Hi! It has been over four months since my last post, and I am excited to get back into regular recipe testing this summer! I traveled extensively for work this winter and early spring, and am still getting back into the swing of my normal cooking and workout routines.
I have not been very creative with my meal planning these last few weeks, and have been sticking with mostly boring salads, lettuce-wrapped burgers and Mexican take-out food. Sometimes I forget how delicious the most simple recipes can be, like this cauliflower turnip soup. This soup is one of my favorites, and is reminiscent of a creamy potato soup. Soup is not something I would normally crave this time of year, but the weather has been dreary this week, and is currently in the 60s, so this soup fit the bill.
Makes 4 servings
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 small turnips, peeled and cubed
2 cloves of garlic, cut in half
1/2 yellow onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup of low sodium chicken stock
4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped (for garnish). Reserve bacon grease.
Green onions, chopped (for garnish)
Salt and black pepper
1. Bring water to a boil in a steaming pot and add cauliflower, turnips, garlic and onion. Lightly salt cauliflower and turnips, put cover on pot and steam for 25 minutes, or until everything is fork tender.
2. Add steamed items to a blender and add in chicken stock and a tbsp of the reserved bacon grease. If you like your soup very hot like I do, heat up the chicken stock before adding to the blender. Carefully puree for a few seconds until everything is blended well and soup is a creamy consistency. Salt to taste. (You may need to do this step in two batches if your blender is small.)
3. Pour soup in bowls and garnish with black pepper, green onions and bacon.
Summer is always a very busy time for me with out of town family visits and trips, so it’s really nice when I get to spend an entire weekend at home doing nothing. This past weekend I spent my time binge-watching House of Cards and old movies on Netflix. It was awesome. I also made this amazing cilantro lime cauliflower rice. 😀
Makes 4-5 Servings
1 head of cauliflower
2 tbsp unsalted grass-fed butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup cilantro
1 cup no salt or low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1. Remove stems and leaves of cauliflower and cut florets into large pieces. Grate the florets by hand with a box grater.
2. Add butter to a pan and turn on heat to medium. Stir in garlic and cook for one minute.
3. Add in cauliflower and chicken broth. Cover and lower heat to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in cilantro, salt, pepper and lime juice and turn off heat.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Whether you celebrate this holiday or are just in the mood for a light, spring meal, you should absolutely make this shrimp cocktail tonight. It tastes exceptionally great with a side of extra avocado and plantain chips. 😀
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Makes about 8 servings
1 lb cooked shrimp (tail off), peeled and deveined
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
1 large avocado, cubed
1 14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes
1 cup organic tomato sauce
1-2 tbsp Tabasco hot sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper
1. Roughly cut half of the shrimp and leave the other half whole. Combine everything in a large bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.
If you haven’t noticed, I really like avocados. I think almost everything I make has to involve an avocado somehow. If you don’t like avocados, sorry! There’s this amazing food truck in Austin that serves the best fried avocado taco. It’s served on a corn tortilla with beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, cheese and some super addictive green sauce. It’s so not paleo, but I can’t resist when I’m in Austin. I really wanted to attempt fried avocado and I must say it was a huge success. If you’re missing a crunchy and creamy element in your salads or need a new side item, fried avocado will do the trick. I drizzled mine with my avocado cilantro crema and ate it with a fork…yes, I ate avocados with more avocados drizzled on top. I might need help. 😉
Paleo Fried Avocado
Makes 4 servings
1 large Haas avocado
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, whisked in a bowl
4 tbsp coconut oil
1. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and carefully remove the skin. Slice each piece in half lengthwise. You should now have four slices of avocado.
2. On a plate, add coconut flour and salt.
3. Add coconut oil to a pan and heat on medium.
4. Dip each slice of avocado into the egg and then coat with coconut flour and salt.
5. Carefully place slices in the oil and cook on all sides for about 2 minutes each until flour looks golden brown.
6. Serve warm.
Oh tostones, how I love you. Seriously, I am a bit obsessed with these things. I have to really try hard not to throw green plantains into my grocery cart every single week.
The first time I tried tostones was in a Columbian restaurant in Mexico City last summer. In Mexico City? Yep. This Columbian restaurant was amazing, I went several times throughout my visit. After returning to San Antonio, I was obsessed with replicating these delicious plantains. There’s something about the crunchy outside and soft inside that is soo good. If you’re missing french fries, starchy food or just need carbs to supplement your intense workouts, tostones will do the trick. I love to eat mine with guacamole, Frank’s Hot Sauce or salsa. I also love to make empanadas, burger buns and tostadas out of these things. More green plantain recipes coming soon. 😉
Tostones (Fried Green Plantains)
Makes 12 tostones
3 dark green plantains
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup coconut oil
1. Heat a medium size saucepan on medium heat and add the coconut oil.
2. Peel plantains, rinse and dry them with paper towels. If you’re not sure how to peel plantains, just Google “how to peel a plantain”.
3. Cut each plantain into quarters.
4. Carefully place plantain quarters into hot oil with tongs. Turn plantains every 2 minutes until all sides of the plantains have been cooked. You may need to do this in batches.
5. Remove plantains from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
6. Line a tortilla press with wax paper and one by one, place each plantain in the tortilla press and smash softly. The idea is not to press down too hard or the plantain will crack or break into pieces. If you don’t have a tortilla press, using a large mug or bowl will work just as good.
7. Place smashed plantains back into the oil and fry each side for 2 minutes. Remove from oil and place back onto paper towel lined plate.
8. Add a few pinches of salt to the hot tostones and serve with your favorite salsa or guacamole.