haluski (noodles and sauerkraut).

Let’s make a total Polish food comfort classic for these cold, dark January days. This is a riff off of the classic haluski (cabbage and noodles) and the dish my mother made again and again when i was a kid: she would mix together cubed pork loin with potatoes and sauerkraut and would serve over egg noodles. So so delicious, filling and warm. And so incredibly simple. Ready? Let’s make it.

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This is almost absurdly simple but you can jazz it up if you’d like by using different flavors of sauerkraut – beet (this will color your dish pink), garlic, dill, etc. I like to keep it simple but I always use cold, refrigerated, fermented kraut – I think it tastes better than the canned stuff, and it’s chock full of probiotics. A win win. It’s also deliciously tangy and flavors the dish like no other!

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I typically use a 2:1 ratio of noodles to kraut – sometimes close to 1:1 depending on amount I have and what I am feeling. This is perfect (IMHO!) as is, but you can really up the ante by adding some cooked sliced kielbasa (fresh or smoked!) to the dish. Enjoy this childhood favorite of mine!

haluski.
inspired by the haluski I ate growing up. 

ingredients
16 ounces/2 cups medium width egg noodles
8-12 ounces/1-1.5 cups sauerkraut, drained
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

directions
Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling and cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain.

In a large bowl, add the cooked noodles, drained sauerkraut, butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder (if using). Toss together gently.

Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Serves 6-8.

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Blueberry banana muffins.

I’m using some strong words today, but I think these muffins may be the best ones I’ve ever made. And you all know how much I love my many muffin recipes! You must try these coconut oatmeal ones, or the vegan pumpkin oatmeal cups, cranberry coconut, even these amazingly simple and delicious vegan banana. The list goes on!

Today, however, I have the most tender of muffins – and I’m combining two classics – blueberry and banana into one small, convenient package!

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I used frozen blueberries, which is a wonderful option when you want blueberries but there are not in season. Frozen is great in baked goods, and a far cry from those small tin cans you would get into the boxed mix! These are just as easy though, I promise!

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This are tender, not dry at all, and super flavorful without being a super sweet sugar bomb. I brought them to work and watched them disappear! I think these would be a great weekend breakfast or brunch item, and a great recipe to get kids involved!

It was hard to stop at just one, but thanks to the banana and the white whole wheat flour, one will keep you full until lunchtime!

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blueberry banana muffins.
adapted from allrecipes.com

ingredients
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup unrefined white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large, ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

directions
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and whisk together. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until well combined, light, pale in color and airy. Add 1 egg at a time and whisk together. Add vanilla and mashed bananas, and whisk thoroughly to combine. Add flour in thirds, and lightly mix until just combined and no flour remains and yields a thick batter. Fold in blueberries and fill each muffin cup to 2/3 full.

Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wired cooling rack. Cool completely. Muffins freeze well.

Makes a dozen muffins. *Please use organic/local ingredients wherever possible* 

cacio e pepe spaghetti squash.

Need a side dish that is holiday worthy, but simple to prepare and a little bit lighter than the normal side dishes, yet every bit as indulgent? Say hello to roasted spaghetti squash, dressed up in its holiday finest with lots of black pepper, garlic, salt and parmesan cheese. Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian dish, but here are swapping out the pasta for squash in this lighter version.

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Spaghetti squash is very easy to prepare and most of the cooking time is inactive. Simply slice the squash in half, lengthwise, drizzle the inside with olive oil and roast. You can dress this up in any way you’d like – adding some heat with crushed red pepper, garnishing with fresh parsley, roasting some garlic, the list goes on!

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This is a great addition to your holiday table, and would be perfect in place of pasta for a healthy gluten free option!

cacio e pepe spaghetti squash.

ingredients
1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2-1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (increase based upon your preference)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle squash halves with one tablespoon olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast cut side down for 35-45 minutes, or until a fork pierces the skin. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining tablespoon of oil, cheese, garlic powder, black pepper and sea salt. Once cool enough to handle, shred the squash with a fork, discarding the seeds, and reserving the long “spaghetti” strands (this is what you eat!).

