Thai style pumpkin and cauliflower soup

Yes, friends, Summer is feeling like a long time ago (and a long time to come around again).

Our hats have been replaced with beanies, shorts with warm pants and I am well and truly wearing layers and gloves on my morning walk. My car’s windscreen is already icy in the morning (having given up my spot in the garage to a cubby house that has been under construction for far too long), and the kids have been asking for hot chocolates instead of their usual smoothies.

So I guess it is no surprise that hearty, comfort food has returned to our weekly meal plans. The slow cooker is generally on my kitchen bench, or a stew slowly bubbling away in the oven.  And, when I am feeling particularly needy of a cosy meal, a soup will almost certainly be on the stove top.

This Thai-style pumpkin and cauliflower soup made a welcomed appearance a little while ago. The vegetables were roasted, then combined with red curry paste, onion, chicken stock and a little coconut milk. Cooked and blended to perfection, then topped with fresh coriander, a drizzle of coconut milk and some fried wonton wrappers.

Hearty and delicious! With a great yield too so we had lots leftover for lunch and dinner the following days.

Print Recipe
Thai style pumpkin and cauliflower soup
Course Soup
Cuisine Vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1.5 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Soup
Cuisine Vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1.5 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line 2 trays with baking paper.
  2. Place the pumpkin and cauliflower on the trays and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 40 minutes or until soft and golden. Remove from oven and set-aside.
  3. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan, and sauté the onion until starting to soften. Add the curry paste, and cook - stirring - for one minute.
  4. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the pumpkin and cauliflower and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Use a stick blender to blend the soup until smooth. Stir in half of the coconut milk and season as necessary.
  6. Divide the soup amongst serving bowls. Tope with an extra drizzle of coconut milk, the wonton strips and fresh coriander.
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Cauliflower and Sausage Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of those dishes that I love, but just don’t order all that often. Instead, I tend to opt for white rice when we are out at an Asian restaurant (or, even better, brown rice if it is available).

Recently, though, we rediscovered the magic that is a good fried rice, particularly when we worked out just how much the kids love it. However I remain mindful of the fact that it can be a little calorific and not something we should order all the time.

That was, until I came across a cauliflower version I could make at home.

Yes – instead of white rice – the base is cauliflower – processed until it resembles grains and stir-fried with a number of yummy additions. On this occasion it was eggs, sausages (we used a flavoured pork variety), coriander and variety of vegetables – corn, shallots, capsicum and onions.  Brought together with a little oil, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.

And after a quick flash fry in the wok – we had ourselves quite the tasty fried rice. Served with a small bowl of chilli sauce for the adults, yet keeping the main dish chilli-free for the kids.

The kids even went back for seconds, so I’m definitely keeping this dish in rotation. It makes for a great meal by itself, and would definitely work as side dish too!

Cauliflower and Sausage Fried Rice (serves 4) – Adapted from Taste magazine

  • 1 large cauliflower, broken into florets and processed until it resembles rice
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 4 sausages (we used pork), cooked and then sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 green shallots, sliced
  • Handful chopped coriander
  • Chilli sauce to serve
  1. Heat oil in a wok. Pour in the whisked egg, and swirl until it covers the base. Cook for a few minutes, then remove once cooked through and slice.
  2. Heat a little more oil in the wok and add the vegetables, garlic, ginger and soy. Stir-fry for 4 or so minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften.
  3. Add the cooked sausages and cauliflower, and cook for a few minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and the sausage slices are heated through.
  4. Add the sliced egg, soy sauce and coriander, and stir. Cook until everything is well combined and heated through.
  5. Spoon into bowls, and serve with chilli sauce (if using).

‘throw it in’ cauli pie

Once upon a time, well quite a few months ago actually – it was the night before a grocery shop. As you can imagine, the fridge and pantry both looked more than a little bare, with the crisper only revealing the last few veggies from the week before. IMG_1758 I did, however, find some beef mince in the freezer – and a half head of cauliflower tucked away at the back of the fridge. And so this rather random ‘throw it in’ cauli pie came to be. Mince, carrots, celery, onions and tomatoes – diced and sautéed in a little olive oil, garlic and a good amount of seasoning. IMG_1759 Placed into a baking dish – then topped with cauliflower – that I had steamed then mashed with a little milk, oregano and parmesan cheese. IMG_1762IMG_1763 Baked for 30 to 40 minutes at 180C – and well we had ourselves quite a tasty little meal! IMG_1767IMG_1770 And we even managed to fool the littlest member of our family with the ‘hidden’ vegetable content! What about you? Cooked any random meals lately?

