Tag Archives: cauliflower

Cauliflower Quesadillas and Happy Registered Dietitian Day!

Happy Registered Dietitian Day!  The second Wednesday of March is this special day we get to celebrate the RDs in our lives.  So hug or high five any RDs you know today.  To learn more about what it means to be an RD, read here.

At first glance, this recipe sounds like something only an RD would eat.  Who would mess with delicious, cheesy quesadillas by adding cauliflower?  Even I was skeptical, but I was curious enough to try them.  Besides cauliflower was on sale that week, and my little girl was on a huge quesadilla-eating streak.  If this got some veggies in her in the process, it seemed like a win.

These quesadillas were quite possibly the best veggie quesadilla I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a lot.  It struck the perfect balance between “this tastes like vegetables and being good for me” and “yummy quesadilla”.  Even my daughter was fooled for a few bites, although the game was up once a few pieces of cauliflower fell out of her tortilla.  Enjoy!

Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas (Makes 6 quesadillas)

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1 poblano chile
1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into 1 inch chunks
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup spinach leaves
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 ½ cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
12 whole grain tortillas

1. Heat broiler on high. Char poblano under high heat, rotating as skin blisters. Transfer to a bowl once all sides are blistered. Cover bowl with foil tightly, and let rest for about 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel off as much skin as will come off easily. Remove stem and seeds. Place on cutting board.

2. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Heat a large, heavy fry pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add cauliflower, and let it cook until beginning to char, but not mushy. Turn pieces to char all sides evenly. Total cooking time will be about 10 minutes, depending on heat of pan and size of cauliflower. Add to cutting board.

3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil. Saute onion for 3-5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add garlic and tomato. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until most of liquid is evaporated. Add spinach and continue to cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

4. On cutting board, coarsely chop cauliflower and poblano together. Cauliflower chunks should be no bigger than ½ inch. Poblano pieces need to be small enough to be incorporated throughout. Add to onion mixture. Stir in green onions and lime juice. Mix until combined.

5. Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Working in batches, make quesadillas. Place one tortilla on skillet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese evenly over the surface. Top with 1/6 of vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cheese (you will use ¼ cup cheese per quesadilla). Top with another quesadilla. Flip when bottom tortilla is browned and cheese is melting. Cook on other side until browned and all cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (Amount per quesadilla):

Calories: 423
Protein: 16 g
Fat: 21 g
Saturated Fat: 10 g
Cholesterol: 27 mg
Carbohydrates: 49 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 708 mg

Recipe Notes: I added onion, tomato, and spinach to the original recipe. I did make some quesadillas without that, to test the original. While the original was good, this version was much better. The onion and tomato really brought home the “mexican” flavor and helped hide the “vegetable” flavor.

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Even though February is legitimately part of winter, my mind and body have transitioned to spring. I am ready for sunshine and warm weather. Unfortunately, the weather in my area has not agreed. It has snowed three times in the last ten days. I look for the warmest sweater in my closet every day. I am just plain cold.

Soup to the rescue! Hot soup with a warm piece of bread is one of my favorite comfort foods. Even my toddler asks for “soup and bread” frequently. This cauliflower soup is great. It packs a great veggie punch in the nutrition department, but still has a fairly mild flavor that most palates will enjoy!

Happy eating and warm thoughts to us all!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup (Makes 4 Servings)

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1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
½ cup nonfat evaporated milk

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Combine cauliflower, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Toss to coat. Spread in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned, stirring once after 25-30 minutes.

3. Heat a large stock pot over medium to medium-high heat. Melt butter. Sauté onion and garlic in butter for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add cauliflower, stock, and water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, and stir in evaporated milk. Blend using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender until smooth. Serve.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 127
Protein: 7 g
Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 4 mg
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 724 mg

Recipe notes: Evaporated milk in place of higher fat dairy products is my favorite substitution in soups. Since it is thicker, it gives the texture of adding cream or half-and-half without all the calories or fat. Be careful blending this soup, or any hot liquid. If using a blender or food processor, work in batches and vent the center of your lid.

Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light

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