Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin and Chicken Moroccan Stew

Ahh, pumpkin season. The time when all food blogs are overrun with all kinds of pumpkin dessert recipes. I LOVE pumpkin dessert – cheesecakes, pies, bars, ANYTHING - pumpkin is so good and the spices that accompany it are so delicious. But I try not to make dessert more than a couple of times a month. There is so much candy and birthday cake at work, that even without making dessert we end up eating too much sweets.

So what do you do when you are craving delicious pumpkin but have gone to TWO birthday parties this weekend and it would almost be sinful to make pumpkin pie after eating birthday cake all weekend? Why, you make savory pumpkin recipes, of course. I modified this awesome recipe from closet cooking to make it a bit simpler: Pumpkin Chicken Tagine

This pumpkin chicken Moroccan stew is one of my favorite things that I’ve had in a long while. It is SO flavorful and delicious. It’s just a bit spicy but also sweet from the apples, honey, and dried cranberries. And it also contains pretty much all the spices that go into a pumpkin pie, so it has SO much flavor!

chicken Moroccan stew

Traditionally, a Moroccan stew is cooked in a pot called tagine (more…)

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Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Pancakes

Ever since I made the Wheat Germ Blueberry Muffins, I’ve been on a kick to keep our breakfasts interesting. I keep wanting to make pumpkin pancakes (one of my favorites!), but we just keep getting more and more carrots in our CSA. So I decided to get creative and make carrot cake pancakes! Of course, I used white whole wheat flour, just like I do for most recipes. It’s my secret trick – it doesn’t get as dense as regular whole wheat flour. This means that I can use only whole wheat flour in my recipes instead of having to add all purpose flour like most recipes suggest.

whole wheat carrot cake pancakes

The awesome thing about these pancakes (other than the flavor, of course), is that you can customize them a bit to your liking – you can add raisins and/or walnuts and/or pecans. Or you can increase the spice if you like that kind of thing. This is YOUR breakfast, so you do what you want with it! (more…)

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Creamy Turnip Potato Soup

I mentioned that this year will be the year of soup, and I wasn’t kidding. Soup is just so warming and filling and delicious, I don’t get how Aldo doesn’t like it! Although he did eat the coconut curry butternut squash soup and admitted that it’s really good. So maybe there is hope yet in converting him to a soup lover.

creamy turnip potato soup

This time I made a turnip potato soup. Now I love love love pureed potato soups (yes, they get three loves). This time I wanted something a little different, and a little lighter in calories. Turnips are awesome root vegetables that barely have any calories in them. So for this recipe, I used about 2 pounds of turnips and 1.5 pounds of potatoes. More than half the soup is made from healthy, low calorie turnips. This soup is very creamy in texture without adding any half and half or cream. (more…)

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Coconut Curry with White Fish and Broccoli

Winter is coming. Which means that it’s time for warm dishes such as soups, stews, casseroles, and of course, curries. I love eating a hot bowl of curry for dinner in the winter, it is so satisfying, filling, and it makes my belly warm and happy.

One of my favorite curries is Massaman curry, which has a coconut milk base. I just LOVE anything coconut flavored, and this curry is perfect for cold winter days.

coconut curry with white fish

It might seem like a lot of ingredients, but it’s really not that complicated and only takes 30 minutes to make. Below I indicated in bold the ingredients that are essential to making this curry. But if you don’t want to bother with having to julienne the carrot, or don’t want to buy fish sauce and cilantro just for this recipe, that’s totally fine, it will still be delicious. I’ve made this curry with just coconut milk, broth, curry, and vegetables before. The fish sauce, cilantro, basil, carrots, and the thai chili pepper just give this curry even more flavor, but the base of it is very simple.

If you’re not feeling the fish curry, then this can totally be made with chicken too. (more…)

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Easy Seafood and Vegetable Paella

We are big fans of Groupon. Most of our dinner date nights are a result of us buying a Groupon for a nice restaurant that we wouldn’t normally spend the money on. One of the restaurants we like is Cervantes of Spain in Cranford, NJ. Whenever we go there, we always get the seafood paella. It is so ridiculously good. And it comes with half a lobster on top (which we always leave for the to-go box at home because neither one of us knows how to properly eat lobster in public, haha – we’re not fancy people).

Cervantes of Spain also has the most amazing butter that they serve with the dinner rolls – a garlic herb butter. It is so so good that I can seriously make a meal of just the dinner rolls with the herbed butter. That reminds me, I should try to make some herbed butter sometime. But that’s a whole other post topic.

