Stone Cut Bodies

Live healthy, live vibrant, and fall in love with your body.


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Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

This has quickly become one of my favorite dishes to create. It’s easy, versatile, and a delight to the senses. It smells AMAZING, tastes even better and it’s beautiful as you’re making it:

Roasted Tomato Prep

I originally received this recipe from a friend, and embellished it in my own way. I encourage you to do the same. Add olives to lend a salty brininess, red wine to deepen the flavor, or dried chili pepper for heat. You can use the finished product to top a pizza or fill a calzone, pile it on pasta, or for a healthier bite, heap on spaghetti squash or sautéed vegetables. It’s also mighty tasty atop a simple cracker or mixed into a breakfast scramble. So many uses for one simple dish! As an added benefit, it’s loaded with lycopene from the cooked tomatoes, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage. The olive oil helps to combat heart disease.  Happy Health!

* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook, I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.

Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

a pound or two of tomatoes, chopped

6-12 ounces of goat cheese (more or less depending on how much you like goat cheese)

1/2 cup or so extra virgin olive oil

12-20 cloves of garlic, chopped (less if you don’t want to offend people)

handful of fresh basil, chopped

sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped

salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients except goat cheese in a bowl and transfer to a shallow baking pan, making sure the tomatoes are thoroughly coated in olive oil. Cook until tomatoes have released their juice and are very soft, about an hour or a little more. Cool and alternate layers of tomatoes with the goat cheese in a glass jar. Be sure to cover with the garlicky oil remaining in the cooking pan. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Easy peasy and so freakin delish!

 

 

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Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto Cream

I love to roast vegetables this time of year. It warms my apartment,  fills the place with a homey, rich aroma and makes everything feel cozy. Roasted veggies taste great on their own, but I always like to add a little sauce when I can.  And pesto gives this dish a nutritional boost with fresh basil, which provides not only vitamins and minerals, but also contains flavonoids which act as powerful antioxidants. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.  Take that, regular cream sauce! Pesto can tend to be a bit heavy, so I lighten this version with almond milk to replace some of the olive oil. Happy Health!

* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.

 

Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto Cream

Cauliflower with Pesto Cream

half head of cauliflower or one small head

1/2 tsp or so garlic powder

several tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper

1 bunch fresh basil

several tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

tablespoon or so sunflower seeds (you can use pine nuts if you would like a more traditional pesto, but I didn’t have any on hand so I substituted and the sunflower seeds worked great!)

1 clove garlic

several tablespoons almond milk

dash salt

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut and break the cauliflower into smallish florets. In a bowl, mix these with a tablespoon (maybe a little less) of olive oil, a few sprinkles of garlic powder and salt to taste. Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Core and seed the bell pepper. Rub the outside with olive oil, place on parchment paper with cauliflower, and put the whole thing in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour. The cauliflower should be golden brown. The pepper should be wilted looking and very soft. They may take different amounts of time to cook, so check on them regularly.

While they are cooking, throw basil, garlic clove, Parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, almond milk and a tablespoon of the olive oil into a blender or food processor. Blend until saucy.

When slightly cooled, cut the roasted red bell pepper into slices. Arrange the cauliflower on plates and drizzle with pesto. Add bell pepper as garnish around plate. Savor!

 


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The Easiest Recipe

I bust this little gem out any time I am having friends over for dinner, and want to serve a pre-meal nosh that is tasty, pretty and quick. Everyone always loves it, and asks what the heck it is and how the heck I made it. My answer is, “I boiled vinegar.” And other than opening the goat cheese and plopping it on a dish, that’s all there is to it. The only tricky part is keeping a very close eye on the vinegar. It goes from its regular liquid state to tar stuck to the pan in about 30 seconds, so you have to remove it from the heat as soon as it starts to thicken. Happy Health!

* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.


Goat Cheese with Balsamic Reduction Drizzle

 Balsmic Reduction Ove Goat Cheese

however much goat cheese you feel like eating/serving

a cup or so balsamic vinegar

dash garlic powder (if you so desire)

dash salt

 

Bring the vinegar to a low boil over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring very often. Add the salt and/or garlic powder if that sounds good to you. Remove from heat when the vinegar starts to thicken and is reduced by a little over three quarters. Cool for a few minutes (sometimes I’ll even put it in the fridge for several minutes if I’m in a rush) and drizzle over goat cheese. Mmmm, it looks like a hot fudge sundae… Serve with crackers or bread or what have you.


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Cheesy Sticks of Yumminess

One Friday evening when I was in my early twenties, I traipsed into a bar after work with a friend to blow off some steam after a long week. (Ok, that part happened more than once.) This evening in particular, we were feeling peckish, and so we ordered a plate of mozzarella sticks. And then another. And then another. Um, and then another. (Ok, that part happened more than once too.) An older bar patron looked at us with envy and said “Enjoy being able to eat like that, in a few years you won’t be able to!” Wise, wise bar patron. I can no longer eat a solid pound of breaded, deep fried cheese (and really, I think this is probably a good thing) but I do still have a craving now and then for these cheesy sticks of yumminess…

 There’s got to be a healthier way! So I attempted the perfect mozzarella stick with the following stipulations: Delicious, low carb, not deep-fried and I wanted to sneak in a vegetable.

Admittedly this is not the easiest recipe because the sticks don’t hold together well until they are at least partially cooked. BUT it’s worth the trouble if you want to scratch a mozz stick itch, as I sometimes do. Happy Health!

* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.

