Beet and Cauliflower Soup & Potatoes Au Gratin

Beet & Cauliflower Soup

Classic Potatoes Au Gratin

Mixed greens, sliced pears and golden raisins topped with a dressing made with Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, sesame seeds, salt & pepper.

This week I resolved to eat much healthier. Soup and salad is an easy answer to that. Both fill you up, and as long as you add some nuts or protein, keep you satisfied. Plus, soup creates a big pot you can eat from for days, without having to think about what to eat. I had planned a beet soup, but also still had a half-head of cauliflower to use up. I found a pretty interesting recipe on this blog, Tofu for Two. It had never occurred to me to add spice or lime to a beet, but it turned out really well. I never keep chilies on hand, so I substituted with Cayenne. I try to keep limes, but they always turn brown quickly, so I used lemon instead. My wrist has been hurting since snow-tubing, so my husband helped me perfect the use of the immersion blender - that's his new job! He also had to help me chop things, which is hard for me to sit back and watch, since I go for speed and he goes for perfection.

I also threw together a salad with some funky vinegar I found at Trader Joe's, and a pan of potatoes au gratin from the stand-by recipe from my college cooking class textbook: Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. Ok, so I'm weening off bad foods. Potatoes and cheese aren't the best, but at least we didn't have bread! I also managed a good long workout today, since we had plenty of leftovers from last night (and spaghetti and vegetarian meatballs from Valentine's Day). So far this soup thing is working out for me this week. We'll see how it goes. Step 2: stay away from the wine rack!

Beet & Cauliflower Soup
(adapted from Tofu for Two blog)
approx. 8 servings

1 T Canola Oil

1 Large sweet white onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 Large beets, trimmed & sliced (I scrubbed them and peeled the rough parts off near the top)
1/2 head Cauliflower (or 1 small head), broken into pieces
1 C raw cashews
4 C water (just enough to cover everything in the pot)
juice of 1 lemon
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne - to taste

In a stock pot, saute the onions in oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes to soften. Add garlic, beets and cauliflower with a little cayenne. Stir to coat and add the cashews and water. Cover and boil 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend using an immersion blender until evenly pureed and the cashews are fully processed. Add lemon juice, and a generous amount of salt, cayenne and pepper. I used about 1T or more of salt, and at least 2 tsp cayenne. Reheat if necessary and serve with raw cashews, or sour cream.

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