Cauliflower Tacos with Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde

 

It's official: I can’t shake the magic feeling that is summer. Leisurely afternoons spent in the sunshine, moving mealtime al fresco, the days seamlessly folding into nights before your eyes. Bundles of fresh, peak-of-season produce. Always spontaneously hosting or being hosted. It’s the stuff my fantasies are made of. I’m quite fortunate in that much of my childhood summers were spent in this way. Of course, summer means something entirely different when you’re an “adult” (whatever that means) and you have a job (that for some reason doesn't permit you June-August off). But it’s all good, because I’ve found that even Tuesday evening dinners at home can be elevated to embody a bit of that elusive summer magic. Truly!

I’m a total type A workaholic perfectionist with horrible boundaries, and would work all night if left to my own devices. This, as you can imagine, makes relaxing for dinner particularly difficult. But something about this time of years makes me pause, embrace a slightly slower pace, and enjoy even the tiniest of simple pleasures. The watercolored pinks and purples and oranges of the sunset view from our back patio. A 20-minute trip to the beach just to get my toes sandy. A few peaceful moments spent reading in the hammock. Waking up to watch the sunrise over the ocean, just for fun. The perfection of a ripe peach. The sweetness of a night spent eating tacos with friends under the stars. 

This meal suits quiet weeknights in as much as it does entertaining a crowd. Much of it can be prepped ahead of time - which truly is the key to success for both of the above endeavors. I oftentimes prepare the tortillas, salsa, and taco-filling in advance for easy grab-and-go assemblage throughout the week, or if surprise guests pop in. 

The cauliflower tortillas are a recipe I first crafted last year, and are something I still cannot get enough of. They’re a true SOLFUL staple. The tortillas were created to be paleo-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, and 4-ingredient-simple. Ultra nourishing and very delicious. Though if you’re short on time, I’m a fan of Siete's grain-free almond flour tortillas as well.

The recipe for the taco filling is less of a recipe and more of a loose framework for what might work well here. I tend to eat mostly seafood in way of animal protein, but feel free to substitute in your favorite protein (plant-based or otherwise). And sautéd sweet peppers and caramelized onions, always. Dusted with a bit of za’atar. 

The list of possible accoutrements is long and varied, but here’s a fool-proof list I always tend to follow: avocado, fresh cilantro, scallion greens, grass-fed shredded cheese (optional), lime wedges, and at least two variations of salsa. Preferably this charred tomatillo salsa verde, because it’s just the right about of spicy and zesty. Seriously. This stuff stole the show, and I’ve been putting it on probably too much stuff since I made it (avocado and salsa toast, anyone?). It's sure to become one of your summertime meal staples, and is an easy way to add intrigue to casual, low-key gatherings. 

I hope this dish inspires a more serendipitous, magical few moments within your day, whatever that looks like for you. Happy start to summer to you all!


CAULIFLOWER, LIME + CILANTRO TORTILLAS

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice and zest from 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

TO MAKE | Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray/coat with coconut, avocado, or olive oil (to keep tortillas from sticking).

Cut 1 head of cauliflower into small pieces, and pulse in a food processor or blender until you get a rice-like consistency. It’s best to work in batches, depending on the size of your processor/blender. At this point, you’ll have about 4 cups of tightly-packed cauliflower.

Place the cauliflower in a saucepan and start to warm over medium heat, stirring and tossing every few minutes. Do this for about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow cauliflower to cool slightly. Place the cauliflower in a piece of fine cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or a thin cotton dishtowel and begin to squeeze out excess liquid. It will be hot, so rubber gloves are super helpful here. Discard liquid, and set cauliflower aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add in the cauliflower, cilantro, lime juice and zest, and a bit of salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. If you notice the mixture is dry, you can whisk in another egg.

Using your hands, begin to shape tortillas on the parchment paper. The batter will not expand much in the oven, so size them accordingly. You will probably have to work in batches here, or use multiple sheet pans. Bake for 10 minutes, carefully flip each tortilla, and cook for another 5-7 minutes (or until lightly golden brown).

Allow tortillas to cool. Enjoy immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply warm over medium heat in a stovetop skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Makes about 8 medium-sized tortillas.


CHARRED TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE

  • 1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, quartered 
  • 1-4 fresh jalapeños 
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable or otherwise)
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
  • Salt, to taste

TO MAKE | The tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chiles are going to charr first - this can be done either on a grill or in your oven under the broiler. Keep everything whole, except for the onion, and keep the garlic unpeeled. Allow everything to grill/broil until everything is charred with dark brown spots on all sides - about 5 minutes for the garlic, 7 minutes for the tomatillos and chiles, and 10 minutes for the onion. 

Peel the garlic, trim the onion, and stem the chiles. Depending on how spicy you want the salsa, you can choose to keep the chile seeds or discard them. I'm a baby and only used one jalapeño but kept the seeds and found the salsa to be perfectly mild for my taste. Transfer all the charred vegetables to a blender, along with the cilantro and coconut sugar. Puree until smooth. Season with a bit of salt, to taste.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and carefully pour in the tomatillo mixture. Stir until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add broth and lime juice, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed (salt, lime juice, sugar). 

