Around my circle of friends and family, it’s no secret that I am a complete junkie for some chili garlic sauce. I put it on everything. Anything. Sometimes I eat it straight from a teeny tiny spoon. I have absolutely no shame when it comes to this addictive condiment.
Whatever I put chili garlic sauce on only becomes that much better. It’s sort of like salt… except spicy, and garlicky. Two of my favorite tastes. Works in this example too. Pumpkin, during Autumn months, pretty much makes everything–including hummus–better. So, it only makes sense that adding a little chili garlic sauce would have to make that already better hummus, even better. Ya know?
Plus, it’s orange, so serving with purple cauliflower makes for a show stopping Halloween party tray addition.
The key to making this dip’s texture smooth and creamy and not so much like pumpkin pie filling is to blend it in your food processor (or blender if you prefer) for a long time. At least 5 minutes, and I’d shoot for 7 to be safe. Also, be sure to start with just a little water and add as needed, since some varieties of canned pumpkin seem to have more liquid than others.
Yes, it’s another orange soup. There may be more this month, so fair warning! But this one is a pretty awesome recipe, if I do say so myself.
This soup has a pleasant depth and is slightly sweet from the addition of those pretty orange potatoes and roasted cauliflower. The sweetness is delicately enhanced with a light sprinkle of garam masala. And, the chunky veggies and thick and creamy broth make it good choice for lunch or a light dinner.
Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup
yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 large head cauliflower (the one I used was at least 7″ in diameter
- olive oil for drizzling
- Few dashes garam masala (optional)
- 3 medium to large sized peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 7 cups filtered water
First, preheat your oven to 400 °F and cut up your cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle cauliflower lightly with garam masala. Place cauliflower onto ungreased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven and let roast until golden brown on the tops and tender, but not mushy, about 20-30 minutes. There’s no need to flip ‘em. Just remove from oven and let cool while you cook the rest of the soup.
In large stockpot, bring sweet potato, onion, garlic and water to a boil. Salt (abt 3/4 tsp) and stir. Reduce heat and allow to remain at a constant simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Add in cooked cauliflower and divide soup into 2 parts.
Let soup cool and then blend one part soup in blender until very smooth. Combine with second part soup and stir. Salt to taste and warm up over stovetop if needed.
Do not underestimate the simplicity of this soup. Three ingredients I had waiting to be used in my kitchen, blended with vegetable broth became the ultimate autumnal soup.
- 1 red pepper, roasted (about 1 1/4 cup sliced) *
- 1 butternut squash, roasted **
- 1 entire head garlic, roasted *
- 3 cups (or more) vegetable broth
Blend all ingredients in blender until very smooth. Salt to taste if desired. I used salted broth so I didn’t need to add any.
Garnish with cashew cream and fresh thyme.
*For an easy tute on how to roast red peppers and garlic, see here.
**To roast a squash: preheat oven to 350 °F. Slice squash in half, remove seeds, rub insides with a touch of salt and/or minced garlic, place face down in a baking pan with about 1/4 cup water and allow to bake about 40 minutes, or until knife easily pokes through skin.
Tonight’s Dinner. It’s also my favorite dish to order at pretty much any Indian restaurant I end up at. I love the variations I’ve had of this dish, which simply translates to spiced okra. Although, I’m admitting right now, this doesn’t taste exactly like authentic Indian cuisine–because, ya know, I’m much better at Polish/German/Irish/American cooking.
But! It’s delicious, and pretty spicy in a mild kinda way. Feel free to add more chili powder to jazz it up. Before attempting to make my own Bhindi Masala, I learned some important tips from Manjula about okra cooking that I never knew the hundred other times I’ve made it. First, after you rinse your okra, be sure to pat them very dry, lest your okra get slimy while cooking. Also, you don’t have to cut your okra into cute little ferris wheels to make this dish. Hers looked pretty kickin’ with the pods cut lengthwise.
Hi everyone! First, I have to thank you all for the wonderful comments and congrats on the book, the move to Philly and the VegNews mentions. Your kind words mean a lot to me and I just loved reading all the comments! ♥
Also, I’ll be announcing the winner of the decorating kit giveaway at the end of this post, so bear with me–or just scroll down to get to the good content. ;)
Now, onto the stuffed grape leaves. Stuffed grape leaves are from the cuisines influenced by the Ottoman Empire, including but not limited to Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine. These little nuggets of deliciousness are most typically known as dolmades. Dolma is from the Turkish verb dolmak, ‘to be stuffed’, and simply means “stuffed thing”. Neat, eh?
