Posts in "Recipes"
Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan)
Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding | Freckled Italian

I’m finally hopping on the chia seed pudding train and I’d like to tell you that it is…interesting! I’m actually a pretty huge fan of the texture but I could see how it might take some getting used to. The way the chia seeds absorb liquid is really quite bizarre but man does it end up being a delicious and healthy little snack!

I decided to keep it simple for my first try and just made a basic vanilla bean chia pudding (I even used alcohol-free vanilla so Sophie could try it out at her next snack time—she played with it for about 10 minutes before deciding she was also a fan and devouring most of what I put in her bowl), but you could really get creative with both flavors and toppings.

Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding | Freckled Italian

Between breakfast and a few snacks it did not last very long, so I’ll be making another batch really soon—probably a chocolate version next!

Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons chia seeds (6 tablespoons)

  • 2 cups milk (almond, cow, whatever you prefer—for this recipe I chose an almond/cashew mix)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you could also use a real vanilla bean if you have one on hand—just cut in half and scrape the inside out)

  • Whatever toppings you like: banana slices, berries, etc.

Instructions:

  1. In a large container with a lid, mix chia seeds, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir well to ensure that there are no clumps, then transfer to refrigerator and chill overnight.

Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding | Freckled Italian
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Butter-Garlic Brothy Rice
Garlic Butter Rice Soup | Freckled Italian
Butter-Garlic Brothy Rice | Freckled Italian

When it comes to food, my husband and I are polar opposites—we’re both big eaters and appreciate great food, but our ideas of comfort food are totally different. Even when we get takeout for dinner, we often disagree on what we should order—I’m firmly in the Noodles of Any Kind camp, and he’s more into pizza or a hot Italian sub. Luckily, last summer we discovered a Panda Express right next to a Firehouse Subs so we mobile order both and pick them up in one fell swoop. #marriage

All of that is to say that this recipe is my kind of dish, and it’s one that I know I’ll get to enjoy in its entirety (although Sophie does seem to take after me when it comes to rice and noodles) because Rob is just not interested in brothy rice, which is what this is. I wouldn’t call it soup, but it should be served with enough broth that you need a spoon to slurp up any remaining liquid in your bowl.

This is basically a non-recipe, but when I shared a photo on Instagram Stories the other day (I made it a week ago when I had a migraine) I got a lot of inquiries so I thought I’d make it again (twist my arm) and share a full post.

Garlic Butter Rice Soup | Freckled Italian

White rice (I prefer jasmine although this time I used Basmati—you could do any rice you like) gets toasted in a pot with a few smashed garlic cloves and lots of butter before simmering away in chicken stock. Once it’s done cooking you simply spoon it into bowls and pour a little more chicken broth over it, depending on how soupy (or not) you want it.

I like to top it with whatever herbs I have in my fridge—my favorites are cilantro and green onion but chives are good too. A little spritz of fresh lemon, lime, soy sauce, or even a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper would be amazing. Sesame seeds? Truffle oil? A soft-boiled egg, perhaps. Find your favorite combo—this buttery, garlicky, brothy rice can be whatever you want it to be.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, smashed

  • 1 cup of rice

  • 2 cups of chicken stock (use veggie stock to make vegetarian), plus more for serving

  • Salt, to taste

  • Desired toppings (herbs, onion, citrus, etc.)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic cloves and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant. Add uncooked rice and stir well to combine, cooking another 2-3 minutes. Add a large pinch of salt and continue to stir.

  2. Reduce heat slightly and pour in the 2 cups of chicken stock. Stir once more and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or according to package directions (I usually cook just a few minutes less, or at least check on it a few minutes before the recommended cook time since I toast the rice before boiling).

  3. Fluff rice with a fork (optional: remove garlic from pot) and add more salt if necessary. Spoon into bowls and top with more broth, then sprinkle herbs before serving.

Garlic Butter Rice Soup | Freckled Italian
Butter-Garlic Brothy Rice | Freckled Italian
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Roasted Curry Cauliflower
Roasted Curry Cauliflower | Freckled Italian

It’s time for another old recipe reshoot! I think cauliflower is one of the most boring vegetables out there, but I do love it roasted. If you use enough fat and high enough heat you can get it really nice and crispy, and because it’s so bland it does really well with almost any flavor and seasoning—in this case a generous amount of curry powder.

My mom used to make this roasted curry cauliflower a lot when I lived at home after grad school, and I always forget how simple and delicious it is. We don’t use curry nearly enough, but every time I break it out of the spice drawer I’m always so glad I did. Originally we used coconut oil but I actually like this recipe more with olive oil—if you have some melted ghee that would actually probably be the tastiest. If you’re a big fan of coconut oil, though, go for it! I just personally don’t love it in savory recipes.

Roasted Curry Cauliflower | Freckled Italian

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (or more/less depending on preference)

  • Green onion or cilantro, for garnish

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and chop cauliflower—I like to slice it straight down from the top so that the pieces are more flat and have a little bit of stem holding them together (I think it makes them crunchier in the oven!).

2. Transfer cauliflower to a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle curry powder. Use your hands to mix everything really well, ensuring that each piece is covered with oil and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with crushed red pepper.

3. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Serve topped with chopped green onion or cilantro.

Roasted Curry Cauliflower | Freckled Italian

I love this cauliflower as a side dish with some grilled chicken, on a bowl of steamed rice, or even on its own as a snack. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you’d like! I hope you love it—let’s all make a pact to eat more vegetables this spring and summer!

Roasted Curry Cauliflower | Freckled Italian
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