January is like a rebound relationship.
You break up with December. It was fun while it lasted – way too much fun to be any good for you. You’re sad it’s over but also a bit relieved. That kind of life can’t be sustained. You are tired, emotionally and physically. You need a change. Maybe a yoga retreat to find your inner joy. Or a hike up Kilimanjaro to meet a cute, rugged, environmentally friendly foreigner on his own journey to self-awareness. All you know is that you need a change.
Then……………in walks January.
January looks good. January sounds good. January makes all the right promises – a new beginning, a healthier, happier you. A better you. January can make that happen. Before your girlfriends can even tell you to Snap out of it you can see the new you that January promises. You’re 20 lbs lighter, running down the beach (probably on your honeymoon) as January splashes your sun-kissed skin with warm salt water…… oh, January!
…………enter February. And……….the reality check.
January did not live up to his promises. January was boring. January was a lot harder work than you thought. You should have listened to your girlfriends. Maybe it is better to just start eating healthier every day of the year than doing a crash course 600 calorie diet/2-hour daily workout for 7 days that ends up with you passing out during a spinning class.
We’re all guilty of this. Everyone knows that rebound relationships don’t last and neither do extreme new years resolutions. And yet, every January we all vow to become someone we are not, really believing that Maybe this year I can do it! This January I was soooooo excited to start my ketotarian diet that I forgot that I am not – nor do I ever want to be – a vegan. My diet lasted 3 days.
I came back to earth and came to turns with the fact that I will never be an uber healthy vegetarian who wakes up at 5 am to do sun salutations. But I will always be Me – and every January I can try to make Me a bit healthier and stronger. This month I have eaten a mostly plant-based diet, I’ve cut back on the wine (a completely dry January is about as realistic as a ketotarian one) and I have exercised more.
I may not be running down the beach in my bikini, arm in arm with January, but at least this is a relationship that I think will last……and February looks good!
This soup was one of the recipes I made during my short lived ketotarian diet. I may not be on the diet any longer but this is a recipe I make often. It’s really delicious, very good for you and it’s filling. A satisfying winter meal that happens to be vegan! Roasting the cauliflower before adding it to the soup gives it more depth of flavor. How much curry paste you add depends greatly on the brand you use and your tolerance for spice. Supermarket varieties tend to be much less spicy than the pastes sold in Asian markets. Mine comes from the Asian markets (Mae Ploy) so 1 tablespoon was plenty.
- 1 large head of cauliflower, including the stem
- 2 glugs of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of your knife
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1-3 tablespoons Thai curry paste (depending the brand and your spice tolerance)
- 5 cups stock (veggie or chicken) )
- 1 14 ounce/400ml can coconut milk
- olive oil or coconut oil
- 8 oz/250 g mushrooms (shitake, girolle or even button mushrooms)
- sesame oil (toasted)
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander/cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- Preheat oven to 210C/420F
- Chop cauliflower into small florets and toss with a glug of olive oil. Spread it out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until it is beginning to brown and caramelize, about 20-30 min.
- Meanwhile heat another glug of oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes, until beginning to soften.
- Add the carrots and lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute, until fragrant, stirring often to prevent garlic from burning.
- Add the turmeric and curry paste and cook one minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
- Add the stock. When the stock comes to a simmer add the roasted cauliflower. Let simmer, partially covered for about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and puree with an immersion blender.
- While the soup is simmering heat another small glug of olive oil or spoon of coconut oil in a medium frying pan. When hot, add the mushrooms.
- Once the mushrooms have released their liquid season them with salt and pepper and cook until soft.
- Finish mushrooms by sprinkling with a couple dashes of sesame oil and the chopped coriander and chives.
- Ladle soup in to bowls and top each soup with a couple tablespoons of mushrooms.