Tag Archives: vegetables

Guest Post: Meet one of our besties and her Cauliflower Carrot Soup!

We are so tickled to introduce to you one of our dearest friends (and fellow foodie!), Lauren Wyman.  She is a driven woman, follower of Christ, raising two littles on her own, and is SO much more creative on vegetables! This is BY FAR not the only solution she has created to increase vegetables in her diet! Please welcome her to the blog!

I’ve always enjoyed cooking and love to learn and experiment with food, good food and creating new flavors. This recipe was born out of boredom and a desire to put more vegetables into my daily diet. Let’s face it, eating 5 cups of vegetables a day is not the simplest task!

Cauliflower Carrot Soup - Foodies Gone Real

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 medium organic raw whole carrots (with at least half the green stalks still attached)
  • a full head of organic cauliflower
  • one shallot (I prefer these to onions because they sweeter)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of grassfed whole milk or organic heavy cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of free range organic chicken broth or organic vegetable broth
  • 6-8 pieces of bacon cooked till crispy (I used Trader Joes ends and pieces)
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp of dried basil and salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

After cutting and washing the vegetables, I put them all in a steamer and cook them until I can push my fork through the carrot without trouble. While the veggies are cooking I start cooking my bacon on a low heat so it’s get crispy.

I then put all the steamed veggies and all ingredients (except the bacon!!!) into my food processor and pulse until it’s all smooth (mine takes about 5-7 minutes).

I then put everything in another pot to out in the stove to warm up and season it to taste.  While it’s warming, I take out all the bacon and layer it with paper towels to get off excess grease and then crumble it.

Put the soup into the bowl and top with crumbled bacon and some shredded cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Carrot Soup - Foodies Gone Real

Advertisements

Introducing Green Beans to Bacon

My husband and I are pretty good sports about our vegetables — even when we don’t love them or care for them, we’ll usually endure them and eat them (and maybe even eat them again) because we know they are SO good for us — you can’t beat what good nutrition does for your health, and we try to get as much variety into our diet as possible.  There are plenty we eat with delight, though!

Green beans were not delightful for us… until we introduced it to bacon.

Introducing Green Beans to Bacon - Foodies Gonee Real

Maybe you’ve heard of it before, this concept… bacon makes all vegetables better.  And we are here to prove it!

For this recipe, fresh green beans were used.  The biggest difference you’ll notice between fresh and frozen are that the frozen will be “mushier” since they will likely have a higher water content as they cook, fresh will have more “crunch”.  I strongly recommend using the french style green beans (not cut up) if you’re going with frozen.

This dish is CRAZY easy to make it as much as you want – this isn’t so much about measuring things out, but based on how many servings you want.  I wanted five bundles, so I needed five pieces of bacon, and grabbed a handful at a time.  Not sure what I mean? Read on, friends!

Ingredients:

Green beans – “French” style (don’t use the traditional “pre-cut”)

Nitrite-free Bacon*, preferably pastured

Rapadura or Coconut Sugar

Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat your over to 425*.

Take a handful of green beans.  I usually measure these out within my hand – due to the method of preparation, you want to be able to get your hand all the way around, so I wouldn’t go too big.  Judge your bunch by looking at the picture below.

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Take your bacon and begin to wrap it around the bunch, using your hand and thumb to hold it all in place.  Don’t be afraid to stretch the bacon tightly – this will help it “stick” together during the cooking. Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Place your wraps in the glass baking dish, trying to keep the bacon ends tucked underneath as much as possible.  This dish does not need to be greased… remember all that bacon you’re about to use? It will keep things from sticking once it begins to cook.  (Just do your best.  It will make for easier handling later, but you won’t “break” the recipe by failing to get all the ends tucked under.) Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Repeat for as much as you need, or to fill the dish.

Top your bacon with fresh ground pepper and your sweetener of choice (I recommend powder/granule forms – I have not tried this with maple syrup or honey.)

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Drizzle the soy sauce over your prepped green bean bunches.  You don’t need to drown them, but be generous.

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Bake in your over for about 15 minutes.  They bunches will start to look cooked, but we need to cook the undersides of the bacon.  With tongs, you’ll need to carefully flip each bunch over.

Cook for another 10 minutes, and then check on the dish.  Every oven is different, so it is likely that it will be cooked through at this point.

We like crispier bacon in this house, so at this point I usually turn the oven part off, and turn on the broiler.  I broil them for about 5 minutes, or until I see the right level of crispy to my preference.

