Monday, November 11, 2013

Accidental Butternut Squash "Bread Pudding"

A few weeks ago I was in the grocery store and it seemed like a really good idea to buy two huge butternut squash.  I guess I had plans of roasting it to make soup or something of the like.  Instead, these poor things sat on my counter day after day.  Finally, I decided to roast them both, but the problem was then I just had a huge container of roasted butternut squash.  I started to get some eye rolls when I would pull it out for a side dish, so I figured it was time to put it to use in another way.

My original intention was to make muffins, but two rusty muffin tins and no muffin liners later, I was faced with making a bread.  The recipe that follows is what happened.  Due to the fact that I (a.) didn't follow a recipe and made this up and (b.) used a loaf pan instead of making muffins, this didn't turn out how I expected.  Honestly, sometimes that is the best thing that can happen!  I ended up with this delicious bread that is SUPER moist and almost has the consistency of bread pudding.  You could eat it with a spoon if you want!  If you are looking for a more traditional type of bread, try cutting back on the squash, eliminate the applesauce, and maybe add a few more eggs.  You'll have to experiment!

Hopefully you all will like this as much as I do…what a great surprise!

Accidental Butternut Squash "Bread Pudding"


1.5 cups of cooked butternut squash
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 eggs
2 cups coconut flour
1/3 cup almond flour
1 T baking powder
1 T cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 T black strap molasses
1 cup raw coconut crystals
1 T lemon zest
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix squash, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, molasses, and lemon zest.  In a separate bowl, combine flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut crystals, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine.  Gently fold in raisins.  Place mixture in muffin tins, or in a greased bread pan. 

If you are making muffins, bake for 30-35 minutes.  The bread will need to bake for 60-65 minutes.  Because this bread is so moist, a toothpick will probably not come out clean, but the raw eggs will be cooked after this amount of time.  


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Greek Chicken Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

This is a super-fast meal that is perfect for busy weeknights.  I served the burgers over a bed of arugula, but you could also use burger puns, pita bread, or tortillas.  Top the burgers with a generous amount of the tzatziki sauce!

Greek Chicken Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce


1lb ground chicken
1/2 red pepper diced
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs 
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp coriander 
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dill
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
salt, pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Mix all ingredients together and form into 4 burgers.  Press the burgers with a spatula so that they aren't too thick.  Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat over medium.  Cook the burgers approximately 3 minutes per side until crisp.  Transfer the burgers onto a baking pan and cook for another 10 minutes in the oven.  


In a medium bowl combine the following:

1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
1 8 oz container of plain greek yogurt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dill
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
salt, pepper 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Spiked Pumpkin Soup

Now that it is officially October, I figured it was time to jump on the pumpkin bandwagon!  Most pumpkin recipes fall under the dessert category, but I was looking for something a little different.  In my recipe binder I came across this soup recipe from a past issue of Cooking Light and adapted it.  This soup is simple to make and it will give your tastebuds a chance to savor those fall flavors that you have been craving!  Happy Cooking!

Spiked Pumpkin Soup
Serves 9


2 T coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp peeled, minced ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup bourbon (optional)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 29oz can of pure pumpkin
1 14 oz container of low sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk (can sub almond, soy, etc)
1 tsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
9 T plain Greek yogurt
3 T chopped parsley 


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Coat the pan with 2 T of coconut oil.  Add ginger, cumin, and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Stir in cider, bourbon, syrup, pumpkin, and broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  

Place half of the pumpkin mixture in a blender and process until smooth.  Pour pureed mixture into a large bowl.  Repeat the process with the remaining pumpkin mixture.  Return mixture to the pan.  Stir in milk, flour, salt, pepper, and cook until heated (do not boil); stir frequently.  Serve with Greek yogurt and parsley.  Serving size=1 cup soup

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chicken, Brie, and Apple Quesadillas

This recipe is adapted from one in the October 2010 issue of Cooking Light. I like how this recipe uses apples in an unexpected way, and it can be modified to fit your own tastes. I used Brie cheese like the original recipe calls for, but a cheddar cheese would be great as well. If you aren't fond of the peppery taste of arugula, try spinach. All in all, this is a great recipe to welcome the tastes of fall.

Chicken, Brie, and Apple Quesadillas


1 lb of chicken tenders

2 T olive oil

2 T Dijon mustard

1/4 cup + 2 tsp apple cider (divided) (or 100% apple juice)

4 (10-inch) flour tortillas

6 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, divided

1 honey crisp apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1/2 pound), divided

4 cups arugula, divided

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided


Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper and add to the pan. After a few minutes of cooking add 1/4 cup of apple juice or cider, cover to steam. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked through. Let cool and then cut up into 1/2 inch cubes.

Combine mustard and cider in a small bowl; stir well.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread each tortilla with about 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard mixture. Place 1 tortilla, mustard side up, in pan. Arrange one-third of cheese slices over half of tortilla; cook 1 minute or until cheese begins to melt. Top the cheese with 2-3 T of the cooked chicken. Arrange one-third of apple slices over the chicken and then top with 1 cup arugula. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fold tortilla in half; press gently with a spatula. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure twice with remaining 3 tortillas, cheese, apple slices, 2 cups arugula, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

The other day I was looking for some recipes to use some leftover avocados.  I wanted to do something different than guacamole, or adding it to a sandwich.  In the past I have seen recipes that use avocados to add moisture to brownies and cakes, so I figured that I would try a dessert.  This pudding recipe is adapted from one that I found in Self magazine.  It takes about 5 minutes to make and tastes sinful!  Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Pudding


2 avocados
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 T pure maple syrup
4 1/2 T unsweetened coco powder
4 T unsweetened almond milk


Combine the above ingredients into a blender, adding more milk if needed to achieve desired consistency.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Top with raspberries or blackberries before serving.