Roasted Garlic, Cauliflower and Fennel Soup

garlic, cauli and fennel soup

This soup is a winner. It has the perfect amount of zingy- and creamy-ness to make one’s taste buds tickle. It’s also perfect for Meat-Free Monday, and upping your family’s vegetable intake!

 

Ingredients

2 small cauliflowers, chopped

1 fennel bulb, chopped

8 whole garlic cloves, peeled

Coconut oil for roasting and frying

2t carraway seeds

1 1/2t coriander seeds

1 1/2t paprika

3/4t cinnamon

1/2t ground chilli

500mL vegetable stock

1L (or more) water

2 lemons, zest and juice

 

Method

1. Lay the cauliflower, fennel and garlic cloves in a large baking tray, and drizzle with coconut oil. Roast in a moderate oven (about 170-180 degrees celsius) for approximately 40 minutes; until tender and nutty.

2. Sauté the onion in some coconut oil to tenderise. Add all the spices and sauté until the mixture emits a heightened aroma.

3. Add the roasted cauliflower, fennel and garlic, 500mL of vegetable stock, and 1L of water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes or so.

4. Your soup is almost ready! Turn off the element and allow to cool for a bit. Pop in the lemon zest and juice, season with salt and pepper, and blend using a hand blender. Otherwise, if using a regular blender, be sure the lid is on securely. (Hot soup moving at fast velocity burns!) You may wish to add more water during blending, to achieve desired consistency.

5. Serve your delicious, creamy and zingy soup with a drizzle of olive oil, another squeeze of lemon juice and toasted rye bread soldiers.

Pesto Baked Chicken with Prosciutto

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A lovely way to use homemade pesto, like my Parmesan, Parsley and Pistachio Pesto, is this Italian flavoured dish. It is delightfully flavoursome and deceptively straightforward to prepare.

Pesto Baked Chicken with Prosciutto

Serves 6-8

8 free-range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
200g prosciutto
3 or 4 shallots, peeled and quartered
1 whole head of garlic
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, halved
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
5T Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with paper.
– To stuff the chicken breasts, find the natural pocket on the underside of each chicken breast and enlarge slightly with hands or a knife. Fill the pocket with approximately 1T of pesto.
– Wrap each chicken breast in a few lengths of prosciutto. Place chicken breasts in the oven tray.
– Separate individual garlic cloves but do not peel them. Smash each clove once with the flat side of your knife, to loosen the skin slightly, and cut off the hard end. Toss the cloves into the tray with the chicken.
– Toss the peeled and quartered shallots, the sundried tomatoes and parsley into the tray.
– Drizzle generously with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

I served this with a simple spinach, basil, tomato and haloumi salad, drizzled with olive oil and white wine vinegar. Yum!

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Pumpkin-top Lamb Curry Pie

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Today for dinner all I wanted was pie. Hot, tasty, comforting pie. Ever in search of making food more creative and more nourishing, I made a dairy and gluten free pie using only whole food ingredients. So not only does this special pie suit all dietary requirements, it is sweet, creamy, and scrumptious.

For the pastry I have used only almond meal, coconut oil and eggs. Coconut oil has many health benefits, one being that it is able to be converted directly into energy by the liver, and therefore is less likely to be stored as body fat. Almond meal (simply ground almonds) offers all the nutrients that are packed into almonds: vitamin E, copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. These nutrients are essential to many bodily functions – including skin and nail health and function.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

Pie Filling

1kg lamb leg steak, cut into chunks
3 onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3T fresh ginger, finely chopped
3T mild curry powder
2T mixed spice
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
400g tin crushed tomatoes
3T tomato paste
165mL coconut cream
2C beef or lamb stock
3T coconut oil (for frying)

Pie Crust

350g almond meal
3T coconut oil
2 eggs

Pie Topping

2/3 medium butternut pumpkin, grated without skin
1T coconut oil

Method

I recommend chopping and preparing all ingredients before starting to cook. This makes the process more enjoyable and relaxed, and you are less likely to come out the other side with a kitchen that resembles a bomb site!

– Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
– In a deep pan, brown the lamb in batches and set aside.
– Lightly fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and spices in a few tablespoons of coconut oil, stirring regularly to avoid burning. Keep a eye on this as the spices suck up a lot of moisture.
– When the onion is translucent and the spices are fragrant, put the browned lamb back into the pan. Follow with the stock, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and coconut cream.
– Allow the curry to simmer for half an hour while the other ingredients are prepared.

To make the pastry, simply combine all ingredients in a food processor. Mould the pastry thinly to the base and sides of the pie dish. Prick the base with a fork, and blind bake in the hot oven for 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn oven down to 180.

Grate pumpkin and combine with 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, to encourage it to bind together a bit more when baked.

Spoon the curry into the prepared pastry base. Cover with the pumpkin topping and press down lightly with your hands.

Pop the pie into the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a light green salad. Torn kale leaves, lettuce and crunchy cucumber compliment the creamy, sweet pumpkin perfectly. Enjoy!

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