Spicy Cauliflower Soup ♥ Recipe

Spicy Cauliflower Soup, not pretty but another healthy flavor-packed soup ♥ AVeggieVenture.com
A quick 'n' easy cauliflower soup, spicy with spices, not spicy with heat. Very Weight Watchers Friendly: Zero Freestyle points! Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

~recipe updated, first published way back in 2010~
~more recently updated recipes~

Can't say I know, exactly, what gruel is, but I suspect it might look a lot like a pot of Spicy Cauliflower Soup, smudgy and watery, muddy-yellow and dirty-brown.

But please don't judge this soup by its appearance. What it lacks in aesthetics, it compensates in flavor. The spices are 'Indian-style' – coriander, cumin and turmeric, plus a little chili powder for a small measure of heat. That's right, this soup is spicy – but not spicy-hot, just spicy. I found it a spare and satisfying antidote to a weekend of too-rich food and too-little exercise.

My soup bowl remained monastic and rustic, just the soup itself and a gorgeous loaf of rye bread from St. Louis' bakery The Daily Bread. But the inspiring recipe called for topping the soup with yogurt, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice, go ahead, live it up.

Winter Greens Salad ♥ with Oranges, Avocado, Olives, Feta & Orange-Cumin Vinaigrette

Winter Greens Salad ♥ with Oranges, Avocado, Olives, Feta & Orange-Cumin Vinaigrette, whew, say THAT three times, another healthy salad ♥ A Veggie Venture
graphic button small size size 10 Whew, say THAT three times. Or don't, because by the time you have, today's fresh winter salad could be on the table, just bitter greens (curly endive is pictured) plus juicy oranges, s'more salad fixin's all tossed with a long-time favorite no-oil salad dressing, Orange & Cumin Vinaigrette. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

I swear, since Christmas, you could count on one hand how often I've cooked vegetables. But vegetable soups? and raw salads? #NoGettingEnough

My raw salads follow no recipe, per se, although there is a formula. Greens of some sort, often arugula. (Any other fans of Trader Joe's arugula?!!) Chopped vegetables, whatever's on hand. (It's winter so think carrot, cabbage, fennel, cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, radish, small tomatoes, zucchini, that's just since Christmas.) Parsley or cilantro if they're handy. Green onion, always! Salt, pepper and a splash of good vinegar. Then a drizzle of good olive oil, not much. Some times? If there's time and inclination, a few feta crumbles, a few nuts (usually Maple-Glazed Pecans) or seeds (oh my! I do owe you an amazing recipe for barely-sweet pumpkin seeds). And that's it. I could – I do – assemble a salad like this at least once a day.

Here though, I get more calculated to showcase lovely tangelos from Boudrias Groves, we're so very lucky when a mid-winter gift box is dropped off at our door. (Thank you, Jan and Charlie!) These are the juiciest oranges ever! Mostly, we just gorge on sliced oranges but after that, I get a little more creative, it's orange heaven:

MORNING-FOOD ORANGES
graphic button small size size 10 Orange Julius Drinks (these are zero points with Freestyle SmartPoints, right? and so refreshing!)
graphic button small size size 10 Sunshine Orange Muffins

DAY-FOOD ORANGES
graphic button small size size 10 Savory Orange Slices
graphic button small size size 10 Citrus Slices with Orange Flower Water, Spices & Chocolate Shavings

And now, I'm adding a salad to the lineup. So good, this one! I've made it a half dozen times in a half dozen ways in the last while, all wonderful. This is what I settled on – bitter + sweet + creamy + salty = "perfect"!

Detox Chopped Salad ♥ Recipe

Detox Chopped Salad, another healthy salad ♥ A Veggie Venture. Vegan, great for potlucks and parties.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's chopped salad recipe: An addictive combination of finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower (both or one or the other) and dried fruit, nuts and seeds, bound by a citrus dressing. Great for home as a "refrigerator salad" that keeps for a good week or more but also a great salad to take along to potlucks and parties, ensuring at least one plant-based, satisfying choice. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

"I bought a food processor," my sister announced back in November. "We really like this recipe I tried. It's great! But you really can't chop everything fine enough by hand."

So curious, I was, what could such a kitchen appliance-temptation salad be?! Turns out, it's just broccoli, cauliflower, dried fruit, some nuts and seeds, all chopped finely and tossed in a no-oil citrus dressing.

Since I already owned the all-important food processor, there was no waiting on an Amazon delivery. But as luck would have it, I did have everything else on hand – so made my sister's Detox Chopped Salad on the spot. And another batch the next week. And then a double batch for Thanksgiving. And another double batch for Christmas Eve! And ...

