Spicy Italian Lentil Loaf Cupcakes

November 11, 2016

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Yay! We’ve finally started getting some Fall type weather. I know a lot of folks have been digging that extended summer kind of thing that we’ve had going on, but I’m ready for some colder temperatures. And as that mercury falls, I’ve got a great comfort food recipe to share with you today: Spicy Italian Lentil Loaf Cupcakes! Yum, yum, yum! This delicious Meatless Monday favorite of ours will be loved by vegetarians and carnivores alike, I guarantee.  And you did hear me right – there is not one shred of meat in this dish – it is a vegetarian meatloaf. But that doesn’t mean it is lacking in taste. I do promise, you will not miss the meat one little bit once you take a bite of these savory little gems.

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This recipe is so versatile. You can bake it in cupcake tins or if you prefer in a loaf pan for a more traditional meatloaf appearance. I prefer the cupcake tins because of the cute factor. Kids will certainly find them more appealing and will have no idea how many veggies they are scarfing down. The cupcake version also has portability and ease going for it. Having a single serving all ready to go, no fooling around with trying to cut even slices in a loaf works out great for me. But really we love these little cupcake shapes because of the extra crunchy edges you get from baking them in cupcake tins.

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You can also prepare these cupcakes with or without the mashed potato “frosting”. Kids will definitely prefer the potatoes piped onto the top so that it actually looks more cupcake like. When I make this dish though, I usually prepare them “naked” topped only with the arrabiata sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil. I serve the mashed potatoes on the side. These cupcakes are fantastic warm from the oven, but I’ve also enjoyed them the next day cold right out of the fridge. They are high in protein and fiber. I’m telling you, you can not go wrong with this recipe!

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Spicy Italian Lentil Loaf Cupcakes

  • Servings: 20 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recipe inspired by: Really Good Vegetarian Meatloaf (Really!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 leeks, sliced – white and light green parts only
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzerella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 6 ounces of spaghetti sauce + a bit more for spooning over the top (we use a spicy arrabiatta sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (we love spicy food – but if you don’t feel free to leave this out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 20 slices fresh mozzarella
  • Mashed potatoes for “frosting” if desired
  • Fresh Chives & Basil for garnish

Directions:

Place 2 cups broth or water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and cook at a simmer, covered, for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.

In the meantime, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and sauté the mushrooms and leeks until they are fragrant and softened. Set aside to cool.

Drain any remaining liquid from the lentils. Mash approximately half of the lentils. Place them into a large mixing bowl and allow them to cool.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Generously spray two muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. *If you would rather bake this as a traditional meatloaf, generously grease a loaf pan. You will also likely need to adjust your baking time to 40 -45 minutes.

Once lentils have cooled, add the leek/mushroom mixture, oats, and cheeses to the lentils and stir to combine.

Add the eggs, sauce,garlic powder, basil, Worcestershire sauce, peppers, paprika and salt to the bowl and stir until combined.

Fill prepared muffin tins 3/4 of the way full with lentil mixture.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

If you wish to have mashed potato “frosting” for the cupcakes. Go ahead and make the mashed potatoes while the cupcakes are baking.

After 30 -35 minutes, remove the pans and add a teaspoon full of spaghetti sauce to the top of each cupcake, as well as a spice of fresh mozzarella.

Bake until mozzarella is melted.

Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of pan to loosen the cakes and then carefully remove from the tins.

Pipe mashed potato frosting onto the cupcakes if you desire and decorate with chive sprinkles. Or if foregoing the frosting, garnish “naked” cupcakes with freshly chopped basil.

Enjoy!

Spicy Italian Lentil Loaf Cupcakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Zucchini Tots

October 11, 2016

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Wait….wait! I’ve got another delicious zucchini recipe to share before zucchini season is over. Zucchini Tots! Crispy on the outside and oh so tender on the inside, whether you serve them as a side, appetizer or the main event, these little nuggets are unbelievably addictive. The husband says he likes them better than regular Tater Tots. Now me…I don’t think I can go that far. Nothing against these zucchini tots, which are spectacular, but I love me some potatoes. Don’t really care how you make ’em…mashed, baked, scalloped – but fried can’t be beat. I think I’d categorize these little zucchini gems as a totally different thing. I probably should have called them zucchini bites. That being said, I certainly feel more virtuous having eaten Zucchini Tots rather than Tater Tots, so there is that.

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Another great thing about these tots is that they are really easy and pretty quick to make. Just be sure you squeeze as much water out of the zucchini as you can before mixing it in with the other ingredients so that you can achieve ultimate crispiness. You see I love the crispy bit, that’s why I rolled these tots in a bit more panko before baking them. But you can skip the panko roll step if you aren’t that into crispy or simply can’t be bothered. No matter what, these Zucchini Tots will still knock your socks off – guaranteed!

