Christine’s Crossing

Creamy Vegetable Soup with Kale

Starting today we’ll be featuring Freshness Farms enthusiast and health coach, Christine de la Cruz in a monthly column called “Christine’s Crossing”.  With Christine’s wellness-oriented coaching you’ll learn how to incorporate Freshness Farms produce into everything from soup to main courses to juice and smoothies—like her sneaky zucchini noodles and vibrant beet and carrot juice.  This week Christine shares how to turn a refrigerator bursting with veggies into a warming potful of vitamins and flavor….

I have a confession to make:  as a health coach, I love to eat and prepare healthy food, but I am a lazy cook.  I don’t really like to follow recipes or spend a lot of time slicing and dicing.  Confession two:  I don’t mind eating soup in the middle of summer.  In summer we have a tendency to mostly eat raw or cold foods, which can be tough on our digestion and cause bloating.  Warm soup is easy on our systems, plus it’s really nice to have a potful of something quick and healthy at the ready when we are hungry!  Making soup is a great way to use up any produce we have overflowing—which we can all relate to in the best possible way.  Right now my fridge is loaded with the last great delivery from Freshness Farms, and I want to use up every last bit, while it’s at the peak of freshness.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Pangrattato Topping

Roasted Cauliflower with Pangrattato

If you’ve got a few stray ends of stale baguette or other crusty bread, don’t toss them.  Instead grind into crumbs and toast with butter and olive oil, garlic, orange zest and herbs.  You’ll have a quick and delicious topping, known in Italy as pangrattato, that dresses up roasted vegetables, like cauliflower, with crunchy flavor.  For an easy main dish, toss the entire lot with your favorite cooked pasta such as fusilli or farfalle.  This version of pangrattato is inspired by Nigel Slater.

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Cauliflower, Carrot and Radish Slaw

I love a crunchy slaw.  This one showcases healthy raw cauliflower, carrots and radishes.  You could easily add broccoli, fennel or celery. Even turnip or rutabaga.  I use a julienne peeler to make the carrot strips, but a sharp knife works just as well.  Toss in a handful or two of chopped dandelion greens for extra nutrition—no one will even notice they’re there (unless you want them to know).

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Freekeh Salad with Roasted Cauliflower and Green Olives

Freekeh is a whole-grain wheat product popular in parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa. It is produced by harvesting green wheat, sun-drying, then roasting the grains. Freekeh has a unique taste all its own, with nutritional value superior to mature wheat.

Once virtually unheard of in American kitchens, freekeh is gaining in popularity as cooks look to world cuisine for less-processed (whole) grain options. Continue reading