Tag Archives: healthy

Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Dumplings

This is going to be a love it or hate it recipe! Cauliflower and parmesan are both strong flavours on their own but bring them together and you get a deep roasted richness with a kick from the black pepper. I have never made cauliflower soup before, but I have eaten the vegetable many times in my mother’s Indian food and my father’s Italian food. Back in December I was inspired by the Hairy Bikers to bring the British cauliflower back into fashion. You may have seen my Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry recipe, but at the time I also vowed to try and make my own soup with the beautiful, cheap and underrated vegetable.

Like most of my recipes, this totally reflects my cooking style. This is a cheap, nutritious and easy recipe which can be made in advance. You can also easily adapt this recipe if you don’t like certain ingredients. For example, feel free to use much less black pepper if you’re not a fan. Use pecorino or gruyère for the dumplings if you don’t like parmesan. *If you prefer a softer dumpling, use white bread; personally I prefer brown.

This makes a delicious starter or light meal.

Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Dumplings

Serves: 4-6 as a starter
Takes: 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients:

1 Cauliflower (medium-large), washed and cut up into florets
Leaves of 1 cauliflower, sliced
1 white onion, peeled and diced
1leek, washed and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
700 ml vegetable stock (or boiling water and 1 stock cube)
3 tbsps creme fraiche
Pinch of salt
Knob of butter
Olive oil

For the dumplings:
2 slices brown bread*
25g grated parmesan
1/2 the cauliflower leaves, sliced
1 tbsp dried parsley (or small bunch fresh)
1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 150′. Place the cauliflower florets, garlic and whole black peppercorns on an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the middle of the oven for a total of 45 minutes.

2. I recommend that you prepare everything else after you put the cauliflower in the oven. This shortens the cooking time. So – prepare the other ingredients.

3. In a large saucepan, warm up 2 tbsp olive oil and a knob of butter. When it is warm and clear, add the diced onion. Softly cook for about 5 minutes, then add the leek.

4. When the onion and leek have both softened, add the vegetable stock and half the cauliflower leaves. Stir the pot, and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Put your slices of bread in the toaster or oven to dry out. Then, place them in your food processor with the other half of the cauliflower leaves, parmesan, parsley, and egg. Whizz it all up!

6. By now the cauliflower should have roasted for about 45 minutes. Check that it is cooked and softened. If not, leave it in the oven for 10 more minutes. If it is, you can now take it out the oven and add the cauliflower and garlic to the soup pot. Stir the soup and put the lid on. Save the peppercorns.

7. Grind the roasted peppercorns with your mortar and pestle and add a pinch to the soup and a pinch to the dumpling mixture.

8. Roll the dumpling mixture into little balls. You should be able to make 10-12. Lightly grease a tray and then cook the dumplings in the oven for 15 minutes.

9. Mash down, or whizz up your soup! Whatever machine you have to smooth it out will be fine! Stir in 3 dollops of creme fraiche and a pinch of salt to taste!

10. Serve hot with a swirl of creme fraiche and 2-3 dumplings per person.

Enjoy! I would love to hear your feedback if you try it!

Tip: If you like it spicy, add a pinch of smoked paprika to the soup. 

You may also like these recipes:

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

This is one of my very simple recipes for those of you who enjoy an Indian style vegetarian curry. You can eat this as a veggie main with rice or as a side dish as part of an Indian meal. It also goes nicely with other vegetarian Indian food such as my paneer recipes. 😉

I recently watched the Great British Food Revival on the BBC, which is a programme attempting to remind us Brits about the delicious and fresh local produce growing all around us. Well-known chefs have teamed up to teach us new recipes using the great British produce.

One episode showed the Hairy Bikers cooking with cauliflower, and reminding us that this is a delicious, healthy, and cheap vegetable. Above all it is also an incredibly versatile vegetable. It is delicious when fried, roasted, pureed, and should certainly not be over boiled and served without seasoning! However as the hairy bikers said, the cauliflower has become somewhat unfashionable compared to its posher cousin, the purple sprouting brocolli and other similar vegetables.

I have always liked cauliflower and I think it is a beautiful vegetable. This is a recipe I created to accompany an Indian meal. I have made it a few times now and found that it is always successful and there are never any left-overs!

 

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

Start to finish time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 (as a side)

Ingredients:

Half a cauliflower, washed and cut up small
2 tbsps sunflower/vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1cm thick ginger, chopped small
120g tinned chickpeas, drained
2 tbsp tomato purée
handful fresh coriander, chopped

Spices:
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric

Salt & pepper

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the sliced onions and soften on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and the ginger and continue to cook in the same way for 10 minutes. Add more oil if it gets too dry.

