Chicken and “Rice” Casserole

Hi.

Missed you.

As in I am currently crying I have missed you so.

It’s been a summer. Nothing bad just… Hectic and life and Little and you know.

I didn’t forget about you. Not once. Not one single day. But there reached a point where I hadn’t reached out in a while and then I was embarrassed and scared.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

And you know how sometimes when you are apart people change? Yeah that happened. So I worried you wouldn’t like me anymore. I still want to bake and cook for you all day long but somewhere mid July I went grain free.

Yes yes yes I know it is a bit crazy. Or a lot bit crazy. Can we still be friends? There will be lots of yumminess still I promise. Some of the things I have learned to make are out of this world good. You know me. I don’t settle for subpar food and just because it doesn’t have grains doesn’t mean I will all of sudden start putting up with awfully dry muffins or crappy crackers. No way.

This is for legit gonna blow your mind grain free deliciousness.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

Can we still be friends? Make a cup of coffee and catch up? I promise if you want to come along on this new grain free ride (even just as an occasional experiment) I will hold your hand the whole way. If you aren’t up for this I get it too. Come over anyways. The cookies are still delicious.

So this dinner is from one of my new favorite cookbooks Against All Grain. The author is not only talented but also stunning. I have been gifted both of her cookbooks and they are stanbys for me. So far only one recipe has been subpar. The rest have all been keepers.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

This is one of the keepers. Some wise soul at some point discovered that grated cauliflower was a great substitute for rice. It is awesome. This recipe even just cooks it with the rest of the veggies so there is no extra step to make rice. Even if I was eating grains again I would put this on the menu rotation because it is a mess of veggies with cashew cream (yeah I have ventured there too… it is worth it) and chicken. Ridiculously healthy.

Total legit comfort food. No compromises. Just deliciousness that happens to be grain free.

Can we do this? I say this to you as much as me. Opening up the blog again is vulnerable and and and…. I don’t even have words. Just stay with me. Love me as I am- broken, crazy, busy, and now grain free.

We can do this.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

One year ago today: Tomato Bread Bake

Two years ago today: Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

Chicken and Rice Casserole (serves 6+)
From Against All Grain Meals Made Simple

Sauce:
1 cup cashews soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
Juice from 1/2 small lemon

Casserole:
3 tbs olive oil
5 cloves garlic minced
2 shallots minced
3 cup grated cauliflower (box grater works AWESOME)
10 ounces chopped zucchini
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Optional: 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Sauce:
Drain the cashews and place in blender (or a bowl if using an immersion blender like me)with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend till smooth. Set aside

Casserole:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook till just starting to soften. Add the cauliflower, zucchini, and salt. Continue cooking till crisp tender (about 10-12 minutes). Add the chicken and remove from the heat. Stir in the sauce thinning with water if necessary. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and top with the cheese if you so choose. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10. Serve straight away.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Remember when I bought tahini for the first time the other day? And made pita bread? Best day ever.

So I did it again. Not the buying tahini part because I already had some but the making pita bread. Just a half batch this time. Lets not get crazy out of hand people. And then I made homemade falafel to fill it with.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Seriously. Made my own falafel. Who knew it was so easy? Sure you gotta stand over the stove and fry them but it is so worth it.

Precious little brings me as much pleasure as being able to make restaurant quality food at home. I love being able to make things I would otherwise have to pay someone to make for me. And for a fraction of the price plus there is the upside that I get to share it with you.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Speaking of sharing things what are you up to on May 31st? This sweet little blog turns two at the end of May and last year it was SO fun to see many of you at the first anniversary party. Wanna have another party? I’ll cook. It will be delicious. There will be drinks. But seriously. Please just come celebrate with me. I would be over the moon.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Mark you calendar- My 31st. Be there or … I don’t know. I have no threats to make. Just come. It will make me happy. I might make you some pitas.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

One year ago today: Baby bok choi and mushrooms and risotto primavera

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce (makes XXX)
From Just a Taste

For the falafel:
2 cups roughly chopped white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil, for sauteing
Pita bread, for serving

For the tahini sauce:
1¼ cups plain yogurt (full fat or non-fat)
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Add the onion and garlic cloves to the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until they are finely minced. Remove the mixture and set it aside.

Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until they are roughly blended but not pureed.

Return the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the baking powder and just enough flour so that when you pulse the processor, the mixture begins to form a small ball and is not sticky. (Note: Start by adding ¼ cup of flour, and then the remaining ¼ cup. You can add more if the mixture is still too wet.)

Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.

While the falafel mixture is chilling, prepare the tahini sauce by whisking together the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper, cover it and place it in the fridge.

