Cauliflower Potato Soup

One of the nutrition myths I hate the most is, “all white foods are bad”. While yes, marshmallow fluff, canned vanilla frosting, and solidified bacon lard are not the most healthy white colored foods to consume on the regular, no one is trying to pretend they are! Yet many people shake their finger at white foods from the grain and vegetable groups, declaring that they are void of nutrition.

Grains and starchy vegetables are undoubtedly higher in fiber and nutrients when kept in their unprocessed form, resulting in a more “brown” appearance, but that doesn’t mean the whiter cousin CAN’T have a place in a healthy diet from time to time. Furthermore, there are MANY vegetables that are naturally white and LOADED with health promoting nutrients- parsnips, cauliflower, turnips, onions, sunchokes, and garlic to name a few.

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So, for my meal prep this week I wanted to bust this myth by making an easy all-white soup that is the perfect warm answer to these dropping temperatures. I used the sheet pan method to roast cauliflower, which is a cruciferous vegetable containing high levels of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C; some Yukon gold potatoes that provide potassium (more than a banana!) for blood pressure balance; and the white ends and very little of the green parts of leeks, which are full of B vitamins and flavonoids that help keep inflammation at bay.

With the holiday busyness and stress, this soup has all the things to help keep your system in top defense mode and is a perfect way to fill your growling stomach with deliciousness. I hope you enjoy!

Cauliflower Potato Soup- serves 3 as main dish, 4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large cauliflower head, cut into florets (about 3 cups)

  • 3 medium leeks, whites and very little green sliced

  • 3 small Yukon potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock

  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • Parmesan cheese and parsley, for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degress. Place the cauliflower florets, sliced leeks, and cubed potatoes on a lined baking sheet. The potatoes should be cut into small, equal cubes so that they cook faster. Drizzle olive oil over all vegetables, toss to coat, and slide tray into oven. Roast for 20-25 minutes until able to pierce potatoes with a fork.

  2. Add roasted mixture in a large soup pot or dutch oven set over medium heat. Cover with stock, add black pepper, rosemary, and salt. If vegetables are not fully covered with liquid, add in just enough water or additional stock to do so. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes to further soften vegetables.

  3. Once fully cooked, use an immersion blender to puree contents into a smooth soup. Alternatively, place mixture in a blender and blend carefully. Give the soup a taste and adjust salt, pepper, and rosemary as needed. Blend again, then serve. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan, more cracked pepper, and parsley.

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Breakfast Cookies

Would you say that you’re a sweet or savory breakfast person? I used to say I was Team Savory all the way, but lately I’ve been really into my sweeter leaning yogurt bowls in the morning.

Now, just because I’ve been having more sweet breakfasts lately does not mean that my attention to nutrition has gone out the window. When I say sweet, I mean I am usually choosing a plain Greek yogurt that has no sugar added, a homemade granola with only a smidge of sweetener or else some Purely Elizabeth granola that keeps the sugar in check, and a drizzle of nut butter that also doesn’t have any added cane sugar mixed in. And notice that this “sweet” breakfast is far from having just a sugary pastry- it’s loaded with satisfying dairy protein and fiber from some fruit or oats.

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And so keeping with this semi-sweet breakfast trend, I decided to make some healthy Breakfast Cookies to have for the week. I adapted the recipe from The First Mess Cookbook and made 1.5 times the recipe to bring extra for our NYC Marathon watch party. These cookies blew my mind with how easy they were and the taste was alikened to a batch of Purely Elizabeth granola, which to me is the highest form of praise a cookie could receive!

I dare you to make a batch and not eat them for breakfasts and snacks all week long.

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Breakfast Cookies- makes 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed

  • 3/4 cup tahini or smooth nut/seed butter of your choosing

  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 4 tablespoons liquid coconut oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup add-ins of your choice- I used pepitas and dried wild blueberries, but any dried fruit or nut would work well

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, and almond flour until combined.

  3. In a food prcessor, combine the banana, tahini, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Process on high until the mixture is smooth.

  4. Scrape the wet mixture into the large bowl with the oats and flour mixture. Throw your add-ins into the bowl. Stir the mixture with a spatula until it comes together like a stiff cookie dough.

  5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each mound of dough very slightly. Place sheets in the oven and bake until lightly golden brown, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool cookies completely before storing in an airtight container or freezing.

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Tortellini Tomato Soup

Who here loves a good soup for a cold fall day? Who here wants to stand over the stove for an hour plus watching it simmer and bubble away? Not me! While for some soups the time spent on the stove is non-negotiable for building the flavor profile, there are plenty other “quick soups” that pack a punch of flavor, but can be made in half the time!

That’s why I’m so excited to share this quick and easy Tortellini Tomato Soup, so you can get back to enjoying your lazy fall day.

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Aside from being quick to pull together, this recipe is also full of good nutrition. The base is a low sodium bouillion made from an all-natural ingredients bouillon cube from BOU (who had kindly sent me samples in the past, but I am not being paid to advertise for their products) and canned tomato puree. While prepared canned soups can be very high in sodium, making them at home from carefully chosen ingredients and without going heavy on the salt shaker, can significantly reduce your sodium intake. With a light base, I wanted to still give this soup a creamy quality like grandma’s homemade tomato soup. Rather than adding milk, cream, or yogurt I decided to use cauliflower, that would get blended into the base, to give the soup the pleasantly creamy mouthfeel but with an added boost of fiber.

This recipe makes two servings, so it’s perfect as dinner for you and your partner, or it’s enough to feel “meal prep accomplished” and you can bring for two days worth of reheatable lunches. I hope this soup warms your soul as much as it did mine!

Tortellini Tomato Soup- serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated

  • 1.5 cups finely chopped or riced raw cauliflower

  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (BOU or other brand)

  • 1/2 tsp dried basil

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cheese tortellini

  • Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes.

  2. Add the cauliflower, tomato sauce, garlic, and vegetable broth. Stir in dried basil and oregano and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

  3. Use a hand immersion blender to blend the soup (or carefully transfer soup to a blender to blend and return to the pot). Stir in the cheese tortellini and cook on medium-low until tortellini is cooked, about 7-8 minutes. Serve warm, topped with parmesan cheese and parsley.