Italian Sausage and Apple Stuffing

stuffing

There are lots of ways to make a great stuffing for the holidays and this one uses hot Italian sausage and granny smith apples to kick things up a notch.  The combination of the softened tart apples and spicy crumbled sausage was so delicious!  Instead of leaving the bread out over night or using a toaster the bread cubes are baked in the oven until brown and slightly crispy.  Everything is combined in a bowl and then baked in the oven once more.  So easy and a great side dish for the holidays! Continue Reading →

Carrot Soup with Roasted Chickpeas and Lemon Tahini

Carrot Soup with Roasted Chickpeas and Lemon Tahini

It’s been a little colder the last few weeks so I thought a warm bowl of soup would be a nice thing to come home to.  After all the eating from Thanksgiving I settled on a healthy and hearty soup made from carrots and garnished with chickpeas and tahini.  I’m not usually a fan of pureed soups but this one caught my eye because of all the tasty garnishes on top.  I was already a big fan of Baked Chickpeas so I was excited to try them out in a soup.  I was surprised at how well all the ingredients came together.  I loved the earthy flavor of the carrot soup with the tangy tahini and crispy chickpeas.  I served the soup with a few slices of pita bread which also served as an edible spoon!

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Maple Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

Maple Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

Every year as Thanksgiving gets closer I look forward to trying out new ways to serve cranberry sauce. This year I chose a cranberry sauce flavored with cinnamon and maple syrup. I also added a little brown sugar instead of white sugar to give it a little something different. The sauce turned out excellent and the flavors of maple and cinnamon were delicious together! I served this alongside my Thanksgiving staple, Gingered Cranberry Sauce, so I got a chance to compare and contrast. I liked both a lot and they each complimented the turkey perfectly.

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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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Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

Hopefully I won’t sound too dramatic by saying there’s something a little magical about chicken stock. To me, taking leftover bones and inedible parts and transforming them into a healthy and flavorful broth is kind of amazing. It’s also an easy way to improve the flavor of any recipe that requires chicken stock. Not only does it taste amazing, it has been shown to have a number of health benefits. It turns out your mother was right serving you chicken soup when you were sick because studies have shown that chicken broth does help boost the immune system. It is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus which promote teeth and bone health. Broth is also high in collagen which helps promote hair, skin, nails and joint health. It is high in the amino acids proline and glycine which assist in ligament and connective tissue health. So I don’t think I’m being too hyperbolic in saying this stuff might be magical. If anyone needs to go through a medical procedure like surgery I highly recommend making a batch and freezing it in portions for when you need it. For added nutrients I recommend using a mineral rich sea salt like Celtic or Himalayan. I also add a teaspoon of turmeric which aids in controlling inflammation. I like to make stock in bulk so I seal a few jars in the refrigerator and freeze the rest in bags.

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones

Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones

These scones are a perfect weekend breakfast food that are quick and easy to whip up. The key to making perfect scones is to not over mix the dough. The little chunks of butter create pockets in the dough which results in a fluffier scone. I used dark chocolate chunks and unsweetened dried cherries which paired together perfectly. The scones turned out crusty on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside. Even though the scones have chocolate and dried fruit in them they weren’t especially sweet. They make for a great grab-and-go breakfast and even a lazy Sunday morning one too!
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Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Smokey Croutons and Greek Yogurt

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Smokey Croutons and Greek Yogurt

What better way to enjoy the Fall weather than with a warm bowl of sweet potato soup? A lot of sweet potato recipes go on the sweet side but this recipe heads in the savory direction. There’s no added sugar or sweeteners which is refreshing because sweet potatoes are sweet (duh) as it is! All you need is some spicy flavors to contrast with the potato’s flavor. The soup is flavored with turmeric and smoked paprika, along with the smokey croutons and creamy greek yogurt. I really liked the contrast between the crunchy croutons and the soup. I garnished the soup with greek yogurt and cilantro. Lime and honey are also optional garnishes. I will definitely be making this a lot on the colder days this season!

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Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

muffin

For the last few weeks I have been making my own coconut milk. One of the benefits of making coconut milk is having your own coconut flour at the end of the process! This site provides a good how-to for home-made coconut milk/flour. You really can’t go wrong with home-made coconut milk since the flavor tastes much better than canned.  I decided to use these ingredients in a filling breakfast recipe and the first thing I thought of was muffins. These muffins are made almost entirely out of coconut, banana and chocolate, no all purpose flour or sugar needed.  They make a great breakfast muffin and will allow you to eat chocolate for breakfast guilt free!

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Homemade Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop-Tarts

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Happy Fall everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I wanted to kick off October with this great recipe for homemade pop-tarts! This recipe turned out to be surprisingly easy and not as labor intensive as I thought it would be.  Although it obviously is more labor intensive than just popping a pop-tart in the toaster, the rewards for home made can’t be beat! The pastry is flaky and buttery, just like a pie crust, which really kicked these up a notch in deliciousness. The inside is a simple mixture of cinnamon and sugar but once baked in the oven it transforms into a warm, soft filling. Once you have this recipe there’s no need to ever get store bought again! Fruit fillings, nutella/chocolate, and even savory cheese fillings can be substituted for the cinnamon sugar.*  The possibilities for these tarts are pretty much endless!

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Black Bean Burger with Caramelized Onions and Chipotle Mayo

Black Bean Burger with Caramelized Onions and Avocado

Summer is almost over but I am resisting that fact by making a bunch of summery food. These black bean burgers are totally loaded with lots of add-ons: mashed avocado, chipotle mayo, tomato, melted cheddar, and crispy caramelized onions. The actual burger is mixed with sweet corn, rolled oats and spices. It’s super filling and loaded with protein. The burgers are a little bit delicate and they do best cooked over a hot saute pan. Everything came together really well and it turned out super tasty! You can always add whatever fixins you want. Some other options would be sprouts, feta cheese, sauteed mushrooms, pickles and lettuce.
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