Creamy Cauliflower Turnip Soup

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.

Cauliflower Turnip Soup
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.


Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Cilantro lime cauliflower rice

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 lime
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.


Paleo Chicken Fideo

Paleo Chicken Fideo

It has been an eventful last few days for me with Easter and Fiesta festivities. I think I indulged way too much this past week. Every time I visit my family, it’s so hard to resist the delicious, non-paleo food they make. I don’t know about your family, but my family sure does like to eat, especially on holidays! What do you do to resist temptation at family gatherings? Any tips? Even though I stray away from strict paleo eating at times, the important thing is that I always get back on track. It’s getting harder and harder for me to cheat. Sometimes I think I can have a little dairy or a little gluten every once in a while and usually end up paying for it with an upset stomach and low energy.

This chicken fideo is the perfect meal to make if you feel you have indulged a bit too much. It’s so simple to make, but very satisfying. It always hits the spot when I’m craving chicken fideo. I grew up eating the fideo that’s packaged in a yellow box, which is a short, thick noodle. When I was in college, I had a roommate who used super thin, long noodles that I loved. Since I no longer eat regular fideo, I use kelp noodles for my fideo and they remind me a lot of the kind my roommate used to make. Have you ever tried kelp noodles? They are amazing! They are long and thin and are great for stir fry, pasta dishes and salads because they are basically flavorless so you can add any spices to them. These raw noodles are made from a type of seaweed and are high in iodine, which is great for your thyroid. Give them a try!

Chicken fideo

Paleo Chicken Fideo
Makes 4-6 servings

1.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs
1 12 oz bag of kelp noodles, rinsed under cold water and cut into smaller strands
1/2 white onion, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Mexican oregano
2 tsp salt, divided

1. Add water to a stockpot and add in onion, garlic, 1 tsp salt and chicken.
2. Bring water to a boil on high heat and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for one hour.
3. Scoop out the chicken, onions, garlic and 1 cup of the water used for boiling the chicken and add to a pan on low-medium heat.
4. Stir in tomato paste and carefully break apart chicken into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon.
5. Add in noodles, oregano and 1 tsp salt and cook for 5 minutes to allow the noodles to get warm and soak up the flavors.
6. Serve in bowls.

The leftover liquid used for boiling can be refrigerated or frozen in a freezer bag and used as chicken stock for future dishes.


Mango Avocado Salsa Topped Tilapia

Mango avocado topped tilapia
Today’s recipe was inspired by the springlike weather we’ve been having here in San Antonio. I spent my weekend trying out my new b-cycle membership, dining al fresco at a new restaurant and running errands. This mango avocado salsa is so fresh and delicious, sometimes I eat it with a spoon right out of the bowl. 😀

I actually did not like avocados or mangos until a few years ago. The texture of the avocado and sliminess of the mango freaked me out. My history with avocado goes back to my thyroid cancer diagnosis and having to start the low iodine diet. My first time going on the low iodine diet was very difficult as I was being deprived of pretty much all the food I ate on a daily basis. I was forced to try different food to keep me full. My husband convinced me to try homemade guacamole with homemade corn tortilla chips and man, I was in heaven. Since then, avocados are always well stocked in our pantry.

Mango avocado salsa

Mango Avocado Salsa Topped Tilapia

Makes 4 servings

Mango Avocado Salsa
1 mango
1 large Haas avocado
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper

4 tilapia fillets
1 tsp EVOO
Juice of half of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with a large piece of foil.
2. Drizzle the EVOO on the foil and place the tilapia fillets on top. Season the top of the tilapia with salt, pepper, cayenne and lime.
3. Cover the tilapia by folding the foil over on all sides, you might need an extra sheet of foil to cover entirely (this keeps the tilapia moist). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
4. While the tilapia is baking, peel and dice the avocado and mango and roughly chop the cilantro and place in a bowl. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper and carefully combine everything. Put in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
5. After the tilapia has baked for 15 minutes, turn the oven to broil and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Remove tilapia from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Pour mango avocado salsa on top or on the side of tilapia fillets.

This tilapia goes great with a side of sautéed asparagus or a spinach salad. Enjoy!


Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Cauliflower Rice
I LOVE cauliflower. It’s one of the most versatile vegetables I can think of, from burger buns to mashed “potatoes”, there are endless possibilities. I have never been good at making Mexican rice. Like, never. I always overcooked or undercooked the rice. I guess I’m just not meant to eat rice. Cauliflower rice, however, I have mastered. 😉

Makes 4-5 servings

1 head of cauliflower
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 oz tomato paste or fresh puréed tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup no salt or low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

1. Remove stems and leaves of cauliflower and cut florets into large pieces. Grate the florets by hand with a cheese grater (or throw into the food processor) until it resembles rice.
2. Heat the olive oil on medium in a large pan and sauté the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes until they become soft and translucent.
3. Stir in all the spices and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Stir in the tomato paste and cauliflower and combine all ingredients.
5. Add chicken broth, cover pan and simmer for about 10 minutes or until rice is soft.

Serve your rice alongside your favorite Mexican dish or eat it by itself right out of the bowl.