In another round of my second favorite kitchen game*, clean out the fridge roulette, I was lucky enough to come up with a winner! I am sure I am not the only one to do it, but sometimes you buy some vegetables and then kind of forget about them for a week or two. I always feel awful if I don’t rediscover them until after the use it or lose it stage, but luckily I found a kind of wilted bunch of broccoli, a cauliflower that was about to cross to the dark side and some lonely looking carrots.
I like to let my onions get nice and brown (preferably caramelized) in most of my soups, so I diced up the onion and shallot and threw them on first thing. I let them get soft and caramelized while I chopped and washed the rest of the vegetables. I don’t mind my veggie soups having a bit of a bite in them, but if you prefer a softer or more blended soup, you might want to add the carrots with the onions so they get super soft. I added them after the onions were well softened and thought they came out perfectly. Truth be told, I used less stock than usual (3 cups instead of my usual 4) because that what I had left on hand and didn’t feel the need to open or make more. This resulted in a much thicker, almost chowder-like soup, which was delicious and filling.
I topped my soup with a sprinkle of cheddar, freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of dill. After tasting the dill with the soup, I wish I had added some to the main recipe. Next time!
* – my favorite kitchen game is Don’t Cut a Finger While Cutting Onions, but I’m really not all that good at that.
Cauliflower-Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1 large onion, finely diced
1 shallot, finely diced
6+ garlic cloves, minced (I used a whole head)
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large head cauliflower
1 large head broccoli
1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and shallot and cook until soft and just beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the cauliflower, broccoli, spices and 3 cups stock. Bring broth to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce to a simmer and cook 10-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and easily cut, stirring occasionally. The broth will not totally cover the vegetables but don’t worry- stirring will be enough to ensure the cauliflower cooks through.
Using a regular blender or immersion blender, blend the cauliflower mixture until desired consistency is reached. (If you are using a regular blender, you will probably have to do this in batches so pour the blended soup into another large pot as you go. If using an immersion blender, you can blend the soup right in the same pot. Once blended, stir in the cheese and serve.
I got the idea for this soup from Frugal Feeding. Cauliflower, broccoli and leeks are all among my favorite vegetables. I used to be fairly neutral towards cauliflower until I started roasting it. I am fairly certain roasting makes just about anything better. If the soup is looking a little more white than green, that might be due to the fact that some a lot of the broccoli disappeared somewhere after roasting and before entering the soup pot. Roasted broccoli is probably in my top 3 favorite vegetables. It would have been rude not to sample some, and like I said, roasting makes everything better.
I was tempted to try to make this with a melted cheese crouton on top, but since gluten-free bread is so incredibly temperamental, a piece of toast with some Boursin seemed like a much safer bet. Apart from the cheese on the bread, the soup is entirely vegan. I ended up having a lot of soup left over, so I ended up freezing the rest. I’ll report back on how it serves up after defrosting when I get around to eating it.
Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Leek Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5+ garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 head (about 2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large (about 1 pound) bunch broccoli, cut into florets
3 large leeks, cleaned and light green/white part cut in half vertically
1 1/2 liters (6 cups) low-sodium vegetable broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. In a large heavy pot heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion when oil is hot. Cook onion until soft and starting to brown. Reduce heat and add in garlic. Allow onion and garlic to continue to brown and caramelize over low heat, stirring occasionally (about every 10 minutes) while you prepare the rest of the soup.
In a large bowl or plastic bag toss cauliflower, broccoli and leeks with remaining olive oil. Place on large rimmed baking sheets (I had to use two) and place in oven for 25 minutes. Turn the vegetables after 15 minutes.
When vegetables are done roasting, transfer to the large pot with the onion. Increase heat to medium-high and add in 1 liter/4 cups of vegetable broth with salt and pepper to taste. Allow soup to come to a low boil and remove from heat. With either a blender or a hand blender, blend the soup until you reach the desired consistency. If the soup is too thick, add in more broth 1 cup at a time.
This is pretty much Chicken Alfredo without any noodles involved. I’m not a pasta fan, so it was pretty much perfect to me. I was a bit hesitant to use evaporated milk. I know it’s real milk with some of the water removed, but shelf stable dairy products just weird me out. Once I got over the canned milk thing, I was really, really impressed by this dish. It was so easy to make and super flavorful. I did add some extra spices by sprinkling the chicken with Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. That definitely helped the dish. Next time, I think the only other thing I would add would be some Dijon mustard. I really think that would have enhanced the flavor even more. And I might add broccoli as well just to add some extra color and vegetables. The spinach was really good in this dish. I thought it might be kind of gross since it was added at the last-minute before baking. This recipe is great as is, but a few easy additions
A quick note about serving: I think it would be easier to do this in one large casserole dish or in 1 cup ramekins. I followed the directions and a 2 cup serving dish was the size of a cereal bowl, which is a lot of food. I think a 1 cup ramekin would be the perfect size accompanied with some extra veggies or a salad.
Chicken Spinach & Cauliflower Cheese Pots Adapted from Taste.Com.Au.
Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, for seasoning
3 Tablespoons/40g butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter.)
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
375ml can evaporated milk
3 ounces/80g baby spinach
1/3 cup grated tasty cheese (I used a sharp English Cheddar)
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C/180°C fan-forced. Steam over or cook cauliflower in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season diced chicken breast with Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Add the chicken. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Cover to keep warm.
Add butter to pan. Cook for 1 minute or until melted and bubbling. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually add stock, stirring until smooth. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Add milk. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken, cauliflower, spinach and 2 tablespoons tasty cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon mixture into four 2 cup-capacity ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve.
I am obsessed with this salad. o b s e s s e d . Everything about it is practically perfect. I’ve made this salad 3 times now and I just love it more and more each time. The vegetables are crispy and a bit cheesy, but still stay nice and fresh. The dressing is very lemony. I don’t mind the acidity at all, but I think it could be overwhelming to some. This problem could be solved by easing off the lemon a bit and adding a bit of honey to the mix. This salad is perfect as a light meal or it would be really great with a light salmon or chicken dish.
Place the broccoli and cauliflower in a large bowl. Toss with the beaten eggs to coat evenly. Place the Parmesan and garlic powder in a large tray or baking dish and dredge the vegetables in the cheese, pressing to coat evenly.
Pour olive oil in a large heavy skillet until the olive oil is 1/4-inch deep, about 1/2 cup depending on the size of your skillet. Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add the Parmesan-coated vegetables. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches, if necessary. Let the vegetables cook until a crust forms, about 3 minutes per side. Turn the vegetables only when they easily release from the bottom of the pan. Drain on paper towels.
Place the spinach in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the spinach with the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add the Parmesan coated vegetables. Toss and serve.
Aloo Gobi has always been one of my favorite Indian dishes. It’s usually thought of as a side dish, but it’s a proper curry in it’s own right. The combination of cauliflower and potatoes might seem a bit bland at first, but the spices really bring together a tasty dish.
Peel, halve and finely chop the onion. finely slice chiles. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Pick cilantro leaves and finely chop stalks. Discard the outer green leaves of the cauliflower, break into florets. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3/4-inch cubes
Put a large ovenproof panon a medium to high heat and add a couple of lugs of oil and the butter. Add the onion, chiles, ginger, cilantro stalks, mustard seeds, turmeric and cumin and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Stir in cauliflower and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 2/3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on until the veggies are cooked and soft. Check the curry regularly to make sure it’s not drying out, and add extra water if necessary.
Stir pan one more time, then put the pan into the preheated oven for another 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro leaves, and serve with some lemon wedges for squeezing over.