Add the squash to a large bowl and add the cheese mixture. Toss well. Serve immediately.

*Please use local/organic ingredients wherever possible* 

cranberry coconut bread.

Just one more recipe before the Thanksgiving holiday! I had some fresh cranberries leftover, and wanted to use them up in some type of bread. I had just recently made these muffins and they went so fast once I brought them to work. This bread has sweet flaked coconut that perfectly offsets the tart cranberries. This would be a wonderful thing to have on hand for any guests you’ll be hosting! It will also be a delightful hostess gift!

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I used my recipe for this blood orange yogurt cake as the base/inspiration for this recipe -simply swapping out blood orange zest and juice for coconut and cranberries. Using coconut oil for the neutral oil ups the the coconut flavor even more.

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Like most loaf cakes/breads of its kind, this is better the second day, as the flavors have a chance to meld together. This is great for entertaining guests and perfect for breakfast, brunch or teatime!

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Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Holiday!

cranberry coconut yogurt loaf cake. 

ingredients
1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup low fat greek yogurt (2% or full fat)
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar (I use unrefined)
1/4 cup unrefined white sugar
3/4-1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted (other neutrals oils will work)

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, white sugar, and whisk together to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together until just combined (a few lumps are ok). Add in the melted coconut oil and whisk together. Fold in coconut and cranberries.

In a loaf pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray, scrap the batter into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Set aside and let cool. Remove from pan after letting rest for 10 minutes.

Dust with extra coconut flakes, if desired.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

 

sheet pan roasted zaatar chicken + cauliflower.

While the internet is full of holiday recipes, I have something decidedly different and non-holiday focused. Even with all the Thanksgiving Day preparations, we still need an easy and healthy dinner that requires as little preparation as possible during what is typically the busiest time of year. Enter this simple and flavorful sheet pan dinner, featuring one of my most favorite spices – zaatar.

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Cauliflower and chicken get tossed in a simple marinade of oil, zaatar, garlic salt, pepper and some lemon, and roasted for 25-35 minutes. I like to turn the broiler on for 2-3 minutes at the very end to get some extra browning and crisp to the chicken and vegetables.

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If you have never cooked with zaatar, I highly recommend it! It has a light, bright and zesty flavor from the sumac, sesame seeds, and coriander. I add some garlic salt to the mix for some additional flavor, although you could use garlic powder and salt (just split the amount equally of salt and garlic powder to equal the teaspoon of garlic salt).

I made this with one small head of cauliflower and about 3/4 pound of chicken for 2-3 portions, but I wrote the ingredients for 4 people.

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Enjoy this! It’s an easy, hands-off dinner – exactly what is needed at this time of the year!

sheet pan roasted zaatar chicken + cauliflower. 

ingredients
1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon zaatar spice, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
juice from one lemon
sea salt to taste

directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine 1.5 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of zaatar, black pepper and sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon). Add cauliflower, toss to coat completely and add to the sheet pan.

In the same bowl, add the remaining oil, zaatar, garlic salt and lemon and whisk to combine. Add the chicken and coat completely. Add to the middle of the sheet pan, making sure not to crowd the pan (use two if needed). Brush the chicken with the remaining marinade.

Roast for 25-35 minutes, tossing the cauliflower halfway through. Once chicken is cooked through, broil for last 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately. Serves 4. *Please use local/organic ingredients wherever possible* 

butternut apple pear soup.

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again – soup is the ideal food. It’s also the perfect starter to the Thanksgiving meal. I really love an appetizer or starter course – even on the most indulgent of food holidays! I already shared this delicious carrot tahini soup, which has become super popular here at PTL! The butternut apple pear soup I have for you today is very reminiscent and inspired by a soup that my friend David serves at his annual Thanksgiving dinner – it’s delicious and a wonderful way to start the meal!

