Tag Archives: cauliflower

Baked Potato + Cauliflower Soup

I had a yet another head of wonderful cauliflower, and no idea what to do with it. A little googling lead me to a baked potato soup recipe where instead of all the cream and butter and half + half, a puree of cauliflower is used. This is a growing trend these days. I’ll take it!!
 
Baked Potato + Cauliflower Soup
(serves 5, adapted from Skinny Taste)
 
Ingredients
Soup:
2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
1 cup vegetable broth + 1/2 cups water (mix)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste (a lot!)
Toppings:
Chopped green onions (or chives)
Shredded sharp cheddar

Directions:

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes and rough chop them a bit. (You can also microwave your potatoes, but I think the oven makes them taste better.)

2.In a frying pan, heat up the teaspoon of oil for a few seconds and drop in the diced onion. Cook until it is translucent, but don’t let it get brown. 

3. Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender (10-15 mins depending on how small you floret the cauliflower). Drain and return to pot. 
 
4. Warm up the milk in the microwave for one minute (just so it won’t curdle or anything funky)
 
5. On medium heat, add broth/water, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth (no chunks!).
 
6. Give it a taste. If you like sour cream and feel like it needs to be creamier, you can add 1/2 cup to the recipe at this point.
 
7. Salt and pepper it multiple times, this will give it a lot of flavor.
 
8. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into a bowl. Top each serving with sharp cheddar cheese and chopped chives. If you eat bacon, or fake bacon, feel free to add that too. 
This soup is not very photogenic, but it is pretty healthy and low in calories/fat… as long as you aren’t putting an entire brick of cheddar and/or bacon on top. You can also add whatever toppings you would to a regular baked potato to this soup to stir in… sour cream, red onion, greek yogurt, fritos, etc.

Michelle Obama’s Cauliflower Mac + Cheese

I had a half of a head of cauliflower to use and I was really craving mac + cheese. I knew it was time to Google and a Michelle Obama recipe popped up. I guess since it’s political season, this recipe of was appropriate I suppose.

Cauliflower Mac + Cheese (adapted from The First Lady/Yum Sugar)

Ingredients

1/2 pound penne pasta (half a box–use whole wheat. just do it!)
1 cup milk
8oz shredded cheddar cheese (or a mixture of your favorite melting cheeses)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1.5 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping:
1/2 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
2. Steam the cauliflower until soft, about 10 minutes. Immersion blend the cauliflower(or transfer to a blender) along with a few tablespoons of the steaming liquid into a puree the cauliflower. Add more steaming liquid to thin the puree if necessary.
3. In a medium size casserole dish, combine the pasta and hot cauliflower puree. Add the milk, both cheeses, parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and breadcrumbs with your fingers until it resembles damp sand. Sprinkle across the top of the pasta mixture, then place the dish in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the top is crispy and the sauce is bubbling.

I was really skeptical about this dish considering I usually make mac + cheese with a delicious cheese sauce. But, It was really good, very quick and easy and I’d make it again.

For the cheeses I used low-fat sharp cheddar and Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar which you MUST RUN TO TRADER JOE’S NOW and get. It is a cross between sharp cheddar and parmesan. Good luck not eating the whole brick!

Back to the dish… the cauliflower taste was there, but it was subtle. Perfect for any vegetable-phobic in your life. Or if you want to trick yourself into eating more vegetables… I don’t think Michelle Obama would be mad.

Saucy!

Come on, who doesn’t love cheese sauce!? If you don’t, you just haven’t made this recipe yet.

I love vegetables now, but as a kid I’m sure I wasn’t their #1 fan. I think my Mom made this cheese sauce as a way to get us to eat an excess of veggies. I don’t need to be tricked into eating vegetables anymore, but I still love this cheese sauce. We always had it served with noodles too and it makes an amazing mac + cheese. It’s super rich, and not the healthiest so we didn’t get to eat it very often. A good rule, even today.

The cheese sauce is a little tricky if you’ve never made a roux or a white sauce before, or if you’re me, but it’s awesome. And worth it.