Once the falafel mixture has chilled, use a small ice cream scoop or spoons to form the mixture into balls (roughly 3 Tablespoons per ball). (Note: You can also add additional flour at this point, if the mixture is too wet to scoop.)

Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a liberal amount of canola oil so that the pan is well-coated. Let the pan pre-heat for 3 minutes then add the falafel one by one, browning them on the first side for 3 minutes, then flipping them once and browning the second side until the mixture is cooked throughout.

Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined cooling wrack and immediately season them with salt. Repeat this process until you have cooked all of the falafel.

Place three or four falafel inside a halved, warmed pita and drizzle with the prepared tahini sauce.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

We have done black bean enchiladas before. So ridiculously good.

I have thing for enchiladas. They might, just might, be one of my all time favorite foods. And since I can make my own sauce I can whip them up whenever I want. Which I don’t. Because I can be lazy like that. Aren’t we all?

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

Then the idea floated across Pinterest to just toss the sauce with quinoa and other goodies and bake. Yes please.

What a simple recipe to throw together. Skip the cheese and it is vegan. Use or make a gluten free sauce and it’s gluten free. Which, in the circles I hang out in, something that can easily be vegan AND gluten free is a real winner.

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

We topped our with avocado and limes. I’m sure cilantro, sour cream, and even guacamole would be welcome additions.

Simply put it is enchiladas with WAY less hassle. And a bunch of veggies. I was thinking as I was making it that you would easily roast up some veggies and include them. And if you are an omnivore or someone who doesn’t think it is a complete meal without meat adding in some shredded chicken or pulled pork would totally be appropriate.

It makes a ton to invite company over. Just sayin.

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

One year ago today: Honey Cake and On Delivering Dinner (my favorite post ever)

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole (easily serves 8+)
From Two Peas and their Pod

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 cup corn frozen kernels
Juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed or three to four cups cooked on your own
2 cups red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the peppers and corn. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Pour in the enchilada sauce and stir. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm.

Enchilada Quinoa Black Bean Casserole

Hearty Stew

Truly this was supposed to be an Irish stew to go with the rest of St. Patricks day themed recipes I am conjuring up around here but… I have no way to make a claim that this is Irish in any way shape or form.

For some reason we haven’t made much stew around here. There was one made back in October but it was haphazard and willy nilly so it didn’t make it on here. I should seriously make it more often because I can’t remember the last time I watched Nathan consume so many leftovers. He has enjoyed this even more than once a day every day since I made it. I am in awe.

Hearty Stew

Would someone please explain to me why I have always thought stew was time consuming? It really wants. Sure I had to be around the house to make it but it was a lot of do something for 5-10 minutes then simmer (in my case that meant do work) for an hour then do something for 5-10 minutes then simmer an hour then done. Chuck stuff in a pot. Totally my style.

I measured nothing. Soups and stews I have come to the conclusion and merciful and forgiving. I followed the recipe. I honestly did but rather than measure I just eye balled it. Totally worked.

Hearty Stew

Are you brave that way? There are certain things I simply don’t measure anymore. If it is a savory, cook on the stove dish it is all approximations. When it comes to baking I can’t remember the last time I measured vanilla. If it is something that is hard to extract from the container like honey or coconut oil I will often to just take an educated guess. If is the bottom of a container I will totally just dumb what is left in and pray it turns out ok.

Hearty Stew

Everyone does this right? Right. Thanks for reassuring me.

So make stew. Feed your family for what feels like a week off of cooking once. Maybe even you family will eat the leftovers too. Even if you eye ball all the proportions.

Hearty Stew

One year ago today: Almond Poppyseed Bread and Refried Beans

Hearty Stew (easily feeds 10-12)
From My Baking Addiction 

1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Red Duck ketchup
1 tablespoon A-1 steak sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
2/3 cup frozen peas

Combine flour, garlic and onion powders into a bowl; mix until incorporated. Toss beef into the flour mixture until thoroughly coated.

In a large dutch oven, cook beef in heated oil over medium heat until nicely browned. Remove beef and set aside.

Deglaze pot with red wine, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add in beef, beef stock, rosemary, parsley and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.

Stir potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, Worcestershire, ketchup and A-1 Steak Sauce into the pot. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 teaspoons cold water and stir into stew. Cover and simmer 1 hour more. Stir in frozen peas and continue cooking until peas are cooked through. Add salt to taste.

Hearty Stew

Fresh Spinach Pasta

Sometimes I do things in what feels like a cheater way.

