Aaaaah Fall – that weird time of year where one day you’re convinced it’s still Summer and the next day you can’t leave the house without gloves and a scarf.
Temperatures dropped rapidly yesterday and we hit a record low of 26 F last night. My boyfriend Phil and I are trying to cut down on our carbs, so our usual go-to Ramen wasn’t an option for dinner tonight. We quickly decided to try to make some butternut squash soup and, boy, was that the right decision.
This recipe is super easy, only requires six ingredients and only a minimal amount of chopping since everything will be cooked down anyways. All in all, it took a little bit over an hour to make – an hour that included each of us taking a shower. Plus you can make some super tasty roasted squash seeds that are great to snack on. And you’ll have enough soup to feed you for several days for only about 10 dollars!
6 carrots, cubed
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
1/2 of a large, sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp chopped ginger (if you like ginger, add more! I was careful because Phil isn’t the biggest ginger fan)
1 gallon stock (we used beef stock but any kind will work!)
oil, salt, pepper to taste
Heat up the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook on low for about 10 minutes. Then add the ginger and garlic, plus some salt and pepper to taste. Let cook for another 5 minutes. Add the squash and carrots and fill up the pot with your stock. Bring to a boil while covered, then let simmer for about 30 minutes.
After the soup has simmered, check if the carrots can be poked with a fork. If yes, add your soup in small portions to a food processor or blender and pulse it to the desired consistency (if not, continue to simmer for a few more minutes). And that’s all you need to do! Your soup is ready to serve. Some recipes I got my inspiration from added coconut milk to the soup, but honestly, I think it was creamy enough without anything else.
As an added bonus, I put some pumpkin seed oil and roasted seeds on top of my soup. My boyfriend didn’t like the extra crunchiness and just ate the soup as was. Either way, this was a super easy, tasty, cheap and healthy dinner!
The weather sure has turned in New York. I can still feel the summer heat of a few days ago, when I constantly had my A/C on and couldn’t step outside without breaking into a sweat. And now here I am, cuddled up in bed with a few blankets, listening to the rain fall, and craving some comfort food! Well, ok, to be exact, I was craving my comfort food earlier this evening which then in turn inspired my dinner, i.e. the recipe I am about to post. I think what really made this comfort food for me was the vast amount of mushrooms I used – but it was so worth it. This sauce works best with any type of thicker pasta (so penne, fusilli, bowties… pretty much anything that isn’t long and thing). It’s low effort, fairly healthy and just a great weeknight recipe (if I may say so myself)!
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 red onion, chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 hand-full (or more!) of spinach (remember, it cooks down like crazy)
1/3 cup white wine
salt, pepper to taste
optional: red pepper flakes, basil
Heat up some olive oil (ca. 1 tsp) in a large pan (in the meantime, start boiling your pasta water). Once hot (you can test it by sprinkling water into the oil), add the mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Remove the mushrooms, store in a bowl and, if the pan is dry, add more olive oil to it. Once hot again, add the red onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Pour in the white wine, add the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and reintroduce the mushrooms. Turn the heat to low, add the spinach and cover for about 5 minutes (during this time, it would be good to start cooking your pasta). Remove lid, stir and let simmer until the sauce has reached its desired consistency. If desired, add in some basil. Once your pasta has cooked, mix everything together and serve right away!!
I hope this quick and easy recipe inspired a few of my readers – I for one am so glad it’s finally cooling down enough that I can start cooking and baking on the regular again!
I just got back from a college reunion and my diet did not do well. Back in New York, I am now starting a month-long no added-sugar diet and it’s really bringing out my creative cooking side. Well, at least I like to tell myself that.
One of the recipes I will be cooking for sure is my turkey bolognese. I made it with Phil and he immediately fell in love with the recipe! We cheated a bit with the no-dairy part and added sheep’s feta cheese before serving it, but this is in no way required. It still tastes absolutely amazing, with the key ingredient being carrots (yes! carrots! they actually take away the acidity usually found in tomato sauces, so no sugar is necessary). If you want a cheesy flavor, sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top and it will be almost like you’re eating spaghetti with Parmesan!
Ingredients (serves two hungry people):
1 lbs of ground turkey
~10 cheery tomatoes, sliced
1 carrot, grated
t tbsp olive oil
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp chili
salt, pepper to taste
1 large zucchini
Heat up the oil in a large pan (I used a wok).
Fry the onions for about a minute, then add the garlic and carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes at medium heat.
Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Remove the veggies from the pan, add the spices.
Add the turkey to the pan. Sprinkle salt on the meat. Cook until no longer pink.
Add the veggies to the turkey in the pan.
Add the canned tomatoes and bay leaf and let simmer on low heat until desired consistency is reached.
While the sauce is thickening, wash the zucchini and spiralize it (alternatively, you can buy pre-packaged zoodles). You can either eat the zucchini noodles raw or quickly heat them up in a pan.
