Dinner · For Entertaining · Holiday · Hot · Lunch · Pasta · Recipe · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

 

The perfect fall dish, and one that was incredibly filling! I am obsessed with mac and cheese of all kinds, and felt so good about eating this since its not too heavy. After a long day of working outdoors this weekend, we were starving and this was the perfect dish to end the day with.

I also stocked up on butternut squash, so I used half for this recipe and froze the other half…. which I will probably use later for the same recipe. You can use cashew cream or regular cream, and if you want to add the cheese, use a good sharp cheddar to balance with the sweetness of the squash. Yum!

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

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4 cups butternut squash (about 1.5 lbs) peeled and seeded.
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup cashew cream, or light cream (optional)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
1 lb pasta – I used cavatappi
1 cups bread crumbs, for topping

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In a large sauce pan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 10 minutes on low heat. Add the butternut squash, carrots, mustard powder, turmeric, and onion powder, and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and break apart. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Slowly stir in the cashew cream and cheese if using.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In another large pot, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente – stop about 2 minutes before its done. Drain the pasta, and add it to the pot with the butternut squash sauce. Stir until the pasta is completely coated in the sauce.

In a large greased baking dish, pour the pasta and butternut squash sauce into the dish, and top with breadcrumbs. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are brown and lightly toasted. Serve hot, and save leftovers for a quick lunch or reheat later during the week!

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Dinner · Favorite · Hot · Lunch · Recipe · Soup · Vegan · Vegetarian

Pappa Al Pomodoro – Italian Tomato and Bread Soup

Another hit on the homestead, we love this soup!! It’s a bit of a riff on our favorite Easy 5 Ingredient Tomato Sauce, which we make weekly (not even kidding) on top of butternut squash or mushroom ravioli.

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The whole flavor of this soup depends on the quality of tomatoes – use San Marzano tomatoes! Yes, they can be 3 times more expensive than regular canned tomatoes, but it truly makes all the difference. Since tomatoes are the star of the soup, get the best.

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Pappa Al Pomodoro – Italian Tomato and Bread Soup

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1/4 cup olive oil
2 yellow onions, medium, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, diced
3 cups of cubed (1 inch) thick crusty bread
2 large (28 oz) cans of San Marzano tomatoes
1 cup fresh spinach
4 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 cup good white wine
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienne
1 tsp dried basil
Red pepper flakes, a pinch
Salt and Pepper to taste

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In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the onion, garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add the carrots and celery, and sauté for 10 more minutes. Add the cubed bread to the pot, and sauté for an additional 5 minutes until bread begins to brown.

 

In a food processor or blender, add the whole tomatoes, and pulse a few times until they are chunky but slightly blended. Add the tomatoes, spinach, vegetable stock, white wine and remainder of spices to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Whisk the soup roughly for a few minutes (or pulse with an immersion blender for a few seconds) and enjoy with Homemade Herbed Croutons!  Add a drizzle of olive oil if you’re living dangerously.

 

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Gluten Free · Hot · Lunch · Recipe · Sides · Soup · Vegan · Vegetarian

Simple Corn Chowder Recipe

We had a ton of leftover corn on the cob after our Labor Day party (mostly because with all the other dishes we were BBQing, we forgot about it in the fridge). I shucked and de-cobbed the corn kernels, bagged them, and decided to freeze them for later. Come fall, the corn made a perfect corn chowder (or Chowdahhh because this is New England)! This was super easy and a pretty low maintenance soup, which turned out great! It was super creamy and flavorful, and I made some amazing Homemade Herbed Croutons for the top.

Simple Corn Chowdah

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil (for sauteeing)
2 yellow onions
6 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery
4 cups of diced potatoes
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 cups of veggie stock or broth
8 cups of corn, fresh
2 cups of cream (or cashew cream)
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp dried rosemary
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

In a large stock pot, sauté the onion, garlic, and celery in a bit of olive oil until they are translucent. Add the salt, pepper, flour, and turmeric, and sauté for 3 more minutes.
Add the veggie stock and the potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add in the corn, thyme, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the thyme and the cream.

At this point, texture is up to you – I used an immersion blender to thicken the soup a bit, but still kept it mostly chunky. You can puree the whole thing, or keep it unblended.