This is such a refreshing salad, so fresh tasting, with excellent crunch. And it's pretty! I happen to like the all-broccoli or all-cauliflower version better in the looks department but that's just me. It's a real crowd pleaser too, an easy one to make ahead to take along to a potluck or party to balance out all the heavy, high-calorie appetizers or snacks. (Hello, Superbowl parties!)

So here's the question, fellow vegetable lovers. Who else has bought a kitchen appliance for just one recipe? Would you? I knew a guy once who wanted to make a dessert from a St. Louis restaurant (the still much-missed Blue Sky Cafe's chocolate enchiladas, stuffed with fruit and whipped cream, drizzled with caramel sauce) for a dinner party and came home with a skillet (for the chocolate crepes), a heavy saucepan (for the caramel sauce) and, gracious, a Kitchen Aid mixer (for the whipped cream). What extremes will we go to when we really-really-really want to make something?! Who can imagine this?!

While you're thinking on this question, make the Detox Chopped Salad!

Loaded Iceberg Steaks ♥ with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

Loaded Iceberg Steaks with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing, another 'Summer Easy' salad idea ♥ A Veggie Venture
graphic button small size size 10 Today's quick 'n' easy 'n' versatile salad, just a thick slice of iceberg lettuce topped with summery BLT-ish vegetables and a drizzle of Homemade Thousand Island Dressing. Surprisingly filling! Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

Please oh please, don't mock. Every year, I fall in love with a new vegetable, or well, better put, I experience a long-familiar vegetable with new appreciation. In 2017? Iceberg lettuce, ha!

It all started when for the first time in years, I made a batch of homemade salad dressing, the oh-so-lovely Thousand Island Dressing. One batch led to another and another, warranting a "3x5 recipe", the card stock I'm re-instituting for house specialties and meal standards, all kept handy in a wood 3x5 recipe box from my childhood. So yeah, 3x5 cards in digital 2017? Again, don't mock! :-)

Anyway, iceberg "wedges" taste great but are awkward for loading up with other ingredients. Enter iceberg lettuce "steaks" – just thick slices cut from the midsection of a head of lettuce, all crunch, so fresh, so summery.

Give it a whirl? I promise a warm welcome into the iceberg club!

This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long since 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Chilled Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto, Sweet Corn & Sun-Dried Tomato ♥

Chilled Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto, Sweet Corn & Sun-Dried Tomato, another healthy salad ♥ A Veggie Venture
graphic button small size size 10 Zucchini Noodles? Thing is, they're achieving ritual status here in my kitchen. Yours too? Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

#TwoThings.

#1 Come summer, there must be some a magic moment when the zucchini and basil gods collude. How do I know? Because I made this supreme little summer chilled zucchini noodle salad for the first time on July 11, 2016 and for the second time, entirely by accident, on the same date exactly one year later. But the timing isn't really an accident, is it? That's because every year about the same time, the zucchini reach exactly the right size for spiralizing (not too small, not too big though definitely not baseball bats) and the basil is beginning to flower and needs cutting back to ensure the plants will continue to produce basil leaves well into fall, so naturally, hello pesto! (For the record, I'm totally in love with my extra basil-y, vegan pesto, Homemade Fresh Basil Pesto Without Cheese.)

#2 Do we even need a recipe for something called "Chilled Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto, Sweet Corn & Sun-Dried Tomato"? I definitely didn't use one the first time I made this. But we all loved it so much, I made a few notes to re-create later for pictures and well, you. Because with any luck, #1 is happening in your world too and a little nudge-nudge is all it'll take for you to drag out the spiralizer. If it's that easy? It's definitely Summer Easy.

This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long since 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Recipe for Roasted Kohlrabi ♥

Roasted Kohlrabi ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, simple and delicious.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's easy kohlrabi recipe: How to roast kohlrabi, a simple way to cook kohlrabi, just cubed and oven-roasted. Low carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly. graphic button small size size 10

~recipe updated for a little new-to-you vegetable inspiration~
~first published way back in 2007~
~more recently updated recipes~

Easy. Simple. Healthful. And tastes good! In short, a win-win-win recipe.

Until now, I've only eaten kohlrabi raw, almost like apples except peeled and sliced. Raw kohlrabi is so full of flavor, moisture and most importantly for pre- and post-supper munchies, crunch. (Ha! Isn't it funny that my favorite way to eat kohlrabi is paired with apples! You'll love Kohlrabi & Apple Slaw with Creamy Coleslaw Dressing!)

