Cauliflower Soup (Whole 30)

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Hello soup season! This time of year, if it’s served in a bowl, I’m game. Some of my favorite soups include this one, this one and this one. This cauliflower soup is simple, but real good. It resembles potato soup, but a little healthier for you. Not to mention whole 30 compliant and vegan depending what type of broth you use!

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Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
32 oz cups of chicken, veggie or brone broth (TJ’s is now selling this and I love it)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
*½ cup coconut cream from coconut milk (the thick stuff from the top of the coconut milk can - do not shake!)
chopped green onions, cayenne and olive oil for garnish

Directions:
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Sauté until the onions are cooked down and translucent. 

Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and pour in the broth. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pot. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s done when the cauliflower is fork tender. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until very smooth. An immersion blender is ideal, but if you are using a food processor, puree in 2 to 3 batches to avoid an extreme mess. (I know this because I do not have an immersion blender, and while the processor worked, it was messy).

After pureed, pour back into your soup pot unless you used an immersion blender. Whisk in the coconut cream. Add a pinch more of salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick you can add a bit more broth. 

Serve with a garnish of chopped green onions, a pinch of cayenne and a fancy drizzle of olive oil. A little cheddar cheese or crispy bacon bits would be great too to resemble potato soup! Great by itself but would also be great with a piece of crusty bread or a kale salad on the side. 

*Grocery stores sell "coconut cream," DON'T buy that. Buy regular coconut milk in a can. Do not shake the can of coconut milk. Open with a can opener and scoop out the thick cream from the top. Discard the rest. 

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Annie

Kale Quinoa Salad

While in Aspen, CO last week for our family trip, I found myself ordering kale salad after kale salad. Our dinners where indulgent, as they should be, so I tried to counteract them with a salad here and there for lunch. And I’d be lying if I said every time I ordered, said kale salad, it wasn’t also followed by a handful of french fries. The amount of kale salads and fries eaten on that trip…

Anyway, the kale salad hoopla was a must recreate situation the second I got home. 1. because I love some good travel inspiration for my meals and 2. because how better to slide back into healthy eating post vacay than with a kale salad? It has me being healthy and reminiscent!

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Kale Quinoa Salad
serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

1 large bunch of lacinito kale
1 medium sweet potato
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup dried cranberries
olive oil
cinnamon

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Chop your sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes. Place on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and cinnamon. I love love love roasting sweet potatoes with cinnamon, but you can omit. Toss together and roast for 25 minutes. Check halfway through and toss around if needed. *When 5 minutes are left on the sweet potatoes, place the pecans on a roasting sheet and roast for 5 minutes making sure to watch that they don’t burn. Take out at the same time as the sweet potatoes. Roughly chop the pecans and set aside.

Now to de-rib your kale. Rinse and pat dry your kale. To de-rib, run a knife alongside the stem to detach the leaves. You can get a visual here. Layer all the kale leaves on top of each other and chop the kale into small pieces. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In a mason jar or small bowl, add all dressing ingredients. Shake or whisk to combine.

To the bowl of kale add the cooked quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pecans. Drizzle with a good portion of the dressing. Using a pair of tongs, give everything a really good toss until everything is coated in dressing. Kale is not a lettuce you can just pour dressing over the top. Your have to mix and toss and coat it with dressing.

Plate and serve with a bit of salt and pepper on top.

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Another favorite fall kale salad is my Fall Panzanella with Cornbread Croutons!

Annie

Lite Bite: Mayo-Less Tuna Salad

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Tuna salad. Do you love it or does it make you gag? I'm on a HUGE kick right now and I'm real obsessed with my recipe so I had to share. It's free of mayo (EW) and gets tons of flavor from subbing in mustard. Makes for a perfect lunch that is satsifying and healthy!