Homemade pasta has been finicky. Sometimes it comes out right, sometimes it frustrates the living daylights out of me.  I truly love it but I often find it daunting because. Cracking eggs into a pile of flour on my counter stresses.me.out. A lot.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

And yes I have had my beautifully crafted well break and have egg spill all over my counter. I don’t do messes. Much less egg and flour messes on my counter.

But I wanted spinach pasta. I just had no idea how to get there without making an even bigger mess. So I avoided it for far too long.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

That is till I learned you can make (and should!) make spinach pasta in your food processor. Throw ingredients in bowl, whir, dump on counter, kneed, done. Totally makes me feel like a cheater cheater.

I love it.

Our little family cannot put away an entire batch of homemade pasta in one sitting though. We have dried pasta before and it has been quite successful but it’s just… Augh. It’s a thing. And pasta hangs out on your counter for what feels like forever. And it breaks SO easy.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

The solution? Freeze it! I take the pasta after running it through the cutting roller, toss it with flour, and then put it in single serving piles on a baking sheet. Once frozen I toss them in a ziplock bag. When we want fresh pasta it is just as easy as grabbing a pile/nest per person and tossing them in boiling water. Where has this trick been my entire life?

So I’m a convert. Next time I make regular pasta I’m going to try the food processor too. And freeze it. Because we rock like that.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

One year ago today: Homemade Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Fresh Spinach Pasta (makes a bit more than a pound)
From Food Network/ Emeril Lagasse 

5 ounces fresh spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
1 pound all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
6 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and blanched spinach. Process to mix well. With the machine running, add the eggs, egg yolks, and olive oil through the feed tube, and process until it resembles wet cornmeal, about 2 minutes.

Dump the dough on to the counter and kneed till elastic and cohesive (about 5 minutes). Let rest covered in plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes. Roll out each dough ball into desired shape in a pasta machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until just al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and serve with desired sauce.

(This particular batch was cut into small sheets for cannelloni)

IMG_2063Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

We chit chatted earlier this week about Red Duck Ketchup. How delicious it was and how perfect it is on corn dogs. Remember? And I promised there would be one lucky winner of a ketchup gift pack?

Well Emily Shack you are the lucky winner! I’ll email for your address so we can send tasty ketchup your way.

I do want to share one more recipe with you before we jump off this ketchup train for a while. Simple homemade meatloaf. Except I made mine in my mini muffin tin instead of in to an actual loaf. Apparently I have a thing for miniature sized foods….

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

There really is a story behind this though. When my sister and I were little we wouldn’t eat meatloaf. Well we wouldn’t eat it in loaf form. However is my mom baked it in a muffin tin, slathered it with ketchup and topped it with cheese, and called them snuffleupagus meatballs we would devour them. My mom is a pretty bright woman if you ask me.

I have never tried to feed Little meatloaf in a loaf form. In fact (are you ready for this??)….. I have never made meatloaf before. Like ever. I actually had to go look up some recipes because, while I had a vague idea of what I was doing, I wasn’t completely sure what all went in it.

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

And then I decided to wing it. I liked the idea of pureeing some veggies in the food processor to add to the mixture. Hiding veggies in your meals can NEVER be a bad idea. But I so trust the Pioneer Woman recipes I really wanted to make hers. Except I had no bacon (a completely separate tragedy which will be remedied shortly). That and her recipe didn’t have the veggies in it.

So I just kinda did my own thing. It turned out positively delicious. Little promptly ate two (at 9 am) as soon as they were cool enough to handle.

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

I wasn’t sure how the curry ketchup would fare on the meatloaf. Please please please believe me when I tell you, if you are local, go out and buy a bottle of Red Duck curry ketchup even if it is just for meatloaf. What an incredible addition and layers of flavor. Hands down the winner.

The spicy ones were also incredibly delicious but I was simply blown away at how well the curry went with the meatloaf. It’s a thing. You should do it.

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

One year ago today: Broccoli Cheese Soup

Mini Meatloaf (made 22 mini cupcakes sized)
Pieced together from many recipes

1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1/4 yellow onion peeled
1/2 cup milk
2 slices Bread
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup (heaping) grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 whole eggs, beaten
Ketchup for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes. Put the coarsely chopped carrot, celery and onion in the bowl of your food processor. Process till very finely chopped. Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, veggies, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a little balls and place in your mini muffin pan. Place a good sized dollop of ketchup on each mini meatloaf and spread evenly.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 170 F. Enjoy with a side of veggies or potatoes.

Mini Meatloaf and Red Duck Ketchup

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

Dishes like this make me feel smug.

Every so slightly posh. Just a tad on the complicated side (not really but it does use two pots AND a bowl). Incidentally vegan. Chocked full of good for you stuff.