Anyway, the restaurant is not too expensive, but it does feel silly paying $25 for a dish that’s mostly rice. Which is why we usually wait until we get a Groupon to go there.

I’ve been craving the seafood paella lately, but we’ve been so busy with work and other life stuff that we really don’t have time to go out for dinner and probably won’t for a few weeks. So it was time to take matters into my own hands.

Seafood and Vegetable Paella

I made an easy seafood and vegetable paella at home, and it came out awesome. (more…)

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Nutritious and Delicious Wheat Germ Blueberry Muffins

Our breakfasts have gotten a little repetitive lately. On the weekends we’ve been having a lot of eggs in all shapes and forms – fried, scrambled, in a frittata – eggs eggs eggs! And for weekday breakfasts I always make an overnight soaked no-cook oatmeal – every. single. day. I’ve been wanting to switch it up, so I made these yummy wheat germ blueberry muffins.

wheat germ blueberry muffins

Wheat germ, which can be found in the cereal aisle, is the most nutritious, vitamin-rich and nutrient-rich part of the whole wheat kernel. Yet sadly, wheat germ is the part that is left out of white flour thanks to all the processing. Wheat germ contains Vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus, and zinc. This recipe uses both whole wheat flour and wheat germ, to make muffins that are as nutrient packed as possible.

The blueberries in the muffins give an extra burst of flavor and a dose of antioxidants.

This recipe below gave the most fluffiest lightest muffins I’ve ever tasted, they were almost cake-like in texture. Taking a bite felt like biting into a cloud (which is a good thing, if you’re wondering!). (more…)

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Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

As the weather is getting colder, I want to share one of my favorite soup recipes. I first made this Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup years ago – it was one of the first things I ever came up with in the kitchen all on my own, and I remember thinking – wow, you can just mix and match flavors and end up with delicious food?! Cooking is awesome!

coconut curry butternut squash

Aldo is not a big fan of soup in general, but I LOVE SOUP. In Russia, the typical dinner consists of 2 courses – a soup and a main dish. So I grew up eating all kinds of soup almost every day, and I miss that. Last year, I didn’t make many soups because it was our first year living together and I knew he wasn’t a big soup fan (coming from a hot country, soup does not conjure up comforting feelings, I guess)… but this year? This year will be the year of soup!! Sorry Aldo.

I absolutely love regular butternut squash soup, and this version is even better, since it is so flavorful and delicious thanks to the curry. (more…)

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Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

As I mentioned in my Chicken and Avocado Burgers post, we have a LOT of ground chicken in our freezer. I’m really enjoying that ”problem” and I think Aldo is too. :P

This week I made Cheesy Chicken Meatballs.

cheesy chicken meatballs

We are going on vacation to ITALY in two weeks(!!!), and I am so excited! I love traveling, exploring new places, and eating all kinds of authentic foods when I travel. While I love all kinds exotic food, I am just beyond excited to eat some good Italian food in Rome, Florence, and Venice. (more…)

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10 Minute Chili Lime Swai Fillets

Swai is my new favorite fish. It is delicious, light and flaky, not too fishy, low in mercury, and super easy to cook. I wrote about my first experience with cooking Swai, and now we had the rest of the package in the freezer to deal with.

Chili lime swai

These Chili Lime Swai Fillets are super delicious and they really can’t be any easier or faster to make. It is almost silly how simple this recipe is (more…)

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Warm Bell Pepper Salad

As the weather cools down, I find myself wanting to eat warm foods – soups, stews, baked pasta casseroles, and all those other comforting warm dishes. I find that I don’t want to eat as many salads and fresh vegetables – I just don’t like the idea of munching on cold things. And while there are many healthy fall and winter foods out there, such as vegetable soups, roasted butternut squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, etc., they are still not as healthy for you as eating fresh vegetables.

When vegetables are cooked, some of the vitamins break down and we don’t get as much nutrition out of them as we could. I mean, there’s a reason there is a whole raw food movement out there. I would NEVER be able to eat raw foods only, but I do like to maximize my raw vegetable intake, and this is a bit trickier in the winter, mostly because I’m a baby and I don’t want to eat salad in the winter. First world problems, I know.

warm bell pepper salad

This warm bell pepper salad solves all of those issues. It is made from bell peppers, carrots, and red onions. These three ingredients are just slightly warmed up in a garlicky olive oil – not enough to cook them or to reduce their nutritious content, just enough to coat them in delicious flavor. (more…)

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