Cauliflower Tater Tots

These cauliflower tater tots are a delicious and super clever way to pack some veggies into a classic childhood snack.

An image of a smiling curly haired woman standing in front of a giant bowl of five cauliflower tater tots.

Childhood Tots

One of my favorite all-time childhood appetizers were tater tots. I mean, I was introduced to these little cylindrical crisps in my childhood school cafeterias. As I’ve gotten older and am now more aware of my health, I am trying to become more intentional about eating healthier foods.

This cauliflower tater tot recipe is the perfect accompaniment to my mushroom & Swiss burger recipe (or really anything else you may want to eat these with!). If you don’t feel like easting these with anything else, they are perfectly good with a side of sriracha, ketchup, or solo! Whatever floats your boat is the name of this game.

Cauliflower for Picky People!

If you have picky eaters at home and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate more veggies into their plates, consider this recipe. The way we prepare our veggies is everything. Your kids (or spouse!) will want to have more of this dish. 🙂

You can either prepare these tots in an air fryer or oven. They will taste great, regardless of your cooking method. Not only are these tots also lower in carbs, but if you’re adhering to Weight Watchers (and are on the Green plan), one serving will be worth 3 WW smart points.

These mouth-watering cauliflower tater tots will satisfy your savory tooth!
These mouth-watering cauliflower tater tots will satisfy your savory tooth!

Alright, I’ve spoken enough. Let’s move onto the recipe, shall we?!?

Cauliflower Tater Tots

These cauliflower tater tots are a delicious and superclever way to pack some veggies into a classic childhood snack.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: , tater tots, cauliflower, cauliflower tater tots, keto, low-carb
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 166kcal

Equipment

  • Air fryer (optional)

Ingredients

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. oil

Seasonings

  • cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning (Parsley and Oregano)

Instructions

  • Coarsely chop the cauliflower into large, chunkypieces.
  • Afterwards,allow the pieces to boil in rolling hot water for about 3-5 minutes, or untiltender to the touch. Immediately drain.
  • Once the cauliflower finishes cooking, pulse inthe food processor until each of the pieces are roughly the size of grains ofrice (cauliflower rice). Afterwards, transfer the mixture into a large bowl.
  • Combine all of the following into the large bowlof cauliflower rice: the egg, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oil, and Italianseasonings. Mix until everything is well combined.
  • After mixing, take roughly the size of atablespoon of cauliflower rice mixture and form it into the shape of a tatertot and place the taters on a surface sizable enough to contain all of thepieces (about 30-35 tots!)

Air Fryer

  • Gently place enough tater tots in the basket and set on 375f for 20 minutes and flip halfway.

Oven

  • Have preheated oven set at 400 degreesF. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Flip halfway.  Enjoy!

Video

166 calories per serving | 9.5g protein | 10.9g fat | 9g carbs | 3g fiber | 3 WW Smart Points (Green Plan)

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Did you create this dish? What do ya think? Please let me know in the comments, below! 😀


A COMPLETE RICE COOKER CHICKEN DINNER

Whether you’re in the process of moving, or just don’t feel like getting a lot of dishes dirty, I am going to show YOU how to prepare a deliciously flavorful curried chicken dinner that can be 100% prepared in YOUR rice cooker!

A COMPLETE RICE COOKER CHICKEN DINNER RECIPE
A delicious chicken dinner CAN be prepared in your rice cooker!

Turning a New Leaf

So far, these past 8 months of my life have been pretty darn eventful:

  • I quit my cushy Urban Planning job & changed career paths to teaching and pursuing this blog.
  • I got married!
  • I became a very proud cat momma…and…
  • WE MOVED!!

Us moving is a long story, but life gave us an opportunity to change pace and embark upon a new life chapter. So now, my husband, our cat Sweetheart and I recently relocated and are now establishing our roots in Lakeland, Florida. If you are not from Florida, Lakeland is a very charming mid-sized city nestled within the hart of Central Florida. Lush trees and hills amass the landscape, and breath-taking lakes dot the landscape. Lakeland is also located in Polk County, which, for a very long time, has had a long footing in Florida’s Citrus industry. There’s a whole lot of learning and exploring I will be doing around my new town, but I sure do look forward to sharing my new journey with you!

