Easy Cheesy Baked Cauliflower

Currently cauliflower is abundant, affordable and fresh from the field thanks to our amazing local vegetable producers! A friend gave me this recipe years ago and it has since become a family favourite.  A perfect dish for potlucks as it can be put together a day ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to bake.  

Easy Cheesy Baked Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Leave cauliflower whole or cut into large pieces. Set into large pot with an inch or two of water and steam for 20 minutes.  Drain & let cool slightly.

Place cauliflower in greased 9″ X 13″ baking dish.  Blend mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, shredded cheese, dill & cayenne pepper.  Spread evenly over cauliflower.  Bake 15—20  minutes until bubbly and brown.

 

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Southwest Fiesta Chicken Soup

On a cold, windy winter day, one of my favourite things to make is a hearty pot of soup.  It is so versatile. There are no hard and fast rules – anything goes.  Start with a good base, use what you have on hand ~ be creative! 

This morning I planned on making my classic chicken and rice soup, but half a cabbage in my fridge was awaiting transformation. This led to an unintentional shift in direction.

I began with my usual chicken soup base of onion, celery and carrot and added the lonely, left-over the cabbage. The mixture was too pale for my liking so I added a jar of salsa. There was a cup of green peppers from the garden still in the freezer, so in they went. Corn added a touch of yellow and considering  it is the International Year of Pulses, a can of black of beans seemed in order.  

Suddenly my chicken soup had a ‘southwest fiesta’ zip to it – not what I intended, but the results were delicious!  A colourful, fabulous warm-you-right-up, meal-in-a-bowl. Carbohydrates ✓  Protein ✓   Fibre ✓  Veggies ✓  Lunches for the week ahead  ✓                Flavourful ✓✓✓

Give it a try!  Measurements are not set in stone, but I like at least half my pot to filled with veggies.  Always aim for Half Your Plate!  Feel free to adjust amounts to your taste.  


Southwest Fiesta Chicken Soup

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Ingredients:

  •   2–4 cloves of garlic
  •  1 large onion
  •  ¼ – ½  head of cabbage
  •  4–6 carrots
  •  2–4 stalks of celery
  •  2 tbsp canola oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  •  2/3 cup wild rice
  •  900 ml chicken stock
  •  418 ml jar of salsa (mild, medium or hot)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn
  •  1 green pepper, chopped
  •  4 + cups of water, to desired thickness
  •  540 ml can black beans
  •  2 – 4 cooked chicken breasts

Garnish options:

  • Crushed corn chips
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sliced green onions

Directions:

  1. Finely chop garlic and set aside.*
  2. Dice onions, cabbage, carrots and celery.
  3. In Dutch Oven or stock pot, warm canola oil over medium heat.
  4. Throw in diced veggies, season with salt and pepper and sauté for                about  10 minutes or until softened.
  5. Toss in garlic, sauté additional 1–2 minutes.
  6. Add rice, chicken stock, salsa, corn, green pepper and water.
  7. Cover the pot, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30–45 minutes.
  8. Drain and rinse beans, dice chicken. Stir into soup . Warm thoroughly.
  9. Serve as is or garnish with corn chips, shredded cheese & green onion.

Note:

*Pro-tip  for garlic from Professional Home Economist Mairlyn Smith – “For its antioxidants to become more bioavailable, garlic needs to oxidize before it is added to a recipe. By letting it sit there “breathing” the oxidation can take place.”