Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Every year I make butternut squash soup and every year I’m underwhelmed. It never turns out very flavourful. Over the past year I’ve been cooking with all kinds of squashes a lot more then I used to. We love eating acorn, butternut and delicata squash. I’ve been roasting, mashing, topping salads and making sauces out of squash constantly. So when I made soup this year I was ready to get it right. And I did just that! This recipe is rich is flavour, easy to make and great for work day lunches.

In this recipe I roast butternut squash, onions and garlic in the oven until caramelized and browning. I also add fresh sage and delicious brown butter which takes the soup to the next level!

I like serving this soup with so super fast homemade croutons or to make it a really filling me some cooked apple sausage. Both are great options.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Sage, chopped
  • 6 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
  • Optional: Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Spread out chopped butternut squash, onions and whole garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until soft and squash begins to caramelize.

In a large soup pot melt the butter on medium heat. Continue to cook the butter in medium heat until it becomes golden and brown buts form on the bottom of the pot (3-5 mins). Reduce heat to low and add chopped sage. Sauté sage until fragrant and starting to crisp, about a minute. 

Add onions, butternut squash and garlic to the pot. Stir mixture to combine. Add the vegetable stock. Bring soup to a simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender blend soup until completely smooth (If using a traditional blender allow soup to cool before blending). Return soup to pot. Taste the soup, add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Serve with your favourite soup toppings and sides.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes with Brûlée Bananas

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I have had that Jack Johnson song Banana Pancakes stuck in my head all week, so on Saturday when I woke up early and had nothing on the agenda for the day I thought I’d make a special breakfast of Banana Pancakes. I decided to switch things up a bit and add brûlée bananas to the top…. Yum!

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I like to use whole wheat four whenever I can since it has added fibre. I also love the nutty flavour which compliments banana really well. The problem with whole wheat flour is that it can create tough pancakes that sit in your belly like a rock! So I’ve added extra moisture to keep these pancakes light and fluffy!

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Now the brûlée bananas are an extra special touch that really doesn’t take much effort at all. The banana caramelize and sweeten which is a nice addition to the soft fluffy pancakes. I like to top my pancakes with butter and a little maple syrup, but next time I’m adding walnuts for some extra crunch!

These were so good, I hope you give them a try!

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Whole Wheat Bananas with Brûlée Bananas

Yields: 8-10 Pancakes (depending on size)

Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 1 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/4 cup Milk (any kind)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 1 Ripe Banana, mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Brûlée Bananas

  • 2 Tablespoons Turbinado Sugar (raw brown sugar) or White Sugar
  • 1 Large Banana, Sliced

Directions:

Move the rack in your oven to the top position closest to the element. Preheat your oven to broil (500°F). Place Turbinado or white sugar in a small bowl. Dip one side of the banana slices into sugar and place on cookie sheet. Broil bananas until sugar crystallizes and starts to brown. This will take 2-5 minutes depending on your oven. DO NOT walk away from oven, check on bananas every 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not let bananas burn.

Once caramelized set bananas aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk banana, butter and egg together. Add milk, brown sugar and vanilla extract to wet ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry and fold together using a spatula or wooden spoon. Mix until just combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat a skillet or grilled over medium heat. Once warm grease pan with a small amount of butter or oil. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of the pancake, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

Serve pancakes with butter, broiled bananas and maple syrup.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and Entertaining with Beth.

 

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Easy Chicken Soup

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For the last two weeks my husband has been nursing a horrible cold. Like most men he really struggles when he gets sick. I’ve been pumping him full of fluids, and comforting nutritious foods. Including chicken soup.

For a long time he hated soup, honestly he still kind of does. I of course love soup and could eat it all fall and winter long. Especially when I get sick. So naturally when I found out he was a soup hater I questioned our entire relationship (kidding!). Actually I was determined to find soup that he would actually enjoy. I now have a few soup recipes in my arsenal that he enjoys. Luckily my Chicken Soup is one of the recipes he enjoys and it’s perfect for a bad cold!

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This recipe is super easy and you probably have all the ingredients in your fridge right now. It’s actually easy enough that you could make it while you’re sick.

