Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Carrot Soup

I came across this soup at a holiday party some 15 years ago.  I had never had carrot soup in my life and screwed up my face at the thought, but I had to make the choice between carrot soup or chicken and prunes, or risk offending the host.  I chose the soup (to this day, I still can't bear the thought of chicken and prunes) and was mighty surprised at how much I liked it.  I begged the recipe off  the hostess and have made it religiously every year since then. It's so fast and easy to make, and so economical, and whenever I make it everybody is surprised that it's so good.  I like to make it thick so that it's silky and lovely like a bisque, but you can make it a little thinner by adding more stock. Served with biscuits or rolls, this becomes a perfect light meal for a busy autumn day.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and cut into eights
5 cups vegetable stock, or more as desired
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
 2 1/2 tsp. dill
salt to taste
coconut cream to garnish, if desired

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium pot.  Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft - do not let the onions brown.  Add the sweet potatoes and enough stock to just cover the vegetables.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the carrots and sweet potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.  

With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the pot to a blender or food processor and puree until silky smooth, adding some of the vegetable broth as needed.  Pour the pureed vegetables back into the pot and add enough broth to give the soup the consistency you desire.  Add the pepper, lemon juice, dill and salt to taste.  Heat the soup to just simmering, then turn off the heat and serve hot.  You can swirl a little coconut cream into each bowl of soup if desired.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fried Cauliflower with Garlic Dip

There is a Mediterranean bistro close to where we live that serves the most excellent cauliflower.  For the longest time I could not figure out how they did it, and then a friend told me they fried it.  I couldn't believe it!  My favorite dish was evil in disguise.  I shunned it for years, thinking of all those fat calories and how they would likely end up on my hips.  But then I decided to make it, because every once in awhile fried food really hits the spot.  And this dish is really yummy, definitely worth splurging for!  When I make it, I also serve butternut fries and french fries...because why not?  The twice a year I make this can't hurt too much, right?

For the Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, rinsed and chopped into bite-sized florets
canola oil for frying
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil.  Add the cauliflower and cook until only just fork-tender.  Drain immediately.  Allow to air-dry completely.  Or if you don't want to boil the cauliflower, you can steam it until just fork-tender.

When the cauliflower is dry, heat the oil for frying (about 360 degrees).  Fry the florets in batches until they turn golden brown, this will only take a couple of minutes.  Drain on paper towels.  Toss with salt and pepper and serve hot with garlic dip.

For the Garlic Dip
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup coconut milk yogurt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cloves of garlic, minced (or more if desired)

Combine all ingredients, adjusting the lemon juice, salt and garlic to taste.