Spaghetti Squash and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

Squash:

1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and with seeds removed

olive oil for drizzling (not extra virgin)

salt

 

Sauce:

1 c. yellow tomatoes, sliced in half

1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 c. olive oil (not extra virgin)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp red pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

3 T. fresh basil

4-5 fresh sprigs of thyme

1 T. fresh oregano

 

1 handful of spinach

 

Directions:

Squash: Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (this is super easy with a grapefruit spoon).   Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place squash halves on pan, cut side up.  Drizzle halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 20-30 minutes for small squash and 40-50 minutes for medium to large squash (I may have needed to cook it for 60 minutes- I don’t exactly remember).  Squash is cooked when you can easily pierce it with a fork (similar to how a potato would pierce when done).  Using a spoon, scrape out the strands of squash.

Sauce:

Pour olive oil into a pan and allow to heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and garlic and allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes.  Add salt, black pepper, red pepper, and herbs and cook for another 5 minutes or so.  Add spinach and cook until it’s wilted.  Serve over spaghetti squash.

img_6845

Simple Ground Beef and Potatoes

This is one of those meals where I looked in my fridge to see what needed to be used.  It turned out surprisingly well, so I have decided to share with you what I did.  Since I started blogging, I try to write down what I do while cooking so that I can share it accurately.  🙂

 

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds ground beef- raw

2 pounds red potatoes, diced with skins on

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 c. frozen corn (or more)

1 c. frozen peas (or more)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp sage

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp parsley

1/4 tsp coriander

 

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef.  Don’t drain the fat!  Set the beef aside, leaving the grease in the pan.  Cook the potatoes in the grease for about 10-15 minutes until they start to get soft (this will depend on how big or small you cut them).  Add in all other ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender and peas and corn are warm.  Feel free to add in more vegetables than called for!

 

 

 

Sausage Potato Spinach Soup

This soup was really good!  We were sad when all the leftovers were finished.  I made a really bad soup the other day that is NOT making the blog.  This soup, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it may even be good for you!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound Jimmy Dean regular sausage

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

5 c. chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 pound red potatoes, diced with skins on

3 cups spinach (I used frozen spinach-can also use kale)

2 T. fresh basil

2 T. fresh oregano

Thickening agent: 1 T. cornstarch mixed with 1 T. chicken broth

 

Crockpot Directions:

Cook sausage and slice potatoes, onion, and garlic. Put all ingredients except spinach in Crockpot and turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Add spinach in the last hour if on low and 30 minutes if on high. I skipped the cornstarch.

Stove top Directions:

Brown sausage in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Drain fat if needed.  Add garlic, onion, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes.  Cook while stirring until onions are clear, about 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper, chicken broth, and bay leaf.  Turn up the heat and let the soup begin to boil.  Add the potatoes and continue to boil the soup until the potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes.  At this point, I actually had to walk away from the soup, so I turned off the heat, put the lid on my dutch oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  When I came back, the potatoes were great!

Add in spinach and fresh herbs and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to droop.  Combine corn starch with chicken broth in a small bowl and then add to soup and stir.  I used this in place of 1/4 c. heavy cream.  If you can do the cream, go for it!

Original recipe:

http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/29/sausage-potato-spinach-soup/

 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

These are mostly made of nuts and apples.  I found myself eating more of these than perhaps I would have if they were straight up flour, sugar, and such.  If you want something sweet but want it to be a little healthier, this is a good compromise.  They do have a little bit of a “healthy” taste because of the nut flour, but if you don’t mind that, they’re pretty good!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c. almond meal/flour

1/2 c. quick oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF quick oats)

2 T. ground flax seed

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/4 c. maple syrup (I recommend the real stuff!)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. finely diced apple with skin on (about 2 small apples)

1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

Topping:

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

Combine all of the dry ingredients (almond meal/flour, oats, flax seed, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Melt the coconut oil in a medium bowl.  Add the maple syrup, milk and vanilla and stir.  Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined.  Add in the apple chunks and the nuts and stir.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill to 3/4.  Put a little bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of each one.  The original recipe calls for more, but it was way too much and didn’t soak in.  You may use more if you want.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.simple-veganista.com/2013/04/apple-cinnamon-muffinsgluten-free.html

 

Healthy Fruit and Nut and Seed Salad

This is one of those salads that looks healthy.  I think it’s the chia and pumpkin seeds that really give it that look.  This was one of those, “Hmmm….let’s see what’s in the fridge” meals.  What I thought was going to be a pretty boring meal actually turned out nicely.

 

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of spinach

1/2 apple, diced

1 T. pumpkin seeds

1 T. chia seeds

2 T. craisins

Salad dressing of your choice

Optional: top with chicken

 

Directions.  Put all ingredients on a plate or in a bowl, starting with spinach and ending with salad dressing.  Enjoy!

