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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Turkey Breast, Ham, and Avocado Sandwich with Cranberry Mayo

I have a confession to make. While I'm seemingly confident when barking out amounts for ingredients, I'm actually a total fake. I have no idea how much I actually put into dishes when I'm cooking because I never measure anything. I just add a bunch of ingredients together and when it looks about right, then I stop. Now, that's not to say I have no idea what I'm talking about, but merely that I approximate how much I use. Maybe it's because I cook a lot that I know approximately how much a tablespoon is when I'm dumping in spices or sauces but I do think I'm fairly accurate in the measurements I give. This is the result of having an Asian mom, as Asian moms are infamous for never measuring anything. You can imagine how difficult and frustrating this can be to someone trying to learn how to cook. Then again, my mom is pretty clueless when it comes to cooking so maybe she really was telling the truth when she would say she didn't know how much of each ingredient she used! Anyway, back to the soup. It was creamy, smooth, light yet hearty, and slightly sweet from the vegetables. It's also super healthy since it's just vegetables and broth. Can't beat creamy and healthy! I used beef broth because that was what I had in the fridge but you could use any kind of broth you want. The sandwich was yum, yum yum! I don't like sandwiches and that's why when people at work see me eat sandwiches, they're always shocked, but usually the reason I don't like sandwiches is because they're boring or too loaded with mayonnaise and butter. This sandwich was perfect. The cranberries brought a sweetness to the sandwich that cut through the creaminess of the mayonnaise and avocado and balanced the saltiness of the turkey breast and ham. You could even add tomatoes and cucumbers to make it even healthier.

Cooking the vegetables after roasting

Roasted Cauliflower Soup adapted from Anne's Food

1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
1 potato, cubed
1 carrot, cubed
1 onion, cut into quarters
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
500ml beef stock
400ml water
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place cauliflower, potato, carrot, onion and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Bake until vegetables are soft and golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
4. Heat pan and add vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes. Add beef stock and water. Bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Transfer vegetable mixture to a blender and blend soup in batches. Alternatively you can use a hand blender to puree soup. Soup should be thick, creamy and smooth.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread or sandwich.

Cranberry Mayo

Turkey Breast, Ham, and Avocado Sandwich with Cranberry Mayo

4 slices multigrain bread
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
4 slices turkey breast
4 slices ham
1/2 avocado, sliced

1. Mix cranberries and mayonnaise together. (If you want it slightly spicy, add chili powder as well.)
2. Spread each slice of bread with mayonnaise and cranberry mixture.
3. Place 2 slices turkey breast and 2 slices ham on a piece of bread. Repeat with a second slice.
4. Place sliced avocado on both slices of bread with ham.
5. Cover bread slices with additional slices. Press down gently and slice sandwich in half.

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