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Mayo-Less Tuna Salad
yields 1 serving

Ingredients:
1, 5 oz can tuna packed in water, drained
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1-2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp. chopped pickles or relish
1.5 tbsp. diced red onion
salt and pepper
GG crackers, rice cake or bibb lettuce for serving

Directions:
Drain your can of tuna. In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Adding more mustard if you want it creamier. Serve with crackers, rice cakes or in little cups of bibb lettuce making it whole 30 compliant (as long as your mustard is sugar free! I like this brand, for obvious reasons)!
 

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Annie

Lite Bite: Thai Chicken Lettuce Boats

thai chicken lettuce boats

Here's the 411 on "lite bite" posts. These are recipes I came up with on the fly. Measurements are geared toward cooking for one, but can easily be upped to feed more. Any questions about conversions or recipes, never hesitate to email me annie@takeabiteblog.com.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Boats
instructions yield 1 serving

green leaf lettuce
rotisserie chicken, shredded
roasted unsalted cashews
coconut oil
fresh ginger, finely chopped
garlic, minced
Sambal Oelek chili sauce
salt and pepper
cilantro
green onion
sesame seeds
cashews

Cut the core off the end of your lettuce. Wash and pat dry each lettuce leaf. These will become your "boats." A tip I learned from my roommate Lindsay is after washing your lettuce, lay it out on long strip of paper towels. Pat dry, then roll up your lettuce in the damp paper towels and store in a plastic grocery sack in the fridge. The lettuce will stay crisp and fresh!

Heat 1 tsp. of coconut oil over medium heat. Sauté 1/2 tsp. of minced garlic (or half of a clove) and 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger for about 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup of shredded rotisserie chicken and 1/4 cup crushed cashews to the pan. Add 2 tsp. of Sambal Oelek chili sauce to pan. Sauté and warm all the ingredients, only takes about 1 to 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and tear in a few leaves of cilantro.

Once everything is combined and warmed through, divided the chicken mixture amongst 3 leaves of lettuce. Top with sesame seeds, more cilantro and thinly sliced green onions. 

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I love this meal for dinner or lunch leftovers the next day. Tip: the inner baby leaves of your green leaf lettuce bunch are perfect for dipping in hummus!

Annie

Bites of My Life

News and noteworthy moments from this past week. My company moved office spaces, I ate a lot of quinoa again and pretended like it was Annie's diet circa 2015, RIP my daily entertainment, The Morning Breath (I can't and I shant), I completed my third book this year (I haven't read more than 3 books in the past 3 years), all of my best friends were together this weekend and I hit a personal best in Cyclebar despite being exhausted and thinking I was just going to "take it slow."

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-Week 3 of Arbonne's 30 Days to Healthy Living means included the 7-day cleanse into my daily routine. I'll be honest, I'm not sold on the program yet (yes-yikes) but I still have a week left and will give more details as I have them.
-New views coming soon for The Social Order Dining Collective.
-A riff on last week's meal post, twisted with a greek spin! Lite bite recipe post is now up!
-Whole Foods lunch with my Lex girl, too much girl talk, not enough time. 
-Book 3 of 2018 done! Second time reading this amazing book by Shauna Niequist and it's still just as great. I'm currently using it as a guide for a bible study I'm in and I love discussing it in a group setting to compare other perspectives and opinions on Shauna's writing. 
-First Friday with the best happy hour partners.
-Brandless is one of my favorite new discoveries. Everything on their site is only $3, often organic and fair trade. For every purchase made they donate a meal to Feeding America. I got to partner with them for 3.3 day and just placed another order for dish soap, parchment paper, popcorn and agave. All $3 each. 
-@moprivy and I back under one roof where we belong. MISS YOU!
-The cutest spread and shower for #KatieFoundHerMattch. I loved offering my house for the morning, gave me a major bug to host more upcoming events.
-All my gals together two weekends in a row!!
-Mom and I love popping into open houses together. Sunday's house was particularly eye catching. 
-"No one legitimately eats rice cakes," says my best Margaret. Ughhhh I love rice cakes TBH. And I love hours of Oscar Red Carpet footage.

Annie