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Zucchini Tots

  • Servings: 20 tots
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: The Wimpy Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 2 -3 small zucchini, shredded (you should have about 2 cups worth)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup small-diced yellow onion
  • ⅓ cup grated Asiago Cheese (feel free to use Parmesan, mozzarella, or even cheddar)
  • ¼ cup Panko (bread crumbs) plus 1 cup additional for coating tots
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Don’t use foil – the tots will stick to it like super-glue. Trust me. Place 1 cup of panko in shallow bowl and set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl using a large metal spoon.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the zucchini mixture into mounds. Drop zucchini mixture into the middle of the panko bowl. Gently roll to cover will Panko and gently shape into a tater tot shape. Arrange on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes, gently flip over, and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Tots brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Zucchini Tots:

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

 


Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Lentils

February 17, 2016

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Well…..Spring has definitely not arrived yet! It is COLD. You know, single digit cold which is saying something when you are dealing with the old Fahrenheit temperature scale as we still do. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, it is February for goodness sake. What was I expecting? That dear old groundhog seems to have inspired me to jump the gun a bit on thoughts of Spring. Thank goodness I have this great Winter warmer of a recipe in these Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Lentils. Comforting and tasty, this is just what you want to see on your dinner table. And, since there isn’t any meat to be found in  the mix, it is just perfect on a Meatless Monday.

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Not only is this dish yummy, but it is so easy to make. You only need one pot, which is a huge mark in its favor. And as it turns out, lentils are actually very good for you. These little legumes are chock full of B vitamins, are low in fat and high in fiber and protein. Indeed, lentil have the second highest ratio of protein to calorie of any of the legumes. They keep you feeling full for longer and can also lower your cholesterol and possibly reduce your risk of heart disease. Good stuff there! All these benefits and they actually taste great! Thick & hearty, this creamy lentil stew will give you the strength to hang in there until these last days of Winter blow themselves out!

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Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Lentils

  • Servings: 4 - 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recipe slightly adapted from: Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • half a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups uncooked lentils, rinsed
  • 2 medium Yukon potatoes, chopped (about 1 cup total)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (plan to add a few more cups as needed while cooking)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few sprigs fresh parsley
  • a few springs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 5 ounces packed fresh baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste (be generous with the salt! – but remember not to add it until the lentils have finished cooking)
  • olive oil, red wine vinegar and freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping

Directions:

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Saute for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened and fragrant. Add the paprika and stir to coat. Next, add in the wine to deglaze the pan – a fancy term for scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the lentils, potatoes, broth, bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more broth as necessary so the lentils are just barely covered in liquid. When the lentils and potatoes are soft, gently mash the potatoes against the side of the pot with the back of the wooden spoon to thicken the mixture.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems, add the half and half and spinach. Stir to incorporate. At this point you can season with salt and pepper (season, taste, adjust, repeat). If you add the salt prior to the lentils being done, it actually makes them take longer to cook. So you’ll be glad that you waited! Top each bowl with a drizzle of good olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar and a dusting of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve with a big hunk of cornbread or crusty rustic bread.

Enjoy!

Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Lentils brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

September 30, 2015

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Wow! Last Wednesday was the first day of Fall and apparently for once the weather in the good old State of Virginia agrees with the calendar. Temperatures around here have been just glorious. The humidity has chilled out and the days are warm but the nights are just starting to get a bit of chill to them. I for one could not be happier, though it did seem a bit sudden. Usually summer lingers on around here for quite some time. I won’t say anything more about it though because I don’t want to speak too soon and “word” it. (Yup…I sure did word it. I wrote the last sentence about the great Fall weather over the weekend. On Monday the temperature crept back up to 80°, and was accompanied by remarkable Virginia swamp-like humidity. I knew it was too good to be true!)  I’ll just say, here’s one more great summer recipe which should carry over nicely into Fall…Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad.

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This salad can be served room temperature or even chilled if the mercury starts to creep up again. And it has a bit of a spicy kick to warm you up a bit if the chillier temperatures persist. If you have any leftover Spicy Grilled Corn from those Zucchini, Spicy Grilled Corn & Cheese Pancakes that I told you about a couple of weeks ago, this is a great way to put it to good use! The husband and I usually enjoy this dish on Meatless Mondays, and I serve it over a bed of lettuce. It gives it a taco salad-y kind of vibe. Another option, if you were feeling a bit more carnivorous, would be to add in some spicy chicken or grilled steak. And although we love it as a main dish, it would also be great as a side next to a big old burrito, taco or enchilada. So there you have it… all the healthful benefits of quinoa and all the fresh spicy tastes of summer. What a winner!

