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A Busy Tuesday + Two New Recipes: Moroccan Cauliflower Rice and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Posted Jan 09 2013 3:27am

Sorry for such a late post today. It was a fun, but busy day: starting out with a play date at our friend’s house (Keenan’s favorite buddy, Dries!) this morning, followed by prepping dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, doing odds and ends around the house, catching up on emails and heading to CrossFit for a doosey of a workout. The workout consisted of: 800 m run followed by 20 wall balls, 30 hand release push ups, 40 kettle bell snatches with 35 lbs for women and another 800 m run.

Also…look what arrived! My laptop is finally here, whoohoo!! I’m excited to start using it, but as with anything new, there is a lot to learn, especially with Windows 8, thus the reason why I’m typing this post EXTREMELY late.

I'm SO excited to have my own laptop!

I’m SO excited to have my own laptop!

Anyhow, more about our day: For some reason when I woke up today, I was SUPER hungry! We had a delicious and satisfying dinner last night, Mediterranean Chicken in the Crock Pot (minus the feta cheese) over a bed of fresh spinach, so I’m not sure why I woke up famished. I added a can of tomato sauce to my recipe this time, which made it very soupy. Next time, I will definitely serve it over something that can absorb the sauce, like spaghetti squash (though pasta or bread would have been nice!). Keenan was certainly happy to have Kalamata olives on his plate!

So satisfying, but bread would have been nice to soak up all of the sauce!

So satisfying, but bread would have been nice to soak up all of the sauce!

For breakfast this morning, Keenan requested pancakes, so I tried something a little different that didn’t go as well as I would have liked. The batter was really thick and didn’t cook up well, thus creating a pancake mess (only two out out of the six pancakes turned out okay!). I used coconut and almond flour (about 1/2 cup each), along with three eggs, 1/2 cup of egg whites, 1 mashed banana, 1 to 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tbsp water, 1 tsp coconut oil, about 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking powder, splash of vanilla, sprinkle of chia seeds and about 1 tbsp of water. I measured out the flours and egg whites and pretty much eye-balled the rest. The flavor was great, but the consistency was too crumbly. So, it is back to the drawing board for finding a good coconut flour or Paleo pancake recipe. The coconut flour and almond flour pancake recipes that I came up with in the past were good, but I wasn’t happy with their consistencies. The almond flour ones were a little too dry and the coconut flour ones were too crumbly. I want to make something that resembles more of a “regular’ pancake consistency and texture (if that is possible). I need to keep experimenting, but I think the trick is using both flours, but only adding only a small amount of coconut flour and the rest almond flour with plenty of liquid. I’ll let you know once I figure out the right ratio of flours to liquid and have a new and improved Paleo pancake recipe.

An attempt at a new and improved Paleo pancake recipe...that didn't turn out too bad.

An attempt at a new and improved Paleo pancake recipe…

Speaking of Paleo, we are on day two of our challenge and so far, so good (aside from being super hungry this morning). The pancakes hit the spot and kept me full until lunch time. Also, I tried almond milk in my coffee this morning and it tasted so much better than coconut milk! It isn’t the same as cow’s milk, but it tasted pretty good, so we will definitely be sticking with it for the next 30 days. For lunch, I was craving egg whites in a mug (again) over my usual bed of spinach, topped with avocado, tomato and salsa. It is just too good! Tonight we had something a little different: Moroccan Cauliflower Rice (recipe below!) with Crock Pork and Apples . It was a hit! My husband actually prefers having cauliflower rice this way, instead of the Mediterranean style.

Moroccan Style Cauliflower Rice

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3

Moroccan Style Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 chopped roasted almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and chop cauliflower. Place in a large microwaveable dish and microwave on high for 7-10 minutes (until steamed).
  2. Once cauliflower is steamed, place into a food processor and pulse, until it is the consistency of rice (you may need to do this in two batches). *Make sure not to “over pulse” it, or the cauliflower will become mushy when cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, saute garlic and onion with spices in olive oil in large saute pan.
  4. Add cauliflower to pan and cook until flavors have blossomed.
  5. Add dried cranberries and apricots and mix well.
  6. Divide among 3 plates and top with roasted almonds Serve as a side dish to pork, chicken or fish!
  7. Enjoy!
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Also, before I forget, here is my husband’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe (probably one of my favorite soups) that some of you have requested. I’m posting it at his request, “unedited for your viewing pleasure!”

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 4

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1.25-inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 0.5-inch dice
  • 1-8 garlic cloves, minced (depends on your love of garlic)
  • Fresh and dried herbs and spices: rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, seasoning powders, etc. What you feel like using.
  • 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed, or about 1.5 cups of dried white beans that have been cooked and drained
  • 1-4 cups chicken or veggie broth (depends on how thick you'd like your soup)
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce, or other savory liquid
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar or mild red wine vinegar, or whatever "sour" you'd like to use to balance the squash
  • Toppings: good balsamic, thinned sour cream, yoghurt, sweet chile sauce, cubed chicken, roasted nuts, hot sauce, pesto, herbs, etc.*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Toss cubed squash with some oil, salt and pepper. Place in baking pan (you can line with foil if you want easier clean-up), spread out cubes, and toss in oven until soft and browned (40 minutes?). Darker color means more flavor, so toe the line, you wild child.
  2. While squash is roasting, heat a large pot to medium or medium-low, and start slowly cooking the onions with some salt and pepper. Once they're translucent, add the garlic and herbs/spices. Stir every once in a while, and get everything nice and caramelized.
  3. Add beans and continue to cook. The onion-garlic-spice mix should smell so good, you don't want to share dinner with anyone.
  4. Toss in browned squash. Pour in some broth and stir things up.
  5. If you want to leave the soup chunky, just mash the ingredients around a little, add your Worcestershire and vinegar, and let simmer until the taste is just right. Check saltiness, serve, top and enjoy.
  6. If you're going to make a smooth soup, leave the soup to simmer. If you're in a hurry, this can be as short as 5-10 minutes, or as long as 30, or more. Add splashes of Worcestershire and vinegar, to taste, and let simmer, stirring every once in a while.
  7. Now is the time to pulse it in batches in a blender (careful!), or use an immersion blender (whee!). Add more broth if you want the soup thinner, and let it come back up to a simmer.
  8. Check saltiness, serve, top and enjoy. Splurge and sop it up with good bread.

Notes

You can go with a lot of different flavors. Mexican. Italian. Moroccan. Greek. Indian. Thai. Herbes de Provence. Whatever. Just change out flavors, and you're good to go. I like this soup with fresh rosemary a lots of garlic, and topped with a good balsamic and yoghurt and chile garlic sauce. I LOVE this soup with a sweet curry profile (cinnamon, corriander, and cardamom).

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My eyes are getting heavy, so it’s bedtime for me!

Questions: What is your favorite soup? Have you baked with coconut flour? If so, how did it turn out? I’m thinking of experimenting with it for cookies and possibly muffins, using a little almond flour, too.

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