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Let them cool before eating – I usually don’t add any more salt due to the bacon/soy sauce, but I would have pepper on hand as per people’s preferences.

I served this with slow-cooked ribs and it was DELICIOUS.  This bacon theory apples across the board-  have a vegetable you’re not crazy about it? Try adding bacon and see if it’s better.  I bet it will be improved!

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

*I choose nitrite-free bacon as a preference for UNnatural nitrites.  Nitrites occur within nature, and we can harness these items (celery is a common one) to help with preserving … what I don’t buy into are those fabricated in a lab as I’m going for as real as God intended.  Consequently, when shopping, I usually look for “nitrite-free” bacon, even though it likely still contains natural variants of this (like the previously mentioned celery).

(Small disclaimer: I have seen variations of this recipe – and other bacon/green bean combinations many other places.  This is my original work, and it’s overlapping with any other recipe is unintentional.)

Changin’ it Up – Onion Peas

At this point in the winter I get so. sick. of. frozen. vegetables.

I will, on occasion, buy fresh ones (and I am a sucker for roasted carrots all winter long!) and eat a salad, too.  However, a) they never last long, and often spoil before I can eat it all and b) are usually MUCH more expensive than in the spring/summer/fall.

Alas, it’s frozen veggies for me.

Need something just a little *different* with your peas?  Try to onion-them-up with this cheap, easy, and fast trick.

Here are the instructions:

Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, adding 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of dried minced onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt.   (You can do this with this with salted butter, just don’t add in any salt.) Mix it well with a fork after melted.

P1100804Ready

Stir the butter mixture with 2 cups of already cooked/prepared peas and you have it! Seriously, I could eat the whole two cups on my own! I’m not complaining about eating my peas any longer.

P1100810Ready

Lettuce tastes better….

Lettuce tastes better …

if you have the right salad dressing.

I confess, I don’t crave salads much in the winter. I think this is how God wired us; lettuce isn’t harvested in the winter. It’s funny — as soon as the cold weather hits, I crave root vegetables, and that’s exactly what’s in season! (I do not find this to be just conditioning or coincidence.) However, last summer, I started using up all my “bad” salad dressings, which included the stuff I’m now cutting (sugar, soy, corn, etc.). I sacrificed and bought what I would consider “middle-of-the-road” dressings; I bought organic ones, with less sugar or less questionable ingredients. However, many of them STILL included at least one bad thing!

So now, it’s the dead of winter, and I had a craving for salads. I tried to just do oil, vinegar, salt and pepper… and the lettuce is blech.  I NEEDED dressing to stomach all these raw veggies!

Here’s the top things I found in traditional – and from the organic/”healthy” brands (and NOTE! all but the refined white sugar are most likely GMO’s! read more about that issue here, thanks to Thank Your Body!):

  1. Soybean Oil (read about it here)
  2. Corn Syrup (read about it here, and other grains)
  3. Refined Sugar (read about it here)
  4. Canola Oil (read about it here)

Consequently, I introduce to you: Greek Dressing and Blue Cheese Dressing!

Give it a good shake to remix!

Give it a good shake to remix!

blue dressing all over the blech lettuce!

blue dressing all over the blech lettuce!

GREEK DRESSING:

INGREDIENTS:

1c olive oil
1/2c vinegar
8 finely chopped kalamata olives
1/2c crumbled feta
dash of pepper
1 pressed/crush clove of garlic
1tbl of dried oregano

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Pour all into a dressing dispenser (this is important because of step 3).
  3. Shake well each time before dispensing — these ingredients are real! Olive oil loves to separate from everything else. Keep refrigerated!

BLUE CHEESE DRESSING:

INGREDIENTS:

6tbl of sour cream*
1/2c cultured buttermilk*
2tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
dash of pepper
1/4 tsp of salt (may want to add more according to your tastes)
1c crumbled blue cheese

(*I recommend buying cultured with active bacteria.  This is the good bacteria that helps build your gut!)

DIRECTIONS:

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl (with exception to the blue cheese).  In a separate bowl, mix the dry.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet.
Once all the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, stir in the blue cheese.
Serve! (Store in the refrigerator!)
I would recommend re-stirring after it’s sat in the refrigerator for any length of time.

—-

A special shout-out and thanks to the fellow bloggers/contributors at “Weed ‘Em And Reap”, “Kitchen Stewardship” and “Truth About Abs” for doing so much research so I could link to you!

%d bloggers like this: