Roasted Cauliflower Soup w/ Turmeric

After accidentally buying a second head of cauliflower, I looked for ways to use up and was intrigued by a roasted cauliflower soup. I combined two recipes, and it resulted in a really delicious soup for a chilly spring night. Total win here. My whole family enjoyed it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 head garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
1 onion, diced
5 cups vegetable stock
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 t turmeric
1 t curry
1/2 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

Cut head of garlic, about 1/4-inch, to expose tops of garlic cloves. Place garlic head, cut side up, in a sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Fold up all 4 sides of the foil and cover tightly.

Place cauliflower florets in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper, turmeric, and curry. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil; gently toss to combine. Spread cauliflower out onto baking sheet. Place garlic onto the baking sheet. Place into oven and roast until cauliflower and garlic is tender and golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool before squeezing cloves from skin.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is tender and falling apart, an additional 10 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached.
Stir in heavy cream; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately.

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Taco Tot Casserole

My friend Joan contributed this recipe to our freezer meal group years ago. It’s a very Nebraskan dish; right up there with “salads” made with whipped cream folded in. And seriously, don’t knock it. It’s super yummy.

1lb lean ground beef
1 – 1.25oz pkg taco seasoning mix
1 – 15oz whole kernel corn, drained
1 – 11oz can nacho cheese soup, undiluted
4 cups frozen tater tots
salsa (opt)
sour cream (opt)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a skillet cook beef until brown. Drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and add water, cook as directed on package of taco seasoning. Spoon meat mixture into an
un-greased 2-quart casserole dish. Spread corn over beef. Spoon undiluted soup over corn and arrange tater tots in a single layer over this.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until bubbly and potatoes are lightly browned. If desired, serve with salsa and sour cream.

Yield: 5-6 servings.

Kale, Sausage & White Bean Soup

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Plucked from Dinner: A Love Story on a chilly night in December when my family needed something real to eat. This recipe is very close to Zuppa Toscana, only a bit healthier as there’s no added cream and we’ve got beans instead of potatoes.

1 onion, chopped
3 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
S&P, to taste
1/2 t red pepper flakes
4-6 links (about 1.25lb) Italian chicken or pork sausage, casings removed
1-32oz chicken broth
1-14oz can diced tomatoes
2-14oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed, chopped into small pieces
Drizzle of red wine vinegar (about 2 T)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Saute onion in a Dutch oven over med-high heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, s&p, pepper flakes and cook, stirring 1 minute.

Add in sausage and brown until cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil. Add kale, simmer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in a drizzle of red wine vinegar and serve stew with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

**I substituted 1lb milk pork sausage for the links, and—gasp!—didn’t have any garlic in my pantry but made do with garlic powder.

Yogi Tea

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So I got this recipe from Adriene, as in Yoga with Adriene. I didn’t really realize there was a video with instructions, so I just kind of winged it (wung it?). It’s not too spicy, and though it’s not the same taste exactly, it seems to me similar to Good Earth tea. (I’m not sure if that black speck is a cardamom seed bit or a gnat, but I didn’t notice it going down, so I guess I’ll live.)

Ingredients (makes 2 quarts):

  • 15 whole cloves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 20 whole cardamom pods (split pods first)
  • 8 ginger slices (no need to peel)
  • 2 bags black tea
  • 2 quarts water

for serving

  • milk of your choice (I have been using vanilla almond milk)
  • honey to taste

Directions

1, Place spices, tea, and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Boil/steep for 5-8 minutes and strain into glass quart jar.

3. Use tea as concentrate for either hot or cold beverage. I use at least 2/3 tea to 1/3 milk and will probably make my concentrate stronger next time (by using less water but the same amount of spices and tea).

Black Beans & Rice with Sausage

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Ingredients
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white rice

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2-3 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 t paprika
cilantro, to taste
3 cooked black beans
1lb cooked sausage of your choice

Directions
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes.

Cut sausage into approx. quarter inch discs, saute in pan until heated through.

To rice, add the spices, black beans, and sausage. Mix and serve.

Pasta with Garlic Shrimp & Broccoli

This one from AllRecipes was a winner with the entire family tonight. It felt extravagant—and sure, it’s not great to eat heavy cream and butter every night—but it came together easily and tasted delicious. Winning!

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) package angel hair pasta
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Melt 1.5 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in milk and cream; simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Mix in pesto, parsley, 3 cloves minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, place broccoli in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Saute shrimp, remaining 3 cloves minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt for 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.
  5. In a large bowl, toss pasta, shrimp and broccoli; pour sauce over and serve.

    **I used frozen shrimp with tails on, first thawing them in cool water and setting them aside. I used frozen broccoli, cooking it most of the way in the microwave and then tossed it the butter and garlic to heat up by sauteeing. After a minute or two I added the shrimp and heated it altogether. Easy.

 

Spiced Beef Patties with Couscous

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My daughter picked out this recipe from a library magazine. My intention was to have her make it, however she was putting away laundry so I went ahead alone. The beauty of a kid-picked recipe was that the weight of new-recipe-trying was completely off my shoulders—hoorah! As it turns out, this recipe is simple and DELICIOUS. A total win, and perhaps one of the best flavors of burgers my husband has eaten. 

2 carrots, finely grated
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 T chopped dried apricots or golden raisins
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 C couscous (10 oz)
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/4 C finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 t hot paprika
1 1/2 lb ground beef chuck
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground cinnamon

1. Combine 2 C water, half of grated carrots, 2 T olive oil, dried apricots, 1/4 t salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add couscous; cover and remove from heat. Set aside until ready to serve.

2. Meanwhile, mix the yogurt, half the cilantro, 1 t paprika and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Combine the ground beef, scallions, cumin, cinnamon, 1 t salt, remaining grated carrot, and 1 t paprika in a large bowl. Mix with hands until just combined. Form into four 3/4 inch thick oval patties.

4. Heat the remaining 1 T olive oil in large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add the patties and cook until browned, 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in remaining cilantro. Serve the patties with the couscous and yogurt sauce.