Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.



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So – my last post was a month ago.  It was my Clean Cooking & a 21-day Arbonne Healthy Eating Detox – Vegan or Vegetarian Style post describing a 21-day detox/cleanse I was launching on.  I never posted about it again for a few reasons: the fact that the recipes from the Arbonne site made GINORMOUS quantities & I ate the same thing for days & because I just had no passion for cooking while on it.  I ended it two days earlier than my 21 day goal because – Superbowl party.  After nearly 3 weeks of deprivation – I lost 4 pounds.  4 miserable pounds.  I should not complain because one friend of mine lost nothing & another gained 4 pounds.  So – that cleanse is what you make of it but it was a great jump start to shock me out of deeply-entrenched habits.  Now – I am obsessed with TEA and pay way more attention to what I eat & where calories are coming from.  Which brings me to my day yesterday.

I was at the mall exchanging a birthday gift & realized it was lunch time & that I was hungry.  My choices were mainly a sushi spot & the Cheesecake Factory.  Since I no longer eat fish, I Googled the Cheesecake Factory’s menu to see if they had any HEALTHY (reading – low in calories) options.  The Cheesecake Factory is notorious for shockingly caloric options (see HERE) and I did not want to eat a 2000 calorie lunch – as I am still trying to keep my daily calorie intake to about 1200.  I was pleased to see a skinny cocktail menu and a super food menu.   So – I went in and I ordered a skinny margarita & the vegan Cobb salad.  I got the Cobb because I did not want to eat any of their 490 calorie “skinny” menu items.  I thought I would be really good & get a salad with proteins (garbanzos &  quinoa) and the healthy fat avocado.




The drink was small but tasty & only clocked in at 150 calories.   Very happy with that.  The salad was not gargantuan, not over-dressed & was quite good.  Looks good, right?  Looks healthy.  Proud of myself, I considered ordering a second cocktail as I entered the stuff I had just consumed in My Fitness Pal.  It was then that my world came shattering down around me.  That fucker of a salad had 1210 calories!!!!!  1210!!!!  I could go to McDonald’s and get a Big Mac, medium fries & a medium NON-DIET Coke for under 1100.  Don’t believe me?  Look HERE on McDonald’s own site.  How the FUCK is THAT possible???  A salad?  Without a creamy dressing or any cheese or meat or bacon or croutons or fried wontons or ANYTHING naughty?   Avocado is fatty but it is not cheese & bacon fatty!  It is not BIG MAC fatty!  And that photo shows the salad with dressing on it.  It really was NOT soaked in dressing.  I was SO freaked out!  I felt SO cheated!  For 1200 calories I could have gotten pizza & wine.  Or almost anything on the menu.  Seriously.  What the fuck?  So – almonds & sunflower seeds in addition to avocado & boom!  An ass like Kim Kardashian.  I felt like I had undone 3 weeks of deprivation with one Goddamn SALAD!  Ugh.  I complained about it all fucking day.  And I am complaining now.  I will never EVER enter the CottageCheesecake AssFactory again.  I swear it.

So – driven to compensate for that outrageous lunch – I made this VERY healthy stew today.  I used a bunch of sketchy veggies cresting their use-by dates & it came out delicious.  You can add or remove produce to suit your tastes.   I only used bit of olive oil to roast the veggies & that was it.  You could eliminate even that by NOT roasting them & just throwing them in the pot to boil.  Your call.

I served myself a hearty portion of this stew today over a very carefully measured 1/4 cup of mixed ancient grains.  Truth be told – this stew does not need a grain to make it satisfying so – serve it naked or over the grain of your choice.



Turmeric is a very healthy spice.  Here are some of the benefits of turmeric.  Look at that list or THIS one.  It will make you want to use vibrant turmeric as often as possible.



Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew

Makes a LOT – enough to feed 6-8 (even without a grain)


1 head cauliflower – cut into bite-sized florets

10-15 carrots – chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 large onion – chopped

1 red bell pepper – cut into matchsticks

2 jalapenos – chopped (optional)

2 (15 oz) cans of garbanzo beans (drained)

2 (28 oz) cans of diced tomatoes

10 garlic cloves – chopped

10 oz broccoli (VERY optional – I only used the broccoli rabe I had because it was wilting)

1-2 TBS turmeric (start with one & add more if you like)

1 BS ground cumin

1 TBS ground coriander

2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground cardamom (LOVELY but can be omitted if you cannot find it)

4 cups vegetable stock (or water)

Olive oil


Chopped parsley or cilantro as garnish



If roasting the vegetables:

Heat the oven to 475.

