Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)

Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)I. Love. Soup. There, I said it. I am not ashamed of this. I am fascinated with all of the kinds of recipes that can be conjured up into wonderful goodness in that Le Creuset soup pot. You can make cream-of soups, chunkie soups, detoxifying soups – the list can go on. I ESPECIALLY love those creamy, cozy, nourishing soups. This afternoon, as my hubby and I were toying with ideas of what to make for college football game day snackies and eventually dinner, we thought a delicious, creamy, curry soup utilizing cauliflower sounded like an appetizing option. Yes, a creamy, curry, cauliflower (say that three times, why don’t ya) soup was what I was going to aim for come dinnertime. I made something similar some time ago, which was pretty good, but this one I concocted was an absolute winner, if I may say so myself ;-). It was very simple to whip up, can act as the main event or be a nice little side dish.  Cauliflower is in season from August to December, so it is a delightful addition to the menu as we creep on into Fall. Try it out!

  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 medium Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt, plus more to season
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large head of Cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets
  • 4 ½ cups Vegetable Broth
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • Black Pepper, to season

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until melted and coating the bottom. Cook the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt until onions are soft and translucent, about 9 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add cauliflower, vegetable broth, coriander, turmeric, curry, cumin, red pepper flakes and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-17 minutes.Creamy Curry Cauliflower mixPour the mixture into a Vitamix, food processor (in batches), OR high-powered blender, and add the coconut milk. Purée until smooth, adjust any of the seasons if need be to taste, mix again if so, and then return the soup to the pot. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot.) Again, taste and add more salt, pepper or spices if you’d like. **NOTE** If you want to make it slightly thinner, just add splashes of more vegetable broth.

PRINT RECIPE: Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)

Who would have thought Cauliflower was so fabulous…

Because of its beneficial effects on numerous aspects of health, cauliflower can easily be described as a superfood. It helps fight cancer, boosts heart health, it’s an anti-inflammatory, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, it boosts brain health, it supports detoxification, has digestive benefits, and has plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Read more at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx 

Yummy in my tummy 😉

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Yummy Turmeric Smoothie

turmeric smoothieThis morning I was poking around on some of my fav websites and saw a short article about a smoothie that stood out to me because of the tremendous amount of information being shared lately about one if its key ingredients: the fabulous spice Turmeric. I personally buy it in bulk (Frontier Natural Products Co-Op brand, 1lb – I get it via Vitacost) and just fill my spice bottle when needed. Known mainly for cooking up in Indian cuisine, Turmeric has a lot of other health benefits, one being a crazy good anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant… a lot of “anit’s” 🙂  My hubby puts it on his eggs in the morning, makes a rockin’ grilled shrimp dish with it (recipe to come 🙂 ), and there is so much more that can be done with this healing spice.  ANYWAY, this article shared a yummy smoothie recipe utilizing this great spice, along with some other key ingredients, as well.

The smoothie recipe was adapted from the Collective Evolution article Turmeric Smoothie Recipe. I am going to relay it to you the exact way I made it this morning, as it was the perfect way, with this combo of ingredients, to start my day.

Add all ingredients into a Vitamix or high-powered blender and process until smooth. The article said to try to drink this smoothie in the morning before you have anything to eat. It is creamy and soothing, and it was a great way to start of the day!

PRINT RECIPE:  Yummy Turmeric Smoothie Recipe

ALL of the ingredients have tremendous health benefits, but to highlight a few of my favorites…

TURMERIC – “Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. It is what gives curry its yellow color, and has been used in India for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Turmeric is high in curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.” Read more: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/

CINNAMON – “Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have long revered cinnamon as a superpower used to treat things such as colds, indigestion and cramps and also believed to improve energy, vitality and circulation. It can lower your bad cholesterol, lower your blood sugar, which is good for those with diabetes, and has anti-fungal properties.” Read more: http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html

MACA  – “Maca is a root that will grow in the Andes mountains of Peru.This root has been used like a food source for hundreds of years, and many Peruvians use it for its medicinal purposes.  Mineral deposits which includes calcium supplement, mineral magnesium, and iron are all located in maca, in combination with C vitamin and nutritional vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12. It has a exclusive sense of balance of proteins, carbs, anti-oxidants, plant sterols, minerals and vitamins. Maca offers energy, given it account balances the endocrine system, such as the adrenals, pancreatic, pituitary and thyroid gland.” Read more: http://macapowderbenefits.net/

