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Apple, Parsnip and Cardamom Soup + Lightened up Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

Posted Nov 05 2012 4:00am

Lightened up Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

As a vegetarian it is especially important to me to try new ways of preparing healthy vegetable side-dishes. Unfortunately, I often come across delicious sounding vegetable casseroles but they are so loaded with cheese or cream that they hardly count as vegetables! This was one such recipe that I altered significantly to lower the caloric and fat content of but maintains its creamy, rich consistency. Best of all it can be made the day before and baked just before dinner.

Ingredients:

-          16 oz. of frozen cauliflower, thawed by steaming 6 minutes in the microwave with ½ cup water

-          16 oz. of frozen broccoli, thawed by steaming 6 minutes in the microwave with ½ cup water

-          1 large onion, chopped

-          1 Tb I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

-          2 Tb flour

-          1 ¼ c. Almond milk (can use regular milk)

-          4 oz. of light cream cheese, cubed

-          2 Tb grated parmesan cheese

-          ½ tsp thyme

-          ½ tsp basil

-          ½ tsp oregano

-          1 tsp garlic salt

Breadcrumb topping:

-          ½ cup dry bread crumbs

-          ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

-          1 Tb melted I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

-          ½ tsp thyme

-          ½ tsp basil

-          ½ tsp oregano

Directions:

-          Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, 1 Tb melted I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano, thyme and basil in small bowl. Set aside. Steam the vegetables in the microwave and cut up any large broccoli or cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces. Transfer vegetables to a 2 quart baking dish.

-          Melt 1 Tb I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, remaining basil, thyme, oregano, garlic salt and pepper. Add milk; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese; cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Add cheese mix to the baking dish and mix well with the vegetables. Sprinkle top evenly with crumb mixture.

-          Bake 35 minutes or until heated through and top is lightly browned.

Apple, Parsnip, Cardamom and Fennel Soup with Honey

While on vacation recently I had the most incredible soup. It was this earthy, sweet and savoury soup with a surprising melody of flavors. This recipe doesn’t completely compare but it’s my best attempt at recreating it at home from scratch and I think those who enjoy fennel and parsnips will particularly enjoy this dish.

Ingredients:

-          1 large onion, chopped

-          2 fennel bulbs, chopped

-          1 Tb I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

-          4 medium parsnips, chopped (about 5 cups chopped)

-          1 large apple, chopped – I prefer the sweeter Gala’s for this

-          6 cups vegetable stock

-          4 Tb heavy cream

-          2 Tb cardamom

-          Salt and pepper to taste

-          Honey (or Agave)

Directions:

-          Melt 1 Tb I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in a large pot. Add onions and parsnips and sauté lightly for approximately 20 minutes.

-          Add in parsnips, green apple and vegetable stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.

-          Transfer soup to a blender and blend on high until you reach desired consistency. I had to do this in a few stages since it won’t all fit into the blender at once. I like my soup a bit thick so I blended it until it reached an ‘applesauce’ consistency.

-          Transfer back to pot and add cream (more or less to taste), cardamom, salt and pepper.

-          Add desired amounts to serving bowls and drizzle honey over the top. This really makes the dish as it adds that sweet touch that compliments the cardamom so well.

Thank you to Good to Know & Unilever Spreads for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of  Clever Girls Collective . All opinions expressed here are my own.

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