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I love the combination of the apple and pear with the butternut squash – the tart apples offset the sweetness richness of the squash, yielding a delicate and fragrant soup. I topped this with some pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch but you could top with some shredded apple, a swirl of yogurt, pecans… the options are endless!

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This soup is vegan and very light. I would recommend starting with three cups of vegetable stock and then adding the court depending on how thick/thin you like your soup. I used four the first time and the finished soup was little thinner than I prefer. The soup freezes beautifully, and the fourth cup of stock would be great if you need to thin the soup out after it has been defrosted and reheated.

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butternut apple pear soup.
adapted from Liz’s Healthy Table.

ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups (or one 20 ounce package) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium apple, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
1 medium pear, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cups vegetable stock (can add additional fourth cup if needed)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pumpkin seeds, to garnish if desired

directions
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent and tender.

Add the pear, apple, butternut squash, curry powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt and pepper and saute for additional 3-5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup smooth. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed.

Serve immediately. Serves 4.

*Please use organic/local ingredients wherever possible* 

roasted brussels sprouts with agrodolce.

In my humble opinion, roasted is the ONLY way to eat brussels sprouts. Like many children, I would not go near a brussels sprout when I was little. Seems kind of odd now, considering my mom cooked cabbage all the time, and cabbage is in the same family. The thought of steamed brussels sprouts would make me go running from the kitchen. No more! Once I met a roasted brussels sprout, it was game over. They are insane! Dressed in their holiday best as they are here? Forget it.

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These roasted sprouts are combined with dried cranberries and dressed with a simple argodolce – a traditional Italian sweet and sour sauce of balsamic vinegar and sugar. Reduced to a syrupy glaze, it plumps up the cranberries and perfectly compliments the nutty sprouts.

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I made these two years ago for my family’s annual Christmas Eve gathering and they were such a hit, the recipe was requested multiple times. When I made something else last year, my cousins lamented the fact that the brussels sprouts were absent! Not this year – I’ll be prepared. Having brussels sprouts as a requested dish? Now, THAT is a win.

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roasted brussels sprouts with argodolce.

ingredients
2 pounds brussels sprouts, halved
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (can sub plain white or brown)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure the sprouts are on a single layer to ensure even roasting and browning (if they are crowded they will steam not brown). Roast for 18-25 minutes, tossing once halfway through roasting.

While the brussels sprouts are roasting, make the agrodolce by combining the sugar and balsamic vinegar and let simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce reduces by half and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.

In a large serving bowl, toss together the brussels sprouts, cranberries and agrodolce. Taste and season with additional sea salt and/or pepper if desired.

Serves 4-6 as a side. *Please use local/ingredients wherever possible* 

cranberry buttermilk muffins.

Wow! My 200th post. Thank you for reading along as I continue this journey. And now, onto the food. 🙂

I had plans to make a buttermilk cranberry pie for a work event and had planned to make muffins with the leftover cranberries and milk… nothing goes to waste around here! Well, the day before the event I got an email that it was being changed to a virtual event and luckily for me, I had not yet made the pie. Not wanting the ingredients to go to waste, I went ahead and made the muffins anyway, thinking I could still bring some to the office (a dozen baked goods in my house is not a good thing – I have no self control!).

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These muffins are tart with just a hint of sweetness – they are muffins, not cupcakes! The buttermilk is tart and tangy and adds great moisture so the muffins are not dry. I used fresh cranberries, but you could use dried if that is all you have on hand.

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These are great when you are hosting family or friends for the holidays – muffins are the perfect ‘grab and go’ breakfast and something you can make ahead of time and have set out so that guests who are up early (or up late!) can help themselves.

I added an easy oatmeal streusel topping – just some oatmeal, brown sugar and a little leftover orange zest. If want some extra sweetness, make up a quick glaze of orange juice and confectioners sugar and drizzle over the warm muffins. Enjoy!

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cranberry buttermilk muffins.

ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup white or coconut palm sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest from one large orange
juice from one large orange (2 tablespoons)
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a mixer fitted with the whisk, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and combined. Add the egg, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest and mix until combine.

Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Add to the mixer, alternating with the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the cranberries.

In a small bowl, mix together the oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Divide batter evenly amongst the cups. Top with the oatmeal mixture.

Bake at 425 for five minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

Serves 12. *Please use local/organic ingredients wherever possible* 

roasted squash + kale salad with maple dressing. (vegan)!

I have your new winter holiday side dish. This is vegan, gluten free, and UNBELIEVABLY good. The best part? It is even better if you make it ahead of time. This roasted squash and kale salad, studded with brown sugar-cinnamon pecans and dried cranberries is a must for your table.

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Honestly? I did not expect this to be so insanely amazing. It’s sweet and spiced, as the cinnamon, maple and sugar complement the squash so well. The kale is crunchy and provides a nice bitter bite, and the addition of just a pinch of cayenne helps offset all the sweetness.

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I ate this for both lunch and dinner and it’s very filling, thanks to the protein and fat hit from the pecans. I think this salad would be very flexible and you could easily swap hazelnuts or another nut for the pecan, or use sweet potatoes or another type of hearty squash for the butternut. I would not use anything other than kale however – it’s sturdy texture is necessary to hold up to the roasting process. Dinosaur/tuscan kale is ideal but you could swap for curly kale if you cannot find the tuscan.

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Make this the day ahead of the holiday and let come to room temperate before serving. If you prefer the salad warm (like me!), reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 200 degrees.

Enjoy! I hope this becomes a fixture at your holiday table like it will at mine!

roasted squash and kale salad with maple.
adapted from serious eats. 

ingredients
2.5 pounds butternut squash (about 1 large), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces tuscan kale, stems removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4-1 cup pecans
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup dried cranberries

directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a single layer on a non stick baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray until the squash is tender and lightly golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool and remove to a large bowl.

Toss kale pieces with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper until well covered in oil. Transfer to a non stick baking sheet and roast until wilted and crisp in some places, about 10 minutes. Remove and transfer to bowl with squash.

Combine cinnamon, paprika, pumpkin pie spice, cayenne and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the pecans and 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss together and add a pinch of salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and baked for 5 minutes until toasted. Remove and let cool and transfer to bowl with squash and kale.

In a medium bowl, make the dressing: whisk together maple syrup, mustard, vinegar. Whisking constantly, drizzle in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add cranberries to bowl with squash, kale and pecans. Toss with half the dressing, taste and add remaining dressing if desired.

Dressed salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Best made one day ahead of time. Let come to room temperature or rewarm in microwave before serving.

Serves 6 as a side. *Please use local/organic ingredients if possible* 

 

carrot tahini soup with pistachios.

I could eat soup everyday for the rest of my life and be the happiest of girls. So many different ways to prepare it, tons of flavor profiles; it just never gets old.

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Today’s recipe is simple, delicious as is or dressed up with some extra tahini swirled in. I really love this recipe, as it’s vegan but still super creamy and rich, thanks to the tahini. As a bonus, the tahini adds some extra protein and fat to this vegetable soup, making you feel both full and satiated!

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This soup would be a lovely addition to your holiday table and would be a perfect course for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike!

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carrot tahini soup with pistachios.
slightly adapted from cooking light.

ingredients
1 pound carrots, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup unsalted, roasted pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped

directions
Heat a large, deep pot over medium heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and let cook for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the carrots, smoked paprika, salt, turmeric and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, until they begin to soften.

Add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat to a light simmer, partially cover, and let cook until carrots are softened, 20-30 minutes.

Add tahini to carrot mixture and use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, blend it batches in a stand blender (allow soup to cool slightly first and place a clean kitchen towel over the lid when blending).

Divide pureed soup amongst four bowls and top with pistachios. Add additional tahini if desired.

Freezes well!

Serves 4. *Please use local/organic ingredients where possible*