Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup

Recently, I’ve taken to eating soup for breakfast. Last week, I made a big batch of curried butternut squash soup. I over spiced it a bit, though, and although it was delicious, it wasn’t perfect, so I didn’t want to post the recipe on the blog.

This week’s invention, a roasted cauliflower and garlic soup, is downright amazing. Even though there’s an entire head of garlic in the soup, since it’s roasted, the flavor is not overpowering; rather, it’s mellow and delicious.

Ingredients:

1 head garlic, roasted (see process below)

2 heads cauliflower, broken into pieces

1 onion, coarsely chopped

3 celery sticks, chopped

2 large shallots, chopped

1 can of coconut milk

4 cups chicken stock

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

salt & pepper to taste

Process:

For the roasted garlic: Preheat your oven to 400. Peel the excess paper off of the head of garlic and trim about 1/4″ off the top of the head so that you can see the cloves. (I forgot to take a picture, but I found this one online at gimmesomeoven.com.)

garlic-prep Drizzle some olive oil over the top of the cloves, allowing it to sink down in between them. Wrap the garlic in tin foil, and roast for 45-60 minutes. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool while you’re preparing the rest of the soup.

 

Once the garlic comes out of the oven, sprinkle your cauliflower florets with salt and pepper, and roast them for 20-25 minutes on a big baking sheet. I roasted mine in a little bit of bacon grease, but olive oil would work fine as well.

While the cauliflower is roasting, sauté your diced onion, celery, and shallots in a large pot with some ghee or other cooking fat of choice. Add the roasted garlic, coconut milk, cauli soupchicken stock, and spices and allow to simmer until the cauliflower comes out of the oven. Add the cauliflower to the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes. Once the cauliflower is nice and soft, puree everything with an immersion blender until it’s smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you don’t have an immersion blender, let it cool a bit and then pop it in your blender and blitz until it’s smooth.

Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

new-year-2016

I am typically not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t know if that’s a product of my own failure to adhere to them in the past, or of my dislike of the idea that people seem to feel the need to create a “New You” in the new year. I am pretty happy with who I am overall, and although there are certainly some habits that I’d like to change or implement, I’m really not looking to fundamentally change who I am as a person.

This year, however, I am doing some new things, and I’ve created #newthing2016 to mark my efforts. One of my new things is to use Instagram more, so if you follow me over there @primalmamalifestyle, you’ll see all about it.

So far, I think I only have 3 new things that I’ve implemented. Well, maybe 4.

The first is that I’m drinking a green smoothie with Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (almost) every morning. I actually started this before the new year but I’m counting it anyway. I like it because the collagen is great for my skin and hair, and the kale and spinach are just great in general. And I think I need more greens in my diet, so this is doing the trick.

Thing two (and I can’t even believe I’ve had to resort to this) is jogging with Jackson. We found a used jogging stroller on Craigslist, and Mike got me some new running shoes for Christmas. The reality of my life right now is that I really don’t have the time to get to the gym on any kind of consistent basis. But I need to work out. I don’t feel good if I’m inactive. And my need to work out eclipses my hatred of running right now. So I’m doing it.

Thing three, which I alluded to above, is using Instagram more to build my following and promote my blog. Another new thing is that I am going to post more on the blog. I haven’t made this one official yet, but it’s definitely in the plan.

And the final #newthing that I’m doing isn’t really a habit, but it’s definitely something that I will be using more often, and that is silicone baking cups. I can’t believe I’ve only just gotten my first set. They. Are. Amazing. I made egg muffins yesterday, and instead of having to hack them out of my muffin tin with a chisel, they popped out of the baking cups effortlessly and beautifully. I am never going back. Ever.

So that’s it for now…  Stay tuned for more content coming your way soon. Recipe development is in the works.

Halloween Party Menu (a week later)

I decided in August that we were going to have a Halloween party this year. Because I was still on summer vacation at that point, it seemed like a great idea, and there was no doubt in my mind that I could pull it off. Knowing myself, however, there was also no doubt in my mind that if I didn’t announce it right away, I would back out and not have a party because the end of October is such a crazy time at school, and it’s so much work to host a successful pargiant spiderty. I created the event on Facebook right away so that I couldn’t change my mind later.

