Well I think today is a cold April day just about everywhere – it’s even chilly here in Florida this morning! Some of you got snow – yikes! Growing up in New England, the random snowstorm in April was a common occurrence but after such an unforgiving winter in many parts of the country, I think everyone needs spring to happen – right now!
I found this recipe over on my photography website and thought today would be a great day to highlight this soup. It’s a velvety smooth and delicious, and well, cheese just makes everything taste better! Stay warm and think happy spring thoughts……
Creamy Cauliflower, Leek, and Cheddar Soup
(adapted from Clean Eating October 2012)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups sliced leeks
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chopped cauliflower florets
- 1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
- kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- Heat oil and butter on medium heat in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add leeks with a small pinch of salt and pepper and sweat, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring frequently. Add the cauliflower, potato, broth, and season with additional pepper. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cover and simmer until the cauliflower and potato are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Using a large soup ladle, transfer batches of the soup to a blender and carefully purée the mixture until smooth and add to a clean saucepan. Place the saucepan on low heat and add ½ cup of the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Season again with a bit of salt and pepper and divide soup among four bowls. Garnish with remaining shredded cheese and scallions and serve.
© 2014 Kitchen Serendipity | Stacey Siegal
Hey guys! This recipe may serve two, but I think you’re going to want to make it just for yourself! I ate the entire bowl the next day for lunch without a single regret LOL! The idea for this came from Food Network Magazine where I spotted a mushroom ramen recipe off to the side where the magazine offers several quick side suggestions. I changed this up enough to make it my own personal adaptation – and I used my new bottle of Ohsawa Organic Nama Shoyu which is an unpasteurized soy sauce that got a rave recommendation in Cooking Light Magazine for it’s intense umami mouth-feel. Umami is one the five “tastes” that our palate recognizes along with the more familiar sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Umami-rich foods include shiitake mushrooms (which I’ve used here in the recipe), beef, squid, chicken, Parmesan cheese, and oyster sauce. Vegetarians will frequently use a lot of umami-rich vegetables and condiments to replace that meaty, fatty taste sensation one gets from meat products. This dish is INSANELY good…..please feel free to double the recipe if you do have the inclination to share. Trust me, you are going to want your very own bowl.
Shiitake and Scallion Ramen
- 8 ounces of fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (two 3.5-ounce packages will be fine)
- 3-ounce package of chicken or chicken mushroom flavored ramen noodles with packet
- ½ cup finely chopped scallions, plus additional for serving
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Black pepper
- Soy sauce or tamari
- black sesame seeds (optional)
- Soak the ramen noodles in a bowl of warm water for at least 5 minutes to soften them; drain.
- Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the sliced shiitakes and the flavoring packet from the ramen noodles and stir-fry until the mushrooms begin to take on a golden brown color. Season with pepper; remove from the pan to a plate.
- To the skillet or wok add the butter and the noodles; toss for 1 minute. Add the shiitake mushrooms and toss again for another minute, adding the pinch of red pepper flakes, additional black pepper, and a pinch of black sesame seeds (if using).
- Remove from the heat and add several dashes of soy sauce or tamari. Garnish with additional scallions and serve.
Servings: 1-2 (makes 3½ cups)
© 2014 Kitchen Serendipity | Stacey Siegal
Hello! Well, I had this past weekend all to myself while my son was competing in the Florida State Latin Forum (state tournament) in Orlando. He left from school with the Latin Club on Thursday and was back super late Saturday night since the kids had the much-anticipated opportunity to blow off steam and enjoy their victories following the tournament at Universal Orlando. So……that gave me an opportunity to cook up a storm and test recipes that have been on my mind. I really don’t recall seeing a lot of spaghetti squash recipes over the past fall and winter months so I thought I would try to come up with something that felt more like spring to utilize this versatile vegetable. I love Pasta Pomodoro – so why not try it using spaghetti squash instead of pasta? I went to Whole Foods last week with the intent on getting their Pasta Pomodoro from the prepared foods section and as would be just my luck, they didn’t have that as one of their offerings that day so perhaps that’s how this recipe transpired. It’s really easy to make once you’ve roasted the squash and hollowed out the tomatoes – the rest of it comes together very quickly. The ingredients are simple….but high-quality ingredients definitely make a difference….. farmer’s market tomatoes and spaghetti squash (thank you Sarasota Farmer’s Market!), delicious, salty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and fresh herbs really help to make it an outstanding dish. Your kids will also love it since it does a pretty good job of mimicking spaghetti (anything that resembles pasta in my house is a winner), It’s a wonderful vegetarian dish as well for Meatless Mondays – or any night of the week!! Serve it as an entree or a side – your choice.
