Happy New Year! When I made the Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower soup recently, my son and I decided that the same base would probably be really good as a clam chowder, and I could even make it completely dairy-free for those who prefer that. I love New England style clam chowder but it traditionally has a lot of milk and cream and butter…so I have not made it in many years and I am not inclined to order it in a restaurant because it is usually loaded with even more butter and cream than I would make at home. I am not lactose-intolerant, but I think that my morning latte and some cheese is enough dairy for me each day. This soup turned out rich and creamy without any dairy! I am so amazed at what one can do with cauliflower, so my cauliflower obsession continues along with my squash obsession (check out this amazing Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash recipe from Skinnytaste – I can’t get enough of this — crispy like a high-quality french fry but so much better for you!). I am giving Cooking Light credit for inspiring me to create this soup from their cauliflower soup. Let me know what you think!
kosher salt to taste (the clam broth will have salt, so taste before salting)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon white miso
16 ounce package of frozen clams, shelled
1 Tablespoon chopped fennel fronds to garnish
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. When oil is hot, add onion, fennel, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock or broth, clam juice, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
Ladle about 80% of the soup (liquid and vegetables) into a blender, add the miso and puree until smooth and creamy. Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
Return the blended mixture to the pot. Add clams cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds. Enjoy!
Note: I used vegetable stock, but it made the soup a brownish-color, if you want it to be a more traditionally white chowder try using chicken stock instead.
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!
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
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
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.
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.
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).
Return the blended mixture to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cheese, bacon and chives. Enjoy!
Oh my gosh! This was so good. I have to give allthe 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)…
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).
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
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.
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.
Cook the pasta according to package directions (or vegetable “noodles”). Drain.
Mix noodles with spinach, mushrooms and sauce. Serve in bowls with freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!
I rarely buy Trader Joes bagged salad mixes, but for some reason the Cruciferous Crunch Collection with shredded kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green and red cabbage looked really good today. Then there was the problem of what on earth am I going to make out of this? I had an “ah ha moment” when I realized that the real reason I was going to Trader Joes was to pick up some chicken to make homemade chicken soup for my sick child. Then the perfect idea came to me, Asian chicken salad with the extra chicken from the soup, perfect! This only serves 2-3, so double the recipe if you are feeding 4 adults, or use it this way if it is just a side dish for 4-6 people. I hope you enjoy this very crunchy light meal!
I have often wanted to make granola but always thought the stuff from the store is good enough, why bother. Well now I get it. Before I even tasted the granola, I was won over while the granola was baking by the heavenly smells of the pumpkin spices, roasting nuts, and oats permeating through my house. This was enough to convince me that I will never buy packaged granola again! Give it a try and feel free to substitute types of nuts/dried fruit that you prefer and spices that you prefer or that are seasonal. Thank you to Jen Jones of Sweet Green Kitchen for the recipe. I only made very minor adjustments.
2 Tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar (or honey, I like the flavor of honey but I have read that the delicate enzymes will be destroyed by the heat)
1/2 cup of no sugar added, 100% fruit jam (apricot or strawberry is recommended)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups of rolled oats (I like thick old fashioned rolled oats)
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
1/4 cup chopped raw pistachios
1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds, shelled)
1/8 cup flax seeds
1/8 cup ground flax
1/8 cup psyllium husk (ground)
1/8 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 -2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ginger or just 2 teaspoons cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped dried fruit-sweetened dried cranberries
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
Line a large 12″x17″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper (or grease the pan). Set aside.
Mix the coconut oil, sugar and jam in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until well combined. Remove from heat and add vanilla and water, stir and set aside to cool slightly.
Mix all the dry ingredients (oats through salt) in a large bowl.
Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are fully mixed with the wet. Add a little water if necessary.
Press granola mixture into the pan, press mixture down so it all sticks together. Press hard (with a back of a measuring cup for example).
Bake the granola in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir the granola and re-press into pan. Cook for 10 more minutes and stir again adding the chopped cranberries and re-press into pan. Place back into the oven for 15 more minutes, but make sure not to let it burn, granola can be perfect one minute and burned the next!
Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan. It may cook a little longer after you take it out. When cool store in a large airtight container. Enjoy!
Notes: updated 2/6/19
I don’t use coconut oil anymore. It has a great flavor but is very high in saturated fat and I haven’t seen any actual research that says it is beneficial (and may be harmful but the jury is out), so I now use safflower or canola oil, something light and with a neutral flavor.
