With winter vibes still lingering, I've noticed many people eating plenty of pastries and rich foods post-holiday. Don't get me wrong, I love a good croissant and brie, but overconsumption can leave me feeling heavy and sluggish, which is not what I need with all the goals and tasks I have set for this year!
Not to mention, constantly eating over-processed foods can deplete your stored nutrients, alter your gut microbiome, and create dysfunctions in bowel movements. And although we aren't in Spring Detox Season yet, there are still ways to eat plenty of nutrient-dense and comforting foods that will support daily movement and correct nutrient depletions without the feeling you are giving up deliciousness!
This creamy cauliflower soup will meet your fiber needs for intestinal health and provides a generous amount of digestible protein, which leaves you feeling warm and cozy without guilt. And if you want to elevate this recipe, don't forget to include the Super Star ingredient packed with benefits!
Creamy Cauliflower Soup:
Time: 40-50 minutes Makes: 4 Servings Cost per serving: $4.79*
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 head of Cauliflower (cut into florets)
2 cups of Cottage Cheese
2 1/2 cups of Chicken Broth (vegetarian option- miso soup)
Superstar ingredient: 4 tsp Organic Traditions Slippery Elm powder
1/2 tablespoon Parsley Flakes
Two 250g blocks of Paneer (cut into approx. 1 cm cubes)
1 1/2 tablespoon Ghee
1 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
6 Celery sticks, sliced
Make the chicken broth by adding 1 tsp of powder or paste to 2 1/2 cups of boiled water and whisk. If you use miso paste, add 1 tablespoon to 2 1/2 cups of boiled water and whisk. Add the parsley flakes and slippery elm powder to the broth.
In a large pot on medium heat, spread out the avocado oil. Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and coat them with the oil.
Lightly cook the cauliflower florets. Add 1/2 cup of the broth to the pot, lower the heat, and cover to allow the florets to steam until stems become translucent.
On a separate burner, place a large pan on medium heat. Add the ghee and evenly coat the pan. Season the pan with nutritional yeast and ground black pepper.
Add the paneer cubes to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to coat each side of the cube with the seasoned ghee mixture.
Stir the paneer cubes occasionally until they are a light golden brown. Then move the paneer cubes to the edges of the pan and add the celery to cook, but keep the texture crunchy.
When the cauliflower florets become translucent, turn the heat off. Add in the rest of the broth and cottage cheese.
Use an immersion blender (or a standing blender) to combine the cauliflower mixture and to create a smooth texture.
Serve the cauliflower puree, paneer and celery mixture in a bowl, and cozy up to goodness!
Recipe Tips and Tricks:
Cutting Paneer Cubes:
Unsure how to make that 1cm size cubes? It may seem mathematical, but a simple solution is to slice it this way:
Length: 9 cuts
Width: 5 cuts
Depth: 3 cuts
Perfect cubes for perfect crispiness!
Conserving Energy in the Kitchen:
I admit that I do not enjoy spending hours in the kitchen. Hence, the batch cooking for ample leftovers that lasts me through the work week! Our kitchen is on the smaller side, and with my fiancé and I, making our lunches and dinners throughout the week can be quite the juggling act. If you do this recipe all at once, it'll take about 40-50 minutes. This time, I decided to do the paneer one day, freeze it, then reheat it in the pan with the celery once the cauliflower puree was complete. Although the way I did it took a bit more time, I didn't break a sweat over the stove. And the great thing about freezing paneer? It reheats easily in the pan without sacrificing taste or texture!
P.S. I wouldn't pop it in the microwave as it'll have a distasteful rubbery texture and lose the flavor. Unless you enjoy chewing erasers, I do not recommend them!
Superstar Ingredient: Slippery Elm powder (Organic Traditions)
As a herbalist, I'm always trying to work enhancing herbs into my daily routine. Whether making a batch of herbal iced tea with hibiscus flowers or adding a dash of turmeric to soup bases, I find the subtle benefits of incorporating it into my meals. Slippery Elm bark is no exception.
Slippery elm powder is created from the inner bark of trees and has many benefits for everyone. This North American native is best known for its favorable properties to reduce inflammation in organ systems in the body and your internal-external tract (literally from mouth to anus). It also has soothing properties for the intestinal tract to allow for proper bowel movements and nutrient absorption. Nutrient-wise, it contains multiple benefits -vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and polyphenols, to name a few- so it is fantastic to not only soothe your body from intestinal disorders but also provide the nutrients you need to support recovery!
It can be multipurpose, too! Make it into a tea with some honey and cinnamon, get creative with creating lozenges, or blend it into a soup! It is not heat-sensitive and neutral to taste, which is the key to its versatility. You only need 5 tsp, 1-2 times daily, to reap the benefits.
One of the brands that I trust for my herbal powders is Organic Traditions. As a company that has been around for 30 years, they have fine-tuned their practices and have a multitude of certifications that you can trust (USDA Organic, Canada Organic, and EcoCert, to name a few). Their dedication to production quality, working closely with farmers, and environmental practices, what's not to love?
Check them out here to see what else they can offer you! You won't be disappointed.
And for those of you who are counting macros, the protein and fat content for each serving of the Paneer and Nordic Cottage cheese are the following:
Fat- 39.43 grams
Protein- 52 grams
Have you used any superfoods before to enhance a recipe? What were the results?
If you plan on making some vegetable broth, don't forget to freeze your celery tops and cauliflower stocks for later!
P.S. I love these stasher bags. The best investment this year so far!
Until next time, stay well!
RHN, CH, & CPT
*Prices may vary, depending on where you shop.