Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower Soup

Wow, this was really good. I ate it for dinner on Sunday and have enjoyed the leftovers for the last two days for lunch. I feel like we have been eating more meat than I prefer to eat so I was looking for a vegetarian dish (ok, it has bacon, so almost vegetarian is what I ended up with). I found this on Cookinglight.com and my son and I really liked it! Ok, he liked it as long as I added extra cheese and bacon to his… but hey, he is a growing teen! I love how the soup has a very rich and silky mouthfeel, with only a small amount of added half and half (I am considering leaving the half and half out next time and adding greek yogurt instead?). I give all the credit to Cooking Light, I cooked it pretty much as written. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Rich, creamy and still very healthy cauliflower soup with a bit of crispy bacon and cheddar cheese to make it seem decadent

Ingredients

  • 4 thick applewood bacon slices
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower, florets and stems chopped
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste) kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • About 1/4 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place bacon strips on baking sheet and cook until crispy, about 15 minutes. Drain grease thoroughly on paper towels. When cool chop into small crumbles. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on Medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. Add Leek, celery and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover ad reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the majority of the vegetables and liquid to a blender and blend with half and half and blend until smooth. Be careful not to burn your self on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
  5. Return the blended mixture to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cheese, bacon and chives. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 23, 2018

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Healthy Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

Oh my gosh! This was so good. I have to give all the credit to Elena at HappyKitchen.Rocks! I followed her recipe with a few adjustments: I used canned pumpkin, as this was a last minute dinner idea and I happened to have canned organic pumpkin in my pantry (but not a whole sugar pumpkin lying around!), I added a half a chopped leek, just one large clove of garlic, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano instead of the chopped walnuts, chicken stock instead of vegetable broth and left off the pumpkin oil (no idea where that would come from?).  If you want to keep it vegan use the chopped walnuts instead of cheese and vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. My son made some homemade pumpkin spaghetti with his pasta machine, substituting a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin puree for the usual water and oil he would put in the dough. It was soooo good! I had most of mine with some leftover frozen spaghetti squash I had in the freezer, but I had to try the pasta as well. I wasn’t sure I was going to post this, so I am lacking in pictures, next time I make it I will update with more pictures.  I think this is the beginning of my usual Fall Pumpkin Crush (I made pumpkin granola yesterday)…

Healthy Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Rich, creamy and very healthy pasta (or vegetable noodles) with sautéed mushrooms and spinach topped with a savory pumpkin sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 leek, white part only, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can organic pumpkin (make sure nothing else is added, especially sugar as this is a savory dish, not pie). Or a small sugar pumpkin, roasted and puréed.
  • about 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer to make this vegan). The amount may vary a bit.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • Fresh pasta of choice or spaghetti squash
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnishing (unless making it vegan – then try chopped walnuts or toasted pine nuts or nutritional yeast).

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the mushrooms in an even layer and roast until soft and golden, about 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through. Add the spinach for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  3. While the mushrooms cook, sauté the leeks and garlic for a few minutes or until they soften and become fragrant. Add pumpkin puree and small amounts of the chicken stock, until it is thinner than a soup, but still thick enough to grab onto your pasta. Cook over very low heat, stir frequently, and periodically add stock as it thickens while you cook it. Season with salt, pepper and sage.
  4. Cook the pasta according to package directions (or vegetable “noodles”). Drain.
  5. Mix noodles with spinach, mushrooms and sauce. Serve in bowls with freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 22, 2018

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The finished pumpkin sauce (leftovers).

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Farro with Roasted Mushrooms, Corn and Cauliflower

I don’t post many side dishes but I thought this one was interesting. I made salmon yesterday and was trying to come up with a different side that my whole family would eat and that was healthy. My teenage son will eat salad, but he always complains and I often serve salmon with a salad and rice, so I combined my vegetables with farro, a healthy whole grain. The result was pretty good. I think tomorrow I will eat the farro vegetable mix by itself with some added spinach and melted cheese for lunch!

Farro with Roasted Mushrooms, Corn and Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Healthy and Delicious Autumn Side Dish

Ingredients

Farro:

  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 3 cups water
  • salt

Vegetables:

  • About 2 cups of thinly sliced mixed mushrooms (today I used 8 shiitakes and 4 big white button mushrooms)
  • 1 small shallot thinly sliced
  • 2 ears of corn, cooked and sliced off the cob
  • 1 cup cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. While oven is heating boil water in a medium pot. Add salt if desired.
  3. When water boils add farro and boil for 20 minutes, or until farro is soft, but firm in the middle, al dente (like pasta).
  4. While farro cooks, spread mushrooms and shallots on a large baking pan. Drizzle olive oil and toss the vegetables. Add salt, pepper, oregano and thyme to the vegetables. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring once.
  5. Add the cauliflower with a little more olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast another 15 minutes or until vegetable are soft and slightly browned.
  6. Drain farro.
  7. In a large bowl combine farro with all the cooked vegetables. Add salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 17, 2018

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