Don’t add dried fruit right away, it tends to burn (harden). I have had more success adding it in the last 15 minutes of cooking, although a lot of recipes say add it after cooking, but then it won’t stick to the granola and I like my granola chunky. I have has some success soaking the dried fruit in hot water for 15 minutes or so and draining the fruit and adding it with the rest of the ingredients.
I have tried both cooking the wet ingredients and not cooking them and I see the logic in cooking them, the ingredients emulsify that way, but I am not sure the end result is any different. I re-wrote the recipe to include the cooking of the wet ingredients step, but I am still on the fence about this.
Overall cooking granola is pretty tricky! I am finding that it can burn very quickly, so cooking it low and slow is my mantra. I have experimented with cooking it at 280 degrees, but maybe that is too conservative, seems a little raw, so I think 300 is better.
It is autumn and that means pomegranate time! I love pomegranates but I hate getting the arils (seeds) out of them. I pretty much have avoided them unless I was willing to shell out the cash to buy the arils in a package. Then to be honest they are often slimy and not so great. But lo and behold I discovered recently that cutting open a pomegranate doesn’t have to look like something was butchered in my kitchen! I can’t believe I didn’t know this until a couple of weeks ago–how did I miss this? This would have saved my children and myself a lot of anxiety every autumn when they wanted my to buy whole pomegranates and I would try my best to avoid it or get really crazy with bibs and aprons and tons of paper towels to contain the flying red juice. Sorry kids! Click here for detailed instructions on how to accomplish this feat and keep your hands their natural color.
I got this recipe idea from the wonderful chef my husband hired for my birthday recently. She made this incredible little appetizer of crostini, grilled Haloumi cheese and pomegranate seeds. The flavors were so incredible and so autumn-like! So today I was trying to come up with an interesting salad with pomegranate seeds and then I thought about the warmed Haloumi cheese and voilà, this is what I came up with. Hope you all like it as much as we did!
Vibrant pomegranate, fennel, tomato, baby lettuce and Haloumi salad is full of wonderful autumn flavors .
Credit: adapted from Haloumi, Pomegranate and Rocket Salad on Taste.com.au
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
180 grams Haloumi Cheese, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
12 ounces of mixed baby lettuces
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, reserve some fronds for garnish
1 pomegranate, seeded (see this page for excellent instructions)
Mix first four ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking to emulsify it. Set dressing aside.
Place the greens and fennel slices in a large serving bowl.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the pine nuts to the dry pan and toast for a few minutes. Careful they burn fast! Remove pine nuts and set aside.
Add a little cooking spray to pan and heat up again. Add the Haloumi slices and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until slightly browned. Remove from pan and place on top of salad.
Heat up the tomato halves in the hot pan for just a couple of minutes, adding a little salt and pepper and spread them on top of the Haloumi on the salad. Add the pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts and serve with the dressing on the side (or toss if you prefer).
I braised the chicken and vegetables in a ceramic dutch oven, but the inspiration recipe cooks it in a crock pot. Either way, this is a pretty easy and healthy recipe that you can throw together the night before or in the morning and cook all day in a crock pot or for a couple of hours in a dutch oven. I made this very mild so the spice phobe will eat it and the rest of us can add chopped chili peppers at the table, but if you don’t have any spice phobes it would certainly be better with spicy peppers cooked in it!
1 quart of no-salt or low-sodium chicken stock (or broth)
1 small sweet onion chopped (or half a large onion)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large bell peppers (whatever color you like) chopped
2 jalapeños chopped (seeded if you want less heat)
2 ears of fresh corn, shucked and cut off the cob
1 – 14.4 oz. can of no salt added roasted tomatoes with the liquid
1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or fresh, use a few sprigs and pull the stems out before serving)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast meat, sliced in quarters (can leave whole if you are willing to cook a longer time or are putting in a crock pot all day)
1 – 14.4 oz can of no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
chopped romaine lettuce (about 1 cup/person)
*Mexican brown rice (or whatever you prefer)
approx. 1 cup of shredded mixed Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar) – Optional
guacamole, diced tomatoes and a few pieced of chopped cilantro as a topping — optional
*Mexican Brown Rice: Cook rice with 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken broth, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin and a shake of oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook according to rice package directions (I like to use a rice cooker).
