Squash and Lentil Soup

Apparently I’m on a theme right now with dishes that are great for when it’s cold out. That’s probably because it’s just been so cold all the time lately! Also, the real point of making this was that I’d get to try out the hand blender I got for Christmas! I hadn’t even taken the thing out of the box yet! Obviously a hand blender isn’t a necessity; the soup could be put through a normal blender or food processor, or just roughly mashed and served that way. This soup turned out really thick, which is how I like my winter soups, but if you want a thinner soup, just add more water. This recipe makes 4 to 6 large servings of soup.

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So here’s what the pot looked like while it was cooking up….

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And here’s a beautiful bowl once the whole thing was blended!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 cups warm water
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 cups uncooked lentils
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. First off, you need to peel, cut up, and take the seeds out of your squash. (I don’t have a good way to do this, I made an enormous mess. If anyone has any ideas on how to do this easily, send them my way!)
  2. Next, heat the oil in the bottom of your soup pot on medium heat. Chop the garlic and add it to the pot. Cook the garlic until its soft and smelling awesome.
  3. Very carefully add your eight cups of hot water. This is kinda hard to do with the pot already being hot but the hotter the water, the easier it will be. Add the diced squash and lentils to the pot.
  4. Let the whole pot cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked and the squash is soft.
  5. Add the parsley and salt and pepper.
  6. Use the hand blender to puree the whole thing together. If you’re using a normal blender or food processor, pour everything carefully. Blend until everything is as pureed as you would like.
  7. If your soup looks to thick, add a 1/4 cup of hot water and blend again. Repeat this until it’s as thin or thick as you would like.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
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Turkey Macaroni Chili

This is the perfect dish to make on one of these freakishly cold days we’ve been having! I’ve made variations on this with different levels of spice but this one is my favourite. I know it’s still way too spicy for most people but once you top it with cheese and sour cream, it makes it much more mellow. Also, the leftovers work with some lettuce to make some kind of taco salad. Since this recipe make four really big servings, there’s a good chance there’ll be leftovers if you’re only cooking for one or two people. Everything cooks up in one skillet on the stove, so there’s only one big dish to wash! 100_2548

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups kidney beans
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (or less if that’s not your thing)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cup dry macaroni
  • 2 cups hot water
  • sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese for serving
  1. In a non-stick skillet, cook the onions and garlic until soft.
  2. Add the turkey and cook until browned and crumbled.
  3. Add the kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until everything is cooked through
  4. Add the hot water and macaroni to the skillet. Cover and cook until the macaroni is fully cooked and most of the water has evaporated (15-20 minutes).
  5. Serve topped with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Dandelion and Potato Frittata

I managed to freak all my roommates out when I told them I was putting dandelion greens into my frittata. Spinach, they would have been fine with. Kale, probably wouldn’t have been surprised. But dandelion? Apparently that’s a little out there. Dandelion greens taste a lot like spinach and have a really similar texture, but they’re more bitter. When they’re mixed in to the frittata though, they mellow out and taste awesome. I put a cup of dandelion in this recipe. That cup only has 25 calories, but 111% of your daily Vitamin A, 32% of your daily Vitamin C, 10% of your calcium, and 9% of your iron. I can live with those kind of stats! I still have the rest of the bunch in the fridge, so I’ll have to get creative with it soon!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 cup dandelion greens
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 6 eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Wash the potato and slice it really thinly. If you have a mandolin, that might work perfectly. If the slices look enormous, cut them in half. Put the slices in boiling water and let them cook until they’re soft.
  3. In the meantime, slice the green onion and shred the dandelions. Add those to a bowl with the cheese. Crack the eggs in and whisk everything together.
  4. Add the cooked potatoes to the bowl and whisk again.
  5. Grab a cast iron skillet and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook it on the stove until the bottom looks set.
  7. Put the whole skillet into the oven for 7 minutes, or until the frittata looks cooked through. Pull it out and slice it up and there you go!

Everything-From-the-Fridge-Shelf Salad

By Tuesday this week, I had a weird combination of things on my shelf in the fridge. I was looking at two pieces of peameal bacon, a bunch of leftover potatoes and some blueberries. I am a huge fan of salad as a meal because you can throw whatever you want into it and it (almost) always comes out tasting ok. I also feel like people have an idea about what can go in salad, i.e. not warm potatoes, not fruit, etc. And I’m here to say that whatever you want to put in a salad is fine! Baby potatoes taste amazing when they’re reheated on the stove with a tiny bit of oil. And blueberries are always good in salads. One cup of those little guys only has 85 calories, but they have 3.6g of fibre to keep you full and 24% of your daily vitamin C. You’ll notice I’m using apple cider vinegar with olive oil as the dressing again. This is mostly because I’m sick of trying to match salad dressings to my salad toppings when this matches almost everything and is cheaper in the long run, and probably a bit better for you.100_2562

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded lettuce (or whatever fits in your bowl)
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 pieces of peameal bacon
  • 1 cup left over boiled baby red potatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Chop the peameal bacon and fry in a pan with a tiny bit of oil. Cut potatoes in half and add to the pan.
  2. Shred lettuce and add to your bowl. Add blueberries.
  3. Top with bacon and potatoes.
  4. Add olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. You know how to make a salad, you really didn’t need directions.

Saturday Banana Muffins

I feel like I always have over-ripe bananas and never know what to do with them. If they’re not in my fruit bowl, there’s a huge collection going in the freezer. I’ve been trying to use them up, so I decided to make a batch of muffins over the weekend. These turned out amazing, and judging by the fact that I had none left by Sunday night, are very well liked by my recipe guinea pig/boyfriend. Had I managed to save any, they would have been perfect for taking to school for lunch all week!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 squares sweet baking chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Mash the bananas and combine with the peanut butter and vanilla.
  3. Cream in the sugar. Add flour, oatmeal, baking powder, and baking soda and mix until everything’s combined. Add the milk.
  4. Chop the squares of baking chocolate into very small chunks. You could also use chocolate chips but I didn’t have any in my cupboard so baking chocolate it was!
  5. Grease a muffin tin and scoop batter into the tin.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are browned and a toothpick stuck in a muffin comes out clean.