Citrus & Herb Whipped Cauliflower (video)

Summer time calls for bright and light meals that can be made quickly and go well with anything on the BBQ. When I think bright and light, citrus flavors always come to mind first. And this is how I developed this Citrus & Herb Whipped Cauliflower.

Citrus & Herb Whipped Cauliflower

I actually got the inspiration from one of our very favorite places to eat out – 10 Barrel Brewery. My husband had ordered a meal that came with Citrus Mashed Potatoes and he absolutely loved them. So I took a few bites in an effort to work out the flavor profile. Then I decided that I wanted to make it a little healthier by doing it with Cauliflower instead of potatoes and I think I totally nailed it with this one!

This side dish would go so good with this Caesar Salad Burger (full recipe)! You will get so much flavor and brightness with the zesty citrus of the cauliflower and the salty goodness of the Parmesan cheese in the burger.

Whipped Cauliflower

The key to making great whipped cauliflower is using an immersion blender (this is the one I have). It really breaks the cauliflower down and mixes in the liquids well so that you get a smooth and creamy consistency – something you just can’t get by hand. You can also use a blender to get the same results, but you have to do it in smaller batches, which can make you lose your consistent flavor over the whole dish.

If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now let’s get cookin’!

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Citrus & Herb Whipped Cauliflower

Summer time calls for bright and light meals that can be made quickly and go well with anything on the BBQ. When I think bright and light, citrus flavors always come to mind first. And this is how I developed this Citrus & Herb Whipped Cauliflower.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword caulfiflower, citrus, Side Dish, side dish ideas, whipped cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Equipment

  • Immersion Blender

Ingredients

  • 2 heads Cauliflower cut into florets
  • 3 tbsp Butter melted
  • 1 Lemon zest & juice
  • 1 Lime zest & juice
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients.
  • In a large pot, bring enough water to boil to cover cauliflower. Once at a full rolling boil, add the cauliflower, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Drain in colander, then transfer to mixing bowl.
  • Using an immersion blender, begin to whip the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes (until larger chunks are gone). Then add in lemon zest, lime zest, butter, salt and pepper. Whip another 2-3 minutes to combine well. Then add in lemon juice, lime juice, and heavy cream. Whip until you reach a creamy consistency. Using a serving spoon, fold in parsley.

Weekly Meal Planner – Week 2

A Meal Planner is a part of my weekly routine. I sit down each Sunday and create my meal plan for my family so that I have one less thing to worry about!

Each week I will be sharing one Weekly Meal Planner each Sunday to help you get a jump start on your meal planning. I also want to provide you with the blank version of the Meal Planner so that you can make your own menu using other recipes (egads!) than those from my cookbook! Maybe even incorporate some of the free recipes I provide right here on this blog

Hopefully by now you have purchased your copy of the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook – if you haven’t you can get it as a Paperback or an eBook on Amazon! All of the full recipes for these meals are found in the cookbook. As mentioned in the cookbook, you can easily create weekly mean plans by simply selecting a recipe from each of the five categories in the book:

Here is the free printable Blank Homemade on a Weeknight Meal Planner (pdf):

Homemade on a Weeknight Blank Menu Planner

And here is this week’s Meal Plan!

This Week’s Meal Planner

Meal Planner Week 2 Printable

Parma Rosa

Parma Rosa

Pork Chops in Dijon Sauce

Pork Chops in Dijon Sauce

Korean Beef Bowl

Korean Beef Rice Bowl

Chopped Cobb Salad

Chopped Cobb Salad

Chicken Salad Sandwiches (get the full recipe here!)

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Why Meal Plan?

To be honest, unless you live alone, you are probably in need to meal plans each week. Whether you use them to decide who is cooking on which nights, or just so that you can better plan out your grocery list – they are a huge time saver. And for my family it serves as a reminder of what might be going on that evening. My kiddos know that if the dish is more involving then we probably don’t have anything on the calendar for that night. Conversely, if it is one of my super quick dishes, then they better see who has a game or concert or if we are going to a movie or something.

Salsa Chicken – try it for dinner tonight!

This cheesy chicken dish is seriously a fiesta in your mouth. The fresh and chunky salsa you put right on top of the chicken infuses so much flavor into the chicken and then topping it with a layer of mozzarella – just WOW! This dish is so tasty and pretty to boot! Salsa Chicken is going to make the top of your weekly meal plan rotation!

Salsa Chicken

You can use the Salsa portion of the recipe to make a quick fresh Salsa for Taco night too. You may want to add some salt if you are going to us it on it’s own. That helps to break down the tomatoes a little which helps to mingle the flavors better. Baking it with the chicken has the same effect, that’s why you don’t need the extra salt.

Sometimes I serve this with Rice & Beans (there is a recipe that I use in the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook) or you could do a Southwest style salad or even just over white rice.