Since the weather outside has been too hot for even this heat junkie to handle — with temperatures reaching close to 100 °F — I’ve been avoiding my oven and stove-top and instead looking to water-packed raw fruits and veggies to get me through these sweltering days of summer.
This light summer salad is reminiscent of the pasta salad I used to enjoy as a wee one… except I left out the heavy pasta and replaced it with my fave go-to summer staple: zucchini “noodles”. If you don’t have a spiralizer, a vegetable peeler works great too.
As you guys can probably tell by now, I am a huge advocate of muffin making. I bake them often, and many times I like to feature them here on the blog. This is because, in my eyes, muffins may be the world’s most perfect food.
They are simple to prepare, they taste kinda like cake, and there are endless variations to be thought up. I could probably make muffins every single day and never repeat a flavor combo even once… at least for a year or so. And I’d relish every single minute of it. ♥
You know what else I love about muffins? My picky two year old will eat them for breakfast. She has a hard time agreeing to putting anything in her mouth that’s not a “leaf” (kale salads, raw spinach, etc.) or a cookie. Yet, every single muffin I’ve ever fed her has been happily gobbled up–mostly by her, sometimes by the dog. She’s also into sharing.
When I make muffins these days, I like to jam them full of mix-ins to balance out all those leaves. ;) These are typical blueberry muffins with a few extras–buckwheat, zucchini, and banana–added in for good measure.
Friends, today I set out to share a delicious new cashew cream truffle recipe with you, while trying to juggle a multitude of other tasks. And I failed. Miserably. :\ I won’t go into details, but let’s just say my kitchen was definitely a pathetic sight to see.
But! Then I remembered I had this bag of lemons kickin’ around, and the fresh smell of lemon always pulls me out of a funk. So I cheered myself up by baking a batch of these citrusy morsels. And man, am I ever glad I screwed up those truffles; these cookies are really good.
Soft, tangy, and similar to a snickerdoodle in texture, these cookies are a nice treat on a warm summer day — especially alongside a refreshing scoop of lemon sorbet. If you don’t like the flavor of olive oil and would prefer a milder cookie, feel free to sub it out with melted margarine or coconut oil.
I’ve been on a major muffin kick lately; during the warmer months I truly appreciate having portable and easy snacks around. Makes life just a wee bit easier. I’ve also been raiding my pantry trying to use up some of the goodies I’ve had tucked away, and today I found a can of pineapples and a ton of walnuts. Perfect for muffin makin’!
These guys are moist, spongy, and laced with the tropical tang of pineapples and the earthy crunch of walnuts.
This humble little dessert turned out to be quite a big hit with my family. There’s just something about toasted pecans and tangy raspberry jam that make for a delectable combo. My husband likened it to an extremely delicious (and much more appealing) nutra-grain bar. Yeah, I can get behind that.
It’s easy to toss together, and even easier to eat much more than intended. This is some addictive stuff; serve with caution.
By the way, there are some incredible double milled GF flours available from Authentic Foods. I was first introduced to the ‘superfine brown rice flour’ by the wonderful Julie Hasson (accompanied by raving reviews of the stuff by miss Kittee). But you guys, guess what? The fine folks at Authentic Foods also make a superfine sorghum flour (oh yes, my dreams have come true!)… and it’s the bees knees. For serious. I have been using it in everything lately, and I really enjoyed the results when I used it in this tart. I highly recommend trying it out if you’re up for a superfine splurge. Otherwise, just stick to regular sorghum flour for this recipe–it won’t hurt anything.
Have you ever tasted a lavender scone?
One of the fondest food memories from my childhood was my first encounter with this fragrant breakfast treat. My mother had brought a box home from work one day–a client of hers had made them for her as a gift. Luckily, she shared them with me. I had never experienced anything like them before and will never forget their wonderfully unique flavor.
I’ve yet to see any lavender scones in the bakeshops around my hometown–especially vegan and gluten free versions. Sigh.
To enjoy such a scone, I must make it myself. But, please don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining. Baking these things in my own oven is pretty much the best type of aroma-therapy a girl can ask for. ♥
The simplicity of this soup is what makes it so darn delightful. The cilantro imparts a wonderful citrus flavor and pairs well with the dense sweetness of the carrots.
The carrot soup alone is extremely flavorful, so if you have an aversion to cilantro, it’s not essential to add it at the end.
But, of course, if you LOVE cilantro… then by all means, add twice the recommended amount.