Salsa will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 2 cups.


EASY SUMMER TACOS 

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 tbsp za'atar seasoning 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 dozen shrimp, peeled and deveined

TO MAKE | Like I said, this is less of a recipe and more of a loose framework for what I typically prepare in way of tacos. Feel free to substitute in and/or omit anything you choose. I encourage you to draw inspiration from the flavors of the season - peruse your local farmer's market for fresh produce. 

In a large cast iron pan, heat your oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, and allow to caramelize slightly (about 15-20 minutes - stirring frequently). Add in the bell peppers and za'atar, and cook another 5-10 minutes, continuing to stir. Lastly, add the shrimp, cooking until done. Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 


I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any questions + comments below, and be sure to follow along on Instagram and tag your photos with #SOLFULhealth so I can see! xx

 

Truffle + Herb Polenta Fries

 

I'm totally not ashamed to admit that french fries are my favorite food. If we're getting specific, truffle parmesan fries to be exact. Those who know me IRL know this to be all too true. My signature out-to-dinner move is ordering a salad with a side of fries. It's my exercise in balance, which I believe is of upmost importance when developing a healthy approach to holistic living. (Whatever we have to tell ourselves, right?)

But real talk, while I love fries and don't believe in depriving myself of what I most love and enjoy, I know they kinda (totally) suck when it comes to nutrition. But because I'm unwilling to give up my favorite joy-inducing indulgence (because you know, joy), I'm always on the search for healthier alternatives. Cue polenta: a cornmeal-based porridge indigenous to Northern Italy. I swoon over pretty much any and all polenta dishes - it makes an incredible base for sautéed and roasted produce and pairs to perfection with burrata, herbs, and olive oil. Until recently, I had yet to enjoy it in "french fry" form but had heard of the preparation and was eager to create my own rendition. 

While this recipe is more in the healthy-ish category, it's crazy insane delicious and paleo, gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan. Unlike other french fry alternatives, the texture of polenta allows the fries to get super crispy on the outside while staying soft on the inside and the resulting crunch and flavor is pretty damn close to the real thing.  

I opted to add in lots of fresh herbs, truffle salt + olive, and parmesan because these flavor combinations are obsession-worthy. However, you could easily sub out the parmesan for a dusting of nutritional yeast (it's my go-to vegan option) to keep the dish vegan and dairy-free. But don't skip the truffle toppings and herbs, I beg of you. 

A note on sourcing quality polenta: The majority of conventionally-grown corn in the United States has been compromised with GMOs and pesticides, making it an increasingly health-aggravating substance. Always be sure to source organic and non-GMO corn and corn products (including polenta) to ensure you don't unknowingly expose yourself to these harmful substances. 


TRUFFLE + HERB POLENTA FRIES

  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup organic polenta (not quick-cooking)
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh chopped herbs (parsley, basil, sage, rosemary), plus more to garnish
  • 2 tbsp grass-butter or coconut oil
  • Truffle oil 
  • Truffle salt
  • Coconut or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional), plus more to garnish
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste

TO MAKE: Combine water, polenta, herbs, and a bit of salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking the mixture together. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After about 10 minutes, add in the butter/coconut oil and parmesan cheese (if using), stirring to combine. 

Once polenta is done cooking, transfer to a baking dish, spreading evenly. Allow to cool uncovered for about 45 minutes. You can also cover and keep refrigerated for up to one day.

Preheat your broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with coconut or olive oil.

Remove polenta from baking dish (turn upside down onto a cutting board) and cut into sticks about the size of thick french fries. Brush the polenta fries with oil on all four sides and space evenly on baking sheet. Broil about 4 inches from heat until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool before gently removing from parchment paper.

Top with truffle salt, fresh chopped herbs, a dusting of parmesan or nutritional yeast, and a liberal dosing of truffle oil. 


I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any comments below, and be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #SOLFULhealth so I can see!

 

Bone Broth: What It Is + Why I'm Drinking It

You've undoubtedly heard the buzz about what has become a new staple in the wellness world's 'superfood index': the golden elixir that is bone broth. While there are a million articles + recipes floating around on the topic already, I wanted to hold space here on the Journal to discuss my take on the trend, as I get asked about it almost daily. 

Despite it's recent surge in popularity, bone broth is actually not a new health trend, but an ancient healing practice with roots in Chinese medicine. It's a powerful medicinal tonic that works to support digestive health, strengthen immunity, protect + repair joints, reduce inflammation, balance hormones, boost detoxification, and nourish the skin from the inside out.

The real magic of bone broth lies in it's ability to literally rebuild + strengthen our gut/digestive tract linings. A weak, "leaky" gut (which is massively more common than you'd think) is a guarantee for digestive discomfort, hormonal imbalances, mood disorders, bacteria overgrowth, troubled skin, compromised nutrient absorption, weakened immunity, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, and disease onset. The gut houses 80% of our immune cells and 90% of our serotonin, making it the single most powerful determinant of our physical + mental wellbeing. Imbalances here will create imbalances everywhere. 

