Foodie Friday

Happy Fall Friends! Its been awhile (per usual) but life is chaotic and finding the time to post anything has been a challenge. I can’t say things have been sunshine and roses but I can say I feel like things are getting better.

Its really feeling like fall here which as you know calls for comfort food. Its been hard to get in the mood for hearty dishes with temps. in the 80s but now that the evenings have cooled to the 40s, ITS TIME!!

I whipped up my first real comfort dish of the fall this week which was a whole wheat pasta with chickpeas and rainbow chard. I adapted this from a recipe I watched Giada make on The Food Network & it is one of my favorite vegetarian pasta dishes.

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Crispy Chickpea & Chard Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard (washed, dried, stems & leaves separated)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp capers (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and dried)
  • 1 tbsp pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • 3 tbsp evoo
  • 1 box ww pasta (macaroni, ditalini, etc..)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Recipe:

Place a pot of water (covered) on high heat for pasta. Grab a large pan and put on med/high heat. Fine chop stems, garlic and shallot. Add 1 tbsp evoo to the pan with pepper flakes and after a minute toss in the chickpeas – let them cook for about 10 minutes (until crispy). Add stems, capers, garlic, and shallots to the pan and turn heat to medium. Meanwhile add pasta to boiling water and throw in a decent dash of salt. Once pasta is cooked reserve 3/4 cup cooking water and drain remaining water from pasta. Take 1/4 cup pasta water add it to the pan and toss in the rough chopped chard. As soon as the chard is wilted add pasta, most of the cheese, lemon zest, the remaining evoo, and the remaining pasta water. Allow everything to come together (about 5 minutes), plate, top with remaining cheese, and serve.

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

 

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Seasonal Soup

Happy Hump Day! Nothing spells rainy day comfort food like butternut squash soup! This season is about embracing all that fall has to offer, and today’s homemade butternut squash soup with spicy tofu and rosemary toasted walnuts is no exception!

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I wish I was better at taking pictures during the cooking process (I’m working on it) because I had a lot of fun coming up with this concoction!

I used butter (2tablespoons), onions(half-minced), shallots(one minced), garlic(3 cloves minced), carrots (1 cup shredded), ginger (1 tablespoon grated), white wine (1 cup), stock (5-6 cups), butternut squash(1 1/2 med-large squash peeled, cubed, lightly roasted), seasonings (1tbsp cumin, 1/2 tbsp coriander, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ginger, 1tsp cinnamon), salt, pepper, and 1% milk (3 cups) for the soup.

Starting with the butter, onion, shallot and garlic until they cooked down a little, then adding the carrots, followed by the white wine and seasonings. After the base was well combined, I added the stock and shortly after the squash. I let this simmer on the stove for an hour before blending the mixture in batches until smooth. I then added it to the 3 cups of warm milk on the stove top, let that simmer for about 30 more minutes, and canned the silky soup into 16oz mason jars.

For the tofu, I dried and cubed a block of extra firm tofu, seasoned it similarly (adding a bit of cayenne, chili powder and paprika), and baked @ 400 for 25-30 minutes. I tossed raw walnuts in some salt, cayenne, ginger, rosemary and olive oil to toast for about 10 minutes @350 after I finished the tofu.

The combo of textures as well as sweet, spicy and savory flavors makes for a delightfully decadent dish! I love playing with textures and flavor compliments and this soup is fun filled as well as nutritionally fortified!

Snag a spoon and sink into some sensational seasonal soup…enjoy!

Seasonal Muffins for Monday

Happy Monday wordpress world! In keeping with my pumptastic seasonal sensations I give you my pumpkin protein muffins!ImageIf I could recall the recipe for these magnificently moist morsels I would absolutely share it but I sort of threw some stuff together and crossed my fingers! They’re perfectly pumpkiny with just the right amount of sweet to start your day or treat yourself when the mid-afternoon munchies strike!

In general, I used a can of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup applesauce, two egg whites, vanilla extract, 1 cup old fashioned oats, a few tablespoons of flax, 1/4 almond meal, 1/4 vanilla protein powder, a few tablespoons of pumpkin spice and somewhere around a tsp of baking power, baking soda and salt. Keep in mind I am guessing at these amounts but next time I whip up a batch (which will likely been soon) I will be sure to write it down! I mixed the wet ingredients in a bowl, mixed the dry ingredients in a bowl and then combined the two…spooned the beautiful batter into my muffin tins and baked for about 20 minutes at 350.

The sweet smell of the fabulously fragrant batter filled my whole apartment and while I might bake them a little longer next time, they turned our terrific!

I hope these muffins get you into the seasonal spirit…enjoy!