The day I saw it I couldn’t wait to make it.

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

Except it got bumped on our weekly menu I don’t know how many times. I had all these ingredients on hand for at least ten days before I finally forced myself to make.

Why on earth did I have to force myself to make something I was initially so excited about? Who knows. I am just as baffled as you are. Maybe it was all the dishes I knew it would dirty.

And yes in case you are putting two and two together I had ALL the ingredients on hand for ten days. Including the parsley. Did you know if you wrap things like parsley and cilantro in a paper towel and stash in a zip lock bag in the fridge they might last up to two weeks? A serious life saver for the “I really want to make this no wait I don’t” person that sometimes takes up residence in my house.

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

It also means I now just keep cilantro on hand since it can hang out in the fridge for some time before taking a trip to funky town. Seriously. Try it. Fresh cilantro on hand at all times is a win.

And I guess parsley too because when I made this Nathan paused from shoveling long enough to request this once a week. Delicious lentils meet buttery potatoes in an ever so slightly tangy dressing.

It made for a perfect light dinner. I can see this gracing the table at a fancy summer picnic too.

And probably our dinner table again in the very new future.

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

One year ago today: Artisan Bread

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad (serves 4 as mains)
From Smitten Kitchen

1/2 onion
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 cup dry small green lentils
1 small bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 pound yukon gold potatoes diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 large shallot finely diced
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste (I use less)
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
2 tablespoons capers roughly chopped
1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Cook the lentils: Pick over and rinse lentils. Place them in a medium saucepan with the the 1/2 onion, thyme branches, bay leaf, some salt and 4 cups of water. Simmer the lentils over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain (discarding shallot, thyme and bay leaf) and keep warm.

Cook the potatoes: In a separate saucepan, cover potatoes with 1 to 2 inches cold water. Set timer for 15 minutes, then bring potatoes to a simmer. When the timer rings, check for doneness with a fork. Cook longer if needed. Drain and keep warm.

Make the dressing: Place the chopped shallot and red wine vinegar in the bottom of a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in minced garlic, dijon, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and olive oil. Stir in chopped capers and scallions.

Assemble salad: Place the potatoes, lentils, dressing and all but 1 tablespoon parsley in a large bowl and combine gently. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Scatter salad with remaining parsley.

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin

Spaghetti squash and I have not been on the best of terms. Mostly I want to to like it. Mostly it disappoints me. Alot. Like the bad boyfriend you just KNOW is going to change but no… nope… same story.

I was bemoaning this to my brother in law as I was roasting the squash for this recipe and he agreed. In fact unprompted he mentioned that for him it seems like you can never get it quite cooked enough and is crunchy. E.X.A.C.T.L.Y. my issue. Does this happen to anyone else?

However, kale. Kale let me count the ways I love you. I love it in my juice, in a pot pie, sauteed with simply with olive oil and garlic then piled high with homemade mac and cheese. Kale was our bumper crop this past year in our garden. In fact it is still growing. After a week of snow and countless frosts the hardly buggers are still hanging on. Yum.

Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin

So why did I tackle a new recipe with spaghetti squash when I don’t like it? I was given two huge spaghetti squash and I hate wasting food. When I stumbled on this recipe I though it might, just might, be ok.

It is more than ok. It is lets make this twice in one week good. It is a we fought over leftovers good. Sure you could serve this as a side dish to chicken or steak but it also makes a lovely stand alone vegetarian dinner.

The other winning fact is this recipe is so forgiving. The second time I made it I eyeballed everything. I just threw things in bowls, sautéed estimations in a pan, and threw it in these cute individual dishes. It tasted just as good as the first time when I payed more attention to measurements.

Bravely I made this into two 8×8 pans and gave one to a mama friend of mine who recently started a new job. I hate gifting recipes I haven’t tested but thankfully they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Cooking the squash twice (one roasted in the shell and again in the pan) helps it not be as crunch. It actually tastes done. And the kale. The kale makes up for everything.

I will be making this again soon. My son wont eat it but my husband and I devour it. I made both recipes with just one of the two enourmous squash I had. Yeah you read that right. Twelve servings from one squash. That was one big squash.

Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin

One year ago today: Black Bean and Brown Rice Burgers and Stuffed Peppers

Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin (serves 6-8)
Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

1 large spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 large onion, diced small
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5-6 cups chopped kale leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives or sliced green onion
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese plus about 1/4 cup more for topping the gratin
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded mozarella

Preheat oven to 400 F. Prick the spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place the whole, uncut squash on a baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for an hour or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut open, remove seeds with a spoon, then using a fork pull the strands of spaghetti squash out and into a bowl. Set aside (this can be done a day ahead).