Sweet potato, chickpea and cauliflower curry

IMG_0215 The weather in Canberra recently has been far from mild. Icy-cold winds and rain – the effects of being only a few hours from the snow-fields I presume. And with a lingering cold / lurgy, I’ve been craving comfort food. Something to warm me from the inside out – but something that doesn’t take too long to prepare. And this sweet potato, chickpea and cauliflower curry was just that. IMG_0209 Found in a recent edition of the Healthy Food Guide, I loved how speedy it was to prepare. Simply – coconut milk flavoured with tikka curry paste and ginger… IMG_0204IMG_0207 Into which I threw some sweet potato, cauliflower and chickpeas. Simmered until the vegetables were soft, then piled high on some rice noodles and topped with coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. IMG_0210 Yes, my friends, that would be pure ‘comfort-in-a-bowl’. IMG_0212 Perfect for the chilly wintery night on which it was served. What about you? How have you been staying warm this Winter?

From the BBB Soup Kitchen: Broc-Cauli Soup

IMG_9794 I think I may as well just declare it soup month. Or soup months. Or perhaps I should call it the “BBB Soup Kitchen”. For soup seems to be our ‘go to’ meal when desire to get to to the shops is lacking. Not only is it simple to prepare, I love that you can pretty much throw in whatever you want – and get a big warming healthy bowl-of-goodness at the end. IMG_9775 On this occasion – it was a broccolini & cauliflower combination. All the ingredients thrown into a pot – and simmered with herbs, garlic and chicken stock. IMG_9781 Blended to perfection – and served with some roasted walnuts and a side of sourdough. IMG_9792 Yep – why by store bought when homemade is this easy?! IMG_9793 Now – what to feature next in the BBB soup kitchen? IMG_9795 What about you? Are you a fan of homemade soup?

cauli crust pizza

I’ve certainly seen cauliflower crust pizzas making their way around the blog world lately. So when a big cauliflower arrived in our weekly grocery box (and having already made cauliflower soup on more than one occasion recently) it was as if the cauli crust gods had spoken, and it was time to give it a try. IMG_3575 I found the below recipe and got to work… IMG_3573 The cauliflower was processed, microwaved for 8 minutes, after which I removed as much liquid as I could. IMG_3579 Throw in an egg, and some grated parmesan, and the cauliflower crust was near complete. It just needed to be pressed onto a lined pizza tray until it resembled a pizza base… IMG_3580IMG_3581 And baked until golden brown (about 30 minutes at 220C). IMG_3582IMG_3583 ps. while doing so, I realised I left the baking pantry open. Miss C had also made this realisation, a few seconds before hand. IMG_3578 Oops…. But back to the pizza….. With the crust nice and golden, it was time to top! Just like you would with any pizza. IMG_3585 Passata, olives, chorizo, thyme and parmesan. Then back into the oven, and baked for a further 8 minutes – until the cheese had melted. IMG_3587 And voila! So what did I think of the overall cauli crust experience? It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t say it was awesome either. Sure it is low calorie and low carb (well apart from my chosen toppings lol), and could be a lighter alternative to its doughy counterpart, but I think I prefer my regular chewy pizza crust more. It really was more of a ‘boat’ for the regular pizza flavours, and you certainly couldn’t enjoy a slice using your hands….a definite fork meal! So….I enjoyed the meal, I just didn’t love the meal. Although l would probably still make it again if another cauliflower arrives in our vegetable box.  IMG_3588 I just have to avoid the temptation to compare it with regular pizza (of which it is not). What about you? Have you tried a cauli crust?

Cauliflower macaroni and salad sides

IMG_2783 On Saturday, we had our family around for dinner and a little a lot of rugby watching. It was cold and dark outside, as it is this time of year in Canberra, so when deciding what to cook I found myself leaning towards comfort food. Something filling, something warming, something like this delightful cauliflower macaroni I found in Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals cookbook. IMG_2652 While the recipe allowed for the meal to be put on the table speedily, I slowed things down. I prepared the macaroni and the crumb in the afternoon, but didn’t finish the dish off in the oven until just before we sat down to eat. IMG_2653 And what a lovely little make-ahead meal it turned out to be. You can find a link to recipe here. To start, I cooked the cauliflower and macaroni in a large pot of boiling water until the pasta was al dente. IMG_2703 Then mashed the cauliflower as best I could, stirred through some crème fraiche, grated cheese and garlic, and seasoned well. Then the mixture was transferred to my baking dish. IMG_2701IMG_2704IMG_2705 Next the crumb…. I didn’t have any pancetta – but I did have some lovely smoked ham that I sliced thinly and grilled instead. This was then processed with wholemeal breadcrumbs and rosemary – to create the most wonderful smelling crumb! IMG_2655 Sprinkled atop the macaroni mixture – and it was at this point I covered the dish until dinner time. IMG_2707IMG_2710 (I later baked the dish for about 15 minutes at 200C, allowing the crumb to become crispy and golden brown). Knowing the pasta was quite a hearty and rich main, I wanted to keep the sides relatively simple. First – I made a chunky basil sauce, of sorts, using fresh basil leaves, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil… IMG_2711IMG_2712 Which I stirred through some chopped cherry tomatoes and baby bocconcini. IMG_2713 And, to get some ‘crunch’ factor into our meal, I also made a green salad with chopped cos, mint and sliced zucchini – dressed very simply with lemon zest and juice. IMG_2776 All together now! IMG_2778 Warm cauliflower macaroni, with basil tomatoes and a lemony green salad. IMG_2784 A lovely little meal, shared among family. And most certainly comfort food. I rather enjoyed the macaroni – which had the added vegetable bonus of cauliflower throughout. It was creamy, but not too creamy, and the rosemary crumb was crispy and smoky. IMG_2794 One thing that was obvious, though, was the serving sizes called for in the recipe were huge. I followed the recipe pretty much to the tee, but even with 6 hungry people at our table (and noting the recipe said it served 6), there was almost half of the macaroni dish leftover at the end. Not that I am complaining (everyone was sent home with  leftovers for lunch the following day) – just an observation really! Although perhaps we were just saving room for dessert…. IMG_2643 Details to come! What about you? Tried any tasty pasta dishes lately?

