Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Roasted Acorn Curry Soup (dairy free)


I had an acorn squash sitting on my counter and thought it would be fun to make into soup for these cool nights we have been having. It was a wonderful creamy soup. That was enjoyed by all.

Ingredients

2 acorn squash washed
3 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 T olive oil
1 onion sliced
3 scallion chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 granny smith apple peeled chopped and cored *optional
3 C milk (I used cashew milk)
1/2 C canned coconut milk
1 1/2 C water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Directions  Heat oven to 350  Serves 4

1.  Cut a slit in the squashes, and place on cookie sheet. Place in oven and cook until you can cut it up easily. (For a faster cooking time you could do this part in the microwave until soft.)
2. Take squash out of oven and cut into pieces take out the seeds, and drizzle with oil and salt. Cook until nice and tender. Then set aside
3. In a large pot heat up the oil on medium heat and stir in onions and scallions saute for a couple minutes. Optional add apple cut up and cook until softened with the vegetables.
4. Stir in the garlic and continue to saute.   Cook until it turns a light golden color and is soft.
5. With a wire whisk slowly stir in milk, coconut milk, water, salt, curry, thyme, nutmeg, and pepper. Let cook together a couple minutes.
6. Peel off the skin off the squash and put the pieces into the soup and stir and let cook together a couple minutes.
7. Pour half of the mixture into the blender and blend until smooth. Continue the same process with the other half of the soup.
8. Return back to the pot and add additional salt and pepper and spices as desired.
9. Serve warm. I garnished with some pumpkin seeds and drizzled on some coconut milk.




Monday, November 24, 2014

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bites (no added sugar)


These are inspired after eating the chocolate cherry Kind Bars. They are so expensive to buy and so I thought it would be fun to make my own healthy version of them. No added sugar either. You make them ahead and have them when ever you want them for a lot less money. Mission accomplished! Great little healthy snack. 

Ingredients

3/4  C dark chocolate chips
1 T coconut oil
1 C dried fruit (I used  1/2 C cherries and  1/2 C pomegranates) 
2 T coconut oil
5 T chia *optional
1 C cashews unsalted
1 C almonds unsalted
1/4 C dark chocolate chips

Directions

1. In a small bowl place chips and oil. Put in microwave for 1 minute and then stir. Then put back in for 1 min. Stir again, and place in fridge to thicken a little. 
2. In blender pour all of the rest of the ingredients. pulse and stir. I left the nuts a little chunky. 
3. Scoop and roll into balls. 
4. Dip into chocolate and place on greased surface or non stick surface. 
5. Place in fridge to harden. 
6. Store in airtight container. Enjoy!




Friday, November 21, 2014

Easy Crock Pot Turkey for Thanksgiving




Turkey is the main centerpiece of any Thanksgiving dinner. But sometimes you don't need a whole turkey for your group. And sometimes it's nice to have some extra oven space for the rolls and yams you are also trying to cook at the same time. This is an easy way to fix turkey, and it makes it nice and tender. We love it! I have made it this way several times with different variations. You can be creative and use your favorite variety of spices if you'd like.


Ingredients

Turkey breast (5-7 lbs depending on your crock pot size)
1 1/4 C water
2 T honey
1 T orange zest
juice from 1 orange (I have used orange juice from a can too)
1 T salt
1 T poultry seasoning
1 T thyme
1 T basil


Directions

1. Thaw out the turkey breast. (Mine was still frozen in the middle when I started the cooking process.)

2. Pour the water in a large crock pot and set it on high.

3. You could mix the spices and do a rub, but I ended up just pouring the spices, juice, and honey on top.

4. Cover the turkey with a piece of foil to insulate it--just over the top. Make sure the lid is on tight. Do not open the lid once you shut it. Each time you lift the lid, it lets a lot of heat out.

5. Cook the turkey on high for about 5 hours. (It was 7lbs,) It was perfect. I put a thermometer in it, and it was at 185 degrees. It should be at least 165. The meat usually just falls off the bone and is very tender. When we have leftovers, it makes great sandwiches too.

Note: I have also started this process at night and had it cook all night on low. Then just put it on warm once it is all cooked until ready to serve.
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chocolate Chip Chunk Bars

It is always a winner to make chocolate chip bars. They are faster than cookies and taste great. I had fun adding chia to these for added protein. Great snack for anytime of the day. Could be a great breakfast too. 

