This is an off the cuff soup that a friend requested the recipe for, so here ya go!
Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Soup
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
3 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1/2 tsp thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
1 tsp curry powder (more if you want)
pinch nutmeg (fresh grated if you have it and you should, whole nutmegs last FOREVER!)
1.5 cup chicken stock or water with one bouillon cube
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you have it, it’s not that important)
1/2 cup heavy cream
(OR use about a cup of half n half OR all cream. Whatever, just get the consistency to where you want it.)
Bring a 4 qt pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbl salt and the cauliflower. Cook until tender. Drain. In the same pot over med heat, put butter and celery, carrot, garlic and onion and cook until soft (do not brown, just sweat, adjust heat). Then add flour, thyme, curry and nutmeg and stir thoroughly. Add in cooked cauliflower and stock. Stir and let flour cook for a couple minutes. Kill the heat and puree with a stick blender (or use a regular blender). Stir in the cheese, buttermilk and cream. Adjust seasoning and consistency to your taste. Serve!
Since the Mediterranean spread I did at the condos was such a hit, I thought I’d share some of the recipes that were especially good! The whole buffet had dolmathes, couscous, white bean hummus, tsatziki, cilantro pesto, feta, lemons, olives and pita. Here are the recipes for my vegan dolmas, tzatziki, vegan couscous and vegan white bean hummus (some are not as large as what I do for catering; they are geared for the home cook). ENJOY!
**this will make about 20 dolmas**
Grape leaves (jarred, in the pickle aisle or the ethnic aisle)
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup red lentils
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
4 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbl minced dill
2 Tbl minced mint
1 Tbl Cilantro (optional)
zest and juice of 2 large or 3 small lemons
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Bring 1.5 cups water to boil with 1 tsp salt. Add rice and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Add lentils and raisins and cook another 5-7 minutes. Rice should be done, but still have a little tooth. While rice/lentils are cooking, sauté onions and garlic with olive oil in a skillet to soften. When rice/lentils/raisins are done and all water is absorbed, add sautéed onions and garlic and the rest of the ingredients, combine. Add 1 Tbl olive oil to this and check seasoning.
While the filling is cooling, unjar and rinse the grape leaves. Carefully unwind and separate them and trim off any long stems. To fill, lay leave stem+vein side up, with stem towards you. Add in about a teaspoon of filling for smaller leaves, up to a tablespoon for large leaves. Compact the filling and roll like a cigar once, then fold in side leaves and continue rolling. You’ll get a feel for this after a few. Pile the rolled dolmas into a dish and top liberally with olive oil. Serve at room temperature. Serve with tzatziki if you’re not vegan.
1 cup Greek yogurt (I use Fage full fat for best taste)
2 small Persian cucumbers, diced
1 Tbl garlic paste or 3 cloves very finely diced garlic
1 Tbl minced dill
1 Tbl minced mint
zest and juice of 1 large or 2 smaller lemons
Mix together, season to taste, let sit for at least a half hour for best taste.
Israeli Couscous and Roasted Vegetables
1 cup Israeli couscous, prepared (do not use butter if vegan)
2-3 small golden beets, peeled, small (1/4-1/2″) dice
2 small eggplants (Chinese are good) or one large one, small dice with skin
2 small zucchini (or one large) small dice with skin
1 large red bell pepper, small dice
1 med red onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest and juice of 2 small or one large lemon
2 Tbl minced parsley
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Prepare Israeli couscous as directed. Preheat oven to 400F.
Put beets, eggplant, zucchini, pepper and onion on a baking sheet, coat liberally with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for about 20 mins, or until the veg is soft and has some colour. Put couscous in a big bowl while still hot and add garlic, zest and juice of lemons, parsley and cinnamon. Add in roasted veg and combine. Add about a Tbl of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or room temp.