This dish is pretty mild in terms of spiciness – mostly because it’s for the whole family to eat. But it still packs some bold flavors. You can kick it up a few notches by not taking out the seeds like I did. You can see my whole method in the video below.

By using mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar, you knock the calorie count down as well. And adding that super food fresh avocado on the side makes it a healthy dinner choice for sure.

This recipe can be found in the Healthier Fare section of my cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight (which is available from Amazon in either Paperback or Kindle versions). If you are looking for more recipes for your family – definitely get yourself a copy asap!

Now let’s get cookin’

Featured on The Weekend Potluck!

It is any food blogger/cookbook author’s dream to have one of their recipes featured on a hugely popular site. And today that happened to me!!! The Country Cook hosts the Weekend Potluck along with South Your Mouth, Sweet Little Bluebird and Served up with Love. And this week I was one of the Recipes that Caught their eye with my Turkey Club Wraps!

Weekend Potluck #438 The Country Cook

This is so exciting and encouraging and I am so grateful to be included! This recipes is such a family favorite in my home and it’s super versatile. They work so well for lunches too because they really travel well.

You can use the basic concept of these wraps to make a vast variety of wraps with whatever you have on hand – they don’t have to be Turkey Club Wraps every time. The cream cheese and the combo of veggies and meat are the essentials – after that you can go wild with ingredients. Some great things to try are Chicken Strips, Alfalfa Sprouts, Ham, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Ranch Dressing, Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Romaine Lettuce, Carrots, Steak strips…the list goes on and on. They also make a great meal to use of leftovers.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the Turkey Club Wrap Video yet, here it is!

Turkey Club Wrap

If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Beer Battered Onion Rings

Sometimes you just really need that good ol’ pub food to go with your steak or burger. And, man do we love burgers in my house! I have always loved onion rings and prefer the beer battered variety. But you can only really find panko style ones from the freezer section. So what’s a home chef to do? Figure out how to make them at home, of course!

Beer Battered Onion Rings

A Few Pointers

I learned a few things in the process. You gotta make sure that your batter is liquid enough not to cake on and solid enough not to slide off – it’s a delicate balance. If you have something close to pancake batter, you will be good. You want to make sure the oil is hot enough to sizzle when you drop the ring in, but not so hot that it cooks to the batter before it gets to the onion. You want the onion to be just a little soft, no crunch to it.

And you need the right tools for the job. I found that you can use either cooking chopsticks (if you know how) or these sort of skinny tongs that I ordered from Amazon. They made it so super easy to dip the ring in the batter, flip them in the oil and then remove them to the rack.

Skinny Cooking Tongs

We also discovered a new dipping sauce the last time I made them. We took a favorite BBQ sauce – it is a tangy variety – and mixed it with sour cream! It was a real zippy almost fry sauce and so good with these onion rings!

If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now let’s get cookin’!

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Beer Battered Onion Rings

Super crispy, super easy and the perfect side to a tasty burger!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword burger, onion rings, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Yellow Onion cut into rings
  • cup Flour
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 12 oz Beer (Lager is best)
  • 4 cups Oil

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Bring oil up to 400 deg.
  • Mix flour, salt, paprika and baking soda together. Coat each onion ring in the flour and set aside.
  • Mix beer into flour mixture. It should be the consistency of pancake batter
  • Once oil is hot enough, dip a floured onion ring in the beer batter and coat completely. Gently drop into oil and let cook until brown then flip and cook until brown again. Remove to a cooking rack over paper towels. Serve immediately.

Yes! I really cook dinner ~ almost ~ every day!

The entire Homemade on a Weeknight concept was born of me returning to home cooked meals every night. I get asked all the time, “Do you really cook dinner every night?” The answer is YES! ~ almost ~ every night!

Estelle Forrest

I wanted to start eating healthier myself, as well as make that I was teaching my kids good eating habits from a young age. We stopped eating fast food (both from a drive thru and from a box) and started eating meals made from real ingredients.

Zuppa Toscana

A love of pretty plates

I also really started to enjoy making the plates beautiful. I had figured out that when the plate looked visually appealing my kids were willing to try things that they hadn’t eaten before. Then, I started to plan ahead on how I would plate the dishes. Then I started taking photos and posting them to my personal Instagram and Facebook. My friends and family started to comment on things and asking for recipes.

Creamy Asparagus Chicken

This was when the trouble started…because while I would look through several recipes on Pinterest for inspiration, I never really followed one recipe to a “T”. I usually took ideas from one and ingredients from another and added or subtracted what I had on hand or had access to. In the end it was a totally different recipe because maybe I changed it from ground beef to ground turkey or I used different veggies like sweet potatoes instead of russets.

