Category Archives: Winter Recipes

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Acorn Squash and White Beans

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Acorn Squash and White Beans

Spring is around the corner but in many places winter is still raging. This soup is loaded with healthy veggies but is still hearty enough to combat the winter chills. For the stock I used my go to recipe for Homemade Stock. You can either use what you have pre-made or make it for the soup–either way works fine and instructions will follow. I packed this recipe with tons of veggies such as acorn squash, spinach, corn, peas, carrots and cabbage. The recipe is surprisingly hearty and flavorful. It has been one of my favorite go-to winter soup recipes over the past few weeks!
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Leftover Hambone and White Bean Soup

hambone soup

If you have a leftover ham bone from a spiral cut ham sitting in your freezer you can make this delicious soup! This recipe is loaded with healthy vegetables and beans. I was surprised at how fast the stock came together. It only took about an hour of simmering for it be fragrant and full of good flavor. I decided to use a trick for it that’s often used when cooking stock for Vietnamese Pho: adding whole spices like allspice and cloves to enhance flavor. It worked out quite nicely and the rest of the soup came together in a flash. It was a great way to use up those leftovers from dinner and is a perfect soup for cold February weather.
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Turkey Sausage Soup with White Beans and Wild Rice

Turkey Sausage Soup with White Beans and Wild Rice

After Thanksgiving the food fest continues with new ways to make tasty leftovers! This recipe uses sausage but can be substituted for leftover turkey instead. It’s a perfect comfort food recipe as the days get colder and the nights get longer.  It didn’t take long to throw together either! The beans, wild rice and corn made it a very hearty meal.  I had never used turkey sausage in soup but it added some really nice flavors. I used a homemade chicken broth instead of store bought which enhanced the flavor of the soup quite a bit.  The rice absorbs a lot of the broth so make sure to have extra on hand to add in later.

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Roasted Winter Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza

This recipe is a perfect and easy pizza for cold winter nights! The roasted vegetables are a mix of red potatoes, butternut squash, onions and carrots baked in the oven until tender. The mozzarella and ricotta go very well with the veggies. The vegetables are seasoned simply with fresh rosemary and garlic. I like to pre-bake the pizza dough crust before adding any of the other ingredients just to ensure that the crust is cooked through and not too soggy. I really liked how all the veggies worked so well together so I will definitely be having this again sometime!

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Classic Beef Chili

I guess I always overlooked beef chili a bit. This is probably because I didn’t care much for ground beef for a long time. Lately I have been enjoying this chili recipe because it is so simple and tasty. It gets points for the amount of ingredients (you can count them on one hand.) That is definitely not the norm for chilies which can require up to 20 ingredients! This chili should be cooked on a heavy bottomed saute pan where it slow cooks for about an hour. I like the taste of grass-fed ground beef so I use it for this recipe.  The amount of hot sauce to add into the chili is really up to personal tastes. I like it on the spicy side so I add approximately 1/4 cup.  I topped the chili with sharp cheddar and it can be served on top of rice or with corn bread.

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Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew with Preserved Lemons


This stew is a great combination of Fall and middle eastern flavors. The recipe brings together shredded chicken, butternut squash, chickpeas, Bulgur wheat, preserved lemons and savory spices.  This combination makes a great dinner on a cold night.  Butternut squash has been a favorite of mine for a while and once again it didn’t disappoint!  Another favorite ingredient of mine is preserved lemon which flavored the stew very nicely.  The bulgur, chickpeas and chicken made the stew extra hearty and delicious! I topped the stew with a little yogurt and lemons slices for garnish.

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Rosemary Potato Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Fontina

This pizza is layered with roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, bacon, and topped with Fontina cheese. The potatoes are tossed with fresh rosemary and olive oil, then roasted in the oven until brown and just crispy.  My technique for making pizza is to pre-bake the pizza dough and broil for several minutes to melt the cheese.  This recipe lends itself well to this technique since all of the toppings are cooked prior to baking.  The rosemary potatoes with the caramelized onions and bacon were an extra delicious trio.  The result was really tasty and ended up being a great Fall recipe.

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Black Bean and Sweet Dumpling Squash Chili

I had never tried making a chili with squash so I was excited to see how this recipe would turn out. But first, let me back up and say that this chili has an interesting back story. Last year, my mom threw some squash seeds in a compost bin. The seeds did not break down as they should have but rather grew to be enormous squash plants over the summer (the vines were 20 ft. long and growing all over the lawn). Letting the vines run wild paid off because they produced gorgeous sweet dumpling squash and I was sent 6 of them in the mail (I’m sure there’s more where that came from). I was so excited to get started since I had never tried sweet dumpling before.

I read up on the squash and it turns out that most recipes just season and roast the squash whole because of their smaller size. They are milder than other squash and taste a bit like sweet corn. I thought preparing it in a chili with beans and corn would work nicely. I started with traditional chili spices like Chipotle in adobo and cumin as well as spices that would compliment the squash like allspice and cinnamon. The chili was so tasty and I was really happy with how it turned out.

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Ethiopian Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry

A few years ago I went to an Ethiopian restaurant and was completely taken with the food. I couldn’t remember all of the curries that I tried but I do remember the bread they served with the main course: injera. I wanted to recreate that meal at home so I set out researching Ethiopian curries. It turns out that the injera is served as the “plate” to place a variety of tasty curries. I settled on this red lentil and yam curry which I thought would go nicely on top of the injera. A spice blend of cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika and allspice flavor the curry. The sweet potato and lentils went together so well and provided an element of sweetness that balanced the spices. It was a really simple dish that tasted great with the injera.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

It probably seems crazy to most Americans to down a hot bowl of soup right now. This soup makes more sense to me because temperatures on the central coast just haven’t risen much at all. Next time it hits lower temperatures this soup would be perfect to enjoy on a cooler day.  Better yet, you could wait until late summer or Fall when the squash actually comes into season.  If you are craving roasted butternut squash like me, there’s no time like the present for a good soup.

I chose to make this soup with a few of the great flavors from Thai cooking–coconut milk, red chili paste, and a mixture of fragrant spices. I roasted the butternut squash first in the oven and threw all the ingredients into a big soup pot to simmer. The soup had a lot of wonderful flavors. I loved the flavor of the roasted squash with the creamy coconut milk, spicy chilies, and thai spices. It was pretty simple to throw together and I couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out! I served it with a side of jasmine rice and ended up mixing a few tablespoons of the rice into the soup.  It turned out to be a great combination!

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