Toss the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, onion & jalapenos in a light coating of olive oil & some S&P.  Roast for 20-30 minutes or until just beginning to brown.  Add them to a large stock pot with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.



If not roasting them – just throw them in with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.  Add water to thin it if it gets too thick.  Cook it down if it is too watery.  Season with S&P & garnish with parsley or cilantro.









Vegan Potato, Leek, Fennel & Turnip Soup with Carrots & Pepitas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This soup is very easy & guiltless & comforting & delicious.  I roasted the turnips because I was roasting other veggies & just included them.  Once they were done, I though – why not add them to this soup.  You could roast all the veggies n this soup first, if you wanted to, but that is not necessary.  There is enough flavor going on without that extra step.  The vegetables I used were random & included simply because I had them around.  You can add or delete ingredients according to your taste or what you have handy.


Vegan Potato, Leek, Fennel & Turnip Soup with Carrots & Pepitas

Makes about 8 cups


3 TBS vegan butter

1 large fennel bulb – chopped (reserve some fronds for garnish)

1 large leek – sliced

1 zucchini – sliced

2 celery stalks – chopped (reserve a few celery leaves for garnish

3 large potatoes – peeled & cubed

3 small turnips – chopped

4 carrots – sliced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS fresh oregano (plus maybe a bit extra for garnish)

2 TBS fresh thyme (plus maybe a bit extra for garnish)

Vegan milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) – maybe a cup or so


Pepitas as garnish



I like a few chunks in my pureed soups so – if you do, too – take one carrot & one potato (both cubed) & boil until soft.  Drain & set aside.

If you want the soup completely pureed – skip that step.

Heat the butter in a large stock pot.  Add the chopped, raw veggies & saute until soft.  Add the stock & herbs (no need to chop the herbs) & bring to a boil.








Very carefully, in batches, blend the soup smooth.  I added just enough almond milk to each batch so that it blended very smoothly.  Reheat.  Add the boiled carrots & potatoes.  Ladle into bowls & garnish with celery leaves or fennel fronds & some pepitas.  Add some cracked pepper.  Enjoy!



Vegan Rustic Vegetable Spiral Tart

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Browsing randomly on Pinterest, I saw that spiral tart (above by Bake to the Roots) & I knew I had to make one.  But – I decided to adapt the recipe & make it vegan.  Overall – it was easier than I thought but, if I were to make this again (and I probably will), I would use a vegetable peeler to shave really thin pieces of the vegetables.  My mandolin cut the pieces thicker than was manageable – so I had to blanch all my veggies.  Also – while I tried to assemble it the way Baked to the Roots suggested (by creating the spiral from the inside out & then sliding the completed spiral into the crust) –

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– that proved trickier than I could handle.  Even tying kitchen string around it did nothing to make it stable enough to transfer.  So – I built it up from the inside out – but IN the crust with the poured cheese at the bottom.  And – if I were to try this again – I would use a potato peeler to slice thin veggies – skip blanching (except maybe the carrots) – and roll it up like a tire – starting with a center bit and alternating vegetables – but rolling it tight & upright (again – like a tire) – like they did on The Sweet Spot – seen below.


See how much thinner her slices of veggies are than mine?  I bet rolling that fucker up was a breeze compared to my attempts.

Anyway – either way – the result is gorgeous & impressive & delicious & good for you!  So – if you need to bring a show stopper to some holiday party this season – let me suggest this!  I bet nobody will ever have seen one before.

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Vegan Rustic Vegetable Spiral Tart

Feeds 4-6


for the pastry

1 1/2 cups flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup ice cold vegan butter

1 TBS ice water

for the filling

1 cup vegan cheddar shreds

1/4 cup vegan sour cream

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese


1 tsp or more of chili powder or any herbs of your choice (I used chili powder)

3-4 medium zucchini (green or yellow or both – I used green)

1 medium eggplant

2-3 large carrots

olive oil


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Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

You have two choices for making the dough.

In a large bowl – mix flour and salt and cold butter in small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles crumbs. Add the water and knead the dough. Work quick so the dough does not get too warm. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge 30-60 minutes.

OR – pulse the butter into the flour/salt in a food processor & add the water at the end.  For me – this resulted in just a bowl of crumbs but I poured them onto plastic wrap & used the wrap to press the crumbs into a ball.  I then wrapped it & put it in the fridge.

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Grease a 10 inch tart tin*.  Maybe vegan butter is less binding than real butter – but I could not roll out the crust.  So – I just pressed it – in pieces – into the tart pan until the bottom was covered & the crust went almost an inch up the sides.  Place in the fridge for another 10 minutes to cool down.  Doesn’t look great but nobody is ever gonna see it.  Plus – when you make things that come out a little “rough around the edges,” just call them “rustic” and everything is excused.

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Take the tin out of the fridge, line with baking parchment and fill with (baking) beans or a second tin bit smaller than the one with the dough. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes. The edges should be slightly golden in color. Take out of the oven and set aside.   I used parchment paper & a pottery planter.  I don’t think they were really necessary – so – if you are feeling lazy & adventurous – just bake the thing naked for 15-20 – or until it just starts turning color.  (Ignore the circle I drew on that paper.)  Remove from the oven & raise oven temperature to 375.

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For the filling, melt the cheddar, cream cheese & sour cream together in a sauce pan & then stir in any seasoning or herbs you chose.  Season a bit with S&P.  Set aside.

Wash the vegetables and cut into thin strips with a vegetable peeler or a mandolin or a sharp knife (I would recommend the peeler). The strips should have about the same height – so you might have to half them or cut parts off. You will need a lot of those strips, so keep slicing. When done, place flat on a plate and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the cheese-mix into the pre-baked crust and spread evenly.   I did not use quite all the cheese I had.  You might use more or less – depending on the height of the edges of your tart – but don’t fill it up or the cheese will bubble over as you add the veggies.

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If your veggies are too thick or stiff for rolling – blanch them in boiling water.  My slices were almost 1/4″ thick so I started by blanching the carrots for 3 minutes & then adding the zucchini for one minute & then adding the eggplant for a final minute – so – my carrots spent 5 minutes softening.  If you used a peeler – your slices should be very thin & you might not need to blanch anything – or maybe just the carrots for a minute.  If you blanch things, though, submerge them in ice water to stop the cooking & to make them cool enough to handle.  Pat them dry in some paper towel.

Start rolling the vegetables, by starting with one strip of carrot for example in a tight circle and then wrap zucchini or eggplant strips around.  I suggest either doing this as demonstrated in the photo above (like a tire) or by just starting by curling strips around each other – directly in the center of the tart.  Play around with the different vegetable strips so you get a nice color mix at the end.  Continue wrapping & rolling until your circle of rolled vegetables is roughly 10 inches in diameter – or you tart is full.  If you rolled them like a tire – carefully place your spiral down onto the cheese filling of the tart & use extra strips to fill in any gaps.  I had lots of extra veggies so I just pureed them into a can of dog food for my dogs’ dinner.

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Brush with some olive oil & season with S&P.  Bake for 40-50 minutes. If the vegetables start to get too dark, cover with some aluminum foil and continue baking.   Allow to rest at least ten minutes before removing from the tart pan.

Feast your eyes on your gorgeous creation & commence the feast!

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Vegan Carrot Kootu (Thick Coconut Curry with Lentils)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Here is the Wikipedia definition of “kootu:”

Kootu is a Tamil word means ‘add’ i.e.vegetable added with lentils which form the dish, made of vegetable and lentils and are semi-solid in consistency, i.e., less aqueous than sambhar, but more so than dry curries. Virundhu Sappadu (Typical Tamil feast) comes with the combo of boiled rice (‘Choru’ in Tamil), sambar, rasam, curd, poriyal, kootu, appalam, pickle and banana. All kootus by default have some vegetables and lentils, but many variations of kootu exist.


