Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Turmeric and Cardamom

Cream of CAuliflower soup with Turmeric and Cardamom

Cream of Cauliflower soup with Turmeric and Cardamom

One day I was thinking to myself “Cauliflower and turmeric taste good together…” and this recipe was born. It is full of discreet, complex flavors perfectly balanced with each other. It is elegant enough to serve to company, but ridiculously easy to make, if you have a VitaMix. Serve it hot or cold. Leftovers store well in the refrigerator.

In addition to being delicious and easy, this creamy soup contains turmeric and cardamom, both of which are considered medicinal spices. Turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties which can help control allergies, atherosclerosis, and arthritis. It has also been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-Alzheimer’s effects. One study showed that large doses of curcumin, one of turmeric’s potent compounds, controlled depression as well as Prozac, while another study concluded that curcumin decreased the likelihood of developing insulin resistance in predisposed patients. Cardamom has also been suggested to combat depression and have anti-inflammatory effects. If the health benefits aren’t enough to convince you, tumeric and cardamom are also delicious.

Enough talking you say. What is the recipe for this wonder-food!!?
Hold you horses. It’s coming. ☺

1 ¼ cup mashes potatoes*
1 cup heavy cream
5 cups whole milk
1 large (half fist sized) raw cauliflower floret**
2 large steamed cauliflower florets**
1 tsp cardamom
¾ tsp turmeric

*I recommend skin-in red potatoes. The bitterness of the skin adds to the flavor.
**I’m sure you could use all one or the other. Using two degrees of cookedness creates a more complex flavor.

1) Combine potatoes and cream and blend on a heavy power setting until the potato skins are very tiny and the mixture has a uniform consistency.
2) Add all other ingredients, turn power to high, and blend until steaming hot.
3) Voila! Enjoy. ☺

You could probably get a similar effect by first blending the ingredients, then heating to steaming on the stove.

Tried it? Let me know what you think!

Wishing you joy!
-Ekatrina

References:
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric-and-curcumin.html
http://www.myhealthylivingcoach.com/top-7-amazing-health-benefits-of-turmeric/#
http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/15-health-benefits-of-cardamom/

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Hot Ginger Milk with Honey

Etsy 011
I really love ginger. Most people I know do. It is exceedingly good for you, and makes me feel good too. I’m also trying to drink less caffeine, especially before bedtime. Since black tea with milk is my favorite comfort drink in cold weather, this is difficult. One evening, I was feeling especially run down, and really wanted something invigorating and soothing. That night this hot ginger milk recipe was born. This recipe uses a VitMix, which makes hot milk drinks a breeze, but you could use a blender to chop things and then heat on the stove or in the micro.

Recipe
2 cups whole milk (you could use skim milk, but why?)
½ cup chopped ginger
~1/4 cup honey (I used a serving spoon to scoop out a dollop)

Put all the ingredients in the VitaMix, turn to speed ten to puree ginger, then turn to highest setting. Run until steaming and foamy. Enjoy.

Etsy 013

Have I mentioned the VitaMix makes frothed milk that rivals a cappuccino? This is smooth, sweet, and relaxing, with enough peppery ginger to energize you and ward off the sick and tired feeling. Doesn’t it look delicious??

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

strawberry buttercream copy

The other day I was making cupcakes (late at night, after bedtime, of course), and I wanted to do something fun and fast that would make them special. With Valentine’s day around the corner, pink seemed like it was in order, so I rummaged through the fridge and this lovely strawberry buttercream frosting was born. The base is a simple buttercream. (Don’t do what I did and melt the butter trying to soften it. The made the texture softer than usual, so I never ended up adding any milk. The leftover was un-pipable after an overnight stint in the fridge, so I advise being patient with the butter and adding milk.) The thing that lifts this above the ordinary is the addition of strawberry jelly. The little Miss tasted it later, and her comment was “Wow! It tastes like strawberries!” You know when a child inadvertently exclaims “wow” that you have a hit. 🙂

The Recipe
1 cup salted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs Milk
1/2 jar strawberry jelly (not jam, if you will pipe the frosting)
food coloring if you like more color

Cream together softened butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Once the butter and sugar are thoroughly creamed together, mix in about 1/2 a jar of good quality strawberry jelly. (I used Trader Joe’s Reduced sugar, since this is already a little too sweet for me.) If you are going to pipe the frosting, you MUST be sure that the jelly is smooth, not chunky. (Add food coloring next, if you are using it.) Now, add the milk 1 Tbs at a time until the frosting is a good piping consistency. I will probably add a little more jelly next time, and cut back on the sugar a tad. This will make the frosting softer, so I will probably end up using less milk.

For an easy, professional look, pipe with a star tip onto mini cupcakes. I like using Trader Joe’s vanilla bean cake mix (+ ~ 1 tsp vanilla) because it is easy and flavorful, and has a more “home-made” texture than most box mixes.