Valentine’s Beet and Cauliflower Soup

P2138656 copyWe made it!  This month marks our 1 year of blogging and we just want to say many thanks for sticking with us.  Starting a blog is easy peasy but continuously writing  posts — not so much.  It really does require a lot thought, time, and creativity, but the process has been nothing but fun, and slowly but surely we will continue to grow this little space of ours.  So today — when some of us expect roses and an expensive dinner — we propose that you have a relaxing night with your partner, pets, or yourself, and cook.  This Beet Cauliflower soup is great for that.  Why?  Well, look at that color!  No frosting could beet (pun intended) that deep-earthy red.  The rich color will surprise you.  Just make sure you don’t spill the soup because it will look like a crime scene.  Also, don’t take left-overs to lunch and open it in a small-enclosed office…cauliflower stinks when chilled.  The soup is also extremely healthy and you will experience the flavors in three stages: first the tangy cauliflower, then potato cream, ending with a light after taste of the beets.  It is so lovely it will definitely make someone’s heart beet….  Enjoy and Happy Vday!
P2138646 P2138628Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Yields: 4

2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
3 cups chopped cauliflower
2 medium-small red beets
Dash of salt
3 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish

1.  Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent — about 4 minutes.
2.  Add cauliflower, beets, and salt.
3.  Add broth, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer until beets and cauliflower are tender — about 20 minutes.
4.  Remove from heat and add dill.  Let the soup cool for 10 minutes and puree until smooth.  Add water if it’s too thick.
5.  Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer.  Season with more salt if you think there is not enough flavor.
6.  Sprinkle dill sprigs right before serving.

Flash from the back, and recipes if you need last minute ideas:

meringues


PB210135

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Teriyaki Chicken Legs with Lotus Root

P2048581It’s been a year since we made these Superbowl scrumptious Quinoa Patties rooting for the New England Patriots, but this year we were cheering for Beyoncé — she redeemed herself from the lip-synched inauguration and made all the women (and men) in this nation fall in love with her again.  The power outage was the second most exciting moment.

Believe it or not the Superbowl serves traditional foods such as nachos, wings, pizza, and as a fun fact, Americans double their average daily consumption of snacks consuming more than 33 million pounds of goodies on this particular Sunday. Yeah, it’s a fatty day.  I made this easy chicken recipe a while back when I was living in Japan on farmland.  Lotus root are usually harvested in the fall but if you live in the Boston area you can head to Russo’s to find them year-round.  I LOVE this veggie and it’s always fun cooking with a new and unusual ingredient.  This dish is juicy, crunchy, and extremely flavorful with some asian flare.  Have a good Monday!
P2048567 P2048575

Vegetable Oil 1 Tbs
Chicken Legs 5 pieces
Salt and Pepper

Lotus root 1
Cooking sake 2Tbs
Soy Sauce 2 Tbs
Honey 1.5 Tbs
Orange 1/2
Butter 1/2 tbs

1.  Wash the legs and marinate with salt and pepper.  Let them sit for about 10 minutes.
2.  Peel the lotus root and cut them into even thin slices.
3.  On medium heat pour vegetable oil in pan.  Place chicken legs for about 4-5 minutes or until the skin on both sides are lightly brown.
4.  Make room on the pan and add another 1/2 TBS of vegetable oil.  Place lotus root and sauté them until brown on both sides.  Once done, take the lotus root out and set aside.
5.  Add 1 cup of water and simmer on low-medium heat for about 1 minute.
6.  Add sake, soy sauce, honey, and fresh orange juice and simmer for 10 minutes with cover.  Make sure to flip sides.
7.  When the liquid seems to have evaporated to 1/3, take the lid off and add the lotus root.  Simmer for another 10 minutes with the lid off.  Add butter and let it simmer for another 1 minute.

Optional:  You can sprinkle orange zest and parsley for garnish.