After a somewhat long break from posting I'm beginning to share my cooking adventures of 2019!
My love for cooking and sharing the food I cook for my family had to be set aside for a while during the holiday season until the beginning of the year because I really felt the need to focus on my family and just enjoy some more time with them.
Although this is a very small blog I'm always thinking about recipes and ideas to post about and, sometimes, I get this super annoying blanks...nothing seems to pop into my head and, when that happens, the most sensible option is to take a break, just enjoy leaving the family life and, eventually, things will get back to normal and the inspiration will come back along with some delicious and nutritious recipe ideas!
As I've shared previously on the blog I had the most amazing experience with my whole30, that I did last year. Eating natural and whole foods really gave me another perception of healthy living and altered my perception of real nutrition. Last year was filled with lots of reading hours, learning about nutrition and the advantages of a natural diet.
Over the last trimester of 2018 I've also started to incorporate more plant-based meals and I've reduced the consumption of animal protein to about 1 day a week. That also made me feel even better and healthier - eating a mainly natural diet made me finally shift the mindset from the diet mentality to a different level of eating where, if I'm only eating natural foods I really don't have to think about calorie intake or restriction! I've struggled with "scale obsession" and I found out that eating the natural way made me maintain my ideal weight without struggle or effort and that was a major step for ditching the scale, which is a major personal victory!
With all of that being said, Holidays came rushing in and I started eating more animal protein which definitely made an impact on me: I was more bloated, having less energy and feeling kind of low in general. That really made me think about the effects of the food we eat have on us, physically and mentally. After the holiday season my son, Mr. J, was showing some extra pounds and I decided to ask him on board for a one week vegan reset for the both of us - he said yes and we did it!
Surprisingly he loved all the food I cooked and he also helped me cook some of the meals himself which, I think, got him on board easier with this new way of eating. It was a successful week and I've continued doing it and it has now been almost 6 weeks of eating vegan for me.
First thoughts? I'm so excited to have started this and I'm feeling amazing with what I've been eating!
There's such a variety of dishes and meals to be explored now! Even more than before! I've been spending a lot of time researching, looking up recipes, cooking methods, experiencing with cooking grains in the Instant Pot, trying out soups, stews and stir-fries! There is a whole myriad of surprisingly delicious and nutrient dense foods out there, it's just a matter of knowing how to cook and pair them with the perfect match!
So, these first recipes that I'll be sharing this new year will be vegan and lets see how I go from there. As of now I'm super excited to share some of the combinations and recipes I've been cooking for myself and for the adventurous ones in my family! My daughter, Miss B, is the least adventurous but she will try most of the food I cook, I'll give her that!
Now, about this delicious soup recipe!
The past weeks have been freezing cold and soups have been on the menu non-stop! I decided to cook simple but cozy soups that keep well in the fridge and that please the majority of the family. Keeping things simple when trying out new spices or ingredients is the perfect step to introducing something new. Carrot soup has been a favorite of us and adding turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory, is the perfect solution for a winter soup.
The secret for the creaminess of this amazing soup??
CAULIFLOWER - yes, just try it and see how creamy your soups get by adding some blended steamed cauliflower or simply adding it to the other ingredients before blending it!
Super simple and amazing!
1 sweet onion
3 lbs carrots
1 package of frozen cauliflower
3 cloves of garlic
water (enough to cover the carrots)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp turmeric
optional: 1 cube of vegetable/vegan stock (I didn't use and it was pretty flavorful, it's a matter of choice)
1 - Start by prepping your vegetables: peel and dice the onions and garlic cloves. Peel and chop the carrots and, if you're using fresh cauliflower, cut it in florets and run them through cold water to give them a good rinse.
2 - Heat a non-stick pan on high heat and add the diced onions when the bottom of the pan gets hot and good to go. Give the onions a stir and, if necessary, add a drizzle of warm water to keep the onions from burning. Sauteing in water is a great way to save on oil and extra calories - you'll get a pretty flavorful soup without the oil, don't worry about it!
3 - Add the chopped garlic and the diced carrots and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and the turmeric. Let the vegetables cook for about 5 minutes and add the cauliflower. Cover the vegetables with water and cook, on a medium heat for about 25 minutes.
4 - Turn the heat off and puree the soup with an immersion blender. If necessary add some more warm water to get a more liquid soup, it all depends on how thick you like your soup. Taste to check on seasonings and, if needed, adjust.
5 - Serve the soup in soup bowls and add some seeds, I personally love pepitas and sesame seeds but feel free to add your own favorites. Some chopped parsley also goes really well with the sweet taste of the carrot puree.
During the next weeks I'll be sharing some more soup recipes, for sure!
As long as the cold weather stays with us we'll be enjoying some comforting meals and a cup of soup is always the perfect start to any meal. What is your favorite kind of soup? Let me know in the comment section below and, if you have any recipe request, be free to let me know so I can try and cook it up to put it on the blog as soon as possible.
Stay safe and stray warm during this cold season!