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Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup pre-washed quinoa (if not washed, follow package instructions for rinsing)
  • 1-2/3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 cup chopped tomatoes, from 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1-1/4 cups Spicy Grilled Corn – recipe to follow (can use canned corn if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 large lime
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • shredded iceberg lettuce (to serve Quinoa Salad over – if you desire)

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minutes or so. Add the spices to the onion/garlic mixture and stir to combine

Add the quinoa to the onion/spice mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Cover the pan tightly with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 17-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator.

When the quinoa is cool, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, tomatoes, Spicy Grilled Corn, black beans, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Right before serving, scatter the avocado chunks and Cotija Cheese over top.

Spicy Grilled Corn

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes. Once it has cooled enough to handle, cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.

Enjoy!

Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce

September 9, 2015

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Since I just told you about those delicious Pad Thai Zoodles, I figure zucchini noodles might still be on your mind. So it would be the perfect time to share this Spicy Tomato Butter Basil sauce recipe with ya’ll. We’ve have been enjoying this amazing sauce over zoodles all summer long. The buttery sauce is just perfect over that fresh zucchini. But even if you’re not in to zucchini noodles

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– which I can’t imagine because they are sooo yummy – this rich decadent tomato sauce is equally to die for over regular old pasta.

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I bet a lot of you folks have bunches of ripe tomatoes that need to be put to good use and this recipe is just the thing for that. But if you are in a bit of a hurry and don’t want to make things totally from scratch, you can substitute in two 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (I love the San Marzano ones)  in lieu of the garden fresh option. Always tasty, no matter which way you go. And you’ll have quite a bit of this sauce. Generally the husband and I get two to three meals out of a batch of it. So if you don’t fancy having it for dinner twice in a week, the good news is that it freezes very well.

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Fresh and flavourful, lush and velvety, you just can’t go wrong with this Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce. Serve it over zoodles for a light, summer garden vibe and when you need some cold weather comfort, it will be just the winter warmer you need served over a big bowl of pasta.

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Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce

  • Servings: 3 cups sauce - enough for 2 -4 servings zoodles
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe for Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce with Basil slightly adapted from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

For the Zoodles:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil

For the Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce with Basil:

  • 4 pounds plum tomatoes (or two 28-ounce can diced plum tomatoes)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
  • garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (you may not need this if your tomatoes are very sweet)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese – to serve

Directions:

If using fresh tomatoes: Using a sharp knife, cut an 1/4-inch deep X on one end of each tomato. Then, place scored tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and cook until you see the skin starting to wrinkle and split, 1-3 minutes, then lift the tomatoes out with the slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water. Peel the skin off of the tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. (Cut off and discard the cores at this point.)

Place the diced tomatoes and all of their juices into a large saucepan. Add the butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, red pepper, salt and sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 75-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is no longer watery. Remove and discard the onions and any large chunks of garlic (the garlic should have mostly dissolved into the sauce). Personally, I like onions and at this point these onions are sooooo tasty, I couldn’t bear to throw them away. So I chopped one of the onions up and added it back into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add basil right before serving.

Cut the zucchini into noodles by using a vegetable spiralizer tool. Cut zucchini noodles to a manageable fork twirling length – about 10 – 12″. Toss zoodles with a bit of salt and set aside for 15 – 30 minutes so that they can release some of their moisture. Drain zoodles. Add olive oil to frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add zucchini noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Take care not to overcook the zoodles. They are better slightly crunchy. Turn the heat off and let the zucchini noodles sit for about 5 minutes to allow as much moisture as possible to release from the noodles. Drain excess water away.

Add your desired amount of spicy tomato butter sauce to zoodles and toss to coat. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan.

Enjoy!

Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Sauce with Basil brought to you by: Runcible Temps (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Pad Thai Zoodles

September 2, 2015

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So remember how a couple of weeks ago I told you all about those delicious Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill? I mentioned then that I would have a lot of zucchini recipes headed your way. Well look out… here they come! I’m starting this whole zucchini round-up off with this fantastic recipe for Pad Thai Zoodles. “Zoodles?”, you might ask. Yup….turns out you can make noodles out of zucchini…hence Zoodles!

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Now I’m not going to tell you that you’ll be completely fooled and think you are actually eating pasta. You won’t. However, zoodles are absolutely delicious. We’ve been obsessed with them around here this summer and have literally eaten oodles of zoodles at this point. I had been seeing them talked up on the internet for a while, but didn’t actually have any type of spiralizing tool that I could use to cut said zoodles. Then I happened to be shopping at a Bed Bath & Beyond or some such store and saw this “Veggetti” tool. It was pretty cheap and claimed it was easy to use, so I decided to give it a whirl before investing in a higher dollar spiralizer.

