Sweet Dumpling Squash and Roasted Apple Soup

A wonderful way to kick off fall! Tasty sweet flavored soup! Three cheers for our CSA box that posted this recipe.

Ingredients:
2 sweet dumpling squash
3 apples, cored and quartered
1-2 leeks, cut in half, rinsed and cut into slices
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1¼ cups cider
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ teaspoon ground coriander
freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut the squash in half down its length and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the halves on the baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, or until very tender when pricked with a fork or knife. When it’s done, the skin will be slightly wrinkled and the juices will have caramelized. Leave the squash on the pan until it has cooled and is easy to handle.
3. Meanwhile, combine the apples and leeks in a roasting pan. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme, pour in ¾ cup cider, and dot with butter. Cover the pan with foil, and roast for 1 hour. Take off the cover and roast for another 30-45 minutes, the leeks should be very tender and most of the juices should be absorbed. Let it cool a few minutes, then puree in batches in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a stockpot.
4. Cut and peel off the squash and puree the flesh in batches in the food processor until very smooth. Scrape into the stockpot. Whisk in the stock and the remaining cup of cider, the coriander, and fresh grated nutmeg to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and taste for salt and pepper (a good hit of pepper is nice as a counterpoint to the sweetness of the squash).
5. Pour in the cream or coconut milk, bring back to a simmer, and cook for about 1 more minute. It’s ready to serve. Garnish with some croutons if you are in the mood

Beef and Vegetable Soup

 

 

I’ve been terribly ill the last week, but I attribute this delicious soup to my recovery. Real bone broth packs a ton of healing properties. Store bought broth is not cooked the same way, and therefore is used just for flavor – unfortunately it does not have much nutritional value. When we can, we follow the Nourishing Traditions recipe for making beef or chicken broth – but if you live here in the San Jose area, you can get already made beef broth from grass fed cows at the Campbell’s Farmer’s Market! But if you aren’t close, and don’t want to make your own broth, take heart. You can order “real” bone broth on the internet!

Check it out: http://www.wisechoicemarket.com/real-organic-bone-broth-sampler-2-packs/

Andrew’s work shared this yummy recipe with us. I like to add quinoa or brown rice at the end (already cooked) to make the meal more filling.

 

Beef and Veggie Soup

1 beef chuck [cut into cubes]..[or you can buy already cut beef stew meat from a local grocery store]

1-2 cups chopped yellow onions

3 large carrots [peeled and diced] [you don’t necessarily need to peel carrots-they have waaay more nutritional value with their skin on  ]

3 celery ribs [diced]

Red wine [always cook with something you are willing to drink yourself]

1Ž4 c. minced garlic

Beef stock or broth [we use veal stock here..but beef stock or broth will work just fine]

1bunch thyme [chopped]

1 bunch oregano [chopped]

2 bay leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

[again you can always up the ante on the vegetables]

Preparation:

Brown off beef in stock pot over medium high heat [in batches depending on how much you have-to achieve nice color] in oil [preferably vegetable oil, rice oil, or canola oil…olive oil will burn up too fast], remove from pot and allow to drain off any excess grease, reserve beef for later. In the same pot over medium heat, add in your diced onions, carrots and celery with your bay leaves. Allow to cook til onions become slightly translucent. Then add in your minced garlic [I personally LOVE garlic, so feel free to add in a lil more if you love garlic as much as I do] let cook for about a minute, try to avoid browning the garlic as it will become bitter once it hits that stage. Deglaze with red wine, about a cup or so and reduce out the alcohol. [You can always tell when the alcohol is cooked out by smelling it…if it burns your nose hairs…theres still alcohol left In the pot..if not..you are good to move on to the next step J] add in about half of your chopped herbs and return meat back to pot. Add in your stock [to cover] and simmer away until beef is tender. Season up with salt and pepper as needed and at this point depending on how much you like herbs, you can finish with the rest of your herbs and skim off whatever fat or grease that may have been released over the simmering process…and viola!!!! You have beef and vegetable soup!! J

Things to keep in mind:

you can easily turn this into a stew by adding potatoes and letting them break down a lil to give the soup a thicker heartier feel.

You can also add in other seasonal vegetables such as sweet potatoes, parsnips [to give it a lil peppery taste to it], yams, etc..in the spring/summer time, you can add tomatoes, corn, peas, green beans..or any type of dried bean year round..the possibilities are endless!! J

The Jen Hatmaker Sandwich

 

 

I follow the blogger/writer Jen Hatmaker and love her. The other day she posted this sandwich she makes on “grocery store” days – you know, the days when you go grocery shopping and then come home and don’t feel like touching food to cook for dinner because you are done. with. food. (I get it). Her description of this sandwich was so easy and yummy that I had to try it! Everyone in the family loved it!

The Jen Hatmaker Sandwich

1 loaf ciabatta bread
Pesto
Marinara Sauce
Mozarella Cheese, sliced
Salami
Ham
Lettuce
Tomato
Basil

Slice the ciabatta bread in half. Spread the pesto, then layer with meat and cheese. Next layer the veggies and top with spoonfuls of marinara sauce. Place in a baking dish and cook at 350 for 15 minutes. Enjoy with a side bowl of marinara for dipping.

Fava Beans

 

 

We ventured into a new vegetable for Easter this year – fava beans! I was uninterested in them for quite awhile, but I finally gave in and was glad I did. Beware! Shelling and removing skins takes quite awhile … and also a large bunch of fava beans ends up shrinking down quite a bit. Everyone enjoyed this recipe! You can leave the yogurt out if you are concerned about dairy.

An easy way to shell your beans – put the fava beans in boiling salted water to blanch for 30 seconds. Remove the beans from the boiling water and submerge them in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. This step softens the second skin, making it easier to remove.

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds fava beans, shelled and inside skin removed
1 bunch spring onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
water or stock
¼ cup whole milk yogurt

Directions:
1. Finely slice the white parts of the onions and an inch of the greens. Chop the rest of the greens into 1/2–inch pieces, keeping them separate from the bottoms.
2. Warm the oil in an 8-inch skillet. Add the onion bottoms and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the fava beans, two thirds of the parsley and basil, 1 teaspoon sea salt and water or stock to cover. Simmer until the beans are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the green part of the onions and cook until the beans are completely tender, about another 10 minutes or so. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
3. Turn off the heat, stir the yogurt into the hot fava beans, add the remaining parsley and basil. Serve warm.

Yogurt Chicken Salad

 

 

I will admit – I LOVE mayonnaise. Not just any mayo, but the Best Foods straight up bad stuff. I used to adore white sourdough sandwiches layered thick with mayo and salami. Mmmmm … but ever since learning how bad store bought mayo is, I have cut it out of my diet. (note, real mayo made at home or with real ingredients is just fine). The mayo I like from the store is made from soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, etc. All of these come from GMO crops. Your body can’t break down soybean oil well and treats it as a toxin, sending it straight to the liver. Anyways, this is a conversation for another day … I digress.

At the gym, I try to pretend I don’t know about store bought mayo and I often get myself a treat: the chicken salad snack. It’s soooo good. I KNOW it’s made with the addictive Best Foods mayo.  So I decided I have to take matters into my own hands and find a way to recreate this yummy dish without the mayo at home. Right now, I don’t have the time or interest to make my own mayo – although maybe someday I will and I will use the previous link when I do!  So for now,  I wanted to try a quick yogurt alternative. I played around, and this recipe is very similar and quite tasty. Would be excellent to make a huge batch and have it ready to go throughout the week for an easy healthy lunch.

Chopped cooked chicken breast (i used a costco rotisserie chicken)
Chopped red or green onions
Dried cranberries (trader joes and costco both carry brands that do not add sugar to their dried fruit!)
Sliced grapes
Chopped apple
Sliced almonds
Garlic powder or salt
Black pepper
Plain yogurt

Mix and determine amounts as needed. You can see my amounts in the picture. Play around with what suits your taste buds. Enjoy on bread or wrapped in lettuce!

Coconut Lentil Soup

I cannot compete (nor do I want to) with the beautiful pictures and message of this meal.  So, PLEASE, check out Ashley’s post about feeding South African children on Not Without The Salt.  There is one more day to donate to her wonderful cause!  So many are hungry – but our eyes and ears have become numb to it.  As you sift around in your cupboards, thinking of what to make for dinner, consider those who have nothing to sift through.