A Moving-Friendly Chicken Dinner?!

Let’s get back to the purpose of this post. For the majority of the month of May, our former apartment was surrounded by boxes that contained the tangible aspects of our life. As a result, most of our pots, pans and cookware were also packed. So what was I to do? As a way to address this dilemma, I turned to my handy-dandy rice cooker as one solution to help ensure that my husband and I could still enjoy a nice, home-cooked meal with a fuss-free touch. I used our rice cooker, because I knew that it would not only be able to cook our rice effectively, but due to its high cooking temperature, could also cook up some chicken pretty darn well. And also, who wants to do tons of dishes?!?

So folks, I bring you with a complete rice cooker chicken dinner recipe. This recipe is so delicious and easy to make, that you could probably even prepare this in a hotel (or even in your office!).

Let’s move onto the recipe, shall we?!?

A Complete Rice Cooker Chicken Dinner

Whether you’re in the process of moving, this delicious chicken dinner that can be 100% prepared in YOUR rice cooker!
Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Caribbean, Indian
Keyword: Chicken, rice cooker meal
Servings: 4
Calories: 540kcal

Equipment

  • Rice cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken thighs
  • cups brown rice
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 lime juiced

Recommended Spices

  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, pepper, and tomato into half-inch cubes. Set aside.
  • Dice the chicken into one-inch cubes. Set aside.
  • Place the following ingredients in your rice cooker in this particular order:
    a. Rice & water
    b. Diced tomato
    c. Chicken
    d. Lime juice
    e. Spices
    f. Onion
    g. Bell Pepper
  • Once all ingredients have been layered in the rice cooker, cover your rice cooker, press the ‘cook’ button and allow everything to cook until the rice cooker indicates that everything is ready.
  • Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition Information (Per Serving):

540 Calories/ 25.5g Protein/ 21g Fat/ 61.6g Carbohydrates/ 4g Fiber/ 10 WW Smart Points (green plan)

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Did you create this dish? What do ya think? Please let me know in the comments, below! 😀


Three miniature vegan sweet potato she

Miniature Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pies

These sweet potato shepherd’s pie recipe may be small, but boy are these packed with comfort and delicious flavor!

Jump to Recipe

I love comfort food. There’s nothing more satisfying than for me to dig into a spoonful of buttery potatoes. But more than that, I have a bit of a weak-spot for any comfort meal that incorporates sweet potatoes. Maybe it’s the creaminess or sweetness of these tubers…maybe it’s just…magic!

Quarantine Cravings?

Am I the only one that seems to be a little extra hungry during these crazy times? I hope not! The Covid-19 pandemic has especially amped up my cravings for comfort food filled with wholesome carb-laden goodness. One dish that has always had a special place in my heart has been Shepherd’s pie. I remember my mother preparing shepherds pies for us growing up, and I always found them to be so delicious! I wanted to take advantage of two things: The existing ingredients in my pantry and fridge, and the local seasonal varieties of produce that came from the CSA that I am a part of.

An image of three of the Miniature Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pies on a plate.
Delicious Miniature Vegan Sweet Potato Sheperd’s Pies

Miniature Savory Pie Goodness

As I mentioned before, I had been trying to figure out a creative, yet familiar recipe which incorporated the items I readily had at home, while honoring my values of incorporating locally-sourced ingredients. Since Steed Farm, the CSA that I am a part of had an abundance of sweet potatoes to offer us, I knew what I was going to prepare. And out of all of that came this recipe!

I really think that you and your family will enjoy preparing and eating these miniature vegan sweet potato Shepherd’s pies. This is even a dish that your kids can help out with! Maybe they can assist by mashing the tater or layering each miniature pie. Oh, the possibilities!

A close-up of the texture of the lentils in the Miniature Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Miniature Vegan Sweet Potato Sheperd’s Pie Close-up

Alrighty folks, let’s move onto the sweet potato shepherd’s pie recipe now, shall we?!?!?!

