Laura has a lot of little apps on her iTouch that prognosticate on different matters. Like a Magic 8 Ball gone digital. The other day in the car, she entered my birthday into some app and then informed me that I have now lived 50.2% of my life.
I both hope that is right and protest that it isn't giving me enough credit.
In the interest of making that number more like 40%, I've made a lot of changes in the last couple of years. Basically they all boil down to cruciform vegetables.
(Get it? Boil down! Vegetables? Oh ho! Japery.)
I mean, in addition to the 999 pieces of evidence that broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are superfoods and should be in your diet, there is more and more evidence mounting that these foods have specific anticancer activity.
So okay, I've been on this journey of wonderful cruciferous discovery and meanwhile, Matt decided to lose weight too. He also uses the MyFitnessPal app, and he's lost thirty pounds (or more?) since the first of the year. We are becoming the thin couple.
In our years of keeping house together, Matt has only ever gone on purpose to buy the ingredients for and request that I make two dishes. One is my lentil soup, which, you know, I won't lie, is very good. And the other is this broccoli-cauliflower purée. Now, wait, if you are thinking, "broccoli-cauliflower purée, where is the yummy in that?" just listen. Something about puréeing those things yields a texture and taste that is magically delightful. You would swear that there was a potato in it. It seems starchy or creamy or something. And if you are counting calories, it is basically free.
an onion, chopped
clove or two of garlic, chopped
couple of carrots, chopped or shredded
a couple crowns of broccoli cut into pieces
cauliflower, half a large head or whole small head, cut up
broth of your choosing
half cup of ricotta cheese
chili pepper paste (optional)
a handheld immersion blender, or a good countertop blender and lots of patience
In a cast iron dutch oven, first I cook the onion, garlic, and carrots in some fat. Today I used like a tablespoon of olive oil, but I've also used ghee. When the onion is cooked and has little brown bits on it, I pour about a cup of broth in. I use chicken broth but you could vegan it up. Let that simmer while you get your broccoli/cauliflower ready. I even cut up the broccoli stems, just in very thin slices. Honey badger don't care. Then you dump all the cut up veggies into the pot and pour the rest of the container of broth in. I added water to get the liquid about halfway up the sides of the veggies. Then put the lid on tightly and bring to a boil. You're basically going to boil some of the veggies and steam some of them. A couple of times, open the lid and mix the whole business around with a spoon. You should throw in some salt and pepper here.
When they're tender but not too tender, turn off the heat. Then get your immersion blender out and go to town. Pulse that stuff, being careful not to splatter yourself with boiling hot vegetable parts. When it is starting to look mashed up, pause and add a few dollops of your chili paste. I use that tube of chopped chilis that you find in the produce section. It is key, I think. Blend a little more. Then add half a cup of ricotta cheese and go at it with the blender just a bit more. It should now have a smooth texture and a pretty green color.
Serve with grated parmesan, sour cream, or a few slivers of butter. I won't tell.
A big bowl has about 130 calories, I think? And that's good, because that's all the room I had left in my calorie budget today. Laura had a well-checkup at the doctor's and got three shots, and THEREFORE, she, Hank, and I all got milkshakes at Chick fil A afterwards. I finally had the banana pudding milkshake, and it was everything I'd hoped. Then I got home and looked it up in myfitnesspal and saw that the small shake (the small, mind you) has 780 calories. And I won't even tell you how many grams of sugar. I straight up fuh-reaked out.
I hollered for Matt like I'd eaten deadly nightshade. I wailed, "But the other flavors of shake are only like 500 calories! What's with the banana pudding one?" He was like, "Uh...pudding?"
So, yes, pudding. I gorged on the pudding milkshake of heedlessness, and tonight I sip the veggie purée of penitence.
Enjoy in health.