DIY Wednesday: Cauliflower Stem Cream Sauce

Ok, so if you read my post on Monday then you know that last week I was fighting off a stomach bug/virus.  It really knocked me on my butt and I’m still trying to get back to completely normal.  Because I couldn’t eat anything more than baby carrots and brown rice cakes (totally weird combo I know, but it’s the only thing that didn’t make me want to run to the bathroom) I ended up with a lot of vegetables that were just about to go bad.

Instead of throw them away, because I hate wasting food, I decided to come up with new interesting ways to use them.  One of my biggest missions is to reduce the amount of food waste we create each year.  There are so many things that we can do with food rather than throw it away but sometimes you have to get creative.  If you want a few other ways to cut down on food waste, you can check out this postDIY Wednesday: Cauliflower Steam Cream Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived

So today we have a recipe that uses a part of the vegetable that most of us throw away, cauliflower stems.  Yup, you can eat the stem but because gnawing on a big old stem doesn’t sound too appealing, we’re going to make a creamy sauce that can go on pasta, vegetables, meat, or even used as dressing.  The best part is it only requires a few ingredients and minimal effort.

Stop throwing away food that you think you can’t eat because I bet you can use it in a unique and delicious way!

Cauliflower Stem Cream SauceDIY Wednesday: Cauliflower Steam Cream Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 1/2 cauliflower stems, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp roasted garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (or 1/4 cup parmesan cheese if you do dairy)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup reserved steaming water
  1. Save the large main cauliflower stem from your bunch along with any other trimmed pieces you aren’t using with the cauliflower florets.  Trim off the green leaves and the tough woody bottom of the large stem and then cut everything into bites size chunks.
  2. Fill a medium pot with about 2 cups water and set up a steamer basket if you have one.  If not, you can just boil the cauliflower right in the pot.  Steam the cauliflower until very soft and easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a blender or food processor and save the steaming water.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until you have a thick paste.  Add the reserved water a few tablespoons at a time until you reach the consistency you would like.  Thinner for things like dressing and pasta sauce, a little thicker for meat and vegetables. DIY Wednesday: Cauliflower Steam Cream Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived

Creamy Broccoli Spinach Soup

Creamy Broccoli Spinach Soup | Life Healthfully LivedI have been living off of this soup for the past few weeks, it’s that good.  It’s hearty enough to make a good meal but not so heavy that you feel like taking a nap after you’re done.  I feel like that’s a good judge of a meal.  Do you feel like laying in bed for six hours when you’re done?  Nope?  Then you should eat this meal again or try harder next time.

This winter we haven’t had many days where you just want to wrap your body around a bowl of soup and swim in a giant mug of hot chocolate.  I’m not complaining, but I do enjoy those super cold nights where a warm meal is the only way to feel comfortable.  I’m probably the only weirdo like that.

On the nights that it is frigid out, try this super simple soup.  It’s stuffed full of vegetables and then blended to make it creamy and delicious.  No dairy, no cheese, and yet it’s still smooth and wonderful.  That’s my kind of soup.Creamy Broccoli Spinach Soup | Life Healthfully Lived

What do you guys have planned for your weekend?  I’m on my own this Saturday and I’ll probably end up running a few errands and catching up on some work.  I know, wild and crazy over here.  But that also means that I’ll spend a good portion of my day in the kitchen coming up with yummy things for you.  Any suggestions?

My suggestion to you?  Make a big batch of this soup on Sunday night and have lunches or dinners set for the rest of the week.  Your future self will thank me!

Creamy Broccoli Spinach SoupCreamy Broccoli Spinach Soup | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 2/3 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cups broccoli, cut into florets (you can also use frozen, just make sure it’s completely thawed)
  • 1 cup roasted red or orange bell peppers
  •  4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 cups spinach, tightly packed (I used a whole 8 oz bag for reference)
  • 4 to 5 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. To roast your bell peppers: Preheat the oven to 400 and cut the tops off of the peppers.  Remove all seeds and place the whole peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Roast for about 30 minutes, turning the peppers over half-way through.  Take the peppers out of the oven and place them on a cutting board and place a large glass bowl over them so the steam will loosen the skins.  After 15 minutes, remove the bowl, slip off the skins, and dice the peppers. FYI: you can do this a few days ahead of time so you don’t have to do it right before you make your soup.
  2. For the soup: Heat a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add a little olive oil and add in the carrots, celery, and onion.  Saute them for about 8 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the minced garlic, roasted bell peppers, and broccoli florets.  Stir everything together and sprinkle with a little salt.  Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth or water.  You want the broth to cover all the vegetables and about 1/2 inch above.  Turn your heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.  Add all of the seasonings and stir to combine.
  5. Once the soup is boiling, add the spinach and cover the pot.  Turn the heat to low and simmer the soup for 15 minutes, stirring once.
  6. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and using an immersion blender, blend everything until it is smooth and creamy.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can work  in batches with your regular blender.  Just return everything to the pot when you’re done.Creamy Broccoli Spinach Soup | Life Healthfully Lived

The best thing about this soup?  It tastes AMAZING with a healthy dollop (read: massive spoonful) of my cheesy garlic spread. Yum!