Miniature Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pies

These sweet potato shepherd's pie recipe may be small, but boy are these packed with comfort and delicious flavor!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy shepherds pie, how to make homemade Shepherd’s pie, mini shepherds pie, Miniature Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie, Miniature Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pies, shepherds pie, shepherds pie recipes, Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pies, vegan shepherd’s pie, vegan shepherd’s pie sweet potato
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 241kcal

Equipment

  • Two medium saucepans
  • One masher or a fork
  • A cupcake/ muffin pan

Ingredients

  • 4 Sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely dices
  • 3 carrots
  • ¾ cup carrot greens (optional)
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 cup lentils
  • cups water
  • ½ tsp. salt

Spices

  • 1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. crushed black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is pre-heating, dice onions and tomatoes into ½” sized pieces. Set those veggies aside.
  • Preparing the sweet potatoes: Fill up a medium pot of water and water and heat to medium high and allow the water to come to a rolling boil. Next, while you are waiting for the water to boil, coarsely dice your sweet potatoes and carrots into large chunks. Next, add potatoes and carrots into boiling water and cook for 25-20 minutes covered, or until they are fork tender, drain and rinse with cold water so that you can easily unpeel the skin off. Afterwards, mash them until they have the consistency of a mashed potato puree with ½ tsp. salt. Later on, set aside.
  • Cooking the lentils: While your potatoes are cooking, in another saucepan, add the three cups of water and set the temperature to medium-high. Then, add in the tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrot greens, tomato sauce and spices, and allow all of that to heat to a  rolling boil. Next, add in the lentils, and then cover and reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentil mixture has absorbed all of the water. Next, during the last 5 minutes, add in the spinach (which will wilt while the lentils are cooking).
  • Assembling the Shepherd’s pies: take a muffin pan (preferably a 12 muffin one) and lightly grease it. Divide the lentil mixture among each of the muffin cups. You will also take the mashed potato puree and divide the mixture equally among all of the muffin cups and gently spoon the mixture over each of the muffin cups filled with the lentils. I’d recommend that you spoon each cup so that the tops of the sweet potatoes resemble muffin tops. Feel free to gently run a fork along each ‘muffin top’ for some texture! Finally, you will place the miniature Shepherd’s pies into the oven and bake them for 35-40 minutes, or until the ‘muffin tops’ have lightly browned.
  • Enjoy the heck out of these mini pies!

Makes 12 miniature sweet potato Shepherd’s pies (6 servings)

Nutrition Information per serving

241 calories/ 12 grams protein/ 1.3 grams fat/ 47.5 grams carbohydrates/ 8.6 grams of fiber

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Curried chickpea collard wrap split into two

Curried Chickpea Collard Wraps

These curried chickpea collard wraps serve as a delicious way to eat a savory curried dish-on the go!

A while back, I went to my fridge, and was trying to figure out what to do with all of the borderline produce that was about to go bad. After scratching my head, I thought ‘Why not make a curry??’

So I did. If you have not caught on, Curried anything is one of my favorite ways to eat my food. Ther’s something about that combination of spices and creamy consistency you get when you ingest that morsel of goodness.

Back to my story.

I decided to make a curry with some leftover veggies, and added chickpeas for their protein and delicious flavor. I wanted to take it up one step and turn my curried medley into wraps. I realized that I had some leftover collards, so I decided to use the collards as the wrap vessels. Doing so gave this a nice, lower carb bite with a hearty dose of vitamin K. While many boast using lettuce as wraps, I really think that using collards is the way to go. The leaves are large, pliable, and can easily fit a decent amount of food. You just have to make sure that the collards are blanched, and I will guide you through that step in the recipe.

I used a vegan mayo to make this recipe completely plant-based, but you can use whatever type of mayo you want! Don’t have access to dates?? Sub dates for 1 small pear or apple, and that will taste just as mouth-watering!

