baconwrappedbarbells


2 Comments

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup with Sausage, Bacon and Kale

Now that colder weather has arrived, I’m in the mood for foods that make me feel warm and cozy.  I absolutely hate the cold, and wish I could live in pajamas and warm fuzzy bathrobes all day (fuzzy bathrobes are the best kind of bathrobes, just sayin’).  While pajamas and bathrobes are currently not part of the dress code at my job, changing the dress code at work is one of my top priorities 😉  Until then, drinking hot tea at work to keep my hands (and body) warm will have to do, along with wrapping myself in warm blankets and ignoring the stares of fellow co-workers when I’m wrapped up in my blanket like I burrito.  But I digress.

 This recipe for cauliflower soup is sure to keep you warm and cozy on a cool fall/winter evening.  It’s packed full of flavor (you’ll just have to trust me on this one), and the addition of bacon grease (crazy, I know) takes it to another level entirely!

IMG_6956

This recipe is a fan favorite among friends, and is recipe I like to make for anyone, regardless of whether they follow a Paleo/gluten-free lifestyle.

IMG_6930

 

You may get words of love and adoration from friends and family after you make this recipe for them.  If you don’t, I hope they at least say thank you for the flavor party that is sure to be happening in their mouths.

If you try out this recipe, please let me know what you think.  I’d love to read your feedback!  What are some things you like to do to keep you warm during the cold season?

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup with Sausage, Bacon and Kale

Servings: serves 6-8


Ingredients (for the sausage):

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Ingredients (for the soup):

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 head of kale, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 slices of bacon, cooked, drained and chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can sub with coconut milk to make dairy-free)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of cooking fat (lard, avocado oil, butter, ghee, tallow)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

For the Sausage:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the sausage until everything has been fully incorporated.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage to the skillet, and cook over medium heat until  sausage has browned and cooked through, approximately 10-12 minutes.  Drain excess fat once the sausage is thoroughly cooked, and then set aside.

 

For the Soup:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower and onion.
  4. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of cooking fat onto the cauliflower and onion, and toss to coat.
  5. Place the vegetables on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Trim the top off the head of garlic.  Place the garlic on a small piece of aluminum foil.  Pour two teaspoons of cooking fat on top of the garlic.  Wrap the foil around the garlic so that it is completely sealed.
  7. Place the garlic wrapped in foil on a small corner of the baking sheet.
  8. Roast the cauliflower, onions and garlic in the oven for approximately 1 hour until they have softened, (you should be able to pierce the roasted vegetables easily with a fork).  Toss the cauliflower and onions halfway the cooking process.  Once the cauliflower, onions and garlic have finished roasting, remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  9. Allow the roasted garlic to cool, and then peel once you are able to safely handle it.
  10. Place a large cooking pot on the stove.  Pour the roasted cauliflower and onion into the pot, and then add 7 cups of chicken broth.
  11. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium low, letting the vegetables simmer in the chicken broth for approximately 30 minutes.
  12. Turn the stove off, and pour the roasted vegetables, chicken broth and peeled roasted garlic into a vitamix, and puree until smooth, approximately 2-3 minutes depending on your preference level.  If you don’t have a vitamix, a large high powered food processor should work.
  13. After the mixture has  pureed, pour the mixture back into the large cooking pot.
  14. Place the pot back on the stove, and reheat the pot using medium heat.  To the pot, add the heavy cream, sea salt, thyme, oregano, paprika, pepper, sausage, bacon, kale and bacon grease and stir until all the ingredients in the mixture are fully incorporated.
  15. Cook the soup over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  16. serve immediately and enjoy!

IMG_6986


1 Comment

Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

I love brussels sprouts.  Weird, right?  The first time I ever ate this vegetable, they had been cooked by steaming them whole.  I took one bite, and spit it out in disgust.  I vowed never to eat them again, figuring there were plenty of other vegetables I could tolerate; although at the time, the list of veggies that I actually liked was small (turns out corn covered in margarine does not a healthy meal make).

After I  transitioned to a more Paleo/Primal lifestyle, I realized I needed to start loving veggies, since they would play a much bigger role in my diet.  I started of with simple things like salads and frozen green beans.  But that wasn’t doing it for me.  I needed more flavor and more variety.

A whole new world opened up for me when I started roasting vegetables.  Roasted zucchini, roasted spaghetti squash, roasted broccoli, roasted green beans, it seemed I couldn’t go wrong with roasting (probably because roasting brings out the natural sugars, and I admit to being somewhat of a sugar addict). Which brings me back to brussels sprouts.  I discovered a tip for cutting them in half before cooking them so that they are less bitter, and decided to give them another chance.  Roasting the halved brussels sprouts (before roasting them I tossed them in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar) forever changed my world, and I now typically eat roasted brussels sprouts at least once or twice a week.

So what does that have to do with roasted cauliflower?  Nothing actually.  Okay, just kidding.  For people who don’t like veggies (or think they don’t like them), I would recommend finding different ways to prepare them.  It may not be about the veggies themselves, but instead it may be how they are prepared, since different cooking methods can greatly affect both taste and texture.

I initially felt the same way about cauliflower as I did about brussels sprouts.  But I’ve since learned a variety of ways to cook cauliflower, making such recipes as cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower soup, and cauliflower bread sticks.

Another secret to enjoying veggies is covering them in ghee (or butter, depending on whether you have any dairy sensitivity).  What is ghee, you may ask?  It is a type clarified butter, made by heating butter until the water has evaporated, and the milk solids have browned, which gives ghee its nutty flavor.  For more information about ghee and its benefits, check out Stephanie Gaudreau’s take on incorporating ghee  into a healthy diet on her blog Stupid Easy Paleo.

When I went to Paleo F(X) back in April of 2014, I checked out a booth hosted by Pure Indian Foods.  Pure Indian Foods is a company that makes several different types of products, but is known for its production of ghee.

They make grass-feed ghee,

IMG_5307

spiced ghees,

IMG_5319

and something truly unique, a mixture of coconut and ghee (a 50/50 mixture of organic grass-fed ghee and organic virgin coconut oil).

IMG_5302

After answering several of my questions about the company’s products, the owner of the company graciously provided me with a jar of ghee to try out.  And after seeing all of the different spiced ghees available, I went head and purchased a sample package of the different flavors – with flavors like garlic ghee and italian ghee, I just couldn’t pass them up!

Although I have learned many different ways to use cauliflower, roasting is usually my go to method for cooking them.  This simple recipe for Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower is a great addition to any meal.  I like to pair them as a side dish with chicken tikka masala.   I incorporated Pure Indian Foods grass-fed ghee into the recipe, and it did not disappoint!

photo (16)

photo (16) - Copy

Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower – recipe adapted from Oroville Crossfit.

Servings: serves 4-6


Ingredients

  • 2 heads cauliflower, rinsed, chopped and broken into small florets
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place cauliflower florets into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place the remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and stir thoroughly until combined.
  5. pour the mixture over the cauliflower florets (mixture will be thick), and toss to coat.
  6. Pour the cauliflower onto the lined baking dishes, and spread out evenly so that the cauliflower florets are not too crowded.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
  8. remove from oven and serve immediately.

 

Notes

  • You can substitute melted butter for the ghee.