Cauliflower Cheese Sticks

Cauliflower Mozzarella Sticks

2 cups-ish cauliflower rice

1 cup shredded cheese (I used soy because I am not supposed to eat dairy, but any cheese you like that will get melty would be fine)

1 egg

1/2 cup-ish almond flour

2 tbsp grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, butter, or any oil that does well at higher temperatures (NOT olive oil!)

garlic powder to taste

onion powder to taste

salt to taste

 

To start you will need to make “cauliflower rice.” My recipe is posted here, but there are lots of variations all over the internet, use a different one if it suits you better. In this recipe it serves as a binder and a sneaky way to get an extra serving of veggies. Let it cool to room temperature and mix it with the egg, cheese, some salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and about 3 tbsp of the almond flour. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining almond flour with salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Roll the wet ingredients into little sticks (this part is difficult and messy, and you kind of have to hold each stick together in your palm.) Then  roll to coat in the almond flour and spice mixture. When each stick is coated, add to pan and cook, turning frequently until golden brown on all sides. Let cool several minutes and enjoy with your favorite marinara sauce!

 


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Cauliflower “Rice”

Cauliflower “rice” is similar to cauliflower mashed potatoes popularized by the South Beach Diet about a decade ago. If you aren’t familiar with this dish, it is basically vegetable alchemy, turning a tasty, healthy vegetable (cauliflower) into a delicious, starchy, decadent-tasting dish (mashed potatoes.) In my opinion, cauliflower mashed potatoes works a little better than cauliflower rice (it’s a texture thing) but cauliflower rice works great in saucy dishes with lots of flavors. It’s a wonderful low carb, low cal alternative to rice to sop up juices of Indian or Thai cuisine or the like, (although I learned the hard way it does not make good sushi rice.)

There are approximately 395,062 recipes for cauliflower rice on the internet. This is mine. I’m in love with this stuff and I’ll use it in lots of future posts. Happy Health!

 Cauliflower “Rice”

Cauliflower Rice

1 head cauliflower (this will make A LOT of “rice”)

1 small onion, chopped

4-8 garlic cloves (depending on how much you like garlic)

1/2 tbsp-ish rice bran, grapeseed or coconut oil

1/4 cup-ish chicken or veggie broth

salt to taste

 

It’s really simple. Shred a head of cauliflower in a food processor or with a cheese grater. If you use a food processor, the cauliflower chops best and most evenly with the “pulse” option. Sauté onions and garlic in a pan with oil. Add chicken or veggie broth and cauliflower. Cook until cauliflower becomes tender and you can even brown the cauliflower a bit for extra flavor. Add salt to taste. I make a bunch of this at once and use it for dishes throughout the week. A healthy, delicious time-saver! And you can gorge on it because it is super low calorie (minus a pat of butter, of course….)


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Aaaand, I Still Had Tons of Zucchini….

So I made zucchini “tempura!”

And good Lord, it was delicious, and healthier than the typical deep-fried hot mess version you’d typically get at a Japanese restaurant. As I mentioned here last week, my father gifted me with approximately 828 pounds of zucchini. Judging from my Facebook feed, this is not a unique “problem.” So after I made my fill of zucchini chips, I thought, what the heck else could I make with all this stuff? And came up with this. Happy Health!

 * My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.

 

Zucchini “Tempura”

zucchini tempura

however much zucchini you want to make into tempura (I used about 2 lbs), sliced 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick

eggs (ratio of two whites for every yolk)

coconut flour (I used about ¼ cup, maybe a smidge more) (Using coconut flour instead of wheat flour adds a nice layer of flavor and a hint of sweetness, and makes the recipe gluten free. It also boasts 6 grams of protein, 25% of your daily recommendation for iron and a whopping 13 grams of fiber!)

4-5 tbsp coconut oil

cayenne pepper to taste

garlic powder to taste

salt to taste

 

Whisk eggs in a bowl. Mix all dry ingredients together in another bowl. Heat enough coconut oil to form a thin layer in the bottom of a pan over medium heat. Dip zucchini slices in eggs, then drag through flour mixture to lightly coat. Heat in covered pan for 2-4 minutes, flipping when golden brown. Remove from pan when both sides are done. Add coconut oil each time you add a batch of zucchini to the pan. I also added a drizzle of water if the pan got very dry as the zucchinis were cooking to keep from piling on too much oil. Serve hot and enjoy!


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When Life Gives You Big A$$ Zucchinis….

….make zucchini chips!

My father has a beautiful garden in La Mesa, California, filled with lemons, tomatoes, strawberries, cilantro, avocados, (we once picked close to 50 right from the tree! It was awesome….) macadamia nuts and finally zucchini. Lots and lots of zucchini. He recently gave me a zucchini the size of my calf:

 Zucchini

I decided to try my hand at zucchini chips, and it turns out they are delicious and easy to make! Although they do take some time. They came out crunchy and taste a bit like potato chips, but are lower in fat, calories and carbs. I had a difficult time restraining myself from eating them as they came out of the oven before I could snap a pic to share!

 * My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.

Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips

However much zucchini you feel like turning into chips (they cook down a lot, so you may want to use quite a bit)

Olive oil (preferably sprayed from a Misto or similar gadget)

Garlic Powder

Sea Salt

 

Chop zucchini into thin rounds (about 1/4 inch.) I strongly recommend “sweating” the slices as it eliminates a lot of their moisture and cuts down on baking time. Do this by shaking some salt over the slices and allowing them to sit for 20-30 minutes. Wipe with a paper towel to remove the excess water that  comes out. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper sprayed with olive oil. Lightly spray slices with olive oil, and dust with salt and garlic powder to taste. Cook for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy. Happy Health!