WARMING CAULI-SWEET SOUP RECIPE

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BUSY? That’s an understatement for many of us, and especially as the holidays approach! When I came to do this post, I noticed how it’s been almost 4 weeks since my last post…whhhaattt??? How did that happen? Well, like your life, it’s been really, really busy around here.  So, my apologies for taking so long to come back to post something of help to you!

So, how do you cope when life is running way too full and way too fast? One thing I do when time is short is make soup – quick, easy, and yummy soup! Lots of it, all at once, using my pressure cooker. Then I use the left overs for lunches, and sometimes I can even squeeze another dinner out of this recipe, as it makes 12 cups.

About 8 years ago, when we lived in Calgary, Alberta, our second rice cooker decided it was done. A rice cooker was one kitchen tool I decided I couldn’t live without, so we drove over to a large Asian market and were looking at all the rice cookers available.  A minute Asian woman came up behind us and she tapped me on the shoulder, pointed to one cooker, and told me: “You buy. Very fast. Very fast!”  “This one?” Her head nodded, and she again said, “You buy!” So we did…we bought the model she recommended, and it turned out to be a pressure cooker quite similar to the InstaPots you can get most everywhere today.

What a GREAT buy!!! It has a large capacity stainless steel interior, and cooks basically anything and everything you can think of. I had to learn how to use it by trial and error as the directions were in Chinese…but as more and more videos came on YouTube and more and more recipes became available on Pinterest, I learned how to use my pressure cooker to save me tons of time and lots of money. That’s always a win!

So, to help you through the crazy business of the holiday season, here’s a recipe you will want to make over and over. It takes very few ingredients, very little prep, and cooks all by itself while you get to do other important things.

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Place these ingredients into your pressure cooker

1 head of cauliflower, about 2 lbs.  (Wash and cut into 4ths if you wish. No need to peel outer leaves or to core unless you want to)

2 pounds of sweet potato, washed and cut into large pieces (Your choice as to the kind of sweet potato. I like the orange fleshed in this soup.)

1 – 3  or more cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped into large pieces

1 large onion, peeled and cut in half

spices of your choice : I use 2 Tbsp. organic dried dill

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

2 Tbsp. Kirkland no salt spice

2 tsp. tumeric

salt and pepper to taste

Add 8 cups of vegetable broth. If you don’t have veggie broth, use water or a combination of veggie broth and water to equal 8 cups.

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Secure the lid on your pressure cooker, and choose the manual setting so that you can set the timer for 10 minutes.  Once the liquid comes up to temperature, the ingredients will cook for 10 minutes. Once the soup has finished cooking for the 10 minutes, allow it to vent on its own for at least 10 minutes, or until all the pressure has released on its own.

If you only wait 10 minutes after the soup is cooked before you vent the pressure cooker on your own, be sure there is no pressure left when you remove the top. Your veggies will be firmer than if you wait for 20 minutes, as they continue to soften even when the machine is no longer cooking them.

At this point, you should add:

  • 2 Tbsp. to 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast (optional – but makes the soup taste amazing)
  • 4 Tbsp. or more of Dijon mustard
  • 2 – 4 cups of plant “milk” of your choice (almond, hemp, oat, coconut, etc.)
  • Use an immersible blender or a high powered blender to make a smooth soup. If using the immersible blender, you can do it right in the pressure cooker. If using a high powered blender, do it in smaller batches rather than filling the blender full.  And that’s it! Your soup is ready – smooth, hot and very yummy!

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Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen

 

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We just got back from a wonderful 2 week trip to Arizona! The weather was fabulous, we met new friends, enjoyed food and fellowship – in other words, we had a great time. One of the last days we were in Phoenix, our friends took us to a restaurant which actually had the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen listed on separate chalk boards, posted where you could clearly see them. This was definitely MY kind of restaurant!!!  Healthy food and informed chefs! The name of the restaurant is True Food and here is a link if you want to check them out:  https://www.truefoodkitchen.com

During our time in Arizona, I was privileged to give a talk about healthy eating. One of my handouts was about the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen, which was a list that not everyone knew about. When I was talking to a friend this morning, again about healthy eating, I realized that many people are not aware of this simple resource which helps us steer clear of produce which is highly sprayed with pesticides.

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Every year, the Environmental Working Group releases which fruits and vegetables you should ALWAYS buy organic because of the levels of pesticides in and on them (which cannot be washed off), and which conventionally grown fruits and vegetables you can safely buy. Some of the produce on the list changes each year, but some always make the Dirty Dozen list. For example, strawberries are at the top of the Dirty Dozen list year after year because they are so heavily sprayed – not just once, but THROUGHOUT the growing season! You might be surprised at which vegetables and fruits are on these lists! I know I was sure dismayed when potatoes were on the Dirty Dozen list. I investigated them, and found that they are the most heavily sprayed of all the produce I was buying! I try to grow my own now, or buy organic. Be sure to check these lists out…here is a link to the EWG’s page with the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen for this year:

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php

You can also get the EWG’s app and have the lists on your phone for when you go to the grocery store, so you never forget which produce is safe and which is not. There’s so much great information on The Environmental Working Group’s website – it will blow your mind how much work has been done to keep us informed and healthy!