Heat 1 tablesppon olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions, rosemary, and black pepper, and saute until onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more, then add chopped kale all at once. Cook kale about 1-2 minutes, turning a few times. until it’s wilted to about half the size it was. (The kale shouldn’t be completely cooked, since it will cook more in the gratin.) Salt well. Turn off heat.

Using a large fork, gently mix the chopped chives or green onion and shredded spaghetti squash into the onion/chard mixture. Combine the sour cream, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg in a seperate bowl and salt well. Mix into the chard/spaghetti squash mixture. Then put the combined ingredients into the gratin dish, and press down so it’s evenly distributed in the dish. Sprinkle top with about 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese and with the mozarella cheese.

Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.

Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin

Green Juice

So. Hi.

I’m going to tell you a bit about what I feel makes me a bit of a crazy person. My beliefs around food are well entrenched and mostly well founded. Sometimes by swing a bit further than normal into the woo woo.

Juice is one of those things. I know loads of people who drink and love homemade juice too but for some reason I always feel a bit of a whackadoo when I am sipping a bright green concoction out of a mason jar. Whole new level of hippy.

Green juice

We (Nathan mostly) first started juicing after watching the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. His very first green juice was this very recipe and he had to choke it down. His juices then transitioned to fruit heavy deliciousness. When he did his 60 day juice fast it was this juice however. Every.day.all.day. Here and there I started making my own juices too. It took a long while before I liked the taste of celery and my juices were still mostly fruit.

Somewhere alone the way I made the leap and I am so glad I did. Green juice is amazing. When I drank this particular batch it felt like I had a cup of coffee. A fantastic jolt of micronutrients and vitamins.

Want to know the very best part? Little loves green juice as much as Nathan and I do. My not quite two and half year old will suck down veggies as juice. It calms this mamas heart when he has been eating nothing but carbs all day to watch him devour juice. Parenting win.

So cheers. Drink up to your health.

Green Juice

One year ago today: Roasted Chickpeas and Avocado and Chickpea Salad

Green Juice (makes approximately 40 ounces of juice)
Mine

1 large bunch of kale
1-2 cucumbers
1-2 apples
1 bunch of celery
1 lemon

Cut the peel off the lemon, chop the end off the celery, and slice anything that wont fit through your juicer chute (for me it is normally the apples). Juice and enjoy.

(And sometimes I might just might have juice for lunch while I am making cookies. Makes total sense right?)

Green Juice

Veggie Tortilla Soup

Hey there.

Yeah still on the needing to eat well kick over here. Yoga and whole foods are helping to make me feel whole. I swear about half of my anxiety and mood can be attributed to how I eat. Eating well helps keep me sane.

Tortilla soup is one of my all time favorite soups. For some reason I have always had it in my brain that it had to be made with chicken. Happily I stumbled on this recipe and realized I was so wrong.

veggie tortilla soup

Even as I started making it I was skeptical. Could it be just as tasty meatless? Surely it could right? And can these measurements for the spices be accurate? That is a big bowl full of spices for just one pot of soup… On and on I doubted.

Till I took the first taste. Perfect. Delicious. Spicy. So full of flavor. And completely vegan. Well at least until I topped it with cheese and sour cream. Stick with just lime, avocado and cilantro and it would be.

Nathan, who is not very thrilled with my vegan/vegetarian attempts of late, has gone to the fridge and unprompted eaten this soup as a leftover. This man is not know for eating leftover ANYTHING (well except for pizza and tortilla) fixed himself a huge bowl and raved about it the whole time.

As with most flavorful soups this was definitely better the next day. And the next day. It made a huge pot and I will happily eat it for days to come.

veggie tortilla soup

One year ago today: Roasted Chickpeas and French Apple Tart

Veggie Tortilla Soup
From The Cooking Photographer

2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 ounce) can diced mild green chiles, drained
1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cup fronzen whole kernel corn, defrosted
32 ounces vegetable broth homemade or store bought
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 lime

Garnishes:
tortilla chips
shredded cheese
diced avocado
chopped cilantro
sour cream
hot sauce
lime juice

In a small bowl mix together cumin, sweet paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, coriander, salt and black pepper. Set aside. In a large pot heat the oil over medium high. Add the onions and bell peppers. Sauté until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the spices and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add the green chile peppers, tomatoes, corn, black beans and vegetable broth. Cook until warmed through. Squeeze in lime juice. Serve in bowls and garnish as desired.

veggie tortilla soup