cauliflower

 

Need:

  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • 3 cups of liquid (I mixed some beef broth with water)
  • seasoning

 

There are different ways you can do this to add flavor. But by 6pm on Sunday night, I’m just tired and want to have this cook itself while I watch a movie and do laundry in my massage slippers and fuzzy blanket.

So what do I do? Cauliflower soup, in the absolute; laziest way possible.

I cut the bottom greens off the head of cauliflower, and roughly chopped the head.

Then, dumped all the cauliflower into a sauce pan, and poured in some broth and water until the liquid covered the cauliflower.

I covered the pot, brought it to a boil, and then turned it down to a simmer for about 15 minutes. After the cauliflower was overly fork tender, I turned off the heat and took the pan off the burner for it too cool a bit before blending.

After a couple minutes, I ran that soup through the blender, put it back in the pot, and seasoned to taste.

Done.

 

Yes, if you would like more flavor there are several other things you can do. For one thing, you can marinade your cauliflower ahead of time. Or, you can roast the cauliflower for 15 min or so in a 350 degree oven covered in spices, and caramelize onions in a sauce pan before adding in the spice infused cauliflower.

These are steps I just didn’t take – and it turned out just fine. You can also add some cheese to this soup, cream to thicken, or a cornstarch/water mixture. I didn’t do this, and just was careful not to add too much liquid, because the less liquid you add the thicker it will be naturally.

I can now successfully say I have turned my fondue left overs into a complete weeks worth of meals!

#EatOn

Fondue Setting

 

So over the weekend, I transformed my tiny Chicago apartment into a fondue wonderland and had a fondue dinner party with friends, which was great, but subsequently left me with a lot of weird left overs.

We had a cheese dip made of white wine and three cheeses, with bread & cauliflower to dip. We also had tenderloin steak cooked in a home made vegetable broth, and then in infused with a little soy sauce, olive oil, and seasonings to dip the steak in.

So you can imagine when I went to cook for the week today, I certainly didn’t want to go grocery shopping because I had so many good foods already! So I decided to make a beautiful casserole with what was remaining.

I decided to keep the left over steak outside the casserole, and cut it into strips the size of bacon so I could cook some steak strips quickly in the morning for my breakfasts. (Steak Strips are a great breakfast option because the thin tenderloin steaks cook in about 3 minutes – just like bacon, and is extremely filling and a great morning boost)

So this left me with the cheese dip, steak sauce mixture, cauliflower, and bread. With some whole wheat pasta that I had in the pantry, and a can of tomatoes, I was able to create enough food for the entire week.

Just as a side note on pasta: Most people cook the pasta with the intent the pasta is the star of the dish and they are adding vegetables and other items TO the pasta. When I cook, I make the vegetables the star, and cook as if I’m adding pasta TO the veggies. This allows for less pasta in the diet, and is a simple mind set change that can lead you to a healthier cuisine.

Step 1) Make the Sauce

  • I sautéed some onions in a large sauce pan with garlic. Then, I added the fondu cheese dip to the pan, and let it cook out. It was very thick – so I added just enough of the steak sauce/broth mixture to the cheese to thin it out a bit. To slightly change the taste, I added some cumin, italian spies, and fresh herbs from my window sill.

 

Step 2) Cook the Starch

  • Casseroles need a starch, whether that be rice, grains, or pasta. I used some whole wheat pasta that I had in my pantry. Cook in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta before it is fully done as it will be going in the oven later.

 

Step 3) Choose Veggies

  • Casseroles need veggies! I just used whatever I had left in the fridge – some peppers, mushrooms, and onions. I also added a can of diced tomatoes, and sauteed for a short period of time on the stove. This would be a great time to add some diced cauliflower too – but I decided to cook my left over cauliflower separately for a second meal to get me through the week (See next blog post for my cauliflower stretch)

Step 4) Combine ingredients

  • I usually combine my ingredients in my pasta sauce pan after I’ve drained the pasta. Add in the sauce, and the veggies, and then pour them in a well oiled/buttered casserole dish.

 

Step 5) Top With Bread Crumbs

  • You didn’t think I forgot about the left over bread did you?? (Although in my case, I did save the bread for my cauliflower soup – if I hadn’t I would have used them here)
  • Just take your left over bread, put it in a food processor, and process until they are the consistency of bread crumbs
  • Top your casserole with the bread crumbs!

Step 6) Cook the Casserole

  • Cover your casserole dish with aluminum foil, or a lid. Cook in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, uncovering it for the last 10 minutes or so.

 

Casseroles are great for a weeks meal because they are cheap, and last a long time. I usually let it chill in the fridge for several hours before dividing it into Tupperware for the week – that just makes it easier to cut.

Enjoy!

 

untitled

 

Ingredients:

  • A couple apples
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • All Spice
  • Ginger

I used whole spices for my apple cider, but you can certainly use powders.

Steps:

  1. Cube your apples, and put them in a pot of water
  2. Add to the water all of your spices
  3. Cover with a lid, and put your heat on the lowest setting
  4. Simmer for about 1.5-2 hours (open periodically and lightly mash the apples with a spoon)
  5. Put a strainer over a big bowl/pot, and pour your apples spice water over the strainer
  6. Discard or eat the mushy apples as apple sauce
  7. Pour the liquid into a hot mug and enjoy!

You can also save this in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. Add a couple cinnamon sticks to the mason jar for intensified flavor :)