Among the myriad of nutrients supplied by bone broth are over 19 amino acids (which are assembled by the body to create proteins), collagen, gelatin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and a host of other minerals, electrolytes, and chemical compounds to support stellar mind-body health. 

Though you can find pre-made broths at Whole Foods, butcher shops, farmer's markets, and cafes, I suggest making your own. It's surprisingly simple, always seems to taste better, and ends up being wildly more cost-effective. The most important aspect in the process is sourcing super high-quality, organic bones. An unhealthy, conventionally-raised animal will unfortunately yield a nutritionally-poor broth laden with chemicals + antibiotics. I have an incredible supplier in West Palm Beach that I visit weekly. 

It's important to note that bone broth is different than the majority of broths you'll find in grocery store aisles or most soups. While a simple chicken stock can be created in just a few hours, bone broth needs a minimum of 12 hours and (for a richer flavor + nutrient profile) up to 72 hours.  

I know some people are super turned-off by the idea of using and handling animal bones + carcasses (I totally get it), but it's actually a really beautiful, zero-waste use of the animal meat. No part of the animal is wasted, mimicking the food practices + reverences held of our ancestors and the Native Americans. I usually roast a whole chicken at the beginning of each week, use the meat for as many meals as possible, and then incorporate the bones in a broth.

I began regularly incorporating bone broth into my diet about a year ago as a means to heal my hormonal imbalances, strengthen my gut health, and clear my skin - which it did, quite quickly + extremely effectively. It still remains a daily fixture in my diet, usually enjoyed first thing in the a.m. on an empty stomach (post lemon water) or in between meals as a nourishing midday pick-me-up. 

I quite like the flavor and drink it straight up, warmed like a tea, but it's also fabulous for cooking and creating grain, veggie, and soup-based dishes. I'm in the habit of stirring in 1-2 scoops of collagen powder for an extra dose of healing, but this is totally optional. For your reference, below you'll find my basic, minimal, and fool-proof recipe for brewing a nourishing golden bone broth. 


BASIC BONE BROTH

  • 2-4 pounds bones 
  • 12 cups water (or enough to fill your large soup pot)
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: herbs, garlic, and vegetable scraps | I usually toss in a few cloves of garlic (peeled), ginger + turmeric root (peeled), a handful of fresh herbs, and roughly chopped carrots and onions

TO MAKE: Add all ingredients to a large soup pot or slow cooker, filling to the top with water. Bring to boil (uncovered), skimming off any scum/residue that floats to the top. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 12-72 hours. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrient-dense the broth. 

Once cooking is complete, strain broth into a large bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Store in airtight glass jars.

Broth will keep fresh refrigerated for three days, and should be frozen if not used before then. For jars you plan to freeze, be sure to leave extra room at the top as the liquid will expand.

Citrus Salad w/ Blood Orange + Tahini Dressing

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While it's full-fledged springtime (summertime?) here in Palm Beach, I know the rest of the country is still in that weird stage of seasonal limbo. Not quite out of winter (I do believe there is still snow on the ground in the northeast...) but definitely feeling the spring shift. This salad was created with all of you in mind. It's bright and sweet and playful, and is sure to elevate your spirit whatever the weather outside. A final celebration of the abundant winter citrus options, and a welcoming of all the fresh greens of the spring harvests. And it's delicious. So, so delicious. 

The inspiration for the blood orange + tahini dressing was my simple, beloved preparation of green beans: a squeeze of lemon and a pat of butter. I wanted to reimagine this classic pairing to feel fresh and seasonal, but still simple to create. The combination of blood orange and lemon yields a sweet-tart citrus flavor, which pairs to perfection with rich + creamy tahini (ground sesame seed paste). It's also completely plant-based and vegan + paleo friendly, if that's your thang. 

In terms of health benefits, the big standout is the high quality fat from your tahini base. As a general rule of thumb, always be sure to pair your green vegetables with a fat source - many of the vitamins found in greens are fat soluble, and cannot be metabolized + absorbed by the body unless in the presence of a fat source. Dietary fat is also a potent brain-booster in every sense of the word. Anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, ADHD, memory loss, insomnia, feelings of restlessness, poor cognitive function, chronic fatigue, and brain fog have all been linked to a lack of quality fat within the diet. I personally make sure to include at least one fat source with every meal for elevated energy, heightened alertness, and a stress-free mind. 


BLOOD ORANGE + TAHINI DRESSING

  • 4 tbsp fresh-squeezed blood orange juice (or any variety of orange juice, as long as it's fresh squeezed)
  • 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • Salt + pepper, to taste

Prep the dressing: Add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Alternatively, you could use a blender. Add salt and pepper to your taste preference.

Make the salad: I steamed a handful of green beans (any variety bean would work well here) and served them over a bed of peppery arugula, segmented citrus, and red onion. Drizzle generously with your dressing.


This post was created in collaboration with Lox Farms, a sweet vegetable farm rooted here in South Florida. If you're local, you can find them Saturday mornings at the West Palm Beach Green Market + Sunday mornings at the Palm Beach Gardens Green Market. Thank you for supporting the wonderful farmers + people who support Solful Health.