Moroccan Chicken Soup with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemons

Moroccan Chicken Soup with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemons

This recipe combines the heartiness of classic chicken vegetable soup with the flavors of roasted Moroccan chicken and curry flavors. For the freshest and most nutritious soup I use homemade chicken stock. Preserved lemons might be hard to find at your average grocery store which is why I just make them ahead of time. I had also found that roasting a chicken in the oven with spices and olive oil allows for the most tender, shredded meat for the soup. If you don’t have any chicken stock on hand, you can use the bones from the chicken and make your own. If you already have some ready, that’s great, because you can then freeze the bones and have it ready to go for next time! The recipe uses a whole butternut squash, carrots, red potatoes and chickpeas for heartiness and flavor. A few tablespoons of spicy Moroccan Harissa paste and a curry spice blend is all that it needs to take this soup to the next level! I was very happy with the results and will be incorporating it into my weekly meals! The recipe yields a lot of soup so it makes a perfect weekday dinner.
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Baked Butternut Squash Chips with Sage

If I were to have any season all year I would have it be Fall.  Unfortunately, it is now January (my least favorite month) and there’s no way to bring fall back outside.  However, I can make food that reminds me of my favorite season and what could recall that season better than butternut squash?  Butternut squash is a tasty snack when it is sliced very thin and roasted until just browned and crispy.  The slices of squash are quickly boiled, patted dry and tossed with olive oil and sage in a bowl.  Then they are baked in the oven for about 20 minutes, so this is a great recipe to prepare if you’re short on time for dinner.

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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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Thanksgiving Side Dishes and Mains

Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes and main courses. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to get creative with a lot of different dishes!

Main Courses:

Ginger and Honey Mustard Glazed Ham

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast


Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Dil

Garlic Mashed Potatoes








Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gruyere, and Sage








Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

Gingered Cranberry Sauce








Garlic and Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprout

Roasted Beets


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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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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Achiote Roasted Butternut Squash Tacos

Who knew butternut squash could be so versatile? As a kid, I remember only having it around Thanksgiving and the holidays. It turns out butternut squash is great on both pizza and tacos. The squash is rubbed with ground annatto/achiote seeds, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Then it’s roasted in the oven until soft. For the toppings, I caramelized an onion with brown sugar and smoked paprika.  The tacos were sweet and spicy and so good! I added a tablespoon of the black bean salsa along with some queso fresco for garnish.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Pancetta and Balsamic Caramelized Onions

Butternut squash is a food that can be surprisingly versatile. So far I have enjoyed it in a variety of recipes but this pizza is by far one of the best. The squash is coated in olive oil, sage and rosemary and baked until soft. The onions sauteed in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar provide a nice balance of sweet and tart. Those flavors work really well with the squash and smoky pancetta.  As for the cheese, I used Mozzarella but I would guess that Fontina cheese would be fine too.  I also scooped some of the seeds out of the squash to roast in the oven which I used as a final topping. They taste just like pumpkin seeds and it was a really nice last minute addition on the pizza.  I wouldn’t use a lot of salt on this recipe as the pancetta is naturally on the salty side and roasting the seeds with salt provides enough flavor for the rest of the pizza.  The result was a great pizza with flavors that complimented each other really well.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gruyere, and Sage

Butternut squash for me is a staple during the fall and winter, especially during holidays like Thanksgiving.  I decided to try this recipe for butternut squash over Thanksgiving and I was not disappointed.  The squash is roasted and tossed with caramelized onions, sage, and melted gruyere cheese.  The squash added a nice pop of color on the plate and the melted gruyere was delicious with the sage and butternut squash. It takes a long time for the squash to roast in the oven but it ended up being well worth it.

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