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.
One of my guilty pleasures is watching hours and hours of the Food Network every week. On nights when I’m home alone, I can watch several Chopped episodes back to back. My poor husband is not a fan of cooking shows, but tolerates my crazy cooking show marathons because he knows I get great ideas and inspiration from them. One of my favorite shows to watch on weekend mornings (while my husband is still sleeping) is the Pioneer Woman. She’s so awesome and always has great ideas. One of my favorite meals from the Pioneer Woman is her Sunday Night Stew. Her delicious recipe inspired me to create a paleo version of beef stew. This hearty stew is definitely a crowd pleaser with it’s tender meat, veggies and gravy all poured over creamy mashed cauliflower. My favorite way to make mashed cauliflower is to not mash it at all. I much prefer the creamy consistency I get when I purée the cauliflower with a bit of EVOO.
Beef Stew Over Mashed Cauliflower (stew recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman)
Makes about 8 servings
Ingredients for stew:
1 1/2 – 2 lbs beef stew meat
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 turnips, peeled and diced
3 tbsp EVOO
4 cups low sodium or no salt beef broth
4 ounces tomato paste
5 dashes of raw coconut aminos
1/2 tsp raw honey
Salt and pepper
Fresh Italian parsley for garnish
Ingredients for mashed cauliflower:
1 1/2 bags of frozen cauliflower florets (24 oz)
1 tsp EVOO
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1. Add EVOO to a large pot and turn heat to medium-high. Salt and pepper meat and add to the pot.
2. Cook meat on all sides until it turns a nice brown, about 4 minutes. You may need to do this in batches. Remove meat to a plate and set aside.
3. In the same pot with the leftover meat juice, add onions and garlic and cook them for about 2-3 minutes until they get soft.
4. Stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Pour in beef broth and add the coconut aminos and honey. Add the meat back to the pot, stir everything to combine, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
6. While stew is simmering, add cauliflower to a pot of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes until cauliflower is very tender. Drain cauliflower and add to a blender with EVOO and purée for a few seconds (you may need to do this in batches). Don’t purée for too long or you’ll end up with cauliflower soup! 😉 Add thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
7. After 1 1/2 hours, add the carrots and turnips to the pot and simmer for an additional 45 minutes until vegetables are tender.
8. After 45 minutes, taste the stew and add salt and pepper if needed.
9. Serve stew in a bowl over mashed cauliflower and sprinkle with fresh parsley.