True to form, when the week of Halloween arrived, I still really hadn’t done any menu planing. I had decorated the house, though, so at least that part was done (Jackson’s favorite decoration was this giant spider balloon, which is still floating around the living room).

And I did have a vague idea of what I wanted to make. I was going to keep it pretty simple, mostly finger foods, and buy some gluten free cupcakes from a local bakery. And booze. Of course.

The menu I finally settled on was deviled eggs (more on those later), pumpkin chili with ground beef, chicken wings (I ordered 12 lbs, and they ALL got eaten!), Mike’s famous cheese dip and chips (not Paleo), and a veggie platter with homemade Paleo ranch dressing.

This chili recipe is one I’ve made before, but in the past I’ve used ground turkey. I was uncertain that ground beef would work, but it was a huge hit with the guests and with Jackson. He’s been eating the leftovers non-stop!

For the wings, I used Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe for her Magic Wings (including her Magic Mushroom Powder), and they turned out absolutely incredible. As I mentioned earlier, I had ordered 12 lbs of wings, and when I opened up the package, I discovered that the wings looked like this.

whole chicken wingsI was a little alarmed, but I quickly searched out a youtube video on how to butcher chicken wings and got to work.

For the Paleo ranch dip, I used another Nom Nom Paleo recipe for mayonnaise (this technique is pretty universal). Then I whisked in coconut milk until the consistency was what I wanted, added about 2 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder, and about 1 tsp of dill, and voila! Ranch dressing!

And finally, the deviled eggs… This was the dish I actually spent the most time on. It all started out simply enough. I boiled and peeled the eggs, cuspider eggst them in half, and tossed the yolks in a bowl. For every 6 eggs, I used 4 of the yolks and added 1 avocado for the filling. I added salt, pepper, lime juice, and some garlic power, and then piped the resulting concoction back into the eggs (I used a ziploc bag with the corner cut off to do the piping). The finishing touch was what took all the time; I cut up olives to look like spiders and put them on top of every. single. egg. This took a pretty long time, but it was totally worth it. They looked awesome and were really tasty too.

The party was a huge success. It was great to see some friends that I haven’t seen in a long time, the kiddos had a blast running all over the place, and the food was amazing.

And here’s a gratuitous picture of Jackson and Mike in their costumes.

halloweenies

Simple Shrimp Stir Fry

During my monthly excursion to Costco last week, I saw some beautiful shrimp that I just couldn’t resist. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use them for, but I figured that worst case scenario, I’d just sauté them quickly with some garlic salt and eat them with a salad.

What I actually ended up creating, however, turned out to be a whole lot more interesting…

shrimp stir fry

Ingredients:

1 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned

1 lb asparagus (approx), sliced into about 1″ pieces

1 head of cauliflower (riced, or chopped up into small pieces–last night, the thought of having to clean the food processor was not all that appealing to me, so I just chopped up the cauliflower.)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 med onion, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

6 green onions, chopped

2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

2-4 tbs sesame oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Procedure:

Heat 2-3 tbs of the sesame oil over medium heat in a large skillet (I ended up needing a bit more cooking fat about half-way through the process, so keep your bottle nearby).

Once the pan is hot, add the asparagus. After about 4 or 5 minutes, add the diced onion and garlic to the pan. Once the onion starts to soften (3-5 minutes), add the bell pepper.

As the bell pepper cooks, add in your freshly grated ginger and mix well. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can sub 1tsp of dried ground ginger.

At this point, I added some salt & pepper to the mix. I tend to season periodically during the cooking process rather than just all at once.

After about 3 more minutes, add the cauliflower to the pan and mix well. Once all the veggies are close to being done, toss in the shrimp and stir while they cook.

Once the shrimp are pink all the way through, the dish is done. Add some more salt & pepper if desired, toss in the green onions for a fresh note, and enjoy!