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I am a big fan of vegan curries – especially those with lots of “sauce” and even more so if they are made in a slow cooker.  This recipe is simple with no exotic ingredients & feeds a LOT of people.   I made this in a 7-quart Crock Pot & nearly filled the thing.  It makes enough to feed a dozen people if served with rice.  I ate it for lunch every day & froze a bunch.  You can do this or cut the recipe down.  I just developed an urgent passion to use ALL the produce I had in my house this week & I had 4 pounds of carrots – so this kootu.

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Vegan Carrot Kootu (Thick Coconut Curry with Lentils)

Serves 10-12 with rice


2 cups peeled split mung beans (yellow lentils)

4 pound carrots – sliced

1 onion – chopped

3 cans coconut milk

3 cups vegetable stock

1 or more (according to your taste for heat) jalapenos (or other peppers) – seeded & diced (I used several split Bird’s Eye chilies)

1 TBS fresh ginger (I used jarred)

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS tomato paste

2 TBS turmeric

1 TBS ground coriander

1 tsp chili powder

1 TBS ground cumin

1 cup fresh cilantro – chopped plus more for garnish

1/2 cup or more Thai or other basil – chopped

Lime wedges for garnish


Cooked rice (I used brown jasmine)

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Put everything into the slow cooker & cook on high for 4 hours or until the carrots are tender.  Season with S&P.

Serve withe rice & garnish with cilantro & lime wedges.

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Roasted Rosemary Potatoes & Heirloom Carrots and a 90210 U4EA Podcast!!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So – I did a live-on-stage podcast about the 90210 episode U4EA.  It was really fun & I think it is pretty funny.  If you are unfamiliar with the episode – you can watch it here: (http://www.hulu.com/watch/802321#i0,p9,s2,d0) OR YOUTUBE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3AOH8HLFLw).

And HERE is a link to the actual podcast.   It is on i-tunes, too.

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These are not anything new but they really are delicious.  I used some leftover red onion that I had from my Easy Vegan Meatloaf – seen above.  I do not recommend that you do this as it just burned into charred blackness.  These come out crispy on the outside & creamy on the inside & are quite irresistible.  You will likely burn your mouth as you impatiently shove them in your face straight from the oven.

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Roasted Rosemary Potatoes & Heirloom Carrots

Serves 2 very well as a side


5-6 red potatoes – cut into bite-sized pieces

5-6 heirloom (or regular) carrots – cut into bite-sized pieces

2 TBS fresh rosemary – chopped

olive oil


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Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the potatoes & carrots with a drizzle of olive & the rosemary and S&P.  Be sure everything is evenly coated.  Roast – turning every 15 minutes – for about 45-60 minutes – or until the potatoes are golden & crispy.


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Vegan Carrot and Sage Soup – Easiest Soup Ever!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.


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 Another crazy easy recipe & it is seriously yummy & guilt-free.  This can be made with so many other veggies, too.  Instead of carrots, you could substitute them with squash or broccoli or pumpkin or sweet potatoes.  Sage adds a real depth to this so I really recommend you include it.

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Vegan Carrot and Sage Soup – Easiest Soup Ever!


2 lbs carrots – cut into chunks

1 large onion – cut into chunks

Olive oil

1 cup (or one bunch) fresh sage – chopped

1 tsp each of S&P

6 cups of vegetable stock

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If you want to, you can put a glug or two of olive oil into a stock pot & saute the onion until it softens but this step can be skipped.

If you wanna just cut to the chase, simply boil all the ingredients together (skipping the olive oil) until the carrots are soft.

Puree in increments in a blender – being VERY careful not to burn yourself.  Season with S&P.


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Vegan Korean BBQ Beef Lavash Pizza with Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.




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This can be made with real beef but I used Beyond Meat’s Beefy Crumbles.  I also used my homemade Spicy Korean BBQ sauce from my vegan BBQ ribs post.  Pizza toppings are really personal & these toppings are more just suggestions than a recipe.  The BBQ sauce is REALLY good, though!



