Friday, July 19, 2013

Creamy Cauliflower and Veggie Soup (GF)

So I know it's the middle of the summer...

But the other day, I was in the mood for creamy soup.

I didn't want anything with cream in it. So I came up with this recipe.

I might be the only person in Los Angeles that's okay with eating hot soup while it's 90 degrees outside.

I could honestly eat soup every day, it doesn't matter how hot it is.

But back to the soup...

I pretty much just threw in whatever veggies I had in the fridge. Luckily, I had zucchini and asparagus, and they worked perfectly.

We also had some spicy chicken sausage in the fridge, so I grilled it, chopped it up and threw it into the soup too.

The result was a hearty, healthy, deliciously creamy soup without all the guilt. Honestly, I was full for hours.

Ingredients: Serves 4

1 large head of cauliflower
1 1/2-2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch strips
1 large or two small zucchini's, chopped
2 links of sausage (optional)

Cut the cauliflower head up and steam in it in a pot of simmering water, drain and set aside.

In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté veggies in medium heat with salt and pepper, until they are al dente. Make sure avoid over cooking. Set veggies aside.

When the cauliflower has cooled, add it to a blender or food processor along with the 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup milk, and parmesan cheese. Process until the mixture has a smooth, soup-like texture, adding more chicken broth if needed.

In a pot on medium-low heat, sauté the garlic with the olive oil and carefully add cauliflower puree. Stir in veggies, and chicken sausage, if you like. Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as more broth if the soup is too thick. Stir soup until just hot, you do not want to cook the veggies too much more.

Serve with grate parmesan cheese and basil on top.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Heathy Italian Chopped Salad

One of the easiest ways to save money and eat healthy meals at home is to buy a rotisserie chicken. If you work long hours, but you're tired of eating out all the time, you could easily pick up a rotisserie chicken from a grocery store and use it all week. You could make your own roast chicken at home, of course, but for time sake, rotisserie is the way to go.

One of my favorite salads of all time is an italian chopped salad. Salami has held a special place in my heart ever since I was a kid. Some people are grossed out by it, but I love it.

So I decided to make one at home and try and spruce it up a bit--make it healthier. I used organic baby romaine lettuce and organic spinach, and chopped the greens up. In addition, I made my own vinaigrette with fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil and red wine vinegar. I used part-skim mozzarella and good quality salami, free of nitrates and chemicals.

The thing with italian chopped salad is that you can pretty much throw in whatever you want, that's what makes it so great. You can obviously omit any of these ingredients and change the salad to your liking. I had to throw in some cheesy garlic bread with mine (Brett's request). But with these simple ingredients, I assure you, this will be one of the best salads you've ever had.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

2 cups chopped organic spinach
3 cups chopped organic baby romaine
1 cup chickpeas (drained)
1/2 cup julienne cut salami
1 cup chopped chicken
5-7 leaves of basil, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded light mozzarella

For the Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon of chopped basil
1 tablespoon fresh parmesan cheese
pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)

In a large bowl mix the greens together. Top with chickpeas, salami, chopped chicken, cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil. In a small bowl (I prefer mason jar) whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, basil, and parmesan cheese until it emulsifies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dress salad with vinaigrette right before serving.

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