So this is the first time I cooked kohlrabi, except for tucking some into this Warm Root Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette where the kohlrabi flavor was mish-mashed with the other root vegetables.

And drum roll ... Roasted Kohlrabi stays on the Keeper List! I also love to cook the kohlrabi greens (that is, the kohlrabi leaves) like this, I use this recipe for Asian Greens.

Fresh Kohlrabi ready for roasting ♥ AVeggieVenture.com
WHAT IS KOHLRABI? Back to basics! Kohlrabi (kol-ROB-ee) is a member of the turnip family. Some times it's called "cabbage turnip". Mostly I find kohlrabi with bulbs that are a pretty light green color but I've also seen purple kohlrabi on occasion. What looks like a bulb is actually just an enlarged portion of the stalk. Especially to eat raw, look for small ones, about three inches across. At the farmers market, like mine, they'll often still be attached to their greens which you cook like collards, low and slow. If you like broccoli stalks, you'll like kohlrabi!

ROASTING VEGETABLES Most vegetables are quite wonderful roasted. Plus, great news, no "recipe" is required to roast a vegetable, just a few tips tips, you'll love How to Roast Vegetables: 15 Tips & A Master Recipe.

COMPLIMENTS!
graphic button small size size 10 "[my husband] must have said at least three times, 'What is this called again? I really like it!'" ~ Kara
graphic button small size size 10 "What a delicious and simple recipe ..." ~ TheBaaBlogger
graphic button small size size 10 "I loved it. It was so good." ~ Anonymous
graphic button small size size 10 "Delicious! Even my 3 year old ate it up ..." ~ KimS
graphic button small size size 10 "It's a winner! Plus, on the glycemic index, it's a lot better for me than potatoes." ~ Anita
graphic button small size size 10 "I should have bought more because we loved the taste." ~ Lucilla
graphic button small size size 10 "delish! thanks for the instructions on such a light, delightful dish!" ~ lortz
graphic button small size size 10 "If you have never tried kohlrabi, give this recipe a try. I loved it." ~ Jan

Arugula Salad with Smoked Trout & Peach Preserve Dressing ♥

Arugula Salad with Smoked Trout & Peach Preserve Dressing ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, simple but special salad supper, makes up in minutes.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's salad supper, perfect for simple summer evenings: Peppery arugula tossed with a sweet fruity-mustard dressing, then topped with bites of smoked trout, fresh fruits and veggies. Totally adaptable, so simple but special. Destined for a go-to dinner! graphic button small size size 10

~recipe updated, first published way back in 2007~
~more recently updated recipes~

WAY BACK IN 2007
Day One: Christine from My Plate or Yours raved about a smoked mullet dip. We bantered back and forth a bit on e-mail.

Day Two 7 am: Arggh. I was, um, hooked. I woke up wanting smoked fish dip NOW. (For breakfast, Alanna?)

Day Two 11am: A client's husband was off to fetch fish from Bob's Seafood, the best (and in my opinion, only) place to buy fresh fish in St. Louis, for their supper. When I asked if he'd mind buying smoked fish for me, he and my client answered, nearly simultaneously, "You need a smoker!" Now he's an accomplished foodie and Anne Cori is chef so I trust their judgments without question. An hour later, he'd picked up the fish from Bob's, he'd picked up a stovetop smoker from her store, the wonderful Kitchen Conservatory – and she gave me a lesson in hot-smoking shrimp, scallops and trout!

And this stuff is heaven! I'm looking forward to learning more about the stovetop smoker – including, with any luck, some vegetables. More on that, later. (Fast Forward Two More Days: My first foray with smoker at home turned out beautifully, just scallops and shrimp and OH SO EASY.)

In the mean time, the sauce the client recommended for the trout turned out to be a delicious oil-free dressing on arugula – snipped fresh from the client's home garden. Yes, indeed, this is a client with "fringe benefits"! Thank you, Anne, thank you, Tom! And Christine, thanks to you, too, for the inspiration that started this odyssey!

UPDATE Eight years passed between Salad One and Salad Two but it wasn't eight weeks before the next one. So simple. So good. So perfect for a sumptuous summer supper. Just look how pretty! I've become partial to smoked whitefish but trout remains wonderful, so does hot-smoked salmon. And scallops!

AN EXTRA PERSONAL NOTE Looking back, I'm wondering if it was this morning that set in motion events that led to being invited to a 4th of July party at the client's home where The Man With the Hands and I first met. Could it be? It just might!