White Bean Hummus
2 cans great northern beans, one drained, one drained about half
3 Tbl tahini
1 Tbl garlic paste (or 3 cloves garlic, finely minced/pasted)
zest and juice of one large or two small lemons
2 tsp zatar spice blend (optional)
Put beans, tahini, garlic paste, zest/juice of lemon and zatar in blender. Start blending and stream in about 2 Tbl olive oil. If it’s too tight, you can add a little water or extra lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time! Finally, I found cut up jackfruit at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market, so I picked up a 2-3# chunk for this! Jackfruit are usually 10# and UP, so finding them in chunks is awesome if you don’t need to make a ton of this BBQ. It’s so good, tho, that you might want to make a ton and freeze it! The “pulled pork” part of this recipe is vegan, but the sauce is not due to the butter I finished it with. You could sub margarine or just leave it off. I made this a berbere type BBQ sauce, but I think Korean style sauce would be very good as well. Use whatever you like! Just echo the flavours of your sauce with your cooking water for the fruit.
Vegan Jackfruit “Pulled Pork”
2-3# chunk of jackfruit (scale up recipe if you’re doing a whole one)
2.5 Tbl berbere
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbl salt
one dry guajillo (optional)
3-4 bay leaves
1 cup cooking liquid
3 Tbl ketchup
1 Tbl yellow mustard
1 tsp berbere
1/2 tsp black pepper
Finish with 2 Tbl butter if desired; leave off for vegan
First, you must prep the jackfruit. This is the most tedious part! The main thing to know about this weird fruit is that it is HELLA STICKY. The rind and parts around the seed pods have some sort of sticky stuff on them that is impervious to soap, alcohol and only mostly will come off with 100% acetone. WEAR GLOVES!! And lube up the gloves with food release or oil – as well as any knives you’ll be using. I think that oil will loosen the sticky a bit, but it’s serious stuff.
What you’re doing is pulling out the seed pods and removing the seeds and their cases. The seed pods are the edible bits and they are not as sticky as the rest of the fruit. You want to have seedless pods like this:
This 2-3# piece of jackfruit gave me about 3 cups of pods. So I guess you can figure about a cup per pound. Put the pods in a pot and cover with water. Add all the seasonings and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with food release. Use a slotted spoon to fish out the cooked pods and spread onto the sheet pan in a single layer. Bake for about an hour, or until the edges are getting brown. If you like burnt ends and/or a lot of bark, let the jackfruit get dark like I did. It is delicious!
Scrape the jackfruit off the sheet pan and pull apart any large chunks with a fork. I got a little over a cup from the original 3 cups I started with, so LOTS of shrinkage. I think a 10# jackfruit would be the perfect size for a batch now that I have cooked with it. There is a LOT of waste and a lot of shrinkage.
For the sauce, put the liquid and next four ingredients in a small saucepan and cook down by 1/3 or until desired thickness. Finish with butter if you are not vegan and want that nice glossy, fatty buttery feel to add to the finished dish. I think the extra fat compensates for the lack of fat overall. I dressed the “pork” with a little sauce before storing in the fridge.
YES! I said buttermilk! This is a beautiful and light soup great in any season. To make vegetarian, use veg stock instead of chicken stock. I was inspired by these lovely “Aloha” striped bell peppers I found at the Farmers Mkt.
Buttermilk Pepper Soup
~2 cups large diced Red, Orange and Yellow Bell Peppers (about 3-4 peppers)
2/3-3/4 cup diced white onion (one med)
3 cloves garlic, minced (~2 tsp)
3 Tbl butter
2 Tbl A/P flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp chili paste (Amore brand is the one I use)
1 cup chicken (or Veg) stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
Melt butter in a large soup pot on med; add onions and garlic and cook until onions are transparent. Add peppers and salt. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir thoroughly; cook another 3 mins. Add white pepper and chili paste, stir again. Add chicken stock, turn up head to med high and cook peppers for about 5-7 minutes, until they are softened.
Whiz the peppers with an immersion blender or in a countertop blender until smooth. Add cream and buttermilk and check seasoning – mine took another 1/2 tsp salt.