Hummus Soup

One of my favorite dips in soup form!  Y’all know I’m not a soup fan…until it gets cold.  And well this week it’s been quite chilly, especially with workers in and out of the house – I feel like I can’t keep the house warm.  But a warm bowl of soup can make even the chilliest of evenings a little bit cozier.

The soup is garlicky and smooth and seriously tastes likes your favorite brand of garlic hummus.  Onions and garlic are sautéed in olive oil before adding in stock and water, the base of the soup.  Bring that to a simmer and add in your chickpeas – the main ingredient in hummus.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  The mixture is then pureed in a blender until silky, smooth before adding in the tahini (I think Trader Joe’s makes the best) and lemon juice.  Whirl a few more times in the blender to mix everything up.

The soup is topped with feta cheese for a little saltiness as well as crunchy chickpeas.  I loved the contrast of texture that the chickpeas brought to the bowl of soup.  To make the crunchy chickpeas, simply cook a cup of chickpeas in a tablespoon of olive oil until crispy and browned.

hummussoup

I absolutely love this soup.  It’s garlicky, silky and absolutely warming to your soul on a chilly fall evening.

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Acorn Squash with Sage-Cranberry Rice Stuffing

While I love the slow cooker, I sometimes don’t love that I’m left with massive amount of leftovers when I’m just cooking for Big Guy and myself.  This recipe is not only made for two people but it uses the slow cooker in the most ingenious way.

Aluminum foil is used to make two rings that are placed on the bottom of the slow cooker.  This is where you’ll place your acorn squash halves.  Not only will it keep your squash from tipping over but it will keep the acorn squash from over cooking.  You’ll also surround the aluminum foil rings with ice cubes to, again, avoid overcooking the squash.  The acorn squash halves, once cleaned of their seeds, are filled with a stuffing mixture that is a combination of brown rice, dried cranberries, green onions, olive oil, sage and salt and pepper.

The stuffed acorn squash cooks on low for about 6-7 hours or until the squash is tender all the way through.  Serve the squash with a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts and fresh thyme.

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Not only was this the perfect amount of food for two but clean-up was a breeze.  Big Guy claimed this meal tasted like Thanksgiving which is absolutely perfect for this time of year.  The dish was so comforting and I loved the sweetness from the dried cranberries and the crunch from the hazelnuts.

Oh, and it’s the perfect meal for Meatless Monday (wink wink).

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Curry

I never regret letting the crock-pot handle dinner. This crock-pot recipe requires no pre-cooking and you simply dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do it’s thing.

And just because it’s “meatless” doesn’t mean it’s flavorless.  In fact, this curry is packed with flavor thanks to Thai red curry paste, garam masala, fresh ginger and turmeric.  By the way, turmeric is FULL of health benefits and we all should be eating more of it.  The creaminess comes from coconut milk that is added after the curry is finished cooking.  I’ve never cooked with red lentils before (gasp!) but I found that they almost “melted” into the curry and they weren’t detectable at all.

The curry is served over rice along with quick pickled red onions and cilantro for freshness.  Don’t leave the toppings off – they add life to a meal that’s literally cooked all day long.

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And you’ll have lots and lots of leftovers.  The recipe serves 8, so either invite some friends over or plan to eat delicious curry for lunch throughout the week.

Now if only we could teach the crock-pot to clean up the kitchen…

 

Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup

October is here and I’m officially ready for some fall weather.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that my favorite season has come to and end but I could do without any more sunburns (yes, my arms fried at the football game on Saturday).  In an attempt to lure fall to Eastern NC, I brought fall to the kitchen last night.

Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup not only has all the flavors of fall (without pumpkin) but it’s also incredibly comforting.  Sweet potatoes and white beans bulk up the soup and make it protein packed and filling while also being vegetarian.  The flavor comes from sautéed red onion, garlic and sage.  A little milk makes it super creamy.  Once blended, each bowl is topped with sweet, tart, and crunchy apples (Golden Delicious apples are my fav right now) and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

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Now if only we could get our crisp, cool weather to stay past 9am.

Balsamic Roasted Veggie and White Bean Pasta

Yesterday I shared an indulgent dinner and today I share a recipe that is LOADED with veggies.  In fact, you’ll feel good eating this dinner and serving it to your family.

Dinner starts by roasted all of the vegetables including broccoli, sliced mushrooms, red bell pepper, zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes and red onion.

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The veggies were tossed with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried herbs, garlic, salt and EVOO before roasting at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  While the veggies were cooking I went ahead and brought my pasta water to a boil so that it was ready when I needed it.  No one has time to watch a pot of water come to a boil.  I also prepped a batch of skinny pesto.

When the veggies were almost done cooking, I tossed the pasta into the boiling water and let it cook until al dente (about 9 minutes for gluten-free pasta).

As soon as the pasta was perfectly cooked, it was drained and then mixed with the white beans, pesto and parmesan before adding all the yummy veggies.

To serve, I sprinkled a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes over my portion.

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Another successful dinner loaded with veggies from the garden.

Not only is this a great dinner option but it’s perfect to make ahead and have for quick lunches throughout the week.  The portion size is large and the recipe makes a TON of food.

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Skillet Ratatouille

Earlier this week I prepared this dinner in an effort to use up some of our summer squash that I have more of than I can eat.  This dinner is a great make-ahead meal and you can easily reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.  I’ve been eating this all week long since Big Guy was traveling for work.  And trust me, you’ll have leftovers – this recipe makes a ton of stew.

Semi-drained diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted tomatoes with chiles for an extra something-something) and combined with the drained and rinses chickpeas and set aside.

Sauté garlic in EVOO along with chopped red onion, red bell pepper, squash and eggplant.  (I doubled the amount of squash and left out the zucchini.)  Once tender, stir in the tomatoes and chickpeas along with a little salt and cook for 5 minutes.

Uncover the pan and add a splash of red wine vinegar and paprika and cook until slightly thickened.

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Topped with a fresh sprinkle of basil, this dinner is a great way to let your summer vegetables shine.

What’s growing in your garden?

Curried Lentil-And-Vegetable Stew

Despite cooking with zucchini and tomatoes last night, we had an entirely different dinner last night.  An abundance of homegrown tomatoes and zucchini are transformed in this Indian-inspired dinner.  

I was unable to find pre-cooked lentils, so I simply purchased quick cooking lentils, and they were ready in six minutes.  The stew starts by sautéing onion in a little EVOO and then adding zucchini and garlic.  Once those ingredients cook for three minutes, add in the tomato, curry powder and ketchup.  Yes, ketchup.  It’s our secret ingredient adding a little tang, a little sweetness and a little acidity.  The curry powder adds a PUNCH of flavor.  Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute before adding in the vegetable stock that is mixed with cornstarch (one tablespoon) to help thicken up the stew.  Finally, add in the lentils and salt and allow to cook for three minutes.  The entire pot gets a pop of freshness from the juice of one lime.

Serve a bowl full of this flavorful stew with cool, tangy Greek yogurt on top.

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