Stuffed Shells

And a cookbook was written…

So then I found myself typing out a whole new recipe in the comments section of the post….crazy, huh? Now just over a year later I have written a cookbook with over 100 dinner recipes in it and I still cook – almost – every night. And people still can’t believe it. But cooking dinner has become my calm in the day. When I start making dinner it helps me ease out of my work day and into my home day. I’m not sure how, but it flips some switch for me. And even on the days when I think “I don’t have the energy for this”, once I get started I am relaxing and calming with each minute that passes. You can check out new recipes regularly by following along with the Homemade on a Weeknight Blog.

Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook by Estelle Forrest

There is also just such a sense of accomplishment when you present you family with a pretty plate of delicious food that you crafted from real ingredients. Don’t get me wrong – I have days that I cannot even make a meal. Some days I plan for it – we plan to go out to dinner or order take out. Some days, the remodel business just takes it all out of me and I cave to takeout. But for the most part I really am able to make a home-cooked meal – almost – every day!

Turkey Meatball Farro Salad (video)

If you have never tried Farro – you really should give a chance. It is a great alternative to the old standards of rice and pasta. And trying it out in a Farro Salad is a great way place to start. It is also rather nutritious – packed with protein. While it is not gluten-free – it is actually considered a Super food up with the likes of Quinoa.

Turkey Meatball Farro Salad

I, personally, like farro more than quinoa because it is larger in size – quinoa is too gritty to me. And I love that it can be served cold. This cold salad is perfect for a hot summer day and is so full of bright flavors. The crunch of the cucumber with the zing of the lemon is so yummy. And the meatballs are super simple and super good – you could totally use them for a ton of things like pitas, meatball sandwiches, or even with a nice cream sauce over pasta.

This meal would also be great for a pot luck or to make ahead for lunch meal prepping. It definitely falls into the Healthier Fare Category in the Homemade on a Weeknight World. For this dish, I did use Quick Farro for this dish, which means that they cook much faster. If you use regular Farro, be sure to follow the directions on the package. I do strongly suggest that you use a combination of Chicken Bone Broth and water instead of just water – you get a lot more flavor.

If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!

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Turkey Meatball Farro Salad

A delicious cold salad for a hot summer day full of bright flavors
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword dinner, farro salad, Salad, turkey recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 2 lb Ground Turkey
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • ¼ cup Fresh Dill chopped
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper

For the Salad

  • 2 cups Quick Farro
  • 2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes halved
  • 1 English Cucumber peeled, seeded, diced
  • ¼ cup Fresh Dill chopped
  • 1 Lemon juice & zest
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded, plus extra for garnish

Instructions

  • Prep all of the ingredients. Preheat oven to 400deg.
  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring water and broth to a boil.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, combine ingredients for meatballs. Form into 1-inch balls and place on cooking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes then remove from pan to cool.
  • Add Farro to boiling water/broth and prepare as directed on the package. Drain in colander then rinse with cool water to arrest cooking process.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked & cooled farro, lemon (zest and juice), dill and Parmesan cheese. Then mix in tomatoes, cucumbers.
  • Serve 5-6 meatballs over the top of a portion of the farro salad and garnish with extra Parmesan Cheese.

Notes

If you use regular farro (not quick) you will need to increase the cook time as directed on the package. 

Weekly Meal Planner – Week 1

A Meal Planner is a part of my weekly routine. I sit down each Sunday and create my meal plan for my family so that I have one less thing to worry about!

Hopefully by now you have purchased your copy of the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook – if you haven’t you can get it as a Paperback or an eBook on Amazon! As mentioned in the cookbook, you can easily create weekly mean plans by simply selecting a recipe from each of the five categories in the book:

To that end – I am going to start sharing one Weekly Meal Planner each Sunday to help you get a jump start on your meal planning. I also want to provide you with the blank version of the Meal Planner so that you can make your own menu using other recipes (egads!) than those from my cookbook! Maybe even incorporate some of the free recipes I provide right here on this blog

Here is the free printable Homemade on a Weeknight Meal Planner (pdf):

Homemade on a Weeknight Blank Menu Planner

And here is this week’s Meal Plan!

This Week’s Meal Planner

Meal Planner Week 1 Printable

Bacon & Bleu Steak Stuffed Potatoes

Black & Bleu Steak Stuffed Potatoes

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Ravioli Bake

Ravioli Bake

Shrimp Burrito Bowl

Shrimp Burrito Bowl

Egg & Corn Salad Wraps

Why Meal Plan?

To be honest, unless you live alone, you are probably in need to meal plans each week. Whether you use them to decide who is cooking on which nights, or just so that you can better plan out your grocery list – they are a huge time saver. And for my family it serves as a reminder of what might be going on that evening. My kiddos know that if the dish is more involving then we probably don’t have anything on the calendar for that night. Conversely, if it is one of my super quick dishes, then they better see who has a game or concert or if we are going to a movie or something.