Spaghetti Squash Pomodoro
- 4 beefsteak tomatoes
- 2½ – 3 pounds spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 15 leaves fresh basil, rolled up like a cigar and sliced thinly (chiffonade)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or any Parmesan that you have), plus more for final assembly and passing at the table
- kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- To prepare the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke several holes in the squash with a knife, place in a baking dish and bakes until soft and browned in spots, about an hour or so. Let cool; cut in half and remove the seeds. With a fork, scrape the strands of flesh into a bowl. Keep oven heated at 400 degrees.
- Slice the tops off the tomatoes ; run a sharp knife along the wall of the tomatoes to loosen the pulp. Using a spoon, remove the pulp, coarsely chop, and set aside.
- In a small, dry skillet, toast the pine nuts until they begin to color, about two minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and chop; set aside.
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat two tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato pulp and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, stir, and season with salt and pepper.
- Toss in the sliced basil (leaving enough aside for final assembly and serving); add the reserved squash and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
- Fill each tomato with the squash-tomato mixture. Top each with a sprinkling of chopped pine nuts and additional Parmesan cheese and basil.
- Place the filled tomatoes in a baking dish and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with additional basil and cheese.
© 2014 Kitchen Serendipity | Stacey Siegal
This really doesn’t need a recipe, but so many people have asked me how to make these over the course of time that I thought I would go ahead and post it here. My son LOVES these and if you are feeling a little swanky, you can even add miniature marshmallows to the filling. I will serve one of these along with a healthy breakfast of yogurt or eggs every so often. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Croissants
- 1 8-ounce tube refrigerated crescent rolls (8 pieces) such as Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- handful of miniature marshmallows (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper
- Open the tube and separate the dough according to the perforation marks. Add about 15 chocolate chips (and one or two mini marshmallows if using) on the wide end of each dough “triangle” and roll up.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
LOL…..sorry…..I was in Boston last week and being a New England girl at heart, it’s hard to avoid the “New Englandisms” when one is there. Almost stahted forgetting my R’s where they should belong and then subsequently adding them where they don’t belong……..okay, on that last one – I still do that!!! Idea is “idear” and will always be that way I guess!
As you may have already figured out, the smoothies I tend to create are more like the bad boys of Boston rather than the Green goddesses of Vermont. So with that being said, blood oranges are beautiful in color and flavor and are going out of season as do most citrus fruits at this time of the year. So don’t hesitate!! They are still in my market – so please pick up a few at yours to make this smoothie. If you can’t find them, using regular oranges is totally fine. Feel free to get a little swankalicious and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt to the blender as well. The blood orange sorbet works so beautifully here and most specialty stores carry it – I used the Ciao Bella brand that I found at The Fresh Market. This smoothie is super refreshing, and the tartness is tamed by the almond milk and agave nectar. I hope you try it! Adjust the sweetness to your liking…..if you use sweetened almond milk, you may not need as much agave nectar. Be your own judge for what is right for your palette. Enjoy!
Blood Orange Smoothie
- ½ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice (or regular orange juice – but fresh if you can)
- 1 cup blood orange sorbet (find at specialty markets)
- 1 frozen banana (cut into chunks before freezing)
- ½ cup unsweetened or sweetened almond milk
- 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
- dash pure vanilla extract
- scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (optional)
- Add all of the ingredients in a blender and blend to combine.
Serves 2 | Makes 1½ cups