Ingredients
3/4 C coconut oil
3/4 C honey
2 eggs
1/3 C chia *Optional
1 tsp vanilla
2 C oatmeal
1 C whole grain flour ( I used kamut)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips
Directions
1. In a bowl Beat together oil and honey. The beat in each egg one at a time. 
2. Stir in the chia and vanilla.
3. Stir in oatmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. Fold in chocolate chips. 
4. Scoop into a 9x9 pan. Spread until all smooth. 
5. Place in heated oven and bake about 25-30 min. 
6. Take out of oven and cool and cut into squares. 





Monday, November 17, 2014

Red Roasted Pepper Hummus


My family scraped the bowl clean yesterday when we had this. It was so good. My sweet daughter made this. It tasted so good. I never thought my family would get so excited about hummus. We will be making this again. It had such a great flavor.

Ingredients

2 red peppers cut up and deseeded
5 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 C tahini
2 garlic cloves minced
2 T olive oil
3/4 tsp cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of salt or salt to taste
3 T chia* optional Great added protein
1 T dried onions
1 15oz can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed

Directions   Heat oven to broil

1. Place peppers skin side up on a cookie sheet. Broil 5 to 10 min until the skin is slightly charred. Watch closely.
2. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 min. When they have cooled down and are ready to handle.
3. Uncover bowl and peel off the skin. Then chop up the peppers
4. In a food processor or blender pulse lemon juice and tahini. Pulse for about 30 seconds to get it nice and creamy.
5. Add garlic, oil, cumin, cayenne, salt, chia and onions, blend and scrape until all creamy.
6. Pour in have the beans and blend until smooth and then add the remaining beans and blend until smooth.
7. Then add the peppers and blend until smooth.
8. Serve right away with chips, vegetables, etc...
9. Store in airtight container in the fridge. Can last up to a week.




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Cheese Soup





This soup was so creamy and good. I adapted another version of it to make it healthier. It had great flavor and my family loved. I sometimes am not sure I love cauliflower, but I really loved this. I have made this twice in one week. This is my new favorite soup.

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower chopped in bite size pieces
3 T olive oil
salt and ground pepper
3 T olive oil
1 onion chopped up
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 cups milk
1 1/2 C water
1/2 C canned coconut milk
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper *optional
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp honey
2 oz of sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
1 oz of parmesan cheese shredded

Directions Heat oven to 425 Serves 4

1. Place cauliflower on cookie sheet drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Toss it so it is all covered with oil. Place pan in oven and cook about 30 min until light golden. Set aside.
2. Place a large pot on the stove on medium heat. Pour in oil  and then chopped onions and garlic. Cook until nicely softened.
3. With a wire whisk stir in the milk, water, coconut milk, red pepper, parsley, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, and honey. Stirring constantly let the mixture come to a boil. Turn down the heat to low.
4. Toss in the cauliflower and stir it in.
5. Pour mixture into blender (I used a blendtec) and blend until all smooth. It took a couple minutes.
6. Pour back into pot. Stir in cheese until melted.
7. Serve into bowls. Top with additional cheese or a sprinkle of parsley and crushed pepper if desired.
Enjoy!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Crustless Banana Cream Pie (Healthy Version)




My families favorite pie is banana cream pie. This is a great way to enjoy the flavor without the crust.  Which is a great way to cut down the calories and still enjoy the great taste. I am not a big fan of pie crust so this is a great choice. Enjoy!


Ingredients 

4 Tbsp. sugar or honey
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
2 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. butter 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can of coconut milk (refrigerated overnight or up to 6 hours)
1-2 T desired sweetener (I used honey)
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 chopped up bananas

Directions  serves 4-5

1. Stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in small saucepan. Gradually add milk. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until mixture thickens and becomes bubbly. Lower heat and cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. 
2. Beat egg yolks gently. Take a small amount of cooked mixture and stir it into egg yolks to temper egg. This will prevent eggs from becoming scrambled in your pudding. Return egg yolk to the mixture, stirring constantly. Bring to a slow boil. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
3. 
Cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put cut bananas in the bottom of the dishes. Transfer pudding into dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate for an least 1 hour.

To make coconut cream


1. Take can of milk out of the fridge. Scoop out into a bowl only the thickened part. Do not get any of the liquid at the bottom. (Use the liquid at the bottom for smoothies or just drink it.)
2. Beat with a hand mixer until it forms soft peaks. Then fold in the sweetener honey and vanilla. Cover with plastic. Place in the fridge. 
3. Scoop cream on to chilled pudding right before serving. . Place additional cut up bananas on top. Serve.
3. The cream will stay good about a week in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

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