We are pleased to share a few recipes that we prepared on my TV show, “The CogniDiet Healhty Lifestyle Show” with Chef Margo Allen-Carner, Owner of the Fridge 2 Table company. Her catering company cooks and delivers healthy, balanced, gluten-free and organic (including fully vegan) meals around the Princeton, NJ, area.

These recipes will cut your calories by half to two thirds! And you still be able to enjoy delicious and unctuous carbohydrates.

All you need to know is that a purée made of potatoes or starchy root vegetables (the starchier vegetables are besides potatoes, peas, all the legumes, squashes except the spaghetti squash, and corn) is more than double, if not three times the calories than one made with green vegetables or substitutes such as cauliflower. You can replace your potatoes with delicious cauliflower purée or pancakes, your pasta with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, your heavy and creamy sauces with squash or tomato puree.

You can also favor low-sugar and low-starch vegetables such as these champions: all the cabbage family which includes broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, zucchini, asparagus and all the green vegetables and salads such as kale, Swiss chard etc. To add some color tomatoes w/o any added sugar and roasted peppers are perfect.

Today we are sharing three recipes: a cauliflower purée, a butternut squash soup or purée, and Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds recipes. These recipes should serve 4 or 6 if as one of many side dishes.



The Cauliflower Purée Recipe


Picture courtesy of Sheila Joy on Unsplash

The Ingredients:

– 1 head cauliflower, cut into chunks

– 3 cloves of garlic, chopped

– 1/2 onion, chopped

– 3 T olive oil

– 3 cups of unsalted vegetable stock

– Salt, white or black pepper, to taste.

The Instructions:

In a pot, sauté onions in olive oil. Once the onions are cooked add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes or so.

Add cauliflower and vegetable stock and cover pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, until fork tender.

Remove pot from heat and let it cool. Drain and reserve excess vegetable stock.

Using an immersion blender, blend cauliflower/garlic/onion until desired consistency.

If you wish to thin out the purée, you can add some of the vegetable broth if needed (or coconut milk if you want a richer feeling).

Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. It is fun to use a purple cauliflower. Sometimes I mix in some celery root. Enjoy!



Butternut Squash Soup or Purée Recipe


Picture courtesy of Cayla1 on Unsplash

The Ingredients:

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 T finely chopped fresh sage

– 2 pound butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

– 2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped

– ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

– Salt to taste

– Freshly ground black pepper to taste

– 2 cups vegetable broth

– Garnish: fresh sage, 2 T toasted pumpkin seeds

The Instructions:

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the sage and toss to coat. Let the sage get crispy before transferring it to a small bowl. Sprinkle it lightly with salt and set the bowl aside.

Add the squash, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is soft and the liquid is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender, but keep the skillet handy.

Purée the mixture until smooth (beware of hot steam escaping from the top of the blender), then season with salt and pepper until the flavors sing. In the reserved skillet, combine the pasta, squash purée and ¼ cup cooking liquid.

Toss zucchini noodles with butternut squash sauce. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy!



Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds


Picture courtesy of Samay Bhavsar on Unsplash

The Ingredients:

– 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
– 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
– 3 T balsamic vinegar
– 6 T olive oil
– 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
– Salt and pepper

The Instructions:

Toss the Brussels sprouts in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Warm a skillet over medium high heat and add sprouts. Cook undisturbed until they begin to brown.

Stir Brussels sprouts to prevent burning and cook until golden brown for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add balsamic vinegar and top with pomegranate seeds.

Serve warm and enjoy!