Spicy Korean BBQ Sauce


3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup low sodium tamari (soy sauce)

1/4 cup water

1 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS chili paste (sambal oelek or other type)

2 TBS Gochujang (optional)

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground pepper

1 TBS fresh ginger (minced)

5 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS cornstarch


I put everything EXCEPT the cornstarch into a little crock-pot & left it for two hours.  Once it was bubbly – I added 2 TBS cornstarch & whisked it in.  That made the sauce very thick & gooey.  Perfect!  You can do this stove-top by just bringing everything (except cornstarch) to a boil & then whisk in the cornstarch.  It would likely take only a few minutes to come together.

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I used lavash bread as the base because each piece only has 240 calories so it is a great lower-calorie way to make pizza.

The toppings I used were:

Beefy crumbles mixed with some Korean BBQ sauce

Cherry tomatoes – halved

Grated carrots

Red onion – sliced VERY thinly

Grated cheese (real or vegan – your call)

I cooked this in the oven at 350 degrees for about ten minutes.

After the pizza was cooked – I added:

Jalapeno – diced

Arugula – tossed in a bit of olive oil & a pinch of salt

More tomatoes
















NO CARB Cauliflower Risotto with Caramelized Carrots, Saffron & Toasted Anchovy Bread Crumbs


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


Let me apologize up front for the scant photography with this recipe.  My phone completely died early in the process of making this & I had no way to document the various steps.  Sorry!

Also – let me say that this dish could be made the traditional way – with Arborio rice – or the no carb way, using just grated cauliflower or it can be made the way I did it here – with about 2/3 of the recipe comprised of cauliflower but with a cup of Arborio for added texture.  I would have skipped the rice entirely but my boyfriend is a finicky eater & textures, in particular, can put him completely off things.  Having never tried a cauliflower-based risotto, I was unsure of the sturdiness of the final result, so, I added the cup of risotto rice.  As it turned out, I could have skipped it because 1) I think the cauliflower holds up well and 2) he wouldn’t eat it anyway.

In the future, I will experiment with an all cauliflower risotto & I will better document the process.  Do not be alarmed by the lack of photos here and, therefore, intimidated to try this.  It is a very easy & delicious dish!  The anchovy bread crumbs are very optional but add a nice hint of salty flavor the the sweetness of the carrots.  I used some leftover homemade artisan bread but any bread crumbs would likely work.  I just liked how chunky the homemade breadcrumbs were.



NO CARB Cauliflower Risotto with Caramelized Carrots, Saffron & Toasted Anchovy Bread Crumbs

1 large head cauliflower (2 heads if not using Arborio rice in the dish)

1 lb carrots

3 TBS olive oil – divided

3 TBS butter – divided

1 small onion – diced

1 cup Arborio rice (optional)

1/2 cup dry vermouth (or other dry white wine)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

5+ cups vegetable (or other) stock

1 tsp saffron threads

1/2 tsp white pepper

Salt to taste

1 tsp sugar

1 large tomato – diced for garnish

Fresh parsley – chopped for garnish

Parmesan (or other hard cheese) – grated for garnish

For the Toasted Anchovy Bread Crumbs

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS butter

1 TBS anchovy paste (or minced anchovies)


For the toasted anchovy breadcrumbs

If using stale bread – pulse the cubed bread in a food processor until crumbly.

Heat 1 TBS each of olive oil & butter & dissolve the anchovy in it.  Add the breadcrumbs & stir until they begin to get browned & toasty.  I drained mine on paper towels to remove excess oil & set aside.


For the Cauliflower Risotto with Caramelized Carrots & Saffron

Heat the stock to boiling & then reduce heat to low & simmer – covered.

Meanwhile, with the grating blade of your food processor, grate the cauliflower into rice-like shards.  Set aside.


With the regular blade in your food processor, pulse the carrots into a near puree.


In a large stock pot, heat 1 TBS each of olive oil & butter on medium heat & add the minced carrots.  Coat the carrots with the oil & butter then add 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 tsp salt & the sugar.  Cook, covered, for about five minutes.  Uncover and cook, stirring constantly (adding a tiny bit more olive oil if it gets too dry) until the carrots begin to brown.  Remove from heat.  Puree half of the browned carrots in a blender with 1 cup warm water.  Set both carrot elements aside.