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 red pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

salt & pepper

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 bay leaves

pinch chile flake

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk

3/4 cup black Beluga lentils (I’m sure other types would be fine, you may have to adjust the amount of water and cooking time)

2 cups water

Plain yogurt

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. When the oil is shimmering add the onion, carrot, celery and red pepper along with a pinch of salt. Saute until the vegetables are tender and lightly golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, bay, chile flake and a few grinds of black pepper. Continue to saute for 3 minutes until fragrant and the garlic softens. Stir in the tomato paste and coconut milk. Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan then stir in the lentils. Add the water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, bring to a boil then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove the cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, shaved radish and a drizzle of olive oil or unsweetened yogurt. To our family, the yogurt MADE the soup come alive – highly recommend!!

Elderberry and Echinacea Syrup

 

Making your own elderberry and echinacea syrup is so easy! And cheaper too than buying it in the store. You can make this healthy immunity boosting syrup with just elderberries, or you can add the other ingredients. At first sign of illness, we drink bone broth, cut out all sugar, take some echinacea tinctures and drink herbal tea! Add this syrup too and you’ll put your cold dead in it’s tracks. Thanks to OhLardy website for this recipe and info! I buy all my herbs on Mountain Rose Herbs online.

Echinacea fights inflammation, bacterial and viral infections. It is good for the immune and the lymphatic systems. It is helpful for allergies, colds, flu and other infections.

Elderberry fights inflammation and relieves coughs and congestion . It enhances immune system function, lowers fevers and soothes the respiratory tract. It is very effective against flu viruses.

Cinnamon counteracts congestion, warms the body and enhances digestion.

Clove has antiseptic and anti parasitic properties.

Ginger fights inflammation and stimulates circulation and digestion. It is a strong antioxidant and has antimicrobial properties. It is helpful for headache, indigestion and vomiting, among other ailments.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup elderberries
  • 1/4 cup dried echinacea
  • 1 inch or so of ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cup (or less) of raw honey

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients, except honey, in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes or so.
  3. Strain.
  4. Let cool.
  5. When cool, add honey in to taste.
  6. Then pour into jar.
  7. Keep in refrigerator and use within 2 months.

Kerry’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamonroll

 

I’ve tried lots of cinnamon roll recipes, but Kerry’s is the best!! And the easiest!! This is what we eat every Christmas morning.

1 cup boiling water

3/4 cup butter
3/4 sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
2 packages dry yeast
1 cup warm water

Boil 1 cup of water and add butter, sugar, and salt. Let sit and cool until luke water. In a separate bowl, add yeast and luke warm water. The water needs to be warm enough to activate the yeast but not too hot, which would kill the yeast. Let sit until bubbly. Add eggs and yeast mixture to the cooled water/butter/sugar/salt mixture. Then mix in flour, 3 cups at a time. Dough should be somewhat wet. Refrigerate and cover overnight.

The next morning, roll out dough. Smear generously with softened butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Roll up and slice. Place rolls in a large baking dish, bake at 350 until golden brown on top.

Cover top with a cream cheese frosting or powdered sugar frosting and serve!

Annemieke’s Dutch Meatballs

My lovely friend Annemieke is Dutch, and when Alice was born she made us these amazing Dutch meatballs! I’ve been craving them ever since, and yesterday my Christmas wish came true and Mieke gave me a Dutch seasoning packet and the recipe to her famous meatballs. You’ve got to try these. Delicious!! You DO have to buy the dutch seasonings online. I’m sure you could make your own, but I used the pack that Mieke gave me. You can purchase the same one here.

Picture Credit: Alice lovin’ her meatball!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Bread Crumbs (don’t do progresso, just plain simple bread crumbs like panko)
1 egg
1-2 tbsp ketchup
1 stick butter
1 lb ground turkey or beef
1 seasoning packet (salt, corriander, pepper, ginger, mace, nutmeg, cardamon, chile, majoram)

Directions:

Mix breadcrumbs and seasoning packet together. Beat egg with ketchup. Mix all ingredients with meat and make 4-6 large meatballs. Heat butter on medium heat until melted. Place meatballs in pan. Sear for 4 minutes on top, then 4 minutes on bottom. Turn heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes until cooked through.

Served with potatoes or over rice.