Cheese Sauce w/ Broccoli, Cauliflower // Mac + Cheese

The Ingredient List:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1-2 broccoli crowns
  • 2 servings of cooked elbow noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt + pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk-warmed
  • 2+ cups shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese
Directions
1. Cook the elbow noodles according to the box, and set aside.
2. Wash and cut the broccoli and cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Use a vegetable steamer and in a large saucepan, bring 1 in. of water, broccoli and cauliflower to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 5-15 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until blended and a little brown.
3. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; add cheese, stirring until melted. 
4. Drain veggies and noodles, pour cheese sauce over top… and dig in!

Mmm. Mac + Cheese! Veggies + Cheese sauce! So versatile!  You can serve this cheese sauce with any vegetable or type of noodle you like. You can even double the cheese sauce recipe and pour it over noodles + throw it in the oven for a traditional mac and cheese.
What would you put this cheese sauce on?

Easy Vegan Indian Food

I love Indian food. Love it. I love going to an indian restaurant and trying something new, but that can be pricy. And often unhealthy. My mom makes indian food all the time so I had her send me some recipes. These are vegan, easy and healthy! Here are my two favorites.

Cauliflower & Potatoes
1-3 T Shan Dal seasoning (yellow box)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
6 circles of sliced ginger, 1/8” thick, peeled and diced
3 T Fresh Cilantro, chopped – add more if you like
½ -1 tomatoes, diced (fresh is best)
1 head cauliflower
1-2 russet potatoes or any type chopped in bite sized pieces
2-3 T tomato paste
1 cup water, add as needed
1 cup green peas (defrosted)
1 teaspoon veg oil

Directions
1. Sauté onion, green pepper, ginger and garlic in one teaspoon of vegatable oil, until soft.
2. Add the diced tomatoes, potatoes, tomato paste,  1 T “Shan” dal seasoning and 1 cup of water.


3. Cook covered until potatoes are ¾ cooked tender.
4. Add cauliflower and cilantro; cook with lid on until tender.

5. Add more water, seasoning (if you need more spice) and tomato paste as desired. Stir to cover.
6. Add 1 cup (room temp) green peas and cook for 2 minutes.


7. Garnish with cilantro!

NEXT UP! The easiest recipe known to Indian cooking!!

Ingredients
½  cup red lentils
1 cup yellow moong dal
4+ cups water
1-2 T Shan Dal spice mix (go with one if you like it not so spicy, two for spice)
½ med. Onion, chopped
2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 clove fresh garlic, smashed

Directions
1. Sauté onions, ginger and garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil until soft.
2. Add lentils, water and Shan Dal spice mix, and cilantro.
3. Cook covered for about 30 minutes until soft. These will have a creamy polenta-y texture to them.

Some of the items (dal, seasoning) could be a little hard to find, but check out your local Indian or Asian food store, or even Whole Foods. Amazon.com is often a great resource for finding weird and hard to find packaged foods as well.

I can’t tell you how amazing this meal is. The leftovers will make your co-workers jealous. I like to serve this with a little bit of rice and some white wine. Vinho Verde is the best if you can get your hands on some. Trust me when I say that Indian food and wine is one of the best combos out there.

indian food

All the single ladies.

This post could be about my love of Beyonce songs, but I’ll spare you. Two or three nights a week, Brent goes to class or work and I’m left to fend for just myself in the dinner world. In my many years of pre-Brent, I would just eat a salad or nachos soup or something that involved very little time. Or sometimes my roommate and I would have popcorn and wine, which is what I was absolutely craving last night. But, I was sick for a few days so booze of any kind is out. And popcorn, while a good snack, is not a substitute for dinner. COMPROMISE TIME! Voila:

Cauliflower Popcorn
(adapted from this 101cookbooks.com recipe.)

My Ingredient List
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, washed
2-3 T breadcrumbs (panko works best)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T red pepper flakes
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions (again, adapted from here)

1. Preheat oven to 400º. Trim the cauliflower keeping only the florets and tiny stalks. You can save the rest for another dish if you want.

2. In a large bowl toss the cauliflower with a 1 teaspoon of olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic and red pepper flakes.


3. Pam a baking sheet and place the cauliflower mixture on top.  I like to put the little stalks face down so they get nice and roasty. (new word!)

face down!

4. Rotate each tree after about 10 minutes in the oven. Then bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower should be tender throughout and the breadcrumbs nicely toasted. Salt and serve to yourself immediately.

I added a salad and called it all a delicious dinner. I’ve heard these also taste good with some shredded parmesan and/or lemon juice. Probably tastes better when listening to Beyonce while you eat… I might try that next time.