Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Slow Cooker, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Slowly Cooking This Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

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I LOVE this slow cooker method for making soup. I usually make this in a large soup pot, sauté the veggies in a little oil right there, add broth and let it simmer. By using a slow cooker, you skip the sautéing part and reduce the oil. I made a soup similar to this last fall, tossing whatever I had — apples, sweet potato, regular potatoes, carrots — into a big soup pot along with butternut squash; this time, I did the same thing in a slow cooker (way more fun). Enjoy as the main course or as a side, the result is a sweet, yet savory Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup that’s hands off minus the minimal prep of the produce in the beginning and puréeing at the end.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cozying Up with Rosemary Red Lentils

IMG_8543Happy meal prep, Sunday! Besides the balmy weather lately (and it coming up again this weekend), it’s been a bit chilly some night to start off fall and October. I made this one pot dish of Rosemary Sweet Potato Red Lentils and it’s beyond easy to make — it’s another one of those dump and stir kind of recipes. It’s cozy and surprisingly sweet with the sweet potatoes and raisins, but in a good, savory, dish-me-up-more kind of way. Rosemary is perfect for the fall and colder months and using fresh herbs will make your kitchen smell heavenly.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Very Decadent, Yet Very Easy Vegetable Risotto

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I love risotto. I think it’s really fun to make and almost a cathartic process with all the adding, mixing and stirring. It’s been a bit chilly in Boston (or at least I think so after coming from beautifully sunny weather on Sanibel Island), so this seemed like the perfect time to post Vegetable Risotto using zucchini, butternut squash and spinach. To stay in a true vegetarian nature, I used homemade vegetable stock, but have also used homemade chicken stock, which adds just as much flavor (see notes for how to). You’d never know cream or milk haven’t been added in. Mixing in freshly grated parmesan cheese still gives the risotto a decadent taste without being over-the-top and the butternut squash almost melts down to add a creamy texture to the risotto. Can I have seconds yet?

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Raving for this Veggie Ravioli Soup

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Happy Soup Sunday! You know when it’s still kind of chilly out, but you also want it to be warm and you still want your meals to mesh? I’m feeling the same way. It’s “spring” in New England, but not super. The daylight is longer and the snow from a late storm is melting, but it’s not quite light jacket weather. I think of spring and summer as lots of fresh garden veggies — tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, leafy greens, etc. I wanted a hearty “winter” soup that began to bridge the gap to spring. My mom and aunt always made a tortellini soup that’s extremely easy, but also satisfying. I chose to stick with peppers, zucchini and fire-roasted tomatoes for an added a flavor. (You can also add spinach, kale, carrots or potato.) Alas, the Beacon Hill Whole Foods has a bigger ravioli selection, so I chose to swap ravioli for tortellini. Again, using the rest of the homemade vegetable broth from the Buzzfeed’s Tasty recipe that I froze, I tossed all the ingredients in and had Vegetable Ravioli Soup piping hot in about 20 min.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

I Dare You to Not Love This Peanut Soup

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When I was visiting Chicago, my cousins Betsy and Cole were raving about this recipe they shared — African Peanut Soup. Simplistically delicious and fairly hearty considering it’s just veggies (but some thinly sliced beef would be a yummy addition). I added some cherry tomatoes, Tuscan kale and quinoa. Happy Meatless Monday! Hope you enjoy this keeper that definitely something to savor.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

More Pho Soup Fo’ Sure

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Happy Meatless Monday! Vietnamese Pho Soup may look intimidating (or strange), but it’s so simple. You make a broth, cook the rice noodles and assemble. I originally made this with tofu because 1). I had it on hand; 2). I was pressed for time; 3). it’s easy to use and requires no prep; and 4). why not? But for you carnivores out there, you can easily convert this to a “meat lovers” version by adding chicken, beef, pork or shrimp and then substituting chicken or beef broth for vegetable. This soup is light, refreshing, just ticket on a cold day. The sriracha adds just the right amount of spice, the herbs add a freshness and the spices just the right flavor. It’s also so easy to make it your own!

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian

No-Cream-Added Creamy Squash Pasta

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Another fall classic — Creamy Hubbard Squash Linguine with Zoodles & Sage. When my mom and I went to buy local orchard apples and pumpkins at Wallingford’s Orchard, we also picked up spaghetti, delicata and hubbard squash. (Hubbard is a light grayish-blue in color, teardrop in shape and similar to butternut squash in taste.) Maybe I just needed a break from pumpkin, or I’ve just been dying to try this delicious squash linguine recipe I found on Pinterest. The puréed squash is rich and creamy, so much so, you’d never know there’s no cream; the sage amplifies natural flavors and resembles thyme in taste. The hubbard and sage sauce might be bursting with so much flavor that it could be a knockout on its own — soup anyone? Having previously roasted the squash, the only thing to do next was to try this linguine recipe. I added in both “zoodles” or zucchini noodles and sautéed spinach for some needed veggies, and whole-wheat linguine for better carbs. The zoodles and whole-wheat linguine seamlessly blend; you’d never know you’re eating zucchini instead of pasta at times. The modifications were delectably perfect, and I can’t wait to have this again.

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