Monday, January 23, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Its cold out and I work all day, so nothing could be better than a good, easy to make bowl of soup.  I think, in theory, soups are supposed to be easy, but often times they involved a lot of chopping and waiting and simmering and sometimes I just don't have time for that.

This recipe was so good I had to jump right on here and tell you about it.  The ingredients are minimal and the chopping will take you five minutes at the most.  Prep and actual involved cooking time is minimal, there is some waiting, just watch some tv or do some yoga or sit and stare at your oven while the cauliflower bakes.

It is pretty low calorie, but not low fat (remember, fat doesn't make you fat!).  I think it approximately 300 calories per serving (makes 4 servings).  The fat will keep you full for a long time, longer than low cal, low fat, high carb!  Now, before this turns into a rant or a lecture, the recipe!!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup
adapted from: Elana's Pantry

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 or two cloves of garlic, minced (honestly, I used the jarred stuff!)
  • 4 cups of chick stock (or 4 cups of water and some Better than Bouillon, love this stuff!)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (not low fat, remember?)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper (Max likes lots of pepper, but season to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Take off the green stalk of your cauliflower.  Chop the head in half and then slice it.  Put on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil and sprinkle with one tablespoon of olive oil.  Bake until brown and caramelized, about 30-45 minutes.  This step is important because the flavor it develops is outstanding.
  3. Once the cauliflower is done cooking (and you are done with that show you were watching), heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pot on medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add chopped onion.
  4. Cook the onion for about five minutes, or until onion starts to become translucent.  Add garlic and cook for about one more minute.
  5. Chop your cooked and cooling cauliflower into slightly smaller pieces (rough chop or do like I did and hack at it with your wooden spoon) and add to pot.  Add your chicken stock now as well.
  6. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very soft (like over-cooked broccoli). 
  7. Now, you can use a immersion blender or a regular one for the next part (have you gotten an immersion blender yet?  You should).  Turn the heat off and blend soup until smooth and creamy.  While you are blending, add the heavy cream.
  8. Turn the stove back onto low just to make sure the soup is nice and hot before serving.  Top with bacon, cheese, or eat as is and enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Banana Bread Lara Bar

Last week the local "health food" store had a sale on Larabars, which I love, but I can't eat most of them because of the nuts they use and they are usually very expensive.  I looked at the ingredients and did some searching online and found out that they whole process of making these wouldn't be very hard and I could customize them with non-allergy causing ingredients.

I hope you try these; they are especially good for breakfast and will keep you full for a long time.  Although I highly recommend trying the real thing, this is a great recipe and ends up being a lot cheaper.

Banana Bread Lara Bars

  • 3 cups dates (make sure you pit them, I initially forgot this step!)
  • 1/2 cup banana chips
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Chop up the dates in a food processor (a blender may work, but you might burn out the engine, not sure).
  2. Remove the dates from the food processor and put in the banana chips and walnuts.  Pulse the nuts and fruit a few times until chopped into little pieces.
  3. Place the dates, walnuts, and bananas into a bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Mix with your hands until fully combined.
  4. On parchment or wax paper, spread the mixture out into a rectangle.  It should be about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into eight pieces.  They should look like granola bars, or similar to that.  If you have ever had a Lara Bar, it should look pretty similar.  If you haven't had one, well, I probably should have taken a picture!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Heavenly Chocolate Mousse

Another post already?  Why, yes!  I have made this chocolate mousse three times now and it is so yummy.  I have not made it the same way twice because sometimes I have one type of chocolate and sometimes I am missing eggs (oops!) and sometimes I really want a dark chocolate orange mousse, which was the case tonight.

For those of you who don't know, I work at a chocolate factory.  Because of this, I usually have a surplus of chocolate on hand and I don't usually eat any of it.  If you're lucky enough to live close to me, you've probably benefited from this, and if you haven't then I apologize.  I had some wonderful orange dark chocolate (which is one of my favorites) and was craving a dessert.

Now this is not low fat or low anything in fact, but it a nice indulgence at the end of a long day.  I'm going to post the original recipe, but feel free to play with the flavors a bit.  Even if you mess this up, it will be a delicious mistake!

Heavenly Chocolate Mousse
from: All Recipes


  • 8 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (if you prefer milk, use it, if you like flavored chocolate, use it!!)
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (If you use a sweeter chocolate, such as milk, reduce to 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream, whipped


  1. In a microwave or double boiler, heat chocolate, 1/4 cup water and butter until the chocolate and butter are melted. Cool for 10 minutes. 
  2. In a small heavy saucepan, whisk egg yolks, sugar and remaining water. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees F (it will feel slightly thicker under your whisk), about 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat; whisk in chocolate mixture. Set saucepan in ice and stir until cooled, about 5-10 minutes (or, as I did, whisk egg mixture into chocolate and place in fridge, whisking every few minutes.  Don't forget about it or your chocolate may seize up)
  4. Fold in whipped cream (Don't use cool whip or the stuff from a can!  It won't work or taste good.  Tip for great whipped cream: place whisk and bowl in freezer for 15 minutes before making). Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.  Then lick the bowl!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm back again!

Hello there!  Its been a long while and things have changed so much.  Max and I are now living in our own little apartment with our kitty, Lela.  It is a small, one bedroom apartment, that is often messier than it should be and I'm pretty happy here!  As much as I love my parents, its nice to be on our own again.

Now, reason for my absence this time: I haven't been baking much.  Shocking, I know.  The reason for my lack of baking: I have lost twenty pounds.  Part of the reason for my weight loss is cutting back on the carbs and I have gone gluten free for the most part (with some MAJOR lapses during Christmas).  I also use a website called, which is an awesome place for losing weight (as Allison and Joann can also attest to).

I will be playing with some gluten free baking soon, but for now I've been making some delicious, healthy, real food for dinner, breakfast and lunch.  I have not gone low fat or vegetarian or anything like that.  I am eating the realest foods that I can, which I am finding much more filling than processed food.  Real fats and protein also help with satiety, making this weight loss effort much easier than previous.

I am planning on sharing more healthy foods and I will share my gluten free baking ventures when I get a chance to try them!!  Enjoy!

Carrot Soup
from: All Recipes


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or more)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • plain yogurt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon of agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice)


  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and chicken broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.
  4. Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Add cream, agave nectar, and milk as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency. Serve with yogurt for garnish if you would like.

This recipe has great reviews on All recipes.  I thought it was really delicious, you can taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  I made some adjustments from the website's version and I added them above.  If you would like the original version, following the link above.