My CrossFit Comeback and a Recipe | Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Chowder

April 6, 2013

Yesterday marked a milestone. If you’ve been reading my blog or keeping up with my life, you’ll know I had to quit the Open because of a shoulder injury. I was crushed. I haven’t put any weight overhead in 2 weeks. Not even just a clean barbell. It hurt way too bad. Yesterday I decided to see how my shoulder was feeling. And guess what? I was able to snatch #55, no pain. I didn’t go above #55 because I was nervous I’d strain my shoulder. My coach and I are thinking my hyper-mobility is the reason I got hurt. I am like gumby. My body and my joints are way more flexible than the average person. 13 years of gymnastics make you pretty stretchy. The more I stabilize my core the less my shoulders have to support and I don’t over extend them. (6 pack abs by summer? I hope so!) I was super happy. Yesterday was a big day. 

Virginia’s weather has been jacked up. Let’s recap: Monday – beautiful. Tuesday – hello spring! Wednesday – slightly chilly but still spring-like. Thursday – sleet and snow storm. Friday – beautiful and almost warm. Yep, sleet and snow storm. You read that right. It was weird. I decided to wear a dress to work Thursday (this rarely happens) and when I was walking to my car my bare legs were being impaled by what can only be described as God pouring a slushy over us. Then I got a little ice crystal in my eye and I was miserable. I even considered mentioning to my husband that we should move back to Florida. But then I remembered I’d pick random cold days over blistering heat all the time. 

I kind of enjoy the cold. I like getting bundled up and wearing cute sweaters. (But not boots, my calves don’t fit correctly into boots.) Cold weather also brings lots of cozy food, like soup. I know I promised a new recipe last week, which did not happen. Obviously. But this soup is just way too good and I wanted to make you all wait for it. (My husband would be proud that I just said you all and not y’all.) Here’s the story of this soup. I saw this recipe on Pinterest. But I needed to make it paleo. I went to the store and bought all the ingredients paleo. Most of the changes weren’t that big. Where my recipe calls for canned coconut milk, the original called for half and half. All of the ingredients sounded awesome and I was super excited to make this soup and I knew my husband was going to love it. (He typically doesn’t love soups.) Then, I got home and read the instructions. (I typically forget to do this before I buy all the ingredients.) You pretty much put everything into a Dutch oven and it looks like a nice pretty soup with some veggies in it. Then you throw it into the blender (or food processor) and blend it to a chowder-y like substance. This freaked me out when I got to this part of the instructions. I was thinking this wonderful soup was going to end up like mashed cauliflower and be thick and weird and my husband was going to hate it. (I even considered skipping this step) The soup was like chowder (not thick like mashed cauliflower) and it had an amazing flavor! My husband did love it. Even though it doesn’t look very pretty after you blend it, I recommend still giving it a chance. The bacon on top really makes it amazing. 

Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Chowder
1 whole head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 large whole head garlic, peeled
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 ½ stalks celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/3 cup dry white wine
½ cup water
2 cups bone broth
1 dried bay leaf
2 teaspoons parsley
1/3 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
6 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Drizzle garlic cloves with olive oil and wrap with foil. Place wrapped garlic on the baking sheet. 

Roast the garlic and cauliflower at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cauliflower will be golden and garlic will be fragrant but not raw.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a Dutch oven (or large stock pot) on medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Whisk in salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and flour and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the wine and water, whisking to combine with the flour and veggie mixture. Then, slowly add in the 2 cups of bone broth. Add the bay leaf and roasted garlic cloves. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and simmer for an additional 5 minutes

Remove the bay leaf. Working in batches, add the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until pureed and smooth. Add additional broth during or after blend to achieve desired consistency. After all the batches have been completed, return to the pot. Stir in the coconut milk and parsley. Cook until just heated through.

Serve with crumbled bacon and enjoy immediately.

I know that may seem a little tricky. It’s really easy. I promise. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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