Grilled Halloumi and Watermelon Salad with Fresh Mint and Lemon Pepper Sea Salt

SAM_4940Halloumi cheese is perfect for summer cookouts and BBQ’s because of it’s high melting point, making it the perfect cheese to throw on the grill. Halloumi is a very salty cheese that pairs perfectly with watermelon and mint. Rosemary and basil are also great herbs to use with this salad. Throw in a couple twists from the lemon pepper sea salt grinder and you have the perfect side for your cookout. Enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque

IMG_6589Fresh rosemary, basil, and parsley along with fresh stalks of celery, onion, and garlic make this bisque one of the freshest, most fragrant tomato bisque’s you’ll ever eat. No broth is used in this recipe, just fresh ingredients, heavy whipping cream, and mozzarella cheese. This bisque is best when made with local tomatoes that are in season. If possible, buy your tomatoes from a local farmers market, but if that isn’t an option, vine ripened tomatoes from the grocery store will give you the best flavor when tomatoes are out of season. Makes 6-8 servings.

What you will need:
a food processor
butter (optional)
9-10 vine ripened tomatoes
3 celery stalks
1 red onion
5 garlic cloves
1 rosemary sprig
a handful of parsley
1 T Italian seasoning
1 T lemon pepper sea salt grinder
1 1/2 c chopped fresh basil
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 c mozzarella

Turn a large pot on low heat and start to melt the butter (you can leave the butter out if you want, but still turn the burner on to warm up the pot). In a food processor, combine 5-6 tomatoes, celery, onion, garlic cloves, fresh parsley, and fresh rosemary leaves and blend until smooth. Add to the pot. Meanwhile, chop the rest of the tomatoes into 1/2 inch chunks and add to the pot along with the Italian seasoning and lemon pepper seasoning and continue to cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. Then, add the fresh chopped basil, heavy whipping cream and mozzarella and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh scallions, croutons, or more cheese and serve.

Cream of Portobello Mushroom Soup

Cream of Portobello Mushroom Soup

This soup is a creamy mix of goat cheese, heavy cream, portobello mushrooms, onions, and garlic, with savory undertones from fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. The mushrooms, onion, and garlic are reduced and slightly caramelized over low heat to release both the sweetness and savoriness of the vegetables. Makes about 4-6 servings.

What you will need:
a food processor
3 T butter
2 lbs portobello mushrooms
1/2 an onion
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 sprigs of rosemary
1-2 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of sage
1 c heavy whipping cream
4 oz goat cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano cheese would work great, too)
1 1/2 tsp apple wood smoked sea salt
1 1/2 T Italian seasoning

In a large sauce pan or cast iron skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Clean mushrooms and remove any part of the stem that is unusable. Set aside about 1/2 lb of the mushrooms and chop the remaining pound and a half into smaller pieces. Add to the food processor along with your onions and garlic. Pulse and then mince the mixture on the low setting for about 35 seconds, or until the mixture is even. You may have to do this in a couple of batches. Transfer to the pot and add your sprigs of rosemary, sage and thyme. Continue cooking on low heat for about 30-35 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes. Add your heavy whipping cream, turn up the heat just slightly, and continue to cook for 5 minutes. With a pair of tongs, remove the sprigs of rosemary, sage, and thyme. Add the goat cheese and stir continuously until it is completely mixed in (you may have to turn up the heat a little bit more). Add your smoked sea salt and Italian seasoning and serve!

Egg-cellent Fried Egg, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Herb Kale Wrap

Egg-cellent Fried Egg, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Herb Kale Wrap

Initially, this recipe wasn’t intended for a blog post (hence the low quality cell phone picture). I was just hungry and needed a good breakfast void of a lot of carbs but high in protein. I also need to use up the massive amount of kale in my fridge. And goat cheese. Oh my gosh, goat cheese. I used honey goat cheese for this recipe, but really, any type of cheese will do. Makes one serving.

What you will need:
2 eggs
butter for frying
1 large kale leaf
honey goat cheese, crumbled
fresh herbs (i used rosemary. basil, dill and thyme are a couple of good ones, just too name a few)

Warm a frying pan on medium- low heat and coat it in butter. Slowly and carefully crack the eggs directly into the pan, letting the whites pour out first. If the pan is hot enough, the whites will begin to set and keep the yolk centered. Cover the eggs with a lid and continue to cook. They are done when the whites are set and the outer edges are just starting to curl up. I didn’t time this part, but I’m guessing it takes about 4-5 minutes or so. Lay out the kale flat on a plate and carefully transfer the eggs from the pan to the piece of kale. Top with crumbled honey goat cheese (or your choice of cheese), fresh herbs and maybe some scallions, too. Enjoy!

Roasted Purple Cauliflower

IMG_6257Admittedly, this was not my best recipe. I’ve never really cooked with cauliflower before, even though I love it (weird, huh?). I drizzled the cauliflower in oil and roasted it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. I then sauteed it in a pan with butter, rosemary, garlic, herb goat cheese, almond milk, and the rind from a block of quality Parmesan cheese (I think the goat cheese is where I went wrong). I topped it with a lemony sunflower, hemp and pumpkin seed blend and it was ready to serve. It wasn’t bad at all, but it didn’t stand out to me. It’s not a recipe the I’ll be looking forward to making over and over again in the future. So, I picked up orange and purple cauliflower at the local farmers market today and will be sharing the recipes that I come up with here, in the next week. What are your favorite ways to prepare cauliflower? What’s your favorite sauce to pair cauliflower with? Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!