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large dutch oven combine chicken stock, onions, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeños, corn, tomatoes with their liquid, and spices. Mix well and then add chicken.
With the lid on the dutch oven, put the chicken mixture into the the oven for an hour and stir it occasionally.
After the first hour check that it has not become too dry, there still should be plenty of liquid in there. Add the black beans and cook another 30 minutes without the lid, or until the chicken is falling apart and the liquid has mostly evaporated and the dish looks more like a stew and less like a soup.
Remove pot from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Serve by first layering a cup of chopped lettuce, a 1/4 – 1/2 cup rice, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture, a sprinkling of cheese, a dollop of guacamole, a sprinkling of diced tomatoes and a few sprigs of cilantro.
Note: This can also be put into a tortilla and eaten like a taco; or put into corn tortillas with a spicy red Mexican sauce and melted cheese to make it enchiladas; or spread chicken mixture over tortilla chips and melt cheese over it for nachos. It would also be very nice as a vegetarian dish with extra vegetables and sub the chicken stock for vegetable stock and leave the chicken out. The possibilities are endless!
Updated April 28, 2019. Today I had three perfectly ripe bananas. I haven’t made banana muffins in a long time, so I thought I would make some today. I revisited this recipe and ended up modifying it with terrific results. First I used three bananas instead of two. Because I used more banana I needed to use less wet ingredients, so I left out the coconut oil since I now believe it is not a healthy fat and the bananas and yogurt should be plenty of moisture for the muffins. I also used less sugar (about 3/4 of a cup) because of the addition of the third banana. Lastly, I didn’t have any buckwheat flour or almond flour so I used what I had which was teff flour and garbanzo bean flour. The teff flour gave the muffins the same nuttiness as the buckwheat flour and the garbanzo bean flour provided some creaminess and sweetness similar to the almond flour. The takeaway is that the type of flours you use is flexible, use what you have.
Original post: As I was making my son breakfast I noticed that I had two perfectly ripe bananas that were too ripe for eating but perfect for baking, so I whipped up a quick batch of banana muffins. Yum! These are so delicious and quite healthy too with the whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour and almond meal, only a cup of sugar and wholesome bananas, eggs and yogurt. Try it for a quick breakfast with some fruit or a healthy snack.
Rich, fragrant and healthy banana-blueberry muffins.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (or teff flour)
1/4 cup almond meal/flour (or garbanzo bean flour)
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seed meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I use non-fat, but use what you prefer)
2 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh) – In the past I have used dried cranberries, juice sweetened or unsweetened (watch out, these can have a lot of sugar added)
1/4 cup nuts of choice (walnuts, pistachios, or pumpkin seeds for example)
parchment paper muffin liners
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Combine flours and next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk.
In a small bowl mix with a whisk the yogurt, egg, banana and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the blueberries and nuts. Stir gently.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring just until moist. Will be pretty thick.
Spoon the batter into a muffin tin lined with parchment paper muffin liners. The parchment liners don’t require any oil, they are non-stick and are an incredible find! If you don’t have these then lightly spray your muffin tins with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
I usually freeze half the batch to put in a lunch box or enjoy at a later date.
Pretty warm day here in the Bay Area. I decided I would make crab cakes Crab Cakes and a tomato, corn and avocado salad. This was based on what looked fresh at the grocery store today. Just a quick salad that I threw together, no actual recipe, but I tried to capture it the best I could in the recipe below. Enjoy!
Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salad with Ricotta Salata
1 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters depending on size
1 avocado, diced and soaked in lime juice
1 tablespoon lime juice (approx)
2 ears of fresh corn, cooked and sliced off the cobb
2 tablespoons ricotta salata cheese, very small dice
freshly ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Combine the tomatoes, avocado with lime juice, corn and ricotta in a medium bowl. Try to add the corn while it is still hot or warm, it warms up the rest of the salad and makes the flavor more intense. Mix well.
Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and olive oil and mix well.
So easy and so delicious! I got the recipe from Feed Me Phoebe and I have made it several times. The first couple of times I used Great Northern beans instead of Garbanzo beans and I have also used marinated artichokes instead of water-packed artichokes, but I think it is healthier with the water-packed artichokes. I have also added a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach in the past, which I would have done today, but I am out of spinach! The hummus is great any of these ways. Below is the basic recipe, pretty much unchanged from Phoebe Lapine’s recipe.