2. In a separate pan, heat all the spices for a minute. Then, add it to the onions and stir in.

3. You can now add the cauliflower, coriander and 1/4 cup water and put the lid on the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

4. When the cauliflower has softened, add the chickpeas and the tomato puree. If the curry is looking dry, add a bit more water. (You don’t want it to be runny though as it isn’t a sauce.) Taste, and add salt and pepper accordingly.

5. Cook for 10 more minutes and then serve hot.

I ate mine with basmati rice and my homemade tandoori chicken! Delicious!

I hope you enjoy my recipe and as always I’d love to hear from you if any have tried it or any comments/advice/questions!

Hot Chicken Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Vine Tomatoes

As with most dieters, I yo-yo with my healthy eating. I’m not trying anything drastic, just a few more healthy options and conscious choices. However, it can sometimes be boring eating salads, as well as thinking about making them nutritionally balanced. This salad is something I created a few months ago when my friend was coming round for dinner. I wanted something healthy, high in protein and fibre, low in carbohydrate but still absolutely delicious. And seeing as it was successful, I made it again this weekend!

I use lots of flavours like paprika and garlic to give the salad a kick. It takes a bit longer than a simple salad because of the roasting, however it’s worth it if you have the time. If you’re not bothered about your carbohydrate intake, eat this salad with a delicious crusty loaf of bread.

Notes: If you don’t like raw courgette, use cucumber ribbons instead. I love olive oil, but again, you can swap this for your favourite cooking oil. And, if you have fresh herbs in your kitchen or garden, a few leaves of basil work beautifully on the tomatoes.

Hot Chicken Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Vine Tomatoes

Start to finish time: 1 hr 15 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
4 tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
400g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4 ripe vine tomatoes, halved along the middle (not the top)
1 courgette, ribboned
80g your favourite salad leaves
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 chicken stock cube
1/2 tsp paprika
A few sprigs of fresh thyme (*optional)
A few basil leaves (* optional)

For the dressing:
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp white wine vinegar

Salt & pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. On a tray, toss the butternut squash with 2 tbsp olive oil, the thyme, salt and pepper. Place in the middle of the oven.

2. Place the tomatoes on another tray, drizzle with olive oil, and put a slice of garlic on each half. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and place in the oven.

3. While the tomatoes and butternut squash roast, we prepare the salad and chicken. Make a few slits in the chicken breast to help it take in the flavour. In a bowl or mortar, mix the paprika, crushed garlic, and chicken stock cube with 2 tbsp olive oil. Grind to a paste and then coat the chicken in the paste and leave aside.

4. In a bowl, mix the salad leaves and ribboned courgette (you can simply do this with a potato peeler). Add the dressing and mix it all together.

5. When the squash and tomatoes have been roasting for about 40 minutes and look golden, move them to the bottom of the oven and switch to grill. (Or cook the chicken in a separate grill.) Place the chicken under the grill and cook for about 7 minutes or until it’s turned white and then turn over and cook for another 7 minutes. Then, check the chicken has cooked by slicing it and checking the juice runs clear.

6. Assemble the salad by placing it in the middle of the plate with the chicken breast on top. Put the tomatoes and roasted squash around the plate.

Et voila!

Another healthy salad:

Goat’s Cheese Crostini Salad With Toasted Seeds

‘The Summer Is Not Over!’ Salad

True to my blog name, I have eaten, and now I will talk about it. I cannot believe it is September tomorrow already. The sky is grey right now and schools starts again next week. I refuse to believe that the whole summer has gone and I didn’t even get a tan or visit Brighton!

One way I can cling on to summer on the last day of August is to have a yummy summery salad. I’ve just finished eating this and have the taste in my mouth that makes me want more. Alas, it is all gone. I’ll just have to have a banana instead.

My last day of August salad consists of some of my favourite ingredients, including goat’s cheese, and is a great way to eat a high fibre, low carbohydrate lunch. If you don’t like goat’s cheese, you could do this with cheddar or gruyère instead.

Goat’s Cheese Crostini Salad With Toasted Seeds

Start to finish time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
Romaine Lettuce
A handful of rocket
1 tomato
1/3 of a cucumber
1 slice of bread
3 tablespoons of mixed seeds (E.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, pine nuts)
Hard goat’s cheese
Salt & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

For the dressing:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon English mustard

1. Turn on the grill to 200 degrees. Slice the goat’s cheese and place on the bread. Slice the bread into 3 rectangles. Place the crostinis on a tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Place under the grill for 5 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

2. Cut the lettuce, tomato and lettuce and mix in a bowl with the rocket.

3. Shake up the dressing ingredients and add to the salad. Stir it all up.

4. Toast the seed in a dry pan until golden and add to the top of the salad. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and then add the crostinis.

Enjoy! See you at the beach? Eh me neither.

Before going under the grill