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Sarah Lawrence

Roasted Cauliflower Risotto

Farm stand produce is such a beautiful inspiration this time of year. I found an amazing head of cauliflower that could have been an earthy pizza crust or doughy fritters, but I read this snippet in Food & Wine magazine recently about an epic Roasted Cauliflower Risotto. And so, it began... cauliflower risotto Assemble: 1 head of cauliflower, broken in florets then scattered on a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400 for 15 minutes or until so fragrant and sweet that you can't stand it any longer. Let the cauliflower cool a bit and then chop it into smallish pieces. Set the tray aside. You will add this to the rice in a little while. 2 cloves of garlic + 1 sweet white onion, minced and softened in a large skillet in about 1 Tbsp olive oil or veg stock; you're looking for translucent, not browned, so low heat for about 10 minutes. 1 quart of great tasting vegetable stock - homemade or carton. 1 cup dry white wine or a crisp hard cider (optional, but adds lots of flavor) 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice -- add this to the softened onions and stir it really well to combine and coat the grains. Let the rice toast for a minute, then add wine or cider (if you're using) and let everything simmer for a few minutes until you can smell that the alcohol has cooked off. Then add 1/2 cup of veg stock and stir. You'll be doing this every 5-8 minutes as the stock is absorbed, so you need to stay near the pot. When you're down to about 1 cup of liquid left to add, stir in the cauliflower. Keep adding the stock until you've topped it off, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Because we're dairy free I don't add regular parmesan. When I made this dish though, I found a heavenly nugget of cashew parm that I made a few months back. Perfect, honestly, for this kind of dish, because I just chopped it and sprinkled it in for that cheesy, earthy yum factor. If you don't have any cashew cheese or if you're nut sensitive, consider adding a little tofu sour cream or even toasted hemp seeds and a sprinkle of finishing salt. More often than not, if you add a sprinkle of good salt to a dish that calls for parm you will be satisfied. Serve with a big salad and your tummy will be happy. **Reader's Response time: Do you like cauliflower? What is your favorite way to eat it? ~ one of my favorites is cauliflower poppers (roast florets and sprinkle with seasoning of choice).

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Sarah Lawrence

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Red Pepper Puree

Cauliflower is a beautiful, neutral veg.  Eat it raw or steam it and make a great mash or base for pizza crust (what?!!!).  Here, cauliflower creates a luscious, velvety soup base that’s hard to beat especially when you consider how quickly it comes together and how fabulous this cruciferous beauty is for your bod.  Cauliflower supports the body's detox system, antioxidant system, and inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system.  Why is that important?  Well, basically every major disease has roots in one or more of those systems… so, supporting them helps keep everything working properly.  That aside, cauliflower is high in Vitamins C, K and Folate; it is also fiber rich, so you’re in for some great digestive benefits to boot! [caption id="attachment_722" align="alignleft" width="640"]Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Red Pepper Puree Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Red Pepper Puree[/caption]     Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Red Pepper Puree 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, cleaned and chopped 1 large leek, green top removed, cleaned and sliced 1 medium potato, peeled & cubed 1 cup slivered almonds or raw almonds with skins blanched off 6 cups vegetable broth 1 tsp turmeric (optional) ~ boosts anti-inflammatory benefits Put everything in a soup pot and bring to a simmer.  After 20 minutes, the veg should be soft.  Turn off the heat and let the soup cool for a few minutes.  Carefully transfer the veg and broth to your blender (in batches if necessary), and blend until smooth.  Alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender and blend it in the pot. *If your blender has difficulty making this smooth on the first go, try soaking the almonds for an hour to soften them before adding them to the soup pot next time.  The Vitamix blends them beautifully, but others may leave a grainy texture without soaking. While soup is cooking, you can make the Red Pepper Puree 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained or 3 red peppers, seeded, sliced and roasted until soft 1 tsp olive oil 1 Tbsp maple syrup salt and pepper to taste Put everything in your Vitamix or blender and whiz until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.  Transfer to a clean jar. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with a swirl or dollop of the red pepper puree.

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creativecalligraphy

Easy Coconut Curry

My health coach, Tammi, gave me a challenge for this month... and I am not one to forego a challenge, so, this month I am experimenting with Macrobiotics.  Being introduced to macrobiotics this month has been really timely.  Traditionally a balancing and restorative way of approaching food and life, this philosophy has been a gift to me as I've been working to get my 5 year old through a particularly intense bout of croup and the respiratory ickies that follow.  The ease of cooking a huge pot of brown rice and using it as the base for our meals is making up for the lack of my beloved nightshade veggies.  I have a handful of recipes to post from the week, but this one was on our table last night.  I think it's macrobiotic... even if it's not 100% in keeping with the tradition, it was inspired by it and was tasty.   Easy Coconut Curry 1 knob of fresh ginger (about 2 tablespoons) 3 cloves garlic 1 onion, quartered 1 stalk fresh lemongrass (optional – see my note below) 14 oz can of coconut milk* 1 cup water 2 tbsp curry powder (use your favorite, we like Frontier Herbs) 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans 2 cups cauliflower, broken into small pieces 1 russet potato, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups cups) Put ginger, garlic, onion, lemongrass and coconut milk into your food processor or Vitamix blender.  Process until smooth.  (Note: I thought I processed my mixture well enough, but found strings of lemongrass in the finished curry.  They were not problematic, but it looked abit strange and might make people worry that they’re eating a piece of, gulp, hair.  So, my suggestion is to really blitz the mixture and then strain it if you aren’t sure that the lemongrass is incorporated.  Alternatively, chunk the lemon grass into large pieces and you can infuse the coconut milk with it in the next step and then fish the pieces out before serving.) Pour the spiced coconut milk into a large sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the water, beans and vegetables and cook until the potato is soft, about 15 minutes. Serve with brown rice or quinoa and a nice salad. [caption id="attachment_451" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Easy Coconut Curry"]Easy Coconut Curry[/caption] *Homemade Coconut Milk is easy and is my preference, but not everyone has coconut in the pantry.   If you do, try this! 1 cup coconut flakes 2 cups  water Put everything in your Vitamix and blend on high speed for 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy.  Strain through cheesecloth or a nutmilk bag if you are drinking the coconut milk.  For this recipe, just use the coconut milk right from the blender! This video from tropical traditions will show you how to do it, though they use slightly different proportions than I do and they strain twice.  I love Tropical Traditions organic coconut flakes and they are the only brand I use!

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