If you are looking for a simple and delicious way to enjoy chickpeas (and your veggies!), I highly recommend that you give this delicious curried chickpea collard wraps recipe a try. So let’s move onto the recipe!

Curried Chickpea Collard Wraps

These Curried Chickpea Collard Wraps are a delicious way to eat a savory curried dish-on the go!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free, vegan
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 275kcal

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Large pot

Ingredients

  • 32 oz. can of chickpeas drained
  • 1 carrot large
  • 1 onion medium
  • 2 dates finely minced
  • 4 collard green leaves large
  • 2 tbsop. cooking oil

Seasonings

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. curry seasoning

Instructions

  • Prepping collard leaves-Allow large pot of water to boil. While boiling water, afterrinsing collards, gently remove stalks from center of collard leaves. Oncewater is at a rolling boil, gently place collard leaves and Blanche for 30seconds. Immediately remove, place in ice cold water for 25-30 minutes, oruntil collard leaves have softened. Pat down with clean towel, and set aside.
  • Finelydice the onion and carrot until there are 1/4” cubes. Set aside
  • Take askillet and preheat and add the cooking oil to the skillet.
  • Oncethe skillet is warm enough, add all of the ingredients (except mayonnaise andchickpeas) together, and sauté on medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes,until the carrot/onion mixture has some light golden brown charring. Add thechickpeas during the last 4 minutes of the sautéing.
  • Once the chickpea mixture has finished sautéing, turn off skillet & remove fromheat. After cooling off for about 2 minutes, add in the veganaise, and mixwell. Serve over your favorite type of bread (or wrap/ or leafy green wrap!)and enjoy!!

Nutritional information per serving (without bread):

275g calories/ 9.8g protein/12g fat/35g carbs/ 10g fiber

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Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl

Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil bowl: An Earth-Friendly Meal

This mesquite cauliflower and lentil bowl is a dish that is delicious, and planet-friendly!

Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl
Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl

You’re probably like me, in the sense that you are trying to live your best life possible. Maybe this effort includes giving back to the community by being physically active, and trying to eat as healthy as possible-on top of every other responsibility you may have.

What about this planet? Where does being a good environmental steward come into play with you trying to live out your best life? What steps are you making in order to make sure that your actions, and decisions have a good impact on the Earth, and everyone else who lives here? Then the effort of living your best life shifts to living our best life.

A Global Perspective

Let’s take a step back and think globally, for a second. According to a 2017 study conducted by the United Nations, by the year 2050, Planet Earth’s population will surpass 9.8 billion inhabitants-all fighting for the same diminishing resources. Trying to live your best life, while also trying to live healthily and being a mindful steward to our ever-crowding planet may not only seem heavy, but can also become an extremely overwhelming effort.

What if I told you can take the first step of living an equally healthy and sustainable life by choosing what and how you eat? It’s definitely a great place to begin. While attempting to adopt such a golden diet may seem daunting, there is one team of scientists and researchers which may have one solution to this dilemma. In 2019, The EAT Lancet Commission was formed as an effort to address this dichotomy. The EAT-Lancet Commission comprised of over 37 leading scientists and researchers from over 16 countries who work in the arenas of agriculture. Human health, environmental science and political science who worked together to develop scientifically-backed global targets for healthy diets and a sustainable food production system (“Summary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission”, 2019).

A Planetary Health Plate

So what and how does the EAT-Lancet Commission reccomend we eat? The Commission developed a planetary health plate that consists of roughly half a plate of fruits and vegetables. The Other half of this plate would primarily consist of whole grains (such as rice and barley), plant-sourced protein, and unsaturated plant oils (such as olive and sesame). The Planetary includes minimal consumption of animal-based foods (such as meat, dairy, and eggs), sugars, and even includes a significant limitation of starchy vegetables and (“Summary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission”, 2019).

A diagram of the EAT Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Plate

Ever since I found out about the Planetary Health Plate, I have been intrigued. I definitely fall within the camp of folks who is trying my best to eat in a healthy manner while also being environmentally conscientious. I wanted to accept the challenge of eating in a way that complies with the principles of the EAT Lancet Commission, as best as I could. With that being said, I bring you my first Planetary Health Plate Dish-or should I say bowl, in this case?

