Happy Friday, everyone! I have a tasty soup recipe to share today that was inspired by my recent stay at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Jesse and I ate my birthday dinner in the restaurant at the resort, and started off our meal with a cup of their soup special that evening, which was a curried cauliflower soup. The waitress sold us pretty quickly on it, especially once she told us it was both gluten and dairy-free (it was also vegan, but that was not a concern). The soup was even better than we expected and we both found ourselves scraping the bottom of our cup to get every last bit of puree.
Since we enjoyed the soup so much and it seemed pretty easy to make, I decided to create my own version. Mine is definitely different and even a different color, but it’s just as delicious, if not more (roasting the cauliflower adds a lot more flavor). I don’t think the restaurant version actually contained any curry powder or paste because the soup was completely white and very coconutty. I think it was called a curried soup just because of the coconut. If there were any curry spices added, it was definitely minimal, which the lack of color made obvious. As you know, curry powder adds an orange-ish color and the pastes are either yellow, red or green, so a white curry soup is nearly impossible.
Keep in mind, there is no protein added to the soup, so you’ll want to have something on the side for a complete meal. Otherwise, this isn’t going to fill you up very much. We ate ours with some local curry lamb sausage and dunked bites into the soup. It was awesome! A hearty salad with roasted chicken, beef or lamb mixed in would pair nicely as well.
- 2 small heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1.5 tsp curry powder, plus more to taste, if desired
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk, plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
- Dash of paprika
- 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
- Toasted unsweetened coconut chips for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower on a large pan and drizzle with coconut oil. Then sprinkle on the curry powder and sea salt to taste. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Meanwhile, slowly heat coconut milk and broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the Thai red curry paste. Once dissolved, remove from heat and pour into a blender container.
- Once cauliflower is done, add half of it to the blender with the milk mixture. Puree until nearly smooth and then add the remaining cauliflower, along with the ghee or butter and paprika. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, and puree again.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (I added a dash more curry powder here) and add a bit more coconut milk if soup is thicker than you like. Once done, serve immediately or pour into a pot to keep warm on the stove or reheat slightly if it cooled off too much.
- Serve hot with toasted coconut chips and a side protein of choice. It’s also delicious with sliced toasted almonds on top.
As some of you know, my husband and I experienced something new last weekend: floating in a sensory deprivation tank. We were both familiar with it, but had never done it before. After hearing more people talk about the benefits, including Jim Laird at the Train Like A Girl 2 seminar I recently attended, I decided that Jesse and I needed to go ASAP. So, I booked us each a 90 minute float at a place called, Float On here in Portland. For those who live in the Portland area, this is just one of several places you can go to float here in town.
Floating is meant to be a relaxing, detoxifying and meditative experience in which you float privately in 10 inches of water containing 850 lb of epsom salt (so much magnesium!). The water is the same temperature as your skin, which keeps you from getting hot or cold, and causes you to no longer feel where your body ends and the water begins. Also, because of the high salt content, your skin will not wrinkle while soaking. It’s encouraged to float in the nude and in total darkness, but there is the option to wear a swimsuit and keep the lights on. Bathing suits can get uncomfortable and become a distraction, which is why floating naked is recommended though. You’re in your own private room anyway, so going without a bathing suit is no big thing.
I had the luxury of being in what I called the, “queen suite” which featured a large float pool that was open and not inside a tank, like the others. I could literally make a big X-shape with my body and it allowed me ample room to spread out. It was like floating in a huge, shallow jacuzzi (minus the jets, of course). Jesse was in a medium-sized tank that had a door entry, like the one pictured above and was known as an, “Ocean Room.” There is a smaller sized tank option as well. It is more womb-like and many people refer to it as a “space pod.” You can’t stand upright when entering and have to step your feet in and then squat down to get inside.
Anyway, after getting the 101 from one of the employees, Jesse and I each made it to our designated float rooms. I put in the wax ear plugs, showered and then stepped into the float pool. Upon getting in, I pushed the big button on the wall to turn off the lights and immediately laid back into the water. I was there a whole three seconds when I felt the weight from my hair (it was pulled back in a messy bun) pulling my head back. I immediately sat up, which was a mistake because super salty water ran down my face and onto my lips (thankfully, missed my eyes). It tasted terrible and I knew I needed to get up to pat off my face before trying to get comfortable again. But then, I couldn’t find the light button in all the darkness. I felt my way around the walls and finally found it. I admit, I went into slight panic mode for about 10 seconds or so, and didn’t know how I was going to last 90 minutes. Not only that, but I got cold, which shouldn’t happen. I later found out from one of the employees that the tank temperature started dropping right at the time that my float started. He caught it quickly and adjusted it, but this explains why I was cold for a bit.
I shut the light off again after drying my face and re-situated myself, so that I could see the light shining under the doorway (remember, mine was a big pool and not inside a tank). I wanted my head slightly propped up for floating (to keep my spine neutral), but unfortunately, the bath pillow was too slippery and wanted to bob to one side every time I laid my head on it. I tried folding the head pillow over the ledge and leaning against it, but was so buoyant in the water that I floated away from it every time. This kinda made me laugh, actually! There was also a small noodle to use, but it was too light rest my head on, unless I held it with my hands (I did for a while too). Then, I just held my head in my clasped hands for a bit, which was quite comfortable until my arms got tingly. That’s when I realized I had to get comfortable with my head unsupported. I laid in a shavasana (corpse) pose and had the small noodle underneath the backs of my knees for a bit. I closed my eyes and my body finally began to ease. I remember getting into a dream-like state, but was still somewhat conscious (I recall dreaming about Hawaii). By the time I figured things out and got comfortable, I was probably 30-40 minutes into my float. The next 50-60 minutes went by in the blink of an eye and I would have sworn it was only a few minutes or so.