Using the same pot you cooked the carrots in, add 2 TBS each butter & olive oil & cook the onion until translucent.  Add Arborio rice (if using) & cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.   Whether or not you are using Arborio, add the cauliflower now and, stirring constantly, add the cup of wine & let the alcohol cooks off over high heat.  Add the carrot puree (not the browned carrot – but the puree with water added) and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens a bit – maybe a minute.

Add 1/2 cup of hot vegetable stock and stir it often – until the liquid is absorbed.  Repeat this process until all but about 1 cup of broth is incorporated.

Mix in the remaining browned carrots (reserving a small amount for garnish – if desired), the saffron threads, white pepper, the Parmesan & the heavy cream.  Add small amounts of the remaining broth to thin the risotto to the consistency you like.

Serve immediately topped with the remaining carrots (if you reserved some), diced tomatoes, fresh parsley & more grated cheese & the toasted anchovy breadcrumbs.



Carrot & Celery Root Soup with Lavender & Herbs de Provence



All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


This soup isn’t enormously different from my Carrot & Pumpkin Lavender Soup except that it uses celery root rather than pumpkin.   The celery root adds a creaminess to the soup that makes the cup of heavy cream I included very optional – without which (the cream) this soup is vegan & very light!   The culinary lavender I included is also probably optional but I do recommend buying some & experimenting with it.  It adds an olfactory sensation that is as soothing as the warm soup itself is.



Carrot & Celery Root Soup with Lavender & Herbs de Provence


2 lbs carrots – sliced

2 celery roots – peeled & cubed

1 large onion – diced

1 leek – sliced (white part only)

4 garlic cloves – chopped

5 TBS lavender

3 TBS olive oil

2 TBS herbs de Provence

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream (optional)

2 TBS butter (or vegan option)

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp dry ginger

4 TBS sugar

Creme fraiche (as garnish) – optional

S&P to taste

Cheesecloth or other fine straining device




Boil 4 cups of water & add the lavender.  Remove from heat & allow to steep for at least 10 minutes.  Using cheesecloth – strain the lavender out & reserve the water.


Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.  Saute the garlic, onion, leek & herbs de Provence a few minutes or until the onion is translucent.  Try not to brown them.  Add the white wine & bring to a boil.  Add the carrots & celery root & the lavender water.  Bring to a boil & reduce heat to medium & simmer until the carrots & celery root are soft (20 minutes or so – depending on the size of the cubes) – adding water if needed to keep the vegetables covered.  Add butter (if using) and the nutmeg, ginger & sugar.  Stir to dissolve the sugar & distribute the spices.


The soup is ready to be pureed.  You might want to let it cool a bit to avoid scalding yourself.   You can use an immersion blender or a traditional blender & puree the soup in batches.  Once it is creamy, return it to heat & add heavy cream (if using) and salt & pepper to taste.  Garnish with fresh cracked pepper or a dollop of creme fraiche.  Serve!



Carrot & Pumpkin Lavender Soup



All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012


Carrot & Pumpkin Lavender Soup


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 29 oz can Pure Pumpkin

3 cups chopped carrots

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 cups water

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups half and half

2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender blossoms (http://www.amazon.com/JR-Mushrooms-Specialties-Culinary-Lavender/dp/B0002NYO20)

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3 TBS raw sugar

Sour cream and/or half & half for garnish

Cilantro or mint sprig – decoration only.  🙂

Boil the water and add the lavender. Remove from heat and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain the lavender out of the water with cheesecloth.


In a saucepan over medium fire, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic and onions for 3 minutes.


Add the chopped carrots and stir for 5 minutes.  Pour in the wine and let it boil. Add the lavender infused water and bring it to a boil; reserve 1/2 a cup of lavender water.  Add the canned pumpkin.  Mix well.  Lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Let it cool. Once it is cool enough to blend without risk of scalding yourself, puree it in a blender in batches until smooth.

Melt the butter in a pan.  Add the half and half, the remaining lavender water and mix well.  Add this to your pureed carrots & pumpkin. Mix well. Add nutmeg, ginger, sugar and season with salt. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and pour a thin stream of half & half in a pretty pattern into each bowl of soup.  Add a dollop of sour cream (if you are using it) and garnish with cilantro or mint sprig (if you have it).  Parsley or sage would also work.  It is just decoration after all.  Crack fresh pepper over each bowl & serve.