An Earth-Friendly Meal?

With this, I bring to you a very delicious and hearty Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil bowl. This delicious bowl has a very rich set of flavors, which combine the natural meatiness of Lentils, with the versatility of rice. The roasted cauliflower with the homemade mesquite marinade gives this dish a burst of subtle smoke and heat-packed flavor. The incorporation of onion, garlic and generous amounts of kale help to ensure that at least half of this bowl comprised of vegetables-a recommendation of the Planetary health plate guideline. I will admit that while the guidelines recommend a minimal amount of starchy vegetables, I did incorporate a small sweet potato into my recipe, since I wanted to clean out my fridge in the process-therefore, reducing food waste. The incorporation of the sweet potato is entirely up to you! All in all, this dish took about 40 minutes to prepare, excluding the time you are preheating your oven. This may seem like a long time, but the dish was actually simple to prepare, since most of these ingredients cooked themselves, with minimal effort to watch over.

Planetary-health plate-complaint ingredients for the Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl

Ready to get cookin’?! Let’s move onto the recipe!

Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl

This mesquite cauliflower and lentil bowl is a dish that is delicious, and planet-friendly!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free, vegan
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 407kcal

Ingredients

Black Rice

  • 1 cup Black rice (*or whatever other rice you have)
  • 2 cups water

Roasted Mesquite Cauliflower

  • 1 cauliflower large
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Lentil Stew

  • 1 cup lentils uncooked
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups kale or spinach
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 sweet potato diced (optional ingredient)
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil

Instructions

  • First, before moving forward withany other step, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cooking the Rice

  • [Method 1: Rice Cooker] Load the rice cooker with the rice and water, press the startbutton, cover, and allow for the rice to cook for about 25-35 minutes, or untilthe cooker indicated that the rice has finished cooking. Afterwards, fluff withfork.
  • [Method 2: Stovetop] in a medium pot, combine the rice and water, and heat onmedium-high and allow to boil. Once the rice reaches a rolling boil, reduce theheat to low, cover, and allow to cook for 25-35 minutes or until you see thatall of the water has evaporated. Afterwards, fluff with fork.

Whilewaiting for the rice to cook, begin preparing the roasted cauliflower:

  • Coarselydice cauliflower into pieces that are roughly 2”-3” in size. Place in anoven-safe casserole dish, and set aside.
  • Makingthe mesquite marinade: In a bowl, combine the maple syrup, the chili powder,smoked paprika, oil, and salt until well-combined.
  • Gently pour over the mesquite marinade over the cauliflower pieces, and gentlymix marinade with your hands until each piece of cauliflower is well-coated.
  • Placein center rack of oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, take out of theoven, flip each piece over, and place in the oven again for 15-20 minutes, oruntil each piece of cauliflower has lightly caramelized.

Whilewaiting for cauliflower and rice to finish cooking, begin preparing lentilstew.

  • In a fine mesh, rinse out lentils, until small rocks and debris have been removed.
  • In a medium pot, add the cooking oil, and let it heat up for about 10-30 secondson medium-high. Gradually, add in the onions and garlic and sauté for about 3minutes, or until the onions become translucent. At that point, add thelentils, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, turmeric, salt and sweet potato andallow to heat up until boiling. Once you see that the stew begins to boil,reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and allow the lentil stew to cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils have absorbed the broth. During the last 10minutes of the lentils simmering, mix in the kale, and cover again.  
  • Addeach of these elements into a bowl or plate of your choice, and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition information per serving:

407 calories/ 9.5 grams protein/ 11 grams fat/ 71 grams carbohydrates/ 7.5 grams of fiber


References:

Willet, W., & Rockström, J. (2019). Summary Report of the Eat-Lancet CommissionSummary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission. EAT; Wellcome Trust. Retrieved from https://eatforum.org/content/uploads/2019/07/EAT-Lancet_Commission_Summary_Report.pdf

World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100 | UN DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2017.html.

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