Thursday, February 10, 2011

" I'll Gladly Pay you Tuesday..."

Man cannot live on Kale and cabbage alone! Popeye had his spinach, but Wimpy loved a good burger! Last week, my family and I won the jackpot! We were treated to a VIP party at the brand new "Smashburger" in Eden Prairie, MN. When the kids asked the typical late afternoon question..."What's for dinner"? I got to say "were going to Smashburger, and you can have anything you want!" Coincidently, this question came right after I finished watching last week's Oprah episode when she reports back on going Vegan for a month. Our family "leans vegetarian" but we all love a good burger, but not just any burger, and Smashburger met our high expectations. They use 100% angus beef that is cooked to order and lots of condiment choices (none of those pale sick looking tomatoes) and toast their buns! They don't just serve burgers, so there is truly is something for everyone. Smashchicken, Smashsalads and even a veggie burger. We tried all of their sides and like the Smashfries the best. (Shoe string french fries with sea salt and rosemary...yum)

We tried four burgers and cut them in quarters so we could each try something different. The "Twin Cities Classic" was our favorite loaded with gooey cheese and plenty of grilled onions, lettuce tomato on an onion bun, followed closely behind was the "Spicy Baja". We like this burger's unique smokiness and creamy guacamole and fresh can't beat it, especially in the "semi-fast food world". I think quality ingredients are key here. They even use Hagen Daz ice cream in their shakes!

This special event was offered to those of us who are in the "Twitter" world I follow @SmashburgerMSP which is kind of ironic since my twitter handle is @crazy4kale,

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Case For Cauliflower

Do you look at a head of cauliflower in the market and think, "Cauliflower, hmm...that's probably good for me, but it's white, how much nutrition could it have. I have no clue how to fix it", will my family eat it? Well, next time toss it in your basket and try this oh so easy, delicious technique. Of course I'm adding a smoked bacon (nitrate free) and a head of garlic so you can't really go wrong.

Cauliflower is actually in the cruciferous family of vegetables loaded with vitamins, minerals and a sulfur compound which makes it a great disease preventative. In addition to all of the phytonutrients 1 c. of cauliflower contains as much vitamin C as an orange!

Roasting vegetables is an easy way to make this otherwise blah vegetable sing. I reserve one of my baking sheets just for roasting, so it's now nicely "seasoned" which means black. This quick high temperature process caramelizes the florets, mellows the garlic and crisps the smoky bacon just enough. Trust me, I served this last night to a few people of claimed they didn't like cauliflower and now I'm sure they were won over!

Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Smoked Bacon

1 head of cauliflower (cut into florets...this breaks down the cell walls which helps release healthy enzymes)
1 head of garlic (peeled left whole)
3 - 4 slices of good smoked bacon (Trader Joe's Applewood smoked or at Whole Foods you can just buy a couple slices from the case)

A couple good grinds of pepper

Place on a baking tray. you really don't need to add extra salt, that comes from the bacon and maybe just a tiny drizzle of olive, but really the bacon takes care of coating the cauliflower to give it those lovely golden edges.

Roast in the oven @ 425 degrees until the cauliflower browns slightly, the bacon is crisp tender and the garlic is soft.
You'll love it.

Trust will crave this dish.
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