Remove the bay leaf and pour the sauce over the noodles. Serve with any extras you want!
What do you do when you’re sick on Cinco de Mayo but still really want tacos? Yup, make your own the next day!
I was craving carnitas and have been meaning to make a fall-off-the-bone pork shoulder in my slow cooker for a while. Unfortunately, the smallest pork shoulder I could find was over 4 lbs, so my boyfriend and I decided to invite some friends over. The pressure for me to make the perfect dinner was on since I suddenly had 6 additional mouths to feed!
Luckily, after six hours of waiting, the pulled pork turned out juicy and perfectly spiced, and I’m super excited to share if with you guys! The recipe was mainly inspired by Recipe Tin Eats’ Carnitas, so head over to her blog for any substitutions and adjustments.
Ingredients (for a 4.5 lbs pork shoulder, bone included):
4.5 lbs pork shoulder
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2.25 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
juice from 6 limes (should be about 3/4 cup)
2 tsp chili
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
Wash and dry the pork shoulder.
Rub in the salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.
Combine the chili, oregano, cumin and olive juice and rub all over the pork shoulder.
Place the shoulder fat side up and pour over the chopped onion, garlic, and lime juice.
Cook on high for about 9 hours, or on low for 6 hours (which I did and it turned out tremendously).
Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred with two forks (it should be so juicy that it just falls off the bone).
Add some of the juice that’s still in the slow cooker (and has some of the fat in it) to a pan and heat up. Once the juice sizzles, add some of the pulled pork and brown it.
Repeat until all the pork has been seared.
I served the carnitas with corn taco shells, avocado and Spanish rice. The pork is so juicy and flavorful that I didn’t need anything else! And since most of the process is passive in the slow cooker, this is not only a super tasty, but also a super easy recipe!
Need a quick and easy side for your dinner tonight? Look no further and make these super tasty potatoes!
1 small bag of small fingerling potatoes
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash the potatoes. Put into large bowl and pour oil over the potatoes. Add the rosemary, thyme and salt, and toss well. Grease a baking pan and add the potatoes (face down) to the pan. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy!
So it seems like my new update rate is once a month… Hey, at least I made it before April!
A couple of days ago it was date night and we decided to make some turkey burgers (I’m trying to not eat beef… Cowspiracy anybody? Seriously though, that movie scared me shitless). We are also getting our beach bodies ready, so we wanted to have a somewhat healthy alternative to fries. In the end, I was just reminded of how well turkey burgers work with sweet potato fries!!
The turkey burgers were inspired by this NYTimes recipe. Even though it says the recipe is for 4 people, the two of use manage to eat it all up (so much for the beach bodies…). We also served the sweet potato fries with cholula – I really love the combination of sweet and spicy!
My boyfriend kept on reminding me to take pictures, but I only got the uncooked foods. My apologies!
1 lb ground turkey
1 small red onion
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
oil for frying
Cut half of the red onion into small pieces (keep the other half as a topping). Mix with the turkey, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and once it’s hot (you can drop some water into the pan and see if it sizzles), form the turkey mix into patties (we made 2 large and two mini ones) and cook the patties for approx. 5 minutes on each side.
While the patties are cooking, slice the remaining onion into rings, cut the avocado and tomato into thin slices, and toast the buns if desired. Serve the burgers with the onion, tomato, avocado and lettuce (we put half an avocado on each burger). Add any other condiments you’d like (a spicy mayo would work really well)!
Sweet Potato Fries
1 small sweet potato per person
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar and cinnamon mix per sweet potato
Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut the sweet potatoes into slices (imagine fries) and toss them in a bowl with the oil (I would recommend canola oil). Add the sugar and cinnamon mix, as well as the salt to the sweet potatoes. Toss again and then spread out on baking sheets. Bake for approx. 15 minutes and then flip the fries. Bake for another 10-15 minutes and serve!
Happy 2017 everyone! I may be a bit late to the game, but I am sure people are still trying to eat ~healthy~ post holidays. I sure am trying (not saying I am succeeding, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?)
A friend of mine (whom I hadn’t seen in ages!) came over tonight to cook dinner together and really wanted to try this Buzzfeed recipe. I am not the biggest fan of bell peppers and we forgot to buy lime juice, but I think our tweaked recipe turned out amazing. It was beautiful, tasted wonderful, and was super healthy! The original recipe says it serves 4, but my boyfriend, friend and me cleaned it all up because it was so yummy.
1 butternut squash, cut into pieces
1 large carrot, cut into slices
1/2 lbs (about 250 grams) brussel sprouts, halved
dried oregano, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
1 bag of spinach
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, mix the squash, carrot, brussel sprouts, olive oil and spices. Mix well and pour onto a baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 40 minutes. Once down, let the vegetables cool for a few minutes and spread over a bed of spinach.
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
Blend all of the dressing ingredients in a mixer (I used my Nutribullet) and and pour over the veggies and spinach. Enjoy!