Tag Archives: veggie

Good Morning, Cauliflower Cheese Soup!


Mollie Katzen, Mollie Katzen. Is there anything you can’t make delicious?

Some of you out there might know of my current quest to conquer cauliflower. I’ve long held the albino broccoli in disregard. Its pure whiteness, its bland nothing flavor, its weird not-quite-crunchy-enough texture… All I’ve ever known of cauliflower is that people tend to avoid it on vegetable trays. While their fellow tray-mates, the robustly orange carrots, the crunchy, stringy celery, the vibrant and tree-like broccoli, find better homes on small plates and napkins (to eventually be devoured and rest inside various digestive tracts), the cauliflower is left to an uncertain fate.

All that changed with a little dish from Tamarind Savoring India: Gobi Manchurian, dry, fried, crunchy, a little spicy. The cauliflower was more like Korean spareribs than that pale, lonely little vegetable left alone on the party tray. This cauliflower was savory, vibrantly colored, and extremely flavorful. I was completely turned around.

So I’ve made a little mission of coming to terms with  cauliflower. Considering the benefits of the vegetable itself – low in fat, high in fiber and Vitamin C – and the expanding possibilities of its taste capabilities, this seems like a fairly easy challenge.

But one cannot subsist on Gobi Manchurian and only Gobi Manchurian. So it’s up to other cooks to show me how to best utilize this former enemy. Enter lover of all things veggie and culinary genius, Mollie Katzen, whose Moosewood Cookbook has become a formidable weapon in this delectable battle of will, wit, and tastebuds.

My pal, Jackie, had a great recent find at Beyond Bedtime Books on Potomac Avenue. Seemingly moments after saying that she needed to pick up the Moosewood at some point, she found a used copy right there on the shelf. Flash to weeks later and she’s cooking us up a version of Katzen’s “Cauliflower and Cheese Soup.”

Recommended for this recipe: Do not over puree. A little texture keeps the soup from being to gruel-like. We also threw in some steamed asparagus, optional, of course, but it was the perfect crunchy counterpart to the creamy, mildly cheesy soup.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Ingredients
– 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
– 1 medium to large cauliflower, cut or broken into florets
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 large onion, chopped
– 2 to 3 tsp salt
– 4 cups water
– 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
– 1 cup shredded Colby Jack
– 3/4 cup milk
– 1 tbsp fresh dill
– Black pepper to taste

– Set the water to boil and add the potato, cauliflower, garlic, onion, dill, and salt. Bring to boil, then simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Add milk.

– Puree about half of the mixture in a blender or food processor, then transfer back into the pot. Keeping on low heat, add cheese, then stir until cheese has melted completely. Season with black pepper to taste.

Optional: Take a pound of asparagus and chop off about two inches of the stem from the bottom. Steam asparagus and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until asparagus is bright green and tender, but still crunchy. Add a few stalks to the soup as a delicious garnish.

(Recipe adapted from “Cauliflower Cheese Soup” from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

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Introducing: Vegan, A to Z

Like many active bloggers, I’m a nut for challenges. In my experience, I have found that restriction does lead to the greatest surge of ingenuity. Inspired by the variety of amazing offerings by the VeganMoFo bloggers, I’ve decided to take on a little project. Starting this week and continuing on for the next (you guessed it) 26 weeks, I’ll be doing a weekly feature entitled, Vegan A to Z, where I cook and bake a vegan recipe for every letter of the alphabet. Not exactly complicated, I understand, but whatever. We like to start simple here at Forked!

First up, a few weeks ago Sarah over at I’m So Hungry I Could Blog shared a terrific recipe for Spiced apple drop cookies that looked so good, I couldn’t wait to try them.

Veganizing Sarah’s recipe was exceptionally easy. I swapped out the butter for vegan margarine. The one egg became three tablespoons of apple sauce. Otherwise, everything stayed the same. I used a big Gala apple for my apple chunks and local apple cider as well.

The only other change is simply an omission: Sarah’s delicious looking cookies are topped by an apple cider vanilla frosting, which sounded terrific. Alas, I ran both short of supplies and time and decided to keep my cookies naked. They’re still delicious, with a crunch from the walnuts and little pockets of soft sweetness courtesy the baked apple chunks. And the recipe yielded nearly forty cookies, which means, even for this Cookie Monster, enough to share!

Woohoo, one down, 25 to go! Next up, ba-ba-ba- B!

(Make sure to check out Sarah and Caitlin’s excellent blog for this and other recipes!)

Happy Vegan MOFO!

 

From VeganMofo.wordpress.com:

VeganMoFo was originally created on the Post Punk Kitchen, as an homage to NaNoWriMo. Because we do want to write novels, but sometimes cooking gets in the way. So why not combine them!

The idea is to write as much as you can all month, about vegan food. The blog entries can be about anything food related – your love of tongs, your top secret tofu pressing techniques, the first time your mom cooked vegan for you, vegan options in Timbuktu – you get the idea, right? If not, browse around on some of our round-ups and you’ll catch on fast!

There aren’t strict guidelines for how often to write, but the idea is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month. If you’d like inspiration or would just like to whine about how hard it is, check out the MoFo forum on the PPK message boards.

As the world catches on that vegan food really is the best choice for animals (suck it, humane meat!), the planet (bite me, melting ice caps!) and people (piss off, heart disease!) let’s show them what vegan eating is all about.

In honor of Vegan MoFo, I will be periodically featuring some of the nearly 600 blogs taking part in this year’s vegan food writing fest. If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or maybe just looking for an excuse to add a few more vegetables to your weekly diet, check back for some great recipes offered from this year’s participants.

Happy writing, vegan bloggers!