Archive for November, 2013

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve been itching to try some new “fall” recipes, but I just haven’t had a lot of time! I’m headed out to my parents’ tomorrow, so I thought I’d make this healthy, hearty soup and try it out on them. It’s surprisingly easy to make and full of veggies.

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Butternut Squash Soup

1/2 stick butter
1 large butternut squash
6-8 carrots
1 large sweet onion
60 oz. chicken broth
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. Half and half

Melt butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large stock pot. Cube squash, shred carrots and dice onion; add to pot and sauté for a minute or two. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer veggies for about 45 minutes or until they’re very soft. Using the food processor, process this mixture in batches until it’s all smooth. Put back in the pot over low heat and add pepper, nutmeg and half and half. Mix and simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with kale chips.

Recipe makes about 12 servings. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti (squash) with Chicken-spinach Meatballs

I will admit, with all of the excitement in my life over the past month, I’ve fallen off the Paleo wagon (and gained back my five pounds lost). This week I’m trying to settle into a routine and get back to a healthier eating place – here’s a great, satisfying recipe that resembles pasta with meatballs, but is much more veggie-based.

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1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bunch baby spinach
1 egg
4 tbsp. gluten-free bread crumbs
2 tbsp. Italian herb blend
2 spaghetti squash
1 jar prepared marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 450. Use a knife to cut slits in the squash, then place on a baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes, remove and let cool until you can handle. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Chop spinach in food processor and place in a large bowl. Place chicken in food processor and pulse until a mince is created – about 20 pulses. Add chicken, egg, spices and breadcrumbs to bowl. Using your hands, combine all ingredients. Form meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Cut squash in half the long way and remove seeds. Using a fork, scrape out meat of squash, which will look like spaghetti. Heat marinara sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Top spaghetti squash with marinara and meatballs.

Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Oh tika tika. It’s been way too long since I’ve written – lots going on with this home cook, including leaving my long-term job to start a small business. So now that I’ve had a week to let it sink in, get sick, sleep A LOT and get a tiny start on a few projects, I’m ready to get back to the routine and back to cooking.

In need of some somewhat healthy comfort food, I pulled out my favorite Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. I have a lovely little cookbook made by my former housemate, Amanda Younessian. This girl is one of the healthiest, smartest chics I know, and I always think of her when I cook this recipe. I’ve made a few amendments to the original recipe (substituting coconut milk for heavy cream for instance) – don’t be scared off by the list of ingredients – this is worth the effort!

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Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken:
1 c. Greek yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. sea salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Sauce:
1 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 small white onion
2 tsp. ground cumin
4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. sea salt
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. Coconut milk
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Rice:
1 c. Jasmine white rice
2 c. Coconut milk
Dash of salt

In a medium bowl combine yogurt, lemon juice and spices listed under “chicken.” Stir in chicken pieces and let marinade in the fridge for at least an hour – overnight if you can. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spread marinaded chicken on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through.

While chicken is in oven, put the rice, milk and salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic, jalapeño and onion for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt; add tomato sauce and coconut milk. Simmer on low heat 10 minutes. Add chicken and cilantro and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Top rice with chicken mixture and enjoy! Makes a great leftover lunch, too.

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