Favorite · Hot · Lunch · Recipe · Sides · Soup · Vegan · Vegetarian

The BEST Vegan Split Pea Soup

This soup is so perfect for a fall day, and super low-maintenance to make on an afternoon off. Also, this makes a lot of soup (8 servings or so) so there is plenty to re-heat for dinner during the week or pack for lunch.

The BEST Vegan Split Pea Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients

1lb split peas (washed and sorted)
4 large carrots, sliced
5 large celery stalks
1 vidalia Onion
12 cups vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup pearled barley
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 large potatoes, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp Olive Oil, divided
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
Salt to taste

Directions

In a large stock pot, heat 1 tsp olive oil and begin to sauté the onion on low heat. After 5 minutes add the celery and carrot, and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the vegetable stock, split peas, barley, potatoes, and the bay leaves, and the pinch of cayenne. Cook on low heat for 1 hour. After the hour, add the frozen peas and dried basil, and continue to cook on low for another hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving.

When you’re ready to dish up, drizzle a bit of olive oil on the top of each bowl and lots of fresh black pepper, and enjoy!

Baked Goods · Breads · Breakfast · Dessert · For Entertaining · Recipe · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Simple Vegan Pumpkin Bread

This was fantastic, and super quick to put together… no fancy machinery needed (aka I don’t have a mixer, so happy to find any recipe that is perfect without it)! The flax holds everything together, no egg needed!

Simple Vegan Pumpkin Bread
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups flour (I used King Arthur’s white whole wheat)
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground flax meal
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup coconut or vegetable oil
1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
Pumpkin seeds for the the top (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients: the flour, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and the salt.
In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients: oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla, and grated ginger.
Add the wet mixture into the dry, along with the pumpkin puree. Mix well until you get a soft, spongy dough. Taste batter and add more sweetness or spice if desired.

Grease a loaf or bread pan, and pour in the batter. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on the top if you have them. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Great to eat warm or cold! I sliced mine into squares for easy breakfast on the go! Thoroughly enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike!

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Cold · Dressing · Family Recipes · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Family Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Salad

The last time my family was in town, I hounded my dad for any family recipes he could remember…. specifically this one! We had a few great recipes for cucumbers growing up (Like THIS Recipe for a Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad). He just dictated the below recipe to me, but I tested and it was great! I added the sliced onion to the recipe, because I remember having it that way growing up and it gives the dish a great flavor.

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Family Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Salad
Prep Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

3 cucumbers, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of seasoning salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
1 cup sour cream (or cashew cream)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons of fresh dill
1 tbsp of sugar

Directions

Peel the cucumbers, slice thinly, and soak in salted water (1 tsp of salt) for an hour in the fridge.

Drain in a colander and dry the cucs with a towel so all water has been removed. I dried them on a rack with a layer of paper towels. Don’t skip this step, or else the cucumbers will have too much water and the salad won’t be as crisp!

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Once dry, add the cucs in the largest mixing bowl you have. Seriously, the largest, you will need the room to mix. Thinly slice an onion until you have large ribbons. Mix with all ingredients together in the bowl, and chill for 2 hours in the fridge before serving.

For a non-dairy version, substitute the sour cream for cashew cream. Soak 1/4 cup cashews in 3/4 cup water for at least 2 hours and blend!

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Breakfast · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Recipe · Sides · Vegetarian

Perfect Hardboiled Eggs – Every Time!

Avoid the frustration of difficult-to-peel eggs with this simple recipe. I swear by this method of cooking eggs, and they always come out wonderfully! Perfectly cooked, easy to peel, and no bits of shell stuck to the egg.

What You Will Need

A very large cooking pot
Water (enough to cover the eggs)
A dozen eggs

Method

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, gently place the eggs in the water (I use a large slotted spoon to lower them in the pot). Make sure the eggs are in a single layer in the pot… they shouldn’t be stacked. And the boiling water should come up over the egg.

Boil for exactly 11 minutes, no more and no less!

Once the 11 minutes are up, bring the pot over to the sink, drain some of the hot water out, and run cold tap water over the eggs. Let the eggs sit in the water for a few minutes until they start to cool all the way through.

You can either peel them now under the cold water, or put them directly in the fridge and peel later. Either way, you eggs with come out perfectly. Every. Single. Time.