So each Sunday I look through my fridge and pantry to see what I have on hand – what might need to used before it goes bad. Then I write out my meal plan for the week followed by my shopping list for the week. This practice has saved me time and money and heartache! Some days it is just so much easier to look at the menu and start cooking then have to come up with a plan on the fly. It also helps me remember to take the meat out of the freezer in the morning if I already know what’s on the planner.

Caesar Salad Burger

Jump to Recipe

Burgers are a pretty popular meal in my house. But we don’t make your typical burgers very often. We like to vary the meats and toppings. Chicken, Turkey, and beef are always rotating. And then there is the constant experimentation of flavors and styles. That is how I landed on the Caesar Salad Burger.

Caesar Salad Burger

Typically what I like to do is think of a food that we all love – maybe a style of food or a flavor profile – and figure out how to turn that into a burger. This one is no different. I started with grass-fed ground beef (we like to get it from a local farmer just outside of town) and combined the hallmark flavors of Caesar Salad – Parmesan cheese, black pepper and garlic. I like to mix my own patties because I think the handmade patties is just prettier – more appealing.

Then I mixed up some classic Caesar Salad – romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and Caesar Dressing. Top the burger with that once it’s grilled and put it all on a toasted Brioche Bun. to make the buns I put them all face up on a cookie sheet and brush them with melted butter mixed with parsley and garlic powder. Put that in the oven and toast it until golden brown.

I served it with homemade beer battered onion rings, but you could do sweet potato fries, corn salad, garlic Parmesan rice or any number of other sides. Check out the Side Dishes & Sauces Recipe Collection

If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now let’s get cookin’!

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Caesar Burger

Putting the classic flavors of Caesar Salad on a Bun
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword burger, dinner, hamburger, main dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

For the Burger

  • 2 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 6 Brioce Hamburger Buns
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Parsley

For the Salad

  • 2 Romaine Hearts chopped
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded
  • ½ cup Caesar Dressing
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Preheat Grill to 400deg. Preheat oven to 450deg
  • In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients for the burgers (beef, Parmesan, egg, garlic, salt and pepper). Then shape into patties roughly 3½ inches wide by ¾ inch tall.
  • Once the grill is heated up, put burgers on and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and let rest at least 5 minutes before building burgers.
  • While the burgers are grilling, place buns, face up, on a cookie sheet. Combine melted butter, garlic powder and parsley and brush on to buns. Put in oven for 8 minutes (or until golden toasted)
  • In a salad bowl, combine the ingredient for the salad and place in fridge until ready to build burgers.
  • To build the burger, simple take bottom bun, top with burger, then some of the Caesar salad and the top bun. Enjoy!

Notes

You can also pan fry the burgers if you don’t have a grill. Use a medium-high heat pan with about a tbsp of oil. Same cook time. 

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad

Jump to Recipe

Every summer my family uses our grill for most dinners – so the meat is usually easy to figure out. So then it becomes all about the side dishes – what can I do with the side dishes to keep it interesting? That’s how I came up with this Lemon Dill Orzo Salad. I was trying to develop something that was still a cold salad but not just some greens and veggies.

Lemon Dill Orzo Pasta

This salad is perfect for potlucks and picnics because it travels very well and actually gets better the longer you let it sit once you combine everything. It is super easy to put together quickly – you can basically prep all the veggies and make the dressing in the time it takes for the bacon bits to crisp up and the orzo to cook.

Prepping the cucumbers is an important step in the process though. You want to make sure that you remove all the seeds from the cucumber so that you don’t end up with a soggy mess of an Orzo Salad. First you want to peel the cucumber, then cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and then cut the cucumber into chunks. It takes an extra minute or two but it is so worth it!

The versatility of this side dish is another great selling point. It can go with pretty much any protein – grilled chicken, steaks, burgers, grilled pork, even shrimp or fish. And the Orzo just makes it sound more fancy! If you need more side dish ideas check out my Side Dishes & Sauces Recipe Collection.

I think this dish will definitely be a great addition to your potluck menu collection. If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!

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Lemon Dill Orzo Salad

A perfect side dish for any picnic, potluck or backyard BBQ!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Orzo Salad, Pasta Salad, Salad, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Orzo Pasta
  • ½ lb Bacon cut in ½ in pieces
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers diced
  • ½ Red Onion diced
  • 1 English Cucumber peeled, seeded, diced

For the Dressing

  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Parsley

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for pasta
  • In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add bacon piece and cook until crispy. Remove to a plate with a paper towel and let cool until ready to add to salad
  • Add orzo to boiling water and cook as directed on package. Drain and rinse with cool water to arrest cooking process.
  • In a large serving bowl, zest both lemons and then juice both lemons. Add all ingredients for the dressing and whisk together.
  • Fold orzo into dressing until well coated. Then add in bacon and vegetables. Serve right away or cover and put in refrigerator for up to 3 days.