Grilled, Spicy, Organic/Grass-Fed Lamb Burgers (gluten/dairy-free)

BeFunky_Grilled Spicy Lamb Burgers.jpgWe don’t eat a lot of meat on a regular basis, but when we do, we have come to love this recipe. We love lamb – lamb chops, burgers, grilled, cooked in the cast iron… etc. Organic, grass-fed lamb also has some nice health benefits.

This recipe is wonderful! We used freshly chopped herbs from our “terrace cotta pot garden” 🙂 that made them even more special!

 

We chose to make this recipe GLUTEN-FREE and DAIRY-FREE by not using pita rounds/buns or feta/goat cheese, however you can dress up with the optional below fixin’s, which are incredibly complimentary to them. Serve with a side of sautéed green beans or grilled asparagus.

MAKES ABOUT 4 BURGERS

  • 1 pound of ground Grass-Fed Lamb
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Mint – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Cilantro – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Oregano – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Garlic – chopped1 teaspoon of ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon of All-Spice
  • ½ teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground Black Pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 4 Pita Rounds (or buns) & 4 ounces of Feta or Goat Cheese

*IDEA: Try additional dressings like fresh spinach leaves, grilled or roasted red peppers and a slice of red onion. Scrumptious!

  1. Preheat grill at a high heat.
  2. Put the lamb in a large bowl, and mix with the mint, cilantro, oregano, and garlic. Season with cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and mix well. Shape into 4patties.
  3. Marinate patties in olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice for 30 minutes.
  4. Brush grill with oil. Sear burgers on each side for 1-2 minutes, for desired charring. For a medium temperature burger, reduce heat to low and cook each side for 5-6 minutes.  Heat the pita pockets or buns briefly on the grill. Serve burgers alone or the option to wrap them in pitas/buns and dress with feta or goat cheese.

PRINT RECIPE: Grilled, Spicy, Organic, Grass-Fed Lamb Burgers

So what’s the skinny on organic, grass-fed lamb…

Organic, grass-fed lamb sourced from local farms is about as good as you can get. The cleaner the meat, the better. For example, organic standards help lower the risk of lamb getting contaminated feed and 100% grass-fed lamb may be available from local farms with small flocks, which provides a more natural life and environment for their them. Lamb is high in omega-3 and 6 fats, selenium, zinc and B-12, as well as other important B vitamins.

                                  

Creamy Zucchini Soup (Vegan)

Zucchini SoupAnd good evening! My husband found this soup recipe last week and we wanted to test it out. Originally adapted from a  PaleoLeap recipe, I made some small tweaks and it turned into a vegan dish! It is perfectly delightful! Zucchini’s are in season, so try this fabulous soup tonight! We had it alongside a filling Kale salad that was simply dressed with tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

 

  • 3 medium Zucchinis – leave the skins on – cut into large chunks
  • 1 Onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • 4 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut Milk (this is preferable because of its fuller fat, but other non-dairy milk can be considered… just being mindful of allergies)
  • Coconut Oil (or a high heat, healthy cooking oil i.e. avocado, grapeseed…)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground Black Pepper
  1. Heat coconut oil (or the cooking oil of choice) in a saucepan placed over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and zucchinis and cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable stock, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer until the zucchinis are tender, around 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, add the coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of choice), and purée with an immersion blender (or pour into a Vitamix, or a high-powered blender).
  6. Continue to adjust the seasoning if need be and serve hot.

PRINT RECIPE: Creamy Vegan Zucchini Soup

So what’s so cool about Zucchini…

Zucchini has high water content and are low in calories. They are a source of folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Zucchini can lower cholesterol, help prevent cancer as it helps with oxidative stress, is an anti-inflammatory and is a powerful antioxidant, assists in prostate health with its phytonutrients, reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and lowers blood pressure, AND is high in manganese, which is key in supporting ALL of the above prevention.