Mikaela Reuben is a rising (healthy) rock star chef, cooking for celebrity clients like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, and traveling the world to whip up meals for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on tour and host wellness retreats. We teamed up with Reuben, who has training in holistic nutrition, for a series on super-seasonal, Ayurveda-influenced recipes—to give your own healthy kitchen the star treatment.
Broccoli isn’t exactly a cool kid in healthy kitchens, compared to trendy green veggies like kale and dandelion greens. But if you’ve been ignoring it, 2016 is the year to invite it back over for dinner.
“Broccoli is one of nature’s most nutrient-dense vegetables, packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which strengthen the immune system during the colder months,” Reuben says.
Which is why she uses it as the base for this nourishing soup she calls “the ideal Ayurvedic dish in the winter,” originally created for Taryn Toomey’s cleanse program.
“Spices such as cayenne, pepper, and smoked paprika warm the digestion,” Reuben adds. “Soups are replenishing and healing when our digestive fire is low, or in the winter when our bodies are using more energy to keep us warm.”
Get the vegan recipe, below, and do your part to reestablish broccoli as a dinner companion. —Jamie McKillop
Smoky Broccoli Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups chopped sweet onions
1 Tbsp pressed garlic
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp and 3/4 cup water
1/2 and 1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 cups cauliflower
2 Tbsp ghee
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
5 cups spinach
1 can organic coconut milk
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sauté onions for 4 minutes on medium heat, until translucent. Add garlic, cayenne, smoked paprika, pepper, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and two tablespoons water. Stir well, and continue heating for another 2–3 minutes. Add chopped broccoli, cauliflower, ghee, and apple cider vinegar and stir well so that everything is coated. Leave for at least 2 minutes so that the flavors mix. Add 3/4 cup of water, another teaspoon of sea salt, and lemon zest. Continue cooking over low to medium heat for another 6-7 minutes.
Once cauliflower is cooked through, reduce heat, add coconut milk and lemon juice, and stir well. Heat entire mixture enough to warm the coconut milk.
Turn off heat and use a handheld blender or high-speed blender (much smoother with high-speed blender). Add a little more water if you want it thinner. Taste and adjust.
(Photos: Mikaela Reuben)