Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

I made this with Turkey Kielbasa but you could use Turkey sausage or pork Italian sausage. This is great for a rainy, fall night. I sautéed the veggies and put in the crockpot for an easy weeknight meal. This warms up well and freezes for leftovers.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cupchopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 quarts beef, chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin
  • 1 package of Turkey Kielbasa, sliced (or Italian sausage)

Directions

Place the olive oil into a large pot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking add the broth, tomatoes and spices to the crockpot.

Add vegetables to the crockpot.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown the kielbasa or sausage slices.

Add the browned kielbasa, lentils, and stir to combine. Set the crockpot to the desired time. Serve with cornbread or salad.

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Soy Chorizo & Fruit Stuffed Acorn Squash

Soy Chorizo & Fruit Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is a great vegetarian meal packed with textures and flavors. Savory, sweet and nutty this is a perfect main meal or side dish. It makes a lot but you can freeze. It would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving for vegetarian guests.

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Ingredients

  • 2 acorn Squash
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup pitted golden raisins
  • 1 small chopped apple
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 package of Soy Chorizo (I love Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme, stems removed (optional)
  • 1 large (or 2 small) butternut squash
  • 1 cup quinoa cooked as directed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • tsp butter for each squash half (I used Brummel & Brown yogurt butter)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup for each squash half

Directions

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, cinnamon stick, clove, cherries and raisins. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let ingredients soak for about 10 minutes. Set aside, and discard cinnamon stick.

Preheat oven to 350°. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, salt. Cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add chorizo and cook until brown. Add the apple and mix well. Keep warm.

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a sturdy metal spoon, scrape out and discard seeds. Continue scraping flesh to hollow out center Add a tsp of maple syrup and butter to each squash half. Place squash on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 -40 minutes until soft.

While the squash is baking cook the quinoa according to directions. Add the the fruit and Soy Chorizo mix. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut milk and mix well.

Spoon into the squash halves and serve.

We ate this the next night just headed up without the squash and it was wonderful all on its own.

 

 

Spinach, Onion & Smoked Gouda Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Spinach, Onion & Smoked Gouda Quiche with Quinoa Crust

IMG_3973.jpgI love Quiche. I especially love the pastry crust that goes along with quiche but I have to say this was a wonderful way to eat quiche. I made a kale salad to go along with it. I will make this again with different fillings also. This was adapted from cooking light recipe. I used smoke gouda in place of feta (and used more cheese) because, well. Just because. I also added some cheese to the crust. This was an easy weeknight meal.

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Ingredients

CRUST:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten

FILLING:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat or skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup smoked or regular Gouda, shredded

Method

  1. For the crust, preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Combine quinoa, salt, pepper, cheese and egg in a bowl, stirring well. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9″ pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes; cool.

  3. For the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion; sauté 15-20 minutes until golden brown and caramelized. Add spinach; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.

  4. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Arrange spinach mixture in crust; pour egg mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with gouda. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into wedges.

 

Lower Guilt Baked Broccoli Pasta & Cheese

Lower Guilt Baked Broccoli Pasta & Cheese

 

IMG_3546.jpgThis is fairly low on the guilt level and I found it tastes even better warmed up! Comes together quickly. Great as a vegetarian main meal, side dish and a way to disguise broccoli – which is how my husband prefers it. Kid friendly comfort food. Inspired by Skinny Taste.

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Ingredients:

  • 12 oz elbow, shells or other twisty pasta (I used Trottole)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • Smoked Paprika (optional)
  • cooking spray

Directions: 

Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large pot of water, Cut broccoli into florets and using a steamer cook for just a few minutes, not quite cooked. The original recipe did not call for it to be cooked so you could add the broccoli uncooked.

Once the sauce is thick, remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked pasta and broccoli, mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top. Sprinkle with a bit of smoked paprika.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.

Three Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash

Three Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash

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This makes a great side dish or vegetarian main meal. Autumn comfort food. I served it with Grilled chicken and asparagus. You can easily double the recipe. I think it would make a great side on Thanksgiving. This was inspired by a recipe from Rachel Ray.

IMG_3359.jpgIngredients

1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
Olive oil, for brushing
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil for onion
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cups fresh ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (dried will also work)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (optional)
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded or grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the squash with Olive Oil and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Roast the squash until just tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Leave the oven on.

While the squash is roasting heat the tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and add the onions. Cook until caramelized and golden brown

When the squash is cool enough to handle, carefully scrape out the flesh into a bowl, leaving just enough flesh to keep the shells intact. Add the onions, ricotta, thyme, lemon zest, and cheeses into bowl with the squash flesh and mix well. Fill the squash shells and top with the shredded parmesan cheese. Bake until browned and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.

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Roasted Cauliflower & Mushrooms

Roasted Cauliflower & Mushrooms

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This is a great side dish, or vegetarian meal for fall. I used baby Bella and Shiitake, but any variety of mushrooms would be wonderful.

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Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
16 oz mushrooms (button, wild, any of the smaller variety), cut into thick slices
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbs. thyme, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
3-4 slices of rustic bread, thickly sliced and torn into chunks
5 oz shredded gruyere cheese

Directions

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place cauliflower in a large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Place on unlined baking sheet. Roast cauliflower for about 15 minutes.

Place mushrooms on an unlined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove cauliflower and mushrooms from oven. Combine into one baking sheet.
Add bread chunks and sprinkle with cheese. Roast for another 10 minutes.

NOTE: You could also substitute Parmesan for the Gruyere.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion & Apple Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion & Apple Soup

It has been a while since I posted anything. Life got busy. I did not stop cooking, just did not have time to blog. But I am back. Fall makes me want to cook up stews and soups (and all things Squash and pumpkin). This is easy, filled with flavor and freezes well. Perfect for a cool fall night.

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Soup Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks (about 2 pounds)
4 Tbs Olive oil, divided
Sea Salt to taste
32 oz vegetable or chicken stock
2 large Onions, sliced thin
1 Tbs of Pumpkin Spice White balsamic Vinegar (optional)
2 large apples (I used honeycrisp), peeled, cored and cut into chunck
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp roasted ground ginger
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (or half & half)
toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. Place the squash chunks in a bowl, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more if needed) and toss until coated. Place the chunks on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender.

While the squash is roasting caramelize the onions. Heat oil in a large pan and add onions. Cook slowly over medium heat, stirring often. When onions are a golden brown add the pumpkin Spice balsamic vinegar. I get this at the Olive Oil store and it is wonderful.

In a large stockpot add the roasted squash, onions, apples, stock, spices and yogurt. Simmer until apples are tender. Add the yogurt and use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (you can also use a regular blender).

Serve hot with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Melt butter in a small frying pan. Add pumpkin seeds and brown sugar. Cook until brown sugar has melted and is starting to caramelize. Remove from heat and place on tin foil to cool. When the mixture has hardened crack into pieces.

 

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