I roasted the chicken for this soup, but you could use leftover cooked chicken instead. I also recommend cooking your noodles first instead of cooking them in the soup. Cooking them in the broth makes them soggy and they soak up too much of the broth. You can also switch up the vegetables based on what you have on hand.

Give this recipe a try next time you get sick.

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Easy Chicken Soup

Yields: 10 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Uncooked Short Cut Pasta (Shells, macaroni, bow-tie etc)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Stalks of Celery, diced
  • 3 Carrots, diced
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 10 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tsp Thyme, fresh
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: 2/3 Cup Frozen Peas

Directions:

Preheat the over to 400°F. Place chicken on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reached 165°F. Dice chicken and set aside.

While the chicken cooks bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In the same large pot heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic, carrots and celery, cook for 4 minutes. Add broth to the pot and bring to a simmer.

Stir in chicken, frozen peas and thyme. Continue to simmer the soup for 5 minutes. Stir pasta into the soup just before serving.

This soup will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, or it can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Adapted from, Fraiche Nutrition.

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

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I’ve been trying to cook less during the week. Life is just so busy and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished. So I’ve been cooking big batches of food and reheating leftovers. Making up pans of lasagna and enchiladas to get us though busy weeknights. Of course another great time saver is the slow cooker. I will admit I don’t utilize mine as much as I should. I mostly use mine to batch cook soups, stews and sauces. It really is satisfying to come home from work and smell dinner cooking away.

One of my favourite recipes for the slow cooker is vegetarian chili. I love this recipe because it’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s flavourful. This recipe doesn’t require browning or sautéing. You can literally just dump everything in the slow cooker and let it do it’s thing.

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For this chili recipe all you have to do is chop your vegetables, blend one can of tomatoes and add everything to the slow cooker. It really is crazy how simple that is.

Once your chili is ready it’s time to add toppings! I like sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion. Tortilla chips or Fritos (YUM!) are also great on top. I also like to serve my chili with a bun or some cornbread to round out the meal.

It’s seriously so delicious and couldn’t be easier! It also screams fall and football Sundays. I love throwing all the ingredients in the slow cooker running my Sunday errands, going on our weekly walk and coming home to a perfect Sunday dinner. A perfect Sunday dinner that makes enough leftovers for Monday and even more for your freezer! I mean isn’t that what we all need?

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 2 Stalks of Celery, diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Chipotle in Adobo Sauce, chopped
  • 2 Tsp Adobo Sauce
  • 2 15 oz Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz Can Red Kidney Beans, rinsed
  • 1 15 oz Can Black Beans, rinsed
  • 1 15 oz Can Pinto Beans, rinsed
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 Cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Chop onion, carrots, celery, red pepper, garlic and chipotle pepper. Add to the slow cooker. Pulse one can of the tomatoes in a food processor or blender until tomatoes break down and the mixture is thick. Add the pulsed tomatoes and the can of un pulsed tomatoes to slow cooker. Drain and rinse kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans. Add beans and corn to the slow cooker. Add vegetable broth, adobe sauce, chili powder and cumin to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Before serving add salt and pepper if needed.

 

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Apple Cheddar Pecan Salad

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I’m not a huge salad fan. I like restaurant salads, but homemade salads aren’t really my thing. They often taste too earthy and they never seem to have the correct amount of dressing. There are a few exceptions… anything with arugula, Kale Caesar Salad and this Apple Cheddar Pecan Salad. This salad is my go to for the fall, I love the refreshing fresh crunch the apples give. I’ve been making this salad for years and everyone who has tried it loves it.

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The homemade dressing on this salad really ties together the salad and really boosts the fall flavour. It has apple cider and pure maple syrup as two of the ingredients. I love to blend my dressings up in my magic bullet to emulsify the olive oil, but you can of course just use a whisk.

I like to serve this salad on the side of marinated chicken, or add a grilled chicken breast on top and take it to work for lunch. If you give it a try it will soon become your favourite fall salad.

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Cheddar Apple Pecan Salad

Yields: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 8 Cups Baby Greens
  • 1 Apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup of Pecans
  • 1/4 Cup of Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Dressing:

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper

Directions:

In a blender, or small dish add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Blend or whisk until the dressing comes together and emulsifies.

Add baby greens, apples, pecans and cheese to a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

 

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