There is something therapeutic about grocery shopping. I enjoy walking through the aisles of grocery stores or farmers markets admiring the colorful seasonal produce. I get inspired by all the fresh produce and so many ideas run through my food-loving brain. Mesmerized by all the beautiful fruits and veggies, I often end up purchasing way too much. This turns into me struggling to stuff my refrigerator with the bounty. Since I hate throwing food away, I somehow have to figure out how to use up everything before it goes bad. This is exactly what happened when the broccoli and cauliflower were screaming, "Pick me! Pick me!"
I have been hearing and reading a lot about using cauliflower purees as a healthier option to substitute cream. You can make creamy pasta sauces, such as Cauliflower-Alfredo sauce. Add puréed boiled cauliflower to mashed potatoes and soups instead of heavy cream. And you can also make mac and cheese with cauliflower purée!
To use the broccoli and cauliflower, I ended up making this creamy but healthy vegan soup and loved every drop of it!
1 big head of cauliflower, about 4 cups of loose florets
1 medium head of broccoli, about 2 cups of loose florets
1 shallot - sliced in half
2 small cloves of garlic - sliced in half
1 cup, loosely packed, fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
4 tbsp 2% milk
2 tbsp Zahtar (alternatively, you can use 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried thyme and 1 tsp sesame seeds)
1/4 tsp salt, plus about 1 tsp more to salt the water
a few turns of freshly ground black pepper
- Boil water in a large pot then add salt, cauliflower, broccoli, shallot, and garlic. Close the lid and let it boil for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower and broccoli are tender but not mushy.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the veggies from the pot of water and transfer them to a blender. *do not discard the water just yet* Add 1 cup of water from the same pot as the veggies to the blender (veggie water), this adds incredible flavor to the soup instead of adding plain water. Proceed with adding milk, parsley and zahtar, then blend everything until the soup has a smooth velvety texture. Add more veggie water if needed. Add salt and pepper, per taste.
- Return the soup to a large pot. You can use the same pot that you used to boil the veggies so theres one less pot to wash. Simply discard the remaining water from the pot, then transfer the soup from the blender to the pot. Let the soup simmer on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes before serving.
Total time 15 minutes | Serves 2
Zahtar spiced Baked Tortilla Strips
1 whole wheat tortillas
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the tortilla into 1/4 inch wide and 1 inch long strips. Cut them longways first to get the 1/4 inch wide strips and then cut them into 1 inch long strips.
- Spray the strips with cooking spray, sprinkle salt and zahtar. Toss well and transfer them to a baking sheet and spread them out.
- Bake for about 3-4 minutes, then toss them around and bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until crispy.
- Munch on a few and serve with soup!
Total time: about 20 minutes | Serves 2
Since I made this soup during finals week, I did some therapeutic food design. I needed to disperse some energy into things that make me happy so I didn't get overwhelmed with all the papers and exams I was focusing on. I used non-fat greek yogurt to make the design but you can simply use a dollop of greek yogurt before serving to add a little tartness to the soup.