you today! I wish I could give you a head rub while you watch golf. Love from Baton Rouge!

Here’s what we’ve enjoyed lately!

Creamy Polenta w/ Chicken Sausage & Peppers

Definitely a recent favorite! Polenta is so easy to whip up and makes a delicious base for the sausage and peppers. I actually used a Cajun Sausage that I got from our Farmer’s Market, which added the perfect spice. This meal came together quickly and easily and was thoroughly enjoyed by both of us!

Spring Vegetable Potstickers

Well, I really only made the vegetable filling as I could not find wonton or dumpling wrappers at our local Whole Foods. But the filling was absolutely delicious served atop noodles. I did not use tofu but I did add ground turkey for some protein. The flavors in this recipe are fresh and bright.

Pepper Chicken Nachos

We love nachos, so the substitution of bell peppers for chips was excited to try. The recipe calls for mini peppers, but I just used regular bell peppers. This is another simple and flavor packed meal.

Tropical Chewy Granola Bars

These gluten free granola bars are packed with power-food ingredients and wholesome sweetness. I made quite a few recipe swaps: dried cherries for the dried mango, chocolate chips for the dried banana, pecans for the macadamia nuts, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract for the vanilla bean seeds. Tasty and good-for-you!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

In the attempt to succeed at a gluten free summer diet, I have made this “pizza crust” twice! The flavor is delicious but I’m still working on getting a crunchier consistency throughout. A major adjustment I made to the recipe was to cook the crust at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes (periodically checking), instead of the 450 degrees the recipe called for. This created a much better crust, but I am going to try an even longer cooking time at a lower temperature. We topped ours with a simple tomato sauce, sausage, basil, spinach (from my garden!) and just a tiny bit of Parmesan. Try it!

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Roasted Lemony Tahini Cauliflower

I know that cauliflower may not be your vegetable of choice. I was in the same boat until I tried this cauliflower and oh my goodness now cauliflower might be my favorite food.

I’m not exaggerating. I wish there could be a scratch and sniff option on food blogs because if you could smell this cauliflower roasting in the oven, the scent of garlicky olive oil rising from the sauté pan, and taste the bright flavors of lemon and tangy tahini…wow, my mouth is watering.

The flavor combination of lemon, olive oil, garlic, and tahini is in my opinion-the best. Tahini is a sesame paste found in the health section of your grocery store. It’s popular in Greek and Lebanese cooking and has a nutty flavor with a creamy consistency. The cauliflower softens when roasted and when mixed with the other ingredients transforms into a melt-in-your mouth dish.

Seriously, everyone I’ve made this for has absolutely loved it. It will change your view of cauliflower forever and you’ll want to eat it every single day.

Ingredients:

Adapted from Phoo-d 

1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (about 1 1/2 lb.)
Pinch of Salt
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
2 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
5 Tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425F with a rack in the top third.

Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Spread the cauliflower florets onto the sheet and drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and then mix the cauliflower around with your hands until well coated. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork-tender and beginning to brown.

While the cauliflower is roasting, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add in the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. When the garlic is fragrant (but before it begins to brown) stir in the tahini, lemon juice, 5 Tablespoons of water, and salt. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the sauce for 1-2 minutes. Add the roasted cauliflower to the sauce and mix to combine. Serve immediately and be amazed.