So my Mr. is a huge fan of Bountiful Baskets. He is happy to wake up at 6 a.m. (which is our volunteer time) every other Saturday in order to volunteer because he can get the extras that no one else wants and/or any fun extras as a thank-you for volunteering. I personally have mixed emotions. I know that quite a few people I have these same feelings about bountiful baskets because #1 you could end up with some fruit/vegetable that you don’t know what to do with (or what in the world it is) or #2 the food sometimes goes bad sooner than anticipated. I usually don’t have a problem with #1. Generally, I can find some way to cook and try any of the new fruits/vegetables that I have received just by doing an online search of recipes. Allrecipes.com is a great source to find new recipes for some odd ingredient that you have hanging around and want to use and are not quite sure how to use (and each recipe includes ratings and reviews so you can get an idea if it will be worth your time to make). For example, I made a fennel soup recently that was on there and it was sooo delicious that my three-year-old burst into tears when we finished it off at the table that night and she wanted to have some for lunch the next day.
Reason #2, on the other hand, has sometimes posed a problem. My solution to this is to a). make Mr. write a list when he comes home of all of the things he received. Then b.) (since I am busy teaching Saturday mornings) it is his “job” to prepare whatever he can so that it does not go bad or it’s more easily usable. For example, he chops up onions, peppers, and celery and places them on cookie sheets in the freezer to “flash freeze” later in the afternoon, we just pop them in a freezer bag to be used whenever we need those ingredients. I personally hate to chop so this is a great thing for me. Then later, I take the list and make a “plan” according to when the other things need to be used by. This has really helped us to not waste our produce so it has made me less reluctant to use bountiful baskets.
One Saturday morning Mr. came home with six, I kid you not, six heads of cauliflower. He said some people didn’t want them so he took them. I was a little upset because what do you do with six heads of cauliflower? This was the whole reason those people didn’t want them…didn’t he realize that? Then I remembered this book we have, Deceptive Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld who suggests you add puréed vegetables into your picky family member’s food. It is great because it tells you the best way to steam/cook your given veggie so that you can puree it and use it later. So, I asked my husband to at least steam and puree four of the cauliflowers. He did and then brought six more cauliflowers home the next bountiful basket Saturday. I had a LOT of pureed cauliflower.
I created this recipe out of sheer craving something creamy and yummy to eat. The only form of dairy my three-year-old can have is in the form of cheese. Luckily, cream cheese is tolerated at our house too. I tried (unsuccessfully) to make a cauliflower cream soup with multiple things, mashed potatoes (too starchy tasting), coconut milk (weird flavors) and goats milk (which sends shivers up my spine just thinking of it it was so ghastly).
Finally, one day when I was sadly very low on ingredients as well as time, I threw this together and stuck it in the crockpot and low and behold that evening the most delicious concoction had been produced! It was so good, the next day at lunch, my 3-year-old was stealing spoonful's out of my bowl. In the last two weeks I have made this three times. Now I need to buy a ton more cauliflower so because I have sad, oh such sad children now that I can’t make this soup on a whim anymore because I am out of pureed cauliflower.
Crockpot Cauliflower Cream Cheese Soup
4-6 cups pureed cauliflower
2 onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Turmeric(optional)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups of water
Directions: In a medium pan, sauté onions with butter. When soft, add garlic, turmeric if desired, salt and pepper. Add cream cheese and water and stir until combined to create a sauce. Put cauliflower in slow-cooker (frozen works just fine) and pour sauce into pot and stir. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4. Garnish with parsley and bacon if desired.