Tag Archive | Cauliflower

Fall Foods recipe #4: Creamy Leek & Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower is one of those pesky vegetables that people avoid. Yet, they have wonderful advantages when added to your diet. This recipe will turn any hater into a lover very quickly. Check out this nutritional breakdown of cooked cauliflower.

FOOD SUMMARY

The good:This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid and Manganese. Mildly anti-inflammatory

The bad: A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars.
Caloric Ratio Pyramid

64% 16% 20%
Carbs Fats Proteins

Fats & Fatty Acids

Amounts Per Selected Serving – 1/2 cup of chopped pieces
Total Fat   0.3g
Saturated Fat  0.0g
Monounsaturated Fat  0.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat  0.1g
Total Omega-3 fatty acids  104mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids   31.0mg
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving                     %DV
Vitamin A                                      7.4 IU     0%
Vitamin C                                   27.5mg     46%
Vitamin D                                         ~
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)        0.0mg       0%
Vitamin K                                    8.6mcg    11%
Thiamin                                      0.0mg       2%
Riboflavin                                    0.0mg       2%
Niacin                                          0.3mg      1%
Vitamin B6                                   0.1mg      5%
Folate                                        27.3mcg     7%
Vitamin B12                                 0.0mcg     0%
Pantothenic Acid                           0.3mg      3%
Choline                                       24.2mg
Betaine                                         0.1mg

Creamy Leek & Cauliflower Soup

Serves: 6

Total time: 35 min

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed
  • 4 cups chopped cauliflower florets (from 1 medium head)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 cups water (you can substitute with chicken broth for extra flavor)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, 2 cups milk, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is soft, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl. When the cauliflower is soft, remove the bay leaf and stir in the milk mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the soup has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese and lemon juice.

* you may want to season your individual serving with something spicy, like cayenne pepper or extra pepper, to add some more dimension to the flavor.

* for a nice texture and a salty contrast to the dairy, I cooked up a few slices of bacon and chopped them into small bits, sprinkling them on top.

Nutritional info for this prepared recipe, from Eating Well:

Per serving: 186 calories; 11 g fat ( 5 g sat , 3 g mono ); 27 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 10 g protein; 2 g fiber; 488 mg sodium; 198 mg potassium.

Vitamin C (45% daily value)

Calcium (27% dv),

Vitamin A (15% dv).

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Fall Foods recipe #1: Cauliflower au gratin

A little background info on making this recipe:

Recently I’ve been immersed in Julia Child‘s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volumes 1 & 2. I figured that if I’m going to make cooking a large priority in my life right now, I might as well learn what is arguably the true foundation of today’s American cuisine. European cuisine, specifically French cuisine, has been said by James Beard to be the most influential style of cooking for American’s in the 20th century. I mean, it was he who brought french culinary dishes to America in the first place, followed closely by Mrs. Child.  As such, my homemade culinary-school lesson plans are primarily being derived from these 2 authors.

My first french recipe was Julia’s Cauliflower au gratin. With the month of September passing by quicker than ever, I’ve been at the farm gathering as much cauliflower as I can to make this recipe (and another separate recipe).

The official report from my food critic?

“Wow, this is amazing! It is really good, mmmmm…..   You know, I really don’t like cauliflower, yet this tastes great.”

I respond, “Oh that’s awesome! I just made my first dish from Julia Child! Perhaps I can really do this cooking thing after all!

At this point I was feeling higher than life as I sat down next to him to try it myself, confirming his exact thoughts on it. That quickly subsided when he stopped, looked at me, lifted his eyebrows and asked me if I could eat a little less like a voracious animal from the wild who hadn’t had a meal in days.

Maybe Julia Child has an etiquette book I could read as well??

Cauliflower au gratin     (would taste great with fish or chicken)


  • 1 large (8-10″) cauliflower crown
  • 2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter

Béchamel Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of pepper
  • 3/4 cup Gruyère or other Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the cauliflower be removing all the leaves and cutting it into small florets. In a saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add blanch the cauliflower by boiling it for 10 minutes over medium-high heat. immediately remove from the heat, drain, and place the cauliflower in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and then add in flour. Stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes, until it is covered with tiny bubbles and has a beige color to it. This is your roux for the sauce.

Meanwhile, pour milk into a glass measuring cup and heat in microwave for 2-2 1/2 minutes, or until hot to touch and steaming. Add the milk slowly into the flour mixture, whisking to mix all the components together.

Turn heat up to medium and continue whisking while the liquid turns into a thick sauce. Do not let it boil. Once the thickness is achieved, take off heat and add in nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Stir in cheeses until melted. Set aside.

In a lightly buttered round 8″ by 2″ tall casserole dish, pour 1/3 of the sauce onto the bottom. Add in cauliflower and sprinkle some more pepper, if desired.

Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs (I also added in some extra Gruyère cheese) on top and drizzle with melted butter (or olive oil).

Place uncovered in the top 1/3 part of the oven and bake until heated through, with a slight “golden crust” on top. Serve immediately.

Fall Foods

September marks many important changes for us all:

  1. Saying good-bye to your white shoes and purses. (do women still do this??)
  2. The start of a new school year, whether it be preschool or college.
  3. Shorter days and cooler nights.
  4. Halloween candy, decorations, and costumes in every store. (Yes, we are now expected to celebrate a full 2 months before the actual holiday.)
  5. And if you’re really lucky, Thanksgiving is set up across the aisle. (I’m all about one-stop shopping anyways.)
  6. Finally, new produce in your garden, at the farmer’s market, and in the supermarket. Think apples, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, broccoli, figs, peppers, tomatoes, and squash.

Over the next few weeks, I plan on making a new recipe for some of the best Fall Foods, and I look forward to sharing them all with you!