Cauliflower soup

IMG_1897 Soup will always remind me of family. Of Melbourne winters. Of my childhood. Lazy Sunday lunches when we would return home from visiting our grandparents and share stories over a big bowl of steaming soup with freshly baked bread on the side. So I think it is no surprise that when Winter arrives in Canberra, I find myself more inclined to put a big batch of soup on the stove. Something that we can add to at dinner time, or enjoy at lunchtime when the day outside is dark and dreary. This particular soup, was inspired by the huge head of cauliflower that arrived in our weekly vegetable box. IMG_1879 A quick scour of my recipe books, and I came across a recipe for cauliflower soup that had me intrigued. IMG_1881 Simple in ingredients, and method. Adapted to use up a leek that we also had in the fridge. IMG_1882 Simply – a sliced leek sautéed in a little olive oil, then combined with the whole cauliflower that I had chopped roughly. Then in went chicken stock, and I let the mixture simmer for a good 30 to 40 minutes. IMG_1883IMG_1884 Finished with a teaspoon of the ‘secret’ ingredient… IMG_1886 Then pureed into a luscious creamy soup. IMG_1887 I served the soup with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese, and a couple lightly toasted English muffins on the side. IMG_1890 With my first mouthful – I was in heaven. IMG_1892 Silky smooth soup – that was packed with flavour – despite having very few ingredients! IMG_1895 And as we chatted over our steaming bowls of soup that evening, I was transported back to those lovely Sunday afternoons of my childhood. IMG_1899 And my heart was warmed. Cauliflower soup (serves 3-4)

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced (white part only)
  • 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 L chicken stock
  • 1 tsp vegemite
  • Fresh parsley and grated parmesan, to serve
  1. Heat oil in a large pan over a medium/high heat. Add the leek, and sauté until it has started to soften, stirring.
  2. Add the cauliflower and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes – or until the cauliflower is nice and soft.
  3. Add the vegemite, and stir to combine.
  4. Remove from the heat, and puree until smooth.
  5. Ladle into bowls, and top with parsley and parmesan – to taste.

What about you? Have any fond childhood memories that you would care to share?

Vegetarian cauliflower curry

IMG_9030 In addition to soups, we have been warming up with lots of curries and stews lately. And this one, although rather simple, was packed with flavour. Just as a good curry should be, really. Inspired by a large cauliflower that arrived in my weekly vegetable box, I set about making a vegetarian curry. Using curry paste, ginger and onions as the flavour base.. IMG_9020 Simmered with water, fresh tomatoes and, of course, the cauliflower… IMG_9024 Finished with a cup of frozen peas and a a tub of natural yoghurt. IMG_9025IMG_9026 Piled high on a bed of brown rice, and served with fresh coriander. IMG_9028 And my favourite curry addition… IMG_9029 A couple hard boiled eggs! IMG_9033 Simple, fragrant, tasty. IMG_9030 And a lovely way to warm up on a cold Canberra night! What about you? Do you have a favourite curry?

Cauliflower and potato soup

IMG_9359 With the cold weather that Canberra is having at the moment, I think it will come as no surprise when I tell you that there has been a lot of soup consumed in the BBB household recently. My favourite being this tasty cauliflower and potato soup that we served at a family lunch a little while ago. IMG_9333 And with only 4 ingredients – it was super easy to throw together. Just potatoes, leek, cauliflower (all from our weekly vegetable box) and vegetable stock. IMG_9334 Simmer until tender, seasoned, then blended until smooth. IMG_9360 Topped with chopped spring onions, and a drizzle of light cream. IMG_9361 The result? A rich, silky smooth soup, that was healthy and packed with flavour. IMG_9363 Definitely one for the ‘keeper’ list! What about you? Tried any nice soups lately?