Thai Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup

Thai Butternut Coconut Soup

We”re nearing the end of soup season (which, to me, runs roughly mid-October through late-February) so I need to cram in some new recipes while I still have the chance! My two favorite types of soups are Asian-inspired, particularly Thai, and squash-based. So when my friend sent me a recipe on Pinterest incorporating both, I was IN. (And yeah I pinned it to my Soup-specific board, duh)

This fabulous recipe originally comes from the lovely blog Carlsbad Cravings. While I”ve made Thai-spiced butternut and/or sweet potato soups before, the addition of sriracha-roasted pumpkin seeds on top really brings this one to a whole other level. Actually, she used butternut squash seeds, but I had a bunch of naked pumpkin Superseedz in the pantry so I decided to use those and it came out great. Perfect if you are using pre-chunked or frozen butternut squash versus the whole gourd. (Which I actually was, too… pre-cut packaged organic squash because I was running late after work! No shame in my game on a busy weeknight.) I amped up the spice in this a bit and cut down the fat by using light coconut milk, and the result was absolute heaven.

Thai Butternut Squash Coconut Soup with Honey Sriracha Pumpkin Seeds

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Zucchini Noodles & Shrimp in Sweet Potato-Red Pepper Sauce

Zucchini Noodles with Sweet Potato Red Pepper Sauce

I am SO in love with the new spiralizer I got for Christmas! (It’s this fancy-pants Paderno 4-blade variety… kind of complicated to put together at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s great.) I’m about to spiralize everything up in this kitchen. Well, within reason.

Obviously, one of the best things to do with a spiralizer is to make faux-noodles. I’ve been trolling Pinterest for some spiralizer inspiration and I happened upon this recipe from Shape. Instead of heavy dairy, it uses puréed sweet potatoes to make a creamy, thick sauce. (Thankfully I also received a shiny new Cuisinart food processor at Christmas this year!)

The original recipe also uses spiralized sweet potatoes to make the “noodles” and while I love me a sweet potato, this was a little too… overly sweet potatoey for my liking, so I subbed zucchini for that component. So technically you can call them “zoodles” but I haven’t fully given into that terminology yet. I also added some shrimp for protein, it went really well with the rest of the flavors and textures. If you’re trying to keep things vegetarian/vegan, you could omit the shrimp and add some firm tofu.

This meal was SO filling and satisfying while also managing to be extremely healthy and low calorie. Rob and I split this entire recipe, and I was wondering if it’s unhealthy/weird for adults to eat 1.5 zucchinis each in a single sitting, but I guess that’s just #spiralizerlife.

Sautéed Zucchini Noodles & Shrimp in Sweet Potato-Red Pepper Sauce

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Watermelon, Olive and Homemade Ricotta Salad

Watermelon Ricotta Salad

I don”t like Labor Day weekend that much. Weird, right? I mean, three-day weekends are the best and all. But to me, Labor Day signifies the end of summer and I love summer! I don”t want it to end! Luckily here in Texas your typical “summer” weather lasts from about April-October. Still though, the fact that September is coming is stressing me out—I feel like I have to cram in as much summer fun and flavor as possible.

One of my very favorite summertime foods is watermelon. I”m obsessed. It”s obviously delicious and refreshing on its own, but I”ve also gotten really into using it as a component in more savory recipes. I always love a good watermelon and feta salad, but here”s something even better. Our friends at Pompeian sent over a recipe for a savory watermelon salad with olives and homemade ricotta. Game changer! If you”re looking for a unique side for your last barbecue of the summer (sob!) I think this would do the trick.

Watermelon, Olive, & Homemade Ricotta Salad

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The Chicken or the Egg?

ChickOrEgg

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Sure, we”ve all pondered the question but at the end of the day—who gives a damn? Regardless, they are both delicious. Of course, they are even better when fried and breaded. There are few people I know (meaning I know few vegetarians) that do not enjoy a fried egg or chicken. So, my girlfriend realized she could please anybody (that matters) by combining a fried egg and chicken in a dish. Bonus: she added some greens and can call it salad and healthy.

The girlfriend always cringed when I ordered my fried eggs at the diner, but that”s all changed thanks to this new concoction. The dish has a balance of texture—tender, juicy chicken, crispy arugula and asparagus, and a savory runny egg that acts as the perfect dressing. Onward to the flavor: the breaded chicken offers a solid foundation for the pseudo-salad with Italian seasonings. Next, the “salad” portion of the dish includes the peppery arugula, refreshing asparagus, and lemon juice finishes it off with a surprisingly perfect balance. Finally, the dish is crowned with a fried egg (or runny egg, dippy egg, whatever you choose to call it). Break the egg and enjoy the savory flavor of the fried egg in every bite.

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Endless Ice Cream: Peach Basil Mascarpone

This is one of the first ice creams I dreamed about when I got my ice cream maker this past spring. I’ve been patiently waiting for those perfectly, drippingly ripe peaches that signify that the end of summer is inevitably near.

Well, my wait is over, and this ice cream is every bit as delicious as I imagined. If you have extra peaches, I recommend doubling up the roasted peaches and saving the extra puree to mix with your yogurt, oatmeal, or to toss with fresh raspberries.

Peach Basil Mascarpone Ice Cream

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Put It In a Jar: White Sangria

I don’t know about the rest of you, but all weekend long I have been reaching, itching, longing for some crisp fall weather. I toiled for a while about what the hell to put in a jar this week. Fruit…again? I wanted comfort food. Something sweet, with chocolate…maybe some peanut butter and malt! Ok. OK. I told myself to get a grip. It’s August. I’ll have months and months of savory food up ahead. So, what did I decide to do instead…?

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