Butternut Squash and Beef Stew

I’ve been waiting for Costco to bring in their squashes because there’s no one in the city who can beat their pricing. For 3 large butternut squash, it was a mere $6! Now what to do with it… well make stew of course.

Ingredients:

1 large onion

3 garlic cloves

1 tbsp of dried Italian herbs

1 tbsp of dried rosemary

1 large roast cut into cubes (around 1.5-2 pounds)

1/4 cup of flour

2 cups of red wine

2 large butternut squash (peeled and cut into cubes)

1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes

4 cups of broth (I only had chicken but I’m sure beef would be great)

Salt and pepper to season

Steps:

1) In a large pot, combine the onion, garlic, and herbs with oil olive. Cook for around 5 minutes or until the onions begin to brown.

2) Toss the beef cubes into a bowl and coat with the flower and salt and pepper. Then add into the pot. Cook for around 5 minutes.

3) Add in the 2 cups of wine, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot. It should start to slightly thicken. Cook for around 5 minutes.

4) Finally, add in the butternut squash, sun dried tomatoes, broth, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for around an hour.

Voila!

I think next time, I would also add in mushrooms close to the end. The stew is nice and thick with tons of flavor. You could top with some cheese or a scoop full of sour cream.

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Cauliflower Bacon Soup

We’ve had a pretty damp and cold September in Calgary, which has forced me to start my winter cooking earlier than I wanted to. I love soups, but never really make them, so it’s been my goal this winter to change that.

This morning, I google a bunch of recipes to use up the Costco sized bag of cauliflower still lingering in our fridge. I couldn’t really find what I was looking for on google, so I decided to make my own.

The ingredients are simple and the soup itself is very easy to make.

Ingredients:

1 package of bacon

1 large onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 largish potatoes

1 container of chicken broth

Equivalent of 1 head of cauliflower

1/4 cup of cream

Directions:

1) In a pot, cook the bacon to a crispy level. Once it’s finished, remove from the pot but keep the grease inside.

2) Add in the diced onions and chopped garlic. Stir until cooked (about 5 mins).

3) Add in the two peeled and chopped potatoes, and the cauliflower. Also, pour in all of the chicken broth.

4) Simmer for 30 minutes.

5) Once finished, add almost all of the bacon you previously cooked, and blend the soup until it’s puréed. Add it back into the pot and stir in 1/4 cup of cream (I only had coffee cream to use). Don’t let the soup boil, but make sure it’s warm.

6) Serve into bowls and garnish with the leftover bacon and parmesan cheese.

This soup is hearty, yummy, and full of flavor. Enjoy!

Watermelon Summer Salad

My mom stopped by our house the other day, noticed a watermelon sitting on the counter, and said we should turn it into a salad. “A salad?” I thought out loud, to which she replied, “Yeah, just add some feta.” I don’t know why I ever question my mom’s cooking abilities because she could run her own restaurant, but this idea did sound a little bizarre to me. Turns out, with some makeshift ingredients, I created quite the masterpiece that I’d love for others to try.

Although I didn’t write out, or measure the ingredients, here’s my best guess on the recipe:

Half of a seedless watermelon cut into chunks

1 whole cucumber cut into chunks

1 bundle of mint chopped

1 cup of feta cheese cut into chunks

1 juice of a lime squeezed

Enough oil olive to make it saucy

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

There’s nothing quite like peanut butter. Period. But when you combine that into a cookie, it’s just a recipe for deliciousness. Over the years, and in the midst of becoming a healthy eater, I’ve realized that the cups and cups of different types of sugar aren’t necessary to still have delicious tasting treats. Here’s my favorite recipe which is a guaranteed pleaser. Plus, it’s simple and easy to make.

1 cup of natural peanut butter

1 egg

1/4 cup of honey

1/2 cup of oats (optional)

You can also add in some chocolate chips if you so desire.

Throw everything into your mixer and blend together.

Roll into balls and flatten with your fork.

Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Delights

For the last five years, I basically cut refined sugar from my diet.  We all know what the experts say about it, and for me, they were right.  Often, I had awful migraines, a couple forcing me to stay in bed for a week, and when my acupuncturist suggested cutting refined sugar, I felt desperate enough to do anything.  Little did I know the difference it would make in my life.

Even though I felt lively and healthy, there were so many moments when my cravings for something sweet were almost unbearable.  Fruit was okay, but it didn’t satisfy that chocolately need that I wanted.  These treats saved me, and so, many years later, I thought I should share in case they can “save” someone else’s sweet tooth.

I absolutely LOVE baking, but when I bake in general, I often eye ball my measurements.  Hopefully my eye-to-true measurements are accurate enough!

Ingredients:
2 cups of pecans
2 cups of dates
2 cups of dark chocolate (source carefully and check the label!)
1 cup of peanut butter (natural, only peanuts! Add more if you want it more of a peanut butter flavour)

Steps:
1) Dump your pecans and dates into your food processor and blend until it starts clumping on the sides (around 2 minutes).
2) Pour the blended mixture into a 9×13 pan – or really any size you have. The smaller your pan, the thicker the squares will be. You might want to line your pan with parchment paper or tin foil so your clean up is essentially none! Spread out evenly into the pan, and pat down with your hand.
3) Melt your dark chocolate and peanut butter on low heat, on the stove top, stirring constantly.
4) Pour on top and spread evenly over the crust.
5) Refrigerate for a couple of hours, until hard, and then cut and serve!

Enjoy!

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