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I mean what if we didn’t even like zucchini noodles? Hah! The husband and I are just wondering where they’ve been all our lives! So we’ve been gobbling them up with all sorts of different sauces etc. And these Pad Thai Zoodles are definitely one of our favourite zucchini noodle creations thus far. Again…we aren’t really fooled into thinking we’re eating actual Pad Thai, but this twist on that traditional dish is wonderful. Gluten free, low carb, light and summer-y, with just the right amount of spice and no pasta coma to deal with post dinner. We enjoyed ours on Meatless Monday, but you could add any protein to the dish that you like – perhaps some shrimp or chicken for instance.

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But before I set you off and running to make up a batch of zoodles, I should give you a couple of words of advice. The spiralizers will cut really long zucchini noodles, which I found a bit difficult to work with. So now I will cut the noodles once they reach about 10 – 12 inches, which I have found to be the perfect fork twirling length. Once I have all my zoodles cut, I sprinkle a bit of salt over them and let them sit for about 15 – 30 minutes, tossing them occasionally. They will release quite a bit of water! Drain that water away and then let them sit again for a bit after you have sautéed them. Drain that water away before you mix with any sauces.

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Believe me, you too will be wondering where zoodles have been all your life once you get a taste of these spicy Pad Thai Zoodles. And you’ll be feeling oh so virtuous for being so healthy and eating up your veggies. Get to spiralizing some zucchini today!

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Pad Thai Zoodles

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: White on Rice Couple

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil, divided
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • about 2 cups (480ml) bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • fresh hot red pepper slices for serving (optional)
  • Few lime wedges for serving (optional)

For the Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce or to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 small red chili, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, or to taste

Directions:

Begin by making the Pad Thai Sauce. Combine vinegar, fish sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and chili garlic sauce together in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Set aside.

Cut zucchini into noodles by using a vegetable spiralizer. The noodles will be quite long. Cut to a more manageable length – about 10 -12″. Toss zucchini with a little salt and set aside for 15-20 minutes to allow it to release some liquid. Drain liquid.

Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Add zucchini noodles and cook for 2 -3 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. Depending on the size of the pan, you may need to work in batches. Take care to not overcook the zucchini. You don’t want it to go all mushy – it should remain slightly crunchy.

Remove the zoodles to a bowl and let them rest for about 5 minutes to release as much liquid as possible.

Wipe the frying pan clean. Add remaining olive oil and heat over medium high. Add garlic to the pan and cook until soft. Add bell pepper and green onions. Again, cook until tender.

Push veggies to the side and add egg to the pan, working to quickly scramble and chop into small pieces.

Drain liquid from resting zucchini noodles and add them back to the pan with the vegetable/egg mixture. Add the sauce and toss to combine. Cook for 1 -2 minutes until the noodles are warmed. Stir in the bean sprouts and remove from heat.

Top Zoodle Pad Thai with roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Enjoy!

Pad Thai Zoodles brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 

 


Curried Butternut Winter Soup

February 10, 2015

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Seems that good ole Punxsutawney Phil got it right. That adorable little varmint predicted six more weeks of winter and I for one believe him. Winter is not done with us yet, so it is probably a good thing to keep those soup recipes coming. Nothing better than a big bowl of steaming hot soup to warm you up while the snow is falling and the wind is howling outside. This Curried Butternut Winter Soup is just the ticket! Velvety smooth, it features a combination of butternut squash, leeks and potatoes with a bit of hot and spicy curry to give it just the right amount of kick. Its beautiful golden hue will remind you that it won’t be too much longer until these grey skies give way to longer sunny days.

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Butternut Squash, with its thin, easily peelable skin, is one of the most hassle-free of the winter squashes to work with. It has a sweet and nutty taste that is similar to pumpkin. Technically a fruit, it is often thought of and prepared as a vegetable and really packs a nutritional punch. It is high if Vitamins C, A & E as well as that wonderful antioxidant beta-carotene. It is high in fiber, manganese, magnesium and potassium. So there you have it, great taste and great health benefits. Go out and get yourself some Butternut Squash today and get started on a big pot of this Curried Butternut Winter Soup. Once you’ve tucked in to a nice hot bowl of it and are all warm and cozy it will be much easier to convince yourself that six more weeks isn’t really that long at all…

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Curried Butternut Winter Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Kristine’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1½ pounds)
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (can sub. in vegetable broth if you prefer)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. hot curry powder (feel free to substitute a mild curry powder if you have tender taste-buds – but we like it hot & spicy!)
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Freshly ground black pepper and/or chopped chives, for serving

Directions:

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; saute 3 minutes. Add leek; saute 1 minute. Stir in broth. Add cayenne pepper and hot curry powder. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (Alternatively, the soup may be pureed in batches in a blender.)

Stir in half-and-half and keep warm until you are ready to serve. Top with additional cayenne pepper and chives if desired.

Enjoy!

Curried Butternut Winter Soup brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


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