To “bring you back,” soft music starts to stream into the room, letting you know to gradually make your way out. You have plenty of time to slowly ease out of the water, shower and get dressed. Like a massage, they don’t want you to rush.
Afterward, I felt incredibly chill and my legs that had been really sore upon going in, felt much less sore. I felt sort of loopy and noodle-like too — so relaxed. I also noticed that my skin felt very soft from all the salt.
Jesse and I went down the street to eat Thai food for dinner afterward and I kept commenting on how good I felt, and Jesse too. When we got home, I felt so tired and still very relaxed. Once I finally slipped into bed, I felt like I was on a cloud and then fell fast asleep.
Even though I had a hard time getting settled in the beginning of my float (and Jesse did too), I would definitely float again. I’d know more what to expect the second time around and what it takes for me to get comfortable. I know that floating can be difficult for people the first time and some people don’t even get to the point that I did. Every time thereafter will be easier to relax and settle down. Jesse and I both plan to do it again in the near future.
If you ever have the opportunity to float, DO IT, but know that it may be difficult to relax and get comfortable the first time, or even the first few times. Like anything, you can’t completely make up your mind or formulate an opinion after the first time experiencing something new though.
If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a comment and also check out Float On’s FAQ.
Have you ever floated before? If so, what did you think?
I made these kinda last minute for Jesse and me to enjoy on Valentine’s Day and we ended up eating the whole batch that night. I figure, it’s a half an avocado each, so why not? Plus, these are perishable and best not to store in the fridge for too long. And, there’s also the part about these being incredibly delicious and decadent.
Anyway, since I wasn’t able to get any snapshots the day I made these, I had to make them again in order to do so (bummer, I know). Jesse and I weren’t too disappointed about it, to say the least.
Make sure you use a ripe avocado, otherwise they’ll taste kinda green. It doesn’t have to be overly ripe, but ripe enough and ready for eating.
Also, as some of you know, Jesse and I floated in a sensory deprivation tank yesterday evening. I will be recapping about this experience. Cheers!
Adapted from this recipe.
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1.5 Tbsp raw honey
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ripe medium avocado
- Unsweetened shredded coconut and cacao powder for rolling, optional
(Note: cacao nibs, crushed nuts, goji berries, etc. would all be great options for rolling the truffles as well).
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the raw honey, cacao powder, cinnamon and cayenne. Once honey is dissolved and mixture is combined, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Peel and pit the avocado, and add to a food processor or blender. Process until nearly smooth. Then, add the chocolate mixture and process again, until smooth. Scrape down the sides and re-blend as needed. Alternatively, you can mash the avocado by hand with a fork (get all the lumps out) and then stir in the chocolate.
- Scrape chocolate avocado mixture out and into a bowl (unless you made it by hand, then you can keep it in the same bowl) and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 25-30 minutes.
- Once chilled, scoop out tablespoon-sized balls and roll between your hands to form a truffle (note: this part is messy and sticky!). Place each truffle on a foil or parchment paper lined plate. Chill in the refrigerator about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from fridge and smooth out any rough/fuzzy looking spots on the truffles with your fingers. Then, roll half in cacao powder and half in unsweetened coconut shreds, or other toppings of choice.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Yields: about 13 truffles
Snow is coming down in Portland, or at least it was at the time I wrote this post on Thursday. I actually haven’t seen this much snow in the city since my first winter here, back in 2008. It’s beautiful, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t impact my early morning flight to Kentucky today. I have some buffer room to get there, as my seminar doesn’t start until Saturday morning, but the less hiccups, the better. Really though, I kinda wish the snow would have held off until next week, but it is what it is. The same can be said about this head cold that I got too. Quite the combo to get right before a weekend of travel, but I guess it makes it that much more of an adventure (well, minus the being sick part).
Meanwhile, enjoy this simple, satisfying meal, which was inspired by the cauliflower recipe I shared last week. Cheers and happy weekend!
- ~1 lb bulk Italian chicken sausage
- 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter, separated
- 1 large or 2 small/medium zucchini, noodled with a spiralizer (straight blade attachment)
- 3 Tbsp blanched almond flour
- 1.5 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dessicated garlic
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional
- Melt 1/2 tbsp of grass-fed butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the chicken sausage. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up large chunks with a spatula.
- Once sausage is browned, after 5-7 minutes or so, transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside.
- To the same pan, add the noodled zucchini and heat briefly over medium-low heat. After a couple minutes, transfer to the bowl with the sausage.
- Combine the almond flour, oregano, dessicated garlic, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Melt the remaining butter in the same pan over medium-low heat and then add the almond flour mixture.
- Stir mixture, allowing it to soak up the butter and continue to cook a few minutes, until golden brown.
- Sprinkle on top of the sausage and zucchini. Serve warm and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste, if needed. If you tolerate some dairy, you could also sprinkle on a bit of raw Parmesan cheese.
Yields: 2-3 servings