Rocky Road Chocolate Cookies

Nothing says, “I love you” like some chocolate cookies.  Okay.  Maybe there are some other ways to say it quite effectively, but this won’t hurt.  Try these out for your valentine tonight!

Ingredients:

3/4 c. brown rice flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/4 c. potato starch

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted but room temperature

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar (I used light brown because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Cashew Milk this time, but normally I use coconut milk)

1/4 c. Enjoy Life Mini-Chocolate Chips

1/4 c. mini marshmallows or 4-5 big marshmallows torn into bits

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a stand mixer bowl, mix coconut oil and sugars.  Blend on low.  Add vanilla and blend again on low.  Add half the flour and half the milk and stir just a little bit before turning on the mixer to prevent a flour cloud.  Mix briefly with the mixer.  Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk and mix with mixer briefly.  The dough should be very thick.  Add in chocolate chips, marshmallows, and walnuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, form dough into balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Chill the dough balls on the cookie sheet until ready to go into the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes or until desired firmness.  *Note* Coconut oil will harden as it cools, so do not over bake.

Pumpkin Pancakes

This is my own original recipe.  It’s the perfect way to use up leftover pumpkin.  I hope these make you feel as warm and cozy as they make me feel!

 

Ingredients:

1 c. brown rice flour

1/2 c. oat flour

1/4 c. sweet rice flour (or more brown rice if you can’t find this)

1/4 c. potato starch

1/4 c. teff flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

2 T. baking powder

2 1/2 T sugar

 

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 flax eggs (2 T. golden flaxseed meal mixed with 6 T. warm water and set aside)

1 3/4 c. coconut milk (from a carton)

1/4 c. oil

1/4 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)

 

Directions:

Stir together flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside.  Combine dry ingredients including spices.  Add in the wet ingredients including the flax eggs.  Stir to combine, then add in walnuts.  Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat.  Add pancake batter, leaving 2 inches between each one to allow for expansion.  When the edges are looking dry and the middle is bubbling a little and the bottom side is brown, flip pancakes.  Cook for another minute or two and then remove from pan.  If your batter is a little too firm, add coconut milk one Tablespoon at a time until desired thickness.  Serve with a pat of butter on top and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

1 T. butter (I used Earthbalance)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp yellow curry powder

2 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 1/2 c. chicken broth (I use HEB or Swanson’s) or vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

small handful of pumpkin seeds

 

Directions:

Heat butter in a saucepan.  Add onion, garlic and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds.  Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients except the pumpkin seeds (or blend it in a blender).  Serve in bowls or soup cups and sprinkle in pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.justataste.com/thai-coconut-pumpkin-soup-recipe/

Turkey Cranberry Salad (or Chicken)

I know, I know. This post would have been better around Thanksgiving time, but I wasn’t ready to post it then.  I was too busy having fun with family :-).  Instead, you are getting a random February post about Thanksgiving leftovers.  People make turkey other times of the year, right?  You could also use chicken instead of turkey if you don’t want to go to the trouble of cooking a big bird when it’s not a holiday. Or perhaps you still have leftovers in the freezer… If so, this is great way to make them moist and delicious instead of merely passable.  As the weather is warming up, think about taking this salad with you on a camping trip, a long hike, or just a fun family picnic.  You can even use canned chicken if you need to!

 

Ingredients:

3-4 c. cooked turkey or chicken, diced or shredded

4 T. diced red onion

3 T. diced celery

1/2 c. craisins

1/3 c. sliced almonds

1/2 c. mayo (I used Vegennaise)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Combine mayo, paprika and salt.  Stir in remaining ingredients until combined.  Add more mayo if you want it to be more moist.  Eat with crackers, in a lettuce wrap, on a sandwich, etc.

Curried Coconut Chicken

I’m trying to remember the first time I had curry.  I think it might have been post college.  I can’t believe I waited that long to try it as now I typically have it a few times a month.  This is a simple one that doesn’t require you purchasing any special pastes.  It is also good for using up leftover vegetables you have sitting around.  In my case, I had green beans that needed to be used.  I hope you find this recipe as helpful as I have!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 T. olive oil

2 T. curry powder

1-2 c. diced chicken

1 small onion, sliced

3 tomatoes, diced

2-3 handfuls green beans, cut in thirds or 2-3 handfuls frozen veggies

1 can coconut milk

8 oz. tomato sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-3 T. sugar, to taste

1 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Heat oil and curry powder in pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken and cook for 7-10 minutes or until cooked through and then remove to a bowl and set aside.  Cook onions in the same pan for 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes.  Add chicken back in.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until warm and vegetables are to desired tenderness.  Serve over rice.

Original recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/68532/curried-coconut-chicken/

%d bloggers like this: